Federal Register Vol. 80, No.123,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 123 (June 26, 2015)

Page Range36693-36909
FR Document

80_FR_123
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 36907 - Proposed Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Korea Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear EnergyPDF
80 FR 36764 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 36767 - Corporation for Travel Promotion (dba Brand USA)PDF
80 FR 36727 - 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) and Amendments; Delay of Effective DatePDF
80 FR 36882 - Actions Taken at June 4, 2015, MeetingPDF
80 FR 36789 - Applications for New Awards; Transition Programs for Students With Intellectual Disabilities Into Higher EducationPDF
80 FR 36809 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 36783 - Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) Information To Be Verified for the 2016-2017 Award YearPDF
80 FR 36777 - Applications for New Awards; Coordinating Center for Transition Programs for Students With Intellectual Disabilities Into Higher EducationPDF
80 FR 36765 - 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program Commencement of Phase 1: The Block Boundary Suggestion ProjectPDF
80 FR 36859 - Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel; MeetingPDF
80 FR 36860 - [Notice: (15-047)] HEADNASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Astrophysics Subcommittee; MeetingPDF
80 FR 36859 - NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration Operations Committee; Research Subcommittee; MeetingPDF
80 FR 36860 - NASA Advisory Council; Ad Hoc Task Force on STEM Education MeetingPDF
80 FR 36896 - Agency Information Collection (Certification of Change or Correction of Name Government Life Insurance, VA Form 29-586) Activity Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 36770 - Endangered Species; File No. 19255PDF
80 FR 36884 - Notice of Intent To Rule on Request To Release Airport Property at Durant Regional-Eaker Field, Durant, OklahomaPDF
80 FR 36806 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Focus Groups as Used by EPA for Economics Projects (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 36812 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 36810 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 36844 - Proposed Information Collection; Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Bear Sighting and Encounter ReportsPDF
80 FR 36843 - Proposed Information Collection; National Park Service Fee EnvelopesPDF
80 FR 36845 - Proposed Information Collection; Nomination of Properties for Listing in the National Register of Historic PlacesPDF
80 FR 36832 - HUD Administrative Fee Formula-Solicitation of CommentPDF
80 FR 36830 - Rental Assistance Demonstration: Revised Program NoticePDF
80 FR 36733 - Safety Zone; Witt-Penn Bridge Construction, Hackensack River; Jersey City, NJPDF
80 FR 36713 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Charles River, Boston, MassachusettsPDF
80 FR 36803 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 36713 - Safety Zones, St. Petersburg Captain of the Port ZonePDF
80 FR 36717 - Safety Zones; Annual Events in the Captain of the Port Detroit ZonePDF
80 FR 36736 - Proposed Priority and Definitions-Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center-Targeted CommunitiesPDF
80 FR 36768 - Marine Mammals; File Nos. 18722, 18897, 19425, and 19497PDF
80 FR 36764 - Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the New Mexico Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 36765 - Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the Delaware Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 36771 - Marine Mammals; File No. 19444PDF
80 FR 36769 - Endangered Species; File No. 18688PDF
80 FR 36766 - Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 36815 - Applications for New Awards; National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)-Rehabilitation Research and Training CentersPDF
80 FR 36813 - Final Priority; National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research-Rehabilitation Research and Training CentersPDF
80 FR 36825 - Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children Request for NominationsPDF
80 FR 36810 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 36809 - Deletion of Agenda Item From June 18, 2015 Open MeetingPDF
80 FR 36826 - Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 36813 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; State Annual Long-Term Care Ombudsman Report and InstructionsPDF
80 FR 36760 - Notice of Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; PPQ Form 816, Contract Pilot and Aircraft AcceptancePDF
80 FR 36725 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Modifications of the West Coast Commercial Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions #3, #4, #5, and #6PDF
80 FR 36763 - Notice of Intent To Seek Approval To Collect InformationPDF
80 FR 36852 - Comment Request for Information Collection for Monitoring of Short Time Compensation (STC) Grants for Program Implementation or Improvement and Promotion and Enrollment in the Program, Extension With RevisionsPDF
80 FR 36855 - Comment Request for the Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Order, ETA Form 790, Extension Without Revisions, and the Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Memorandum, ETA Form 795, Extension Without RevisionsPDF
80 FR 36855 - Mondelez International Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Mondelez International Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 36854 - Simpson Lumber Company LLC, John's Prairie Operations Division, Shelton, Washington; Simpson Lumber Company LLC, Sawmill and Mill #5, Including On-Site Leased Workers of Express Employment Services, Shelton, Washington; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance and Alternative Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 36854 - Honeywell Aerospace a Subsidiary of Honeywell International Including On-Site Leased Workers From CorTech, PDS Tech, Donatech Corporation, Comforce, Collabera, Engineering Technical Group GS, Adecco, and Aerotek Moorestown, New Jersey; Notice of Revised Determination on ReconsiderationPDF
80 FR 36853 - Comment Request for Information Collection for the National Agricultural Workers Survey: Extension With Revisions (OMB 1205-0453)PDF
80 FR 36858 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; The13 Carcinogens StandardPDF
80 FR 36856 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Hazard Communication StandardPDF
80 FR 36861 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 36760 - Stanislaus National Forest; California; Stanislaus National Forest Over-Snow Vehicle (OSV) Use Designation Environmental Impact StatementPDF
80 FR 36894 - Hours of Service of Drivers: Renewal of Illumination Fireworks, LLC and ACE Pyro, LLC Exemptions From the 14-Hour Rule During Independence Day CelebrationsPDF
80 FR 36893 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Extension of a Currently-Approved Information Collection Request: Application for Certificate of Registration for Foreign Motor Carriers and Foreign Motor Private CarriersPDF
80 FR 36892 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Revision of a Currently-Approved Information Collection: Licensing Applications for Motor Carrier Operating AuthorityPDF
80 FR 36896 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 36821 - Unique Device Identification: Direct Marking of Devices; Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 36857 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Commercial Diving Operations StandardPDF
80 FR 36777 - Notice of Availability of Record of Decision for Navy Real Estate Actions in Support of Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project, HawaiiPDF
80 FR 36777 - Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive Patent License; QUORA Semiconductor, Inc.PDF
80 FR 36776 - Notice of Availability of Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Naval Base Coronado Coastal Campus at Naval Base Coronado, CaliforniaPDF
80 FR 36892 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Highway in CaliforniaPDF
80 FR 36822 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Electronic User Fee Payment Request FormsPDF
80 FR 36885 - Notice of Funding Availability for the Tribal Transportation Program Safety FundingPDF
80 FR 36841 - Proposed Safe Harbor Agreement for the Shasta Crayfish on Rock Creek, in Shasta County, CaliforniaPDF
80 FR 36772 - Notice of AbilityOne Nonprofit Agency Recordkeeping RequirementsPDF
80 FR 36774 - Information Collection To Be Submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval Under the Paperwork Reduction Act; Individual Eligibility EvaluationPDF
80 FR 36772 - Procurement List; Proposed Additions and Deletions; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 36775 - Procurement List; DeletionPDF
80 FR 36773 - Procurement List, Proposed AdditionsPDF
80 FR 36860 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 36775 - GPS Satellite Simulator Control Working Group MeetingPDF
80 FR 36842 - Renewal of Information Collection; OMB Control Number 1040-0001, DOI Programmatic Clearance for Customer Satisfaction SurveysPDF
80 FR 36884 - Agreement on Government Procurement: Effective Date of Amendments for ArmeniaPDF
80 FR 36877 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Nasdaq Rules 7014 and 7018PDF
80 FR 36867 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Codify Procedures for Resizing the Options Clearing Corporation's Clearing Fund on a Monthly Basis and Increasing Such Clearing Fund Size on an Intra-Month BasisPDF
80 FR 36870 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to a Proposal To Amend Chapter VI, Section 18 of the Exchange's Options RulesPDF
80 FR 36879 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Fixed Income Clearing Corporation; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change to the Government Securities Division Rules in Connection With the Extension of the GCF Repo Service Pilot ProgramPDF
80 FR 36862 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change Regarding NASDAQ Last Sale PlusPDF
80 FR 36873 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Order Price ProtectionPDF
80 FR 36869 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Concerning Administrative Changes to The Options Clearing Corporation's Financial Resources Monitoring and Call ProcedurePDF
80 FR 36875 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Eliminate the Change in Business Form FeePDF
80 FR 36865 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To Amend and Restate Certain Nasdaq Rules That Govern the Nasdaq Market CenterPDF
80 FR 36881 - Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program: SBA Model Form of Agreement of Limited Partnership for an SBIC Issuing DebenturesPDF
80 FR 36881 - Oklahoma Disaster Number OK-00081PDF
80 FR 36771 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 36769 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 36723 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area Closures for the Common Pool Fishery and Trip and Possession Limit AdjustmentPDF
80 FR 36757 - Adoption of RecommendationPDF
80 FR 36882 - Texas Disaster Number TX-00447PDF
80 FR 36882 - Oklahoma Disaster Number OK-00092PDF
80 FR 36807 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; RCRA Expanded Public Participation (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 36806 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Critical Use Exemption From the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 36805 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Part 71 Federal Operating Permit Program (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 36808 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Information Collection Request for Green Power Partnership and Combined Heat and Power Partnership (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 36804 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Identification, Listing and Rulemaking Petitions (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 36882 - LFE Growth Fund III, LP; Notice Seeking Exemption Under Section 312 of the Small Business Investment Act, Conflicts of InterestPDF
80 FR 36903 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Inflation Adjustment of Acquisition-Related Thresholds (DFARS Case 2014-D025)PDF
80 FR 36900 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Defense Contractors Outside the United States-Subpart Relocation (DFARS Case 2015-D015)PDF
80 FR 36897 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Clauses With Alternates-Prescriptions and Clause Prefaces (DFARS Case 2015-D016)PDF
80 FR 36719 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Allowability of Legal Costs for Whistleblower Proceedings (DFARS Case 2013-D022)PDF
80 FR 36759 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 36758 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 36775 - Surplus Properties; NoticePDF
80 FR 36776 - Ending of the National Environmental Policy Act Emergency Alternative Arrangements for New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS)PDF
80 FR 36788 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; GEAR UP Applications for Partnership and State GrantsPDF
80 FR 36827 - National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 36827 - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 36828 - Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: The Development of an Anti-CD19 Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) for the Treatment of Human CancersPDF
80 FR 36826 - Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: The Development of an Anti-TSLPR Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) for the Treatment of Human CancersPDF
80 FR 36828 - Prospective Grant of an Exclusive License Agreement: Development of Bispecific and Multi-Specific Fusion Proteins for the Treatment of ROR1 Expressing Human CancersPDF
80 FR 36799 - FFP Missouri 2, LLC; Notice of Technical MeetingPDF
80 FR 36796 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 36800 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-725B); Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 36797 - Kaiser-Frontier Midstream, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Silo Pipeline ProjectPDF
80 FR 36803 - Dominion Transmission, Inc.; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed St. Charles Transportation and Keys Energy ProjectsPDF
80 FR 36798 - Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC; Supplemental Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Southeast Market Pipelines Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues Related to the Newly Proposed Albany Compressor Station LocationPDF
80 FR 36800 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
80 FR 36829 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, Form I-485 Supplement A, and Instruction Booklet for Filing Form I-485 and Supplement A, Form I-485; Revision of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
80 FR 36873 - Investor Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 36820 - Source Data Capture From Electronic Health Records: Using Standardized Clinical Research DataPDF
80 FR 36772 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 36824 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Emergency Shortages Data Collection SystemPDF
80 FR 36718 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Technical AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 36795 - Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Announcement of Public Hearings for the Proposed Great Northern Transmission Line (GNTL) ProjectPDF
80 FR 36707 - Airworthiness Directives; ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional AirplanesPDF
80 FR 36710 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 36743 - Approval of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Minnesota; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.PDF
80 FR 36719 - NASA FAR Supplement Regulatory Review No. 3PDF
80 FR 36837 - Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the HomelessPDF
80 FR 36750 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Georgia: Changes to Georgia Fuel Rule and Other Miscellaneous RulesPDF
80 FR 36693 - Partner Vetting in USAID AssistancePDF

Issue

80 123 Friday, June 26, 2015 Contents Administrative Administrative Conference of the United States NOTICES Adoption of Recommendation, 36757-36758 2015-15679 Agency Agency for International Development RULES Partner Vetting in USAID Assistance, 36693-36707 2015-15017 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Forest Service

See

National Agricultural Library

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36758-36760 2015-15663 2015-15664
AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Meetings: Global Positioning Systems Satellite Simulator Control Working Group, 36775 2015-15699 Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Contract Pilot and Aircraft Acceptance, 36760 2015-15739 Army Army Department NOTICES Surplus Properties, 36775-36776 2015-15662 Broadcasting Broadcasting Board of Governors NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 36764 2015-15938 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection PROPOSED RULES Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act and Amendments; Delay of Effective Date, 36727-36733 2015-15836 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program: Commencement of Phase 1 -- The Block Boundary Suggestion Project, 36765-36766 2015-15780 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36810-36813 2015-15770 2015-15771 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Delaware Advisory Committee, 36765 2015-15751 New Mexico Advisory Committee, 36764-36765 2015-15752 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Charles River, Boston, MA, 36713 2015-15760 Safety Zones: Annual Events in the Captain of the Port Detroit Zone, 36717-36718 2015-15755 St. Petersburg Captain of the Port Zone, 36713-36717 2015-15756 PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Witt-Penn Bridge Construction, Hackensack River; Jersey City, NJ, 36733-36736 2015-15761 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

Economic Development Administration

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36772-36773 2015-15706 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Individual Eligibility Evaluation, 36774-36775 2015-15705 Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 36773-36775 2015-15702 2015-15703 Procurement List; Additions and Deletions; Corrections, 36772 2015-15704 Community Living Administration Community Living Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: State Annual Long-Term Care Ombudsman Report and Instructions, 36813 2015-15740 Applications for New Awards: National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research—Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers, 36815-36820 2015-15746 Final Priorities: National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research--Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers, 36813-36815 2015-15745 Defense Acquisition Defense Acquisition Regulations System RULES Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplements: Allowability of Legal Costs for Whistleblower Proceedings, 36719 2015-15665 Clauses with Alternates—Prescriptions and Clause Prefaces, 36898-36900 2015-15666 Defense Contractors Outside the United States—Subpart Relocation, 36900-36903 2015-15667 Inflation Adjustment of Acquisition-Related Thresholds, 36903-36905 2015-15668 Technical Amendments, 36718-36719 2015-15639 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

See

Army Department

See

Defense Acquisition Regulations System

See

Engineers Corps

See

Navy Department

Economic Development Economic Development Administration NOTICES Petitions: Trade Adjustment Assistance Eligibility, 36766-36767 2015-15747 Education Department Education Department PROPOSED RULES Proposed Priorities and Definitions: Rehabilitation Training, Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center-Targeted Communities, 36736-36743 2015-15754 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: GEAR UP Applications for Partnership and State Grants, 36788-36789 2015-15660 Applications for New Awards: Coordinating Center for Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities into Higher Education, 36777-36783 2015-15781 Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities into Higher Education, 36789-36795 2015-15784 Free Application for Federal Student Aid: Information to be Verified for the 2016-2017 Award Year, 36783-36788 2015-15782 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Order, Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Memorandum, 36855-36856 2015-15734 National Agricultural Workers Survey, 36853-36854 2015-15730 Short Time Compensation Grants for Program Implementation or Improvement and Promotion and Enrollment in the Program, 36852-36853 2015-15735 Revised Determinations on Reconsideration: Honeywell Aerospace, a Subsidiary of Honeywell International, et al.; Moorestown, NJ, 36854 2015-15731 Worker Adjustment and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance Eligibility; Amended Certifications: Simpson Lumber Co., LLC, Shelton, WA, 36854 2015-15732 Worker Adjustment Assistance Eligibility; Amended Certifications: Mondelez International, Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre, PA, 36855 2015-15733 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Proposed Great Northern Transmission Line Project; Public Hearings, 36795-36796 2015-15625
Engineers Engineers Corps NOTICES National Environmental Policy Act Emergency Alternative Arrangements Terminations: New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System, 36776 2015-15661 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Georgia; Miscellaneous Rules; Changes, 36750-36756 2015-15321 Minnesota; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, 36743-36750 2015-15555 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Focus Groups as used by EPA for Economics Projects, 36806 2015-15772 Green Power Partnership and Combined Heat and Power Partnership, 36808-36809 2015-15671 Identification, Listing and Rulemaking Petitions, 36804-36805 2015-15670 Part 71 Federal Operating Permit Program, 36805 2015-15672 Protection of Stratospheric Ozone -- Critical Use Exemption from the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide, 36806-36807 2015-15673 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Expanded Public Participation, 36807-36808 2015-15674 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Weekly Receipts, 36803-36804 2015-15757 Export Import Export-Import Bank NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36809 2015-15783 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Regional Airplanes, 36707-36710 2015-15615 Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes, 36710-36713 2015-15612 NOTICES Release of Airport Property: Durant Regional — Eaker Field, Durant, OK, 36884-36885 2015-15773 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36810 2015-15743 Meetings: Open Meetings, 36809-36810 2015-15742 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36800-36803 2015-15652 Combined Filings, 36796-36797, 36800 2015-15648 2015-15653 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Dominion Transmission, Inc. St. Charles Transportation and Keys Energy Projects, 36803 2015-15650 Kaiser-Frontier Midstream, LLC; Silo Pipeline Project, 36797-36798 2015-15651 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC; Southeast Market Pipelines Project, Albany Compressor Station Location, 36798-36799 2015-15649 Meetings: FFP Missouri 2, LLC, 36799-36800 2015-15654 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Highway in California, 36892 2015-15712 Funding Availability: Tribal Transportation Program Safety Funds, 36885-36891 2015-15709 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Certificate of Registration for Foreign Motor Carriers and Foreign Motor Private Carriers, 36893-36894 2015-15722 Licensing Applications for Motor Carrier Operating Authority, 36892-36893 2015-15721 Hours of Service of Drivers; Exemption Renewals: Illumination Fireworks, LLC and ACE Pyro, LLC; Exemptions from the 14-Hour Rule during Independence Day Celebrations, 36894-36896 2015-15723 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Proposed Safe Harbor Agreements: Shasta Crayfish, Rock Creek, Shasta County, CA, 36841-36842 2015-15708 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Electronic User Fee Payment Request Forms, 36822-36824 2015-15711 Emergency Shortages Data Collection System, 36824-36825 2015-15641 Guidance for Industry and Staff: Unique Device Identification -- Direct Marking of Devices, 36821-36822 2015-15719 Source Data Capture from Electronic Health Records -- Using Standardized Clinical Research Data; Demonstration Project, 36820-36821 2015-15644 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Stanislaus National Forest Over-Snow Vehicle Use Designation, Stanislaus National Forest; CA, 36760-36763 2015-15724 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Community Living Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality, 36826 2015-15741 Requests for Nominations: Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children, 36825-36826 2015-15744 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Administrative Fee Schedule, 36832-36837 2015-15765 Federal Properties Suitable as Facilities to Assist the Homeless, 36837-36840 2015-15404 Rental Assistance Demonstration -- Revised Program, 36830-36832 2015-15764 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

National Park Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Programmatic Clearance for Customer Satisfaction Surveys, 36842-36843 2015-15697
International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Corporation for Travel Promotion (dba Brand USA), 36767 2015-15884 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Commercial Diving Operations Standard, 36857-36858 2015-15718 Hazard Communication Standard, 36856-36857 2015-15728 The 13 Carcinogens Standard, 36858-36859 2015-15729
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement Regulatory Review, 36719-36723 2015-15524 NOTICES Meetings: Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, 36859-36860 2015-15779 NASA Advisory Council; Ad Hoc Task Force on STEM Education, 36860 2015-15776 NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration Operations Committee; Research Subcommittee, 36859 2015-15777 NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Astrophysics Subcommittee, 36860 2015-15778 National Agricultural National Agricultural Library NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36763-36764 2015-15737 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Exclusive Licenses: Development of an Anti-CD19 Chimeric Antigen Receptor for the Treatment of Human Cancers, 36828-36829 2015-15657 Development of an Anti-TSLPR Chimeric Antigen Receptor for the Treatment of Human Cancers, 36826-36827 2015-15656 Development of Bispecific and Multi-Specific Fusion Proteins for the Treatment of ROR1 Expressing Human Cancers, 36828 2015-15655 Meetings: National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 36827-36828 2015-15659 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 36827 2015-15658 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area Closures for the Common Pool Fishery and Trip and Possession Limit Adjustment, 36723-36724 2015-15680 Fisheries Off West Coast States: Modifications of the West Coast Commercial Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions No. 3, No. 4, No. 5, and No. 6, 36725-36726 2015-15738 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36769-36772 2015-15642 2015-15643 2015-15681 2015-15682 2015-15683 Permits: Endangered Species; File No. 18688, 36769 2015-15749 Endangered Species; File No. 19255, 36770 2015-15774 Marine Mammals; File No. 19444, 36771 2015-15750 Marine Mammals; File Nos. 18722, 18897, 19425, and 19497, 36768-36769 2015-15753 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Bear Sighting and Encounter Reports, 36844-36845 2015-15768 National Park Service Fee Envelopes, 36843-36844 2015-15767 Nomination of Properties for Listing in the National Register of Historic Places, 36845-36852 2015-15766 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Naval Base Coronado Coastal Campus, Naval Base Coronado, CA, 36776-36777 2015-15715 Exclusive License Approvals: QUORA Semiconductor, Inc., 36777 2015-15716 Records of Decisions: Navy Real Estate Actions in Support of Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project, HI, 36777 2015-15717 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 36860-36861 2015-15700 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS South Korea; Nuclear Energy Cooperation With U.S., Proposed Agreement (Presidential Determination No. 2015-08 of June 11, 2015), 36907-36909 2015-16002 Railroad Retirement Railroad Retirement Board NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36861-36862 2015-15725 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Meetings: Investor Advisory Committee, 36873 2015-15645 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., 36875-36877 2015-15687 Fixed Income Clearing Corp., 36879-36881 2015-15691 NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., 36870-36872 2015-15692 NASDAQ OMX PHLX, LLC, 36873-36875 2015-15689 NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 36862-36867, 36877-36879 2015-15686 2015-15690 2015-15694 Options Clearing Corp., 36867-36870 2015-15688 2015-15693 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Conflict of Interest Exemptions: LFE Growth Fund III, LP, 36882 2015-15669 Disaster Declarations: Oklahoma; Amendment 4, 36881 2015-15684 Oklahoma; Amendment 5, 36882 2015-15675 Texas: Amendment 2, 36882 2015-15678 Small Business Investment Company Programs: Model Form of Agreement of Limited Partnership for an SBIC Issuing Debentures, 36881-36882 2015-15685 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission NOTICES Meetings: Actions Taken, 36882-36884 2015-15786 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States NOTICES Agreement on Government Procurement; Effective Date of Amendments for Armenia, 36884 2015-15695 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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80 123 Friday, June 26, 2015 Rules and Regulations AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 2 CFR Part 701 RIN 0412-AA71 Partner Vetting in USAID Assistance AGENCY:

United States Agency for International Development.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is implementing a pilot for a Partner Vetting System (PVS) for USAID assistance and acquisition awards. The purpose of the Partner Vetting System is to help mitigate the risk that USAID funds and other resources could inadvertently benefit individuals or entities that are terrorists, supporters of terrorists or affiliated with terrorists, while also minimizing the impact on USAID programs and its implementing partners. This final rule sets out the requirements for the vetting of Federal awards, requirements including award terms for PVS, and applies PVS to a pilot program and any subsequent implementation of PVS that is determined appropriate. It follows publication of a proposed rule and takes into consideration the public comments received.

DATES:

This final rule is effective July 27, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michael Gushue, Telephone: 202-567-4678, Email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, USAID established a new system of records (see 72 FR 39042), entitled the “Partner Vetting System” (PVS) to support the vetting of key individuals of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who apply for USAID contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, or other funding and of NGOs who apply for registrations with USAID as Private and Voluntary Organizations. In January 2009, USAID published a final rule (74 FR 9) to add PVS to its Privacy Act regulation, 22 CFR 215, and to exempt portions of this system of records from any part of 5 U.S.C. 552a, Records maintained on individuals, except subsections (b), (c)(1) and (2), (e)(4)(A) through (F), (e)(6), (7), (9), (10), and (11) if the records in the system are subject to the exemption found in 5 U.S.C. 552a(j). To the extent applicable, records in this system may be exempt from subsections (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (H), (I), and (f) of 5 U.S.C. 552a if the records in the system are subject to the exemption found in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k). Any other exempt records from other systems of records that are recompiled into this system are also considered exempt to the extent they are claimed as such in the original systems. USAID's final rule exempting portions of the Partner Vetting System (PVS) from provisions regarding the accounting of certain disclosures (5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (4)); access to records (5 U.S.C. 552a(d)); agency requirements (2 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1), (2), and (3), (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I), (e)(5) and (8)); agency rules(f), civil remedies(g), and rights of guardians(h) of the Privacy Act of 1974 went into effect on August 4, 2009. Subsequently, USAID published a proposed rule (74 FR 30494) to amend 48 CFR Chapter 7, which is USAID's procurement regulation, in order to apply PVS to USAID acquisitions. The final rule implementing PVS for USAID acquisitions was published on February 14, 2012 with an effective date of March 15, 2012. In order to apply PVS to USAID assistance, USAID published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on August 29, 2013 (78 FR 168) with a public comment period of 99 days, closing on December 6, 2013. During the 99-day comment period, USAID received comments from 23 separate respondents. Those comments and our responses are discussed below.

B. Legal Basis for Partner Vetting

The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (the “FAA”), provides the President with broad discretion to set terms and conditions in the area of foreign assistance. Specifically, numerous sections of the FAA authorize the President to furnish foreign assistance “on such terms and conditions as he may determine”. See, e.g., section 122 of the FAA, which provides that, “[i]n order to carry out the purposes of this chapter [i.e., development assistance], the President is authorized to furnish assistance, on such terms and conditions as he may determine, to countries and areas through programs of grant and loan assistance, bilaterally or through regional, multilateral, or private entities.” Similarly, sections 103 through 106 of the FAA authorize the President to furnish assistance, on such terms and conditions as he may determine, for agriculture, rural development and nutrition; for population and health (including assistance to combat HIV/AIDS); for education and human resources development; and for energy, private voluntary organizations, and selected development activities, respectively. The FAA also authorizes the President to “make loans, advances, and grants to, make and perform agreements and contracts with, any individual, corporation, or other body of persons, friendly government or government agency, whether within or without the United States and international organizations in furtherance of the purposes and within the limitations of this Act.”

These authorities have been delegated from the President to the Secretary of State and, pursuant to State Department Delegation of Authority 293, from the Secretary of State to the Administrator of USAID. Agency delegations of authority, in turn, delegate these authorities from the Administrator to Assistant Administrators, office directors, Mission Directors, and other Agency officials.

In providing foreign assistance, the Administrator must take into account relevant legal restrictions. For example, the FAA requires that all reasonable steps be taken to ensure that assistance is not provided to or through individuals who have been or are illicit narcotics traffickers. Pursuant to annual foreign operations appropriations acts, assistance to foreign security forces requires vetting to ensure that assistance is not provided to units where there is credible information that the unit has committed gross violations of human rights. Restrictions in the FAA against supporting terrorism (Pub. L. 87-195, Sec 571-574) or providing assistance to terrorist states (Pub. L. 87-195, Sec 620A, Sec 620G, and Sec 620H) as well as restrictions in Title 18 of the United States Code on the provision of support or resources to terrorists (18 U.S.C. 113B) similarly support a decision by the Administrator of USAID to authorize terrorist screening procedures.

In addition, the broad authority of the FAA permits the Administrator of USAID to consider a range of foreign policy and national security interests in determining how to provide foreign assistance. The United States has a strong foreign policy and national security interest in ensuring that U.S. assistance is not provided to or through individuals or entities that are terrorists, supporters of terrorists, or affiliated with terrorists. This interest arises both because of our concern about the potential diversion of U.S. assistance to other uses and also our interest in ensuring that these individuals or entities do not garner the benefit of being the distributor of U.S. assistance to needy recipients in foreign countries. The United States is an advocate of strong anti-terrorism provisions and has urged other nations to control the flow of funds and support to terrorists. There could be significant negative foreign policy repercussions if it were determined that the United States was funding individuals and entities that are terrorists, supporters of terrorists, or affiliated with terrorists.

Further, Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-6 states that to protect against terrorism it is the policy of the United States to (1) develop, integrate, and maintain thorough, accurate, and current information about individuals known or appropriately suspected to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism, and (2) use that information as appropriate and to the full extent permitted by law to support Federal screening processes. HSPD-6 also requires the heads of executive departments and agencies to conduct screening using Terrorist Information (as defined therein) at all appropriate opportunities. In accordance with HSPD-11, USAID has identified NGO applications for USAID funds as one of the opportunities for which screening could be conducted. Accordingly, use by USAID of information contained in U.S. Government databases, i.e., vetting, is entirely consistent with HSPD-6.

Finally, legislative and Executive Order prohibitions against furnishing financial or other support to terrorists or for terrorist related purposes, or against engaging in transactions with individuals or entities that engage in terrorist acts, provide justification not to award assistance if USAID already has access to information showing that the applicant for assistance has such connections to terrorism. Some of these prohibitions can be found in Sections 2339A and 2339B of Title 18 of the United States Code, Executive Order 12947, as amended by Executive Order 13099, Executive Order 13224, and Title VIII of the USA Patriot Act. Accordingly, USAID's authority to conduct vetting is implied from these authorities.

Based upon all of the above, USAID has concluded that it has the legal authority to implement the PVS.

C. Summary of the Final Rule

USAID is issuing a final rule to add 2 CFR part 701, with an associated application provision and award term. The application provision, Partner Vetting Pre-Award Requirements, defines the vetting process and the applicant's responsibilities for submitting information on individuals who will be vetted, prior to award. The award term, Partner Vetting, sets forth the recipient's responsibilities for vetting during the award period, and the partner vetting process that takes place after award.

D. Discussion of Comments

USAID received comments and suggestions from 23 organizations on its proposed rule, which would enable USAID to apply the Partner Vetting System to USAID assistance.

The following responses address comments that were specific to the proposed rule for Partner vetting in USAID Assistance:

Demonstrated Need for PVS and Adequacy of Procedures

Comment: There is no evidence that USAID funds are flowing to terrorist organizations through USAID-funded programs. Moreover, partners have already implemented due diligence procedures, and there is no plausible evidence that current practices are inadequate. As an alternative to PVS, USAID should consider creating a system for U.S. organizations to obtain an exemption from PVS based on these organizations demonstrating to USAID that their own due diligence processes are sufficient to address potential diversion of aid.

Response: Some organizations submitted comments that USAID does not need to implement a partner vetting system since there is no evidence that (1) USAID funds are flowing to terrorist organizations through USAID-funded programs; or that (2) due diligence procedures implemented by USAID or its partners are inadequate to address the potential diversion of aid.

USAID addressed similar comments in publishing its final rule exempting portions of its system of records (Partner Vetting System, or PVS) from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act. See 74 FR 9 (January 2, 2009). Consistent with Executive Order 13224, terrorist sanctions regulations administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) within the U.S. Department of Treasury, the material support criminal statutes found at 18 U.S.C. 2339A, 2339B, and 2339C, as well as other related Executive Orders, statutes and Executive Branch policy directives, USAID has over the years taken a number of steps, when implementing the U.S. foreign assistance program, to minimize the risk that agency funds and other resources might inadvertently benefit individuals or entities that are terrorists, supporters of terrorists, or affiliated with terrorists. Specifically, USAID requires inclusion of clauses in its solicitations, contracts, grants, cooperative agreements and other comparable documents that remind our contractor and grantee partners of U.S. Executive Orders and U.S. law prohibiting transactions with, and the provision of support and resources to, individuals or entities that are terrorists, supporters of terrorists, or affiliated with terrorists. USAID also requires anti- or counter-terrorist financing certifications from all U.S. and non-U.S. non-governmental organizations seeking funding from USAID under grants and cooperative agreements. USAID contracting and agreement officers, prior to making awards of agency funds, check the master list of specially designated nationals and blocked persons maintained by OFAC. Implementing partners, as part of their due diligence, can check these public lists. However, given the range of activities carried out by USAID and the range of circumstances under which they are implemented, additional procedures may be warranted to ensure appropriate due diligence. In such instances, checking the names and other personal identifying information of key individuals of contractors and grantees, and sub-recipients, against information contained in U.S. Government databases, i.e., vetting, is an appropriate higher level safeguard that USAID can conduct and its implementing partners cannot. In certain high risk countries, such as Afghanistan, USAID has determined that vetting is warranted to protect U.S. taxpayer dollars. In conducting due diligence, USAID's implementing partners do not have access to these non-public databases and therefore cannot avail themselves of the same universe of information as USAID does in conducting vetting in Afghanistan, West Bank/Gaza and elsewhere. In protecting U.S. taxpayer resources from diversion, the importance in accessing information from non-public databases for the purposes of vetting has been clearly demonstrated. For instance, in Afghanistan, we have prevented approximately $100 million from being awarded to entities that did not meet USAID's vetting requirements. As a result of USAID's vetting programs, 1.5-2.5 percent of potential awardees were deemed ineligible. While this percentage may seem insignificant, USAID believes that such vetting results have prevented the diversion of Agency funds from their intended development purpose. USAID is implementing the PVS pilot program in an effort to evaluate vetting in countries selected to represent a range of terrorist threat risks, geographic diversity, and locations where both Agencies have comparable programs. The PVS pilot program is mandated by section 7034(i) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012 (Division I, Pub. L. 112-74) and related acts.

Vetting seeks to close the gap between publicly available information and information that can only be obtained from U.S. Government databases. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) is publicly available and includes both individuals and companies owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, targeted countries and individuals, groups, and entities, such as terrorists and narcotics traffickers designated under programs that are not country-specific. The collective list promotes OFAC's enforcement efforts, and as a result, SDN assets are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them. While the SDN list serves as a useful resource, it is not fully inclusive of terrorist information included in U.S. Government databases. Through access to U.S. Government databases, USAID's vetting team can view and analyze terrorist information that is not publicly available for national security reasons but is accessible to USAID in accordance with HSPD-6 and HSPD-11. To date, all ineligible determinations from USAID's vetting process have been derived from information obtained from U.S. Government databases and not from OFAC's SDN list. Accordingly, USAID supports continued use of such databases to mitigate the risk of U.S. taxpayer funds flowing to individuals or entities that are terrorists, supporters of terrorists, or affiliated with terrorists.

As an additional safeguard against the potential diversion of aid, the vetting conducted under PVS complements the stringent due diligence procedures undertaken by USAID and its implementing partners. Beyond examining business sources, U.S. government records, and other publicly available information to ensure proper use of appropriated funds in the contracting and grant making process, USAID requires supplemental information from organizations applying for these awards. While our implementing partners are required to be diligent in their efforts to screen their employees and employees of their subrecipients, they do not have access to all information relevant to U.S. national security interests. Rather than duplicating current due diligence efforts, PVS complements these efforts, providing another method to help ensure that USAID funds and other resources do not inadvertently benefit individuals or entities that are terrorists, supporters of terrorists or affiliated with terrorists, while also minimizing the impact on USAID programs and its implementing partners.

Risk to Partners

Comment: NGOs will be perceived as intelligence arms of the U.S. government, versus independent and neutral actors, increasing the security risk for implementing partner employees and local partners. Moreover, PVS will discourage international and local partners from working with U.S. NGOs and will deter U.S. citizens and foreign nationals from working for U.S.-funded programs. As evidenced under existing vetting programs, lower-tier partners and vendors may be unwilling or unable to provide their personal information . . . artificially limiting the pool of eligible partners and vendors. In addition, the burden will disproportionately affect smaller, nascent local organizations that lack the capacity to understand and comply with vetting requirements (contrary to USAID Forward).

Response: Organizations commented on the potential security risk to implementing partners and local partners that will be required to collect and submit personally identifiable information (PII) to USAID, since they might be perceived to be agents for U.S. law enforcement or intelligence. Moreover, commenters suggested that PVS could artificially limit the pool of eligible partners and contractors since they may opt not to be included in an application for an award in which the submission of PII is required for vetting purposes.

USAID understands the concern expressed by organizations that collecting PII suggests a linkage with U.S. intelligence gathering. The concern has been raised before, including in connection with USAID's vetting program in West Bank/Gaza. PVS is not a U.S. intelligence collection program. Moreover, USAID is not a Title 50 Agency and is not authorized by law to collect intelligence information. USAID complies with all laws and regulations regarding information collection (including Paperwork Reduction Act, OMB/OIRA approved collection, which was authorized following a comment and response period), usage, and storage. Consistent with guidance from our General Counsel, we have established procedures for the use of PII for vetting purposes under the PVS pilot program. The primary intent of the program is to safeguard U.S. taxpayer funds. USAID collects the least amount of information possible, while remaining cognizant of the need to eliminate false positives. There is no other way that USAID can perform this screening unless this information is collected. PII on key individuals of organizations applying for USAID funds, either as a prime awardee or as a sub-awardee, is entered into a secure USAID database that is housed within USAID servers. Access to this data is strictly controlled and provided only to authorized U.S. Government staff with vetting responsibilities. Authorized U.S. Government personnel who have been assigned roles in the vetting process are provided role-specific training to ensure that they are knowledgeable in how to protect personally identifiable information. Access to this data is further restricted through role-based limitations.

Using data provided by the applicant, USAID analysts search for any possible matches between the applicant organization or key individuals associated with that organization and one or more names contained in U.S. Government databases. Where a possible match is found, USAID staff will thoroughly analyze all available and relevant data to determine the likelihood of the match and make a recommendation regarding the eligibility of the organization to receive USAID funding. In those instances where there is a positive match, USAID will update the existing public or non-public database records for those organizations or individuals with any pertinent data provided by the organization or individual. USAID only updates the record once we have determined a match and there is more accurate information on the individual that was voluntarily provided on the Partner Information Form. Failure to provide these updates would be counterproductive to the U.S. Government's comprehensive counterterrorism efforts and inconsistent with a whole of government approach.

Given the standard assumption that an exchange of personal information is required as a part of government employment and government funding opportunities, the provision of personally identifying information for that purpose is not extraordinary, and its collection does not imply an improper use. USAID has a responsibility to take necessary actions to effectively safeguard U.S. taxpayer funds from misuse, as well as to deprive terrorist organizations and their supporters of money that might be diverted to fund their operations. USAID's experience has been that organizations advancing humanitarian and foreign assistance operations adapt to such requirements. Due diligence to prevent diversion to those with terrorism connections has increased substantially in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, without jeopardizing the effectiveness of foreign assistance objectives, and we believe that the requirements of PVS will not preclude our implementing partners' ability to find subcontractors and/or employees abroad. USAID's experience with vetting in Afghanistan, West Bank/Gaza and elsewhere demonstrates that assistance programs can operate effectively while implementing vetting programs.

USAID will continue to consider these issues when evaluating the effectiveness of the PVS pilot program.

Program Execution Delays

Comment: The time associated with processing and clearing vetting applications will result in significant delays in program execution. In addition, because it is difficult to know who all contractors for a project will be during the application stage, large amounts of post-award vetting would need to be conducted, causing significant implementation delays.

Response: Commenters expressed concern regarding delays in program execution attributable to the vetting process. USAID recognizes that any additional requirement—whether related to PVS or otherwise—will affect the delivery of assistance. USAID's goal is to achieve the purpose behind any new requirement in the most efficient manner that will minimize any potential negative impact on implementation of activities.

Based on USAID's experience with vetting in West Bank/Gaza and Afghanistan, the additional time needed for PVS will vary depending on the individual circumstances of each award. It should be noted that USAID is increasing its vetting staff to accommodate the additional vetting required by the pilot program. Additional time, if any, may be required to verify proper completion of the forms by implementing partners. Should an adverse finding occur, the award decision will be paused while officials consider the nature of the findings and other relevant factors. USAID designed the PVS application and process to allow for the flexibility to balance the need to make a timely award with the need to respond appropriately to adverse findings.

Transparency

Comment: USAID should provide applicants with a clear explanation about the purpose of PVS. Regulations should state that USAID will provide a clear explanation in writing to applicants in the local languages of the pilot countries about (1) the purpose of PVS; (2) the type of information that will be collected from key individuals in the PIF; (3) how data on key individuals will be used and shared among different actors in the USG; and (4) how long such information will be stored. USAID should provide notice of clear restrictions on the use and sharing of personal data. Several organizations note language in Senate Report 113-81 that is incorporated by reference in the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Conference accompanying P.L. 113-76, the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act for FY 2014:

“All individuals and organizations being vetted should be provided with full disclosure of how information will be stored and used by the U.S. Government, including how information regarding a ‘positive match’ will be handled and how to appeal such a match.”

Response: Some organizations noted that USAID should include an explanation about the purpose of PVS in writing to organizations applying for awards, as well as the type of information collected and how that information would be used and stored. As noted in the summary to the proposed rule, the purpose of PVS is to help ensure that USAID funds and other resources do not inadvertently benefit individuals or entities that are terrorists, supporters of terrorists, or affiliated with terrorists, while also minimizing the impact on USAID programs and its implementing partners.

Prior Federal Register notices regarding USAID's PVS and the proposed rule detail the type of information that will be collected in the Partner Information Form and the use of such information. Our response to a previous question details how the PII that is collected is used in the vetting process. An applicant's PII will not be used to create a “blacklist” of organizations and/or individuals who will be barred from seeking U.S. government contracts and grants. Using the information for that purpose would constitute a de facto suspension or debarment, which is contrary to law. Organizations and key individuals are vetted based on a specific contract or grant to be considered for an award. Findings based on vetting results do not preclude an organization's eligibility to bid on subsequent solicitations.

Agency Authority To Approve Individual Subawards

Comment: We recommend that USAID remove proposed changes in 226.92(g) as 226.25(c)(8) does not give USAID authority to approve individual subawards. [226.92(g) reads as follows: “When the prime recipient is subject to vetting, vetting may be required for key individuals of subawards under the prime award when prior approval in accordance with 22 CFR 226.25(c)(8) for the subaward, transfer or contracting out of any work.”]

Comment: USAID should ensure vetting requirements are not tied to administrative approval requirements. The clause at 226.92(g) is incomplete and links the need for vetting to an administrative approval requirement, 226.25(c)(8), * * * which relates not only to subawarding but also to the transfer or contracting out of work. We recommend striking the references to 226.25(c)(8) as follows: “When the prime recipient is subject to vetting, vetting may be required for key individuals of subawards under the prime award. Alternate I. When subrecipients will be subject to vetting, add the following paragraphs to the basic award term: (h) When subawards are subject to vetting, the prospective subrecipient must submit a USAID PIF . . .”

Response: Several organizations recommended that USAID remove references to prior approval required by 2 CFR 200.308(c)(6) and previously found at 22 CFR part 226.25(c)(8). 2 CFR 200.308(c)(6) states that “For non-construction Federal awards, recipients must request prior approvals from Federal awarding agencies for one or more of the following program or budget-related reasons . . . Unless described in the application and funded in the approved Federal awards, the subawarding, transferring or contracting out of any work under a Federal award.” The purpose of the requirement is to ensure that, when vetting is required, subrecipients proposed by the recipient after award are properly vetted. Although the need for vetting is triggered by the introduction of a new subrecipient to the award, administrative approval requirements are separate from the vetting process. However, as stated in the rule, when the vetting of subawards is required, the agreement officer must not approve the subaward, transfer, or contracting out of any work until vetting is complete and the subrecipient has been determined eligible. When vetting of contractors is required, the recipient may not procure the identified services until vetting is complete and the contractor has been determined to be eligible. In cases where the recipient is procuring services, contractors of those services are subject to vetting when specified in the award. There is, however, no administrative approval process for recipient procurements.

It was also noted that the clause at 2 CFR 701.2(g) is incomplete. USAID has revised the clause to state that USAID may vet subrecipients when the prime is vetted and the prime requests approval of a new subaward.

Delegation of Authority to Agreement Officers

Comment: Can delegation of the authority entrusted to AOs under this rule be made to AORs?

Response: An organization inquired as to whether delegation of the authority entrusted to Agreement Officers under this rule would also be made to Agreement Officers' Representatives. Please note that the pre-award vetting process itself proceeds separately from the selection process for award to a successful applicant. For vetting requirements prior to an award, the Agreement Officer's duties and responsibilities cannot be delegated to an Agreement Officer's Representative or Award Manager. As the USAID official responsible for all aspects of the recipient selection process, only the Agreement Officer can perform the tasks that assist the vetting process. These include determining the appropriate stage of the award cycle to require applicants to submit the completed USAID Partner Information Form (PIF), USAID Form 500-13, to the vetting official identified in the assistance solicitation; specifying in the assistance solicitation the stage at which the applicants will be required to submit the USAID PIF; identifying the services in the assistance solicitation and any resulting award where the contractor will be subject to vetting; and making the award to an applicant that vetting has determined eligible. As such, all vetting procedures are the responsibility of the vetting official and are not delegable as part of the Agreement Officer's authority.

For post-award vetting requirements, the vetting official is the USAID employee designated to receive and communicate vetting information from the recipient, subrecipients, and contractors subject to vetting. The Agreement Officer cannot delegate these responsibilities as they are not part of the Agreement Officer's authority.

Application of Rule to Non-U.S. Organizations

Comment: The new rules apply to U.S. organizations and their subrecipients but not to non-U.S. organizations as implementers of prime awards. USAID should clarify whether the contents of the proposed rule will apply equally to non-U.S. organizations as they do to U.S. organizations. If the rule applies to non-U.S. organizations, how will requirements be documented for non-U.S. recipients?

Response: USAID received a comment from an organization seeking clarification as to whether the contents of this rule will apply equally to non-U.S. organizations and U.S. organizations. Requirements related to PVS rulemaking will apply to non-U.S. organizations just as they apply to U.S. organizations. The rule has been revised to include non-U.S. organizations.

Statutory Parameters of Pilot

Comment: Please confirm that the pilot will be limited to the five countries listed. If so, please remove reference to “other vetting programs” in the proposed rule. USAID should revise the proposed rule by specifically articulating the geographic and time limitations of the pilot program to comport with the relevant statutory requirements. [It should also be noted that vetting activities not part of the pilot] were not preceded by any formal rulemaking process allowing for public comment.

Response: USAID was asked to confirm that the pilot will be limited to five countries (Guatemala, Kenya, Lebanon, Philippines, and Ukraine) and to articulate the geographic and time limitations of the pilot. While the FY 2012 Appropriations Act mandates a PVS pilot program and a report to Congress on the pilot program, it provides USAID and the Department of State with flexibility to design the policies and procedures for the pilot program, to select particular countries for the pilot program, and to implement administrative rulemaking to govern the vetting of acquisitions and assistance. The Department of State and USAID agreed on five countries for the pilot program because they represent a range of risks and are located where both agencies have comparable programs. As explained in a previous response, USAID has the legal authority to conduct vetting outside of the PVS pilot program where a risk assessment indicates that vetting is an appropriate higher level safeguard that is needed to protect U.S. taxpayer resources in high-risk environments like Afghanistan.

Use of Existing Data Collection Tools

Comment: USAID should incorporate any vetting-related eligibility constraints into existing public tools such as the U.S. System for Award Management rather than creating a separate onerous process.

Response: It was suggested that USAID incorporate any vetting-related eligibility constraints into existing tools such as the U.S. System for Award Management (SAM). The Agency recognizes that partner vetting places additional requirements on its partners. However, incorporating vetting into SAM is not feasible. The partner vetting process established in this rule applies only to USAID. SAM is the U.S. Government-wide successor to the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and combines users' records from the CCR and eight separate Web sites and databases that aided in the management of Federal procurement. USAID cannot alter SAM and cannot impose vetting processes onto other agencies. SAM collects data from suppliers, validates and stores this data, and disseminates it to various government agencies. The purpose of partner vetting for assistance is fundamentally different from and incompatible with the purpose and function of SAM.

Partner Information Form (PIF)

Comment: One of the greatest burdens for applicants is the mandatory requirement that applicants collect a Government-issued photo ID number for each vetted individual. The provision of a Government ID number should not be mandatory.

Comment: Concern was expressed about the open-ended nature of (d)(1)(iii) in Appendix B: “Must provide additional information, and resubmit the PIF with the additional information within the number of days the VO specifies.” The organization requested specific parameters for the sort of information a VO can request and when that request can be made.

Comment: There is no mention that data can be submitted via a secure portal.

Comment: To reduce costs and burden for NGOs, USAID and DOS should standardize data collection mechanisms and vetting procedures.

Comment: There is an inconsistency in the Federal Register regarding the retention of PIF data. The announcement states that information will be collected annually if the grant is a multi-year award. However, it also states that USAID may vet key individuals using information already submitted on the PIF.

Response: Organizations provided various recommendations to reduce the burden for applicants to comply with requirements related to the submission of data on the Partner Information Form (PIF).

One organization recommended that USAID not make it a mandatory requirement that applicants collect a government-issued photo ID number for each individual. In many cultures in locations where USAID provides development assistance, the provision of name and date of birth information only is insufficient for purposes of PVS. Some cultures identify individuals using one-part names, descriptive names, or titles. Additionally, the same individuals may have no recorded date of birth. Consequently, USAID requires a certified form of identification. Providing such unique identifiers better enables USAID to conduct the vetting process efficiently and effectively. Generally, applicants may be asked to provide telephone numbers or family information, or to clarify personally identifiable information that may have been provided erroneously. By requesting additional information, USAID aims to reduce the number of false positives.

Another organization requested confirmation that data can be submitted via the secure portal. Organizations applying for assistance awards in countries covered under the PVS pilot may either submit data via the Agency's PIF or the secure portal.

One general comment on the proposed rule was that USAID and the Department of State should standardize data collection mechanisms and vetting procedures. USAID and the Department of State are distinct agencies with differing programs and operational models. USAID and the Department of State have closely coordinated efforts on PVS and conformed approaches as much as possible. For example, the Agencies use similar information technology systems (PVS and RAM) to complete the vetting process. However, USAID and State apply different vetting procedures since USAID procurements are often executed at its overseas missions, while State's procurement function is centralized in Washington, DC As a result, in the PVS pilot program, USAID staff at the pilot Missions coordinate with USAID staff in Washington, DC on the vetting process, whereas State conducts vetting in Washington, DC. We believe the added burden of using different partner information forms represents a modest increase in burden on complying organizations and is important to allow the pilot to achieve the same purpose for two agencies with different procurement processes. We can also consider the issue of different identification forms as part of our assessment of the pilot should unanticipated challenges or burdens arise due to the existence of separate forms.

Lastly, it was noted that there was conflicting information in the rule regarding the retention of PIF data. When PIFs are received containing personally identifiable information for a key individual assigned to a pending award, the relevant data are added to the PVS application. Applicants are vetted at that time using the information provided. When awards are reviewed for successive year options, partners are required to update information, and that information must be vetted by USAID prior to the option year. The vetting official will contact the awardee to confirm that the key individual information has not changed. If there have been no changes to key individuals or their identifiers, information for those initially vetted is available in PVS and may be used for re-vetting.

The Risk-Based Approach

Comment: Who performs the risk-based assessment, and what would the criteria be to vet? How will the data from each pilot country be compared? Can USAID provide the full internal process on how an RBA determination will be made, including who is involved and what recourse mechanisms there are to the nature of the program, the type of entity implementing the activity, the geographic location of the activity, the safeguards available, and how easily funds could be diverted or misused. Other considerations may include the urgency of the activity and the foreign policy importance of the activity.

Response: Rather than introduce a monetary threshold, whereby prime organizations and their partners applying for an award at or above the threshold are subject to vetting regardless of the nature of the award, operating environment, or program or activity to be implemented, as suggested by some organizations, the PVS pilot program uses a risk-based assessment.

Regarding the commenter inquiring about recourse mechanisms, an applicant may only request reconsideration of an ineligibility determination. The risk-based assessment does not focus on or capture data on implementing partners or subprime organizations. Rather, the assessment takes a holistic approach by evaluating a myriad of factors contributing to the overall level of risk of a new program or activity, including, but not limited to, the operating environment, nature of the program or activity, geographic locations of the proposed program or activity, and the amount of the award. Moreover, the risk-based assessment is designed to be conducted during the pre-solicitation phase, after the Statement of Work has been finalized, by USAID personnel who are most familiar with the proposed award and program or activity to be implemented. Given the nature and timing of the assessment as it relates to the procurement process, providing a recourse mechanism would not be appropriate.

Another concern raised in comments received was that the nature of the RBA process, which is conducted by AORs, would lead to significant pilot inconsistencies. While the AOR will primarily be designated to conduct the RBA, USAID's Office of Security, Bureau for Management, and other Agency stakeholders are responsible for ensuring that the data be as accurate and complete as possible. Analysis of data collected from each RBA will help USAID determine whether there is a correlation and the nature of the correlation between vetting results and the level of risk established in the RBA. Solicitations for assistance awards under which vetting may occur will include language indicating that potential applicants may be vetted (pending the outcome of the RBA). An important aspect of the PVS pilot is testing the RBA model.

One organization inquired as to who would be responsible for conducting the RBA when the grants program is managed by a contractor and not directly by USAID. Grants programs managed by contractors are properly part of vetting under acquisition rather than assistance. RBAs that USAID conducts for a particular planned acquisition will include consideration of Grants Under Contracts when these are part of the planned activities.

Lastly, an organization requested that USAID specify the full range of assistance agreements to be covered by the RBA. The applicable range of federal assistance instruments is identified in the definition of Federal award found at 22 Part 200.38.

Direct Vetting Approach

Comment: We recommend adopting a direct vetting approach, whereby subrecipients and vendors would be required to interact directly and solely with USAID for vetting purposes. The rule should make it more explicit that (1) no organization will be required to gather or verify information from a different organization or its key individuals; (2) organizations must submit their information directly to the VO; and (3) VO determinations must be communicated directly to the organization. The role of prime grantees should be limited to notifying local partners that they would need to submit their own information to the USAID vetting official, and directing them to the appropriate portal or Web site for information on such vetting. We urge USAID to state explicitly that PVS will not require prime recipients to verify information on the subrecipients or vendors, to convey vetting determinations to subrecipients or vendors, or to act as an intermediary in any way with respect to such vetting processes. The rule should specify that subrecipients submitting their vetting data directly to USAID have the responsibility to monitor and submit updated PIF or vetting data to USAID.

Response: Some organizations requested that USAID adopt what is termed a “direct vetting approach,” in which subprime organizations would interact directly with USAID for vetting purposes. USAID will offer a type of direct vetting approach as an option to implementing partners for a select group of awards under the pilot program. Under the direct vetting approach, a prime organization applying for an award to be implemented in a pilot country would request potential sub-prime awardees to submit information required for vetting to USAID directly instead of sending such information to USAID via the prime. In this approach, USAID would communicate directly with the potential sub-prime awardee solely for the purposes of vetting, including the transmittal of eligibility and ineligibility notices. However, the prime would remain responsible for ensuring that the information provided by its sub-prime organizations to USAID for the purposes of vetting is accurate and complete to the best of its knowledge.

In evaluating the direct vetting approach, USAID will consider the extent to which the approach was utilized and analyze its impact on USAID and partner organizations.

Privacy/Data Protection Laws

Comment: Consistent with applicable privacy and data protections laws of countries where NGOs, their subrecipients, or vendors operate, USAID should provide significantly greater clarity on how the vetting processes will allow NGOs and their subrecipients or vendors to comply with those laws while implementing PVS. It is important to specify in detail who will have access to the data and the extent to which the data will be shared, how long the data will remain in any vetting database or otherwise be kept by USAID or other agencies, whether any individual could seek to have personal data removed from any vetting or other intelligence database, and the safeguards around the storing, sharing and use of such personal data. [CRS requested that the rule be modified to include an exemption to its application when it can be demonstrated that implementation will force an NGO to violate applicable local law.]

Response: Commenters requested information regarding the storing, sharing, and use of personal data and cited concerns about potential conflict with applicable foreign privacy and data protection laws.

Prior Federal Register notices regarding USAID's PVS detail how data is stored, shared, and used under PVS. See 72 FR 39042 (July 17, 2007) and 74 FR 9 (January 2, 2009). USAID will review data retention policies as part of the PVS pilot.

Throughout the design process of PVS, USAID has been committed to protecting national security while complying with all administrative requirements, and protecting privacy and other rights of its partners and their employees. USAID places a high priority on data protection and has a strong information security program. USAID is required to report annually on Federal Information Security Management Act compliance. Additionally, USAID's information security program is audited by the USAID Office of the Inspector General. USAID will continue to evaluate issues relating to privacy and data protection during implementation of the pilot and consider accommodations as necessary.

The Vetting Process

Comment: Please confirm that only new awards (not existing awards) will be vetted under the pilot. Under what circumstances does USAID contemplate post-award vetting?

Comment: We request that you provide a specific timeframe in which vetting officials have to make a vetting determination.

Comment: The flow-down applicability for vetting is unclear, including for lower-tier awards. How far does vetting flow down? Which types of subrecipients and vendors have to be vetted? What triggers vetting of subrecipients and vendors? What about in-kind procurements conducted by contractors for grants-under-contract?

Comment: The determination as to who should be vetted is highly subjective and variable. The subjectivity of the determination that a given award or environment requires vetting means that universal guidance on preparing and implementing USAID-funded programs cannot be developed.

Comment: There is no guidance in the regulation instructing AOs on how to determine which parties should be vetted in any particular circumstance or when to exempt activities and individuals from the vetting process.

Comment: Nowhere in this proposed rule * * * does USAID explain the relationship between key individuals and the organization and whether the failure of any individual to pass the vetting process also acts as a disqualification of the entire organization and its applications for assistance.

Comment: There is significant concern about the accuracy of the TSC lists (referenced DoJ's OIG audit documenting higher error rate and dysfunction of central terrorist watchlist). How will USAID ensure that an applicant does not fail vetting due to a false positive?

Response: USAID received a variety of comments related to the pilot vetting process. One organization requested confirmation that only new awards will be vetted under the pilot and sought further details on circumstances that could lead to post-award vetting. Under the PVS pilot, it is anticipated that vetting will be implemented for assistance awards made after the effective date of this rule. In most instances, we anticipate that post-award vetting may be required whenever RBA parameters or a change in key individuals indicate that vetting is necessary.

Comment: Another organization requested that vetting officials provide a vetting determination within a specific timeframe.

Response: The vetting procedures utilized by USAID are in accordance with HSPD-11. Analysts assess the credibility of information obtained from U.S. government databases. USAID processes vetting requests as quickly as possible and has taken steps to increase USAID staff to expedite the processing of vetting requests. A hard and fast deadline for processing vetting requests and making a final decision on vetting requests cannot be provided due to the nature of the vetting process. The vetting process includes analysis of information by USAID analysts who make recommendations, and evaluation of those recommendations by USAID mission staff, with the possibility that USAID/Washington staff may be called upon to evaluate recommendations from analysts and mission staff. That said, USAID is mindful of the importance of timely processing and vetting decisions to the effective implementation of foreign assistance and is working on a regular basis to improve the vetting process by including efforts to make the process as expeditious as possible without undercutting efforts to safeguard U.S. taxpayer resources from diversion from their development purpose.

Regarding the impact of the vetting process on providing urgently needed humanitarian assistance, under the PVS Pilot Program, USAID has the authority not to require pre-award vetting, and does not intend to require pre-award vetting, where vetting would hinder the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance. USAID reserves the right to conduct post-award vetting in such situations. Factors such as the number of key individuals, the accuracy and completeness of the personally identifiable information provided, and the country or region in which programs will be implemented may impact the amount of time it will take from submission of the requisite information to the final vetting determination. It is in the interest of both USAID and its partners that the vetting process be conducted and the vetting determination made as effectively and expeditiously as possible.

Organizations also commented that the rule is unclear about the level and type of organizations subject to vetting. In general, vetting will take place at the first and second tiers. However, certain circumstances may dictate less vetting or more vetting. This policy applies to subrecipients who benefit from U.S. dollars funding an award without limits. A subrecipient must notify the primary award recipient (Prime) when another award is to be made for any portion of the government award. The Prime will then notify the USAID Agreement Officer and arrange for the additional vetting.

Organizations also suggested that the Agency's determination as to who should be vetted is subjective and variable. As referenced in a previous response to public comment, USAID's decision on whether or not to vet is based on objective criteria documented in the Risk-Based Assessment, such as the amount of an award, location and nature of the program or activity being implemented, and the national origin or association of the organization. In addition, USAID's Office of Security maintains and utilizes standard operating procedures when vetting applicants for those Missions and Bureaus implementing PVS.

