Federal Register Vol. 80, No.125,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 125 (June 30, 2015)

Page Range37135-37527
FR Document

80_FR_125
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 37311 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 37236 - Hydrographic Services Review Panel; Membership SolicitationPDF
80 FR 37286 - Notice of Intent To Prepare a Programmatic Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Invasive Rodent and Mongoose Control and Eradication on U.S. Pacific Islands Within the National Wildlife Refuge System and in Native Ecosystems in HawaiiPDF
80 FR 37326 - In the Matter of Aspire Japan, Inc., Market & Research Corp. (n/k/a MRC Group Ltd.), McIntosh Bancshares Inc., Pure Minerals, Inc. (f/k/a Pure Pharmaceuticals Corp.) and Salamon Group, Inc.; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
80 FR 37329 - In the Matter of Accres Holding, Inc., FirstBank Financial Services, Inc., MicroSmart Devices, Inc., Polymedix, Inc., RegenoCELL Therapeutics, Inc., and The Sagemark Companies Ltd.; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
80 FR 37349 - In the Matter of Vantone International Group, Inc.; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
80 FR 37156 - Safety Zone; Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone-Celebration Freedom FireworksPDF
80 FR 37154 - Safety Zones; Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone-Gary Air and Water ShowPDF
80 FR 37155 - Safety Zones; Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone-Michigan City Summerfest FireworksPDF
80 FR 37155 - Safety Zones; Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone-Start of the Chicago to Mackinac RacePDF
80 FR 37156 - Safety Zones; Fireworks Events in Captain of the Port New York ZonePDF
80 FR 37203 - Safety Zone; Ohio River between Mile 25.2 and 25.8; New Brighton, PAPDF
80 FR 37221 - Foreign-Trade Zone 33-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Application for Reorganization Under Alternative Site FrameworkPDF
80 FR 37353 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Department of State Acquisition Regulation (DOSAR)PDF
80 FR 37359 - Notice of Buy America WaiverPDF
80 FR 37268 - Notice of Hearing: Reconsideration of Disapproval Texas Medicaid State Plan Amendment (SPA) 14-25PDF
80 FR 37352 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Statement of Claim Related to Deportation During the HolocaustPDF
80 FR 37237 - Request for Information Regarding the Consumer Complaint Database: Data NormalizationPDF
80 FR 37327 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 37315 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 37314 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 37222 - Fresh Garlic From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of the Changed Circumstances Review of Jining Yongjia Trade Co., Ltd. and Jinxiang County Shanfu Frozen Co., Ltd.PDF
80 FR 37259 - Zimmer Holdings, Inc. and Biomet, Inc.; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public CommentPDF
80 FR 37285 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2) ReportingPDF
80 FR 37282 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Insurance Termination Request for Multifamily MortgagePDF
80 FR 37296 - Notice of Realty Action: Competitive Sale of 33 Parcels of Public Land in Clark County, NVPDF
80 FR 37223 - Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From the People's Republic of China, India, Italy, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan: Initiation of Countervailing Duty InvestigationsPDF
80 FR 37362 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
80 FR 37228 - Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From Italy, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value InvestigationsPDF
80 FR 37363 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
80 FR 37355 - Second Meeting: Special Committee 234 (SC 234)PDF
80 FR 37356 - Fifth Meeting: Tiger Team 011 (TG 011)PDF
80 FR 37364 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
80 FR 37358 - Twenty Ninth Meeting: Special Committee 213 (SC 213)PDF
80 FR 37358 - Fifteenth Meeting: Subcommittee 227 (SC 227)PDF
80 FR 37248 - Certain New Chemicals; Receipt and Status InformationPDF
80 FR 37282 - Announcement of Funding Awards for Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) Grant Programs for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014PDF
80 FR 37255 - Proposed Issuance of NPDES General Permits for Wastewater Lagoon Systems Located in Indian Country in EPA Region 8PDF
80 FR 37245 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Voluntary Aluminum Industrial Partnership (VAIP) (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 37263 - Commission To Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities; Cancellation of MeetingPDF
80 FR 37245 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, PaducahPDF
80 FR 37255 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Fuel Use Requirements for Great Lake Steamships (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 37246 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Polyvinyl Chloride and Copolymer Production Area Sources (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 37247 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Nine Metal Fabrication and Finishing Sources (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 37293 - Indian GamingPDF
80 FR 37312 - NuScale Power, LLC, Design-Specific Review Standard and Safety Review MatrixPDF
80 FR 37248 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NSPS for Other Solid Waste Incineration Units (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 37257 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Pesticide Active Ingredient Production (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 37254 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Coke Oven Batteries (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 37302 - Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Registration: Insys Therapeutics, Inc.PDF
80 FR 37292 - Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource SciencePDF
80 FR 37265 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 37264 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 37301 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Trustworthy Accountability Group, Inc.PDF
80 FR 37302 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-American Society of Mechanical EngineersPDF
80 FR 37359 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on the Interstate 64 Peninsula Study in VirginiaPDF
80 FR 37269 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Announcement of Office of Management and Budget Approval; Export Certificates for Food and Drug Administration Regulated ProductsPDF
80 FR 37269 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Animal Food Labeling; Declaration of Certifiable Color AdditivesPDF
80 FR 37303 - Notice Lodging of Proposed Joint Stipulation To Modify Consent Decree Under the Clean Air ActPDF
80 FR 37270 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Evaluation of the Food and Drug Administration's Campaign To Reduce Tobacco Use Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Young AdultsPDF
80 FR 37181 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota TransferPDF
80 FR 37220 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 37180 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2015 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Snowy GrouperPDF
80 FR 37259 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
80 FR 37259 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 37240 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 37273 - Product-Specific Bioequivalence Recommendations; Draft and Revised Draft Guidances for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 37466 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Geophysical and Geotechnical Survey in Cook Inlet, AlaskaPDF
80 FR 37275 - Premarket Notification Requirements Concerning Gowns Intended for Use in Health Care Settings; Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 37294 - Renewal of Agency Information Collection for Reindeer in AlaskaPDF
80 FR 37235 - Marine Mammals; File No. 15537PDF
80 FR 37310 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Permit-Required Confined Spaces in General Industry StandardPDF
80 FR 37294 - Renewal of Information Collection and Request for Comments: OMB Control Number 1093-0006, Volunteer Partnership ManagementPDF
80 FR 37258 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 37351 - Texas Disaster Number TX-00447PDF
80 FR 37351 - Texas Disaster Number TX-00448PDF
80 FR 37351 - Harbert Mezzanine Partners II SBIC, L.P.; Notice Seeking Exemption Under Section 312 of the Small Business Investment Act, Conflicts of InterestPDF
80 FR 37243 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 37323 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of No Objection to an Advance Notice Concerning Modifications To Backtesting Procedures in Order To Enhance Monitoring of Margin Coverage and Model Risk ExposurePDF
80 FR 37351 - Interest RatesPDF
80 FR 37135 - Federal Employees' Retirement System; Present Value Conversion Factors for Spouses of Deceased Separated EmployeesPDF
80 FR 37219 - Forest Resource Coordinating CommitteePDF
80 FR 37315 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
80 FR 37315 - Product Change-Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
80 FR 37178 - Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: FEHB Plan Performance Assessment SystemPDF
80 FR 37353 - WTO Dispute Settlement Proceeding Regarding Indonesia-Importation of Horticultural Products, Animals and Animal ProductsPDF
80 FR 37352 - Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 37316 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Amending the Eighth Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of the Exchange To Establish a Regulatory Oversight Committee as a Committee of the Board of Directors of the Exchange and Make Certain Conforming Amendments to Exchange RulesPDF
80 FR 37337 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating To Amending Rule 6.42 To Extend Its Penny Pilot Until June 30, 2016PDF
80 FR 37333 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Extension of the Exchange's Penny Pilot Program and Replacement of Penny Pilot Issues That Have Been DelistedPDF
80 FR 37349 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Exchange Rule 510 To Extend the Penny Pilot ProgramPDF
80 FR 37347 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Extension of the Exchange's Penny Pilot Program and Replacement of Penny Pilot Issues That Have Been DelistedPDF
80 FR 37340 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending NYSE Arca Equities Rules 7.25 and 8.800 in Order To Allow An Issuer to Elect for its Exchange Traded Product to Participate in the Crowd Participant Program or the ETP Incentive Program Monthly Rather than Quarterly and To Extend the Effectiveness of the Crowd Participant Program until June 23, 2016PDF
80 FR 37338 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Commentary .02 to NYSE Amex Options Rule 960NY in Order To Extend the Penny Pilot in Options Classes in Certain Issues Through June 30, 2016PDF
80 FR 37331 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Commentary .02 to Exchange Rule 6.72 in Order To Extend the Penny Pilot in Options Classes in Certain Issues Through June 30, 2016PDF
80 FR 37335 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Amending Rule 6.4 To Extend the Penny Pilot through June 30, 2016PDF
80 FR 37330 - Context Capital Advisers, LLC, et al.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 37327 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX Phlx 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 Rules That Govern the NASDAQ OMX PSXPDF
80 FR 37343 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule 1.1 Governing Definitions and Various Equity Trading Rules in Order To Eliminate Obsolete ReferencesPDF
80 FR 37177 - Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and LibrariesPDF
80 FR 37206 - Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2015PDF
80 FR 37299 - Certain Toner Cartridges and Components; Commission Determination To Review in Part an Initial Determination Granting Complainant's Motion for Summary Determination of Violation of Section 337 and, on Review, To Modify Certain Portions of the Initial Determination; Request for Written Submissions on Remedy, the Public Interest, and BondingPDF
80 FR 37303 - Unimin Corporation, Gleason, Tennessee; Notice of Affirmative Determination Regarding Application for ReconsiderationPDF
80 FR 37305 - United States Steel Corporation, Lorain Tubular Operations, Lorain, OH; United States Steel Corporation, Fairfield Works-Flat Roll Operations, Fairfield-Tubular Operations, Fairfield, AL; et al.; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility to Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 37309 - Brayton International, a Subsidiary of Steelcase, Inc., Including On-Site Leased Workers From Manpower Group, Experis, Bradley Personnel Inc., Graham Personnel Services, Aerotek, Workforce Unlimited, Experis, Impact Business Group, and Century Employer Organization LLC, High Point, North Carolina; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 37306 - Modine Manufacturing Company, Including On-Site Leased Workers From Masterson, Working World, Aerotek, Reemploy (Seek Professionals, LLC), and Lucas Group, Ringwood, Illinois; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 37305 - Bausch & Lomb Incorporated, North Goodman Street Facility, a Subsidiary of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., Including On-Site Leased Workers from Kelly Services Aerotek and Computech Corp., Rochester, New York; Bausch & Lomb Incorporated, Bausch & Lomb Place Facility, a Subsidiary of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., Including On-Site Leased Workers From Kelly Services and Computech Corp., Rochester, New York; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 37308 - Notice of Determinations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance and Alternative Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 37304 - Investigations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 37307 - General Mills Bakery Division, Including On-Site Leased Workers From Randstad Temp Agency, Aerotek, Inc., and Sonoco, New Albany, Indiana; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 37307 - U.S. Steel Tubular Products, Inc., Tubular Processing Houston Operations, a Subsidiary of United States Steel Corporation, Houston, Texas; U.S. Steel Oilwell Services, LLC, Offshore Operations-Houston, Houston, Texas; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 37307 - Autoliv ASP, Inc., Autoliv Electronics Division, Production Operations Department, Including On-Site Leased Workers From Technical Needs, Lowell, Massachusetts; Aerotek, Working On-Site at Autoliv ASP, Inc., Autoliv Electronics Division, Production Operations Department, Lowell, Massachusetts; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 37306 - Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 37239 - Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive Patent License to Nano-C, Inc.; Westwood, MAPDF
80 FR 37239 - Board of Visitors, United States Military Academy (USMA)PDF
80 FR 37244 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Recent Graduates Employment and Earnings Survey (RGEES) Standards and Survey FormPDF
80 FR 37302 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Air ActPDF
80 FR 37153 - Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace, Revocation of Class E Airspace; Salem, ORPDF
80 FR 37356 - Discontinuation of Airport Advisory Service in the Contiguous United States, Puerto Rico, and HawaiiPDF
80 FR 37292 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 37404 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Mount Charleston Blue Butterfly (Icaricia (Plebejus) shasta charlestonensisPDF
80 FR 37281 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 37278 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 37279 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 37280 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 37279 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 37221 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 37263 - Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (ABRWH or Advisory Board), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)PDF
80 FR 37241 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
80 FR 37161 - Modification of Significant New Uses of Certain Chemical SubstancesPDF
80 FR 37161 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Revision To Control Volatile Organic Compound Emissions From Storage Tanks and Transport VesselsPDF
80 FR 37284 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Certification of Consistency With Sustainable Communities Planning and ImplementationPDF
80 FR 37136 - Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners and Packaged Terminal Heat PumpsPDF
80 FR 37150 - Airworthiness Directives; Dassault Aviation AirplanesPDF
80 FR 37200 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 37276 - Submission for OMB Review; 60-Day Comment Request; Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health StudyPDF
80 FR 37280 - Proposed Collection; 60-Day Comment Request; Population Sciences Biospecimen CatalogPDF
80 FR 37277 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; The Effectiveness of Donor Notification, HIV Counseling, and Linkage of HIV Positive Donors to Health Care in BrazilPDF
80 FR 37167 - Review of the Emergency Alert SystemPDF
80 FR 37432 - Revision of Fee Schedules; Fee Recovery for Fiscal Year 2015PDF
80 FR 37182 - Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology Omnibus AmendmentPDF
80 FR 37157 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; North Dakota; Alternative Monitoring Plan for Milton R. Young StationPDF
80 FR 37205 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; North Dakota; Alternative Monitoring Plan for Milton R. Young StationPDF
80 FR 37366 - National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Ferroalloys ProductionPDF
80 FR 37496 - Defining Larger Participants of the Automobile Financing Market and Defining Certain Automobile Leasing Activity as a Financial Product or ServicePDF

Issue

80 125 Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Forest Service

Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Changes under National Cooperative Research and Production Act: American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 37302 2015-16025 Trustworthy Accountability Group, Inc., 37301-37302 2015-16026 Army Army Department NOTICES Exclusive Patent Licenses: Nano-C, Inc., Westwood, MA, 37239-37240 2015-15957 Meetings: Board of Visitors, United States Military Academy, 37239 2015-15955 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection RULES Defining Larger Participants of the Automobile Financing Market and Defining Certain Automobile Leasing Activity as a Financial Product or Service, 37496-37527 2015-14630 NOTICES Requests for Information: Consumer Complaint Database; Data Normalization, 37237-37239 2015-16096 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 37264-37268 2015-16027 2015-16028 Meetings: Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 37263-37264 2015-15925 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Hearings: Reconsideration of Disapproval Texas Medicaid State Plan Amendment, 37268-37269 2015-16098 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone—Celebration Freedom Fireworks, 37156-37157 2015-16118 Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone—Gary Air and Water Show, 37154-37155 2015-16117 Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone—Michigan City Summerfest Fireworks, 37155-37156 2015-16114 Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone—Start of the Chicago to Mackinac Race, 37155 2015-16113 Fireworks Events in Captain of the Port New York Zone, 37156 2015-16106 PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Ohio River between Mile 25.2 and 25.8, New Brighton, PA, 37203-37205 2015-16105 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 37220-37221 2015-15939 2015-15940 2015-16018
Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 37240-37241, 37243-37244 2015-15995 2015-16004 2015-16014 Arms Sales, 37241-37243 2015-15923
Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Registrations: Insys Therapeutics, Inc., 37302 2015-16030 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Recent Graduates Employment and Earnings Survey Standards and Survey Form, 37244-37245 2015-15953 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Determinations on Reconsideration: Unimin Corp., Gleason, TN, 37303-37304 2015-15968 Worker Adjustment and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance Eligibility; Determinations, 37308-37309 2015-15963 Worker Adjustment Assistance Eligibility; Amended Certifications: Autoliv ASP, Inc., Lowell, MA; Aerotek, Lowell, MA, 37307-37308 2015-15959 Bausch and Lomb Inc., Rochester, NY, 37305 2015-15964 Brayton International, High Point, NC, 37309-37310 2015-15966 General Mills, New Albany, IN, 37307 2015-15961 Modine Manufacturing Co., Ringwood, IL, 37306-37307 2015-15965 U.S. Steel Corp., Lorain, OH; et al., 37305-37306 2015-15967 U.S. Steel Tubular Products, Inc., and U.S. Steel Oilwell Services, LLC, Houston, TX, 37307 2015-15960 U.S. Steel Tubular Products, Inc., Lone Star, TX; United States Steel Corp., Keewatin, MN, et al., 37306 2015-15958 Worker Adjustment Assistance Eligibility; Investigations, 37304-37305 2015-15962 Energy Department Energy Department RULES Energy Conservation Programs: Test Procedures for Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners and Packaged Terminal Heat Pumps, 37136-37149 2015-15885 NOTICES Meetings: Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Paducah, 37245 2015-16039 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Ferroalloys Production; National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, 37366-37401 2015-15038 North Dakota; Alternative Monitoring Plan for Milton R. Young Station, 37157-37160 2015-15533 Texas; Revision to Control Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Storage Tanks and Transport Vessels, 37161 2015-15910 Modification of Significant New Uses of Certain Chemical Substances, 37161-37166 2015-15917 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: North Dakota; Alternative Monitoring Plan for Milton R. Young Station, 37205-37206 2015-15525 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Fuel Use Requirements for Great Lake Steamships, 37255 2015-16038 NESHAP for Coke Oven Batteries, 37254-37255 2015-16031 NESHAP for Nine Metal Fabrication and Finishing Sources, 37247 2015-16036 NESHAP for Pesticide Active Ingredient Production, 37257-37258 2015-16032 NESHAP for Polyvinyl Chloride and Copolymer Production Area Sources, 37246-37247 2015-16037 NSPS for Other Solid Waste Incineration Units, 37248 2015-16033 Voluntary Aluminum Industrial Partnership, 37245-37246 2015-16041 Certain New Chemicals; Receipt and Status Information, 37248-37254 2015-16047 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permits: Wastewater Lagoon Systems, Indian Country, Region 8, 37255-37257 2015-16042 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Dassault Aviation Airplanes, 37150-37152 2015-15860 Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace, Revocation of Class E Airspace: Salem, OR, 37153-37154 2015-15951 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes, 37200-37203 2015-15856 NOTICES Discontinuation of Airport Advisory Service in the Contiguous United States, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii, 37356-37358 2015-15949 Meetings: Special Committee 213, 37358 2015-16054 Special Committee 234, 37355 2015-16058 Subcommittee 227, 37358 2015-16053 Tiger Team 011, 37356 2015-16056 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and Libraries, 37177 2015-15972 Review of the Emergency Alert System, 37167-37177 2015-15805 PROPOSED RULES Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2015, 37206-37218 2015-15971 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 37258-37259 2015-15999 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Federal Agency Actions: Virginia; Interstate 64 Peninsula Study, 37359 2015-16024 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 37259 2015-16016 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 37259 2015-16015 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Proposed Consent Orders: Zimmer Holdings, Inc. and Biomet, Inc., 37259-37263 2015-16081 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Designation of Critical Habitat for Mount Charleston Blue Butterfly (Icaricia (Plebejus) shasta charlestonensis), 37404-37430 2015-15947 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Invasive Rodent and Mongoose Control, Eradication on U.S. Pacific Islands within the National Wildlife Refuge System and in Native Ecosystems in Hawaii, 37286-37292 2015-16152 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Animal Food Labeling; Declaration of Certifiable Color Additives, 37269-37270 2015-16022 Evaluation of the Food and Drug Administration's Campaign to Reduce Tobacco Use Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Young Adults, 37270-37273 2015-16020 Export Certificates for Food and Drug Administration Regulated Products, 37269 2015-16023 Guidance: Premarket Notification Requirements Concerning Gowns Intended for Use in Health Care Settings, 37275-37276 2015-16011 Product-Specific Bioequivalence Recommendations, 37273-37275 2015-16013 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Applications for Reorganization under Alternative Site Framework: Foreign-Trade Zone 33, Pittsburgh, PA, 37221 2015-16104 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Charter Renewals; Forest Resource Coordinating Committee; Requests for Nominations, 37219-37220 2015-15991 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities; Cancellation, 37263 2015-16040 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 37292-37293 2015-15948 Charter Renewals: Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science, 37292 2015-16029 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Certification of Consistency with Sustainable Communities Planning and Implementation, 37284 2015-15899 Insurance Termination Request for Multifamily Mortgage, 37282 2015-16069 Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 Reporting, 37285-37286 2015-16071 Funding Availability: Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes Grant Programs, Fiscal Year 2014, 37282-37284 2015-16046 Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Reindeer in Alaska, 37294 2015-16010 Indian Gaming; Correction, 37293-37294 2015-16035 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

See

Indian Affairs Bureau

See

Land Management Bureau

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Volunteer Partnership Management, 37294-37296 2015-16000
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 37362-37364 2015-16055 2015-16057 2015-16059 2015-16060 2015-16062 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, India, Italy, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan, 37223-37228 2015-16067 Fresh Garlic from the People's Republic of China; Jining Yongjia Trade Co., Ltd. and Jinxiang County Shanfu Frozen Co., Ltd., Changed Circumstance, 37222-37223 2015-16082 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Italy, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan, 37228-37235 2015-16061 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Toner Cartridges and Components, 37299-37301 2015-15970 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

See

Drug Enforcement Administration

NOTICES Proposed Consent Decrees under the Clean Air Act, 37302-37303 2015-15952 Proposed Joint Stipulation to Modify Consent Decree under the Clean Air Act, 37303 2015-16021
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Permit-Required Confined Spaces in General Industry Standard, 37310-37311 2015-16005
Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Realty Actions: Competitive Sale of 33 Parcels of Public Land in Clark County, NV, 37296-37299 2015-16068 Legal Legal Services Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 37311 2015-16164 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Buy American Waivers, 37359-37362 2015-16099 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 37277-37278 2015-15841 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study, 37276-37277 2015-15844 Population Sciences Biospecimen Catalog, 37280 2015-15842 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 37278-37279, 37281-37282 2015-15941 2015-15945 2015-15946 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 37279 2015-15944 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 37280-37281 2015-15943 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 37279 2015-15942 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: South Atlantic Snowy Grouper; Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure, 37180-37181 2015-16017 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology Omnibus Amendment, 37182-37199 2015-15619 Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer, 37181-37182 2015-16019 NOTICES Permits: Marine Mammals; File No. 15537, 37235-37236 2015-16009 Requests for Nominations: Hydrographic Services Review Panel, 37236-37237 2015-16153 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Geophysical and Geotechnical Survey in Cook Inlet, AK, 37466-37494 2015-16012 National Transportation National Transportation Safety Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 37311 2015-16127 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission RULES Fee Recovery for Fiscal; Year 2015, 37432-37464 2015-15763 NOTICES Guidance: NuScale Power, LLC, Design-Specific Review Standard and Safety Review Matrix, 37312-37314 2015-16034 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 37314-37315 2015-16093 Personnel Personnel Management Office RULES Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: FEHB Plan Performance Assessment System, 37178-37180 2015-15988 Federal Employees' Retirement System: Present Value Conversion Factors for Spouses of Deceased Separated Employees, 37135-37136 2015-15992 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 37315 2015-15989 Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 37315 2015-15990 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: Context Capital Advisers, LLC, et al., 37330-37331 2015-15975 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 37315-37316, 37327 2015-16094 2015-16095 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: C2 Options Exchange, Inc., 37335-37337 2015-15976 Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 37337-37338 2015-15983 Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, 37349-37351 2015-15981 NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC, 37327-37329, 37333-37335 2015-15974 2015-15982 NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, 37347-37349 2015-15980 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 37316-37323 2015-15984 NYSE Arca, Inc., 37331-37333, 37340-37346 2015-15973 2015-15977 2015-15979 NYSE MKT LLC, 37338-37340 2015-15978 Options Clearing Corp., 37323-37326 2015-15994 Trading Suspension Orders: Accres Holding, Inc., et al., 37329-37330 2015-16147 Aspire Japan, Inc., Market & Research Corp., et al., 37326-37327 2015-16148 Vantone International Group, Inc., 37349 2015-16146 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 37352 2015-15986 Disaster Declarations: Texas; Amendment 2, 37351 2015-15997 Texas; Amendment 3, 37351 2015-15998 Exemptions under the Small Business Investment Act, Conflicts of Interest: Harbert Mezzanine Partners II SBIC, LP, 37351 2015-15996 Interest Rates, 37351-37352 2015-15993 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Department of State Acquisition Regulation, 37353 2015-16102 Statement of Claim Related to Deportation During the Holocust, 37352-37353 2015-16097 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States NOTICES WTO Dispute Settlements: Indonesia--Importation of Horticultural Products, Animals and Animal Products, 37353-37355 2015-15987 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Environmental Protection Agency, 37366-37401 2015-15038 Part III Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 37404-37430 2015-15947 Part IV Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 37432-37464 2015-15763 Part V Commerce Department, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 37466-37494 2015-16012 Part VI Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 37496-37527 2015-14630 Reader Aids

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

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80 125 Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Rules and Regulations OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 5 CFR Part 843 RIN 3206-AN16 Federal Employees' Retirement System; Present Value Conversion Factors for Spouses of Deceased Separated Employees AGENCY:

Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is adopting its proposed rule to revise the table of reduction factors for early commencing dates of survivor annuities for spouses of separated employees who die before the date on which they would be eligible for unreduced deferred annuities. This rule is necessary to ensure that the tables conform to the economic and demographic assumptions adopted by the Board of Actuaries and published in the Federal Register on March 20, 2015.

DATES:

Effective October 1, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Roxann Johnson, (202) 606-0299.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On March 20, 2015, OPM published at 80 FR 15036, a notice in the Federal Register to revise the normal cost percentages under the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) Act of 1986, Public Law 99-335, 100 Stat. 514, as amended, based on economic assumptions and demographic factors adopted by the Board of Actuaries of the Civil Service Retirement System. Under 5 U.S.C. 8461(i), the demographic factors and economic assumptions require corresponding changes in factors used to produce actuarially equivalence when required by the FERS Act. As a result, on April 3, 2015, at 80 FR 18159, OPM published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to revise the table of reduction factors in Appendix A to subpart C of part 843, Code of Federal Regulations, for early commencing dates of survivor annuities for spouses of separated employees who die before the date on which they would be eligible for unreduced deferred annuities. OPM received no written comments on the proposed rule.

Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Review

This rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, as amended by E.O. 13258 and E.O. 13422.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

I certify that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the regulation will only affect retirement payments to surviving current and former spouses of former employees and Members who separated from Federal service with title to a deferred annuity.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 843

Air traffic controllers, Disability benefits, Firefighters, Government employees, Law enforcement officers, Pensions, Retirement.

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

For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Office of Personnel Management amends 5 CFR part 843 as follows:

PART 843—FEDERAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM—DEATH BENEFITS AND EMPLOYEE REFUNDS 1. The authority citation for part 843 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 8461; §§ 843.205, 843.208, and 843.209 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8424; § 843.309 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8442; § 843.406 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8441.

Subpart C—Current and Former Spouse Benefits 2. Revise Appendix A to subpart C of part 843 to read as follows: APPENDIX A TO SUPART C OF PART 843—PRESENT VALUE CONVERSION FACTORS FOR EARLIER COMENCING DATE OF ANNUITIES OF CURRENT AND FORMER SPOUSES OF DISEASED SEPARATED EMPLOYEES

With at least 10 but less than 20 years of creditable service—

Age of separated employee at birthday before death Multiplier 26 .0726 27 .0792 28 .0859 29 .0930 30 .1002 31 .1081 32 .1165 33 .1252 34 .1343 35 .1443 36 .1550 37 .1664 38 .1786 39 .1914 40 .2053 41 .2200 42 .2358 43 .2528 44 .2710 45 .2905 46 .3114 47 .3337 48 .3580 49 .3839 50 .4118 51 .4419 52 .4745 53 .5097 54 .5477 55 .5889 56 .6336 57 .6822 58 .7350 59 .7926 60 .8556 61 .9244

With at least 20, but less than 30 years of creditable service—

Age of separated employee at birthday before death Multiplier 36 .1810 37 .1943 38 .2086 39 .2236 40 .2398 41 .2570 42 .2754 43 .2953 44 .3166 45 .3394 46 .3638 47 .3899 48 .4182 49 .4485 50 .4812 51 .5164 52 .5545 53 .5955 54 .6400 55 .6881 56 .7404 57 .7972 58 .8590 59 .9264

With at least 30 years of creditable service—

Age of separated employee at birthday before death Multiplier by separated employee's year of birth After
  • 1966
  • From
  • 1950
  • through
  • 1966
  • 46 .4561 .4910 47 .4889 .5264 48 .5244 .5646 49 .5624 .6055 50 .6035 .6497 51 .6476 .6973 52 .6954 .7487 53 .7469 .8042 54 .8027 .8643 55 .8631 .9294 56 .9287 1.0000
    [FR Doc. 2015-15992 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-38-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Parts 429 and 431 [Docket No. EERE-2012-BT-TP-0032] RIN 1904-AD19 Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners and Packaged Terminal Heat Pumps AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    On March 13, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) to amend the test procedures for packaged terminal air conditioners (PTACs) and packaged terminal heat pumps (PTHPs). That NOPR serves as the basis for this final rule regarding the test method for PTACs and PTHPs. The amendments adopted here do not affect measured energy use. These changes incorporate by reference certain sections of the latest versions of industry test procedures AHRI Standard 310/380-2014, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 16-1983 (RA 2014), ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 37-2009, and ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 58-1986 (RA 2014), and specify additional testing provisions that must be followed including an optional break-in period, require that cooling capacity tests be conducted using electricity measuring instruments accurate to +/− 0.5% of reading, explicitly require that wall sleeves be sealed, allow for the pre-filling of the condensate drain pan, and require testing with 14-inch deep wall sleeves and the filter option most representative of a typical installation.

    DATES:

    The effective date of this rule is July 30, 2015. The final rule changes will be mandatory for representations starting June 24, 2016. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this rule was approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of July 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket, which includes Federal Register notices, public meeting attendee lists and transcripts, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, is available for review at www.regulations.gov. All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. However, some documents listed in the index, such as those containing information that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly available.

    A link to the docket Web page can be found at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2012-BT-TP-0032. This Web page will contain a link to the docket for this notice on the regulations.gov site. The regulations.gov Web page will contain simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket.

    For further information on how to review the docket, contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945 or by email: [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Ronald Majette, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Program, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-7935. Email: [email protected].

    Jennifer Tiedeman, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 287-6111. Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This final rule incorporates by reference into Part 431 the following industry standards:

    (1) AHRI Standard 310/380-2014 (“AHRI 310/380-2014”), (Supersedes ANSI/AHRI 310/380-2004), “Standard for Packaged Terminal Air-Conditioners and Heat Pumps,” published February 2014.

    (2) ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 16-1983 (RA 2014), (“ANSI/ASHRAE 16”), “Method of Testing for Rating Room Air Conditioners and Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners,” ASHRAE reaffirmed July 3, 2014.

    (3) ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 58-1986 (RA 2014), (“ANSI/ASHRAE 58”), “Method of Testing for Rating Room Air-Conditioner and Packaged Terminal Air-Conditioner Heating Capacity,” ASHRAE reaffirmed July 3, 2014.

    (4) ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 37-2009, (“ANSI/ASHRAE 37”) (Supersedes ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 37-2005), “Methods of Testing for Rating Electrically Driven Unitary Air-Conditioning and Heat Pump Equipment,” ASHRAE approved June 20, 2009; ANSI approved June 25, 2009.

    You can obtain copies of AHRI standards from the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, 2111 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 500, Arlington, VA 22201, 703-524-8800, or www.ahrinet.org. You can obtain copies of ASHRAE standards from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, 1791 Tullie Circle, NE. Atlanta, GA 30329, 404-636-8400, or www.ashrae.org.

    Table of Contents I. Authority and Background A. General Test Procedure Rulemaking Process B. DOE PTAC and PTHP Test Procedures II. Summary of the Final Rule III. Discussion A. Break-In Duration B. Wall Sleeve Sealing C. Pre-Filling Condensate Drain Pan D. ANSI/ASHRAE 16 vs. ANSI/ASHRAE 37 E. AHRI Standard 310/380-2014 and Reaffirmed ASHRAE Standards F. Wall Sleeve Size and Filter Requirements for Testing G. Barometric Pressure Correction H. Part-Load Efficiency Metric and Varying Ambient Conditions I. Cooling Capacity Verification J. Additional Comments K. Compliance Date of the Test Procedure Amendments IV. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review A. Review Under Executive Order 12866 B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 E. Review Under Executive Order 13132 F. Review Under Executive Order 12988 G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 I. Review Under Executive Order 12630 J. Review Under Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 K. Review Under Executive Order 13211 L. Review Under Section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974 M. Description of Materials Incorporated by Reference N. Congressional Notification O. Approval of the Office of the Secretary I. Authority and Background

    Title III, Part C 1 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA or “the Act”), Public Law 94-163 (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified), added by Public Law 95-619, Title IV, section 441(a), established the Energy Conservation Program for Certain Industrial Equipment.2 This equipment includes packaged terminal air conditioners (PTACs) and packaged terminal heat pumps (PTHPs), the subjects of this document.

    1 For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, Part C was redesignated Part A-1.

    2 All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute as amended through the American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act (AEMTCA), Pub. L. 112-210 (Dec. 18, 2012).

    Under EPCA, the energy conservation program consists essentially of four parts: (1) Testing, (2) labeling, (3) Federal energy conservation standards, and (4) certification and enforcement procedures. The testing requirements consist of test procedures that manufacturers of covered products must use as the basis for (1) certifying to DOE that their products comply with the applicable energy conservation standards adopted under EPCA, and (2) making representations about the efficiency of those products. Similarly, DOE must use these test procedures to determine whether the products comply with any relevant standards promulgated under EPCA.

    A. General Test Procedure Rulemaking Process

    Under 42 U.S.C. 6314, EPCA sets forth the criteria and procedures DOE must follow when prescribing or amending test procedures for covered equipment. EPCA provides that any test procedure prescribed or amended under this section shall be reasonably designed to produce test results which measure energy efficiency, energy use or estimated annual operating cost of industrial equipment (or class thereof) during a representative average use cycle or period of use and shall not be unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6314(a)(2))

    In addition, if DOE determines that a test procedure amendment is warranted, it must publish a proposed test procedure and offer the public an opportunity to present oral and written comments on them. (42 U.S.C. 6314(b)) Finally, in any rulemaking to amend a test procedure, DOE must determine to what extent, if any, the proposed test procedure would alter the measured energy efficiency of any covered equipment as determined under the existing test procedure. (42 U.S.C. 6314(a)(4))

    B. DOE PTAC and PTHP Test Procedures

    DOE's test procedures for PTACs and PTHPs are codified at Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) section 431.96. The test procedures were established on December 8, 2006, in a final rule that incorporated by reference the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) and Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute's (AHRI) Standard 310/380-2004, “Standard for Packaged Terminal Air-Conditioners and Heat Pumps” (“ANSI/AHRI 310/380-2004”). 71 FR 71340, 71371. ANSI/AHRI 310/380-2004 is incorporated by reference at 10 CFR 431.95(a)(3) and it references (1) the ANSI and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 16-1983 (RA 99), “Method of Testing for Rating Room Air Conditioners and Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners” (“ANSI/ASHRAE 16”); (2) ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 58-1986 (RA 99), “Method of Testing for Rating Room Air-Conditioner and Packaged Terminal Air-Conditioner Heating Capacity” (“ANSI/ASHRAE 58”); and (3) ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 37-1988, “Methods of Testing for Rating Electrically Driven Unitary Air-Conditioning and Heat Pump Equipment” (“ANSI/ASHRAE 37”).

    On May 16, 2012, DOE published a final rule for commercial heating, air-conditioning, and water-heating equipment (“ASHRAE equipment”), which included amendments to the test procedures for PTACs and PTHPs. These amendments incorporated a number of sections of ANSI/AHRI 310/380-2004 by reference. 77 FR 28928, 28990.

    On February 22, 2013, DOE published a notice of public meeting and availability of framework document to consider potential amendment of energy conservation standards for PTACs and PTHPs (“February 2013 Framework Document”). 78 FR 12252. In the February 2013 Framework Document, DOE sought comments on issues pertaining to the test procedures for PTACs and PTHPs, including equipment break-in, wall sleeve sealing, pre-filling the condensate drain pan, barometric pressure correction, and differences between the test methods of ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 37. In response to the February 2013 Framework Document, interested parties provided comments responding to the requests for comment regarding test procedure issues.

    On February 26, 2013, members of the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) unanimously decided to form a working group to engage in a negotiated rulemaking effort on the certification of commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment (10 CFR part 431, subparts D, E and F), water heating (WH) equipment (10 CFR part 431, subpart G), and refrigeration equipment (10 CFR part 431, subpart C). A notice of intent to form the Commercial Certification Working Group (“Working Group”) was published in the Federal Register on March 12, 2013. DOE received 35 nominations for the Working Group. 78 FR 15653. On April 16, 2013, the Department published a notice of open meeting that announced the first meeting and listed the 22 nominees DOE selected to serve as members of the Working Group along with two members from ASRAC and one DOE representative. 78 FR 22431. Following a series of open meetings, the Working Group published a set of recommendations, and DOE issued the Certification of Commercial HVAC, WH, and Refrigeration Equipment NOPR (“Certification of Commercial Equipment NOPR”) on February 14, 2014 summarizing the Working Group's recommendations for certification requirements. 79 FR 8886. The group recommended a number of test procedure items related to PTACs and PTHPs that were not proposed in the Certification of Commercial Equipment NOPR, including 1) a proposal for a standardized wall sleeve to be used during testing, and 2) a proposal for a standardized filter for testing, both of which are discussed in this final rule.

    In February 2014, AHRI published AHRI Standard 310/380-2014, “Standard for Packaged Terminal Air-Conditioners and Heat Pumps,” (“AHRI 310/380-2014”), which updates and supersedes the ANSI/AHRI 310/380-2004 referenced by the current test procedure.

    On March 13, 2014, DOE published a NOPR (“March 2014 NOPR”) proposing amendments to the DOE PTAC and PTHP test procedures (10 CFR 431, Subpart F), specifically to specify an optional break-in period, explicitly require that wall sleeves be sealed, allow for the pre-filling of the condensate drain pan, require that the cooling capacity for PTACs and PTHPs be determined by testing pursuant to ANSI/ASHRAE 16, and require testing with 14-inch deep wall sleeves and the filter option most representative of a typical installation. 79 FR 14186. DOE held a public meeting on April 28, 2014, to hear oral comments on and solicit information relevant to the March 2014 NOPR.

    On July 3, 2014, ASHRAE reaffirmed ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 58 and republished the standards to correct errata that existed in previous versions. These errata corrections do not change the procedures. The reaffirmed 2014 versions of ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 58 are not referenced by the updated AHRI Standard 310/380-2014 test procedure published in February 2014.

    With respect to this rulemaking, DOE determined that none of the adopted amendments change the measured energy use of PTACs and PTHPs when compared to the current test procedures. (42 U.S.C. 6314(a)(4); 10 CFR 431.96)

    This final rule fulfills DOE's obligation to periodically review its test procedures for all covered equipment, including PTACs and PTHPs, at least once every 7 years and either amend the applicable test procedures or publish a determination in the Federal Register not to amend them. (42 U.S.C. 6314(a)(1))

    II. Summary of the Final Rule

    In this final rule, DOE amends the test procedures for PTACs and PTHPs in 10 CFR 431, Subpart F, to reference certain sections of the industry test procedures AHRI 310/380-2014, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 16-1983 (RA 2014), ANSI/ASHRAE 37-2009, and ANSI/ASHRAE 58-1986 (RA 2014), and to specify an optional break-in period, explicitly require that wall sleeves be sealed, allow for the pre-filling of the condensate drain pan, require that measurements of cooling capacity be conducted using electrical instruments accurate to +/−0.5% of reading, and require testing with 14-inch deep wall sleeves and the filter option most representative of a typical installation.

    The amendments explicitly allow PTAC and PTHP manufacturers the option of using a break-in period (up to 20 hours) before conducting the test procedures. In this regard, DOE adds AHRI 310/380-2014 to the list of commercial air-conditioner standards at 10 CFR 431.96(c), which currently provides an optional break-in period of up to 20 hours for other commercial air-conditioner equipment types. Any PTAC or PTHP manufacturer that elects to use a break-in period must certify the duration of the break-in period it used for each basic model in the certification report for such basic models. DOE will use the same break-in period for any DOE-initiated testing as the manufacturer used in its certified ratings. In the case an alternate efficiency determination method (AEDM) is used to develop the certified ratings, DOE will use the maximum 20-hour break-in period, which will provide the unit sufficient time to stabilize and achieve optimal performance.

    The amended test method requires that, as part of the set-up for testing, testers seal gaps between wall sleeves and the test facility dividing wall. This requires the PTAC or PTHP wall sleeve to be sealed per manufacturer specifications as provided in the installation manual or, if none, by using a standard sealing method.

    The amended test method allows pre-filling of the condensate drain pan with water before running the DOE test procedures. This amendment allows the unit to reach steady state more quickly, which may decrease the burden and cost of testing.

    In the March 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed to modify the test procedures to require ANSI/ASHRAE 16 as the test method for measuring the cooling capacity of PTACs and PTHPs. 79 FR at 14190-91 (March 13, 2014). The proposal would have disallowed testing to determine cooling capacity by psychrometric testing in accordance with ANSI/ASHRAE 37, which is currently allowed by the DOE test procedures. Interested parties commented that the differences in test results between ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 37 are small, and provided data to support their claims. Interested parties also commented that the requirement of a calorimetric test using ANSI/ASHRAE 16 places additional burdens on manufacturers in the form of significant capital expenditures to construct test facilities compliant with ANSI/ASHRAE 16. Based on these comments, DOE determined that disallowing psychrometric testing (such as that conducted using ANSI/ASHRAE 37) would place additional burden on manufacturers. As a result, in this final rule, DOE does not require the use of ANSI/ASHRAE 16 as the sole test method acceptable for measuring the cooling capacity of PTACs and PTHPs.

    The amended test method requires that measurements of cooling capacity be conducted using electricity measuring instruments accurate to +/− 0.5% of reading. DOE believes this tighter requirement for electricity measurement accuracy will help to ensure consistency between tests conducted using ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 37, which have differing requirements for electrical instrumentation accuracy. Section 5.4.2 of ANSI/ASHRAE 16 requires that instruments for measuring electrical inputs be accurate to +/− 0.5% of the quantity measured, while section 5.4.2 of ANSI/ASHRAE 37 requires accuracy to +/− 2.0% of the quantity measured, which represents allowing up to 1.5% greater uncertainty in measurements of input power and efficiency. The amendment requiring +/− 0.5% accuracy is consistent with the March 2014 NOPR proposal to require use of ANSI/ASHRAE 16 as the sole test method acceptable for measuring the cooling capacity of equipment.

    The amended test method requires testing using a 14-inch deep wall sleeve and the air filter that is shipped with the tested unit. If no filter is supplied with the unit, the amended test procedures require testing using an off-the-shelf filter rated at Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV)-1. These amendments remove testing variability resulting from the use of non-standard accessories.

    DOE prefers to reference the most recent industry standards, where possible. Therefore, this final rule updates the DOE test procedures for PTACs and PTHPs to reference AHRI 310/380-2014 instead of the superseded ANSI/AHRI 310/380-2004. DOE also incorporates by reference the recently updated ANSI/ASHRAE 16-1983 (RA 2014) and ANSI/ASHRAE 58-1986 (RA 2014), as well as the 2009 version of ANSI/ASHRAE 37. The amended test procedure directly incorporates by reference these three ASHRAE standards, allowing use of ANSI/ASHRAE 16-2014 or ANSI-ASHRAE 37-2009 for determination of cooling mode ratings and ANSI/ASHRAE 58-2014 for determination of heating mode ratings.

    DOE determined that these changes to the PTAC and PTHP test procedures do not result in any additional burden to manufacturers or result in any changes to the current measured energy efficiency of covered equipment. Rather, the changes provide additional clarification regarding how to conduct the DOE test procedures.

    III. Discussion A. Break-In Duration

    Break-in, also called run-in, refers to the operation of equipment prior to testing to cause preliminary wear in the compressor, which may improve measured performance. DOE understands that many labs commonly incorporate a break-in period before the start of efficiency tests for air conditioning equipment. DOE's May 16, 2012 final rule for ASHRAE equipment added a specification in the test procedures for several types of commercial air conditioning and heating equipment that allows an optional break-in period of up to 20 hours and requires that manufacturers record the duration of the break-in period. The May 16, 2012 final rule included amendments to the test procedures for PTACs and PTHPs. However, DOE did not apply this optional break-in period provision to PTACs or PTHPs in the May 16, 2012 final rule. 77 FR 28928, 28991.

    In the March 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed to allow an optional break-in period of up to 20 hours applicable to testing of PTACs and PTHPs. DOE also proposed to add a certification reporting requirement to indicate the duration of the break-in period for tests used to support certification. DOE requested comments on these proposals and, if commenters supported longer break-in periods, data demonstrating that longer break-in periods make a significant impact on efficiency measurements for this equipment. 79 FR at 14188-89 (March 13, 2014).

    In response, AHRI commented that a break-in period is necessary, but recommended that the break-in period be a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 72 hours to provide for more consistent and accurate efficiency measurements. (AHRI, No. 8 at p. 1) 3 The California Investor Owned Utilities 4 (CA IOUs) supported DOE's proposal to amend the DOE test procedures to include an optional break-in period. (CA IOUs, No. 9 at p. 3) The CA IOUs indicated that they would support AHRI in using a longer break in period if it would provide a better indication of equipment's steady state performance. (CA IOUs, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 5 at p. 17) 5 Goodman Manufacturing Company (Goodman) requested that DOE allow a break-in time of up to 72 hours (instead of up to 20 hours, as DOE proposed) and cited two research papers describing the break-in behavior of scroll compressors in support of its request.6 7 DOE examined these papers and observed that the conclusions presented in the papers comparing the changes in unit efficiency (as measured by the energy efficiency ratio, or EER) to break-in time are based on analytical models of compressor wear rather than actual test data. DOE notes that the conference paper authored by H.E. Khalifa 7 provides a caveat alongside its data, stating that it is not advisable to apply the data to compare different families of compressors (e.g., scroll compressors versus rotary compressors) or different designs of equipment.8 As Goodman noted in its comment presenting these studies, the data in this conference paper pertain to scroll compressors, which are not used in PTAC and PTHP applications. As such, DOE does not view the papers as evidence that break-in periods exceeding 20 hours provide additional efficiency improvements for PTAC or PTHP equipment. DOE has not found evidence that break-in periods exceeding 20 hours increase the tested efficiency measurements for a PTAC or PTHP. A maximum break-in period of 20 hours will align the break-in provision for PTAC and PTHP equipment with other commercial air conditioners and heat pumps. DOE does not believe that the request for a 72-hour break-in period has been adequately justified with data showing the effect of a longer break-in period on PTAC and PTHP equipment.

    3 A notation in the form “AHRI, No. 8 at p. 1” identifies a written comment that DOE received and has included in the docket of DOE's “Energy Conservation Test Procedures for Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners and Packaged Terminal Heat Pumps” (Docket No. EERE-2012-BT-TP-0032), which is maintained at www.regulations.gov. This particular notation refers to a comment: (1) Submitted by AHRI; (2) filed as document number 8 of the docket, and (3) appearing on page 1 of that document.

    4 The CA IOUs are comprised of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Gas Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric Company.

    5 A notation in the form “CA IOUs, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 5 at p. 17” identifies a comment that DOE received during a public meeting and has included in the docket of DOE's “Energy Conservation Test Procedures for Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners and Packaged Terminal Heat Pumps” (Docket No. EERE-2012-BT-TP-0032). This particular notation refers to a comment: (1) Submitted by the CA IOUs; (2) transcribed from the public meeting in document number 5 of the docket, and (3) appearing on page 17 of that document.

    6 Sundaresan, S. G., “Evaluation of Lubricants for R410A/R407C Applications in Scroll Compressor” (1998). International Compressor Engineering Conference. Paper 1210. Available at: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/icec/1210.

    7 Khalifa, H. E., “Break-in Behavior of Scroll Compressors” (1996). International Compressor Engineering Conference. Paper 1145. Available at: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/icec/1145.

    8Ibid. p. 444.

    Therefore, in this final rule, DOE adds PTACs and PTHPs to the list of commercial air-conditioning and heating equipment for which a break-in period of up to 20 hours prior to testing is allowed.

    DOE did not receive any comments on its related proposal to add a certification reporting requirement to indicate the duration of the break-in period. Thus, DOE requires manufacturers to provide the duration of the break-in period used during testing to support the development of the certified ratings in the certification report. As such, DOE modifies the certification requirements for PTACs and PTHPs that were proposed on February 14, 2014 (79 FR 8886, 8900) to require the manufacturer to include the break-in period in the certification report. DOE notes that manufacturers must maintain records underlying their certified rating, which must reflect this optional break-in period duration pursuant to 10 CFR 429.71.

    B. Wall Sleeve Sealing

    PTACs and PTHPs are tested in a testing facility incorporating a room simulating indoor conditions and a room simulating outdoor ambient conditions. The rooms are separated by a dividing wall with an opening through which a wall sleeve is mounted to hold the test sample. In most cases, the wall sleeve and test sample are placed in the opening, and any remaining gaps between the dividing wall and the wall sleeve around the unit are filled with insulating material. Under the current test procedures, the gaps between the wall sleeve and the dividing wall may also be sealed with duct tape. Regarding sealing for air leakage, ANSI/ASHRAE 16 states, “Interior surfaces of the calorimeter compartments shall be of nonporous material with all joints sealed against air and moisture leakage.” (Section 4.2.8). This statement does not explicitly require that gaps between the wall and the test sample's wall sleeve be sealed.

    ANSI/ASHRAE 16 also states, “The air conditioner shall be installed in a manner similar to its normal installation” (Section 4.2.2). In normal practice, PTACs and PTHPs are installed within wall sleeves that are permanently installed and sealed to the external wall of a building. However, the set-up of the DOE test procedures does not allow for the permanent installation of wall sleeves in the partition cavity. Thus, during testing, the wall sleeve is not necessarily air-sealed to the wall as it would be in a normal installation in the field. Air leakage between the outdoor and indoor rooms through gaps between the wall sleeve and the dividing wall can reduce the measured capacity and efficiency, contributing to test results unrepresentative of field operation.

    In the March 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed to require that test facilities, when installing PTACs and PTHPs in the test chamber, seal all potential leakage gaps between the wall sleeve and the dividing wall. DOE sought comments on the sealing of PTAC and PTHP wall sleeves to the test facility dividing wall, including whether the type or method of sealing (e.g., duct tape) should be specified, and whether a test could be developed that, with reasonably low test burden, could be performed to verify an adequate seal. 79 FR at 14189 (March 13, 2014)

    In response, Goodman agreed with the proposed clarification that any gaps or area between wall sleeves and walls should be sealed, and stated that the method of sealing should not be specified. (Goodman, No. 7 at p. 2) AHRI recommended that the wall sleeve be sealed to the test facility dividing wall in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions and, if not possible to seal in accordance with the provided instructions, the test procedures should specify that adhesive tape, such as duct tape or brown packaging tape, be used to seal the entire perimeter of the wall sleeve to the test facility diving wall. (AHRI, No. 8 at p. 2) The CA IOUs commented that sealing the test chamber is good practice, but that it is not important to prescribe how sealing is accomplished. (CA IOUs, No. 5 at p. 21) DOE notes that field instructions for sealing the sleeve to the building are inconsistent with equipment testing, because field installation involves permanently sealing the sleeve to the building penetration, whereas the tested unit and its sleeve are intended to be removed after testing. Furthermore, DOE did not propose a particular sealing method such as adhesive tape, since methods other than use of adhesive tape may be just as effective for providing a temporary seal.

    In this final rule, DOE requires that any area(s) between the wall sleeve and the insulated partition between the indoor and outdoor rooms must be sealed to eliminate all air leakage through this area, but DOE does not specify the method used to achieve the seal.

    C. Pre-Filling Condensate Drain Pan

    Most PTACs and PTHPs transfer the condensate that forms on the evaporator to a condensate pan in the unit's outdoor-side where a water slinger integrated with the outdoor fan distributes the water over the air-inlet side of the condenser. This process results in evaporative cooling that enhances the cooling of the outdoor coil in air-conditioning mode. At the beginning of a test, there may be no water in the condensate pan. As the test progresses and the unit approaches an equilibrium state of operation, the condensate level in the drip pan will rise and stabilize at a constant level. It can take several hours to reach this steady state.

    To accelerate the testing process, test facilities typically add water to the condensate pan at the beginning of the test rather than wait for the unit to generate sufficient condensate to stabilize. The current test procedures do not indicate whether this practice is allowed during efficiency testing.

    In the March 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed to add a provision in its test procedures at 10 CFR 431.96 to allow manufacturers the option of pre-filling the condensate drain pan before starting the efficiency test. The proposed provision did not specify requirements regarding the water purity or the water temperature that is to be used. DOE sought comments on pre-filling the condensate drain pan, including whether the type and/or temperature of the water used should be specified in the test procedures and/or recorded in the test data underlying the results. 79 FR at 14189-14190 (March 13, 2014).

    In response, the CA IOUs and Goodman supported DOE's proposal to adopt test procedure amendments that allow pre-filling of the condensate pan. (CA IOUs, No. 9 at p. 3; Goodman, No. 7 at p. 2)

    AHRI recommended that DOE specify in the test procedures that the condensate pan be filled with distilled water between 70 °F and 85 °F and that the condensate pan water temperature at steady state operation be documented in the test reports underlying the certification. However, AHRI also stated in their comment that the mineral content of the water is not a concern because the short test period would not allow for scaling to build up. (AHRI, No. 8 at p. 2) AHRI did not provide data showing that the temperature of the water used to prefill the pan will impact the test results. Also, if, as AHRI acknowledges, the mineral content of the water used to initially fill the pan is not a concern, it is unclear why using distilled water as opposed to tap water would make any difference to the measurement.

    Private citizen Mike Haag commented that assisting the unit with achieving steady state might mask issues with the cooling of the system. (Mike Haag, No. 2 at p. 1) DOE notes that the DOE test procedures measure cooling efficiency at steady state conditions, and test reports do not record the amount of time taken to achieve steady state. Thus, pre-filling the condensate pan with water to accelerate the achievement of steady state conditions would not mask any issues that would otherwise be identified by the test procedures.

    In this final rule, DOE adds the proposed provision in its test procedures at 10 CFR 431.96 to allow manufacturers the option of pre-filling the condensate drain pan before starting the efficiency test. This provision does not include requirements regarding the purity or temperature of the water used to fill the pan.

    D. ANSI/ASHRAE 16 vs. ANSI/ASHRAE 37

    In February 2014, AHRI published AHRI 310/380-2014 superseding ANSI/AHRI 310/380-2004, which is referenced by the current DOE test procedure. ANSI/AHRI 310/380-2004 and AHRI 310/380-2014 both indicate that either ANSI/ASHRAE 16 or ANSI/ASHRAE 37 may be used to determine cooling capacity.

    ANSI/ASHRAE 16 specifies a calorimetric test method involving measurement of the electric resistance heater power input needed to exactly balance a test sample's cooling capacity. ANSI/ASHRAE 37 specifies a psychrometric test method which calculates capacity based on the air flow rate and the air inlet and outlet conditions on the indoor side of the test sample. The two test methods have differences that could influence test results, particularly for units for which outgoing evaporator air can recirculate back to the evaporator air inlet. When using ANSI/ASHRAE 37, the air leaving the evaporator section is collected in a duct that transfers the air to instrumentation for measuring its temperature, moisture content, and flow rate (see, e.g., Figure 1 of ANSI/ASHRAE 37). Such collection of the air can prevent recirculation to the air inlet, thus potentially eliminating an equipment inefficiency and resulting in a measurement indicating higher efficiency.

    Another difference between ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 37 is that the two methods have different requirements for electrical instrumentation accuracy. Section 5.4.2 of ANSI/ASHRAE 16 requires that instruments for measuring electrical inputs be accurate to +/- 0.5% of the quantity measured. Section 5.4.2 of ANSI/ASHRAE 37 requires that instruments for measuring electrical inputs be accurate to +/−2.0% of the quantity measured. The consistency of PTAC and PTHP testing may be improved by requiring all efficiency tests to be conducted using only one of the two ASHRAE standards. On the other hand, such an approach may increase test burden, particularly for those manufacturers that currently use one particular test method.

    In the March 2014 NOPR, DOE described experimental testing conducted using three PTAC units. DOE tested all three units at a third-party testing lab under both ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 37. The test results showed that differences in the calculated EER between ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 37 ranged from 0.4 to 1.0 Btu/h-W, depending on the unit. These values represent differences in the calculated EER between ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 37 ranging from 4.1 percent to 9.7 percent of the lower EER value calculated by the two test methods. DOE stated in the March 2014 NOPR that these results did not support a conclusion that the two methods of test generate consistent results. 79 FR at 14190 (March 13, 2014). Based in part on these results, DOE proposed in the March 2014 NOPR to require that only ANSI/ASHRAE 16 be used when conducting a cooling mode test for PTACs and PTHPs. DOE sought comment on its proposal to designate ANSI/ASHRAE 16 as the sole test method for determining cooling capacity. Specifically, DOE was interested in the potential test burden on manufacturers. DOE also sought information on whether there are PTAC or PTHP manufacturers that conduct a significant number of tests using ANSI/ASHRAE 37. 79 FR at 14190-91 (March 13, 2014).

    In response, neither AHRI nor Goodman supported the removal of ANSI/ASHRAE 37 from the DOE test procedures. Both AHRI and Goodman disagreed with DOE's assessment of the differences between test results achieved using ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 37. (AHRI, No. 8 at p. 3; Goodman, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 5 at p. 27) AHRI stated that it has observed good correlation in testing between calorimetric and psychrometric rooms for the purposes of rating PTAC and PTHP equipment. (AHRI, No. 8 at p. 3) Goodman stated that it has not observed large differences in test results between ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 37. (Goodman, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 5 at p. 27) Goodman presented data from trial tests comparing (1) three units tested in Goodman's calorimetric chamber and then tested in Goodman's psychrometric chamber, and (2) five units tested in a third party calorimetric test chamber and then tested in Goodman's psychrometric test facility. For these eight units, the maximum variation in measured EER between the calorimetric test and the psychrometric test was 2.5%. (Goodman, No. 7 at p. 3-6). These data provided by Goodman suggest that the potential discrepancies between calorimetric and psychrometric tests are much smaller than suggested by the NOPR-stage DOE testing described above. DOE agrees that Goodman's test results provide an indication that calorimetric and psychrometric tests can provide consistent results. DOE notes that Goodman used a larger sample size of eight units in its experimentation compared to the sample size of three units that DOE used in its NOPR-stage experiments described above.

    Both AHRI and Goodman commented that the requirement of a calorimetric test places additional burdens on manufacturers. AHRI commented that it is an additional burden to build a calorimeter room and to re-test units that were previously tested psychrometrically. (AHRI, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 5 at p. 34) Goodman believes the elimination of psychrometric testing would place an additional burden on manufacturers in the form of significant capital expenditure requirements, as well as a significant testing burden increase. Goodman commented that new test facilities often cost up to $750,000 and have construction lead times of a year or more, and that calorimetric tests may take 2.5 times as long as psychrometric tests. (Goodman, No. 7 at p. 6)

    DOE acknowledges that it underestimated the burden that would be imposed on manufacturers by eliminating psychrometric testing from the PTAC and PTHP test procedures. In response to the comments above, DOE accepts that it would be burdensome to manufacturers if DOE required use of ANSI/ASHRAE 16 for all PTAC and PTHP testing. Further, the additional data provided by Goodman show that discrepancies between the calorimetric and psychrometric test methods are less pronounced than DOE's NOPR-stage test data suggested. Hence, this final rule does not eliminate the optional use of ANSI/ASHRAE 37 to determine cooling capacity.

    As noted above, ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 37 have different requirements for electrical instrumentation accuracy. A single requirement for electricity measurement accuracy is necessary to maintain consistency between tests conducted using ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 37. In the March 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed to require ANSI/ASHRAE 16 as the sole test method acceptable for measuring the cooling capacity of equipment. If this proposal were adopted, it would have imposed a requirement that electricity measurement instrumentation used in cooling capacity tests be accurate to +/−0.5% of reading, since +/- 0.5% of reading is the requirement specified in ANSI/ASHRAE 16. As described above, stakeholders opposed the proposed requirement of ANSI/ASHRAE 16 as the sole test method for cooling capacity tests based on the burden of constructing calorimetric test chambers. None of the stakeholder comments raised concerns regarding the more stringent electrical measurement accuracy requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE 16. In this final rule, DOE does not eliminate testing using ANSI/ASHRAE 37, but DOE retains the more stringent electrical measurement accuracy requirement. Specifically, the final rule adds this requirement in the DOE regulatory language, indicating that tests be conducted using electricity measuring instruments accurate to +/- 0.5% of reading in spite of the incorporation by reference of other portions of ANSI/ASHRAE 37. DOE does not expect this requirement to pose additional test burden since electrical meters that achieve this level of accuracy are readily available and are already in use at many test facilities. This requirement does not represent a change that would alter the measurements as compared with the current DOE test procedure; rather, it ensures the accuracy of measurements.

    E. AHRI Standard 310/380-2014 and Reaffirmed ASHRAE Standards

    In the NOPR, DOE proposed to adopt only those parts of ANSI/AHRI 310/380-2004 relevant for the DOE test procedure, specifically sections 3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4. Additionally, DOE proposed to directly incorporate by reference those industry test methods that were previously incorporated via ANSI/AHRI 310/380-2004, such as ANSI/ASHRAE 16-1999 and ASHRAE 58-1999.

    In response to the NOPR, Goodman commented that DOE should consider updated versions of ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 37. Goodman conceded that it was unlikely ANSI/ASHRAE 37 would be updated in time to be incorporated in this Final Rule, but encouraged DOE to accommodate ANSI/ASHRAE 16 which Goodman expected would be finalized in 2014. (Goodman, No. 7 at p. 7) DOE agrees that, when possible, it should include the most up to date version of industry test methods.

    In July 2014, ASHRAE reaffirmed both ANSI/ASHRAE 16, a test method for measuring cooling performance of PTACs and PTHPs, and ANSI/ASHRAE 58, a test method for measuring heating performance of PTHPs. While Goodman commented that it expected some changes in ANSI/ASHRAE 16 (Goodman, No. 7 at p. 7), DOE reviewed the reaffirmed standard and did not discern substantive differences between the 2009 and 2014 versions. The test methods described in the 2014 reaffirmations of both ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 58 are identical to their 1999 and 2009 versions—the later reaffirmed versions correct errata that existed in previous versions of ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 58. These corrections do not change the test procedures.

    Further, in February 2014 AHRI published AHRI 310/380-2014, which supersedes ANSI/AHRI 310/380-2004. In an effort stay current with industry testing methodologies, DOE is updating its referenced industry standard. In alignment with the NOPR, DOE is only adopting the sections of AHRI 310/380-2014 relevant for the DOE test procedure. For cooling performance, this includes sections 3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4. For measurement of heating performance, DOE is adopting section 3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4 except for subsection 4.2.1.2(b), which allows ANSI/ASHRAE 37 as an optional method for verifying the standard heating rating of equipment. The March 2014 NOPR did not propose the use of ANSI/ASHRAE 37 as a method for verifying the standard heating rating of equipment and thus, DOE is excluding this provision in this final rule. Where this final rule refers to the sections of AHRI 310/380-2014 to be used for measurement of heating performance, it omits section 4.2.1.2(b) so as not to allow the use of ANSI/ASHRAE 37 for verifying the standard heating rating of equipment.

    Finally, AHRI 310/380-2014 references the 2009 versions of ANSI/ASHRAE 16, ANSI/ASHRAE 58, and ANSI/ASHRAE 37. As previously stated, DOE is directly incorporating by reference those industry test methods that were previously referenced in ANSI/AHRI 310/380—ANSI/ASHRAE 16, ANSI/ASHRAE 58, and ANSI/ASHRAE 37 . Therefore, in this final rule, DOE is incorporating by reference ANSI/ASHRAE 37-2009, which is referenced in AHRI 310/380-2014 for measuring cooling performance. Although DOE's previous test method, ANSI/AHRI 310/380-2004, incorporated ANSI/ASHRAE 37-1988, DOE's review of the two editions of ANSI/ASHRAE 37 confirmed that, for the purposes of measuring cooling performance for PTACs and PTHPs, the test methods are essentially identical. Also, rather than incorporating by reference the 1999 reaffirmations of ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 58, this final rule amends the test procedure to incorporate by reference ANSI/ASHRAE 16-1983 (RA 2014) and ANSI/ASHRAE 58-1986 (RA 2014)—as mentioned above, these more recent versions of ANSI/ASHRAE 16 and ANSI/ASHRAE 58 prescribe test procedures identical to the older 2009 and 1999 versions.

    F. Wall Sleeve Size and Filter Requirements for Testing Wall Sleeve Size

    The DOE test procedures provide limited guidance on the type of wall sleeve that should be used during testing. The wall sleeve is technically part of the PTAC or PTHP (see, e.g., the definition of PTAC in 10 CFR 431.92), and it provides an outer case for the main refrigeration and air-moving components. In the field, the wall sleeves are often installed in the building, and the cooling/heating assembly slides into and out of this case. For standard size PTACs and PTHPs, the wall sleeve measures 42 inches wide and 16 inches high; however, wall sleeves come in a range of depths.

