Federal Register Vol. 80, No.135,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 135 (July 15, 2015)

Page Range41409-41986
FR Document

80_FR_135
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 41983 - Establishment of the Waco Mammoth National MonumentPDF
80 FR 41975 - Establishment of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National MonumentPDF
80 FR 41967 - Establishment of the Basin and Range National MonumentPDF
80 FR 41538 - In the Matter of Smart Ventures, Inc.; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
80 FR 41490 - Sunshine Act NoticePDF
80 FR 41474 - Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 41426 - U.S. Industrial Base Surveys Pursuant to the Defense Production Act of 1950PDF
80 FR 41546 - Membership in the National Parks Overflights Advisory Group Aviation Rulemaking CommitteePDF
80 FR 41547 - Notice of Intent To Rule on Request To Release Property at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, Latrobe, PAPDF
80 FR 41450 - Promulgation of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead, 2008 Ozone, and 2010 NO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standards; North DakotaPDF
80 FR 41436 - Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans; Interest Assumptions for Paying BenefitsPDF
80 FR 41503 - Submission for OMB Review; Transfer Order-Surplus Personal Property and Continuation Sheet, Standard Form (SF) 123PDF
80 FR 41502 - Submission for OMB Review; Federal Management Regulation; State Agency Monthly Donation Report of Surplus Property, GSA Form 3040PDF
80 FR 41501 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Information Collection; Subcontract ConsentPDF
80 FR 41513 - Certain Lip Balm Products, Containers for Lip Balm and Components Thereof; Institution of InvestigationPDF
80 FR 41487 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
80 FR 41476 - Multilayered Wood Flooring From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Final Results of New Shipper Review; 2012-2013PDF
80 FR 41480 - Steel Wire Garment Hangers From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014PDF
80 FR 41545 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Gauguin to Picasso: Masterworks From Switzerland, The Staechelin & Im Obersteg Collections” ExhibitionPDF
80 FR 41503 - Medicare Program; Extension of Medicare Prior Authorization for Power Mobility Devices (PMDs) DemonstrationPDF
80 FR 41515 - NASA Advisory Council; MeetingPDF
80 FR 41501 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
80 FR 41482 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Planning, Protection or RestorationPDF
80 FR 41509 - Center for Scientific Review Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 41509 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 41509 - Chemical Transportation Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 41483 - Solicitation of Nominations for the National Sea Grant Advisory BoardPDF
80 FR 41482 - Notice of Rescission of NOAA Policy on Prohibited and Approved Uses of the Asset Forfeiture FundPDF
80 FR 41489 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Commercial Dredging of Construction Aggregate From the Kansas River in the State of KansasPDF
80 FR 41442 - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Implementation of the Agricultural Act of 2014 Purchasing and Delivery Services for the Elderly and DisabledPDF
80 FR 41496 - Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications; Public NoticePDF
80 FR 41493 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
80 FR 41494 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 41514 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Water ActPDF
80 FR 41485 - Marine Mammals; File No. 14534PDF
80 FR 41507 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 41492 - Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 41492 - Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee Meeting; CancellationPDF
80 FR 41559 - Proposed Collection of Information: Application for Disposition of Retirement Plan and/or Individual Retirement Bonds Without Administration of Deceased Owner's EstatePDF
80 FR 41485 - North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingsPDF
80 FR 41483 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 41508 - National Cancer Institute; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 41559 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
80 FR 41508 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO) (NCI)PDF
80 FR 41474 - Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection (Petitions for Rulemaking)PDF
80 FR 41545 - Fiscal Year 2016 Tariff-Rate Quota Allocations for Raw Cane Sugar, Refined and Specialty Sugar and Sugar-Containing ProductsPDF
80 FR 41486 - Multistakeholder Process To Develop Consumer Data Privacy Code of Conduct Concerning Facial Recognition TechnologyPDF
80 FR 41472 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery and Golden Crab Fishery of the South Atlantic, and Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the AtlanticPDF
80 FR 41490 - Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive Patent License; GoXtudio, LLCPDF
80 FR 41490 - Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive Patent License; WarpSpec, Inc.PDF
80 FR 41547 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 41548 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 41558 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 41550 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
80 FR 41485 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Designation of Fishery Management Council Members and Application for Reinstatement of State AuthorityPDF
80 FR 41484 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 41481 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 41447 - Petition of the Aircraft Owner and Pilots Association (AOPA) To Amend FAA Policy Concerning Flying Club Operations at Federally-Obligated Airports.PDF
80 FR 41562 - Requests for Applications; Practitioners Advisory GroupPDF
80 FR 41487 - Defense Science Board; Notice of Advisory Committee MeetingsPDF
80 FR 41561 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
80 FR 41560 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 8883PDF
80 FR 41497 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Recordkeeping and Periodic Reporting of the Production, Import, Recycling, Destruction, Transhipment, and Feedstock Use of Ozone-Depleting Substances (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 41437 - Regulations Governing Fees for Services Performed in Connection With Licensing and Related Services-2015 UpdatePDF
80 FR 41562 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 4461, 4461-A, and 4461-BPDF
80 FR 41514 - Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Proposed Extension of Existing Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 41449 - Generator Interconnection Rules and ProceduresPDF
80 FR 41521 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Commentary .07 to Rule 904 To Extend the Pilot Program That Eliminated the Position Limits for Options on SPDR S&P 500 ETFPDF
80 FR 41541 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Commentary .06 to Rule 6.8 To Extend the Pilot Program That Eliminated the Position Limits for Options on SPDR S&P 500 ETFPDF
80 FR 41538 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to SPY Position LimitsPDF
80 FR 41519 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to SPY Position LimitsPDF
80 FR 41517 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to SPY Position LimitsPDF
80 FR 41543 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Extend the SPY Pilot ProgramPDF
80 FR 41540 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Options Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend IM-3120-2 To Rule 3120 To Extend the Pilot Program That Eliminated the Position Limits for Options on SPDR S&P 500 ETFPDF
80 FR 41528 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Exchange Rule 7018PDF
80 FR 41530 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Its Fee SchedulePDF
80 FR 41532 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Market Data Section of Its Fee SchedulePDF
80 FR 41522 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Market Data Section of Its Fee SchedulePDF
80 FR 41491 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)PDF
80 FR 41491 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Application for the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP)PDF
80 FR 41517 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 41510 - Notice of Single Family Loan Sales (SFLS 2015-1)PDF
80 FR 41500 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 41499 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
80 FR 41498 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
80 FR 41560 - Unblocking of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons Pursuant to Executive Order 13310 and Executive Order 13448PDF
80 FR 41505 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 41495 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
80 FR 41495 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 41515 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 41516 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 41512 - Reopening of Nomination Period for State Government Members of the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource SciencePDF
80 FR 41436 - Canned Pacific Salmon; Technical AmendmentPDF
80 FR 41506 - Preparation for International Cooperation on Cosmetics RegulationPDF
80 FR 41460 - Pipeline Safety: Expanding the Use of Excess Flow Valves in Gas Distribution Systems to Applications Other Than Single-Family ResidencesPDF
80 FR 41432 - Freedom of Information Act Regulations: Fee Schedule, Addition of Appeals Time Frame, and Miscellaneous Administrative ChangesPDF
80 FR 41449 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Delaware; Nonattainment New Source Review; Emission Offset Provisions; Reopening of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 41685 - Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2016PDF
80 FR 41565 - Revising Underground Storage Tank Regulations-Revisions to Existing Requirements and New Requirements for Secondary Containment and Operator TrainingPDF
80 FR 41409 - Regulatory Capital Rules: Regulatory Capital, Final Revisions Applicable to Banking Organizations Subject to the Advanced Approaches Risk-Based Capital RulePDF

Issue

80 135 Wednesday, July 15, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Food and Nutrition Service

See

Food Safety and Inspection Service

NOTICES Meetings: Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee, 41474 2015-17389
Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services PROPOSED RULES Medicare Programs: Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2016, 41686-41966 2015-16875 NOTICES Medicare Program: Medicare Prior Authorization for Power Mobility Devices Demonstration; Extension, 41503-41505 2015-17365 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 41505-41506 2015-17264 Coast Guard Coast Guard NOTICES Meetings: Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee, 41509-41510 2015-17358 Commerce Commerce Department See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency RULES Regulatory Capital: Banking Organizations Subject to the Advanced Approaches Risk-Based Capital Rule, 41409-41426 2015-15748 Defense Department Defense Department See

Engineers Corps

See

Navy Department

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Acquisition Regulations; Subcontract Consent, 41501-41502 2015-17373 Federal Management Regulations; State Agency Monthly Donation Report of Surplus Property, 41502 2015-17374 Arms Sales, 41487-41489 2015-17369 Meetings: Defense Science Board, 41487 2015-17322
Defense Nuclear Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 41490-41491 2015-17401 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for the Rural Education Achievement Program, 41491-41492 2015-17283 Migrant Student Information Exchange, 41491 2015-17284 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Meetings: Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee; Cancellation, 41492 2015-17346
Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee, 41492-41493 2015-17347 Engineers Engineers Corps NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Commercial Dredging of Construction Aggregate from the Kansas River in Kansas, 41489-41490 2015-17355 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Underground Storage Tanks: Secondary Containment and Operator Training; Requirements, 41566-41683 2015-15914 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Delaware; Nonattainment New Source Review; Emission Offset Provisions, 41449-41450 2015-16919 North Dakota; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead, 2008 Ozone, and 2010 NO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 41450-41460 2015-17380 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Recordkeeping and Periodic Reporting of the Production, Import, Recycling, Destruction, Transhipment, and Feedstock Use of Ozone-Depleting Substances, 41497-41498 2015-17316 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration PROPOSED RULES Petitions for Rulemaking: Aircraft Owner and Pilots Association to Amend FAA Policy Concerning Flying Club Operations at Federally-Obligated Airports, 41447-41448 2015-17324 NOTICES Airport Property Release Requests: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, Latrobe, PA, 41547 2015-17381 Requests for Nominations: National Parks Overflights Advisory Group Aviation Rulemaking Committee, 41546 2015-17383 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 41498-41501 2015-17267 2015-17268 2015-17269 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation RULES Regulatory Capital: Banking Organizations Subject to the Advanced Approaches Risk-Based Capital Rule, 41409-41426 2015-15748 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Generator Interconnection Rules and Procedures, 41449 2015-17306 NOTICES Combined Filings, 41493-41496 2015-17260 2015-17261 2015-17351 2015-17352 Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications, 41496-41497 2015-17353 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 41501 2015-17362 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Diabetes Mellitus, 41550-41558 2015-17328 Vision, 41547-41550, 41558-41559 2015-17329 2015-17330 2015-17331 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Petitions for Waivers of Compliance, 41559 2015-17341 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System RULES Regulatory Capital: Banking Organizations Subject to the Advanced Approaches Risk-Based Capital Rule, 41409-41426 2015-15748 Fiscal Fiscal Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application For Disposition of Retirement Plan and/or Individual Retirement Bonds Without Administration of Deceased Owner's Estate, 41559-41560 2015-17345 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Canned Pacific Salmon; Technical Amendment, 41436 2015-17249 NOTICES Meetings: Preparation for International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation, 41506-41507 2015-17248 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service PROPOSED RULES Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Implementation of the Agricultural Act Purchasing and Delivery Services for the Elderly and Disabled, 41442-41447 2015-17354 Food Safety Food Safety and Inspection Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Petitions for Rulemaking, 41474-41476 2015-17338 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 41560 2015-17265 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Acquisition Regulations; Subcontract Consent, 41501-41502 2015-17373 Federal Management Regulations; State Agency Monthly Donation Report of Surplus Property, 41502 2015-17374 Transfer Order—Surplus Personal Property and Continuation Sheet, 41503 2015-17375 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science; State Government Members, 41512-41513 2015-17251 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 41507-41508 2015-17348
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Single Family Loan Sales, 41510-41512 2015-17271 Industry Industry and Security Bureau RULES U.S. Industrial Base Surveys Pursuant to the Defense Production Act, 41426-41432 2015-17388 Interior Interior Department See

Geological Survey

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2015-17313 41560-41562 2015-17319 2015-17320 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China, 41476-41479 2015-17368 Steel Wire Garment Hangers from the People's Republic of China, 41480-41481 2015-17367 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Lip Balm Products, Containers for Lip Balm and Components Thereof, 41513-41514 2015-17371 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Proposed Consent Decrees under the Clean Water Act, 41514 2015-17350 Labor Department Labor Department See

Workers Compensation Programs Office

NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Acquisition Regulations; Subcontract Consent, 41501-41502 2015-17373 Federal Management Regulations; State Agency Monthly Donation Report of Surplus Property, 41502 2015-17374 Meetings: NASA Advisory Council, 41515 2015-17364 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial, 41508 2015-17340 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 2015-17359 41509 2015-17360 National Cancer Institute, 41508-41509 2015-17342 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Snapper-Grouper Fishery and Golden Crab Fishery of the South Atlantic, and Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic, 41472-41473 2015-17334 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 41481-41482, 41484-41485 2015-17325 2015-17326 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Planning, Protection or Restoration, 41482-41483 2015-17361 Designation of Fishery Management Council Members and Application for Reinstatement of State Authority, 41485-41486 2015-17327 Meetings: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 41483 2015-17343 North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 41485 2015-17344 Permits: Marine Mammals; File No. 14534, 41485 2015-17349 Prohibited and Approved Uses of the Asset Forfeiture Fund; Rescission of Policy, 41482 2015-17356 Requests for Nominations: National Sea Grant Advisory Board, 41483-41484 2015-17357 National Telecommunications National Telecommunications and Information Administration NOTICES Meetings: Multistakeholder Process to Develop Consumer Data Privacy Code of Conduct Concerning Facial Recognition Technology, 41486-41487 2015-17335 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Exclusive Patent Licenses: GoXtudio, LLC, 41490 2015-17333 WarpSpec, Inc., 41490 2015-17332 Pension Benefit Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation RULES Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans: Interest Assumptions for Paying Benefits, 41436-41437 2015-17376 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration PROPOSED RULES Pipeline Safety: Expanding the Use of Excess Flow Valves in Gas Distribution Systems to Applications Other than Single-Family Residences, 41460-41472 2015-17195 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 2015-17253 41515-41517 2015-17254 2015-17277 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Basin and Range National Monument; Establishment (Proc. 9297), 41967-41974 2015-17549 Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument; Establishment (Proc. 9298), 41975-41981 2015-17560 Waco Mammoth National Monument; Establishment (Proc. 9299), 41983-41986 2015-17564 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission RULES Freedom of Information Act Regulations: Fee Schedule, Addition of Appeals Time Frame, and Miscellaneous Administrative Changes, 41432-41436 2015-17179 NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 41522-41528 2015-17294 BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., 41532-41538 2015-17295 BOX Options Exchange LLC, 41540-41541 2015-17298 International Securities Exchange, LLC, 41543-41545 2015-17299 Miami International Securities Exchange LLC, 41530-41532 2015-17296 NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., 2015-17297 41517-41519, 41528-41530 2015-17300 NASDAQ OMX PHLX, LLC, 41538-41540 2015-17302 NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, 41519-41521 2015-17301 NYSE Arca, Inc., 41541-41543 2015-17303 NYSE MKT LLC, 41521-41522 2015-17304 Trading Suspension Orders: Smart Ventures, Inc., 41538 2015-17445 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Gauguin to Picasso: Masterworks from Switzerland, The Staechelin and Im Obersteg Collections, 41545 2015-17366 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board RULES Fees for Services Performed in Connection with Licensing and Related Services, 41437-41441 2015-17315 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States NOTICES Fiscal Year 2016 Tariff-Rate Quota Allocations for Raw Cane Sugar, Refined and Specialty Sugar and Sugar-Containing Products, 41545-41546 2015-17337 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

See

Surface Transportation Board

Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Fiscal Service

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

U.S. Sentencing United States Sentencing Commission NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Practitioners Advisory Group, 41562-41563 2015-17323 Workers' Workers Compensation Programs Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 41514-41515 2015-17311 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Environmental Protection Agency, 41566-41683 2015-15914 Part III Health and Human Services Department, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 41686-41966 2015-16875 Part IV Presidential Documents, 41967-41981, 41983-41986 2015-17549 2015-17560 2015-17564 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.

To subscribe to the Federal Register Table of Contents LISTSERV electronic mailing list, go to http://listserv.access.thefederalregister.org and select Online mailing list archives, FEDREGTOC-L, Join or leave the list (or change settings); then follow the instructions.

80 135 Wednesday, July 15, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 12 CFR Part 3 [Docket ID OCC-2014-0025] RIN 1557-AD88 FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Part 217 [Regulation Q; Docket No. R-1502] RIN 7100-AE 24 FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION 12 CFR Part 324 RIN 3064-AE12 Regulatory Capital Rules: Regulatory Capital, Final Revisions Applicable to Banking Organizations Subject to the Advanced Approaches Risk-Based Capital Rule AGENCIES:

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury; the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) are adopting a final rule to clarify, correct, and update aspects of the regulatory capital framework applicable to certain large, internationally active banking organizations. The revisions correct technical and typographical errors and clarify certain requirements of the advanced approaches risk-based capital rule based on observations made by the agencies during the parallel run review process of advanced approaches banking organizations. The corrections also enhance consistency of the agencies' advanced approaches risk-based capital rule with relevant international standards. The agencies proposed these changes in a notice of proposed rulemaking that was published in the Federal Register on December 18, 2014. The agencies are now adopting the proposed rule as final with some additional clarifications and amendments.

DATES:

This rule is effective on October 1, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

OCC: Margot Schwadron, Senior Risk Expert (202) 649-6982; or Mark Ginsberg, Principal Risk Expert (202) 649-6983, Capital Policy; or Kevin Korzeniewski, Senior Attorney, Legislative and Regulatory Activities Division, (202) 649-5490, for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, TTY, (202) 649-5597, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 400 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20219.

Board: Constance M. Horsley, Assistant Director, (202) 452-5239; Juan Climent, Manager, (202) 872-7546; Andrew Willis, Supervisory Financial Analyst, (202) 912-4323, Matthew McQueeney, Senior Financial Analyst, (202) 425-2942, or Justyna Milewski, Senior Financial Analyst, (202) 452-3607, Capital and Regulatory Policy, Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation; or Christine Graham, Counsel (202) 452-3005; or David W. Alexander, Counsel (202) 452-2877, Legal Division, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th and C Streets NW., Washington, DC 20551. For the hearing impaired only, Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD), (202) 263-4869.

FDIC: Bobby R. Bean, Associate Director, [email protected]; Ryan Billingsley, Chief, Capital Policy Section, [email protected]; or Benedetto Bosco, Capital Markets Policy Analyst, [email protected]; Capital Markets Branch, Division of Risk Management Supervision, (202) 898-6888; or Michael Phillips, Counsel, [email protected]; Rachel Ackmann, Senior Attorney, [email protected]; Supervision Branch, Legal Division, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20429.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

In 2013, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) (collectively, the agencies) comprehensively revised and strengthened the capital requirements applicable to banking organizations 1 (regulatory capital framework).2 Among other changes, the regulatory capital framework revised elements of the advanced approaches risk-based capital rule (advanced approaches rule) now located at subpart E of the agencies' revised regulatory capital framework.3

1 The term banking organizations includes national banks, state member banks, state nonmember banks, savings associations, and top-tier bank holding companies domiciled in the United States not subject to the Board's Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement (12 CFR part 225, appendix C), as well as top-tier savings and loan holding companies domiciled in the United States, except for certain savings and loan holding companies that are substantially engaged in insurance underwriting or commercial activities.

2 The Board and the OCC issued a joint final rule on October 11, 2013 (78 FR 62018) and the FDIC issued a substantially identical interim final rule on September 10, 2013 (78 FR 55340). In April 2014, the FDIC adopted the interim final rule as a final rule with no substantive changes. 79 FR 20754 (April 14, 2014).

3 12 CFR part 3 (OCC), 12 CFR part 217 (Board), and 12 CFR part 324 (FDIC).

The advanced approaches rule applies to large, internationally active banking organizations, generally those with $250 billion or more in total consolidated assets or $10 billion or more in total on-balance sheet foreign exposure, depository institution subsidiaries of those banking organizations that use the advanced approaches rule, and banking organizations that elect to use the advanced approaches rule (advanced approaches banking organizations).4 Before an advanced approaches banking organization may use the advanced approaches rule to determine its risk-based capital requirements, it must conduct a satisfactory parallel run.5 After the primary Federal supervisor determines that the banking organization fully complies with all the qualification requirements, has conducted a satisfactory parallel run, and has an adequate process to ensure ongoing compliance, the banking organization will be required to use the advanced approaches rule to calculate its risk-based capital requirements.6

4 12 CFR 3.100(b)(1) (OCC), 12 CFR 217.100(b)(1) (Board), and 12 CFR 324.100(b)(1) (FDIC).

5 12 CFR 3.121(c) (OCC), 12 CFR 217.121(c) (Board), and 12 CFR 324.121(c) (FDIC).

6 12 CFR 3.121(d) (OCC), 12 CFR 217.121(d) (Board), and 12 CFR 324.121(d) (FDIC).

An advanced approaches banking organization that is required to calculate its risk-based capital requirements under the advanced approaches rule also must determine its risk-based capital requirements under the standardized approach in subpart D of the agencies' regulatory capital framework.7 In accordance with section 171 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the lower ratio (i.e., the more binding ratio) for each risk-based capital requirement is the ratio the banking organization must use for regulatory capital purposes.

7See 12 CFR part 3.10(c) (OCC); 12 CFR part 217.10(c) (Board); and 12 CFR part 324.10(c) (FDIC).

II. Proposed Rule and Summary of Comments

In December 2014, the agencies invited comment on a notice of proposed rulemaking designed to clarify, correct, and update aspects of the regulatory capital framework applicable to advanced approaches banking organizations (proposed rule).8 The proposed revisions were largely driven by observations made by the agencies during the parallel run review process of advanced approaches banking organizations, and included corrections to typographical and technical errors, clarifications and updates in light of revisions to other rules. The proposed revisions were also intended to enhance consistency of the agencies' advanced approaches rule with relevant international standards.9 The proposed amendments affect only those provisions of the revised capital framework that apply to advanced approaches banking organizations.

8See 79 FR 75455 (Dec. 18, 2014).

9See International Convergence of Capital Measurement and Capital Standards: A Revised Framework,” (June 2006) http://www.bis.org/publ/bcbs128.htm.

The agencies received two comment letters on the proposed revisions—one from a financial services trade association, and another from a public advocacy nonprofit organization. The financial services trade association suggested that several of the proposed changes also be applied to the standardized approach. Both commenters expressed views on the proposed treatment of cleared transactions. The financial services trade association suggested that the agencies expand the proposed treatment, while the public advocacy nonprofit organization suggested that the proposed treatment was too generous. In addition, the public advocacy nonprofit organization disagreed with the proposed exemption for cleared transactions from the higher capital charge applicable to large nettings sets.

III. Overview of the Final Rule 1. Definitions and Applicability A. Definition of Residential Mortgage Exposure

The proposed rule would have revised the definition of residential mortgage exposure in section 2 of the regulatory capital framework to clarify that an advanced approaches banking organization must manage qualifying exposures as part of a segment of exposures with homogenous risk characteristics, and not on an individual basis, for purposes of classifying an exposure as a residential mortgage exposure under the advanced approaches rule. This clarification was consistent with the agencies' intent in adopting the proposed definition of residential mortgage exposure, and with the requirement that an advanced approaches banking organization have an internal system that groups retail exposures into the appropriate retail exposure subcategory and that groups the retail exposures in each retail exposure subcategory into separate segments with homogenous risk characteristics.10 The agencies did not receive any comments on this part of the proposed rule and are adopting it as final, with a technical edit to correct a grammatical error.

10See 12 CFR 3.122(b)(3) (OCC), 12 CFR 217.122(b)(3) (Board), and 12 CFR 324.122(b)(3) (FDIC).

B. Calculation of Total On-Balance Sheet Foreign Exposure

As mentioned above, the advanced approaches rule generally applies to a banking organization with $250 billion or more in total consolidated assets or $10 billion or more in on-balance sheet foreign exposure. The proposed rule would have updated the method of calculating on-balance sheet foreign exposure to reference the current line items on the regulatory reporting forms. The agencies did not receive any comments on this part of the proposed rule and are adopting it as final, with a technical edit to update a reference to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) 009 Report instead of referencing the Call Report.

2. Disclosure Requirements A. Disclosure Requirements for Advanced Approaches Banking Organizations

Section 173 of the regulatory capital framework requires advanced approaches banking organizations that have completed the parallel run process to provide qualitative and quantitative disclosures relating to their capital requirements. The proposed rule would have clarified two items related to disclosure requirements in the advanced approaches rule.

First, the proposed rule would have clarified that an advanced approaches banking organization would be required to disclose information related to external ratings in Table 6 to section 173 only if it considered external ratings in its internal ratings approach. An advanced approaches banking organization that did not use or consider external ratings would not be required to make such a disclosure.

Second, the proposed rule would have updated the disclosure requirement related to securitization exposures in Table 9 to reflect the treatment of credit-enhancing interest only strips (CEIOs) and after-tax gain-on-sale resulting from a securitization. Specifically, CEIOs that do not constitute after-tax gain-on-sale would be risk-weighted at 1,250 percent, and an after-tax gain-on-sale resulting from a securitization would be deducted from common equity tier 1 capital, rather than from tier 1 capital. The agencies did not receive any comments on this part of the proposed rule and are adopting it as final.

B. Application and Disclosure of the Supplementary Leverage Ratio

Advanced approaches banking organizations are subject to the supplementary leverage ratio.11 The agencies proposed to clarify that the supplementary leverage ratio would apply to an advanced approaches banking organization, regardless of whether it had completed its parallel run process. The supplementary leverage ratio described in section 10(c)(4) would begin to apply to a banking organization immediately following the quarter in which the banking organization becomes subject to the advanced approaches rule pursuant to section 100(b)(1) of the advanced approaches rule.

11See section 10(c)(4)(ii) of the regulatory capital framework and 79 FR 57725 (Sept. 26, 2014) (2014 SLR rule).

In addition, the agencies proposed to clarify the disclosure requirements applicable to advanced approaches banking organizations.12 The proposed rule clarified that advanced approaches banking organizations, not just top-tier banking organizations, would be required to publicly disclose the supplementary leverage ratio and the components thereof (that is, tier 1 capital and total leverage exposure) on a quarterly basis. A banking organization that qualified as an advanced approaches banking organization before January 1, 2015, would be required to provide these disclosures, beginning with the first quarter in 2015, while a banking organization that qualified as an advanced approaches banking organization on or after January 1, 2015, would be subject to the disclosures beginning with the calendar quarter immediately following the calendar quarter in which the banking organization became an advanced approaches banking organization. For example, a banking organization that becomes subject to the advanced approaches rule as of year-end 2015 would begin disclosing its supplementary leverage ratio and components thereof as of March 31, 2016.

12 Section 172(d) was added to the regulatory capital framework as part of the 2014 SLR rule.

In addition to the disclosure requirements above, the proposed rule clarified that all top-tier 13 advanced approaches banking organizations, regardless of their parallel run status, would be required to publicly disclose the quantitative information described in Table 13 in section 173 of the advanced approaches rule 14 for twelve consecutive quarters or a shorter period, as applicable, beginning on January 1, 2015. For example, a top-tier banking organization that became an advanced approaches banking organization prior to January 1, 2015 (therefore subject to the supplementary leverage ratio disclosure requirements beginning January 1, 2015), and remains the top-tier banking organization, would publicly disclose supplementary leverage ratio data for one quarter in the first quarterly disclosure of 2015, two quarters in the second quarterly disclosure of 2015, and so on, disclosing twelve quarters of supplementary leverage ratio data in the quarterly disclosures for the fourth quarter of 2017. The agencies did not receive comments on this part of the proposed rule, and are finalizing it as proposed.

13 Disclosure requirements in section 173 of the advanced approaches rule apply only to banking organizations that are not a consolidated subsidiary of a BHC, covered SLHC, or depository institution that is subject to these disclosure requirements or a subsidiary of a non-U.S. banking organization that is subject to comparable public disclosure requirements in its home jurisdiction.

14 Table 13 in section 173 of the advanced approaches rule was adopted by the agencies in the 2014 SLR rule.

3. Risk Weights for Cleared Transactions A. Risk Weights for Certain Client Cleared Transactions

The agencies proposed to revise the advanced approaches rule for clearing member banking organizations' exposures to a central counterparty (CCP) where the clearing member does not guarantee the performance of the CCP to the clearing member client. Under the advanced approaches rule, a clearing member banking organization is required to assign a two percent risk weight to the trade exposure amount for a cleared transaction with a qualifying CCP (QCCP), and a risk weight applicable to the CCP under section 32 of the regulatory capital framework for a cleared transaction with a CCP that is not a QCCP. This risk weight is applied when the banking organization is acting as a financial intermediary on behalf of its clearing member client.

The proposed rule would have permitted clearing member banking organizations to assign a zero percent risk weight under the advanced approaches rule to the trade exposure amount of a cleared transaction that arises when a clearing member banking organization does not guarantee the performance of the CCP and has no payment obligation to the clearing member client in the event of a CCP default. The proposed treatment would align the risk-based capital requirements for client-cleared transactions with the treatment under the agencies' 2014 SLR rule.

Both commenters provided views on this provision. The public advocacy nonprofit organization suggested that the agencies not finalize the zero percent risk weight, arguing that it underestimates the clearing member's risk to a CCP default. Conversely, the financial services trade association suggested that the agencies expand the zero percent risk weight to transactions cleared on behalf of clients that would not meet the eligibility criteria in sections 3(a)(3) and (3)(a)(4) of the regulatory capital framework for a cleared transaction, to the extent that the clearing member does not guarantee the performance of the CCP and has no payment obligation to the clearing member client in the event of a CCP default.

The agencies believe that requiring the clearing member banking organization to include in risk-weighted assets a trade exposure amount for the client-cleared transactions could overstate the clearing member's risk where the clearing member is not contractually obligated to perform on the transaction to its client in the event of a CCP failure. Furthermore, the public advocacy nonprofit commenter's concerns are partially addressed by the additional capital requirement for a clearing member banking organization's exposure to the default fund of a CCP, which considers its capitalization and risk profile, and the nature of its default fund. With respect to the financial services trade association's suggestion to make an exception from the requirements in sections 3(a)(3) and 3(a)(4) of the regulatory capital framework, it is not clear that the risks in transactions where the clearing member advanced approaches banking organization does not guarantee the performance of the CCP are negligible. Thus, the agencies are finalizing the changes to the risk weight for certain client-cleared transactions as proposed.

The financial services trade association also noted that the proposed changes should apply to the standardized approach contained in subpart D of the regulatory capital framework. However, the agencies did not seek comment on revisions to the provisions in the standardized approach, and banking organizations subject to the standardized approach but not to the advanced approaches rule may not have had sufficient notice of the change. Therefore, the agencies are not adopting the change requested by the commenter, but will consider the suggested change in the context of future proposed rulemakings.

B. Margin Period of Risk in the Internal Models Methodology (IMM)

The regulatory capital framework increases the margin period of risk in the IMM for large netting sets, netting sets involving illiquid collateral or over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives that cannot easily be replaced, or netting sets with more than two margin disputes with the counterparty over the previous two quarters that lasted more than the margin period of risk.15 In the proposed rule, the agencies proposed to clarify that a cleared transaction would be exempt from the higher margin period of risk solely due to the fact that it is part of a large netting set (i.e., a netting set that exceeds 5,000 trades at any time during the previous quarter). A cleared transaction would be subject to the higher margin period of risk if the netting set contained illiquid collateral, derivatives that could not easily be replaced, or the banking organization had more than two margin disputes with the counterparty over the previous two quarters that lasted more than the margin period of risk.

15 Section 132(d)(5)(iii)(B).

The public advocacy nonprofit commenter raised concerns about the exemption of cleared transactions that are part of a large netting set from the twenty business day margin-period-of-risk requirement. However, in the agencies' view, the fact that cleared transactions are part of a large netting set should not automatically subject them to a higher capital requirement. In order for trades to meet the regulatory capital framework's definition of cleared transaction, they must involve a CCP, which facilitates trades between counterparties and has a proven record of being able to efficiently process a large volume of transactions. Furthermore, most types of cleared transactions must meet the operational criteria in section 3(a) of the regulatory capital framework, including the portability requirement in section 3(a)(4). These factors sufficiently mitigate the risk to warrant not applying an increased margin-period-of-risk for a netting set of cleared transactions solely because of the size of the netting set. In addition, this change promotes international regulatory consistency by aligning the advanced approaches rule with international standards regarding the requirements for netting sets containing 5,000 or more cleared transactions. Thus, the agencies are finalizing the changes to the margin period of risk in the IMM as proposed.

C. Collateral Posted by a Clearing Member Client Banking Organization and a Clearing Member Banking Organization

The agencies proposed to correct a cross-reference related to the calculation of exposure for cleared transactions for clearing member banking organizations and for clearing member client banking organizations in section 133 of the regulatory capital framework. Prior to the proposed change, the provisions for measuring the risk-weighted asset amount for posted collateral cross-referenced only to section 131 of the regulatory capital framework, which contained the provisions for risk-weighting wholesale and retail exposures.16 Because collateral may be in the form of a securitization exposure, equity exposure, or a covered position, the proposed change would have replaced the cross-reference to section 131 with a cross-reference to subparts E and F.

16See sections 133(b)(4)(ii) and 133(c)(4)(ii) (rules applicable to clearing member client banking organizations and clearing member banking organizations, respectively).

The agencies did not receive any comments on this proposed revision to the advanced approaches rule, and are adopting it as final. Notably, the financial services trade association commenter noted that the proposed clarifications should be applied to the standardized approach and suggested that the agencies make a corresponding change to section 35 in subpart D of the regulatory capital framework. However, the agencies did not seek comment on revisions to the standardized approach, and non-advanced approaches banking organizations subject to the standardized approach may not have had sufficient notice of the change. Therefore, the agencies are not adopting the change requested by the commenter, but will consider the suggested change in the context of future proposed rulemakings.

4. Risk Weights for Derivatives A. Exposure at Default Adjustment for Recognized Credit Valuation Adjustment (CVA)

In calculating risk weights for derivative contracts, banking organizations may use the IMM if they receive approval from their primary Federal supervisor, or they may use the current exposure methodology (CEM). In calculating exposure at default (EAD) for derivative contracts under the IMM, a banking organization may reduce EAD by the CVA that the banking organization has recognized in the fair value of derivative contracts reported on its balance sheet. This adjustment reflects the fair value adjustment for counterparty credit risk in the valuation of the netting set. Under the regulatory capital framework, a banking organization could not make a similar adjustment under the CEM.

In the proposed rule, the agencies proposed to adjust the CEM (section 132(c)(1)) to permit an advanced approaches banking organization to reduce the EAD by the recognized CVA on the balance sheet. The agencies noted that, for purposes of calculating standardized total risk-weighted assets as required under section 10 of the regulatory capital framework, advanced approaches banking organizations would not be permitted to reduce the EAD calculated according to the CEM. The agencies did not receive comment on this proposed revision to the advanced approaches rule and are adopting it as final, with an update in section 132(c)(1) to remove a reference to section 132(d) and a technical edit in section 132(c)(2) to also permit an adjustment to EAD by the recognized CVA for OTC derivatives subject to a qualifying master netting agreement.

One commenter proposed that the agencies make a corresponding change to the standardized approach and permit banking organizations to reduce the EAD amount for derivative contracts by recognized CVA. The commenter argued that the current treatment under the standardized approach double counts the impact of CVA, and noted that the adjustment to the standardized approach would more closely align the regulatory capital framework with international standards. However, the agencies did not seek comment on revisions to the provisions in the standardized approach, and non-advanced approaches banking organizations subject to the standardized approach may not have had sufficient notice of the change. Therefore, the agencies are not adopting the change requested by the commenter, but will consider the suggested change in the context of future proposed rulemakings.

B. Fair Value of Liabilities due to Changes in the Banking Organization's Own Credit Risk

Section 22 of the regulatory capital framework requires a banking organization to adjust its common equity tier 1 capital for changes in the fair value of liabilities due to changes in the banking organization's own credit risk. The agencies proposed to clarify that, for derivative liabilities, an advanced approaches banking organization would deduct the difference between its credit spread premium and the risk-free rate as part of this adjustment, and not in addition to this adjustment.

The agencies did not receive any comments on this part of the proposed rule and are adopting it as final.

5. Requirements and Mechanics Applicable to Banking Organizations That Use the Advanced Approaches Rule

In February 2014 and in March 2015, the OCC and the Board granted permission to a number of advanced approaches banking organizations to begin calculating their risk-based capital requirements under the advanced approaches rule.17 During the parallel run evaluation process for advanced approaches banking organizations that are calculating their risk-based capital requirements under the advanced approaches rule, the agencies concluded that several areas of the advanced approaches rule should be revised to (1) clarify the requirements and mechanics for calculating risk-weighted assets under the advanced approaches rule and (2) promote international consistency by more clearly aligning the U.S. regulations with international standards.

17 Board Press Releases: http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/bcreg/20140221a.htm, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/bcreg/20150331a.htm; OCC Press releases: http://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/news-releases/2014/nr-ia-2014-21.html, http://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/news-releases/2015/nr-ia-2015-47.html.

Sections 122 and 131 of the regulatory capital framework set forth the qualification requirements for the internal ratings-based approach (IRB) for advanced approaches banking organizations and describe the mechanics for calculating risk-weighted assets for wholesale and retail exposures under the advanced approaches rule. When the agencies initially adopted the advanced approaches rule in 2007,18 they incorporated these elements into the supervisory review process rather than into the advanced approaches rule. However, the agencies believe that certain elements of sections 122 and 131 of the regulatory capital framework should be clarified to ensure that advanced approaches banking organizations appropriately: (1) Obtain and consider all relevant and material information to estimate probability of default (PD), loss given default (LGD), and EAD; (2) quantify risk parameters for wholesale and retail exposures; and (3) establish internal requirements for collateral and risk management processes.

18 72 FR 69288 (December 7, 2007).

Accordingly, in the proposed rule, the agencies proposed incorporating new rule text to add specificity and enhance transparency regarding the IRB process and the mechanics used to calculate total wholesale and retail risk-weighted assets. More specifically, the proposed rule would have amended sections 122 and 131 of the regulatory capital framework to clarify requirements associated with: (1) The frequency for reviewing risk rating systems, (2) the independence of the systems' development, design, and implementation, (3) time horizons for default and loss data when estimating risk parameters, (4) changes in advanced approaches banking organizations' lending, payment processing, and account monitoring practices, (5) the use of all relevant available data for assigning risk ratings, and (6) the need for internal requirements for collateral management and risk management processes. These proposed modifications are consistent with the current overarching principles in sections 122 and 131 of the regulatory capital framework under which advanced approaches banking organizations must have an internal risk rating and segmentation system that accurately and reliably differentiates among degrees of credit risk for wholesale and retail exposures, and must have a comprehensive risk-parameter quantification process that produces accurate, timely, and reliable risk-parameter estimates. The agencies emphasize that the revisions were intended to clarify, but not change, existing requirements. In fact, many of these clarifications in subpart E of the regulatory capital framework are included in agency supervisory guidance and examination materials. Therefore, because they demonstrated that they comply with the existing requirements, advanced approaches banking organizations that have already exited parallel run demonstrated that they met the proposed requirements upon exit. The agencies did not receive any comments on this part of the proposed rule and are adopting the changes as final, with a technical edit to the rule text in section 122(c)(2)(v)(11) to include language that was included in the regulatory capital framework but inadvertently omitted from the proposed revisions.

6. Technical Corrections

In addition to the revisions discussed above, the agencies proposed to make the following technical corrections:

• In section 131(e)(3)(vi), the rule would have been revised to reference section 22(d) and not section 22(a)(7);

• In Table 1 of section 132, the reference in the column heading would have been corrected to state that “Non-sovereign issuers risk weight under this section (in percent)” and “Sovereign issuers risk weight under this section (in percent)” are found in section 32.

• In section 132(d)(7)(iv)(B), the agencies would have revised the rule to reference section 132(b)(2) and not section 131(b)(2);

• In section 132(d)(9)(ii), the agencies would have revised the rule to reference section 132(e)(6) and not section 132(e)(3);

• In section 133(b)(3)(i)(B), the agencies would have revised the rule to reference section 133(b)(3)(i)(A) and not section 132(b)(3)(i)(A); and

• In section 136(e)(2)(i) and 136(e)(2)(ii), the agencies would have revised the rule to reference section 136(e)(1) and (e)(2) and not section 135(e)(1) and (e)(2).

No comments were received on the above proposed technical corrections. The agencies are finalizing these changes as proposed and are correcting an additional internal cross-reference error in section 132 that was identified after the publication of the proposed rule. Specifically, the agencies are amending section 132(d)(2)(iv)(C) to replace the reference to paragraph (d)(5) with the correct reference to paragraph (d)(6).

In addition, the FDIC has added a clarification of its prior Federal Register instructions regarding the regulatory capital framework. In its amendatory rule text, the FDIC is clarifying for Federal Register publication purposes a certain paragraph of its prompt corrective action (PCA) rules in 12 CFR 324.403(b). The FDIC has provided this clarification to ensure that its PCA rules, as published in the Federal Register, are identical to the current PCA rules of the Board and the OCC.

IV. Regulatory Analyses A. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521) (PRA), the agencies may not conduct or sponsor, and a respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The agencies did not receive any comments on the proposed rule related to PRA. The agencies reviewed the final rule and determined that it would not introduce any new collection of information pursuant to the PRA.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

OCC: The Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. (RFA), requires an agency, in connection with a final rule, to prepare a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis describing the impact of the final rule on small entities, or to certify that the final rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. For purposes of the RFA, the Small Business Administration (SBA) defines small entities as those with $550 million or less in assets for commercial banks and savings institutions, and $38.5 million or less in assets for trust companies.

As described in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of the preamble, the final rule would apply only to advanced approaches banking organizations. No OCC-supervised advanced approaches banking organization qualifies as a small entity as defined by the SBA. Therefore, the OCC certifies that the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of OCC-supervised small entities.

FDIC: The RFA requires an agency, in connection with a notice of final rulemaking, to prepare a Final Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis describing the impact of the rule on small entities (defined by the SBA for purposes of the RFA to include banking entities with total assets of $550 million or less) or to certify that the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Using the SBA's size standards, as of March 31, 2015, the FDIC supervised 3,407 small entities. As described in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of the preamble, however, the final rule applies only to advanced approaches banking organizations. Advanced approaches banking organization is defined to include a state nonmember bank or a state savings association that has, or is a subsidiary of, a bank holding company or savings and loan holding company that has total consolidated assets of $250 billion or more, total consolidated on-balance sheet foreign exposure of $10 billion or more, or that has elected to use the advanced approaches framework. As of March 31, 2015, based on a $550 million threshold, zero (out of 3,119) small state nonmember banks and zero (out of 288) small state savings associations were under the advanced approaches rule. Therefore, the FDIC does not believe that the final rule results in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under its supervisory jurisdiction.

The FDIC certifies that the final rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small FDIC-supervised institutions.

Board: The Board is providing a final regulatory flexibility analysis with respect to this final rule. As discussed above, this final rule would clarify, correct, and update aspects of the agencies' regulatory capital framework applicable to banking organizations that are subject to the advanced approaches rule. The revisions are largely driven by observations made by the agencies during the parallel run review process of advanced approaches banking organizations as well as a recent assessment of the regulatory capital framework.

Under regulations issued by the SBA, a small entity includes a depository institution, bank holding company, or savings and loan holding company with total assets of $550 million or less (a small banking organization).19 As of March 31, 2015, there were approximately 631 small state member banks. As of December 31, 2014, there were approximately 3,833 small bank holding companies and 271 small savings and loan holding companies.

19See 13 CFR 121.201. Effective July 14, 2014, the Small Business Administration revised the size standards for banking organizations to $550 million in assets from $500 million in assets. 79 FR 33647 (June 12, 2014).

The final rule applies only to advanced approaches banking organizations, which, generally, are banking organizations with total consolidated assets of $250 billion or more, that have total consolidated on-balance sheet foreign exposure of $10 billion or more, are a subsidiary of an advanced approaches depository institution, or that elect to use the advanced approaches rule. Currently, no small top-tier bank holding company, top-tier savings and loan holding company, or state member bank is an advanced approaches banking organization, so there would be no additional projected compliance requirements imposed on small bank holding companies, savings and loan holding companies, or state member banks. The Board expects that any small bank holding company, savings and loan holding company, or state member bank that would be covered by this final rule would rely on its parent banking organization for compliance and would not bear additional costs.

The Board is aware of no other Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the final rule. The Board believes that the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on small banking organizations supervised by the Board and therefore believes that there are no significant alternatives to the final rule that would reduce the economic impact on small banking organizations supervised by the Board.

C. OCC Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 Determination

The OCC analyzed the final rule under the factors set forth in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1532). Under this analysis, the OCC considered whether the final rule includes a Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year ($143 million adjusted for inflation).

The final rule includes clarifications, corrections, and updates for certain aspects of the agencies' regulatory capital framework applicable to national banks and Federal savings associations subject to the OCC's advanced approaches rule.

Because the final rule is designed to clarify, correct, and update existing rules, and does not introduce any new requirements, the OCC has determined that it would not result in expenditures by State, local, and Tribal governments, or by the private sector, of $143 million or more.

D. Plain Language

Section 722 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act requires the Federal banking agencies to use plain language in all proposed and final rules published after January 1, 2000. The agencies have sought to present the final rule in a simple and straightforward manner, and did not receive any comments on the use of plain language.

List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 3

Administrative practice and procedure, Capital, National banks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Risk.

12 CFR Part 217

Administrative practice and procedure, Banks, Banking, Capital, Federal Reserve System, Holding companies, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Securities.

12 CFR Part 324

Administrative practice and procedure, Banks, Banking, Capital Adequacy, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, State non-member banks.

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 12 CFR Chapter I Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth in the common preamble and under the authority of 12 U.S.C. 93a, 1462, 1462a, 1463, 1464, 3907, 3909, 1831o, and 5412(b)(2)(B), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency amends part 3 of chapter I of title 12, Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 3—CAPITAL ADEQUACY STANDARDS 1. The authority citation for part 3 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 93a, 161, 1462, 1462a, 1463, 1464, 1818, 1828(n), 1828 note, 1831n note, 1835, 3907, 3909, and 5412(b)(2)(B).

2. Section 3.2 is amended by revising the definition of “Residential mortgage exposure” to read as follows:
§ 3.2 Definitions.

Residential mortgage exposure means an exposure (other than a securitization exposure, equity exposure, statutory multifamily mortgage, or presold construction loan):

(1)(i) That is primarily secured by a first or subsequent lien on one-to-four family residential property; or

(ii) With an original and outstanding amount of $1 million or less that is primarily secured by a first or subsequent lien on residential property that is not one-to-four family; and

(2) For purposes of calculating capital requirements under subpart E of this part, managed as part of a segment of exposures with homogeneous risk characteristics and not on an individual-exposure basis.

3. Section 3.10 is amended by revising paragraph (c) introductory text to read as follows:
§ 3.10 Minimum capital requirements.

(c) Advanced approaches capital ratio calculations. An advanced approaches national bank or Federal savings association that has completed the parallel run process and received notification from the OCC pursuant to § 3.121(d) must determine its regulatory capital ratios as described in paragraphs (c)(1) through (3) of this section. An advanced approaches national bank or Federal savings association must determine its supplementary leverage ratio in accordance with paragraph (c)(4) of this section, beginning with the calendar quarter immediately following the quarter in which the national bank or Federal savings association meets any of the criteria in § 3.100(b)(1).

4. Section 3.22 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(1)(iii) to read as follows:
§ 3.22 Regulatory capital adjustments and deductions.

(b) * * *

(1) * * *

(iii) A national bank or Federal savings association must deduct any net gain and add any net loss related to changes in the fair value of liabilities that are due to changes in the national bank's or Federal savings association's own credit risk. An advanced approaches national bank or Federal savings association must deduct the difference between its credit spread premium and the risk-free rate for derivatives that are liabilities as part of this adjustment.

5. Section 3.100 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(1)(ii) to read as follows:
§ 3.100 Purpose, applicability, and principle of conservatism.

(b) * * *

(1) * * *

(ii) Has consolidated total on-balance sheet foreign exposure on its most recent year-end Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) 009 Report equal to $10 billion or more (where total on-balance sheet foreign exposure equals total foreign countries cross-border claims on an ultimate-risk basis, plus total foreign countries claims on local residents on an ultimate-risk basis, plus total foreign countries fair value of foreign exchange and derivative products), calculated in accordance with the FFIEC 009 Country Exposure Report;

6. Section 3.122 is amended by: a. Revising paragraphs (a)(3) and (b)(1); b. Adding paragraph (b)(2)(iii); c. Revising paragraphs (b)(3) and (5) and (c)(1), (2), (5), and (6); d. Redesignating paragraphs (c)(9) and (10) as paragraphs (c)(10) and (11), revising newly redesignated paragraphs (c)(10) and (11), and adding a new paragraph (c)(9); and e. Revising paragraph (i)(5).

The revisions and additions read as follows:

§ 3.122 Qualification requirements.

(a) * * *

(3) Each national bank or Federal savings association must have an appropriate infrastructure with risk measurement and management processes that meet the qualification requirements of this section and are appropriate given the national bank's or Federal savings association's size and level of complexity. Regardless of whether the systems and models that generate the risk parameters necessary for calculating a national bank's or Federal savings association's risk-based capital requirements are located at any affiliate of the national bank or Federal savings association, the national bank or Federal savings association itself must ensure that the risk parameters and reference data used to determine its risk-based capital requirements are representative of long run experience with respect to its own credit risk and operational risk exposures.

(b) Risk rating and segmentation systems for wholesale and retail exposures. (1)(i) A national bank or Federal savings association must have an internal risk rating and segmentation system that accurately, reliably, and meaningfully differentiates among degrees of credit risk for the national bank's or Federal savings association's wholesale and retail exposures. When assigning an internal risk rating, a national bank or Federal savings association may consider a third-party assessment of credit risk, provided that the national bank's or Federal savings association's internal risk rating assignment does not rely solely on the external assessment.

(ii) If a national bank or Federal savings association uses multiple rating or segmentation systems, the national bank's or Federal savings association's rationale for assigning an obligor or exposure to a particular system must be documented and applied in a manner that best reflects the obligor's or exposure's level of risk. A national bank or Federal savings association must not inappropriately allocate obligors or exposures across systems to minimize regulatory capital requirements.

(iii) In assigning ratings to wholesale obligors and exposures, including loss severity ratings grades to wholesale exposures, and assigning retail exposures to retail segments, a national bank or Federal savings association must use all relevant and material information and ensure that the information is current.

(iv) When assigning an obligor to a PD rating or retail exposure to a PD segment, a national bank or Federal savings association must assess the obligor or retail borrower's ability and willingness to contractually perform, taking a conservative view of projected information.

(2) * * *

(iii) A national bank or Federal savings association must have an effective process to obtain and update in a timely manner relevant and material information on obligor and exposure characteristics that affect PD, LGD and EAD.

(3) For retail exposures:

(i) A national bank or Federal savings association must have an internal system that groups retail exposures into the appropriate retail exposure subcategory and groups the retail exposures in each retail exposure subcategory into separate segments with homogeneous risk characteristics that provide a meaningful differentiation of risk. The national bank's or Federal savings association's system must identify and group in separate segments by subcategories exposures identified in § 3.131(c)(2)(ii) and (iii).

(ii) A national bank or Federal savings association must have an internal system that captures all relevant exposure risk characteristics, including borrower credit score, product and collateral types, as well as exposure delinquencies, and must consider cross-collateral provisions, where present.

(iii) The national bank or Federal savings association must review and, if appropriate, update assignments of individual retail exposures to segments and the loss characteristics and delinquency status of each identified risk segment. These reviews must occur whenever the national bank or Federal savings association receives new material information, but generally no less frequently than quarterly, and, in all cases, at least annually.

(5) The national bank's or Federal savings association's internal risk rating system for wholesale exposures must provide for the review and update (as appropriate) of each obligor rating and (if applicable) each loss severity rating whenever the national bank or Federal savings association obtains relevant and material information on the obligor or exposure that affects PD, LGD and EAD, but no less frequently than annually.

(c) Quantification of risk parameters for wholesale and retail exposures. (1) The national bank or Federal savings association must have a comprehensive risk parameter quantification process that produces accurate, timely, and reliable estimates of the risk parameters on a consistent basis for the national bank's or Federal savings association's wholesale and retail exposures.

(2) A national bank's or Federal savings association's estimates of PD, LGD, and EAD must incorporate all relevant, material, and available data that is reflective of the national bank's or Federal savings association's actual wholesale and retail exposures and of sufficient quality to support the determination of risk-based capital requirements for the exposures. In particular, the population of exposures in the data used for estimation purposes, the lending standards in use when the data were generated, and other relevant characteristics, should closely match or be comparable to the national bank's or Federal savings association's exposures and standards. In addition, a national bank or Federal savings association must:

(i) Demonstrate that its estimates are representative of long run experience, including periods of economic downturn conditions, whether internal or external data are used;

(ii) Take into account any changes in lending practice or the process for pursuing recoveries over the observation period;

(iii) Promptly reflect technical advances, new data, and other information as they become available;

(iv) Demonstrate that the data used to estimate risk parameters support the accuracy and robustness of those estimates; and

(v) Demonstrate that its estimation technique performs well in out-of-sample tests whenever possible.

(5) The national bank or Federal savings association must be able to demonstrate which variables have been found to be statistically significant with regard to EAD. The national bank's or Federal savings association's EAD estimates must reflect its specific policies and strategies with regard to account management, including account monitoring and payment processing, and its ability and willingness to prevent further drawdowns in circumstances short of payment default. The national bank or Federal savings association must have adequate systems and procedures in place to monitor current outstanding amounts against committed lines, and changes in outstanding amounts per obligor and obligor rating grade and per retail segment. The national bank or Federal savings association must be able to monitor outstanding amounts on a daily basis.

(6) At a minimum, PD estimates for wholesale obligors and retail segments must be based on at least five years of default data. LGD estimates for wholesale exposures must be based on at least seven years of loss severity data, and LGD estimates for retail segments must be based on at least five years of loss severity data. EAD estimates for wholesale exposures must be based on at least seven years of exposure amount data, and EAD estimates for retail segments must be based on at least five years of exposure amount data. If the national bank or Federal savings association has relevant and material reference data that span a longer period of time than the minimum time periods specified above, the national bank or Federal savings association must incorporate such data in its estimates, provided that it does not place undue weight on periods of favorable or benign economic conditions relative to periods of economic downturn conditions.

(9) If a national bank or Federal savings association uses internal data obtained prior to becoming subject to this subpart E or external data to arrive at PD, LGD, or EAD estimates, the national bank or Federal savings association must demonstrate to the OCC that the national bank or Federal savings association has made appropriate adjustments if necessary to be consistent with the definition of default in § 3.101. Internal data obtained after the national bank or Federal savings association becomes subject to this subpart E must be consistent with the definition of default in § 3.101.

(10) The national bank or Federal savings association must review and update (as appropriate) its risk parameters and its risk parameter quantification process at least annually.

(11) The national bank or Federal savings association must, at least annually, conduct a comprehensive review and analysis of reference data to determine relevance of the reference data to the national bank's or Federal savings association's exposures, quality of reference data to support PD, LGD, and EAD estimates, and consistency of reference data to the definition of default in § 3.101.

(i) * * *

(5) The national bank or Federal savings association must have an internal audit function or equivalent function that is independent of business-line management that at least annually:

(i) Reviews the national bank's or Federal savings association's advanced systems and associated operations, including the operations of its credit function and estimations of PD, LGD, and EAD;

(ii) Assesses the effectiveness of the controls supporting the national bank's or Federal savings association's advanced systems; and

(iii) Documents and reports its findings to the national bank's or Federal savings association's board of directors (or a committee thereof).

7. Section 3.131 is amended by: a. Revising paragraphs (d)(5)(ii) and (iii); and b. In paragraph (e)(3)(vi), removing “§ 3.22(a)(7)” and adding “§ 3.22(d)” in its place.

The revisions read as follows:

§ 3.131 Mechanics for calculating total wholesale and retail risk-weighted assets.

(d) * * *

(5) * * *

(ii) A national bank or Federal savings association may take into account the risk reducing effects of guarantees and credit derivatives in support of retail exposures in a segment when quantifying the PD and LGD of the segment. In doing so, a national bank or Federal savings association must consider all relevant available information.

(iii) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(6) of this section, a national bank or Federal savings association may take into account the risk reducing effects of collateral in support of a wholesale exposure when quantifying the LGD of the exposure, and may take into account the risk reducing effects of collateral in support of retail exposures when quantifying the PD and LGD of the segment. In order to do so, a national bank or Federal savings association must have established internal requirements for collateral management, legal certainty, and risk management processes.

8. Section 3.132 is amended by: a. In Table 1 to § 3.132, removing “this section” and adding “§ 3.32” in its place, wherever it appears; b. Revising paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2) and (d)(5)(iii)(B); c. In paragraph (d)(2)(iv)(C), removing “(d)(5)” and adding “(d)(6)” in its place; d. In paragraph (d)(7)(iv)(B), removing “§ 3.131(b)(2)” and adding “§ 3.132(b)(2)” in its place; and d. In paragraph (d)(9)(ii), removing “paragraph (e)(3)” and adding “paragraph (e)(6)” in its place.

The revisions read as follows:

§ 3.132 Counterparty credit risk of repo-style transactions, eligible margin loans, and OTC derivative contracts.

(c) EAD for OTC derivative contracts—(1) OTC derivative contracts not subject to a qualifying master netting agreement. A national bank or Federal savings association must determine the EAD for an OTC derivative contract that is not subject to a qualifying master netting agreement using the current exposure methodology in paragraph (c)(5) of this section or using the internal models methodology described in paragraph (d) of this section. A national bank or Federal savings association may reduce the EAD calculated according to paragraph (c)(5) of this section by the credit valuation adjustment that the national bank or Federal savings association has recognized in its balance sheet valuation of any OTC derivative contracts in the netting set. For purposes of this paragraph (c)(1), the credit valuation adjustment does not include any adjustments to common equity tier 1 capital attributable to changes in the fair value of the national bank's or Federal savings association's liabilities that are due to changes in its own credit risk since the inception of the transaction with the counterparty.

(2) OTC derivative contracts subject to a qualifying master netting agreement. A national bank or Federal savings association must determine the EAD for multiple OTC derivative contracts that are subject to a qualifying master netting agreement using the current exposure methodology in paragraph (c)(6) of this section or using the internal models methodology described in paragraph (d) of this section. A national bank or Federal savings association may reduce the EAD calculated according to paragraph (c)(6) of this section by the credit valuation adjustment that the national bank or Federal savings association has recognized in its balance sheet valuation of any OTC derivative contracts in the netting set. For purposes of this paragraph (c)(2), the credit valuation adjustment does not include any adjustments to common equity tier 1 capital attributable to changes in the fair value of the national bank's or Federal savings association's liabilities that are due to changes in its own credit risk since the inception of the transaction with the counterparty.

(d) * * *

(5) * * *

(iii) * * *

(B) Twenty business days if the number of trades in a netting set exceeds 5,000 at any time during the previous quarter (except if the national bank or Federal savings association is calculating EAD for a cleared transaction under § 3.133) or contains one or more trades involving illiquid collateral or any derivative contract that cannot be easily replaced. If over the two previous quarters more than two margin disputes on a netting set have occurred that lasted more than the margin period of risk, then the national bank or Federal savings association must use a margin period of risk for that netting set that is at least two times the minimum margin period of risk for that netting set. If the periodicity of the receipt of collateral is N-days, the minimum margin period of risk is the minimum margin period of risk under this paragraph (d) plus N minus 1. This period should be extended to cover any impediments to prompt re-hedging of any market risk.

9. Section 3.133 is amended by: a. In paragraph (b)(3)(i)(B) removing “§ 3.132(b)(3)(i)(A)” and adding paragraph (b)(3)(i)(A) of this section” in its place; b. In paragraph (b)(4)(ii) removing “§ 3.131” and adding “subparts E or F of this part, as applicable” in its place; c. Adding paragraph (c)(3)(iii); and d. In paragraph (c)(4)(ii) removing “§ 3.131” and adding “subparts E or F of this part, as applicable” in its place.

The addition reads as follows:

§ 3.133 Cleared transactions.

(c) * * *

(3) * * *

(iii) Notwithstanding paragraphs (c)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section, a clearing member national bank or Federal savings association may apply a risk weight of 0 percent to the trade exposure amount for a cleared transaction with a CCP where the clearing member national bank or Federal savings association is acting as a financial intermediary on behalf of a clearing member client, the transaction offsets another transaction that satisfies the requirements set forth in § 3.3(a), and the clearing member national bank or Federal savings association is not obligated to reimburse the clearing member client in the event of the CCP default.

§ 3.136 [Amended]
10. Section 3.136 is amended by: a. In paragraph (e)(2)(i), removing “§ 3.135(e)(1) and (e)(2)” and adding “paragraphs (e)(1) and (2) of this section” in its place: And b. In paragraph (e)(2)(ii), removing “§§ 3.135(e)(1) and (e)(2)” and adding “paragraphs (e)(1) and (2) of this section” in its place.
11. Section 3.172 is amended by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 3.172 Disclosure requirements.

(d)(1) A national bank or Federal savings association that meets any of the criteria in § 3.100(b)(1) before January 1, 2015, must publicly disclose each quarter its supplementary leverage ratio and the components thereof (that is, tier 1 capital and total leverage exposure) as calculated under subpart B of this part, beginning with the first quarter in 2015. This disclosure requirement applies without regard to whether the national bank or Federal savings association has completed the parallel run process and received notification from the OCC pursuant to § 3.121(d).

(2) A national bank or Federal savings association that meets any of the criteria in § 3.100(b)(1) on or after January 1, 2015, must publicly disclose each quarter its supplementary leverage ratio and the components thereof (that is, tier 1 capital and total leverage exposure) as calculated under subpart B of this part beginning with the calendar quarter immediately following the quarter in which the national bank or Federal savings association becomes an advanced approaches national bank or Federal savings association. This disclosure requirement applies without regard to whether the national bank or Federal savings association has completed the parallel run process and has received notification from the OCC pursuant to § 3.121(d).

12. Section 3.173 is amended by: a. Redesignating paragraph (a) introductory text as paragraph (a)(1) and revising newly redesignated paragraph (a)(1); b. Adding paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3); c. Revising the entry for (a)(1) in Table 6 to § 3.173; and d. Revising the entry for (i)(2) in Table 9 to § 3.173.

The revisions and additions read as follows:

§ 3.173 Disclosures by certain advanced approaches national banks or Federal savings associations.

(a)(1) An advanced approaches national bank or Federal savings association described in § 3.172(b) must make the disclosures described in Tables 1 through 12 to § 3.173.

(2) An advanced approaches national bank or Federal savings association that is required to publicly disclose its supplementary leverage ratio pursuant to § 3.172(d) must make the disclosures required under Table 13 to § 3.173, unless the national bank or Federal savings association is a consolidated subsidiary of a bank holding company, savings and loan holding company, or depository institution that is subject to these disclosures requirements or a subsidiary of a non-U.S. banking organization that is subject to comparable public disclosure requirements in its home jurisdiction.

(3) The disclosures described in Tables 1 through 12 to § 3.173 must be made publicly available for twelve consecutive quarters beginning on January 1, 2014, or a shorter period, as applicable, for the quarters after the national bank or Federal savings association has completed the parallel run process and received notification from the OCC pursuant to § 3.121(d). The disclosures described in Table 13 to § 3.173 must be made publicly available for twelve consecutive quarters beginning on January 1, 2015, or a shorter period, as applicable, for the quarters after the national bank or Federal savings association becomes subject to the disclosure of the supplementary leverage ratio pursuant to § 3.172(d) and § 3.173(a)(2).

Table 6 to § 3.173—Credit Risk: Disclosures for Portfolios Subject to IRB Risk-Based Capital Formula Qualitative
  • disclosures
  • (a) * * *
    (1) Structure of internal rating systems and if the national bank or Federal savings association considers external ratings, the relation between internal and external ratings; *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Table 9 to § 3.173—Securitization *         *         *         *         *         *         * Quantitative Disclosures *         *         *         *         *         *         * (i) * * * (2) Aggregate amount disclosed separately by type of underlying exposure in the pool of any: (i) After-tax gain-on-sale on a securitization that has been deducted from common equity tier 1 capital: And (ii) Credit-enhancing interest-only strip that is assigned a 1,250 percent risk weight. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR CHAPTER II Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons set forth in the common preamble, part 217 of chapter II of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

    PART 217—CAPITAL ADEQUACY OF BANK HOLDING COMPANIES, SAVINGS AND LOAN HOLDING COMPANIES, AND STATE MEMBER BANKS (REGULATION Q) 13. The authority citation for part 217 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 248(a), 321-338a, 481-486, 1462a, 1467a, 1818, 1828, 1831n, 1831o, 1831p-l, 1831w, 1835, 1844(b), 1851, 3904, 3906-3909, 4808, 5365, 5368, 5371.

    14. Section 217.2 is amended by revising the definition of “Residential mortgage exposure” to read as follows:
    § 217.2 Definitions.

    Residential mortgage exposure means an exposure (other than a securitization exposure, equity exposure, statutory multifamily mortgage, or presold construction loan):

    (1)(i) That is primarily secured by a first or subsequent lien on one-to-four family residential property; or

    (ii) With an original and outstanding amount of $1 million or less that is primarily secured by a first or subsequent lien on residential property that is not one-to-four family; and

    (2) For purposes of calculating capital requirements under subpart E of this part, managed as part of a segment of exposures with homogeneous risk characteristics and not on an individual-exposure basis.

    15. Section 217.10 is amended by revising paragraph (c) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 217.10 Minimum capital requirements.

    (c) Advanced approaches capital ratio calculations. An advanced approaches Board-regulated institution that has completed the parallel run process and received notification from the Board pursuant to § 217.121(d) must determine its regulatory capital ratios as described in paragraphs (c)(1) through (3) of this section. An advanced approaches Board-regulated institution must determine its supplementary leverage ratio in accordance with paragraph (c)(4) of this section, beginning with the calendar quarter immediately following the quarter in which the Board-regulated institution meets any of the criteria in § 217.100(b)(1).

    16. Section 217.22 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(1)(iii) to read as follows:
    § 217.22 Regulatory capital adjustments and deductions.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (iii) A Board-regulated institution must deduct any net gain and add any net loss related to changes in the fair value of liabilities that are due to changes in the Board-regulated institution's own credit risk. An advanced approaches Board-regulated institution must deduct the difference between its credit spread premium and the risk-free rate for derivatives that are liabilities as part of this adjustment.

    17. Section 217.100 is amended by revising paragraphs (b)(1)(i)(B)(2) and (b)(1)(ii)(B) to read as follows:
    § 217.100 Purpose, applicability, and principle of conservatism.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (B) * * *

    (2) Has consolidated total on-balance sheet foreign exposure on its most recent year-end Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) 009 Report equal to $10 billion or more (where total on-balance sheet foreign exposure equals total foreign countries cross-border claims on an ultimate-risk basis, plus total foreign countries claims on local residents on an ultimate-risk basis, plus total foreign countries fair value of foreign exchange and derivative products), calculated in accordance with the FFIEC 009 Country Exposure Report;

    (ii) * * *

    (B) Has consolidated total on-balance sheet foreign exposure on its most recent year-end Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) 009 Report equal to $10 billion or more (where total on-balance sheet foreign exposure equals total foreign countries cross-border claims on an ultimate-risk basis, plus total foreign countries claims on local residents on an ultimate-risk basis, plus total foreign countries fair value of foreign exchange and derivative products), calculated in accordance with the FFIEC 009 Country Exposure Report;

    18. Section 217.122 is amended by: a. Revising paragraphs (a)(3) and (b)(1); b. Adding paragraph (b)(2)(iii); c. Revising paragraphs (b)(3) and (5) and (c)(1), (2), (5), and (6); d. Redesignating paragraphs (c)(9) and (10) as paragraphs (c)(10) and (11), revising newly redesignated paragraphs (c)(10) and (11), and adding a new paragraph (c)(9); and e. Revising paragraph (i)(5).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 217.122 Qualification requirements.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Each Board-regulated institution must have an appropriate infrastructure with risk measurement and management processes that meet the qualification requirements of this section and are appropriate given the Board-regulated institution's size and level of complexity. Regardless of whether the systems and models that generate the risk parameters necessary for calculating a Board-regulated institution's risk-based capital requirements are located at any affiliate of the Board-regulated institution, the Board-regulated institution itself must ensure that the risk parameters and reference data used to determine its risk-based capital requirements are representative of long run experience with respect to its own credit risk and operational risk exposures.

    (b) Risk rating and segmentation systems for wholesale and retail exposures. (1)(i) A Board-regulated institution must have an internal risk rating and segmentation system that accurately, reliably, and meaningfully differentiates among degrees of credit risk for the Board-regulated institution's wholesale and retail exposures. When assigning an internal risk rating, a Board-regulated institution may consider a third-party assessment of credit risk, provided that the Board-regulated institution's internal risk rating assignment does not rely solely on the external assessment.

    (ii) If a Board-regulated institution uses multiple rating or segmentation systems, the Board-regulated institution's rationale for assigning an obligor or exposure to a particular system must be documented and applied in a manner that best reflects the obligor or exposure's level of risk. A Board-regulated institution must not inappropriately allocate obligors or exposures across systems to minimize regulatory capital requirements.

    (iii) In assigning ratings to wholesale obligors and exposures, including loss severity ratings grades to wholesale exposures, and assigning retail exposures to retail segments, a Board-regulated institution must use all relevant and material information and ensure that the information is current.

    (iv) When assigning an obligor to a PD rating or retail exposure to a PD segment, a Board-regulated institution must assess the obligor or retail borrower's ability and willingness to contractually perform, taking a conservative view of projected information.

    (2) * * *

    (iii) A Board-regulated institution must have an effective process to obtain and update in a timely manner relevant and material information on obligor and exposure characteristics that affect PD, LGD and EAD.

    (3) For retail exposures:

    (i) A Board-regulated institution must have an internal system that groups retail exposures into the appropriate retail exposure subcategory and groups the retail exposures in each retail exposure subcategory into separate segments with homogeneous risk characteristics that provide a meaningful differentiation of risk. The Board-regulated institution's system must identify and group in separate segments by subcategories exposures identified in § 217.131(c)(2)(ii) and (iii).