It was suggested during the comment period that USAID clarify in the rule the relationship between an organization and its key individuals as far as the vetting process is concerned. For example, when a key individual is found ineligible through the vetting process, is the organization applying for the award (the applicant) no longer eligible for that award or future awards? The organization applying for an award subject to vetting is responsible for selecting key individuals and verifying that the Partner Information Form for each key individual is accurate and completed before it is submitted to USAID for vetting. As the responsible agent for its key individuals, the organization is found ineligible if any key individual is found ineligible. If USAID determines that the applicant is ineligible for the award based on the ineligibility of one or more of its key individuals, USAID notifies the applicant that it is ineligible for that particular award but has the opportunity to submit a reconsideration request to USAID. The applying organization may opt to remove and/or replace a key individual and reapply for an award. In this case, the applicant would be re-vetted based on the key individuals identified in the renewed application. Regardless of the outcome on this particular solicitation, the organization may continue to apply for other USAID awards since each final vetting determination decision is specific to a particular solicitation under PVS and does not in and of itself constitute a basis for evaluating an application for a different award.

Another organization inquired as to how the Agency will ensure that an applicant will not fail vetting due to a false positive. As stated in the Agency's publication of its final rule exempting portions of its system of records (Partner Vetting System, or PVS) from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act, decisions by USAID under PVS as to whether or not to award funds to applicants will not be based on the mere fact that there is a “match” between information provided by an applicant and information contained in non-public databases and other sources. See 74 FR 9 (January 2, 2009). Rather, in a timely manner, USAID will determine whether any such match is valid or is a false positive. The detailed identifying information required of applicants under the PVS in and of itself significantly reduces the risk of individuals being misidentified. Additionally, USAID's vetting team will review and analyze the matching information to further minimize false positives.

Perceived Vague or Broad Vetting Criteria

Comment: The vetting criteria are vague and overly broad, extending to those “affiliated” with or with “linkages” to terrorists. These terms are not defined and could be interpreted so broadly that a person could fail vetting on the basis of activities they do not support or control.

Commenters expressed some concern that vetting criteria were vague or overly broad, particularly as they may be applied to those “affiliated” with or having “linkages” to terrorists.

Response: It is a top priority for USAID to mitigate the risk that its funds and other resources could inadvertently benefit individuals or entities that are terrorists, supporters of terrorists, or affiliated with terrorists, while also minimizing the impact on USAID programs and its implementing partners. USAID responded to similar comments regarding potentially vague criteria when USAID published in the Federal Register its Privacy Act final rule for PVS. See 74 FR 9 (January 2, 2009).

USAID conducts vetting in accordance with HSPD-6 and HSPD-11, focusing on “individuals known or appropriately suspected to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism.” Consequently, USAID defines individuals or entities with “affiliations” or “linkages” to terrorism as “individuals known or appropriately suspected to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism.”

USAID appreciates the concerns of its partners and, in order to help address potential concerns regarding the application of vetting criteria, is incorporating an administrative appeal process during which applicants can request that the Agency reconsider an ineligibility determination and submit any relevant documentation.

Timing of Vetting

Comment: USAID should require PIFs from only “apparently successful” applicants [as opposed to awardees], similar to the requirements for providing a Branding and Marking Plan as outlined in 22 CFR 226.91 (much more efficient and less burdensome). Requiring vetting at the applicant stage vastly increases the administrative burden on NGOs and the invasion of privacy of key individuals in the applicant organizations.

Response: USAID appreciates the concern expressed in comments about the most appropriate time in the award cycle to require submission of the PIF. As stated in the NPRM, “When USAID determines an award to be subject to vetting, the agreement officer determines the appropriate stage of the award cycle to require applicants to submit the completed USAID Partner Information Form, USAID Form 500-13, to the vetting official identified in the assistance solicitation. The agreement officer must specify in the assistance solicitation the stage at which the applicants will be required to submit the USAID Partner Information Form, USAID Form 500-13.” We have carefully weighed the need to allow as much time as possible for vetting against the burden on applicants and USAID staff. The rule provides that as a general matter those applicants who will be vetted typically will be the applicants that have been determined to be apparently successful. We envision that, to the extent practicable, the selection and award process will occur concurrently with vetting. That said, the Rule provides Agreement Officers with discretion to require applicants to submit the Partner Information Form at a different stage of the award cycle.

This pilot will implement PVS in five countries with varying levels of risk. The pilot will help the Agency determine resource requirements, as well as test the RBA, and other aspects of the PVS vetting process such as the point in time in the award cycle in which vetting takes place.

Exemptions to Vetting Requirements

Comment: PVS should include a formal system for exempting vetting for special circumstances. [We recommend] a formal waiver system that provides express guidance on the circumstances that warrant special review and clear deadlines for both NGOs to request a review and USAID to provide a response. Waiving vetting on an ad hoc basis would result in inconsistencies and delays in program implementation. Clear language on the circumstances or types of programs exempted is critical.

Recommendations include clarifying in the rule that the following are exempt from vetting (1) humanitarian emergencies; (2) democracy and governance programs; (3) in cases where compliance with vetting would conflict with a nation's privacy and data protection laws; (4) grants-under-contract; (5) subrecipients and vendors of commercial items; (6) beneficiaries, U.S. citizens, and permanent legal residents.] Regulatory precedence for exemption includes 2 CFR 700.16 (Branding and Marking) and 2 CFR 25.110 (Reporting under Federal Funding and Accountability Act). USAID should ensure that the term “key individual” does not include beneficiaries of the programs or activities funded under the award. The SACFO FY2014 report notes that “there should also be a provision for waiving the vetting requirements to prevent delaying responding to humanitarian crises.”

Response: Commenters recommended including a number of specific exemptions from vetting requirements and requested greater clarity regarding accommodations that might be made to standardize vetting procedures in special circumstances. USAID appreciates the concerns of its partners regarding consistency and expediency in program implementation and has taken partner concerns into account during the Agency's guidance and protocol development process. USAID retains the discretion to address emergency or unique situations on a case-by-case basis when a vetting requirement would impede USAID's ability to respond to an emergency situation. For example, it is USAID's intention that vetting will not prevent the immediate delivery of goods and services in a humanitarian crisis. Following stabilization, vetting may occur on a case-by-case basis. Further adjustments to policies and procedures are possible during implementation of the PVS pilot as appropriate.

Vendor Contracts/Services and Procurements

Comment: What types of vendor contracts or services would be subject to vetting?

Vendors and procurements do not fall under the definition of key individuals and should be removed from vetting. Inclusion of vendors in the vetting process would be unwieldy and in contradiction to 22 CFR 226.43.

Response: Organizations sought further clarification on the types of contracts or services that would be subject to vetting. One recommended that contracts below the simplified threshold of $150,000 and beneficiaries be exempt from vetting. In general, most suppliers (e.g., commercial suppliers or contractors) will not be subject to vetting. However, in certain circumstances, USAID may determine that key individuals of a contractor are subject to vetting. This is consistent with the requirements of the subpart “Procurement Standards” of 2 CFR 200 where USAID has determined that contracts for services are subject to vetting since in those cases vetting will be a requirement that the bidder or offeror must fulfill to be eligible for an award. Beneficiaries will generally not be vetted unless they are receiving scholarships, training, cash, or in-kind assistance.

Determination of Successful and Unsuccessful Applicants

Comment: The rule should stipulate that an AO should not be able to pass on making an award to a candidate until confirmation is received from the vetting official that the candidate has passed vetting. One organization recommended that the rule specify that no applicants be excluded from an award until after vetting has been completed.

Response: USAID agrees with this comment and has amended the final rule accordingly.

Although the selection process for award proceeds separately from the vetting process, USAID agrees that excluding an applicant from consideration for award prior to a vetting determination would not be appropriate. When an applicant is subject to vetting, the Agreement Officer will be directed not to make a determination regarding the inclusion or exclusion of the applicant from award until after the vetting process is complete.

Ineligible Determinations

Comment: Please clarify the repercussions of failing the vetting process. What actions, apart from denying the award, would USAID take? Would these actions involve other federal agencies, and if so, which ones? How would the applicant organization and the specific individual be notified of any actions? Would these actions result in an investigation by another federal agency?

Response: USAID was asked to clarify the repercussions of failing the vetting process, including actions that USAID would take, potential actions taken by other federal agencies, and details on how the applying organization and the key individual(s) would be notified of the ineligible determination.

Under the PVS pilot, the vetting official will notify applicants who are determined to be ineligible for award based on vetting. It is the responsibility of the AO to notify applicants of the award decision. Only applicants who are deemed ineligible as a result of the vetting process may receive an award. In the event that an ineligible determination has been made, USAID may consult with other U.S. government agencies and share terrorism information per Executive Order 13388. Information shared will be used to update existing records in order to protect U.S. citizens and U.S. national security interests.

Re-Vetting

Comment: We are concerned that U.S.-based international organizations that receive multiple awards in a year will be vetted for each award as well as annually (if multi-year awards) for each award. Internal processes would also have to be established to collect, compile, and safeguard PII for submission. The requirement that PIFs be collected annually was struck from the final PVS acquisitions rule, and it should be removed from the assistance rule as well.

Comment: We recommend removing the requirement for annual re-vetting or re-vetting upon change of key individuals. Perhaps allow the AO the ability to request re-vetting on a case-by-case basis without making it an automatic requirement for all implementing partners.

Comment: The frequency of re-vetting is unclear. The proposed rule makes no mention of duration or validity of a vetting approval, including when a cleared grantee must be re-vetted (assuming there are no changes to key individuals).

Response: Some organizations expressed concern that if they receive multiple awards that each of those awards would be subject to vetting. Additionally, they noted that USAID's requirement for annual re-vetting or re-vetting upon change of key individuals would be burdensome. Another organization requested more clarity on when re-vetting would occur. USAID has amended the rule to remove annual submittal of the PIF as a requirement. Recipients will still be required to submit the PIF any time key individuals change and before issuance of covered subawards, but will not be required to resubmit the form annually if no information has changed or expired. Instead, USAID will conduct post-award vetting based on the latest available submittal.

Reconsideration Process

Comment: The process for appealing a positive match should be strengthened and clarified. The [reconsideration] period is too short for the reasonable preparation of a written determination. [A couple of organizations recommended specific timeframes for applicants to provide supplementary information to appeal the positive match, ranging from 14 to 21 days.] Moreover, USAID is not required to disclose the reason for the denial, and there is no requirement that the party evaluating the redetermination request be different from the party making the initial determination. Reconsideration procedures should be more open and accountable, and USAID should include a complete and meaningful description of the vetting failure to allow an applicant to adequately rebut any allegations.

Response: Commenters requested that USAID make certain changes to the reconsideration process in the event of a determination of ineligibility due to vetting concerns. Specifically, commenters asked that USAID provide more detail when denying an award due to vetting concerns, extend the seven-day period provided for appeal, and require that the Agency official evaluating an appeal be different from the Agency official that made an initial determination of ineligibility.

Organizations will be given a reason for denial of an award due to vetting, with a reasonable amount of detail given the nature and source of the information that led to the decision, and they will be allowed to challenge the decision as provided in the proposed rule. The amount of information provided to a denied applicant will depend on the sensitivity of the information, including whether the information is classified and whether its release would compromise investigative or operational interests. USAID cannot disclose classified material or compromise national security. Upon receipt of a request for reconsideration, the Agency will also consider any additional information provided by the applicant.

USAID has determined that a seven-day reconsideration period is appropriate given the need to ensure that USAID funds and other resources do not inadvertently benefit individuals or entities that are terrorists, supporters of terrorists, or affiliated with terrorists, while also minimizing the impact on USAID programs and its implementing partners. The seven-day reconsideration period is consistent with the reconsideration period provided for in the PVS pilot program for USAID acquisition awards. See 77 FR 8166 (February 14, 2012).

During the PVS pilot, USAID currently plans to elevate reconsideration of any eligibility determinations to senior policy makers within the Agency.

USAID recognizes the value of meaningful reconsideration procedures and is in the process of further defining internal policies regarding such procedures. Because the pilot is intended to help further refine and adjust PVS, USAID will continue to evaluate the efficacy of its reconsideration procedures as part of its assessment of the PVS pilot program.

Definition of Key Individual

Comment: The definition of “key individual” is too vague/very broad and the decision as to who should be vetted is left up to the AO. Does the definition of key individuals include both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens? The definition should be limited, and there should be a cap on the number of key individuals to be vetted. One commenter recommended that vetting be limited to key personnel as identified by the applicant in its proposal, in accordance with the definition typically used by USG agencies.

Response: Several organizations commented that the definition of key individual is too vague. The rule provides that, for purposes of partner vetting, “key individual” means the principal officer of the organization's governing body (for example, chairman, vice chairman, treasurer, or secretary of the board of directors or board of trustees); the principal officer and deputy principal officer of the organization (for example, executive director, deputy director, president, or vice president); the program manager or chief of party for the U.S. Government-financed program; and any other person with significant responsibilities for administration of the U.S. Government-financed activities or resources, such as key personnel as identified in the solicitation or resulting cooperative agreement. The definition applies to both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens. Key personnel, whether or not they are employees of the prime recipient, must be vetted.

Limiting vetting to key personnel would be inadequate for vetting purposes. The rule uses the term “key individual” to describe those individuals with an ability or potential ability to divert funds. The term “key personnel” designates only those individuals that are essential to the successful implementation of the program under the award and does not necessarily include all individuals with an ability or potential ability to divert funds. The use of the term “key individual” as defined above serves a different purpose than “key personnel” and is essential for USAID to address the potential diversion of funds under PVS.

Comment: The AIDAR does not separately define “key personnel” but subsumes that term under the term “key individual.” In addition, the AIDAR requires the automatic vetting of all subcontractors for which consent is required under FAR 52.255-2 while the assistance rule grants the AO wide discretion in applying vetting procedures to subrecipients or others.

Response: USAID received a comment that the AIDAR does not define the term “key personnel” and that the AIDAR requires vetting of subcontractors for which consent is required under FAR 52.255-2, versus the PVS Assistance Rule, which gives the AO wide discretion in applying vetting procedures to subrecipients and other entities.

The rules for vetting under assistance and vetting under acquisition are not and cannot be identical because of the fundamental difference between acquisition and assistance and the differing rules and requirements that result from this. Neither the AIDAR nor the Federal Acquisition Regulation is applicable to Federal assistance.

The term “key personnel” is defined for assistance in USAID's Automated Directive System. The term “key individual” is defined in this rule, since it is applicable to partner vetting. The terms “key individual” and “key personnel” are not synonymous. However, all key personnel are considered key individuals for the purpose of vetting.

Similarly, subawards and the approval of subawards under assistance differ fundamentally from subcontracts and subcontract consent under acquisition. Because of these differences, the decision to vet subawards or not is based on the results of the RBA, which will assess whether the vetting of a subaward under a particular program is merited.

When USAID determines that the results of the RBA merit vetting subrecipients, USAID will require vetting at the time of the initial award and when the recipient makes new subawards during the grant period.

Definition of Subaward

Comment: The definition of “subaward” needs clarification, particularly on how it differs from vendors.

Response: Organizations requested that USAID clarify the definition of “subaward.” Subaward is defined at 2 CFR part 200.92 as “an award provided by a pass-through entity to a subrecipient for the subrecipient to carry out part of a Federal award received by the pass-through entity. It does not include payments to a contractor or payments to an individual that is a beneficiary of a Federal program. A subaward may be provided through any form of legal agreement, including an agreement that the pass-through entity considers a contract.” The term “vendor” is replaced by the term “Contractor” in 2 CFR 200. “Contract” is defined at 2 CFR 200.22, and “Contractor” is identified at 2 CFR 200.23.

Burden on Applicants

Comment: The administrative burden estimates are too low (e.g., significant additional operational burdens for contractors implementing grants-under-contracts, replacement of key individuals, completion of the form, and staffing and recordkeeping costs). The paperwork burden and cost estimates should be recalculated based on more accurate assumptions to better reflect the true incremental cost of vetting.

Comment: The paperwork burden and cost estimates are based on estimated pilot costs, but the proposed amendments to 22 CFR 226 do not limit the application of the new rules to the pilot only, so the estimates should reflect the comparable cost of implementing PVS worldwide.

Response: Commenters expressed concern that USAID's burden estimate of the proposed collection of information for PVS was inaccurate and did not reflect the actual administrative and operational burdens that would be imposed on organizations applying for awards.

USAID addressed similar comments in publishing its final rule exempting portions of its system of records (Partner Vetting System, or PVS) from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act. See 74 FR 9 (January 2, 2009). USAID's cost estimates are based in part on the Agency's existing vetting programs and are meant to serve as a baseline for the upcoming pilot program. Accordingly, our cost estimate references costs anticipated to be incurred during the pilot.

In addition to having established a secure portal to streamline the vetting process and reduce the burden on implementing partners and Agency personnel, USAID will continue to review policies and procedures to determine how to further mitigate the operational and administrative costs for the pilot while achieving its objectives. Furthermore, the pilot will allow the Agency to get a better sense of the burden on our implementing partners and to determine what PVS will cost USAID in terms of dollars and personnel hours. As part of the pilot, USAID will monitor the impact of PVS on our implementing partners. USAID also intends to request input from implementing partners on costs incurred during the pilot so that these costs may be considered in our evaluation of the pilot.

Comments on the Pilot Evaluation

Comment: USAID should put forth specific evaluation criteria for the pilot [before the program begins]. How would USAID measure the burden on recipients and ascertain any negative impacts on program implementation and/or achievement of foreign assistance objectives? Will the evaluation consider factors like (1) the number of NGOs that refuse to apply for or to accept USAID funding due to vetting requirements, or the number and quality of bids for direct assistance awards and subcontracts in pilot countries; (2) number of NGOs that alter program implementation due to the pilot; (3) impact on the safety and effectiveness of NGOs and their local and national partners (bad press coverage, threats to staff, effect on local and national NGO staff retention rates, etc.); (4) number of individuals and NGOs erroneously identified as being involved in terrorism; and (5) summary of any legal risks NGOs faced due to compliance with the pilot program. We request that the evaluation process include substantive engagement with NGOs to help assess the value and success of the pilot and that the evaluation be made publicly available.

Response: Some organizations sought further information on evaluation criteria for the PVS pilot program and requested that USAID engage with them to help assess the pilot.

Consistent with our ongoing consultations with implementing partners, USAID will continue outreach with our partners to assess the impact of the pilot program. During pilot implementation, we will solicit feedback from partners participating in the pilot on the extent to which the pilot has impacted their ability (and that of their local and national partner organizations) to achieve U.S. foreign assistance objectives and to implement USAID-funded programs and activities efficiently and effectively.

As part of our pilot evaluation, we will assess partner feedback along with data collected from the Agency's Office of Security and pilot Missions to increase our understanding of the resource implications and costs related to the pilot in order to inform the Agency's way forward on partner vetting. USAID intends to include feedback from our implementing partners in the Agency's final evaluation report.

Post-Pilot

Comment: Implementation of the pilot should not be codified into CFR 226 until after the evaluation has been completed with implementation details modified in line with evaluation results. USAID should delay further rulemaking on PVS until the pilot program is completed.

Response: One organization recommended that the rule not be codified until evaluation of the pilot has been completed so that the rule can be modified according to the results of the pilot evaluation. USAID initiated informal rulemaking prior to implementation of the pilot program to give interested parties the opportunity to comment and provide feedback on the rule, since the pilot will impact our foreign assistance programs and activities and the organizations selected to implement them. USAID determined that rulemaking was the best approach to ensure that the widest range of views was considered in the design, implementation, and evaluation of the PVS pilot program.

E. Impact Assessment Regulatory Planning and Review

Under E.O. 12866, USAID must determine whether a regulatory action is “significant” and therefore subject to the requirements of the E.O. and subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

USAID has determined that this Rule is not an “economically significant regulatory action” under Section 3(f)(1) of E.O. 12866. The application of the Partner Vetting System to USAID assistance will not have an economic impact of $100 million or more. The regulation will not adversely affect the economy or any sector thereof, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, nor public health or safety in a material way. However, as this rule is a “significant regulatory action” under Section 3(f)(4) of the E.O., USAID submitted it to OMB for review. We have also reviewed these regulations pursuant to Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866.

This regulatory action is needed for USAID to meet its fiduciary responsibilities by helping to ensure that agency funds and other resources do not inadvertently benefit individuals or entities that are terrorists, supporters of terrorists or affiliated with terrorists. NGOs will provide information on key individuals when applying for USAID grants or cooperative agreements. This information will be used to screen potential recipients and key individuals. The screening will help ensure that funds are not diverted to individuals or entities that are terrorists, supporters of terrorists or affiliated with terrorists. The final benefit to the public will be the increased assurance that Federal funds will not inadvertently provide support to entities or individuals associated with terrorism.

Although the primary benefit of vetting will be to prevent the diversion of USAID funds, implementing partners will benefit when their subrecipients have also been vetted and the prime recipient is working with legitimate organizations. In addition, as the vetting program becomes better known in the community, it will deter organizations associated with terrorism from applying for assistance funds.

Based on the average number of applications for USAID's assistance awards in 2009, 2010, and 2011, USAID estimates that 10,120 applicants prepare assistance award applications in a given year. Based on feedback from our implementing partners and on our experience implementing vetting programs to date, we estimate that the additional requirements for Partner Vetting will add 75 minutes to each application. We calculated this burden estimate under the assumptions that the average form submitted will include information on three key individuals and that it would take approximately 75 minutes to gather the necessary information, complete the form, submit the form to USAID, and respond to requests by USAID for additional information, if necessary. In the event that the applicant elects direct vetting, this burden estimate includes the amount of time for applicants to inform proposed sub-grantees of their responsibility to complete and submit the form and for those proposed sub-grantees to complete and submit the form to USAID. The burden estimate also includes the time required for an applicant or proposed sub-grantee to provide additional vetting information on new key individuals or new sub-grantees. We recognize that this burden estimate may overestimate the amount of time required to comply with vetting requirements. As USAID continues to implement its vetting programs and obtains more data from those participating in the vetting process, we may adjust the burden estimate accordingly.

USAID estimates the cost of partner vetting per submission to be $40.93. This amount is based on the mean hourly wage of an administrative support employee, as calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, multiplied by the time required for the administrative support employee to collect the information, complete the form, submit the form to USAID, and follow up with USAID on information related to the form (hourly wage rate of $32.74, multiplied by 75 minutes per form, divided by 60 minutes). USAID estimates the impact of partner vetting on implementing partners from completing additional paperwork to be $414,212 annually ($40.93 per application * 10,120 submissions). USAID would like to emphasize, however, that this estimate was calculated under the assumption that all applicants applying for USAID assistance awards are vetted, whereas only a portion of the Agency's awards are impacted by partner vetting. No start-up, capital, operation, maintenance, or recordkeeping costs to applicants are anticipated as a result of this collection.

We estimate USAID's direct labor cost to process assistance applications for the partner vetting pilot program to be $391,810 annually. This estimate is based on labor costs for four GS-13 positions ($147,680 annually for each position) in the Office of Security (SEC), five GS-13 vetting officials ($147,680 annually for each position), and five foreign service nationals ($74,880 annually for each position). USAID estimates that these positions will expend approximately 23 percent of their total annual hours on the assistance portion of the partner vetting pilot program. One of the goals of the partner vetting pilot program is to further understand the actual costs of implementing partner vetting in various environments. While the figures above reflect USAID's best estimates of government costs to implement the pilot program for assistance, the actual figures may be different. The pilot program will be used to inform our estimates of the costs of partner vetting in various environments.

USAID has not quantified other costs associated with this rule, such as indirect costs to organizations participating in our vetting programs. We have invited implementing partners on an ongoing basis to provide feedback on issues related to partner vetting, and their perspectives will be included in our evaluation of the pilot program.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), USAID has considered the economic impact of the rule on applicants and certifies that its provisions will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

The proposed regulations would add the requirement for partner vetting of key individuals for applicants of USAID-funded assistance awards into the existing partner vetting system. USAID estimates that completing an assistance application in response to a Request For Application takes 200 hours. USAID considers the additional 75 minute burden on applicants as de minimis and that this does not significantly increase the burden on grant applicants.

Paperwork Reduction Act

2 CFR 701 uses information collected via USAID Partner Information Form, USAID Form 500-13, which was approved in accordance with 44 U.S.C. 3501 by the Office of Management and Budget on July 25, 2012 (OMB Control Number 0412-0577).

List of Subjects in 22 CFR 701

Foreign aid, Federal assistance, Non-federal entity, Foreign organization, Subrecipient, Contractor.

Regulatory Text

For the reasons stated in the preamble, part 701 of title 2, chapter VII of the Code of Federal Regulations is added to read as follows:

PART 701—PARTNER VETTING IN USAID ASSISTANCE Sec. 701.1 Definitions. 701.2 Applicability. 701.3 Partner vetting. Appendix B to Part 701—Partner Vetting Pre-Award Requirements and Award Term. Authority:

22 U.S.C. 2251 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 2151t, 22 U.S.C. 2151a, 2151b, 2151c, and 2151d; 22 U.S.C. 2395(b).

§ 701.1 Definitions.

This section contains the definitions for terms used in this part. Other terms used in the part are defined at 2 CFR part 200. Different definitions may be found in Federal statutes or regulations that apply more specifically to particular programs or activities.

Key individual means the principal officer of the organization's governing body (for example, chairman, vice chairman, treasurer and secretary of the board of directors or board of trustees); the principal officer and deputy principal officer of the organization (for example, executive director, deputy director, president, vice president); the program manager or chief of party for the USG-financed program; and any other person with significant responsibilities for administration of the USG-financed activities or resources, such as key personnel as identified in the solicitation or resulting cooperative agreement. Key personnel, whether or not they are employees of the prime recipient, must be vetted.

Key personnel means those individuals identified for approval as part of substantial involvement in a cooperative agreement whose positions are essential to the successful implementation of an award. Vetting official means the USAID employee identified in the application or award as having responsibility for receiving vetting information, responding to questions about information to be included on the Partner Information Form, coordinating with the USAID Office of Security (SEC), and conveying the vetting determination to each applicant, potential subrecipients and contractors subject to vetting, and the agreement officer. The vetting official is not part of the office making the award selection and has no involvement in the selection process.

§ 701.2 Applicability.

The requirements established in this part apply to non-Federal entities, non-profit organizations, for-profit entities, and foreign organizations.

§ 701.3 Partner vetting.

(a) It is USAID policy that USAID may determine that a particular award is subject to vetting in the interest of national security. In that case, USAID may require vetting of the key individuals of applicants, including key personnel, whether or not they are employees of the applicant, first tier subrecipients, contractors, and any other class of subawards and procurements as identified in the assistance solicitation and resulting award. When USAID conducts partner vetting, it will not award to any applicant who determined ineligible by the vetting process.

(b) When USAID determines an award to be subject to vetting, the agreement officer determines the appropriate stage of the award cycle to require applicants to submit the completed USAID Partner Information Form, USAID Form 500-13, to the vetting official identified in the assistance solicitation. The agreement officer must specify in the assistance solicitation the stage at which the applicants will be required to submit the USAID Partner Information Form, USAID Form 500-13. As a general matter those applicants who will be vetted will be typically the applicants that have been determined to be apparently successful.

(c) Selection of the successful applicant proceeds separately from vetting. The agreement officer makes the selection determination separately from the vetting process and without knowledge of vetting-related information other than that, based on the vetting results, the apparently successful applicant is eligible or ineligible for an award. However, no applicants will be excluded from an award until after vetting has been completed.

(d) For those awards the agency has determined are subject to vetting, the agreement officer may only award to an applicant that has been determined to be eligible after completion of the vetting process.

(e)(1) For those awards the agency has determined are subject to vetting, the recipient must submit the completed USAID Partner Information Form any time it changes:

(i) Key individuals; or

(ii) Subrecipients and contractors for which vetting is required.

(2) The recipient must submit the completed Partner Information Form within 15 days of the change in either paragraph (e)(1)(i) or (ii) of this section.

(f) USAID may vet key individuals of the recipient, subrecipients and contractors periodically during program implementation using information already submitted on the Form.

(g) When the prime recipient is subject to vetting, vetting may be required for key individuals of subawards when the prime recipient requests prior approval in accordance with 2 CFR 200.308(c)(6) for the subaward, transfer, or contracting out of any work.

(h) When the prime recipient is subject to vetting, vetting may be required for key individuals of contractors of certain services. The agreement officer must identify these services in the assistance solicitation and any resulting award.

(i) When vetting of subawards is required, the agreement officer must not approve the subaward, transfer, or contracting out, or the procurement of certain classes of items until the organization subject to vetting has been determined eligible. When vetting of contractors is required, the recipient may not procure the identified services until the contractor has been determined to be eligible.

(j) The recipient may instruct prospective subrecipients or, when applicable contractors who are subject to vetting to submit the USAID Partner Information Form to the vetting official as soon as the recipient submits the USAID Partner Information Form for its key individuals.

(k) Pre-award provision and award term.

(1) The agreement officer must insert the pre-award provision Partner Vetting Pre-Award Requirements in Appendix B of this part in all assistance solicitations USAID identifies as subject to vetting.

(2) The agreement officer must insert the award term Partner Vetting in Appendix B in all assistance solicitations and awards USAID identifies as subject to vetting.

Appendix B to Part 701—Partner Vetting Pre-Award Requirements and Award Term Partner Vetting Pre-Award Requirements

(a) USAID has determined that any award resulting from this assistance solicitation is subject to vetting. An applicant that has not passed vetting is ineligible for award.

(b) The following are the vetting procedures for this solicitation:

(1) Prospective applicants review the attached USAID Partner Information Form, USAID Form 500-13, and submit any questions about the USAID Partner Information Form or these procedures to the agreement officer by the deadline in the solicitation.

(2) The agreement officer notifies the applicant when to submit the USAID Partner Information Form. For this solicitation, USAID will vet [insert in the provision the applicable stage of the selection process at which the Agreement Officer will notify the applicant(s) who must be vetted]. Within the timeframe set by the agreement officer in the notification, the applicant must complete and submit the USAID Partner Information Form to the vetting official. The designated vetting official is:

Vetting official: Address: Email: (for inquiries only).

(3) The applicants must notify proposed subrecipients and contractors of this requirement when the subrecipients or contractors are subject to vetting.

Note:

Applicants who submit using non-secure methods of transmission do so at their own risk.

(c) Selection proceeds separately from vetting. Vetting is conducted independently from any discussions the agreement officer may have with an applicant. The applicant and any proposed subrecipient or contractor subject to vetting must not provide vetting information to anyone other than the vetting official. The applicant and any proposed subrecipient or contractor subject to vetting will communicate only with the vetting official regarding their vetting submission(s) and not with any other USAID or USG personnel, including the agreement officer or the agreement officer's representatives. The agreement officer designates the vetting official as the only individual authorized to clarify the applicant's and proposed subrecipient's and contractor's vetting information.

(d)(1) The vetting official notifies the applicant that it: (i) Is eligible based on the vetting results, (ii) is ineligible based on the vetting results, or (iii) must provide additional information, and resubmit the USAID Partner Information Form with the additional information within the number of days the vetting official specified in the notification.

(2) The vetting official will coordinate with the agency that provided the data being used for vetting prior to notifying the applicant or releasing any information. In any determination for release of information, the classification and sensitivity of the information, the need to protect sources and methods, and the status of ongoing law enforcement and intelligence community investigations or operations will be taken into consideration.

(e) Reconsideration: (1) Within 7 calendar days after the date of the vetting official's notification, an applicant that vetting has determined to be ineligible may request in writing to the vetting official that the Agency reconsider the vetting determination. The request should include any written explanation, legal documentation and any other relevant written material for reconsideration.

(2) Within 7 calendar days after the vetting official receives the request for reconsideration, the Agency will determine whether the applicant's additional information merits a revised decision.

(3) The Agency's determination of whether reconsideration is warranted is final.

(f) Revisions to vetting information: (1) Applicants who change key individuals, whether the applicant has previously been determined eligible or not, must submit a revised USAID Partner Information Form to the vetting official. This includes changes to key personnel resulting from revisions to the technical portion of the application.

(2) The vetting official will follow the vetting process of this provision for any revision of the applicant's Form.

(g) Award. At the time of award, the agreement officer will confirm with the vetting official that the apparently successful applicant is eligible after vetting. The agreement officer may award only to an apparently successful applicant that is eligible after vetting.

Partner Vetting

(a) The recipient must comply with the vetting requirements for key individuals under this award.

(b) Definitions: As used in this provision, “key individual,” “key personnel,” and “vetting official” have the meaning contained in 22 CFR 701.1.

(c) The Recipient must submit within 15 days a USAID Partner Information Form, USAID Form 500-13, to the vetting official identified below when the Recipient replaces key individuals with individuals who have not been previously vetted for this award. Note: USAID will not approve any key personnel who are not eligible for approval after vetting. The designated vetting official is:

Vetting official: Address: Email: (for inquiries only).

(d)(1) The vetting official will notify the Recipient that it—

(i) Is eligible based on the vetting results,

(ii) Is ineligible based on the vetting results, or

(iii) Must provide additional information, and resubmit the USAID Partner Information Form with the additional information within the number of days the vetting official specifies.

(2) The vetting official will include information that USAID determines releasable. USAID will determine what information may be released consistent with applicable law and Executive Orders, and with the concurrence of relevant agencies.

(e) The inability to be deemed eligible as described in this award term may be determined to be a material failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the award and may subject the recipient to suspension or termination as specified in the subpart “Remedies for Noncompliance” at 2 CFR part 200.

(f) Reconsideration: (1) Within 7 calendar days after the date of the vetting official's notification, the recipient or prospective subrecipient or contractor that has not passed vetting may request in writing to the vetting official that the Agency reconsider the vetting determination. The request should include any written explanation, legal documentation and any other relevant written material for reconsideration.

(2) Within 7 calendar days after the vetting official receives the request for reconsideration, the Agency will determine whether the recipient's additional information merits a revised decision.

(3) The Agency's determination of whether reconsideration is warranted is final.

(g) A notification that the Recipient has passed vetting does not constitute any other approval under this award.

Alternate I. When subrecipients will be subject to vetting, add the following paragraphs to the basic award term:

(h) When the prime recipient anticipates that it will require prior approval for a subaward in accordance with 2 CFR 200.308(c)(6) the subaward is subject to vetting. The prospective subrecipient must submit a USAID Partner Information Form, USAID Form 500-13, to the vetting official identified in paragraph (c) of this provision. The agreement officer must not approve a subaward to any organization that has not passed vetting when required.

(i) The recipient agrees to incorporate the substance of paragraphs (a) through (i) of this award term in all first tier subawards under this award.

Alternate II. When specific classes of services are subject to vetting, add the following paragraph:

(j) Prospective contractors at any tier providing the following classes of services

must pass vetting. Recipients must not procure these services until they receive confirmation from the vetting official that the prospective contractor has passed vetting. (End of award term)
Angelique M. Crumbly, Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Management.
[FR Doc. 2015-15017 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6116-02-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1986; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-100-AD; Amendment 39-18188; AD 2015-13-01] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42-500 and ATR72-212A airplanes. This AD requires inspection of the affected control systems rods and, depending on findings, a replacement of the affected rods. This AD was prompted by reports of non-conformity of certain control rods, which could result in failure of the control rods. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct failure of an affected control rod, which, under certain circumstances, could result in reduced control of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective July 13, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of July 13, 2015.

We must receive comments on this AD by August 10, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

For service information identified in this AD, contact ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional, 1, Allée Pierre Nadot, 31712 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 (0) 5 62 21 62 21; fax +33 (0) 5 62 21 67 18; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.aerochain.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1986.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1986; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1137; fax 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2012-0064, dated April 20, 2012 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for Model ATR42-500 and ATR72-212A airplanes. The MCAI states:

Prompted by the findings that led to publication of EASA AD 2010-0063-E, additional quality investigation showed that the non-conformity of certain control rods, which was due to incorrect polishing during the rod manufacturing process, could also affect other flight control rods [and could result in failure of the control rods].

These other potentially non-conforming control rods are installed on elevator controls, rudder pedal assemblies and rudder tab controls of certain ATR aeroplanes.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to failure of an affected control rod which, under certain circumstances, could result in reduced control of the aeroplane.

As a result of further investigations, other batches have been incriminated, in addition to the ones identified by EASA AD 2010-0063-E, and new safety analyses also indicate the need for replacement of the rods (within an adapted compliance time), which had passed the check required by EASA AD 2010-0063-E. Consequently, EASA AD 2010-0063-E is superseded by this new AD.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time inspection of the affected control systems rods and, depending on findings, replacement of the affected rods.

You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1986. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional (ATR) has issued the following service information.

• ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-27-0104, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011.

• ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-27-0105, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011.

• ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-27-1065, Revision 02, dated August 30, 2011.

• ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-27-1066, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011.

This service information describes procedures for the inspection of affected control systems rods and, depending on findings, a replacement of the affected rods. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

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

There are no products of this type currently registered in the United States; however, this rule is necessary to ensure that the described unsafe condition is addressed if any of these products are placed on the U.S. Register in the future.

Differences Between This AD and the MCAI or Service Information

The actions specified in paragraph (4) of the MCAI, for rudder pedals that have been inspected according to EASA AD 2010-0063-E, dated April 1, 2010, is not included in this AD because the those actions were not required by any FAA AD.

Although the MCAI requires using a certain repair manual to repair certain conditions, paragraph (i) of this AD requires repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

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

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-1986; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-100-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD based on those comments.

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

Costs of Compliance

Currently, there are no affected airplanes on the U.S. Register. However, if an affected airplane is imported and placed on the U.S. Register in the future, we estimate that it will take about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $85 per product.

Paperwork Reduction Act

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

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

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): 2015-13-01 ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional: Amendment 39-18188. Docket No. FAA-2015-1986; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-100-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective July 13, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

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

(1) ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42-500 airplanes having manufacturer serial number (MSN) 671 through 815 inclusive, except MSN 811.

(2) ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR72-212A airplanes having MSN 769 through 914 inclusive, except MSN 826, 905, 908, and 911.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of non-conformity of certain control rods, which could result in failure of the control rods. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct failure of an affected control rod, which, under certain circumstances, could result in reduced control of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Elevator Control Rod Inspection

For airplanes identified in ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-27-0105, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011; or ATR72-27-1066, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011; as applicable to airplane model: Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, inspect all four elevator control rods having part number (P/N) S27381930-004 and P/N S27381831-006 for batch number identification, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-27-0105, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011; or ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-27-1066, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011, as applicable to airplane model. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection, if the batch number can be conclusively determined from that review. Replace any affected rod, including any rod with an unreadable batch number, at the applicable time specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, in accordance with ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-27-0105, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011; or ATR72-27-1066, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011; as applicable to airplane model.

(1) If only one rod is affected: Replace it within 10 days after the inspection.

(2) If two or more rods are affected: Replace all rods before further flight, except that replacement of one of the affected rods may be deferred for 10 days.

(h) Rudder Pedal Rod Inspection

For airplanes identified in ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-27-0104, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011; or ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-27-1065, Revision 02, dated August 30, 2011; as applicable to airplane model: Inspect all four rudder pedal rods having P/N S2728116400000 for batch number identification, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-27-0104, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011; or ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-27-1065, Revision 02, dated August 30, 2011; as applicable to airplane model. For any affected rudder pedal rod, including any rod with an unreadable batch number, before further flight, check the rod diameter using a special tool, in accordance with ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-27-0104, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011; or ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-27-1065, Revision 02, dated August 30, 2011; as applicable to airplane model.

(1) If, during the diameter check, the rod passes through the tool, replace the rod before further flight.

(2) If, during the diameter check, the rod does not pass through the tool, replace the rod within 5,000 flight hours after the diameter check.

(i) Rudder Tab Control Rod Inspection

For airplanes identified in paragraph (c) of this AD, except for airplanes having MSNs 671, 673, and 769 through 784 inclusive: Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, inspect the rudder tab control rod P/N S27281929-002 for batch number identification, using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Avions de Transport Régional (ATR)'s EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If the rudder tab control rod belongs to batch number 2107267 or 2120855, or if the batch number is unreadable: Before further flight, replace the rod with a serviceable rod using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA; or ATR's EASA DOA.

Note 1 to paragraph (i) of this AD: ATR 42/72 Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM)/Job Instruction Cards (JIC) 27-20-00 DVI 1000 and AMM/JIC 27-21-42 RAI 10000 are additional sources of guidance for accomplishment of the rudder tab control rod inspection.

(j) Reporting Requirement

Submit a report of the rod inspection and check required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD at the applicable compliance time specified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD, in accordance with the instructions specified in paragraph (j)(2) of this AD.

(1) Submit the report at the applicable time specified in paragraph (j)(1)(i) or (j)(1)(ii) of this AD.

(i) If the inspection or check was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection or check.

(ii) If the inspection or check was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

(2) Submit the report (including no findings) to ATR using the Accomplishment Report form provided in the service information identified in paragraph (j)(2)(i), (j)(2)(ii), (j)(2)(iii), or (j)(2)(iv) of this AD; as applicable to airplane model.

(i) ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-27-0104, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011.

(ii) ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-27-0105, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011.

(iii) ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-27-1065, Revision 02, dated August 30, 2011.

(iv) ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-27-1066, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011.

(3) Send the report to ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional, 1, Allée Pierre Nadot, 31712 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 (0) 5 62 21 62 21; fax +33 (0) 5 62 21 67 18; email [email protected]

(k) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (k)(1) through (k)(5) of this AD. These documents are not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(1) ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-27-0104, dated December 17, 2010.

(2) ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-27-0105, dated February 17, 2011.

(3) ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-27-1065, dated April 15, 2010.

(4) ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-27-1065, Revision 01, dated December 17, 2010.

(5) ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-27-1066, dated February 17, 2011.

(l) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1137; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the Manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

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

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

(m) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2012-0064, dated April 20, 2012, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1986.

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

(i) ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-27-0104, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011.

(ii) ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-27-0105, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011.

(iii) ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-27-1065, Revision 02, dated August 30, 2011.

(iv) ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-27-1066, Revision 01, dated August 30, 2011.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional, 1, Allée Pierre Nadot, 31712 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 (0) 5 62 21 62 21; fax +33 (0) 5 62 21 67 18; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.aerochain.com.

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

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

Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 17, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-15615 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0524; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-042-AD; Amendment 39-18189; AD 2015-13-02] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of corrosion in the low-rate discharge tubes of the fire protection system leading to the forward baggage compartment, and perforation of one or more tubes. This AD requires repetitive checks for leakage of the discharge tubes of the fire protection system. This AD also mandates eventual replacement of all existing aluminum tube assemblies with new, improved corrosion-resistant stainless steel tube assemblies. We are issuing this AD to prevent perforation of the low-rate discharge tubes, which could result in insufficient fire extinguishing agent reaching the forward baggage compartment in the event of a fire, which could result in damage to the airplane and injury to the occupants.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective July 31, 2015

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of July 31, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0524 or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0524.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Fabio Buttitta, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7303; fax 516-794-5531.

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 Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on August 13, 2014 (79 FR 47384).

Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-06, dated January 21, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

Corrosion has been reported in the fire protection system low rate discharge tubes leading to the forward baggage compartment. In some cases, this has led to perforation of one or more tubes.

Perforation of forward baggage compartment fire protection system tubes may result in decreased effectiveness of the fire protection system in the event of a fire in the forward baggage compartment.

This [Canadian] AD mandates a repetitive integrity check of the forward baggage compartment fire protection system tube assemblies, and the replacement of aluminum forward baggage compartment fire protection tube assemblies with corrosion resistant stainless steel (CRES) tubes.

The unsafe condition is perforation of the low-rate discharge tubes, which could result in insufficient fire extinguishing agent reaching the forward baggage compartment and reduce the capability of the fire protection system to extinguish fires, possibly resulting in damage to the airplane and injury to occupants. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0524-0004.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 47384, August 13, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

Request To Remove Certain Service Information Procedures

Horizon Air requested that the language in paragraph (g) of the NPRM (79 FR 47384, August 13, 2014) be changed to specify only required actions. Instead of mandating the entire Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-15, Revision A, dated January 15, 2014, Horizon Air recommended mandating only the actions necessary to correct the identified unsafe condition. Horizon Air stated that the Accomplishment Instructions, Part A, “Job Set-up,” and Part C, “Close Out,” have nothing to do with correcting the unsafe condition. Horizon Air reasoned that mandating operators to perform these actions restricts operators' ability to perform other maintenance in conjunction with incorporation of the required actions specified in this AD.

We agree with the commenter's request to exclude the “Job Set-up” and “Close Out” sections of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-15, Revision A, dated January 15, 2014, from this AD. We have revised the introductory text of paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD for clarification because there are two sections in the service information which contain paragraph 3.B. “Procedure.” Accomplishment of the actions specified in paragraph 3.B., “Procedure,” of Parts A and B, as applicable, of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-15, Revision A, dated January 15, 2014, is required by this AD.

Second Alternative for Failed Integrity Check

Horizon Air also asked that a second alternative for a failed integrity check be included in paragraph (i) of the NPRM (79 FR 47384, August 13, 2014). Horizon Air stated that, as an alternative to replacing all tubes by incorporating Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-15, Revision A, dated January 15, 2014, operators should be allowed the option to replace only the leaking tubes using Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-15, dated January 7, 2013. Horizon Air noted that it would then repeat the integrity check required by the paragraph (g) of the proposed AD. Horizon Air stated that disabling the forward baggage compartment is not a viable option in its operation.

We agree with the commenter. As an additional option for a failed integrity check, operators may replace only the leaking tubes and return the airplane to service if no additional leakage is found. We have added a new paragraph (i)(2) to this AD to include this option in lieu of disabling the forward baggage compartment. We have also re-designated paragraphs (i)(1), (i)(2), and (i)(3) of the proposed AD to paragraphs (i)(1)(i), (i)(1)(ii), and (i)(1)(iii) of this AD.

Request to Remove or Change Exception to Service Information

All Nippon Airways requested that the exception to the electrical bonding resistance check specified in paragraph (j) of the proposed AD (79 FR 47384, August 13, 2014), be either removed or clarified. All Nippon Airways stated that, if the electrical bonding resistance check of the high rate discharge bottle was deleted from the referenced service information, it should also be removed from the NPRM. If the FAA disagrees, All Nippon Airways asked that we clarify the language in paragraph (j) of the proposed AD.

We agree that the electrical bonding resistance check of the high rate discharge bottle was removed from Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-15, Revision A, dated January 15, 2014. The electrical bonding resistance check was identified in Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-15, dated June 7, 2013, and was subsequently included in the exception identified in the NPRM (79 FR 47384, August 13, 2014). Therefore, we have removed paragraph (j) of the proposed AD from this final rule and re-designated subsequent paragraphs accordingly. Instead, we have included that exception in the Credit for Previous Actions specified in paragraph (j) of this AD (identified as paragraph (k) of the proposed AD).

Conclusion

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

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 47384, August 13, 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 47384, August 13, 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

Bombardier, Inc. has issued Service Bulletin 84-26-15, Revision A, dated January 15, 2014. The service information describes procedures for repetitive checks for leakage of the discharge tubes of the fire protection system. The service information also mandates eventual replacement of all existing aluminum tube assemblies with new, improved corrosion-resistant stainless steel tube assemblies. 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 82 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it would take about 42 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $7,852 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $936,604, or $11,422 per product.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0524-0004; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-13-02 Bombardier, Inc.: Amendment 39-18189. Docket No. FAA-2014-0524; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-042-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective July 31, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400, -401, and -402 airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 4001 through 4424 inclusive.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 26, Fire protection.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of corrosion in the low-rate discharge tubes of the fire protection system leading to the forward baggage compartment, and perforation of one or more tubes. We are issuing this AD to prevent perforation of the low-rate discharge tubes, which could result in insufficient fire extinguishing agent reaching the forward baggage compartment in the event of a fire, which could result in damage to the airplane and injury to the occupants.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Repetitive Inspections

At the applicable time specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, perform an inspection (integrity check) for leakage of the fire protection tube assemblies of the forward baggage compartment, in accordance with paragraph 3.B., “Procedure,” of Part A of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-15, Revision A, dated January 15, 2014. If no leakage is found, repeat the inspection at intervals not to exceed 2,000 flight hours or 12 months, whichever occurs first. If any leakage is found, before further flight, do the terminating action required by paragraph (h) of this AD, except as provided by paragraph (i) of this AD.

(1) For airplanes that have accumulated 10,000 total flight hours or more, or have been in service for 60 months or more as of the effective date of this AD: Within 2,000 flight hours or 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

(2) For airplanes that have accumulated less than 10,000 total flight hours, and have been in service for less than 60 months, as of the effective date of this AD: Before the accumulation of 12,000 total flight hours or 72 months in service, whichever occurs first.

(h) Terminating Action for Repetitive Inspections

At the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD: Replace all existing aluminum tube assemblies of the forward baggage compartment with new, improved corrosion-resistant stainless steel tube assemblies, in accordance with paragraph 3.B., “Procedure,” of Part B of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-15, Revision A, dated January 15, 2014. Accomplishing this replacement terminates the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

(1) For airplanes that have accumulated 12,000 total flight hours or more, or have been in service for 72 months or more, as of the effective date of this AD: Within 6,000 flight hours or 36 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

(2) For airplanes that have accumulated less than 12,000 total flight hours, and have been in service for less than 72 months, as of the effective date of this AD: Before the accumulation of 18,000 total flight hours or 108 months in service, whichever occurs first.

(i) Alternatives to Replacement for Failed Integrity Check

(1) As an alternative to the immediate tube assembly replacement following any failed inspection (integrity check) required by paragraph (g) of this AD, the airplane may be returned to service for a maximum of 10 days, provided the conditions specified in paragraphs (i)(1)(i), (i)(1)(ii), and (i)(1)(iii) of this AD are met.

(i) The forward baggage compartment is empty. For ballast purposes, the use of bags (made of glass fiber or Kevlar) of sand or ingots of non-magnetic metals (such as lead) are acceptable.

(ii) The flight compartment and forward baggage compartment are placarded to indicate the forward baggage compartment is inoperative.

(iii) An appropriate entry in the aircraft maintenance log is made.

(2) As an alternative to the immediate tube assembly replacement following any failed inspection (integrity check) required by paragraph (g) of this AD, the airplane may be returned to service for a maximum of 10 days provided no additional leakage is found. Any tubes found with a leak are to be replaced before further flight, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-15, dated January 7, 2013.

(j) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, as applicable, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-15, dated June 7, 2013, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD. The electrical bonding resistance check of the high rate discharge bottle specified in Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-15, dated June 7, 2013, is not required.

(k) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, 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 New York ACO, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-553. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

(2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, Engine and Propeller Directorate, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO). If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

(l) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-06, dated January 21, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0524-0004.

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

(m) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(i) Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-15, Revision A, dated January 15, 2014.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com.

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

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

Issued in Renton, Washington on June 17, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-15612 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0515] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Charles River, Boston, Massachusetts 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 Craigie Bridge, across the Charles River, mile 1.0, at Boston, Massachusetts. This deviation is necessary to facilitate the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed position during this public event.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 10:30 p.m. on July 4, 2015 to 1 a.m. on July 5, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0515] 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, contact Ms. Judy K. Leung-Yee, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, telephone (212) 514-4330, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Ms. Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Craigie Bridge, mile 1.0, across Charles River has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 5 feet at mean high water and 15 feet at mean low water. The existing bridge operating regulations are found at 33 CFR 117.591(e).

Charles River is transited by recreational vessel traffic.

Massachusetts Department of Transportation requested this temporary deviation from the normal operating schedule to facilitate a public event, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular.

Under this temporary deviation, the Craigie Bridge may remain in the closed position from 10:30 p.m. on July 4, 2015 to 1 a.m. on July 5, 2015.

There is no alternate route for vessel traffic; however, vessels that can pass under the closed draws during this closure may do so at any time. The bridge will be able to open in the event of an emergency.

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

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

Dated: June 15, 2015. C.J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2015-15760 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2014-0764] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zones, St. Petersburg Captain of the Port Zone AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing several safety zones within the Sector St. Petersburg Captain of the Port Zone. This action will establish safety zones that restrict port operations in the event of reduced or restricted visibility, or during natural disasters, e.g. hurricanes. It will also establish safety zones around firework platforms, structures or barges during the storage, preparation, and launching of fireworks.

DATES:

This rule is effective on June 26, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2014-0764. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Lieutenant Omar La Torre Reyes, Sector St. Petersburg Waterways Management Branch, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (813) 228-2191, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

This regulatory amendment will add safety zone regulations regarding port closures due to hurricanes and other disasters, reduced or restricted visibility as well as a safety zone around all fireworks barges, structures, and piers.

We received one comment on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested and none were held.

B. Basis and Purpose

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

The purpose of these regulations is to ensure the safety of life on navigable waters of the United States through the addition of regulations regarding port closures in the event of hurricanes and other disasters and reduced or restricted visibility. It will establish a safety zone around all firework barges, structures, and piers.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Due to the dangers involved with restricted visibility, hurricanes, and fireworks as well as the upcoming hurricane season starting June 1, it is in the best interest of the public to have a regulation in place and to not delay its effective date.

C. Comments, Changes and the Final Rule

One comment was received after the NPRM (80 FR 14335, Mar. 19, 2015) comment period closed expressing concern about potential over-regulation. Specifically, the comment relayed that fireworks displays could be sufficiently regulated biannually; however, there are several documented fireworks displays throughout the calendar year that require barges. The comment also proposed alternative methods of regulation during hurricanes by using VTS for restricted visibility and relying on television stations to inform the public about hurricanes in order to relieve cost and burden on the taxpayer. However, the safety zones will reduce cost to the taxpayer by eliminating the need to draft a temporary final rule for each period of restricted visibility, hurricane, and fireworks event. This will significantly reduce the man hours and resources used to draft these regulations.

D. Regulatory Analyses

We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes or executive orders. These regulations were routed through and approved by the Tampa Bay Harbor Safety and Security Committee.

1. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

Due to the unexpected and quick nature of hurricanes and other disasters, emergency temporary final rules are implemented for each individual event. This regulation is not significant regulatory action and will reduce time and paper work since an emergency temporary final rule would not have to be implemented each time. This rule provides advance notice of actions the Coast Guard intends to take in the event a natural disaster occurs.

There are already several special local regulations establishing regulated areas around fireworks events. The safety zone that is being added is not expected to have a significant regulatory action due to the use of temporary final rules to establish safety zones for each event.

2. Impact on Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered the impact of this rule on small entities. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

3. Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

4. Collection of Information

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

5. Federalism

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

6. Protest Activities

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

7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

8. Taking of Private Property

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

9. Civil Justice Reform

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

10. Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks

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

11. Indian Tribal Governments

This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it 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.

12. Energy Effects

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

13. Technical Standards

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

14. Environment

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

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

2. Add § 165.781 to read as follows:
§ 165.781 Safety Zone; Hurricanes and other Disasters in Western Florida.

(a) Regulated Areas. The following areas are established as a safety zone during the specified conditions:

(1) All waters within the Sector St. Petersburg Captain of the Port zone encompassing all navigable waters or tributaries between or within Fenholloway River through Chokoloskee Pass, Florida.

(2) [Reserved]

(b) Definition. (1) Designated Representative means Coast Guard Patrol Commanders including Coast Guard coxswains, petty officers and other officers operating Coast Guard vessels, and federal, state, and local officers designated by or assisting the COTP, in the enforcement of regulated navigation areas, safety zones, and security zones.

(2) Hurricane Port Condition WHISKEY means condition set when weather advisories indicates sustained gale force winds (39-54 mph/34-47 knots) from a tropical or hurricane force storm are predicted to make landfall at the port within 72 hours.

(3) Hurricane Port Condition X-RAY means condition set when weather advisories indicates sustained gale force winds (39-54 mph/34-47 knots) from a tropical or hurricane force storm are predicted to make landfall at the port within 48 hours.

(4) Hurricane Port Condition YANKEE means condition set when weather advisories indicate that sustained gale force winds (39-54 mph/34-47 knots) from a tropical or hurricane force storm are predicted to make landfall at the port within 24 hours.

(5) Hurricane Port Condition ZULU means condition set when weather advisories indicate that sustained gale force winds (39-54 mph/34-47 knots) from a tropical or hurricane force storm are predicted to make landfall at the port within 12 hours.

(c) Regulations. (1) Hurricane Port Condition WHISKEY. All vessel and port facilities must exercise due diligence in preparation for potential storm impacts. Slow-moving vessels may be ordered to depart to ensure safe avoidance of the incoming storm upon the anticipation of the setting of Port Condition X-RAY. The PHWAG will make recommendations to the Captain of the Port to identify vessels that may need to be diverted to ensure the safety of the port. Ports and waterfront facilities shall begin removing all debris and securing potential flying hazards. Container stacking plans shall be implemented. Waterfront facilities that, are unable to reduce container stacking height to no more than four high, must submit a container stacking protocol to the Captain of the Port (COTP).

(2) Hurricane Port Condition X-RAY. All vessels and port facilities shall ensure that potential flying debris is removed or secured. Hazardous materials/pollution hazards must be secured in a safe manner and away from waterfront areas. Facilities shall continue to implement container stacking protocol. Containers must not exceed four tiers, unless previously approved by the COTP. Containers carrying hazardous materials may not be stacked above the second tier. All oceangoing commercial vessels greater than 500-gross tons must prepare to depart ports and anchorages within Tampa Bay. These vessels shall depart immediately upon the setting of Port Condition YANKEE. During this condition slow-moving vessels may be ordered to depart to ensure safe avoidance of the incoming storm. A COTP Order will be issued to vessels asked to depart early. COTP orders requiring vessel departure will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Vessels that are unable to depart the port must contact the COTP to request and receive permission to remain in port. Proof of facility owner/operator approval is required. Vessels with COTP's permission to remain in port must implement their pre-approved mooring arrangement. Terminal operators shall prepare to terminate all cargo operations. The COTP may require additional precautions to ensure the safety of the ports and waterways. Coast Guard Port Assessment Teams will be deployed to validate implementation of Port Condition X-RAY. The COTP will convene the Port Heavy Weather Advisory Group (PHWAG) as deemed necessary.

(3) Hurricane Port Condition YANKEE. Affected ports are closed to inbound vessel traffic. All oceangoing commercial vessels greater than 500-gross tons must have departed Tampa Bay. Appropriate container stacking protocol must be completed. Terminal operators must terminate all cargo operations not associated with storm preparations: cargo operations associated with storm preparations include moving cargo within or off the port for securing purposes, crane and other port/facility equipment preparations, and similar activities, but do not include moving cargo onto the port or vessel loading/discharging operations unless specifically authorized by the COTP. All facilities shall continue to operate in accordance with approved Facility Security Plans and comply with the requirements of the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA). Drawbridges may be closed to vessel traffic as early as eight hours prior to the arrival of tropical storm force winds. Coast Guard Port Assessment Teams will conduct Port Condition YANKEE validation. The COTP will convene the Port Heavy Weather Advisory Group (PHWAG), as deemed necessary.

(4) Hurricane Port Condition ZULU. All port waterfront operations are suspended, except final preparations that are expressly permitted by the COTP necessary to ensure the safety of the ports and facilities. Coast Guard Port Assessment Teams will conduct final port assessments.

(5) Emergency Restrictions for Other Disasters. Any natural or other disasters that are anticipated to affect the Sector St. Petersburg Captain of the Port zone will result in the prohibition of commercial vessel traffic transiting or remaining in the port and/or facility operations.

3. Add § 165.782 to read as follows:
§ 165.782 Safety Zone; Restricted Visibility in Tampa Bay.

(a) Regulated Areas. The following areas are established as safety zones during the specified conditions:

(1) Zone 1 (Interbay) means all navigable waters within a box marked by the following coordinates: 27°52′56″ N., 82°29′44″ W.; thence to 27°52′50″ N., 82°23′41″ W.; thence to 27°57′27″ N., 82°23′50″ W. thence to 27°57′19″ N., 82°29′39″ W.. This encompasses all Navigable waterways North of Hillsborough Cut “C” Channel LB “25” (LLNR 23445) & “26” (LLNR 23450).

(2) Zone 2 (East Tampa/Big Bend) means all navigable waters within a box marked by the following coordinates: 27°52′50″ N., 82°23′41″ W.; thence to 27°46′36″ N.; 82°24′04″ W.; thence to 27°46′29″ N., 82°31′21″ W.; thence to 27°52′59″ N., 82°31′24″ W. This zone encompasses all navigable waterways between Hillsborough Cut “C” Channel LB “25” (LLNR 23445) & “26” (LLNR 23450) to Cut “6F” (LLNR 22830) Channel.