    Some manufacturers offer extended wall sleeves up to 31 inches deep that can be used with any of their standard size PTACs or PTHPs. DOE believes that the use of varying test sleeve depths can affect measured test results, due to the effect the sleeve depth has on airflow and fan performance. DOE's test procedures, in section 4.3 of ANSI/AHRI 310/380-2004, provide some limited guidance about the wall sleeve that should be used during testing; section 4.3 of ANSI/AHRI 310/380-2004 states that “standard equipment shall be in place during all tests, unless otherwise specified in the manufacturer's instructions to the user.” Section 4.3 of the updated AHRI 310/380-2014 provides the same limited guidance. However, there currently is no guidance for units for which installation instructions allow sleeves of different depths.

    DOE's survey of wall sleeve sizes on the market showed that the most common wall sleeve depth is 14 inches. While DOE has no data indicating the impact of testing with a maximum-depth sleeve as opposed to a standard-depth sleeve, DOE expects that there may be an incremental reduction in efficiency associated with use of a sleeve as deep as 31 inches. The Working Group discussed the issue of varying wall sleeve sizes and voted to adopt the position that units should be tested using a standard 14 inch sleeve. (ASRAC to Negotiate Certification Requirements for Commercial HVAC, WH, and Refrigeration Equipment, Docket No. EERE-2013-BT-NOC-0023, No. 53 at pg. 17)

    In the March 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed to add a provision to 10 CFR 431.96 to require testing using a wall sleeve with a depth of 14 inches (or the wall sleeve option that is closest to 14 inches in depth that is available for the basic model being tested). 79 FR at 14191 (March 13, 2014). This final rule adopts the Working Group recommendation. DOE sought comment on whether there are any PTACs or PTHPs that cannot be tested using a 14 inch deep wall sleeve. Id. AHRI and Goodman supported the proposal to require testing using 14-inch deep wall sleeves. (AHRI, No. 8 at p. 2; Goodman, No. 7 at p. 3) DOE did not receive any comments describing units that cannot be tested with 14-inch deep wall sleeves.

    In this final rule, DOE adopts its proposal to add a provision to 10 CFR 431.96 to require testing using a wall sleeve with a depth of 14 inches (or the wall sleeve option that is closest to 14 inches in depth that is available for the basic model being tested).

    Filter Requirements

    The DOE test procedures provide limited guidance on the type of air filter that should be used during testing. PTACs or PTHPs generally ship with an air filter to remove particulates from the indoor airstream. There is currently no description in the DOE test procedures of the type of filter to be used during testing. While some PTACs and PTHPs only have one filter option, some PTACs and PTHPs are shipped with either a standard filter or a high efficiency filter. A high efficiency filter will impose more air flow restriction, which can incrementally decrease air flow and thus the capacity and/or efficiency of the unit.

    DOE considered whether to specify filters with a particular MERV rating for use with the test, such as MERV-2 or MERV-3 levels of filtration. However, DOE noted that the filter efficiencies offered in PTACs and PTHPs generally are not specified using a standard metric. Furthermore, some PTACs are sold with higher-efficiency “standard-option” filters than others. Moreover, verification that the filter used in the test complies with any such requirement would not be possible without implementation of standardized requirements for labeling of filters and reporting of filter efficiencies and/or adopting a filter efficiency test as part of the test procedures, all of which would impose additional burden. The Working Group was also aware of this issue, and also discussed the issue of varying air filter efficiency. The Working Group voted to adopt the position that units should be tested “as shipped” with respect to selecting a filter option (Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) to Negotiate Certification Requirements for Commercial HVAC, WH, and Refrigeration Equipment, Docket No. EERE-2013-BT-NOC-0023, No. 53 at p. 16).

    In the March 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed to add a provision to 10 CFR 431.96 to require testing using the standard or default filter option that is packaged and shipped with the PTAC or PTHP unit being tested. 79 FR at 14191 (March 13, 2014). This proposal was consistent with the Working Group's recommendations. For those models that are not shipped with a filter, DOE proposed to require the use of an off-the-shelf MERV-3 filter for testing. DOE sought comment on whether a MERV-3 filter is appropriate for testing PTACs and PTHPs that do not ship with filters. 79 FR at 14191 (March 13, 2014).

    In response, Goodman recommended that DOE specify a MERV rating lower than MERV-3 because MERV-3 filters may significantly reduce airflow. (Goodman, No. 7 at p. 3) AHRI commented that MERV-1 filters, which are electrostatic, self-charging woven panel filters, may be more representative of filters found in PTACs or PTHPs. (AHRI, No. 8 at p. 2) DOE accepts this feedback and will reduce the MERV rating for filters to be used when testing units shipped without a filter.

    In this final rule, DOE adds a provision to 10 CFR 431.96 to require testing using the standard or default filter option that is shipped with most units of a given basic model. For those models that are not shipped with a filter, DOE requires the use of an off-the-shelf MERV-1 filter for testing.

    G. Barometric Pressure Correction

    The DOE test procedures, in Section 6.1.3 of referenced ANSI/ASHRAE 16, allows for adjustment of the capacity measurement based on the tested barometric pressure: “The capacity may be increased 0.8% for each in. Hg below 29.92 in. Hg.” Theoretically, air is less dense when barometric pressure is lower, such as at higher altitudes. As a result, air mass flow generated by fans and blowers may be less at higher altitudes, which may affect the measured cooling performance. However, there are other competing effects that may negate this decrease and DOE has not seen data that definitively demonstrate the impact of barometric pressure on measurements of the cooling performance of PTACs or PTHPs.

    In the March 2014 NOPR, DOE did not propose to amend or remove the barometric pressure provision. DOE sought comments or data on the barometric pressure correction specifically used for PTACs and PTHPs. 79 FR at 14191 (March 13, 2014). Goodman and AHRI responded in support of DOE's position to retain the barometric pressure correction. (Goodman, No.7 at p. 3; AHRI, No. 8 at p. 2) DOE received no comments providing data that either supported or refuted the validity of the barometric pressure correction.

    In this final rule, DOE does not amend or remove the provision allowing for adjustment of the capacity measurement based on the tested barometric pressure.

    H. Part-Load Efficiency Metric and Varying Ambient Conditions

    The current DOE test procedures for PTACs and PTHPs measure cooling efficiency and heating efficiency in terms of EER and coefficient of performance (COP), respectively. Both of these metrics measure the efficiency of the unit running steadily at maximum cooling or heating output settings.

    In the March 2014 NOPR, DOE did not propose to adopt either a part-load or seasonal efficiency metric for the cooling mode that considers part-load performance, or a seasonal efficiency metric for the heating mode that considers electric resistance heating for PTACs or PTHPs. DOE sought comments regarding this proposal, including any information regarding seasonal load patterns for PTACs and PTHPs in both cooling and heating modes. 79 FR at 14192 (March 13, 2014).

    In response, Goodman and AHRI supported DOE's proposal to not develop seasonal efficiency metrics. (Goodman, No. 7 at p. 6; AHRI, No. 8 at p. 3) AHRI commented that a part-load performance metric would not be representative of PTAC and PTHP equipment operating cycles. (AHRI, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 5 at p. 46) The CA IOUs commented that they would like the test procedures to characterize performance at full-load and part-load. (CA IOUs, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 5 at p. 7) The CA IOUs commented that they are content with using a single metric for the purposes of rating equipment, but that they would like additional test conditions to be measured and reported according to a standard test procedure. The CA IOUs commented that this additional information would help them to distinguish new equipment models with good low-temperature performance that are becoming available. (CA IOUs, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 5 at p. 43)

    DOE believes that the existing EER and COP metrics, both for full-load operation, provide an adequate indication of PTAC and PTHP efficiency. DOE does not currently have information indicating the magnitude of energy that might be saved if part-load or full-season metrics were developed. ASAP and ACEEE encouraged DOE to begin a collaboration with AHRI to develop a test method to measure the part-load performance of PTACs and PTHPs. (ASAP & ACEEE, No. 6 at p. 1) DOE may consider support and/or development of such test methods in the future.

    In this final rule, DOE has not adopted seasonal efficiency metrics for cooling or heating performance for PTACs or PTHPs.

    I. Cooling Capacity Verification

    The Federal energy conservation standard levels for PTAC and PTHP equipment are calculated based on the certified cooling capacity of the equipment. (10 CFR 431.97(c)) The DOE test procedures for PTACs and PTHPs specifies the methods that may be used to determine the cooling capacity and energy efficiency of PTACs and PTHPs. (10 CFR 431.96(b)) Testing conducted for assessment and enforcement measures the cooling capacity of test units pursuant to the test requirements of 10 CFR part 431, and uses the measured cooling capacity as the basis for calculation of EER for the test units. The minimum allowed EER (and the minimum allowed COP for PTHP units) of a test unit is calculated using the certified cooling capacity of the test unit as the basis for calculation. For various reasons, the measured cooling capacity of equipment may deviate from the certified cooling capacity of the equipment. Small deviations of the measured cooling capacity from the certified cooling capacity are expected due to variability in manufacturing conditions. However, large deviations from the certified cooling capacity indicate that the certified cooling capacity and, by extension, the minimum allowed efficiency that is calculated based on the certified cooling capacity, do not accurately represent the unit being tested. In cases where the measured cooling capacity of a test unit deviates outside of an acceptable tolerance, it is appropriate to recalculate the minimum efficiency for the test unit based on the measured cooling capacity of the test unit (or the average of the measured cooling capacities of the samples tested, if more than one is tested).

    In the March 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed regulatory text amendments describing how DOE will select the cooling capacity values that are used to calculate the minimum allowable EER for a basic model. The proposed amendments to 10 CFR 429.134 would establish a provision requiring use of the certified cooling capacity as the basis for calculation of minimum allowed EER if the average measured cooling capacity is within five percent of the certified cooling capacity. The proposed amendments would require use of the average measured cooling capacity as the basis for calculation of minimum allowed EER if the average measured cooling capacity is not within five percent of the certified cooling capacity. 79 FR at 14197 (March 13, 2014).

    In response to the proposed amendments, AHRI questioned whether the five percent allowance between tested and rated values is a two-sided tolerance. (AHRI, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 5 at p. 54) Goodman agreed in concept with the proposed requirement that measured cooling capacity be within five percent of the certified cooling capacity, but Goodman suggested that the requirement be one‐sided, such that the certified cooling capacity would be used to determine the minimum efficiency unless the measured cooling capacity is less than 95% of the certified cooling capacity, in which event the measured cooling capacity would be used to determine the minimum efficiency level. (Goodman, No. 7 at p. 6)

    DOE clarifies that the proposed five percent allowance between tested and rated values is a two-sided tolerance. This means that units with average measured cooling capacity below 95% or above 105% of the certified cooling capacity would require use of the average measured cooling capacity as the basis for calculation of minimum allowed EER.

    DOE notes that if the proposed provision used a one-sided tolerance as Goodman suggested, then units with a measured cooling capacity above their certified cooling capacity would be held to an efficiency standard determined by their certified cooling capacity. With a one-sided tolerance, units having a measured cooling capacity that is above 105% of their certified cooling capacity would be held to a calculated minimum EER that is more stringent than the minimum EER calculated using a two-sided tolerance as DOE proposed. DOE does not seek to impose more stringent standards on units that exceed their certified cooling capacity.

    In this final rule, DOE adopts its proposal to add a provision to 10 CFR 429.134 that requires assessment and enforcement testing to measure the total cooling capacity of the basic model pursuant to the test requirements of 10 CFR part 431 for each unit tested. The provision requires that results of the measurement(s) be averaged and compared to the value of cooling capacity certified by the manufacturer. The adopted provision considers the certified cooling capacity to be valid only if the measurement is within five percent of the certified cooling capacity. If the certified cooling capacity is valid, that cooling capacity will be used as the basis for calculation of minimum allowed EER for the basic model. If the certified cooling capacity is not valid, the average measured cooling capacity will be used as the basis for calculation of minimum allowed EER for the basic model.

    J. Additional Comments

    DOE received additional comments that are not classified in the discussion sections above. Responses to these additional comments are provided below.

    The CA IOUs recommended that DOE require the reporting of power factor 9 for all operating modes (i.e., active, standby, and off) at every temperature point for which EER and COP are rated. (CA IOUs, No. 9 at p. 2-3) The DOE test procedures do not address the measurement of performance during standby mode and off mode. The DOE test procedures also do not describe the measurement of the power factor of PTAC and PTHP equipment. Therefore, DOE is not adopting this reporting requirement.

    9 The power factor of an alternating current (AC) electrical power system is defined as the ratio of the real power flowing to the load, to the apparent power in the circuit. A load with a low power factor draws more electrical current than a load with a high power factor for the same amount of useful power transferred. The higher currents associated with low power factor loads increase the amount of energy lost in the electricity distribution system.

    The CA IOUs commented that they would like DOE to explore adding test procedure specifications for units containing gas-fired components, since ANSI/AHRI 310/380-2004 excludes such units. (CA IOUs, No. 9 at p. 1-2) DOE notes that EPCA defines a “packaged terminal air conditioner” as “a wall sleeve and a separate unencased combination of heating and cooling assemblies specified by the builder and intended for mounting through the wall. It includes a prime source of refrigeration, separable outdoor louvers, forced ventilation, and heating availability by builder's choice of hot water, steam, or electricity.” (42 U.S.C. 6311(10)(A)) EPCA defines a “packaged terminal heat pump” as “a packaged terminal air conditioner that utilizes reverse cycle refrigeration as its prime heat source and should have supplementary heat source available to builders with the choice of hot water, steam, or electric resistant heat.” (42 U.S.C. 6311(10)(B)) These definitions include units with heating provided by hot water, steam, or electric resistant heat, but they do not include units containing gas-fired components. As such, DOE does not have the authority to regulate units with gas-fired components.

    K. Compliance Date of the Test Procedure Amendments

    In amending a test procedure, EPCA directs DOE to determine to what extent, if any, the test procedure would alter the measured energy efficiency or measured energy use of a covered product. (42 U.S.C. 6314(a)(4)) The test procedure amendments for PTACs and PTHPs incorporated by this final rule do not contain changes that will materially alter the measured energy efficiency of equipment. DOE did not receive any comments suggesting that the test procedure amendments will alter the measured energy efficiency of equipment. Rather, most of the proposed changes represent clarifications that will improve the uniform application of the test procedures for this equipment. Any change in the rated efficiency associated with these clarifications, if any, is expected to be de minimis.

    DOE's test procedure amendments incorporated by this final rule are effective 30 days after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. Consistent with 42 U.S.C. 6314(d), any representations of energy consumption of PTACs and PTHPs must be based on any final amended test procedures 360 days after the publication of the test procedures final rule.

    IV. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review A. Review Under Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that test procedure rulemakings do not constitute “significant regulatory actions” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, 58 FR 51735 (Oct. 4, 1993). Accordingly, this action was not subject to review under the Executive Order by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the OMB.

    B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) for any rule that by law must be proposed for public comment and a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) for any rule that an agency adopts as a final rule, unless the agency certifies that the rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. A regulatory flexibility analysis examines the impact of the rule on small entities and considers alternative ways of reducing negative effects. As required by Executive Order 13272, “Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking,” 67 FR 53461 (Aug. 16, 2002), DOE published procedures and policies on February 19, 2003, to ensure that the potential impacts of its rules on small entities are properly considered during the DOE rulemaking process. 68 FR 7990. DOE has made its procedures and policies available on the Office of the General Counsel's Web site: http://energy.gov/gc/office-general-counsel.

    DOE reviewed this final rule under the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the procedures and policies published on February 19, 2003. This rule prescribes test procedures that will be used to test compliance with energy conservation standards for the products that are the subject of this rulemaking. DOE has concluded that the rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) considers an entity to be a small business if, together with its affiliates, it employs less than a threshold number of workers specified in 13 CFR part 121, which relies on size standards and codes established by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The threshold number for NAICS classification for 333415, which applies to air conditioning and warm air heating equipment and commercial and industrial refrigeration equipment, is 750. Searches of the SBA Web site 10 to identify manufacturers within these NAICS codes that manufacture PTACs and/or PTHPs did not identify any small entities that could be affected by the test procedure modifications adopted in the final rule.

    10 A searchable database of certified small businesses is available online at: http://dsbs.sba.gov/dsbs/search/dsp_dsbs.cfm.

    For the reasons explained below, DOE has concluded that the test procedure amendments contained in this final will not have a significant economic impact on any manufacturer, including small manufacturers. The rule amends DOE's test procedures to specify an optional break-in period, explicitly require that wall sleeves be sealed to prevent air leakage, allow for the pre-filling of the condensate drain pan, and require testing with 14-inch deep wall sleeves and the filter option most representative of a typical installation. These tests can be conducted in the same facilities used for the current energy testing of these products and do not require testing in addition to what is currently required. The break-in period is optional and may result in improved energy efficiency of the unit; the break-in typically is conducted outside of the balanced-ambient calorimeter facility. DOE expects that manufacturers will require minimal time to set the PTACs and PTHPs up for break-in, which requires that the units simply be plugged in and powered on. Further, manufacturers will only incur the additional time for the break-in step if it is beneficial to testing. In this case, the cost will be minimal due to the nature of the break-in procedure and the fact that it is not typically conducted within the test chamber.

    Material costs associated with the test procedure amendments adopted in this final rule are expected to be negligible, as air sealing the wall sleeves can be accomplished with typically available lab materials. Further, DOE expects that manufacturers typically seal the wall sleeves in their current testing, because not doing so could result in measurements indicating a lower efficiency. Also, there are no additional costs associated with the requirement to use a 14-inch wall sleeve and/or the standard filter that typically comes with the unit. In addition, pre-filling of the condensate pan is expected to reduce test time by 2-4 hours, which would reduce testing costs by approximately $375-750 per test. Thus, DOE determined that the test procedure amendments adopted by this final rule will not impose a significant economic impact on manufacturers.

    This notice adds one additional item to the certification report requirements for PTACs and PTHPs: The duration of the break-in period. However, providing this additional item in certification reports is not expected to impose a significant economic impact.

    For these reasons, DOE concludes and certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, so DOE has not prepared a regulatory flexibility analysis for this rulemaking. DOE has provided its certification and supporting statement of factual basis to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA for review under 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

    C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    Manufacturers of PTACs and PTHPs must certify to DOE that their products comply with any applicable energy conservation standards. In certifying compliance, manufacturers must test their products according to the DOE test procedures for PTACs and PTHPs, including any amendments adopted for those test procedures on the date that compliance is required. DOE has established regulations for the certification and recordkeeping requirements for all covered consumer products and commercial equipment, including PTACs and PTHPs. See 10 CFR part 429. The collection-of-information requirement for the certification and recordkeeping is subject to review and approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). This requirement has been approved by OMB under OMB control number 1910-1400. Public reporting burden for the certification is estimated to average 30 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number.

    D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

    In this final rule, DOE amends its test procedures for PTACs and PTHPs. DOE has determined that this rule falls into a class of actions that are categorically excluded from review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and DOE's implementing regulations at 10 CFR part 1021. Specifically, this rule amends an existing rule without affecting the amount, quality or distribution of energy usage, and, therefore, will not result in any environmental impacts. Thus, this rulemaking is covered by Categorical Exclusion A5 under 10 CFR part 1021, subpart D, which applies to any rulemaking that interprets or amends an existing rule without changing the environmental effect of that rule. Accordingly, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

    E. Review Under Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism,” 64 FR 43255 (Aug. 4, 1999) imposes certain requirements on agencies formulating and implementing policies or regulations that preempt State law or that have Federalism implications. The Executive Order requires agencies to examine the constitutional and statutory authority supporting any action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States and to carefully assess the necessity for such actions. The Executive Order also requires agencies to have an accountable process to ensure meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have Federalism implications. On March 14, 2000, DOE published a statement of policy describing the intergovernmental consultation process it will follow in the development of such regulations. 65 FR 13735. DOE examined this final rule and determined that it 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. EPCA governs and prescribes Federal preemption of State regulations as to energy conservation for the products that are the subject of this final rule. States can petition DOE for exemption from such preemption to the extent, and based on criteria, set forth in EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6297(d)) No further action is required by Executive Order 13132.

    F. Review Under Executive Order 12988

    Regarding the review of existing regulations and the promulgation of new regulations, section 3(a) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” 61 FR 4729 (Feb. 7, 1996), imposes on Federal agencies the general duty to adhere to the following requirements: (1) Eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity; (2) write regulations to minimize litigation; (3) provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct rather than a general standard; and (4) promote simplification and burden reduction. Section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988 specifically requires that Executive agencies make every reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies the preemptive effect, if any; (2) clearly specifies any effect on existing Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct while promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) adequately defines key terms; and (6) addresses other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. Section 3(c) of Executive Order 12988 requires Executive agencies to review regulations in light of applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b) to determine whether they are met or it is unreasonable to meet one or more of them. DOE has completed the required review and determined that, to the extent permitted by law, this final rule meets the relevant standards of Executive Order 12988.

    G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) requires each Federal agency to assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on State, local, and Tribal governments and the private sector. Public Law 104-4, sec. 201 (codified at 2 U.S.C. 1531). For a regulatory action resulting in a rule that may cause the expenditure by State, local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 million or more in any one year (adjusted annually for inflation), section 202 of UMRA requires a Federal agency to publish a written statement that estimates the resulting costs, benefits, and other effects on the national economy. (2 U.S.C. 1532(a), (b)) The UMRA also requires a Federal agency to develop an effective process to permit timely input by elected officers of State, local, and Tribal governments on a proposed “significant intergovernmental mandate,” and requires an agency plan for giving notice and opportunity for timely input to potentially affected small governments before establishing any requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments. On March 18, 1997, DOE published a statement of policy on its process for intergovernmental consultation under UMRA. 62 FR 12820; also available at http://energy.gov/gc/office-general-counsel. DOE examined this final rule according to UMRA and its statement of policy and determined that the rule contains neither an intergovernmental mandate, nor a mandate that may result in the expenditure of $100 million or more in any year, so these requirements do not apply.

    H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999

    Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 (Pub. L. 105-277) requires Federal agencies to issue a Family Policymaking Assessment for any rule that may affect family well-being. This final rule will not have any impact on the autonomy or integrity of the family as an institution. Accordingly, DOE has concluded that it is not necessary to prepare a Family Policymaking Assessment.

    I. Review Under Executive Order 12630

    DOE has determined, under Executive Order 12630, “Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights” 53 FR 8859 (March 18, 1988), that this regulation will not result in any takings that might require compensation under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    J. Review Under Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001

    Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 (44 U.S.C. 3516 note) provides for agencies to review most disseminations of information to the public under guidelines established by each agency pursuant to general guidelines issued by OMB. OMB's guidelines were published at 67 FR 8452 (Feb. 22, 2002), and DOE's guidelines were published at 67 FR 62446 (Oct. 7, 2002). DOE has reviewed this final rule under the OMB and DOE guidelines and has concluded that it is consistent with applicable policies in those guidelines.

    K. Review Under Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use,” 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001), requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit to OMB, a Statement of Energy Effects for any significant energy action. A “significant energy action” is defined as any action by an agency that promulgated or is expected to lead to promulgation of a final rule, and that: (1) Is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, or any successor order; and (2) is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy; or (3) is designated by the Administrator of OIRA as a significant energy action. For any significant energy action, the agency must give a detailed statement of any adverse effects on energy supply, distribution, or use if the regulation is implemented, and of reasonable alternatives to the action and their expected benefits on energy supply, distribution, and use.

    This regulatory action to amend the test procedures for measuring the energy efficiency of PTACs and PTHPs is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. Moreover, it would not have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, nor has it been designated as a significant energy action by the Administrator of OIRA. Therefore, it is not a significant energy action, and, accordingly, DOE has not prepared a Statement of Energy Effects.

    L. Review Under Section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974

    Under section 301 of the Department of Energy Organization Act (Pub. L. 95-91; 42 U.S.C. 7101), DOE must comply with section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974, as amended by the Federal Energy Administration Authorization Act of 1977. (15 U.S.C. 788; FEAA) Section 32 essentially provides in relevant part that, where a proposed rule authorizes or requires use of commercial standards, the notice of proposed rulemaking must inform the public of the use and background of such standards. In addition, section 32(c) requires DOE to consult with the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concerning the impact of the commercial or industry standards on competition.

    The modifications to the test procedures addressed by this action incorporate testing methods contained in the following commercial standards: AHRI 310/380-2014, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 16-1983 (RA 2014), ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 37-2009, and ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 58-1986 (RA 2014). DOE has evaluated these standards and is unable to conclude whether they fully comply with the requirements of section 32(b) of the FEAA (i.e., whether they were developed in a manner that fully provides for public participation, comment, and review.) DOE has consulted with both the Attorney General and the Chairman of the FTC about the impact on competition of using the methods contained in these standards and has received no comments objecting to their use.

    M. Description of Materials Incorporated by Reference

    In this final rule, DOE is incorporating by reference four industry standards related to the testing of packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps. These industry standards include AHRI Standard 310/380-2014, “Standard for Packaged Terminal Air-Conditioners and Heat Pumps;” ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 16-1983 (RA 2014), “Method of Testing for Rating Room Air Conditioners and Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners;” ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 37-2009, “Methods of Testing for Rating Electrically Driven Unitary Air-Conditioning and Heat Pump Equipment;” and ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 58-1986 (RA 2014) “Method of Testing for Rating Room Air-Conditioner and Packaged Terminal Air-Conditioner Heating Capacity.”

    AHRI Standard 310/380-2014 is an industry accepted test standard that specifies definitions and general testing requirements for packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps. AHRI Standard 310/380-2014 references ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 16, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 37, and ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 58 for the detailed testing methodologies. AHRI Standard 310/380-2014 is readily available on AHRI's Web site at http://www.ahrinet.org/App_Content/ahri/files/standards%20pdfs/ANSI%20standards%20pdfs/AHRI_310_380-2014-CSA_C744-4.PDF.

    ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 16-1983 (RA 2014) and ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 37-2009 specify methods for determining the cooling performance of packaged terminal air conditioners. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 16-1983 (RA 2014) specifies a calorimetric test method involving measurement of the electric resistance heater power input needed to exactly balance a test sample's cooling capacity. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 37-2009 specifies a psychrometric test method which calculates capacity based on the air flow rate and the air inlet and outlet conditions on the indoor side of the test sample. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 16-1983 (RA 2014) is readily available at ASHRAE's Web site at: http://www.techstreet.com/ashrae/products/1881836. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 37-2009 is also readily available on ASHRAE's Web site at: http://www.techstreet.com/ashrae/products/1650947.

    ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 58-1986 (RA 2014) specifies a test method for measuring heating performance of packaged terminal heat pumps. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 58-1986 (RA 2014) is readily available on ASHRAE's Web site at: http://www.techstreet.com/ashrae/products/1650947.

    N. Congressional Notification

    As required by 5 U.S.C. 801, DOE will report to Congress on the promulgation of this final rule before its effective date. The report will state that it has been determined that the rule is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    O. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of this final rule.

    List of Subjects 10 CFR Part 429

    Energy conservation, Imports, Measurement standards, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    10 CFR Part 431

    Energy conservation, Imports, Incorporation by reference, Measurement standards, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 8, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, DOE amends parts 429 and 431 of Chapter II, Subchapter D, of Title 10 the Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below:

    PART 429—CERTIFICATION, COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT 1. The authority citation for part 429 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 6291-6317.

    2. Amend § 429.43 by adding paragraph (a)(1)(iii) and revising paragraphs (b)(2)(v) and (vi) to read as follows:
    § 429.43 Commercial heating, ventilating, air conditioning (HVAC) equipment.

    (a) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (iii) For packaged terminal air conditioners and packaged terminal heat pumps, the represented value of cooling capacity shall be the average of the capacities measured for the sample selected as described in (a)(1)(ii) of this section, rounded to the nearest 100 Btu/h.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (v) Packaged terminal air conditioners: The energy efficiency ratio (EER in British thermal units per Watt-hour (Btu/Wh)), the rated cooling capacity in British thermal units per hour (Btu/h), the wall sleeve dimensions in inches (in), and the duration of the break-in period (hours).

    (vi) Packaged terminal heat pumps: The energy efficiency ratio (EER in British thermal units per Watt-hour (Btu/W-h)), the coefficient of performance (COP), the rated cooling capacity in British thermal units per hour (Btu/h), the wall sleeve dimensions in inches (in), and the duration of the break-in period (hours).

    3. Amend § 429.134 by revising paragraph (a) and adding paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 429.134 Product-specific enforcement provisions.

    (a) General. The following provisions apply to assessment and enforcement testing of the relevant products and equipment.

    (e) Packaged terminal air conditioners and packaged terminal heat pumps—(1) Verification of cooling capacity. The total cooling capacity of the basic model will be measured pursuant to the test requirements of 10 CFR part 431 for each unit tested. The results of the measurement(s) will be averaged and compared to the value of cooling capacity certified by the manufacturer. The certified cooling capacity will be considered valid only if the average measured cooling capacity is within five percent of the certified cooling capacity.

    (i) If the certified cooling capacity is found to be valid, that cooling capacity will be used as the basis for calculation of minimum allowed EER (and minimum allowed COP for PTHP models) for the basic model.

    (ii) If the certified cooling capacity is found to be invalid, the average measured cooling capacity will serve as the basis for calculation of minimum allowed EER (and minimum allowed COP for PTHP models) for the tested basic model.

    (2) [Reserved].

    PART 431—ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAM FOR CERTAIN COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT 4. The authority citation for part 431 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 6291-6317.

    5. Amend § 431.95 by revising paragraph (b)(3), redesignating paragraph (c)(1) as (c)(4), and adding paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(3) to read as follows:
    § 431.95 Materials incorporated by reference.

    (b) * * *

    (3) AHRI Standard 310/380-2014, (“AHRI 310/380-2014”), “Standard for Packaged Terminal Air-Conditioners and Heat Pumps,” February 2014, IBR approved for § 431.96.

    (c) * * *

    (1) ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 16-1983 (RA 2014), (“ANSI/ASHRAE 16”), “Method of Testing for Rating Room Air Conditioners and Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners,” ASHRAE reaffirmed July 3, 2014, IBR approved for § 431.96.

    (2) ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 37-2009, (“ANSI/ASHRAE 37”), “Methods of Testing for Rating Electrically Driven Unitary Air-Conditioning and Heat Pump Equipment,” ASHRAE approved June 24, 2009, IBR approved for § 431.96.

    (3) ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 58-1986 (RA 2014), (“ANSI/ASHRAE 58”), “Method of Testing for Rating Room Air-Conditioner and Packaged Terminal Air-Conditioner Heating Capacity,” ASHRAE reaffirmed July 3, 2014, IBR approved for § 431.96.

    6. Amend § 431.96 by revising paragraphs (b) and (c) and adding paragraph (g) to read as follows:
    § 431.96 Uniform test method for the measurement of energy efficiency of commercial air conditioners and heat pumps.

    (b) Testing and calculations. (1) Determine the energy efficiency of each type of covered equipment by conducting the test procedure(s) listed in the fifth column of Table 1 of this section along with any additional testing provisions set forth in paragraphs (c) through (g) of this section, that apply to the energy efficiency descriptor for that equipment, category, and cooling capacity. The omitted sections of the test procedures listed in the fifth column of Table 1 of this section shall not be used.

    (2) After June 24, 2016, any representations made with respect to the energy use or efficiency of packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps (PTACs and PTHPs) must be made in accordance with the results of testing pursuant to this section. Manufacturers conducting tests of PTACs and PTHPs after July 30, 2015 and prior to June 24, 2016, must conduct such test in accordance with either table 1 to this section or § 431.96 as it appeared at 10 CFR part 431, subpart F, in the 10 CFR parts 200 to 499 edition revised as of January 1, 2014. Any representations made with respect to the energy use or efficiency of such packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps must be in accordance with whichever version is selected.

    Table 1 to § 431.96—Test Procedures for Commercial Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps Equipment type Category Cooling capacity Energy efficiency descriptor Use tests, conditions, and procedures 1 in Additional test procedure provisions as indicated in the listed paragraphs of this section Small Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment Air-Cooled, 3-Phase, AC and HP <65,000 Btu/h SEER and HSPF AHRI 210/240-2008 (omit section 6.5) Paragraphs (c) and (e). Air-Cooled AC and HP ≥65,000 Btu/h and <135,000 Btu/h EER and COP AHRI 340/360-2007 (omit section 6.3) Paragraphs (c) and (e). Water-Cooled and Evaporatively-Cooled AC <65,000 Btu/h EER AHRI 210/240-2008 (omit section 6.5) Paragraphs (c) and (e). ≥65,000 Btu/h and <135,000 Btu/h EER AHRI 340/360-2007 (omit section 6.3) Paragraphs (c) and (e). Water-Source HP <135,000 Btu/h EER and COP ISO Standard 13256-1 (1998) Paragraph (e). Large Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment Air-Cooled AC and HP ≥135,000 Btu/h and <240,000 Btu/h EER and COP AHRI 340/360-2007 (omit section 6.3) Paragraphs (c) and (e). Water-Cooled and Evaporatively-Cooled AC ≥135,000 Btu/h and <240,000 Btu/h EER AHRI 340/360-2007 (omit section 6.3) Paragraphs (c) and (e). Very Large Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment Air-Cooled AC and HP ≥240,000 Btu/h and <760,000 Btu/h EER and COP AHRI 340/360-2007 (omit section 6.3) Paragraphs (c) and (e). Water-Cooled and Evaporatively-Cooled AC ≥240,000 Btu/h and <760,000 Btu/h EER AHRI 340/360-2007 (omit section 6.3). Paragraphs (c) and (e). Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps AC and HP <760,000 Btu/h EER and COP See paragraph (g) of this section Paragraphs (c), (e), and (g). Computer Room Air Conditioners AC <65,000 Btu/h SCOP ASHRAE 127-2007 (omit section 5.11) Paragraphs (c) and (e). ≥65,000 Btu/h and <760,000 Btu/h SCOP ASHRAE 127-2007 (omit section 5.11) Paragraphs (c) and (e). Variable Refrigerant Flow Multi-split Systems AC <760,000 Btu/h EER and COP AHRI 1230-2010 (omit sections 5.1.2 and 6.6) Paragraphs (c), (d), (e), and (f). Variable Refrigerant Flow Multi-split Systems, Air-cooled HP <760,000 Btu/h EER and COP AHRI 1230-2010 (omit sections 5.1.2 and 6.6) Paragraphs (c), (d), (e), and (f). Variable Refrigerant Flow Multi-split Systems, Water-source HP <17,000 Btu/h EER and COP AHRI 1230-2010 (omit sections 5.1.2 and 6.6) Paragraphs (c), (d), (e), and (f). Variable Refrigerant Flow Multi-split Systems, Water-source HP ≥17,000 Btu/h and <760,000 Btu/h EER and COP AHRI 1230-2010 (omit sections 5.1.2 and 6.6) Paragraphs (c), (d), (e), and (f). Single Package Vertical Air Conditioners and Single Package Vertical Heat Pumps AC and HP <760,000 Btu/h EER and COP AHRI 390-2003 (omit section 6.4) Paragraphs (c) and (e). 1 Incorporated by reference, see § 431.95.

    (c) Optional break-in period. Manufacturers may optionally specify a “break-in” period, not to exceed 20 hours, to operate the equipment under test prior to conducting the test method specified by AHRI 210/240-2008, AHRI 310/380-2014, AHRI 340/360-2007, AHRI 390-2003, AHRI 1230-2010, or ASHRAE 127-2007 (incorporated by reference, see § 431.95). A manufacturer who elects to use an optional break-in period in its certification testing should record this information (including the duration) in the test data underlying the certified ratings that is required to be maintained under 10 CFR 429.71.

    (g) Test Procedures for Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners and Packaged Terminal Heat Pumps—(1) Cooling mode testing. The test method for testing packaged terminal air conditioners and packaged terminal heat pumps in cooling mode shall consist of application of the methods and conditions in AHRI 310/380-2014 sections 3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4 (incorporated by reference; see § 431.95), and in ANSI/ASHRAE 16 (incorporated by reference; see § 431.95) or ANSI/ASHRAE 37 (incorporated by reference; see § 431.95), except that instruments used for measuring electricity input shall be accurate to within ±0.5 percent of the quantity measured. Where definitions provided in AHRI 310/380-2014, ANSI/ASHRAE 16, and/or ANSI/ASHRAE 37 conflict with the definitions provided in 10 CFR 431.92, the 10 CFR 431.92 definitions shall be used. Where AHRI 310/380-2014 makes reference to ANSI/ASHRAE 16, it is interpreted as reference to ANSI/ASHRAE 16-1983 (RA 2014).

    (2) Heating mode testing. The test method for testing packaged terminal heat pumps in heating mode shall consist of application of the methods and conditions in AHRI 310/380-2014 sections 3, 4.1, 4.2 (except the section 4.2.1.2(b) reference to ANSI/ASHRAE 37), 4.3, and 4.4 (incorporated by reference; see § 431.95), and in ANSI/ASHRAE 58 (incorporated by reference; see § 431.95). Where definitions provided in AHRI 310/380-2014 or ANSI/ASHRAE 58 conflict with the definitions provided in 10 CFR 431.92, the 10 CFR 431.92 definitions shall be used. Where AHRI 310/380-2014 makes reference to ANSI/ASHRAE 58, it is interpreted as reference to ANSI/ASHRAE 58-1986 (RA 2014).

    (3) Wall sleeves. For packaged terminal air conditioners and packaged terminal heat pumps, the unit must be installed in a wall sleeve with a 14 inch depth if available. If a 14 inch deep wall sleeve is not available, use the available wall sleeve option closest to 14 inches in depth. The area(s) between the wall sleeve and the insulated partition between the indoor and outdoor rooms must be sealed to eliminate all air leakage through this area.

    (4) Optional pre-filling of the condensate drain pan. For packaged terminal air conditioners and packaged terminal heat pumps, test facilities may add water to the condensate drain pan of the equipment under test (until the water drains out due to overflow devices or until the pan is full) prior to conducting the test method specified by AHRI 310/380-2014 (incorporated by reference, see § 431.95). No specific level of water mineral content or water temperature is required for the water added to the condensate drain pan.

    (5) Filter selection. For packaged terminal air conditioners and packaged terminal heat pumps, the indoor filter used during testing shall be the standard or default filter option shipped with the model. If a particular model is shipped without a filter, the unit must be tested with a MERV-1 filter sized appropriately for the filter slot.

    [FR Doc. 2015-15885 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 a.m.] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1988; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-085-AD; Amendment 39-18195; AD 2015-13-08] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Dassault Aviation 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 all Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 2000EX airplanes. This AD requires revising the airplane flight manual to include a procedure for addressing minimum fan speed rotation (N1) values during stand-alone engine anti-ice system operation for engines equipped with certain air inlets. This AD was prompted by a quality review of recently delivered airplanes which identified a manufacturing deficiency of some engine air inlet anti-ice piccolo tubes. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct reduced performance of the engine anti-ice protection system, leading to ice accretion and ingestion into the engines, which could result in dual engine power loss and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective June 30, 2015.

    We must receive comments on this AD by August 14, 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.

    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-2015-1988; 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 Emergency Airworthiness Directive 2015-0102-E, dated June 8, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 2000EX airplanes. The MCAI states:

    A quality review of recently delivered aeroplanes identified a manufacturing deficiency of some engine air inlet anti ice piccolo tubes.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to reduced performance of the engine anti-ice protection system, with consequent ice accretion and ingestion, possibly resulting in dual engine power loss and reduced control of an aeroplane.

    The Falcon 2000EX Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) contains a procedure 4-200-05, “Operations in Icing Conditions”, addressing minimum fan speed rotation (N1) during combined operation of wing anti-ice and engine anti-ice systems. However, the AFM does not specify minimum N1 values for stand-alone engine anti-ice system operation. The subsequent investigation demonstrated that the operation of an engine at or above the minimum N1 value applicable for combined wing and engine anti-ice operations, provides efficient engine anti ice performance during stand-alone engine anti-ice operation, for engines equipped with an air inlet affected by the manufacturing deficiency.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires amendment of the applicable AFM which can be removed (or is not applicable) for aeroplanes having both engine air inlet[s] marked “NRK” on the associated data plate.

    This [EASA] AD is considered to be an interim measure and further AD action may follow.

    You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1988. 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 design.

    FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because the identified unsafe condition could result in engine inlet ice accretion with possible ice separation in volumes beyond engine ingestion capability. These conditions could lead to engine damage or engine shutdown. Therefore, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in fewer than 30 days.

    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-2015-1988; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-085-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

    We estimate that this AD affects 120 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also 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. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $10,200, or $85 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.

    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): 2015-13-08 Dassault Aviation: Amendment 39-18195. Docket No. FAA-2015-1988; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-085-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective June 30, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 2000EX airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 30, Ice and Rain Protection.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a quality review of recently delivered airplanes which identified a manufacturing deficiency of some engine air inlet anti-ice piccolo tubes. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct reduced performance of the engine anti-ice protection system, leading to ice accretion and ingestion into the engines, which could result in dual engine power loss and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) Revision

    (1) Within 10 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD: Revise the Limitations Section of the Dassault Falcon 2000EX AFM to include the statement in figure 1 to this paragraph. This may be done by inserting a copy of this AD in the AFM. When a statement identical to that in figure 1 to this paragraph has been included in the general revisions of the AFM, the general revisions may be inserted into the AFM, and the copy of this AD may be removed from the AFM.

    ER30JN15.001

    (2) Airplanes on which the air engine inlet on both engines has a mark “NRK” on the associated data plate are not affected by the requirements in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD.

    Note 1 to paragraph (g)(2) of this AD:

    Engine air inlets which have been refurbished and comply with the design standard are marked as “NRK” on the air inlet data plate.

    (h) 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 Dassault Aviation's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (i) Related Information

    Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Emergency Airworthiness Directive 2015-0102-E, dated June 8, 2015, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1988.

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    None.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 19, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15860 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-1069; Airspace Docket No. 14-ANM-11] Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace, Revocation of Class E Airspace; Salem, OR AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action modifies Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, and removes Class E surface area airspace designated as an extension at McNary Field, Salem, OR. After reviewing the airspace, the FAA found it necessary to increase the airspace areas for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations during Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) at the airport.

    DATES:

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

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Haga, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA, 98057; telephone (425) 203-4563.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    History

    On May 1, 2015, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to modify Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, and remove Class E surface area airspace designated as an extension at McNary Field, Salem, OR (80 FR 24858). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

    Class D and Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 5000, 6002, 6004, and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.9Y, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class D and Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, and removes Class E surface area airspace as an extension at McNary Field, Salem, OR. A review of the airspace revealed an increase and reconfiguration of the airspace is needed for IFR operations due to cancellation of the Turno non-directional radio beacon (NDB) and cancellation of the NDB approach. Class D airspace and Class E surface area airspace extends upward from the surface to and including 2,700 feet within a 4-mile radius northeast of McNary Field, within a 6.2-mile radius southeast of the airport, and within an 8.1-mile radius southeast to northwest of the airport, excluding airspace within 1.2 miles of Independence State Airport, OR. Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface is amended to within a 6.5-mile radius northeast of McNary Field, within an 8.2-mile radius southeast of the airport, and within a 9.1-mile radius southeast to northwest of the airport, excluding airspace within 1.2 miles of Independence State Airport, OR. This action enhances the safety and management of controlled airspace within the NAS.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 5000 Class D airspace. ANM OR D Salem, OR [Modified] Salem, McNary Field, OR (Lat. 44°54′34″ N., long. 123°00′09″ W.) Independence, Independence State Airport, OR (Lat. 44°52′01″ N., long. 123°11′54″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 2,700 feet MSL within a 4-mile radius of McNary Field from the 330° bearing from the airport clockwise to the 074° bearing, and that airspace within a 6.2-mile radius of McNary Field from the 074° bearing from the airport clockwise to the 150° bearing, and that airspace within a 8.1-mile radius of McNary Field from the 150° bearing from the airport clockwise to the 330° bearing, excluding that airspace within 1.2 miles of Independence State Airport, OR. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Airport/Facility Directory.

    Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas. ANM OR E2 Salem, OR [Modified] Salem, McNary Field, OR (Lat. 44°54′34″ N., long. 123°00′09″ W.) Independence, Independence State Airport, OR (Lat. 44°52′01″ N., long. 123°11′54″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface within a 4-mile radius of McNary Field from the 330° bearing from the airport clockwise to the 074° bearing, and that airspace within a 6.2-mile radius of McNary Field from the 074° bearing from the airport clockwise to the 150° bearing, and that airspace within a 8.1-mile radius of McNary Field from the 150° bearing from the airport clockwise to the 330° bearing, excluding that airspace within 1.2 miles of Independence State Airport, OR. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Airport/Facility Directory.

    Paragraph 6004 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as an Extension to a Class D or Class E Surface Area. ANM OR E4 Salem, OR [Removed] Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace areas extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface of the earth. ANM OR E5 Salem, OR [Modified] Salem, McNary Field, OR (Lat. 44°54′34″ N., long. 123°00′09″ W.) Independence, Independence State Airport, OR (Lat. 44°52′01″ N., long. 123°11′54″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of McNary Field from the 330° bearing from the airport clockwise to the 074° bearing, and that airspace within a 8.2-mile radius of McNary Field from the 074° bearing from the airport clockwise to the 150° bearing, and that airspace within a 9.1-mile radius of McNary Field from the 150° bearing from the airport clockwise to the 330° bearing, excluding that airspace within 1.2 miles of Independence State Airport, OR.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on June 22, 2015. Christopher Ramirez, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15951 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0530] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zones; Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone—Gary Air and Water Show AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the Gary Air and Water Show on a portion of Lake Michigan, on July 9, 2015 through July 14, 2015. This action is necessary and intended to ensure safety of life on the navigable waters of the United States immediately prior to, during, and immediately after the air and water show. During the enforcement period listed below, the Coast Guard will enforce restrictions upon, and control movement of, vessels in the safety zone. No person or vessel may enter the safety zone while it is being enforced without permission of the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.929 will be enforced for safety zone (e)(33), Table 165.929, on July 9, 2015 until July 14, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on each day.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this document, call or email LT Lindsay Cook, Waterways Management Division, Marine Safety Unit Chicago, at 630-986-2155, email address [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the Safety Zone; Gary Air and Water Show listed as item (e)(33) in Table 165.929 of 33 CFR 165.929. Section 165.929 lists many annual events requiring safety zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan zone. This safety zone encompasses all waters of Lake Michigan bounded by a line drawn from 41°37.250′ N., 087°16.763′ W.; then east to 41°37.440′ N., 087°13.822′ W.; then north to 41°38.017′ N., 087°13.877′ W.; then southwest to 41°37.805′ N., 087°16.767′ W.; then south returning to the point of origin. This zone will be enforced on July 9, 2015 until July 14, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on each day.

    All vessels must obtain permission from the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan, or a designated on-scene representative to enter, move within, or exit this safety zone. Requests must be made in advance and approved by the Captain of the Port before transits will be authorized. Approvals will be granted on a case by case basis. Vessels and persons granted permission to enter the safety zone shall obey all lawful orders or directions of the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan, or his or her on-scene representative.

    This document is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.929, Safety Zones; Annual events requiring safety zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan zone, and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this publication in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification of this enforcement period via Broadcast Notice to Mariners or Local Notice to Mariners. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan, or a designated on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16 during the event.

    Dated: June 16, 2015. A.B. Cocanour, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Lake Michigan.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16117 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0530] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zones; Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone—Start of the Chicago to Mackinac Race AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the Start of the Chicago to Mackinac Race Safety Zone on a portion of Lake Michigan, on July 10, 2015 and July 11, 2015. This action is necessary and intended to ensure safety of life on the navigable waters of the United States immediately prior to, during, and immediately after the start of each race. During the enforcement period listed below, the Coast Guard will enforce restrictions upon, and control movement of, vessels in the safety zone. No person or vessel may enter the safety zone while it is being enforced without permission of the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.929 will be enforced for safety zone (e)(45), Table 33 CFR 165.929, on July 10, 2015 from 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. and on July 11, 2015 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this document, call or email MST1 John Ng, Waterways Management Division, Marine Safety Unit Chicago, at 630-986-2122, email address [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the Safety Zone; Start of the Chicago to Mackinac Race listed as item (e)(45) in Table 165.929 of 33 CFR 165.929. Section 165.929 lists many annual events requiring safety zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan zone. This safety zone encompasses all waters of Lake Michigan in the vicinity of Navy Pier at Chicago IL, within a rectangle that is approximately 1500 by 900 yards. The rectangle is bounded by the coordinates beginning at 41°53′15.1″ N., 087°35′25.8″ W.; then south to 41°52′48.7″ N., 087°35′25.8″ W.; then east to 41°52′49.0″ N., 087°34′26.0″ W.; then north to 41°53′15″ N., 087°34′26″ W.; then west, back to point of origin. This zone will be enforced on July 10, 2015 from 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. and on July 11, 2015 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

    All vessels must obtain permission from the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan, or a designated on-scene representative to enter, move within, or exit this safety zone. Requests must be made in advance and approved by the Captain of the Port before transits will be authorized. Approvals will be granted on a case by case basis. Vessels and persons granted permission to enter the safety zone shall obey all lawful orders or directions of the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan, or his or her on-scene representative.

    This document is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.929, Safety Zones; Annual events requiring safety zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan zone, and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this publication in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification of this enforcement period via Broadcast Notice to Mariners or Local Notice to Mariners. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan, or a designated on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16 during the event.

    Dated: June 16, 2015. A.B. Cocanour, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Lake Michigan.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16113 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0530] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zones; Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone—Michigan City Summerfest Fireworks AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the Michigan City Summerfest Fireworks Safety Zone on a portion of Lake Michigan, on July 4, 2015. This action is necessary and intended to ensure safety of life on the navigable waters of the United States immediately prior to, during, and immediately after the air and water show. During the enforcement period listed below, the Coast Guard will enforce restrictions upon, and control movement of, vessels in the safety zone. No person or vessel may enter the safety zone while it is being enforced without permission of the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.929 will be enforced for safety zone (e)(35), Table 33 CFR 165.929, on July 4, 2015, from 8:45 p.m. until 9:45 p.m.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this document, call or email MST1 John Ng, Waterways Management Division, Marine Safety Unit Chicago, at 630-986-2155, email address [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the Safety Zone; Michigan City Summerfest Fireworks listed as item (e)(35) in Table 165.929 of 33 CFR 165.929. Section 165.929 lists many annual events requiring safety zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan zone. This safety zone encompasses all waters of Michigan City Harbor and Lake Michigan within the arc of a circle with a 800-foot radius from the fireworks launch site located in position 41°43.700′ N., 086°54.617′ W. This zone will be enforced on July 4, 2015, from 8:45 p.m. until 9:45 p.m.

    All vessels must obtain permission from the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan, or a designated on-scene representative to enter, move within, or exit this safety zone. Requests must be made in advance and approved by the Captain of the Port before transits will be authorized. Approvals will be granted on a case by case basis. Vessels and persons granted permission to enter the safety zone shall obey all lawful orders or directions of the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan, or his or her on-scene representative.

    This document is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.929, Safety Zones; Annual events requiring safety zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan zone, and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this publication in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification of this enforcement period via Broadcast Notice to Mariners or Local Notice to Mariners. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan, or a designated on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16 during the event.

    Dated: June 16, 2015. A.B. Cocanour, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Lake Michigan.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16114 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0524] Safety Zones; Fireworks Events in Captain of the Port New York Zone AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce various safety zones within the Captain of the Port New York Zone on the specified dates and times. This action is necessary to ensure the safety of vessels and spectators from hazards associated with fireworks displays. During the enforcement period, no person or vessel may enter the safety zones without permission of the Captain of the Port (COTP).

    DATES:

    The regulation for the safety zones described in 33 CFR 165.160 will be enforced on the dates and times listed in the table below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice, call or email MST1 Daniel Vazquez, Coast Guard; telephone 718-354-4197, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zones listed in 33 CFR 165.160 on the specified dates and times as indicated in Table 1 below. This regulation was published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2011 (76 FR 69614).

    Table 1 2.1 The IPSoft Inc. Liberty Island Safety Zone 33 CFR 165.160(2.1) • Launch site: A barge located in approximate position 40°41′16.5″ N. 074°02′23″ W. (NAD 1983), located in Federal Anchorage 20-C, about 360 yards east of Liberty Island. This Safety Zone is a 360-yard radius from the barge. • Date: June 25, 2015. • Time: 8:50 p.m.-10:00 p.m. 5.1 Hamilton LLC Pier 60 Safety Zone 33 CFR 165.160(5.1) • Launch site: A barge located in approximate position 40°44′49″ N. 074°01′02″ W. (NAD 1983), approximately 500 yards west of Pier 60, Manhattan, New York. This Safety Zone is a 360-yard radius from the barge. • Date: August 06, 2015. • Time: 10:00 p.m.-11:15 p.m.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.160, vessels may not enter the safety zones unless given permission from the COTP or a designated representative. Spectator vessels may transit outside the safety zones but may not anchor, block, loiter in, or impede the transit of other vessels. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This notice is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.160(a) and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide mariners with advanced notification of enforcement periods via the Local Notice to Mariners and marine information broadcasts. If the COTP determines that a safety zone need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the safety zone.

    Dated: June 12, 2015. G. Loebl, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port New York.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16106 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0530] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone—Celebration Freedom Fireworks AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone on Lake Macatawa in Holland, MI for the Celebration Freedom Fireworks. This zone will be enforced from 10 p.m. until 11:50 p.m. on July 4, 2015. Should inclement weather force a cancellation of the fireworks on July 4, 2015, this zone will be enforced from 10 p.m. until 11:50 p.m. on July 6, 2015. This action is necessary and intended to ensure safety of life on navigable waters immediately prior to, during, and immediately after the fireworks display. During the aforementioned periods, the Coast Guard will enforce restrictions upon, and control movement of, vessels in the safety zone. No person or vessel may enter the safety zone while it is being enforced without permission of the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.929 will be enforced for safety zone (e)(13), Table 165.929, from 10 p.m. until 11:50 p.m. on July 4, 2015. Should inclement weather force a cancellation of the fireworks on July 4, 2015, this zone will be enforced from 10 p.m. until 11:50 p.m. on July 6, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this document, call or email MST1 Joseph McCollum, Prevention Department, Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, WI at (414) 747-7148, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the Celebration Freedom Fireworks safety zone listed as item (e)(13) in Table 165.929 of 33 CFR 165.929. Section 165.929 lists many annual events requiring safety zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan zone. This safety zone will encompass all waters of Lake Macatawa in the vicinity of Kollen Park within the arc of a circle with a 1600-foot radius of a center launch position at 42°47.440′ N., 086°07.621′ W. (NAD 83). This zone will be enforced from 10 p.m. until 11:50 p.m. on July 4, 2015. Should inclement weather force a cancellation of the fireworks on July 4, 2015, this zone will be enforced from 10 p.m. until 11:50 p.m. on July 6, 2015.

    All vessels must obtain permission from the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan, or the on-scene representative to enter, move within, or exit the safety zone. Requests must be made in advance and approved by the Captain of the Port before transits will be authorized. Approvals will be granted on a case by case basis. Vessels and persons granted permission to enter the safety zone must obey all lawful orders or directions of the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or a designated representative.

    This document is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.929, Safety Zones; Annual events requiring safety zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan zone, and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this publication in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification for the enforcement of this zone via Broadcast Notice to Mariners or Local Notice to Mariners. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or an on-scene representative may be contacted via Channel 16, VHF-FM.

    Dated: June 16, 2015. A.B. Cocanour, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Lake Michigan.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16118 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2015-0026; FRL-9928-81-Region 8] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; North Dakota; Alternative Monitoring Plan for Milton R. Young Station AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of North Dakota. On April 8, 2013, the Governor of North Dakota submitted to EPA an alternative monitoring plan for Milton R. Young Station (MRYS). The plan relates to continuous opacity monitoring for Unit 1 at MRYS. The intended effect of this action is to approve a state plan established to address minimum emission monitoring requirements. The EPA is taking this action under section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on August 31, 2015 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by July 30, 2015. If adverse comment is received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2015-0026, by one of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected]

    Fax: (303) 312-6064 (please alert the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT if you are faxing comments).

    Mail: Director, Air Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129.

    Hand Delivery: Director, Air Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129. Such deliveries are only accepted Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding federal holidays. Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2015-0026. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://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 http://www.regulations.gov or email. The http://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 http://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, General Information of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://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 http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Program, EPA, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. You may view the hard copy of the docket Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gail Fallon, Air Program, EPA, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado, 80202-1129, (303) 312-6218, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. General Information II. Background III. Revision in the April 8, 2013 Submittal That Is the Subject of This Document IV. EPA's Analysis of SIP Revision V. Consideration of Section 110(l) of the Clean Air Act VI. Final Action VII. Incorporation by Reference VIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. General Information A. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

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

    2. Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

    a. Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).

    b. Follow directions—The agency may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.

    c. Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes.

    d. Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used.

    e. If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.

    f. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives.

    g. Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.

    h. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

    II. Background

    Sections 110(a)(2) and 110(l) of the CAA require that a state provide reasonable notice and public hearing before adopting a SIP revision and submitting it to us. To provide for public comment, the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDH), after providing notice, offered to hold a public hearing for the alternative monitoring plan for MRYS Unit 1. No one requested a public hearing so a hearing was not conducted. No one provided comments on the plan. Following the comment period and legal review by the North Dakota Attorney General's Office, NDDH adopted the alternative monitoring plan for MRYS Unit 1 as a SIP revision on March 1, 2013. The Governor submitted the SIP revision to EPA on April 8, 2013. EPA acted separately on a portion of the April 8, 2013 submittal that revised Chapter 2, Section 2.15, Respecting Boards. 78 FR 45866, July 30, 2013.

    III. Revision in the April 8, 2013 Submittal That Is the Subject of This Document

    Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc. (Minnkota) currently operates MRYS Unit 1, a coal-fired electric generating unit located near Center, North Dakota. Unit 1 was constructed in the late 1960's and began operating in 1970. Minnkota is required to continuously monitor the opacity of emissions from Unit 1 according to 40 CFR part 51, appendix P, and North Dakota SIP Chapter 8, Source Surveillance.

    The revision in the April 8, 2013 submittal to be addressed in this document included a revision to SIP Chapter 8, Source Surveillance, to provide an alternative monitoring plan for MRYS Unit 1. In May 1977, NDDH modified the permit to operate for Unit 1 requiring the installation and operation of continuous opacity monitoring (COM) equipment for emissions at Unit 1, and the opacity has been continuously monitored since the compliance date of August 30, 1978.

    In 2006, Minnkota entered into a consent decree with NDDH and EPA to settle allegations of noncompliance under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration Program. As part of this settlement, Minnkota was required to control sulfur dioxide emissions from Unit 1. Minnkota has installed a wet scrubber which treats all of the flue gas from Unit 1 and achieves 95% reduction of the inlet sulfur dioxide. However, the large amount of moisture from the scrubber has made monitoring of the opacity in accordance with the requirements of 40 CFR part 51, appendix P, section 3.1.1 infeasible. Specifically, water droplets contained in the flue gas could potentially result in the existing continuous opacity monitor's overstating the true opacity.

    Because of this change in circumstances, Minnkota requested alternative monitoring requirements for MRYS Unit 1 under 40 CFR part 51, appendix P, sections 6.0 and 6.1. NDDH agreed with Minnkota that such alternative monitoring procedures and requirements were warranted given that the excess moisture in the stack from the wet scrubber interferes with the COM and makes the COM data inaccurate. As a result, NDDH revised SIP Chapter 8, “Source Surveillance,” Section 8.3, “Continuous Emission Monitoring Requirements for Existing Stationary Sources, including amendments to Permits to Operate and Department Order.” The revision provided for a new Section 8.3.2, “Continuous Opacity Monitoring for M.R. Young Station Unit 1 Main Boiler.” This new section provides alternative monitoring procedures and requirements for MRYS Unit 1.

    Under North Dakota Administrative Code (NDAC) 33-15-03-01.2, MRYS Unit 1 is subject to a 20% opacity limit, except for one 6-minute period per hour in which up to 40% opacity is allowed. Without the scrubber, Minnkota was able to comply with the 20% opacity limit with limited exceedances. We obtained monthly exceedance report data from the State which indicate that opacity readings greater than the 20% standard occurred only 0.30 percent of the time for the 2008 through 2010 three-year average.1 The State has indicated that the addition of the wet scrubber would be expected to reduce visible emissions further.

    1 The State created a spreadsheet entitled, “Unit 1 Opacity Exceedances.xlsx,” with the exceedance report data and this is included in the docket.

    Under the alternative monitoring plan, Minnkota will ensure compliance with the opacity limit through the use of a continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) for particulate matter (PM) as well as periodic visible emissions reading using test method 9 from 40 CFR part 60, appendix A. Minnkota must comply with specific monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements of 40 CFR 60 as listed in the alternative monitoring plan in Section 8.3.2 for both the PM CEMS and the visible emissions testing. Among these requirements are:

    1. Minnkota must conduct weekly Method 9 tests for six consecutive weeks during regular source operation. If compliance with opacity is demonstrated from the weekly tests, Minnkota can begin conducting monthly tests. If excess emissions are identified, the tests revert to a weekly frequency.

    2. Minnkota must monitor the filterable PM emission rate with PM CEMS. The PM emission rate may not exceed 0.052 lb/MMBtu (pounds per one million British Thermal Units) (3-hour average).

    3. Minnkota must keep records of all PM and visible emissions readings and must keep these records for at least five years.

    4. Minnkota must submit quarterly excess emissions reports for both the PM CEMS and visible emissions readings. The reports must also list any time periodic monitoring is not conducted as outlined in Section 8.3.2. Minnkota must also submit annual certifications indicating compliance with the visible emission limit.

    Minnkota has developed a Compliance Assurance Monitoring (CAM) plan for PM in accordance with 40 CFR 64. The CAM plan indicates that 20% opacity occurs with a filterable PM emission rate of 0.062 lb/MMBtu. The alternative monitoring plan sets the filterable PM emission limit at 0.052 lb/MMBtu (3-hour average) with a 20% visible emission limit (6-minute average). The PM emission limit thus allows for a modest safety margin when compared to the 0.062 lb/MMBtu emission rate. For the purposes of this SIP revision, the PM CEMS is used only for demonstrating compliance with the visible emissions standard. This SIP revision does not cover monitoring for demonstrating compliance with the particulate matter emission limit for this unit.2

    2 For purposes of demonstrating compliance with PM emissions, Minnkota is required to demonstrate compliance with an emission limit of 0.03 lb/MMBtu for MRYS Unit 1 based on annual stack testing under a consent decree between EPA, the State of North Dakota, Minnkota, and Square Butte Electric Cooperative (Civil Action No. 1:06-CV-034).

    Once the SIP revision is approved by EPA, NDDH will begin the procedures required under NDAC 33-15-14-06(6)(e) to modify the source's Title V permit by incorporating the alternative monitoring requirements into the permit. NDDH will then have the authority to enforce the SIP revision like any other permit condition.

    IV. EPA's Analysis of SIP Revision

    We agree that the addition of the wet scrubber at MRYS Unit 1 necessitates an alternate means of demonstrating opacity compliance, and that the wet scrubber will further reduce visible emissions from this unit. We have evaluated the SIP revision that North Dakota submitted for this purpose and have determined that the State met the requirements for reasonable notice and public hearing under section 110(a)(2) of the CAA. On October 8, 2013, by operation of law under CAA section 110(k)(1)(B), the SIP revision was deemed to have met the minimum “completeness” criteria found in 40 CFR part 51, appendix V.

    We are also satisfied that this SIP revision will ensure that Minnkota complies with the requirements of 40 CFR 51.214 and 40 CFR part 51, appendix P, to continuously monitor opacity emissions, and that it will be adequate to ensure that Minnkota complies with the SIP opacity limits for MRYS Unit 1. We reviewed the alternative monitoring plan—in particular, the PM emission limit of 0.052 lb/MMBtu (3-hour average)—in conjunction with the CAM plan, and we agree that this limit will ensure equivalency of monitoring methods and compliance with the opacity limit as required by our regulations. Furthermore, it is unlikely that the opacity limits will be exceeded, as the consent decree PM emission limit of 0.03 lb/MMBtu would be triggered first.3

    3Id.

    V. Consideration of Section 110(l) of the Clean Air Act

    Section 110(l) of the CAA states that a SIP revision cannot be approved if the revision would interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress towards attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) or any other applicable requirements of the CAA. There are no nonattainment areas in North Dakota. The revision to SIP Chapter 8 regarding the alternative monitoring plan for MRYS Unit 1 adequately details monitoring parameters, frequency of monitoring, the PM emission limit, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements to ensure that the source can comply with requirements to continuously monitor opacity emissions, and the revision will be adequate to ensure that Minnkota complies with the SIP opacity limits for MRYS Unit 1. Therefore, this revision does not interfere with attainment or maintenance of the NAAQS or other applicable requirements of the CAA.

    VI. Final Action

    EPA is approving a revision to the North Dakota SIP that the Governor of North Dakota submitted on April 8, 2013. Specifically, EPA is approving an alternative monitoring plan for MRYS. The plan relates to continuous opacity monitoring for Unit 1 at MRYS. EPA acted previously on a portion of the April 8, 2013 submittal that revised Chapter 2, Section 2.15, Respecting Boards. 78 FR 45866, July 30, 2013.

    EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial revision and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the Proposed Rules section of today's Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision if adverse comments are filed. This rule will be effective August 31, 2015 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by July 30, 2015. If the EPA receives adverse comments, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. EPA will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. The EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    VII. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference the North Dakota Department of Health rules described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. The 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).

    VIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. 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 Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by August 31, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: June 9, 2015. Shaun L. McGrath, Regional Administrator, Region 8.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended to read as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart JJ—North Dakota 2. In § 52.1820, the table in paragraph (d) is amended by revising the second entry under “Milton R. Young Station Unit 1” and adding a new entry for “Milton R. Young Station Unit 1” to read as follows:
    § 52.1820 Identification of plan.

    (d) * * *

    Name of source Nature of requirement State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date and
  • citation 3
  • Explanations
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Milton R. Young Station Unit 1 Air pollution control permit to construct for best available retrofit technology (BART), PTC10007 2/23/10 4/6/12, 77 FR 20894 Milton R. Young Station Unit 1 SIP Chapter 8, Section 8.3.2, Continuous Opacity Monitoring for M.R. Young Station Unit 1 Main Boiler 3/1/13 6/30/15, [Insert Federal Register citation. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 3 In order to determine the EPA effective date for a specific provision listed in this table, consult the Federal Register notice cited in this column for the particular provision.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15533 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2011-0079; FRL-9929-69-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Revision To Control Volatile Organic Compound Emissions From Storage Tanks and Transport Vessels AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Withdrawal of direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is withdrawing a direct final rule published on May 13, 2015 because relevant adverse comments were received. The rule pertained to EPA approval of a Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision for control of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from degassing of storage tanks, transport vessels and marine vessels. In a separate subsequent final rulemaking EPA will address the comments received.

    DATES:

    The direct final rule published at 80 FR 27251 on May 13, 2015, is withdrawn effective June 30, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Robert M. Todd, (214) 665-2156, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document wherever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean the EPA. On May 13, 2015 we published a direct final rule approving a Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision for control of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from degassing of storage tanks, transport vessels and marine vessels (80 FR 27251). The direct final rule was published without prior proposal because we anticipated no adverse comments. We stated in the direct final rule that if we received relevant adverse comments by June 12, 2015 we would publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register. We received relevant adverse comments and accordingly are withdrawing the direct final rule. In a separate subsequent final rulemaking we will address the comments received.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: June 18, 2015. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15910 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 721 [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0649; FRL-9928-93] RIN 2070-AB27 Modification of Significant New Uses of Certain Chemical Substances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is amending the significant new use rules (SNURs) under section 5(a)(2) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for 21 chemical substances which were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMNs). This action amends the SNURs to allow certain uses without requiring a significant new use notice (SNUN), and extends SNUN requirements to certain additional uses. EPA is amending these SNURs based on review of new data for each chemical substance. This action requires persons who intend to manufacture (including import) or process any of these 21 chemical substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use by this proposed rule to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. The required notification would provide EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit that activity before it occurs.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective August 31, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0649, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Docket (OPPT Docket), Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPPT Docket is (202) 566-0280. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Jim Alwood, Chemical Control Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: 202-564-8974; email address: [email protected]

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Does this action apply to me?

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

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

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

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

    In the Federal Register of April 9, 2015 (80 FR 19037) (FRL-9924-10), EPA proposed amendments to the SNURs for 24 chemical substances in 40 CFR part 721 subpart E. This action would require persons who intend to manufacture or process these chemical substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use by these amended rules to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. Receipt of such notices allows EPA to assess risks that may be presented by the intended uses and, if appropriate, to regulate the proposed use before it occurs. The proposed rule included 23 chemical substances where EPA determined, based on new information, there is no need to require additional notice from persons who propose to engage in identical or similar activities, or a rational basis no longer exists for the findings that activities involving the substance may present an unreasonable risk of injury to human health or the environment required under section 5(e)(1)(A) of the Act. The proposed rule also included a chemical substance, P-01-781, where EPA is modifying the chemical identity information. EPA is issuing a final SNUR amendment for 21 of the 24 chemical substances. For 20 of those chemical substances, EPA received no public comments and is issuing the SNURs as proposed. For the chemical substance subject to the SNUR at 40 CFR 721.10182, EPA received three public comments supporting the proposed SNUR amendments. One of those comments also asked EPA to clarify if the final modified rule would allow uses of the chemical substance either alone or as a component in a blend in retail food, cold storage, transport and industrial refrigeration units; commercial refrigeration, ice machines, and refrigerated vending machines produced by original equipment manufacturers; and servicing, repair, and recharging refrigeration units at grocery stores, convenience stores, transport, and cold storage facilities. As described in the proposed rule, EPA had already evaluated stationary refrigeration uses in a previous SNUN, S-14-11 and did not determine that those uses caused significant adverse health effects. After publication of the proposed rule, EPA reached decision on an additional SNUN, S-15-5, for this chemical substance for stationary and transport refrigeration uses currently not allowed in the SNUR. Because the Agency expects transport refrigeration uses will have similar exposures to those for stationary uses and the hazard findings have not changed, EPA did not determine that those uses caused significant adverse health effects. Therefore the final SNUR amendment will allow the transport refrigeration uses described in S-15-5 and the stationery refrigeration uses described in S-15-5 and S-14-11, which includes the uses described by the commenter. As described in the proposed rule EPA is now amending the SNURs pursuant to 40 CFR 721.185.

    EPA received public comments for the proposed SNUR amendments for the remaining three chemical substances of the 24 included in the proposed rule subject to SNURs at 40 CFR 721.5575, 721.9675, and 721.10515. EPA will address these three proposed SNUR amendments in a separate action.

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

    Upon conclusion of the review of the 21 chemical substances in this SNUR amendment, EPA designated certain activities as significant new uses. Under § 721.185, EPA may at any time amend a SNUR for a chemical substance which has been added to subpart E of 40 CFR part 721 if EPA makes one of the determinations set forth in § 721.185. Amendments may occur on EPA's initiative or in response to a written request. Under § 721.185(b)(3), if EPA concludes that a SNUR should be amended, the Agency will propose the changes in the Federal Register, briefly describe the grounds for the action, and provide interested parties an opportunity to comment. Pursuant to § 721.185 and as described in Unit IV of the proposed rule for the 20 chemical substances EPA determined, based on new information, there is no need to require additional notice from persons who propose to engage in identical or similar activities, or a rational basis no longer exists for the findings that activities involving the substance may present an unreasonable risk of injury to human health or the environment required under section 5(e)(1)(A) of the Act. This rule also includes a chemical substance, P-01-781, where EPA is modifying the chemical identity information.

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

    If uses begun after the proposed rule was published were considered ongoing rather than new, any person could defeat the SNUR by initiating the significant new use before the final rule was issued. Therefore EPA has designated the date of publication of the proposed rule as the cutoff date for determining whether the new use is ongoing. Consult the Federal Register Notice of April 24, 1990 (55 FR 17376) for a more detailed discussion of the cutoff date for ongoing uses.

    Any person who began commercial manufacture or processing activities of the chemical substances in this rule for any of the significant new uses designated in the proposed SNUR after the date of publication of the proposed SNUR, must stop that activity before the effective date of the final rule. Persons who ceased those activities will have to first comply with all applicable SNUR notification requirements and wait until the notice review period, including any extensions, expires, before engaging in any activities designated as significant new uses. If a person were to meet the conditions of advance compliance under § 721.45(h), the person would be considered to have met the requirements of the final SNUR for those activities.

    IV. Test Data and Other Information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Potential benefits of the chemical substances.

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

    V. SNUN Submissions

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

    VI. Economic Analysis

    EPA evaluated the potential costs of SNUN requirements for potential manufacturers and processors of the chemical substances in the rule. The Agency's complete Economic Analysis is available in the docket under docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0649.

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

    This action will modify SNURs for 21 chemical substances that were the subject of PMNs. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled Regulatory Planning and Review (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993).

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    According to PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., an Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information that requires OMB approval under PRA, unless it has been approved by OMB and displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's regulations in title 40 of the CFR, after appearing in the Federal Register, are listed in 40 CFR part 9, and included on the related collection instrument or form, if applicable. EPA is amending the table in 40 CFR part 9 to list the OMB approval number for the information collection requirements contained in this rule. This listing of the OMB control numbers and their subsequent codification in the CFR satisfies the display requirements of PRA and OMB's implementing regulations at 5 CFR part 1320. This Information Collection Request (ICR) was previously subject to public notice and comment prior to OMB approval, and given the technical nature of the table, EPA finds that further notice and comment to amend it is unnecessary. As a result, EPA finds that there is “good cause” under section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), to amend this table without further notice and comment.

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

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

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

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

    E. Executive Order 13132

    This action would not have a substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999).

    F. Executive Order 13175

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

    G. Executive Order 13045

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

    H. Executive Order 13211

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

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

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

    J. Executive Order 12898

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

    VIII. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 721

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

    Dated: June 18, 2015. Maria J. Doa, Director, Chemical Control Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. Amend § 721.522 by revising paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2)(i) to read as follows:
    § 721.522 Oxirane, methyl-, polymer with oxirane, mono (3,5,5,-trimethylhexyl) ether.

    (a) * * *

    (1) The chemical substance identified as oxirane, methyl-, polymer with oxirane, mono (3,5,5,-trimethylhexyl) ether (PMN P-99-669, SNUN S-09-1, and SNUN S-13-29; CAS No. 204336-40-3) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new uses described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (2) * * *

    (i) Industrial, commercial, and consumer activities. Requirements as specified in § 721.80. A significant new use is use other than as a wetting agent, dispersing agent and defoaming/deaerating agent in waterborne coatings, inks, and paints, water based adhesives, and ultraviolet curable coatings; wetting agent in water miscible metalworking fluids, powdered construction additives for use in cementitious mortars, grouts and tile adhesives, and in liquid admixtures for concrete; and a substrate wetting and anticratering additive for ultraviolet curable inkjet ink.

    3. Amend § 721.532 as follows: a. Revise the section heading. b. Revise paragraph (a)(1). c. Revise paragraph (a)(2)(i). d. Add paragraph (a)(3). e. Revise paragraph (b)(1).

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    § 721.532 1-Butanol, 3-methoxy-3-methyl-, acetate.

    (a) * * *

    (1) The chemical substance identified as 1-butanol, 3-methoxy-3-methyl-, acetate (PMN P-00-618; SNUN S-05-03; and SNUN S-11-4; CAS No. 103429-90-9) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new uses described in paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section.

    (2) * * *

    (i) Industrial, commercial, and consumer activities. Requirements as specified in § 721.80. The significant new use is any use other than the use described in P-00-618.

    (3) The significant new uses for any use other than the use described in P-00-618:

    (i) Protection in the workplace. Requirements as specified in § 721.63(a)(1), (a)(3)(i), (b) (concentration set at 0.1 percent), and (c). When determining which persons are reasonably likely to be exposed as required for § 721.63(a)(1) engineering control measures (e.g., enclosure or confinement of the operation, general and local ventilation) or administrative control measures (e.g., workplace policies and procedures) shall be considered and implemented to prevent exposure, where feasible. Butyl rubber gloves with a minimum thickness of 16.6 mils or Silver shield gloves with a minimum thickness of 2.7 mils have been tested in accordance with the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) F739 method and found by EPA to satisfy the consent orders and § 721.63(a)(2)(i) requirements for dermal protection to 100 percent chemical substance. Silver Shield gloves with a minimum thickness of 2.7 mils have been tested in accordance with the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) F739 method and found by EPA to satisfy the consent orders and § 721.63(a)(2)(i) requirements for dermal protection for paint formulations where concentrations of the chemical substance is 10% or less. Gloves and other dermal protection may not be used for a time period longer than they are actually tested and must be replaced at the end of each work shift.

    (ii) Hazard communication program. Requirements as specified in § 721.72(a), (b) (concentration set at 0.1 percent), (c), (d), (f), (g)(1)(iv), (g)(1)(iv), (g)(2)(i), (g)(2)(ii), (g)(2)(iii), (g)(2)(v), (g)(2)(v), and (g)(5).

    (iii) Industrial, commercial, and consumer activities. Requirements as specified in § 721.80(f), (o), and any application method that generates a vapor, mist, or aerosol when the percent concentration of the SNUN substance in the final product exceeds 10%.

    (b) * * *

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

    4. Amend § 721.633 as follows: a. Revise paragraph (a)(1). b. Revise paragraph (a)(2)(i). c. Remove paragraph (a)(2)(iii). d. Revise paragraph (b)(1).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 721.633 Aluminosilicates, phospho-.

    (a) * * *

    (1) The chemical substance identified as aluminosilicates, phospho- (PMN P-98-1275 and SNUN S-11-10; CAS No. 201167-69-3) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new uses described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (2) * * *

    (i) Protection in the workplace. Requirements as specified in § 721.63(a)(4), (b), and (c). When determining which persons are reasonably likely to be exposed as required for § 721.63(a)(4) engineering control measures (e.g., enclosure or confinement of the operation, general and local ventilation) or administrative control measures (e.g., workplace policies and procedures) shall be considered and implemented to prevent exposure, where feasible. The following NIOSH-certified respirators with an APF of at least 50 meet the requirements of § 721.63(a)(4): NIOSH-certified air-purifying, tight-fitting full-face respirator equipped with N100 (if oil aerosols absent), R100, or P100 filters; NIOSH-certified powered air-purifying respirator equipped with a tight-fitting full facepiece and high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters; NIOSH-certified supplied-air respirator operated in positive pressure demand or continuous flow mode and equipped with a hood, or helmet or tight-fitting facepiece. As an alternative to the respiratory requirements listed here, a manufacturer or processor may choose to follow the New Chemical Exposure Limit (NCEL) provisions listed in the TSCA section 5(e) consent order for these substances. The NCEL is 0.1 mg/m3 as an 8-hour time weighted average verified by actual monitoring data.

    (b) * * *

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

    5. Amend § 721.2076 by revising paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2)(i) to read as follows:
    § 721.2076 D-Glucuronic acid, polymer with 6-deoxy-L-mannose and D-glucose, acetate, calcium magnesium potassium sodium salt.

    (a) * * *

    (1) The chemical substance identified as D-Glucuronic acid, polymer with 6-deoxy-L-mannose and D-glucose, acetate, calcium magnesium potassium sodium salt (PMN P-00-7; SNUN S-05-1; SNUN S-06-4; SNUN S-07-03; and SNUN S-07-5; CAS No. 125005-87-0) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new use described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (2) * * *

    (i) Industrial, commercial, and consumer activities. Requirements as specified in § 721.80. The significant new use is any use other than manufacture of the substance where greater than 5 percent of the chemical substance consists of particle sizes below 10 microns.

    6. Amend § 721.5185 as follows: a. Revise paragraph (a)(1). b. Revise paragraph (a)(2)(iii). c. Add paragraph (a)(2)(iv). d. Revise paragraph (b)(1).

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    § 721.5185 2-Propen-1-one, 1-(4-morpholinyl)-.

    (a) * * *

    (1) The chemical substance identified as 2-Propen-1-one, 1-(4-morpholinyl)- (PMN P-95-169; SNUN S-08-7; and SNUN S-14-1; CAS No. 5117-12-4) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new uses described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. The requirements of this rule do not apply to quantities of the chemical substance after it has been completely reacted (cured) because 2-Propen-1-one, 1-(4-morpholinyl)- will no longer exist.

    (2) * * *

    (iii) Industrial, commercial, and consumer activities. Requirements as specified in § 721.80(y)(1). It is a significant new use to use the chemical substance for any use other than as a monomer for use in ultraviolet ink jet applications unless the chemical substance is processed and used in an enclosed process.

    (iv) Release to water. Requirements as specified in § 721.90(a)(4), (b)(4), and (c)(4) (N = 100).

    (b) * * *

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

    7. Amend § 721.5645 by revising paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2)(i) to read as follows:
    § 721.5645 Pentane 1,1,1,2,3,4,4,5,5,5,-decafluoro.

    (a) * * *

    (1) The chemical substance identified as pentane 1,1,1,2,3,4,4,5,5,5,-decafluoro (PMN P-95-638, SNUN P-97-79, and SNUN S-06-8; CAS No. 138495-42-8) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new uses described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (2) * * *

    (i) Industrial, commercial, and consumer activities. Requirements as specified in § 721.80. A significant new use is any use of the substance other than the uses as described in P-95-638, P-97-79, or S-06-8.

    8. Amend § 721.5713 by revising paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2)(i) to read as follows:
    § 721.5713 Phenol—biphenyl polymer condensate (generic).

    (a) * * *

    (1) The chemical substance identified generically as a phenol—biphenyl polymer condensate (PMN P-00-1220 and S-07-2) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new use described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (2) * * *

    (i) Release to water. Requirements as specified § 721.90(a)(4), (b)(4), and (c)(4) (N = 5).

    9. Amend § 721.8145 by revising paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2)(i) to read as follows:
    § 721.8145 Propane,1,1,1,2,2,3,3-heptafluoro-3-methoxy-.

    (a) * * *

    (1) The chemical substance identified as propane,1,1,1,2,2,3,3-heptafluoro-3-methoxy- (PMN P-01-320; SNUN S-04-2; and SNUN 11-1; CAS No. 375-03-1) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new use described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (2) * * *

    (i) Industrial, commercial, and consumer activities. Requirements as specified in § 721.80. A significant new use is any use of the chemical substance other than as a heating transfer fluid, refrigerant, flush cleaning, foam blowing, deposition coatings, histology baths, vapor degreasing, and industrial and commercial aerosol spray cleaning.

    10. Amend § 721.9501 by revising paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 721.9501 Silane, triethoxy[3-oxiranylmethoxy)propyl]-.

    (a) * * *

    (1) The chemical substance identified as silane, triethoxy[3-oxiranylmethoxy)propyl]- (PMN P-01-781; CAS No. 2602-34-8) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new use described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    11. Amend § 721.9502 by revising paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2)(i) to read as follows:
    § 721.9502 Siloxanes and silicones, aminoalkyl, fluorooctyl, hydroxy-terminated salt (generic).

    (a) * * *

    (1) The chemical substance identified generically as siloxanes and silicones, aminoalkyl, fluorooctyl, hydroxy-terminated salt (PMN P-00-1132 and SNUN S-11-5) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new use described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (2) * * *

    (i) Industrial, commercial, and consumer activities. Requirements as specified in § 721.80(y)(1). A significant new use is any use of the chemical substance other than in graffiti systems, as surface treatment and additive for coatings, adhesives, sealants, paste, insulation and textiles for porous, non-porous, ceramic, metal, glass, plastic, wood and leather surfaces or a surface treatment agent for inorganic filler particles.

    12. Amend § 721.9595 by revising the section heading and paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2)(i) to read as follows:
    § 721.9595 Benzenesulfonic acid, mono C-10-16-alkyl derivs., compounds with 2-propen-1-amine and Alkyl benzene sulfonic acids and alkyl sulfates, amine salts.

    (a) * * *

    (1) The chemical substances identified as benzenesulfonic acid, mono C-10-16-alkyl derivs., compds. with 2-propen-1-amine (PMN P-97-296 and SNUN S-03-10; CAS No. 195008-77-6) and the chemical substances identified generically as alkyl benzene sulfonic acids and alkyl sulfates, amine salts (PMNs P-97-297/298/299 and SNUNs S-03-11/12/13) are subject to reporting under this section for the significant new uses described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (2) * * *

    (i) Release to water. Requirements as specified in § 721.90(a)(4), (b)(4), and (c)(4) N = 30.

    13. Amend § 721.9892 by revising the section heading and paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2)(i) to read as follows:
    § 721.9892 1,3-Dimethyl-2-imidazolidinone.

    (a) * * *

    (1) The chemical substance identified as 1,3-Dimethyl-2-imidazolidinone (PMN P-93-1649, SNUN S-04-3 and S-11-3; CAS No. 80-73-9) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new uses described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (2) * * *

    (iii) Industrial, commercial, and consumer activities. Requirements as specified in § 721.80(q). A significant new use is non-industrial use other than the commercial uses described in the S-04-3 and S-11-3.

    14. Amend § 721.10008 as follows: a. Revise paragraph (a)(2)(ii). b. Remove paragraph (a)(2)(iii). c. Revise paragraph (b)(1). b. Remove paragraph (b)(3).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 721.10008 Manganese strontium oxide (MnSrO3).

    (a) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (ii) Industrial, commercial, and consumer activities. Requirements as specified in § 721.80(k) (manufacture, processing, or use of the PMN substance if the particle size is less than 10 microns).

    (b) * * *

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

    15. Amend § 721.10182 by revising paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2)(i) to read as follows:
    § 721.10182 1-Propene, 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoro-.

    (a) * * *

    (1) The chemical substance identified as 1-propene, 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoro- (PMN P-07-601, SNUN S-14-11, and SNUN S-15-5; CAS No. 754-12-1) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new uses described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (2) * * *

    (i) Industrial, commercial, and consumer activities. A significant new use is:

    (A) Use other than as a refrigerant: In motor vehicle air conditioning systems in new passenger cars and vehicles (i.e., as defined in 40 CFR 82.32(c) and (d)), in stationary and transport refrigeration, or in stationary air conditioning.

    (B) Section 721.80(m) (commercial use other than: In passenger cars and vehicles in which the original charging of motor vehicle air conditioning systems with the PMN substance was done by the motor vehicle original equipment manufacturer (OEM), in stationary and transport refrigeration, or in stationary air conditioning).

    (C) Section 721.80(o) (use in consumer products other than products used to recharge the motor vehicle air conditioning systems in passenger cars and vehicles in which the original charging of motor vehicle air conditioning systems with the PMN substance was done by the motor vehicle OEM).

    16. Amend § 721.10283 as follows: a. Revise paragraph (a)(2)(i). b. Revise paragraph (a)(2)(ii). c. Revise paragraph (a)(2)(iii). d. Remove paragraph (a)(2)(iv). e. Revise paragraph (b)(1).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 721.10283 Poly[oxy(methyl-1,2- ethanediyl)], .alpha.-sulfo-.omega.-hydroxy-, C12-13-branched and linear alkyl ethers, sodium salts.

    (a) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (i) Industrial, commercial, and consumer activities. Requirements as specified in § 721.80(l).

    (ii) Disposal. Requirements as specified in § 721.85. A significant new of the substances is any method of disposal of a waste stream containing the PMN substances other than by incineration or by injection into a Class I or II waste disposal well.

    (iii) Release to water. Requirements as specified in § 721.90(a)(2)(ii), (b)(2)(ii), and (c)(2)(ii).

    (b) * * *

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

    17. Amend § 721.10284 as follows: a. Revise paragraph (a)(2)(i). b. Revise paragraph (a)(2)(ii). c. Revise paragraph (a)(2)(iii). d. Remove paragraph (a)(2)(iv). e. Revise paragraph (b)(1).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 721.10284 Poly[oxy(methyl-1,2-ethanediyl)], .alpha.-sulfo-.omega.-hydroxy-, C14-15-branched and linear alkyl ethers, sodium salts.

    (a) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (i) Industrial, commercial, and consumer activities. Requirements as specified in § 721.80(l).

    (ii) Disposal. Requirements as specified in § 721.85. A significant new of the substances is any method of disposal of a waste stream containing the PMN substances other than by incineration or by injection into a Class I or II waste disposal well.

    (iii) Release to water. Requirements as specified in § 721.90(a)(2)(ii), (b)(2)(ii), and (c)(2)(ii).

    (b) * * *

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

    [FR Doc. 2015-15917 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 11 [EB Docket No. 04-296; FCC 15-60] Review of the Emergency Alert System AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) revises its rules governing the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to: Establish a national location code for EAS alerts issued by the President; amend the Commission's rules governing a national EAS test code for future nationwide tests; require broadcasters, cable service providers, and other entities required to comply with the Commission's EAS rules (EAS Participants) to file test result data electronically; and require EAS Participants to meet minimal standards to ensure that EAS alerts are accessible to all members of the public, including those with disabilities.

    DATES:

    Effective July 30, 2015, except for § 11.21(a), and § 11.61(a)(3)(iv) which contain information collection requirements that have not been approved by OMB. The Federal Communications Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa Fowlkes, Deputy Bureau Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, at (202) 418-7452, or by email at [email protected] For additional information concerning the Paperwork Reduction Act information collection requirements contained in this document, contact Nicole On'gele at (202) 418-2991 or send an email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Sixth Report and Order in EB Docket No. 04-296, FCC 15-60, adopted on June 1, 2015 and released on June 3, 2015. The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center (Room CY-A257), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. The complete text of this document also may be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: www.fcc.gov.

    I. Synopsis 1. Use of a National Location Code

    1. In the EAS Operational Issues NPRM, 1 we proposed that EAS Participants must be capable of receiving and processing a national location code, and that “six zeroes” be designated as that code. We explained that adoption of a “six zeroes” location code would bring additional consistency to the EAS alert distribution hierarchy, and, along with our requirement that header codes not be “amended, extended or abridged,” could enable more precise geo-targeting of EAS alerts. We also explained that adoption of “six zeroes” as the national location code could have the additional long-term benefit of ensuring the desired harmony between our EAS rules and industry CAP standards, which, in turn, will facilitate the integration of the EAS into IP-based alerting systems such as IPAWS.

    1 Review of the Emergency Alert System. 79 FR 41159 (July 15, 2014).

    2. Commenters unanimously supported our adoption of the “six zeroes” national location code. For the reasons set forth herein, we agree and accordingly adopt “six zeroes” as the national location code for any future nationwide EAS test, as well as for any future nationwide EAS alerts. The rule we adopt today requires that EAS Participants' EAS encoder/decoder equipment be capable of processing “000000” in the location code field as a header code indicating that the alert is relevant to the entire United States.

    3. Implementation of “six zeroes” as the national location code will present negligible costs to EAS Participants because most EAS equipment deployed in the field already supports the “six zeroes” national location code or would require only a software update to provide such support. For example, NCTA asserts that cable providers may have to engage in firmware updates and testing to verify that the new code functions within their systems. For this reason, NCTA asserts that adopting “six zeroes” as the national location code will present cable service provider EAS Participants with approximately $1.1 million in aggregated capital and operational costs for the entire cable industry. Similarly, in the EAS Operational Issues NPRM, we estimated that costs confronting broadcasters also would approach $1.1 million, for an aggregate cost of $2.2 million for the implementation of “six zeroes” as the national location code. No commenter challenges our estimated costs for either cable providers or broadcasters. Moreover, commenters agree this cost is justified by the benefits.

    4. Use of “six zeroes” as the national location code promises to improve the efficacy of the EAS. Adoption of “six zeroes” as the national location code has the long-term benefit of ensuring consistency between the EAS rules and industry CAP standards, which already recognize “six zeroes” as the national location code. This, in turn, will facilitate the integration of the EAS into the IP-based IPAWS. We note that use of a “six zeroes” location code is also consistent with our requirement that EAS header codes not be “amended, extended, or abridged.” We have observed that using a single locality's location code for a national alert can cause confusion. We also recognize that to issue an alert for the entire United States without recourse to a national location code would require two separate alerts because the EAS alert headers can only hold thirty-one distinct location codes. Thus, we agree with Trilithic that the use of a single national location code simplifies our national alerting infrastructure. Finally, Monroe opines that “use of a national location code would provide improved geo-targeting of an EAN should the President wish to address a particular part of the country rather than the nation as a whole.” In light of these benefits, we find that adoption of a “six zeroes” national location code serves the public interest in promoting the effective use of the EAS.

    2. National Periodic Test Code (NPT)

    5. In the EAS Operational Issues NPRM, we proposed to amend our rules to allow use of the NPT for future EAS testing as a less burdensome and potentially less confusing alternative to the EAN. We also recognized that the NPT could be tailored in different ways, with different costs and benefits, and sought further comment on what operational requirements the Commission should require for the NPT to facilitate effective and minimally burdensome testing. Specifically, we sought to develop a more robust record on whether the NPT should: (a) Have the same two-minute maximum duration and limited priority as all other non-EAN EAS event codes; or (b) fully emulate the EAN in its mandatory priority and indefinite length. We stated that our intent was to provide FEMA with maximum flexibility to test the EAS in the most appropriate manner, while also articulating a clear and feasible standard for EAS Participants and other stakeholders. In this regard, we noted that, unlike an EAN-emulating NPT, an NPT that shares the priority and two-minute limit of other alert event codes would accommodate FEMA's stated desire to perform a national EAS test in the near future, and would do so at a dramatically lower cost than an EAN-emulating NPT. We sought comment, in the alternative, on how the cost of conducting another EAN-based nationwide test, including any outreach specifically tied to use of the EAN, would compare with the costs of conducting a test with an NPT that fully emulates the EAN. We also noted that an NPT with limited duration and priority would have all of the benefits of full-EAN emulation, except that it would not test the reset function triggered by an alert lasting longer than two minutes. Finally, the Commission sought comment on whether the reset functionality triggered by an alert lasting longer than two minutes was testable in a test bed.

    6. Commenters unanimously agree that the NPT—not the EAN, and not an NPT that is reprogrammed to fully emulate the EAN—should be the national test event code. Accordingly, and for reasons discussed in further detail below, we adopt the NPT as the test event code for the purpose of nationwide EAS testing, and further require that the NPT as used in such tests be limited in duration to two minutes or less, and have normal priority. In order to comply with FEMA's stated intent that the NPT be disseminated with the “same immediacy as the EAN,” we further require that the NPT be retransmitted immediately upon receipt. We also reiterate that any national or occasional “special” EAS tests referred to in the part 11 rules that use the NPT will replace the required monthly test (RMT) of the EAS for any month in which such an NPT-based test is scheduled.

    7. The record indicates that the cost of upgrading EAS equipment to allow the NPT to function in the manner we adopt today will not be significant. The NPT is already present in Section 11.31 of the EAS rules as a required event code and, as such, has already been programmed into most EAS equipment. According to EAS equipment manufacturers, “the NPT code is already recognized by virtually all existing EAS devices or can be easily enabled by EAS [P]articipants through simple reconfigurations of the code filters on their encoder devices.” The costs that EAS Participants must incur as a result of our requirements are limited to those incurred by the relatively small number of EAS Participants who will have to manually change the settings of their EAS equipment to automatically respond to the NPT. Any additional regulatory costs that are imposed by this requirement will be further offset by the reduction in regulatory burdens that will result from broadcast, cable and satellite EAS Participants not having to explain to the public through video replacement slides and other outreach efforts that the alert displayed on the screen is not an actual alert.

    8. We contrast the minimal costs imposed by the NPT functionality we require today with those that EAS Participants would incur were the NPT to fully emulate the EAN. Commenters argue that full-EAN emulation would require three years to implement, and would cost at least $3.3 million more than implementing an NPT with standard duration and priority. During that time, firmware in EAS equipment would need to be modified such that an NPT would take priority over all other alerts and to avoid triggering the reset functionality that automatically ends an alert after two minutes. The standards and other proprietary protocols governing the operation of downstream equipment also would need to be updated. That equipment would then need to be upgraded, tested, and deployed in order to achieve operational readiness for an EAS test with an EAN-emulating NPT. We also note that an NPT with maximum priority would supersede any live alert that may be delivered in an area of the country subject to the test. We believe that this would be inconsistent with the life-saving purpose of the EAS. For these reasons, we decline to adopt an NPT that fully emulates the EAN.

    9. We agree with commenters' assertions that an NPT that shares the priority and two minute time limit of all other event codes will still advance the most important goal of this proceeding, namely, to ready the national alerting infrastructure for a test that FEMA intends to conduct in the near future. Further, we agree with commenters that an NPT with the characteristics we require today will “sufficiently test the reliability of the EAS dissemination ecosystem, providing adequate data for the Commission and FEMA to fully assess the hierarchy and dissemination of EAS alerts throughout the EAS system, via both legacy and CAP-enabled EAS devices.” We also agree with commenters that the approach we take today has the benefit of being “clearly marked as a test, preventing any public confusion.” As noted earlier, the use of the EAN in conjunction with the first nationwide test necessitated extensive outreach to ensure that the public understood that the event was only a test; none of this outreach would be required with the use of the NPT. Finally, as commenters suggest, we note that it may be possible for FEMA to test EAS equipment's ability to successfully process the priority and duration elements of an EAN in a test bed, thus ensuring that all elements of the system are tested.

    B. Electronic Test Reporting System

    10. As the Bureau reported in the EAS Nationwide Test Report, of the EAS Participants who submitted test result data, the vast majority chose to use the voluntary, temporary, electronic filing system employed for the first nationwide EAS test, rather than to submit paper filings. The data available from the electronic reporting system allowed the Commission to generate reports on EAS Participants' monitoring assignments at all points throughout the EAS' national distribution architecture that would not have been feasible with paper filings alone. As a result of the positive response to this temporary electronic filing system and the enhanced analytics it enabled, the EAS Nationwide Test Report recommended that the Commission develop a permanent electronic reporting system based on the system used during the first nationwide EAS test to provide a similarly efficient mechanism to expedite the filing of test result data by EAS Participants. Subsequently, at its March 20, 2014 meeting, the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) also recommended that the Commission develop a federal government database to contain EAS Participants' monitoring assignments.

    11. In the EAS Operational Issues NPRM, we proposed an improved electronic filing system and related database, the ETRS, based on the system the Commission used for the first nationwide EAS test. Use of this new system would be mandatory for EAS Participants, and the system would offer improvements over the prior version of the system designed to further expedite filing and minimize burdens on EAS Participants. As proposed, the ETRS would follow the structure of the system used in 2011, and be composed of three forms. Form One would ask each EAS Participant for identifying and background information, including EAS designation, EAS monitoring assignments, facility location, equipment type, contact information, and other relevant data. Form Two would ask each EAS Participant whether it received the Nationwide EAS Test alert code and, if required to do so, whether the EAS Participant propagated the alert code downstream. Form Three would ask each EAS Participant to submit detailed information regarding its receipt and propagation, if applicable, of the alert code, including an explanation of any complications in receiving or propagating the code.

    12. We also proposed certain improved processing procedures for the ETRS based on lessons learned from the first nationwide EAS test. In particular, we proposed that EAS Participants: (1) Would have the capability to review filings prior to final submission and to retrieve previous filings to correct errors; (2) would not be required to input data into the ETRS that EAS Participants have previously provided to the Commission elsewhere; and (3) would receive a filing receipt upon successful completion of the required report. We further proposed to revise our rules to integrate the identifying information provided by Form One of the new ETRS into the State EAS Plans filed pursuant to Section 11.21 of the Commission's EAS rules, and to consolidate those State EAS Plans into an EAS Mapbook. Finally, we proposed that EAS Participants submit Form One, the self-identifying portion of the ETRS, within one year of the effective date of the reporting rules, and to update the information that EAS Participants are required to supply in Form One on a yearly basis, and as required by any updates or waivers to State EAS Plans.

    13. Commenters unanimously support the Commission's ETRS proposal because it eases the data-entry burden on EAS Participants and facilitates effective analysis of the EAS infrastructure. We agree, and therefore adopt a revised version of the ETRS, as described below. Although the ETRS we adopt today largely resembles the 2011 version, it also contains certain improvements supported by commenters. For example, in order to minimize EAS Participants' filing burden, the ETRS database will be pre-populated with the types of identifying information (e.g., broadcaster call letters and geographic location of transmitters) that EAS providers have provided in the Universal Licensing System and related FCC databases. We find that pre-populating the ETRS in this manner is technically feasible and will encourage timely filings by streamlining the process and reducing burdens on filers significantly. We thus require that the ETRS have this functionality. Further, we agree that EAS Participants should be able to review their filings prior to final submission, to retrieve previous filings to correct errors for thirty days after submission, and to provide filers with a filing receipt verifying submission of a completed report. We also agree that the integration of ETRS data into the EAS Mapbook will “ease the data-entry burden on EAS Participants and make the best use of the Commission's time and resources,” and that the advent of ETRS gives the Commission the tool it needs to create the data tables necessary to complete it. The EAS Mapbook will also allow the Commission to maintain a centralized database containing all EAS monitoring assignments and alert distribution pathways, enabling new analyses of alert distribution at the national, state, and local levels. Accordingly, we require that the ETRS have the capability to create maps that indicate the propagation of an EAN throughout the EAS architecture. Finally, subsequent to any nationwide EAS test, we require EAS Participants to submit detailed information regarding their receipt and propagation, if applicable, of the alert code, including an explanation of any complications in receiving or propagating the code.

    14. In order to address commenters' concerns expressed in the record, we adopt the following additional requirements for the ETRS:

    • The ETRS will require a filer to identify itself as a radio broadcaster, television broadcaster, cable system, wireless cable system, Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS), Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (SDARS), wireline video system, or “other,” instead of the previous options (limited to “broadcaster” or “cable operator”).

    • The ETRS will reflect that the Physical System ID (PSID) is not necessarily equivalent to the geographic area in which an EAS Participant delivers emergency alerts. In addition to a PSID field, the system will include a new field called “Geographic Zone” so that EAS Participants can provide more granular information, if appropriate. For example, when the applicable PSID includes multiple geographic areas that span across counties or states, one ETRS filing for a PSID containing multiple “Geographic Zones” will be accepted.

    • The ETRS will permit EAS Participants to supply latitude and longitude information as separate fields, using the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83).

    • The ETRS will require filers to supply contact information related to the individual who completes the form.

    • The ETRS will allow for batch filing to facilitate more efficient reporting, consistent with the record on this issue.

    • EAS Participants will be required to attest to the truthfulness of their filings in the ETRS, and are reminded that they are responsible for the accuracy of the information they file with the Commission, including any pre-populated data.

    15. We find that the ETRS will minimize filing burdens on EAS Participants. In comparison to equivalent paper filings, the costs associated with requiring EAS Participants to file test result data in ETRS will be minimal, and the database improvements we adopt today are aimed at streamlining the filing process and reducing these costs even further. Most of the information that we propose EAS Participants submit to the ETRS has already been populated in other FCC databases, and thus compliance with the ETRS merely requires EAS Participants to review and update the pre-populated data fields to ensure the information is accurate and up to date. For the few data fields that EAS Participants must complete, we conclude that compliance would entail a one-time cost of approximately $125.00 per EAS Participant. This $125.00 figure for the cost of complying with ETRS filing requirements is based on the cost of filing in the comparable system used for the first nationwide EAS test, a cost which has already been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget in the Paperwork Reduction Act analysis. We also note that no commenter objects to this figure. Accordingly, we conclude that the aggregate cost for all EAS Participants to file test result data with the Commission is approximately $3.4 million.

    16. We decline to make several changes to the ETRS proposal that were requested in the record. We do not agree that EAS Participants should only be required to report test results once. The purpose of “day of test” reporting is to provide an instant “yes/no” answer to whether the test worked for a particular EAS Participant. In the aggregate, such reporting provides the Commission and its Federal partners with near to near real-time situational awareness of all or any portion of the system. We believe that the burden of supplying such “yes/no” information is small compared to the benefit of knowing, in close to real time, any specific geographic areas where a national test has not been successful. For example, such instant reporting would allow the Commission and FEMA to map a particular area where a test may have failed and immediately identify any point of failure within the EAS alert distribution hierarchy that may have caused downstream failures. We also do not agree that a streamlined waiver process is necessary for those few EAS Participants who do not have Internet access and may need to file their test results on paper. While the Commission recognizes that some areas of the nation may lack widespread Internet access, we believe that it is unnecessary to develop a streamlined waiver process for this reason alone. We believe the existing waiver process under Section 1.3 of the Commission's rules is sufficient and will review such requests accordingly.

    17. Further, we will not, as Consumer Groups suggest, allow the ETRS to be used as a mechanism for consumer feedback about EAS accessibility and other test outcomes. The ETRS is a filing system for EAS Participants to facilitate increased understanding and improved analysis of the EAS alert distribution hierarchy, as well as for EAS Participants to identify or report any complications with the receipt or propagation of emergency alerts. As we discuss in further detail below, however, because of the importance of making EAS alerts more accessible, we will monitor all EAS accessibility complaints filed with the Commission through the normal channels. We also direct the Bureau, in coordination with the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) and other relevant Commission Bureaus and Offices, to establish a mechanism to receive public feedback on the test.

    18. We also do not adopt the suggestion that, because the ETRS database will be used to construct the EAS Mapbook, State Emergency Coordination Committees (SECCs) must be granted access to the ETRS beyond that envisioned by the presumptively confidential nature of ETRS filings. It is not feasible to provide SECCs with such access without compromising the confidentiality of EAS Participant's filings, or risking that the SECC might unintentionally delete or corrupt a filing. Rather, we will, upon request from an SECC, provide the SECC with a report of their state's aggregated data. SECCs can use these reports to remedy monitoring anomalies evident from EAS Participant filings in their state.

    19. Finally, we find that the implementation of the ETRS will be best accomplished by the Bureau. Accordingly, we direct the Bureau to implement the ETRS pursuant to the principles and requirements we discuss above. We direct the Bureau to release a subsequent public notice, providing additional information regarding the implementation of the ETRS closer to the launch date of the ETRS, and as subsequently required for future EAS tests and State EAS Plan filings.

    C. Visual Crawl and Audio Accessibility

    20. The EAS provides a critical means of delivering life- and property-saving information to the public. The Commission's rules ensure that this information is delivered to the public in an accessible manner, primarily by requiring that EAS Participants deliver EAS alerts in both audio and visual formats. The visual display of an EAS alert is generally presented as a page of fixed text, but it can also be presented as a video crawl that scrolls along the top of the screen.

    21. The EAS visual message that was transmitted during the first nationwide EAS test was inaccessible to some consumers. For example, stakeholders noted that the visual message in some of the video crawls scrolled across the screen too quickly, or the font was otherwise difficult to read. Others stated that both the audio and visual presentation of the national EAS test message were inconsistent.

    22. In the EAS Operational Issues NPRM, we proposed to amend the EAS rules to require that the EAS video crawl meet minimum accessibility requirements for crawl speed, completeness and placement. Our proposed accessibility rules for the EAS video crawls were based upon our quality requirements for closed captions. Specifically, we proposed that the video crawl: (1) Be displayed on the screen at a speed that can be read by viewers; (2) be displayed continuously throughout the duration of any EAS activation; (3) not block other important visual content on the screen; (4) utilize a text font that is sized appropriately for legibility; (5) prevent overlap of lines of text with one another; and (6) position the video crawl adequately so it does not run off the edge of the video screen. We also sought comment on methods of ensuring that EAS audio and EAS visual elements contained essentially the same information.

    23. Commenters agree that the EAS visual message, at a minimum, must be accessible if the EAS is to fulfill its purpose of informing all Americans, including Americans with disabilities, of imminent dangers to life and property. Commenters suggest, however, that given the complexity of the EAS alert distribution infrastructure, further discussion and collaboration is necessary and that the Commission should refrain from adopting accessibility requirements at this time. We observe that the Commission tasked the CSRIC with examining the operational issues—including recommended methods to improve alert accessibility—identified in the EAS Operational Issues Public Notice that arose out of the first nationwide EAS test, but the CSRIC did not make specific recommendations on accessibility standards.

    24. The Commission is committed to public/private partnership, and has consistently sought to collaborate with stakeholders and to provide EAS Participants with the opportunity to suggest (and take action on) solutions to EAS technical issues. However, given the life-saving importance of the EAS, we cannot afford to delay adoption of minimum rules in favor of further collaboration alone. Viewers are entitled to expect that the EAS visual message be legible to the general public, including people with disabilities. Accordingly, we agree with Consumer Groups that we must adopt a set of baseline accessibility requirements to ensure that EAS messages are accessible to all Americans. We will assess compliance with these minimum requirements through careful monitoring of the informal complaint and consumer inquiry processes, followed by enforcement action to the extent necessary.

    25. Display Legibility. First, in addition to requiring that the EAS visual message, whether video crawl or block text, be displayed in a manner that is consistent with our current rules (i.e., “at the top of the television screen or where it will not interfere with other visual messages”), we amend Sections 11.51(d), (g)(3), (h)(3) and (j)(2) of the Commission's EAS rules to require that the visual message also be displayed in a size, color, contrast, location, and speed that is readily readable and understandable.

    26. While parties do not agree on a common definition of ideal crawl speed or font size for the EAS video crawl, there is agreement in the record that alert legibility is essential to ensure the effectiveness of the alerts. For the purposes of our rules, we do not mandate a specific crawl speed or font size, nor do we believe such specificity is necessary at this time. Instead, we afford EAS Participants the flexibility to implement this requirement in accordance with their particular best practices and equipment capabilities. We expect EAS Participants to determine and implement effective practices that will ensure alert legibility. While we acknowledge commenters' statements that not all EAS devices are capable of crawling text, EAS Participants that use devices that display block text must nonetheless generate such text in a manner that remains on the screen for a sufficient length of time to be read.

    27. Completeness. We also amend Sections 11.51(d), (g)(3), (h)(3) and (j)(2) of the Commission's EAS rules to require that the EAS visual message be displayed in its entirety at least once during any EAS alert message. It would be confusing and potentially dangerous for anyone to be deprived of any portion of the EAS visual message while that alert is being delivered; EAS equipment must be capable of delivering such a basic service. On the other hand, we agree with commenters that the completeness requirement, as originally proposed in the EAS Operational Issues NPRM, should not be adopted. In the NPRM, we proposed to revise Section 11.51(d) of the Commission's EAS rules to require that the EAS video crawl be displayed continuously throughout the duration of any EAS activation. We note, however, that EAS equipment is not always capable of controlling the duration of the video crawl, and further, even if it were, non-Presidential alerts are designed to last no longer than two minutes. It would be inconsistent with the design of the system and a significant burden on EAS Participants to require that the video crawl last for the duration of the event that prompted the EAS alert, (which could potentially last for hours). Nonetheless, because EAS equipment is already capable of ensuring that an EAS visual message is displayed in its entirety at least once during any EAS message, and because doing so will avoid public confusion and dangers to life and property, we amend our rules accordingly to require that any EAS visual message be displayed in full at least one during the pendency of an EAS alert message. In addition, EAS Participants should display any EAS visual message in its entirety more than once, if possible, in order to ensure that viewers are able to re-read and capture the information conveyed by the visual message.

    28. Placement. As we note above, we reiterate our requirement that the EAS visual message shall “be displayed at the top of the television screen or where it will not interfere with other video messages,” and we amend Section 11.51(d), (g)(3), (h)(3) and (j)(2) to require that the visual message not (1) contain overlapping lines of EAS text or (2) extend beyond the viewable display except for crawls that intentionally scroll on and off of the screen. We are persuaded by the weight of the record that the placement requirement we proposed in the EAS Operational Issues NPRM, which stated that the EAS visual message shall not “block other important visual content on the screen,” should not be adopted. Such a requirement would be inappropriate in light of commenters' assertions that, unlike closed caption producers, EAS Participants and equipment manufacturers cannot know where to place a video crawl on a screen in a way that will not interfere with non-EAS emergency information or regularly scheduled programming. On the other hand, Trilithic asserts that EAS Participants can render alerts that do not contain overlapping lines of EAS text, and do not run off the edge of the video screen (except for crawls that intentionally scroll on and off of the screen). According to Trilithic, these placement requirements are “reasonable expectations and would help ensure that viewers are able to read and understand the text.” We adopt these placement requirements accordingly.

    29. Enforcement Standard. We acknowledge that the creation and delivery of an accessible visual message is not solely within the control of any one entity, and often requires coordination and execution among many connected parties and equipment in the EAS alert distribution chain. While we agree with commenters' assertions that EAS equipment is responsible for deriving the visual message from the EAS header codes or CAP text that an alert originator places within an alert, it remains the responsibility of the EAS Participant to purchase part 11-compliant equipment and to ensure that its equipment operates in a manner compliant with our part 11 rules.

    30. The minimum accessibility rules we adopt today establish clear guidelines for the acceptable appearance of an EAS visual message, in order to ensure that EAS Participants offer accessible EAS video crawls and block text. We direct the Bureau to monitor the informal complaint process for complaints pertaining to EAS visual messages and, where appropriate, bring any potential noncompliance to the attention of the Enforcement Bureau for its review. We also note that, subsequent to a nationwide EAS test, EAS Participants must provide information in the ETRS regarding any complications in receiving or propagating the alert test. Such complications would include any failure to comply with the minimum accessibility requirements we adopt today.

    31. Finally, we disagree with those commenters who argue that our adaptation of the Commission's minimum accessibility rules in the Closed Captioning Quality Report and Order to fit EAS visual messages is inappropriate because, unlike captions, the production of EAS visual messages is not within the control of the EAS Participants. We recognize that EAS visual messages are produced differently from closed captions, that the presentation of such a visual message can be affected by equipment downstream of the EAS Participant, and that there is no real time opportunity for EAS Participants to edit the text. At the same time, however, the rules we adopt today are technology neutral and do not necessitate that EAS visual messages be produced similarly to closed captions. The EAS accessibility rules we adopt today and our closed captioning requirements only share the foundational requirement that on-screen text be legible, complete, and appropriately placed. Further, we note that several commenters agree that the closed captioning rules can inform the formatting of the EAS visual message. In light of the importance of EAS visual messages, we find that it is reasonable to adopt rules that ensure that EAS video crawls and block text are at least as legible, complete, and appropriately placed as are closed captions.

    32. We expect that the minimal accessibility rules we adopt today should have little impact on the operations of EAS equipment manufacturers whose equipment already produces a legible, complete, and appropriately placed EAS visual message, and on EAS Participants who deploy certified EAS equipment at their facilities. Accordingly, we do not anticipate that our revised rules will impose significant costs and burdens upon the majority of EAS Participants. As Trilithic notes, “[m]any of the proposed requirements for . . . [visual message] accessibility require minimal changes and cost.” Further, we are not dictating the precise formatting of the EAS visual message, but rather, we are adopting rules that provide EAS Participants and equipment manufacturers with flexibility to meet our minimum requirements in the most cost-effective manner for their systems.

    33. Audiovisual Synchronicity. We decline to adopt rules requiring audiovisual synchronicity at this time. We agree with commenters that alert originators have primary control over audiovisual synchronicity because they are the only party in a position to initiate a message that contains identical audio and text elements. We also agree that downstream equipment in control of the audio presentation “is not always the same equipment used to control the video presentation” and further study would be required to determine how to coordinate these disparate elements of the alert distribution hierarchy. We further agree with Trilithic that message originators should be “free to include as much important information in both mediums as can be made to fit, which may not always result in identical content.” As commenters suggest, we expect that EAS Participants and equipment manufacturers will work together to develop methods to improve audiovisual synchronicity, including the increased use of CAP, to the extent that it does not interfere with alert quality. Accordingly, we encourage EAS Participants to develop a greater capacity to generate both the audio and the visual elements of alerts in a manner that provides viewers with equal information within the same or similar timeframes. We will revisit the need for specific rules addressing this matter in the future if it is brought to our attention that problems with audiovisual synchronicity are impeding access to EAS alerts.

    34. We note that FEMA has already addressed and corrected the primary audio quality problems experienced during the first nationwide EAS test, i.e., a technical malfunction that occurred at the National Primary level that affected the underlying quality of EAS audio nationwide. However, as we stated in the EAS Operational Issues NPRM, we are concerned that the audio and visual elements should convey the same message. Accordingly, consistent with the overall accessibility rules we adopt today, including the requirements for the visual portion of an EAS alert, we require that the audio portion of any EAS alert must play in full at least once during any EAS message. Furthermore, we expect the audio portion of an EAS message to be delivered in a manner and cadence that is sufficient for the consumer who does not have a hearing loss to readily comprehend it. We will continue to monitor future EAS activations and tests to determine whether we need to adopt any additional rules to ensure that the audio portion of an EAS message is accessible.

    35. Text-to-Speech. The Commission currently allows text-to-speech (TTS) to be used as a method of providing audio for EAS alerts. We agree with commenters that while TTS is an appropriate technology for rendering alert audio in some cases, and may support audiovisual parity when combined with CAP text, we do not mandate its use at this time. The technology is maturing, but mandating its use may require extensive and costly changes to EAS equipment for small EAS Participants. Nonetheless, given the critical and urgent nature of emergency information, as recommended by Wireless RERC, we encourage its use to construct EAS audio from the EAS header codes, especially when no separate audio file is provided by the alert originator, in order to provide access to the emergency information by individuals who are blind or visually impaired. We will continue to monitor the feasibility of adopting TTS requirements as the technology continues to evolve. In particular, as part of the workshop we direct the Bureau to convene below, stakeholders should examine, among other issues, the state of TTS technology, including ongoing research and development and readiness for reliable, cost-effective implementation as part of EAS.

    36. Workshop to Promote Accessibility and Wider Use of EAS. In addition to the accessibility rules we adopt today, we direct the Bureau to continue collaborative efforts to ensure that the EAS is accessible and widely utilized. Specifically, we direct the Bureau to collaborate with FEMA and other relevant EAS stakeholders by hosting a workshop within three months of the adoption date of this order. The object of this workshop will be to ensure that EAS remains a reliable and effective resource for all Americans by addressing and making recommendations regarding two key issues: Increasing the flexibility of the EAS to expand its use by emergency managers at the state and local levels, and the improvement of alert accessibility. The workshop should discuss methods to empower and encourage state and local emergency managers to utilize the EAS and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system more widely for localized alerts and exercises. The workshop also should build upon cumulative efforts to improve the accessibility of EAS visual messages by examining, inter alia, the technical feasibility of improving the synchronicity of EAS audio with the EAS visual crawl, as well as the readiness of TTS technology for increased usage in national and local alerting. The Commission may refer additional issues arising out of the workshop to the CSRIC and other FCC federal advisory committees, as appropriate.

    D. Public Policy Analysis

    37. In this Section, we conclude that the benefits of the rules we adopt today exceed their associated implementation costs. In the EAS Operational Issues NPRM, we sought comment on the specific costs and benefits associated with the implementation of our proposed rules establishing essential operational improvements to the EAS. Although the proposed rules covered a wide range of issues associated with the EAS, each with its own cost of development and deployment, we expected that their implementation would present a one-time, maximum aggregate cost of $13.6 million, and that all proposed rules shared the common expected benefit of saving human lives, reducing injuries, mitigating property damage, and minimizing the disruption of our national economy on an ongoing basis.

    38. No commenter opposes our analysis of the costs or benefits associated with implementation of our proposed rules. In large part, we adopt the rules proposed in the EAS Operational Issues NPRM. The rules we adopt today present EAS Participants with minimum implementation costs and a significant degree of implementation flexibility. To the extent our final rules differ from the proposed rules, however, those differences should actually result in the same or lower costs for EAS Participants. In particular, because we adopt NPT rules that do not require the use of the EAN (or an NPT that emulates the use of the EAN), the maximum costs of implementing our requirements will be $6.6 million less than originally proposed. Accordingly, we find that the upper bound of the cost of compliance with the rules we adopt today is $7 million, rather than $13.6 million as initially proposed.

    39. With regard to benefits, we find that the EAS is a resilient public alert and warning tool that is essential to help save lives and protect property during times of national, state, regional, and local emergencies. Although the EAS, as tested in 2011, works largely as designed, the improvements we adopt today are responsive to operational inconsistencies uncovered by the first nationwide EAS test. These operational inconsistencies, left unaddressed, would adversely affect the continued efficacy of the system. These rules also will enable the Commission to improve its ability to collect, process and evaluate data about EAS alerting pathways, and will lead to higher quality alerts for every American. In sum, the rules we adopt today will preserve safety of life through more effective alerting. We find, therefore, that it is reasonable to expect that the improvements to the EAS that will result from the rules we adopt today will save lives and result in numerous other benefits that are less quantifiable but still advance important public interest objectives.

    E. Compliance Timing

    40. National Location Code and NPT Rules Compliance Timeline. We conclude that EAS Participants should be given up to twelve months from the effective date of the rule amendments requiring use of the national location code and NPT rules to come into compliance with these amendments. In light of the fact that FEMA intends to conduct a nationwide EAS test “in the near future,” and that such a test will use both the NPT and the “six zeroes” location code, it is imperative that we ensure that EAS Participants are capable of processing a test with these characteristics as rapidly as possible. In the EAS Operational Issues NPRM, we addressed this concern by proposing to require compliance with the national location code and NPT requirements we proposed within six months from the effective date of their codification into our rules. Some commenters, such as Monroe and Verizon, agree that a period as short as six months could be sufficient to implement our rules. NCTA and AT&T, on the other hand, argue that a six-month timeline would not provide EAS Participants with sufficient time to develop, test, and deploy the required system updates, and argue instead for a twelve-month implementation timeline. Specifically, AT&T asserts that their “Approval For Use” process, that is standardized throughout the AT&T networks, must take at least one year to complete, because it is an iterative process, especially in the new Internet Protocol TV markets in which they operate, whereby their engineers failure test EAS equipment programming, then send the product back to the manufacturer for further updates if they find errors, and then retest the updated equipment recursively until one hundred percent certainty can be established that the device will perform as expected within their system. According to AT&T, this is not the kind of process that can be accelerated merely by the increased expenditure of resources.

    41. Our goal in this and related rulemakings is to ensure that the EAS is efficient and secure, and we acknowledge that this goal would not be furthered by requiring any EAS Participant to short circuit their testing process for new rules. Accordingly, we provide herein that EAS Participants are granted a period of up to, but no longer than, twelve months in which to come into compliance with the national location code and NPT requirements that are reflected in the rule amendments we adopt today. This twelve-month period will run from the effective date of these rule amendments, which is thirty days after their publication in the Federal Register.

    42. ETRS Compliance Timeline. We require EAS Participants to complete the identifying information initially required by the ETRS filing requirement we adopt today within sixty days of the effective date of the ETRS rules we adopt today, or within sixty days of the launch of the ETRS, whichever is later. We agree that the requirement for EAS Participants to provide ETRS identifying information within sixty days of adoption of these rules would be a reasonable time period, but that it makes sense for the compliance triggering event to be the date on which the ETRS becomes operational. We further require EAS Participants to update their identifying information concurrently with any update to their EAS State Plans, and require EAS Participants to complete the “day of test” portion of their filing obligation within 24 hours of any test, and the remainder of the filing obligation within forty-five days of the next EAS nationwide test, the same timeline that we successfully implemented for the first nationwide EAS test.

    43. We believe it is reasonable for EAS Participants to complete their filings on this timeline because no equipment changes or attendant processes are required in order to achieve compliance with this rule. Furthermore, the electronic filing system should allow EAS Participants to complete their filing obligation even more quickly than they did for the first nationwide test, in which we adopted the same compliance timeline for submitting test data.

    44. Accessibility Compliance Timeline. We also provide herein that EAS Participants will be given a period of up to, but no longer than, six months in which to come into compliance with the display legibility, completeness and placement requirements that are reflected in the rule amendments we adopt today. This six-month period will run from the effective date of these rule amendments, which is thirty days after their publication in the Federal Register. We note that NCTA avers that EAS Participants generally are already compliant with the majority of accessibility rules as proposed in the EAS Operational Issues NPRM. While Trilithic argues that our proposed completeness rule would require significantly longer than a year to implement, because EAS equipment is not capable of controlling the duration of the EAS visual crawl, we do not require the EAS visual crawl to last for the duration of the EAS activation and, as such, Trilithic's argument is now inapplicable. On the other hand, we also decline to adopt a shorter timeframe for implementation of these accessibility requirements, as urged by some consumer groups. We fully recognize the exigency of providing accessible alerts to all Americans, and it is for that reason that we adopt these accessibility rules today, but it would be counterproductive to require compliance with these rules sooner than we reasonably could expect that EAS Participants would generally be able to meet such requirements. Commenters generally did not object to implementing the accessibility rules we proposed in the EAS Operational Issues NPRM within six months. We therefore find that six months will provide sufficient time for EAS Participants to comply with the EAS accessibility rules we adopt today.

    II. Procedural Matters A. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    45. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA),2 the Commission has prepared a Final Regulatory Certification (Certification) for the Sixth Report and Order. The Certification is set forth as Appendix E. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, will send a copy of the Sixth Report and Order and the Certification to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

    2See 5 U.S.C. 603.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Analysis

    46. The Sixth Report and Order contains new information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. It will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under Section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the general public, and other Federal agencies are invited to comment on the new information collection requirements contained in this proceeding.

    47. We note that pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we previously sought specific comment on how the Commission might “further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.” 3 In addition, we have described impacts that might affect small businesses, which includes most businesses with fewer than 25 employees, in the FRFA in Appendix B, infra.

    3See EAS Operational Issues NPRM, 29 FCC Rcd at Appendix B.

    C. Congressional Review Act

    48. The Commission will send a copy of this Sixth Report and Order in a report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (CRA), see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    III. Ordering Clauses

    49. Accordingly, it is ordered, pursuant to Sections 1, 2, 4(i), 4(o), 301, 303(r), 303(v), 307, 309, 335, 403, 624(g), 706, and 715 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 154(o), 301, 301(r), 303(v), 307, 309, 335, 403, 544(g), 606, and 615 that the Sixth Report and Order in EB Docket No. 04-296 IS adopted and shall become effective July 30, 2015, except for § 11.21(a), and § 11.61(a)(3)(iv) which contain information collection requirements that have not been approved by OMB. The Federal Communications Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date.

    50. It is further ordered that notwithstanding paragraph [64] above, EAS Participants are granted a period of twelve months from the effective date of the rule amendments contained in 47 CFR 11.31, 11.51(m)(2) and (n), 11.52, and 11.54, in which to come into compliance with those amendments.

    51. It is further ordered that notwithstanding paragraph [64] above, EAS Participants are granted a period of six months from the effective date of the rule amendments contained in 47 CFR 11.51(d), (g)(3), (h)(3), and (j)(2) in which to come into compliance with those amendments.

    52. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, SHALL SEND a copy of this Sixth Report and Order, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 11

    Radio, Television.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer. Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 11 as follows:

    PART 11—EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM (EAS) 1. The authority citation for part 11 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 151, 154 (i) and (o), 303(r), 544(g) and 606.

    2. Amend § 11.21 by revising paragraphs (a) and (c) to read as follows:
    § 11.21 State and Local Area plans and FCC Mapbook.

    (a) The State EAS Plan contains procedures for State emergency management and other State officials, the NWS, and EAS Participants' personnel to transmit emergency information to the public during a State emergency using the EAS. EAS State Plans should include a data table, in computer readable form, clearly showing monitoring assignments and the specific primary and backup path for emergency action notification (“EAN”) messages that are formatted in the EAS Protocol (specified in § 11.31), from the PEP to each station in the plan. If a state's emergency alert system is capable of initiating EAS messages formatted in the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), its EAS State Plan must include specific and detailed information describing how such messages will be aggregated and distributed to EAS Participants within the state, including the monitoring requirements associated with distributing such messages. Consistent with the requirements of § 11.61(a)(3)(iv), EAS Participants shall provide the identifying information required by the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) no later than sixty days after the publication in the Federal Register of a notice announcing the approval by the Office of Management and Budget of the modified information collection requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and an effective date of the rule amendment, or within sixty days of the launch of the ETRS, whichever is later, and shall renew this identifying information on a yearly basis or as required by any revision of the EAS Participant's State EAS Plan filed pursuant to this section.

    (c) The FCC Mapbook is based on the consolidation of the data table required in each State EAS plan with the identifying data contained in the ETRS. The Mapbook organizes all EAS Participants according to their State, EAS Local Area, and EAS designation.

    3. Amend § 11.31 by revising paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 11.31 EAS protocol.

    (f) The All U.S., State, Territory and Offshore (Marine Area) ANSI number codes (SS) are as follows. County ANSI numbers (CCC) are contained in the State EAS Mapbook.

    ANSI No. All U.S. 00 State: AL 01 AK 02 AZ 04 AR 05 CA 06 CO 08 CT 09 DE 10 DC 11 FL 12 GA 13 HI 15 ID 16 IL 17 IN 18 IA 19 KS 20 KY 21 LA 22 ME 23 MD 24 MA 25 MI 26 MN 27 MS 28 MO 29 MT 30 NE 31 NV 32 NH 33 NJ 34 NM 35 NY 36 NC 37 ND 38 OH 39 OK 40 OR 41 PA 42 RI 44 SC 45 SD 46 TN 47 TX 48 UT 49 VT 50 VA 51 WA 53 WV 54 WI 55 WY 56 Terr.: AS 60 FM 64 GU 66 MH 68 MH 68 PR 72 PW 70 UM 74 VI 78 Offshore (Marine Areas): 1 Eastern North Pacific Ocean, and along U.S. West Coast from Canadian border to Mexican border 57 North Pacific Ocean near Alaska, and along Alaska coastline, including the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska 58 Central Pacific Ocean, including Hawaiian waters 59 South Central Pacific Ocean, including American Samoa waters 61 Western Pacific Ocean, including Mariana Island waters 65 Western North Atlantic Ocean, and along U.S. East Coast, from Canadian border south to Currituck Beach Light, N.C. 73 Western North Atlantic Ocean, and along U.S. East Coast, south of Currituck Beach Light, N.C., following the coastline into Gulf of Mexico to Bonita Beach, FL., including the Caribbean 75 Gulf of Mexico, and along the U.S. Gulf Coast from the Mexican border to Bonita Beach, FL 77 Lake Superior 91 Lake Michigan 92 Lake Huron 93 Lake St. Clair 94 Lake Erie 96 Lake Ontario 97 St. Lawrence River above St. Regis 98 1 Effective May 16, 2002, analog radio and television broadcast stations, analog cable systems and wireless cable systems may upgrade their existing EAS equipment to add these marine area location codes on a voluntary basis until the equipment is replaced. All models of EAS equipment manufactured after August 1, 2003, must be capable of receiving and transmitting these marine area location codes. EAS Participants that install or replace their EAS equipment after February 1, 2004, must install equipment that is capable of receiving and transmitting these location codes.
    4. Amend § 11.51 by revising paragraphs (d), (g)(3) (h)(3), (j)(2), (m)(2) and (n) to read as follows:
    § 11.51 EAS code and Attention Signal Transmission requirements.

    (d) Analog and digital television broadcast stations shall transmit a visual message containing the Originator, Event, Location and the valid time period of an EAS message. Effective June 30, 2012, visual messages derived from CAP-formatted EAS messages shall contain the Originator, Event, Location and the valid time period of the message and shall be constructed in accordance with § 3.6 of the “ECIG Recommendations for a CAP EAS Implementation Guide, Version 1.0” (May 17, 2010), except that if the EAS Participant has deployed an Intermediary Device to meet its CAP-related obligations, this requirement shall be effective June 30, 2015, and until such date shall be subject to the general requirement to transmit a visual message containing the Originator, Event, Location and the valid time period of the EAS message.

    (1) The visual message portion of an EAS alert, whether video crawl or block text, must be displayed:

    (i) At the top of the television screen or where it will not interfere with other visual messages

    (ii) In a manner (i.e., font size, color, contrast, location, and speed) that is readily readable and understandable,

    (iii) That does not contain overlapping lines of EAS text or extend beyond the viewable display (except for video crawls that intentionally scroll on and off of the screen), and

    (iv) In full at least once during any EAS message.

    (2) The audio portion of an EAS message must play in full at least once during any EAS message.

    (g) * * *

    (3) Shall transmit a visual EAS message on at least one channel. The visual message shall contain the Originator, Event, Location, and the valid time period of the EAS message. Effective June 30, 2012, visual messages derived from CAP-formatted EAS messages shall contain the Originator, Event, Location and the valid time period of the message and shall be constructed in accordance with § 3.6 of the “ECIG Recommendations for a CAP EAS Implementation Guide, Version 1.0” (May 17, 2010), except that if the EAS Participant has deployed an Intermediary Device to meet its CAP-related obligations, this requirement shall be effective June 30, 2015, and until such date shall be subject to the general requirement to transmit a visual message containing the Originator, Event, Location and the valid time period of the EAS message.

    (i) The visual message portion of an EAS alert, whether video crawl or block text, must be displayed:

    (A) At the top of the television screen or where it will not interfere with other visual messages;

    (B) In a manner (i.e., font size, color, contrast, location, and speed) that is readily readable and understandable;

    (C) That does not contain overlapping lines of EAS text or extend beyond the viewable display (except for video crawls that intentionally scroll on and off of the screen), and

    (D) In full at least once during any EAS message.

    (ii) The audio portion of an EAS message must play in full at least once during any EAS message.

    (h) * * *

    (3) Shall transmit the EAS visual message on all downstream channels. The visual message shall contain the Originator, Event, Location, and the valid time period of the EAS message. Effective June 30, 2012, visual messages derived from CAP-formatted EAS messages shall contain the Originator, Event, Location and the valid time period of the message and shall be constructed in accordance with § 3.6 of the “ECIG Recommendations for a CAP EAS Implementation Guide, Version 1.0” (May 17, 2010), except that if the EAS Participant has deployed an Intermediary Device to meet its CAP-related obligations, this requirement shall be effective June 30, 2015, and until such date shall be subject to the general requirement to transmit a visual message containing the Originator, Event, Location and the valid time period of the EAS message.

    (i) The visual message portion of an EAS alert, whether video crawl or block text, must be displayed:

    (A) At the top of the television screen or where it will not interfere with other visual messages

    (B) In a manner (i.e., font size, color, contrast, location, and speed) that is readily readable and understandable,

    (C) That does not contain overlapping lines of EAS text or extend beyond the viewable display (except for video crawls that intentionally scroll on and off of the screen), and

    (D) In full at least once during any EAS message.

    (ii) The audio portion of an EAS message must play in full at least once during any EAS message.

    (j) * * *

    (2) The visual message shall contain the Originator, Event, Location, and the valid time period of the EAS message. Effective June 30, 2012, visual messages derived from CAP-formatted EAS messages shall contain the Originator, Event, Location and the valid time period of the message and shall be constructed in accordance with § 3.6 of the “ECIG Recommendations for a CAP EAS Implementation Guide, Version 1.0” (May 17, 2010), except that if the EAS Participant has deployed an Intermediary Device to meet its CAP-related obligations, this requirement shall be effective June 30, 2015, and until such date shall be subject to the general requirement to transmit a visual message containing the Originator, Event, Location and the valid time period of the EAS message.

    (i) The visual message portion of an EAS alert, whether video crawl or block text, must be displayed:

    (A) At the top of the television screen or where it will not interfere with other visual messages

    (B) In a manner (i.e., font size, color, contrast, location, and speed) that is readily readable and understandable,

    (C) That does not contain overlapping lines of EAS text or extend beyond the viewable display (except for video crawls that intentionally scroll on and off of the screen), and

    (D) In full at least once during any EAS message.

    (ii) The audio portion of an EAS message must play in full at least once during any EAS message.

    (m) * * *

    (2) Manual interrupt of programming and transmission of EAS messages may be used. EAS messages with the EAN Event code, or the National Periodic Test (NPT) Event code in the case of a nationwide test of the EAS, must be transmitted immediately; Monthly EAS test messages must be transmitted within 60 minutes. All actions must be logged and include the minimum information required for EAS video messages.

    (n) EAS Participants may employ a minimum delay feature, not to exceed 15 minutes, for automatic interruption of EAS codes. However, this may not be used for the EAN Event code, or the NPT Event code in the case of a nationwide test of the EAS, which must be transmitted immediately. The delay time for an RMT message may not exceed 60 minutes.

    5. Amend § 11.52 by revising paragraphs (e) introductory text and (e)(2) to read as follows:
    § 11.52 EAS code and Attention Signal Monitoring requirements.

    (e) EAS Participants are required to interrupt normal programming either automatically or manually when they receive an EAS message in which the header code contains the Event codes for Emergency Action Notification (EAN), the National Periodic Test (NPT), or the Required Monthly Test (RMT) for their State or State/county location.

    (2) Manual interrupt of programming and transmission of EAS messages may be used. EAS messages with the EAN Event code, or the NPT Event code in the case of a nationwide test of the EAS, must be transmitted immediately; Monthly EAS test messages must be transmitted within 60 minutes. All actions must be logged and recorded as specified in §§ 11.35(a) and 11.54(a)(3). Decoders must be programmed for the EAN Event header code and the RMT and RWT Event header codes (for required monthly and weekly tests), with the appropriate accompanying State and State/county location codes.

    6. Amend § 11.54 by revising paragraph (a) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 11.54 EAS operation during a National Level emergency

    (a) Immediately upon receipt of an EAN message, or the NPT Event code in the case of a nationwide test of the EAS, EAS Participants must comply with the following requirements, as applicable:

    7. Amend § 11.61 by revising paragraph (a)(3)(iv) to read as follows:
    § 11.61 Tests of EAS procedures.

    (a) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (iv) Test results as required by the Commission shall be logged by all EAS Participants into the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) as determined by the Commission's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, subject to the following requirements.

    (A) EAS Participants shall provide the identifying information required by the ETRS initially no later than sixty days after the publication in the Federal Register of a notice announcing the approval by the Office of Management and Budget of the modified information collection requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and an effective date of the rule amendment, or within sixty days of the launch of the ETRS, whichever is later, and shall renew this identifying information on a yearly basis or as required by any revision of the EAS Participant's State EAS Plan filed pursuant to § 11.21.

    (B) “Day of test” data shall be filed in the ETRS within 24 hours of any nationwide test or as otherwise required by the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.

    (C) Detailed post-test data shall be filed in the ETRS within forty five (45) days following any nationwide test.

    [FR Doc. 2015-15805 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 54 [WC Docket Nos. 13-184 and 10-90; FCC 14-189] Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and Libraries AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; announcement of effective date.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved, for a period of six months, the information collection associated with the Commission's Second E-rate Modernization Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration (Second E-rate Modernization Order). This notice is consistent with the (Second E-rate Modernization Order, which stated that the Commission would publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of those rules.

    DATES:

    47 CFR 54.503(c)(1) published at 80 FR 5961, February 4, 2015, is effective June 30, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James Bachtell, Wireline Competition Bureau at (202) 418-2694 or TTY (202) 418-0484.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document announces that, on June 22, 2015, OMB approved, for a period of six months, the information collection requirements contained in the Commission's Second E-rate Modernization Order, FCC 14-189, published at 80 FR 5961, February 4, 2015. The OMB Control Number is 3060-0806. The Commission publishes this notice as an announcement of the effective date of the rule § 54.503(c)(1).

    Synopsis

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), the FCC is notifying the public that it received OMB approval on June 22, 2015, for the information collection requirements contained in the Commission's rules at 47 CFR 54.503(c)(1).

    Under 5 CFR part 1320, an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a current, valid OMB Control Number.

    No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act that does not display a current, valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number is 3060-0806.

    The foregoing notice is required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, October 1, 1995, and 44 U.S.C. 3507.

    The total annual reporting burdens and costs for the respondents are as follows:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0806.

    OMB Approval Date: June 22, 2015.

    OMB Expiration Date: December 31, 2015.

    Title: Universal Service-Schools and Libraries Universal Service Program, FCC Forms 470 and 471.

    Form Number: FCC Forms 470 and 471.

    Respondents: State, local or tribal government public institutions, and other not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 82,000 respondents; 82,000 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 3.5 hours for FCC Form 470 (3 hours for response; 0.5 hours for recordkeeping; 4.5 hours for FCC Form 471 (4 hours for response; 0.5 hours for recordkeeping).

    Frequency of Response: On occasion and annual reporting requirements, and recordkeeping requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151-154, 201-205, 218-220, 254, 303(r), 403, and 405.

    Total Annual Burden: 334,000 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: N/A.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no assurance of confidentiality provided to respondents concerning this information collection. However, respondents may request materials or information submitted to the Commission or to the Administrator be withheld from public inspection under 47 CFR 0.459 of the FCC's rules.

    Needs and Uses: The FCC Form 470 is used by applicants to seek competitive bids on eligible services from service providers. The Commission revised OMB 3060-0806 to conform the FCC Form 470 to changes implemented in the Second E-Rate Modernization Order (WC Docket No. 13-184, FCC 14-189; 80 FR 5961, February 4, 2015).

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15972 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT RIN 3206-AN13 48 CFR Parts 1609, 1615, 1632, and 1652 Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: FEHB Plan Performance Assessment System AGENCY:

    Office of Personnel Management.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing a final rule to amend the system for assessing the annual performance of health plans contracted under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. The purpose of this rule is to measure and assess FEHB plan performance (both experience-rated and community-rated plans) through the use of a common, objective, and quantifiable performance assessment.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective July 30, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Wenqiong Fu, Policy Analyst at (202) 606-0004.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program was established in 1960 and provides health insurance to over eight million Federal employees, annuitants, and their family members. Chapter 89 of Title 5 United States Code, which authorizes the FEHB Program, allows OPM to contract with health insurance carriers to provide coverage under certain types of plans. FEHB contracts are either community-rated or experience-rated. In community-rated contracts, the overall premium is based on the carrier's standard rating methodology, taking into account factors in the larger geographic area or “community.” In experience-rated contracts, the FEHB carrier considers actual “experience” or medical costs of the group of covered lives. The two types of contracts are regulated under different sections of the FEHB Acquisition Regulation (FEHBAR). Premiums are determined according to distinct processes and plan performance is evaluated differently.

    On December 15, 2014, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) published a proposed rule inviting comments on amendments to the FEHB Program regulations to amend OPM's assessment of plan performance. The 30-day comment period ended on January 14, 2015. OPM received 8 responses containing multiple comments. The comments are summarized and discussed below.

    Responses to Comments on the Proposed Rule

    OPM received several comments requesting additional information on measurement criteria such as specific weighted measurement percentages, evaluation methods, measurement criteria, and measurement timelines, and requested opportunities to comment on these criteria. Commenters requested that OPM clarify the specific weights and measures within the regulation so they can better plan for the assessment period, and to more clearly adhere to the traditional regulatory structure for a weighted guidelines structured approach. Due to the evolving nature of clinical quality measures, and OPM's need to focus performance on policy-driven measures to be determined annually, it is no longer appropriate to retain fixed weights and measures in regulation. As stated in the proposed rule-making, OPM intends to retain the weighted guidelines structured approach as a regulatory framework and to provide applicable measurement criteria through advance carrier letter guidance with opportunity for comment, followed by incorporation of the measurement criteria as a contract amendment. Since 2014, OPM has issued three carrier letters (CL 2014-19, CL 2014-28, and CL 2015-10). Carrier Letter 2015-10 specifically addresses the types of questions about measurement criteria addressed in the comments. OPM intends to provide carriers with transparency which will allow the new performance assessment system to retain flexibility and to mature over time. A number of commenters requested reasonable lead time and turnaround times after release of measures and assigned weights that will be the subject of performance and performance assessments. OPM intends to keep plans informed in a timely manner as we identify measurement criteria for future years so plans can have sufficient time to prepare for performance that will be evaluated in the following assessment cycle. We also highly encourage feedback and communication through our mailbox at [email protected] For these reasons, OPM is not amending the rule in response to these comments.

    One commenter recommended that OPM seek to improve health care quality by offering enrollees access to high quality, accredited health care networks and prescription benefit managers. Another commenter recommended that OPM add plan accreditation as an element to the clinical quality, customer service, and resource use factors. OPM addressed plan accreditation in Carrier Letter (2014-10). The vast majority of FEHB health plans already meet OPM's accreditation requirement. However, not all health plan accreditors incorporate annual measurement of clinical quality, customer service, or resource use into their accreditation framework. OPM's plan performance assessment system standardizes this component of performance measurement for all FEHB plans. Contract Officers may also take plan performance on accreditation milestones into account in the Contract Oversight section. For these reasons, OPM is not amending the rule in response to this comment.

    One commenter requested OPM consider waiving the performance adjustment if a plan exceeds a Medical Loss Ratio threshold. OPM is not amending the rule in response to this comment. We believe it would not be appropriate for OPM to waive the performance expectations for those carriers that do not achieve their margin targets due to higher than expected claim loss. While we understand the performance adjustment is a concern, using it to cover the excess of the Medical Loss Ratio threshold is not the intent of the proposed assessment system.

    OPM received a comment recommending that experience rated carriers have the option for a cost plus incentive or fee contract. OPM is not amending the rule in response to this comment. OPM is not proposing to amend the types of contracts with which it contracts. For experience rated carriers, this rulemaking simply amends the performance assessment system used to determine the service charge.

    One commenter recommended that the performance assessment system should provide rewards and resources to allow plans to improve. Another commenter noted its understanding that OPM was comparing the quality indicators it proposes to incorporate into its performance assessment system with quality indicators relied upon by other large purchasers to influence payments to plans, and therefore recommended that OPM consider a different performance approach similar to that of Medicare Advantage plans quality rating programs. OPM did not propose to adopt the same mechanism that others use for influencing payments to plans, and declines to adopt these recommendations.

    One commenter recommended safeguards for FEHB experience rated contracts that allow them a minimum service charge payment of a negotiated percentage of the prior year's service charge, with the option to reset the minimum payment every 3 years with reference to a percentage of the average service charge paid over the prior three years. OPM is not amending the rule in response to this comment. As described in the proposed rule, we believe making adjustments to the service charge based on plan performance in the areas identified to be measured is critical in allowing the assessment system to grow, evolve, and remain flexible. However, in Carrier Letter 2015-10, we have addressed a minimum adjustment methodology for carriers that achieve a performance score that is below a threshold.

    Several commenters requested additional information on Contract Oversight with concerns about specific components within this performance area and the objectivity of assessment in this performance area compared to the other three quantified performance areas. OPM has issued guidance on this issue in our Carrier Letters (2014-28) and (2015-10). Carrier Letter 2015-10 specifically addresses Contract Oversight measurement. As described in the proposed rule, OPM's purpose is to establish a program-wide assessment system that allows performance-based criteria to be linked to health plan premium disbursements. OPM will assess performance for the Contract Oversight performance area using many sources of information, most of which are used with discretion in the current processes for the service charge and incentive performance criteria. For these reasons, OPM is not amending the rule in response to these comments.

    OPM received several comments that the proposed rule omitted group size as an element. The prior group size element under Contract cost risk (1615.404-70(a)(2)) was omitted because OPM is replacing the current profit analysis factors with a new framework. However, OPM has allowed a minimum adjustment methodology for carriers that achieve a performance score that is below a threshold. The methodology is designed based on group size and is described in detail in Carrier Letter (2015-10).

    One commenter requested OPM provide quarterly performance reports in order to inform carriers and allow them to make corrections or improvements to ensure better performance each year. OPM plans to use an annual evaluation cycle since many measures are collected annually, and not quarterly. Three of the new performance areas, Clinical Quality, Customer Service, and Resource Use, are based on measures contained in annual evaluation systems. OPM is committed to transparency with regard to the performance assessment system and has plans to make available a dashboard that carriers may use to view their individual performance ratings and overall scores. For these reasons, OPM declines to accept this comment.

    We received one comment regarding the use of HEDIS and CAHPS measures to measure performance. The commenter stated that the health carrier does not have direct control to influence the decisions of the patient and their family or their health care providers, and recommended attributing modest weight to these measures. This commenter further asserted that CAHPS is an experience survey which measures perception rather than satisfaction, that HEDIS and CAHPS reflect successful data collection efforts and not necessarily quality improvement, and that CAHPS recently stopped its survey of members for whom Medicare is primary, which will negatively impact FEHB results. Other commenters recommended the use of other measurement tools and voiced their concerns that HEDIS and CAHPS measure the carrier's entire book of commercial business and not just the FEHB program. OPM is not amending the proposed rule in response to these comments. OPM's intention with the proposed performance assessment system is to build on already established requirements for FEHB Carriers to report evaluations by HEDIS and CAHPS. The goal of the new performance assessment system is to build on the quality initiatives OPM has implemented in recent years, such as public reporting of HEDIS scores.

    We want to incentivize carriers who achieve high performance in areas such as clinical quality, customer service and resource use. While HEDIS and CAHPS measure the carrier's entire book of business, and may be imperfect measures of customer satisfaction, they are well recognized national measurement systems in the health insurance arena. Our goal is to ensure that FEHB enrollees receive the highest quality services, and we believe the data from HEDIS and CAHPS best serves the purpose of recognizing good health plan performance. In addition, our methodologies for specific measures have been purposefully selected to prioritize those that are most actionable at the health plan level. Therefore, for the initial Performance Assessment year, we believe that using HEDIS and CAHPS reports as our evaluation best reflects our goals of evaluating plan performance against national commercial benchmarks. We welcome feedback and suggestions from carriers on other externally validated measures for consideration in future years.

    We received one comment that the proposed change to 1652.232-71 was a drafting error and should be withdrawn. OPM agrees this is a drafting error and withdraws the proposed language. OPM is not changing the current procedure that allows an experience-rated plan to draw down the service charge from the Contingency Reserve through its Letter of Credit Account. We are simply changing the calculation of that service charge based on the plan's performance assessment.

    One individual recommended that the new assessment system include a measure that requires FEHB to provide services comparable to those available under Medicare. This rule-making is intended to address plan performance, not the types of services available under health plans. All FEHB plans provide essential health benefits identified by the Affordable Care Act. Therefore, OPM is not amending the proposed rule in response to this comment.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the regulation affects only health insurance carriers under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866, Regulatory Review

    This rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with Executive Orders 13563 and 12866.

    Federalism

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

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 1609, 1615, 1632 and 1652

    Government employees, Government procurement, Health insurance.

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

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

    PART 1609—CONTRACTOR QUALIFICATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 1609 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    Subpart 1609.71—[Removed] 2. Remove subpart 1609.71. PART 1615—CONTRACTING BY NEGOTIATION 3. The authority citation for part 1615 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    4. In section 1615.404-4, paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:
    1615.404-4 Profit.

    (a) When the pricing of FEHB Program contracts is determined by cost analysis (experience-rated) or by a combination of cost and price analysis (community rated), OPM will determine a performance based percentage of the price using a weighted guidelines structured approach based on the profit analysis factors described in 1615.404-70. For experience-rated plans, OPM will use the performance based percentage so determined to develop the profit or fee prenegotiation objective, which will be the total profit (service charge) negotiated for the contract. For community-rated plans, OPM will use the performance based percentage so determined to develop an adjustment to net-to-carrier premiums, (performance adjustment) to be made during the first quarter of the following contract period.

    5. Section 1615.404-70 is revised to read as follows:
    1615.404-70 Profit analysis factors.

    (a) OPM Contracting Officers will apply a weighted guidelines method in developing the performance based percentage for FEHB Program contracts. For experience-rated plans, the performance based percentage will be applied to projected incurred claims and allowable administrative expenses. For community-rated plans, the performance based percentage will be applied to subscription income and will be used to calculate a performance adjustment to net-to-carrier premiums, as described at 48 CFR 1632.170(a)(2), to be made during the first quarter of the following contract period. In the context of the factors outlined in FAR 15.404- 4(d), OPM will assess performance of FEHB carriers according to four factors.

    (1) Clinical quality. OPM will consider elements within such domains as preventive care, chronic disease management, medication use, and behavioral health. This factor incorporates elements from the FAR factor “contractor effort.”

    (2) Customer service. OPM will consider elements within such domains as communication, access, claims, and member experience/engagement. This factor incorporates elements of the FAR factor “contractor effort.”

    (3) Resource use. OPM will consider elements within such domains as utilization management, administrative, and cost trends. This factor incorporates elements of the FAR factors “contractor effort,” “contract cost risk,” and “cost control and other past accomplishments.”

    (4) Contract oversight. OPM will consider an assessment of contract performance in specific areas such as audit findings, fraud/waste/abuse, and responsiveness to OPM, benefits/network management, contract compliance, technology management, data security, and Federal socioeconomic programs. This factor could incorporate any of the FAR profit analysis factors listed at 15.404-4(d)(1)(i)-(vi).

    (b) The sum of the maximum scores for the profit analysis factors will be 1 percent.

    PART 1632—CONTRACT FINANCING 6. The authority citation for part 1632 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    7. In section 1632.170, paragraph (a)(2) is revised to read as follows:
    1632.170 Recurring premium payments to carriers.

    (a) * * *

    (2) The difference between one percent and the performance based percentage of the contract price described at 1615.404-4 will be multiplied by the carrier's subscription income for the year of performance and the resulting amount (performance adjustment) will be withheld from the net-to-carrier premium disbursement during the first quarter of the following contract period unless an alternative payment arrangement is made with the carrier's Contracting Officer. Amounts withheld from a community rated plan's premium disbursement will be deposited into the plan's Contingency Reserve.

    PART 1652—CONTRACT CLAUSES 8. The authority citation for part 1652 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    9. In section 1652.232-70, revise the introductory text and paragraph (a) and remove paragraph (f). The revisions read as follows:
    1652.232-70 Payments—Community-rated contracts.

    As prescribed in 1632.171, the following clause shall be inserted in all community-rated FEHBP contracts:

    Payments (JAN 2000)

    (a) OPM will pay to the Carrier, in full settlement of its obligations under this contract, subject to adjustment for error or fraud, the subscription charges received for the plan by the Employees Health Benefits Fund (hereinafter called the Fund) less the amounts set aside by OPM for the Contingency Reserve and for the administrative expenses of OPM, amounts for obligations due pursuant to paragraph (b) of this clause and the performance adjustment described at 1615.404-4, plus any payments made by OPM from the Contingency Reserve.

    1652.232-71 [Amended]
    10. In section 1652.232-71, remove paragraph (f).
    [FR Doc. 2015-15988 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-63-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 0907271173-0629-03] RIN 0648-XE003 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2015 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Snowy Grouper AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for commercial snowy grouper in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. NMFS projects commercial landings for snowy grouper will reach the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) (commercial quota) by June 30, 2015. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for snowy grouper in the South Atlantic EEZ on June 30, 2015, and it will remain closed until the start of the next fishing season on January 1, 2016. This closure is necessary to protect the snowy grouper resource.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, June 30, 2015, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The snapper-grouper fishery of the South Atlantic includes snowy grouper and is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and is implemented by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622.

    The commercial ACL (equivalent to the commercial quota) for snowy grouper in the South Atlantic is 82,900 lb (37,603 kg), gutted weight, for the current fishing year, January 1 through December 31, 2015, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(a)(1).

    Under 50 CFR 622.193(b)(1), NMFS is required to close the commercial sector for snowy grouper when the commercial ACL (commercial quota) is reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS projects that commercial landings of South Atlantic snowy grouper, as estimated by the Science and Research Director, will reach the commercial ACL by June 30, 2015. Accordingly, the commercial sector for South Atlantic snowy grouper is closed effective 12:01 a.m., local time, June 30, 2015, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2016.

    The operator of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper having snowy grouper on board must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such snowy grouper prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, June 30, 2015. During the commercial closure, harvest and possession of snowy grouper in or from the South Atlantic EEZ is limited to the bag and possession limits, as specified in § 622.187(b)(2)(ii) and (c)(1). Also during the commercial closure, the sale or purchase of snowy grouper taken from the EEZ is prohibited. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to the sale or purchase of snowy grouper that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, June 30, 2015, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

    For a person on board a vessel for which a Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery has been issued, the bag and possession limits and the sale and purchase provisions of the commercial closure for snowy grouper would apply regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state or Federal waters, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(c)(1)(ii).

    Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of snowy grouper and the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws.

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

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

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

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: June 25, 2015. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16017 Filed 6-25-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 140117052-4402-02] RIN 0648-XD985 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; quota transfer.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces that the State of North Carolina is transferring a portion of its 2015 commercial summer flounder quota to the Commonwealth of Virginia. These quota adjustments are necessary to comply with the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provision. This announcement is intended to inform the public of the revised commercial quota for each state involved.

    DATES:

    Effective June 29, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reid Lichwell, Fishery Management Specialist, 978-281-9112.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery are in 50 CFR 648.100 through 50 CFR 648.110. These regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned among the coastal states from North Carolina through Maine. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state are described in § 648.10(c)(1)(i).

    The final rule implementing Amendment 5 to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan provided a mechanism for summer flounder quota to be transferred from one state to another (December 17, 1993; 58 FR 65936). Two or more states, under mutual agreement and with the concurrence of the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator, can transfer or combine summer flounder commercial quota under § 648.102(c)(2). The Regional Administrator is required to consider the criteria in § 648.102(c)(2)(i) when evaluating requests for quota transfers or combinations.

    North Carolina has agreed to transfer 7,340 lb (3,329 kg) of its 2015 commercial summer flounder quota to Virginia. This transfer was prompted by landings of a North Carolina vessel that was granted safe harbor in Virginia due to mechanical failure on May 3, 2015. As a result of these landings, a quota transfer is necessary to account for an increase in Virginia landings that would have otherwise accrued against the North Carolina quota.

    The Regional Administrator has determined that the criteria set forth in § 648.102(c)(2)(i) have been met. The transfer is consistent with the criteria because it will not preclude the overall annual quota from being fully harvested, the transfer addresses an unforeseen variation or contingency in the fishery, and the transfer is consistent with the objectives of the FMP and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The revised summer flounder commercial quotas for calendar year 2015 are: Virginia, 2,401,568 lb (1,089,330 kg); and North Carolina, 2,976,243 lb (1,350,001 kg).

    Classification

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: June 25, 2015. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16019 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 140904749-5507-02] RIN 0648-BE50 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology Omnibus Amendment AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule implements approved management measures contained in the Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology Omnibus Amendment to the fishery management plans of the Greater Atlantic Region, developed and submitted to NMFS by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils. This amendment is necessary to respond to a remand by the U.S. District of Columbia Court of Appeals decision concerning observer coverage levels specified by the SBRM and to add various measures to improve and expand on the Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology previously in place. The intended effect of this action is to implement the following: A new prioritization process for allocation of observers if agency funding is insufficient to achieve target observer coverage levels; bycatch reporting and monitoring mechanisms; analytical techniques and allocation of at-sea fisheries observers; a precision-based performance standard for discard estimates; a review and reporting process; framework adjustment and annual specifications provisions; and provisions for industry-funded observers and observer set-aside programs.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective July 30, 2015. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of July 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology (SBRM) Omnibus Amendment, and of the Environmental Assessment (EA), with its associated Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and the Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), are available from the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 North State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; and from the New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950. The SBRM Omnibus Amendment and EA/FONSI/RIR is also accessible via the Internet at: www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Douglas Potts, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978-281-9341.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    This final rule implements the SBRM Omnibus Amendment management measures developed and submitted by the New England and Mid-Atlantic Regional Fishery Management Councils, which were approved by NMFS on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce on March 13, 2015. A proposed rule for this action was published on January 21, 2015 (80 FR 2898), with public comments accepted through February 20, 2015.

    Section 303(a)(11) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires that all Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) “establish a standardized reporting methodology to assess the amount and type of bycatch occurring in the fishery.” The purpose of the amendment is to: Address the Appellate Court's remand by minimizing the discretion allowed in prioritizing allocation of observers when there are insufficient funds; explain the methods and processes by which bycatch is currently monitored and assessed for fisheries in the region; determine whether these methods and processes need to be modified and/or supplemented; establish standards of precision for bycatch estimation for these fisheries; and, thereby, document the SBRM established for all fisheries managed through the FMPs of the Greater Atlantic Region. Extensive background on the development of the SBRM Omnibus Amendment, including the litigation history that precipitated the need for the amendment, is provided in the proposed rule and supporting environmental assessment. For brevity, that information is not repeated here.

    As detailed below (in the sections titled Bycatch Reporting and Monitoring Mechanisms and Analytical Techniques and Allocation of At-sea Fisheries Observers), this action incorporates by reference provisions of the SBRM Omnibus Amendment and EA/FONSI/RIR, identified formally as the Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology: An Omnibus Amendment to the Fishery Management Plans of the Mid-Atlantic and New England Regional Fishery Management Councils, completed March 2015 by the New England Fishery Management Council, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, National Marine Fisheries Service Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, and National Marine Fisheries Service Northeast Fisheries Science Center. To ensure that the public can readily access and understand the provisions that are incorporated by reference, the full SBRM Omnibus Amendment is available online at www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov, and from the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office or either the New England or Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (see ADDRESSES).

    This final rule for the SBRM Omnibus Amendment establishes an SBRM for all FMPs administered by the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office comprised of seven elements: (1) The methods by which data and information on discards are collected and obtained; (2) the methods by which the data obtained through the mechanisms identified in element 1 are analyzed and utilized to determine the appropriate allocation of at-sea observers; (3) a performance measure by which the effectiveness of the SBRM can be measured, tracked, and utilized to effectively allocate the appropriate number of observer sea days; (4) a process to provide the Councils with periodic reports on discards occurring in fisheries they manage and on the effectiveness of the SBRM; (5) a measure to enable the Councils to make changes to the SBRM through framework adjustments and/or annual specification packages rather than full FMP amendments; (6) a description of sources of available funding for at-sea observers and a formulaic process for prioritizing at-sea observer coverage allocations to match available funding; and (7) measures to implement consistent, cross-cutting observer service provider approval and certification procedures and to enable the Councils to implement either a requirement for industry-funded observers or an observer set-aside program through a framework adjustment rather than an FMP amendment. These measures are described in detail as follows.

    Bycatch Reporting and Monitoring Mechanisms

    This final rule incorporates by reference the SBRM Omnibus Amendment's use of the status quo methods by which data and information on discards occurring in Greater Atlantic Region fisheries are collected and obtained. The SBRM uses sampling designs developed to minimize bias to the maximum extent practicable. The Northeast Fisheries Observer Program (NEFOP) is the primary mechanism to obtain data on discards in all Greater Atlantic Region commercial fisheries managed under one or more of the regional FMPs. All subject FMPs require vessels permitted to participate in Federal fisheries to carry an at-sea observer upon request. All data obtained by the NEFOP under this SBRM are collected according to the techniques and protocols established and detailed in the Fisheries Observer Program Manual and the Biological Sampling Manual, which are available online (www.nefsc.noaa.gov/fsb/). Data collected by the NEFOP include, but are not limited to, the following items: Vessel name; date/time sailed; date/time landed; steam time; crew size; home port; port landed; dealer name; fishing vessel trip report (FVTR) serial number; gear type(s) used; number/amount of gear; number of hauls; weather; location of each haul (beginning and ending latitude and longitude); species caught; disposition (kept/discarded); reason for discards; and weight of catch. These data are collected on all species of organisms caught by the vessels. This includes species managed under the regional FMPs or afforded protection under the Endangered Species Act or Marine Mammal Protection Act, but also includes species of non-managed fish, invertebrates, and marine plants. The SBRM will incorporate data collection mechanisms implemented by NMFS and affected states as part of the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) for information on recreational fishery discards.

    Analytical Techniques and Allocation of At-Sea Fisheries Observers

    This final rule incorporates by reference the SBRM Omnibus Amendment's use of the existing methods by which the data obtained through the mechanisms included above are analyzed and utilized to determine the appropriate allocation of at-sea observers across the subject fishing modes, including all managed species and all relevant fishing gear types in the Greater Atlantic Region. At-sea fisheries observers will, to the maximum extent possible and subject to available resources, be allocated and assigned to fishing vessels according to the procedures established through the amendment. All appropriate filters identified in the amendment will be applied to the results of the analysis to determine the observer coverage levels needed to achieve the objectives of the SBRM. These filters are designed to aid in establishing observer sea day allocations that are more meaningful and efficient at achieving the overall objectives of the SBRM.

    SBRM Performance Standard

    This action incorporates by reference the intention of the SBRM Omnibus Amendment to ensure that the data collected under the SBRM are sufficient to produce a coefficient of variation (CV) of the discard estimate of no more than 30 percent. This standard is designed to ensure that the effectiveness of the SBRM can be measured, tracked, and utilized to effectively allocate the appropriate number of observer sea days. Each year, the Regional Administrator and the Science and Research Director will, subject to available funding, allocate at-sea observer coverage to the applicable fisheries of the Greater Atlantic Region sufficient to achieve a level of precision (measured as the CV) no greater than 30 percent for each applicable species and/or species group, subject to the use of the filters noted above.

    SBRM Review and Reporting Process

    This final rule incorporates by reference the SBRM Omnibus Amendment's requirements for NMFS to prepare an annual report for the Councils on discards occurring in Greater Atlantic Region fisheries, and to work with the Councils to develop a report every 3 years that evaluates the effectiveness of the SBRM. Once each year, the Science and Research Director will present to the Councils a report on catch and discards occurring in fisheries in the Region. Details about the information to be included in the annual discard reports are included in the amendment. The specific elements of the discard report may change over time to adjust to the changing needs of the Councils. Every 3 years, the Regional Administrator and the Science and Research Director will appoint appropriate staff to work with staff appointed by the executive directors of the Councils to obtain and review available data on discards and to prepare a report assessing the effectiveness of the SBRM.

    Framework Adjustment and/or Annual Specification Provisions

    This rule implements regulations to enable the Councils to make changes to specific elements of the SBRM through framework adjustments and/or annual specification packages rather than full FMP amendments. Framework adjustments and annual specification packages provide for an efficient yet thorough process to modify aspects of the SBRM if a Council determines that a change is needed to address a contemporary management or scientific issue in a particular FMP. Such changes to the SBRM may include modifications to the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained in the fishery, the stratification (modes) used as the basis for SBRM-related analyses, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reporting on discards or the performance of the SBRM. Such changes may also include the establishment of a requirement for industry-funded observers and/or observer set-aside provisions.

    Prioritization Process

    This rule incorporates by reference the SBRM Omnibus Amendment process to identify the funds that will be made available annually for SBRM, and how to prioritize the available observer sea-days if the funding provided to NMFS for such purposes is insufficient to fully implement the SBRM across all fishing modes. This measure is intended to limit the discretion the agency has in determining when funds are insufficient and how to reallocate observers under insufficient funding scenarios to address the concerns raised by the Court of Appeals in Oceana v. Locke. 1

    1 670 F. 3d 1238 (D.C. Cir. 2011).

    Under the new prioritization process, the amount of money available for the SBRM will be the funding allocated to the Region under four specific historically-appropriated observer funding lines (less deductions for management and administrative costs). Of these, the funds made available by Congressional appropriation through the Northeast Fisheries Observers funding line must be dedicated to fund the proposed SBRM. In fiscal years 2011-2014, the Northeast Fisheries Observers funding line made up 53 percent to 59 percent of all observer funds for the Greater Atlantic Region under these four funding lines. Amounts from three of the funding lines are allocated among the fisheries in the five NMFS regions, including the Greater Atlantic Region, to meet national observer program needs. The total amount of the funds allocated for the Greater Atlantic Region from these three funding lines will constitute the remainder of the available SBRM funds. In fiscal year 2014, the amount appropriated under the Northeast Fisheries Observers funding line was $6.6 million, and another $5.9 million was made available for fisheries in the Greater Atlantic region under the other three funding lines. Funding in fiscal year 2015 for the Greater Atlantic Region under the other three funding lines is expected to be consistent with past allocations of these funds. Historically, the available funding has been insufficient to fully fund the SBRM to meet the performance standard. If the available funding continues to be insufficient to fully fund the SBRM, the amendment establishes a non-discretionary formulaic processes for prioritizing how the available observer sea-days would be allocated to the various fishing modes to maximize the effectiveness of bycatch reporting and bycatch determinations.

    Industry-Funded Observers and Observer Set-Aside Program Provisions

    This final rule implements regulatory changes to establish consistent, cross-cutting observer service provider approval and certification procedures and measures to enable the Councils to implement either a requirement for industry-funded observers and/or an observer set-aside program through a framework adjustment, rather than an FMP amendment.

    Corrections and Clarifications

    This final rule also makes minor modifications to the regulations under authority granted the Secretary under section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act to ensure that FMPs are implemented as intended and consistent with the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This action corrects the list of framework provisions under the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog FMP at § 648.79(a)(1) to also include, “the overfishing definition (both the threshold and target levels).” This text was inadvertently removed from the regulations by the final rule to implement annual catch limits and accountability measures for fisheries managed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (76 FR 60606, September 29, 2011). The regulations at § 648.11(h)(5)(vii) are revised to remove reference to the requirement that observer service providers must submit raw data within 72 hours. The final rule to implement Framework 19 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop FMP (73 FR 30790, May 29, 2008) incorrectly stated the time an observer service provider has to provide raw data collected by an observer to NMFS, and this correction better reflects the Council's intent for that action.

    This action also implements a consistent deadline for payment of industry-funded observers in the scallop fishery. Previously, there was not a specific due date for payment of industry-funded observers following an observed trip. We are implementing a deadline of 45 days after the end of an observed fishing trip as a due date for payment for all industry-funded observer services rendered in the scallop fishery.

    Changes From Proposed Rule

    A minor change has been made to the proposed regulatory text. As stated in the proposed rule, this amendment proposed to implement consistent, cross-cutting observer service provider and certification procedures and measures. To do this, several paragraphs within § 648.11(h) were proposed to be revised for consistency and to remove references that were specific to the current industry-funded scallop observer program. However, the specific provision at § 648.11(h)(5)(viii)(A) only applies to the industry-funded scallop observer program, and the reference to scallop vessels in that paragraph should not have been removed. Therefore, this final rule clarifies that this paragraph applies specifically to scallop vessels.

    Comments and Reponses

    A total of 11 individual comment letters with 15 distinct categories of comments were received on the proposed rule and SBRM Omnibus Amendment.

    Comment 1: One member of the public expressed general support for the action as an overhaul of bycatch reporting methods.

    Response: NMFS appreciates the support for the proposed action, although the comment did not address any specific provision of the SBRM Omnibus Amendment or its proposed rule.

    Comment 2: A letter from the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance, an organization representing commercial fishermen, expressed concern with how the SBRM would trigger prioritization when funding is insufficient and the subsequent impact to the Northeast multispecies sector management program, and urged disapproval of the amendment. The group stated that the proposed SBRM is overly complicated and expensive; that it will hinder industry efforts to develop alternative monitoring solutions including electronic monitoring; that it will eliminate supplemental observer coverage on midwater trawl vessels fishing in groundfish closed areas; and that it negatively impacts the groundfish at-sea monitoring program and could put the Northeast multispecies sector system at risk because the system is heavily reliant on appropriate monitoring.

    Response: NMFS acknowledges the prioritization process trigger may result in observer funding—previously used by the Agency to discretionarily fund at-sea monitoring, electronic monitoring, and/or supplemental coverage of midwater-trawl vessels—being used exclusively for SBRM if the funding amounts are insufficient to realize the level of coverage estimated to achieve the 30-percent CV performance standard. This is a direct result of efforts to address the specific finding of the U.S. Appeals Court in Oceana v. Locke that the Agency had too much discretion to determine the available funding for SBRM. The impacts of this change on other monitoring priorities are real and will require adjusting expectations and evaluating whether other sources of funding for these priorities may be possible. NMFS has developed annual agency-wide guidance regarding how observer funding is allocated across regions to meet SBRM and other observer needs.

    The groundfish sector at-sea monitoring program is separate from the SBRM and is specific to the Northeast Multispecies FMP. The at-sea monitoring program provides supplemental monitoring within this fishery to address specific management objectives of the New England Fishery Management Council. The SBRM Omnibus Amendment does not specifically modify the groundfish sector at-sea monitoring program or its objectives, including the requirement for the groundfish industry to pay for its portion of costs for at-sea monitors if the Federal government does not. The groundfish at-sea monitoring provisions were developed by the Council and have been in place since 2010. To date, we have been able to provide sufficient funding for the groundfish sector at-sea monitoring program such that industry did not have to pay for at-sea monitoring. With the constraints imposed by this final rule, funds previously used to cover groundfish sector at-sea monitoring will now be required to fund SBRM. It may be necessary for the Council to develop alternatives to ensure accountability with sector annual catch entitlements when there are funding shortages that reduce available at-sea monitoring coverage below the rates needed to ensure a CV of 30 percent.

    Electronic monitoring has been viewed as one possible means of addressing observer funding shortages. In recent years, NMFS has worked with groundfish sectors to develop and evaluate monitoring alternatives, including electronic monitoring. While electronic monitoring is not currently sufficiently developed or suitable to be a viable replacement for at-sea observers for the purpose of the SBRM for fisheries administered by the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, there are circumstances where it may be appropriate to address other monitoring purposes. NMFS is committed to working with our industry partners to continue development and implementation of electronic monitoring to the extent that it meets management objectives and funding is available. The SBRM can be amended at any time in the future to incorporate other monitoring means such as electronic monitoring.

    In recent years, the Northeast Multispecies FMP has authorized mid-water trawl vessels to fish in the groundfish closed areas if they carried observers. The SBRM Omnibus Amendment may result in the unavailability of the funds previously used for this coverage because the funds must first go to the SBRM requirements. The requirement for midwater trawl vessels to have an observer to fish in the groundfish closed areas, however, is not changed by this amendment. Accordingly, without funds to provide this supplemental observer coverage, fewer midwater trawl trips will have access to these areas.

    Comment 3: Two nongovernmental environmental organizations, Oceana, Inc., and Earthjustice, both stated the amendment uses outdated catch data from 2004 and does not meet various legal requirements.

    Response: NMFS disagrees with the commenters' assertion that the amendment uses outdated data. Where new data would not provide additional insight or value in the amendment, the analysis from the 2007 SBRM amendment was maintained. When new data informed decision making in the amendment, NMFS used the most recent data available. Much of the amendment describes a system of statistical calculations that remain valid and appropriate even when newer data are not analyzed to provide context. The descriptions of the fisheries and fishing modes and the analysis of the impacts of alternatives uses catch data from 2012. Other analysis used more recent data. Some analyses in Chapter 5 of the Omnibus Amendment Environmental Assessment are illustrative examples of the sample size analysis used to determine how many observer sea-days are needed to achieve the 30-percent CV performance standard, and the bycatch rate analysis that uses data from observed fishing trips to estimate bycatch across the whole fishery. These analyses are conducted each year with updated data as a part of the SBRM process. The validity of these examples is not dependent on using data from a specific fishing year. The detailed analysis and description of the process that was conducted and presented in the 2007 SBRM amendment is still valid today. Recreating this work for this specific action would have taken a significant amount of time and effort, but would not have provided any additional insight into the SBRM process. Therefore, updated analysis was conducted and added to the document where needed to reflect the changes in the fisheries since the initial 2007 SBRM amendment was developed and implemented.

    Comment 4: Oceana and Earthjustice assert that the action does not contain a sufficient range of reasonable alternatives including a no-action alternative, and that some alternatives were improperly rejected from consideration, including using non-managed species as drivers of observer coverage and use of electronic monitoring as a component of the SBRM. Oceana states the SBRM would have significant impacts and should require a full environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

    Response: NMFS disagrees with the commenters' claim that the amendment does not meet the legal requirements of the NEPA, including that the amendment does not properly address cumulative impacts, does not have an adequate no-action alternative, does not have an adequate range of alternatives, and that it requires an EIS. Consistent with NEPA, Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations, and NOAA administrative policy, NMFS and the Councils collaborated to prepare an EA to evaluate the significance of the environmental impacts expected as a result of the management measures considered in the SBRM Omnibus Amendment. The results of this assessment are provided in section 8.9.2 of the amendment, which supports the finding of no significant impacts (FONSI) signed by the agency on March 10, 2015. The commenters provide no evidence that the conclusion in the FONSI is not supported by the facts presented in the EA for this finding. NMFS asserts that the EA considers a sufficient range of alternatives to satisfy the requirements of NEPA. As described throughout the amendment (the Executive Summary, chapters 6, 7, and 8), the alternatives considered by the Councils were structured around seven specific elements that together comprise the Greater Atlantic Region SBRM. Multiple alternatives were developed and considered for each element and, in some cases, various sub-options were also developed and considered. Section 7.3 of the amendment explicitly provides a discussion of the expected cumulative effects associated with this action. NMFS asserts that this treatment of cumulative effects is consistent with CEQ regulations and current NOAA policy.

    Oceana presented these same contentions before the Court in its challenge to the 2007 SBRM amendment (Oceana v. Locke, 725 F. Supp. 2d 46 (D.D.C. 2010) reversed on other grounds (Oceana v. Locke, 670 F. 3d 1238 (DCC. 2011)). In that case, the U.S. District Court thoroughly reviewed their arguments and concluded that an EA for the 2007 SBRM amendment was consistent with NEPA. The Court specifically stated that, “NMFS sufficiently considered the issue of cumulative effects and concluded that any potential downstream impacts were not `reasonably foreseeable and directly linked' to the Amendment” 2 and that “NMFS' consideration of alternatives in the EA was sufficient to meet the requirements of NEPA.” 3

    2Oceana v. Locke, 725 F. Supp. 2d 46 (D.D.C. 2010) at pg 24, reversed on other grounds Oceana v. Locke, 670 F. 3d 1238 (D.C.C. 2011).

    3Id. At pg 25.

    While some components of the amendment remain essentially unchanged from the 2007 SBRM amendment, several components, including the affected environment and cumulative impacts analyses have been updated to account for changes since 2007. NMFS asserts that the amendment continues to meet all legal requirements, including NEPA.

    NMFS disagrees with the commenters' assertion that alternatives were improperly listed as considered but rejected. When the Councils initiated this action, they explicitly supported the previous Council decisions regarding the range of alternatives, including the alternatives considered but rejected. Both Councils directed the plan development team for this action specifically to focus on the legal deficiencies identified by the Court of Appeals and some minor revisions suggested by the 3-year review report. Given the primary scope of this action to specifically focus on the Court's remand, alternatives previously considered but rejected in the 2007 amendment were deemed considered and rejected for this action. Chapter 6.8 of the SBRM Omnibus Amendment reiterates the discussion of why each alternative was considered but rejected in the prior action, and explains how each does not meet the purpose and need of the SBRM Omnibus Amendment. The commenters offer no new information or circumstances that show these alternatives should have not been rejected from further consideration for this action.

    Comment 5: Oceana states that the adoption of annual catch limits and associated accountability measures in recent years has significantly changed the data collection needs for management and that the SBRM needs to fully discuss and meet all bycatch monitoring needs of each FMP, including inseason actions. Oceana asserts the annual discard reports described in the SBRM Omnibus Amendment will not provide bycatch data at a level of detail necessary to meet all management priorities of the Councils.

    Response: NMFS disagrees with Oceana's claim that the SBRM Omnibus Amendment does not meet the monitoring needs of annual catch limits and accountability measures mandated by the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires each Council to develop annual catch limits for each of its managed fisheries. Further guidance on annual catch limit requirements was issued by NMFS in 2009 (74 FR 3178). The SBRM is designed to meet the statutory requirements to establish a mechanism for collecting bycatch information from each fishery and estimating the discards of each species on an annual basis, to effectively monitor these annual catch limits. The SBRM forms the basis for bycatch monitoring in the Region, but need not address all monitoring requirements of all fishery management plans. Oceana conflates the Magnuson-Stevens Act requirement for annual catch limits (ACLs), which are typically set for the whole stock at an annual level, and assessed after the conclusion of each fishing year, with the Councils' prerogative to manage fisheries using smaller scale requirements such as sub-ACLs for groundfish sector fisheries and other fisheries that may trigger inseason management actions. The specific monitoring requirements of these management programs may be addressed outside of the SBRM with separate observer or monitoring requirements. Most FMPs that use in-season actions to open or close fisheries use landings data to make that determination, and do not rely on near real-time estimates of discards. When the New England Council designed the Northeast multispecies sector program, it recommended NMFS monitor catch, including discards, at the sector level and require measures designed to allow for inseason management actions. To meet this need, the Council created the sector at-sea monitoring program. The sector at-sea monitoring program requires additional monitoring coverage, beyond SBRM targets, which can then provide the additional information the Council determined was necessary for its groundfish-specific management objectives. If there is a need for more finely-tuned monitoring requirements in a particular fishery, the FMP for that fishery can be amended to address those requirements, including increasing monitoring or observer coverage over and above the SBRM levels. For example, the Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment currently under development by the New England and Mid-Atlantic Councils includes measures intended to facilitate the monitoring of incidental catch limits or bycatch events in the Atlantic Herring and the Atlantic Mackerel, Squids, and Butterfish FMPs. NMFS has determined that unless a specific FMP has requirements for such additional monitoring, the SBRM is sufficient for monitoring bycatch for the purposes of assessing total catch against annual catch limits. The commenters have not provided any evidence that the SBRM would not be sufficient to provide the estimated bycatch component of the total annual catch of a fishery that is used to monitor ACLs. Nor have they submitted any recommendations or alternatives that were not considered.

    Comment 6: Oceana and Earthjustice claim the SBRM Omnibus Amendment does not adequately discuss the potential for bias in observer data that could adversely affect estimated bycatch. The commenters' are critical of the 30-percent CV standard, and suggest this level of precision is not sufficient for bycatch estimates. Supporting this contention, both groups cite a technical review of the 2007 SBRM Amendment by Dr. Murdoch McAllister of the University of British Columbia.

    Response: NMFS disagrees with Oceana's contention that the amendment does not sufficiently address the issue of potential bias in observer data and the alleged impact of such bias on the accuracy of bycatch estimations. Chapter 5 of the SBRM Omnibus Amendment discusses at length and in detail bias and precision issues as they relate to the SBRM. As discussed in the SBRM Omnibus Amendment and described below, new research and analysis has been conducted since 2007 of potential observer bias and the implications for discard estimation.

    Oceana cites the Agency's analysis of at-sea monitoring requirements for the Northeast multispecies sector fishery,4 but draws an unsupported conclusion about potential bias in observed trips versus unobserved trips. An analysis contained in that report examined if there were indications of an observer effect on groundfish trips using trawl or gillnet gear that could result in either systematic or localized biases, meaning that the observer data used to generate discard estimates may not be representative. This study essentially looked for differences in performance when a vessel carried an observer and when it did not. This analysis found evidence for some difference in fishing behavior between observed and unobserved groundfish trips; however, the analysis does not conclude whether the apparent differences would necessarily result in discard rates on unobserved trips that are different (higher or lower) than on observed trips. If the discard rate is unchanged, then the apparent differences would not affect total discard estimates. Additional analysis included in the report found that even if there is some bias, the discard rate for the groundfish sector trips studied would need to be five to ten times higher on unobserved trips for total catch to exceed the acceptable biological catch. None of the analyses conducted to date suggest behavioral differences on observed versus unobserved trips of this magnitude. In any event, the analysis for the Northeast multispecies sector fishery is not directly relevant for all fisheries covered by the SBRM.

    4 Summary of Analyses Conducted to Determine At-Sea Monitoring Requirements for Multispecies Sectors FY 2013. www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ro/fso/reports/Sectors/ASM/FY2013_Multispecies_Sector_ASM_Requirements_Summary.pdf.

    Oceana made similar claims of potential bias about the 2007 SBRM amendment, but the U.S. District Court found that the amendment contained an extensive consideration of bias, precision, and accuracy. Commenters do not add any additional information or analysis that contradicts the finding of the District Court. NMFS, nevertheless, supports continued analysis of potential sources of bias, and the SBRM can be modified in the future to address any shortcomings that are identified.

    NMFS disagrees with the commenters' contention that the choice of a 30-percent CV performance standard is inappropriate. The rationale for a 30-percent CV performance standard is explained in Chapters 5 and 6.3 of the SBRM Omnibus Amendment and in the 2004 NMFS technical memorandum “Evaluating bycatch: A national approach to standardized bycatch monitoring programs” (NMFS-F/SPO-66). The commenters' cite a technical review of the 2007 SBRM amendment to argue that this level of precision would not be suitable for stock assessments. However, the cited section of the technical review refers to a level of variability in estimates of total catch, while the SBRM is addressing the variability in estimated discards of a species group in a single fishing mode. For most fisheries in the Greater Atlantic Region, discards are a relatively small portion of total catch, and the subdivision by different fishing modes would result in estimates of total discards with much lower total variability. This error on the part of the commenters about relevant scale is a common and understandable confusion about precision. Oceana made a similar argument before the U.S. District Court in its challenge to the 2007 SBRM Amendment. In that case, the Court found that NMFS's decision to use a 30-percent CV, and the agency's response to the technical review, was reasonable and did not violate the Magnuson-Stevens Act or any other applicable law. In its most recent comments, Oceana provides no new information or analysis that contradicts the Court's conclusion.

    Comment 7: Oceana and Earthjustice state that the proposed prioritization process is not a sufficient response to the Appeals Court order in Oceana v. Locke. Oceana states the proposed funding trigger is not sufficiently distinct from the status quo. In the opinion of the commenters, the amendment does not adequately explain: Why only the named funding lines would be used for SBRM and not others; whether other discretionary sources of money exist; how the agency might handle new funding lines that might be applicable; and what the term “consistent with historic practice” means. Oceana suggests that the amendment must consider other sources of potential funding including other Federal funding sources and development of new industry-funding alternatives. Oceana states that the prioritization of observer coverage should affect catch buffers, and refers to National Standard 1 guidance to argue that any change in the anticipated precision of discard estimates should be directly tied to the uncertainty buffers around allowable catch.

    Response: NMFS disagrees with the commenters' contentions that the prioritization process does not address the Court's finding in Oceana v. Locke. Contrary to Oceana's assertion, the prioritization funding trigger places real and significant restrictions on the Agency's discretion to determine the available funding for the SBRM. The four funding lines identified in the amendment where chosen because they represent the primary sources of observer funding in the Greater Atlantic Region, and had been used to fund the SBRM in previous years. By committing the Region to use the funds available in those specific lines to support the SBRM, NMFS is creating a transparent mechanism for determining under what circumstances the SBRM prioritization process would be triggered.

    The Agency is not contending that it has no discretion in how to spend any other funding lines, or that there are no other funding lines that may be available to support other monitoring priorities in the Region. NMFS must maintain some flexibility to use appropriated funding to respond to appropriations changes and changes in conditions and priorities within the Region and across the country. To do otherwise would be irresponsible and could be counter to legal requirements and jeopardize the Agency's mission. NMFS acknowledges that Congressional appropriations may change over time. The SBRM Amendment does not speculate about potential future changes in existing or potential future funding lines. The provisions of the SBRM prioritization process may be adjusted to incorporate future changes through an FMP framework action. Framework adjustment development would occur through established Council public participation processes. NMFS has developed annual agency-wide guidance that further explains how and why specific funding decisions are made for SBRM programs and other observer needs throughout the country.

    Oceana expresses confusion regarding the meaning of the phrase “consistent with historic practice” used in the amendment. To provide context, this phrase is intended to reflect that not every dollar allocated to the Region through the specified funding lines will necessarily be converted into observer sea-days. All funding lines to regional offices and science centers are subject to standard overhead deductions that are used to support shared resources and infrastructure that do not receive their own appropriation of funds, such as building rent and maintenance, utilities, shared information technology, etc. In addition, the cost of the SBRM includes more than just observer sea-days. Additional costs include, but are not limited to, shore-side expenses to support the observer program, training of observers, and development of improved sampling procedures. These expenses will necessarily vary from year to year, and it was not practicable to try to enumerate all possible expenses that may be needed to support the SBRM. The intent of specifying that funds will be used “consistent with historic practice” means that these additional costs will be incurred at levels that are consistent with what has occurred in the past such that not all specified funds will be converted to observer sea-days.

    NMFS rejects Oceana's contention that the amendment must include an alternative for the fishing industry to pay for any funding shortfall. Industry-funded monitoring programs are complex and must be carefully tailored to each specific fishery as a management/policy decision in each specific FMP. As stated in Chapter 1 of the SBRM Omnibus Amendment, the SBRM is a methodology to assess the amount and type of bycatch in the fisheries and not a management plan for how each fishery operates. It is not necessary or practicable to develop such programs for all of the fisheries in the Region through this action. The Councils have the flexibility to consider industry-funded programs, to meet SBRM or other monitoring priorities, on a case by case basis, depending on the needs and circumstances of each fishery.

    NMFS disagrees with Oceana's repeated assertions that the anticipated precision of estimated discards must be directly tied to changes in the uncertainty buffers around catch limits. Each data source has a certain degree of uncertainty associated with it. The specific amount of uncertainty can only be estimated and cannot be parsed into specific amounts at different catch levels of different species in different fisheries. NMFS' National Standard 1 guidelines recommend the use of buffers around catch thresholds to account for these various sources of management and scientific uncertainty (74 FR 3178; January 16, 2009). The Councils have adopted control rules and/or make use of scientific and technical expertise so that these buffers address numerous sources of potential uncertainty that may be present in these catch limits into a single value. Each source of uncertainty may vary and the buffers are set conservatively to account for this variability and the complex interplay that may exist between sources of uncertainty. To propose adjusting these buffers to automatically account for changes in the precision estimate for one component of the total catch, in this case discards of a specific species in a specific fishing mode, misunderstands the general nature of these buffers and the complexities they are intended to address. The precision of a discard estimate does not necessarily reflect the magnitude or importance of that estimate. A very small amount of estimated discards could be very imprecise without having a significant impact on total catch. Similarly, if a species is discarded by several fishing modes, a change in precision in one mode may not significantly affect the precision of the total estimated discards for that stock. How the variability in discard estimates impacts the scientific uncertainty of overall catch estimates is outside the scope of this action and is best considered on a case by case basis, through the Councils' acceptable biological catch (ABC) control rules and Scientific and Statistical Committees. NMFS acknowledges that, in certain cases, the magnitude or importance of estimated discards may be cause for ABC control rules and/or Scientific and Statistical Committees to specifically consider discard estimate precision and underlying uncertainty when recommending an ABC, but not formulaically as the commenter suggests.

    NMFS disagrees with Oceana's claim that the SBRM Omnibus Amendment fails to mandate that data be reported in a rational manner useful for fisheries management. As described in Chapter 1 of the SBRM amendment, the SBRM is a general, over-arching methodology for assessing bycatch in all fisheries managed by the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils to meet the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. It is not designed as a specific, real-time quota monitoring process. The amendment specifies minimum components to include in the annual discard reports, and anticipates that the format and content of these reports will evolve over time. The 2007 SBRM amendment was very prescriptive of the detailed information to be included in the annual discard reports. However, this resulted in annual discard reports with over 1,000 pages of tables. While these reports contained a lot of information, they were not as useful for management as intended. The revised SBRM Omnibus Amendment calls for annual discard reports to contain more summarized data that could be presented in different ways. We intend to work with the Councils on an ongoing basis to ensure these reports continue to provide the information fishery managers need in a format that is useful in their work. As explained in Chapters 1 and 2 of the Omnibus Amendment, fishing modes are used as the operational unit for assigning observer coverage because it reflects information that is available when a vessel leaves the dock. While data may be collected by fishing mode, the calculated discards can be reported in multiple ways. NMFS looks forward to working with the Councils to prepare annual discard reports that provide needed information to support their management decisions.

    Comment 8: Earthjustice claims the importance filters remove coverage from important fleets, and the SBRM must not prevent NMFS from paying for the government costs of new industry-funded monitoring programs. The commenter also asserts that the implications of the amendment on supplemental observer coverage of mid-water trawl fisheries were first discussed in August 2014, after the Councils had taken final action. The commenter urges the agency to disapprove the amendment and initiate scoping for a new amendment and EIS.

    Response: NMFS disagrees with the commenter's contention that the importance filters create a situation that “is not only absurd and irrational, but entirely inconsistent with the needs of the fishery” with regard to monitoring the bycatch of river herring and shad species caught in the midwater trawl fisheries. As described in Chapter 6.2.3 of the amendment, the importance filters are a tool to aid in establishing observer sea day allocations that are more meaningful and efficient at achieving the overall objectives of the SBRM. As the commenter acknowledges, midwater trawl vessels that incidentally catch these species typically retain and land them, and as such, those fish are not bycatch as defined by the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Therefore, such incidental catch is outside of the mandate of the SBRM. Not all monitoring priorities must be part of the SBRM. In cases where a Council determines monitoring of incidental catch of specific species is a management priority, NMFS works with the Council to design and evaluate monitoring options, including at-sea observers or monitors, dockside sampling, electronic monitoring, or other options that best address the needs of the specific fishery.

    NMFS acknowledges the commenter's concern that the agency may not be able to fully fund the government's costs associated with a future industry-funded monitoring program. One of the goals of another initiative, the Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment, currently under development by the Councils is to create a process for prioritizing available appropriated government and industry funds to efficiently provide supplemental monitoring for management goals beyond the SBRM. Currently, the agency may not use private funds to finance the costs of fundamental government obligations in a manner that is not consistent with the Antideficiency Act, Miscellaneous Receipts Statute, and other appropriations laws or rules. In the Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment, the New England and Mid-Atlantic Councils are considering how to prioritize and coordinate government funds necessary for supporting at-sea observers and other monitoring needs consistent with the Councils' recommendations for industry-funded observer programs outside of the SBRM requirements. Development of this process would ensure that when funds are available, they will be used consistent with the priorities regarding observer coverage and monitoring needs established by the Councils. NMFS will continue to work to identify potential funding sources that could be utilized to support the Councils' monitoring priorities.

    NMFS disagrees with the commenter's assertion that the implications of how the SBRM impacts at-sea observer coverage in other fisheries were first discussed in August 2014. NMFS staff gave a special presentation about the funding of the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program at both the New England and Mid-Atlantic Council meetings in April 2014. These presentations highlighted the sources of funding and potential effect of the proposed SBRM funding trigger on available SBRM coverage and other monitoring programs previously funded by the effected funding lines. This message was then reiterated during the presentation of the SBRM Omnibus Amendment at the same meetings, before the Councils voted to take final action on the amendment.

    Comment 9: The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group, submitted a letter focusing on the potential impact of the SBRM on endangered species. The commenter suggests that the allocation of observers should be focused on the conservation status of potential bycatch species, particularly those that are overfished, undergoing overfishing, or have been identified as endangered, threatened, or species of concern. The group also asserted that the amendment does not adequately consider potential adverse effects on endangered species.

    Response: NMFS disagrees with the commenter's assertion that the SBRM should be driven primarily by the conservation status of the potential bycatch species. Section 303(a)(11) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that each FMP “establish a standardized reporting methodology to assess the amount and type of bycatch occurring in the fishery” regardless of the conservation status of the species caught in the fishery. As stated in Chapter 1.3 of amendment, the primary purpose of bycatch reporting and monitoring is to collect information that can be used reliably as the basis for making sound fisheries management decisions for all managed species in the Greater Atlantic Region, including stock assessments and annual catch accounting. Figure 1 in Appendix H of the SBRM Omnibus Amendment illustrates that beyond a certain point, increased observer coverage provides diminishing returns as far as improved precision of estimated discards. As a result, prioritizing observer coverage by conservation status could risk sacrificing the precision of bycatch estimates for several species to achieve a marginal improvement in one, which is unlikely to meet the stated objectives of this action.

    NMFS disagrees with the commenter's contention that the SBRM Omnibus Amendment does not adequately consider adverse effects to endangered species. As discussed in Chapter 5 of the amendment, the SBRM applies the 30-percent CV performance standard to species afforded protection under the Endangered Species Act, as it does for species managed under a FMP. This has been the case since the implementation of the 2007 SBRM Amendment. Since that time, the agency has continued to effectively use discard estimates for these species for management purposes, including monitoring incidental take limits, and there is no information indicating these estimates are inadequate. The SBRM Omnibus Amendment is primarily administrative in nature and is not expected to result in any changes in fishing effort or behavior, fishing gears used, or areas fished, and therefore will not adversely affect endangered and threatened species in any manner not considered in prior consultations.

    Comment 10: One commercial fisherman expressed frustration with how observer coverage and at-sea monitors are allocated across the groundfish fleet. The commenter suggested assigning observers based on the amount of bycatch rather than the estimated variance in discards. The commenter was also very concerned about the potential cost to vessels of industry-funded monitoring.

    Response: As described in Chapter 5 of the SBRM Omnibus Amendment, the target observer coverage rates are calculated based on the variance of discards (i.e., the CV performance standard) rather than on total amount of discards from any one fishing mode. This approach is designed to provide a suitable level of precision in discard estimates to meet the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The SBRM focuses on providing a statistically rigorous sampling of fishing activity, which will provide a more precise estimate of total discards, rather than a direct measurement or census of discards. Thus, it is intended to provide a better measurement of overall discards, rather than trying to directly observe a high volume of discards that might lead to a less precise estimate of total discards when unobserved trips are factored in. The comment regarding the potential burden that paying for at-sea monitors would place on the groundfish industry is addressed under Comment 2, above.

    Comment 11: One commercial fisherman expressed concerns that the proposed funding trigger would be too restrictive on the use of certain observer funds and would prevent funds from being used to cover the groundfish industry costs for at-sea monitors as it has in the past.

    Response: NMFS agrees with this individual's observation. Funds previously used to cover groundfish at-sea monitors may be fully committed to the SBRM process by the amendment's measures to the extent that SBRM funding amounts are insufficient to realize the level of observer coverage estimated to achieve the 30-percent CV performance standard. Additional detail on this comment is addressed in the response to Comment 2, above.

    Comment 12: One member of the public wrote in support of the proposed 45-day payment period for observer services to the scallop fishing fleet, and suggested that such a payment period be specified in any future action to develop industry-funded observer programs. The commenter also suggested that the proposed rule at § 648.11(h)(5)(vii)(A) incorrectly states that an observer has 24 hours for electronic submission of observer data after a trip has landed, and that the correct time should be 48 hours.

    Response: This comment refers to one of three minor modifications to the regulations in the proposed rule that are not part of the SBRM Omnibus Amendment, but were proposed under authority granted the Secretary under section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act to ensure that FMPs are implemented as intended and consistent with the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. NMFS agrees that a clear payment deadline is valuable for both the observer service providers and the vessel operators who are contracting observer services.

    The requirement to submit electronic observer data within 24 hours reflects the current regulations. NMFS acknowledges that current practice is to allow 48 hours for electronic submission of observer data. The proposed rule did not specifically propose addressing this inconsistency, and as a result there was no opportunity for public comment. Therefore, NMFS is not changing this regulation in this rule. There may be other areas within this section of the regulations where current practice has evolved away from the specific provisions in the regulations. NMFS may address these inconsistencies in a future rulemaking.

    Comment 13: A letter from The Nature Conservancy expressed support for improving fishery monitoring systems and cited the benefits of accurate and reliable data. The commenter urged NMFS to clarify the agency's intention to take steps necessary to implement additional tools for collecting timely and accurate fishery-related data, including the use of electronic monitoring. In particular, the commenter urged the agency to ensure that the SBRM support, and not hinder, the earliest possible implementation of electronic monitoring. The commenter also expressed support for the SBRM review and reporting process, and requested that the triennial review include a broader set of stakeholders beyond NMFS and the Councils.

    Response: NMFS acknowledges that the funding-related prioritization trigger may require some funding sources that have previously been used to support development of electronic monitoring to be used exclusively for the SBRM. This may delay implementation of electronic monitoring in the Region. The commenter cited the recent adoption of electronic monitoring requirements to monitor bluefin tuna bycatch in the pelagic longline fishery under the Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species FMP as evidence that electronic monitoring is ready to meet the bycatch monitoring goals of the SBRM. NMFS is very supportive of the new electronic monitoring program to monitor bycatch of bluefin tuna in the pelagic longline fishery. Lessons learned in the implementation of the bluefin tuna program should help inform other electronic monitoring programs in the future. However, a technology that is suitable for identification of bycatch of a distinctive species by a specific gear type, such as bluefin tuna in the pelagic longline fishery, may not yet be as suitable or affordable for monitoring more complex bycatch situations covered by the SBRM, such as differentiating flounder species in a multispecies trawl fishery, or providing length and weight data (all of which would be essential for electronic monitoring to effectively replace observers under the SBRM). Electronic monitoring is a technological tool that may be used to serve monitoring purposes that may differ between fisheries. The suitability and manner of using this tool for a particular purpose must be considered in the context of each proposed program. NMFS supports the continued development of electronic monitoring and will continue to evaluate its applicability as a component of a comprehensive SBRM and other coverage purposes.

    The team that conducted the 3-year review of the SBRM in 2011 included staff from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Because much of the data analyzed as part of the 3-year review are confidential under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the team was limited to individuals authorized to access such information. The annual discard reports as well as the final 3-year review report present information in a format consistent with data confidentiality requirements and are all publically available. NMFS and the Councils will consider how additional stakeholders might be included in the next review in a way that could allow their input without compromising the confidentiality of catch and discard data.

    Comment 14: The Marine Mammal Commission submitted a letter requesting NMFS include additional information in the final rule about whether the SBRM has implications for observer programs under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). In addition, the letter noted particular support for the proposed use of a non-discretionary formulaic process for prioritizing available observer sea-days, and the provision to facilitate the future development of an industry-funded observer program through a framework adjustment.

    Response: NMFS appreciates the commenter's support for the use of a non-discretionary formulaic process for prioritizing available observer sea-days, and the provision to facilitate the future development of an industry-funded observer program through the FMP's framework adjustment process. Observer programs explicitly funded to support the MMPA are not affected by this amendment. NMFS receives dedicated funding for observers under the MMPA, which is a separate funding allocation from the SBRM program. Because the funding for these MMPA observers is outside of the funding lines dedicated to the SBRM, the allocation of MMPA observers is not directly subject to the observer allocation process or prioritization process described in the SBRM Omnibus Amendment. The MMPA observers are allocated across fisheries based on the estimated likelihood of marine mammal interactions. At-sea observers allocated under the SBRM actually provide additional marine mammal observer coverage as they record and report any interactions with marine mammals that occur on observed fishing trips. Likewise, at-sea monitors in the groundfish sector program record any interactions they witness. Similarly, in the absence of a marine mammal interaction, MMPA observers record information about the trip and observed bycatch that contributes to our overall estimation of bycatch in Greater Atlantic fisheries. However, if a marine mammal is present, these observers are required to focus their attention on that marine mammal interaction, and monitoring of other bycatch becomes a secondary priority. For additional information about how marine mammal interactions are monitored, please see the Greater Atlantic Region's Marine Mammal Program Web site at: www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/Protected/mmp/.

    Comment 15: The comments submitted by Environmental Defense Fund, an environmental organization, expressed concerns about the impact of the proposed SBRM on the continued development and implementation of electronic monitoring in the Region. The commenter expressed concern that the amendment should have included electronic monitoring as an explicit component of the SBRM. The group asserts that 100-percent electronic monitoring would reduce uncertainty in catch data and improve stock assessments, and that electronic monitoring could provide a lower sea-day cost than current at-sea observers. The group is critical that the proposed funding trigger is not properly explained and would prevent funds from being available for electronic monitoring or to cover the government costs associated with any future industry-funded monitoring programs.

    Response: The responses above to Comment 3, Comment 4, and Comment 9 address many of the points raised by the commenter. NMFS does not agree with the commenter's characterization of the potential cost savings with electronic monitoring at this time. The commenter promotes the potential for a lower cost per sea-day with electronic monitoring than with at-sea observers, but also advocates for 100-percent electronic monitoring on every fishing trip. This is a substantial increase in coverage rate when compared to the current SBRM using at-sea observers. The affordability of electronic monitoring has yet to be determined. Electronic monitoring costs will be determined largely by the purpose and scope of particular electronic monitoring coverage and the available technology to meet those needs. Even at a potentially lower cost per day, the increase in coverage to 100 percent of trips would likely result in a program that is significantly more expensive than the SBRM is currently. This does not take into account that electronic monitoring is not yet considered robust enough to replace observers for bycatch monitoring in some gears types or for identifying all bycatch to the species level. In addition, some amount of at-sea observer coverage is likely to still be required to collect biological samples, which would further increase the costs. NMFS will continue to support development of electronic monitoring as a potential tool where it is fitting and appropriate.

    Classification

    The Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, determined that the SBRM Omnibus Amendment is necessary for the conservation and management of Greater Atlantic fisheries and that it is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable law.

    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Incorporation by reference.

    Dated: June 17, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is amended as follows:

    PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 648.11, add paragraph (g)(5)(iii), and revise paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(3)(iv), (h)(3)(vi), (h)(3)(viii), (h)(3)(ix), (h)(4), (h)(5), (h)(7) introductory text, (i)(1), (i)(2), (i)(3)(ii) and (v), (i)(4), and (i)(5) to read as follows:
    § 648.11 At-sea sea sampler/observer coverage.

    (g) * * *

    (5) * * *

    (iii) Owners of scallop vessels shall pay observer service providers for observer services within 45 days of the end of a fishing trip on which an observer deployed.

    (h) Observer service provider approval and responsibilities—(1) General. An entity seeking to provide observer services must apply for and obtain approval from NMFS following submission of a complete application. A list of approved observer service providers shall be distributed to vessel owners and shall be posted on the NMFS/NEFOP Web site at: www.nefsc.noaa.gov/femad/fsb/.

    (3) * * *

    (iv) A statement, signed under penalty of perjury, from each owner or owners, board members, and officers, if a corporation, describing any criminal conviction(s), Federal contract(s) they have had and the performance rating they received on the contracts, and previous decertification action(s) while working as an observer or observer service provider.

    (vi) A description of the applicant's ability to carry out the responsibilities and duties of a fishery observer services provider as set out under paragraph (h)(5) of this section, and the arrangements to be used.

    (viii) Proof that its observers, whether contracted or employed by the service provider, are compensated with salaries that meet or exceed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) guidelines for observers. Observers shall be compensated as Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) non-exempt employees. Observer providers shall provide any other benefits and personnel services in accordance with the terms of each observer's contract or employment status.

    (ix) The names of its fully equipped, NMFS/NEFOP certified, observers on staff or a list of its training candidates (with resumes) and a request for an appropriate NMFS/NEFOP Observer Training class. The NEFOP training has a minimum class size of eight individuals, which may be split among multiple vendors requesting training. Requests for training classes with fewer than eight individuals will be delayed until further requests make up the full training class size.

    (4) Application evaluation. (i) NMFS shall review and evaluate each application submitted under paragraph (h)(3) of this section. Issuance of approval as an observer provider shall be based on completeness of the application, and a determination by NMFS of the applicant's ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of a fishery observer service provider, as demonstrated in the application information. A decision to approve or deny an application shall be made by NMFS within 15 business days of receipt of the application by NMFS.

    (ii) If NMFS approves the application, the observer service provider's name will be added to the list of approved observer service providers found on the NMFS/NEFOP Web site specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section, and in any outreach information to the industry. Approved observer service providers shall be notified in writing and provided with any information pertinent to its participation in the fishery observer program.

    (iii) An application shall be denied if NMFS determines that the information provided in the application is not complete or the evaluation criteria are not met. NMFS shall notify the applicant in writing of any deficiencies in the application or information submitted in support of the application. An applicant who receives a denial of his or her application may present additional information to rectify the deficiencies specified in the written denial, provided such information is submitted to NMFS within 30 days of the applicant's receipt of the denial notification from NMFS. In the absence of additional information, and after 30 days from an applicant's receipt of a denial, an observer provider is required to resubmit an application containing all of the information required under the application process specified in paragraph (h)(3) of this section to be re-considered for being added to the list of approved observer service providers.

    (5) Responsibilities of observer service providers. (i) An observer service provider must provide observers certified by NMFS/NEFOP pursuant to paragraph (i) of this section for deployment in a fishery when contacted and contracted by the owner, operator, or vessel manager of a fishing vessel, unless the observer service provider refuses to deploy an observer on a requesting vessel for any of the reasons specified at paragraph (h)(5)(viii) of this section.

    (ii) An observer service provider must provide to each of its observers:

    (A) All necessary transportation, including arrangements and logistics, of observers to the initial location of deployment, to all subsequent vessel assignments, and to any debriefing locations, if necessary;

    (B) Lodging, per diem, and any other services necessary for observers assigned to a fishing vessel or to attend an appropriate NMFS/NEFOP observer training class;

    (C) The required observer equipment, in accordance with equipment requirements listed on the NMFS/NEFOP Web site specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section, prior to any deployment and/or prior to NMFS observer certification training; and

    (D) Individually assigned communication equipment, in working order, such as a mobile phone, for all necessary communication. An observer service provider may alternatively compensate observers for the use of the observer's personal mobile phone, or other device, for communications made in support of, or necessary for, the observer's duties.

    (iii) Observer deployment logistics. Each approved observer service provider must assign an available certified observer to a vessel upon request. Each approved observer service provider must be accessible 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, to enable an owner, operator, or manager of a vessel to secure observer coverage when requested. The telephone system must be monitored a minimum of four times daily to ensure rapid response to industry requests. Observer service providers approved under paragraph (h) of this section are required to report observer deployments to NMFS daily for the purpose of determining whether the predetermined coverage levels are being achieved in the appropriate fishery.

    (iv) Observer deployment limitations. (A) A candidate observer's first four deployments and the resulting data shall be immediately edited and approved after each trip by NMFS/NEFOP prior to any further deployments by that observer. If data quality is considered acceptable, the observer would be certified.

    (B) Unless alternative arrangements are approved by NMFS, an observer provider must not deploy any observer on the same vessel for more than two consecutive multi-day trips, and not more than twice in any given month for multi-day deployments.

    (v) Communications with observers. An observer service provider must have an employee responsible for observer activities on call 24 hours a day to handle emergencies involving observers or problems concerning observer logistics, whenever observers are at sea, stationed shoreside, in transit, or in port awaiting vessel assignment.

    (vi) Observer training requirements. The following information must be submitted to NMFS/NEFOP at least 7 days prior to the beginning of the proposed training class: A list of observer candidates; observer candidate resumes; and a statement signed by the candidate, under penalty of perjury, that discloses the candidate's criminal convictions, if any. All observer trainees must complete a basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation/first aid course prior to the end of a NMFS/NEFOP Observer Training class. NMFS may reject a candidate for training if the candidate does not meet the minimum qualification requirements as outlined by NMFS/NEFOP minimum eligibility standards for observers as described on the NMFS/NEFOP Web site.

    (vii) Reports—(A) Observer deployment reports. The observer service provider must report to NMFS/NEFOP when, where, to whom, and to what fishery (including Open Area or Access Area for sea scallop trips) an observer has been deployed, within 24 hours of the observer's departure. The observer service provider must ensure that the observer reports back to NMFS its Observer Contract (OBSCON) data, as described in the certified observer training, within 24 hours of landing. OBSCON data are to be submitted electronically or by other means specified by NMFS. The observer service provider shall provide the raw (unedited) data collected by the observer to NMFS within 4 business days of the trip landing.

    (B) Safety refusals. The observer service provider must report to NMFS any trip that has been refused due to safety issues, e.g., failure to hold a valid USCG Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Examination Decal or to meet the safety requirements of the observer's pre-trip vessel safety checklist, within 24 hours of the refusal.

    (C) Biological samples. The observer service provider must ensure that biological samples, including whole marine mammals, sea turtles, and sea birds, are stored/handled properly and transported to NMFS within 7 days of landing.

    (D) Observer debriefing. The observer service provider must ensure that the observer remains available to NMFS, either in-person or via phone, at NMFS' discretion, including NMFS Office for Law Enforcement, for debriefing for at least 2 weeks following any observed trip. If requested by NMFS, an observer that is at sea during the 2-week period must contact NMFS upon his or her return.

    (E) Observer availability report. The observer service provider must report to NMFS any occurrence of inability to respond to an industry request for observer coverage due to the lack of available observers by 5 p.m., Eastern Time, of any day on which the provider is unable to respond to an industry request for observer coverage.

    (F) Other reports. The observer service provider must report possible observer harassment, discrimination, concerns about vessel safety or marine casualty, or observer illness or injury; and any information, allegations, or reports regarding observer conflict of interest or breach of the standards of behavior, to NMFS/NEFOP within 24 hours of the event or within 24 hours of learning of the event.

    (G) Observer status report. The observer service provider must provide NMFS/NEFOP with an updated list of contact information for all observers that includes the observer identification number, observer's name, mailing address, email address, phone numbers, homeports or fisheries/trip types assigned, and must include whether or not the observer is “in service,” indicating when the observer has requested leave and/or is not currently working for an industry funded program.

    (H) Vessel contract. The observer service provider must submit to NMFS/NEFOP, if requested, a copy of each type of signed and valid contract (including all attachments, appendices, addendums, and exhibits incorporated into the contract) between the observer provider and those entities requiring observer services.

    (I) Observer contract. The observer service provider must submit to NMFS/NEFOP, if requested, a copy of each type of signed and valid contract (including all attachments, appendices, addendums, and exhibits incorporated into the contract) between the observer provider and specific observers.

    (J) Additional information. The observer service provider must submit to NMFS/NEFOP, if requested, copies of any information developed and/or used by the observer provider and distributed to vessels, such as informational pamphlets, payment notification, description of observer duties, etc.

    (viii) Refusal to deploy an observer. (A) An observer service provider may refuse to deploy an observer on a requesting scallop vessel if the observer service provider does not have an available observer within 48 hours of receiving a request for an observer from a vessel.

    (B) An observer service provider may refuse to deploy an observer on a requesting fishing vessel if the observer service provider has determined that the requesting vessel is inadequate or unsafe pursuant to the reasons described at § 600.746 of this chapter.

    (C) The observer service provider may refuse to deploy an observer on a fishing vessel that is otherwise eligible to carry an observer for any other reason, including failure to pay for previous observer deployments, provided the observer service provider has received prior written confirmation from NMFS authorizing such refusal.

    (7) Removal of observer service provider from the list of approved observer service providers. An observer service provider that fails to meet the requirements, conditions, and responsibilities specified in paragraphs (h)(5) and (6) of this section shall be notified by NMFS, in writing, that it is subject to removal from the list of approved observer service providers. Such notification shall specify the reasons for the pending removal. An observer service provider that has received notification that it is subject to removal from the list of approved observer service providers may submit written information to rebut the reasons for removal from the list. Such rebuttal must be submitted within 30 days of notification received by the observer service provider that the observer service provider is subject to removal and must be accompanied by written evidence rebutting the basis for removal. NMFS shall review information rebutting the pending removal and shall notify the observer service provider within 15 days of receipt of the rebuttal whether or not the removal is warranted. If no response to a pending removal is received by NMFS, the observer service provider shall be automatically removed from the list of approved observer service providers. The decision to remove the observer service provider from the list, either after reviewing a rebuttal, or if no rebuttal is submitted, shall be the final decision of NMFS and the Department of Commerce. Removal from the list of approved observer service providers does not necessarily prevent such observer service provider from obtaining an approval in the future if a new application is submitted that demonstrates that the reasons for removal are remedied. Certified observers under contract with an observer service provider that has been removed from the list of approved service providers must complete their assigned duties for any fishing trips on which the observers are deployed at the time the observer service provider is removed from the list of approved observer service providers. An observer service provider removed from the list of approved observer service providers is responsible for providing NMFS with the information required in paragraph (h)(5)(vii) of this section following completion of the trip. NMFS may consider, but is not limited to, the following in determining if an observer service provider may remain on the list of approved observer service providers:

    (i) Observer certification. (1) To be certified, employees or sub-contractors operating as observers for observer service providers approved under paragraph (h) of this section must meet NMFS National Minimum Eligibility Standards for observers. NMFS National Minimum Eligibility Standards are available at the National Observer Program Web site: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/op/pds/categories/science_and_technology.html.

    (2) Observer training. In order to be deployed on any fishing vessel, a candidate observer must have passed an appropriate NMFS/NEFOP Observer Training course. If a candidate fails training, the candidate shall be notified in writing on or before the last day of training. The notification will indicate the reasons the candidate failed the training. Observer training shall include an observer training trip, as part of the observer's training, aboard a fishing vessel with a trainer. A candidate observer's first four deployments and the resulting data shall be immediately edited and approved after each trip by NMFS/NEFOP, prior to any further deployments by that observer. If data quality is considered acceptable, the observer would be certified.

    (3) * * *

    (ii) Be physically and mentally capable of carrying out the responsibilities of an observer on board fishing vessels, pursuant to standards established by NMFS. Such standards are available from NMFS/NEFOP Web site specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section and shall be provided to each approved observer service provider;

    (v) Accurately record their sampling data, write complete reports, and report accurately any observations relevant to conservation of marine resources or their environment.

    (4) Probation and decertification. NMFS may review observer certifications and issue observer certification probation and/or decertification as described in NMFS policy found on the NMFS/NEFOP Web site specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section.

    (5) Issuance of decertification. Upon determination that decertification is warranted under paragraph (i)(4) of this section, NMFS shall issue a written decision to decertify the observer to the observer and approved observer service providers via certified mail at the observer's most current address provided to NMFS. The decision shall identify whether a certification is revoked and shall identify the specific reasons for the action taken. Decertification is effective immediately as of the date of issuance, unless the decertification official notes a compelling reason for maintaining certification for a specified period and under specified conditions. Decertification is the final decision of NMFS and the Department of Commerce and may not be appealed.

    3. Add § 648.18 to subpart A to read as follows:
    § 648.18 Standardized bycatch reporting methodology.

    NMFS shall comply with the Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology (SBRM) provisions established in the following fishery management plans by the Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology: An Omnibus Amendment to the Fishery Management Plans of the Mid-Atlantic and New England Regional Fishery Management Councils, completed March 2015, also known as the SBRM Omnibus Amendment, by the New England Fishery Management Council, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, National Marine Fisheries Service Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, and National Marine Fisheries Service Northeast Fisheries Science Center: Atlantic Bluefish; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish; Atlantic Sea Scallop; Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog; Atlantic Herring; Atlantic Salmon; Deep-Sea Red Crab; Monkfish; Northeast Multispecies; Northeast Skate Complex; Spiny Dogfish; Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass; and Tilefish. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may obtain a copy of the SBRM Omnibus Amendment from the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov, 978-281-9300). You may inspect a copy at the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930 or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    4. In § 648.22, add paragraph (c)(13) to read as follows:
    § 648.22 Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish specifications.

    (c) * * *

    (13) Changes, as appropriate, to the SBRM, including the coefficient of variation (CV) based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs.

    5. In § 648.25, revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 648.25 Atlantic Mackerel, squid, and butterfish framework adjustments to management measures.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Adjustment process. The MAFMC shall develop and analyze appropriate management actions over the span of at least two MAFMC meetings. The MAFMC must provide the public with advance notice of the availability of the recommendation(s), appropriate justification(s) and economic and biological analyses, and the opportunity to comment on the proposed adjustment(s) at the first meeting and prior to and at the second MAFMC meeting. The MAFMC's recommendations on adjustments or additions to management measures must come from one or more of the following categories: Adjustments within existing ABC control rule levels; adjustments to the existing MAFMC risk policy; introduction of new AMs, including sub-ACTs; minimum fish size; maximum fish size; gear restrictions; gear requirements or prohibitions; permitting restrictions; recreational possession limit; recreational seasons; closed areas; commercial seasons; commercial trip limits; commercial quota system, including commercial quota allocation procedure and possible quota set-asides to mitigate bycatch; recreational harvest limit; annual specification quota setting process; FMP Monitoring Committee composition and process; description and identification of EFH (and fishing gear management measures that impact EFH); description and identification of habitat areas of particular concern; overfishing definition and related thresholds and targets; regional gear restrictions; regional season restrictions (including option to split seasons); restrictions on vessel size (LOA and GRT) or shaft horsepower; changes to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs; any other management measures currently included in the FMP; set aside quota for scientific research; regional management; process for inseason adjustment to the annual specification; mortality caps for river herring and shad species; time/area management for river herring and shad species; and provisions for river herring and shad incidental catch avoidance program, including adjustments to the mechanism and process for tracking fleet activity, reporting incidental catch events, compiling data, and notifying the fleet of changes to the area(s); the definition/duration of `test tows,' if test tows would be utilized to determine the extent of river herring incidental catch in a particular area(s); the threshold for river herring incidental catch that would trigger the need for vessels to be alerted and move out of the area(s); the distance that vessels would be required to move from the area(s); and the time that vessels would be required to remain out of the area(s). Measures contained within this list that require significant departures from previously contemplated measures or that are otherwise introducing new concepts may require amendment of the FMP instead of a framework adjustment.

    6. In § 648.41, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 648.41 Framework specifications.

    (a) Within season management action. The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) may, at any time, initiate action to implement, add to or adjust Atlantic salmon management measures to:

    (1) Allow for Atlantic salmon aquaculture projects in the EEZ, provided such an action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Atlantic Salmon FMP; and

    (2) Make changes to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs.

    7. In § 648.55, revise paragraphs (f)(39) and (40), and add paragraph (f)(41) to read as follows:
    § 648.55 Framework adjustments to management measures.

    (f) * * *

    (39) Adjusting EFH closed area management boundaries or other associated measures;

    (40) Changes to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set-aside programs; and

    (41) Any other management measures currently included in the FMP.

    8. In § 648.79, revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 648.79 Surfclam and ocean quahog framework adjustments to management measures.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Adjustment process. The MAFMC shall develop and analyze appropriate management actions over the span of at least two MAFMC meetings. The MAFMC must provide the public with advance notice of the availability of the recommendation(s), appropriate justification(s) and economic and biological analyses, and the opportunity to comment on the proposed adjustment(s) at the first meeting, and prior to and at the second MAFMC meeting. The MAFMC's recommendations on adjustments or additions to management measures must come from one or more of the following categories: Adjustments within existing ABC control rule levels; adjustments to the existing MAFMC risk policy; introduction of new AMs, including sub-ACTs; the overfishing definition (both the threshold and target levels); description and identification of EFH (and fishing gear management measures that impact EFH); habitat areas of particular concern; set-aside quota for scientific research; VMS; OY range; suspension or adjustment of the surfclam minimum size limit; and changes to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs. Issues that require significant departures from previously contemplated measures or that are otherwise introducing new concepts may require an amendment of the FMP instead of a framework adjustment.

    9. In § 648.90, revise paragraphs (a)(2)(i), (a)(2)(iii), (b)(1)(ii), and (c)(1)(i) and (ii) to read as follows:
    § 648.90 NE multispecies assessment, framework procedures and specifications, and flexible area action system.

    (a) * * *

    (2) Biennial review. (i) The NE multispecies PDT shall meet on or before September 30 every other year to perform a review of the fishery, using the most current scientific information available provided primarily from the NEFSC. Data provided by states, ASMFC, the USCG, and other sources may also be considered by the PDT. Based on this review, the PDT will develop ACLs for the upcoming fishing year(s) as described in paragraph (a)(4) of this section and develop options for consideration by the Council if necessary, on any changes, adjustments, or additions to DAS allocations, closed areas, or other measures necessary to rebuild overfished stocks and achieve the FMP goals and objectives, including changes to the SBRM.

    (iii) Based on this review, the PDT shall recommend ACLs and develop options necessary to achieve the FMP goals and objectives, which may include a preferred option. The PDT must demonstrate through analyses and documentation that the options they develop are expected to meet the FMP goals and objectives. The PDT may review the performance of different user groups or fleet sectors in developing options. The range of options developed by the PDT may include any of the management measures in the FMP, including, but not limited to: ACLs, which must be based on the projected fishing mortality levels required to meet the goals and objectives outlined in the FMP for the 12 regulated species and ocean pout if able to be determined; identifying and distributing ACLs and other sub-components of the ACLs among various segments of the fishery; AMs; DAS changes; possession limits; gear restrictions; closed areas; permitting restrictions; minimum fish sizes; recreational fishing measures; describing and identifying EFH; fishing gear management measures to protect EFH; designating habitat areas of particular concern within EFH; and changes to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs. In addition, the following conditions and measures may be adjusted through future framework adjustments: Revisions to DAS measures, including DAS allocations (such as the distribution of DAS among the four categories of DAS), future uses for Category C DAS, and DAS baselines, adjustments for steaming time, etc.; modifications to capacity measures, such as changes to the DAS transfer or DAS leasing measures; calculation of area-specific ACLs, area management boundaries, and adoption of area-specific management measures; sector allocation requirements and specifications, including the establishment of a new sector, the disapproval of an existing sector, the allowable percent of ACL available to a sector through a sector allocation, and the calculation of PSCs; sector administration provisions, including at-sea and dockside monitoring measures; sector reporting requirements; state-operated permit bank administrative provisions; measures to implement the U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding, including any specified TACs (hard or target); changes to administrative measures; additional uses for Regular B DAS; reporting requirements; the GOM Inshore Conservation and Management Stewardship Plan; adjustments to the Handgear A or B permits; gear requirements to improve selectivity, reduce bycatch, and/or reduce impacts of the fishery on EFH; SAP modifications; revisions to the ABC control rule and status determination criteria, including, but not limited to, changes in the target fishing mortality rates, minimum biomass thresholds, numerical estimates of parameter values, and the use of a proxy for biomass may be made either through a biennial adjustment or framework adjustment; changes to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs; and any other measures currently included in the FMP.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) The Whiting PDT, after reviewing the available information on the status of the stock and the fishery, may recommend to the Council any measures necessary to assure that the specifications will not be exceeded; changes to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs; as well as changes to the appropriate specifications.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) After a management action has been initiated, the Council shall develop and analyze appropriate management actions over the span of at least two Council meetings. The Council shall provide the public with advance notice of the availability of both the proposals and the analyses and opportunity to comment on them prior to and at the second Council meeting. The Council's recommendation on adjustments or additions to management measures, other than to address gear conflicts, must come from one or more of the following categories: DAS changes; effort monitoring; data reporting; possession limits; gear restrictions; closed areas; permitting restrictions; crew limits; minimum fish sizes; onboard observers; minimum hook size and hook style; the use of crucifer in the hook-gear fishery; sector requirements; recreational fishing measures; area closures and other appropriate measures to mitigate marine mammal entanglements and interactions; description and identification of EFH; fishing gear management measures to protect EFH; designation of habitat areas of particular concern within EFH; changes to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs; and any other management measures currently included in the FMP.

    (ii) The Council's recommendation on adjustments or additions to management measures pertaining to small-mesh NE multispecies, other than to address gear conflicts, must come from one or more of the following categories: Quotas and appropriate seasonal adjustments for vessels fishing in experimental or exempted fisheries that use small mesh in combination with a separator trawl/grate (if applicable); modifications to separator grate (if applicable) and mesh configurations for fishing for small-mesh NE multispecies; adjustments to whiting stock boundaries for management purposes; adjustments for fisheries exempted from minimum mesh requirements to fish for small-mesh NE multispecies (if applicable); season adjustments; declarations; participation requirements for any of the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank small-mesh multispecies exemption areas; OFL and ABC values; ACL, TAL, or TAL allocations, including the proportions used to allocate by season or area; small-mesh multispecies possession limits, including in-season AM possession limits; changes to reporting requirements and methods to monitor the fishery; and biological reference points, including selected reference time series, survey strata used to calculate biomass, and the selected survey for status determination; and changes to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs.

    10. In § 648.96, revise paragraph (a)(3)(ii) to read as follows:
    § 648.96 FMP review, specification, and framework adjustment process.

    (a) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (ii) The range of options developed by the Councils may include any of the management measures in the Monkfish FMP, including, but not limited to: ACTs; closed seasons or closed areas; minimum size limits; mesh size limits; net limits; liver-to-monkfish landings ratios; annual monkfish DAS allocations and monitoring; trip or possession limits; blocks of time out of the fishery; gear restrictions; transferability of permits and permit rights or administration of vessel upgrades, vessel replacement, or permit assignment; measures to minimize the impact of the monkfish fishery on protected species; gear requirements or restrictions that minimize bycatch or bycatch mortality; transferable DAS programs; changes to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs; changes to the Monkfish Research Set-Aside Program; and other frameworkable measures included in §§ 648.55 and 648.90.

    11. In § 648.102, add paragraph (a)(10) to read as follows:
    § 648.102 Summer flounder specifications.

    (a) * * *

    (10) Changes, as appropriate, to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs.

    12. In § 648.110, revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 648.110 Summer flounder framework adjustments to management measures.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Adjustment process. The MAFMC shall develop and analyze appropriate management actions over the span of at least two MAFMC meetings. The MAFMC must provide the public with advance notice of the availability of the recommendation(s), appropriate justification(s) and economic and biological analyses, and the opportunity to comment on the proposed adjustment(s) at the first meeting and prior to and at the second MAFMC meeting. The MAFMC's recommendations on adjustments or additions to management measures must come from one or more of the following categories: Adjustments within existing ABC control rule levels; adjustments to the existing MAFMC risk policy; introduction of new AMs, including sub-ACTs; minimum fish size; maximum fish size; gear restrictions; gear requirements or prohibitions; permitting restrictions; recreational possession limit; recreational seasons; closed areas; commercial seasons; commercial trip limits; commercial quota system including commercial quota allocation procedure and possible quota set asides to mitigate bycatch; recreational harvest limit; specification quota setting process; FMP Monitoring Committee composition and process; description and identification of essential fish habitat (and fishing gear management measures that impact EFH); description and identification of habitat areas of particular concern; regional gear restrictions; regional season restrictions (including option to split seasons); restrictions on vessel size (LOA and GRT) or shaft horsepower; operator permits; changes to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs; any other commercial or recreational management measures; any other management measures currently included in the FMP; and set aside quota for scientific research. Issues that require significant departures from previously contemplated measures or that are otherwise introducing new concepts may require an amendment of the FMP instead of a framework adjustment.

    13. In § 648.122, add paragraph (a)(13) to read as follows:
    § 648.122 Scup specifications.

    (a) * * *

    (13) Changes, as appropriate, to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs.

    14. In § 648.130, revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 648.130 Scup framework adjustments to management measures.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Adjustment process. The MAFMC shall develop and analyze appropriate management actions over the span of at least two MAFMC meetings. The MAFMC must provide the public with advance notice of the availability of the recommendation(s), appropriate justification(s) and economic and biological analyses, and the opportunity to comment on the proposed adjustment(s) at the first meeting and prior to and at the second MAFMC meeting. The MAFMC's recommendations on adjustments or additions to management measures must come from one or more of the following categories: Adjustments within existing ABC control rules; adjustments to the existing MAFMC risk policy; introduction of new AMs, including sub-ACTs; minimum fish size; maximum fish size; gear restrictions; gear restricted areas; gear requirements or prohibitions; permitting restrictions; recreational possession limits; recreational seasons; closed areas; commercial seasons; commercial trip limits; commercial quota system including commercial quota allocation procedure and possible quota set asides to mitigate bycatch; recreational harvest limits; annual specification quota setting process; FMP Monitoring Committee composition and process; description and identification of EFH (and fishing gear management measures that impact EFH); description and identification of habitat areas of particular concern; regional gear restrictions; regional season restrictions (including option to split seasons); restrictions on vessel size (LOA and GRT) or shaft horsepower; operator permits; changes to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs; any other commercial or recreational management measures; any other management measures currently included in the FMP; and set aside quota for scientific research.

    15. In § 648.142, add paragraph (a)(12) to read as follows:
    § 648.142 Black sea bass specifications.

    (a) * * *

    (12) Changes, as appropriate, to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs.

    16. In § 648.162, add paragraph (a)(9) to read as follows:
    § 648.162 Bluefish specifications.

    (a) * * *

    (9) Changes, as appropriate, to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs; and

    17. In § 648.167, revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 648.167 Bluefish framework adjustment to management measures.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Adjustment process. After a management action has been initiated, the MAFMC shall develop and analyze appropriate management actions over the span of at least two MAFMC meetings. The MAFMC shall provide the public with advance notice of the availability of both the proposals and the analysis and the opportunity to comment on them prior to and at the second MAFMC meeting. The MAFMC's recommendation on adjustments or additions to management measures must come from one or more of the following categories: Adjustments within existing ABC control rule levels; adjustments to the existing MAFMC risk policy; introduction of new AMs, including sub-ACTs; minimum fish size; maximum fish size; gear restrictions; gear requirements or prohibitions; permitting restrictions; recreational possession limit; recreational season; closed areas; commercial season; description and identification of EFH; fishing gear management measures to protect EFH; designation of habitat areas of particular concern within EFH; changes to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs; and any other management measures currently included in the FMP. Measures that require significant departures from previously contemplated measures or that are otherwise introducing new concepts may require an amendment of the FMP instead of a framework adjustment.

    18. In § 648.200, revise the introductory text of paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 648.200 Specifications.

    (b) Guidelines. As the basis for its recommendations under paragraph (a) of this section, the PDT shall review available data pertaining to: Commercial and recreational catch data; current estimates of fishing mortality; discards; stock status; recent estimates of recruitment; virtual population analysis results and other estimates of stock size; sea sampling and trawl survey data or, if sea sampling data are unavailable, length frequency information from trawl surveys; impact of other fisheries on herring mortality; and any other relevant information. The specifications recommended pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section must be consistent with the following:

    19. In § 648.206, add paragraph (b)(29) to read as follows:
    § 648.206 Framework provisions.

    (b) * * *

    (29) Changes, as appropriate, to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs;

    20. In § 648.232, add paragraph (a)(6) to read as follows:
    § 648.232 Spiny dogfish specifications.

    (a) * * *

    (6) Changes, as appropriate, to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs;

    21. In § 648.239, revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 648.239 Spiny dogfish framework adjustments to management measures.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Adjustment process. After the Councils initiate a management action, they shall develop and analyze appropriate management actions over the span of at least two Council meetings. The Councils shall provide the public with advance notice of the availability of both the proposals and the analysis for comment prior to, and at, the second Council meeting. The Councils' recommendation on adjustments or additions to management measures must come from one or more of the following categories: Adjustments within existing ABC control rule levels; adjustments to the existing MAFMC risk policy; introduction of new AMs, including sub-ACTs; minimum fish size; maximum fish size; gear requirements, restrictions, or prohibitions (including, but not limited to, mesh size restrictions and net limits); regional gear restrictions; permitting restrictions, and reporting requirements; recreational fishery measures (including possession and size limits and season and area restrictions); commercial season and area restrictions; commercial trip or possession limits; fin weight to spiny dogfish landing weight restrictions; onboard observer requirements; commercial quota system (including commercial quota allocation procedures and possible quota set-asides to mitigate bycatch, conduct scientific research, or for other purposes); recreational harvest limit; annual quota specification process; FMP Monitoring Committee composition and process; description and identification of essential fish habitat; description and identification of habitat areas of particular concern; overfishing definition and related thresholds and targets; regional season restrictions (including option to split seasons); restrictions on vessel size (length and GRT) or shaft horsepower; target quotas; measures to mitigate marine mammal entanglements and interactions; regional management; changes to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs; any other management measures currently included in the Spiny Dogfish FMP; and measures to regulate aquaculture projects. Measures that require significant departures from previously contemplated measures or that are otherwise introducing new concepts may require an amendment of the FMP instead of a framework adjustment.

    22. In § 648.260, revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 648.260 Specifications.

    (a) * * *

    (1) The Red Crab PDT shall meet at least once annually during the intervening years between Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) Reports, described in paragraph (b) of this section, to review the status of the stock and the fishery. Based on such review, the PDT shall provide a report to the Council on any changes or new information about the red crab stock and/or fishery, and it shall recommend whether the specifications for the upcoming year(s) need to be modified. At a minimum, this review shall include a review of at least the following data, if available: Commercial catch data; current estimates of fishing mortality and catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE); discards; stock status; recent estimates of recruitment; virtual population analysis results and other estimates of stock size; sea sampling, port sampling, and survey data or, if sea sampling data are unavailable, length frequency information from port sampling and/or surveys; impact of other fisheries on the mortality of red crabs; and any other relevant information.

    23. In § 648.261, revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 648.261 Framework adjustment process.

    (a) * * *

    (1) In response to an annual review of the status of the fishery or the resource by the Red Crab PDT, or at any other time, the Council may recommend adjustments to any of the measures proposed by the Red Crab FMP, including the SBRM. The Red Crab Oversight Committee may request that the Council initiate a framework adjustment. Framework adjustments shall require one initial meeting (the agenda must include notification of the impending proposal for a framework adjustment) and one final Council meeting. After a management action has been initiated, the Council shall develop and analyze appropriate management actions within the scope identified below. The Council may refer the proposed adjustments to the Red Crab Committee for further deliberation and review. Upon receiving the recommendations of the Oversight Committee, the Council shall publish notice of its intent to take action and provide the public with any relevant analyses and opportunity to comment on any possible actions. After receiving public comment, the Council must take action (to approve, modify, disapprove, or table) on the recommendation at the Council meeting following the meeting at which it first received the recommendations. Documentation and analyses for the framework adjustment shall be available at least 2 weeks before the final meeting.

    24. In § 648.292, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 648.292 Tilefish specifications.

    (a) Annual specification process. The Tilefish Monitoring Committee shall review the ABC recommendation of the SSC, tilefish landings and discards information, and any other relevant available data to determine if the ACL, ACT, or total allowable landings (TAL) requires modification to respond to any changes to the stock's biological reference points or to ensure that the rebuilding schedule is maintained. The Monitoring Committee will consider whether any additional management measures or revisions to existing measures are necessary to ensure that the TAL will not be exceeded, including changes, as appropriate, to the SBRM. Based on that review, the Monitoring Committee will recommend ACL, ACT, and TAL to the Tilefish Committee of the MAFMC. Based on these recommendations and any public comment received, the Tilefish Committee shall recommend to the MAFMC the appropriate ACL, ACT, TAL, and other management measures for a single fishing year or up to 3 years. The MAFMC shall review these recommendations and any public comments received, and recommend to the Regional Administrator, at least 120 days prior to the beginning of the next fishing year, the appropriate ACL, ACT, TAL, the percentage of TAL allocated to research quota, and any management measures to ensure that the TAL will not be exceeded, for the next fishing year, or up to 3 fishing years. The MAFMC's recommendations must include supporting documentation, as appropriate, concerning the environmental and economic impacts of the recommendations. The Regional Administrator shall review these recommendations, and after such review, NMFS will publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register specifying the annual ACL, ACT, TAL and any management measures to ensure that the TAL will not be exceeded for the upcoming fishing year or years. After considering public comments, NMFS will publish a final rule in the Federal Register to implement the ACL, ACT, TAL and any management measures. The previous year's specifications will remain effective unless revised through the specification process and/or the research quota process described in paragraph (e) of this section. NMFS will issue notification in the Federal Register if the previous year's specifications will not be changed.

    25. In § 648.299, add paragraph (a)(1)(xviii) to read as follows:
    § 648.299 Tilefish framework specifications.

    (a) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (xviii) Changes, as appropriate, to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs;

    26. In § 648.320, revise paragraphs (a)(5)(ii) and (iii), and add paragraph (a)(5)(iv) to read as follows:
    § 648.320 Skate FMP review and monitoring.

    (a) * * *

    (5) * * *

    (ii) In-season possession limit triggers for the wing and/or bait fisheries;

    (iii) Required adjustments to in-season possession limit trigger percentages or the ACL-ACT buffer, based on the accountability measures specified at § 648.323; and

    (iv) Changes, as appropriate, to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs.

    27. In § 648.321, revise paragraphs (b)(22) and (23), and add paragraph (b)(24) to read as follows:
    § 648.321 Framework adjustment process.

    (b) * * *

    (22) Reduction of the baseline 25-percent ACL-ACT buffer to less than 25 percent;

    (23) Changes to catch monitoring procedures; and

    (24) Changes, as appropriate, to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs.

    [FR Doc. 2015-15619 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 125 Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1987; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-240-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of cracked forward door members of the inboard main landing gear (MLG) doors. This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of the inboard MLG doors, repairs if necessary, and replacement of the inboard MLG doors. This proposed AD also would provide optional terminating action for the door replacement. We are proposing this AD to prevent loss of an MLG door during flight, which could result in damage to the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 14, 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 proposed AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; 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.

    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-2015-1987; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket 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:

    Aziz Ahmed, Aerospace Engineer, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone 516-228-7329; fax 516-794-5531.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-1987; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-240-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD 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 proposed AD.

    Discussion

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-42, dated December 12, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Cases of inboard MLG doors with cracked door forward members were found. A cracked inboard MLG door forward member could result in door departure from the aeroplane. Loss of an MLG door during flight could result in damage to the aeroplane and injury to persons on the ground.

    This [Canadian] AD mandates the repetitive inspection [and corrective actions if necessary] and replacement of the inboard MLG doors.

    The repetitive inspection is a detailed inspection for damage (including deformation, pulled or missing fasteners on the inner and outer skin, cracks, and deformation) on the forward member of the inboard MLG door inner skins, outer skin, and the forward member.

    Corrective actions include repairing, removing, or replacing the inboard MLG door. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1987.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Bombardier has issued the following service information.

    • Bombardier Modification Summary Package IS670528200033, Revision A-2, dated October 11, 2005. This service information describes procedures for enlarging the forward and aft hinge cutouts of the MLG inboard and outboard doors.

    • Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-040, Revision D, dated July 2, 2014, including Appendix A, Revision A, dated July 2, 2014, and Appendix B, Revision B, dated July 2, 2014. This service information describes procedures for increasing the clearances between the MLG fairing and the MLG doors.

    • Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-040, Revision E, dated November 13, 2014, including Appendix A, Revision A, dated July 2, 2014, and Appendix B, Revision B, dated July 2, 2014. This service information describes procedures for increasing the clearances between the MLG fairing and the MLG doors, and for enlarging the forward and aft hinge cutouts of the MLG inboard and outboard doors.

    • Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-042, Revision A, dated July 2, 2014, including Appendices A and B, both dated November 5, 2013. This service information describes procedures for inspecting and repairing the inboard MLG door inner skins, outer skin, and the forward member.

    • Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-043, Revision A, dated November 13, 2014. This service information describes procedures for replacing the inboard MLG doors.

    • Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-043, dated July 2, 2014. This service information describes procedures for replacing the inboard MLG doors.

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

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed 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 proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs.

    Related Rulemaking

    AD 2010-23-19, Amendment 39-16508 (75 FR 68695, November 9, 2010), requires repetitive inspections for damage of the MLG inboard doors and fairing, and corrective actions if necessary. AD 2010-23-19 applies to Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes having serial numbers (S/Ns) 10003 and subsequent; and Model CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705) and CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes having S/Ns 15001 and subsequent.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 269 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate that it would take about 16 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work hour. Required parts would cost about $31,000 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $8,704,840, or $32,360 per product.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take up to 44 work-hours and require parts costing up to $31,000, for a cost of up to $34,740 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Bombardier, Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2015-1987; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-240-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by August 14, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 10002 and subsequent, as identified in Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-042, Revision A, dated July 2, 2014.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing gear.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of cracked forward door members of the inboard main landing gear (MLG) doors. We are issuing this AD to prevent loss of an MLG door during flight, which could result in damage to the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Inspections

    Within 660 flight hours or 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Do a detailed inspection for damage (including deformation, pulled or missing fasteners on the inner and outer skin, cracks, and deformation) on the outer skin, and the forward member, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-042, Revision A, dated July 2, 2014, including Appendices A and B, both dated November 5, 2013. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 660 flight hours or 12 months, whichever occurs first.

    (h) Detailed Inspection Definition

    For the purposes of this AD, a detailed inspection is an intensive examination of a specific item, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good lighting at an intensity deemed appropriate. Inspection aids such as mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be necessary. Surface cleaning and elaborate procedures may be required.

    (i) Corrective Actions

    (1) If any damage is found on the inner or outer skin of the inboard MLG door during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Before further flight, do the actions specified in paragraph (i)(1)(i), (i)(1)(ii), or (i)(1)(iii) of this AD.

    (i) Remove the damaged inboard MLG door, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-042, Revision A, dated July 2, 2014, including Appendices A and B, both dated November 5, 2013.

    (ii) Repair the door as specified in paragraph (i)(1)(i)(A) or (i)(1)(i)(B) of this AD, as applicable.

    (A) If repair of the inboard MLG door is possible: Repair and reinstall the door, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-042, Revision A, dated July 2, 2014, including Appendices A and B, both dated November 5, 2013.

    (B) If it is not possible to repair the inboard MLG door in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-042, Revision A, dated July 2, 2014, including Appendices A and B, both dated November 5, 2013: Repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO).

    (iii) Replace the inboard MLG door, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-043, Revision A, dated November 13, 2014.

    (2) If any damage is found on the forward member of the inboard MLG door during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Before further flight, replace the inboard MLG door, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-043, Revision A, dated November 13, 2014.

    (j) Terminating Action

    Within 6,600 flight hours or 36 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, except as provided by paragraph (l) of this AD: Replace the inboard MLG door, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-043, Revision A, dated November 13, 2014; except, where Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-043, Revision A, dated November 13, 2014, specifies to contact the manufacturer for certain instructions, this AD requires accomplishing those actions using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO.

    (1) Doing the MLG door replacement required by paragraph (j) of this AD terminates the inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD for that MLG door. (2) Doing the actions required by this paragraph does not terminate the actions required by AD 2010-23-19, Amendment 39-16508 (75 FR 68695, November 9, 2010).

    (k) Optional Actions for Compliance with Paragraph (j) of this AD

    Doing any of the actions specified in paragraph (k)(1), (k)(2), (k)(3), or (k)(4) of this AD is acceptable for compliance with the requirements of paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (1) Replacement of the inboard MLG door, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-043, Revision A, dated November 13, 2014; and enlargement of the forward and aft hinge cutouts, in accordance with the procedures specified in Bombardier Modification Summary Package (MoDSum) IS670528200033, Revision A-2, dated October 11, 2005.

    (2) Installation of an inboard MLG door assembly with a part number listed in the “Post SB Part Number” column of Section M, Relationship Chart, of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-043, dated July 2, 2014, in accordance with the Accomplishment instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-043, dated July 2, 2014; or Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-043, Revision A dated November 13, 2014; or using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO.

    (3) Doing the actions specified in “PART C—Installation of the Inboard MLG Door Part Number CC670-10520-15 and Increase of the Clearance Between the Left MLG Inboard-Door and the MLG Fairing” and “PART D—Installation of the Inboard MLG Door Part Number CC670-10520-16 and Increase of the Clearance Between the Right MLG Inboard-Door and the MLG Fairing” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-040, Revision E, dated November 13, 2014, including Appendix A, Revision A, dated July 2, 2014, and Appendix B, Revision B, dated July 2, 2014.

    (4) Doing the actions specified in paragraphs (k)(4)(i) and (k)(4)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) Doing the actions specified in “PART C—Installation of the Inboard MLG Door Part Number CC670-10520-15 and Increase of the Clearance Between the Left MLG Inboard-Door and the MLG Fairing” and “PART D—Installation of the Inboard MLG Door Part Number CC670-10520-16 and Increase of the Clearance Between the Right MLG Inboard-Door and the MLG Fairing” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-040, Revision D, dated July 2, 2014, including Appendix A, Revision A, dated July 2, 2014, and Appendix B, Revision B, dated July 2, 2014.

    (ii) Enlargement of the forward and aft hinge cutouts specified in Bombardier Modsum IS670528200033, Revision A-2, dated October 11, 2005.

    (l) Optional Delay of MLG Door Replacement

    If an MLG door is removed, the replacement required by paragraph (j) of this AD can be delayed until the MLG door is reinstalled. When the removed MLG door is replaced, the actions required by paragraph (j) of this AD must be done at the time specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (m) Parts Installation Prohibition

    Upon completion of the actions specified in paragraph (j) or (k) of this AD, no person may install an inboard MLG door assembly with a part number listed in the “Pre SB Part Number” column of Section M, Relationship Chart, of Bombardier Service Bulletin 670BA-32-043, dated July 2, 2014, on any airplane.

    (n) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York 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 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 5531. 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, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO. If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO authorized signature.

    (o) Special Flight Permits

    Special flight permits, as described in Section 21.197 and Section 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199), are not allowed.

    (p) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-42, dated December 12, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1987.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514 855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. 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.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 19, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15856 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0345] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Ohio River between Mile 25.2 and 25.8; New Brighton, PA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is proposing to establish a temporary safety zone on the Ohio River Mile from mile 25.2 to mile 25.8. The proposed safety zone will be effective from 8:45 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. on August 22, 2015. This safety zone is needed to protect persons and vessels from the potential safety hazards associated with the Beaver County Regatta Fireworks. Entry into this zone will be prohibited to all vessels, mariners, and persons unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP), Pittsburgh or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before July 15, 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, call or email MST1 Jennifer Haggins, Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (412)221-0807, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl F. 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 SAR Search and Rescue 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-2015-0345] 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-2015-0345) 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 has a long history working with local, state, and federal agencies in areas to improve emergency response, to prepare for events that call for swift action, and to protect our nation. The Coast Guard is proposing to establish this safety zone on the waters of the Ohio River for the Beaver County Regatta fireworks. The marine event is scheduled to take place from 8:45 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. on August 22, 2015. This proposed rule is necessary to protect the safety of the participants, spectators, commercial traffic, and the general public on the navigable waters of the United States during the event.

    C. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis and authorities for this proposed rule are found in 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, which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to propose, establish, and define regulatory safety zones. The purpose of this proposed safety zone is to protect public boaters and their vessels from potential safety hazards associated with the Beaver County Regatta Fireworks on the Ohio River, including falling embers and debris.

    D. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule is necessary to establish a safety zone that will encompass all waters of the Ohio River in New Brighton, Pennsylvania. The proposed safety zone will be enforced from approximately 8:45 p.m. to 11:15 p.m., for approximately 2 hour 30 minutes on August 22, 2015. As proposed, the safety zone would be a complete closure of the Ohio River from mile 25.2 to mile 25.8 from 8:45 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. on August 22, 2015. All persons and vessels, except those persons and vessels participating in the marine fireworks event and those vessels enforcing the areas, would be prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the proposed safety zone area.

    Persons and vessels may request authorization to enter, transit though, anchor in, or remain within the enforcement areas by contacting the Captain of the Port Pittsburgh by telephone at (412)221-0807, or a designated representative via VHF radio on channel 16. If authorization to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the enforcement areas is granted by the Captain of the Port Pittsburgh or a designated representative, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Pittsburgh or a designated representative.

    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 a number of these statutes or 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 temporary safety zone listed in this proposed rule will restrict vessel traffic from entering, transiting, or anchoring within a portion of the Ohio River. The effect of this proposed regulation will not be significant for several reasons: (1) The amount of time the Ohio River will be closed, and (2) the impacts on routine navigation are expected to be minimal because notifications to the marine community will be made through local notice to mariners (LNM) and broadcast notice to mariners (BNM). Therefore, these notifications will allow the public to plan operations around the proposed safety zone and its enforcement times.

    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 proposed rule will affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the Ohio River from mile 25.2 to mile 25.8 effective from 8:45 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. on August 22, 2015. This proposed safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because this proposed rule will impede navigational traffic for a short period of time. Traffic in this area is almost entirely limited to recreational vessels and commercial towing vessels. Notifications to the marine community will be made through BNMs and electronic mail. Notices of changes to the proposed safety zone and scheduled effective times and enforcement periods will also be made. Deviation from the proposed restrictions may be requested from the COTP or designated representative and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    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 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 proposed 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 establishing a temporary safety zone. The safety zone will be on the Ohio River mile 25.2 to mile 25.8 from 8:45 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. on August 22, 2015. This action is necessary to protect persons and property during the Beaver County Regatta Fireworks. This proposed rule is 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 and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed 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 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, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. A new temporary § 165.T08-0345 is added to read as follows:
    § 165.T08-0345 Safety zone; Ohio River between mile 25.2 and 25.8; New Brighton, PA.

    (a) Locations. The following area is a temporary safety zone: All waters on the Ohio River Mile from mile 25.2 to mile 25.8.

    (b) Effective date and time. The safety zone listed in section (a) is effective from 8:45 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. on August 22, 2015.

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into this area is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) Pittsburgh or a designated representative.

    (2) Spectator vessels may safely transit outside the safety zones at a minimum safe speed, but may not anchor, block, loiter, or impede participants or official patrol vessels.

    (3) Vessels requiring entry into or passage through the safety zones must request permission from the COTP Pittsburgh or a designated representative. They may be contacted by telephone at (412) 412-0807.

    (4) All vessels shall comply with the instructions of the COTP Pittsburgh and designated personnel. Designated personnel include commissioned, warrant, and petty officers of the U.S. Coast Guard.

    (d) Informational Broadcasts: The Captain of the Port, Pittsburgh or a designated representative will inform the public through broadcast notices to mariners (BNM) of the effective period for the safety zone and of any changes in the effective period, enforcement times, or size of the safety zones.

    Dated: May 27, 2015. L.N. Weaver, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port Pittsburgh.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16105 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2015-0026; FRL-9929-46-Region 8] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; North Dakota; Alternative Monitoring Plan for Milton R. Young Station AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of North Dakota. On April 8, 2013, the Governor of North Dakota submitted to EPA an alternative monitoring plan for the Milton R. Young Station (MRYS). The plan relates to continuous opacity monitoring for Unit 1 at MRYS. The intended effect of this action is to approve a state plan established to address minimum emission monitoring requirements. The EPA is proposing approval of this SIP revision in accordance with the requirements of section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before July 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2015-0026, by one of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected].

    Fax: (303) 312-6064 (please alert the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT if you are faxing comments).

    Mail: Carl Daly, Director, Air Program, EPA, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129.

    Hand Delivery: Director, Air Program, EPA, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129. Such deliveries are only accepted Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding federal holidays. Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Please see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules Section of this Federal Register for detailed instruction on how to submit comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gail Fallon, Air Program, EPA, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado, 80202-1129, (303) 312-6218, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP revision as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial SIP revision and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the preamble to the direct final rule.

    If EPA receives no adverse comments, EPA will not take further action on this proposed rule. If EPA receives adverse comments, EPA will withdraw the direct final rule and it will not take effect. EPA will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule.

    EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. For further information, please see the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

    Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on a distinct provision of the rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. See the information provided in the Direct Final action of the same title which is located in the Rules and Regulations Section of this Federal Register.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: June 9, 2015. Shaun L. McGrath, Regional Administrator, Region 8.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15525 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 1 [MD Docket Nos. 14-92; 15-121; 15-121; FCC 15-59] Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2015 AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) will revise its Schedule of Regulatory Fees in order to recover an amount of $339,844,000 that Congress has required the Commission to collect for fiscal year 2015.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before June 22, 2015, and reply comments on or before July 6, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by MD Docket No. 15-121, by any of the following methods:

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

    • Federal Communications Commission's Web site: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: [email protected] or phone: 202-418-0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.

    E-mail: [email protected] Include MD Docket No. 15-121 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail, and Priority Mail, must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743. U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail should be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington DC 20554.

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

    Roland Helvajian, Office of Managing Director at (202) 418-0444.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), Report and Order, and Order, FCC 15-59, MD Docket No. 15-121, adopted on May 20, 2015 and released May 21, 2015. The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Portals II, Washington, DC 20554, and may also be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, BCPI, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. Customers may contact BCPI, Inc. via their Web site, http://www.bcpi.com, or call 1-800-378-3160. This document is available in alternative formats (computer diskette, large print, audio record, and braille). Persons with disabilities who need documents in these formats may contact the FCC by email: [email protected] or phone: 202-418-0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.

    I. Procedural Matters A. Ex Parte Rules Permit-But-Disclose Proceeding

    1. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FY 2015 NPRM), Report and Order, and Order shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made, and summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda, or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with section 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by section 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

    B. Comment Filing Procedures

    2. Comments and Replies. Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. Comments may be filed using: (1) the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), (2) the Federal Government's eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies. See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).

    Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/ or the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.

    Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

    All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St. SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building.

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

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

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

    3. Availability of Documents. Comments, reply comments, and ex parte submissions will be available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. These documents will also be available free online, via ECFS. Documents will be available electronically in ASCII, Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat.

    4. Accessibility Information. To request information in accessible formats (computer diskettes, large print, audio recording, and Braille), send an email to [email protected] or call the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY). This document can also be downloaded in Word and Portable Document Format (“PDF”) at: http://www.fcc.gov.

    C. Initial Paperwork Reduction Act

    5. This NPRM, Report and Order, and Order document solicits possible proposed information collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the possible proposed information collection requirements contained in this document, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), the Commission seeks specific comment on how it can further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    D. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    6. An initial regulatory flexibility analysis (“IRFA”) is contained in Attachment E. Comments to the IRFA must be identified as responses to the IRFA and filed by the deadlines for comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The Commission will send a copy of this NPRM, including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    II. Introduction and Executive Summary

    7. In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we seek comment on the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's or Commission's) proposed regulatory fees for fiscal year (FY) 2015 to collect $339,844,000.1 In addition, we seek comment on the Puerto Rico Broadcasters Association's (PRBA's) request for relief from regulatory fee assessments on radio and television stations in Puerto Rico due to substantial financial hardships.2

    1 The proposed regulatory fees include a proposed five percent reduction in regulatory fees for submarine cable systems and bearer circuits, reflected in Table C.

    2See Letter from Messrs. Francisco Montero, Esq. and Jonathan R. Markman, Esq., Counsel for the Puerto Rico Broadcasters Association, filed in Docket No. 14-92, to Marlene Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission (Dec. 10, 2014) (PRBA Letter).

    III. Background

    8. The Commission is required by Congress to assess regulatory fees each year in an amount that can reasonably be expected to equal the amount of its appropriation.3 Regulatory fees, assessed each fiscal year, are to “be derived by determining the full-time equivalent number of employees performing” these activities, “adjusted to take into account factors that are reasonably related to the benefits provided to the payer of the fee by the Commission's activities . . . .” 4 Regulatory fees recover direct costs, such as salary and expenses; indirect costs, such as overhead functions; and support costs, such as rent, utilities, or equipment.5 Regulatory fees also cover the costs incurred in regulating entities that are statutorily exempt from paying regulatory fees,6 entities whose regulatory fees are waived,7 and entities that provide nonregulated services. Congress sets the amount the Commission must collect each year in the Commission's fiscal year appropriations, and section 9(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Communications Act or Act) requires the Commission to collect fees sufficient to offset the amount appropriated.8 To calculate regulatory fees, the Commission allocates the total collection target, as mandated by Congress each year, across all regulatory fee categories. The allocation of fees to fee categories is based on the Commission's calculation of full time employees (FTEs) 9 in each regulatory fee category. Historically, the Commission has classified FTEs as “direct” if the employee is in one of the four “core” bureaus; otherwise, that employee was considered an “indirect” FTE.10 The total FTEs for each fee category includes the direct FTEs associated with that category, plus a proportional allocation of the indirect FTEs.

    3 47 U.S.C. 159(b)(1)(B).

    4 47 U.S.C. 159(b)(1)(A).

    5See Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2004, Report and Order, 69 FR 41028 at 41030, para. 11 (July 7, 2004) (FY 2004 Report and Order).

    6 For example, governmental and nonprofit entities are exempt from regulatory fees under section 9(h) of the Act. 47 U.S.C. 159(h); 47 CFR 1.1162.

    7 47 CFR 1.1166.

    8 47 U.S.C. 159(a)(2).

    9 One FTE, a “Full Time Equivalent” or “Full Time Employee,” is a unit of measure equal to the work performed annually by a full time person (working a 40 hour workweek for a full year) assigned to the particular job, and subject to agency personnel staffing limitations established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

    10 The core bureaus are the Wireline Competition Bureau (172 FTEs), Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (91 FTEs), Media Bureau (155 FTEs), and part of the International Bureau (28 FTEs), totaling 446 “direct” FTEs. The “indirect” FTEs are the employees from the following bureaus and offices: Enforcement Bureau, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, Chairman and Commissioners' offices, Office of the Managing Director, Office of General Counsel, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Communications Business Opportunities, Office of Engineering and Technology, Office of Legislative Affairs, Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, Office of Workplace Diversity, Office of Media Relations, and Office of Administrative Law Judges, totaling 1,037 “indirect” FTEs. These totals are as of Oct. 1, 2014 and exclude auctions FTEs.

    9. Section 9 of the Communications Act requires the Commission to make certain changes (i.e., mandatory amendments) to the regulatory fee schedule if it “determines that the Schedule requires amendment to comply with the requirements” of section 9(b)(1)(A).11 In addition, the Commission must add, delete, or reclassify services in the fee schedule to reflect additions, deletions, or changes in the nature of its services “as a consequence of Commission rulemaking proceedings or changes in law.” 12 These “permitted amendments” require Congressional notification.13 The changes in fees resulting from both mandatory and permitted amendments are not subject to judicial review.14

    11 47 U.S.C. 159(b)(3).

    12 47 U.S.C. 159(b)(3).

    13 47 U.S.C. 159(b)(4)(B).

    14 47 U.S.C. 159(b)(3). But see Comsat Corp. v. FCC, 114 F.3d 223, 227 (D.C. Cir. 1997) (“Where, as here, we find that the Commission has acted outside the scope of its statutory mandate, we also find that we have jurisdiction to review the Commission's action.”)

    10. The Commission continues to improve the regulatory fee process by ensuring a more equitable distribution of the regulatory fee burden among categories of Commission licensees under the statutory framework in section 9 of the Communications Act. For example, in 2013, the Commission updated the FTE allocations to more accurately align regulatory fees with the costs of Commission oversight and regulation,15 as recommended in the GAO Report, a report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2012.16 The Commission also reallocated some FTEs from the International Bureau as “indirect.” 17 Subsequently, in the FY 2014 Report and Order, the Commission adopted the new toll free number regulatory fee category 18 and, in the accompanying FY 2014 Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission sought additional comment on a new regulatory fee category for DBS.19 In our Report and Order, we now add a subcategory for DBS providers in the cable television and IPTV regulatory fee category based on our finding that Media Bureau FTEs work on issues and proceedings that include DBS as well as other multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs).

    15Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2013, Report and Order, MD Docket No. 13-140, 78 FR 52433, at 52436-52437 at paras. 10-15 (August 23, 2013) (FY 2013 Report and Order).

    16 In 2012, the GAO concluded that the Commission should conduct an overall analysis of the regulatory fee categories and perform an updated FTE analysis by fee category. GAO “Federal Communications Commission Regulatory Fee Process Needs to be Updated,” GAO-12-686 (Aug. 2012) (GAO Report) at 36, (available at http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-686).

    17FY 2013 Report and Order, 78 FR 52433, 52436-52438 at paras. 12-21, (August 23, 2013) (FY 2013 Report and Order).

    18FY 2014 Report and Order, 79 FR 54190 at 54195-54196 at paras. 28-31, (September 11, 2014) (FY 2014 Report and Order).

    19FY 2014 Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 79 FR 63883 at 63885-63886 at paras. 10-15, (October 27, 2014) (FY 2014 Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking).

    IV. Discussion A. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 1. Proposed Regulatory Fees

    11. We propose to collect $339,844,000 in regulatory fees for FY 2015, pursuant to section 9 of the Communications Act.20 Of this amount, we project approximately $21.3 million (6.28 percent of the total FTE allocation) in fees from the International Bureau regulatees; 21 $69.3 million (20.40 percent of the total FTE allocation) in fees from the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau regulatees; 22 $131.1 million (38.57 percent of the total FTE allocation) from Wireline Competition Bureau regulatees; 23 and $118.1 million (34.75 percent of the total FTE allocation) from the Media Bureau regulatees.24

    20 47 U.S.C. 159.

    21 Includes satellites, earth stations, submarine cable, and bearer circuits.

    22 Includes Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS), CMRS messaging, Broadband Radio Service/Local Multipoint Distribution Service (BRS/LMDS), and multi-year wireless licensees.

    23 Includes Interstate Telecommunications Service Providers (ITSP) and toll free numbers.

    24 Includes AM radio, FM radio, television, low power/FM, cable and IPTV, DBS, and Cable Television Relay Service (CARS) licenses.

    12. These regulatory fees are mandated by Congress and are collected “to recover the costs of . . . enforcement activities, policy and rulemaking activities, user information services, and international activities.” 25 We seek comment on the proposed regulatory fee schedule in Table C.

    25 47 U.S.C. 159(a).

    13. This proposed fee schedule in Table C includes a new regulatory fee for DBS (a subcategory in the cable television and IPTV category) adopted in the Report and Order portion of this document.26 We estimate the number of payment units to be 34,000,000 and propose setting the initial rate at 12 cents per year, or one cent per month.27 Because DBS regulatory fees offset cable television and IPTV fees, the cable television and IPTV rate would be reduced from $1.01 to $0.95 per subscriber at this rate for DBS. We seek comment on this rate. We also seek comment on whether setting the initial rate for DBS at one cent per customer per month would address DIRECTV and DISH's contention that a “fee increase will cause rate shock.” 28

    26See section III.B.3.

    27 When the Commission added IPTV to the cable television category, it set the initial rate for IPTV equal to the cable television rate. See FY 2013 Report and Order, 78 FR 52433 at 52443-52444 at paras. 35-36, (August 23, 2013) (FY 2013 Report and Order). Last year, we invited “further comment on whether regulatory fees paid by DBS providers should be included in the cable television and IPTV category and assessed in the same manner.” FY 2014 NPRM, 79 FR 37982 at 37991 at para. 49 (July 3, 2014) (FY 2014 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking). In the FY 2014 Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we sought comment on “whether DBS providers should pay a regulatory fee . . . at a much lower rate than that for other MVPDs, such as one-tenth of the anticipate revenue if DBS were combined with MVPD.” FY 2014 Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 79 FR 63883 at 63886 at para. 13 (October 27, 2014) (FY 2014 Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking).

    28 DIRECTV and DISH Comments at 11.

    14. The proposed fee schedule also includes fees for toll free numbers (a subcategory in the ITSP category) adopted in our FY 2014 Report and Order. 29 We estimate the number of assessable toll-free numbers to be 36.5 million and propose setting the rate at 12 cents per year, or one cent per month.30 Because toll-free number regulatory fees offset ITSP fees, the ITSP rate would be reduced from 0.00340 to 0.00329. We seek comment on this estimate and this rate.

    29See FY 2014 Report and Order, 79 FR 54190 at 54195 at paras. 28-31 (September 11, 2014) (FY 2014 Report and Order).

    30 When the Commission first sought comment on assessing Responsible Organizations (or RespOrgs), it discussed a rate of one penny per month per number and estimated that regulatory fees for toll-free numbers would approximate $4 million at that rate. See FY 2014 NPRM, 79 FR 37982 at 37993 at para 57 (July 3, 2014) (FY 2014 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking).

    15. In addition, the annual regulatory fees eliminated in the FY 2014 Report and Order will no longer be included in the regulatory fee schedule, i.e., the annual regulatory fee for Broadcast Auxiliaries and Satellite TV Construction Permit, and one multi-year regulatory fee category (218-219 MHz). The projected revenues that would otherwise have been collected from the three regulatory fee categories that were eliminated last year are allocated proportionally to their respective service categories in the proposed regulatory fees in Table C. Specifically, the projected revenues from the 218-219 MHz fee category are proportionally allocated to the wireless service categories and the Satellite Television Construction Permit and Broadcast Auxiliary fee categories are proportionally allocated to the media service categories.

    16. We also seek comment on revising the apportionment between International Bureau licensees to reduce the proportion paid by the submarine cable/terrestrial and satellite bearer circuits fee categories by approximately five percent. In the FY 2014 Report and Order, we concluded that the regulatory fee assessment for the submarine cable/terrestrial and satellite bearer circuits fee categories did not fairly take into account the Commission's minimal oversight and regulation of the industry and we reduced the regulatory fee apportionment by five percent and stated that we would revisit the issue to determine if additional adjustment is warranted.31 Currently, the submarine cable and bearer circuit category is allocated 31.36 percent of the International Bureau regulatory fees. We propose a five percent decrease based on our tentative conclusion that the fee remains excessive relative to the minimal Commission oversight and regulation of this industry.

    31 We adopted a reallocation for submarine cable systems and bearer circuits in the FY 2014 Report and Order and indicated that we would revisit this issue in future proceedings to determine if additional adjustment would be warranted. See FY 2014 Report and Order, 79 FR 54190 at 54192-54193 at para. 14 (September 11, 2014) (FY 2014 Report and Order).

    17. We also seek comment on whether the Commission should review the apportionment of regulatory fees among broadcasters. First, we expect to collect $28,356,435 from radio broadcasters and $23,650,250 from television broadcasters in fiscal year 2015. We estimate that 10,226 radio broadcasters and 4,754 television broadcasters will pay these regulatory fees 32 and note that among the broadcasters that are statutorily exempt from paying fees, noncommercial education (NCE) radio stations significantly outnumber NCE television stations.33 Nonetheless, should the Commission reexamine the number of FTEs devoted to the regulation of radio versus television broadcasters and adjust the fee paid by radio and television broadcasters to more accurately take into account factors related to “the benefits provided to the payor of the fee by the Commission's activities”? 34 Second, we currently assess regulatory fees on television broadcasters based on the ranking of the market they serve (market nos. 1-10; 11-25; 26-50; 51-100; >100) but assess regulatory fees on radio broadcasters based on the population they serve (<25,000; 25,001-75,000; 75,001-150,000; 150,001-500,000; 500,001-1,200,000; 1,200,001-3,000,000; >3,000,000). Do the dividing points for higher fee levels for both television and radio broadcasters remain appropriate? Should we adjust the dividing points for radio broadcasters to account for demographic change? Should we assess radio broadcasters based on market served rather than population served, which may provide more stability and predictability for radio broadcasters? Third, we currently divide radio broadcasters into six categories by type and class of service (AM class A; AM class B; AM class C; AM class D; FM classes A, B1, & C3; FM classes B, C, C0, C1, & C2). We note that FM class B stations pay more than FM class A stations at every population level because FM class A stations serve the smallest areas of all FM station classes, whereas this relationship is inverted among the AM stations since AM class A stations serve the largest areas among AM stations. But no single ratio apportions regulatory fees among AM and FM radio categories; for example, AM class A stations sometimes pay more than FM class A stations (when they serve fewer than 500,000 people) but other times pay more (when they serve more than 500,000 people).35 Should we consolidate these categories and reapportion the regulatory fees paid by each category such that regulatory fees collected are based either on population served or rank of market served? We seek comment on these and related questions concerning the apportionment of regulatory fees among broadcasters. We tentatively conclude that changes made to the assessment of regulatory fees on broadcasters would constitute a permitted amendment 36 and therefore would not likely apply to FY 2015 regulatory fees.

    32See Table B, AM Class, A, B, C, D, and FM categories, total 10,226; TV digital markets 1-100 + remaining markets + the LPTV category, total 4,754.

    33 As of March 31, 2015, there were 5110 licensed NCE (including low power FM) radio stations and 395 licensed NCE television stations. See Broadcast Station Totals as of March 31, 2015, News Release (rel. Apr. 9, 2015).

    34 47 U.S.C. 159(b)(1)(A) (providing for adjustment of the FTE allocation to “take into account factors that are reasonably related to the benefits provided to the payor of the fee by the Commission's activities, including such factors as service area coverage, shared use versus exclusive use, and other factors that the Commission determines are necessary in the public interest.”)

    35 Or compare AM class B and class D stations. In areas with fewer than 25,000 people, class B stations pay $25 less than class D stations. In areas with 25,001-75,000, they pay $300 more. Less again at 75,001-150,000 people; more again above that. See Table C.

    36 47 U.S.C. 159(b)(3).

    18. In addition, we seek comment generally on other regulatory fee reform measures we can adopt.37 For example, should we raise the earth station regulatory fees and thereby reduce satellite fees? 38 Are there specific divisions within bureaus or offices that should be allocated as direct instead of indirect? 39 We welcome comment on these issues and other proposals for regulatory fee reform.

    37 These issues here were raised in an ex parte filed by SIA. See Letter from Tom Stroup, President, Satellite Industry Association, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC (Apr. 30, 2015). We welcome any suggestions from commenters on regulatory fee reform.

    38 Earth station fees were increased by 7.5 percent last year. See FY 2014 Report and Order, 79 FR 54190 at 54193 at para. 15 (September 11, 2014) (FY 2014 Report and Order).

    39 This issue was raised previously; see FY 2014 NPRM, 79 FR 37982 at 37987-37988 at paras. 28-33 (July 3, 2014) (FY 2014 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking).

    2. Puerto Rico Broadcasters Association's Request for Regulatory Fee Relief

    19. On December 10, 2014, PRBA filed a letter seeking regulatory fee relief for the radio broadcasters in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. PRBA requests that the Commission take into consideration significant population declines and economic factors when determining the regulatory fees owed by radio station operators in Puerto Rico. In particular, PRBA requests that the Commission use more recent figures to determine the radio station population count for radio stations in Puerto Rico.40 PRBA argues that economic challenges 41 and population decline 42 in Puerto Rico warrant regulatory relief. Specifically, PRBA contends that Puerto Rico has an unprecedented unemployment rate of almost 14 percent, well above the overall United States unemployment rate and much higher than the two states with the next highest unemployment rates.43 In addition, PRBA asserts that the per capita income in Puerto Rico 44 is half of the per capita income of the state with the lowest per capita income 45 and over one-third of the households in Puerto Rico receive food stamps.46 PRBA argues that due to the economic hardship in the territory, the population has decreased in the past nine years by almost six percent because of migration to the mainland United States and a declining birthrate.47 Finally, PRBA contends that the radio listening market is limited because it is restricted to listeners within the boundaries of the island.48

    40 PRBA Letter at 2-4.

    41 PRBA Letter at 2-3.

    42 PRBA Letter at 3-4.

    43 PRBA Letter at 2; http://www.ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/state-unemployment-update.aspx for the December 2014 unemployment rates for each state. The unemployment rate for Puerto Rico is 13.7 percent; the next highest unemployment rates are those of the District of Columbia (7.3 percent), Mississippi (7.2 percent), and California, (7 percent).

    44See http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2014/cb14-17.html (Puerto Rico median household income 2010-2012 was $19,518.)

    45See https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/statemedian/ (Mississippi median income 2010-2013 was $41,664).

    46 PRBA Letter at 2-3. Instead of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), qualifying Puerto Rican residents receive Nutrition Assistance for Puerto Rico (NAP).

    47 PRBA Letter at 3.

    48 PRBA Letter at 5.

    20. Every ten years the Commission updates its radio station population counts to reflect nationwide changes in the population using the “block level census data” from the U.S. Census. PRBA asks the Commission to examine population data every five years instead of every 10 years to increase the accuracy of the population counts in Puerto Rico. We are unable to adopt PRBA's suggestion because the “block level census data” is only available from the U.S. Census Bureau every 10 years. Further, even if such figures were available every five years, they would be unlikely to provide a basis for fee relief for radio stations in Puerto Rico because fees on AM and FM radio stations are not assessed at granular levels but instead over a wide strata of the population.49

    49 The regulatory fee rate starts at population counts of 25,000 and below, and then increases to population counts of 25,001-75,000; 75,001-150,000; 150,001-500,000; 500,001-1,200,000; 1,200,001-3,000,000; and above 3,000,000.

    21. PRBA requests that the Commission provide relief through the reduction of regulatory fees for Puerto Rico radio broadcasters due to economic hardship, unique geography, and declining population. We seek comment on this proposal and on whether the unique circumstances described by PRBA should result in one of the following actions: (i) Moving the Puerto Rico market stations to a different rate (e.g., reducing them down to a lower population strata) because of the downward trend in the population and other factors; (ii) creating a separate fee category for the Puerto Rico market at a lower rate; or (iii) adopting a special provision in our rules for economically depressed geographic areas to seek a “fast track” waiver of regulatory fees. For any of these actions, commenters should also discuss how such a process could satisfy the requirement to demonstrate that compelling and extraordinary circumstances outweigh the public interest in recouping the Commission's regulatory costs.

    22. We recognize that fee relief is ordinarily processed through a waiver request.50 PRBA has not identified whether every station in Puerto Rico is financially unable to pay the regulatory fee, and although we recognize that preparing and filing waiver requests, including supporting financial information for each radio station in Puerto Rico, may be administratively and financially burdensome, granting across-the-board relief for Puerto Rican stations may shift the burden of regulatory fees from stations better able to afford them to those less able. Therefore, we also seek comment on whether the ordinary waiver process is sufficient here, making clear that a regulatee may raise the same issues that PRBA has raised whenever it files a waiver request.

    50 Fees may be waived, reduced or deferred in specific instances, on a case-by-case basis, where good cause is shown and where waiver, reduction or deferral of the fee would promote the public interest. 47 U.S.C. 159(d); 47 CFR 1.1166. Fee relief may be granted based on a “sufficient showing of financial hardship.” See Implementation of Section 9 of the Communications Act, Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for the 1994 Fiscal Year, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 60 FR 34902 at 34903 at para. 12 (July 5, 1995) (FY 1994 Regulatory Fees Memorandum of Opinion and Order). In such matters, however, “[m]ere allegations or documentation of financial loss, standing alone,” do not suffice and “it [is] incumbent upon each regulatee to fully document its financial position and show that it lacks sufficient funds to pay the regulatory fee and to maintain its service to the public.” Id.

    V. Procedural Matters A. Payment of Regulatory Fees 1. Revised Credit Card Transaction Levels

    23. In accordance with U.S. Treasury Announcement No. A-2014-04 (July 2014), the amount that can be charged on a credit card for transactions with federal agencies has been reduced to $24,999.99.51 Previously, the credit card limit was $49,999.99. This lower transaction amount is effective June 1, 2015. Transactions greater than $24,999.99 will be rejected. This limit applies to single payments or bundled payments of more than one bill. Multiple transactions to a single agency in one day may be aggregated and treated as a single transaction subject to the $24,999.99 limit. Customers who wish to pay an amount greater than $24,999.99 should consider available electronic alternatives such as Visa or MasterCard debit cards, Automated Clearing House (ACH) debits from a bank account, and wire transfers. Each of these payment options is available after filing regulatory fee information in Fee Filer. Further details will be provided regarding payment methods and procedures at the time of FY 2015 regulatory fee collection.

    51 Treasury Financial Manual, Announcement No. A-2014-04 (July 2014).

    24. Customers who owe an amount on a bill, debt, or other obligation due to the federal government are prohibited from splitting the total amount due into multiple payments. Splitting an amount owed into several payment transactions violates the credit card network and Fiscal Service rules. An amount owed that exceeds the Fiscal Service maximum dollar amount, $24,999.99, may not be split into two or more payment transactions in the same day by using one or multiple cards. Also, an amount owed that exceeds the Fiscal Service maximum dollar amount may not be split into two or more transactions over multiple days by using one or more cards.

    2. De Minimis Regulatory Fees

    25. Regulatees whose total FY 2015 regulatory fee liability, including all categories of fees for which payment is due, is $500 or less, are exempted from payment of FY 2015 regulatory fees. The de minimis threshold of $500 or less applies only to filers of annual regulatory fees (not regulatory fees paid through multi-year filings) between October 1 and September 30. If the sum total of all annual regulatory fee obligations is $500 or less, the regulatee is exempt from paying regulatory fees for that fiscal year. This de minimis status is not a permanent exemption from regulatory fees. Rather, each regulatee will need to reevaluate their total fee liability each fiscal year to determine whether they meet the de minimis exemption.

    3. Standard Fee Calculations and Payment Dates

    26. The Commission will accept fee payments made in advance of the window for the payment of regulatory fees. The responsibility for payment of fees by service category is as follows:

    Media Services: Regulatory fees must be paid for initial construction permits that were granted on or before October 1, 2014 for AM/FM radio stations, VHF/UHF full service television stations, and satellite television stations. Regulatory fees must be paid for all broadcast facility licenses granted on or before October 1, 2014. In instances where a permit or license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2014, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the permit or license as of the fee due date.

    Wireline (Common Carrier) Services: Regulatory fees must be paid for authorizations that were granted on or before October 1, 2014. In instances where a permit or license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2014, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the permit or license as of the fee due date. Audio bridging service providers are included in this category.52

    52 Audio bridging services are toll teleconferencing services.

    Wireless Services: CMRS cellular, mobile, and messaging services (fees based on number of subscribers or telephone number count): Regulatory fees must be paid for authorizations that were granted on or before October 1, 2014. The number of subscribers, units, or telephone numbers on December 31, 2014 will be used as the basis from which to calculate the fee payment. In instances where a permit or license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2014, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the permit or license as of the fee due date.

    • The first eight regulatory fee categories in our Schedule of Regulatory Fees (see Table C) pay “small multi-year wireless regulatory fees.” Entities pay these regulatory fees in advance for the entire amount period covered by the five-year or ten-year terms of their initial licenses, and pay regulatory fees again only when the license is renewed or a new license is obtained. We include these fee categories in our rulemaking (see Table C) to publicize our estimates of the number of “small multi-year wireless” licenses that will be renewed or newly obtained in FY 2015.

    Multichannel Video Programming Distributor Services (cable television operators, IPTV providers, DBS providers, and CARS licensees): Regulatory fees must be paid for the number of basic cable tier subscribers, IPTV subscribers, and DBS subscribers as of December 31, 2014.53 Regulatory fees also must be paid for CARS licenses that were granted on or before October 1, 2014. In instances where a permit or license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2014, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the permit or license as of the fee due date.

    53 Cable television system operators, DBS providers, and IPTV providers should compute their number of basic subscribers as follows: Number of single family dwellings + number of individual households in multiple dwelling unit (apartments, condominiums, mobile home parks, etc.) paying at the basic subscriber rate + bulk rate customers + courtesy and free service. Note: Bulk-Rate Customers = Total annual bulk-rate charge divided by basic annual subscription rate for individual households. Operators/providers may base their count on “a typical day in the last full week” of December 2014, rather than on a count as of December 31, 2014.

    International Services: Regulatory fees must be paid for (1) earth stations and (2) geostationary orbit space stations and non-geostationary orbit satellite systems that were licensed and operational on or before October 1, 2014. In instances where a permit or license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2014, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the permit or license as of the fee due date.

    International Services: Submarine Cable Systems: Regulatory fees for submarine cable systems are to be paid on a per cable landing license basis based on circuit capacity as of December 31, 2014. In instances where a license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2014, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the license as of the fee due date. For regulatory fee purposes, the allocation in FY 2015 will be 87.6 percent for submarine cable and 12.4 percent for satellite/terrestrial facilities.

    International Services: Terrestrial and Satellite Services: Regulatory fees for International Bearer Circuits are to be paid by facilities-based common carriers that have active (used or leased) international bearer circuits as of December 31, 2014 in any terrestrial or satellite transmission facility for the provision of service to an end user or resale carrier. When calculating the number of such active circuits, the facilities-based common carriers must include circuits held by themselves or their affiliates. In addition, non-common carrier satellite operators must pay a fee for each circuit they and their affiliates hold and each circuit sold or leased to any customer, other than an international common carrier authorized by the Commission to provide U.S. international common carrier services. “Active circuits” for these purposes include backup and redundant circuits as of December 31, 2014. Whether circuits are used specifically for voice or data is not relevant for purposes of determining that they are active circuits. In instances where a permit or license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2014, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the permit or license as of the fee due date. For regulatory fee purposes, the allocation in FY 2015 will remain at 87.6 percent for submarine cable and 12.4 percent for satellite/terrestrial facilities.

    VI. Additional Tables Table A—List of Commenters Commenter Abbreviation Initial Comments DIRECTV, LLC and DISH Network, L.L.C. DIRECTV and DISH. ITTA—The Voice of Mid-Size Communications Companies ITTA. National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the American Cable Association NCTA and ACA. Satellite Industry Association SIA. SMS/800, Inc. SMS/800. Reply Comments CenturyLink CenturyLink. DIRECTV, LLC and DISH Network, L.L.C. DIRECTV and DISH. Hypercube Telecom, LLC Hypercube. National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the American Cable Association NCTA and ACA. Table B—Calculation of FY 2015 Revenue Requirements and Pro-Rata Fees [Regulatory fees for the first seven categories below are collected by the Commission in advance to cover the term of the license and are submitted at the time the application is filed.] Fee category FY 2015 Payment units Years FY 2014
  • Revenue
  • estimate
  • Pro-rated
  • FY 2015
  • revenue
  • requirement
  • Computed
  • FY 2015
  • regulatory fee
  • Rounded
  • FY 2015
  • regulatory fee
  • Expected
  • FY 2015
  • revenue
  • PLMRS (Exclusive Use) 1,800 10 595,000 543,780 30 30 540,000 PLMRS (Shared use) 31,000 10 3,000,000 3,121,700 10 10 3,100,000 Microwave 12,000 10 2,550,000 2,537,640 20 20 2,520,000 Marine (Ship) 6,300 10 780,000 951,615 15 15 945,000 Aviation (Aircraft) 4,200 10 420,000 422,940 10 10 420,000 Marine (Coast) 490 10 165,000 172,701 35 35 171,500 Aviation (Ground) 460 10 153,000 162,127 35 35 161,000 AM Class A 4 65 1 274,700 278,184 4,280 4,275 277,875 AM Class B 4 1,505 1 3,410,900 3,447,842 2,291 2,300 3,461,500 AM Class C 4 889 1 1,212,750 1,230,932 1,385 1,375 1,222,375 AM Class D 4 1,492 1 4,033,300 4,169,282 2,794 2,800 4,177,600 FM Classes A, B1 & C3 4 3,132 1 8,466,575 8,594,443 2,744 2,750 8,613,000 FM Classes B, C, C0, C1 & C2 4 3,143 1 10,437,175 10,444,503 3,323 3,325 10,450,475 AM Construction Permits 1 29 1 17,700 17,110 590 590 17,110 FM Construction Permits 1 182 1 138,750 136,500 750 750 136,500 Satellite TV 127 1 196,850 198,228 1,561 1,550 196,850 Digital TV Markets 1-10 134 1 6,161,700 6,223,883 46,447 46,450 6,224,300 Digital TV Markets 11-25 137 1 5,809,800 5,871,584 42,858 42,850 5,870,450 Digital TV Markets 26-50 181 1 4,909,450 4,959,846 27,402 27,400 4,959,400 Digital TV Markets 51-100 283 1 4,524,000 4,570,532 16,150 16,150 4,570,450 Digital TV Remaining Markets 379 1 1,805,000 1,822,393 4,808 4,800 1,819,200 Digital TV Construction Permits 1 2 1 23,750 9,600 4,800 4,800 9,600 LPTV/Translators/Boosters/Class A TV 3,640 1 1,570,300 1,576,156 433 435 1,583,400 CARS Stations 300 1 196,625 196,365 655 655 196,500 Cable TV Systems, including IPTV 64,500,000 1 64,746,000 61,054,410 .94658 .95 61,275,000 Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) 34,000,000 1 4,108,560 .12 .12 4,080,000 Interstate Telecommunication Service Providers 38,800,000,000 1 131,369,000 127,764,132 0.0032929 0.00329 127,652,000 Toll Free Numbers 36,500,000 1 4,410,660 0.1208 0.12 4,380,000 CMRS Mobile Services (Cellular/Public Mobile) 347,000,000 1 60,300,000 59,404,386 0.1712 0.17 58,990,000 CMRS Messag. Services 2,600,000 1 232,000 208,000 0.0800 0.080 208,000 BRS 2
  • LMDS
  • 890
  • 375
  • 1
  • 1
  • 643,500
  • 135,850
  • 560,144
  • 236,016
  • 629
  • 629
  • 630
  • 630
  • 560,700
  • 236,250
  • Per 64 kbps Int'l Bearer Circuits
  • Terrestrial (Common) & Satellite (Common & Non-Common) 5
  • 3,800,000 1 941,640 840,033 .2211 .22 836,000
    Submarine Cable Providers (see chart in Table C) 35 39.19 1 6,586,731 5,934,424 151,437 151,425 5,933,967 Earth Stations 5 3,300 1 1,003,000 1,129,854 342 340 1,122,000 Space Stations (Geostationary) 5 95 1 11,505,600 12,713,879 133,830 133,825 12,713,375 Space Stations (Non-Geostationary) 5 5 1 797,100 881,125 176,225 176,225 881,125 ****** Total Estimated Revenue to be Collected 339,847,246 340,905,507 340,512,502 ****** Total Revenue Requirement 339,844,000 339,844,000 339,844,000 Difference 3,246 1,061,507 668,502 Notes on Table B. 1 The AM and FM Construction Permit revenues and the Digital (VHF/UHF) Construction Permit revenues were adjusted to set the regulatory fee to an amount no higher than the lowest licensed fee for that class of service. The reductions in the AM and FM Construction Permit revenues were so small that there was no need to offset them with increases in the revenue totals for AM and FM radio stations, respectively. Reductions in the Digital (VHF/UHF) Construction Permit revenues, however, were offset by increases in the revenue totals for various Digital television stations by market size, respectively. 2 MDS/MMDS category was renamed Broadband Radio Service (BRS). See Amendment of Parts 1, 21, 73, 74 and 101 of the Commission's Rules to Facilitate the Provision of Fixed and Mobile Broadband Access, Educational and Other Advanced Services in the 2150-2162 and 2500-2690 MHz Bands, Report & Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 19 FCC Rcd 14165, 14169, para. 6 (2004). 3 The chart at the end of Table C lists the submarine cable bearer circuit regulatory fees (common and non-common carrier basis) that resulted from the adoption of the Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2008, Second Report and Order, 24 FCC Rcd 4208 (2009). 4 The fee amounts listed in the column entitled “Rounded New FY 2015 Regulatory Fee” constitute a weighted average media regulatory fee by class of service. The actual FY 2015 regulatory fees for AM/FM radio station are listed on a grid located at the end of Table C. 5 As a continuation of our regulatory fee reform for the submarine cable and bearer circuit fee categories, the allocation percentage for these two categories, in relation to the satellite (GSO and NGSO) and earth station fee categories, was reduced by approximately 5 percent. This allocation reduction of 5 percent resulted in an increase in the allocation for the satellite and earth station fee categories, and a fee rate increase from FY 2014.
    Table C—Proposed Regulatory Fees; FY 2015 Schedule of Regulatory Fees [Regulatory fees for the first eight categories below are collected by the Commission in advance to cover the term of the license and are submitted at the time the application is filed.] Fee category Annual
  • regulatory fee
  • (U.S. $)
  • PLMRS (per license) (Exclusive Use) (47 CFR part 90) 30. Microwave (per license) (47 CFR part 101) 20. Marine (Ship) (per station) (47 CFR part 80) 15. Marine (Coast) (per license) (47 CFR part 80) 35. Rural Radio (47 CFR part 22) (previously listed under the Land Mobile category) 10. PLMRS (Shared Use) (per license) (47 CFR part 90) 10. Aviation (Aircraft) (per station) (47 CFR part 87) 10. Aviation (Ground) (per license) (47 CFR part 87) 35. CMRS Mobile/Cellular Services (per unit) (47 CFR parts 20, 22, 24, 27, 80 and 90) .17. CMRS Messaging Services (per unit) (47 CFR parts 20, 22, 24 and 90) .08. Broadband Radio Service (formerly MMDS/MDS) (per license) (47 CFR part 27) 630. Local Multipoint Distribution Service (per call sign) (47 CFR, part 101) 630. AM Radio Construction Permits 590. FM Radio Construction Permits 750. Digital TV (47 CFR part 73) VHF and UHF Commercial: Markets 1-10 46,450. Markets 11-25 42,850. Markets 26-50 27,400. Markets 51-100 16,150. Remaining Markets 4,800. Construction Permits 4,800. Satellite Television Stations (All Markets) 1,550. Low Power TV, Class A TV, TV/FM Translators & Boosters (47 CFR part 74) 435. CARS (47 CFR part 78) 655. Cable Television Systems (per subscriber) (47 CFR part 76), Including IPTV .95. Direct Broadcast Service (DBS) (per subscriber) (as defined by section 602(13) of the Act) .12. Interstate Telecommunication Service Providers (per revenue dollar) .00329. Toll Free (per toll free subscriber) (47 CFR section 52.101 (f) of the rules) .12. Earth Stations (47 CFR part 25) 340. Space Stations (per operational station in geostationary orbit) (47 CFR part 25) also includes DBS Service (per operational station) (47 CFR part 100) 133,825. Space Stations (per operational system in non-geostationary orbit) (47 CFR part 25) 176,225. International Bearer Circuits—Terrestrial/Satellites (per 64KB circuit) .22. International Bearer Circuits—Submarine Cable See Table Below.
    FY 2015 Radio Station Regulatory Fees Population served AM Class
  • A
  • AM Class
  • B
  • AM Class
  • C
  • AM Class
  • D
  • FM Classes
  • A, B1
  • & C3
  • FM Classes
  • B, C, C0,
  • C1 & C2
  • <=25,000 $775 $645 $590 $670 $750 $925 25,001-75,000 1,550 1,300 900 1,000 1,500 1,625 75,001-150,000 2,325 1,625 1,200 1,675 2,050 3,000 150,001-500,000 3,475 2,750 1,800 2,025 3,175 3,925 500,001-1,200,000 5,025 4,225 3,000 3,375 5,050 5,775 1,200,001-3,000,00 7,750 6,500 4,500 5,400 8,250 9,250 >3,000,000 9,300 7,800 5,700 6,750 10,500 12,025
    FY 2015 Schedule of Regulatory Fees [International Bearer Circuits—Submarine Cable] Submarine cable systems
  • (capacity as of December 31, 2014)
  • Fee amount
    <2.5 Gbps $9,475 2.5 Gbps or greater, but less than 5 Gbps 18,925 5 Gbps or greater, but less than 10 Gbps 37,850 10 Gbps or greater, but less than 20 Gbps 75,725 20 Gbps or greater 151,425

    In order to calculate individual service fees for FY 2015, we adjusted FY 2014 payment units for each service to more accurately reflect expected FY 2015 payment liabilities. We obtained our updated estimates through a variety of means. For example, we used Commission licensee data bases, actual prior year payment records and industry and trade association projections when available. The databases we consulted include our Universal Licensing System (ULS), International Bureau Filing System (IBFS), Consolidated Database System (CDBS) and Cable Operations and Licensing System (COALS), as well as reports generated within the Commission such as the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau's Numbering Resource Utilization Forecast.

    We sought verification for these estimates from multiple sources and, in all cases, we compared FY 2015 estimates with actual FY 2014 payment units to ensure that our revised estimates were reasonable. Where appropriate, we adjusted and/or rounded our final estimates to take into consideration the fact that certain variables that impact on the number of payment units cannot yet be estimated with sufficient accuracy. These include an unknown number of waivers and/or exemptions that may occur in FY 2015 and the fact that, in many services, the number of actual licensees or station operators fluctuates from time to time due to economic, technical, or other reasons. When we note, for example, that our estimated FY 2015 payment units are based on FY 2014 actual payment units, it does not necessarily mean that our FY 2015 projection is exactly the same number as in FY 2014. We have either rounded the FY 2015 number or adjusted it slightly to account for these variables.

    Table DSources of Payment Unit Estimates for FY 2015 Fee category Sources of payment unit estimates Land Mobile (All), Microwave, Marine (Ship & Coast), Aviation (Aircraft & Ground), Domestic Public Fixed Based on Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) projections of new applications and renewals taking into consideration existing Commission licensee data bases. Aviation (Aircraft) and Marine (Ship) estimates have been adjusted to take into consideration the licensing of portions of these services on a voluntary basis. CMRS Cellular/Mobile Services Based on WTB projection reports, and FY 14 payment data. CMRS Messaging Services Based on WTB reports, and FY 14 payment data. AM/FM Radio Stations Based on CDBS data, adjusted for exemptions, and actual FY 2014 payment units. Digital TV Stations (Combined VHF/UHF units) Based on CDBS data, adjusted for exemptions, and actual FY 2014 payment units. AM/FM/TV Construction Permits Based on CDBS data, adjusted for exemptions, and actual FY 2014 payment units. LPTV, Translators and Boosters, Class A Television Based on CDBS data, adjusted for exemptions, and actual FY 2014 payment units. BRS (formerly MDS/MMDS)
  • LMDS
  • Based on WTB reports and actual FY 2014 payment units.
  • Based on WTB reports and actual FY 2014 payment units.
  • Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    1. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA),54 the Commission prepared this Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on small entities by the policies and rules proposed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). Written comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadline for comments on this NPRM. The Commission will send a copy of the NPRM, including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA).55 In addition, the NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.56

    54 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, 5 U.S.C. 601-612 has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), Pub. L. 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 847 (1996).

    55 5 U.S.C. 603(a).

    56Id.

    A. Need for, and Objectives of, the NPRM

    2. The NPRM seeks comment regarding the Commission's proposed amendment of its schedule of regulatory fees in the amount of $339,844,000, the amount that Congress has required the Commission to recover. The Commission seeks to collect the necessary amount through its proposed schedule of regulatory fees in a manner that will not administratively burden the public. The Commission also seeks comment on a request by the Puerto Rico Broadcasters Association to provide regulatory fee relief to radio stations in Puerto Rico; revising the apportionment between International Bureau licensees to reduce the regulatory fees for the submarine cable/bearer circuit category; revising the apportionment of regulatory fees among radio and television broadcasters; raising the earth station regulatory fees and lowering the regulatory fees for space stations; and other proposals for regulatory fee reform.

    B. Legal Basis

    3. This action, including publication of proposed rules, is authorized under Sections (4)(i) and (j), 9, and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.57

    57 47 U.S.C. 154(i) and (j), 159, and 303(r).

    C. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Rules Will Apply

    4. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules and policies, if adopted.58 The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” 59 In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act.60 A “small business concern” is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.61

    58 5 U.S.C. 603(b)(3).

    59 5 U.S.C. 601(6).

    60 5 U.S.C. 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small-business concern” in the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies “unless an agency, after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register.”

    61 15 U.S.C. 632.

    5. Small Entities. Our actions, over time, may affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present. We therefore describe here, at the outset, three comprehensive small entity size standards that could be directly affected by the proposals under consideration.62 As of 2009, small businesses represented 99.9 percent of the 27.5 million businesses in the United States, according to the SBA.63 In addition, a “small organization is generally any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field.64 Nationwide, as of 2007, there were approximately 1,621,215 small organizations.65 Finally the term “small governmental jurisdiction” is defined generally as “governments of cities, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.66 Census Bureau data for 2011 indicate that there were 90,056 local governmental jurisdictions in the United States.67 We estimate that, of this total, as many as 89,327 entities may qualify as “small governmental jurisdictions.” 68 Thus, we estimate that most local government jurisdictions are small.

    62See 5 U.S.C. 601(3)-(6).

    63See SBA, Office of Advocacy, “Frequently Asked Questions”, available at http://www.sba.gov/faqs/faqindex.cfm?arealD=24.

    64 5 U.S.C. 601(4).

    65See Independent Sector, The New Nonprofit Almanac and Desk Reference (2010).

    66 5 U.S.C. 601(5).

    67See SBA, Office of Advocacy, “Frequently Asked Questions,” available at http.www.sba.gov/sites/default/files.FAQ March 201_Opdf.

    68 The 2011 Census Data for small governmental organizations are not presented based on the size of the population in each organization. As stated above, there were 90,056 local governmental organizations in 2011. As a basis for estimating how many of these 90,056 local organizations were small, we note that there were a total of 729 cities and towns (incorporated places and civil divisions) with populations over 50,000. See http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk. If we subtract the 729 cities and towns that exceed the 50,000 population threshold, we conclude that approximately 789, 237 are small.

    6. Wired Telecommunications Carriers. The U.S. Census Bureau defines this industry as “establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired communications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services, wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution, and wired broadband internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry.” 69 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which consists of all such companies having 1,500 or fewer employees.70 Census data for 2007 shows that there were 3,188 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,144 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.71 Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms in this industry can be considered small.

    69See http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    70 See 13 CFR 120.201, NAICS Code 517110.

    71http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table.

    7. Local Exchange Carriers (LECs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to local exchange services. The closest applicable NAICS Code category is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers as defined in paragraph 6 of this IRFA. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.72 According to Commission data, census data for 2007 shows that there were 3,188 establishments that operated that year. Of this total, 3,144 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.73 The Commission estimates that most providers of local exchange service are small entities that may be affected by the rules and policies proposed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

    72 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517110.

    73See id.

    8. Incumbent LECs. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for incumbent local exchange services. The closest applicable NAICS Code category is Wired Telecommunications Carriers, as defined in paragraph 6 of this IRFA. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.74 According to Commission data, 3,188 firms operated in that year. 1,307 carriers reported that they were incumbent local exchange service providers.75 Of this total, 3,144 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.76 Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers of incumbent local exchange service are small businesses that may be affected by the rules and policies proposed in the NPRM. Three hundred and seven (307) Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers reported that they were incumbent local exchange service providers.77 Of this total, an estimated 1,006 have 1,500 or fewer employees.78

    74 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517110.

    75See Trends in Telephone Service, Federal Communications Commission, Wireline Competition Bureau, Industry Analysis and Technology Division at Table 5.3 (Sept. 2010) (Trends in Telephone Service).

    76See id.

    77See id.

    78Id.

    9. Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (Competitive LECs), Competitive Access Providers (CAPs), Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for these service providers. The appropriate NAICS Code category is Wired Telecommunications Carriers, as defined in paragraph 6 of this IRFA. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.79 U.S. Census data for 2007 indicate that 3,188 firms operated during that year. Of that number, 3,144 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.80 Based on this data, the Commission concludes that the majority of Competitive LECs, CAPs, Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers are small entities. According to Commission data, 1,442 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of either competitive local exchange services or competitive access provider services.81 Of these 1,442 carriers, an estimated 1,256 have 1,500 or fewer employees. In addition, 17 carriers have reported that they are Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and all 17 are estimated to have 1,500 or fewer employees.82 In addition, 72 carriers have reported that they are Other Local Service Providers.83 Of this total, 70 have 1,500 or fewer employees.84 Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers of competitive local exchange service, competitive access providers, Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers are small entities that may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the proposals in this NPRM.

    79 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517110.

    80http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=%20table.

    81See Trends in Telephone Service, at tbl. 5.3.

    82Id.

    83Id.

    84Id.

    10. Interexchange Carriers (IXCs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a definition for Interexchange Carriers. The closest NAICS Code category is Wired Telecommunications Carriers as defined in paragraph 6 of this IRFA. The applicable size standard under SBA rules is that such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.85 According to Commission data, 359 companies reported that their primary telecommunications service activity was the provision of interexchange services.86 Of this total, an estimated 317 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 42 have more than 1,500 employees.87 Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of interexchange service providers are small entities that may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

    85 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517110.

    86See Trends in Telephone Service, at tbl. 5.3.

    87Id.

    11. Prepaid Calling Card Providers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for prepaid calling card providers. The appropriate NAICS Code category for prepaid calling card providers is Telecommunications Resellers. This industry comprises establishments engaged in purchasing access and network capacity from owners and operators of telecommunications networks and reselling wired and wireless telecommunications services (except satellite) to businesses and households. Mobile virtual networks operators (MVNOs) are included in this industry.88 Under the applicable SBA size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.89 U.S. Census data for 2007 show that 1,523 firms provided resale services during that year. Of that number, 1,522 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.90 Thus, under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of these prepaid calling card providers can be considered small entities. According to Commission data, 193 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of prepaid calling cards.91 All 193 carriers have 1,500 or fewer employees.92 Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of prepaid calling card providers are small entities that may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the NPRM.

    88http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ssd/naics/naicsrch.

    89 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517911.

    90http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table.

    91See Trends in Telephone Service, at tbl. 5.3.

    92Id.

    12. Local Resellers. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for the category of Telecommunications Resellers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.93 Census data for 2007 show that 1,523 firms provided resale services during that year. Of that number, 1,522 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.94 Under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of these local resellers can be considered small entities. According to Commission data, 213 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of local resale services.95 Of this total, an estimated 211 have 1,500 or fewer employees.96 Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of local resellers are small entities that may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the proposals in this NPRM.

    93 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517911.

    94Id.

    95See Trends in Telephone Service, at tbl. 5.3.

    96Id.

    13. Toll Resellers. The Commission has not developed a definition for Toll Resellers. The closest NAICS Code Category is Telecommunications Resellers, and the SBA has developed a small business size standard for the category of Telecommunications Resellers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.97 Census data for 2007 show that 1,523 firms provided resale services during that year. Of that number, 1,522 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.98 Thus, under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of these resellers can be considered small entities. According to Commission data, 881 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of toll resale services.99 Of this total, an estimated 857 have 1,500 or fewer employees.100 Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of toll resellers are small entities that may be affected by our proposals in the NPRM.

    97 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517911.

    98Id.

    99Trends in Telephone Service, at tbl. 5.3.

    100Id.

    14. Other Toll Carriers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to Other Toll Carriers. This category includes toll carriers that do not fall within the categories of interexchange carriers, operator service providers, prepaid calling card providers, satellite service carriers, or toll resellers. The closest applicable NAICS Code category is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers, as defined in paragraph 6 of this IRFA. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.101 Census data for 2007 shows that there were 3,188 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,144 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.102 Thus, under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of Other Toll Carriers can be considered small. According to Commission data, 284 companies reported that their primary telecommunications service activity was the provision of other toll carriage.103 Of these, an estimated 279 have 1,500 or fewer employees.104 Consequently, the Commission estimates that most Other Toll Carriers are small entities that may be affected by the rules and policies adopted pursuant to the NPRM.

    101 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517110.

    102Id.

    103Trends in Telephone Service, at tbl. 5.3.

    104Id.

    15. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). This industry comprises establishments engaged in operating and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide communications via the airwaves, such as cellular services, paging services, wireless internet access, and wireless video services.105 The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is that such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. For this industry, Census Data for 2007 show that there were 1,383 firms that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 1,368 firms had fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus under this category and the associated size standard, the Commission estimates that the majority of wireless telecommunications carriers (except satellite) are small entities. Similarly, according to internally developed Commission data, 413 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of wireless telephony, including cellular service, Personal Communications Service (PCS), and Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) services.106 Of this total, an estimated 261 have 1,500 or fewer employees.107 Consequently, the Commission estimates that approximately half of these firms can be considered small. Thus, using available data, we estimate that the majority of wireless firms can be considered small.

    105 NAICS Code 517210. See http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ssd/naics/naiscsrch.

    106Trends in Telephone Service, at tbl. 5.3.

    107Id.

    16. Cable Television and other Subscription Programming.108 Since 2007, these services have been defined within the broad economic census category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers. That category is defined as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies.” 109 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category, which is: All such firms having 1,500 or fewer employees.110 Census data for 2007 shows that there were 3,188 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,144 had fewer than 1,000 employees.111 Thus under this size standard, the majority of firms offering cable and other program distribution services can be considered small and may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the NPRM.

    108 In 2014, “Cable and Other Subscription Programming,” NAICS Code 515210, replaced a prior category, now obsolete, which was called “Cable and Other Program Distribution.” Cable and Other Program Distribution, prior to 2014, were placed under NAICS Code 517110, Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Wired Telecommunications Carriers is still a current and valid NAICS Code Category. Because of the similarity between “Cable and Other Subscription Programming” and “Cable and other Program Distribution,” we will, in this proceeding, continue to use Wired Telecommunications Carrier data based on the U.S. Census. The alternative of using data gathered under Cable and Other Subscription Programming (NAICS Code 515210) is unavailable to us for two reasons. First, the size standard established by the SBA for Cable and Other Subscription Programming is annual receipts of $38.5 million or less. Thus to use the annual receipts size standard would require the Commission either to switch from existing employee based size standard of 1,500 employees or less for Wired Telecommunications Carriers, or else would require the use of two size standards. No official approval of either option has been granted by the Commission as of the time of the release of this Regulatory Fees NPRM and its associated Report and Order and Order. Second, the data available under the size standard of $38.5 million dollars or less is not applicable at this time, because the only currently available U.S. Census data for annual receipts of all businesses operating in the NAICS Code category of 515210 (Cable and other Subscription Programming) consists only of total receipts for all businesses operating in this category in 2007 and of total annual receipts for all businesses operating in this category in 2012. Hence the data do not provide any basis for determining, for either year, how many businesses were small because they had annual receipts of $38.5 million or less. See http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51I2&prodType=table.

    109 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” (partial definition), (Full definition stated in paragraph 6 of this IRFA) available at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    110 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517110.

    111http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US-51SSSZ5&prodType=Table.

    17. Cable Companies and Systems. The Commission has developed its own small business size standards, for the purpose of cable rate regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a “small cable company” is one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers, nationwide.112 Industry data indicate that at the end of June 2012, of 1,141 cable companies were in operation; of this total, all but ten cable operators are small under this size standard.113 In addition, under the Commission's rules, a “small system” is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers.114 Industry data indicate that of 4,945 systems nationwide, 4,380 systems have fewer than 20,000 subscribers.115 Thus, under this second size standard, most cable systems are small and may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the NPRM.

    112See 47 CFR 76.901(e). The Commission determined that this size standard equates approximately to a size standard of $100 million or less in annual revenues. See Implementation of Sections of the 1992 Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act: Rate Regulation, MM Docket Nos. 92-266, 93-215, Sixth Report and Order and Eleventh Order on Reconsideration, 10 FCC Rcd 7393, 7408, para. 28 (1995).

    113 These data are derived from R.R. BOWKER, BROADCASTING & CABLE YEARBOOK 2006, “Top 25 Cable/Satellite Operators,” pages A-8 & C-2 (data current as of June 30, 2005); WARREN COMMUNICATIONS NEWS, TELEVISION & CABLE FACTBOOK 2006, “Ownership of Cable Systems in the United States,” pages D-1805 to D-1857.

    114See 47 CFR 76.901(c).

    115 WARREN COMMUNICATIONS NEWS, TELEVISION & CABLE FACTBOOK 2006, “U.S. Cable Systems by Subscriber Size,” page F-2 (data current as of Oct. 2007). The data do not include 851 systems for which classifying data were not available.

    18. All Other Telecommunications. “All Other Telecommunications” is defined as follows: This U.S. industry is comprised of establishments that are primarily engaged in providing specialized telecommunications services, such as satellite tracking, communications telemetry, and radar station operation. This industry also includes establishments primarily engaged in providing satellite terminal stations and associated facilities connected with one or more terrestrial systems and capable of transmitting telecommunications to, and receiving telecommunications from, satellite systems. Establishments providing Internet services or voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services via client-supplied telecommunications connections are also included in this industry.116 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for “All Other Telecommunications,” which consists of all such firms with gross annual receipts of $32.5 million or less.117 For this category, census data for 2007 show that there were 2,383 firms that operated for the entire year. Of these firms, a total of 2,346 had gross annual receipts of less than $25 million.118 Thus, a majority of “All Other Telecommunications” firms potentially affected by the proposals in the NPRM can be considered small.

    116http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ssssd/naics/naicsrch.

    117 13 CFR 121.201; NAICs Code 517919.

    118http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices.jasf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid+ECN_2007_US.51SSSZ4&prodType=table.

    D. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other Compliance Requirements

    19. This NPRM does not propose any changes to the Commission's current information collection, reporting, recordkeeping, or compliance requirements.

    E. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    20. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its approach, which may include the following four alternatives, among others: (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.119

    119 5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1)-(c)(4).

    21. This NPRM seeks comment on the Commission's regulatory fee collection for Fiscal Year 2015. Our regulatory fee rules now have a significantly higher de minimis threshold ($500) than in previous years ($10), which takes into account the differing needs of smaller entities. With the increase in the de minimis threshold, entities that have total annual fees below the threshold will not have to submit payment, which reduces the administrative burden on small entities, as well as on the Commission. The threshold was raised to $500 to reduce the financial and administrative burden on small entities, as well as the burden that the previous $10 threshold placed on the Commission to process payments, and when applicable, to pursue non-payers whose total regulatory fee obligation exceeded $10. In the future, the Commission may increase the de minimis threshold to a higher level. In addition, the Commission is also seeking comment on additional regulatory fee relief for the radio stations in Puerto Rico.

    F. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rules

    22. None.

    VII. Ordering Clauses

    23. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to sections 4(i) and (j), 9, and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 154(j), 159, and 303(r), this Report and Order, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Order IS HEREBY ADOPTED.

    24. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, SHALL SEND a copy of this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15971 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    80 125 Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Forest Resource Coordinating Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to renew the charter for the Forest Resource Coordinating Committee and call for nominations.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) intends to renew the charter for the Forest Resource Coordinating Committee (Committee) pursuant to section 8005 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Act) (Pub. L. 110-246), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), (5 U.S.C. App. 2). The Act passed into law as an amendment to the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 on June 18, 2008. The Committee is being renewed to continue coordinating non-industrial private forestry activities within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), State Agencies, and the private sector. The Secretary has determined that the work of the Committee is in the public interest and relevant to the duties of the USDA. Therefore, the Secretary is seeking nominations to fill vacancies on the Committee. Additional information concerning the Committee can be found on the Committee's Web site at: http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop/frcc/.

    DATES:

    Written nominations must be received on or before August 14, 2015. Nominations must contain a completed application packet that includes the nominee's name, resume, and a completed Form AD-755 (Advisory Committee or Research and Promotion Background Information). The package must be sent to the address below.

    ADDRESSES:

    Laurie Schoonhoven, USDA Forest Service, Cooperative Forestry Staff, 201 14th Street SW., Mail Stop 1123, Washington, DC 20024; by express mail or overnight courier service. Nominations sent via the U.S. Postal Service must be sent to the following address: USDA Forest Service; Cooperative Forestry Staff, State & Private Forestry; Mail Stop 1123; 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-1123.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Laurie Schoonhoven, Committee Coordinator, by phone at 202-205-0929 or Andrea Bedell-Loucks, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), by phone at 202-205-1190. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    In accordance with the provisions of the FACA, the Secretary is renewing the Committee to continue providing direction and coordination of actions within the USDA, State Agencies, and the private sector; to effectively address the national priorities for private forest conservation, with specific focus on owners of non-industrial private forest land, as described in section 8005 of the Act. These priorities include:

    1. Conserving and managing working forest landscapes for multiple values and use;

    2. Protecting forests from threats, including catastrophic wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, windstorms, snow or ice storms, flooding, drought, invasive species, insect or disease outbreak, or development, and restoring appropriate forest types in response to such threats; and

    3. Enhancing public benefits from private forests, including air and water quality, soil conservation, biological diversity, carbon storage, forest products, forestry-related jobs, production of renewable energy, wildlife, wildlife corridors and wildlife habitat, and recreation.

    The Committee will continue meeting on an annual basis and its primary duties will include:

    1. Providing direction and coordination of actions within the USDA, State Agencies, and the private sector; to effectively address the national priorities, with specific focus on non-industrial private forest land;

    2. Clarifying individual agency responsibilities of each represented on the Committee concerning the national priorities with specific focus on non-industrial private forest land;

    3. Providing advice on the allocation of funds, including the competitive funds set-aside for Competitive Allocation of Funds Innovation Projects (sections 8007 and 8008 of the Act); and

    4. Assisting the Secretary in developing and reviewing the report to Congress required by section 8001(d) of the Act.

    Advisory Committee Organization

    The Committee is comprised of not more than 20 members. The members appointed to the Committee will be fairly balanced in terms of points of view represented, functions to be performed, and will represent a broad array of expertise and relevancy to a membership category. The Committee composition is as follows:

    (a) Chief of the Forest Service;

    (b) Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service;

    (c) Director of the Farm Service Agency;

    (d) Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture;

    (e) Three State foresters or equivalent State officials from geographically diverse regions of the United States;

    (f) A representative of a State Fish and Wildlife Agency;

    (g) Three owners of non-industrial private forest land;

    (h) A forest industry representative;

    (i) Three representatives from conservation organizations;

    (j) A land-grant university or college representative;

    (k) A private forestry consultant;

    (l) A representative from a State Technical Committee;

    (m) A representative of an Indian Tribe; and

    (n) A representative from a Conservation District.

    The Committee members will serve staggered terms up to three years and will meet annually, or as often as necessary, at the times designated by the DFO. The appointment of members to the Committee will be made by the Secretary.

    Vacancies

    Representatives from the following categories will be appointed by the Secretary with staggered terms up to 3 years:

    1. Conservation Organization;

    2. State Fish and Wildlife agency;

    3. Tribal; and

    4. Non-industrial Private Forest Landowner.

    The nominees must be associated with such an organization and be willing to represent that sector as it relates to non-industrial private forestry. Vacancies will be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.

    Nomination and Application Instructions

    The appointment of members to the Committee is made by the Secretary. Any individual or organization may nominate one or more qualified persons to represent the above vacancy on the Committee. To be considered for membership, nominees must submit:

    1. Resume describing your qualifications to represent the vacancy;

    2. Cover letter with a rationale for serving on the Committee and what you can contribute; and

    3. A completed Form AD-755, Advisory Committee or Research and Promotion Background Information. The form AD-755 may be obtained from the Forest Service contacts or from the following Web site: http://www.usda.gov/documents/OCIO_AD_755_Master_2012.pdf.

    4. Letters of recommendation are welcome.

    All nominations will be vetted by the USDA. Individuals may also nominate themselves. A list of qualified applicants from which the Secretary shall appoint to the Committee will be prepared. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit nominations via overnight mail or delivery to ensure timely receipt by the USDA.

    Members of the Committee will serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for travel expenses while performing duties on behalf of the Committee, subject to approval by the DFO.

    Equal opportunity practices, in line with USDA policies, will be followed in all appointments to the Committee. To ensure that the recommendation of the Committee have taken into account the needs of the diverse groups served by the Department, membership includes to the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated ability to represent the needs of all racial and ethnic groups, women and men, and persons with disabilities.

    Dated: June 22, 2015. Gregory L. Parham, Assistant Secretary for Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15991 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: Bureau of Industry and Security.

    Title: Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser.

    Form Number(s): BIS-711.

    OMB Control Number: 0694-0021.

    Type of Request: Regular submission.

    Burden Hours: 76 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 286 respondents.

    Average Hours per Response: 16 minutes per response.

    Needs and Uses: This collection is required by Section 748.11 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The Form BIS-711 or letter puts the importer on notice of the special nature of the goods proposed for export and conveys a commitment against illegal disposition. In order to effectively control commodities, BIS must have sufficient information regarding the end-use and end-user of the U.S. origin commodities to be exported. The information will assist the licensing officer in making the proper decision on whether to approve or reject the application for the license.

    Affected Public: Businesses and other for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain benefits.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view the 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 OIRA. [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: June 24, 2015. Sheleen Dumas, Departmental PRA Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15939 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: Economic Development Administration (EDA), Department of Commerce.

    Title: Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS).

    OMB Control Number: 0610-0093.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular submission.

    Number of Respondents: 527.

    Average Hours per Response: 480 hours for the initial CEDS for a District organization or other planning organization funded by EDA; 160 hours for the CEDS revision required at least every 5 years from and EDA-funded District or other planning organization; 40 hours per applicant for EDA Public Works or Economic Adjustment Assistance with a project deemed by EDA to merit further consideration that is not located in an EDA-funded District.

    Burden Hours: 31,640.

    Needs and Uses: In order to receive investment assistance under EDA's Public Works and Economic Adjustment programs, applicants must undertake a planning process that results in a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). A CEDS also is a prerequisite for a region's designation by EDA as an Economic Development District (EDD) (see 13 CFR 303, 305.2, and 307.2 of EDA's regulations). The CEDS planning process and resulting CEDS is designed to build capacity and guide the economic prosperity and resiliency of an area or region. It is a key component in establishing and maintaining a robust economic ecosystem by helping to build regional capacity (through hard and soft infrastructure) that contributes to individual, firm, and community success. This collection of information is required to insure that recipients of EDA funds understand and are able to comply with EDA's CEDS requirements.

    Affected Public: Not-for-profit institutions; Federal government; State, local or tribal government; Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: Annually.

    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.

    Sheleen Dumas, Departmental PRA Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16018 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: Bureau of Industry and Security.

    Title: Licensing Responsibilities and Enforcement.

    Form Number(s): N/A.

    OMB Control Number: 0694-0122.

    Type of Request: Regular.

    Burden Hours: 78,576 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 1,821,891 respondents.

    Average Hours per Response: 5 seconds to 2 hours per response.

    Needs and Uses: This information collection supports the various collections, notifications, reports, and information exchanges that are needed by the Office of Export Enforcement and Customs to enforce the Export Administration Regulations and maintain the National Security of the United States.

    Affected Public: Businesses and other for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain benefits.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view the 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 OIRA. [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: June 24, 2015. Sheleen Dumas, Departmental PRA Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15940 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-43-2015] Foreign-Trade Zone 33—Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Application for Reorganization Under Alternative Site Framework

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, grantee of FTZ 33, requesting authority to reorganize the zone under the alternative site framework (ASF) adopted by the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.2(c)). The ASF is an option for grantees for the establishment or reorganization of zones and can permit significantly greater flexibility in the designation of new subzones or “usage-driven” FTZ sites for operators/users located within a grantee's “service area” in the context of the FTZ Board's standard 2,000-acre activation limit for a zone. The application was submitted pursuant to the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on June 23, 2015.

    FTZ 33 was approved by the FTZ Board on November 9, 1977 (Board Order 124, 42 FR 59398, 11/17/1977) and expanded on March 16, 1981 (Board Order 172, 46 FR 18063, 3/23/1981); May 14, 1998 (Board Order 981, 63 FR 29179, 5/28/1998); February 23, 2010 (Board Order 1667, 75 FR 13488-13489, 3/22/2010); and, November 5, 2012 (Board Order 1867, 77 FR 69591, 11/20/2012).

    The current zone includes the following sites: Site 1 (45 acres)—RIDC Park West, Park West Drive, Findlay Township, Allegheny County; Site 2 (5,352 acres)—Pittsburgh International Airport Complex, Imperial, Allegheny County; Site 3 (125 acres)—Leetsdale 500 W Park Road, Leetsdale, Allegheny County; Site 4 (59 acres)—Westmoreland Business and Research Park, 115 Hunt Valley Road, New Kensington, Westmoreland County; Site 5 (18.746 acres)—Millennium Business Park, 154 and 360 Keystone Drive, New Castle, Lawrence County; Site 10 (19 acres)—RIDC Industrial Park, 560-570 Alpha Drive, O'Hara Township, Allegheny County; and, Site 18 (336 acres)—RIDC Westmoreland, 1001 Technology Drive, Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County.

    The grantee's proposed service area under the ASF would be Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland Counties, Pennsylvania, as described in the application. If approved, the grantee would be able to serve sites throughout the service area based on companies' needs for FTZ designation. The proposed service area is within and adjacent to the Pittsburgh Customs and Border Protection port of entry.

    The applicant is requesting authority to reorganize its zone to include existing Sites 1, 2 and 18 as “magnet” sites and existing Sites 3, 4, 5 and 10 as “usage-driven” sites. The applicant is requesting that Sites 1, 3 and 10 be modified to reduce the sites' boundaries. The ASF allows for the possible exemption of one magnet site from the “sunset” time limits that generally apply to sites under the ASF, and the applicant proposes that Site 1 be so exempted. The application would have no impact on FTZ 33's previously authorized subzones.

    In accordance with the FTZ Board's regulations, Elizabeth Whiteman of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to evaluate and analyze the facts and information presented in the application and case record and to report findings and recommendations to the FTZ Board.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is August 31, 2015. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to September 14, 2015.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz. For further information, contact Elizabeth Whiteman at [email protected] or (202) 482-0473.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Elizabeth Whiteman, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16104 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-831] Fresh Garlic From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of the Changed Circumstances Review of Jining Yongjia Trade Co., Ltd. and Jinxiang County Shanfu Frozen Co., Ltd. AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On December 16, 2014, the Department of Commerce (Department) initiated a changed circumstance review (CCR) of the antidumping duty (AD) order on fresh garlic from the People's Republic of China (PRC) in response to a request from Jining Yongjia Trade Co., Ltd. (Yongjia), an exporter of fresh and peeled garlic from the People's Republic of China (PRC), on behalf of its garlic supplier, Jinxiang County Shanfu Frozen Co., Ltd. (Shanfu II).1 Pursuant to section 751(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.216, the Department preliminarily determines that Shanfu II is not the successor-in-interest to the entity of the same name (Shanfu I). Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    1See Fresh Garlic from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Changed Circumstances Review of Jining Yongjia Trade Co., Ltd. and Jinxiang County Shanfu Frozen Co., Ltd., (December 22, 2014) (Yongjia CCR Initiation Notice).

    DATES:

    Effective date June 30, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Hilary E. Sadler, Esq., AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4340.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On November 16, 1994, the Department published the AD order on fresh garlic from the PRC in the Federal Register.2 On October 8, 2014, Yongjia requested that the Department conduct a CCR pursuant to section 751(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.216(b) to determine that Shanfu II, its garlic supplier, is the successor-in-interest to Shanfu I for purposes of the Order.3 On November 4, 2014, petitioners 4 submitted comments opposing initiation of this review,5 contending that Shanfu II is not the successor-in-interest to Shanfu I based on Shanfu I's dissolution in June 2012.6

    2See Antidumping Duty Order: Fresh Garlic from the People's Republic of China, 59 FR 59209 (November 16, 1994) (Order).

    3See Letter from Yongjia, “Request for Changed Circumstances Review pursuant to 19 CFR 251.216 on behalf of Jining Yongjia Trade Co., Ltd.,” (October 8, 2014) (Yongjia CCR Request).

    4 The petitioners are the Fresh Garlic Producers Association and its individual members: Christopher Ranch L.L.C., The Garlic Company, Valley Garlic, Inc., and Vessey and Company, Inc. Effective April 8, 2015, the lead petitioner is The Garlic Company.

    5See Letter from Petitioners, “Request for Changed Circumstances Review Under the Antidumping Order on Fresh Garlic from the People's Republic of China—Petitioners' Opposition to Initiation of Review,” (November 4, 2014).

    6See Letter from the Petitioners, “Changed Circumstances Review Involving Status of Jinxiang County Shanfu Frozen Co., Ltd. Under Antidumping Order on Fresh Garlic from the People's Republic of China—Petitioners' Comments on Initial Re: Questionnaire Response,” (March 23, 2015) (Petitioners' Questionnaire Rebuttal).

    The Department initiated this CCR regarding Yongjia and Shanfu II on December 16, 2014.7 On February 6, 2015, the Department issued its initial CCR questionnaire to Yongjia.8 Yongjia timely responded to the Department's questionnaire.9 On March 23, 2015, the petitioners rebutted Yongjia's questionnaire response.10

    7See Yongjia CCR Initiation Notice.

    8See Letter to Yongjia from Mark Hoadley, Program Manager, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII Enforcement and Compliance, “Changed Circumstances Review of Fresh Garlic from the People's Republic of China Initial Questionnaire of Jining Yongjia Trade Co., Ltd. and Jinxiang County Shanfu Frozen Co., Ltd.,” (February 6, 2015) (Initial Questionnaire).

    9See Letter from Yongjia, “Response to Initial Questionnaire in Changed Circumstances Review filed on behalf of Jining Yongjia Trade Co., Ltd. and Jinxiang County Shanfu Frozen Co., Ltd.,” (February 27, 2015) (Yongjia Questionnaire Response).

    10See Petitioners' Questionnaire Rebuttal.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by this order is all grades of garlic, whether whole or separated into constituent cloves. The subject merchandise is currently classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 0703.20.0000, 0703.20.0010, 0703.20.0020, 0703.20.0090, 0710.80.7060, 0710.80.9750, 0711.90.6000, 0711.90.6500, 2005.90.9500, 2005.90.9700, 0703.20.0005, 2005.99.9700 and 0703.20.0015. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written product description is dispositive.

    A complete description of the scope of the order is contained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.11 The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and ACCESS is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room 7046 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    11See “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review of Fresh Garlic from the People's Republic of China: Jining Yongjia Trade Co., Ltd. and Jinxiang County Shanfu Frozen Co., Ltd.,” dated concurrently and hereby adopted in this notice.

    Methodology

    In accordance with section 751(b)(1) of the Act, we are conducting this changed circumstances review based upon the information contained in Yongjia's submissions.12 In making a successor-in-interest determination, the Department typically examines several factors including, but not limited to, changes in: (1) Management; (2) production facilities; (3) supplier relationships; and (4) customer base.13 While no single factor or combination of factors will necessarily be dispositive, the Department generally will consider the new company to be the successor to the predecessor if the resulting operations of the successor are not materially dissimilar to that of its predecessor.14 Thus, if the record demonstrates that, with respect to the production and sale of the subject merchandise, the new company operates as the same business entity as the predecessor company, the Department may assign the new company the cash deposit rate of its predecessor.15 For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    12See Yongjia CCR Request and Yongjia CCR Questionnaire Response.

    13See, e.g., Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Initiation of Changed Circumstances Review, 74 FR 19934, 19935 (April 30, 2009).

    14See, e.g., Notice of Initiation of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review: Certain Forged Stainless Steel Flanges from India, 71 FR 327, 327 (January 4, 2006).

    15See, e.g., Fresh and Chilled Atlantic Salmon From Norway; Final Results of Changed Circumstances Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 64 FR 9979, 9980 (March 1, 1999).

    Preliminary Results of the Changed Circumstances Review

    Based on the evidence reviewed, we preliminarily determine that Shanfu II is not the successor-in-interest to Shanfu I. Specifically, we find that material changes occurred after Shanfu I dissolved and Shanfu II was registered. These were changes in management, business scope, production facilities, supplier relationships, and ownership/legal structure with respect to the production and sale of the subject merchandise.16 Thus, we preliminarily determine that Shanfu II does not operate as the same business entity as Shanfu I with respect to the subject merchandise. A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum appears in the Appendix to this notice.

    16See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 4.

    If the Department upholds these preliminary results in the final results, Yongjia and Shanfu will be assigned the cash deposit rate currently assigned to the PRC-wide entity with respect to the subject merchandise (i.e., the $4.71 per kilogram cash deposit rate currently assigned to the PRC-wide entity).17 If these preliminary results are adopted in the final results of this changed circumstances review, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to suspend liquidation of entries of fresh garlic made by Shanfu II and exported by Yongjia, effective on the publication date of the final results, at the cash deposit rate assigned to the PRC-wide entity.

    17See Fresh Garlic from the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Rescission, In Part, of Twelfth New Shipper Reviews, 73 FR 56550 (September 29, 2008).

    Public Comment

    Interested parties may submit written comments by no later than 30 days after the date of publication of these preliminary results of review in the Federal Register.18 Rebuttals, limited to issues raised in the written comments, may be filed by no later than five days after the written comments are filed.19 Parties that submit written comments or rebuttals are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.20 All briefs are to be filed electronically using ACCESS.21 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the day on which it is due.22

    18See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii).

    19See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(1).

    20See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) & (d)(2).

    21See 19 CFR 351.303(b) and (f).

    22See 19 CFR 351.303(b)

    Any interested party may submit a request for a hearing to the Assistant Secretary of Enforcement and Compliance using ACCESS within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.23 Hearing requests should contain the following information: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of the issues to be discussed.24 Oral presentations will be limited to issues raised in the briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, parties will be notified of the time and date for the hearing to be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.25

    23See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    24Id.

    25See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    Final Results of the Review

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.216(e), the Department intends to issue the final results of this changed circumstances review not later than 270 days after the date on which the review is initiated.

    Notification to Parties

    The Department issues and publishes these results in accordance with sections 751(b)(1) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.216 and 351.221.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Review Successor-in-Interest 1. Changes in Ownership And Management 2. Production Facilities and Equipment 3. Supplier Relationships 4. Customer Base 5. Other Material Considerations a. Dissolution b. Change in Corporate Form V. Summary of Preliminary Findings VI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2015-16082 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-027, C-533-864, C-475-833, C-580-879, C-583-857] Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From the People's Republic of China, India, Italy, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigations AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: June 30, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Myrna Lobo at (202) 482-2371 (the People's Republic of China, and the Republic of Korea); Matt Renkey or Jerry Huang at (202) 482-2312 and (202) 482-4047, respectively (India); Robert Palmer at (202) 482-9068 (Italy); Kristen Johnson at (202) 482-4793 (Taiwan), AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Petitions

    On June 3, 2015, the Department of Commerce (Department) received countervailing duty (CVD) petitions concerning imports of certain corrosion-resistant steel products (corrosion-resistant steel) from the People's Republic of China (PRC), India, Italy, the Republic of Korea (Korea), and Taiwan, filed in proper form on behalf of United States Steel Corporation, Nucor Corporation, Steel Dynamics, Inc., ArcelorMittal USA, LLC, AK Steel Corporation, and California Steel Industries, (collectively, Petitioners). The CVD petitions were accompanied by antidumping duty (AD) petitions also concerning imports of corrosion-resistant steel from all of the above countries.1 Petitioners are domestic producers of corrosion-resistant steel.2

    1See “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, India Italy, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan,” dated June 3, 2015 (Petitions).

    2See Volume I of the Petitions, at I-2 and Exhibit I-1.

    On June 9 and 10, 2015, the Department requested information and clarification for certain areas of the Petitions.3 Petitioners filed responses to these requests on June 12, 2015.4 In addition, Petitioners filed a new subsidy allegation with respect to Korea as an Amendment to Volume V of the petition.5

    3See Letter from the Department to Petitioners entitled “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China (PRC): Supplemental Questions,” dated June 9, 2015 (PRC Questionnaire); Letter from the Department to Petitioners entitled “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India: Supplemental Questions,” dated June 9, 2015 (India Questionnaire); Letter from the Department to Petitioners entitled “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Italy: Supplemental Questions,” dated June 9, 2015 (Italy Questionnaire); Letter from the Department to Petitioners entitled “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the Republic of Korea: Supplemental Questions,” dated June 9, 2015 (Korea Questionnaire); Letter from the Department to Petitioners entitled “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Taiwan: Supplemental Questions,” dated June 10, 2015 (Taiwan Questionnaire); Letter from the Department to Petitioners entitled “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, India, Italy, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan: Supplemental Questions,” dated June 9, 2015 (General Issues Questionnaire).

    4See Letter from Petitioners entitled “Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, India, Italy, and Taiwan: Response to the Department's June 9, 2015 Questionnaire Regarding Volume I of the Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties,” dated June 12, 2015 (General Issues Supplement); Letter from Petitioners entitled “Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, India, Italy, and Taiwan: Response to the Department's June 9, 2015 Questionnaire Regarding Volume III of the Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties,” dated June 12, 2015 (PRC Supplement); Letter from Petitioners entitled “Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, India, Italy, and Taiwan: Response to the Department's June 9, 2015 Questionnaire Regarding Volume VII of the Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties,” dated June 12, 2015 (India Supplement); Letter from Petitioners entitled “Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, India, Italy, and Taiwan: Response to the Department's June 9, 2015 Questionnaire Regarding Volume IX of the Petitions for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties,” dated June 12, 2015 (Italy Supplement); Letter from Petitioners entitled “Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, India, Italy, and Taiwan: Response to the Department's June 9, 2015 Questionnaire Regarding Volume V of the Petitions for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties,” dated June 12, 2015 (Korea Supplement); Letter from Petitioners entitled “Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, India, Italy, and Taiwan: Response to the Department's June 10, 2015 Questionnaire Regarding Volume XI of the Petitions for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties,” dated June 12, 2015 (Taiwan Supplement).

    5See Letter from Petitioners entitled “Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, India, Italy, and Taiwan: New Subsidy Allegation Amendment to Volume V of the Petitions for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties,” dated June 12, 2015 (Korea NSA).

    In accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), Petitioners allege that the Governments of the PRC (GOC), India (GOIn), Italy (GOIt), and Korea (GOK) and the Taiwan Authorities (TA) are providing countervailable subsidies (within the meaning of sections 701 and 771(5) of the Act) to imports of corrosion-resistant steel from the PRC, India, Italy, Korea and Taiwan, respectively, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Also, consistent with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, the Petitions are accompanied by information reasonably available to Petitioners supporting their allegations.

    The Department finds that Petitioners filed the Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry because Petitioners are interested parties as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act. The Department also finds that Petitioners demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the CVD investigations that Petitioners are requesting.6

    6See the “Determination of Industry Support for the Petitions” section below.

    Period of Investigations

    The period of investigations is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014.7

    7 19 CFR 351.204(b)(2).

    Scope of the Investigations

    The product covered by these investigations is corrosion-resistant steel from the PRC, India, Italy, Korea and Taiwan. For a full description of the scope of these investigations, see the “Scope of the Investigations” in Appendix I of this notice.

    Comments on Scope of the Investigations

    During our review of the Petitions, the Department issued questions to, and received responses from, Petitioners pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petitions would be an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.8

    8See General Issues Questionnaire; see also General Issues Supplement.

    As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations,9 we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope). The period for scope comments is intended to provide the Department with ample opportunity to consider all comments and to consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determinations. If scope comments include factual information (see 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), all such factual information should be limited to public information. All such comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on July 13, 2015, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on July 23, 2015, which is 10 calendar days after the initial comments deadline.

    9See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties; Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigations be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigations may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments must be filed on the records of the PRC, India, Italy, Korea, and Taiwan CVD investigations, as well as the concurrent PRC, India, Italy Korea, and Taiwan AD investigations.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    Consultations

    Pursuant to section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act, the Department notified representatives of the GOC, GOIn, GOIt, GOK, and TA of the receipt of the Petitions. Also, in accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act, the Department provided representatives of the GOC, GOIn, GOIt, GOK, and TA the opportunity for consultations with respect to the Petitions.10 Consultations were held with the TA on June 17, 2015, with the GOIt on June 19, 2015, and with the GOK and the GOC on June 22, 2015. All memoranda regarding these consultations are on file electronically via ACCESS.

    10See Letters of Invitation from the Department to the GOC (dated June 9, 2015), GOIn (dated June 5, 2015), GOIt (dated June 5, 2015), GOK (dated June 9, 2015), and the TA (dated June 4, 2015).

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petitions

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,11 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.12

    11 See section 771(10) of the Act.

    12See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the Petitions).

    With regard to the domestic like product, Petitioners do not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigations. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that corrosion-resistant steel constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.13

    13 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China (PRC CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, India, Italy, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan (Attachment II); Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India (India CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Italy (Italy CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the Republic of Korea (Korea CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; and Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Taiwan (Taiwan CVD Initiation Checklist). These checklists are dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether Petitioners have standing under section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petitions with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigations,” in Appendix I of this notice. Petitioners provided their shipments of the domestic like product in 2014, and estimated total shipments of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry using data from the American Iron and Steel Institute and the ITC.14 To establish industry support, Petitioners compared their own shipments to estimated total shipments of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.15 Because data regarding total production of the domestic like product are not reasonably available to Petitioners and Petitioners have established that shipments are a reasonable proxy for production, we have relied on the shipment data provided by Petitioners for purposes of measuring industry support.16

    14See Volume I of the Petitions, at 2-3 and Exhibits I-3 to I-5; see also General Issues Supplement, at 12-14 and Exhibits Supp. I-3, Supp. I-40 to Supp. I-42, and Supp. I-45.

    15Id.

    16 For further discussion, see PRC CVD Initiation Checklist, India CVD Initiation Checklist, Italy CVD Initiation Checklist, Korea CVD Initiation Checklist, and Taiwan CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    On June 12, 2015, we received a submission from Thomas Steel Strip Corporation (Thomas) and Apollo Metals, Ltd. (Apollo), domestic producers of corrosion-resistant steel. In the submission, Thomas and Apollo state that they support the Petitions for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on corrosion-resistant steel from the PRC, Korea, Italy and Taiwan. Thomas and Apollo do not express a view with respect to the Petitions for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on corrosion-resistant steel from India. In addition, Thomas and Apollo provide their 2014 production of the domestic like product.17

    17See Letter to the Department from Thomas Steel Strip Corporation and Apollo Metals, Ltd., entitled “Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, Italy, and Taiwan: Statement of Support for the Petitions and Comments Concerning Nickel-Plated Steel Products,” dated June 12, 2015.

    We have relied on the data provided by Petitioners, Thomas, and Apollo for purposes of measuring industry support.18

    18See PRC CVD Initiation Checklist, India CVD Initiation Checklist, Italy CVD Initiation Checklist, Korea CVD Initiation Checklist, and Taiwan CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petitions, General Issues supplement, the submission from Thomas and Apollo, and other information readily available to the Department indicates that Petitioners have established industry support for all of the Petitions.19 First, the Petitions established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).20 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act for all of the Petitions because the domestic producers (or workers) who support each of the Petitions account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.21 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act for all of the Petitions because the domestic producers (or workers) who support each of the Petitions account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petitions.22 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petitions were filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 702(b)(1) of the Act.

    19See PRC CVD Initiation Checklist, India CVD Initiation Checklist, Italy CVD Initiation Checklist, Korea CVD Initiation Checklist, and Taiwan CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    20See section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also PRC CVD Initiation Checklist, India CVD Initiation Checklist, Italy CVD Initiation Checklist, Korea CVD Initiation Checklist, and Taiwan CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    21See PRC CVD Initiation Checklist, India CVD Initiation Checklist, Italy CVD Initiation Checklist, Korea CVD Initiation Checklist, and Taiwan CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    22Id.

    The Department finds that Petitioners filed the Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry because they are interested parties as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act and they have demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the CVD investigations that they are requesting the Department initiate.23

    23Id.

    Injury Test

    Because the PRC, India, Italy, Korea, and Taiwan are “Subsidies Agreement Countries” within the meaning of section 701(b) of the Act, section 701(a)(2) of the Act applies to these investigations. Accordingly, the ITC must determine whether imports of the subject merchandise from the PRC, India, Italy, Korea, and/or Taiwan materially injure, or threaten material injury to, a U.S. industry.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    Petitioners allege that imports of the subject merchandise are benefitting from countervailable subsidies and that such imports are causing, or threaten to cause, material injury to the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product. Petitioners allege that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold of three percent provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.24 In CVD petitions, section 771(24)(B) of the Act provides that imports of subject merchandise from least developed countries must exceed the negligibility threshold of four percent. Petitioners also demonstrate that subject imports from India, which has been designated as a least developed country under section 771(36)(B) of the Act, exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(B) of the Act.25

    24See Volume I of the Petitions, at 24 (footnote 87) and Exhibit I-27.

    25Id.

    Petitioners contend that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and price suppression or depression; lost sales and revenues; oversupply and inventory overhang in the U.S. market; and adverse impact on domestic industry performance.26 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.27

    26See Volume I of the Petitions, at 17-19, 24-43 and Exhibits I-5, I-12 and I-18 through I-27; see also General Issues Supplement, at 1 and Exhibits Supp. I-18, Supp. I-25, Supp. I-26, and Supp.I-28.

    27See PRC CVD Initiation Checklist, India CVD Initiation Checklist, Italy CVD Initiation Checklist, Korea CVD Initiation Checklist, and Taiwan CVD Initiation Checklist at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, India, Italy, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan.

    Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigations

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires the Department to initiate a CVD investigation whenever an interested party files a CVD petition on behalf of an industry that: (1) Alleges the elements necessary for an imposition of a duty under section 701(a) of the Act; and (2) is accompanied by information reasonably available to Petitioners supporting the allegations.

    Petitioners allege that producers/exporters of corrosion-resistant steel in the PRC, India, Italy, Korea, and Taiwan benefited from countervailable subsidies bestowed by the governments/authorities of these countries, respectively. The Department examined the Petitions and finds that they comply with the requirements of section 702(b)(1) of the Act. Therefore, in accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, we are initiating CVD investigations to determine whether manufacturers, producers, or exporters of corrosion-resistant steel from the PRC, India, Italy, Korea, and Taiwan receive countervailable subsidies from the governments/authorities of these countries, respectively.

    The PRC

    Based on our review of the petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on 47 of the 48 alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate or not initiate on each program, see the PRC CVD Initiation Checklist.

    India

    Based on our review of the petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on 52 of the 53 alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate or not initiate on each program, see the India CVD Initiation Checklist.

    Italy

    Based on our review of the petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on 12 of the 14 alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate or not initiate on each program, see the Italy CVD Initiation Checklist.

    Korea

    Based on our review of the petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on 39 of the 41 alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate or not initiate on each program, see the Korea CVD Initiation Checklist.

    Taiwan

    Based on our review of the petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on 20 of the 22 alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate or not initiate on each program, see the Taiwan CVD Initiation Checklist.

    A public version of the initiation checklist for each investigation is available on ACCESS.

    In accordance with section 703(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determinations no later than 65 days after the date of this initiation.

    Respondent Selection

    Petitioners named 146 companies as producers/exporters of corrosion-resistant steel from the PRC, 26 from India, 7 from Italy, 11 from Korea, and 35 from Taiwan.28 Following standard practice in CVD investigations, the Department will, where appropriate, select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports of corrosion-resistant steel during the periods of investigation under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) numbers: 7210.30.0030, 7210.30.0060, 7210.41.0000, 7210.49.0030, 7210.49.0091, 7210.49.0095, 7210.61.0000, 7210.69.0000, 7210.70.6030, 7210.70.6060, 7210.70.6090, 7210.90.6000, 7210.90.9000, 7212.20.0000, 7212.30.1030, 7212.30.1090, 7212.30.3000, 7212.30.5000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, and 7212.60.0000. We intend to release CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO within five-business days of publication of this Federal Register notice. The Department invites comments regarding respondent selection within seven days of publication of this Federal Register notice.

    28See Volume I of the Petitions, at Exhibits I-7 to I-11. For Taiwan, see also Volume XI at Exhibit XI-1.

    Comments must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS, by 5 p.m. ET by the date noted above. We intend to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice. Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). Instructions for filing such applications may be found on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/apo.

    Distribution of Copies of the Petitions

    In accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), copies of the public version of the Petitions have been provided to the GOC, GOIn, GOIt, GOK and TA via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petitions to each known exporter (as named in the Petitions), consistent with 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 702(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determinations by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petitions were filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of corrosion-resistant steel from the PRC, India, Italy, Korea, and Taiwan are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.29 A negative ITC determination for any country will result in the investigation being terminated with respect to that country; 30 otherwise, these investigations will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    29See section 703(a) of the Act.

    30Id.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). The regulation requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in these investigations.

    Extension of Time Limits Regulation

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301 expires. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available athttp://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in these investigations.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.31 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials, as well as their representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule. 32 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised certification requirements.

    31See section 782(b) of the Act.

    32See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in these investigations should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 702 and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Attachment I Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain flat-rolled steel products, either clad, plated, or coated with corrosion-resistant metals such as zinc, aluminum, or zinc-, aluminum-, nickel- or iron-based alloys, whether or not corrugated or painted, varnished, laminated, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances in addition to the metallic coating. The products covered include coils that have a width of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or • 3.30 percent of silicon, or • 1.50 percent of copper, or • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or • 1.25 percent of chromium, or • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or • 0.40 percent of lead, or • 2.00 percent of nickel, or • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels and high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels. IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum.

    Furthermore, this scope also includes Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS), both of which are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

    • Flat-rolled steel products either plated or coated with tin, lead, chromium, chromium oxides, both tin and lead (“terne plate”), or both chromium and chromium oxides (“tin free steel”), whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances in addition to the metallic coating; • Clad products in straight lengths of 4.7625 mm or more in composite thickness and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness; and • Certain clad stainless flat-rolled products, which are three-layered corrosion-resistant flat-rolled steel products less than 4.75 mm in composite thickness that consist of a flat-rolled steel product clad on both sides with stainless steel in a 20%-60%-20% ratio.

    The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7210.30.0030, 7210.30.0060, 7210.41.0000, 7210.49.0030, 7210.49.0091, 7210.49.0095, 7210.61.0000, 7210.69.0000, 7210.70.6030, 7210.70.6060, 7210.70.6090, 7210.90.6000, 7210.90.9000, 7212.20.0000, 7212.30.1030, 7212.30.1090, 7212.30.3000, 7212.30.5000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, and 7212.60.0000.

    The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7210.90.1000, 7215.90.1000, 7215.90.3000, 7215.90.5000, 7217.20.1500, 7217.30.1530, 7217.30.1560, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.91.0000, 7225.92.0000, 7225.99.0090, 7226.99.0110, 7226.99.0130, 7226.99.0180, 7228.60.6000, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2015-16067 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-475-832, A-533-863, A-570-026, A-580-878, A-583-856] Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From Italy, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: June 30, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julia Hancock or Susan Pulongbarit at (202) 482-1394 and (202) 482-4031, respectively (Italy), Alexis Polovina at (202) 482-3927 (India); David Lindgren at (202) 482-3870 (the People's Republic of China (PRC)); David Lindgren at (202) 482-3870 (the Republic of Korea (Korea)); or Brendan Quinn or Paul Stolz at (202) 482-5848 and (202) 482-4474, respectively (Taiwan), AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Petitions

    On June 3, 2015, the Department of Commerce (the Department) received antidumping duty (AD) petitions concerning imports of certain corrosion-resistant steel products (corrosion-resistant steel) from Italy, India, the PRC, Korea, and Taiwan, filed in proper form on behalf of United States Steel Corporation, Nucor Corporation, ArcelorMittal USA, AK Steel Corporation, Steel Dynamics, Inc., and California Steel Industries, Inc., (Petitioners).1 The AD petitions were accompanied by five countervailing duty (CVD) petitions.2 Petitioners are domestic producers of corrosion-resistant steel.3

    1See Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Italy, India, the PRC, Korea, and Taiwan, dated June 3, 2015 (the Petitions).

    2See the Petitions for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Italy, India, the PRC, Korea, and Taiwan, dated June 3, 2015.

    3See Volume I of the Petitions, at 2, and Exhibit I-1.

    On June 9, 2015, and June 10, 2015, the Department requested additional information and clarification of certain areas of the Petitions.4 Petitioners filed responses to these requests on June 12, 2015.5

    4See Letter from the Department to Petitioners entitled “Re: Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Italy, India, the PRC, Korea, and Taiwan, and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Italy, India, the PRC, Korea, and Taiwan: Supplemental Questions” dated June 9, 2015, and June 10, 2015; (General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire), and Letters from the Department to Petitioners entitled “Re: Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from {country}: Supplemental Questions” on each of the country-specific records, dated June 9, 2015.

    5See Response to the Department's June 9, 2015 Questionnaire Regarding Volume I of the Petitions for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duties, dated June12, 2015 (General Issues Supplement); see also Response to the Department's June 9, 2015 Questionnaires Regarding Volumes II, IV, VI, VIII, X, of the Petitions for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duties, dated June 12, 2015.

    In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), Petitioners allege that imports of corrosion-resistant steel from Italy, India, the PRC, Korea, and Taiwan, are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less-than-fair value within the meaning of section 731 of the Act, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Also, consistent with section 732(b)(1) of the Act, the Petitions are accompanied by information reasonably available to Petitioners supporting their allegations.

    The Department finds that Petitioners filed these Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry because Petitioners are interested parties as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act. The Department also finds that Petitioners demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the AD investigations that Petitioners are requesting.6

    6See the “Determination of Industry Support for the Petitions” section below.

    Periods of Investigation

    Because the Petitions were filed on June 3, 2015, the periods of investigation (POI) are, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1), as follows: April 1, 2014, through March 31, 2015, for Italy, India, Korea, and Taiwan, and October 1, 2014, through March 31, 2015, for the PRC.

    Scope of the Investigations

    The product covered by these investigations is corrosion-resistant steel from Italy, India, the PRC, Korea, and Taiwan. For a full description of the scope of these investigations, see the “Scope of the Investigations,” in Appendix I of this notice.

    Comments on Scope of the Investigations

    During our review of the Petitions, the Department issued questions to, and received responses from, Petitioners pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petitions would be an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.7

    7See General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire; see also General Issues Supplement.

    As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations, we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope). The period for scope comments is intended to provide the Department with ample opportunity to consider all comments and to consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information (see 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), all such factual information should be limited to public information. All such comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Tuesday, July 14, 2015, which is 21 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 24, 2015, which is 10 calendar days after the initial comments.

    The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigations be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigations may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments must be filed on the records of each of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).8 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date when it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    8See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011) for details of the Department's electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found athttps://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Comments on Product Characteristics for AD Questionnaires

    The Department requests comments from interested parties regarding the appropriate physical characteristics of corrosion-resistant steel to be reported in response to the Department's AD questionnaires. This information will be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the subject merchandise in order to report the relevant factors and costs of production accurately as well as to develop appropriate product-comparison criteria.

    Interested parties may provide any information or comments that they feel are relevant to the development of an accurate list of physical characteristics. Specifically, they may provide comments as to which characteristics are appropriate to use as: (1) General product characteristics and (2) product-comparison criteria. We note that it is not always appropriate to use all product characteristics as product-comparison criteria. We base product-comparison criteria on meaningful commercial differences among products. In other words, although there may be some physical product characteristics utilized by manufacturers to describe corrosion-resistant steel, it may be that only a select few product characteristics take into account commercially meaningful physical characteristics. In addition, interested parties may comment on the order in which the physical characteristics should be used in matching products. Generally, the Department attempts to list the most important physical characteristics first and the least important characteristics last.

    In order to consider the suggestions of interested parties in developing and issuing the AD questionnaires, all comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 14, 2015, which is 21 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. All comments and submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as explained above, on the records of the Italy, India, the PRC, Korea, and Taiwan less-than-fair-value investigations.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petitions

    Section 732(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,9 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.10

    9See section 771(10) of the Act.

    10See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the Petitions).

    With regard to the domestic like product, Petitioners do not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigations. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that corrosion-resistant steel constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.11

    11 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China (PRC AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, India, Italy, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan (Attachment II); Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India (India AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Italy (Italy AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the Republic of Korea (Korea AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; and Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Taiwan (Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist). These checklists are dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether Petitioners have standing under section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petitions with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigations,” in Appendix I of this notice. Petitioners provided their shipments of the domestic like product in 2014, and estimated total shipments of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry using data from the American Iron and Steel Institute and the ITC.12 To establish industry support, Petitioners compared their own shipments to estimated total shipments of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.13 Because data regarding total production of the domestic like product are not reasonably available to Petitioners and Petitioners have established that shipments are a reasonable proxy for production, we have relied on the shipment data provided by Petitioners for purposes of measuring industry support.14

    12See Volume I of the Petitions, at 2-3 and Exhibits I-3 to I-5; see also General Issues Supplement, at 12-14 and Exhibits Supp. I-3, Supp. I-40 to Supp. I-42, and Supp. I-45.

    13Id.

    14 For further discussion, see PRC AD Initiation Checklist, India AD Initiation Checklist, Italy AD Initiation Checklist, Korea AD Initiation Checklist, and Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    On June 12, 2015, we received a submission from Thomas Steel Strip Corporation (Thomas) and Apollo Metals, Ltd. (Apollo), domestic producers of corrosion-resistant steel. In the submission, Thomas and Apollo state that they support the Petitions for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on corrosion-resistant steel from the PRC, Korea, Italy and Taiwan. Thomas and Apollo do not express a view with respect to the Petitions for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on corrosion-resistant steel from India. In addition, Thomas and Apollo provide their 2014 production of the domestic like product.15

    15See Letter to the Department from Thomas Steel Strip Corporation and Apollo Metals, Ltd., entitled “Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, Italy, and Taiwan: Statement of Support for the Petitions and Comments Concerning Nickel-Plated Steel Products,” dated June 12, 2015.

    We have relied on the data provided by Petitioners, Thomas, and Apollo for purposes of measuring industry support.16

    16See Italy AD Initiation Checklist, India AD Initiation Checklist, PRC AD Initiation Checklist, Korea AD Initiation Checklist, and Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petitions, General Issues Supplement, submission from Thomas and Apollo, and other information readily available to the Department indicates that Petitioners have established industry support for all of the Petitions.17 First, the Petitions established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).18 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act for all of the Petitions because the domestic producers (or workers) who support each of the Petitions account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.19 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act for all of the Petitions because the domestic producers (or workers) who support each of the Petitions account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petitions.20 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petitions were filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act.

    17See Italy AD Initiation Checklist, India AD Initiation Checklist, PRC AD Initiation Checklist, Korea AD Initiation Checklist, and Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    18See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also Italy AD Initiation Checklist, India AD Initiation Checklist, PRC AD Initiation Checklist, Korea AD Initiation Checklist, and Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    19See Italy AD Initiation Checklist, India AD Initiation Checklist, PRC AD Initiation Checklist, Korea AD Initiation Checklist, and Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    20Id.

    The Department finds that Petitioners filed the Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry because they are interested parties as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act and they have demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the AD investigations that they are requesting the Department initiate.21

    21Id.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    Petitioners allege that the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product is being materially injured, or is threatened with material injury, by reason of the imports of the subject merchandise sold at less than normal value (NV). In addition, Petitioners allege that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.22 Petitioners contend that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and price suppression or depression; lost sales and revenues; oversupply and inventory overhang in the U.S. market; and adverse impact on domestic industry performance.23 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.24

    22See Volume I of the Petitions, at 24 (footnote 87) and Exhibit I-27.

    23See Volume I of the Petitions, at 17-19, 24-43 and Exhibits I-5, I-12 and I-18 through I-27; see also General Issues Supplement, at 1 and Exhibits Supp. I-18, Supp. I-25, Supp. I-26, and Supp. I-28.

    24See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, India AD Initiation Checklist, Italy AD Initiation Checklist, Korea AD Initiation Checklist, and Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, India, Italy, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan.

    Allegations of Sales at Less-Than-Fair Value

    The following is a description of the allegations of sales at less-than-fair value upon which the Department based its decision to initiate investigations of imports of corrosion-resistant steel from Italy, India, the PRC, Korea, and Taiwan. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and NV are discussed in greater detail in the country-specific initiation checklists.

    Export Price

    For Italy, India, Korea, the PRC and Taiwan, Petitioners based EP U.S. prices on price quotes/offers for sales of corrosion-resistant steel produced in, and exported from, the subject country.25 Petitioners made deductions from U.S. price for movement expenses consistent with the delivery terms.26 Where applicable, Petitioners also deducted from U.S. price trading company/distributor/reseller mark-ups estimated using Petitioners' knowledge of the U.S. industry.27

    25See Italy AD Initiation Checklist; India AD Initiation Checklist; Korea AD Initiation Checklist; PRC AD Initiation Checklist, and Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist.

    26Id.

    27Id.

    Normal Value

    For Italy, India, Korea, and Taiwan Petitioners provided home market price information obtained through market research for corrosion-resistant steel produced in and offered for sale in each of these countries.28 For each country, Petitioners provided an affidavit or declaration from a market researcher for the price information.29 Additionally, Petitioners made deductions for movement expenses consistent with the terms of delivery, where applicable.30 For India, Petitioners made a distributor mark-up adjustment to the price.31 Petitioners made no other adjustments to the prices. For India, Petitioners based NV on the adjusted price. For Italy, Korea and Taiwan, Petitioners alleged that sales of corrosion-resistant steel in the respective home markets were made at prices below the cost of production. See below for discussion of NV based on constructed value.

    28See AD Italy Initiation Checklist; India AD Initiation Checklist; Korea AD Initiation Checklist; and Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist.

    29Id; see also Memorandum to the File, “Telephone Call to Foreign Market Researcher,” on each of the country-specific records, dated June 10, 2015.

    30Id.

    31See AD India Initiation Checklist.

    With respect to the PRC, Petitioners stated that the Department has long treated the PRC as a non-market economy (NME) country.32 In accordance with section 771(18)(C)(i) of the Act, the presumption of NME status remains in effect until revoked by the Department. The presumption of NME status for the PRC has not been revoked by the Department and, therefore, remains in effect for purposes of the initiation of this investigation. Accordingly, the NV of the product is appropriately based on factors of production (FOPs) valued in a surrogate market economy country, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act. In the course of this investigation, all parties, and the public, will have the opportunity to provide relevant information related to the issues of the PRC's NME status and the granting of separate rates to individual exporters.

    32See Volume II of the Petitions, at 1-2.

    Petitioners claim that South Africa is an appropriate surrogate country because it is a market economy that is at a level of economic development comparable to that of the PRC, it is a significant producer of the merchandise under consideration, and the data for valuing FOPs, factory overhead, selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses and profit are both available and reliable.33

    33Id. at 2.

    Based on the information provided by Petitioners, we believe it is appropriate to use South Africa as a surrogate country for initiation purposes. Interested parties will have the opportunity to submit comments regarding surrogate country selection and, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(i), will be provided an opportunity to submit publicly available information to value FOPs within 30 days before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination.34

    34 Note that 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(i) is the revised regulation published on April 1, 2013. See http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2013-title19-vol3/html/CFR-2013-title19-vol3.htm.

    Factors of Production

    Petitioners based the FOPs for materials, labor, and energy on a petitioning U.S. producer's consumption rates for producing corrosion-resistant steel as they did not have access to the consumption rates of PRC producers of the subject merchandise.35 Petitioners note that the selected U.S. producer was chosen because, like the Chinese producer of the U.S. price offers, the U.S. producer is a large, integrated producer of subject merchandise.36 Petitioners value the estimated factors of production using surrogate values from South Africa.37

    35See Volume II of the Petitions, at Exhibit II-14 (page 1).

    36Id.

    37Id., at Exhibit II-14.

    Valuation of Raw Materials

    Petitioners valued the FOPs for raw materials (e.g., coke, iron ore, aluminum, zinc) using reasonably available, public import data for South Africa from the Global Trade Atlas (GTA) for the period of investigation.38 Petitioners excluded all import values from countries previously determined by the Department to maintain broadly available, non-industry-specific export subsidies and from countries previously determined by the Department to be NME countries. In addition, in accordance with the Department's practice, the average import value excludes imports that were labeled as originating from an unidentified country. The Department determines that the surrogate values used by Petitioners are reasonably available and, thus, are acceptable for purposes of initiation.

    38See Volume II of the Petitions, at Exhibit II-14(D).

    Valuation of Labor

    Petitioners valued labor using South African labor data published by the International Labor Organization (ILO).39 Specifically, Petitioners relied on industry-specific wage rate data from Chapter 5A of the ILO's “Labor Cost in Manufacturing” publication as South African wage information was not available in Chapter 6A of the ILO's “Yearbook of Labor Statistics” publication.40 As the South African wage data are monthly data from 2012 in South African Rand, Petitioners converted the wage rates to hourly, adjusted for inflation and then converted to U.S. Dollars using the average exchange rate during the POI.41 Petitioners then applied that resulting labor rate to the labor hours expended by the U.S. producer of corrosion-resistant steel.42

    39Id., at Exhibit II-14 (page 5 and Exhibit II-14(E)).

    40Id.

    41Id.

    42Id., at Exhibit II-14(I).

    Valuation of Energy

    Petitioners used public information, as compiled by Eskom (a South African electricity producer), to value electricity.43 This 2014-2015 Eskom price information was converted to U.S. Dollars and from kilowatt hours to thousand kilowatt hours in order to be compared to the U.S producer factor usage rates.44 The cost of natural gas in South Africa was calculated from the average unit value of imports of liquid natural gas for the period, as reported by GTA.45 Using universal conversion factors, Petitioners converted that cost to the U.S. producer-reported factor unit of million British thermal units to ensure the proper comparison.46

    43Id., at Exhibit II-14(F).

    44Id., at Exhibit II-14 (page 7 and Exhibit II-14(F)).

    45Id., at Exhibit II-14(G).

    46Id., at Exhibit II-14 (page 7).

    Valuation of Factory Overhead, Selling, General and Administrative Expenses, and Profit

    Petitioners calculated surrogate financial ratios (i.e., manufacturing overhead, SG&A expenses, and profit) using the 2013 audited financial statement of EVRAZ Highveld Steel and Vanadium, a South African producer of comparable merchandise (i.e., flat-rolled steel).47

    47Id., at Exhibit II-14 (page 8 and Exhibit II-14(H)).

    Sales-Below-Cost Allegation

    For Italy, Korea, and Taiwan, Petitioners provided information demonstrating reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that sales of corrosion-resistant steel in the respective home markets were made at prices below the fully-absorbed COP, within the meaning of section 773(b) of the Act, and requested that the Department conduct country-wide sales-below-cost investigations.48 For India, Petitioners did not make a sales-below-cost allegation.

    48See Italy AD Initiation Checklist; Korea AD Initiation Checklist; and Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist.

    With respect to sales-below-cost allegations in the context of investigations, the Statement of Administrative Action (SAA) accompanying the Uruguay Round Agreements Act states that an allegation of sales below COP need not be specific to individual exporters or producers.49 The SAA states further that “Commerce will consider allegations of below-cost sales in the aggregate for a foreign country . . . on a country-wide basis for purposes of initiating an antidumping investigation.” 50 Consequently, the Department intends to consider Petitioners' allegations on a country-wide basis for each respective country for purposes of this initiation.

    49See SAA, H.R. Doc. No. 103-316, at 833 (1994).

    50Id.

    Finally, the SAA provides that section 773(b)(2)(A) of the Act retains the requirement that the Department have “reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that below-cost sales have occurred before initiating such an investigation.” 51 “Reasonable grounds” will exist when an interested party provides specific factual information on costs and prices, observed or constructed, indicating that sales in the foreign market in question are at below-cost prices.52 As explained below, we find reasonable grounds exist that indicate home market sales in Italy, Korea, and Taiwan, were at below-cost prices.

    51Id.

    52Id.

    Cost of Production

    Pursuant to section 773(b)(3) of the Act, COP consists of the cost of manufacturing (COM); SG&A expenses; financial expenses; and packing expenses. Petitioners calculated COM based on Petitioners' experience adjusted for known differences between their industry in the United States and the industries of the respective country (i.e., Italy, Korea, and Taiwan), during the proposed POI.53 Using publicly-available data to account for price differences, Petitioners multiplied their usage quantities by the submitted value of the inputs used to manufacture corrosion-resistant steel in each country.54 For Italy and Korea, to determine factory overhead, SG&A, and financial expense rates, Petitioners relied on financial statements of producers of comparable merchandise operating in the respective foreign country.55 For Taiwan, Petitioners used the factory overhead rate experienced at its own factory. To determine SG&A and financial expense rates for Taiwan, Petitioners relied on financial statements of a producer of comparable merchandise operating in Taiwan.

    53See Italy AD Initiation Checklist; Korea AD Initiation Checklist; and Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist.

    54Id.

    55Id.

    Based upon a comparison of the prices of the foreign like product in the home market to the calculated COP of the most comparable product, we find reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that sales of the foreign like products were made at prices that are below the COP, within the meaning of section 773(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Act. Accordingly, the Department is initiating country-wide cost investigations on sales of corrosion-resistant steel from Italy, Korea, and Taiwan.

    Normal Value Based on Constructed Value

    For Italy, Korea, and Taiwan, because they alleged sales below cost, pursuant to sections 773(a)(4), 773(b), and 773(e) of the Act, Petitioners calculated NV based on constructed value (CV). Petitioners calculated CV using the same average COM, SG&A, and financial expenses, to calculate COP.56 Petitioners relied on the financial statements of the same producers that they used for calculating manufacturing overhead, SG&A, and financial expenses to calculate the profit rate.57

    56Id.

    57Id.

    Fair Value Comparisons

    Based on the data provided by Petitioners, there is reason to believe that imports of corrosion-resistant steel from Italy, India, the PRC, Korea, and Taiwan, are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less-than-fair value. Based on comparisons of EP to NV in accordance with section 773(a) of the Act, the estimated dumping margin(s) for corrosion-resistant steel range from: (1) Italy range from 119.68 to 126.75 percent; 58 (2) India is 71.09 percent; 59 (3) Korea range from 46.80 to 86.34 percent; 60 (4) Taiwan is 86.17 percent.61

    58See Italy AD Initiation Checklist.

    59See India AD Initiation Checklist.

    60See Korea AD Initiation Checklist.

    61See Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist.

    Based on comparisons of EP to NV, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act, the estimated dumping margins for corrosion-resistant steel from the PRC range from 114.06 to 126.34 percent.62

    62See PRC AD Initiation Checklist.

    Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations

    Based upon the examination of the AD Petitions on corrosion-resistant steel from Italy, India, the PRC, Korea, and Taiwan, we find that Petitions meet the requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating AD investigations to determine whether imports of corrosion-resistant steel from Italy, India, the PRC, Korea, and Taiwan, are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less-than-fair value. In accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determinations no later than 140 days after the date of this initiation.

    Respondent Selection

    Petitioners named seven companies from Italy, 26 companies from India, 11 companies from Korea, and eight companies from Taiwan, as producers/exporters of corrosion-resistant steel.63 Following standard practice in AD investigations involving ME countries, the Department intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports under the appropriate HTSUS numbers listed in the “Scope of Investigations” section above. We intend to release the CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO within five days of publication of this Federal Register notice and make our decision regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice.

    63See the Volume I of the Petitions, at 15 and Exhibit 1-8 through I-11.

    We invite interested parties to comment on this issue. Parties wishing to comment must do so within five days of the publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Comments must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5 p.m. EDT by the date noted above.

    With respect to the PRC, Petitioners named 147 companies as producers/exporters of corrosion-resistant steel.64 In accordance with our standard practice for respondent selection in cases involving NME countries, we intend to issue quantity-and-value (Q&V) questionnaires to each potential respondent and base respondent selection on the responses received. In addition, the Department will post the Q&V questionnaire along with filing instructions on the Enforcement and Compliance Web site at http://www.trade.gov/enforcement/news.asp.

    64See the Volume I of the Petitions, at 15 and Exhibit 1-8.

    Exporters/producers of corrosion-resistant steel from the PRC that do not receive Q&V questionnaires by mail may still submit a response to the Q&V questionnaire and can obtain a copy from the Enforcement and Compliance Web site. The Q&V response must be submitted by all PRC exporters/producers no later than July 7, 2015, which is two weeks from the signature date of this notice. All Q&V responses must be filed electronically via ACCESS.

    Separate Rates

    In order to obtain separate-rate status in an NME investigation, exporters and producers must submit a separate-rate application.65 The specific requirements for submitting a separate-rate application in the PRC investigation are outlined in detail in the application itself, which is available on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html. The separate-rate application will be due 30 days after publication of this initiation notice.66 Exporters and producers who submit a separate-rate application and have been selected as mandatory respondents will be eligible for consideration for separate-rate status only if they respond to all parts of the Department's AD questionnaire as mandatory respondents. The Department requires that respondents from the PRC submit a response to both the Q&V questionnaire and the separate-rate application by their respective deadlines in order to receive consideration for separate-rate status.

    65See Policy Bulletin 05.1: Separate-Rates Practice and Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigation involving Non-Market Economy Countries (April 5, 2005), available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/bull05-1.pdf (Policy Bulletin 05.1).

    66 Although in past investigations this deadline was 60 days, consistent with section 351.301 (a) of the Department's regulations, which states that “the Secretary may request any person to submit factual information at any time during a proceeding,” this deadline is now 30 days.

    Use of Combination Rates

    The Department will calculate combination rates for certain respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in an NME investigation. The Separate Rates and Combination Rates Bulletin states:

    {w}hile continuing the practice of assigning separate rates only to exporters, all separate rates that the Department will now assign in its NME Investigation will be specific to those producers that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation. Note, however, that one rate is calculated for the exporter and all of the producers which supplied subject merchandise to it during the period of investigation. This practice applies both to mandatory respondents receiving an individually calculated separate rate as well as the pool of non-investigated firms receiving the weighted-average of the individually calculated rates. This practice is referred to as the application of “combination rates” because such rates apply to specific combinations of exporters and one or more producers. The cash-deposit rate assigned to an exporter will apply only to merchandise both exported by the firm in question and produced by a firm that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation.67

    67See Policy Bulletin 05.1 at 6 (emphasis added).

    Distribution of Copies of the Petitions

    In accordance with section 732(b)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), copies of the public version of the Petitions have been provided to the Taiwan Authorities and the governments of Italy, India, the PRC, and Korea via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petitions to each exporter named in the Petitions, as provided under 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We have notified the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 732(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determinations by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petitions were filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of corrosion-resistant steel from Italy, India, the PRC, Korean, and/or Taiwan are materially injuring or threatening material injury to a U.S. industry.68 A negative ITC determination for any country will result in the investigation being terminated with respect to that country; 69 otherwise, these investigations will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    68See section 733(a) of the Act.

    69Id.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). The regulation requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Please review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in these investigations.

    Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under Part 351, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under Part 351 expires. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this segment.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.70 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials, as well as their representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule. 71 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with applicable revised certification requirements.

    70See section 782(b) of the Act.

    71See Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration during Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in these investigations should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed in 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigations

    The products covered by these investigations are certain flat-rolled steel products, either clad, plated, or coated with corrosion-resistant metals such as zinc, aluminum, or zinc-, aluminum-, nickel- or iron-based alloys, whether or not corrugated or painted, varnished, laminated, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances in addition to the metallic coating. The products covered include coils that have a width of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of these investigations are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or

    • 3.30 percent of silicon, or

    • 1.50 percent of copper, or

    • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or

    • 1.25 percent of chromium, or

    • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or

    • 0.40 percent of lead, or

    • 2.00 percent of nickel, or

    • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or

    • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or

    • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or

    • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or

    • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels and high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels. IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum.

    Furthermore, this scope also includes Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS), both of which are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of these investigations unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of these investigations:

    • Flat-rolled steel products either plated or coated with tin, lead, chromium, chromium oxides, both tin and lead (“terne plate”), or both chromium and chromium oxides (“tin free steel”), whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances in addition to the metallic coating;

    • Clad products in straight lengths of 4.7625 mm or more in composite thickness and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness; and

    • Certain clad stainless flat-rolled products, which are three-layered corrosion-resistant flat-rolled steel products less than 4.75 mm in composite thickness that consist of a flat-rolled steel product clad on both sides with stainless steel in a 20%-60%-20% ratio.

    The products subject to the investigations are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7210.30.0030, 7210.30.0060, 7210.41.0000, 7210.49.0030, 7210.49.0091, 7210.49.0095, 7210.61.0000, 7210.69.0000, 7210.70.6030, 7210.70.6060, 7210.70.6090, 7210.90.6000, 7210.90.9000, 7212.20.0000, 7212.30.1030, 7212.30.1090, 7212.30.3000, 7212.30.5000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, and 7212.60.0000.

    The products subject to the investigations may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7210.90.1000, 7215.90.1000, 7215.90.3000, 7215.90.5000, 7217.20.1500, 7217.30.1530, 7217.30.1560, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.91.0000, 7225.92.0000, 7225.99.0090, 7226.99.0110, 7226.99.0130, 7226.99.0180, 7228.60.6000, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigations is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2015-16061 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RIN 0648-XA756] Marine Mammals; File No. 15537 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comment on permit amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that NMFS is considering an amendment to Permit No. 15337 issued to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS), P.O. Box 207, Gulfport, MS 39502 (Dr. Moby Solangi, Responsible Party). This permit authorizes the acquisition of stranded, releasable California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) from the National Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program for the purposes of public display. The permit amendment is in response to a court decision to remand this permit to NMFS for reconsideration.

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before July 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The current permit and related documents are available for review online at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/review.htm or upon written request or by appointment in the following office:

    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:

    Jennifer Skidmore or Amy Sloan, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The permit was issued on October 5, 2011, 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). NMFS received several comments from members of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network and animal welfare organizations during the 30-day public comment period for the application that objected to animals undergoing rehabilitation and deemed fit for return to the wild being placed in public display, which commenters said contradicts the goals and mission of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Based in part on those comments and as explained in the memorandum documenting the decision on this permit, we included the following conditions in the permit:

    Condition B.2: This permit does not guarantee that the Permit Holder will be able to obtain any releasable sea lions from rehabilitation facilities, and does not require NMFS to direct any rehabilitation facilities to provide the Permit Holder with releasable sea lions. Thus, NMFS will not make arrangements for animals to be provided to IMMS, and rehabilitation facilities are under no obligation to provide animals to fulfill this permit. And Condition B.3: The Permit Holder is solely responsible for entering into cooperative agreements with partnering rehabilitation facilities, and must work directly with the facilities to be notified of any potential candidate animals to be acquired under this Permit.

    After NMFS issued the permit, IMMS challenged the above provisions in U.S. District Court. As described in the Court's opinion, the Court remanded the permit to NMFS for reconsideration. IMMS v. NMFS, No. 1:11CV318-LG-JMR (S.D. Miss. 2014). NMFS is, therefore, proposing to remove Permit Condition B.3 and amend Permit Condition B.2 of the issued permit to state the following:

    Condition B.2: This permit does not guarantee that the Permit Holder will be able to obtain any releasable sea lions from rehabilitation facilities, and does not require NMFS to direct or make arrangements for any rehabilitation facilities to provide the Permit Holder with releasable sea lions. Since NMFS does not maintain real-time information regarding releasable sea lions in the stranding network, the Permit Holder should work initially with the rehabilitation facilities to be notified of any potential candidate animals to be acquired under this Permit. Final decisions with respect to use of rehabilitated marine mammals for public display purposes in lieu of take from the wild are at the ultimate discretion of the Office Director in accordance with 50 CFR 216.27(b)(4).

    In accordance with NMFS' Memorandum in Opposition to Motion to Alter or Amend the Court's Judgment in the aforementioned case, NMFS is seeking comments from the public specifically on these proposed revisions. In addition, NMFS is proposing to extend the permit for one additional year, to expire on October 5, 2017, since the permit has been in litigation, was never initially signed by the applicant, and, therefore, was never invoked.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an environmental assessment (EA) was prepared for issuance of the original permit, which resulted in a finding of no significant impact. An initial determination has been made that no further NEPA analysis is necessary as the changes requested in the proposed amendment will not change the effects to the human environment in a manner not previously considered in the EA for Permit No. 15337.

    Dated: June 24, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16009 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hydrographic Services Review Panel; Membership Solicitation AGENCY:

    National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of membership solicitation for Hydrographic Services Review Panel.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Hydrographic Service Improvements Act of 1998, as amended (33 U.S.C. 892 et seq.), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is soliciting nominations for membership on its Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP). The HSRP, a Federal advisory committee, advises the Administrator on matters related to the responsibilities and authorities set forth in section 303 of the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act and such other appropriate matters as the Administrator refers to the Panel for review and advice. Those responsibilities and authorities include, but are not limited to: Acquiring and disseminating hydrographic data and providing hydrographic services, as those terms are defined in the Act; promulgating standards for hydrographic data and services; ensuring comprehensive geographic coverage of hydrographic services; and testing, developing, and operating vessels, equipment, and technologies necessary to ensure safe navigation and maintain operational expertise in hydrographic data acquisition and hydrographic services.

    The Act states that “voting members of the Panel shall be individuals who, by reason of knowledge, experience, or training, are especially qualified in one or more of the disciplines and fields relating to hydrographic data and hydrographic services, marine transportation, port administration, vessel pilotage, coastal and fishery management, and other disciplines as determined appropriate by the Administrator.” As such, the NOAA Administrator welcomes applications from individuals with expertise in marine navigation, port administration, marine shipping or other intermodal transportation industries, cartography and geographic information systems, geospatial data management, geodesy, physical oceanography, coastal resource management, including coastal resilience and emergency response, and other related fields. As a Federal Advisory Committee, NOAA seeks to balance the HSRP composition to ensure a range of membership viewpoints, expertise, and geographic representation.

    To apply for membership on the Panel, applicants are asked to provide: (1) A cover letter that responds to the five “Short Response Questions” listed below as a statement of interest to serve on the Panel, and to highlight specific areas of expertise relevant to the purpose of the Panel; (2) the nominee's area(s) of expertise from the list above; (3) a current resume; and (4) the nominee's full name, title, institutional affiliation, and contact information. Applications should be submitted electronically to the email address specified below or use the nomination form at the following address, http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/ocs/hsrp/hsrp.htm. The entire package should be 6 pages or fewer in total. NOAA is an equal opportunity employer.

    Short Response Questions

    (1) List the area(s) of expertise, as listed above, which you would best represent on this Panel.

    (2) List the geographic region(s) of the country with which you primarily associate your expertise.

    (3) Describe your leadership or professional experiences which you believe will contribute to the effectiveness of this Panel.

    (4) Describe your familiarity and experience with NOAA navigation data, products, and services.

    (5) Generally describe the breadth and scope of stakeholders, users, or other groups whose views and input you believe you can represent on the Panel.

    DATES:

    Cover letter, responses, and current resume materials should be submitted electronically or sent to the address specified below under further contact information. All materials must be received by August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your cover letter, responses, and current resume materials electronically to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lynne Mersfelder-Lewis, HSRP Program Manager, NOAA National Ocean Service, Office of Coast Survey, NOAA (N/CS), 1315 East West Highway, SSMC3 Rm 6864, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910; Telephone: 301-713-2705 x199, Email: [email protected] or [email protected]; or visit the NOS HSRP Web site at http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/ocs/hsrp/hsrp.htm.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under 33 U.S.C. 883a, et seq., NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS) is responsible for providing nautical charts and related information for safe navigation. NOS collects and compiles hydrographic, tidal and current, geodetic, and a variety of other data in order to fulfill this responsibility. The HSRP provides advice on current and emerging oceanographic and marine science technologies relating to operations, research and development; and dissemination of data pertaining to:

    (a) Hydrographic surveying;

    (b) shoreline surveying;

    (c) nautical charting;

    (d) water level measurements;

    (e) current measurements;

    (f) geodetic measurements;

    (g) geospatial measurements;

    (h) geomagnetic measurements; and

    (i) other oceanographic/marine related sciences.

    The Panel has fifteen voting members appointed by the NOAA Administrator in accordance with 33 U.S.C. 892c. Members are selected on a standardized basis, in accordance with applicable Department of Commerce guidance. In addition, there are four non-voting members that serve on the Panel: The Co-Directors of the NOAA-University of New Hampshire Joint Hydrographic Center/Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, and the Directors of NOAA's Office of National Geodetic Survey and NOAA's Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services. The Director, NOAA Office of Coast Survey, serves as the Designated Federal Official (DFO).

    This solicitation requests applications to fill five voting member vacancies on the Panel as of January 1, 2016. Additional appointments may be made to fill vacancies left by any members who choose to resign during 2016. Some voting members whose terms expire January 1, 2016, may be reappointed for another full term if eligible.

    Full-time officers or employees of the United States may not be appointed as a voting member. Any voting member of the Panel who is an applicant for, or beneficiary of (as determined by the Administrator) any assistance under 33 U.S.C. 892c shall disclose to the Panel that relationship, and may not vote on any matter pertaining to that assistance.

    Voting members of the Panel serve a four-year term, except that vacancy appointments are for the remainder of the unexpired term of the vacancy. Members serve at the discretion of the Administrator and are subject to government ethics standards. Any individual appointed to a partial or full term may be reappointed for one additional full term. A voting member may continue to serve until his or her successor has taken office. The Panel selects one voting member to serve as the Chair and another to serve as the Vice Chair. Meetings occur at least twice a year, and at the call of the Chair or upon the request of a majority of the voting members or of the Administrator. Voting members receive compensation at a rate established by the Administrator, not to exceed the maximum daily rate payable under section 5376 of title 5, United States Code, when engaged in performing duties for the Panel. Members are reimbursed for actual and reasonable expenses incurred in performing such duties.

    Individuals Selected for Panel Membershp

    Upon selection and agreement to serve on the HSRP, individuals who are appointed will become Special Government Employees (SGE) of the United States Government. According to 18 U.S.C. 202(a), an SGE is an officer or employee of an agency who is retained, designated, appointed, or employed to perform temporary duties, with or without compensation, not to exceed 130 days during any period of 365 consecutive days, either on a fulltime or intermittent basis. Please be advised that applicants selected to serve on the Panel must complete the following actions before they can be appointed as a Panel member:

    (a) Background Security Check and fingerprinting conducted through NOAA Workforce Management); and

    (b) Confidential Financial Disclosure Report—As an SGE, you are required to file a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report to avoid involvement in a real or apparent conflict of interest. You may find the Confidential Financial Disclosure Report at the following Web site. http://www.usoge.gov/forms/form_450.aspx.

    Dated: June 21, 2015. Rear Admiral Gerd F. Glang, Director, NOAA, Office of Coast Survey, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16153 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION [Docket No.: CFPB-2015-0030] Request for Information Regarding the Consumer Complaint Database: Data Normalization AGENCY:

    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for information.

    SUMMARY:

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“Bureau”) established under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank Act”), maintains the Consumer Complaint Database (“Database”) as a part of its efforts to provide consumers with timely and understandable information to help enable them to make responsible financial decisions and to enhance market efficiency and transparency.

    The purpose of this request for information is to solicit and collect input from the public on how data are presented in the Database.

    The Bureau is requesting feedback on best practices for “normalizing” the raw complaint data it makes available via the Database so they are easier for the public to use and understand. To normalize data is to transform “raw” data so that they may be compared in meaningful ways. This transformation increases the interoperability of “raw” data—that is, the extent to which different users can share and make use of the data because they have a common understanding of its meaning. Commenters offered various suggestions on how to approach normalization during the public comment period leading up to the establishment of the Database; the comments' variety highlighted differing and sometimes conflicting perspectives and concerns. In an effort to continue dialogue on easier ways to compare complaint handling performance, the Bureau requests specific suggestions from market participants, consumers, and other stakeholders on data normalization and its proper implementation within the Database.

    DATES:

    Written comments are encouraged and must be received on or before August 31, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit responsive information and other comments, identified by Docket No. CFPB-2015-0030, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20006.

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

    Instructions: The Bureau encourages the early submission of comments. All submissions must include the document title and docket number. Because paper mail in the Washington, DC area and at the Bureau is subject to delay, commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically. Please note the number associated with any question to which you are responding at the top of each response (you are not required to answer all questions to receive consideration of your comments). 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 submissions, 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. Submissions will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For submission process questions please contact Monica Jackson, Office of Executive Secretary, at 202-435-7275. For inquires related to the substance of this request, please contact Christopher Johnson, Acting Assistant Director of the Office of Consumer Response at 202-435-7455 or [email protected]

    Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 5511(c).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Bureau hears directly from the American public about their experiences with the nation's consumer financial marketplace. An important aspect of the Bureau's mission is the handling of individual consumer complaints about financial products and services. Indeed, “collecting, investigating, and responding to consumer complaints,” is one of six statutory “primary functions” of the Bureau as prescribed in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank Act”).1

    1 12 U.S.C. 5511(c)(2). The Dodd-Frank Act additionally instructs the Bureau to create a “Specific Functional Unit” whose function is “Collecting and Tracking Complaints.” 12 U.S.C. 5493(b)(3).

    The Bureau considers consumer complaints and gathers information as it monitors markets for risks to consumers and, subject to certain legal constraints, may publish information of which it is made aware.2 In June 2012, the Bureau began making individual-level complaint data available on its Web site.3 Since then, the Database has been expanded multiple times to include additional financial products and data fields.4 Most recently, the Bureau published a final policy statement on disclosure of consumer complaint narrative data.5 The Bureau is committed to the continued improvement of the Database in terms of both the fields of data made publicly available as well as the usefulness of, and appropriate formats for, that data. Consistent with these goals, the Bureau is seeking best practices for normalizing relevant data in the Database.

    2 12 U.S.C. 5511(c) and 5512(c).

    3 Disclosure of Certain Credit Card Complaint Data (Final policy statement), 77 FR 37558 (June 22, 2012).

    4 See, e.g., Disclosure of Consumer Complaint Data (Final policy statement), 78 FR 21218 (Apr. 10, 2013).

    5 Disclosure of Consumer Complaint Narrative Data (Final policy statement), 80 FR 15572 (Mar. 24, 2015). The final policy statement on consumer complaint narratives is separate and distinct from this request for information.

    Data Normalization. Throughout the Database's launch and expansion, the Bureau has solicited feedback on ways to make raw complaint data more meaningful by supplementing that data with a context more useful for consumers and other market participants. For example, providing the total number of complaints against an issuer of credit cards may offer limited opportunities to analyze that company against other credit card issuers. However, additional information on the size of the issuer's credit card business as compared to others provides another aspect from which consumers may make better informed decisions. This process of giving context to data is commonly referred to as “normalization” in statistical applications. (“Normalization” as discussed here should not be confused with the term “database normalization,” which refers to the technical process of designing an efficient way to store data in a computerized database.)

    In its initial proposed policy statement to launch the Database with credit card complaint data, the Bureau expressed the benefits of normalization for both consumers and other stakeholders.6 Several commenters responding to the proposal echoed the need for normalized values in the credit card complaint data. One commenter noted the need to distinguish between consumers complaining about open, as opposed to closed, accounts in weighing credit card complaints against an issuer's overall credit card business. Other commenters suggested that normalized values could be achieved by providing an issuer's complaint rate according to their market share. Notably, the comments provided did not coalesce around a single appropriate normalization metric.

    6 Disclosure of Certain Credit Card Complaint Data (Notice of proposed policy statement), 76 FR 76628, 76631 (Dec. 8, 2011).

    In the same issue of the Federal Register containing the finalized credit card disclosure policy statement, the Bureau proposed expanding the Database beyond credit card complaint information.7 Commenters provided additional feedback on normalization in response to the proposal.8 For example, one trade association representing debt collectors suggested the Database include the number of accounts held by the company, annual number of contacts made by the company, and the annual number of complaints made against the company. Additional commenters suggested that the database include information on numbers of transactions or accounts, information on closed or unopened accounts, and portfolio size. One trade association recommended that the normalizing metric be provided by independently verified data.

    7 Disclosure of Consumer Complaint Data (Notice of proposed policy statement), 77 FR 37616 (June 22, 2012).

    8 Disclosure of Consumer Complaint Data (Final policy statement), 78 FR 21218, 21222 (Apr. 10, 2013).

    In the proposed policy statement regarding the expansion of the Database to include consumer narratives, the Bureau again received feedback on the issue of normalization. Several companies, trade associations, and consumer groups submitted comments that reiterated the request for normalization to provide context to the available data. Both large and small institutions expressed concern that failure to indicate the relative share of complaints would cause confusion for consumers, resulting in unfair reputational harm. Commenters requested that complaint data and narratives be normalized to reflect institution size as measured by volume of customers or total transactions.

    The Bureau now requests specific suggestions for metrics it might implement in the Database to assist in normalizing the complaint data. Specifically, the Bureau is interested in responses to the general questions below:

    1. Is data normalization worthwhile, if so, how should the Bureau normalize data?

    2. How should “categories” be defined for the purpose of normalizing consumer complaint data? Should we normalize by product, sub-product, issue, geography, or another category?

    3. How should a “market” be defined for the purpose of normalizing consumer complaint data? How can “market share” be adequately evaluated and framed? What metrics should be used to evaluate market share? What factors within those metrics are we trying to normalize for, e.g., industry size, company market share, and population?

    4. Would normalized data allow for meaningful company-to-company comparisons within a market?

    5. Do the answers to the questions above differ based on the various categories reflected in the Database?

    6. What metrics would be required to normalize the data, e.g., number of accounts per financial institution, population by ZIP code or other geographic area, etc.? Can these metrics be reliably obtained? Should the Bureau seek to independently verify any normalizing metric that it might use? How could it most reliably and effectively do so?

    The Bureau does not anticipate publishing a proposed policy statement on the subject of this request. The Bureau is committed to the continued improvement of the Database to help consumers make informed decisions about the financial marketplace. Consistent with these goals, the Bureau is seeking best practices for normalizing relevant data in the Database.

    Dated: June 24, 2015. Richard Cordray, Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16096 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-25-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Board of Visitors, United States Military Academy (USMA) AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Army is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal advisory committee meeting of the USMA Board of Visitors (BoV). This meeting is open to the public. For more information about the BoV, its membership and its activities, please visit the BoV Web site at http://www.usma.edu/bov/SitePages/Home.aspx.

    DATES:

    The USMA BoV will meet from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 20, 2015. Members of the public wishing to attend the meeting will be required to show a government photo ID upon entering West Point in order to gain access to the meeting location. All members of the public are subject to security screening.

    ADDRESSES:

    West Point Club, 603 Cullum Road, Hudson Room, West Point, NY 10996.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mrs. Deadra K. Ghostlaw, the Designated Federal Officer for the committee, in writing to: Secretary of the General Staff, ATTN: Deadra K. Ghostlaw, 646 Swift Road, West Point, NY 10996, by email at [email protected] or [email protected] or by telephone at (845) 938-4200.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The committee meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting: This is the 2015 Summer Meeting of the USMA BoV. Members of the Board will be provided updates on Academy issues.

    Proposed Agenda: The Board Chair will discuss the following Topics: The next meeting date: November 16, 2015, Washington, DC and give a summary of discussion topics; the Superintendent will then give the following updates: Class of 2019 Admissions Update, Sexual Assault/Harassment Statistics, Sexual Assault and Prevention Response Office (SAPRO) Visit, Faculty Demographic Statistics, Faculty Operational Experience Update, Cadet Summer Training Highlights (Academic Individual Advanced Development/Military Individual Advanced Development (AIAD/MIAD) Maps), Construction Update.

    Public's Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165 and subject to the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. Seating is on a first to arrive basis. Attendees are requested to submit their name, affiliation, and daytime phone number seven business days prior to the meeting to Mrs. Ghostlaw, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Members of the public attending the committee meeting will not be permitted to present questions from the floor or speak to any issue under consideration by the committee. Because the meeting of the committee will be held in a Federal Government facility on a military post, security screening is required. A government photo ID is required to enter post. Please note that security and gate guards have the right to inspect vehicles and persons seeking to enter and exit the installation. The United States Military Academy, West Point Club is fully handicap accessible. Wheelchair access is available at the front of the building south side (right side facing the building) and leads up to the main entrance. For additional information about public access procedures, contact Mrs. Ghostlaw, the committee's Designated Federal Officer, at the email address or telephone number listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    Written Comments or Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments or statements to the committee, in response to the stated agenda of the open meeting or in regard to the committee's mission in general. Written comments or statements should be submitted to Mrs. Ghostlaw, the committee Designated Federal Officer, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Each page of the comment or statement must include the author's name, title or affiliation, address, and daytime phone number. Written comments or statements being submitted in response to the agenda set forth in this notice must be received by the Designated Federal Official at least seven business days prior to the meeting to be considered by the committee. The Designated Federal Official will review all timely submitted written comments or statements with the committee Chairperson, and ensure the comments are provided to all members of the committee before the meeting. Written comments or statements received after this date may not be provided to the committee until its next meeting.

    The committee Designated Federal Official and Chairperson may choose to invite certain submitters to present their comments verbally during the open portion of this meeting or at a future meeting. The Designated Federal Officer, in consultation with the committee Chairperson, may allot a specific amount of time for submitters to present their comments verbally.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15955 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive Patent License to Nano-C, Inc.; Westwood, MA AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with 35 U.S.C. 209(e) and 37 CFR 404.7(a)(1)(i), the Department of the Army hereby gives notice of its intent to grant to Nano-C, Inc.; a corporation having its principle place of business at 33 Southwest Park, Westwood, MA 02090, exclusive license relative to the following U.S. Patent Application Titled ” Optically Transparent, Radio Frequency, Planar Transmission Lines”: United States Utility Patent Application Serial No. US 14/247,380.

    DATES:

    The prospective exclusive license may be granted unless within fifteen (15) days from the date of this published notice, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory receives written objections including evidence and argument that establish that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7. Competing applications completed and received by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory within fifteen (15) days from the date of this published notice will also be treated as objections to the grant of the contemplated exclusive license.

    Objections submitted in response to this notice will not be made available to the public for inspection and, to the extent permitted by law, will not be released under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written objections to U.S. Army Research Laboratory Technology Transfer Office, RDRL-DPP/Thomas Mulkern, Building 321 Room 110, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005-5425.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas Mulkern, (410) 278-0889, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    None.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15957 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2015-OS-0065] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by August 31, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Audit Matters Office, 9010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-9010.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information. Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Office of Family Readiness Policy, ATTN: Program Manager, Spouse Education & Career Opportunities Program, 4800 Mark Center Drive Suite 03G15, Alexandria, VA 22350-2300.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Spouse Education and Career Opportunities Program (SECO); OMB Control Number 0704-XXXX.

    Needs and Uses: This information collection requirement is necessary to allow eligible military spouses to access education and employment resources.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 19,500.

    Number of Respondents: 26,000.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 26,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 45 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    The DoD Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) Program is the primary source of education, career and employment counseling for all military spouses who are seeking post-secondary education, training, licenses and credentials needed for portable career employment. The SECO system delivers the resources and tools necessary to assist spouses of service members with career exploration/discovery, career education and training, employment readiness, and career connections at any point within the spouse career lifecycle.

    Dated: June 25, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16004 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2015-HA-0066] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by August 31, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Audit Matters Office, 9010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-9010.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information. Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Naval Health Research Center, Deployment Health Research Department, ATTN: LCDR Rachel Lee, 140 Sylvester Rd., San Diego, CA 92106-3521 or call (619) 553-8983.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: ACAM2000® Myopericarditis Registry; OMB Control Number 0720-0054.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to address Food and Drug Administration requirements to establish several Phase IV post-licensure studies to evaluate the long-term safety of ACAM2000® smallpox vaccine. Among the required post-licensure studies is the establishment of a myopericarditis registry. The ACAM2000® Myopericarditis Registry is designed to study the natural history of myopericarditis following receipt of the ACAM2000® vaccine, including evaluating factors that may influence disease prognosis, thus addressing the FDA post-licensure requirement and ensuring the continued licensing of this vaccine.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households; federal government.

    Annual Burden Hours: 10.

    Number of Respondents: 10.

    Responses per Respondent: 2.

    Average Burden per Response: 30 minutes.

    Frequency: Semi-annually.

    Eligible respondents are civilians who are former Active Duty or active Guard/Reserve in the U.S. Military that received the ACACM2000® smallpox vaccine while in the military and subsequently developed signs or symptoms of myopericarditis. The information collected will illuminate the natural history of post-vaccine myopericarditis and evaluate factors that may influence disease prognosis. Inclusion of civilians who were formerly in the military in addition to current military members is imperative in order to obtain information on those who may have separated from the military due to their medical condition. Conducting this Registry will ensure the continued licensure of this military relevant vaccine.

    Dated: June 25, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16014 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 15-41] 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of a section 36(b)(1) arms sales notification. This is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. B. English, DSCA/DBO/CFM, (703) 601-3740.

    The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 15-41 with attached Policy Justification and Sensitivity of Technology.

    Dated: June 24, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. EN30JN15.002 Transmittal No. 15-41 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: Australia

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment * $35 million Sustainment 34 million Total $69 million

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase: up to fourteen (14) AGM-88B High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) Tactical Missiles, sixteen (16) AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles (AARGM) Tactical Missiles, four (4) CATM-88B Captive Air Training Missiles, eight (8) CATM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles (AARGM) Captive Air Training Missiles, six (6) AARGM Guidance Sections, five (5) AARGM Control Sections, and two (2) AARGM Tactical Telemetry Missiles (for live fire testing), containers, spares and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other elements of logistics and program support.

    (iv) Military Department: Navy (AZN, Amendment #1)

    (v) Prior Related Cases: FMS case AZN-$37M-12June2013

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: See Attached Annex

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: 19 June 2015

    *As defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION Australia—AGM-88B High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles

    The Government of Australia has requested possible sale of up to fourteen (14) AGM-88B High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) Tactical Missiles, sixteen (16) AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles (AARGM) Tactical Missiles, four (4) CATM-88B Captive Air Training Missiles, eight (8) CATM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles (AARGM) Captive Air Training Missiles, six (6) AARGM Guidance Sections, five (5) AARGM Control Sections, and two (2) AARGM Tactical Telemetry Missiles (for live fire testing), containers, spares and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $69 million.

    This sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of Australia, a major contributor to political stability, security, and economic development in Southeast Asia. Australia is an important ally and partner that contributes significantly to peacekeeping and humanitarian operations around the world. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives and facilitates burden sharing with a key ally.

    The proposed sale will improve Australia's capability in current and future coalition efforts. Australia will use this capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense. Australia will have no difficulty absorbing these missiles into its armed forces.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    The principal contractor will be Orbital ATK Defense Electronics Systems in Northridge, California. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

    Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of contractor representatives to Australia.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 15-41 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended Annex Item No. vii

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology:

    1. The AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) weapon system is an air-to-ground missile intended to suppress or destroy land or sea-based radar emitters associated with enemy air defenses and provides tactical air forces with a lethal countermeasure to enemy radar directed, surface-to-air missiles, and air defense artillery weapons systems. Destruction or suppression of enemy radars denies the enemy the use of air defense systems, thereby improving the survivability of our tactical aircraft. It uses a multimode seeker that incorporates global positioning system/inertial measurement unit (GPS/IMU) midcourse guidance, a radio frequency (RF) radiation homing receiver, an active millimeter wave seeker, an Integrated Broadcast Service Receiver (IBS-R) and a Weapons Impact Assessment (WIA) transmitter. The AARGM AGM-88E when assembled is classified Secret. The AARGM Guidance Section (seeker hardware) and Control Section with the Target Detector is classified Confidential.

    2. The AGM-88 High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) weapon system is an air-to-ground missile intended to suppress or destroy land or sea-based radar emitters associated with enemy air defenses and provides tactical air forces with a lethal countermeasure to enemy radar directed, surface-to-air missiles, and air defense artillery weapons systems. Destruction or suppression of enemy radars denies the enemy the use of air defense systems, thereby improving the survivability of our tactical aircraft. The AGM-88B HARM when assembled is classified Confidential. The HARM Guidance Section (seeker hardware), and Control Section with the Target Detector are classified Confidential. The HARM Control Section with the Target Detector is classified Confidential.

    3. If a technologically advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of the specific hardware and software elements of this possible sale, the information could be used to develop countermeasures which might reduce weapon system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities.

    4. A determination has been made that the Government of Australia can provide substantially the same degree of protection for the technology being released as the US Government. The sale is necessary in furtherance of the US foreign policy and national security objectives as outlined in the policy justification of the notification.

    5. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal have been authorized for release and export to Australia.

    [FR Doc. 2015-15923 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2014-HA-0161] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by July 29, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Assistance Reporting Tool (ART); OMB Control Number 0720-TBD.

    Type of Request: Proposed collection.

    Number of Respondents: 254,000.

    Responses Per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 254,000.

    Average Burden Per Response: 15 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 63,500.

    Needs and Uses: The ART is a secure web-based system that captures feedback on and authorization related to TRICARE benefits. Users are comprised of Military Health System (MHS) customer service personnel, to include Beneficiary Counseling and Assistance Coordinators, Debt Collection Assistance Officers, personnel, family support, recruiting command, case managers, and others who serve in a customer service support role. The ART is also the primary means by which DHA-Great Lakes staff capture medical authorization determinations and claims assistance information for remotely located service members, line of duty care, and for care under the Transitional Care for Service-related Conditions benefit. ART data reflects the customer service mission within the MHS: It helps customer service staff users prioritize and manage their case workload; it allows users to track beneficiary inquiry workload and resolution, of which a major component is educating beneficiaries on their TRICARE benefits. Personal health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII) entered into the system is received from individuals via a verbal or written exchange and is only collected to facilitate beneficiary case resolution. Authorized users may use the PII/PHI to obtain and verify TRICARE eligibility, treatment, payment, and other healthcare operations information for a specific individual. All data collected is voluntarily given by the individual. At any time during the case resolution process, individuals may object to the collection of PHI and PII via verbal or written notice. Individuals are informed that without PII/PHI the authorized user of the system may not be able to assist in case resolution, and that answers to questions/concerns would be generalities regarding the topic at hand.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    Written comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be sent to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra at the Office of Management and Budget, Desk Officer for DoD, [email protected]

    You may also submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by the following method:

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    DoD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 02G09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: June 24, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15995 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0085] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Recent Graduates Employment and Earnings Survey (RGEES) Standards and Survey Form AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing a new information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before August 31, 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-0085 or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. If the regulations.gov site is not available to the public for any reason, ED will temporarily accept comments at [email protected] Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted; ED will ONLY accept comments during the comment period in this mailbox when the regulations.gov site is not available. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Mailstop L-OM-2-2E319, Room 2E103, Washington, DC 20202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Beth Grebeldinger, 202-377-4018.

    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: Recent Graduates Employment and Earnings Survey (RGEES) Standards and Survey Form.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-NEW.

    Type of Review: A new information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 22,123.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 1,770.

    Abstract: The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the U.S. Department of Education (Department) is required by regulation to develop an earnings survey to support gainful employment (GE) program evaluations. The regulations specify that the Secretary of Education will publish in the Federal Register the survey and the standards required for its administration. NCES has developed the Recent Graduates Employment and Earnings Survey (RGEES) Standards and Survey Form. The RGEES can be used in a debt-to-earnings (D/E) ratio appeal under the GE regulations as an alternative to the Social Security administration earnings data.

    Institutions that choose to submit alternate earnings appeal information will survey all Title IV funded students who graduated from GE programs during the same period that the Department used to calculate the D/E ratios, or a comparable period as defined in 668.406(b)(3) of the regulations. The survey will provide an additional source of earnings data for the Department to consider before determining final D/E ratios for programs subject to the gainful employment regulations. Programs with final D/E ratios that fail to meet the minimum threshold may face sanctions, including the possible loss of Title IV federal student financial aid program funds.

    Dated: June 24, 2015. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15953 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Paducah AGENCY:

    Department of Energy (DOE).

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Paducah. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Thursday, July 16, 2015 6:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Barkley Centre, 111 Memorial Drive, Paducah, Kentucky 42001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Woodard, Deputy Designated Federal Officer, Department of Energy Paducah Site Office, Post Office Box 1410, MS-103, Paducah, Kentucky 42001, (270) 441-6825.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management and related activities.

    Tentative Agenda

    • Call to Order, Introductions, Review of Agenda.

    • Administrative Issues.

    • Public Comments (15 minutes).

    • Adjourn.

    Breaks Taken As Appropriate.

    Public Participation: The EM SSAB, Paducah, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Jennifer Woodard as soon as possible in advance of the meeting at the telephone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Jennifer Woodard at the telephone number listed above. Requests must be received as soon as possible prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments. The EM SSAB, Paducah, will hear public comments pertaining to its scope (clean-up standards and environmental restoration; waste management and disposition; stabilization and disposition of non-stockpile nuclear materials; excess facilities; future land use and long-term stewardship; risk assessment and management; and clean-up science and technology activities). Comments outside of the scope may be submitted via written statement as directed above.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Jennifer Woodard at the address and phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following Web site: http://www.pgdpcab.energy.gov/2015Meetings.html.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on June 24, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16039 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0034; FRL-9929-89-OEI] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Voluntary Aluminum Industrial Partnership (VAIP) (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this document announces that an Information Collection Request (ICR) has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. This is a request to renew an existing approved collection. The ICR, which is abstracted below, describes the nature of the information collection and its estimated burden and cost.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before July 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0034, 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, Air and Radiation Docket Information Center, 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB by mail to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Attention: Desk Officer for EPA, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sally Rand, Climate Change Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs (6207J), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-343-9739; fax number: 202-343-2202; email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    EPA has submitted the following ICR to OMB for review and approval according to the procedures prescribed in 5 CFR 1320.12. On February 16, 2012 (77 FR 9233), EPA sought comments on this ICR pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.8(d). EPA received no comments during the comment period. Any additional comments on this ICR should be submitted to EPA and OMB within 30 days of this notice.

    EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0034, which is available for online viewing at www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Air and Radiation Docket in the EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The EPA/DC Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays.

    Please note that EPA's policy is that public comments, whether submitted electronically or in paper, will be made available for public viewing at www.regulations.gov as EPA receives them and without change, unless the comment contains copyrighted material, confidential business information (CBI), or other information whose public disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Title: Voluntary Aluminum Industrial Partnership (VAIP) (Renewal).

    ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 1867.06, OMB Control No. 2060-0411.

    ICR Status: This ICR is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2015. Under OMB regulations, the Agency may continue to conduct or sponsor the collection of information while this submission is pending at OMB. 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. The OMB control numbers for EPA's regulations in title 40 of the CFR, after appearing in the Federal Register when approved, are listed in 40 CFR part 9, are displayed either by publication in the Federal Register or by other appropriate means, such as on the related collection instrument or form, if applicable. The display of OMB control numbers in certain EPA regulations is consolidated in 40 CFR part 9.

    Abstract: EPA's Voluntary Aluminum Industrial Partnership (VAIP) was initiated in 1995 and is an important voluntary program contributing to the overall reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases. This program focuses on reducing direct greenhouse gas emissions including perfluorocarbon (PFC) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the production of primary aluminum. PFCs are very potent greenhouse gases with global warming potentials several thousand times that of carbon dioxide, and they persist in the atmosphere for thousands of years. CO2 is emitted from consumption of the carbon anode. The Partnership effectively promotes the adoption of emission reduction technologies and practices associated with decreasing the frequency and duration of anode effects. Participants voluntarily agree to designate a VAIP liaison, and to undertake and share information on technically feasible and cost-effective actions to reduce PFC and direct CO2 emissions. The information contained in the annual reports of VAIP members is used by EPA to assess the success of the program in achieving its goals and to advance Partner efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 40 hours per response. Burden means 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. This includes the time needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements which have subsequently changed; train personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information; search data sources; complete and review the collection of information; and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Primary Production of Aluminum.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 6.

    Frequency of Response: Annual.

    Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 240.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost: $22,668, includes $0 annualized capital or O&M costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is no change in the total estimated burden currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved ICR Burdens.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16041 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0104; FRL-9929-79-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Polyvinyl Chloride and Copolymer Production Area Sources (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NESHAP for Polyvinyl Chloride and Copolymer Production Area Sources (40 CFR part 63, subpart DDDDDD) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 2454.02, OMB Control No. 2060-0684) 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 30117) on May 27, 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 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0104, 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:

    Patrick Yellin, Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division, Office of Compliance, Mail Code 2227A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-2970; fax number: (202) 564-0050; 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, EPA 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: The affected entities are subject to the General Provisions of the NESHAP at 40 CFR part 63, subpart A, and any changes, or additions to the General Provisions specified at 40 CFR part 63, subpart DDDDDD. Owners or operators of the affected facilities must submit a one-time-only of any physical or operational changes, initial performance tests, and periodic reports and results. Owners or operators are also required to maintain records of the occurrence and duration of any startup, shutdown, or malfunction in the operation of an affected facility, or any period during which the monitoring system is inoperative. Reports are also required semiannually.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Polyvinyl chloride and copolymer production area source facilities.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 63, subpart DDDDDD).

    Estimated number of respondents: 3 (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially, semiannually and annually.

    Total estimated burden: 69,200 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $7,770,000 (per year), includes $806,000 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is an adjustment increase in the estimated burden as currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved Burdens. In consulting with the Vinyl Institute during the renewal of this ICR, EPA received comprehensive comments on the burden associated with specific reporting and recordkeeping requirements, including, but not limited to, performance test, monitor installation, resin and wastewater sampling, equipment leak and process vent monitoring. We have updated the burden items to more accurately reflect the costs incurred by the industry. The update results in a substantial increase in the respondent labor hours, labor costs, and capital/O&M costs. There is also a small increase in the number of responses as we have updated the number of subject area sources from two to three based on data provided by the Vinyl Institute.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16037 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0098; FRL-9929-18-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Nine Metal Fabrication and Finishing Sources (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NESHAP for Nine Metal Fabrication and Finishing Sources (40 CFR part 63, subpart XXXXXX) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 2298.04, OMB Control No. 2060-0622), 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 30117) on May 27, 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 neither conduct nor 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 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0098, 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:

    Patrick Yellin, Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division, Office of Compliance, Mail Code 2227A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-2970; fax number: (202) 564-0050; 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: The regulation applies to nine metal fabrication and finishing area source categories: (1) Electrical and Electronic Equipment Finishing Operations; (2) Fabricated Metal Products; (3) Fabricated Plate Work (Boiler Shops); (4) Fabricated Structural Metal Manufacturing; (5) Heating Equipment, except Electric; (6) Industrial Machinery and Equipment Finishing Operations; (7) Iron and Steel Forging; (8) Primary Metal Products Manufacturing; and (9) Valves and Pipe Fittings. The final rule establishes emission standards in the form of management practices and equipment standards for new and existing operations of dry abrasive blasting, machining, dry grinding and dry polishing with machines, spray painting and other spray coating, and welding operations. These standards reflect EPA's determination regarding the generally achievable control technology and/or management practices for the nine area source categories.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Owners and operators of facilities in the nine metal fabrication and finishing source categories.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 63, subpart XXXXXX).

    Estimated number of respondents: 5,800 (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially, occasionally and annually.

    Total estimated burden: 35,700 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $3,600,000 (per year), which includes $0 for both annualized capital and operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is an adjustment increase in the estimated burden as currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved Burdens. The previous ICR incorrectly carried over burdens and costs from initial activities and divided the total number of respondents by three. This ICR is corrected to reflect the annual, on-going burden and costs for existing facilities. In addition, the use of more updated labor rates results in an increase in total labor costs. The overall result is an increase in burden hours and costs.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16036 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0094; FRL-9929-76-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NSPS for Other Solid Waste Incineration Units (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NSPS for Other Solid Waste Incineration Units (40 CFR part 60, subpart EEEE) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 2163.05, OMB Control No. 2060-0563) 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 30117) on May 27, 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 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0094, 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:

    Patrick Yellin, Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division, Office of Compliance, Mail Code 2227A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-2970; fax number: (202) 564-0050; 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, EPA 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: The NSPS applies to very small municipal waste combustion units and institutional waste incineration units that commenced construction after December 9, 2005 or commenced reconstruction or modification on or after June 16, 2006. In general, all NSPS standards require initial notifications, performance tests, and periodic reports by the owners/operators of the affected facilities. They are also required to maintain records of the occurrence and duration of any startup, shutdown, or malfunction in the operation of an affected facility, or any period during which the monitoring system is inoperative. These notifications, reports, and records are essential in determining compliance, and are required of all affected facilities subject to NSPS.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Owners and operators of other solid waste incinerator units.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 60, subpart EEEE)

    Estimated number of respondents: Zero (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially, semiannually and annually.

    Total estimated burden: Zero hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $0 (per year), includes $0 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is no change in the labor hours or cost in this ICR compared to the previous ICR. At present, there are no OSWI units subject to the regulations, and no new units are expected to be constructed or operated over the next three years. It is assumed that potential respondents would use alternative methods of waste disposal that are more economical, e.g. landfills, rather than replacing existing OSWI units. As a result, no respondent or agency burdens or costs have been estimated, and no annual burden is expected.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16033 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2015-0185; FRL-9929-43] Certain New Chemicals; Receipt and Status Information AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is required under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to publish in the Federal Register a notice of receipt of a premanufacture notice (PMN); an application for a test marketing exemption (TME), both pending and/or expired; and a periodic status report on any new chemicals under EPA review and the receipt of notices of commencement (NOC) to manufacture those chemicals. This document covers the period from May 1, 2015 to May 29, 2015.

    DATES:

    Comments identified by the specific PMN number or TME number, must be received on or before July 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2015-0183, and the specific PMN number or TME number for the chemical related to your comment, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Jim Rahai, IMD (7407M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: 202-564-8593; email address: [email protected]

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    This action is directed to the public in general. As such, the Agency has not attempted to describe the specific entities that this action may apply. Although others may be affected, this action applies directly to the submitter of the PMNs addressed in this action.

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

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

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

    II. What action is the Agency taking?

    This document provides receipt and status reports, which cover the period from May 1, 2015 to May 29, 2015, and consists of the PMNs and TMEs both pending and/or expired, and the NOCs to manufacture a new chemical that the Agency has received under TSCA section 5 during this time period.

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

    Section 5 of TSCA requires that EPA periodical publish in the Federal Register receipt and status reports, which cover the following EPA activities required by provisions of TSCA section 5.

    EPA classifies a chemical substance as either an “existing” chemical or a “new” chemical. Any chemical substance that is not on EPA's TSCA Inventory is classified as a “new chemical,” while those that are on the TSCA Inventory are classified as an “existing chemical.” For more information about the TSCA Inventory go to: http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/newchems/pubs/inventory.htm. Anyone who plans to manufacture or import a new chemical substance for a non-exempt commercial purpose is required by TSCA section 5 to provide EPA with a PMN, before initiating the activity. Section 5(h)(1) of TSCA authorizes EPA to allow persons, upon application, to manufacture (includes import) or process a new chemical substance, or a chemical substance subject to a significant new use rule (SNUR) issued under TSCA section 5(a), for “test marketing” purposes, which is referred to as a test marketing exemption, or TME. For more information about the requirements applicable to a new chemical go to: http://www.epa.gov/oppt/newchems.

    Under TSCA sections 5(d)(2) and 5(d)(3), EPA is required to publish in the Federal Register a notice of receipt of a PMN or an application for a TME and to publish in the Federal Register periodic status reports on the new chemicals under review and the receipt of NOCs to manufacture those chemicals.

    IV. Receipt and Status Reports

    In Table I. of this unit, EPA provides the following information (to the extent that such information is not claimed as CBI) on the PMNs received by EPA during this period: The EPA case number assigned to the PMN, the date the PMN was received by EPA, the projected end date for EPA's review of the PMN, the submitting manufacturer/importer, the potential uses identified by the manufacturer/importer in the PMN, and the chemical identity.

    Table I-50 PMNs Received From May 1, 2015 to May 29, 2015 Case No. Received date Projected
  • notice end
  • date
  • Manufacturer
  • importer
  • Use Chemical
    P-15-0387 4/6/2015 7/5/2015 CBI (G) Industrial coating polymer (G) Modified fluoroalkyl acrylate copolymer. P-15-0448 5/1/2015 7/30/2015 CBI (G) Additive in toner formulations (G) trimethoxysilyl alkyl ester acrylate.. P-15-0449 5/4/2015 8/2/2015 CBI (G) Acrylic resin for waterborne exterior coatings (G) Alkyl methacrylate polymer with styrene, amino acrylate and acrylic acid. P-15-0450 5/4/2015 8/2/2015 CBI (G) Mixed metal oxide for batteries (G) Lithium mixed metal oxide. P-15-0451 5/5/2015 8/3/2015 Alberdingk Boley, Inc (S) Wood coatings (G) Castor oil, dehydrated, polymer with alkyldioic acid, polymer with alkyl diols, hydroxy(hydroxymethyl)alkylylpropanoic acid, methylenebis[isocyanatocycloalkane] and alkyl glycol. P-15-0451 5/5/2015 8/3/2015 Alberdingk Boley, Inc (S) Plastic coatings (G) Castor oil, dehydrated, polymer with alkyldioic acid, polymer with alkyl diols, hydroxy(hydroxymethyl)alkylylpropanoic acid, methylenebis[isocyanatocycloalkane] and alkyl glycol. P-15-0451 5/5/2015 8/3/2015 Alberdingk Boley, Inc (S) Leather and textile impregnation (G) Castor oil, dehydrated, polymer with alkyldioic acid, polymer with alkyl diols, hydroxy(hydroxymethyl)alkylylpropanoic acid, ethylenebis[isocyanatocycloalkane] and alkyl glycol. P-15-0452 5/5/2015 8/3/2015 Alberdingk Boley, Inc (G) Wood coatings and plastic coatings leather textile impregnation (G) Castor oil dehydrated, polymer with di-alkyl carbonate, alkyl diamine, alkyl diol, dihydroxyalkyl carboxylic acid and methylenebis[isocyanatocycloalkane]-, compd. with trialkylamine. P-15-0453 5/5/2015 8/3/2015 Alberdingk Boley, Inc (G) Wood coatings and plastic coatings leather textile impregnation (G) Castor oil, dehydrated, polymer with alkyl diamine, dihydroxyalkyl carboxylic acid, aromatic azinetriamine, methylenebis[isocyanatocycloalkane]-,compds. with trialkylamine. P-15-0454 5/5/2015 8/3/2015 Alberdingk Boley, Inc (G) Wood coatings and plastic coatings leather textile impregnation (G) Castor oil, dehydrated, polymer with alkyldioic acid, alkyldiamine, alkyldiol, dihydroxyalkyl carboxylic acid, methylenebis[isocyanatocyclohexane], alkyl glycol, and polyethylene glycol bis(hydroxymethyl)alkyl Me ether, compd. with triakyl amine. P-15-0455 5/5/2015 8/3/2015 CBI (G) Automotive parts (S) 1,4-Cyclohexanedicarboxylic acid, 1,4-dimethyl ester, polymer with 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol. P-15-0456 5/6/2015 8/4/2015 CBI (G) resin for use in electrocoats (G) Amine functional epoxy, organic acid salt. P-15-0457 5/6/2015 8/4/2015 Allnex USA, Inc (S) Coating resin additive-curing catalyst (G) Substituted Alkanoic acid, metal complex. P-15-0459 5/6/2015 8/4/2015 CBI (G) Site-limited intermediate (G) Siloxanes and Silicones, Me hydrogen, hydrolysis products with 1,1,3,3-tetramethyldisiloxane, distn. residues. P-15-0460 5/7/2015 8/5/2015 Allnex USA, Inc (S) Coating resin additive-curing catalyst (G) Substituted alkanoic acid-, metal salt. P-15-0461 5/7/2015 8/5/2015 CBI (G) HAPS free, silicone based resin for the manufacture of ambient curing industrial coatings, such as anticorrosion coating for mufflers, ovens, chimneys, oven inserts, barbeques and electric and gas heaters as well as other large industrial objects and equipment (G) Siloxanes and Silicones, alkoxy Me, polymers with Me silsesquioxanes, alkoxy-terminated. P-15-0462 5/7/2015 8/5/2015 CBI (S) Acrylic resin used in the manufacture of inks and coatings (G) Hexamethylene diisocyanate with caprolactone acrylate. P-15-0463 5/11/2015 8/9/2015 CBI (G) Foam component (G) Bifunctional aromatic polyester polyol. P-15-0464 5/11/2015 8/9/2015 CBI (G) Foam component (G) Polyfunctional aromatic polyester polyol. P-15-0465 5/12/2015 8/10/2015 3M Company (S) Reactive polymer in 2 part epoxy adhesive (G) Amine modified epoxy resin. P-15-0466 5/12/2015 8/10/2015 CBI (G) Intermediate (G) Acrylic acid polymer. P-15-0467 5/15/2015 8/13/2015 CBI (G) Binder resin for printing ink (Open non-disperse use ) (G) Polyester type urethane polymer. P-15-0468 5/15/2015 8/13/2015 CBI (G) Printing ink additive (G) Polycyclecarboxylic acid, hydroxy-(substituted phenyl)diazenyl, metal salt. P-15-0469 5/15/2015 8/13/2015 CBI (G) Surfactant (G) Algal oil betaine surfactant. P-15-0470 5/15/2015 8/13/2015 CBI (G) Intermediate (G) Algal oil amide. P-15-0474 5/19/2015 8/17/2015 xF Technologies (S) Plasticizer (S) 2-Furancarboxylic acid, 5-methyl-, ethyl ester. P-15-0474 5/19/2015 8/17/2015 xF Technologies (S) Organic solvent (S) 2-Furancarboxylic acid, 5-methyl-, ethyl ester. P-15-0475 5/19/2015 8/17/2015 xF Technologies (G) Renewable organic solvent/plasticizer (S) 2-Furancarboxylic acid, 5-methyl-, methyl ester. P-15-0476 5/19/2015 8/17/2015 xF Technologies (G) Renewable organic solvent/plasticizer (S) 2-Furancarboxylic acid, 5-methyl-,1-methylethyl ester. P-15-0477 5/19/2015 8/17/2015 xF Technologies (G) Renewable organic solvent/plasticizer (S) 2-Furancarboxylic acid, 5-methyl-, tetradecyl ester. P-15-0478 5/19/2015 8/17/2015 xF Technologies (G) Renewable organic solvent/plasticizer (S) 2-Furancarboxylic acid, 5-methyl-, 2,2'-[ethanediylbis(oxy-2,1-ethanediyl) ester. P-15-0479 5/19/2015 8/17/2015 xF Technologies (G) Renewable organic solvent/plasticizer (S) 2-furancarboxylic acid, 5-methyl-, 2,2'-[oxybis(methyl-2,1-ethanediyl)] ester. P-15-0481 5/19/2015 8/17/2015 CBI (S) Curing agent for epoxy coating systems (G) Benzaldehyde, reaction products with polyalkylenepolyamines, hydrogenated, reaction products with alkyl ketone. P-15-0482 5/20/2015 8/18/2015 CBI (G) Lubricant additive (G) Phenol, alkyl derivs. P-15-0483 5/20/2015 8/18/2015 CBI (G) Component in cleaning formulation (G) Alkyl phosphate ammonium salt. P-15-0484 5/22/2015 8/20/2015 CBI (G) Chemical intermediate (G) Amino benzyl acrylic copolymer. P-15-0485 5/22/2015 8/20/2015 CBI (G) Additive for Industrial Coatings (G) Bismuth Compound. P-15-0487 5/22/2015 8/20/2015 Daewoo International USA Corp (S) Use with materials to improve mechanical properties or electrical conductivities (G) Multi-walled carbon nanotubes. P-15-0487 5/22/2015 8/20/2015 Daewoo International USA Corp (S) Additive for heat transfer and thermal emissions in electronic devices and materials; use as a semi-conductor, conductive, or resistive element in electronic circuitry and devices (G) Multi-walled carbon nanotubes. P-15-0487 5/22/2015 8/20/2015 Daewoo International USA Corp (S) Use as an additive for electromagnetic interface (EMI) shielding in electronic devices; additive for electrodes in electronic materials and electronic devices (G) Multi-walled carbon nanotubes. P-15-0487 5/22/2015 8/20/2015 Daewoo International USA Corp (S) Use as a catalyst support in chemical manufacturing; Coating additive to improve corrosion resistance or conductive properties (G) Multi-walled carbon nanotubes. P-15-0487 5/22/2015 8/20/2015 Daewoo International USA Corp (S) Additive for fibers in structural and electrical applications; Additive for fibers in fabrics and textiles (G) Multi-walled carbon nanotubes. P-15-0487 5/22/2015 8/20/2015 Daewoo International USA Corp (S) Use as a filter additive to remove nanoscale materials; use as a semi-conducting compounding additive for high-voltage cable; use as an additive for super-hydrophobicity (G) Multi-walled carbon nanotubes. P-15-0487 5/22/2015 8/20/2015 Daewoo International USA Corp (S) Additive for weight reduction in materials (G) Multi-walled carbon nanotubes. P-15-0487 5/22/2015 8/20/2015 Daewoo International USA Corp (S) Use as a heat-generating element in heating devices and materials (G) Multi-walled carbon nanotubes. P-15-0487 5/22/2015 8/20/2015 Daewoo International USA Corp (S) Use as an additive for electro-static discharge (ESD) in electronic devices, electronics, and materials (G) Multi-walled carbon nanotubes. P-15-0488 5/22/2015 8/20/2015 Daewoo International USA Corp (G) Use as an additive for super—hydrophobcity (G) Multi-walled carbon nanotubes. P-15-0489 5/22/2015 8/20/2015 Daewoo International USA Corp (G) Use as an additive for super—hydrophobcity (G) Multi-walled carbon nanotubes. P-15-0490 5/22/2015 8/20/2015 Daewoo International USA Corp (S) Use as a heat-generating element in heating devices and materials (G) Multi-walled carbon nanotubes. P-15-0491 5/22/2015 8/20/2015 Daewoo International USA Corp (S) Use as a heat-generating element in heating devices and materials (G) Multi-walled carbon nanotubes

    In Table II. of this unit, EPA provides the following information (to the extent that such information is not claimed as CBI) on the TMEs received by EPA during this period: The EPA case number assigned to the TME, the date the TME was received by EPA, the projected end date for EPA's review of the TME, the submitting manufacturer/importer, the potential uses identified by the manufacturer/importer in the TME, and the chemical identity.

    Table II—TMEs Received From May 1, 2015 to May 29, 2015 Case No. Received date Projected
  • notice end
  • date
  • Manufacturer
  • importer
  • Use Chemical
    T-15-0009 5/20/2015 7/4/2015 CBI (G) Component in cleaning formulation (G) Alkyl phosphate ammonium salt.

    In Table III. of this unit, EPA provides the following information (to the extent that such information is not claimed as CBI) on the NOCs received by EPA during this period: The EPA case number assigned to the NOC, the date the NOC was received by EPA, the projected end date for EPA's review of the NOC, and chemical identity.

    Table III—63 NOCs Received From May1, 2015 to May 29, 2015 Case No. Received date Commencement
  • notice end date
  • Chemical
    P-12-0425 5/14/2015 5/5/2015 (S) Methanol, reaction products with 1,1,1,2,2,3,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,7-tetradecafluoro-3-heptene.* P-13-0036 5/12/2015 5/7/2015 (G) Polymer of epoxy and aliphatic and aromatic acids. P-13-0690 5/19/2015 5/11/2015 (G) Aluminum phosphate. P-13-0860 5/11/2015 4/30/2015 (G) Alkanedicarboxylic acid, polymer with alkanediamine, alkanediol, hydroxy-(hydroxymethyl)-alkanecarboxylic acid and methylenebis[isocyanatocycloalkane] compd. with (dialkylamino)alkanol. P-14-0100 5/19/2015 5/13/2015 (G) Polymerized fatty acid esters with aminoalcohol alkoxylates. P-14-0110 5/10/2015 4/30/2015 (S) Cashew, nutshell liquid, polymer with formaldehyde, reaction products with diethanolamine and diisopropanolamine.* P-14-0410 5/12/2015 4/16/2015 (G) Fatty acids, c18-unsatd., dimers, polymers with ammonia-ethanolamine reaction by-products. P-14-0425 5/12/2015 4/13/2015 (G) Fatty acids, c18-unsatd., dimers, polymers with cashew nutshell liquid, glycidyl ethers. P-14-0662 5/12/2015 5/10/2015 (S) D-Glucopyranose, oliogmeric, c-10-16-alkyl glycosides, polymers with epichlorohydrin, and oligomeric d-glucopyranose decyl octyl glycosides.* P-14-0724 5/12/2015 5/9/2015 (S) D-glucopyranose, oligomeric, decyl, octyl glycosides, polymers with epichlorohydrin, 3-(dodecyldimethylammonio)-2-hydroxypropyl ethers, chloride.* P-14-0726 5/27/2015 5/23/2015 (S) D-Glucopyranose, oligomeric, decyl octyl glycosides, polymers with epichlorohydrin, 3-(dimethyloctadecylammonio)-2-hydroxylpropyl ethers, chlorides.* P-14-0749 5/22/2015 5/14/2015 (G) Substituted alkanoic acid, polymer with substituted alkanediol, polyalkylene polyol and substituted carbomonocycle, alkali metal salt. P-14-0824 5/4/2015 4/28/2015 (G) Rape oil, reaction products with alkylamine. P-14-0844 5/5/2015 4/9/2015 (G) Organosilane treated boron nitride. P-14-0845 5/5/2015 4/9/2015 (G) Organosilane treated oxide ceramic. P-14-0846 5/8/2015 4/29/2015 (G) Alkanoic acid, hydroxy-(hydroxyalkyl)-methyl-, polymer with diisocyanatoalkane, -hydro—hydroxypoly(oxy-alkanediyl) and isocyanato-1-(isocyanatoalkyl)-trimethylcycloalkane, tetrahydroxyalkanel triacrylate-blocked, compd. with trimethylamine. P-15-0059 5/29/2015 5/6/2015 (S) Siloxanes and silicones, 3-[(2-aminoethyl)amino)propyl me, di-me, reaction products with cadmium zinc selenide sulfide, lauric acid and oleylamine.* P-15-0060 5/29/2015 5/6/2015 (S) Dodecanoic acid, reaction products with cadmium zinc selenide sulfide and oleylamine.* P-15-0104 5/29/2015 5/6/2015 (S) Phosphonic acid, p-tetradecyl-, reaction products with cadmium selenide (cdse).* P-15-0129 5/12/2015 4/13/2015 (G) Ethoxylated alkyl chloroformate. P-15-0130 5/13/2015 4/16/2015 (G) Ethoxylated alkyl chloride. P-15-0163 5/27/2015 5/22/2015 (G) Carboxypolyalkylene resin,oxidized, polymer with alkenoic acid, alkyl alkenoate, alkenedioic acid, polyalkylene glycol substituted dicarbomonocycle, substituted carbomonocycle, carbomonocyclic icarboxylic acid and anhydride, alkyl peroxide-initiated. P-15-0168 5/27/2015 5/20/2015 (S) 2-Heptanol, 3,6-dimethyl-.* P-15-0188 5/8/2015 5/7/2015 (G) Carbomoncycles, polymer with substituted heteromonocycle, 2- (2-alkyl-1-oxo-2-alkenyl) oxy] alkyl hydrogen alkanedioate. P-15-0194 5/5/2015 4/27/2015 (G) Methacryloxyalkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with alkyl trialkoxysilane, epoxy modified alkoxy alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0195 5/12/2015 4/27/2015 (G) Methacryloxyalkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with alkyl trialkoxysilane, epoxy modified alkoxy alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0196 5/12/2015 4/27/2015 (G) Methacryloxyalkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with alkyl trialkoxysilane, epoxy modified alkoxy alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0197 5/12/2015 4/27/2015 (G) Methacryloxyalkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with alkyl trialkoxysilane, epoxy modified alkoxy alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0198 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Methacryloxyalkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with alkyl trialkoxysilane, epoxy modified alkoxy alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0199 5/8/2015 4/24/2015 (G) Metallic salt of dicarboxylic acid. P-15-0200 5/12/2015 4/27/2015 (G) Isocyanated alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with epoxy modified cyclohexyl trialkoxysilane, alkylamine trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0205 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Alkyldiamine alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with methacrylate alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0206 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Alkyldiamine alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with methacrylate alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0207 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Methacrylate alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with metal oxides. P-15-0209 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Epoxy modified alkoxy alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with mixed metal oxides. P-15-0210 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Alkyldiamine alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with methacrylate alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0211 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Methacryloxyalkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with alkyl trialkoxysilane, epoxy modified alkoxy alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0212 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Isocyanated alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with epoxy modified cyclohexyl trialkoxysilane, and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0213 5/12/2015 4/27/2015 (G) Alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with epoxy modified alkoxy alkyl trialkoxysilane, methacrylate alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0214 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Alkyldiamine alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with methacrylate alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0215 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Epoxy modified alkoxy alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with mixed metal oxides. P-15-0216 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Isocyanated alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with epoxy modified cyclohexyl trialkoxysilane, alkylamine trialkosysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0217 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Isocyanated alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with epoxy modified cyclohexyl trialkoxysilane, alkylamine trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0218 5/5/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Epoxy modified alkoxy alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with mixed metal oxides. P-15-0219 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Isocyanated alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with epoxy modified cyclohexyl trialkoxysilane, alkylamine trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0222 5/5/2015 4/27/2015 (G) Alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with epoxy modified alkoxy alkyl trialkoxysilane, methacrylate alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0223 5/5/2015 4/27/2015 (G) Alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with methacrylate alkyl trialkoxysilane, epoxy modified alkoxy alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0224 5/12/2015 4/27/2015 (G) Alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with epoxy modified alkoxy alkyl trialkoxysilane, methacrylate alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0225 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Methacryloxyalkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with alkyl trialkoxysilane, epoxy modified alkoxy alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0226 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Alkyl amine trialkoxysilane, reaction products with isocyanated alkyl trialkoxysilane, epoxy modified cyclohexyl trialkoxysilane, and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0227 5/5/2015 4/27/2015 (G) Alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with epoxy modified alkoxy alkyl trialkoxysilane, methacrylate alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0229 5/5/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Isocyanated alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with epoxy modified cyclohexyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0231 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with epoxy modified alkoxy alkyl trialkoxysilane, methacrylate alkyl trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0233 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Isocyanated alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with epoxy modified cyclohexyl trialkoxysilane, and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0234 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Isocyanated alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with epoxy modified cyclohexyl trialkoxysilane, alkylamine trialkoxysilane and mixed metal oxides.* P-15-0235 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Epoxy modified cyclohexyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with isocyanated alkyl trialkoxysilane, glass and mixed oxides. P-15-0236 5/29/2015 4/29/2015 (G) Alkyl amine trialkoxysilane, reaction products with isocyanated alkyl trialkoxysilane, epoxy modified cyclohexyl trialkoxysilane, and mixed metal oxides. P-15-0237 5/12/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Methacrylate alkyl trialkoxysilane, reaction products with metal oxides. P-15-0239 5/25/2015 4/26/2015 (G) Siloxanes and silicones, amino alkyl substituted alkyl hydroxyl, hydroxyl fluorinated alkyl, ester salts, reaction products with mixed metal oxides. P-15-0242 5/7/2015 5/6/2015 (G) Heteropolycyclic, polymer with alkanedioic acid, di-alkenoate. P-15-0264 5/27/2015 5/22/2015 (G) Carabomonocyclic dicarboxylic acid, polymer with alkanedioic acids, alkanediol, substituted heterpolycycle, alkanedioic acid, alkanediol, substituted carbomonocycle, alkyl alkenoate, alkanediols and alkenoic acid, alkyl ester, alkanoate, alkyl peroxide-initiated. P-15-0265 5/27/2015 5/22/2015 (G) Carbomonocyclic dicarboxylic acid, polymer with alkanedioic acids, alkanediol, substituted heteropolycycle, alkanedioic acid, alkanediol, substituted carbomonocycle, alkyl alkanoate, alkanedioic acid, alkanediols and alkanoic acid, alkyl ester, alkanoate, alkyl peroxide-initiated. P-15-0268 5/6/2015 5/1/2015 (G) Alkyl alkenoic acid, polymer with substituted alkyl alkenoate and alkyl alkenoate, reaction products with polyalkylene glycol substituted alkyl ether.

    If you are interested in information that is not included in these tables, you may contact EPA as described in Unit III to access additional non-CBI information that may be available.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.

    Dated: June 24, 2015. Chandler Sirmons, Acting Director, Information Management Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16047 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0044; FRL-9929-78-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Coke Oven Batteries (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NESHAP for Coke Oven Batteries (40 CFR part 63, subpart L) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1362.10, OMB Control No. 2060-0253) 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 30117) on May 27, 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 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0044, 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:

    Patrick Yellin, Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division, Office of Compliance, Mail Code 2227A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-2970; fax number: (202) 564-0050; 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, EPA 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: These standards apply to all coke oven batteries, whether existing, new, reconstructed, rebuilt, or restarted. It also applies to all batteries using the conventional by-product recovery, the non-recovery process, or any new recovery process. The 2005 amendments establish more stringent requirements for the control of hazardous air pollutants from coke oven batteries that chose to comply with maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards under the 1993 rule.

    In general, all NESHAP standards require initial notifications, performance tests, and periodic reports by the owners/operators of the affected facilities. They are also required to maintain records of the occurrence and duration of any startup, shutdown, or malfunction in the operation of an affected facility, or any period during which the monitoring system is inoperative. These notifications, reports, and records are essential in determining compliance, and are required of all affected facilities subject to NESHAP. Any owner/operator subject to the provisions of this part shall maintain a file of these measurements, and retain the file for at least five years following the date of such measurements, maintenance reports, and records. All reports are sent to the delegated state or local authority. In the event that there is no such delegated authority, the reports are sent directly to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regional office.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Coke oven batteries.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 63, subpart L).

    Estimated number of respondents: 19 (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially, occasionally, and semiannually.

    Total estimated burden: 80,000 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $8,020,000 (per year), includes no annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is an adjustment decrease in the total estimated respondent labor burden as currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved Burdens. This decrease is not due to any program changes. Rather, it was due to a discrepancy identified in the previous renewal, in which the number of by-product plants conducting daily leak inspections and bypass/bleeder stack/flare system inspections was overestimated. EPA has revised the estimates in this ICR to reflect the appropriate number of by-product plants. The net result of this adjustment was a decrease in respondent burden hours. There is also a small adjustment increase in the number of responses due to a correction. The previous ICR did not account for the notification of reconstruction, notification of battery closure, and malfunction report in calculating the number of responses.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16031 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0928; FRL-9929-94-OEI] Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Fuel Use Requirements for Great Lake Steamships (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to submit an information collection request (ICR), “Fuel Use Requirements for Great Lakes Steamships” (EPA ICR No. 2458.02, OMB Control No. 2060-0679) 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.). Before doing so, EPA is soliciting public comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through August 31, 2015. 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:

    Comments must be submitted on or before August 31, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing the Docket ID Number listed above online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method) or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    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:

    Alan Stout, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Environmental Protection Agency, 2565 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; telephone number: 734-214-4805; 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.

    Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, EPA is soliciting comments and information to enable it to: (i) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (ii) evaluate the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (iii) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (iv) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for review and approval. At that time, EPA will issue another Federal Register notice to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the opportunity to submit additional comments to OMB.

    Abstract: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted requirements for marine vessels operating in and around U.S. territorial waters to use reduced-sulfur diesel fuel. This requirement does not apply for steamships, but it would apply for steamships that are converted to run on diesel engines. A regulatory provision allows vessel owners to qualify for a waiver from the fuel-use requirements for a defined period for such converted vessels. EPA uses the data to oversee compliance with regulatory requirements, including communicating with affected companies and answering questions from the public or other industry participants regarding the waiver in question.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Estimated number of respondents: 2 (total).

    Frequency of response: Once

    Currently approved estimated burden: 14 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b)

    Currently approved estimated cost: $988 (per year), includes no annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in Estimates: The final ICR will address all changes in the estimates over the past three years.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16038 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-R08-OW-2015-0346; FRL-9929-80-Region-8] Proposed Issuance of NPDES General Permits for Wastewater Lagoon Systems Located in Indian Country in EPA Region 8 AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 8 is providing for comment the draft 2015 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) lagoon general permits for wastewater lagoon systems located in Indian country in Region 8 (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming). These draft permits are similar to the existing permits and will authorize the discharge of wastewater from lagoons located in Region 8 Indian country in accordance with the terms and conditions described therein. EPA proposes to issue these permits for five (5) years and is seeking comment on the draft permits.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received, in writing, on or before July 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OW-2015-0346, by one of the following methods:

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

    Mail: VelRey Lozano, Wastewater Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, Mailcode 8P-W-WW, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129.

    Hand Delivery: VelRey Lozano, Wastewater Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, Mailcode 8P-W-WW, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129. Such deliveries are only accepted Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding federal holidays. Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OW-2015-0346. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://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 http://www.regulations.gov or email. The http://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 http://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, see Section I, General Information of this document.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://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 http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Wastewater Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. You may view the hard copy of the docket Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    VelRey Lozano, Wastewater Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-W-WW, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, (303) 312-6128, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

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

    2. Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

    a. Identify the public notice and docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).

    b. Follow directions—Organize comments by referencing the part of the permit or fact sheet by section number.

    c. Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes.

    d. Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used.

    e. If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.

    f. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives.

    g. Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.

    h. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

    II. Background

    These draft permits are similar to the current permits and will authorize the discharge of wastewater in accordance with the terms and conditions described therein. The fact sheet for the permits is provided for download concurrently with the permits and provides detailed information on; the decisions used to set limitations, the specific geographic areas covered by the permits, information on monitoring schedules, inspection requirements, and other regulatory decisions or requirements.

    Issuance of the general permits will cover discharges from wastewater lagoon systems located in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. The general permits are grouped geographically by state, with the permit coverage being for specified Indian reservations located within a state boundary [specific permit coverage areas below]; any land held in trust by the United States for an Indian tribe; and any other areas which are Indian country within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. 1151.

    III. Summary of Permits A. Colorado: COG587###

    This permit covers the Southern Ute Reservation and the Ute Mountain Reservation, including those portions of the Reservation located in New Mexico and Utah.

    B. Montana: MTG589###

    This permit covers the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of Montana; the Crow Indian Reservation; the Flathead Reservation; the Fort Belknap Reservation of Montana; the Fort Peck Indian Reservation; the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation; and, the Rocky Boy's Reservation.

    C. North Dakota: NDG589###

    This permit covers the Fort Berthold Reservation; the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation; the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation; and, the Turtle Mountain Reservation.

    This permit includes that portion of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and associated Indian country located within the State of South Dakota. It does not include any land held in trust by the United States for the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate or any other Indian country associated with that Tribe, which is covered under general permit SDG589###.

    D. South Dakota: SDG589###

    This permit covers the Cheyenne River Reservation; Crow Creek Reservation; the Flandreau Santee Sioux Indian Reservation; the Lower Brule Reservation; the Pine Ridge Reservation (including the entire Reservation, which is located in both South Dakota and Nebraska); the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation; and, the Yankton Sioux Reservation.

    This permit includes any land in the State of North Dakota that is held in trust by the United States for the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate or any other Indian country associated with that Tribe. It does not include the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation or any associated Indian country, which is covered under general permit NDG589###.

    E. Utah: UTG589###

    This permit covers the Northwestern Band of Shoshoni Nation of Utah Reservation (Washakie); the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah Reservation; the Skull Valley Indian Reservation; and Indian country lands within the Uintah & Ouray Reservation. It does not include any portions of the Navajo Nation or the Goshute Reservation.

    F. Wyoming: WYG589###

    This permit covers the Wind River Reservation.

    Coverage under the general permits will be limited to lagoon systems treating primarily domestic wastewater and will include two categories of coverage; discharging lagoons (DIS), and lagoons expected to have no discharge (NODIS). The effluent limitations for discharging lagoons are based on the Federal Secondary Treatment Regulation (40 CFR part 133) and best professional judgement (BPJ). If more stringent and/or additional effluent limitations are considered necessary to comply with applicable water quality standards, etc., those limitations and their basis are explained in the permit fact sheets and will be imposed by written notification to the permittee. Lagoon systems under the no discharge category are required to have no discharge except in accordance with the bypass provisions of the permit. Self-monitoring requirements and routine inspection requirements are included in the permits.

    Where the Tribes have Clean Water Act section 401(a)(1) certification authority; Flathead Indian Reservation, the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, and the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation; EPA has requested certification that the permits comply with the applicable provisions of the Clean Water Act and tribal water quality standards.

    IV. Other Legal Requirements

    Economic Impact (Executive Order 12866): EPA has determined that the issuance of these general permits is not a “significant regulatory action” under the terms of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and is therefore not subject to formal OMB review prior to proposal.

    Paperwork Reduction Act: EPA has reviewed the requirements imposed on regulated facilities in these proposed general permits under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, 44 U.S.C. 501, et seq. The information collection requirements of these permits have already been approved by the Office of Management and Budget in submissions made for the NPDES permit program under the provisions of the Clean Water Act.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: Section 201 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), Public Law 104-4, generally requires federal agencies to assess the effects of their “regulatory actions” defined to be the same as “rules” subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) on tribal, state, local governments and the private sector. Since the permit proposed today is an adjudication, it is not subject to the RFA and is therefore not subject to the requirements of the UMRA.

    Authority:

    Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251, et seq.

    Dated: June 9, 2015. Darcy O'Connor, Acting Assistant Regional Administrator, Office of Partnerships and Regulatory Assistance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16042 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0062; FRL-9920-89-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Pesticide Active Ingredient Production (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NESHAP for Pesticide Active Ingredient Production (40 CFR part 63, subpart MMM) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1807.08, OMB Control No. 2060-0370) 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 30117) on May 27, 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 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0062, 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:

    Patrick Yellin, Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division, Office of Compliance, Mail Code 2227A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-2970; fax number: (202) 564-0050; 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, EPA 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: Respondents are owners and operators of pesticides active ingredient production operations. Respondents must submit one-time reports of initial compliance and either semiannual reports or quarterly reports of compliance. Recordkeeping of parameters related to process and air pollution control technologies is required. The reports and records will be used to demonstrate compliance with the standards.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Owners and operators of pesticides active ingredient production operations.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 63, subpart MMM).

    Estimated number of respondents: 18 (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially, quarterly, and semiannually.

    Total estimated burden: 12,000 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $1,416,000 (per year), includes $236,000 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is an adjustment decrease in the number of responses because this ICR removes leak detection and repair (LDAR) reports. The regulation requires subject sources to include LDAR information in periodic (i.e. semiannual or quarterly) reports. LDAR is not separately reported to EPA; therefore, no additional responses are associated with this activity.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16032 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-XXXX] 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 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 31, 2015. If you anticipate that you will submit 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-XXXX.

    Title: Sections 96.17; 96.21; 96.23; 96.33; 96.35; 96.39; 96.41; 96.43; 96.45; 96.51; 96.57; 96.59; 96.61; 96.63; 96.67, Commercial Operations in the 3550-3650 MHz Band.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: New information collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities, state, local, or tribal government and not for profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 110,782 respondents; 136,432 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0 to .5 hours.

    Frequency of Response: One-time and on occasion reporting requirements; other reporting requirements—as-needed basis for the equipment safety certifications, and consistently (likely daily) responses automated via the device.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for these collections are contained in 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 154(j), 155(c), 302(a), 303, 304, 307(e), and 316 of the Communications Act of 1934.

    Total Annual Burden: 37,977 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $7,318,100.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: The FCC adopted a Report and Order, FCC 15-47, that establishes rules for commercial use of 150 megahertz in the 3550-3700 MHz (3.5 GHz) band and created a new Citizens Broadband Radio Service, on April 17, 2015, published at 80 FR 36163 (June 23, 2015). The order creates a Spectrum Access System (SAS), an online database that will manage and coordinate frequency use in the band through registration and other technical information. The Commission seeks approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection requirements contained in FCC 15-47. The SAS will use the information to assign frequencies, manage interference, and authorize spectrum use. The Commission will use the information to authorize the SAS Administrator(s) and ESC operator(s).

    The following is a description of the information collection requirements for which the Commission seeks OMB approval:

    Section 96.17(d) requires that FSS Earth Station licensees register annually with the SAS to receive interference protection.

    Section 96.21(a)(3) requires that existing commercial wireless broadband licensees operating in the band register in order to receive interference protection.

    Sections 96.23(b); 96.33(b); 96.39(a)(1) and (c)-(e); 96.43(b); 96.45(d) require that the Citizens Broadband Radio Services Devices (CBSDs), which will operate on the Citizens Broadband Radio Service, must be registered with an SAS before use, provide specified information to the SAS, and adhere to certain operating parameters.

    Section 96.35(e) requires that users operating Category B CBSDs must coordinate among each other and resolve interference through technological solutions or other agreements.

    Sections 96.39(a) and (b) require that CBSDs report their geographic coordinates to an SAS automatically through the device or by a professional installer.

    Sections 96.39(f) and (g) require that CBSDs incorporate sufficient security measures so that they are only able to communicate with the SAS and approved users and devices.

    Section 96.41(d)(1) requires that licensees must report the use of an alternative Received Signal Strength Limit (RSSL) to the SAS.

    Section 96.51 requires that manufacturers include a statement of compliance with the Commission's Radio Frequency (RF) safety rules with equipment authorization applications.

    Sections 96.57(a)-(c); 96.59(a); 96.61 require that the SAS be capable of receiving registration and technical information from CBSDs, SASs, and ESCs, as well as employ secure communication protocols.

    Section 96.63 requires that SAS Administrator applicants must demonstrate to the Commission that they are qualified to manage an SAS.

    Section 96.67 requires that an Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC), used to protect federal radar systems from interference, may only operate after receiving Commission approval and be able to communicate information about the presence of a federal system and maintain security of the detected signals.

    These rules which contain information collection requirements are designed to provide for flexible use of this spectrum, while managing three tiers of users in the band, and create a low-cost entry point for a wide array of users. The rules will encourage innovation and investment in mobile broadband use in this spectrum while protecting incumbent users. Without this information, the Commission would not be able to carry out its statutory responsibilities.

    Federal Communications Commission.

    Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15999 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than July 24, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (Yvonne Sparks, Community Development Officer) P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, Missouri 63166-2034:

    1. BankFirst Capital Corporation, Macon, Mississippi; to merge with Newton County Bancorporation, Inc., and thereby indirectly acquire Newton County Bank, both in Newton, Mississippi.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, June 25, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16015 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than July 15, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (Gerald C. Tsai, Director, Applications and Enforcement) 101 Market Street, San Francisco, California 94105-1579:

    1. Irving Moore Feldkamp, III, The Irving M. Feldkamp and Pamela Jo Feldkamp Family Trust of 2003, both of Redlands, California, Irving M. Feldkamp, IV, Paragold, LP, both of San Bernardino, California, and Burlington National Indemnity, Ltd., Grand Cayman, Cayman Island; to acquire voting shares of Seacoast Commerce Banc Holdings, and thereby indirectly acquire voting shares of Seacoast Commerce Bank, both in San Diego, California.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,

    June 25, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16016 Filed 6-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 141-0144] Zimmer Holdings, Inc. and Biomet, Inc.; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed consent agreement.

    SUMMARY:

    The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the draft complaint and the terms of the consent order— embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before July 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/zimmerbiometconsent online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Zimmer Holdings, Inc. and Biomet, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 141-0144” on your comment and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/zimmerbiometconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “Zimmer Holdings, Inc. and Biomet, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 141-0144” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christine Tasso, Bureau of Competition, (202-326-2232), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for June 24, 2015), on the World Wide Web, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/actions.shtm.

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before July 24, 2015. Write “Zimmer Holdings, Inc. and Biomet, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 141-0144” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.

    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential,” as discussed in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).1 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    1 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/zimmerbiometconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you file your comment on paper, write “Zimmer Holdings, Inc. and Biomet, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 141-0144” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before July 24, 2015. For information on the Commission's privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

    Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment Introduction

    The Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) has accepted from Zimmer Holdings, Inc. (“Zimmer”), subject to final approval, an Agreement Containing Consent Order (“Consent Agreement”), which is designed to remedy the anticompetitive effects likely to result from Zimmer's proposed acquisition of Biomet, Inc. (“Biomet”). Under the terms of the proposed Decision and Order (“Order”) contained in the Consent Agreement, Zimmer and Biomet must divest Zimmer's Unicompartmental High Flex Knee System (“ZUK”) business in the United States to Smith & Nephew, Inc. (“Smith & Nephew”) and divest Biomet's Discovery Elbow and Cobalt Bone Cement businesses in the United States to DJO Global, Inc. (“DJO”).

    The Consent Agreement has been placed on the public record for 30 days to solicit comments from interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After 30 days, the Commission will again review the Consent Agreement and the comments received, and decide whether it should withdraw from the Consent Agreement, modify it, or make it final.

    Pursuant to an agreement signed on April 24, 2014, Zimmer plans to acquire Biomet for approximately $13.35 billion (the “Proposed Acquisition”). The Commission's Complaint alleges that the Proposed Acquisition, if consummated, would violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 18, and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 45, by substantially lessening competition in the U.S. markets for: (1) Unicondylar knee implants; (2) total elbow implants; and (3) bone cement. The proposed Consent Agreement will remedy the alleged violations by preserving the competition that would otherwise be eliminated by the Proposed Acquisition.

    The Parties

    Zimmer, headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana, is the third-largest musculoskeletal medical device company in the United States and worldwide, specializing in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of orthopedic reconstructive products. In 2013, Zimmer generated U.S. revenues of $2.42 billion.

    Biomet, also headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana, is the fourth-largest musculoskeletal medical device company in the United States and the fifth-largest globally. In 2013, Biomet generated U.S. revenues of $1.86 billion.

    The Relevant Products and Market Structures Unicondylar Knee Implants

    Unicondylar knee implants are medical devices that replace damaged bone and cartilage in only one of the knee's three condyles. The most common indication for a unicondylar knee implant is osteoarthritic damage in the medial condyle. In comparison to a total knee implant, which replaces all three condyles, a unicondylar knee implant requires less invasive surgery and allows a patient to have a more natural feeling knee upon recovery from surgery.

    Unicondylar knee implants vary in a number of ways; however, one of the most important differences among the implants is whether they have a fixed or mobile bearing. In a fixed bearing implant, a plastic piece is fixed permanently to the end of the tibia. In a mobile bearing knee, the plastic piece moves and glides over the tibia as the knee moves. The mobile bearing places less stress on the bearing surface and may extend the longevity of the implant. Despite these differences, fixed bearing and mobile bearing implants are in the same product market because surgeons regularly substitute between them as they achieve comparable functional outcomes for the same indications.

    The market for unicondylar knee implants is highly concentrated. Biomet, which markets the Oxford implant, is the market leader, with a share of at least 44%. Biomet's Oxford is the only mobile bearing knee implant currently on the market. Zimmer, the second-leading supplier of unicondylar knee implants, controls at least 23% of the market with its fixed bearing implant, ZUK. Stryker Corporation (“Stryker”) offers two unicondylar knee implants with fixed bearings: The Triathlon PKR and MAKOPlasty, a robotic-assisted surgery option. Stryker's market share is approximately 8%. Johnson & Johnson, through its DePuySynthes Companies (“J&J DePuy”), and Smith & Nephew both offer fixed bearing knee implants and are distant fourth and fifth competitors, maintaining approximately 6% and 3% shares of the market, respectively. Additionally, a number of small, fringe competitors each control a small share of the market, but individually and collectively have limited competitive significance. Absent a remedy, the Proposed Acquisition would produce a single firm controlling at least 67% of the unicondylar knee implant market and substantially increase market concentration.

    Total Elbow Implants

    Total elbow implants are medical devices that replace damaged bone and cartilage in the elbow joint caused by osteoarthritis or a severe elbow fracture. Total elbow implants replace the elbow joint with a metal hinge that affixes to stems implanted into the humerus and the ulna. There are two types of total elbow implants: Linked and unlinked. Linked total elbow implants connect the humeral stem to the ulnar stem with a pin and locking device, providing extra stability where the ligaments surrounding the elbow joint are weak. Unlinked total elbow implants do not connect the humeral stem to the ulnar stem mechanically; instead, they use the patient's natural ligaments to secure the implant. Linked and unlinked total elbow implants are viewed as reasonably interchangeable by health care providers because they treat the same indications and are priced similarly.

    The market for total elbow implants is highly concentrated today, and the Proposed Acquisition would increase concentration in this market substantially. Zimmer and Biomet are the two largest suppliers of total elbow implants. Apart from the merging parties, Tornier, Inc. (“Tornier”) is the only other significant supplier of total elbow implants. Zimmer offers two products—the Coonrad/Morrey Total Elbow and the Nexel Total Elbow. The Coonrad/Morrey Total Elbow, developed at the Mayo Clinic, is a cemented, linked total elbow implant with twenty-four years of clinical history. In late 2013, Zimmer launched the Nexel Total Elbow, which updated the Coonrad/Morrey Total Elbow with, among other things, a revised linkage system and instrumentation, and an improved bearing surface. Biomet's Discovery Total Elbow is also a cemented, linked implant supported by over ten years of clinical history. Tornier launched its Latitude EV implant, a cemented total elbow system capable of converting between a linked and unlinked prosthesis, in the United States in 2013.

    Bone Cement

    Surgeons use bone cement in a wide variety of joint arthroplasties to affix implants to bones, including the vast majority of knee and elbow implants, as well as many hip and shoulder procedures. Bone cement is available in high, medium, and low viscosities and in non-antibiotic and antibiotic formulations. Surgeons select bone cement based on its viscosity, whether it has an antibiotic component, supporting clinical data, and familiarity. Because surgeons generally use the more expensive antibiotic bone cement only for patients with a high risk of infection, it may be appropriate to analyze the Proposed Acquisition in separate relevant markets for antibiotic and non-antibiotic bone cement. Most customers, however, purchase both types of bone cement through a single contract with a single vendor, and the market participants, competitive dynamics, and entry barriers are the same for both antibiotic and non-antibiotic bone cement. Thus, for convenience and efficiency, it is appropriate to analyze the impact of the Proposed Acquisition in a relevant market for all bone cement products.

    Four primary suppliers serve the U.S. bone cement market: Stryker, Zimmer, J&J DePuy, and Biomet, which together account for approximately 98% of all bone cement sales in the United States. Stryker's Simplex is the market leader, with a share of approximately 40% of the market. Zimmer, the second-largest bone cement supplier, has a market share of approximately 30%. Zimmer derives nearly all of its bone cement revenues from the sale of Palacos, which Zimmer distributes under license from Heraeus Holding. J&J DePuy takes approximately 18% of the market with its SmartSet bone cement, while Biomet's Cobalt has an approximate 10% market share. The Proposed Acquisition would reduce the number of major suppliers of bone cement in the United States from four to three and increase concentration in this market substantially.

    The Relevant Geographic Market

    The United States is the relevant geographic market in which to analyze the effects of the Proposed Acquisition. Medical devices sold outside of the United States are not viable alternatives for U.S. consumers, as they cannot turn to these products even in the event of a price increase for products currently available in the United States. Further, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) must approve any medical device before it is sold in the United States, a process that generally takes a significant amount of time. Thus, suppliers of medical devices outside the United States cannot shift their product into the U.S. market quickly enough to be considered current market participants.

    Entry

    Entry or expansion into the markets for unicondylar knee implants, total elbow implants, and bone cement would not be timely, likely, or sufficient to counteract the likely anticompetitive effects of the Proposed Acquisition. To enter or effectively expand in any of these markets successfully, a supplier would need to design and manufacture an effective product, obtain FDA approval, and develop clinical history supporting the long-term efficacy of its product. The new entrant or putative expanding firm also would need to develop and foster product loyalty and establish a nationwide sales network capable of marketing the product and providing on-site service at hospitals throughout the country. Such development efforts are difficult, time-consuming, and expensive, and often fail to result in a competitive product reaching the market.

    Effects of the Acquisition

    Zimmer's acquisition of Biomet would likely result in substantial anticompetitive effects in the unicondylar knee implant market by eliminating substantial head-to-head competition between the two most successful implants. Zimmer's ZUK and Biomet's Oxford are particularly close competitors because of their well-documented clinical success records. As close competitors, customers currently leverage the Oxford and ZUK against each other to obtain better pricing. Additionally, Zimmer and Biomet continually improve features of their unicondylar knee implants in order to win business fro