    (ii) A Board-regulated institution must have an internal system that captures all relevant exposure risk characteristics, including borrower credit score, product and collateral types, as well as exposure delinquencies, and must consider cross-collateral provisions, where present.

    (iii) The Board-regulated institution must review and, if appropriate, update assignments of individual retail exposures to segments and the loss characteristics and delinquency status of each identified risk segment. These reviews must occur whenever the Board-regulated institution receives new material information, but generally no less frequently than quarterly, and, in all cases, at least annually.

    (5) The Board-regulated institution's internal risk rating system for wholesale exposures must provide for the review and update (as appropriate) of each obligor rating and (if applicable) each loss severity rating whenever the Board-regulated institution obtains relevant and material information on the obligor or exposure that affects PD, LGD and EAD, but no less frequently than annually.

    (c) Quantification of risk parameters for wholesale and retail exposures. (1) The Board-regulated institution must have a comprehensive risk parameter quantification process that produces accurate, timely, and reliable estimates of the risk parameters on a consistent basis for the Board-regulated institution's wholesale and retail exposures.

    (2) A Board-regulated institution's estimates of PD, LGD, and EAD must incorporate all relevant, material, and available data that is reflective of the Board-regulated institution's actual wholesale and retail exposures and of sufficient quality to support the determination of risk-based capital requirements for the exposures. In particular, the population of exposures in the data used for estimation purposes, the lending standards in use when the data were generated, and other relevant characteristics, should closely match or be comparable to the Board-regulated institution's exposures and standards. In addition, a Board-regulated institution must:

    (i) Demonstrate that its estimates are representative of long run experience, including periods of economic downturn conditions, whether internal or external data are used;

    (ii) Take into account any changes in lending practice or the process for pursuing recoveries over the observation period;

    (iii) Promptly reflect technical advances, new data, and other information as they become available;

    (iv) Demonstrate that the data used to estimate risk parameters support the accuracy and robustness of those estimates; and

    (v) Demonstrate that its estimation technique performs well in out-of-sample tests whenever possible.

    (5) The Board-regulated institution must be able to demonstrate which variables have been found to be statistically significant with regard to EAD. The Board-regulated institution's EAD estimates must reflect its specific policies and strategies with regard to account management, including account monitoring and payment processing, and its ability and willingness to prevent further drawdowns in circumstances short of payment default. The Board-regulated institution must have adequate systems and procedures in place to monitor current outstanding amounts against committed lines, and changes in outstanding amounts per obligor and obligor rating grade and per retail segment. The Board-regulated institution must be able to monitor outstanding amounts on a daily basis.

    (6) At a minimum, PD estimates for wholesale obligors and retail segments must be based on at least five years of default data. LGD estimates for wholesale exposures must be based on at least seven years of loss severity data, and LGD estimates for retail segments must be based on at least five years of loss severity data. EAD estimates for wholesale exposures must be based on at least seven years of exposure amount data, and EAD estimates for retail segments must be based on at least five years of exposure amount data. If the Board-regulated institution has relevant and material reference data that span a longer period of time than the minimum time periods specified above, the Board-regulated institution must incorporate such data in its estimates, provided that it does not place undue weight on periods of favorable or benign economic conditions relative to periods of economic downturn conditions.

    (9) If a Board-regulated institution uses internal data obtained prior to becoming subject to this subpart E or external data to arrive at PD, LGD, or EAD estimates, the Board-regulated institution must demonstrate to the Board that the Board-regulated institution has made appropriate adjustments if necessary to be consistent with the definition of default in § 217.101. Internal data obtained after the Board-regulated institution becomes subject to this subpart E must be consistent with the definition of default in § 217.101.

    (10) The Board-regulated institution must review and update (as appropriate) its risk parameters and its risk parameter quantification process at least annually.

    (11) The Board-regulated institution must, at least annually, conduct a comprehensive review and analysis of reference data to determine relevance of the reference data to the Board-regulated institution's exposures, quality of reference data to support PD, LGD, and EAD estimates, and consistency of reference data to the definition of default in § 217.101.

    (i) * * *

    (5) The Board-regulated institution must have an internal audit function or equivalent function that is independent of business-line management that at least annually:

    (i) Reviews the Board-regulated institution's advanced systems and associated operations, including the operations of its credit function and estimations of PD, LGD, and EAD;

    (ii) Assesses the effectiveness of the controls supporting the Board-regulated institution's advanced systems; and

    (iii) Documents and reports its findings to the Board-regulated institution's board of directors (or a committee thereof).

    19. Section 217.131 is amended by: a. Revising paragraphs (d)(5)(ii) and (iii); and b. In paragraph (e)(3)(vi), removing “§ 217.22(a)(7)” and adding “§ 217.22(d)” in its place.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 217.131 Mechanics for calculating total wholesale and retail risk-weighted assets.

    (d) * * *

    (5) * * *

    (ii) A Board-regulated institution may take into account the risk reducing effects of guarantees and credit derivatives in support of retail exposures in a segment when quantifying the PD and LGD of the segment. In doing so, a Board-regulated institution must consider all relevant available information.

    (iii) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(6) of this section, a Board-regulated institution may take into account the risk reducing effects of collateral in support of a wholesale exposure when quantifying the LGD of the exposure, and may take into account the risk reducing effects of collateral in support of retail exposures when quantifying the PD and LGD of the segment. In order to do so, a Board-regulated institution must have established internal requirements for collateral management, legal certainty, and risk management processes.

    20. Section 217.132 is amended by: a. In Table 1 to § 217.132, removing “this section” and adding “§ 217.32” in its place, wherever it appears; b. Revising paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2) and (d)(5)(iii)(B); c. In paragraph (d)(2)(iv)(C), removing “(d)(5)” and adding “(d)(6)” in its place; d. In paragraph (d)(7)(iv)(B), removing “§ 217.131(b)(2)” and adding “§ 217.132(b)(2)” in its place; and e. In paragraph (d)(9)(ii), removing “paragraph (e)(3)” and adding “paragraph (e)(6)” in its place. The revisions read as follows:
    § 217.132 Counterparty credit risk of repo-style transactions, eligible margin loans, and OTC derivative contracts.

    (c) EAD for OTC derivative contracts—(1) OTC derivative contracts not subject to a qualifying master netting agreement. A Board-regulated institution must determine the EAD for an OTC derivative contract that is not subject to a qualifying master netting agreement using the current exposure methodology in paragraph (c)(5) of this section or using the internal models methodology described in paragraph (d) of this section. A Board-regulated institution may reduce the EAD calculated according to paragraph (c)(5) of this section by the credit valuation adjustment that the Board-regulated institution has recognized in its balance sheet valuation of any OTC derivative contracts in the netting set. For purposes of this paragraph (c)(1), the credit valuation adjustment does not include any adjustments to common equity tier 1 capital attributable to changes in the fair value of the Board-regulated institution's liabilities that are due to changes in its own credit risk since the inception of the transaction with the counterparty.

    (2) OTC derivative contracts subject to a qualifying master netting agreement. A Board-regulated institution must determine the EAD for multiple OTC derivative contracts that are subject to a qualifying master netting agreement using the current exposure methodology in paragraph (c)(6) of this section or using the internal models methodology described in paragraph (d) of this section. A Board-regulated institution may reduce the EAD calculated according to paragraph (c)(6) of this section by the credit valuation adjustment that the Board-regulated institution has recognized in its balance sheet valuation of any OTC derivative contracts in the netting set. For purposes of this paragraph (c)(2), the credit valuation adjustment does not include any adjustments to common equity tier 1 capital attributable to changes in the fair value of the Board-regulated institution's liabilities that are due to changes in its own credit risk since the inception of the transaction with the counterparty.

    (d) * * *

    (5) * * *

    (iii) * * *

    (B) Twenty business days if the number of trades in a netting set exceeds 5,000 at any time during the previous quarter (except if the Board-regulated institution is calculating EAD for a cleared transaction under § 217.133) or contains one or more trades involving illiquid collateral or any derivative contract that cannot be easily replaced. If over the two previous quarters more than two margin disputes on a netting set have occurred that lasted more than the margin period of risk, then the Board-regulated institution must use a margin period of risk for that netting set that is at least two times the minimum margin period of risk for that netting set. If the periodicity of the receipt of collateral is N-days, the minimum margin period of risk is the minimum margin period of risk under this paragraph (d) plus N minus 1. This period should be extended to cover any impediments to prompt re-hedging of any market risk.

    21. Section 217.133 is amended by: a. In paragraph (b)(3)(i)(B) removing “§ 217.132(b)(3)(i)(A)” and adding paragraph (b)(3)(i)(A) of this section” in its place; b. In paragraph (b)(4)(ii) removing “§ 217.131” and adding “subparts E or F of this part, as applicable” in its place; c. Adding paragraph (c)(3)(iii); and d. In paragraph (c)(4)(ii) removing “§ 217.131” and adding “subparts E or F of this part, as applicable” in its place.

    The addition read as follows:

    § 217.133 Cleared transactions.

    (c) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (iii) Notwithstanding paragraphs (c)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section, a clearing member Board-regulated institution may apply a risk weight of 0 percent to the trade exposure amount for a cleared transaction with a CCP where the clearing member Board-regulated institution is acting as a financial intermediary on behalf of a clearing member client, the transaction offsets another transaction that satisfies the requirements set forth in § 217.3(a), and the clearing member Board-regulated institution is not obligated to reimburse the clearing member client in the event of the CCP default.

    § 217.136 [Amended]
    22. Section 217.136 is amended by: a. In paragraph (e)(2)(i), removing “§ 217.135(e)(1) and (e)(2)” and adding “paragraphs (e)(1) and (2) of this section” in its place; and b. In paragraph (e)(2)(ii), removing “§§ 217.135(e)(1) and (e)(2)” and adding “paragraphs (e)(1) and (2) of this section” in its place. 23. Section 217.172 is amended by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 217.172 Disclosure requirements.

    (d)(1) A Board-regulated institution that meets any of the criteria in § 217.100(b)(1) before January 1, 2015, must publicly disclose each quarter its supplementary leverage ratio and the components thereof (that is, tier 1 capital and total leverage exposure) as calculated under subpart B of this part, beginning with the first quarter in 2015. This disclosure requirement applies without regard to whether the Board-regulated institution has completed the parallel run process and received notification from the Board pursuant to § 217.121(d).

    (2) A Board-regulated institution that meets any of the criteria in § 217.100(b)(1) on or after January 1, 2015, must publicly disclose each quarter its supplementary leverage ratio and the components thereof (that is, tier 1 capital and total leverage exposure) as calculated under subpart B of this part beginning with the calendar quarter immediately following the quarter in which the Board-regulated institution becomes an advanced approaches Board-regulated institution. This disclosure requirement applies without regard to whether the Board-regulated institution has completed the parallel run process and has received notification from the Board pursuant to § 217.121(d).

    24. Section 217.173 is amended by: a. Designating paragraph (a) introductory text as paragraph (a)(1) and revising newly redesignated paragraph (a)(1); b. Adding paragraphs (a)(2) and (3); c. Revising the entry for (a)(1) in Table 6 to § 217.173; and d. Revising the entry for (i)(2) in Table 9 to § 217.173.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 217.173 Disclosures by certain advanced approaches Board-regulated institutions.

    (a)(1) An advanced approaches Board-regulated institution described in § 217.172(b) must make the disclosures described in Tables 1 through 12 to § 217.173.

    (2) An advanced approaches Board-regulated institution that is required to publicly disclose its supplementary leverage ratio pursuant to § 217.172(d) must make the disclosures required under Table 13 to § 217.173, unless the Board-regulated institution is a consolidated subsidiary of a bank holding company, savings and loan holding company, or depository institution that is subject to these disclosures requirements or a subsidiary of a non-U.S. banking organization that is subject to comparable public disclosure requirements in its home jurisdiction.

    (3) The disclosures described in Tables 1 through 12 to § 217.173 must be made publicly available for twelve consecutive quarters beginning on January 1, 2014, or a shorter period, as applicable, for the quarters after the Board-regulated institution has completed the parallel run process and received notification from the Board pursuant to § 217.121(d). The disclosures described in Table 13 to § 217.173 must be made publicly available for twelve consecutive quarters beginning on January 1, 2015, or a shorter period, as applicable, for the quarters after the Board-regulated institution becomes subject to the disclosure of the supplementary leverage ratio pursuant to § 217.172(d) and § 217.173(a)(2).

    Table 6 to § 217.173—Credit Risk: Disclosures for Portfolios Subject to IRB Risk-Based Capital Formula Qualitative disclosures (a) * * * (1) Structure of internal rating systems and if the Board-regulated institution considers external ratings, the relation between internal and external ratings; *         *         *         *         *         *         * Table 9 to § 217.173—Securitization *         *         *         *         *         *         * Quantitative disclosures *         *         *         *         *         *         * (i) * * * (2) Aggregate amount disclosed separately by type of underlying exposure in the pool of any: (i) After-tax gain-on-sale on a securitization that has been deducted from common equity tier 1 capital; and (ii) Credit-enhancing interest-only strip that is assigned a 1,250 percent risk weight. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION 12 CFR Chapter III Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation amends part 324 of chapter III of Title 12, Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 324—CAPITAL ADEQUACY 25. The authority citation for part 324 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1815(a), 1815(b), 1816, 1818(a), 1818(b), 1818(c), 1818(t), 1819(Tenth), 1828(c), 1828(d), 1828(i), 1828(n), 1828(o), 1831o, 1835, 3907, 3909, 4808; 5371; 5412; Pub. L. 102-233, 105 Stat. 1761, 1789, 1790 (12 U.S.C. 1831n note); Pub. L. 102-242, 105 Stat. 2236, 2355, as amended by Pub. L. 103-325, 108 Stat. 2160, 2233 (12 U.S.C. 1828 note); Pub. L. 102-242, 105 Stat. 2236, 2386, as amended by Pub. L. 102-550, 106 Stat. 3672, 4089 (12 U.S.C. 1828 note); Pub. L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376, 1887 (15 U.S.C. 78o-7 note).

    26. Section 324.2 is amended by revising the definition of “Residential mortgage exposure” to read as follows:
    § 324.2 Definitions.

    Residential mortgage exposure means an exposure (other than a securitization exposure, equity exposure, statutory multifamily mortgage, or presold construction loan):

    (1)(i) That is primarily secured by a first or subsequent lien on one-to-four family residential property; or

    (ii) With an original and outstanding amount of $1 million or less that is primarily secured by a first or subsequent lien on residential property that is not one-to-four family; and

    (2) For purposes of calculating capital requirements under subpart E of this part, managed as part of a segment of exposures with homogeneous risk characteristics and not on an individual-exposure basis.

    27. Section 324.10 is amended by revising paragraph (c) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 324.10 Minimum capital requirements.

    (c) Advanced approaches capital ratio calculations. An advanced approaches FDIC-supervised institution that has completed the parallel run process and received notification from the FDIC pursuant to § 324.121(d) must determine its regulatory capital ratios as described in paragraphs (c)(1) through (3) of this section. An advanced approaches FDIC-supervised institution must determine its supplementary leverage ratio in accordance with paragraph (c)(4) of this section, beginning with the calendar quarter immediately following the quarter in which the FDIC-supervised institution meets any of the criteria in § 324.100(b)(1).

    28. Section 324.22 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(1)(iii) to read as follows:
    § 324.22 Regulatory capital adjustments and deductions.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (iii) An FDIC-supervised institution must deduct any net gain and add any net loss related to changes in the fair value of liabilities that are due to changes in the FDIC-supervised institution's own credit risk. An advanced approaches FDIC-supervised institution must deduct the difference between its credit spread premium and the risk-free rate for derivatives that are liabilities as part of this adjustment.

    29. Section 324.100 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(1)(ii) to read as follows:
    § 324.100 Purpose, applicability, and principle of conservatism.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) Has consolidated total on-balance sheet foreign exposure on its most recent year-end Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) 009 Report equal to $10 billion or more (where total on-balance sheet foreign exposure equals total foreign countries cross-border claims on an ultimate-risk basis, plus total foreign countries claims on local residents on an ultimate-risk basis, plus total foreign countries fair value of foreign exchange and derivative products), calculated in accordance with the FFIEC 009 Country Exposure Report;

    30. Section 324.122 is amended by: a. Revising paragraphs (a)(3) and (b)(1); b. Adding paragraph (b)(2)(iii); c. Revising paragraphs (b)(3) and (5), and (c)(1), (2), (5), and (6); d. Redesignating paragraphs (c)(9) and (c)(10) as paragraphs (c)(10) and (c)(11), revising newly redesignated paragraphs (c)(10) and (c)(11), and adding a new paragraph (c)(9); and e. Revising paragraph (i)(5).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 324.122 Qualification requirements.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Each FDIC-supervised institution must have an appropriate infrastructure with risk measurement and management processes that meet the qualification requirements of this section and are appropriate given the FDIC-supervised institution's size and level of complexity. Regardless of whether the systems and models that generate the risk parameters necessary for calculating an FDIC-supervised institution's risk-based capital requirements are located at any affiliate of the FDIC-supervised institution, the FDIC-supervised institution itself must ensure that the risk parameters and reference data used to determine its risk-based capital requirements are representative of long run experience with respect to its own credit risk and operational risk exposures.

    (b) Risk rating and segmentation systems for wholesale and retail exposures. (1)(i) An FDIC-supervised institution must have an internal risk rating and segmentation system that accurately, reliably, and meaningfully differentiates among degrees of credit risk for the FDIC-supervised institution's wholesale and retail exposures. When assigning an internal risk rating, an FDIC-supervised institution may consider a third-party assessment of credit risk, provided that the FDIC-supervised institution's internal risk rating assignment does not rely solely on the external assessment.

    (ii) If an FDIC-supervised institution uses multiple rating or segmentation systems, the FDIC-supervised institution's rationale for assigning an obligor or exposure to a particular system must be documented and applied in a manner that best reflects the obligor or exposure's level of risk. An FDIC-supervised institution must not inappropriately allocate obligors or exposures across systems to minimize regulatory capital requirements.

    (iii) In assigning ratings to wholesale obligors and exposures, including loss severity ratings grades to wholesale exposures, and assigning retail exposures to retail segments, an FDIC-supervised institution must use all relevant and material information and ensure that the information is current.

    (iv) When assigning an obligor to a PD rating or retail exposure to a PD segment, an FDIC-supervised institution must assess the obligor or retail borrower's ability and willingness to contractually perform, taking a conservative view of projected information.

    (2) * * *

    (iii) An FDIC-supervised institution must have an effective process to obtain and update in a timely manner relevant and material information on obligor and exposure characteristics that affect PD, LGD and EAD.

    (3) For retail exposures:

    (i) An FDIC-supervised institution must have an internal system that groups retail exposures into the appropriate retail exposure subcategory and groups the retail exposures in each retail exposure subcategory into separate segments with homogeneous risk characteristics that provide a meaningful differentiation of risk. The FDIC-supervised institution's system must identify and group in separate segments by subcategories exposures identified in § 324.131(c)(2)(ii) and (iii).

    (ii) An FDIC-supervised institution must have an internal system that captures all relevant exposure risk characteristics, including borrower credit score, product and collateral types, as well as exposure delinquencies, and must consider cross-collateral provisions, where present.

    (iii) The FDIC-supervised institution must review and, if appropriate, update assignments of individual retail exposures to segments and the loss characteristics and delinquency status of each identified risk segment. These reviews must occur whenever the FDIC-supervised institution receives new material information, but generally no less frequently than quarterly, and, in all cases, at least annually.

    (5) The FDIC-supervised institution's internal risk rating system for wholesale exposures must provide for the review and update (as appropriate) of each obligor rating and (if applicable) each loss severity rating whenever the FDIC-supervised institution obtains relevant and material information on the obligor or exposure that affects PD, LGD and EAD, but no less frequently than annually.

    (c) Quantification of risk parameters for wholesale and retail exposures. (1) The FDIC-supervised institution must have a comprehensive risk parameter quantification process that produces accurate, timely, and reliable estimates of the risk parameters on a consistent basis for the FDIC-supervised institution's wholesale and retail exposures.

    (2) An FDIC-supervised institution's estimates of PD, LGD, and EAD must incorporate all relevant, material, and available data that is reflective of the FDIC-supervised institution's actual wholesale and retail exposures and of sufficient quality to support the determination of risk-based capital requirements for the exposures. In particular, the population of exposures in the data used for estimation purposes, the lending standards in use when the data were generated, and other relevant characteristics, should closely match or be comparable to the FDIC-supervised institution's exposures and standards. In addition, an FDIC-supervised institution must:

    (i) Demonstrate that its estimates are representative of long run experience, including periods of economic downturn conditions, whether internal or external data are used;

    (ii) Take into account any changes in lending practice or the process for pursuing recoveries over the observation period;

    (iii) Promptly reflect technical advances, new data, and other information as they become available;

    (iv) Demonstrate that the data used to estimate risk parameters support the accuracy and robustness of those estimates; and

    (v) Demonstrate that its estimation technique performs well in out-of-sample tests whenever possible.

    (5) The FDIC-supervised institution must be able to demonstrate which variables have been found to be statistically significant with regard to EAD. The FDIC-supervised institution's EAD estimates must reflect its specific policies and strategies with regard to account management, including account monitoring and payment processing, and its ability and willingness to prevent further drawdowns in circumstances short of payment default. The FDIC-supervised institution must have adequate systems and procedures in place to monitor current outstanding amounts against committed lines, and changes in outstanding amounts per obligor and obligor rating grade and per retail segment. The FDIC-supervised institution must be able to monitor outstanding amounts on a daily basis.

    (6) At a minimum, PD estimates for wholesale obligors and retail segments must be based on at least five years of default data. LGD estimates for wholesale exposures must be based on at least seven years of loss severity data, and LGD estimates for retail segments must be based on at least five years of loss severity data. EAD estimates for wholesale exposures must be based on at least seven years of exposure amount data, and EAD estimates for retail segments must be based on at least five years of exposure amount data. If the FDIC-supervised institution has relevant and material reference data that span a longer period of time than the minimum time periods specified above, the FDIC-supervised institution must incorporate such data in its estimates, provided that it does not place undue weight on periods of favorable or benign economic conditions relative to periods of economic downturn conditions.

    (9) If an FDIC-supervised institution uses internal data obtained prior to becoming subject to this subpart E or external data to arrive at PD, LGD, or EAD estimates, the FDIC-supervised institution must demonstrate to the FDIC that the FDIC-supervised institution has made appropriate adjustments if necessary to be consistent with the definition of default in § 324.101. Internal data obtained after the FDIC-supervised institution becomes subject to this subpart E must be consistent with the definition of default in § 324.101.

    (10) The FDIC-supervised institution must review and update (as appropriate) its risk parameters and its risk parameter quantification process at least annually.

    (11) The FDIC-supervised institution must, at least annually, conduct a comprehensive review and analysis of reference data to determine relevance of the reference data to the FDIC-supervised institution's exposures, quality of reference data to support PD, LGD, and EAD estimates, and consistency of reference data to the definition of default in § 324.101.

    (i) * * *

    (5) The FDIC-supervised institution must have an internal audit function or equivalent function that is independent of business-line management that at least annually:

    (i) Reviews the FDIC-supervised institution's advanced systems and associated operations, including the operations of its credit function and estimations of PD, LGD, and EAD;

    (ii) Assesses the effectiveness of the controls supporting the FDIC-supervised institution's advanced systems; and

    (iii) Documents and reports its findings to the FDIC-supervised institution's board of directors (or a committee thereof).

    31. Section 324.131 is amended by: a. Revising paragraphs (d)(5)(ii) and (iii); and b. In paragraph (e)(3)(vi), removing “§ 324.22(a)(7)” and adding “§ 324.22(d)” in its place.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 324.131 Mechanics for calculating total wholesale and retail risk-weighted assets.

    (d) * * *

    (5) * * *

    (ii) An FDIC-supervised institution may take into account the risk reducing effects of guarantees and credit derivatives in support of retail exposures in a segment when quantifying the PD and LGD of the segment. In doing so, an FDIC-supervised institution must consider all relevant available information.

    (iii) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(6) of this section, an FDIC-supervised institution may take into account the risk reducing effects of collateral in support of a wholesale exposure when quantifying the LGD of the exposure, and may take into account the risk reducing effects of collateral in support of retail exposures when quantifying the PD and LGD of the segment. In order to do so, an FDIC-supervised institution must have established internal requirements for collateral management, legal certainty, and risk management processes.

    32. Section 324.132 is amended by: a. In Table 1 to § 324.132, removing “this section” and adding “§ 324.32” in its place, wherever it appears; b. Revising paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2) and (d)(5)(iii)(B); c. In paragraph (d)(2)(iv)(C), removing “(d)(5)” and adding “(d)(6)” in its place; d. In paragraph (d)(7)(iv)(B), removing “§ 324.131(b)(2)” and adding “§ 324.132(b)(2)” in its place; and e. In paragraph (d)(9)(ii), removing “paragraph (e)(3)” and adding “paragraph (e)(6)” in its place.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 324.132 Counterparty credit risk of repo-style transactions, eligible margin loans, and OTC derivative contracts.

    (c) EAD for OTC derivative contracts—(1) OTC derivative contracts not subject to a qualifying master netting agreement. An FDIC-supervised institution must determine the EAD for an OTC derivative contract that is not subject to a qualifying master netting agreement using the current exposure methodology in paragraph (c)(5) of this section or using the internal models methodology described in paragraph (d) of this section. An FDIC-supervised institution may reduce the EAD calculated according to paragraph (c)(5) of this section by the credit valuation adjustment that the FDIC-supervised institution has recognized in its balance sheet valuation of any OTC derivative contracts in the netting set. For purposes of this paragraph (c)(1), the credit valuation adjustment does not include any adjustments to common equity tier 1 capital attributable to changes in the fair value of the FDIC-supervised institution's liabilities that are due to changes in its own credit risk since the inception of the transaction with the counterparty.

    (2) OTC derivative contracts subject to a qualifying master netting agreement. An FDIC-supervised institution must determine the EAD for multiple OTC derivative contracts that are subject to a qualifying master netting agreement using the current exposure methodology in paragraph (c)(6) of this section or using the internal models methodology described in paragraph (d) of this section. An FDIC-supervised institution may reduce the EAD calculated according to paragraph (c)(6) of this section by the credit valuation adjustment that the FDIC-supervised institution has recognized in its balance sheet valuation of any OTC derivative contracts in the netting set. For purposes of this paragraph (c)(2), the credit valuation adjustment does not include any adjustments to common equity tier 1 capital attributable to changes in the fair value of the FDIC-supervised institution's liabilities that are due to changes in its own credit risk since the inception of the transaction with the counterparty.

    (d) * * *

    (5) * * *

    (iii) * * *

    (B) Twenty business days if the number of trades in a netting set exceeds 5,000 at any time during the previous quarter (except if the FDIC-supervised institution is calculating EAD for a cleared transaction under § 324.133) or contains one or more trades involving illiquid collateral or any derivative contract that cannot be easily replaced. If over the two previous quarters more than two margin disputes on a netting set have occurred that lasted more than the margin period of risk, then the FDIC-supervised institution must use a margin period of risk for that netting set that is at least two times the minimum margin period of risk for that netting set. If the periodicity of the receipt of collateral is N-days, the minimum margin period of risk is the minimum margin period of risk under this paragraph (d) plus N minus 1. This period should be extended to cover any impediments to prompt re-hedging of any market risk.

    33. Section 324.133 is amended by: a. In paragraph (b)(3)(i)(B), removing “§ 324.132(b)(3)(i)(A)” and adding “paragraph (b)(3)(i)(A) of this section” in its place; b. In paragraph (b)(4)(ii) removing “§ 324.131” and adding “subparts E or F of this part, as applicable” in its place; c. Adding paragraph (c)(3)(iii); and d. In paragraph (c)(4)(ii) removing “§ 324.131” and adding “subparts E or F of this part, as applicable” in its place.

    The additions read as follows:

    § 324.133 Cleared transactions.

    (c) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (iii) Notwithstanding paragraphs (c)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section, a clearing member FDIC-supervised institution may apply a risk weight of 0 percent to the trade exposure amount for a cleared transaction with a CCP where the clearing member FDIC-supervised institution is acting as a financial intermediary on behalf of a clearing member client, the transaction offsets another transaction that satisfies the requirements set forth in § 324.3(a), and the clearing member FDIC-supervised institution is not obligated to reimburse the clearing member client in the event of the CCP default.

    34. Section 324.136 is amended by, a. In paragraph (e)(2)(i) removing “§ 324.135(e)(1) and (e)(2)” and adding paragraphs (e)(1) and (e)(2) of this section” in its place; and b. In paragraph (e)(2)(ii) removing “§§ 324.135(e)(1) and (e)(2)” and adding paragraphs (e)(1) and (e)(2)” of this section in its place. 35. Section 324.172 is amended by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 324.172 Disclosure requirements.

    (d)(1) An FDIC-supervised institution that meets any of the criteria in § 324.100(b)(1) before January 1, 2015, must publicly disclose each quarter its supplementary leverage ratio and the components thereof (that is, tier 1 capital and total leverage exposure) as calculated under subpart B of this part, beginning with the first quarter in 2015. This disclosure requirement applies without regard to whether the FDIC-supervised institution has completed the parallel run process and received notification from the FDIC pursuant to § 324.121(d).

    (2) An FDIC-supervised institution that meets any of the criteria in § 324.100(b)(1) on or after January 1, 2015, must publicly disclose each quarter its supplementary leverage ratio and the components thereof (that is, tier 1 capital and total leverage exposure) as calculated under subpart B of this part beginning with the calendar quarter immediately following the quarter in which the FDIC-supervised institution becomes an advanced approaches FDIC-supervised institution. This disclosure requirement applies without regard to whether the FDIC-supervised institution has completed the parallel run process and has received notification from the FDIC pursuant to § 324.121(d).

    36. Section 324.173 is amended by: a. Designating paragraph (a) as paragraph (a)(1) and revising newly redesignated paragraph (a)(1); b. Adding paragraphs (a)(2) and (3); c. Revising the entry for (a)(1) in Table 6 to § 324.173; and d. Revising the entry for (i)(2) in Table 9 in § 324.173.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 324.173 Disclosures by certain advanced approaches FDIC-supervised institutions.

    (a)(1) An advanced approaches FDIC-supervised institution described in § 324.172(b) must make the disclosures described in Tables 1 through 12 to § 324.173.

    (2) An advanced approaches FDIC-supervised institution that is required to publicly disclose its supplementary leverage ratio pursuant to § 324.172(d) must make the disclosures required under Table 13 to § 324.173, unless the FDIC-supervised institution is a consolidated subsidiary of a bank holding company, savings and loan holding company, or depository institution that is subject to these disclosures requirements or a subsidiary of a non-U.S. banking organization that is subject to comparable public disclosure requirements in its home jurisdiction.

    (3) The disclosures described in Tables 1 through 12 to § 324.173 must be made publicly available for twelve consecutive quarters beginning on January 1, 2014, or a shorter period, as applicable, for the quarters after the FDIC-supervised institution has completed the parallel run process and received notification from the FDIC pursuant to § 324.121(d). The disclosures described in Table 13 to § 324.173 must be made publicly available for twelve consecutive quarters beginning on January 1, 2015, or a shorter period, as applicable, for the quarters after the FDIC-supervised institution becomes subject to the disclosure of the supplementary leverage ratio pursuant to § 324.172(d) and § 324.173(a)(2).

    Table 6 to § 324.173—Credit Risk: Disclosures for Portfolios Subject to IRB Risk-Based Capital Formula Qualitative disclosures (a) * * * (1) Structure of internal rating systems and if the FDIC-supervised institution considers external ratings, the relation between internal and external ratings; *         *         *         *         *         *         * Table 9 to § 324.173—Securitization *         *         *         *         *         *         * Quantitative Disclosures *         *         *         *         *         *         * (i) * * * (2) Aggregate amount disclosed separately by type of underlying exposure in the pool of any: (i) After-tax gain-on-sale on a securitization that has been deducted from common equity tier 1 capital; and (ii) Credit-enhancing interest-only strip that is assigned a 1,250 percent risk weight. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    37. Section 324.403(b) is revised to read as follows:
    § 324.403 Capital measures and capital category definitions.

    * * *

    (b) Capital categories. For purposes of section 38 of the FDI Act and this subpart, an FDIC-supervised institution shall be deemed to be:

    (1) “Well capitalized” if it:

    (i) Has a total risk-based capital ratio of 10.0 percent or greater; and

    (ii) Has a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 8.0 percent or greater; and

    (iii) Has a common equity tier 1 capital ratio of 6.5 percent or greater; and

    (iv) Has a leverage ratio of 5.0 percent or greater;

    (v) Is not subject to any written agreement, order, capital directive, or prompt corrective action directive issued by the FDIC pursuant to section 8 of the FDI Act (12 U.S.C. 1818), the International Lending Supervision Act of 1983 (12 U.S.C. 3907), or the Home Owners' Loan Act (12 U.S.C. 1464(t)(6)(A)(ii)), or section 38 of the FDI Act (12 U.S.C. 1831o), or any regulation thereunder, to meet and maintain a specific capital level for any capital measure; and

    (vi) Beginning on January 1, 2018 and thereafter, an FDIC-supervised institution that is a subsidiary of a covered BHC will be deemed to be well capitalized if the FDIC-supervised institution satisfies paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (v) of this section and has a supplementary leverage ratio of 6.0 percent or greater. For purposes of this paragraph, a covered BHC means a U.S. top-tier bank holding company with more than $700 billion in total assets as reported on the company's most recent Consolidated Financial Statement for Bank Holding Companies (FR Y-9C) or more than $10 trillion in assets under custody as reported on the company's most recent Banking Organization Systemic Risk Report (FR Y-15).

    Dated: June 16, 2015. Thomas J. Curry, Comptroller of the Currency. By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, June 15, 2015. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board. Dated at Washington, DC, this 16th day of June, 2015. By order of the Board of Directors. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15748 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Part 702 [Docket No. 140501396-5463-02] RIN 0694-AG17 U.S. Industrial Base Surveys Pursuant to the Defense Production Act of 1950 AGENCY:

    Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule sets forth the policies and procedures of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) for conducting surveys to obtain information in order to perform industry studies assessing the U.S. industrial base to support the national defense pursuant to the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended. Specifically, this rule provides a description of BIS's authority to issue surveys; the purpose for the surveys and the manner in which such surveys are developed; the confidential treatment of submitted information; and the penalties for non-compliance with surveys. This rule is intended to facilitate compliance with surveys, thereby resulting in stronger and more complete assessments of the U.S. industrial base.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective August 14, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jason Bolton, Trade and Industry Analyst, Office of Technology Evaluation, phone: 202-482-5936 email: [email protected] or Brad Botwin, Director, Industrial Base Studies, Office of Technology Evaluation, phone: 202-482-4060 email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Pursuant to authorities under section 705 of the Defense Production Act of 1950 as amended (DPA) (50 U.S.C. app. 2155) and § 104 of Executive Order 13603 of March 16, 2012 (National Defense Resources Preparedness, 77 FR 16651, 3 CFR, 2012 Comp., p. 225), the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) conducts studies that assess the capabilities of the U.S. industrial base to support the national defense. To produce these studies, BIS may issue surveys to collect detailed information related to the health and competitiveness of the U.S. industrial base from government sources and private individuals or organizations.

    BIS published a proposed rule addressing its authority to conduct the studies, the authority to issue surveys to gather data in support of the studies, the purpose of the surveys and the manner in which such surveys are developed, the confidential treatment of submitted information, and the penalties for non-compliance with surveys (see 80 FR 11350, March 3, 2015). BIS received two comments on the proposed rule and is not making any changes to the final rule text in response to those comments. This final rule makes no substantive change to the proposed rule.

    Public Comments and BIS's Response

    BIS received two comments on the proposed rule. They are reproduced in their entireties along with BIS's responses below.

    Comment 1.

    “The Defense Production Act of 1950 was enacted so that [the] [P]resident could (1) require business[es] to sign contracts deemed necessary for defense, (2) allow the [P]resident to create mechanisms that would allow the allocation of goods and services to support defense and (3) allow the [P]resident to control civilian economy so that scare resource are available for defense. This Act was used during for the Cold War, and could be labeled as outdated and unnecessary. Under this act, the [P]resident and his staff is given a lot of power over the economy. I disagree with the BIS that there should be some sort of supervision over this act. From what I have researched I have found one use of the Act in 2011, where the Government seized equipment from telecommunications companies for criminal charges. One incident should not raise alarm of possible fraud or misuse. Although I wish that all sections of the government could be monitored more, I know that the money spent on the oversight of this Act could be spent more effectively elsewhere.”

    Response: Section 705 of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (50 U.S.C. app. 2155), authorizes the President to, among other things, “require such reports and the keeping of such records by, make such inspection of the books, records, and other writings, premises or property of, and take the sworn testimony of, and administer oaths and affirmations to, any person as may be necessary or appropriate, in his discretion, to the enforcement or the administration of this Act and the regulations or orders issued thereunder.” In 2003, an amendment to that Act made clear that such “authority . . . includes the authority to obtain information in order to perform industry studies assessing the capabilities of the United States industrial base to support the national defense.” This rule is designed to set forth policies and procedures to facilitate the accurate and timely completion of surveys issued by BIS to collect data for these studies. Whether or not the Act is outdated and unnecessary is a decision for Congress, and is not something to be addressed in this regulation. This regulation is solely intended to clearly implement the provisions of Section 705 of the DPA.

    Additionally, BIS does not engage in “supervision over this act.” The studies that BIS conducts under the DPA are for the purpose of assessing the capabilities of the United States industrial base to support the national defense. BIS does not seize property under the DPA in connection with criminal charges and the proposed rule makes no mention of seizure authority.

    Accordingly, BIS is making no changes to the proposed rule in response to this comment.

    Comment 2.

    “The corporation does not posses [sic] the rights of citizenship within U.S. borders, privileges or immunity clause ensures this within The Constitution of the United States of America. Societal roles force us to consider the implications surrounding predictive analytics based in Logic while the National Identity is a consensus being manufactured through a rational theory exercise in speculative risk. Insurers effectively are prohibited from utilizing coercion due to the McCarran Ferguson Act, however significant concerns exist with regard to the applicability of industry influence with-out the force of Anti-trust regulations to secure American values toward equality. A proposal to reduce the unnecessary burdens establishing this future of regulation, suggests the McCarran Ferguson Act may be applied to the Gramm Leech Bliley Act as a measured and proportionate Logic introduced to the irrational manufacture of consent.

    Response: The proposed rule and this final rule are entirely unrelated to the rights of citizenship as they may or may not apply to corporations, the privileges and immunities clause of the Constitution of the United States, the regulation of insurers, anti-trust law, the Gramm Leech Bliley Act, or the McCarran Ferguson Act. The proposed rule and this final rule address surveys issued by BIS to collect data for studies assessing the capabilities of the United States industrial base to support the national defense, consistent with the authorities set forth in section 705 of the Defense Production Act of 1950.

    As this comment is unrelated to the BIS activities this rule addresses, BIS is making no changes to the final rule in response to this comment.

    General Description of the Rule

    This rule sets forth procedures intended to facilitate the accurate and timely completion of surveys issued by BIS to collect data for these studies. This rule sets forth in a single part of the Code of Federal Regulations the information about BIS's authority to conduct the studies, the authority to issue surveys to gather data in support of the studies, the purpose of the surveys and the manner in which such surveys are developed, the confidential treatment of submitted information, and the penalties for non-compliance with surveys.

    Additionally, this rule explains BIS's procedures for verifying that the scope and purpose of the surveys are well defined, and assures that the surveys do not solicit data that duplicates adequate and authoritative data that is available to BIS from any federal or other responsible agency. A survey may require the submission of information similar or identical to information possessed by another federal agency but that is not available to BIS.

    Based on requests it receives from U.S. Government agencies, BIS produces studies to develop findings and policy recommendations for the purpose of improving the competitiveness of specific domestic industries and technologies critical to meeting national defense and essential civilian requirements. These studies may require surveys to collect relevant data and assessments of that data and other information available to BIS.

    BIS, in cooperation with the requesting agency, selects the persons to be surveyed based on the likelihood that they will have information relevant to a study. That likelihood is related to the person's association with the industry sector, material, product, service or technology that is the subject of the study. That association may be based on factors such as the person's role in directly or indirectly providing, producing, distributing, utilizing, procuring, researching, developing, consulting or advising on, the industry sector, material, product, service or technology that is the subject of the study.

    Whether a person's association with the industry sector, material, product, service or technology being assessed is proximate or remote does not determine whether that person's association is sufficient for inclusion in the survey. For example, information about a supplier of raw materials or components that is several transactions removed from the production of the product that is the subject of a study may be relevant to assessing the capabilities of the U.S. industrial base to supply the product to support the national defense. In such a situation, the supplier would be included in the survey. The nature of the person from whom the information is sought also does not determine whether that person's association with the industry sector, material, product, service or technology at issue is sufficient for inclusion in the survey. Surveys may require information from businesses organized for profit, non-profit organizations, academic institutions and government agencies.

    To be useful, a study must be comprehensive, accurate and focused on the relevant industry sector, material, product, service or technology. Therefore, surveys may require information about employment, research and development, sources of supply, manufacturing processes, customers, business strategy, finances and other factors affecting the industry's health and competitiveness. To properly focus the survey on the industry sector, material, product, service or technology being assessed, BIS may request information about a corporation as a whole or information about one or more specified units or individual activities of that corporation. The DPA provides both a civil remedy and criminal penalties that may be used when recipients of surveys do not supply the information sought.

    BIS deems the information supplied in response to survey requests to be confidential and is prohibited by law from publishing or disclosing such information unless the Under Secretary for Industry and Security determines that withholding the information is contrary to the interest of the national defense. The authority to make this determination, which section 705(d) of the DPA gives to the President, has been delegated to relevant agencies, including the Secretary of Commerce, by § 802 of Executive Order 13603. The Secretary of Commerce re -delegated this authority to the Under Secretary for Industry and Security. The DPA provides criminal penalties for any person who willfully violates its prohibition on publication or disclosure.

    Section by Section Description of the Rule

    This rule creates a new part in Title 15, Chapter VII, Subchapter A of the Code of Federal Regulations to be designated as 15 CFR part 702. This new part is devoted exclusively to BIS's collection of information under section 705 of the DPA (50 U.S.C. app. 2155). Placing the new part in Subchapter A promotes an orderly and logical regulatory structure because all other regulations implementing BIS authorities related to the DPA are contained in that subchapter.

    Section 702.1

    Section 702.1 sets forth a general description of BIS's authority to collect information needed to complete the surveys. The survey responses assist BIS in determining the capabilities of the industrial base to support the national defense and to develop policy recommendations to improve both the international competitiveness of specific domestic industries and their ability to meet national defense needs.

    Section 702.2

    Section 702.2 implements the requirement found in section 705 of the DPA (50 U.S.C. app. 2155(a)) to publish regulations by requiring BIS personnel of appropriate competence and authority to ensure that before a survey is sent to any person for completion; 1) the scope and purpose of a survey have been established, 2) the scope and purpose are consistent with BIS's authorities under the DPA, and 3) the data requested by the survey does not duplicate adequate and authoritative data available to BIS from a federal or other authoritative source. A survey may require information that is similar or identical to information possessed by other federal agencies but not available to BIS. The section does not limit the factors that may be considered in deciding whether to conduct a survey nor does it modify or replace the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act. In addition, all surveys are reviewed by BIS and by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act before they are distributed. The OMB review process provides additional assurance that surveys are designed to collect only information deemed necessary to meet the scope and purpose of a study.

    Section 702.3

    Section 702.3 addresses the confidentiality requirements imposed by section 705(d) of the DPA (50 U.S.C. app. 2155(d)) and, in accordance with that section, provides two procedures by which the restrictions on disclosure in section 705(d) would be invoked. First, consistent with its current practice, BIS would deem all information submitted in response to a survey to be confidential. Second, a person submitting a response to a survey may request confidential treatment of the information submitted. Although the second procedure is likely to be redundant of the first, the statute prohibits disclosure if either the government deems the information to be confidential or if the person furnishing the information requests confidential treatment. BIS concludes that both procedures should be included in the regulations to be consistent with the statute. Additionally, § 702.3 notes that confidential information shall not be published or disclosed unless the Under Secretary for Industry and Security determines that withholding the information is contrary to the interest of the national defense. The statutory authority of the President to make this determination has been delegated to the Under Secretary for Industry and Security. This section also repeats the penalties that the statute authorizes for persons convicted of willfully violating the prohibition on disclosure.

    Section 702.4

    Section 702.4 requires timely, complete and adequate responses to surveys. Specifically, the section requires that survey responses be returned to BIS within the time frame stated on the initial distribution letter or other request for information. The section treats a response as “inadequate” if it provides information that is not responsive to the questions asked or if it provides aggregated information when specific information was requested.

    Section 702.4 sets forth the criteria by which BIS may grant either an exemption from complying with the survey requirement or an extension of time to comply. The grounds for granting an exemption or an extension are limited and generally result when BIS concludes that the survey recipient lacks information deemed relevant to the survey or when compliance with the requirement would be unduly burdensome.

    Section 702.4 makes clear that the deadline for complying with a survey is not suspended by submitting a request for an exemption or extension of time to comply.

    Finally, § 702.4 provides that BIS may return responses that are incomplete or inadequate and specify a due date for a complete and adequate response.

    Section 702.5

    Section 702.5 sets forth the consequences of failure to comply with a survey or other request for information. These consequences are established by section 705(a) and (c) of the DPA (50 U.S.C. app. 2155(a) and (c)). If a person does not comply with a survey, BIS may serve a subpoena upon that person to compel compliance. If the person still does not comply, the government may apply to the U.S. district court in any district in which the person is found, resides or transacts business for an order requiring such person to comply. The district court has authority to punish any failure to comply with the order as contempt of court. Persons who are convicted of willfully failing to comply with a survey or other request for information may be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

    Section 702.6

    Section 702.6 defines certain terms used in part 702.

    The word “confidential” is defined in terms of section 705(d) of the DPA, thereby distinguishing its use in this rule from its use in connection with the classification of information for national security purposes as set forth in Executive Order 13526 of December 29, 2009, Classified National Security Information (75 FR 707; 3 CFR, 2010 Comp., p. 298).

    The definition of the term “person” is based on the definition of “person” in section 702 of the DPA (50 U.S.C. app. 2152) with some additions. The DPA definition reads: “The term `person' includes an individual, corporation, partnership, association, or any other organized group of persons, or legal successor or representative thereof, or any State or local government or agency thereof.” Use of the word “includes” in the statutory definition implies that the list following that word is not exhaustive. BIS concludes that the use of “includes” indicates that Congress recognized that the agency implementing the DPA would need discretion to identify the types of entities that would likely possess information relevant to the subject of each industrial base assessment to ensure a comprehensive collection of information.

    This rule adds “The Government of the United States, of the District of Columbia, of any commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States, or any department, agency or commission thereof.” BIS has concluded that inclusion of the additional entities is within its authority under the DPA because the DPA definition prefaces the list of entities with the word “includes,” and because inclusion of the additional entities is necessary to achieve the purpose of the statute.

    Based on prior studies, BIS has observed that the U.S. Government makes a significant contribution to the industrial base, whether in research, technology development, testing, manufacturing, repair and overhaul, or trade development. As a result, the U.S. Government is a significant source of information regarding the industrial base. Similarly, it is plausible that the District of Columbia, commonwealths of the United States and other territories and agencies can be survey respondents, and therefore have been included to ensure the completeness of a survey sample and corresponding assessment.

    The regulatory definition also makes clear that the term “corporation, partnership, association, or any other organized group of persons” is not limited to commercial, for-profit enterprises or publicly traded corporations.

    The definitions of the terms “initial distribution letter” and “survey” each describe a document used in the data collection process. The definitions describe those documents based on the way they are used in current BIS practice.

    Supplement No. 1 to Part 702

    Supplement No. 1 to part 702 provides information that BIS believes would be helpful to persons who receive a survey. This information includes both a description of the survey and a glossary of terms.

    Differences Between This Final Rule and the Proposed Rule

    The definition of “initial distribution letter” in § 702.6 in the proposed rule contained a sentence that read “[t]he letter also provides BIS contact information.” In this final rule, the word “provides” has been replaced with the word “includes” for precision. This final rule also corrects a typographical error that appeared in Supplement No.1 to Part 702, introductory text, second sentence in the proposed rule. The phrase that read: “. . . is purely in example . . .” has been corrected to read “. . . is purely an example . . . .” There are no other differences in regulatory text between this final rule and the proposed rule.

    Rulemaking Requirements

    1. Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This final rule has been determined not to be a “significant regulatory action,” significant, as that term is defined in Executive Order 12866.

    2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et. seq.) unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number. This rule does not contain a collection of information that is subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act. This rule sets forth procedures related to BIS's administration of surveys pursuant to § 705 of the DPA (50 U.S.C. app. 2155). Individual surveys that are subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act will display a currently valid OMB control number.

    3. This rule does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132.

    4. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to the notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) or any other statute. However, under § 605(b) of the RFA, if the head of an agency certifies that a rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities, the RFA does not require the agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis. Pursuant to § 605(b), the Chief Counsel for Regulation, Department of Commerce, submitted a memorandum to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Small Business Administration, certifying that the proposed rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The proposed rule set forth the rationale for that certification. BIS received no comments on that rationale and is making no substantive changes to it. The rationale for that certification is as follows.

    Impact

    This rule sets forth, in a single part of the Code of Federal Regulations, the Department of Commerce's authority under § 705 of the DPA “to obtain information in order to perform industry studies assessing the capabilities of the United States industrial base to support the national defense.” Since the mid-1980s, BIS and its predecessor organizations within the Department of Commerce have conducted such studies and required survey responses based on the statute. Section 705 of the DPA authorizes the collection of the information. The statute also authorizes the issuance of subpoenas for the information and authorizes the United States district courts to issue orders compelling compliance with such subpoenas. It also provides criminal penalties for failure to comply with the government's requests for information. This final rule will not require any person to supply information that the person would not be required to provide pursuant to the statute.

    This final rule requires that surveys issued by BIS pursuant to § 705 be responded to by the deadline set forth in the survey. The rule incorporates BIS's existing internal policies and standards for the granting of both an extension of time to comply with the requirement and exemptions from compliance. To the extent that publication of these policies and standards in the Code of Federal Regulations could be construed as a change in the burden on small entities or any other entities, the publication would have to be deemed as a reduction in burden because it facilitates access to the standards by all parties.

    This final rule also sets forth the statutory standards for treating information submitted in response to a survey as confidential. It reiterates the statutory penalties for failure to comply with a survey and for unauthorized release of information that § 705 requires to be treated as confidential.

    This rule adopts the statutory definition of “person” but also adds “[t]he Government of the United States, of the District of Columbia, of any commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States, or any department, agency or commission thereof” to the definition. The term “person” is used in the statute and in this final rule to represent those to whom the requirements of the statute and this final rule apply. BIS has historically interpreted the statute to apply to units of the U.S. Government (including the District of Columbia Government and the governments of the territories and possessions) and does not view this as a substantive change. For purposes of this certification, the addition is immaterial because the government bodies that will be added to the statutory definition by this final rule are not small entities under the definition provided in the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.

    Number of Small Entities

    Surveys are one-time exercises used to assess the state and/or capabilities of a particular industry sector or technology. Entities are selected for participation based on their role in, or relationship to, the industry sector or technology being assessed. Information obtained during the course of any one assessment may be relevant to determining whether the current entity supplying that information is a small entity. However, the composition of survey respondents varies dramatically between industry studies due to the complexity of each industry sector or technology being assessed. Consequently, BIS is unable to draw from existing data to estimate the number of small businesses participating in future collections. Accordingly, BIS is unable to determine the number of small entities that may be affected by this final rule.

    Conclusion

    Although BIS cannot predict the exact number of small entities that will be participating in any one survey, this rule will not impose a significant burden on any such small entities because it will not require any impacted entity to perform any action that it is not already required to perform pursuant to section 705 of the DPA.

    List of Subjects in Part 702

    Business and industry, Confidential business information, Employment, Penalties, National defense, Research, Science and technology.

    Accordingly, the National Security Industrial Base Regulations (15 CFR Chapter VII, Subchapter A) are amended by adding Part 702 to read as follows:

    Subchapter A—National Security Industrial Base Regulations PART 702—INDUSTRIAL BASE SURVEYS—DATA COLLECTIONS Sec. 702.1 Introduction. 702.2 Scope and purpose of surveys—avoiding duplicative requests for information. 702.3 Confidential information. 702.4 Requirement to comply with surveys or other requests for information. 702.5 Consequences of failure to comply. 702.6 Definitions. Supplement No. 1 to Part 702—General Survey Information Authority:

    50 U.S.C. app. 2061 et seq.; E.O. 13603, 77 FR 16651, 3 CFR, 2012 Comp., p. 225.

    § 702.1 Introduction.

    In accordance with 50 U.S.C. app. 2155, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) may obtain such information from, require such reports and the keeping of such records by, make an inspection of the books, records, and other writings, premises or property of, take the sworn testimony of and administer oaths and affirmations to, any person as may be necessary or appropriate, in its discretion, to the enforcement or the administration of its authorities and responsibilities under the Defense Production Act of 1950 as amended (DPA) and any regulations or orders issued thereunder. BIS's authorities under the DPA (50 U.S.C. app. 2061 et seq.) include authority to collect data via surveys to perform industry studies assessing the capabilities of the United States industrial base to support the national defense and develop policy recommendations to improve both the international competitiveness of specific domestic industries and their ability to meet national defense program needs.

    § 702.2 Scope and purpose of surveys—avoiding duplicative requests for information.

    (a) BIS will not send any survey to any person for completion unless the scope and purpose of the survey have been established, that scope and purpose are consistent with BIS's authorities under the DPA, and the data requested by the survey does not duplicate adequate and authoritative data already available to BIS from a Federal or other authoritative source.

    (b) BIS personnel of appropriate competence and authority will ensure that the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section are met.

    (c) This section shall not be construed as limiting the criteria that BIS may consider in determining whether to proceed with a survey. This paragraph shall not be construed as replacing or in any way modifying the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    § 702.3 Confidential information.

    This section implements section 705(d) of the DPA.

    (a) BIS deems all information submitted in response to a survey issued pursuant to this part to be confidential.

    (b) Any person submitting information in response to a survey issued pursuant to this part may request confidential treatment of that information.

    (c) The President's authority under the DPA to protect confidential information has been delegated to the Under Secretary for Industry and Security. The information described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section shall not be published or disclosed unless the Under Secretary for Industry and Security determines that the withholding thereof is contrary to the interest of the national defense.

    (d) Any person convicted of willfully violating the prohibition in paragraph (c) of this section may be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

    § 702.4 Requirement to comply with surveys or other requests for information.

    (a) Requirement to comply. Every person who receives a survey or other request for information issued pursuant to this part must submit a complete and adequate response to BIS within the time frame stated on the initial distribution letter or other request for information. Survey response information that does not adhere to the survey question criteria or that contains only aggregate information in place of specified information will be treated as inadequate and therefore noncompliant. BIS may exempt persons from this requirement for the reasons in paragraph (b) of this section, or grant extensions of time to comply as set forth in paragraph (c) of this section. Submitting a request to BIS for an exemption or an extension of time for completion does not suspend the initial deadline required by BIS (or any extended deadline subsequently granted by BIS). Thus, persons who request an exemption or extension of time are advised to proceed as if the response is required by the deadline until advised otherwise by BIS.

    (b) Grounds for exemption. (1) An exemption from the requirements of this section may be granted if the person receiving the survey or other request for information:

    (i) Has no physical presence in the United States of any kind;

    (ii) Does not provide, produce, distribute, utilize, procure, research, develop, consult or advise on, or have any other direct or indirect association with the materials, products, services or technology that are within the scope of the survey;

    (iii) Has ceased business operations more than 12 months prior to receipt of the survey;

    (iv) Has been in business for less than one year; or

    (v) BIS determines that extenuating circumstances exist that make responding impractical.

    (2) BIS may also grant an exemption if, based on the totality of the circumstances, it concludes that compliance would be impractical and/or that requiring compliance would be unduly time intensive.

    (3) Existence of a pre-existing private non-disclosure agreement or information sharing agreement between a person and another party (e.g., customers, suppliers, etc.), does not exempt a person from the obligation to comply with and complete a survey. The authority to conduct the survey and comply with the survey is derived from the DPA, and that statutory obligation to comply supersedes any private agreement.

    (c) Extensions of time to complete. A person who receives a survey or other request for information may request an extension of time to submit the complete response to BIS. BIS may grant such an extension of time, if, in its judgment, circumstances are such that additional time reasonably is needed, the extension would not jeopardize timely completion of BIS's overall analysis, and the person is making reasonable progress towards completing the survey or response to the other request for information. Generally, extensions will be for no more than two weeks. A person who receives a survey or other request for information may request successive extensions if the person believes that it continues to have a legitimate need for additional time to complete the survey. BIS will not grant extensions that would jeopardize the performance and timely completion of its industrial base assessments.

    (d) Procedure for requesting exemptions or extensions of time. Requests for exemptions or extensions of time must be made to BIS at the telephone number, email address or BIS physical address provided in the initial distribution letter for a survey or in the other request for information. A request for an exemption must provide factual information and documentation that are adequate for BIS to determine that one or more of the criteria stated in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section are met.

    (e) Responses that are incomplete or inadequate. BIS may return responses that are incomplete or inadequate to the person for prompt completion. BIS will specify the required period of time permitted for completion and submission of the revised survey.

    § 702.5 Consequences of failure to comply.

    (a) Civil. If any person fails to comply with the requirements of § 702.4, BIS may issue a subpoena requiring that person to submit the information called for in the survey. In the case of contumacy or refusal to obey such a subpoena, the U.S. Government may apply for an order by the United States district court in a district where that person resides or transacts business that would compel the person to submit the completed survey.

    (b) Criminal. In accordance with 50 U.S.C. app. 2155, any person who willfully fails to comply with § 702.4, may, upon conviction, be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

    § 702.6 Definitions.

    The definitions in this section apply throughout this part.

    Confidential. A description of information that is subject to the disclosure prohibitions of the DPA (50 U.S.C. app. 2155(d)).

    Initial distribution letter. A letter that BIS sends to a person that has been identified by the U.S. Government as a supplier or customer of materials, products or services used for activities of the industry that is the focus of a survey. The letter describes the survey's primary objectives, how survey results will assist the U.S. Government, and the confidential treatment of the information submitted. The letter also includes BIS contact information.

    Person. The term “person” includes:

    (1) An individual, corporation, partnership, association, or any other organized group of persons, or legal successor or representative thereof;

    (2) Any State or local government or agency thereof;

    (3) The Government of the United States, of the District of Columbia, of any commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States, or any department, agency or commission thereof.

    Note to the definition of “person.” Paragraph (1) of this definition is not limited to commercial or for-profit organizations. For example, the term “any other organized group of persons” may encompass labor unions, academic institutions, charitable organizations or any group of persons who are organized in some manner. The term corporation is not limited to publicly traded corporations or corporations that exist for the purpose of making a profit.

    Survey. A questionnaire or other request for information that collects detailed information and data to support both the assessment of a particular industrial sector or technology and the development of a corresponding study.

    Supplement No. 1 to Part 702—General Survey Information

    This supplement provides general information about surveys and the content of the typical survey. The content of this supplement is purely an example of a typical survey, and in no way limits the content that may appear in a specific Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)-issued survey. Procedures and content vary from survey to survey, and as such, there is no set template to follow. Nonetheless, BIS is offering this information as a basic guide to some elements of a survey.

    Survey Structure

    Most surveys include the following sections: Cover Page; Table of Contents; General Instructions; Glossary of Terms; Organizational Information, and sector-specific sections.

    —The cover page typically includes the title of the survey, its scope, an explanation of the legal requirement to comply, the burden estimate for compliance with the survey, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number, and the survey date of expiration.

    —The General Instructions section normally includes process steps necessary for a person's survey submittal. These include but are not limited to instructions for survey completion, survey support staff point-of-contact information, the name and address of the presiding BIS official, and instructions for both survey certification and submittal.

    —The Glossary of Terms section explains terms contained in the survey. Terms contained in the survey may be unique to the subject matter of the industry assessment, and therefore may change in meaning from survey to survey. Therefore, it is important to follow the specific instructions and defined terms contained in the specific survey you receive, regardless of any previous survey you might have completed.

    —The Organization Information section requests information related to the person in receipt of the survey, including address information, the source level of response (e.g., facility, business unit, division, corporate consolidated, etc.), point of contact details, and other pertinent contact information.

    The survey is generally organized in a question and answer format and is presented on an electronic survey system. Each survey is specially tailored to collect the specific information requested. Therefore, specific detailed information is what should be submitted in response to a survey requesting such information.

    —For example, if we ask for a listing of your customers that order widget A, your response should not be a listing of your entire customer base. Only the information pertaining to customers' ordering widget A is responsive to that kind of question.

    Also note that your reply to a survey request is compulsory, unless you meet the criteria for exemption set forth in the body of the regulation. Therefore, any non-disclosure agreements or similar agreements you may have with your customers or clients are not applicable to a survey's request for information. Compliance with the survey is required by the DPA. Accordingly, compliance with that statutory requirement is paramount to any private agreement you have with your customers or other parties.

    In addition to the aforementioned sections, each survey contains sections tailored to the specific scope of the study, including but not limited to Facility Locations, Products and Services, Inventories, Suppliers and Customers, Challenges and Organizational Outlook, Employment, Operations, Financial Statements, Sales, Research and Development, and Capital Expenditures.

    Examples of survey terms.

    Certification: A section of the survey in which a person (an authorizing official) certifies that the information supplied in response to the survey is complete and correct, to the best of the person's knowledge.

    Facility: A building or the minimum complex of buildings or parts of buildings in which a person operates to serve a particular function, producing revenue and incurring costs for the person. A facility may produce an item of tangible or intangible property or may perform a service. It may encompass a floor or group of floors within a building, a single building, or a group of buildings or structures. Often, a facility is a group of related locations at which employees work, together constituting a profit-and-loss center for the person, and it may be identified by a unique Dun and Bradstreet number.

    Sole source: An organization that is the only source for the supply of parts, components, materials, or services. No alternative U.S. or non-U.S. based supplier exists other than the current supplier.

    Survey template: The data collection instrument supplied by BIS to persons by which survey information is recorded and submitted to BIS. The survey is generally organized in a question and answer format and is presented on an electronic survey system.

    Supplier: An entity from which your organization obtains inputs. A supplier may be another firm with which you have a contractual relationship, or it may be another facility owned by the same parent organization. The inputs may be materials, products or services.

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Kevin J. Wolf, Assistant Secretary for Export Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17388 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 200 [Release No. 34-75388; File No. S7-07-14] RIN 3235-AL58 Freedom of Information Act Regulations: Fee Schedule, Addition of Appeals Time Frame, and Miscellaneous Administrative Changes AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) is adopting amendments to its regulations under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) to allow the Commission to collect fees that reflect its actual costs, add an appeals time frame that will create a more practical and systematic administrative process and clarify other issues in the regulations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: August 14, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Livornese, FOIA/PA Officer, Office of FOIA Services, (202) 551-3831; Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-5041.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission is adopting amendments to its FOIA regulations at 17 CFR 200.80 and 17 CFR 200.80e.

    I. Introduction

    On June 20, 2014 the Commission proposed amendments to its regulations under the Freedom of Information Act.1 The proposed amendments would amend the Commission's FOIA fee schedule for searching and reviewing records; establish an appeals time frame; allow for submission of appeals by additional methods; and allow the Commission's Office of FOIA Services to issue responses to FOIA requests indicating that no records were located. The proposing release requested comment on all aspects of the proposal.

    1See Freedom of Information Act Regulations: Fee Schedule, Addition of Appeal Time Frame and Miscellaneous Administrative Changes, Release No. 34-72440 (June 20, 2014), 79 FR 36443 (June 27, 2014).

    The Commission received three comments regarding the proposed amendments to its regulations under the Freedom of Information Act.2 One commenter wholly supported the Commission's amendment of the regulations related to its FOIA fee schedule. The other two commenters disagreed with the proposed time frame for FOIA appeals, and one also objected to the proposed fee amendments. The comments are discussed in more detail below. In adopting this final rule, the Commission has reviewed and considered all of the comments received.

    2See letter from Sheldon Mark Patnett (July 14, 2014) (the Patnett letter); letter from the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of Government Information Services (July 28, 2014) (the OGIS letter), and letter from David K. Colapinto of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP (July 28, 2014) (the Colapinto letter).

    II. Discussion of the Final Rules

    As discussed in further detail below, the Commission is adopting the rules largely as proposed, with the exception of the provision concerning the FOIA appeals time frame, which has been revised in response to comments received.

    A. Changes to Fee Regulations

    The fees the Commission charges for searching, reviewing, and duplicating records pursuant to FOIA requests are currently set forth in 17 CFR 200.80e, Appendix E—Schedule of fees for records services. The Commission is updating the fee schedule for searching and reviewing records in accordance with Uniform Freedom of Information Act Fee Schedule and Guidelines promulgated by the Office of Management and Budget.3

    3See 52 FR 10011 (March 27, 1987).

    The OMB Guidelines, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Reform Act of 1986, require that each agency's fees be based upon its “direct reasonable operating costs of providing FOIA services.” 4 The guidelines state that “[a]gencies should charge fees that recoup the full allowable direct costs they incur.” 5 Direct costs include “the salary of the employee performing work (the basic rate of pay for the employee plus 16 percent of that rate to cover benefits).” 6 OMB recognized that costs would necessarily vary from agency to agency and directed that each agency promulgate regulations specifying the charges for search, review, and duplication. The OMB Guidelines state that “agencies should charge at the salary rate[s] [i.e. basic pay plus 16 percent] of the employee[s] making the search” or, “where a homogeneous class of personnel is used exclusively . . . agencies may establish an average rate for the range of grades typically involved.” 7

    4Id. at 10015.

    5Id. at 10018.

    6Id. at 10017.

    7Id. at 10018.

    The Commission's current regulation contains set rates for FOIA request search and review activities: $16/hour for grade 11 and below; and $28/hour for grade 12 and above. The Commission proposed to revise this regulation to reflect the formula contained in the OMB Guidelines (basic pay plus 16 percent) rather than setting forth a fixed price. The proposal would establish a representative rate for each of the three different groups of grades typically involved: Personnel in grades SK-8 or below; personnel in grades SK-9 to SK-13; and personnel in grades SK-14 or above.8 The Commission's Web site will contain current rates for search and review fees for each class. The rates will be updated as salaries change and will be determined by using the formula in the regulation. For the current calendar year, the fees would be assessed as follows: SK-8 or below: $29/hour; SK-9 to 13: $61/hour; and SK-14 or above: $89/hour.9 The proposed regulation would allow the Commission to charge FOIA requesters in quarter-hour increments at the rates established by reference to the OMB Guidelines.10 The Commission also proposed to remove the first sentence of 17 CFR 200.80(e)(1) which provides that up to one half hour of staff time devoted to searching for and reviewing Commission records will be provided without charge.

    8 In the proposing release, while the preamble set forth these three groupings, the draft rule text erroneously listed the groupings as: Grades SK-9 or below; Grades SK-10 to SK-14; and Grades SK-15 or above. That was a typographical error and was inconsistent with the text of the preamble of the proposal. Only one commenter addressed the specific amount of the fees, and in making its comment, that commenter used the correct grouping as stated in the preamble of the proposing release.

    9 The SK-8 and below rate is estimated using the maximum and minimum annual salary of a Washington, DC-based SK-6 staffer. For 2014 this is [($41,619 + $63,307)/2][1/2087 hours per year][1.16 OMB markup factor] = $29 per hour. Similarly, the SK-9 through SK-13 category is estimated by using the maximum and minimum annual salary of a Washington, DC-based SK-12 staffer, who typically does most of the work of a FOIA request. For 2014 this is [($82,037 + $138,211)/2][1/2087 hours/year][1.16 OMB markup factor] = $61/hour. Finally, the SK-14 and above category is estimated by using the maximum and minimum salary of a Washington, DC-based SK-15 supervisor. For 2014 this is [($118,743 + $200,033)/2][1/2087 hours per year][1.16 OMB markup factor] = $89/hour.

    10 As per the OMB Guidelines, fees for searches of computerized records will continue to be based on the actual cost to the Commission which includes machine and operator time. 17 CFR 200.80(e)(9)(i).

    One commenter asserted, without providing any data, that increasing FOIA fees would make it more difficult for individuals to obtain information from the SEC and will “put the FOIA process out of reach of the average citizen.” 11 All changes to the Commission's FOIA fee schedule are in conformity with the FOIA and guidance set forth by the Office of Management and Budget. The OMB Guidelines, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Reform Act of 1986, require that each agency's fees be based upon its “direct reasonable operating costs of providing FOIA services.” The Commission has not increased its fees for processing FOIA requests in over 20 years, despite increased costs to the agency.

    11See Colapinto letter.

    Under the proposal, fees would not be charged under either the FOIA or the Privacy Act where the costs of collecting and processing the fee are likely to equal or exceed the amount of the fee or where the requester has met the requirements for a statutory fee waiver. The new language is based upon that of 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(iv) (providing that no fee may be charged if the fee exceeds the costs of collecting and processing the fee). No comments addressed this provision, and the Commission is adopting the amendments as proposed. Currently, the cost of the average fee collection activity is $20, so no fee will be charged of $20 or less.

    One commenter also recommended that the Commission allow documents to be released generally without any charge or at a reduced charge at its discretion and/or if disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.12 17 CFR 200.80(e)(4)(i) allows the Commission's Office of Freedom of Information and Privacy Act [Services] to waive or reduce search, review, and duplication fees if: (1) Disclosure of the requested records is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government; and (2) Disclosure is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. Thus, much of what the commenter suggested is already allowed by existing rules. Possible changes to that section, including allowing for purely discretionary waivers or reduction of fees as suggested by the commenter, are not the subject of this rulemaking. This portion of the rule will be adopted as proposed.

    12See OGIS letter.

    B. Changes to FOIA Appeals Time Frames

    The FOIA requires federal agencies to notify requesters of their right to appeal any adverse determination. 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(A)(i). Although the FOIA does not require agencies to establish an appeals time frame, neither does it preclude them from doing so. The Commission proposed to establish an appeals time frame of 30 days in order to allow more efficient and improved appeals processing by the Commission's Office of the General Counsel. Under the proposal, an appeal from an adverse decision “must be received within thirty (30) calendar days of the date of the adverse decision.” The proposing release noted that the implementation of a 30 day appeals time frame is consistent with the practices of a number of other federal agencies. Commission staff has reviewed the practices at twenty-two separate federal agencies. Of these, ten have a FOIA appeals time frame of 30 days, one has a 30 business day time frame, one has a 35 day time frame, two have a 45 day time frame, seven have a 60 day time frame and one has a 90 day time frame.13

    13 Independent financial agencies comparable to the SEC (CFTC and FTC) have 30 calendar day appeals time frames. The FDIC has a 30 business day appeals time frame.

    Two comment letters opposed the 30 day time frame. One suggested that the Commission consider allowing a 60 day time frame for appeals.14 The sole reason offered was the commenter's observation that mail screening by Federal agencies can slow the amount of time it takes appeals to reach their destination. Another commenter similarly objected to the imposition of a 30 day time frame in which to file an appeal as too short and asserted that it “does not afford individuals (such as whistleblowers and individual investors) sufficient time to find legal representation or to file a substantive appeal.” 15 The commenter also noted that the likelihood of missing the 30 day deadline “is high.”

    14See OGIS letter.

    15See Colapinto letter.

    In response to these concerns, the Office of FOIA Services staff referred to the above-referenced review of the FOIA appeals procedures at twenty-two federal agencies. It was noted that over half of those agencies have appeals time frames longer than 30 days. To permit FOIA requesters ample opportunity to fully address any complex issues related to their appeal, the Commission has determined to adopt a 90 day time frame for filing an appeal. The longer time frame should also obviate any concerns about delays resulting from mail screening. The 90 day time frame being adopted today is among the longest of those identified at other federal agencies. Accordingly, the Commission believes that an appeals time frame of 90 days is appropriate.

    C. Submission of FOIA Appeals by Email and Facsimile

    The Commission proposed to revise 17 CFR 200.80(d)(6)(ii) to allow appeals to be submitted by facsimile or email as well as through the mail. No commenter addressed this issue, and the Commission is adopting it as proposed.

    D. Responses to FOIA Requests Indicating No Records Could Be Located

    The Commission proposed to amend 17 CFR 200.80(d)(5)(i) by adding a sentence to provide for responses to FOIA requests that indicate that no responsive records were located.16 This proposed amendment would make clear that a possible response to a FOIA request is that no responsive records could be located. No commenter addressed this issue, and the new sentence would be adopted as proposed.

    16 The draft amended rule text of 17 CFR 200.80(d)(5)(i) published in the proposed rule inadvertently omitted the penultimate sentence from existing paragraph (d)(5)(i). That language is included in amendatory text of this final rule.

    III. Economic Analysis

    The Commission is sensitive to the economic effects, including the costs and benefits, that result from its rules, and Section 23(a)(2) of the Exchange Act requires the Commission, in making rules pursuant to any provision of the Exchange Act, to consider among other matters the impact any such rule would have on competition.

    As the Commission explained in the proposal, the rules are intended to help align the Commission's fees related to FOIA requests with its direct reasonable operating costs of providing FOIA services and to allow more efficient processing of requests. In the proposal, the Commission explained that although the Commission believed that the proposed rules were unlikely to have a significant impact on the economy, the proposed rules would benefit the Commission and the public. In particular, compared to the baseline, which includes the current fee structure outlined above, the Commission believed that the proposed rules would permit the Commission to charge fees that more closely reflect the direct costs the Commission incurs to provide FOIA services. Additionally, as the Commission explained, the proposed rules would provide increased flexibility to FOIA requesters by expressly permitting appeals by email and facsimile and would also improve efficiency in the appeal process by establishing a time frame for FOIA appeals that, in light of potential alternatives, is consistent with the practice of other federal agencies.

    The Commission also recognized in the proposal that the proposed rules may impose costs. Specifically, the Commission explained that the proposed rules may impose additional costs on individuals who wish to obtain access to Commission records and may impose a burden on requesters who would be required to appeal a decision within 30 days. The Commission noted, however, that those costs would be insignificant. Additionally, the Commission noted that the proposed rules would not burden competition and that the Commission believed that any potential burden on competition imposed by the proposed rules would be appropriate in furtherance of purposes of the Exchange Act.

    The Commission requested comment on all aspects of the benefits and costs of the proposal, including any anticipated impacts on competition. No commenter addressed the economic analysis contained in the proposal, although, as discussed above, one commenter noted that the proposed rules would increase costs for FOIA requesters. After reviewing the comments, the Commission continues to believe that the rules will result in the economic effects described in the proposal and notes that the 90 day appeal time frame will likely impose less of a burden on requesters compared to the proposed 30 day time frame. In addition, the Commission continues to believe that the rules will have a minimal economic effect and that any potential burden on competition imposed by the amended rules would be appropriate in furtherance of purposes of the Exchange Act.

    IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    Pursuant to Section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act,17 the Commission certified that, when adopted, the amendments to 17 CFR 200.80 would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This certification, including our basis for the certification, was included in the proposing release. The Commission solicited comments on the appropriateness of its certification, but received none. The Commission is adopting the final rules as proposed. Accordingly, there have been no changes to the proposal that would alter the basis upon which the certification was made.

    17 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

    V. Other Administrative Law Matters

    These amendments do not contain any collection of information requirement as defined by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, as amended.18

    18 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

    VI. Statutory Authority and Text of Rule Amendments

    The amendments contained herein have been made under the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 552 and 15 U.S.C. 78d-1.

    List of Subjects in 17 CFR Part 200

    Administrative practice and procedure, Freedom of information.

    Text of Amendments

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, title 17, chapter II of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

    PART 200—ORGANIZATION; CONDUCT AND ETHICS; AND INFORMATION AND REQUESTS Subpart D—Information and Requests 1. The authority citation for part 200, subpart D, is revised to read, in part, as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 77f(d), 77s, 77ggg(a), 77sss, 78m(F)(3), 78w, 80a-37, 80a-44(a), 80a-44(b), 80b-10(a), and 80b-11, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 200.80 by: a. Revising paragraphs (d)(5)(i), (d)(6)(i) and (ii), and (e) introductory text; and b. Removing the first sentence of paragraph (e)(1).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 200.80 Commission records and information.

    (d) * * *

    (5) Initial determination; multi-track processing, and denials—(i) Time within which to respond. When a request complies with the procedures in this section for requesting records under the Freedom of Information Act, a response shall be sent within 20 business days from the date the Office of FOIA Services receives the request, except as described in paragraphs (d)(5)(ii) and (iii) of this section. If that Office has identified the requested records, the response shall state that the records are being withheld, in whole or in part, under a specific exemption or are being released. If that Office cannot locate any requested records, the response shall advise the requester accordingly.

    (6) * * *

    (i) Time limits and content of appeal. Appeals shall be clearly and prominently identified at the top of the first page with the legend “Freedom of Information Act Appeal” and shall provide the assigned request number. Copies of the request and the SEC's response, if any, should be included with the appeal. If an appeal is from an adverse decision, it must be received within ninety (90) calendar days of the date of the adverse decision. If only a portion of the decision is appealed, the requester must specify which part of the decision is being appealed. An appeal from an adverse decision should also identify the name of the deciding official, the date of the decision, and the precise subject matter of the appeal. An appeal is not perfected until the SEC receives the information identified in this paragraph (d)(6)(i).

    (ii) How to file and address a written appeal. The appeal must be sent to both the General Counsel and the Office of FOIA Services at 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549. The SEC accepts facsimiles (faxes) and emails as written FOIA appeals. Information regarding where to fax or email a FOIA appeal is available on the SEC's FOIA home page on the Commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov/foia.shtml. A legible return address must be included with the FOIA appeal. The requester may also include other contact information, such as a telephone number and/or an email address.

    (e) Fees for records services. Information pertaining to search and review services, including locating, reviewing, and making records available, attestations and copying, appears in appendix E to this subpart, § 200.80e. A schedule of fees is located at the Commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov/foia/feesche.htm.

    3. Amend § 200.80e by: a. Adding introductory text; and b. Revising the paragraph that begins, “Search and review services:”.

    The addition and revision read as follows:

    § 200.80e Appendix E—Schedule of fees for records services.

    The requester will be charged search, review, and duplication fees according to his or her fee category. In addition, the SEC will charge the requester for any special handling or services performed in processing the request and/or appeal. Duplication fees also are applicable to records provided in response to requests made under the Privacy Act. Fees will not be charged under either the FOIA or the Privacy Act where the costs of collecting and processing the fee are likely to equal or exceed the amount of the fee or where the requester has met the requirements for a statutory fee waiver. Fees will be determined as follows:

    Search and review services (review applies to commercial-use requesters only): (1) The Commission will establish and charge average rates for the groups of grades typically involved in search and review. Those groups will consist of employees at:

    (i) Grades SK-8 or below;

    (ii) Grades SK-9 to SK-13; and

    (iii) Grades SK-14 or above.

    (2) The average rates will be based on the hourly salary (i.e., basic salary plus locality payment), plus 16 percent for benefits, of employees who routinely perform those services. Fees will be charged in quarter-hour increments. The average hourly rates are listed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov/foia/feesche.htm and will be updated as salaries change.

    By the Commission.

    Dated: July 8, 2015. Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17179 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 161 [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-0011] Canned Pacific Salmon; Technical Amendment AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; technical amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is amending a regulation pertaining to canned Pacific salmon. The amendment removes a paragraph that contains an obsolete cross-reference.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective July 15, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Loretta Carey, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-820), Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740-3835, 240-402-2371.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Our regulations at 21 CFR part 161 (“Fish and Shellfish”) establish requirements for specific standardized fish and shellfish. One provision, at § 161.170, pertains to canned Pacific salmon, and § 161.170(a)(5)(ii)(b) states that when the form of the pack and the words describing the pack are declared on the label, the label must “bear the statements required by § 105.69 of this chapter.” (The regulation, at § 161.170(a)(3), describes various “forms of pack;” one form of pack, for example, is named “regular” and is described as where the sections or steaks are cut transversely from the fish and filled vertically into the can.)

    Section 105.69 was entitled “Foods used to regulate sodium intake.” In the Federal Register of June 3, 1996 (61 FR 27771), we revoked § 105.69 as part of a “Reinventing Government” initiative, and the revocation became effective on July 3, 1996 (see 61 FR 43963; August 27, 1996) (confirming the effective date for the revocation of various food regulations)). However, the revocation inadvertently omitted a corresponding change to § 161.170(a)(5)(ii)(b).

    Consequently, through this document, we are amending § 161.170 by removing paragraph (a)(5)(ii)(b) entirely and redesignating paragraph (a)(5)(ii)(a) as paragraph (a)(5)(ii).

    Publication of this document constitutes final action of these changes under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553). These amendments eliminate an obsolete reference to a rule that we revoked in 1996. FDA, therefore, for good cause, finds under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and (d)(3) that notice and public comment are unnecessary.

    FDA has determined, under 21 CFR 25.30(i), that this final rule 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.

    In addition, FDA has determined that this final rule contains no new collections of information. Therefore, clearance by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 is not required.

    List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 161

    Food grades and standards, Frozen foods, Seafood.

    Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 161 is amended as follows:

    PART 161—FISH AND SHELLFISH 1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 161 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321, 341, 343, 348, 371, 379e.

    § 161.170 [Amended]
    2. Amend § 161.170 by removing paragraph (a)(5)(ii)(b) and redesignating paragraph (a)(5)(ii)(a) as paragraph (a)(5)(ii).
    Dated: July 9, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17249 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION 29 CFR Part 4022 Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans; Interest Assumptions for Paying Benefits AGENCY:

    Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule amends the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's regulation on Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans to prescribe interest assumptions under the regulation for valuation dates in August 2015. The interest assumptions are used for paying benefits under terminating single-employer plans covered by the pension insurance system administered by PBGC.

    DATES:

    Effective August 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Catherine B. Klion ([email protected]), Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20005, 202-326-4024. (TTY/TDD users may call the Federal relay service toll-free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-4024.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    PBGC's regulation on Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4022) prescribes actuarial assumptions—including interest assumptions—for paying plan benefits under terminating single-employer plans covered by title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The interest assumptions in the regulation are also published on PBGC's Web site (http://www.pbgc.gov).

    PBGC uses the interest assumptions in Appendix B to Part 4022 to determine whether a benefit is payable as a lump sum and to determine the amount to pay. Appendix C to Part 4022 contains interest assumptions for private-sector pension practitioners to refer to if they wish to use lump-sum interest rates determined using PBGC's historical methodology. Currently, the rates in Appendices B and C of the benefit payment regulation are the same.

    The interest assumptions are intended to reflect current conditions in the financial and annuity markets. Assumptions under the benefit payments regulation are updated monthly. This final rule updates the benefit payments interest assumptions for August 2015.1

    1 Appendix B to PBGC's regulation on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4044) prescribes interest assumptions for valuing benefits under terminating covered single-employer plans for purposes of allocation of assets under ERISA section 4044. Those assumptions are updated quarterly.

    The August 2015 interest assumptions under the benefit payments regulation will be 1.50 percent for the period during which a benefit is in pay status and 4.00 percent during any years preceding the benefit's placement in pay status. In comparison with the interest assumptions in effect for July 2015, these interest assumptions represent an increase of 0.25 percent in the immediate annuity rate and are otherwise unchanged.

    PBGC has determined that notice and public comment on this amendment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This finding is based on the need to determine and issue new interest assumptions promptly so that the assumptions can reflect current market conditions as accurately as possible.

    Because of the need to provide immediate guidance for the payment of benefits under plans with valuation dates during August 2015, PBGC finds that good cause exists for making the assumptions set forth in this amendment effective less than 30 days after publication.

    PBGC has determined that this action is not a “significant regulatory action” under the criteria set forth in Executive Order 12866.

    Because no general notice of proposed rulemaking is required for this amendment, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 does not apply. See 5 U.S.C. 601(2).

    List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 4022

    Employee benefit plans, Pension insurance, Pensions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, 29 CFR part 4022 is amended as follows:

    PART 4022—BENEFITS PAYABLE IN TERMINATED SINGLE-EMPLOYER PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 4022 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 1302, 1322, 1322b, 1341(c)(3)(D), and 1344.

    2. In appendix B to part 4022, Rate Set 262, as set forth below, is added to the table. Appendix B to Part 4022—Lump Sum Interest Rates for PBGC Payments Rate set For plans with a valuation date On or after Before Immediate annuity rate
  • (percent)
  • Deferred annuities
  • (percent)
  • i 1 i 2 i 3 n 1 n 2
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 262 8-1-15 9-1-15 1.50 4.00 4.00 4.00 7 8
    3. In appendix C to part 4022, Rate Set 262, as set forth below, is added to the table. Appendix C to Part 4022—Lump Sum Interest Rates for Private-Sector Payments Rate set For plans with a valuation date On or after Before Immediate annuity rate
  • (percent)
  • Deferred annuities
  • (percent)
  • i 1 i 2 i 3 n 1 n 2
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 262 8-1-15 9-1-15 1.50 4.00 4.00 4.00 7 8
    Issued in Washington, DC, on this 7th day of July 2015. Judith Starr, General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17376 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7709-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board 49 CFR Part 1002 [Docket No. EP 542 (Sub-No. 23)] Regulations Governing Fees for Services Performed in Connection With Licensing and Related Services—2015 Update AGENCY:

    Surface Transportation Board.

    ACTION:

    Final rules.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board updates for 2015 the fees that the public must pay to file certain cases and pleadings with the Board. The update will increase 11 fees by $50 or less, increase 34 fees by $100, increase 22 fees by more than $100, and keep the remaining 58 fees at their existing level.

    DATES:

    These rules are effective August 14, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David T. Groves, (202) 245-0327, or Andrea Pope-Matheson (202) 245-0363. [TDD for the hearing impaired: 1-800-877-8339.]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Board's regulations at 49 CFR 1002.3 provide for an annual update of the Board's entire user-fee schedule. Fees are generally revised based on the cost study formula set forth at 49 CFR 1002.3(d). As compared with the 2014 fee update, the 2015 fee changes adopted here reflect a combination of a 1% across-the-board increase to salary costs; no change in publication cost levels; increases to two of the three Board Overhead cost factors; and a modest decrease to the third Board Overhead cost factor from its comparable 2014 level, resulting from the mechanical application of the update formula in 49 CFR 1002.3(d). Results from the formula application indicate that justified fee amounts in this 2015 update decision either remain unchanged (58 fee items), increase $50 or less (11 fee items), increase by $100 (34 fee items) or increase over $100 (22 fee items) from their respective 2014 update levels. No new fee items are proposed in this proceeding. Therefore, the Board finds that notice and comment are unnecessary for this proceeding. See Regulations Governing Fees for Servs.—1990 Update, 7 I.C.C.2d 3 (1990); Regulations Governing Fees for Servs.—1991 Update, 8 I.C.C.2d 13 (1991); Regulations Governing Fees for Servs.—1993 Update, 9 I.C.C.2d 855 (1993).

    Additional information is contained in the Board's decision. To obtain a free copy of the full decision, visit the Board's Web site at http://www.stb.dot.gov or call (202) 245-0245. [Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through Federal Information Relay Services (FIRS): (800) 877-8339.]

    List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 1002

    Administrative practice and procedure, Common carriers, and Freedom of information.

    Decided: July 9, 2015.

    By the Board, Chairman Elliott, Vice Chairman Begeman, and Commissioner Miller.

    Kenyatta Clay, Clearance Clerk.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, title 49, chapter X, part 1002, of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

    PART 1002—FEES 1. The authority citation for part 1002 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A) and 553; 31 U.S.C. 9701 and 49 U.S.C. 721(a). Section 1002.1(g)(11) is also issued under 5 U.S.C. 5514 and 31 U.S.C. 3717.

    2. Section 1002.1 is amended by revising paragraphs (a) through (c), (f)(1) and (g)(6) to read as follows:
    § 1002.1 Fees for records search, review, copying, certification, and related services.

    (a) Certificate of the Records Officer, $18.00.

    (b) Service involved in examination of tariffs or schedules for preparation of certified copies of tariffs or schedules or extracts therefrom at the rate of $42.00 per hour.

    (c) Service involved in checking records to be certified to determine authenticity, including clerical work, etc. identical thereto, at the rate of $29.00 per hour.

    (f) * * *

    (1) A fee of $73.00 per hour for professional staff time will be charged when it is required to fulfill a request for ADP data.

    (g) * * *

    (6) The search and review hourly fees will be based upon employee grade levels in order to recoup the full, allowable direct costs attributable to their performance of these functions. They are as follows:

    Grade Rate GS-1 $12.25 GS-2 13.33 GS-3 15.03 GS-4 16.87 GS-5 18.88 GS-6 21.04 GS-7 23.38 GS-8 25.90 GS-9 28.60 GS-10 31.50 GS-11 34.60 GS-12 41.48 GS-13 49.32 GS-14 58.28 GS-15 and over 68.56 3. In 1002.2, paragraph (f) is revised to read as follows:
    § 1002.2 Filing fees.

    (f) Schedule of filing fees.

    Type of proceeding Fee PART I: Non-Rail Applications or Proceedings to Enter Into a Particular Financial Transaction or Joint Arrangement: (1) An application for the pooling or division of traffic $4,700. (2)(i) An application involving the purchase, lease, consolidation, merger, or acquisition of control of a motor carrier of passengers under 49 U.S.C. 14303 $2,100. (ii) A petition for exemption under 49 U.S.C. 13541 (other than a rulemaking) filed by a non-rail carrier not otherwise covered $3,400. (iii) A petition to revoke an exemption filed under 49 U.S.C. 13541(d) $2,800. (3) An application for approval of a non-rail rate association agreement. 49 U.S.C. 13703 $29,500. (4) An application for approval of an amendment to a non-rail rate association agreement: (i) Significant amendment $4,900. (ii) Minor amendment $100. (5) An application for temporary authority to operate a motor carrier of passengers. 49 U.S.C. 14303(i) $500. (6) A notice of exemption for transaction within a motor passenger corporate family that does not result in adverse changes in service levels, significant operational changes, or a change in the competitive balance with motor passenger carriers outside the corporate family $1,800. (7)-(10) [Reserved] PART II: Rail Licensing Proceedings other than Abandonment or Discontinuance Proceedings: (11) (i) An application for a certificate authorizing the extension, acquisition, or operation of lines of railroad. 49 U.S.C. 10901 $7,700. (ii) Notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1150.31-1150.35 $1,900. (iii) Petition for exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 $13,400. (12) (i) An application involving the construction of a rail line $79,700. (ii) A notice of exemption involving construction of a rail line under 49 CFR 1150.36 $1,900. (iii) A petition for exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 involving construction of a rail line $79,700. (iv) A request for determination of a dispute involving a rail construction that crosses the line of another carrier under 49 U.S.C. 10902(d) $300. (13) A Feeder Line Development Program application filed under 49 U.S.C. 10907(b)(1)(A)(i) or 10907(b)(1)(A)(ii) $2,600. (14)(i) An application of a class II or class III carrier to acquire an extended or additional rail line under 49 U.S.C. 10902. $6,600. (ii) Notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1150.41-1150.45 $1,900. (iii) Petition for exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 relating to an exemption from the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 10902 $7,000. (15) A notice of a modified certificate of public convenience and necessity under 49 CFR 1150.21-1150.24 $1,800. (16) An application for a land-use-exemption permit for a facility existing as of October 16, 2008 under 49 U.S.C. 10909 $6,400. (17) An application for a land-use-exemption permit for a facility not existing as of October 16, 2008 under 49 U.S.C. 10909 $22,600. (18)-(20) [Reserved] PART III: Rail Abandonment or Discontinuance of Transportation Services Proceedings: (21) (i) An application for authority to abandon all or a portion of a line of railroad or discontinue operation thereof filed by a railroad (except applications filed by Consolidated Rail Corporation pursuant to the Northeast Rail Service Act [Subtitle E of Title XI of Pub. L. 97-35], bankrupt railroads, or exempt abandonments) $23,700. (ii) Notice of an exempt abandonment or discontinuance under 49 CFR 1152.50 $3,900. (iii) A petition for exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 $6,700. (22) An application for authority to abandon all or a portion of a line of a railroad or operation thereof filed by Consolidated Rail Corporation pursuant to Northeast Rail Service Act. $500. (23) Abandonments filed by bankrupt railroads $2,000. (24) A request for waiver of filing requirements for abandonment application proceedings $1,900. (25) An offer of financial assistance under 49 U.S.C. 10904 relating to the purchase of or subsidy for a rail line proposed for abandonment $1,600. (26) A request to set terms and conditions for the sale of or subsidy for a rail line proposed to be abandoned $24,200. (27) (i) A request for a trail use condition in an abandonment proceeding under 16 U.S.C.1247(d) $300. (ii) A request to extend the period to negotiate a trail use agreement $450. (28)-(35) [Reserved] PART IV: Rail Applications to Enter Into a Particular Financial Transaction or Joint Arrangement: (36) An application for use of terminal facilities or other applications under 49 U.S.C. 11102 $20,200. (37) An application for the pooling or division of traffic. 49 U.S.C. 11322 $10,900. (38) An application for two or more carriers to consolidate or merge their properties or franchises (or a part thereof) into one corporation for ownership, management, and operation of the properties previously in separate ownership. 49 U.S.C. 11324: (i) Major transaction $1,593,600. (ii) Significant transaction $318,700. (iii) Minor transaction $7,900. (iv) Notice of an exempt transaction under 49 CFR 1180.2(d) $1,800. (v) Responsive application $7,900. (vi) Petition for exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 $10,000. (vii) A request for waiver or clarification of regulations filed in a major financial proceeding as defined at 49 CFR 1180.2(a) $5,900. (39) An application of a non-carrier to acquire control of two or more carriers through ownership of stock or otherwise. 49 U.S.C. 11324: (i) Major transaction $1,593,600. (ii) Significant transaction $318,700. (iii) Minor transaction $7,900. (iv) A notice of an exempt transaction under 49 CFR 1180.2(d) $1,400. (v) Responsive application $7,900. (vi) Petition for exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 $10,000. (vii) A request for waiver or clarification of regulations filed in a major financial proceeding as defined at 49 CFR 1180.2(a) $5,900. (40) An application to acquire trackage rights over, joint ownership in, or joint use of any railroad lines owned and operated by any other carrier and terminals incidental thereto. 49 U.S.C. 11324: (i) Major transaction $1,593,600. (ii) Significant transaction $318,700. (iii) Minor transaction $7,900. (iv) Notice of an exempt transaction under 49 CFR 1180.2(d) $1,200. (v) Responsive application $7,900. (vi) Petition for exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 $10,000. (vii) A request for waiver or clarification of regulations filed in a major financial proceeding as defined at 49 CFR 1180.2(a) $5,900. (41) An application of a carrier or carriers to purchase, lease, or contract to operate the properties of another, or to acquire control of another by purchase of stock or otherwise. 49 U.S.C. 11324: (i) Major transaction $1,593,600. (ii) Significant transaction $318,700. (iii) Minor transaction $7,900. (iv) Notice of an exempt transaction under 49 CFR 1180.2(d) $1,400. (v) Responsive application $7,900. (vi) Petition for exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 $7,000. (vii) A request for waiver or clarification of regulations filed in a major financial proceeding as defined at 49 CFR 1180.2(a) $5,900. (42) Notice of a joint project involving relocation of a rail line under 49 CFR 1180.2(d)(5) $2,500. (43) An application for approval of a rail rate association agreement. 49 U.S.C. 10706 $74,600. (44) An application for approval of an amendment to a rail rate association agreement. 49 U.S.C. 10706: (i) Significant amendment $13,800. (ii) Minor amendment $100. (45) An application for authority to hold a position as officer or director under 49 U.S.C. 11328 $800. (46) A petition for exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 (other than a rulemaking) filed by rail carrier not otherwise covered $8,500. (47) National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) conveyance proceeding under 45 U.S.C. 562 $300. (48) National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) compensation proceeding under Section 402(a) of the Rail Passenger Service Act $300. (49)-(55) [Reserved] PART V: Formal Proceedings: (56) A formal complaint alleging unlawful rates or practices of carriers: (i) A formal complaint filed under the coal rate guidelines (Stand-Alone Cost Methodology) alleging unlawful rates and/or practices of rail carriers under 49 U.S.C. 10704(c)(1) $350. (ii) A formal complaint involving rail maximum rates filed under the Simplified-SAC methodology . . . . . . . . $350. (iii) A formal complaint involving rail maximum rates filed under the Three Benchmark methodology $150. (iv) All other formal complaints (except competitive access complaints) $350. (v) Competitive access complaints $150. (vi) A request for an order compelling a rail carrier to establish a common carrier rate $300. (57) A complaint seeking or a petition requesting institution of an investigation seeking the prescription or division of joint rates or charges. 49 U.S.C. 10705. $9,400. (58) A petition for declaratory order: (i) A petition for declaratory order involving a dispute over an existing rate or practice which is comparable to a complaint proceeding $1,000. (ii) All other petitions for declaratory order $1,400. (59) An application for shipper antitrust immunity. 49 U.S.C. 10706(a)(5)(A) $7,500. (60) Labor arbitration proceedings $300. (61) (i) An appeal of a Surface Transportation Board decision on the merits or petition to revoke an exemption pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) $300. (ii) An appeal of a Surface Transportation Board decision on procedural matters except discovery rulings $400. (62) Motor carrier undercharge proceedings $300. (63) (i) Expedited relief for service inadequacies: A request for expedited relief under 49 U.S.C. 11123 and 49 CFR part 1146 for service emergency $300. (ii) Expedited relief for service inadequacies: A request for temporary relief under 49 U.S.C. 10705 and 11102, and 49 CFR part 1147 for service inadequacy $300. (64) A request for waiver or clarification of regulations except one filed in an abandonment or discontinuance proceeding, or in a major financial proceeding as defined at 49 CFR 1180.2(a) $600. (65)-(75) [Reserved] PART VI: Informal Proceedings: (76) An application for authority to establish released value rates or ratings for motor carriers and freight forwarders of household goods under 49 U.S.C. 14706 $1,300. (77) An application for special permission for short notice or the waiver of other tariff publishing requirements $100. (78) The filing of tariffs, including supplements, or contract summaries $1 per page ($26 min. charge.) (79) Special docket applications from rail and water carriers: (i) Applications involving $25,000 or less $75. (ii) Applications involving over $25,000 $150. (80) Informal complaint about rail rate applications $650. (81) Tariff reconciliation petitions from motor common carriers: (i) Petitions involving $25,000 or less $75. (ii) Petitions involving over $25,000 $150. (82) Request for a determination of the applicability or reasonableness of motor carrier rates under 49 U.S.C. 13710(a)(2) and (3) $250. (83) Filing of documents for recordation. 49 U.S.C. 11301 and 49 CFR 1177.3(c). $43 per document. (84) Informal opinions about rate applications (all modes) $250. (85) A railroad accounting interpretation $1,200. (86) (i) A request for an informal opinion not otherwise covered $1,500. (ii) A proposal to use on a voting trust agreement pursuant to 49 CFR 1013 and 49 CFR 1180.4(b)(4)(iv) in connection with a major control proceeding as defined at 49 CFR 1180.2(a) $5,400. (iii) A request for an informal opinion on a voting trust agreement pursuant to 49 CFR 1013.3(a) not otherwise covered $550. (87) Arbitration of Certain Disputes Subject to the Statutory Jurisdiction of the Surface Transportation Board under 49 CFR 1108: (i) Complaint $75. (ii) Answer (per defendant), Unless Declining to Submit to Any Arbitration $75. (iii) Third Party Complaint $75. (iv) Third Party Answer (per defendant), Unless Declining to Submit to Any Arbitration $75. (v) Appeals of Arbitration Decisions or Petitions to Modify or Vacate an Arbitration Award $150. (88) Basic fee for STB adjudicatory services not otherwise covered $300. (89)-(95) [Reserved] PART VII: Services: (96) Messenger delivery of decision to a railroad carrier's Washington, DC, agent $34 per delivery. (97) Request for service or pleading list for proceedings $26 per list. (98) Processing the paperwork related to a request for the Carload Waybill Sample to be used in a Surface Transportation Board or State proceeding that: (i) Does not require a Federal Register notice: (a) Set cost portion $150. (b) Sliding cost portion $50 per party. (ii) Does require a Federal Register notice: (a) Set cost portion $400. (b) Sliding cost portion $50 per party. (99) (i) Application fee for the Surface Transportation Board's Practitioners' Exam $200. (ii) Practitioners' Exam Information Package $25. (100) Carload Waybill Sample data: (i) Requests for Public Use File for all years prior to the most current year Carload Waybill Sample data available, provided on CD-R $250 per year. (ii) Specialized programming for Waybill requests to the Board $114 per hour.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17315 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915-01-P
    80 135 Wednesday, July 15, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service 7 CFR Parts 271, 274 and 278 RIN 0584-AE40 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Implementation of the Agricultural Act of 2014 Purchasing and Delivery Services for the Elderly and Disabled AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule proposes to revise program regulations to implement changes made by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the “2014 Farm Bill”), which amends the definition of “retail food store” in the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (the FNA) to include governmental or private nonprofit food purchasing and delivery services (P&D Services) that purchase and deliver food to households in which the head of household is an individual who is unable to shop for food, and who is 60 years of age or older, or physically or mentally handicapped or otherwise disabled. Expansion of the definition of “retail food store” to allow P&D Services to become authorized Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) retailers is expected to increase accessibility to the program for homebound elderly and disabled persons.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before September 14, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    FNS invites interested persons to submit written comments on this proposed rule. Comments may be submitted in writing by one of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Send comments to Vicky T. Robinson, Branch Chief, Retailer Management and Issuance Branch, Retailer Policy and Management Division, Rm. 418, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302.

    • All written comments submitted in response to this proposed rule will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. Please be advised that the substance of the comments and the identity of the individuals or entities submitting the comments will be subject to public disclosure. FNS will make the written comments publicly available on the Internet via http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Vicky T. Robinson, Branch Chief, Retailer Management and Issuance Branch, Retailer Policy and Management Division, Rm. 418, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302, 703-305-2476.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    This rule proposes to implement a provision of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79; the “2014 Farm Bill”), which amends the definition of “retail food store” in Section 3(o) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 note; the “FNA”) to include P&D Services that purchase and deliver food to households in which the head of household is an individual who is unable to shop for food, and who is 60 years of age or older, or physically or mentally handicapped, or otherwise disabled. Today, retail food stores are authorized to accept SNAP benefits in exchange for eligible foods, as defined in program regulations at 7 CFR part 271, at § 271.2. As a result of the 2014 Farm Bill, approved P&D Services will also be permitted to accept SNAP benefits for the SNAP eligible foods that they purchase and deliver to qualifying households.

    Currently, a number of different types of firms may be authorized to accept SNAP benefits as retail food stores, including, but not limited to, public or private communal dining facilities, meal delivery services, private nonprofit cooperative food purchasing ventures and farmers' markets. All firms apply for authorization through FNS which may, or may not, authorize the firm as a SNAP retailer based upon the information provided in the application and a determination of whether the firm meets Program requirements and whether the firm's participation will further the purposes of the program. Accordingly, this rule proposes to amend and revise 7 CFR part 278 to include P&D Services as another type of firm which may be eligible for authorization as a retail food store, and to clarify and incorporate criteria for participation of P&D Services as SNAP retailers.

    Although FNS is proposing this rule to amend and revise regulations in accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill, the Farm Bill also permits the Secretary to authorize up to 20 P&D Services as retail food stores prior to issuance of rules. FNS plans to authorize these stores in the upcoming year for a one year trial period and will incorporate any lessons learned into additional guidance for P&D Services' participation. Proposed amendments and revisions to program regulations are discussed more fully in the next section of the preamble.

    II. Discussion of the Rule's Provisions 7 CFR Part 271

    FNS is proposing three minor amendments or revisions to 7 CFR part 271 to clarify the definition of “retail food store” and to distinguish and define P&D Services as retail food stores. All three changes are proposed for the definitions section located at § 271.2.

    First, FNS proposes to add to § 271.2 a definition for “food purchasing and delivery services” which says that the term means governmental or private nonprofit food purchasing and delivery services that purchase eligible foods for, and delivers these foods to, households in which the head of household is an elderly or disabled member who is unable to shop for food. Second, FNS proposes to revise the definition of “house-to-house trade route” to clarify that it includes any retail food business operated by selling eligible foods in inventory from a truck bus, pushcart or other mobile vehicle. FNS proposes to add “by selling eligible foods in inventory” to this definition to distinguish P&D Services, which may also operate from a mobile vehicle, but which will not maintain an inventory of foods. Rather, P&D Services typically purchase eligible foods from another retailer and deliver these foods to SNAP households. Finally, FNS proposes to amend the definition of “retail food store” by adding paragraph (6) under the term, to incorporate P&D services as part of the definition of “retail food store.”

    7 CFR Part 274

    FNS proposes a few amendments to § 274.7, to clarify which households may use SNAP benefits to purchase eligible foods through P&D Services and to clarify transaction limits for P&D services. Specifically, FNS proposes to amend paragraph (c) of this section regarding transaction limits. Currently, program regulations provide that no minimum dollar amount per transaction may be established. However, given that P&D services are providing a delivery service, it may not be economical or efficient for such services to make deliveries of small dollar values of eligible foods. Therefore, FNS proposes to amend this paragraph by allowing P&D Services to establish a minimum dollar amount per transaction. In proposed § 278.2(m)(4), FNS specifies that P&D Services may require an order minimum of not more than $50.

    In § 274.7, FNS inserts a new paragraph (i), which proposes to allow households in which the head of household is an elderly or disabled member who is unable to shop for food to use SNAP benefits to purchase eligible foods through a food purchasing and delivery service authorized in accordance with § 278.1(j). FNS then moves current paragraph (i) to paragraph (j) and amends it. Currently, this paragraph says that State agencies must implement a method to ensure that access to prepared meals and hunting and fishing equipment is limited to eligible households. FNS proposes to amend this paragraph by adding the same implementation requirement of State agencies for households eligible for P&D Services.

    7 CFR Part 278

    In this rule, FNS proposes to revise and amend 7 CFR part 278 to incorporate criteria for the authorization and participation of P&D Services throughout. Following is a discussion of the major changes to this part proposed in this rule. Additional minor conforming changes are also being made to § 278.6, imposing the same penalty requirements of P&D Services as are required of other firms.

    As for major changes, FNS proposes to amend § 278.1, which provides the process and criteria for authorization of various firms as retail food stores, by inserting paragraph (j), which adds P&D Services as a type of firm that may be authorized as a retail food store. FNS also proposes the requirements that P&D Services must meet in order to be authorized in this paragraph and clarifies that P&D Services may purchase and deliver to households foods or non-food items not eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits, as long as these purchases are not paid for using SNAP benefits.

    FNS then proposes to amend paragraph (k) of § 278.1, as redesignated, which provides 5 years as the period of authorization for retail food stores. Because P&D Services do not maintain an inventory of eligible foods and must have third party sources of eligible foods, and because they work with particularly vulnerable SNAP households in their own homes, FNS finds it is prudent to require a shorter authorization period of 2 years. The shorter authorization period would allow FNS to have greater oversight of P&D Services, thereby ensuring stronger program integrity.

    FNS also proposes to amend § 278.2(b) regarding equal treatment for SNAP customers. Specifically, one provision of this paragraph provides that FNS is not authorized to specify prices at which retail food stores may sell food. While this remains true, the 2014 Farm Bill specifies that food purchasing and delivery services must provide eligible foods to the participating household at the price paid by the service for the food, without any cost markup, as a condition of being authorized. Accordingly, FNS proposes to include this language in this paragraph (b). To note, this paragraph also prohibits retail food stores from charging tax on eligible foods. Likewise, P&D Services authorized as retail food stores would not be permitted to charge households tax on eligible foods.

    Finally, FNS proposes to add a new paragraph (m) to § 278.2, which details the requirements of participation for retail food stores, by adding paragraphs (m)(1) through (7) which contain requirements specific to P&D Services. Paragraphs (m)(1) through (3) contain proposed requirements specifically articulated in the 2014 Farm Bill, while paragraphs (4) through (7) contain proposed requirements either necessary to ensure the legitimate use of SNAP benefits or to help ensure that the participation of P&D Services will further the purposes of the program.

    In paragraph (m)(1), FNS proposes to require that P&D Services notify the participating household, at the time the household places a food order, of any delivery fee that will be charged for the purchase and delivery of foods. FNS also proposes that, at the same time, P&D Services notify the household that a delivery fee cannot be paid with SNAP benefits. This ensures that the household can consider the cost of the delivery fee when making decisions regarding the use of the service and the purchase of foods, and that the household is aware that it must use another form of payment besides SNAP benefits for delivery fees. A clear understanding of the delivery fee and its payment method is important for both the household and the P&D Service to have a successful transaction.

    In paragraph (m)(2), FNS would require P&D Services to provide its food purchasing and delivery services at low or no cost, as required by the 2014 Farm Bill. Although the Farm Bill does not specify any limit on the amount of the delivery fee, FNS believes that, given the vulnerable population being served, it is important to propose a required limitation on the amount of the delivery fee to ensure that the cost of the delivery service is not excessive. Accordingly, FNS proposes that the delivery fee charged cannot exceed 25 percent of the order total, up to a maximum of $20 per delivery for all items purchased for delivery, including items not eligible for payment with SNAP benefits and which are paid for using another form of payment. However, FNS would encourage P&D Services to base any delivery fee, within these parameters, on a sliding scale taking into account factors such as the household's income.

    In paragraph (m)(3), FNS proposes to require P&D Services to sell eligible foods purchased for the household at the price paid by the service for the food without any additional cost markup. Again, this requirement is specified in the 2014 Farm Bill. P&D Services should also be aware that 278.2(b) prohibits retail food stores from charging tax on eligible foods purchased with SNAP benefits. Therefore, P&D Services would not be permitted to charge any tax paid for these foods to the households they serve.

    In paragraph (m)(4), FNS proposes to allow P&D Services, at their option, to impose a total order minimum of up to $50 per delivery for all items purchased for delivery, including items not eligible for payment with SNAP benefits and which are paid for using another form of payment. This provision recognizes that it may be difficult for P&D Services to provide their services for very small order amounts. However, a larger limit may make the service inaccessible to many eligible SNAP participants. The Agency would be very interested in receiving comments on this proposed provision.

    In paragraph (m)(5), FNS proposes to require P&D Services to be able to accept orders for eligible foods, and deliver these foods, at least monthly. This allows the homebound elderly and disabled persons served by P&D Services to have access to eligible foods with some regularity, and it allows them the opportunity to plan their collective food purchases during any given month.

    In paragraph (m)(6), FNS proposes to require P&D Services to obtain the agreement of the household, at the time of the food order, of the date and timeframe of delivery. This proposed requirement, that both the P&D Service and the household agree to a specific date and timeframe of delivery, is intended to benefit both the service and the household. It is important that the household provides input and agreement as to the time that the delivery will take place. At the same time, it helps to ensure for the P&D Service that someone will be available to accept the delivery. While the proposed rule would not dictate the maximum window of delivery allowed, it is recommended that any delivery timeframe does not exceed two hours.

    In paragraph (m)(7), FNS proposes that P&D Services may not impose any conditions on the use of the food purchase and delivery service which place a hardship on the SNAP household, or which are unrelated to the purchase and delivery of foods. Such additional conditions would include a requirement to tip the delivery driver or to participate in religious or affiliate activities. The eligible SNAP participants served by P&D Services are particularly vulnerable and will be accepting deliveries in their own homes. Conditions placed on delivery of eligible foods to these households may be perceived as being coercive, even if not intended as such. Therefore, FNS believes it is important that any conditions imposed on food purchase and delivery services be limited to those strictly necessary, and related to the purchase and delivery of foods.

    Although FNS is proposing specific criteria related to the authorization and participation of P&D Services in SNAP, these retailers will be expected to meet all other existing program requirements for retailers, as appropriate. For example, in accordance with current 278.2(e), P&D Services may not redeem SNAP benefits before delivery of foods.

    III. Procedural Matters Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. FNS considers that the benefits of this regulation justify its costs. Although governmental or private nonprofit food purchasing and delivery services may incur additional operational costs should the proposals in this rule become final, most SNAP retailers also incur such costs. These costs are outweighed by the benefit of the greater program flexibility of allowing food purchasing and delivery services to serve the homebound elderly and disabled.

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant and was not reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in conformance with Executive Order 12866.

    Regulatory Impact Analysis

    This proposed rule has been designated as not significant by OMB. Therefore, no Regulatory Impact Analysis is required.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) requires agencies to analyze the impact of rulemaking on small entities and consider alternatives that would minimize any significant impacts on a substantial number of small entities. Pursuant to that review, it has been certified that this proposed rule would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. Although the rulemaking proposes to allow additional small not-for-profit organizations to accept SNAP benefits, it is not anticipated that a substantial number of small entities will begin accepting SNAP benefits as a result of the rulemaking, nor will the impact on these small entities be significant given that some of these entities already use another process to accept SNAP benefits and because SNAP benefits are just one of the forms of payment accepted by these entities.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public Law 104-4, establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local and tribal governments and the private sector. Under section 202 of the UMRA, the Department generally must prepare a written statement, including a cost-benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with “Federal mandates” that may result in expenditures by State, local or Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year. When such a statement is needed for a rule, section 205 of the UMRA generally requires the Department to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the most cost effective or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule.

    This proposed rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the UMRA) for State, local and Tribal governments or the private sector of $100 million or more in any one year. Thus, the rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

    Executive Order 12372

    SNAP is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Programs under 10.551. For the reasons set forth in the final rule in 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V, and related notice (48 FR 29115, June 24, 1983), this program is included in the scope of Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials.

    Federalism Summary Impact Statement

    Executive Order 13132 requires Federal agencies to consider the impact of their regulatory actions on State and local governments. Where such actions have federalism implications, agencies are directed to provide a statement for inclusion in the preamble to the regulations describing the agency's considerations in terms of the three categories called for under section (6)(b)(2)(B) of Executive Order 13121.

    The Department has considered the impact of this proposed rule on State and local governments and has determined that this rule does not have federalism implications. Therefore, under section 6(b) of the Executive Order, a federalism summary is not required.

    Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This proposed rule is intended to have preemptive effect with respect to any State or local laws, regulations or policies which conflict with its provisions or which would otherwise impede its full and timely implementation. This proposed rule is not intended to have retroactive effect unless so specified in the Effective Dates section of the final rule. Prior to any judicial challenge to the provisions of the final rule, all applicable administrative procedures must be exhausted.

    Civil Rights Impact Analysis

    FNS has reviewed this proposed rule in accordance with USDA Regulation 4300-4, “Civil Rights Impact Analysis,” to identify any major civil rights impacts the rule might have on program participants on the basis of religion, age, race, color, national origin, sex, political beliefs or disability. After a careful review of the rule's intent and provisions, FNS has determined that this proposed rule is not expected to negatively affect the participation of protected individuals in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

    Executive Order 13175

    Executive Order 13175 requires Federal agencies to consult and coordinate with Tribes on a government-to-government basis on policies that have Tribal implications, including regulations, legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy statements or actions that have substantial direct effects 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. On February 18, 2015, as part of its regular quarterly Tribal consultation schedule, USDA engaged in a consultative session to obtain input by Tribal officials, or their designees, and Tribal members concerning the effect of this and other rules on the Tribes or Indian Tribal governments. No concerns regarding the provisions of this proposed rule were expressed.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chap. 35; 5 CFR part 1320) requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve all collections of information by a Federal agency before they can be implemented. Respondents are not required to respond to any collection of information unless it displays a current valid OMB control number. This rule does not contain information collection requirements subject to approval by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1994.

    E-Government Act Compliance

    The Department is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote the use of the Internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes.

    List of Subjects 7 CFR Part 271

    Food stamps, Grant programs-social programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    7 CFR Part 274

    Food stamps, Grant programs-social programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    7 CFR Part 278

    Banks, banking, Food stamps, Grant programs-social programs, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, 7 CFR parts 271, 274, and 278 are proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 271—GENERAL INFORMATION AND DEFINITIONS 1. The authority citation for part 271 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 2011-2036.

    2. Amend § 271.2 as follows: a. Add the definition, in alphabetical order, for “Food purchasing and delivery services”; and b. Revise the definitions of “House-to-house trade route” and “Retail food store.”

    The addition and revisions read as follows:

    § 271.2 Definitions.

    Food purchasing and delivery services means governmental or private nonprofit food purchasing and delivery services that purchase eligible foods for, and delivers these foods to, households in which the head of household is an elderly or disabled member who is unable to shop for food.

    House-to-house trade route means any retail food business operated by selling eligible foods in inventory from a truck, a bus, a pushcart, or other mobile vehicle.

    Retail food store means:

    (1) An establishment or house-to-house trade route that sells food for home preparation and consumption normally displayed in a public area, and either offers for sale, on a continuous basis, a variety of foods in sufficient quantities in each of the four categories of staple foods including perishable foods in at least two such categories (Criterion A) as set forth in § 278.1(b)(1) of this chapter, or has more than 50 percent of its total gross retail sales in staple foods (Criterion B) as set forth in § 278.1(b)(1) of this chapter as determined by visual inspection, marketing structure, business licenses, accessibility of food items offered for sale, purchase and sales records, counting of stockkeeping units, or other inventory or accounting recordkeeping methods that are customary or reasonable in the retail food industry as set forth in § 278.1(b)(1) of this chapter. Entities that have more than 50 percent of their total gross retail sales in hot and/or cold prepared, ready-to-eat foods that are intended for immediate consumption either for carry-out or on-premises consumption, and require no additional preparation, are not eligible for SNAP participation as retail food stores under § 278.1(b)(1) of this chapter.

    (2) Public or private communal dining facilities and meal delivery services; private nonprofit drug addict or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation programs; publicly operated community mental health centers which conduct residential programs for drug addicts and/or alcoholics; public or private nonprofit group living arrangements; public or private nonprofit shelters for battered women and children; public or private nonprofit establishments, approved by an appropriate State or local agency, that feed homeless persons; or a restaurant that contracts with an appropriate State agency to provide meals at concessional (low or reduced) prices to homeless SNAP households;

    (3) Any stores selling equipment for procuring food by hunting and fishing to eligible households in Alaska, as specified in the definition of eligible foods;

    (4) Any private nonprofit cooperative food purchasing venture, including those whose members pay for food prior to receipt of the food;

    (5) A farmers' market; and

    (6) A governmental or private nonprofit food purchasing and delivery service that purchases eligible foods for, and delivers these foods to, households in which the head of household is an elderly or disabled member who is unable to shop for food.

    PART 274—ISSUANCE AND USE OF PROGRAM BENEFITS 3. The authority citation for part 274 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 2011-2036.

    4. In § 274.7: a. Revise paragraph (c); and b. Redesignate paragraph (i) as paragraph (j) and revise it, and add a new paragraph (i).

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    § 274.7 Benefit redemption by eligible households.

    (c) Transaction limits. No minimum dollar amount per transaction or maximum limit on the number of transactions shall be established, except that food purchasing and delivery services authorized under § 278.1(j) may establish a minimum dollar amount per transaction in accordance with § 278.2(m)(4). In addition, no transaction fees shall be imposed on SNAP households utilizing the EBT system to access their benefits.

    (i) Eligible households in which the head of household is an elderly or disabled member who is unable to shop for food may use Program benefits to purchase eligible foods through a food purchasing and delivery service authorized in accordance with § 278.1.(j) of this chapter.

    (j) State agencies shall implement a method to ensure that access to prepared meals, hunting and fishing equipment, or delivered foods is limited to eligible households as described in paragraphs (g) through (i) of this section.

    PART 278—PARTICIPATION OF RETAIL FOOD STORES, WHOLESALE FOOD CONCERNS AND INSURED FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS 5. The authority citation for part 278 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 2011-2036.

    6. In § 278.1: a. Redesignate paragraphs (j) through (t) as paragraphs (k) through (u), respectively, and add new paragraph (j); b. Revise newly redesignated paragraph (k); c. Amend newly redesignated paragraph (l)(1) by removing the words, “or (i)” and adding in their place the words, “,(i) or (j)”; d. Amend newly redesignated paragraph (m)(1)(ii) by removing the words, “or (i)” and adding in their place the words, “(i) or (j)”; e. Amend newly redesignated paragraph (m)(1)(iii) by removing the words, “paragraph (k)(2)” and adding in their place the words, “paragraph (l)(2)”; f. Amend newly redesignated paragraph (m)(1)(iv) by removing the words, “paragraph (k)(3)” and adding in their place the words, “paragraph (l)(3)”; g. Amend newly redesignated paragraph (p) by removing the words, “paragraph (k)” and adding in their place the words, “paragraph (l)”; h. Amend newly redesignated paragraph (r) by removing the words, “paragraph (q)(2)” and “paragraph (q)(3)” and adding in their places the words, “paragraph (r)(2)” and “paragraph (r)(3)”, respectively; i. Amend newly redesignated paragraph (r)(1)(i) by removing the words, “paragraph (q)(1)(ii)” and adding in their place the words, “paragraph (r)(1)(ii)”; j. Amend newly redesignated paragraph (r)(1)(ii) by removing the words, “paragraph (q)(1)(i)” and adding in their place the words, “paragraph (r)(1)(i)”; k. Amend newly redesignated paragraph (r)(1)(v) by removing the words, “paragraph (q)(1)(iv)” and adding in their place the words, “paragraph (r)(1)(iv)”; l. Amend newly redesignated paragraph (r)(2)(iv) by removing the words, “paragraph (q)(2)(ii)” and adding in their place the words, “paragraph (r)(2)(ii)”, and by removing the words, “paragraph (q)(2)(iv) and adding in their place the words, “paragraph (r)(2)(iv)”; and m. Remove the Effective Date Note.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 278.1 Approval of retail food stores and wholesale food concerns.

    (j) Food purchasing and delivery services for households with an elderly or disabled member. FNS shall authorize as retail food stores governmental or private nonprofit food purchasing and delivery services that purchase eligible food for, and deliver the food to, households in which the head of household, as defined in § 273.1(d) of this chapter, is an elderly or disabled member, as defined in § 271.2 of this chapter, who is unable to shop for food. Such services must meet the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section. Purchasing and delivery services may purchase and deliver foods or non-food items not eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits, as long as these items are not paid for with SNAP benefits. Private nonprofit food purchasing and delivery services eligible for authorization include only those which meet the requirements of paragraph (d)(1) of this section.

    (k) Authorization. Upon approval, FNS shall issue a nontransferable authorization card to the firm. The authorization card shall be valid only for the time period for which the firm is authorized to accept and redeem SNAP benefits. The authorization card shall be retained by the firm until such time as the authorization period has ended, authorization in the program is superseded, or the card is surrendered or revoked as provided in this part. All firms, except those authorized under paragraph (j) of this section, will be authorized in the program for a period of 5 years. Firms authorized under paragraph (j) of this section will be authorized for a maximum period of 2 years. The specification of an authorization period in no way precludes FNS from periodically requesting information from a firm for purposes of reauthorization in the program or from withdrawing or terminating the authorization of a firm in accordance with this part.

    7. In § 278.2 revise the second and third sentences of paragraph (b) and add paragraph (m) to read as follows:
    § 278.2 Participation of retail food stores.

    (b) * * * Although nothing in this part may be construed as authorizing FNS to specify the prices at which retail food stores may sell food, food purchasing and delivery services must provide eligible foods to the participating household at the price paid by the service for the food, without any cost markup. Further, public or private nonprofit homeless meal providers may only request voluntary use of SNAP benefits from homeless SNAP recipients and may not request such households using SNAP benefits to pay more than the average cost of the food purchased by the public or private nonprofit homeless meal provider contained in a meal served to the patrons of the meal service. * * *

    (m) Food purchasing and delivery services authorized under § 278.1(j) must:

    (1) Notify the participating household, at the time the household places a food order, the amount of any delivery fee that will be charged for the purchase and delivery of foods, and that the delivery fee cannot be paid for with SNAP benefits;

    (2) Ensure that the food purchasing and delivery service is provided at low or no cost, and that any delivery fee charged will not exceed 25 percent of the order total, up to a maximum of $20 per delivery for all items purchased, including eligible foods purchased with SNAP benefits and items purchased with other tender, combined;

    (3) Sell eligible foods purchased for the household at the price paid by the service for the food without any additional cost markup;

    (4) Not impose a total order minimum of more than $50 per delivery for all items purchased, including eligible foods purchased with SNAP benefits and items purchased with other tender, combined;

    (5) Offer to accept orders and be able to deliver foods at least monthly;

    (6) Obtain the agreement of the participant, at the time of the food order, of the date and timeframe of delivery; and

    (7) Not impose any conditions on the use of the food purchase and delivery service which place a hardship on the SNAP household or which are unrelated to the purchase and delivery of foods, such as tipping of the delivery driver or participation in religious or other affiliate activities.

    § 278.6 [Amended]
    8. In § 278.6: a. Amend paragraph (e)(1)(iii)(A) by removing the words, “and (h)” and adding in their place the words, “,(h) and (i)”. b. Amend paragraph (l) by removing the references, “§ 278.1(k)” and “§ 278.1(j)” and adding in their place the references, “§ 278.1(l)” and “§ 278.1(k)”, wherever they occur, respectively. c. Amend paragraph (m) by removing the references, “§ 278.1(k)” and “§ 278.1(j)” and adding in their place the references, “§ 278.1(l)” and “§ 278.1(k)”, respectively. Dated: June 21, 2015. Jeffrey J. Tribiano, Acting Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17354 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Chapter I [Docket No. FAA-2015-2022] Petition of the Aircraft Owner and Pilots Association (AOPA) To Amend FAA Policy Concerning Flying Club Operations at Federally-Obligated Airports. AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of petition; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice requests comments on a petition by the Aircraft Owner and Pilots Association (AOPA) to revise certain policies concerning flying clubs in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Order 5190.6B, FAA Airport Compliance Manual. As part of its effort to promote flying clubs, AOPA has requested certain revisions to FAA guidance intended to lower barriers for new flying clubs. These revisions allow flight instructors and mechanics who are club members to receive monetary compensation for services provided to club members.

    On April 3, 2015, the AOPA Senior Vice President for Government Affairs & Advocacy, James W. Coon, wrote to Mr. Randall Fiertz, FAA's Director of the Office of Airport Compliance and Management Analysis proposing revision to FAA guidance regarding compensation for flight instructors and persons maintaining aircraft within the context of flying club operations. AOPA seeks “to help current flying clubs and airport sponsors comply with the FAA guidance outlined in 5190.6B, and to provide future flying clubs the opportunity to strengthen and unify general aviation pilots.” AOPA states that its goal is “to provide guidance that is attainable and ensures educated compliance from all airport users,” and thus asks for “updated guidance regarding compensation for flight instructors and maintainers” because “flight instructors and aviation mechanics are valuable assets to the aviation industry, and should be granted the privilege of fair compensation for their efforts on a local level.”

    DATES:

    Send your comments on or before August 14, 2015. The FAA will consider comments on the petition. Any revisions resulting from the original petition or comments received will be adopted as of the date of a subsequent publication in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments [identified by Docket Number FAA-2015-2022] using any of the following methods:

    Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically.

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

    Fax: 1-202-493-2251.

    Hand Delivery: To Docket Operations, Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the 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 more information on the notice and comment process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    Docket: To read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time or to Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Privacy: We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. Using the search function of our docket Web site, anyone can find and read the comments received into any of our dockets, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78).

    Availability of Documents: You can get an electronic copy of this Policy and all other documents in this docket using the Internet by:

    (1) Searching the Federal eRulemaking portal (http://www.faa.gov/regulations/search);

    (2) Visiting FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at (http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies; or

    (3) Accessing the Government Printing Office's Web page at (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html.

    You can also get a copy by sending a request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Airport Compliance and Management Analysis, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-3085. Make sure to identify the docket number, notice number, or amendment number of this proceeding.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Miguel Vasconcelos, Airport Compliance Division, ACO-100, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, telephone (202) 267-3085; facsimile: (202) 267-4620.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    FAA Order 5190.6B, FAA Airport Compliance Manual (Order), published on September 30, 2009 defines flying clubs as: “a nonprofit or not-for-profit entity (e.g., corporation, association, or partnership) organized for the express purpose of providing its members with aircraft for their personal use and enjoyment only.” The Order states that “the ownership of the club aircraft must be vested in the name of the flying club or owned by all its members. The property rights of the members of the club shall be equal; no part of the net earnings of the club will benefit any one individual in any form, including salaries, bonuses, etc. The flying club may not derive greater revenue from the use of its aircraft than the amount needed for the operation, maintenance and replacement of its aircraft.” The Order also notes that “flying clubs may not offer or conduct . . . aircraft rental operations. They may conduct aircraft flight instruction for regular members only, and only members of the flying club may operate the aircraft.” While members may not be monetarily compensated, existing policy allows flying clubs to allow compensation only in the form of credit against payment of dues or flight time.

    In addition, the Order states that “no flying club shall permit its aircraft to be used for flight instruction for any person, including members of the club owning the aircraft, when such person pays or becomes obligated to pay for such instruction. An exception applies when the instruction is given by a lessee based on the airport who provides flight training and the person receiving the training is a member of the flying club. Flight instructors who are also club members may not receive payment for instruction except that they may be compensated by credit against payment of dues or flight time” and that “any qualified mechanic who is a registered member and part owner of the aircraft owned and operated by a flying club may perform maintenance work on aircraft owned by the club. The flying club may not become obligated to pay for such maintenance work except that such mechanics may be compensated by credit against payment of dues or flight time.” [See FAA Order 5190.6B, paragraphs 10.6(a), (b), and (c).] Flying clubs are defined in such a way as to differentiate from for-profit aeronautical businesses offering aeronautical services to general public, e.g., FBOs, flight schools and aircraft rental providers.

    The owner of any airport (airport sponsor) developed with Federal grant assistance is required to operate the airport for the use and benefit of the public and to make it available to all types, kinds, and classes of aeronautical activity on fair and reasonable terms, and without unjust discrimination. This includes flying clubs. Assurance 22, Economic Nondiscrimination, of the prescribed sponsor assurances implements the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 47107(a)(l) through (6), and requires, in pertinent part, that the sponsor of a federally obligated airport

    “. . . will make its airport available as an airport for public use on reasonable terms, and without unjust discrimination, to all types, kinds, and classes of aeronautical activities, including commercial aeronautical activities offering services to the public at the airport.” Assurance 22(a)

    “. . . may establish such fair, equal, and not unjustly discriminatory conditions to be met by all users of the airport as may be necessary for the safe and efficient operation of the airport.” Assurance 22(h)

    At issue is the fact that some entities operating at federally-obligated airports identify themselves as “flying clubs,” while not meeting the definition of a “flying club.” Rather, they are engaged in providing commercial services at the airport. In some instances, these “flying clubs” present themselves to the public as alternatives to traditional flight schools and aircraft rental providers. Some publish flight training rates, including instruction fees and rental rates, and only charge nominal annual “club fees.” FAA policy reflects the concern that some entities claiming to be flying clubs are actually commercial service providers. These commercial service providers use the term “flying club” to avoid compliance with airport minimum standards for commercials service providers. This can result in unjust discrimination because legitimate service providers at the airport would be at an economic disadvantage in competition with the flying club, contrary to the federal grant assurances, specifically Grant Assurance 22, Economic Nondiscrimination Therefore, if proposed changes to the definition of a flying club and the related activities must be consistent with Grant Assurance 22.

    As part of its effort to promote flying clubs, AOPA has recommended revisions to FAA guidance. These recommendations, designed to promote flying clubs, include allowing flight instructors and mechanics who are club members to receive monetary compensation for services conducted for other club members or club aircraft. Specifically, AOPA proposes the following language for consideration in FAA flying club policies:

    AOPA Policy Proposal Item 1:

    “No flying club shall permit its aircraft to be used for flight instruction for any person, including members of the club owning the aircraft, when such person pays or becomes obligated to pay for such instruction except in the following circumstances; (a) The flight instruction is provided to a club member by a commercial operator authorized by the airport sponsor to provide flight instruction on field. (b) The flight instruction is provided to a club member by a flight instructor who is also a club member that is in good standing according to the club bylaws. In either case, the flight instructor may receive monetary compensation; however the flying club is prohibited from holding itself out to the public as a fixed based operator, a specialized aviation service operation, or a flight school. In the case of (b) above, the Airport Sponsor has the right to limit flight instruction for monetary compensation but must permit the club to compensate club instructors with credit against payment of dues or flight time.”

    AOPA Policy Proposal Item 2:

    “Any qualified mechanic who is a member of the flying club may perform maintenance work on aircraft owned or exclusively used by the flying club. The flying club may not become obligated to pay for such maintenance work except that such mechanics may be compensated not to exceed a reasonable rate for the work performed at the discretion of club members. The club however may not hold out to the public as operating as a fixed base operator, a specialized aviation service operation, or maintenance facility. The Airport Sponsor has the right to limit maintenance work for monetary compensation but must permit the club to compensate club mechanics with credit against payment of dues or flight time.”

    In brief, AOPA requests that flight instructors and mechanics who are club members be permitted to receive monetary compensation for services conducted within the club. AOPA's request also emphasizes that airport sponsors must [emphasis added] permit the club to compensate club instructors and mechanics with credit against payment of dues or flight time.

    AOPA-recommended revisions are available for review on the FAA Airports Web site, as well as in the docket locations described under Availability of documents in this notice.

    Request for Comments: The FAA requests comments on whether AOPA's recommendations can be considered consistent with the FAA's general policies regarding commercial aeronautical services and flying clubs on an airport, and if so, whether the stated agency policy on flying clubs should be revised to amend its definition of flying clubs. In particular, the FAA seeks comments from commercial service providers that engage in flight training and aircraft rental, from associations representing such service providers, and other interested parties.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 9, 2015. Randall S. Fiertz, Director, Office of Airport Compliance and Management Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17324 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 35 [Docket No. RM15-21-000] Generator Interconnection Rules and Procedures AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Opportunity to comment on petition for rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    Take notice that on June 19, 2015, the American Wind Energy Association filed a petition requesting that the Commission initiate a rulemaking to revise provisions of the pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Procedures and pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Agreement.

    DATES:

    Comments are due August 6, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tony Dobbins (General Information), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6630 Adam Pan (Legal Information), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of the General Counsel, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6023 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Opportunity To Comment on Petition for Rulemaking

    Take notice that on June 19, 2015, the American Wind Energy Association, pursuant to sections 205 and 206 of the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 824d and 824e (2012), and Rule 207(a)(4) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.207(a)(4) (2014), filed a petition requesting that the Commission initiate a rulemaking to revise provisions of the pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Procedures and pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Agreement.

    Any person that wishes to comment in this proceeding must file comments in accordance with Rule 211 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.211 (2014). Comments will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken. Comments must be filed on or before the comment date.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of comments 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 comments 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 August 6, 2015.

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2015-17306 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2013-0816; FRL-9930-29-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Delaware; Nonattainment New Source Review; Emission Offset Provisions; Reopening of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reopening the comment period for a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) published on May 26, 2015. In the NPR, EPA proposed disapproval of a revision to the Delaware State Implementation Plan (SIP) related to nonattainment New Source Review (NSR) preconstruction permit program requirements for emission offsets. A commenter requested additional time to review the proposal and prepare comments. In response to this request, EPA is reopening the comment period for this proposal through August 14, 2015. All comments received on or before August 14, 2015 will be entered into the public record and considered by EPA before taking final action on the proposed rule. Comments submitted between the close of the original comment period and the reopening of this comment period will be accepted and considered.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) published on May 26, 2015 (80 FR 30015), is reopened. Comments must be received on or before August 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2013-0816 by one of the following methods:

    A. www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    B. Email: [email protected]

    C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2013-0816, Mr. David Campbell, Associate Director, Office of Permits and Air Toxics, Mailcode 3AP10, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

    D. Hand Delivery: At the previously-listed EPA Region III address. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2013-0816. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, 89 Kings Highway, P.O. Box 1401, Dover, Delaware 19903.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mrs. Amy Johansen, (215) 814-2156, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On May 26, 2015, EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (80 FR 30015). In the NPR, EPA proposed disapproval of a revision to the Delaware SIP related to nonattainment NSR preconstruction permit program requirements for emission offsets. In that action, EPA proposed disapproval, because the submittal did not satisfy the requirements of Clean Air Act (CAA) or the Federal implementing regulations, which establish the criteria under which the owner or operator of a new or modified major stationary source must obtain the required emission offsets “from the same source or other sources in the same nonattainment area” with limited exceptions, for Delaware's nonattainment NSR preconstruction permitting program. In addition, EPA proposed disapproval of the SIP revision because Delaware exercises authorities that are reserved for EPA under section 107 of the CAA.

    Dated: June 25, 2015. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2015-16919 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2012-0974, FRL-9930-42-Region-8] Promulgation of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead, 2008 Ozone, and 2010 NO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standards; North Dakota AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve elements of State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions from the State of North Dakota to demonstrate the State meets infrastructure requirements of the Clean Air Act (Act or CAA) for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) promulgated for ozone on March 12, 2008, lead (Pb) on October 15, 2008 and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on January 22, 2010. EPA is also proposing to approve element 4 of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) for the 2006 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires that each state submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification Number EPA-R08-OAR-2012-0974. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information may not be publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information the disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in the hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at EPA Region 8, Office of Partnership and Regulatory Assistance, Air Program, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129. The EPA requests that you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., excluding federal holidays. An electronic copy of the State's SIP compilation is also available at http://www.epa.gov/region8/air/sip.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Abby Fulton, Air Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, Mail Code 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129. 303-312-6563, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

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

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

    • Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register volume, date, and page number);

    • Follow directions and organize your comments;

    • Explain why you agree or disagree;

    • Suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes;

    • Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used;

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

    • Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives;

    • Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats; and,

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

    II. Background

    On March 12, 2008, EPA promulgated a new NAAQS for ozone, revising the levels of the primary and secondary 8-hour ozone standards from 0.08 parts per million (ppm) to 0.075 ppm (73 FR 16436). Subsequently, on October 15, 2008, EPA revised the level of the primary and secondary Pb NAAQS from 1.5 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) to 0.15 μg/m3 (73 FR 66964). On January 22, 2010, EPA promulgated a new 1-hour primary NAAQS for NO2 at a level of 100 parts per billion (ppb) while retaining the annual standard of 53 ppb. The 2010 NO2 NAAQS is expressed as the three year average of the 98th percentile of the annual distribution of daily maximum 1-hour average concentrations. The secondary NO2 NAAQS remains unchanged at 53 ppb (75 FR 6474, Feb. 9, 2010).

    EPA promulgated a revised NAAQS for PM2.5 on October 17, 2006, tightening the level of the 24-hour standard to 35 µg/m3 and retaining the level of the annual PM2.5 standard at 15 µg/m3. EPA approved element 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (discussed below) of North Dakota's infrastructure SIP for this NAAQS on July 29, 2013 (78 FR 45457). EPA approved all other infrastructure elements (aside from element 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) regarding visibility) of North Dakota's 2006 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP on July 30, 2013 (78 FR 45866). We are acting on the visibility element in this action.

    Under sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA, states are required to submit infrastructure SIPs to ensure their SIPs provide for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the NAAQS. These submissions must contain any revisions needed for meeting the applicable SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2), or certifications that their existing SIPs for ozone, Pb, and NO2 already meet those requirements. EPA highlighted this statutory requirement in an October 2, 2007, guidance document entitled “Guidance on SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 1997 8-hour Ozone and PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards” (2007 Memo). On September 25, 2009, EPA issued an additional guidance document pertaining to the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS entitled “Guidance on SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 2006 24-Hour Fine Particle (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)” (2009 Memo), followed by the October 14, 2011, “Guidance on Infrastructure SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 2008 Lead (Pb) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)” (2011 Memo). Most recently, EPA issued “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and (2)” on September 13, 2013 (2013 Memo).

    III. What is the scope of this rulemaking?

    EPA is acting upon the SIP submissions from North Dakota that address the infrastructure requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2008 ozone, 2008 Pb, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS. The requirement for states to make a SIP submission of this type arises out of CAA section 110(a)(1). Pursuant to section 110(a)(1), states must make SIP submissions “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof),” and these SIP submissions are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. The statute directly imposes on states the duty to make these SIP submissions, and the requirement to make the submissions is not conditioned upon EPA taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must address.

    EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Although the term “infrastructure SIP” does not appear in the CAA, EPA uses the term to distinguish this particular type of SIP submission from submissions that are intended to satisfy other SIP requirements under the CAA, such as “nonattainment SIP” or “attainment plan SIP” submissions to address the nonattainment planning requirements of part D of title I of the CAA; “regional haze SIP” submissions required by EPA rule to address the visibility protection requirements of CAA section 169A; and nonattainment new source review (NSR) permit program submissions to address the permit requirements of CAA, title I, part D.

    Section 110(a)(1) addresses the timing and general requirements for infrastructure SIP submissions, and section 110(a)(2) provides more details concerning the required contents of these submissions. The list of required elements provided in section 110(a)(2) contains a wide variety of disparate provisions, some of which pertain to required legal authority, some of which pertain to required substantive program provisions, and some of which pertain to requirements for both authority and substantive program provisions.1 EPA therefore believes that while the timing requirement in section 110(a)(1) is unambiguous, some of the other statutory provisions are ambiguous. In particular, EPA believes that the list of required elements for infrastructure SIP submissions provided in section 110(a)(2) contains ambiguities concerning what is required for inclusion in an infrastructure SIP submission.

    1 For example: Section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) provides that states must provide assurances that they have adequate legal authority under state and local law to carry out the SIP; section 110(a)(2)(C) provides that states must have a SIP-approved program to address certain sources as required by part C of title I of the CAA; and section 110(a)(2)(G) provides that states must have legal authority to address emergencies as well as contingency plans that are triggered in the event of such emergencies.

    Examples of some of these ambiguities and the context in which EPA interprets the ambiguous portions of section 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) are discussed at length in our notice of proposed rulemaking: Promulgation of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Lead, 2008 Ozone, and 2010 NO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standards; South Dakota (79 FR 71040 Dec. 1, 2014) under “III. What is the Scope of this Rulemaking?”

    With respect to certain other issues, EPA does not believe that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is necessarily the appropriate type of action in which to address possible deficiencies in a state's existing SIP. These issues include: (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions from sources during periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction (SSM) that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions; (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that may be contrary to the CAA because they purport to allow revisions to SIP-approved emissions limits while limiting public process or not requiring further approval by EPA; and (iii) existing provisions for Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186, Dec. 31, 2002, as amended by 72 FR 32526, June 13, 2007. (“NSR Reform”).

    IV. What infrastructure elements are required under sections 110(a)(1) and (2)?

    CAA section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for SIP submissions after a new or revised NAAQS is promulgated. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements the SIP must contain or satisfy. These infrastructure elements include requirements such as modeling, monitoring, and emissions inventories, which are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. The elements that are the subject of this action are listed below.

    • 110(a)(2)(A): Emission limits and other control measures.

    • 110(a)(2)(B): Ambient air quality monitoring/data system.

    • 110(a)(2)(C): Program for enforcement of control measures.

    • 110(a)(2)(D): Interstate transport.

    • 110(a)(2)(E): Adequate resources and authority, conflict of interest, and oversight of local governments and regional agencies.

    • 110(a)(2)(F): Stationary source monitoring and reporting.

    • 110(a)(2)(G): Emergency powers.

    • 110(a)(2)(H): Future SIP revisions.

    • 110(a)(2)(J): Consultation with government officials; public notification; and PSD and visibility protection.

    • 110(a)(2)(K): Air quality modeling/data.

    • 110(a)(2)(L): Permitting fees.

    • 110(a)(2)(M): Consultation/participation by affected local entities.

    A detailed discussion of each of these elements is contained in the next section.

    Two elements identified in section 110(a)(2) are not governed by the three year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1) and are therefore not addressed in this action. These elements relate to part D of Title I of the CAA, and submissions to satisfy them are not due within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, but rather are due at the same time nonattainment area plan requirements are due under section 172. The two elements are: (1) Section 110(a)(2)(C) to the extent it refers to permit programs (known as “nonattainment NSR”) required under part D, and (2) section 110(a)(2)(I), pertaining to the nonattainment planning requirements of part D. As a result, this action does not address infrastructure elements related to the nonattainment NSR portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) or related to 110(a)(2)(I). Furthermore, EPA interprets the CAA section 110(a)(2)(J) provision on visibility as not being triggered by a new NAAQS because the visibility requirements in part C, title 1 of the CAA are not changed by a new NAAQS.

    V. How did North Dakota address the infrastructure elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2)?

    The North Dakota Department of Health (Department or NDDH) submitted certification of North Dakota's infrastructure SIP for the 2008 Pb NAAQS on May 25, 2012, and joint certifications for the 2008 ozone and the 2010 NO2 NAAQS on March 7, 2013. North Dakota's infrastructure certifications demonstrate how the State, where applicable, has plans in place that meet the requirements of section 110 for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS. These plans reference the current North Dakota Air Pollution Control Rules (NDAC) and North Dakota Century Code (NDCC). These submittals are available within the electronic docket for today's proposed action at www.regulations.gov. The NDAC and NDCC referenced in the submittals are publicly available at https://www.ndhealth.gov/aq/AirRules.htm and http://www.legis.nd.gov/general-information/north-dakota-century-code. North Dakota's SIP, air pollution control regulations, and statutes that have been previously approved by EPA and incorporated into the North Dakota SIP can be found at 40 CFR 52.1820.

    VI. Analysis of the State Submittals

    1. Emission limits and other control measures: Section 110(a)(2)(A) requires SIPs to include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means, or techniques (including economic incentives such as fees, marketable permits, and auctions of emissions rights), as well as schedules and timetables for compliance as may be necessary or appropriate to meet the applicable requirements of this Act.

    Multiple SIP-approved State air quality regulations within the NDAC and cited in North Dakota's certifications provide enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means of techniques, schedules for compliance, and other related matters necessary to meet the requirements of the CAA section 110(a)(2)(A) for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, subject to the following clarifications.

    First, this infrastructure element does not require the submittal of regulations or emission limitations developed specifically for attaining the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS. Furthermore, North Dakota has no areas designated as nonattainment for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS. North Dakota's certifications (contained within this docket) generally listed provisions within its SIP which regulate pollutants through various programs, including major and minor source permit programs. This suffices, in the case of North Dakota, to meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    Second, as previously discussed, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing state rules with regard to director's discretion or variance provisions. A number of states, including North Dakota, have such provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance (52 FR 45109, Nov. 24, 1987), and the agency plans to take action in the future to address such state regulations. In the meantime, EPA encourages any state having a director's discretion or variance provision which is contrary to the CAA and EPA guidance to take steps to correct the deficiency as soon as possible.

    Finally, in this action, EPA is also not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing state provision with regard to excess emissions during SSM of operations at a facility. A number of states, including North Dakota, have SSM provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance 2 and the agency is addressing such state regulations separately (80 FR 33840, June 12, 2015).

    2 Steven Herman, Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, and Robert Perciasepe, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, Memorandum to EPA Air Division Directors, “State Implementation Plans (SIPs): Policy Regarding Emissions During Malfunctions, Startup, and Shutdown.” (September 20, 1999).

    Therefore, EPA is proposing to approve North Dakota's infrastructure SIP for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(A) to include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means, or techniques to meet the applicable requirements of this element.

    2. Ambient air quality monitoring/data system: Section 110(a)(2)(B) requires SIPs to provide for establishment and operation of appropriate devices, methods, systems, and procedures necessary to “(i) monitor, compile, and analyze data on ambient air quality, and (ii) upon request, make such data available to the Administrator.”

    Ambient monitoring is covered in Chapter 6 of the North Dakota SIP. It provides for the design and operation of a monitoring network, reporting of data obtained from the monitors, and annual network review including notification to EPA of any changes, and public notification of exceedances of NAAQS. EPA approved North Dakota's Division of Air Quality's (DAQ) 2013 Ambient Air Monitoring Network Plan for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS on April 2, 2015. North Dakota's air monitoring programs and data systems meet the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(B) for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    3. Program for enforcement of control measures: Section 110(a)(2)(C) requires SIPs to include a program to provide for the enforcement of the measures described in subparagraph (A), and regulation of the modification and construction of any stationary source within the areas covered by the plan as necessary to assure NAAQS are achieved, including a permit program as required in parts C and D.

    To generally meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(C), the State is required to have SIP-approved PSD, nonattainment NSR, and minor NSR permitting programs adequate to implement 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS. As explained elsewhere in this action, EPA is not evaluating nonattainment related provisions, such as the nonattainment NSR program required by part D of the Act. EPA is evaluating the State's PSD program as required by part C of the Act, and the State's minor NSR program as required by 110(a)(2)(C).

    PSD Requirements

    With respect to elements (C) and (J), EPA interprets the CAA to require each state to make an infrastructure SIP submission for a new or revised NAAQS that demonstrates that the air agency has a complete PSD permitting program meeting the current requirements for all regulated NSR pollutants. The requirements of element (D)(i)(II) may also be satisfied by demonstrating the air agency has a complete PSD permitting program correctly addressing all regulated NSR pollutants. North Dakota has shown that it currently has a PSD program in place that covers all regulated NSR pollutants, including greenhouse gases (GHGs).

    North Dakota implements the PSD program by, for the most part, incorporating by reference the federal PSD program as it existed on a specific date. The State periodically updates the PSD program by revising the date of incorporation by reference and submitting the change as a SIP revision. As a result, the SIP revisions generally reflect changes to PSD requirements that EPA has promulgated prior to the revised date of incorporation by reference.

    On June 3, 2010 (75 FR 31291), we approved a North Dakota SIP revision that revised the date of incorporation by reference of the federal PSD program to August 1, 2007. That revision addressed the PSD requirements of the Phase 2 Ozone Implementation Rule promulgated in 2005 (70 FR 71612). As a result, the approved North Dakota PSD program meets current requirements for ozone.

    Similarly, on October 23, 2012 (77 FR 64736), we approved a North Dakota SIP revision that revised the date of incorporation by reference of the federal PSD program to July 2, 2010. As explained in the notice for that action, that revision addressed the PSD requirements related to GHGs provided in EPA's June 3, 2010 “Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule” (75 FR 31514). The approved North Dakota PSD program thus also meets current requirements for GHGs.

    On June 23, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision addressing the application of PSD permitting requirements to GHG emissions, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, 134 S.Ct. 2427. The Supreme Court said that EPA may not treat GHGs as an air pollutant for purposes of determining whether a source is a major source required to obtain a PSD permit. The Supreme Court also said that EPA could continue to require that PSD permits, otherwise required based on emissions of pollutants other than GHGs, contain limitations on GHG emissions based on the application of Best Available Control Technology (BACT). In order to act consistently with its understanding of the Court's decision pending further judicial action to effectuate the decision, EPA is not continuing to apply EPA regulations that would require that SIPs include permitting requirements that the Supreme Court found impermissible. Specifically, EPA is not applying the requirement that a state's SIP-approved PSD program require that sources obtain PSD permits when GHGs are the only pollutant (i) that the source emits or has the potential to emit above the major source thresholds, or (ii) for which there is a significant emissions increase and a significant net emissions increase from a modification (e.g., 40 CFR 51.166(b)(48)(v)). EPA anticipates a need to revise federal PSD rules in light of the Supreme Court opinion. In addition, EPA anticipates that many states will revise their existing SIP-approved PSD programs in light of the Supreme Court's decision. The timing and content of subsequent EPA actions with respect to EPA regulations and state PSD program approvals are expected to be informed by additional legal process before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. At this juncture, EPA is not expecting states to have revised their PSD programs for purposes of infrastructure SIP submissions and is only evaluating such submissions to assure that the state's program correctly addresses GHGs consistent with the Supreme Court's decision.

    At present, EPA has determined that North Dakota's SIP is sufficient to satisfy elements (C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) with respect to GHGs because the PSD permitting program previously approved by EPA into the SIP continues to require that PSD permits (otherwise required based on emissions of pollutants other than GHGs) contain limitations on GHG emissions based on the application of BACT. Although the approved North Dakota PSD permitting program may currently contain provisions that are no longer necessary in light of the Supreme Court decision, this does not render the infrastructure SIP submission inadequate to satisfy elements (C), (D)(i)(II), and (J). The SIP contains the necessary PSD requirements at this time, and the application of those requirements is not impeded by the presence of other previously-approved provisions regarding the permitting of sources of GHGs that EPA does not consider necessary at this time in light of the Supreme Court decision. Accordingly, the Supreme Court decision does not affect EPA's proposed approval of North Dakota's infrastructure SIP as to the requirements of elements (C), (D)(i)(II), and (J).

    Finally, we evaluate the PSD program with respect to current requirements for PM2.5. In particular, on May 16, 2008, EPA promulgated the rule, “Implementation of the New Source Review Program for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)” (73 FR 28321) and on October 20, 2010 EPA promulgated the rule, “Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)—Increments, Significant Impact Levels (SILs) and Significant Monitoring Concentration (SMC)” (75 FR 64864). EPA regards adoption of these PM2.5 rules as a necessary requirement when assessing a PSD program for the purposes of element (C).

    On January 4, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals, in Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA, 706 F.3d 428 (D.C. Cir.), issued a judgment that remanded EPA's 2007 and 2008 rules implementing the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. The court ordered EPA to “repromulgate these rules pursuant to Subpart 4 consistent with this opinion.” Id. at 437. Subpart 4 of part D, Title 1 of the CAA establishes additional provisions for particulate matter nonattainment areas.

    The 2008 implementation rule addressed by the court decision, “Implementation of New Source Review (NSR) Program for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5),” (73 FR 28321, May 16, 2008), promulgated NSR requirements for implementation of PM2.5 in nonattainment areas (nonattainment NSR) and attainment/unclassifiable areas (PSD). As the requirements of Subpart 4 only pertain to nonattainment areas, EPA does not consider the portions of the 2008 Implementation rule that address requirements for PM2.5 attainment and unclassifiable areas to be affected by the court's opinion. Moreover, EPA does not anticipate the need to revise any PSD requirements promulgated in the 2008 Implementation rule in order to comply with the court's decision. Accordingly, EPA's proposed approval of North Dakota's infrastructure SIP as to elements C or J with respect to the PSD requirements promulgated by the 2008 Implementation rule does not conflict with the court's opinion.

    The court's decision with respect to the nonattainment NSR requirements promulgated by the 2008 Implementation rule also does not affect EPA's action on the present infrastructure action. EPA interprets the Act to exclude nonattainment area requirements, including requirements associated with a nonattainment NSR program, from infrastructure SIP submissions due three years after adoption or revision of a NAAQS. Instead, these elements are typically referred to as nonattainment SIP or attainment plan elements, which would be due by the dates statutorily prescribed under subpart 2 through 5 under part D, extending as far as 10 years following designations for some elements.

    The second PSD requirement for PM2.5 is contained in EPA's October 20, 2010 rule, “Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)—Increments, Significant Impact Levels (SILs) and Significant Monitoring Concentration (SMC)” (75 FR 64864). EPA regards adoption of the PM2.5 increments as a necessary requirement when assessing a PSD program for the purposes of element (C).

    As mentioned above, EPA previously approved a North Dakota SIP revision that revised the date of incorporation by reference of the federal PSD program to July 2, 2010 (77 FR 64736, Oct. 23, 2012). This SIP revision also addressed the requirements of the 2008 PM2.5 NSR Implementation Rule. On January 1, 2012, the State submitted revisions to chapter 33-15-15-01.2, Scope, of the NDAC that adopted all elements of the 2010 PM2.5 Increment Rule by incorporating by reference the federal PSD program at 40 CFR part 52, section 21, as it existed on January 1, 2012. The submitted revisions make North Dakota's PSD program up to date with respect to current requirements for PM2.5. EPA approved the necessary portions of North Dakota's January 24, 2013 submission which incorporate the requirements of the 2010 PM2.5 Increment Rule on July 30, 2013 (78 FR 45866). North Dakota's SIP-approved PSD program meets current requirements for PM2.5. EPA therefore is proposing to approve North Dakota's SIP for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS with respect to the requirement in section 110(a)(2)(C) to include a PSD permit program in the SIP as required by part C of the Act.

    Minor NSR

    The State has a SIP-approved minor NSR program, adopted under section 110(a)(2)(C) of the Act. The minor NSR program was originally approved by EPA on August 21, 1995 (60 FR 43401). Since approval of the minor NSR program, the State and EPA have relied on the program to assure that new and modified sources not captured by the major NSR permitting programs do not interfere with attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS.

    EPA is proposing to approve North Dakota's infrastructure SIP for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(C) to include a program in the SIP that regulates the enforcement, modification and construction of any stationary source as necessary to assure that the NAAQS are achieved.

    4. Interstate Transport: The interstate transport provisions in CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) (also called “good neighbor” provisions) require each state to submit a SIP that prohibits emissions that will have certain adverse air quality effects in other states. CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) identifies four distinct elements related to the impacts of air pollutants transported across state lines. The two elements under 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) require SIPs to contain adequate provisions to prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity within the state from emitting air pollutants that will (element 1) contribute significantly to nonattainment in any other state with respect to any such national primary or secondary NAAQS, and (element 2) interfere with maintenance by any other state with respect to the same NAAQS. The two elements under 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) require SIPs to contain adequate provisions to prohibit emissions that will interfere with measures required to be included in the applicable implementation plan for any other state under part C (element 3) to prevent significant deterioration of air quality or (element 4) to protect visibility. In this action, EPA is addressing all four elements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i).

    EPA is addressing the 2008 Pb and 2010 NO2 NAAQS with regard to elements 1 (significant contribution) and 2 (interference with maintenance). EPA is addressing elements 3 (interference with PSD) and 4 (interference with visibility protection) of 110(a)(2)(D)(i) with regard to the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, and element 4 of 110(a)(2)(D)(i) with regard to the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. We are not addressing elements 1 and 2 for the 2008 ozone NAAQS in this action. These elements will be addressed in a later rulemaking.

    A. Evaluation of Significant Contribution to Nonattainment and Interference With Maintenance 2008 Pb NAAQS

    North Dakota's analysis of potential interstate transport for the 2008 Pb NAAQS includes considerations of Pb emissions at sources near the State's borders and the distance of Pb sources in North Dakota to the nearest nonattainment area. The State's analysis is available in the docket for this action.

    As noted in our 2011 Memo, there is a sharp decrease in Pb concentrations, at least in the coarse fraction, as the distance from a Pb source increases. For this reason, EPA found that the “requirements of subsection (2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2) could be satisfied through a state's assessment as to whether or not emissions from Pb sources located in close proximity to their state borders have emissions that impact the neighboring state such that they contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance in that state.” 3 In that guidance document, EPA further specified that any source appeared unlikely to contribute significantly to nonattainment unless it was located less than 2 miles from a state border and emitted at least 0.5 tons per year of Pb. North Dakota's 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) analysis specifically noted that there are no sources in the State that meet both of these criteria. EPA concurs with the State's analysis and conclusion that no North Dakota sources have the combination of Pb emission levels and proximity to nearby nonattainment or maintenance areas to contribute significantly to nonattainment in or interfere with maintenance by other states for this NAAQS. North Dakota's SIP is therefore adequate to ensure that such impacts do not occur. We are proposing to approve North Dakota's submission in that its SIP meets the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) for the 2008 Pb NAAQS.

    3 2011 Memo, at pg 8.

    2010 NO2 NAAQS

    North Dakota's 2010 NO2 transport analysis for element 1 of 110(a)(2)(D)(i) notes that there are no designated nonattainment areas for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS. The State asserts that, because there are no nonattainment areas for this NAAQS, North Dakota does not significantly contribute to nonattainment.

    North Dakota's analysis for element 2 of 110(a)(2)(D)(i) considered the distance to the South Coast Air Basin in California, the only NO2 maintenance area in the U.S., as well as the low monitored NO2 values in North Dakota and the historically decreasing NO2 emission levels in the State. North Dakota also noted that it anticipated further decreases in NOX emissions going forward, specifically noting the decreases resulting from the State's regional haze SIP. The State's analysis is available in the docket for this action. EPA concurs with the technical components of North Dakota's 2010 NO2 transport analyses for both elements 1 and 2, but clarifies that element 1 is not specific to designated nonattainment areas. In addition to the factors considered in the State's analysis, EPA also notes that the highest monitored NO2 design values in each state bordering or near North Dakota are significantly below the NAAQS (see Table 2, below). This fact further supports the State's contention that significant contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance of the NO2 NAAQS from North Dakota is very unlikely based on the lack of relatively nearby areas with high NO2. This is especially relevant for element 2 (interference with maintenance), because in addition to the lack of nonattainment areas, there are also no areas near the State approaching violation of the 2010 NO2 NAAQS which might therefore have difficulty with maintenance of the standard.

    Table 2—Highest Monitored 2010 NO2 NAAQS Design Values State 2011-2013 design value % of NAAQS (100 ppb) Minnesota 46 ppb 46 Montana 46 ppb 4 46 South Dakota 37 ppb 37 Wyoming 35 ppb 35 * Source: http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/values.html. In addition to the monitored levels of NO2 in states near North Dakota being well below the NAAQS, North Dakota's highest design value from 2011-2013 was also significantly below this NAAQS (37 ppb).5

    4 Montana's maximum design value was calculated using EPA's AirData Web site, at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/airdata/ad_rep_mon.html.

    5http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/values.html.

    Based on all of these factors, EPA concurs with the State's conclusion that North Dakota does not contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2010 NO2 NAAQS in other states. EPA is therefore proposing to determine that North Dakota's SIP includes adequate provisions to prohibit sources or other emission activities within the State from emitting NO2 in amounts that will contribute significantly to nonattainment in or interfere with maintenance by any other state with respect specifically to the NO2 NAAQS.

    B. Evaluation of Interference With Measures To Prevent Significant Deterioration (PSD)

    With regard to the PSD portion of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), this requirement may be met by a state's confirmation in an infrastructure SIP submission that new major sources and major modifications in the state are subject to a comprehensive EPA-approved PSD permitting program in the SIP that applies to all regulated NSR pollutants and that satisfies the requirements of EPA's PSD implementation rule(s).6 As discussed in section VI.3 of this proposed action, North Dakota has such a PSD-permitting program.

    6 See 2013 Memo.

    As stated in the 2013 Memo, in-state sources not subject to PSD for any one or more of the pollutants subject to regulation under the CAA because they are in a nonattainment area for a NAAQS related to those particular pollutants may also have the potential to interfere with PSD in an attainment or unclassifiable area of another state. North Dakota does not contain any nonattainment areas. The consideration of nonattainment NSR for element 3 is therefore not relevant as all major sources locating in the State are subject to PSD. As North Dakota's SIP meets structural PSD requirements for all regulated NSR pollutants, and does not have any nonattainment areas, EPA is proposing to approve the infrastructure SIP submission as meeting the applicable requirements of element 3 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) for the 2008 Ozone, 2008 Pb and 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    C. Evaluation of Interference With Measures To Protect Visibility

    The determination of whether the CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) requirement for visibility is satisfied is closely connected to EPA's Regional Haze (RH) program. Under the RH program, each state with a Class I area is required to submit a SIP with reasonable progress goals for each such area that provides for an improvement in visibility for the most impaired days and ensures no degradation of the best days. CAA § 169A.

    Because of the often significant impacts on visibility from the interstate transport of pollutants, we interpret the provisions of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) described above as requiring states to include in their SIPs measures to prohibit emissions that would interfere with the reasonable progress goals set to protect Class I areas in other states. This is consistent with the requirements in the RH program which explicitly require each state to address its share of the emission reductions needed to meet the reasonable progress goals for surrounding Class I areas. 64 FR 35714, 35735 (July 1, 1999). States working together through a regional planning process are required to address an agreed upon share of their contribution to visibility impairment in the Class I areas of their neighbors. Given these requirements in the RH program we have concluded that a fully approved RH SIP satisfies the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) with respect to visibility.

    In the absence of a fully approved RH SIP, a state can still make a demonstration that its SIP satisfies the visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II).7 States worked through regional planning organizations (RPOs), such as the Western Regional Air Partnership (WRAP) in the case of North Dakota, to develop strategies to address RH. To help states in establishing reasonable progress goals, the RPOs modeled future visibility conditions. The modeling assumed emissions reductions from each state, based on extensive consultation among the states as to appropriate strategies for addressing haze. In setting reasonable progress goals, states generally relied on this modeling. As a result, we generally consider a SIP that ensures emission reductions commensurate with the assumptions underlying the reasonable progress goals to meet the visibility requirement of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II).

    7 See 2013 Memo at 34. See also 76 FR 22036 (April 20, 2011) (EPA's approval of the visibility requirement of 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) based on a demonstration by Colorado that did not rely on the Colorado Regional Haze SIP).

    In its 2006 PM2.5, 2008 ozone, 2008 Pb and 2010 NO2 infrastructure certifications, North Dakota points to existing portions in the North Dakota SIP, specifically referencing the North Dakota RH SIP, to certify that the State meets the visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i). For the 2006 PM2.5, 2008 ozone, 2008 Pb and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, the State also references the PSD (NDAC 33-15-15) and Visibility Protection (NDAC 33-15-19) portions of its SIP, as well as EPA's RH federal implementation plan (FIP).8 While Pb emissions have less impact on visibility, North Dakota addressed Pb no differently than other NAAQS in its 2008 Pb certification. Regardless, EPA noted in the 2013 Memo that “Pb-related visibility impacts were found to be insignificant,” and that “significant impacts from Pb emissions from stationary sources are expected to be limited to short distances from the source.” 9 As stated earlier in this section, North Dakota does not have any Pb sources near bordering states.

    8 EPA's final action including a partial approval, partial disapproval and FIP of the North Dakota RH SIP was published in the Federal Register April 6, 2012 (77 FR 20894).

    9 See 2013 Memo at 33-34.

    In this action, we are proposing to find that the emissions reductions approved into North Dakota's RH SIP are sufficient to ensure that emissions from sources within the State do not interfere with the reasonable progress goals of nearby states. North Dakota participated in a regional planning process with the WRAP. In the regional planning process, North Dakota accepted and incorporated the WRAP-developed visibility modeling into its RH SIP, and the SIP included the controls assumed in the modeling.

    EPA did not fully approve the North Dakota RH SIP, as we partially disapproved, among other elements, the State's selection of NOX Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) controls for Great River Energy's Coal Creek Station. 77 FR 20894 (April 6, 2012). As a result of our partial disapproval, North Dakota's SIP does not ensure NOX emission reductions from Coal Creek Station, emission reductions which were assumed in the WRAP's visibility modeling that was relied on in setting reasonable progress goals in nearby states.10 We note, however, that the North Dakota RH SIP also adopted NOX controls that were not included in the WRAP's modeling for Otter Tail Power Company's Coyote Station. EPA approved these controls into the North Dakota RH SIP as part of our April 6, 2012 final action. The SIP provision will reduce NOX emissions at Coyote Station by approximately 4,213 tons per year, a larger decrease in emissions than the assumed NOX BART reductions for Coal Creek Station of approximately 3,200 tons per year. As Coal Creek and Coyote Stations are roughly 32 miles apart, a relatively short distance, the visibility impacts from NOX emission reductions at either source on out-of-state Class I areas would be similar.

    10 EPA notes that we also disapproved and promulgated a FIP for the State's reasonable progress determination for Basin Electric's Antelope Valley Station.

    Because the reductions in North Dakota's approved RH SIP are greater than those assumed by the WRAP modeling, EPA is proposing to find that North Dakota's SIP includes controls sufficient to address the relevant requirements related to impacts on Class I areas in other states.

    5. Interstate and International transport provisions: CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions ensuring compliance with the applicable requirements of CAA sections 126 and 115 (relating to interstate and international pollution abatement). Specifically, CAA section 126(a) requires new or modified major sources to notify neighboring states of potential impacts from the source.

    Section 126(a) of the CAA requires notification to affected, nearby states of major proposed new (or modified) sources. Sections 126(b) and (c) pertain to petitions by affected states to the Administrator of the EPA (Administrator) regarding sources violating the “interstate transport” provisions of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i). Section 115 of the CAA similarly pertains to international transport of air pollution.

    With regard to section 126(a), North Dakota's SIP-approved PSD program requires notice of proposed new sources or modifications to states whose lands may be significantly affected by emissions from the source or modification (see NDAC 33-15-15-01.2(q)(2)(d)). This provision satisfies the notice requirement of section 126(a).

    North Dakota has no pending obligations under sections 126(c) or 115(b); therefore, its SIP currently meets the requirements of those sections. In summary, the SIP meets the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) for the 2008 ozone, 2008 Pb and 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    6. Adequate resources: Section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) requires states to provide necessary assurances that the State will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under state law to carry out the SIP (and is not prohibited by any provision of federal or state law from carrying out the SIP or portion thereof). Section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) also requires each state to comply with the requirements respecting state boards under CAA section 128. Section 110(a)(2)(E)(iii) requires states to “provide necessary assurances that, where the State has relied on a local or regional government, agency, or instrumentality for the implementation of any [SIP] provision, the State has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of such [SIP] provision.”

    a. Sub-elements (i) and (iii): Adequate personnel, funding, and legal authority under state law to carry out its SIP, and related issues.

    NDCC 23-25-03 provides adequate authority for the State of North Dakota and the Department to carry out its SIP obligations with respect to the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS. The State receives section 103 and 105 grant funds through its Performance Partnership Grant from EPA along with required state matching funds to provide funding necessary to carry out North Dakota's SIP requirements. North Dakota's resources meet the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(E).

    With respect to section 110(a)(2)(E)(iii), the regulations cited by North Dakota in their certifications and verified through additional communication 11 (NDCC 23-25-02(01), 33-15-04-02, 23-01-05(02), 23-25-03(5), and 23-25-10) and contained within this docket also provide the necessary assurances that the State has responsibility for adequate implementation of SIP provisions by local governments. Therefore, we propose to approve North Dakota's SIP as meeting the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (E)(iii) for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    11See Email from Tom Bachman “Request for Clarificaitons_ND iSIP 2008 ozone, 2008 Pb, and 2010 NO2 NAAAQS” April 13, 2015, available within docket.

    b. Sub-element (ii): State boards.

    Section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) requires each state's SIP to contain provisions that comply with the requirements of section 128 of the CAA. That provision contains two explicit requirements: (i) That any board or body which approves permits or enforcement orders under the CAA shall have at least a majority of members who represent the public interest and do not derive a significant portion of their income from persons subject to such permits and enforcement orders; and (ii) that any potential conflicts of interest by members of such board or body or the head of an executive agency with similar powers be adequately disclosed.

    On July 30, 2013 (78 FR 45866) EPA approved revised language in North Dakota's SIP, chapter 2, section 15, Respecting Boards to include provisions for addressing conflict of interest requirements. Details on how this portion of chapter 2, section 15 rules meet the requirements of section 128 are provided in our May 13, 2013 proposal notice (78 FR 27898). North Dakota's SIP continues to meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii), and we propose to approve the infrastructure SIP for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS for this element.

    7. Stationary source monitoring system: Section 110(a)(2)(F) requires: (i) The installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources to monitor emissions from such sources; (ii) Periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions-related data from such sources; and (iii) Correlation of such reports by the state agency with any emission limitations or standards established pursuant to the Act, which reports shall be available at reasonable times for public inspection.

    The North Dakota statutory provisions listed in the State's certifications (NDCC 23-25-03) and contained within this docket provide authority to establish a program for measurement and testing of sources, including requirements for sampling and testing. North Dakota's SIP-approved minor source and PSD programs provide for monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements for sources subject to minor and major source permitting. The State cites several regulations (NDAC 33-15-14-02.9, 33-15-14-03.6, 33-15-14-06.5 and contained within this docket) requiring monitoring of emissions from stationary sources, recordkeeping and reporting of emissions, and monitoring date. Source surveillance is also addressed in Chapter 8 of the SIP. This chapter provides for the permitting of sources, inspection of the sources, recordkeeping and reporting by sources, and compliance determinations. Section 8.2 of the SIP commits the Department to the correlation of data with the applicable requirements. All reports are available for public inspection in accordance with NDAC 33-15-01-16.1.

    Additionally, North Dakota is required to submit emissions data to the EPA for purposes of the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The NEI is the EPA's central repository for air emissions data. The EPA published the Air Emissions Reporting Rule (AERR) on December 5, 2008, which modified the requirements for collecting and reporting air emissions data (73 FR 76539). The AERR shortened the time states had to report emissions data from 17 to 12 months, giving states one calendar year to submit emissions data. All states are required to submit a comprehensive emissions inventory every three years and report emissions for certain larger sources annually through the EPA's online Emissions Inventory System. States report emissions data for the six criteria pollutants and their associated precursors—nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. Many states also voluntarily report emissions of hazardous air pollutants. North Dakota made its latest update to the NEI on October 23, 2014. EPA compiles the emissions data, supplementing it where necessary, and releases it to the general public through the Web site http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/eiinformation.html.

    Based on the analysis above, we propose to approve the North Dakota SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(F) for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    8. Emergency powers: Section 110(a)(2)(G) of the CAA requires infrastructure SIPs to “provide for authority comparable to that in [CAA section 303] and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority.”

    Under CAA section 303, the EPA Administrator has authority to bring suit to immediately restrain an air pollution source that presents an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health or welfare, or the environment.12 If such action may not practicably assure prompt protection, then the Administrator has authority to issue temporary administrative orders to protect the public health or welfare, or the environment, and such orders can be extended if EPA subsequently files a civil suit.

    12 A discussion of the requirements for meeting CAA section 303 is provided in our notice of proposed rulemaking: Promulgation of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 p.m.2.5, 2008 Lead, 2008 Ozone, and 2010 NO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standards; South Dakota (79 FR 71040, Dec. 1, 2014) under “VI. Analysis of State Submittals, 8. Emergency powers.”

    Chapter 23-25 of the NDCC provides relevant language and authority for “Air Pollution Control.” The purpose of this chapter is “to achieve and maintain the best air quality possible” and to “protect human health, welfare and property, [and] prevent injury to plant and animal life” (NDCC 23-25-01(2)). NDCC 23-25-01 defines “air pollution” as “the presence in the outdoor atmosphere of one or more air contaminants in such quantities and duration as is or may be injurious to human health, welfare, or property, animal or plant life, or which unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment of life or property.” As such, the chapter aims to protect all three areas required by section 303; human health, welfare, and environment. The “Air Pollution Control” chapter provides general grants of authority to maintain actions in certain situations. We find these grants provide comparable authority to that provided in Section 303. Furthermore, the NDAC 33-15-01-15(1) makes it unlawful to “permit or cause air pollution” as defined in NDCC 23-25-01. A person causing or contributing to emissions that endanger public health, welfare, or the environment, would be causing “air pollution” within the meaning of North Dakota law, and would therefore be in violation of NDAC 33-15-01-15(1). This could occur in either an emergency or non-emergency situation.13

    13See Email from Tom Bachman “Request for Clarifications_ND iSIP 2008 ozone, 2008 Pb, and 2010 NO2 NAAAQS” April 13, 2015, available within docket.

    NDCC 23-25-10(5) provides that “the department has the authority to maintain an action in the name of the state against any person to enjoin any threatened or continuing violation of any provision of this chapter or any permit condition, rule, order, limitation, or other applicable requirement implementing this chapter.” Under NDCC 23-25-10(5), the Department has the authority to bring an action to enjoin a violation of NDCC 23-25 or its rules. The Department may seek a court order to restrain a source from causing or contributing to emissions that endanger public health, welfare, or the environment. In an emergency, this may take the form of an injunction or temporary restraining order (see NDCC 32-06-02).14 Therefore, the NDDH has the authority to seek judicial actions during emergency situations.

    14See Email from Tom Bachman “Request for Clarifications_ND iSIP 2008 ozone, 2008 Pb, and 2010 NO2 NAAAQS” April 13, 2015, available within docket.

    North Dakota's statutes also provide the NDDH with the authority to issue administrative orders and emergency rules to protect the public health, welfare, and the environment under certain circumstances. NDCC 23-25-08, as cited in North Dakota's SIP submittals, authorizes that in the event of “an emergency requiring immediate action to protect the public health and safety,” the NDDH has the authority to “issue an order reciting the existence of such emergency and requiring that such action be taken as is necessary” to meet the emergency. The emergency order is effective immediately. Any person who violates the order is subject to enforcement, penalties, and injunctions under NDCC 23-25-10.

    Furthermore, as cited in North Dakota's SIP submittals, the NDDH has the authority to “use an emergency adjudicative proceeding, in its discretion, in an emergency situation involving imminent peril to the public health, safety, or welfare” (NDCC 28-32-32). Accordingly, “in an emergency, the administrative agency may take action pursuant to a specific statute as is necessary to prevent or avoid imminent peril to the public health, safety, or welfare” (NDCC-28-32-32.1). In the absence of a specific statute requiring other administrative action, “the administrative agency shall issue an order” (NDCC 28-32-32(4)).

    Further supplemental authority is found in a broad provision, cited by the State in their SIP submittals, granting additional authority to the NDDH. The NDDH has the authority to “[i]ssue such orders as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes” of the “Air Pollution Control” chapter NDCC 23-25-03.5. These orders can be enforced “by all appropriate administrative and judicial procedures” (NDCC 23-25-03.5). Thus, this broad grant of authority includes the authority to issue administrative orders during air pollution emergencies which would disrupt protection of human health, welfare, and animal and plant life.

    The combination of NDCC and NDAC provisions discussed above provide for authority comparable to section 303 to immediately bring suit to restrain, issue emergency orders against, and use special rule adoption procedures for applicable emergencies to take prompt administrative action against, any person causing or contributing to air pollution that presents an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health or welfare, or the environment. We propose that they are sufficient to meet the authority requirement of CAA section 110(a)(2)(G).

    States must also have adequate contingency plans adopted into their SIP to implement the air agency's emergency episode authority (as discussed above). This can be done by submitting a plan that meets the applicable requirements of 40 CFR part 51, subpart H for the relevant NAAQS if the NAAQS is covered by those regulations.

    Subpart H of 40 CFR part 51 requires states to classify regions and to develop contingency plans (also known as emergency episode plans) after ambient concentrations of certain criteria pollutants in an area have exceeded specified levels. For example, if ambient concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in an area have exceeded 0.06 ppm (annual arithmetic mean), then the area is classified as a Priority I region, and the state must develop a contingency plan that meets the requirements of sections 51.151 and 51.152. North Dakota has not monitored any values above the priority cut point for ozone or NO2.

    Prevention of air pollution emergency episodes is addressed in Section 5 of North Dakota's SIP and was approved on May 31, 1972 (37 FR 10842). We find that North Dakota's air pollution emergency provisions establish stages of episode criteria (Section 5.2), provide for public announcement whenever any episode stage has been determined to exist (Section 5.3), and specify emission control actions to be taken at each episode stage (Section 5.5) consistent with the EPA emergency episode SIP requirements set forth at 40 CFR part 51, subpart H (prevention of air pollution emergency episode) for ozone and NO2.

    As noted in the October 14, 2011 guidance,15 based on EPA's experience to date with the Pb NAAQS and designating Pb nonattainment areas, EPA expects that an emergency episode associated with Pb emissions would be unlikely and, if it were to occur, would be the result of a malfunction or other emergency situation at a relatively large source of Pb. Accordingly, EPA believes the central components of a contingency plan would be to reduce emissions from the source at issue and communicate with the public as needed. We note that 40 CFR part 51, subpart H (51.150-51.152) and 40 CFR part 51, Appendix L do not apply to Pb.

    15 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2008 Lead (Pb) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).” Steve Page, OAQPS Director, October 14, 2011, at p. 13.

    Based on the above analysis, we propose approval of North Dakota's SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(G) for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    9. Future SIP revisions: Section 110(a)(2)(H) requires that SIPs provide for revision of such plan: (i) From time to time as may be necessary to take account of revisions of such national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard or the availability of improved or more expeditious methods of attaining such standard; and (ii), except as provided in paragraph (3)(C), whenever the Administrator finds on the basis of information available to the Administrator that the SIP is substantially inadequate to attain the NAAQS which it implements or to otherwise comply with any additional requirements under this [Act].

    EPA approved relevant sections of the North Dakota SIP on September 17, 2012 (77 FR 57029). North Dakota's statutory provision at NDCC 23-25-03 provides adequate authority for the Department to carry out such revisions. Therefore, we propose to approve North Dakota's SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(H).

    10. Consultation with government officials, public notification, PSD and visibility protection: Section 110(a)(2)(J) requires that each SIP “meet the applicable requirements of section 121 of this title (relating to consultation), section 127 of this title (relating to public notification), and part C of this subchapter (relating to PSD of air quality and visibility protection).”

    The State has demonstrated it has the authority and rules in place through its certifications (contained within this docket) to provide a process of consultation with general purpose local governments, designated organizations of elected officials of local governments and any Federal Land Manager having authority over federal land to which the SIP applies, consistent with the requirements of CAA section 121. Furthermore, EPA previously addressed the requirements of CAA section 127 for the North Dakota SIP and determined public notification requirements are appropriate (45 FR 53475, Aug. 12, 1980).

    As discussed above, the State has a SIP-approved PSD program that incorporates by reference the federal program at 40 CFR 52.21. EPA has further evaluated North Dakota's SIP approved PSD program in this proposed action under element (C) and determined the State has satisfied the requirements of element 110(a)(2)(C), as noted above. Therefore, the State has also satisfied the requirements of element 110(a)(2)(J).

    Finally, with regard to the applicable requirements for visibility protection, EPA recognizes states are subject to visibility and regional haze program requirements under part C of the Act. In the event of the establishment of a new NAAQS, however, the visibility and regional haze program requirements under part C do not change. Thus, we find that there are no applicable visibility requirements under section 110(a)(2)(J) when a new NAAQS becomes effective.

    Based on the above analysis, we propose to approve the North Dakota SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(J) for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    11. Air quality and modeling/data: Section 110(a)(2)(K) requires each SIP provide for: (i) The performance of such air quality modeling as the Administrator may prescribe for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of any emissions of any air pollutant for which the Administrator has established a NAAQS; and (ii) the submission, upon request, of data related to such air quality modeling to the Administrator.

    North Dakota's PSD program requires estimates of ambient air concentrations be based on applicable air quality models specified in Appendix W of 40 CFR part 51, and incorporates by reference the provisions at 40 CFR 52.21(I)(2) requiring that modification or substitution of a model specified in Appendix W must be approved by the Administrator. Section 7.7, Air Quality Modeling, of North Dakota's SIP commits the Department to performing air quality modeling to predict the impact of a source on air quality, and providing data to EPA upon request. As a result, the SIP provides for such air quality modeling as the Administrator has prescribed. Therefore, we propose to approve the North Dakota SIP as meeting the CAA section 110(a)(2)(K) for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    12. Permitting fees: Section 110(a)(2)(L) requires the owner or operator of each major stationary source to pay to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under this act, a fee sufficient to cover: (i) The reasonable costs of reviewing and acting upon any application for such a permit; and (ii) if the owner or operator receives a permit for such source, the reasonable costs of implementing and enforcing the terms and conditions of any such permit (not including any court costs or other costs associated with any enforcement action), until such fee requirement is superseded with respect to such sources by the Administrator's approval of a fee program under title V.

    The State cites the SIP approved fee provisions for construction permits (NDAC 33-15-23-02 approved at 62 FR 19224, April 21, 1997), which include costs of processing not covered by the application fee. We also note that all the State SIPs we are proposing to approve in this action cite the regulation that provides for collection of permitting fees under North Dakota's approved title V permit program (64 FR 32433, June 17, 1999). As discussed in that approval, the State demonstrated that the fees collected were sufficient to administer the program.

    Therefore, based on the State's experience in relying on the funds collected through application and processing fees at NDAC 33-15-23, and the use of title V fees to implement and enforce PSD permits once they are incorporated into title V permits, we propose to approve the submissions as supplemented by the State for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    13. Consultation/participation by affected local entities: Section 110(a)(2)(M) requires states to provide for consultation and participation in SIP development by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP.

    The statutory provisions cited in North Dakota's SIP submittals (NDCC 23-25-03 and 23-25-02, contained within this docket) meet the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(M), so we propose to approve North Dakota's SIP as meeting these requirements for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    VII. What action is EPA taking?

    In this action, EPA is proposing to approve the following infrastructure elements for the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS: (A), (B), (C) with respect to minor NSR and PSD requirements, (D)(i)(II) elements 3 and 4, (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). EPA proposes to approve element 4 of 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. Finally, EPA proposes approval of D(i)(I) elements 1 and 2 for the 2008 Pb, and 2010 NO2 NAAQS. EPA will act separately on infrastructure element (D)(i)(I), interstate transport, for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    VIII. Statutory and Executive Orders Review

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

    • Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, Oct. 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, Aug. 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, Feb. 16, 1994).

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: June 25, 2015. Debra H. Thomas, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 8.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17380 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 192 [Docket No. PHMSA-2011-0009] RIN 2137-AE71 Pipeline Safety: Expanding the Use of Excess Flow Valves in Gas Distribution Systems to Applications Other Than Single-Family Residences AGENCY:

    Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    Excess Flow Valves (EFVs), which are safety devices installed on natural gas pipelines to reduce the risk of accidents, are currently required for new or replaced gas service lines servicing single-family residences (SFR). PHMSA is proposing to make changes to part 192 to expand this requirement to include new or replaced branched service lines servicing SFRs, multi-family residences, and small commercial entities consuming gas volumes not exceeding 1,000 Standard Cubic Feet per Hour (SCFH). PHMSA is also proposing to require the use of manual service line shut-off valve (e.g., curb valves) for new or replaced service lines with meter capacities exceeding 1,000 SCFH. Finally, PHMSA is proposing that operators notify customers of their right to request installation of an EFV on service lines that are not being newly installed or replaced. PHMSA is proposing to delegate the question of who bears the cost of installing EFVs to service lines that are not being newly installed or replaced to the operator, customer, and the appropriate State regulatory agency.

    DATES:

    Persons interested in submitting written comments on this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) must do so by September 14, 2015. PHMSA will consider late-filed comments so far as practicable.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by the docket number PHMSA-2011-0009 by any of the following methods:

    Comments should reference Docket No. PHMSA-2011-0009 and may be submitted in the following ways:

    Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. This site allows the public to enter comments on any Federal Register notice issued by any agency. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

    Fax: 1-202-493-2251.

    Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Docket Operations Facility (M-30), West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    Hand Delivery: DOT Docket Operations Facility, West Building, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, 20590 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Instructions: Identify the docket number, PHMSA-2011-0009, at the beginning of your comments. If you mail your comments, submit two copies. In order to confirm receipt of your comments, include a self-addressed, stamped postcard.

    Note:

    All comments are posted electronically in their original form, without changes or edits, including any personal information.

    Privacy Act Statement

    Anyone can search the electronic comments associated with any docket by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement was published in the Federal Register on April 11, 2000, (65 FR 19477).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mike Israni, by telephone at 202-366-4571, by fax at 202-366-4566, or by mail at DOT, PHMSA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., PHP-1, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    An EFV is a mechanical safety device installed inside the natural gas service line between the street and residential meter. The EFV will “trip or close” if there is sufficient damage to the line to minimize the flow of gas through the line and thus, the amount of gas that escapes into the atmosphere. During normal use, the valve is kept pushed open against oncoming gas flow by a spring. EFVs are designed so that general usage, such as turning on appliances, will not shut the valve. However, during a significant increase in the flow of gas (e.g., due to a damaged line), the spring cannot overcome the force of gas, and the valve will close and stay closed until the correct pressure is restored. When the correct pressure is restored, the EFV automatically resets itself.

    On July 7, 1998, in South Riding, Virginia, a residential gas explosion resulted in one death and three injuries. It is not known if the explosion occurred on a branched or non-branched service line servicing an SFR; however, PHMSA believes that this proposed rule or its previous rule requiring EFVs on single lines serving SFRs would have mitigated the consequences of the explosion. An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found the explosion likely would not have occurred if an EFV had been installed for this single-family home. Similarly, PHMSA strongly believes this incident would have likely been would have been mitigated at a minimum. As a result, on June 22, 2001, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendation P-01-2, recommending that PHMSA require excess flow valves in all new and renewed gas service lines, regardless of a customer's classification, when the operating conditions are compatible with readily available valves.

    In December of 2005, the “Integrity Management for Gas Distribution: Report of Phase I Investigations,” 1 developed by a multi-stakeholder group, was published. In the report, the stakeholder group recommended that “[A]s part of its distribution integrity management plan, an operator should consider the mitigative value of excess flow valves (EFVs). EFVs meeting performance criteria in § 192.381 and installed in accordance with § 192.383 may reduce the need for other mitigation options.”

    1http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=PHMSA-RSPA-2004-19854-0070.

    In an effort to study the possible benefits of expanding EFVs beyond SFR applications, PHMSA began development of the Interim Evaluation in early 2009. In June and August of 2009, PHMSA held public meetings on NTSB Recommendation P-01-2.

    The meeting participants included the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Association of State Fire Marshals, natural gas distribution operators, trade associations, manufacturers, and the Pipeline Safety Trust. As a result of these meetings, PHMSA issued a report titled: “Interim Evaluation: NTSB Recommendation P-01-2 Excess Flow Valves in Applications Other Than Service Lines Serving One SFR”).2

    2 The Interim Evaluation Report was issued in 2010 by PHMSA. The purpose of the interim report was to respond to the NTSB safety recommendation P-01-02 and evaluate the possibility of expansion of EFVs to applications other than service lines serving one single family residence (above 10 psig). The interim report also built a foundation for an economic analysis, considered the need for enhanced technical standards or guidelines, and suggested that any new technical standards include criteria for pressure drops across the EFV. The interim report can be found at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=PHMSA-2011-0009-0002.

    On December 4, 2009, PHMSA amended the pipeline safety regulations to require the use of EFVs for new or replaced gas lines servicing SFRs.3 While this requirement met the mandate of the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement and Safety Act (PIPES Act) enacted in 2006, distribution lines, including those that serve branched SFRs, apartment buildings, other multi-residential dwellings, commercial properties, and industrial service lines, are still not required to use EFVs. These structures are susceptible to the same risks as SFR service lines. PHMSA, already aware of this risk, was awaiting completion of the Interim Evaluation, which studied the possible expansion of EFVs beyond SFRs and the challenges of application. The Interim Evaluation also addressed other practical alternatives such as the use of manual isolation devices, such as curb valves. The evaluation identified challenges related to the feasibility and practicality of the proposed solutions, as well as significant cost factors and benefit factors. The evaluation found that there are no other devices or viable options to shut off gas supply quickly when gas services line ruptures.

    3 “Pipeline Safety: Integrity Management Programs for Gas Distribution Pipelines,” 74 FR 63906 (December 4, 2009) RIN 2137-AE15.

    On November 25, 2011, PHMSA published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) (76 FR 72666) asking the public to comment on the findings of the Interim Evaluation and issues relating to the expanded use of EFVs in gas distribution systems. PHMSA also sought comments from gas distribution operators on their experiences using EFVs, including:

    • Technical challenges of installing EFVs on services other than SFRs;

    • Categories of service to be considered for expanded EFV use;

    • Cost factors;

    • Data analysis in the Interim Evaluation;

    • Technical standards for EFV devices; and

    • Potential safety and societal benefits, small business and environmental impacts, and costs of modifying the existing regulatory requirements.

    The ANPRM comments received by PHMSA will assist in the finalization of the Interim Evaluation and in determining what regulatory changes may be necessary to fulfill this mandate.

    In 2012, the President signed the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011, which requires PHMSA to study the possibility of expanding the use of EFVs beyond SFRs and issue a final report on the evaluation of the NTSB's recommendation on excess flow valves within 2 years after enactment of the Act. PHMSA is also mandated to, if appropriate, issue regulations requiring the use of EFVs or equivalent technology, where “economically, technically and operationally feasible”, for new or entirely replaced distribution branch services, multi-family lines, and small commercial service lines. PHMSA has determined for the purpose of this proposed rule, based on the study, that the safety benefits of expanding EFVs justify the cost and is appropriate. The only proposed exceptions are for large apartment buildings, industrial or commercial users for whom EFVs may not be practical due to inherent design complexity, continuous supply demands and/or contamination issues. Additionally, PHMSA is proposing that services exceeding 1,000 SFCH install curb valves on new or replaced gas service lines.

    The proposed required use of curb valves for large commercial (greater than 1,000 SFCH) goes beyond the Section 22 language of the Pipeline Safety, Job Creation, and Regulatory Certainty Act of 2011, however it is based on ANPRM comments received from industry, trade associations and other stakeholders. PHMSA and industry in general believe that EFVs are not suitable larger commercial facilities over 1,000 SFCH. Curb valves are the best alternative to an EFV and provide an effective added level of safety for these facilities. These valves also are a feasible alternative based on the cost/benefit analyses.

    PHMSA's authority for regulating natural gas pipelines was first established by the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968, Public Law 90-481, and has since been enlarged by additional legislation. The Pipeline Safety Laws specifically delegate authority to DOT to develop, prescribe, and enforce minimum Federal safety standards for the transportation of natural gas. PHMSA has used this statutory authority to promulgate comprehensive minimum safety standards. While the 2011 Act specifically directed PHMSA to require the installation of EFVs on new and replaced branched lines serving SFRs, multi-family and small commercial facilities, DOT's underlying prior statutory authority under 49 U.S.C. 60104 provides PHMSA with the authority to require the installation of curb valves for large commercial facilities.

    In the time since the 1998 incident in South Riding, Virginia, the NTSB has investigated an additional 8 incidents, which resulted in 10 fatalities that could have possibly been averted if an EFV had been in place. The most recent incident occurred on November 23, 2012, when a gas pipeline exploded in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Springfield explosion injured 21 people and damaged more than 40 buildings. It is important also to note that this incident occurred on the day after Thanksgiving and the daycare adjacent to the explosion was closed. If the daycare would have been open, it is highly likely this incident would have resulted in even more losses. This incident is currently under investigation by the NTSB. All eight of these incidents occurred on lines that would be affected by this rulemaking.

    II. Analysis of ANPRM

    Nineteen organizations and individuals submitted comments in response to the ANPRM. The individual docket item numbers are listed for each comment.

    Trade Associations

    • Northeast Gas Association (NGA) (PHMSA-2011-0009-0012).

    • Texas Pipeline Association (TPA) (PHMSA-2011-0009-0016).

    • American Gas Association (AGA) (PHMSA-2011-0009-0023).

    • American Public Gas Association (APGA) (PHMSA-2011-0009-0024).

    Gas Transmission and Distribution Pipeline Companies

    • MidAmerican Energy Company (MAE) (PHMSA-2011-0009-0011).

    • Avista Utilities (AU) (PHMSA-2011-0009-0013).

    • Southwest Gas Corporation (SWC) (PHMSA-2011-0009-0015).

    • National Grid (NG) (PHMSA-2011-0009-0022) (Supported AGA comments).

    • Laclede Gas (LG) (PHMSA-2011-0009-0018) (Supported AGA comments).

    • Kansas Gas Service (KGS) (PHMSA-2011-0009-0017).

    • Nicor Gas (PHMSA-2011-0009-0014).

    Government/Municipalities

    • City of Ellensburg, Washington (PHMSA-2011-0009-0004).

    • NTSB (PHMSA-2011-0009-0009).

    • Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) (PHMSA-2011-0009-0020).

    Pipeline Industry Suppliers

    • R.W. Lyall (PHMSA-2011-0009-0021).

    • Gas Breaker, Inc. (GBI) (PHMSA-2011-0009-0019).

    Citizens

    • Rebecca Lee Roter (PHMSA-2011-0009-0006).

    • Courtney D. Brown (PHMSA-2011-0009-0010).

    • Anonymous (PHMSA-2011-0009-0008) (The anonymous commenter expressed concerns regarding pipeline safety versus job creation, corruption, and politics. These topics are beyond the scope of this NPRM and are not discussed further.)

    PHMSA reviewed all of the comments received in response to the ANPRM. The comments received from the trade associations largely supported expanded EFV use with certain limitations. The operators that responded with comments raised some concerns with expanded EFV use generally related to logistics and implementation. Municipality comments reflected a concern that State laws already in place could conflict with any new Federal requirements. The NTSB expressed strong approval of the expanded EFV use. The comments submitted are discussed below in the same order as presented in the questions from the ANPRM.

    A. Technical Challenges of Installing EFVs on Services Other Than SFRs A.1. Does the Interim Evaluation address all challenges associated with expanded EFV use (changing gas usage patterns, snap loads, business-critical gas supply applications, system configuration, pressure ratings, and size of commercially available EFVs)?

    The ANPRM solicited feedback and comments regarding whether the Interim Evaluation fairly and accurately explained the challenges of expanded EFV use. These challenges, identified in the Interim Evaluation from a variety of stakeholders, may limit or exclude future EFV expansion beyond SFR applications due to safety reasons. The challenges included changing gas-usage patterns, snap loads (i.e. loads that lead to false closures), business-critical gas supply applications, system configurations, pressure ratings, and the sizes of commercially available EFVs. Among the challenges discussed by the commenters, snap loads (loads that lead to false closures), load variation, and proper EFV sizing seemed to be of the greatest concern.

    Overall, industry, trade association, government, and municipality commenters agreed that the Interim Evaluation failed to accurately and fully portray a variety of the technical and operational challenges and costs and benefits associated with expanded EFV requirements. These commenters either stated the report was lacking in certain areas or did not comment. In general, commenters, including AGA and APGA, strongly cautioned against the broad expansion of EFV requirements beyond those for SFRs, citing operators' lack of experience and design complexities. Specifically, APGA, SWC, AGA, LG, NG, AU, TPA, IUB, NGA, and MAE all found the Interim Evaluation's discussion of the challenges of proper EFV sizing protocols, system configuration, and changes in gas-usage patterns to be inadequate and to contain false assumptions. Due to these concerns, MAE suggested that any EFV requirements should only affect new installations. Likewise, AGA supported the installation of EFVs on new and entirely replaced service lines in the following applications only:

    • Service lines to SFRs;

    • SFR service lines and branched SFR service lines installed at the same time;

    • A branched SFR service line branching off an existing SFR service line that does not contain an EFV provided there is sufficient line capacity;

    • A branched SFR service line branching off an existing SFR service line that contains an EFV sized appropriately for both customers provided there is sufficient line capacity;

    • Multi-family installations, including duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes, with individual meter sets, a known customer load (based on meter capacity) not exceeding 1,000 standard cubic feet per hour (SCFH), and a load that is not expected to increase over time; and

    • Small commercial customers with a known customer load (based on meter capacity) not exceeding 1,000 SCFH through a single service line and where the load is not expected to increase over time.

    AU, KGS, APGA, SWC, GBI, AGA, and the City of Ellensburg, WA, were concerned with the challenges of snap loads and the loss of continuous supply. Snap loads may occur when the amount of natural gas required to meet demand suddenly increases, which is generally due to many appliances being turned on at one time. GBI, AU, and AGA suggested that requiring EFVs for lines not exceeding 1,000 SCFH based on meter size is reasonable, but the false closure and load variation challenges make using EFVs for applications that exceed 1,000 SCFH difficult. AU specifically stated that the failure (false closure or malfunction) of EFVs at high loads during winter frost is difficult to mitigate and is an inconvenience to customers who lose service. AU stated that winter frost makes pipeline excavation to repair lines difficult due to frozen soil. SWC commented that business disruptions and loss of service in vital areas such as high-occupancy dwellings created a safety hazard. KGS recommended that service lines serving multiple customers should not use a single EFV due to the increased degree of variation in the gas flow rates.

    PHMSA received different approaches from commenters regarding the proper selection of an EFV for a pipeline, or what is referred to in the Interim Evaluation as “EFV sizing”. The trip point is the specific point in which the EFV “trips”, or closes, the valve due to gas pressure differential and is essentially the factor that guides the size selection of an EFV. In the Interim Evaluation, PHMSA suggested an EFV's trip point should be less than, but close to, the flow rate of a complete line rupture.

    Commenters indicated that PHMSA's approach for trip point selection either led to tripping too easily or not at all. R.W. Lyall, an EFV manufacturer, further submitted that EFVs should be sized so that the EFV trip point, at the minimum system pressure, is above the maximum anticipated load and is above meter capacity. GBI suggested an EFV should be selected that operates at least 1.5 times the meter rating at the minimum design inlet pressure. Finally, SWC and NGA specifically commented that, due to the complexity of design found in multi-family industrial and commercial service lines, a common approach for sizing is not possible. With regard to the challenges of commercially available EFVs, PHMSA received two comments. GBI, an EFV manufacturer, commented that the commercial availability for most applications, even those considered large, is not a problem. In contrast, MAE stated that the commercial availability of EFVs for non-residential load profiles is an assumption made on the part of PHMSA that may be inaccurate.

    PHMSA Response

    A number of the comments PHMSA received focused on a concern that EFVs could trip inadvertently and may cause unnecessary service disruptions. PHMSA agrees that variations in the configuration of service lines make it difficult to impose specific sizing requirements for various types of service lines and customers. However, if an operator installs an EFV and operates it in accordance with a manufacturer's specifications, the EFV should operate safely without the need for a prescriptive sizing requirement even when customer gas usage changes, unless the change were so large as to require a new service line.

    Overall, PHMSA disagrees with the comments that EFVs are prone to failure and inadvertent tripping due to variations in gas flow, location, etc. Research and available data has shown very few failures with EFVs in actual usage. Operators in the United States have gained considerable experience with EFVs since 1999 mainly with SFRs. The NRRI conducted a survey on EFV installation and operators' experiences with EFVs installed on single family residential service lines found of 2.5 million EFVs installed on SFRs only 223 failed.4 In Europe, BEGAS, the government owned gas company in Eastern Austria, reported that EFVs have been installed since 1993 on service lines to hospitals, large facilities, production plants, etc. Out of 26,000 BEGAS installations there have been no spurious failures.5 PHMSA maintains proper operator installation using manufacture direction and maintenance of EFVs is paramount to their success. Therefore, PHMSA is not proposing a protocol for EFV installation. PHMSA is only advising operators to install EFVs as the manufacturer directs and the service safely requires.

    4 “Survey on Excess Flow Valves: Installations, Cost, Operating Performance and Gas Operator Policy”, Ken Costello, The National Regulatory Research Institute, March 2007.

    5 “Operational Experiences with Excess Flow Valves for Service Lines and Main Lines in Network Operation”, Peter Masloff, Technology Department Director, BEGAS—Burgenlandische Erdgasversorgungs AG. http://pipelife-gasstop.com/media/gasstop/pdf_englisch/GWF_7_2003_Excess-Flow-Valves_Experience-report.pdf.

    Operators and manufacturers that PHMSA contacted stated they typically size an EFV in such a way that it trips at 20% to 30% above the maximum service load it will encounter. It is possible that this trip point could be too high for small leaks, however, EFVs are intended to react to ruptures, not small holes.

    Likewise, one commenter mentioned winter time excavation of lines to repair them due to EFV failure was a concern. PHMSA suggests that digging in frozen ground in winter is not any more difficult than digging concrete or curbside if valve is located underneath. Again, PHMSA believes, proper sizing of an EFV is the key to avoiding all these issues. PHMSA has surveyed twice in the past, and there were only one or two instances of EFV failure in greater than a million services over many years. All major EFV manufacturers PHMSA contacted indicated that they are available to help operators to properly size their valves.

    PHMSA received no information to indicate that pressure ratings and/or the size of commercially available EFVs are a problem for the expansion of EFVs to certain other types of service. Currently, the normal minimum pressure design (the minimum anticipated design pressure) is 10 psig. The maximum pressure of composite materials (250 psig), plastic (125 psig), and steel (1,000 psig and up), does not pose a problem. There is no pressure limit on an EFV's performance except that, when activated, the EFV seat must be able to withstand the pressure. The pressure limit is normally constrained by the design of the carrier pipe. EFVs covered by ASTM F2138 must have a maximum inlet pressure of at least 125 psig, while ASTM F1802 applies to EFVs with a pressure rating of up to 125 psig. However, for very high-volume EFV applications, such as those for industrial customers, technical standards may need to address operating design pressures that exceed 125 psig.

    Therefore, PHMSA proposes to expand EFV applications to new or replaced service lines for SFRs with branched lines; multi-family installations, including duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes with individual meter sets and known customer loads not exceeding 1,000 SCFH; and small commercial customers with known loads not exceeding 1,000 SCFH. EFVs will not be required in the above-mentioned applications if one of the existing § 192.383 exceptions is present.

    While the proposed expansion of EFVs would have costs, PHMSA believes the costs are justified by the added protection for gas customers, as the only proposed exceptions are for large apartment buildings, industrial or commercial users for whom EFVs may not be practical due to inherent design complexity and continuous supply demands. In those situations (loads exceeding 1,000 SFCH), PHMSA believes curb valves will provide the best possible option for improved safety at this time. PHMSA does not have definitive data, but some commenters stated that 2% to 5% of customers would fall into one of the exceptions for EFVs, which would include many of those facilities over with loads exceeding 1,000 SFCH.

    A.2. Additional Challenges Not Addressed by the Interim Evaluation

    The ANPRM also solicited comments on whether additional challenges existed beyond those discussed in the Interim Evaluation. MAE commented that the addition of more EFVs in natural gas systems could create an increase in safety hazards resulting from the maintenance of failed EFVs and EFVs that fail to trip on small leaks (i.e., pinhole corrosion). These safety hazards would be due to increased excavation activities, which place more workers in high-traffic and congested areas. MAE also mentioned that excavation contractors may be less cautious around service lines if they believe they will not leak because of an installed EFV. TPA stated that the mandated use of EFVs for new or replaced transmission or gathering lines should not be pursued until further study is completed.

    PHMSA Response

    MAE's comment regarding excavation damage prevention can be addressed with proper EFV installation techniques and the normal course of training for pipeline operator personnel, including training on excavation damage prevention. Excavation contractors hired by operators go thru same damage prevention training as operators regarding safe digging practices and are aware of the dangers of gas leaks and explosions. In regard to TPA's comment, PHMSA agrees at this time and is proposing to expand EFV use only to distribution lines, not gathering or transmission lines. PHMSA has found that there is a lack of experience with EFVs on gathering and transmission lines in addition to problems with contaminants and other factors.

    A.3. Use of Curb Valves (Manual Shut-Off Valve) as an Alternative to EFVs

    The ANPRM sought comments on the use of curb valves as an alternative to EFVs. Most commenters agreed that use of a curb valve is a viable alternative to EFV use in some cases. In fact, the City of Ellensburg, Washington, stated the installation of a curb valve should be considered by PHMSA to be equivalent to the installation of an EFV. The City of Ellensburg mentioned that current Washington State regulations require the use of a curb valve if an EFV is not installed.

    MAE, APGA, and APA commented that operators have experience with curb valves, but their use presents certain challenges. The technical challenges expressed by commenters with regard to curb valve use include: Maintenance of the valve; location of the valve for accessibility; third-party damage to the valve; recordkeeping as to the location of the valve; ensuring the box does not place stress on the pipe; and the delayed shut-off response inherent in curb valve design during emergency situations. APGA commented that curb valves require trained personnel to manually close the valve with a special key. APGA further stated that “squeezing” off the gas in the line is sometimes quicker than using a curb valve for stopping the flow of gas.

    PHMSA Response

    Historically, curb valves have proven to be a very effective mechanism for interrupting the flow of gas in both routine maintenance situations and in emergencies. Other than a curb valves, distribution operators have tools (large pliers) to squeeze pipe to shut off gas supply. Curb valves require that a person make a conscious decision to physically close the valve itself, thereby avoiding inadvertent closures. Curb valves are slightly more expensive than EFVs and require some maintenance and need to be located in an accessible site. The primary disadvantage curb valves have is the time it can take to mobilize to the valve site and close the valve.

    It is not technically feasible to expand EFV use to service lines operating at loads exceeding 1,000 SCFH. This is largely due to issues with reliable service, load fluctuation, the lack of experience with EFV usage in larger applications, and the complexity of design issues. Therefore, in the case of service lines operating at more than 1,000 SCFH, PHMSA proposes to require curb valves be installed and maintained in such a manner that emergency personnel can access them. Although it does not come at a prohibitive cost, the installation of curb valves is slightly more expensive than the installation of EFVs.

    A.4. Additional Situations Where the Installation of EFVs May Not Be Feasible

    The ANPRM solicited comments concerning additional situations not found in the Interim Evaluation where the installation of an EFV may not be feasible or practical. AGA and SWC commented that they agreed with the examples cited in section 10.3.1 of the Interim Evaluation. MAE commented that lines containing contaminants, and distribution systems with a history of transporting liquids, may create situations where EFVs are impracticable.

    PHMSA Response

    Section 192.383 currently includes exceptions for EFV installations with regard to SFRs. With respect to MAE's concern regarding lines containing contaminants and distribution systems with a history of transporting liquids, the proposed exceptions would waive the EFV requirement for those systems for which installing EFVs would be impracticable. This proposed rule incorporates the existing § 192.383 exceptions in place and would extend them to the additional service line applications covered in this NPRM.

    B. Economic Analysis Considerations

    PHMSA requested comments on the potential costs of modifying the existing regulatory requirements. PHMSA requested that commenters provide information and supporting data on the potential quantifiable safety and societal benefits, the potential impacts on small businesses, and the potential environmental impacts of modifying the existing regulatory requirements. The economic analysis for the installation of EFVs on services other than SFRs involves challenges including the quantification and monetization of costs and benefits.

    B.1. Categories of Service for Expanded Use of EFVs

    The ANPRM requested comments on section 10.3.2. of the Interim Evaluation. This section describes the “Categories of Services” in which PHMSA could expand EFV requirements. PHMSA sought input as to whether the categories accurately represented current “real world” applications and which categories are most likely to benefit from EFV expansion.6

    6 The categories of service from the Interim Evaluation are: Branched service line serving single-family residence; Service line serving one (or two adjoining) multi-family residential building(s) with one meter or one meter header or manifold; Non-residential services to space and water heat customers; Other applications where the service line configuration or EFV specification is more complex; and Industrial customers.

    AGA largely agreed with the categories of service presented in the Interim Evaluation, while MAE commented that the categories are sufficient for economic analysis only. MAE further states that if the rule in its final form creates different requirements among these five categories, the rule may prove difficult to implement because an operator may not be clear which category a service may fall into.

    AGA, APGA, AU, Nicor, and SWC advised PHMSA not to apply the EFV requirements to all five categories named in the Interim Evaluation. Specifically, the commenters supported all categories of service with the exception of those with services requiring greater than 1,000 SCFH. Those services with 1,000 SCFH requirements or higher are generally sensitive to loss of supply and may have complex configurations not conducive to EFVs. Nicor, APGA, and AGA commented that service lines serving one multi-family building with one meter should be limited to duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes with known loads not exceeding 1,000 SCFH, and that non-residential services to space and water heater customers should be limited to 1,000 SCFH due to possible snap loads. Additionally, AGA stated that there are factors to consider for applying EFVs to non-residential service lines such as commercial food sales, food service, and health care, and that these applications would require unique analysis. These service applications are susceptible to loss of service issues and frequently have complex designs. SWC likewise stated that EFVs work in applications not exceeding 1,000 SCFH. The industrial customer's category was mentioned by all those commenting on this question as a category not suitable for mandated EFV use due to unpredictable load changes over the life of the service and inherent design complexities.

    PHMSA Response

    PHMSA has reviewed the comments on the possible expansion of categories of gas services requiring EFVs. PHMSA proposes expansion of EFV use for only certain categories of service presented in the Interim Evaluation. Specifically, PHMSA proposes to expand EFV requirements to include:

    • Branched SFR service lines off of existing SFR service lines that do not contain an EFV and have a known load not exceeding 1,000 SFCH based on meter capacity;

    • SFR service lines and branched SFR service lines installed at the same time with a known load not exceeding 1,000 SFCH based on meter capacity;

    • Branched SFR service lines off of existing SFR service lines with a known load not exceeding 1,000 SFCH based on meter capacity;

    • Multi-family residences with individual meter sets and a known customer load not exceeding 1,000 standard cubic feet per hour (SCFH) based on meter capacity; and

    • Small commercial customers with a known customer load (based on meter capacity) not exceeding 1,000 SCFH through a single service line.

    Operators with services lines with loads exceeding 1,000 SCFH will be required to utilize curb valves. Since PHMSA has found commercial and industrial service lines often have complex designs and/or require constant reliable service requirements, PHMSA has decided that these categories of service are not good candidates for requiring EFV use. Often these services meet or exceed a demand for 1,000 SCFH. PHMSA therefore proposes the 1,000 SCFH threshold based on comments and PHMSA experience however we invite comment.

    B.2. Cost Factors Associated With Mandatory EFV or Curb Valve Installation

    The ANPRM sought comments as to whether there are any other issues related to the costs associated with mandatory EFV or curb valve installation that should be considered aside from those mentioned in the Interim Evaluation. Both AGA and SWC noted that cleaning labor for EFVs on larger service lines, inadvertent trips and the subsequent loss of business for commercial customers and accidental environmental discharges are additional costs to the operator that PHSMA should consider. APGA commented that EFV installation costs for large-volume EFVs may be higher due to the fact there is less demand for them, and PHMSA should not assume the same unit price as a SFR EFV. Both NGA and Nicor mentioned that installation of EFVs may conflict with restrictions placed by local jurisdictions on excavating paved roads to access existing or install new EFVs.

    PHMSA Response

    PHMSA has determined that installing EFVs by using manufacturer guidelines should eliminate most EFV tripping errors. EFVs are commercially available in a wide variety of pipe sizes. Some manufacturers report that they make EFVs for larger than 2-inch IPS (Iron Pipe Size) diameters (typical SFR size), and at least one manufacturer is developing a 10,000 SCFH EFV. The principles of operation remain the same as valve size and trip point increase, making EFVs for larger loads and pipe sizes technically feasible. PHMSA also noted that SFR installation of EFVs, which began in 2010, depended on manufacturer guidelines for installation. No PHMSA guidance was issued. Since 2010 the SFR EFVs required to be installed have resulted in no false trips or failures if installed as manufacturer directed. PHMSA has found manufacture guidelines to be well within the safety margin and they know their product better than PHMSA in most instances.

    Additional costs for purging lines are minimal as documented by AGA estimates. AGA states many operators either have already installed EFVs on some services beyond SFRs or are planning to start. The price per unit has decreased in recent years given the development, improved availability, and quality of EFVs. Higher installation costs for high volume EFVs have been taken into account in the cost/benefit analysis through the averaged cost. Similarly, installation costs for curb valves are more expensive than smaller volume EFVs and the cost/benefit analysis considered that aspect.

    B.3. Who should pay for the installation and maintenance of EFVs or other alternatives and why?

    PHMSA sought comments as to who should pay for the costs of installation and maintenance of EFVs. Comments were received from AGA, SWC, and MAE concerning who should be expected to pay for the installation and maintenance of EFVs or other alternatives if applicable regulatory requirements were implemented. MAE stated that operators should pay for the initial installation of valves, but any changes to customer loads requiring EFV installation should be at the customer's expense.

    PHMSA Response

    Because operators would already be newly installing or replacing pipelines, i.e. they would already have a trench open and be in place to work at the site, the addition of an EFV adds only minor costs (PHMSA estimates the cost of an EFV including installation is $30). This is supported by the AGA response to the excess flow valve census (Docket PHMSA-2012-0086, page 2), in which AGA indicated “the incremental cost per installation of EFVs is relatively minimal.” AGA further committed to expand the installation of EFVs beyond SFR services by June 2013. This also supports the notion that cost is not a major factor for the expansion of EFV use on new and fully replaced service lines beyond SFRs as proposed by this NPRM. PHMSA additionally utilized ANPRM comments which included numerical data on the costs for EFVs provided by operators as well as PHMSA Technical Advisory Committee 7 input for this proposed rulemaking.

    7 Joint Meeting of the PHMSA Technical Advisory Committees held Dec. 11-13, 2012, Alexandria, Virginia. Transcripts available at Regulations.gov., docket PHMSA-2009-0203.

    B.4. Are there any opportunity costs associated with the installation of EFVs? A particular time of day that is optimal for installation? How long does installation take?

    The ANPRM sought comment as to any opportunity costs and installation timelines that EFVs or alternatives may require. AGA, APGA, SWC, MAE, and Nicor commented on this question. These commenters all mentioned the loss of gas supply as a potential opportunity loss for customers due to the longer period of time needed to install an EFV on larger service lines. Additionally, the operators would spend more time and resources installing EFVs or alternatives versus maintenance, construction, operation, and inspection activities. APGA responded that EFVs do not need to be installed at any particular time of day, with most installations occurring during normal business hours.

    PHMSA Response

    Given industry's commitment to support EFV installation on new and fully replaced service lines where practically and technically feasible, PHMSA believes that the cost of installation of EFVs, as proposed by the regulation, are sufficiently low that they will not interfere with other operator expenditures. PHMSA agrees with industry that the incremental cost per installation is minimal and would be utilized during the new construction or the replacement of service lines when industry resources (labor) are already at the installation sites.

    B.5. Are there any other issues related to benefits associated with the mandatory EFV or curb valve installation that should be considered when performing the benefit/cost analysis, other than those listed in section 10.5 “Defining Benefit Factors” of the Interim Evaluation? Does the methodology utilized in the Interim Evaluation appropriately quantify the expected number of incidents or consequences averted? Can a conclusion be satisfactorily made concerning the cost and benefits of EFV or curb valve installation as presented in the Interim Evaluation?

    PHMSA asked for comments concerning any other issues that had not yet been considered regarding benefits associated with mandatory EFV or curb valve installation. IUB, NGA, MAE, and AGA commented on additional cost/benefit factors that had not yet been considered. NGA stated that upgrading existing EFVs to meet the increased demand loads will add significant costs to customers and will conflict with restrictions placed by local jurisdictions on excavating paved roads to access existing or install new EFVs. Similarly, MAE stated that load changes due to changes in ownership may cause extra expenses from service modifications and industrial process equipment damage. AGA and SWC were unaware of any additional cost/benefit factors other than those in the Interim Evaluation.

    In terms of the methods PHMSA used in the Interim Evaluation to study EFV expansion, the comments were generally supportive. MAE, SWC, APGA, and AGA commented that they typically agreed with the methodology used by PHMSA. However, some trade association comments also indicated there was some concern about the assumptions PHMSA made with its methodology. In particular, there were concerns with the “incidents averted calculation,” including the associated root cause analyses and assumed continued operations of all lines over 10 psi. AGA further commented that the analysis could not draw reliable conclusions. IUB suggested PHMSA should develop a separate analysis for each of the classes of service.

    PHMSA Response

    PHMSA's analysis was based on incident-specific data, which were obtained from the incident reports submitted by operators. PHMSA explained how it used the data, including the assumptions it made in applying the operational and other data obtained from incident reports, to filter past incidents that would likely not have been averted or mitigated had an EFV been installed. The remaining candidate incidents might have been averted or mitigated had an EFV been installed, but PHMSA did not conclusively assert that all of those candidate incidents definitively would have been averted or mitigated. However, based on the analysis of the best available data, PHMSA is convinced that the installation of EFVs on additional service lines could help avert or mitigate future incidents. The candidate incidents, incidents that PHMSA can classify as preventable by EFV installation, represent the scope of incidents that might have benefited from an EFV during the time period studied. PHMSA requests comments on whether the incidents that PHMSA has identified are likely to have been averted or mitigated if an EFV or manual service line shut-off valve had been in place. In addition, PHMSA does not have an EFV sizing protocol, nor was one proposed in the Interim Evaluation. The methodology for sizing EFVs was one of the challenges described in section 9.1 of the Interim Evaluation.

    C. Technical Standards and Guidance for EFVs

    The OMB circular A-119, “Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards in Conformity Assessment Activities,” directs Federal agencies to utilize voluntary standards, both domestic and international, whenever feasible and consistent with law and regulation. The current regulation at 49 CFR 192.381 only requires EFVs to be manufactured and tested by the manufacturer according to an industry specification or the manufacturer's written specification. The regulation does not prescribe a precise specification. PHMSA solicited comments as to the need for the adoption of consensus standards for EFV specification.

    C.1. Should PHMSA incorporate by reference the following standards? Manufacturers Standardization Society (MSS) SP-115-2006 Design, Performance & Test, ASTM International (ASTM) F1802-04—Standard Specification for Excess Flow Valves for Natural Gas Service, and ASTM International (ASTM) F2138-01—Standard Specification for Excess Flow Valves for Natural Gas Service?

    The comments received by PHMSA largely indicated that the incorporation by reference of any standards for EFVs is not necessary. AGA, supported by MAE, stated in their comments that manufacturers already construct and test EFVs according to industry consensus standards MSS SP-115-2006, ASTM F-1802, and ASTM F-2138. Operators have been successfully installing EFVs using manufacturer guidance with no known safety issues arising. Similarly, AGA and SWC expressed concern regarding the incorporation by reference of any industry standards due to the delay in updating the pipeline safety statutes, which in turn would prevent the timely installation of the newest and best EFVs on the market. As an alternative to PHMSA incorporating standards, commenters suggested that PHMSA continue to allow operators to utilize manufacturer installation guidance already available.

    PHMSA Response

    PHMSA will not be incorporating any new standards by reference for EFVs into the pipeline statutes at this time but may do so in the future. All EFVs currently available have been manufactured and tested to current consensus standards. Additionally, PHMSA has not incorporated any standards for EFVs into the pipeline safety regulations for SFRs and has not found any issues with that approach. If the need for incorporation by reference does become necessary, PHMSA will review the issue.

    C.2. Are there alternatives to the standards referenced in C.1.?

    PHMSA also asked for comments on three current consensus standards and if there are alternatives to them. APGA and APA stated they were unaware of additional standards beyond those listed in the Interim Evaluation, with the exception of “MSS SP-142-2012 Excess Flow Valve for fuel gas service, NPS 1 1/2 through 12” for larger sized EFVs. Similarly, MAE, deferring to AGA comments, stated it was aware of no other standards except for the Gas Piping Technology Committee (GPTC) Appendix G192-8 in the Z380 Guide.

    PHMSA Response

    PHMSA is also unaware of any alternatives to the three standards listed in the Interim Evaluation for EFVs for natural gas service. As for selection and sizing guidelines, PHMSA will request GPTC to develop comprehensive standards for selection, installation, and performance testing of EFVs for a variety of design considerations and service line configurations and operating conditions. This guidance will be in addition to guidance provided by manufacturers and will act as a supplement to address various situations which may not be elaborated on in manufacturer guidance. PHMSA will also issue advisory bulletins if we become aware of new conditions of concern for EFV installation.

    C.3. Are guidelines or technical standards needed for developing and if so, why?

    PHMSA asked for comments as to whether EFV guidelines or technical standards are in need of development, and if so, why. Both MAE and SWC commented that a standard approach or some sort of guidance for sizing EFVs, and criteria for identifying adverse conditions, may be needed. SWC agreed and stated that additional guidance, not necessarily standards, need to be developed. SWC additionally asked PHMSA to issue advisory bulletins if PHMSA finds additional conditions in which an EFV installation is advisable. Likewise, AGA stated that the current industry standards used in manufacturing are satisfactory, and EFV performance testing using industry standards cannot be accomplished in an economically, technically, and operationally feasible manner on installed service lines.

    PHMSA Response

    PHMSA finds that additional technical standards development for EFVs at this time is not necessary. However, PHMSA is considering requesting a new or existing industry committee to develop guidelines for a standard approach to the sizing and installation of EFVs. Industry guidelines have already been developed for the implementation of (Distribution Integrity Management Program) DIMP by the GPTC and industry gas associations. PHMSA believes these guidelines should be developed in a more comprehensive manner to include the selection, installation, and performance testing of EFVs for a variety of design considerations and service line configurations. The identification of operating conditions and system configurations that are incompatible with EFVs could also be included in the guidelines.

    D. Additional Comments

    Only one commenter, MAE, provided additional information and supporting data with regard to additional potential costs and impacts of expanding EFV use. Specifically, MAE stated that it had installed 5,102 EFVs on SFRs in 2010. If applications beyond SFRs were required for service lines, MAE would have installed an additional 1,123 EFVs in 2010. MAE stated the estimated average cost for an EFV is $50.00 and that there would be no anticipated significant impact on the environment.

    Several comments from members of the public were received in response to the ANPRM. One commenter, Courtney D. Brown, supported the expanded use of EFVs to protect people in the vicinity of large businesses and/or entertainment venues. Brown commented that the cost of installing EFVs does not outweigh the loss of lives, homes, or businesses when an incident occurs. Commenter Rebecca Lee Roter expressed concern with the lack of regulatory requirements in place for natural gas and transmission lines in Class 1 areas. Roter indicated that these areas required little routine inspection and no emergency plans.

    PHMSA Response

    PHMSA received several additional comments on the topic of the expanded use of EFVs. The information from MAE was helpful for PHMSA to get a better understanding of the costs and impacts of expanding EFV use. PHMSA has estimated an average cost of $30 per valve—see the initial RIA for further discussion. Additionally, PHMSA is aware of the concern for public safety expressed by Brown and Roter.

    III. Section by Section Analysis Section 192.381 Service Lines: Excess Flow Valve Performance Standards

    PHMSA is proposing to revise the language used in § 192.381(a) to remove the words “single residence”. This change reflects the proposed expansion of EFVs to applications beyond SFRs.

    Section 192.383 Excess Flow Valve Installation

    PHMSA is proposing to revise § 192.383(b) to include the proposed new categories of service on which EFVs would be installed. The existing category of service (new or replaced service line serving a SFR) would remain. The new categories of service would include branched service lines to a SFR installed concurrently with the primary SFR service line; branched service lines to a SFR installed off a previously installed SFR service line that does not contain an EFV; and small commercial customers and multi-family installations. The existing exceptions for EFV installation found in § 192.383(b)(1) through (4) would remain but would be moved to § 192.383(c)(1) through (4).

    PHMSA is proposing the addition of § 192.383(d) to allow existing service line customers the option of requesting an EFV installation on their service line if one or more of the exceptions listed in § 192.383(c)(1) through (4) are not met. Operators would install an EFV at the request of customer on a mutually agreeable date and time. This option would be available to service line customers on existing service lines when the customer applies for service and for a period of 90 days after service has started. Operators will rely upon the appropriate State regulatory agencies to determine who would bear the costs of installation for customer requested EFVs.

    With regard to the issue of installation costs of a customer requested EFV, PHMSA has no jurisdiction concerning natural gas rates or any costs incurred due to installation of an optional EFV at a consumer's request. Rather, the appropriate State regulatory agency will determine all issues related to the costs of installation.

    PHMSA proposes to add paragraphs (e)(1) through (2) which would require that operators notify existing service line customers of their right to request an EFV in writing. Master meter operators may continuously post a general notification in a prominent location frequented by customers. Operators must also have evidence of customer notification. Operator evidence of notification could include such items as a statement printed on customer bills or mailings. Small Master meters would be ask to prove that they posted a notice at some common location. Each operator must maintain a copy of the customer EFV notice for three years. This notice must be available for inspection by the Administrator or a State agency participating under 49 U.S.C. 60105 or 60106.

    Section 192.385 Manual Service Line Shut-Off Valve Installation

    PHMSA is proposing the addition of § 192.385 to require the installation of a manual service line shut-off valve, such as a curb valve, when an EFV is not installed in accordance with § 192.383. This proposed section also includes a definition for “Manual service line shut-off valve” to further clarify the applicability of this provision.

    V. Regulatory Notices A. Statutory/Legal Authority for This Rulemaking

    This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is published under the authority of the Federal pipeline safety law (49 U.S.C. 60101 et seq.). Section 60102 authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations governing design, installation, inspection, emergency plans and procedures, testing, construction, extension, operation, replacement, and maintenance of pipeline service lines. Further, section 60109(e)(3)(B) states that “the Secretary, if appropriate, shall by regulation require the use of excess flow valves, or equivalent technology, where economically, technically, and operationally feasible on new or entirely replaced distribution branch services, multifamily facilities, and small commercial service facilities.”

    B. Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    Executive Orders 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) require agencies to regulate in the “most cost-effective manner,” to make a “reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs,” and to develop regulations that “impose the least burden on society.” Expansion of the use of EFVs and curb valves is a non-significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866 and the Department of Transportation's (DOT's) Regulatory Policies and Procedures. This proposed requirement has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866 and is consistent with the requirements in both Orders.

    During the initial stages of the development of the regulatory evaluation, PHMSA developed the survey recommended by the Interim Evaluation, which was aimed at gathering data on EFV and curb valve costs and benefits. PHMSA intended to send the survey to all operators in order to ensure that any proposed changes were based upon comprehensive and useful data. The goal was to have a better understanding of the costs of EFVs on installations beyond SFRs from those who have deployed them already, and on the costs and effectiveness of curb valves. Nine companies were asked to pilot the census, and a copy was published in the Federal Register.

    Both the census pilot and the comments to the proposed census published in the Federal Register quickly revealed that company databases are not currently set up to provide the necessary data. Load and customer type data are stored separately from data on EFVs and from data on incidents, and grouping customers into the census categories would, in some cases, cost more in labor for the database work and analysis than it would cost to implement this proposed rule itself. As a result of discussions with industry representatives and the NTSB, PHMSA chose to propose a rule similar to the framework included in Section 22 of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011.

    The initial Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA), which is included in the docket for this rulemaking, does not address the benefits and costs of the proposal to require operators to install EFVs on branched service lines servicing SFRs because the benefits and costs of this proposal were addressed in the regulatory impact analysis for a previous rulemaking 8 . The initial RIA found that the estimated monetized benefits do not exceed the monetized costs in all cases. For the proposal to require EFVs on new or replaced service lines servicing MFRs, the monetized costs exceed monetized benefits even when using lower bound cost estimates. PHMSA believes that the proposals are nevertheless justified by the significant unquantifiable benefits, such as avoided evacuations and environmental damage from EFV-preventable incidents, including incidents that could not be included in the analysis because they do not meet PHMSA reporting criteria. EFVs also provide protection against a low-probability but high-consequence incident that could inflict mass casualties.

    8 “Pipeline Safety: Integrity Management Programs for Gas Distribution Pipelines.” 74 FR 63906 (December 4, 2009) RIN 2137-AE15.

    The proposed rule is assumed to affect approximately 1,289 natural gas distribution operators and 222,114 service lines per year on average. The RIA assumed valves do not have network effects, in other words, each EFV operates independently and the costs and benefits of EFV installation simply scale linearly. The total annual benefits of the rule are $7,735,725 when discounted at 7 percent, while the costs range from $4,381,734 to $17,848,499 depending on the costs of the valve. At the 3% discount rate the total benefits of the rule are $2,748,456, while the costs range from $4,967,145 to $20,311,030. PHMSA requests public comments on its monetized estimates of the proposed rule's benefits and costs.

    The following tables summarize the quantified benefits and costs of this proposed rule at the 3 and 7% discount rates:

    Estimated Benefits and Costs: Low and High Scenarios, 7% Discount Rate Category Number of valves
  • installed,
  • year 1
  • Annualized benefit Annualized cost, low
  • scenario
  • ($15 EFV, $10 curb valve)
  • Annualized cost, from DIMP Analysis
  • ($20-$30 per EFV)
  • Annualized cost, high
  • scenario
  • ($50 EFV, $100 curb valve)
  • SFR (as upper bound estimate for Branched SFR)9 $11-27 million $8 million Multi-Family EFV 153,985 $1,144,372 $3,102,295 $10,340,985 Commercial EFV 27,174 $1,434,683 547,467 1,824,890 Industrial/Large Other Curb Valve 10 40,955 $5,156,671 550,073 5,500,726 Notification and Recordkeeping 181,899 181,899 Total 222,114 $7,735,725 4,381,734 17,848,499
    Estimated Benefits and Costs: Low and High Scenarios, 3% Discount Rate Category Number of valves
  • installed,
  • year 1
  • Annualized benefit Annualized cost, low
  • scenario
  • ($15 EFV, $10 curb valve)
  • Annualized cost, high
  • scenario
  • ($50 EFV, $100 curb valve)
  • Multi-Family EFV 153,985 $1,958,991 $3,534,722 $11,782,405 Commercial EFV 27,174 2,748,456 623,778 2,079,259 Industrial/Large Other Curb Valve 40,955 10,240,363 626,747 6,267,467 Notification and Recordkeeping 181,899 181,899 Total 222,114 14,947,810 4,967,145 20,311,030

    Additional unquantified benefit areas include:

    9 Benefit and cost information is taken from the DIMP rulemaking analysis. No information is available to estimate the proportion of SFR service lines that are branched; PHMSA believes it to be very roughly in the range of 10%. The DIMP analysis used different estimates for the cost of an EFV and used the then-prevailing USDOT values for injury prevention. Although DIMP did not cover branched SFR, benefits and costs were calculated as if they were, because there were no data available to create a more precise estimate.

    10 This category is defined by service characteristics (size, flow) for which a curb valve is more appropriate than an EFV. No data are available on customer classification within the category, though it likely includes larger MFR, commercial and industrial facilities, and other similar customers.

    • Equity: Provides a fair and equal level of safety to members of society who do not live in single-family residences.

    • Additional incident costs avoided for which no PHMSA incident data are available: Mitigates the consequences (death, injury, property damage) of incidents when customer piping or equipment is involved and thus the incident would not be reflected in PHMSA records.

    • Additional incident costs which are not recorded in incident reports, including costs of evacuations, emergency response costs, and business downtime.

    • Environmental externalities associated with methane release (discussed in Appendix).

    • Peace of mind for operators and customers.

    • Protection against seismic events and intentional tampering.

    PHMSA requests public comments on methods and information sources that could be used to quantify and monetize these unquantified benefits. C. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This NPRM has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132 (“Federalism”). PHMSA issues pipeline safety regulations applicable to interstate and intrastate pipelines. The requirements in this proposed rule apply to operators of distribution pipeline systems, primarily intrastate pipeline systems. Under 49 U.S.C. 60105, a state may regulate intrastate pipeline facility or intrastate pipeline transportation, after submitting a certification to PHMSA. Thus, state pipeline safety regulatory agencies with a valid certification on file with PHMSA will be the primary enforcer of the safety requirements proposed in this NPRM. Under 49 U.S.C. 60107, PHMSA provides grant money to participating states to carry out their pipeline safety enforcement programs. Although a few states choose not to participate in the natural gas pipeline safety grant program, every state has the option to participate. This grant money is used to defray additional costs incurred by enforcing the pipeline safety regulations.

    PHMSA has concluded this proposed rule does not include any regulation that: (1) Has substantial direct effects on states, relationships between the national government and the states, or distribution of power and responsibilities among various levels of government; (2) imposes substantial direct compliance costs on states and local governments; or (3) preempts state law. Therefore, the consultation and funding requirements of Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255; August 10, 1999) do not apply.

    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires an agency to review regulations to assess their impact on small entities, unless the agency determines that a rule is not expected to have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. This NPRM has been developed in accordance with Executive Order 13272 (“Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking”) and DOT's procedures and policies to promote compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act to ensure that potential impacts of rules on small entities are properly considered.

    This NPRM proposes to require small and large gas pipeline operators to comply with the new EFV installation requirements. The Small Business Administration (SBA) criteria for defining a small entity in the natural gas pipeline distribution industry is one that employs less than 500 employees as specified in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes.

    PHMSA calculated the number of small businesses affected by reviewing annual reports submitted by gas pipeline operators and data provided by Dunn and Bradstreet. PHMSA estimated that of the 1,289 operators who submitted an annual report to PHMSA on their gas distribution activities, 1,221, or 95 percent, of these natural gas operators are classified as being “small business.” The natural gas distribution industry does have a substantial number of small entities as defined by the SBA. However, we believe that this rule would not have a significant impact on small entities because the additional costs are minimal: approximately $30 per EFV installed and $55 per curb valve installed. Industry comments have described these additional costs as “relatively minimal” 11 and the one-time cost is largely offset by incident cost avoidance over the 50-year lifetime of the valves. The notification and recordkeeping costs associated with the new notification requirement for optional EFV installation are estimated at $42 per firm annually, which is a minimal cost even for the smallest operators.

    11 PHMSA-2012-0086-0003, Comment by the American Gas Association, submitted July 17, 2012, pg. 2.

    Accordingly, the head of the agency certifies under Section 605(b) of the RFA that the proposed rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. PHMSA seeks comment on the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. A copy of the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis has been placed in the docket.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This proposed rule does not impose unfunded mandates under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. It would not result in costs of $147.6 million, adjusted for inflation, or more in any one year to State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector, and is the least burdensome alternative that achieves the objective of the proposed rule. Installation of EFVs and curb valves significantly protects the safety of the public and is technically and economically feasible.

    F. National Environmental Policy Act

    PHMSA analyzed this NPRM in accordance with section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4332), the Council on Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508), and DOT Order 5610.1C, and has preliminarily determined that this action will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment. A preliminary environmental assessment of this NPRM is available in the docket, and PHMSA invites comment on the environmental impacts of this proposed rule.

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

    This NPRM has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13175 (“Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments”). Because this NPRM does not have tribal implications and does not impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments, the funding and consultation requirements of Executive Order 13175 do not apply.

    H. Executive Order 13211: Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This proposed rule is not a “significant energy action” under Executive Order 13211 (Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use). It is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on supply, distribution, or energy use. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has not designated this proposed rule as a significant energy action.

    I. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.8(d), PHMSA is required to provide interested members of the public and affected agencies with an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping requests. As a result of the requirements proposed in this notice of proposed rulemaking, the following information collection impacts are expected:

    Gas Distribution Annual Report Revision

    PHMSA is proposing to revise § 192.383, to require the installation of EFVs beyond single family residences as currently required. Further, PHMSA is proposing to add § 192.385 which would require the installation of manual service line shut-off valves. As a result, PHMSA wants to track the number of new installations related to these provisions on an annual basis. This will lead to changes to the Gas Distribution Annual Report which is contained in the currently approved information collection titled “Annual Report for Gas Distribution Operators” identified under OMB Control Number 2137-0629. PHMSA proposes to revise the Gas Distribution Annual report to collect the number of EFVs installed on multi-family dwellings and small commercial businesses and the number of manual service line shut-off valves installed. Currently, operators are required to submit the total number of excess flow valves installed on single-family residences and the total number of EFVs within their system. Therefore, PHMSA does not expect operators to experience an increase in burden beyond the burden currently estimated for the Gas Distribution Annual Report.

    Customer Notification

    PHMSA proposes to revise § 192.383 to require operators to notify customers of their right to request the installation of EFVs. PHMSA estimates that approximately half of the 6,184 operators categorized as either master meter operators or small LPG systems will be impacted, resulting in 3,092 operators. This estimate is based on the premise that only half of these operators have systems that can accommodate an EFV. PHMSA also estimates that 1,289 gas distribution operators will be impacted. Therefore PHMSA estimates a total impacted community of 4,381 (3,092 master meter/small LPG operators and 1,289 gas distribution operators). PHMSA estimates that each impacted operator will take approximately 30 minutes per year to complete this notification and an additional 30 minutes per year to maintain the associated records. Therefore, PHMSA will request a new information collection to address these reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    As a result of the changes listed above, PHMSA proposes to submit an information collection revision request as well as a new information collection request to OMB for approval based on the requirements in this proposed rule. These information collections are contained in the pipeline safety regulations, 49 CFR parts 190 through 199. The following information is provided for these information collections: (1) Title of the information collection; (2) OMB control number; (3) Current expiration date; (4) Type of request; (5) Abstract of the information collection activity including a description of the changes applicable to the rulemaking action; (6) Description of affected public; (7) Estimate of total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden; and (8) Frequency of collection. The information collection burden for the following information collection will be requested as follows:

    1. Title: Annual Report for Gas Distribution Operators.

    OMB Control Number: 2137-0629.

    Current Expiration Date: May 31, 2018.

    Type of Request: Revision.

    Abstract: This information collection covers the collection of annual report data for information from Gas distribution pipeline operators for Incidents and Annual reports. This information collection will only be revised to reflect the amendment to the Gas Distribution Annual Report which will not result in a burden hour increase.

    Affected Public: Gas Distribution Pipeline Operators.

    Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden:

    Total Annual Responses: 1,440. (no change).

    Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,300. (no change).

    Frequency of Collection: Annual.

    2. Title: Customer Notifications for Installation of Excess Flow Valves.

    OMB Control Number: TBD.

    Current Expiration Date: Not Applicable.

    Type of Request: New Information Collection.

    Abstract: This new information collection will cover the reporting and recordkeeping requirements for gas pipeline operators associated with customer notifications pertaining to the installation of excess flow valves.

    Affected Public: Gas Pipeline Operators.

    Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden:

    Total Annual Responses: 4,381 responses.

    Total Annual Burden Hours: 4,381 hours.

    Frequency of Collection: On occasion.

    Requests for a copy of this information collection should be directed to Cameron Satterthwaite, Office of Pipeline Safety (PHP-30), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), 2nd Floor, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001, Telephone 202-366-4595.

    J. Privacy Act Statement

    Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received for any 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 DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), or at http://www.regulations.gov.

    K. Regulation Identifier Number

    A regulation identifier number (RIN) is assigned to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. The RIN contained in the heading of this document may be used to cross-reference this action with the Unified Agenda.

    List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 192

    Excess flow valve installation, Excess flow valve performance standards, Pipeline safety, Service lines.

    In consideration of the foregoing, PHMSA proposes to amend 49 CFR part 192 as follows:

    PART 192—TRANSPORTATION OF NATURAL AND OTHER GAS BY PIPELINE: MINIMUM FEDERAL SAFETY STANDARDS 1. The authority citation for part 192, as revised at 80 FR 12762 (March 11, 2015), effective October 1, 2015, continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 5103, 60102, 60104, 60108, 60109, 60110, 60113, 60116, 60118, and 60137, and 49 CFR 1.97.

    2. In § 192.381, the introductory text of paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:
    § 192.381 Service lines: Excess flow valve performance standards.

    (a) Excess flow valves to be used on service lines that operate continuously throughout the year at a pressure not less than 10 p.s.i. (69 kPa) gage must be manufactured and tested by the manufacturer according to an industry specification, or the manufacturer's written specification, to ensure that each valve will:

    3. Section 192.383 is revised to read as follows:
    § 192.383 Excess flow valve installation.

    (a) Definitions. As used in this section:

    Replaced service line means a gas service line where the fitting that connects the service line to the main is replaced or the piping connected to this fitting is replaced.

    Service line serving single-family residence (SFR) means a gas service line that begins at the fitting that connects the service line to the main and serves only one SFR.

    (b) Installation required. An excess flow valve (EFV) installation must comply with the performance standards in § 192.381. After January 3, 2014, each operator must install an EFV on any new or replaced services line serving the following types of services before the line is activated:

    (1) A single service line to one SFR;

    (2) A branched service line to a SFR installed concurrently with the primary SFR service line (i.e., a single EFV may be installed to protect both service lines);

    (3) A branched service line to a SFR installed off a previously installed SFR service line that does not contain an EFV;

    (4) Multi-family residences with known customer loads not exceeding 1,000 SCFH per service, at time of service installation based on installed meter capacity, and

    (5) A single, small commercial customer served by a single service line with a known customer load not exceeding 1,000 SCFH, at the time of meter installation, based on installed meter capacity.

    (c) Exceptions to excess flow valve installation requirement. An operator need not install an excess flow valve if one or more of the following conditions are present:

    (1) The service line does not operate at a pressure of 10 psig or greater throughout the

    year;

    (2) The operator has prior experience with contaminants in the gas stream that could interfere with the EFV's operation or cause loss of service to a customer;

    (3) An EFV could interfere with necessary operation or maintenance activities, such as blowing liquids from the line; or

    (4) An EFV meeting performance standards in § 192.381 is not commercially available to the operator.

    (d) Customer's right to request an EFV. Existing service line customers, who desire an EFV on service lines not exceeding 1,000 SFCH and not meeting the conditions in paragraph (b) of this section, may request an EFV be installed on their service line. If a service line customer requests EFV installation, an operator must install the EFV at a mutually agreeable date. The appropriate State regulatory agency determines whom and/or how the costs of the requested EFVs are distributed.

    (e) Operator notification of customers concerning EFV installation. Operators must notify customers of their right to request an EFV in the following manner:

    (1) Except as specified in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, each operator must provide written notification to the customer of their right to request the installation of an EFV within 90 days of the customer first receiving gas at a particular location.

    (2) Operators of master meter systems may continuously post a general notification in a prominent location frequented by customers.

    (f) Operator evidence of customer notification. Each operator must maintain a copy of the customer EFV notice for three years. This notice must be available for inspection by the Administrator or a State agency participating under 49 U.S.C. 60105 or 60106.

    (g) Reporting. Each operator must report the EFV measures detailed in the annual report required by § 191.11 of this chapter.

    4. Section 192.385 is added to subpart H to read as follows:
    § 192.385 Manual service line shut-off valve installation.

    (a) Definitions. As used in this section:

    Manual service line shut-off valve means a curb valve or other manually operated valve located near the service main or a common source of supply that is accessible to first responders and operator personnel to manually shut off gas flow to the service line in the event of an emergency.

    (b) The operator must install a manual service line shut-off valve for any new or replaced service line, with installed meter capacity exceeding 1,000 SCFH.

    (c) Manual service line shut-off valves for any new or replaced service line must be installed in such a way to allow accessibility during emergencies.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 7, 2015, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.97. Jeffrey D. Wiese, Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17195 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-60-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 RIN 0648-BE38 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery and Golden Crab Fishery of the South Atlantic, and Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 34 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region, Amendment 9 to the FMP for the Golden Crab Fishery of the South Atlantic Region, and Amendment 8 to the FMP for the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic; collectively referred to as the Generic Accountability Measures (AMs) and Dolphin Allocation Amendment (Generic AM Amendment) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. If approved by the Secretary of Commerce, the Generic AM Amendment would revise the commercial and recreational AMs for numerous snapper-grouper species and golden crab. This amendment would also revise commercial and recreational sector allocations for dolphin in the Atlantic. The proposed actions are intended to make the AMs consistent for the snapper-grouper species addressed in this amendment and for golden crab, and revise the allocations between the commercial and recreational sectors for dolphin.

    DATES:

    Written comments on the Generic AM Amendment must be received on or before September 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the proposed amendment and environmental assessment identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2013-0181” by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0181, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit all written comments to Mary Janine Vara, NMFS Southeast Regional Office (SERO), 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

    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).

    Electronic copies of the Generic AM Amendment may be obtained from www.regulations.gov or the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. The Generic AM Amendment includes an environmental assessment, initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA), regulatory impact review, and fishery impact statement.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Janine Vara, NMFS SERO, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires each regional fishery management council to submit any fishery management plan or amendment to NMFS for review and approval, partial approval, or disapproval. The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, upon receiving a plan or amendment, publish an announcement in the Federal Register notifying the public that the plan or amendment is available for review and comment.

    Actions Contained in the Generic AM Amendment Modifications to AMs for Snapper-Grouper Species and Golden Crab

    This amendment would revise the AMs for golden tilefish, snowy grouper, gag, red grouper, black grouper, scamp, the shallow-water grouper complex, greater amberjack, the other jacks complex, bar jack, yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper, the other snappers complex, gray triggerfish, wreckfish (recreational sector), Atlantic spadefish, hogfish, red porgy, the other porgies complex, and golden crab (commercial sector).

    Currently, the snapper-grouper species and golden crab addressed in this amendment have slightly different AMs in place compared to other snapper-grouper species. The Generic AM Amendment intends to modify the AMs for these species and species complexes to make them consistent with the majority of AMs already in place for other snapper-grouper species. Specifically, the recreational AMs would be updated to allow NMFS to close the recreational sectors in-season when the recreational ACLs are met or projected to be met. The proposed action would also modify the AMs to trigger post-season reductions in the following year's catch limit in the commercial and recreational sectors if the species, or one or more species in a species complex, is overfished and the total (commercial and recreational combined) ACL has been exceeded. Additionally, for the recreational sector, the fishing season may also be shortened to compensate for a total ACL overage in the previous year if the species or one or more species in a species complex is overfished. Modifying the AMs in this manner would create regulatory consistency among most federally managed species in the South Atlantic region.

    Modifications to Commercial and Recreational Sector Allocations for Dolphin

    The Generic AM Amendment revises the sector allocations for dolphin. The current sector allocations for dolphin are 92.46 percent for the recreational sector and 7.54 percent for the commercial sector. The Council chose these allocations using a sector allocation formula where 50 percent of the sector allocations are based on landings from a longer time series (1999-2008) and 50 percent of the sector allocations are based on landings from a shorter time series (2006-2008). This results in the current annual catch limits (ACL) of 1,157,001 lb (524,807 kg), round weight, for the commercial sector and 14,187,845 lb (6,435,498 kg), round weight, for the recreational sector. The Generic AM Amendment would revise the sector allocation formula for dolphin to be based on the average of the percentages of the total catch for 2008-2012. The recreational sector allocation for dolphin would be 90 percent with an ACL of 13,810,361 lb (6,264,274 kg), round weight, and the commercial sector allocation would be 10 percent with an ACL of 1,534,485 lb (696,031 kg), round weight.

    The Council has submitted the Generic AM Amendment for Secretarial review, approval, and implementation. The decision to approve, partially approve, or disapprove the Generic AM Amendment will be based, in part, on consideration of comments, recommendations, and information received during the comment period on this notice of availability.

    Proposed Rule for the Generic AM Amendment

    A proposed rule that would implement the Generic AM Amendment has been drafted. In accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS is evaluating the proposed rule to determine whether it is consistent with the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws. If that determination is affirmative, NMFS will publish the proposed rule in the Federal Register for public review and comment.

    Consideration of Public Comments

    Comments received by September 14, 2015 will be considered by NMFS in the decision to approve, disapprove, or partially approve the amendment. Comments received after that date will not be considered by NMFS in this decision. All comments received by NMFS on the amendment or the proposed rule during their respective comment periods will be addressed in the final rule.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17334 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 135 Wednesday, July 15, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Advocacy and Outreach, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO) is announcing a meeting of the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee's (BFRAC). The committee is being convened to consider issues involving access to land, farm business transition, and land tenure. The members will deliberate on recommendations to be prepared for USDA Secretarial consideration.

    DATES:

    The committee meeting is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, August 3 and 4, 2015, from 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CST. The meeting will be open to the public. All persons wishing to make comments during this meeting must check in between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. CST, on both days, at the registration table. All public commenters will be allowed a maximum of three minutes. If the number of registrants requesting to speak is greater than what can be reasonably accommodated during the scheduled open public meeting timeframe, speakers will be scheduled on a first-come basis. Public written comments for the committee's consideration may be submitted by close of business on July 31, 2015, to Mrs. Kenya Nicholas, Designated Federal Official, USDA OAO, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 520-A, Washington, DC 20250-0170, Phone (202) 720-6350, Fax (202) 720-7704, Email: [email protected] Written submissions are encouraged to either be less than one page in length, or be accompanied by an executive summary and a summary of policy initiatives. A listen-only line will be available during the entire meeting for all who wish to listen in on the meeting or make public comments through the following telephone number: (800) 369-1878 and enter passcode 2814434. Members of the public may also submit written comments for consideration to the committee.

    ADDRESSES:

    This public advisory committee meeting will be held at the Kansas City Airport Marriott, 775 Brasilia Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64153. The meeting will be in conference rooms Salon A and Salon B. There will also be signs directing attendees to the meeting rooms.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions should be directed to Phyllis Morgan, Executive Assistant, OAO, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Whitten Bldg., 520-A, Washington, DC 20250, Phone: (202) 720-6350, Fax: (202) 720-7136, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The BFRAC Subcommittee on Land Tenure met in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 22 and 23, 2015. The Secretary tasked the BFRAC with providing recommendations on access to land, farm business transition, and land tenure. Prior to that meeting, the BFRAC met in Austin, TX on September 23-24, 2015, to deliberate upon the final set of recommendations for the Secretary on issues involving communications, service, and advocacy in identifying barriers for beginning farmers and ranchers. They also considered issues around lending and credit in parsing statistics generated by USDA. Please visit our Web site at: http://www.outreach.usda.gov/smallbeginning/index.htm for additional information on the BFRAC.

    The public is asked to pre-register for the meeting by July 31, 2015. You may pre-register for the public meeting by submitting an email to [email protected] with your name, organization or affiliation, or any comments for the committee's consideration. You may also fax this information to (202) 720-7704. Members of the public who wish to make comments during the committee meeting must register at the check-in table.

    The agenda is as follows: Day 1: Committee discussions and public comments; Day 2: Committee discussions, public comments, and committee deliberations. Please visit the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee Web site for the full agenda. All agenda topics and documents will be made available to the public at: http://www.outreach.usda.gov/smallbeginning/index.htm. Copies of the agenda will also be distributed at the meeting.

    Meeting Accommodations: USDA is committed to ensuring that everyone is accommodated in our work environment, programs, and events. If you are a person with a disability and request reasonable accommodations to participate in this meeting, please note the request in your registration and you may contact Mrs. Kenya Nicholas in advance of the meeting by or before close of business on July 31, 2015, by phone at (202) 720-6350, fax (202) 720-7704, or email: [email protected]

    Christian Obineme, Associate Director, Office of Advocacy and Outreach.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17389 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service [Docket No. FSIS-2015-0030] Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection (Petitions for Rulemaking) AGENCY:

    Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to renew the approved information collection regarding petitions for rulemaking. FSIS is making no changes to the approved collection. The approval for this information collection will expire on October 31, 2015.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before September 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this information collection. Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: This Web site provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on this Web page or attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions at that site for submitting comments.

    Mail, including CD-ROMs, etc.: Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Docket Clerk, Patriots Plaza 3, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Mailstop 3782, Room 8-163A, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

    Hand- or courier-delivered submittals: Deliver to Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW., Room 8-163A, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

    Instructions: All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2015-0022. Comments received in response to this docket will be made available for public inspection and posted without change, including any personal information, to http://www.regulations.gov.

    Docket: For access to background documents or comments received, go to the FSIS Docket Room at Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW., Room 8-164, Washington, DC 20250-3700 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gina Kouba, Paperwork Reduction Act Coordinator, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 6067, South Building, Washington, DC 20250; (202) 690-6510.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Petitions for Rulemaking.

    OMB Control Number: 0583-0136.

    Type of Request: Renewal of an approved information collection.

    Abstract: FSIS has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary (7 CFR 2.18, 2.53) as specified in the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601, et seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451, et seq.), and the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031, et seq.). FSIS protects the public by verifying that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, not adulterated, and correctly labeled.

    The Administrative Procedure Act requires that Federal agencies give interested persons the right to petition for issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule (5 U.S.C. 553(e)).

    FSIS has regulations to govern the submission to the Agency of petitions for rulemaking (9 CFR part 392). These regulations are designed to encourage the filing of well-supported petitions that contain information that the Agency needs to evaluate a requested rulemaking in a timely manner. FSIS uses the information associated with a petition to assess the merits of the requested action and to determine whether to issue, amend, or repeal regulations in response to the petition.

    FSIS is requesting a renewal of the approved information collection addressing paperwork requirements regarding petitions submitted to the Agency. FSIS is making no changes to the approved collection.

    FSIS has made the following estimates based upon an information collection assessment.

    Estimate of Burden: FSIS estimates that it takes respondents an average of 40 hours per year to complete and submit a petition.

    Respondents: Official establishments, official plants, firms, trade associations, and public interest groups.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 10.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 400 hours. Copies of this information collection assessment can be obtained from Gina Kouba, Paperwork Reduction Act Coordinator, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 Independence, SW., Room 6077, South Building, Washington, DC 20250, (202) 690-6510.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FSIS's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of FSIS's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection 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 collection of information, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques, or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to both FSIS, at the addresses provided above, and the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20253.

    Responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS Web page located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.

    FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The Update is available on the FSIS Web page. Through the Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password protect their accounts.

    USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA.

    How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative.

    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email:

    Mail

    U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410, Fax: (202) 690-7442, Email: [email protected].

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Done at Washington, DC, on July 10, 2015. Alfred V. Almanza, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17338 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-970] Multilayered Wood Flooring From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Final Results of New Shipper Review; 2012-2013 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On January 9, 2015, the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) published the preliminary results of a new shipper review (“NSR”) and the second administrative review (“AR”) of the antidumping duty (“AD”) order on multilayered wood flooring (“MLWF”) from the People's Republic of China (“the PRC”), in accordance with sections 751(a)(1)(B) and 751(a)(2)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”).1 The period of review (“POR”) for the AR and NSR is December 1, 2012, through November 30, 2013. The NSR covers one producer/exporter of subject merchandise: Linyi Anying Wood Co., Ltd., (“Anying”).2 The AR covers 69 companies. The mandatory respondents in this review are: (1) Dalian Dajen Wood Co., Ltd. (“Dajen”) and (2) Jiangsu Senmao Bamboo and Wood Products Co., Ltd. (“Senmao”). We invited interested parties to comment on our NSR Preliminary Results and Preliminary Results. No parties commented on the NSR Preliminary Results. Accordingly, we continue to find that Anying has not made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value. For the AR, we received comments from interested parties. Based on our analysis of the comments received, we made changes to the margin calculations for the final results of the AD AR. The final dumping margins are listed below in the “Final Results” section of this notice.

    1See Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China; Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review; 2012-2013, 80 FR 1391 (January 9, 2015) (“NSR Preliminary Results”), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum; Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2012-2013, 80 FR 1388 (January 9, 2015) (“Preliminary Results”) and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    2See NSR Preliminary Results.

    DATES:

    Effective date: July 15, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lilit Astvatsatrian, Maisha Cryor, or William Horn, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-6412, (202) 482-5831, or (202) 482-2615, respectively.

    Background

    As noted above, on January 9, 2015, the Department published its NSR Preliminary Results and Preliminary Results. The Department invited parties to submit case briefs and hearing requests related to the NSR Preliminary Results and Preliminary Results. No briefs or hearing requests were received regarding the NSR Preliminary Results. On February 9, 2015, regarding the Preliminary Results, the Department received case briefs from Old Master Products Inc. (“Old Master”); Lumber Liquidators Services, LLC (“Lumber Liquidators”); Linyi Bonn Flooring Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (“Linyi Bonn”); Baishan Huafeng Wood Product Co. Ltd.,. (collectively, “Baishan”);3 Fine Furniture (Shanghai) Limited (“Fine Furniture”); Dajen, Senmao, and various separate rate applicants (collectively, “Dajen/Senmao”); Armstrong Wood Products (Kunshan) Co. Ltd. and Armstrong World Industries (collectively, “Armstrong”); the Alliance for Free Choice and Jobs in Flooring; 4 and the Coalition for American Hardwood Parity (“CAHP”).5 On February 18, 2015, the Department received rebuttal briefs from Fine Furniture, Dajen/Senmao, and CAHP. On February 25, 2015 the Department received the resubmission of its February 18 rebuttal brief from Lumber Liquidators. On February 9, 2015 the Department received requests for a hearing from Fine Furniture, CAHP, Old Master, and Dajen/Senmao regarding the second administrative review. Various interested parties participated in a public hearing on April 1, 2015. On April 22, 2015, we extended the time period for issuing the final results of the AR and NSR by 60 days, until July 8, 2015.

    3see Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Lynn M. Fischer Fox Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy & Negotiation, dated and issued concurrently with this notice, regarding “Issues and Decision Memorandum for Final Results of 2012-2013 Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China” (“Issues and Decision Memorandum”) at 1 for a full list.

    4 The Alliance for Free Choice and Jobs in Flooring consists of the following domestic producers of the like product: Swiff Train Co.; Metropolitan Hardwood Floors, Inc.; Real Wood Floors, LLC.; Galleher Corp; Crescent Hardwood Supply; Custom Wholesale Floors, Inc.; Urban Global LLC; Pinnacle Interior Elements, Ltd.; Timeless Design Import LCC; CDC Distributors, Inc.; CLBY Inc. (dba D&M Flooring); Johnson's Premium Hardwood Flooring, Inc.; The Master's Craft Corp.; BR Custom Surface; Doma Source LLC; Wego Chemical & Chemical & Mineral Corp. and V.A.L. Floors, Inc.

    5 The member-companies of the CAHP are as follows: Anderson Hardwood Floors, LLC; From the Forest; Howell Hardwood Flooring; Mannington Mills, Inc.; Nydree Flooring; and Shaw Industries

    Group, Inc.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order includes MLWF, subject to certain exceptions.6 Imports of the subject merchandise are provided for under the following subheadings of the HTSUS: 4412.31.0520; 4412.31.0540; 4412.31.0560; 4412.31.2510; 4412.31.2520; 4412.31.4040; 4412.31.4050; 4412.31.4060; 4412.31.4070; 4412.31.5125; 4412.31.5135; 4412.31.5155; 4412.31.5165; 4412.31.6000; 4412.31.9100; 4412.32.0520; 4412.32.0540; 4412.32.0560; 4412.32.2510; 4412.32.2520; 4412.32.3125; 4412.32.3135; 4412.32.3155; 4412.32.3165; 4412.32.3175; 4412.32.3185; 4412.32.5600; 4412.39.1000; 4412.39.3000; 4412.39.4011; 4412.39.4012; 4412.39.4019; 4412.39.4031; 4412.39.4032; 4412.39.4039; 4412.39.4051; 4412.39.4052; 4412.39.4059; 4412.39.4061; 4412.39.4062; 4412.39.4069; 4412.39.5010; 4412.39.5030; 4412.39.5050; 4412.94.1030; 4412.94.1050; 4412.94.3105; 4412.94.3111; 4412.94.3121; 4412.94.3131; 4412.94.3141; 4412.94.3160; 4412.94.3171; 4412.94.4100; 4412.94.5100; 4412.94.6000; 4412.94.7000; 4412.94.8000; 4412.94.9000; 4412.94.9500; 4412.99.0600; 4412.99.1020; 4412.99.1030; 4412.99.1040; 4412.99.3110; 4412.99.3120; 4412.99.3130; 4412.99.3140; 4412.99.3150; 4412.99.3160; 4412.99.3170; 4412.99.4100; 4412.99.5100; 4412.99.5710; 4412.99.6000; 4412.99.7000; 4412.99.8000; 4412.99.9000; 4412.99.9500; 4418.71.2000; 4418.71.9000; 4418.72.2000; 4418.72.9500; and 9801.00.2500.7 While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

    6 For a complete description of the scope of the order, see Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    7 On August 28, 2013, in consultation with CBP, the Department added the following HTSUS classification to the AD/CVD module for wood flooring: 9801.00.2500. See Letter to the File from Lilit Astvatsatrian, Case Analyst, Enforcement and Compliance, Office IV, regarding “Multilayered Wood Flooring from the PRC, Modification of the Case Reference File in ACE,” (November 18, 2013).

    Final Determination of No Shipments

    In the Preliminary Results, we found that Anhui Longhua Bamboo Product Co., Ltd., Benxi Wood Company, Guangzhou Homebon Timber Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Jiaxing Brilliant Import & Export Co. Ltd., Pinge Timber Manufacturing (Zhejiang) Co., Ltd., Power Dekor Group Co., Ltd., and Shenyang Senwang Wooden Industry Co., Ltd. had no shipments during the POR.8 Additionally, we found that Dalian Huade Wood Product Co., Ltd. and Zhejiang Fuerjia Wooden Co., Ltd. did not have any qualifying shipments for the Department to review, due to their certification that their only POR shipments underwent review during their respective NSRs. We did not receive comments with respect to any of these companies. Thus, for these final results of review, we continue to find that those companies had no shipments during the POR. Consistent with our “automatic assessment” clarification, we will issue appropriate instructions with respect to these companies to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) based on our final results.9

    8See Preliminary Results, 80 FR at 1389 n. 4.

    9See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 4, 2011); see also the “Assessment” section of this notice, below.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs filed by parties in the AR are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice. A list of the issues that parties raised and to which we responded in the Issues and Decision Memorandum follows as an appendix to this notice. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The paper copy and electronic version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Results

    Based on a review of the record and comments received from interested parties regarding our Preliminary Results, we made revisions to the margin calculations for Dajen and Senmao.10 These changes are discussed in the relevant sections of the Issues and Decision Memorandum and company-specific analysis memoranda, as appropriate.

    10See Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Separate Rates and Partial Rescission

    In our Preliminary Results, we determined that eight separate rate applicant companies and 60 separate rate certifier companies demonstrated their eligibility for separate rate status.11 Subsequent to the publication of the Preliminary Results, we received comments from Baroque Timber Industries (Zhongshan) Co., Ltd., Riverside Plywood Corporation, Samling Elegant Living Trading (Labuan) Limited, and Samling Riverside Co. Limited (collectively, the “Samling Group”) noting that the Samling Group was recognized in the final results of the first administrative review to be excluded from the AD order on MLWF pursuant to court order.12 Samling Group further requested rescission of its administrative review for the second review period as its entries are not subject to the AD order.

    11See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    12See Letter from Samling Group re: Samling Group Request for Correction of Preliminary Results (January 8, 2015).

    The Department agrees that Samling Group and another company subject to this review, Zhejiang Layo Wood Industry Co., Ltd. (“Layo Wood”), have been excluded from the AD order on MLWF as a result of litigation.13 Further, both Samling Group and Layo Wood certified for this review that they did not export subject merchandise to the United States other than from the manufacturer/exporter combination specifically excluded from the order following the investigation, and the shipment data that we examined did not show U.S. entries of subject merchandise during the POR from other producer/exporter combinations.14 Therefore, we are rescinding the review with respect to the Samling Group and Layo Wood. No other changes have been made for the separate rate companies listed in the Preliminary Results.

    13See Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Determination and Amended Final Determination of the Antidumping Duty Investigation, 79 FR 25109 (May 2, 2014).

    14 See Liquidation Instructions for MLWF from the PRC, produced and exported by the Samling Group, CBP Message No. 4143304 (May, 23, 2014).

    Final Results of the New Shipper Review and AR

    Regarding the NSR Preliminary Results, no interested parties filed case briefs in response to the Department's invitation to comment on the NSR Preliminary Results. Therefore, because the record contains no other information or evidence that calls into question our NSR Preliminary Results, for these final results, the Department has made no changes to its calculations announced in the NSR Preliminary Results. Therefore, for the final results of the NSR, the Department continues to determine that the following weighted-average dumping margin exists for the POR from December 1, 2012, through November 30, 2013:

    Exporter Producer Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Linyi Anying Wood Co., Ltd Linyi Anying Wood Co., Ltd 0.00

    Regarding the AR, we determine that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the POR from December 1, 2012, through November 30, 2013:

    15 The Initiation Notice (Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews and Request for Revocation in Part, 79 FR 6147 (February 3, 2014)) included Hangzhou Dazhuang Floor Co. (dba Dasso Industrial Group Co., Ltd.); however, Dasso Industrial Group Co., Ltd. (“Dasso”) certified in its March 21, 2014 separate-rate certification that it no longer uses the name Hangzhou Dazhuang Floor Co., Ltd., and did not use that name during the POR. Therefore, the separate-rate status applies only to Dasso.

    16 The following companies are collectively known as The Fusong Jinlong Group (“Fusong Jinlong Group”): Dalian Qianqiu Wooden Product Co., Ltd.; Fusong Jinlong Wooden Group Co., Ltd.; Fusong Jinqiu Wooden Product Co., Ltd.; and Fusong Qianqiu Wooden Product Co., Ltd.

    17 The Department determined that Linyi Youyou Wood Co., Ltd. is the successor-in-interest to Shanghai Lizhong Wood Products Co., Ltd./The Lizhong Industry Limited Company of Shanghai. See Multilayered Wood Flooring From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review, 79 FR 58740 (September 30, 2014).

    18 The following companies were named in the Initiation Notice but did not submit a certification of no shipment, separate rate application or separate rate certification; therefore they are part of the PRC-wide entity: Baiying Furniture Manufacturer Co., Ltd.; Dunhua Jisheng Wood Industry Co., Ltd.; Dunhua Shengda Wood Industry Co., Ltd.; Fu Lik Timber (HK) Co., Ltd.; Guangdong Fu Lin Timber Technology Limited, Guanghzhou Panyu Shatou Trading Co., Ltd.; Hunchun Xingjia Wooden Flooring Inc.; Huzhou Fuma Wood Bus. Co., Ltd.; Huzhou Ruifeng Imp. & Exp. Co., Ltd.; Jiazing Brilliant Import & Export Co., Ltd. Linyi Bonn; Sennorwell International Group (Hong Kong) Limited; Shenyang Sende Wood Co., Ltd.; Suzhou Anxin Weiguang Timber Co., Ltd.; Vicwood Industry (Suzhou) Co., Ltd.; Yekalon Industry, Inc.; Zhejiang AnJi XinFeng Bamboo & Wood Co., Ltd.; Zhejiang Desheng Wood Industry Co., Ltd.; Zhejiang Haoyun Wood Co., Ltd.; and Zhejiang Jeson Wood Co., Ltd.

    Exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Dalian Dajen Wood Co., Ltd 0.00 Jiangsu Senmao Bamboo and Wood Industry Co., Ltd 13.74 A&W (Shanghai) Woods Co., Ltd 13.74 Armstrong Wood Products (Kunshan) Ltd 13.74 Baishan Huafeng Wood Product Co., Ltd 13.74 Changbai Mountain Development and Protection Zone Hongtu Wood Industrial Co., Ltd 13.74 Changzhou Hawd Flooring Co., Ltd 13.74 Chinafloors Timber (China) Co., Ltd 13.74 Dalian Huilong Wooden Products Co., Ltd 13.74 Dalian Jiuyuan Wood Industry Co., Ltd 13.74 Dalian Kemian Wood Industry Co., Ltd 13.74 Dalian Penghong Floor Products Co., Ltd 13.74 Dalian T-Boom Wood Products Co., Ltd 13.74 Dasso Industrial Group Co., Ltd 15 13.74 Dongtai Fuan Universal Dynamics, LLC 13.74 Dunhua City Dexin Wood Industry Co., Ltd 13.74 Dunhua City Hongyuan Wood Industry Co., Ltd 13.74 Dun Hua City Jisen Wood Industry Co., Ltd 13.74 Dunhua City Wanrong Wood Industry Co., Ltd 13.74 Dun Hua Sen Tai Wood Co., Ltd 13.74 Fine Furniture (Shanghai) Limited or Double F Limited 13.74 Fusong Jinlong Wooden Group 16 13.74 GTP International Ltd 13.74 Guangdong Yihua Timber Industry Co., Ltd 13.74 Guangzhou Panyu Kangda Board Co., Ltd 13.74 Guangzhou Panyu Southern Star Co., Ltd 13.74 HaiLin LinJing Wooden Products, Ltd 13.74 Hangzhou Hanje Tec Co., Ltd 13.74 Hangzhou Zhengtian Industrial Co., Ltd 13.74 Hunchun Forest Wolf Wooden Industry Co., Ltd 13.74 Huzhou Chenghang Wood Co., Ltd 13.74 Huzhou Fulinmen Imp. & Exp. Co., Ltd 13.74 Huzhou Jesonwood Co., Ltd 13.74 Huzhou Sunergy World Trade Co., Ltd 13.74 Jianfeng Wood (Suzhou) Co., Ltd 13.74 Jiangsu Guyu International Trading Co., Ltd 13.74 Jiangsu Kentier Wood Co., Ltd 13.74 Jiangsu Mingle Flooring Co., Ltd 13.74 Jiangsu Simba Flooring Co., Ltd 13.74 Jiashan HuiJiaLe Decoration Material Co., Ltd 13.74 Jilin Forest Industry Jinqiao Flooring Group Co., Ltd 13.74 Jilin Xinyuan Wooden Industry Co., Ltd 13.74 Karly Wood Product Limited 13.74 Kemian Wood Industry (Kunshan) Co., Ltd 13.74 Shanghai Lizhong Wood Products Co., Ltd./The Lizhong Wood Industry Limited Company of Shanghai/Linyi Youyou Wood Co., Ltd 17 13.74 Metropolitan Hardwood Floors, Inc 13.74 Mudanjiang Bosen Wood Industry Co., Ltd 13.74 Nakahiro Jyou Sei Furniture (Dalian) Co., Ltd 13.74 Nanjing Minglin Wooden Industry Co., Ltd 13.74 Puli Trading Limited 13.74 Shanghai Eswell Timber Co., Ltd 13.74 Shanghai Lairunde Wood Co., Ltd 13.74 Shanghai New Sihe Wood Co., Ltd 13.74 Shanghai Shenlin Corp 13.74 Shenyang Haobainian Wooden Co., Ltd 13.74 Shenzhenshi Huanwei Woods Co., Ltd 13.74 Suzhou Dongda Wood Co., Ltd 13.74 Tongxiang Jisheng Import and Export Co., Ltd 13.74 Xiamen Yung De Ornament Co., Ltd 13.74 Xuzhou Shenghe Wood Co., Ltd 13.74 Yingyi-Nature (Kunshan) Wood Industry Co., Ltd 13.74 Yixing Lion-King Timber Industry Co., Ltd 13.74 Zhejiang Biyork Wood Co., Ltd 13.74 Zhejiang Dadongwu Greenhome Wood Co., Ltd 13.74 Zhejiang Fudeli Timber Industry Co., Ltd 13.74 Zhejiang Fuma Warm Technology Co., Ltd 13.74 Zhejiang Longsen Lumbering Co., Ltd 13.74 Zhejiang Shiyou Timber Co., Ltd 13.74 Zhejiang Tianzhen Bamboo & Wood Development Co., Ltd 13.74 PRC-Wide Entity 18 58.84
    Assessment Rates

    The Department will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of these final results of this review. In accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1), we are calculating importer- (or customer-) specific assessment rates for the merchandise subject to this review. For any individually examined respondent whose weighted-average dumping margin is above de minimis (i.e., 0.50 percent), the Department will calculate importer- (or customer)-specific assessment rates for merchandise subject to this review. Where appropriate, we calculated an ad valorem rate for each importer (or customer) by dividing the total dumping margins for reviewed sales to that party by the total entered values associated with those transactions. For duty-assessment rates calculated on this basis, we will direct CBP to assess the resulting ad valorem rate against the entered customs values for the subject merchandise. Where appropriate, we calculated a per-unit rate for each importer (or customer) by dividing the total dumping margins for reviewed sales to that party by the total sales quantity associated with those transactions. For duty-assessment rates calculated on this basis, we will direct CBP to assess the resulting per-unit rate against the entered quantity of the subject merchandise.19 We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review when the importer-specific assessment rate is above de minimis. Where either the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, or an importer-specific assessment rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties. For Anying, whose weighted average dumping margin is zero, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.20 We intend to instruct CBP to liquidate entries of subject merchandise exported by the PRC-wide entity at the PRC-wide rate.

    19See Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumpin7g Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101, 8103 (February 14, 2012).

    20See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    If the Department determines that an exporter under review had no shipments of subject merchandise, any suspended entries that entered under that exporter's case number will be liquidated at the PRC-wide rate.21

    21 For a full discussion of this practice, see Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011).

    For the companies not selected for individual examination, we will instruct CBP to apply the rate listed above to the entries of subject merchandise exported by such companies and entered during the period from December 1, 2012 through November 30, 2013. This rate is the same as the rate for the one mandatory respondent with a weighted-average dumping margin that is above de minimis.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of these reviews for shipments of the subject merchandise from the PRC entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date in the Federal Register of the final results of review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act. First, with respect to Anying, the new shipper respondent, the Department established a combination cash deposit rate for this company, consistent with its practice, as follows: (1) For subject merchandise produced and exported by Anying, a zero cash deposit will be required; (2) for subject merchandise exported by Anying, but not produced by Anying, the cash deposit rate will be the rate for the PRC-wide entity; (3) for subject merchandise produced by Anying, but not exported by Anying, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the exporter. For Dajen, Senmao, and the non-examined, separate rate respondents, the cash deposit rate will be equal to their weighted-average dumping margins established in the final results of this review, except if the rate is zero or de minimis, then no cash deposit will be required. For Anhui Longhua Bamboo Product Co., Ltd., Benxi Wood Company, Guangzhou Homebon Timber Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Jiaxing Brilliant Import & Export Co. Ltd., Pinge Timber Manufacturing (Zhejiang) Co., Ltd., Power Dekor Group Co., Ltd., and Shenyang Senwang Wooden Industry Co., Ltd., which claimed no shipments, the cash deposit rate will remain unchanged from their rate assigned in the most recently completed review of the company. Likewise, for Dalian Huade Wood Product Co., Ltd. and Zhejiang Fuerjia Wooden Co., Ltd., the cash deposit rate will remain unchanged from the rate assigned in the recently completed new shipper reviews of these companies. For previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters not listed above that received a separate rate in a prior segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the most-recently established exporter-specific rate. For all PRC exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be that for the PRC-wide entity established in the final determination of the less than fair value investigation (i.e., 58.84 percent). For all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Disclosure

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed regarding these AR final results within five days of the date of publication of this notice in this proceeding in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).22

    22 Regarding the NSR, there are no calculations to disclose for these final results, as no changes have been made to our analysis subsequent to our NSR Preliminary Results.

    Notification to Importers Regarding the Reimbursement of Duties

    This notice also serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this POR. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties has occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    Administrative Protective Order (“APO”)

    This notice also serves as a final reminder to parties subject to APO of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    We are issuing and publishing this AR, NSR, and notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1), 751(a)(2)(B), and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: July 8, 2015. Lynn M. Fischer Fox, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy & Negotiation. Appendix—Issues and Decision Memorandum Summary Background Scope of the Order List of Abbreviations and Acronyms Discussion of the Issues Comment 1: Differential Pricing 1.A Cohen's D Test 1.B Denial of Offsets with the Average-to-Transaction Comparison Method Comment 2: Whether the VAT Adjustment is Correctly Applied Comment 3: Fine Furniture's Status as a Voluntary Respondent Comment 4: Whether Fine Furniture's Liquidation Instructions Should Include the Name of Its Affiliate Listed on the Import Documentation Submitted to U.S. CBP Comment 5: Whether the Department Correctly Applied the PRC-Wide Rate to Linyi Bonn Comment 6: Paint and Pigments Comment 7: Surrogate Financial Ratios Comment 8: Wood Input Conversion Factors Comment 9: Truck Freight and Handling Surrogate Values Comment 10: Surrogate Value for Electricity Comment 11: Plywood A: AFA/PAFA B: Simple Average AUV C: Exclude Aberrational Imports from Taiwan and the United States D: Surrogate Value for Plywood Comment 12: Surrogate Value for Wood Scrap Comment 13: Surrogate Value for HDF Comment 14: Surrogate Value for Glue Comment 15: Senmao's Domestic Truck Freight Costs on Wood Inputs Comment 16: Whether to Deny Senmao's By-Product Offset Comment 17: Separate Rate Calculation Recommendation Table of Shortened Citations Litigation Cite Table
    [FR Doc. 2015-17368 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-918] Steel Wire Garment Hangers From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the “Department”) is conducting the sixth administrative review of the antidumping duty order on steel wire garment hangers from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”).1 The Department individually reviewed two respondents, Shanghai Wells,2 and Ningbo Dasheng Hanger Ind. Co., Ltd., (“Ningbo Dasheng”). The Department preliminarily determines that Shanghai Wells sold subject merchandise in the United States at prices below normal value during the period of review (“POR”), October 1, 2013, through September 30, 2014, and that Ningbo Dasheng is not eligible for a separate and, therefore, is considered part of the PRC-wide entity.3 If these preliminary results are adopted in our final results of review, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries of subject merchandise during the POR. We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

    1See Notice of Antidumping Duty Order: Steel Wire Garment Hangers from the People's Republic of China, 73 FR 58111 (October 6, 2008) (“Order”).

    2 The Department previously found that Shanghai Wells Hanger Co., Ltd., Hong Kong Wells Ltd. (“HK Wells”) and Hong Kong Wells Ltd. (USA) (“Wells USA”) are affiliated and that Shanghai Wells Hanger Co., Ltd. and HK Wells comprise a single entity (collectively, “Shanghai Wells”). Because there were no changes in this review to the facts that supported that decision, we continue to find Shanghai Wells Hanger Co., Ltd., HK Wells, and USA Wells are affiliated and that Shanghai Wells Hanger Co., Ltd. and HK Wells comprise a single entity. See Steel Wire Garment Hangers From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results and Preliminary Rescission, in Part, of the First Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 75 FR 68758, 68761 (November 9, 2010), unchanged in First Administrative Review of Steel Wire Garment Hangers From the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Final Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 76 FR 27994, 27996 (May 13, 2011).

    3See Steel Wire Garment Hangers from the People's Republic of China: Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of the 2013-2014 Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum) at “Respondent Selection” and “Companies Not Eligible for a Separate Rate” sections.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: July 15, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alexis Polovina or Katie Marksberry, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3927 or (202) 482-7906, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Order

    The product covered by the order is steel wire garment hangers. This product is classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) subheadings: 7326.20.0020, 7323.99.9060, and 7323.99.9080. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written product description remains dispositive.4

    4See the Preliminary Decision Memorandum for a complete description of the scope of the Order.

    PRC-Wide Entity

    Two Non-Responsive Mandatories failed to respond to the Department's requests for information.5 These companies, therefore, are not eligible for separate rate status.6 Additionally, Ningbo Dasheng failed to adequately respond to all parts of the questionnaire, and therefore, is also not eligible for a separate rate. Accordingly, the Department preliminarily finds that the PRC-wide entity includes these companies.7

    5Id., at “Respondent Selection” section.

    6See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 79 FR 70850, 70851 (November 28, 2014).

    7See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    The Department's change in policy regarding conditional review of the PRC-wide entity applies to this administrative review.8 Under this policy, the PRC-wide entity will not be under review unless a party specifically requests, or the Department self-initiates, a review of the entity. Because no party requested a review of the PRC-wide entity in this review, the entity is not under review and the entity's rate is not subject to change, (i.e., 187.25 percent).9

    8See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013).

    9See Steel Wire Garment Hangers From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 2012-2013, 80 FR 13332, and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum (“5th AR Hangers Final Results”).

    Methodology

    The Department conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Act. We calculated constructed export prices and export prices in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Because the PRC is a nonmarket economy within the meaning of section 771(18) of the Act, we calculated normal value in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, dated concurrently with these results and hereby adopted by this notice.10 The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov/login.aspx and to all parties in the Central Records Unit (“CRU”), room 7046 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, parties can obtain a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum on the Internet at http://trade.gov/enforcement/frn/index.html. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    10See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    Regarding the administrative review, the Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the period October 1, 2013, through September 30, 2014:

    Exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (%)
  • Shanghai Wells Hanger Co., Ltd.11 33.24
    Disclosure, Public Comment & Opportunity To Request a Hearing

    The Department will disclose the calculations used in its analysis to parties in this review within five days of the date of publication of this notice.12

    11 Shanghai Wells consists of Shanghai Wells Hanger Co., Ltd., and Hong Kong Wells Ltd.

    12See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Interested parties may submit case briefs within 30 days after the date of publication of these preliminary results of review in the Federal Register.13 Rebuttals to case briefs, which must be limited to issues raised in the case briefs, must be filed within five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.14 Parties who submit arguments are requested to submit with the argument: (1) A statement of the issue, (2) a brief summary of the argument, not to exceed five pages, and (3) a table of authorities.15

    13See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii).

    14See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(1) and (2).

    15See 19 CFR 351.309(c) and (d).

    Any interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of publication of this notice.16 Hearing requests should contain the following information: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of the issues to be discussed. Oral presentations will be limited to issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs.17 If a party requests a hearing, the Department will inform parties of the scheduled date for the hearing which will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and location to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing.

    16See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    17Id.

    The Department intends to issue the final results of this review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, the Department will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.18 The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of the final results of review.

    18See 19 CFR 351.212(b).

    In these preliminary results, the Department applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Final Modification for Reviews, i.e., on the basis of monthly average-to-average comparisons using only the transactions associated with that importer with offsets being provided for non-dumped comparisons.19

    19See Antidumping Proceeding: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101, 8103 (February 14, 2012) (“Final Modification for Reviews”).

    Where the respondent reported reliable entered values, we calculated importer- (or customer) specific ad valorem rates by aggregating the dumping margins calculated for all U.S. sales to each importer (or customer) and dividing this amount by the total entered value of the sales to each importer (or customer).20 Where the Department calculated a weighted-average dumping margin by dividing the total amount of dumping for reviewed sales to that party by the total sales quantity associated with those transactions, the Department will direct CBP to assess importer-specific assessment rates based on the resulting per-unit rates.21 Where an importer- (or customer-) specific ad valorem or per-unit rate is greater than de minimis, the Department will instruct CBP to collect the appropriate duties at the time of liquidation.22 Where an importer- (or customer-) specific ad valorem or per-unit rate is zero or de minimis, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.23

    20See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    21Id.

    22Id.

    23See 19 CFR 351.106(c)(2).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of these reviews for shipments of the subject merchandise from the PRC entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For the companies listed above, the cash deposit rate will be established in the final results of these reviews (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, then zero cash deposit will be required); (2) for previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters not listed above that received a separate rate in a prior segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the exporter-specific rate published for the most recent period; (3) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be the PRC-wide rate of 187.25 percent; and (4) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter that supplied that non-PRC exporter.

    These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Attachment List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Background 2. Respondent Selection 3. Scope of the Order 4. Affiliations 5. NME Country Status 6. Separate Rates 7. Separate Rates Recipients 8. PRC-Wide Entity 9. Surrogate Country and Surrogate Value Data 10. Surrogate Country 11. Date of Sale 12. Determination of Comparison Method 13. Results of Differential Pricing Analysis 14. U.S. Price 15. Value-Added Tax 16. Normal Value 17. Factor Valuations 18. Currency Conversion 19. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2015-17367 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Aleutian Islands Pollock Fishery.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0513.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (revision and extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 1.

    Average Hours per Response: 1.

    Burden Hours: 1.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for revision and extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Amendment 82 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Groundfish Fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) established a framework for the management of the Aleutian Islands subarea (AI) directed pollock fishery. The Aleutian Islands pollock fishery was allocated to the Aleut Corporation, Adak, Alaska, for the purpose of economic development in Adak, Alaska. The Aleut Corporation is identified in Public Law 108-199 as a business incorporated pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.). Regulations implementing the FMP appear at 50 CFR part 679.

    Participants are identified and approved through a letter from the Aleut Corporation which is approved by National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). This letter includes a list of approved participants. A copy of the letter must be on each participating vessel.

    Appeals are no longer included in this information collection. There have not been any appeals submitted since the inception of the program.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations; individuals or households.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: July 9, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17325 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XZ29 Notice of Rescission of NOAA Policy on Prohibited and Approved Uses of the Asset Forfeiture Fund AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announces the rescission of its previously published NOAA Policy on Prohibited and Approved Uses of the Asset Forfeiture Fund.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian T. Pawlak, 301-427-8720.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On March 23, 2011 (76 FR 16386), NOAA published in the Federal Register its Policy on Prohibited and Approved Uses of the Asset Forfeiture Fund. That Policy articulated the prohibited and approved uses of asset forfeiture funds to ensure that no conflict of interest—either real or perceived—could be associated with its use while continuing to promote a sound enforcement program dedicated to conserving and protecting our nation's marine resources. NOAA has recently revised its Policy on Prohibited and Approved Uses of the Asset Forfeiture Fund; therefore, this serves as Notice of the rescission of the NOAA Policy published on March

    23, 2011. A copy of NOAA's revised Policy on Prohibited and Approved Uses of the Asset Forfeiture Fund can be found at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ole/index.html.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Paul N. Doremus, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Operations, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17356 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Planning, Protection or Restoration AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, 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 proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before September 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be directed to Patmarie Nedelka, (301) 713-3155 ext. 127 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    The FY 2002 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations Act directed the Secretary of Commerce to establish a Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) to protect important coastal and estuarine areas that have significant conservation, recreation, ecological, historical, or aesthetic values, or that are threatened by conversion, and to issue guidelines for this program delineating the criteria for grant awards. The guidelines establish procedures for eligible applicants who choose to participate in the program to use when developing state conservation plans, proposing or soliciting projects under this program, applying for funds, and carrying out projects under this program in a manner that is consistent with the purposes of the program. Guidelines for the CELCP can be found on NOAA's Web site at: http://www.coast.noaa.gov/czm/landconservation/or may be obtained upon request via the contact information listed above. The CELCP was reauthorized in under Public Law 111-111, the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, as a component of the Coastal Zone Management Act. NOAA also has, or is given, additional authority under the Coastal Zone Management Act, annual appropriations or other authorities, to issue funds to coastal states, localities or other recipients for planning, conservation, acquisition, protection, restoration, or construction projects. The required information enables NOAA to implement the CELCP, under its current or future authorization, and facilitate the review of similar projects under different, but related, authorities.

    II. Method of Collection

    Electronic formats are the preferred method for submitting CELCP plans, project applications, performance reports and other required materials. However, respondents may submit materials in electronic or paper formats. Project applications are normally submitted electronically via Grants.gov, but may be submitted by mail in paper form if electronic submittal is not a viable option. Methods of submittal for plans, performance reports or other required materials may include electronic submittal via email or NOAA Grants Online, mail and facsimile transmission of paper forms, or submittal of electronic files on compact disc.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0459.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Affected Public: State, Local, or Tribal Government; not-for-profit institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 50.

    Estimated Time per Response: CELCP Plans, 120 hours to develop, 35 hours to revise or update; project application and checklist, 20 hours; semi-annual and annual reporting, 5 hours each.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,410.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $205 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    IV. Request for Comments

    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 (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17361 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE047 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (MAFMC) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel will hold a public meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 29, 2015, from 9 a.m. until noon.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar with a telephone-only connection option. Details on webinar registration and telephone-only connection details are available at: http://www.mafmc.org.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 North State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 526-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council's (MAFMC) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel (AP) will meet jointly with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass AP. The purpose of this meeting is for the advisors to review and comment on recent stock assessment information as well as the reports of the MAFMC's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) and the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee meetings held in July 2015. The MAFMC and the ASMFC will consider the input from the AP in August when setting fishery specifications (i.e. catch and landings limits and management measures) for 2016-18.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17343 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Solicitation of Nominations for the National Sea Grant Advisory Board AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice responds to Section 209 of the Sea Grant Program Improvement Act of 1976 (Pub. L. 94-461, 33 U.S.C. 1128), which requires the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to solicit nominations at least once a year for membership on the National Sea Grant Advisory Board (Board), a Federal Advisory Committee that provides advice on the implementation of the National Sea Grant College Program. To apply for membership to the Board, applicants should submit a current resume as indicated in the ADDRESSES section. A cover letter highlighting specific areas of expertise relevant to the purpose of the Board is helpful, but not required. NOAA is an equal opportunity employer.

    DATES:

    Solicitation of nominations is open ended. Resumes may be sent to the address specified at any time.

    ADDRESSES:

    Nominations will be accepted by email or mail. They should be sent to the attention of Mrs. Jennifer Hinden, National Sea Grant College Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1315 East-West Highway, SSMC 3, Room 11717, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, or [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mrs. Jennifer Hinden, National Sea Grant College Program or [email protected] If you need additional assistance, call 301-734-1088.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Established by Section 209 of the Act and as amended the National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-394), the duties of the Board are as follows:

    (1) In general. The Board shall advise the Secretary and the National Sea Grant College Program Director (Director) concerning:

    (A) Strategies for utilizing the Sea Grant College Program to address the Nation's highest priorities regarding the understanding, assessment, development, management, utilization, and conservation of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources;

    (B) The designation of Sea Grant Colleges and Sea Grant Institutes; and

    (C) Such other matters as the Secretary refers to the Board for review and advice.

    (2) Biennial Report. The Board shall report to the Congress every two years on the state of the National Sea Grant College Program. The Board shall indicate in each such report the progress made toward meeting the priorities identified in the strategic plan in effect under section 204(c). The Secretary shall make available to the Board such information, personnel, and administrative services and assistance as it may reasonably require to carry out its duties under this title.

    The Board shall consist of 15 voting members who will be appointed by the Secretary for a 4-year term. The Director and a director of a Sea Grant program who is elected by the various directors of Sea Grant programs shall serve as nonvoting members of the Board. Not less than 8 of the voting members of the Board shall be individuals who, by reason of knowledge, experience, or training, are especially qualified in one or more of the disciplines and fields included in marine science. The other voting members shall be individuals who, by reason of knowledge, experience, or training, are especially qualified in, or representative of, education, marine affairs and resource management, coastal management, extension services, State government, industry, economics, planning, or any other activity which is appropriate to, and important for, any effort to enhance the understanding, assessment, development, management, utilization, or conservation of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. No individual is eligible to be a voting member of the Board if the individual is (A) the director of a Sea Grant College or Sea Grant Institute; (B) an applicant for, or beneficiary (as determined by the Secretary) of, any grant or contract under section 205 [33 USCS § 1124]; or (C) a full-time officer or employee of the United States.

    Individuals Selected for Federal Advisory Committee Membership: Upon selection and agreement to serve on the National Sea Grant Advisory Board, you become a Special Government Employee (SGE) of the United States Government. According to 18 U.S.C. 202(a), an SGE is an officer or employee of an agency who is retained, designated, appointed, or employed to perform temporary duties, with or without compensation, not to exceed 130 days during any period of 365 consecutive days, either on a fulltime or intermittent basis. Please be aware that after the selection process is complete, applicants selected to serve on the Board must complete the following actions before they can be appointed as a Board member:

    (a) Security clearance (on-line background security check process and fingerprinting), and other applicable forms, both conducted through NOAA Workforce Management; and (b) Confidential Financial Disclosure Report—As an SGE, you are required to file a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report annually to avoid involvement in a real or apparent conflict of interest. You may find the Confidential Financial Disclosure Report at the following Web site. http://www.oge.gov/Forms-Library/OGE-Form-450-Confidential-Financial-Disclosure-Report/.

    Dated: July 9, 2015. Jason Donaldson, Chief Financial Officer, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17357 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-KA-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: Southeast Region Permit Family of Forms.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0205.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (revision of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 13,409.

    Average Hours per Response: 30 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 5,836.

    Needs and Uses: The collection consists of vessel and dealer permits that are part of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) program to manage fisheries in the Southeast Region. The fisheries in the Southeast Region are managed under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) (16 U.S.C. 1801) and regulations at 50 CFR part 622, 50 CFR part 635 and 50 CFR prt 300. NMFS issues permits to fishing vessels and dealers in order to collect information necessary to comply with domestic and international fisheries obligations, secure compliance with regulations, and disseminate necessary information.

    This revision would amend the “Federal Permit Application for Vessels Fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)” to add the collection of an International Maritime Organization/Lloyd's Registry (IMO/LR) number to the permit application for commercial HMS vessels ≥20 meters (65′7″) in length that are obtaining or renewing a HMS limited access permit, including the Atlantic tuna longline, shark incidental, shark directed, swordfish incidental, swordfish directed, and swordfish handgear permits. The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) approved a recommendation (13-13) for Contracting Parties to require commercial vessels ≥20 meters (65′7″) in length to obtain an IMO/LR number from IHS/Fairplay by no later than January 1, 2016. Permit applications that do not contain the required supporting documents will be considered incomplete.

    This revision would also change the Report for the Deposit or Harvest of Aquacultured Live Rock by adding language to the instructions, specifically, “If not originally approved, then provide a new sample of rock,” adding the USCG documentation number or state registration number for the primary vessel the permit is used on, changing the wording in the instructions for the box describing the deposited material to include the “type and specific geographic origin” of the material, and adding a yes/no check box for whether a sample of the deposit material has been provided to NMFS.

    Also, this revision removes the responses, time and cost burden associated with the South Atlantic rock shrimp VMS requirement and transfers those responses, time and cost burden to the OMB Control No. 0648-0544 information collection.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: Annually and on occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: July 9, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17326 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE048 North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Electronic Monitoring Workgroup (EMWG) will meet in Anchorage, AK.

    DATES:

    The meetings will be held July 30-31st, 2015, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meetings will be held at the Coast International Inn, 3450 Aviation Avenue, Anchorage, AK.

    Council address: North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W. 4th Ave., Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501-2252.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Diana Evans, Council staff; phone: (907) 271-2809.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The agenda will include: (a) Discussion of 2015 research results; (b) discussion of the draft 2016 EM pre-implementation proposal; (c) update on budget; (d) discussion of EM research on pot cod vessels; (e) any other business. The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version will be posted at http://www.npfmc.org/.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Shannon Gleason at (907) 271-2809 at least 7 working days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17344 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XR52 Marine Mammals; File No. 14534 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 NOAA's Office of Science and Technology, Silver Spring, MD, (Brandon Southall, Ph.D.—Principal Investigator) has been issued a minor amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 14534-02.

    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:

    Courtney Smith or Howard Goldstein, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The requested amendment has been granted 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 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 through 226).

    The original permit (No. 14534), issued on July 2, 2010 (75 FR 39665) through June 30, 2015 authorized research on a variety of marine mammals, and involves temporarily attaching individual recording tags to measure vocalization, diving and other behaviors, and physiological parameters before, during, and after carefully controlled exposures of sound in conventional playback experiments. The research is focused in the waters within the U.S. Navy's Southern California Range Complex, and primarily near the vicinity of San Clemente Island. A minor amendment to the permit (No. 14534-01) was issued on August 30, 2010 to combine long-beaked common dolphins and short-beaked common dolphins into a single “unidentified common dolphin” category for takes by harassment incidental to the playbacks.

    A second, major amendment (No. 14534-02) was issued on May 14, 2012 (77 FR 33199) that added endangered humpback whales (Megaptera novaengliae) as an additional focal species for tagging and intentional exposure to sound playbacks with associated behavioral observations. The amendment also increased the number of non-ESA listed minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and killer whales (Orcinus orca) that may be harassed annually.

    The current minor amendment (No. 14534-03) extends the duration of the permit through June 30, 2016, but does not change any other terms or conditions of the permit.

    Dated: July 9, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17349 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Designation of Fishery Management Council Members and Application for Reinstatement of State Authority AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, 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 proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before September 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Tracey Thompson, (301) 427-8505 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This request is for an extension of a currently approved information collection.

    The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), as amended in 1996, provides for the nomination for members of Fishery Management Councils by state governors and Indian treaty tribes, for the designation of a principal state fishery official who will perform duties under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and for a request by a state for reinstatement of state authority over a managed fishery. Nominees for council membership must provide the governor or tribe with background documentation, which is then submitted to NOAA with the nomination. The information submitted with these actions will be used to ensure that the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act are being met.

    II. Method of Collection

    State governors and Indian treaty tribes submit written nominations to the Secretary of Commerce, together with recommendations and statements of candidates' qualifications. Designations of state officials and requests for reinstatement of state authority are also made in writing in response to regulations. No forms are used.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0314.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Affected Public: State, Local or Tribal government.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 275.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour to designate a principal state fishery official(s) or for a request to reinstate authority; 80 hours for a nomination for a Council appointment; 16 hours for background documentation for nominees.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 4,607.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $795 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    IV. Request for Comments

    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 (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: July 9, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17327 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration Multistakeholder Process To Develop Consumer Data Privacy Code of Conduct Concerning Facial Recognition Technology AGENCY:

    National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will convene a meeting of a privacy multistakeholder process concerning the commercial use of facial recognition technology on July 28, 2015.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on July 28, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time. See Supplementary Information for details.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in the Boardroom at the American Institute of Architects, 1735 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20006.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Verdi, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4725, Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-8238; email [email protected]. Please direct media inquiries to NTIA's Office of Public Affairs, (202) 482-7002; email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: On February 23, 2012, the White House released Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy (the “Privacy Blueprint”).1 The Privacy Blueprint directs NTIA to convene multistakeholder processes to develop legally enforceable codes of conduct that specify how the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights applies in specific business contexts.2 On December 3, 2013, NTIA announced that it would convene a multistakeholder process with the goal of developing a code of conduct to protect consumers' privacy and promote trust regarding facial recognition technology in the commercial context.3 On February 6, 2014, NTIA convened the first meeting of the multistakeholder process, followed by additional meetings through June 2015.

    1 The Privacy Blueprint is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/privacy-final.pdf.

    2Id.

    3 NTIA, Facial Recognition Technology, http://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2013/privacy-multistakeholder-process-facial-recognition-technology.

    Matters to Be Considered: The July 28, 2015 meeting is a continuation of a series of NTIA-convened multistakeholder discussions concerning facial recognition technology. Stakeholders will engage in an open, transparent, consensus-driven process to develop a code of conduct regarding facial recognition technology. The July 28, 2015 meeting will build on stakeholders' previous work. More information about stakeholders' work is available at: http://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2014/privacy-multistakeholder-process-facial-recognition-technology.

    Time and Date: NTIA will convene a meeting of the privacy multistakeholder process regarding facial recognition technology on July 28, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time. The meeting date and time are subject to change. The meeting is subject to cancelation if stakeholders complete their work developing a code of conduct. Please refer to NTIA's Web site, http://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2014/privacy-multistakeholder-process-facial-recognition-technology, for the most current information.

    Place: The meeting will be held in the Boardroom at the American Institute of Architects, 1735 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20006. The location of the meeting is subject to change. Please refer to NTIA's Web site, http://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2014/privacy-multistakeholder-process-facial-recognition-technology, for the most current information.

    Other Information: The meeting is open to the public and the press. The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to John Verdi at (202) 482-8238 or [email protected] at least seven (7) business days prior to the meeting. The meeting will also be webcast. Requests for real-time captioning of the webcast or other auxiliary aids should be directed to John Verdi at (202) 482-8238 or [email protected] at least seven (7) business days prior to the meeting. There will be an opportunity for stakeholders viewing the webcast to participate remotely in the meeting through a moderated conference bridge, including polling functionality. Access details for the meeting are subject to change. Please refer to NTIA's Web site, http://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2013/privacy-multistakeholder-process-facial-recognition-technology, for the most current information.

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Milton Brown, Acting Chief Counsel, National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17335 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-60-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Defense Science Board; Notice of Advisory Committee Meetings AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Advisory Committee Meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Defense Science Board 2015 Summer Study on Autonomy will meet in closed session on August 17-28, 2015, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center, 100 Academy Drive, Irvine, CA 92617.

    DATES:

    August 17-28, 2015, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center, 100 Academy Drive, Irvine, CA 92617.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Debra Rose, Executive Officer, Defense Science Board, 3140 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B888A, Washington, DC 20301-3140, via email at [email protected], or via phone at (703) 571-0084.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    The mission of the Defense Science Board is to advise the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics on scientific and technical matters as they affect the perceived needs of the Department of Defense. At this meeting, the Board will discuss interim finding and recommendations resulting from ongoing Task Force activities. The Board will also discuss plans for future consideration of scientific and technical aspects of specific strategies, tactics, and policies as they may affect the U.S. national defense posture and homeland security.

    In accordance with section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C. App. 2) and 41 CFR 102-3.155, the Department of Defense has determined that the Defense Science Board meeting for August 17-28, 2015, will be closed to the public. Specifically, the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics), in consultation with the DoD Office of General Counsel, has determined in writing that all sessions of meeting for August 17-28, 2015, will be closed to the public because it will consider matters covered by 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(1) and (4).

    In accordance with 41 CFR 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, interested persons may submit a written statement for consideration by the Defense Science Board. Individuals submitting a written statement must submit their statement to the Designated Federal Official at the address detailed in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT; at any point, however, if a written statement is not received at least 10 calendar days prior to the meeting, which is the subject of this notice, then it may not be provided to or considered by the Defense Science Board. The Designated Federal Official will review all timely submissions with the Defense Science Board Chairperson, and ensure they are provided to members of the Defense Science Board before the meeting that is the subject of this notice.

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17322 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 15-29] 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Department of Defense, Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of a section 36(b)(1) arms sales notification. This is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Sarah A. Ragan or Ms. Heather N. Harwell, DSCA/LMO, (703) 604-1546 or (703) 607-5339.

    The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 15-29 with attached Policy Justification and Sensitivity of Technology.

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. EN15JY15.050 Transmittal No. 15-29 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: Lebanon

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment* $140 million Other $ 6 million TOTAL $146 million

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase: 1,000 AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles, containers, repair and return, spare and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor logistics and technical support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support.

    (iv) Military Department: Army (WFB Amendment #1)

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any: FMS Case WFB-$19M-12Nov14

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed To Be Paid: None

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed To Be Sold: See Attached Annex

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: 04 JUNE 2015

    * As defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION Lebanon—AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles

    The Government of Lebanon has requested possible sale of 1,000 AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles, containers, repair and return, spare and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor logistics and technical support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $146 million.

    This proposed sale will enhance the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner. This proposed sale directly supports the Government of Lebanon and serves the interests of the people of Lebanon and the United States.

    The proposed sale will improve Lebanon's capability to meet current and future threats. Lebanon will use the enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense and to replenish existing stock levels. Lebanon will have no difficulty absorbing these Hellfire missiles into its armed forces.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control in Dallas, Texas. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

    Implementation of this proposed sale will not require any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Lebanon.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 15-29 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended Annex Item No. vii

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology:

    1. The AGM-114 Hellfire II missile is an air-to-ground missile used against light armored targets, thin-skinned vehicles, urban structures, bunkers, caves and personnel. The highest level of release for the Hellfire missile is Secret, based upon the software. The highest level of classified information that could be disclosed by a proposed sale or by testing of the end item is Secret; the highest level that must be disclosed for production, maintenance, or training is Confidential. Reverse engineering could reveal confidential information. Vulnerability data, countermeasures, vulnerability/susceptibility analyses, and threat definitions are classified Secret or Confidential.

    2. If a technologically advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of the specific hardware and software elements, the information could be used to develop countermeasures which might reduce weapon system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities.

    3. A determination has been made that the Government of Lebanon can provide substantially the same degree of protection for the technology being released as the US Government. The sale is necessary in furtherance of the US foreign policy and notional security objectives as outlined in the policy justification of the notification.

    4. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal have been authorized for release and export to Lebanon.

    [FR Doc. 2015-17369 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Corps of Engineers Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Commercial Dredging of Construction Aggregate From the Kansas River in the State of Kansas AGENCY:

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of commercial dredging of sand and gravel from the Kansas River in the State of Kansas. The proposed dredging will occur within portions of the river between the mouth of the Kansas River and river mile 170 at the confluence of the Kansas, Republican and Smokey Hill Rivers. Department of the Army (DA) authorization under Section 10 of the River and Harbors Act is required for the work to obtain sand and gravel materials from the Kansas River by hydraulic suction dredging operations. Commercial dredging in the Kansas River has occurred for more than 100 years but the quantity of sand and gravel materials annually withdrawn from the river has increased over time. The existing permits for dredging, last issued in 2007, allowed for a potential annual total of 3,150,000 tons of materials to be extracted from the Kansas River. The current DA permits originally scheduled to expire on December 31, 2012 were indefinitely extended until after completion of an EIS. Five applicants are currently requesting to extract 1,900,000 tons of material per year from the river at eight locations.

    DATES:

    A scoping meeting will be held: August 4, 2015, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Lawrence, Kansas.

    ADDRESSES:

    The scoping meeting location is: Lawrence Public Library Auditorium, 707 Vermont Street, Lawrence, Kansas.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions and comments regarding the proposed action and EIS should be addressed to Mr. Brian Donahue, Regulatory Project Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 601 East 12th Street, Room 402, Kansas City, MO 64106; (816) 389-3703; [email protected] For special needs (visual or hearing impaired, Spanish translation, etc.) requests during the scoping meetings, please call Brian Donahue by July 20, 2015.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The COE will be conducting a public scoping meeting at the location above to describe the proposed activity, preliminary alternatives, the National Environmental Policy Act process and to solicit input on the issues and alternatives to be evaluated and other related matters. Written comments for scoping will be accepted until September 15, 2015. The COE has prepared a scoping announcement to familiarize agencies, the public and interested organizations with the proposed Project and potential environmental issues that may be involved. The scoping announcement includes a list of the dredgers' requested annual extraction tonnage and the requested dredging reaches. Copies of the scoping announcement will be available at the public scoping meetings or can be requested by mail.

    The permit applicants include the four following currently authorized dredgers: Holliday Sand and Gravel Company, LLC, (Lenexa, Kansas); Masters Dredging, (Lawrence, Kansas); Kaw Valley Companies, Inc. (Kansas City, Kansas); and Builders Choice Aggregates, (Topeka, Kansas). One permit applicant not currently authorized to dredge but seeking a permit is LBB, LLC (Topeka, Kansas). The final EIS would also apply to future applications for similar dredging operations on the Kansas River.

    The COE has documented degradation or down-cutting of the river bed in some areas where dredging activity has been concentrated. Bed degradation may affect water intake structures, initiate tributary head cuts, promote bank erosion or levee instability, undermine pipelines and bridge piers, increase encroachment of the high bank, affect aquatic habitat and create navigation hazards.

    The EIS will be prepared according to the COE's procedures for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(c), and consistent with the COE's policy to facilitate public understanding and review of agency proposals. As part of the EIS process, a full range of reasonable alternatives including the proposed dredging and no dredging will be evaluated.

    The COE will invite the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geologic Survey, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Kansas State Historical Society, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and the Kansas Geologic Survey to be contributing agencies in the formulation of the EIS.

    Brian Donahue, Regulatory Project Manager, Regulatory Branch.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17355 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720-58-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive Patent License; GoXtudio, LLC AGENCY:

    DoD Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The invention listed below is assigned to the United States Government as represented by the Secretary of the Navy. The Department of the Navy hereby gives notice of its intent to grant to GoXtudio, LLC, a revocable, nonassignable, exclusive license to practice in the United States, the Government-owned invention described below: U.S. Patent 8,744,783 (Navy Case 99838): Issued June 3, 2014, entitled “SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR MEASURING POWER GENERATED DURING LEGGED LOCOMOTION.”

    DATES:

    Anyone wishing to object to the grant of this license has fifteen (15) days from the date of this notice to file written objections along with supporting evidence, if any.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written objections are to be filed with Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Div, Code OOL, Bldg. 2, 300 Highway 361, Crane, IN 47522-5001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Christopher Monsey, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Div, Code OOL, Bldg. 2, 300 Highway 361, Crane, IN 47522-5001, telephone 812-854-4100.

    Authority:

    35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404.

    Dated: July 8, 2015. N.A. Hagerty-Ford, Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17333 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive Patent License; WarpSpec, Inc. AGENCY:

    DoD Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The invention listed below is assigned to the United States Government as represented by the Secretary of the Navy. The Department of the Navy hereby gives notice of its intent to grant to WarpSpec, Inc., a revocable, nonassignable, exclusive license to practice in the United States, the Government-owned inventions described below:

    U.S. Patent 7,999,230 (Navy Case 99997): issued August 16, 2011, entitled “TUNABLE DETECTION SYSTEM AND METHOD OF USE”//U.S. Patent 8,368,996 (Navy Case 99577): Issued February 5, 2013, entitled “TUNABLE DETECTION SYSTEM”//and U.S. Patent 8,526,097 (Navy Case 102056): issued September 3, 2013, entitled “TUNABLE DETECTION SYSTEM.”

    DATES:

    Anyone wishing to object to the grant of this license has fifteen (15) days from the date of this notice to file written objections along with supporting evidence, if any.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written objections are to be filed with Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Div, Code OOL, Bldg. 2, 300 Highway 361, Crane, IN 47522-5001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Christopher Monsey, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Div, Code OOL, Bldg 2, 300 Highway 361, Crane, IN 47522-5001, telephone 812-854-4100.

    Authority:

    35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404.

    Dated: July 8, 2015. N.A. Hagerty-Ford, Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17332 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEFENSE NUCLEAR FACILITIES SAFETY BOARD Sunshine Act Notice AGENCY:

    Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

    ACTION:

    Notice of closed meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the provisions of the Government in the Sunshine Act 5 U.S.C. 552b, and the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board's (Board) regulations implementing the Government in the Sunshine Act, notice is hereby given of the Board's closed meeting described below.

    DATES:

    1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m., July 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, 625 Indiana Avenue NW., Room 425, Washington, DC 20004.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Welch, General Manager, Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, 625 Indiana Avenue NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20004-2901, (800) 788-4016. This is a toll-free number.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The meeting will be closed to the public. No participation from the public will be considered during the meeting.

    Status

    Closed. During the closed meeting, the Board Members will discuss issues dealing with potential Recommendations to the Secretary of Energy. The Board is invoking the exemption to close a meeting described in 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(3) and 10 CFR 1704.4(c). The Board has determined that it is necessary to close the meeting since conducting an open meeting is likely to disclose matters that are specifically exempted from disclosure by statute. In this case, the deliberations will pertain to potential Board Recommendations which, under 42 U.S.C. 2286d(b) and (h)(3), may not be made publicly available until after they have been received by the Secretary of Energy or the President, respectively.

    Matters To Be Considered

    The meeting will proceed in accordance with the closed meeting agenda which is posted on the Board's public Web site at www.dnfsb.gov. Technical staff may present information to the Board. The Board Members are expected to conduct deliberations regarding potential Recommendations to the Secretary of Energy.

    Dated: July 8, 2015. Jessie H. Roberson, Vice Chairman.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17401 Filed 7-13-15; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 3670-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0059] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX) AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), 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 reinstatement of a previously approved information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before August 14, 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-0059 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 2E115, Washington, DC 20202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Patricia Meyertholen, 202-260-1394.

    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: Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX).

    OMB Control Number: 1810-0683.

    Type of Review: A reinstatement of a previously approved information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 17, 520.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 360, 491.

    Abstract: The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is proposing new regulations to implement the Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX), a nationwide, electronic records exchange mechanism mandated under Title I, Part C of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No Child left Behind Act. As a condition of receiving a grant of funds under the Migrant Education Program (MEP), each State educational agency (SEA) would be required to collect, maintain, and submit minimum health and education-related data to MSIX within established timeframes. The proposed regulations would facilitate timely school enrollment, placement, and accrual of secondary course credits for migratory children and help us determine accurate migratory child counts and meet other MEP reporting requirements. The MEP is authorized under sections 1301-1309 in Title I, Part C of the ESEA. MSIX and the minimum data elements (MDEs) are authorized specifically under section 1308(b) of the ESEA.

    This collection replaces the current collection for the MSIX MDEs under OMB No. 1810-0683. The burden hours and costs associated with this data collection are required to ensure that States implement and utilize MSIX for interstate migrant student records exchange, which will then enable the Department to meet the statutory mandate in section 1308(b) of the ESEA to facilitate the electronic exchange of MDEs by SEAs to address the educational and related needs of migratory children. The information collection addresses the following statutory requirements in the ESEA: Section 1304(b)(3), which requires SEAs to promote interstate and intrastate coordination of services for migratory children, including providing educational continuity through the timely transfer of pertinent school records (including health information) when children move from one school to another, whether or not the move occurs during the regular school year. Section 1308(b)(1), which requires ED to assist SEAs in providing for the electronic transfer of migrant student records. Section 1308(b)(2), which requires ED, in consultation with SEAs, to ensure the linkage of migrant student record systems for the purpose of electronically exchanging health and educational information regarding migrant children among States and determine the MDEs that each SEA shall collect and maintain for electronic exchange. Section 1309(2), which provides the statutory definition of a migratory child.

    Dated: July 9, 2015. Tomakie Washington, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17284 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0058] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Application for the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), 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 reinstatement of a previously approved information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before August 14, 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-0058 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 2E115, Washington, DC 20202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Jean Marchowsky, 202-205-2161.

    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: Application for the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP).

    OMB Control Number: 1810-0646.

    Type of Review: A reinstatement of a previously approved information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 549.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 3,377.

    Abstract: This data collection is pursuant to the Secretary's authority under Part B of Title VI of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), to award funds under two grant programs designed to address the unique needs of rural school districts—the Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program (ESEA Section 6212) and the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program (ESEA Section 6221). Under the SRSA program, the Secretary awards grants directly to eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) on a formula basis. Under the RLIS program, eligible school districts are sub-recipients of funds the Department awards to State educational agencies (SEAs) on a formula basis. For both grant programs, the Department awards funds based on a determination of the eligibility of individual school districts and the calculation of the allocation each eligible district should receive according to formula prescribed in the statute. This data collection package consists of two forms and related documents that are used to accomplish the grant award process each year: (1) A spreadsheet used by SEAs to submit information to identify RLIS and SRSA-eligible LEAs and to allocate funds based on the appropriate formula, and (2) an application form for SRSA-eligible LEAs to apply for funding. This submission requests a three-year extension of the current approved collection package (OMB #1810-0646). The REAP eligibility spreadsheet (Form 1) has no substantive changes or revisions from the previously-approved collection under OMB#1810-0646. Similarly, the SRSA Application (Form 2) is essentially unchanged from the previous collection. The instructions accompanying both Form 1 and Form 2 remain unchanged from the previously-approved collection, except for minor changes to update dates and contact information. None of these changes require SEAs to submit additional data.

    Dated: July 9, 2015. Tomakie Washington, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17283 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee Meeting; Cancellation AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of cancellation.

    SUMMARY:

    On June 17, 2015, in 80 FR 34627, the Department of Energy (DOE) published a notice of open teleconference announcing a meeting on July 17, 2015 of the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee. Due to the uncompleted report to be discussed during the meeting, this notice announces the postponement of this meeting until further notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Sharlene Weatherwax, Designated Federal Officer, BERAC, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, SC-23/Germantown Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290. Telephone (301) 903-3251; fax (301) 903-5051 or email: [email protected]

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 9, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17346 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice for solicitation of members.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, the U.S. Department of Energy is soliciting nomination for candidates to fill vacancies on the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee (Committee).

    DATES:

    Deadline for Technical Advisory Committee member nominations is August 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The nominee's name, resume, biography, and any letters of support must be submitted via one of the following methods:

    (1) Email to [email protected]

    (2) Overnight delivery service to Elliott Levine, Designated Federal Officer, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, Mail Stop EE-3B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elliott Levine, Designated Federal Officer for the Committee, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; (202) 586-1476; Email: [email protected]

    Committee Web site: http://biomassboard.gov/committee/committee.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000 (Biomass Act) [Pub. L. 106-224] requires cooperation and coordination in biomass research and development (R&D) between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The Biomass Act was repealed in June 2008 by section 9008 of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (FCEA) [Pub. L. 110-246, 122 Stat. 1651, enacted June 18, 2008, H.R. 6124]. The Biomass Act was re-authorized in the Agricultural Act of 2014.

    FCEA section 9008(d) established the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee and lays forth its meetings, coordination, duties, terms, and membership types. Committee members are paid travel and per diem for each meeting. The Committee must meet quarterly and should not duplicate the efforts of other Federal advisory committees. Meetings are typically two days in duration. Three meetings are held in the Washington, DC area and the fourth is held at a site to be determined each year. The Committee advises DOE and USDA points of contact with respect to the Biomass R&D Initiative (Initiative) and priority technical biomass R&D needs and makes written recommendations to the Biomass R&D Board (Board). Those recommendations regard whether: (A) Initiative funds are distributed and used consistent with Initiative objectives; (B) solicitations are open and competitive with awards made annually; (C) objectives and evaluation criteria of the solicitations are clear; and (D) the points of contact are funding proposals selected on the basis of merit, and determined by an independent panel of qualified peers.

    The committee members may serve two, three-year terms and committee membership must include: (A) An individual affiliated with the biofuels industry; (B) an individual affiliated with the biobased industrial and commercial products industry; (C) an individual affiliated with an institution of higher education that has expertise in biofuels and biobased products; (D) 2 prominent engineers or scientists from government (non-federal) or academia that have expertise in biofuels and biobased products; (E) an individual affiliated with a commodity trade association; (F) 2 individuals affiliated with environmental or conservation organizations; (G) an individual associated with state government who has expertise in biofuels and biobased products; (H) an individual with expertise in energy and environmental analysis; (I) an individual with expertise in the economics of biofuels and biobased products; (J) an individual with expertise in agricultural economics; (K) an individual with expertise in plant biology and biomass feedstock development; (L) an individual with expertise in agronomy, crop science, or soil science; and (M) at the option of the points of contact, other members (REF: FCEA 2008 section 9008(d)(2)(A)). All nominees will be carefully reviewed for their expertise, leadership, and relevance to an expertise. Appointments will be made for three-year terms as dictated by the legislation.

    Nominations this year are needed for the following categories in order to address the Committee's needs: (B) An individual affiliated with the biobased industrial and commercial products industry; (D) prominent engineers or scientists from government (non-federal) or academia that have expertise in biofuels and biobased products; and (L) an individual with expertise in agronomy, crop science, or soil science. Nominations for other categories will also be accepted. Nomination categories C, D, H, I, J, K, L, and M are considered Special Government Employees and require submittal of an annual financial disclosure form. In addition to the required categories, other areas of expertise of interest to the Committee are individuals with expertise in process engineering related to biorefineries, or biobased coproducts that enable fuel production.

    Nominations are solicited from organizations, associations, societies, councils, federations, groups, universities, and companies that represent a wide variety of biomass research and development interests throughout the country. Nominations for one individual that fits several of the categories listed above or for more than one person that fits one category will be accepted. In your nomination letter, please indicate the specific membership category of interest. Each nominee must submit their resume and biography along with any letters of support by the deadline above. If you were nominated in previous years but were not appointed to the committee and would still like to be considered, please submit your nomination package again in response to this notice with all required materials. All nominees will be vetted before selection.

    Nominations are open to all individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, mental or physical handicap, marital status, or sexual orientation. To ensure that recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee take into account the needs of the diverse groups served by DOE, membership shall include, to the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated ability to represent the needs of women and men of all racial and ethnic groups and persons with disabilities. Please note that registered lobbyists, individuals already serving another Federal Advisory Committee, and federal employees are ineligible for nomination.

    Appointments to the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee will be made by the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Agriculture.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 9, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17347 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-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: ER15-623-004.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance Filing pursuant to the June 9, 2015 Order on Proposed Tariff Rev to be effective 4/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150709-5186.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2144-000.

    Applicants: Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Filing of Fiber License Agreement to be effective 9/8/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150709-5156.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2145-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-07-09_Schedule 43H Revision White Pine 1 SSR to be effective 4/16/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150709-5189.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/30/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following public utility holding company filings:

    Docket Numbers: PH15-16-000.

    Applicants: Cross & Company, PLLC.

    Description: Gas Natural, Inc. submits FERC 65-B Notification of Change in Exemption Notification.

    Filed Date: 7/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150709-5197.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/30/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 9, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17352 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER11-4363-006.

    Applicants: Osage Wind, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Osage Wind, LLC.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5217.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER11-4498-009; ER11-4499-009; ER14-325-006; ER11-4500-009; ER11-4507-008; ER12-128-007; ER11-4501-010; ER12-979-009; ER12-2542-006; ER12-2448-009; ER13-2409-005; ER14-2858-004

    Applicants: Smoky Hills Wind Farm, LLC, Smoky Hills Wind Project II, LLC, Enel Cove Fort, LLC, Enel Stillwater, LLC, Canastota Windpower, LLC, EGP Stillwater Solar, LLC, Caney River Wind Project, LLC, Rocky Ridge Wind Project, LLC, Prairie Rose Wind, LLC, Chisholm View Wind Project, LLC, Buffalo Dunes Wind Project, LLC, Origin Wind Energy, LLC

    Description: Notice of Change in Status of Smoky Hills Wind Farm, LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5213.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1728-000.

    Applicants: BIF II Safe Harbor Holdings, LLC.

    Description: Supplement to May 15, 2015 BIF II Safe Harbor Holdings, LLC tariff filing.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5015.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2132-000.

    Applicants: Wisconsin Electric Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Wisconsin Electric FERC Electric Tariff Volume 9—2015 to be effective 9/6/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5182.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2133-000.

    Applicants: Wisconsin Electric Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Wisconsin Electric and WPPI Rate Schedule FERC No. 90—2015 to be effective 9/6/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5183.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2134-000.

    Applicants: Sky River Asset Holdings, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Sky River Asset Holdings, LLC Application for Market-Based Rates to be effective 9/7/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5184.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2135-000.

    Applicants: Alexander Wind Farm, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Alexander Wind Farm Initial Baseline MBR Application Filing to be effective 9/8/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150709-5088.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2136-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., PPL Electric Utilities Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: PPL Electric submits Coordination Agreement No. 1016 with Borough of Duncannon to be effective 1/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 7/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150709-5090.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2137-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., PPL Electric Utilities Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: PPL Electric submits Coordination Agreement No. 1017 with Borough of Ephrata to be effective 1/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 7/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150709-5091.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2138-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.,PPL Electric Utilities Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: PPL submits Coordination Agreement No. 1020 with Borough of Leighton to be effective 1/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 7/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150709-5092.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2139-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., PPL Electric Utilities Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: PPL submits Coordination Agreement No. 1021 with Borough of Mifflinburg to be effective 1/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 7/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150709-5097.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2140-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., PPL Electric Utilities Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: PPL submits Coordination Agreement No. 1023 with Borough of Perkasie to be effective 1/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 7/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150709-5099.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2141-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., PPL Electric Utilities Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: PPL submits Coordination Agreement No. 1025 with Borough of Schuylkill Haven to be effective 1/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 7/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150709-5101.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2142-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., PPL Electric Utilities Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: PPL submits Coordination Agreement No. 1026 with Borough of St. Clair to be effective 1/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 7/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150709-5104.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2143-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., PPL Electric Utilities Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: PPL submits Coordination Agreement No. 1028 with Borough of Weatherly to be effective 1/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 7/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150709-5111.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/30/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5 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 9, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17351 Filed 7-14-15; 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: RP15-1114-000.

    Applicants: Enable Mississippi River Transmission, L.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Filing to Amend LER 5680's Attachment A_7-6-15 to be effective 7/6/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/6/15.

    Accession Number: 20150706-5208.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/20/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1115-000.

    Applicants: Dogwood Energy LLC.

    Description: Request for Waiver and Expedited Action of Dogwood Energy LLC, et al. under RP15-1115.

    Filed Date: 7/6/15.

    Accession Number: 20150706-5234.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/15/15.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    Filings in Existing Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP15-101-003.

    Applicants: Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing RP15-101 Compliance on Technical Issues to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/7/15.

    Accession Number: 20150707-5152.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/20/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-850-001.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: Compliance filing Second Revised Compliance Filing to be effective 5/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/7/15.

    Accession Number: 20150707-5153.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/15/15.

    Any person desiring to protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rule 211 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 8, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17261 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2115-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative Formula Rate to be effective 10/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/7/15.

    Accession Number: 20150707-5150.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/28/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2116-000.

    Applicants: NorthWestern Corporation.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: RS 271—REC Silicon O and M Agreement to be effective 7/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5045.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2117-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: 2015-07-08_Cancellation of Index of Customers to be effective 9/6/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5047.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2118-000.

    Applicants: CalPeak Power—Border LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Notice re Cat 2 Seller in SW Region to be effective 7/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5049.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2119-000.

    Applicants: CalPeak Power—Enterprise LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Notice re Cat 2 Seller in SW Region to be effective 7/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5050.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2120-000.

    Applicants: CalPeak Power—Panoche LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Notice re Cat 2 Seller in SW Region to be effective 7/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5051.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2121-000.

    Applicants: CalPeak Power—Vaca Dixon LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Notice re Cat 2 Seller in SW Region to be effective 7/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5052.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2122-000.

    Applicants: CalPeak Power LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Notice re Cat 2 Seller in SW Region to be effective 7/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5053.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2123-000.

    Applicants: Midway Peaking, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Notice re Category 2 Seller Status to be effective 7/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5055.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2124-000.

    Applicants: EDF Industrial Power Services (IL), LLC.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of cancellation to be effective7/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5061.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2125-000.

    Applicants: EDF Industrial Power Services (NY), LLC.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of cancellation to be effective7/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5064.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2126-000.

    Applicants: EDF Industrial Power Services (OH), LLC.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of cancellation to be effective7/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5068.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2127-000.

    Applicants: Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: NiMo filing of an amended and restate IA on behalf of NiMo and Sithe to be effective 6/30/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5079.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2128-000.

    Applicants: New York Independent System Operator, Inc., Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Cost Reimbursement Agreement (SA 2223) between Ntnl Grd and RG&E to be effective 3/5/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5088.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2129-000.

    Applicants: Slate Creek Wind Project, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Slate Creek Wind Initial Baseline MBR Application Filing to be effective 9/7/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5130.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2130-000.

    Applicants: Roosevelt Wind Project, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Roosevelt Wind Initial Baseline MBR Application Filing to be effective 9/7/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5142.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2131-000.

    Applicants: Milo Wind Project, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Milo Wind Initial Baseline MBR Application Filing to be effective 9/7/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150708-5155.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric reliability filings:

    Docket Numbers: RD14-14-001; RD15-3-001; RD15-5-001.

    Applicants: North American Electric Reliability Corporation.

    Description: Revisions of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation to the Violation Risk Factors for Reliability Standards PRC-004-3, PRC-004-4 and PRC-004-5.

    Filed Date: 7/7/15.

    Accession Number: 20150707-5189.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/7/15.

    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 8, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17260 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RM98-1-000] Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications; Public Notice

    This constitutes notice, in accordance with 18 CFR 385.2201(b), of the receipt of prohibited and exempt off-the-record communications.

    Order No. 607 (64 FR 51222, September 22, 1999) requires Commission decisional employees, who make or receive a prohibited or exempt off-the-record communication relevant to the merits of a contested proceeding, to deliver to the Secretary of the Commission, a copy of the communication, if written, or a summary of the substance of any oral communication.

    Prohibited communications are included in a public, non-decisional file associated with, but not a part of, the decisional record of the proceeding. Unless the Commission determines that the prohibited communication and any responses thereto should become a part of the decisional record, the prohibited off-the-record communication will not be considered by the Commission in reaching its decision. Parties to a proceeding may seek the opportunity to respond to any facts or contentions made in a prohibited off-the-record communication, and may request that the Commission place the prohibited communication and responses thereto in the decisional record. The Commission will grant such a request only when it determines that fairness so requires. Any person identified below as having made a prohibited off-the-record communication shall serve the document on all parties listed on the official service list for the applicable proceeding in accordance with Rule 2010, 18 CFR 385.2010.

    Exempt off-the-record communications are included in the decisional record of the proceeding, unless the communication was with a cooperating agency as described by 40 CFR 1501.6, made under 18 CFR 385.2201(e)(1)(v).

    The following is a list of off-the-record communications recently received by the Secretary of the Commission. The communications listed are grouped by docket numbers in ascending order. These filings are available for electronic review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits, in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

    Docket No. File date Presenter or requester Prohibited: 1. CP13-552-000; CP13-553-000 6-29-15 Cheniere Energy Inc. 2. CP14-554-000 6-29-15 Wil Byrd. 3. P-1494-000 6-30-15 Joe D. Harwood. 4. P-1494-000 6-30-15 Rusty Fleming. 5. P-1494-000 6-30-15 Joe D. Harwood. Exempt: 1. CP15-500-00 6-19-15 U.S. Representative Will Hurd. 2. CP13-483-000; CP13-492-000 6-29-15 FERC Staff.1 3. P-2210-000 6-30-15 U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner. 4. CP13-492-000 7-2-15 FERC Staff.2 5. CP09-6-001 7-8-15 FERC Staff.3 1 Letter dated 4-8-15 from U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management regarding analysis of Blue Ridge Alternative. 2 Letter dated 4-8-15from U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management, staff conveying 4 technical reports for Pacific Connector Pipeline Project. 3 Record of 6-26-15 Oregon LNG conference call. Dated: July 9, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17353 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0891; FRL-9930-58-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Recordkeeping and Periodic Reporting of the Production, Import, Recycling, Destruction, Transhipment, and Feedstock Use of Ozone-Depleting Substances (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “Recordkeeping and Periodic Reporting of the Production, Import, Recycling, Destruction, Transhipment, and Feedstock Use of Ozone-Depleting Substances (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1432.31, OMB Control No. 2060-0170) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (80 FR 24917) on May 1, 2015 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before August 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0891, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method) or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Burchard, Stratospheric Protection Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs (6205J), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 343-9126; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents, which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting, are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Protocol) and Title VI of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAA) established limits on total U.S. production, import, and export of Class I and Class II controlled ozone depleting substances (ODSs). Under its Protocol commitments, the United States has been obligated to cease production and import of Class I controlled substances with exemptions for essential uses, critical uses, previously used material, and material that will be transformed, destroyed, or exported to developing countries. The Protocol also establishes limits and reduction schedules leading to the eventual phaseout of Class II controlled substances with similar exemptions beyond the phaseout. Additionally, the CAA has its own limits on production and consumption of controlled substances that EPA must adhere to and enforce.

    To ensure the United States' compliance with the limits and restrictions established by the Protocol and the CAA, the ODS phaseout regulations establish control measures for individual companies. EPA monitors compliance with the limits and restrictions for individual United States companies through the recordkeeping and reporting requirements established in the regulations at 40 CFR part 82, subpart A. To submit required information, regulated entities can download reporting forms, complete them, and then send them to EPA via mail, fax, or electronically. Upon receipt of the reports, EPA enters and stores the data in the ODS Tracking System. The Tracking System is a secure database that maintains all of the data that is submitted to EPA and allows the Agency to: (1) Track over total production and consumption of controlled substances to satisfy conditions of the CAA and fulfill the United States obligations under the Protocol; (2) monitor compliance with limits and restrictions on production, imports, exports, and specific exemptions to the phaseout for individual U.S. companies; and (3) enforce against illegal imports and violations related to the control of Class I and Class II substances. Additionally, reporting on the exemptions allows an entity to retain the benefit of being able to produce or import a controlled Class I ODS beyond the date of complete phaseout.

    Pursuant to regulations 40 CFR part 2, subpart B, reporting businesses are entitled to assert a business confidentiality claim covering any part of the submitted business information as defined in 40 CFR part 2, subpart B.

    Respondents/affected entities: Chemical Producers, Importers, and Exporters (CFCs); Research and Development (Laboratories); and MeBr Producers, Importers, Exporters, Distributors, and Applicators.

    Estimated number of respondents: 1845 (total).

    Frequency of response: quarterly, annually, occasionally.

    Total estimated burden: 2583 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $280,055 (per year), includes $5,535 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is no change in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17316 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [3060-0986] 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 14, 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: 3060-0986.

    Title: Competitive Carrier Line Count Report and Self-Certification as a Rural Carrier.

    Form Number: FCC Form 481, FCC Form 505, FCC Form 507, FCC Form 508, FCC Form 509, and FCC Form 525.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit, not-for-profit institutions and state, local or tribal government.

    Number of Respondents: 1,957 respondents; 12,885 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: .5 hours to 100 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion, quarterly and annual reporting requirements, recordkeeping requirement and third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151-154, 155, 201-206, 214, 218-220, 251, 252, 254, 256, 303(r), 332, 403, 405, 410, and 1302.

    Total Annual Burden: 266,868 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: This information collection does not affect individuals or households; thus, there are no impacts under the Privacy Act.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: We note that USAC must preserve the confidentiality of all data obtained from respondents; must not use the data except for purposes of administering the universal service programs; and must not disclose data in company-specific form unless directed to do so by the Commission.

    Needs and Uses: On November 18, 2011, the Commission released an order reforming its high-cost universal service support mechanisms. Connect America Fund; A National Broadband Plan for Our Future; Establish Just and Reasonable Rates for Local Exchange Carriers; High-Cost Universal Service Support; Developing a Unified Intercarrier Compensation Regime; Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service; Lifeline and Link-Up; Universal Service Reform—Mobility Fund, WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 07-135, 05-337, 03-109; GN Docket No. 09-51; CC Docket Nos. 01-92, 96-45; WT Docket No. 10-208, Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 17663 (2011) (USF/ICC Transformation Order); and the Commission and Wireline Competition Bureau have since adopted a number of orders that implement the USF/ICC Transformation Order; see also Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Third Order on Reconsideration, 27 FCC Rcd 5622 (2012); Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Order, 27 FCC Rcd 605 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2012); Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Fifth Order on Reconsideration, 27 FCC Rcd 14549 (2012); Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Order, 28 FCC Rcd 2051 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2013); Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Order, 28 FCC Rcd 7227 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2013). The Commission has received OMB approval for most of the information collections required by these orders. At a later date the Commission plans to submit additional revisions for OMB review to address other reforms adopted in the orders (e.g., 47 CFR 54.313(a)(11)). The revision proposed here contains information collection requirements already reviewed and approved by OMB. Specifically, the Commission proposes to merge the existing universal service information collection requirements from OMB Control No. 3060-1188 into this control number. The Commission proposes to add FCC Form 505, currently approved under collection 3060-1188, to this information collection. There are no changes to the currently approved FCC Form 505. The Commission also proposes certain changes to FCC Form 481 and its instructions as a result of merging the information collection requirements contained in 3060-0986 and 3060-1188. These changes include revising FCC Form 481 and its instructions to incorporate the certifications and census block data collection requirements for certain recipients of Connect America Phase I incremental support that are currently approved under collection 3060-1188. The Commission also proposes to reduce the number of respondents for reporting and certification requirements related to Connect America Phase I incremental support to reflect the number of price cap carriers that actually accepted such support. Once the Commission receives OMB approval to merge the requirements contained in 3060-1188 under this control number, the Commission will discontinue 3060-1188.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17267 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0031] 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 Office of Management and Budget (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 14, 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 Cathy Williams, 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 Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918. 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:

    Control Number: 3060-0031.

    Title: Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License, FCC Form 314; Application for Consent to Transfer Control of Entity Holding Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License, FCC Form 315; Section 73.3580, Local Public Notice of Filing of Broadcast Applications.

    Form Number: FCC Forms 314 and 315.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Not-for-profit institutions; State, local or Tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 4,840 respondents and 12,880 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.084 to 6 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement; Third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in Sections 154(i), 303(b) and 308 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 18,670 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $52,519,656.

    Privacy Impact Assessment(s): No impacts.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality and respondents are not being asked to submit confidential information to the Commission.

    Needs and Uses: FCC Form 314 and the applicable exhibits/explanations are required to be filed when applying for consent for assignment of an AM, FM, LPFM or TV broadcast station construction permit or license. In addition, the applicant must notify the Commission when an approved assignment of a broadcast station construction permit or license has been consummated.

    FCC Form 315 and applicable exhibits/explanations are required to be filed when applying for transfer of control of an entity holding an AM, FM, LPFM or TV broadcast station construction permit or license. In addition, the applicant must notify the Commission when an approved transfer of control of a broadcast station construction permit or license has been consummated. Due to the similarities in the information collected by these two forms, OMB has assigned both forms OMB Control Number 3060-0031.

    47 CFR 73.3580 requires local public notice in a newspaper of general circulation published in the community in which a station is located of the filing of all applications for transfer of control or assignment of the license/permit. This notice must be completed within 30 days of the tendering of the application. This notice must be published at least twice a week for two consecutive weeks in a three-week period. A copy of this notice and the application must be placed in the station's public inspection file along with the application, pursuant to Section 73.3527. Additionally, an applicant for transfer of control of a license must broadcast the same notice over the station at least once daily on four days in the second week immediately following the tendering for filing of the application.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17268 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0999] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burden and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection(s). 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 burden for 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 Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before September 14, 2015. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control No.: 3060-0999.

    Title: Hearing Aid Compatibility Status Report and Section 20.19, Hearing Aid-Compatible Mobile Handsets (Hearing Aid Compatibility Act).

    Form Number: FCC Form 655.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents: 925 respondents; 925 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 13.041081 hours per response (average).

    Frequency of Response: On occasion and annual reporting requirements and third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. Sections 151, 154(i), 157, 160, 201, 202, 208, 214, 301, 303, 308, 309(j), 310 and 610 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 12,063 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No costs.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Information requested in the reports may include confidential information. However, covered entities are allowed to request that such materials submitted to the Commission be withheld from public inspection.

    Needs and Uses: The Commission will submit this information collection as an extension to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) after this 60-day comment period to obtain the full three year clearance for the collection. There is no change in number of respondents/responses, total annual burden hours, or total annual cost from the previously approved estimates. As part of the extension request, the Commission will submit certain non-substantive changes for approval, as described below.

    The collection is necessary to implement certain disclosure requirements that are part of the Commission's wireless hearing aid compatibility rule. In a Report and Order in WT Docket No. 01-309, FCC 03-168, adopted and released in September 2003, implementing a mandate under the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988, the Commission required digital wireless phone manufacturers and service providers to make certain digital wireless phones capable of effective use with hearing aids, label certain phones they sold with information about their compatibility with hearing aids, and report to the Commission (at first every six months, then on an annual basis) on the numbers and types of hearing aid-compatible phones they were producing or offering to the public. These reporting requirements were subsequently amended on several occasions, and the existing, OMB-approved collection under this OMB control number includes these modifications.

    As part of this extension request, the Commission is requesting approval of certain non-substantive changes to the form and instructions. Changes to the form include updating the edition form date for the electronic form to reflect the current date, and adding certain additional language drawn from the instructions to the question on device disclosures through Public Web sites. In the instructions, the Commission is updating the edition form date to reflect the current date, updating a Web site link that has become inactive, adding certain informational text to make the instructions easier to understand, and updating figures as necessary to reflect the non-substantive changes in the form.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17269 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreements Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreements under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreements to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. Copies of the agreements are available through the Commission's Web site (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202) 523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 012350.

    Title: Hoegh/Hyundai Glovis West Africa Space Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Hoegh Autoliners AS and Hyundai Glovis Co. Ltd.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor; 1627 I Street NW., Suite 1100; Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The agreement authorizes the parties to charter space to each other in the trade between the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts on the one hand, and Benin and Nigeria, on the other hand.

    Agreement No.: 012351.

    Title: Zim/NYK Equipment Repositioning Agreement.

    Parties: ZIM American Integrated Shipping Service, Ltd. and Nippon Yusen Kaisha.

    Filing Party: Mark E. Newcomb; ZIM American Integrated Shipping Services, Co., LLC; 5801 Lake Wright Dr.; Norfolk, VA 23508.

    Synopsis: The agreement authorizes the parties to charter slots on each other's vessels for the carriage of empty containers.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Karen V. Gregory, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17362 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0149; Docket 2015-0055; Sequence 21] Federal Acquisition Regulation; Information Collection; Subcontract Consent AGENCY:

    Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement concerning subcontract consent.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before September 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by Information Collection 9000-0149, Subcontract Consent, by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “Information Collection 9000-0149, Subcontract Consent”. Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0149, Subcontract Consent” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Flowers/IC 9000-0149, Subcontract Consent.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 9000-0149, Subcontract Consent, in all correspondence related to this collection. 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. Mahruba Uddowla, Procurement Analyst, Office of Government-wide Policy, contact via telephone 703-605-2828 or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clause 52.244-2, Subcontracts, requires prime contractors to provide contracting officers notification before the award of any cost-plus-fixed-fee subcontract, or certain fixed-price subcontracts. This requirement for advance notification is driven by statutory requirements in 10 U.S.C. 2306 and 41 U.S.C. 3905. FAR clause 52.244-2 also requires prime contractors to get consent to subcontract for cost-reimbursement, time-and-materials, labor-hour, or letter contracts, and also for unpriced actions under fixed-price contracts that exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.

    The objective of requiring consent to subcontract, as discussed in FAR Part 44, is to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness with which the contractor spends Government funds, and complies with Government policy when subcontracting. The Government requires a contractor to provide certain information (e.g., subcontractor's name, type of subcontract, price, description of supply or services, etc.) reasonably in advance of placing a subcontract to ensure that the proposed subcontract is appropriate for the risks involved and consistent with current policy and sound business judgment. The information provides the Government a basis for granting, or withholding consent to subcontract.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Based on information from the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) regarding contracts that would be required to provide information pursuant to FAR clause 52.244-2, an upward adjustment is being made to the number of respondents. As a result, an upward adjustment is being made to the estimated annual reporting burden hours since the notice regarding the previous extension to this clearance was published in the Federal Register at 77 FR 56644, on September 13, 2012.

    Number of Respondents: 6,601.

    Responses per Respondent: 3.

    Total Responses: 19,803.

    Average Burden Hours per Response: 1.846.

    Total Burden Hours: 36,557.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-0149, Subcontract Consent, in all correspondence.

    Dated: July 9, 2015. Edward Loeb, Acting Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17373 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-14-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 3090-0112; Docket 2015-0001; Sequence 9] Submission for OMB Review; Federal Management Regulation; State Agency Monthly Donation Report of Surplus Property, GSA Form 3040 AGENCY:

    Federal Acquisition Service, General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comments regarding a renewal to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement regarding State Agency Monthly Donation Report of Surplus Property, GSA Form 3040. A notice was published in the Federal Register at 80 FR 18843, on April 8, 2015. No comments were received.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before August 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by Information Collection 3090-0112, State Agency Monthly Donation Report of Surplus Personal Property by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for Information Collection 3090-0112. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Information Collection 3090-0112; State Agency Monthly Donation Report of Surplus Personal Property” under the heading “Enter Keyword or ID” and select “Search”. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “Information Collection 3090-0112, State Agency Monthly Donation Report of Surplus Personal Property”. Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 3090-0112, State Agency Monthly Donation Report of Surplus Personal Property” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Flowers/IC 3090-0112, State Agency Monthly Donation Report of Surplus Personal Property.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 3090-0112, State Agency Monthly Donation Report of Surplus Personal Property, in all correspondence related to this collection. 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:

    Joyce Spalding, Federal Acquisition Service, GSA at telephone 703-605-2888 or via email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    This report complies with Public Law 94-519, which requires annual reports of donations of personal property to public agencies for use in carrying out such purposes as conservation, economic development, education, parks and recreation, public health, and public safety.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 55.

    Responses per Respondent: 4.

    Total Responses: 220.

    Hours per Response: 1.5.

    Total Burden Hours: 330.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate and based on valid assumptions and methodology; and ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20006, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 3090-0112, GSA Form 3040, State Agency Monthly Donation Report of Surplus Personal Property, in all correspondence.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. David Shive, Acting Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17374 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-34-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 3090-0014; Docket 2015-0001; Sequence 8] Submission for OMB Review; Transfer Order—Surplus Personal Property and Continuation Sheet, Standard Form (SF) 123 AGENCY:

    Federal Acquisition Service, General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement regarding the Transfer Order—Surplus Personal Property and Continuation Sheet, Standard Form (SF) 123. A notice was published in the Federal Register at 80 FR 21719, on April 20, 2015. No comments were received.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before: August 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by Information Collection 3090-0014, Transfer Order—Surplus Personal Property and Continuation Sheet, Standard Form (SF) 123, by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Information Collection 3090-0014, Transfer Order—Surplus Personal Property and Continuation Sheet, Standard Form (SF) 123”. Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 3090-0014, Transfer Order—Surplus Personal Property and Continuation Sheet, Standard Form (SF) 123,” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Flowers/IC 3090-0014.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 3090-0014, Transfer Order—Surplus Personal Property and Continuation Sheet, Standard Form (SF) 123, in all correspondence related to this collection. 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:

    Joyce Spalding, Property Disposal Specialist, Federal Acquisition Service, at telephone 703-605-2888 or via email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    The Transfer Order—Surplus Personal Property and Continuation Sheet, Standard form (SF) 123, is used by public agencies, nonprofit educational or public health activities, programs for the elderly, service educational activities, and public airports to apply for donation of Federal surplus personal property. The SF 123 serves as the transfer instrument and includes item descriptions, transportation instructions, nondiscrimination assurances, and approval signatures.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 20,110.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Total Number of Respondents: 20,110.

    Hours per Response: 0.019.

    Total Burden Hours: 382.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20006, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 3090-0014, Transfer Order—Surplus Personal Property and Continuation Sheet, Standard Form (SF) 123, in all correspondence.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. David A. Shive, Acting Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17375 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS-6057-N2] Medicare Program; Extension of Medicare Prior Authorization for Power Mobility Devices (PMDs) Demonstration AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces an extension of the Medicare Prior Authorization for Power Mobility Devices (PMDs) demonstration.

    DATES:

    This demonstration will now end on August 31, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Doris M. Jackson, (410) 786-4459.

    Questions regarding the Medicare Prior Authorization for Power Mobility Device Demonstration should be sent to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    Section 402(a)(1)(J) of the Social Security Amendments of 1967 (42 U.S.C. 1395b-1(a)(1)(J)), authorizes the Secretary to conduct demonstrations designed to develop or demonstrate improved methods for the investigation and prosecution of fraud in the provision of care or services provided under the Medicare program.

    On September 1, 2012, we implemented the Medicare Prior Authorization for Power Mobility Devices (PMDs) Demonstration that would operate for a period of 3 years (September 1, 2012 through August 31, 2015). The demonstration was initially implemented in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, and Texas. These states were selected for the demonstration based upon their history of having high levels of improper payments and incidents of fraud related to PMDs. On October 1, 2014, we expanded the demonstration to 12 additional states (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Louisiana, Missouri, Washington, New Jersey, Maryland, Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee, and Arizona) that have high expenditures and improper payments for PMDs based on 2012 billing data.

    The objective of the demonstration is to develop improved methods for the investigation and prosecution of fraud in order to protect the Medicare Trust Funds from fraudulent actions and any resulting improper payments. The demonstration's extension will continue to provide the agency with valuable data through which the agency, working with its partners, can develop new avenues for combating the submission of fraudulent claims to the Medicare program for PMDs and improving methods for the investigation and prosecution of PMD fraud. We will continue to share demonstration data within the agency, with our contractors, with state Medicaid agencies, and with law enforcement partners for further analysis and investigation. We believe that data evidencing changes in physician ordering and supplier billing practices that coincide with this demonstration could provide investigators and law enforcement with important information for determining how and where to focus their investigations concerning fraud in the provision of PMDs. For instance, results from this demonstration could potentially indicate collaboration between ordering physicians and suppliers in submitting fraudulent claims for PMDs. This data could assist investigators and law enforcement in targeting their investigations in this area. Additionally, changes in billing practices that result from this demonstration could provide specific leads for investigators and law enforcement personnel. For instance, where a supplier that frequently submitted claims prior to the demonstration stops submitting claims during the demonstration, law enforcement may determine it prudent to investigate that supplier. Our data analysis will include the following:

    • Suppliers who no longer bill or have a significant decrease in billing during the demonstration.

    • Physicians/treating practitioners with a high volume of submissions.

    • Codes that show a dramatic increase in use.

    Based on preliminary data collected, spending per month on PMDs in the seven original demonstration states decreased after September 2012, indicating that physicians ordering and supplier billing practices have changed as a result of the demonstration. In addition, based on the preliminary data, spending per month on PMDs decreased in the non-demonstration states. National suppliers have adjusted their billing practices nationwide and appear to have increased compliance with our policies in all locations, not just their offices in the demonstration states.

    II. Provisions of the Notice

    This notice announces the extension of the Medicare PMDs demonstration for an additional 3 years, until August 31, 2018. Extending the demonstration allows us to continue developing improved methods to investigate and prosecute fraud in order to protect the Medicare Trust Funds from fraudulent actions and any resulting improper payments. This continuation will provide the agency with additional information through which the agency can develop new avenues for combating the submission of fraudulent claims to the Medicare program for PMDs and improving methods for the investigation and prosecution of PMD fraud. We will continue to share demonstration data within the agency, with our contractors, with state Medicaid agencies, and with law enforcement partners for further analysis and investigation.

    This notice will serve as notification of the extended demonstration. In addition, we will publicize the extended demonstration through postings to our Web site and tweets.

    CMS or its agents will continue to conduct outreach and education including webinars, state meetings, and other educational sessions as appropriate. Updated information will be posted to the CMS Web site (http://go.cms.gov/PADemo). We will also continue to work to limit the impact on Medicare beneficiaries by educating the Medicare beneficiaries about their protections.

    We will continue to follow the policies and procedures that are currently in place for the demonstration. In accordance with current demonstration policy, a request for prior authorization and all relevant documentation to support the medical necessity along with the written order for the covered item must be submitted when one of the following Healthcare Common Procedures Coding System (HCPCS) codes for a PMD is ordered:

    • Group 1 Power Operated Vehicles (K0800 through K0802 and K0812).

    • All standard power wheelchairs (K0813 through K0829).

    • All Group 2 complex rehabilitative power wheelchairs (K0835 through K0843).

    • All Group 3 complex rehabilitative power wheelchairs without power options (K0848 through K0855).

    • Pediatric power wheelchairs (K0890 and K0891).

    • Miscellaneous power wheelchairs (K0898).

    Under this demonstration, a physician, treating practitioner, or supplier may submit the prior authorization request and all relevant documentation to support Medicare coverage of the PMD item along with the written order for the covered item to their Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC). The physician, treating practitioner, or supplier who submits the request is referred to as the “submitter.”

    In order to be affirmed, the request for prior authorization must meet all applicable rules, policies, and National Coverage Determination (NCD)/Local Coverage Determination (LCD) requirements for PMD claims. The LCD documentation requirement mandates that the physician or treating practitioner shall complete the seven element order, face-to-face encounter, and any other clinical documentation that is necessary to determine medical necessity regardless of which entity is functioning as the submitter. The supplier must also complete the detailed product description (DPD) regardless of which entity is functioning as the submitter.

    After receipt of all relevant documentation, CMS or its agents will make every effort to conduct a complex medical review and postmark the notification of their decision with the prior authorization number within 10 business days. Notification is provided to the physician/treating practitioner, supplier, and the Medicare beneficiary for the initial submission. If a subsequent prior authorization request is submitted after a non-affirmative decision on a prior authorization request, CMS or its agents will make every effort to conduct a review and postmark the notification of decision with the prior authorization number within 20 business days.

    If the prior authorization request is not affirmed, and the claim is subsequently submitted by the supplier, the claim will be denied. Medicare beneficiaries may use existing appeal rights to contest claim denials. Suppliers must issue an Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN) to the beneficiary, per CMS policy, prior to delivery of the item for the beneficiary to be held financially liable when a Medicare payment denial is expected for a PMD.

    Submitters may also request expedited reviews in emergency situations where a practitioner indicates clearly, with supporting rationale, that the standard (routine) timeframe for a prior authorization decision (10 days) could seriously jeopardize the beneficiary's life or health. The expedited request must be accompanied by the required supporting documentation for this request to be considered complete, thus commencing the 48-hour review. Inappropriate expedited requests may be downgraded to standard requests. After conducting an expedited review, CMS or its agents will communicate a decision for the prior authorization request to the submitter within 48-hours of the complete submission.

    The following explains the various prior authorization scenarios:

    Scenario 1: A submitter sends a prior authorization request to the DME MAC with appropriate documentation, and all relevant Medicare coverage and documentation requirements are met for the PMD. The DME MAC then sends an affirmative prior authorization decision to the physician or treating practitioner, supplier, and Medicare beneficiary. The supplier submits the claim to the DME MAC, and the claim is linked to the prior authorization via the claims processing system. Provided all requirements in the applicable NCD/LCD are met, the claim is paid.

    Scenario 2: A submitter sends a prior authorization request, but all relevant Medicare coverage and documentation requirements are not met for the PMD. The DME MAC sends a non-affirmative prior authorization decision to the physician or treating practitioner, supplier, and Medicare beneficiary advising them that Medicare will not pay for the item. If the supplier delivers the PMD and submits a claim with a non-affirmative prior authorization decision, the DME MAC would deny the claim. The supplier or the Medicare beneficiary would then have the Medicare denial for secondary insurance purposes and would have full appeal rights. Existing liability provisions with respect to delivery of a valid ABN apply.

    Scenario 3: A submitter sends a prior authorization request where documentation is incomplete. The DME MAC sends back the prior authorization request to the submitter with an explanation about what information is missing and notifies the physician or treating practitioner, supplier, and Medicare beneficiary. The submitter may resubmit the prior authorization request.

    Scenario 4: An applicable PMD claim is submitted without a prior authorization decision or the DME supplier fails to submit a prior authorization request, but nonetheless delivers the item to the Medicare beneficiary and submits the claim to the DME MAC for payment. The claim will be stopped and documentation will be requested to conduct medical review. The PMD claim is reviewed under normal medical review processing timeframes, and if approved, a 25-percent payment reduction would apply.

    ++ If the claim is determined to be not medically necessary, or insufficiently documented, the claim will be denied. The supplier or Medicare beneficiary can appeal the claim denial. If the claim, after review, is deemed not payable, then all current Medicare beneficiary/supplier liability policies and procedures and appeal rights remain in effect.

    ++ If the claim is determined to be payable, it will be paid. However, a 25-percent reduction in the Medicare payment will be applied for failure to receive a prior authorization decision before the submission of a claim. This payment reduction will not be applied to competitive bidding program contract suppliers submitting claims for Medicare beneficiaries who maintain a permanent residence in a competitive bidding area according to the Common Working File (CWF). These contract suppliers will continue to receive the applicable single payment amount as determined in their contract. The 25-percent payment reduction is non-transferrable to the Medicare beneficiary for claims that are deemed payable and is not subject to appeal. In the case of capped rental items, the payment reduction will be applied to all claims in the series. After a claim is submitted and processed, appeal rights are available if necessary.

    If the prior authorization request is not affirmed, and the claim is submitted by the supplier, the claim will be denied. Medicare beneficiaries may use existing appeal rights to contest claim denials. Suppliers must issue an ABN to the beneficiary, per CMS policy, prior to delivery of the item in order for the beneficiary to be held financially liable when a Medicare payment denial is expected for a PMD.

    Additional information is available on the CMS Web site (http://go.cms.gov/PADemo).

    III. Collection of Information Requirements

    This notice announces the extension of the Medicare PMDs Demonstration and does not impose any new information collection burden under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. However, there is an information collection burden associated with the demonstration that is currently approved under OMB control number 0938-1169 which expires January 31, 2018.

    IV. Regulatory Impact Statement

    This document announces an extension of the Medicare PMDs Demonstration. Therefore, there are no regulatory impact implications associated with this notice.

    Dated: July 1, 2015. Andrew M. Slavitt, Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17365 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request

    Title: Job Search Assistance (JSA) Strategies Evaluation.

    OMB No.: 0970-0440.

    Description: The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is proposing a data collection activity as part of the Job Search Assistance (JSA) Strategies Evaluation. The JSA evaluation aims to determine which JSA strategies are most effective in moving TANF applicants and recipients into work. The impact study will randomly assign individuals to contrasting JSA approaches and then compare their employment and earnings to determine their relative effectiveness. The implementation study will describe services participants receive under each approach as well as provide operational lessons gathered directly from practitioners.

    Data collection efforts previously approved for JSA, include: Data collection activities to document program implementation, a staff survey and a baseline information form for program participants. These collection activities will continue with this new request.

    This Federal Register Notice provides the opportunity to comment on a proposed new information collection activity for JSA: A follow-up survey for JSA participants approximately 6 months after program enrollment. The purpose of the survey is to follow-up with study participants and document their job search assistance services and experiences including their receipt of job search assistance services, their knowledge and skills for conducting a job search, the nature of their job search process, including tools and services used to locate employment, and their search outputs and outcomes, such as the number of applications submitted, interviews attended, offers received and jobs obtained. In addition, the survey will provide an opportunity for respondents to provide contact data for possible longer-term follow-up.

    Respondents: JSA study participants and program staff.

    Annual Burden Estimates Extension of Previously Approved Information Collections Instrument Total
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Annual
  • burden hours
  • Baseline Information Form 6,400 3,200 1 .2 640 Implementation Study Site Visits 600 300 1 1 300 JSA Staff Survey 440 220 1 .33 73
    Proposed New Information Collections Instrument Total
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Annual
  • burden hours
  • 6 Month Follow-Up Survey 6,400 3,200 1 .333 1,066 Contact Update Form 6,400 3,200 11 .033 1,162

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 3,241.

    In compliance with the requirements of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Administration for Children and Families is soliciting public comment on the specific aspects of the information collection described above. Copies of the proposed collection of information can be obtained and comments may be forwarded by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., Washington, DC 20447, Attn: OPRE Reports Clearance Officer. Email address: [email protected] All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection.

    The Department specifically requests comments 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) the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (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. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of this publication.

    Karl Koerper, Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17264 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-0001] Preparation for International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing a public meeting entitled “International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation (ICCR)—Preparation for ICCR-9 Meeting.” The purpose of the meeting is to invite public input on various topics pertaining to the regulation of cosmetics. We may use this input to help us prepare for the ICCR-9 meeting that will be held November 4-6, 2015, in Brussels, Belgium.

    Date and Time: The public meeting will be held on September 10, 2015, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

    Location: This meeting will be held at the Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., Wiley Auditorium (first floor), College Park, MD 20740.

    Contact Person: Maria Rossana (Rosemary) Cook, Office of Cosmetics and Colors, Food and Drug Administration, 4300 River Rd., College Park, MD 20740, email: [email protected], or FAX: 301-436-2975.

    Registration and Requests for Oral Presentations: Send registration information (including your name, title, firm name, address, telephone number, fax number, and email address), written material, and requests to make an oral presentation, to the contact person by August 27, 2015.

    If you need special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Maria Rossana (Rosemary) Cook by September 3, 2015.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    You may present proposals for future ICCR agenda items, data, information, or views, orally or in writing, on issues pending at the public meeting. Time allotted for oral presentations may be limited to 10 minutes or less for each presenter. If you wish to make an oral presentation, you should notify the contact person by August 27, 2015, and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the evidence or arguments that you wish to present, your name, address, telephone number, fax number, and email address, and indicate the approximate amount of time you need to make your presentation.

    Transcripts: As soon as a transcript is available, it will be accessible athttp://www.regulations.gov. It may also be viewed at the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20850. A transcript will also be available in either hardcopy or on CD-ROM, after submission of a Freedom of Information request. Written requests are to be sent to the Division of Freedom of Information, (ELEM-1029), Food and Drug Administration, 12420 Parklawn Dr., Element Bldg., Rockville, MD 20857.

    The Purpose of the Multilateral Framework on the ICCR: The purpose of the multilateral framework on the ICCR is to pave the way for the removal of regulatory obstacles to international trade while maintaining global consumer protection.

    ICCR is a voluntary international group of cosmetics regulatory authorities from the United States, Japan, the European Union, Canada, and Brazil. These regulatory authority members will enter into constructive dialogue with their relevant cosmetics industry trade associations and public advocacy groups. Currently, the ICCR members are: Health Canada; the European Commission Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and Subject Matter Experts; the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare of Japan; the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency; and FDA. All decisions made by consensus will be compatible with the laws, policies, rules, regulations, and directives of the respective administrations and governments. Members will implement and/or promote actions or documents within their own jurisdictions and seek convergence of regulatory policies and practices. Successful implementation will need input from stakeholders.

    Agenda: We will make the agenda for the public meeting available on the Internet at http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/InternationalActivities/ICCR/default.htm. Depending on the number of requests for oral presentations, we intend to have an agenda available by September 3, 2015. We may use the information that you provide to us during the public meeting to help us prepare for the November 4-6, 2015, ICCR-9 meeting.

    Dated: July 9, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17248 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES [Document Identifier: HHS-0990-0279-60D] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Public Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announces plans to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR), described below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The ICR is for extending the use of the approved information collection assigned OMB control number 0990-0279, which expires on August 31, 2015. Prior to submitting that 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 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments to [email protected] or by calling (202) 690-6162.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Information Collection Clearance staff, Informa[email protected] or (202) 690-6162.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the document identifier 0990-0279 for reference.

    Information Collection Request Title: Institutional Review Board Form—OMB No. 0990-0279, Assistant Secretary for Health, Office for Human Research Protections.

    Abstract: Section 491(a) of Public Law 99-158 states that the Secretary of HHS shall by regulation require that each entity applying for HHS support (e.g., a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement) to conduct research involving human subjects submit to HHS assurances satisfactory to the Secretary that it has established an institutional review board (IRB) to review the research in order to ensure protection of the rights and welfare of the human research subjects. IRBs are boards, committees, or groups formally designated by an entity to review, approve, and have continuing oversight of research involving human subjects.

    The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are requesting a three-year extension of the OMB No. 0990-0279, Institutional Review Board (IRB) Registration Form. This form was modified in 2009 to be consistent with IRB registration requirements, 45 CFR part 46, subpart E and 21 CFR 56.106 that were adopted in July 2009 OHRP and FDA, respectively.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: The information collected through the Institutional Review Board registration collection requirements is the minimum necessary to satisfy the registration requirements of Section 491 (a) of the Public Health Service Act, 45 CFR part 46, subpart E and 21 CFR 56.106.

    Likely Respondents: Institutions or organizations operating IRBs that review human subjects research conducted or supported by HHS, or, in the case of FDA's regulations, IRBs in the United States that review clinical investigations regulated by FDA under sections 505(i) or 520(g) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act; and, IRBs in the United States that review clinical investigations that are intended to support applications for research or marketing permits for FDA-regulated products.

    Burden Statement: The burden estimates for the IRB registration form include those approved by OMB in March 2015 under Control Number 0990-0263, the Assurance Identification/IRB Certification/Declaration of Exemption form (former Optional Form 310). Those burden estimates are not included as part of the burden estimate presented below.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Table Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • IRB Registration 0990-0279 5,900 2 1 11,800 500 2 1 1,000 Total 12,800

    OS specifically requests comments on (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.

    Terry S. Clark, Asst Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17348 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO) (NCI) SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of Section 3507(a)(1)(D) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for review and approval of the information collection listed below. This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register on April 21, 2015 (80 FR 22211), and allowed 60-days for public comment. No public comments were received. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comment. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health, may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection that has been extended, revised, or implemented on or after October 1, 1995, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Direct Comments to OMB: Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time, should be directed to the: Office of Management and Budget, Office of Regulatory Affairs, [email protected] or by fax to 202-395-6974, Attention: NIH Desk Officer.

    Comment Due Date: Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30 days of the date of this publication.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments or request more information on the proposed project contact: Kelly Yu, Ph.D., Division of Cancer Prevention, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 5E230, Rockville, MD 20850 call non-toll-free number 240-276-7041 or Email your request, including your address to: [email protected] Formal requests for additional plans and instruments must be requested in writing.

    Proposed Collection: Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO) 0925-0407, Revision, National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    Need and Use of Information Collection: This is a request for a revision of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO). This trial was designed to determine if cancer screening for prostate, lung, colorectal, and ovarian cancer can reduce mortality from these cancers which caused an estimated 253,320 deaths in the U.S in 2014. The design is a two-armed randomized trial of men and women aged 55 to 74 at entry. OMB first approved this study in 1993 and has approved it every 3 years since then. Recruitment was completed in 2001, baseline cancer screening was completed in 2006, and data collection continues on the current cohort of 77,281 participants who are actively being followed. The additional follow-up will provide data that will clarify further the long term effects of the screening on cancer incidence and mortality for the four targeted cancers. Further, demographic and risk factor information may be used to analyze the differential effectiveness of cancer screening in high versus low risk individuals.

    OMB approval is requested for 3 years. There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 26,320.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Form name Type of respondents Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average time
  • per response
  • (minutes/
  • hour)
  • Annual
  • burden
  • hours
  • Annual Study Update (ASU) Form Participants who complete the ASU 77,281 1 5/60 6,440 ASU Telephone Script Non Responders to the ASU 3,091 1 5/60 258 Authorization to Release Medical Records Participants who report new cancers 2,700 1 3/60 135 Health Status Questionnaire (Female) (HSQ) Female participants who complete the HSQ 960 1 5/60 80 Health Status Questionnaire (Male) (HSQ) Male participants who complete the HSQ 1,040 1 5/60 87 Medication Use Questionnaire (MUQ) Participants who complete the MUQ 77,281 1 15/60 19,320
    Dated: June 23, 2015. Karla Bailey, NCI Project Clearance Liaison, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17340 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute; Amended Notice of Meeting

    Notice is hereby given of a change in the meeting of the National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel, July 22, 2015, 11:00 a.m. to 04:00 p.m., National Cancer Institute Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, 2W194, Rockville, MD, 20850 which was published in the Federal Register on June 23, 2015, 80 FR 35964.

    The meeting notice is amended to change the date of the meeting from July 22, 2015 to August 19, 2015 and room number to 1E030. The meeting is closed to the public.

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Melanie J. Gray, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17342 Filed 7-14-15; 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; Member Conflict: Neurodegeration and Cognition.

    Date: August 4, 2015.

    Time: 2:00 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: Inese Z. Beitins, MD, Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6152, MSC 7892, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1034, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Program Project: Structure and Function of the Arp2/3 Complex.

    Date: August 7, 2015.

    Time: 2:00 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: Noni Byrnes, Ph.D., Division Director, DBIB, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5130, MSC 7840, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-1023, [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 10, 2015. Anna Snouffer, Deputy Director, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17359 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review Amended Notice of Meeting

    Notice is hereby given of a change in the meeting of the Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, July 30, 2015, 2 p.m. to July 30, 2015, 4 p.m., National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 which was published in the Federal Register on July 08, 2015, 80 FR 39140.

    The meeting will start at 3 p.m. and end at 5 p.m. on July 30, 2015. The meeting location remains the same. The meeting is closed to the public.

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Anna Snouffer, Deputy Director, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17360 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-USCG-2015-0628] Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee and its subcommittees will meet on August 4, 5, and 6, 2015, in Washington, DC, to discuss the safe and secure marine transportation of hazardous materials. The meetings will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    Subcommittees will meet on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Wednesday, August 5, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The full committee will meet on Thursday, August 6, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please note that these meetings may close early if the Committee has completed its business.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meetings will be held at the U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, Washington, DC 20590. Attendees will be required to pre-register no later than 5 p.m. on July 20, 2015, to be admitted to the meeting. Non-US citizens will be required to pre-register no later than 5 p.m. on July 15, 2015, to be admitted to the meeting. To pre-register contact Lieutenant Cristina Nelson at 202-372-1419 or [email protected] For non-U.S. citizens a request for pre-registration should include name, country of citizenship, passport and expiration date, or diplomatic ID number and expiration date, and the company or group with which you are affiliated. For U.S. citizens a pre-registration should include your name, telephone number, and company or group with which you are affiliated. Attendees will be required to provide a government-issued picture identification card in order to gain admittance to the building.

    For information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities or to request special assistance at the meeting, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT as soon as possible.

    To facilitate public participation, we are inviting public comment on the issues to be considered by the Committee as listed in the “Agenda” section below. Written comments for distribution to Committee members must be submitted no later than July 27, 2015, if you want the Committee members to be able to review your comments before the meeting, and must be identified by docket number USCG-2015-0628. Written comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. (This is the preferred method to avoid delays in processing.)

    Fax: 202-493-2252.

    Mail: 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.

    Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the words “Department of Homeland Security” and the docket number for this action. Comments received will be posted without alteration at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. You may review a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

    Docket: For access to the docket to read documents or comments related to this notice, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2015-0628 in the Search box, press Enter, and then click on the item you wish to view.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Commander Evan Hudspeth, Designated Federal Officer of the Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE., Stop 7509, Washington, DC 20593-7509, telephone 202-372-1420, fax 202-372-8380, or [email protected] If you have any questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826 or 1-800-647-5527.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice of this meeting is given under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 United States Code Appendix.

    The Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee is an advisory committee authorized under section 871 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, 6 United States Code 451, and is chartered under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The committee acts solely in an advisory capacity to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security through the Commandant of the Coast Guard and the Deputy Commandant for Operations on matters relating to safe and secure marine transportation of hazardous materials activities insofar as they relate to matters within the United States Coast Guard's jurisdiction. The Committee advises, consults with, and makes recommendations reflecting its independent judgment to the Secretary.

    Agendas of Meetings Subcommittee Meetings on August 4 and 5, 2015

    The subcommittee meetings will separately address the following tasks:

    (1) Harmonization of Response and Carriage Requirements for Biofuels and Biofuel Blends.

    (2) Recommendations on Safety Standards for the Design of Vessels Carrying Natural Gas or Using Natural Gas as Fuel.

    (3) Recommendations for Safety Standards for Ship to Ship Transfer of Hazardous Material Outside of the Baseline.

    (4) Recommendations for Guidance on the Implementation of Revisions to MARPOL Annex II and the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (commonly known as the IBC Code).

    (5) Improving Implementation of and Education about MARPOL Discharge Requirements under MARPOL Annex II and V.

    (6) Vapor Control System Regulation supplementation, corrections and improvements. The task statements from the last committee meeting are located at Homeport at the following address: https://homeport.uscg.mil. Go to: Missions > Ports and Waterways > Safety Advisory Committees > CTAC Subcommittees and Working Groups.

    The agenda for each subcommittee will include the following:

    1. Review task statements of the agenda for the August 6, 2015, meeting.

    2. Work on tasks assigned in task statements mentioned above.

    3. Discuss and prepare proposed recommendations for the Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee meeting on August 6, 2015, on tasks assigned in detailed task statements mentioned above.

    4. Public comment period.

    Full Committee Meeting on August 6, 2015

    The agenda for the Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee meeting on August 6, 2015, is as follows:

    1. Introductions and opening remarks.

    2. Marine Transportation System Presentation.

    3. Coast Guard Leadership Remarks.

    4. Committee will review, discuss, and formulate recommendations on the following tasks:

    a. Harmonization of Response and Carriage Requirements for Biofuels and Biofuel Blends.

    b. Recommendations on Safety Standards for the Design of Vessels Carrying Natural Gas or Using Natural Gas as Fuel.

    c. Recommendations for Safety Standards for Ship to Ship Transfer of Hazardous Material Outside of the Baseline.

    d. Recommendations for Guidance on the Implementation of Revisions to MARPOL Annex II and the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (commonly known as the IBC Code).

    e. Improving Implementation of and Education about MARPOL Discharge Requirements under MARPOL Annex II and V.

    f. Vapor Control System Regulation supplementation, corrections and improvements.

    5. USCG presentations on the following items of interest:

    a. Update on International Maritime Organization activities as they relate to the marine transportation of hazardous materials.

    b. Update on U.S. regulations and policy initiatives as they relate to the marine transportation of hazardous materials.

    6. Public comment period.

    7. Set next meeting date and location.

    8. Set subcommittee meeting schedule.

    A public comment period will be held during each Subcommittee meeting and the full committee meeting concerning matters being discussed. Public comments will be limited to 3 minutes per speaker. Please note that the public comment period will end following the last call for comments. Please contact Commander Evan Hudspeth, listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section, to register as a speaker.

    Dated: July 8, 2015. J.G. Lantz, Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards, United States Coast Guard.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17358 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5882-N-01] Notice of Single Family Loan Sales (SFLS 2015-1) AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing—Federal Housing Commissioner, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of sales of mortgage loans.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces HUD's intention to competitively sell certain unsubsidized single family mortgage loans in a sealed bid sale offering called SFLS 2015-1, without Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance. This notice also generally describes the bidding process for the sale and certain persons who are ineligible to bid. This is the second sale offering of Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 and the sale will be held on July 15, 2015.

    DATES:

    For this sale action, the Bidder's Information Package (BIP) was made available to qualified bidders on or about June 15, 2015. Bids for the 2015-1 sale will be accepted on the Bid Date of July 15, 2015 (Bid Date). HUD anticipates that award(s) will be made on or about July 16, 2015 (the Award Date).

    ADDRESSES:

    To become a qualified bidder and receive the BIP, prospective bidders must complete, execute, and submit a Confidentiality Agreement and a Qualification Statement acceptable to HUD. Both documents are available on the HUD Web site at: http://www.hud.gov/sfloansales or via: http://www.verdiassetsales.com.

    Please mail and fax executed documents to Verdi Consulting, Inc.: Verdi Consulting, Inc., 8400 Westpark Drive, 4th Floor, McLean, VA 22102, Attention: HUD SFLS Loan Sale Coordinator, Fax: 1-703-584-7790.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Lucey, Director, Asset Sales Office, Room 3136, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street SW., Room 3136, Washington, DC 20410-8000; telephone number 202-708-2625, extension 3927. Hearing- or speech-impaired individuals may call 202-708-4594 (TTY). These are not toll-free numbers.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    HUD announces its intention to sell in SFLS 2015-1 certain unsubsidized non-performing mortgage loans (Mortgage Loans) secured by single family properties located throughout the United States. A listing of the Mortgage Loans is included in the due diligence materials made available to qualified bidders. The Mortgage Loans will be sold without FHA insurance and with servicing released. HUD will offer qualified bidders an opportunity to bid competitively on the Mortgage Loans.

    The Loans will be offered in two pool types. The Department will offer national loan pools for bid and will also offer regionally-based pools, with additional purchaser requirements, that are called the Neighborhood Stabilization Outcome pools. One of these Neighborhood Stabilization Outcome pools, in the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area, is designated for bidding by qualified non-profit or unit of local government entities only.

    The Bidding Process

    The BIP describes in detail the procedure for bidding in SFLS 2015-1. The BIP also includes a standardized non-negotiable Conveyance, Assignment and Assumption Agreement (CAA Agreement). Qualified bidders will be required to submit a deposit with their bid. Deposits are calculated based upon each qualified bidder's aggregate bid price.

    HUD will evaluate the bids submitted and determine the successful bid, in terms of the best value to HUD, in its sole and absolute discretion. If a qualified bidder is successful, the qualified bidder's deposit will be non-refundable and will be applied toward the purchase price. Deposits will be returned to unsuccessful bidders. For SFLS 2015-1, settlements are expected to take place on or about August 14, 2015, and September 18, 2015.

    This notice provides some of the basic terms of sale. The CAA Agreement, which is included in the BIP, provides comprehensive contractual terms and conditions. To ensure a competitive bidding process, the terms of the bidding process and the CAA Agreement are not subject to negotiation.

    Due Diligence Review

    The BIP describes how qualified bidders may access the due diligence materials remotely via a high-speed Internet connection.

    Mortgage Loan Sale Policy

    HUD reserves the right to remove Mortgage Loans from SFLS 2015-1 at any time prior to the Award Date. HUD also reserves the right to reject any and all bids, in whole or in part, and include any Mortgage Loans in a later sale. Deliveries of Mortgage Loans will occur in at least two monthly settlements and the number of Mortgage Loans delivered will vary depending upon the number of Mortgage Loans the Participating Servicers have submitted for the payment of an FHA insurance claim. The Participating Servicers will not be able to submit claims on loans that are not included in the Mortgage Loan Portfolio set forth in the BIP. There can be no assurance that any Participating Servicer will deliver a minimum number of Mortgage Loans to HUD or that a minimum number of Mortgage Loans will be delivered to the Purchaser.

    The SFLS 2015-1 Mortgage Loans are assigned to HUD pursuant to section 204(a)(1)(A) of the National Housing Act as amended under Title VI of the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 1999. The sale of the Mortgage Loans is pursuant to section 204(g) of the National Housing Act.

    Mortgage Loan Sale Procedure

    HUD selected an open competitive whole-loan sale as the method to sell the Mortgage Loans for this specific sale transaction. For SFLS 2015-1, HUD has determined that this method of sale optimizes HUD's return on the sale of these Mortgage Loans, affords the greatest opportunity for all qualified bidders to bid on the Mortgage Loans, and provides the quickest and most efficient vehicle for HUD to dispose of the Mortgage Loans.

    Bidder Ineligibility

    In order to bid in SFLS 2015-1 as a qualified bidder, a prospective bidder must complete, execute and submit both a Confidentiality Agreement and a Qualification Statement acceptable to HUD and applicable to the loan pool being purchased. In the Qualification Statement, the prospective bidder must provide certain representations and warranties regarding (i) a prospective bidder, (ii) a prospective bidder's board of directors, (iii) a prospective bidder's direct parent, (iii) a prospective bidder's subsidiaries, and (iv) any related entity with which the prospective bidder shares a common officer, director, subcontractor or sub-contractor who has access to Confidential Information as defined in the Confidentiality Agreement or is involved in the formation of a bid transaction (“Related Entities”), and (v) a prospective bidder's repurchase lenders. The prospective bidder is ineligible to bid on any of the Mortgage Loans included in SFLS 2015-1 if the prospective bidder, its Related Entities or its repurchase lenders, is any of the following, unless other exceptions apply as provided for in the Qualification Statement.

    1. An individual or entity that is currently debarred, suspended, or excluded from doing business with HUD pursuant to the Governmentwide Suspension and Debarment regulations at Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations, parts 180 and 2424;

    2. An individual or entity that is currently suspended, debarred or otherwise restricted by any department or agency of the federal government or of a state government from doing business with such department or agency;

    3. An individual or entity that is currently debarred, suspended, or excluded from doing mortgage related business, including having a business license suspended, surrendered or revoked, by any federal, state or local government agency, division or department;

    4. An entity that has had its right to act as a Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”) issuer terminated and its interest in mortgages backing Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities extinguished by Ginnie Mae;

    5. An individual or entity that is in violation of its neighborhood stabilizing outcome obligations or post-sale reporting requirements under a Conveyance, Assignment and Assumption Agreement executed for a past sale;

    6. An employee of HUD's Office of Housing, a member of such employee's household, or an entity owned or controlled by any such employee or member of such an employee's household with household to be inclusive of the employee's father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, grandparent, grandson, granddaughter, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, first cousin, the spouse of any of the foregoing, and the employee's spouse;

    7. A contractor, subcontractor and/or consultant or advisor (including any agent, employee, partner, director, or principal of any of the foregoing) who performed services for or on behalf of HUD in connection with the sale;

    8. An individual or entity that knowingly acquired or will acquire prior to the sale date material non-public information, other than that information which is made available to Bidder by HUD pursuant to the terms of this Qualification Statement, about Mortgage Loans offered in the sale;

    9. An individual or entity that knowingly uses the services, directly or indirectly, of any person or entity ineligible under 1 through 11 to assist in preparing any of its bids on the Mortgage Loans;

    10. An individual or entity which knowingly employs or uses the services of an employee of HUD's Office of Housing (other than in such employee's official capacity); or

    11. A Participating Servicer that contributed Mortgage Loans to a pool on which the Bidder is placing a bid.

    The Qualification Statement has additional representations and warranties which the prospective bidder must make, including but not limited to the representation and warranty that the prospective bidder or its Related Entities are not and will not knowingly use the services, directly or indirectly, of any person or entity that is, any of the following (and to the extent that any such individual or entity would prevent Bidder from making the following representations, such individual or entity has been removed from participation in all activities related to this sale and has no ability to influence or control individuals involved in formation of a bid for this sale):

    (1) An entity or individual is ineligible to bid on any included Mortgage Loan or on the pool containing such Mortgage Loan because it is an entity or individual that:

    (a) Serviced or held any Mortgage Loan at any time during the two-year period prior to the bid, or

    (b) is any principal of any entity or individual described in the preceding sentence;

    (c) any employee or subcontractor of such entity or individual during that two-year period; or

    (d) any entity or individual that employs or uses the services of any other entity or individual described in this paragraph in preparing its bid on such Mortgage Loan.

    Freedom of Information Act Requests

    HUD reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to disclose information regarding SFLS 2015-1, including, but not limited to, the identity of any successful qualified bidder and its bid price or bid percentage for any pool of loans or individual loan, upon the closing of the sale of all the Mortgage Loans. Even if HUD elects not to publicly disclose any information relating to SFLS 2015-1, HUD will disclose any information that HUD is obligated to disclose pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act and all regulations promulgated thereunder.

    Scope of Notice

    This notice applies to SFLS 2015-1 and does not establish HUD's policy for the sale of other mortgage loans.

    Dated: July 1, 2015. Edward L. Golding, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17271 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey [GX15EN05ESB0500] Reopening of Nomination Period for State Government Members of the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science AGENCY:

    U.S. Geological Survey, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of the Interior published a notice inviting nominations for non-Federal members of the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science (Committee). The initial closing date for nominations was June 1, 2015, and this nomination period was extended to July 8. This Federal Register Notice reopens the nomination and comment period for an additional 30 days, for state government nominees only. If you have already submitted information to be considered for appointment to the Committee you do not have to resubmit it.

    DATES:

    Written nominations must be received by August 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send nominations to: Robin O'Malley, Policy and Partnership Coordinator, National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Mail Stop 516, Reston, VA 20192, [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robin O'Malley, Policy and Partnership Coordinator, National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Mail Stop 516, Reston, VA 20192, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On March 30, 2015, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) published a notice inviting nominations for the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science (Committee). On June 8, 2015, the DOI published a notice extending this comment period for an additional 30 days, with a closing date of July 8, 2015. The Committee provides advice on matters and actions relating to the establishment and operations of the U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and the DOI Climate Science Centers. See: https://nccwsc.usgs.gov/acccnrs for more information.

    Contacts with potential nominees from state government have indicated that additional time to secure management approval of their nomination is required. Because state governments are a key partner, the Department is reopening the nomination period, for state government nominees only.

    Nominations should include a resume that describes the nominee's qualifications in enough detail to enable us to make an informed decision regarding meeting the membership requirements of the Committee and to contact a potential member.

    The Committee will be composed of approximately 25 members from the Federal Government, and the following interests: (1) State and local governments, including state membership entities; (2) Non-governmental organizations, including those whose primary mission is professional and scientific and those whose primary mission is conservation and related scientific and advocacy activities; (3) American Indian tribes and other Native American entities; (4) Academia; (5) Landowners, businesses, and organizations representing landowners or businesses.

    In addition, the Committee may include scientific experts, and will include rotating representation from one or more of the institutions that host the DOI Climate Science Centers.

    The Committee will meet approximately 2-4 times annually, and at such times as designated by the DFO. The Secretary of the Interior will appoint members to the Committee. Members appointed as special Government employees are required to file on an annual basis a confidential financial disclosure report.

    No individual who is currently registered as a Federal lobbyist is eligible to serve as a member of the Committee.

    Robin O'Malley, Designated Federal Officer, ACCCNRS.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17251 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4311-MP-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 337-TA-961] Certain Lip Balm Products, Containers for Lip Balm and Components Thereof; Institution of Investigation AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that a complaint was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission on June 12, 2015, under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337, on behalf of eos Products, LLC of New York, New York and The Kind Group LLC of New York, New York. A supplement to the complaint was filed on June 30, 2015. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 based upon the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain lip balm products, containers for lip balm, and components thereof by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,888,391 (“the '391 patent”). The complaint further alleges that an industry in the United States exists or is in the process of being established as required by subsection (a)(2) of section 337.

    The complainants request that the Commission institute an investigation and, after the investigation, issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

    ADDRESSES:

    The complaint, except for any confidential information contained therein, is available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Room 112, Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. Hearing impaired individuals are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at (202) 205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server athttp://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at http://edis.usitc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Office of Unfair Import Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, telephone (202) 205-2560.

    Authority:

    The authority for institution of this investigation is contained in section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and in section 210.10 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR 210.10 (2015).

    Scope of Investigation: Having considered the complaint, the U.S. International Trade Commission, on July 9, 2015, ordered that

    (1) Pursuant to subsection (b) of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, an investigation be instituted to determine whether there is a violation of subsection (a)(1)(B) of section 337 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, or the sale within the United States after importation of certain lip balm products, containers for lip balm, and components thereof by reason of infringement of one or more of claims 1-3, 5-7, 10-18, 20-22, and 25-30 of the '391 patent, and whether an industry in the United States exists or is in the process of being established as required by subsection (a)(2) of section 337;

    (2) For the purpose of the investigation so instituted, the following are hereby named as parties upon which this notice of investigation shall be served:

    (a) The complainants are:

    eos Products, LLC, 19 West 44th Street, Suite 811, New York, NY 10036 The Kind Group LLC, 19 West 44th Street, Suite 811, New York, NY 10036

    (b) The respondents are the following entities alleged to be in violation of section 337, and are the parties upon which the complaint is to be served:

    OraLabs, Inc., 18685 East Plaza Drive, Parker, CO 80134 CVS Health Corporation, 1 CVS Drive, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6146 CVS Pharmacy, Inc., 1 CVS Drive, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6195 Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., 108 Wilmot Road, Deerfield, IL 60015 Walgreen Co., 108 Wilmot Road, Deerfield, IL 60015 Dollar Tree, Inc., 500 Volvo Parkway, Chesapeake, VA 23320-1604 Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., 500 Volvo Parkway, Chesapeake, VA 23320 Five Below Inc., 1818 Market Street, Suite 1900, Philadelphia, PA 19103 Wuxi Sunmart Science and Technology Co., Ltd., a/k/a Wuxi Sunmart Group Co., Ltd., a/k/a Wuxi Shengma Science & Technology Co., Ltd., No. 268 Huandong Road, Huangtang Industrial Park, Wuxi, Jiangsu 214407 China Wuxi Sunmart Plastic Co., Ltd., No. 268 Huandong Road, Huangtang Industrial Park, Wuxi, Jiangsu 214407 China

    (c) The Office of Unfair Import Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Suite 401, Washington, DC 20436; and

    (3) For the investigation so instituted, the Chief Administrative Law Judge, U.S. International Trade Commission, shall designate the presiding Administrative Law Judge.

    Responses to the complaint and the notice of investigation must be submitted by the named respondents in accordance with section 210.13 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR 210.13. Pursuant to 19 CFR 201.16(e) and 210.13(a), such responses will be considered by the Commission if received not later than 20 days after the date of service by the Commission of the complaint and the notice of investigation. Extensions of time for submitting responses to the complaint and the notice of investigation will not be granted unless good cause therefor is shown.

    Failure of a respondent to file a timely response to each allegation in the complaint and in this notice may be deemed to constitute a waiver of the right to appear and contest the allegations of the complaint and this notice, and to authorize the administrative law judge and the Commission, without further notice to the respondent, to find the facts to be as alleged in the complaint and this notice and to enter an initial determination and a final determination containing such findings, and may result in the issuance of an exclusion order or a cease and desist order or both directed against the respondent.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: July 10, 2015. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17371 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Water Act

    On July 8, 2015 the Department of Justice lodged a proposed Consent Decree with the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming in the lawsuit entitled United States v. Cottonwood Creek, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:15-cv-00108-SWS.

    In this matter the United States file a Complaint which alleges violations of sections 301(a) and 311(b)(3) of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”), 33 U.S.C. 1311(a) and 1321(b)(3), arising in part from a March 2010 discharge of approximately 162 barrels of oil into an unnamed tributary of the Nowood River from a leak in a pipeline at Cottonwood Creek, Inc.'s onshore pumping facility located in Big Horn County, Wyoming. The Complaint further alleges that Cottonwood Creek had an inadequate Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan in violation of CWA section 311(b)(7)(C), 33 U.S.C. 1321(b)(7)(C), and 40 CFR part 112, and also lacked a Facility Response Plan in violation of CWA sections 311(j)(5)(A)(i) and (C)(iv), 33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(5)(A)(i) and (C)(iv), and 40 CFR part 112. The proposed Consent Decree resolves all matters alleged in the Complaint for a civil penalty payment of $170,000. Cottonwood Creek Inc. no longer owns the facility. Because the cause of the discharge was promptly corrected and the discharge was adequately remediated, and since the Environmental Protection Agency approved a FRP for the facility, no injunctive relief is required under the proposed settlement.

    The publication of this notice opens a period for public comment on the Consent Decree. Comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and should refer to United States v. Cottonwood Creek, Inc., D.J. Ref. No. 90-5-1-1-11197. All comments must be submitted no later than thirty (30) days after the publication date of this notice. Comments may be submitted either by email or by mail:

    To submit comments: Send them to: By email [email protected] By mail Assistant Attorney General, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044-7611.

    During the public comment period, the Consent Decree may be examined and downloaded at this Justice Department Web site: http://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees. We will provide a paper copy of the Consent Decree upon written request and payment of reproduction costs. Please mail your request and payment to: Consent Decree Library, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044-7611.

    Please enclose a check or money order for $4.75 (25 cents per page reproduction cost) payable to the United States Treasury. There are no exhibits attached to the Consent Decree.

    Bob Brook, Assistant Section Chief, Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17350 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of Workers' Compensation Programs Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Proposed Extension of Existing Collection; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)] This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Office of Workers' Compensation (OWCP) is soliciting comments concerning the proposed collection: Waiver of Service by Registered or Certified Mail for Employers and/or Insurance Carriers (LS-801) and Waiver of Service by Registered or Certified Mail for Claimants and Authorized Representatives (LS-802). A copy of the proposed information collection request can be obtained by contacting the office listed below in the address section of this Notice.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addresses section below on or before September 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Ms. Yoon Ferguson, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Room S-3323, Washington, DC 20210, telephone/fax (202) 354-9647, Email [email protected] Please use only one method of transmission for comments (mail or Email).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) administers the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA). The Act provides benefits to workers' injured in maritime employment on the navigable waters of the United States or in an adjoining area customarily used by an employer in loading, unloading, repairing, or building a vessel. In addition, several acts extend the Longshore Act's coverage to certain other employees.

    The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), at 33 U.S.C. 919(e), requires that any order rejecting or making an LHWCA award (the compensation order) be filed in the appropriate district director's office of the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), and that copies be sent by registered or certified mail to the claimant and the employer. The implementing regulations at 20 CFR 702.349(b) allow parties and their representatives to waive certified mail service and consent to electronic service instead. The compensation order notifies Employers/Carriers that payment of LHWCA compensation is due within 10 days of filing. If compensation is not paid within that time frame, an additional 20% in compensation must be paid [see LHWCA § 914(f)].

    The information collected will be used by OWCP to more efficiently serve compensation orders by email instead of by registered or certified mail. Form LS-801 will be completed by the employer/insurance carrier and/or an authorized representative and forwarded to the District Director indicating waiver of service by registered or certified mail and designation of receipt by email instead. The LS-802 will be completed by the claimants and/or an authorized representative and forwarded to the District Director indicating waiver of service by registered or certified mail and designation of receipt by email instead. This information collection is currently approved for use through November 30, 2015.

    II. Review Focus

    The Department of Labor is particularly interested in comments which:

    * Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    * evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    * enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    * minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    III. Current Actions

    The Department of Labor seeks the extension of approval of this information collection in order to carry out its responsibility to meet the statutory requirements to provide compensation or death benefits under the Act to workers covered by the Act.

    Agency: Office of Workers' Compensation Programs.

    Type of Review: Extension.

    Title: Request for Electronic Service of Orders—Waiver of Certified Mail Requirements.

    OMB Number: 1240-0053.

    Agency Number: LS-801 and LS-802.

    Affected Public: Claimants, employers, large insurance companies, and representatives.

    Total Respondents: 9,240.

    Total Annual Responses: 9,240.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 770.

    Estimated Time per Response: 5 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): $0.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Dated: July 9, 2015. Yoon Ferguson, Agency Clearance Officer, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs US Department of Labor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17311 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-CF-P
    NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice: (15-058)] NASA Advisory Council; Meeting AGENCY:

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announces a meeting of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC).

    DATES:

    Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m., Local Time; Thursday, July 30, 2015, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Local Time; and Friday, July 31, 2015, 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Local Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Von Karman Auditorium, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91009.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Marla King, NAC Administrative Officer, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546, (202) 358-1148.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The meeting will be open to the public up to the seating capacity of the room. This meeting is also available telephonically and by WebEx. You must use a touch tone phone to participate in this meeting. Any interested person may dial 1-888-989-9827, Passcode: “NAC Meeting” for all three days. NOTE: If dialing in, please “mute” your telephone. To join via WebEx, the link is https://nasa.webex.com/; the meeting number is: 998 473 358 and the password is NACJULY2015! for all three days (password is case sensitive).

    The agenda for the meeting will include the following:

    —Aeronautics Committee Report —Human Exploration and Operations Committee Report —Institutional Committee Report —Science Committee Report —Technology, Innovation and Engineering Committee Report

    Attendees will be required sign a register and to comply with Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) security requirements including presentation of a valid picture ID (such as a driver's license for U.S. Citizens; Permanent Resident green card; or passport/visa for non-U.S. Citizens) before receiving admittance to JPL. Due to the Real ID Act, Public Law 109-13, any attendees with driver's licenses issued from non-compliant states/territories must present a second form of identification: [Federal employee badge; passport; active military identification card; enhanced driver's license; U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner card; Native American tribal document; school identification accompanied by an item from LIST C (documents that establish employment authorization) from the “List of the Acceptable Documents” on Form I-9]. Non-compliant states/territories are: American Samoa, Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and New York. Individuals without proper identification will not be admitted to the JPL. Members of the public interested in attending this meeting must contact Ms. Helen N. Paley of JPL at phone number 818-354-6427 or [email protected] to receive a listing of the information required prior to admittance to JPL. Completed information spreadsheet must be emailed to Ms. Paley by no later than Tuesday, July 21, 2015. It is imperative that this meeting be held on these dates to accommodate the scheduling priorities of the key participants.

    Patricia D. Rausch, Advisory Committee Management Officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17364 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510-13-P
    POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. MC2015-66 and CP2015-97; Order No. 2574] New Postal Product AGENCY:

    Postal Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing concerning the addition of Priority Mail Contract 132 to the competitive product list. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps.

    DATES:

    Comments are due: July 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Notice of Commission Action III. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction

    In accordance with 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 39 CFR 3020.30 et seq., the Postal Service filed a formal request and associated supporting information to add Priority Mail Contract 132 to the competitive product list.1

    1 Request of the United States Postal Service to Add Priority Mail Contract 132 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing (Under Seal) of Unredacted Governors' Decision, Contract, and Supporting Data, July 8, 2015 (Request).

    The Postal Service contemporaneously filed a redacted contract related to the proposed new product under 39 U.S.C. 3632(b)(3) and 39 CFR 3015.5. Id. Attachment B.

    To support its Request, the Postal Service filed a copy of the contract, a copy of the Governors' Decision authorizing the product, proposed changes to the Mail Classification Schedule, a Statement of Supporting Justification, a certification of compliance with 39 U.S.C. 3633(a), and an application for non-public treatment of certain materials. It also filed supporting financial workpapers.

    II. Notice of Commission Action

    The Commission establishes Docket Nos. MC2015-66 and CP2015-97 to consider the Request pertaining to the proposed Priority Mail Contract 132 product and the related contract, respectively.

    The Commission invites comments on whether the Postal Service's filings in the captioned dockets are consistent with the policies of 39 U.S.C. 3632, 3633, or 3642, 39 CFR part 3015, and 39 CFR part 3020, subpart B. Comments are due no later than July 16, 2015. The public portions of these filings can be accessed via the Commission's Web site (http://www.prc.gov).

    The Commission appoints Lyudmila Y. Bzhilyanskaya to serve as Public Representative in these dockets.

    III. Ordering Paragraphs

    It is ordered:

    1. The Commission establishes Docket Nos. MC2015-66 and CP2015-97 to consider the matters raised in each docket.

    2. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, Lyudmila Y. Bzhilyanskaya is appointed to serve as an officer of the Commission to represent the interests of the general public in these proceedings (Public Representative).

    3. Comments are due no later than July 16, 2015.

    4. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the Federal Register.

    By the Commission.

    Shoshana M. Grove, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17254 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
    POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. MC2015-65 and CP2015-96; Order No. 2573] New Postal Product AGENCY:

    Postal Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing concerning the addition of Priority Mail Contract 131 to the competitive product list. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps.

    DATES:

    Comments are due: July 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Notice of Commission Action III. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction

    In accordance with 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 39 CFR 3020.30 et seq., the Postal Service filed a formal request and associated supporting information to add Priority Mail Contract 131 to the competitive product list.1

    1 Request of the United States Postal Service to Add Priority Mail Contract 131 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing (Under Seal) of Unredacted Governors' Decision, Contract, and Supporting Data, July 8, 2015 (Request).

    The Postal Service contemporaneously filed a redacted contract related to the proposed new product under 39 U.S.C. 3632(b)(3) and 39 CFR 3015.5. Id. Attachment B.

    To support its Request, the Postal Service filed a copy of the contract, a copy of the Governors' Decision authorizing the product, proposed changes to the Mail Classification Schedule, a Statement of Supporting Justification, a certification of compliance with 39 U.S.C. 3633(a), and an application for non-public treatment of certain materials. It also filed supporting financial workpapers.

    II. Notice of Commission Action

    The Commission establishes Docket Nos. MC2015-65 and CP2015-96 to consider the Request pertaining to the proposed Priority Mail Contract 131 product and the related contract, respectively.

    The Commission invites comments on whether the Postal Service's filings in the captioned dockets are consistent with the policies of 39 U.S.C. 3632, 3633, or 3642, 39 CFR part 3015, and 39 CFR part 3020, subpart B. Comments are due no later than July 16, 2015. The public portions of these filings can be accessed via the Commission's Web site (http://www.prc.gov).

    The Commission appoints Cassie D'Souza to serve as Public Representative in these dockets.

    III. Ordering Paragraphs

    It is ordered:

    1. The Commission establishes Docket Nos. MC2015-65 and CP2015-96 to consider the matters raised in each docket.

    2. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, Cassie D'Souza is appointed to serve as an officer of the Commission to represent the interests of the general public in these proceedings (Public Representative).

    3. Comments are due no later than July 16, 2015.

    4. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the Federal Register.

    By the Commission.

    Shoshana M. Grove, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17253 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
    POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. MC2015-64 and CP2015-95; Order No. 2575] New Postal Product AGENCY:

    Postal Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing concerning the addition of Priority Mail Contract 130 to the competitive product list. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps.

    DATES:

    Comments are due: July 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Notice of Commission Action III. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction

    In accordance with 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 39 CFR 3020.30 et seq., the Postal Service filed a formal request and associated supporting information to add Priority Mail Contract 130 to the competitive product list.1

    1 Request of the United States Postal Service to Add Priority Mail Contract 130 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing (Under Seal) of Unredacted Governors' Decision, Contract, and Supporting Data, July 8, 2015 (Request).

    The Postal Service contemporaneously filed a redacted contract related to the proposed new product under 39 U.S.C. 3632(b)(3) and 39 CFR 3015.5. Id. Attachment B.

    To support its Request, the Postal Service filed a copy of the contract, a copy of the Governors' Decision authorizing the product, proposed changes to the Mail Classification Schedule, a Statement of Supporting Justification, a certification of compliance with 39 U.S.C. 3633(a), and an application for non-public treatment of certain materials. It also filed supporting financial workpapers.

    II. Notice of Commission Action

    The Commission establishes Docket Nos. MC2015-64 and CP2015-95 to consider the Request pertaining to the proposed Priority Mail Contract 130 product and the related contract, respectively.

    The Commission invites comments on whether the Postal Service's filings in the captioned dockets are consistent with the policies of 39 U.S.C. 3632, 3633, or 3642, 39 CFR part 3015, and 39 CFR part 3020, subpart B. Comments are due no later than July 16, 2015. The public portions of these filings can be accessed via the Commission's Web site (http://www.prc.gov).

    The Commission appoints Kenneth R. Moeller to serve as Public Representative in these dockets.

    III. Ordering Paragraphs

    It is ordered:

    1. The Commission establishes Docket Nos. MC2015-64 and CP2015-95 to consider the matters raised in each docket.

    2. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, Kenneth R. Moeller is appointed to serve as an officer of the Commission to represent the interests of the general public in these proceedings (Public Representative).

    3. Comments are due no later than July 16, 2015.

    4. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the Federal Register.

    By the Commission.

    Shoshana M. Grove, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17277 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-75412; File No. SR-BX-2015-039] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to SPY Position Limits July 9, 2015.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on July 8, 2015, NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc. (“BX” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of the Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange's [sic] proposes to extend for another twelve (12) month time period the pilot program to eliminate position limits for options on the SPDR® S&P 500® exchange-traded fund (“SPY ETF” or “SPY”),3 which list and trade under the symbol SPY (“SPY Pilot Program”).

    3 “SPDR®,” “Standard & Poor's®,” “S&P®,” “S&P 500®,” and “Standard & Poor's 500” are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC. The SPY ETF represents ownership in the SPDR S&P 500 Trust, a unit investment trust that generally corresponds to the price and yield performance of the SPDR S&P 500 Index.

    The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at http://nasdaqomxbx.cchwallstreet.com/, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The purpose of the proposed rule change is to amend the Supplementary Material at the end of Chapter III, Section 7 (Position Limits) to extend the current pilot which expires on July 12, 2015 for an additional twelve (12) month time period to July 12, 2016 (“Extended Pilot”). This filing does not propose any substantive changes to the SPY Pilot Program. In proposing to extend the SPY Pilot Program, the Exchange reaffirms its consideration of several factors that supported the original proposal of the SPY Pilot Program, including (1) the availability of economically equivalent products and their respective position limits; (2) the liquidity of the option and the underlying security; (3) the market capitalization of the underlying security and the related index; (4) the reporting of large positions and requirements surrounding margin; and (5) the potential for market on close volatility.

    The Exchange submitted a report to the Commission on June 11, 2015, which report reflects, during the time period from May 2014 through May 2015, the trading of standardized SPY options with no position limits consistent with option exchange provisions.4 The report was prepared in the manner specified in BX's prior rule filing extending the SPY Pilot Program.5 The Exchange notes that it is unaware of any problems created by the SPY Pilot Program and does not foresee any as a result of the proposed extension. The proposed extension will allow the Exchange and the Commission additional time to further evaluate the pilot program and its effect on the market.

    4 The report is attached as Exhibit 3.

    5See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 72143 (May 9, 2014), 79 FR 27963 (May 15, 2014) (SR-BX-2014-025).

    As with the original proposal to establish the SPY Pilot Program, the Exchange represents that a SPY Pilot Report will be submitted at least thirty (30) days before the end of the Extended Pilot and would analyze that period. The Pilot Report will detail the size and different types of strategies employed with respect to positions established as a result of the elimination of position limits in SPY. In addition, the report will note whether any problems resulted due to the no limit approach and any other information that may be useful in evaluating the effectiveness of the Extended Pilot. The Pilot Report will compare the impact of the SPY Pilot Program, if any, on the volumes of SPY options and the volatility in the price of the underlying SPY shares, particularly at expiration during the Extended Pilot. In preparing the report the Exchange will utilize various data elements such as volume and open interest. In addition the Exchange will make available to Commission staff data elements relating to the effectiveness of the SPY Pilot Program. Conditional on the findings in the SPY Pilot Report, the Exchange will file with the Commission a proposal to extend the pilot program, adopt the pilot program on a permanent basis or terminate the pilot. If the SPY Pilot Program is not extended or adopted on a permanent basis by the expiration of the Extended Pilot, the position limits for SPY options would revert to limits in effect prior to the commencement of the SPY Pilot Program.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act 6 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act 7 in particular, in that it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

    6 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    7 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change would be beneficial to market participants, including market makers, institutional investors and retail investors, by permitting them to establish greater positions when pursuing their investment goals and needs. The Exchange also believes that economically equivalent products should be treated in an equivalent manner so as to avoid regulatory arbitrage, especially with respect to position limits. Treating SPY and SPX options differently by virtue of imposing different position limits is inconsistent with the notion of promoting just and equitable principles of trade and removing impediments to perfect the mechanisms of a free and open market. At the same time, the Exchange believes that the elimination of position limits for SPY options would not increase market volatility or facilitate the ability to manipulate the market.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The proposed rule change does not impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. In this regard, the Exchange notes that the rule change is being proposed as a competitive response to similar filings that the Exchange expects to be filed by other options exchanges. The Exchange believes this proposed rule change is necessary to permit fair competition among the options exchanges and to establish uniform position limits for a multiply listed options class.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were either solicited or received.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    Because the foregoing proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.8

    8 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). As required under Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii), the Exchange provided the Commission with written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description and the text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission.

    A proposed rule change filed pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6) under the Act 9 normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of its filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) 10 permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposal may become operative immediately upon filing. The Exchange believes that waiver of the operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because it will permit the SPY Pilot Program to continue without interruption. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby waives the operative delay and designates the proposed rule change operative upon filing.11

    9 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

    10 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

    11 For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or disapproved.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-BX-2015-039 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BX-2015-039. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BX-2015-039, and should be submitted on or before August 5, 2015.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.12

    12 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17300 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-75413; File No. SR-NASDAQ-2015-072] Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to SPY Position Limits July 9, 2015.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on July 8, 2015, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of the Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to extend for another twelve (12) month time period the pilot program to eliminate position limits for options on the SPDR® S&P 500® exchange-traded fund (“SPY ETF” or “SPY”),3 which list and trade under the symbol SPY (“SPY Pilot Program”).

    3 “SPDR®,” “Standard & Poor's®,” “S&P®,” “S&P 500®,” and “Standard & Poor's 500” are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC. The SPY ETF represents ownership in the SPDR S&P 500 Trust, a unit investment trust that generally corresponds to the price and yield performance of the SPDR S&P 500 Index.

    The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at http://nasdaq.cchwallstreet.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The purpose of the proposed rule change is to amend the Supplementary Material at the end of Chapter III, Section 7 (Position Limits) to extend the current pilot which expires on July 12, 2015 for an additional twelve (12) month time period to July 12, 2016 (“Extended Pilot”). This filing does not propose any substantive changes to the SPY Pilot Program. In proposing to extend the SPY Pilot Program, the Exchange reaffirms its consideration of several factors that supported the original proposal of the SPY Pilot Program, including (1) the availability of economically equivalent products and their respective position limits; (2) the liquidity of the option and the underlying security; (3) the market capitalization of the underlying security and the related index; (4) the reporting of large positions and requirements surrounding margin; and (5) the potential for market on close volatility.

    The Exchange submitted a report to the Commission on June 11, 2015, which report reflects, during the time period from May 2014 through May 2015, the trading of standardized SPY options with no position limits consistent with option exchange provisions.4 The report was prepared in the manner specified in the Exchange's prior filing extending the SPY Pilot Program.5 The Exchange notes that it is unaware of any problems created by the SPY Pilot Program and does not foresee any as a result of the proposed extension. The proposed extension will allow the Exchange and the Commission additional time to further evaluate the pilot program and its effect on the market.

    4 The report is attached as Exhibit 3.

    5See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 72142 (May 9, 2014), 79 FR 27961 (May 15, 2014) (SR-NASDAQ-2014-052).

    As with the original proposal to establish the SPY Pilot Program, the Exchange represents that a SPY Pilot Report will be submitted at least thirty (30) days before the end of the Extended Pilot and would analyze that period. The Pilot Report will detail the size and different types of strategies employed with respect to positions established as a result of the elimination of position limits in SPY. In addition, the report will note whether any problems resulted due to the no limit approach and any other information that may be useful in evaluating the effectiveness of the Extended Pilot. The Pilot Report will compare the impact of the SPY Pilot Program, if any, on the volumes of SPY options and the volatility in the price of the underlying SPY shares, particularly at expiration during the Extended Pilot. In preparing the report the Exchange will utilize various data elements such as volume and open interest. In addition the Exchange will make available to Commission staff data elements relating to the effectiveness of the SPY Pilot Program. Conditional on the findings in the Pilot Report, the Exchange will file with the Commission a proposal to extend the pilot program, adopt the pilot program on a permanent basis or terminate the pilot. If the SPY Pilot Program is not extended or adopted on a permanent basis by the expiration of the Extended Pilot, the position limits for SPY options would revert to limits in effect prior to the commencement of the SPY Pilot Program.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act 6 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act 7 in particular, in that it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

    6 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    7 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change would be beneficial to market participants, including market makers, institutional investors and retail investors, by permitting them to establish greater positions when pursuing their investment goals and needs. The Exchange also believes that economically equivalent products should be treated in an equivalent manner so as to avoid regulatory arbitrage, especially with respect to position limits. Treating SPY and SPX options differently by virtue of imposing different position limits is inconsistent with the notion of promoting just and equitable principles of trade and removing impediments to perfect the mechanisms of a free and open market. At the same time, the Exchange believes that the elimination of position limits for SPY options would not increase market volatility or facilitate the ability to manipulate the market.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The proposed rule change does not impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. In this regard, the Exchange notes that the rule change is being proposed as a competitive response to similar filings that the Exchange expects to be filed by other options exchanges. The Exchange believes this proposed rule change is necessary to permit fair competition among the options exchanges and to establish uniform position limits for a multiply listed options class.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were either solicited or received.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    Because the foregoing proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.8

    8 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). As required under Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii), the Exchange provided the Commission with written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description and the text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission.

    A proposed rule change filed pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6) under the Act 9 normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of its filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii)10 permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposal may become operative immediately upon filing. The Exchange believes that waiver of the operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because it will permit the SPY Pilot Program to continue without interruption. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby waives the operative delay and designates the proposed rule change operative upon filing.11

    9 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

    10 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

    11 For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or disapproved.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-NASDAQ-2015-072 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASDAQ-2015-072. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASDAQ-2015-072, and should be submitted on or before August 5, 2015.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.12

    12 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17301 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-75416; File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2015-49] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Commentary .07 to Rule 904 To Extend the Pilot Program That Eliminated the Position Limits for Options on SPDR S&P 500 ETF July 9, 2015.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) 1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),2 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,3 notice is hereby given that on July 8, 2015, NYSE MKT LLC (the “Exchange” or “NYSE MKT”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 15 U.S.C. 78a.

    3 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of the Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to amend Commentary .07 to Rule 904 to extend the pilot program that eliminated the position limits for options on SPDR S&P 500 ETF (“SPY”) (“SPY Pilot Program”). The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at www.nyse.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the self-regulatory organization included statements concerning the purpose of, and basis for, the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of those statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend Commentary .07 to Rule 904 to extend the time period of the SPY Pilot Program,4 which is currently scheduled to expire on July 12, 2015, through July 12, 2016.

    4See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 67672 (August 15, 2012), 77 FR 50750 (August 22, 2012). The SPY Pilot Program was subsequently extended. See Securities Exchange Release Nos. 70734 (October 22, 2013), 78 FR 64255 (October 28, 2013); and 73847 (December 16, 2014), 79 FR 76426 (December 22, 2014) (the “December 2014 Extension”).

    This filing does not propose any substantive changes to the SPY Pilot Program. In proposing to extend the SPY Pilot Program, the Exchange reaffirms its consideration of several factors that supported the original proposal of the SPY Pilot Program, including (1) the availability of economically equivalent products and their respective position limits, (2) the liquidity of the option and the underlying security, (3) the market capitalization of the underlying security and the related index, (4) the reporting of large positions and requirements surrounding margin, and (5) the potential for market on close volatility.

    As part of the December 2014 Extension, the Exchange submitted a report providing an analysis of the SPY Pilot Program covering the prior ten (10) months from January 2014 to October 2014 during which the SPY Pilot Program was in effect (the “Pilot Report”). In the December 2014 Extension, the Exchange also stated that if it were to propose an extension, permanent approval or termination of the program, the Exchange would submit, along with any filing proposing such amendments to the program, another Pilot Report covering the period since the previous extension. Accordingly, the Exchange is submitting another Pilot Report detailing the Exchange's experience with the SPY Pilot Program for the period covering six (6) months from November 2014 to April 2015. The Pilot Report is attached as Exhibit 3 to this filing. The Exchange notes that it is unaware of any problems created by the SPY Pilot Program and does not foresee any as a result of the proposed extension. In extending the SPY Pilot Program, the Exchange states that if it were to propose another extension, permanent approval or termination of the program, the Exchange would submit another Pilot Report covering the period since the previous extension, which would be submitted at least 30 days before the end of the proposed extension. If the SPY Pilot Program is not extended or adopted on a permanent basis by July 12, 2016, the position limits for SPY would revert to limits in effect at the commencement of the pilot program. The proposed extension will allow the Exchange and the Commission additional time to further evaluate the SPY Pilot Program and its effect on the market.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act 5 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act 6 in particular, in that it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. The Exchange believes that extending the SPY Pilot Program promotes just and equitable principles of trade by permitting market participants, including market makers, institutional investors and retail investors, to establish greater positions when pursuing their investment goals and needs.

    5 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    6 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The proposed rule change is not designed to address any aspect of competition, whether between the Exchange and its competitors, or among market participants. Instead, the proposed rule change is designed to allow the SPY Pilot Program to continue uninterrupted. Additionally, the Exchange expects all other SROs that currently have rules regarding the SPY Pilot Program to also extend the pilot program for an additional year.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    Because the foregoing proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.7

    7 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). As required under Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii), the Exchange provided the Commission with written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description and the text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission.

    A proposed rule change filed pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6) under the Act 8 normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of its filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) 9 permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposal may become operative immediately upon filing. The Exchange believes that waiver of the operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because it will allow the SPY Pilot Program to continue without interruption. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby waives the operative delay and designates the proposed rule change operative upon filing.10

    8 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

    9 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

    10 For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or disapproved.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-NYSEMKT-2015-49 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSEMKT-2015-49. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSEMKT-2015-49, and should be submitted on or before August 5, 2015.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.11

    11 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17304 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-75406; File No. SR-BATS-2015-48] Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Market Data Section of Its Fee Schedule July 9, 2015.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on July 1, 2015, BATS Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange” or “BATS”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Exchange has designated the proposed rule change as one establishing or changing a member due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Exchange under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act 3 and Rule 19b-4(f)(2) thereunder,4 which renders the proposed rule change effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(2).

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of the Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange filed a proposal to amend the Market Data section of its fee schedule to: (i) Adopt User fees, an Enterprise fee, and a Digital Media Enterprise fee for the BZX Top and BZX Last Sale feeds; and (ii) make a non-substantive change to the description of the BATS One Feed Enterprise Fee as well as correct a cross-reference within the definition of “Non-Professional User”.

    The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Exchange's Web site at www.batstrading.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend the Market Data section of its fee schedule to: (i) Adopt User fees, an Enterprise fee, and a Digital Media Enterprise fee for the BZX Top and BZX Last Sale feeds; and (ii) make a non-substantive change to the description of the BATS One Feed Enterprise Fee as well as correct a cross-reference within the definition of “Non-Professional User”.

    BZX Top and Last Sale Fees

    BZX Top is a market data feed that includes top of book quotations and execution information for all equity securities traded on the Exchange.5 BZX Last Sale is a market data feed that includes last sale information for all equity securities traded on Exchange.6

    5See Exchange Rule 11.22(d).

    6See Exchange Rule 11.22(g).

    Currently, the Exchange only charges fees for both internal and external distribution of the BZX Last Sale and BZX Top feeds. The cost of BZX Last Sale for an Internal Distributor 7 is $500 per month. Likewise, the cost of BZX Top for an Internal Distributor is also $500 per month. The Exchange currently does not charge per User 8 fees for either BZX Last Sale or BZX Top. Therefore, the Exchange does not currently require an External Distributor 9 of BZX Last Sale or BZX Top to count, classify (e.g., professional or non-professional), or report to the Exchange information regarding the customers to which they provide the data. Instead, the Exchange charges an External Distributor of BZX Last Sale a flat fee of $2,500 per month. The Exchange also separately charges an External Distributor of BZX Top a flat fee of $2,500 per month. End Users currently do not pay the Exchange for BZX Last Sale or BZX Top, nor are End Users required to enter into contracts with the Exchange.

    7 An “Internal Distributor” is defined as “a Distributor that receives the Exchange Market Data product and then distributes that data to one or more Users within the Distributor's own entity.” See the Exchange Fee Schedule available at http://batstrading.com/support/fee_schedule/bzx/. A “Distributor” is defined as “any entity that receives the Exchange Market Data product directly from the Exchange or indirectly through another entity and then distributes it internally or externally to a third party.” Id.

    8 A “User” is defined as “a natural person, a proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or entity, or device (computer or other automated service), that is entitled to receive Exchange data.” Id.

    9 An “External Distributor” is defined as “a Distributor that receives the Exchange Market Data product and then distributes that data to a third party or one or more Users outside the Distributor's own entity.” Id.

    Subscribers to either BZX Top or BZX Last Sale are able to receive, upon request and at no additional cost, BZX Last Sale or BZX Top, as applicable. The Exchange also offers a New External Distributor Credit under which new External Distributors of BZX Top or BZX Last Sale will not be charged a Distributor Fee for their first three (3) months.

    The Exchange now proposes to amend its fee schedule to incorporate additional fees related to the BZX Top or BZX Last Sale feeds.10 These fees include the following, each of which are described in detail below: (i) Usage Fees for both Professional 11 and Non-Professional 12 Users; 13 (ii) Enterprise Fees; 14 and (iii) a Digital Media Enterprise Fee.

    10 The Exchange notes that EDGA Exchange, Inc. (“EDGA”), EDGX Exchange, Inc. (“EDGX”) and BATS Y-Exchange, Inc. (“BYX”, together with the Exchange, EDGA and EDGX, the “BATS Exchanges”) also filed proposed rule changes with Commission to adopt similar fees for their respective Top and Last Sale market data product. See File Nos. SR-EDGA-2015-25, SR-EDGX-2015-28, and SR-BYX-2015-30. The Exchange represents that the proposed fees will not cause the combined cost of subscribing to each of the BATS Exchanges' individual Top and Last Sale feeds to be greater than those currently charged to subscribe to the BATS One Feed. See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 74285 (February 18, 2015), 80 FR 9828 (February 24, 2015) (SR-BATS-2015-11); 74283 (February 18, 2015), 80 FR 9809 (February 24, 2015) (SR-EDGA-2015-09); 74282 (February 17, 2015), 80 FR 9487 (February 23, 2015) (SR-EDGX-2015-09); and 74284 (February 18, 2015), 80 FR 9792 (February 24, 2015) (SR-BYX-2015-09) (“Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings”). In these filings, the Exchange represented that the cost of subscribing to each of the underlying individual feeds necessary to create the BATS One Feed would not be greater than the cost of subscribing to the BATS One Feed. Id.

    11 A “Professional User” is defined as “any User other than a Non-Professional User.” See the Exchange Fee Schedule available at http://batstrading.com/support/fee_schedule/bzx/.

    12 A “Non-Professional User” is defined as “a natural person who is not: (i) Registered or qualified in any capacity with the Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, any state securities agency, any securities exchange or association, or any commodities or futures contract market or association; (ii) engaged as an “investment adviser” as that term is defined in Section [202(a)(11)] of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (whether or not registered or qualified under that Act); or (iii) employed by a bank or other organization exempt from registration under federal or state securities laws to perform functions that would require registration or qualification if such functions were performed for an organization not so exempt.” Id.

    13 The Exchange notes that User fees as well as the distinctions based on professional and non-professional users have been previously filed with or approved by the Commission by the BATS Exchanges and the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”). See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 59582 (March 16, 2009), 74 FR 12423 (March 24, 2009) (Order approving SR-Nasdaq-2008-102). See also the Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings, supra note 11 [sic].

    14 The Exchange notes that Enterprise fees have been previously filed with or approved by the Commission by the Exchange, EDGA, EDGX, BYX, Nasdaq, NYSE, and the CTA/CQ Plans. See Nasdaq Rule 7047. Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 71507 (February 7, 2014), 79 FR 8763 (February 13, 2014) (SR-NASDAQ-2014-011); 70211 (August 15, 2013), 78 FR 51781 (August 21, 2013) (SR-NYSE-2013-58); and 70010 (July 19, 2013) (File No. SR-CTA/CQ-2013-04). See also the Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings, supra note 11 [sic].

    User Fees. The Exchange proposes to charge those who receive either BZX Top or BZX Last Sale from External Distributors different fees for both their Professional Users and Non-Professional Users. The Exchange will assess a monthly fee for Professional Users of $4.00 per User. Non-Professional Users will be assessed a monthly fee of $0.10 per User.15 The Exchange does not propose to charge per User fees to Internal Distributors.

    15 The Exchange notes that EDGA, EDGX and BYX also filed proposed rule changes with Commission to adopt User fees for their respective Top and Last Sale market data product. See File Nos. SR-EDGA-2015-25, SR-EDGX-2015-28 and SR-BYX-2015-30 (proposing a monthly fee of $2.00 per Professional User and of $0.05 per Non-Professional User). A vendor that wishes to create a product like the BATS One Summary Feed could subscribe to each of the BATS Exchanges' Top and Last Sale feeds. See the Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings, supra note 11 [sic]. Should a vendor subscribe to each of the BATS Exchanges' Top and Last Sale feeds, it would be charged a total of $10.00 per month per Professional User and $0.25 per month per Non-Professional User. This amount is equal to, and not greater than the User Fees charged for the BATS One Summary Feed. Id. (adopting fees of $10.00 per month per Professional User and $0.25 per month per Non-Professional User as well as a separate $1,000 per month Data Consolidation Fee for the BATS One Summary Feed).

    External Distributors would be required to count every Professional User and Non-Professional User to which they provide BZX Top and/or BZX Last Sale, the requirements for which are identical to that currently in place for the BATS One Feed.16 Thus, the External Distributor's count will include every person and device that accesses the data regardless of the purpose for which the individual or device uses the data. External Distributors must report all Professional and Non-Professional Users in accordance with the following:

    16See the Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings, supra note 11 [sic].

    • In connection with an External Distributor's distribution of BZX Top or BZX Last Sale, the Distributor should count as one User each unique User that the Distributor has entitled to have access to BZX Top or BZX Last Sale. However, where a device is dedicated specifically to a single individual, the Distributor should count only the individual and need not count the device.

    • The External Distributor should identify and report each unique User. If a User uses the same unique method to gain access to BZX Top or BZX Last Sale, the Distributor should count that as one User. However, if a unique User uses multiple methods to gain access to BZX Top or BZX Last Sale (e.g., a single User has multiple passwords and user identifications), the External Distributor should report all of those methods as an individual User.

    • External Distributors should report each unique individual person who receives access through multiple devices as one User so long as each device is dedicated specifically to that individual.

    • If an External Distributor entitles one or more individuals to use the same device, the External Distributor should include only the individuals, and not the device, in the count.

    Each External Distributor will receive a credit against its monthly Distributor Fee for BZX Top or BZX Last Sale equal to the amount of its monthly Usage Fees up to a maximum of the Distributor Fee for BZX Top or BZX Last Sale. For example, an External Distributor will be subject to a $2,500 monthly Distributor Fee where they elect to receive BZX Top. If that External Distributor reports User quantities totaling $2,500 or more of monthly usage of BZX Top, it will pay no net Distributor Fee, whereas if that same External Distributor were to report User quantities totaling $1,500 of monthly usage, it will pay a net of $1,000 for the Distributor Fee. External Distributors will remain subject to the per User fees discussed above. The same would apply to receipt of BZX Last Sale.

    Enterprise Fee. The Exchange also proposes to establish a $15,000 per month Enterprise Fee that will permit a recipient firm who receives BZX Top or BZX Last Sale from an External Distributor to receive the data for an unlimited number of Professional and Non-Professional Users.17 For example, if a recipient firm had 15,000 Professional Users who each receive BZX Top or BZX Last Sale at $4.00 per month, then that recipient firm will pay $60,000 per month in Professional Users fees. Under the proposed Enterprise Fee, the recipient firm will pay a flat fee of $15,000 for an unlimited number of Professional and Non-Professional Users for BZX Top or BZX Last Sale. A recipient firm must pay a separate Enterprise Fee for each External Distributor that controls display of BZX Top or BZX Last Sale if it wishes such User to be covered by an Enterprise Fee rather than by per User fees. A recipient firm that pays the Enterprise Fee will not have to report its number of such Users on a monthly basis. However, every six months, a recipient firm must provide the Exchange with a count of the total number of natural person users of each product, including both Professional and Non-Professional Users. Lastly, the proposed Enterprise Fee would be counted towards the Distributor Fee credit described above, under which an External Distributor receives a credit towards its Distributor Fee equal to the amount of its monthly BZX Top or BZX Last Sale usage fees.

    17 The Exchange notes that EDGA, EDGX and BYX also filed proposed rule changes with Commission to adopt Enterprise Fees for their respective Top and Last Sale market data product. See File Nos. SR-EDGA-2015-25, SR-EDGX-2015-28 and SR-BYX-2015-30 (proposing a monthly Enterprise Fee of $15,000 for EDGX Top and EDGX Last Sale and $10,000 for EDGA Top and Last Sale as well as BYX Top and Last Sale). A vendor that wishes to create a product like the BATS One Summary Feed could subscribe to each of the BATS Exchanges' Top and Last Sale feeds. See the Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings, supra note 11 [sic]. Should a vendor subscribe to each of the BATS Exchanges' Top and Last Sale feeds, it would be charged a total monthly Enterprise Fee of $50,000. This amount is equal to, and not greater than the Enterprise Fee charged for the BATS One Summary Feed. Id. (adopting a monthly Enterprise Fee of $50,000 as well as a separate $1,000 per month Data Consolidation Fee for the BATS One Summary Feed).

    Digital Media Enterprise Fee. The Exchange proposes to adopt a Digital Media Enterprise Fee of $2,500 per month for BZX Top and BZX Last Sale.18 As an alternative to proposed User fees discussed above, a recipient firm may purchase a monthly Digital Media Enterprise license to receive BZX Top and BZX Last Sale from an External Distributor to distribute to an unlimited number of Professional and Non-Professional Users for viewing via television, Web sites, and mobile devices for informational and non-trading purposes only without having to account for the extent of access to the data or the report the number of Users to the Exchange. Lastly, the proposed Digital Media Enterprise Fee would be counted towards the Distributor Fee credit described above, under which an External Distributor receives a credit towards its Distributor Fee equal to the amount of its monthly BZX Top and/or BZX Last Sale usage fees.

    18 The Exchange notes that EDGA, EDGX and BYX also filed proposed rule changes with Commission to adopt a Digital Media Enterprise Fee for their respective Top and Last Sale market data product. See File Nos. SR-EDGA-2015-25, SR-EDGX-2015-28 and SR-BYX-2015-30 (proposing a monthly Digital Media Enterprise Fee of $2,500 for their respective Top and Last Sale feeds). A vendor that wishes to create a product like the BATS One Summary Feed could subscribe to each of the BATS Exchanges' Top and Last Sale feeds. See the Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings, supra note 11 [sic]. Should a vendor subscribe to each of the BATS Exchanges' Top and Last Sale feeds, it would be charged a total monthly Digital Media Enterprise Fee of $10,000. This amount is less than the Digital Media Enterprise Fee charged for the BATS One Summary Feed. See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 74598 (March 27, 2015), 80 FR 17791 (April 2, 2015) (SR-BATS-2015-24); 74599 (March 27, 2015), 80 FR 17812 (April 2, 2015) (SR-BYX-2015-19); 74600 (March 27, 2014), 80 FR 17797 (April 2, 2015) (SR-EDGA-2015-14); and 74601 (March 27, 2015), 80 FR 17804 (April 2, 2015) (SR-EDGX-2015-14) (adopting a monthly Digital Media Enterprise Fee of $15,000 for the BATS One Summary Feed).

    Non-Substantive, Corrective Changes

    The Exchange proposes to make a non-substantive change to the description of the BATS One Feed Enterprise Fee as well as correct a cross-reference within the definition of “Non-Professional User”.

    First, the proposed change to the description of the BATS One Feed 19 Enterprise Fee is intended to align with the descriptions of the Enterprise Fees for BZX Top and BZX Last Sale proposed above. The fee schedule currently states that:

    19 In sum, the BATS One Feed is a data feed that disseminates, on a real-time basis, the aggregate best bid and offer (“BBO”) of all displayed orders for securities traded on BZX and its affiliated exchanges and for which the BATS Exchanges report quotes under the Consolidated Tape Association (“CTA”) Plan or the Nasdaq/UTP Plan. The BATS One Feed also contains the individual last sale information for the BATS Exchanges (collectively with the aggregate BBO, the “BATS One Summary Feed”). In addition, the BATS One Feed contains optional functionality which enables recipients to receive aggregated two-sided quotations from the BATS Exchanges for up to five (5) price levels (“BATS One Premium Feed”). See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 73918 (December 23, 2014), 79 FR 78920 (December 31, 2014) (File Nos. SR-EDGX-2014-25; SR-EDGA-2014-25; SR-BATS-2014-055; SR-BYX-2014-030) (Notice of Amendments No. 2 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval to Proposed Rule Changes, as Modified by Amendments Nos. 1 and 2, to Establish a New Market Data Product called the BATS One Feed) (“BATS One Approval Order”).

    [a]s an alternative to User fees, a recipient firm may purchase a monthly Enterprise license to receive the BATS One Feed from an External Distributor to an unlimited number of Professional and Non-Professional Users. A recipient firm must pay a separate Enterprise Fee for each External Distributor that controls the display of the BATS One Feed if it wishes such User to be covered by the Enterprise Fee. The Enterprise Fee is in addition to the Distributor Fee.
    The Exchange proposes to delete the last sentence of the above description stating that the Enterprise Fee is in addition to the Distributor Fee. The original purpose of this sentence was to clarify that the Distributor Fee and Enterprise Fee were separate fees. However, the Exchange understands that this sentence has led to confusion for the following reason. As is the case for the proposed Enterprise Fees for BZX Top and BZX Last Sale described above, the BATS One Feed Enterprise Fee is counted towards the Distributor Fee credit, under which an External Distributor receives a credit towards its Distributor Fee equal to the amount of its monthly BATS One Feed Usage Fees. Stating that the Enterprise and Distributor fees were separate fees has caused confusion regarding the application of the Distributor Fee Usage Fee credit. Therefore, the Exchange proposes to delete the last sentence stating that the Enterprise Fee is in addition to the Distributor Fee. Deleting this sentence does not alter the manner in which the Enterprise Fee is charged. Rather, it is intended to avoid confusion and align the description with that of the proposed Enterprise Fees for BZX Top and BZX Last Sale described above.

    Second, the Exchange proposes to correct a cross-reference within the definition of “Non-Professional User”. In part, a “Non-Professional User” is currently defined as “a natural person who is not: . . . engaged as an “investment adviser” as that term is defined in Section 201(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (whether or not registered or qualified under that Act) . . .” The definition incorrectly states that the term “investment adviser is defined under Section 201(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, when it is, in fact, defined under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Therefore, the Exchange proposes to replace the reference to Section 201(11) with Section 202(a)(11) within the definition of Non-Professional User.

    Implementation Date

    The Exchange proposes to implement the proposed changes to its fee schedule on July 1, 2015.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the objectives of Section 6 of the Act,20 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4),21 in particular, as it is designed to provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among its members and other recipients of Exchange data. The Exchange believes that the proposed rates are equitable and non-discriminatory in that they apply uniformly to all recipients of Exchange data. The Exchange believes the proposed fees are competitive with those charged by other venues and, therefore, reasonable and equitably allocated to recipients. Lastly, the Exchange also believes that the proposed fees are reasonable and non-discriminatory because they will apply uniformly to all recipients of Exchange data.

    20 15 U.S.C. 78f.

    21 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4).

    The Exchange also believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 11(A) of the Act 22 in that it supports (i) fair competition among brokers and dealers, among exchange markets, and between exchange markets and markets other than exchange markets and (ii) the availability to brokers, dealers, and investors of information with respect to quotations for and transactions in securities. Furthermore, the proposed rule change is consistent with Rule 603 of Regulation NMS,23 which provides that any national securities exchange that distributes information with respect to quotations for or transactions in an NMS stock do so on terms that are not unreasonably discriminatory. In adopting Regulation NMS, the Commission granted self-regulatory organizations and broker-dealers increased authority and flexibility to offer new and unique market data to the public. It was believed that this authority would expand the amount of data available to consumers, and also spur innovation and competition for the provision of market data.

    22 15 U.S.C. 78k-1.

    23See 17 CFR 242.603.

    In addition, the proposed fees would not permit unfair discrimination because all of the Exchange's customers and market data vendors will be subject to the proposed fees on an equivalent basis. BZX Last Sale and BZX Top are distributed and purchased on a voluntary basis, in that neither the Exchange nor market data distributors are required by any rule or regulation to make this data available. Accordingly, Distributors and Users can discontinue use at any time and for any reason, including due to an assessment of the reasonableness of fees charged. Firms have a wide variety of alternative market data products from which to choose, such as similar proprietary data products offered by other exchanges and consolidated data. Moreover, the Exchange is not required to make any proprietary data products available or to offer any specific pricing alternatives to any customers.

    In addition, the fees that are the subject of this rule filing are constrained by competition. As explained below in the Exchange's Statement on Burden on Competition, the existence of alternatives to BZX Top and BZX Last Sale further ensures that the Exchange cannot set unreasonable fees, or fees that are unreasonably discriminatory, when vendors and subscribers can elect such alternatives. That is, the Exchange competes with other exchanges (and their affiliates) that provide similar market data products. If another exchange (or its affiliate) were to charge less to consolidate and distribute its similar product than the Exchange charges to consolidate and distribute BZX Top or BZX Last Sale, prospective Users likely would not subscribe to, or would cease subscribing to, the BZX Top or BZX Last Sale.

    The Exchange notes that the Commission is not required to undertake a cost-of-service or rate-making approach. The Exchange believes that, even if it were possible as a matter of economic theory, cost-based pricing for non-core market data would be so complicated that it could not be done practically.24

    24 The Exchange believes that cost-based pricing would be impractical because it would create enormous administrative burdens for all parties, including the Commission, to cost-regulate a large number of participants and standardize and analyze extraordinary amounts of information, accounts, and reports. In addition, it is impossible to regulate market data prices in isolation from prices charged by markets for other services that are joint products. Cost-based rate regulation would also lead to litigation and may distort incentives, including those to minimize costs and to innovate, leading to further waste. Under cost-based pricing, the Commission would be burdened with determining a fair rate of return, and the industry could experience frequent rate increases based on escalating expense levels. Even in industries historically subject to utility regulation, cost-based ratemaking has been discredited. As such, the Exchange believes that cost-based ratemaking would be inappropriate for proprietary market data and inconsistent with Congress's direction that the Commission use its authority to foster the development of the national market system, and that market forces will continue to provide appropriate pricing discipline. See Appendix C to NYSE's comments to the Commission's 2000 Concept Release on the Regulation of Market Information Fees and Revenues, which can be found on the Commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov/rules/concept/s72899/buck1.htm. See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 73816 (December 11, 2014), 79 FR 75200 (December 17, 2014) (SR-NYSE-2014-64) (Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Establish an Access Fee for the NYSE Best Quote and Trades Data Feed, Operative December 1, 2014).

    User Fees. The Exchange believes that implementing the Professional and Non-Professional User fees for BZX Top and BZX Last Sale is equitable and reasonable because it will result in greater availability to Professional and Non-Professional Users. Moreover, introducing a modest Non-Professional User fee for BZX Top and BZX Last Sale is reasonable because it provides an additional method for retail investors to access BZX Top and BZX Last Sale data by providing the same data that is available to Professional Users. The Exchange believes that the proposed fees are equitable and not unfairly discriminatory because they will be charged uniformly to recipient firms and Users. The fee structure of differentiated Professional and Non-Professional fees is utilized by the Exchange for the BATS One Feed and has long been used by other exchanges for their proprietary data products, and by the Nasdaq UTP and the CTA and CQ Plans in order to reduce the price of data to retail investors and make it more broadly available.25 Offering BZX Top and BZX Last Sale to Non-Professional Users with the same data available to Professional Users results in greater equity among data recipients.

    25See the Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings, supra note 11 [sic]. See also, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release No. 20002, File No. S7-433 (July 22, 1983) (establishing nonprofessional fees for CTA data); Nasdaq Rules 7023(b), 7047.

    In addition, the proposed fees are reasonable when compared to similar fees for comparable products offered by the NYSE. Specifically, NYSE offers NYSE BBO, which includes best bid and offer for NYSE traded securities, for a monthly fee of $4.00 per professional subscriber and $0.20 per non-professional subscriber.26 NYSE also offers NYSE Trades, which is a data feed that provides the last sale information for NYSE traded securities, for the same price as NYSE BBO. The Exchange's proposed per User Fees for BZX Top and BZX Last Sale are comparable with the NYSE's fees for NYSE Trades and NYSE BBO.

    26See NYSE Market Data Pricing dated May 2015 available at http://www.nyxdata.com/.

    Enterprise Fee. The proposed Enterprise Fee for BZX Top and BZX Last Sale are equitable and reasonable as the fees proposed are less than the enterprise fees currently charged for NYSE Trades and NYSE BBO. The NYSE charges a separate enterprise fee of $190,000 per month for NYSE Trades and NYSE BBO.27 In addition, the Enterprise Fee proposed by the Exchange could result in a fee reduction for recipient firms with a large number of Professional and Non-Professional Users. If a recipient firm has a smaller number of Professional Users of BZX Top or BZX Last Sale, then it may continue using the per User structure and benefit from the per User Fee reductions. By reducing prices for recipient firms with a large number of Professional and Non-Professional Users, the Exchange believes that more firms may choose to receive and to distribute the BZX Top or BZX Last Sale, thereby expanding the distribution of this market data for the benefit of investors.

    27Id.

    The Exchange further believes that the proposed Enterprise Fee is reasonable because it will simplify reporting for certain recipients that have large numbers of Professional and Non-Professional Users. Firms that pay the proposed Enterprise Fee will not have to report the number of Users on a monthly basis as they currently do, but rather will only have to count natural person users every six months, which is a significant reduction in administrative burden. Finally, the Exchange believes that it is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory to establish an Enterprise Fee because it reduces the Exchange's costs and the Distributor's administrative burdens in tracking and auditing large numbers of Users.

    Digital Media Enterprise Fee. The Exchange believes that the proposed Digital Media Enterprise Fee for BZX Top and BZX Last Sale provides for an equitable allocation of reasonable fees among recipients of the data and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination among customers, brokers, or dealers. In establishing the Digital Media Enterprise Fee, the Exchange recognizes that there is demand for a more seamless and easier-to-administer data distribution model that takes into account the expanded variety of media and communication devices that investors utilize today. The Exchange believes the Digital Media Enterprise Fee will be easy to administer because data recipients that purchase it would not be required to differentiate between Professional and Non-Professional Users, account for the extent of access to the data, or report the number of Users. This is a significant reduction on a recipient firm's administrative burdens and is a significant value to investors. For example, a television broadcaster could display BZX Top and/or BZX Last Sale data during market-related programming and on its Web site or allow viewers to view the data via their mobile devices, creating a more seamless distribution model that will allow investors more choice in how they receive and view market data, all without having to account for and/or measure who accesses the data and how often they do so.

    The proposed Digital Media Enterprise Fee is equitable and reasonable because it will also enable recipient firms to more widely distribute data from BZX Top and BZX Last Sale to investors for informational purposes at a lower cost than is available today. For example, a recipient firm may purchase an Enterprise license in the amount of $15,000 per month for to receive BZX Top and/or BZX Last Sale from an External Distributor for an unlimited number of Professional and Non-Professional Users, which is greater than the proposed Digital Media Enterprise Fee. The Exchange also believes the amount of the Digital Media Enterprise Fee is reasonable as compared to the existing enterprise fees discussed above because the distribution of BZX Top and BZX Last Sale data is limited to television, Web sites, and mobile devices for informational purposes only, while distribution of BZX Top and BZX Last Sale data pursuant to an Enterprise license contains no such limitation. The Exchange also believes that the proposed Digital Media Enterprise Fee is equitable and reasonable because it is less than similar fees charged by other exchanges.28

    28 The Nasdaq Stock Market offers proprietary data products for distribution over the internet and television under alternative fee schedules that are subject to maximum fee of $50,000 per month. See Nasdaq Rule 7039(b). The NYSE charges a Digit Media Enterprise fee of $40,000 per month for the NYSE Trade Digital Media product. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 69272 (April 2, 2013), 78 FR 20983 (April 8, 2013) (SR-NYSE-2013-23).

    Non-Substantive, Corrective Changes. The Exchange believes that the proposed non-substantive, corrective changes are consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,29 in general, and Section 6(b)(4) of the Act,30 in particular, in that they provide for an equitable allocation of reasonable fees among recipients of the data and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination among customers, brokers, or dealers. These proposed changes are equitable and reasonable because the changes are designed to clarify the fee schedule and avoid potential investor confusion. The amendment to the BATS One Enterprise Fee is also intended to align the description with that of the proposed Enterprise Fees for BZX Top and BZX Last Sale described above. The proposed changes are also non-discriminatory as they would apply to all recipient firms uniformly.

    29 15 U.S.C. 78f.

    30 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4).

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act, as amended.

    BZX Top and BZX Last Sale

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act, as amended. The Exchange's ability to price BZX Last Sale and BZX Top are constrained by: (i) Competition among exchanges, other trading platforms, and Trade Reporting Facilities (“TRF”) that compete with each other in a variety of dimensions; (ii) the existence of inexpensive real-time consolidated data and market-specific data and free delayed data; and (iii) the inherent contestability of the market for proprietary data.

    The Exchange and its market data products are subject to significant competitive forces and the proposed fees represent responses to that competition. To start, the Exchange competes intensely for order flow. It competes with the other national securities exchanges that currently trade equities, with electronic communication networks, with quotes posted in FINRA's Alternative Display Facility, with alternative trading systems, and with securities firms that primarily trade as principal with their customer order flow.

    In addition, BZX Last Sale and BZX Top compete with a number of alternative products. For instance, BZX Last Sale and BZX Top do not provide a complete picture of all trading activity in a security. Rather, the other national securities exchanges, the several TRFs of FINRA, and Electronic Communication Networks (“ECN”) that produce proprietary data all produce trades and trade reports. Each is currently permitted to produce last sale information products, and many currently do, including Nasdaq and NYSE. In addition, market participants can gain access to BZX last sale prices and top-of-book quotations, though integrated with the prices of other markets, on feeds made available through the SIPs.

    In sum, the availability of a variety of alternative sources of information imposes significant competitive pressures on Exchange data products and the Exchange's compelling need to attract order flow imposes significant competitive pressure on the Exchange to act equitably, fairly, and reasonably in setting the proposed data product fees. The proposed data product fees are, in part, responses to that pressure. The Exchange believes that the proposed fees would reflect an equitable allocation of its overall costs to users of its facilities.

    In addition, when establishing the proposed fees, the Exchange considered the competitiveness of the market for proprietary data and all of the implications of that competition. The Exchange believes that it has considered all relevant factors and has not considered irrelevant factors in order to establish fair, reasonable, and not unreasonably discriminatory fees and an equitable allocation of fees among all Users. The existence of alternatives to BZX Last Sale and BZX Top, including existing similar feeds by other exchanges, consolidated data, and proprietary data from other sources, ensures that the Exchange cannot set unreasonable fees, or fees that are unreasonably discriminatory, when vendors and subscribers can elect these alternatives or choose not to purchase a specific proprietary data product if its cost to purchase is not justified by the returns any particular vendor or subscriber would achieve through the purchase.

    Non-Substantive, Corrective Changes

    The proposed non-substantive, corrective changes to the fee schedule will not have any impact on completion. The proposed changes are designed to clarify the fee schedule and avoid potential investor confusion.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    The Exchange has neither solicited nor received written comments on the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 31 and paragraph (f) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.32 At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

    31 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    32 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f).

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-BATS-2015-48 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BATS-2015-48. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BATS-2015-48, and should be submitted on or before August 5, 2015.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.33

    33 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17294 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-75409; File No. SR-BX-2015-038] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Exchange Rule 7018 July 9, 2015.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on June 30, 2015, NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc. (“BX” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to amend BX Rule 7018(a) and to eliminate the Excess Order Fee in BX Rule 7018(d).

    While the changes proposed herein are effective upon filing, the Exchange has designated that the amendments be operative on July 1, 2015.

    The text of the proposed rule change is also available on the Exchange's Web site at http://nasdaqomxbx.cchwallstreet.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange is proposing to amend BX Rule 7018(a) and to eliminate the Excess Order Fee in BX Rule 7018(d).

    Specifically, BX Rule 7018(a) defines the criteria for a firm to become a Qualified Market Maker (“QMM”) as by being a member that provides through one or more of its NASDAQ OMX BX Equities System (“System”) market participant identifiers (“MPIDs”) more than 0.15% of consolidated volume (“Consolidated Volume”) during the month. For a member qualifying under this method, the member must have at least one qualified MPID (“Qualified MPID”), that is, an MPID through which, for at least 200 securities, the QMM quotes at the national best bid and offer (“NBBO”) an average of at least 50% of the time during regular market hours (9:30 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. ET) during the month. Currently, the member must also provide an average daily volume of 1.5M shares or more using orders with midpoint pegging during the month.

    The Exchange proposes to modify this last part of the criteria such that the member must also provide an average daily volume of 1.5M shares or more of non-displayed liquidity (rather than using orders with midpoint liquidity) during the month. BX believes that by expanding the type of liquidity that allows firms to qualify as a QMM will improve the market by incentivizing firms to provide more liquidity and meet the other QMM criteria. Non-displayed orders, which include midpoint liquidity, can provide price improvement and improve the experience of members trading on the Exchange and thus provide a benefit to all other Exchange members.

    The Exchange also proposes to delete BX Rule 7018(d), which is the Excess Order Fee. The Excess Order Fee was designed to provide a disincentive to member organizations to engage in order entry practices that are inefficient and thereby burdensome on the systems of BX by assessing a fee on member organizations if they reach a threshold of order activity based on an Order Entry Ratio calculation.3 Although not a pervasive characteristic of the market, the fee was adopted to encourage member organizations with such practices to enhance the efficiency of their systems and modify their order entry practices, thus improving the market for all participants.4 An unwanted consequence of the rule has been to capture beneficial, liquidity providing order flow and thereby dissuade member organizations from participating in BX in an effort to avoid triggering the fee. Moreover, the Exchange has observed that the fee is not assessed on a significant number of member organizations nor is it triggered every month, leading the Exchange to conclude that the small number of member organizations that may have been affected by the fee because of their inefficient order practices have taken the steps necessary to avoid such practices. The Exchange believes that, in light of the lack of consistent order activity that triggers the fee and the negative effect it has had on beneficial order flow, the Excess Order Fee should be eliminated. The Exchange notes that, should the inefficient order entry practices that gave rise to the fee once again arise, it may adopt the fee once again or take other steps to provide a disincentive for such practices.

    3See BX Rule 7018(d)(2) for a definition of “Order Entry Ratio.”

    4See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 67272 (June 27, 2012), 77 FR 39530 (July 3, 2012) (SR-BX-2012-042) (adopting the Excess Order Fee).

    2. Statutory Basis

    BX believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 6 of the Act,5 in general, and with Sections 6(b)(4) and 6(b)(5) of the Act,6 in particular, in that it provides for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among members and issuers and other persons using any facility or system which the Exchange operates or controls, and is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest; and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers.

    5 15 U.S.C. 78f.

    6 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4) and (5).

    The Exchange proposes to amend the criteria for a firm to become a QMM. The criteria currently states that a member may become a QMM by providing through one or more of its System MPIDs more than 0.15% of Consolidated Volume during the month. For a member qualifying under this method, the member must have at least one Qualified MPID, that is, an MPID through which, for at least 200 securities, the QMM quotes at the NBBO an average of at least 50% of the time during regular market hours (9:30 a.m. through 4:00 p.m.) during the month. Currently, the member must also provide an average daily volume of 1.5M shares or more using orders with midpoint pegging during the month.

    [sic] Exchange believes it is reasonable to modify this last part of the criteria such that the member must provide an average daily volume of 1.5M shares or more of non-displayed liquidity (rather than using orders with midpoint liquidity) during the month because non-displayed orders can provide price improvement and improve the experience of members trading on the Exchange and thus provide a benefit to all other Exchange members. Also, BX believes the proposed change is reasonable because it expands the opportunity for firms to qualify as a QMM.

    The Exchange also believes that the proposed change is equitably allocated and not unfairly discriminatory because modifying the criteria, as stated above, applies uniformly to all members that seek to become a QMM. Additionally, the Exchange believes that the proposed change further perfects the mechanism of a free and open market by refining and making more effective the means by which a member firm may become a QMM. Furthermore firms that currently qualify as a QMM will not need to change behavior under the new qualification method as midpoint liquidity is considered non-displayed liquidity.

    The Exchange believes that elimination of the Excess Order Fee is reasonable because the fee is not triggered by a significant number of member organizations nor is it triggered every month; however, the Exchange believes that certain member organizations are disincentivized from providing order activity that is beneficial to market participants. Moreover, the Exchange may adopt the fee once again should the issues that gave rise to it reemerge. The Exchange believes that the proposed change is consistent with an equitable allocation of fees and is not unfairly discriminatory because it eliminates a fee, which applies to all member organizations and which has served as a disincentive to certain market participants in providing beneficial order activity while also not being assessed significantly on member organizations. The Exchange believes that elimination of the Excess Order Fee will not unfairly burden competition because the fee is not relevant to competition. The Exchange notes that the fee was adopted to deter member organizations from using inefficient order practices that place excessive burdens on the systems of BX and, as a consequence, was not designed to impact competition among member organizations.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule changes will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act, as amended.7 BX notes that it operates in a highly competitive market in which market participants can readily favor dozens of different competing exchanges and alternative trading systems if they deem fee levels at a particular venue to be excessive, or rebate opportunities available at other venues to be more favorable. In such an environment, BX must continually adjust its fees to remain competitive with other exchanges. Because competitors are free to modify their own fees in response, and because market participants may readily adjust their order routing practices, BX believes that the degree to which fee changes in this market may impose any burden on competition is extremely limited.

    7 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(8).

    In this instance, the modification to part of the criteria to become a QMM does not impose a burden on competition because it is optional and is the subject of competition from other exchanges. The Exchange does not believe that the proposed change will impair the ability of members or competing order execution venues to maintain their competitive standing in the financial markets. Moreover, because there are numerous competitive alternatives to the use of the Exchange, it is likely that BX will lose market share as a result of the changes if they are unattractive to market participants.

    As noted above, the Exchange believes that elimination of the Excess Order Fee will not unfairly burden competition because the fee is not relevant to competition as it was adopted to deter member organizations from using inefficient order practices that place excessive burdens on the systems of BX. Moreover, other exchanges' fee schedules do not restrict order activity by using a fee like the Excess Order Fee. As noted, the practices that prompted the Exchange to adopt the rule have subsided and, consequently, the change does not impact the ability of any market participant or trading venue to compete.

    Accordingly, BX does not believe that the proposed rule change will impair the ability of members or competing order execution venues to maintain their competitive standing in the financial markets.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were either solicited or received.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 8 and paragraph (f) of Rule 19b-4 9 thereunder. At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

    8 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    9 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f).

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-BX-2015-038 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BX-2015-038. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal offices of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BX-2015-038, and should be submitted on or before August 5, 2015.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.10

    10 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17297 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-75408; File No. SR-MIAX-2015-45] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Its Fee Schedule July 9, 2015.

    Pursuant to the provisions of Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on July 7, 2015, Miami International Securities Exchange LLC (“MIAX” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) a proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of the Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange is filing a proposal to amend the MIAX Options Fee Schedule.

    The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at http://www.miaxoptions.com/filter/wotitle/rule_filing, at MIAX's principal office, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend the Fee Schedule to modify the transaction fees for Members that participate in the price improvement auction (“PRIME Auction” or “PRIME”) pursuant to Rule 515A.3 Specifically, the Exchange proposes: (i) Increase the fee for a PRIME AOC Response from $0.45 per contract to $0.49 per contract for standard options in Penny Pilot classes; (ii) increase the fee for a PRIME AOC Response from $0.90 per contract to $0.94 per contract for standard options in non-Penny Pilot classes; and (iii) provide for additional incentives for achieving certain Priority Customer Rebate Program volume tiers.

    3See Exchange Rule 515A. See also Securities Exchange Act Release No.) 72943 (August 28, 2014), 79 FR 52785 (September 4, 2014) (SR-MIAX-2014-45); MIAX Options Fee Schedule, Section 1)a)iv).

    Currently, the Exchange assesses PRIME AOC Responses $0.45 per contract for standard options in Penny Pilot classes and $0.90 per contract in non-Penny Pilot classes. The Exchange now proposes to modify these fees that apply to PRIME AOC Responses. Specifically, the Exchange proposes: (i) Increase the fee for a PRIME AOC Response from $0.45 per contract to $0.49 per contract for standard options in Penny Pilot classes; and (ii) increase the fee for a PRIME AOC Response from $0.90 per contract to $0.94 per contract for standard options in non-Penny Pilot classes. The Exchange will continue to assess the standard transaction fees to a PRIME AOC Response if they execute against unrelated orders.

    The Exchange proposes to offer Members that submit PRIME AOC Responses the opportunity to reduce transaction fees by $0.04 per contract in standard options if the Member or its affiliates of at least 75% common ownership between the firms as reflected on each firm's Form BD, Schedule A, qualifies in a given month for Priority Customer Rebate Program volume tiers 3, 4, or 5 in the Fee Schedule. Specifically, any Member or its affiliates of at least 75% common ownership between the firms as reflected on each firm's Form BD, Schedule A, that qualifies for Priority Customer Rebate Program volume tiers 3, 4, or 5 will be assessed a PRIME AOC Response fee of $0.45 per contract for standard options in Penny Pilot classes. In addition, any Member or its affiliates of at least 75% common ownership between the firms as reflected on each firm's Form BD, Schedule A, that qualifies for Priority Customer Rebate Program volume tiers 3, 4, or 5 will be assessed a PRIME AOC Response fee of $0.90 per contract for standard options in non-Penny Pilot classes. The Exchange believes that these incentives will encourage Members to transact a greater number of contracts on the Exchange. The Exchange notes that these incentives will operate identically to the Priority Customer Rebate Program incentives that apply to any Member or its affiliates of at least 75% common ownership between the firms as reflected on each firm's Form BD, Schedule A, that qualifies for Priority Customer Rebate Program volume tiers 3, 4, or 5 in other types of transaction fees.4

    4See MIAX Options Fee Schedule.

    The Exchange proposes to implement the proposed changes beginning July 1, 2015.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that its proposal to amend its fee schedule is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act 5 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4) of the Act 6 in particular, in that it is an equitable allocation of reasonable fees and other charges among Exchange members.

    5 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    6 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4).

    The Exchange's proposal to increase the transaction fees for Members that submit PRIME AOC Responses is reasonable because the Exchange's fees will remain competitive with fees at other options exchanges.7 The Exchange's proposal to increase the transaction fees for Members that submit PRIME AOC Responses is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory because the increase applies equally to all such market participants. The Exchange believes that the transaction fees for responding to the auction will not deter market participants from providing price improvement. In addition, the Exchange believes that it is reasonable to continue to assess lower transaction fees in penny option classes than non-penny option classes in a manner similar to the current fees.8

    7See e.g., NYSE Amex Options Fee Schedule; International Securities Exchange LLC Schedule of Fees; BOX Options Exchange Fee Schedule.

    8See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 72989 (September 4, 2014), 79 FR 53792 (September 10, 2014) (SR-MIAX-2014-47).

    The Exchange's proposal to offer Members or its affiliates of at least 75% common ownership between the firms as reflected on each firm's Form BD, Schedule A, that qualifies for Priority Customer Rebate Program volume tiers 3, 4, or 5, that submit PRIME AOC Responses the opportunity to reduce transaction fees by $0.04 per contract in standard options, provided certain criteria are met, is reasonable because the Exchange desires to offer all such market participants an opportunity to lower their transaction fees. The Exchange's proposal to offer Members or its affiliates of at least 75% common ownership between the firms as reflected on each firm's Form BD, Schedule A, that qualifies for Priority Customer Rebate Program volume tiers 3, 4, or 5, that submit PRIME AOC Responses the opportunity to reduce transaction fees by $0.04 per contract in standard options, provided certain criteria are met, is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory because the Exchange will offer all market participants a means to reduce transaction fees by qualifying for volume tiers in the Priority Customer Rebate Program. The Exchange believes that offering all such market participants the opportunity to lower transaction fees by incentivizing them to transact Priority Customer order flow in turn benefits all market participants. To the extent that there is higher transaction fees assessed on market participants without Priority Customer order flow, the Exchange believes that this is appropriate because the proposal should incent Members to direct additional order flow to the Exchange and thus provide additional liquidity that enhances the quality of its markets and increases the volume of contracts traded here. To the extent that this purpose is achieved, all the Exchange's market participants should benefit from the improved market liquidity. Enhanced market quality and increased transaction volume that results from the anticipated increase in order flow directed to the Exchange will benefit all market participants and improve competition on the Exchange.

    The Exchange believes that the proposal to allow the aggregation of trading activity of separate Members or its affiliates for purposes of the fee reduction is fair, equitable and not unreasonably discriminatory. The Exchange believes the proposed rule change is reasonable because it would allow aggregation of the trading activity of separate Members or its affiliates for purposes of the fee reduction only in very narrow circumstances, namely, where the firm is an affiliate, as defined herein. Furthermore, other exchanges, as well as MIAX, have rules that permit the aggregation of the trading activity of affiliated entities for the purposes of calculating and assessing certain fees. The Exchange believes that offering all such market participants the opportunity to lower transaction fees by incentivizing them to transact Priority Customer order flow in turn benefits all market participants.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The Exchange believes that the proposed change will enhance the competiveness of the Exchange relative to other exchanges that offer their own electronic crossing mechanism. The Exchange believes that the proposed fees are not going to have an impact on intra-market competition based on the total cost for participants to transact as respondents to the Auction as compared to the cost for participants to engage in non-Auction electronic transactions on the Exchange. As noted above, the Exchange believes that the proposed pricing for the PRIME Auction is comparable to that of other exchanges offering similar electronic price improvement mechanisms, and the Exchange believes that market participants understand that the price-improving benefits, based on their experience with electronic price improvement crossing mechanisms on other markets, offered by the Auction justify and offset the transaction costs associated with Auction. To the extent that there is a difference between non-Auction transactions fees and Auction transactions fees, the Exchange does not believe this difference will cause participants to refrain from responding to Auctions. In addition, the Exchange does not believe that the proposed transaction fees and credits burden competition by creating a disparity of transaction fees between the PRIME Order and the transaction fees that a responder pays would result in certain participants being unable to compete with the Contra-side Order. The Exchange expects to see robust competition within the PRIME Auction, despite the apparent differences in non-Auction fees versus Auction response fees.

    To the extent that there is additional competitive burden on market participants without Priority Customer order flow, the Exchange believes that this is appropriate because the proposal should incent Members to direct additional order flow to the Exchange and thus provide additional liquidity that enhances the quality of its markets and increases the volume of contracts traded here. To the extent that this purpose is achieved, all the Exchange's market participants should benefit from the improved market liquidity. Enhanced market quality and increased transaction volume that results from the anticipated increase in order flow directed to the Exchange will benefit all market participants and improve competition on the Exchange.

    The Exchange notes that it operates in a highly competitive market in which market participants can readily favor competing venues if they deem fee levels at a particular venue to be excessive. In such an environment, the Exchange must continually adjust its fees to remain competitive with other exchanges and to attract order flow to the Exchange. The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change reflects this competitive environment because it establishes a fee structure in a manner that encourages market participants to direct their order flow, to provide liquidity, and to attract additional transaction volume to the Exchange.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    Written comments were neither solicited nor received.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act.9 At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or disapproved.

    9 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-MIAX-2015-45 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-MIAX-2015-45. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml).

    Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-MIAX-2015-45, and should be submitted on or before August 5, 2015.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.10

    10 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17296 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-75407; File No. SR-BYX-2015-30] Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Market Data Section of Its Fee Schedule July 9, 2015.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on July 1, 2015, BATS Y-Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange” or “BYX”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Exchange has designated the proposed rule change as one establishing or changing a member due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Exchange under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act 3 and Rule 19b-4(f)(2) thereunder,4 which renders the proposed rule change effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(2).

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of the Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange filed a proposal to amend the Market Data section of its fee schedule to: (i) Adopt User fees, an Enterprise fee, and a Digital Media Enterprise fee for the BYX Top and BYX Last Sale feeds; and (ii) make a non-substantive change to the description of the BATS One Feed Enterprise Fee as well as correct a cross-reference within the definition of “Non-Professional User”.

    The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Exchange's Web site at www.batstrading.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend the Market Data section of its fee schedule to: (i) Adopt User fees, an Enterprise fee, and a Digital Media Enterprise fee for the BYX Top and BYX Last Sale feeds; and (ii) make a non-substantive change to the description of the BATS One Feed Enterprise Fee as well as correct a cross-reference within the definition of “Non-Professional User”.

    BYX Top and Last Sale Fees

    BYX Top is a market data feed that includes top of book quotations and execution information for all equity securities traded on the Exchange.5 BYX Last Sale is a market data feed that includes last sale information for all equity securities traded on Exchange.6

    5See Exchange Rule 11.22(d).

    6See Exchange Rule 11.22(g).

    Currently, the Exchange only charges fees for both internal and external distribution of the BYX Last Sale and BYX Top feeds. The cost of BYX Last Sale for an Internal Distributor 7 is $500 per month. Likewise, the cost of BYX Top for an Internal Distributor is also $500 per month. The Exchange currently does not charge per User 8 fees for either BYX Last Sale or BYX Top. Therefore, the Exchange does not currently require an External Distributor 9 of BYX Last Sale or BYX Top to count, classify (e.g., professional or non-professional), or report to the Exchange information regarding the customers to which they provide the data. Instead, the Exchange charges an External Distributor of BYX Last Sale a flat fee of $1,250 per month. The Exchange also separately charges an External Distributor of BYX Top a flat fee of $1,250 per month. End Users currently do not pay the Exchange for BYX Last Sale or BYX Top, nor are End Users required to enter into contracts with the Exchange.

    7 An “Internal Distributor” is defined as “a Distributor that receives the Exchange Market Data product and then distributes that data to one or more Users within the Distributor's own entity.” See the Exchange Fee Schedule available at http://batstrading.com/support/fee_schedule/byx/. A “Distributor” is defined as “any entity that receives the Exchange Market Data product directly from the Exchange or indirectly through another entity and then distributes it internally or externally to a third party.” Id.

    8 A “User” is defined as “a natural person, a proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or entity, or device (computer or other automated service), that is entitled to receive Exchange data.” Id.

    9 An “External Distributor” is defined as “a Distributor that receives the Exchange Market Data product and then distributes that data to a third party or one or more Users outside the Distributor's own entity.” Id.

    Subscribers to either BYX Top or BYX Last Sale are able to receive, upon request and at no additional cost, BYX Last Sale or BYX Top, as applicable. The Exchange also offers a New External Distributor Credit under which new External Distributors of BYX Top or BYX Last Sale will not be charged a Distributor Fee for their first three (3) months.

    The Exchange now proposes to amend its fee schedule to incorporate additional fees related to the BYX Top or BYX Last Sale feeds.10 These fees include the following, each of which are described in detail below: (i) Usage Fees for both Professional 11 and Non-Professional 12 Users; 13 (ii) Enterprise Fees; 14 and (iii) a Digital Media Enterprise Fee.

    10 The Exchange notes that EDGA Exchange, Inc. (“EDGA”), EDGX Exchange, Inc. (“EDGX”) and BATS Exchange, Inc. (“BZX”, together with the Exchange, EDGA and EDGX, the “BATS Exchanges”) also filed proposed rule changes with Commission to adopt similar fees for their respective Top and Last Sale market data product. See File Nos. SR-EDGA-2015-25, SR-EDGX-2015-28, and SR-BATS-2015-48. The Exchange represents that the proposed fees will not cause the combined cost of subscribing to each of the BATS Exchanges' individual Top and Last Sale feeds to be greater than those currently charged to subscribe to the BATS One Feed. See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 74285 (February 18, 2015), 80 FR 9828 (February 24, 2015) (SR-BATS-2015-11); 74283 (February 18, 2015), 80 FR 9809 (February 24, 2015) (SR-EDGA-2015-09); 74282 (February 17, 2015), 80 FR 9487 (February 23, 2015) (SR-EDGX-2015-09); and 74284 (February 18, 2015), 80 FR 9792 (February 24, 2015) (SR-BYX-2015-09) (“Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings”). In these filings, the Exchange represented that the cost of subscribing to each of the underlying individual feeds necessary to create the BATS One Feed would not be greater than the cost of subscribing to the BATS One Feed. Id.

    11 A “Professional User” is defined as “any User other than a Non-Professional User.” See the Exchange Fee Schedule available at http://batstrading.com/support/fee_schedule/byx/.

    12 A “Non-Professional User” is defined as “a natural person who is not: (i) Registered or qualified in any capacity with the Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, any state securities agency, any securities exchange or association, or any commodities or futures contract market or association; (ii) engaged as an “investment adviser” as that term is defined in Section [202(a)(11)] of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (whether or not registered or qualified under that Act); or (iii) employed by a bank or other organization exempt from registration under federal or state securities laws to perform functions that would require registration or qualification if such functions were performed for an organization not so exempt.” Id.

    13 The Exchange notes that User fees as well as the distinctions based on professional and non-professional users have been previously filed with or approved by the Commission by the BATS Exchanges and the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”). See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 59582 (March 16, 2009), 74 FR 12423 (March 24, 2009) (Order approving SR-Nasdaq-2008-102). See also the Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings, supra note 11 [sic].

    14 The Exchange notes that Enterprise fees have been previously filed with or approved by the Commission by the Exchange, EDGA, EDGX, BZX, Nasdaq, NYSE, and the CTA/CQ Plans. See Nasdaq Rule 7047. Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 71507 (February 7, 2014), 79 FR 8763 (February 13, 2014) (SR-NASDAQ-2014-011); 70211 (August 15, 2013), 78 FR 51781 (August 21, 2013) (SR-NYSE-2013-58); and 70010 (July 19, 2013) (File No. SR-CTA/CQ-2013-04). See also the Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings, supra note 11 [sic].

    User Fees. The Exchange proposes to charge those who receive either BYX Top or BYX Last Sale from External Distributors different fees for both their Professional Users and Non-Professional Users. The Exchange will assess a monthly fee for Professional Users of $2.00 per User. Non-Professional Users will be assessed a monthly fee of $0.05 per User.15 The Exchange does not propose to charge per User fees to Internal Distributors.

    15 The Exchange notes that EDGA, EDGX and BZX also filed proposed rule changes with Commission to adopt User fees for their respective Top and Last Sale market data product. See File Nos. SR-EDGA-2015-25, SR-EDGX-2015-28 and SR-BATS-2015-48 (proposing a monthly fee of $2.00 per Professional User and of $0.05 per Non-Professional User for EDGA and EDGX and a monthly fee of $4.00 per Professional User and of $0.10 per Non-Professional User for BZX). A vendor that wishes to create a product like the BATS One Summary Feed could subscribe to each of the BATS Exchanges' Top and Last Sale feeds. See the Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings, supra note 11 [sic]. Should a vendor subscribe to each of the BATS Exchanges' Top and Last Sale feeds, it would be charged a total of $10.00 per month per Professional User and $0.25 per month per Non-Professional User. This amount is equal to, and not greater than the User Fees charged for the BATS One Summary Feed. Id. (adopting fees of $10.00 per month per Professional User and $0.25 per month per Non-Professional User as well as a separate $1,000 per month Data Consolidation Fee for the BATS One Summary Feed).

    External Distributors would be required to count every Professional User and Non-Professional User to which they provide BYX Top and/or BYX Last Sale, the requirements for which are identical to that currently in place for the BATS One Feed.16 Thus, the External Distributor's count will include every person and device that accesses the data regardless of the purpose for which the individual or device uses the data. External Distributors must report all Professional and Non-Professional Users in accordance with the following:

    16See the Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings, supra note 11 [sic].

    • In connection with an External Distributor's distribution of BYX Top or BYX Last Sale, the Distributor should count as one User each unique User that the Distributor has entitled to have access to BYX Top or BYX Last Sale. However, where a device is dedicated specifically to a single individual, the Distributor should count only the individual and need not count the device.

    • The External Distributor should identify and report each unique User. If a User uses the same unique method to gain access to BYX Top or BYX Last Sale, the Distributor should count that as one User. However, if a unique User uses multiple methods to gain access to BYX Top or BYX Last Sale (e.g., a single User has multiple passwords and user identifications), the External Distributor should report all of those methods as an individual User.

    • External Distributors should report each unique individual person who receives access through multiple devices as one User so long as each device is dedicated specifically to that individual.

    • If an External Distributor entitles one or more individuals to use the same device, the External Distributor should include only the individuals, and not the device, in the count.

    Each External Distributor will receive a credit against its monthly Distributor Fee for BYX Top or BYX Last Sale equal to the amount of its monthly Usage Fees up to a maximum of the Distributor Fee for BYX Top or BYX Last Sale. For example, an External Distributor will be subject to a $1,250 monthly Distributor Fee where they elect to receive BYX Top. If that External Distributor reports User quantities totaling $1,250 or more of monthly usage of BYX Top, it will pay no net Distributor Fee, whereas if that same External Distributor were to report User quantities totaling $1,000 of monthly usage, it will pay a net of $250 for the Distributor Fee. External Distributors will remain subject to the per User fees discussed above. The same would apply to receipt of BYX Last Sale.

    Enterprise Fee. The Exchange also proposes to establish a $10,000 per month Enterprise Fee that will permit a recipient firm who receives BYX Top or BYX Last Sale from an External Distributor to receive the data for an unlimited number of Professional and Non-Professional Users.17 For example, if a recipient firm had 15,000 Professional Users who each receive BYX Top or BYX Last Sale at $2.00 per month, then that recipient firm will pay $30,000 per month in Professional Users fees. Under the proposed Enterprise Fee, the recipient firm will pay a flat fee of $10,000 for an unlimited number of Professional and Non-Professional Users for BYX Top or BYX Last Sale. A recipient firm must pay a separate Enterprise Fee for each External Distributor that controls display of BYX Top or BYX Last Sale if it wishes such User to be covered by an Enterprise Fee rather than by per User fees. A recipient firm that pays the Enterprise Fee will not have to report its number of such Users on a monthly basis. However, every six months, a recipient firm must provide the Exchange with a count of the total number of natural person users of each product, including both Professional and Non-Professional Users. Lastly, the proposed Enterprise Fee would be counted towards the Distributor Fee credit described above, under which an External Distributor receives a credit towards its Distributor Fee equal to the amount of its monthly BYX Top or BYX Last Sale usage fees.

    17 The Exchange notes that EDGA, EDGX and BZX also filed proposed rule changes with Commission to adopt Enterprise Fees for their respective Top and Last Sale market data product. See File Nos. SR-EDGA-2015-25, SR-EDGX-2015-28 and SR-BATS-2015-48 (proposing a monthly Enterprise Fee of $10,000 for EDGA Top and EDGA Last Sale and $15,000 for EDGX Top and Last Sale as well as BZX Top and Last Sale). A vendor that wishes to create a product like the BATS One Summary Feed could subscribe to each of the BATS Exchanges' Top and Last Sale feeds. See the Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings, supra note 11 [sic]. Should a vendor subscribe to each of the BATS Exchanges' Top and Last Sale feeds, it would be charged a total monthly Enterprise Fee of $50,000. This amount is equal to, and not greater than the Enterprise Fee charged for the BATS One Summary Feed. Id. (adopting a monthly Enterprise Fee of $50,000 as well as a separate $1,000 per month Data Consolidation Fee for the BATS One Summary Feed).

    Digital Media Enterprise Fee. The Exchange proposes to adopt a Digital Media Enterprise Fee of $2,500 per month for BYX Top and BYX Last Sale.18 As an alternative to proposed User fees discussed above, a recipient firm may purchase a monthly Digital Media Enterprise license to receive BYX Top and BYX Last Sale from an External Distributor to distribute to an unlimited number of Professional and Non-Professional Users for viewing via television, Web sites, and mobile devices for informational and non-trading purposes only without having to account for the extent of access to the data or the report the number of Users to the Exchange. Lastly, the proposed Digital Media Enterprise Fee would be counted towards the Distributor Fee credit described above, under which an External Distributor receives a credit towards its Distributor Fee equal to the amount of its monthly BYX Top and/or BYX Last Sale usage fees.

    18 The Exchange notes that EDGA, EDGX and BATS also filed proposed rule changes with Commission to adopt a Digital Media Enterprise Fee for their respective Top and Last Sale market data product. See File Nos. SR-EDGA-2015-25, SR-EDGX-2015-28 and SR-BATS-2015-48 (proposing a monthly Digital Media Enterprise Fee of $2,500 for their respective Top and Last Sale feeds). A vendor that wishes to create a product like the BATS One Summary Feed could subscribe to each of the BATS Exchanges' Top and Last Sale feeds. See the Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings, supra note 11 [sic]. Should a vendor subscribe to each of the BATS Exchanges' Top and Last Sale feeds, it would be charged a total monthly Digital Media Enterprise Fee of $10,000. This amount is less than the Digital Media Enterprise Fee charged for the BATS One Summary Feed. See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 74598 (March 27, 2015), 80 FR 17791 (April 2, 2015) (SR-BATS-2015-24); 74599 (March 27, 2015), 80 FR 17812 (April 2, 2015) (SR-BYX-2015-19); 74600 (March 27, 2014), 80 FR 17797 (April 2, 2015) (SR-EDGA-2015-14); and 74601 (March 27, 2015), 80 FR 17804 (April 2, 2015) (SR-EDGX-2015-14) (adopting a monthly Digital Media Enterprise Fee of $15,000 for the BATS One Summary Feed).

    Non-Substantive, Corrective Changes

    The Exchange proposes to make a non-substantive change to the description of the BATS One Feed Enterprise Fee as well as correct a cross-reference within the definition of “Non-Professional User”.

    First, the proposed change to the description of the BATS One Feed 19 Enterprise Fee is intended to align with the descriptions of the Enterprise Fees for BYX Top and BYX Last Sale proposed above. The fee schedule currently states that:

    19 In sum, the BATS One Feed is a data feed that disseminates, on a real-time basis, the aggregate best bid and offer (“BBO”) of all displayed orders for securities traded on BYX and its affiliated exchanges and for which the BATS Exchanges report quotes under the Consolidated Tape Association (“CTA”) Plan or the Nasdaq/UTP Plan. The BATS One Feed also contains the individual last sale information for the BATS Exchanges (collectively with the aggregate BBO, the “BATS One Summary Feed”). In addition, the BATS One Feed contains optional functionality which enables recipients to receive aggregated two-sided quotations from the BATS Exchanges for up to five (5) price levels (“BATS One Premium Feed”). See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 73918 (December 23, 2014), 79 FR 78920 (December 31, 2014) (File Nos. SR-EDGX-2014-25; SR-EDGA-2014-25; SR-BATS-2014-055; SR-BYX-2014-030) (Notice of Amendments No. 2 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval to Proposed Rule Changes, as Modified by Amendments Nos. 1 and 2, to Establish a New Market Data Product called the BATS One Feed) (“BATS One Approval Order”).

    [a]s an alternative to User fees, a recipient firm may purchase a monthly Enterprise license to receive the BATS One Feed from an External Distributor to an unlimited number of Professional and Non-Professional Users. A recipient firm must pay a separate Enterprise Fee for each External Distributor that controls the display of the BATS One Feed if it wishes such User to be covered by the Enterprise Fee. The Enterprise Fee is in addition to the Distributor Fee. The Exchange proposes to delete the last sentence of the above description stating that the Enterprise Fee is in addition to the Distributor Fee. The original purpose of this sentence was to clarify that the Distributor Fee and Enterprise Fee were separate fees. However, the Exchange understands that this sentence has led to confusion for the following reason. As is the case for the proposed Enterprise Fees for BYX Top and BYX Last Sale described above, the BATS One Feed Enterprise Fee is counted towards the Distributor Fee credit, under which an External Distributor receives a credit towards its Distributor Fee equal to the amount of its monthly BATS One Feed Usage Fees. Stating that the Enterprise and Distributor fees were separate fees has caused confusion regarding the application of the Distributor Fee Usage Fee credit. Therefore, the Exchange proposes to delete the last sentence stating that the Enterprise Fee is in addition to the Distributor Fee. Deleting this sentence does not alter the manner in which the Enterprise Fee is charged. Rather, it is intended to avoid confusion and align the description with that of the proposed Enterprise Fees for BYX Top and BYX Last Sale described above.

    Second, the Exchange proposes to correct a cross-reference within the definition of “Non-Professional User”. In part, a “Non-Professional User” is currently defined as “a natural person who is not: . . . engaged as an “investment adviser” as that term is defined in Section 201(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (whether or not registered or qualified under that Act) . . .” The definition incorrectly states that the term “investment adviser is defined under Section 201(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, when it is, in fact, defined under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Therefore, the Exchange proposes to replace the reference to Section 201(11) with Section 202(a)(11) within the definition of Non-Professional User.

    Implementation Date

    The Exchange proposes to implement the proposed changes to its fee schedule on July 1, 2015.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the objectives of Section 6 of the Act,20 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4),21 in particular, as it is designed to provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among its members and other recipients of Exchange data. The Exchange believes that the proposed rates are equitable and non-discriminatory in that they apply uniformly to all recipients of Exchange data. The Exchange believes the proposed fees are competitive with those charged by other venues and, therefore, reasonable and equitably allocated to recipients. Lastly, the Exchange also believes that the proposed fees are reasonable and non-discriminatory because they will apply uniformly to all recipients of Exchange data.

    20 15 U.S.C. 78f.

    21 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4).

    The Exchange also believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 11(A) of the Act 22 in that it supports (i) fair competition among brokers and dealers, among exchange markets, and between exchange markets and markets other than exchange markets and (ii) the availability to brokers, dealers, and investors of information with respect to quotations for and transactions in securities. Furthermore, the proposed rule change is consistent with Rule 603 of Regulation NMS,23 which provides that any national securities exchange that distributes information with respect to quotations for or transactions in an NMS stock do so on terms that are not unreasonably discriminatory. In adopting Regulation NMS, the Commission granted self-regulatory organizations and broker-dealers increased authority and flexibility to offer new and unique market data to the public. It was believed that this authority would expand the amount of data available to consumers, and also spur innovation and competition for the provision of market data.

    22 15 U.S.C. 78k-1.

    23See 17 CFR 242.603.

    In addition, the proposed fees would not permit unfair discrimination because all of the Exchange's customers and market data vendors will be subject to the proposed fees on an equivalent basis. BYX Last Sale and BYX Top are distributed and purchased on a voluntary basis, in that neither the Exchange nor market data distributors are required by any rule or regulation to make this data available. Accordingly, Distributors and Users can discontinue use at any time and for any reason, including due to an assessment of the reasonableness of fees charged. Firms have a wide variety of alternative market data products from which to choose, such as similar proprietary data products offered by other exchanges and consolidated data. Moreover, the Exchange is not required to make any proprietary data products available or to offer any specific pricing alternatives to any customers.

    In addition, the fees that are the subject of this rule filing are constrained by competition. As explained below in the Exchange's Statement on Burden on Competition, the existence of alternatives to BYX Top and BYX Last Sale further ensures that the Exchange cannot set unreasonable fees, or fees that are unreasonably discriminatory, when vendors and subscribers can elect such alternatives. That is, the Exchange competes with other exchanges (and their affiliates) that provide similar market data products. If another exchange (or its affiliate) were to charge less to consolidate and distribute its similar product than the Exchange charges to consolidate and distribute BYX Top or BYX Last Sale, prospective Users likely would not subscribe to, or would cease subscribing to, the BYX Top or BYX Last Sale.

    The Exchange notes that the Commission is not required to undertake a cost-of-service or rate-making approach. The Exchange believes that, even if it were possible as a matter of economic theory, cost-based pricing for non-core market data would be so complicated that it could not be done practically.24

    24 The Exchange believes that cost-based pricing would be impractical because it would create enormous administrative burdens for all parties, including the Commission, to cost-regulate a large number of participants and standardize and analyze extraordinary amounts of information, accounts, and reports. In addition, it is impossible to regulate market data prices in isolation from prices charged by markets for other services that are joint products. Cost-based rate regulation would also lead to litigation and may distort incentives, including those to minimize costs and to innovate, leading to further waste. Under cost-based pricing, the Commission would be burdened with determining a fair rate of return, and the industry could experience frequent rate increases based on escalating expense levels. Even in industries historically subject to utility regulation, cost-based ratemaking has been discredited. As such, the Exchange believes that cost-based ratemaking would be inappropriate for proprietary market data and inconsistent with Congress's direction that the Commission use its authority to foster the development of the national market system, and that market forces will continue to provide appropriate pricing discipline. See Appendix C to NYSE's comments to the Commission's 2000 Concept Release on the Regulation of Market Information Fees and Revenues, which can be found on the Commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov/rules/concept/s72899/buck1.htm. See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 73816 (December 11, 2014), 79 FR 75200 (December 17, 2014) (SR-NYSE-2014-64) (Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Establish an Access Fee for the NYSE Best Quote and Trades Data Feed, Operative December 1, 2014).

    User Fees. The Exchange believes that implementing the Professional and Non-Professional User fees for BYX Top and BYX Last Sale is equitable and reasonable because it will result in greater availability to Professional and Non-Professional Users. Moreover, introducing a modest Non-Professional User fee for BYX Top and BYX Last Sale is reasonable because it provides an additional method for retail investors to access BYX Top and BYX Last Sale data by providing the same data that is available to Professional Users. The Exchange believes that the proposed fees are equitable and not unfairly discriminatory because they will be charged uniformly to recipient firms and Users. The fee structure of differentiated Professional and Non-Professional fees is utilized by the Exchange for the BATS One Feed and has long been used by other exchanges for their proprietary data products, and by the Nasdaq UTP and the CTA and CQ Plans in order to reduce the price of data to retail investors and make it more broadly available.25 Offering BYX Top and BYX Last Sale to Non-Professional Users with the same data available to Professional Users results in greater equity among data recipients.

    25See the Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings, supra note 11 [sic]. See also, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release No. 20002, File No. S7-433 (July 22, 1983) (establishing nonprofessional fees for CTA data); Nasdaq Rules 7023(b), 7047.

    In addition, the proposed fees are reasonable when compared to similar fees for comparable products offered by the NYSE. Specifically, NYSE offers NYSE BBO, which includes best bid and offer for NYSE traded securities, for a monthly fee of $4.00 per professional subscriber and $0.20 per non-professional subscriber.26 NYSE also offers NYSE Trades, which is a data feed that provides the last sale information for NYSE traded securities, for the same price as NYSE BBO. The Exchange's proposed per User Fees for BYX Top and BYX Last Sale are less than the NYSE's fees for NYSE Trades and NYSE BBO.

    26See NYSE Market Data Pricing dated May 2015 available at http://www.nyxdata.com/.

    Enterprise Fee. The proposed Enterprise Fee for BYX Top and BYX Last Sale are equitable and reasonable as the fees proposed are less than the enterprise fees currently charged for NYSE Trades and NYSE BBO. The NYSE charges a separate enterprise fee of $190,000 per month for NYSE Trades and NYSE BBO.27 In addition, the Enterprise Fee proposed by the Exchange could result in a fee reduction for recipient firms with a large number of Professional and Non-Professional Users. If a recipient firm has a smaller number of Professional Users of BYX Top or BYX Last Sale, then it may continue using the per User structure and benefit from the per User Fee reductions. By reducing prices for recipient firms with a large number of Professional and Non-Professional Users, the Exchange believes that more firms may choose to receive and to distribute the BYX Top or BYX Last Sale, thereby expanding the distribution of this market data for the benefit of investors.

    27Id.

    The Exchange further believes that the proposed Enterprise Fee is reasonable because it will simplify reporting for certain recipients that have large numbers of Professional and Non-Professional Users. Firms that pay the proposed Enterprise Fee will not have to report the number of Users on a monthly basis as they currently do, but rather will only have to count natural person users every six months, which is a significant reduction in administrative burden. Finally, the Exchange believes that it is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory to establish an Enterprise Fee because it reduces the Exchange's costs and the Distributor's administrative burdens in tracking and auditing large numbers of Users.

    Digital Media Enterprise Fee. The Exchange believes that the proposed Digital Media Enterprise Fee for BYX Top and BYX Last Sale provides for an equitable allocation of reasonable fees among recipients of the data and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination among customers, brokers, or dealers. In establishing the Digital Media Enterprise Fee, the Exchange recognizes that there is demand for a more seamless and easier-to-administer data distribution model that takes into account the expanded variety of media and communication devices that investors utilize today. The Exchange believes the Digital Media Enterprise Fee will be easy to administer because data recipients that purchase it would not be required to differentiate between Professional and Non-Professional Users, account for the extent of access to the data, or report the number of Users. This is a significant reduction on a recipient firm's administrative burdens and is a significant value to investors. For example, a television broadcaster could display BYX Top and/or BYX Last Sale data during market-related programming and on its Web site or allow viewers to view the data via their mobile devices, creating a more seamless distribution model that will allow investors more choice in how they receive and view market data, all without having to account for and/or measure who accesses the data and how often they do so.

    The proposed Digital Media Enterprise Fee is equitable and reasonable because it will also enable recipient firms to more widely distribute data from BYX Top and BYX Last Sale to investors for informational purposes at a lower cost than is available today. For example, a recipient firm may purchase an Enterprise license in the amount of $10,000 per month for to receive BYX Top and/or BYX Last Sale from an External Distributor for an unlimited number of Professional and Non-Professional Users, which is greater than the proposed Digital Media Enterprise Fee. The Exchange also believes the amount of the Digital Media Enterprise Fee is reasonable as compared to the existing enterprise fees discussed above because the distribution of BYX Top and BYX Last Sale data is limited to television, Web sites, and mobile devices for informational purposes only, while distribution of BYX Top and BYX Last Sale data pursuant to an Enterprise license contains no such limitation. The Exchange also believes that the proposed Digital Media Enterprise Fee is equitable and reasonable because it is less than similar fees charged by other exchanges.28

    28 The Nasdaq Stock Market offers proprietary data products for distribution over the internet and television under alternative fee schedules that are subject to maximum fee of $50,000 per month. See Nasdaq Rule 7039(b). The NYSE charges a Digit Media Enterprise fee of $40,000 per month for the NYSE Trade Digital Media product. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 69272 (April 2, 2013), 78 FR 20983 (April 8, 2013) (SR-NYSE-2013-23).

    Non-Substantive, Corrective Changes. The Exchange believes that the proposed non-substantive, corrective changes are consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,29 in general, and Section 6(b)(4) of the Act,30 in particular, in that they provide for an equitable allocation of reasonable fees among recipients of the data and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination among customers, brokers, or dealers. These proposed changes are equitable and reasonable because the changes are designed to clarify the fee schedule and avoid potential investor confusion. The amendment to the BATS One Enterprise Fee is also intended to align the description with that of the proposed Enterprise Fees for BYX Top and BYX Last Sale described above. The proposed changes are also non-discriminatory as they would apply to all recipient firms uniformly.

    29 15 U.S.C. 78f.

    30 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4).

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act, as amended.

    BYX Top and BYX Last Sale

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act, as amended. The Exchange's ability to price BYX Last Sale and BYX Top are constrained by: (i) Competition among exchanges, other trading platforms, and Trade Reporting Facilities (“TRF”) that compete with each other in a variety of dimensions; (ii) the existence of inexpensive real-time consolidated data and market-specific data and free delayed data; and (iii) the inherent contestability of the market for proprietary data.

    The Exchange and its market data products are subject to significant competitive forces and the proposed fees represent responses to that competition. To start, the Exchange competes intensely for order flow. It competes with the other national securities exchanges that currently trade equities, with electronic communication networks, with quotes posted in FINRA's Alternative Display Facility, with alternative trading systems, and with securities firms that primarily trade as principal with their customer order flow.

    In addition, BYX Last Sale and BYX Top compete with a number of alternative products. For instance, BYX Last Sale and BYX Top do not provide a complete picture of all trading activity in a security. Rather, the other national securities exchanges, the several TRFs of FINRA, and Electronic Communication Networks (“ECN”) that produce proprietary data all produce trades and trade reports. Each is currently permitted to produce last sale information products, and many currently do, including Nasdaq and NYSE. In addition, market participants can gain access to BYX last sale prices and top-of-book quotations, though integrated with the prices of other markets, on feeds made available through the SIPs.

    In sum, the availability of a variety of alternative sources of information imposes significant competitive pressures on Exchange data products and the Exchange's compelling need to attract order flow imposes significant competitive pressure on the Exchange to act equitably, fairly, and reasonably in setting the proposed data product fees. The proposed data product fees are, in part, responses to that pressure. The Exchange believes that the proposed fees would reflect an equitable allocation of its overall costs to users of its facilities.

    In addition, when establishing the proposed fees, the Exchange considered the competitiveness of the market for proprietary data and all of the implications of that competition. The Exchange believes that it has considered all relevant factors and has not considered irrelevant factors in order to establish fair, reasonable, and not unreasonably discriminatory fees and an equitable allocation of fees among all Users. The existence of alternatives to BYX Last Sale and BYX Top, including existing similar feeds by other exchanges, consolidated data, and proprietary data from other sources, ensures that the Exchange cannot set unreasonable fees, or fees that are unreasonably discriminatory, when vendors and subscribers can elect these alternatives or choose not to purchase a specific proprietary data product if its cost to purchase is not justified by the returns any particular vendor or subscriber would achieve through the purchase.

    Non-Substantive, Corrective Changes

    The proposed non-substantive, corrective changes to the fee schedule will not have any impact on completion. The proposed changes are designed to clarify the fee schedule and avoid potential investor confusion.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    The Exchange has neither solicited nor received written comments on the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 31 and paragraph (f) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.32 At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

    31 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    32 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f).

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-BYX-2015-30 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BYX-2015-30. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BYX-2015-30, and should be submitted on or before August 5, 2015.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.33

    33 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17295 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [File No. 500-1] In the Matter of Smart Ventures, Inc.; Order of Suspension of Trading July 13, 2015.

    It appears to the Securities and Exchange Commission that there is a lack of current and accurate information concerning the securities of Smart Ventures, Inc. (“Smart Ventures”) because of questions regarding the accuracy and completeness of assertions by Smart Ventures in reports posted on the OTC Link operated by OTC Markets Group, Inc. and in press releases. This includes questions about the accuracy of a report issued by Smart Ventures for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2015 and a press release issued on June 30, 2015 with respect to the company's business plans and activities, control persons, related party transactions and financial statements.

    The Commission is of the opinion that the public interest and the protection of investors require a suspension of trading in the securities of the above-listed company.

    T