(3) Zone 3 (Old Tampa Bay) means all navigable waters within a box marked by the following coordinates: 27°46′29″ N., 82°31′21″ W.; 28°01′58″ N., 82°31′39″ W.; thence to 28°02′01″ N., 82°43′20″ W.; thence to 27°46′15″ N., 82°43′24″ W. This zone encompasses all navigable waterways between all of Old Tampa Bay to Cut “6F” (LLNR 22830) Channel.

(4) Zone 4 (Middle Tampa Bay) means all navigable waters within a box marked by the following coordinates: 27°46′34″ N., 82°34′04″ W.; thence to 27°38′40″ N., 82°31′54″ W.; thence to 27°44′38″ N., 82°40′44″ W.; thence to 27°46′15″ N., 82°40′46″ W. This zone encompasses all navigable waterways between Cut “6F” (LLNR 22830) Channel to Tampa Bay “1C” (LLNR 22590).

(5) Zone 5 (Lower Tampa Bay/Manatee) means all navigable waters within a box marked by the following coordinates: 27°44′33″ N., 82°40′37″ W.; thence to 27°58′59″ N., 82°40′34″ W.; thence to 27°36′18″ N., 82°38′57″ W.; thence to 27°34′10″ N., 82°34′50″ W.; thence to 27°37′56″ N., 82°31′15″ W. This zone encompasses all navigable waterways between Tampa Bay “1C” (LLNR 22590) to Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

(6) Zone 6 (Mullet Key) means all navigable waters within a box marked by the following coordinates: 27°38′59″ N., 82°40′35″ W.; thence to 27°36′44″ N., 82°44′13″ W.; thence to 27°32′20″ N., 82°44′37″ W.; thence to 27°31′18″ N., 82°38′59″ W.; thence to 27°34′09″ N., 82°34′53″ W.; thence to 27°36′15″ N., 82°39′00″ W. This zone encompasses all navigable waterways between the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to Mullet Key Channel LB “21” (LLNR 22365) & “22” (LLNR 22370).

(7) Zone 7 (Egmont Entrance) means all navigable waters within the area encompassed by the following coordinates: 27°36′27″ N., 82°44′14″ W.; thence to 27°39′46″ N., 82°44′45″ W.; thence to 27°39′36″ N., 83°05′10″ W.; thence to 27°32′29″ N., 83°04′50″ W.; thence to 27°32′21″ N., 82°44′42″ W. This zone includes the fairway anchorages.

(8) All coordinates are North American Datum 1983.

(b) Definition. (1) Designated Representative means Coast Guard Patrol Commanders including Coast Guard coxswains, petty officers and other officers operating Coast Guard vessels, and federal, state, and local officers designated by or assisting the COTP, in the enforcement of regulated navigation areas, safety zones, and security zones.

(2) [Reserved]

(c) Regulations. (1) Vessel should not commence an inbound, shift, or outbound transit during periods where visibility is less than one nautical mile due to fog or inclement weather.

(2) The COTP may open or close Tampa Bay or specific zones to vessel traffic described in the regulated areas section of this chapter.

4. Add § 165.783 to read as follows:
§ 165.783 Safety Zone; Firework Displays in Captain of the Port Zone St. Petersburg, Florida.

(a) Regulated Area. The following area is established as a safety zone during the specified conditions: All waters within the Sector St. Petersburg COTP Zone up to a 500-yard radius of all firework platforms, structures or barges during the storage, preparation, and launching of fireworks. Designated representatives may reduce the 500-yard zone based on prevailing conditions and enforcement needs.

(1) The Coast Guard realizes that some large scale events, such as those with many participants or spectators, or those that could severely restrict navigation or pose a significant hazard, may still require separate special local regulations or safety zones that address the specific peculiarities of the event. In those situations, the Coast Guard will create special local regulations or safety zones specifically for the event. Those regulations will supersede the regulations in this section.

(2) All firework platforms, structures or barges will also have a sign on their port and starboard side labeled “FIREWORKS—STAY AWAY”. This sign will consist of 10-inch high by 1.5-inch wide red lettering on a white background. Shore fireworks site that affect navigable waterways will display a sign with the aforementioned specifications.

(b) Definitions.

Designated Representative means Coast Guard Patrol Commanders including Coast Guard coxswains, petty officers and other officers operating Coast Guard vessels, and federal, state, and local officers designated by or assisting the COTP, in the enforcement of regulated navigation areas, safety zones, and security zones.

Captain of the Port (COTP) for the purpose of this section means the Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg.

Captain of the Port St. Petersburg Zone is defined in 33 CFR 3.35-35.

(c) Regulations. (1) All persons and vessels are prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the regulated area unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative.

(2) Persons and vessels desiring to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain in the regulated area may contact the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg via telephone at (727)-824-7506, or a designated representative via VHF radio on channel 16, to request authorization. If authorization to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain in the regulated area is granted by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative.

(3) The Coast Guard will provide notice of the regulated area via Broadcast Notice to Mariners or by on-scene designated representatives. Fireworks platforms, piers, and structures will also have signs to notify the public of the danger and to keep away.

(4) This section does not apply to authorized law enforcement agencies operating within the regulated area.

Dated: June 2, 2015. G.D. Case, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port.
[FR Doc. 2015-15756 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0537] Safety Zones; Annual Events in the Captain of the Port Detroit Zone AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of enforcement of regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard will enforce various safety zones for annual marine events in the Captain of the Port Detroit zone from 8 a.m. on June 19, 2015, through 10:45 p.m. on June 27, 2015. Enforcement of these zones is necessary and intended to ensure safety of life on the navigable waters immediately prior to, during, and immediately after these fireworks events. During the aforementioned period, the Coast Guard will enforce restrictions upon, and control movement of, vessels in a specified area immediately prior to, during, and immediately after fireworks events. During each enforcement period, no person or vessel may enter the respective safety zone without permission of the Captain of the Port.

DATES:

The regulations in 33 CFR 165.941 will be enforced at various dates and times between 8 a.m. on June 19, 2015, through 10:45 p.m. on June 27, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this document, call or email PO1 Todd Manow, Prevention, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Detroit, 110 Mount Elliot Ave., Detroit, MI 48207; telephone (313) 568-9580; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zones listed in 33 CFR 165.941, Safety Zones; Annual Events in the Captain of the Port Detroit Zone, at the following dates and times for the following events, which are listed in chronological order by date and time of the event:

(3) Ford (formerly Target) Fireworks, Detroit, MI. The first safety zone, listed in 33 CFR 165.941(a)(50)(i)(A), all waters of the Detroit River bounded by the arc of a circle with a 900-foot radius with its center in position 42°19′23″ N., 083°04′34″ W., on the waterfront area adjacent to 1351 Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, Michigan will be enforced from 8 a.m. on June 19, 2015 to 8 p.m. on June 22, 2015.

The second safety zone, listed in 33 CFR 165.941(a)(50)(i)(B), a portion of the Detroit River bounded on the South by the International Boundary line, on the West by 083°03′30″ W., on the North by the City of Detroit shoreline and on the East by 083°01′15″ W., will be enforced from 8 p.m. to 11:55 p.m. on June 22, 2015.

The third safety zone listed in 33 CFR 165.941(a)(50)(i)(C), a portion of the Detroit River bounded on the South by the International Boundary line, on the West by the Ambassador Bridge, on the North by the City of Detroit shoreline, and on the East by the downstream end of Belle Isle, will be enforced from 6 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. on June 22, 2015.

(2) Bay-Rama Fishfly Festival Fireworks, New Baltimore, MI. The safety zone listed in 33 CFR 165.941(a)(29), all waters of Lake St. Clair-Anchor Bay, off New Baltimore City Park, within a 300-yard radius of the fireworks launch site located at position 42°41′ N., 082°44′ W. (NAD 83), usually on an evening during the first week in June, will be enforced from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on June 25, 2015.

(3) BASF Corporation (formerly the City of Wyandotte) Fireworks, Wyandotte, MI. The safety zone listed in 33 CFR 165.941(a)(34), usually on an evening during the first week in July, will instead be enforced from 10:15 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. on June 26, 2015. In case of inclement weather on June 26, 2015, this safety zone will be enforced from 10:15 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. on June 27, 2015. The fireworks launch site is located on a barge 1000 feet offshore from the BASF property in Wyandotte, MI at position 42°12.75′ N., 082°08.25′ W. The safety zone is all waters of the Detroit River within a 300-yard radius of the fireworks launch site.

(4) St. Clair Shores Fireworks, St. Clair Shores, MI.

The safety zone listed in 33 CFR 165.941(a)(39), all waters of Lake St. Clair within a 300-yard radius of the fireworks barge located at position 42°32′ N., 082°51′ W. (NAD 83). This position is located 1000 yards east of Veteran's Memorial Park, St. Clair Shores, and will be enforced from 10 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. on June 26, 2015. In the case of inclement weather on June 26, 2015, this safety zone will be enforced from 10 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. on June 27, 2015.

Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.23, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within these safety zones during the enforcement period is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Detroit or his designated representative. Vessels that wish to transit through the safety zones may request permission from the Captain of the Port Detroit or his designated representative. Requests must be made in advance and approved by the Captain of Port before transits will be authorized. Approvals will be granted on a case by case basis. The Captain of the Port may be contacted via U.S. Coast Guard Sector Detroit on channel 16, VHF-FM. The Coast Guard will give notice to the public via Local Notice to Mariners and VHF radio broadcasts that the regulation is in effect.

This document is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.941 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). If the Captain of the Port determines that any of these safety zones need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this document, he or she may suspend such enforcement and notify the public of the suspension via a Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

Dated: June 12, 2015. Raymond Negron, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port Detroit.
[FR Doc. 2015-15755 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Parts 201, 213, 217, 225, and 252 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Technical Amendments AGENCY:

Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

DoD is making technical amendments to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to provide needed editorial changes.

DATES:

Effective June 26, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Amy G. Williams, Defense Acquisition Regulations System, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(DARS), Room 3B941, 3060 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060. Telephone 571-372-6106; facsimile 571-372-6094.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This final rule amends the DFARS as follows:

1. Directs contracting officers to additional DFARS Procedures, Guidance, and Information (PGI) by adding references at—

• DFARS 201.301(b) to PGI 201.301(b);

• DFARS 201.304(4) to PGI 201.304(4);

• DFARS 201.304(5) to PGI 201.304(5); and

• DFARS 252.103 to PGI 252.103.

2. Corrects a cross reference in DFARS 213.500-70.

3. Removes a reference to DoDI 4000.19, Support Agreements, at DFARS 217.500, since the instruction (see paragraph 2.b.(1)) no longer applies to interagency assisted acquisitions.

4. Updates an address at DFARS 225.870-4(a) for the Canadian Commercial Corporation.

5. Removes an obsolete cross reference to PGI at DFARS 225.7002-2(b)(4).

6. Corrects two hyperlinks in DFARS clause 252.213-7000, Notice to Prospective Suppliers on Use of Past Performance Information Retrieval System—Statistical Reporting in Past Performance Evaluations.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 201, 213, 217, 225, and 252

Government procurement.

Amy G. Williams, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.

Therefore, 48 CFR parts 201, 213, 217, 225, and 252 are amended as follows:

1. The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 201, 213, 217, 225, and 252 continues to read as follows: Authority:

41 U.S.C. 1303 and 48 CFR chapter 1.

PART 201—FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATIONS SYSTEM 2. Revise section 201.301(b) to read as follows:
201.301 Policy.

(b) When Federal Register publication is required for any policy, procedure, clause, or form, the department or agency requesting Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) (USD(AT&L)) approval for use of the policy, procedure, clause, or form (see 201.304(1)) must include an analysis of the public comments in the request for approval. Information on determining when a clause requires publication in the Federal Register and approval in accordance with 201.304(1) is provided at PGI 201.301(b).

3. Revise section 201.304, paragraphs (4) and (5), to read as follows:
201.304 Agency control and compliance procedures.

(4) Each department and agency must develop and, upon approval by OUSD(AT&L)DPAP, implement, maintain, and comply with a plan for controlling the use of clauses other than those prescribed by FAR or DFARS. Additional information on department and agency clause control plan requirements is available at PGI 201.304(4).

(5) Departments and agencies must submit requests for the Secretary of Defense, USD(AT&L), and OUSD(AT&L)DPAP approvals required by this section through the Director of the DAR Council. Procedures for requesting approval of department and agency clauses are provided at PGI 201.304(5).

PART 213—SIMPLIFIED ACQUISITION PROCEDURES
213.500-70 [Amended]
4. Amend section 213.500-70 by removing “PGI”.
PART 217—SPECIAL CONTRACTING METHODS
217.500 [Amended]
5. Amend section 217.500 by removing “FAR Subpart 17.5, this subpart, and DoDI 4000.19 apply” and adding “FAR subpart 17.5 and this subpart apply” in its place.
PART 225—FOREIGN ACQUISITION
225.870-4 [Amended]
6. Amend section 225.870-4 by removing “11th Floor, 50 O'Connor Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A-0S6” and adding “350 Albert Street, Suite 700, Ottawa, ON K1R 1A4” in its place.
225.7002-2 [Amended]
7. Amend section 225.7002-2 by removing paragraph (b)(4).
PART 252—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 8. Add section 252.103 to subpart 252.1 to read as follows:
252.102 Identification of provisions and clauses.

For guidance on numbering department or agency provisions and clauses, see PGI 252.103.

252.213-7000 [Amended]
9. Amend section 252.213-7000 by— a. Removing the clause date “(MAY 2015)” and adding “(JUN 2015)” in its place; b. In paragraph (d)— i. Removing “https://www.ppirs.gov/ppirsfiles/pdf/PPIRS-SR_UserMan.pdfand adding “https://www.ppirs.gov/pdf/PPIRS-SR_UserMan.pdf” in its place; and ii. Removing “http://www.ppirs.gov/ppirsfiles/reference.htm” and adding “https://www.ppirs.gov/pdf/PPIRS-SR_DataEvaluationCriteria.pdf” in its place.
[FR Doc. 2015-15639 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Parts 216 and 252 RIN 0750-AI04 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Allowability of Legal Costs for Whistleblower Proceedings (DFARS Case 2013-D022) AGENCY:

Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

DoD has adopted as final, without change, an interim rule that amended the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 that addresses the allowability of legal costs incurred by a contractor related to whistleblower proceedings.

DATES:

Effective June 26, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Amy Williams, telephone 571-372-6106.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

DoD published an interim rule in the Federal Register on September 30, 2013 (78 FR 59859). This interim rule revised DFARS subparts 216.3 and added a new clause at 252.216-7009 to implement paragraphs (g) and (i) of section 827 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Pub. L. 112-239).

II. Discussion and Analysis

No public comments were received in response to the interim rule. The interim rule is converted to a final rule without change.

III. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

DoD does not expect this final rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., because most contracts awarded to small entities are awarded on a competitive fixed-price basis, and do not require application of the cost principles contained in this rule. However, a final regulatory flexibility analysis has been performed and is summarized as follows:

The reason for the action is to implement section 827(g) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 (Pub. L. 113-239). Section 827(g) expands the cost principle at 10 U.S.C. 2324(k) to apply the cost principle on allowability of costs related to legal and other proceedings to costs incurred by contractors in proceedings commenced by a contractor employee submitting a complaint under 10 U.S.C. 2409 (whistleblowing), and include as specifically unallowable, legal costs of a proceeding that results in an order to take corrective action under 10 U.S.C. 2409.

The objective of the rule is to enhance whistleblower protections for contractor employees. The legal basis for the rule is 10 U.S.C. 2324(k).

There were no public comments in response to the initial regulatory flexibility analysis.

Most contracts awarded on a fixed-price competitive basis do not require application of the cost principles. Most contracts valued at or below the simplified acquisition threshold are awarded on a fixed-price competitive basis. Requiring submission of certified cost or pricing data for acquisitions that do not exceed the simplified acquisition threshold is prohibited (FAR 15.403-4(a)(2)). According to Federal Procurement Data System data for FY 2012, there were 48,115 new DoD contract awards over the simplified acquisition threshold in FY 2012. Of those contracts, only 6,760 awards were to small businesses on other than a competitive fixed-price basis. Estimating 3 awards per small business, that could involve about 2,600 small businesses. However, this rule would only affect a contractor if a contractor employee commenced a proceeding by submitting a complaint under 10 U.S.C. 2409, and if that proceeding resulted in any of the circumstances listed at FAR 31.205-47(b). DoD does not have data on the percentage of contracts that involve submission of a whistleblower complaint and result in any of the circumstances listed at FAR 31.205-47(b).

There are no projected reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements of the rule.

DoD was unable to identify any alternatives to the rule that would reduce the impact on small entities and still meet the requirements of the statute.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act

The rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 216 and 252

Government procurement.

Accordingly, the interim rule amending 48 CFR parts 216 and 252, which was published at 78 FR 59859 on September 30, 2013, is adopted as a final rule without change. Amy G. Williams, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.
[FR Doc. 2015-15665 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Parts 1801, 1802, 1805, 1807, 1812, 1813, 1823, 1833, 1836, 1847, 1850 and 1852 RIN 2700-AE19 NASA FAR Supplement Regulatory Review No. 3 AGENCY:

National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

NASA adopts a final rule amending the NASA FAR Supplement with the goal of eliminating unnecessary regulation, streamlining burdensome regulation, clarifying language, and simplifying processes where possible.

DATES:

Effective: July 27, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Manuel Quinones, NASA, Office of Procurement, Contract and Grant Policy Division, email: [email protected] or telephone (202) 358-2143.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

NASA issued a proposed rule in the Federal Register at 80 FR 18580 on April 7, 2015, as part of a periodic, comprehensive review and analysis, to make updates and corrections, and reissue the NASA FAR Supplement (NFS). The last reissue of the NFS was in 2004. The goal of the review and analysis is to reduce regulatory burden where justified and appropriate and make the NFS content and processes more efficient, effective, and easier to comprehend, in support of NASA's mission. Consistent with Executive Order (E.O.) 13563, Improving Regulations and Regulatory Review, NASA reviewed and revised the NFS with an emphasis on streamlining it and reducing associated regulatory burdens to the public. Due to the volume of the NFS, these revisions were being made in increments. This rule is the third and final increment and marks completion of the 2015 version of the NFS.

II. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of E.O. 12866. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

III. Regulatory Flexibility Act

NASA certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., because it mainly clarifies or updates existing regulations. In several instances, this rule deletes existing requirements which eases the regulatory burden on all entities, minimizing the number of resources used to collect the data and report it to the government.

IV. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) does apply; however, these changes to the NFS do not impose additional information collection requirements to the paperwork burden previously approved under OMB Control Number 2700-0089, titled Reports Requested for Contracts with an Estimated Value Greater Than $500,000.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR 1801, 1802, 1805, 1807, 1812, 1813, 1823, 1833, 1836, 1847, 1850 and 1852

Government procurement.

Cynthia Boots, Alternate Federal Register Liaison.

Accordingly, 48 CFR parts 1801, 1802, 1805, 1807, 1812, 1813, 1823, 1833, 1836, 1847, 1850, and 1852 are amended as follows:

PART 1801—FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATIONS SYSTEM 1. The authority citation for part 1801 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

51 U.S.C. 20113(a).

1801.106 [Amended]
2. Section 1801.106 is revised to read as follows:
1801.106 OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

(1) NFS requirements. The following OMB control numbers apply:

NFS segment OMB control No. 1823 2700-0089 1827 2700-0052 1843 2700-0054 NF 533 2700-0003 NF 1018 2700-0017
PART 1802—DEFINITIONS 3. The authority citation for part 1802 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

51 U.S.C. 20113(a).

1802.101 [Amended]
4. In section 1802.101, the definition for “Head of the contracting activity (HCA)” is revised to read as follows:
1802.101 Definitions.

Head of the contracting activity (HCA) means, for field installations, the Director or other head, and for NASA Headquarters, the Director for Headquarters Operations. For Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) contracts, the HCA is the Associate Administrator for HEOMD in lieu of the field Center Director(s). For NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC) contracts, the HCA is the Executive Director of the NSSC in lieu of the field Center Director(s).

PART 1805—PUBLICIZING CONTRACT ACTIONS 5. The authority citation for part 1805 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

51 U.S.C. 20113(a).

1805.303 [Amended]
6. Section 1805.303 is revised to read as follows:
1805.303 Announcement of contract awards.

(a)(i) In lieu of the threshold cited in FAR 5.303(a), a NASA Headquarters public announcement is required for award of contract actions that have a total anticipated value, including unexercised options, of $5 million or greater.

PART 1807—ACQUISITION PLANNING 7. The authority citation for part 1807 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

51 U.S.C. 20113(a).

Subpart 1807.1 [Removed] 8. Subpart 1807.1, consisting of sections 1807.107 and 1807.107-70, is removed.
1807.7200 [Amended]
9. In section 1807.7200, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:
1807.7200 Policy.

(b) The annual forecast and semiannual update are available on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/procurement/forecast/index.html).

10. In section 1807.7201, the definition for “Contract opportunity” is revised to read as follows:
1807.7201 Definitions.

Contract opportunity means planned new contract awards exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT).

PART 1812—ACQUISITION OF COMMERCIAL ITEMS 11. The authority citation for part 1812 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

51 U.S.C. 20113(a).

12. Section 1812.301 is revised to read as follows:
1812.301 Solicitation provisions and contract clauses for the acquisition of commercial items.

(f)(i) The following clauses are authorized for use in acquisitions of commercial items when required by the clause prescription:

(A) 1852.204-75, Security Classification Requirements.

(B) 1852.204-76, Security Requirements for Unclassified Information Technology Resources.

(C) 1852.215-84, Ombudsman.

(D) 1852.216-80, Task Order Procedures (Alternate I).

(E) 1852.216-88, Performance Incentive.

(F) 1852.219-73, Small Business Subcontracting Plan.

(G) 1852.219-75, Small Business Subcontracting Reporting.

(H) 1852.223-70, Safety and Health.

(I) 1852.223-71, Frequency Authorization.

(J) 1852.223-72, Safety and Health (Short Form).

(K) 1852.223-73, Safety and Health Plan.

(L) 1852.223-75, Major Breach of Safety and Security (Alternate I).

(M) 1852.225-70, Export Licenses.

(N) 1852.228-76, Cross-Waiver of Liability for International Space Station Activities.

(O) 1852.228-78, Cross-Waiver of Liability for Science or Space Exploration Activities Unrelated to the International Space Station.

(P) 1852.237-70, Emergency Evacuation Procedures.

(Q) 1852.237-72, Access to Sensitive Information.

(R) 1852.237-73, Release of Sensitive Information.

(S) 1852.246-72, Material Inspection and Receiving Report.

(T) 1852.247.71, Protection of the Florida Manatee.

13. In section 1812.7000: a. Paragraph (d) is removed; b. Paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) are redesignated as paragraph (b), (c) (d) respectively; and c. Paragraph (a) is added.

The addition reads as follows:

1812.7000 Anchor tenancy contracts.

(a) The term “anchor tenancy” means an arrangement in which the United States Government agrees to procure sufficient quantities of a commercial space product or service needed to meet Government mission requirements so that a commercial venture is made viable.

PART 1813—SIMPLIFIED ACQUISITION PROCEDURES 14. The authority citation for part 1813 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

51 U.S.C. 20113(a).

1813.000 [Removed]
15. Section 1813.000 is removed.
PART 1823—ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY, AND WATER EFFICIENCY, RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES, OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY, AND DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE 16. The authority citation for part 1823 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

51 U.S.C. 20113(a).

17. In section 1823.7001: a. Paragraph (c) is revised; b. Paragraphs (d) and (e) are redesignated as paragraphs (e), and (f) respectively, and newly redesignated paragraph (f) is revised; and c. Paragraph (d) is added.

The revisions and additions read as follows:

1823.7001 NASA solicitation provisions and contract clauses.

(c) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 1852.223-73, Safety and Health Plan, in solicitations above the simplified acquisition threshold when the work will be conducted completely or partly on a Federally-controlled facility and the safety and health plan will be evaluated in source selection as approved by the source selection authority. This clause may be modified to identify specific information that is to be included in the plan. After receiving the concurrence of the center safety and occupational health official(s), the contracting officer shall incorporate the plan as an attachment into any resulting contract. The contracting officer shall insert the clause, with its Alternate I, in Invitations for Bid.

(d)(1) The contracting officer shall insert FAR clause at 52.236-13 with its Alternate I in solicitations and contracts when the work will be conducted completely or partly on a Federally-controlled facility and a Safety and Health Plan will be reviewed after award as a contract deliverable. The contracting officer may modify the wording in paragraph (f) of Alternate I to specify:

(i) When the proposed plan is due and

(ii) Whether the contractor may commence work prior to approval of the plan; or

(iii) To what extent the contractor may commence work before the plan is approved.

(2) The requiring activity, in consultation with the cognizant health and safety official(s), will identify the data deliverable requirements for the safety and health plan. After receiving the concurrence of the center safety and occupational health official(s), the contracting officer shall incorporate the plan as an attachment into the contract.

(f) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 1852.223-72, Safety and Health (Short Form) in solicitations and contracts above the simplified acquisition threshold when work will be conducted completely or partly on Federally-controlled facilities and that do not contain the clause at 1852.223-73 or the FAR clause at 52.236-13 with its Alternate I.

PART 1833—PROTESTS, DISPUTES, AND APPEALS 18. The authority citation for part 1833 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

51 U.S.C. 20113(a).

1833.103 [Amended]
19. Section 1833.103 is revised to read as follows:
1833.103 Protests to the agency.

(d)(4) The provision at 1852.233-70 provides for an alternative to a protest to the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). This alternative gives bidders or offerors the ability to protest directly to the contracting officer (CO) or to request an independent review by the Assistant Administrator for Procurement (or designee). The Agency review shall be deemed to be at the CO level when the request is silent as to the level of review desired. The Agency review shall be deemed to be at the level of the Assistant Administrator for Procurement (or designee) when the request specifies a level above the CO, even if the request does not specifically request an independent review by the Assistant Administrator for Procurement. Such reviews are separate and distinct from the Ombudsman Program described at 1815.7001.

(e) NASA shall summarily dismiss and take no further action upon any protest to the Agency if the substance of the protest is pending in judicial proceedings or the protester has filed a protest on the same acquisition with the GAO prior to receipt of an Agency protest decision.

(4) When a bidder or offeror submits an Agency protest to the CO or alternatively requests an independent review by the Assistant Administrator for Procurement, the decision of the CO or the Assistant Administrator for Procurement shall be final and is not subject to any appeal or reconsideration within NASA.

1833.106-70 [Amended]
20. In section 1833.106-70, remove the words “Contracting officers” and add in their place the words “The contracting officer”.
1833.215 [Amended]
21. In section 1833.215, remove the word “agency” and add in its place the word “Agency”.
PART 1836—CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS 22. The authority citation for part 1836 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

51 U.S.C. 20113(a).

23. Section 1836.513 is revised to read as follows:
1836.513 Accident prevention.

For additional guidance on the use of FAR clause 52.236-13, Accident Prevention, and its Alternate I in NASA contracts, see 1823.7001(d).

PART 1850—EXTRAORDINARY CONTRACTUAL ACTIONS AND THE SAFETY ACT 24. The authority citation for part 1850 is added to read as follows: Authority:

51 U.S.C. 20113(a).

1850.103-570 [Amended]
25. In the introductory text of paragraph (a) to section 1850.103-570, remove the words “Associate General Counsel for General Law” and add in their place the words “Associate General Counsel for Contracts and Procurement Law”.
1850.103-670 [Amended]
26. In paragraph (b) to section 1850.103-670, remove the words “Associate General Counsel for General Law” and add in their place the words “Associate General Counsel for Contracts and Procurement Law”.
1850.104-2 [Added]
27. Section 1850.104-2 is added to read as follows:
1850.104-2 General

(a) Requests for the exercise of residual powers shall be sent to the Headquarters Office of Procurement, Program Operations Division for review and processing. The NASA Administrator is the approval authority for the Memorandum of Decision.

28. Section 1850.104-3 is revised to read as follows:
1850.104-3 Special procedures for unusually hazardous or nuclear risks.

(a) Indemnification requests. (1) Contractor indemnification requests must be submitted to the cognizant contracting officer for the contract for which the indemnification clause is requested. The request shall be submitted six (6) months in advance of the desired effective date of the requested indemnification in order to allow sufficient time for the request to be reviewed, analyzed, and approved by the Agency. Contractors shall submit a single request and shall ensure that duplicate requests are not submitted by associated divisions, subsidiaries, or central offices of the contractor.

(ii) The contractor's request for indemnification must identify a sufficient factual basis for indemnification by explaining specifically what work activities under the contract create the unusually hazardous or nuclear risk and identifying the timeframes in which the risk would be incurred.

(iii) The contractor shall also provide evidence, such as a certificate of insurance or other customary proof of insurance, that such insurance is either in force or is available and will be in force during the indemnified period.

(b) Action on indemnification requests. (1) If recommending approval, the contracting officer shall forward the required information to the NASA Headquarters Office of Procurement, Program Operations Division, along with the following:

(i) For contracts of five years duration or longer, a determination, with supporting rationale, whether the indemnification approval and insurance coverage and premiums should be reviewed for adequacy and continued validity at points in time within the extended contract period.

(ii) The specific definition of the unusually hazardous risk to which the contractor is exposed in the performance of the contract(s), including specificity about which activities present such risk and the anticipated timeframes in which the risk will be incurred;

(iv) A complete discussion of the contractor's financial protection program; and

(vi) The extent to, and conditions under, which indemnification is being approved for subcontracts.

(2) The NASA Administrator is the approval authority for using the indemnification clause in a contract by a Memorandum of Decision.

(4)(ii) If approving subcontractor indemnification, the contracting officer shall document the file with a memorandum for record addressing the items set forth in FAR 50.104-3(b) and include an analysis of the subcontractor's financial protection program. In performing this analysis, the contracting officer shall take into consideration the availability, cost, terms and conditions of insurance in relation to the unusually hazardous risk.

29. Section 1850.104-4 is added to read as follows:
1850.104-4 Contract clause.

The contracting officer shall obtain the NASA Administrator's approval prior to including clause 52.250-1 in a contract.

1850.104-70 [Removed]
30. Section 1850.104-70 is removed.
PART 1852—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 31. The authority citation for part 1852 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

51 U.S.C. 20113(a).

1852.223-72 and 1852.223-73 [Amended]
32. Sections 1852.223-72 and 1852.223-73 are revised to read as follows:
1852.223-72 Safety and Health (Short Form).

As prescribed in 1823.7001(f), insert the following clause:

SAFETY AND HEALTH (SHORT FORM) (JUL 2015)

(a) Safety is the freedom from those conditions that can cause death, injury, occupational illness; damage to or loss of equipment or property, or damage to the environment. NASA is committed to protecting the safety and health of the public, our team members, and those assets that the Nation entrusts to the Agency.

(b) The Contractor shall have a documented, comprehensive and effective health and safety program with a proactive process to identify, assess, and control hazards and take all reasonable safety and occupational health measures consistent with standard industry practice in performing this contract.

(c) The Contractor shall insert the substance of this clause, including this paragraph (c) in subcontracts that exceed the simplified acquisition threshold where work will be conducted completely or partly on Federally-controlled facilities.

(End of clause)
1852.223-73 Safety and Health Plan.

As prescribed in 1823.7001(c), insert the following clause:

SAFETY AND HEALTH PLAN (JUL 2015)

(a) The offeror shall submit a detailed safety and occupational health plan as part of its proposal. The plan shall include a detailed discussion of the policies, procedures, and techniques that will be used to ensure the safety and occupational health of Contractor employees and to ensure the safety of all working conditions throughout the performance of the contract.

(b) The plan shall similarly address subcontractor employee safety and occupational health for those proposed subcontracts or subcontract effort where the work will be conducted completely or partly on a Federally-controlled facility.

(d) This plan, as approved by the Contracting Officer, will be incorporated into any resulting contract.

(End of clause)
ALTERNATE I (JUL 2015)

As prescribed in 1823.7001(c)(1), delete the first sentence in paragraph (a) of the basic provision and substitute the following:

The apparent low bidder, upon request by the Contracting Officer, shall submit a detailed safety and occupational health plan. The plan shall be submitted within the time specified by the Contracting Officer. Failure to submit an acceptable plan shall make the bidder ineligible for the award of a contract.

33. Section 1852.233-70 is revised to read as follows:
1852.233-70 Protests to NASA.

As prescribed in 1833.106-70, insert the following provision:

PROTESTS TO NASA (JUL 2015)

(a) In lieu of a protest to the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), bidders or offerors may submit a protest under 48 CFR part 33 (FAR Part 33) directly to the Contracting Officer for consideration by the Agency. Alternatively, bidders or offerors may request an independent review by the Assistant Administrator for Procurement, who will serve as or designate the official responsible for conducting an independent review. Such reviews are separate and distinct from the Ombudsman Program described at 1815.7001.

(b) Bidders or offerors shall specify whether they are submitting a protest to the Contracting Officer or requesting an independent review by the Assistant Administrator for Procurement.

(c) Protests to the Contracting Officer shall be submitted to the address or email specified in the solicitation (email is an acceptable means for submitting a protest to the Contracting Officer). Alternatively, requests for independent review by the Assistant Administrator for Procurement shall be addressed to the Assistant Administrator for Procurement, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20456-0001.

(End of provision)
34. Section 1852.247-71 is revised to read as follows:
1852.247-71 Protection of the Florida Manatee.

As prescribed in 1847.7001, insert the following clause:

PROTECTION OF THE FLORIDA MANATEE (JUL 2015)

(a) Pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-205), as amended, and the Marine Mammals Protection Act of 1972 (Pub. L. 92-522), the Florida Manatee (Trichechus Manatus) has been designated an endangered species, and the Indian River Lagoon system within and adjacent to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Kennedy Space Center (KSC) has been designated as a critical habitat of the Florida Manatee. The KSC Environmental Management Branch will advise all personnel associated with the project of the potential presence of manatees in the work area, and the need to avoid collisions and/or harassment of the manatees. Contractors shall ensure that all employees, subcontractors, and other individuals associated with this contract and who are involved in vessel operations, dockside work, and selected disassembly functions are aware of the civil and criminal penalties for harming, harassing, or killing manatees.

(b) All contractor personnel shall be responsible for complying with all applicable Federal and/or state permits (e.g., Florida Department of Environmental Protection, St. Johns River Water Management District, Fish & Wildlife Service) in performing water-related activities within the contract. Where no Federal and/or state permits are required for said contract, and the contract scope requires activities within waters at KSC, the Contractor shall obtain a KSC Manatee Protection Permit from the Environmental Management Branch. All conditions of Federal, state, and/or KSC regulations and permits for manatee protection shall be binding to the contract. Notification and coordination of all water related activities at KSC will be done through the Environmental Management Branch.

(c) The Contractor shall incorporate the provisions of this clause in applicable subcontracts.

(End of clause)
[FR Doc. 2015-15524 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 150105004-5355-01] RIN 0648-XE006 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area Closures for the Common Pool Fishery and Trip and Possession Limit Adjustment AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Temporary rule; area closures and trip and possession limit adjustments.

SUMMARY:

This action closes the Gulf of Maine cod Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area to all Northeast multispecies common pool vessels; the American plaice Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area to Northeast multispecies common pool trawl vessels; and the Cape Cod/Gulf of Maine yellowtail flounder Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area to Northeast multispecies common pool trawl and gillnet vessels, for the remainder of Trimester 1, through August 31, 2015. The closures are required by regulation because the common pool fishery has caught over 90 percent of its Trimester 1 quotas for Gulf of Maine cod, American plaice, and Cape Cod/Gulf of Maine yellowtail flounder. These closures are intended to prevent the overharvest of the common pool's allocation for these stocks. Because the common pool catch of American plaice and Cape Cod/Gulf of Maine yellowtail flounder is not limited to the respective stocks' Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area, this action also reduces possession and trip limits for the American plaice and Cape Cod/Gulf of Maine yellowtail flounder stocks to zero for all common pool vessels through August 31, 2015, in order to prevent the overharvest of the common pool's allocation of both stocks from areas not closed by this action. The possession and trip limit for GOM cod was set to zero in a previous action.

DATES:

This action is effective June 23, 2015, through August 31, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Federal regulations at § 648.82(n)(2)(ii) require the Regional Administrator to close a common pool Trimester Total Allowable Catch (TAC) Area for a stock when 90 percent of the Trimester TAC is projected to be caught. In such cases, the Trimester TAC Area for a stock closes to all common pool vessels fishing with gear capable of catching that stock for the remainder of the trimester.

The fishing year 2015 (May 1, 2015, through April 30, 2016) common pool sub-annual catch limit (sub-ACL) for Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod is 5.6 mt and the Trimester 1 (May 1, 2015, through August 30, 2015) TAC is 1.5 mt. Based on the most recent data, which include vessel trip reports, dealer reported landings, and vessel monitoring system information, we have determined that 114 percent of the Trimester 1 TAC was caught as of June 16, 2015. Therefore, effective June 23, 2015, the GOM Cod Trimester TAC Area is closed for the remainder of Trimester 1, through August 31, 2015, to all common pool vessels fishing with trawl gear, sink gillnet gear, and longline/hook gear. The GOM cod Trimester TAC Area consists of statistical areas 513 and 514. The area will reopen at the beginning of Trimester 2 on September 1, 2015.

The fishing year 2015 common pool sub-ACL for American plaice is 26.9 mt and the Trimester 1 TAC is 6.5 mt. Based on the most recent data, which include vessel trip reports, dealer reported landings, and vessel monitoring system information, we have determined that 106 percent of the Trimester 1 TAC was caught as of June 16, 2015. Therefore, effective June 23, 2015, the American plaice Trimester TAC Area is closed for the remainder of Trimester 1, through August 31, 2015, to all common pool vessels fishing with trawl gear. The American plaice Trimester TAC Area consists of statistical areas 512, 513, 514, 515, 521, 522, and 525. The area will reopen at the beginning of Trimester 2 on September 1, 2015.

The fishing year 2015 common pool sub-ACL for Cape Cod (CC)/GOM yellowtail flounder is 21 mt and the Trimester 1 TAC is 7.3 mt. Based on the most recent data, which include vessel trip reports, dealer reported landings, and vessel monitoring system information, we have determined that 105 percent of the Trimester 1 TAC was caught as of June 16, 2015. Therefore, effective June 23, 2015, the CC/GOM yellowtail flounder Trimester TAC Area is closed for the remainder of Trimester 1, through August 31, 2015, to all common pool vessels fishing with trawl and gillnet gear. The CC/GOM yellowtail flounder Trimester TAC Area consists of statistical areas 514 and 521. The area will reopen at the beginning of Trimester 2 on September 1, 2015.

The regulations at § 648.86(o) authorize the Regional Administrator to adjust the possession and trip limits for common pool vessels to prevent the overharvest or underharvest of the common pool quotas. Because the American plaice and CC/GOM yellowtail flounder closures described above only applies to select areas and gear types, and because both stocks' Trimester TACs have been almost or already met, additional action is necessary to prevent further overage of the Trimester TACs that could occur in areas outside of the stock area closures. Therefore, the possession and trip limits for American plaice and CC/GOM yellowtail flounder are reduced to zero for all common pool vessels in all areas, effective June 23, 2015, through August 31, 2015. The possession and trip limits will return to previous levels at the beginning of Trimester 2, on September 1, 2015, unless otherwise determined.

If a vessel declared its trip through the vessel monitoring system (VMS) or interactive voice response system, and crossed the VMS demarcation line prior to June 23, 2015, it may complete its trip if it is within the Trimester TAC Areas, and it will not be subject to the new possession and trip limits. A gillnet vessel that has set gear prior to June 23, 2015, may complete its trip by hauling such gear.

Any overages of a trimester TAC will be deducted from Trimester 3, and any overages of the common pool's sub-ACL at the end of the fishing year will be deducted from the common pool's sub-ACL the following fishing year. Any uncaught portion of the Trimester 1 and Trimester 2 TAC will be carried over into the next trimester. Any uncaught portion of the common pool's sub-ACL may not be carried over into the following fishing year.

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

The Trimester TAC Area closures are required by regulation in order to reduce the probability of the common pool fishery exceeding its sub-ACLs of GOM cod, American plaice, and CC/GOM yellowtail flounder. Any overages of the common pool's sub-ACLs would undermine conservation objectives and trigger the implementation of accountability measures that would have negative economic impacts on common pool vessels. The data and information showing that GOM cod, American plaice, and CC/GOM yellowtail flounder had exceeded 90 percent of the Trimester 1 TACs for these stocks only became available on June 16, 2015. The time necessary to provide for prior notice and comment, and a 30-day delay in effectiveness, would prevent NMFS from implementing the necessary Trimester TAC Area closures for GOM cod, American plaice, and CC/GOM yellowtail flounder in a timely manner, which could undermine management objectives of the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP), and cause negative economic impacts to the common pool fishery.

Additionally, an overage in the American plaice and CC/GOM yellowtail flounder Trimester 1 TAC increases the probability of the common pool exceeding its sub-ACL of these stocks. The time necessary to provide for prior notice and comment, and a 30-day delay in effectiveness, would prevent NMFS from setting the possession and trip limit to zero for American plaice in a timely manner, which could also undermine management objectives of the Northeast Multispecies FMP, and cause negative economic impacts to the common pool fishery.

The possession and trip limit for GOM cod was set to zero in a previous action.

Authority:

16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Dated: June 22, 2015. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-15680 Filed 6-23-15; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 150316270-5270-01] RIN 0648-XD976 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Modifications of the West Coast Commercial Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions #3, #4, #5, and #6 AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Modification of fishing seasons; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

NMFS announces four inseason actions in the ocean salmon fisheries. These inseason actions modified the commercial salmon fisheries in the area from the U.S./Canada border to Cape Falcon, OR.

DATES:

The effective dates for the inseason actions are set out in this document under the heading Inseason Actions. Comments will be accepted through July 13, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0001, by any one of the following methods:

Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0001, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

Mail: William W. Stelle, Jr., Regional Administrator, West Coast Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA, 98115-6349

Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter“N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Peggy Mundy at 206-526-4323.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

In the 2015 annual management measures for ocean salmon fisheries (80 FR 25611, May 5, 2015), NMFS announced the commercial and recreational fisheries in the area from the U.S./Canada border to the U.S./Mexico border, beginning May 1, 2015, and 2016 salmon seasons opening earlier than May 1, 2016. NMFS is authorized to implement inseason management actions to modify fishing seasons and quotas as necessary to provide fishing opportunity while meeting management objectives for the affected species (50 CFR 660.409). Inseason actions in the salmon fishery may be taken directly by NMFS (50 CFR 660.409(a)—Fixed inseason management provisions) or upon consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and the appropriate State Directors (50 CFR 660.409(b)—Flexible inseason management provisions). The state management agencies that participated in the consultations described in this document were: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Management of the salmon fisheries is generally divided into two geographic areas: north of Cape Falcon (U.S./Canada border to Cape Falcon, OR) and south of Cape Falcon (Cape Falcon, OR, to the U.S./Mexico border). The inseason actions reported in this document affect commercial salmon fisheries north of Cape Falcon. All times mentioned refer to Pacific daylight time.

Inseason Actions Inseason Action #3

Description of action: Inseason action #3 closed the commercial salmon fishery from U.S./Canada border to Queets River, WA, at 11:59 a.m., noon, May 16, 2015.

Effective dates: Inseason action #3 took effect on May 16, 2015, and remained in effect until superseded by inseason action #4 on May 22, 2015.

Reason and authorization for the action: The annual management measures (80 FR 25611) established a May/June quota in the commercial salmon fishery between the U.S./Canada border and the Queets River of 9,000 Chinook salmon. The annual management measures also provided guidance that inseason action should be taken to modify the open period and landing limits when 6,750 Chinook salmon had been landed in this area. After consideration of Chinook salmon landings to date and fishery effort, the Regional Administrator (RA) determined that the fishery had likely attained the 6,750 Chinook salmon benchmark, and that this fishery would close on May 16, 2015. This closure allowed the state managers to account for catch that had not yet been landed at the time of the consultation. This action was taken to prevent exceeding the Chinook salmon quota set preseason. Inseason action to modify quotas and/or fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(i).

Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #3 occurred on May 15, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, WDFW, and ODFW.

Inseason Action #4

Description of action: Inseason action #4 reopened the commercial salmon fishery from U.S./Canada border to Cape Alava, WA, at 12:01 a.m., May 22, 2015 with 5-day openings, Friday through Tuesday, and a landing limit of 15 Chinook salmon per vessel per open period. The Cape Flattery control zone remains closed. All fishers intending to fish north of Cape Alava (Washington state marine Area 4) must declare that intention before fishing by first notifying WDFW at 360-902-2739 with boat name and approximate time they intend to fish in Area 4 and destination at the end of the trip. All fish from Area 4 must be landed before fishing any other area. No fish from other areas may be in possession with fish from Area 4.

Effective dates: Inseason action #4 took effect on May 22, 2015, and remained in effect until superseded by inseason action #5 on May 29, 2015.

Reason and authorization for the action: Following the closure implemented by inseason action #3, the states estimated that 1,617 Chinook salmon remained of the 9,000 Chinook salmon subarea quota. Inseason action was taken to allow access to the remaining quota without exceeding the quota that was set preseason. Inseason action to modify quotas and/or fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(i).

Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #4 occurred on May 20, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, WDFW, and ODFW. Council staff did not participate in the consultation, but were immediately advised of the decision.

Inseason Action #5

Description of action: Inseason action #5 modified the landing limit in the commercial salmon fishery from U.S./Canada border to Cape Alava, WA, from 15 Chinook salmon per vessel per open period to 20 Chinook salmon per vessel per open period.

Effective dates: Inseason action #5 took effect on May 29, 2015, and remains in effect until superseded by inseason action or the end of the May/June fishing season, June 30, 2015.

Reason and authorization for the action: The RA considered Chinook salmon landings to date and fishery effort and determined that increasing the landing limit would allow fishers access to remaining quota without risk of exceeding the quota set preseason.

Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #5 occurred on May 28, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, WDFW, and ODFW.

Inseason Action #6

Description of action: Inseason action #6 closed the commercial salmon fishery from Leadbetter Point, WA, to Cape Falcon, OR, at 11:59 p.m. (midnight), May 29, 2015.

Effective dates: Inseason action #6 took effect on May 29, 2015, and remains in effect until superseded by inseason action or the end of the May/June fishing season, June 30, 2015.

Reason and authorization for the action: The annual management measures (80 FR 25611) established a May/June quota in the commercial salmon fishery between Leadbetter Point, WA, and Cape Falcon, OR, of 15,000 Chinook salmon. The annual management measures also provided guidance that inseason action should be taken to modify the open period and landing limits when 11,250 Chinook salmon had been landed in this area. After consideration of Chinook salmon landings to date and fishery effort, the Regional Administrator (RA) determined that the fishery was close to attaining the 11,250 Chinook salmon benchmark, and that this area would close on May 29, 2015. This closure allowed the state managers to account for catch that had not yet been landed at the time of the consultation. This action was taken to prevent exceeding the Chinook salmon quota set preseason. Inseason action to modify quotas and/or fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(i).

Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #6 occurred on May 28, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, WDFW, and ODFW.

All other restrictions and regulations remain in effect as announced for the 2015 ocean salmon fisheries and 2016 fisheries opening prior to May 1, 2016 (80 FR 25611, May 5, 2015).

The RA determined that the best available information indicated that Chinook salmon catch to date and fishery effort supported the above inseason actions recommended by the states of Washington and Oregon. The states manage the fisheries in state waters adjacent to the areas of the U.S. exclusive economic zone in accordance with these Federal actions. As provided by the inseason notice procedures of 50 CFR 660.411, actual notice of the described regulatory actions was given, prior to the time the action was effective, by telephone hotline numbers 206-526-6667 and 800-662-9825, and by U.S. Coast Guard Notice to Mariners broadcasts on Channel 16 VHF-FM and 2182 kHz.

Classification

The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that good cause exists for this notification to be issued without affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) because such notification would be impracticable. As previously noted, actual notice of the regulatory actions was provided to fishers through telephone hotline and radio notification. These actions comply with the requirements of the annual management measures for ocean salmon fisheries (80 FR 25611, May 5, 2015), the West Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan (Salmon FMP), and regulations implementing the Salmon FMP, 50 CFR 660.409 and 660.411. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment was impracticable because NMFS and the state agencies had insufficient time to provide for prior notice and the opportunity for public comment between the time Chinook salmon catch and effort assessments and projections were developed and fisheries impacts were calculated, and the time the fishery modifications had to be implemented in order to ensure that fisheries are managed based on the best available scientific information, ensuring that conservation objectives and ESA consultation standards are not exceeded. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness required under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), as a delay in effectiveness of these actions would allow fishing at levels inconsistent with the goals of the Salmon FMP and the current management measures.

These actions are authorized by 50 CFR 660.409 and 660.411 and are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

Authority:

16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Dated: June 23, 2015. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-15738 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
80 123 Friday, June 26, 2015 Proposed Rules BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Parts 1024 and 1026 [Docket No. CFPB-2015-0029] RIN 3170-AA48 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) and Amendments; Delay of Effective Date AGENCY:

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

ACTION:

Proposed rule with request for public comment.

SUMMARY:

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) is proposing to delay the August 1, 2015, effective date of the Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) (TILA-RESPA Final Rule) and the related Amendments to the 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth In Lending Act (Regulation Z) and the 2013 Loan Originator Rule Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) (TILA-RESPA Amendments) to October 3, 2015. In light of certain procedural requirements under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments cannot take effect on August 1, 2015. Under the CRA, and unless the Bureau takes the action proposed in this document, the rule will take effect 60 days after the date on which Congress received the rule. The Bureau requests comment on a proposal to extend the effective date of both the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments to October 3, 2015.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before July 7, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CFPB-2015-0029 or RIN 3170-AA48, by any of the following methods:

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

Email: [email protected] Include Docket No. CFPB-2015-0029 and/or RIN 3170-AA48 in the subject line of the email.

Mail: Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552.

Hand Delivery/Courier: Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1275 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20002.

Instructions: All submissions should include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. Because paper mail in the Washington, DC area and at the Bureau is subject to delay, commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically. In general, all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov. In addition, comments will be available for public inspection and copying at 1275 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20002, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time. You can make an appointment to inspect the documents by telephoning (202) 435-7275. All comments, including attachments and other supporting materials, will become part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or social security numbers, should not be included. Comments generally will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lea Mosena, Counsel, Legal Division, at (202) 435-7700.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Summary of the Proposed Rule

In November 2013, pursuant to sections 1098 and 1100A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), the Bureau issued the Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) (TILA-RESPA Final Rule), combining certain disclosures that consumers receive in connection with applying for and closing on a mortgage loan.1 On October 10, 2014, the Bureau proposed the Amendments to the 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth In Lending Act (Regulation Z) and the 2013 Loan Originator Rule Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) (TILA-RESPA Amendments),2 which was finalized on January 18, 2015.3 The TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments had effective dates of August 1, 2015. Because of an administrative error on the Bureau's part in complying with the CRA with respect to the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, the TILA-RESPA Final Rule cannot take effect until at the earliest August 15, 2015 (CRA Effective Date). This proposed rule seeks comment on whether the Bureau should delay the effective date of both the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments to October 3, 2015. The Bureau also proposes certain technical amendments to the Official Interpretations to Regulation Z to reflect the proposed new effective date.

1 78 FR 79730 (Dec. 31, 2013). The TILA-RESPA Final Rule finalized a proposal the Bureau had issued on July 9, 2012 77 FR 51116 (Aug. 23, 2012) (2012 TILA-RESPA Proposal).

2 79 FR 64336 (Oct. 29, 2014).

3 80 FR 8767 (Feb. 19, 2015).

II. Background A. The TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rulemaking

Dodd-Frank Act sections 1032(f), 1098, and 1100A mandated that the Bureau establish a single disclosure scheme for use by lenders or creditors in complying with the disclosure requirements of both the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). Section 1098(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act amended RESPA section 4(a) to require that the Bureau publish a single, integrated disclosure for mortgage loan transactions, including “the disclosure requirements of this section and section 5, in conjunction with the disclosure requirements of [TILA]. . . .” 4 Similarly, section 1100A(5) of the Dodd-Frank Act amended TILA section 105(b) to require that the Bureau publish a single, integrated disclosure for mortgage loan transactions, including “the disclosure requirements of this title in conjunction with the disclosure requirements of [RESPA].. . .” 5 The Bureau issued proposed integrated disclosure forms and rules for public comment on July 9, 2012, in the 2012 TILA-RESPA Proposal, and issued the TILA-RESPA Final Rule on November 20, 2013.6

4 12 U.S.C. 2603(a).

5 15 U.S.C. 1604(b). The amendments to RESPA and TILA mandating a “single, integrated disclosure” are among numerous conforming amendments to existing Federal laws found in subtitle H of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 is title X of the Dodd-Frank Act). Subtitle C of the Consumer Financial Protection Act, “Specific Bureau Authorities,” codified at 12 U.S.C. chapter 53, subchapter V, part C, contains a similar provision. Specifically, section 1032(f) of the Dodd-Frank Act provides that, by July 21, 2012, the Bureau “shall propose for public comment rules and model disclosures that combine the disclosures required under [TILA] and sections 4 and 5 of [RESPA] into a single, integrated disclosure for mortgage loan transactions covered by those laws, unless the Bureau determines that any proposal issued by the [Federal Reserve Board] and [U.S. Department of HUD] carries out the same purpose.” 12 U.S.C. 5532(f). The Bureau issued the 2012 TILA-RESPA Proposal pursuant to that mandate and the parallel mandates established by the conforming amendments to RESPA and TILA, discussed above.

6 See Press Release, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB proposes “Know Before You Owe” Mortgage Forms (July 9, 2012), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/pressreleases/consumer-financial-protection-bureau-proposes-know-before-you-owe-mortgage-forms/; CFPB Mortgage Disclosure Team, CFPB Blog, Know Before You Owe: Introducing our proposed mortgage disclosure forms (July 9, 2012), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/know-before-you-owe-introducing-our-proposed-mortgage-disclosure-forms/.

Upon issuing the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, the Bureau initiated robust efforts to support industry implementation.7 Information regarding the Bureau's TILA-RESPA implementation initiative and available resources can be found on the Bureau's regulatory implementation Web site at www.consumerfinance.gov/regulatory-implementation/tila-respa.

7 These on-going efforts include: (1) The publication of a plain-language compliance guide and a guide to forms to help industry understand the new rules, including updates to the guides, as needed; (2) the publication of a readiness guide for institutions to evaluate their readiness and facilitate compliance with the new rules; (3) the publication of a disclosure timeline that illustrates the process and timing requirements of the new disclosure rules; (4) an ongoing series of webinars to address common interpretive questions; (5) roundtable meetings with industry, including creditors, settlement service providers, and technology vendors, to discuss and support their implementation efforts; (6) participation in conferences and forums; and (7) close collaboration with State and Federal regulators on implementation of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, including coordination on consistent examination procedures.

B. Proposed Effective Date

As published, the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments both had effective dates of August 1, 2015. Section 801 of the CRA precludes a rule from taking effect until the agency promulgating the rule submits a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of Congress and to the Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office (GAO). 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A). “Major rules,” as defined under the CRA (which includes the TILA-RESPA Final Rule), have several additional procedural requirements, including that they cannot take effect until 60 days after (1) publication in the Federal Register or (2) receipt by Congress, whichever is later. Although the TILA-RESPA Final Rule was published on December 31, 2013, and received widespread public and Congressional attention, the Bureau recently discovered that it inadvertently had not submitted the rule report to Congress as required. Immediately upon discovering its error, the Bureau submitted the rule report to both Houses of Congress and the GAO on June 16, 2015. Under the CRA, the TILA-RESPA Final Rule cannot take effect until, at the earliest, August 15, 2015, two weeks after the currently-scheduled effective date.

The Bureau continues to believe that implementation of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule will provide significant benefits to consumers and that, therefore, its earliest practically feasible implementation remains essential to aid consumer understanding of mortgage loan transactions. The Bureau recognizes, as it always has, that the TILA-RESPA Final Rule poses perhaps unique implementation challenges for industry, requiring major operational changes and close coordination among many different parties. At the same time, the Bureau further continues to believe that the nearly 21-month implementation period, coupled with the Bureau's significant regulatory implementation support efforts, afforded all participants a reasonable opportunity to come into compliance by the August 1 date. The Bureau understands that industry has dedicated significant resources to implementation readiness and appreciates that many organizations are well prepared to meet the original August 1 effective date.

Nonetheless, as explained above, the TILA-RESPA Final Rule cannot take effect until the CRA Effective Date. Given that some delay in the effective date is now required, the Bureau believes that a brief additional delay may benefit both consumers and industry more than would allowing the new rules to take effect on the CRA Effective Date. The Bureau recognizes that a mid-month effective date may create additional challenges and also recognizes that adjusting operational systems from a target readiness date of August 1 to a target readiness date of August 15 is likely to pose implementation challenges for many organizations. Moreover, in recent weeks, the Bureau has learned that delays in the delivery of system updates have left creditors and others with limited time to fully test all of their systems and system components to ensure that each system works with the others in an effective manner. These delays pose risks to the smooth implementation of the new forms mandated under the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure, particularly given the potential challenges for institutions of stopping and restarting their progress toward implementation readiness.

Accordingly, for the reasons stated, the Bureau is proposing a brief delay to the CRA Effective Date and the effective date for the TILA-RESPA Amendments to October 3, 2015. The Bureau believes that scheduling the effective date on a Saturday may allow for smoother implementation by affording industry time over the weekend to launch new systems configurations and to test systems. A Saturday launch is also consistent with existing industry plans tied to the Saturday August 1 effective date. The Bureau believes that a longer delay in implementation would impose unnecessary costs on both those segments of industry that have worked hardest to implement on time and on consumers and would be inconsistent with the underlying intent to aid consumer understanding of mortgage loan transactions.

The Bureau solicits comment on all aspects of this proposal. In particular, the Bureau asks commenters to provide specific detail and any available data regarding current and planned practices, as well as relevant knowledge and specific facts about any benefits, costs, or other impacts on both industry and consumers of this proposal. Specifically, the Bureau solicits comment regarding the proposed extension of the effective date to October 3, 2015, as well as alternative dates for extension, including the prospect of allowing the new rules to take effect on the CRA Effective Date.

III. Legal Authority

The Bureau is proposing to exercise its rulemaking authority pursuant to its TILA section 105(a), RESPA section 19(a), and Dodd-Frank Act section 1022(b)(1) to delay the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments.

The legal authority for the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments are described in detail in the Legal Authority parts of the TILA-RESPA Final-Rule and Amendments, respectively. As amended by the Dodd-Frank Act, TILA section 105(a), 15 U.S.C. 1604(a), directs the Bureau to prescribe regulations to carry out the purposes of TILA and provides that such regulations may contain additional requirements, classifications, differentiations, or other provisions, and may provide for such adjustments and exceptions for all or any class of transactions, that the Bureau judges are necessary or proper to effectuate the purposes of TILA, to prevent circumvention or evasion thereof, or to facilitate compliance. Section 19(a) of RESPA, 12 U.S.C. 2617(a), authorizes the Bureau to prescribe such rules and regulations and to make such interpretations and grant such reasonable exemptions for classes of transactions as may be necessary to achieve the purposes of RESPA. Additionally, under Dodd-Frank Act section 1022(b)(1), the Bureau has general authority to prescribe rules “as may be necessary or appropriate to enable the Bureau to administer and carry out the purposes and objectives of the Federal consumer financial laws, and to prevent evasions thereof.” 15 U.S.C. 5512(b)(1). TILA and RESPA are Federal consumer financial laws. Accordingly, in proposing this rule, the Bureau is exercising its authority under Dodd-Frank Act section 1022(b) to prescribe rules under TILA, RESPA, and title X of the Dodd-Frank Act that carry out the purposes and objectives and prevent evasion of those laws. Section 1022(b)(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act prescribes certain standards for rulemaking that the Bureau must follow in exercising its authority under section 1022(b)(1). 12 U.S.C. 5512(b)(2).

IV. Section-by-Section Analysis Section 1026.1 Authority, Purpose, Coverage, Organization, Enforcement, and Liability 1(d) Organization 1(d)(5)

Comment 1(d)(5)-1 provides clarity regarding the application of the effective date to transactions covered by the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments. The Bureau is proposing conforming amendments to comment 1(d)(5)-1 to reflect the proposed change in effective date to October 3, 2015.

Section 1026.19 Certain Mortgage and Variable-Rate Transactions 19(g) Special Information Booklet at Time of Application 19(g)(2) Permissible Changes

Comment 19(g)(2)-3 refers to the general restriction on changing the settlement cost booklet's title under § 1026.19(g)(2)(iv) and comment 19(g)(1)-1 and explains that, until the Bureau issues a version of the special information booklet relating to the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure under §§ 1026.37 and 1026.38, for applications that are received on or after August 1, 2015, a creditor may change the title appearing on the cover of the version of the special information booklet in use before August 1, 2015, provided the words “settlement costs” are used in the title. The Bureau is proposing conforming amendments to comment 19(g)(2)-3 to reflect the proposed change in effective date to October 3, 2015.

Section 1026.43 Minimum Standards for Transactions Secured by a Dwelling

In addition to the amendments to the Official Interpretations discussed above, the Bureau is proposing one amendment to an amendatory instruction that relates to FR Doc. 2014-25503, published on November 3, 2014. Specifically, the Bureau proposes to amend the instruction, which is drafted so the interpretation would take effect on August 1, 2015, to coordinate with the original effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule. The subject of the amendatory instruction, Paragraph 43(e)(3)(iv)-2, Relationship to RESPA tolerance cure, will replace an existing clarification of the relationship between tolerance cures and Regulation Z points and fees cures. The proposed amendment would preserve this coordination by having the interpretation take effect on October 3, 2015, instead of August 1, 2015.

V. Effective Date

The Bureau is proposing to move the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments to October 3, 2015. Additionally, the Bureau is proposing to make a conforming amendment to an amendatory instruction that relates to FR Doc. 2014-25503. After considering comments received on the proposal, the Bureau will publish a final rule finalizing an effective date for the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and TILA-RESPA Amendments on an expedited schedule. The Bureau proposes that any final rule delaying the effective date and amending the amendatory instruction take effect immediately upon publication in the Federal Register. Section 553(d) of the APA generally requires that the effective date of a final rule be at least 30 days after publication of a final rule, except for (1) a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or relives a restriction; (2) interpretive rules or statements of policy; or (3) as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(d). The Bureau proposes that good cause exists for the final rule for the delay of the effective date to become effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register to reduce industry and consumer confusion and market disruption.

The Bureau also is proposing to make conforming amendments to two provisions of the Regulation Z Official Interpretations (commentary) that were adopted by the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, as discussed in the Section-by-Section Analysis above. The Bureau proposes that any final rule amending the affected commentary provisions take effect on the same effective date as the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and TILA-RESPA Amendments.

VI. Section 1022(b)(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act A. Overview

In developing the proposed rule, the Bureau has considered potential benefits, costs, and impacts.8 The Bureau requests comment on the preliminary analysis presented below as well as submissions of additional data that could inform the Bureau's analysis of the benefits, costs, and impacts of the proposed rule. The Bureau has consulted, or offered to consult with, the prudential regulators; the Securities and Exchange Commission; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General; the Federal Housing Finance Agency; the Federal Trade Commission; the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and the Department of the Treasury, including regarding consistency with any prudential, market, or systemic objectives administered by such agencies.

8 Specifically, section 1022(b)(2)(A) of the Dodd-Frank Act calls for the Bureau to consider the potential benefits and costs of a regulation to consumers and covered persons, including the potential reduction of access by consumers to consumer financial products or services; the impact on depository institutions and credit unions with $10 billion or less in total assets as described in section 1026 of the Dodd-Frank Act; and the impact on consumers in rural areas.

Because of the Bureau's error, the TILA-RESPA Final Rule cannot go into effect until the CRA Effective Date. As a result, affected covered persons will incur costs associated with delaying the implementation date.9 These costs include communication with and training of the staff, software programming, vendor and outside supplier coordination, advertising and product development costs, and broker and settlement agent coordination. The Bureau believes that these costs are likely higher for larger creditors and creditors that rely primarily on proprietary systems rather than on third-party software vendors.10 While many of these costs are largely incurred with the initial delay to the CRA Effective Date, affected entities may incur additional costs for subsequent delay beyond August 15, including ongoing training, testing, and opportunity costs. Similarly, consumers will incur costs associated with delaying the effective date. These costs will consist mostly of delayed benefits described in the 1022(b) analysis of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, primarily improved consumer understanding of mortgage loan transactions and an increased ability to shop for a mortgage loan. The longer the delay in the implementation of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule is, the greater the cost to consumers.

9 As in the 1022(b) analysis of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, some service providers, such as software vendors, will incur costs, as well, but these are not covered persons for the purposes of this analysis.

10 As in the 1022(b) analysis of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, the Bureau believes that approximately 5 percent of creditors do not rely on third-party vendors.

Because the TILA-RESPA Final Rule cannot become effective before the CRA Effective Date, the Bureau has evaluated the benefits, costs, and impacts of the proposed rule, assuming that the TILA-RESPA Final Rule would become effective on August 15 absent this proposal. The Bureau has relied on a variety of data sources to consider the potential benefits, costs, and impacts of the proposed rule. In some instances, the requisite data are not available or are quite limited. Data with which to quantify the benefits of the rule are particularly limited. As a result, portions of this analysis rely in part on general economic principles to provide a qualitative discussion of the benefits, costs, and impacts of the proposed rule.

This proposed rule proposes to amend the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments. In the 1022(b)(2) analyses of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and TILA-RESPA Amendments, the Bureau previously considered the costs, benefits, and impact of the rules.

B. Potential Benefits and Costs to Consumers and Covered Persons

The only consumers who would be affected by the proposed rule are consumers that would engage in mortgage shopping between the CRA Effective Date and the proposed effective date of October 3. Those consumers will be harmed by not receiving the benefits of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule. Consumers shopping for a mortgage during the proposed period of delay in the effective date would not receive the benefits of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, even if they closed on their loan after the proposed delayed effective date. The benefits of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule include easier-to-understand disclosures and the requirement that the creditor deliver the closing disclosure containing the settlement information as well as the Truth in Lending disclosures at least three days before closing.11 Some consumers may benefit if the proposed delay results in the industry using the time for more system testing or other preparation leading to a smoother transition to the new disclosure regime. As in the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, the Bureau cannot quantify either the benefit or the cost of the proposed rule to consumers.

11 These and other benefits are described in detail in the 1022(b) analysis of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule.

Due to industry's implementation difficulties, the Bureau believes that the proposed delay of the CRA Effective Date could benefit many creditors, mortgage brokers, and settlement agents, by allowing them more time to transition to the new disclosure regime required by the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and diminishing the magnitude of any potential disruptions associated with the transition. The proposed delay in the effective date could also benefit them to the extent that it allows them to delay incurring any of the costs described in the TILA-RESPA Final Rule 1022(b) analysis. Creditors and other affected persons might also incur costs due to the proposed delay of the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule. The Bureau believes that three categories would benefit or incur adjustment costs: Creditors that engage in mortgage lending, mortgage brokers, and settlement agents. The Bureau estimates that there were about 11,150 creditors engaged in mortgage lending in 2014 and that there were about 7,000 mortgage brokers and about 7,700 settlement agent firms.12

12 The primary source of data used in this analysis is 2013 data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The empirical analysis also uses data from the 4th quarter 2013 bank and thrift Call Reports, and the 4th quarter 2013 credit union Call Reports from the NCUA, to identify financial institutions and their characteristics. Unless otherwise specified, the numbers provided include appropriate projections made to account for any missing information, for example, any institutions that do not report under HMDA. The Bureau also utilizes data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Bureau analyzes data from all creditors, both the ones that report under HMDA and the ones that do not, with the exception of non-depository institutions that do not report under HMDA. For HMDA reporters, the Bureau uses the data reported. For HMDA non-reporters, the Bureau uses projections based on the match of the Call Report data with HMDA.

The Bureau estimated in its 1022(b) analysis of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule that 95 percent of creditors (about 10,600) rely on third-party vendors for their software, and the Bureau estimates that these creditors would not incur significant software programming costs. However, for the 5 percent of the creditors (approximately 560) that do not rely on third-party vendors, the proposed change of the effective date would require some programming expense. While a portion of this cost is already imposed by the delay in the effective date to the CRA Effective Date and therefore would not be costs imposed by this proposed rule, the Bureau believes that some of this cost might be higher if the effective date is delayed further to October 3. The Bureau is uncertain as to the extent of programming expense and requests comment on such expense.

Moreover, the proposed change might also require rearranging an already established operational schedule and business processes. This potential disruption might be costly and require additional effort from the employees and additional expenses due to, for example, overtime pay. This potential disruption might especially affect creditors not relying primarily on third-party vendors.

The Bureau believes that mortgage brokers and settlement agents would incur similar coordination and implementation costs. The Bureau is uncertain of the extent of such costs and requests comment on such costs.

Finally, affected persons would incur costs in internal communications, training, and software re-programming, among other costs. The Bureau believes that the proposed change in the effective date might require communicating with any external suppliers of forms and booklets and potentially ordering additional forms in the current format. Any pre-ordered Loan Estimates or Closing Disclosures mandated by the TILA-RESPA Final Rule would still be usable after October 3, and the Bureau does not believe that the current forms are significantly more expensive than the ones that are required by the TILA-RESPA Final Rule; thus, there should be no net increase in expense of procuring forms and booklets. While many of these costs are already imposed as a result of the delay in the effective date to the CRA Effective Date (and therefore would not be costs imposed by this proposed rule), the Bureau believes that some of the costs might be higher if the Bureau adopts the rule as proposed and further delays the effective date until October 3. The Bureau is uncertain at this time as to the extent of such costs and requests comment on any such costs.

C. Impact on Depository Institutions With No More Than $10 Billion in Assets

The vast majority of the creditors described above have no more than $10 billion in assets. The Bureau believes that depository institutions with no more than $10 billion in assets would not be differentially affected by the proposed extension of the effective date.

D. Impact on Access to Credit

The Bureau does not believe that there would be an adverse impact on credit availability resulting from the proposed extension of the effective date.

E. Impact on Rural Areas

The Bureau does not believe that the proposed rule would have a unique impact on consumers in rural areas.

VII. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, requires each agency to consider the potential impact of its regulations on small entities, including small businesses, small governmental units, and small nonprofit organizations. The RFA defines a “small business” as a business that meets the size standard developed by the Small Business Administration pursuant to the Small Business Act.

The RFA generally requires an agency to conduct an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) and a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) of any rule subject to notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Bureau also is subject to certain additional procedures under the RFA involving the convening of a panel to consult with small business representatives prior to proposing a rule for which an IRFA is required.

The Bureau concludes that an IRFA is not required for this proposed rule because the proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. As discussed above, the proposal would extend the CRA Effective Date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the August 1, 2015 effective date of the TILA-RESPA Amendments to October 3, 2015.

Number and Classes of Affected Entities

The following table provides the Bureau's estimate of the number and types of entities to which the proposed rule would apply. The table summarizes the number of entities that would be affected if this proposal were finalized.13

13 The details of cost quantification are described in the 1022(b) analysis above. The average cost per mortgage creditor includes the weighted programming cost for the 5 percent of creditors that do not utilize third-party software vendors. The Bureau assumes that all mortgage creditor non-depository institutions are below the Small Business Administration's threshold for small entities (revenue of $38.5 million).

Category NAICS codes Affected
  • entities
  • Small affected
  • entities
  • Mortgage Creditors 522110, 522120, 522130, 522292 11,150 10,403 Mortgage Brokers 522310 7,007 6,895 Settlement Agents 541191 7,719 7,580

    The Bureau believes that, as in the 1022(b) analysis of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, 5 percent of creditors do not utilize software vendors. Some of these creditors could incur significant costs; however, the fraction of small creditors incurring these costs (5 percent) is not substantial.

    Certification

    Accordingly, the undersigned hereby certifies that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    VIII. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), Federal agencies are generally required to seek the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for information collection requirements prior to implementation. The collections of information related to the TILA-RESPA Final Rule has been previously reviewed and approved by OMB in accordance with the PRA and assigned OMB Control Number 3170-0015 (Regulation Z) and 3170-0016 (Regulation X). Under the PRA, the Bureau may not conduct or sponsor and, notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person is not required to respond to an information collection unless the information collection displays a valid control number assigned by OMB.

    The Bureau has determined that this proposed rule would not have any new or revised information collection requirements (recordkeeping, reporting, or disclosure requirements) on covered entities or members of the public that would constitute collections of information requiring OMB approval under the PRA. The Bureau welcomes comments on this determination or any other aspects of this proposal for purposes of the PRA. Comments should be submitted to the Bureau as instructed in the ADDRESSES part of this notice and to the attention of the Paperwork Reduction Act Officer. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1026

    Advertising, Consumer protection, Credit, Credit unions, Mortgages, National banks, Recordkeeping and recordkeeping requirements, Reporting, Savings associations, Truth in lending.

    Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Bureau proposes to amend Regulation Z, 12 CFR part 1026, as set forth below:

    PART 1026—TRUTH IN LENDING (REGULATION Z) 1. The authority citation for part 1026 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 2601, 2603-2605, 2607, 2609, 2617, 5511, 5512, 5532, 5581; 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.

    2. In amendatory instruction 5, appearing on page 65300 in the Federal Register on November 3, 2014, revise “Effective August 1, 2015” to read “Effective October 3, 2015.” 3. In Supplement I to Part 1026-Official Interpretations, as amended by 78 FR 79730 (Dec. 31, 2013): A. Under Section 1026.1—Authority, Purpose, Coverage, Organization, Enforcement and Liability, under subheading 1(d) Organization, Paragraph 1(d)(5), paragraph 1 is revised. B. Under Section 1026.19—Certain Mortgage and Variable-Rate Transactions, under subheading 19(g) Special information booklet at time of application, 19(g)(2) Permissible changes, paragraph 1 is revised.

    The revisions read as follows:

    Supplement I to Part 1026—Official Interpretations Subpart A—General
    § 1026.1 Authority, purpose, coverage, organization, enforcement and liability.

    1(d) Organization.

    Paragraph 1(d)(5).

    1. Effective date. The Bureau's revisions to Regulation X and Regulation Z published on December 31, 2013 (the TILA-RESPA Final Rule), apply to covered loans (closed-end credit transactions secured by real property) for which the creditor or mortgage broker receives an application on or after October 3, 2015 (the “effective date”), except that new § 1026.19(e)(2), the amendments to § 1026.28(a)(1), and the amendments to the commentary to § 1026.29, become effective on October 3, 2015, without respect to whether an application has been received. The provisions of § 1026.19(e)(2) apply prior to a consumer's receipt of the disclosures required by § 1026.19(e)(1)(i), and therefore, restrict activity that may occur prior to receipt of an application by a creditor or mortgage broker under § 1026.19(e). These provisions include § 1026.19(e)(2)(i), which restricts the fees that may be imposed on a consumer, § 1026.19(e)(2)(ii), which requires a statement to be included on written estimates of terms or costs specific to a consumer, and § 1026.19(e)(2)(iii), which prohibits creditors from requiring the submission of documents verifying information related to the consumer's application. Accordingly, the provisions under § 1026.19(e)(2) are effective on October 3, 2015, without respect to whether an application has been received on that date. In addition, the amendments to § 1026.28 and the commentary to § 1026.29 govern the preemption of State laws and thus, the amendments to those provisions and associated commentary made by the TILA-RESPA Final Rule are effective on October 3, 2015, without respect to whether an application has been received on that date. The following examples illustrate the application of the effective date for the TILA-RESPA Final Rule.

    i. General. Assume a creditor receives an application, as defined under § 1026.2(a)(3) of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, for a transaction subject to § 1026.19(e) and (f) on October 3, 2015, and that consummation of the transaction occurs on October 31, 2015. The amendments of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, including the requirements to provide the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure under § 1026.19(e) and (f), apply to the transaction. The creditor would also be required to provide the special information booklet under § 1026.19(g) of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, as applicable. Assume a creditor receives an application, as defined under § 1026.2(a)(3) of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, for a transaction subject to § 1026.19(e) and (f) on September 30, 2015, and that consummation of the transaction occurs on October 30, 2015. The amendments of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, including the requirements to provide the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure under § 1026.19(e) and (f), do not apply to the transaction, except that the provisions of § 1026.19(e)(2), specifically § 1026.19(e)(2)(i), (e)(2)(ii), and (e)(2)(iii), do apply to the transaction beginning on October 3, 2015 because they become effective on October 3, 2015, without respect to whether an application, as defined under § 1026.2(a)(3) of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, has been received by the creditor or mortgage broker on that date. The creditor does not provide the Closing Disclosure so that it is received by the consumer at least three business days before consummation; instead, the creditor and the settlement agent provide the disclosures under § 1026.19(a)(2)(ii) and § 1024.8, as applicable, under the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, respectively. The requirement to provide the special information booklet under § 1026.19(g) of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule would also not apply to the transaction. But the creditor would provide the special information booklet under § 1024.6, as applicable.

    ii. Predisclosure written estimates. Assume a creditor receives a request from a consumer for a written estimate of terms or costs specific to the consumer on October 3, 2015, before the consumer submits an application to the creditor, and thus before the consumer has received the disclosures required under § 1026.19(e)(1)(i). The creditor, if it provides such written estimate to the consumer, must comply with the requirements of § 1026.19(e)(2)(ii) and provide the required statement on the written estimate, even though the creditor has not received an application for a transaction subject to § 1026.19(e) and (f) on that date.

    iii. Request for preemption determination. Assume a creditor submits a request to the Bureau under § 1026.28(a)(1) for a determination of whether a State law is inconsistent with the disclosure requirements of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule on October 3, 2015. Because the amendments to § 1026.28(a)(1) are effective on that date and do not depend on whether the creditor has received an application as defined under § 1026.2(a)(3) of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, § 1026.28(a)(1), as amended by the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, is applicable to the request on that date and the Bureau would make a determination based on the amendments of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, including, for example, the requirements of § 1026.37.

    Subpart C—Closed End Credit
    § 1026.19 Certain mortgage and variable-rate transactions.

    19(g)(2) Permissible changes.

    3. Permissible changes to title of booklets in use before October 3, 2015. Section 1026.19(g)(2)(iv) provides that the title appearing on the cover of the booklet shall not be changed. Comment 19(g)(1)-1 states that the Bureau may, from time to time, issue revised or alternative versions of the special information booklet that address transactions subject to § 1026.19(g) by publishing a notice in the Federal Register. Until the Bureau issues a version of the special information booklet relating to the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure under §§ 1026.37 and 1026.38, for applications that are received on or after October 3, 2015, a creditor may change the title appearing on the cover of the version of the special information booklet in use before October 3, 2015, provided the words “settlement costs” are used in the title. See comment 1(d)(5)-1 for guidance regarding compliance with § 1026.19(g) for applications received on or after October 3, 2015.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Richard Cordray, Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15836 Filed 6-24-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2014-1008] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Witt-Penn Bridge Construction, Hackensack River; Jersey City, NJ AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish a safety zone on the navigable waters of the Hackensack River surrounding the Witt-Penn Bridge between Jersey City and Kearny, NJ. In response to a planned Witt-Penn Bridge construction project, this rule would allow the Coast Guard to prohibit all vessel traffic through the safety zone during bridge replacement operations, both planned and unforeseen, that could pose an imminent hazard to persons and vessels operating in the area. This rulemaking is necessary to provide for the safety of life in the vicinity of the construction of the Witt-Penn Bridge.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before August 25, 2015.

    Requests for public meetings must be received by the Coast Guard on or before July 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number using any one of the following methods:

    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    (2) Fax: (202) 493-2251.

    (3) Mail or Delivery: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001. Deliveries accepted between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. The telephone number is (202) 366-9329.

    See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for further instructions on submitting comments. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these three methods.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, contact Mr. Jeff Yunker, Coast Guard Sector New York; telephone (718) 354-4195, or email j[email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Acronyms COTP Captain of the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NJ DOT New Jersey Department of Transportation NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking A. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided.

    1. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online at http://www.regulations.gov, or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. If you submit a comment online, it will be considered received by the Coast Guard when you successfully transmit the comment. If you fax, hand deliver, or mail your comment, it will be considered as having been received by the Coast Guard when it is received at the Docket Management Facility. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a telephone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission.

    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number [USCG-2014-1008] in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on “Submit a Comment” on the line associated with this rulemaking.

    If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period and may change the rule based on your comments.

    2. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number (USCG-2014-1008) in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    3. Privacy Act

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

    4. Public Meeting

    We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for one, using one of the methods specified under ADDRESSES. Please explain why you believe a public meeting would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

    B. Regulatory History and Information

    The Coast Guard issued a Bridge Permit dated April 7, 2011 approving the location and construction of the Witt-Penn Bridge across the Hackensack River, mile 3.1, between Kearny and Jersey City, NJ. The Coast Guard published a Solicitation of Comments from NJ DOT in the First Coast Guard District Local Notice to Mariners #16 (April 23, 2014), #17 (April 30, 2014), #18 (May 7, 2014), #19 (May 14, 2014, and #20 (May 21, 2014). This solicitation requested comments regarding impacts to navigation from the following proposed tentative channel closures/restrictions:

    Approximate dates Channel closure/obstruction Description of work October 5, 2015 through June 20, 2017 Maximum of 40, one-day, Full Channel closures during this timeline Full channel closure for Heavy-Lift operations on 40 separate days. November 23, 2016 through December 13, 2016 Full Channel Closure Installation of the Main Span. December 13, 2016 through February 21, 2017 Channel Restriction—70 ft Vertical Clearance Complete Installation of Operating Systems.

    The contractor's barges will be moved completely out of the channel after work hours during the 40, one-day full channel closures. Closures will not be on consecutive days.

    The full channel closure dates are an estimate. The contractor's barges would block the entire Federal channel preventing any vessels from transiting upstream or downstream.

    The channel restriction is based on the lift span not operating, but the channel will remain available for vessel transits with an air draft under 70 ft.

    Due to project delays construction at the bridge site has been delayed until October 5, 2015 and the tentative channel closure/restriction dates have been revised to:

    Approximate dates Channel closure/obstruction Description of work March 14, 2016 through October 12, 2017 Maximum of 40, one-day, Full Channel closures during this timeline Full channel closure for Heavy-Lift operations on 40 separate days. April 14, 2017 through May 4, 2017 Full Channel Closure Installation of the Main Span. May 5, 2017 through July 17, 2017 Channel Restriction—70 ft Vertical Clearance Complete Installation of Operating Systems.

    In addition, channel closure requests are expected when the existing Witt-Penn Bridge is demolished. This is tentatively scheduled to take place between approximately July 2017 and December 31, 2021.

    C. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis for this rule is 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1, which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to define regulatory safety zones.

    The purpose of this rulemaking is to ensure the safety of vessels and workers from hazards associated with construction on the Witt-Penn Bridge.

    D. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The proposed rule will give the COTP authority to prohibit vessel traffic on this portion of the Hackensack River, when necessary, for the safety of vessels and workers during construction work in the channel. The Coast Guard will close the designated area to all traffic during any circumstance, planned or unforeseen, that poses an imminent threat to waterway users or construction operations in the area. Complete waterway closures will be minimized to that period absolutely necessary and made with as much advanced notice as possible. During closures there will not be enough space for mariners to transit through the safety zone between the construction vessels and the current bridge piers.

    The COTP would notify the public of the enforcement of this safety zone by marine broadcasts or local notice to mariners. Such notifications would include the date and times of enforcement, along with any pre-determined conditions of entry.

    A navigation safety situation created by construction of the new Witt-Penn Bridge and removal of the current Witt-Penn Bridge prompted the proposed rule. This bridge carries Route 7 over the Hackensack River. The existing Witt-Penn Bridge was built in 1930, has been declared functionally obsolete by the Federal Highway Administration. NJ DOT has hired China Construction America Civil, Inc. to construct a new fixed bridge approximately 200 feet upstream of the existing bridge and remove the existing movable, vertical lift bridge. This new bridge will provide a minimum vertical clearance of 70-feet above Mean High Water in the closed position as compared to 35-feet for the existing lift bridge. The new bridge will provide the same 158 foot horizontal clearance. Construction is scheduled to begin mid to late 2015. Scheduled completion of the new bridge and removal of the old bridge is 2021.

    The Coast Guard has discussed this project with NJ DOT to determine whether the project can be completed without channel closures and, if possible, what impact that would have on the project timeline. Through these discussions, it became clear that while the majority of construction activities during the span of this project would not require waterway closures, there are certain tasks that can only be completed in the channel and will require closing the waterway.

    E. Regulatory Analyses

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

    1. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    The Coast Guard expects the economic impact of this proposed rule to be minimal as this proposed safety zone will be limited to the Hackensack River area, closures will be of a limited duration, and waterway users have already been notified of the proposed closures through the Local Notice to Mariners.

    Advanced public notifications would also be made to local mariners through appropriate means, which may include but are not limited to marine broadcasts or Local Notice to Mariners which would allow the public an opportunity to plan for these closures.

    2. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    This safety zone would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. Waterway closures will be of a limited duration, and waterway users have already been notified of the proposed closures through the Local Notice to Mariners. Public notifications would also be made to local mariners through appropriate means, which may include but are not limited to marine broadcasts or Local Notice to Mariners which would allow the public an opportunity to plan for these closures.

    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    3. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    4. Collection of Information

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

    5. Federalism

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

    6. Protest Activities

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

    7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    8. Taking of Private Property

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

    9. Civil Justice Reform

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

    10. Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks

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

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

    This proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 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.

    12. Energy Effects

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

    13. Technical Standards

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

    14. Environment

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.161 to read as follows:
    § 165.161 Safety Zone; Witt-Penn Bridge Construction, Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJ.

    (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All waters from surface to bottom of the Hackensack River bound by the following approximate positions: North of a line drawn from 40°44′27.4″ N., 074°05′09.8″ W. to 40°44′22.9″ N., 074°04′53.1″ W. (NJ PATH Bridge at mile 3.0), and south of a line drawn from 40°44′33.2″ N., 074°04′51.0″ W. to 40°44′28.2″ N., 074°04′42.7″ W. (500 feet north of the new Witt-Penn Bridge) (NAD 83).

    (b) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this section:

    (1) Designated representative. A “designated representative” is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard who has been designated by the COTP to act on his or her behalf. A designated representative may be on an official patrol vessel or may be on shore and will communicate with vessels via VHF-FM radio or loudhailer. In addition, members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary may be present to inform vessel operators of this regulation.

    (2) Official patrol vessels. Official patrol vessels may consist of any Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, state, or local law enforcement vessels assigned or approved by the COTP.

    (c) Enforcement periods. (1) This safety zone is in effect permanently 1 November 2015 but will only be enforced when deemed necessary by the COTP.

    (2) The Coast Guard will rely on the methods described in 33 CFR 165.7 to notify the public of the time and duration of any closure of the safety zone. Violations of this safety zone may be reported to the COTP at 718-354-4353 or on VHF-Channel 16.

    (d) Regulations. (1) The general regulations contained in 33 CFR 165.23, as well as the following regulations, apply.

    (2) During periods of enforcement, all persons and vessels must comply with all orders and directions from the COTP or a COTP's designated representative.

    (3) During periods of enforcement, upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel by siren, radio, flashing light, or other means, the operator of the vessel must proceed as directed.

    Dated: June 12, 2015. G. Loebl, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port New York.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15761 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Chapter III [Docket ID ED-2015-OSERS-0070] Proposed Priority and Definitions—Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center-Targeted Communities AGENCY:

    Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Proposed priority and definitions.

    [CFDA Number: 84.264F.] SUMMARY:

    The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) proposes a priority and definitions to fund a cooperative agreement to develop and support a Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Targeted Communities (VRTAC-TC). We take this action to focus Federal financial assistance on an identified national need. We intend the VRTAC-TC to improve the capacity of State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and their partners to increase participation levels for individuals with disabilities from low-income communities and to equip these individuals with the skills and competencies needed to obtain high-quality competitive integrated employment.

    DATES:

    We must receive your comments on or before July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not accept comments submitted by fax or by email or those submitted after the comment period. To ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies, please submit your comments only once. In addition, please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under “Are you new to the site?”

    Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: If you mail or deliver your comments about these proposed regulations, address them to Sandy DeRobertis, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5094, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2800.

    Privacy Note:

    The Department's policy is to make all comments received from members of the public available for public viewing in their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to include in their comments only information that they wish to make publicly available.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sandy DeRobertis. Telephone: (202) 245-6769 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in developing the notice of final priority and definitions, we urge you to identify clearly the specific section of the proposed priority or definition that each comment addresses.

    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and their overall requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from this proposed priority and these proposed definitions. Please let us know of any further ways we could reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while preserving the effective and efficient administration of the program.

    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about this notice in Room 5094, 550 12th Street SW., PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2800, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays.

    Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record: On request we will provide an appropriate accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Purpose of Program: Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (the Rehabilitation Act), the Rehabilitation Services Administration makes grants to States and public or nonprofit agencies and organizations (including institutions of higher education) to support projects that provide training and technical assistance (TA) services designed to increase the numbers of, and improve the skills of, qualified personnel (especially rehabilitation counselors) who are trained to: (1) Provide vocational, medical, social, and psychological rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities; (2) assist individuals with communication and related disorders; and (3) provide other services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act.

    Program Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 772(a)(1).

    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 385.

    Proposed Priority

    This notice contains one proposed priority.

    Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Targeted Communities.

    Background

    State VR agencies are authorized to operate statewide comprehensive, coordinated, effective, efficient, and accountable VR programs. Each program is an integral part of a statewide workforce development system and is designed to assess, plan, develop, and provide VR services for individuals with disabilities, consistent with their unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice, so that they may prepare for and engage in competitive integrated employment and achieve economic self-sufficiency.

    Poverty and disability, considered separately, can, and often do, compound the challenges that workforce development programs and VR programs need to address when offering employment and training services (DeNavas-Walt and Proctor, 2014). For example, 2012-2013 data reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) indicate that only 62 percent of students with disabilities and 73 percent of low-income students graduate from high school, as opposed to 81 percent of students overall. Indeed, regardless of age, individuals who are economically disadvantaged or disabled lag behind their peers, on average, on almost every academic and professional measure, and individuals who are both economically disadvantaged and disabled tend to lag further behind.

    Moreover, the barriers to employment faced by individuals who are both economically disadvantaged and disabled are compounded when they reside in communities that have high crime rates, low-performing schools, insufficient access to public transportation, few employers, and a paucity of social service programs. Accordingly, State VR agencies have had limited success when serving economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities in these communities.

    Research suggests that the substandard participation rates and types of employment outcomes achieved through the VR system by economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities may be shaped more by social and economic circumstances than by their cognitive, physical, or communication limitations or by their limited occupational experience, skills, and training. In general, these studies point out that as economic conditions improve and as unemployment levels decline, the demand for disability payments and VR services decreases (Fremstad, 2009; RSA, 2015).

    Economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities tend to have greater VR needs and fewer resources than more financially secure individuals with disabilities. Further, individuals with disabilities are much more likely to experience material hardships—such as food insecurity, inability to pay rent, mortgage, and utilities, or inability to afford needed medical care—than individuals without disabilities at the same income levels (Fremstad, 2009). Likewise, individuals with disabilities have greater VR needs because of the all-too-often debilitating impact upon their workforce development skills resulting from longstanding inferior access to quality schools and community support systems. Accordingly, in low-income communities there tends to be a heightened need for comprehensive wrap-around VR services for individuals with disabilities, including basic education, remedial learning, and literacy services.

    The VRTAC-TC would seek both to address the persistent opportunity gaps that exist, regardless of race, between poor neighborhoods and middle class and wealthier communities and to eliminate barriers that too often prevent individuals with disabilities from low-income communities from fully accessing and benefitting from VR services. To help remedy the support gaps that may exist, the VRTAC-TC would promote greater availability of an array of comprehensive VR services, including pre-employment transition services, transition services, and customized VR services.

    The VRTAC-TC would work from the assumption that VR alone cannot effectively and efficiently address the persistent, pervasive, multi-layered economic and disability-related barriers to employment specific to economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities who live in targeted communities. This priority, therefore, is designed to provide State VR agencies and their partners with the skills and competencies needed to effectively and efficiently address these barriers and help these individuals achieve competitive integrated employment.

    The VRTAC-TC would provide intensive technical assistance to State VR agencies and their partners that is designed to maximize community support services in targeted communities, complement VR services, and promote competitive integrated employment consistent with informed choice for economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities.

    These targeted communities, serving as intensive field-based intervention sites, would also serve as the basis for the VRTAC-TC, along with an online VR community of practice, to develop effective practices for serving VR consumers throughout the Nation who are both disabled and economically disadvantaged.

    References DeNavas-Walt, Carmen and Proctor, Bernadette D., “Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013” (Washington: Bureau of the Census, 2014), available at www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2014/demo/p60-249.pdf. Fremstad, Shawn, “Half in Ten: Why Taking Disability into Account is Essential to Reducing Income Poverty and Expanding Economic Inclusion” (Washington: Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2009), available at www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/reports/half-in-ten/. National Center for Education Statistics: “2012-2013 Graduation Rates,” available at www.nces.ed.gov/. Rehabilitation Services Administration (2015). RSA-911 Case Service Report for FY 2013 (non-published). Proposed Priority

    The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposes to fund a cooperative agreement to establish a Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Targeted Communities (VRTAC-TC) to provide technical assistance (TA) and training to upgrade and increase the competency, skills, and knowledge of vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors and other professionals to assist economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities (as defined in this notice) to achieve competitive integrated employment outcomes.

    The VRTAC-TC will facilitate linkages for the State VR agencies through substantial outreach to partner agencies within targeted communities (as defined in this notice) to increase the resources and key partnerships needed to address the daily living stressors that often result in unsuccessful VR case closures, including childcare needs, homelessness, hunger, safety concerns, interpersonal issues, and lack of transportation, basic or remedial education services, and literacy services.

    TA and Training Deliverables

    The VRTAC-TC must, at a minimum, develop and provide training, TA, and opportunities for ongoing discussion in each of the following areas to rehabilitation professionals and staff from both (1) the State VR agencies and partner agencies who are serving the targeted communities, and (2) diverse service providers throughout the Nation, including State VR agency staff, who work with high-leverage groups with national applicability (as defined in this notice) in other economically disadvantaged communities similar to the targeted communities that are the focus of this priority:

    (a) Developing and maintaining formal and informal partnerships and relationships with relevant stakeholders (including, but not limited to, State and local social service and community development agencies, correctional facilities, community rehabilitation programs (CRPs), school systems, and employers) for the following coordinated activities:

    (1) Increasing referrals to the State VR system for economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities from at least two high-leverage groups with national applicability residing in each of the targeted communities; and

    (2) Facilitating the provision of support services by stakeholders to VR consumers and applicants from at least two high-leverage groups with national applicability residing in each of the targeted communities;

    (b) Developing and implementing outreach policies and procedures based on evidence-based and promising practices that ensure that consumers with disabilities from each of the targeted communities are located, identified, and evaluated for services; and

    (c) Developing and implementing collaborative and coordinated service strategies designed to increase the number of consumers with disabilities from targeted communities who are served by the State VR agencies, receive support services from other stakeholders, and obtain, maintain, regain, or advance in competitive integrated employment.

    Project Activities

    To meet the requirements of this priority, the VRTAC-TC must, at a minimum, conduct the following activities:

    Knowledge Development Activities

    (a) Within the first year, survey each of the 80 State VR agencies regarding the action steps, including emerging, promising, and evidence-based practices utilized, that the VR agencies have previously used to address substandard participation levels and performance outcomes achieved by residents of targeted communities within their States;

    (b) Within the first year, conduct a literature review of emerging, promising, and evidence-based practices relevant to the work of the VRTAC-TC. The review should include, at a minimum, research on place-based interventions and the particular needs of economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities;

    (c) By the end of the first year, post on its Web site the results of its survey and literature review; and

    (d) Categorize, analyze, and provide an opportunity for interactive commentary by VR professionals about all information posted on its Web site in order to identify the workforce participation challenges and resources that underserved individuals with disabilities (as defined in this notice) from economically disadvantaged communities tend to have in common and to identify examples of the types of VR services that have been used to address their employment and training needs. This interactive process should facilitate both evaluating and adjusting the ongoing and planned interventions within the targeted communities and the development of effective practices for the nationwide VR community.

    Targeted Community Selection and Development

    (a) In the first year, survey each of the 80 State VR agencies to identify two or more groups of underserved individuals with disabilities from one or more targeted communities in each of their respective States. All identified targeted communities in each State must meet the eligibility requirements for designation as an Empowerment Zone under either 24 CFR 598.100 or 7 CFR 25.100;

    (b) Develop intensive TA (as defined in this notice) proposals for at least 20 targeted communities to present to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). The proposals must:

    (1) Include communities that reflect national diversity with respect to State, region, and culture. Communities must be situated in at least 12 States and territories located within no fewer than eight of the nine Census Divisions (State groupings) defined by the U.S. Census Bureau (For more information on Census Divisions, see www.census.gov/geo/reference/gtc/gtc_census_divreg.html). No more than two targeted communities may be located within any one State or territory, and no more than four may be located within any one Census Division; and

    (2) Include the following information for each targeted community recommended:

    (A) A map that shows the targeted community's boundaries and relevant demographic characteristics, including poverty concentration;

    (B) Documentation that within the targeted community's boundaries:

    (i) The median household income is below 200 percent of the Federal poverty level; and

    (ii) The rate of unemployment is at or above the national annual average rate;

    (C) A performance chart of State VR agency data that documents substandard participation levels and performance outcomes achieved by VR consumers and applicants from high-leverage groups with national applicability from the targeted communities in comparison to the State's overall performance that includes the following for all relevant groups:

    (i) The number of applicants and percentage of the overall population;

    (ii) The number and percentage of individuals determined eligible;

    (iii) The number and percentage of individuals receiving VR services pursuant to an individualized plan for employment;

    (iv) The number and percentage of individuals whose service records were closed without employment; and

    (v) The number and percentage of individuals whose service records were closed after achieving employment;

    (D) A brief (one or two pages) overview by the State VR agency addressing the following for high-leverage groups with national applicability from the targeted communities:

    (i) The factors that the agency believes have contributed to the substandard performance outlined in the chart; and

    (ii) Action steps that the VR agency has previously taken to address these performance gaps;

    (E) A two- or three-page proposed intensive TA work plan by the VRTAC-TC that addresses:

    (i) The performance gaps summarized in the chart required by paragraph (b)(2)(C) of this section;

    (ii) The barriers to employment described in the State VR agency's overview statement required by paragraph (b)(2)(D) of this section;

    (iii) The strategies being proposed to remediate the identified barriers in the targeted community;

    (iv) The potential replicability of the strategies in the work plan for targeted communities in other parts of the State; and

    (v) The potential to replicate the strategies in the work plan for targeted communities in other States; and

    (F) Letters of support from the State VR agency and partners in the community (e.g., employers, secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, and community leaders) stating their intent to work cooperatively with the VRTAC-TC should the targeted community be chosen as a recipient of intensive TA.

    Targeted Community Timeline

    (a) By the end of the first year, provide RSA with, at minimum, 10 proposals (as described in paragraph (b) of the “Targeted Community Selection and Development” section of this priority) from which RSA will select six to receive intensive TA from the VRTAC-TC;

    (b) By no later than the third quarter of the second year provide RSA with, at minimum, 10 proposals (as described in paragraph (b) of the “Targeted Community Selection and Development” section of this priority) in addition to the proposals described in paragraph (a) of this section, from which RSA will select six to receive intensive TA from the VRTAC-TC;

    (c) By no later than the first quarter of the second year, begin providing intensive TA to VR staff, CRPs, employers, education and training entities, and community leaders, as appropriate, in at least three of the targeted communities approved by RSA in the first year;

    (d) By no later than the third quarter of the second year, be providing intensive TA to VR staff, CRPs, employers, education and training entities, and community leaders, as appropriate, in all targeted communities approved by RSA in the first year;

    (e) By no later than the first quarter of the third year, begin providing intensive TA to VR staff, CRPs, employers, education and training entities, and community leaders, as appropriate, in at least three of the targeted communities approved by RSA in the second year; and

    (f) By no later than the third quarter of the third year, be providing intensive TA to VR staff, CRPs, employers, education and training entities, and community leaders, as appropriate, to all targeted communities approved by RSA in the second year.

    Technical Assistance Activities

    (a) At a minimum, provide intensive TA that is aligned with the proposals described in paragraph (b) of the Targeted Community Selection and Development section of this priority to the VR agency within each of the targeted communities on the following topic areas, as appropriate:

    (1) Using labor market data and occupational information to provide individuals with disabilities from high-leverage groups with national applicability who reside in targeted communities with information about job demand, skills matching, supports, education, training, and career options;

    (2) Providing disability-related consultation and services to employers about competitive integrated employment of economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities from high-leverage groups with national applicability;

    (3) Building and maintaining relationships in targeted communities with industry leaders, employer associations, and prospective employers of economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities from high-leverage groups with national applicability;

    (4) Building and maintaining relationships with secondary and post-secondary institutions and CRPs that serve to support transition activities and leverage programs and providers of basic education, remedial learning, and literacy services to the targeted communities and are committed to providing individualized wrap-around VR services that are attuned to the remedial and ongoing support services needed by economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities;

    (5) Building and maintaining alliances with schools, community organizations, and business leaders with a heightened understanding of the acculturation and assimilation issues within the targeted communities regarding culture, religion, language, dialect, and socioeconomic status that might be impeding full participation of the economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities from high-leverage groups with national applicability; and

    (6) Developing services for providers of customized training and other types of training that are directly responsive to employer needs and hiring requirements for economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities from high-leverage groups with national applicability;

    (b) By the end of the first year, post on its Web site State agency overview statements specific to high-leverage groups with national applicability along with related VR research studies identified by the VRTAC-TC;

    (c) Establish no fewer than two communities of practice with the following areas of focus:

    (1) One community of practice should be designed to specifically support State VR agency and related agency staff and management serving targeted communities; and

    (2) One community of practice should be designed to be open to all staff and management serving economically disadvantaged communities nationwide and to address the employment needs of individuals with disabilities in those communities;

    (d) Ensure that the communities of practice described in paragraph (c) of this section focus on partnerships across service systems designed to develop, implement, adjust, support, and evaluate VR processes and strategies for promoting competitive integrated employment for high-leverage groups with national applicability from targeted communities; and

    (e) Develop and make available to State VR agencies and their associated rehabilitation professionals and service providers a range of targeted TA and general TA products and services designed to increase VR participation levels and outcomes achieved by individuals with disabilities from targeted communities. This TA must include, at a minimum, the following activities:

    (1) Developing and maintaining a state-of-the-art information technology (IT) platform sufficient to support Webinars, teleconferences, video conferences, and other virtual methods of dissemination of information and TA; and Note: All products produced by the VRTAC-TC must meet government and industry-recognized standards for accessibility, including section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. In meeting these requirements, the VRTAC-TC may either develop a new platform or system, or modify existing platforms or systems, so long as the requirements of the priority are met.

    (2) Ensuring that all TA products are sent to the National Center for Rehabilitation Training Materials, including course curricula, audiovisual materials, Webinars, and examples of emerging and best practices related to this priority;

    (f) During the fourth quarter of both the second year and the fourth year, develop and implement year-end national State VR agency forums dedicated to discussing the progress and lessons learned from the targeted communities; and

    (g) During the fourth quarter of the fifth year, present a national results meeting to State VR agencies to review the data collected, best practices developed, and lessons learned from the intensive intervention sites served within the 12 targeted communities, as well as the communities of practice described in paragraph (c) of this section.

    Coordination Activities

    (a) Facilitate communication and coordination on an ongoing basis with other Federal agencies, State agencies, and local government workforce development partners, as well as private and nonprofit social service agencies and other VR TA centers funded by RSA, in order to:

    (1) Maximize existing individual and community assets to effectively address socioeconomic issues that impact employment and overall well-being;

    (2) Create a mechanism for partner organizations and community members to participate in the VR program planning process, including brainstorming and vetting new ideas and approaches to VR service provision;

    (3) Create an active online community of practice that addresses the needs of participants;

    (4) Organize the online community of practice to address both general barriers to employment faced by individuals with disabilities from targeted communities, and barriers to employment faced by individuals with disabilities from diverse high-leverage groups with national applicability including, but not limited to, adjudicated adults and youth, persons with multiple disabilities, and high school dropouts; and

    (5) Provide greater access for targeted communities to culturally relevant VR services provided by State VR agency personnel with the support of VRTAC-TC staff and community partners;

    (b) Communicate and coordinate, on an ongoing basis, with the communities of practice described in paragraph (c) of the Technical Assistance Activities section of this notice; and

    (c) Maintain ongoing communications with the RSA project officer.

    Application Requirements

    To be funded under this priority, applicants must meet the following application requirements. RSA encourages innovative approaches to meet these requirements, which are:

    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application, under “Significance of the Project,” how the proposed project will—

    (1) Recruit State VR agencies to identify targeted communities with intensive TA needs to take part in the services supported by this priority, including a detailed description of the primary factors and processes proposed to facilitate the identification and selection of these communities;

    (2) Address State VR agencies' capacity to meet the employment and training needs of individuals with disabilities from high-leverage groups with national applicability from targeted communities. To meet this requirement, the applicant must:

    (i) Demonstrate knowledge of emerging and best practices in conducting outreach and providing VR services to applicants and consumers from economically disadvantaged communities; and

    (ii) Demonstrate knowledge of emerging and best practices in conducting outreach and providing VR services to high-leverage groups with national applicability that are frequently reported as underserved or achieving substandard employment outcomes in statewide comprehensive needs assessments, VR-related research studies, or monitoring reports prepared by RSA pursuant to periodic onsite monitoring visits; and

    (3) Result in increases both in the number of individuals with disabilities from high-leverage groups with national applicability receiving services from State VR agencies within targeted communities and the number and quality of employment outcomes in competitive integrated employment achieved by these individuals;

    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application, under “Quality of Project Services,” how the proposed project will—

    (1) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet this requirement, the applicant must provide—

    (i) Measurable intended project outcomes;

    (ii) A plan for how the proposed project will achieve its intended outcomes; and

    (iii) A plan for communicating and coordinating with key staff in State VR agencies, State and local partner programs, RSA partners such as the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) and the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind (NCSAB), and other TA Centers and relevant programs within the Departments of Education, Labor, and Commerce;

    (2) Use a conceptual framework to develop project plans and activities, describing any underlying concepts, assumptions, expectations, beliefs, or theories, as well as the presumed relationships or linkages among these variables, and any empirical support for this framework;

    (3) Be based on current research and make use of evidence-based and promising practices;

    (4) Develop products and provide services that are of high quality and sufficient intensity and duration to achieve the intended outcomes of the proposed project;

    (5) Develop products and implement services to maximize the project's efficiency. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) How the proposed project will use technology to achieve the intended project outcomes; and

    (ii) With whom the proposed project will collaborate and the intended outcomes of this collaboration;

    (c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of the Evaluation Plan,” how the proposed project will—

    (1) Measure and track the effectiveness of the TA provided. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe its proposed approach to—

    (i) Collecting data on the effectiveness of the TA activity from State VR agencies, partners, or other sources, as appropriate; and

    (ii) Analyzing data and determining the effectiveness of the TA provided for at least two high-leverage groups with national applicability residing in each of the 12 targeted communities. This process includes evaluation of the effectiveness of current practices within the selected targeted communities throughout the project period, with a goal of demonstrating substantial progress towards achieving outcome parity for the high-leverage groups and other targeted groups with the State VR agency's overall performance with respect to number of applications received and processed, eligibility assessments completed, and both the number and quality of employment outcomes achieved;

    (2) Conduct an evaluation of progress made by all of the targeted communities on an annual basis. At the end of the final year of the project, the VRTAC-TC will submit a final report on the project performance to detail the outcomes of individuals with disabilities in the targeted communities. The evaluation will utilize multiple data points as evidence of progress as compared to the baseline established at the beginning of the project, including State VR agency reported data, changes in State policies and procedures, customer surveys, and State personnel input, as well as any other relevant stakeholder input; and

    (3) Collect and analyze preliminary quantitative and qualitative data of VR services facilitated and the outcomes achieved by economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities in at least one other part of the State in which a targeted community is located. State VR personnel from the targeted communities approved by RSA within the first year will serve as trainers for colleagues in other parts of the State by applying or modifying the strategies learned from the VRTAC-TC;

    (d) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Adequacy of Project Resources,” how—

    (1) The proposed key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to provide TA to State VR agencies and their partners for each of the activities in this priority and to achieve the project's intended outcomes;

    (2) The applicant and any key partners have adequate resources to carry out the proposed activities; and

    (3) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the anticipated results and benefits;

    (e) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of the Management Plan,” how—

    (1) The proposed management plan will ensure that the project's intended outcomes will be achieved on time and within budget. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) Clearly defined responsibilities for key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors, as applicable; and

    (ii) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks;

    (2) Key project personnel and any consultants and subcontractors will be allocated to the project and how these allocations are appropriate and adequate to achieve the project's intended outcomes, including an assurance that such personnel will have adequate availability to ensure timely communications with stakeholders and RSA;

    (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and services provided are of high quality; and

    (4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of perspectives, including those of State and local personnel, TA providers, researchers, and policy makers, among others, in its development and operation.

    Types of Priorities

    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:

    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).

    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii)).

    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).

    Proposed Definitions Background

    We propose the following definitions to help ensure that applicants clearly understand how we use these terms in the priority. We base these definitions on definitions that the Department uses or relies on in other contexts.

    Proposed Definitions

    The Assistant Secretary proposes the following definitions for this program. We may apply one or more of these definitions in any year in which this program is in effect.

    Economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities means individuals with disabilities who are from a household with a median household income below 200 percent of the Federal poverty level; individuals receiving Federal financial assistance through Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or Supplemental Security Income (SSI); or individuals residing in public housing or receiving assistance under the Section 8 housing-choice voucher program.

    General technical assistance (TA) means TA and information provided to independent users through their own initiative, resulting in minimal interaction with TA center staff and including one-time, invited or offered conference presentations by TA center staff. This category of TA also includes information or products, such as newsletters, guidebooks, or research syntheses, downloaded from the TA center's Web site by independent users. Brief communications by TA center staff with recipients, either by telephone or email, are also considered universal, general TA.

    High-leverage groups with national applicability means groups of individuals with disabilities who are frequently identified by State VR agencies throughout the Nation in their statewide comprehensive needs assessments as groups comprised of individuals that are either underserved or who have achieved substandard performance. Examples of these groups include, but are not limited to, the following populations:

    (A) Residents of rural and remote communities;

    (B) Adjudicated adults and youth;

    (C) Youth with disabilities in foster care;

    (D) Individuals with disabilities receiving Federal financial assistance through TANF;

    (E) Culturally diverse populations, e.g., African Americans, Native Americans, and non-English speaking populations;

    (F) High school dropouts and functionally illiterate consumers;

    (G) Persons with multiple disabilities, e.g., deaf-blindness, HIV/AIDS-substance abuse; and

    (H) SSI and SSDI recipients, including subminimum-wage employees.

    Intensive technical assistance (TA) means TA services often provided on-site and requiring a stable, ongoing relationship between the VRTAC-TC staff and the TA recipient. Intensive TA should result in changes to policy, programs, practices, or operations that support increased recipient capacity or improved outcomes at one or more systems levels.

    Targeted community means any economically disadvantaged community that qualifies as an Empowerment Zone under either 24 CFR 598.100 or 7 CFR 25.100, and in which (a) the median household income is below 200 percent of the Federal poverty level; (b) the unemployment rate is at or above the national average; and (c) as a group, individuals with disabilities have historically sought, been determined eligible for, or received VR services from a State VR agency at less than 65 percent of the average rate for the State VR agency, or who have achieved competitive integrated employment outcomes subsequent to receiving VR services at 65 percent or less of the State VR agency's overall employment outcome level.

    Targeted technical assistance (TA) means TA services based on needs common to multiple recipients and not extensively individualized. A relationship is established between the TA recipient and one or more TA center staff. This category of TA includes one-time, labor-intensive events, such as facilitating strategic planning or hosting regional or national conferences. It can also include episodic, less labor-intensive events that extend over a period of time, such as facilitating a series of conference calls on single or multiple topics that are designed around the needs of the recipients. Facilitating communities of practice can also be considered targeted, specialized TA.

    Underserved individuals with disabilities means individuals with disabilities who, because of disability, place of residence, geographic location, age, race, gender, or socioeconomic status, have not historically sought, been determined eligible for, or received VR services at a rate of 65 percent or more of the State's overall service level groups. Underserved individuals include, but are not limited to, subminimum wage employees; adjudicated youth and adults; culturally diverse populations such as African Americans, Native Americans, and non-English speaking persons; individuals living in rural areas; and persons with multiple disabilities such as deaf-blindness.

    Final Priority and Definitions: We will announce the final priority and definitions in a notice in the Federal Register. We will determine the final priority and definitions after considering responses to this notice and other information available to the Department. This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note:

    This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use this priority, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 Regulatory Impact Analysis

    Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether this regulatory action is “significant” and, therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action likely to result in a rule that may—

    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to as an “economically significant” rule);

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

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

    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles stated in the Executive order.

    This proposed regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.

    We have also reviewed this proposed regulatory action under Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency—

    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only on a reasoned determination that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify);

    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into account—among other things and to the extent practicable—the costs of cumulative regulations;

    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that would maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);

    (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must adopt; and

    (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including economic incentives—such as user fees or marketable permits—to encourage the desired behavior, or provide information that enables the public to make choices.

    Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency “to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible.” The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these techniques may include “identifying changing future compliance costs that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavioral changes.”

    We are issuing the proposed priority and definitions only on a reasoned determination that their benefits would justify their costs. In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that maximize net benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes that this regulatory action is consistent with the principles in Executive Order 13563.

    We also have determined that this regulatory action would not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental functions.

    In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering the Department's programs and activities.

    The benefits of the Rehabilitation Training program have been well established over the years through the successful completion of similar projects. The proposed priority and definitions would better prepare State VR agency personnel to assist individuals with disabilities living in targeted communities to achieve competitive integrated employment in today's challenging labor market.

    Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.

    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for this program.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Michael K. Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15754 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2014-0503; FRL-9929-44-Region 5] Approval of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Minnesota; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve some elements and disapprove other elements of state implementation plan (SIP) submissions from Minnesota regarding the infrastructure requirements of section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) for the 2008 ozone, 2010 nitrogen dioxide (NO2), 2010 sulfur dioxide (SO2), and 2012 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The infrastructure requirements are designed to ensure that the structural components of each state's air quality management program are adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the CAA. EPA proposes to disapprove certain elements of Minnesota's submissions relating to Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) requirements. Minnesota already administers Federally promulgated regulations that address the proposed disapprovals described in today's rulemaking. Therefore, the state will not be obligated to submit any new or additional regulations as a result of a future final disapproval.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2014-0503, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Fax: (312) 408-2279.

    4. Mail: Douglas Aburano, Chief, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

    5. Hand Delivery: Douglas Aburano, Chief, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The Regional Office official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2014-0503. 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. For additional instructions on submitting comments, go to Section I of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    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 Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Air and Radiation Division, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. We recommend that you telephone Eric Svingen, Environmental Engineer, at (312) 353-4489 before visiting the Region 5 office.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric Svingen, Environmental Engineer, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-4489, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section is arranged as follows:

    I. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA? II. What is the background of these SIP submissions? III. What guidance is EPA using to evaluate these SIP submissions? IV. What is the result of EPA's review of these SIP submissions? V. What action is EPA taking? VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    When submitting comments, remember to:

    1. Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).

    2. Follow directions—EPA may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.

    3. Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes.

    4. Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used.

    5. If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.

    6. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives.

    7. Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.

    8. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

    II. What is the background of these SIP submissions? A. What state submissions does this rulemaking address?

    This rulemaking addresses June 12, 2014, submissions from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) intended to address all applicable infrastructure requirements for the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. This rulemaking also addresses a February 3, 2015, letter from MPCA intended to clarify issues relating to emission limits and other control measures (clarification letter).

    B. Why did the state make these SIP submissions?

    Under section 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA, states are required to submit infrastructure SIPs to ensure that their SIPs provide for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the NAAQS, including the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. These submissions must contain any revisions needed for meeting the applicable SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2), or certifications that their existing SIPs for the NAAQS already meet those requirements.

    EPA highlighted this statutory requirement in an October 2, 2007, guidance document entitled “Guidance on SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 1997 8-hour Ozone and PM2.5 1 National Ambient Air Quality Standards” (2007 Guidance) and has issued additional guidance documents, the most recent on September 13, 2013, entitled “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under CAA Sections 110(a)(1) and (2)” (2013 Guidance). The SIP submissions referenced in this rulemaking pertain to the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(1) and (2), and address the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    1 PM2.5 refers to particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers, oftentimes referred to as “fine” particles.

    C. What is the scope of this rulemaking?

    EPA is acting upon the SIP submissions from Minnesota that address the infrastructure requirements of CAA section 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. The requirement for states to make SIP submissions of this type arises out of CAA section 110(a)(1), which states that states must make SIP submissions “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof),” and these SIP submissions are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. The statute directly imposes on states the duty to make these SIP submissions, and the requirement to make the submissions is not conditioned upon EPA's taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must address.

    EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(1) and (2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Although the term “infrastructure SIP” does not appear in the CAA, EPA uses the term to distinguish this particular type of SIP submission from submissions that are intended to satisfy other SIP requirements under the CAA, such as SIP submissions that address the nonattainment planning requirements of part D and the PSD requirements of part C of title I of the CAA, and “regional haze SIP” submissions required to address the visibility protection requirements of CAA section 169A.

    In this rulemaking, EPA will not take action on three substantive areas of section 110(a)(2): (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions during periods of start-up, shutdown, or malfunction (“SSM”) at sources, that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions; (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that purport to permit revisions to SIP approved emissions limits with limited public notice or without requiring further approval by EPA, that may be contrary to the CAA; and, (iii) existing provisions for PSD programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186 (December 31, 2002), as amended by 72 FR 32526 (June 13, 2007) (“NSR Reform”). Instead, EPA has the authority to address each one of these substantive areas in separate rulemakings. A detailed history, interpretation, and rationale as they relate to infrastructure SIP requirements can be found in EPA's May 13, 2014, proposed rule entitled, “Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Lead NAAQS” in the section, “What is the scope of this rulemaking?” (see 79 FR 27241 at 27242-27245, May 13, 2014).

    III. What guidance is EPA using to evaluate these SIP submissions?

    EPA's guidance for these infrastructure SIP submissions is embodied in the 2007 Guidance referenced above. Specifically, attachment A of the 2007 Guidance (Required Section 110 SIP Elements) identifies the statutory elements that states need to submit in order to satisfy the requirements for an infrastructure SIP submission. As discussed above, EPA issued additional guidance, the most recent being the 2013 Guidance that further clarifies aspects of infrastructure SIPs that are not NAAQS specific.

    IV. What is the result of EPA's review of these SIP submissions?

    Pursuant to section 110(a), states must provide reasonable notice and opportunity for public hearing for all infrastructure SIP submissions. MPCA provided notice of a public comment period on March 31, 2014, and closed the public comment period on May 2, 2014. One comment was received; both the comment and MPCA's response to this comment were included in MPCA's submittal to EPA.

    Minnesota provided a detailed synopsis of how various components of its SIP meet each of the applicable requirements in section 110(a)(2) for the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, as applicable. The following review evaluates the state's submissions.

    A. Section 110(a)(2)(A)—Emission Limits and Other Control Measures

    This section requires SIPs to include enforceable emission limits and other control measures, means or techniques, schedules for compliance, and other related matters. However, EPA has long interpreted emission limits and control measures for attaining the standards as being due when nonattainment planning requirements are due.2 In the context of an infrastructure SIP, EPA is not evaluating the existing SIP provisions for this purpose. Instead, EPA is only evaluating whether the state's SIP has basic structural provisions for the implementation of the NAAQS.

    2 See, e.g., EPA's final rule on “National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Lead.” 73 FR 66964 at 67034, November 12, 2008.

    Minnesota Statute (Minn. Stat.) 116.07 gives MPCA the authority to “adopt, amend, and rescind rules and standards having the force of law relating to any purpose . . . for the prevention, abatement, or control of air pollution.” Also from Minn. Stat. 116.07, MPCA has the authority to issue “continue in effect or deny permits . . . for the prevention of pollution, for the emission of air contaminants,” and for other purposes.

    The 2013 Guidance states that to satisfy section 110(a)(2)(A) requirements, “an air agency's submission should identify existing EPA-approved SIP provisions or new SIP provisions that the air agency has adopted and submitted for EPA approval that limit emissions of pollutants relevant to the subject NAAQS, including precursors of the relevant NAAQS pollutant where applicable.” In its February 3, 2015, clarification letter, MPCA identified existing controls and emission limits in Minnesota Rules (Minn. R.) that support compliance with and attainment of the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. These regulations include controls and emission limits for volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxides (NOX), which are precursors to ozone. Emissions for these pollutants and precursors are primarily limited through part 70 permits.

    Minn. R. 7009.0020 states that “[n]o person shall emit any pollutant in such an amount or in such a manner as to cause or contribute to a violation of any ambient air quality standard beyond such person's property line . . .” Minn. R. 7009.0080 sets the state ambient air quality standards.

    On January 1, 2015, EPA began implementing the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). Minnesota is subject to CSAPR's requirements regarding annual NOX and SO2 power plant emissions, which are intended to address transport of PM2.5 to downwind states. EPA and MPCA expect that CSAPR will result in reduced NOX and SO2 emissions from Minnesota's power plants, which will assist Minnesota's efforts to attain and maintain the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    Though Minnesota has never had nonattainment areas for ozone, NO2, or PM2.5, Minnesota has maintenance areas for the 1971 SO2 and 1987 PM103 NAAQS. Therefore, most of Minnesota's pollutant-specific rules relate to SO2 and PM10. Because PM2.5 is a subcategory of PM10, controls relating to PM10 can be expected to limit emissions of PM2.5. Similarly, controls relating to PM can be expected to limit emissions of PM2.5.

    3 PM10 refers to particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than or equal to 10 micrometers.

    In its clarification letter, MPCA identified enforceable permits and administrative orders with SO2 emission limits. In previous rulemakings, EPA has approved these permits and orders into Minnesota's SIP (see 59 FR 17703, April 14, 1994; 64 FR 5936, February 8, 1999; 66 FR 14087, March 9, 2001; 67 FR 8727, February 26, 2002; 72 FR 68508, December 5, 2007; 74 FR 18138, April 21, 2009; 74 FR 18634, April 24, 2009; 74 FR 18638, April 24, 2009; 74 FR 63066, December 2, 2009; 75 FR 45480, August 3, 2010; 75 FR 48864, August 12, 2010; 75 FR 81471, December 28, 2010; and 78 FR 28501, May 15, 2013). Also, an administrative order issued as part of Minnesota's Regional Haze SIP includes SO2 limits. Additionally, state rules that have been incorporated into Minnesota's SIP (at Minn. R. 7011.0500 to 7011.0553, 7011.0600 to 7011.0625, 7011.1400 to 7011.1430, 7011.1600 to 7011.1605, and 7011.2300) contain SO2 emission limits. Also, Minn. R. 7011.0900 to 7011.0909 include fuel sulfur content restrictions that can limit SO2 emissions. These regulations support compliance with and attainment of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    In its clarification letter, MPCA identified enforceable permits and administrative orders with PM emission limits. In previous rulemakings, EPA has approved these permits and orders into Minnesota's SIP (see 59 FR 7218, February 15, 1994; 60 FR 31088, June 13, 1995; 62 FR 39120, July 22, 1997; 65 FR 42861, July 12, 2000; 69 FR 51371, August 19, 2004; 72 FR 51713, September 11, 2007; 74 FR 23632, May 20, 2009; 74 FR 63066, December 2, 2009; 75 FR 11461, March 11, 2010; and 75 FR 78602, December 16, 2010). Additionally, state rules that have been incorporated into Minnesota's SIP (at Minn. R. 7011.0150, 7011.0500 to 7011.0553, 7011.0600 to 7011.0625, 7011.0710 to 7011.0735, 7011.0850 to 7011.0859, 7011.0900 to 7011.0922, 7011.1000 to 7011.1015, 7011.1100 to 7011.1125, 7011.1300 to 7011.1325, and 7011.1400 to 7011.1430) contain PM emission limits. These regulations support compliance with and attainment of the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    VOC emissions are limited by the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, which are incorporated by reference into Minnesota's state rules at Minn R. 7011.7000. Part 70 permits are Minnesota's primary method for limiting VOC emissions. NOX emissions ae limited by Minn. R. 7011.0500 to 7011.0553 and 7011.1700 to 7011.1705, as well as an administrative order issued as part of Minnesota's Regional Haze SIP. These regulations support compliance with and attainment of the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Because NO2 is a subcategory of NOX, controls relating to NOX can be expected to limit emissions of NO2. These regulations support compliance with and attainment of the 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    In this rulemaking, EPA is not proposing to incorporate into Minnesota's SIP any new provisions in Minnesota's state rules that have not been previously approved by EPA. EPA is also not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing state provisions or rules related to start-up, shutdown or malfunction or director's discretion in the context of section 110(a)(2)(A). EPA proposes that Minnesota has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) with respect to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    B. Section 110(a)(2)(B)—Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System

    This section requires SIPs to include provisions to provide for establishing and operating ambient air quality monitors, collecting and analyzing ambient air quality data, and making these data available to EPA upon request. This review of the annual monitoring plan includes EPA's determination that the state: (i) Monitors air quality at appropriate locations throughout the state using EPA-approved Federal Reference Methods or Federal Equivalent Method monitors; (ii) submits data to EPA's Air Quality System (AQS) in a timely manner; and, (iii) provides EPA Regional Offices with prior notification of any planned changes to monitoring sites or the network plan.

    MPCA continues to operate an ambient pollutant monitoring network, and compiles and reports air quality data to EPA. EPA approved MPCA's 2015 Annual Air Monitoring Network Plan for ozone, NO2, SO2, and PM2.5 on October 31, 2014. MPCA also provides prior notification to EPA when changes to its monitoring network or plan are being considered. EPA proposes that Minnesota has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2)(B) with respect to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    C. Section 110(a)(2)(C)—Program for Enforcement of Control Measures; PSD

    This section requires each state to provide a program for enforcement of control measures. Section 110(a)(2)(C) also includes various requirements relating to PSD.

    1. Program for Enforcement of Control Measures

    States are required to include a program providing for enforcement of all SIP measures and the regulation of construction of new or modified stationary sources to meet new source review (NSR) requirements under PSD and nonattainment new source review (NNSR) programs. Part C of the CAA (sections 160 through 169B) addresses PSD, while part D of the CAA (sections 171 through 193) addresses NNSR requirements.

    Minn. Stat. 116.07 gives MPCA the authority to enforce any provisions of the chapter relating to air contamination. These provisions include: Entering into orders, schedules of compliance, stipulation agreements, requiring owners or operators of emissions facilities to install and operate monitoring equipment, and conducting investigations. Minn. Stat. 116.072 authorizes MPCA to issue orders and assess administrative penalties to correct violations of the agency's rules, statutes, and permits, and Minn. Stat. 115.071 outlines the remedies that are available to address such violations. Lastly, Minn. R. 7009.0030 to 7009.0040 provide for enforcement measures. EPA proposes that Minnesota has met the program for enforcement of control measures requirements of section 110(a)(2)(C) with respect to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    2. PSD

    110(a)(2)(C) includes several PSD requirements relevant to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. These are evaluated as four components: Identification of NOX as a precursor to ozone provisions in the PSD program; identification of precursors to PM2.5 and the identification of PM2.5 and PM10 condensables in the PSD program; PM2.5 increments in the PSD program; and greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting and the “Tailoring Rule.”

    States may develop and implement their own PSD programs, which are evaluated against EPA's requirements for each component. States may alternatively decline to develop their own program, but instead directly implement Federal PSD rules. Minnesota has chosen to implement the Federally promulgated PSD rules at 40 CFR 52.21, and EPA has delegated to Minnesota the authority to implement these regulations. The Federally promulgated rules satisfy all 110(a)(2)(C) requirements relating to PSD.

    As described in the 2013 Guidance, when evaluating whether a state has met infrastructure SIP obligations, EPA cannot give “credit” for a Federally delegated program. Because Minnesota's submission did not include state rules meeting PSD requirements, EPA therefore must propose a disapproval for this section. However, Minnesota has no further obligations to EPA because the state administers the Federally promulgated PSD regulations. EPA proposes a disapproval of the PSD requirements of section 110(a)(2)(C) with respect to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    D. Section 110(a)(2)(D)—Interstate Transport; Pollution Abatement

    Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requires SIPs to include provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment, or interfering with maintenance, of the NAAQS in another state. Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) requires SIPs to include provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality or to protect visibility in another state.

    1. Interstate Transport—Significant Contribution

    On February 17, 2012, EPA promulgated designations for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS, stating for the entire country that, “The EPA is designating areas as “unclassifiable/attainment” to mean that available information does not indicate that the air quality in these areas exceeds the 2010 NO2 NAAQS” (see 77 FR 9532). For comparison purposes, EPA examined the design values 4 based on data collected between 2011 and 2013 from NO2 monitors in Minnesota and surrounding states. Within Minnesota, the highest design value was 44 ppb at a monitor in Dakota County. In surrounding states, the highest design value was 49 ppb at a monitor in Milwaukee, WI. These design values are both lower than the standard, which is 100 ppb for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS. Additionally, as discussed in EPA's evaluation of 110(a)(2)(A) requirements, Minn. R. 7011 contains controls and emission limits for NOX. Furthermore, CSAPR requires reductions of NOX emissions in order to reduce interstate transport. MPCA works with EPA in implementing the CSAPR program. EPA believes that, in conjunction with the continued implementation of the state's ability to limit NOX emissions, low monitored values of NO2 will continue in and around Minnesota. In other words, NO2 emissions from Minnesota are not expected to cause or contribute to a violation of the 2010 NO2 NAAQS in another state.

    4 The level of the 2010 NO2 NAAQS is 100 parts per billion (ppb) and the form is the 3-year average of the annual 98th percentile of the daily 1-hour maximum. For the most recent design values, see http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/values.html.

    In this rulemaking, EPA is not evaluating section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requirements relating to significant contribution to transport for the 2008 ozone, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. Instead, EPA will evaluate these requirements in a separate rulemaking. EPA proposes that Minnesota has met the section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requirements relating to significant contribution to transport for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS

    2. Interstate Transport—Interfere With Maintenance

    As described above, EPA has classified all areas of the country as “unclassifiable/attainment” for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS, NO2 design values in and around Minnesota are lower than the standard, MPCA is able to control NO2 emissions, and CSAPR requires reductions in NOX emissions. In other words, NO2 emissions from Minnesota are not expected to interfere with the maintenance of the 2010 NO2 NAAQS in another state.

    In this rulemaking, EPA is not evaluating section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requirements relating to interference with maintenance for the 2008 ozone, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. Instead, EPA will evaluate these requirements in a separate rulemaking. EPA proposes that Minnesota has met the section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requirements relating to interference with maintenance for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    3. Interstate Transport—Prevention of Significant Deterioration

    Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) requires SIPs to include provisions prohibiting interference with PSD. EPA acknowledges that Minnesota has not adopted or submitted regulations for PSD, which results in a proposed disapproval with respect to this set of infrastructure SIP requirements. However, Minnesota has no further obligations to EPA because the state administers the Federally promulgated PSD regulations at 40 CFR 52.21. EPA proposes a disapproval of the PSD requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) with respect to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    4. Interstate Transport—Protect Visibility

    With regard to the applicable requirements for visibility protection of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), states are subject to visibility and regional haze program requirements under part C of the CAA (which includes sections 169A and 169B). The 2013 Guidance states that these requirements can be satisfied by an approved SIP addressing reasonably attributable visibility impairment, if required, or an approved SIP addressing regional haze.

    In this rulemaking, EPA is not evaluating section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) requirements relating to visibility for the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. Instead, EPA will evaluate these requirements in a separate rulemaking.

    5. Interstate and International Pollution Abatement

    Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires each SIP to contain adequate provisions requiring compliance with the applicable requirements of section 126 and section 115 of the CAA (relating to interstate and international pollution abatement, respectively).

    The submissions from Minnesota affirm that the state has no pending obligations under section 115.

    Section 126(a) requires new or modified sources to notify neighboring states of potential impacts from the source. The statute does not specify the method by which the source should provide the notification. States with SIP-approved PSD programs must have a provision requiring such notification by new or modified sources. A lack of such a requirement in state rules would be grounds for disapproval of this element.

    EPA acknowledges that Minnesota has not adopted or submitted regulations for PSD, which results in a proposed disapproval with respect to this set of infrastructure SIP requirements. However, Minnesota has no further obligations to EPA because the state administers the Federally promulgated PSD regulations at 40 CFR 52.21. EPA proposes a disapproval of the PSD requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) with respect to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    E. Section 110(a)(2)(E)—Adequate Authority and Resources

    This section requires each state to provide for adequate personnel, funding, and legal authority under state law to carry out its SIP, and related issues. Section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) also requires each state to comply with the requirements respecting state boards under section 128.

    1. Adequate Authority and Resources

    Minnesota provided information on the state's authorized spending by program, program priorities, and the state budget. MPCA's Environmental Performance Partnership Agreement (EnPPA) with EPA provides the MPCA's assurances of resources to carry out certain air programs. EPA also notes that Minn. Stat. 116.07 provides the legal authority under state law to carry out the SIP. EPA proposes that Minnesota has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of this portion of section 110(a)(2)(E) with respect to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    2. State Board Requirements

    Section 110(a)(2)(E) also requires each SIP to contain provisions that comply with the state board requirements of section 128 of the CAA. That provision contains two explicit requirements: (i) That any board or body which approves permits or enforcement orders under this chapter shall have at least a majority of members who represent the public interest and do not derive any significant portion of their income from persons subject to permits and enforcement orders under this chapter, and (ii) that any potential conflicts of interest by members of such board or body or the head of an executive agency with similar powers be adequately disclosed.

    In its June 12, 2014, submittal, MPCA included rules from the Civil Service Rule at 2-8.3(a)(1) for incorporation into the SIP, pursuant to section 128 of the CAA.

    In this rulemaking, EPA is not evaluating section 110(a)(2)(E) requirements relating to state board requirements for the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. Instead, EPA will evaluate these requirements in a separate rulemaking.

    F. Section 110(a)(2)(F)—Stationary Source Monitoring System

    States must establish a system to monitor emissions from stationary sources and submit periodic emissions reports. Each plan shall also require the installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources to monitor emissions from such sources. The state plan shall also require periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions-related data from such sources, and correlation of such reports by each state agency with any emission limitations or standards established pursuant to this chapter. Lastly, the reports shall be available at reasonable times for public inspection.

    Under Minnesota air quality rules, any NAAQS is an applicable requirement for stationary sources. Minnesota's monitoring rules have been previously approved by EPA and are contained in Minnesota's SIP at Minn. R. 7011. Minn. Stat. 116.07 gives MPCA the authority to require owners or operators of emission facilities to install and operate monitoring equipment, while Minnesota's SIP at Minn. R. 7007.0800 sets forth the minimum monitoring requirements that must be included in stationary source permits. Lastly, Minnesota's SIP at Minn. R. 7017 of contains monitoring and testing requirements, including rules for continuous monitoring. EPA proposes that Minnesota has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2)(F) with respect to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    G. Section 110(a)(2)(G)—Emergency Power

    This section requires that a plan provide for authority that is analogous to what is provided in section 303 of the CAA, and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority. The 2013 Guidance states that infrastructure SIP submissions should specify authority, rested in an appropriate official, to restrain any source from causing or contributing to emissions which present an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health or welfare, or the environment.

    Minn. Stat. 116.11 provides to MPCA emergency powers, which are further discussed in Minn. R. 7000.5000. Specifically, these regulations allow the agency to “direct the immediate discontinuance or abatement of the pollution without notice and without a hearing or at the request of the agency, the attorney general may bring an action in the name of the state in the appropriate district court for a temporary restraining order to immediately abate or prevent the pollution.” EPA proposes that Minnesota has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2)(G) with respect to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    H. Section 110(a)(2)(H)—Future SIP Revisions

    This section requires states to have the authority to revise their SIPs in response to changes in the NAAQS, availability of improved methods for attaining the NAAQS, or to an EPA finding that the SIP is substantially inadequate.

    Minn. Stat. 116.07 grants the agency the authority to “[a]dopt, amend, and rescind rules and standards having the force of law relating to any purpose . . . for the prevention, abatement, or control of air pollution.” EPA proposes that Minnesota has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2)(H) with respect to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    I. Section 110(a)(2)(I)—Nonattainment Area Plan or Plan Revisions Under Part D

    The CAA requires that each plan or plan revision for an area designated as a nonattainment area meet the applicable requirements of part D of the CAA. Part D relates to nonattainment areas.

    As outlined in the 2013 guidance, EPA has determined that section 110(a)(2)(I) is not applicable to the infrastructure SIP process. Section 110(a)(2)(I) is not being addressed and does not need to be addressed in the context of an infrastructure SIP submission.

    J. Section 110(a)(2)(J)—Consultation With Government Officials; Public Notification; PSD; Visibility Protection

    The evaluation of the submissions from Minnesota with respect to the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J) are described below.

    1. Consultation With Government Officials

    States must provide a process for consultation with local governments and Federal Land Managers (FLMs) carrying out NAAQS implementation requirements.

    Historically, MPCA actively participated in the Central Regional Air Planning Association as well as the Central States Air Resource Agencies. Additionally, Minnesota is now an active member of the Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium, which provides technical assessments and a forum for discussion regarding air quality issues to member states. Minnesota has also demonstrated that it frequently consults and discusses issues with pertinent Tribes. Therefore, EPA proposes that Minnesota has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of this portion of section 110(a)(2)(J) with respect to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    2. Public Notification

    Section 110(a)(2)(J) also requires states to notify the public if NAAQS are exceeded in an area and to enhance public awareness of measures that can be taken to prevent exceedances.

    Minnesota dedicates portions of the MPCA Web site to enhancing public awareness of measures that can be taken to prevent exceedances. For example, information on these pages includes information about specific air pollutants,5 as well as the biennial reports that MPCA prepares for the state legislature.6 EPA proposes that Minnesota has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of this portion of section 110(a)(2)(J) with respect to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    5 See http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/air/air-quality-and-pollutants/air-pollutants/index.html.

    6 See http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/about-mpca/legislative-resources/legislative-reports/air-quality-in-minnesota-reports-to-the-legislature.html.

    3. PSD

    States must meet applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2)(C) related to PSD. Minnesota's PSD program in the context of infrastructure SIPs has already been discussed in the paragraphs addressing section 110(a)(2)(C) and (a)(2)(D)(i)(II). EPA acknowledges that Minnesota has not adopted or submitted regulations for PSD, which results in a proposed disapproval with respect to this set of infrastructure SIP requirements. However, Minnesota has no further obligations to EPA because the state administers the Federally promulgated PSD regulations at 40 CFR 52.21. EPA proposes a disapproval of the PSD requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J) with respect to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    4. Visibility Protection

    With regard to the applicable requirements for visibility protection, states are subject to visibility and regional haze program requirements under part C of the CAA (which includes sections 169A and 169B). In the event of the establishment of a new NAAQS, the visibility and regional haze program requirements under part C do not change. Thus, we find that there is no new visibility obligation “triggered” under section 110(a)(2)(J) when a new NAAQS becomes effective.

    EPA has determined that the visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J) are not applicable to the infrastructure SIP process. The visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J) are not being addressed and do not need to be addressed in the context of an infrastructure SIP submission.

    K. Section 110(a)(2)(K)—Air Quality Modeling/Data

    SIPs must provide for performing air quality modeling for predicting effects on air quality of emissions from any NAAQS pollutant and submission of such data to EPA upon request.

    MPCA reviews the potential impact of major and some minor new sources. Under Minn. R. 7007.0500, MPCA may require applicable major sources in Minnesota to perform modeling to show that emissions do not cause or contribute to a violation of any NAAQS. Furthermore, MPCA maintains the capability to perform its own modeling. Because Minnesota administers the Federally promulgated PSD regulations, pre-construction permitting modeling is conducted in compliance with EPA's regulations. EPA proposes that Minnesota has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2)(K) with respect to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    L. Section 110(a)(2)(L)—Permitting Fees

    This section requires SIPs to mandate each major stationary source to pay permitting fees to cover the cost of reviewing, approving, implementing, and enforcing a permit.

    MPCA implements and operates the title V permit program, which EPA approved on December 4, 2001 (66 FR 62967). Minn. R. 7002.0005 through 7002.0085 contain the provisions, requirements, and structures associated with the costs for reviewing, approving, implementing, and enforcing various types of permits. EPA proposes that Minnesota has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2)(L) with respect to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    M. Section 110(a)(2)(M)—Consultation/Participation by Affected Local Entities

    States must consult with and allow participation from local political subdivisions affected by the SIP.

    Minnesota regularly consults with local political subdivisions affected by the SIP, where applicable. EPA observes that Minn. Stat. 116.05 authorizes cooperation and agreement between MPCA and other State and local governments. Additionally, the Minnesota Administrative Procedures Act (Minn. Stat. 14) provides general notice and comment procedures that are followed during SIP development. Lastly, MPCA regularly issues public notices on proposed actions. EPA proposes that Minnesota has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2)(M) with respect to the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    V. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is proposing to approve most elements of submissions from Minnesota certifying that its current SIP is sufficient to meet the required infrastructure elements under section 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, 2010 SO2, and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. We are also proposing to disapprove some elements of the state's submission as they relate to its PSD program. As described above, Minnesota already administers Federally promulgated PSD regulations through delegation, and therefore no practical effect is associated with today's proposed disapproval or future final disapproval of those elements.

    EPA's proposed actions for the state's satisfaction of infrastructure SIP requirements, by element of section 110(a)(2) and NAAQS, are contained in the table below.

    Element 2008 Ozone 2010 NO2 2010 SO2 2012 PM2.5 (A)—Emission limits and other control measures A A A A (B)—Ambient air quality monitoring/data system A A A A (C)1—Program for enforcement of control measures A A A A (C)2—PSD D D D D (D)1—I Prong 1: Interstate transport—significant contribution NA A NA NA (D)2—I Prong 2: Interstate transport—interfere with maintenance NA A NA NA (D)3—II Prong 3: Interstate transport—prevention of significant deterioration D D D D (D)4—II Prong 4: Interstate transport—protect visibility NA NA NA NA (D)5—Interstate and international pollution abatement D D D D (E)1—Adequate resources A A A A (E)2—State board requirements NA NA NA NA (F)—Stationary source monitoring system A A A A (G)—Emergency power A A A A (H)—Future SIP revisions A A A A (I)—Nonattainment planning requirements of part D * * * * (J)1—Consultation with government officials A A A A (J)2—Public notification A A A A (J)3—PSD D D D D (J)4—Visibility protection * * * * (K)—Air quality modeling/data A A A A (L)—Permitting fees A A A A (M)—Consultation and participation by affected local entities A A A A In the above table, the key is as follows:  A = Approve.  D = Disapprove.  NA = No Action/Separate Rulemaking.  * = Not germane to infrastructure SIPs. VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

    • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Susan Hedman, Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15555 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0161; FRL-9929-47-Region 4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Georgia: Changes to Georgia Fuel Rule and Other Miscellaneous Rules AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve the State of Georgia's February 5, 2015, State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision, submitted through the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD), to modify the SIP by removing Georgia's Gasoline Marketing Rule and Consumer and Commercial Products Rule, revising the NOX Emissions from Stationary Gas Turbines and Stationary Engines Rule, and adding measures to offset the emissions increases expected from the changes to these rules. This modification to the SIP will affect, in varying ways, the 45 counties in and around the Atlanta, Georgia, metropolitan area covered by the Georgia Gasoline Marketing Rule (hereinafter referred to as the “Georgia Fuel Area”). Additionally, EPA is also proposing to approve structural changes to the NOX Emissions from Stationary Gas Turbines and Stationary Engines Rule included in a SIP revision submitted by GA EPD on September 26, 2006. EPA has preliminarily determined that the portion of Georgia's September 26, 2006 SIP revision addressing changes to the NOX Emissions from Stationary Gas Turbines and Stationary Engines Rule and the February 5, 2015, SIP revision meet the applicable provisions of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0161 by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Fax: (404) 562-9019.

    4. Mail: EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0161, Air Regulatory Managment Section (formerly the Regulatory Development Section), Air Planning and Implementation Branch (formerly the Air Planning Branch), Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960.

    5. Hand Delivery or Courier: Ms. Lynorae Benjamin, Chief, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0161. 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 through www.regulations.gov or email, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. 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. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI 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 in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Wong of the Air Regulatory Management Section, in the Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Wong may be reached by phone at (404) 562-8726 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. What is being proposed? II. What is the background of the Atlanta area? III. What are the Federal RVP requirements? IV. What are the Section 110(l) requirements? V. What is EPA's analysis of Georgia's submittals? VI. Incorporation by Reference VII. Proposed Action VIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What is being proposed?

    This rulemaking proposes to approve Georgia's February 5, 2015, SIP revision, including a technical demonstration that modifying the SIP to remove Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(aaa), Consumer and Commercial Products, 1 and Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(bbb), Gasoline Marketing (hereinafter referred to as the “Georgia Fuel Rule”),2 and to revise Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(mmm), NO X Emissions from Stationary Gas Turbines and Stationary Engines used to Generate Electricity, 3 will not interfere with attainment or maintenance of any national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS or standard) or with any other applicable requirement of the CAA. Georgia's SIP revision also includes measures to offset the emissions increases expected from the changes to these rules. The aforementioned rules and offset measures are described in Section V, below. Additionally, this rulemaking is proposing to approve structural changes to the NOX Emissions from Stationary Gas Turbines and Stationary Engines Rule included in a SIP revision submitted by GA EPD on September 26, 2006.

    1 The Consumer and Commercial Products Rule applies in the following 13 counties that make up the former Atlanta 1-hour ozone nonattainment area: Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding, and Rockdale.

    2 The Georgia Fuel Area consists of the following 45 counties: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lumpkin, Madison, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Putnam, Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Walton and Upson. This Area encompasses the 20-county 8-hour Atlanta ozone maintenance area for the 1997 ozone NAAQS and the 15-county 8-hour Atlanta ozone nonattainment area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Georgia received a waiver under section 211(c)(4)(C) of the CAA to adopt a state fuel program that is more stringent than that which was federally required for the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area. EPA incorporated the Georgia Fuel Rule into the Georgia SIP effective July 19, 2004. See 69 FR 33862 (June 17, 2004). The Georgia Fuel Rule requires the sale of low sulfur, 7.0 psi RVP gasoline in the Georgia Fuel Area.

    3 Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(mmm) only applies in the Georgia Fuel Area.

    II. What is the background of the Atlanta area? a. Ozone

    On November 16, 1991, EPA designated and classified the following counties in Georgia, either in their entirety or portions thereof, as a serious ozone nonattainment area for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS (hereinafter referred to as the “Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area”): Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding, and Rockdale. The designations were based on the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area's design values for the 1987-1989 three-year period.

    Among the requirements applicable to the nonattainment area for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS was the requirement to meet certain volatility standards (known as Reid Vapor Pressure or RVP) for gasoline sold commercially. See 55 FR 23658 (June 11, 1990). As discussed in section III, below, a Federal 7.8 pounds per square inch (psi) RVP requirement first applied to the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area during the high ozone season (June 1 to September 15) given its status as a serious nonattainment area for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS. Subsequently, in order to comply with the 1-hour ozone NAAQS, Georgia opted to implement the Georgia Fuel Rule, which requires the sale of low sulfur, 7.0 RVP gasoline in the 45-county Georgia Fuel Area during the high ozone season. EPA incorporated the Georgia Fuel Rule into the Georgia SIP on July 19, 2004. See 69 FR 33862 (June 17, 2004).

    Because the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area failed to attain the 1-hour ozone NAAQS by November 15, 1999, EPA issued a final rulemaking action on September 26, 2003, to reclassify or “bump up,” the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area to a severe ozone nonattainment area. This reclassification became effective on January 1, 2004. See 68 FR 55469.

    Subsequently, on February 1, 2005, GA EPD submitted to EPA a request to redesignate the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area to attainment along with an associated maintenance plan. This request was based on three years of ambient data (2002, 2003, and 2004) showing no violation of the 1-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA approved the plan and redesignation request effective June 14, 2005 (70 FR 34660) (June 15, 2005). Georgia's 1-hour ozone redesignation request did not include a request to remove the Georgia Fuel Rule from the SIP nor a request to relax the Federal 7.8 psi RVP requirement for the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area.4

    4 Section 211(h) of the CAA requires the sale of gasoline with a maximum 7.8 psi RVP in the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area during the high ozone season. Removal of the Georgia Fuel Rule from the SIP would revert the RVP requirement for the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area to the Federal 7.8 psi RVP requirement. See section III of this proposed rulemaking for more explanation on the Federal RVP requirements.

    On April 30, 2004 (69 FR 23858), EPA designated the following 20 counties as a marginal ozone nonattainment area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS (hereinafter referred to as the “Atlanta 1997 8-Hour Ozone Area”): Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding, and Walton. EPA reclassified the Atlanta 1997 8-Hour Ozone Area as a moderate ozone nonattainment area on March 6, 2008 (73 FR 12013), when the Area failed to attain the NAAQS by the attainment date of June 15, 2007. As a result of the reclassification, the new attainment date for the area was June 15, 2010. On November 30, 2010, EPA approved a one-year extension to the attainment date for the Atlanta 1997 8-hour Ozone Area from June 15, 2010, to June 15, 2011. See 75 FR 73969. The Atlanta 1997 8-Hour Ozone Area subsequently attained the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS by June 15, 2011. On March 7, 2012 (77 FR 13491), EPA determined that the Atlanta 1997 8-Hour Ozone Area had attained the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS by the attainment date, and on December 2, 2013, redesignated the Area to attainment. See 78 FR 72040. Georgia's redesignation request for the Atlanta 1997 8-Hour Ozone Area did not include a request to remove the Georgia Fuel Rule from the SIP nor a request to relax the Federal 7.8 psi RVP requirement.

    On May 21, 2012 (77 FR 30088), EPA published a final rule designating the following 15 counties as a marginal ozone nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS (hereinafter referred to as the “Atlanta 2008 8-Hour Ozone Area”): Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Paulding, and Rockdale.

    b. Fine Particulate Matter

    Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) can be emitted directly or formed secondarily in the atmosphere. The main precursors of secondary PM2.5 are sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), ammonia, and volatile organic compounds (VOC). See 72 FR 20586 at 20589 (April 25, 2007). Sulfates are a type of secondary particle formed from SO2 emissions of power plants and industrial facilities. Nitrates, another common type of secondary particle, are formed from NOX emissions of power plants, automobiles, and other combustion sources.

    On July 18, 1997, EPA promulgated the first air quality standards for PM2.5. EPA promulgated primary and secondary annual standards at a level of 15 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3), based on a 3-year average of annual mean PM2.5 concentrations. In the same rulemaking, EPA promulgated primary and secondary 24-hour standards of 65 μg/m3, based on a 3-year average of the 98th percentile of 24-hour concentrations. On October 17, 2006, EPA retained the annual average NAAQS at 15 μg/m3 but revised the 24-hour NAAQS to 35 μg/m3, based again on the 3-year average of the 98th percentile of 24-hour concentrations. See 71 FR 61144. Under EPA regulations at 40 CFR part 50, the primary and secondary 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS are attained when the annual arithmetic mean concentration, as determined in accordance with 40 CFR part 50, Appendix N, is less than or equal to 15.0 µg/m3 at all relevant monitoring sites in the subject area over a 3-year period.

    On January 5, 2005, and supplemented on April 14, 2005, EPA designated the following counties as a nonattainment area for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS (hereinafter referred to as the “Atlanta 1997 PM2.5 Area”): Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding, Walton, and portions of Heard and Putnam Counties in Georgia. See 70 FR 944 and 70 FR 19844, respectively. On November 13, 2009, EPA promulgated designations for the 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS established in 2006, designating the counties in the Atlanta 1997 PM2.5 Area as unclassifiable/attainment for this NAAQS. See 74 FR 58688. EPA did not promulgate designations for the 2006 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS because that NAAQS was essentially identical to the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. The November 13, 2009, action clarified that all counties in the Atlanta 1997 PM2.5 Area were designated unclassifiable/attainment for the 1997 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS through the designations promulgated on January 5, 2005.

    III. What are the Federal RVP requirements?

    On August 19, 1987 (52 FR 31274), EPA determined that gasoline nationwide had become increasingly volatile, causing an increase in evaporative emissions from gasoline-powered vehicles and equipment. Evaporative emissions from gasoline, referred to as VOC, are precursors to the formation of tropospheric ozone and contribute to the nation's ground-level ozone problem. Exposure to ground-level ozone can reduce lung function (thereby aggravating asthma or other respiratory conditions), increase susceptibility to respiratory infection, and may contribute to premature death in people with heart and lung disease.

    The most common measure of fuel volatility that is useful in evaluating gasoline evaporative emissions is RVP. Under section 211(c) of CAA, EPA promulgated regulations on March 22, 1989 (54 FR 11868), that set maximum limits for the RVP of gasoline sold during the high ozone season. These regulations constituted Phase I of a two-phase nationwide program, which was designed to reduce the volatility of commercial gasoline during the summer ozone control season. On June 11, 1990 (55 FR 23658), EPA promulgated more stringent volatility controls as Phase II of the volatility control program. These requirements established maximum RVP standards of 9.0 psi or 7.8 psi (depending on the State, the month, and the area's initial ozone attainment designation with respect to the 1-hour ozone NAAQS during the high ozone season).

    The 1990 CAA Amendments established a new section, 211(h), to address fuel volatility. Section 211(h) requires EPA to promulgate regulations making it unlawful to sell, offer for sale, dispense, supply, offer for supply, transport, or introduce into commerce gasoline with an RVP level in excess of 9.0 psi during the high ozone season. Section 211(h) prohibits EPA from establishing a volatility standard more stringent than 9.0 psi in an attainment area, except that EPA may impose a lower (more stringent) standard in any former ozone nonattainment area redesignated to attainment.

    On December 12, 1991 (56 FR 64704), EPA modified the Phase II volatility regulations to be consistent with section 211(h) of the CAA. The modified regulations prohibited the sale of gasoline with an RVP above 9.0 psi in all areas designated attainment for ozone, beginning in 1992. For areas designated as nonattainment, the regulations retained the original Phase II standards published on June 11, 1990 (55 FR 23658).

    As stated in the preamble to the Phase II volatility controls rule and reiterated in the proposed change to the volatility standards published in 1991, EPA will rely on states to initiate changes to EPA's volatility program that they believe will enhance local air quality and/or increase the economic efficiency of the program within the statutory limits. In those rulemakings, EPA explained that the governor of a state may petition EPA to set a volatility standard less stringent than 7.8 psi for some month or months in a nonattainment area. The petition must demonstrate such a change is appropriate because of a particular local economic impact and that sufficient alternative programs are available to achieve attainment and maintenance of the 1-hour ozone NAAQS. A current listing of the RVP requirements for states can be found on EPA's Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/gasolinefuels/volatility/standards.htm.

    At this time, Georgia is not requesting a relaxation or removal of the Federal 7.8 psi RVP requirement that applies in the original 13-county Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area; rather, Georgia is requesting a removal of the Georgia Fuel Rule that applies a more stringent low sulfur, 7.0 psi RVP requirement in the 45-county Georgia Fuel Area. There is a separate process, not contemplated through today's proposed action, to remove Federal RVP requirements.

    IV. What are the Section 110(l) requirements?

    The State must demonstrate that the requested changes to the Georgia SIP satisfy section 110(l) of the CAA. Section 110(l) requires that a revision to the SIP not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (as defined in section 171), or any other applicable requirement of the Act. EPA's criterion for determining the approvability of Georgia's SIP revisions is whether the noninterference demonstration associated with the relaxation request satisfies section 110(l).

    EPA evaluates each section 110(l) noninterference demonstration on a case-by-case basis considering the circumstances of each SIP revision. EPA interprets 110(l) as applying to SIP revisions for all areas of the country, whether attainment, nonattainment, unclassifiable, or maintenance for one or more of the six criteria pollutants. EPA also interprets section 110(l) to require a demonstration addressing all criteria pollutants whose emissions and/or ambient concentrations may change as a result of the SIP revision. The degree of analysis focused on any particular NAAQS varies depending on the nature of the emissions associated with the proposed SIP revision. GA EPD's analysis focuses on emissions of NOX and VOC because these are the pollutants affected by Georgia Rules 391-3-1-.02(2)(aaa) and 391-3-1-.02(2)(bbb).5 As discussed in more detail below, GA EPD opted to obtain NOX reductions to offset the estimated emissions increases in NOX and VOC (as a NOX equivalent) from the aforementioned changes to Georgia SIP.6

    5 Currently, counties in and around metropolitan Atlanta are not designated nonattainment for the SO2, CO, NO2, or lead NAAQS. Although the modification to Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(mmm) proposed in the State's February 5, 2015, submission may impact emissions of carbon monoxide (CO), NOX (including NO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2), EPA does not expect any potential increase in emissions to interfere with maintenance of the CO, NO2, or SO2 NAAQS.

    6 Although VOC is one of the precursors for fine particulate matter formation, studies have indicated that, in the southeast, emissions of direct PM2.5 and the precursor sulfur oxides are more significant to ambient summertime PM2.5 concentrations than emissions of nitrogen oxides and anthropogenic VOC. See, e.g., Journal of Environmental Engineering-Quantifying the sources of ozone, fine particulate matter, and regional haze in the Southeastern United States (June 24, 2009), http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-ofenvironmental-management.

    In the absence of an attainment demonstration, to demonstrate no interference with any applicable NAAQS or requirement of the CAA under section 110(l), EPA believes it is appropriate to allow states to substitute equivalent emissions reductions to compensate for any change to a SIP-approved program, as long as actual emissions in the air are not increased. “Equivalent” emissions reductions are reductions that are equal to or greater than those reductions achieved by the control measure approved in the SIP. To show that compensating emissions reductions are equivalent, adequate justification must be provided. The compensating, equivalent reductions must represent actual emissions reductions achieved in a contemporaneous time frame to the change of the existing SIP control measure in order to preserve the status quo level of emission in the air. If the status quo is preserved, noninterference is demonstrated. In addition to being contemporaneous, the equivalent emissions reductions must also be permanent, enforceable, quantifiable, and surplus.

    As discussed above, Georgia's February 5, 2015, SIP revision contains a section 110(l) noninterference demonstration that modifying the SIP to remove Georgia Rules 391-3-1-.02(2)(aaa) and 391-3-1-.02(2)(bbb), and to revise Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(mmm) will not interfere with attainment or maintenance of any NAAQS or with any other applicable requirement of the CAA. To support this demonstration, Georgia's February 5, 2015, SIP revision includes measures to offset the emissions increases expected from the changes to these rules. EPA's analysis of Georgia's February 5, 2015, SIP revision pursuant to section 110(l) is provided below. EPA notes that the proposed changes to Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(mmm) in Georgia's September 26, 2006, SIP submission are structural in nature and therefore do not impact emissions.

    V. What is EPA's analysis of Georgia's submittals? a. Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(bbb), Gasoline Marketing

    The Georgia Fuel Rule was implemented for 45 counties (inclusive of the 20-county Atlanta 1997 8-Hour Ozone Area, the 15-county Atlanta 2008 8-Hour Ozone Area, and additional counties that are designated as unclassifiable/attainment for the relevant ozone NAAQS). This Rule requires the sale of gasoline, also known as Georgia Gas, in the Georgia Fuel Area during the high ozone season that is specially formulated to contain low sulfur, which provides NOX reductions, and an RVP not to exceed 7.0 psi. Georgia's noninterference analysis utilized EPA's 2010b Motor Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES) emission modeling system to estimate mobile source emissions increases associated with the removal of the Georgia Fuel Rule from the SIP.7 The change to 7.8 RVP fuel in the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area and to 9.0 psi RVP fuel for the remainder of the Georgia Fuel Area is estimated to increase daily mobile source VOC and NOX emissions by approximately 4.61 tons and 1.66 tons, respectively, in the Georgia Fuel Area during the 2015 high ozone season.8 GA EPD converted the VOC emissions increase to a NOX equivalent using the ozone sensitivity analysis discussed in Section V.d and calculated a total NOX emissions increase (direct NOX and equivalent NOX) of 200.43 tons during the high ozone season.

    7 The 2010b MOVES model was the latest EPA mobile source model available to the State at the time that it developed its SIP revision. GA EPD's modeling using 2010b MOVES conforms with EPA's modeling guidance at that time.

    8 See Section 3.0 of Georgia's SIP submission for a detailed discussion of the methodology used to estimate the emissions increase associated with the proposed removal of the Georgia Fuel Rule.

    b. Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(aaa), Consumer and Commercial Products

    Georgia's Consumer and Commercial Products Rule restricts the sale of windshield wiper fluid to no more than eight percent VOC content in the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area. In its technical demonstration, the State estimated that increasing the VOC content from eight percent to 35 percent yields an increase daily VOC emissions by approximately 0.17 ton per day (tpd). Although Georgia notes that the washer fluid used in the Southeast typically has a VOC content of between eight to ten percent in the summer and 30 percent in the winter, it used the 35 percent VOC content limit for automotive windshield washer fluid in 40 CFR part 59, subpart C. Georgia estimated daily VOC emissions using 2010 census data and the EPA per-person usage factor for windshield washer fluid.9 GA EPD then subtracted the VOC emissions associated with 8 percent VOC content washer fluid from the VOC emissions associated with 35 percent VOC content washer fluid to calculate the emission increase. GA EPD converted the resulting 0.17 tpd VOC increase to a NOX equivalent using the ozone sensitivity analysis discussed in Section V.d, below. Using this sensitivity analysis, GA EPD concluded that the 0.17 tpd VOC increase equates to a 0.0079 tpd increase in NOX emissions, or 1.92 tons of NOX during the ozone season.10

    9 Per Capita Emissions for windshield washer fluids is 0.611 lb of VOC per year. More information can be found at http://www.epa.gov/ttnchie1/eiip/techreport/volume03/iii05.pdf.

    10 The ozone season in Georgia runs from March 1 through October 31 of each year.

    c. Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(mmm), NOX Emissions From Stationary Gas Turbines and Stationary Engines Used To Generate Electricity

    Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(mmm) reduces emissions from stationary, peak performing engines that tend to operate during high electricity demand days in the 45-county Georgia Fuel Area. The State enacted this rule as an ozone control measure, and it limits the amount of NOX output from stationary gas turbines and stationary engines with nameplate capacity greater than or equal to 100 kilowatts and less than or equal to 25 megawatts of capacity from May 1 through September 30 of each year. The rule currently incorporated into the SIP exempts emergency standby stationary gas turbines and stationary engines, defined as any stationary gas turbine or stationary engine that operates only when electric power from the local utility is not available and which operates less than 200 hours per year, from the rule's requirements. The September 26, 2006, SIP revision would make a structural change to the SIP-approved version of the regulation, pulling the emergency engine exemption into a new paragraph (Paragraph 7) and limiting the exemption to the emission limits in Paragraph 1 of the rule.

    Emergency generators at data centers are subject to the exemption but have different operational needs, mainly the need for an uninterruptible power supply in the event of outages, than emergency generators at other facilities. Data centers are equipped with uninterruptable power supplies, and during a power outage, the data centers receive power from these power supplies and not from the emergency generators. These generators operate only when the uninterruptable power supplies fail or become unreliable and need to be operated for routine testing and maintenance to ensure reliability. Therefore, the State's February 5, 2015, submission would modify the rule to exempt stationary engines at data centers from the rule's NOX emission limits provided that the engines operate for less than 500 hours per year and only for routine testing and maintenance, when electric power from the local utility is not available, or during internal system failures. The rule change would also limit routine testing and maintenance of these engines during the high ozone season to the hours of 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. to reduce the possibility of ozone formation due to these emissions. Ground-level ozone is formed primarily from photochemical reactions between two major classes of air pollutants, VOC and NOX. These reactions have traditionally been viewed as depending upon the presence of heat and sunlight, resulting in higher ambient ozone concentrations in summer months. Given the nature of the exempted engines and the conditions necessary to qualify for the exemptions, any emissions increase is likely negligible.

    d. Emissions Offsets From School Bus Replacements and Locomotive Retrofits

    As discussed above, the State must demonstrate that any offset measures result in equivalent or greater emissions reductions that are permanent, enforceable, quantifiable, surplus, and contemporaneous. GA EPD used information provided by the SouthEastern Modeling, Analysis and Planning (SEMAP) 11 project to examine the sensitivity of daily ozone concentrations to reductions in NOX and VOC emissions at ten ozone monitors in the Atlanta 2008 8-Hour Ozone Area. The State then used the resulting average sensitivities for NOX and VOC from the SEMAP project and the estimated VOC emissions increases identified above to calculate NOX equivalent emissions increases.12 Georgia added these NOX equivalent emissions increases to the projected NOX emissions increases associated with the removal of the Georgia Fuel Rule and Consumer and Commercial Products Rule from the SIP to determine the amount of NOX emissions reductions that would be needed from offset measures to maintain the status quo in air quality. Table 1, below, identifies these estimated total NOX equivalent emissions increases.

    11 Additional information of the SEMAP study is located in Appendix D of Georgia's SIP submittal.

    12 Although the removal of Georgia Rules 391-3-1-.02(2)(aaa) and 391-3-1-.02(2)(bbb) is expected to increase VOC emissions as described in sections V.a and V.b, above, Georgia is opting to substitute NOX reductions for these estimated increases for VOC. The metropolitan Atlanta area is NOX limited (i.e., VOC emissions have little effect on ozone formation) due to the biogenic nature of VOC emissions in Georgia. Therefore, implemented control measures in the Area have focused on the control of NOX emissions.

    Table 1—NOX Emissions Increases/Offsets Required From Removing Georgia Rules (aaa) and (bbb) in Tons for the 2015 Ozone Season Offsets
  • needed from
  • Georgia rule
  • (aaa)
  • Offsets
  • needed from
  • Georgia
  • rule
  • (bbb)
  • Total
  • offsets needed
  • 1.92 200.43 202.35

    Georgia's SIP revision includes two offset measures—school bus replacements and rail locomotive conversions—to obtain the necessary emissions reductions. The State's school bus replacement program permanently replaced 60 older school buses (model years between 1994 to 2003) in DeKalb, Fayette, Henry, and Madison Counties with the newer and cleaner 2015 model year buses and was not necessary to satisfy any federal requirement. In the February 5, 2015, SIP submittal, GA EPD calculated the bus replacement NOX emissions reductions using the Diesel Emissions Quantifier (DEQ). EPA requested that the State recalculate these emissions reductions because the DEQ is not an appropriate methodology to calculate emissions reductions for incorporation into a SIP. On April 7, 2015, GA EPD submitted a correction to the school bus NOX emissions calculation using EPA certification data and school bus mileage.13 GA EPD quantified the NOX reductions by taking the difference in the emissions of the old and new buses, as summarized in Appendix C of the April 7, 2015 correction. The school bus replacement was completed in October 2014. The State has not previously relied on these emissions reductions to satisfy any CAA requirement.

    13 This correction is located in the docket for today's action.

    The Locomotive Conversion Program consists of two components: (1) The conversion of 28 locomotives from Norfolk Southern Railway Company and CSX Transportation to EPA Tier 3 switch duty, Tier 3 Line-Haul, and Tier 2 Switch emissions standards,14 and (2) the installation of an electric layover system at the Norfolk Southern Atlanta Terminal. The contracts have been executed between GA EPD and Norfolk Southern Railway, and GA EPD and CSX Transportation; the scopes of work from these contracts are being proposed for incorporation into the Georgia SIP and will become federally enforceable once approved into the SIP.15 The converted low-emissions locomotives are required in the assigned operating areas within the Georgia Fuel Area.16 GA EPD quantified the NOX emissions reductions using estimated fuel usage of 1,000 gallons per week per traditional switcher locomotives and subtracting it from the manufacturer's estimated fuel usage of the newly converted locomotives. The locomotive retrofits will be phased in over a period from November 2014 through August 2016. To date, one locomotive conversion has been completed, 22 locomotives are in various phases of the conversions process and are scheduled to be converted by the end of 2015, and the remaining five locomotives will start the conversion process by October 2015. The locomotive conversion project also includes the installation of an electric layover heating system for locomotives. The electric layover heating system will reduce idle time, and therefore reduce emissions, by providing electric heat and battery charge to the locomotive engines. The State has not previously relied on the emissions reductions from the Locomotive Conversion Program to satisfy any CAA requirement.

    14 GA EPD entered into contracts with Norfolk Southern Railway on April 29, 2014, and November 25, 2014, and with CSX Transportation on August 19, 2014, to complete the program.

    15 These scopes of work are found at Appendix E to Georgia's February 5, 2015, SIP revision and in supplemental information provided by GA EPD on May 26, 2015.

    16 Pursuant to the contracts, Norfolk Southern Railway Company and CSX Transportation are required to operate the converted locomotives in the Atlanta and Rome Railyards at least 80 percent of each converted locomotive's operating hours.

    Table 2, below, shows the expected emissions reductions from the school bus replacement and locomotive conversion offset measures.

    Table 2—NOX Emissions Offsets (tons/year) Locomotive retrofits School
  • bus
  • replacements
  • Total
  • offsets
  • Total
  • offsets
  • needed
  • 197.38 6.42 203.80 202.35

    The estimated NOX emissions reductions associated with the school bus replacement and locomotive retrofit measures are more than sufficient to offset the emissions increases expected to result from modifying the SIP to remove Georgia Rules 391-3-1-.02(2)(aaa) and 391-3-1-.02(2)(bbb) and to revise Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(mmm).

    e. Emissions Offset Contingency Measure

    Georgia's SIP revision includes a contingency offset measure in the event that the locomotive conversion program cannot be fully completed. The contingency measure would obtain NOX offsets from the permanent retirement of Unit 3 at Georgia Power's Eugene A. Yates Steam-Electric Generating Plant (hereinafter referred to as “Power Plant Yates”), located in Newnan, Georgia, in the amount of any shortfall due to incomplete implementation of the locomotive conversion program. Plant Yates is located 45 miles from Atlanta, Georgia, in Coweta County within the Georgia Fuel Area. There are a total of seven units at Plant Yates; Units 6 and 7 were converted to operate at 100 percent natural gas and Units 1 thru 5 retired in April 2015 per Condition 3.2.6 of Title V permit amendment 4911-077-0001-V-03-5, issued August 29, 2014. The shutdown of the five units will result in a decrease in NOX emissions. EPA is proposing to allow GA EPD to use the permanent retirement of Unit 3 and the associated NOX emissions reductions as a contingency measure for NOX offsets. The shutdown of Yates Unit 3 is not necessary to satisfy any CAA requirement, and the resulting emissions reductions have not been relied upon in any attainment plan or demonstration or credited in any RFP demonstration.

    Georgia quantified the amount of emissions reductions available as offsets using the baseline approach in 40 CFR part 51, Appendix S established to determine the offsets available for the construction of a new major source or major modification in a nonattainment area. Georgia calculated the baseline emissions using 2012 and 2013 actual annual operating hours obtained from the EPA's Clean Air Markets Data Web site. GA EPD calculated the monthly NOX emissions for calendar year 2012 and 2013 to obtain the annual average NOX baseline emissions of 688 tons and 632 tons for 2012 and 2013, respectively, resulting in an average baseline for 2012-2013 of 660 tons of NOX.17 Upon a determination that sufficient offsets will not be achieved within one year from the date of EPA's final action on Georgia's February 5, 2015, SIP submission, GA EPD will revise Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(12)(f), Clean Air Interstate Rule NOX Annual Trading Program, for the purposes of retiring or reducing the appropriate New Source Set Asides and submit that rule revision, along with the Title V permit condition that requires the shutdown of Unit 3, as a SIP revision. GA EPD will use the necessary substitute emissions reductions to replace any emissions shortfall in the event the locomotive conversions are not completed. EPA has initially determined that the State has successfully demonstrated that 660 tons of NOX offset is available through implementation of the contingency measure in the event the locomotive conversion program is not completed and that the measures will be permanent, enforceable, quantifiable, contemporaneous, surplus, and equivalent.

    17 GA EPD estimated the emissions increase resulting from the removal of Georgia Rules 391-3-1-.02(2)(aaa) and 391-3-1-.02(2)(bbb), and the revision to Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(mmm) on a ton per year basis. However, some of the NOX emissions limitations that applied to Unit 3 during its operation are on a 30-day rolling average basis. GA EPD carried out the analysis based on an annual emissions rate and, where a 30-day rolling average applies, a monthly emissions rate.

    f. Conclusion Regarding the Noninterference Analysis

    EPA believes that the emissions reductions from the offset measures included in the SIP revision are greater than those needed to maintain the status quo in air quality and are permanent, enforceable, quantifiable, surplus, contemporaneous and equivalent. Therefore, EPA has preliminarily determined that the SIP revision adequately demonstrates that modifying the SIP to remove Georgia Rules 391-3-1-.02(2)(aaa) and 391-3-1-.02(2)(bbb), and to revise Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(mmm) will not interfere with attainment or maintenance of any NAAQS or with any other applicable requirement of the CAA.

    VI. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(mmm), NOX Emissions from Stationary Gas Turbines and Stationary Engines used to Generate Electricity. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    VII. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve the State of Georgia's February 5, 2015, SIP revision, including the section 110(l) demonstration that modifying the SIP to remove Georgia Rules 391-3-1-.02(2)(aaa) and 391-3-1-.02(2)(bbb) and revise Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(mmm) will not interfere with attainment or maintenance of any NAAQS or with any other applicable requirement of the CAA. EPA is also proposing to approve a structural change to Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(mmm) submitted on September 26, 2006. EPA has preliminarily determined that the removal of Georgia Rules 391-3-1-.02(2)(aaa) and 391-3-1-.02(2)(bbb), and the revision to Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(mmm), are approvable because the SIP revision includes offset measures that provide emissions reductions that are greater than the estimated emissions increases associated with the changes to the aforementioned rules. Furthermore, in the event that the locomotive conversion program is not fully completed, the SIP revision includes a contingency measure to ensure that all necessary offsets are secured. Approval of the State's February 5, 2015, SIP revision would modify the SIP to remove Georgia Rules 391-3-1-.02(2)(aaa) and 391-3-1-.02(2)(bbb), revise Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(mmm), and include the school bus replacement and locomotive conversion program offset measures as well as the offset contingency provisions.

    VIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submittal that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. See 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 proposed action merely proposes to approve state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not propose to impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this proposed action:

    • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

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

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

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

    • does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, October 7, 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).

    In addition, 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.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15321 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    80 123 Friday, June 26, 2015 Notices ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED STATES Adoption of Recommendation AGENCY:

    Administrative Conference of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Administrative Conference of the United States adopted one recommendation at its Sixty-second Plenary Session. The appended recommendation addresses: Promoting Accuracy and Transparency in the Unified Agenda.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reeve Bull, Administrative Conference of the United States, Suite 706 South, 1120 20th Street NW., Washington, DC 20036; Telephone 202-480-2080.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Administrative Conference Act, 5 U.S.C. 591-596, established the Administrative Conference of the United States. The Conference studies the efficiency, adequacy, and fairness of the administrative procedures used by Federal agencies and makes recommendations to agencies, the President, Congress, and the Judicial Conference of the United States for procedural improvements (5 U.S.C. 594(1)). For further information about the Conference and its activities, see www.acus.gov. At its Sixty-second Plenary Session, held June 4, 2015, the Assembly of the Conference adopted one recommendation.

    Recommendation 2015-1, Promoting Accuracy and Transparency in the Unified Agenda. This recommendation offers suggestions for improving the accuracy and transparency of the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. Among other things, it urges agencies to consider providing relevant updates between Agenda reporting periods, offers recommendations for ensuring that Agenda entries are properly categorized by projected issuance date and status, and encourages agencies to provide notice when entries are removed from the Agenda.

    The Appendix below sets forth the full text of this recommendation. The Conference will transmit it to affected agencies and the Congress. The recommendation is not binding, so the entities to which it is addressed will make decisions on its implementation.

    The Conference based this recommendation on a research report that is posted at: www.acus.gov/62nd. A video of the Plenary Session is available at: livestream.com/ACUS/62ndPlenary, and a transcript of the Plenary Session will be posted when it is available.

    Dated: June 22, 2015. Shawne C. McGibbon, General Counsel. APPENDIX—RECOMMENDATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED STATES Administrative Conference Recommendation 2015-1 Promoting Accuracy and Transparency in the Unified Agenda Adopted June 4, 2015

    The Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (typically known simply as the “Unified Regulatory Agenda” or “Unified Agenda”) is an important mechanism by which federal agencies inform the public of upcoming rules. Required to be published on a semiannual basis, the Unified Agenda represents a joint enterprise of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), the Regulatory Information Service Center (RISC) within the General Services Administration, and the individual rulemaking agencies working on rules. The database used to produce the Unified Agenda is the RISC-OIRA Consolidated Information System (ROCIS). Publishing upcoming rules in the Unified Agenda satisfies requirements of both the Regulatory Flexibility Act 1 and Executive Order 12,866.2

    1 5 U.S.C. 602(a).

    2 Exec. Order No. 12,866, 58 FR 51,735, 51,738 (Oct. 4, 1993).

    The Unified Agenda serves the useful function of notifying stakeholders and the general public of upcoming regulatory actions.3 In an increasingly globalized world, this notice-serving function is valuable not only for domestic stakeholders but also for foreign businesses and regulators, who must remain apprised of developments in U.S. policymaking in order to coordinate effectively in promoting international regulatory cooperation.4 Thus, it is critical to ensure that the information in the Unified Agenda is as accurate as possible to allow regulators and stakeholders to plan accordingly.

    3See Curtis W. Copeland, The Unified Agenda: Proposals for Reform 7-8 (Apr. 13, 2015), available at https://www.acus.gov/report/final-unified-agenda-report (cataloguing various stakeholders' expressions of support for the Unified Agenda and recent uses thereof).

    4See Administrative Conference of the United States, Recommendation 2011-6, International Regulatory Cooperation, ¶ 3, 77 FR 2257, 2260 (Jan. 17, 2012) (advocating the establishment of common regulatory agendas among trading partners).

    At the same time, it is unrealistic to expect that agencies can provide perfectly accurate predictions of upcoming actions. There will always be some uncertainty, given the dynamic environment in which agencies operate, and the information contained in the Unified Agenda will never achieve total predictive accuracy. The Agenda itself states that agencies are permitted to issue rules that were not predicted by the Agenda and are not required to issue rules that were so predicted. In addition, agencies may have limited time or resources to prepare Agenda entries.

    The Unified Agenda functions reasonably well as a predictor of some agency actions, but is less accurate in other areas.5 For example, estimated action dates may prove incorrect, the significance of a regulation may be misclassified, and jointly issued rules may inappropriately be characterized differently by different agencies. Additionally, some rules are classified as long-term actions when regulatory activity is imminent, while others remain listed as long-term actions after work on them has ceased. Occasionally, entries are removed from the Unified Agenda without explanation. Finally, a number of regulatory actions have recently been placed in a “pending” category that is not included in the published Unified Agenda.6

    5See generally Copeland, supra note 3.

    6 One consequence of eliminating the “pending” category and moving all active entries to the public-facing Unified Agenda, as recommended below, may be an increase in the total number of regulations in the Agenda, even though the number of rules under development has not actually increased.

    As technology has evolved, some agencies have begun to provide periodic updates on the progress of their rulemaking efforts on their Web sites and other media between the semiannual Agenda publication dates. Though this may not prove feasible in all instances, there are steps that agencies, OIRA, and RISC might take to ensure that the public has consolidated access to this information to the extent this updating takes place.7

    7 It may prove especially valuable for agencies' Unified Agenda entries to provide a link to the rulemaking docket on “regulations.gov.”

    The touchstone of the process should be transparency: although complete predictive accuracy is infeasible, all agencies that contribute to the Unified Agenda should strive to ensure that it offers the most up-to-date, valuable information possible. The following recommendations are designed to identify straightforward, simple steps that OIRA, RISC, and rulemaking agencies can take to enhance the predictive accuracy of the Unified Agenda and ensure that it remains a valuable resource for regulators, stakeholders, and the general public.

    Recommendation

    1. Federal agencies should take steps to provide on their Web sites and/or, where appropriate, through other media, periodic updates concerning rulemaking developments outside of the semiannual reporting periods connected with the Unified Agenda. These periodic updates would likely focus primarily on concrete actions undertaken in connection with particular rules (e.g., noting if a rule has been issued since the last Agenda), but could also include changes regarding rules still under development (e.g., revisions to predicted issuance dates or significance classification). Each agency's Unified Agenda entry should include a notice of where information about updates can be found; if updates are published on the agency's Web site, a link to the appropriate Web pages should be included in the Unified Agenda. OIRA and RISC should also facilitate sharing among agencies of best practices for providing periodic, digital updates on rulemaking developments.

    2. OIRA and RISC should provide a mechanism for linking the information contained in the Unified Agenda and other regulatory data systems (e.g., the Federal Register and other parts of ROCIS) that would, where feasible, enable the Agenda information to be updated automatically. For example, if the Unified Agenda indicates that a proposed rule is forthcoming, and that rule is published in the Federal Register months before the next edition of the Agenda is issued, the Federal Register entry should result in an automatic update to the Agenda.

    3. Federal agencies should not keep regulations that are still under active development in a “pending” category. The “pending” category should be included in the published Unified Agenda. OIRA should define the criteria distinguishing between “long term” and “pending” actions.

    4. In instances in which a Unified Agenda entry has been in the “proposed rule” or “final rule” stage for three or more Agendas in a row, the agency should reexamine the entry to determine whether action on it is likely in the twelve months after the publication of the most recent Agenda. If not, the agency should reclassify the entry as a “long-term” action or, if the regulatory action is no longer in development, remove it from the Unified Agenda entirely, with the notation described in recommendation 7. If the agency is uncertain as to whether the proposed or final rule might be issued within twelve months, it should provide, where appropriate, an explanation in the associated Agenda entry.

    5. To the extent feasible, agencies should ensure that any regulatory actions that are likely to occur in the ensuing twelve months (e.g., hearings or proposed or final rules) are included in the appropriate active “Stage of Rulemaking” category (i.e., the “prerule,” “proposed rule,” or “final rule” stage), rather than in the “long-term” action category. Long-term actions are intended to reflect items that are under development but for which the agency does not expect to undertake a regulatory action in the twelve months after the publication of the most recent Agenda.

    6. In instances in which a Unified Agenda entry has been in the “long-term” category for an extended period of time, the agency should reexamine the entry to ensure that it is still under development. If not, the agency should remove the entry from the Unified Agenda, with the notation described in recommendation 7.

    7. Unified Agenda entries that have previously appeared in the Agenda should not simply disappear in the next edition. When an agency determines that it no longer intends to pursue any additional rulemaking activity with respect to such an entry, the agency should reclassify the entry as completed and indicate how the action was completed.

    8. For rules expected to be jointly issued by more than one agency, the agencies should strive to ensure that the descriptive information provided in the Unified Agenda, including the timing of the rule's issuance and its classification as a “significant” or “major” regulatory action, is accurate across all of the agencies' entries. To the extent possible, OIRA and RISC should encourage agencies to publish a single Agenda entry for the joint rule. Where this is not possible, each agency's Unified Agenda entry should include a link to the other associated entry or entries.

    9. At present, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) elements of the Unified Agenda and associated materials are ambiguous, making it difficult for agencies to know how to respond. For example, it is currently unclear if agencies should indicate whether an upcoming regulatory action is expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities or whether some type of RFA analysis will be conducted. OIRA should change the wording of the RFA elements in the Unified Agenda and associated materials to reflect the intent more clearly and should provide guidance to agencies to ensure that the meaning is clear.

    [FR Doc. 2015-15679 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6110-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request June 22, 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.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by July 27, 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 20502. Commenters 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) 720-8958.

    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.

    Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service

    Title: Emergency Management Response System (EMRS).

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0071.

    Summary of Collection: The Animal Health Protection Act (AHPA) of 2002 is the primary Federal law governing the protection of animal health. The law gives the Secretary of Agriculture broad authority to detect, control, or eradicate pests or diseases of livestock or poultry. The Secretary may also prohibit or restrict import or export of any animal or related material if necessary to prevent the spread of any livestock or poultry pest or disease. Through the Foreign Animal Disease Surveillance Program, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Services compiles essential epidemiological and diagnostic data that are used to define foreign animal diseases (FAD) and their risk factors. The data is compiled through the Veterinary Services Emergency Management Response System, a web-based database for reporting investigations of suspected FAD occurrences.

    Need and Use of the Information: APHIS collects information such as the purpose of the diagnostician's visit to the site, the name and address of the owner/manager, the type of operation being investigated, the number of and type of animals on the premises, whether any animals have been moved to or from the premises and when this movement occurred, number of sick or dead animals, the results of physical examinations of the affected animals, the results of postmortem examinations, and the number and kinds of samples taken, and the name of the suspected disease. APHIS uses the collected information to effectively prevent FAD occurrences and protect the health of the United States. Without the information, APHIS has no way to detect and monitor FAD outbreaks in the United States.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 831.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 3,516.

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

    Title: Importation of Fruits and Vegetables.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0264.

    Summary of Collection: Under the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701-7772), the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to regulate the importation of plants, plant products, and other articles to prevent the introduction of injurious plant pests. Regulations contained in Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 319 (Subpart-Fruit and Vegetables), sections 319.56 et seq. implement the intent of this Act by prohibiting or restricting the importation of certain fruits and Vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the world to prevent the introduction and dissemination of fruit flies and other injurious plant pests that are new to the United States or not widely distributed within the United States. These regulations are enforced by the Plant Protection and Quarantine, a program with USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

    Need and Use of the Information: The use of certain information collection activities including phytosanitary certificates, trapping records, and cooperative agreements will be used to allow the entry of certain fruits and vegetables into the United States. Without the information all shipment would need to be inspected very thoroughly, thereby requiring considerably more time and would slow the clearance of international shipments.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit; Federal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 65.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 239.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15663 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request June 22, 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 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 Safety and Inspection Service

    Title: Professional Services to Support Requirements Gathering Sessions for Safe Food Handling.

    OMB Control Number: 0583-New.

    Summary of Collection: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary of Agriculture (7 CFR 2.18, 2.53) as specified in the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 453 et seq., 601 et seq.). FSIS protects the public by verifying that meat and poultry products are wholesome, not adulterated, and properly marked, labeled, and packaged. The FSIS Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education (OPACE) ensures that all segments of the farm-to-table chain receive valuable food safety information. Through its consumer education programs developed by OPACE's Food Safety Education Staff, the public is educated on how to safely handle, prepare, and store meat, poultry, and egg products to minimize incidence of foodborne illness. Safe-handling instructions (SHI) are required on a product if the product's meat or poultry component is raw or partially cooked (i.e., not considered ready-to-eat) and if the product is destined for household consumers or institutional uses (9 CFR 317.2(1) [meat]; 9 CFR 381.125(b) [poultry]).

    Need and Use of the Information: FSIS has contracted with RTI International to conduct six consumer focus groups to gather information on consumers' understanding and use of the current SHI and responses to possible revisions to the SHI. Participants will be asked to complete pre- and post-discussion questionnaires. The purpose of each questionnaire is to collect information on participants' current awareness and use of the SHI and the likelihood they would change their behaviors if the SHI label is revised. FSIS will use the findings of the focus groups to understand consumers' knowledge and use of the current SHI for raw and partially cooked meat and poultry products and consumers' responses to possible revisions to the SHI. The lack of understanding would impede the Agency's ability to provide more useful information to consumers to help reduce foodborne illness in the United States.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households.

    Number of Respondents: 480.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Other (once).

    Total Burden Hours: 157.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15664 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2015-0045] Notice of Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; PPQ Form 816, Contract Pilot and Aircraft Acceptance 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 use of contract pilots and aircraft in Plant Protection and Quarantine domestic, emergency, and biological control programs.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 25, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0045.

    • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2015-0045, 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-2015-0045 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 contract pilot and aircraft acceptance, contact Mr. Timothy Roland, Director, Aircraft and Equipment Operations, PPQ, APHIS, 22675 N. Moorefield Road, Bldg. 6430, Edinburg, TX 78541; (956) 205-7710. 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: PPQ Form 816, Contract Pilot and Aircraft Acceptance.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0298.

    Type of Request: Extension of approval of an information collection.

    Abstract: The Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture, 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 noxious weeds that are new to or not widely distributed within the United States. This authority has been delegated to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

    As part of this mission, APHIS' Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program responds to introductions of plant pests with eradication, suppression, or containment through various programs in cooperation with State departments of agriculture and other government agencies. These programs may include the aerial application of treatments to control plant pests.

    APHIS contracts for these services, and prior to any aerial applications, requests certain information from the contractors and/or contract pilots to ensure that the work will be done according to contract specifications. Among other things, APHIS asks to see the aircraft registration, the aircraft's airworthiness certificate, the pilot's license, the pilot's medical certification, the pilot's proof of flight review, the pilot's pesticide applicator's license, and the aircraft logbook. APHIS transfers information from these documents to PPQ Form 816, which is then signed by the APHIS official collecting the information and the contractor or contract pilot, indicating acceptance of the pilot and aircraft for the job.

    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 0.267 hours per response.

    Respondents: Contractors and/or contract pilots of aircraft.

    Estimated annual number of respondents: 15.

    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.

    Estimated annual number of responses: 15.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 4 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 22nd day of June 2015. Michael C. Gregoire, Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15739 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Stanislaus National Forest; California; Stanislaus National Forest Over-Snow Vehicle (OSV) Use Designation Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.

    SUMMARY:

    The Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on a proposal to designate over-snow vehicle (OSV) use on National Forest System (NFS) roads, NFS trails, and areas on NFS lands within the Stanislaus National Forest; and to identify snow trails for grooming within the Stanislaus National Forest. In addition, the Forest Service is proposing to establish snow depths for OSV use and snow grooming.

    DATES:

    Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by August 10, 2015. The draft environmental impact statement is expected in July 2016, and the final environmental impact statement is expected in April 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments to Phyllis Ashmead, on behalf of Jeanne Higgins, Forest Supervisor, Stanislaus National Forest, 19777 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA 95370. Comments may also be sent via facsimile to 209-533-1890 or submitted on the Stanislaus National Forest OSV Designation Web page: http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=46311

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Phyllis Ashmead, OSV Team Leader, USDA Forest Service, Stanislaus National Forest, 19777 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA 95370; phone 209-532-6371 ext. 322; email [email protected] Hours for personal communication at the Supervisor's Office are between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday.

    Individuals with a hearing or speech disability may dial 711 for Telecommunication Relay Services.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For over 30 years, the Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region, in cooperation with the California Department of Parks and Recreation(California State Parks) Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division has enhanced winter recreation, and more specifically snowmobiling recreation, by maintaining NFS trails (snow trails) by grooming snow for snowmobile use. Most groomed snow trails are co-located on underlying NFS roads. Some grooming occurs on county roads and closed snow-covered highways. Grooming activities are funded by the state off-highway vehicle trust fund.

    The following summarizes current management of OSV use on approximately 900,106 acres of NFS lands in the Stanislaus National Forest:

    1. Approximately 58 miles of NFS groomed OSV trails exist(historically the Forest has groomed Highland Lakes Road 5.0 miles, an Alpine County road on the Calaveras Ranger District, these 5.0 miles are not included in this summary);

    2. The remainder of the Forest is open for cross country snowmobile use except congressionally designated Wilderness and other special areas. During the development of the 1991 Stanislaus National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan, areas designated as Near Natural were intended to be managed as semi-primitive non-motorized; however, they were never formally closed to OSV use. As a result, some of these areas have been used historically by OSV riders either due to proximity to other areas of use or the type of experience they offer. In some cases user groups have worked through conflict and agreed to subsequent adjustments in locations available for OSV including Round Valley on the Calaveras Ranger District and the Crabtree area near Dodge Ridge on the Summit Ranger District. Both of these areas are managed for quiet winter recreation (both closed to OSV use).Thus, approximately 532,696 acres of NFS lands are open to off-trail, cross-country OSV use. In some areas, user conflicts remain unresolved (Pacific Valley and portions of the Eagle/Night Near Natural Areas);

    3. Approximately 367,410 acres of NFS land are closed to OSV use;

    4. There are two designated crossings of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Bridgeport Winter Sports Area south of Sonora Pass on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

    The final Subpart C of the Travel Management Rule went into effect on February 27, 2015. The final rule states: “Over-snow vehicle use on NFS roads, on NFS trails, and in areas on NFS lands shall be designated by the Responsible Official on administrative units or Ranger Districts, or parts of administrative units or Ranger Districts, of the NFS where snowfall is adequate for that use to occur, and, if appropriate, shall be designated by class of vehicle and time of year . . .” (36 CFR 212.81 (a)). Further, under 36 CFR 261.14, it is prohibited to possess or operate an OSV on NFS lands in that administrative unit or Ranger District other than in accordance with those designations. OSV designations made as a result of the analysis in this Environmental Impact Statement would conform to the final Subpart C of the Travel Management Rule.

    Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose of this project is twofold: first, to effectively manage OSV use on the Stanislaus National Forest by providing access, ensuring that OSV use occurs when there is adequate snow, promoting the safety of all users, enhancing public enjoyment, minimizing impacts to natural and cultural resources, and minimizing conflicts among the various uses.

    Secondly, the project identifies OSV trails where the Forest Service or its contractors would conduct grooming for OSV use. Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement between the Forest Service and Snowlands Network, et al., the Forest Service is required to complete the appropriate NEPA analysis to identify snow trails for grooming on the Stanislaus National Forest.

    There is a need to provide a manageable, designated OSV system of trails and areas within the Stanislaus National Forest that is consistent with and achieves the purposes of the Forest Service Travel Management Rule at 36 CFR part 212. This action responds to direction provided by the Forest Service's Travel Management Rule.

    The existing system of available OSV trails and areas on the Stanislaus National Forest is the culmination of multiple agency decisions over recent decades. Public OSV use of the majority of this available system continues to be manageable and consistent with current travel management regulations. Exceptions have been identified, based on internal and public input and the criteria for designating roads, trails, and areas listed at 36 CFR 212.55. These include needs to provide improved access for OSV users and enact prohibitions required by the 1991 Stanislaus National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan and other management direction. These exceptions represent additional needs for change, and in these cases, changes are proposed to meet the overall objectives. Adopting some changes would require an amendment to the Forest Plan as identified in the Proposed Action.

    The Forest Service has identified areas where OSV use should be prohibited based on management direction in the Forest Plan. The proposed action will prohibit OSV use of these trails and in these areas to be consistent with the Forest Plan. The prohibitions will be implemented through Forest Orders.

    The snow trail grooming analysis would also address the need to provide a high quality snowmobile trail system on the Stanislaus National Forest that is smooth and stable for the rider. Groomed trails are designed so the novice rider can use them without difficulty.

    Proposed Action

    The Forest Service proposes the following:

    1. To designate OSV use on NFS roads, NFS trails, and areas on NFS lands within the Stanislaus National Forest where snowfall depth is adequate for that use to occur;

    2. To identify 58 miles of designated OSV trails that would be groomed on the Stanislaus National Forest. Trail mileages are estimates only;

    3. To work with Tuolumne and Alpine Counties to groom Clark's Fork Road (9 miles) and Highland Lakes Road (5 miles) as part of this Proposed Action. These actions will require agreements between the Stanislaus National Forest, Tuolumne and Alpine Counties (historically, the Forest has groomed Highland Lakes Road 5.0 miles, an Alpine County road, on the Calaveras Ranger District.). This mileage is not included in the Proposed Action;

    4. To designate 98 miles of un-groomed OSV routes;

    5. To designate 141,073 acres for open OSV riding;

    6. To groom trails when there is 12 to 18 inches of snow, following California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division snow depth grooming standards;

    7. To implement a Forest-wide snow depth requirement for OSV use that would provide for public safety and natural and cultural resource protection by allowing off-trail, cross-country OSV use in designated areas when there is a minimum of 12 inches of continuous and supportable snow covering the landscape at 5,000 feet in elevation and above. When the snow-depth requirement is not met, OSV use would be prohibited. Stanislaus Meadow on the Calaveras RD will require a minimum depth of 24 inches, measured at the meadow.

    8. To amend the Forest Plan to allow winter OSV use in the Pacific Valley and portions of the Eagle Night Near Natural areas.1 Historical OSV use was identified during public meetings.

    1 Near Natural Management is described in the Forest Plan as: Emphasis is placed on providing a natural landscape in a non-motorized setting. Public motorized use is not normally allowed and no timber harvest is scheduled. Wildlife habitat management, watershed projection, dispersed, non-motorized recreation, livestock grazing and minerals uses are allowed. The area is characterized by a high quality visual setting where changes are rarely evident. Land altering practices are limited in scope and duration. It meets the Forest Service criteria for the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum class of Semi-primitive Non-motorized.

    Pacific Valley Near Natural Area. This area is located in the northeast part of the Forest on the Calaveras Ranger District. The area is characterized by mountain-peaks, glaciated valleys, scattered timber and considerable granite rock. It borders the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. Pacific Valley Near Natural Area encompasses 8,578 acres.

    Eagle/Night Near Natural Area. This area is located in the east central part of the Forest on the Summit Ranger District. The area is characterized by bare volcanic ridges and rock outcrops, scattered timber, and small sub-alpine meadows. It borders the Emigrant Wilderness. Portions of Eagle/Night Near Natural are proposed for over snow use, including Long Valley, Eagle Meadow and Sonora Pass. The portion of the area proposed for over snow vehicle use in the Eagle/Night Near Natural Area is 5,045 acres.

    Near Natural Over-Snow Forest Plan Amendment Practice Existing S&G Amendment Area acres Forestwide S&Gs: ROS Semi-primitive Non-motorized [10-B-2] (USDA 2010, p. 53) Motorized use is normally prohibited, except for: 4N80Y; 5N02R (NMFPA). Motorized use is normally prohibited, except for: 4N80Y; 5N02R (NMFPA); and, the Pacific Valley and Eagle/Night over-snow use areas. Pacific Valley
  • Eagle/Night
  • 8,578
  • 5,045
  • Closed Motor Vehicle Travel Management [10-G-1a] (USDA 2010, p. 53) Closed to motorized use except for: 4N80Y; 5N02R (NMFPA). Closed to motorized use except for: 4N80Y; 5N02R (NMFPA); and, the Pacific Valley and Eagle/Night over-snow use areas. Restricted Motor Vehicle Management [10-G-2, C1a] (USDA 2010, p. 58) Prohibit motorized use and close motorized routes in non-motorized areas, except for: 4N80Y; 5N02R (NMFPA). Prohibit motorized use and close motorized routes in non-motorized areas, except for: 4N80Y; 5N02R (NMFPA); and, the Pacific Valley and Eagle/Night over-snow use areas. Near Natural: ROS Semi-primitive Non-motorized [10-B-2] (USDA 2010, p. 121) Manage to the ROS Class of Semi-primitive Non-motorized. Manage to the ROS Class of Semi-primitive Non-motorized, except for the Pacific Valley and Eagle/Night over-snow use areas. Closed Motor Vehicle Travel Management [10-G-1] (USDA 2010, p. 121) Manage to Forestwide S&Gs for Closed Motor Vehicle Travel Management. Manage to Forestwide S&Gs for Closed Motor Vehicle Travel Management, except for the Pacific Valley and Eagle/Night over-snow use areas. Total 13,623 NMFPA = Non-Motorized Forest Plan Amendment (USDA 2009. Motorized Travel Management Record of Decision. Stanislaus National Forest, Sonora, CA. November 2009). USDA 2010. Forest Plan Direction. Forest Service, Stanislaus National Forest, Sonora, CA. April 2010.

    OSV use inconsistent with these designations would be prohibited under 36 CFR part 261 once the decision is issued and OSV use maps are made available to the public. The use designations resulting from this analysis would only apply to the use of OSVs. An OSV is defined in the Forest Service's Travel Management Regulations as “a motor vehicle that is designed for use over snow and that runs on a track or tracks and/or a ski or skis, while in use over snow” (36 CFR 212.1).

    Limited administrative use by the Forest Service; use of any fire, military, emergency, or law enforcement vehicle for emergency purposes; authorized use of any combat or combat support vehicle for national defense purposes; law enforcement response to violations of law, including pursuit; and OSV use that is specifically authorized under a written authorization issued under Federal law or regulations would be exempt from these designations (36 CFR 212.81(a)).

    These actions would begin immediately upon the issuance of the record of decision, which is expected in August of 2017. The Forest Service would produce an OSV use map that would resemble the existing motor vehicle use map for the Stanislaus National Forest. Such a map would allow the public to identify the routes and areas where OSV use would be allowed on the Stanislaus National Forest.

    Responsible Official

    The Stanislaus National Forest Supervisor will issue the decision.

    Nature of Decision To Be Made

    This decision will designate OSV use on NFS roads, on NFS trails, and in areas on NFS lands in the Stanislaus National Forest where snowfall is adequate for that use to occur. It will also identify the NFS trails available for snow grooming. The decision would only apply to the use of OSVs as defined in the Forest Service's Travel Management Regulations (36 CFR 212.1). The Forest Supervisor will consider all reasonable alternatives and decide whether to continue current management of OSV uses on the Stanislaus National Forest, implement the proposed action, or select an alternative for the management of OSV use.

    Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the environmental impact statement.

    Open houses will be held in Pinecrest, Sonora, Hathaway Pines and Bear Valley for interested parties to hear an overview of the Proposed Action and ask questions. A separate stakeholder workshop is also being planned. Notification of open house and workshop dates will be announced through press releases, emails and posted on the Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=46311.

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of the environmental impact statement. Written comments should be within the scope of the proposed action, have a direct relationship to the proposed action, and must include supporting reasons for the responsible official to consider. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions. The preferred format for attachments to electronically submitted comments would be as an MS Word document. Attachments in portable document format (pdf) are not preferred, but are acceptable.

    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered, however.

    The Stanislaus National Forest OSV Use Designation Project is an activity implementing a land management plan. It is not an activity authorized under the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (Pub. L. 108-148). Therefore, this activity is subject to pre-decisional administrative review consistent with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-74) as implemented by Subparts A and B of 36 CFR part 218. Certain portions of the proposed action would amend the Forest Plan. These actions are subject to pre-decisional administrative review, pursuant to Subpart B of the Planning Rule (36 CFR part 219).

    Dated: June 22, 2015. Scott Tangenberg, Acting Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15724 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Library Notice of Intent To Seek Approval To Collect Information AGENCY:

    National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations at 5 CFR part 1320 (60 FR 44978, August 29, 1995), this notice announces the National Agricultural Library's (NAL) intent to request approval for an electronic mailing list subscription form for people working in water resources and agriculture. This voluntary form gives individuals an opportunity to subscribe to an electronic distribution list (Enviro-News) maintained by the Water Quality Information Center (WQIC) at the NAL.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by August 25, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Agency Web site: http://wqic.nal.usda.gov/contact-us. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the WQIC Web site.

    Fax: 301-504-5181, Attention: WQIC.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: WQIC/NAL, 10301 Baltimore Ave., Room 118-F, Beltsville, Maryland 20705-2351.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Electronic Mailing List Subscription Form—Water Quality Information Center.

    OMB Number: 0518-0045.

    Expiration Date: 3 years from date of approval.

    Type of Request: Renewal of existing data collection from the WQIC distribution list subscribers.

    Abstract: The NAL's WQIC maintains an electronic, announcement-only distribution list (Enviro-News). The current voluntary “Electronic Mailing List Subscription Form” gives individuals interested in the subject of water and agriculture an opportunity to subscribe to this list. This form contains six items and is used to collect information about participants who are interested in joining an electronic distribution list (Enviro-News) covering water and agriculture and related topics. The form collects data to improve the relevancy to subscribers of information provided by the distribution list. To ensure that the list meets subscriber needs and to prevent spam during the subscription process, it is necessary to gather this information. The brief questionnaire asks for the person's name, email address, job title, work affiliation, and topics of interest. In addition, a Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHA) question must be responded to. The online submission form will continue to serve as an efficient vehicle that allows users to register to receive information on water and agriculture and related issues.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1.0 minute per response.

    Respondents: Water and agriculture researchers and practitioners.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 30 per year.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 0.5 hrs.

    Comments

    Comments are invited on (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance for the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and the assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technology. Comments should be sent to the address in the preamble. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: June 12, 2015. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Administrator, Agricultural Research Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15737 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-12-P
    BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting Notice DATE AND TIME:

    Wednesday, July 1, 2015, 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. EDT.

    PLACE:

    Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Vinohradska 159A, 100 00 Prague 10-Strasnice, Czech Republic.

    SUBJECT:

    Notice of meeting of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

    SUMMARY:

    The Broadcasting Board of Governors (Board) will be meeting at the time and location listed above. The Board will vote on a consent agenda consisting of the minutes of its April 29, 2015 meeting, a resolution honoring 65th anniversary of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and 20th anniversary of its move to Prague, Czech Republic, a resolution honoring Radio Marti's 30th anniversary, a resolution honoring David Ensor for his service to the Voice of America, and a resolution updating the Board's policy regarding non-disclosure of deliberative information. The Board will receive a report from the Interim Chief Executive Officer and Director of BBG. The Board will also receive a review of RFE/RL.

    This meeting will be available for public observation via streamed webcast, both live and on-demand, on the agency's public Web site at www.bbg.gov. Information regarding this meeting, including any updates or adjustments to its starting time, can also be found on the agency's public Web site.

    The public may also attend this meeting in person at the address listed above as seating capacity permits. Members of the public seeking to attend the meeting in person must register at http://bbgboardmeetingjuly2015.eventbrite.com by 12 p.m. (EDT) on June 26. For more information, please contact BBG Public Affairs at (202) 203-4400 or by email at [email protected]

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Persons interested in obtaining more information should contact Oanh Tran at (202) 203-4545.

    Oanh Tran, Director of Board Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15938 Filed 6-24-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 8610-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the New Mexico Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a planning meeting of the New Mexico Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene at 10:00 a.m. (MDT) on Thursday, July 16, 2015, via teleconference. The purpose of the planning meeting is for the Advisory Committee to discuss civil rights issues in the state and select issues for further study.

    Members of the public may listen to the discussion by dialing the following Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-455-2296, Conference ID: 9993806. Please be advised that before being placed into the conference call, the operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and an email address (if available) prior to placing callers into the conference room. An open comment period will be provided at the end to allow members of the public to make a statement. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free phone number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-977-8339 and provide the FRS operator with the Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-455-2296, Conference ID: 9993806. Members of the public are invited to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by Monday, August 17, 2015. Written comments may be mailed to the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1961 Stout Street, Suite 13-201, Denver, CO 80294, faxed to (303) 866-1050, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at [email protected]. Persons who desire additional information may contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at (303) 866-1040.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at http://www.facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=264 and clicking on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's Web site, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at the above phone number, email or street address.

    Agenda Welcome and Introductions
    Sandra Rodriguez, Chair Civil Rights Discussion and Select Issues for Further Study New Mexico State Advisory Committee Administrative Matters Malee V. Craft, Designated Federal Official (DFO) Open Comment DATES:

    Thursday, July 16, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. (MDT)

    ADDRESSES:

    To be held via teleconference:

    Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-455-2296, Conference ID: 9993806.

    TDD: Dial Federal Relay Service 1-800-977-8339 and give the operator the above conference call number and conference ID.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

    Malee V. Craft, DFO, [email protected], 303-866-1040.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15752 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the Delaware Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a planning meeting of the Delaware Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene at 11:00 a.m. (EDT) on Monday, July 13, 2015, by teleconference. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss plans for a future public briefing meeting on the discriminatory—on the basis of race, color or national origin—disciplinary practices and procedures in DE's public schools, and whether the Supportive School Discipline Initiative is employed by Delaware schools.

    Interested members of the public may listen to the discussion by calling the following toll-free conference call number 1-888-438-5519 and conference call code: 3819173#. Please be advised that before placing them into the conference call, the conference call operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and email addresses (so that callers may be notified of future meetings). An open comment period will be provided to allow members of the public to make a statement at the end of the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the operator with the above conference call number and conference call code.

    Members of the public are invited to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by Wednesday, August 12, 2015. Written comments may be mailed to the Eastern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425, faxed to (202) 376-7548, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Eastern Regional Office at (202) 376-7533.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at: https://database.faca.gov/committee/committee.aspx?cid=240&aid=17 and clicking on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Eastern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's Web site, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Eastern Regional Office at the above phone number, email or street address.

    Agenda
    Welcome and Introductions Enid Wallace-Simms, Vice Chair Discuss Plans for Future Briefing Meeting DE State Advisory Committee Administrative Matters Ivy L. Davis, DFO Open Comment DATES:

    Monday, July 13, 2015at 11:00 a.m. (EDT).

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via teleconference:

    Public Call Information

    Conference Call-in Number: 1-888-438-5519; Conference Call ID code: 3819173#.

    TDD: Dial Federal Relay Service 1-800-977-8339 and give the operator the above conference call-in number and conference call code.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ivy L. Davis at [email protected], or 202-376-7533.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15751 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of the Census [Docket Number 150609512-5512-01] 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program Commencement of Phase 1: The Block Boundary Suggestion Project AGENCY:

    Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Program.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the commencement of Phase 1 of the 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program: The Block Boundary Suggestion Project. This first phase specifically provides States the opportunity to provide the Census Bureau with their suggestions for the 2020 Census tabulation block inventory. Suggestions are made by designating the desirability of linear features for use as 2020 Census tabulation block boundaries. In addition, States have the opportunity to give the Census Bureau legal boundary updates. These actions allow States to construct some of the small area geography they need for legislative redistricting. State participation in Phase 1 of the Redistricting Data Program is voluntary.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by July 27, 2015. The deadline for States to notify the Census Bureau that they wish to participate in Phase 1: The Block Boundary Suggestion Project is December 15, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please address all comments to James Whitehorne, Chief (acting) of the Census Redistricting Data Office, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 2H469, Washington, DC 20233

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James Whitehorne, Chief (acting) of the Census Redistricting Data Office, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 2H469, Washington, DC 20233, telephone (301) 763-4039.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the provisions of Public Law 94-171 (Title 13, United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 141(c)), the Director of the Census Bureau is required to provide the “officers or public bodies with initial responsibility for legislative apportionment or districting of each state . . .” with the opportunity to specify small geographic areas (for example voting districts, wards, and election precincts) for which they wish to receive decennial census population totals for the purpose of reapportionment and redistricting.

    By April 1 of the year following the census, the Secretary is required to furnish the State officials or their designees with population counts for counties, cities, census blocks, and State-specified congressional districts, legislative districts, and voting districts.

    In accordance with the provisions of Title 13, U.S.C. Section 141(c), and on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce, the Director announces the commencement of Phase 1 of the 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program. The purpose of this notice is to provide further information on the commencement of the 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program, Phase 1—The Block Boundary Suggestion Project. Future Federal Register notices will address the other phases of the 2020 Program.

    The 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program was initially announced on July 15, 2014, in the Federal Register (79 FR 41258). The Census Bureau received and responded to three comments regarding the Redistricting Data Program. All three comments were concerned with the effect that the census residence rules have on State legislative redistricting. In response, the Census Bureau explained that, while we work closely with the States to identify new construction; correct political boundaries; and add nonstandard features for use as block boundaries, our data tabulation programs consistently use the residence rules established for census collection and tabulation purposes. The responses indicated that we are currently reviewing our residence rules in preparation for the 2020 Census.

    As seen in the 1990, 2000, and 2010 censuses, the 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program is partitioned into several phases. State participation in Phase 1 and 2 of the 2010 Census Redistricting Data Program under 13 U.S.C. 141 is voluntary.

    Beginning in late summer of 2015, the Director of the Census Bureau will invite each state to participate in Phase 1, the Block Boundary Suggestion Project through their previously designated liaison. This phase will include a verification step prior to release of the Phase 3 data. For each State responding that they wish to participate by December 15, 2015 the Census Bureau will provide data from the MAF/TIGER System, optional Geographic Update Partnership Software (GUPS) tools, and the procedures necessary for each State to begin work on Phase 1. States are not required to use the GUPS; however, they are required to provide their Phase 1 submission to the Census Bureau electronically in Census Bureau specified formats. During the submission period, the Census Bureau will provide training in the use of the GUPS and assist the states in understanding the procedures necessary for processing files for their submission. The States will have the opportunity to verify the inclusion of their suggested tabulation block boundary features in the Census Bureau's database as part of Phase 1.

    The Census Bureau will continue to communicate with each State to ensure that they are well informed about the benefits of working with the Census Bureau towards a successful 2020 Census. In addition, the Redistricting Data Office will continue to work with each State to ensure they are prepared to participate in all phases of the Redistricting Data Program. Every State, regardless of their participation in Phase 1, will receive the official redistricting data sets, as required by Public Law 94-171 in Phase 3 of the Redistricting Data Program.

    Dated: June 18, 2015. John H. Thompson, Director, Bureau of the Census.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15780 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economic Development Administration Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance AGENCY:

    Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice and opportunity for public comment.

    Pursuant to section 251 of the Trade Act 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2341 et seq.), the Economic Development Administration (EDA) has received petitions for certification of eligibility to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance from the firms listed below. Accordingly, EDA has initiated investigations to determine whether increased imports into the United States of articles like or directly competitive with those produced by each of these firms contributed importantly to the total or partial separation of the firm's workers, or threat thereof, and to a decrease in sales or production of each petitioning firm.

    List Of Petitions Received by EDA for Certification Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance [6/16/2015 through 6/22/2015] Firm name Firm address Date accepted
  • for investigation
  • Product(s)
    Jesse James & Company, Inc 950 Jennings Street, Unit B, Bethlehem, PA 18017 6/18/2015 The firm manufactures and designs decorative craft and holiday items such as plastic buttons, beads made of glass, leather, natural stone and metal. Lindy Manufacturing Company 5200 Katrine Avenue, Downers Grove, IL 60515 6/22/2015 The firm manufactures stamped and formed metal automotive, appliance and transportation parts. American Hollow Boring Company 1901 Raspberry Street, Erie, PA 16502 6/22/2015 The firm manufactures machined parts consisting of metal pipe molds, pressure vessels, and hydraulic cylinders.

    Any party having a substantial interest in these proceedings may request a public hearing on the matter. A written request for a hearing must be submitted to the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms Division, Room 71030, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230, no later than ten (10) calendar days following publication of this notice.

    Please follow the requirements set forth in EDA's regulations at 13 CFR 315.9 for procedures to request a public hearing. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance official number and title for the program under which these petitions are submitted is 11.313, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms.

    Dated: June 22, 2015. Michael S. DeVillo, Eligibility Examiner.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15747 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-24-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Corporation for Travel Promotion (dba Brand USA) AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    The Department of Commerce is currently seeking applications from travel and tourism leaders from specific industries for membership on the Board of Directors (Board) of the Corporation for Travel Promotion (dba Brand USA).

    The purpose of the Board is to guide the Corporation for Travel Promotion on matters relating to the promotion of the United States and communication of travel facilitation issues, among other tasks. On June 22, 2015 we published in the Federal Register a “Notice of an opportunity for travel and tourism industry leaders to apply for membership on the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Travel Promotion” (80 FR 35627), announcing membership opportunities on the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Travel Promotion.

    A fourth industry sector, hotel accommodations, was inadvertently omitted from the list of seats for which representatives are being sought.

    Interested parties who have already applied in response to that Federal Register notice do not need to re-apply.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce is currently seeking applications from travel and tourism leaders from specific industries for membership on the Board of Directors (Board) of the Corporation for Travel Promotion (dba Brand USA). The purpose of the Board is to guide the Corporation for Travel Promotion on matters relating to the promotion of the United States as a travel destination and communication of travel facilitation issues, among other tasks.

    DATES:

    All applications must be received by the National Travel and Tourism Office by close of business on August 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic applications may be sent to: [email protected] Written applications can be submitted to Isabel Hill, Director, National Travel and Tourism Office, U.S. Department of Commerce, Mail Stop 10007, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. Telephone: 202.482.0140. Email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie Heizer, Deputy Director, Industry Relations, National Travel and Tourism Office, Mail Stop 10003, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. Telephone: 202.482.4904. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Travel Promotion Act of 2009 (TPA) was signed into law by President Obama on March 4, 2010. The TPA established the Corporation for Travel Promotion (the Corporation), as a non-profit corporation charged with the development and execution of a plan to (A) provide useful information to those interested in traveling to the United States; (B) identify and address perceptions regarding U.S. entry policies; (C) maximize economic and diplomatic benefits of travel to the United States through the use of various promotional tools; (D) ensure that international travel benefits all States and the District of Columbia, and (E) identify opportunities to promote tourism to rural and urban areas equally, including areas not traditionally visited by international travelers.

    The Corporation is governed by a Board of Directors, consisting of 11 members with knowledge of international travel promotion or marketing, broadly representing various regions of the United States. The TPA directs the Secretary of Commerce (after consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State) to appoint the Board of Directors for the Corporation.

    At this time, the Department will be selecting four individuals with the appropriate expertise and experience from specific sectors of the travel and tourism industry to serve on the Board as follows:

    (A) 1 shall have appropriate expertise and experience in a city convention and visitors' bureau;

    (B) 1 shall have appropriate expertise and experience in the restaurant industry;

    (C) 1 shall have appropriate expertise and experience as an official in a State tourism office; and

    (D) 1 shall have appropriate expertise and experience as an official in the hotel accommodations sector.

    To be eligible for Board membership, individuals must have international travel and tourism marketing experience, be a current or former chief executive officer, chief financial officer, or chief marketing officer or have held an equivalent management position. Additional consideration will be given to individuals who have experience working in U.S. multinational entities with marketing budgets, and who are audit committee financial experts as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (in accordance with section 407 of Pub. L. 107-204 [15 U.S.C. 7265]). Individuals must be U.S. citizens, and in addition, cannot be federally registered lobbyists or registered as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended.

    Those selected for the Board must be able to meet the time and effort commitments of the Board.

    Board members serve at the discretion of the Secretary of Commerce (who may remove any member of the Board for good cause). The terms of office of each member of the Board appointed by the Secretary shall be 3 years. Board members can serve a maximum of two consecutive full three-year terms. Board members are not considered Federal government employees by virtue of their service as a member of the Board and will receive no compensation from the Federal government for their participation in Board activities. Members participating in Board meetings and events may be paid actual travel expenses and per diem when away from their usual places of residence by the Corporation.

    To be considered for appointment, please provide the following:

    1. Name, title, and personal resume of the individual requesting consideration, including address, email address and phone number; and

    2. A brief statement of why the person should be considered for appointment to the Board. This statement should also address the individual's relevant international travel and tourism marketing experience and indicate clearly the sector or sectors enumerated above in which the individual has the requisite expertise and experience. Individuals who have the requisite expertise and experience in more than one sector can be appointed for only one of those sectors. Appointments of members to the Board will be made by the Secretary of Commerce.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Isabel M. Hill, Director, National Travel and Tourism Office.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15884 Filed 6-24-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE009 Marine Mammals; File Nos. 18722, 18897, 19425, and 19497 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of applications.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the following entities have applied in due form for a permit to receive, import, and export specimens of marine mammals for scientific research:

    File No. 18722: Cornell University, 157 Biotechnology Building, Ithaca, NY 14850 [Responsible Party: Sharron Mitchell, Ph.D.];

    File No. 18897: Kathleen Colegrove, Ph.D., University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine, Zoological Pathology Program, LUMC Room 0745, Building 101, 2160 South First Street, Maywood, IL 60153;

    File No. 19425: Melissa McKinney, Ph.D., University of Connecticut, Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, 3107 Horsebarn Hill Road, U-4210, Storrs, CT 06269;

    File No. 19497: University of Florida, Aquatic Animal Health Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, Gainesville, FL 32608 [Responsible Party: Thomas Waltzek, Ph.D.].

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The applications and related documents are available for review by selecting “Records Open for Public Comment” from the “Features” box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species (APPS) home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting the appropriate File No. from the list of available applications.

    These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    Written comments on these applications should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to [email protected] Please include the File No. in the subject line of the email comment.

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The following Analysts at (301) 427-8401: Rosa L. González (File No. 19497), Carrie Hubard (File No. 19425), Brendan Hurley (File Nos. 18722 and 18897) and Jennifer Skidmore (File Nos. 18722, 18897, 19425, 19497).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject permits are requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR 222-226), and the Fur Seal Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1151 et seq.).

    File No. 18722: The applicant is proposing to: (1) Import/export and receive marine mammal DNA samples from dead beach-cast carcasses, and (2) receive, import/export specimens from scientists in academic, federal, and state institutions involved in marine mammal research under their own permits. The samples will be used for genotyping by sequencing to analyze single nucleotide polymorphisms in studies of genetic variation. Unlimited samples from up to 2000 pinnipeds (excluding walrus) and 2000 cetaceans would be received, imported, or exported during the duration of this permit. This permit is only for the import/export/receipt of DNA samples. Import/export activities would occur world-wide. No live animals would be harassed or taken, lethally or otherwise, under the requested permit. The permit is requested for a five-year period.

    File No. 18897: The applicant is proposing to import marine mammal parts (bones and organ tissue samples) from: (1) Foreign animals either euthanized, found stranded, or in captivity (including animals in rehab), or (2) animals captured/sampled by other researchers under separate permits for such activities. The purpose of the proposed research includes diagnostic testing to determine the causes of outbreaks or unusual natural mortalities and investigations into the ecology of diseases in free-ranging animals or unexpected mortalities in captive populations. Unlimited samples from up to 100 pinnipeds (excluding walrus) and 100 cetaceans would be imported during the duration of this permit. Import activities would occur world-wide. There would be no live or lethal taking resulting from the importation of samples. The permit is requested for a five-year period.

    File No. 19425: The applicant proposes to study marine mammal contaminant levels, specifically using fatty acid and stable isotopes to examine diets and contaminant loads and how they are affected by climate change. Tissue samples would come from remote biopsy sampling, captured animals, and animals collected during subsistence harvests. Samples would originate in the United States, Canada, and Greenland/Denmark. Cetacean and pinniped samples (up to 50 of each species group per year, except for those species specified below) would be analyzed, with a focus on the following Arctic species: ringed seal (30 per year), bearded seal (10 per year), and narwhal (10 per year). No takes of live animals would be authorized under this permit. The permit would be valid for five years after issuance.

    File No. 19497: The applicant proposes to receive, import, and export tissue and other specimen materials (e.g., body fluids) to research the etiologies and cofactors of emerging marine mammal infectious diseases, utilizing standard molecular and sequencing approaches. Unlimited samples from up to 300 individual cetaceans and 700 individual pinnipeds (excluding walrus) would be received, imported, or exported annually on an opportunistic basis. Samples would be obtained from the following marine mammal sources: (1) Killed during legal U.S. or foreign subsistence harvests; (2) stranded dead or that died during rehabilitation in foreign countries; (3) died incidental to commercial fishing operations in foreign countries where such taking is legal; (4) died incidental to commercial fishing operations in the U.S. where such taking is legal; (5) in captivity where samples were taken as a result of routine husbandry procedures or under separate permit; and (6) from other authorized researchers or collections in academic, federal, state or other institutions involved in marine mammal research in the U.S. or abroad. Samples collected from stranded animals in the U.S. and received under separate authorization may be exported and reimported. No takes of live animals are requested or would be permitted. The applicant has requested a five-year permit.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that the activities proposed are categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of the applications to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15753 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P[PRTPAGE P='1']
    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: Application for Commercial Fisheries Authorization under Section 118 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0293.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 600.

    Average Hours per Response: 15 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 150.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    The Marine Mammal Protection Act requires any commercial fisherman operating in Category I and II fisheries to register for a certificate of authorization that will allow the fisherman to take marine mammals incidental to commercial fishing operations. Category I and II fisheries are those identified by NOAA as having either frequent or occasional takings of marine mammals. All states have integrated the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) registration process into the existing state fishery registration process and vessel owners do not need to file a separate federal registration. If applicable, vessel owners will be notified of this simplified registration process when they apply for their state or Federal permit or license.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: Annually.

    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 22, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15681 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD505 Endangered Species; File No. 18688 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Issuance of permit.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO), 1601 Kapiolani Boulevard, Suite 1110, Honolulu, HI 96814 [Responsible Party: Michael Tosatto], has been issued a permit to take hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), leatherback (Dermochelys imbricata), loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.

    ADDRESSES:

    The permit and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone: (301) 427-8401; fax: (301) 713-0376.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy Hapeman or Courtney Smith; phone: (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On September 22, 2014, notice was published in the Federal Register (79 FR 56573) that a request for a scientific research permit to take hawksbill, olive ridley, leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtles had been submitted by the above-named organization. The requested permit has been issued under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226).

    NMFS PIRO has been issued a five-year research permit to conduct research on sea turtles bycaught in three longline fisheries in the Pacific Ocean around Hawaii and American Samoa to assess sea turtle post-hooking survival, movements, and ecology in pelagic habitats. The permit authorizes examination, morphometrics, biological sampling, and tagging of live sea turtles and the collection of carcasses, tissues and parts from dead sea turtles. Authorized take numbers for these activities are consistent with the number of turtle captures analyzed in the incidental take statement of the biological opinion prepared for each fishery.

    Issuance of this permit, as required by the ESA, was based on a finding that such permit (1) was applied for in good faith, (2) will not operate to the disadvantage of such endangered or threatened species, and (3) is consistent with the purposes and policies set forth in section 2 of the ESA.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15749 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: List of Gear by Fisheries and Fishery Management Council.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0346.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 6.

    Average Hours per Response: 1.5 hours.

    Burden Hours: 9.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for an extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Under the provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery and Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) [16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.], as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act [Pub. L. 104-297], the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) is required to publish a list of all fisheries under authority of each Regional Fishery Management Council (Council) and all such fishing gear used in such fisheries (see section 305(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act). The list has been published and appears in 50 CFR part 600.725(v). Any person wishing to use gear not on the list, or engage in a fishery not on the list, must provide the appropriate Council or the Secretary, in the case of Atlantic highly migratory species, with 90 days of advance notice. If the Secretary takes no action to prohibit such a fishery or use of such a gear, the person may proceed.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    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 22, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15643 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD608 Endangered Species; File No. 19255 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of amended application.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DENREC) [Responsible Party: Michael Stangl], 3002 Bayside Dr., Dover, Delaware 19977, has submitted a revised application for a permit to take shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) and Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) in the Delaware River for purposes of scientific research.

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The application and related documents are available for review by selecting “Records Open for Public Comment” from the “Features” box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species (APPS) home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 19255 from the list of available applications.

    These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to [email protected]. Please include File No.19255 in the subject line of the email comment.

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on the application(s) would be appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Malcolm Mohead or Rosa L. González, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On November 17, 2014, notice was published (79 FR 68413) of a request for a permit under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226).

    The applicant had previously proposed annual takes of 50 endangered shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum), capturing them with gillnets, weighing, measuring to total length (TL), examining for tags, marking with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags, and T-bar tags, genetic tissue sampling, photographing, and releasing. Up to 15 juvenile shortnose sturgeon (≤500 mm TL) were requested to also be anesthetized and surgically implanted with acoustic transmitters, and then tracked with receivers to document juvenile nursery areas, individual movement patterns, seasonal movements, home ranges, and habitat usage in the tidally influenced portion of the Delaware River between river kilometers 119 and 148. A single unintentional mortality of a shortnose sturgeon was requested throughout the life of the 5-year permit.

    The applicant has now amended the application, asking that the permit authorize 50 juvenile (≤500 mm TL) and 10 adult/sub-adult (>500 mm TL) shortnose sturgeon annually. Additionally, a total of 265 juvenile (≤600mm TL) and 10 adult/sub-adult (>600 mm TL) Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) taken annually are added to the permit request. Each Atlantic sturgeon would be weighed, measured, examined for tags, marked with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags, and T-bar tags, genetic tissue sampled, and photographed. A subset of 30 juvenile Atlantic sturgeon would be anesthetized and implanted with acoustic transmitters; a subset of 30 juvenile Atlantic sturgeon would be anesthetized and gastric lavaged for diet analysis; and another subset of 30 Atlantic sturgeon would be anesthetized and fin ray sampled for age analysis. The applicant requests one annual unintentional mortality of an adult, sub-adult or juvenile Atlantic sturgeon, but no more than two adults or sub-adults over the life of the permit. As some of these takes are now authorized for the applicant in a separate scientific research permit (Permit No. 16431), if the new permit is issued as proposed, Permit No. 16431 would then be terminated. Please refer to the table in the amended application for the numbers of animals proposed for taking, and the locations and manner of such taking.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15774 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD887 Marine Mammals; File No. 19444 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of permit.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that a permit has been issued to Richard Breezy Wynn, 7216 Wellington Drive, Knoxville, TN 37919, to conduct commercial or educational photography on killer (Orcinus orca) and beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) whales.

    ADDRESSES:

    The permit and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carrie Hubard or Brendan Hurley, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On April 23, 2015, notice was published in the Federal Register (80 FR 22716) that a request for a permit to conduct commercial or educational photography on the species identified above had been submitted by the above-named applicant. The requested permit has been issued under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216).

    The permit authorizes filming marine mammals in Bristol Bay, Nushagak and Kvichak Bays, Kenai Fjords, Resurrection Bay, Aialik Bay, Harris Bay and Blying Sound, Alaska. Filming would occur from boats, a kayak, and an underwater diver; hydrophones would be used to record sounds. Footage would be used in a feature film for theatrical release, focusing on salmon and the animals that depend on them. The permit is valid through October 31, 2015.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), a final determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15750 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Application and Reports for Scientific Research and Enhancement Permits under the Endangered Species Act.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0402.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 115.

    Average Hours per Response: Permit applications, 12 hours; permit modification requests 6 hours; annual or final reports, 2 hours.

    Burden Hours: 840.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) imposed prohibitions against the taking of endangered species. Section 10 of the ESA allows permits authorizing the taking of endangered species for research/enhancement purposes. The corresponding regulations established procedures for persons to apply for such permits. In addition, the regulations set forth specific reporting requirements for such permit holders. The regulations contain two sets of information collections: (1) Applications for research/enhancement permits, and (2) reporting requirements for permits issued.

    The required information is used to evaluate the impacts of the proposed activity on endangered species, to make the determinations required by the ESA prior to issuing a permit, and to establish appropriate permit conditions. To issue permits under ESA section 10(a)(1)(A), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) must determine that (1) such exceptions were applied for in good faith, (2) if granted and exercised, will not operate to the disadvantage of such endangered species, and (3) will be consistent with the purposes and policy set forth in section 2 of the ESA.

    The currently approved application and reporting requirements apply to Pacific marine and anadromous fish species, as requirements regarding other species are being addressed in a separate information collection.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations; Federal government; State, local, or tribal government.

    Frequency: Annually.

    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 22, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15683 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Pacific Islands Crustacean Fisheries Permit.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0586.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (revision and extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 10.

    Average Hours per Response: 15 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 3.

    Needs and Uses: Owners of fishing vessels that fish for lobster or deepwater shrimp that are crustacean management unit species in Federal waters, or that land crustacean management unit species in ports of the western Pacific region, must obtain a crustacean fisheries fishing permit from NMFS. This collection originally covered permitting, vessel identification, and reporting requirements for deepwater shrimp fisheries in the Pacific Islands region. The reporting requirement was moved into OMB Control No. 0648-0214 and the vessel identification requirement was moved into OMB Control No. 0648-0360. Lobster permit applications were previously covered by OMB Control No. 0648-0490, but now are consolidated into this collection, so the name is changed to cover permits for all crustacean fisheries.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: Annually.

    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 22, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15682 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Northern Mariana Islands Commercial Bottomfish Fishery Permit.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0584.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Revision and extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Number of Respondents: 30.

    Average Hours per Response: 15 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 8.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for revision and extension of a currently approved information collection.

    As part of a fishery ecosystem plan, developed by the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council under the authorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, NMFS requires that owners of commercial fishing vessels in the bottomfish fishery in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) obtain a federal bottomfish permit. If their vessels are over 40 ft. (12.2 m) long, they must also mark their vessels in compliance with federal identification requirements and carry and maintain a satellite-based vessel monitoring system (VMS). These requirements are set out in 50 CFR part 665, subpart D. This collection of information is needed for permit issuance, to identify actual or potential participants in the fishery, and aid in enforcement of regulations and area closures.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: Annually.

    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 22, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15642 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Proposed Additions and Deletions; Correction AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published a document in the Federal Register of June 19, 2015, concerning a notice of intent to add NSN: 8105-00-NIB-1412—Aquapad Sand-less Sandbag to the Procurement List for the Department of Defense. The document contained the incorrect “Distribution:” information.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before July 20, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barry S. Lineback, Telephone: (703) 603-2118.

    Correction

    In the Federal Register of June 19, 2015, in FR Doc. 2015-15121, on page 35320, in the third column, under 8105-00-NIB-1412—Aquapad Sand-less Sandbag. correct the Distribution: statement to read: Distribution: B-List.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15704 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Notice of AbilityOne Nonprofit Agency Recordkeeping Requirements AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Notice of recordkeeping requirements.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled (Committee) has submitted the collection of information listed below to OMB for approval under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act. This notice solicits comments on that collection of information.

    DATES:

    Submit your written comments on the information collection on or before August 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments on the requirement to Lou Bartalot, Director of Compliance, Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 South Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, VA 22202; fax (703) 603-0655; or email [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information contact Lou Bartalot or Amy Jensen at information in above paragraph.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Regulations at 5 CFR part 1320, which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), require that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). The Committee plans to submit a request to OMB to approve the collection of information for nonprofit agency responsibilities related to recordkeeping. The Committee is requesting a 3-year term of approval for this information collection activity.

    Federal agencies may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control number for this collection of information is 3037-0014.

    The Javits-Wagner-O'Day (JWOD) Act of 1971 (41 U.S.C. 8501 et seq.) is the authorizing legislation for the AbilityOne Program. The AbilityOne Program creates jobs and training opportunities for people who are blind or who have other significant disabilities. Its primary means of doing so is by requiring Government agencies to purchase selected products and services from nonprofit agencies employing such individuals. The AbilityOne Program is administered by the Committee. Two national, independent organizations, National Industries for the Blind (NIB) and SourceAmerica, help state and private nonprofit agencies participate in the AbilityOne Program.

    The implementing regulations for the JWOD Act, which are located at 41 CFR chapter 51, detail the recordkeeping requirements imposed on nonprofit agencies participating in the AbilityOne Program. Section 51-2.4 of the regulations describes the criteria that the Committee must consider when adding a product or service to its Procurement List. One of these criteria is that a proposed addition must demonstrate a potential to generate employment for people who are blind or significantly disabled. The Committee decided that evidence that employment will be generated for those individuals consists of recordkeeping that tracks direct labor hours and revenues for products or services sold through an AbilityOne Program contract. This recordkeeping can be done on each individual AbilityOne project or by product or service family.

    In addition, section 51-4.3 of the regulations requires that nonprofit agencies keep records on direct labor hours performed by each worker and keep an individual record or file for each individual who is blind or significantly disabled, documenting that individual's disability and capabilities for competitive employment. The records that nonprofit agencies must keep in accordance with section 51-4.3 of the regulations constitute the bulk of the hour burden associated with this OMB control number.

    This information collection request seeks approval for the Committee to continue to ensure compliance with recordkeeping requirements established by the authority of the JWOD Act and set forth in the Act's implementing regulations and to ensure that the Committee has the ability to confirm the suitability of products and services on its Procurement List. The recordkeeping requirements described in this document are the same as those previously imposed on nonprofit agencies participating in the AbilityOne Program under OMB control number 3037-0005.

    Title: Nonprofit Agency Responsibilities, 41 CFR 51-2.4 and 51-4.3.

    OMB Control Number: 3037-0014.

    Description of Collection: Recordkeeping.

    Description of Respondents: Nonprofit agencies participating in the AbilityOne Program.

    Annual Number of Respondents: About 570 nonprofit agencies will annually participate in recordkeeping.

    Total Annual Burden Hours: The recordkeeping burden is estimated to average 567 hours per respondent. Total annual burden is 354,375 hours.

    We invite comments concerning this information collection on: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of our agency's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15706 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List, Proposed Additions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Proposed additions to the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee is proposing to add products and services to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    DATES:

    Comments Must Be Received On Or Before: 7/27/2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barry S. Lineback, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice is published pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 8503(a)(2) and 41 CFR 51-2.3. Its purpose is to provide interested persons an opportunity to submit comments on the proposed actions.

    Additions

    If the Committee approves the proposed additions, the entities of the Federal Government identified in this notice will be required to procure the products and services listed below from nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    The following products and services are proposed for addition to the Procurement List for production by the nonprofit agencies listed:

    Products NSNs—Product Names 7930-00-NIB-0675—Floor Finish/Sealer, Black, Asphalt Floors, Water-Based, Slip-Resistant, 4/1 Gal. Bottles 7930-00-NIB-0717—Floor Finish/Sealer, Black, Water-Based, Slip-Resistant, Asphalt Floors, 5 Gal Can. Mandatory Purchase For: Total Government Requirement Mandatory Source of Supply: The Lighthouse of Houston, Houston, TX Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, Fort Worth, TX Distribution: B-List NSNs—Product Names 8465-00-NIB-0160—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, Blue, Large 8465-00-NIB-0161—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, Blue, XLarge 8465-00-NIB-0226—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, 3″ White Reflective Vinyl Numbers, Blue, Large 8465-00-NIB-0227—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, 3″ White Reflective Vinyl Numbers, Blue, XLarge 8465-00-NIB-0180—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, Yellow, Large 8465-00-NIB-0181—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, Yellow, XLarge 8465-00-NIB-0228—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, 3″ White Reflective Vinyl Numbers, Yellow, Large 8465-00-NIB-0229—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, 3″ White Reflective Vinyl Numbers, Yellow, XLarge 8465-00-NIB-0182—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, Orange, Large 8465-00-NIB-0183—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, Orange, XLarge 8465-00-NIB-0230—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, 3″ White Reflective Vinyl Numbers, Orange, Large 8465-00-NIB-0231—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, 3″ White Reflective Vinyl Numbers, Orange, XLarge Mandatory Purchase For: 100% of the requirement of the Department of Defense Mandatory Source of Supply: Georgia Industries for the Blind, Bainbridge, GA Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, PA Distribution: C-List NSNs—Product Names: 6135-01-447-0949—Non-rechargeable, 9V alkaline battery Mandatory Purchase For: Total Government Requirement Mandatory Source of Supply: Eastern Carolina Vocational Center, Inc., Greenville, NC Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Columbus, OH Distribution: A-List Services Service Type: Janitorial Service Service Mandatory For: USDA Forest Service, White Mountain National Forest Headquarters, 71 White Mountain Drive, Campton, NH Mandatory Source of Supply: Community Workshops, Inc., Boston, MA Contracting Activity: Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Allegheny National Forest, Warren, PA Service Type: Custodial Service Service Mandatory For: US Navy, Marine Corps Base, 1005 Michael Road, Camp Lejeune, NC Mandatory Source of Supply: Coastal Enterprises of Jacksonville, Inc., Jacksonville, NC Contracting Activity: Dept of the Navy, Commanding General, Camp Lejeune, NC Service Type: Document Scanning Service Service Mandatory For: Executive Office of the President, Washington, DC Mandatory Source of Supply: Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, Washington, DC Contracting Activity: Executive Office of the President, Procurement and Contracts Branch, Office of Administration, Washington, DC Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15702 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Information Collection To Be Submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval Under the Paperwork Reduction Act; Individual Eligibility Evaluation AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled (Committee) will submit the collection of information listed below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act. This notice solicits comments on this collection of information.

    DATES:

    Submit your written comments on the information collection on or before August 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments on the requirement to Lou Bartalot, Director Compliance, Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 South Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, VA 22202; fax (703) 603-0655; or email [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request a copy of the applicable form or explanatory material, contact Lou Bartalot or Amy Jensen at addresses in the above paragraph.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations at 5 CFR part 1320, which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), require that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). The Committee plans to submit a request to OMB renew its approval of form used for the initial and annual evaluations of competitive employability required by the Committee's regulations (41 CFR 51-4.3). The Committee is requesting a 3-year term of approval for this recordkeeping activity.

    Federal agencies may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3037-0011.

    The JWOD Act of 1971 (41 U.S.C. 8501 et seq.) is the authorizing legislation for the AbilityOne Program. The AbilityOne Program creates jobs and training opportunities for people who are blind or who have other significant disabilities. Its primary means of doing so is by requiring Government agencies to purchase products and services provided by nonprofit agencies employing such individuals. The AbilityOne Program is administered by the Committee. Two national, independent organizations, National Industries for the Blind (NIB) and SourceAmerica, help State and private nonprofit agencies participate in the AbilityOne Program.

    The implementing regulations for the JWOD Act, which are located at 41 CFR chapter 51, provide the requirements, procedures, and standards for the AbilityOne Program. Section 51-4.3 of the regulations sets forth the standards that a nonprofit agency must meet to maintain qualification for participation in the AbilityOne Program. Under this section of the regulations, a nonprofit agency that wants to continue to participate in the AbilityOne Program must conduct evaluations on each individual performing direct labor to determine their capability to engage in normal competitive employment at least annually.

    This information collection renewal request seeks approval for the Committee to continue to require the use of a standardized, Committee-developed, form to record the evaluation.

    Title: AbilityOne Program Individual Eligibility Evaluation.

    OMB Control Number: 3037-0011.

    Form Number: Committee Form IEE.

    Description of Respondents: Nonprofit agencies serving people who are blind or severely disabled that participate in the AbilityOne Program.

    Annual Number of Respondents: About 570 nonprofit agencies serving people who are blind or significantly disabled that participate in the AbilityOne Program.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: Burden for conducting the evaluations is included in the Committee's recordkeeping requirement under OMB Control number 3037-005.

    We invite comments concerning this renewal on: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of our agency's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15705 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Deletion AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Deletion from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    This action deletes a service from the Procurement List that was furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: 7/27/2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barry S. Lineback, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Deletion

    On 6/12/2015 (80 FR 33485-33489), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed deletion from the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the relevant matter presented, the Committee has determined that the service listed below is no longer suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities.

    2. The action may result in authorizing a small entity to provide the service to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the service deleted from the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following service is deleted from the Procurement List:

    Service Service Type: Janitorial/Custodial & Grounds Maintenance Service Service Purchase For: Naval & Marine Corps Reserve Center, 261 Industrial Park Drive, Ebensburg, PA Mandatory Source of Supply: Unknown Contracting Activity: Dept of the Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering CMD MID LANT, Norfolk, VA Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15703 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force GPS Satellite Simulator Control Working Group Meeting AGENCY:

    Space and Missile Systems Center, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Directorate, Department of the Air Force, DOD.

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This meeting notice is to inform GPS simulator manufacturers, who supply simulator products to the Department of Defense (DoD) GPS simulator users, that the GPS Directorate will host a GPS Satellite Simulator Control Working Group (SSCWG) meeting on 31 July 2015 from 0900-1300 PDT at Los Angeles Air Force Base.

    The purpose of this meeting is to disseminate information about GPS simulators, discuss current efforts related to GPS simulators, and to discuss future GPS simulator development. This event will be conducted as a classified meeting.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    We request that you register for this event no later than 27 July 2015. Please send your registration (name, organization, and email address) to [email protected] and have your security personnel submit your VAR through JPAS SMO Code: GPSD and POC: Lt Wayne Urubio, 310-653-4603. For non-JPAS users, please have your security personnel fax your information to 310-653-4868. Please visit http://www.gps.gov/technical/sscwg/ for information regarding an address and a draft agenda.

    Henry Williams, Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer, DAF.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15699 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Surplus Properties; Notice AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This amended notice provides information regarding the properties that have been determined surplus to the United States needs in accordance with the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990, Public Law 101-510, as amended, and the 2005 Base Closure and Realignment Commission Report, as approved, and following screening with Federal agencies and Department of Defense components. This Notice amends the Notices published in the Federal Register on May 9, 2006 (71 FR 26932) and May 25, 2012 (77 FR 31339).

    DATES:

    Effective June 4, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Headquarters, Department of the Army, Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Division, Attn: DAIM-BD, 600 Army Pentagon, Washington, DC 20310-0600, (703) 545-1318, [email protected] For information regarding the specific property subject to this notice, a point of contact is provided below.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the provisions of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended, the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990, as amended, and other public benefit conveyance authorities, this surplus property may be available for conveyance to State and local governments and other eligible entities for public benefit purposes. Notices of interest from representatives of the homeless, and other interested parties located in the vicinity of the listed surplus property should be submitted to the recognized Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA) and Army Point of Contact listed below. Notices of interest from representatives of the homeless shall include the information required by 32 CFR 176.20(c)(2)(ii). The Recognized Local Redevelopment Authority will assist interested parties in evaluating the surplus property for the intended use. The deadline for notices of interest shall be 90 days from the date a corresponding notice is published in a newspaper of general circulation in the vicinity of the surplus property.

    Surplus Property List:

    Addition:Queens, New York, Fort Tilden U.S. Army Reserve Center (NY022), 415 State Road and Breezy Point Boulevard, Fort Tilden, NY 11695-0513, comprising approximately 9.15 acres. Additional information for this surplus property can be found at http://www.hqda.pentagon.mil/acsimweb/brac/sites.html?state=NY.

    The Army's Point of Contact for this surplus property is Mr. Raymond W. Palma, Base Transition Coordinator, 99th Regional Support Command, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, telephone (609) 221-9558, email: [email protected]

    The Fort Tilden Redevelopment Authority has been recognized as the Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA) for this surplus property. The Fort Tilden Redevelopment Authority is located at 120-55 Queens Boulevard, Room 226, Kew Gardens, New York 11424, telephone: 718-286-3000. The Point of Contact is Mr. Irving Poy, Director, Planning & Development, Office of Queens Borough President.

    Authority:

    This action is authorized by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990, Title XXIX of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991, Pub. L. 101-510; the Base Closure Community Redevelopment and Homeless Assistance Act of 1994, Public Law 103-421; and 10 U.S.C. 113.

    Dated: June 4, 2015. Paul D. Cramer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Housing & Partnerships).
    [FR Doc. 2015-15662 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Ending of the National Environmental Policy Act Emergency Alternative Arrangements for New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Public notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Mississippi Valley Division, New Orleans District (CEMVN) announces the formal termination of the Emergency Alternative Arrangements implemented by agreement with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) pursuant to CEQ's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations (40 CFR 1506.11).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions concerning ending NEPA Emergency Alternative Arrangements should be addressed to Sandra Stiles at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, PDN-CEP, P.O. Box 60267, New Orleans, LA 70160-0267, (504) 862-1583, fax (504) 862-2088 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The NEPA Emergency Alternative Arrangements (Alternative Arrangements) were announced and published in the Federal Register on March 13, 2007 (72 FR 11337). The purpose of the Alternative Arrangements was to expedite the environmental analyses necessary to design and to construct the levees, floodwalls and other risk reduction structures comprising the HSDRRS in light of the threat posed by hurricanes and storm surge to the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans Metropolitan Area. The Alternative Arrangements were limited to those actions necessary to control the immediate impacts of the emergency (40 CFR 1506.11) and were to remain in effect during the completion of the Individual Environmental Reports (IERs) and the Comprehensive Environmental Document (CED) as identified in the Alternative Arrangements.

    The remaining documents to be completed under Alternative Arrangements include the Westbank & Vicinity Supplemental Programmatic IER for compensatory mitigation (SPIER 37a) and the CED, Phase II. While construction of the HSDRRS is very near complete, implementation of compensatory mitigation for the impacts caused by that construction is ongoing. CEMVN has released multiple IERs evaluating potential mitigation projects. SPIER 37a will be released for public review not later than September 2015.

    As set forth in the Alternative Arrangements, the CED addresses the HSDRRS on a system-wide scale. A Phase I CED was finalized on May 22, 2013. A Phase II CED will be released for public review in December 2016. A Decision Record on the CED is anticipated in May of 2017.

    SPIER 37a and the CED, Phase II will be the final documents prepared under the Alternative Arrangements. In all other cases, CEMVN no longer utilizes the procedures of the Alternative Arrangements.

    Dated: June 19, 2015. Richard L. Hansen, Colonel, U.S. Army, District Commander.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15661 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720-58-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Availability of Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Naval Base Coronado Coastal Campus at Naval Base Coronado, California AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Navy (DoN), after carefully weighing the strategic, operational, and environmental consequences of the proposed action, announces its decision to support the current and future operations readiness of personnel with the Naval Special Warfare Command by constructing, operating, and maintaining a Coastal Campus at Silver Strand Training Complex-South at Naval Base Coronado, California as set out in Alternative 1 of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Naval Base Coronado Coastal Campus, California. Implementation of this alternative would include the design and construction of logistical support buildings, equipment use and maintenance training facilities, classroom and tactical skills instruction buildings, storage and administrative facilities, utilities, fencing, roads, and parking. A new controlled entry point would be provided for immediate access to/from State Route 75. Building 99, a World War II-era bunker eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, would be demolished to facilitate campus construction.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The complete text of the Record of Decision is available at https://NBCCoastalCampusEIS.com. Single copies of the Record of Decision are available upon request by contacting: Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest, Attn: Rebecca Loomis, 2730 McKean Street, Building 291, San Diego, California, 92136, 619-556-9968 or email: rebecca.l.l[email protected]

    Dated: June 19, 2015. N.A. Hagerty-Ford, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15715 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive Patent License; QUORA Semiconductor, Inc. AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Navy hereby gives notice of its intent to grant to QUORA Semiconductor, Inc., a revocable, nonassignable, exclusive license to practice in the field of use of optoelectronic devices, power devices, radio frequency power devices, multiple electronic devices, and multiple electronic devices with logic in the United States, the Government-owned inventions described in U.S. Patent No. 6,323,108: Fabrication of Ultra-Thin Bonded Semiconductor Layers, Navy Case No. 78,980.//U.S. Patent No. 6,328,796: Single Crystal Material on Non-Single Crystalline Substrate, Navy Case No. 78,978.//U.S. Patent No. 6,497,763: Electronic Device with Composite Substrate, Navy Case No. 82,672.//U.S. Patent No. 6,593,212: Method for Making Electro-Optical Devices Using a Hydrogen Ion Splitting Technique, Navy Case No. 79,639.//U.S. Patent No. 7,358,152: Wafer Bonding of Thinned Electronic Materials and Circuits to High Performance Substrate, Navy Case No. 84,023.//U.S. Patent No. 7,535,100: Wafer Bonding of Thinned Electronic Materials and Circuits to High Performance Substrates, Navy Case No. 84,023 and any continuations, divisionals or re-issues thereof.

    DATES:

    Anyone wishing to object to the grant of this license must file written objections along with supporting evidence, if any, not later than July 13, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written objections are to be filed with the Naval Research Laboratory, Code 1004, 4555 Overlook Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20375-5320.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rita Manak, Head, Technology Transfer Office, NRL Code 1004, 4555 Overlook Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20375-5320, telephone 202-767-3083. Due to U.S. Postal delays, please fax 202-404-7920, email: [email protected] or use courier delivery to expedite response.

    Authority:

    35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404.

    Dated: June 19, 2015. N.A. Hagerty-Ford, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15716 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Availability of Record of Decision for Navy Real Estate Actions in Support of Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project, Hawaii AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Navy (DoN), after participating as a cooperating agency and carefully and independently reviewing and evaluating the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project (HHCTCP), prepared by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services, announces its decision to adopt the Final EIS and implement several real estate actions in support of the HHCTCP as set out in the Airport Alternative, which was identified as the preferred alternative in the Final EIS. DoN real estate actions would involve the conveyance of approximately 1.6 acres of land and the granting of various easements and license agreements to allow for construction and operation of the HHCTCP.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The complete text of the Record of Decision is available at https://www.cnic.navy.mil/NavyROD_HHCTC. The FTA's Final EIS dated June 2010 and supporting documents are available at http://www.honolulutransit.org/document-library/eis.aspx. Single copies of the Record of Decision are available upon request by contacting: Aaron Poentis, Environmental Program Director, Navy Region Hawaii, 400 Marshall Road, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 96860.

    Dated: June 19, 2015. N.A. Hagerty-Ford, Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15717 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Coordinating Center for Transition Programs for Students With Intellectual Disabilities Into Higher Education AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information

    Coordinating Center for Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities into Higher Education (TPSID)—Model Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.407B.

    Dates:

    Applications Available: June 26, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 10, 2015.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program is to support a national coordinating center (Coordinating Center) charged with conducting and disseminating research on strategies to promote positive academic, social, employment, and independent living outcomes for students with intellectual disabilities. The Coordinating Center will establish a comprehensive research and evaluation protocol for TPSID programs; administer a mentoring program matching current and new TPSID grantees based on areas of expertise; and coordinate longitudinal follow-up data collection and technical assistance to TPSID grantees on programmatic components and evidence-based practices. The Coordinating Center will also provide technical assistance to build the capacity of kindergarten through grade 12 transition services and support postsecondary education inclusive practices, among other activities.

    Priority: This notice contains one absolute priority. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), this priority is from section 777(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) (20 U.S.C. 1140q(b)).

    Absolute Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.

    This priority is:

    A grant recipient must use grant funds to establish and maintain a national coordinating center for institutions of higher education (IHEs) that offer inclusive comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities. The Coordinating Center must provide such programs recommendations related to the development of standards for such programs, technical assistance for such programs, and evaluations for such programs. The Coordinating Center is also required to:

    (1) Serve as the technical assistance entity for all comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities;

    (2) Provide technical assistance regarding the development, evaluation, and continuous improvement of such programs;

    (3) Develop an evaluation protocol for such programs that includes qualitative and quantitative methodologies for measuring student outcomes and program strengths in the areas of academic enrichment, socialization, independent living, and competitive or supported employment;

    (4) Assist recipients of grants under the TPSID program (CFDA 84.407A) in efforts to award a meaningful credential to students with intellectual disabilities upon the completion of such programs, which credential must take into consideration unique State factors;

    (5) Develop recommendations for the necessary components of such programs, such as—

    (i) Academic, vocational, social, and independent living skills;

    (ii) Evaluation of student progress;

    (iii) Program administration and evaluation;

    (iv) Student eligibility; and

    (v) Issues regarding the equivalency of a student's participation in such programs to semester, trimester, quarter, credit, or clock hours at an IHE, as the case may be;

    (6) Analyze possible funding streams for such programs and provide recommendations regarding the funding streams;

    (7) Develop model memoranda of agreement for use between or among IHEs and State and local agencies providing funding for such programs;

    (8) Develop mechanisms for regular communication, outreach, and dissemination of information about comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities to those institutions that have grants authorized under the TPSID Program and to families and prospective students;

    (9) Host a meeting of all recipients of grants authorized under the TPSID program not less often than once each year; and

    (10) Convene a workgroup to develop and recommend model criteria, standards, and components of such programs as described in paragraph (5) that are appropriate for the development of accreditation standards, which workgroup must include—

    (i) An expert in higher education;

    (ii) An expert in special education;

    (iii) A disability organization that represents students with intellectual disabilities;

    (iv) A representative from the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity; and

    (v) A representative of a regional or national accreditation agency or association.

    Definition: This definition is from section 760(1) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1140(1)).

    Comprehensive transition and postsecondary program for students with intellectual disabilities means a degree, certificate, or nondegree program that—

    (A) Is offered by an IHE;

    (B) Is designed to support students with intellectual disabilities who are seeking to continue academic, career and technical, and independent living instruction at an IHE in order to prepare for gainful employment;

    (C) Includes an advising and curriculum structure;

    (D) Requires students with intellectual disabilities to participate on not less than a half-time basis as determined by the institution, with such participation focusing on academic components, and occurring through one or more of the following activities:

    (i) Regular enrollment in credit-bearing courses with nondisabled students offered by the institution.

    (ii) Auditing or participating in courses with nondisabled students offered by the institution for which the student does not receive regular academic credit.

    (iii) Enrollment in noncredit-bearing, nondegree courses with nondisabled students.

    (iv) Participation in internships or work-based training in settings with nondisabled individuals.

    (E) Requires students with intellectual disabilities to be socially and academically integrated with nondisabled students to the maximum extent possible.

    Program Authority:

    20 U.S.C. 1140q(b).

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Government-wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to IHEs only.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreement.

    Estimated Available Funds: $2,000,000.

    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $2,000,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 1.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: 60 months.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Under section 777(b)(1) of the HEA, an “eligible entity” means an entity, or a partnership of entities, that has demonstrated expertise in the fields of—

    (1) Higher education;

    (2) The education of students with intellectual disabilities;

    (3) The development of comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities; and

    (4) Evaluation and technical assistance.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require cost sharing or matching.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs).

    To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapp/index.html. To obtain a copy from Ed Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: [email protected]

    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program as follows: CFDA number 84.407B.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audio tape, or computer disc) by contacting the person listed under Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this program.

    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. There is a limit for the application narrative of no more than 70 pages using the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    Note:

    For the purpose of determining compliance with the 70-page limit, each page on which there are words will be counted as one full page.

    • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, except titles, headings, footnotes, endnotes, quotations, references, and captions. Charts, tables, figures, and graphs in the application may be single-spaced.

    • Use a font that is either 12-point or larger, or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). However, you may use a 10-point font in charts, tables, figures, graphs, footnotes, and endnotes.

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Ariel Narrow) will not be accepted.

    The 70-page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet or the table of contents; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; the Abstract and Information Page; or the resumes (three-page limit), the citations, or letters of support.

    If you include any attachments or appendices not specifically requested and required for the application, these items will be counted as part of the narrative for the purposes of the page limit.

    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit or if you apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: June 26, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 10, 2015.

    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this program.

    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:

    Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip sheet, which you can find at www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR), and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications

    Applications for grants under the TPSID Coordinating Center Program, CFDA number 84.407B, must be submitted electronically using the Government-wide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    You may access the electronic grant application for the Coordinating Center for Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities into Higher Education program at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.407, not 84.407B).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: the Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document Format) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues With the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

    Note:

    The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system;

    and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Shedita Alston, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6131, Washington, DC 20006-8225. FAX: (202) 502-7699.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.407B), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.407B), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

    If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from 34 CFR 75.210. The points assigned to each criterion are indicated in parentheses. Applicants may earn up to a total of 75 points for the selection criteria. These selection criteria serve as the template for submitting and reviewing proposals. Additional details may be found in the application package under Instructions for the Project Narrative.

    The five selection criteria for the grant in this competition are as follows:

    1. Quality of the Project Design (Up to 20 Points)

    The Secretary considers the quality of the project design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    • The extent to which the design of the proposed project is appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target population or other identified needs.

    • The extent to which the design of the proposed project includes a thorough, high-quality review of the relevant literature, a high-quality plan for project implementation, and the use of appropriate methodological tools to ensure successful achievement of project objectives.

    • The extent to which the proposed project is designed to build capacity and yield results that will extend beyond the period of Federal financial assistance.

    • The extent to which the design of the proposed project reflects up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice.

    2. Quality of Project Services (Up to 15 Points)

    The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project. In determining the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    • The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project are appropriate to the needs of the intended recipients or beneficiaries of those services.

    • The likelihood that the services to be provided by the proposed project will lead to improvements in the skills necessary to gain employment or build capacity for independent living.

    3. Quality of Project Personnel (Up to 10 Points)

    The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry out the proposed project. In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    • The extent to which the applicant encourages applications from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.

    • The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of the project director or principal investigator.

    • The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel.

    4. Adequacy of Resources (Up to 15 Points)

    The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project. In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    • The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the lead applicant organization.

    • The extent to which the budget is adequate to support the proposed project.

    • The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the number of persons to be served and to the anticipated results and benefits.

    • The potential for continued support of the project after Federal funding ends, including, as appropriate, the demonstrated commitment of appropriate entities to such support.

    5. Quality of Project Evaluation (Up to 15 Points)

    The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the project evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    • The extent to which the methods of evaluation provide for examining the effectiveness of project implementation strategies.

    • The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data to the extent possible.

    • The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress towards achieving intended outcomes.

    • The extent to which the evaluation will provide guidance about effective strategies suitable for replication or testing in other settings.

    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    3. Special Conditions: Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of the project period, a grantee must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For this program, not later than five years after the date of the establishment of the Coordinating Center, the Coordinating Center must report to the Secretary, the authorizing committees, and the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity on the recommendations of the workgroup described in the absolute priority of this notice. For specific requirements on reporting, please go to http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    4. Performance Measures: The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 directs Federal departments and agencies to improve the effectiveness of their programs by engaging in strategic planning, setting outcome-related goals for programs, and measuring program results against those goals. The goal of the Coordinating Center Program is to provide: (A) Recommendations related to the development of standards for inclusive comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities; (B) technical assistance for such programs; and (C) evaluations for such programs. To assess the success of the grantee in meeting these goals, in addition to other information, the grantee's annual performance report must include—

    (1) The percentage of inclusive comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs assisted by the center that meet evidence-based, center-developed standards for necessary program components, reported across each standard; and

    (2) The percentage of students with intellectual disabilities who are enrolled in programs assisted by the center who complete the programs and obtain a meaningful credential, as defined by the center and supported through empirical evidence.

    In addition, the Coordinating Center will work closely with the Federal project officer to develop additional performance measures, performance targets, and data collection methodologies that are aligned with this work. Data must be collected by the Coordinating Center around accreditation standards and communications with accrediting bodies, descriptions and analyses of funding streams, and the impact of the Coordinating Center's technical assistance activities related to outreach and dissemination. These additional performance measures will capture formative data about the quality, usefulness, relevance, and efficiency of the Coordinating Center's technical assistance and evaluation services.

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress toward meeting the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shedita Alston, U.S. Department of Education, Model Comprehensive and Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6131, Washington, DC 20006-8524. Telephone: (202) 502-7808, or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

    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.

    Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated authority to Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary, to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15781 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) Information To Be Verified for the 2016-2017 Award Year AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    [CFDA Numbers: 84.007, 84.033, 84.038, 84.063, and 84.268.] SUMMARY:

    For each award year, the Secretary publishes in the Federal Register a notice announcing the FAFSA information that an institution and an applicant may be required to verify, as well as the acceptable documentation for verifying FAFSA information. This is the notice for the 2016-2017 award year.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacquelyn C. Butler, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 8053, Washington, DC 20006. Telephone: (202) 502-7890.

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Secretary will include on the applicant's Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) flags that will indicate that the applicant has been selected by the Secretary for verification and the Verification Tracking Group that the applicant has been placed in, which in turn indicates which FAFSA information needs to be verified for that applicant and, if appropriate, the applicant's parent(s) or spouse. The Student Aid Report (SAR) provided to the applicant will indicate that the applicant's FAFSA information has been selected for verification and direct the applicant to the institution for further instructions for completing the verification process.

    The following chart lists, for the 2016-2017 award year, the FAFSA information that an institution and an applicant and, if appropriate, the applicant's parent(s) or spouse, may be required to verify under 34 CFR 668.56. The chart also lists the acceptable documentation that must be provided under § 668.57 to an institution for that information to be verified.

    FAFSA information Acceptable documentation Income information for tax filers
  • a. Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).
  • b. U.S. Income Tax Paid.
  • c. Untaxed Portions of IRA Distributions.
  • d. Untaxed Portions of Pensions.
  • e. IRA Deductions and Payments.
  • f. Tax Exempt Interest Income.
  • g. Education Credits.
  • For income information listed under items a through g for tax filers—
  • (1) Tax year 2015 information that the Secretary has identified as having been obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool 1 and that has not been changed after the information was obtained from the IRS;
  • (2) A transcript 1 obtained from the IRS that lists tax account information of the tax filer for tax year 2015; or
  • (3) A transcript 1 that was obtained at no cost from the relevant taxing authority of a U.S. territory (Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands) or commonwealth (Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands), or a foreign central government that lists tax account information of the tax filer for tax year 2015.
  • h. Other Untaxed Income For tax filers required to verify other untaxed income—
  • (1) A statement signed by the applicant and, if the applicant is a dependent student, by one of the applicant's parents that lists sources of other untaxed income as provided under section 480(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), and the amount of income from each source for tax year 2015; and
  • (2) A copy of IRS Form W-2 2 for each source of employment income received for tax year 2015 or an equivalent document.2
  • Income information for tax filers with special circumstances
  • a. Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).
  • b. U.S. Income Tax Paid.
  • c. Untaxed Portions of IRA Distributions.
  • d. Untaxed Portions of Pensions.
  • e. IRA Deductions and Payments.
  • f. Tax Exempt Interest Income.
  • g. Education Credits.
  • (1) For a student or the parent(s) of a dependent student who filed a 2015 joint income tax return and whose income is used in the calculation of the applicant's expected family contribution and who at the time the FAFSA was completed was separated, divorced, widowed, or married to someone other than the individual included on the 2015 joint income tax return—
  • (a) A transcript 1 obtained from the IRS or other relevant taxing authority that lists tax account information of the tax filer(s) for tax year 2015; and
  • (b) A copy of IRS Form W-2 2 for each source of employment income received for tax year 2015 or an equivalent document.2
  • (2) For an individual who is required to file a 2015 IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension by the IRS— (a) A copy of IRS Form 4868, “Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,” that the individual filed with the IRS for tax year 2015; (b) If applicable, a copy of the IRS's approval of an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension if the individual requested an additional extension of the filing time for tax year 2015; (c) A copy of IRS Form W-2 2 for each source of employment income received for tax year 2015 or an equivalent document; 2 and (d) If self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of AGI and U.S. income tax paid for tax year 2015. Note: An institution may require that, after the income tax return is filed, an individual granted a filing extension submit tax information using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool 1 or by obtaining a transcript 1 from the IRS that lists tax account information for tax year 2015. When an institution receives such information, it must be used to reverify the FAFSA information included on the transcript.1 (3) For an individual who was the victim of IRS tax-related identity theft— (a) A Tax Return DataBase View (TRDBV) transcript obtained from the IRS; and (b) A statement signed and dated by the tax filer indicating that he or she was a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft. Note: Tax filers may inform the IRS of the tax-related identity theft and obtain a TRDBV transcript by calling the IRS's Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) at 1-800-908-4490. Tax filers who cannot obtain a TRDBV transcript may instead submit another official IRS transcript or equivalent document provided by the IRS if it includes all of the income and tax information required to be verified. Unless the institution has reason to suspect the authenticity of the TRDBV transcript or an equivalent document provided by the IRS, a signature or stamp or any other validation from the IRS is not needed. h. Other Untaxed Income (4) For tax filers with special circumstances who are required to verify other untaxed income, a statement signed by the applicant and, if the applicant is a dependent student, by one of the applicant's parents, that lists the sources of other untaxed income as provided under section 480(b) of the HEA and the amount of income from each source for tax year 2015. Income information for nontax filers
  • a. Income earned from work.
  • b. Other Untaxed Income.
  • For an individual who has not filed and, under IRS or other relevant taxing authority rules (e.g., the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, a U.S. territory or commonwealth or a foreign central government), is not required to file a 2015 income tax return—
  • (1) A signed statement certifying—
  • (a) That the individual has not filed and is not required to file an income tax return for tax year 2015;
  • (b) The sources of income earned from work and the amount of income from each source for tax year 2015;
  • (c) For nontax filers required to verify other untaxed income, the source of income as provided under section 480(b) of the HEA and the amount of income from each source for tax year 2015; and
  • (2) A copy of IRS Form W-2 2 for each source of employment income received for tax year 2015 or an equivalent document.2
  • Note: If an institution has reason to believe that the signed statement provided by the applicant regarding whether the applicant has not filed and is not required to file a 2015 income tax return is inaccurate, the institution must request that the applicant obtain confirmation of non-filing from the IRS or other relevant taxing authority. Number of Household Members A statement signed by the applicant and, if the applicant is a dependent student, by one of the applicant's parents that lists the name and age of each household member and the relationship of that household member to the applicant. Note: Verification of number of household members is not required if— • For a dependent student, the household size indicated on the ISIR is two and the parent is single, separated, divorced, or widowed, or the household size indicated on the ISIR is three if the parents are married or unmarried and living together; or • For an independent student, the household size indicated on the ISIR is one and the applicant is single, separated, divorced, or widowed, or the household size indicated on the ISIR is two if the applicant is married. Number in College (1) A statement signed by the applicant and, if the applicant is a dependent student, by one of the applicant's parents listing the name and age of each household member who is or will be attending an eligible postsecondary educational institution as at least a half-time student in the 2016-2017 award year in a program that leads to a degree or certificate and the name of that educational institution. (2) If an institution has reason to believe that the signed statement provided by the applicant regarding the number of household members enrolled in eligible postsecondary institutions is inaccurate, the institution must obtain documentation from each institution named by the applicant that the household member in question is, or will be, attending on at least a half-time basis unless— (a) The applicant's institution determines that such documentation is not available because the household member in question has not yet registered at the institution the household member plans to attend; or (b) The institution has documentation indicating that the household member in question will be attending the same institution as the applicant. Note: Verification of the number of household members in college is not required if the number in college indicated on the ISIR is “1.” Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (1) A statement signed by the applicant and, if the applicant is a dependent student, by one of the applicant's parents affirming that SNAP benefits were received by someone in the household during the 2014 and/or 2015 calendar year. (2) If an institution has reason to believe that the signed statement provided by the applicant regarding the receipt of SNAP benefits is inaccurate, the applicant must provide the institution with documentation from the agency that issued the SNAP benefits. Note: Verification of the receipt of SNAP benefits is not required if the receipt of SNAP benefits is not indicated on the applicant's ISIR. Child Support Paid (1) A statement signed by the applicant and, if the applicant is a dependent student, by one of the applicant's parents, as appropriate, certifying— (a) The amount of child support paid; (b) The name of the person who paid the child support; (c) The name of the person to whom child support was paid; and (d) The names and ages of the children for whom child support was paid. (2) If the institution has reason to believe that the information provided in the signed statement is inaccurate, the institution must obtain documentation such as— (a) A statement from the individual receiving the child support showing the amount received; or (b) Documentation that the child support payments were made (e.g., copies of the child support checks, money order receipts, or similar records of electronic payments having been made). Note: Verification of child support paid is not required if child support paid is not indicated on the applicant's ISIR. High School Completion Status (1) High School Diploma (a) A copy of the applicant's high school diploma; (b) A copy of the applicant's final official high school transcript that shows the date when the diploma was awarded; or (c) A copy of the “secondary school leaving certificate” (or other similar document) for students who completed secondary education in a foreign country and are unable to obtain a copy of their high school diploma or transcript. Note: Institutions that have the expertise may evaluate foreign secondary school credentials to determine their equivalence to U.S. high school diplomas. Institutions may also use a foreign diploma evaluation service for this purpose. (2) Recognized Equivalent of a High School Diploma (a) General Educational Development (GED) Certificate or GED transcript; (b) A State certificate or transcript received by a student after the student has passed a State-authorized examination (HiSET, TASC, or other State-authorized examination) that the State recognizes as the equivalent of a high school diploma; (c) An academic transcript that indicates the student successfully completed at least a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's degree at any participating institution; or (d) For a person who is seeking enrollment in an educational program that leads to at least an associate degree or its equivalent and who excelled academically in high school but did not finish, documentation from the high school that the student excelled academically and documentation from the postsecondary institution that the student has met its written policies for admitting such students. (3) Homeschool (a) If the State where the student was homeschooled requires by law that such students obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschool (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent), a copy of that credential; or (b) If State law does not require the credential noted in 3a), a transcript or the equivalent signed by the student's parent or guardian that lists the secondary school courses the student completed and documents the successful completion of a secondary school education in a homeschool setting. Note: In cases where documentation of an applicant's completion of a secondary school education is unavailable, e.g., the secondary school is closed and information is not available from another source, such as the local school district or a State Department of Education, or in the case of homeschooling, the parent(s)/guardian(s) who provided the homeschooling is deceased, an institution may accept alternative documentation to verify the applicant's high school completion status. An institution may not accept a student's self-certification nor the DD Form 214 Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty as alternative documentation. When documenting an applicant's high school completion status, an institution may rely on documentation it has already collected for purposes other than the Title IV verification requirements if the documentation meets the criteria outlined above (e.g., high school transcripts maintained in the admissions office).
  • Verification of high school completion status is not required if the institution successfully verified and documented the applicant's high school completion status for a prior award year.
  • Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose (1) An applicant must appear in person and present the following documentation to an institutionally authorized individual to verify the applicant's identity— (a) An unexpired valid government-issued photo identification such as, but not limited to, a driver's license, non-driver's identification card, other State-issued identification, or passport. The institution must maintain an annotated copy of the unexpired valid government-issued photo identification that includes— i. The date the identification was presented; and ii. The name of the institutionally authorized individual who reviewed the identification; and (b) A signed statement using the exact language as follows, except that the student's identification number is optional if collected elsewhere on the same page as the statement: Statement of Educational Purpose I certify that I ________ (Print Student's Name) am the individual signing this Statement of Educational Purpose and that the Federal student financial assistance I may receive will only be used for educational purposes and to pay the cost of attending _____________for 2016-2017.
  • (Name of Postsecondary Educational Institution)
  • ___________________
  • (Student's Signature)
  • ___________________
  • (Date)
  • ___________________
  • (Student's ID Number)
  • (2) If an institution determines that an applicant is unable to appear in person to present an unexpired valid photo identification and execute the Statement of Educational Purpose, the applicant must provide the institution with— (a) A copy of an unexpired valid government-issued photo identification such as, but not limited to, a driver's license, non-driver's identification card, other State-issued identification, or passport that is acknowledged in a notary statement or that is presented to a notary; and (b) An original notarized statement signed by the applicant using the exact language as follows, except that the student's identification number is optional if collected elsewhere on the same page as the statement: Statement of Educational Purpose I certify that I ________(Print Student's Name) am the individual signing this Statement of Educational Purpose and that the Federal student financial assistance I may receive will only be used for educational purposes and to pay the cost of attending __________________for 2016-2017.
  • (Name of Postsecondary Educational Institution)
  • ___________________
  • (Student's Signature)
  • ___________________
  • (Date)
  • ___________________
  • (Student's ID Number)
  • 1 An institution may accept a copy of the original 2015 income tax return for tax filers who are— (a) Consistent with guidance that the Secretary may provide following the period after the IRS processes 2015 income tax returns, unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or obtain a transcript from the IRS; (b) Unable to obtain a transcript at no cost from the taxing authority of a U.S. territory (Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands) or commonwealth (Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands), or a foreign central government that lists tax account information of the tax filer for tax year 2015; (c) Individuals who filed an amended tax return with the IRS. In addition to the copy of the original 2015 income tax return that was filed with the IRS, the individual must submit the following documents to the institution: 1. A transcript obtained from the IRS that lists tax account information of the tax filer(s) for tax year 2015; and 2. A signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X that was filed with the IRS. The copy of the 2015 income tax return must include the signature of the tax filer or one of the filers of a joint income tax return or the signed, stamped, typed, or printed name and address of the preparer of the income tax return and the preparer's Social Security Number, Employer Identification Number, or Preparer Tax Identification Number. For a tax filer who filed an income tax return other than an IRS form, such as a foreign or Puerto Rican tax form, the institution must use the income information (converted to U.S. dollars) from the lines of that form that correspond most closely to the income information reported on a U.S. income tax return. An individual who did not retain a copy of his or her 2015 tax account information and that information cannot be located by the IRS or other relevant taxing authority, must submit to the institution— (a) Copies of all IRS Form W-2s or an equivalent document; (b) Documentation from the IRS or other relevant taxing authority that indicates the individual's 2015 tax account information cannot be located; and (c) A signed statement that indicates that the individual did not retain a copy of his or her 2015 tax account information. 2 An individual who is required to submit an IRS Form W-2 or an equivalent document but did not maintain his or her copy should request a duplicate from the employer who issued the original or from the government agency that issued the equivalent document. If the individual is unable to obtain a duplicate W-2 or an equivalent document in a timely manner, the institution may permit that individual to provide a signed statement, in accordance with 34 CFR 668.57(a)(6), that includes— (a) The amount of income earned from work; (b) The source of that income; and (c) The reason why the IRS Form W-2 and an equivalent document is not available in a timely manner.
    Other Sources for Detailed Information

    We provide a more detailed discussion on the verification process in the following resources:

    2016-2017 Application and Verification Guide.

    2016-2017 ISIR Guide.

    2016-2017 SAR Comment Codes and Text.

    2016-2017 COD Technical Reference.

    • Program Integrity Information—Questions and Answers on Verification at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2009/verification.html.

    These publications are on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals Web site at www.ifap.ed.gov.

    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.

    Program Authority:

    20 U.S.C. 1070a, 1070a-1, 1070b—1070b-4, 1070c—1070c-4, 1070g, 1071—1087-2, 1087a-1087j, and 1087aa-1087ii; 42 U.S.C. 2751-2756b.

    Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated authority to Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary, to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15782 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0082] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; GEAR UP Applications for Partnership and State Grants AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting Docket ID number ED-2015-ICCD-0082 or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. If the regulations.gov site is not available to the public for any reason, ED will temporarily accept comments at ICDocket[email protected] Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted; ED will ONLY accept comments during the comment period in this mailbox when the regulations.gov site is not available. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Mailstop L-OM-2-2E319, Room 2E103, Washington, DC 20202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact James Davis, 202-502-7802.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: GEAR UP Applications for Partnership and State Grants.

    OMB Control Number: 1840-0821.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 545.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 30,460.

    Abstract: Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), created in the Higher Education Act Amendments of 1998 (Title IV, section 404A-404H), is a discretionary grant program which encourages applicants to provide support and maintain a commitment to eligible low-income students, including students with disabilities, to assist the students in obtaining a secondary school diploma and preparing for and succeeding in postsecondary education. GEAR UP provides grants to states and partnerships to provide services at high-poverty middle and high schools. GEAR UP grantees serve an entire cohort of students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow them through graduation and, optionally, the first year of college.

    The purpose of the GEAR UP partnership and state applications is to allow partnerships and states to apply for funding under the GEAR UP program.

    Dated: June 22, 2015. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15660 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Transition Programs for Students With Intellectual Disabilities Into Higher Education AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information

    Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities into Higher Education (TPSID)—Model Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.407A.

    Dates:

    Applications Available: June 26, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 10, 2015.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the TPSID Program is to support model demonstration programs that promote the successful transition of students with intellectual disabilities into higher education and to enable institutions of higher education (IHEs), or consortia of IHEs, to create or expand high-quality, inclusive model comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities.

    Priorities: This notice contains one absolute priority, three competitive preference priorities, and one invitational priority.

    Absolute Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), this priority is from allowable activities specified in the statute (see section 767 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), 20 U.S.C. 1140g). For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

    This priority is:

    A grant recipient must use grant funds to establish a model comprehensive transition and postsecondary program for students with intellectual disabilities that:

    (1) Serves students with intellectual disabilities;

    (2) Provides individual supports and services for the academic and social inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities in academic courses, extracurricular activities, and other aspects of the IHE's regular postsecondary program;

    (3) Provides a focus on academic enrichment, socialization, independent living skills, including self-advocacy, and integrated work experiences and career skills that lead to gainful employment;

    (4) Integrates person-centered planning in the development of the course of study for each student with an intellectual disability participating in the model program;

    (5) Participates with the coordinating center established under section 777(b) of the HEA in the evaluation of the components of the model program;

    (6) Partners with one or more local educational agencies to support students with intellectual disabilities participating in the model program who are still eligible for special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA);

    (7) Plans for the sustainability of the model program after the end of the grant period; and

    (8) Creates and offers a meaningful credential for students with intellectual disabilities upon the completion of the model program.

    Competitive Preference Priorities: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), these priorities are from section 767(c)(3) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1140g(c)(3)). For FY 2015, and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award up to an additional nine points to an applicant (up to three points for each of the three priorities) that meets these priorities. An applicant may respond to none, one, two, or all three of these priorities and will receive points based on its response to each separate priority.

    These priorities are:

    Competitive Priority 1 (Up to three points): Applicants that propose to form a sustained and meaningful partnership with any relevant agency serving students with intellectual disabilities, such as a vocational rehabilitation agency.

    Note:

    Applicants addressing this competitive priority are encouraged to describe the components of their partnership, the expected contributions of each partner to the success of the project, and any interagency agreement or other mechanism for coordination they have with such entities.

    Competitive Priority 2 (Up to three points): Applicants that provide institutionally owned or operated housing for students attending the institution that integrates students with intellectual disabilities into the housing offered to all students.

    Competitive Priority 3 (Up to three points): Applicants that propose to involve in the model program undergraduate or graduate students attending the IHE who are studying special education, general education, vocational rehabilitation, assistive technology, or related fields.

    Under this competition we are particularly interested in applications that address the following priority.

    Invitational Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

    This priority is:

    Applicants that propose to use TPSID funds to build, extend, or enhance an existing program, rather than to build a new program from other non-Federal resources that are allocated to the program. Applicants responding to this priority should describe any existing programs at their institutions, including the number and characteristics of the students served, how well integrated students with intellectual disabilities are in regard to academic courses, extracurricular activities, and other aspects of the IHE's regular postsecondary program, and describe how the TPSID grant will build upon current efforts.

    Definitions: The following definitions are from section 760 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1140).

    Comprehensive transition and postsecondary program for students with intellectual disabilities means a degree, certificate, or nondegree program that—

    (A) Is offered by an IHE;

    (B) Is designed to support students with intellectual disabilities who are seeking to continue academic, career and technical, and independent living instruction at an IHE in order to prepare for gainful employment;

    (C) Includes an advising and curriculum structure;

    (D) Requires students with intellectual disabilities to participate on not less than a half-time basis as determined by the institution, with such participation focusing on academic components, and occurring through one or more of the following activities:

    (i) Regular enrollment in credit-bearing courses with nondisabled students offered by the institution.

    (ii) Auditing or participating in courses with nondisabled students offered by the institution for which the student does not receive regular academic credit.

    (iii) Enrollment in noncredit-bearing, non-degree courses with nondisabled students.

    (iv) Participation in internships or work-based training in settings with nondisabled individuals.

    (E) Requires students with intellectual disabilities to be socially and academically integrated with nondisabled students to the maximum extent possible.

    Student with an intellectual disability means a student—

    (A) With mental retardation or a cognitive impairment, characterized by significant limitations in—

    (i) Intellectual and cognitive functioning; and

    (ii) Adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills; and

    (B) Who is currently, or was formerly, eligible for a free appropriate public education under the IDEA.

    Program Authority:

    Title VII, part D, subpart 2 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1140g).

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted in 2 CFR part 3474.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

    Estimated Available Funds: $9,702,980.

    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2016 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.

    Estimated Range of Awards: $100,000-$500,000.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $388,000.

    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $500,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 25.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: 60 months.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Institutions of higher education, as defined under section 101 of the HEA, or consortia of IHEs are eligible to apply for funding.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: The grantee must provide, from non-Federal funds, a matching contribution equal to at least 25 percent of the cost of the project.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs).

    To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapp/index.html. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: [email protected]

    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program as follows: CFDA number 84.407A.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audio tape, or computer disc) by contacting the person listed under Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this program.

    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We have established mandatory page limits. You must limit the section of the application narrative that addresses:

    • The selection criteria and the absolute priority to no more than 40 pages.

    • A competitive preference priority, if you are addressing one or more, to no more than five pages per priority (for a total of 15 pages if you address all three).

    • The invitational priority to no more than three pages, if you address it.

    Accordingly, under no circumstances may the application narrative exceed 58 pages. Please include a separate heading for the absolute priority and for each competitive preference priority and invitational priority that you address.

    For the purpose of determining compliance with the page limits, each page on which there are words will be counted as one full page. Applicants must use the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, except titles, headings, footnotes, endnotes, quotations, references, and captions. Charts, tables, figures, and graphs in the application may be single-spaced.

    • Use a font that is either 12-point or larger, or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). However, you may use a 10 point font in charts, tables, figures, graphs, footnotes, and endnotes.

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

    The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet or the table of contents; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; the Abstract and Information Page; or the resumes (three-page limit), the citations, or letters of support.

    If you include any attachments or appendices not specifically requested and required for the application, these items will be counted as part of the narrative for the purposes of the page limit.

    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit, or if you apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: June 26, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 10, 2015.

    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV.7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this program.

    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:

    Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip sheet, which you can find at www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR), and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications

    Applications for grants under the TPSID Program, CFDA number 84.407A, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    You may access the electronic grant application for the TPSID Program at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.407, not 84.407A).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document Format) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

    Note:

    The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system; and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days; or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Shedita Alston, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6131, Washington, DC 20006-8225. FAX: (202) 502-7699.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.407A), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.407A), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

    If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from 34 CFR 75.210. The points assigned to each criterion are indicated in parentheses. Applicants may earn up to a total of 100 points for the selection criteria. These selection criteria serve as the template for submitting and reviewing proposals. Additional details may be found in the application package under Instructions for the Project Narrative.

    The seven selection criteria for grants in this competition are as follows:

    (1) Need for Project (Up to 10 Points)

    The Secretary considers the need for the proposed project. In determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    • The magnitude or severity of the problem to be addressed by the proposed project.

    • The magnitude of the need for the services to be provided or the activities to be carried out by the proposed project.

    • The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude of those gaps or weaknesses.

    (2) Significance (Up to 15 Points)

    The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project. In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    • The extent to which the proposed project is likely to build local capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that address the needs of the target population.

    • The likely utility of the products (such as information, materials, processes, or techniques) that will result from the proposed project, including the potential for their being used effectively in a variety of other settings.

    • The potential replicability of the proposed project or strategies, including, as appropriate, the potential for implementation in a variety of settings.

    (3) Quality of the Project Design (Up to 20 Points)

    The Secretary considers the quality of the project design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    • The extent to which the design of the proposed project is appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target population or other identified needs.

    • The extent to which the design of the proposed project includes a thorough, high-quality review of the relevant literature, a high-quality plan for project implementation and the use of appropriate methodological tools to ensure successful achievement of project objectives.

    • The extent to which the proposed project is designed to build capacity and yield results that will extend beyond the period of Federal financial assistance.

    • The extent to which the design of the proposed project reflects up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice.

    (4) Quality of Project Services (Up to 15 Points)

    The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project. In determining the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    • The quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups that traditionally have been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.

    • The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project are appropriate to the needs of the intended recipients or beneficiaries of those services.

    • The likelihood that the services to be provided by the proposed project will lead to improvements in the skills necessary to gain employment or build capacity for independent living.

    (5) Quality of Project Personnel (Up to 10 Points)

    The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry out the proposed project. In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    • The extent to which the applicant encourages applications from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.

    • The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of the project director or principal investigator.

    • The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel.

    (6) Adequacy of Resources (Up to 15 Points)

    The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project. In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    • The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the lead applicant organization.

    • The extent to which the budget is adequate to support the proposed project.

    • The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the number of persons to be served and to the anticipated results and benefits.

    • The potential for continued support of the project after Federal funding ends, including, as appropriate, the demonstrated commitment of appropriate entities to such support.

    (7) Quality of Project Evaluation (Up to 15 Points)

    The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the project evaluation to be conducted by the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    • The extent to which the methods of evaluation provide for examining the effectiveness of project implementation strategies.

    • The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data to the extent possible.

    • The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress towards achieving intended outcomes.

    • The extent to which the evaluation will provide guidance about effective strategies suitable for replication or testing in other settings.

    2. Review and Selection Process: Under section 767(c)(1) and (2) of the HEA, we also consider the following factors in selecting an application for an award: Ensuring an equitable geographic distribution of grants, and providing grant funds to projects that will serve areas that are underserved by programs of this type.

    We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    3. Special Conditions: Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    4. Performance Measures: The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 directs Federal departments and agencies to improve the effectiveness of their programs by engaging in strategic planning, setting outcome-related goals for programs, and measuring program results against those goals.

    The goal of the TPSID Program is to promote the successful transition of students with intellectual disabilities into higher education and to enable IHEs, or consortia of IHEs, to create or expand high-quality, inclusive model comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities. To assess the success of the grantees in meeting this goal, grantees will be required to submit annual performance reports to the Secretary and, in accordance with section 767(d)(5) of the HEA, will be required to participate in evaluation activities conducted by the coordinating center established by section 777(b) of the HEA. As part of these reports and evaluation activities, grantees will be expected to work closely with the coordinating center to develop performance measures most closely aligned with activities that promote the successful transition of students with disabilities into higher education. Grantees will be asked to provide to the coordinating center information such as: (1) A description of the population of students targeted to receive assistance under the grant; (2) evidence of academic and social inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities in academic courses, extracurricular activities, and other aspects of the IHE's regular postsecondary program; (3) a description of how the model program addresses individualized student needs and improvement through person-centered planning, academic enrichment, socialization, independent living skills, and integrated work experiences and career skills; (4) a description of how the model program's partnership with one or more LEAs supports students with intellectual disabilities participating in the model program who are still eligible for funds under the IDEA; (5) plans for program sustainability beyond the grant period; (6) a detailed description of the credential offered to students with intellectual disabilities; (7) data regarding the change in enrollment of students with intellectual disabilities at the IHE; (8) data regarding persistence and completion of students with intellectual disabilities; (9) a detailed description of measureable goals for the individual project, planned methods of achieving those goals, and progress towards meeting the goals; and (10) if applicable, a description of how the grantee continues to address the competitive preference priorities described in this application related to sustained and meaningful partnerships with relevant agencies, the participation of students with intellectual disabilities in institutionally owned or operated housing, and the involvement in the model program of students attending the IHE who are studying special education, general education, vocational rehabilitation, assistive technology, or related fields.

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress toward meeting the objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shedita Alston, U.S. Department of Education, Model Comprehensive and Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6131, Washington, DC 20006-8524. Telephone: (202) 502-7808, or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

    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.

    Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated authority to Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary, to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15784 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. PP-398] Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Announcement of Public Hearings for the Proposed Great Northern Transmission Line (GNTL) Project AGENCY:

    U.S. Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability and public hearings.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announces the availability of the “Great Northern Transmission Line Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement” (DOE/EIS-0499) for public review and comment. DOE is also announcing eight public hearings to receive comments on the Draft EIS. The Draft EIS evaluates the environmental impacts of DOE's proposed Federal action of issuing a Presidential permit to the Applicant: Minnesota Power, a regulated utility division of ALLETE, Inc., to construct, operate, maintain, and connect a new electric transmission line across the U.S./Canada border in northern Minnesota. It also addresses the potential human and environmental impacts of the project, and possible mitigation measures, including route, alignment, and site alternatives required for a transmission line route permit from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission under the Minnesota Power Plant Siting Act.

    The EIS was jointly prepared by DOE with the Minnesota Department of Commerce—Environmental Energy Review and Analysis (MN DOC-EERA) acting as state co-lead in order to avoid duplication, and to comply with the environmental review requirements under both federal and state regulations. Region 5 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the St. Paul District Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the Twin Cities Ecology Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are cooperating agencies in preparing the GNTL Project EIS.

    DATES:

    DOE invites interested Members of Congress, state and local governments, other Federal agencies, American Indian tribal governments, organizations, and members of the public to provide comments on the Draft EIS during the 45-day public comment period. The public comment period starts on June 26, 2015, with the publication in the Federal Register by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of its Notice of Availability of the Draft EIS, and will continue until August 10, 2015. Written and oral comments will be given equal weight and all comments received or postmarked by that date will be considered by DOE in preparing the Final EIS. Comments received or postmarked after that date will be considered to the extent practicable.

    Locations, dates, and start time for the public hearings are listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this NOA.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests to provide oral comments at the public hearings may be made at the time of the hearing(s).

    Written comments on the Draft EIS may be provided on the GNTL EIS Web site at http://www.greatnortherneis.org/ (preferred) or addressed to Dr. Julie A. Smith, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE-20), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; by electronic mail to [email protected]; or by facsimile to 202-318-7761.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Julie A. Smith at the addresses above, or at 202-586-7668.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Joint federal-state public hearings and information meetings will consist of the formal taking of comments with transcription by a court reporter. The hearings will provide interested parties the opportunity to make comments for consideration by DOE and MN DOC-EERA in the preparation of the Final EIS.

    The locations, dates, and starting times of the public hearings are listed in the table below:

    Location Date and time Address Roseau Civic Center July 15, 2015, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. 121 Center Street E., Roseau, MN. Lake of the Woods School July 15, 2015, 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. 236 15th Ave. SW., Baudette, MN. Littlefork Community Center July 16, 2015, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. 220 Main Street, Littlefork, MN. AmericInn July 16, 2015, 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. 1500 Hwy. 71, International Falls, MN. Kelliher Old School Center July 21, 2015, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. 243 Clark Ave. N. (Hwy 72), Kelliher, MN. Bigfork School July 21, 2015, 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. 100 Huskie Blvd., Bigfork, MN. Timber Lake Lodge July 22, 2015, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. 144 SE. 17th Street, Grand Rapids, MN. Timber Lake Lodge July 22, 2015, 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. 144 SE. 17th Street, Grand Rapids, MN.

    Availability of the Draft EIS Copies of the Draft EIS have been distributed to appropriate members of Congress, state and local government officials, American Indian tribal governments, and other Federal agencies, groups, and interested parties. Printed copies of the document may be obtained by contacting Dr. Smith at the above address. Copies of the Draft EIS and supporting documents are also available for inspection at the following locations:

    • Baudette Library, 110 1st Street SW., Baudette, MN • Blackduck Public Library, 72 1st Street SE., Blackduck, MN • Bovey Public Library, 402 2nd Street, Bovey, MN • Calumet Library, 932 Gary Street, Calumet, MN • Coleraine Public Library, 203 Cole Street, Coleraine • Duluth Public Library, 520 W Superior Street, Duluth, MN • Grand Rapids Public Library, 140 NE 2nd Street, Grand Rapids, MN • Greenbush Public Library, P.O. Box 9, Greenbush, MN • International Falls Public Library, 750 4th Street, International Falls, MN • Marble Public Library, 302 Alice Avenue, Marble, MN • Northome Public Library, 12064 Main Street, Northome, MN • Roseau Public Library, 121 Center Street E., Suite 100, Roseau, MN • Warroad Public Library, 202 Main Avenue NE., Warroad, MN • Williams Public Library, 350 Main Street, Williams, MN

    The Draft EIS is also available on the EIS Web site at http://www.greatnortherneis.org/ and on the DOE NEPA Web site at http://nepa.energy.gov/.

    Issued in Washington, DC on June 18, 2015. Eli Massey, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, National Electricity Delivery Division, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15625 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-1852-008; ER11-4462-009; ER10-1971-016.

    Applicants: Florida Power & Light Company, NextEra Energy Power Marketing, LLC, NEPM II, LLC.

    Description: Amendment to June 30, 2014 NextEra Companies' Triennial Market Power Update for the Southeast Region.

    Filed Date: 6/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150618-5173.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-2866-002.

    Applicants: Louisville Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: Errata to Compliance Filing Attach O Rate Formula Protocols to be effective1/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150618-5126.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1668-001.

    Applicants: Phoenix Energy Group, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amended MBR Filing to be effective6/5/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150618-5081.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1943-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Missouri River Energy Services Formula Rate to be effective 10/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150618-5036.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1944-000.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc.

    Description: ISO New England Inc. Resource Termination—Enerwise Global Technologies, Inc.

    Filed Date: 6/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150618-5058.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1945-000.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Termination of West Valley A&R EIM Participation Construction Agmt Rev 1 to be effective 9/10/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150618-5078.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1946-000.

    Applicants: Public Service Company of New Mexico.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Certificate of Concurrence to APS Rate Schedule No. 279 to be effective 5/21/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150618-5084.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1947-000.

    Applicants: Deseret Generation & Transmission Co-operative, Inc.

    Description: Initial rate filing: WestConnect Regional PTP Tariff Filing to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150618-5085.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1948-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-06-18_SA 2809 ITC Transmission-Deerfield Wind Energy GIA (J327) to be effective 6/19/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150618-5140.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1949-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Ameren Illinois Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-06-18_SA 2685 Attachment A Project Specs (Ameren-SIPC UCA) to be effective 5/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150618-5170.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1950-000.

    Applicants: Southern Power Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Pawpaw PPA Filing to be effective 8/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150618-5172.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1951-000.

    Applicants: New York Power Authority.

    Description: Request for Limited Tariff Waiver and Request for Expedited Action of New York Power Authority.

    Filed Date: 6/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150618-5174.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/29/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: June 19, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15653 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-26-000] Kaiser-Frontier Midstream, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Silo Pipeline Project

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the Silo Pipeline Project, proposed by Kaiser-Frontier Midstream, LLC (Kaiser-Frontier) in the above-referenced docket. Kaiser-Frontier requests authorization to construct 21.3 miles of new natural gas pipeline and convert an existing 9.9 mile segment of intrastate pipeline to interstate service. The 31.2-mile-long Silo Pipeline would transport natural gas from Kaiser-Frontier's Silo Gas Processing Plant in Laramie County, Wyoming to an interconnection with Wyoming Interstate Company, LLC in Weld County, Colorado.

    The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the Silo Pipeline Project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

    The proposed Silo Pipeline Project includes construction of 6.8 miles of new 6-inch-diameter pipeline (Northern Segment), conversion of an existing 9.9 mile segment of 6-inch-diameter intrastate pipeline to interstate service (Middle Segment), construction of 14.5 miles of 8-inch-diameter pipeline (Southern Segment), and installation of ancillary facilities including pig 1 launchers, pig receivers, and new mainline valves.

    1 A pig is a tool that the pipeline company inserts into and pushes through the pipeline for cleaning the pipeline, conducting internal inspections, or other purposes.

    The FERC staff mailed copies of the EA to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; potentially affected landowners and other interested individuals and groups; newspapers and libraries in the project area; and parties to this proceeding. In addition, the EA is available for public viewing on the FERC's Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. A limited number of copies of the EA are available for distribution and public inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8371.

    Any person wishing to comment on the EA may do so. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. To ensure that the Commission has the opportunity to consider your comments prior to making its decision on this project, it is important that we receive your comments in Washington, DC on or before July 20, 2015.

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to file your comments with the Commission. In all instances please reference the project docket number (CP15-26-000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at 202-502-8258 or [email protected]

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature located on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can also file your comments electronically using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” You must select the type of filing you are making. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing”; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Any person seeking to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.214).2 Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision. The Commission grants affected landowners and others with environmental concerns intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding which no other party can adequately represent. Simply filing environmental comments will not give you intervenor status, but you do not need intervenor status to have your comments considered.

    2 See the previous discussion on the methods for filing comments.

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search,” and enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP15-26). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Dated: June 19, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15651 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-17-000] Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC; Supplemental Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Southeast Market Pipelines Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues Related to the Newly Proposed Albany Compressor Station Location

    In a June 10, 2015, filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission), Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC (Sabal Trail) proposed a new location for the Albany Compressor Station, a component of the Sabal Trail Project (Project) in Dougherty County, Georgia. This new site, which is described below, would affect new landowners; therefore, the Commission is issuing this supplemental notice (Notice) to provide landowners and other interested parties an opportunity to comment on the new compressor station location. As previously noticed on February 18, 2014, and as supplemented on October 15, 2014, and supplemented herein, the FERC is the lead federal agency responsible for conducting the environmental review of the Project, and is preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) that discusses the environmental impacts of the Project. This EIS will be used in-part by the Commission to determine whether the Project is in the public convenience and necessity.

    You have been identified as a landowner or an interested party residing within 0.5-mile of the newly proposed compressor station location. Information in this Notice was prepared to familiarize you with the new site and instruct you on how to submit comments. This Notice is also being sent to federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; Native American tribes; and local libraries and newspapers. We encourage elected officials and government representatives to notify their constituents about the Project and inform them on how they can comment on their areas of concern. Please note that comments on this Notice should be filed with the Commission by July 20, 2015.

    To help potentially affected landowners and other interested parties better understand the Commission and its environmental review process, the “For Citizens” section of the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) provides information about getting involved in FERC jurisdictional projects, and a citizens' guide entitled “An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need to Know?” This guide addresses a number of frequently asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission's proceedings.

    Public Participation

    You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments about the Project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. To ensure that your comments are considered in a timely manner and properly recorded, please send your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before July 20, 2015.

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the Project docket number (CP15-17-000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected]

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature located on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for interested persons to submit brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically using the eFiling feature located on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” You must select the type of filing you are making. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing;” or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Project Summary and Background

    The Project is being reviewed concurrently along with the Florida Southeast Connection Project and the Hillabee Expansion Project. These combined projects would involve the construction and operation of over 650 miles of interstate natural gas transmission pipeline and associated facilities in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida (referred to as the Southeast Market Pipelines Project). The Project would connect with the Hillabee Expansion Project in Alabama, and the Florida Southeast Connection Project in Florida.

    On October 16, 2013, the FERC environmental staff approved Sabal Trail's request to use the Commission's Pre-Filing Process under docket number PF14-1-000. The purpose of the Pre-Filing Process is to encourage the early involvement of interested stakeholders to identify and resolve project-related issues before an application is filed with the Commission. During the course of the Pre-Filing Process, numerous concerns were expressed about the potential environmental impacts of the Albany Compressor Station and numerous alternative locations were identified and evaluated. On November 21, 2014, Sabal Trail filed its formal application with the Commission which was accepted for processing under docket CP15-17-000. Since that time, we requested additional information from Sabal Trail in three separate data requests. Sabal Trail responded to each of those requests and provided additional information in nine supplemental filings, including the June 10, 2015 filing in which it informed the Commission of the new, proposed location for the Albany Compressor Station.

    Newly Proposed Albany Compressor Station Location

    In its November 2014 application, Sabal Trail proposed to locate the Albany Compressor Station along Newton Road just southwest of the City of Albany in Dougherty County (the Newton Road Site). Upon further evaluation, Sabal Trail now proposes to locate the Albany Compressor Station on a 98-acre parcel along West Oakridge Drive (the West Oakridge Drive Site). The West Oakridge Drive Site is located to the west of Albany, approximately 3 miles northwest from the Newton Road Site. A map depicting the newly proposed West Oakridge Drive Site is provided in Appendix 1.

    Sabal Trail would locate the compressor station within a 34-acre fenced area on the southern end of the site, approximately 2,000 feet south of West Oakridge Drive. The site is largely wooded with mature, planted pine, and Sabal Trail would retain at least a 100-foot-wide tree buffer around the entire station. Access to the station would be from West Oakridge Drive via an existing road on the site. Sabal Trail would also slightly modify the proposed pipeline alignment on the site to retain a 100-foot-wide tree buffer between the pipeline right-of-way and the western boundary of the site.

    The EIS Process

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires us to discover and address concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as scoping. The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EIS on the important environmental issues. By this Notice, the Commission requests public comments on the West Oakridge Drive Site for the Albany Compressor Station. We will consider all filed comments that are suggested during the preparation of the EIS.

    Our independent analysis of the issues will be presented in a draft EIS that will be placed in the public record, published, and distributed to the public for comments. We will also hold public comment meetings in the Project area and will address comments on the draft EIS in a final EIS. The final EIS will also be placed in the public record, published, and distributed to the public. To ensure your comments are considered, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section, beginning on page 2.

    Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, we are using this supplemental Notice to inform the Georgia State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the proposed new site, and to solicit its view and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the Project's potential effects on historic properties.1 We will define the project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the Project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, meter stations, and access roads). Our EIS for the Project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.

    1 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

    Environmental Mailing List

    Copies of the draft EIS will be sent to the environmental mailing list for public review and comment. The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for Project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the Project. We will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that we send the information related to this environmental review to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the proposed Project.

    If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the draft EIS instead of the CD version or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (Appendix 2).

    Becoming an Intervenor

    You may want to become an “intervenor” which is an official party to the Commission's proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission's final ruling. An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a request to intervene. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in the User's Guide under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site.

    Additional Information

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search,” and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP15-17). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    Dated: June 19, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15649 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 13704-002; Project No. 13701-002; Project No. 13703-002; Project No. 13702-002] FFP Missouri 2, LLC; Notice of Technical Meeting

    a. Project Names and Numbers: From upstream to downstream, Arkabutla Lake Hydroelectric Project No. 13704, Sardis Lake Hydroelectric Project No. 13701, Enid Lake Hydroelectric Project No. 13703, and Grenada Lake Hydroelectric Project No. 13702.

    b. Date and Time of Meeting: July 7, 2015; at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time (1:00 p.m. Central Time).

    c. Place: Telephone conference with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and Rye Development, LLC, on behalf of FFP Missouri 2, LLC.

    d. FERC Contact: Jeanne Edwards at [email protected], or (202) 502-6181.

    e. Purpose of Meeting: To discuss the comments filed by the Corps on May 12, 2015 concerning the operations of the proposed projects listed above.

    f. A summary of the meeting will be prepared and filed in the Commission's public file for the projects.

    g. All local, state, and federal agencies, Indian tribes, and other interested parties are invited to participate by telephone. Please contact Jeanne Edwards at [email protected], or (202) 502-6181, by close of business Friday, July 2, 2015, to R.S.V.P. and receive specific instructions on how to participate.

    Dated: June 19, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15654 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC15-157-000.

    Applicants: Pennsylvania Electric Company, Metropolitan Edison Company, Jersey Central Power & Light Co., FirstEnergy Transmission, LLC, Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission, LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization Pursuant to Sections 203(A)(1)(A) and 203(A)(2) of the Federal Power Act and Request for Waivers of Certain Filing Requirements of Pennsylvania Electric Company, et al.

    Filed Date: 6/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150619-5129.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/10/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1345-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., South Mississippi Electric Power Association.

    Description: Compliance filing: 2015-06-19_SMEPA RTO Adder Compliance Filing to be effective 6/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150619-5068.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1657-001.

    Applicants: SEPG Energy Marketing Services, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Supplement to MBR Application to be effective 7/6/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150619-5060.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1714-000.

    Applicants: Targray Americas Inc.

    Description: Supplement to May 14, 2015 Targray Americas Inc. tariff filing.

    Filed Date: 6/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150619-5128.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1952-000.

    Applicants: Pavant Solar LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Initial Baseline—Pavant Solar LLC to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150619-5087.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1953-000.

    Applicants: Tucson Electric Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Certificates of Concurrence to be effective 9/1/2011.

    Filed Date: 6/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150619-5167.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/10/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric securities filings:

    Docket Numbers: ES15-35-000.

    Applicants: Kingsport Power Company.

    Description: Application under Section 204 of the Federal Power Act for Authorization to Issue Securities of Kingsport Power Company.

    Filed Date: 6/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150619-5165.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/10/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and § 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: June 19, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15648 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IC15-6-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-725B); Comment Request AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is submitting its information collection [FERC-725B, Mandatory Reliability Standards for Critical Infrastructure Protection] to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review of the information collection requirements. Any interested person may file comments directly with OMB and should address a copy of those comments to the Commission as explained below. The Commission previously issued a Notice in the Federal Register (80 FR 21230, 4/17/2015) requesting public comments. The Commission received one public comment on the FERC725B. The public comment and FERC's response are provided later in this notice.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection of information are due by July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments filed with OMB, identified by the OMB Control No. 1902-0248, should be sent via email to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: [email protected] Attention: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Desk Officer. The Desk Officer may also be reached via telephone at 202-395-0710.

    A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Commission, in Docket No. IC15-6-000, by either of the following methods:

    • eFiling at Commission's Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.

    • Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Brown may be reached by email at [email protected], by telephone at (202) 502-8663, and by fax at (202) 273-0873.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: FERC-725B, Mandatory Reliability Standards for Critical Infrastructure Protection

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0248

    Type of Request: Three-year extension of the FERC-725B information collection requirements with no changes to the reporting requirements.

    Abstract: The information collected by the FERC-725B, Reliability Standards for Critical Infrastructure Protection, is required to implement the statutory provisions of Section 215 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) (16 U.S.C. 824o).

    On January 18, 2008, the Commission issued order 706,1 approving eight Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standards submitted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) for Commission approval. The CIP version 1 Reliability Standards, (CIP-002-1 through CIP-009-1),2 require certain users, owners, and operators of the Bulk-Power System to comply with specific requirements to safeguard critical cyber assets. These standards help protect the nation's Bulk-Power System against potential disruptions from cyber-attacks. The CIP Reliability Standards include one actual reporting requirement and several recordkeeping requirements. Specifically, CIP-008-1 requires responsible entities to report cyber security incidents to the Electricity Sector-Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ES-ISAC). In addition, the eight CIP Reliability Standards require responsible entities to develop various policies, plans, programs, and procedures. However, the CIP Reliability Standards do not require a responsible entity to report to the Commission, ERO or Regional Entities, the various policies, plans, programs and procedures. Nonetheless, a showing of the documented policies, plans, programs and procedures is required to demonstrate compliance with the CIP Reliability Standards.

    1Mandatory Reliability Standards for Critical Infrastructure Protection, Order No. 706, 122 FERC ¶ 61,040.

    2 Every version of the CIP Reliability Standards may be found on the NERC Web site at http://www.nerc.com/pa/Stand/Reliability%20Standards%20Complete%20Set/RSCompleteSet.pdf.

    The Commission approved minor changes in CIP versions 2 and 3 Reliability Standards on September 30, 2009, and March 31, 2010,3 respectively. On April 19, 2012, the Commission issued Order No. 761, approving the CIP version 4 Standards (CIP-002-4 through CIP-009-4) and an implementation plan that scheduled their enforcement to begin October 1, 2014.4 The fundamental change in the CIP version 4 Standards was that all subject entities would use the same `bright line' criteria to determine which of the facilities they owned were subject to the required policies, plans, programs and procedures (which remained nearly the same as for prior versions).

    3 129 FERC ¶ 61,236 (2009) (approving Version 2 of the CIP Reliability Standards); North American Electric Reliability Corp., and 130 FERC ¶ 61,271 (2010) (approving Version 3 of the CIP Reliability Standards).

    4Version 4 Critical Infrastructure Protection Reliability Standards, Order No. 761, 77 FR 24,594 (Apr. 25, 2012), 139 FERC ¶ 61,058 (2012), order denying reh'g, 140 FERC ¶ 61,109 (2012).

    On November 22, 2013, the Commission issued Order No. 791, approving the CIP version 5 Standards (CIP-002-5 through CIP-009-5, CIP-010-1 and CIP-011-1) and the proposed implementation plan. The CIP version 5 Standards are currently scheduled to be implemented and enforceable beginning April 2016. Order No. 791 eliminated the enforceability of the CIP version 4 Standards. The Commission also approved nineteen new or revised definitions associated with the CIP version 5 Standards for inclusion in the Glossary of Terms Used in NERC Reliability Standards (NERC Glossary). The CIP version 5 Standards identify and categorize Bulk Electric System (BES) Cyber Systems using a new methodology based on whether a BES Cyber System has a Low, Medium, or High Impact on the reliable operation of the bulk electric system. At a minimum, a BES Cyber System must be categorized as a Low Impact asset. Once a BES Cyber System is categorized, a responsible entity must comply with the associated requirements of the CIP version 5 Standards that apply to the impact category. The CIP version 5 Standards include 12 requirements with new cyber security controls, which address Electronic Security Perimeters (CIP-005-5), Systems Security Management (CIP-007-5), Incident Reporting and Response Planning (CIP-008-5), Recovery Plans for BES Cyber Systems (CIP-009-5), and Configuration Change Management and Vulnerability Assessments (CIP-010-1).

    Type of Respondents: Entities registered with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation.

    Estimate of Annual Burden:5 There are three items presenting burden associated with CIP Reliability Standards in the following section.

    5 The Commission defines burden as the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. For further explanation of what is included in the information collection burden, reference 5 Code of Federal Regulations 1320.3.

    • The first table illustrates burden associated with CIP version 5 Reliability Standards.

    • The second table illustrates burden associated with CIP version 3 and 4 Reliability Standards.

    • The third item (bulleted list) is a sum of the total burden for all active CIP-related Reliability Standards (i.e. CIP Versions 3-5).

    Annual Burden Related to CIP Reliability Standards (Version 5) Groups of registered entities Classes of entity's facilities requiring CIP Number of
  • entities
  • Total hours
  • in year 1
  • (hours)
  • Total hours
  • in year 2
  • (hours)
  • Total hours
  • in year 3
  • (hours)
  • Group A Low 41 2,540 2,540 564 Group B Low 1,058 554,392 554,392 110,032 Group B Medium 260 128,960 64,896 64,896 Group C Low 316 165,584 165,584 32,864 Group C Medium (New) 78 1,248 19,136 19,136 Group C Low (Blackstart) 283 22,640 6 −206,024 6 −206,024 Group C Medium or High 316 257,856 131,456 131,456 Total 1,133,220 731,980 152,924
    The total annual burden (related to CIP Version 5 only) is 672,708 hours when averaging Years 1-3 [(1,133,220 hours + 731,980 hours + 152,924 hours) ÷ 3 = 672,708 hours]. The total annual cost averaged over Years 1-3 is $50,883,633 (672,708 hours * $75.64 7 = $50,883,633).

    6 These figures (in the context of this table) represent a removal of requirements and burden for Group C (Blackstart) respondents in Years 2 and 3 due to CIP Version 5 changes. Since these numbers are stated as negative figures, they represent a reduction in OMB-approved burden estimate.

    7 The estimates for cost per response are derived using the following formula: Average Burden Hours per Response * $75.64 per Hour = Average Cost per Response. The hourly cost figure comes from May 2014 data on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm). The figure is a mathematical average of the cost of wages and benefits related to legal services ($129.68), technical employees ($58.17), and administrative support ($39.12).

    Regarding CIP standards unaffected by CIP Version 5, the estimated burden has been adjusted to account for a reduction in affected entities.8 The applicable estimate related to CIP Version 3 and 4 standards (related to the active components) is provided in the table below. (For display purposes, the numbers in the tables below have been rounded, however exact figures were used in the calculations.)

    8 The estimate has been decreased from 1,475 to 1,415. The NERC Compliance Registry indicated that as of 1/14/2015, 1,415 entities were registered for at least one CIP-related function/responsibility.

    Burden Related to CIP Reliability Standards (Version 3 and Version 4) 9 Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Total number
  • of responses
  • Average
  • burden &
  • cost per
  • response
  • Total
  • annual
  • burden hours
  • & total
  • annual cost
  • Cost per respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) 1,415 1 1,415 10 383
  • $28,937
  • 11 541,334
  • $40,946,496
  • $28,937

    The following items represent the estimated total annual burden for FERC-725B and includes all burden associated with CIP Reliability Standards.12

    9 Reliability Standards CIP-002-3, CIP003-3, CIP-004-3a, CIP-005-3a, CIP-006-3a, CIP-007-3c, CIP-008-3, and CIP-009-3.

    10 This figure is rounded for display in the table. The actual number is 382.56813 and is used in the calculations above.

    11 This figure is rounded for display in the table. The actual number is 541,333.91 and is used in the calculations above.

    12 CIP Versions 3 and 4 (remaining components of Version 3 and 4), and 5.

    Number of respondents: 1,415 (Not all entities with CIP-related functions will be obligated to comply with every CIP reliability standard.)

    Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,214,042

    Total Annual Cost: $91,830,137 (1,214,042 hours * $75.64 = $91,830,137)

    Average Cost per Respondent: $64,898 13 ($91,830,137 ÷ 1,415 entities = $64,898).

    13 This figure is rounded. The actual number is 64,897.623.

    Public comments received about the FERC-725B information collection: FERC received one comment from Robert S. Lynch and Associates. The comment pertained to the the burden and cost of responding to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request related to the FERC-725B and the information collection not being safeguarded against a request under the FOIA.

    FERC's response to the public comment: The burden related to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission safeguarding of information collection activities against a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request does not have a direct collection cost burden on the regulated entities and, thus, is not included in the reported cost burden.

    However, to the data vulnerability issue raised by the commenter, the information collected as related to the CIP Reliability Standards is generally protected from FOIA requests because it is retained by the regulated entities themselves and not the Commission. For compliance and enforcement activities of the CIP Reliability Standards, Section 215 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) 14 required the Commission to appoint an Electric Reliability Organization (ERO). The Commission appointed NERC. The ERO and its designated assignees, generally in exercising its compliance and enforcement activities under Section 215 of the FPA, only reviews the information collected by the regulated entities and only takes possession of the information required to process the enforcement actions. The Commission, in furtherance of the Commission's statutory responsibility under Section 215 of the FPA, reviews and approves enforcement actions undertaken by ERO and, in doing so, does receive information collected related to CIP Reliability Standards. However, the information that is received by the Commission for performing its statutory oversight responsibilities is generally devoid of specific sensitive information. Therefore, FERC does not find it necessary to make any changes to the collection at this time.

    14 16 U.S.C. 824o.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden and cost of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Dated: June 19, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15652 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP15-22-000; CP15-24-000] Dominion Transmission, Inc.; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed St. Charles Transportation and Keys Energy Projects

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the St. Charles Transportation and Keys Energy Projects (Projects), proposed by Dominion Transmission, Inc. (Dominion) in the above-referenced docket. The projects involve installation of two new compressors at the Pleasant Valley Compressor Station in Fairfax County, VA and appurtenant facilities that would provide incremental firm transportation to proposed power plants in Charles and Prince George's Counties, Maryland, respectively.

    The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the Projects in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

    The FERC staff mailed copies of the EA to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; potentially affected landowners and other interested individuals and groups; newspapers and libraries in the project area; and parties to this proceeding. In addition, the EA is available for public viewing on the FERC's Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. A limited number of copies of the EA are available for distribution and public inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8371.

    Any person wishing to comment on the EA may do so. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. To ensure that the Commission has the opportunity to consider your comments prior to making its decision on this project, it is important that we receive your comments in Washington, DC on or before July 20, 2015.

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to file your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the project docket numbers (CP15-22-000 or CP15-24-000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected]

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can also file your comments electronically using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” You must select the type of filing you are making. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing”; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Any person seeking to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.214).1 Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision. The Commission grants affected landowners and others with environmental concerns intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding which no other party can adequately represent. Simply filing environmental comments will not give you intervenor status, but you do not need intervenor status to have your comments considered.

    1 See the previous discussion on the methods for filing comments.

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search,” and enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP15-22-000 or CP15-24-000). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Dated: June 19, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15650 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9021-6] Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability

    Responsible Agency: Office of Federal Activities, General Information (202) 564-7146 or http://www.epa.gov/compliance/nepa/.

    Weekly receipt of Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) Filed 06/15/2015 Through 06/19/2015 Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.9.

    Notice: Section 309(a) of the Clean Air Act requires that EPA make public its comments on EISs issued by other Federal agencies. EPA's comment letters on EISs are available at: https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-enepa-public/action/eis/search.

    EIS No. 20150176, Draft, DOE, ID, Recapitalization of Infrastructure Supporting, Naval Spent Nuclear Fuel Handling (DOE/EIS-0453-D), Comment Period Ends: 08/10/2015, Contact: Erik Anderson 202-781-6057. EIS No. 20150177, Draft, NHTSA, REG, Phase 2 Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles, Comment Period Ends: 08/31/2015, Contact: James MacIsaac 202-366-9108 EIS No. 20150178, Draft, DOE, MN, Great Northern Transmission Line Project, Comment Period Ends: 08/10/2015, Contact: Julie Ann Smith 202-586-7668. Dated: June 23, 2015. Dawn Roberts, Management Analyst, NEPA Compliance Division, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15757 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-RCRA-2015-0107; FRL-9929-08-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Identification, Listing and Rulemaking Petitions (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “Identification, Listing and Rulemaking Petitions (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1189.26, OMB Control No. 2050-0053) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through June 30, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (80 FR 13372) on March 13, 2015 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-RCRA-2015-0107, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Narendra Chaudhari, Materials Recovery and Waste Management Division, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, (5304P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 703-308-0454; fax number: 703-308-0514; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: Under the authority of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA), as amended, Congress directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement a comprehensive program for the safe management of hazardous waste. In addition, Congress wrote that “[a]ny person may petition the Administrator for the promulgation, amendment or repeal of any regulation” under RCRA (section 7004(a)).

    40 CFR parts 260 and 261 contain provisions that allow regulated entities to apply for petitions, variances, exclusions, and exemptions from various RCRA requirements.

    The following are some examples of information required from petitioners under 40 CFR part 260. Under 40 CFR 260.20(b), all rulemaking petitioners must submit basic information with their demonstrations, including name, address, and statement of interest in the proposed action. Under § 260.21, all petitioners for equivalent testing or analytical methods must include specific information in their petitions and demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Administrator that the proposed method is equal to, or superior to, the corresponding method in terms of its sensitivity, accuracy, and reproducibility. Under § 260.22, petitions to amend part 261 to exclude a waste produced at a particular facility (more simply, to delist a waste) must meet extensive informational requirements. When a petition is submitted, the Agency reviews materials, deliberates, publishes its tentative decision in the Federal Register, and requests public comment. EPA also may hold informal public hearings (if requested by an interested person or at the discretion of the Administrator) to hear oral comments on its tentative decision. After evaluating all comments, EPA publishes its final decision in the Federal Register.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Regulated businesses/industries.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (RCRA 7004(a)).

    Estimated number of respondents: 26,041 (total).

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 484,789 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $78,895,502 (per year), includes $51,648,460 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is an increase of 346,943 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This increase is due to the consolidation of ICRs 2127.03, 2455.01, and 2421.04 into this ICR 1189.26. The base ICR had a decrease of 8,192 hours, which is due to estimates gathered from the regulated community. This increase is also due to combining the burden estimate for the Coal Combustion Residuals Final Rule from ICR 1189.25.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15670 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA HQ-OAR-2004-0016; FRL-9929-49-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Part 71 Federal Operating Permit Program (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “Part 71 Federal Operating Permit Program (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1713.11, OMB Control No. 2060.0336) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through June 30, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register on February 10, 2015, during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0016, to (1) EPA online using https://www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for the EPA.

    The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joanna W. Gmyr, Air Quality Policy Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, C504-05, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC; telephone number: (919) 541-9782; fax number: (919) 541-5509; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents, which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting, are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, William Jefferson Clinton West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is (202) 566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: Title V of the Clean Air Act (Act) requires the EPA to operate a federal operating permits program in areas not subject to an approved state program. The EPA regulations setting forth the requirements for the federal (EPA) operating permit program are at 40 CFR part 71. The part 71 program is designed to be implemented primarily by the EPA in all areas where state and local agencies do not have jurisdiction, such as Indian country and offshore, beyond states' seaward boundaries. The EPA may also delegate authority to implement the part 71 program on its behalf to a state, local or tribal agency, if the agency requests delegation and makes certain showings regarding its authority and ability to implement the program. One such delegate agency for the part 71 program exists at present.

    In order to receive an operating permit for a major or other source subject to the permitting program, the applicant must conduct the necessary research, perform the appropriate analyses, and prepare the permit application with documentation to demonstrate that its facility meets all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. Specific activities and requirements are listed and described in the Supporting Statement for the part 71 ICR.

    Under part 71, the permitting authority (the EPA or a delegate agency) reviews permit applications, provides for public review of proposed permits, issues permits based on consideration of all technical factors and public input, and reviews information submittals required of sources during the term of the permit. Under part 71, the EPA reviews certain actions and performs oversight of any delegate agency, consistent with the terms of a delegation agreement. Consequently, information prepared and submitted by sources is essential for sources to receive permits, and for federal and tribal permitting agencies to adequately review the permit applications and issue the permits, oversee implementation of the permits, and properly administer and manage the program.

    Information that is collected is handled according to EPA's policies set forth in title 40, chapter 1, part 2, subpart B—Confidentiality of Business Information (see 40 CFR part 2). See also section 114(c) of the Act.

    Form Numbers: The forms are 5900-01, 5900-02, 5900-03, 5900-04, 5900-05, 5900-06, 5900-79, 5900-80, 5900-81, 5900-82, 5900-83, 5900-84, 5900-85 and 5900-86.

    Respondents/affected entities: Industrial plants (sources) and tribal permitting authorities.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (see 40 CFR part 71).

    Estimated number of respondents: 99 (total).

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 25,937 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $1,689,347 (per year). There are no annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is a decrease of 11,692 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This decrease is due to updated estimates of the number of sources and permits subject to the part 71 program, rather than any new federal mandates. The changes in estimates are due to shrinkage from the transfer of 36 permits from the part 71 to the part 70 program and due to a previous overestimate of the number of sources that would get permits by the end of the previous ICR (which is the start of the current ICR).

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15672 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OA-2008-0701; FRL-9928-43-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Focus Groups as Used by EPA for Economics Projects (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “Focus Groups as used by EPA for Economics Projects (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 2205.15, OMB Control No. 2090-0028) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through June 30, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (80 FR 6075) on February 4, 2015 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID. EPA-HQ-OA-2008-0701, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected] or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nathalie Simon, National Center for Environmental Economics, Office of Policy, (1809T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-566-2347; fax number: 202-566-2363; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: EPA is seeking renewal of a generic information collection request (ICR) for the conduct of focus groups and one-on-one interviews primarily related to survey development for economics projects. These groups are typically formed to gain insight and understanding of attitudes and perceptions held by the public surrounding a particular issue.

    Focus groups and one-on-one interviews used as a qualitative research tool serve to better understand respondents' attitudes, perceptions and emotions in response to specific topics and concepts; to obtain respondent information useful for better defining variables and measures in later quantitative studies; and to further explore findings obtained from quantitative studies.

    Through these focus groups, the Agency will be able to gain a more in-depth understanding of the public's attitudes, beliefs, motivations and feelings regarding specific issues and will provide invaluable information regarding the quality of draft survey instruments. Participation in the focus groups is voluntary. Each focus group will fully conform to federal regulations—specifically the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), the Hawkins-Stafford Amendments of 1988 (Pub. L. 100-297), and the Computer Security Act of 1987.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Individuals.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Voluntary.

    Estimated number of respondents: 1,584 (total).

    Frequency of response: Once.

    Total estimated burden: 915 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $30,302 (per year), includes $0 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is a decrease of 3,163 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This decrease is based on new estimates of projected use of this ICR for focus groups for the next three years provided by the program offices at EPA.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15772 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0743; FRL-9929-52-OEI] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Critical Use Exemption From the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Critical Use Exemption from the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No.2031.08, OMB Control No. 2060-0482) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through June 30, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (79 FR 78425) on December 30, 2014 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0501, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected] or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeremy Arling, Stratospheric Protection Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, (6205T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 343-9055; fax number: (202) 343-2338; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: EPA is seeking to renew this ICR to collect methyl bromide Critical Use Exemption (CUE) applications from regulated entities on an annual basis, which requires the submission of data from regulated industries to the EPA and requires recordkeeping of key documents to ensure compliance with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Protocol) and the CAA. This information collection is conducted to meet U.S. obligations under Article 2H of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Protocol).

    Since 2002, entities have applied to EPA for a critical use exemption that would allow for the continued production and import of methyl bromide after the phaseout in January 2005. On an annual basis, EPA uses the data submitted by end users to create a nomination of critical uses, which are submitted to the Protocol's Ozone Secretariat for review by advisory bodies, including the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee (MBTOC) and the Technical and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP). The uses authorized internationally by the Parties to the Protocol are made available in the U.S. on an annual basis.

    The applications will enable EPA to: (1) Maintain consistency with the Protocol by supporting critical use nominations to the Parties to the Protocol, in accordance with paragraph 2 of Decision IX/6 of the Protocol; (2) Ensure that critical use exemptions comply with section 604(d)(6); and (3) Provide EPA with necessary data to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of methyl bromide alternatives in the circumstance of the specific use, as presented in an application for a critical use exemption.

    The reported data will enable EPA to: (1) Ensure that critical use exemptions comply with section 604(d)(6); (2) Maintain compliance with the Protocol requirements for annual data submission on the production of ozone depleting substances; and (3) Analyze technical use data to ensure that exemptions are used in accordance with requirements included in the annual allocation rulemakings.

    EPA informs respondents that they may assert claims of business confidentiality for any of the information they submit. Information claimed confidential will be treated in accordance with the procedures for handling information claimed as confidential under 40 CFR part 2, subpart b, and will be disclosed only if EPA determines that the information is not entitled to confidential treatment. If no claim of confidentiality is asserted when the information is received by EPA, it may be made available to the public without further notice to the respondents (40 CFR 2.203). Individual reporting data may be claimed as sensitive and will be treated as confidential information in accordance with procedures outlined in 40 CFR part 2.

    Respondents/affected entities: Producers, importers, distributors and custom applicators of methyl bromide; organizations, consortia and associations of methyl bromide users; and individual methyl bromide users.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Required to obtain a benefit under section 604(d)(6) of the CAA.

    Estimated number of respondents: 1069 (total).

    Frequency of response: Quarterly, annually, on occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 1,595 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b)

    Total estimated cost: $624,721 (per year), includes no annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is a decrease of 1,662 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the burden currently approved by OMB. The primary reason for the decrease in burden hours is a decrease in the number of applicants, end users and distributors of methyl bromide. The CUE Allocation rule for 2014/2015 removed minor reporting and recordkeeping requirements related to critical stock allowances. In addition, after December 31, 2014, when methyl bromide is phased out in developing countries, certain reporting requirements related to the production and export of methyl bromide to those countries are no longer applicable.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15673 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-RCRA-2015-0108; FRL-9928-06-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; RCRA Expanded Public Participation (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “RCRA Expanded Public Participation (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1688.08, OMB Control No. 2050-0149) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through June 30, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (80 FR 13375) on March 13, 2015 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-RCRA-2015-0108, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Pease, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Mail Code 5303P, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 703-308-0008; fax number: 703-308-8433; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: Section 7004(b) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) gives EPA broad authority to provide for, encourage and assist public participation in the development, revision, implementation and enforcement of any regulation, guideline, information or program under RCRA. In addition, the statute specifies certain public notices (i.e., radio, newspaper, and a letter to relevant agencies) that EPA must provide before issuing any RCRA permit. The statute also establishes a process by which the public can dispute a permit and request a public hearing to discuss it. EPA carries out much of its RCRA public involvement at 40 CFR 124 and 40 CFR 270.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Private facilities.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (RCRA 7004(b)).

    Estimated number of respondents: 59.

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 5,614 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $369,547 (per year), includes $5,681 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is increase of 2,609 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This increase is due to the adjustment in the respondent universe from 33 to 59.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15674 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0501; FRL-9929-48-OEI] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Information Collection Request for Green Power Partnership and Combined Heat and Power Partnership (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “Information Collection Request for Green Power Partnership and Combined Heat and Power Partnership” (EPA ICR No. 2173.06, OMB Control No. 2060-0578) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through July 31, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (80 FR 8640) on February 18, 2015 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0501, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected] or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher Kent, Climate Protection Partnerships Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, MC 6202A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-343-9046; fax number: 202-343-2208; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: In 2002, EPA launched two new partnership programs with industry and other stakeholders: The Green Power Partnership (GPP) and the Combined Heat and Power Partnership (CHPP). These voluntary partnership programs encourage organizations to invest in clean, efficient energy technologies, including renewable energy and combined heat and power. To continue to be successful, it is critical that EPA collect information from GPP and CHPP Partners to ensure these organizations are meeting their renewable energy and CHP goals and to assure the credibility of these voluntary partnership programs.

    EPA has developed this ICR to obtain authorization to collect information from organizations participating in the GPP and CHPP. Organizations that join these programs voluntarily agree to the following respective actions: (1) Designating a Green Power or CHP liaison and filling out a Partnership Agreement or Letter of Intent (LOI) respectively, (2) for the GPP, reporting to EPA, on an annual basis, their progress toward their green power commitment via a 3-page reporting form; (3) for the CHP Partnership, reporting to EPA information on their existing CHP projects, new project development, and other CHP-related activities via a one-page reporting form (for projects) or via an informal email or phone call (for other CHP-related activities). GPP partners that wish to receive additional recognition for their effort in green power use and promotion may submit an application for the Green Power Leadership Award. EPA uses the data obtained from its Partners to assess the success of these programs in achieving their national energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals. Partners are organizational entities that have volunteered to participate in either Partnership program.

    Respondents/affected entities: Organizations participating in the Green Power Partnership program and the Combined Heat and Power Partnership program.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Voluntary.

    Estimated number of respondents: 2,565 (total).

    Frequency of response: One time, annually, on occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 6,624 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $822,459 (per year), includes $7,695 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is an increase of 801 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. Since the last ICR renewal, both the Green Power Partnership and CHP Partnership have introduced program efficiencies to reduce program burden by encouraging the electronic submission of documents. The average number of hours per Partners has increased slightly from 3.25 to 3.58, the total hourly burden increased primarily due to an increase in the number of Partners in both programs and for the addition of the Green Power Leadership Award application.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15671 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF THE UNITED STATES [Public Notice: 2015-6011] 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 05-01 Marketing Fax Back Response Form.

    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 Marketing Fax Back Response Form is used to collect basic information on United States companies. This information will be provided the Export Import Bank's financial consultants nationwide and will be used to provide assistance to exporters.

    The form may be viewed at www.exim.gov/pub/pending/eib05-01.pdf Marketing Fax Back Response Forms.

    DATES:

    Comments should be received on or before August 25, 2015, to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted electronically on www.regulations.gov or by mail to Michelle Kuester, Export-Import Bank of the United States, 811 Vermont Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20571 Attn:

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title and Form Number: EIB 05-01 Marketing Fax Back Response Form.

    OMB Number: 3048-0029.

    Type of Review: Regular.

    Need and Use: The Marketing Fax Back Response Form is used to collect basic information on United States companies. This information will be provided to the Export-Import Bank's financial consultants nationwide to assist in providing counsel to exporters.

    Affected Public:

    This form affects entities involved in the export of U.S. goods and services.

    Annual Number of Respondents: 500.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 5 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 42 hours.

    Frequency of Reporting of Use: Once per year.

    Government Expenses:

    Reviewing time per year: 25 hours.

    Average Wages per Hour: $42.50.

    Average Cost per Year: $1,062.5 (time*wages).

    Benefits and Overhead: 20%.

    Total Government Cost: $1,275.

    Bonita Jones-McNeil, Agency Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15783 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Deletion of Agenda Item From June 18, 2015 Open Meeting June 18, 2015.

    The following item has been deleted from the list of Agenda items scheduled for consideration at the Thursday, June 18, 2015, Open Meeting and previously listed in the Commission's Notice of June 11, 2015. This item has been adopted by the Commission.

    Item No. Bureau Subject 4 INCENTIVE AUCTION TASK FORCE TITLE: Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions (GN Docket No. 12-268). SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Second Order on Reconsideration that resolves petitions for reconsideration of the Commission's Order adopting rules to implement the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction, providing parties with additional certainty ahead of the auction. Federal Communications Commission. Sheryl D. Todd, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15742 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0979] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before August 25, 2015. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0979.

    Title: License Audit Letter.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Individuals or households, business or other for-profit entities, not-for-profit institutions and state, local or tribal government.

    Number of Respondents: 25,000 respondents; 25,000 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response:.50 hours.

    Frequency of Response: One time reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 155(c), 157, 201, 202, 208, 214, 301, 302a, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 314, 316, 319, 324, 331, 332, 333, 336, 534 and 535.

    Total Annual Burden: 12,500 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: Yes. Records of the Wireless Radio Services may include information about individuals or households, and the use(s) and disclosure of this information is governed by the requirements of a system of records, FCC/WTB-1, “Wireless Services Licensing Records”. However, the Commission makes all information within the Wireless Radio Services publicly available on its Universal Licensing System (ULS) Web page.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Respondents may request materials or information submitted to the Commission be withheld from public inspection under 47 CFR 0.459 of their rules. Information within Wireless Radio Services is maintained in the Commission's system or records notice or `SORN', FCC/WTB-1, “Wireless Services Licensing Records”. These licensee records are publicly available and routinely used in accordance with subsection b of the Privacy Act of 1973, 5 U.S.C. 552a(b), as amended. Material that is afforded confidential treatment pursuant to a request made under 47 CFR 0.459 of the Commission's rules will not be available for public inspection. The Commission has in place the following policy and procedures for records retention and disposal: Records will be actively maintained as long as the individual remains a licensee. Paper records will be archived after being keyed or scanned into the system and destroyed when 12 years old; electronic records will be backed up and deleted twelve years after the licenses are no longer valid.

    Needs and Uses: The Commission is seeking OMB approval for an extension of this information collection in order to obtain their full three year approval. There is no change to the reporting requirement. There is no change to the Commission's burden estimates. The Wireless Telecommunications and Bureau (WTB) of the FCC periodically conducts audits of the construction and/or operational status of various Wireless radio stations in its licensing database that are subject to rule-based construction and operational requirements. The Commission's rules for these Wireless services require construction within a specified timeframe and require a station to remain operational in order for the license to remain valid. The information will be used by FCC personnel to assure that licensees' stations are constructed and currently operating in accordance with the parameters of the current FCC authorization and rules.

    Federal Communications Commission. Sheryl D. Todd, Deputy Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15743 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifiers: CMS-179, CMS-10410, CMS-10463, CMS-R-74 and CMS-10558] Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, and to allow a second opportunity for public comment on the notice. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection(s) of information must be received by the OMB desk officer by July 27, 2015:

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting on the proposed information collections, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be received by the OMB desk officer via one of the following transmissions:

    OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: CMS Desk Officer, Fax Number: (202) 395-5806 OR, Email: [email protected]

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

    1. Access CMS' Web site address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PaperworkReductionActof1995.

    2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to [email protected]

    3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires federal agencies to publish a 30-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice that summarizes the following proposed collection(s) of information for public comment:

    1. Type of Information Collection Request: Extension of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Medicaid State Plan Base Plan Pages; Use: State Medicaid agencies complete the plan pages while we review the information to determine if the state has met all of the requirements of the provisions the states choose to implement. If the requirements are met, we will approve the amendments to the state's Medicaid plan giving the state the authority to implement the flexibilities. For a state to receive Medicaid Title XIX funding, there must be an approved Title XIX state plan. Form Number: CMS-179 (OMB control number 0938-0193); Frequency: Occasionally; Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments; Number of Respondents: 56; Total Annual Responses: 1,120; Total Annual Hours: 22,400. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Annette Pearson at 410-786-6958).

    2. Type of Information Collection Request: Extension of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Medicaid Program Eligibility Changes under the Affordable Care Act of 2010; Use: The eligibility systems are essential to the goal of increasing coverage in insurance affordability programs while reducing administrative burden on states and consumers. The electronic transmission and automation of data transfers are key elements in managing the expected insurance affordability program caseload that started in 2014. Accomplishing the same work without these information collection requirements would not be feasible. Form Number: CMS-10410 (OMB control number 0938-1147); Frequency: Occasionally; Affected Public: Individuals or Households, and State, Local, and Tribal Governments; Number of Respondents: 25,500,096; Total Annual Responses: 76,500,149; Total Annual Hours: 21,278,142. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Brenda Sheppard at 410-786-8534).

    3. Type of Information Collection Request: Revision of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Cooperative Agreement to Support Navigators in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Exchanges; Use: Section 1311(i) of the Affordable Care Act requires Exchanges (Marketplaces) to establish a Navigator grant program as part of its function to provide consumers with assistance when they need it. Navigators will assist consumers by providing education about and facilitating selection of qualified health plans (QHPs) within Marketplaces, as well as other required duties. Section 1311(i) requires that a Marketplace operating as of January 1, 2014, must establish a Navigator Program under which it awards grants to eligible individuals or entities who satisfy the requirements to be Exchange Navigators. For Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFMs) and State Partnership Marketplaces (SPMs), CMS will be awarding these grants. Navigator awardees must provide weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual progress reports to CMS on the activities performed during the grant period and any sub-awardees receiving funds. We have modified the data collection requirements for the weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reports that were provided in 80 FR 16687 (May 30, 2015). Form Number: CMS-10463 (OMB control number: 0938-1215); Frequency: Annually; Quarterly; Monthly; Weekly; and Quarterly; Affected Public: Private sector (Businesses or other For-profit and Not-for-profit institutions); Number of Respondents: 102; Total Annual Responses: 7,446; Total Annual Hours: 29,251. (For policy questions regarding this collection, contact Gian Johnson at 301-492-4323.)

    4. Type of Information Collection Request: Extension of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Income and Eligibility Verification System Reporting and Supporting Regulations; Use: A state Medicaid agency that currently obtains and uses information from certain sources, or with more frequency than specified, could continue to do so to the extent that the verifications are useful and not redundant. An agency that has found it effective to verify all wage or benefit information with another agency or with the recipient is encouraged to continue these practices if it chooses. On the other hand, the agency may implement an approved targeting plan under 42 CFR 435.953. The agency's experience should guide its decision whether to exceed these regulatory requirements on income and eligibility verification. While states may target resources when verifying income of course, agencies are still held accountable for their accuracy in eligibility determinations. Form Number: CMS-R-74 (OMB control number 0938-0467); Frequency: Occasionally; Affected Public: State, Local, or Tribal Governments; Number of Respondents: 50; Total Annual Responses: 71; Total Annual Hours: 134,865. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Brenda Sheppard at 410-786-8534).

    5. Type of Information Collection Request: New collection (Request for a new OMB control number); Title of Information Collection: Information Collection for Machine Readable Data for Provider Network and Prescription Formulary Content for FFM QHPs; Use: We are requiring for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, qualified health plan (QHP) issuers to submit provider and formulary data in a machine-readable format to HHS. As required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameter for 2016 (CMS-9944-P), which went on display on, November 26, 2014, QHPs in the Federally-facilitated marketplace (FFMs) are required to publish information regarding the formulary drug list and provider directory on its Web site in an HHS-specified format, in a format and at times determined by HHS. Form Number: CMS-10558 (0938-New); Frequency: Monthly; Affected Public: Private Sector; Number of Respondents: 475; Number of Responses: 36; Total Annual Hours: 79,800. (For questions regarding this collection, contact Lisa-Ann Bailey at (301) 492-4169.)

    Dated: June 23, 2015. William N. Parham, III, Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15770 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier CMS-10575] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information (including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information) and to allow 60 days for public comment on the proposed action. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding our burden estimates or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by August 25, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be submitted in any one of the following ways:

    1. Electronically. You may send your comments electronically to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for “Comment or Submission” or “More Search Options” to find the information collection document(s) that are accepting comments.

    2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address: CMS, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Division of Regulations Development, Attention: Document Identifier/OMB Control Number ____, Room C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

    1. Access CMS' Web site address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PaperworkReductionActof1995.

    2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to [email protected]

    3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Contents

    This notice sets out a summary of the use and burden associated with the following information collections. More detailed information can be found in each collection's supporting statement and associated materials (see ADDRESSES).

    CMS-10575 Generic Clearance for the Heath Care Payment Learning and Action Network

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA requires federal agencies to publish a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice.

    Information Collection

    1. Type of Information Collection Request: New collection (Request for a new OMB control number); Title of Information Collection: Generic Clearance for the Heath Care Payment Learning and Action Network; Use: The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, develops and tests innovative new payment and service delivery models in accordance with the requirements of section 1115A and in consideration of the opportunities and factors set forth in section 1115A(b)(2) of the Act. To date, CMS has built a portfolio of 26 models (in operation or already announced) that have attracted participation from a broad array of health care providers, states, payers, and other stakeholders. During the development of models, CMS builds on ideas received from stakeholders—consulting with clinical and analytical experts, as well as with representatives of relevant federal and state agencies.

    On January 26, 2015, Secretary Burwell announced the ambitious goal to have 30% of Medicare Fee-For-Service payments tied to alternative payment models (such as Pioneer ACOs or bundled payment arrangements) by the end of 2016, and 50% of payments by the end of 2018. To reach this goal, CMS will continue to partner with stakeholders across the health care system to catalyze transformation through the use of alternative payment models. To this end, CMS launched the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, an effort to accelerate the transition to alternative payment models, identify best practices in their implementation, collaborate with payers, providers, consumers, purchasers, and other stakeholders, and monitor the adoption of value-based alternative payment models across the health care system. A system wide transition to alternative payment models will strengthen the ability of CMS to implement existing models and design new models that improve quality and decrease costs for CMS beneficiaries.

    The information collected from LAN participants will be used by the CMS Innovation Center to potentially inform the design, selection, testing, modification, and expansion of innovative payment and service delivery models in accordance with the requirements of section 1115A, while monitoring progress towards the Secretary's goal to increase the percentage of payments tied to alternative payment models across the U.S. health care system. In addition, the requested information will be made publically available so that LAN participants (payers, providers, consumers, employers, state agencies, and patients) can use the information to inform decision making and better understand market dynamics in relation to alternative payment models. Form Number: CMS-10575 (OMB control number: 0938-NEW); Frequency: Occasionally; Affected Public: Individuals; Private Sector (Business or other For-profit and Not-for-profit institutions), State, Local and Tribal Governments; Number of Respondents: 9,570; Total Annual Responses: 20,280; Total Annual Hours: 49,432. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Dustin Allison at 410-786-8830)

    Dated: June 23, 2015. William N. Parham, III, Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15771 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Community Living Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; State Annual Long-Term Care Ombudsman Report and Instructions AGENCY:

    Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Administration on Aging (AoA) is announcing that the proposed collection of information listed below has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Submit written comments on the collection of information by July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written comments on the collection of information by fax 202.395.5806 or by email to [email protected], Attn: OMB Desk Officer for ACL.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Louise Ryan, telephone: (202) 357-3503; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, AoA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    States provide the following data and narrative information in the report:

    1. Numbers and descriptions of cases filed and complaints made on behalf of long-term care facility residents to the statewide ombudsman program;

    2. Major issues identified impacting on the quality of care and life of long-term care facility residents;

    3. Statewide program operations; and

    4. Ombudsman activities in addition to complaint investigation.

    The report form and instructions have been in continuous use, with minor modifications, since they were first approved by OMB for the FY 1995 reporting period. This request is for approval to extend use of the current form and instructions, with no modifications, for three years, covering the FY 2015-2017 reporting periods.

    The data collected on complaints filed with ombudsman programs and narrative on long-term care issues provide information to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and others on patterns of concerns and major long-term care issues affecting residents of long-term care facilities. Both the complaint and program data collected assist the states and local ombudsman programs in planning strategies and activities, providing training and technical assistance and developing performance measures.

    A reporting form and instructions may be viewed in the ombudsman section of the AoA Web site, http://www.aoa.acl.gov/AoA_Programs/Elder_Rights/Ombudsman/index.aspx AoA estimates the burden of this collection and entering the report information as follows: Approximately 7702 hours, with 52 State Agencies on Aging responding annually.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Kathy Greenlee, Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15740 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4154-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Community Living Final Priority; National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research—Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers AGENCY:

    Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Final priority.

    CFDA Number: 84.133B-4. SUMMARY:

    The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living announces a priority for the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) Program administered by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). Specifically, we announce a priority for an RRTC on Self-Directed Care to Promote Recovery, Health, and Wellness for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness (SMI). The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2015 and later years. We take this action to focus research attention on an area of national need. We intend for this priority to contribute to improved health and wellness for individuals with serious mental illness.

    Note:

    On July 22, 2014, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA was effective immediately. One provision of WIOA transferred the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) from the Department of Education to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) in the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, NIDRR's name was changed to the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). Because of HHS policy, there are changes in the way that NIDILRR will award and oversee grants that are made with funds from NIDILRR and other agencies. These changes apply for this priority because SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services provides funding for activities carried out under the award. These changes are reflected in the final notice, the Notice Inviting Applications, and the grant application kit.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This priority is effective July 27, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marlene Spencer, U.S. Department of Health And Human Services, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5133, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2700. Telephone: (202) 245-7532 or by email: [email protected].

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program is to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities, including international activities, to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe disabilities, and to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Rehabilitation Act).

    Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers

    The purpose of the RRTCs, which are funded through the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, is to achieve the goals of, and improve the effectiveness of, services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act through well-designed research, training, technical assistance, and dissemination activities in important topical areas as specified by NIDILRR. These activities are designed to benefit rehabilitation service providers, individuals with disabilities, family members, policymakers and other research stakeholders. Additional information on the RRTC program can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/rrtc/index.html#types.

    Program Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(b)(2)(A).

    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 350.

    We published a notice of proposed priority (NPP) for this program in the Federal Register on February 25, 2015 (80 FR 10099). That notice contained background information and our reasons for proposing the particular priority.

    Public Comment: Eight parties submitted wholly supportive comments in response to our invitation in the notice of proposed priority.

    Analysis of the Comments and Changes: An analysis of the comments and of any changes in the priority since publication of the NPP follows.

    Agency Requirement: SAMHSA/CMHS funds for this Center must be applied to clearly defined tasks and must be tracked separately by the grantee. In addition, the grantee must provide separate reports for activities carried out with NIDILRR and SAMHSA/CMHS funds. In addition to funding for training, technical assistance, and knowledge translation, CMHS funds can be applied to evaluative studies but not to research projects.

    Discussion: Details on the necessary changes to the application process will be spelled out in the application kit.

    Changes: Evaluative studies has been added to the priority requirements.

    Final Priority

    The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living establishes a priority for the RRTC on Self-Directed Care to Promote Recovery, Health, and Wellness for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness (SMI). This RRTC will also support activities funded by the Center for Mental Health Services, of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The RRTC will conduct research and evaluative studies to develop, adapt, and enhance self-directed models of general medical, mental health, and nonmedical services that are designed to improve health, recovery, and employment outcomes for individuals with serious mental illness. The RRTC must conduct research, evaluative studies, knowledge translation, training, dissemination, and technical assistance within a framework of consumer-directed services and self-management. Evaluative studies conducted by this RRTC will focus on existing programs or services; research studies will generate new knowledge, generalizable to the relevant target population(s). Under this priority, the RRTC must contribute to the following outcomes:

    (1) Increased knowledge that can be used to enhance the health and well-being of individuals with serious mental illness and co-occurring conditions. The RRTC must contribute to this outcome by:

    (a) Conducting research and evaluative studies to develop a better understanding of the barriers to and facilitators of implementing models that integrate general medical and mental health care for individuals with SMI. These models must incorporate self-management and self-direction strategies. The research and evaluative studies must specifically examine models that incorporate peer-provided services and supports along with research-based service integration strategies such as health navigation and care coordination.

    (b) Conducting research to identify or develop and then test interventions that use individual budgets or flexible funds to increase consumer choice. The RRTC must design this research to determine the extent to which the consumer-choice intervention improves health outcomes and promotes recovery among individuals living with SMI. In carrying out this activity, the grantee must investigate the applicability of strategies that have proven successful with the general population or other subpopulations to determine if they are effective with individuals with SMI and co-occurring conditions.

    (2) Improved employment outcomes among individuals with SMI. The RRTC must contribute to this outcome by:

    (a) Conducting research and evaluative studies to develop a better understanding of the barriers to and facilitators of implementing vocational service and support models that incorporate self-management and self-direction features. These features must include self-directed financing and flexible funding of services that support mental health treatment and recovery, general health, and employment. These services may include services and supports not traditionally supplied by mental health or general medical systems.

    (3) Increased incorporation of research and evaluative study findings related to SMI, self-directed care, health management, and employment into practice or policy.

    (a) Developing, evaluating, or implementing strategies to increase utilization of research or evaluative study findings related to SMI, co-occurring conditions, health management, and employment.

    (b) Conducting training, technical assistance, and dissemination activities to increase utilization of research and evaluative study findings related to self-directed care of individuals living with SMI to promote and co-occurring conditions, health management, and employment.

    Types of Priorities

    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:

    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).

    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the application meets the priority (45 CFR part 75); or (2) selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (45 CFR part 75).

    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a preference over other applications(45 CFR part 75).

    This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note:

    This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use this priority, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register.

    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 ACL published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: June 22, 2015. John Tschida, Director, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15745 Filed 6-25-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4154-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Community Living Applications for New Awards; National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)—Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers AGENCY:

    Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information

    National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)—Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers (RRTC)—Self-Directed Care to Promote Recovery, Health, and Wellness for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness.

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.133B-4. DATES:

    Applications Available: June 26, 2015. Note:

    On July 22, 2014, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA was effective immediately. One provision of WIOA transferred the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) from the Department of Education to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) in the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, NIDRR's name was changed to the Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). For FY 2015, all NIDILRR priority notices will be published as ACL notices, and ACL will make all NIDILRR awards. During this transition period, however, NIDILRR will continue to review grant applications using Department of Education tools. NIDILRR will post previously-approved application kits to grants.gov, and NIDILRR applications submitted to grants.gov will be forwarded to the Department of Education's G-5 system for peer review. We are using Department of Education application kits and peer review systems during this transition year in order to provide for a smooth and orderly process for our applicants.

    Because of HHS policy, there are changes in the way that NIDILRR will award and oversee grants that are made on behalf of other agencies. These changes apply for this priority because SAMHSA, specifically the Center for Mental Health Services, provides funding for activities carried out under the award. These changes are reflected in the final notice, the Notice Inviting Applications, and the grant application kit.

    Date of Pre-Application Meeting: July 17, 2015.

    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: July 31, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 25, 2015.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program is to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities, including international activities to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology. The Program's activities are designed to maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe disabilities, and to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Rehabilitation Act).

    Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers

    The purpose of the RRTCs, which are funded through the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, is to achieve the goals of, and improve the effectiveness of, services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act through well-designed research, training, technical assistance, and dissemination activities in important topical areas as specified by NIDILRR. These activities are designed to benefit rehabilitation service providers, individuals with disabilities, family members, policymakers and other research stakeholders. Additional information on the RRTC program can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/rrtc/index.html#types.

    Priorities: There are two priorities for the grant competition announced in this notice. The General RRTC Requirements priority is from the notice of final priorities for the Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers, published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2008 (73 FR 6132). Priority two is from the notice of final priority for this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

    Absolute Priorities: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 45 CFR part 75 we consider only applications that meet these program priorities.

    These priorities are:

    Priority 1—General RRTC Requirements.

    Note:

    The full text of this priority is included in the notice of final priorities for the Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers, published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2008 (73 FR 6132) and in the application package for this competition.

    Priority 2—RRTC on Self-Directed Care to Promote Recovery, Health, and Wellness for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness.

    Note:

    The full text of this priority is included in the notice of final priority published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register and in the application package for this competition.

    Program Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(b)(2).

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Department of Health and Human Services General Administrative Regulations in 45 CFR part 75 (b) Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 45 CFR part 75 Subpart F; (c) 45 CFR part 75 Non-procurement Debarment and Suspension; (d) 45 CFR part 75 Requirement for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance); (e) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 350; The notice of final priorities for the RRTC Program published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2008 (73 FR 6132); and (g) The notice of final priority for this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

    Estimated Available Funds: $875,000.

    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2015 and any subsequent year from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.

    Maximum Award: $875,000 ($300,000 from CMHS and $575,000 from NIDILRR).

    Applicants must submit a two-part proposal. One part must describe tasks and funds utilization carried out for the CMHS portion of the project and the other part must describe the tasks and funds utilization for the NIDILRR part. We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding the Maximum Amount for the CMHS portion. We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding the Maximum Amount for the NIDILRR portion. The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 1.

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: 60 months.

    We will reject any application that proposes a project period exceeding 60 months. The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living may change the project period through a notice published in the Federal Register.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: States; public or private agencies, including for-profit agencies; public or private organizations, including for-profit organizations; IHEs; and Indian tribes and tribal organizations.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require cost sharing or matching.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via grants.gov, or by contacting Marlene Spencer: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5133, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2700. Telephone: (202) 245-7532 or by email: [email protected] The application package will contain instructions for preparing the two-part application.

    If you request an application from Marlene Spencer, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.133B-4.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for the competition announced in this notice.

    Notice of Intent to Apply: Due to the open nature of the RRTC priority announced here, and to assist with the selection of reviewers for this competition, NIDILRR is requesting all potential applicants submit a letter of intent (LOI). The submission is not mandatory and the content of the LOI will not be peer reviewed or otherwise used to rate an applicant's application.

    Each LOI should be limited to a maximum of four pages and include the following information: (1) The title of the proposed project, the name of the applicant, the name of the Project Director or Principal Investigator (PI), and the names of partner institutions and entities; (2) a brief statement of the vision, goals, and objectives of the proposed project and a description of its proposed activities at a sufficient level of detail to allow NIDILRR to select potential peer reviewers; (3) a list of proposed project staff including the Project Director or PI and key personnel; (4) a list of individuals whose selection as a peer reviewer might constitute a conflict of interest due to involvement in proposal development, selection as an advisory board member, co-PI relationships, etc.; and (5) contact information for the Project Director or PI. Submission of a LOI is not a prerequisite for eligibility to submit an application.

    NIDILRR will accept the optional LOI via mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or commercial carrier) or email, by July 31, 2015. The LOI must be sent to: Marlene Spencer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 550 12th Street SW., Room 5133, PCP, Washington, DC 20202; or by email to: [email protected]

    For further information regarding the LOI submission process, contact Marlene Spencer at (202) 245-7532.

    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend that you limit Part III to the equivalent of no more than 100 pages, using the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative. You are not required to double space titles, headings, footnotes, references, and captions, or text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.

    • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.

    The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative section (Part III).

    Note:

    Please submit an appendix that lists every collaborating organization and individual named in the application, including staff, consultants, contractors, and advisory board members. We will use this information to help us screen for conflicts of interest with our reviewers.

    An applicant should consult NIDRR's Long-Range Plan for Fiscal Years 2013-2017 (78 FR 20299) (Plan) when preparing its application. The Plan is organized around the following research domains: (1) Community Living and Participation; (2) Health and Function; and (3) Employment.

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: June 26, 2015.

    Date of Pre-Application Meeting: Interested parties are invited to participate in a pre-application meeting and to receive information and technical assistance through individual consultation with NIDILRR staff. The pre-application meeting will be held on July 17, 2015. Interested parties may participate in this meeting by conference call with NIDILRR staff from the Administration for Community Living between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., Washington, DC time. NIDILRR staff also will be available from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the same day, by telephone, to provide information and technical assistance through individual consultation. For further information or to make arrangements to participate in the meeting via conference call or to arrange for an individual consultation, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: July 31, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 25, 2015.

    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372.

    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Health and Human Services, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one-to-two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:

    Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html

    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

    Applications for grants under the priority for a RRRTC on Self-Directed Care to Promote Recovery, Health, and Wellness for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness, CFDA Number 84.133B-4, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    You may access the electronic grant application for the RRTC on Self-Directed Care to Promote Recovery, Health, and Wellness for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness competition at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.133, not 84.133B).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at http://www.G5.gov.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Additional, detailed information on how to attach files is in the application instructions.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that the problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

    Note:

    The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system; and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Patricia Barrett, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5142, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2700. FAX: (202) 245-7323.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.133B-4), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Administrator of the Administration for Community Living of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    Note for Mail of Paper Applications:

    If you mail your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the program under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from 34 CFR 350.54 and are listed in the application package.

    2. Review and Selection Process: Final award decisions will be made by the Administrator, ACL. In making these decisions, the Administrator will take into consideration: Ranking of the review panel; reviews for programmatic and grants management compliance; the reasonableness of the estimated cost to the government considering the available funding and anticipated results; and the likelihood that the proposed project will result in the benefits expected. Under Section 75.205, item (3) history of performance is an item that is reviewed.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Administrator of the Administration for Community Living also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services 45 CFR part 75.

    3. Special Conditions: Under 45 CFR part 75 the Administrator of the Administration for Community Living may impose special conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 45 CFR part 75, as applicable; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we send you a Notice of Award (NOA); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your NOA. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the NOA. The NOA also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 45 CFR part 75 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 45 CFR part 75.

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Administrator of the Administration for Community Living. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Administrator of the Administration for Community Living under 45 CFR part 75. All NIDILRR grantees will submit their annual and final reports through NIDILRR's online reporting system and as designated in the terms and conditions of your NOA. The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living may also require more frequent performance reports under 45 CFR part 75. For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    (c) FFATA and FSRS Reporting

    The Federal Financial Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) requires data entry at the FFATA Subaward Reporting System (http://www.FSRS.gov) for all sub-awards and sub-contracts issued for $25,000 or more as well as addressing executive compensation for both grantee and sub-award organizations.

    For further guidance please see the following link: http://www.acl.gov/Funding_Opportunities/Grantee_Info/FFATA.aspx.

    If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information. Annual and Final Performance reports will be submitted through NIDILRR's online Performance System and as designated in the terms and conditions of your NOA. At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information.

    Note: NIDILRR will provide information by letter to successful grantees on how and when to submit the report.

    4. Performance Measures: To evaluate the overall success of its research program, NIDILRR assesses the quality of its funded projects through a review of grantee performance and accomplishments. Each year, NIDILRR examines a portion of its grantees to determine:

    • The number of products (e.g., new or improved tools, methods, discoveries, standards, interventions, programs, or devices developed or tested with NIDILRR funding) that have been judged by expert panels to be of high quality and to advance the field.

    • The average number of publications per award based on NIDILRR-funded research and development activities in refereed journals.

    • The percentage of new NIDILRR grants that assess the effectiveness of interventions, programs, and devices using rigorous methods.

    NIDILRR uses information submitted by grantees as part of their Annual Performance Reports for these reviews.

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the Administrator of the Administration for Community Living may consider, under 45 CFR part 75, the extent to which a grantee has made “substantial progress toward meeting the objectives in its approved application.” This consideration includes the review of a grantee's progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget. In making a continuation grant, the Administrator also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department. Continuation funding is also subject to availability of funds.

    VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patricia Barrett, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5142, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2700. Telephone: (202) 245-6211 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    VIII. Other Information

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet