Federal Register Vol. 80, No.132,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 132 (July 10, 2015)

Page Range39669-39939
FR Document

80_FR_132
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 39810 - In the Matter of International Hi-Tech Industries Inc., Mark One Global Industries, Inc., Nortel Networks Corporation, and Silverado Gold Mines Ltd.; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
80 FR 39820 - In the Matter of Arrin Corporation, Gundaker/Jordan American Holdings (a/k/a Jordan American Holdings, Inc.), Liberty Petroleum Corporation, Mikojo Incorporated, Royal Invest International Corp., and San Joaquin Bancorp; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
80 FR 39688 - Safety Zones; Recurring Marine Events in Captain of the Port Long Island Sound ZonePDF
80 FR 39683 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Victoria Barge Canal, Bloomington, TXPDF
80 FR 39810 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 39686 - Safety Zones; Annual Fireworks Displays Within the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port ZonePDF
80 FR 39783 - Determining Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas of Greatest Need; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 39831 - Sixth Meeting: Special Committee 231 (SC 231)PDF
80 FR 39830 - Twenty-Third Meeting: Special Committee 214 (SC 214)PDF
80 FR 39829 - Determination Regarding Waiver of Discriminatory Purchasing Requirements With Respect to Goods and Services of MontenegroPDF
80 FR 39790 - Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Export Manifest for Air Cargo TestPDF
80 FR 39720 - World Trade Center Health Program; Petition 008-Autoimmune Diseases; Finding of Insufficient EvidencePDF
80 FR 39761 - The Release of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Figure Eight Island Shoreline Management Project, on Figure Eight Island, New Hanover County, NCPDF
80 FR 39771 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 39787 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 39832 - RECARO Child Safety, LLC, Denial of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncompliancePDF
80 FR 39734 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Revise Maximum Retainable Amounts for Skates in the Gulf of AlaskaPDF
80 FR 39759 - Procurement List; AdditionsPDF
80 FR 39759 - Procurement List; Proposed Additions and DeletionPDF
80 FR 39748 - Hand Trucks and Certain Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited Second Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty OrderPDF
80 FR 39836 - Sanctions Actions Pursuant to Executive Order 13664PDF
80 FR 39748 - Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee (CINTAC) MeetingPDF
80 FR 39806 - Proposed Submission of Information Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request; Qualified Domestic Relations Orders Submitted to PBGCPDF
80 FR 39747 - Approval of Subzone Status, Syngenta Crop Protection LLC, St. Gabriel and Baton Rouge, LouisianaPDF
80 FR 39809 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 39771 - Meetings of the Local Government Advisory Committee and the Small Communities Advisory SubcommitteePDF
80 FR 39771 - Clean Air Act Operating Permit Program; Petitions for Objection to State Operating Permit for the U.S. Department of Energy-Hanford Operations, Benton County, WashingtonPDF
80 FR 39804 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; MeetingPDF
80 FR 39752 - Marine Mammals; File No. 14186PDF
80 FR 39750 - Marine Mammals; File No. 19108PDF
80 FR 39750 - Marine Mammals; File No. 19526PDF
80 FR 39751 - Marine Mammals; File No. 17967PDF
80 FR 39749 - Marine Mammals; File No. 17670PDF
80 FR 39777 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Renewals; Comment Request (3064-0090, 3064-0111, 3064-0136, 3064-0138 & 3064-0171)PDF
80 FR 39836 - Indexing the Annual Operating Revenues of RailroadsPDF
80 FR 39837 - Proposed Information Collection (Former Prisoner of War Medical History) Activity: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 39797 - Notice of Availability of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan/California WaterFix Partially Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Announcement of Public MeetingsPDF
80 FR 39719 - Federal Management Regulation; Art-in-ArchitecturePDF
80 FR 39745 - Plant Variety Protection Board; Open Teleconference MeetingPDF
80 FR 39745 - Peanut Standards BoardPDF
80 FR 39669 - Viruses, Serums, Toxins, and Analogous Products; Single Label Claim for Veterinary Biological ProductsPDF
80 FR 39781 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 39779 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 39780 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 39835 - School Bus Occupant Protection: Taking Safety to a New Level MeetingPDF
80 FR 39731 - Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Denial of Petition for Rulemaking for Gulf of Maine CodPDF
80 FR 39764 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Study on Sustaining the Positive Effects of PreschoolPDF
80 FR 39764 - Joint Consumer Representatives v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.; Notice of ComplaintPDF
80 FR 39766 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
80 FR 39770 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
80 FR 39765 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
80 FR 39769 - Rice Energy Marketing LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory OrderPDF
80 FR 39767 - Notice of Commission Staff AttendancePDF
80 FR 39766 - 2015 ESA Project Company, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 39765 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
80 FR 39768 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 39719 - Petition for a Rulemaking of the Liquids Shippers Group, Airlines for America, and the National Propane Gas AssociationPDF
80 FR 39767 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 39800 - Certain Steel Nails From Korea, Malaysia, Oman, Taiwan, and VietnamPDF
80 FR 39800 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension With Change, of a Previously Approved Collection Applications for Special DeputationPDF
80 FR 39799 - Marine Sonar Imaging Devices, Including Downscan and Sidescan Devices, Products Containing the Same, and Components Thereof; Notice of Request for Statements on the Public InterestPDF
80 FR 39801 - Comment Request for Information Collections in the H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Employment-Based Visa Program (OMB Control Number 1205-0509), ExtensionPDF
80 FR 39751 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 39784 - Agency Information Collection Request; 60-Day Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 39783 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 39760 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 39830 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition ReceivedPDF
80 FR 39675 - Food Labeling; Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments; Extension of Compliance DatePDF
80 FR 39747 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Arizona Advisory Committee To Discuss Findings Regarding Equity in School Funding and Plan Police Community Relations Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 39715 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2015 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for Gulf of Mexico Greater AmberjackPDF
80 FR 39815 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Correct an Inaccurate Rule ReferencePDF
80 FR 39827 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Fees Assessed Under Rules 7015(b) and (g)PDF
80 FR 39811 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Rule 4553 and Fees for Access to Alternative Trading System Volume Information Published on FINRA's Web SitePDF
80 FR 39818 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend FINRA Rule 7650A Relating to Submission of Billing Disputes by FINRA/Nasdaq Trade Reporting Facility ParticipantsPDF
80 FR 39824 - Self-Regulatory Organizations: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change by Miami International Securities Exchange LLC To Amend Exchange Rule 612 Regarding Enhanced Aggregate Risk Manager Protections for Exchange Market MakersPDF
80 FR 39816 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 21.1(d)(9), (h) and (i) To Modify the Operation of BATS Post Only Orders on the Exchange's Options PlatformPDF
80 FR 39821 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Designation of Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change Relating to Rule 6.53C and Complex Orders on the Hybrid SystemPDF
80 FR 39772 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
80 FR 39773 - Information Collections Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 39796 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Management Plan for Moose, Wolves, and Vegetation, Isle Royale National Park, MichiganPDF
80 FR 39810 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
80 FR 39810 - Product Change-Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
80 FR 39752 - United States Patent and Trademark Office and Japan Patent Office Collaborative Search Pilot ProgramPDF
80 FR 39805 - Notice of Proposed Information Collection Requests; Museum Assessment Program EvaluationPDF
80 FR 39808 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 39789 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 39786 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 39787 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 39787 - Office of the Director; Notice of Charter RenewalPDF
80 FR 39787 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
80 FR 39821 - Consolidated Tape Association; Notice of Filing of the Twenty Third Substantive Amendment to the Second Restatement of the CTA PlanPDF
80 FR 39749 - Guidance on MBDA Applications for Federal Funding; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 39795 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for PermitPDF
80 FR 39807 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 39716 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Modifications of the West Coast Commercial Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions #7 Through #13PDF
80 FR 39802 - NASA Advisory Council; Technology, Innovation, and Engineering Committee; MeetingPDF
80 FR 39805 - NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration and Operations Committee; MeetingPDF
80 FR 39804 - NASA Advisory Council; Institutional Committee; MeetingPDF
80 FR 39803 - NASA Advisory Council; Aeronautics Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 39785 - Medicare Program; Administrative Law Judge Hearing Program for Medicare Claim and Entitlement Appeals; Quarterly Listing of Program Issuances-March Through June 2015PDF
80 FR 39696 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; Determination of Attainment of the 2006 24-Hour Fine Particulate Standard for the Liberty-Clairton Nonattainment AreaPDF
80 FR 39694 - Safety Zone; Oswego Harborfest Jet Ski Show; Oswego Harbor, Oswego, NYPDF
80 FR 39840 - Medicare and Medicaid Programs; CY 2016 Home Health Prospective Payment System Rate Update; Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model; and Home Health Quality Reporting RequirementsPDF
80 FR 39676 - Venezuela Sanctions RegulationsPDF
80 FR 39752 - Evaluation of National Estuarine Research ReservePDF
80 FR 39746 - National Stakeholder Forum-Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance ProgramPDF
80 FR 39689 - Safety Zone-Oil Exploration Staging Area in Goodhope Bay; Kotzebue Sound, AKPDF
80 FR 39793 - Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the HomelessPDF
80 FR 39778 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice; AmendmentPDF
80 FR 39691 - Safety Zone-Oil Exploration Staging Area in Dutch Harbor, AKPDF
80 FR 39763 - Availability of a Draft Regional Environmental Impact Statement to Analyze Potential Impacts within Defined Geographic Regions in Texas that may be Affected by Future U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District, Permit Decisions for Future Surface Coal and Lignite Mine Expansions or Satellite Mines within the District's area of Responsibility (USACE Project No. SWF-2010-00244)PDF
80 FR 39698 - Accessible Emergency Information, and Apparatus Requirements for Emergency Information and Video DescriptionPDF
80 FR 39722 - Accessible Emergency Information, and Apparatus Requirements for Emergency Information and Video DescriptionPDF
80 FR 39916 - Pipeline Safety: Operator Qualification, Cost Recovery, Accident and Incident Notification, and Other Pipeline Safety Proposed ChangesPDF
80 FR 39831 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on US 69/Loop 49 North Lindale Reliever Route, Smith County, TexasPDF

Issue

80 132 Friday, July 10, 2015 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service NOTICES Meetings: Plant Variety Protection Board; Teleconferences, 39745-39746 2015-16900 Requests for Nominations: Peanut Standards Board, 39745 2015-16899 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service RULES Viruses, Serums, Toxins, and Analogous Products: Single Label Claim for Veterinary Biological Products, 39669-39675 2015-16898 Army Army Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39760 2015-16855 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39779-39783 2015-16893 2015-16894 2015-16895 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services PROPOSED RULES Medicare and Medicaid Programs; CY 2016 Home Health Prospective Payment System Rate Update; Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model; and Home Health Quality Reporting Requirements, 39840-39914 2015-16790 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Arizona Advisory Committee, 39747 2015-16864 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Victoria Barge Canal, Bloomington, TX, 39683-39686 2015-16984 Safety Zones: Annual Fireworks Displays within the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port Zone, 39686-39688 2015-16972 Oil Exploration Staging Area in Dutch Harbor, AK, 39691-39694 2015-16700 Oil Exploration Staging Area in Goodhope Bay; Kotzebue Sound, AK, 39689-39691 2015-16740 Oswego Harborfest Jet Ski Show, Oswego Harbor, Oswego, NY, 39694-39696 2015-16807 Recurring Marine Events in Captain of the Port Long Island Sound Zone, 39688 2015-16985 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

Minority Business Development Agency

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 39759-39760 2015-16933 2015-16934 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

See

Engineers Corps

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39760-39761 2015-16869
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Study on Sustaining the Positive Effects of Preschool, 39764 2015-16890 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Employment-Based Visa Program, 39801-39802 2015-16874 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Engineers Engineers Corps NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Figure Eight Island Shoreline Management Project; Figure Eight Island, New Hanover County, NC, 39761-39762 2015-16941 Fort Worth District; TX, 39763 2015-16656 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Pennsylvania; Determination of Attainment of the 24-Hour Fine Particulate Standard for the Liberty-Clairton Nonattainment Area, 39696-39698 2015-16813 NOTICES Clean Air Act Operating Permit Program: Petitions for Objection to State Operating Permit for the U.S. Department of Energy—Hanford Operations, Benton County, WA, 39771-39772 2015-16920 Environmental Impact Statements; Weekly Receipts, 39771 2015-16938 Meetings: Local Government Advisory Committee, Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee, 39771 2015-16923 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration NOTICES Meetings: Special Committee 214, 39830 2015-16956 Special Committee 231, 39831 2015-16961 Petitions for Exemptions; Summaries, 39830-39831 2015-16866 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Accessible Emergency Information, and Apparatus Requirements for Emergency Information and Video Description, 39698-39715 2015-16324 PROPOSED RULES Accessible Emergency Information, and Apparatus Requirements for Emergency Information and Video Description, 39722-39731 2015-16323 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39772-39777 2015-16853 2015-16854 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39777-39778 2015-16910 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Liquids Shippers Group, Airlines for America, National Propane Gas Association; Technical Conference, 39719 2015-16880 NOTICES Combined Filings, 39765-39768, 39770 2015-16879 2015-16881 2015-16882 2015-16886 2015-16887 2015-16888 Complaints: Joint Consumer Representatives v. PJM Interconnection, LLC, 39764-39765 2015-16889 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: 2015 ESA Project Co., LLC, 39766 2015-16883 Petitions for Declaratory Orders: Rice Energy Marketing, LLC, 39769-39770 2015-16885 Staff Attendances, 39767 2015-16884 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Federal Agency Actions: Texas; US 69/Loop 49 North Lindale Reliever Route, Smith County, 39831-39832 2015-16182 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39778 2015-16719 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Permits: Endangered Species; Applications, 39795-39796 2015-16834 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Food Labeling: Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments; Compliance Date Extension, 39675-39676 2015-16865 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office RULES Venezuela Sanctions Regulations, 39676-39683 2015-16782 NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 39836 2015-16931 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Subzone Status Approvals: Syngenta Crop Protection LLC, St. Gabriel and Baton Rouge, LA, 39747 2015-16928 General Services General Services Administration PROPOSED RULES Federal Management Regulations: Art-in-Architecture, 39719-39720 2015-16902 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

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

PROPOSED RULES World Trade Center Health Program: Petition on Autoimmune Diseases; Finding of Insufficient Evidence, 39720-39722 2015-16942 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39783-39785 2015-16870 2015-16871 Medicare Programs: Administrative Law Judge Hearing Program for Medicare Claim and Entitlement Appeals; Quarterly Listing of Program Issuances, 39785-39786 2015-16824
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Determining Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas of Greatest Need; Correction, 39783 2015-16964 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Federal Properties Suitable as Facilities to Assist the Homeless, 39793-39795 2015-16738 Institute of Museum and Library Services Institute of Museum and Library Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Museum Assessment Program Evaluation, 39805-39806 2015-16845 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

National Park Service

See

Reclamation Bureau

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Hand Trucks and Certain Parts Thereof from the People's Republic of China, 39748 2015-16932 Meetings: Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee, 39748-39749 2015-16930 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Steel Nails From Korea, Malaysia, Oman, Taiwan, and Vietnam, 39800 2015-16878 Marine Sonar Imaging Devices, Including Downscan and Sidescan Devices, Products Containing the Same, and Components Thereof, 39799-39800 2015-16876 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Applications for Special Deputation, 39800-39801 2015-16877 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

Minority Business Minority Business Development Agency NOTICES Meetings: Guidance on Applications for Federal Funding; Corrections, 39749 2015-16836 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Meetings: Aeronautics Committee, 39803-39804 2015-16825 Human Exploration and Operations Committee, 39805 2015-16827 Institutional Committee, 39804-39805 2015-16826 Science Committee, 39804 2015-16916 Technology, Innovation, and Engineering Committee, 39802-39803 2015-16828 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

Institute of Museum and Library Services

National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Meetings: School Bus Occupant Protection: Taking Safety to a New Level, 39835-39836 2015-16892 Petitions for Decisions of Inconsequential Noncompliance; Denials: RECARO Child Safety, LLC, 39832-39835 2015-16936 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Charter Renewals: Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, 39787 2015-16839 Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 39787-39789 2015-16838 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 39786-39787, 39789-39790 2015-16841 2015-16842 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 39787 2015-16937 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 39787 2015-16840 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: 2015 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for Gulf of Mexico Greater Amberjack, 39715-39716 2015-16863 Fisheries Off West Coast States: West Coast Commercial Salmon Fisheries; Modifications; Inseason Actions #7 through #13, 39716-39718 2015-16829 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Revise Maximum Retainable Amounts for Skates in the Gulf of Alaska, 39734-39744 2015-16935 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Denial of Petition for Rulemaking for Gulf of Maine Cod, 39731-39734 2015-16891 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 39751 2015-16872 Evaluation of National Estuarine Research Reserve, 39752 2015-16768 Permits: Marine Mammals; File No. 14186, 39752 2015-16915 Marine Mammals; File No. 17670, 39749-39750 2015-16911 Marine Mammals; File No. 17967, 39751-39752 2015-16912 Marine Mammals; File No. 19108, 39750 2015-16914 Marine Mammals; File No. 19526, 39750-39751 2015-16913 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Moose, Wolves, and Vegetation, Isle Royale National Park, MI, 39796-39797 2015-16851 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES United States Patent and Trademark Office, Japan Patent Office Collaborative Search Pilot Program, 39752-39759 2015-16846 Pension Benefit Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Qualified Domestic Relations Orders Submitted, 39806-39807 2015-16929 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration PROPOSED RULES Pipeline Safety: Operator Qualification, Cost Recovery, Accident and Incident Notification, and Other Pipeline Safety Proposed Changes, 39916-39939 2015-16264 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 39807-39810 2015-16831 2015-16832 2015-16833 2015-16843 2015-16926 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 39810 2015-16848 Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 39810 2015-16847 2015-16849 Reclamation Reclamation Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Bay Delta Conservation Plan/California WaterFix, Partially Recirculated; Public Meetings, 39797-39799 2015-16903 Rural Business Rural Business-Cooperative Service NOTICES Meetings: National Stakeholder Forum - Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program, 39746-39747 2015-16757 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Consolidated Tape Association: Twenty Third Substantive Amendment to the Second Restatement of the Consolidated Tape Association Plan, 39821-39823 2015-16837 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 39810 2015-16982 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 39816-39818 2015-16857 C2 Options Exchange, Inc., 39815-39816 2015-16862 Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 39821 2015-16856 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 39811-39815, 39818-39820 2015-16859 2015-16860 Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, 39824-39827 2015-16858 NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 39827-39829 2015-16861 Trading Suspension Orders: Arrin Corp., et al., 39820-39821 2015-17014 International Hi-Tech Industries Inc., et al., 39810-39811 2015-17015 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Indexing the Annual Operating Revenues of Railroads, 39836 2015-16907 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States NOTICES Determinations Regarding Waivers of Discriminatory Purchasing Requirements: Goods and Services of Montenegro, 39829 2015-16955 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

See

Surface Transportation Board

Treasury Treasury Department See

Foreign Assets Control Office

Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Automated Commercial Environment Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test, 39790-39793 2015-16943 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Former Prisoner of War Medical History, 39837 2015-16905 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Health and Human Services Department, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 39840-39914 2015-16790 Part III Transportation Department, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, 39916-39939 2015-16264 Reader Aids

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

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80 132 Friday, July 10, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 9 CFR Part 112 [Docket No. APHIS-2011-0049] RIN 0579-AD64 Viruses, Serums, Toxins, and Analogous Products; Single Label Claim for Veterinary Biological Products AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are amending the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act regulations to provide for the use of a simpler labeling format that would better communicate product performance to the user. Under this rulemaking, the previous label format, which reflected any of four different levels of effectiveness, is replaced with a single, uniform label format. We are also requiring biologics licensees to provide a standardized summary, with confidential business information removed, of the efficacy and safety data submitted to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in support of the issuance of a full product license or conditional license. A simpler label format, along with publicly available safety and efficacy data, will help biologics producers to more clearly communicate product performance to their customers.

DATES:

Effective September 8, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Donna Malloy, Operational Support Section, Center for Veterinary Biologics, Policy, Evaluation, and Licensing, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 148, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-3426.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) administers and enforces the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act, as amended (21 U.S.C. 151-159). The regulations issued pursuant to the Act are intended to ensure that veterinary biological products are pure, safe, potent, and efficacious when used according to label instructions. The regulations in 9 CFR part 112, “Packaging and Labeling,” (referred to below as the regulations) prescribe requirements for the packaging and labeling of veterinary biologics. The regulations ensure that labeling provides adequate information concerning the proper use and safety of the product, including vaccination schedules, warnings, and cautions.

APHIS guidelines provide examples of label claims that may be used to reflect the expected performance of the product, provided that appropriate efficacy data has been submitted and approved by APHIS. Prior to this rulemaking, the guidelines, contained in APHIS Veterinary Services Memorandum No. 800.202 (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/vet_biologics/publications/memo_800_202.pdf), described performance requirements and allowable indications statements for four different levels (tiers) of effectiveness.

On April 21, 2014, we published in the Federal Register (79 FR 22048-22051, Docket No. APHIS-2011-0049) a proposal 1 to amend the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act regulations to provide for the use of a simpler labeling format than the existing one. Specifically, we proposed to replace the previous four-tier label format with a single, uniform label format. We also proposed to require biologics licensees to provide a standardized summary, with confidential business information removed, of the efficacy and safety data submitted to APHIS in support of the issuance of a full product license or conditional license. The proposed requirements for a simpler label format and the provision of publically available safety and efficacy data were intended to help biologics producers more clearly communicate product performance to their customers.

1 To view the proposed rule, its supporting documents, and the comments we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0049.

We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending June 20, 2014. We received seven comments by that date. They were from veterinary biologics laboratories, trade associations, a veterinarians' association, and individuals. They are discussed below by topic.

Labeling Requirements

One commenter noted that in both the preamble to the April 2014 proposed rule and the accompanying economic analysis, we stated that the removal of the four-tiered efficacy labeling structure will simplify our evaluation of efficacy studies by focusing on a basic claim of effectiveness, resulting in a reduction of the time required for evaluation and a likely reduction in the number of studies being found unacceptable. The commenter requested further explanation of how those benefits will result from this rulemaking.

As a result of this rulemaking, APHIS will be able to evaluate these studies for product efficacy rather than whether or not the data demonstrate a higher efficacy tier or “stronger” label claim. For example, under the four-tiered efficacy system, if efficacy data is submitted to support the claim of “Prevention of infection,” the data must be analyzed with a very high degree of confidence to determine if it meets the criteria of preventing all colonization or replication of the challenge organism in vaccinated and challenged animals. This is considered an extremely strong claim and would entail a more extensive statistical analysis, as compared to a claim of “Aids in disease control,” for which the data needs to demonstrate that the product alleviates disease severity or reduces disease duration. Conducting data reviews with the aim of determining whether a product is effective rather than how “strong” its label claim is will simplify and streamline our review process. Fewer studies will be found unacceptable because the data will only have to show that the product is efficacious rather than having to support a label claim of a particular level of strength.

One commenter stated that the title of the April 2014 proposed rule, specifically its reference to single label claims, was misleading. The commenter stated that the proposed rule related to a single efficacy indications statement rather than a single label claim. Label claims, according to the commenter, are numerous and not limited to the efficacy/indication statement.

Throughout this rulemaking, as well as in the Veterinary Services Memorandum referred to above, APHIS has used the term “label claim” to represent the level of efficacy of the product, as demonstrated by the manufacturer, based on approved data. Taken in context, the meaning of the term should be clear to readers.

A commenter stated that APHIS should provide for the continued use of distinct label statements for various diseases/syndromes, primary parameters in the case definition, or other situations in which such label statements would be appropriate. According to the commenter, the indications statement contained in the April 2014 proposed rule would not fit certain cases, such as those where the indication for a biological product is to reduce the shedding of an organism or reduce viremia.

We are not making any changes to the rule text based on this comment. The proposed text in § 112.2(a)(5) was sufficiently flexible to allow the indications statement to be modified to include a specific parameter associated with the case definition of a disease syndrome. For example, with acceptable data, the indications statement could read, “This product has been shown to be effective for the vaccination of healthy swine__ weeks of age or older against the respiratory form of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome.”

A commenter stated that the April 2014 proposed rule offered no foundation for our conclusion that the change in labels will provide clarity for vaccine users. According to the commenter, there is no evidence that a significant percentage of the vaccine users will read the labels and choose to look up the required data summary of the studies on the Web site. The commenter stated that, contrary to what we claimed in the preamble to the April 2014 proposed rule, the proposed labeling requirements would make labeling more complex rather than simpler.

We disagree with this comment. In our view, providing safety and efficacy data, combined with a simpler labeling format, will allow the end user to better assess product performance. We developed the proposed requirements in cooperation with stakeholders and the public. In 2009, APHIS met with representatives of veterinary biologics manufacturers and the American Veterinary Medical Association, which represents the largest group of consumers of veterinary biologics. We were informed that the current labeling indications were confusing and did not provide sufficient insight into the actual performance of the product. Further, in 2011, APHIS held a public meeting to discuss effectiveness indications statements and received additional feedback from the public on draft guidelines concerning effectiveness indications statements on labels. The proposed labeling requirements, therefore, reflect the views of both APHIS and entities and individuals potentially affected by this rulemaking.

In the preamble to the April 2014 proposed rule, we stated that products for which efficacy data are no longer available should indicate on the label that the data are not available because the product was licensed “x” years ago. A commenter suggested that the required statement should be modified to remove the reference to a year or specific date in order to preclude the need to update the label on an annual basis.

We agree with this comment. APHIS guidelines regarding label claims will be revised as this final rule is implemented. The new guideline regarding products for which efficacy data is no longer available will read as follows: “Original efficacy data is not available because the product was licensed in (date).” This change will preclude the need to update the label each year.

A commenter stated that a common adverse event warning should appear on all biologics. The same commenter also recommended that we institute an active adverse event reporting structure.

While those issues are beyond the scope of the current rulemaking, APHIS does recognize the need for adverse event warnings and reporting. We intend to address the issues in a future rulemaking.

A commenter stated that in the proposed rule, we did not adequately consider the potential impact of the required label changes upon the export of currently licensed veterinary biological products. In the commenter's view, APHIS must allow the continued use of currently approved export labels (containing the tiered claims and establishment number) for all products licensed at the time this rule becomes effective.

Requirements for export labels are beyond the scope of the present rulemaking. APHIS is open to working with industry and the public regarding transition of international labels, as we have done in the past.

A commenter stated that as a logical next step in our effort to standardize labeling requirements for biological products, we should require standardized pregnant animal language for product labels. The commenter offered examples of pregnant animal language that could be used on labels.

This comment is beyond the scope of the present rulemaking.

A commenter requested more guidance as to the basic efficacy threshold for licensure of new products, stating that neither the current efficacy thresholds nor the manner in which they are determined for novel products was mentioned in the April 2014 proposed rule.

Our methodology for statistical and scientific review of efficacy data will not change under this rulemaking. We will continue to evaluate data based on the primary outcome and clinically relevant outcomes of the study. Guidance for efficacy studies can be found on the Center for Veterinary Biologics home page under “Biologics Regulation and Guidance” (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth?1dmy&urile=wcm%3apath%3a%2FAPHIS_Content_Library%2FSA_Our_Focus%2FSA_Animal_Health%2FSA_Vet_Biologics).

Implementation of Proposed Requirements

In the preamble to the April 2014 proposed rule, we indicated that for currently licensed products, manufacturers would have to submit a standardized summary of efficacy and safety data and the revised labels to APHIS within 4 years of the effective date of this final rule. Licensees would have the option of requesting an extension for up to 2 years.

Some commenters questioned whether we could realistically implement the proposed requirements in 4 years without tremendous disruption to APHIS operations, the biologics industry, and the consumer. It was also suggested that we could be diverted from ongoing review and approval activities because instituting the proposed new requirements would necessitate that APHIS management and staff perform a number of new tasks. Such an additional workload, it was further suggested, may be especially problematic at a time when we already may not have adequate resources due to budget pressure. One commenter recommended that we phase in the requirements over a period of 8 years. In addition, commenters requested clarification on how the phase-in of the requirements will be approached and communicated to the public, such that the rollout and public promotions are coordinated.

We do not agree that the 8-year implementation period recommended by one commenter is needed. In our view, a 4-year phase-in of the labeling and data summary requirements, with additional extensions of up to 2 years allowed under certain conditions, will provide manufacturers and consumers with adequate time to adapt to the requirements. We further intend to implement the requirements by species (i.e. poultry products, then equine products, etc.) in order to ease the impact on the industry and end users. Implementing the requirements in this manner will also minimize the impact on APHIS personnel with respect to ongoing review and approval activities.

Some commenters noted that on January 13, 2011, APHIS had published an earlier proposed rule in the Federal Register (76 FR 2268-2277, Docket No. APHIS-2008-0008) that also proposed changes to the labeling requirements for veterinary biological products. Commenters recommended that APHIS finalize and implement the two rules simultaneously for the benefit of industry and for end users, who will be encountering these new labels for the first time, and that we coordinate the implementation timeline with industry.

APHIS agrees with commenters that implementing the rules concurrently would be advantageous for end users and industry. We intend to finalize the rules in as close proximity to one another as possible and to coordinate their implementation with industry.

Data Summary Requirements

Some commenters addressed issues related to the scope of the proposed data summary requirement. It was suggested that the April 2014 proposed rule was not clear as to the studies that will need to be summarized and appear on the APHIS Web site. A commenter stated that only “pivotal” efficacy and safety studies should be included and that reference requalification or other studies that do not lead to a change in a label claim should not be among those summarized. It was also recommended that, for safety summaries, only field safety studies should be included, as they are the most clinically relevant.

We do not agree with these comments. The purpose of the summaries is to present efficacy and safety data in a non-confusing manner. Efficacy data summaries will include information regarding study design and associated raw data used to license the product, and the results of each study will be evaluated in terms of statistical and clinical relevance to the disease in question. Because each study is unique in terms of health status of the animals, environmental conditions, challenge model/strain, and other factors, limiting the range of the studies in the manner recommended by the commenters could mean that relevant efficacy data would not be made available to the public.

Some commenters raised concerns related to the parameters we listed in the preamble to the April 2014 proposed rule for the data summaries. These included, among others, the minimum and maximum age of the target species; the diversity of target species; the number of animals in the study; whether animals are client-owned; the serologic status of animals (including presence or absence of maternal antibody when appropriate); and dosage, timing, and route of administration. It was noted that we do not currently require information on some of these items. The issues raised by these commenters are discussed individually in the paragraphs that follow.

Commenters stated that the maximum age of the target species should be removed from the list of parameters. It was stated that because older animals have better developed immune systems and are more resistant to infection, the minimum age utilized in the study is more important to the field use of the vaccine than the maximum.

It was also recommended by one commenter that the term “diversity of target species” be removed from the list of parameters. The commenter stated that the term is vague and, if meant to distinguish among categories (e.g., layers vs. broilers, or breeds), it is immunologically irrelevant.

Another commenter stated that the serological status of the animals in the study should not be included unless it is relevant to the label claim. If that is not the case, according to the commenter, the information is not useful.

We have already noted that efficacy data summaries will need to include information regarding study design and associated raw data used to license the product. The study parameters listed in the preamble to the April 2014 proposed rule, however, were examples rather than requirements. Further guidance documents, including but not limited to, a users' guide, will be developed by APHIS to provide, among other things, additional clarification of the parameters associated with the data summaries. These guidance documents, which are discussed in greater detail later in this document, will be released by APHIS and made available for public review and comment.

Some commenters expressed concerns that our parameters for the data summaries could potentially lead to exposure of confidential business information. One commenter stated that clarification was needed that the reference to “dose” related to the volume and not to the potency of the vaccine. The potency of the vaccine reflects antigen content and is confidential business information that has been historically protected by APHIS, according to the commenter. The same commenter also asserted that the case definition and data regarding the concentration of the challenge organism should be removed from the list of parameters for the same reason. The commenter suggested that the “strength” of challenge can be assessed by the morbidity/mortality observed in the controls versus the vaccinates. Another commenter stated that the primary outcome and clinically relevant outcomes of the study used for analysis were confidential business information that should not be required in the summaries.

As noted above, the parameters listed in the preamble of the April 2014 proposed rule were provided as examples only, not as requirements. The studies that will be summarized and included on the APHIS Web site are those studies that demonstrate product efficacy and safety sufficient for product licensure. We will not require the data summaries to include case definitions or statistical results of an inferential nature (e.g., confidence intervals and p values). Biologics licensees will provide a summary of their data, with confidential business information removed. Such information will be protected, thus preventing competitors from using efficacy and data summaries for marketing, promotion, or advertising initiatives. APHIS will provide guidance to the industry, in the form of a users' guide and other guidance documents, regarding the appropriate use of data summaries for use in marketing, promotion, and/or advertising.

A commenter stated that the proposed rule was unclear about the type of explanatory statistical information that will need to be included in the data summaries, given that we indicated that the summaries will not include statistical information of an inferential nature.

The purpose of the summaries is to present efficacy and safety data in a non-confusing manner. Because these data summaries may be read by persons with little to no medical/scientific background, some statistical data may be confusing to such readers. Additionally, including some statistical information in the data summaries may, in some cases, raise or lower the public's opinion of a given product, which would be contrary to the intent of this initiative. However, there are some instances (e.g., lung lesions as a primary outcome) where statistical terms may be beneficial to the practitioner or other medically trained persons. We will require each data summary to include a statement referring the reader to consult their veterinarian for interpretation of the data. In addition, as noted above, APHIS will provide guidance to the industry regarding the use of data summaries for use in marketing, promotion, and/or advertising.

Some commenters noted that the April 2014 proposed rule did not include a format for the summaries. It was suggested that there is a lack of consistency in how the firms present information and what APHIS reviewers consider acceptable and that if customers are reading the product summaries on the Web site, this variability could have a large effect on the public perception of different companies' products. Given that possibility, it was suggested that APHIS should provide information on its Web site to educate users on the complex nature of efficacy studies, as well as explanatory statistical information, where appropriate, related to individual data summaries. Commenters requested more information regarding the nature of such materials and stated that APHIS should allow input from the regulated industry in the development of both the format and content of the summaries and the educational materials.

As indicated in the preamble to the April 2014 proposed rule, given the large number of diseases, vaccine types, and efficacy models, it is not possible to standardize the study design for all efficacy studies. We will, however, seek industry input regarding the development of a data summary template and educational guide. These documents will then be made available on our Web site in draft form for public comment.

Guidance Documents and Web Site

Some commenters emphasized the need for a general users' guide or other guidance documents to supplement this final rule. It was suggested that, among other things, our guidance documents should address advertising and promotion of products under the new system. Commenters stated that such documents should indicate that the data in the summaries is intended to provide information relative to the licensure of a product, that comparisons among the products with differing experimental models is not scientifically valid, and that we preclude manufacturers from making such comparisons in advertising and promotion outside of head-to-head studies.

We agree with these comments and, as noted above, we will release a users' guide and other guidance documents as this final rule is being implemented, and we will make the documents available on our Web site in draft form for public comment. For the purposes of marketing, promotion, or advertising, the manufacturers will be allowed to include a statement on promotional and advertising material referring the user to the APHIS Web site, where additional efficacy and safety data may be found. Promotional studies would not be disclosed on the Web site. This policy is consistent with previous guidelines and regulations and would not confer an advantage to any particular manufacturer.

A commenter suggested that our Web site should contain a “click through” requiring a person wanting to access the data summaries to “click” to indicate he or she has read the statements on the limitation of data comparisons before accessing the material.

We will consider this comment as we craft the Web site that will house the educational material and efficacy and safety summaries.

Commenters stated that the Web address allowing users to access the data summaries is too long and not user friendly. The commenters suggested that the URL should fit on a label and that, in addition, we should allow the Web address to be excluded from very small labels.

We agree with these comments. The new Web address reads as follows: productdata.aphis.usda.gov. We will also allow the Web address to be excluded from very small labels.

Additional Comments

A commenter stated that clarification was needed regarding how the requirements contained in this final rule would apply to in-vitro diagnostics, which are subject to the same restrictions as vaccines and other in-vivo products.

As indicated in the preamble to the April 2014 proposed rule, diagnostic products are not covered under this rulemaking. Further, the rulemaking is not applicable to allergenic extracts or autogenous products.

Several commenters expressed concern that the economic analysis provided with the April 2014 proposed rule underestimated the costs associated with the implementation of this rule. The issues raised by the commenters are discussed individually in the paragraphs that follow.

One commenter stated that in that economic analysis, we significantly underestimated the costs of preparing safety and efficacy summaries, which we estimated to be $55 per summary, and product labels, which we estimated to be $99 to $500 per label. According to the commenter, current preparation of labels involves input and review by scientific, commercial, and regulatory staff, preparation of label artwork, generation of printing specifications, generation of controlled documentation for the label, formal review and approval processes, submission to APHIS for approval, and then formal implementation into the production process. Another commenter stated that the cost estimates provided in the economic analysis to demonstrate lack of significant economic impact seem very optimistic, particularly the costs of preparing the summaries, as well as the costs of development of new labels and product outlines for the entire vaccine line.

We used cost range information for label changes from a model developed by The Food and Drug Administration. The model estimates the cost of labeling changes in consumer labeling regulations. While not directly applicable to veterinary biologics labeling changes, the model does include cost range information on various areas pertinent to a veterinary biologics label change.

We agree that label changes go through multiple approval steps. However, because the rule does not require any new scientific content, changing the text on the label to fit with the rule requirements should be much simpler than the comment would imply. The estimates of costs we included in the analysis of the proposed rule do include ranges for administrative and recordkeeping costs associated with labeling changes. Those costs to manufacturers include understanding the regulation, determining their responses, tracking the required change throughout the labeling change process, and reviewing and updating their records of product labels.

These labeling cost ranges were used in reference to the cost for products for which label changes could be coordinated with planned label changes that occur in the normal course of business, and only included administrative and recordkeeping costs. For label changes that cannot be coordinated with planned label changes, we also included other types of costs, such as prepress, graphic design, and label printing and materials. Those costs are not attributable to the regulation if the labeling is coordinated with a planned change. We have included additional information on the composition of the costs within the economic analysis that accompanies this final rule.

After considering these comments, we did revise our estimate of the cost of preparing a summary. We continue to believe that it will take approximately 1 hour to review instructions, search existing data sources, gather and maintain the data needed, and complete and review the collection of information. The rule does not require any new scientific content, and the new summary format requirement is simply a repackaging of existing information on a product that has already been collected and assembled as part of the initial licensing process. This activity will most likely be done by a mid-level manager, who will most likely already be very familiar with the product in question, and this labor will cost a manufacturer about $55. We do acknowledge, however, that there will be some further management review involved. Therefore, we are including another one-half hour of management time to our estimate of the cost of preparing a summary. The revised estimate is $83 per summary.

A commenter noted that in the preamble to the July 2014 proposed rule, we stated that most labels would be replaced in the normal course of business regardless of this rule, given the 4- to 6-year implementation timeframe. The commenter disagreed, estimating that approximately 20 percent of the labels for existing products would be replaced as normal practice. The commenter suggested that the number of entities that would incur the expenses associated with replacing labels as a result of this rulemaking will be far larger than we projected.

We respectfully disagree. Of the approximately 11,700 active, approved labels, 53 percent, or about 6,200, are no more than 4 years old, suggesting that a similar number will be replaced in the ordinary course of business during the implementation period. We therefore considered 53 percent to be an appropriate percentage to use to estimate the number of products for which regulatory labeling changes can be coordinated with otherwise planned labeling changes.

One commenter, representing a manufacturer, stated that we did not factor in the cost of replacing printing plates for existing labels, thereby significantly underestimating the economic burden placed on that entity by this rulemaking.

In the proposed rule, we did not include the cost of conventional printing plates. Based on our review of all labels for licensed biologics, we concluded that the general practice among manufacturers is to use computer-generated labels. However, to be conservative in our cost estimates for this final rule, we assume that 5 percent of labels are printed using conventional printing plates. Therefore, we added cost estimates for conventional printing plates for 5 percent of the labeling changes that cannot be coordinated with otherwise planned label changes.

A commenter stated that the posting of quantitative results accompanying the studies would be valuable for veterinarians.

Basic statistical data may be applicable to certain disease situations, such as when lesion consolidation is a primary outcome. Such data will be presented in terms of the number of animals exhibiting (controls) and not exhibiting (vaccinates) clinical signs of disease out of the total numbers of animals vaccinated or not vaccinated. For safety studies, the number of animals presenting with adverse reactions to vaccination out of the total number of animals will be included in the data.

Miscellaneous

In addition to the changes described above that we are making in response to the comments we received, we are making an editorial change for the sake of clarity. In § 112.2(a)(5) of the April 2014 proposed rule, we proposed to require an indications statement to read, “This product has been shown to be effective for the vaccination of healthy animals __ weeks of age or older against __.” In order to clarify that the specific animal species must be included on the label, we are amending that sentence to read as follows: “An indications statement to read, “This product has been shown to be effective for the vaccination of healthy (insert name of species) __ weeks of age or older against __.”

Therefore, for the reasons given in the proposed rule and in this document, we are adopting the proposed rule as a final rule, with the changes discussed in this document.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

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

We have prepared an economic analysis for this rule. The economic analysis provides a cost-benefit analysis, as required by Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, which direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. The economic analysis also provides a final regulatory flexibility analysis that examines the potential economic effects of this rule on small entities, as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The economic analysis is summarized below. Copies of the full analysis are available on the Regulations.gov Web site (see footnote 1 in this document for a link to Regulations.gov) or by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

We are amending the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act regulations to require the use of a simpler labeling format. Biologics licensees and permittees will also be required to provide a standardized summary of the efficacy and safety data.

This rule will simplify the evaluation of efficacy studies, thereby reducing the amount of time required by APHIS to evaluate study data. A novel veterinary biological product can generate revenue in the neighborhood of $5 to $10 million per year. Increased efficiencies in the generation and evaluation of efficacy data should result in fewer delays in bringing a product to market. In addition, a simpler label may benefit those manufacturers, both large and small, who export their products, as foreign manufacturers do not use a tiered approach to label claims.

This rule will affect all veterinary biologics licensees and permittees. Currently, there are approximately 100 veterinary biological establishments, including permittees. These companies produce about 1,900 different products, and there are about 11,700 active approved labels for veterinary biologics. There were about 3,100 labels submitted for approval from June 2012 through May 2013, by about two-thirds of the companies.

Costs of the rule for licensees and permittees are not expected to be significant, whether the affected entity is small or large. APHIS anticipates that the only costs associated with the new labeling format will be one-time costs incurred by licensees and permittees in having labels for existing licensed products reformatted in accordance with the rule. Most biologics companies, in the course of normal business, use a just-in-time method for producing new labels and readily alter their content. Because the label changes due to this rule will only require new text and not a label redesign, they are considered minor changes.

Products that are not yet licensed but are within 6 months of licensure at the time these regulations become effective will be expected to be fully compliant no later than 1 year after licensure. Products that are more than 6 months away from licensure at the time these regulations become effective will be expected to be fully compliant at the time of licensure. For products that are currently licensed, the standardized summary of efficacy and safety data and the revised labels will have to be submitted to APHIS within 4 years of the time these regulations become effective. APHIS will consider written requests to extend the time period for submitting the summaries by an additional 2 years if necessary.

We estimate that, in total, this rule will cost veterinary biological establishments between $1.1 million and $4.1 million, with a median estimate of about $2.4 million. Costs associated with the rule for an individual manufacturer will depend on the extent of the changes required, type of printing method used, and whether the label changes can be coordinated with planned label changes. All affected manufacturers will incur administrative and recordkeeping costs, that is, costs associated with understanding the regulation, determining responses, tracking the required changes throughout the labeling change process, and reviewing and updating their records of product labels. For label changes not coordinated with planned label changes, costs will also include labor and materials associated with generating the new labels, such as prepress, graphic design, and label printing. Those costs are not attributable to the regulation if the labeling revisions are coordinated with planned changes.

In many instances manufacturers will not have to produce new labeling materials before they would otherwise do so in the normal course of business and will only incur additional administrative and recordkeeping costs to track the changes. Costs incurred for minor label changes that are coordinated with planned label changes are estimated to range between $99 and $500 per label. We estimate that there are about 6,200 labels associated with about 1,000 products for which there will be this type of coordinated change, and the total cost is estimated to range between $99,000 and $500,000.

Costs incurred for minor label changes that cannot be coordinated with planned label changes include costs for prepress, graphic design, and printing the labels, in addition to administrative and recordkeeping activities. We expect that about 5,500 of the active labels, associated with about 900 products, will be changed other than in conjunction with a planned change. Administrative and recordkeeping costs for these label changes are estimated to range between $198 and $1,000 per product, or between about $178,000 and $900,000 in total. We estimate that at least 95 percent of the products with labels that will need to be changed other than in conjunction with a planned change are computer generated with no outside design assistance. The internal prepress and graphic design labor costs associated with these changes are estimated to be between $135 and $743 for each product. The material costs for computer generated labels are estimated to be between $100 and $275 for each new label. For these label changes, production labor and material costs are estimated to range between about $638,000 and $2 million.

To be conservative in our cost estimates, we assume that 5 percent of the products with labels that will need to be changed other than in conjunction with a planned change are printed using more costly conventional printing plates, and the manufacturers of these products use external prepress and graphic design consultants. Prepress and graphic design labor costs, internal and external, are estimated to be between $810 and $5,043 for each product, totaling between about $36,000 and $227,000. There is significant variation in the cost of conventionally printed labels depending on the printing method. Printing material costs for these label changes are estimated to range between about $47,000 and $306,000.

Minor costs may be incurred in producing the standardized summaries of efficacy and safety data for currently licensed products within the 4-year implementation period. We estimate that about 1,700 revised summaries will need to be produced as a result of this rule because efficacy and safety studies are frequently provided for multiple products. The estimated cost will be about $83 per summary, or about $141,000 in total.

Executive Order 12372

This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. (See 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V.)

Executive Order 12988

This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect. This rule will not preempt any State or local laws, regulations, or policies where they are necessary to address local disease conditions or eradication programs. However, where safety, efficacy, purity, and potency of biological products are concerned, it is the Agency's intent to occupy the field. This includes, but is not limited to, the regulation of labeling. Under the Act, Congress clearly intended that there be national uniformity in the regulation of these products. There are no administrative proceedings which must be exhausted prior to a judicial challenge to the regulations under this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This final rule contains no new information collection or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 112

Animal biologics, Exports, Imports, Labeling, Packaging and containers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Accordingly, we are amending 9 CFR part 112 as follows:

PART 112—PACKAGING AND LABELING 1. The authority citation for part 112 continues to read as follows: Authority:

21 U.S.C. 151-159; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

2. Section 112.2 is amended as follows: a. In paragraph (a)(5), by adding a new first sentence. b. By adding a new paragraph (a)(9)(v).

The additions read as follows:

§ 112.2 Final container label, carton label, and enclosure.

(a) * * *

(5) An indications statement to read, “This product has been shown to be effective for the vaccination of healthy (insert name of species) __ weeks of age or older against __.” * * *

(9) * * *

(v) A statement similar to “For more information regarding efficacy and safety data, go to productdata.aphis.usda.gov.

3. Section 112.5 is amended as follows: a. In the introductory text, by removing the words “paragraph (c) of this section and under the master label system provided in paragraph (d)” and adding the words “paragraph (d) of this section and under the master label system provided in paragraph (e)” in their place. b. In paragraph (a), by removing the words “(http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/vet_biologics/vb_forms.shtml)” and adding the words “(productdata.aphis.usda.gov)” in their place. c. By redesignating paragraphs (b) through (g) as paragraphs (c) through (h). d. By adding a new paragraph (b). e. In newly redesignated paragraph (d)(1), by removing the citation “§ 112.5(d)” and adding the words “paragraph (e) of this section” in its place. f. In newly redesignated paragraph (e)(1)(ii), by removing the citation “§ 112.5(d)(1)(iii)” and adding the words “paragraph (e)(1)(iii) of this section” in its place. g. In newly redesignated paragraph (e)(1)(iii), by removing the citation “§ 112.5(d)(1)(i)” and adding the words “paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section” in its place. h. In newly redesignated paragraph (e)(1)(iv), by removing the citation “§ 112.5(d)(1)(ii)” and adding the words “paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section” in its place. i. In newly redesignated paragraph (h), by removing the citation “§ 112.5(c)” and adding the words “paragraph (d) of this section” in its place.

The addition reads as follows:

§ 112.5 Review and approval of labeling.

(b) A data summary, available on the Internet at productdata.aphis.usda.gov, shall be used with each submission of efficacy and safety data in support of a label claim. Manufacturers will submit the efficacy and safety data information with either the efficacy and safety studies or at the time of label submission. This information will be posted at productdata.aphis.usda.gov to allow public disclosure of product performance.

Done in Washington, DC, this 6th day of July 2015. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-16898 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Parts 11 and 101 [Docket No. FDA-2011-F-0172] RIN 0910-AG57 Food Labeling; Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments; Extension of Compliance Date AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Final rule; extension of compliance date.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is extending the compliance date for the final rule requiring disclosure of certain nutrition information for standard menu items in certain restaurants and retail food establishments. The final rule appeared in the Federal Register of December 1, 2014. We are taking this action in response to requests for an extension and for further clarification of the rule's requirements.

DATES:

Effective date: This final rule is effective December 1, 2015.

Compliance date: Covered establishments must comply with the rule published December 1, 2014 (79 FR 71156) by December 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ashley Rulffes, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-820), Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-2371, email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

In the Federal Register of December 1, 2014 (79 FR 71156), we published a final rule requiring disclosure of certain nutrition information for standard menu items in certain restaurants and retail food establishments. The final rule implements provisions of section 403(q)(5)(H) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 343(q)(5)(H)) and:

• Defines terms, including terms that describe criteria for determining whether an establishment is subject to the rule;

• establishes which foods are subject to the nutrition labeling requirements and which foods are not subject to these requirements;

• requires that calories for standard menu items be declared on menus and menu boards that list such foods for sale;

• requires that calories for standard menu items that are self-service or on display be declared on signs adjacent to such foods;

• requires that written nutrition information for standard menu items be available to consumers who ask to see it;

• requires, on menus and menu boards, a succinct statement concerning suggested daily caloric intake (succinct statement), designed to help the public understand the significance of the calorie declarations;

• requires, on menus and menu boards, a statement regarding the availability of the written nutrition information (statement of availability);

• establishes requirements for determination of nutrient content of standard menu items;

• establishes requirements for substantiation of nutrient content determined for standard menu items, including requirements for records that a covered establishment must make available to FDA within a reasonable period of time upon request; and

• establishes terms and conditions under which restaurants and similar retail food establishments not otherwise subject to the rule could elect to be subject to the requirements by registering with FDA.

In the preamble to the final rule (79 FR 71156 at 71239 through 71241), we stated that the rule would be effective on December 1, 2015, and also provided a compliance date of December 1, 2015, for covered establishments. The final rule (at 21 CFR 101.11(a)) defines “covered establishment” as a restaurant or similar retail food establishment that is a part of a chain with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name (regardless of the type of ownership, e.g., individual franchises) and offering for sale substantially the same menu items, as well as a restaurant or similar retail food establishment that is voluntarily registered to be covered under 21 CFR 101.11(d).

II. Extending the Compliance Date

Since we published the final rule in the Federal Register, we have received numerous requests asking us to further interpret portions of the final rule or to respond to questions asking whether specific practices would be acceptable for purposes of complying with the rule. We issued a document in the Federal Register (80 FR 13225, March 13, 2015) announcing the availability of a “Small Entity Compliance Guide” for the rule, and are considering what additional guidance might be helpful.

Since February 2015, we have received four requests asking us to extend the compliance date of the final rule based on concerns that covered establishments do not have adequate time to fully implement the requirements of the rule by the compliance date. These requests were submitted by a large retailer and trade and other associations, and they provide information regarding steps involved in implementation of the requirements. More specifically, the requests describe steps involved in developing software, information systems, and other technologies for providing nutrition information in ways that better correspond to how foods are offered for sale in covered establishments and allow for more efficient and product-specific nutrition labeling. In addition, the requests describe steps involved in training staff, implementing standard operating procedures, and developing and installing updated and consistent menu boards across all locations within a chain. Most requests sought to extend the compliance date by 1 year.

In light of these requests, we have decided to extend the compliance date for the final rule to December 1, 2016. The final rule requirements are intended to ensure that consumers are provided accurate, clear, and consistent nutrition information for foods sold in covered establishments in a direct and accessible manner to enable consumers to make informed and healthful dietary choices. Therefore, allowing adequate time for covered establishments to fully implement the final rule's requirements, as described in the requests, helps accomplish the primary objective of the final rule and is in the public interest.

III. Economic Analysis of Impacts

FDA has examined the impacts of the final rule under Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4). Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct Agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). FDA has developed a regulatory impact analysis that presents the benefits and costs of this final rule (Ref. 1). The Agency believes that this final rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires Agencies to analyze regulatory options that would minimize any significant impact of a rule on small entities. Because the final rule changes the compliance date from December 1, 2015, to December 1, 2016, the Agency certifies that the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Section 202(a) of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires that Agencies prepare a written statement, which includes an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits, before proposing “any rule that includes any Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year.” The current threshold after adjustment for inflation is $144 million, using the most current (2014) Implicit Price Deflator for the Gross Domestic Product. FDA does not expect this final rule to result in any 1-year expenditure that would meet or exceed this amount.

IV. Paperwork Reduction Act

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

V. Environmental Impact

We have determined under 21 CFR 25.30(k) that this action is of a type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

VI. Reference

The following reference has been placed on display in the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES) and may be seen by interested persons between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov. (FDA has verified the Web site address in this reference section, but we are not responsible for any subsequent changes to the Web site after this document publishes in the Federal Register.)

1. FDA, “Food Labeling; Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments; Extension of Compliance Date,” 2015. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Reports/EconomicAnalyses/.

Dated: July 6, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2015-16865 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of Foreign Assets Control 31 CFR Part 591 Venezuela Sanctions Regulations AGENCY:

Office of Foreign Assets Control, Treasury.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is issuing regulations to implement the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-278) and Executive Order 13692 of March 8, 2015 (“Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela”). OFAC intends to supplement this part 591 with a more comprehensive set of regulations, which may include additional interpretive and definitional guidance and additional general licenses and statements of licensing policy.

DATES:

Effective: July 10, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Assistant Director for Licensing, tel.: 202/622-2480, Assistant Director for Policy, tel.: 202/622-6746, Assistant Director for Regulatory Affairs, tel.: 202/622-4855, Assistant Director for Sanctions Compliance & Evaluation, tel.: 202/622-2490, OFAC, or Chief Counsel (Foreign Assets Control), tel.: 202/622-2410, Office of the General Counsel, Department of the Treasury (not toll free numbers).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic and Facsimile Availability

This document and additional information concerning OFAC are available from OFAC's Web site (www.treasury.gov/ofac). Certain general information pertaining to OFAC's sanctions programs also is available via facsimile through a 24-hour fax-on-demand service, tel.: 202/622-0077.

Background

On December 18, 2014, President Obama signed the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-278) (the “Act”) into law. The Act required the President to impose targeted sanctions on certain persons that he determines to be responsible for significant acts of violence or serious human rights abuses against antigovernment protesters in Venezuela and to have ordered or otherwise directed the arrest or prosecution of persons in Venezuela primarily because of the person's legitimate exercise of freedom of expression or assembly.

On March 8, 2015, the President issued Executive Order 13692 (80 FR 12747, March 11, 2015) (E.O. 13692), invoking the authority of, inter alia, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the Act, and the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA).

OFAC is issuing the Venezuela Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 591 (the “Regulations”), to implement the Act and E.O. 13692, pursuant to authorities delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury in E.O. 13692. A copy of E.O. 13692 appears in Appendix A to this part.

The Regulations are being published in abbreviated form at this time for the purpose of providing immediate guidance to the public. OFAC intends to supplement this part 591 with a more comprehensive set of regulations, which may include additional interpretive and definitional guidance and additional general licenses and statements of licensing policy. The appendix to the Regulations will be removed when OFAC supplements this part with a more comprehensive set of regulations.

Public Participation

Because the Regulations involve a foreign affairs function, the provisions of Executive Order 12866 and the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) requiring notice of proposed rulemaking, opportunity for public participation, and delay in effective date are inapplicable. Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required for this rule, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) does not apply.

Paperwork Reduction Act

The collections of information related to the Regulations are contained in 31 CFR part 501 (the “Reporting, Procedures and Penalties Regulations”). Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), those collections of information have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1505-0164. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a valid control number.

List of Subjects in 31 CFR Part 591

Administrative practice and procedure, Banking, Banks, Blocking of assets, Brokers, Credit, Foreign trade, Investments, Loans, Securities, Services, Venezuela.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control adds part 591 to 31 CFR chapter V to read as follows:

PART 591—VENEZUELA SANCTIONS REGULATIONS Subpart A—Relation of This Part to Other Laws and Regulations Sec. 591.101 Relation of this part to other laws and regulations. Subpart B—Prohibitions 591.201 Prohibited transactions. 591.202 Effect of transfers violating the provisions of this part. 591.203 Holding of funds in interest-bearing accounts; investment and reinvestment. 591.204 Expenses of maintaining blocked property; liquidation of blocked property. Subpart C—General Definitions 591.300 Applicability of definitions. 591.301 Blocked account; blocked property. 591.302 Effective date. 591.303 Entity. 591.304 Financial, material, or technological support. 591.305 Interest. 591.306 Licenses; general and specific. 591.307 OFAC. 591.308 Person. 591.309 Property; property interest. 591.310 Transfer. 591.311 United States. 591.312 United States person; U.S. person. 591.313 U.S. financial institution. Subpart D—Interpretations 591.401 [Reserved] 591.402 Effect of amendment. 591.403 Termination and acquisition of an interest in blocked property. 591.404 Transactions ordinarily incident to a licensed transaction. 591.405 Setoffs prohibited. 591.406 Entities owned by persons whose property and interests in property are blocked. Subpart E—Licenses, Authorizations, and Statements of Licensing Policy 591.501 General and specific licensing procedures. 591.502 [Reserved] 591.503 Exclusion from licenses. 591.504 Payments and transfers to blocked accounts in U.S. financial institutions. 591.505 Entries in certain accounts for normal service charges authorized. 591.506 Provision of certain legal services authorized. 591.507 Payments for legal services from funds originating outside the United States authorized. 591.508 Authorization of emergency medical services. Subparts F-G—[Reserved] Subpart H—Procedures 591.801 [Reserved] 591.802 Delegation by the Secretary of the Treasury. Subpart I—Paperwork Reduction Act 591.901 Paperwork Reduction Act notice. Appendix A to Part 591 Executive Order 13692 of March 8, 2015 Authority:

3 U.S.C. 301; 31 U.S.C. 321(b); 50 U.S.C. 1601-1651, 1701-1706; Pub. L. 101-410, 104 Stat. 890 (28 U.S.C. 2461 note); Pub. L. 110-96, 121 Stat. 1011 (50 U.S.C. 1705 note); Pub. L. 113-278, 128 Stat. 3011 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note); E.O. 13692, 80 FR 12747, March 11, 2015.

Subpart A—Relation of This Part to Other Laws and Regulations
§ 591.101 Relation of this part to other laws and regulations.

This part is separate from, and independent of, the other parts of this chapter, with the exception of part 501 of this chapter, the recordkeeping and reporting requirements and license application and other procedures of which apply to this part. Actions taken pursuant to part 501 of this chapter with respect to the prohibitions contained in this part are considered actions taken pursuant to this part. Differing foreign policy and national security circumstances may result in differing interpretations of similar language among the parts of this chapter. No license or authorization contained in or issued pursuant to those other parts authorizes any transaction prohibited by this part. No license or authorization contained in or issued pursuant to any other provision of law or regulation authorizes any transaction prohibited by this part. No license or authorization contained in or issued pursuant to this part relieves the involved parties from complying with any other applicable laws or regulations.

Note to § 591.101:

This part has been published in abbreviated form for the purpose of providing immediate guidance to the public. OFAC intends to supplement this part with a more comprehensive set of regulations, which may include additional interpretive and definitional guidance and additional general licenses and statements of licensing policy.

Subpart B—Prohibitions
§ 591.201 Prohibited transactions.

All transactions prohibited pursuant to Executive Order 13692 of March 8, 2015, are also prohibited pursuant to this part.

Note 1 to § 591.201:

The names of persons designated pursuant to Executive Order 13692, whose property and interests in property therefore are blocked pursuant to this section, are published in the Federal Register and incorporated into OFAC's Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List) with the identifier “[VENEZUELA].” The SDN List is accessible through the following page on OFAC's Web site: www.treasury.gov/sdn. Additional information pertaining to the SDN List can be found in Appendix A to this chapter. See § 591.406 concerning entities that may not be listed on the SDN List but whose property and interests in property are nevertheless blocked pursuant to this section.

Note 2 to § 591.201:

The International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706), in Section 203 (50 U.S.C. 1702), authorizes the blocking of property and interests in property of a person during the pendency of an investigation. The names of persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pending investigation pursuant to this section also are published in the Federal Register and incorporated into the SDN List with the identifier “[BPI-VENEZUELA]”.

Note 3 to § 591.201:

Sections 501.806 and 501.807 of this chapter describe the procedures to be followed by persons seeking, respectively, the unblocking of funds that they believe were blocked due to mistaken identity, or administrative reconsideration of their status as persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this section.

§ 591.202 Effect of transfers violating the provisions of this part.

(a) Any transfer after the effective date that is in violation of any provision of this part or of any regulation, order, directive, ruling, instruction, or license issued pursuant to this part, and that involves any property or interest in property blocked pursuant to § 591.201, is null and void and shall not be the basis for the assertion or recognition of any interest in or right, remedy, power, or privilege with respect to such property or property interest.

(b) No transfer before the effective date shall be the basis for the assertion or recognition of any right, remedy, power, or privilege with respect to, or any interest in, any property or interest in property blocked pursuant to § 591.201, unless the person who holds or maintains such property, prior to that date, had written notice of the transfer or by any written evidence had recognized such transfer.

(c) Unless otherwise provided, a license or other authorization issued by OFAC before, during, or after a transfer shall validate such transfer or make it enforceable to the same extent that it would be valid or enforceable but for the provisions of this part and any regulation, order, directive, ruling, instruction, or license issued pursuant to this part.

(d) Transfers of property that otherwise would be null and void or unenforceable by virtue of the provisions of this section shall not be deemed to be null and void or unenforceable as to any person with whom such property is or was held or maintained (and as to such person only) in cases in which such person is able to establish to the satisfaction of OFAC each of the following:

(1) Such transfer did not represent a willful violation of the provisions of this part by the person with whom such property is or was held or maintained (and as to such person only);

(2) The person with whom such property is or was held or maintained did not have reasonable cause to know or suspect, in view of all the facts and circumstances known or available to such person, that such transfer required a license or authorization issued pursuant to this part and was not so licensed or authorized, or, if a license or authorization did purport to cover the transfer, that such license or authorization had been obtained by misrepresentation of a third party or withholding of material facts or was otherwise fraudulently obtained; and

(3) The person with whom such property is or was held or maintained filed with OFAC a report setting forth in full the circumstances relating to such transfer promptly upon discovery that:

(i) Such transfer was in violation of the provisions of this part or any regulation, ruling, instruction, license, or other directive or authorization issued pursuant to this part;

(ii) Such transfer was not licensed or authorized by OFAC; or

(iii) If a license did purport to cover the transfer, such license had been obtained by misrepresentation of a third party or withholding of material facts or was otherwise fraudulently obtained.

Note to paragraph (d) of § 591.202:

The filing of a report in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (d)(3) of this section shall not be deemed evidence that the terms of paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section have been satisfied.

(e) Unless licensed pursuant to this part, any attachment, judgment, decree, lien, execution, garnishment, or other judicial process is null and void with respect to any property and interests in property blocked pursuant to § 591.201.

§ 591.203 Holding of funds in interest-bearing accounts; investment and reinvestment.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (e) or (f) of this section, or as otherwise directed by OFAC, any U.S. person holding funds, such as currency, bank deposits, or liquidated financial obligations, subject to § 591.201 shall hold or place such funds in a blocked interest-bearing account located in the United States.

(b)(1) For purposes of this section, the term blocked interest-bearing account means a blocked account:

(i) In a federally-insured U.S. bank, thrift institution, or credit union, provided the funds are earning interest at rates that are commercially reasonable; or

(ii) With a broker or dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.), provided the funds are invested in a money market fund or in U.S. Treasury bills.

(2) Funds held or placed in a blocked account pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section may not be invested in instruments the maturity of which exceeds 180 days.

(c) For purposes of this section, a rate is commercially reasonable if it is the rate currently offered to other depositors on deposits or instruments of comparable size and maturity.

(d) For purposes of this section, if interest is credited to a separate blocked account or subaccount, the name of the account party on each account must be the same.

(e) Blocked funds held in instruments the maturity of which exceeds 180 days at the time the funds become subject to § 591.201 may continue to be held until maturity in the original instrument, provided any interest, earnings, or other proceeds derived therefrom are paid into a blocked interest-bearing account in accordance with paragraphs (a) or (f) of this section.

(f) Blocked funds held in accounts or instruments outside the United States at the time the funds become subject to § 591.201 may continue to be held in the same type of accounts or instruments, provided the funds earn interest at rates that are commercially reasonable.

(g) This section does not create an affirmative obligation for the holder of blocked tangible property, such as chattels or real estate, or of other blocked property, such as debt or equity securities, to sell or liquidate such property. However, OFAC may issue licenses permitting or directing such sales or liquidation in appropriate cases.

(h) Funds subject to this section may not be held, invested, or reinvested in a manner that provides immediate financial or economic benefit or access to any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 591.201, nor may their holder cooperate in or facilitate the pledging or other attempted use as collateral of blocked funds or other assets.

§ 591.204 Expenses of maintaining blocked property; liquidation of blocked property.

(a) Except as otherwise authorized, and notwithstanding the existence of any rights or obligations conferred or imposed by any international agreement or contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date, all expenses incident to the maintenance of physical property blocked pursuant to § 591.201 shall be the responsibility of the owners or operators of such property, which expenses shall not be met from blocked funds.

(b) Property blocked pursuant to § 591.201 may, in the discretion of OFAC, be sold or liquidated and the net proceeds placed in a blocked interest-bearing account in the name of the owner of the property.

Subpart C—General Definitions
§ 591.300 Applicability of definitions.

The definitions in this subpart apply throughout the entire part.

§ 591.301 Blocked account; blocked property.

The terms blocked account and blocked property shall mean any account or property subject to the prohibitions in § 591.201 held in the name of a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 591.201, or in which such person has an interest, and with respect to which payments, transfers, exportations, withdrawals, or other dealings may not be made or effected except pursuant to a license or other authorization from OFAC expressly authorizing such action.

Note to § 591.301:

See § 591.406 concerning the blocked status of property and interests in property of an entity that is 50 percent or more owned by persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 591.201.

§ 591.302 Effective date.

The term effective date refers to the effective date of the applicable prohibitions and directives contained in this part as follows:

(a) With respect to a person listed in the Annex to E.O. 13692 of March 8, 2015, 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, March 9, 2015; and

(b) With respect to a person whose property and interests in property are otherwise blocked pursuant to § 591.201, the earlier of the date of actual or constructive notice that such person's property and interests in property are blocked.

§ 591.303 Entity.

The term entity means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization.

§ 591.304 Financial, material, or technological support.

The term financial, material, or technological support, as used in Executive Order 13692 of March 8, 2015, means any property, tangible or intangible, including but not limited to currency, financial instruments, securities, or any other transmission of value; weapons or related materiel; chemical or biological agents; explosives; false documentation or identification; communications equipment; computers; electronic or other devices or equipment; technologies; lodging; safe houses; facilities; vehicles or other means of transportation; or goods. “Technologies” as used in this definition means specific information necessary for the development, production, or use of a product, including related technical data such as blueprints, plans, diagrams, models, formulae, tables, engineering designs and specifications, manuals, or other recorded instructions.

§ 591.305 Interest.

Except as otherwise provided in this part, the term interest, when used with respect to property (e.g., “an interest in property”), means an interest of any nature whatsoever, direct or indirect.

§ 591.306 Licenses; general and specific.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this part, the term license means any license or authorization contained in or issued pursuant to this part.

(b) The term general license means any license or authorization the terms of which are set forth in subpart E of this part or made available on OFAC's Web site: www.treasury.gov/ofac.

(c) The term specific license means any license or authorization issued pursuant to this part but not set forth in subpart E of this part or made available on OFAC's Web site: www.treasury.gov/ofac.

Note to § 591.306:

See § 501.801 of this chapter on licensing procedures.

§ 591.307 OFAC.

The term OFAC means the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

§ 591.308 Person.

The term person means an individual or entity.

§ 591.309 Property; property interest.

The terms property and property interest include, but are not limited to, money, checks, drafts, bullion, bank deposits, savings accounts, debts, indebtedness, obligations, notes, guarantees, debentures, stocks, bonds, coupons, any other financial instruments, bankers acceptances, mortgages, pledges, liens or other rights in the nature of security, warehouse receipts, bills of lading, trust receipts, bills of sale, any other evidences of title, ownership or indebtedness, letters of credit and any documents relating to any rights or obligations thereunder, powers of attorney, goods, wares, merchandise, chattels, stocks on hand, ships, goods on ships, real estate mortgages, deeds of trust, vendors' sales agreements, land contracts, leaseholds, ground rents, real estate and any other interest therein, options, negotiable instruments, trade acceptances, royalties, book accounts, accounts payable, judgments, patents, trademarks or copyrights, insurance policies, safe deposit boxes and their contents, annuities, pooling agreements, services of any nature whatsoever, contracts of any nature whatsoever, and any other property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible, or interest or interests therein, present, future, or contingent.

§ 591.310 Transfer.

The term transfer means any actual or purported act or transaction, whether or not evidenced by writing, and whether or not done or performed within the United States, the purpose, intent, or effect of which is to create, surrender, release, convey, transfer, or alter, directly or indirectly, any right, remedy, power, privilege, or interest with respect to any property. Without limitation on the foregoing, it shall include the making, execution, or delivery of any assignment, power, conveyance, check, declaration, deed, deed of trust, power of attorney, power of appointment, bill of sale, mortgage, receipt, agreement, contract, certificate, gift, sale, affidavit, or statement; the making of any payment; the setting off of any obligation or credit; the appointment of any agent, trustee, or fiduciary; the creation or transfer of any lien; the issuance, docketing, or filing of, or levy of or under, any judgment, decree, attachment, injunction, execution, or other judicial or administrative process or order, or the service of any garnishment; the acquisition of any interest of any nature whatsoever by reason of a judgment or decree of any foreign country; the fulfillment of any condition; the exercise of any power of appointment, power of attorney, or other power; or the acquisition, disposition, transportation, importation, exportation, or withdrawal of any security.

§ 591.311 United States.

The term United States means the United States, its territories and possessions, and all areas under the jurisdiction or authority thereof.

§ 591.312 United States person; U.S. person.

The term United States person or U.S. person means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.

§ 591.313 U.S. financial institution.

The term U.S. financial institution means any U.S. entity (including its foreign branches) that is engaged in the business of accepting deposits, making, granting, transferring, holding, or brokering loans or credits, or purchasing or selling foreign exchange, securities, or commodity futures or options, or procuring purchasers and sellers thereof, as principal or agent. It includes depository institutions, banks, savings banks, trust companies, securities brokers and dealers, commodity futures and options brokers and dealers, forward contract and foreign exchange merchants, securities and commodities exchanges, clearing corporations, investment companies, employee benefit plans, and U.S. holding companies, U.S. affiliates, or U.S. subsidiaries of any of the foregoing. This term includes those branches, offices, and agencies of foreign financial institutions that are located in the United States, but not such institutions' foreign branches, offices, or agencies.

Subpart D—Interpretations
§ 591.401 [Reserved]
§ 591.402 Effect of amendment.

Unless otherwise specifically provided, any amendment, modification, or revocation of any provision in or appendix to this part or chapter or of any order, regulation, ruling, instruction, or license issued by OFAC does not affect any act done or omitted, or any civil or criminal proceeding commenced or pending, prior to such amendment, modification, or revocation. All penalties, forfeitures, and liabilities under any such order, regulation, ruling, instruction, or license continue and may be enforced as if such amendment, modification, or revocation had not been made.

§ 591.403 Termination and acquisition of an interest in blocked property.

(a) Whenever a transaction licensed or authorized by or pursuant to this part results in the transfer of property (including any property interest) away from a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 591.201, such property shall no longer be deemed to be property blocked pursuant to § 591.201, unless there exists in the property another interest that is blocked pursuant to § 591.201, the transfer of which has not been effected pursuant to license or other authorization.

(b) Unless otherwise specifically provided in a license or other authorization issued pursuant to this part, if property (including any property interest) is transferred or attempted to be transferred to a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 591.201, such property shall be deemed to be property in which such a person has an interest and therefore blocked.

§ 591.404 Transactions ordinarily incident to a licensed transaction.

Any transaction ordinarily incident to a licensed transaction and necessary to give effect thereto is also authorized, except:

(a) An ordinarily incident transaction, not explicitly authorized within the terms of the license, by or with a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 591.201; or

(b) An ordinarily incident transaction, not explicitly authorized within the terms of the license, involving a debit to a blocked account or a transfer of blocked property.

§ 591.405 Setoffs prohibited.

A setoff against blocked property (including a blocked account), whether by a U.S. bank or other U.S. person, is a prohibited transfer under § 591.201 if effected after the effective date.

§ 591.406 Entities owned by persons whose property and interests in property are blocked.

Persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 591.201 have an interest in all property and interests in property of an entity in which such blocked persons own, whether individually or in the aggregate, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest. The property and interests in property of such an entity, therefore, are blocked, and such an entity is a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 591.201, regardless of whether the name of the entity is incorporated into OFAC's Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List).

Subpart E—Licenses, Authorizations, and Statements of Licensing Policy
§ 591.501 General and specific licensing procedures.

For provisions relating to licensing procedures, see part 501, subpart E of this chapter. Licensing actions taken pursuant to part 501 of this chapter with respect to the prohibitions contained in this part are considered actions taken pursuant to this part. General licenses and statements of licensing policy relating to this part also may be available through the Venezuela sanctions page on OFAC's Web site: www.treasury.gov/ofac.

§ 591.502 [Reserved]
§ 591.503 Exclusion from licenses.

OFAC reserves the right to exclude any person, property, transaction, or class thereof from the operation of any license or from the privileges conferred by any license. OFAC also reserves the right to restrict the applicability of any license to particular persons, property, transactions, or classes thereof. Such actions are binding upon actual or constructive notice of the exclusions or restrictions.

§ 591.504 Payments and transfers to blocked accounts in U.S. financial institutions.

Any payment of funds or transfer of credit in which a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 591.201 has any interest that comes within the possession or control of a U.S. financial institution must be blocked in an account on the books of that financial institution. A transfer of funds or credit by a U.S. financial institution between blocked accounts in its branches or offices is authorized, provided that no transfer is made from an account within the United States to an account held outside the United States, and further provided that a transfer from a blocked account may be made only to another blocked account held in the same name.

Note to § 591.504:

See § 501.603 of this chapter for mandatory reporting requirements regarding financial transfers. See also § 591.203 concerning the obligation to hold blocked funds in interest-bearing accounts.

§ 591.505 Entries in certain accounts for normal service charges authorized.

(a) A U.S. financial institution is authorized to debit any blocked account held at that financial institution in payment or reimbursement for normal service charges owed it by the owner of that blocked account.

(b) As used in this section, the term normal service charges shall include charges in payment or reimbursement for interest due; cable, telegraph, Internet, or telephone charges; postage costs; custody fees; small adjustment charges to correct bookkeeping errors; and, but not by way of limitation, minimum balance charges, notary and protest fees, and charges for reference books, photocopies, credit reports, transcripts of statements, registered mail, insurance, stationery and supplies, and other similar items.

§ 591.506 Provision of certain legal services authorized.

(a) The provision of the following legal services to or on behalf of persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 591.201 or any further Executive orders relating to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13692 of March 8, 2015, is authorized, provided that receipt of payment of professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses must be specifically licensed or otherwise authorized pursuant to § 591.507:

(1) Provision of legal advice and counseling on the requirements of and compliance with the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States, provided that such advice and counseling are not provided to facilitate transactions in violation of this part;

(2) Representation of persons named as defendants in or otherwise made parties to legal, arbitration, or administrative proceedings before any U.S. federal, state, or local court or agency;

(3) Initiation and conduct of legal, arbitration, or administrative proceedings before any U.S. federal, state, or local court or agency;

(4) Representation of persons before any U.S. federal, state, or local court or agency with respect to the imposition, administration, or enforcement of U.S. sanctions against such persons; and

(5) Provision of legal services in any other context in which prevailing U.S. law requires access to legal counsel at public expense.

(b) The provision of any other legal services to persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 591.201 or any further Executive orders relating to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13692 of March 8, 2015, not otherwise authorized in this part, requires the issuance of a specific license.

(c) Entry into a settlement agreement or the enforcement of any lien, judgment, arbitral award, decree, or other order through execution, garnishment, or other judicial process purporting to transfer or otherwise alter or affect property or interests in property blocked pursuant to § 591.201 or any further Executive orders relating to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13692 of March 8, 2015, is prohibited unless licensed pursuant to this part.

Note to § 591.506:

U.S. persons seeking administrative reconsideration or judicial review of their designation or the blocking of their property and interests in property may apply for a specific license from OFAC to authorize the release of a limited amount of blocked funds for the payment of legal fees where alternative funding sources are not available. For more information, see OFAC's Guidance on the Release of Limited Amounts of Blocked Funds for Payment of Legal Fees and Costs Incurred in Challenging the Blocking of U.S. Persons in Administrative or Civil Proceedings, which is available on OFAC's Web site: www.treasury.gov/ofac.

§ 591.507 Payments for legal services from funds originating outside the United States authorized.

(a) Receipts of payment of professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses for the provision of legal services authorized pursuant to § 591.506(a) to or on behalf of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 591.201 or any further Executive orders relating to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13692 of March 8, 2015, are authorized from funds originating outside the United States, provided that the funds received by U.S. persons as payment of professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses for the provision of legal services authorized pursuant to § 591.506(a) do not originate from:

(1) A source within the United States;

(2) Any source, wherever located, within the possession or control of a U.S. person; or

(3) Any individual or entity, other than the person on whose behalf the legal services authorized pursuant to § 591.506(a) are to be provided, whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to any part of this chapter or any Executive order.

Note to paragraph (a) of § 591.507:

This paragraph authorizes the blocked person on whose behalf the legal services authorized pursuant to § 591.506(a) are to be provided to make payments for authorized legal services using funds originating outside the United States that were not previously blocked. Nothing in this paragraph authorizes payments for legal services using funds in which any other person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 591.201 or any further Executive orders relating to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13692 of March 8, 2015, any other part of this chapter, or any Executive order has an interest.

(b) Reports. (1) U.S. persons who receive payments in connection with legal services authorized pursuant to § 591.506(a) must submit annual reports no later than 30 days following the end of the calendar year during which the payments were received providing information on the funds received. Such reports shall specify:

(i) The individual or entity from whom the funds originated and the amount of funds received; and

(ii) If applicable:

(A) The names of any individuals or entities providing related services to the U.S. person receiving payment in connection with authorized legal services, such as private investigators or expert witnesses;

(B) A general description of the services provided; and

(C) The amount of funds paid in connection with such services.

(2) The reports, which must reference this section, are to be mailed to: Licensing Division, Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Department of the Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Annex, Washington, DC 20220.

Note to § 591.507:

U.S. persons who receive payments in connection with legal services authorized pursuant to § 591.506(a) do not need to obtain specific authorization to contract for related services that are ordinarily incident to the provision of those legal services, such as those provided by private investigators or expert witnesses, or to pay for such services. Additionally, U.S. persons do not need to obtain specific authorization to provide related services that are ordinarily incident to the provision of legal services authorized pursuant to § 591.506(a).

§ 591.508 Authorization of emergency medical services.

The provision of nonscheduled emergency medical services in the United States to persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 591.201 or any further Executive orders relating to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13692 of March 8, 2015, is authorized, provided that all receipt of payment for such services must be specifically licensed.

Subparts F-G—[Reserved] Subpart H—Procedures
§ 591.801 [Reserved]
§ 591.802 Delegation by the Secretary of the Treasury.

Any action that the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to take pursuant to Executive Order 13692 of March 8, 2015, and any further Executive orders relating to the national emergency declared therein, may be taken by the Director of OFAC or by any other person to whom the Secretary of the Treasury has delegated authority so to act.

Subpart I—Paperwork Reduction Act
§ 591.901 Paperwork Reduction Act notice.

For approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507) of information collections relating to recordkeeping and reporting requirements, licensing procedures (including those pursuant to statements of licensing policy), and other procedures, see § 501.901 of this chapter. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by OMB.

APPENDIX A TO PART 591—Executive Order 13692 Executive Order 13692 of March 8, 2015 Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-278) (the “Venezuela Defense of Human Rights Act”) (the “Act”), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)) (INA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,

I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that the situation in Venezuela, including the Government of Venezuela's erosion of human rights guarantees, persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations and abuses in response to antigovernment protests, and arbitrary arrest and detention of antigovernment protestors, as well as the exacerbating presence of significant public corruption, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat. I hereby order:

Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:

(i) the persons listed in the Annex to this order; and

(ii) any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:

(A) to be responsible for or complicit in, or responsible for ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, or to have participated in, directly or indirectly, any of the following in or in relation to Venezuela:

(1) actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions;

(2) significant acts of violence or conduct that constitutes a serious abuse or violation of human rights, including against persons involved in antigovernment protests in Venezuela in or since February 2014;

(3) actions that prohibit, limit, or penalize the exercise of freedom of expression or peaceful assembly; or

(4) public corruption by senior officials within the Government of Venezuela;

(B) to be a current or former leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in any activity described in subsection (a)(ii)(A) of this section or of an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order;

(C) to be a current or former official of the Government of Venezuela;

(D) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of:

(1) a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or

(2) an activity described in subsection (a)(ii)(A) of this section; or

(E) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of this order.

Sec. 2. I hereby find that the unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens determined to meet one or more of the criteria in subsection 1(a) of this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of such persons, except where the Secretary of State determines that the person's entry is in the national interest of the United States. This section shall not apply to an alien if admitting the alien into the United States is necessary to permit the United States to comply with the Agreement Regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, or other applicable international obligations.

Sec. 3. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to section 1 of this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in this order, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.

Sec. 4. The prohibitions in section 1 of this order include but are not limited to:

(a) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and

(b) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

Sec. 5. (a) Any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

Sec. 6. For the purposes of this order:

(a) the term “person” means an individual or entity;

(b) the term “entity” means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;

(c) the term “United States person” means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States;

(d) the term “Government of Venezuela” means the Government of Venezuela, any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including the Central Bank of Venezuela, and any person owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, the Government of Venezuela.

Sec. 7. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order.

Sec. 8. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA and section 5 of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights Act, other than the authorities contained in sections 5(b)(1)(B) and 5(c) of that Act, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order, with the exception of section 2 of this order, and the relevant provisions of section 5 of that Act. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.

Sec. 9. The Secretary of State is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA, the INA, and section 5 of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights Act, including the authorities set forth in sections 5(b)(1)(B), 5(c), and 5(d) of that Act, as may be necessary to carry out section 2 of this order and the relevant provisions of section 5 of that Act. The Secretary of State may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law.

Sec. 10. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to determine that circumstances no longer warrant the blocking of the property and interests in property of a person listed in the Annex to this order, and to take necessary action to give effect to that determination.

Sec. 11. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to submit the recurring and final reports to the Congress on the national emergency declared in this order, consistent with section 401(c) of the NEA (50 U.S.C. 1641(c)) and section 204(c) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1703(c)).

Sec. 12. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 13. This order is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on March 9, 2015.

Barack Obama THE WHITE HOUSE, March 8, 2015 Annex 1. Antonio José Benavides Torres [Commander of the Central Integral Strategic Defense Region of the National Armed Forces, former Director of Operations for the National Guard; born June 13, 1961] 2. Gustavo Enrique González López [Director General of the National Intelligence Service and President of the Strategic Center of Security and Protection of the Homeland; born November 2, 1960] 3. Justo José Noguera Pietri [President of the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana, former General Commander of the National Guard; born March 15, 1961] 4. Katherine Nayarith Haringhton Padron [National Level Prosecutor of the 20th District Office of the Public Ministry; born December 5, 1971] 5. Manuel Eduardo Pérez Urdaneta [Director of the National Police; born May 26, 1962] 6. Manuel Gregorio Bernal Martínez [Chief of the 31st Armored Brigade of Caracas, former Director General of the National Intelligence Service; born July 12, 1965] 7. Miguel Alcides Vivas Landino [Inspector General of the National Armed Forces, former Commander of the Andes Integral Strategic Defense Region of the National Armed Forces; born July 8, 1961]
Dated: July 2, 2015. John E. Smith, Acting Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Approved:

Dated: July 2, 2015. Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under Secretary, Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Department of the Treasury.
[FR Doc. 2015-16782 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2014-0952] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Victoria Barge Canal, Bloomington, TX AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Interim rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is modifying the method of operation for the Victoria Barge Canal Railroad Bridge across the Victoria Barge Canal, mile 29.4, at Bloomington, Victoria County, Texas. The bridge owner, the Victoria County Navigation District, in conjunction with the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR), the operator of the bridge, is operating the bridge remotely under a temporary deviation. This interim rule codifies the change in method of operation while allowing for comments regarding the remote operations. This interim rule increases the efficiency of operations allowing for the safe navigation of vessels through the bridge while recognizing the bridge's importance to the Port of Victoria that it serves.

DATES:

This interim rule is effective July 10, 2015.

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before September 8, 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 methods.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Ms. Geri Robinson; Bridge Administration Branch, Eighth Coast Guard District; telephone 504-671-2128, 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 CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security USCG United States Coast Guard NEPA National Environmental Policy Act NPRM Notice of Proposed Rule Making § Section Symbol U.S.C. United States Code JOC Joint Outfall Canal 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 (USCG-2014-0952), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online, or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. If you submit a comment online via http://www.regulations.gov, 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 phone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission.

To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number (USCG-2014-0952) in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Then click on “Submit a Comment” on the line associated with this rulemaking.

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

2. Viewing Comments and Documents

To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number (USCG-2014-0952) 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 to the docket using one of the four methods specified under ADDRESSES. Please explain why one 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

On December 30, 2014, we published a temporary deviation from regulations; request for comments (TD) entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Victoria Barge Canal, Bloomington, Texas” in the Federal Register (79 FR 78304). We received no comments on the temporary deviation. No public meeting was requested, and none was held.

The Coast Guard is issuing this interim final rule without prior notice pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C.) 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a NPRM with respect to this rule because doing so would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This bridge has been operating on a modified schedule under a temporary deviation, and given that we have received no comments, we believe that the schedule has been working. Reverting to the old schedule in order to accept comment would present logistical difficulties for the operator and users.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective in less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Under the Temporary Deviation published on December 30, 2014, this bridge has been remotely operated, and mariners will benefit from there not being any changes to the ongoing method of operation of the bridge that has been in place for the past six months.

C. Basis and Purpose

The Coast Guard received a request from the bridge owner, the Victoria County Navigation District, in conjunction with the bridge operator, the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) to remotely operate the vertical lift span bridge across the Victoria Barge Canal, at Mile 29.4 near Bloomington, Texas. The bridge owner and operator requested to operate the bridge remotely from its dispatching center in Spring, Texas and remove the requirement that a bridge tender be present on site at all times. A temporary deviation was issued permitting these practices. Under the procedures now in use, the bridge will continue to open on signal for the passage of vessels.

This final rule will allow the bridge operator to increase efficiency of bridge operations and vessel transit by remotely operating the bridge. This method provides for the opening signal to be received by the railroad dispatcher and allows the dispatcher to open the bridge from a remote location. Vessel traffic on the waterway will be monitored by the railroad dispatcher by use of an Automatic Identification System (AIS). The AIS System allows the Port of Victoria and the UPRR dispatcher to determine where vessels are located along the waterway in the vicinity of the bridge. We also note that the Victoria County Navigation District has a carriage requirement that all vessels desiring to transit the Victoria Barge Canal to the Port of Victoria be equipped with an operating AIS transponder.

The Victoria Barge Canal Railroad Bridge is a vertical lift span bridge across the Victoria Barge Canal, at Mile 29.4 near Bloomington, Texas. The vertical lift bridge has a vertical clearance of 22 feet above high water in the closed-to-navigation position and 50 feet above high water in the open-to-navigation position. Traffic on this waterway is primarily commercial and consists of vessels and tows that provide services to the Port of Victoria.

D. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Interim Rule

No comments were received during the comment period of the temporary deviation. However, a contractor raised an issue regarding the requirements of dispatchers to contact the vessels when a vessel entered the two-mile bridge zone. In response to this concern, the Coast Guard decided that further comments would be accepted under an Interim Rule.

The bridge owner, the Victoria County Navigation District, in conjunction with the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR), the operator of the bridge, requested permission to remotely operate the bridge. A test deviation was performed to test the proposed remote operating system as the method for opening the bridge under the existing operating schedule and to determine whether a permanent change to remote operations should be approved.

Prior to the granting of the temporary deviation, the bridge opened on signal for the passage of vessels in accordance with 33 CFR 117.5. When a request signal to open the bridge is received and before opening the bridge for vessel traffic, the tender was required by his company to contact the railroad dispatcher so that railroad traffic could be stopped. Under the existing deviation, the bridge continues to open on signal for the passage of vessels, but the method of opening the bridge is accomplished through remote operation by the railroad dispatcher.

The bridge operator, UPRR, determined that by remotely operating the bridge, vessel transit through the bridge is more efficient. This remote method of operation provides for the signal to open to be received directly by the railroad dispatcher and will allow the railroad dispatcher to then open the bridge from the remote location.

The Interim Rule allows for mariners to continue their transit while the bridge is remotely operated and to comment as to whether the proposed method of operation is sufficient to insure the safety of vessels transiting the area.

This interim rule allows the bridge to be unmanned and operated remotely at all times. To facilitate the continued smooth operation of the bridge, mariners should exchange opening requests using the following method:

1. When a vessel with AIS equipment onboard approaches the two-mile post, the dispatcher will receive a prompt to open the bridge, if required, because a vessel is approaching. The vessel may continue to transit the waterway, but must tune their radiotelephone to VHF-FM channel 13 and receive passing instructions from the railroad dispatcher. The dispatcher must contact the vessel promptly to provide passing instructions to ensure the continued safe transit of the vessel. Operators of vessels without AIS equipment or operators of vessels with AIS who prefer to contact the railroad dispatcher via telephone may call the railroad dispatcher at 800-262-4691 to receive instructions and arrange passing.

2. When any vessel approaches the one mile post, the railroad dispatcher should have either cleared the vessel through the bridge or given an indication that a train is in the block and the vessel will be cleared as soon as practicable. If the vessel operator has not yet communicated with the railroad dispatcher, the vessel operator should immediately call the railroad dispatcher via telephone at 800-262-4691.

3. If any vessel reaches the one-half mile post and has not communicated with the railroad dispatcher nor been cleared to proceed, the vessel should stop and contact either the railroad dispatcher at 800-262-4691 or the Port of Victoria emergency contact at 361-570-8855.

Traffic on this waterway is primarily commercial and consists of vessels and tows that provide services to the Port of Victoria.

E. Regulatory Analyses

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

1. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

This rule allows all vessels utilizing this stretch of the waterway to continue to transit the waterway unencumbered while provide for the bridge owner to operate the bridge from a remote location. Vessel operators should not see any changes in the efficiency of vessel movements as the bridge will still be required to open on signal for the passage of vessels.

2. Impact on Small Entities

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

This rule will affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: the property owners, vessel operators and waterway users who wish to transit on Victoria Barge Canal daily. This rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: a test deviation was conducted and no opposition in response to the test was received by the Coast Guard Office of Bridge Administration. Further, through pre-coordination and consultation with property owners, vessel operators and waterway users, this operating schedule will accommodate all waterway users with minimal impact to their transits on the waterway.

3. Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above.

Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

4. Collection of Information

This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

5. Federalism

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

6. Protest Activities

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

7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

8. Taking of Private Property

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

9. Civil Justice Reform

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

10. Protection of Children

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

11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

12. Energy Effects

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

13. Technical Standards

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

14. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. This rule is categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction.

Under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction, an environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination are not required for this rule.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

Bridges.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

2. Add § 117.991 to read as follows:
§ 117.991 Victoria Barge Canal

The draw of the Victoria Barge Canal Railroad Bridge across Victoria Barge Canal, mile 29.4, at the Bloomington, Victoria County, Texas, shall operate as follows:

(a) The draw shall be unmanned and when a vessel with AIS equipment onboard approaches the two-mile post, the dispatcher will receive a prompt to open the bridge, if required, because a vessel is approaching. The vessel may continue to transit the waterway, but must tune their radiotelephone to VHF-FM channel 13 and receive passing instructions from the railroad dispatcher. The dispatcher must contact the vessel promptly to provide passing instruction to insure the continued safe transit of the vessel. Vessels without AIS equipment or vessels with AIS who would prefer to call via telephone, may call the railroad dispatcher at 800-262-4691 to arrange passing instructions.

(b) When any vessel approaches the one-mile post, the railroad dispatcher should have either cleared the vessel through the bridge or given an indication that a train is in the block and the vessel will be cleared as soon as practicable. If the vessel has not yet spoken with the railroad dispatcher, the vessel should immediately call the railroad dispatcher via telephone at 800-262-4691.

(c) If any vessel reaches the one-half mile post and has not communicated with the railroad dispatcher nor been cleared to proceed, the vessel should stop and contact either the railroad dispatcher at 800-262-4691 or the Port of Victoria emergency contact at 361-570-8855.

Dated: June 17, 2015. David R. Callahan, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2015-16984 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2014-0300] Safety Zones; Annual Fireworks Displays Within the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port Zone AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of enforcement of regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard will enforce the Annual Fireworks Display Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Columbia River Zone. Each safety zone will be enforced 1 hour before and 1 hour after each scheduled fireworks display described in that rule. The Coast Guard will not enforce zones which are intended for fireworks displays that are not planned to occur this year. This action is necessary to protect watercraft and their occupants from the inherent safety hazards associated with fireworks displays. During the enforcement period, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the safety zone without permission from the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port.

DATES:

The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1315 will be enforced 1 hour before and 1 hour each event listed in the table in 33 CFR 165.1315(a).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this notice of enforcement, call or email Mr. Ken Lawrenson, Waterways Management Division, MSU Portland, Coast Guard; telephone 503-240-9319, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone regulations for the Annual Fireworks displays within the Captain of the Port Columbia River Zone in the locations and during the dates and times listed in the table below, reproduced from 33 CFR 165.1315(a):

Event name
  • (typically)
  • Event location Date of event Approximate
  • latitude
  • Approximate
  • longitude
  • Tri-City Chamber of Commerce Fireworks Display, Columbia Park Kennewick, WA July 4th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 46°13′37″ N. 119°08′47″ W. Astoria-Warrenton 4th of July Fireworks Astoria, OR July 4th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 46°11′44″ N. 123°48′25″ W. Waterfront Blues Festival Fireworks Portland, OR July 4th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 45°30′42″ N. 122°40′14″ W. Oregon Symphony Concert Fireworks Display Portland, OR September 3rd 2015, 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. 45°30′42″ N. 122°40′14″ W. Florence Independence Day Celebration Florence, OR July 4th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 43°58′09″ N. 124°05′50″ W. Oaks Park Association Portland, OR July 4th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 45°28′22″ N. 122°39′59″ W. City of Rainier/Rainier Days Rainier, OR July 11th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 46°05′46″ N. 122°56′18″ W. Ilwaco July 4th Committee Fireworks/Independence Day at the Port Ilwaco, OR July 3rd 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 46°18′17″ N. 124°02'00″ W. Splash Aberdeen Waterfront Festival Aberdeen, WA July 4th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 46°58′40″ N. 123°47′45″ W. City of Coos Bay July 4th Celebration/Fireworks Over the Bay Coos Bay, OR July 4th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 43°22′06″ N. 124°12′'24″ W. Arlington 4th of July Arlington, OR July 4th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 45°43′23″ N. 120°12′11 W. Port of Cascade Locks 4th of July Fireworks Display Cascade Locks, OR July 4th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 45°40′15″ N. 121°53′43″ W. Astoria Regatta Astoria, OR August 8th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 46°11′43″ N. 123°489′25″ W. Washougal 4th of July Washougal, WA July 4th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 45°34′32″ N. 122°22′53″ W. City of St. Helens 4th of July Fireworks Display St. Helens, OR July 4th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 45°51′54″ N. 122°47′26″ W. Waverly Country Club 4th of July Fireworks Display Milwaukie, OR July 4th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 45°27′03″ N. 122°39′18″ W. Hood River 4th of July Hood River, OR July 4th 2015, 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. 45°42′58″ N. 121°30′32″ W. Winchester Bay 4th of July Fireworks Display Winchester Bay, OR July 4th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 43°40′56″ N. 124°11′13″ W. Brookings, OR July 4th Fireworks Brookings, OR July 4th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. 42°02′39″ N. 124°16′14″ W. Yachats 4th of July Yachats, OR July 4th, 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 44°18′38″ N. 124°06′27″ W. Lincoln City 4th of July Lincoln City, OR July 4th, 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 44°55′28″ N. 124°01′31″ W. July 4th Party at the Port of Gold Beach Gold Beach, OR July 4th, 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 42°25′30″ N. 124°25′03″ W. Gardiner 4th of July Gardiner, OR July 4th, 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 43°43′55″ N. 124°06′48″ W. Huntington 4th of July Huntington, OR July 4th, 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 44°18′02″ N. 117°13′33″ W. Toledo Summer Festival Toledo, OR July 25th, 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 44°37′08″ N. 123°56′24″ W. Port Orford 4th of July Port Orford, OR July 4th, 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 42°44′31″ N. 124°29′30″ W. The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce Fourth of July The Dalles, OR July 4th, 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 45°36′18″ N. 121°10′23″ W. Roseburg Hometown 4th of July Roseburg, OR July 4th, 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 43°12′58″ N. 123°22′10″ W. Newport 4th of July Newport, OR July 4th, 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 44°37′40″ N. 124°02′45″ W. The Mill Casino Independence Day North Bend, OR July 3rd 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 43°23′42″ N. 124°12′55″ W. Waldport 4th of July Waldport, OR July 3rd, 2015, 10:00 p.m. to July 4th, 2015 1:00 a.m. 44°25′31″ N. 124°04′44″ W. Westport 4th of July Westport, WA July 4th 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 46°54′17″ N. 124°05′59″ W. The 4th of July at Pekin Ferry Ridgefield, WA June 27, 2015, 10:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. 45°52′07″ N. 122°43′53″ W. Leukemia and Lymphoma Light the Night Fireworks Display Portland, OR October 24th, 2015, 7:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. 45°31′14″ N. 122°40′06″ W.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.1315 and 33 CFR part 165, subpart C, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the safety zones without permission of the Captain of the Port Columbia River or his designated representative. See 33 CFR 165.1315 and 33 CFR part 165, subpart C for additional information and prohibitions. Persons or vessels wishing to enter the safety zones may request permission to do so from the Captain of the Port Columbia River or his designated representative via VHF Channel 16 or 13. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.1315 and 5 U.S.C. 552 (a). In addition to this notice in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with notification of this enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners. If the COTP determines that a regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice of enforcement, he may use a Broadcast Notice to Mariners to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. D.J. Travers, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Sector Columbia River.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16972 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2012-1036] Safety Zones; Recurring Marine Events in Captain of the Port Long Island Sound Zone AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce two safety zones for fireworks displays in the Sector Long Island Sound area of responsibility on the dates and times listed in the table below. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during the events. During the enforcement periods, no person or vessel may enter the safety zones without permission of the Captain of the Port (COTP) Sector Long Island Sound or designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.151 will be enforced during the dates and times as listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice of enforcement, call or email Petty Officer Ian Fallon, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound; telephone 203-468-4565, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zones listed in 33 CFR 165.151 on the specified dates and times as indicated in the following Table.

    Table 1 To § 165.151 7.8 Westport Police Athletic League Fireworks • Date: July 3, 2015.
  • • Rain Date: July 6, 2015.
  • • Time: 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters off Compo Beach, Westport, CT in approximate position, 41°06′15″ N, 073°20′57″ W (NAD 83). 7.29 Mashantucket Pequot Fireworks • Date: July 11, 2015.
  • • Rain Date: July 12, 2015.
  • • Time: 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: Waters of the Thames River New London, CT in approximate positions
  • Barge 1, 41°21′03.03″ N, 072°5′24.5″ W
  • Barge 2, 41°20′51.75″ N, 072°5′18.90″ W (NAD 83).
  • Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.151, the fireworks displays listed above are established as safety zones. During the enforcement periods, persons and vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, mooring, or anchoring within the safety zones unless they receive permission from the COTP or designated representative.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR part 165 and 5 U.S.C. 552 (a). In addition to this notice in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification of this enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners or marine information broadcasts. If the COTP determines that the safety zones need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice of enforcement, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: June 24, 2015. H.L. Morrison, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port Sector Long Island Sound.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16985 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0267] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone—Oil Exploration Staging Area in Goodhope Bay; Kotzebue Sound, AK AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing temporary safety zones in the Port of Goodhope Bay, Alaska, and adjacent U.S. territorial sea on July 1 and October 15, 2015. The temporary safety zones will encompass the navigable waters within a 25-yard radius of moored or anchored offshore exploration or support vessels, and the navigable waters within a 100-yard radius of underway offshore exploration or support vessels. The purpose of the safety zones are to protect persons and vessels during an unusually high volume of vessel traffic in the Port of Goodhope Bay and the adjacent territorial sea due to additional vessel traffic associated with exploratory drilling operations in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas during the summer of 2015.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective without actual notice from July 10, 2015 until October 15, 2015. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from July 1, 2015, until July 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket [USCG-2015-0267]. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary rule, call or email LT Eugene Chung, Sector Anchorage Prevention, Coast Guard; telephone 907-428-4189, Email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking TFR Temporary Final Rule A. Regulatory History and Information

    On May 1, 2015, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Safety Zones: Oil Exploration Staging Area in Goodhope Bay, Kotzebue Sound, AK in the Federal Register. We received one letter commenting on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested, and none was held.

    B. Basis and Purpose

    Based on information provided by private entities affiliated with oil exploration activities, the Coast Guard anticipates approximately eleven vessels associated with exploratory drilling operations will call upon the Port of Goodhope Bay, Alaska, en route to proposed drilling sites in the Chukchi and Beaufort. The addition of these vessels in conjunction with the high volume of traffic operating within the Port of Goodhope Bay creates a safety risk for all vessels operating therein. Such risks include reduced ability to navigate safely within the congested waterways of the port during the subject time period.

    The vessels and equipment anticipated to be staged within these areas, due to their size and technical complexity, pose a safety risk to vessels that attempt to navigate too closely to them. Limited rescue capabilities are available in the area. In evaluating whether a safety zone would be appropriate, the Coast Guard explored relevant safety factors and considered several criteria, including, but not limited to: (1) The amount of commercial activity in and around the Port of Goodhope Bay; (2) safety concerns for personnel aboard the vessels; (3) sensitivity of the environment in the region and potential adverse affects caused by a grounding, allision, or collision; (4) the types and volume of vessels navigating in the vicinity of the Port of Goodhope Bay; and (5) the need to allow for lawful demonstrations without endangering the safe operations of support vessels. Vessels transiting in the vicinity of the proposed safety zones could consist of large commercial shipping vessels, fishing vessels, tugs and tows, and recreational vessels. Any group or individual intending to conduct lawful demonstrations in the vicinity of offshore exploration support vessels must do so outside of the temporary safety zones. Results from a thorough and comprehensive examination of the five criteria identified above, in conjunction with International Maritime Organization guidelines and existing regulations, warrant establishment of safety zones to ensure safe and efficient vessel transits within the Port of Goodhope Bay and the adjacent territorial sea. These safety zones will facilitate safe navigation and protect vessels from hazards caused by increased volume of vessel traffic, including hazards that may be intentionally created, in the Port of Goodhope Bay.

    C. Discussion of Comments and the Final Rule

    For the reasons described above, the Coast Guard is finalizing a temporary safety zone due to safety concerns for personnel aboard the support vessels, mariners operating other vessels in the vicinity of Goodhope Bay, and to protect the environment. The regulation will significantly reduce the threat of collisions, allisions, or other incidents which could endanger the safety of all vessels operating on the navigable waters of the Port of Goodhope Bay and the adjacent territorial sea. The Coast Guard is establishing temporary safety zones that will prohibit entry into the zones unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port, Western Alaska, or his designated on-scene representative.

    The temporary safety zones will encompass the waters within 25 yards of the support vessel if the support vessel is moored or at anchor, and 100 yards if the support vessel is in transit. They are in effect from July 1 through October 15, in order to encompass the expected period of operations.

    D. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this temporary final 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 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 safety zone will have negligible economic impact, as there will be ample room for navigation around it.

    2. Impact on Small Entities

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action due to the minimal impact this will have on standard vessel operations within the Port of Goodhope Bay because of the limited area affected and the limited duration of the rule. The safety zones are also designed to allow vessels transiting through the area to safely travel around the safety zones without incurring additional costs.

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

    This rule could affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: the owners or operators of vessels intending to transit through or anchor in within a portion of the Port of Dutch Harbor or adjacent waters, from June 15, 2015 to July 15, 2015.

    This safety zone would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: These safety zone restrictions are only effective from July 1, 2015 to October 15, 2015, and are limited only to waters within 25 yards of the support vessel if the support vessel is moored or at anchor, and 100 yards if the support vessel is in transit. The Coast Guard will publish a local notice to mariners (LNM) and will issue broadcast notice to mariners (BNM) alerts via marine channel 16 VHF before the safety zone is enforced.

    3. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), in the NPRM we offered to assist small entities in understanding the rule so that they could better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process.

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    4. Collection of Information

    This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.).

    5. Federalism

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

    6. Protest Activities

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

    7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    8. Taking of Private Property

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

    9. Civil Justice Reform

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

    10. Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks

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

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

    12. Energy Effects

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

    13. Technical Standards

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

    14. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a 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. Specifically, the rule involves establishing a safety zone, which is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this temporary final rule. An environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination are available in the NPRM docket where indicated under Supporting Documents.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T17-0267 to read as follows:
    § 165.T17-0267 Safety Zone; Port of Goodhope Bay; Goodhope Bay, Alaska.

    (a) Location. The following areas are safety zones:

    (1) All navigable waters within a 25-yard radius of a moored or anchored offshore exploration or support vessel, or within a 100-yard radius of any underway offshore exploration or support vessel, located within the Port of Goodhope Bay, to the limits of the U.S. territorial sea.

    (2) [Reserved]

    (b) Effective date. The temporary safety zones become effective at 12:01 a.m., July 1, 2015, and terminate on 11:59 p.m., October 15, 2015, unless sooner terminated by the Captain of the Port.

    (c) Regulations. The general regulations governing safety zones contained in § 165.23 apply to all vessels operating within the area described in paragraph (a).

    (1) If a non-exploration or support vessel is moored or anchored and an offshore exploration or support vessel transits near them such that it places the moored or anchored vessel within the 100-yard safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section, the moored or anchored vessel must remain stationary until the offshore exploration or support vessel maneuvers to a distance exceeding the 100-yard safety zone.

    (2) All persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port (COTP) or designated on-scene representative, consisting of commissioned, warrant, and petty officers of the Coast Guard. Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel by siren, radio, flashing light or other means, the operator of a vessel shall proceed as directed by the COTP's designated on-scene representative.

    (3) Entry into the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP or his designated on-scene representative. Any persons desiring to enter the safety zone must contact the designated on-scene representative on VHF channel 16 (156.800 MHz) and receive permission prior to entering.

    (4) If permission is granted to transit within the safety zone, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the designated on-scene representative.

    (5) The COTP, Western Alaska, will notify the maritime and general public by marine information broadcast during the period of time that the safety zones are in force by providing notice in accordance with 33 CFR 165.7.

    (d) Penalties. Persons and vessels violating this rule are subject to the penalties set forth in 33 U.S.C. 1232 and 50 U.S.C. 192.

    Dated: June 3, 2015. S.D. Montoya, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port, Western Alaska.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16740 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0246] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone—Oil Exploration Staging Area in Dutch Harbor, AK AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing temporary safety zones in the Port of Dutch Harbor, Broad Bay or adjacent navigable waters in the Dutch Harbor area on June 15, 2015. The temporary safety zones will encompass the navigable waters within a 25-yard radius of moored or anchored offshore exploration or support vessels, and the navigable waters within a 100-yard radius of underway offshore exploration or support vessels. The purpose of the safety zones is to protect persons and vessels during an unusually high volume of vessel traffic in the Port of Dutch Harbor, and the adjacent territorial sea due to additional vessel traffic associated with exploratory drilling operations in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas during the summer of 2015.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective without actual notice from July 10, 2015 until July 15, 2015. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from June 15, 2015, until July 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket [USCG-2015-0246]. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary rule, call or email LT Eugene Chung, Sector Anchorage Prevention, Coast Guard; telephone 907-428-4189, Email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking TFR Temporary Final Rule A. Regulatory History and Information

    On May 1, 2015, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Safety Zones: Oil Exploration Staging Area in Dutch Harbor, AK in the Federal Register (80 FR 24866). We received one comment on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested, and none was held.

    B. Basis and Purpose

    Based on the expectation of increased maritime traffic primarily due to the anticipated arrival of approximately twenty eight (28) vessels affiliated with planned offshore drilling operations in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, temporary safety zones needed to ensure the safe transit of vessels within the navigable waters of the Port of Dutch Harbor and adjacent waters extending seaward to the limits of the territorial sea. The Coast Guard believes temporary safety zones are needed due to safety concerns for personnel aboard the support vessels, mariners operating other vessels in the vicinity of Dutch Harbor, and to protect the environment. The vessels and equipment anticipated to be staged within these safety zones, due to their size and technical complexity, pose a safety risk to vessels that attempt to navigate too closely to them. Limited rescue capabilities are available in the area. In an effort to mitigate the safety risks and any resulting environmental damage, the Coast Guard is establishing temporary safety zones within the Port of Dutch Harbor and the adjacent territorial sea.

    In evaluating this request, the Coast Guard explored relevant safety factors and considered several criteria, including, but not limited to: (1) The amount of commercial activity in and around the Port of Dutch Harbor; (2) safety concerns for personnel aboard the vessels; (3) sensitivity of the environment in the region and potential adverse affects caused by a grounding, allision, or collision; (4) the types and volume of vessels navigating in the vicinity of the Port of Dutch Harbor; and (5) the need to allow for lawful demonstrations without endangering the safe operations of support vessels. Vessels transiting in the vicinity of the safety zones could consist of large commercial shipping vessels, fishing vessels, tugs and tows, and recreational vessels. Any group or individual intending to conduct lawful demonstrations in the vicinity of offshore exploration support vessels must do so outside of the temporary safety zones.

    Results from a thorough and comprehensive examination of the five criteria identified above, in conjunction with International Maritime Organization guidelines and existing regulations, warrant establishment of the temporary safety zones. A safety zone would significantly reduce the threat of collisions, allisions, or other incidents which could endanger the safety of all vessels operating on the navigable waters of the Port of Dutch Harbor and the adjacent territorial sea.

    C. Discussion of the Temporary Final Rule

    For the reasons described above, the Coast Guard is establishing temporary safety zones that would surround the designated vessels while at anchor, moored or underway on the navigable waters of the Port of Dutch Harbor and the adjacent territorial sea in order to mitigate the potential safety risks associated with the increased vessel traffic. The temporary safety zones will encompass the waters within 25 yards of the support vessel if the support vessel is moored or at anchor, and 100 yards if the support vessel is in transit.

    The Coast Guard received one comment on the NPRM. The commenter suggested that the end date, originally proposed as July 1, 2015, be extended to July 15, 2015. The commenter noted that several of the assets that will be staged in Dutch Harbor are not scheduled to depart until early July, 2015. Based on this suggestion, the Coast Guard is adjusting the end date until July 15, 2015.

    Enforcing temporary safety zones for each offshore exploration or support vessel while they are on the navigable waters in the Port of Dutch Harbor or the adjacent territorial sea will help ensure the safety of all vessels, including the diverse commercial fleets of Dutch Harbor.

    D. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this temporary final 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 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 safety zone will have negligible economic impact, as there will be ample room for navigation around it.

    2. Impact on Small Entities

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action due to the minimal impact this will have on standard vessel operations within the port of Dutch Harbor because of the limited area affected and the limited duration of the rule. The safety zones are also designed to allow vessels transiting through the area to safely travel around the safety zones without incurring additional costs.

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

    This rule could affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: the owners or operators of vessels intending to transit through or anchor in within a portion of the Port of Dutch Harbor or adjacent waters, from June 15, 2015 to July 15, 2015.

    This safety zone would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: These safety zone restrictions are only effective from June 15, 2015 to July 15, 2015, and are limited only to waters within 25 yards of the support vessel if the support vessel is moored or at anchor, and 100 yards if the support vessel is in transit. The Coast Guard will publish a local notice to mariners (LNM) and will issue broadcast notice to mariners (BNM) alerts via marine channel 16 VHF before the safety zone is enforced.

    3. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), in the NPRM we offered to assist small entities in understanding the rule so that they could better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process.

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    4. Collection of Information

    This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.).

    5. Federalism

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

    6. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the “For Further Information Contact” section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels.

    7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    8. Taking of Private Property

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

    9. Civil Justice Reform

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

    10. Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks

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

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

    12. Energy Effects

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

    13. Technical Standards

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

    14. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a 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. Specifically, the rule involves establishing a safety zone, which is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this temporary final rule. An environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination are available in the docket where indicated under Supporting Documents.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T17-0246 to read as follows:
    § 165.T17-0246 Safety Zone; Port of Dutch Harbor; Dutch Harbor, Alaska

    (a) Location. The following areas are safety zones:

    (1) All navigable waters within a 25-yard radius of a moored or anchored offshore exploration or support vessel, or within a 100-yard radius of any underway offshore exploration or support vessel, located within the Port of Dutch Harbor, Broad Bay or adjacent navigable waters encompassed within the area from Cape Cheerful at 54-12.000 N 166-38.000 W north to the limits of the U.S. territorial sea, and from Princess Head at 53-59.000 N 166-25.900 W to the limits of the U.S. territorial sea.

    (2) [Reserved]

    (b) Effective date. The temporary safety zones become effective at 12:01 a.m., June 15, 2015, and terminate on 11:59 p.m., July 15, 2015, unless sooner terminated by the Captain of the Port.

    (c) Regulations. The general regulations governing safety zones contained in § 165.23 apply to all vessels operating within the area described in paragraph (a) of this section.

    (1) If a non-exploration or support vessel is moored or anchored and an offshore exploration or support vessel transits near them such that it places the moored or anchored vessel within the 100-yard safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section, the moored or anchored vessel must remain stationary until the offshore exploration or support vessel maneuvers to a distance exceeding the 100-yard safety zone.

    (2) All persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port (COTP) or designated on-scene representative, consisting of commissioned, warrant, and petty officers of the Coast Guard. Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel by siren, radio, flashing light or other means, the operator of a vessel shall proceed as directed by the COTP's designated on-scene representative.

    (3) Entry into the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP or his designated on-scene representative. Any persons desiring to enter the safety zone must contact the designated on-scene representative on VHF channel 16 (156.800 MHz) and receive permission prior to entering.

    (4) If permission is granted to transit within the safety zone, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the designated on-scene representative.

    (5) The COTP, Western Alaska, will notify the maritime and general public by marine information broadcast during the period of time that the safety zones are in force by providing notice in accordance with 33 CFR § 165.7.

    (d) Penalties. Persons and vessels violating this rule are subject to the penalties set forth in 33 U.S.C. 1232 and 50 U.S.C. 192.

    Dated: June 3, 2015. S.D. Montoya, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port, Western Alaska.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16700 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0507] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Oswego Harborfest Jet Ski Show; Oswego Harbor, Oswego, NY AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on Oswego Harbor, Oswego, NY. This safety zone is intended to restrict vessels from a portion of Oswego Harbor during the Oswego Harborfest Jet Ski Show. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect mariners and vessels from the navigational hazards associated with a jet ski show.

    DATES:

    This rule will be effective from 12:45 p.m. on July 25, 2015 until 7:15 p.m. on July 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket [USCG-2015-0507]. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email LTJG Amanda Garcia, Chief of Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Buffalo; telephone 716-843-9343, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Ms. Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826 or 1-800-647-5527.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking TFR Temporary Final Rule A. Regulatory History and Information

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because doing so would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. The final details for this event were not known to the Coast Guard until there was insufficient time remaining before the event to publish an NPRM. Thus, delaying the effective date of this rule to wait for a comment period to run would be both impracticable and contrary to the public interest because it would inhibit the Coast Guard's ability to protect spectators and vessels from the hazards associated with a maritime fireworks display. Therefore, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this temporary rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

    B. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis and authorities for this rule are found in 33 U.S.C. 1231, 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701, 3306, 3703; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1, which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to establish and define regulatory safety zones.

    Between 12:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. on July 25, 2015 and between 12:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. on July 26, 2015, a jet ski show will be taking place on Oswego Harbor in Oswego, NY. Based on recent accidents that have occurred in other Captain of the Port zones, the Captain of the Port Buffalo has determined a jet ski show presents significant risks to public safety and property. The likely combination of large numbers of recreational vessels, congested waterways, and alcohol use by some spectators, present a significant risk of serious injuries or fatalities.

    C. Discussion of the Final Rule

    With the aforementioned hazards in mind, the Captain of the Port Buffalo has determined that this temporary safety zone is necessary to ensure the safety of spectators and vessels during the Oswego Harborfest Jet Ski Show. This zone will be effective and enforced intermittently from 12:45 p.m. until 7:15 p.m. on July 25, 2015 and from 12:45 p.m. until 7:15 p.m. on July 26, 2015. This zone will encompass all waters of Oswego Harbor; Oswego, NY starting at position 43°27′49.88″ N. and 076°31′15.41″ W. then Northwest to 43°27′51.72″ N. and 076°31′18.13 then Southwest to 43°27′44.26″ N. and 076°31′39.18″ W. then South to 43°27′42.68″ N. and 076°31′36.91″ W. then returning the point of origin.

    Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his designated on-scene representative. The Captain of the Port or his designated on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16.

    D. Regulatory Analyses

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

    1. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    We conclude that this rule is not a significant regulatory action because we anticipate that it will have minimal impact on the economy, will not interfere with other agencies, will not adversely alter the budget of any grant or loan recipients, and will not raise any novel legal or policy issues. The safety zone created by this rule will be relatively small and enforced for a relatively short time. Also, the safety zone is designed to minimize its impact on navigable waters. Furthermore, the safety zone has been designed to allow vessels to transit around it. Thus, restrictions on vessel movement within that particular area are expected to be minimal. Under certain conditions, moreover, vessels may still transit through the safety zone when permitted by the Captain of the Port.

    2. Impact on Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered the impact of this rule on small entities. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule will affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: the owners or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor in a portion of Oswego Harbor on July 25 and 26, 2015.

    This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: this safety zone would be subject to enforcement for a few hours a day over the course of two days and the safety zone will allow vessels to move freely around the safety zone in Oswego Harbor. Traffic may be allowed to pass through the zone with the permission of the Captain of the Port. The Captain of the Port can be reached via VHF channel 16. Before the enforcement of the zone, we would issue local Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    3. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    4. Collection of Information

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

    5. Federalism

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

    6. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the “For Further Information Contact” section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places, or vessels.

    7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    8. Taking of Private Property

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

    9. Civil Justice Reform

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

    10. Protection of Children

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

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

    12. Energy Effects

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

    13. Technical Standards

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

    14. Environment

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T09-0507 to read as follows:
    § 165.T09-0507 Safety Zone; Oswego Harborfest Jet Ski Show; Oswego Harbor, Oswego, NY.

    (a) Location. This zone will encompass all waters of Oswego Harbor; Oswego, NY starting at position 43°27′49.88″ N. and 076°31′15.41″ W. then Northwest to 43°27′51.72″ N. and 076°31′18.13 then Southwest to 43°27′44.26″ N. and 076°31′39.18″ W. then South to 43°27′42.68″ N. and 076°31′36.91″ W. then returning the point of origin.

    (b) Enforcement period. This regulation will be enforced intermittently on July 25, 2015 from 12:45 p.m. until 7:15 p.m. and on July 26, 2015 from 12:45 p.m. until 7:15 p.m.

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his designated on-scene representative.

    (2) This safety zone is closed to all vessel traffic, except as may be permitted by the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his designated on-scene representative.

    (3) The “on-scene representative” of the Captain of the Port Buffalo is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been designated by the Captain of the Port Buffalo to act on his behalf.

    (4) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone must contact the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his on-scene representative to obtain permission to do so. The Captain of the Port Buffalo or his on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the Captain of the Port Buffalo, or his on-scene representative.

    Dated: June 15, 2015. B. W. Roche, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Buffalo.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16807 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0175; FRL-9930-23-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; Determination of Attainment of the 2006 24-Hour Fine Particulate Standard for the Liberty-Clairton Nonattainment Area AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing a determination of attainment regarding the Liberty-Clairton, Pennsylvania 2006 24-hour fine particulate matter (PM2.5) nonattainment area (hereafter “Liberty-Clairton Area” or “the Area”). EPA is determining that the Liberty-Clairton Area has attained the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), based upon quality-assured, quality-controlled and certified ambient air monitoring data for the calendar years 2012-2014. EPA's final “clean data determination” will suspend the requirements to submit for the Liberty-Clairton Area an attainment demonstration, reasonably available control measures (RACM), reasonable further progress (RFP), and contingency measures related to attainment of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS, for so long as the Area continues to attain the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. This final determination will not constitute a redesignation to attainment. This final action is being taken under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0175. All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the electronic docket, some information is not publicly available, i.e., confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy for public inspection during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Emlyn Vélez-Rosa, (215) 814-2038, or by email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On November 13, 2009, EPA published designations for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS (74 FR 58688), which became effective on December 14, 2009. In that action, EPA designated the Liberty-Clairton Area as nonattainment for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. The Liberty-Clairton Area is comprised of the following portion of Allegheny County: The boroughs of Lincoln, Glassport, Liberty, and Port Vue and the City of Clairton. See 40 CFR 81.339 (Pennsylvania). The Liberty-Clairton Area is surrounded by, but separate and distinct from, the Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley PM2.5 nonattainment area.

    A nonattainment designation under the CAA triggers additional planning requirements for states to show attainment of the NAAQS in the nonattainment areas by a statutory attainment date, as specified in the CAA. Since 2005, EPA had implemented the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS based on the general implementation provisions of subpart 1 of Part D of Title I of the CAA (subpart 1). On January 4, 2013, in Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA (NRDC v. EPA), the D.C. Circuit determined that EPA should be implementing its PM2.5 pollution standard under additional CAA requirements than those EPA had been following in subpart 1 and remanded to EPA the “Final Clean Air Fine Particle Implementation Rule” (1997 PM2.5 Implementation Rule) (72 FR 20586, April 25, 2007) and the “Implementation of the New Source Review (NSR) Program for Particulate Matter Less than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)” final rule (2008 NSR PM2.5 Rule).1 706 F.3d 428 (D.C. Cir. 2013). The D.C. Circuit found that the EPA erred in implementing the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS solely pursuant to subpart 1, without consideration of the particulate matter specific provisions of subpart 4 of Part D of Title I of the CAA (subpart 4).

    1 EPA's 2008 NSR PM2.5 Rule relates to requirements for the NSR permitting program required by parts C and D of title I of the CAA. The details and provisions of the 2008 NSR PM2.5 Rule are not relevant to this proposed rulemaking.

    On April 25, 2014, EPA finalized a rule identifying the classification of all PM2.5 areas currently designated nonattainment for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS as “Moderate,” consistent with subpart 4 of the CAA. See 79 FR 31566 (June 2, 2014). Consequently, the Liberty-Clairton Area was classified as Moderate for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS.

    Under EPA's longstanding Clean Data Policy interpretation, a determination that a nonattainment area has attained the NAAQS suspends the state's obligation to submit an attainment demonstration, RFP, RACM, and contingency measures as required by the CAA for so long as the area continues to attain the standard. Since the purpose of these provisions is to help reach attainment, a goal which has already been achieved, EPA interprets that these requirements should no longer be applicable. Although the D.C. Circuit remanded the 1997 PM2.5 Implementation Rule to EPA, the DC Circuit's decision in NRDC v. EPA related to EPA's use of subpart 1 for CAA Part D requirements instead of subpart 1 and subpart 4, and the decision did not cast doubt on EPA's interpretation of certain statutory provisions underlying the Clean Data Policy nor cast any doubt on EPA's Clean Data Policy interpretation in the 1997 PM2.5 Implementation Rule. See NRDC v. EPA, 706 F.3d 428.

    On April 23, 2015 (78 FR 22666), EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania proposing to determine that the Liberty-Clairton Area has attained the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. As part of the NPR, EPA addressed the effect of a final determination of attainment under the Clean Data Policy for the Liberty-Clairton Area, as a Moderate nonattainment area under subpart 4. The rationale for EPA's action is explained in the NPR and will not be restated here. No comments were received on the NPR.

    II. Summary of EPA's Evaluation of the Liberty-Clairton PM2.5 Air Quality Data

    This final “clean data determination” for the Liberty-Clairton Area is based on the quality-controlled, quality assured, certified PM2.5 air quality data for 2012-2014. There are two PM2.5 monitors in the Liberty-Clairton Area—one in Liberty Borough and one in the City of Clairton. The design values for the two monitors in the Liberty-Clairton Area for the 2012-2014 monitoring period were 35 μg/m3 or less. Therefore, EPA determines that the Liberty-Clairton Area has attained the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS during the 2012-2014 monitoring period, in accordance with 40 CFR part 50. Additional information on air quality data for the Liberty-Clairton Area can be found in the NPR and technical support document (TSD) prepared for the proposed action.

    III. Final Actions

    EPA determines that the Liberty-Clairton Area is currently attaining the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS, based on the most recent three years of complete quality-assured, and certified data for 2012-2014 which meets the requirements of 40 CFR part 50, appendix N. In accordance with our Clean Data Policy, as a result of this final determination of attainment, EPA also determines that the obligation to submit the following attainment-related planning requirements for the Liberty-Clairton Area are not applicable for so long as the Area continues to monitor attainment for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS: Subpart 4 obligations to provide an attainment demonstration pursuant to section 189(a)(1)(B), the RACM provisions of section 189(a)(1)(C), the RFP provisions of section 189(c), and related attainment demonstration, RACM, RFP, and contingency measure provisions requirements of subpart 1, section 172. If at any time after the effective date of this final rulemaking notice, EPA determines that the Liberty-Clairton Area again violates the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS, the basis for suspending these requirements would no longer exist. This final rulemaking action does not constitute a redesignation to attainment under CAA section 107(d)(3). In addition, this determination does not relieve Pennsylvania from the requirement to submit for the Liberty-Clairton Area an emissions inventory as required by CAA section 172(c)(3) or to have a nonattainment area permitting program pursuant to CAA sections 172(c)(5) and 173.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the State, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

    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 action 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).

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by September 8, 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. This action, determining that the Liberty-Clairton Area has attained the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS, 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, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: June 25, 2015. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart NN—Pennsylvania 2. Section 52.2059 is amended by adding paragraph (q) to read as follows:
    § 52.2059 Control strategy: Particulate matter.

    (q) Determination of attainment. EPA has determined, as of July 10, 2015, based on quality-assured ambient air quality data for 2012 to 2014, that the Liberty-Clairton, PA nonattainment area has attained the 2006 24-hour fine particle (PM2.5) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). This determination suspends the requirements for this area to submit an attainment demonstration, associated reasonably available control measures, a reasonable further progress plan, contingency measures, and other planning SIPs related to attainment of the standard for as long as this area continues to meet the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. If EPA determines, after notice-and-comment rulemaking, that this area no longer meets the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS, the corresponding determination of attainment for that area shall be withdrawn.

    [FR Doc. 2015-16813 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 79 [MB Docket No. 12-107; FCC 15-56] Accessible Emergency Information, and Apparatus Requirements for Emergency Information and Video Description AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission adopts additional rules under the authority of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) to make emergency information in video programming accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. First, the document requires multichannel video programming distributors to pass through a secondary audio stream containing audible emergency information when they permit consumers to access linear programming on second screen devices, such as tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices. Second, the document requires manufacturers of apparatus that receive or play back video programming to provide a mechanism that is simple and easy to use for activating the secondary audio stream to access audible emergency information.

    DATES:

    Effective August 10, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Evan Baranoff, [email protected], of the Media Bureau, Policy Division, (202) 418-2120.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Second Report and Order (Order), FCC 15-56, adopted on May 21, 2015, and released on May 28, 2015. The full text of this document is available electronically via the FCC's Electronic Document Management System (EDOCS) Web site at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/ or via the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) Web site at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. (Documents will be available electronically in ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat.) This document is also available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. The complete text may be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. Alternative formats are available for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), by sending an email to [email protected] or calling the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    I. Introduction

    1. In this Second Report and Order, we take additional steps under the authority of sections 202 and 203 of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (“CVAA”) 1 to make emergency information in video programming accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The Commission adopted rules in 2013 to require that visual emergency information shown during non-newscast television programming, such as in an on-screen crawl, is also available to individuals who are blind or visually impaired through an aural presentation on a secondary audio stream.2 In adopting these rules pursuant to sections 202 and 203 of the CVAA, the Commission recognized the importance of making sure that individuals who are blind or visually impaired are able to hear critical information about emergencies affecting their locality, which can enable them promptly to respond to such emergency situations and to protect their lives and property.

    1 Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751 (2010); Amendment of Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-265, 124 Stat. 2795 (2010) (making technical corrections to the CVAA).

    2See Accessible Emergency Information; Apparatus Requirements for Emergency Information and Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 11-43, Report and Order, FCC 13-45, 78 FR 31770 (2013) (“First Report and Order”). A secondary audio stream is an audio channel, other than the main program audio channel, that is typically used for foreign language audio and video description.

    2. First, this Second Report and Order concludes that multichannel video programming distributors (“MVPDs”) must pass through a secondary audio stream containing audible emergency information in accordance with section 79.2 of the Commission's rules 3 when they permit consumers to access linear programming 4 on tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices over the MVPD's network as part of their MVPD services. Increasingly, Americans are utilizing a wide range of devices in addition to the television to view video programming,5 and a number of MVPDs now allow customers to view linear programming on “second screen” devices using applications or other technologies.6 Our rule ensures that individuals who are blind or visually impaired will be provided with accessible emergency information when they are watching linear programming over the MVPD's network as part of their MVPD services, regardless of whether they are viewing the programming on their television or on their tablet, smartphone, or similar device.

    3 47 CFR 79.2.

    4 The term “linear programming” is generally understood to refer to video programming that is prescheduled by the video programming provider. See Promoting Innovation and Competition in the Provision of Multichannel Video Programming Distribution Services, MB Docket No. 14-261, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 14-210, 80 FR 2078 (2014) (“MVPD Definition NPRM”) (using the term “linear programming” “consistent with prior Commission use”); Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video Programming, MB Docket No. 14-16, Notice of Inquiry, FCC 14-8, 79 FR 8452 (2014) (“A linear channel is one that distributes programming at a scheduled time. Non-linear programming, such as video-on-demand (`VOD') and online video content, is available at a time of the viewer's choosing.”)).

    5See Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video Programming, MB Docket No. 14-16, Sixteenth Report, FCC 15-41, para. 336 (rel. Apr. 2, 2015) (“16th Video Competition Report”) (“IP video distribution opportunities for MVPDs and [online video distributors] continu`e to expand through portable media devices.”).

    6 For example, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, and Time Warner Cable currently offer applications that allow their subscribers to view linear programming on mobile and other devices.

    3. Second, this Second Report and Order requires manufacturers of apparatus subject to section 79.105 of the Commission's rules 7 to provide a mechanism that is simple and easy to use for activating the secondary audio stream to access audible emergency information. Individuals who are blind or visually impaired should not have to navigate through multiple levels of menus or take other time-consuming actions to activate the secondary audio stream when they hear the aural tone signaling that emergency information is being provided visually on the screen. In emergency situations, every second counts. Thus, we believe that in order for emergency information to be made fully accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired in accordance with section 203 of the CVAA, manufacturers of covered apparatus must ensure that such individuals have a simple, easy to use mechanism to activate the secondary audio stream in order to hear emergency information.

    7 47 CFR 79.105.

    4. In the Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Second Further Notice”) accompanying the Second Report and Order (and published in this issue of the Federal Register), we seek comment on three issues: (i) Whether we should adopt rules regarding how covered entities should prioritize emergency information conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream when more than one source of visual emergency information is presented on-screen at the same time; (ii) whether we should reconsider the Commission's requirement for “school closings and changes in school bus schedules” resulting from emergency situations to be conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream, considering the length of such information and the limits of the secondary audio stream; and (iii) whether we should require MVPDs to ensure that the navigation devices that they provide to subscribers include a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for accessing audible emergency information on the secondary audio stream, and to provide a simple and easy to use mechanism to activate the secondary audio stream for emergency information when they permit subscribers to view linear programming on mobile and other devices as part of their MVPD services.

    II. Background

    5. The CVAA was enacted on October 8, 2010 with the purpose of ensuring that individuals with disabilities are able to fully utilize modern communications services and equipment and to better access video programming.8 Sections 202 and 203 of the CVAA address, in part, the accessibility of emergency information for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.9 Specifically, section 202 of the CVAA directs the Commission to (i) “identify methods to convey emergency information (as that term is defined in section 79.2 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations 10 ) in a manner accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired,” 11 and (ii) “promulgate regulations that require video programming providers and video programming distributors (as those terms are defined in section 79.1 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations 12 ) and program owners to convey such emergency information in a manner accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.” 13 Section 203 of the CVAA directs the Commission to prescribe rules requiring certain apparatus on which consumers receive or play back video programming, such as televisions, set-top boxes, DVD and Blu-ray players, to have the capability to decode and make available emergency information and video description services in a manner accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, and requiring certain apparatus designed to record video programming to enable the rendering or pass through of emergency information and video description.14

    8See H.R. Rep. No. 111-563, 111th Cong., 2d Sess. at 19 (2010); S. Rep. No. 111-386, 111th Cong., 2d Sess. at 1 (2010).

    9 Pursuant to Section 201 of the CVAA, the Chairman of the Commission established an advisory committee known as the Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee (“VPAAC”), comprised of representatives from industry and consumer groups, which submitted its statutorily mandated report addressing accessible emergency information to the Commission on April 9, 2012. See Second Report of the Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee on the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, available at http://vpaac.wikispaces.com; Public Law 111-260, sec. 201(e)(2) (“VPAAC Second Report: Access to Emergency Information”). The portion of the report that addresses emergency information is available at http://vpaac.wikispaces.com/file/view/120409+VPAAC+Access+to+Emergency+Information+REPORT+AS+SUBMITTED+4-9-2012.pdf. See also Media Bureau and Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seek Comment on Second VPAAC Report: Video Description and Access to Emergency Information, MB Docket No. 12-107, Public Notice, DA 12-636 (MB rel. Apr. 24, 2012).

    10 “Emergency information” is defined in section 79.2 of the Commission's rules as “[i]nformation, about a current emergency, that is intended to further the protection of life, health, safety, and property, i.e., critical details regarding the emergency and how to respond to the emergency. Examples of the types of emergencies covered include tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, tidal waves, earthquakes, icing conditions, heavy snows, widespread fires, discharge of toxic gases, widespread power failures, industrial explosions, civil disorders, school closings and changes in school bus schedules resulting from such conditions, and warnings and watches of impending changes in weather.” 47 CFR 79.2(a)(2). As in the First Report and Order, we note that the emergency information covered by this proceeding does not include emergency alerts delivered through the Emergency Alert System (EAS), the accessibility requirements for which are contained in Part 11 of the Commission's rules. See 47 CFR 11.1 et seq.; First Report and Order, para. 9. However, to the extent a broadcaster or other covered entity uses the information provided through EAS or any other source (e.g., the National Weather Service) to generate its own crawl conveying emergency information as defined in section 79.2(a)(2) outside the context of an EAS activation, it must comply with the requirements of section 79.2. See First Report and Order, para. 9.

    11 47 U.S.C. 613(g)(1).

    12 Section 79.1 defines a “video programming provider” as “[a]ny video programming distributor and any other entity that provides video programming that is intended for distribution to residential households including, but not limited to broadcast or nonbroadcast television network and the owners of such programming.” 47 CFR 79.1(a)(12). Section 79.1 defines a “video programming distributor” as “[a]ny television broadcast station licensed by the Commission and any multichannel video programming distributor as defined in § 76.1000(e) of this chapter, and any other distributor of video programming for residential reception that delivers such programming directly to the home and is subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission.” Id. 79.1(a)(11).

    13 47 U.S.C. 613(g)(2).

    14Id. 303(u)(1), 303(z)(1).

    6. The Commission adopted the First Report and Order on April 9, 2013.15 The record compiled in the proceeding reflected consensus among industry and consumer groups supporting use of a secondary audio stream to provide emergency information in a manner accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, which was recommended by the VPAAC.16 Thus, to implement the emergency information requirements in Section 202, the First Report and Order adopted rules requiring that video programming providers (including program owners) and video programming distributors use a secondary audio stream to convey televised emergency information aurally, when such information is conveyed visually during programming other than newscasts.17 Pursuant to section 203, the First Report and Order also adopted rules applicable to manufacturers that require apparatus designed to receive, play back, or record video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound to make available the secondary audio stream.18

    15See generally First Report and Order.

    16See First Report and Order, para. 13; VPAAC Second Report: Access to Emergency Information at 7, 10-11.

    17See First Report and Order, para. 12; 47 CFR 79.2(b)(2)(ii). The Commission did not revise the existing requirement applicable to emergency information provided visually during newscasts, explaining that the rule already requires such information to be made accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired through aural presentation in the main program audio. First Report and Order, para. 10. See 47 CFR 79.2(b)(2)(i).

    18See First Report and Order, paras. 49, 52; 47 CFR 79.105 through 79.106.

    7. In the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Further Notice”) that accompanied the First Report and Order, the Commission sought comment on whether MVPDs are covered by the emergency information rules when they permit their subscribers to access linear programming via mobile or other devices.19 In a separate Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in conjunction with the Commission's User Interfaces Order20 (“User Interfaces Further Notice”), also under MB Docket No. 12-107, the Commission sought comment on whether to require manufacturers of apparatus covered by section 203 of the CVAA to provide access to the secondary audio stream used for audible emergency information by a simple and straightforward mechanism, such as a mechanism reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon.21 In particular, the Commission sought comment on whether section 303(u)(1)(C) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the “Act”), as added by section 203 of the CVAA, which requires that covered apparatus have the capability to make available emergency information in a manner that is accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, gives the Commission authority to adopt such a requirement.22 Consumer and academic commenters, including the American Foundation for the Blind (“AFB”), the American Council of the Blind (“ACB”), and the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (“Wireless RERC”), support such a requirement, while industry commenters oppose it.

    19See Accessible Emergency Information; Apparatus Requirements for Emergency Information and Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 11-43, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 13-45, 78 FR 31800 (2013) (“Further Notice”) (accompanying First Report and Order). The Commission also sought comment on the following issues in the Further Notice: (i) Whether MVPDs must pass through video description on the secondary audio stream when they permit their subscribers to access linear programming via mobile or other devices; (ii) whether the Commission should mandate that the secondary audio stream include a particular tag (e.g., a “visually impaired” (“VI”) tag); and (iii) whether the Commission should require covered entities to provide customer support services that are specifically designed to assist consumers who are blind or visually impaired to navigate between the main and secondary audio streams. See id. The Commission is continuing to consider these issues.

    20See Accessibility of User Interfaces, and Video Programming Guides and Menus; Accessible Emergency Information, and Apparatus Requirements for Emergency Information and Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, MB Docket Nos. 12-108, 12-107, Report and Order, FCC 13-138, 78 FR 77210 (2013) (“User Interfaces Order”); Accessibility of User Interfaces, and Video Programming Guides and Menus; Accessible Emergency Information, and Apparatus Requirements for Emergency Information and Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, MB Docket Nos. 12-108, 12-107, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 13-138, 78 FR 77074 (2013) (“User Interfaces Further Notice”).

    21See User Interfaces Further Notice, para. 9.

    22See id.; 47 U.S.C. 303(u)(1)(C); Public Law 111-260, sec. 203.

    8. To further implement sections 202 and 203 of the CVAA, we adopt the rules discussed below. Consistent with the intent of the CVAA, we must ensure that individuals with disabilities are not left behind as new technologies and platforms for viewing video programming are developed, and we are mindful of this as we revise our rules promoting the accessibility of emergency information.

    III. Discussion A. Accessible Emergency Information Requirements for Linear Programming on Mobile and Other Devices

    9. Given the increasing number of ways in which consumers are accessing linear video programming from MVPDs, we believe that it is important to further define MVPD responsibilities with regard to the secondary audio stream for emergency information on mobile and other devices. Specifically, we conclude that MVPDs must pass through a secondary audio stream containing audible emergency information when they permit consumers to access linear programming on tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices 23 over the MVPD's network as part of their MVPD services.24 For our purposes here, linear video programming is accessed “over the MVPD's network” 25 if it can only be received via a connection provided by the MVPD 26 using an MVPD-provided application or plug-in.27

    23 In addition to tablets, smartphones, and laptops, the phrase “similar devices” includes other devices on which subscribers can view MVPD-provided linear programming over the MVPD's network, such as personal computers, game consoles, and Roku devices.

    24 At this time, this does not include over-the-top (“OTT”) services, which are at issue in a separate proceeding that considers whether to interpret the term MVPD to include “services that make available for purchase, by subscribers or customers, multiple linear streams of video programming, regardless of the technology used to distribute the programming.” MVPD Definition NPRM, para. 1. As in the MVPD Definition NPRM, we use the term OTT to refer to linear video services that travel over the Internet and that MVPDs do not treat as managed video services on any MVPD system.

    25 This definition applies when we use the phrase “over the MVPD's network” throughout the item.

    26 Video is “received via a connection provided by the MVPD” if it is received either via an MVPD's broadband connection or if it is video that comes over a coaxial or satellite connection that is converted to IP in the home gateway.

    27 This is distinguishable from video programming provided over the Internet, which can be accessed by an MVPD subscriber when using either an MVPD-provided connection, or a third-party Internet service provider or broadband connection. For example, a customer that uses a tablet connected to a bookstore's Wi-Fi to access video programming would not be accessing the programming “over the MVPD's network.”

    1. Legal and Policy Analysis

    10. In the Further Notice, we inquired whether an MVPD is acting as a “video programming distributor” that provides “video programming” covered by the emergency information rules adopted in the First Report and Order when it permits its subscribers to access linear programming that contains emergency information via tablets, laptops, personal computers, smartphones, or similar devices.28 We also sought comment on whether, under this approach, an MVPD should be required to ensure that any application or plug-in that it provides to the consumer to access such programming is capable of making emergency information audible on a secondary audio stream.

    28Further Notice, para. 2.

    11. We conclude that the accessible emergency information requirements adopted in the First Report and Order should apply to linear video programming distributed by MVPDs to their subscribers over the MVPD's network, regardless of the device on which such programming is viewed. In the First Report and Order, the Commission determined that the accessible emergency information requirements adopted therein apply to video programming subject to section 79.2 that is provided by a covered entity, i.e., video programming provided by television broadcast stations licensed by the Commission, MVPDs, and any other distributor of video programming for residential reception that delivers such programming directly to the home and is subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission.29 As the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (“NCTA”) observes, MVPDs are expressly included within the regulatory definition of a “video programming distributor.” 30 Further, linear programming distributed by an MVPD to a subscriber over the MVPD's network is “video programming” subject to section 79.2 of the rules. In other words, it is “[p]rogramming provided by, or generally considered comparable to programming provided by, a television broadcast station that is distributed and exhibited for residential use.” 31 Accordingly, MVPDs must comply with the accessible emergency information requirements when they permit consumers to access linear programming on tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices over the MVPD's network as part of their MVPD services.32 Further, section 202 of the CVAA gives the Commission discretion in how it implements the requirement that video programming distributors, including MVPDs, “convey [ ] emergency information in a manner accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.” 33 Thus, applying the emergency information rules when MVPDs permit subscribers to access linear programming on mobile and other devices over the MVPD's network adheres to the statutory directive to ensure that emergency information is conveyed in an accessible manner to individuals with visual disabilities.

    29First Report and Order, para. 7; 47 CFR 79.1(a)(10) through (11).

    30See Comments of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 11-43, at 3 (“NCTA Comments”); 47 CFR 79.1(a)(11). See also First Report and Order, para. 33.

    31See NCTA Comments at 3; 47 CFR 79.1(a)(10).

    32 Given that we apply the rules only when MVPDs permit consumers to access linear programming on tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices over the MVPD's network as part of their MVPD services, and not to OTT services at this time, we need not address the issues raised by industry commenters with regard to whether the Commission has authority under the CVAA to extend the accessible emergency information requirements in Section 79.2 to all linear programming delivered over the Internet or via Internet protocol (“IP”). See Comments of AT&T Services, Inc., MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 11-43, at 3 (“AT&T Comments”); Comments of DIRECTV, LLC, MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 11-43, at 5-6 (“DIRECTV Comments”); Comments of the Consumer Electronics Association, MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 11-43, at 6 (“CEA Comments”); Comments of the Telecommunications Industry Association, MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 11-43, at 3-4 (“TIA Comments”); Reply Comments of the Entertainment Software Association, MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 11-43, at 3 (“ESA Reply”); Reply Comments of the Information Technology Industry Council, MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 11-43, at 3-4 (“ITIC Reply”). See also Reply Comments of the National Association of Broadcasters, MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 11-43, at 2 (“NAB Reply”).

    33 47 U.S.C. 613(g)(2).

    12. NCTA, AT&T Services, Inc. (“AT&T”), and the Wireless RERC argue that MVPDs should be covered by the emergency information rules in section 79.2 when they provide linear programming that contains emergency information for viewing on mobile and other devices within the home. NCTA contends that “a cable operator delivering linear broadcast stations containing emergency information (or any other linear video programming service that might provide an aural version of emergency information covered by the rules) within a subscriber's home would be a `video programming distributor' for . . . purposes [of the rules], even if the linear service is received through use of an operator-supplied app on a device owned by a consumer.” 34 According to NCTA, “cable operators would not object to applying the emergency information rules in these circumstances.” 35 Likewise, AT&T states that “when an MVPD is allowing its subscribers to access video programming that is distributed to the home via the MVPD's network, the MVPD is subject to the Commission's emergency information rules, regardless of the devices that are accessing the video programming.” 36 The Wireless RERC agrees with AT&T's position.37

    34 NCTA Comments at 3.

    35Id.

    36 AT&T Comments at 3.

    37 Reply Comments of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies, MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 11-43, at 5 (“Wireless RERC Reply”).

    13. We believe that requiring MVPDs to pass through a secondary audio stream with audible emergency information in these circumstances will further the goals of the CVAA by helping to ensure that emergency information is made accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired when they watch linear video programming provided by their MVPD over the MVPD's network, regardless of the device on which they are viewing the programming. The number of ways in which consumers are able to access linear programming from their MVPDs is growing. As NCTA points out, “[c]able operators, as part of their existing services, increasingly are providing applications (`apps') or other technologies that enable their subscribers to view linear programming within the home over the cable operator's network.” 38 Consumer advocates emphasize the importance of making sure that the emergency information rules keep pace with such trends and urge the Commission to apply the emergency information rules to mobile and other devices.39 In addition, the Wireless RERC explains that individuals who are blind or visually impaired may not draw a distinction between regular television broadcasts and linear programming on mobile and other devices offered as part of an MVPD's services and, therefore, they argue that the emergency information rules should apply equally to the latter.40 We concur. Consumers who choose to watch linear programming offered by an MVPD on a mobile device over the MVPD's network should not be deprived of timely and potentially life-saving accessible emergency information that they otherwise would have received had they watched the same programming on a television.

    38See NCTA Comments at 2; Wireless RERC Reply at 4; Letter from Diane B. Burstein, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, NCTA, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, at 1 (Apr. 4, 2014) (“NCTA Apr. 4, 2014 Ex Parte Letter”). See also Further Notice, n.6 (stating that Cablevision currently permits consumers to access its entire package of video programming, including broadcast channels that contain emergency information, through its Optimum app for the iPad and other devices); Charter Communications, Press Release, Charter Announces Launch of Charter TV App (Apr. 8, 2014) (announcing the Charter TV App available for free download on various platforms, through which “Charter TV customers can now watch over 130 live TV Channels anywhere inside their home on their mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones”); Comcast, Xfinity TV Apps, available at http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/apps (“Turn any device into a personal TV screen anywhere in your home. Stream any channel live, watch XFINITY On DemandTM and access your DVR shows on your tablet, smartphone or computer.”); Cox, About the Contour App, available at http://www.cox.com/residential/support/tv/article.cox?articleId=ee838930-c7d7-11e2-caa8-000000000000 (“With the Contour App, you can [w]atch over 130 live channels and thousands of On Demand programs while in the home.”); Time Warner Cable, TWC TV App, available at http://www.timewarnercable.com/en/tv/features/twc-tv.html (“Watch up to 300 live TV channels on up to five of your favorite devices simultaneously in your home with the TWC TV app”).

    39See Wireless RERC Reply at 3-4; Comments of Jose Cruz, MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 11-43, at 2 (arguing that “[t]he blind/visually impaired should be able to access emergency broadcasts from their MVPD . . . through mobile and/or other electronic devices,” which “may affect their well-being or the well-being of their families”); Comments of Jeanette M. Schmoyer, MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 11-43, at 1 (arguing that the accessible emergency information requirements should apply to television programming delivered over tablets, laptops, smartphones, and similar devices, and stating that “[a]t the rate technology changes, PC's are already decreasing in sales in favor of laptops and tablets” and “[i]nformation provided as a visual element needs to be provided in an audio element no matter what the device”).

    40See Wireless RERC Reply at 4.

    14. Although we inquired in the Further Notice as to whether the emergency information rules should apply to an MVPD's linear programming accessed outside the home, we find it more appropriate to apply the rules when MVPDs permit consumers to access linear programming on tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices over the MVPD's network as part of their MVPD services. In the Further Notice, we noted that some MVPDs currently enable subscribers to access linear programming inside the home as well as outside the home (i.e., TV Everywhere 41 ), and we sought comment on whether our emergency information rules should apply in both situations, irrespective of where the subscriber is physically located when accessing the programming.42 Instead of applying our rules based on where the consumer is located when viewing the programming, we look instead to whether the programming is provided over the MVPD's network, as opposed to over the Internet, given that Internet-based video services are currently at issue in a separate proceeding. NCTA argues that the rules should apply only within an MVPD subscriber's home, and not outside of the home, “both because of the limited scope of the statutory and regulatory definitions, and because of the nature of emergency information.” 43 We conclude that focusing on whether the services are provided over the MVPD's network more clearly delineates the services subject to the rule and avoids confusion as to whether the rule applies with respect to OTT services that consumers may be able to access in their homes.44 Further, to the extent NCTA's “in the home” construction is intended to ensure that the emergency information rules do not apply to video programming accessed over the Internet, our approach to cover linear programming accessed over the MVPD's network as part of an MVPD's services accomplishes this objective. Our emergency information rules do not apply, at this time, to an MVPD's linear programming that is accessed via the Internet, such as TV Everywhere offerings.

    41See 16th Video Competition Report, para. 3 (“These services, referred to as `TV Everywhere,' allow MVPD subscribers to access both linear and video-on-demand (`VOD') programming on a variety of in-home and mobile Internet-connected devices.”); id. at n.22 (“TV Everywhere is an authentication system whereby certain movies and television shows are accessible online via a variety of display devices including personal computer, mobile, and television—but only if you can prove (or `authenticate') that you have a subscription to an MVPD.”); id. para. 85 (“Most of the video programming offered on TV Everywhere is available only to MVPD subscribers. Access to TV Everywhere video programming is restricted through the use of an authentication process that requires a subscriber to select their MVPD service provider and then provide a user ID and password.”) (citation omitted).

    42Further Notice, para. 2.

    43 NCTA Comments at 3, n.11. See also AT&T Comments at 1; CEA Comments at 4 (“The Commission consistently has applied Section[ ] 79.2 only in the context of traditional broadcast television and MVPD services, which are classic examples of services for residential reception that deliver such programming directly to the home.”) (citation omitted); TIA Comments at 4 (“The Commission's video description and emergency information requirements are appropriately limited to the MVPD's traditional programming offered within the home, and that qualifies as linear video programming under Part 79.1 of the Commission's rules.”); ESA Reply at 3 (“The CVAA imposes emergency information requirements not on the full range of video programming, but only on that programming intended for in‐home reception.”).

    44 Moreover, we disagree with NCTA's argument that emergency information is irrelevant to a subscriber outside of his or her home. See NCTA Comments at 3, n.11.

    15. As mentioned above, we do not apply these rules to over-the-top services provided by MVPDs at this time. In December 2014, we adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to include within the definition of MVPD certain Internet-based video services.45 Specifically, we proposed “to modernize our interpretation of the term `multichannel video programming distributor' (`MVPD') by including within its scope services that make available for purchase, by subscribers or customers, multiple linear streams of video programming, regardless of the technology used to distribute the programming.” 46 In that NPRM, we specifically sought comment on the application of our rules pertaining to accessibility of emergency information by persons with disabilities to Internet-based distributors of video programming that qualify as MVPDs under the proposed definition.47 We conclude, therefore, that application of the emergency information rules to such services is better addressed in that proceeding.

    45See MVPD Definition NPRM, para. 1.

    46Id.

    47Id. at para. 56.

    2. MVPD Obligations

    16. We conclude that MVPDs must ensure that any application or plug-in that they provide to consumers to access linear programming over the MVPD's network on mobile and other devices is capable of passing through the aural representation of emergency information (including the accompanying aural tone) on a secondary audio stream. In so concluding, we do not change the underlying obligations applicable to video programming distributors and video programming providers as set forth in the First Report and Order. In the First Report and Order, the Commission concluded that the video programming distributor or video programming provider that creates visual emergency information content and adds it to the programming stream is responsible for providing an aural representation of the information on a secondary audio stream, accompanied by an aural tone.48 The Commission also found that video programming distributors are responsible for ensuring that the aural representation of the emergency information and the accompanying aural tone get passed through to consumers.49 NCTA asserts that “the Further Notice appears to contemplate an additional requirement that operators ‘mak[e] the emergency information audible on a secondary audio stream’ on devices that they do not control,” which, they argue, goes beyond the requirement to ensure that aural emergency information gets passed through to consumers.50 We agree that, consistent with the responsibilities set forth in the current rule, to the extent MVPDs do not originate visual emergency information that is added to the programming stream, they are not responsible for providing an aural representation of the information on a secondary audio stream.51 MVPDs are responsible for ensuring that the aural representation of emergency information on the secondary audio stream gets passed through to consumers, and we find that this obligation applies if the MVPD permits the consumer to view linear programming on mobile and other devices over the MVPD's network as part of its MVPD services.

    48First Report and Order, para. 36; 47 CFR 79.2(b)(2)(ii). In addition, both video programming distributors and video programming providers are responsible for ensuring that aural emergency information supersedes all other programming on the secondary audio stream, with each entity responsible only for its own actions or omissions in this regard. First Report and Order, para. 36; 47 CFR 79.2(b)(5).

    49First Report and Order, para. 36; 47 CFR 79.2(b)(2)(ii).

    50 NCTA Comments at 3-4 (citation omitted).

    51 Although NCTA argues that “[c]able operators do not originate the type of ‘emergency information’ addressed by the Commission's new rule,” but “simply pass along the aural emergency information contained in a secondary audio stream that is created by the originator of that information,” NCTA Comments at 4, we reiterate our position “that to the extent an MVPD does create a crawl or other visual graphic conveying local emergency information as defined in Section 79.2 and embeds it in non-newscast programming, it should also be responsible for making the visual emergency information aurally accessible.” First Report and Order, n.38.

    3. Apparatus Manufacturer Obligations

    17. We also sought comment in the Further Notice as to whether apparatus manufacturers covered by section 203 of the CVAA should be required to ensure that tablets, laptops, personal computers, smartphones, and similar devices are capable of receiving the secondary audio stream.52 As part of this inquiry, we asked whether apparatus manufacturers should be solely responsible for making emergency information accessible on these types of devices, or whether both the MVPD and the manufacturer have a role in facilitating the provision of the secondary audio stream on such devices.53 Consumer electronics industry commenters argue that manufacturers should not be subject to compliance obligations because apparatus have no control over the audio functionality of MVPD applications and technologies used to distribute linear programming on mobile and other devices.54 For example, CTIA-The Wireless Association (“CTIA”) explains that mobile device manufacturers have no control over the development or installation of MVPD applications, and once an MVPD application is installed on a mobile device, the application controls the audio capabilities, i.e., whether there are multiple audio streams and which audio stream is heard by the user.55 According to CTIA, “the mobile device simply supports the general audio functionality of the device, so that it will play whatever audio stream the app itself provides.” 56 Likewise, CEA contends that if an MVPD application is capable of delivering and switching between more than one audio stream for linear programming, the device generally will play the audio stream delivered by the application.57

    52Further Notice, para. 3.

    53Id.

    54See Comments of CTIA-The Wireless Association, MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 11-43, at 2, 5-6 (“CTIA Comments”); CEA Comments at 10-11; TIA Comments at 4-5; ITIC Reply at 5; Letter from Julie M. Kearney, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, CEA, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, at 2 (Mar. 28, 2014) (“CEA Mar. 28, 2014 Ex Parte Letter”). See also Wireless RERC Reply at 5 (agreeing with TIA and CTIA that the responsibility for accessible emergency information on mobile and other devices lies with MVPDs because they are providing the video programming via an application or Web site, and “thus the mobile device in this case is serving as a conduit”).

    55 CTIA Comments at 5.

    56Id.

    57 CEA Mar. 28, 2014 Ex Parte Letter at 1-2.

    18. Based on the record, we do not impose compliance obligations on the manufacturers of apparatus covered by section 203 of the CVAA with regard to ensuring that any application or plug-in that MVPDs provide to consumers to access linear programming on mobile and other devices is capable of passing through audible emergency information on a secondary audio stream. The record demonstrates that such entities typically do not control either the applications or technologies in question or the ability of consumers to select and receive the secondary audio stream for MVPD-provided linear programming on mobile and other devices. We believe that the responsibility for passing through the aural representation of emergency information in the secondary audio stream properly lies with MVPDs. However, to the extent MVPD applications or other technologies have been designed and developed to work on a specific type of device or platform, we expect that users will be able to hear the secondary audio stream in an MVPD application through the native audio functionality of the device, as professed by industry commenters. We may impose obligations on manufacturers in the future if we find that the apparatus itself does not make a secondary audio stream with audible emergency information from an MVPD application available to the apparatus user or otherwise impedes the ability of a user to hear the secondary audio stream.58

    58See ESA Reply at 4 (“If . . . the Commission were to impose emergency information requirements on IP-delivered linear video programming within the home, any responsibility on devices should be limited to a ‘do not block’ or ‘do no harm’ requirement.”). See also Wireless RERC Reply at 5 (“[I]f mobile device manufacture[r]s at any point incorporate the ability to tune into linear programming via a chip or other built-in modification (via software, hardware or firmware) or an app that is ‘integrated into a mobile device by the manufacturer,’ then the device manufacturer should be responsible for ensuring the provision of accessible emergency information.”) (citation omitted).

    4. Compliance Deadline

    19. We adopt a compliance deadline of two years after publication of the Second Report and Order in the Federal Register. NCTA requests that the Commission provide MVPDs at least two years after adoption of new requirements to come into compliance because of the technical challenges involved.59 NCTA explains that passing through a secondary audio stream to mobile and other devices in the home is “a different, more complex, and more costly matter” than passing a secondary audio stream through to a television set.60 According to NCTA, “cable operators generally just pass through the primary audio stream to operator-provided apps,” and thus, “operators would have to acquire additional equipment and encoding to support the pass through of an additional audio stream in IP,” and “operators may need to provide audio enhancements to many different apps created to serve a multiplicity of devices in the home.” 61 Given these challenges, NCTA asks for sufficient time to allow operators to support the capability for a secondary audio stream on these devices going forward.62 DIRECTV states that developing the technological ecosystem to support a secondary audio stream for emergency information in the IP context “would be a massive undertaking” because linear programming delivered via IP does not currently include this capability, the equipment used to view such programming does not currently support it, and adding additional data to the video stream would further congest strained broadband capabilities.63

    59 NCTA Comments at 5. See also CEA Comments at 9 (arguing that a two-year period would be consistent with deadlines the Commission has adopted in other CVAA proceedings); ESA Reply at 4 (suggesting that “any deadline should be subject to industry development of appropriate technical standards, with a subsequent phase-in period of at least two years after adoption of such standard to address any complicated handoffs of other technical and business challenges”).

    60 NCTA Comments at 4-5.

    61Id. at 5. See also NCTA Apr. 4, 2014 Ex Parte Letter at 1-2.

    62 NCTA Apr. 4, 2014 Ex Parte Letter at 2.

    63 DIRECTV Comments at 7. See also NAB Reply at 3.

    20. Although we acknowledge that today MVPDs typically pass through a single audio stream in the IP context,64 the record also demonstrates that at least some MVPDs are already able to use a secondary audio stream to deliver emergency information when they provide linear programming on mobile and other devices. Notably, Comcast has made investments in infrastructure to enable the secondary audio stream when it offers its cable services through its Xfinity applications, and, currently, “Comcast customers can access the secondary audio stream via the Xfinity user interface on a number of third-party devices.” 65 Further, Cablevision customers currently can access the secondary audio stream when using Cablevision's Optimum application on a laptop or personal computer, though not when using this application on other mobile devices.66 Cablevision has already initiated efforts to transmit the secondary audio stream over the Optimum application on mobile and other devices, and explains that the process of implementing this functionality involves further development of the application, software upgrades, and testing.67

    64 NCTA Apr. 4, 2014 Ex Parte Letter at 1.

    65See Letter from James R. Coltharp, Chief Policy Advisor, FCC & Regulatory Policy, Comcast Corporation, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, at 1 (May 23, 2014).

    66See Letter from Tara M. Corvo, Counsel for Cablevision Systems Corp., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, at 1 (June 26, 2014).

    67Id. In addition, we note that Netflix has begun to include alternative audio tracks for their programming on Netflix-supported devices. See Todd Spangler, Netflix Adding Audio Description Tracks for Visually Impaired, Starting with `Marvel's Daredevil,' Variety (Apr. 14, 2015), available at http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/netflix-adding-audio-description-tracks-for-visually-impaired-starting-with-marvels-daredevil-1201472372/# (noting that “the company is working with studios and other content owners to increase the amount of audio description across a range of devices including smart TVs, tablets and smartphones”).

    21. Based on our review of the record, we conclude that a compliance deadline of two years after publication of the Second Report and Order in the Federal Register is reasonable, though we encourage covered MVPDs to offer this functionality as soon as it is technically feasible for them to do so. The record shows that MVPDs may need to take a number of steps to achieve compliance, such as acquiring additional equipment to support the pass through of the secondary audio stream for IP and developing or modifying applications to support this type of audio functionality for a number of devices. We believe that a two-year period will provide sufficient time for MVPDs to achieve these steps, along with the requisite testing and implementation, and is consistent with other timeframes adopted by the Commission for CVAA-related compliance.68

    68See First Report and Order, para. 37.

    B. Activation Mechanism for Audible Emergency Information on the Secondary Audio Stream

    22. We require manufacturers of apparatus subject to section 79.105 of the Commission's rules 69 to provide a mechanism that is simple and easy to use, such as one that is reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon, for activating the secondary audio stream for audible emergency information. We conclude that such a requirement is necessary to ensure that covered apparatus are capable of making available emergency information in a manner that is accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, as mandated by section 203 of the CVAA.70

    69 47 CFR 79.105. Covered apparatus include apparatus that are designed to receive or play back video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound that is provided by entities subject to sections 79.2 and 79.3, are manufactured or imported for use in the United States, and use a picture screen of any size, subject to certain exemptions. See id. 79.105(a) through (b).

    70 47 U.S.C. 303(u)(1)(C).

    1. Legal and Policy Analysis

    23. In the User Interfaces Further Notice, the Commission sought comment on whether to require manufacturers of apparatus covered by section 203 of the CVAA to provide access to the secondary audio stream used for audible emergency information in a simple, straightforward, and timely manner, such as through a mechanism reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon.71 Section 303(u)(1)(C) of the Act, as added by Section 203 of the CVAA, requires that apparatus designed to receive and play back video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound “have the capability to decode and make available emergency information (as that term is defined in section 79.2 of the Commission's regulations (47 CFR 79.2)) in a manner that is accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.” 72 Further, section 203 also provides the Commission with authority to “prescribe such regulations as are necessary to implement the requirements of section[] 303(u) . . . of the Communications Act.” 73 Pursuant to these statutory provisions, we find that the Commission has authority to require that the secondary audio stream—which is used to make emergency information audible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired—be made available on covered apparatus in a manner that is accessible to such individuals.74

    71User Interfaces Further Notice, para. 9.

    72 47 U.S.C. 303(u)(1)(C).

    73 Public Law 111-260, sec. 203(d).

    74See Reply Comments of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies, MB Docket Nos. 12-108, 12-107, at 8 (Feb. 25, 2014) (“Wireless RERC User Interfaces Reply Comments”); Reply Comments of the American Foundation for the Blind and the American Council of the Blind, MB Docket Nos. 12-108, 12-107, at 2 (Mar. 20, 2014) (“AFB/ACB User Interfaces Reply Comments”).

    24. As noted above, in the First Report and Order, we required video programming providers and distributors to use the secondary audio stream as the means to provide accessible emergency information for individuals who are blind or visually impaired in accordance with section 202 of the CVAA. Thus, to implement section 203 of the CVAA, we required apparatus designed to receive and play back video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound to decode and make available the secondary audio stream in a manner that enables consumers to select the stream used for transmission and delivery of emergency information.75 Notably, the Commission was given authority and discretion to promulgate regulations requiring covered entities to convey emergency information in a manner accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Use of the secondary audio stream to provide audible emergency information was not mandated by Congress.76 For example, the Commission could have required that visual emergency information be made audible on the main program audio.77 Given broad-based support from consumers and industry, as well as the recommendation of the VPAAC, however, the Commission decided that the secondary audio stream would be the best method to make visual information presented during non-newscast programming audibly accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Yet, emergency information presented aurally on the secondary audio stream is not, as a practical matter, fully accessible to such individuals unless they are able to promptly switch to the secondary audio stream to hear the critical details of an emergency in a timely manner. As the VPAAC concluded, unless blind or visually impaired consumers are able to more easily control the means of accessing the secondary audio stream on devices, “emergency information present on the secondary audio channel may not be readily accessible.” 78

    75First Report and Order, para. 50; 47 CFR 79.105(a).

    76See 47 U.S.C. 613(g)(1) through (2), 303(u)(1)(C). See also S. Rep. No. 111-386, at 13 (“The Committee is aware that emergency alert information is inherently local and time sensitive in nature. Therefore it is the intention of the Committee that the Commission have flexibility with respect to applying the requirements of new section 713(g). . . .”); H.R. Rep. No. 111-563, at 29 (same).

    77See VPAAC Second Report: Access to Emergency Information at 8. See also id. at 11-12.

    78VPAAC Second Report: Access to Emergency Information at 7-8 (“To obtain emergency information from television programming, many users with visual disabilities require a greater level of access to controls on receiving devices than most models of such devices offer today. . . . [A] blind or visually impaired person will need a reliable method of accessing the secondary audio feed if emergency information is to be provided on [this] service.”).

    25. Although the requirements related to the provision of accessible emergency information on a secondary audio stream have not yet gone into effect,79 the experiences of consumers who use the secondary audio stream for video description are illustrative in showing how difficult it is for consumers to access any kind of programming on the secondary audio stream. Currently, the process for activating the secondary audio stream is often arduous and time-consuming.80 In the User Interfaces Further Notice, the Commission observed that individuals who are blind or visually impaired have experienced difficulty with accessing the secondary audio stream because the mechanism for switching to the secondary audio stream from the main program audio is buried in several layers of on-screen menus.81 Likewise, in a CVAA-required report to Congress on video description, the Commission noted that numerous individual commenters who are blind or visually impaired contend that activating the secondary audio stream on televisions and set-top boxes is challenging, and sometimes impossible for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, due to the complexities of navigating through multiple on-screen menus to select this feature.82 While it is important that consumers who are blind or visually impaired are able to access the secondary audio stream for video description services, it is even more critical that consumers who are blind or visually impaired are able to access the secondary audio stream for audible emergency information, and that they are able to do so in a timely manner.83 In an emergency situation, every second counts. Thus, to ensure that emergency information is made readily accessible, we conclude that individuals who are blind or visually impaired must be able to activate the secondary audio stream in a simple and easy to use manner.

    79 Compliance with the accessible emergency information rules adopted in the First Report and Order is required by May 26, 2015, subject to certain exceptions. See 47 CFR 79.2(b)(2)(ii), 79.105(a), 79.106(a). See also First Report and Order, paras. 37-45, paras. 76-77.

    80See AFB/ACB User Interfaces Reply Comments at 2 (noting that AFB, ACB, and individual consumers “have commented on the current difficulty, and frequently virtual impossibility, of locating [video] description controls and turning [video] description on”); Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, MB Docket No. 11-43, Report to Congress, DA 14-945, para. 32, nn.102-05 (MB rel. Jun. 30, 2014) (“Video Description Report to Congress”).

    81User Interfaces Further Notice, para. 9.

    82Video Description Report to Congress, para. 32.

    83See VPAAC Second Report: Access to Emergency Information at 7 (“The effective use of video description by the blind or visually impaired for any purpose requires convenient, reliable and readily available access to the video description service [on the secondary audio stream]. If this service is to convey emergency information, the convenience of such access is all the more important.”).

    26. Requiring a simple and easy to use mechanism for activating the secondary audio stream for emergency information will provide a substantial benefit for consumers who are blind or visually impaired by providing an easy and quick method to switch to the secondary audio stream to hear critical emergency information. According to AFB and ACB, “the importance of a streamlined and obvious means for accessing emergency information is indispensable,” given that the information being accessed “may very well save lives.” 84 Indeed, as the Commission has consistently recognized, “providing all viewers with accurate information regarding emergencies is of great importance.” 85 Emergency information is of unique significance given its potential impact on public safety, and it is essential that persons with disabilities have access to the same time-sensitive emergency information to which other viewers have access. Our emergency information requirements, including the activation mechanism requirement we adopt here, will ensure that critical information that is conveyed on television to further the protection of life, health, safety, and property in an emergency is available to every viewer in a timely manner, including persons with visual disabilities.

    84 AFB/ACB User Interfaces Reply Comments at 2. See also Wireless RERC User Interfaces Reply Comments at 9 (strongly urging the Commission to adopt a requirement for a mechanism reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon for accessing the secondary audio stream for audible emergency information because “[t]his can be a life and death scenario where people with vision disabilities would miss information that affects their immediate safety”).

    85Implementation of Section 305 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Closed Captioning and Video Description of Video Programming: Accessibility of Emergency Programming, MM Docket No. 95-176, Second Report and Order, FCC 00-136, 65 FR 26757 (2000).

    27. We find that requiring the provision of a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for audible emergency information on the secondary audio stream is necessary to fulfill the statute's mandate that emergency information be made accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. This is particularly true given the time-sensitive nature of emergency information. At the same time, however, we believe it is important that the industry has flexibility in choosing the precise means for activating the secondary audio stream.86 Accordingly, we do not mandate a particular means of compliance. For example, we note that the VPAAC stated that covered entities could provide a dedicated button on a remote control to activate the secondary audio stream, a mechanism it singled out as useful.87 However, we believe the better path is to give industry the flexibility to develop simple and easy to use activation methods, similar to the approach we adopted to implement the requirements of sections 204 and 205 of the CVAA.88 Some industry commenters have indicated that they have already begun developing innovative approaches to comply with the activation mechanism rules adopted in the User Interfaces Order. For example, NCTA states that activation methods now in development include programmable buttons on remote controls and that voice and gesture controls will likely be offered in addition to these methods.89

    86See User Interfaces Order, para. 81 (stating that the requirement to provide an activation mechanism reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon “is consistent with Congress's intent ‘to ensure ready access to [closed captioning and video description] features by persons with disabilities,’ while still giving covered entities the flexibility contemplated by the statute”).

    87See VPAAC Second Report: Access to Emergency Information at 8-9 (“In the event that . . . the crawl or scroll is made auditory in the secondary audio channel, several other methods could possibly be used to assist visually impaired consumers in gaining access to this audio service. For example, physical buttons on the remote control may help individuals with visual disabilities enable the second audio channel.”).

    88User Interfaces Order, para. 81.

    89See National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Opposition to Petition for Reconsideration, MB Docket Nos. 12-108, 12-07, at 7 (filed Feb. 18, 2014). See also Letter from James R. Coltharp, Chief Policy Advisor, FCC & Regulatory Policy, Comcast Corporation, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, at 1 (Mar. 20, 2015) (detailing a demonstration of how consumers can activate and use the talking guide, closed captioning, and video description on Comcast's X1 platform).

    28. Industry commenters raise a number of legal arguments as to why they believe the Commission should not require an activation mechanism for audible emergency information on section 203 apparatus, but we find each of them to be unpersuasive. As we explain below, we require covered entities to provide a simple and easy to use activation mechanism and find that a mechanism reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon would satisfy this standard. We disagree with commenters who contend that the Commission should not require covered entities to provide a simple means for accessing the secondary audio stream for emergency information because section 203 does not contain such a mandate.90 As explained above, section 303(u)(1)(C) of the Act requires generally that covered apparatus have the capability to make available emergency information in an accessible manner, and section 203 of the CVAA grants the Commission authority to adopt regulations that are necessary to implement this requirement.91 Thus, the Commission has latitude to adopt requirements that will ensure that emergency information is made available in an accessible manner.

    90 Comments of the Consumer Electronics Association, MB Docket Nos. 12-108, 12-107, at 8 (Feb. 18, 2014) (“CEA User Interfaces Comments”). See also Comments of DISH Network L.L.C. and EchoStar Technologies L.L.C., MB Docket Nos. 12-108, 12-107, at 6 (Feb. 18, 2014) (“DISH/EchoStar User Interfaces Comments”) (“The absence of a ‘reasonably comparable’ mechanism requirement in Section 203 precludes the Commission from imposing such a requirement in that context.”); Reply Comments of the Consumer Electronics Association, MB Docket Nos. 12-108, 12-107, at 5 (Mar. 20, 2014) (“CEA User Interfaces Reply Comments”).

    91 47 U.S.C. 303(u)(1)(C); Public Law 111-260, sec. 203(d).

    29. For similar reasons, we reject industry commenters' argument that the Commission has no authority to require an activation mechanism for audible emergency information because Congress specifically required an activation mechanism reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon in sections 204 and 205 of the CVAA, but not in section 203 of the CVAA.92 CEA opines that “[i]f Congress had meant for such a specific requirement to apply to emergency information, it surely would have said so in section 203.” 93 However, this argument also fails to recognize that Congress gave the Commission authority to identify methods to convey emergency information in a manner accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, and to promulgate regulations (i) requiring covered video programming providers and distributors to convey emergency information in an accessible manner, and (ii) requiring covered apparatus to have the capability to make emergency information available in an accessible manner.94 In other words, as discussed above, when Congress enacted the CVAA, it did not specify the particular requirements for making emergency information available in a manner accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Rather, it gave the Commission authority and discretion to adopt implementing regulations. Moreover, as Congress did not specify in the statute that covered entities must use a secondary audio stream to convey audible emergency information to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, there was no reason for Congress to mandate a simple and easy to use mechanism to access that stream. Indeed, had the Commission chosen instead to implement section 203 by requiring all emergency information to be audible on the primary audio stream, there would have been no need for an activation mechanism for the secondary audio stream that is reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon. Thus, even though the “reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon” language is included in other sections of the CVAA, we do not believe its omission from section 203 is indicative of Congress' intent to bar the Commission from requiring an activation mechanism in the emergency information context. We find this argument fails to recognize the rulemaking authority Congress granted the Commission in section 203 to ensure that covered apparatus have the capability to make available emergency information in an accessible manner. As explained above, the record demonstrates that such a mechanism is necessary to carry out the statutory directive.95

    92See CEA User Interfaces Comments at 9; DISH/EchoStar User Interfaces Comments at 5-7; Comments of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, MB Docket Nos. 12-108, 12-107, at 6 (Feb. 18, 2014) (“NCTA User Interfaces Comments”).

    93 CEA User Interfaces Comments at 9. See also DISH/EchoStar User Interfaces Comments at 6 (“If Congress had intended for the Commission to require that access to the secondary audio stream for audible emergency information on apparatus covered by section 203 be available via a mechanism `reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon,' or any other specified mechanism, Congress would have stated so.”); NCTA User Interfaces Comments at 6 (noting that section 205 specifically references a mechanism for activating closed captioning, but “section 203 . . . does not reference a mechanism at all. Under these circumstances, no additional authority to impose such a requirement can be inferred.”); CEA User Interfaces Reply Comments at 6. See also Letter from Diane B. Burstein, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, NCTA, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, at 1 (Feb. 18, 2015) (“NCTA Feb. 18, 2015 Ex Parte Letter”).

    94See 47 U.S.C. 613(g)(1) through (2), 303(u)(1)(C).

    95 Commissioner Pai dissents “from the requirement that manufacturers of televisions, set-top boxes, and other covered devices include in those apparatuses a mechanism for activating the secondary audio stream for emergency information that is reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon.” He objects to what he describes as importing into the rules implementing section 203 of the CVAA specific mandates set forth in sections 204 and 205 of the CVAA. See Statement of Commissioner Ajit Pai, Approving in Part and Dissenting in Part. The rule we adopt today, however, does no such thing. Rather, it requires only that “all apparatus subject to this section must provide a simple and easy to use mechanism for activating the secondary audio stream for audible emergency information.” See 47 CFR 79.105(d). While the dissent distinguishes between “the capabilities that devices must have” and “the means of activating those capabilities,” id., the Commission finds that distinction artificial. In directing the Commission to ensure that covered apparatus “have the capability to decode and make available emergency information . . . in a manner that is accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired,” the majority does not believe that Congress intended that such apparatus have capabilities such as an audio stream of emergency information that are impossible for individuals who are blind or vision impaired to activate quickly when they are needed—in an emergency. Such a distinction would be self-defeating. As discussed in the order, the statutory directive that the Commission adopt rules ensuring that emergency information is accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired grants the Commission ample authority for the rules we adopt today.

    30. NCTA and CEA point out that the Commission adopted rules pursuant to sections 204 and 205 of the CVAA requiring the accessibility of appropriate built-in apparatus functions on digital apparatus and the audible accessibility of on-screen text menus and guides used for the display or selection of multichannel video programming on navigation devices for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.96 According to NCTA and CEA, because individuals who are blind or visually impaired will have audible access to the on-screen menus used to locate the secondary audio stream, “no additional dedicated `mechanism' will be needed for blind or visually impaired customers to be able to readily locate” the secondary audio stream for emergency information.97 Although we believe that these new regulations will make it easier for individuals who are blind or visually impaired to access the secondary audio stream for video description, they will not fully alleviate accessibility issues with regard to audible emergency information. In particular, if the activation mechanism for the secondary audio stream is buried in multiple levels of menus, it will still be a time-consuming process for individuals who are blind or visually impaired to navigate through those menus, even if the menus are made audible, and such individuals will not have ready and immediate access to time-sensitive emergency information. As AFB and ACB emphasize, “it is imperative that the Commission . . . ensure ease of use so that consumers are not confounded by avoidable technological barriers at the very time when time is of the essence.” 98 We find that, as part of their obligation to make emergency information available in a manner that is accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, manufacturers of covered apparatus must ensure that these individuals are provided with a mechanism to quickly activate the secondary audio stream to hear audible emergency information.

    96See NCTA User Interfaces Comments at 7; CEA User Interfaces Reply Comments at 6.

    97Id. See also NCTA Feb. 18, 2015 Ex Parte Letter at 1, n.2 (“We further explained that audibly-accessible guides and menus will assist blind or visually impaired individuals in locating [the] secondary audio stream that will contain emergency information as well as video description.”).

    98 AFB/ACB User Interfaces Reply Comments at 2.

    2. Apparatus Manufacturer Obligations

    31. Manufacturers of apparatus covered by section 79.105 of the Commission's rules must provide a simple and easy to use mechanism for activating the secondary audio stream for audible emergency information.99 As described above, to provide some guidance to industry, we find that providing a mechanism reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon—as is required for activating closed captioning and video description on section 204 digital apparatus, and for activating closed captioning on section 205 navigation devices—would comply with the requirement to provide a simple and easy to use mechanism for activating the secondary audio stream for audible emergency information. The Commission will consider the simplicity and ease of use of the mechanism in determining whether the statutory requirement has been met, i.e., that the covered apparatus has the capability to make available emergency information in an accessible manner. Consistent with our approach in the User Interfaces Order, 100 we will consider examples of compliant mechanisms to include, but not be limited to, a dedicated button, key, or icon; voice commands; gestures; and a single step activation from the same location as the volume controls.101 This approach will ensure ready access to the secondary audio stream by persons who are blind and visually impaired, while still giving covered manufacturers the flexibility to determine the appropriate activation mechanism, as long as it is simple and easy to use in accordance with our rules.

    99 We emphasize that manufacturers will need to ensure that set-top boxes include a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for emergency information on the secondary audio stream. We seek comment in the Second Further Notice on whether we should require MVPDs to provide their customers with set-top boxes that contain the simple and easy to use activation mechanism for the secondary audio stream. We also note that manufacturers of televisions and other digital apparatus covered by section 204 of the CVAA are already required to provide a mechanism reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon for activating the secondary audio stream for video description by December 20, 2016 and thus, as a practical matter, they should not need to take additional steps to comply with the rule we adopt here. See 47 CFR 79.109(a)(2), (c).

    100User Interfaces Order, para. 81.

    101Id. at para. 81. The Commission is considering a Petition for Reconsideration filed by the National Association of the Deaf along with other consumer and academic groups which asks the Commission to reconsider allowing voice commands as compliant mechanisms for activating closed captioning, and to reconsider allowing gestures as compliant mechanisms for activating closed captioning and video description. See Petition for Reconsideration of the National Association of the Deaf, Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network, Association of Late-Deafened Adults, Inc., Hearing Loss Association of America, California Coalition of Agencies Serving the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization, and Technology Access Program Gallaudet University, MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 12-108 (Jan. 20, 2014).

    32. We find that manufacturers are not responsible for providing a simple and easy to use mechanism to activate the secondary audio stream for emergency information on third-party MVPD applications and plug-ins that are downloaded by consumers to view linear programming on mobile and other devices. As noted above, manufacturers typically do not control such applications and, in particular, they do not control the ability of consumers to select and receive the secondary audio stream for linear programming provided through an MVPD application on mobile and other devices. In the Second Further Notice, we seek comment on whether we should impose an obligation on MVPDs to provide a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for the secondary audio stream to access emergency information with respect to the applications and plug-ins they provide to consumers to access linear programming on mobile and other devices. In the meantime, we strongly encourage MVPDs to design their applications and plug-ins such in a way that access to the secondary audio stream is simple and easy to use for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. In this regard, we urge MVPDs to consult with the disability community when designing and developing these features.

    33. We note that the provisions for achievability determinations, purpose-based waivers, and exemptions that apply to devices covered by Section 79.105 of the Commission's rules will apply equally to the requirement that covered apparatus provide an activation mechanism that is simple and easy to use for accessing the secondary audio stream.102 In addition, apparatus designed to receive and play back video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound must comply with Section 203 requirements only to the extent they are “technically feasible.” 103 Thus, we permit covered manufacturers to raise technical infeasibility as a defense when faced with a complaint alleging a violation of the apparatus requirements adopted herein, or to file a request for a ruling under Section 1.41 of the Commission's rules as to technical feasibility before manufacturing or importing the product, consistent with our approach in the First Report and Order. 104 Although we note that apparatus manufacturers may use alternate means of compliance with the rules adopted pursuant to section 203, consistent with our approach in the First Report and Order, 105 we believe that few, if any, manufacturers will need to request an alternate means of compliance with the requirement to make the secondary audio stream accessible by providing a simple and easy to use activation mechanism because we do not prescribe the precise means for compliance.

    102See 47 CFR 79.105(b)(1) through (2) (exempt apparatus), 79.105(b)(3) (achievability), 79.105(b)(4) (purpose-based waivers). See also First Report and Order, paras. 67-74.

    103See 47 U.S.C. 303(u).

    104See First Report and Order, para. 66.

    105See id. at para. 75; Public Law 111-260, sec. 203(e). Under this approach, an entity that seeks to use an alternate means to comply with the apparatus requirements must file a request pursuant to section 1.41 of the Commission's rules for a determination that the proposed alternative satisfies the statutory requirements. See First Report and Order, para. 75 (“We will not permit an entity to claim in defense to a complaint or enforcement action that the Commission should determine that the party's actions were a permissible alternate means of compliance.”). We will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis. See id.

    3. Compliance Deadline

    34. In the User Interfaces Further Notice, the Commission sought comment on the appropriate time frame for requiring covered entities to provide a simple and easy to use mechanism for accessing the secondary audio stream for audible emergency information.106 The Commission also inquired whether the deadline should be consistent with the deadline for compliance with section 203 apparatus requirements that were adopted in the First Report and Order (May 26, 2015) 107 or whether device manufacturers would need additional time to come into compliance.108

    106User Interfaces Further Notice, para. 11.

    107 47 CFR 79.105(a).

    108User Interfaces Further Notice, para. 11.

    35. The Wireless RERC, the only party to comment on this issue, argues that the deadline for a requirement to provide a simple and easy to use mechanism for accessing the secondary audio stream for audible emergency information should be consistent with the deadlines for apparatus that the Commission adopted in the First Report and Order. 109 The Wireless RERC strongly recommends that the Commission not go beyond the deadlines adopted in that Order because delays in implementation of the new requirements could place persons who are blind or visually impaired in a potentially “perilous position[ ].” 110 Further, the Wireless RERC asserts that any extensions of the deadline or waivers of the newly adopted regulations “should be granted very judiciously.” 111

    109See Wireless RERC User Interfaces Reply Comments at 10.

    110Id.

    111Id.

    36. We conclude that it is reasonable to apply the same compliance deadline that we adopted in the User Interfaces Order for digital apparatus and navigation devices to comply with the accessible user interfaces rules, including the requirement to provide an activation mechanism reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon for certain accessibility features, to the requirement adopted here. Thus, consistent with the deadline in section 79.109(c) of our rules, covered manufacturers must provide a simple and easy to use mechanism for accessing the secondary audio stream for audible emergency information no later than December 20, 2016.112 Although apparatus manufacturers were silent in the record with regard to this issue, we believe that they will need some time for the design, testing, and implementation of a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for the secondary audio stream on covered apparatus. We believe that making the deadline consistent with that imposed in the User Interfaces Order will provide sufficient time for apparatus manufacturers to achieve these steps. In addition, we find that requiring manufacturers of such devices to incorporate the required accessibility features at the same time will ensure that the devices are updated on a uniform timetable. Such a uniform timeframe will prevent any consumer confusion as to the capabilities of their devices.113

    112 47 CFR 79.109(c).

    113 This will also reduce any consumer confusion that could arise from different deadlines relating to access to the secondary audio stream applying depending upon whether a particular device is covered by Section 203, 204, or 205 of the CVAA. We find that Wireless RERC's proposed timeframe of May 26, 2015 has been rendered moot by the passage of time.

    IV. Procedural Matters A. Final Regulatory Flexibility Act

    37. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (“RFA”),114 an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (“IRFA”) was incorporated into each of the Further Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (“-NPRM”) in this proceeding.115 The Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) sought written public comment on the proposals in the Further Notices, including comment on the IRFA. The Commission received no comments on the IRFA. This present Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (“FRFA”) conforms to the RFA.116

    114See 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (“SBREFA”), Public Law 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996). The SBREFA was enacted as Title II of the Contract with America Advancement Act of 1996 (“CWAAA”).

    115See Further Notice, para. 9; User Interfaces Further Notice, para. 17.

    116See 5 U.S.C. 604.

    1. Need for, and Objectives of, the Second Report and Order

    38. In the Second Report and Order, we take additional steps under the authority of sections 202 and 203 of the CVAA 117 to make emergency information in video programming accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

    117 Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751 (2010); Amendment of Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-265, 124 Stat. 2795 (2010) (making technical corrections to the CVAA).

    39. First, the Second Report and Order concludes that multichannel video programming distributors (“MVPDs”) must pass through a secondary audio stream containing audible emergency information in accordance with section 79.2 of the Commission's rules 118 when they permit consumers to access linear programming on tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices over the MVPD's network as part of their MVPD services. Increasingly, Americans are utilizing a wide range of devices in addition to the television to view video programming, and a number of MVPDs now allow customers to view linear programming on second screen devices using applications or other technologies. The conclusion we make in the Second Report and Order ensures that individuals who are blind or visually impaired will be provided with accessible emergency information when they are watching linear programming over the MVPD's network as part of their MVPD services, regardless of whether they are viewing the programming on their television or on their tablet, smartphone, or similar device.

    118 47 CFR 79.2.

    40. Second, the Second Report and Order requires manufacturers of apparatus subject to Section 79.105 of the Commission's rules 119 to provide a mechanism that is simple and easy to use for activating the secondary audio stream to access audible emergency information. Individuals who are blind or visually impaired should not have to navigate through multiple levels of menus or take other time-consuming actions to activate the secondary audio stream when they hear the aural tone signaling that emergency information is being provided visually on the screen. In emergency situations, every second counts. Thus, we believe that in order for emergency information to be made fully accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired in accordance with Section 203 of the CVAA, manufacturers of covered apparatus must ensure that such individuals have a simple, easy to use mechanism to activate the secondary audio stream in order to hear emergency information.

    119 47 CFR 79.105.

    2. Summary of Significant Issues Raised By Public Comments in Response to the IRFA

    41. No public comments were filed in response to the IRFA.

    42. Pursuant to the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the Commission is required to respond to any comments filed by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and to provide a detailed statement of any change made to the proposed rules as a result of those comments. The Chief Counsel did not file any comments in response to the proposed rules in this proceeding.

    3. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Rules Will Apply

    43. The RFA directs the Commission to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that will be affected by the rules adopted in the Second Report and Order. 120 The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” 121 In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act.122 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.123 Small entities that are directly affected by the rules adopted in the Second Report and Order include MVPDs and manufacturers of apparatus covered by Section 79.105 of the Commission's rules.

    120 5 U.S.C. 603(b)(3).

    121Id. 601(6).

    122Id. 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.”

    123 15 U.S.C. 632.

    44. Cable Television Distribution Services. Since 2007, these services have been defined within the broad economic census category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which was developed for small wireline businesses. This 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. 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.” 124 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category, which is: All such businesses having 1,500 or fewer employees.125 Census data for 2007 shows that there were 31,996 establishments that operated that year.126 Of this total, 30,178 establishments had fewer than 100 employees, and 1,818 establishments had 100 or more employees.127 Therefore, under this size standard, we estimate that the majority of businesses can be considered small entities.

    124 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” (partial definition) at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch. Examples of this category are: Broadband Internet service providers (e.g., cable, DSL); local telephone carriers (wired); cable television distribution services; long-distance telephone carriers (wired); closed circuit television (“CCTV”) services; VoIP service providers, using own operated wired telecommunications infrastructure; direct-to-home satellite system (“DTH”) services; telecommunications carriers (wired); satellite television distribution systems; and multichannel multipoint distribution services (“MMDS”).

    125 13 CFR 121.201; 2012 NAICS code 517110.

    126 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census. See U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, “Information: Subject Series—Estab and Firm Size: Employment Size of Establishments for the United States: 2007—2007 Economic Census,” NAICS code 517110, Table EC0751SSSZ2; available at http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

    127Id.

    45. Cable Companies and Systems. The Commission has also 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.128 Industry data shows that there were 1,141 cable companies at the end of June 2012.129 Of this total, all but 10 incumbent cable companies are small under this size standard.130 In addition, under the Commission's rate regulation rules, a “small system” is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers.131 Current Commission records show 4,945 cable systems nationwide.132 Of this total, 4,380 cable systems have less than 20,000 subscribers, and 565 systems have 20,000 subscribers or more, based on the same records. Thus, under this standard, we estimate that most cable systems are small.

    128 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. Implementation of Sections of the Cable Television Consumer Protection And Competition Act of 1992: Rate Regulation, MM Docket No. 92-266, MM Docket No. 93-215, Sixth Report and Order and Eleventh Order on Reconsideration, FCC 95-196, 60 FR 35854 (1995).

    129 NCTA, Industry Data, Number of Cable Operating Companies (June 2012), http://www.ncta.com/Statistics.aspx (visited Sept. 28, 2012). Depending upon the number of homes and the size of the geographic area served, cable operators use one or more cable systems to provide video service. See Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for Delivery of Video Programming, MB Docket No. 12-203, Fifteenth Report, FCC 13-99 at para. 24 (rel. July 22, 2013) (“15th Annual Competition Report”).

    130See SNL Kagan, “Top Cable MSOs—12/12 Q”; available at http://www.snl.com/InteractiveX/TopCableMSOs.aspx?period=2012Q4&sortcol=subscribersbasic&sortorder=desc. We note that, when applied to an MVPD operator, under this size standard (i.e., 400,000 or fewer subscribers) all but 14 MVPD operators would be considered small. See NCTA, Industry Data, Top 25 Multichannel Video Service Customers (2012), http://www.ncta.com/industry-data (visited Aug. 30, 2013). The Commission applied this size standard to MVPD operators in its implementation of the CALM Act. See Implementation of the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, MB Docket No. 11-93, Report and Order, FCC 11-182, 77 FR 40276, para. 37 (2011) (“CALM Act Report and Order”) (defining a smaller MVPD operator as one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers nationwide, as of December 31, 2011).

    131 47 CFR 76.901(c).

    132 The number of active, registered cable systems comes from the Commission's Cable Operations and Licensing System (COALS) database on Aug. 28, 2013. A cable system is a physical system integrated to a principal headend.

    46. Cable System Operators (Telecom Act Standard). The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, also contains a size standard for small cable system operators, which is “a cable operator that, directly or through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than 1 percent of all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed $250,000,000.” 133 There are approximately 56.4 million incumbent cable video subscribers in the United States today.134 Accordingly, an operator serving fewer than 564,000 subscribers shall be deemed a small operator, if its annual revenues, when combined with the total annual revenues of all its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the aggregate.135 Based on available data, we find that all but 10 incumbent cable operators are small under this size standard.136 We note that the Commission neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million.137 Although it seems certain that some of these cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250,000,000, we are unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number of cable system operators that would qualify as small cable operators under the definition in the Communications Act.

    133 47 U.S.C. 543(m)(2); see 47 CFR 76.901(f) & nn. 1-3.

    134See NCTA, Industry Data, Cable Video Customers (2012), http://www.ncta.com/industry-data (visited Aug. 30, 2013).

    135 47 CFR 76.901(f); see Public Notice, FCC Announces New Subscriber Count for the Definition of Small Cable Operator, DA 01-158 (Cable Services Bureau, Jan. 24, 2001).

    136See NCTA, Industry Data, Top 25 Multichannel Video Service Customers (2012), http://www.ncta.com/industry-data (visited Aug. 30, 2013).

    137 The Commission does receive such information on a case-by-case basis if a cable operator appeals a local franchise authority's finding that the operator does not qualify as a small cable operator pursuant to 47 CFR 76.901(f).

    47. Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) Service. DBS service is a nationally distributed subscription service that delivers video and audio programming via satellite to a small parabolic “dish” antenna at the subscriber's location. DBS, by exception, is now included in the SBA's broad economic census category, Wired Telecommunications Carriers,138 which was developed for small wireline businesses. In this category, the SBA deems a wired telecommunications carrier to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.139 Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category.140 Of these 3,188 firms, only 44 had 1,000 or more employees. While we could not find precise Census data on the number of firms with in the group with 1,500 or fewer employees, it is clear that at least 3,144 firms with fewer than 1,000 employees would be in that group. Therefore, under this size standard, the majority of such businesses can be considered small. However, the data we have available as a basis for estimating the number of such small entities were gathered under a superseded SBA small business size standard formerly titled “Cable and Other Program Distribution.” The definition of Cable and Other Program Distribution provided that a small entity is one with $12.5 million or less in annual receipts.141 Currently, only two entities provide DBS service, which requires a great investment of capital for operation: DIRECTV and DISH Network.142 Each currently offer subscription services. DIRECTV and DISH Network each report annual revenues that are in excess of the threshold for a small business. Because DBS service requires significant capital, we believe it is unlikely that a small entity as defined by the SBA would have the financial wherewithal to become a DBS service provider.

    138See 13 CFR 121.201; 2012 NAICS code 517110. This category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers 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. 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.” (Emphasis added to text relevant to satellite services.) U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    139 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS Code 517110.

    140http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.

    141 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS code 517510 (2002).

    142 See 15th Annual Competition Report, at para. 27. As of June 2012, DIRECTV is the largest DBS operator and the second largest MVPD in the United States, serving approximately 19.9 million subscribers. DISH Network is the second largest DBS operator and the third largest MVPD, serving approximately 14.1 million subscribers. Id. para. 27, 110-11.

    48. Satellite Master Antenna Television (SMATV) Systems, also known as Private Cable Operators (PCOs). SMATV systems or PCOs are video distribution facilities that use closed transmission paths without using any public right-of-way. They acquire video programming and distribute it via terrestrial wiring in urban and suburban multiple dwelling units such as apartments and condominiums, and commercial multiple tenant units such as hotels and office buildings. SMATV systems or PCOs are now included in the SBA's broad economic census category, Wired Telecommunications Carriers,143 which was developed for small wireline businesses. In this category, the SBA deems a wired telecommunications carrier to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.144 Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category.145 Of these 3,188 firms, only 44 had 1,000 or more employees. While we could not find precise Census data on the number of firms with in the group with 1,500 or fewer employees, it is clear that at least 3,144 firms with fewer than 1,000 employees would be in that group. Therefore, under this size standard, the majority of such businesses can be considered small.

    143See 13 CFR 121.201; 2012 NAICS code 517110. This category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers 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. 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.” (Emphasis added to text relevant to satellite services.) U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    144 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS Code 517110.

    145http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.

    49. Home Satellite Dish (HSD) Service. HSD or the large dish segment of the satellite industry is the original satellite-to-home service offered to consumers, and involves the home reception of signals transmitted by satellites operating generally in the C-band frequency. Unlike DBS, which uses small dishes, HSD antennas are between four and eight feet in diameter and can receive a wide range of unscrambled (free) programming and scrambled programming purchased from program packagers that are licensed to facilitate subscribers' receipt of video programming. Because HSD provides subscription services, HSD falls within the SBA-recognized definition of Wired Telecommunications Carriers.146 In this category, the SBA deems a wired telecommunications carrier to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.147 Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category.148 Of these 3,188 firms, only 44 had 1,000 or more employees. While we could not find precise Census data on the number of firms with in the group with 1,500 or fewer employees, it is clear that at least 3,144 firms with fewer than 1,000 employees would be in that group. Therefore, under this size standard, we estimate that the majority of businesses can be considered small entities.

    146See 13 CFR 121.201; 2012 NAICS code 517110. This category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers is defined in part 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. 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.” U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    147 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS Code 517110.

    148http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.

    50. Open Video Services. The open video system (OVS) framework was established in 1996, and is one of four statutorily recognized options for the provision of video programming services by local exchange carriers.149 The OVS framework provides opportunities for the distribution of video programming other than through cable systems. Because OVS operators provide subscription services,150 OVS falls within the SBA small business size standard covering cable services, which is Wired Telecommunications Carriers.151 In this category, the SBA deems a wired telecommunications carrier to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.152 Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category.153 Of these 3,188 firms, only 44 had 1,000 or more employees. While we could not find precise Census data on the number of firms with in the group with 1,500 or fewer employees, it is clear that at least 3,144 firms with fewer than 1,000 employees would be in that group. Therefore, under this size standard, we estimate that the majority of businesses can be considered small entities. In addition, we note that the Commission has certified some OVS operators, with some now providing service.154 Broadband service providers (“BSPs”) are currently the only significant holders of OVS certifications or local OVS franchises.155 The Commission does not have financial or employment information regarding the entities authorized to provide OVS, some of which may not yet be operational. Thus, again, at least some of the OVS operators may qualify as small entities.

    149 47 U.S.C. 571(a)(3) through (4). See Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video Programming, MB Docket No. 06-189, Thirteenth Annual Report, FCC 07-206, 74 FR 11102, para. 135 (2009) (“Thirteenth Annual Cable Competition Report”).

    150See 47 U.S.C. 573.

    151See 13 CFR 121.201; 2012 NAICS code 517110. This category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers is defined in part 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. 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.” U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    152 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS Code 517110.

    153http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.

    154 A list of OVS certifications may be found at http://www.fcc.gov/mb/ovs/csovscer.html.

    155See Thirteenth Annual Cable Competition Report, para. 135. BSPs are newer businesses that are building state-of-the-art, facilities-based networks to provide video, voice, and data services over a single network.

    51. Wireless cable systems—Broadband Radio Service and Educational Broadband Service. Wireless cable systems use the Broadband Radio Service (BRS) 156 and Educational Broadband Service (EBS) 157 to transmit video programming to subscribers. In connection with the 1996 BRS auction, the Commission established a small business size standard as an entity that had annual average gross revenues of no more than $40 million in the previous three calendar years.158 The BRS auctions resulted in 67 successful bidders obtaining licensing opportunities for 493 Basic Trading Areas (BTAs). Of the 67 auction winners, 61 met the definition of a small business. BRS also includes licensees of stations authorized prior to the auction. At this time, we estimate that of the 61 small business BRS auction winners, 48 remain small business licensees. In addition to the 48 small businesses that hold BTA authorizations, there are approximately 392 incumbent BRS licensees that are considered small entities.159 After adding the number of small business auction licensees to the number of incumbent licensees not already counted, we find that there are currently approximately 440 BRS licensees that are defined as small businesses under either the SBA or the Commission's rules. In 2009, the Commission conducted Auction 86, the sale of 78 licenses in the BRS areas.160 The Commission offered three levels of bidding credits: (i) A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that exceed $15 million and do not exceed $40 million for the preceding three years (small business) received a 15 percent discount on its winning bid; (ii) a bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that exceed $3 million and do not exceed $15 million for the preceding three years (very small business) received a 25 percent discount on its winning bid; and (iii) a bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that do not exceed $3 million for the preceding three years (entrepreneur) received a 35 percent discount on its winning bid.161 Auction 86 concluded in 2009 with the sale of 61 licenses.162 Of the 10 winning bidders, two bidders that claimed small business status won four licenses; one bidder that claimed very small business status won three licenses; and two bidders that claimed entrepreneur status won six licenses.

    156 BRS was previously referred to as Multipoint Distribution Service (MDS) and Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS). See Amendment of Parts 21 and 74 of the Commission's Rules with Regard to Filing Procedures in the Multipoint Distribution Service and in the Instructional Television Fixed Service and Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act—Competitive Bidding, MM Docket No. 94-131, PP Docket No. 93-253, Report and Order, FCC 95-230, 60 FR 36524, para. 7 (1995).

    157 EBS was previously referred to as the Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS). See id.

    158 47 CFR 21.961(b)(1).

    159 47 U.S.C. 309(j). Hundreds of stations were licensed to incumbent MDS licensees prior to implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 309(j). For these pre-auction licenses, the applicable standard is SBA's small business size standard of 1,500 or fewer employees.

    160 Auction of Broadband Radio Service (BRS) Licenses, Scheduled for October 27, 2009, Notice and Filing Requirements, Minimum Opening Bids, Upfront Payments, and Other Procedures for Auction 86, Public Notice, DA 09-1376 (WTB rel. Jun. 26, 2009).

    161Id. at 8296.

    162Auction of Broadband Radio Service Licenses Closes, Winning Bidders Announced for Auction 86, Down Payments Due November 23, 2009, Final Payments Due December 8, 2009, Ten-Day Petition to Deny Period, Public Notice, DA 09-2378 (WTB rel. Nov. 6, 2009).

    52. In addition, the SBA's placement of Cable Television Distribution Services in the category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers is applicable to cable-based Educational Broadcasting Services. Since 2007, these services have been defined within the broad economic census category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which was developed for small wireline businesses. This 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. 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.” 163 In this category, the SBA deems a wired telecommunications carrier to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.164 Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category.165 Of these 3,188 firms, only 44 had 1,000 or more employees. While we could not find precise Census data on the number of firms with in the group with 1,500 or fewer employees, it is clear that at least 3,144 firms with fewer than 1,000 employees would be in that group. Therefore, under this size standard, we estimate that the majority of businesses can be considered small entities. In addition to Census data, the Commission's internal records indicate that as of September 2012, there are 2,241 active EBS licenses.166 The Commission estimates that of these 2,241 licenses, the majority are held by non-profit educational institutions and school districts, which are by statute defined as small businesses.167

    163 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” (partial definition) at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch. Examples of this category are: broadband Internet service providers (e.g., cable, DSL); local telephone carriers (wired); cable television distribution services; long-distance telephone carriers (wired); closed circuit television (“CCTV”) services; VoIP service providers, using own operated wired telecommunications infrastructure; direct-to-home satellite system (“DTH”) services; telecommunications carriers (wired); satellite television distribution systems; and multichannel multipoint distribution services (“MMDS”).

    164 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS Code 517110.

    165http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.

    166http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/results.jsp.

    167 The term “small entity” within SBREFA applies to small organizations (non-profits) and to small governmental jurisdictions (cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, and special districts with populations of less than 50,000). 5 U.S.C. 601(4) through (6).

    53. Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for incumbent local exchange services. ILECs are included in the SBA's economic census category, Wired Telecommunications Carriers.168 In this category, the SBA deems a wired telecommunications carrier to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.169 Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category.170 Of these 3,188 firms, only 44 had 1,000 or more employees. While we could not find precise Census data on the number of firms with in the group with 1,500 or fewer employees, it is clear that at least 3,144 firms with fewer than 1,000 employees would be in that group. Therefore, under this size standard, the majority of such businesses can be considered small.

    168See 13 CFR 121.201; 2012 NAICS code 517110. This category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers 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. 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.” (Emphasis added to text relevant to satellite services.) U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    169 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS Code 517110.

    170http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.

    54. Small Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers. We have included small incumbent local exchange carriers in this present RFA analysis. A “small business” under the RFA is one that, inter alia, meets the pertinent small business size standard (e.g., a telephone communications business having 1,500 or fewer employees), and “is not dominant in its field of operation.” 171 The SBA's Office of Advocacy contends that, for RFA purposes, small incumbent local exchange carriers are not dominant in their field of operation because any such dominance is not “national” in scope.172 We have therefore included small incumbent local exchange carriers in this RFA analysis, although we emphasize that this RFA action has no effect on Commission analyses and determinations in other, non-RFA contexts.

    171 15 U.S.C. 632.

    172 Letter from Jere W. Glover, Chief Counsel for Advocacy, SBA, to William E. Kennard, Chairman, FCC (May 27, 1999). The Small Business Act contains a definition of “small-business concern,” which the RFA incorporates into its own definition of “small business.” See 15 U.S.C. 632(a) (Small Business Act); 5 U.S.C. 601(3) (RFA). SBA regulations interpret “small business concern” to include the concept of dominance on a national basis. See 13 CFR 121.102(b).

    55. Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs), 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. These entities are included in the SBA's economic census category, Wired Telecommunications Carriers.173 In this category, the SBA deems a wired telecommunications carrier to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.174 Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category.175 Of these 3,188 firms, only 44 had 1,000 or more employees. While we could not find precise Census data on the number of firms with in the group with 1,500 or fewer employees, it is clear that at least 3,144 firms with fewer than 1,000 employees would be in that group. Therefore, under this size standard, the majority of such businesses can be considered small.

    173See 13 CFR 121.201; 2012 NAICS code 517110. This category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers 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. 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.” (Emphasis added to text relevant to satellite services.) U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    174 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS Code 517110.

    175http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.

    56. Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing. The Census Bureau defines this category as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing radio and television broadcast and wireless communications equipment. Examples of products made by these establishments are: Transmitting and receiving antennas, cable television equipment, GPS equipment, pagers, cellular phones, mobile communications equipment, and radio and television studio and broadcasting equipment.” 176 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category, which is: all such businesses having 750 or fewer employees.177 Census data for 2007 shows that there were 939 establishments that operated for part or all of the entire year.178 Of those, 912 operated with fewer than 500 employees, and 27 operated with 500 or more employees.179 Therefore, under this size standard, the majority of such establishments can be considered small.

    176 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “334220 Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    177 13 CFR 121.201; 2012 NAICS code 334220.

    178 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census. See U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, “Manufacturing: Summary Series: General Summary: Industry Statistics for Subsectors and Industries by Employment Size: 2007—2007 Economic Census,” NAICS code 334220, Table EC0731SG3; available at http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

    179Id.

    57. Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing. The Census Bureau defines this category as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing electronic audio and video equipment for home entertainment, motor vehicles, and public address and musical instrument amplification. Examples of products made by these establishments are video cassette recorders, televisions, stereo equipment, speaker systems, household-type video cameras, jukeboxes, and amplifiers for musical instruments and public address systems.” 180 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category, which is: all such businesses having 750 or fewer employees.181 Census data for 2007 shows that there were 492 establishments in this category operated for part or all of the entire year.182 Of those, 488 operated with fewer than 500 employees, and four operated with 500 or more employees.183 Therefore, under this size standard, the majority of such establishments can be considered small.

    180 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “334310 Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    181 13 CFR 121.201; 2012 NAICS code 334310.

    182 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census. See U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, “Manufacturing: Summary Series: General Summary: Industry Statistics for Subsectors and Industries by Employment Size: 2007—2007 Economic Census,” NAICS code 334310, Table EC0731SG3; available at http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

    183Id.

    4. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

    58. The Second Report and Order (i) concludes that MVPDs must pass through a secondary audio stream containing audible emergency information in accordance with Section 79.2 of the Commission's rules when they permit consumers to access linear programming on tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices over the MVPD's network as part of their MVPD services, and (ii) adopts new requirements applicable to manufacturers of apparatus covered by Section 79.105 of the Commission's rules pursuant to the authority in Section 203 of the CVAA.

    59. With respect to the first issue, the Second Report and Order does not adopt a new regulatory regime, but rather finds that the existing emergency information requirements in Section 79.2 of the Commission's rules apply when an MVPD provides linear programming for viewing on mobile and other devices over the MVPD's network. Accordingly, there are no new reporting or recordkeeping requirements. There will, however, be compliance requirements for MPVDs, including small MVPDs. Specifically, MVPDs must pass through a secondary audio stream containing audible emergency information when they permit consumers to access linear programming on tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices over the MVPD's network as part of their MVPD services. As part of this obligation, MVPDs must ensure that any application or plug-in that they provide to consumers to access such programming is capable of passing through audible emergency information on a secondary audio stream.

    60. With respect to the second issue, the Second Report and Order adopts new compliance requirements for manufacturers of covered apparatus, including small entities. Specifically, manufacturers of apparatus subject to Section 79.105 of the Commission's rules must provide a mechanism that is simple and easy to use for activating the secondary audio stream to access audible emergency information on covered apparatus. The provisions for achievability, purpose-based waiver, and exemptions in Section 79.105 of the Commission's rules apply to the requirement that covered apparatus provide a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for the secondary audio stream.184

    184See 47 CFR 79.105(b)(1) through (2) (exempt apparatus), 79.105(b)(3) (achievability), 79.105(b)(4) (purpose-based waivers).

    61. No commenter provided specific information about the costs and administrative burdens associated with the rules adopted in the Second Report and Order. However, we note that the rule we adopt pursuant to Section 203 of the CVAA—which requires manufacturers of apparatus subject to Section 79.105 of the Commission's rules to provide a mechanism that is simple and easy to use for activating the secondary audio stream to access audible emergency information—affords covered entities flexibility in how they implement this requirement.

    5. Steps Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities and Significant Alternatives Considered

    62. The RFA requires an agency to describe the steps the agency has taken to minimize the significant economic impact on small entities consistent with the stated objectives of applicable statutes, including a statement of the factual, policy, and legal reasons for selecting the alternative adopted in the final rule and why each one of the other significant alternatives to the rule considered by the agency which affect the impact on small entities was rejected.185

    185 5 U.S.C. 604(a)(6).

    63. The rules adopted in the Second Report and Order may have an economic impact in some cases, and that impact may affect small entities. Although the Commission has considered alternatives where possible, as directed by the RFA, to minimize economic impact on small entities, we emphasize that our action is governed by the congressional mandate contained in Sections 202 and 203 of the CVAA.

    64. In crafting its new requirements, the Commission provided reasonable timeframes within which covered entities may come into compliance, as requested in the record.

    65. In addition, with regard to the accessibility requirements adopted pursuant to Section 203 of the CVAA, in certain instances, the Commission may grant exemptions to the rules where a petitioner has shown that compliance is not achievable (i.e., cannot be accomplished with reasonable effort or expense).186 We note that two of the four statutory factors that the Commission will consider in determining achievability are particularly relevant to small entities: The nature and cost of the steps needed to meet the requirements, and the technical and economic impact on the entity's operations. In addition, apparatus designed to receive and play back video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound must comply with Section 203 requirements only to the extent they are “technically feasible.” 187 Thus, covered manufactures, including small entities, may raise technical infeasibility as a defense when faced with a complaint alleging a violation of the apparatus requirements adopted herein, or to file a request for a ruling under Section 1.41 of the Commission's rules as to technical feasibility before manufacturing or importing the product.188 As an additional means of reducing the costs of compliance, apparatus manufacturers may use alternate means of compliance with the rules adopted pursuant to Section 203.189 Under this approach, the Commission will permit an entity that seeks to use an alternate means to comply with the apparatus requirements to file a request pursuant to Section 1.41 of the Commission's rules for a determination that the proposed alternative satisfies the statutory requirements. The Commission will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis. Further, the rule also allows for certain purpose-based waivers and exemptions.190 These processes will allow the Commission to address the impact of the rules on individual entities, including smaller entities, on a case-by-case basis and to modify the application of the rules to accommodate individual circumstances, which can reduce the costs of compliance for these entities.

    186See 47 CFR 79.105(b)(3).

    187See 47 U.S.C. 303(u).

    188See First Report and Order, para. 66.

    189See id., para. 75.

    190See 47 CFR 79.105(b)(1) through (2), 79.105(b)(4).

    66. Overall, we believe we have appropriately considered both the interests of individuals with disabilities and the interests of the entities who will be subject to the rules, including those that are smaller entities. The requirements adopted by the Commission today help ensure that the critical details of an emergency are made accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, thus significantly benefiting consumers and serving the stated public interest goal of the CVAA.

    6. Report to Congress

    67. The Commission will send a copy of the Second Report and Order, including this FRFA, in a report to be sent to Congress pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.191 In addition, the Commission will send a copy of the Second Report and Order, including this FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA. A copy of the Second Report Order and FRFA (or summaries thereof) will also be published in the Federal Register.192

    191See 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    192See id. 604(b).

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    68. The Second Report and Order does not contain any new or modified information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA).193 In addition, therefore, it does not contain any information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002.194

    193 The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13, 109 Stat 163 (1995) (codified in Chapter 35 of title 44 U.S.C.).

    194 The Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002 (SBPRA), Public Law 107-198, 116 Stat 729 (2002) (codified in Chapter 35 of title 44 U.S.C.); see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

    C. Congressional Review Act

    69. The Commission will send a copy of the Second Report and Order in a report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability Office, pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.195

    195See 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    D. Additional Information

    70. For additional information on this proceeding, contact Maria Mullarkey, [email protected], of the Media Bureau, Policy Division, (202) 418-2120.

    V. Ordering Clauses

    71. Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751, and the authority found in Sections 4(i), 4(j), 303, 330(b), 713, and 716 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 154(j), 303, 330(b), 613, and 617, this Second Report and Order is adopted, effective August 10, 2015.

    72. It is ordered that, pursuant to the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751, and the authority found in Sections 4(i), 4(j), 303, 330(b), 713, and 716 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 154(j), 303, 330(b), 613, and 617, the Commission's rules are hereby amended as set forth herein.

    73. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Second Report and Order, including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    74. It is further ordered that the Commission shall send a copy of this Second Report and Order in a report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 79

    Cable television operators, Communications equipment, Multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), Satellite television service providers.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 79 as follows:

    PART 79—ACCESSIBILITY OF VIDEO PROGRAMMING 1. The authority citation for part 79 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 151, 152(a), 154(i), 303, 307, 309, 310, 330, 544a, 613, 617.

    2. Amend § 79.2 by revising paragraph (b)(2)(ii) and adding paragraph (b)(6) to read as follows:
    § 79.2 Accessibility of programming providing emergency information.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (ii) Emergency information that is provided visually during programming that is neither a regularly scheduled newscast, nor a newscast that interrupts regular programming, must be accompanied with an aural tone, and beginning May 26, 2015 except as provided in paragraph (b)(6) of this section, must be made accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired through the use of a secondary audio stream to provide the emergency information aurally. Emergency information provided aurally on the secondary audio stream must be preceded by an aural tone and must be conveyed in full at least twice. Emergency information provided through use of text-to-speech (“TTS”) technologies must be intelligible and must use the correct pronunciation of relevant information to allow consumers to learn about and respond to the emergency, including, but not limited to, the names of shelters, school districts, streets, districts, and proper names noted in the visual information. The video programming distributor or video programming provider that creates the visual emergency information content and adds it to the programming stream is responsible for providing an aural representation of the information on a secondary audio stream, accompanied by an aural tone. Video programming distributors are responsible for ensuring that the aural representation of the emergency information (including the accompanying aural tone) gets passed through to consumers.

    (6) Beginning July 10, 2017, multichannel video programming distributors must ensure that any application or plug-in that they provide to consumers to access linear programming on tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices over the MVPD's network as part of their multichannel video programming distributor services is capable of passing through to consumers an aural representation of the emergency information (including the accompanying aural tone) on a secondary audio stream.

    3. Amend § 79.105 by adding paragraph (d) and a note to paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 79.105 Video description and emergency information accessibility requirements for all apparatus.

    (d) Beginning December 20, 2016, all apparatus subject to this section must provide a simple and easy to use mechanism for activating the secondary audio stream for audible emergency information.

    Note To Paragraph (d):

    This paragraph places no restrictions on the importing, shipping, or sale of navigation devices that were manufactured before December 20, 2016.

    [FR Doc. 2015-16324 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 1206013412-2517-02] RIN 0648-XE028 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2015 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for Gulf of Mexico Greater Amberjack 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 greater amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) reef fish fishery for the 2015 fishing year through this temporary rule. NMFS projects commercial landings for greater amberjack, will reach the commercial ACT (commercial quota) by July 19, 2015. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for greater amberjack in the Gulf on July 19, 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 Gulf greater amberjack resource.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, July 19, 2015, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rich Malinowski, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the reef fish fishery of the Gulf, which includes greater amberjack, under the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf (FMP). The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the FMP and NMFS implements the FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. All greater amberjack weights discussed in this temporary rule are in round weight.

    The commercial annual catch limit (ACL) for Gulf greater amberjack is 481,000 lb (218,178 kg), as specified in 50 CFR 622.41(a)(1), and the commercial ACT (equivalent to the commercial quota) is 409,000 lb (185,519 kg), as specified in 50 CFR 622.39(a)(1)(v).

    Under 50 CFR 622.41(a)(1)(i), NMFS is required to close the commercial sector for greater amberjack when the commercial ACT (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 has determined the commercial ACT (commercial quota) will be reached by July 19, 2015. Accordingly, the commercial sector for Gulf greater amberjack is closed effective 12:01 a.m., local time, July 19, 2015, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2016.

    The operator of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish with greater amberjack on board must have landed, bartered, traded, or sold such greater amberjack prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, July 19, 2015. During the commercial closure, the bag and possession limits specified in 50 CFR 622.38(b)(1), apply to all harvest or possession of greater amberjack in or from the Gulf exclusive economic zone (EEZ). However, from June 1 through July 31 each year, the recreational sector for greater amberjack is also closed, as specified in 50 CFR 622.34(c), and during this recreational closure, the bag and possession limits for greater amberjack in or from the Gulf EEZ are zero. During the commercial closure, the sale or purchase of greater amberjack taken from the EEZ is prohibited. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to the sale or purchase of greater amberjack that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, July 19, 2015, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor. The commercial sector for greater amberjack will reopen on January 1, 2016, the beginning of the 2016 commercial fishing season.

    Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of the Gulf greater amberjack component of the Gulf reef fish fishery and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws.

    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.41(a)(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 greater amberjack 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 establishing the closure provisions was 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 greater amberjack. The capacity of the commercial sector allows for rapid harvest of the commercial ACT (commercial quota), and prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and would potentially result in harvest exceeding the commercial ACT (commercial quota) and commercial ACL.

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16863 Filed 7-7-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 150316270-5270-01] RIN 0648-XE020 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Modifications of the West Coast Commercial Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions #7 Through #13 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Modification of fishing seasons; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces seven inseason actions in the ocean salmon fisheries. These inseason actions modified the commercial salmon fisheries in the area from the U.S./Canada border to the U.S./Mexico border.

    DATES:

    The effective dates for the inseason actions are set out in this document under the heading Inseason Actions. Comments will be accepted through July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peggy Mundy at 206-526-4323.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

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

    Management of the salmon fisheries is generally divided into two geographic areas: North of Cape Falcon (U.S./Canada border to Cape Falcon, OR) and south of Cape Falcon (Cape Falcon, OR, to the U.S./Mexico border). The inseason actions reported in this document affect fisheries north and south of Cape Falcon. Within the south of Cape Falcon area, the Klamath Management Zone (KMZ) extends from Humbug Mountain, OR, to Humboldt South Jetty, CA, and is divided at the Oregon/California border into the Oregon KMZ to the north and California KMZ to the south. All times mentioned refer to Pacific daylight time.

    Inseason Actions Inseason Action #7

    Description of action: Inseason action #7 reopened the commercial salmon fishery from Leadbetter Point, WA, to Cape Falcon, OR, on June 5, 2015; Friday through Tuesday, with a landing and possession limit of 40 Chinook salmon per vessel per open period. Inseason action #7 superseded inseason action #6 (80 FR 36725, June 26, 2015), which temporarily closed this fishery on May 29, 2015.

    Effective dates: Inseason action #7 took effect on June 5, 2015, and remained in effect until superseded by inseason action #8 on June 19, 2015.

    Reason and authorization for the action: After consideration of Chinook salmon landings to date and fishery effort, the Regional Administrator (RA) determined that sufficient quota remained to reopen this fishery with a 5-day open period and a landing and possession limit of 40 Chinook salmon per vessel per opening, to avoid exceeding the quota. This action was taken to allow access to available Chinook salmon quota, without exceeding the quota that was set preseason. Inseason action to modify quotas and/or fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(i).

    Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #7 occurred on June 4, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, WDFW, and ODFW.

    Inseason Action #8

    Description of action: Inseason action #8 adjusted the landing and possession limit in the commercial salmon fishery from Leadbetter Point, WA, to Cape Falcon, OR, from 40 Chinook salmon per vessel per open period (see inseason action #7) to 80 Chinook salmon per vessel per open period. Inseason action #8 superseded inseason action #7.

    Effective dates: Inseason action #8 took effect on June 19, 2015, and remained in effect until superseded by inseason action #12 on June 26, 2015.

    Reason and authorization for the action: The states provided information that poor weather conditions had restricted fishing opportunities in the affected area. After consideration of Chinook salmon landings to date and fishery effort, the RA determined that sufficient quota remained to increase the landing and possession limit to allow access to the remaining quota without exceeding the quota that was set preseason. Inseason action to modify quotas and/or fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(i).

    Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #8 occurred on June 18, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, WDFW, and ODFW.

    Inseason Action #9

    Description of action: Inseason action #9 extended retention of Pacific halibut caught incidental to commercial salmon fishing (U.S./Canada border to U.S./Mexico border) beyond the June 30, 2015 deadline announced preseason. Pacific halibut retention will continue without any changes to landing and possession requirements until further notice.

    Effective dates: Inseason action #9 took effect on July 1, 2015, and remains in effect until superseded by inseason action.

    Reason and authorization for the action: The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) establishes an annual allocation of Pacific halibut that can be retained when caught incidental to commercial salmon fishing by fishers who possess the necessary IPHC license. The annual ocean salmon management measures (80 FR 25611, May 5, 2015) authorized halibut retention only during April, May, and June of the 2015 troll seasons and after June 30 in 2015 if quota remains. The RA considered Pacific halibut and Chinook salmon landings to date, and fishery effort, and determined that sufficient halibut allocation remained to allow retention to continue for the foreseeable future.

    Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #9 occurred on June 25, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, WDFW, and ODFW.

    Inseason Action #10

    Description of action: Inseason action #10 modified the commercial salmon fishery from the U.S./Canada border to Cape Alava, WA. Inseason action #10 set a 2-day opening for this fishery, June 26-27, 2015, with a landing and possession limit of 12 Chinook salmon per vessel for the opening. This superseded the 5-day opening and 20 Chinook landing and possession limit established by inseason action #4 (80 FR 36725, June 26, 2015).

    Effective dates: Inseason action #10 took effect on June 26, 2015, and remained in effect through the end of the spring salmon season, June 30, 2015.

    Reason and authorization for the action: After consideration of Chinook salmon landings to date and fishery effort, the RA determined that insufficient quota remained to continue this fishery under the schedule and landing limits set by inseason action #4. Therefore, the fishery was restricted to a 2-day opening with a reduced landing and possession limit. This action was taken to allow access to available Chinook salmon quota, without exceeding the quota that was set preseason. Inseason action to modify quotas and/or fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(i).

    Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #10 occurred on June 25, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, WDFW, and ODFW.

    Inseason Action #11

    Description of action: Inseason action #11 closed the commercial salmon fishery from Queets River to Leadbetter point at 11:59 p.m., June 25, 2015.

    Effective dates: Inseason action #11 took effect on June 25, 2015, and remained in effect through the end of the spring salmon season, June 30, 2015.

    Reason and authorization for the action: After consideration of Chinook salmon landings to date and fishery effort, the RA determined that insufficient quota remained to continue this fishery under the schedule set preseason and that the fishery was likely to exceed the quota if allowed to remain open. This action was taken to avoid exceeding the quota that was set preseason. Inseason action to modify quotas and/or fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(i).

    Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #11 occurred on June 25, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, WDFW, and ODFW.

    Inseason Action #12

    Description of action: Inseason action #12 closed the commercial salmon fishery from Leadbetter Point, WA, to Cape Falcon, OR, by cancelling the 5-day opening scheduled to begin Friday, June 26, 2015, superseding inseason action #8.

    Effective dates: Inseason action #12 took effect on June 26, 2015, and remained in effect through the end of the spring salmon season, June 30, 2015.

    Reason and authorization for the action: After consideration of Chinook salmon landings to date and fishery effort, the RA determined that insufficient quota remained to continue this fishery under the schedule and landing limits set by inseason action #8 and cancelled the opening that was scheduled to begin June 26, 2015. This action was taken to avoid exceeding the quota that was set preseason. Inseason action to modify quotas and/or fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(i).

    Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #12 occurred on June 25, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, WDFW, and ODFW.

    Inseason Action #13

    Description of action: Inseason action #13 modified the commercial salmon fishery from Humbug Mountain, OR, to the OR/CA border (Oregon KMZ) in June and July. Inseason action #13 closed the fishery at 11:59 p.m., June 26, 2015; reopened the fishery July 1-2, 2015 with a landing and possession limit of 15 Chinook salmon per vessel per day; closed the fishery July 3-4, 2015; and reopened the fishery daily, beginning July 5, 2015 with a landing and possession limit of 25 Chinook salmon per vessel per day.

    Effective dates: Inseason action #13 took effect on June 26, 2015, and remains in effect until superseded by inseason action or the end of the July fishery, on July 31, 2015.

    Reason and authorization for the action: The commercial salmon fishery in the Oregon KMZ operates under monthly quotas for Chinook salmon in June, July, and August. After consideration of Chinook salmon landings to date and fishery effort, the RA determined that insufficient quota remained to continue fishing in June and that modifying the July opening would allow access to available Chinook salmon quota, without exceeding the quota that was set preseason. Inseason action to modify quotas and/or fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(i).

    Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #13 occurred on June 25, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, WDFW, and ODFW.

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

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

    Classification

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

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16829 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 132 Friday, July 10, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 284 [Docket No. RM15-19-000] Petition for a Rulemaking of the Liquids Shippers Group, Airlines for America, and the National Propane Gas Association AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of technical conference.

    SUMMARY:

    In this notice, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) plans to hold a technical conference on July 30, 2015, to discuss issues raised by the petition for rulemaking. The petition for rulemaking is requesting that the Commission issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) requiring changes to the FERC Form No. 6 (Annual Report of Oil Pipeline Companies), Page 700.

    DATES:

    The technical conference will be held on July 30, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Technical Contact

    Adrianne Cook, Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, [email protected], (202) 502-8849.

    Legal Contacts David Faerberg, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, [email protected], (202) 502-8275. Rekha Chandrasekher, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, [email protected], (202) 502-8865.
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice of Technical Conference

    On April 20, 2015, the Liquids Shippers Group, Airlines for America and the National Propane Gas Association (Joint Petitioners) filed a petition for rulemaking requesting that the Commission issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) requiring changes to the FERC Form No. 6 (Annual Report of Oil Pipeline Companies), Page 700.

    The Joint Petitioners request that the Commission issue a NOPR in which it proposes to revise Form No. 6, Page 700 by (1) requiring a pipeline that (i) files a single Form No. 6 report for both crude oil and petroleum product systems, and/or (ii) has multiple established and recognized segments which correspond to how the pipeline's rates are established or designed, to file a separate Page 700 for each individual system or segment rather than reporting aggregated cost and revenue data on a single Page 700; and (2) revising the Page 700 instructions to require crude oil and petroleum product pipelines to make their workpapers available to shippers and interested persons upon request, not just to the Commission and its Staff.

    Take notice that the Commission plans to hold a technical conference on July 30, 2015, to discuss issues raised by the petition for rulemaking.

    The Commission will issue a subsequent notice organizing the conference. The Commission contemplates utilizing panels to work through the issues presented. Those interested in serving on panels are asked to submit a short notice of intent in the instant docket, along with the specific issues they plan to address on or before July 10, 2015. Due to time constraints, we may not be able to accommodate all those interested in speaking.

    Dated: June 30, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16880 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION 41 CFR Part 102-77 [FMR Case 2015-102-3; Docket No. 2015-0007; Sequence No. 1] RIN 3090-AJ60 Federal Management Regulation; Art-in-Architecture AGENCY:

    Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP), General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    GSA is proposing to amend the Federal Management Regulation (FMR) by revising its coverage of Art-in-Architecture. This proposed rule provides clarification to the policies that support the efforts to collect, manage, fund and commission fine art in Federal buildings.

    DATES:

    Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat at one of the addresses shown below on or before September 8, 2015 to be considered in the formation of the final rule.

    ADDRESSESS:

    Submit comments in response to FMR Case 2015-102-3 by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal by searching for “FMR Case 2015-102-3.” Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “FMR Case 2015-102-3.” Follow the instructions provided at the “Comment Now” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “FMR Case 2015-102-3 on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat (MVCB), ATTN: Ms. Flowers, 1800 F Street NW., 2nd. Floor, Washington, DC 20405.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FMR Case 2015-102-3, in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Aluanda Drain, Office of Government-wide Policy, Office of Asset and Transportation Management (MA), at 202-501-1624, or by email at [email protected] For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat, at 202-501-4755. Please cite FMR Case 2015-102-3.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Background

    As part of its regular cycle to review and update its real property policies, GSA is proposing to revise its policy on Art-in-Architecture that is located in FMR part 102-77 (41 CFR part 102-77). This part was last revised on November 8, 2005 at 70 FR 67847.

    Proposed Changes

    The proposed changes to FMR part 102-77 reflect an internal as well as an interagency collaborative effort. Major proposed changes include the following:

    Section 102-77.10 recommends the practice of commissioning artwork and also requires that the art be the work of living American artists.

    Section 102-77.20 proposes that to the maximum extent possible, agencies should collaborate with representatives of the client agency and with others who are tied to the project to commission the nation's most talented artists.

    Section 102-77.25 calls for agencies to implement the Art-in-Architecture policies in a manner that receives national and local visibility to facilitate participation by a large and diverse group of American artists.

    B. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

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

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    While these revisions are substantive, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. This proposed rule is also exempt from the Administrative Procedure Act per 5 U.S.C. 553 (a)(2) because it applies to agency management or personnel.

    D. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the proposed changes to the FMR do not impose recordkeeping or information collection requirements, or the collection of information from offerors, contractors, or members of the public that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

    E. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This proposed rule is exempt from Congressional review prescribed by 5 U.S.C. 801 since it relates to agency management and personnel.

    List of Subjects in 41 CFR Part 102-77

    Arts and Crafts.

    Dated: May 7, 2015. Giancarlo Brizzi, Acting Associate Administrator.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, GSA proposes to amend 41 CFR part 102-77 as follows:

    PART 102-77—ART-IN-ARCHITECTURE 1. The authority continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121 and 3306.

    2. Revise § 102-77.10 to read as follows:
    § 102-77.10 What basic Art-in-Architecture policy governs Federal agencies?

    Federal agencies must incorporate fine arts as an integral part of the total building concept when designing new Federal buildings, and when making substantial repairs and alterations to existing Federal buildings, as appropriate. The commissioned artworks—including painting, sculpture and various other media—must reflect the national cultural heritage and be the work of living American artists (citizens or permanent residents of the United States).

    3. Revise § 102-77.20 to read as follows:
    § 102-77.20 With whom should Federal agencies collaborate when commissioning and selecting art for Federal buildings?

    To the maximum extent practicable, Federal agencies should collaborate with representatives of the client agency and the local community, the designer, and arts professionals to commission the nation's most talented artists to create significant civic-scaled artwork of outstanding quality and value. Federal agencies should work collaboratively with the artist, community, and art and design professionals to produce works of art that reflect the cultural, intellectual, and historic interests of the nation and the community. Federal agencies should commission artwork that is diverse in style and media.

    4. Revise § 102-77.25 to read as follows:
    § 102-77.25 Do Federal agencies have responsibilities to provide national visibility for Art-in-Architecture?

    Yes, Federal agencies should implement these Art-in-Architecture policies in a manner that receives appropriate national and local visibility to facilitate participation by a large and diverse group of American artists representing a wide variety of types of artwork.

    [FR Doc. 2015-16902 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 42 CFR Part 88 [NIOSH Docket 094] World Trade Center Health Program; Petition 008—Autoimmune Diseases; Finding of Insufficient Evidence AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Denial of petition for addition of a health condition.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 11, 2015, the Administrator of the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program received a petition (Petition 008) to add autoimmune diseases to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions (List). Upon reviewing the information provided by the petitioner, the Administrator has determined that Petition 008 is not substantially different from Petition 007, which also requested the addition of autoimmune diseases. The Administrator recently published a response to Petition 007 in the Federal Register and has determined that Petition 008 does not provide additional evidence of a causal relationship between 9/11 exposures and autoimmune diseases. Accordingly, the Administrator finds that insufficient evidence exists to request a recommendation of the WTC Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), to publish a proposed rule, or to publish a determination not to publish a proposed rule.

    DATES:

    The Administrator of the WTC Health Program is denying this petition for the addition of a health condition as of July 10, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rachel Weiss, Program Analyst, 1090 Tusculum Avenue, MS: C-46, Cincinnati, OH 45226; telephone (855) 818-1629 (this is a toll-free number); email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents A. WTC Health Program Statutory Authority B. Petition 008 C. Administrator's Determination on Petition 008 A. WTC Health Program Statutory Authority

    Title I of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-347), amended the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) to add Title XXXIII 1 establishing the WTC Health Program within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The WTC Health Program provides medical monitoring and treatment benefits to eligible firefighters and related personnel, law enforcement officers, and rescue, recovery, and cleanup workers who responded to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania (responders), and to eligible persons who were present in the dust or dust cloud on September 11, 2001 or who worked, resided, or attended school, childcare, or adult daycare in the New York City disaster area (survivors).

    1 Title XXXIII of the PHS Act is codified at 42 U.S.C. 300mm to 300mm-61. Those portions of the Zadroga Act found in Titles II and III of Public Law 111-347 do not pertain to the WTC Health Program and are codified elsewhere.

    All references to the Administrator of the WTC Health Program (Administrator) in this notice mean the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) or his or her designee.

    Pursuant to section 3312(a)(6)(B) of the PHS Act, interested parties may petition the Administrator to add a health condition to the List in 42 CFR 88.1. Within 60 calendar days after receipt of a petition to add a condition to the List, the Administrator must take one of the following four actions described in section 3312(a)(6)(B) and 42 CFR 88.17: (i) Request a recommendation of the STAC; (ii) publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register to add such health condition; (iii) publish in the Federal Register the Administrator's determination not to publish such a proposed rule and the basis for such determination; or (iv) publish in the Federal Register a determination that insufficient evidence exists to take action under (i) through (iii) above. However, in accordance with 42 CFR 88.17(a)(4), the Administrator is required to consider a new petition for a previously-evaluated health condition determined not to qualify for addition to the List only if the new petition presents a new medical basis—evidence not previously reviewed by the Administrator—for the association between 9/11 exposures and the condition to be added.

    B. Petition 008

    On May 11, 2015, the Administrator received a petition to add “autoimmune disease—encephalitis of the brain” to the List (Petition 008).2 This is the second petition to the Administrator requesting the addition of autoimmune diseases to the List; the first autoimmune disease petition, Petition 007, was denied due to insufficient evidence as described in a Federal Register notice published on June 8, 2015 (80 FR 32333). Petition 008, which is addressed in this notice, was submitted by a WTC Health Program member who responded to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City. The petitioner indicated that she has been diagnosed with encephalitis as well as two WTC-related health conditions. The petition presented as evidence several newspaper articles referencing a study recently published in the Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatology by Webber et al. [2015],3 which was designed to test the hypothesis that acute and chronic 9/11 work-related exposures were associated with the risk of certain new-onset systemic autoimmune diseases.

    2 See Petition 008. WTC Health Program: Petitions Received. http://www.cdc.gov/wtc/received.html.

    3 Webber MP, Moir W, Zeig-Owens R, Glaser MS, Jaber N, Hall C, Berman J, Qayyum B, Loupasakis K, Kelly K, and Prezant DJ [20015]. Nested case-control study of selected systemic autoimmune diseases in World Trade Center rescue/recovery workers. Journal of Arthritis & Rheumatology 67(5):1369-1376.

    Although Petition 008 specifically requested the addition of “autoimmune disease—encephalitis of the brain,” the Administrator determined that the scope of the petition properly includes only the autoimmune diseases identified in Webber et al., cited as evidence in both Petition 007 and Petition 008.4 Encephalitis is not among the autoimmune diseases studied by Webber et al. No other evidence was provided in Petition 008 to support the addition of encephalitis to the List; therefore, encephalitis is not addressed in this action.

    4 This determination is consistent with the Administrator's reasoning in the Petition 007 finding of insufficient evidence. 80 FR 32333, June 8, 2015.

    C. Administrator's Determination on Petition 008

    The Administrator has established a methodology for evaluating whether to add non-cancer health conditions to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions, published online in the Policies and Procedures section of the WTC Health Program Web site.5 However, the Administrator has determined that the methodology is not triggered in this case because Petition 008 requested the addition of a health condition that was previously reviewed by the Program, and presented no new evidence of a causal association between 9/11 exposures and autoimmune diseases. In a response to Petition 007, which also requested the addition of autoimmune diseases, published in the Federal Register on June 8, 2015 (80 FR 32333), the Administrator reviewed the findings presented in the Webber study and determined that insufficient evidence exists to take any of the following actions: Propose the addition of autoimmune diseases to the List (pursuant to PHS Act, section 3312(a)(6)(B)(ii) and 42 CFR 88.17(a)(2)(ii)); publish a determination not to publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register (pursuant to PHS Act, section 3312(a)(6)(B)(iii) and 42 CFR 88.17(a)(2)(iii)); or request a recommendation from the STAC (pursuant to PHS Act, section 3312(a)(6)(B)(i) and 42 CFR 88.17(a)(2)(i)). Because the Administrator recently evaluated the Webber study, presented as evidence for the addition of autoimmune conditions in Petition 007, there is no need to reevaluate the same evidence again in response to the request to add autoimmune diseases in Petition 008, which also presented the Webber study as evidence of a causal association between 9/11 exposures and autoimmune diseases.

    5 “Policy and Procedures for Adding Non-Cancer Conditions to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions,” John Howard MD, Administrator of the WTC Health Program, October 21, 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/wtc/pdfs/WTCHP_PP_Adding_NonCancers_21_Oct_2014.pdf.

    Accordingly, with regard to Petition 008, the Administrator has determined that insufficient evidence exists to take further action, including either proposing the addition of autoimmune diseases to the List (pursuant to PHS Act, section 3312(a)(6)(B)(ii) and 42 CFR 88.17(a)(2)(ii)) or publishing a determination not to publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register (pursuant to PHS Act, section 3312(a)(6)(B)(iii) and 42 CFR 88.17(a)(2)(iii)). The Administrator has also determined that requesting a recommendation from the STAC (pursuant to PHS Act, section 3312(a)(6)(B)(i) and 42 CFR 88.17(a)(2)(i)) is unwarranted.

    For the reasons discussed above, the request made in Petition 008 to add autoimmune diseases to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions is denied.

    The Administrator is aware that another study of autoimmune diseases among WTC Health Program members is being conducted by the WTC Health Registry; however, results from this study are not yet available in the scientific literature. The Administrator will monitor the scientific literature for publication of the results of this study and any other studies that address autoimmune diseases among 9/11-exposed populations.

    Dated: July 1, 2015. John Howard, Administrator, World Trade Center Health Program and Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16942 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 79 [MB Docket No. 12-107; FCC 15-56] Accessible Emergency Information, and Apparatus Requirements for Emergency Information and Video Description AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission seeks comments on issues related to making emergency information audibly accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Specifically, this document seeks comment on: How to prioritize aural emergency information on the secondary audio stream; whether to continue to require school closing information to be included aurally on the secondary audio stream; and whether to require MVPDs to ensure that the devices and applications they provide to subscribers include a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for accessing audible emergency information on the secondary audio stream.

    DATES:

    Comments are due on or before August 10, 2015; reply comments are due on or before September 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by MB Docket No. 12-107, by any of the following methods:

    Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) Web site: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to the FCC Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. 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.

    Hand or Messenger Delivery: All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the FCC Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th Street SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554.

    People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: [email protected] or phone: 202-418-0530; or TTY: 202-418-0432.

    For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the section IV. “Procedural Matters” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Evan Baranoff, [email protected], of the Media Bureau, Policy Division, (202) 418-2120.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Second Further Notice), FCC 15-56, adopted on May 21, 2015, and released on May 28, 2015. For background, see the summary of the Second Report and Order (Second Report and Order) accompanying the Second Further Notice published in this issue of the Federal Register. The full text of this document is available electronically via the FCC's Electronic Document Management System (EDOCS) Web site at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/ or via the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) Web site at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. (Documents will be available electronically in ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat.) This document is also available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., CY-A257, Washington, DC, 20554. The complete text may be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. Alternative formats are available for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), by sending an email to [email protected] or calling the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    I. Introduction

    1. In this Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Second Further Notice”), we seek comment on three issues: (i) whether we should adopt rules regarding how covered entities should prioritize emergency information conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream when more than one source of visual emergency information is presented on-screen at the same time; (ii) whether we should reconsider the Commission's requirement for “school closings and changes in school bus schedules” resulting from emergency situations to be conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream, considering the length of such information and the limits of the secondary audio stream; and (iii) whether we should require MVPDs to ensure that the navigation devices that they provide to subscribers include a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for accessing audible emergency information on the secondary audio stream, and to provide a simple and easy to use mechanism to activate the secondary audio stream for emergency information when they permit subscribers to view linear programming on mobile and other devices as part of their MVPD services.

    II. Discussion A. Prioritization of Emergency Information on the Secondary Audio Stream

    2. We seek comment on how video programming providers and video programming distributors should prioritize emergency information conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream when more than one source of visual emergency information is presented on-screen at the same time.

    3. Section 79.2(b)(2)(ii) of the Commission's rules requires that emergency information provided visually during programming that is neither a regularly scheduled newscast, nor a newscast that interrupts regular programming, must be made accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired through the use of a secondary audio stream to provide such information aurally.1 In the First Report and Order, the Commission specified that it would not require a verbatim aural translation of textual emergency information, but that the information presented aurally must accurately and effectively communicate to consumers who are blind or visually impaired the critical details about a current emergency and how to respond to it to the same extent that this information is conveyed textually.2 In addition, the Commission concluded that if visual but non-textual emergency information is shown during non-newscast programming, the aural description of this information must accurately and effectively convey the critical details regarding the emergency and how to respond to the emergency.3

    1 47 CFR 79.2(b)(2)(ii).

    2Accessible Emergency Information; Apparatus Requirements for Emergency Information and Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 11-43, Report and Order, FCC 13-45, 78 FR 31770, para. 23 (2013) (“First Report and Order”). “Critical details include, but are not limited to, specific details regarding the areas that will be affected by the emergency, evacuation orders, detailed descriptions of areas to be evacuated, specific evacuation routes, approved shelters or the way to take shelter in one's home, instructions on how to secure personal property, road closures, and how to obtain relief assistance.” Note to 47 CFR 79.2(a)(2).

    3First Report and Order, para. 24 (further noting that, even if a broadcaster employs text-to-speech (“TTS”) technologies, the critical details of emergency information conveyed in a graphic display can be included in the text that will be converted to speech before the TTS conversion takes place).

    4. In its recently-filed petition for temporary waiver of the emergency information rules, the National Association of Broadcasters (“NAB”) indicated that “maps and other graphics almost always share the screen with other crawls” and, thus, broadcasters may encounter an issue with how to prioritize these sources of emergency information on the secondary audio stream to “ensur[e] that the most critical audible crawl reaches the public.” 4 We seek comment on this issue. To what extent do broadcasters show more than one crawl or a crawl and a graphic conveying visual emergency information at the same time? In this scenario, do the crawls and graphics being shown simultaneously typically convey information about the same emergency situation?

    4 National Association of Broadcasters, Petition for Temporary Partial Exemption and Limited Waiver, MB Docket No. 12-107, at 10, n.11 (filed Mar. 27, 2015) (“NAB Waiver Petition”). See also id. at 13 (stating that “it is common for broadcasters to run a crawl of school closings, during both newscasts and non-newscast programming” and to also “run a second crawl on the screen during non-newscast programming with [ ] critical, potentially life-saving information, . . . [b]ut, with currently-available technology, the station would have no way of prioritizing the vital information . . . over the ongoing audible crawl of the school closings”).

    5. Currently, our rule requires that the critical details about an emergency and how to respond to it must be conveyed aurally on the secondary stream to the same extent that this information is conveyed visually. If more than one crawl or a crawl and a graphic are shown on-screen at the same time, how can covered entities ensure that all of the critical details about the emergency and how to respond are conveyed aurally? Should we adopt rules that provide guidance to covered entities on how to prioritize emergency information conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream when graphics or multiple crawls are used? For example, should we indicate that certain categories of emergency information should be prioritized based on the severity and proximity of the emergency and the potential impact on life, health, safety, and property? If multiple critical details about an emergency are broadcast simultaneously, should we prioritize them with respect to the requirement to provide audio information about their content (e.g., if a graphic or one crawl is providing information about areas affected by an emergency while another crawl is providing information about evacuation orders or shelter-in-place instructions), and if so, how? Or are these fact-specific judgements better left for broadcasters to make on a case-by-case basis?

    6. Given the time-sensitive nature of emergency information, as well as quick-changing developments that may occur during the course of an emergency situation, should we require that only the highest priority emergency information needs to be conveyed when there are multiple sources of emergency information being shown on-screen at the same time? Or should any prioritization rules assume that all emergency information shown simultaneously must be conveyed aurally and, therefore, require that the highest priority emergency information should be conveyed before any lesser priority emergency information on the secondary audio stream? Should we rely on the good faith judgment of the broadcaster to determine what information qualifies as the highest priority? We seek comment on any other potential solutions or issues related to the prioritization of emergency information on the secondary audio stream, including how determinations of what is a higher or lower priority should be made.

    B. Inclusion of School Closing Information on the Secondary Audio Stream

    7. We also seek comment on whether the Commission should reconsider its requirement for “school closings and changes in school bus schedules” resulting from emergency situations to be conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream, considering the length of such information and the limits of the secondary audio stream.

    8. “Emergency information” is currently defined in the Commission's rules as “[i]nformation, about a current emergency, that is intended to further the protection of life, health, safety, and property, i.e., critical details regarding the emergency and how to respond to the emergency,” and examples of the types of emergencies covered include “tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, tidal waves, earthquakes, icing conditions, heavy snows, widespread fires, discharge of toxic gases, widespread power failures, industrial explosions, civil disorders, school closings and changes in school bus schedules resulting from such conditions, and warnings and watches of impending changes in weather.” 5 In the First Report and Order, the Commission declined to revise this definition of emergency information.6 In particular, the Commission declined to adopt NAB's recommendation to delete “school closings and changes in school bus schedules resulting from such conditions, and warnings and watches of impending changes in weather” from the examples of emergency information, finding that it would be inappropriate “to narrow the definition in the interest of lessening the impact on other services provided on the secondary audio stream, given the higher priority of emergency information.” 7 Thus, covered entities are required by the rule to ensure that visual emergency information regarding school closings and school bus schedule changes resulting from emergency situations aired during non-newscast programming is conveyed aurally on a secondary audio stream.8

    5 47 CFR 79.2(a)(2).

    6First Report and Order, para. 29.

    7See id. Although the Commission did not modify the definition of emergency information to delete school closings and school bus schedule changes that result from a current emergency from the list of examples, it found that covered entities have the option to air a brief audio message on the secondary audio stream at the start of the crawl indicating that this information will be aired at the conclusion of video-described programming, and to subsequently provide this information aurally on the secondary audio stream at the conclusion of the video-described programming. Id. at para. 31.

    8See id. The Commission left it to the good faith judgment of the broadcaster or other covered entity to decide whether school closings and school bus schedule changes result from a situation that is a current emergency based on its severity and potential to threaten life, health, safety, and property and indicated that it would not sanction broadcasters or other covered entities for a reasonable exercise of their judgment in this regard. Id. at para. 31 & n.136. But see NAB Waiver Petition at 11, n.14 (“Rather than risking an investigation and potential fine, however, NAB respectfully submits that most broadcasters would err on the side of caution in determining whether a given school closing falls under the Audible Crawl Rule.”).

    9. In its waiver petition, NAB requests a limited waiver of the requirement to include school closings in the audible crawl pending identification of an alternative solution by all interested stakeholders.9 NAB suggests that this issue should be referred to the Commission's Disability Advisory Committee's (“DAC”) Video Programming subcommittee to develop an alternative solution.10 According to NAB, “an audible crawl of school closings will be prolonged and inefficient” and could last hours, particularly given the vast number of schools typically within a station's viewing area, as well as the Commission's requirement that the crawl be repeated.11 Further, NAB argues that currently there is no way for broadcasters to prioritize “immediately impactful emergency information—such as a hurricane warning—over a prolonged reading of school closings,” and the school closing information could “interfere with the dissemination of more critical emergency information.” 12 NAB also contends that viewers expect emergency information on the secondary audio stream to be “succinct and targeted” since they have to switch from the main program audio to hear it, and that information on school closings is available from other sources, including email, text messages, radio, and Internet Web sites.13

    9See NAB Waiver Petition at 11-14.

    10Id. at 11 & n.15.

    11Id. at 12. Section 79.2(b)(2)(ii) of the Commission's rules requires that emergency information provided aurally on the secondary audio stream be conveyed in full at least twice to ensure that consumers are able to hear all of the information after they switch from the main program audio to the secondary audio stream. See 47 CFR 79.2(b)(2)(ii); First Report and Order, para. 25.

    12 NAB Waiver Petition at 12-13.

    13Id. at 13.

    10. We seek comment on NAB's assertions. Given NAB's arguments, should the Commission revise its rule to provide that “school closings and changes in school bus schedules” resulting from emergency situations are not required to be conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream? Or should we revise the rule to indicate that such information must be provided on the secondary audio stream only if no other emergency information is being conveyed audibly on the secondary audio stream at the same time? Should we revise the rule to provide that such information need only be conveyed once in full, rather than twice as currently required, given the potential lengthiness of the crawl? In addition, we seek comment on the benefits of providing information about school closings and changes in school bus schedules on the secondary audio stream for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, and whether the availability of other sources of this information is adequate. Although we seek comment on this issue, we encourage broadcasters and the disability community to work toward a mutually agreeable resolution in the interim through the DAC.14

    14 We note that since adoption of the Second Report and Order the Media Bureau granted NAB's request that the Commission temporarily waive the requirement to aurally convey school closing information on the secondary audio stream in the context of the NAB Waiver Petition. See Accessible Emergency Information, and Apparatus Requirements for Emergency Information and Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Petitions for Waiver, MB Docket Nos. 12-107, 11-43; Memorandum Opinion and Order, DA 15-632, para. 18 (MB rel. May 26, 2015).

    C. Activation Mechanism for Emergency Information on the Secondary Audio Stream—MVPD Obligations

    11. We seek comment on whether we should require MVPDs to provide their customers with navigation devices that contain a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for accessing emergency information on the secondary audio stream. In the Second Report and Order, we conclude that manufacturers of apparatus covered by section 79.105 of the Commission's rules must provide a mechanism that is simple and easy to use, such as one that is reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon, for activating the secondary audio stream for audible emergency information pursuant to section 203 of the CVAA. Manufacturers must provide this functionality on covered apparatus by December 20, 2016. Although covered apparatus, including navigation devices, will be required to have a simple and easy to use mechanism for activating the secondary audio stream by December 20, 2016, we want to ensure that compliant devices make it into the hands of MVPD customers promptly. Under section 202 of the CVAA, the Commission has authority to promulgate regulations that require video programming distributors, including MVPDs,15 “to convey [ ] emergency information in a manner accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.” 16 We believe this provision gives us authority to require MVPDs to provide devices with a simple and easy to use activation mechanism because conveying audible emergency information on the secondary stream would not be “accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired” if those individuals cannot readily access it. We seek comment on that view, as well as whether any other statutory provisions grant the Commission authority to adopt such a requirement. Should MVPDs be required to provide navigation devices with a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for the secondary audio stream only upon request by a customer or should MVPDs be required to provide devices with this functionality to all customers? What time frame would be appropriate for requiring MVPDs to provide navigation devices with a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for the secondary audio stream? We seek comment on these or any other issues related to implementation of such a requirement.

    15See 47 CFR 79.1(a)(11).

    16 47 U.S.C. 613(g)(2).

    12. In addition, we seek comment on whether we should require MVPDs to provide a simple and easy to use mechanism to activate the secondary audio stream for emergency information when they permit subscribers to view linear programming on mobile and other devices as part of their MVPD services. In the Second Report and Order, we adopt rules requiring MVPDs to pass through a secondary audio stream containing audible emergency information when they permit consumers to access linear programming on tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices over the MVPD's network as part of their MVPD services. In particular, we conclude that MVPDs must ensure that any application or plug-in that they provide to consumers to access such programming is capable of passing through audible emergency information on a secondary audio stream. Given that the record developed in this proceeding demonstrates that MVPDs control the ability of consumers to select and receive the secondary audio stream for linear programming provided through an MVPD application on mobile and other devices, should we require MVPDs to provide a simple and easy to use mechanism to activate the secondary audio stream for emergency information on MVPD applications and plug-ins that allow consumers to view linear programming on mobile and other devices? As noted above, section 202 of the CVAA directs the Commission to promulgate regulations that require video programming distributors, including MVPDs,17 “to convey [ ] emergency information in a manner accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.” 18 We believe this provision gives us authority to require MVPDs to provide a simple and easy to use activation mechanism on MVPD applications and plug-ins that allow consumers to view linear programming on mobile and other devices because conveying audible emergency information on the secondary stream would not be “accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired” if those individuals cannot readily access it. We seek comment on that view, as well as whether any other statutory provisions grant the Commission authority to adopt such a requirement. What time frame would be appropriate for requiring MVPDs to comply? In the Second Report and Order, we adopt a compliance deadline of two years after publication in the Federal Register for MVPDs to pass through a secondary audio stream with audible emergency information for linear programming on tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices. Should that deadline apply to the requirement for MVPDs to provide a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for the secondary audio stream? We seek comment on these or any other issues related to implementation of such a requirement.

    17See 47 CFR 79.1(a)(11).

    18 47 U.S.C. 613(g)(2).

    III. Procedural Matters A. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act

    13. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (“RFA”),19 the Commission has prepared this present Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (“IRFA”) concerning the possible economic impact on small entities by the policies and rules proposed in the Second Further Notice. Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines for comments as specified in the Second Further Notice. The Commission will send a copy of the Second Further Notice, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (“SBA”).20 In addition, the Second Further Notice and this IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.21

    19See 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601-612, has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (“SBREFA”), Public Law 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996).

    20See 5 U.S.C. 603(a).

    21See id.

    1. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rule Changes

    14. In the Second Further Notice, the Commission seeks comment on three issues: (i) whether to adopt rules regarding how covered entities should prioritize emergency information conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream when more than one source of visual emergency information is presented on-screen at the same time; (ii) whether to reconsider the Commission's requirement for “school closings and changes in school bus schedules” resulting from emergency situations to be conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream, considering the length of such information and the limits of the secondary audio stream; and (iii) whether to require MVPDs to ensure that the navigation devices that they provide to subscribers include a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for accessing audible emergency information on the secondary audio stream, and to provide a simple and easy to use mechanism to activate the secondary audio stream for emergency information when they permit subscribers to view linear programming on mobile and other devices as part of their MVPD services.

    2. Legal Basis

    15. The proposed action is authorized pursuant to the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751, and Sections 4(i), 4(j), 303, 330(b), 713, and 716 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 154(j), 303, 330(b), 613, and 617.

    3. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Proposed Rules Will Apply

    16. The RFA directs the Commission to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that will be affected by the rules adopted in the Second Report and Order.22 The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” 23 In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act.24 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.25 Small entities that are directly affected by the rules adopted in the Second Report and Order include video programming providers and video programming distributors covered by section 79.2 of the Commission's rules.

    22 5 U.S.C. 603(b)(3).

    23Id. 601(6).

    24Id. 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.”

    25 15 U.S.C. 632.

    17. Cable Television Distribution Services. Since 2007, these services have been defined within the broad economic census category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which was developed for small wireline businesses. This 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. 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.” 26 In this category, the SBA deems a wired telecommunications carrier to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.27 Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category.28 Of these 3,188 firms, only 44 had 1,000 or more employees. While we could not find precise Census data on the number of firms with in the group with 1,500 or fewer employees, it is clear that at least 3,144 firms with fewer than 1,000 employees would be in that group. Therefore, under this size standard, we estimate that the majority of businesses can be considered small entities.

    26 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” (partial definition) at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch. Examples of this category are: broadband Internet service providers (e.g., cable, DSL); local telephone carriers (wired); cable television distribution services; long-distance telephone carriers (wired); closed circuit television (“CCTV”) services; VoIP service providers, using own operated wired telecommunications infrastructure; direct-to-home satellite system (“DTH”) services; telecommunications carriers (wired); satellite television distribution systems; and multichannel multipoint distribution services (“MMDS”).

    27 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS Code 517110.

    28http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.

    18. Cable Companies and Systems. The Commission has also 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.29 Industry data shows that there were 1,141 cable companies at the end of June 2012.30 Of this total, all but 10 incumbent cable companies are small under this size standard.31 In addition, under the Commission's rate regulation rules, a “small system” is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers.32 Current Commission records show 4,945 cable systems nationwide.33 Of this total, 4,380 cable systems have less than 20,000 subscribers, and 565 systems have 20,000 subscribers or more, based on the same records. Thus, under this standard, we estimate that most cable systems are small.

    29 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. Implementation of Sections of the Cable Television Consumer Protection And Competition Act of 1992: Rate Regulation, MM Docket No. 92-266, MM Docket No. 93-215, Sixth Report and Order and Eleventh Order on Reconsideration, FCC 95-196, 60 FR 35854 (1995).

    30 NCTA, Industry Data, Number of Cable Operating Companies (June 2012), http://www.ncta.com/Statistics.aspx (visited Sept. 28, 2012). Depending upon the number of homes and the size of the geographic area served, cable operators use one or more cable systems to provide video service. See Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for Delivery of Video Programming, MB Docket No. 12-203, Fifteenth Report, FCC 13-99 at para. 24 (rel. July 22, 2013) (“15th Annual Competition Report”).

    31See SNL Kagan, “Top Cable MSOs—12/12 Q”; available at http://www.snl.com/InteractiveX/TopCableMSOs.aspx?period=2012Q4&sortcol=subscribersbasic&sortorder=desc. We note that, when applied to an MVPD operator, under this size standard (i.e., 400,000 or fewer subscribers) all but 14 MVPD operators would be considered small. See NCTA, Industry Data, Top 25 Multichannel Video Service Customers (2012), http://www.ncta.com/industry-data (visited Aug. 30, 2013). The Commission applied this size standard to MVPD operators in its implementation of the CALM Act. See Implementation of the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, MB Docket No. 11-93, Report and Order, FCC 11-182, 77 FR 40276, para. 37 (2011) (“CALM Act Report and Order”) (defining a smaller MVPD operator as one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers nationwide, as of December 31, 2011).

    32 47 CFR 76.901(c).

    33 The number of active, registered cable systems comes from the Commission's Cable Operations and Licensing System (COALS) database on Aug. 28, 2013. A cable system is a physical system integrated to a principal headend.

    19. Cable System Operators (Telecom Act Standard). The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, also contains a size standard for small cable system operators, which is “a cable operator that, directly or through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than 1 percent of all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed $250,000,000.” 34 There are approximately 56.4 million incumbent cable video subscribers in the United States today.35 Accordingly, an operator serving fewer than 564,000 subscribers shall be deemed a small operator, if its annual revenues, when combined with the total annual revenues of all its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the aggregate.36 Based on available data, we find that all but 10 incumbent cable operators are small under this size standard.37 We note that the Commission neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million.38 Although it seems certain that some of these cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250,000,000, we are unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number of cable system operators that would qualify as small cable operators under the definition in the Communications Act.

    34 47 U.S.C. 543(m)(2); see 47 CFR 76.901(f) & nn. 1-3.

    35See NCTA, Industry Data, Cable Video Customers (2012), http://www.ncta.com/industry-data (visited Aug. 30, 2013).

    36 47 CFR 76.901(f); see Public Notice, FCC Announces New Subscriber Count for the Definition of Small Cable Operator, DA 01-158 (Cable Services Bureau, Jan. 24, 2001).

    37See NCTA, Industry Data, Top 25 Multichannel Video Service Customers (2012), http://www.ncta.com/industry-data (visited Aug. 30, 2013).

    38 The Commission does receive such information on a case-by-case basis if a cable operator appeals a local franchise authority's finding that the operator does not qualify as a small cable operator pursuant to 47 CFR 76.901(f).

    20. Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) Service. DBS service is a nationally distributed subscription service that delivers video and audio programming via satellite to a small parabolic “dish” antenna at the subscriber's location. DBS, by exception, is now included in the SBA's broad economic census category, Wired Telecommunications Carriers,39 which was developed for small wireline businesses. In this category, the SBA deems a wired telecommunications carrier to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.40 Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category.41 Of these 3,188 firms, only 44 had 1,000 or more employees. While we could not find precise Census data on the number of firms with in the group with 1,500 or fewer employees, it is clear that at least 3,144 firms with fewer than 1,000 employees would be in that group. Therefore, under this size standard, the majority of such businesses can be considered small. However, the data we have available as a basis for estimating the number of such small entities were gathered under a superseded SBA small business size standard formerly titled “Cable and Other Program Distribution.” The definition of Cable and Other Program Distribution provided that a small entity is one with $12.5 million or less in annual receipts.42 Currently, only two entities provide DBS service, which requires a great investment of capital for operation: DIRECTV and DISH Network.43 Each currently offer subscription services. DIRECTV and DISH Network each report annual revenues that are in excess of the threshold for a small business. Because DBS service requires significant capital, we believe it is unlikely that a small entity as defined by the SBA would have the financial wherewithal to become a DBS service provider.

    39See 13 CFR 121.201; 2012 NAICS code 517110. This category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers 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. 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.” (Emphasis added to text relevant to satellite services.) U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    40 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS Code 517110.

    41http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.

    42 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS code 517510 (2002).

    43See 15th Annual Competition Report, at para. 27. As of June 2012, DIRECTV is the largest DBS operator and the second largest MVPD in the United States, serving approximately 19.9 million subscribers. DISH Network is the second largest DBS operator and the third largest MVPD, serving approximately 14.1 million subscribers. Id. para. 27, 110-11.

    21. Satellite Master Antenna Television (SMATV) Systems, also known as Private Cable Operators (PCOs). SMATV systems or PCOs are video distribution facilities that use closed transmission paths without using any public right-of-way. They acquire video programming and distribute it via terrestrial wiring in urban and suburban multiple dwelling units such as apartments and condominiums, and commercial multiple tenant units such as hotels and office buildings. SMATV systems or PCOs are now included in the SBA's broad economic census category, Wired Telecommunications Carriers,44 which was developed for small wireline businesses. In this category, the SBA deems a wired telecommunications carrier to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.45 Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category.46 Of these 3,188 firms, only 44 had 1,000 or more employees. While we could not find precise Census data on the number of firms with in the group with 1,500 or fewer employees, it is clear that at least 3,144 firms with fewer than 1,000 employees would be in that group. Therefore, under this size standard, the majority of such businesses can be considered small.

    44See 13 CFR 121.201; 2012 NAICS code 517110. This category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers 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. 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.” (Emphasis added to text relevant to satellite services.) U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    45 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS Code 517110.

    46http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.

    22. Home Satellite Dish (HSD) Service. HSD or the large dish segment of the satellite industry is the original satellite-to-home service offered to consumers, and involves the home reception of signals transmitted by satellites operating generally in the C-band frequency. Unlike DBS, which uses small dishes, HSD antennas are between four and eight feet in diameter and can receive a wide range of unscrambled (free) programming and scrambled programming purchased from program packagers that are licensed to facilitate subscribers' receipt of video programming. Because HSD provides subscription services, HSD falls within the SBA-recognized definition of Wired Telecommunications Carriers.47 In this category, the SBA deems a wired telecommunications carrier to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.48 Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category.49 Of these 3,188 firms, only 44 had 1,000 or more employees. While we could not find precise Census data on the number of firms with in the group with 1,500 or fewer employees, it is clear that at least 3,144 firms with fewer than 1,000 employees would be in that group. Therefore, under this size standard, we estimate that the majority of businesses can be considered small entities.

    47See 13 CFR 121.201; 2012 NAICS code 517110. This category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers is defined in part 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. 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.” U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    48 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS Code 517110.

    49http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.

    23. Open Video Services. The open video system (OVS) framework was established in 1996, and is one of four statutorily recognized options for the provision of video programming services by local exchange carriers.50 The OVS framework provides opportunities for the distribution of video programming other than through cable systems. Because OVS operators provide subscription services,51 OVS falls within the SBA small business size standard covering cable services, which is Wired Telecommunications Carriers.52 In this category, the SBA deems a wired telecommunications carrier to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.53 Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category.54 Of these 3,188 firms, only 44 had 1,000 or more employees. While we could not find precise Census data on the number of firms with in the group with 1,500 or fewer employees, it is clear that at least 3,144 firms with fewer than 1,000 employees would be in that group. Therefore, under this size standard, we estimate that the majority of businesses can be considered small entities. In addition, we note that the Commission has certified some OVS operators, with some now providing service.55 Broadband service providers (“BSPs”) are currently the only significant holders of OVS certifications or local OVS franchises.56 The Commission does not have financial or employment information regarding the entities authorized to provide OVS, some of which may not yet be operational. Thus, again, at least some of the OVS operators may qualify as small entities.

    50 47 U.S.C. 571(a)(3) through (4). See Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video Programming, MB Docket No. 06-189, Thirteenth Annual Report, FCC 07-206, 74 FR 11102, para. 135 (2009) (“Thirteenth Annual Cable Competition Report”).

    51See 47 U.S.C. 573.

    52See 13 CFR 121.201; 2012 NAICS code 517110. This category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers is defined in part 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. 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.” U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    53 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS Code 517110.

    54http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.

    55 A list of OVS certifications may be found at http://www.fcc.gov/mb/ovs/csovscer.html.

    56See Thirteenth Annual Cable Competition Report, para. 135. BSPs are newer businesses that are building state-of-the-art, facilities-based networks to provide video, voice, and data services over a single network.

    24. Wireless cable systems—Broadband Radio Service and Educational Broadband Service. Wireless cable systems use the Broadband Radio Service (BRS) 57 and Educational Broadband Service (EBS) 58 to transmit video programming to subscribers. In connection with the 1996 BRS auction, the Commission established a small business size standard as an entity that had annual average gross revenues of no more than $40 million in the previous three calendar years.59 The BRS auctions resulted in 67 successful bidders obtaining licensing opportunities for 493 Basic Trading Areas (BTAs). Of the 67 auction winners, 61 met the definition of a small business. BRS also includes licensees of stations authorized prior to the auction. At this time, we estimate that of the 61 small business BRS auction winners, 48 remain small business licensees. In addition to the 48 small businesses that hold BTA authorizations, there are approximately 392 incumbent BRS licensees that are considered small entities.60 After adding the number of small business auction licensees to the number of incumbent licensees not already counted, we find that there are currently approximately 440 BRS licensees that are defined as small businesses under either the SBA or the Commission's rules. In 2009, the Commission conducted Auction 86, the sale of 78 licenses in the BRS areas.61 The Commission offered three levels of bidding credits: (i) A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that exceed $15 million and do not exceed $40 million for the preceding three years (small business) received a 15 percent discount on its winning bid; (ii) a bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that exceed $3 million and do not exceed $15 million for the preceding three years (very small business) received a 25 percent discount on its winning bid; and (iii) a bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that do not exceed $3 million for the preceding three years (entrepreneur) received a 35 percent discount on its winning bid.62 Auction 86 concluded in 2009 with the sale of 61 licenses.63 Of the 10 winning bidders, two bidders that claimed small business status won four licenses; one bidder that claimed very small business status won three licenses; and two bidders that claimed entrepreneur status won six licenses.

    57 BRS was previously referred to as Multipoint Distribution Service (MDS) and Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS). See Amendment of Parts 21 and 74 of the Commission's Rules with Regard to Filing Procedures in the Multipoint Distribution Service and in the Instructional Television Fixed Service and Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act—Competitive Bidding, MM Docket No. 94-131, PP Docket No. 93-253, Report and Order, FCC 95-230, 60 FR 36524, para. 7 (1995).

    58 EBS was previously referred to as the Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS). See id.

    59 47 CFR 21.961(b)(1).

    60 47 U.S.C. 309(j). Hundreds of stations were licensed to incumbent MDS licensees prior to implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 309(j). For these pre-auction licenses, the applicable standard is SBA's small business size standard of 1,500 or fewer employees.

    61Auction of Broadband Radio Service (BRS) Licenses, Scheduled for October 27, 2009, Notice and Filing Requirements, Minimum Opening Bids, Upfront Payments, and Other Procedures for Auction 86, Public Notice, DA 09-1376 (WTB rel. Jun. 26, 2009).

    62Id.

    63Auction of Broadband Radio Service Licenses Closes, Winning Bidders Announced for Auction 86, Down Payments Due November 23, 2009, Final Payments Due December 8, 2009, Ten-Day Petition to Deny Period, Public Notice, DA 09-2378 (WTB rel. Nov. 6, 2009).

    25. In addition, the SBA's placement of Cable Television Distribution Services in the category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers is applicable to cable-based Educational Broadcasting Services. Since 2007, these services have been defined within the broad economic census category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which was developed for small wireline businesses. This 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. 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.” 64 In this category, the SBA deems a wired telecommunications carrier to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.65 Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category.66 Of these 3,188 firms, only 44 had 1,000 or more employees. While we could not find precise Census data on the number of firms with in the group with 1,500 or fewer employees, it is clear that at least 3,144 firms with fewer than 1,000 employees would be in that group. Therefore, under this size standard, we estimate that the majority of businesses can be considered small entities. In addition to Census data, the Commission's internal records indicate that as of September 2012, there are 2,241 active EBS licenses.67 The Commission estimates that of these 2,241 licenses, the majority are held by non-profit educational institutions and school districts, which are by statute defined as small businesses.68

    64 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” (partial definition) at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch. Examples of this category are: Broadband Internet service providers (e.g., cable, DSL); local telephone carriers (wired); cable television distribution services; long-distance telephone carriers (wired); closed circuit television (“CCTV”) services; VoIP service providers, using own operated wired telecommunications infrastructure; direct-to-home satellite system (“DTH”) services; telecommunications carriers (wired); satellite television distribution systems; and multichannel multipoint distribution services (“MMDS”).

    65 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS Code 517110.

    66http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.

    67http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/results.jsp.

    68 The term “small entity” within SBREFA applies to small organizations (non-profits) and to small governmental jurisdictions (cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, and special districts with populations of less than 50,000). 5 U.S.C. 601(4) through (6).

    26. Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for incumbent local exchange services. ILECs are included in the SBA's economic census category, Wired Telecommunications Carriers.69 In this category, the SBA deems a wired telecommunications carrier to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.70 Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category.71 Of these 3,188 firms, only 44 had 1,000 or more employees. While we could not find precise Census data on the number of firms with in the group with 1,500 or fewer employees, it is clear that at least 3,144 firms with fewer than 1,000 employees would be in that group. Therefore, under this size standard, the majority of such businesses can be considered small.

    69See 13 CFR 121.201; 2012 NAICS code 517110. This category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers 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. 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.” (Emphasis added to text relevant to satellite services.) U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    70 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS Code 517110.

    71http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.

    27. Small Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers. We have included small incumbent local exchange carriers in this present RFA analysis. A “small business” under the RFA is one that, inter alia, meets the pertinent small business size standard (e.g., a telephone communications business having 1,500 or fewer employees), and “is not dominant in its field of operation.” 72 The SBA's Office of Advocacy contends that, for RFA purposes, small incumbent local exchange carriers are not dominant in their field of operation because any such dominance is not “national” in scope.73 We have therefore included small incumbent local exchange carriers in this RFA analysis, although we emphasize that this RFA action has no effect on Commission analyses and determinations in other, non-RFA contexts.

    72 15 U.S.C. 632.

    73 Letter from Jere W. Glover, Chief Counsel for Advocacy, SBA, to William E. Kennard, Chairman, FCC (May 27, 1999). The Small Business Act contains a definition of “small-business concern,” which the RFA incorporates into its own definition of “small business.” See 15 U.S.C. 632(a) (Small Business Act); 5 U.S.C. 601(3) (RFA). SBA regulations interpret “small business concern” to include the concept of dominance on a national basis. See 13 CFR 121.102(b).

    28. Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs), 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. These entities are included in the SBA's economic census category, Wired Telecommunications Carriers.74 In this category, the SBA deems a wired telecommunications carrier to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.75 Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category.76 Of these 3,188 firms, only 44 had 1,000 or more employees. While we could not find precise Census data on the number of firms with in the group with 1,500 or fewer employees, it is clear that at least 3,144 firms with fewer than 1,000 employees would be in that group. Therefore, under this size standard, the majority of such businesses can be considered small.

    74See 13 CFR 121.201; 2012 NAICS code 517110. This category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers 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. 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.” (Emphasis added to text relevant to satellite services.) U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    75 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS Code 517110.

    76http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.

    4. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements

    29. In this section, we describe the reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements proposed in the Second Further Notice and consider whether small entities are affected disproportionately by any such requirements.

    30. In the Second Further Notice, the Commission seeks comment on three issues: (i) Whether to adopt rules regarding how covered entities should prioritize emergency information conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream when more than one source of visual emergency information is presented on-screen at the same time; (ii) whether to reconsider the Commission's requirement for “school closings and changes in school bus schedules” resulting from emergency situations to be conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream, considering the length of such information and the limits of the secondary audio stream; and (iii) whether to require MVPDs to ensure that the navigation devices that they provide to subscribers include a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for accessing audible emergency information on the secondary audio stream, and to provide a simple and easy to use mechanism to activate the secondary audio stream for emergency information when they permit subscribers to view linear programming on mobile and other devices as part of their MVPD services.

    31. With respect to the first issue, the Second Further Notice asks whether the Commission should adopt rules to provide clarity to covered entities on how to prioritize emergency information on the secondary audio stream when complying with the requirements in Section 79.2. There are no new reporting or recordkeeping requirements proposed. There will, however, be compliance requirements for video programming providers and video programming distributors, including small entities. Specifically, covered entities will need to comply with any rules that govern how to prioritize emergency information conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream when more than one source of visual emergency information is presented on-screen at the same time.

    32. With respect to the second issue, the Second Further Notice seeks comment on whether the Commission should reconsider the requirement for “school closings and changes in school bus schedules” resulting from emergency situations to be conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream, considering the length of such information and the limits of the secondary audio stream. There are no new reporting, recordkeeping, or compliance requirements proposed.

    33. With respect to the third issue, the Second Further Notice asks whether the Commission should require MVPDs to ensure that the navigation devices that they provide to subscribers include a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for accessing audible emergency information on the secondary audio stream, and to provide a simple and easy to use mechanism to activate the secondary audio stream for emergency information when they permit subscribers to view linear programming on mobile and other devices as part of their MVPD services. This would impose compliance requirements on MVPDs, including small MVPDs. In addition, there may be reporting or recordkeeping obligations. For example, the Commission may decide to impose a notification requirement so that consumers are aware of the availability of accessible navigation devices that include a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for the secondary audio stream.

    5. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Impact on Small Entities and Significant Alternatives Considered

    34. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance and 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.77

    77 5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1) through (c)(4).

    35. Two of the rule changes contemplated by the Second Further Notice would not impose a significant impact on small entities. The Commission is considering a rule that would provide guidance to covered entities on how to prioritize emergency information on the secondary audio stream when there are multiple sources of visual emergency information shown on-screen during non-newscast programming, and the costs and burdens associated with such a rule are expected to be de minimis or non-existent. Further, the Commission is considering whether to reconsider the requirement for “school closings and changes in school bus schedules” resulting from emergency situations to be conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream. Such a rule change would minimize the costs and burdens on regulated entities of all sizes.

    36. The Commission is also seeking comment on whether to require MVPDs to ensure that the navigation devices that they provide to subscribers include a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for accessing audible emergency information on the secondary audio stream, and to provide a simple and easy to use mechanism to activate the secondary audio stream for emergency information when they permit subscribers to view linear programming on mobile and other devices as part of their MVPD services. This proposed rule may have an economic impact in some cases, and that impact may affect small entities. Although the Commission has considered alternatives where possible, as directed by the RFA, to minimize economic impact on small entities, we emphasize that our action is governed by the congressional mandate contained in section 202 of the CVAA.

    37. Based on these considerations, we believe that, in proposing additional rules in the Second Further Notice, we have appropriately considered both the interests of blind or visually impaired individuals and the interests of the entities who will be subject to the rules, including those that are smaller entities, consistent with Congress' goal to “update the communications laws to help ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to fully utilize communications services and equipment and better access video programming.” 78

    78 H.R. Rep. No. 111-563, 111th Cong., 2d Sess. at 19 (2010); S. Rep. No. 111-386, 111th Cong., 2d Sess. at 1 (2010).

    6. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rule

    38. None.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    39. This document does not contain proposed information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA).79 In addition, therefore, it does not contain any proposed information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002.80

    79 The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13, 109 Stat 163 (1995) (codified in Chapter 35 of title 44 U.S.C.).

    80 The Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002 (SBPRA), Public Law 107-198, 116 Stat 729 (2002) (codified in Chapter 35 of title 44 U.S.C.); see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

    C. Ex Parte Rules

    40. We remind interested parties that this proceeding is treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules.81 Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda, or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

    81 47 CFR 1.1200 et seq.

    D. Filing Requirements

    41. Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules,82 interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. All comments are to reference MB Docket No. 12-107 and may be filed using: (1) The Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) or (2) by filing paper copies.83

    82See 47 CFR 1.415, 1419.

    83See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, GC Docket No. 97-113, Report and Order, FCC 98-56, 63 FR 24121 (1998).

    Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.

    Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.

    Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

    All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St. SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of before entering the building.

    Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.

    U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    42. People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to mailto:[email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

    43. Availability of Documents. Comments and reply comments will be publically available online via ECFS.84 These documents will also be available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, which is located in Room CY-A257 at FCC Headquarters, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. The Reference Information Center is open to the public Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    84 Documents will generally be available electronically in ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat.

    E. Additional Information

    44. For additional information on this proceeding, contact Maria Mullarkey, [email protected], of the Media Bureau, Policy Division, (202) 418-2120.

    IV. Ordering Clauses

    45. Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751, and the authority found in Sections 4(i), 4(j), 303, 330(b), 713, and 716 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 154(j), 303, 330(b), 613, and 617, this Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is adopted.

    46. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in MB Docket No. 12-107, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16323 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 RIN 0648-XE008 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Denial of Petition for Rulemaking for Gulf of Maine Cod AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of agency decision.

    SUMMARY:

    In response to the most recent stock assessment for Gulf of Maine cod, which indicated that the stock is at historically low abundance levels, a group of environmental organizations have requested that NMFS initiate rulemaking to make the following changes: prohibit commercial and recreational fishing for Gulf of Maine cod until the incidental fishing mortality does not exceed the acceptable biological catch limit; and limit catch, including discards, to the level that achieves the fishing mortality that meets rebuilding requirements, in accordance with Amendment 16 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. After reviewing the petition and considering recent management measures we have implemented to prevent overfishing of Gulf of Maine cod and promote Gulf of Maine cod rebuilding efforts, we are denying the Petition for Rulemaking request.

    DATES:

    The petition for rulemaking was denied on June 4, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Whitmore, Fishery Policy Analyst, phone: 978-281-9182; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A group of environmental organizations, including The Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace, SandyHook Life Foundation, and The Turtle Island Restoration Network, have requested that NMFS initiate rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act. The petitioners request that, because the most recent stock assessment for Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod indicates that the stock is at historically low abundance levels, NMFS initiate rulemaking to make the following changes: (1) Prohibit commercial and recreational fishing for GOM cod until the incidental fishing mortality does not exceed the acceptable biological catch (ABC) limit; and (2) limit catch, including discards, to the level that achieves the fishing mortality that meets rebuilding requirements (Frebuild), in accordance with Amendment 16 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP).

    We are denying the Petition for Rulemaking. The measures in Framework Adjustment 53 to the FMP (80 FR 25110; May 1, 2015), combined with other conservation and management measures we implemented for the recreational fishery (80 FR 25160; May 1, 2015), are expected to prevent catch from exceeding the ABC, prevent overfishing, and rebuild the GOM cod stock within the rebuilding period. Further, we intend to carefully monitor updated stock assessment information, which will be available later this year, and will adjust measures, if necessary, to address any changes to stock condition. We carefully considered the available information and determined that all of the management measures implemented in the Framework 53 final rule, along with corresponding recreational measures, and our continued close monitoring of the stock's condition, will provide sufficient protection for GOM cod to prevent overfishing and contribute to rebuilding consistent with the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. These measures balance Magnuson-Stevens Act objectives, including achieving optimum yield and taking into account the needs of fishing communities, without compromising conservation objectives to prevent overfishing and rebuild the stock. In effect, therefore, Framework 53, combined with the other recreational measures, achieves exactly what the petition for rulemaking seeks. Moreover, Framework 53 was developed and implemented through the preferred Regional Fishery Management Council process as intended by the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Accordingly, as described in more detail below, neither a Secretarial amendment nor an emergency action is necessary or warranted to further limit GOM cod mortality at this time.

    Background Petition Request

    In August 2014, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center updated the 2012 benchmark GOM cod stock assessment. The assessment found that the GOM cod stock is overfished, subject to overfishing, and that the condition of the stock had declined further from the 2012 assessment that was used as a basis for the revised rebuilding plan established in Framework 51. The 2014 assessment showed historically low abundance and estimated that GOM cod was at only 3 percent of its rebuilding target. In response, on November 13, 2014, we issued interim measures (79 FR 67362) to limit cod mortality for the duration of the 2014 fishing year (which ended on April 30, 2015).

    We received a petition for rulemaking on March 3, 2015, largely in response to the results of the most recent GOM cod stock assessment, the interim measures to reduce GOM cod mortality, and the Council's recommended measures for long-term GOM cod protection in Framework 53. The petitioners requested that NMFS initiate rulemaking to limit GOM fishing mortality consistent with the specifications of the default ABC control rule implemented in Amendment 16. In support of their request, the petitioners contend that historic overfishing and mismanagement of the GOM cod stock have led to declines in landings and stock abundance, and resulted in changes to the stock's age structure (i.e., reduced the number of big, old, fat, fertile female fish), spawning locations, migratory behavior, and prey. They assert that because past GOM cod assessments have consistently overestimated cod spawning stock biomass and underestimated fishing mortality, managers should consider larger uncertainty buffers.

    The petitioners claim that the ongoing management regime for GOM cod has not successfully ended overfishing or promoted rebuilding of the GOM cod stock, and that the management measures proposed in Framework 53 will not support rebuilding by the end of the revised rebuilding plan deadline in 2024. Specifically, they claimed:

    • The 2004 GOM cod rebuilding plan failed because the Council set catch limits to maximize fishing opportunity rather than promote stock conservation, and because the Council prolonged overfishing by choosing the maximum rebuilding timeline possible.

    • The 2014 GOM cod interim measures did not temporarily address overfishing or allow for stock rebuilding, and were only projected to result in a 33-percent reduction in fishing mortality in spite of advice from the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) that a 75-percent reduction in fishing limits was necessary.

    • The 386-mt GOM cod ABC recommended by the Council in Framework 53 is above the legal limit (i.e., 200 mt, the level of catch necessary to achieve a fishing mortality equal to Frebuild), and is unlikely to allow the stock to rebuild by 2024.

    To remedy the situation, the petitioners request that we prohibit commercial and recreational fishing for GOM cod until incidental fishing mortality does not exceed the ABC, and limit catch, including discards, to the level that achieves a fishing mortality rate that meets rebuilding requirements (Frebuild). In addition, the petitioners suggest that because proper accounting for dead discards may be one reason that cod failed to rebuild from 2004-2014, NMFS should increase observer coverage for the commercial fleet to 100 percent to ensure that mortality of GOM cod is monitored and counted toward catch limits.

    Framework 53

    While we were developing the GOM cod interim measures, the New England Fishery Management Council developed measures to end overfishing in the 2015 fishing year (beginning May 1, 2015) and for long-term measures to rebuild the GOM cod stock, consistent with the revised rebuilding program, as part of Framework 53. Framework 53, which was implemented May 1, 2015, includes a 75-percent reduction to the GOM cod catch limit compared to 2014, a prohibition on recreational possession of GOM cod, and seasonal area closures intended to protect spawning and reduce fishing mortality on GOM cod.

    Framework 53 also includes measures consistent with the goals of a revised 10-year rebuilding plan for GOM cod that was established in Framework 51 (79 FR 22421; April 22, 2014). The 10-year rebuilding program is intended to account for past performance of groundfish rebuilding programs and uncertainties in long-term catch projections by setting conservative catch levels in the early years of the program. This timeframe also provides flexibility to better address the needs of fishing communities compared to rebuilding programs that target an earlier end date.

    Basis for Denial

    Section 304 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the Secretary of Commerce with the authority to prepare and implement a fishery management plan if the Council fails to develop and submit a plan or amendment after a reasonable period of time that meets necessary conservation and management objectives. Or, the agency may put in place emergency regulations or interim measures to address an emergency or overfishing. An emergency rulemaking allows actions to prevent overfishing or economic loss or to preserve economic opportunity when the emergency results from recent, unforeseen events or recently discovered circumstances. An interim rule allows for measures that reduce overfishing for a limited time. The benefits of using the abbreviated rulemaking procedures associated with emergency rulemaking and interim measures must outweigh the value of advance notice, public comment, and deliberative consideration of the impacts on participants to the same extent as expected under the normal Council and full notice-and-comment rulemaking process.

    Rulemaking is not appropriate in this instance because it would unnecessarily replace the measures established in Framework 53 and the recreational measures put in place through the Council process. These measures achieve what the petition for rulemaking seeks. These measures balance Magnuson-Stevens Act objectives, including achieving optimum yield and taking into account the needs of fishing communities, without compromising conservation objectives to prevent overfishing and rebuild the stock. Therefore, neither a Secretarial amendment nor an emergency action is necessary or warranted at this time to further limit GOM cod mortality.

    2004 Rebuilding Plan

    We do not agree with the petitioner's statements that the Council-recommended catch levels for GOM cod during the 2004 rebuilding program were intended to maximize economic gain at the expense of the health of the stock. A 2008 stock assessment reviewed progress under the plan and concluded that the stock was not overfished but overfishing was occurring, and, based in part on a strong 2005 year class, the stock was expected to rebuild by 2014.

    We notified the Council about the lack of progress under the 2004 rebuilding plan following the 2012 GOM cod benchmark assessment. We determined that inadequate progress under the 2004 rebuilding plan was due to a revised understanding of the condition of the stock since the 2008 GOM cod assessment. In response to the new understanding of the status of the GOM cod stock, we worked with the Council to implement measures to reduce overfishing and revise the rebuilding plan as swiftly as possible though a 2012 interim action, and Frameworks 50 and 51. These actions incorporated new information and lessons from past management approaches. Our review of the Council's revised 2014 GOM cod rebuilding plan adopted in Framework 51 indicated that the Council addressed past rebuilding performance and accelerated the rebuilding timeline by setting more conservative catch limits in the early portion of the rebuilding program.

    2014 Interim Action

    We reject the petitioners claim that the 2014 interim action insufficiently addressed the information provided in the updated assessment. One of our primary objectives of the interim action was to reduce overfishing by reducing GOM cod commercial and recreational catch. Given the mixed nature of the groundfish fishery and its interaction with other fisheries, this objective was analyzed in the context of not closing down the entire GOM, but to allow some harvesting of other groundfish stocks. We wanted to reduce GOM cod mortality while the Council developed more permanent measures in Framework 53. We determined it was unnecessary to try to prevent all fishing mortality for the remainder of the 2014 fishing year as the stock can rebuild even if subject to overfishing in 2014 as long as measures would be in place to prevent overfishing beginning in 2015. Achieving zero fishing mortality would have required closing all GOM fisheries, including those that do not target groundfish. The impacts of such measures would be substantial and impracticable. Such a closure was unwarranted to ensure effective cod conservation.

    Framework 53 GOM Cod ABC

    Most recently, we considered public comment on and supporting analysis for Framework 53 and the 2015 recreational measures, and the best scientific information available in making the determination that an ABC of 386 mt was appropriate and consistent with the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and its National Standards. In light of current stock conditions, the 386 mt ABC is a 75-percent catch limit reduction compared to 2014, which is in addition to the 80-percent reduction implemented for the 2013-2014 fishing years. In total, the GOM cod catch limit has been reduced by 95 percent over the last 5 years. Further, new recreational measures prohibit recreational fishermen from retaining any GOM cod. This is the first zero-retention prohibition on GOM cod for recreational fishermen. Detailed information that addresses the petitioners concerns about the GOM cod ABC and further justifies our decision to approve an ABC of 386 mt can be found in the Framework 53 final rule (see pages 25125-25127).

    We will continue to carefully consider management measures to promote timely rebuilding of the GOM cod stock. In an effort to closely monitor stock indicators, we reviewed the recent fall 2014 NEFSC bottom trawl survey indices. The fall survey indicated a small increase compared to 2012 and 2013; however, the general trend of survey indices, as well as recruitment, remains very low. While the updated survey information may provide an initial, and potentially positive, indication of improvement, it is difficult to anticipate the results of the full 2015 assessment. In any event, we plan to make necessary adjustments for the 2016 fishing year based on the upcoming 2015 stock assessment.

    Incidental Fishing Mortality

    The petitioners request prohibiting fishing mortality until incidental mortality does not exceed the ABC. An ABC of 386 mt is expected to have substantial adverse economic impacts on groundfish vessels, and is below the estimate of incidental catch of GOM cod that occurred in the 2013 fishing year. In the 2013 fishing year, when the ACL was reduced by 80 percent, incidental catch was estimated to be approximately 500-600 mt. Beginning in the 2013 fishing year, sectors primarily used their GOM cod allocation to access other groundfish stocks. Multiple sources of information indicate a marked decline in directed fishing for GOM cod. With an additional 75-percent reduction beginning in the 2015 fishing year, the incentive to target GOM cod is virtually eliminated, and the fishery will be, in effect, a “bycatch-only” fishery. Incidental catch is largely a function of the overall ACLs on other stocks. At such a low GOM cod catch limit, fishery operations will be greatly restricted, and in some cases eliminated. In addition, the recreational fishery will be prohibited from possessing any GOM cod. Under this incidental catch scenario, the GOM cod ABC is expected to severely restrict catch of other groundfish stocks, particularly GOM haddock, pollock, redfish, and some flatfish. Based on this information, the 386-mt ABC balances Magnuson-Stevens Act requirements of conservation and achieving optimum yield.

    Monitoring and Catch Accounting

    The petitioners raised a concern that inaccurate accounting for catch could undermine conservation objectives for GOM cod. We share their concern, and available analyses suggest that an extremely low catch limit for GOM cod may create an economic incentive to misreport catch. If misreporting occurs, it could reduce the accuracy of catch apportionment. Information indicates that this incentive increases as the GOM cod catch limit is further reduced. To help ensure correct catch apportionment and compliance with the GOM cod ACL adopted in Framework 53, we also implemented an additional daily reporting requirement for common pool and sector vessels fishing in multiple broad stock areas on the same trip. This requirement is intended to help ensure accurate catch attribution and reduce the incentive for vessels to misreport.

    We do not share the petitioners' view that 100-percent observer coverage is necessary to monitor GOM cod fishing mortality. Rather, we apply at-sea monitoring coverage levels that we determine are necessary to monitor and enforce catch levels, or increase buffers to account for uncertainty in catch as part of the biennial quota-setting process. We have received similar comments on prior groundfish rulemakings requesting high levels of observer coverage for the commercial fishery since the implementation of Amendment 16. For the most part, commenters have generally asserted that the levels of monitoring we have implemented are inadequate without providing any specific justification or information to support their assertion.

    For sector trips, we have determined that 24-percent observer coverage is sufficient this fishing year, to the extent practicable in light of Magnuson-Stevens Act requirements, to reliably estimate catch for purposes of monitoring ACLs for groundfish stocks. This level of coverage is achieved through a combination of groundfish at-sea monitoring coverage and observer coverage furnished by the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program. Amendment 16 specified that at-sea monitoring coverage levels should be less than 100 percent, which requires estimations of the discard portion of catch and thus total catch. Amendment 16 also specified that the at-sea monitoring coverage levels should achieve a 30-percent coefficient of variation (CV). The level of observer coverage, ultimately, should provide confidence that the overall catch estimate is sufficiently accurate to ensure that sector fishing activities are consistent with National Standard 1 requirements to prevent overfishing while achieving optimum yield. To that end, significant additional uncertainty buffers are established when setting ACLs that mitigate any lack of absolute precision and accuracy in estimating overall catch by sector vessels. Collectively, the current level of sector observer coverage is providing more data for quota management and assessment science than was available to NMFS prior to implementation of Amendment 16.

    On February 18, 2014, in Oceana, Inc. v. Pritzker, 1:13-cv-00770 (D.D.C. 2014), the Court upheld our use of a 30-percent CV standard to set sector observer coverage levels. In addition to upholding our determination of sufficient coverage levels, the Court noted that the current sector observer coverage is not the sole method of monitoring compliance with ACLs, there are many reporting requirements that vessels adhere to, and there are strong incentives for vessels to report accurately because each sector is held jointly and severally liable for overages and misreporting of catch and bycatch.

    Conclusion

    We remain concerned about the status of GOM cod, but have determined that the current FMP, as adjusted by Framework 53, along with recreational measures and planned future Council and agency actions, provide the appropriate regulatory mechanisms for addressing the concerns regarding this stock that were raised in the petition for rulemaking. We will continue to carefully monitor stock indicators leading into the 2015 assessment to fully inform our re-evaluation of the GOM cod catch limit, and the need to balance conservation and management objectives. Therefore, we are denying this petition; no other rulemaking is necessary in response to the petition for rulemaking.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16891 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150126078-5078-01] RIN 0648-BE85 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Revise Maximum Retainable Amounts for Skates in the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes regulations to reduce the maximum retainable amount (MRA) of skates using groundfish and halibut as basis species in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) from 20 percent to 5 percent. Reducing skate MRAs is necessary to decrease the incentive for fishermen to target skates and slow the catch rate of skates in these fisheries. This proposed rule would enhance conservation and management of skates and minimize skate discards in GOA groundfish and halibut fisheries. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, and other applicable laws.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received no later than August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0015, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0015, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.

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

    Electronic copies of the draft Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (collectively the “Analysis”), Alaska Groundfish Harvest Specifications Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS), Supplementary Information Report (SIR) to the Final EIS, and the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) for the Gulf of Alaska Groundfish Harvest Specifications for 2015 and 2016 (Harvest Specifications IRFA) prepared for this action are available from http://www.regulations.gov or from the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peggy Murphy, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for Action

    NMFS manages the groundfish fisheries in the exclusive economic zone of the GOA under the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Regulations governing groundfish fishing in the GOA and implementing the FMP appear at 50 CFR parts 600 and 679. The Council and NMFS manage skates (Raja and Bathyraja species) as a groundfish species under the FMP.

    Background

    NMFS proposes to modify regulations that specify the MRA for skates in the GOA. An MRA is the maximum amount of a species closed to directed fishing (i.e., skate species) that may be retained onboard a vessel. MRAs are calculated as a percentage of the weight of catch of each groundfish species or halibut open to directed fishing (the basis species) that is retained onboard the vessel. MRAs assist in limiting catch of a species within its annual total allowable catch (TAC). Once the TAC for a species is reached, retention of that species becomes prohibited and all catch of that species must be discarded. NMFS closes a species to directed fishing before the entire TAC is taken to leave sufficient amounts of the TAC available for incidental catch. The amount of the TAC remaining available for incidental catch is managed by a species-specific MRA. MRAs are a management tool to slow down the rate of harvest and reduce the incentive for targeting a species closed to directed fishing. NMFS has established a single MRA percentage for big skate (Raja binoculata), longnose skate (Raja rhina), and for all remaining skate species (Bathyraja spp.). The skate MRA in the GOA is set at 20 percent. The proposed rule would reduce the MRA for skates in the GOA from 20 percent to 5 percent. The reduced MRA would apply to all vessels directed fishing for groundfish species or halibut in the GOA. Under the proposed rule, the round weight of the retained skate species could be no more than 5 percent of the round weight of the basis species.

    The Council recommended and NMFS proposes to reduce the skate MRA to decrease the incentive for fishermen to target skates while directed fishing for groundfish and halibut, and to slow the harvest rate of skates in GOA groundfish and halibut fisheries. Information from recent years of skate catch in directed groundfish and halibut fisheries indicates that some fishermen have maximized their retention of skates early in the year by deliberately targeting them while directed fishing for other species. Over a period of years, the TAC of big skate and longnose skate has been exceeded in the Central GOA and Western GOA, respectively. In response, NMFS has prohibited retention of skates earlier in the year to reduce incentives to target skates and maintain catch at or below the TACs established for skate species in specific GOA regulatory areas. A prohibition on retention results in mandatory discard of all skate catch for the remainder of the year.

    This proposed rule would limit the amount of skates that could be retained while directed fishing for other groundfish and halibut. The proposed rule would slow the harvest rate of skates and would enhance NMFS' ability to limit the catch of skates to the skate TACs. In addition, the proposed rule is expected to minimize discards of skates by reducing the likelihood that NMFS would need to prohibit retention of a skate species in a GOA management area during the year to maintain skate catch at or below its TAC.

    This proposed rule would make four amendments to regulations. First, this proposed rule would amend regulations to reduce the skate MRA for all vessels fishing for groundfish and halibut in the GOA. This proposed rule would amend regulations that establish a skate MRA for all groundfish and halibut basis species in Table 10 to 50 CFR part 679 and for the fisheries under the Central GOA Rockfish Program in Table 30 to 50 CFR part 679. Second, this proposed rule would make minor clarifications in MRA regulations applicable to the Central GOA Rockfish Program. Third, this proposed rule would make minor corrections to incorrect cross references in regulations in §§ 679.7 and 679.28. Finally, this proposed rule would revise Table 2a to 50 CFR part 679 by adding whiteblotched, Alaska, and Aleutian skates as well as the scientific names for individual skate species that were inadvertently removed by a previous rule making.

    The following sections describe (1) management of skates in the GOA and the fisheries that would be affected by the rule; (2) the need for the proposed rule; and (3) the proposed rule.

    Management of Skates in the GOA and the Fisheries Affected by the Proposed Rule Management of Skates in the GOA

    In the GOA, the Council and NMFS manage skates as a groundfish species under the FMP. Management of skates in the GOA is described in Section 3.1.2 of the Analysis. Big skate and longnose skate are managed as single species, and all other skate species are managed in the “other skates” species group.

    GOA skate catches are managed subject to annual limits on the amounts of each species of skate, or group of skate species, that may be taken. The annual limits are defined in the FMP and referred to as “harvest specifications.” The overfishing limits (OFLs), acceptable biological catch (ABCs), and TACs for skates are specified through the annual “harvest specification process.” The FMP requires that the Council recommend and NMFS specify these annual limits for each species or species group of groundfish on an annual basis. A detailed description of the annual harvest specification process is provided in the Final EIS, the SIR, and the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (80 FR 10250, February 25, 2015) and is briefly summarized here.

    Section 3.2.1 of the FMP defines the OFL as the annual amount of catch that results whenever a stock or stock complex is subjected to a level of fishing mortality or annual total catch that jeopardizes the capacity of a stock or stock complex to produce maximum sustainable yield on a continuing basis. The OFL is the catch level above which overfishing is occurring. NMFS manages fisheries to ensure that no OFLs are exceeded in any year.

    Section 3.2.1 of the FMP defines the ABC as the level of a stock or stock complex's annual catch that accounts for the scientific uncertainty in the estimate of OFL and any other scientific uncertainty. The ABC is set below the OFL.

    Section 3.2.1 of the FMP defines the TAC as the annual catch target for a stock or stock complex, derived from the ABC by considering social and economic factors and management uncertainty (i.e., uncertainty in the ability of managers to constrain catch so the annual catch limit is not exceeded, and uncertainty in quantifying the true catch amount). Section 3.2.3.4.1 of the FMP requires that the TAC must be set lower than or equal to the ABC. Section 3.2.3.4.3.2 of the FMP clarifies that TACs can be apportioned by regulatory area. There are three regulatory areas specified in the GOA management area: Western GOA, Central GOA, and Eastern GOA.

    Big skate and longnose skate have OFLs and ABCs defined for the GOA management area. The ABCs for big skate and longnose skate are apportioned to each of the regulatory areas in the GOA management area according to the proportion of the biomass estimated in each regulatory area. NMFS specifies TACs for big skate and longnose skate for the Western GOA, Central GOA, and Eastern GOA equal to the ABC for each of these regulatory areas. All other species of skates are assigned to the “other skates” species group. The other skates species group has an OFL and ABC, and TAC specified for the GOA management area (i.e., NMFS does not establish separate ABCs or TACs for the Western GOA, Central GOA, and Eastern GOA). NMFS does not establish regulatory area-specific ABCs or TACs for other skates because harvest is generally more broadly dispersed throughout the entire GOA, and they are not generally retained. All retained and discarded catch of skates accrues to the TACs, ABCs, and OFLs specified for the species. Additional detail on skate biomass and harvest specifications is available in Section 3.1.1 and 3.1.2 of the Analysis, respectively.

    NMFS ensures that OFLs, ABCs, and TACs are not exceeded by requiring vessel operators participating in groundfish fisheries in the GOA to comply with a range of restrictions, such as area, time, gear, and operation-specific fishery closures. Regulations at § 679.20(d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(3) describe the range of management measures that NMFS uses to maintain total catch at or below the TAC.

    Regulations at § 679.20(d)(1)(i) specify that NMFS may establish a directed fishing allowance (DFA) for a species or species group when any allocation or apportionment of a target species or species group allocated or apportioned to a fishery will be reached. Regulations at § 679.20(d)(1)(ii)(B) specify that NMFS must also consider the amount of a species or species group closed to directed fishing that will be taken in directed fishing for other species when establishing a DFA. NMFS implements this provision through the annual harvest specifications process by subtracting the estimated amount of incidental catch of a species or species group taken in directed fishing for other species from the TAC of that species or species group. If an insufficient amount of TAC is available for a directed fishery for that species or species group, NMFS establishes the DFA for that species or species group as zero metric tons (mt) and, in accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), prohibits directed fishing for that species or species group.

    Directed fishing for groundfish in the GOA is defined at § 679.2 as any fishing activity that results in the retention of an amount of a species or species group onboard a vessel that is greater than the MRA for that species or species group. Therefore, when directed fishing for a species or species group is prohibited, retention of the species or species group is limited to an MRA. These species are referred to as incidental catch species. NMFS established MRAs to allow vessel operators fishing for species or species groups open to directed fishing to retain a specified amount of incidental catch species.

    NMFS has determined that the TACs specified for all skate species in the GOA are needed to support incidental catch of skates in other groundfish and halibut fisheries. As a result, there are insufficient TACs for these species to support directed fisheries, the DFA for skates is set to zero mt, and directed fishing for skates is prohibited at the beginning of the fishing year. When directed fishing for skates is prohibited, the catch of skates is limited by an MRA.

    The skate MRA is specified by basis species in Table 10 and Table 30 to 50 CFR part 679. The skate MRA is not specified by skate species. Instead, the skate MRA is based on the combined round weight of all skate species retained onboard a vessel. A single MRA for all skates was established because fishermen and processors may have difficulty identifying skate species and may not be able to easily determine if they have reached an MRA for a specific skate species. Therefore, a separate MRA for each species would be difficult to manage and enforce. Additional detail on the designation of a single skate MRA is provided in Section 4.1 of the Analysis.

    Currently, the skate MRA for all basis species in the GOA is 20 percent of the basis species round weight retained onboard a vessel. This means the maximum amount of big, longnose, and other skate species that may be retained onboard a vessel must not exceed 20 percent of the round weight of other groundfish species and halibut (basis species) retained onboard a vessel. For example, a vessel operator fishing Pacific cod, a basis species open to directed fishing, may retain big, longnose, and other skates in an amount up to 20 percent of the round weight equivalent of Pacific cod that is onboard the vessel at any point in time during a fishing trip.

    Amounts of skates onboard the vessel that are below or equal to the MRA may be retained. Amounts of skates in excess of the MRA must be discarded. An MRA applies at all times and to all areas for the duration of a fishing trip (see § 679.20(e)(3)). Vessel operators may retain incidental catch species while directed fishing for other groundfish species or halibut up to the MRA percentage of the basis species retained catch until the TAC for the incidental catch species is met.

    Regulations at § 679.20(d)(2) specify that if the TAC for the incidental catch species is met, NMFS will prohibit retention of the incidental catch species for the remainder of the year. Regulations at § 679.21(b) specify that if retention of a species is prohibited, the operator of each vessel engaged in directed fishing for groundfish in the GOA must return the prohibited species to the sea immediately, with a minimum of injury, regardless of its condition. Therefore, when NMFS prohibits retention of an incidental catch species, such as skates, vessel operators must discard all catch of that species. The primary purpose of requiring discards is to remove any incentive for vessel operators to increase incidental catch of the species as a portion of other fisheries and to minimize the catch of that species.

    Although MRAs limit the incentive to target on an incidental catch species, fishermen can “top off” their retained groundfish and halibut catch with incidental catch species up to the maximum permitted under the MRA. Fishermen are top-off fishing when they deliberately target and retain incidental catch species up to the MRA instead of harvesting the species incidentally. Thus, MRAs reflect a balance between NMFS' need to limit the harvest rate of incidental catch species and minimize regulatory discards of the incidental catch species while providing fishermen an opportunity to harvest available incidental species TAC through limited retention.

    Fisheries That Would Be Affected by the Proposed Rule

    Skates are caught in the GOA primarily by vessels directed fishing for groundfish with non-pelagic trawl gear and by vessels directed fishing for groundfish and halibut with hook-and-line gear. Very limited amounts of skates are also caught by vessels using pelagic trawl, pot, and jig gear in directed groundfish fisheries in the GOA. Section 3.1.1 of the Analysis presents detailed information on GOA skate catch by species, management area, gear, and target fishery for two time periods: From 2008 through 2012, and in 2013 and 2014. This information is briefly summarized below.

    Catch data are divided into these two periods, because the individual fishing quota (IFQ) halibut and small catcher vessel hook-and-line Pacific cod fisheries were largely unobserved before 2013. Data on the incidental catch of skate species from these fisheries prior to 2013 is limited or not available. In 2013, the North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program was restructured (Restructured Observer Program) and observers were deployed in the IFQ halibut fishery and on smaller vessels (77 FR 70062, November 21, 2012). As a result, new observer data on skate catch were included in NMFS' catch accounting system. The improved observer data since 2013, and information on the amount of at-sea discards of skates from the IFQ halibut fishery and smaller hook-and-line vessels, show that an increased proportion of skate catch occurs on vessels using hook-and-line gear.

    Based upon NMFS' catch accounting system, big skate catch occurs primarily in the Central GOA. Less than one tenth of the catch comes from the Western GOA or the Eastern GOA. NMFS data show that from 2008 through 2012, an average of 67 percent of the big skate catch was caught by vessels using non-pelagic trawl gear and 32 percent was caught by vessels using hook-and-line gear. During 2013 and 2104, the proportion of big skate catch by vessels using non-pelagic trawl gear decreased to 54 percent, and the proportion caught by vessels using hook-and-line gear increased to 46 percent. Big skate catch by vessels using non-pelagic trawl gear occurs predominantly in the arrowtooth flounder directed fishery. Big skate catch by vessels using hook-and-line gear occurs predominantly in the Pacific cod and halibut directed fisheries. Less than 1 percent of the big skate catch was caught by vessels using other types of gear.

    The analysis indicates that congregations of big skate in the spring enable catcher vessel operators using non-pelagic trawl gear and hook-and-line gear to engage in top-off fishing. NMFS groundfish landings data on big skate confirm that specific areas have higher retention of big skate when compared to other areas (see Section 3.1.3 of the Analysis).

    Longnose skate are caught predominantly in the Central GOA, with more limited catch in the Eastern GOA, and the least amount of catch in the Western GOA. NMFS data show that from 2008 through 2012, an average of 53 percent of the longnose skate catch was caught by vessels using hook-and-line gear and 44 percent was caught by vessels using non-pelagic trawl gear. During 2013 and 2014, the proportion of longnose skate catch by vessels using hook-and-line gear increased to 67 percent, and the proportion of catch by vessels using non-pelagic trawl gear decreased to 31 percent. Longnose skate catch by vessels using hook-and-line gear occurs predominantly in Pacific cod, halibut, and sablefish directed fisheries. Longnose skate catch by vessels using non-pelagic trawl gear occurs predominantly in the arrowtooth flounder and flatfish directed fisheries. Approximately 2 percent of the longnose skate catch was caught by vessels using other types of gear.

    Other skates are caught primarily in the Central GOA. From 2008 through 2012, an average of 78 percent of the other skate catch was caught by vessels using hook-and-line gear, and 20 percent was caught by vessels using non-pelagic trawl gear. During 2013 and 2014, the proportion of catch of other skate catch by vessels using hook-and-line gear increased to 90 percent and the proportion of catch by vessels using non-pelagic trawl gear decreased to 10 percent. Other skate catch by vessels using hook-and-line gear occurs predominantly in the Pacific cod, halibut, and sablefish directed fisheries. Other skate catch by vessels using non-pelagic trawl gear occurs predominantly in the arrowtooth and deep-water flatfish target fisheries. Less than 1 percent of the other skate catch was caught by vessels using other types of gear.

    Need for the Proposed Rule

    In December 2013, the Council received public testimony that the current MRA for skates in the GOA allows fishermen to deliberately target skates while ostensibly directed fishing for other groundfish or halibut. This “topping-off” pattern of maximizing skate catch up to the MRA limit of 20 percent of the basis species onboard a vessel has increased the harvest rate of skates. In recent years, skate catch has exceeded the TAC in some areas. The estimated catch of big skate exceeded the TAC in the Central GOA in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, and the estimated catch of longnose skates exceeded the TAC in the Western GOA in 2009, 2010, and 2013. The catch of other skates has not exceeded the TACs established for the GOA management area; however, in 2013 and 2014, the catch of other skates was estimated at 93 percent and 98 percent of the 2013 and 2014 TACs, respectively.

    When fishery managers estimated the big or longnose skate TACs would be exceeded, NMFS prohibited retention of big or longnose skates in the directed fisheries for groundfish and halibut and required discard of all big or longnose skate catch for the remainder of the calendar year. The earlier in the year that big or longnose skate retention is prohibited, the more regulatory discards of big or longnose skate can occur since groundfish and halibut fisheries will continue to catch these skates incidentally.

    The Council determined and NMFS agrees that reducing the skate MRA would decrease the incentive for fishermen to engage in top-off fishing for skates and slow the harvest rate of skates to levels that more accurately reflect the rate of incidental catch of skates in the directed groundfish and halibut fisheries in the GOA. Reducing the skate MRA would slow the skate harvest rate and accrual of skate catch against the TAC. A slower harvest rate may reduce the potential that NMFS will have to prohibit skate retention to avoid exceeding a skate species' TAC. In addition, a slower harvest rate could extend skate retention throughout the year and result in lower regulatory discards of skates.

    This proposed rule would help ensure that skate catch in the future does not exceed a TAC, ABC, or OFL. The Council and NMFS analyzed four alternative MRAs to reduce the incentive for fishermen to pursue top-off fishing for skates and slow the rate of skate harvest. In addition to the status quo of an MRA of 20 percent, the Council and NMFS evaluated alternatives to reduce skate MRAs to 15, 10, and 5 percent. To estimate impacts of the alternative MRAs, the Analysis considered two metrics.

    First, the Analysis examined the rate of big skate catch relative to groundfish catch by directed fishery before and after big skate retention was prohibited in 2013 and 2014 (see Section 4.5.1.1 of the Analysis). The Analysis assumed that once big skate retention was prohibited by regulation, a vessel operator would not be engaging in top-off fishing for big skates if they were encountered while directed fishing for groundfish or halibut. Thus, the Analysis assumed that the relative catch rates of big skate after retention was prohibited were a reasonable estimate of the likely incidental catch rate of big skate.

    The Analysis examined big skate catch rates because they are the most abundant skates in the GOA and significant proportions of big skate catches are retained compared to the catch of longnose and other skates. The 2013 and 2014 period was selected for analysis because NMFS prohibited retention of big skates in the Central GOA during these years, allowing a clear comparison of changes in catch rates after retention was prohibited. NMFS also has more complete data on big skate catch rates after 2013 due to the Restructured Observer Program.

    Results from the analysis of big skate harvest rates indicate that after big skate retention was prohibited the harvest rate for big skate dropped from as much as 8.6 percent of the total groundfish and halibut catch to a harvest rate that ranged from 6.3 percent to 0.1 percent of the total groundfish and halibut catch depending on the year, gear type, and target fishery. These data indicate that participants in various target fisheries could avoid the incidental catch of big skate when there was not an incentive to retain big skates.

    Second, the Analysis used a model of retained skate catch of all skate species, in all areas and by vessels using all gear types under a range of hypothetical MRAs ranging from one percent to 20 percent of the basis species. The model allowed the Council and NMFS to compare the amount of retained skate catch that would be likely under these alternative MRAs (see Section 4.5.1.4 of the Analysis).

    Results from the model indicate that as the MRA becomes more restrictive, the incentive for vessel operators to engage in top-off fishing is reduced and overall skate catch may be reduced as fishermen avoid areas where skates are encountered. The model estimated that a reduction in the skate MRA ranging from 20 percent to 10 percent would have relatively limited impacts on the amount of GOA skates that are retained relative to the current 20 percent MRA. Therefore, NMFS expects reducing the MRA to 15 or 10 percent would not result in a significantly lower catch rate of GOA skates. The model indicates that reducing the skate MRA below 10 percent would be expected to result in more limited top-off fishing and lower overall catch of skates. The model indicates that a 5 percent MRA would best ensure that NMFS did not have to prohibit the retention of skates and that skate TACs would not be exceeded.

    In December 2014, following public comment and input from its advisory bodies, the Council unanimously recommended reducing the MRA for skates from 20 percent to 5 percent for all basis species in the GOA. Overall, reducing the skate MRA would primarily affect vessel operators who retained big skate at an amount greater than 5 percent of their basis species in the Central GOA. Reducing the skate MRA to 5 percent would have the greatest effect on vessels retaining big skates in the Central GOA because big skate catches have consistently exceeded the big skate TAC in the Central GOA, and data indicate that vessel operators can and do engage in topping-off for big skates. This proposed rule would have a relatively limited impact on vessel retention of longnose and other skates given these species have not been found to congregate like big skates and are not currently subject to the same patterns of top-off fishing. This proposed rule is not likely to have significant impacts on the conservation or management of groundfish or halibut in the GOA because this proposed rule would only limit the amount of skates that may be retained.

    This proposed rule would affect all catcher vessels and catcher/processors directed fishing for groundfish and halibut in the GOA that may harvest any species of skate. Section 4.6.1.1 of the Analysis estimates the annual revenue at risk for all catcher vessels and catcher/processors that could be affected by this proposed rule at $2.4 million. However, the impact relative to each vessel that retains skates in the GOA is quite small. Analysis of the gross revenue data for vessels that retained GOA skates indicates that from 2008 through 2013 the average percentage of annual gross revenue derived from skate catch by catcher vessels ranged between 0.7 percent and 1.28 percent of their total annual gross revenue; the average percentage of annual gross revenue derived from skate catch by catcher/processors ranged between 0.26 percent and 0.77 percent of their total annual gross revenue (see Section 4.6.1.1 of the Analysis). In general, vessels that catch and retain skates show relatively little dependence on GOA skates for their gross revenues. The actual impact on gross revenue for a specific vessel may vary from year to year depending on the total abundance of skates, total catch of skates, market conditions, and ex-vessel price. Section 4.5.1.4 of the Analysis describes the effect of the 5 percent MRA on specific vessel operations in greater detail.

    The impact of this proposed rule on communities is discussed in Section 4.6.2 of the Analysis. Impacts would be most pronounced on Kodiak, AK, where, from 2008 through 2014, 87 percent to 93 percent of skates retained by catcher vessels were delivered. Kodiak accounted for between 84 percent and 91 percent of the first wholesale value of shoreside skate processing in Alaska, which ranged between $3.2 and $5.1 million annually. Skates accounted for between 0.98 percent and 1.38 percent of the first wholesale value of production at Kodiak.

    Although this proposed rule could limit the total amount of skates delivered, it is also possible that skate deliveries would continue under the 5 percent MRA, but would be distributed throughout the year provided a TAC limit is not reached. Therefore, the impact on total landings on any community may be limited. Communities in the State of Alaska where skates and processed skate products are landed may realize lower tax revenues from the State of Alaska Fisheries Business Tax and Fishery Resource Landing Tax, but only if total skate landings decline.

    Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would make four changes to the regulations. First, this proposed rule would revise skate MRAs in Table 10 to 50 CFR part 679, Gulf of Alaska Retainable Percentages, and in Table 30 to 50 CFR part 679, Rockfish Program Retainable Percentages. NMFS would reduce the incidental catch species MRAs for skates for each basis species listed in Tables 10 and 30 from 20 percent to 5 percent. NMFS notes the basis species termed “Aggregated amount of non-groundfish species” includes all legally retained IFQ halibut as explained in footnote 12 to Table 10. If the proposed reductions in skate MRAs are approved, then skate MRAs would be set equal to 5 percent in Tables 10 and 30 on the effective date of the final rule.

    Second, this proposed rule would correct two regulatory cross-reference errors. These errors resulted from reorganizing and renumbering the Federal Fisheries Permit requirements in § 679.4(b) and were implemented in a final rule published on October 21, 2014 (79 FR 62885). Current regulations at § 679.7(a)(18) and § 679.28(f)(6)(i) incorrectly refer to the FFP requirements at § 679.4(b)(5)(vi), a paragraph that no longer exists. This proposed rule would correct those cross references to § 679.4(b).

    Third, this proposed rule would modify regulatory text to clarify that a vessel fishing under a Rockfish Program cooperative quota (CQ) permit may harvest groundfish species not allocated as CQ up to the MRA for that species as established in Table 30 to 50 CFR part 679. This proposed rule would remove the last sentence in regulations at § 679.20(f)(2), because the sentence makes an incorrect statement. The heading in the last column in Table 30 correctly states that the MRA for vessels fishing under the Rockfish Program is calculated as “a percentage of total retained rockfish primary species and rockfish secondary species”. This proposed rule would correct this discrepancy by removing the last sentence of § 679.20(f)(2). The current regulations at § 679.81(h)(4)(i) and (h)(5) use the term “incidental catch species” in the calculation of an MRA to refer to “groundfish species not allocated as cooperative quota (CQ).” This proposed rule would add the referenced text to § 679.81(h)(4)(i) and (h)(5) to ensure consistent use of terminology in the regulations.

    Fourth, this proposed rule would revise Table 2a to 50 CFR part 679 to add whiteblotched, Alaska, and Aleutian skates, as well as the scientific names for individual skate species. Adding these individual skate species and the scientific names would facilitate the reporting of individual skate species taken during groundfish harvest and provides more detailed information regarding skate harvests for stock assessments and fisheries management. This revision would support managing skates as a target species group or as individual target species. These skate species and scientific names were added to Table 2a in final regulations implementing changes to groundfish management in the BSAI and GOA on October 6, 2010 (75 FR 61639). Subsequent regulations published on July 11, 2011 (76 FR 40628), amended Table 2a to 50 CFR part 679 and that revision inadvertently removed the skate species codes implemented on October 6, 2010. The proposed addition of these skate species and scientific names would correct this error that was noticed during the preparation of this proposed rule. The proposed addition of species codes does not change the management of skates or the other provisions of this proposed rule.

    Classification

    Pursuant to sections 304 (b)(1)(A) and 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

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

    Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    NMFS prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed rule, if adopted, would have on small entities. A copy of the Analysis is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). A summary of the IRFA follows. A description of the proposed rule, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this proposed rule are contained elsewhere in the preamble, and are not repeated here.

    This proposed rule, a reduction in GOA skate MRAs, directly regulates all entities fishing for groundfish and halibut in the GOA that have the potential to catch any species of skate. These entities operate vessels that are directly regulated by the GOA groundfish harvest specifications.

    On June 12, 2014, the Small Business Administration issued an interim final rule revising the small business size standards for several industries effective July 14, 2014 (79 FR 33647, June 12, 2014). The rule increased the size standard for Finfish Fishing from $19.0 million to $20.5 million. The new size standards were used to prepare the IRFA for this proposed rule.

    The IRFA estimates that this proposed rule would directly regulate 1,153 small entities. Of these small entities, the IRFA estimates that this proposed rule would directly regulate 1,073 small catcher vessels fishing with hook-and-line gear (including jig gear), 116 small catcher vessels fishing with pot gear, and 32 small catcher vessels fishing with trawl gear. In addition, this proposed rule would directly regulate 2 small catcher/processors fishing with hook-and-line gear, and one small catcher/processor fishing with trawl gear. Specific revenue data for these small catcher/processors are confidential but are less than $20.5 million annually. The IRFA estimates that the average gross revenues for 2013 (the most recent year of complete revenue data) are $380,000 for small hook-and-line catcher vessels, $960,000 for small pot catcher vessels, and $2.8 million for small trawl catcher vessels.

    This proposed rule does not create new recordkeeping and reporting requirements, or alter existing requirements.

    The IRFA prepared for this proposed rule has not identified Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the preferred alternative (a 5 percent MRA).

    An IRFA should include a description of any significant alternatives to the proposed rule that accomplish the stated objectives, are consistent with applicable statutes, and that would minimize the significant economic impact of the proposed rule on small entities.

    The Council and NMFS considered four alternatives in the development of this proposed rule. This proposed rule would implement Alternative 4, a 5 percent skate MRA. The significant alternatives to this proposed rule are Alternatives 1, 2, and 3, a 20 percent, 15 percent, and 10 percent skate MRA, respectively. As discussed in Section 4.7 and 4.8 of the Analysis, these proposed alternatives are not expected to reduce the incentive for fishermen to target and retain skates and thus, would not accomplish the objectives of this proposed rule—to slow the harvest rate of skates that may be incidentally retained to ensure that the TACs for skate species are not exceeded. The Analysis did not identify any other alternatives that would more effectively meet the RFA criteria to minimize adverse economic impacts on directly regulated small entities.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 679

    Alaska, Fisheries.

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS proposes to amend 50 CFR part 679 as follows:

    PART 679—FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA 1. The authority citation for part 679 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 1801 et seq.; 3631 et seq.; Pub. L. 108-447; Pub. L. 111-281.

    2. In § 679.7, revise paragraph (a)(18) to read as follows:
    § 679.7 Prohibitions.

    (a) * * *

    (18) Pollock, Pacific Cod, and Atka Mackerel Directed Fishing and VMS. Operate a vessel in any Federal reporting area when a vessel is authorized under § 679.4(b) to participate in the Atka mackerel, Pacific cod, or pollock directed fisheries and the vessel's authorized species and gear type is open to directed fishing, unless the vessel carries an operable NMFS-approved Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) and complies with the requirements in § 679.28(f).

    3. In § 679.20, revise paragraph (f)(2) to read as follows:
    § 679.20 General limitations.

    (f) * * *

    (2) Retainable amounts. Any groundfish species for which directed fishing is closed may not be used to calculate retainable amounts of other groundfish species. Only fish harvested under the CDQ Program may be used to calculate retainable amounts of other CDQ species.

    4. In § 679.28, revise paragraph (f)(6)(i) to read as follows:
    § 679.28 Equipment and operational requirements.

    (f) * * *

    (6) * * *

    (i) You operate a vessel in any reporting area (see definitions at § 679.2) off Alaska while any fishery requiring VMS, for which the vessel has a species and gear endorsement on its Federal Fisheries Permit under § 679.4(b), is open.

    5. In § 679.81, revise paragraphs (h)(4)(i) and (h)(5) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 679.81 Rockfish Program annual harvester privileges.

    (h) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (i) The MRA for groundfish species not allocated as CQ (incidental catch species) for vessels fishing under the authority of a CQ permit is calculated as a proportion of the total allocated rockfish primary species and rockfish secondary species on board the vessel in round weight equivalents using the retainable percentage in Table 30 to this part; except that—

    (5) Maximum retainable amount (MRA) calculation and limits—catcher/processor vessels. The MRA for groundfish species not allocated as CQ (incidental catch species) for vessels fishing under the authority of a CQ permit is calculated as a proportion of the total allocated rockfish primary species and rockfish secondary species on board the vessel in round weight equivalents using the retainable percentage in Table 30 to this part as determined under § 679.20(e)(3)(iv).

    6. Revise Table 2a to part 679 to read as follows: Table 2a to Part 679—Species Codes: FMP Groundfish Species description Code Atka mackerel (greenling) 193 Flatfish, miscellaneous (flatfish species without separate codes) 120 FLOUNDER: Alaska plaice 133 Arrowtooth 121 Bering 116 Kamchatka 117 Starry 129 Octopus, North Pacific 870 Pacific cod 110 Pollock 270 ROCKFISH: Aurora (Sebastes aurora) 185 Black (BSAI) (S. melanops) 142 Blackgill (S. melanostomus) 177 Blue (BSAI) (S. mystinus) 167 Bocaccio (S. paucispinis) 137 Canary (S. pinniger) 146 Chilipepper (S. goodei) 178 China (S. nebulosus) 149 Copper (S. caurinus) 138 Darkblotched (S. crameri) 159 Dusky (S. variabilis) 172 Greenstriped (S. elongatus) 135 Harlequin (S. variegatus) 176 Northern (S. polyspinis) 136 Pacific Ocean Perch (S. alutus) 141 Pygmy (S. wilsoni) 179 Quillback (S. maliger) 147 Redbanded (S. babcocki) 153 Redstripe (S. proriger) 158 Rosethorn (S. helvomaculatus) 150 Rougheye (S. aleutianus) 151 Sharpchin (S. zacentrus) 166 Shortbelly (S. jordani) 181 Shortraker (S. borealis) 152 Silvergray (S. brevispinis) 157 Splitnose (S. diploproa) 182 Stripetail (S. saxicola) 183 Thornyhead (all Sebastolobus species) 143 Tiger (S. nigrocinctus) 148 Vermilion (S. miniatus) 184 Widow (S. entomelas) 156 Yelloweye (S. ruberrimus) 145 Yellowmouth (S. reedi) 175 Yellowtail (S. flavidus) 155 Sablefish (blackcod) 710 Sculpins 160 SHARKS: Other (if salmon, spiny dogfish or Pacific sleeper shark—use specific species code) 689 Pacific sleeper 692 Salmon 690 Spiny dogfish 691 SKATES: Whiteblotched (Bathyraja maculata) 705 Aleutian (B. aleutica) 704 Alaska (B. parmifera) 703 Big (Raja binoculata) 702 Longnose (R. rhina) 701 Other (if Whiteblotched, Aleutian, Alaska, Big or Longnose skate—use specific species code listed above) 700 SOLE: Butter 126 Dover 124 English 128 Flathead 122 Petrale 131 Rex 125 Rock 123 Sand 132 Yellowfin 127 Squid, majestic 875 Turbot, Greenland 134 7. Revise Table 10 to part 679 to read as follows: EP10JY15.009 EP10JY15.010 EP10JY15.011 8. Revise Table 30 to part 679 to read as follows: Table 30 to Part 679—Rockfish Program Retainable Percentages [In round wt. equivalent] Fishery Incidental catch species Sector MRA as a
  • percentage of total retained rockfish primary species and rockfish
  • secondary species
  • Rockfish Cooperative Vessels fishing under a CQ permit Pacific cod
  • Shortraker/Rougheye aggregate catch
  • Catcher/Processor
  • Catcher Vessel
  • 4.0
  • 2.0
  • See rockfish non-allocated species for “other species” Rockfish non-allocated Species for Rockfish Cooperative vessels fishing under a Rockfish CQ permit Pollock
  • Deep-water flatfish
  • Rex sole
  • Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel
  • Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel
  • Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel
  • 20.0
  • 20.0
  • 20.0
  • Flathead sole Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel 20.0 Shallow-water flatfish Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel 20.0 Arrowtooth flounder Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel 35.0 Other rockfish Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel 15.0 Atka mackerel Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel 20.0 Aggregated forage fish Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel 2.0 Skates Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel 5.0 Other species Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel 20.0 Longline gear Rockfish Entry Level Fishery See Table 10 to this part. Opt-out vessels See Table 10 to this part. Rockfish Cooperative Vessels not fishing under a CQ permit See Table 10 to this part.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16935 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 132 Friday, July 10, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Doc. No. AMS-FV-15-0025; FV15-996-1] Peanut Standards Board AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for nominations.

    SUMMARY:

    The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill) requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a Peanut Standards Board (Board) for the purpose of advising the Secretary on quality and handling standards for domestically produced and imported peanuts. The initial Board was appointed by the Secretary and announced on December 5, 2002. USDA seeks nominations for individuals to be considered for selection as Board members for a term of office ending June 30, 2018. Selected nominees would replace three producers and three industry representatives who currently serve on the Board and have terms of office that end on June 30, 2015. The Board consists of 18 members representing producers and the industry. In an effort to obtain diversity among candidates, USDA encourages the nomination of men and women of all racial and ethnic groups and persons with a disability.

    DATES:

    Written nominations must be received on or before August 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Nominations should be sent to Jennie M. Varela of the Southeast Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1124 1st Street South, Winter Haven, FL 33880; Telephone: (863) 324-3375; Fax: (863) 291-8614; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 1308 of the 2002 Farm Bill requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish and consult with the Board for the purpose of advising the Secretary regarding the establishment of quality and handling standards for all domestic and imported peanuts marketed in the United States.

    The 2002 Farm Bill provides that the Board's makeup will include three producers and three peanut industry representatives from states specified in each of the following producing regions: Southeast (Alabama, Georgia, and Florida); Southwest (Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico); and Virginia/Carolina (Virginia and North Carolina).

    The term “peanut industry representatives” includes, but is not limited to, representatives of shellers, manufacturers, buying points, and marketing associations and marketing cooperatives. The 2002 Farm Bill exempted the appointment of the Board from the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

    USDA invites individuals, organizations, and groups affiliated with the categories listed above to nominate individuals for membership on the Board. Nominees sought by this action would fill two positions in the Southeast region, two positions in the Southwest region, and two positions in the Virginia/North Carolina region.

    Nominees should complete a Peanut Standards Board Background Information form and submit it to Jennie Varela at the address provided in the “Addresses” section above. Copies of this form may be obtained at the internet site http://www.ams.usda.gov/PeanutStandardsBoard, or from the Southeast Marketing Field Office. USDA seeks a diverse group of members to represent the peanut industry.

    Equal opportunity practices will be followed in all appointments to the Board in accordance with USDA policies. To ensure that the recommendations of the Board have taken into account the needs of the diverse groups within the peanut industry, membership shall include, to the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated abilities to represent minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and limited resource agriculture producers.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 7958.

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16899 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Document No. AMS-ST-15-0024] Plant Variety Protection Board; Open Teleconference Meeting AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing a meeting of the Plant Variety Protection Board (Board). The meeting is being held to discuss a variety of topics including, but not limited to, work and outreach plans, subcommittee activities, and proposals for procedure changes. The meeting is open to the public. This notice sets forth the schedule and location for the meeting.

    DATES:

    Thursday, August 6, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Board meeting will be held at the United States Department of Agriculture, Room 3543, South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Maria Pratt, Program Analyst, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), AMS, Science and Technology Programs, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 720-1104; Fax: (202) 260-8976, or Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to the provisions of section 10(a) of the FACA (5 U.S.C., Appendix 2), this notice informs the public that the Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO) is having a Board meeting earlier than the 15 day requirement of the FACA. The Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) (7 U.S.C. 2321 et seq.) provides legal protection in the form of intellectual property rights to developers of new varieties of plants, which are reproduced sexually by seed or are tuber-propagated. A Certificate of Plant Variety Protection (PVP) is awarded to an owner of a crop variety after an examination shows that it is new, distinct from other varieties, genetically uniform and stable through successive generations. The term of protection is 20 years for most crops and 25 years for trees, shrubs, and vines. The PVPA also provides for a statutory Board (7 U.S.C. 2327). The PVPA Board is composed of 14 individuals who are experts in various areas of development and represent the private or seed industry sector, academia and government. The duties of the Board are to: (1) Advise the Secretary concerning the adoption of rules and regulations to facilitate the proper administration of the PVPA; (2) provide advisory counsel to the Secretary on appeals concerning decisions on applications by the PVP Office and on requests for emergency public-interest compulsory licenses; and (3) advise the Secretary on any other matters under the Regulations and Rules of Practice and on all questions under Section 44 of the PVPA, “Public Interest in Wide Usage” (7 U.S.C. 2404).

    The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the PVPO's 2015 achievements, the electronic application system, the reports of the subcommittees to change PVP forms and to evaluate molecular techniques for PVP distinctness characterization, and PVP cooperation with other countries.

    Agenda Items: The agenda will include, welcome and introductions, discussions on program activities that encourage the development of new plant varieties and also address appeals to the Secretary. There will be presentations on 2015 accomplishments, the electronic PVP application system, proposed changes to PVP forms, the use of molecular markers for PVP applications, and PVP cooperation with other countries. The meeting will be open to the public. Those wishing to participate are encouraged to pre-register by July 30, 2015 by contacting Maria Pratt, Program Analyst; Telephone: (202) 720-1104; Email: [email protected]

    Meeting Accommodation: If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this public meeting, please notify Maria Pratt at: Email: [email protected] or (202) 720-1104. Determinations for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis. Minutes of the meeting will be available for public review 30 days following the meeting at the internet Web site http://www.ams.usda.gov/PVPO.

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16900 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service National Stakeholder Forum—Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program AGENCY:

    Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), an Agency within USDA Rural Development, is holding a forum to introduce the new “Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program” (Section 9003 Program), formerly the Biorefinery Assistance Program (BAP), as found in the new regulation and the Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA). Major changes to the Section 9003 Program include the addition of renewable chemicals and biobased product manufacturing to the program area and a two-phase application process to streamline the application process and limit the expense to applicants.

    Speakers from the Agency will discuss the changes to the 9003 Program in order to educate applicants on changes to program eligibility and the new application process. The National Stakeholder Forum can be attended via webinar or in person.

    DATES:

    National Stakeholder Forum: The National Stakeholder Forum will be held on Thursday, July 16, 2015, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

    Registration: It is requested that you register by 12 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time July 14, 2015, to attend the forum in person. See the Instructions for Attending the Meeting section of this notice for additional information. If you wish to participate via webinar, you must register for the webinar at http://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/789/9401 prior to or during the webinar.

    ADDRESSES:

    The National Stakeholder Forum will take place in Room 107-A of the Whitten Building on 1400 Jefferson Drive SW., located between 12th and 14th streets SW., in Washington DC 20250.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Todd Hubbell, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Room 6865, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250, Telephone: (202) 690-2516. Email: [email protected] Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 9003 of the 2008 Farm Bill authorized the Agency to provide loan guarantees for the construction of advanced biofuel biorefineries under the Biorefinery Assistance Program (often referred to as the Section 9003 Program). The 2014 Farm Bill modified the provisions associated with the Section 9003 Program. In response to the 2014 Farm Bill, the Agency published a new interim rule for the program, now entitled the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program. This interim final rule was published in the Federal Register on June 24, 2015 (https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/06/24/2015-14989/biorefinery-renewable-chemical-and-biobased-product-manufacturing-assistance-program).

    In order to familiarize the public with the new Section 9003 Program rule, representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are conducting this National Stakeholder Forum. Discussion points will include the expansion of the program to include renewable chemicals and biobased product manufacturing and the new two-phase application process. Participants will be afforded the opportunity to ask questions on the material in the presentation through the webinar software or in person.

    Date: July 16, 2015.

    Time: 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time.

    Location information: USDA Whitten Building, 1400 Jefferson Drive SW., Room 107-A, Washington, DC 20250.

    Instructions for Attending the Meeting

    Space for attendance at the meeting is limited. Due to USDA headquarters security and space requirements, all persons wishing to attend the forum in person must send an email to [email protected] by 12 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time July 14, 2015, to register the names of those planning to attend. Registrations will be accepted until maximum room capacity is reached. Seating will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

    To register, provide the following information:

    • First and Last Names • Organization • Title • Email • City, State

    Upon arrival at the USDA Whitten Building, registered persons must provide valid photo identification in order to enter the building; visitors need to enter the Whitten Building on the mall side. Please allow extra time to get through security.

    USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because of all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

    If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at [email protected]

    Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities and you wish to file a program complaint please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish).

    Persons with disabilities who wish to file a program complaint, please see information above on how to contact us by mail directly or by email. If you require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) please contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Dated: July 2, 2015. Samuel Rikkers, Acting Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16757 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XX-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Arizona Advisory Committee To Discuss Findings Regarding Equity in School Funding and Plan Police Community Relations Public Meeting AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the Arizona Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. The meeting has two purposes: (1) To receive and discuss a recommendation from the education sub-committee regarding Committee findings on equity in school spending, and (2) discuss and plan the Committee's public meeting on police and community relations. The meeting will be held at Chicanos por la Causa, 1242 E. Washington Street, Suite 200, Phoenix, AZ 85034. It is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. and adjourn at approximately 4:30 p.m.

    Members of the public are entitled to make comments in the open period at the end of the meeting. Members of the public may also submit written comments. The comments must be received in the Western Regional Office of the Commission by July 30, 2015. The address is Western Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 300 N. Los Angeles Street, Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Persons wishing to email their comments may do so by sending them to Angelica Trevino, Civil Rights Analyst, Western Regional Office, at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information should contact the Western Regional Office, at (213) 894-3437, (or for hearing impaired TDD 913-551-1414), or by email to [email protected] Hearing-impaired persons who will attend the meeting and require the services of a sign language interpreter should contact the Regional Office at least ten (10) working days before the scheduled date of the meeting.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=235 and clicking on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Western Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Western Regional Office at the above email or street address.

    AGENDA:

    Discuss Committee findings on equity in public school funding Discuss plan for public meeting on police and community relations Open Comment Adjournment DATES:

    Wednesday, July 29, 2015 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. PST

    ADDRESSES:

    Chicanos por la Causa, 1242 E. Washington Street, Suite 200, Phoenix, AZ 85034

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peter Minarik, DFO, at (213) 894-3437 or [email protected]

    Dated: July 7, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Coordination Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16864 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-59-2015] Approval of Subzone Status, Syngenta Crop Protection LLC, St. Gabriel and Baton Rouge, Louisiana

    On April 27, 2015, the Executive Secretary of the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board docketed an application submitted by the Greater Baton Rouge Port Commission, grantee of FTZ 154, requesting subzone status subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 154 on behalf of Syngenta Crop Protection LLC in St. Gabriel and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

    The application was processed in accordance with the FTZ Act and Regulations, including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (80 FR 24896, 5/1/2015). The FTZ staff examiner reviewed the application and determined that it meets the criteria for approval.

    Pursuant to the authority delegated to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary (15 CFR Sec. 400.36(f)), the application to establish Subzone 154B is approved, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.13, and further subject to FTZ 154's 2,000-acre activation limit.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16928 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-891] Hand Trucks and Certain Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited Second Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: July 10, 2015.

    SUMMARY:

    As a result of this sunset review, the Department of Commerce (Department) finds that revocation of the antidumping duty order on hand trucks and certain parts thereof (hand trucks) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping. The magnitude of the dumping margins likely to prevail is indicated in the “Final Results of Sunset Review” section of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacqueline Arrowsmith, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The antidumping duty order on hand trucks from the PRC was published on December 2, 2004.1 On March 2, 2015, the Department published the notice of initiation of the sunset review of the antidumping duty order on hand trucks from the PRC pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).2

    1See Notice of Antidumping Duty Order: Hand Trucks and Certain Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China, 69 FR 70122 (December 2, 2004).

    2See Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Review, 80 FR 11164 (March 2, 2015) (Sunset Initiation).

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(i) and (ii), the Department received a notice of intent to participate in this sunset review from Gleason Industrial Products, Inc. and Precision Products, Inc. (collectively, Petitioners), within 15 days after the date of publication of the Sunset Initiation. Petitioners claimed interested party status under section 771(9)(C) of the Act, as a domestic producer of the domestic like product.

    On March 26, 2015, the Department received a complete substantive response to the notice of initiation from Petitioners within the 30-day deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i). The Department received no substantive response from any respondent interested parties. As a result, the Department conducted an expedited, i.e., 120-day, sunset review of this order pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order consists of hand trucks manufactured from any material, whether assembled or unassembled, complete or incomplete, suitable for any use, and certain parts thereof, namely the vertical frame, the handling area and the projecting edges or toe plate, and any combination thereof. They are typically imported under heading 8716.80.50.10 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), although they may also be imported under heading 8716.80.50.90 and 8716.90.50.60. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written product description is dispositive. A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of the Expedited Second Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Hand Trucks and Certain Parts Thereof from the People's Republic of China,” dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice (Decision Memorandum).

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in this review are addressed in the Decision Memorandum, including the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of dumping in the event of revocation, and the magnitude of dumping margins likely to prevail if the order was revoked. Parties can find a complete discussion of all issues raised in this review and the corresponding recommendations in the Decision Memorandum, which is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit in room B8024 of the main Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://trade.gov/enforcement/. The signed and electronic versions of the Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Final Results of Sunset Review

    Pursuant to sections 752(c)(1) and (3) of the Act, we determine that revocation of the antidumping duty order on hand trucks from the PRC would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping at weighted-average margins up to 383.60 percent.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice serves as the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a). Timely written notification of the destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    The Department is issuing and publishing these final results and notice in accordance with sections 751(c), 752(c), and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218.

    Dated: June 30, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16932 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee (CINTAC) Meeting AGENCY:

    ITA, DOC.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda for a meeting of the CINTAC.

    DATES:

    The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 23, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). The public session is from 3:00 p.m.-4:00p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in Room 4830, U.S. Department of Commerce, Herbert Clark Hoover Building, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Jonathan Chesebro, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries, ITA, Room 4053, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230. (Phone: 202-482-1297; Fax: 202-482-5665; email: [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The CINTAC was established under the discretionary authority of the Secretary of Commerce and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), in response to an identified need for consensus advice from U.S. industry to the U.S. Government regarding the development and administration of programs to expand United States exports of civil nuclear goods and services in accordance with applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including advice on how U.S. civil nuclear goods and services export policies, programs, and activities will affect the U.S. civil nuclear industry's competitiveness and ability to participate in the international market.

    Topics to be considered: The agenda for the Thursday, July 23, 2015 CINTAC meeting is as follows:

    Closed Session (9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.)

    1. Discussion of matters determined to be exempt from the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act relating to public meetings found in 5 U.S.C. App. (10)(a)(1) and 10(a)(3).

    Public Session (3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.)

    1. International Trade Administration's Civil Nuclear Trade Initiative Update.

    2. Civil Nuclear Trade Promotion Activities Discussion.

    3. Public comment period.

    The meeting will be disabled-accessible. Public seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of the public wishing to attend the meeting must notify Mr. Jonathan Chesebro at the contact information below by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 17, 2015 in order to pre-register for clearance into the building. Please specify any requests for reasonable accommodation at least five business days in advance of the meeting. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill.

    A limited amount of time will be available for pertinent brief oral comments from members of the public attending the meeting. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the time for public comments will be limited to two (2) minutes per person, with a total public comment period of 30 minutes. Individuals wishing to reserve speaking time during the meeting must contact Mr. Chesebro and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the comments and the name and address of the proposed participant by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 17, 2015. If the number of registrants requesting to make statements is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the meeting, ITA may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers. Speakers are requested to bring at least 20 copies of their oral comments for distribution to the participants and public at the meeting.

    Any member of the public may submit pertinent written comments concerning the CINTAC's affairs at any time before and after the meeting. Comments may be submitted to the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries, Room 4053, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230. For consideration during the meeting, and to ensure transmission to the Committee prior to the meeting, comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 17, 2015. Comments received after that date will be distributed to the members but may not be considered at the meeting.

    Copies of CINTAC meeting minutes will be available within 90 days of the meeting.

    Man Cho, Acting Director, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16930 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Minority Business Development Agency [Docket No: 150623548-5548-01] Guidance on MBDA Applications for Federal Funding; Correction AGENCY:

    Minority Business Development Agency, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) published a notice in the Federal Register of July 1, 2015, a document announcing a public meeting to be held during the MBDA National Training Conference on July 23, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). The document contained an incorrect time.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information please contact: Ms. Nakita Y. Chambers, Program Manager, Telephone (202) 482-0065, email [email protected]

    Correction

    In the Federal Register of July 1, 2015 in FR Doc. 2015-16188, on page 37597, in the third column, correct the DATES caption to read:

    DATES:

    The public meeting will be held on Thursday, July 23, 2015; 1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. CDT. The meeting will be available via webinar. Please submit your written questions to Nakita Y. Chambers (See FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) no later than July 10, 2015.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Josephine Arnold, Chief Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16836 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC014 Marine Mammals; File No. 17670 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application for permit amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center, 166 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (Responsible Party: William Karp, Ph.D.), has applied for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 17670-02.

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The application and related documents are available for review by written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to [email protected] Please include File No. 17670 in the subject line of the email comment.

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy Sloan or Courtney Smith, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject amendment to Permit No. 17670-02 is requested 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).

    Permit No. 17670-00 issued on April 11, 2013 (77 FR 64959), authorized the permit holder to take gray (Halichoerus grypus), harbor (Phoca vitulina),, harp (Pagophilus groenlandicus), and hooded (Cystophora cristata) seals in waters within or proximal to the U.S. EEZ from North Carolina northward to Maine, during conduct of stock assessment research, including estimation of distribution and abundance, determination of stock structure, habitat requirements, foraging ecology, health assessment and effects of natural and anthropogenic factors. Types of take include harassment during shipboard, skiff, and aircraft transect and photo-identification surveys, and scat collection; and, capture with tissue sampling and instrument or tag attachment. A limited number of research-related mortality is also allowed, as well as world-wide import and export of pinniped samples. The permit was amended on two occasions via minor amendments: Permit No. 17670-01 authorized sampling of pinniped carcasses aboard commercial fishing vessels; and, Permit No. 17670-02 authorized nail clipping and fecal loop sampling during permitted captures.

    The permit holder is requesting the permit be amended to include authorization to (1) increase the number of gray and harbor seals harassed annually during research; (2) add use of unmanned aircraft systems to survey seals; (3) increase the number of gray and harbor seals captured and handled for sampling and instrumentation, and increase the frequency of sampling; (4) increase the number of biopsy samples (from one to two) taken during sampling; (5) add harassment from photo-identification of gray seals to study pup molting; (6) increase the number of gray and harbor seal samples imported/exported annually; (7) increase unintentional mortality including via euthanasia in the event sick or injured seals are inadvertently captured. Take numbers are enumerated in the amendment request take tables.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of this application to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16911 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD953 Marine Mammals; File No. 19108 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of permit.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that a permit has been issued to Daniel P. Costa, Ph.D., University of California at Santa Cruz, Long Marine Laboratory, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, to conduct research on northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) throughout their range in the U.S.

    ADDRESSES:

    The permit and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy Sloan, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On May 27, 2015, notice was published in the Federal Register (80 FR 30212) that a request for a permit to conduct research on the species identified above had been submitted by the above-named applicant. The requested permit has been issued under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216).

    Permit No. 19108 authorizes continued research on northern elephant seal population status, reproduction, diving and fasting, physiology, and metabolism. Research methods include behavioral observations, marking, capture and sampling, instrumentation, translocation, short-term captive holding, physiology studies, and acoustic studies. Research is permitted from California to Washington, but occurs primarily at Año Nuevo. Incidental harassment and mortalities of northern elephant seals, and incidental harassment of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus), and Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) of the Eastern Distinct Population Segment is authorized. The permit expires June 30, 2020.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), a final determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16914 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD939 Marine Mammals; File No. 19526 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of permit.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that a permit has been issued to Adam White, BBC Natural History Unit, The Limes, Lea, Malmesbury Wiltshire, SN16 9PG United Kingdom, to conduct commercial or educational photography on four species of cetaceans and five species of pinnipeds.

    ADDRESSES:

    The permit and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carrie Hubard or Jennifer Skidmore, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On May 15, 2015, notice was published in the Federal Register (80 FR 27928) that a request for a permit to conduct commercial or educational photography on long-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus capensis), short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus), bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus), and Northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) had been submitted by the above-named applicant. The requested permit has been issued under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216).

    The permit authorizes filming of marine mammals along the California coast from Point Año Nuevo south to the Channel Islands. Cetaceans may be filmed from boats and pole cameras. Pinnipeds may be filmed from boats, pole cameras, underwater divers, and while hauled out on land. Footage will be used for a Big Blue Live television series examining marine issues and conservation successes along the coast of California. The permit is valid until September 30, 2015.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), a final determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16913 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Submission of Conservation Efforts to Make Listings Unnecessary under the Endangered Species Act under the Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts when Making Listing Decisions.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0466.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 3.

    Average Hours per Response: 2,500 hours per agreement or plan; 320 hours to conduct monitoring for successful agreements; and 80 hours to prepare a report for successful agreements.

    Burden Hours: 3,300.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    On March 28, 2003, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Services) announced a final policy on the criteria the Services will use to evaluate conservation efforts by states and other non-Federal entities (68 FR 15100). The Services take these efforts into account when making decisions on whether to list a species as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The efforts usually involve the development of a conservation plan or agreement, procedures for monitoring the effectiveness of the plan or agreement, and an annual report.

    Affected Public: State, local or tribal government; business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16872 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD826 Marine Mammals; File No. 17967 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of permit amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that a permit has been issued to Minnesota Zoological Gardens (MZG), 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley, MN 55124, to conduct research on and enhancement of Hawaiian monk seals (Neomonachus schauinslandi) in captivity.

    ADDRESSES:

    The permit and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy Sloan or Jennifer Skidmore, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On March 23, 2015, notice was published in the Federal Register (80 FR 15190) that a request for a permit to maintain the species identified for research and enhancement purposes had been submitted by the above-named applicant. The requested permit has been issued under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226).

    The permit authorizes MZG to maintain up to eight nonreleasable Hawaiian monk seals in captivity at the MZG. Permitted research includes: (1) Annual blood samples and nasal swabs to be analyzed for presence of West Nile virus, canine distemper virus, and phocine distemper virus in seals previously vaccinated; and (2) testing various sedatives to inform use in the wild population. Seals may be used in research projects authorized under separate permits. MZG will continue public awareness on the status of the species through education and public observation of the seals. The permit expires May 1, 2020.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), a final determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16912 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Evaluation of National Estuarine Research Reserve AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to evaluate and notice of availability of final findings.

    SUMMARY:

    The NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM) announces its intent to evaluate the performance of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas (GTM) National Estuarine Research Reserve.

    The National Estuarine Research Reserve evaluation will be conducted pursuant to sections 312 and 315 of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) and regulations at 15 CFR part 921, subpart E and part 923, subpart L. Evaluation of a National Estuarine Research Reserve requires findings concerning the extent to which a state has met the national objectives, adhered to its Reserve final management plan approved by the Secretary of Commerce, and adhered to the terms of financial assistance awards funded under the CZMA.

    The evaluation will include a public meeting, consideration of written and oral public comments and consultations with interested Federal, state, and local agencies and members of the public. When the evaluation is completed, OCM will place a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the Final Evaluation Findings. Notice is hereby given of the date, local time, and location of the public meeting.

    DATES:

    The GTM National Estuarine Research Reserve public meeting will be held Wednesday, August 26, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. at the GTM NERR Environmental Education Center Auditorium, 505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the reserve's most recent performance report, as well as OCM's evaluation notification letter to the state, are available upon request from OCM. Written comments from interested parties regarding these programs are encouraged and will be accepted until September 4, 2015. Please direct written comments to Carrie Hall, Evaluator, Planning and Performance Measurement Program, Office for Coastal Management, NOS/NOAA, 1305 East-West Highway, 11th Floor, N/OCM1, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, or [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carrie Hall, Evaluator, Planning and Performance Measurement Program, Office for Coastal Management, NOS/NOAA, 1305 East-West Highway, 11th Floor, N/OCM1, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, or [email protected]

    Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog 11.419 Coastal Zone Management Program Administration Dated: July 2, 2015. Christopher C. Cartwright, Associate Assistant Administrator for Management and CFO/CAO, Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16768 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XM26 Marine Mammals; File No. 14186 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of permit amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that Sea World LLC, 9205 South Park Center Loop, Suite 400, Orlando, FL 32819 [Brad Andrews, Responsible Party] has been issued a minor amendment to Enhancement Permit No. 14186.

    ADDRESSES:

    The amendment and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Skidmore or Amy Sloan, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The requested permit has been issued under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226). Additional authorization is provided pursuant to sections 109(h) and 112(c) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.).

    The original permit (No. 14186), issued on June 17, 2010 (75 FR 36064) authorized Sea World LLC to maintain up to six (6) non-releasable stranded Guadalupe fur seals (Arctocephalus townsendi) through June 30, 2015. The minor amendment (No. 14186-01) authorized the acquisition of an additional non-releasable make Guadalupe fur seal (already accounted for in the take table) and extends the duration of the permit through June 30, 2016, but does not change any other terms or conditions of the permit.

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16915 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No.: PTO-P-2015-0027] United States Patent and Trademark Office and Japan Patent Office Collaborative Search Pilot Program AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is initiating a joint Work Sharing Pilot Program with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) to study whether the exchange of search results between offices for corresponding counterpart applications improves patent quality and facilitates the examination of patent applications in both offices. In the pilot program, each office will conduct a prior art search for its corresponding counterpart application and exchange the search results with the other office before either office issues a communication concerning patentability to the applicant. As a result of this exchange of search results, the examiners in both offices may have a more comprehensive set of references before them when making their initial patentability determinations. Each office will accord special status to its counterpart application to first action. First Action Interview (FAI) pilot program procedures will be applied during the examination of the U.S. application and make the search results of record in the form of a Pre-Interview Communication.

    DATES:

    Effective date: August 1, 2015.

    Duration: Under the United States-Japan Collaborative Pilot (US-JP CSP) program, the USPTO and JPO will accept petitions to participate for two years from its effective date. During each year, the pilot program will be limited to 400 granted petitions, 200 granted petitions where USPTO performs the first search and JPO performs the second search, and 200 granted petitions where JPO performs the first search and USPTO performs the second search. The offices may extend the pilot program (with or without modification) for an additional amount of time, if necessary. The offices reserve the right to terminate the pilot program at any time.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Daniel Hunter, Director of International Work Sharing, Planning, and Implementation, Office of International Patent Cooperation, by telephone at 571-272-8050 regarding the handling of any specific application participating in the pilot. Any questions concerning this notice may be directed to Joseph Weiss, Senior Legal Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, by phone 571-272-7759. Any inquiries regarding this pilot program can be emailed to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The USPTO is continually looking for ways to improve the quality of issued patents and to promote work sharing between other Intellectual Property (IP) Offices throughout the world. The USPTO has launched several work sharing pilot programs in recent years (e.g., numerous Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Programs). In furtherance of promoting interoffice work sharing, the USPTO and JPO will cooperate in a study to determine whether work sharing between IP offices by exchanging search results, where one office will have the benefit of the other office's search results before conducting a search, increases the efficiency and quality of patent examination. This exchange of search results would occur prior to making determinations regarding patentability. Work sharing benefits applicants by promoting compact prosecution, reducing pendency, and supporting patent quality by reducing the likelihood of inconsistencies in patentability determinations (not predicated upon differences in national patent laws) between IP offices when considering corresponding counterpart applications.

    Currently, an application filed in the USPTO with a claim of foreign priority may have a search report and art cited by the foreign office in the priority application provided to the applicant during the U.S. application's pendency. After review of the search report and cited art, the applicant may submit an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) in the U.S. application to provide the information to the USPTO. Often, this submission occurs after examination on the merits is already underway in the U.S. application. Upon evaluation of the search report and cited art, the U.S. examiner may determine that the art cited by the foreign office is relevant to patentability and merits further examination before making a final determination on patentability. The delay caused by further examination results in additional costs to an applicant and the USPTO that could have been avoided if the U.S. examiner was in possession of the foreign office's search results before commencing examination of the application. Furthermore, in light of the various expedited examination programs currently in place, the potential exists that a U.S. application may reach final disposition before an applicant is in receipt of a foreign office's search report. Work sharing between intellectual Property (IP) offices in the form of an exchange of search results may increase efficiency and promote patent examination quality by providing the examiner with both offices' search results when examination commences. In order to study the benefits of the exchange of search results between offices, current USPTO examination practice would need to be modified to conduct a search and generate a search report, without issuance of an Office action. The U.S. application also would need to be “made special” pursuant to USPTO procedures to ensure that it could be contemporaneously searched with its corresponding counterpart application.

    The USPTO is using the First Action Interview Pilot Program (FAI) in this search results work sharing pilot program, because its procedure bifurcates the determination and evaluation of a prior art search from the notice of rejection. See Full First Action Interview Pilot Program, 1367 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 42 (June 7, 2011). Under the FAI pilot program, participants receive a Pre-Interview Communication providing the results of a prior art search conducted by the examiner. Participants then have three options: (1) File a request not to conduct a first action interview; (2) submit a reply under 37 CFR 1.111 after reviewing the Pre-Interview Communication; or (3) conduct an interview with the examiner. Participants in the FAI pilot program experience many benefits including: (1) The ability to advance prosecution of an application; (2) enhanced interaction between applicant and the examiner; (3) the opportunity to resolve patentability issues one-on-one with the examiner at the beginning of the prosecution process; and (4) the opportunity to facilitate possible early allowance. The US-JP CSP program differs from the FAI pilot program procedure by requiring a Petition to Make Special for the participating application, and providing for the exchange of information with the JPO at different stages of prosecution as set forth in this notice.

    The USPTO also is initiating a joint Work Sharing Pilot Program with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). The JPO and KIPO pilot programs are different in the way that they operate. Thus, while there may be applications that are eligible for both pilot programs, such applications will not be permitted to participate in both pilot programs due to the differences in work sharing procedures of these two different programs. More information about the US-JP CSP program can be found on the USPTO's Internet Web site at: http://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/international-protection/collaborative-search-pilot-program-csp.

    II. Overview of Pilot Program Structure

    An application must meet all of the requirements set forth in section III of this notice, to be accepted into this pilot program. An applicant must file via EFS-Web a Petition to Make Special using form PTO/SB/437JP in a published U.S. application. Use of the form will assist an applicant in complying with the pilot program's requirements. Form PTO/SB/437JP is available at: http://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/international-protection/collaborative-search-pilot-program-csp. Use of this form allows the USPTO to quickly identify participating applications, facilitates timely processing in accordance with this notice, and simplifies petition preparation and submission for an applicant. The collection of information involved in this pilot program has been submitted to OMB. The collection will be available at the OMB's Information Collection Review Web site (www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain).

    No fee is required for submission of petitions using Form PTO/SB/437JP. The fee (currently $140.00) for a petition under 37 CFR 1.102 (other than those enumerated in 37 CFR 1.102(c)) is hereby sua sponte waived for petitions to make special based upon the procedure specified in this notice.

    The offices will search the corresponding counterpart applications participating in the pilot program sequentially. The office of first search will be set based upon which participating counterpart application, the JPO or the U.S. application, has the earlier filing date. In the event that corresponding counterpart applications were filed on the same day, then the office of first search will be determined as agreed to by the offices. Each office may reevaluate the workload and resources needed to administer the pilot program at any time. The USPTO will provide notice of any substantive changes to the program (including early termination of the program) at least thirty (30) days prior to implementation of any changes.

    New patent applications are normally taken up for examination in the order of their U.S. filing date. Applications accepted into this pilot program will receive expedited processing by being granted special status and taken out of turn until issuance of a Pre-Interview Communication, or first-action Notice of Allowability but will not maintain special status thereafter. While JPO and USPTO will be sharing search results, the possibility exists that there may be differences in the listing of references made of record by the USPTO versus those made of record in the corresponding JPO counterpart application. Participants in the US-JP CSP program should review the references cited in each office's communication. If any JPO communication to an applicant cites references that are not already of record in the USPTO application and the applicant wants the examiner to consider the references, the applicant should promptly file an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) that includes a copy of the JPO communication along with copies of the newly cited references in accordance with 37 CFR 1.98 and MPEP § 609.04(a)-(b). See also MPEP §§ 609 and 2001.06(a).

    III. Requirements for Participation in the US-JP CSP Program

    The following requirements must be satisfied for a petition under the US-JP CSP program to be granted:

    (1) The application must be a published, non-reissue, non-provisional utility application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a), or an international application that has entered the national stage in compliance with 35 U.S.C. 371(c) with an effective filing date no earlier than March 16, 2013. The U.S. application and the corresponding JPO counterpart application must have a common earliest priority date that is no earlier than March 16, 2013.

    (2) A completed petition form PTO/SB/437JP must be filed in the application via EFS-Web after the U.S. application has published. Form PTO/SB/437JP is available at: http://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/international-protection/collaborative-search-pilot-program-csp. An applicant may request early publication in accordance with 37 CFR 1.219 to expedite the filing of the petition.

    (3) The petition submission must include an express written consent under 35 U.S.C. 122(c) for the USPTO to receive prior art references and comments from the JPO that will be considered during the examination of the U.S. application participating in the US-JP CSP Program. Form PTO/SB/437JP includes language compliant with the consent requirements for this pilot program.

    (4) The petition must be filed at least one day before a first Office action on the merits of the application appears in the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system (i.e., at least one day prior to the date when a first Office action on the merits, notice of allowability or allowance, or action under Ex parte Quayle, 1935 Dec. Comm'r Pat. 11 (1935), appears in the PAIR system). An applicant should check the status of the application using the PAIR system prior to submitting the petition to ensure that this requirement is met.

    (5) The petition for participation filed in the corresponding JPO counterpart application for the US-JPO CSP program must be granted or have been granted by JPO. The USPTO and JPO petitions should be filed within fifteen days of each other. Both the JPO and the USPTO petitions must be granted before either application can be treated under the US-JP CSP program. As the requirements of each office's pilot programs may differ, applicants should review the requirements for both pilot programs when considering participation, ensuring that the respective corresponding counterpart applications can comply with each office's requirements.

    (6) The petition submission must include a claims correspondence table that notes which independent claims between the pending U.S. and JPO applications have a substantially corresponding scope to each other. Claims are considered to have “substantially corresponding scope” where, after accounting for differences due to claim format requirements, the scope of the corresponding independent claims in the corresponding counterpart applications would either anticipate or render obvious the subject matter recited under U.S. law. Additionally, claims in the corresponding U.S. counterpart application that introduce a new/different category of claims than those presented in the corresponding JPO counterpart application(s) are not considered to substantially correspond. For example, where a corresponding JPO counterpart application contains only claims relating to a process of manufacturing a product, then any product claims in the corresponding U.S. counterpart application are not considered to substantially correspond, even if the product claims are dependent on process claims, which substantially correspond to claims in each corresponding counterpart application. Applicants may file a preliminary amendment in compliance with 37 CFR 1.121 to amend the claims of the corresponding U.S. counterpart application to satisfy this requirement when attempting to make the U.S. application eligible for the program.

    (7) The application must contain three or fewer independent claims and twenty or fewer total claims. The application must not contain any multiple dependent claims. For an application that contains more than three independent claims or twenty total claims, or any multiple dependent claims, applicants must file a preliminary amendment in compliance with 37 CFR 1.121 to cancel the excess claims and/or the multiple dependent claims to make the application eligible for the program.

    (8) The claims must be directed to a single invention. If the Office determines that the claims are directed to multiple inventions (e.g., in a restriction requirement), the applicant must make a telephonic election without traverse in accordance with the procedures outlined in section V of this notice. An applicant is responsible to ensure the same invention is elected in both the U.S. and JPO corresponding counterpart applications for concurrent treatment in the US-JP CSP program.

    (9) All submissions for the participating application while being treated under the US-JP CSP program's examination procedure must be filed via EFS-Web.

    (10) The petition must include a statement that the applicant agrees not to file a request for a refund of the search fee and any excess claim fees paid in the application after the mailing or notification date of the Pre-Interview Communication. See Form PTO/SB/413C. Any petition for express abandonment under 37 CFR 1.138(d) to obtain a refund of the search fee, and excess claims fee filed after the mailing or notification date of a Pre-Interview Communication will not be granted.

    IV. Decision on Petition To Make Special Under the US-JP Collaborative Search Pilot Program (Form PTO/SB/437JP)

    An applicant must file a Petition to Make Special using Form PTO/SB/437JP in an eligible U.S. application for entry into the US-JP CSP program after the application has published. An applicant may request early publication in accordance with 37 CFR 1.219 to expedite the filing of the petition. An applicant also must file the appropriate petition paper in the corresponding JPO counterpart application for participation in the US-JP CSP program. Once both petitions are granted, the corresponding U.S. counterpart application will receive expedited processing by being placed on the examiner's special docket for examination in accordance with sections V-IX of this notice.

    A. Petition Decision Making: An applicant must file appropriate petition papers in the USPTO and JPO corresponding counterpart applications within fifteen days of each other. If the petitions are not filed within fifteen days of each other, an applicant runs the risk of one of the pending applications being acted upon by an examiner before entry into the pilot program, which will result in both applications being denied entry into the pilot program. Both offices must grant the respective petitions in order for the applications to participate in the pilot program. Once decisions granting the petitions have issued, an applicant will no longer have a right to file a preliminary amendment that amends the claims. Any preliminary amendment filed after petition grant and before issuance of a Pre-Interview Communication amending the claims, will not be entered unless approved by the examiner. After the decision granting the petition issues, and before issuance of a Pre-Interview Communication, an applicant may still submit preliminary amendments to the specification that do not affect the claims. If either office determines that the petition must be denied, then the other office will be informed of the denial determination, and both offices will issue decisions denying the petition.

    B. Petition Dismissal: If an applicant files an incomplete Form PTO/SB/437JP, or if an application accompanied by Form PTO/SB/437JP does not comply with the requirements set forth in this notice, the USPTO will notify the applicant of the deficiency by issuing a dismissal decision and the applicant will be given a single opportunity to correct the deficiency. If the applicant still wishes to participate in the US-JP CSP Program, the applicant must make appropriate corrections within one month or thirty days of the mailing date of the dismissal decision, whichever is longer. The time period for reply is not extendable under 37 CFR 1.136(a). If the applicant does not timely file a response to the dismissal decision or timely files a response that fails to correct all of the noted deficiencies, the petition will be denied. In both cases, USPTO will notify JPO of the denial and then both offices will issue a denial decision in each application, resulting in neither application participating in the pilot program. The U.S. application will then be examined in accordance with standard examination procedures, unless designated special in accordance with another established procedure (e.g., Prioritized Examination, Special Based on Applicant's Age, etc.). If the applicant timely files a response to the dismissal decision correcting all noted deficiencies and does not introduce new deficiencies, the USPTO will issue a decision granting the petition.

    C. Withdrawal of Petition: An application can be withdrawn from the pilot program only by filing a withdrawal of the petition to participate in the pilot program prior to issuance of a decision granting the petition. Once the petition for participation in the pilot program has been granted (one day before it appears in PAIR), withdrawal from the pilot program is not permitted. The USPTO will treat any request for withdrawal from the pilot program filed after the mailing or notification of the petition being granted as a request to not conduct an interview, and subsequent to the mailing of the Pre-Interview Communication, the USPTO will issue a First Action Interview Office Action, in due course. (See section VIII.B.1. of this notice.)

    V. Requirement for Restriction

    If the examiner determines that not all the claims presented are directed to a single invention, the telephone restriction practice set forth in MPEP § 812.01 will be followed. An applicant must make an election without traverse during the telephonic interview in accordance with the procedures outlined in sections V.A. or V.B. of this notice. When a telephonic election is made, the examiner will provide a complete record of the telephone interview, including the restriction or lack of unity requirement and the applicant's election, as an attachment to the Pre-Interview Communication. Applicants are strongly encouraged to ensure that applications submitted for the pilot are written such that they claim a single, independent, and distinct invention. An applicant is responsible to ensure the same invention is elected in both the U.S. and JPO corresponding counterpart applications for concurrent treatment in the US-JP CSP program.

    A. USPTO Office of First Search: If the USPTO determines a restriction is required, applicant must make an election without traverse during the telephonic interview in response to a restriction or lack of unity requirement. If the applicant refuses to make an election without traverse, or if the examiner cannot reach the applicant after a reasonable effort (i.e., three business days), the examiner will treat the first claimed invention (the group of claim 1) as constructively elected without traverse for examination. The examiner will record the circumstances for the constructive election in the next Office communication (Pre-Interview Communication or Notice of Allowability). If the restriction requirement claim groups have substantially corresponding scope to different corresponding JPO counterpart applications, upon election of one group without traverse, an applicant may file a divisional U.S. application(s) and may separately petition to have the divisional U.S. application(s) participate in the pilot program. An applicant must include the decisions granting the petition from both the parent U.S. application and from the divisional application's corresponding JPO counterpart application, to expedite decision making for the corresponding U.S. counterpart divisional application.

    B. USPTO Office of Second Search: If the USPTO is the office of second search, then a restriction or lack of unity requirement determination by the examiner will first take into consideration whether only one of the restriction claim groups has a substantially corresponding scope to the corresponding JPO counterpart application that was already searched. If so, then the USPTO will designate that group as elected without traverse for treatment in accordance with this notice. If more than one of the restricted claim groups was searched in the corresponding JPO counterpart applications, the examiner will attempt to contact the applicant for a telephonic interview in order to provide for the opportunity to elect a claim group without traverse. If applicant refuses to make an election without traverse, or if the examiner cannot reach the applicant after a reasonable effort (i.e., three business days), the examiner will treat the first claimed invention of the U.S. application that was searched in the counterpart JPO application as constructively elected without traverse. If the other restriction requirement groups have substantially corresponding scope to other different corresponding JPO counterpart applications, the applicant may file corresponding U.S. counterpart divisional applications and may separately petition to have the divisional U.S. applications participate in the pilot program. The applicant must include the decision granting the petition from the parent application and from the U.S. divisional application's corresponding JPO counterpart application, if any, to expedite decision making for the corresponding U.S. counterpart divisional application.

    VI. Searching

    The offices will search the corresponding counterpart applications participating in the pilot program sequentially. The office of first search will be set based upon which participating counterpart application (JPO or U.S.) has the earlier filing date. In the event that both corresponding counterpart applications were filed on the same day, then the office of first search will be determined as agreed to by the offices.

    A. USPTO Office of First Search: If the USPTO is the office of first search, the JPO will place a hold on the corresponding JPO counterpart application to await the USPTO initial search results. The corresponding U.S. counterpart application will be docketed to the USPTO examiner in accordance with USPTO procedures for this program. The USPTO examiner will review the application, perform a prior art search, and communicate the initial search results to the JPO. Upon receipt of the USPTO initial search results, the JPO will remove the docket hold, and the JPO examiner will perform a prior art search of the corresponding JPO counterpart application. The JPO will then forward the search results to the USPTO. The USPTO will then issue a communication in accordance with section VII of this notice.

    B. JPO Office of First Search: If the JPO is the office of first search, the USPTO will place a hold on the corresponding U.S. counterpart application to await the JPO initial search results. The corresponding JPO counterpart application will be docketed to the JPO examiner in accordance with JPO procedures for this pilot program. The JPO examiner will review the application, perform an evaluation and prior art search, and communicate the initial search results to the USPTO. Upon receipt of the JPO initial search results, the USPTO will remove the docket hold, and the USPTO examiner will review the application and perform a prior art search of the corresponding U.S. counterpart application. The USPTO will then forward the search results to the JPO and issue a communication to applicant in accordance with section VII of this notice.

    C. Exceeding Maximum Search Results Exchange Hold: If the search results have not been exchanged within 90 days of the mailing date of the decision granting participation in the program, then each office will independently issue search results to the applicant without the search results from the other office. The USPTO will issue the search results in either a Notice of Allowability or a Pre-Interview Communication as set forth in Section VII of this notice, noting that JPO search results are not included. The Notice of Allowability or Pre-Interview Communication also will note that the corresponding counterpart applications are being removed from the pilot program for evaluation purposes only, and that the corresponding U.S. counterpart application will continue to be treated in accordance with the FAI pilot program procedures, if necessary.

    VII. Post Search Exchange Communication

    Once all search results are received by the examiner and considered, then either a Notice of Allowability or a Pre-Interview Communication may issue.

    A. Notice of Allowability: If the examiner, after considering both sets of search results, determines that the application is in condition for allowance or the application could be placed in condition for allowance with minor corrections or a possible amendment or submission, then the examiner may allow the application. The examiner may issue a notice of allowability, or contact the applicant to conduct an interview in accordance with MPEP § 713 to discuss any possible amendments or submissions to place the application in condition for allowance. The USPTO will notify JPO of the examiner's determination of allowability to include all findings and references identified in the notice of allowance. The examiner will cite references from the JPO search results in a Notice of References Cited form PTO-892 when the Notice of Allowability is issued to applicant. The Notice of Allowability with a completed Notice of References Cited form PTO-892 also will be forwarded to JPO for further consideration by the JPO examiner of record for the corresponding JPO counterpart application.

    B. Pre-Interview Communication: If the examiner, after considering both sets of search results, determines that the application is not in condition for allowance, then the examiner will prepare and issue a Pre-Interview Communication (PTOL-413FP) and a Notice of References Cited (PTO-892) citing the prior art references, identifying any rejections or objections, and any designation of allowable subject matter. The examiner will cite references from the JPO search results in a Notice of References Cited form PTO-892 when the Pre-Interview Communication is issued to applicant. The Pre-Interview Communication with a completed Notice of References Cited form PTO-892 will also be forwarded to JPO for further consideration by the JPO examiner of record for the corresponding JPO counterpart application.

    The Pre-Interview Communication issued to an applicant will set forth a time period of one month or thirty days, whichever is longer, for the applicant to request or decline an interview. An applicant is responsible for responding to the Pre-Interview Communication in accordance with the First Action Interview Program procedures discussed in Section VIII of this notice. The USPTO will permit an applicant to extend this time period for reply pursuant to 37 CFR 1.136(a) for one additional month in accordance with the First Action Interview Program, as set forth in section VIII, subsection B (Applicant's Options and Reply to Pre-Interview Communication) and subsection C (Failure to Respond to Pre-Interview Communication) of this notice. The examiner's typical working schedule also will be provided with the Pre-Interview Communication to indicate the examiner's availability for scheduling the interview.

    VIII. Post Pre-Interview Communication

    A. Amendments Filed After Pre-Interview Communication: Once a Pre-Interview Communication has been entered in an application, an applicant no longer has a right to amend any part of the application until the first action interview is conducted and the First Action Interview Office Action is sent. Therefore, any amendments filed after the Pre-Interview Communication, but before the interview and the mailing or notification date of a First Action Interview Office Action (PTOL-413FA), will not be entered unless approved by the examiner or in accordance with the procedure of the Full First Action Interview Pilot Program as set forth in section VIII, subsection B(2), or section IX, subsection B(3), of this notice. This is because the examiner has already devoted a significant amount of time to the preparation of the Pre-Interview Communication. See 37 CFR 1.115(b) and MPEP § 714.01(e). The USPTO may enter the amendment if it is clearly limited to: Cancellation of claims; adoption of examiner suggestions; placement of the application in condition for allowance; and/or correction of informalities (similar to the treatment of an after-final amendment). Amendments will be entered solely at the examiner's discretion.

    B. Applicant Options and Reply to Pre-Interview Communication: Upon receipt of a Pre-Interview Communication, the applicant has three options:

    (1) File a “Request to Not Have a First Action Interview”;

    (2) File a reply under 37 CFR 1.111 waiving the first action interview and First Action Interview Office Action—an applicant is accepting that the Pre-Interview Communication is the first Office action on the merits; or

    (3) Schedule the first action interview—an applicant must file an Applicant Initiated Interview Request Form (PTOL-413A) electronically via EFS-Web, accompanied by a proposed amendment or arguments, and schedule the interview to be conducted within two months or sixty days, whichever is longer, from the filing of the Applicant Initiated Interview Request.

    1. Request to Not Have a First Action Interview: If an applicant wishes not to have the first action interview, applicant should electronically file a letter requesting to not have a first action interview within the time period set forth in the Pre-Interview Communication. In this situation, a first action interview will not be conducted, and the examiner will provide the First Action Interview Office Action setting forth the requirements, objections, and rejections relevant to the claimed invention. However, such a request will not preclude the examiner from contacting the applicant and conducting a regular interview in accordance with MPEP § 713 to discuss any issues or possible amendment to place the application in condition for allowance. To ensure that the request will be processed and recognized timely, an applicant should file the request electronically via EFS-Web, selecting the document description “Request to Not Have a First Action Interview” on the EFS-Web screen.

    Once the petition for entry into the pilot has been granted (one day before it appears in PAIR), withdrawal from the program is not permitted. Therefore, the USPTO will treat a request for withdrawal from the pilot program filed after the mailing or notification of granting an applicant's petition to participate in the pilot as a request to not conduct an interview, issue a Pre-Interview Communication, and subsequently enter a First Action Interview-Office Action, in due course.

    2. File a Reply under 37 CFR 1.111, Waiving the First Action Interview and First Action Interview Office Action: Applicants may file, preferably in conjunction with a request to not conduct the interview, a reply in compliance with 37 CFR 1.111(b)-(c) to address every rejection, objection, and requirement set forth in the Pre-Interview Communication, thereby waiving the first action interview and First Action Interview Office Action. The reply under 37 CFR 1.111 must be filed within the time period for reply set forth in the Pre-Interview Communication. To ensure that the request will be processed and recognized timely, an applicant should file the request electronically via EFS-Web, selecting the document description “Reply under 1.111 to Pre-Interview Communication” on the EFS-Web screen.

    In this situation, a first action interview will not be conducted, and a First Action Interview Office Action will not be provided to the applicant. The Pre-Interview Communication will be deemed the first Office action on the merits. The examiner will consider the reply under 37 CFR 1.111 and provide an Office action in response to the reply, in due course. The Office action will be the second Office action on the merits, and thus it could be a final Office action, a notice of allowability, or other appropriate action.

    3. Schedule the First Action Interview: If an applicant wants a first action interview with the examiner, the applicant must timely file an Applicant Initiated Interview Request Form (PTOL 413A), electronically using EFS-Web, accompanied by a proposed amendment and/or arguments (as an attachment to the request). To ensure that the request will be processed and recognized timely, the applicant should select the document description “First Action Interview—Schedule Interview Request.”

    An applicant must designate a proposed date to conduct the interview to facilitate scheduling of the first action interview. The applicant's proposed date to conduct the interview must be within two months or sixty days, whichever is longer, from the filing of the Applicant Initiated Interview Request Form. An applicant should consult the examiner's work schedule provided in the Pre-Interview Communication and discuss with the examiner the best date for conducting the interview.

    After filing the Applicant Initiated Interview Request Form, an applicant must contact the examiner to confirm the interview date. The applicant's failure to conduct an interview within two months or sixty days, whichever is longer, from the filing of Applicant Initiated Interview Request Form will be treated as a failure to respond to the Pre-Interview Communication. See section VIII; subsection C (Failure to Respond to Pre-Interview Communication) of this notice. The interview may be in person, telephonic, or a video-conference. An applicant must provide written authorization to conduct any Internet email communications with the examiner. See MPEP § 502.03 for more information.

    The proposed amendment or arguments must be clearly labeled as “PROPOSED” at the header or footer of each page and filed electronically via EFS-Web as an attachment to the Applicant Initiated Interview Request Form. The proposed amendment or arguments will not be entered as a matter of right. The examiner, based upon discussions, feedback, and agreement with an applicant during the interview may at his or her discretion enter the amendment if found sufficient to advance prosecution on the merits. See MPEP §§ 713.01 III and 713.04; see also MPEP §§ 714 and 1302.04. Even if the examiner denies entry of the proposed amendment, the proposed amendment will be placed in the application file.

    Preparation for the Interview: An applicant must be prepared to fully discuss the prior art of record, any relevant interview talking points from the interview talking points posted at http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/dapp/opla/preognotice/fai_talking_points.pdf, and any rejections or objections, with the intent to clarify and resolve all issues with respect to patentability during the interview. An applicant also must be prepared to discuss any proposed amendment or arguments previously submitted and discuss and resolve any relevant issues that arise. The interview talking points posted at http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/dapp/opla/preognotice/fai_talking_points.pdf represent a non-exhaustive list of potential topics for discussion in a first action interview. The talking points are available to the public and the patent examining corps to assist and facilitate comprehensive and effective first action interviews.

    Multiple proposed amendments or sets of arguments are not permitted.

    Inventor Participation: Inventor participation in the interview process is encouraged, as it may assist in the resolution of outstanding rejections and/or objections.

    C. Failure to Respond to Pre-Interview Communication: If applicant fails to: (1) Respond to the Pre-Interview Communication within the time period for reply or (2) conduct the interview within two months or sixty days, whichever is longer, from the filing of the Applicant Initiated Interview Request Form, the Office will enter a First Action Interview Office Action. Therefore, the consequence for failure to respond to the Pre-Interview Communication is issuance of a First Action Interview Office Action without the benefit of an interview.

    IX. First-Action Interview and First-Action Interview Office Action A. First-Action Interview

    The interview will be conducted in accordance with the procedure provided in MPEP § 713 except as otherwise provided in this notice. The interview should focus on and include:

    1. A discussion to assist the examiner in developing a better understanding of the invention;

    2. A discussion to establish the state of the art as of the effective filing date of the claimed invention, including the prior art references cited by both applicant and examiner (as only applications subject to the First Inventor to File provisions of the Leahy-Smith America invents act (AIA) are eligible for this pilot program); and

    3. A discussion of the features of the claimed subject matter which make the invention patentable, including any proposed amendments to the claims.

    B. Three Possible Outcomes of a First-Action Interview

    1. An agreement is reached and all claims are in condition for allowance. If the applicant and the examiner reach agreement that the application is in condition for allowance, the examiner must complete an Interview Summary (PTOL-413), enter and attach any necessary amendments or arguments (e.g., the proposed amendment and/or an examiner's amendment), generate a notice of allowability (PTOL-37), and attach a copy of the completed Applicant Initiated Interview Request Form. If the examiner agrees to enter the proposed amendment, the examiner must annotate the first page of the proposed amendment (e.g., “OK to enter”). In an in-person interview, a courtesy copy of the completed forms will be given to the applicant at the conclusion of the interview. The completed forms will then be promptly made of record with a Notice of Allowability and a Notice of Allowance and Fees Due (PTOL 85). The Notice of Allowability, Notice of Allowance, interview summary, and all amendments made of record along with a completed Notice of References Cited form PTO-892 listing any newly cited references also will be forwarded to JPO for consideration by the JPO examiner of record for the corresponding JPO counterpart application.

    2. An agreement as to allowability is not reached. If the applicant and the examiner do not reach agreement during the interview, the examiner will set forth any unresolved, maintained, or new requirements, objections, and rejections in the First Action Interview Office Action. The examiner will also complete an Interview Summary, highlighting the basis for any unresolved, maintained, or new requirements, objections, and rejections as well as resolution of any issues that occurred during the interview, attaching a copy of the completed Applicant Initiated Interview Request Form and any proposed amendments or arguments. In an in-person interview, a courtesy copy of the completed forms may be given to the applicant at the conclusion of the interview. The completed forms will be promptly made of record.

    For this situation, the First Action Interview Office Action is deemed the first Office action on the merits. Because the requirements, objections, and grounds of rejection are provided in the Pre-Interview Communication and the First Action Interview Office Action, an applicant has sufficient notice of the requirements, objections, and grounds of rejection. To avoid abandonment of the application, the applicant must, within two months or sixty days, whichever is longer, from the mailing or notification date of the First Action Interview Office Action, file a reply in compliance with 37 CFR 1.111(b)-(c). This time period for reply is extendable under 37 CFR 1.136(a) for only two additional months. The First Action Interview Office Action, interview summary, and a completed Notice of References Cited form PTO-892 listing any newly cited references also will be forwarded to JPO for consideration by the JPO examiner of record for the corresponding JPO counterpart application.

    3. An agreement as to allowability is not reached, and applicant wishes to convert the previously submitted proposed amendment into a reply under 37 CFR 1.111(b) and waive receipt of a First Action Interview Office Action. Applicants may request the USPTO to enter the previously filed proposed amendment and/or arguments as a reply under 37 CFR 1.111 to address every rejection, objection, and requirement set forth in the Pre Interview Communication, waiving a First Action Interview Office Action, if the proposed amendment and/or arguments comply with the requirements of 37 CFR 1.121 and 37 CFR 1.111(b)-(c). If the examiner agrees to enter the proposed amendment as the reply under 37 CFR 1.111 to the Pre-Interview Communication, the examiner must annotate the first page of the proposed amendment (e.g., “OK to enter”) and provide a statement in the Interview Summary (e.g., “Applicant requested to enter the proposed amendment as a reply under 37 CFR 1.111 to the Pre-Interview Communication, waiving the First Action Interview Office Action”). The applicant cannot file any additional amendment and/or arguments until the mailing or notification of the next Office action.

    In this situation, a First Action Interview Office Action will not be provided to the applicant. The Pre-Interview Communication and the interview will be deemed the first Office action on the merits. The examiner will enter the proposed amendment and/or arguments, consider it as the reply under 37 CFR 1.111, and provide an Office action in response to the reply. The Office action will be the second Office action on the merits, and thus it could be a final Office action, a notice of allowability, or other appropriate action.

    C. Substance of Interview Must Be Made of Record

    A complete written statement as to the substance of the interview with regard to the merits of the application must be made of record in the application, whether or not an agreement with the examiner was reached at the interview. It is applicant's responsibility to make of record the substance of an interview, and it is the examiner's responsibility to see that such a record is made and to correct inaccuracies, including those which bear directly on the question of patentability. See MPEP § 713.04.

    Date: July 2, 2015. Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16846 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Additions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Additions to the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    This action adds products to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    DATES:

    Effective 8/10/2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barry S. Lineback, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Additions

    On 6/5/2015 (80 FR 32096-32097), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed additions to the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the material presented to it concerning capability of qualified nonprofit agencies to provide the products and impact of the additions on the current or most recent contractors, the Committee has determined that the products listed below are suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in any additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities other than the small organizations that will furnish the products to the Government.

    2. The action will result in authorizing small entities to furnish the products to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the products proposed for addition to the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following products are added to the Procurement List:

    Products NSN—Product Name: MR 843—Set, Bag Clip, 5 pc. Mandatory Purchase For: Military commissaries and exchanges in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 51, 51-6.4. Mandatory Source of Supply: Industries for the Blind, Inc., West Allis, WI. Contracting Activity: Defense Commissary Agency, Fort Lee, VA. Distribution: C-List. NSNs—Product Names: 7530-00-NIB-1158—Label, Address, Recycled, Laser and Inkjet, White, 1″ × 4″ 7530-00-NIB-1159—Label, Address, Recycled, Laser and Inkjet, White, 2″ × 4″ 7530-00-NIB-1160—Label, Address, Recycled, Laser and Inkjet, White, 1 1/3″ × 4″ Mandatory Purchase For: Total Government Requirement. Mandatory Source of Supply: North Central Sight Services, Inc., Williamsport, PA. Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY. Distribution: A-List. Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16934 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Proposed Additions and Deletion AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase from People Who are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Proposed additions to and deletion from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee is proposing to add services to the Procurement List that will be provided by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes a service previously provided by such agency.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before: 8/10/2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information or to submit comments contact Barry S. Lineback, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice is published pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 8503(a)(2) and 41 CFR 51-2.3. Its purpose is to provide interested persons an opportunity to submit comments on the proposed actions.

    Additions

    If the Committee approves the proposed additions, the entities of the Federal Government identified in this notice will be required to procure the services listed below from nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    The following services are proposed for addition to the Procurement List for production by the nonprofit agencies listed:

    Services Service Type: Equipment and Facility Support Service Service Mandatory For: U.S. Air Force, Ogden Air Logistics Complex, Hill Air Force Base, UT Mandatory Source of Supply: Beacon Group SW., Inc., Tucson, AZ Contracting Activity: FA8224 OL H PZI PZIM, Hill Air Force Base, UT Service Type: Document Destruction Service Service Mandatory For: Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Integrated, Service Network (VISN) 10, 3140 Governor's Place Blvd., Suite 210, Kettering, OH Mandatory Source of Supply: Greene, Inc., Xenia, OH Contracting Activity: Department of Veterans Affairs, 552-Dayton, Dayton OH Service Type: Janitorial Service Service Mandatory For: U.S. Coast Guard, Transformation Warehouse, 1873 Eringhaus Street, Elizabeth City, NC Mandatory Source of Supply: Skills, Inc., Elizabeth City, NC Contracting Activity: Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, Aviation Logistics Center (ALC), Elizabeth City, NC Deletions

    The following service is proposed for deletion from the Procurement List:

    Services Service Type: Food Service Attendant Service Service Mandatory For: United States Military Academy: Enlisted Dining Facility, and Summer Camp, Enlisted Dining Facility—Bldg 620, Knox Road, West Point, NY Mandatory Source of Supply: New Dynamics Corporation, Middletown, NY Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W40M Northern Region Contract Office Fort Belvoir, VA Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16933 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army [Docket ID USA-2013-0013] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Department of Defense/Department of the Army/U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Department of the Army 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 September 8, 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 Headquarters, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Learning Integration, Institute for NCO Professional Development (ATCG-NCI), ATTN: Jeffery J. Colimon, 950 Jefferson Avenue, Fort Eustis, Virginia 23604-5702.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Sponsorship Program Counseling and Information Sheet; DA Form 5434; OMB Control Number 0702-TBD.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to obtain and retain sponsorship program entitlements, and provide information to gaining battalion or activity of new members.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households; Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians and their Family Members.

    Annual Burden Hours: 28,889.

    Number of Respondents: 173,338.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 173,338.

    Average Burden per Response: 10 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents are DA Civilian employees and Soldiers. Departing Soldiers or DA Civilian employees complete the DA Form 5434 during initial reassignment interview or are interviewed by a DA Civilian employee following selection notification and acceptance of a position. The automation of the collection action into the Army Career Tracker (ACT) will help commanders with their basic responsibility to assist Soldiers, civilian employees, and families successfully relocate in and out of their commands. The form will be hosted into the ACT system to facilitate the execution of the Total Army Sponsorship Program (TASP).

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16855 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2014-OS-0039] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & 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 September 8, 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.

    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: Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) Career Portal; OMB Control Number 0704-TBD.

    Needs and Uses: This information collection requirement is necessary to allow MSEP Partners to search for military spouse candidates and for military spouses to directly search for employment opportunities with MSEP Partners.

    Affected Public: Military spouse users of the MSEP Career Portal, MSEP Partners, Companies.

    Annual Burden Hours:

    Military Spouses = 16,500.

    MSEP Partners = 125.

    Companies = 38.

    TOTAL = 900,163.

    Number of Respondents:

    Military Spouses = 22,000 military spouses.

    MSEP Partners = 300 partners.

    Companies = 150 companies.

    TOTAL = 1,200,450 respondents.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Average Burden per Response:

    Military Spouses = 45 minutes.

    MSEP Partners = 25 minutes.

    Companies = 15 minutes.

    TOTAL = 85 minutes.

    Frequency:

    Military Spouses = On occasion.

    MSEP Partners = On occasion.

    Companies = Once.

    The Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) Career Portal is the sole web platform utilized to connect military spouses with companies seeking to hire military spouse employees. Participating companies, called MSEP Partners, are vetted and approved participants in the MSEP Program and have pledged to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable careers. MSEP is a targeted recruitment and employment partnership that connects American businesses with military spouses who possess essential 21st-century workforce skills and attributes and are seeking portable, fulfilling careers. The MSEP program is part of the overall Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) program which falls under the auspices of the office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community & Family Policy.

    This program was developed in compliance with 10 U.S. Code 1784 Employment Opportunities for Military Spouses which states:

    (f) Private-Sector Employment.—The Secretary of Defense—

    (1) Shall seek to develop partnerships with firms in the private sector to enhance employment opportunities for spouses of members of the armed forces and to provide for improved job portability for such spouses, especially in the case of the spouse of a member of the armed forces accompanying the member to a new geographical area because of a change of permanent duty station of the member; and

    (2) shall work with the United States Chamber of Commerce and other appropriate private-sector entities to facilitate the formation of such partnerships.

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16869 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers The Release of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Figure Eight Island Shoreline Management Project, on Figure Eight Island, New Hanover County, NC AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), Wilmington District, Wilmington Regulatory Field Office has received a request for Department of the Army authorization, pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, from Figure Eight Beach Homeowners' Association Inc. (HOA) to install a terminal groin structure along Rich Inlet and to conduct a supplemental beach nourishment on approximately 4,500 linear feet of oceanfront beach and 1,400 linear feet of back barrier shoreline to protect residential homes and infrastructures along the central and northern sections of Figure Eight Island. The terminal groin structure will be placed perpendicular on the northern tip of the island along the shoulder of Rich Inlet; and the proposed source of the material for the nourishment will be dredged from an area within Nixon Channel, a back barrier channel, that has been previously used for past beach nourishment projects. In case the quantity of material from Nixon Channel is not sufficient, material pumped from (3) nearby upland disposal islands will be used to supplement the nourishment needs. The majority of the material will be disposed within the fillet area, or down shore, of the groin. Pending storm events and shoreline changes, maintenance, or periodic nourishment, of the beach is proposed a maximum of once every five years, or potential 6 separate events over the 30-year study period. Nixon Channel and the upland disposal islands are the proposed material sources for the periodic maintenance, or renourishment, events.

    DATES:

    Written comments on the Supplemental EIS must be received at (see ADDRESSES) no later than 5 p.m. on August 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of comments and questions regarding the Supplemental EIS may be addressed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District, Regulatory Division. ATTN: File Number 2006-41158, 69 Darlington Avenue, Wilmington, NC 28403. Copies of the Supplemental EIS can be reviewed on the Corps homepage at, http://www.saw.usace.army.mil/Missions/RegulatoryPermitProgram/MajorProjects, under Figure Eight Island Terminal Groin: Corps ID #SAW-2006-41158.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions about the proposed action and SEIS and/or to receive CD or written copies of the Supplemental EIS can be directed to Mr. Mickey Sugg, Wilmington Regulatory Field Office, telephone: (910) 251-4811.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    1. Project Purpose and Need. Figure Eight Beach HOA has addressed the continuing oceanfront erosion problems associated with Rich Inlet and Nixon Channel erosion hot-spot on the estuarine side of the island over the past several decades. Past actions to protect the shorelines have provided some protection, however they are seeking a longer term solution to handle shoreline erosion in order to protect the island's $907,352,900 (based on the 2012 reappraisal) assessed property tax value. Their stated needs of the project continue to be the following: (1) Reduce erosion along approximately 2.3 miles of oceanfront and 0.34 miles of back barrier shorelines, (2) Provide reasonable short-term protection to residential structures to any unpredicted shoreline change over the next five years, (3) Provide long-term protection to homes and infrastructure over the next 30 years, (4) Maintain the tax value of homes, properties, and infrastructure, (5) Use beach compatible material, (6) Maintain navigation conditions within Rich Inlet and Nixon Channel, (7) Maintain recreational resources, and (8) Balance the needs of the human environment with the protection of existing natural resources.

    2. Proposed Action. Within the Town's preferred alternative, known as Alternative 5D, the installation of the terminal groin is the main component in the protection of the oceanfront shoreline. The location of the structure will be approximately 420 feet north of the initial location described in the Draft EIS which was published in the Federal Register (77 FR 29618) on May 18, 2012. The proposed structure is just north of the existing homes along the shoulder of Rich Inlet. Its total length is approximately 1,500 feet, which approximately 505 feet will project seaward of the 2007 mean high water shoreline. The landward 995-foot anchor section would extend across the island and terminate near the Nixon Channel Shoreline. This section will be constructed of 14,000 to 18,000 square feet of sheet pile with portions of the length wrapped with rock. Although engineering design plans are not finalized, basic construction design of the seaward 505-foot part of the structure will be in the form of a typical rubble (rock) mound feature supported by a 1.5-foot thick stone foundation blanket. Crest height or elevation of this section is estimated to be + 6.0 feet NAVD for the first 400 feet and would slope to a top elevation of + 3.0 feet NAVD on the seaward end. Approximately 16,000 tons of stone would be used to construct the terminal groin. The concept design of the structure is intended to allow littoral sand transport to move over, around, and through the groin once the accretion fillet has completely filled in.

    Construction of the terminal groin will be kept within a corridor varying in width from 50 feet to 200 feet. Within this corridor, a 40-70 foot wide trench will be excavated to a depth of −2.5 feet NAVD in order to construct the foundation of the landward section. The approximate 6,000 cubic yards of excavated material will be replaced on and around the structure once it's in place. Material used to build the groin will be barged down the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW), through Nixon Channel, and either offloaded onto a temporary loading dock or directly onto shore. It will then be transported, via dump trucks, within the designated corridor to the construction site.

    Material used for nourishment will be dredged, using a hydraulic cutterhead plant, from a designated borrow site within Nixon Channel, which has been previously used for beach fill needs. Approximately 294,500 cubic yards will be required for both the oceanfront (237,500 cubic yards) and the Nixon Channel shoreline (57,000 cubic yards) fill areas under the 2006 and 2012 shoreline study conditions. Beach compatible material from (3) upland disposal islands would serve as a contingency sediment source.

    Engineer modeling results have shown that periodic nourishment will be required approximately once every five years to maintain the beach and Nixon Channel shorelines. The combined 5-year estimated maintenance needs for both areas are 320,000 cubic yards of material under the 2006 condition and 255,000 cubic yards of material under 2012 condition, equivalent to approximately 58,000 and 45,000 cubic yards per year respectively. This material will come from the designated Nixon Channel borrow site and the (3) upland disposal areas.

    3. Alternatives. Several alternatives have been identified and evaluated through the scoping process, and further detailed description of all alternatives is disclosed in Section 3.0 of the Supplemental EIS. At the time of the Draft EIS release in 2012, the applicant's preferred alternative had been the Alternative 5B described in Section 3.0 of the SEIS. However, the Figure Eight Beach HOA evaluated two other minor variations of this alternative and determined that one of those variations, Alternative 5D, would best suit their needs. Alternative 5D, the applicant's preferred alternative, is to install a terminal groin structure approximately 420 feet north of Alternatives 5A and 5B, to conduct initial supplemental beach nourishment, and to implement a periodic beach nourishment plan over a 30-year period.

    4. Scoping Process. To date, a public scoping meeting was held on March 1, 2007; several Project Delivery Team (PDT) meetings have been held; comprising of local, state, and federal government officials, local residents and nonprofit organizations; Draft EIS was released for public comments on May 18, 2012; and a Public Hearing was conducted on June 7, 2012.

    The COE is consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act and the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and with the National Marine Fisheries Service under the Magnuson-Stevens Act and Endangered Species Act. Additionally, the SEIS assesses the potential water quality impacts pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, and is coordinated with the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management (DCM) to insure the projects consistency with the Coastal Zone Management Act. The COE is coordinating closely with DCM in the development of the SEIS to ensure the process complies with State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) requirements, as well as the NEPA requirements. The Supplemental EIS has been designed to consolidate both NEPA and SEPA processes to eliminate duplications.

    Dated: July 2, 2015. Henry Wicker, Regulatory Division Assistant Chief, Wilmington District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16941 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720-58-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Availability of a Draft Regional Environmental Impact Statement to Analyze Potential Impacts within Defined Geographic Regions in Texas that may be Affected by Future U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District, Permit Decisions for Future Surface Coal and Lignite Mine Expansions or Satellite Mines within the District's area of Responsibility (USACE Project No. SWF-2010-00244) AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Fort Worth District, as lead federal agency, is preparing this Regional Environmental Impact Statement (REIS) to analyze potential impacts within defined geographic regions in Texas that may be affected by future USACE, Fort Worth District, permit decisions for future surface coal and lignite mine expansions or satellite mines within the District's area of responsibility. The REIS is being prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 1500-1508), and the USACE Procedures for Implementing NEPA (33 CFR 230).

    DATES:

    Submit comments no later than 60 days from the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments and suggestions concerning this proposal to Mr. Darvin Messer, Regulatory Project Manager, Regulatory Branch, CESWF-DE-R, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District, P.O. Box 17300, Fort Worth, TX 76102-0300 or via email: [email protected]

    Requests to be placed on the mailing list should also be sent to this address. Please reference USACE Project No. SWF-2010-00244 in all communications.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Darvin Messer, Regulatory Project Manager at (817) 886-1744 or via email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The USACE, Fort Worth District, is proposing changes to its regulatory framework for surface coal and lignite mines in Texas. The proposed regulatory framework includes the establishment of a Regional General Permit (RGP) and a revised Letter of Permission (LOP) procedure with modifications to aquatic resource impact thresholds and a change from agency concurrence to agency coordination as compared to the current process. No changes to the criteria for Nationwide Permit (NWP) 21 or NWP 49 are proposed.

    The REIS considers the potential environmental impacts of future mine expansions or satellite mines in six study areas along the coal-bearing formations in Texas that run from southwest Texas to northeast Texas. The study areas encompass locations within the coal/lignite belt in Texas that were determined to be within reasonable proximity to existing surface coal and lignite mines with potential for future expansion.

    As part of the public involvement process, notice is hereby given by the USACE Fort Worth District of informal public information meetings (open house format) and formal Public Hearings regarding this Draft REIS will be held August 10-13, 2015, at the following locations:

    August 10, 2015; International Center for Trade; 3295 Bob Rogers Drive, Eagle Pass, TX 78852.

    August 11, 2015; Pleasanton Country Club; 1801 McGuffin Drive, Pleasanton, TX 78064.

    August 12, 2015; Bell County Expo Center; 301 West Loop 121, Belton, TX 76513.

    August 13, 2015; Holiday Inn South Broadway; 5701 South Broadway, Tyler, TX 75703.

    Open House meetings will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with the Formal Public Hearings beginning at 6:30 p.m. at each location. Written comments should be sent to Mr. Darvin Messer (see ADDRESSES). The comments are due no later than 60 days from the date of publication of this notice. Copies of the Draft REIS may be obtained by contacting USACE Fort Worth District Regulatory Branch at (817) 886-1731 or downloaded/printed from the Fort Worth District USACE internet Web site at: http://www.swf.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Permitting/REISforLigniteMininginTexas.aspx

    Copies of the Draft REIS are also available for inspection at the locations identified below:

    Pittsburg-Camp County Public Library, 613 Quitman Street, Pittsburg, TX 75686 Sammy Brown Library, 319 S. Market St., Carthage, TX 75633 Franklin County Library, 100 Main Street East, Mt. Vernon, TX 75457 Rusk County Library, 106 East Main St., Henderson, TX 75652 Sulphur Springs Public Library, 611 Davis St. North, Sulphur Springs, TX 75482 Fannie Brown Booth Library, 619 Tenaha Street, Center, TX 75935 Rains County Public Library, 150 Doris Briggs Parkway, Emory, TX 75440 Tyler Public Library, 201 S. College Ave., Tyler, TX 75702 Mount Pleasant Public Library, 601 North Madison Ave., Mount Pleasant, TX 75455 Palestine Public Library, 2000 S. Loop 256, Ste. 42, Palestine, TX 75801 Quitman Public Library, 202 East Goode Street, Quitman, TX 75783 Marlin Public Library, 400 Oaks St., Marlin, TX 76661 Singletary Memorial Library, 207 E 6th St, Rusk, TX 75785 Mary Moody Northen Municipal Library, 350 West Main Street, Fairfield, TX 75840 Longview Public Library, 222 W. Cotton St., Longview, TX 75601 Clint W. Murchinson Memorial Library, 121 S. Prairieville, Athens, TX 75751 Marshall Public Library, 300 S. Alamo Blvd., Marshall, TX 75670 Elmer P. & Jewel Ward Memorial Library, 207 E St Mary's St, Centerville, TX 75833 Groesbeck Maffett Public Library, 601 W. Yeagua St., Groesbeck, TX 76642 Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. 8th St., Georgetown, TX 78626 Jourdanton Community Library, 1101 Cambell Ave., Jourdanton, TX 78026 Carnegie Library, 315 E. Decherd Street, Franklin, TX 77856 Live Oak County Library, 102 Le Roy St, Three Rivers, TX 78071 Van Zandt County Public Library, 317 First Monday Ln, Canton, TX 75103 Dimmit County Public Library, 200 N. 9th Street, Carrizo Springs, TX 78834 Bastrop Public Library, 1100 Church Street, Bastrop, TX 78602 Kinney County Public Library, 510 South Ellen St., Bracketville, TX 78832 Harrie P. Woodson Memorial Library, 704 W. Hwy. 21, Caldwell, TX 77836 Eagle Pass Main Library, 589 East Main, Eagle Pass, TX 78852 Giddings Public Library, 276 North Orange St., Giddings, TX 78942 Crystal City Memorial Library, 101 E Dimmit, Crystal City, TX 78839 Cameron Public Library, 304 East 3rd Street, Cameron, TX 76520

    After the public comment period ends, the USACE will consider all comments received by the due date, revise the Draft REIS as appropriate, and issue a Final Regional Environmental Impact Statement.

    Stephen L Brooks, Chief, Regulatory Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16656 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720-58-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No. ED-2015-ICCD-0036] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Study on Sustaining the Positive Effects of Preschool AGENCY:

    OPEPD, 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 10, 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-0036 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 2E-103, Washington, DC 20202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Erica Lee, (202) 260-1463.

    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: Study on Sustaining the Positive Effects of Preschool.

    OMB Control Number: 1875—NEW.

    Type of Review: A new information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local or Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 33.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 29.

    Abstract: The Policy and Program Studies Service (PPSS), within the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, contracted with the American Institutes for Research to conduct five case studies on sustaining the positive effects of preschool. The case studies will provide detailed descriptions of five programs that help disadvantaged students in K-3 build on the positive effects of preschool or lead to positive cognitive, social-emotional, and academic outcomes by using policies, programs, and practices related to two key topic areas: (1) Preschool and K-3 alignment and (2) differentiated instruction. On-site case studies will include interviews with district officials, principals, Kindergarten teachers, preschool teachers, program funders, and program evaluators.

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Privacy, Information and Records Management Services, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16890 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL15-83-000] Joint Consumer Representatives v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.; Notice of Complaint

    Take notice that on June 30, 2015, pursuant to sections 206 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.206 and sections 206 and 306 of the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 824(e) and 825(e), the Joint Consumer Representatives (Complainant) filed a formal complaint against PJM Interconnection, L.L.C, (Respondent) alleging that PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. has violated Federal Power Act Section 206 by failing to update its 2015 PJM Region Peak Load Forecast values, for purposes of the upcoming Capacity Performance Transition Incremental Auctions and 2015 Base Residual Auction, to reflect the impact of recent enhancements to PJM's load forecasting model that results in an enhanced load forecast.

    The Complainant certify that copies of the complaint were served on the contacts for PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. as listed on the Commission's list of Corporate Officials.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. The Respondent's answer and all interventions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. The Respondent's answer, motions to intervene, and protests must be served on the Complainants.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on July 20, 2015.

    Dated: July 1, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16889 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: PR15-35-001.

    Applicants: Southcross Alabama Pipeline LLC.

    Description: Submits tariff filing per 284.123(b), (e), (g): Revised Tariff filing to be effective 5/1/2015; Filing Type: 1270.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5107.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/21/15.

    284.123(g) Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/21/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1090-000.

    Applicants: Monroe Gas Storage Company, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing Compliance Filing—FERC Order No. 801 System Maps to be effective 6/30/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15

    Accession Number: 20150630-5136.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1091-000.

    Applicants: Cadeville Gas Storage LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing Compliance Filing—FERC Order No. 801 System Maps to be effective 6/30/2015

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5141.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1092-000.

    Applicants: Perryville Gas Storage LLC, Perryville Gas Storage LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing Compliance Filing—FERC Order No. 801 System Maps to be effective 6/30/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5144.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1093-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to Neg Rate Agmt (FPL 40097-14) to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5184.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1094-000.

    Applicants: Colorado Interstate Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Non-Conforming Agreement Update Filing to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5190.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1095-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: Measurement Variance/Fuel Use Factors of Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5194.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1096-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—Cherokee AGL—Replacement Shippers—Jul 2015 to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5199.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1097-000.

    Applicants: Wyoming Interstate Company, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Non-Conforming Agreement Update to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5202.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1098-000.

    Applicants: Enable Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Filing—June 30 2015—Entergy 8791 LER 8744 and SWEPCO 6888 to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5243.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1099-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate 2015-06-30 Mieco, Exelon, BP, Tenaska to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5258.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1100-000.

    Applicants: National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Decoupled Releases to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5262.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1101-000.

    Applicants: Big Sandy Pipeline, LLC.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Big Sandy EPC 2015 to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5271.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1102-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: EPC AUG 2015 FILING to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5274.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified date(s). Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 1, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16886 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-1714-007.

    Applicants: LG&E Energy Marketing Inc.

    Description: Triennial Market Power Update for Central Region of LG&E Energy Marketing Inc.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5467.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-3110-005; ER10-3144-006.

    Applicants: Union Power Partners, L.P., Entegra Power Services LLC.

    Description: Updated Market Power Analysis for Market-Based Rate Authority for Central Region of Union Power Partners, L.P., et al.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5468.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1371-002.

    Applicants: GP Big Island, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance filing to 8202018 to be effective 7/2/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5299.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/22/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1653-002.

    Applicants: FirstEnergy Solutions Corp.

    Description: Compliance filing: Authorization for Affiliate Sales to be effective 6/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5165.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/22/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1440-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Cleco Power LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: 2015-07-01_Compliance Cleco-COA JPZ Agreement Filing to be effective 12/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5200.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/22/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1905-002.

    Applicants: AZ721 LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Second Amendment to Market Based Rate Filing to be effective 8/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5227.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/22/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2089-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Original Service Agreement No. 4158, Queue Position #None to be effective 6/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5188.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/22/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 1, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16882 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER15-2009-000] 2015 ESA Project Company, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of 2015 ESA Project Company, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is July 21, 2015.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 1, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16883 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: PR15-38-000.

    Applicants: SourceGas Distribution LLC.

    Description: Submits tariff filing per 284.123(b)(1) + (g): Third Revised Statement of Operating Conditions to be effective 6/1/2015; Filing Type: 1300.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5334.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/21/15.

    284.123(g) Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: PR14-31-002.

    Applicants: MDU Resources Group, Inc.

    Description: Submits tariff filing per 284.123/.224: Statement of Issues to be effective 5/20/2015; Filing Type: 790.

    Filed Date: 6/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150619-5198.

    Comments/Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP10-837-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Transmission, Inc.

    Description: Report Filing: DTI—Operational Gas Sales Report—2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5273.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP10-900-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Transmission, Inc.

    Description: Report Filing: DTI—Informational Fuel Report 2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5276.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified date(s). Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16888 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Commission Staff Attendance

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) hereby gives notice that members of the Commission's staff may attend the following meetings related to the transmission planning activities of the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM):

    PJM Planning Committee July 9, 2015, 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (EST) PJM Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee July 9, 2015, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (EST)

    The above-referenced meetings will be held at: PJM Conference and Training Center, PJM Interconnection, 2750 Monroe Boulevard, Audubon, PA 19403.

    The above-referenced meetings are open to stakeholders.

    Further information may be found at www.pjm.com.

    The discussions at the meetings described above may address matters at issue in the following proceedings:

    Docket Nos. ER15-738 and ER15-739, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER15-596, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket Nos. ER15-33, et. al., The Dayton Power and Light Company. Docket No. ER15-994, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER15-639, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER15-61, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. and American Transmission Systems Incorporated. Docket No. ER14-2867, Baltimore Gas & Electric Company, et al., and PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket Nos. ER14-972 and ER14-1485, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER14-1485, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER14-2864, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER13-90, Public Service Electric and Gas Company and PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER13-198, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket Nos. ER13-1957, et al., ISO New England, Inc. et. al. Docket No. ER13-195, Indicated PJM Transmission Owners. Docket Nos. ER13-1944, et al., PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER15-1344, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER15-1387, PJM Transmission Owners. Docket No. EL15-40, Public Service Electric and Gas Company v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. EL15-18, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. EL15-41, Essential Power Rock Springs, LLC et. al. v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER13-1927, et al., PJM Interconnection- SERTP.

    For more information, contact the following:

    Jonathan Fernandez, Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, (202) 502-6604, [email protected] Alina Halay, Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, (202) 502-6474, [email protected] Dated: July 1, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16884 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC15-90-000.

    Applicants: Lumens Energy Supply LLC, Aequitas Energy, Inc.

    Description: Amendment to March 9, 2015 Joint Application under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act of Lumens Energy Supply LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 7/2/15.

    Accession Number: 20150702-5263.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER12-2499-013; ER12-2498-013; ER13-764-013; ER11-4055-005; ER12-1566-007; ER14-1548-005; ER12-1470-005; ER11-3987-008; ER10-1290-006; ER14-474-003; ER14-1775-003; ER10-3026-005.

    Applicants: Alpaugh North, LLC, Alpaugh 50, LLC, CED White River Solar, LLC, Copper Mountain Solar 1, LLC, Copper Mountain Solar 2, LLC, Copper Mountain Solar 3, LLC, Energia Sierra Juarez U.S., LLC, Mesquite Solar 1, LLC, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Sempra Generation, LLC, SEP II, LLC, Termoelectrica U.S. LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of the SDG&E Sellers.

    Filed Date: 7/2/15.

    Accession Number: 20150702-5267.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/23/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2104-000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-07-02 Amendment No. 2 to Riverside MSSA to be effective 9/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/2/15.

    Accession Number: 20150702-5247.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/23/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2105-000.

    Applicants: DTE Electric Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Triennial Market Power Tariff Update Filing to be effective 7/7/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/6/15.

    Accession Number: 20150706-5104.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2106-000.

    Applicants: DTE Energy Trading, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Triennial Market Power Filing Tariff Update to be effective 7/7/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/6/15.

    Accession Number: 20150706-5106.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2107-000.

    Applicants: DTE Pontiac North, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Triennial Market Power Tariff Update to be effective 7/7/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/6/15.

    Accession Number: 20150706-5109.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2108-000.

    Applicants: DTE Stoneman, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Triennial Market Power Tariff Updates to be effective 7/7/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/6/15.

    Accession Number: 20150706-5110.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2109-000.

    Applicants: St. Paul Cogeneration, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Triennial Market Power Tariff Updates to be effective 7/7/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/6/15.

    Accession Number: 20150706-5112.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2110-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Ameren Illinois Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-07-06_SA 2815 Ameren-Prairie Power Construction Agreement (Tolono) to be effective 6/22/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/6/15.

    Accession Number: 20150706-5114.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/27/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2111-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Ameren Illinois Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-07-06_SA 2816 Ameren-Praire Power Construction Agreement (St. Joseph) to be effective 6/22/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/6/15.

    Accession Number: 20150706-5117.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/27/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2112-000.

    Applicants: Cobb Electric Membership Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Triennial market power update to be effective 7/7/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/6/15.

    Accession Number: 20150706-5184.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/4/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric securities filings:

    Docket Numbers: ES15-36-000.

    Applicants: Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, Inc.

    Description: Amendment to June 19, 2015 Application under Section 204 of the Federal Power Act for Authorization to Issue Securities of Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, Inc.

    Filed Date: 7/2/15.

    Accession Number: 20150702-5262.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/16/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following qualifying facility filings:

    Docket Numbers: QF15-875-000.

    Applicants: Erving Industries, Inc.

    Description: Form 556 of Erving Industries, Inc.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5480.

    Comments Due: None Applicable.

    Docket Numbers: QF15-877-000.

    Applicants: Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utility Commission

    Description: Form 556 of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utility Commission.

    Filed Date: 7/2/15.

    Accession Number: 20150702-5264.

    Comments Due: None Applicable.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and § 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16879 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC15-161-000.

    Applicants: 65HK 8me LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act, Request for Expedited Consideration and Confidential Treatment of 65HK 8me LLC.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5451.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/21/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-1276-004; ER10-1292-003; ER10-1287-003; ER10-1303-003; ER10-1319-005; ER10-1353-005.

    Applicants: Consumers Energy Company, CMS Energy Resource Management Company, Grayling Generation Station Limited Partnership, Genesee Power Station Limited Partnership, CMS Generation Michigan Power, LLC, Dearborn Industrial Generation, L.L.C.

    Description: Updated Market Power Analysis for the Central Region of Consumer Energy Company, et al.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5450.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2042-019; ER10-1938-014; ER10-1934-013; ER10-1893-013; ER10-1874-003; ER10-1863-004; ER10-1862-013; ER10-1933-003.

    Applicants: Calpine Energy Services, L.P., Calpine Power America—CA, LLC, CES Marketing IX, LLC, CES Marketing X, LLC, Mankato Energy Center, LLC, Power Contract Financing, L.L.C., RockGen Energy, LLC, Pine Bluff Energy, LLC.

    Description: Updated Market Power Analysis for Central Region of the Calpine Central MBR Sellers.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5441.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2130-012.

    Applicants: Forward Energy LLC.

    Description: Triennial Report for Central Region of Forward Energy LLC.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5439.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2136-010.

    Applicants: Invenergy Cannon Falls LLC.

    Description: Triennial Report for Central Region of Invenergy Cannon Falls LLC.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5405.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2172-025; ER14-2144-004; ER12-2311-012; ER10-1048-022; ER10-2192-024; ER15-1537-001; ER15-1539-001; ER10-2178-024; ER13-1536-008; ER12-2201-012; ER11-2011-021; ER11-2009-021; ER11-3989-017; ER10-1143-021.

    Applicants: Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, Beebe 1B Renewable Energy, LLC, Beebe Renewable Energy, LLC, Commonwealth Edison Company, Constellation Energy Commodities Group Maine, LLC, Constellation Energy Services, Inc., Constellation NewEnergy, Inc., Exelon Generation Company, LLC, Harvest II Wind Farm, LLC, Harvest Windfarm, LLC, Michigan Wind 1, LLC, Michigan Wind 2, LLC, PECO Energy Company, Constellation Energy Services of New York, Inc.

    Description: Updated Market Power Analysis for the Central Region of the Exelon Central MBRA Entities.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5358.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2738-003.

    Applicants: The Empire District Electric Company.

    Description: Updated Market Power Analysis of The Empire District Electric Company.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5348.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-3069-006; ER10-3070-006.

    Applicants: Alcoa Power Generating, Inc., Alcoa Power Marketing LLC.

    Description: Updated Market Power Analysis for Central Region of Alcoa Power Generating, Inc. and Alcoa Power Marketing LLC.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5377.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-3097-004.

    Applicants: Bruce Power Inc.

    Description: Updated Market Power Analysis for the Central Region of Bruce Power Inc.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5434.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER11-2105-001.

    Applicants: Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: Updated Market Power Analysis for Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Balancing Area Authority of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5447.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER11-2159-005; ER10-2602-012; ER10-2609-011; ER10-2606-011.

    Applicants: Verso Maine Energy LLC, NewPage Energy Services LLC, Escanaba Paper Company, Consolidated Water Power Company.

    Description: Updated Market Power Analysis for the Central Region of Verso MBR Entities.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5442.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER11-4044-013.

    Applicants: Gratiot County Wind LLC.

    Description: Triennial Report for Central Region of Gratiot County Wind LLC.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5440.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER11-4046-012.

    Applicants: Gratiot County Wind II LLC.

    Description: Triennial Report for Central Region of Gratiot County Wind II LLC.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5415.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER12-164-011.

    Applicants: Bishop Hill Energy III LLC.

    Description: Triennial Report for Central Region of Bishop Hill Energy III LLC.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5438.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER12-645-013.

    Applicants: California Ridge Wind Energy LLC.

    Description: Triennial Report of California Ridge Wind Energy LLC.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5437.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2085-000.

    Applicants: Dow Pipeline Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to Market-Based Rate Tariff to be effective 8/29/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5297.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/21/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2086-000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-06-30 CCSF OA—Rate Schedule No. 64 to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5339.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/21/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2087-000.

    Applicants: Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: PASNY Standby Amendment to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5343.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/21/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2088-000.

    Applicants: New England Power Pool Participants Committee.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: June 30 2015 Membership Filing to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5345.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/21/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric reliability filings:

    Docket Numbers: RR15-13-000.

    Applicants: North American Electric Reliability Corporation.

    Description: Petition of North American Electric Reliability Corporation for Approval of Amendments to the Bylaws of Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5356.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/21/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 1, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16881 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RP15-1089-000] Rice Energy Marketing LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order

    Take notice that on June 29, 2015, pursuant to Rule 207(a)(2) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.207(a)(2) (2014), Rice Energy Marketing LLC filed a petition for a declaratory order seeking a declaratory order clarifying that the Order No. 712 exemption from the buy-sell prohibition applies to supply-side asset management agreements (AMAs) on the same basis as delivery-side AMAs, all as more fully explained in the petition.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on July 29, 2015.

    Dated: July 1, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16885 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1103-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Expired Agreements to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5004.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1104-000.

    Applicants: ANR Storage Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: United Energy Trading Agmt to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5051.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1105-000.

    Applicants: WTG Hugoton, LP.

    Description: Compliance filing Annual Fuel Retention Percentage Filing 2015-2016 to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5117.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1106-000.

    Applicants: Equitrans, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Capacity Release Agreement—7/01/2015 to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5124.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1107-000.

    Applicants: Trailblazer Pipeline Company LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 2015-07-01 Perm Rel of existing NRA (to Twin Eagle) to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5156.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1108-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Remove Expired Agreements and References to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5181.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1109-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmts (Atlanta 8438 to various eff 7/1/15) to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5182.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1110-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Transmission, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing DTI—2015 Overrun and Penalty Revenue Distribution to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5197.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1111-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to Neg Rate Agmt (FPL 41618-13) to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5201.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1112-000.

    Applicants: Enable Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Filing—July 2015 Removal of Expired Negotiated Rate Contracts to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5202.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1113-000.

    Applicants: MIGC LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Annual Fuel Retention Percentage Tracker to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5251.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 2, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16887 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9021-8] Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability

    Responsible Agency: Office of Federal Activities, General Information (202) 564-7146 or http://www2.epa.gov/nepa.

    Weekly receipt of Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) Filed 06/29/2015 Through 07/03/2015 Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.9. Notice

    Section 309(a) of the Clean Air Act requires that EPA make public its comments on EISs issued by other Federal agencies. EPA's comment letters on EISs are available at: https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-enepa-public/action/eis/search.

    EIS No. 20150182, Final, VA, CA, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center Long Range Development Plan, Review Period Ends: 08/09/2015, Contact: Robin Flanagan 415-750-2049. EIS No. 20150183, Final, HUD, CA, Sunnydale-Velasco HOPE SF Master Plan Project, Review Period Ends: 08/10/2015, Contact: Eugene Flannery 415-701-5598. EIS No. 20150184, Draft, USFS, MT, Telegraph Vegetation Project, Comment Period Ends: 08/24/2015, Contact: Allen Byrd 406-449-5201. EIS No. 20150185, Draft Supplement, USACE, NC, Figure Eight Island Shoreline Management Project Comment Period Ends: 08/24/2015, Contact: Mickey Sugg 910-251-4811. EIS No. 20150186, Draft, USACE, CA, Redwood City Harbor Navigation Improvement, Comment Period Ends: 08/24/2015, Contact: Eric Jolliffe 415-503-6869. EIS No. 20150187, Final, USFS, CA, Master Special Use Permit and Permit to Construct Power Line Replacement Projects, Review Period Ends: 08/24/2015, Contact: Jeff Heys 858-674-2959. EIS No. 20150188, Final, USACE, SC, Charleston Harbor Post 45, Review Period Ends: 08/10/2015, Contact: Bret Walters 843-329-8050. Amended Notices EIS No. 20150061, Draft, CALTRANS, CA, SR 710 North Improvements, Comment Period Ends: 08/05/2015, Contact: Garrett Damrath 213-897-0357 Revision to FR Notice Published 03/13/2015; Extending Comment Period from 07/06/2015 to 08/05/2015. EIS No. 20150109, Draft, STB, MT, Tongue River Railroad, Comment Period Ends: 08/24/2015, Contact: Ken Blodgett 1-866-622-4355 Revision to FR Notice Published 04/24/2015; Extending Comment Period from 06/23/2015 to 08/24/2015. EIS No. 20150151, Draft, USFS, CO, Spruce Beetle Epidemic and Aspen Decline Management Response, Comment Period Ends: 07/31/2015, Contact: Scott Williams 760-382-7371 Revision to FR Notice Published 05/29/2015; Extending Comment Period from 07/14/2015 to 07/31/2015. Dated: July 7, 2015. Karin Leff, Acting Director, NEPA Compliance Division, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16938 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9930-39-OA] Meetings of the Local Government Advisory Committee and the Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS) will meet in Washington, DC, on Friday, July 31, 2015, 8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. (EDT). The Subcommittee will discuss rural strategy; E-Enterprise; and other issues and recommendations to the Administrator regarding environmental issues affecting small communities. The Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) will meet in Washington, DC, on Thursday, July 30, 2015, 8:15 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (EDT), and Friday, July 31, 2015, 9:15 a.m.-12:40 p.m. (EDT). The focus of the Committee meeting will be on issues pertaining to protecting America's waters; hydrofracturing; cleaning up our communities; air, climate and energy; and climate change resiliency and sustainability.

    These are open meetings, and all interested persons are invited to participate. The SCAS will hear comments from the public between 8:35 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. on Friday, July 31, 2015, and the LGAC will hear comments from the public between 9:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. on Friday, July 31, 2015. Individuals or organizations wishing to address the Subcommittee or the Committee will be allowed a maximum of five minutes to present their point of view. Also, written comments should be submitted electronically to [email protected] Please contact the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at the number listed below to schedule a time on the agenda. Time will be allotted on a first-come first-serve basis, and the total period for comments may be extended if the number of requests for appearances requires it.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee meetings will be held at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Conference Room William Jefferson Clinton Building North, Room 6045, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. The Local Government Advisory Committee meetings will be held at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, William Jefferson Clinton Building North, Room 6045, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. Meeting summaries will be available after the meeting online at www.epa.gov/ocir/scas_lgac/lgac_index.htm and can be obtained by written request to the DFO.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) and Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS), contact Frances Eargle, Designated Federal Officer, at (202) 564-3115 or email at [email protected]

    Information on Services for Those With Disabilities: For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Frances Eargle at (202) 564-3115 or email at [email protected]. To request accommodation of a disability, please request it 10 days prior to the meeting, to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: June 27, 2015. Frances Eargle, Designated Federal Officer, Local Government Advisory Committee.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16923 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9929-19-Region-10] Clean Air Act Operating Permit Program; Petitions for Objection to State Operating Permit for the U.S. Department of Energy-Hanford Operations, Benton County, Washington AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of final action.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 505(b)(2) and 40 CFR 70.8(d), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator signed an Order, dated May 29, 2015, partially granting and partially denying two petitions filed by Bill Green of Richland, Washington (dated April 23, 2013, and April 21, 2014) asking the EPA to object to the title V operating permit (Permit No. 00-05-006, Renewal 2 and Permit No. 00-05-006, Renewal 2, Revision A) issued by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) to the U.S. Department of Energy-Hanford Operations (DOE) relating to the Hanford site located in south central Washington. Sections 307(b) and 505(b)(2) of the CAA provide that a petitioner may ask for judicial review by the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit of those portions of the Order that denies objections raised in the petitions.

    DATES:

    Petitions for review of this Order must be filed by September 8, 2015, pursuant to section 307(b) of the CAA.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may review copies of the final Order, the petitions, and other supporting information during normal business hours at EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, Washington. If you wish to examine these documents, you should make an appointment at least 24 hours before the visiting day. Additionally, the final Order is available electronically at: http://www.epa.gov/region07/air/title5/petitiondb/petitions/hanford_response2014.pdf.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Don Dossett at telephone number: (206) 553-1783, email address: [email protected], or the above EPA Region 10 address.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The CAA affords the EPA a 45-day period to review, and object to, as appropriate, a title V operating permit proposed by a state permitting authority. Section 505(b)(2) of the CAA authorizes any person to petition the EPA Administrator, within 60 days after the expiration of this review period, to object to a title V operating permit if the EPA has not done so. Petitions must be based only on objections to the permit that were raised with reasonable specificity during the public comment period provided by the state, unless the petitioner demonstrates that it was impracticable to raise these issues during the comment period or that the grounds for the objection or other issues arose after this period.

    The claims are described in detail in Section IV of the Order. In summary, the issues raised are that: (1) The structure of the Hanford Title V Permit does not provide Ecology the authority to issue a permit that assures compliance with all applicable requirements, in particular, 40 CFR part 61, subpart H (Subpart H) relating to radionuclide air emissions (radionuclides); (2) the structure of the Hanford Title V Permit does not provide Ecology with authority to enforce the portions of the Hanford Title V Permit relating to Subpart H; (3) Ecology did not comply with the requirements for public participation in issuing the Hanford Title V Permit; (4) the permit issuance procedures for the Hanford Title V Permit prevent access to judicial review; (5) the statement of basis for the Hanford Title V Permit related to radionuclides is inadequate; and (6) the Hanford Title V Permit does not include all applicable CAA Section 112 requirements for radionuclides.

    The EPA's rationale for partially granting and partially denying the claims raised in the petitions is described in the Order.

    Dated: June 22, 2015. Dennis J. McLerran, Regional Administrator, EPA Region 10.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16920 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [3060-1200] Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted on or before August 10, 2015. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contacts below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB, via email [email protected]; and to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected] Include in the comments the OMB control number as shown in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information or copies of the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991.

    To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the Web page http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the Web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the OMB control number of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1200.

    Title: Rural Broadband Experiments and Post-Selection Review of Rural Broadband Experiment Winning Bidders.

    Form Number: FCC Form 5620.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit, and not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 47 respondents; 135 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2 to 20 hours.

    Frequency of Response: One-time and occasional reporting requirements; annual recordkeeping requirements.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151-154 and 254.

    Total Annual Burden: 1,834 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost(s).

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Information collected in FCC Form 5620 will be confidential. Information reported in the November interim progress report and the build-out milestone certifications will be made publicly available.

    Needs and Uses: On January 31, 2014, the Commission released the Tech Transitions et al., GN Docket No. 13-5 et al., 29 FCC Rcd 1433 (2014) (Tech Transitions Order), that adopted targeted experiments to explore the impact of technology transitions on rural Americans, including those living on Tribal lands. On July 14, 2014, the Commission released Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 14-98 (rel. July 14, 2014) (Rural Broadband Experiments Order), which established certain parameters and requirements for the rural broadband experiments adopted by the Commission in the Tech Transitions Order.

    This information collection addresses requirements to carry out the rural broadband experiments the Commission adopted in the Tech Transitions Order and the Rural Broadband Experiments Order. The Commission has received OMB approval for most of the information collections required by the orders. At a later date, the Commission plans to submit additional revisions to a separate information collection for OMB's review to address other reporting requirements adopted in the Rural Broadband Experiments Order. For this revision, subject to OMB approval, the Commission proposes to incorporate the November interim progress report, build-out milestone certifications, and recordkeeping requirements that the Commission adopted in the Rural Broadband Experiments Order. If approved, recipients of the rural broadband experiments will be required to submit a one-time report on November 1st after they begin receiving support. This report must describe the status of the recipient's experiment as of September 30th immediately preceding the report (i.e., whether vendors have been hired, permits have been obtained, and construction has begun), and include evidence demonstrating which locations if any the recipient has built out to in its project areas and evidence demonstrating that the recipient is meeting the public service obligations for the relevant experiment category, including a certification that demonstrates the service the recipient offers complies with the Commission's latency requirements. Rural broadband experiment recipients will also be required to certify that they have met the build-out milestones adopted in the Rural Broadband Experiments Order. These certifications will be due for all recipients by the end of the third year and fifth year of support. Recipients that have chosen to receive 30 percent of their support upfront will also be required to submit a build-out milestone certification within 15 months of their first disbursement. Recipients that are determined to not be in compliance with the terms and conditions of the rural broadband experiments during their support term will also be required to submit a certification to demonstrate that they have come into compliance. All of these certifications must be accompanied by the same types of evidence required for the November interim progress report. This report and certifications will enable the Commission to monitor the progress of the rural broadband experiments and ensure that the support is being used for its intended purposes. Finally, rural broadband experiment recipients will be subject to a 10-year record retention requirement and must make those documents and records available to the Commission, any of its Bureaus or Offices, the Universal Service Administrative Company, and their respective auditors to aid these entities in overseeing the recipients' compliance with the terms and conditions of rural broadband experiment support. The Commission also proposes to eliminate FCC Form 5610 that is a part of this information collection. The deadline to file FCC Form 5610 with the Commission was November 7, 2014. Because the Commission does not anticipate holding another round of bidding, no additional entities will be required to file FCC Form 5610. There are no proposed changes to the currently approved FCC Form 5620 which is also a part of this information collection. However, the Commission proposes to increase the number of respondents involved in the post-selection review because more winning bidders were provisionally selected than the Commission anticipated.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16854 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-xxxx, 3060-0349, 3060-0214, 3060-0113, 3060-0922, 3060-1065] Information Collections Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before September 8, 2015. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email to [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: SDARS Political Broadcasting Requirements.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: New collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 1 respondent; 1 response.

    Estimated Time per Response: 10 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement; On occasion reporting requirements; Third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority which covers this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 309(a) and 307(a) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 20 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Although the Commission does not believe that any confidential information will need to be disclosed in order to comply with the information collection requirements, applicants are free to request that materials or information submitted to the Commission be withheld from public inspection. (See 47 CFR 0.459 of the Commission's Rules).

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: In 1997, the Commission imposed political broadcasting requirements on Satellite Digital Audio Broadcasting Service (“SDARS”) licensees. See Establishment of Rules and Policies for the Digital Audio Radio Satellite Service in the 2310-2360 MHz Frequency Band, 12 FCC Rcd 5754, 5792, para. 92 (1997) (“1997 SDARS Order”), FCC 97-70. The Commission stated that SDARS licensees should comply with the same substantive political debate provisions as broadcasters: the federal candidate access provision (47 U.S.C. Section 312(a)(7)) and the equal opportunities provision (47 U.S.C. Section 315). The 1997 SDARS Order imposes the following requirements on SDARS licensees:

    Lowest unit charge: Similar to broadcasters, SDARS licensees must disclose any practices offered to commercial advertisers that enhance the value of advertising spots and different classes of time. SDARS licensees must also calculate the lowest unit charge and are required to review their advertising records throughout the election period to determine whether compliance with this rule section requires that candidates receive rebates or credits. See 47 CFR Section 73.1942.

    Political file: Similar to broadcasters, SDARS licensees must also keep and permit public inspection of a complete record (political file) of all requests for SDARS origination time made by or on behalf of candidates for public office, together with an appropriate notation showing the disposition made by the system of such requests, and the charges made, if any, if the request is granted. The disposition includes the schedule of time purchased, when the spots actually aired, the rates charged, and the classes of time purchased. Also, when free time is provided for use by or on behalf of candidates, a record of the free time provided is to be placed in the political file as soon as possible and maintained for a period of two years. See 47 CFR 73.1943.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0349.

    Title: Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Policy, 47 CFR Sections 73.2080, 76.73, 76.75, 76.79 and 76.1702.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; not for profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 14,179 respondents; 14,179 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 42 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement; annual reporting requirement; five year reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority which covers this information collection is contained in Section 154(i) and 303 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Section 634 of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984.

    Total Annual Burden: 595,518 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: 47 CFR Section 73.2080 provides that equal opportunity in employment shall be afforded by all broadcast stations to all qualified persons and no person shall be discriminated against in employment by such stations because of race, color, religion, national origin or sex. Section 73.2080 requires that each broadcast station employment unit with 5 or more full-time employees shall establish, maintain and carry out a program to assure equal opportunity in every aspect of a broadcast station's policy and practice. These same requirements also apply to Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (“SDARS”) licensees.

    Revised Information Collection Requirement:

    In 1997, the Commission determined that SDARS licensees must comply with the Commission's EEO requirements. See Establishment of Rules and Policies for the Digital Audio Radio Satellite Service in the 2310-2360 MHz Frequency Band, 12 FCC Rcd 5754, 5791, ¶ 91 (1997) (“1997 SDARS Order”), FCC 97-70. In 2008, the Commission clarified that SDARS licensees must comply with the Commission's EEO broadcast rules and policies, including the same recruitment, outreach, public file, Web site posting, record-keeping, reporting, and self-assessment obligations required of broadcast licensees, consistent with 47 CFR 73.2080, as well as any other Commission EEO policies. See Applications for Consent to the Transfer of Control of Licenses, SM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., Transferor, to Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., Transferee, 23 FCC Rcd 12348, 12426, ¶ 174, and note 551 (2008) (“XM-Sirius Merger Order”).

    The Commission is making this submission to the Office of Management and Budget for approval to add SDARS licensees to this information collection.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0214.

    Title: Sections 73.3526 and 73.3527, Local Public Inspection Files; Sections 76.1701 and 73.1943, Political Files.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; not for profit institutions; individuals or households.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 24,559 respondents; 63,235 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1—104 hours

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement; on occasion reporting requirements; Third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority which covers this information collection is contained in Sections 151, 152, 154(i), 303, 307 and 308 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 2,375,337 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $882,631.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Most of the documents comprising the public file consist of materials that are not of a confidential nature. Respondents complying with the information collection requirements may request that the information they submit be withheld from disclosure. If confidentiality is requested, such requests will be processed in accordance with the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 0.459.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: Should respondents submit any PII as part of the information collection requirements, the FCC has an existing system of records, FCC/MB-1, “Ownership of Commercial Broadcast Stations,” that may partially cover this PII. In addition, the Commission has prepared a second system of records notice, FCC/MB-2, “Broadcast Station Public Inspection Files,” that will cover the PII contained in the broadcast station public inspection files to be located on the Commission's Web site. The Commission is also drafting a PIA for the records covered by this SORN.

    Needs and Uses: Satellite Radio (also referred to as “Satellite Digital Audio Radio Services” or “SDARS”) licensees are required to comply with the Commission's EEO broadcast rules and policies, including public file obligations and periodic submissions to the Commission. See Applications for Consent to the Transfer of Control of Licenses, XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., Transferor, to Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., Transferee, 23 FCC Rcd 12348, 12426, ¶ 174, and note 551 (2008) (“XM-Sirius Merger Order”). See also Establishment of Rules and Policies for the Digital Audio Radio Satellite Service in the 2310-2360 MHz Frequency Band, 12 FCC Rcd 5754, 5791-92, ¶¶ 91-92 (1997) (“SDARS Order”), FCC 97-70. This collection is being revised to reflect the burden associated with the EEO public file requirements.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0113.

    Title: Broadcast EEO Program Report, FCC Form 396.

    Form Number: FCC Form 396.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; not for profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 2,001 respondents; 2,001 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1.5 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On renewal reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority which covers this information collection is contained in Section 154(i) and 303 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 3,002 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $300,300.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: The Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program Report, FCC Form 396, is a device that is used to evaluate a broadcaster's EEO program to ensure that satisfactory efforts are being made to comply with FCC's EEO requirements. FCC Form 396 is required to be filed at the time of renewal of license by all AM, FM, TV, Low Power TV and International stations. Licensees in the Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (“SDARS”) also must file FCC Form 396.

    The recordkeeping requirements for FCC Form 396 are covered under OMB control number 3060-0214.

    Revised Collection Requirement:

    In 1997, the Commission determined that SDARS licensees must comply with the Commission's EEO requirements. See Establishment of Rules and Policies for the Digital Audio Radio Satellite Service in the 2310-2360 MHz Frequency Band, 12 FCC Rcd 5754, 5791, ¶ 91 (1997) (“1997 SDARS Order”), FCC 97-70. In 2008, the Commission clarified that SDARS licensees must comply with the Commission's EEO broadcast rules and policies, including the same recruitment, outreach, public file, Web site posting, record-keeping, reporting, and self-assessment obligations required of broadcast licensees, consistent with 47 CFR 73.2080, as well as any other Commission EEO policies. See Applications for Consent to the Transfer of Control of Licenses, SM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., Transferor, to Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., Transferee, 23 FCC Rcd 12348, 12426, ¶ 174, and note 551 (2008) (“XM-Sirius Merger Order”).

    The Commission is making this submission to the Office of Management and Budget for approval to add SDARS licensees to this information collection.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0922.

    Title: Broadcast Mid-Term Report, FCC Form 397.

    Form Number: FCC Form 397.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; not-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 1,181 respondents; 1,181 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.5 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Mid-point reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority which covers this information collection is contained in Sections 154(i) and 303 of the Communications Act, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 591 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: The Broadcast Mid-Term Report (FCC Form 397) is required to be filed by each broadcast television station that is part of an employment unit with five or more full-time employees and each broadcast radio station that is part of an employment unit with more than ten full-time employees. It is a data collection device used to assess broadcast compliance with EEO outreach requirements in the middle of license terms that are eight years in duration. FCC Form 397 must also be filed by Satellite Digital Audio Radio Services (SDARS) licensees to assess compliance with EEO outreach requirements.

    Revised Information Collection Requirements Which Require Approval and Review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB):

    Satellite Radio (also referred to as “Satellite Digital Audio Radio Services” or “SDARS”) licensees are required to comply with the Commission's EEO broadcast rules and policies. They must engage in the same recruitment, outreach, public file, Web site posting, record-keeping, reporting, and self-assessment obligations required of broadcast licensees, consistent with 47 CFR 73.2080, and are subject to the same EEO policies. See Applications for Consent to the Transfer of Control of Licenses, XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., Transferor, to Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., Transferee, 23 FCC Rcd 12348, 12426, ¶ 174, and note 551 (2008) (“XM-Sirius Merger Order”). See also Establishment of Rules and Policies for the Digital Audio Radio Satellite Service in the 2310-2360 MHz Frequency Band, 12 FCC Rcd 5754, 5791-92, ¶¶ 91-92 (1997) (“SDARS Order”), FCC 97-70. This collection is being revised to reflect the burden associated with filing FCC Form 397 by SDARS licensees. Therefore, these respondents are being added as respondents to this collection. The form is not being revised.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1065.

    Title: Section 25.701 of the Commission's Rules, Direct Broadcast Satellite Public Interest Obligations.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Reinstatement of a previously approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 2 respondents; 2 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1-10 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement; on occasion reporting requirement; one time reporting requirement; annual reporting requirement; Third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority which covers this information collection is contained in Section 335 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 50 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Although the Commission does not believe that any confidential information will need to be disclosed in order to comply with the information collection requirements, applicants are free to request that materials or information submitted to the Commission be withheld from public inspection. (See 47 CFR 0.459 of the Commission's Rules).

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: The Commission vacated an Order on Reconsideration, In the Matter of Implementation Of Section 25 Of The Cable Television Consumer Protection And Competition Act Of 1992, Direct Broadcast Satellite Public Interest Obligations, MM No. Docket 93-25 FCC 03-78, adopted April 9, 2003 and adopted in its place, in the same proceeding, a Second Order on Reconsideration of the First Report and Order, Sua Sponte Order on Reconsideration (“Second Order”) and accompanying rules FCC 04-44, released March 25, 2004. The Second Order differs from the Order on Reconsideration with respect to two issues: (1) The political broadcasting requirements, and (2) the guidelines concerning commercialization of children's programming.

    47 CFR 25.701(c)(1)(i)(C) states DBS providers may establish and define their own reasonable classes of immediately preemptible time so long as the differences between such classes are based on one or more demonstrable benefits associated with each class and are not based solely upon price or identity of the advertiser. Such demonstrable benefits include, but are not limited to, varying levels of preemption protection, scheduling flexibility, or associated privileges, such as guaranteed time sensitive make goods. DBS providers may not use class distinctions to defeat the purpose of the lowest unit charge requirement. All classes must be fully disclosed and made available to candidates.

    47 CFR 25.701(c)(1)(i)(D) states DBS providers may establish reasonable classes of preemptible with notice time so long as they clearly define all such classes, fully disclose them and make them available to candidates.

    47 CFR 25.701(c)(1)(i)(E) states DBS providers may treat non preemptible and fixed position as distinct classes of time provided that they articulate clearly the differences between such classes, fully disclose them, and make them available to candidates.

    47 CFR 25.701(c)(1)(i)(I) states DBS providers shall review their advertising records periodically throughout the election period to determine whether compliance with this section requires that candidates receive rebates or credits. Where necessary, DBS providers shall issue such rebates or credits promptly.

    47 CFR 25.701(c)(1)(i)(M) states DBS providers must disclose and make available to candidates any make good policies provided to commercial advertisers. If a DBS provider places a make good for any commercial advertiser or other candidate in a more valuable program or daypart, the value of such make good must be included in the calculation of the lowest unit charge for that program or daypart.

    47 CFR 25.701(c)(1)(ii) states at any time other than the respective periods set forth in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section, DBS providers may charge legally qualified candidates for public office no more than the charges made for comparable use of the facility by commercial advertisers. The rates, if any, charged all such candidates for the same office shall be uniform and shall not be rebated by any means, direct or indirect. A candidate shall be charged no more than the rate the DBS provider would charge for comparable commercial advertising. All discount privileges otherwise offered by a DBS provider to commercial advertisers must be disclosed and made available upon equal terms to all candidates for public office.

    47 CFR 25.701(d) states each DBS provider shall keep and permit public inspection of a complete and orderly political file and shall prominently disclose the physical location of the file, and the telephonic and electronic means to access the file.

    (1) The political file shall contain, at a minimum:

    (i) A record of all requests for DBS origination time, the disposition of those requests, and the charges made, if any, if the request is granted. The “disposition” includes the schedule of time purchased, when spots actually aired, the rates charged, and the classes of time purchased; and

    (ii) A record of the free time provided if free time is provided for use by or on behalf of candidates.

    (2) DBS providers shall place all records required by this section in a file available to the public as soon as possible and shall be retained for a period of four years until December 31, 2006, and thereafter for a period of two years.

    47 CFR 25.701(e)(3) requires DBS providers airing children's programming must maintain records sufficient to verify compliance with this rule and make such records available to the public. Such records must be maintained for a period sufficient to cover the limitations period specified in 47 U.S.C. 503(b)(6)(B).

    47 CFR 25.701(f)(6) states that each DBS provider shall keep and permit public inspection of a complete and orderly record of:

    (A) Quarterly measurements of channel capacity and yearly average calculations on which it bases its four percent reservation, as well as its response to any capacity changes;

    (B) A record of entities to whom noncommercial capacity is being provided, the amount of capacity being provided to each entity, the conditions under which it is being provided and the rates, if any, being paid by the entity;

    (C) A record of entities that have requested capacity, disposition of those requests and reasons for the disposition.

    (ii) All records required by this paragraph shall be placed in a file available to the public as soon as possible and shall be retained for a period of two years.

    The statutory authority which covers this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 335 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Revised Information Collection Requirements:

    The Commission is reinstating this collection into the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB's) inventory because after further evaluation the Commission has determined that this collection is still needed by the Commission because DBS providers make up the majority of their universe of respondents. Since this is the case, OMB approval is still need for this collection.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16853 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Renewals; Comment Request (3064-0090, 3064-0111, 3064-0136, 3064-0138 & 3064-0171) AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The FDIC, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the renewal of existing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Currently, the FDIC is soliciting comment on the renewal of the information collections described below.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before September 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the FDIC by any of the following methods:

    http://www.FDIC.gov/regulations/laws/federal/.

    Email: [email protected]. Include the name and number of the collection in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Gary A. Kuiper (202.898.3877), Counsel, John W. Popeo (202.898.6923), Counsel MB-3007, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20429.

    Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 17th Street Building (located on F Street), on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    All comments should refer to the relevant OMB control number. A copy of the comments may also be submitted to the OMB desk officer for the FDIC: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gary A. Kuiper or John W. Popeo, at the FDIC address above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Proposal to renew the following currently-approved collections of information:

    1. Title: Public Disclosure by Banks.

    OMB Number: 3064-0090.

    Affected Public: Insured state nonmember banks.

    Frequency of Response: Annually.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,084.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.5

    Total Annual Burden: 2,042 hours.

    General Description: 12 CFR part 350 requires a bank to notify the general public, and in some instances shareholders, that financial disclosure statements are available by request. Required disclosures consist of financial reports for the current and preceding year, which can be photocopied directly from the year-end call reports. The FDIC may also require, on a case-by-case basis, that descriptions of enforcement actions be included in disclosure statements. This regulation allows, but does not require, the inclusion of management discussion and analysis.

    2. Title: Activities and Investments of Insured State Banks.

    OMB Number: 3064-0111.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: Insured state nonmember banks.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 110.

    Estimated Time per Response: 8 hours.

    Total Annual Burden: 880 hours.

    General Description: Section 24 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDI Act), 12 U.S.C. 1831a, limits investments and other activities in which state banks may engage as principal to those permissible for national banks and those approved by the FDIC under procedures set forth in Part 362 of the FDIC's Rules and Regulations, 12 CFR part 362. With certain exceptions, section 24 of the FDI Act limits the direct equity investments of state chartered banks to equity investments that are permissible for national banks. In addition, the statute prohibits an insured state bank from directly engaging, as a principal, in any activity that is not permissible for a national bank, or indirectly through a subsidiary in an activity that is not permissible for a subsidiary of a national bank, unless such bank meets its minimum capital requirements and the FDIC determines that the activity does not pose significant risk to the Deposit Insurance Fund. The FDIC can make such a determination for exception by regulation or by order. The FDIC's implementing regulation for section 24 is 12 CFR part 362. This regulation details the activities that insured state nonmember banks or their subsidiaries may engage in, under certain criteria and conditions, and identifies the information that banks must furnish to the FDIC in order to obtain the FDIC's approval or nonobjection.

    3. Title: Privacy of Consumer Financial Information.

    OMB Number: 3064-0136.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: Insured state nonmember banks and consumers.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: Initial notice, 208; annual notice and change in terms 4,084; opt-out notice, 866; consumer opt-out/status update, 212,432.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 217,590.

    Total Annual Burden: 162,456 hours.

    General Description: The elements of this collection are required under section 504 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Public Law 106-102. The collection mandates notice requirements and restrictions on a financial institution's ability to disclose nonpublic personal information about consumers to nonaffiliated third parties.

    4. Title: Applicant Background Questionnaire.

    OMB Number: 3064-0138.

    Form Number: FDIC 2100/14.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: FDIC job applicants who are not current FDIC employees.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 30,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: 3 minutes.

    Total Annual Burden: 1,500 hours.

    General Description: The FDIC Applicant Background Questionnaire is voluntarily completed by prospective FDIC job applicants who are not current employees. Responses to survey questions provide information regarding gender, age, disability, race, and national origin. Additional survey questions address the applicant's source of vacancy announcement information. Data is used by the FDIC Office of Minority and Women Inclusion and the FDIC Human Resources Branch to evaluate the efficacy of various FDIC recruitment methods used to ensure that the agency meets workforce diversity objectives.

    5. Title: Registration of Mortgage Loan Originators. OMB Number: 3064-0171. Total Estimated Annual Burden: 608,867, which is comprised of: A. Financial Institution Policies and Procedures for Ensuring Employee-Mortgage Loan Originator Compliance with S.A.F.E. Act Requirements Affected Public. Affected Public: FDIC-supervised institutions. Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,080. Frequency of Response: Annually. Estimated Time per Response: 20 hours. Estimated Annual Burden: 81,600 hours. B. Financial Institution Procedures to Track and Monitor Compliance with S.A.F.E. Act. Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,080. Frequency of Response: Annually. Estimated Time per Response: 60 hours. Estimated Annual Burden: 244,800 hours. C. Financial Institution Procedures for the Collection and Maintenance of Employee Mortgage Loan Originators Criminal History Background Reports. Affected Public: FDIC-supervised institutions. Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,080. Frequency of Response: Annually. Estimated Time per Response: 20 hours. Estimated Annual Burden: 81,600 hours. D. Financial Institution Procedures for Public Disclosure of Mortgage Loan Originator's Unique Identifier. Affected Public: FDIC-supervised institutions. Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,080. Frequency of Response: Annually. Estimated Time per Response: 25 hours. Estimated Annual Burden: 102,000 hours. E. Financial Institution Information Reporting to Registry. Affected Public: FDIC-supervised institutions. Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,080. Frequency of Response: Annually. Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes. Estimated Annual Burden: 1,020 hours. F. Financial Institution Procedures for the Collection of Employee Mortgage Loan Originator's Fingerprints. Affected Public: FDIC-supervised institutions. Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,080. Frequency of Response: Annually. Estimated Time per Response: 4 hours. Estimated Annual Burden: 16,320 hours. G. Mortgage Loan Originator Initial and Annual Renewal Registration Reporting and Authorization Requirements. Affected Public: Employee Mortgage Loan Originators. Estimated Number of Respondents: 59,592. Frequency of Response: Annually. Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes. Estimated Annual Burden: 14,898 hours. H. Mortgage Loan Originator Registration Updates Upon Change in Circumstances. Affected Public: Employee Mortgage Loan Originators. Estimated Number of Respondents: 29,646. Frequency of Response: On occasion. Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes. Estimated Annual Burden: 7,412 hours. I. Mortgage Loan Originator Procedures for Disclosure to Consumers of Unique Identifier. Affected Public: Employee Mortgage Loan Originators. Estimated Number of Respondents: 59,292. Frequency of Response: Annually. Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour. Estimated Annual Burden: 59,292 hours. Request for Comment

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the FDIC's functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimates of the burden of the collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collections of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated at Washington, DC, this 7th day of July 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16910 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice; Amendment AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    SUMMARY:

    On June 29, 2015, the Board published a notice of final approval of proposed information collections by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) under OMB delegated authority. The Board did not include in the June 2015 notice information related to the public comment period. Accordingly, this notice supplements the June 2015 notice providing information related to the public comment period for transparency.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Federal Reserve Board Clearance Officer—Nuha Elmaghrabi—Office of the Chief Data Officer, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551 (202) 452-3829. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The following information was not included in the June 2015 notice.

    On April 14, 2015, the Federal Reserve published a notice in the Federal Register (80 FR 19986) requesting public comment for 60 days on the extension, without revision, of the Requirements Associated with Changes in Foreign Investments (Made Pursuant to Regulation K (FR 2064)), Microeconomic Survey (FR 3051), and Recordkeeping and Disclosure Provisions associated with Stress Testing Guidance. The comment period for this notice expired on June 15, 2015. The Federal Reserve did not receive any comments.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, July 1, 2015.

    Robert de V. Frierson, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16719 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-15-15ASI; Docket No. CDC-2015-0051] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing efforts to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on a proposed field survey to assess safety and health hazards to workers in oil and gas (O&G) extraction.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before September 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2015-0051 by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Please note:

    All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (Regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact the Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Proposed Project

    Assessing Safety and Health Hazards to Workers in Oil and Gas Extraction: A Survey—New—Information Collection Request—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The mission of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is to promote safety and health at work for all people through research and prevention. The Occupational Safety and Health Act, 91 (section 20[a] [1]), authorizes NIOSH to conduct research to advance the health and safety of workers. NIOSH is proposing a three year study to conduct a survey questionnaire of 500 land-based oil and gas (O&G) extraction workers in 3 U.S. states (Texas, North Dakota, and a state in the Appalachian Basin) to examine safety and health issues and concerns of this workforce. Workers who drive as a part of their work duties will be asked to complete an additional set of questions about their driving environment and behaviors. We expect a response rate of 80%, so it is estimated that we will approach 625 workers in order to have 500 workers complete the survey.

    The goals of this study are (1) To determine on-duty and off-duty factors that contribute to motor vehicle crashes, injuries and illness among U.S. land-based O&G extraction workers and (2) To identify other safety and health needs and concerns of U.S. land-based O&G extraction workers, a largely non-unionized workforce. The results of this study will guide the development of evidence-based and priority interventions and future research in the O&G extraction industry that will improve the safety and health of O&G workers.

    Administration of the survey questionnaire will occur at temporary modular lodging facilities (‘man camps’), training centers, equipment/trucking yards, well sites, and community centers in oilfield towns. A screening questionnaire, “Module 1: Screening” will be administered to 313 workers per year (for 2 years) to determine that the worker is eligible for the survey. This questionnaire will take about 5 minutes. NIOSH anticipates that up to 63 workers per year (20% of screened workers) will be eligible but not interested in participating in this study. These workers will be asked to complete a brief, 6-question “Non-Respondent Questionnaire”, which will take about 5 minutes. Approximately 250 workers per year (for 2 years) will be eligible and agree to participate in the study (80% response rate). These workers will complete “Module 2: General,” “Module 3: Well-site work,” and “Module 5: Closing Questions” (approximately 225 workers will use the tablet version and 25 will opt to use the hardcopy version). “Module 5: Closing Questions” includes a brief interview with program staff. The questionnaire and interview will take approximately 40 minutes to complete for workers using the tablet, or 50 minutes for those using the hardcopy version. Workers who drive a company vehicle will also be asked to complete “Module 4: Motor Vehicle.” An estimated 75% of the workers will complete the driving portion of the survey (187 workers). This module will take approximately 10 additional minutes to complete for those using the tablet (approximately 168 workers per year), or 20 minutes for those completing the hardcopy version (19 workers per year).

    The total estimated burden hours are 236. There is no cost to respondents other than their time.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Avg. burden per response (in hrs.) Total burden (in hrs.)
    Presumed O&G Extraction Workers Module 1: Screening 313 1 5/60 26 O&G Extraction Workers Non Respondent Questionnaire 63 1 5/60 5 O&G Extraction Workers Tablet Version
  • Modules 2: General Module 3: Well Site Work, and Module 5: Closing Questions
  • 225 1 40/60 150
    O&G Extraction Workers Hardcopy
  • Version
  • Modules 2: General Module 3: Well Site Work, and Module 5: Closing Questions
  • 25 1 50/60 21
    O&G Extraction Workers who drive at work Tablet Version
  • Module 4: Motor Vehicle
  • 168 1 10/60 28
    O&G Extraction Workers who drive at work Hardcopy Version
  • Module 4: Motor Vehicle
  • 19 1 20/60 6
    Total 236
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16894 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-15-0978] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The notice for the proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address any of the following: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice should be directed to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

    Proposed Project

    Emerging Infections Program—Revision—(OMB Control No. 0920-0978, Expires 8/31/2016), National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The Emerging Infections Programs (EIPs) are population-based centers of excellence established through a network of state health departments collaborating with academic institutions; local health departments; public health and clinical laboratories; infection control professionals; and healthcare providers. EIPs assist in local, state, and national efforts to prevent, control, and monitor the public health impact of infectious diseases. Various parts of the EIP have received separate Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearances (Active Bacterial Core Surveillance [ABCs]—OMB Control Number 0920-0802 and All Age Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance—OMB Control Number 0920-0852).

    In this revision package we wish to seek OMB clearance to add Healthcare Associated Infections—Community Interface (HAIC): active population-based surveillance for healthcare associated pathogens and infections (including Clostridium difficile infection). There are no other changes included in this revision request; therefore, no changes are being made to the ABC, FoodNet, and Influenza portions of the EIP.

    Activities of the EIPs fall into the following general categories: (1) Active surveillance; (2) applied public health epidemiologic and laboratory activities; (3) implementation and evaluation of pilot prevention/intervention projects; and (4) flexible response to public health emergencies.

    Activities of the EIPs are designed to: (1) Address issues that the EIP network is particularly suited to investigate; (2) maintain sufficient flexibility for emergency response and new problems as they arise; (3) develop and evaluate public health interventions to inform public health policy and treatment guidelines; (4) incorporate training as a key function; and (5) prioritize projects that lead directly to the prevention of disease. Proposed respondents will include state health departments who may collaborate with one or more of the following: academic institutions, local health departments, public health and clinical laboratories, infection control professionals, and healthcare providers. Frequency of reporting will be determined as cases arise.

    The addition of HAIC to the EIP increases the total estimated burden by 10,300 hours to 22, 755 hours. There is no cost to respondents other than their time.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of
  • respondent
  • Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Avg. burden
  • per response
  • (in hours)
  • State Health Department ABCs Case Report Form 10 809 20/60 Invasive Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ABCs Case Report Form 10 609 20/60 ABCs Invasive Pneumococcal Disease in Children Case Report Form 10 22 10/60 ABCs Non-Bacteremic Pneumococcal Disease Case Report Form 10 100 10/60 Neonatal Infection Expanded Tracking Form 10 37 20/60 ABCs Legionellosis Case Report Form 10 100 20/60 Campylobacter 10 637 20/60 Cryptosporidium 10 130 10/60 Cyclospora 10 3 10/60 Listeria monocytogenes 10 13 20/60 Salmonella 10 827 20/60 Shiga toxin producing E. coli 10 90 20/60 Shigella 10 178 10/60 Vibrio 10 20 10/60 Yersinia 10 16 10/60 Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome 10 10 1 Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Project Case Report Form 10 400 15/60 Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Project Vaccination Telephone Survey 10 100 5/60 Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Project Vaccination Telephone Survey Consent Form 10 100 5/60 EIP site CDI Case Report Form 10 1650 20/60 CDI Treatment Form 10 1650 10/60 Resistant Gram-Negative Bacilli Case Report Form 10 500 20/60 Person in the community infected with C. difficile (CDI Cases) Screening Form 600 1 5/60 Telephone interview 500 1 40/60 Total
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16893 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-15-0949; Docket No. CDC-2015-0053] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing efforts to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on the proposed extension of the information collection entitled Evaluating the Effectiveness of Occupational Safety and Health Program Elements in the Wholesale Retail Trade Sector. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health seeks to continue its scientific intervention effectiveness research to support the evidenced based prevention of occupational injuries and illnesses in the wholesale/retail sector.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before September 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2015-0053 by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Please note:

    All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (Regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact the Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Proposed Project

    Evaluating the Effectiveness of Occupational Safety and Health Program Elements in the Wholesale Retail Trade Sector OMB No. 0920-0949, expires 10/31/2015)—Extension—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The mission of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is to promote safety and health at work for all people through research and prevention. Under Public Law 91-596, sections 20 and 22 (Section 20-22, Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970), NIOSH has the responsibility to conduct research to advance the health and safety of workers. In this capacity, NIOSH proposes to conduct a study to assess the effectiveness of occupational safety and health (OSH) program elements in the wholesale/retail trade (WRT) sector. An extension is being requested in order to allow for additional time to complete the study. Data has already been collected for the first year of the study. Additional time is being requested in order to collect the remaining data for the second and third year.

    Liberty Mutual has estimated direct workers compensation costs to industry in the United States in 2009 to be $50 billion. The WRT industry sector employs over 21 million workers or 19% of the workforce in private industry. In 2007, the majority of non-fatal injuries and illnesses involving days away from work in the WRT sector involved musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs, 29%) or slip/trip/falls (STFs, 22%). For this reason, major strategic NIOSH goals in the WRT sector are to reduce MSDs, STFs and other injuries/illnesses in part by assessing the effectiveness of occupational safety and health (OSH) programs designed to prevent these outcomes. There is some evidence that OSH prevention programs built on key elements (management leadership, employee participation, hazard identification and control, medical management, training, and program evaluation) reduce losses. However, little evidence exists on the relative effectiveness of program elements compared to each other. There is a need for research to develop reliable OSH program metrics and determine which elements have the greatest impact on injuries, illnesses and work disability. A renewed partnership between NIOSH and the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (OBWC) a timely opportunity to conduct such research in a relevant and efficient manner.

    A collaborative study involving NIOSH and the OBWC will examine the association between survey-assessed OSH program elements (organizational policies, procedures, practices) and workers compensation (WC) injury/illness outcomes in a stratified sample of OBWC-insured wholesale/retail trade (WRT) firms. Crucial OSH program elements with particularly high impact on WC losses will be identified in this study and disseminated to the WRT sector. This study will provide important information that is not currently available elsewhere on the effectiveness of OSH programs for the WRT sector. This project fits the mission of CDC-NIOSH to conduct scientific intervention effectiveness research to support the evidenced based prevention of occupational injuries and illnesses.

    For this study, the target population includes United States WRT firms (North American Industry Classification System codes 42, 44, 45, 45). The sampling frame includes OBWC-insured WRT firms in Ohio. The study sample includes OBWC-insured WRT firms who volunteer to participate in the OBWC-NIOSH research project.

    The proposed research involves a firm-level survey of a series of organizational metrics considered to be potential predictors of injury and illness WC claim rates and duration in a stratified sample of OBWC-insured WRT firms in Ohio. There are expected to be up to 4,404 participants per year; surveys will administered twice to the same firms in successive years (e.g. from January-December 2014 and again from January-December 2015).

    An individual responsible for the OSH program at each firm will be asked to complete survey that include a background section related to respondent and company demographics and a main section where individuals will be asked to evaluate organizational metrics related to their firm's OSH program. The firm-level survey data will be linked to five years of retrospective injury and illness WC claims data and two years of prospective injury and illness WC claims data from OBWC to determine which organizational metrics are related to firm-level injury and illness WC claim rates. A nested study will ask multiple respondents at a subset of 60 firms to participate by completing surveys. A five-minute interview will be conducted with a 10% sample of non-responders (up to 792 individuals).

    In order to maximize efficiency and reduce burden, a web-based survey is proposed for the majority (95%) of survey data collection. Collected information will be used to determine whether a significant relationship exists between self-reported firm OSH elements and firm WC outcomes while controlling for covariates. Once the study is completed, benchmarking reports about OSH elements that have the highest impact on WC losses in the WRT sector will be made available through the NIOSH-OBWC internet sites and peer-reviewed publications.

    In summary, this study will determine the effectiveness of OSH program elements in the WRT sector and enable evidence-based prevention practices to be shared with the greatest audience possible. NIOSH expects to complete data collection in 2015. There is no cost to respondents other than their time.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of
  • respondent
  • Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • (in hours)
  • Safety and Health Managers in Wholesale/Retail Trade (WRT) Firms in Ohio Occupational Safety and Health Program Survey 4,404 1 20/60 1,468 Informed Consent Form 4,404 1 2/60 147 Non Responder Interview 792 1 5/60 66 Total Hours 1,681
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16895 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Determining Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas of Greatest Need; Correction AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the requirements of section 333A(b)(1) of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, as amended by the Health Care Safety Net Amendments of 2002, 42 U.S.C. 254f-1(b)(1), the Secretary of HHS shall establish the criteria which she will use to make determinations under section 333A(a)(1)(A) of the Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) with the greatest shortages. The Health Resources and Services Administration published a notice in the Federal Register, FR 2015-00398 (January 14, 2015), which sets forth revised criteria for determining mental health HPSAs with the greatest shortage.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kae Brickerd, Chief, Shortage Designation Branch, Bureau of Health Workforce, Division of Policy and Shortage Designation, Health Resources and Services Administration, 11W14 Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, 301 945-0828, [email protected]

    Correction:

    In the Federal Register, FR 2015-00398 (January 14, 2015), please make the following corrections:

    In the section For Geographic High Need and Population HPSAs, the table for Core Mental Health (Geographic High Need and Population), should read as follows below.

    Core Mental Health (Geographic High Need and Population) Ratio Score ≥6K and <7.5K:1 1 ≥7.5K and <9K:1 2 ≥9Kand <12K:1 3 ≥12K and <15K:1 4 ≥15K and <18K:1 5 ≥18K and <24K:1 6 ≥24K:1 7 Dated: July 1, 2015. James Macrae, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16964 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Office of the Secretary [Document Identifier: HHS-OS-0990-0281-60D] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Public Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Secretary (OS), Department of Health and Human Services, announces plans to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR), described below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The ICR is for a revision to the use of the approved information collection assigned OMB control number 0990-0281, which expires on November 30, 2015. Prior to submitting the ICR to OMB, OS seeks comments from the public regarding the burden estimate, below, or any other aspect of the ICR.

    DATES:

    Comments on the ICR must be received on or before September 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments to [email protected] or by calling 202-690-6162.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Information Collection Clearance staff, [email protected] or 202-690-6162.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the document identifier HHS-OS-0990-0281-60D or reference.

    Information Collection Request Title: Prevention Communication Formative Research—Revision—OMB No. 0990-0281—Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

    Abstract: The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion's (ODPHP) focus includes developing and disseminating prevention information to the public. ODPHP faces increasingly urgent interest in finding effective ways to communicate health information to America's diverse population. As a federal government agency, ODPHP strives to be responsive to the needs of America's diverse audiences while simultaneously serving all Americans across a range of channels, from print through new communication technologies. To carry out its prevention information efforts, ODPHP is committed to conducting formative and usability research to provide guidance on the development and implementation of its disease prevention and health promotion communication and education efforts.

    The information collected will be used by ODPHP to improve its communication, products, and services that support key office activities including: Healthy People, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, healthfinder.gov, and increasing health care quality and patient safety. ODPHP communicates through its Web sites (www.healthfinder.gov, www.HealthyPeople.gov, www.health.gov) and through other channels including social media, print materials, interactive training modules, and reports.

    The primary methods of data collection will be qualitative and may include in-depth interviews, focus groups, web-based surveys, card sorting, and various forms of usability testing of materials and interactive tools to assess the public's understanding of disease prevention and health promotion content, responses to prototype materials, and barriers to effective use.

    The research methods outlined in this supporting statement have five major purposes:

    1. To obtain useful target audience information for the formation of messages and materials 2. To further explore messages and materials in contexts that would be most beneficial for target audiences 3. To identify and verify audience segmentation strategies for providing disease prevention and health promotion information 4. To inform the development and refinement of user-friendly Web sites and other interactive tools 5. To identify user challenges and obstacles to accessing health information to guide Web site, material, and interactive tool development and refinement

    The program is requesting a 3-year clearance.

    Likely Respondents: Respondents are likely to be either consumers or health professionals.

    Total Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Data collection task Instrument/form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses/
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden/
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total
  • response
  • burden
  • (in hours)
  • In-depth interviews Screener 135 1 10/60 22.5 Interview 45 1 1 45 Focus groups Screener 240 1 10/60 40 Focus Group 80 1 1.5 120 Web-based surveys Screener 6000 1 5/60 500 Survey 2000 1 15/60 500 Card sorting Screener 180 1 10/60 180 Card Sort 60 1 1 60 Usability and prototype testing of materials (print and Web) Screener 360 1 10/60 60 Usability Test 120 1 1 120 Total 1,647.50
    Darius Taylor, Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16870 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-32-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES [Document Identifier: OS-0990-XXXX] Agency Information Collection Request; 60-Day Public Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, HHS.

    In compliance with the requirement of section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Secretary (OS), Department of Health and Human Services, is publishing the following summary of a proposed information collection request for public comment. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    To obtain copies of the supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed paperwork collections referenced above, email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and OS document identifier, to [email protected], or call the Reports Clearance Office at (202) 690-6162. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collections must be directed to the OS Paperwork Clearance Officer at the above email address within 60 days.

    Proposed Project: Examining Consumer and Producer Responses to Restaurant Menu Labeling Requirements: Survey Protocol—OMB No. 0990-XXXX—New—Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE).

    Abstract: The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) is requesting approval on a new information collection request from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for purposes of conducting a study about calorie labeling on restaurant menus.

    Previous research demonstrates that consumers respond both to information about their options and the way those options are presented. Accordingly, restaurants can utilize presentation effects on menus and menu boards to influence consumer perceptions and choices. By analyzing the consumer response to menu options and design, this study will offer a wide-ranging view of the consumer and producer response to menu labeling requirements.

    ASPE is requesting comment on the burden for this study aimed at understanding the impact that the new FDA rule on calorie labeling will have on consumer choice when ordering from a restaurant. The goal of developing this activity is to examine consumer and producer responses to restaurant menu labeling requirements recently enacted by the FDA. The participants will include members of the RAND American Life Panel (ALP) which includes participants from several sources, including the University of Michigan Monthly Survey, the National Survey Project cohort, and several specific recruitment methods to add specific populations (e.g. active recruitment for vulnerable populations).

    Estimated Annualized Burden Table Type of respondent Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • ALP Panel Member 2,100 1 20/60 700 Totals 700
    Darius Taylor, Paperwork Reduction Act Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16871 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES [OMHA-1501-N] Medicare Program; Administrative Law Judge Hearing Program for Medicare Claim and Entitlement Appeals; Quarterly Listing of Program Issuances—March Through June 2015 AGENCY:

    Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the implementation of the OMHA Case Processing Manual (OCPM). This manual standardizes the day-to-day procedures for carrying out adjudicative functions, in accordance with applicable statutes, regulations and OMHA directives, and gives OMHA staff direction for processing appeals at the OMHA level of adjudication.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jason Green, by telephone at (703) 235-0124, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA), a staff division within the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), administers the nationwide Administrative Law Judge hearing program for Medicare claim, organization and coverage determination, and entitlement appeals under sections 1869, 1155, 1876(c)(5)(B), 1852(g)(5), and 1860D-4(h) of the Social Security Act (the Act). OMHA ensures that Medicare beneficiaries and the providers and suppliers that furnish items or services to Medicare beneficiaries, as well as Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) and Medicaid State Agencies, have a fair and impartial forum to address disagreements with Medicare coverage and payment determinations made by Medicare contractors, MAOs, or Part D Plan Sponsors (PDPSs), and determinations related to Medicare eligibility and entitlement, Part B late enrollment penalty, and income-related monthly adjustment amounts (IRMAA) made by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

    The Medicare claim, organization and coverage determination appeals processes consist of four levels of administrative review, and a fifth level of review with the Federal district courts after administrative remedies under HHS regulations have been exhausted. The first two levels of review are administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and conducted by Medicare contractors for claim appeals, by MAOs and an independent review entity for Part C organization determination appeals, or by PDPSs and an independent review entity for Part D coverage determination appeals. The third level of review is administered by OMHA and conducted by Administrative Law Judges. The fourth level of review is administered by the HHS Departmental Appeals Board (DAB) and conducted by the Medicare Appeals Council. In addition, OMHA and the DAB administer the second and third levels of appeal, respectively, for Medicare eligibility, entitlement, Part B late enrollment penalty, and IRMAA reconsiderations made by SSA; a fourth level of review with the Federal district courts is available after administrative remedies within SSA and HHS have been exhausted.

    Sections 1869, 1155, 1876(c)(5)(B), 1852(g)(5), and 1860D-4(h) of the Act are implemented through the regulations at 42 CFR part 405 subparts I and J; part 417, subpart Q; part 422, subpart M; part 423, subparts M and U; and part 478, subpart B. As noted above, OMHA administers the nationwide Administrative Law Judge hearing program in accordance with these statutes and applicable regulations. As part of that effort, OMHA is establishing a manual, the OMHA Case Processing Manual (OCPM). Through the OCPM, the OMHA Chief Administrative Law Judge establishes the day-to-day procedures for carrying out adjudicative functions, in accordance with applicable statutes, regulations and OMHA directives. The OCPM provides direction for processing appeals at the OMHA level of adjudication for Medicare Part A and B claims; Part C organization determinations; Part D coverage determinations; and SSA eligibility and entitlement, Part B late enrollment penalty, and IRMAA determinations.

    Section 1871(c) of the Act requires that we publish a list of all Medicare manual instructions, interpretive rules, statements of policy, and guidelines of general applicability not issued as regulations at least every 3 months in the Federal Register.

    II. Format for the Quarterly Issuance Notices

    This quarterly notice announces the publication of the initial OCPM chapters. A hyperlink to the available chapters on the OMHA Web site is provided below. The OMHA Web site contains the most current, up-to-date chapters and revisions to chapters, and will be available earlier than we publish our quarterly notice. We believe the OMHA Web site list provides more timely access to the current OCPM chapters for those involved in the Medicare claim, organization and coverage determination and entitlement appeals processes. We also believe the Web site offers the public a more convenient tool for real time access to current OCPM provisions. In addition, OMHA has a listserv to which the public can subscribe to receive immediate notification of any updates to the OMHA Web site. This listserv avoids the need to check the OMHA Web site, as update notifications are sent to subscribers as they occur. If accessing the OMHA Web site proves to be difficult, the contact person listed above can provide the information.

    III. How To Use the Notice

    This notice lists the OCPM chapters and subjects published during the quarter covered by the notice so the reader may determine whether any are of particular interest. We expect this notice to be used in concert with future published notices. The OCPM can be accessed at http://www.hhs.gov/omha/OMHA_Case_Processing_Manual/index.html.

    IV. OCPM Releases for March Through June 2015

    The OCPM is used by OMHA adjudicators and staff to administer the OMHA program. It offers day-to-day operating instructions, policies, and procedures based on statutes and regulations, and OMHA directives.

    The following is a list and description of new OCPM provisions and the subject matter. For future quarterly notices, we will list only the specific updates to the list of manual provisions that have occurred in the covered 3-month period. This information is available on our Web site at http://www.hhs.gov/omha/OMHA_Case_Processing_Manual/index.html.

    OCPM Division I: General Matters

    Chapter 1, Manual Overview, Definitions, Governance. This new chapter provides a general overview of the OCPM, including the purpose of the manual, how it is organized and used, a list of acronyms and abbreviations used in the manual, and how manual provisions will be updated.

    OCPM Division II: Part A/B Claim Determinations

    Chapter 3, Procedural Screening. This new chapter describes the review process for new requests for hearing on Medicare Part A and Part B reconsiderations issued by Qualified Independent Contractors (QICs) and Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs), and escalations of requests for reconsideration by a QIC. The review process helps ensure requests are complete and jurisdictional requirements are met.

    OCPM Division III: Part C Organization Determinations

    Chapter 3, Procedural Screening. This new chapter describes the review process for new requests for hearing on Medicare Part C reconsiderations issued by an Independent Review Entity and QIOs. The review process helps ensure requests are complete and jurisdictional requirements are met.

    OCPM Division IV: Part D Coverage Determinations

    Chapter 3, Procedural Screening. This new chapter describes the review process for new requests for hearing on Medicare Part D reconsiderations issued by an Independent Review Entity. The review process helps ensure requests are complete and jurisdictional requirements are met.

    OCPM Division V: SSA Determinations

    Chapter 3, Procedural Screening. This new chapter describes the review process for new requests for hearing on reconsiderations of Medicare eligibility and entitlement, Part B late enrollment penalties, and Part B and Part D IRMAAs issued by SSA. The review process helps ensure requests are complete and jurisdictional requirements are met.

    Dated: June 30, 2015. Nancy J. Griswold, Chief Administrative Law Judge, Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16824 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4152-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Topics in Steroids Regulation and Disease.

    Date: July 9, 2015.

    Time: 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Elaine Sierra-Rivera, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Genes, Genomes, and Genetics IRG, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 2200, MSC 7890, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301 435-2514, [email protected].

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: July 2, 2015. Carolyn Baum, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16841 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; Opportunities for Collaborative Research at the NIH Clinical Center (U01).

    Date: August 14, 2015.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Conference Room 3F100, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Brenda Lange-Gustafson, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, NIAID/NIH/DHHS, Scientific Review Program, 5601 Fishers Lane, Room 3G13 Rockville, MD 20852, 240-669-5047, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.855, Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Research; 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: July 7, 2015. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16937 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; Diabetes Ancillary Studies.

    Date: July 29, 2015.

    Time: 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Two Democracy Plaza, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Carol J. Goter-Robinson, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Review Branch, DEA, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Room 748, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892-5452, (301) 594-7791, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.847, Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Research; 93.848, Digestive Diseases and Nutrition Research; 93.849, Kidney Diseases, Urology and Hematology Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: July 6, 2015. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16840 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Office of the Director; Notice of Charter Renewal

    In accordance with Title 41 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, section 102-3.65(a), notice is hereby given that the Charter for the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, National Institutes of Health, was renewed for an additional two-year period on June 30, 2015.

    It is determined that the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, National Institutes of Health, is in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed on the National Institutes of Health by law, and that these duties can best be performed through the advice and counsel of this group.

    Inquiries may be directed to Jennifer Spaeth, Director, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 1000, Bethesda, Maryland 20892 (Mail code 4875). Telephone (301) 496-2123, or [email protected]

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Carolyn A. Baum, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16839 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The inventions listed below are owned by an agency of the U.S. Government and are available for licensing in the U.S. in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404 to achieve expeditious commercialization of results of federally-funded research and development. Foreign patent applications are filed on selected inventions to extend market coverage for companies and may also be available for licensing.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Licensing information and copies of the U.S. patent applications listed below may be obtained by writing to the indicated licensing contact at the Office of Technology Transfer, National Institutes of Health, 6011 Executive Boulevard, Suite 325, Rockville, Maryland 20852-3804; telephone: 301-496-7057; fax: 301-402-0220. A signed Confidential Disclosure Agreement will be required to receive copies of the patent applications.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Technology descriptions follow.

    Method of Treating Fumarate Hydratase-Deficient Kidney Cancer

    Description of Technology: Patients having germline fumarate hydratase (“FH”) gene mutation are predisposed to develop aggressive kidney cancer with few treatment options and poor therapeutic outcomes. NCI scientists have identified a tyrosine kinase inhibitor vandetanib that is highly cytotoxic to kidney cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. C-Abl activity is upregulated in FH-deficient kidney tumors and vandetanib efficacy is a direct consequence of c-Abl inhibition. It was also found that combining metformin enhanced the cytotoxic effect of vandetanib by inhibiting NRF2 transcriptional activity in a SIRT1-dependent manner. Thus dual inhibition of c-Abl and NRF2 activity with vandetanib and metformin is a novel therapeutic approach to target glycolytically dependent, oxidatively stressed tumors.

    Potential Commercial Applications: Therapies for treating FH-deficient kidney cancer and glycolytically dependent, oxidatively stressed tumors.

    Competitive Advantages:

    • Specificity of mode of action may reduce potential side-effects.

    • Novel mode of action may increase market competition.

    • No effective therapy is currently available for patients with advanced FH-deficient kidney cancer.

    Development Stage:

    • In vitro data available.

    • In vivo data available (animal).

    Inventors: William Marston Linehan (NCI), et al.

    Publication: Sourbier C, et al. Targeting ABL1-mediated oxidative stress adaptation in fumarate hydratase-deficient cancer. Cancer Cell. 2014 Dec 8;26(6):840-50. [PMID 25490448]

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference No. E-104-2014/0—

    • US Patent Application No. 62/003,319 filed May 27, 2014.

    • PCT/US2015/03267 filed May 27, 2015.

    Licensing Contact: Whitney Hastings, Ph.D.; 301-451-7337; [email protected]

    Collaborative Research Opportunity: The National Cancer Institute is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize the combination of Vandetanib and Metformin to treat fumarate hydratase-deficient cancer. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Michael Pollack, Ph.D. at [email protected]

    Therapeutic and Prophylactic Anti-Influenza Virus Neuraminidase 1 (N1) Antibody (CD6) With a Novel Epitope That Spans Neuramindase (NA) Dimers

    Description of Technology: Influenza virus neuramindase (NA) protein is a surface protein that plays an essential role in virus replication. Drugs and antibodies that block NA function can reduce both the symptoms and the length of illness; however, variants of influenza virus are resistant to NA inhibitors. The neuramindase 1 (N1) subtype of NA is important because it is found in the two pandemic H1N1 influenza virus strains (1918 Spanish flu and 2009 swine flu) and the H5N1 avian influenza virus. Anti-neuramindase antibody CD6 is a novel antibody that spans a conserved 30 amino acid epitope across the lateral face of a neuramindase (NA) dimer.

    The subject technology may offer an alternative to therapeutic NA inhibitors currently available. CD6 is a potent monoclonal antibody against N1 subtypes of NA that inhibits the enzymatic activity of the NA protein, including NA variants resistant to NA inhibitors. In a murine model of infection, a single dose of antibody was protective against lethal challenge with H1N1 influenza virus. The CD6 antibody can potentially be used in combination with other antibodies in an antibody “cocktail” or in conjunction with other therapeutic agents. Additionally, this unique anti-NA antibody may be useful in combination with known neutralizing anti-hemagglutinin (HA) antibodies.

    Potential Commercial Applications:

    • Prophylactic and therapeutic against influenza virus infections.

    • Diagnostic tests for influenza virus infections.

    • Reagent to measure the potency of H1N1 NA in influenza virus vaccines.

    Competitive Advantages:

    • Monoclonal antibody demonstrated to be effective against circulating H1N1 influenza viruses.

    • Monoclonal antibody binds a novel, conserved epitope spanning NA dimers.

    • Monoclonal antibody is well-suited for an antibody cocktail that includes anti-HA antibodies.

    Development Stage:

    • Early-stage.

    • In vitro data available.

    • In vivo data available (animal).

    Inventors: Hongquan Wan (FDA), Maryna Eichelberger (FDA), Hua Yang (CDC), James Stevens (CDC), David Shore (CDC), Rebecca Garten (CDC).

    Publication: Wan H, et al. Structural characterization of a protective epitope spanning A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza virus neuraminidase monomers. Nat Commun. 2015 Feb 10;6:6114. [PMID 25668439].

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference No. E-005-2015/0—US Provisional Patent Application No. 62/088,388 filed December 5, 2014.

    Licensing Contact: Steven M. Ferguson; 301-435-5561; [email protected]

    Collaborative Research Opportunity: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize this technology. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Bill Ronnenberg at [email protected] or 240-402-4561.

    Confocal Laser Device and Method for Evaluating the Optical Properties of Intraocular Lenses (IOLs) Including Toric IOLs

    Description of Technology: This innovative technology includes a confocal laser device and methodologies to evaluate the optical properties of spherical and toric Intraocular Lenses (IOLs). Spherical and toric IOLs are implanted in the eye to treat cataracts and other conditions in order to correct vision after surgery. Toric IOLs, in addition to correcting spherical aberrations of the eye, correct asymmetrical aberrations of the eye such as astigmatism.

    This technology includes the confocal laser device and methodology for assessing spherical IOLs with an integrated component for assessing toric IOLs. The IOL market is growing steadily and IOL technology is continually improving to correct complex vision errors. It is estimated that 3 million IOLs are implanted annually in the U.S. and 19.7 million worldwide. This device can be used to precisely assess IOL key properties such as dioptric power, cylinder power, optical plane orthogonality and IOL markings used for IOL positioning in the eye during surgery. Thus, this new technology provides a simple, noninvasive, accurate and objective methodology to evaluate IOL characteristics with higher accuracy and repeatability in wider power ranges compared to the conventional test methods. These IOL test capabilities can improve the safety and efficacy of IOL implants and ultimately lead to better cataract surgery success rates.

    Potential Commercial Applications:

    • Development and implementation of novel test devices and independent methodologies for precise evaluation and validation of critical IOL characteristics.

    • Development and evaluation of novel IOL designs.

    Competitive Advantages:

    • Higher accuracy.

    • Higher repeatability.

    • Larger range of positive and negative IOL dioptric power measurement.

    Development Stage:

    • In vitro data available.

    • In situ data available (on-site).

    • Prototype.

    Inventors: Ilko Ilev, Bennett Walker, Robert James, and Don Calogero (all of the FDA).

    Publications:

    1. Walker BN, et al. Assessing the effect of laser beam width on quantitative evaluation of optical properties of intraocular lens implants. J Biomed Opt. 2014 May;19(5):055004. [PMID 24817618]

    2. Walker BN, et al. Impact of environmental temperature on optical power properties of intraocular lenses. Appl Opt. 2014 Jan 20;53(3):453-7. [PMID 24514132]

    3. Hoffer KJ, et al. Testing the dioptric power accuracy of exact-power-labeled intraocular lenses. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2009 Nov;35(11):1995-9. [PMID 19878834]

    4. Ilev IK. A simple confocal fibre-optic laser method for intraocular lens power measurement. Eye (Lond). 2007 Jun;21(6):819-23. [PMID 16710435]

    Intellectual Property:

    • HHS Reference No. E-047-2015/0—US Provisional Application No. 62/108,795 filed January 28, 2015.

    • HHS Reference No. E-038-2005/0—US Patent No. 8,456,738 issued June 4, 2013; EP Application 06750250.0.

    • HHS Reference No. E-039-2005/0—US Patent No. 7,719,668 issued May 18, 2010; EP Application 06736741.7.

    Licensing Contact: Steven M. Ferguson; 301-435-5561; [email protected]

    Collaborative Research Opportunity: The Food and Drug Administration is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize this technology. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Bill Ronnenberg at [email protected] or 240-402-4561.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Richard U. Rodriguez, Acting Director, Office of Technology Transfer, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16838 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; RFA-EB-15-003: Pediatric Research using Integrated Sensor Monitoring Systems (PRISMS): Informatics Platform Technologies for Asthma (U54).

    Date: July 23, 2015.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Peter J Kozel, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3139, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1116, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Cardiovascular Sciences.

    Date: July 28-30, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Kimm Hamann, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4118A, MSC 7814, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-5575, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Implementation Science.

    Date: July 31, 2015.

    Time: 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Jose H Guerrier, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5218, MSC 7852, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1137, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Neuropharmacology.

    Date: August 3, 2015.

    Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Richard D Crosland, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4190, MSC 7850, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1220, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: AIDS and AIDS Related Research.

    Date: August 4-5, 2015.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Kenneth A Roebuck, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5106, MSC 7852, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-1166, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; RFA-EB-15-002: PRISMS Sensor Development Projects for Pediatric Asthma (U01).

    Date: August 6, 2015.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Kee Hyang Pyon, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5148, MSC 7806, Bethesda, MD 20892, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Pregnancy and Neonatology.

    Date: August 6, 2015.

    Time: 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Dianne Hardy, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6175, MSC 7892, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1154, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: July 2, 2015. Carolyn Baum, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16842 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS.

    ACTION:

    General notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This document announces that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) plans to conduct the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test, a National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) test concerning ACE export manifest capability. The ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test is a voluntary test in which participants agree to submit export manifest data electronically, at least 4 hours prior to loading of the cargo onto the aircraft in preparation for departure from the United States. CBP regulations require carriers to submit a paper manifest for export air shipments generally within 4 days after departure. This notice provides a description of the test, sets forth eligibility requirements for participation, and invites public comment on any aspect of the test.

    DATES:

    The test will begin no earlier than August 10, 2015 and will run for approximately two years. CBP is accepting applications for participation in this planned test until CBP has received applications from nine parties that meet all test participant requirements. Comments concerning this notice and all aspects of the announced test may be submitted at any time during the test period.

    ADDRESSES:

    Applications to participate in the ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test must be submitted via email to CBP Export Manifest at [email protected] In the subject line of the email, please use “ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test Application”. Written comments concerning program, policy, and technical issues may also be submitted via email to CBP Export Manifest at [email protected] In the subject line of the email, please use “Comment on ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test”.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Rawls, Cargo and Conveyance Security, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs & Border Protection, via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The National Customs Automation Program

    The National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) was established in Subtitle B of Title VI—Customs Modernization, in the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, Dec. 8, 1993) (Customs Modernization Act) (19 U.S.C. 1411-14). Through NCAP, the initial thrust of customs modernization was on trade compliance and the development of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), the planned successor to the Automated Commercial System (ACS). ACE is an automated and electronic system for commercial trade processing which is intended to streamline business processes, facilitate growth in trade, ensure cargo security, and foster participation in global commerce, while ensuring compliance with U.S. laws and regulations and reducing costs for CBP and all of its communities of interest. The ability to meet these objectives depends on successfully modernizing CBP's business functions and the information technology that supports those functions. CBP's modernization efforts are accomplished through phased releases of ACE component functionality designed to replace a specific legacy ACS or paper function. Each release begins with a test and ends with mandatory use of the new ACE feature, thus retiring the legacy ACS or paper function. Each release builds on previous releases and sets the foundation for subsequent releases.

    Authorization for the Test

    The Customs Modernization Act provides the Commissioner of CBP with the authority to conduct limited test programs or procedures designed to evaluate planned components of the NCAP. The test described in this notice is authorized pursuant to the Customs Modernization Act and section 101.9(b) of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR 101.9(b)) which provides for the testing of NCAP programs or procedures. As provided in 19 CFR 101.9(b), for purposes of conducting an NCAP test, the Commissioner of CBP may impose requirements different from those specified in the CBP regulations.

    International Trade Data System (ITDS)

    This test is also in furtherance of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) key initiatives, set forth in section 405 of the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-347, 120 Stat. 1884, Oct. 13, 2006) (SAFE Port Act) (19 U.S.C. 1411(d)) and Executive Order 13659 of February 19, 2014, Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America's Businesses. The purpose of ITDS, as stated in section 405 of the SAFE Port Act, is to eliminate redundant information requirements, efficiently regulate the flow of commerce, and effectively enforce laws and regulations relating to international trade, by establishing a single portal system, operated by CBP, for the collection and distribution of standard electronic import and export data required by all participating Federal agencies. CBP is developing ACE as the “single window” for the trade community to comply with the ITDS requirement established by the SAFE Port Act.

    Executive Order 13659 requires that by December 2016, ACE, as the ITDS single window, have the operational capabilities to serve as the primary means of receiving from users the standard set of data and other relevant documentation (exclusive of applications for permits, licenses, or certifications) required for the release of imported cargo and clearance of cargo for export, and to transition from paper-based requirements and procedures to faster and more cost-effective electronic submissions to, and communications with, U.S. government agencies.

    Current Air Cargo Export Information Requirements

    Under 19 CFR 122.72, 19 CFR 122.73, 19 CFR 122.74, 19 CFR 122.75, and 19 CFR 192.14, certain information must be submitted to CBP for aircraft with export cargo leaving the United States for any foreign area.1 In most cases, the aircraft commander or agent must file a general declaration on CBP Form 7507 pertaining to the outbound flight. Also, the aircraft commander or agent must file the air cargo manifest, CBP Form 7509, with CBP at each port where export cargo is loaded on the aircraft. Under 19 CFR 122.74, the airline must file the complete air cargo manifest generally within 4 days after departure of the aircraft. Finally, the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) must file any required Electronic Export Information (EEI) for the cargo on the aircraft.2 More details regarding the manifest requirements, the subject of this test, are provided in the next section.

    1 Section 122.72 requires the filing of a general declaration, an air cargo manifest, and any required Shipper's Export Declarations. Shipper's Export Declarations were the Department of Commerce paper forms used by the Bureau of the Census under the Foreign Trade Statistics Regulations to collect information from an entity exporting from the United States. These forms were used for compiling the official U.S. export statistics for the United States and for export control purposes. The Shipper's Export Declarations became obsolete on October 1, 2008, with the implementation of the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) and have been superseded by the Electronic Export Information (EEI) filed in AES or through the AESDirect. See 15 CFR 30.1. See also 19 CFR 192.14, regarding required EEI.

    2 The USPPI is defined in the FTR as the person or legal entity in the United States that receives the primary benefit, monetary or otherwise, from the export transaction. Generally, that person or entity is the U.S. seller, manufacturer, or order party, or the foreign entity while in the United States when purchasing or obtaining the goods for export. 15 CFR 30.1.

    Current Air Cargo Manifest Requirements

    As indicated in the previous section, the aircraft commander or agent must file copies of the air cargo manifest on CBP Form 7509. CBP Form 7509 consists of the following data elements:

    (1) Owner/Operator (2) Marks of nationality and registration (3) Flight number (4) Port of lading (5) Port of unlading (6) Date (7) Consolidator (conditional) (8) De-consolidator (conditional) (9) Air waybill type (Master, House, or Sub) (10) Air waybill number (11) Number of pieces (12) Weight (kg./lb.) (13) Number of house air waybills (14) Shipper name and address (15) Consignee name and address (16) Nature of goods (17) Internal Transaction Number (ITN) or AES Exemption Statement 3

    3 Though not a data element on CBP Form 7509 itself, the carrier must include the ITN or AES Exemption Statement on the outward manifest pursuant to 19 CFR 192.14(c)(3).

    The air cargo manifest may be filed in complete form or incomplete form (pro forma). Under 19 CFR 122.74, the complete manifest must be filed with CBP before the aircraft will be cleared to depart during any time covered by a proclamation of the President that a state of war exists between foreign nations, or if the aircraft is departing on a flight from the United States directly or indirectly to a foreign country listed in 19 CFR 4.75. Otherwise, for shipments to a foreign country, an incomplete manifest may be filed with CBP at the departure airport when accompanied by the proper bond. For shipments on direct flights to Puerto Rico, an incomplete manifest may be filed with CBP upon arrival in Puerto Rico. If the complete manifest will not be filed within one business day of arrival in Puerto Rico, the proper bond must be filed at that time.

    Under the bond accompanying the incomplete manifest, the complete manifest must be filed with CBP by the airline within the appropriate time period. For shipments to foreign countries, the complete manifest must generally be filed no later than 4 business days post-departure. For shipments between the United States and Puerto Rico, the complete manifest must be filed no later than 7 business days after arrival into or departure from Puerto Rico. For shipments between the United States or Puerto Rico and U.S. possessions, the complete manifest must be filed no later than 7 business days after departure.

    Trade Act and the Automated Export System (AES)

    Section 343(a) of the Trade Act of 2002, as amended (Trade Act) (19 U.S.C. 2071 note), requires CBP to promulgate regulations providing for the mandatory transmission of electronic cargo information by way of a CBP-approved electronic data interchange (EDI) system before the cargo is brought into or departs the United States by any mode of commercial transportation (sea, air, rail, or truck). The required cargo information is that which is reasonably necessary to enable high-risk shipments to be identified for purposes of ensuring cargo safety and security and preventing smuggling pursuant to the laws enforced and administered by CBP. Section 192.14 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR 192.14) implements the requirements of the Trade Act with regard to cargo departing the United States.

    While the air cargo manifest described above must be submitted by the aircraft commander or agent, that is, by the air carrier, any required EEI must be filed by the USPPI under 19 CFR 192.14. Using a CBP-approved EDI system, the USPPI or its authorized agent must transmit and verify system acceptance of this EEI, generally no later than 2 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the aircraft from the last U.S. port. The air carrier may not load cargo without first receiving from the USPPI or its authorized agent either the related EEI filing citation, covering all cargo for which the EEI is required, or exemption legends, covering cargo for which EEI need not be filed. The outbound air carrier then must annotate the air cargo manifest, waybill, or other export documentation with the applicable AES proof of filing, post departure, downtime, exclusion or exemption citations, conforming to the approved data formats found in the Bureau of the Census Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) (15 CFR part 30).

    Description of the ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test Purpose

    The ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test will test the functionality regarding the filing of export manifest data for air cargo electronically to ACE in furtherance of the ITDS initiatives described above. CBP has re-engineered AES to move it to an ACE system platform. The re-engineering and incorporation of AES into ACE will result in the creation of a single automated export processing platform for certain export manifest, commodity, licensing, export control, and export targeting transactions. This will reduce costs for CBP, partner government agencies, and the trade community and improve facilitation of export shipments through the supply chain.

    The ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test will also test the feasibility of requiring the manifest information to be filed electronically in ACE within a specified time before the cargo is loaded on the aircraft. (Under the current regulatory requirements, the complete manifest is required to be submitted by the airline on paper CBP Form 7509 generally after the departure of the aircraft). As described in the paragraph below, in the test, participants will submit export manifest data electronically to ACE at least 4 hours prior to loading of the cargo. This will enable CBP to easily link the EEI submitted by the USPPI with the export manifest information earlier in the process. This capability will better enable CBP to assess risk and effectively target and inspect shipments prior to the loading of cargo to ensure compliance with all U.S. export laws.

    Procedures

    Participants in the ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test agree to provide export manifest data electronically at least 4 hours prior to loading of the cargo onto the aircraft in preparation for departure from the United States. If the air carrier files this ACE Export Manifest data, the electronic filing is in lieu of the paper filing of CBP Form 7509. If a freight forwarder files the ACE Export Manifest data, the carrier is still required to file the CBP Form 7509 (or ACE Export Manifest data, if the air carrier is also a test participant).

    The ACE Export Manifest data submission will be used to target high-risk air cargo. The data should be available to test participants early in the planning stages of an export air cargo transaction. It is anticipated that data provided 4 hours prior to loading will permit adequate time for proper risk assessment and identification of shipments to be inspected early enough in the supply chain to enhance security while minimizing disruption to the flow of goods.

    Any air cargo identified as potentially high-risk will receive a hold until required additional information related to the shipment is submitted to clarify non-descriptive, inaccurate, or insufficient information, a physical inspection is performed, or some other appropriate action is taken, as specified by CBP. Once the cargo is cleared for loading, a release message will be generated and transmitted to the filer.

    Data Elements

    The ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test data elements are similar, but not identical to the data elements required on CBP Form 7509. The data elements are mandatory unless otherwise indicated. Data elements that are indicated as “conditional” must be transmitted to CBP only if the particular information pertains to the cargo. The ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo data elements are to be submitted at the lowest bill level. The data elements consist of:

    (1) Exporting Carrier (CBP finds this term to be clearer than the term “Owner/Operator” used on CBP Form 7509) (2) Marks of nationality and registration (3) Flight number (4) Port of lading (5) Port of unlading (6) Scheduled date of departure (CBP finds this term to be clearer than the term “Date” used on CBP Form 7509) (7) Consolidator (conditional) (8) De-consolidator (conditional) (9) Air waybill type (Master, House, Simple or Sub) (10) Air Waybill number (11) Number of pieces and unit of measure (12) Weight (kg./lb.) (13) Number of house air waybills (14) Shipper name and address (15) Consignee name and address (16) Cargo description (CBP finds this term to be clearer than the term “Nature of goods” used on CBP Form 7509) (17) AES Internal Transaction Number (ITN) or AES Exemption Statement/Exception Classification (per shipment) (18) Split air waybill indicator (conditional) (19) Hazmat indicator (Yes/No) (20) UN Number (conditional) (If the hazmat indicator is yes, the four-digit UN (United Nations) Number assigned to the hazardous material must be provided.) (21) In-bond number (conditional) (22) Mode of transportation (Air, containerized or Air, non-containerized)

    There are currently no additional data elements identified for other participating U.S. Government Agencies (PGAs) for the ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test. However, CBP may enhance the test in the future with additional data or processing capabilities to assist with facilitation of air shipment movements and to be consistent with Executive Order 13659. Any such enhancement will be announced in the Federal Register.

    Eligibility Requirements

    CBP is limiting this test to nine stakeholders in the air cargo environment. Specifically, CBP is seeking participation from:

    • At least three, but no more than six, air carriers currently required to file paper export air cargo manifest CBP Form 7509 under 19 CFR 122.72 and 122.73; and

    • At least three, but no more than six, freight forwarders.

    There are no restrictions with regard to organization size, location, or commodity type. However, participation is limited to those parties able to electronically transmit export manifest data in the identified acceptable format. Prospective ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test participants must have the technical capability to electronically submit data to CBP and receive response message sets via Cargo-IMP, AIR CAMIR, XML, or Unified XML, and must successfully complete certification testing with their client representative. (Unified XML may not be immediately available at the start of the test. However, parties wishing to utilize Unified XML may be accepted, pending its development and implementation). Once parties have applied to participate, they must complete a test phase to determine if the data transmission is in the required readable format. Applicants will be notified once they have successfully completed testing and are permitted to participate fully in the test. In selecting participants, CBP will take into consideration the order in which the applications are received.

    Conditions of Participation

    Test participants agree to submit export manifest data electronically to CBP via an approved EDI at least 4 hours prior to the loading of the cargo onto the aircraft in preparation for departure from the United States. In addition, test participants agree to establish operational security protocols that correspond to CBP hold messages that mandate the participant to take responsive action and respond to CBP confirming that the requested action was taken to mitigate any threat identified, respond promptly with complete and accurate information when contacted by CBP with questions regarding the data submitted, and comply with any “Do Not Load” instructions.

    Finally, test participants agree to participate in any teleconferences or meetings established by CBP, when necessary, to ensure any challenges, or operational or technical issues regarding the test are properly communicated and addressed.

    Participation in the ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test does not impose any legally binding obligations on either CBP or the participant, and CBP generally does not intend to enforce or levy punitive measures if test participants are non-compliant with these conditions of participation during the test.

    Application Process and Acceptance

    Those interested in participating in the ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test should submit an email to CBP Export Manifest at [email protected], stating their interest and their qualifications based on the above eligibility requirements. The email will serve as an electronic signature of intent to participate and must also include a point of contact name and telephone number. Applications will be accepted until CBP has received applications from nine parties that meet all test participant requirements. CBP will notify applicants whether they have been selected to participate in the test. Applicants will also be notified once they have successfully completed testing and are permitted to participate fully in the test.

    Test participants will receive technical, operational, and policy guidance through all stages of test participation, from planning to implementation, on the necessary steps for the transmission of electronic export manifest data.

    Costs to ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test Participants

    ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test participants are responsible for all costs incurred as a result of their participation in the test and such costs will vary, depending on their pre-existing infrastructures. Costs may be offset by a significant reduction in expenses associated with copying, storing, and courier services for presenting the paper manifest to CBP.

    Benefits to ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test Participants

    While the benefits to ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test participants will vary, several advantages of joining may include:

    • Reduction in costs associated with generating copies, transportation, and storage of paper manifest documentation;

    • Increases in security by leveraging CBP threat model and other data to employ a risk-based approach to improve air cargo security and to ensure compliance with U.S. export laws, rules and regulations through targeted screening;

    • Gains in efficiencies by automating the identification of high-risk cargo for enhanced screening;

    • The ability to provide input into CBP efforts to establish, test, and refine the interface between government and industry communication systems for the implementation of the electronic export manifest; and

    • Facilitation of corporate preparedness for future mandatory implementation of electronic export manifest submission requirements.

    Waiver of Certain Regulatory Requirements

    For purposes of this test, the requirement to file a paper CBP Form 7509, as provided in 19 CFR 122.72-122.75 will be waived for air carrier test participants that submit the ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo data elements electronically as described above. If a freight forwarder submits the electronic ACE Export Manifest data, the air carrier is still required to file the paper CBP Form 7509 (or the electronic ACE Export Manifest data, if the air carrier is a test participant). The air carrier maintains responsibility for submitting the manifest data to CBP to cover all cargo on the aircraft, even if the freight forwarder has also submitted manifest data. Participation in the test does not alter the participant's obligations to comply with any other applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, including 19 CFR 122.72-122.75, and participants will still be subject to applicable penalties for non-compliance. In addition, submission of data under the pilot does not exempt the participant from any CBP or other U.S. Government agency program requirements or any statutory sanctions in the event that a violation of U.S. export laws or prohibited articles are discovered within a shipment/container presented for export destined from the United States on an aircraft owned and/or operated by the participant.

    Duration and Evaluation of the ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test

    The test will be activated on a case-by-case basis with each participant and may be limited to a single or small number of ports until any operational, training, or technical issues on either the trade or government side are established and/or resolved. The test will run for approximately two years from August 10, 2015. While the test is ongoing, CBP will evaluate the results and determine whether the test will be extended, expanded to include additional participants, or otherwise modified. CBP will announce any such modifications by notice in the Federal Register. When sufficient test analysis and evaluation has been conducted, CBP intends to begin rulemaking to require the submission of electronic export manifest data before the cargo is loaded onto the aircraft for all international shipments destined from the United States. The results of the test will help determine the relevant data elements, the time frame within which data should be submitted to permit CBP to effectively target, identify, and mitigate any risk with the least impact practicable on trade operations, and any other related procedures and policies.

    Confidentiality

    All data submitted and entered into ACE is subject to the Trade Secrets Act (18 U.S.C. 1905) and is considered confidential, except to the extent as otherwise provided by law. However, participation in this or any ACE test is not confidential and upon a written Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the name(s) of an approved participant(s) will be disclosed by CBP in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552.

    Misconduct Under the Test

    If a test participant fails to abide by the rules, procedures, or terms and conditions of this and all other applicable Federal Register Notices, fails to exercise reasonable care in the execution of participant obligations, or otherwise fails to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, then the participant may be suspended from participation in this test and/or subjected to penalties, liquidated damages, and/or other administrative or judicial sanction. Additionally, CBP has the right to suspend a test participant based on a determination that an unacceptable compliance risk exists.

    If CBP determines that a suspension is warranted, CBP will notify the participant of this decision, the facts or conduct warranting suspension, and the date when the suspension will be effective. In the case of willful misconduct, or where public health interests or safety are concerned, the suspension may be effective immediately. This decision may be appealed in writing to the Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, within 15 days of notification. The appeal should address the facts or conduct charges contained in the notice and state how the participant has or will achieve compliance. CBP will notify the participant within 30 days of receipt of an appeal whether the appeal is granted. If the participant has already been suspended, CBP will notify the participant when their participation in the test will be reinstated.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    As noted above, CBP will be accepting no more than nine participants in the ACE Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test. This means that fewer than ten persons will be subject to any information collections under this test. Accordingly, collections of information within this notice are exempted from the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3502 and 3507).

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Todd C. Owen, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16943 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5828-N-28] Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the Homeless AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This Notice identifies unutilized, underutilized, excess, and surplus Federal property reviewed by HUD for suitability for use to assist the homeless.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Juanita Perry, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street SW., Room 7266, Washington, DC 20410; telephone (202) 402-3970; TTY number for the hearing- and speech-impaired (202) 708-2565 (these telephone numbers are not toll-free), or call the toll-free Title V information line at 800-927-7588.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with 24 CFR part 581 and section 501 of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11411), as amended, HUD is publishing this Notice to identify Federal buildings and other real property that HUD has reviewed for suitability for use to assist the homeless. The properties were reviewed using information provided to HUD by Federal landholding agencies regarding unutilized and underutilized buildings and real property controlled by such agencies or by GSA regarding its inventory of excess or surplus Federal property. This Notice is also published in order to comply with the December 12, 1988 Court Order in National Coalition for the Homeless v. Veterans Administration, No. 88-2503-OG (D.D.C.).

    Properties reviewed are listed in this Notice according to the following categories: Suitable/available, suitable/unavailable, and suitable/to be excess, and unsuitable. The properties listed in the three suitable categories have been reviewed by the landholding agencies, and each agency has transmitted to HUD: (1) Its intention to make the property available for use to assist the homeless, (2) its intention to declare the property excess to the agency's needs, or (3) a statement of the reasons that the property cannot be declared excess or made available for use as facilities to assist the homeless.

    Properties listed as suitable/available will be available exclusively for homeless use for a period of 60 days from the date of this Notice. Where property is described as for “off-site use only” recipients of the property will be required to relocate the building to their own site at their own expense. Homeless assistance providers interested in any such property should send a written expression of interest to HHS, addressed to: Ms. Theresa M. Ritta, Chief Real Property Branch, the Department of Health and Human Services, Room 5B-17, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, (301)-443-2265 (This is not a toll-free number.) HHS will mail to the interested provider an application packet, which will include instructions for completing the application. In order to maximize the opportunity to utilize a suitable property, providers should submit their written expressions of interest as soon as possible. For complete details concerning the processing of applications, the reader is encouraged to refer to the interim rule governing this program, 24 CFR part 581.

    For properties listed as suitable/to be excess, that property may, if subsequently accepted as excess by GSA, be made available for use by the homeless in accordance with applicable law, subject to screening for other Federal use. At the appropriate time, HUD will publish the property in a Notice showing it as either suitable/available or suitable/unavailable.

    For properties listed as suitable/unavailable, the landholding agency has decided that the property cannot be declared excess or made available for use to assist the homeless, and the property will not be available.

    Properties listed as unsuitable will not be made available for any other purpose for 20 days from the date of this Notice. Homeless assistance providers interested in a review by HUD of the determination of unsuitability should call the toll free information line at 1-800-927-7588 for detailed instructions or write a letter to Ann Marie Oliva at the address listed at the beginning of this Notice. Included in the request for review should be the property address (including zip code), the date of publication in the Federal Register, the landholding agency, and the property number.

    For more information regarding particular properties identified in this Notice (i.e., acreage, floor plan, existing sanitary facilities, exact street address), providers should contact the appropriate landholding agencies at the following addresses: COE: Mr. Scott Whiteford, Army Corps of Engineers, Real Estate, CEMP-CR, 441 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20314; (202) 761-5542; ENERGY: Mr. David Steinau, Department of Energy, Office of Property Management, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585 (202) 287-1503; GSA: Mr. Flavio Peres, General Services Administration, Office of Real Property Utilization and Disposal, 1800 F Street NW., Room 7040 Washington, DC 20405, (202) 501-0084; NAVY: Mr. Steve Matteo, Department of the Navy, Asset Management; Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Washington Navy Yard, 1330 Patterson Ave. SW., Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20374; (202) 685-9426 (These are not toll-free numbers).

    Dated: July 2, 2015. Juanita Perry, SNAPS Specialist/Title V Lead, Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs. TITLE V, FEDERAL SURPLUS PROPERTY PROGRAM FEDERAL REGISTER REPORT FOR 07/10/2015 Suitable/Available Properties Building Georgia Upper Tanyard Creek Day Upper Tanyard Creek Allatoona GA Landholding Agency: COE Property Number: 31201520009 Status: Unutilized Comments: Off-site removal only; 26+ yrs. old; 483 sq. ft.; recreational toilet facility; very poor conditions; has been vandalized & needs repairs; no future agency need; contact COE for more information. Nebraska Grand Island U.S. Post Office and Courthouse 203 West 2nd Street Grand Island NE 68801 Landholding Agency: GSA Property Number: 54201520018 Status: Surplus GSA Number: 7G-NE-0519-AA Directions: (RPUID)NE0018ZZ Comments: 105+ yrs. old; 5,508 sq. ft.; office; good condition; asbestos; sits on 0.53 acres; listed on Nat. Reg. of Historic Place; need to contact property manager for aces.; contact GSA for more info. Land Hawaii 1.76 Acre Parcel Radford Drive & Kamehameha Hwy JBPHH Honolulu HI 96860 Landholding Agency: Navy Property Number: 77201520023 Status: Underutilized Comments: 1.76 acres; landscape; because of legal constraint it is unlikely the parcel will be available for one year or more; no future agency need; contact Navy for more information. Tennessee (+/−) 72 Acre Site 5722 Integrity Dr. Millington TN 38054 Landholding Agency: Navy Property Number: 77201520025 Status: Underutilized Comments: Current use: Family housing area (bldgs. demo in 2008); contamination—termiticide Unsuitable Properties Building South Carolina Building 155, Motor Transport Garage Cape Gauffre St. MCRD Parris Island SC Landholding Agency: Navy Property Number: 77201520026 Status: Excess Comments: Public access denied and no alternative method to gain access without compromising national security Reasons: Secured Area Building 156, Vehicle Shed Cape Gauffre St. MCRD Parris Island SC Landholding Agency: Navy Property Number: