Federal Register Vol. 80, No.138,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 138 (July 20, 2015)

Page Range42707-43005
FR Document

80_FR_138
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 43003 - Establishing an Emergency Board To Investigate Disputes Between New Jersey Transit Rail and Certain of Its Employees Represented by Certain Labor OrganizationsPDF
80 FR 43001 - Delegation of Authority To Transfer Certain Funds in Accordance With Section 610 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961PDF
80 FR 42997 - Delegation of Authority Pursuant to Section 8 of the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014PDF
80 FR 42806 - Sunshine Act; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 42843 - Sunshine Act Meetings; National Science BoardPDF
80 FR 42845 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 42810 - Dollar Tree, Inc. and Family Dollar Stores, Inc.; Analysis of Proposed Consent Orders To Aid Public CommentPDF
80 FR 42796 - List of Correspondence From April 1, 2014 Through June 30, 2014 and July 1, 2014 Through September 30, 2014PDF
80 FR 42806 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 42846 - GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy; Vallecitos Nuclear CenterPDF
80 FR 42819 - Submission to OMB for Review; Federal Acquisition Regulation; U.S.-Flag Air Carriers StatementPDF
80 FR 42789 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 277-Western Maricopa County, Arizona; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; The Cookson Company, Inc. (Rolling Steel Doors); Goodyear, ArizonaPDF
80 FR 42774 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Mississippi: Miscellaneous ChangesPDF
80 FR 42730 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Low Reid Vapor Pressure Fuel RegulationsPDF
80 FR 42763 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Low Reid Vapor Pressure Fuel RegulationsPDF
80 FR 42777 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Georgia Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
80 FR 42791 - Record of Decision for the Final NOAA Restoration Center Programmatic Environmental Impact StatementPDF
80 FR 42802 - Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Active IngredientsPDF
80 FR 42739 - TSCA Section 5 Premanufacture and Significant New Use Notification Electronic ReportingPDF
80 FR 42763 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Florida; Combs Oil Company VariancePDF
80 FR 42822 - Informational Meeting: The Importation and Exportation of Infectious Biological Agents, Infectious Substances and Vectors; Public WebcastPDF
80 FR 42819 - Multi-Agency Informational Meeting Concerning Compliance With the Federal Select Agent Program; Public WebcastPDF
80 FR 42765 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Alabama; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
80 FR 42789 - Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags From Thailand: Notice of Initiation and Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances ReviewPDF
80 FR 42842 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Information Collection Request; Labor Organization and Auxiliary Reports Comment Period ExtensionPDF
80 FR 42828 - Determination That TESSALON (Benzonatate) Capsules and Other Drug Products Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or EffectivenessPDF
80 FR 42827 - List of Bulk Drug Substances That May Be Used by an Outsourcing Facility To Compound Drugs for Use in Animals; Extension of Nomination PeriodPDF
80 FR 42863 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic 1919-1933” ExhibitionPDF
80 FR 42864 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Strength and Splendor: Wrought Iron From the Musée Le Secq des Tournelles” ExhibitionPDF
80 FR 42829 - Bioequivalence Recommendations for Lubiprostone; Revised Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 42823 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Market Claims in Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug Print AdsPDF
80 FR 42864 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom” ExhibitionPDF
80 FR 42791 - North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 42790 - Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR); Public MeetingsPDF
80 FR 42841 - Trade Adjustment Assistance Program; Designation of Certifying OfficersPDF
80 FR 42795 - Judicial Proceedings Since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel (Judicial Proceedings Panel); Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 42961 - Syed Jawed Akhtar-Zaidi, M.D.; Decision and OrderPDF
80 FR 42839 - Certain Resealable Packages With Slider Devices; Institution of InvestigationPDF
80 FR 42857 - Crescent Capital Group, LP; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 42723 - Regulatory Hearing Before the Food and Drug Administration; Technical AmendmentPDF
80 FR 42803 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Announcement of Board Approval Under Delegated Authority and Submission to OMBPDF
80 FR 42826 - David J. Brancato: Grant of Special Termination; Final Order Terminating DebarmentPDF
80 FR 42840 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Air ActPDF
80 FR 42708 - Amendment of Class B Airspace; New Orleans, LAPDF
80 FR 42787 - Meeting Notice of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory BoardPDF
80 FR 42835 - Technical Mapping Advisory CouncilPDF
80 FR 42837 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Nevada Department of Wildlife; Application for Enhancement of Survival Permit; Proposed Programmatic Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for the Relict Leopard Frog; Clark County, NevadaPDF
80 FR 42822 - Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (ABRWH or Advisory Board), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)PDF
80 FR 42707 - Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan EnginesPDF
80 FR 42761 - Proposed Establishment of Restricted Area R-2507W; Chocolate Mountains, CAPDF
80 FR 42864 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Highway in HawaiiPDF
80 FR 42820 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 42843 - Notice of Intent To Seek Approval To Establish an Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 42840 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested; Unfair Immigration-Related Employment Practices Complaint FormPDF
80 FR 42794 - Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory CommitteesPDF
80 FR 42797 - Linden VFT, LLC v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.; Notice of Amended ComplaintPDF
80 FR 42797 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
80 FR 42798 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 42798 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
80 FR 42800 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 42802 - Caithness Long Island II, LLC v. New York Independent System Operator, Inc.; Notice of ComplaintPDF
80 FR 42865 - Agency Request for Emergency Processing of Collection of Information by the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
80 FR 42756 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 42823 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 42847 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 42723 - Update to Product ListsPDF
80 FR 42825 - Prescription Drug User Fee Act; Stakeholder Consultation Meetings on the Prescription Drug User Fee Act Reauthorization; Request for Notification of Stakeholder Intention To ParticipatePDF
80 FR 42733 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; North Carolina; Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards ChangesPDF
80 FR 42777 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; North Carolina; Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards RevisionsPDF
80 FR 42842 - Arts Advisory Panel MeetingsPDF
80 FR 42747 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog FisheriesPDF
80 FR 42845 - Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3PDF
80 FR 42788 - Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 42735 - Hazardous Waste Management System; Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste AmendmentPDF
80 FR 42787 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 42832 - Texas; Amendment No. 3 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 42835 - Texas; Amendment No. 4 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 42830 - Final Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 42832 - Final Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 42726 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Illinois; Midwest Generation VariancesPDF
80 FR 42820 - Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Health Disparities Subcommittee (HDS)PDF
80 FR 42860 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending the NYSE Arca Equities Schedule of Fees and Charges for Exchange ServicesPDF
80 FR 42856 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Exchange Rules 307 and 309 To Extend the SPY Pilot ProgramPDF
80 FR 42847 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Listing and Trading of Shares of the First Trust SSI Strategic Convertible Securities ETF of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IVPDF
80 FR 42862 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Exchange's Pricing Schedule under Section VIII With Respect to Execution and Routing of Orders in Securities Priced at $1 or More per SharePDF
80 FR 42793 - Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public HearingsPDF
80 FR 42830 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 42830 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 42830 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 42866 - Public Input on Expanding Access to Credit Through Online Marketplace LendingPDF
80 FR 42838 - National Earthquake Prediction Evaluation CouncilPDF
80 FR 42839 - Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 42792 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Cost Recovery ProgramPDF
80 FR 42760 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Portland, ORPDF
80 FR 42727 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Revisions to the New Source Review State Implementation Plan; Flexible Permit ProgramPDF
80 FR 42753 - Bird Strike Requirements for Transport Category AirplanesPDF
80 FR 42836 - Receipt of Applications for Endangered Species PermitsPDF
80 FR 42869 - Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Change of Listing Status for Certain Substitutes Under the Significant New Alternatives Policy ProgramPDF
80 FR 42710 - Final Action Concerning Review of Interpretations of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act; Rule Governing Disclosure of Written Consumer Product Warranty Terms and Conditions; Rule Governing Pre-Sale Availability of Written Warranty Terms; Rule Governing Informal Dispute Settlement Procedures; and Guides for the Advertising of Warranties and GuaranteesPDF

Issue

80 138 Monday, July 20, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Rural Utilities Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 42787-42788 2015-17671 Meetings: National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, 42787 2015-17708
Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 42820-42822 2015-17699 Meetings: Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; Correction, 42822 2015-17704 Advisory Committee to the Director, Health Disparities Subcommittee, 42820 2015-17661 Compliance with the Federal Select Agent Program, 42819-42820 2015-17734 The Importation and Exportation of Infectious Biological Agents, Infectious Substances and Vectors, 42822 2015-17735 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Accomplishments of the Domestic Violence Hotline, Online Connections and Text Study, 42823 2015-17687 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Acquisition Regulation; U.S. Flag Air Carriers Statement, 42819 2015-17762 Charter Renewals: Federal Advisory Committees, 42794-42795 2015-17696 Meetings: Judicial Proceedings since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel, 42795-42796 2015-17720 Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Decisions and Orders: Syed Jawed Akhtar-Zaidi, M.D., 42962-42996 2015-17719 Education Department Education Department NOTICES List of Correspondence: April 1, 2014, through June 30, 2014; July 1, 2014, through September 30, 2014, 42796-42797 2015-17766 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Trade Adjustment Assistance Program; Designation of Certifying Officers, 42841-42842 2015-17721 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Illinois; Midwest Generation Variances, 42726-42727 2015-17662 North Carolina; Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards Changes, 42733-42735 2015-17683 Texas; Low Reid Vapor Pressure Fuel Regulations, 42730-42733 2015-17743 Texas; Revisions to the New Source Review; Flexible Permit Program, 42727-42730 2015-17472 Hazardous Waste Management System; Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste Amendment, 42735-42738 2015-17672 Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Change of Listing Status for Certain Substitutes under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program, 42870-42959 2015-17066 TSCA Section 5 Premanufacture and Significant New Use Notification Electronic Reporting, 42739-42747 2015-17737 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Alabama; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 42765-42774 2015-17733 Florida; Combs Oil Company Variance, 42763-42765 2015-17736 Georgia Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 8-hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 42777-42786 2015-17740 Mississippi; Miscellaneous Changes, 42774-42777 2015-17744 North Carolina; Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards Revisions, 42777 2015-17682 Texas; Low Reid Vapor Pressure Fuel Regulations, 42763 2015-17742 NOTICES Pesticide Product Registrations: Applications for New Active Ingredients, 42802-42803 2015-17738 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: General Electric Company Turbofan Engines, 42707-42708 2015-17703 Amendment of Class B Airspace: New Orleans, LA, 42708-42710 2015-17709 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: The Boeing Company Airplanes, 42756-42760 2015-17688 Amendment of Class E Airspace: Portland, OR, 42760-42761 2015-17502 Bird Strike Requirements for Transport Category Airplanes, 42753-42756 2015-17404 Proposed Establishment of Restricted Areas: R-2507W, Chocolate Mountains, CA, 42761-42763 2015-17702 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Final Flood Hazard Determinations, 42830-42834 2015-17663 2015-17666 Major Disaster Declarations: Texas; Amendment No. 3, 42832 2015-17669 Texas; Amendment No. 4, 42835 2015-17668 Meetings: Technical Mapping Advisory Council, 42835-42836 2015-17706 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 42797-42802 2015-17691 2015-17692 2015-17693 2015-17694 Complaints: Caithness Long Island II, LLC v. New York Independent System Operator, Inc., 42802 2015-17690 Linden VFT, LLC v. PJM Interconnection, LLC, 42797 2015-17695 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Highway in Hawaii, 42864-42865 2015-17700 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 42865-42866 2015-17689 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 42803-42806 2015-17713 Federal Retirement Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 42806 2015-17870 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission RULES Interpretations of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act: Disclosure of Written Consumer Product Warranty Terms and Conditions; Pre-Sale Availability of Written Warranty Terms; etc., 42710-42723 2015-14065 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 42806-42810 2015-17764 Proposed Consent Orders: Dollar Tree, Inc. and Family Dollar Stores, Inc., 42810-42819 2015-17767 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Relict Leopard Frog; Enhancement of Survival Permit; Proposed Programmatic Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances; Clark County, NV, 42837-42838 2015-17705 Endangered Species Permit Applications, 42836-42837 2015-17070 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Regulatory Hearing Before the Food and Drug Administration, 42723 2015-17714 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Market Claims in Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug Print Ads, 42823-42825 2015-17725 Debarment Orders: David J. Brancato; Grant of Special Termination, 42826-42827 2015-17712 Determinations that Products Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness: TESSALON (Benzonatate) Capsules and Other Drug Products, 42828-42829 2015-17730 Guidance: Bioequivalence Recommendations for Lubiprostone, 42829-42830 2015-17726 Meetings: Prescription Drug User Fee Act; Stakeholder Consultation on the Prescription Drug User Fee Act Reauthorization; Request for Notification of Stakeholder Intention to Participate, 42825-42826 2015-17684 Nominations for List of Bulk Drug Substances an Outsourcing Facility May Use to Compound Drugs for Use in Animals, 42827-42828 2015-17729 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Proposed Production Activities: The Cookson Company, Inc., Foreign-trade Zone 277, Western Maricopa County, AZ, 42789 2015-17749 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Acquisition Regulation; U.S. Flag Air Carriers Statement, 42819 2015-17762 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Meetings: National Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council, 42838-42839 2015-17641 Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee, 42839 2015-17640 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags from Thailand; Initiation and Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review, 42789-42790 2015-17732 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Resealable Packages with Slider Devices, 42839-42840 2015-17716 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Unfair Immigration-Related Employment Practices Complaint Form, 42840-42841 2015-17697 Proposed Consent Decrees under the Clean Air Act, 42840 2015-17711
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Labor-Management Standards Office

Labor Management Standards Labor-Management Standards Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Labor Organization and Auxiliary Reports, 42842 2015-17731 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Acquisition Regulation; U.S. Flag Air Carriers Statement, 42819 2015-17762 National Endowment for the Arts National Endowment for the Arts NOTICES Meetings: Arts Advisory Panel, 42842-42843 2015-17679 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

National Endowment for the Arts

National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 42830 2015-17648 Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 42830 2015-17646 2015-17649 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fisheries, 42747-42752 2015-17678 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Final NOAA Restoration Center, 42791 2015-17739 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Cost Recovery Program, 42792 2015-17639 Meetings: Fisheries of the South Atlantic Southeast Data, Assessment and Review, 42790-42791 2015-17722 North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 42791-42792 2015-17723 Public Hearings: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 42793-42794 2015-17650 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 42843-42845 2015-17698 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 42843 2015-17868 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES License Amendment Applications: Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3, 42845 2015-17677 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 42845 2015-17823 Site Release: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Vallecitos Nuclear Center, 42846-42847 2015-17763 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission RULES Update to Product Lists, 42723-42726 2015-17685 NOTICES New Postal Products, 42847 2015-17686 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents EXECUTIVE ORDERS Committees; Establishment, Renewal, Termination, etc.: New Jersey Transit Rail Labor Disputes; Establishment of Emergency Board To Investigate (EO 13700), 43003-43005 2015-17926 ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Foreign Assistance Act of 1961; Transfer of Funds, Delegation of Authority (Memorandum of June 25, 2015), 43001 2015-17925 United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014; Delegation of Authority (Memorandum of June 19, 2015), 42997-42999 2015-17922 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 42788 2015-17673 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: Crescent Capital Group, LP, 42857-42859 2015-17715 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, 42856-42857 2015-17659 NASDAQ OMX PHLX, LLC, 42862-42863 2015-17657 NYSE Arca, Inc., 42860-42862 2015-17660 The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 42847-42855 2015-17658 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Ancient Egypt Transformed -- The Middle Kingdom, 42864 2015-17724 New Objectivity -- Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic 1919-1933, 42863-42864 2015-17728 Strength and Splendor -- Wrought Iron from the Musee Le Secq des Tournelles, 42864 2015-17727 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

Treasury Treasury Department NOTICES Public Input on Expanding Access to Credit through Online Marketplace Lending, 42866-42868 2015-17644 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Environmental Protection Agency, 42870-42959 2015-17066 Part III Justice Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, 42962-42996 2015-17719 Part IV Presidential Documents, 42997-42999, 43001, 43003-43005 2015-17926 2015-17925 2015-17922 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.

80 138 Monday, July 20, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0165; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-02-AD; Amendment 39-18212; AD 2015-15-03] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all General Electric Company (GE) GEnx turbofan engine models. This AD was prompted by reports of GEnx-1B and GEnx-2B engines experiencing power loss in ice crystal icing (ICI) conditions. This AD precludes the use of full authority digital engine control (FADEC) software, version B175 or earlier, in GEnx-1B engines, and the use of FADEC software, version C065 or earlier, in GEnx-2B engines. We are issuing this AD to prevent engine failure, loss of thrust control, and damage to the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective August 24, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this AD, contact General Electric Company, GE Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215; phone: 513-552-3272; email: [email protected] You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0165; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Christopher McGuire, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7120; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all General Electric Company (GE) GEnx turbofan engine models. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 17, 2015 (80 FR 13797). The NPRM was prompted by reports of GEnx-1B and GEnx-2B engines experiencing power loss in ICI conditions. The NPRM proposed to preclude the use of FADEC software, version B175 or earlier, in GEnx-1B engines, and the use of FADEC software, version C065 or earlier, in GEnx-2B engines. We are issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to each comment.

Request To Delay Issuance of AD

United Airlines (United) commented that this AD should not be issued until after GEnx-1B FADEC software version B185 is released. United noted that software version B185 will provide a greater level of protection from damage to the engine due to ice crystal icing. United indicated that the proposed AD would allow engines to operate with FADEC software versions B178 and B180, which do not provide the protection of software version B185.

We do not agree. We find that precluding use of FADEC software version B175 or earlier provides an adequate level of safety for inadvertent encounters in ICI environments. We did not change this AD.

Request To Withdraw AD and Supersede Another AD

United requested that we withdraw the proposed rule and, instead supersede AD 2013-24-01 (78 FR 70851, November 27, 2013), which requires revising the airplane flight manual for Model 747-8 and 747-8F series airplanes and Model 787-8 airplanes powered by GEnx engines.

We do not agree. Our AD addresses the susceptibility of GEnx engines when operating inadvertently in ICI conditions. AD 2013-24-01 (78 FR 70851, November 27, 2013) is setting operational limitations on Boeing Model 747-8, 747-8F, and 787-8 airplanes equipped with GEnx engines. The ADs have different purposes, and superseding AD 2013-24-01 is outside the scope of this AD. We did not withdraw this AD.

Support for the NPRM

The Boeing Company and the General Electric Company expressed support for the proposed rule.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 80 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 1 hour per engine to comply with this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. No parts are required. Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost of the AD to U.S. operators to be $6,800.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-15-03 General Electric Company: Amendment 39-18212; Docket No. FAA-2015-0165; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-02-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective August 24, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all General Electric Company (GE) GEnx-1B model turbofan engines with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) software version B175 or earlier, installed, and GEnx-2B model turbofan engines with FADEC software version C065 or earlier, installed.

(d) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports of GEnx-1B and GEnx-2B engines experiencing power loss in ice crystal icing (ICI) conditions. We are issuing this AD to prevent engine failure, loss of thrust control, and damage to the airplane.

(e) Compliance

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

(1) Thirty days after the effective date of this AD, do not operate any GE GEnx-1B engine with FADEC software version B175 or earlier, installed in the electronic engine control (EEC).

(2) Thirty days after the effective date of this AD, do not operate any GE GEnx-2B engine with FADEC software version C065 or earlier, installed in the EEC.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

The Manager, Engine Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs to this AD. Use the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19 to make your request. You may email your request to: [email protected]

(g) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Christopher McGuire, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7120; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

(2) GE GEnx-1B Service Bulletin (SB) No. 73-0036 R00, dated January 6, 2015, and GE GEnx-2B SB No. 73-0035 R00, dated September 16, 2014, which are not incorporated by reference in this AD, can be obtained from GE using the contact information in paragraph (g)(3) of this AD.

(3) For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact General Electric Company, GE Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215; phone: 513-552-3272; email: [email protected]

(4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

(h) Material Incorporated by Reference

None.

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on July 13, 2015. Carlos A. Pestana, Acting Directorate Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-17703 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2219; Airspace Docket No. 15-AWA-5] RIN 2120-AA66 Amendment of Class B Airspace; New Orleans, LA AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule, technical amendment.

SUMMARY:

This action amends Class B airspace at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, New Orleans, LA, by removing reference to the Instrument Landing System (ILS) Runway 10 Outer Compass Locator (LOM) from the text header information and surface area (Area A) description and replacing it in the Area A description with the geographic latitude/longitude coordinates of the LOM. This change is necessary due to the planned decommissioning of the LOM navigation aid. The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and New Orleans Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (Alvin Callender Field) airport names and airport reference point (ARP) geographic coordinates are also updated. The St. Charles and Lakefront airports, used in the Class B description, are added in the legal description text header information, as well as, the Harvey VHF Omnidirectional Range/Tactical Air Navigation (VORTAC) navigation aid. Lastly, general editing of the legal description is accomplished to improve clarity. These changes are editorial only to match existing FAA aeronautical database information and do not alter the current charted boundaries or altitudes or the ATC procedures for the New Orleans Class B airspace area.

DATES:

Effective Date: 0901 UTC, November 12, 2015. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under 1 CFR part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Colby Abbott, Airspace Policy and Regulations Group, Office of Airspace Services, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the U.S. Code. Subtitle 1, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it amends the Class B airspace at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, New Orleans, LA.

History

The New Orleans Class B airspace area was established as a Terminal Control Area (TCA) on July 17, 1975 (40 FR 20269, May 9, 1975). In 1993, as part of the Airspace Reclassification Final Rule (56 FR 65638, December 17, 1991), the term “terminal control area” was replace by “Class B airspace area.” Because there was no VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR) navigation aid located on the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (formerly New Orleans International Airport-Moisant Field), the Class B airspace area was designed using the ARP latitude/longitude coordinates as the center point. When established, the surface area (Area A) included an extension, described using an arc around the ILS Runway 10 LOM. In October 2015, the ILS Runway 10 LOM is being decommissioned because it cannot be cost-effectively maintained any longer. To retain the existing charted boundaries of the New Orleans Class B airspace surface area, the FAA is using the geographic latitude/longitude coordinates of the ILS Runway 10 LOM being decommissioned to describe the Class B airspace Area A extension. All references to the LOM in the New Orleans Class B airspace description are being removed and reference to the LOM in the Area A description is being replaced by a point using the geographic latitude/longitude coordinates of the ILS Runway 10 LOM.

In preparation of updating the New Orleans Class B airspace description, the FAA reviewed the aeronautical database and determined that the New Orleans International Airport-Moisant Field name had changed to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, the NAS New Orleans-Alvin Callender Field name had changed to the New Orleans Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (Alvin Callender Field), and the respective ARP geographic coordinates for both had also changed. Further, the Class B airspace area legal description used the St. Charles and Lakefront airports in the Area C and Area D descriptions, respectively, and the Harvey VORTAC in the Area C description, but the airports and VORTAC information was omitted from the Class B description text header. This action makes the required edits above. Lastly, the descriptions have been edited to eliminate confusing wording and improve clarity.

The FAA is taking this action so that the current boundaries of the New Orleans Class B airspace area are not affected by the decommissioning of the ILS Runway 10 LOM.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

The FAA is amending Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by amending the New Orleans Class B airspace legal description for the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, New Orleans, LA. This action removes all references to the “ILS Runway 10 Outer Compass Locator” and replaces it in the Area A description with a point located at the same latitude/longitude geographic coordinates of the LOM. This rule updates the New Orleans International Airport-Moisant Field name to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, and the ARP Geographic coordinates from “lat. 29°59′36″ N., long. 90°15′28″ W.” to “lat. 29°59′36″ N., long. 90°15′33″ W.” Additionally, it updates the NAS New Orleans-Alvin Callender Field name to New Orleans Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (Alvin Callender Field), and the ARP geographic coordinates from “lat. 29°49′31″ N., long. 90°02′06″ W.” to “lat. 29°49′38″ N., long. 90°01′36″ W.” This action also adds the St. Charles and Lakefront Airports and their associated ARP geographic coordinates, as well as the Harvey VORTAC and its geographic coordinates to the legal description text header information. Lastly, the Class B airspace description is edited to remove confusing wording and improve clarity.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Since this action merely involves editorial changes in the legal description of the New Orleans Class B airspace area, and does not involve a change in the boundaries or altitudes or operating requirements of that airspace, notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are unnecessary.

Environmental Review

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 3000 Subpart B—Class B Airspace. ASW LA B New Orleans, LA Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (Primary Airport) (Lat. 29°59′36″ N., long. 90°15′33″ W.) New Orleans Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (Alvin Callender Field), LA (Lat. 29°49′38″ N., long. 90°01′36″ W.) Ama, St. Charles Airport, LA (pvt) (Lat. 29°57′07″ N., long. 90°17′10″ W.) New Orleans, Lakefront Airport, LA (Lat. 30°02′33″ N., long. 90°01′42″ W.) Harvey VORTAC (Lat. 29°51′01″ N., long. 90°00′11″ W.)

Boundaries.

Area A. That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 7,000 feet MSL within a 7-mile radius of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and within a 1.5-mile radius of a point located at lat. 30°01′31″ N., long. 90°24′00″ W., excluding that airspace north of the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain, that airspace within and underlying Area C described hereinafter, and that airspace 0.5 mile either side of a line extending from lat. 30°01′10″ N., long. 90°07′47″ W. to lat. 29°59′31″ N., long. 90°15′37″ W. to lat. 30°03′37″ N., long. 90°22′10″ W.

Area B. That airspace extending upward from 600 feet MSL to and including 7,000 feet MSL north of the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain within a 7-mile radius of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, excluding that airspace 0.5 mile either side of a line extending from lat. 30°01′10″ N., long. 90°07′47″ W. to lat. 29°59′31″ N., long. 90°15′37″ W. to lat. 30°03′37″ N., long. 90°22′10″ W.

Area C. That airspace extending upward from 1,000 feet MSL to and including 7,000 feet MSL within an area bounded by a line beginning 7 miles southwest of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport on the north shore of the Mississippi River; thence east along the Mississippi River north shore to a point 0.5 mile east of and parallel to the St. Charles Airport runway 17/35 extended centerline; thence southeast along a line 0.5 miles east of and parallel to the St. Charles Airport runway 17/35 extended centerline to the Southern Pacific Railroad track; thence southwest along the Southern Pacific Railroad track to a point 4 miles southwest of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport; thence counterclockwise along a 4-mile radius of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to the north shore of the Mississippi River; thence east along the north shore of the Mississippi River to the Harvey VORTAC 300° radial; thence southeast along the Harvey VORTAC 300° radial to a point 7 miles southeast of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport; thence clockwise along the 7-mile radius of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to the point of beginning.

Area D. That airspace extending upward from 2,000 feet MSL to and including 7,000 feet MSL within a 15-mile radius of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, excluding that airspace within Areas A, B, and C previously described, that airspace within Area F described hereinafter, that airspace within the Lakefront Airport Class D airspace area, and that airspace within a 4.4-mile radius of New Orleans Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (Alvin Callender Field).

Area E. That airspace extending upward from 4,000 feet MSL to and including 7,000 feet MSL within a 20-mile radius of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, excluding that airspace within Areas A, B, C, and D previously described, and that airspace within Area F described hereinafter.

Area F. That airspace extending upward from the surface to 1,000 feet MSL and from 2,000 feet MSL to 7,000 feet MSL 0.5 mile either side of a line extending from lat. 30°01′10″ N., long. 90°07′47″ W. to lat. 29°59′31″ N., long. 90°15′37″ W. to lat. 30°03′37″ N., long. 90°22′10″ W., excluding that airspace below 600 feet MSL north of the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

Issued in Washington, DC, on July 7, 2015. Gary A. Norek, Manager, Airspace Policy and Regulations Group.
[FR Doc. 2015-17709 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Parts 700, 701, and 703 RIN 3084-AB24; 3084-AB25; 3084-AB26 Final Action Concerning Review of Interpretations of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act; Rule Governing Disclosure of Written Consumer Product Warranty Terms and Conditions; Rule Governing Pre-Sale Availability of Written Warranty Terms; Rule Governing Informal Dispute Settlement Procedures; and Guides for the Advertising of Warranties and Guarantees AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION:

Final revised Interpretations; Final clerical changes to Rules; and Conclusion of review proceedings.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Trade Commission (“the Commission”) is announcing its final action in connection with the review of a set of warranty-related Rules and Guides: The Interpretations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (“Interpretations” or “part 700”); the Rule Governing Disclosure of Written Consumer Product Warranty Terms and Conditions (“Rule 701”); the Rule Governing Pre-Sale Availability of Written Warranty Terms (“Rule 702”); the Rule Governing Informal Dispute Settlement Procedures (“Rule 703”); and the Guides for the Advertising of Warranties and Guarantees (“the Guides” or “part 239”). The Interpretations represent the Commission's views on various aspects of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (“the Act” or “MMWA”), and are intended to clarify the Act's requirements. Rule 701 specifies the information that must appear in a written warranty on a consumer product. Rule 702 details the obligations of sellers and warrantors to make warranty information available to consumers prior to purchase. Rule 703 specifies the minimum standards required for any informal dispute settlement mechanism that is incorporated into a written consumer product warranty, and that the consumer must use prior to pursuing any legal remedies in court. The Guides are intended to help advertisers avoid unfair or deceptive practices in the advertising of warranties or guarantees.

DATES:

The changes to the Interpretations and Rules will take effect on July 20, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Svetlana S. Gans, Staff Attorney, Division of Marketing Practices, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580, (202) 326-3708.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The MMWA, 15 U.S.C. 2301-2312, is the federal law that governs consumer product warranties. Passed by Congress in 1975, the Act requires manufacturers and sellers of consumer products to provide consumers with detailed information about warranty coverage before and after the sale of a warranted product. When consumers believe they are the victim of an MMWA violation, the statute provides them the ability to proceed through a warrantor's informal dispute resolution process or sue in court. On August 23, 2011, the Commission published a Federal Register request for public comment, soliciting written public comments concerning five warranty Rules and Guides: (1) The Commission's Interpretations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 16 CFR part 700; (2) the Rule Governing Disclosure of Written Consumer Product Warranty Terms and Conditions, 16 CFR part 701; (3) the Rule Governing Pre-Sale Availability of Written Warranty Terms, 16 CFR part 702; (4) the Rule Governing Informal Dispute Settlement Procedures, 16 CFR part 703; and (5) the Guides for the Advertising of Warranties and Guarantees, 16 CFR part 239.1 The Commission requested comments on these Rules and Guides as part of its regulatory review program, under which it reviews rules and guides periodically in order to obtain information about the costs and benefits of the rules and guides under review, as well as their regulatory and economic impact. The information obtained assists the Commission in identifying rules and guides that warrant modification or rescission. After careful review of the comments received in response to the request, the Commission has determined to retain Rules 701, 702, and 703, and the Guides without change, and to modify the Interpretations in §§ 700.10 and 700.11(a). The Commission is also updating the citation format in the Interpretations and Rules.2

1 76 FR 52596 (Aug. 23, 2011).

2 These clerical changes do not involve any substantive changes in the Rules' requirements for entities subject to the Rules. Accordingly, the Commission finds that public comment is unnecessary. See 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).

In addition, under the APA, a substantive final rule is required to take effect at least 30 days after publication in the Federal Register unless an agency finds good cause that the rule should become effective sooner. 5 U.S.C. 553(d). However, this is purely a clerical change and is not a substantive rule change. Therefore, the Commission finds good cause to dispense with a delayed effective date.

In addition, Commission staff has recently issued a number of guidance documents to better educate consumers and businesses concerning their rights and obligations under the MMWA. For example, in order to cure perceived misconceptions in the marketplace, staff issued and recently updated a consumer alert stating that the MMWA prohibits warrantors from voiding an automotive warranty merely because a consumer uses an aftermarket or recycled part or third-party services to repair one's vehicle (subject to certain exceptions).3 Staff also updated the .Com Disclosures to provide additional guidance concerning online warranty disclosure obligations 4 and issued letters to various online sellers concerning their obligations under the pre-sale availability rule.5 Staff will continue to evaluate whether additional guidance is necessary to better inform both consumers and business concerning their rights and responsibilities under the MMWA.

3 FTC, Auto Warranties & Routine Maintenance (July 2011, updated May 2015) (“Consumer Alert on Auto Warranties”), available at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0138-auto-warranties-routine-maintenance. A warrantor may condition the warranty on the use of certain parts or service if it provides these parts and services without charge to the consumer under the warranty, or alternatively, if the warrantor receives a waiver from the Commission. See 15 U.S.C. 2302(c).

4See FTC, .com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising (2013), available at http://ftc.gov/os/2013/03/130312dotcomdisclosures.pdf.

5 Press Release, FTC, As Holiday Shopping Season Gets Underway, FTC Reminds Internet Retailers to Ensure Consumers Have Access to Warranty Information (Dec. 2, 2013), http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2013/12/holiday-shopping-season-gets-underway-ftc-reminds-internet.

A. Background 1. 16 CFR Part 700: Interpretations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (“Interpretations”)

The MMWA, 15 U.S.C. 2301-2312, which governs written warranties on consumer products, was signed into law on January 4, 1975. After the Act was passed, the Commission received many questions concerning the Act's requirements. In responding to these inquiries, the Commission initially published, on June 18, 1975, a policy statement in the Federal Register (40 FR 25721) providing interim guidance during the initial implementation of the Act. As the Commission continued to receive questions and requests for advisory opinions, however, it determined that more comprehensive guidance was appropriate. Therefore, on July 13, 1977, the Commission published in the Federal Register (42 FR 36112) its Interpretations of the MMWA to assist warrantors and suppliers of consumer products in complying with the Act.

These Interpretations are intended to clarify the Act's requirements for manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers. The Interpretations cover a wide range of subjects, including: The types of products considered “consumer products” under the Act; the differences between a “written warranty,” “service contract” and “insurance”; written warranty term requirements; the use of warranty registration cards under full and limited warranties; and illegal tying arrangements under Section 2302(c) of the Act. These Interpretations, like industry guides, are administrative interpretations of the law. Therefore, they do not have the force of law and are not independently enforceable. The Commission can take action under the Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTC Act”) and the MMWA, however, against claims that are inconsistent with the Interpretations if the Commission has reason to believe that such claims are unfair or deceptive practices under Section 5 or violate the MMWA.

2. 16 CFR Part 701: Disclosure of Written Consumer Product Warranty Terms and Conditions

Section 2302(a) of the MMWA authorizes the Commission to promulgate rules regarding the disclosure of written warranty terms. Accordingly, on December 31, 1975, the Commission published in the Federal Register (40 FR 60188) its Rule Governing Disclosure of Written Consumer Product Warranty Terms and Conditions. Rule 701 establishes disclosure requirements for written warranties on consumer products that cost more than $15.00. It also specifies the aspects of warranty coverage that must be disclosed in the written document, as well as the exact language that must be used for certain disclosures regarding state law on the duration of implied warranties and the availability of consequential or incidental damages.

Under Rule 701, warranty information must be disclosed in simple, easily understandable, and concise language in a single document. In promulgating Rule 701, the Commission determined that material facts about product warranties, the nondisclosure of which would be deceptive or misleading, must be disclosed.6 In addition to specifying the information that must appear in a written warranty, Rule 701 also requires that, if the warrantor of a limited warranty uses a warranty registration or owner registration card, the warranty must disclose whether return of the registration card is a condition precedent to warranty coverage.7

6See 40 FR 60168, 60169 (Dec. 31, 1975) (“The items required for disclosure by this Rule are material facts about warranties, the non-disclosure of which constitutes a deceptive practice.”).

7 Notably, section 2014(b)(1) of the MMWA prohibits warrantors offering a full warranty from imposing duties other than the notification of a defect as a condition of securing warranty remedies. 15 U.S.C. 2304(b)(1).

3. 16 CFR Part 702: Pre-Sale Availability of Written Warranty Terms

Section 2302(b)(1)(A) of the MMWA directs the Commission to prescribe rules requiring that the terms of any written warranty on a consumer product be made available to the prospective purchaser prior to the sale of the product. Accordingly, on December 31, 1975, the Commission published Rule 702. Rule 702 establishes requirements for sellers and warrantors to make the text of any warranty on a consumer product available to the consumer prior to sale. Among other things, Rule 702 requires sellers to make warranties readily available either by: (1) Displaying the warranty document in close proximity to the product or (2) furnishing the warranty document on request and posting signs in prominent locations advising consumers that warranties are available. The Rule requires warrantors to provide materials to enable sellers to comply with the Rule's requirements, and also sets out the methods by which warranty information can be made available prior to the sale if the product is sold through catalogs, mail order, or door-to-door sales. As discussed further below, Rule 702 also applies to online sales.

4. 16 CFR Part 703: Informal Dispute Settlement Procedures

Section 2310(a)(2) of the MMWA directs the Commission to prescribe the minimum standards for any informal dispute settlement mechanism (“IDSM” or “Mechanism”) that a warrantor, by including a “prior resort” clause in its written warranty, requires consumers to use before they may file suit under the Act to obtain a remedy for warranty non-performance. Accordingly, on December 31, 1975, the Commission published Rule 703. Rule 703 contains extensive procedural safeguards for consumers that a warrantor must incorporate in any IDSM. These standards include, but are not limited to, requirements concerning the IDSM's structure (e.g., funding, staffing, and neutrality), the qualifications of staff or decision makers, and the IDSM's procedures for resolving disputes, recordkeeping, and annual audits.

5. 16 CFR Part 239: Guides for the Advertising of Warranties and Guarantees

The Guides for the Disclosure of Warranties and Guarantees, codified in part 239, provide guidance concerning warranty and guarantee disclosures. Part 239 intends to help advertisers avoid unfair and deceptive practices when advertising warranties and guarantees. The 1985 Guides advise that advertisements mentioning warranties or guarantees should contain a disclosure that the actual warranty document is available for consumers to read before they buy the advertised product. In addition, the Guides set forth advice for using the terms “satisfaction guarantee,” “lifetime,” and similar representations. Finally, the Guides advise that sellers or manufacturers should not advertise that a product is warranted or guaranteed unless they promptly and fully perform their warranty obligations. The Guides are advisory in nature.

B. Analysis of the Comments on the Interpretations, Rule 701, Rule 702, Rule 703, and the Guides

Twenty-nine entities and individuals submitted public comments in response to the August 23, 2011 Federal Register request for public comment.8 Comments generally reflect a strong level of support for the view that the Interpretations, Rules, and Guides are achieving the objectives they were fashioned to achieve—i.e., to facilitate the consumer's ability to obtain clear, accurate warranty information. A majority of the commenters, though endorsing retention of the present regulatory scheme, suggested modifications to the Interpretations, Rules, and Guides, which they believe would provide greater consumer protections and minimize burdens on firms subject to the regulations.

8 76 FR 52596 (Aug. 23, 2011). Public comments in response to the Commission's 2011 FRN are located at http://www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments/initiative-392. Comments cited herein to the Federal Register notice are designated as such, and are identified by commenter name, and, where applicable, page number.

1. 16 CFR Part 700: Interpretations a. Amend § 700.10 To Provide Further Guidance on Prohibited Tying

Generally, the MMWA prohibits warrantors from conditioning warranties on the consumer's use of a replacement product or repair service identified by brand or name, unless the article or service is provided without charge to the consumer or the warrantor has received a waiver.9 The Commission's Interpretations illustrate this concept by stating that phrases such as this warranty is void if service is performed by anyone other than an authorized “ABC” dealer and all replacement parts must be genuine “ABC” parts and the like, are prohibited unless the service or parts are provided free of charge. Such provisions violate the MMWA's ban on tying arrangements and are deceptive under Section 5 of the FTC Act, because a warrantor cannot avoid liability under a warranty where the defect or damage is unrelated to the consumer's use of “unauthorized” parts or service. This does not, however, preclude the warrantor from denying warranty coverage for repairs associated with defects or damage caused by the use of the “unauthorized” parts or service.10

9See 15 U.S.C. 2302(c). The Commission may waive this prohibition if the warrantor demonstrates to the Commission that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and the waiver is in the public interest. 15 U.S.C. 2302(c).

10 16 CFR 700.10.

Several commenters 11 assert that the Commission's Interpretations do not address the market realities of manufacturers' statements about the use of branded products. These commenters state that automotive and other consumer product manufacturers have employed language in consumer materials “to suggest that warranty coverage directly or impliedly `requires' the use of a branded product or service” 12 leading reasonable consumers to believe that coverage under a written warranty will be void if non-original parts or non-dealer services are utilized.13 Commenters suggest that these statements lead consumers to doubt the viability of non-original (or recycled) parts.14 “Faced with such a choice a consumer is likely to use the `required' product in order to avoid the risk that they may later face potentially expensive repairs that may not be covered under their warranty, resulting in a `tie' created via warranty.” 15 Accordingly, these commenters request that the Commission “make clear that warranty language that creates the impression that the use of a branded product or service is required in order to maintain warranty coverage is . . . impermissible.” 16

11 Ashland; Automotive Oil Change Association; Automotive Recyclers Association; BP Lubricants; Certified Auto Parts Association; Hunton & Williams; International Imaging Technology Council; LKQ Corporation; Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association; Monro Muffler Brake; Property Casualty Insurers Association of America; and the Uniform Standards in Automotive Products Coalition (“USAP Coalition”). One commenter, the American Insurance Association, urges the Commission not to change § 700.10. The Coalition for Auto Repair Equality urges the Commission to uphold MMWA's tying prohibitions. Grandpa's Garage comments that GM's recommendation that consumers use its branded oil is helpful because GM explains the right products to use for repair and the prevention of premature failure. Consumer J. McKee generally supports the tying prohibitions.

12 USAP Coalition at 6.

13 Hunton & Williams at 4.

14 Automotive Recyclers Association at 2.

15Id.

16 USAP Coalition at 3.

The MMWA incorporates principles under Section 5 of the FTC Act that prohibit warrantors from disseminating deceptive statements concerning warranty coverage. The MMWA gives the Commission the authority to restrain a warrantor from making a deceptive warranty, which is defined as a warranty that “fails to contain information which is necessary in light of all of the circumstances, to make the warranty not misleading to a reasonable individual exercising due care.” 17 Thus, a warrantor would violate the MMWA if its warranty led a reasonable consumer exercising due care to believe that the warranty conditioned coverage “on the consumer's use of an article or service identified by brand, trade or corporate name unless that article or service is provided without charge to the consumer.” 18

17 15 U.S.C. 2310(c).

18 16 CFR 700.10.

Moreover, misstatements leading a consumer to believe that the consumer's warranty is void because a consumer used “unauthorized” parts or service may also be deceptive under Section 5 of the FTC Act.19 Specifically, claims by a warrantor that create a false impression that a warranty would be void due to the use of “unauthorized” parts or service may constitute a deceptive practice as outlined in the FTC Policy Statement on Deception: “The deception theory is based on the fact that most ads making objective claims imply, and many expressly state, that an advertiser has certain specific grounds for the claims. If the advertiser does not, the consumer is acting under a false impression. The consumer might have perceived the advertising differently had he or she known the advertiser had no basis for the claim.” 20 A warrantor claiming or suggesting that a warranty is void simply because a consumer used “unauthorized” parts or service would have no basis for such a claim (absent a Commission waiver pursuant to Section 2302(c) of the Act). This is consistent with staff's view, as expressed in recent opinion letters, that misinformation and misleading statements in conjunction with warranty coverage may be actionable.21

19 15 U.S.C. 45(a). See generally Letter from James C. Miller III, Chairman, Fed. Trade Comm'n, et al., to Rep. John D. Dingell (Oct. 14, 1983), reprinted in Cliffdale Assocs., Inc., 103 F.T.C. 110, 174 (1984), available at https://www.ftc.gov/public-statements/1983/10/ftc-policy-statement-deception (hereinafter “FTC Policy Statement on Deception”) at 2.

20FTC Policy Statement on Deception, supra note 19 at n14; see also 15 U.S.C. 2310(c)(2).

21 Consumer Alert on Auto Warranties, supranote 3.

Therefore, to clarify the tying prohibition of the MMWA, § 700.10(c) will be changed as described in amendatory instruction 11.

b. Require a Mandatory Disclosure Statement in Companies' Warranties

Several commenters 22 ask the Commission to mandate that warrantors providing a warranty to a consumer in connection with a motor vehicle incorporate standard language in their warranties, akin to the FTC's Consumer Alert on Auto Warranties.23 These commenters state that, although the FTC's Consumer Alert on Auto Warranties informs consumers of their rights under the MMWA, consumers should receive information about these rights in an owner's manual or warranty document pursuant to a Commission-mandated disclosure. These commenters ask the Commission to amend its Interpretations so that these warrantors would be required to provide in boldface type on the first page of a written automobile warranty: “Warranty coverage cannot be denied unless the warrantor or service provide[r] [sic] can demonstrate that the defect or damage was caused by the use of unauthorized articles or services.” 24 Commenters base their recommendation, in part, on the language mandated by the Clean Air Act for use in user manuals, namely, that “maintenance, replacement, or repair of the emissions control devices and systems may be performed by any automotive repair establishment or individual using any automotive part.” 25

22 Ashland at 3; Automotive Oil Change Association at 2; Certified Automotive Parts Association at 2-3; International Imaging Technology Council at 6-7; LKQ Corporation at 10; Monro Muffler Brake at 1-2; USAP Coalition at 14-15.

23 The Consumer Alert on Auto Warranties informs consumers, among other things, that unless they have been provided parts or services without charge under the warranty, they do not have to use the dealer for repairs and maintenance to keep their warranty in effect, stating, “An independent mechanic, a retail chain shop, or even you yourself can do routine maintenance and repairs on your vehicle. In fact, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which is enforced by the FTC, makes it illegal for manufacturers or dealers to claim that your warranty is void or to deny coverage under your warranty simply because someone other than the dealer did the work.” Consumer Alert on Auto Warranties, supra note 3.

24 USAP Coalition at 14. Elsewhere, however, the commenters propose other specific language for the Commission to add to its Interpretations that would not be limited to mandatory disclosures in warranty documents but would extend to owner's manuals and other communications with prospective consumers. USAP Coalition at 20, Att. B; Automotive Oil Change Association at 6 (referring to “warranty documents and related communications.”).

25 USAP Coalition at 14, citing 42 U.S.C. 7541(c)(3)(A).

The Commission declines to make this change. As an initial matter, the MMWA, unlike the Clean Air Act, does not require a mandatory disclaimer on all warranties. Further, the current record lacks sufficient evidence to justify the imposition of a mandatory warranty disclosure requirement for a subset of warrantors.26

26 The Specialty Equipment Market Association (“SEMA”) asks the Commission to prepare a supplemental consumer alert to specifically reference “specialty parts.” SEMA at 2. A supplemental consumer alert is not necessary as the existing consumer alert applies to all non-original (or recycled) parts.

c. Clarify That Use of an Aftermarket or Recycled Component is Not a Prima Facie Justification for Warranty Denial

One commenter 27 asks the Commission to clarify that the use of aftermarket components is not a prima facie justification for warranty denial. The Interpretations and related educational materials already make clear that the mere use of an aftermarket (or recycled) component alone is not a sufficient justification for warranty denial. As discussed above, a warrantor cannot disclaim warranty coverage if a defect or damage is unrelated to the consumer's use of “unauthorized” products or service, unless the warrantor provides the service or part without charge under the warranty or receives a Commission waiver.28 A warrantor can refuse coverage where the warrantor can demonstrate that the defect or damage was caused by the use of the “unauthorized” part or service.29

27 Ashland at 2.

28 16 CFR 700.10(c).

29Id.

Several commenters ask the Commission to better educate consumers on how to identify and report warranty tying in the marketplace. In July 2011, the staff issued a consumer alert highlighting MMWA's tying prohibitions. The alert explained: “Simply using an aftermarket or recycled part does not void your warranty. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket or recycled part.” 30

30See Consumer Alert on Auto Warranties, supra note 3. As stated in the updated consumer alert, the manufacturer or dealer can, however, require consumers to use select parts if those parts are provided to consumers free of charge under the warranty.

d. Require That Warrantors Have Substantiation for Their Performance Claims Regarding Non-Original Parts

Several commenters 31 ask the Commission to require that warrantors have substantiation for their claims that original equipment manufacturer (“OEM”) parts work better than non-original or recycled parts. This specific request is outside the purview of the Act and relates generally to the requirement under Section 5 of the FTC Act that companies have sufficient basis for their claims. Section 5 requires warrantors making performance claims regarding non-original or recycled parts to have a reasonable basis for those claims, thereby ensuring that such claims are not unfair, deceptive, false, or misleading. Similarly, advertisers must have adequate substantiation—or a reasonable basis—for any advertising claims they make before the claims are disseminated. Under the substantiation doctrine, “firms lacking a reasonable basis before an ad is disseminated violate Section 5 of the FTC Act.” 32

31 Ashland at 6-7; LKQ Corporation at 8; USAP Coalition at 15-16.

32FTC Policy Statement Regarding Advertising Substantiation, appended to Thompson Med. Co., 104 F.T.C. 648, 839 (1984), aff'd, 791 F.2d 189 (D.C. Cir. 1986).

e. Require Warranty Denial To Be in Writing

The Commission's Interpretations state that a warrantor is not precluded from denying warranty coverage for defects or damage caused by the use of “unauthorized” parts or service if the warrantor “demonstrates” that the “unauthorized” parts or service caused a defect or damage to the vehicle.33 Commenters 34 state that, in some instances, warrantors have denied warranty coverage without sufficiently demonstrating to consumers that the use of “unauthorized” parts or service caused defects or damage to the consumer's vehicle by, for example, giving consumers a copy of a service bulletin or just “say[ing] so.” 35 Commenters therefore ask the Commission to require, in its Interpretations, that warrantors provide consumers with a written statement to support any warranty denial claim.

33 16 CFR 700.10(c).

34 Ashland at 3; Automotive Oil Change Association at 6-7; BP Lubricants at 3, Certified Auto Parts Association at 4-5; SEMA at 3; USAP Coalition at 15-16.

35 Certified Auto Parts Association at 5.

The Commission does not believe a change is warranted because the current record lacks sufficient evidence showing that warrantors routinely deny warranty coverage orally without demonstrating to the consumer that the “unauthorized” part or service caused damage to the vehicle. At this time, the Commission believes the existing Interpretations adequately address this issue.

Simply providing a consumer with a copy of a service bulletin or denying coverage with a bald, unsupported statement that the “unauthorized” parts or service caused the vehicle damage would be insufficient under the Commission's existing Interpretations. Warrantors must have a basis for warranty denials by demonstrating to consumers that the use of “unauthorized” parts or service caused the defect or damage to the vehicle. Further, denying warranty coverage by simply pointing to a service bulletin that informs consumers that only “authorized” parts or service should be used to maintain warranty coverage may also violate the MMWA's proscriptions against tying.36 Therefore, whether the demonstration is in writing or oral, a warrantor denying warranty coverage due to the use of “unauthorized” parts or service must show that such use caused the defect or damage to the vehicle.

36 16 CFR 700.10(c).

f. The Scope of Auto Dealers' Responsibilities Under the MMWA and Interpretations

Two commenters 37 address the scope of auto dealers' (which fall under MMWA's definition of “supplier” 38 ) responsibilities under the MMWA and Interpretations.39 First, the National Consumer Law Center (“NCLC”) asks the Commission to add an interpretation stating that a supplier enters into a service contract with a consumer whenever the supplier offers a service contract to the consumer, irrespective of whether the supplier is obligated to perform under the service contract.40 The Commission declines to add the requested interpretation.

37 Center for Auto Safety at 2; NCLC at 10.

38 The MMWA defines “supplier” as “any person engaged in the business of making a consumer product directly or indirectly available to consumers.” 15 U.S.C. 2301(4).

39 Center for Auto Safety at 2.

40 NCLC at 10.

Existing staff guidance provides that “sellers of consumer products that merely sell service contracts as agents of service contract companies and do not themselves extend written warranties” do not “enter into” service contracts.41 This guidance parallels the MMWA's provisions concerning a seller's liability under the MMWA for merely selling a third party's warranty: “only the warrantor actually making a written affirmation of fact, promise, or undertaking shall be deemed to have created a written warranty, and any rights arising thereunder may be enforced under this section only against such warrantor and no other person.” 42

41See FTC, The Businessperson's Guide to Federal Warranty Law, available at http://www.business.ftc.gov/documents/bus01-businesspersons-guide-federal-warranty-law; 15 U.S.C. 2308(a)(2).

42 15 U.S.C. 2310(f).

In keeping with the MMWA, the Commission's Interpretations concerning parties “actually making” a written warranty provide that a supplier who simply distributes or sells a consumer product warranted by another person or business is not liable for failure of the written warranty to comply with the Act.43 Accordingly, the Commission will not add the requested interpretation concerning service contracts.

43 16 CFR 700.4. Section 700.4 further provides, however, that other actions and written and oral representations of such a supplier in connection with the offer or sale of a warranted product may obligate that supplier under the Act. If under State law the supplier is deemed to have “adopted” the written affirmation of fact, promise, or undertaking, the supplier is also obligated under the Act.

The second commenter, the Center for Auto Safety, seeks clarity to address the discrepancy it perceives between the MMWA and the staff's guidance concerning the circumstances under which an auto dealer (i.e., supplier) can disclaim implied warranties when offering service contracts. It argues that, on one hand, Section 2308(a)(2) of the MMWA states: “no supplier may disclaim or modify . . . any implied warranty to a consumer with respect to such consumer product if . . . at the time of sale, or within 90 days thereafter, such supplier enters into a service contract with the consumer which applies to such consumer product.” 44 On the other hand, the FTC's Businessperson's Guide to Federal Warranty Law states: “[s]ellers of consumer products who make service contracts on their products are prohibited under the Act from disclaiming or limiting implied warranties. . . . However, sellers of consumer products that merely sell service contracts as agents of service contract companies and do not themselves extend written warranties can disclaim implied warranties on the products they sell.” 45

44 15 U.S.C. 2308(a)(2).

45 The Businessperson's Guide to Federal Warranty Law, supra note 41.

The Commission does not believe any discrepancy exists. The confusion may stem from the usage of the word “supplier,” defined in the MMWA as: “any person engaged in the business of making a consumer product directly or indirectly available to consumers.” 46 Thus, “supplier” can mean either the entity that “enters into a service contract with the consumer” or the entity that “merely sells” a third-party's service contract, without more. The latter, as explained previously,47 has not entered into a service contract with the consumer, and therefore Section 2308(a)(2) would not apply.48

46 15 U.S.C. 2301(4).

47 The Businessperson's Guide to Federal Warranty Law, supra note 41.

48 15 U.S.C. 2308(a)(2).

Suppliers, however, are not immune from liability. If a supplier sells a service contract that obligates it to perform under the contract, it will be deemed to have entered into the service contract within the meaning of the statute. In addition, suppliers who extend service contracts utilizing misrepresentations or material omissions may be subject to liability under the MMWA and Section 5 of the FTC Act.49

49 15 U.S.C. 2306(b) (requiring warrantors and suppliers to clearly and conspicuously disclose service contract terms and conditions); 15 U.S.C. 45.

Enforce the Act

Commenters 50 encourage the Commission to enforce the MMWA. The Commission enforces the Act by monitoring consumer complaints, reviewing audit reports, advising warrantors of their obligations, educating consumers and businesses, and taking enforcement action where appropriate.51

50 LKQ Corp. at 1 and 5; Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association at 2-3.

51See, e.g., Compl., BMW of N. Am., LLC, File No. 132 3150, available at https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/cases/150319bmwcmpt.pdf (Fed. Trade Comm'n March 19, 2015); Consumer Alert on Auto Warranties, supra note 3. Consumers or businesses may file complaints with the Commission online through https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov or by calling the Commission's toll-free number, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

g. Apply Rules to Leases And Define “Lease”

NCLC urges the Commission to amend § 700.10 to clarify that the MMWA covers consumer leases.52 The majority of courts have found that a lessee meets the definition of “consumer” in the MMWA because warranty rights are transferred to lessees or the lessees are permitted to enforce the contract under state law, among other reasons.53 As NCLC notes, however, some courts have held that a lessee does not meet the definition of “consumer.” These courts have generally found that the definition of “consumer” presupposes a transaction that qualifies as a sale under the Act, and that the lease transaction at issue was not a qualifying sale.54 NCLC therefore asks the Commission to add a new Interpretation, as § 700.13, titled, “consumer leases,” to provide explicitly that the Act applies to consumer leases.55

52 NCLC at 3.

53See, e.g., Voelker v. Porsche Cars N. Am., Inc., 353 F.3d 516 (7th Cir. 2003); Mago v. Mercedes-Benz, U.S.A., Inc., 142 P.3d 712 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2006); Am. Honda Motor Co. v. Cerasani, 955 So.2d 543 (Fla. 2007).

54See, e.g., Stark v. Maserati N. Am., Inc., 2010 WL 4916981 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 13, 2010); DiCintio v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 768 NE.2d 1121 (N.Y. 2002).

55 NCLC at 5.

The Commission does not agree with the view held by a minority number of courts that lessees cannot be a “consumer” under the MMWA because each prong of the “consumer” definition 56 presupposes a sale to the end-consumer (which in this case is a lessee). Rather, as the majority of courts have held, lessees meet the definition of a “consumer” because warranty rights are either transferred to lessees or the lessees are permitted to enforce the contract under state law.57 Given that a majority of courts hold that the MMWA applies to certain leases, consistent with past agency guidance,58 a new Interpretation is not necessary.

56 15 U.S.C. 2301(3) (“The term `consumer' means a buyer (other than for purposes of resale) of any consumer product, any person to whom such product is transferred during the duration of an implied or written warranty (or service contract) applicable to the product, and any other person who is entitled by the terms of such warranty (or service contract) or under applicable State law to enforce against the warrantor (or service contractor) the obligations of the warranty (or service contract).”).

57See, e.g., supra note 53.

58 The agency has provided similar guidance. See Advisory Opinion from Rachel Dawson to Raymond Asher (June 10, 1976) (“A leased product would be covered if the lease is essentially equivalent to a sale. For example, a product would be covered if the total compensation to be paid by the lessee is substantially equivalent to or in excess of the value of the product, and the lessee will own the product, or has an option to buy it for a nominal consideration, upon full compliance with his obligations under the lease.”).

h. Certain 50/50 Warranties Should Be Interpreted To Violate the Act's Anti-Tying Prohibition

NCLC urges the Commission to reconsider its 2002 opinion letter 59 finding “50/50 warranties” permissible under the Act. Fifty/fifty warranties are those where the dealer promises to pay 50% of the labor costs and 50% of the parts cost, and the consumer pays the remainder. NCLC argues that allowing the warrantor to choose the repairs or parts is contrary to the goals of the MMWA, and leads to monopolistic pricing practices and a decrease in competition.60

59 NCLC at 6-7, citing Letter from Donald S. Clark to Keith E. Whann (Dec. 2, 2002), available at http://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/advisory_opinions/national-independent-automobile-dealer-association/clark_to_whann_letter.pdf.

60 NCLC at 6.

Although the Commission found that 50/50 warranties may violate the Act in certain circumstances in its 1999 rule review, in 2002, the Commission clarified its position on 50/50 warranties. The Commission stated that the Act prohibits warrantors from conditioning their warranties on the use of branded parts or service where the warranted articles or services are “severable from the dealer's responsibilities under the warranty.” 61 Therefore, when a warranty covers only replacement parts, and the consumer pays the labor charges, the warrantor cannot mandate specific service or labor to install those parts. Conversely, when a warranty covers only labor charges, and the consumer pays for parts, the warrantor cannot mandate the use of specific parts. With 50/50 warranties, however, “the warranting dealer has a direct interest in providing the warranty service for which it is partly financially responsible. . . . Rather than conditioning the warranty on the purchase of a separate product or service not covered by the warranty, a 50/50 warranty shares the cost of a single product or service.” 62 For that reason, the warrantor needs some control over the repair needed and quality of repair.63 The Commission has decided to retain its 2002 position on 50/50 warranties. The Commission has reviewed the issue and believes that its 2002 interpretation continues to be correct.

61 Letter from Donald S. Clark to Keith E. Whann (Dec. 2, 2002), supra note 59.

62Id. at 2.

63Id.

i. The Commission's Interpretation Under § 700.11(a) Conflicts With the McCarran-Ferguson Act and Supreme Court Precedent

NCLC asserts that the Commission has incorrectly interpreted the meaning of the McCarran-Ferguson Act in § 700.11(a).64 The McCarran-Ferguson Act provides that “[n]o Act of Congress shall be construed to invalidate, impair, or supersede any law enacted by any State for the purpose of regulating the business of insurance, or which imposes a fee or tax upon such business, unless such Act specifically relates to the business of insurance: Provided, That . . . the Sherman Act, . . . the Clayton Act, and . . . the Federal Trade Commission Act . . . shall be applicable to the business of insurance to the extent that such business is not regulated by State Law.” 65 Section 700.11 states that agreements regulated by state law as insurance are subject to the MMWA “only to the extent they are not regulated in a particular state as the business of insurance.” 66

64 NCLC at 9.

65 15 U.S.C. 1012(b).

66 16 CFR 700.11(a).

NCLC states that the Interpretation is inconsistent with both the McCarran-Ferguson Act and Supreme Court precedent.67 First, NCLC argues that because the MMWA is not one of the three enumerated statutes (the Sherman Act, Clayton Act or the FTC Act), the correct standard is the standard applicable to all other federal statutes. In other words, the MMWA can regulate the business of insurance so long as it does not “invalidate, impair, or supersede” state law. Therefore, even if a state regulates a service agreement as the business of insurance, the MMWA may still apply.68 Second, NCLC asserts the Commission's Interpretation is contrary to Supreme Court precedent, Humana v. Forsyth, 525 U.S. 299 (1999). There, the Supreme Court held that states' regulation of insurance fraud would not displace remedies under federal law for the same misconduct because they do not “impair the insurance regulatory scheme.” 69 Consequently, NCLC states, “even though state insurance law provides a remedial scheme for breach of a service contract regulated as insurance, the additional availability of Magnuson-Moss remedies for the same misconduct does not `impair' the insurance regulatory scheme.” 70

67 NCLC at 8-9.

68Id. at 8.

69Id. at 9.

70Id.

The Commission agrees that the McCarran-Ferguson Act's “invalidate, impair, or supersede” standard is applicable to the MMWA. The Commission will revise the Interpretation as described in amendatory instruction 12.

j. Amend Definition of “Consumer Product”

SEMA asks the Commission to amend the definition of “consumer product” to include specialty equipment.71 The Commission has determined that no definitional change is warranted because specialty equipment is already covered by the definition of “consumer product.” “Consumer product” is defined as “any tangible personal property which is distributed in commerce and which is normally used for personal, family, or household purposes.” 72

71 SEMA at 2. Specialty equipment includes performance, functional, restoration and styling-enhancement products for use on passenger cars and light-duty trucks. Id. at 1.

72 16 CFR 701.1(b).

2. 16 CFR Part 701: Disclosure of Terms and Conditions (Rule 701) a. Regulate Service Contract Disclosures

The request for public comment specifically asked whether the Commission should amend the Rules to cover service-contract disclosures.73 The Commission received six comments on this issue: four commenters urge the Commission not to add specific service-contract disclosure requirements, while two commenters take the opposite view.74 The four opponents of disclosure rules for service contracts state that service contracts are different from warranties in that they do not form the basis of the bargain. They argue that no federal regulation is needed because states already regulate service contracts and adding federal regulation to the mix would create unnecessary burdens to both the industry and to federal and state governments.75

73 The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (“AHAM”) asks for additional changes to Rule 701. First, AHAM asks the Commission to amend Rule 701.3 by adding that any warrantor complying with the Rule is entitled to a presumption in any breach of warranty litigation that the warranty is not unconscionable, deceptive, or misleading. AHAM at 2. It argues that consumers file hundreds of class actions each year asking courts to invalidate or modify the terms of a written warranty. Id. Although Rule 701.3 sets out minimum federal disclosure requirements for consumer product warranties, warrantors must also follow the proscriptions of Section 5 of the FTC Act, prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices, and various applicable state laws. Because there are other laws governing unfairness or deception in warranties, the Commission does not believe it would be appropriate to create a new provision in the Warranty Rules specifying that warrantors complying with Rule 701.3 are entitled to a presumption that their warranties are not unconscionable, deceptive, or misleading. Second, AHAM asks the Commission to amend Rule 701.3 by adding that a warrantor can exclude any latent defects that may manifest after the written warranty period expires. Id. at 3. AHAM asserts that many lawsuits seek to expand or modify the express warranty's terms after sale, and beyond the contractually-limited time period, to cover an alleged latent defect that manifests itself post-warranty period. However, Rule 701.3 focuses on disclosure requirements for consumer product warranties. It requires the disclosure of several items of material information in a clear and conspicuous manner. Rule 701.3 does not mandate specific warranty coverage. Nor does the Rule itself cover post-warranty conduct. Therefore, no change is warranted. Mr. Steinborn asks the Commission to modify Rule 701 so that third-party manufacturers or re-fillers of consumables, such as ink and toner, must include a marking prominently displayed on the consumable that clearly directs the end user to contact the party that remanufactured the consumable (or its designee) for all warranty claims and information. Steinborn at 2. However, Rule 701 already requires that warranty terms include a step-by-step explanation of the procedure which the consumer should follow in order to obtain performance of any warranty obligation. 16 CFR 701.3(a)(5). For this reason, the Commission has chosen not to incorporate the specific change advocated by Mr. Steinborn.

74 Opponents of federal service-contract disclosure regulations are the AHAM, Florida Service Agreement Association, Service Contract Industry Council, and Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. Mr. Johnson and NCLC support the Commission's promulgation of service-contract disclosure regulations.

75See Florida Service Agreement Association at 2-3; Service Contract Industry Council at 2-3. For example, the Service Contract Industry Council states that thirty-five states specifically regulate service contracts on consumer goods, thirty-five states regulate service contracts on homes, and thirty-eight states regulate service contracts on motor vehicles. Commenters assert that many of these state laws provide greater protection to consumers than the MMWA by, for example, “ensuring that service contract obligors are financially sound and that their obligations to consumers are secure.” Because the MMWA preempts state warranty law unless the state law “affords protection to consumers greater than the requirement of Magnuson-Moss,” these commenters argue that additional federal regulations may have little practical effect.

On the other hand, two commenters, Mr. Evan Johnson and NCLC, argue that the Commission should amend the Rules to prescribe the manner and form in which service-contract terms are disclosed. Mr. Johnson argues that service contracts have been a “huge source” of consumer complaints. “Many of these complaints concern marketing but many also arise from the unclear wording and structure of the contracts.” 76 NCLC provides two reasons why the Commission should specifically regulate service contracts. First, the reasons for mandatory disclosure requirements for warranties apply equally to service contracts; regulating one and not the other makes little sense.77 Second, service contracts are widely sold and expensive, and consumers have little information concerning costs, coverage, and claims process.78

76 Johnson at 4.

77 NCLC at 12.

78Id.

The Commission does not believe such a rule amendment is needed because the MMWA and Section 5 already require that warrantors, suppliers, and service contract providers clearly and conspicuously disclose service contract terms and conditions. Section 2306(b) of the Act provides: “[n]othing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent a supplier or warrantor from entering into a service contract with the consumer in addition to or in lieu of a written warranty if such contract fully, clearly, and conspicuously discloses its terms and conditions in simple and readily understood language.” 79 In addition, Section 5 prohibits service contract providers from failing to clearly and conspicuously disclose material terms and conditions or otherwise deceiving consumers with respect to the scope and nature of service contracts. This is in accord with the Businessperson's Guidance to the MMWA: “If you offer a service contract, the Act requires you to list conspicuously all terms and conditions in simple and readily understood language.” 80 The Commission has issued a number of consumer education pieces on service contracts and extended warranties and will take action where warranted.81

79 15 U.S.C. 2306(b).

80 The Businessperson's Guide to Federal Warranty Law, supra note 41.

81See, e.g., FTC, Auto Service Contracts and Warranties, http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0054-auto-service-contracts-and-warranties; see also FTC v. Voicetouch, Civ. No. 09CV2929 (N.D. Ill., filed May 13, 2009) (action involving deceptive telemarketing of extended auto warranties); FTC v. Transcontinental Warranty, Inc., Civ. No. 09CV2927 (N.D. Ill., filed May 13, 2009) (same). The Commission will continue to examine service contract disclosures.

3. 16 CFR Part 702: Pre-Sale Availability Rule (Rule 702)

Generally, under Rule 702, sellers who offer written warranties on consumer products must include certain information in their warranties and make them available for review at the point of purchase. The Commission's request for public comment asked whether the Commission should amend Rule 702 to specifically address making warranty documents accessible online.

The Commission received seven comments on this specific question.82 One commenter noted at the outset that Rule 702 “continues to be very important to consumers. Consumers are very aware of warranties and use warranty differences as a basis for choosing a product. The current rule is a reasonable and cost-effective approach to providing the information.” 83

82 AHAM at 3; Center for Auto Safety at 2; Eisenberg at 1; Johnson at 2-3; National Automobile Dealers Association at 2; National Independent Automobile Dealers Association at 2; Steinborn at 2-3. Ms. Eisenberg asks the Commission to amend the Rule to permit private actions for violations of Rule 702. However, the MMWA already provides a private cause of action to any consumer “who is damaged by the failure of a supplier, warrantor, or service contractor to comply with any obligation” under the MMWA. 15 U.S.C. 2310(d)(1).

83 Johnson at 2.

Three commenters ask the Commission to specifically reference Internet sales in Rule 702 and provide additional guidance on how retailers can comply with the Rule by referring consumers to warrantors' Web sites.84 Although Rule 702 does not explicitly mention online commerce, it applies to the sale of warranted consumer products online. Staff recently updated the .Com Disclosures to provide additional guidance on disclosure obligations in the online context. As stated in the updated .Com Disclosures, warranties communicated through visual text online are no different than paper versions and the same rules apply.85 Online sellers of consumer products can easily comply with the pre-sale availability rule in a number of ways. Online sellers can, for example, use “a clearly-labeled hyperlink, in close conjunction to the description of the warranted product, such as `get warranty information here' to lead to the full text of the warranty.” 86

84 AHAM at 3; National Independent Automobile Dealers Association at 2; Steinborn at 2-3. The Center for Auto Safety recommends that Rule 702.3 point of sale requirements be maintained and enforced, requiring hard copy warranty materials to be available at physical retail locations, not on CD or DVD. Staff's guidance allows warranties to be available on CDs and DVDs, but does not allow sellers to meet their pre-sale obligations by referring consumers to CDs or DVDs that are not readily accessible at the point of sale. See Letter from Allyson Himelfarb to Thomas M. Hughes (Feb. 17, 2009), available at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/warranties/opinion0901.pdf.

85See .com Disclosures, supra note 4, at 3, n7.

86Id.

As with other online disclosures, warranty information should be displayed clearly and conspicuously. Therefore, for example, warranty terms buried within voluminous “terms and conditions” do not satisfy the Rule's requirement that warranty terms be in close proximity to the warranted product. Further, general references to warranty coverage, such as “one year warranty applies,” are also not sufficient.87

87 FTC Staff has found several instances in which online sellers have not fully complied with the pre-sale availability rule and has contacted these sellers to inform them of their obligations. http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2013/12/warningletters.shtm

The Commission however, does not agree with the view endorsed by commenters 88 that offline sellers can comply with the pre-sale availability rule by advising buyers of the availability of warranties on the warrantor's Web site. The intent of the Rule is to make warranty information available at the point of sale. For brick and mortar transactions, the point of sale is in the store; for online transactions, the point of sale is where consumers purchase the product online.

88 AHAM at 4-5; see also Steinborn at 2 (“Where manufacturers and resellers have Internet presences, click-through access to and/or a conspicuous reference to the manufacturers' Web site containing the applicable warranty should be recognized as sufficient means for sellers to meet the requirements of 702.”).

The Commission agrees with the commenter who notes: “Internet availability, however, is not a substitute for availability as specified in Rule 702 because many consumers make little or no use of the internet, while those who do still need the information at the point of sale as a fallback for when they haven't obtained the information online or when they want to verify that their online information is accurate.” 89

89 Johnson at 2.

In sum, because Rule 702 already covers the sale of consumer products online, and because staff has updated its .Com Guidance concerning compliance with pre-sale obligations online, the Commission has chosen not to engage in additional rulemaking as to Rule 702 at this time.

4. Rule 703—Informal Dispute Settlement Procedures

The Commission's request for public comment specifically asked whether it should change Rule 703, and if so, how. Six commenters submitted responses to this question.90 At the outset, commenters highlighted the importance of the Rule in serving as a standard for IDSMs in general, and more specifically, in providing a benchmark for state lemon law IDSMs and certification programs for IDSMs. Many states' criteria focus on the IDSM's compliance with Rule 703's provisions. Therefore, commenters stressed that any repeal or change to Rule 703 will also affect state lemon law and certification programs.91 Notwithstanding this fact, some commenters ask the Commission to change certain elements of the Rule, including the Mechanism's procedure, record-keeping, and audit requirements, and also reassess the Commission's position on binding arbitration clauses in warranty contracts. These comments are discussed below. Overall, the Commission leaves Rule 703 unchanged.

90 AHAM at 6; Center for Auto Safety at 1; Johnson at 3; International Association of Lemon Law Administrators at 1; NCLC at 14-15; Nowicki at 1-2.

91See International Association of Lemon Law Administrators at 1.

a. Modify the IDSM Procedures

AHAM claims that the procedures prescribed in Rule 703 are difficult to follow and implement.92 It urges the Commission to simplify the procedures so they would be “more easily and widely implemented by warrantors.” 93 It further asserts that “a change would benefit consumers, businesses, and courts by streamlining the dispute resolution procedure and, thereby, reducing the burden on state and federal courts of adjudicating some warranty disputes, as many more could be handled through informal, but structured proceedings.” 94 AHAM does not proffer any specific changes that should be made, or provide examples of why the procedures described in Rule 703 are difficult to follow. As the Commission stated in 1975 when adopting the Rule, “[t]he intent is to avoid creating artificial or unnecessary procedural burdens so long as the basic goals of speed, fairness, and independent participation are met.” 95 Further, staff's review of IDSM audits have not indicated any significant concern with IDSM procedures. The Commission therefore retains the Rule 703 procedures.

92 AHAM at 6.

93Id.

94Id.

95 40 FR 60168, 60193 (Dec. 31, 1975).

b. Change Rules on Mechanism and Auditor Impartiality

Two commenters 96 state that Rule 703.4 should be amended because neither the Mechanism nor the auditor, who is selected by the Mechanism, is impartial. Mr. Nowicki asks the Commission to require the Mechanism to be completely independent of any warrantor or trade association. Further, both the Center for Auto Safety and Mr. Nowicki assert that a Mechanism should not select an auditor because doing so creates a conflict of interest. The Center for Auto Safety recommends that the Commission select an auditor for a fee, and determine whether the Mechanisms are fair and expeditious.

96 Center for Auto Safety at 1; Nowicki at 1.

No changes are warranted because Rule 703 already imposes specific requirements concerning the impartiality of both the Mechanism and the auditor that the Mechanism selects. For example, Rule 703.3(b) requires the warrantors and sponsors of IDSMs to take all necessary steps to ensure that the Mechanism, and its members and staff, are sufficiently insulated from the warrantor and the sponsor, so that the members' and staff's decisions and performance are not influenced by either the warrantor or the sponsor.97 The Rule imposes minimum criteria in this regard: (1) Committing funds in advance; (2) basing personnel decisions solely on merit; and (3) not assigning conflicting warrantor or sponsor duties to the Mechanism.98 Additional safeguards for impartiality are set forth in Rule 703.4 governing qualification of members.

97 16 CFR 703.3(b).

98Id.

As to auditors' impartiality, although the Mechanism may select its own auditor, Rule 703.7(d) provides that “[n]o auditor may be involved with the Mechanism as a warrantor, sponsor or member, or employee or agent thereof, other than for purposes of the audit.” 99 Further, IDSM audits have found “no situation of conflict or circumstance which might give rise to an impression that [a conflict of interest] exists.” 100 Therefore, the Rule contains sufficient safeguards against partiality.

99 16 CFR 703.7(d).

100See, e.g., Morrison and Company, 2013 Audit of BBB Auto Line, available at http://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/reports_annual/2013-audit-better-business-bureau-auto-line-including-state-florida-and-state-ohio/2013bbbautoline.pdf, at 6. The audit further found that “consumers are pleased with the impartiality and the quality of dispute resolution services . . . .” Id.

c. Modify the Information To Be Submitted to the Mechanism

Rule 703.5(d) requires the Mechanism to render a decision “at least within 40 days of notification of the dispute.” 101 The Center for Auto Safety asks the Commission to amend Section 703.5 to provide that the “40 day deadline begins upon the consumer filing a substantially complete application regardless of whether the VIN is provided or not.” 102 The Center for Auto Safety claims that the Better Business Bureau is evading the 40-day deadline, because the BBB does not request Vehicle Identification Number (“VIN”) information on its consumer intake form but the BBB will only begin to consider the dispute after it receives the VIN number.

101 16 CFR 703.5(d).

102 Center for Auto Safety at 1.

Section 703.5 requires the Mechanism to “investigate, gather and organize all information necessary for a fair and expeditious decision in each dispute.” 103 This provision “implicitly permits Mechanisms to require consumers to provide the Mechanism with information `reasonably necessary' to decide the dispute.” 104 When adopting the final Rule in 1975, the Commission noted the Rule's “intent is to avoid creating artificial or unnecessary procedural burdens so long as the basic goals of speed, fairness and independent participation are met.” 105 Therefore, because the Mechanism must have some flexibility in deciding the information necessary for it to make a determination, the Commission will retain Rule 703.5 unchanged. The Commission encourages, however, open dialogue between industry groups and the BBB to address any remaining concerns.106

103 16 CFR 703.5(c).

104See Staff Advisory Opinion to Mr. Dean Determan, at 6, n6 (Aug. 28, 1985).

105 40 FR 60168, 60193 (Dec. 31, 1975).

106 According to the BBB Autoline program, a claim is initiated only after a consumer provides the VIN and signs the application. A claim cannot be initiated online without this information.

d. Mechanism's Decisions as Non-Binding

The Commission received three comments concerning Rule 703.5(j)'s provision prohibiting binding arbitration provisions in warranty contracts.107 AHAM urges the Commission to delete this provision because “it creates disincentives for manufacturers or sellers to create a Mechanism in the first instance and leads to wasted and duplicative efforts in cases between the consumers and manufacturers or sellers.” 108 NCLC and Mr. Johnson ask the Commission to retain Rule 703.5(j).109

107See NCLC at 13-14; Johnson at 3; AHAM at 6.

108 AHAM at 6-7.

109 NCLC at 13-18; Johnson at 3.

When the Commission first promulgated Rule 703.5(j) in 1975, it did so based on the MMWA's language, legislative history, and purpose: to ensure that consumer protections were in place in warranty disputes.110 The Commission explained that “reference within the written warranty to any binding, non-judicial remedy is prohibited by the Rule and the Act.” 111 The Commission's underlying premise was that its authority over Mechanisms encompassed all nonjudicial dispute resolution procedures referenced within a written warranty, including arbitration.

110 40 FR 60168, 60210 (Dec. 31, 1975).

111 40 FR 60168, 60211 (Dec. 31, 1975).

During the 1996-97 rule review, some commenters asked the Commission to deviate from its position that Rule 703 bans mandatory binding arbitration in warranties. The Commission, however, relying on its previous analysis and the MMWA's statutory language, reaffirmed its view that the MMWA and Rule 703 prohibit mandatory binding arbitration.112 As the Commission noted, Section 2310(a)(3) of the MMWA states that, if a warrantor incorporates an IDSM provision in its warranty, “the consumer may not commence a civil action (other than a class action) . . . unless he initially resorts to such procedure.” 113 The Commission concluded “Rule 703 will continue to prohibit warrantors from including binding arbitration clauses in their contracts with consumers that would require consumers to submit warranty disputes to binding arbitration.” 114

112 64 FR 19700, 19708 (Apr. 22, 1999).

113Id. (quoting 15 U.S.C. 2310(a)(3)(C)(i)).

114 64 FR 19700, 19708 (Apr. 22, 1999).

Since the issuance of the 1999 FRN, courts have reached different conclusions as to whether the MMWA gives the Commission authority to ban mandatory binding arbitration in warranties.115 In particular, two appellate courts have questioned whether Congress intended binding arbitration to be considered a type of IDSM, which would potentially place binding arbitration outside the scope of the MMWA.116 Nonetheless, the Commission reaffirms its long-held view that the MMWA disfavors, and authorizes the Commission to prohibit, mandatory binding arbitration in warranties.117

115See, e.g., Kolev v. Euromotors West/The Auto Gallery, 658 F.3d 1024 (9th Cir. 2011), withdrawn, 676 F.3d 867 (9th Cir. 2012) (withdrawn pending the issuance of a decision on a separate issue by the California Supreme Court in Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Co., S199119); Davis v. Southern Energy Homes, Inc., 305 F.3d 1268 (11th Cir. 2002); Walton v. Rose Mobile Homes, LLC, 298 F.3d 470 (5th Cir. 2002); see also Seney v. Rent-A-Center, Inc., 738 F.3d 631 (4th Cir. 2013).

116Davis v. Southern Energy Homes, Inc., 305 F.3d 1268 (11th Cir. 2002); Walton v. Rose Mobile Homes, LLC, 298 F.3d 470 (5th Cir. 2002).

117See 40 FR 60168, 60210 (Dec. 31, 1975) and 64 FR 19700, 19708 (Apr. 22, 1999).

First, as the Commission observed during the 1999 rule review, the text of section 2310(a)(3)(C)(i) contemplates that consumers will “initially resort” to IDSMs before commencing a civil action. That language clearly presupposes that “a mechanism's decision cannot be binding, because if it were, it would bar later court action.” 118 Similarly, section 2310(a)(3)(C) specifies that “decisions” in IDSMs shall be admissible in any subsequent “civil action.” 119 As that language confirms, Congress intended that IDSMs resulting in a “decision”—i.e., arbitration decisions rather than conciliation or mediation mechanisms—would precede and influence, but not foreclose, a subsequent judicial decision.

118 64 FR 19700, 19708 (Apr. 22, 1999).

119 15 U.S.C. 2310(a)(3).

As the Commission has previously noted, the legislative history provides additional evidence that Congress intended all IDSMs, including arbitration proceedings, to be nonbinding.120 The House committee report stated that “[a]n adverse decision in any informal dispute settlement proceeding would not be a bar to a civil action on the warranty involved in the proceeding. . . .” 121 That language confirms what Congress strongly implies in the statutory text: arbitration should precede but not preclude a subsequent court action.

120 64 FR 19700, 19708 (Apr. 22, 1999).

121 Report to Accompany H.R. 7917, H.R. Rep. No. 93-1107, at 41 (1974) (report of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce); see also S. Rep. No. 93-151, at 3 (1973) (report of the Senate Committee on Commerce) (“[I]f the consumer is not satisfied with the results obtained in any informal dispute settlement proceeding, the consumer can pursue his legal remedies in a court of competent jurisdiction. . . .”).

The statutory scheme forecloses any argument that warranty-related arbitration proceedings fall outside the statutory category of “informal dispute resolution mechanisms” and thus outside the FTC's rulemaking authority. As many legislators, policymakers, and courts understood at the time of the MMWA's enactment, any arbitration proceeding is, by comparison to judicial proceedings, an “informal” “mechanism” for “dispute settlement,” and it thus falls squarely within the plain meaning of the term “informal dispute settlement mechanism.” 122 Similarly, the MMWA's conference report indicates that “arbiters”—i.e., the decisionmakers in any arbitration proceeding—are responsible for making determinations in IDSMs, and thus further confirms that arbitration is a form of IDSM.123

122See, e.g., 119 Cong. Rec. 33,498 (1973) (statement of Sen. Magnuson); Consumer Protection: Hearings Before the Consumer Subcomm. of the S. Comm. on Commerce, S. Doc. No. 91-48, at 69 (1969) (statement of FTC Commissioner Elman); Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Co., 415 U.S. 36, 58 (1974). The Supreme Court has repeatedly confirmed that arbitration is a method of informal dispute resolution. See, e.g., AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740, 1749 (2011) (“[T]he informality of arbitral proceedings is itself desirable, reducing the cost and increasing the speed of dispute resolution.”); Mitsubishi Motors v. Soler Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc., 473 U.S. 614, 628 (1985) (“By agreeing to arbitrate . . ., [a party] trades the procedures and opportunity for review of the courtroom for the simplicity, informality, and expedition of arbitration.”).

123 Section 2304(b)(1) prohibits warrantors from imposing any additional duty on consumers unless the duty has been found reasonable in “an administrative or judicial enforcement proceeding” or “an informal dispute settlement proceeding.” 15 U.S.C. 2304(b)(1). The conference report indicates that the reasonableness of the additional duty is to be determined by “the Commission, an arbiter, or a court.” S. Rep. No. 93-1408, at 25, H.R. Rep. No. 93-1606, at 25 (1974) (Conf. Rep.) (emphasis added).

Just as important, any argument that an “arbitration” can somehow elude classification as an IDSM would subvert the purposes of the MMWA's IDSM provisions. To effectuate its declared policy of encouraging IDSMs that “fairly and expeditiously” settle consumer disputes, Congress: (1) Created incentives for warrantors to develop IDSMs and (2) directed the Commission to issue and enforce baseline rules for IDSMs.124 Congress would not have created this elaborate structure for warrantor incentives and agency supervision of warrantors who want to mandate use of certain contractual procedures in their warranties, while simultaneously permitting warrantors to evade that structure simply by using another contractual procedure and calling it something else (e.g., “binding arbitration”) and thereby immunizing it from all agency oversight.125 Other courts have upheld binding arbitration in this context on the ground that the rationale of Rule 703 demonstrates an impermissible hostility toward arbitration in general and binding arbitration in particular.126 The Commission does not believe this is correct. Like the statutory text, the Commission's rules encourage arbitration proceedings when they comply with IDSM procedural safeguards and are not both mandatory and binding. Moreover, the Commission's rules permit “post-dispute” binding arbitration, where the parties agree—after a warranty dispute has arisen—to resolve their disagreement through arbitration.127 The Commission has also recognized that post-Mechanism binding arbitration is allowed.128 The Commission's prohibition is limited only to instances where binding arbitration is incorporated into the terms of a written warranty governed by the MMWA.129

124 15 U.S.C. 2310(a)(1)-(4).

125 9 U.S.C. 1-16.

126See, e.g., Davis v. S. Energy Homes, Inc., 305 F.3d 1268 (11th Cir. 2002).

127See 40 FR 60168, 60211 (Dec. 31, 1975).

128Id.

129Id.

AHAM also argues that eliminating the prohibition on binding arbitration would remove disincentives for warrantors to create a Mechanism and reduce judicial costs spent dealing with duplicative warranty cases. However, Congress already considered the issues of warrantor incentives and availability of judicial remedies. To encourage warrantors to create Mechanisms, Section 2310(a)(3) allows warrantors to specify that use of a Mechanism is a prerequisite to filing a MMWA suit.130 The Commission believes that the current Rule appropriately implements the incentive structure that Congress established in the MMWA.

130 15 U.S.C. 2310(a)(3).

e. Change the Statistical Requirements

Rule 703.6 requires the Mechanism to prepare indices and statistical compilations on a variety of issues, including warrantor performance, brands at issue, all disputes delayed beyond 40 days, and the number and percentage of disputes that were resolved, decided, or pending.131 The Commission requires the compilation of indices and statistics in part so any person can review a Mechanism's files. “On the basis of the statistically reported performance, an interested person could determine to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission . . . and thereby cause the Commission to review the bona fide operation of the dispute resolution mechanism.” 132

131See generally 16 CFR 703.6(b)-(e).

132 40 FR 60168, 60213 (Dec. 31, 1975).

Two commenters, the Center for Auto Safety and Mr. Nowicki, ask the Commission to repeal the Mechanism's record-keeping requirements contained in Rule 703.6.133 The Center for Auto Safety claims that most of the categories for statistical analysis “are ambiguous, misleading or deceptive. Unfavorable consumer outcomes can be reported as favorable; untimely resolutions can be reported as timely.” 134

133 Center for Auto Safety at 1; Nowicki at 2.

134 Center for Auto Safety at 1. Nowicki claims that empirical evidence suggests that the “compliance self-proclamations” may be false and warranties may be deceptive.

Similar comments were received during the previous rule review. Then, commenters urged the Commission to abolish Rule 703.6 because the categories of statistical compilation were “either moot, nebulous, or even worse, misleading or deceptive.” 135 The Commission then stated that it appreciated that Rule 703.6(e)'s statistical compilations cannot provide an in-depth picture of the workings of the Mechanism. “However, the statistics were not intended to serve that function. The statistical compilations attempt to provide a basis for minimal review by the interested parties to determine whether the IDSM program is working fairly and expeditiously. Based on that review, a more detailed investigation could then be prompted.” 136 In addition, the Commission was mindful of the costs associated with substantial record-keeping requirements, so as not to discourage the establishment of IDSMs. “Therefore, the Commission sought to minimize the costs of the recordkeeping burden on the IDSM while ensuring that sufficient information was available to the public to provide a minimal review.” 137 The Commission has reviewed the issue and believes that its previous position continues to be correct.

135See 64 FR 19700, 19710 (Apr. 22, 1999) (discussing Mr. Nowicki's comment).

136Id.

137Id.

f. Audits and Recordkeeping Availability

Rule 703.7 contains the audit requirements for the Mechanism. The Rule requires that an audit be performed annually evaluating: (1) Warrantors' efforts to make consumers aware of the Mechanism and (2) a random sample of disputes to determine the adequacy of the Mechanism's complaint intake-process and investigation and accuracy of the Mechanism's statistical compilations.138 Each audit should be submitted to the Commission and made available to the public at a reasonable cost. For the last several years, the Commission has published the audits on its Web site, making them available to the public free of charge.

138 16 CFR 703.7.

One commenter asks the Commission to change Rule 703.8 to “mak[e] all IDSM documents available online, and requir[e] the Commission to review samples of disputes to determine whether the mechanism fairly and expeditiously resolves disputes.” 139 Another commenter recommends that the Commission repeal the audit requirements for the same reasons as the statistical compilation requirements.140 Similar to the Commission's reasoning in upholding the statistical compilation requirements, the Commission has decided to retain the audit requirements without change for two reasons. First, like the statistical compilation requirements, the audit function attempts to provide a general basis for interested parties to determine whether the IDSM program is working fairly and expeditiously. Second, the IDSM must make available the statistical summaries to interested parties upon request, and hold open meetings to hear and decide disputes.141 Given that Rule 703 already contemplates public access to Mechanism information, and that the Commission was mindful that substantial recordkeeping costs may discourage the establishment of IDSMs, the Commission will not impose at this time a mandatory electronic access requirement. Further, the Commission staff reviews the audits annually and confirms they are Rule 703 compliant. For these reasons, the Commission retains Rule 703.8 unchanged.

139 Nowicki at 2.

140 Center for Auto Safety at 1.

141 16 CFR 703.8.

5. 16 CFR Part 239: Warranty Guides

Several commenters ask the Commission to revise its Warranty Guides. First, three commenters 142 ask the Commission to modify § 239.2 to allow for the advertising of warranties online. The Commission's Guides are not specific to any medium, and already are applicable to all media. Second, commenters recommend that the Guides provide explicit, detailed guidance explaining how retailers and warrantors can comply with the MMWA. As stated previously, the .Com Disclosures and the Businessperson's Guide to Federal Warranty Law both provide additional guidance concerning online disclosure obligations. Therefore, part 239 will remain unchanged.143

142 AHAM at 3; National Automobile Dealers Association at 2; Steinborn at 3.

143 AHAM and Steinborn ask the Commission to amend part 239 to recognize that “referral of consumers to manufacturer Internet sites which make available warranty information satisfies the requirement to disclose the actual product warranty information prior to purchase by consumer.” AHAM at 3; Steinborn at 3-4. Such reference is already contemplated for online retailers. Such reference, however, would be contrary to the requirements imposed for offline retailers, as discussed above. Second, AHAM recommends that the Guides be amended to require advertisers “to clearly and conspicuously disclose what component/system is warranted and for what duration and if the balance of the product is not covered or covered for a different duration disclose that as well to prevent the consumer from believing that the terms of the warranty apply to the entire product.” AHAM at 3-4. These requirements, however, are already encompassed in Rule 701.3(a)(2) and therefore not needed in the Guides.

List of Subjects 16 CFR Part 700

Trade practices, Warranties.

16 CFR Part 701

Trade practices, Warranties.

16 CFR Part 703

Trade practices, Warranties.

For the reasons set forth above, the Federal Trade Commission amends 16 CFR parts 700, 701, and 703 as follows:

PART 700—INTERPRETATIONS OF MAGNUSON-MOSS WARRANTY ACT 1. The authority citation for part 700 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, Pub. L. 93-637, 15 U.S.C. 2301.

2. Amend § 700.1 by revising the second and fifth sentences of paragraph (g) and the first sentence of paragraph (i) to read as follows:
§ 700.1 Products covered.

(g) * * * Section 103, 15 U.S.C. 2303, applies to consumer products actually costing the consumer more than $10, excluding tax.* * * This interpretation applies in the same manner to the minimum dollar limits in section 102, 15 U.S.C. 2302, and rules promulgated under that section.

(i) The Act covers written warranties on consumer products “distributed in commerce” as that term is defined in section 101(13), 15 U.S.C. 2301(13). * * *

3. Amend § 700.2 by revising the first sentence to read as follows:
§ 700.2 Date of manufacture.

Section 112 of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2312, provides that the Act shall apply only to those consumer products manufactured after July 4, 1975.* * *

4. Amend § 700.3 by revising the fourth and sixth sentences and footnote 1 of paragraph (a), the first sentence of paragraph (b), and the sixth sentence of paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 700.3 Written warranty.

(a) * * * Section 101(6), 15 U.S.C. 2301(6), provides that a written affirmation of fact or a written promise of a specified level of performance must relate to a specified period of time in order to be considered a “written warranty.” 1 * * * In addition, section 111(d), 15 U.S.C. 2311(d), exempts from the Act (except section 102(c), 15 U.S.C. 2302(c)) any written warranty the making or content of which is required by federal law.* * *

1 A “written warranty” is also created by a written affirmation of fact or a written promise that the product is defect free, or by a written undertaking of remedial action within the meaning of section 101(6)(B), 15 U.S.C. 2301(6)(B).

(b) Certain terms, or conditions, of sale of a consumer product may not be “written warranties” as that term is defined in section 101(6), 15 U.S.C. 2301(6), and should not be offered or described in a manner that may deceive consumers as to their enforceability under the Act.* * *

(c) * * * Such warranties are not subject to the Act, since a written warranty under section 101(6) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2301(6), must become “part of the basis of the bargain between a supplier and a buyer for purposes other than resale.” * * *

5. Amend § 700.4 by revising the first sentence to read as follows:
§ 700.4 Parties “actually making” a written warranty.

Section 110(f) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2310(f), provides that only the supplier “actually making” a written warranty is liable for purposes of FTC and private enforcement of the Act.* * *

6. Amend § 700.5 by revising paragraph (a) and the first and second sentences of paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 700.5 Expressions of general policy.

(a) Under section 103(b), 15 U.S.C. 2303(b), statements or representations of general policy concerning customer satisfaction which are not subject to any specific limitation need not be designated as full or limited warranties, and are exempt from the requirements of sections 102, 103, and 104 of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2302-2304, and rules thereunder. However, such statements remain subject to the enforcement provisions of section 110 of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2310, and to section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 45.

(b) The section 103(b), 15 U.S.C. 2303(b), exemption applies only to general policies, not to those which are limited to specific consumer products manufactured or sold by the supplier offering such a policy. In addition, to qualify for an exemption under section 103(b), 15 U.S.C. 2303(b), such policies may not be subject to any specific limitations.* * *

7. Amend § 700.6 by revising the first sentence of paragraph (a) and the first, second, and fourth sentences of paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 700.6 Designation of warranties.

(a) Section 103 of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2303, provides that written warranties on consumer products manufactured after July 4, 1975, and actually costing the consumer more than $10, excluding tax, must be designated either “Full (statement of duration) Warranty” or “Limited Warranty”.* * *

(b) Based on section 104(b)(4), 15 U.S.C. 2304(b)(4), the duties under subsection (a) of section 104, 15 U.S.C. 2304, extend from the warrantor to each person who is a consumer with respect to the consumer product. Section 101(3), 15 U.S.C. 2301(3), defines a consumer as a buyer (other than for purposes of resale) of any consumer product, any person to whom such product is transferred during the duration of an implied or written warranty (or service contract) applicable to the product.* * * However, where the duration of a full warranty is defined solely in terms of first purchaser ownership there can be no violation of section 104(b)(4), 15 U.S.C. 2304(b)(4), since the duration of the warranty expires, by definition, at the time of transfer.* * *

8. Amend § 700.7 by revising the first sentence of paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 700.7 Use of warranty registration cards.

(a) Under section 104(b)(1) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2304(b)(1), a warrantor offering a full warranty may not impose on consumers any duty other than notification of a defect as a condition of securing remedy of the defect or malfunction, unless such additional duty can be demonstrated by the warrantor to be reasonable.* * *

9. Amend § 700.8 by revising the third sentence to read as follows:
§ 700.8 Warrantor's decision as final.

* * * Such statements are deceptive since section 110(d) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2310(d), gives state and federal courts jurisdiction over suits for breach of warranty and service contract.

10. Amend § 700.9 by revising the first and third sentences to read as follows:
§ 700.9 Duty to install under a full warranty.

Under section 104(a)(1) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2304(a)(1), the remedy under a full warranty must be provided to the consumer without charge.* * * However, this does not preclude the warrantor from imposing on the consumer a duty to remove, return, or reinstall where such duty can be demonstrated by the warrantor to meet the standard of reasonableness under section 104(b)(1), 15 U.S.C. 2304(b)(1).

11. Amend § 700.10 by revising the section heading, paragraph (a), the first sentence in paragraph (b), and paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 700.10 Prohibited tying.

(a) Section 102(c), 15 U.S.C. 2302(c), prohibits tying arrangements that condition coverage under a written warranty on the consumer's use of an article or service identified by brand, trade, or corporate name unless that article or service is provided without charge to the consumer.

(b) Under a limited warranty that provides only for replacement of defective parts and no portion of labor charges, section 102(c), 15 U.S.C. 2302(c), prohibits a condition that the consumer use only service (labor) identified by the warrantor to install the replacement parts.* * *

(c) No warrantor may condition the continued validity of a warranty on the use of only authorized repair service and/or authorized replacement parts for non-warranty service and maintenance (other than an article of service provided without charge under the warranty or unless the warrantor has obtained a waiver pursuant to section 102(c) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2302(c)). For example, provisions such as, “This warranty is void if service is performed by anyone other than an authorized `ABC' dealer and all replacement parts must be genuine `ABC' parts,” and the like, are prohibited where the service or parts are not covered by the warranty. These provisions violate the Act in two ways. First, they violate the section 102(c), 15 U.S.C. 2302(c), ban against tying arrangements. Second, such provisions are deceptive under section 110 of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2310, because a warrantor cannot, as a matter of law, avoid liability under a written warranty where a defect is unrelated to the use by a consumer of “unauthorized” articles or service. In addition, warranty language that implies to a consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances that warranty coverage requires the consumer's purchase of an article or service identified by brand, trade or corporate name is similarly deceptive. For example, a provision in the warranty such as, “use only an authorized `ABC' dealer” or “use only `ABC' replacement parts,” is prohibited where the service or parts are not provided free of charge pursuant to the warranty. This does not preclude a warrantor from expressly excluding liability for defects or damage caused by “unauthorized” articles or service; nor does it preclude the warrantor from denying liability where the warrantor can demonstrate that the defect or damage was so caused.

12. Amend § 700.11 by: a. Revising the fourth and fifth sentences and adding a sixth sentence in paragraph (a); and b. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (b) and the first and second sentences of paragraph (c).

The revisions and addition read as follows:

§ 700.11 Written warranty, service contract, and insurance distinguished for purposes of compliance under the Act.

(a) * * * The McCarran-Ferguson Act, 15 U.S.C. 1011 et seq., provides that most federal laws (including the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act) shall not be construed to invalidate, impair, or supersede any law enacted by any State for the purpose of regulating the business of insurance. While three specific laws are subject to a separate proviso, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is not one of them. Thus, to the extent the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act's service contract provisions apply to the business of insurance, they are effective so long as they do not invalidate, impair, or supersede a State law enacted for the purpose of regulating the business of insurance.

(b) “Written warranty” and “service contract” are defined in sections 101(6) and 101(8) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2301(6) and 15 U.S.C. 2301(8), respectively.* * *

(c) A service contract under the Act must meet the definitions of section 101(8), 15 U.S.C. 2301(8). An agreement which would meet the definition of written warranty in section 101(6)(A) or (B), 15 U.S.C. 2301(6)(A) or (B), but for its failure to satisfy the basis of the bargain test is a service contract.* * *

PART 701—DISCLOSURE OF WRITTEN CONSUMER PRODUCT WARRANTY TERMS AND CONDITIONS 13. The authority citation for part 701 continues to read as follows: Authority:

15 U.S.C. 2302 and 2309.

14. Amend § 701.1 by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 701.1 Definitions.

(d) Implied warranty means an implied warranty arising under State law (as modified by sections 104(a) and 108 of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2304(a) and 2308), in connection with the sale by a supplier of a consumer product.

15. Amend § 701.3 by revising paragraph (a)(7) to read as follows:
§ 701.3 Written warranty terms.

(a) * * *

(7) Any limitations on the duration of implied warranties, disclosed on the face of the warranty as provided in section 108 of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2308, accompanied by the following statement:

Some States do not allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts, so the above limitation may not apply to you.

PART 703—INFORMAL DISPUTE SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES 16. The authority citation for part 703 continues to read as follows: Authority:

15 U.S.C. 2309 and 2310.

17. Amend § 703.1 by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:
§ 703.1 Definitions.

(e) Mechanism means an informal dispute settlement procedure which is incorporated into the terms of a written warranty to which any provision of Title I of the Act applies, as provided in section 110 of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2310.

18. Amend § 703.2 by revising the second sentence of paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 703.2 Duties of warrantor.

(a) * * * This paragraph (a) shall not prohibit a warrantor from incorporating into the terms of a written warranty the step-by-step procedure which the consumer should take in order to obtain performance of any obligation under the warranty as described in section 102(a)(7) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2302(a)(7), and required by part 701 of this subchapter.

19. Amend § 703.5 by revising paragraph (g)(2), the first sentence in paragraph (i), and the third sentence in paragraph (j) to read as follows:
§ 703.5 Operation of the Mechanism.

(g) * * *

(2) The Mechanism's decision is admissible in evidence as provided in section 110(a)(3) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2310(a)(3); and

(i) A requirement that a consumer resort to the Mechanism prior to commencement of an action under section 110(d) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2310(d), shall be satisfied 40 days after notification to the Mechanism of the dispute or when the Mechanism completes all of its duties under paragraph (d) of this section, whichever occurs sooner. * * *

(j) * * * In any civil action arising out of a warranty obligation and relating to a matter considered by the Mechanism, any decision of the Mechanism shall be admissible in evidence, as provided in section 110(a)(3) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 2310(a)(3).

By direction of the Commission, Commissioner Ohlhausen dissenting. Donald S. Clark, Secretary. Note:

The following dissent will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen

I voted against the Commission's Final Revised Interpretations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (MMWA) Rule because it retains Rule 703.5(j)'s prohibition on pre-dispute mandatory binding arbitration.1

1 I do not object to the other final actions taken in this review.

Since the last Rule review in 1997, two federal appellate courts have held that the MMWA does not prohibit binding arbitration.2 Noting the federal policy favoring arbitration expressed in the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA),3 these courts concluded that the MMWA's statutory language and legislative history did not overcome the presumption in favor of arbitration and that the purposes of the MMWA and the FAA were not in inherent conflict. The courts also declined to give the Commission's contrary interpretation Chevron deference.4 Although some lower courts have reached a different conclusion, there is no circuit court precedent upholding the Commission's interpretation of the MMWA in Rule 703.5(j). Additionally, in several recent cases, the Supreme Court has indicated a strong preference for arbitration.5

2See Walton v. Rose Mobile Homes, LLC, 298 F.3d 470 (5th Cir. 2002); Davis v. Southern Energy Homes, Inc., 305 F.3d 1268 (11th Cir. 2002).

3 9 U.S.C. 1. See Shearson/Am. Express Inc. v. McMahon, 482 U.S. 220 (1987) (noting that the presumption of the FAA is that arbitration is preferable and Congress must clearly override that presumption if it is to be disregarded).

4Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984) (holding that courts defer to an agency's interpretation of a statute if “(1) Congress has not spoken directly to the issue; and (2) the agency's interpretation `is based on a permissible construction of the statute' ”).

5See, e.g,. Am. Express Co. v. Italian Colors Rest., 133 S. Ct. 2304 (2013), AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011).

The courts have sent a clear signal that the Commission's position that MMWA prohibits binding arbitration is no longer supportable.6 When faced with such a signal, the Commission should not reaffirm the rule in question. I therefore respectfully dissent.

6See Davis, 305 F.3d at 1280 (“[T]he FTC's interpretation of the MMWA is unreasonable, and we decline to defer to the FTC regulations of the MMWA regarding binding arbitration in written warranties.”).

[FR Doc. 2015-14065 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 16 [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-0011] Regulatory Hearing Before the Food and Drug Administration; Technical Amendment AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Final rule; technical amendment.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is updating an authority citation for the Code of Federal Regulations. This action is technical in nature and is intended to provide accuracy of the Agency's regulations.

DATES:

This rule is effective July 20, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mary E. Kennelly, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 32, Rm. 4338, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-9577, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In a previous rulemaking, the authority citation for 21 CFR part 16 was inadvertently altered to omit 28 U.S.C. 2112 and changed 21 U.S.C. 467f to 21 U.S.C. 467F. FDA is reversing those changes such that 28 U.S.C. 2112 and 21 U.S.C. 467f are included in the list of authority citations for 21 CFR part 16.

List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part16

Administrative practice and procedure.

Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 16 is amended as follows:

PART 16—REGULATORY HEARING BEFORE THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION 1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 16 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

15 U.S.C. 1451-1461; 21 U.S.C. 141-149, 321-394, 467f, 679, 821, 1034; 28 U.S.C. 2112; 42 U.S.C. 201-262, 263b, 364.

Dated: July 15, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2015-17714 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION 39 CFR Part 3020 [Docket Nos. MC2010-21 and CP2010-36] Update to Product Lists AGENCY:

Postal Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Commission is updating the product lists. This action reflects a publication policy adopted by Commission order. The referenced policy assumes periodic updates. The updates are identified in the body of this document. The product lists, which is re-published in its entirety, includes these updates.

DATES:

Effective date: July 20, 2015.

Applicability dates: March 31, 2015, Parcel Return Service Contract 6 (MC2015-41 and CP2015-53); April 8, 2015, Priority Mail Contract 121 (MC2015-43 and CP2015-54); April 8, 2015, Parcel Select Contract 9 (MC2015-44 and CP2015-55); April 8, 2015, Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 3 (MC2015-45 and CP2015-56); April 21, 2015, Priority Mail Express & Priority Mail Contract 17 (MC2015-47 and CP2015-58); April 21, 2015, Priority Mail Contract 122 (MC2015-46 and CP2015-57); May 1, 2015, Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 4 (MC2015-48 and CP2015-60); May 12, 2015, Priority Mail Express & Priority Mail Contract 18 (MC2015-49 and CP2015-61); May 27, 2015, Global Expedited Package Services Contracts Non-Published Rates 6 (MC2015-23 and CP2015-65); May 28, 2015, Parcel Return Service Contract 7 (MC2015-50 and CP2015-72); May 28, 2015, Parcel Return Service Contract 8 (MC2015-51 and CP2015-73); June 9, 2015, Priority Mail Contract 124 (MC2015-53 and CP2015-81); June 9, 2015, Priority Mail Contract 123 (MC2015-52 and CP2015-80); June 16, 2015, Priority Mail Contract 125 (MC2015-54 and CP2015-82).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6800.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This document identifies updates to the product lists, which appear as 39 CFR Appendix A to Subpart A of Part 3020—Mail Classification Schedule. Publication of the updated product lists in the Federal Register is addressed in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006.

Authorization. The Commission process for periodic publication of updates was established in Docket Nos. MC2010-21 and CP2010-36, Order No. 445, April 22, 2010, at 8.

Changes. The product lists are being updated by publishing a replacement in its entirety of 39 CFR Appendix A to Subpart A of Part 3020—Mail Classification Schedule. The following products are being added, removed, or moved within the product lists:

1. Parcel Return Service Contract 6 (MC2015-41 and CP2015-53) (Order No. 2421), added March 31, 2015.

2. Priority Mail Contract 121 (MC2015-43 and CP2015-54) (Order No. 2428), added April 8, 2015.

3. Parcel Select Contract 9 (MC2015-44 and CP2015-55) (Order No. 2429), added April 8, 2015.

4. Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 3 (MC2015-45 and CP2015-56) (Order No. 2430), added April 8, 2015.

5. Priority Mail Express & Priority Mail Contract 17 (MC2015-47 and CP2015-58) (Order No. 2447), added April 21, 2015.

6. Priority Mail Contract 122 (MC2015-46 and CP2015-57) (Order No. 2451), added April 21, 2015.

7. Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 4 (MC2015-48 and CP2015-60) (Order No. 2464), added May 1, 2015.

8. Priority Mail Express & Priority Mail Contract 18 (MC2015-49 and CP2015-61) (Order No. 2480), added May 12, 2015.

9. Global Expedited Package Services Contracts Non-Published Rates 6 (MC2015-23 and CP2015-65) (Order No. 2513), added May 27, 2015.

10. Parcel Return Service Contract 7 (MC2015-50 and CP2015-72) (Order No. 2515), added May 28, 2015.

11. Parcel Return Service Contract 8 (MC2015-51 and CP2015-73) (Order No. 2518), added May 28, 2015.

12. Priority Mail Contract 124 (MC2015-53 and CP2015-81) (Order No. 2534), added June 9, 2015.

13. Priority Mail Contract 123 (MC2015-52 and CP2015-80) (Order No. 2535), added June 9, 2015.

14. Priority Mail Contract 125 (MC2015-54 and CP2015-82) (Order No. 2542), added June 16, 2015.

The following negotiated service agreements have expired and are being deleted from the Mail Classification Schedule:

1. Discover Financial Services 1 (MC2011-19 and R2011-3) (Order No. 694).

2. Priority Mail Express Contract 10 (MC2011-12 and CP2011-48) (Order No. 640).

3. Parcel Return Service Contract 3 (MC2013-39 and CP2013-51) (Order No. 1672).

4. Parcel Return Service Contract 4 (MC2013-46 and CP2013-60) (Order No. 1711).

5. Priority Mail Contract 31 (MC2011-10 and CP2011-46) (Order No. 637).

6. Priority Mail Contract 32 (MC2011-11 and CP2011-47) (Order No. 639).

7. Priority Mail Contract 34 (MC2011-17 and CP2011-56) (Order No. 655).

8. Priority Mail Contract 35 (MC2011-18 and CP2011-57) (Order No. 656).

9. Priority Mail Contract 36 (MC2012-2 and CP2012-6) (Order No. 1170).

10. Priority Mail Contract 38 (MC2012-7 and CP2012-15) (Order No. 1197).

11. Priority Mail Contract 49 (MC2013-25 and CP2013-33) (Order No. 1607).

12. Priority Mail Contract 50 (MC2013-26 and CP2013-34) (Order No. 1608).

13. Priority Mail Contract 68 (MC2014-6 and CP2014-7) (Order No. 1893).

14. Priority Mail Contract 69 (MC2014-7 and CP2014-8) (Order No. 1895).

15. Priority Mail Express & Priority Mail Contract 15 (MC2014-3 and CP2014-3) (Order No. 1872).

16. Parcel Select Contract 1 (MC2011-16 and CP2011-53) (Order No. 686).

17. First-Class Package Service Contract 1 (MC2012-11 and CP2012-19) (Order No. 1339).

18. First-Class Package Service Contract 3 (MC2012-19 and CP2012-25) (Order No. 1355).

19. First-Class Package Service Contract 4 (MC2012-20 and CP2012-26) (Order No. 1356).

20. First-Class Package Service Contract 5 (MC2012-21 and CP2012-27) (Order No. 1357).

21. First-Class Package Service Contract 6 (MC2012-22 and CP2012-28) (Order No. 1358).

22. First-Class Package Service Contract 7 (MC2012-23 and CP2012-29) (Order No. 1359).

Updated product lists. The referenced changes to the product lists are incorporated into 39 CFR Appendix A to Subpart A of Part 3020—Mail Classification Schedule.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 3020

Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Postal Regulatory Commission amends part 3020 of title 39 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 3020—PRODUCT LISTS 1. The authority citation for part 3020 continues to read as follows: Authority:

39 U.S.C. 503; 3622; 3631; 3642; 3682.

2. Revise Appendix A of Subpart A of Part 3020 to read as follows: Appendix A to Subpart A of Part 3020—Mail Classification Schedule

(An asterisk (*) indicates an organizational class or group, not a Postal Service product.)

Part A—Market Dominant Products 1000 Market Dominant Product List First-Class Mail * Single-Piece Letters/Postcards Presorted Letters/Postcards Flats Parcels Outbound Single-Piece First-Class Mail International Inbound Letter Post Standard Mail (Commercial and Nonprofit)* High Density and Saturation Letters High Density and Saturation Flats/Parcels Carrier Route Letters Flats Parcels Every Door Direct Mail—Retail Periodicals * In-County Periodicals Outside County Periodicals Package Services * Alaska Bypass Service Bound Printed Matter Flats Bound Printed Matter Parcels Media Mail/Library Mail Special Services * Ancillary Services International Ancillary Services Address Management Services Caller Service Credit Card Authentication International Reply Coupon Service International Business Reply Mail Service Money Orders Post Office Box Service Customized Postage Stamp Fulfillment Services Negotiated Service Agreements * Domestic * Valassis Direct Mail, Inc. Negotiated Service Agreement PHI Acquisitions, Inc. Negotiated Service Agreement International* Inbound Market Dominant Multi-Service Agreements with Foreign Postal Operators Inbound Market Dominant Exprés Service Agreement 1 Nonpostal Services * Alliances with the Private Sector to Defray Cost of Key Postal Functions Philatelic Sales Market Tests * Part B—Competitive Products 2000 Competitive Product List Domestic Products * Priority Mail Express Priority Mail Parcel Select Parcel Return Service First-Class Package Service Standard Post International Products * Outbound International Expedited Services Inbound Parcel Post (at UPU rates) Outbound Priority Mail International International Priority Airmail (IPA) International Surface Air List (ISAL) International Direct Sacks—M-Bags Outbound Single-Piece First-Class Package International Service Negotiated Service Agreements * Domestic * Priority Mail Express Contract 8 Priority Mail Express Contract 11 Priority Mail Express Contract 12 Priority Mail Express Contract 13 Priority Mail Express Contract 14 Priority Mail Express Contract 15 Priority Mail Express Contract 16 Priority Mail Express Contract 17 Priority Mail Express Contract 18 Priority Mail Express Contract 19 Priority Mail Express Contract 20 Priority Mail Express Contract 21 Priority Mail Express Contract 22 Priority Mail Express Contract 23 Priority Mail Express Contract 24 Priority Mail Express Contract 25 Parcel Return Service Contract 5 Parcel Return Service Contract 6 Parcel Return Service Contract 7 Parcel Return Service Contract 8 Priority Mail Contract 24 Priority Mail Contract 29 Priority Mail Contract 33 Priority Mail Contract 39 Priority Mail Contract 40 Priority Mail Contract 41 Priority Mail Contract 42 Priority Mail Contract 43 Priority Mail Contract 44 Priority Mail Contract 45 Priority Mail Contract 46 Priority Mail Contract 47 Priority Mail Contract 48 Priority Mail Contract 51 Priority Mail Contract 52 Priority Mail Contract 53 Priority Mail Contract 54 Priority Mail Contract 55 Priority Mail Contract 56 Priority Mail Contract 57 Priority Mail Contract 58 Priority Mail Contract 59 Priority Mail Contract 60 Priority Mail Contract 61 Priority Mail Contract 62 Priority Mail Contract 63 Priority Mail Contract 64 Priority Mail Contract 65 Priority Mail Contract 66 Priority Mail Contract 67 Priority Mail Contract 70 Priority Mail Contract 71 Priority Mail Contract 72 Priority Mail Contract 73 Priority Mail Contract 74 Priority Mail Contract 75 Priority Mail Contract 76 Priority Mail Contract 77 Priority Mail Contract 78 Priority Mail Contract 79 Priority Mail Contract 80 Priority Mail Contract 81 Priority Mail Contract 82 Priority Mail Contract 83 Priority Mail Contract 84 Priority Mail Contract 85 Priority Mail Contract 86 Priority Mail Contract 87 Priority Mail Contract 88 Priority Mail Contract 89 Priority Mail Contract 90 Priority Mail Contract 91 Priority Mail Contract 92 Priority Mail Contract 93 Priority Mail Contract 94 Priority Mail Contract 95 Priority Mail Contract 96 Priority Mail Contract 97 Priority Mail Contract 98 Priority Mail Contract 99 Priority Mail Contract 100 Priority Mail Contract 101 Priority Mail Contract 102 Priority Mail Contract 103 Priority Mail Contract 104 Priority Mail Contract 105 Priority Mail Contract 106 Priority Mail Contract 107 Priority Mail Contract 108 Priority Mail Contract 109 Priority Mail Contract 110 Priority Mail Contract 111 Priority Mail Contract 112 Priority Mail Contract 113 Priority Mail Contract 114 Priority Mail Contract 115 Priority Mail Contract 116 Priority Mail Contract 117 Priority Mail Contract 118 Priority Mail Contract 119 Priority Mail Contract 120 Priority Mail Contract 121 Priority Mail Contract 122 Priority Mail Contract 123 Priority Mail Contract 124 Priority Mail Contract 125 Priority Mail Express & Priority Mail Contract 9 Priority Mail Express & Priority Mail Contract 10 Priority Mail Express & Priority Mail Contract 11 Priority Mail Express & Priority Mail Contract 12 Priority Mail Express & Priority Mail Contract 13 Priority Mail Express & Priority Mail Contract 14 Priority Mail Express & Priority Mail Contract 16 Priority Mail Express & Priority Mail Contract 17 Priority Mail Express & Priority Mail Contract 18 Parcel Select & Parcel Return Service Contract 3 Parcel Select & Parcel Return Service Contract 5 Parcel Select Contract 2 Parcel Select Contract 3 Parcel Select Contract 4 Parcel Select Contract 5 Parcel Select Contract 6 Parcel Select Contract 7 Parcel Select Contract 8 Parcel Select Contract 9 Priority Mail—Non-Published Rates Priority Mail—Non-Published Rates 1 First-Class Package Service Contract 8 First-Class Package Service Contract 9 First-Class Package Service Contract 10 First-Class Package Service Contract 11 First-Class Package Service Contract 12 First-Class Package Service Contract 13 First-Class Package Service Contract 14 First-Class Package Service Contract 15 First-Class Package Service Contract 16 First-Class Package Service Contract 17 First-Class Package Service Contract 18 First-Class Package Service Contract 19 First-Class Package Service Contract 20 First-Class Package Service Contract 21 First-Class Package Service Contract 22 First-Class Package Service Contract 23 First-Class Package Service Contract 24 First-Class Package Service Contract 25 First-Class Package Service Contract 26 First-Class Package Service Contract 27 First-Class Package Service Contract 28 First-Class Package Service Contract 29 First-Class Package Service Contract 30 First-Class Package Service Contract 31 First-Class Package Service Contract 32 First-Class Package Service Contract 33 First-Class Package Service Contract 34 First-Class Package Service Contract 35 First-Class Package Service Contract 36 First-Class Package Service Contract 37 Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 1 Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 2 Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 3 Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 4 Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 1 Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 2 Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 3 Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 4 Outbound International * Global Expedited Package Services (GEPS) Contracts GEPS 3 Global Direct Contracts Global Direct Contracts 1 Global Bulk Economy (GBE) Contracts Global Plus Contracts Global Plus 1C Global Plus 2C Global Reseller Expedited Package Contracts Global Reseller Expedited Package Services 1 Global Reseller Expedited Package Services 2 Global Reseller Expedited Package Services 3 Global Reseller Expedited Package Services 4 Global Expedited Package Services (GEPS)—Non-Published Rates Global Expedited Package Services (GEPS)—Non-Published Rates 2 Global Expedited Package Services (GEPS)—Non-Published Rates 3 Global Expedited Package Services (GEPS)—Non-Published Rates 4 Global Expedited Package Services (GEPS)—Non-Published Rates 5 Global Expedited Package Services (GEPS)—Non-Published Rates 6 Priority Mail International Regional Rate Boxes—Non-Published Rates Outbound Competitive International Merchandise Return Service Agreement with Royal Mail Group, Ltd. Priority Mail International Regional Rate Boxes Contract 1 Inbound International* International Business Reply Service (IBRS) Competitive Contracts International Business Reply Service Competitive Contract 1 International Business Reply Service Competitive Contract 3 Inbound Direct Entry Contracts with Customers Inbound Direct Entry Contracts with Foreign Postal Administrations Inbound Direct Entry Contracts with Foreign Postal Administrations Inbound Direct Entry Contracts with Foreign Postal Administrations 1 Inbound EMS Inbound EMS 2 Inbound Air Parcel Post (at non-UPU rates) Royal Mail Group Inbound Air Parcel Post Agreement Inbound Competitive Multi-Service Agreements with Foreign Postal Operators 1 Special Services * Address Enhancement Services Greeting Cards, Gift Cards, and Stationery International Ancillary Services International Money Transfer Service—Outbound International Money Transfer Service—Inbound Premium Forwarding Service Shipping and Mailing Supplies Post Office Box Service Competitive Ancillary Services Nonpostal Services * Advertising Licensing of Intellectual Property other than Officially Licensed Retail Products (OLRP) Mail Service Promotion Officially Licensed Retail Products (OLRP) Passport Photo Service Photocopying Service Rental, Leasing, Licensing or other Non-Sale Disposition of Tangible Property Training Facilities and Related Services USPS Electronic Postmark (EPM) Program Market Tests * Metro Post International Merchandise Return Service (IMRS)—Non-Published Rates Customized Delivery
Ruth Ann Abrams, Acting Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2015-17685 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2013-0436; EPA-R05-OAR-2014-0663; FRL-9929-71-Region 5] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Illinois; Midwest Generation Variances AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving into the Illinois regional haze State Implementation Plan (SIP) variances affecting the following Midwest Generation, LLC facilities: Crawford Generating Station (Cook County), Joliet Generating Station (Will County), Powerton Generating Station (Tazewell County), Waukegan Generating Station (Lake County), and Will County Generating Station (Will County). The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) submitted these variances to EPA for approval on May 16, 2013, and August 18, 2014.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on August 19, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established dockets for this action under Docket ID Nos. EPA-R05-OAR-2013-0436 and EPA-R05-OAR-2014-0663. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Air and Radiation Division, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. We recommend that you telephone Kathleen D'Agostino, Environmental Engineer, at (312) 886-1767 before visiting the Region 5 office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kathleen D'Agostino, Environmental Engineer, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-1767, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

I. What is the background for this action? II. What action is EPA taking? III. Incorporation by reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews. I. What is the background for this action?

On June 24, 2011, Illinois submitted a plan to address the requirements of the Regional Haze Rule, as codified at 40 CFR 51.308. EPA approved Illinois' regional haze SIP on July 6, 2012 (77 FR 39943). Among the rules approved in this action to meet the best available retrofit technology (BART) requirements of the Regional Haze Rule are Illinois Administrative Code rules: 35 Ill. Adm. Code 225.292: “Applicability of the Combined Pollutant Standard;” 35 Ill. Adm. Code 225.295 “Combined Pollutant Standard: Emissions Standards for NOX and SO2;” 35 Ill. Adm. Code 225.296 “Combined Pollutant Standard: Control Technology Requirements for NOX, SO2, and PM Emissions” (except for paragraph 225.296(d)); and 35 Ill. Adm. Code 225 Appendix A, which identifies the Midwest Generation Electric Generating Units (EGUs) specified for purposes of the combined pollutant standard (CPS).

The Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) granted Midwest Generation variances to Section 225.296(a)(1) and 225.296(c)(1) on August 23, 2012, and to Section 225.295(b) and Section 225.296(a)(2) on April 4, 2013. IEPA submitted these variances as revisions to the Illinois regional haze SIP on May 16, 2013, and August 18, 2014. EPA proposed to approve these variances on April 23, 2015 (80 FR 22662). EPA received no comments on the proposed action.

II. What action is EPA taking?

EPA is finalizing approval of the Midwest Generation variances submitted by IEPA on May 16, 2013, and August 18, 2014, as revisions to the Illinois regional haze SIP.

III. Incorporation by Reference

In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the Illinois Regulations described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

• Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by September 18, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

Dated: June 19, 2015. Susan Hedman, Regional Administrator, Region 5.

40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

2. Section 52.720 is amended by adding paragraph (c)(205) to read as follows:
§ 52.720 Identification of plan.

(c) * * *

(205) On May 16, 2013, and August 18, 2014, Illinois submitted variances to its regional haze state implementation plan affecting the following Midwest Generation, LLC facilities: Crawford Generating Station (Cook County), Joliet Generating Station (Will County), Powerton Generating Station (Tazewell County), Waukegan Generating Station (Lake County), and Will County Generating Station (Will County).

(i) Incorporation by Reference. (A) Illinois Pollution Control Board Order PCB 12-121, adopted on August 23, 2012; Certificate of Acceptance, dated August 24, 2012, filed with the Illinois Pollution Control Board Clerk's Office August 27, 2012.

(B) Illinois Pollution Control Board Order PCB 13-24, adopted on April 4, 2013; Certificate of Acceptance, dated May 16, 2013, filed with the Illinois Pollution Control Board Clerk's Office May 17, 2013.

[FR Doc. 2015-17662 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2013-0542; FRL-9930-44-Region-6] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Revisions to the New Source Review State Implementation Plan; Flexible Permit Program AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The EPA is fully approving revisions to the Texas New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP) to establish the Texas Minor NSR Flexible Permits Program (FPP), submitted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The approval was predicated on the TCEQ meeting its commitment outlined in its letter dated December 9, 2013, to adopt certain minor clarifications to the Flexible Permit Program (FPP) by November 30, 2014. The TCEQ submitted the revised program rules to meet its commitment on July 31, 2014. The EPA is finalizing this action under section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

DATES:

This final rule will be effective August 19, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2013-0542. All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available. E.g., Confidential Business Information or other information the disclosure of which is restricted by the statute. Certain other material such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Permits Section (6PD-R), Environmental Protection Agency, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Stephanie Kordzi, telephone 214-665-7520; email address [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean the EPA.

Table of Contents I. Background II. Response to Comments III. When is this action effective? IV. Final Action V. Incorporation by Reference VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

On July 14, 2014, the EPA took final rulemaking action conditionally approving revisions to the Texas NSR SIP to establish the Texas Minor NSR Flexible Permits Program, submitted by the TCEQ. The EPA's proposed conditional approval was published in 79 FR 8368, February 12, 2014. The conditional approval was predicated on a commitment from TCEQ in a letter dated December 9, 2013, to adopt certain minor clarifications to the FPP by November 30, 2014. (79 FR 40666, July 14, 2014).

On September 12, 2014, Environmental Integrity Project, et al., filed a Petition for Review challenging the EPA conditional approval of the FPP with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Department of Justice submitted the response to the Petition, Case No. 14-60649, for the EPA on March 2, 2015. The Appeal is on-going as of the date of publication of this notice.

On July 31, 2014, the TCEQ submitted revisions to the Texas NSR SIP. The rulemaking properly structured the rules within and according to the rulemaking requirements of the Texas Administrative Procedure Act and the Texas Administrative Code. The EPA proposed full approval of the FPP (79 FR 7875, December 31, 2014) based on its determination that the SIP revisions complied with section 110(k) of the Federal Clean Air Act (the Act or CAA) and was consistent with the EPA's regulations and policies. These revisions supported this action to convert the approved conditional FPP to a fully approved FPP. The EPA reopened the public notice period for an additional 30 days (80 FR 21199, April 17, 2015), due to items being inadvertently omitted from the docket during the public notice period beginning December 31, 2014.

II. Response to Comments

The EPA proposed an initial comment period of 30 days. We received comments from 3 organizations during the initial comment period as follows: The TCEQ, Baker Botts, and the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) on behalf of the Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, Community in Power & Development Association, Citizens for Environmental Justice, Air Alliance Houston, Texas Campaign for the Environment, and the Texas Impact. All comments previously submitted under the first public notice for this action are being responded to as appropriate and the commenters were informed that they did not need to resubmit them during the reopened public notice period. The EPA did not receive any additional comments during the reopened public notice period. All comment letters can be found in their entirety in the docket for this rulemaking.

Comment 1: Baker Botts stated they supported EPA's proposed approval of the Texas FPP. They believe it complies with the federal Clean Air Act. Further they believe that flexible permits are an essential part of the Texas air quality permitting program and the program has contributed to marked and sustained improvements in Texas air quality. They submitted information from TCEQ's Web site which documents reductions in ozone and other pollutants in Texas.

Response 1: The EPA appreciates the support for our final approval. No changes were made to the final rule as a result of this comment.

Comment 2: The TCEQ concurs with the EPA's proposed determination that the TCEQ fulfilled its December 9, 2013, commitment to submit the FPP SIP revision. The TCEQ also concurs with EPA's proposed finding that the TCEQ has satisfied all the elements of the EPA's final conditional approval (79 FR 40666, July 14, 2014). The TCEQ submitted on July 31, 2014, the following rules: 30 TAC Sections 116.13, 116.710, 116.711(1), (2)(A)(B) and (C)(i) and (ii), (D)-(J), and (L)-(N); 116.715(a)-(e) and (f)(1) and (2)(B); 116.716; 116.717; 116.718; 116.721; and 116.765.

Response 2: The EPA appreciates the support for our final approval of the rule. No changes were made to the final rule as a result of this comment.

Comment 3: The EIP stated the following: “this full approval action is non-substantive, it is not the agency action we seek to, or intend to, challenge.” EIP did resubmit their April 4, 2014, comments on the proposed conditional approval (Attachment A), and their January 27, 2015, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals brief (Attachment B).

Response 3: The EIP did not submit comments on the substance of this action, which addressed the rules being properly structured within and according to the rulemaking requirements of the Texas Administrative Procedure Act and the Texas Administrative Code. The EPA addressed the April 4, 2014, comments that the EIP resubmitted in its response to comments contained in the final conditional approval. (79 FR 40666, July 14, 2014). Further, the Brief of Respondent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Case No. 14-60649, filed on March 2, 2015, replies to the issues raised by EIP in its January 27, 2015, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals brief. EPA is incorporating by reference the EPA's Reply Brief in this response to the EIP's resubmitted comments. It can be found in the Docket to this action.

III. When is this action effective?

The EPA has determined that today's final approval of the Texas FPP is subject to the requirement to delay a rule's effective date until 30 days after publication in 5 U.S.C. 553(d) of the APA; therefore, the rule, will become effective 30 days after publication.

IV. Final Action

After careful consideration of submitted revisions to meet the requirements of the conditional approval and of the comments received and the responses to each comment provided above, and under section 110 of the Act, the EPA is finalizing our proposal to convert the conditional approval of the FPP to a full, final action. Further, we have found it complies with section 110(l) of the Act. We are making the following revisions to the Texas SIP:

• Revisions to 30 TAC Section 116.13—Flexible Permit Definitions.

• Revisions to 30 TAC Section 116.710—Applicability.

• Revisions to 30 TAC Section 116.711(1), (2)(A), (B) and (C)(i) and (ii), (D)-(J), and (L)-(N)—Flexible Permit Application.

• Revisions to 30 TAC Section 116.715(a)-(e) and (f)(1) and (2)(B)—General and Special Conditions.

• Revisions to 30 TAC Section 116.716—Emission Caps and Individual Emission Limitations.

• Revisions to 30 TAC Section 116.717—Implementation Schedule for Additional Controls.

• Revisions to 30 TAC Section 116.718—Significant Emission Increase.

• Revisions to 30 TAC Section 116.720—Limitation of Physical and Operational Changes.

• Revisions to 30 TAC Section 116.721—Amendments and Alterations.

• Revisions to 30 TAC Section 116.740(a)—Public Notice.

• Revisions to 30 TAC Section 116.750—Flexible Permit Fee. Revisions to 30 TAC Section 116.765—Compliance Schedule.

The EPA has determined that the revised rule satisfies the December 9, 2013, Commitment Letter which was submitted in a timely manner.

V. Incorporation by Reference

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

VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

• Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by September 18, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposed of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

Dated: June 30, 2015. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.

40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart SS—Texas 2. In § 52.2270(c), the table titled “EPA Approved Regulations in the Texas SIP” is amended by revising the entries for sections 116.13, 116.710, 116,711, 116.715, 116.716, 116.717, 116.718, 116.720, 116.721, 116.740, 116.750, and 116.765 to read as follows:
§ 52.2270 Identification of plan.

(c) * * *

EPA Approved Regulations in the Texas SIP State
  • citation
  • Title/Subject State approval/
  • Submittal date
  • EPA Approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 116 (Reg 6)—Control of Air Pollution by Permits for New Construction or Modification Subchapter A—Definitions *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 116.13 Flexible Permit Definitions 7/31/2014 7/20/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * Subchapter G—Flexible Permits Section 116.710 Applicability 7/31/2014 7/20/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Section 116.711 Flexible Permit Application 7/31/2014 7/20/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] SIP includes 30 TAC 116.711(1), (2)(A), (B) and (C)(i) and (ii), (D)-(J), and (L)-(N) *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 116.715 General and Special Conditions 7/31/2014 7/20/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] SIP includes 30 TAC 116.715(a)-(e) and (f)(1) and (2)(B) Section 116.716 Emission Caps and Individual Emission Limitations 7/31/2014 7/20/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Section 116.717 Implementation Schedule for Additional Controls 7/31/2014 7/20/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Section 116.718 Significant Emission Increase 7/31/2014 7/20/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Section 116.720 Limitation on Physical and Operational Changes 7/31/2014 7/20/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Section 116.721 Amendments and Alterations 7/31/2014 7/20/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 116.740 Public Notice and Comment 7/31/2014 7/20/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] SIP includes 30 TAC Section 116.740(a). Section 116.750 Flexible Permit Fee 7/31/2014 7/20/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 116.765 Compliance Schedule 7/31/2014 7/20/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] SIP includes 30 TAC Section 116.765(b) and (c). *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-17472 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0027; FRL-9930-79-Region-6] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Low Reid Vapor Pressure Fuel Regulations AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The EPA is taking a direct final action to approve revisions to the Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) related to Low Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) Fuel Regulations that were submitted by the State of Texas on January 5, 2015. The EPA evaluated the SIP submittal from Texas and determined these revisions are consistent with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (Act or CAA). The EPA is approving this action under the federal CAA.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule is effective on September 18, 2015 without further notice, unless the EPA receives relevant adverse comment August 19, 2015. If the EPA receives such comment, the EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0027, by one of the following methods:

    (1) www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions.

    (2) Email: Ms. Tracie Donaldson at [email protected]

    (3) Mail or Delivery: Ms. Tracie Donaldson, Air Permits Section (6PD-R), Environmental Protection Agency, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0027. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information the disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Do not submit information through http://www.regulations.gov or email, if you believe that it is CBI or otherwise protected from disclosure. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means that the 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 the EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment along with any disk or CD-ROM submitted. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters and any form of encryption and should be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about the EPA's public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

    Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Tracie Donaldson, (214) 665-6633, [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with Ms. Donaldson or Mr. Bill Deese at 214-665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document wherever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean the EPA.

    I. Background A. CAA and SIPs

    Section 110 of the CAA requires states to develop and submit to the EPA a SIP to ensure that state air quality meets National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The NAAQS currently address six criteria pollutants: Carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, lead, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. Each federally-approved SIP protects air quality primarily by addressing air pollution at its point of origin through air pollution regulations and control strategies. The EPA-approved SIP provisions and control strategies are federally enforceable. States revise the SIP as needed and submit revisions to the EPA for review and approval.

    B. SIP Revision Submitted on January 5, 2015

    On September 10, 2014, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) adopted revisions to 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 114, Control of Air Pollution from Motor Vehicles, Subchapter H. Low Emission Fuels, Division 1. Gasoline Volatility. This review will determine if the changes to the Texas SIP are consistent with the requirements of the Clean Air Act and EPA's policy and guidance.

    II. EPA's Evaluation

    As detailed in the Technical Support Document (TSD) accompanying this action, the TCEQ submitted a SIP revision to the Low RVP Fuels regulations. In this adoption, TCEQ amended sections 114.306, 114.307, 114.309 and deleted section 114.304. The amendments to the Regional Low RVP Gasoline Regulations remove obsolete requirements that provide no benefit to the state and are not necessary for the implementation and enforcement of the primary gasoline volatility control requirements of the rule. In addition, the proposal would provide regulatory consistency between the Chapter 114 gasoline volatility requirements and the El Paso Low RVP Gasoline requirements, specified in the 30 TAC Chapter 115 regulations in §§ 115.252, 115.253, 115.255-115.257, and 115.259, which do not prohibit the use of MTBE and do not require registration and annual reporting.

    In addition, pursuant to section 110(k)(6) of the CAA, 30 TAC section 114.306(c) is being removed from the SIP. This section was inadvertently approved into the SIP by a previous action. In its April 25, 2000 SIP submittal, Texas specifically asked us to not include 114.306(c) into the SIP, but we included it in the SIP on April 26, 2001 (66 FR 20927, 20931). Our action today corrects this error by removing section 114.306(c) from the SIP.

    The amendments remove the prohibition on the increased use of methyl-tertiary-butyl-ether (MTBE) in gasoline to conform to the low RVP gasoline requirements; remove the requirements for gasoline producers and importers that supply low RVP gasoline to the affected counties; remove annual reporting and certification requirements on the use of MTBE in low RVP gasoline; and make other non-substantive clarifying changes as needed for accuracy and consistency.

    III. Final Action

    For the reasons stated above and in the TSD, the EPA is taking direct final action to approve revisions to the Texas SIP pertaining to Low RVP Fuel regulations. We are approving the revisions to the Texas SIP under section 110 of the Act. Each revision to an implementation plan submitted by a State under this chapter shall be adopted by such State after reasonable notice and public hearing. The Administrator shall not approve a revision of a plan if the revision would interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress. We are publishing this rule without prior proposal because we view this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipate no relevant adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision if relevant adverse comments are received. This rule will be effective on September 18, 2015 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse comment by August 19, 2015. If we receive relevant adverse comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. We will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. We will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so now. Please note that if we receive adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, we may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this direct final rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the Texas low RVP fuel requirements described in the Final Action section above. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the EPA Region 6 office.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    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, the EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

    • Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by September 18, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposed of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides.

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Ron Curry Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart SS—Texas 2. In § 52.2270(c), the table titled “EPA Approved Regulations in the Texas SIP” is amended by removing the entry for section 114.304 and revising the entries for sections 114.306, 114.307 and 114.309 to read as follows:
    § 52.2270 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA Approved Regulations in the Texas SIP State citation Title/Subject State
  • approval/
  • submittal
  • date
  • EPA
  • approval
  • date
  • Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 114—Control of Air Pollution From Motor Vehicle Fuels *         *         *         *         *         *         * Subchapter H—Low Emission Fuels Division 1: Gasoline Volatility *         *         *         *         *         *         * 114.306 Recordkeeping Requirements 4/25/2000 4/26/2001, 66 FR 20927 Not in SIP: 114.306(c) 114.307 Exemptions 9/10/2014 7/20/2015, [Insert Federal Register citation] 114.309 Affected Counties 9/10/2014 7/20/2015, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-17743 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0368; FRL-9930-76-Region 4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; North Carolina; Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards Changes AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve the State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of North Carolina, through the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources on August 13, 2012, pertaining to definition changes for the Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). EPA is approving this SIP revision because the State has demonstrated that it is consistent with the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

    DATES:

    This direct final rule is effective on September 18, 2015 without further notice, unless EPA receives relevant adverse comment by August 19, 2015. If EPA receives such comment, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0368, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Fax: 404-562-9019.

    4. Mail: “EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0368” Air Regulatory Management Section (formerly the Regulatory Development Section), Air Planning and Implementation Branch (formerly the Air Planning Branch), Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960.

    5. Hand Delivery or Courier: Lynorae Benjamin, Chief, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street, SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. “EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0368”. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit through www.regulations.gov or email, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street, SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Zuri Farngalo, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. The telephone number is (404) 562-9152. Mr. Farngalo can be reached via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Sections 108 and 109 of the CAA govern the establishment, review, and revision, as appropriate, of the NAAQS to protect public health and welfare. The CAA requires periodic review of the air quality criteria—the science upon which the standards are based—and the standards themselves. EPA's regulatory provisions that govern the NAAQS are found at 40 CFR 50—National Primary and Secondary Ambient Air Quality Standards. In this rulemaking, EPA is proposing to approve North Carolina's August 13, 2012, submission amending the State's NAAQS for NO2 and SO2 that are found at 15A NCAC 02D .0407 and .0402. The SIP submittal amending North Carolina's rules to incorporate the NAAQS can be found in the Docket for this proposed rulemaking at www.regulations.gov and are summarized below.

    II. EPA's Analysis of North Carolina's SIP Revision A. NO2

    On February 9, 2010, EPA promulgated a new 1-hour primary NAAQS for NO2 at a level of 100 parts per billion (ppb), based on a 3-year average of the 98th percentile of the yearly distribution of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations. See 75 FR 6474. Accordingly, in the August 3, 2012, SIP submission, North Carolina revised state rule 15A NCAC 02D .0407 Nitrogen Dioxide to update the primary air quality standard for NO2 to be consistent with the NAAQS that were promulgated by EPA in 2010. EPA has reviewed this change to North Carolina's rule for NO2 and has made the determination that this change is consistent with federal regulations.

    B. SO2

    On June 22, 2010, EPA promulgated a revised primary SO2 NAAQS to an hourly standard of 75 ppb based on a 3-year average of the annual 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations. See 75 FR 35520. Accordingly, in the August 3, 2012, SIP submission, North Carolina revised state rule 15A NCAC 02D .0402 Sulfur Oxides to update the primary air quality standard for SO2 to be consistent with the SO2 NAAQS that were promulgated by EPA in 2010. EPA has reviewed the change to North Carolina's rule for SO2 and has made the determination that these changes are consistent with federal regulations.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporate by reference of NCDENR regulations 15A NCAC 02D .0407 Nitrogen Dioxide and 15A NCAC 02D .0402 Sulfur Oxides effective September 1, 2011, which were revised to be consistent with the current NAAQS. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    IV. Final Action

    EPA is approving the aforementioned changes to the North Carolina SIP, because they are consistent with EPA's standards for NO2 and SO2. EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision should adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective September 18, 2015 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by August 19, 2015.

    If EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a document withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the rule will not take effect. All adverse comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Parties interested in commenting should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on September 18, 2015 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule.

    Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, the Agency may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

    • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by September 18, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Sulfur dioxide, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42. U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart II—North Carolina 2. Section 52.1770(c) is amended under Table 1, at Subchapter 2D Air Pollution Control Requirements, Section .0400 Ambient Air Quality Standards by revising the entries for “.0402,” and “.0407” to read as follows:
    § 52.1770 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    Table 1—EPA Approved North Carolina Regulations State citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Explanation Subchapter 2D Air Pollution Control Requirements *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section .0400 Ambient Air Quality Standards *         *         *         *         *         *          Sect .0402 Sulfur Dioxide 9/1/2011 7/20/2015 [Insert citation of publication] *         *         *         *         *         *         * Sect .0407 Nitrogen Dioxide 9/1/2011 7/20/2015 [Insert citation of publication] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-17683 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 261 [EPA-R01-RCRA-2012-0447; FRL-9930-54-Region-1] Hazardous Waste Management System; Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste Amendment AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule; amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is amending the exclusion for International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) in Essex Junction, Vermont to reflect changes in ownership and name.

    DATES:

    This amendment is effective on July 20, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sharon Leitch, RCRA Waste Management and UST Section, Office of Site Remediation and Restoration, (Mail Code: OSRR07-01), EPA Region 1, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, MA 02109-3912; telephone number: (617) 918-1647; fax number (617) 918-0647; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In this document EPA is amending appendix IX to part 261 to reflect a change in the ownership and name of a particular facility. Today's notice documents the transfer of ownership and name change by updating appendix IX to incorporate the change in owner's name for the IBM Corporation, Essex Junction, Vermont facility. The exclusion or “delisting” was granted to IBM on September 13, 2012 (see 77 FR 56558). The EPA has been notified that the transfer of ownership of the Essex Junction facility to GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC will occur on July 1, 2015. GLOBALFOUNDRIES has certified that it plans to comply with all the terms and conditions set forth in the delisting and will not change the characteristics of the wastes subject to the exclusion at the Essex Junction facility. This notice documents the change by updating appendix IX to incorporate a change in name.

    In accordance with the delisting approval, IBM has completed the quarterly verification testing requirements set forth in paragraph 3.(A) and has submitted the first set of annual testing results in accordance with paragraph 3.(B). As part of this notice, EPA is clarifying the requirements for annual reporting found in paragraph 3.(B)(iii) of the delisting approval. The paragraph currently requires that the annual test report include the annual testing data and the annual amount of waste in cubic yards disposed of during the calendar year. However, as a result of the timing of the delisting approval, annual testing occurs during August and September of each year and the reports are submitted to EPA soon thereafter. With this notice EPA is clarifying that the reporting of the annual sludge volumes shall occur separately from the annual testing reports. As a result, the delisting is being modified to include paragraph 3.(B)(iv) to reflect this change. We are also clarifying in paragraph 3.(B)(iii) that the annual testing results shall be submitted to EPA within thirty days after both annual samples have been taken.

    The changes to appendix IX of part 261 are effective July 20, 2015. The Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 amended section 3010 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to allow rules to become effective in less than six months when the regulated community does not need the six-month period to come into compliance. As described above, the facility has certified that it is prepared to comply with the requirements of the exclusion. Therefore, a six-month delay in the effective date is not necessary in this case. This provides the basis for making this amendment effective immediately upon publication under the Administrative Procedures Act pursuant to 5 United States Code (U.S.C.) 5531(d). The EPA has determined that having a proposed rule and public comment on this change is unnecessary, as it involves only a change in company ownership, and a clarification, with all of the same delisting requirements remaining in effect.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 261

    Environmental protection, Hazardous waste, Recycling, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    Section 3001(f) RCRA, 42 U.S.C. 6921(f)

    Dated: June 29, 2015. H. Curtis Spalding, Regional Administrator, EPA Region 1.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 40 CFR part 261 is amended as follows:

    PART 261—IDENTIFICATION AND LISTING OF HAZARDOUS WASTE 1. The authority citation for part 261 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 6905, 6912(a), 6921, 6922, and 6938.

    2. Table 1 of Appendix IX to part 261 is amended by removing the “IBM Corporation” entry and adding a new entry “GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC” in alphabetical order by facility to read as follows: Appendix IX to Part 261—Waste Excluded Under §§ 260.20 and 260.22 Table 1—Wastes Excluded From Non-Specific Sources Facility Address Waste description *         *         *         *         *         *         * GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC (formerly, “IBM Corporation”) Essex Junction, VT Wastewater Treatment Sludge (Hazardous Waste No. F006) generated at a maximum annual rate of 3,150 cubic yards per calendar year and disposed of in a Subtitle D Landfill which is licensed, permitted, or otherwise authorized by a state to accept the delisted wastewater treatment sludge. GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC must implement a testing program that meets the following conditions for the exclusion to be valid: 1. Delisting Levels: (A) All leachable concentrations for the following constituents must not exceed the following levels (mg/L for TCLP): Arsenic—5.0; Barium—100.0; Cadmium—1.0; Chromium—5.0; Lead—5.0; Mercury 0.2; and, Nickel—32.4. 2. Waste Handling and Holding: (A) GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC must manage as hazardous all WWTP sludge generated until it has completed initial verification testing described in paragraph (3)(A) and valid analyses show that paragraph (1) is satisfied and written approval is received by EPA. (B) Levels of constituents measured in the samples of the WWTP sludge that do not exceed the levels set forth in paragraph (1) for two consecutive quarterly sampling events are non-hazardous. After approval is received from EPA, GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC can manage and dispose of the non-hazardous WWTP sludge according to all applicable solid waste regulations. (C) Not withstanding having received the initial approval from EPA, if constituent levels in a later sample exceed any of the Delisting Levels set in paragraph (1), from that point forward, GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC must treat all the waste covered by this exclusion as hazardous until it is demonstrated that the waste again meets the levels in paragraph (1). GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC must manage and dispose of the waste generated under Subtitle C of RCRA from the time that it becomes aware of any exceedance. 3. Verification Testing Requirements: GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC must perform sample collection and analyses in accordance with the approved Quality Assurance Project Plan dated January 27, 2011. All samples shall be representative composite samples according to appropriate methods. As applicable to the method-defined parameters of concern, analyses requiring the use of SW-846 methods incorporated by reference in 40 CFR 260.11 must be used without substitution. As applicable, the SW-846 methods might include Methods 0010, 0011, 0020, 0023A, 0030, 0031, 0040, 0050, 0051, 0060, 0061, 1010A, 1020B,1110A, 1310B, 1311, 1312, 1320, 1330A, 9010C, 9012B, 9040C, 9045D, 9060A, 9070A (uses EPA Method 1664, Rev. A), 9071B, and 9095B. Methods must meet Performance Based Measurement System Criteria in which the Data Quality Objectives are to demonstrate that samples of the GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC sludge are representative for all constituents listed in paragraph (1). To verify that the waste does not exceed the specified delisting concentrations, for one year after the final exclusion is granted GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC must perform quarterly analytical testing by sampling and analyzing the WWTP sludge as follows: (A) Quarterly Testing: (i) Collect two representative composite samples of the WWTP sludge at quarterly intervals after EPA grants the final exclusion. The first composite samples must be taken within 30 days after EPA grants the final approval. The second set of samples must be taken at least 30 days after the first set. (ii) Analyze the samples for all constituents listed in paragraph (1). Any waste regarding which a composite sample is taken that exceeds the delisting levels listed in paragraph (1) for the sludge must be disposed as hazardous waste in accordance with the applicable hazardous waste requirements from the time that GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC becomes aware of any exceedance. (iii) Within thirty (30) days after taking each quarterly sample, GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC will report its analytical test data to EPA. If levels of constituents measured in the samples of the sludge do not exceed the levels set forth in paragraph (1) of this exclusion for two consecutive quarters, and EPA concurs with those findings, GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC can manage and dispose the non-hazardous sludge according to all applicable solid waste regulations. (B) Annual Testing: (i) If GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC completes the quarterly testing specified in paragraph (3) above and no sample contains a constituent at a level which exceeds the limits set forth in paragraph (1), GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC may begin annual testing as follows: GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC must test two representative composite samples of the wastewater treatment sludge (following the same protocols as specified for quarterly sampling, above) for all constituents listed in paragraph (1) at least once per calendar year. (ii) The samples for the annual testing taken for the second and subsequent annual testing events shall be taken within the same calendar month as the first annual sample taken. (iii) GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC shall submit an annual testing report to EPA with all of its annual test results, within thirty (30) days after taking the two annual samples. (iv) GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC shall submit to EPA in January of each year the total amount of waste in cubic yards disposed during the previous calendar year. 4. Changes in Operating Conditions: If GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC significantly changes the manufacturing or treatment process described in the petition, or the chemicals used in the manufacturing or treatment process, it must notify the EPA in writing and may no longer handle the wastes generated from the new process as non-hazardous unless and until the wastes are shown to meet the delisting levels set in paragraph (1), GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC demonstrates that no new hazardous constituents listed in appendix VIII of part 261 have been introduced, and GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC has received written approval from EPA to manage the wastes from the new process under this exclusion. While the EPA may provide written approval of certain changes, if there are changes that the EPA determines are highly significant, the EPA may instead require GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC to file a new delisting petition. 5. Data Submittals and Recordkeeping: GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC must submit the information described below. If GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC fails to submit the required data within the specified time or maintain the required records on-site for the specified time, EPA, at its discretion, will consider this sufficient basis to reopen the exclusion as described in paragraph (6). GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC must: (A) Submit the data obtained through paragraph (3) to the Chief, RCRA Waste Management & UST Section, U.S. EPA Region 1, (OSRR07-1), 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, MA 02109-3912, within the time specified. All supporting data can be submitted on CD-ROM or some comparable electronic media; (B) Compile, summarize, and maintain on site for a minimum of five years and make available for inspection records of operating conditions, including monthly and annual volumes of WWTP sludge generated, analytical data, including quality control information and, copies of the notification(s) required in paragraph (7); (C) Submit with all data a signed copy of the certification statement in 40 CFR 260.22(i)(12). 6. Reopener Language—(A) If, anytime, after disposal of the delisted waste, GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC possesses or is otherwise made aware of any environmental data (including but not limited to leachate data or groundwater monitoring data) or any other relevant data to the delisted waste indicating that any constituent is at a concentration in the leachate higher than the specified delisting concentration, then GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC must report such data, in writing, to the Regional Administrator and to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Secretary within 10 days of first possessing or being made aware of that data. (B) Based on the information described in paragraph (A) and any other information received from any source, the Regional Administrator will make a preliminary determination as to whether the reported information requires Agency action to protect human health or the environment. Further action may include suspending, or revoking the exclusion, or other appropriate response necessary to protect human health and the environment. (C) If the Regional Administrator determines that the reported information does require Agency action, the Regional Administrator will notify GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC in writing of the actions the Regional Administrator believes are necessary to protect human health and the environment. The notice shall include a statement of the proposed action and a statement providing GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC with an opportunity to present information as to why the proposed Agency action is not necessary or to suggest an alternative action. GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC shall have 30 days from the date of the Regional Administrator's notice to present the information. (D) If after 30 days GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC presents no further information or after a review of any submitted information, the Regional Administrator will issue a final written determination describing the Agency actions that are necessary to protect human health or the environment. Any required action described in the Regional Administrator's determination shall become effective immediately, unless the Regional Administrator provides otherwise. 7. Notification Requirements: GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 2 LLC must do the following before transporting the delisted waste: (A) Provide a one-time written notification to any state Regulatory Agency to which or through which it will transport the delisted waste described above for disposal, 60 days before beginning such activities; (B) Update the one-time written notification if it ships the delisted waste to a different disposal facility. Failure to provide this notification will result in a violation of the delisting petition and a possible revocation of the decision. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-17672 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 720, 721, 723, and 725 [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2013-0385; FRL-9927-79] RIN 2070-AJ98 TSCA Section 5 Premanufacture and Significant New Use Notification Electronic Reporting AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct Final Rule.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is taking direct final action to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) section 5 electronic reporting regulations. These electronic reporting regulations establish standards and requirements for use of EPA's Central Data Exchange (CDX) to electronically submit premanufacture notices (PMNs), other TSCA section 5 notices, and support documents to the Agency. This rule provides the user community with new methods for accessing the e-PMN software, new procedures for completing the electronic-PMN (e-PMN) form, changes to the CDX registration process, adds the requirement to submit “bona fide intents to manufacture” electronically, and changes to the procedure for notifying EPA of any new manufacturing site of a chemical substance for which an exemption was granted by EPA. This action is intended to further streamline and reduce the administrative costs and burdens of TSCA section 5 notifications for both industry and EPA.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule is effective January 19, 2016 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment on or before August 19, 2015. If EPA receives adverse comments on this action, EPA will withdraw the rule before its effective date. EPA will then issue a proposed rule, providing a 30-day period for public comment.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2013-0385, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: Document Control Office (7407M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html. Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Greg Schweer, Chemical Control Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; MC 7405M; telephone number: (202) 564-8469; email address: [email protected]

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Executive Summary A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be affected by this action if you manufacture (which includes import) or process chemicals for commercial purposes that are subject to TSCA. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding industries within which entities are likely to be affected by this action. Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to:

    • Manufacturers and processors of chemical substances or mixtures (NAICS codes 325 and 32411).

    Full descriptions of these NAICS codes and related establishments are maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau online at https://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/index.html. Other types of entities not listed in this unit could also be affected. To determine whether you or your business may be affected by this action, you should carefully examine the applicability provisions in 40 CFR parts 700, 720, 721, 723, and 725 for TSCA section 5-related obligations. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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

    TSCA gives EPA broad authority to regulate the manufacture (including import) and processing of chemical substances. It is the expressed intent of Congress that EPA carry out TSCA in a reasonable and prudent manner, and in consideration of the impacts that any action taken under TSCA may have on the environment, the economy, and society (TSCA section 2). The underlying requirements promulgated under this broad authority and amended by this final rule require manufacturers (including importers) and processors of chemical substances and mixtures to:

    • Notify EPA at least 90 days before manufacturing a new chemical substance for commercial purposes (TSCA section 5(a)(1)(A)).

    • Notify EPA at least 90 days before manufacturing or processing the chemical substance for any use of a chemical substance that EPA has determined to be a “significant new use” (TSCA section 5(a)(1)(B)).

    Section 5(h)(4) of TSCA authorizes EPA, upon application and by rule, to exempt the manufacturer of any new chemical substance from part or all of the provisions of TSCA section 5.

    In addition, the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) requires Federal agencies to manage information resources to reduce information collection burdens on the public; increase program efficiency and effectiveness; and improve the integrity, quality, and utility of information to all users within and outside an agency, including capabilities for ensuring dissemination of public information, public access to Federal Government information, and protections for privacy and security (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    Finally, the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) (Pub. L. 105-277 (44 U.S.C. 3504)) instructs Federal agencies to use and accept from the public, when practicable, electronic forms, electronic filings, and electronic signatures in the conduct of official business with the public.

    C. What action is the agency taking?

    This direct final rule amends the TSCA Section 5 Premanufacture and Significant New Use Notification regulations at 40 CFR parts 720, 721, 723 and 725, by mandating the use of an updated version of the e-PMN reporting software. In the Federal Register of January 2010 (75 FR 773) (FRL-8794-5), EPA issued a final rule requiring the use of the e-PMN reporting software for the submission of PMNs and other TSCA section 5 notices and support documents to the Agency using the Internet through CDX. This new version of the e-PMN software will operate as a “cloud” software system (“Thin Client Version”) rather than as a downloadable software system (“Thick Client Version”). In addition, the direct final rule extends electronic reporting requirements to notices of “bona fide intent to manufacture” (bona fides); corrects certain regulatory cross-references in 40 CFR parts 720 and 721; standardizes the use of “manufacture” and similar language in 40 CFR parts 720, 721, and 725; and specifies electronic reporting procedures for the notification of new manufacturing sites pursuant to 40 CFR 723.50(j)(6)(ii).

    D. Why is the agency taking this action?

    The Agency is taking this action to further facilitate electronic reporting under TSCA and to streamline and reduce the administrative costs and burdens of TSCA section 5 notifications for both industry and EPA. This change will eliminate certain firewall and file submission size limitations that exist with the current version of the software. This change will also enable submitters to work directly online within the Thin Client Version which provides a more efficient way of accessing the e-PMN software and transmitting data to EPA. In addition, the extension of the electronic reporting requirements ensures that submitters are able to use a single method of submission for related TSCA section 5 notifications.

    E. What are the impacts of this action?

    EPA believes that both the transition from the Thick Client Version to the Thin Client Version of the e-PMN software, as well as the changes to the procedures for notifying EPA of any new manufacturing site of a chemical substance for which an exemption was granted by EPA under 40 CFR 723.50, will streamline and reduce slightly the administrative costs and burdens associated with TSCA section 5 notifications for both industry and EPA; the only burden expected is the time it takes a submitter to familiarize themselves with the rule. EPA believes that submitters of bona fide intents to manufacture will experience burden and cost savings because the time required to enter, review, and edit their notices using the e-PMN software and transmit their submissions to EPA electronically will be less than that for the existing paper-based process. See also the discussion in Unit IV.

    II. Direct Final Rule Procedures A. Why is EPA using a direct final rule?

    EPA is publishing this rule without a prior proposed rule because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial action and anticipates no adverse comment. As addressed in Unit I.A., this action requires the use of a new version of the e-PMN software that is easier to access, features enhanced submission security, and eliminates size limitations on the submitted files. The action also corrects certain outdated regulatory cross-references, and standardizes terminology across certain regulatory provisions. If EPA receives adverse comment, the agency will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. If EPA does not receive any timely adverse comment, this amendment will become effective as indicated under DATES without any further action by EPA.

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

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

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting any comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    III. Overview of the CDX, CISS, and the Thin Client Version of the e-PMN Software A. What is CDX?

    CDX is EPA's electronic system for environmental data exchange to the Agency. CDX also provides the capability for submitters to access their data through the use of web services. CDX enables EPA to work with stakeholders, including governments, regulated industries, and the public, to enable streamlined, electronic submission of data via the Internet. For more information about CDX, go to http://epa.gov/cdx. TSCA section 5 submissions will be prepared and submitted through Chemical Information Submission System (CISS) in CDX.

    B. What is CISS?

    CISS is a web-based reporting tool developed by EPA for use in submitting data, reports, and other information under certain sections of TSCA electronically to the Agency. CISS provides user-friendly navigation, works with CDX to secure online communication, creates a completed Portable Document Format (PDF) for review prior to submission, and enables data, reports, and other information to be submitted easily as PDF attachments, or by other electronic standards, such as XML.

    C. What is the thin client version of the e-PMN software?

    The thin client version of the e-PMN software is a submission module within CISS. Following promulgation of the e-PMN final rule in 2010, EPA launched submission modules in CISS for TSCA Chemical Data Reporting, TSCA section 4 test data submissions, TSCA section 8(a) preliminary assessment information rules, TSCA section 8(d) health and safety data reporting rules, and mandatory notifications of substantial risk under TSCA section 8(e) along with related, voluntary “For Your Information” submissions. EPA has enhanced the e-PMN software in the thin client version to incorporate several functions already available to submitters in the other CISS submission modules, including:

    1. Enhanced CDX Registration and Submission Process. When submitters complete new CDX registration activities, they are prompted to choose 5 out of 20 offered questions and provide answers to each of those 5 questions. In order to electronically sign and submit data to the EPA or to download the Copy of Record in CDX, a user must correctly answer 1 randomly selected question of the 5 questions chosen by that user (i.e., a “20-5-1” security question) before the transaction can be completed. When the 20-5-1 security question is answered correctly, the thin client version of the software then encrypts the information and transaction is completed.

    2. Optional online Electronic Signature Agreement (ESA) and identity validation. The thin client version of the e-PMN software enables electronic submitters who are newly applying for the Authorized Official (AO) role in CDX to validate their personal identities electronically via LexisNexis. Those submitters applying for the AO role who choose to not use LexisNexis, or for whom LexisNexis could not validate their identities, will need to follow the current, paper-based e-PMN identity validation process. In CDX, these submitters will instead select the “Sign Paper Form” option. CDX will then instruct the user to print, sign, and mail the ESA (ESA processing by EPA may take up to 10 business days from the date of receipt). Since support persons are not able to sign and complete submissions or download the Copy of Record for a submission, they will be able to register with CDX without authentication of identity.

    3. AO Role Expansion. The role of the AO has been expanded. Not only does the AO of the submitting company certify initial notices and submit all types of section 5 documents to EPA via CDX, the role has been broadened to allow non-certifying AOs (e.g., technical contacts, consultants etc.) to conduct all TSCA section 5 business on behalf of the company except for certifying and submitting initial notices including joint submissions and letters of support. The role for the registered support person has also changed. Support persons will have the ability only to edit information in forms to which they have been granted access by the AO.

    4. Updated user roles/designations. For joint submissions and/or letters of support, there are new designations/roles assigned in registration referred to as “secondary” (for both AOs and support persons). The “primary” role designation is for persons who will create and submit the main PMN and supporting documents. The “secondary” role designation is for persons who will create and submit joint submissions and letters of support.

    D. What are the benefits of the thin client version of the e-PMN software?

    EPA developed the Thin Client Version of the e-PMN software to provide a more efficient way of accessing the e-PMN software and completing the e-PMN form. The Thin Client Version of the software was also designed to enable more efficient data transmittal, including increasing the size of files that can be submitted to EPA. By moving from the Thick Client Version of the e-PMN software to the Thin Client Version, the Agency has eliminated the roadblocks associated with firewalls that were encountered by some users of the Thick Client Version by allowing submitters to work directly online within the Thin Client Version or, if they choose, to work offline using an XML schema which allows them to later upload their information to the Thin Client Version. When preparing and completing submissions in the thin client version, submitters will find that sharing files within the software makes the information readily accessible to registrants of the submitting company and their designated support persons. Also, once a user completes the relevant data fields and attaches appropriate PDF files or other allowable file types, the web-based tool validates the submission by performing a basic error check and makes sure all the required fields and attachments are provided and complete. Finally, the Thin Client Version assures that submitters will always use the most up-to-date version of the e-PMN software when initiating, updating, and/or completing their submissions in CISS.

    In addition, the thin client version improves EPA data management by altering the process for submitting amendments to a valid notice. Currently, submitters would electronically submit only the amended sections of the form. Under the new procedure, companies will revise the necessary information in the initial notice or a previously modified version of the notice and an entire updated notice will then be resubmitted to EPA. This provides EPA with a complete, updated version of the entire submission in one document.

    E. Will CBI be protected when using the thin client version of the e-PMN software?

    Yes. The application has been designed to support TSCA CBI needs by providing a secure environment that meets Federal standards. The application uses Transportation Layer Security with 256-bit digital encryption, and the data is encrypted at rest using a key that only a user knows. All data remains encrypted until it is behind several EPA firewalls and within the EPA CBI LAN, and all encryption algorithms are compliant with Federal Information Processing Standards. In addition, users must have valid CDX credentials (user name and password combination) to access the application, and they choose and provide answers to 5 of the 20 offered questions in CDX. In order to access the CDX account and submit data to the EPA or to download the Copy of Record, a user must correctly answer one of the 5 chosen questions associated with the CDX account.

    F. How do I submit TSCA section 5 notifications and support documents using CDX and the “Thin Client Version” of the e-PMN software?

    EPA has prepared a comprehensive user guide for CISS users that addresses CDX registration and electronic signatures, general submission preparation and completion, and submission status tracking notifications (Ref. 1). This user guide is available through EPA's Web page at http://www.epa.gov/oppt/chemtest/ereporting. EPA has also prepared a separate user guide for the e-PMN software module in CISS (i.e., the Thin Client Version) (Ref. 2) which is available through EPA's Web page at http://epa.gov/oppt/newchems/epmn/epmn-index.htm.

    IV. Description of Changes to Required Reporting Procedures A. What are the new requirements for “Bona Fide Intents to Manufacture”?

    This direct final rule extends the electronic reporting requirement to submit PMNs, other TSCA section 5 notices, and support documents to the Agency electronically to include the submissions of bona fides. A person who intends to manufacture a chemical substance not listed by specific chemical name in the public portion of the Inventory of Chemical Substances may ask EPA, through submission of a bona fide intent to manufacture, whether the substance is included in the confidential portion of the Inventory and, thus, be able to determine whether submission of a Premanufacture Notice or Significant New use Notice in accordance with TSCA section 5(a)(1) is required. Bona fides were not included within the scope of the January 2010 final rule due to the variability and frequency of these types of submissions. However, in that rule, EPA stated that this and other types of submissions could be considered for electronic reporting in the future. Bona fides are currently submitted in paper form only according to the requirements of 40 CFR 720.25, 721.11 and 725.15 which do not prescribe a format, only required content. This direct final rule requires that submitter to submit this information electronically using the Thin Client Version of the e-PMN software.

    B. What are the new requirements for notification of new manufacturing sites?

    As required under 40 CFR 723.50(j)(6)(ii), a manufacturer (including importer) must notify EPA of any new manufacturing site of a chemical substance for which an exemption was granted by EPA under 40 CFR 723.50. Under the existing regulation, companies may use, but are not required to use, the Notice of Commencement (NOC) to report manufacturing site changes to EPA. Under the existing regulation, however, if the NOC form is used for this purpose, the manufacturer must add a statement to the NOC form that the notification is an amendment to the original exemption. The electronic version of the NOC in the e-PMN software has been designed to solely deal with NOCs and will not accommodate notifications of manufacturing site changes. Therefore, this direct final rule requires that such notifications of changes in manufacturing sites be submitted electronically to EPA via CDX as a “support document” to the original notification.

    C. How has the required method of submission changed?

    EPA's electronic reporting program has evolved significantly following the promulgation of the e-PMN final rule in 2010. Following promulgation of that rule, EPA announced web-based electronic reporting workflows for TSCA Chemical Data Reporting, TSCA section 4 test data submissions, TSCA section 8(a) preliminary assessment information rules, TSCA section 8(d) health and safety data reporting rules, and mandatory notifications of substantial risk under TSCA section 8(e) along with related, voluntary “For Your Information” submissions.

    Under the current e-PMN rule requirements, TSCA section 5 submitters already must register in CDX and complete an electronic signature agreement before submitting any information to EPA electronically via CDX using the e-PMN software. This direct final rule requires all persons who will be working online on a submission to register with EPA's CDX and to use the e-PMN module within CISS to prepare data for submission. EPA expects that most TSCA section 5 submitters are already registered in CDX. Those users do not need to re-register with CDX, nor will they need to re-verify their identities. In order to use the Thin Client Version of the e-PMN software required under this direct final rule, users who have previously registered with CDX under the TSCA workflow to submit TSCA section 5 submissions, or other CDX workflows such as the Toxics Release Inventory TRI-ME web reporting, will only need to add the “Submission for Chemical Safety and Pesticide Program (CSPP)” CDX workflow to their user profiles.

    D. Will EPA offer any exceptions to the transition to the thin client version?

    No. The Agency has concluded that the overall benefits from everyone using the more efficient Thin Client Version of the e-PMN software and submission through CDX exceed those associated with maintaining a multi-optioned reporting approach (Ref. 3). The Agency recognizes that there is the potential for costs and burden associated with unpredictable or unanticipated technical difficulties in electronic filing or with the conversion to the “Thin Client Version.” However, EPA expects that the transition costs and any transition difficulties will be mitigated by:

    1. EPA's planned outreach and training sessions prior to the effective date of this direct final rule. EPA believes that the six-month phase-out period for the Thick Client Version between the date of publication and the effective date of this direct final rule provides submitters with ample time to register to use and become proficient with the Thin Client Version of the e-PMN software. EPA will accept submissions using the Thin Client Version of the e-PMN software beginning on September 3, 2015. After January 19, 2016, use of the Thin Client Version of the e-PMN software becomes mandatory.

    2. EPA's offering of an XML schema to those submitters who choose to work on their submissions offline rather than online, which allows them to later upload their information to the Thin Client Version of the e-PMN software for submission using CDX. The six-month phase-out period for the period between the date of publication and the effective date of the final rule should provide these users adequate time to implement the XML schema on their systems.

    3. EPA's technical support following the effective date of this final rule.

    E. Will all types of TSCA section 5 notices and communications be submitted via e-PMN software?

    At this time, the Agency lacks electronic reporting capability for some TSCA section 5-related notices (e.g., polymer exemption annual reports); certain support documents (i.e., TSCA section 5(e) consent orders or orders imposed pursuant to TSCA section 5(e)(2)(B)); and certain communications (e.g., pre-notice communications and TSCA Inventory correspondence), due to the variability and infrequent nature of these types of submissions. EPA may consider offering electronic reporting of these and other submissions in the future.

    V. Corrections to 40 CFR Parts 720, 721, 723 and 725

    The direct final rule also corrects certain regulatory cross-references in 40 CFR parts 720 and 721 and standardizes the use of “manufacture” and similar language in 40 CFR parts 720, 721, and 725.

    1. Minor change to definition of “article” in 40 CFR 720.3. The current definition of “article” at 40 CFR 720.3(c) incorrectly references 40 CFR 720.36(g)(5) concerning changes in chemical composition which have no commercial purpose separate from that of the article. This rulemaking corrects the cross-reference to 40 CFR 720.30(h)(5).

    2. Removal of the cross-reference to 40 CFR 710.7(e)(2)(v) in 40 CFR 720.25(b)(4) and 40 CFR 721.11(d). The CFR at § 720.25(b)(4) and § 721.11(d) currently cross-references both 40 CFR 710.7(e)(2)(v) and 40 CFR 720.85(b)(3)(iii). These cross-references should only be to 40 CFR 720.85(b)(3)(iii); 40 CFR 710.7(e)(2)(v) no longer exists.

    3. Use of “manufacture or import” and similar language in 40 CFR 720.25(b), 40 CFR 721.11 and 40 CFR 725.15. The definition of “manufacture” in section 3(7) of TSCA includes both manufacture and import. However, in many places in TSCA section 5 regulations in parts 720, 721, 725 and elsewhere the terms “manufacture or import” or “manufacture, import or process” are used. EPA is revising “manufacture” and “manufacturer” in some of the provisions affected by this rule to clarify that import is included in manufacture under TSCA. This is not intended to make any substantive change to the regulations. As EPA amends other TSCA regulations with similar language in the future, the Agency intends to make corresponding changes.

    4. Removal of the definition of “optical disc” in 40 CFR 720.3. The January 2010 (75 FR773) final rule phased out the electronic submission of TSCA section 5 notices to EPA via optical disc as a valid method of submission as of April 6, 2012. Therefore, the definition currently presented at 40 CFR 720.3(kk) is obsolete and will be removed.

    5. Use of CDX to submit written requests for suspension of the notice review period in 40 CFR 720.75. The January 2010 final rule phased out paper submissions of TSCA section 5 notices to EPA as of April 6, 2011, and the electronic submission of TSCA section 5 notices to EPA via optical disc as a valid method of submission as of April 6, 2012. However, 40 CFR 720.75(b)(4) continues to provide that written requests for suspension of the notice review period may be submitted to EPA on paper, on optical disc, or in CDX. This final rule corrects 40 CFR 720.75 to specify that written suspension requests must be submitted to EPA via CDX.

    VI. Estimated Economic Impact

    The Agency's estimated economic impact of this direct final rule is presented in a document entitled “Economic Analysis of the TSCA Section 5 Premanufacture and Significant New Use Notification Electronic Reporting; Revisions to Notification Regulations” (Economic Analysis) (Ref. 3), a copy of which is available in the docket and is briefly summarized in this unit. In the economic analysis supporting the January 6, 2010 (75 FR 773) e-PMN final rule, EPA estimated that the electronic submission of TSCA section 5 notices and support documents would reduce the burden and cost associated with the paper-based reporting process of TSCA section 5 notices and support documents (Ref. 4). This direct final rule amends the existing premanufacture notification regulation to mandate the use of the Thin Client Version of the e-PMN reporting software, require use of electronic reporting of TSCA section 5 bona fides, and amends the procedures for notifying EPA of any new manufacturing site of a chemical substance for which an exemption was granted by EPA under 40 CFR 723.50. These amendments are expected to further streamline and reduce the administrative costs and burdens associated with TSCA section 5 notifications for both industry and EPA.

    The Thin Client Version of the e-PMN software will reside as a module within CISS in CDX. The Thin Client Version will eliminate certain firewall and file submission size limitations, as well as reduce the potential for invalid submissions through built-in validation procedures. Use of the Thin Client Version also assures that should revisions be made by EPA, submitters will always use the most up-to-date version of the e-PMN software when initiating, updating, and/or completing their submission in CISS.

    Making the software available to industry is expected to result in cost savings for both industry and EPA. However, this direct final rule, which includes a new requirement for electronic submission of bona fide notices and changes to the procedures for notifying EPA of any new manufacturing site of a chemical substance for which an exemption was granted by EPA under 40 CFR 723.50, may result in some temporary increase in cost to some industry users as they make the transition to the new method of submission. As a result of making the software available, EPA believes that submitters of bona fide notices will experience burden and cost savings because the time required to enter, review, and edit their notices using the e-PMN software and transmit their submissions to EPA electronically will be less than that for the existing paper-based process. In EPA's economic analysis (Ref. 3), estimated burden and cost savings are presented in comparison to the burden and costs that will be incurred if industry were to continue submitting notices via paper, as was outlined in the previous Information Collection Request (ICR) (Ref. 5). OMB has already approved the underlying information collection requirements described in this direct final rule under OMB control numbers 2070-0012 and 2070-0038 (EPA Information Collection Request (ICR) No. 0574.15, Premanufacture Review Reporting and Exemption Requirements for New Chemical Substances and Significant New Use Reporting Requirements for Chemical Substances (Ref. 5) and EPA ICR No. 1188.11, TSCA Section 5(a)(2) Significant New Use Rules for Existing Chemicals (Ref. 6)), respectively. EPA has submitted requests for additional approval to OMB under PRA (Refs. 8 and 9) because the direct final rule alters the required form and format of the existing, approved collections of information.

    Once the rule is fully implemented, EPA estimates a net burden savings to industry of 180 hours and a net cost of approximately $4,000 in the first year. In subsequent years, EPA estimates an annual net burden savings to industry of 489 hours and annual net cost savings of approximately $17,000. The Agency is projected to experience an annual net burden savings of 40 hours and annual net cost savings of $3,000 for these same submissions once the rule is fully implemented.

    Requiring use of the e-PMN software for submission of bona fides (40 CFR 720.25, 40 CFR 721.11 and 40 CFR 725.15), suspension requests (40 CFR 720.75), and changes in manufacturing sites (40 CFR 723.50(j)(6)) eliminates the option of submitting paper. To the extent that any firms would otherwise submit these notices on paper, these firms may incur some costs in order to meet these mandatory submission requirements. For example, some industry users may incur costs related to adjustments to internal processes or recordkeeping systems, and investments in compatible information technology. At this time, EPA is unable to estimate what these costs might be. However, firms have generally been required to file section 5 notifications electronically using the e-PMN software since April 2012, and a final rule published in the Federal Register of December 4, 2013(78 FR 72818) (FRL-9394-6) requires that any new NOCs for PMNs filed in paper prior to April 2012 be submitted electronically using the e-PMN software (Ref. 7). Firms expected to submit bona fides, suspension requests, and changes in manufacturing sites are believed by EPA to primarily be the same firms that are already complying with the existing regulations. EPA therefore does not believe that many, if any, firms would incur such costs only for the electronic submission of bona fides or notifications of manufacturing site changes for a previously submitted PMN.

    The total annual burden to society (industry plus EPA) from the e-PMN software is expected to decrease by 57 hours in the first year and 529 hours in subsequent years. The total cost to society is expected to increase by $1,000 in year one and decrease by $20,000 in future years. These cost savings may be diminished by any transactions costs that firms compelled to switch to the new software system might face for submission of bona fides. EPA believes that both the transition from the Thick Client Version to the Thin Client Version, as well as the changes to the procedures for notifying EPA of any new manufacturing site of a chemical substance for which an exemption was granted by EPA under 40 CFR 723.50, will have a negligible impact on industry or Agency burden or costs, and, therefore, the cost savings associated with these changes are only described qualitatively in the Economic Analysis (Ref. 3).

    VII. References

    The public docket for this final rule has been established. The following is a listing of the documents referenced in this preamble that have been placed in the public docket for this final rule under docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2013-0385, which is available for inspection as specified under ADDRESSES.

    1. EPA. Central Data Exchange CSPP CDX Registration Guide, December 12, 2011. 2. EPA. Section 5 Notices and Supports Users Guide. December 20, 2013 (available at: http://www.epa.gov/oppt/newchems/epmn/epmn-index.htm). 3. EPA. Economic and Policy Analysis Branch, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT). Economic Analysis of the TSCA Section 5 Premanufacture and Significant New Use Notification Electronic Reporting; Revision to Notification Regulations. November 17, 2014. 4. EPA. Economic and Policy Analysis Branch, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT). Economic Analysis of the Amendments to TSCA Section 5 Premanufacture and Significant New Use Notification Requirements Final Rule. July 13, 2009. 5. EPA Information Collection Request (ICR) No. 0574.15, Premanufacture Review Reporting and Exemption Requirements for New Chemical Substances and Significant New Use Reporting Requirements for Chemical Substances. 6. EPA ICR No. 1188.12, TSCA Section 5(a)(2) Significant New Use Rules for Existing Chemicals. 7. EPA. Electronic Reporting Under the Toxic Substances Control Act; Final Rule. Federal Register (78 FR 72818, December 4, 2013) (FRL-9394-6). 8. EPA. Supporting Statement for a Request for OMB Review under The Paperwork Reduction Act. Revision to Premanufacture Review Reporting and Exemption Requirements for New Chemical Substances and Significant New Use Reporting Requirements for Chemical Substances (Direct Final Rule; RIN 2070-AJ98). EPA ICR No. 0574.16. OMB Control Number 2070-0012. 9. EPA. Supporting Statement for a Request for OMB Review under The Paperwork Reduction Act. Request for a Non-Substantive Change to an Existing Approved Information Collection, TSCA Section 5(a)(2) Significant New Use rules for Existing Chemicals. EPA ICR No. 1188.12; OMB Control Number 2070-0038. VIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Accordingly, this action was not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011). EPA has prepared an Economic Analysis for this action (Ref. 3), which is available in the docket for this final rule and is summarized in Unit VI.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection activities in this direct final rule been submitted for approval to OMB under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) pursuant to the procedures at 5 CFR 1320.5(c)(1) and 1320.10(a). The underlying requirements are approved under OMB control numbers 2070-0012 and 2070-0038. However, EPA has submitted requests for additional approval to OMB under PRA because the direct final rule alters the required form and format of the existing, approved collections of information.

    The Information Collection Request (ICR) document that EPA prepared to address the direct final rule requirements related to EPA's New Chemicals Program has been assigned EPA ICR number 0574.16 (Ref. 8). This ICR addresses the required use of the Thin Client version of the e-PMN software system in CDX to complete their TSCA section 5 submissions to EPA's New Chemicals Program instead of a downloadable Thick Client version of the e-PMN software system. In addition, this ICR addresses the mandatory electronic submission of bona fide notices and notifications of new manufacturing sites of chemical substances for which an exemption was granted by EPA under 723.50.

    As addressed in EPA ICR No. 0574.16, the total burden to industry is expected to decrease 182 hours and the total cost is expected to increase by $3,988 in the first year of the rule, for a total burden of 2,312 hours and $155,699. This includes an average per firm burden of 0.82 hours for rule familiarization for 336 TSCA section 5 submitters, a per-submission burden of 17.0 hours for electronic reporting of 116 bona fide submissions, a per-registrant burden 0.43 hours for 93 new technical labor CDX registrations, and a-per registrant burden of 1.07 hours for 23 new managerial CDX registrants. In all subsequent years of the rule the total industry burden is expected to decrease by 485 hours and $17,199. This includes a per submission burden of 17.0 hours for electronic reporting of 116 bona fide submissions, a per-registrant burden 0.43 hours for 46 new technical labor CDX registrations, and a per-registrant 1.07 hours for 12 new managerial CDX registrants.

    In addition, EPA has been assigned EPA ICR number 1188.12 (Ref. 9) to the ICR document that addresses the direct final rule requirements related EPA's Existing Chemicals Program (i.e., the required use of the Thin Client version of the e-PMN software system in CDX to complete their TSCA section 5 submissions to EPA's Existing Chemicals Program instead of a downloadable Thick Client version of the e-PMN software system). The direct final rule would only require firms who must already submit significant new use notices for existing chemicals to use the new electronic reporting tool. EPA, therefore, did not estimate any rule-related burden changes for this ICR.

    You can find a copy of these ICR documents in the docket for this direct final rule. Any comments on the Agency's need for this information, the accuracy of the provided burden estimates and any suggested methods for minimizing respondent burden must be to the EPA using the docket identified at the beginning of this direct final rule by August 19, 2015. You may also send your ICR-related comments to OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs via email to [email protected], Attention: Desk Officer for the EPA. Since OMB is required to make a decision concerning the ICR between 30 and 60 days after receipt, OMB must receive comments no later than August 19, 2015.

    Responses to the collection of information are mandatory, pursuant to EPA's authority under TSCA and PRA (as described in Unit I.C.). However, the changes to the information collection requirements in this direct final rule are not enforceable until OMB approves them. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's regulations in 40 CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA, 5 U.S.C § 601 et seq. In making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities, because the primary purpose of a final regulatory flexibility analysis is to identify and address regulatory alternatives that “minimize the significant economic impact on small entities” 5 U.S.C. 604. Thus, an agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule has no net burden effect on the small entities subject to the rule.

    As indicated previously, this final rule is expected to reduce the existing regulatory burden. The factual basis for the Agency's certification under the RFA is presented in the small entity impact analysis prepared as part of the Economic Analysis for this final rule (Ref. 3), and is briefly summarized in Unit IV.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and Executive Orders 13132 and 13175

    This action will not have substantial direct effects on State, local, or tribal governments, on the relationship between the Federal Government and States or Indian Tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and States or Indian Tribes. As a result, no action is required under Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), or under Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). Nor does it impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538).

    E. Executive Orders 13045, 13211, and 12898

    As indicated previously, this action is not a “significant regulatory action” as defined by Executive Order 12866. As a result, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) and Executive Order 13211 entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001). In addition, this action also does not require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898 entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    F. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

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

    IX. Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the CRA, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., EPA will submit a rule report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Parts 720, 721, 723, and 725

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

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Louise P. Wise, Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

    PART 720—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 720 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C 2604, 2607, and 2613.

    2. In § 720.3: a. Revise paragraph (c). b. Remove paragraph (kk). c. Redesignate paragraph (ll) as (kk). d. Revise newly redesignated paragraph (kk).

    The revisions read as follows:

    §  720.3 Definitions.

    (c) Article means a manufactured item:

    (1) Which is formed to a specific shape or design during manufacture;

    (2) Which has end use function(s) dependent in whole or in part upon its shape or design during end use; and

    (3) Which has either no change of chemical composition during its end use or only those changes of composition which have no commercial purpose separate from that of the article and that may occur as described in § 720.30(h)(5), except that fluids and particles are not considered articles regardless of shape or design.

    (kk) Support documents means material and information submitted to EPA in support of a TSCA section 5 notice, including but not limited to, correspondence, amendments (if notices for these amendments were submitted prior to January 19, 2016), and test data. The term “support documents” does not include orders under TSCA section 5(e) (either consent orders or orders imposed pursuant to TSCA section 5(e)(2)(B)).

    3. In § 720.25, revise paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2) introductory text, (b)(2)(i) and (ii), and (b)(4), (5), (6), and (7) to read as follows:
    § 720.25 Determining whether a chemical substance is on the Inventory.

    (b) * * *

    (1) A chemical substance is listed in the public portion of the Inventory by a specific chemical name (either a Chemical Abstracts (CA) Index Name or a CA Preferred Name) and a Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number if its identity is not confidential. If its identity is confidential, it is listed in the public portion of the Inventory by a TSCA Accession Number and a generic chemical name that masks the specific substance identity. The confidential substance is listed by its specific chemical name only in the confidential portion of the Inventory, which is not available to the public. A person who intends to manufacture (including import) a chemical substance not listed by specific chemical name in the public portion of the Inventory may ask EPA whether the substance is included in the confidential Inventory. EPA will answer such an inquiry only if EPA determines that the person has a bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) the chemical substance for commercial purposes.

    (2) To establish a bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) a chemical substance, the person who proposes to manufacture the substance must submit the request to EPA via CDX. Prior to submission to EPA via CDX, such bona fide intents to manufacture (including import) must be generated and completed using e-PMN software. See § 720.40(a)(2)(ii) for information on how to access the e-PMN software. A bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) must contain:

    (i) Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section, the specific chemical identity of the substance that the person intends to manufacture (including import), using the currently correct CA Index name for the substance and the other correct chemical identity information in accordance with § 720.45(a) (1), (2), and (3).

    (ii) A signed statement that the person intends to manufacture (including import) that chemical substance for commercial purposes.

    (4) EPA will review the information submitted by the proposed manufacturer (including importer) under this paragraph to determine whether it has a bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) the chemical substance. If necessary, EPA will compare this information to the information requested for the confidential chemical substance under § 720.85(b)(3)(iii).

    (5) If the proposed manufacturer (including importer) has shown a bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) the substance, and has provided sufficient unambiguous chemical identity information so EPA can make a conclusive determination of the chemical substance's Inventory status, EPA will search the confidential Inventory and inform the proposed manufacturer (including importer) whether the chemical substance is on the confidential Inventory.

    (6) If the chemical substance is found on the confidential Inventory, EPA will notify the person(s) who originally reported the chemical substance that another person has demonstrated a bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) the substance and therefore was told that the chemical substance is on the Inventory.

    (7) A disclosure of a confidential chemical identity to a person with a bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) the particular chemical substance will not be considered a public disclosure of confidential business information under section 14 of the Act.

    4. In § 720.40, revise paragraphs (a)(2)(i), (a)(2)(ii) introductory text, and (e)(1) and (3) to read as follows:
    § 720.40 General.

    (a) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (i) Submission via CDX. TSCA section 5 notices and any related support documents must be submitted electronically to EPA via CDX. Prior to submission to EPA via CDX, such notices must be generated and completed on EPA Form 7710-25 using e-PMN software.

    (ii) You can access the e-PMN software as follows:

    (e) Agency or joint submissions—(1) A manufacturer (including importer) may designate an agent to assist in submitting the notice. If so, only the manufacturer (including importer), and not the agent, signs the certification on the form.

    (2) * * *

    (3) Only the Authorized Official (AO) of a submitting company can certify initial notices and submit all TSCA section 5 documents.

    (i) An AO can authorize other persons to be non-certifying AOs who may conduct all section 5 business on behalf of the submitting company except for certifying and submitting initial notices to EPA via CDX.

    (ii) An AO may grant access to a support registrant to edit section 5 documents.

    5. In § 720.75: a. Revise paragraph (b)(2). b. Remove paragraphs (b)(3) and (4). c. Revise paragraph (e)(2).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 720.75 Notice review period.

    (b) * * *

    (2)(i) Oral requests. A request for a suspension of 15 days or less may be made orally, including by telephone, to the submitter's EPA contact for that notice. Any request for a suspension exceeding 15 days must be submitted in the manner set forth in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section. The running of the notice review period will be suspended upon approval of the oral request by the Director or her or his delegate.

    (ii) Written requests. Requests for suspensions exceeding 15 days must be submitted electronically to EPA via CDX using e-PMN software. Requests for suspensions of 15 days or less may also be submitted electronically to EPA via CDX using e-PMN software. See § 720.40(a)(2)(ii) for information on how to access the e-PMN software. The running of the notice review period will be suspended upon approval of the written request by the Director or her or his delegate.

    (e) * * *

    (2) If a manufacturer (including importer) which withdrew a notice later resubmits a notice for the same chemical substance, a new notice review period begins.

    PART 721—[AMENDED] 6. The authority citation for part 721 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    7. In § 721.11, revise paragraphs (a), (b) introductory text, (b)(1), (2), and (3), (d), (e) and (f) to read as follows:
    § 721.11 Applicability determination when the specific chemical identity is confidential.

    (a) A person who intends to manufacture (including import) or process a chemical substance which is described by a generic chemical name in subpart E of this part may ask EPA whether the substance is subject to the requirements of this part. EPA will answer such an inquiry only if EPA determines that the person has a bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) or process the chemical substance for commercial purposes.

    (b) To establish a bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) or process a chemical substance, the person who proposes to manufacture (including import) or process the substance must submit the request to EPA via CDX. Prior to submission to EPA via CDX, such bona fide intents to manufacture (including import) or process must be generated and completed using e-PMN software. See 40 CFR 720.40(a)(2)(ii) for information on how to access the e-PMN software. A bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) or process must contain:

    (1) The specific chemical identity of the chemical substance that the person intends to manufacture (including import) or process.

    (2) A signed statement that the person intends to manufacture (including import) or process the chemical substance for commercial purposes.

    (3) A description of the research and development activities conducted to date, and the purpose for which the person will manufacture (including import) or process the chemical substance.

    (d) EPA will review the information submitted by the manufacturer (including importer) or processor under paragraph (b) of this section to determine whether that person has shown a bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) or process the chemical substance. If necessary, EPA will compare this information to the information requested for the confidential chemical substance under § 720.85(b)(3)(iii) of this chapter.

    (e) If the manufacturer (including importer) or processor has shown a bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) or process the substance and has provided sufficient unambiguous chemical identity information to enable EPA to make a conclusive determination as to the identity of the substance, EPA will inform the manufacturer (including importer) or processor whether the chemical substance is subject to this part and, if so, which section in subpart E of this part applies.

    (f) A disclosure to a person with a bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) or process a particular chemical substance that the substance is subject to this part will not be considered public disclosure of confidential business information under section 14 of the Act.

    PART 723—[AMENDED] 8. The authority citation for part 723 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2604.

    9. In § 723.50: a. Revise paragraph (j)(6)(ii)(B). b. Remove paragraph (j)(6)(ii)(C).

    The revision reads as follows:

    § 723.50 Chemical substances manufactured in quantities of 10,000 kilograms or less per year, and chemical substances with low environmental releases and human exposures.

    (j) * * *

    (6) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (B) The notification must be submitted electronically to EPA via CDX as a support document to the original notification. Prior to submission to EPA via CDX, such notices must be generated and completed using the e-PMN software. See 40 CFR 720.40(a)(2)(ii) for information on how to access the e-PMN software.

    PART 725—[AMENDED] 10. The authority citation for part 725 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2604, 2607, 2613 and 2625.

    11. In § 725.15, revise paragraphs (a)(2), (b)(2) introductory text, (b)(2)(ii) and (iii), (d), (e), (f), and (g) to read as follows:
    § 725.15 Determining applicability when microorganism identity or use is confidential or uncertain.

    (a) * * *

    (2) Uncertain microorganism identity. The current state of scientific knowledge leads to some imprecision in describing a microorganism. As the state of knowledge increases, EPA will be developing policies to determine whether one microorganism is equivalent to another. Persons intending to conduct activities involving microorganisms may inquire of EPA whether the microorganisms they intend to manufacture (including import) or process are equivalent to specific microorganisms described on the Inventory, in § 725.239, or in subpart M of this part.

    (b) * * *

    (2) To establish a bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) or process a microorganism, the person who proposes to manufacture (including import) or process the microorganism must submit the request to EPA via CDX. Prior to submission to EPA via CDX, such bona fide intents to manufacture (including import) or process must be generated and completed using e-PMN software. See 40 CFR 720.40(a)(2)(ii) for information on how to access the e-PMN software. A bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) or process must contain the following information:

    (ii) A signed statement certifying that the submitter intends to manufacture (including import) or process the microorganism for commercial purposes.

    (iii) A description of research and development activities conducted with the microorganism to date, demonstration of the submitter's ability to produce or obtain the microorganism from a foreign manufacturer, and the purpose for which the person will manufacture (including import) or process the microorganism.

    (d) EPA will review the information submitted by the manufacturer (including importer) or processor under this paragraph to determine whether that person has shown a bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) or process the microorganism. If necessary, EPA will compare this information to the information requested for the confidential microorganism under § 725.85(b)(3)(iii).

    (e) In order for EPA to make a conclusive determination of the microorganism's status, the proposed manufacturer (including importer) or processor must show a bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) or process the microorganism and must provide sufficient information to establish identity unambiguously. After sufficient information has been provided, EPA will inform the manufacturer (including importer) or processor whether the microorganism is subject to this part and if so, which sections of this part apply.

    (f) If the microorganism is found on the confidential version of the Inventory, in § 725.239 or in subpart M of this part, EPA will notify the person(s) who originally reported the microorganism that another person (whose identity will remain confidential, if so requested) has demonstrated a bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) or process the microorganism and therefore was told that the microorganism is on the Inventory, in § 725.239, or in subpart M of this part.

    (g) A disclosure to a person with a bona fide intent to manufacture (including import) or process a particular microorganism that the microorganism is on the Inventory, in § 725.239, or in subpart M of this part will not be considered a public disclosure of confidential business information under section 14 of the Act.

    [FR Doc. 2015-17737 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 130822745-5611-02] RIN 0648-BD64 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fisheries AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule implements an information collection program for the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries. The information collection program is intended to obtain more detailed information about individuals and businesses that hold fishery quota allocation in these individual transferable quota fisheries. This action is necessary to ensure that the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has the information needed to develop a future management action intended to establish an excessive share cap in these fisheries.

    DATES:

    Effective January 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this final rule may be submitted to the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office and by email to [email protected], or fax to (202) 395-7285.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Section 402(a)(1) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to implement an information collection program if a fishery management council determines that additional information would be beneficial for developing, implementing, or revising a fishery management plan (FMP). The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council formally requested that NMFS implement an information collection program in the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog individual transferable quota (ITQ) fisheries. The purpose of this information collection is to better identify individuals who hold or control ITQ allocation in these fisheries. The Council will use the information collected to inform the development of a future management action intended to establish an excessive share cap as part of the Council's Surfclam/Ocean Quahog FMP.

    Currently, NMFS collects only basic information about the individuals or businesses that hold surfclam and ocean quahog ITQ allocations. This information is collected at the time that an entity first acquires ITQ allocation and is not routinely verified or updated. The information collection program implemented in this action is intended to identify the specific individuals who have an ownership interest in surfclam or ocean quahog ITQ allocation through a corporation, partnership, or other business entity, or control the use of ITQ allocation through the use of long-term contracts or other agreements. This action also ensures that the ownership information on file remains up to date by modifying the procedures for receiving and maintaining an ITQ permit.

    This action also makes minor corrections and clarifications to the surfclam and ocean quahog regulations.

    Final Measures

    Full details and background on the measures in this rule are explained in the proposed rule published on August 7, 2014 (79 FR 46233), and are not repeated here.

    1. Surfclam/Ocean Quahog ITQ Permit Annual Renewal

    This final rule revises the regulations at § 648.74 to change the validity period for ITQ Permits. ITQ permits will now expire at the end of the year and need to be renewed annually. This annual renewal requirement better ensures that ITQ-related information is kept current. Expired permits are eligible for renewal until the last day of the year for which they are needed. Permits not renewed by the deadline are considered voluntarily relinquished and will have their quota share and eligibility permanently revoked. This is commonly referred to as a “renew or lose” provision. To renew a permit, an annual ITQ permit application must be completed. The ITQ permit application form requires information such as the applicant's name, address, telephone number, and date of birth (or taxpayer identification number for businesses). ITQ permit holders are also required to verify that they are eligible to own a U.S. Coast Guard documented vessel, as defined under 46 U.S.C. 12103(b), which serves as a check of U.S. citizenship or corporate control by U.S. citizens.

    2. New Surfclam/Ocean Quahog ITQ Ownership Form

    This final rule implements a new ITQ ownership form that must be submitted along with the ITQ permit application form for a permit to be issued. This form is being implemented to capture detailed ownership information, such as information on bank-held shares and identification of corporate officers, major shareholders, and partners as well as any immediate family members who also hold ITQ permits. Corporations or other business entities that hold an ITQ permit will be required to identify their corporate officers and all shareholders who have a 10-percent or larger stake in the company.

    3. ITQ Transfer Form Changes

    This action modifies the existing ITQ transfer form to collect more detailed financial information about transactions in which ITQ is transferred. Information about the allocation holder is removed, as that is now collected through the ITQ permit application and the ITQ ownership form. The ITQ transfer form now clarifies whether or not a permanent transfer of ITQ quota share includes all of the cage tags for the current fishing year. This action also adds additional questions to better understand the nature of the transfer. This includes a requirement to submit total price paid for the transfer, including any fees; broker fees paid, if applicable; whether the transfer is part of a long-term (more than 1 year) contract; if so, the duration of the contract and whether the price is fixed or flexible; and any other conditions on the transfer.

    4. Regulatory Corrections and Clarifications

    This final rule revises the regulations at § 648.74(a)(1)(i) to correct a cross reference to 46 U.S.C. 12103(b), which defines the persons or entities that are eligible to own a documented vessel. This rule also corrects several cross references in § 648.14(j) to other sections of the regulations in part 648 pertaining to surfclam and ocean quahogs. Finally, the regulations at § 648.74(b)(3) specifying when the Regional Administrator may deny a transfer of ITQ quota share or cage tags have been made more detailed and clear.

    The new permit requirements in this rule are effective with the start of the next fishing year on January 1, 2016. However, the new forms will be distributed in early fall to give ITQ permit holders ample time to complete and submit the forms in order to receive their 2016 ITQ permits and 2016 cage tags before the start of the fishing year. Many ITQ shareholders choose to submit cage tags transfer requests in December, ahead of the new fishing year, so they can be processed and ready before January 1. We will continue to work to accommodate these requests for the industry.

    Comments and Responses

    We published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on August 7, 2014, and accepted public comments until September 8, 2014. After the comment period closed, the Council requested that we reopen the comment period to allow for additional public comment to be submitted after the proposed action was discussed at a Council meeting. In response, we published an announcement in the Federal Register on October 2, 2014 (79 FR 59472), announcing that the comment period was reopened until October 17, 2014. Altogether, we received comments from 23 individuals. Nearly all of the comments received were from the surfclam and ocean quahog industry including dealers, processors, harvesters, and surfclam and ocean quahog consumer product producers and manufacturers. All of these comments generally opposed the information collection program, and raised very similar issues. Related comments have been combined in our summary of comments and responses below. Two comments received generally supported the program, but provided no supporting information. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council submitted a comment informing us of a motion that was made at the Council meeting on October 7, 2014, regarding the information collected on the ITQ transfer form.

    Comment 1: Numerous comments expressed concern that an excessive share cap is not necessary for these fisheries, and, therefore, there is no reason to collect additional information to help determine such caps.

    Response: Two sections of the Magnuson-Stevens Act address the need to prevent an individual or corporation from acquiring an excessive share of fishing privileges: National Standard 4 and section 303A(c)(5)(D). Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog FMP, which established the ITQ fishery in 1990, cited existing anti-trust laws as being sufficient to meet the requirements of National Standard 4, “that no particular individual, corporation, or other entity acquires an excessive share of such privileges.” Section 303A was added to the Act by the Magnuson‐Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006. This section contains provisions and requirements for Limited Access Privilege Programs (LAPPS), which include ITQ programs. These added provisions include section 303A(c)(5)(D)(i), which requires LAPPs to ensure limited access privilege holders do not acquire an excessive share of the total limited access privileges in the program, by “establishing a maximum share, expressed as a percentage of the total limited access privileges, that a limited access privilege holder is permitted to hold, acquire, or use.” Because the FMP does not currently include an excessive share cap expressed as a percentage of the total allocated quota, it is out of compliance with this provision of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

    This information collection program is an important part of the Council's efforts to establish a cap that meets this requirement. See the response to Comment 2 for additional rationale for why this information collection is necessary.

    Comment 2: Several comments expressed concern that we are generally collecting too much information and that it is not necessary or applicable in helping determine excessive shares. These comments expressed concern that we should not collect this information because it involves business transactions that should be confidential.

    Response: We understand that this information collection includes more specific detail than is collected in other fisheries in the region. However, prior reports and analyses for these fisheries suggest this information is necessary and appropriate to determine current ownership and control of allocations in these fisheries. In the surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries, there is a series of complex corporate and business relationships involving control of quota shares. A 2002 GAO report on this ITQ program suggested that NMFS did not gather sufficient ownership information to appropriately characterize the amount of consolidation in the fishery. In 2011, NMFS and the MAFMC contracted an economic consulting firm to examine and report on potential excessive share caps in this fishery (Mitchell, Peterson and Willig. Recommendations for Excessive Share Limits in the SCOQ Fisheries. May 3, 2011), and subsequently convened a panel of independent reviewers to evaluate the report (Summary of Findings by the Center for Independent Experts Regarding Setting Excessive Share Limits for ITQ Fisheries; www.nefsc.noaa.gov/publications/crd/crd1122/). In a series of public meetings, a special Council workgroup met and considered the recommendations of these reports, reviewed how ownership information is collected in other fisheries around the country, reviewed the information currently collected in this fishery, and then devised a suite of data elements that would provide the information the Council would need when developing an excessive shares cap. These recommendations were detailed in a white paper that was considered and approved by the Council. Without the additional information this action will collect, the Council may not have the information necessary to make informed decisions on excessive share caps. When the Council ultimately establishes an excessive shares cap, it is possible that not all of these data elements will be necessary to effectively monitor the cap. At that time, this collection will be reevaluated, and data elements may be added, removed, or modified to address the specific information needed to monitor the cap.

    We agree that some business transactions are confidential. Pursuant to section 402(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, information submitted in compliance with the Act is confidential, and would not be distributed or made publicly available. These confidentiality requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act apply to information collected as a result of this action. Therefore, the collected information may be used to conduct analysis by NMFS, or Council staff who are subject to confidentiality agreements. Results of this analysis could only be presented in an aggregate form, which protects any confidential information.

    Comment 3: Nearly all of the comments received against this action were opposed to the provision that ITQ quota share could be considered permanently relinquished if the shareholder's ITQ permit is not renewed before the end of the fishing year. These comments explain that banks and other lending institutions hold much of the ITQ quota share in the surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries. Commenters expressed concern that lenders could view the potential loss of quota share as an unacceptable investment risk. Commenters stated this could result in the banks leaving the industry and discontinuing investment in the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries. These commenters further asserted that it is too easy to make an administrative error of not renewing a permit which would result in unfair loss of valuable ITQ quota share.

    Response: NMFS understands that there are concerns with losing the fishing rights associated with ITQ quota share if a permit is not renewed. However, based on the comments received, there appears to be a misunderstanding of how this provision would function. While a number of these comments seemed to be under the impression the rights to a permit would be lost immediately following the permit's expiration date, this is not the case. To clarify, an ITQ permit and quota share are not lost the day the permit expires. Although the permit cannot be used to harvest fish after it has expired, the applicant is eligible to renew the permit for the entire following year before the permit would be considered surrendered. For example, if an ITQ permit expires on December 31, 2015, the applicant has until December 31, 2016, to renew the permit before it is considered surrendered. It would not be surrendered when it expires on December 31, 2015.

    All limited access vessel permits in the Greater Atlantic Region have been subject to these renew-or-lose provisions since they were implemented in the mid-1990s. The Golden Tilefish Individual Fishing Quota program has operated under renew-or-lose provisions for tilefish quota share since the program's inception in 2010. If a permit is not renewed, NMFS makes multiple attempts to notify the permit holder of the need to renew the permit well before the deadline. Permanent loss of fishing rights has occurred for these other fisheries. However, loss of the right to a permit is rarely due to a clerical error such as simply forgetting to renew a permit. We believe such instances are infrequent given the system that provides a year to renew after permit expiration and multiple reminders prior to loss of fishing rights.

    Further, the ITQ permit must be current and valid in order for ITQ to be traded or for fishing activity to occur using ITQ. In 2014, there were 41 ocean quahog ITQ permits with quota share and 70 surfclam ITQ permits with quota share. Of these 111 ITQ permits, all but 15 transferred allocation, used cage tags to land clams, or otherwise participated in the fishery in a manner that will now require a current valid permit. The majority of those permits not used in 2014, were used in the preceding two years. Therefore, it is likely that most if not all permits will be renewed each year in order for ITQ shareholders to continue participating in the fishery as they have in previous years. As a result, there would be little to no threat of an ITQ shareholder permanently losing his/her quota share.

    Certainly, lenders will continue to evaluate investment risk as it relates to these fisheries. We believe it unlikely that investors will find the “renew or lose” provision to be an additional risk that would preclude investment.

    Comment 4: The Council submitted a comment informing us of a motion approved at the October 2014 Council meeting to request we remove much of the information to be collected on the ITQ transfer form.

    Response: While the motion was supported by a majority of the Council members present, the vote was not unanimous and there were members who expressed a strong interest in having this information available when they consider an excessive shares cap. Removing these fields from the ITQ transfer form would be contrary to the recommendations in the white paper prepared by the Council's special workgroup and the 2011 report Economic Guidelines for Excessive Share Limits in the Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fisheries. Currently, no information is collected on the financial aspects of allocation transfers in the surfclam and ocean quahog ITQ fishery. Similar programs around the country routinely collect information about the price paid for allocation. This information can provide valuable insight into the market for quota or long-term contracts and agreements that would not otherwise be apparent. These additional details about transfers can illuminate situations where individuals or companies exert effective control over ITQ allocation, even if they do not directly hold the quota share.

    As mentioned above in the response to Comment 2, we anticipate that the specific data elements will be reevaluated and revised when an excessive share cap is implemented. For these reasons, we continue to support the inclusion of all of the proposed elements of this information collection program, at least for the short term. Therefore, this action implements the ITQ transfer form as described in the proposed rule.

    Changes From Proposed Rule

    There are no substantive changes from the measures described in the proposed rule. The preamble to the proposed rule explained that banks holding quota share as collateral on a loan would not need to provide as much detail about ownership if the borrower maintains a valid ITQ permit and the bank could only transfer quota share or cage tags to the borrower. However, the regulatory text in the proposed rule did not fully reflect these requirements. These requirements have been added at § 648.74(a)(1)(ii)(C) and (b)(3) in this final rule to reflect these provisions as they were described in the preamble of the proposed rule.

    Classification

    The Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, determined that this action is necessary for the conservation and management of the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fishery and that it is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and other applicable laws.

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

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

    This final rule contains a change to a collection-of-information requirement subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) and which has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0648-0240: Northeast Region Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) Administration. The public reporting burden is estimated to average 5 minutes per response for the application for surfclam/ocean quahog ITQ permit; 60 minutes per response for new entrants completing the surfclam/ocean quahog ITQ ownership form and to average 5 minutes per response when the form is pre-filled for renewing entities; and the application to transfer surfclam/ocean quahog ITQ are estimated to average 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. The costs burden associated for all of the requirements is $.49 per submission for postage. Send comments regarding these burden estimates or any other aspect of this data collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to NMFS (see ADDRESSES) and by email to [email protected], or fax to 202-395-7285.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, and no person shall be subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: July 14, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

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

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

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 648.14, revise paragraphs (j)(1)(ii), (j)(2)(i), (j)(3)(v), (j)(3)(vi), (j)(5)(ii), (j)(5)(iv), (j)(5)(v), (j)(6)(ii), and (j)(6)(iii) to read as follows:
    § 648.14 Prohibitions.

    (j) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) Shuck surfclams or ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ at sea, unless permitted by the Regional Administrator under the terms of § 648.75.

    (2) Transfer and purchase. (i) Receive for a commercial purpose other than solely for transport on land, surfclams or ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ, whether or not they are landed under an allocation under § 648.74, unless issued a dealer/processor permit under this part.

    (3) * * *

    (v) Possess an empty cage to which a cage tag required by § 648.77 is affixed, or possess any cage that does not contain surfclams or ocean quahogs and to which a cage tag required by § 648.77 is affixed.

    (vi) Land or possess, after offloading, any cage holding surfclams or ocean quahogs without a cage tag or tags required by § 648.77, unless the person can demonstrate the inapplicability of the presumptions set forth in § 648.77(h).

    (5) * * *

    (ii) Land unshucked surfclams and ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ within the Maine mahogany quahog zone in containers other than cages from vessels capable of carrying cages unless, with respect to ocean quahogs, the vessel has been issued a Maine mahogany quahog permit under this part and is not fishing for an individual allocation of quahogs under § 648.74.

    (iv) Offload unshucked ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ within the Maine mahogany quahog zone from vessels not capable of carrying cages, other than directly into cages, unless the vessel has been issued a Maine mahogany quahog permit under this part and is not fishing for an individual allocation of quahogs under § 648.74.

    (v) Land or possess ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ within the Maine mahogany quahog zone after the effective date published in the Federal Register notifying participants that Maine mahogany quahog quota is no longer available for the respective fishing year, unless the vessel is fishing for an individual allocation of ocean quahogs under § 648.74.

    (6) * * *

    (ii) Surfclams or ocean quahogs landed from a trip for which notification was provided under § 648.15(b) or § 648.74(b) are deemed to have been harvested in the EEZ and count against the individual's annual allocation, unless the vessel has a valid Maine mahogany quahog permit issued pursuant to § 648.4(a)(4)(i) and is not fishing for an individual allocation under § 648.74.

    (iii) Surfclams or ocean quahogs found in cages without a valid state tag are deemed to have been harvested in the EEZ and are deemed to be part of an individual's allocation, unless the vessel has a valid Maine mahogany quahog permit issued pursuant to § 648.4(a)(4)(i) and is not fishing for an individual allocation under § 648.74; or, unless the preponderance of available evidence demonstrates that he/she has surrendered his/her surfclam and ocean quahog permit issued under § 648.4 and he/she conducted fishing operations exclusively within waters under the jurisdiction of any state. Surfclams and ocean quahogs in cages with a Federal tag or tags, issued and still valid pursuant to this part, affixed thereto are deemed to have been harvested by the individual allocation holder to whom the tags were issued or transferred under § 648.74 or § 648.77(b).

    3. Revise § 648.74 to read as follows:
    § 648.74 Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) Program.

    (a) Annual individual allocations. Each fishing year, the Regional Administrator shall determine the initial annual allocation of surfclams and ocean quahogs for the next fishing year for each ITQ permit holder holding ITQ quota share pursuant to the requirements of this section. For each species, the initial allocation for the next fishing year is calculated by multiplying the quota share percentage held by each ITQ permit holder as of the last day of the previous fishing year in which quota shareholders are permitted to permanently transfer quota share percentage pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section (i.e., October 15 of every year), by the quota specified by the Regional Administrator pursuant to § 648.72. The total number of bushels of annual allocation shall be divided by 32 to determine the appropriate number of cage tags to be issued or acquired under § 648.77. Amounts of annual allocation of 0.5 cages or smaller created by this division shall be rounded downward to the nearest whole number, and amounts of annual allocation greater than 0.5 cages created by this division shall be rounded upward to the nearest whole number, so that annual allocations are specified in whole cages.

    (1) Surfclam and ocean quahog ITQ permits. Surfclam and ocean quahog ITQ allocations shall be issued in the form of annual ITQ permits. The ITQ permit shall specify the quota share percentage held by the ITQ permit holder and the annual allocation in cages and cage tags for each species.

    (i) Eligibility. In order to be eligible to hold a surfclam or ocean quahog ITQ permit, an individual must be eligible to own a documented vessel under the terms of 46 U.S.C. 12103(b).

    (ii) Application—(A) General. Applicants for a surfclam or ocean quahog ITQ permit under this section must submit a completed ITQ permit application and a completed ITQ ownership form on the appropriate forms obtained from NMFS. The ITQ permit application and ITQ ownership form must be filled out completely and signed by the applicant. The Regional Administrator will notify the applicant of any deficiency in the application.

    (B) Renewal applications. Applications to renew a surfclam or ocean quahog ITQ permit must be received by November 1 to be processed in time for permits to be issued by December 15, as specified in paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section. Renewal applications received after this date may not be approved, and a new permit may not be issued before the start of the next fishing year. An ITQ permit holder must renew his/her ITQ permit(s) on an annual basis by submitting an application and an ownership form for such permit prior to the end of the fishing year for which the permit is required. Failure to renew a surfclam or ocean quahog ITQ permit in any fishing year will result in any surfclam or ocean quahog ITQ quota share held by that ITQ permit holder to be considered abandoned and relinquished as specified in paragraph (a)(1)(ix) of this section.

    (C) Lenders Holding ITQ Quota Share as Collateral. A bank or other lender that holds ITQ quota share as collateral on a loan may be allowed to provide less detailed information on the ITQ ownership form under the following conditions.

    (1) The lender certifies that the ITQ quota share is held solely as collateral on a loan and the lender does not exert any control over the use of the annual allocation of cage tags.

    (2) The lender identifies the borrower, and the borrower maintains a valid ITQ permit including all required ownership information.

    (3) The lender may only transfer quota share or cage tags to the identified borrower. The borrower could then transfer the quota share or cage tags to another party, if desired.

    (iii) Issuance. Except as provided in subpart D of 15 CFR part 904, and provided an application for such permit is submitted by November 1, as specified in paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B) of this section, NMFS shall issue annual ITQ permits on or before December 15, to allow allocation owners to purchase cage tags from a vendor specified by the Regional Administrator pursuant to § 648.77(b).

    (iv) Duration. An ITQ permit is valid through December 31 of each fishing year unless it is suspended, modified, or revoked pursuant to 15 CFR part 904, or revised due to a transfer of all or part of the ITQ quota share or cage tag allocation under paragraph (b) of this section.

    (v) Alteration. An ITQ permit that is altered, erased, or mutilated is invalid.

    (vi) Replacement. The Regional Administrator may issue a replacement permit upon written application of the annual ITQ permit holder.

    (vii) Transfer. The annual ITQ permit is valid only for the person to whom it is issued. All or part of the ITQ quota share or the cage tag allocation specified in the ITQ permit may be transferred in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section.

    (viii) Fee. The Regional Administrator may, after publication of a fee notification in the Federal Register, charge a permit fee before issuance of the permit to recover administrative expenses. Failure to pay the fee will preclude issuance of the permit.

    (ix) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment. Any ITQ permit that is voluntarily relinquished to the Regional Administrator, or deemed to have been voluntarily relinquished for failure to renew in accordance with paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section, shall not be reissued or renewed in a subsequent year, except as specified in paragraph (a)(1)(x) of this section.

    (x) Transitional grace period. A surfclam or ocean quahog quota share holder who does not submit a complete application for an ITQ permit before the end of the 2016 fishing year, may be granted a grace period of up to one year to complete the initial application process, and be issued an ITQ permit, before the quota share is considered permanently relinquished. If an individual is issued a 2016 ITQ permit, but fails to renew that ITQ permit before the end of the 2017 fishing year, the Regional Administrator may allow a grace period until no later than July 1, 2018, to complete the renewal process and retain the permit. A permit holder may not be issued cage tags or transfer quota share until a valid ITQ permit is issued. Failure to complete the ITQ permit application or renewal process, and be issued a valid ITQ permit before the end of such a grace period would result in the ITQ permit and any associated ITQ quota share being permanently forfeit.

    (2) [Reserved]

    (b) Transfers—(1) Quota share percentage. Subject to the approval of the Regional Administrator, part or all of a quota share percentage may be transferred in the year in which the transfer is made, to any person or entity with a valid ITQ permit under paragraph (a) of this section. Approval of a transfer by the Regional Administrator and for a new ITQ permit reflecting that transfer may be requested by submitting a written application for approval of the transfer and for issuance of a new ITQ permit to the Regional Administrator at least 10 days before the date on which the applicant desires the transfer to be effective, in the form of a completed transfer form supplied by the Regional Administrator. The transfer is not effective until the new holder receives a new or revised ITQ permit from the Regional Administrator reflecting the new quota share percentage. An application for transfer may not be made between October 15 and December 31 of each year.

    (2) Cage tags. Cage tags issued pursuant to § 648.77 may be transferred at any time, and in any amount subject to the restrictions and procedure specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section; provided that application for such cage tag transfers may be made at any time before December 10 of each year. The transfer is effective upon the receipt by the transferee of written authorization from the Regional Administrator.

    (3) Denial of ITQ transfer application. The Regional Administrator may reject an application to transfer surfclam or ocean quahog ITQ quota share or cage tags for the following reasons: The application is incomplete; the transferor or transferee does not possess a valid surfclam or ocean quahog ITQ permit for the appropriate species; the transfer is not allowed under paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(C)(3) of this section; the transferor's or transferee's surfclam or ocean quahog ITQ permit has been sanctioned pursuant to an enforcement proceeding under 15 CFR part 904; or any other failure to meet the requirements of this subpart. Upon denial of an application to transfer ITQ allocation, the Regional Administrator shall send a letter to the applicant describing the reason(s) for the denial. The decision by the Regional Administrator is the final decision of the Department of Commerce; there is no opportunity for an administrative appeal.

    [FR Doc. 2015-17678 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 138 Monday, July 20, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2490] Bird Strike Requirements for Transport Category Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Request for comments on bird strike requirements for transport category airplanes.

    SUMMARY:

    This document solicits public comments on the need for, and the possible scope of, changes to the bird strike certification requirements for transport category airplanes. The FAA is not currently proposing a specific regulatory action. The purpose of this request is to gather comments from airplane manufacturers and other interested parties on this subject.

    DATES:

    Send comments by November 17, 2015.

    Comments to: [email protected]

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments, identified by Docket No. FAA-2015-2490, using any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

    Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read athttp://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Todd Martin, Airframe and Cabin Safety Branch, ANM-115, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1178; facsimile (425) 227-1232; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    The FAA invites interested persons to comment on the need for, and the possible scope of, changes to the bird strike requirements for transport category airplanes by submitting written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. We have conducted a review of bird strike data, and we are considering whether to revise the requirements, as described in this document. We invite comments relating to the technical or economic impact that might result from any of the rule changes discussed herein, as well as any alternative suggestions. Substantive comments should be accompanied by estimates of their economic impact if possible. All comments received by the closing date for comments will be considered by the FAA.

    Background

    Bird strike requirements for transport category airplanes are specified in Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), part 25, and vary depending on the structural component being evaluated. Section 25.775 requires windshields and their supporting structure withstand, without penetration, impact with a four-pound bird at VC (design cruising speed) at sea level. This regulation has been in place and is unchanged since part 25 was introduced in 1965.

    Section 25.631 requires the empennage structure be designed to assure continued safe flight after impact with an eight-pound bird at VC at sea level, including consideration of control system elements. This regulation was introduced at Amendment 25-23 (effective May 8, 1970) as a result of the 1962 Vickers Viscount accident, which was caused by impact with a swan, estimated to weigh between 12 and 17 pounds, that damaged the horizontal stabilizer and elevator.

    Section 25.571 considers the rest of the airframe and requires the airplane be capable of continued safe flight after impact with a four-pound bird at VC at sea level, and .85 VC at 8000 feet. This regulation was introduced at Amendment 25-45 (effective December 1, 1978) with some changes in the speed definition since then. A speed criterion is provided at 8000 feet to ensure adequate bird strike resistance capability up to that altitude.

    In 1993, the FAA was developing a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish a consistent eight-pound bird requirement for all structures. The FAA decided instead to task the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) to evaluate the bird strike requirements and make recommendations. The working group completed its deliberations in 2003 without reaching agreement. All members in the working group, except the FAA, favored reducing the eight-pound bird requirement in § 25.631 to four pounds, thus establishing a consistent four-pound bird requirement for all structures. Other changes to the requirements were considered by the group, but none were adopted. The working group report is available at: http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/committees/documents/media/TAEgshT1-031593.pdf.

    More recently, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued the following Safety Recommendation to the FAA as a result of a fatal Cessna 500 accident that occurred in 2008: A-09-072, “Revise the bird-strike certification requirements for Part 25 airplanes so that protection from in-flight impact with birds is consistent across all airframe structures. Consider the most current military and civilian bird-strike database information and trends in bird populations in drafting this revision.”

    To determine the adequacy of current bird strike certification requirements, the FAA reviewed a number of reports, including the 2003 ARAC report, and other reports that address bird populations. We also reviewed recent bird strike event data and compared the energy levels of bird strike events to the energy levels prescribed in the current requirements. We found numerous bird strike events in which the energy level exceeded that specified in current part 25 requirements.

    Sample of Bird Strike Event Data

    The severity of a bird strike depends primarily on kinetic energy, which is proportional to mass times velocity squared. Bird strikes involving birds greater than four pounds occur often, but usually at speeds below the design cruising speed, VC. Therefore, the energy level of such strikes is usually below that specified in current requirements. However, in some cases, that energy level is exceeded.

    In each of the bird strike events shown below, the FAA estimates that the energy level of the strike exceeded that specified in current requirements. This is not an exhaustive list; these are just some examples of events that occurred in the US since the 2008 Cessna accident. For these events, we estimated the energy level of the event and compared it to the current four-pound bird requirement specified in §§ 25.571 and 25.775.

    Recent Examples of Bird Strike Events in Which the Energy Level Exceeded the Current Airplane-Level Standard [4 Pound Bird at VC] 1. Energy level approximately 1.8 times current certification standard: Date: 4 March 2008. Aircraft: Cessna Citation Model 500. Airport: Wiley Post (OK). Phase of Flight: Climb (3,100′ MSL (mean sea level)). Estimated Airspeed: 198 KTAS (knots true airspeed). Effect on Flight: Crashed. Wildlife Species: American white pelican (mean weight 12.5 lb.). Multiple birds. Damage: Aircraft destroyed. Five fatalities. Shortly after takeoff, the airplane flew through a flock of birds. There was no evidence that any pieces of the airplane separated in flight. Bird residues were identified on the right horizontal stabilizer and the right side of the vertical stabilizer. 2. Energy level approximately 2.3 times current certification standard: Date: 8 April 2008. Aircraft: Bombardier Challenger 600. Airport: Colorado Springs (CO). Phase of Flight: Climb (8,000′ MSL). Estimated Airspeed: 260 KTAS. Effect on Flight: Precautionary landing. Wildlife Species: American white pelican (mean weight 12.5 lb.). Multiple birds. Damage: One bird penetrated the fuselage below the cockpit windows, through the forward pressure bulkhead and into the cockpit. Both engines ingested at least 1 bird. The #1 engine had fan damage; the #2 engine lost power and had a dented inlet lip. Noise and wind in the flightdeck. The left engine had high vibration levels. The fuselage skin and forward pressure bulkhead were penetrated and contained bird matter. The left engine thrust reverser torque box assembly and pylon tracks were bent, and the engine cowl supports were broken. 3. Energy level approximately 1.5 times current certification standard: Date: 3 February 2009. Aircraft: Boeing 757-200. Airport: Denver International (CO). Phase of Flight: Climb (7,500′ MSL). Estimated Airspeed: 270 KTAS (Airspeed not recorded. Airspeed estimate assumes airplane was flying 10 knots below 250 KIAS speed restriction. At 7500′ MSL, 250 KIAS is approximately equal to 280 KTAS). Effect on Flight: Emergency landing. Wildlife Species: Bald eagle (mean weight 10.4 lb.). Single bird. Damage: Bird hit right side of engine cowling making a large dent before entering the engine where it damaged all fan blades. 4. Energy level approximately 4.2 times current certification standard: Date: 10 August 2010. Aircraft: Embraer 145. Airport: Salt Lake City International (UT). Phase of Flight: Approach (11,000′ MSL). Estimated Airspeed: 290 KTAS. Effect on Flight: Landed using back up radio. Wildlife Species: American white pelican (mean weight 12.5 lb.). Multiple birds. Damage: Birds punctured the nose of the aircraft between the nose cone and windshield. The birds damaged the skin, stringers, structural mounts and various avionics equipment. One bird penetrated the airplane's skin and entered the forward avionics bay. The captain lost a number of his primary instruments. 5. Energy level approximately 2.3 times current certification standard: Date: 08 November 2010. Aircraft: Bombardier DHC-8. Airport: Los Angeles International (CA). Phase of Flight: Approach (6,600′ MSL). Estimated Airspeed: 243 KTAS. Effect on Flight: Emergency landing. Wildlife Species: Common loon (mean weight 9.1 lb.). Single bird. Damage: Bird impact resulted in a 12-inch hole in the right wing leading edge, and internal structural damage to the right wing and fuel tank. 6. Energy level approximately 1.2 times current certification standard: Date: 15 November 2010. Aircraft: Embraer 170. Airport: Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MN). Phase of Flight: Climb (5000′ MSL). Estimated Airspeed: 270 KTAS. Effect on Flight: Precautionary landing. Wildlife Species: Snow goose (mean weight 5.8 lb.). Multiple birds. Damage: Radome, engine, fuselage. Autothrottle system disengaged. First officer's primary flight display had alert flags for the indicated airspeed and altitude parameters. Substantial damage to the radome and its underlying structural components. The forward pressure bulkhead web contained a dent and puncture. The left engine compressor section was damaged. 7. Energy level approximately 1.4 times current certification standard: Date: 01 November 2011. Aircraft: Airbus 320. Airport: Minneapolis-St Paul International (MN). Phase of Flight: Climb (3300′ MSL). Estimated Airspeed: 220 KTAS. Effect on Flight: Precautionary landing, emergency declared. Wildlife Species: Tundra swan (mean weight 14.8 lb.). Single bird. Damage: Bird hit right side of nose. Substantial damage to the radome, nose, #2 engine and forward pressure bulkhead. 8. Energy level approximately 1.8 times current certification standard: Date: 25 October 2012. Aircraft: Boeing 757-200. Airport: Boise Air Terminal (ID). Phase of Flight: Climb (14,000′ MSL). Estimated Airspeed: 390 KTAS. Effect on Flight: Precautionary landing. Wildlife Species: Snow goose (mean weight 5.8 lb.). Multiple birds. Damage: The radome was penetrated and the bulkhead was punctured. There was extensive damage to the #2 engine. 9. Energy level approximately 2.2 times current certification standard: Date: 12 October 2013. Aircraft: Cessna 525. Airport: Lincoln (NE). Phase of Flight: Climb (6400′ MSL). Estimated Airspeed: 220 KTAS. Effect on Flight: Precautionary landing. Wildlife Species: American white pelican (mean weight 12.5 lb.). Single bird. Damage: Substantial damage to the outer right wing spar.

    These event data, including estimated airplane altitude and airspeed, are derived from the following reports:

    1. The FAA Wildlife Strike Database, available at: http://www.faa.gov/airports/airport_safety/wildlife.

    2. The FAA Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) System, available at: http://www.asias.faa.gov. This includes the FAA Accident/Incident Data System, and the NTSB Aviation Accident and Incident Data System.

    3. National Transportation Safety Board. 2009. Aircraft Accident Report: Crash of Cessna 500, N113SH, Following an In-Flight Collision with Large Birds, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, March 4, 2008. Aircraft Accident Report NTSB/AAR-09/05. Washington, DC.

    In addition to the events listed above, there are hundreds of examples of bird strike events in which the energy level did not exceed current requirements, but substantial damage to the airframe occurred. In addition to structural damage, major damage to electrical, flight control and fuel systems has occurred, and there have been dozens of incidents in which the flight deck was penetrated.

    Bird Population Trends

    The bird strike threat has increased, especially the threat due to larger birds. In a report commissioned by the FAA, Assessment of Wildlife Strike Risk to Airframes; Herricks, Mankin, and Shaeffer; December 2002; the authors wrote, “The findings of this report, supported by other literature, indicate that future operational environments for aircraft can be expected to contain larger numbers of birds, and larger numbers of birds with weights greater than four pounds.”

    According to Wildlife Strikes to Civil Aircraft in the United States, 1990-2013, US Depts. of Transportation and Agriculture, July 2014: “Many populations of large bird and mammal species commonly involved in strikes have increased markedly in the last few decades and adapted to living in urban environments, including airports. For example, the resident (non-migratory) Canada goose population in the USA and Canada increased from about 0.5 million to 3.8 million from 1980 to 2013 (Dolbeer et al. 2014, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2013). During the same time period, the North American snow goose population increased from about 2.1 million to 6.6 million birds (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2013). Other large-bird species that have shown significant population increases from 1980 to 2012 include bald eagles (6.4 percent annual rate of increase), wild turkeys (9.5 percent), turkey vultures (2.7 percent), American white pelicans (7.9 percent), double-crested cormorants (6.1 percent), sandhill cranes (5.9 percent), great blue herons (1.2 percent), and ospreys (3.0 percent, Sauer et al. 2014). Dolbeer and Begier (2013) examined the estimated population trends and numbers for the 21 species of birds in North America with mean body masses greater than 4 pounds and at least 10 strikes with civil aircraft from 1990-2012. Of these 21 species, 17 had shown population increases from 1990-2012 with a net gain of 17 million birds. Previous research had documented that 13 of the 14 bird species in North America with mean body masses greater than 8 pounds showed significant population increases from 1970 to the early 1990s (Dolbeer and Eschenfelder 2003).”

    Airspeed Information

    In the U.S., § 91.117 prescribes a speed restriction of 250 knots indicated airspeed below 10,000 feet mean sea level. The 250 knot speed restriction is also in place in Mexico and Canada, and in many areas around the world, but not everywhere. Where this speed restriction is in place, it provides a significant safety benefit with respect to bird strikes.

    While deviations to this speed restriction are allowed, and the requirement is not global, it does indicate that limiting airspeed below 10,000 feet is operationally feasible for transport category airplanes. Indeed, to meet current bird strike criteria, some manufacturers specify relatively low VMO and VC airspeeds up to 8000 feet, that increase above that altitude. These speed “cutbacks” at lower altitudes are beneficial for three reasons: (1) They increase safety by reducing the energy of any bird strike that occurs below 8000 feet, (2) they apply to all airspace, not just those areas covered by US operating regulations, or those of other countries, and (3) they reduce the bird strike speeds to which the airplane must be designed.

    To encourage these speed cutbacks, we believe establishing the bird strike speed criteria based on VMO rather than VC may be warranted. While most structures rules are based on VC, allowing these very speed-dependent criteria to be based on VMO may make the establishment of speed cutbacks easier to achieve.

    Summary of FAA Findings

    Our review of bird strike event data and bird population data indicates the following:

    1. Bird strikes have occurred and will continue to occur at energy levels that exceed the level provided by current requirements.

    2. Numerous bird strikes have resulted in penetration into the flight deck, mostly below the windshield, even at energy levels below current requirements. Penetration of the cockpit obviously introduces a number of significant risks to the airplane. Currently, there is no requirement that specifically prohibits penetration of the flight deck through structure other than the windshield.

    3. The bird strike threat has increased, especially the threat due to larger birds. Therefore, current fleet history may not be indicative of what to expect in the future.

    4. Bird strike events often involve more than one bird. Such multiple bird strikes may result in structural damage in several areas, pilot disorientation, engine failure and systems failures. Any one of these effects can significantly reduce the controllability of the airplane. Sections 25.571 and 25.631 assume a single bird strike, rather than multiple bird strikes. The FAA believes that this single bird strike approach is an adequate approach for airframe structure as long as the single bird strike criteria are robust. By showing the structure capable of withstanding a significant bird strike in any one area, a bird strike to that area should not compound the hazard from strikes in other areas.

    5. Limiting airspeed below 10,000 feet is operationally feasible for transport category airplanes. Bird strike data indicate numerous damaging bird strikes have occurred above 8000 feet, but above 10,000 feet, bird strikes are rare. Therefore, expanding the envelope above 8000 feet, but limiting it at 10,000 feet, may be warranted.

    6. Establishing reduced VMO and VC airspeeds at lower altitudes provides a significant safety benefit with respect to bird strikes.

    Request for Comments

    The FAA invites interested persons to comment on the need for, and the possible scope of, changes to the bird strike requirements for transport category airplanes by submitting written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. We invite comments relating to the technical or economic impact that might result from any considerations discussed herein, as well as any alternative suggestions. In particular, we invite information, comments, and opinion on the following questions:

    1. Should the bird weight requirement be applied consistently across the airplane?

    2. Should the bird weight requirement be increased, to eight pounds or some other value?

    3. Should a “no-penetration” requirement be applied to the entire fuselage, not just the windshields?

    4. Should the bird strike criteria be expanded to 10,000 feet?

    5. Should the 0.85 speed reduction factor at 8000 feet, currently specified in § 25.571, be removed?

    6. Should the speed criterion for bird strikes be based on VMO rather than VC?

    Conclusion

    This document solicits public comments on the need for, and the possible scope of, changes to the bird strike certification requirements for transport category airplanes.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

    Aircraft, Aircraft safety.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 25, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17404 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2462; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-224-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, -500 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of cracked antenna support channels, skin cracking underneath the number 2 very high frequency (VHF) antenna, and cracking in the frames attached to the internal support structure. This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections to determine the condition of the skin and the internal support structure, and follow-on actions including corrective action as necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct skin cracking of the fuselage which could result in separation of the number 2 VHF antenna from the airplane and rapid depressurization of the cabin.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    • Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2462.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2462; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Wayne Lockett, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6447; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-2462; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-224-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We have received reports of cracked antenna support channels, skin cracking underneath the number 2 VHF antenna, and cracking in the frames attached to the internal support structure. The cracking is caused when the nose gear is let down, resulting in turbulent airflow around the antenna. The turbulent airflow causes vibration in the antenna, which results in the skin, as well as the internal support structure and frames, to crack due to fatigue. This condition, if not corrected, could result in separation of the antenna from the airplane and rapid depressurization of the cabin.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014. The service information describes procedures for repetitive inspections to determine the condition of the skin and the internal support structure, and follow-on actions including corrective action as necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information identified previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information.”

    Difference Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    Tables 7, 8, and 9 in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014, specify post-modification and post-repair inspections, which may be used in support of compliance with section 121.1109(c)(2) or 129.109(b)(2) of the Federal Aviation Regulations 14 CFR 121.1109(c)(2) or 129.109(b)(2)). However, this NPRM does not propose to require those post-modification and post-repair inspections. This difference has been coordinated with Boeing.

    Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014, specifies to contact the manufacturer for instructions on how to repair certain conditions, but this proposed AD would require repairing those conditions in one of the following ways:

    • In accordance with a method that we approve; or

    • Using data that meet the certification basis of the airplane, and that have been approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) whom we have authorized to make those findings.

    Explanation of “RC (Required for Compliance)” Steps in Service Information

    The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directive Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement was a new process for annotating which steps in the service information are required for compliance with an AD. Differentiating these steps from other tasks in the service information is expected to improve an owner's/operator's understanding of crucial AD requirements and help provide consistent judgment in AD compliance. The steps identified as RC (required for compliance) in any service information identified previously have a direct effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an identified unsafe condition.

    For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the following provisions apply: (1) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD, and an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures; and (2) steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 609 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspections 33 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,805 per inspection cycle $0 $2,805 per inspection cycle $1,708,245 per inspection cycle.

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary [repairs/modifications] that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these repairs/modifications.

    On-condition costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Repair and Preventive Modification 63 work-hours × $85 per hour = $5,355 $10,432 Up to $15,787.

    According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.

    Authority for this Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-2462; Directorate Identifier 2014 NM-224-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by September 3, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of cracked antenna support channels, skin cracking underneath the number 2 VHF antenna, and cracking in the frames attached to the internal support structure. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct skin cracking of the fuselage that could result in separation of the antenna from the airplane and rapid depressurization of the cabin.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection and Follow-on Actions: Group 1

    For airplanes identified as Group 1 in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014: Within 120 days after the effective date of this AD, inspect for cracking at the number 2 VHF antenna location, and do all applicable follow-on actions, using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this AD.

    (h) Inspection and Follow-on Actions: Groups 2 through 6, Configurations 1 through 3

    For airplanes identified as Groups 2 through 6, configurations 1 through 3 in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014: Within 1,250 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, do an external detailed inspection for cracking of the fuselage skin, as applicable, and do all corrective actions, in accordance with Part 1 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014. Thereafter, at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014, except as required by paragraph (l)(1) of this AD: Do all applicable actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(4) of this AD.

    (1) Repeat the Part 1 inspection specified in paragraph (h) of this AD until the accomplishment of paragraphs (k)(1) and (k)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (2) Inspect for cracking at the number 2 VHF antenna location using internal and external detailed inspections, internal and external high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections, and an HFEC open-hole inspection, in accordance with Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014. Repeat the inspections until the accomplishment of paragraphs (k)(1) and (k)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (3) Repair any crack found, in accordance with Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014, except as required by paragraph (l)(2) of this AD.

    (4) Do a preventive modification, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737 53 1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014, except as specified in paragraph (l)(2) of this AD. The accomplishment of this preventive modification terminates the inspections required by paragraphs (g), (g)(1), and (h)(2) of this AD.

    (i) Inspection and Follow-on Actions: Groups 3 through 6, Configuration 4

    For airplanes identified as Groups 3 through 6, Configuration 4, in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014: At the applicable time specified in table 10 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014; Do an external detailed inspection for cracking at the outer row of fasteners common to the internal repair doubler, and do an internal general visual inspection for cracking on the modified internal support structure of the number 2 VHF antenna, skin, and surrounding stringers, channel, and frames, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014.

    (1) If any cracking is found, before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this AD.

    (2) If no cracking is found, repeat the inspections at the time specified in table 10 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing SB 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014.

    (j) Post Repair/Post Modification Inspections

    For airplanes identified as Group 2, Configuration 1, and Groups 3 through 6, Configurations 1 through 3, in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014: The post-repair/post-modification inspections specified in tables 7 through 9 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014, are not required by this AD.

    Note 1 to paragraph (j) of this AD:

    The post-repair/post-modification inspections specified in tables 7 through 9 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014, may be used in support of compliance with section 121.1109(c)(2) or 129.109(b)(2) for the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 121.1109(c)(2) or 14 CFR 129.109(b)(2)).

    (k) Terminating Action Provisions

    The following describes terminating action for the airplane groups and configurations, as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014.

    (1) For airplanes in Group 2, Configuration 2; and Groups 3 through 6, Configuration 2: Accomplishment of the inspections specified in paragraph (h)(2) of this AD terminates the repetitive inspection requirements of paragraph (h)(1) of this AD.

    (2) For airplanes in Group 2, Configuration 1, and Groups 3 through 6, Configuration 1, 2, and 3: Accomplishment of the repair specified in paragraph (h)(3) of this AD terminates the repetitive inspections specified in paragraph (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD.

    (3) For airplanes in Group 2, Configuration 1; and Groups 3 through 6, Configurations 1 and 3: Accomplishment of the preventive modification specified in paragraph (h)(4) of this AD terminates the initial and repetitive inspections specified in paragraphs (h), (h)(1), and (h)(2) of this AD.

    (l) Exception to Service Bulletin Specifications

    (1) Where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014 compliance is “after the Revision 1 date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD. Do the inspection, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014.

    (2) Where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1159, Revision 1, dated October 20, 2014, specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate action, and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance): Before further flight, repair the cracking using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this AD.

    (m) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (n)(2) of this AD.

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

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

    (4) For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (m)(4)(i) and (m)(4)(ii) apply.

    (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

    (ii) Steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    (n) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Wayne Lockett, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6447; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) For information on AMOCs, contact Nenita Odesa, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5210; fax: 562-627-5234; email: [email protected]

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 10, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17688 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1137; Airspace Docket No. 15-ANM-4] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Portland, OR AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to modify Class E surface area airspace designated as an extension to the Class C airspace, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Portland International Airport, Portland, OR. After reviewing the airspace, the FAA found the Portland VHF omnidirectional radio range/distance measuring equipment (VOR/DME) and Laker non-directional beacon (NDB) have been decommissioned, thereby necessitating airspace redesign for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport. This proposal also would correct the geographic coordinates of the airport.

    DATES:

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

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2015-1137; Airspace Docket No. 15-ANM-4, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet athttp://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2015-1137; Airspace Docket No. 15-ANM-4.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

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

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Northwest Mountain Regional Office of the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Western Service Center, Operations Support Group, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057.

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

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by modifying Class E airspace designated as an extension to Class C airspace, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Portland International Airport, Portland, OR. A review of the airspace revealed modification necessary due to the decommissioned Portland VOR/DME and Laker NDB navigation aids. Also, the geographic coordinates of the airport would be amended to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

    Class E airspace designated as an extension to Class C airspace would be modified to an area 4.7 miles west and 4 miles east of the 044° bearing from Portland International Airport extending to 18 miles northeast of the airport. The lateral boundary for Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface would be defined utilizing latitudinal and longitudinal reference points instead of navigation aids. This would not change the lateral boundaries or operating requirements of the airspace.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6003 and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.9Y, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6003 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as an Extension ANM OR E3 Portland, OR [Modified] Portland International Airport, OR (Lat. 45°35′19″ N., long. 122°35′49″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface bounded by a line beginning at lat. 45°40′10″ N., long. 122°37′24″ W.; to lat. 45°41′14″ N., long. 122°37′21″ W.; to lat. 45°51′45″ N., long. 122°22′16″ W.; to lat. 45°45′40″ N., long. 122°13′32″ W.; to lat. 45°35′11″ N., long. 122°28′45″ W.; thence counter-clockwise along the 5-mile radius of Portland International Airport to the point of beginning.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth ANM OR E5 Portland, OR [Modified] Portland International Airport, OR (Lat. 45°35′19″ N., long. 22°35′49″ W.) McMinnville, McMinnville Municipal Airport, OR (Lat. 45°11′40″ N., long. 123°08′10″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface bounded by a line beginning at lat. 45°59′59″ N., long. 123°30′04″ W.; to lat. 46°00′00″ N., long. 122°13′00″ W.; thence via an 8.5-mile radius centered at lat. 45°55′07″ N., long. 122°03′02″ W. clockwise to lat. 45°46′39″ N., long. 122°04′00″ W.; thence via a line south to lat. 45°09′59″ N., long. 122°04′00″ W.; thence to lat. 45°09′59″ N., long. 123°02′23″ W.; and within a 4.3-mile radius of McMinnville Municipal Airport; and within 2 miles each side of the 215° bearing from McMinnville Municipal Airport to lat. 45°09′59″ N., long. 123°13′21″ W.; to lat. 45°09′59″ N., long. 123°30′04″ W.; thence to the point of beginning; that airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface bounded by a line beginning at lat. 46°30′29″ N., long. 124°06′51″ W.; to lat. 46°30′29″ N., long. 120°29′40″ W.; to lat. 45°42′49″ N., long. 121°06′03″ W.; to lat. 44°15′10″ N., long. 121°18′13″ W.; to lat. 44°29′59″ N., long. 123°17′38″ W.; to lat. 44°29′59″ N., long. 124°08′036″ W. to a point 2.7 miles offshore; thence along a line 2.7 miles offshore to the point of beginning.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on July 7, 2015. Christopher Ramirez, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17502 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 73 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2193; Airspace Docket No. 15-AWP-8] RIN 2120-AA66 Proposed Establishment of Restricted Area R-2507W; Chocolate Mountains, CA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish restricted area R-2507W, Chocolate Mountains, CA, to support training activities that involve the use of advanced weapons systems. Proposed R-2507W is needed by the United States Marine Corps (USMC) to enhance training and safety requirements in order to maintain, train, and equip combat-ready military forces.

    DATES:

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

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001; telephone: (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2015-2193 and Airspace Docket No. 15-AWP-8, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at www.regulations.gov. Comments on environmental and land use aspects to should be directed to: Kelly Finn, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest, 1220 Pacific Highway, Building 1, Room 323, San Diego, CA 92132; telephone: (619) 532-4452.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jason Stahl, Airspace Policy and Regulations Group, Office of Airspace Services, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority.

    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of the airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would modify the restricted area airspace at Chocolate Mountains, CA, to enhance aviation safety and accommodate essential USMC training requirements.

    Background

    The Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range (CMAGR), located in Imperial and Riverside Counties, CA is primarily used for live-fire aviation and ground warfare training conducted by USMC and Navy forces. Marine aviation plays a crucial role in the ability of Marine Air-Ground Task Forces (MAGTF) to conduct maneuver warfare. The ultimate goal of Marine aviation is to attain the highest possible combat readiness to support expeditionary maneuver warfare while preserving and conserving Marine forces and equipment. Embedded within combat readiness is the requirement that Marine aviation units maintain the ability to rapidly, effectively, and efficiently deploy a combat-capable aircrew and aircraft on short notice, and maintain the ability to quickly and effectively plan for crises and/or contingency operations. R-2507W would allow Marine aviation to attain and maintain this capability.

    Current procedures require the periodic renewal of the CFAs over this area. Because nonparticipating aircraft may transit the CFAs without limitation and without warning, safety of flight concerns often result in lengthy training interruptions and failure to meet training requirements. A higher-level demand for greater throughput of both ground and aviation training in order to support real world operations will likely increase the frequency of these incidents. The USMC considered the existing R-2507N and the adjacent R-2507S restricted areas in order to meet the expanded training requirements. The existing restricted areas, which are primarily used for aerial ordnance delivery and air strikes, are incompatible with required co-use ground training activities. Alternate location suitability studies were conducted to examine alternatives for the ground training activities. The studies determined that the training capabilities offered in the proposed R-2507W are unique and cannot be replicated elsewhere without significant cost, time, and undue degradation or failure to meet USMC requirements.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal.

    Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket No. FAA-2015-2193 and Airspace Docket No. 15-AWP-8) and be submitted in triplicate to the Docket Management System (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the Internet at www.regulations.gov.

    Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to FAA Docket No. FAA-2015-2193 and Airspace Docket No. 15-AWP-8.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received on or before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this action may be changed in light of comments received. All comments submitted will be available for examination in the public docket both before and after the closing date for comments. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at www.regulations.gov.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received and any final disposition in person at the Dockets Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the office of the Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, 1601 Lind Ave. SW., Renton, WA 98057.

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

    The Proposal

    This proposal would establish new restricted area. R-2507W to accommodate live direct and indirect surface to surface fires associated with established live fire ranges and maneuver areas supporting Naval Special Warfare and Marine Corps ground unit training. This proposed restricted area is required to effectively de-conflict Department of Defense and civilian air traffic from hazards associated with live fire training.

    Specific aviation activities and maximum altitudes within the R-2507W would include both live fire and non-live fire aviation training activities such as Basic Ordnance Delivery, Close Air Support, Air-to-Air Gunnery, Laser Ranging and Designating, and Air Strikes. As part of the Marine Corps' training in R-2507, the Marine Corps Air Command and Control organization will develop a battle space management plan. This plan will establish ground fire support and airspace coordination measures in a way that integrates ground and air operations in planning and execution within the MAGTF. Supersonic flight will not be conducted as part of the above aviation training activities.

    Surface-to-surface and surface-to-air activities conducted within the R-2507W would include live fire from various small arms, machine guns, anti-tank weapons, mortars, and hand grenades. Direct fire weapons will be used in this area 6-24 hours per day, no less than 300 days per year. A minimum of 40 percent use of the planned live fire ranges will occur during hours of darkness (from 2200-0700).

    Expansion of the current restricted area complex supports an increase in both Marine Corps and Naval aviation and ground training requirements. In addition, the expansion would allow critically required co-use of R-2507W in order to meet those increased training requirements.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. Therefore, this proposed regulation: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this proposed rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 73

    Airspace, Prohibited areas, Restricted areas.

    The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 73 as follows:

    PART 73—SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE 1. The authority citation for part 73 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 73.25 California (Amended)
    2. § 73.25 is amended as follows: R-2507W West Chocolate Mountains, CA [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at latitude 33°14′00″ N., longitude 115°22′33″ W.; to latitude 33°13′14″ N., longitude 115°23′17″ W.; to latitude 33°13′58″ N., longitude 115°24′26″ W.; to latitude 33°14′22″ N., longitude 115°25′29″ W.; to latitude 33°15′40″ N., longitude 115°27′36″ W.; to latitude 33°17′28″ N., longitude 115°29′42″ W.; to latitude 33°19′17″ N., longitude 115°32′13″ W.; to latitude 33°21′11″ N., longitude 115°34′39″ W.; to latitude 33°22′58″ N., longitude 115°38′19″ W.; to latitude 33°27′26″ N., longitude 115°43′30″ W.; to latitude 33°29′25″ N., longitude 115°46′08″ W.; to latitude 33°31′09″ N., longitude 115°41′12″ W.; to latitude 33°32′50″ N., longitude 115°37′37″ W.; to latitude 33°32′40″ N., longitude 115°33′53″ W.; to latitude 33°28′30″ N., longitude 115°42′13″ W.; to latitude 33°23′40″ N., longitude 115°33′23″ W.; to latitude 33°21′30″ N., longitude 115°32′58″ W.; to the point of beginning.

    Designated altitudes. Surface to FL 230.

    Time of designation. Continuous.

    Controlling agency. FAA, Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC).

    Using agency. USMC, Commanding Officer, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma, AZ.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 14, 2015. Gary Norek, Manager, Airspace Policy and Regulations Group.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17702 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0027; FRL-9930-78-Region-6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Low Reid Vapor Pressure Fuel Regulations AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve revisions to the Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) related to Low Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) Fuel Regulations that were submitted by the State of Texas on January 5, 2015. The EPA evaluated the Texas SIP submittal and determined these revisions are consistent with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (Act or CAA). The EPA is approving this action under the federal CAA.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before August 19, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be mailed to Ms. Mary Stanton, Chief, Air Grants Section (6PD-S), Environmental Protection Agency, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733. Comments may also be submitted electronically or through hand delivery/courier by following the detailed instructions in the ADDRESSES section of the direct final rule located in the rules section of this Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tracie Donaldson, (214) 665-6633, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the final rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no relevant adverse comments are received in response to this action no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives relevant adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time.

    For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the rules section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17742 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0133; FRL-9930-86-Region 4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Florida; Combs Oil Company Variance AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a revision to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the State of Florida through the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on July 31, 2009. The revision grants a variance to the Combs Oil Company, located in Naples, Florida. This source specific revision relieves the Combs Oil Company of the requirement to comply with the Florida rule governing installation and operation of vapor collection and control systems on loading racks at bulk gasoline plants. EPA is proposing approval of Florida's July 31, 2009, SIP revision.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 19, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0133, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected].

    3. Fax: (404) 562-9019.

    4. Mail: “EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0133,” Air Regulatory Management Section (formerly Regulatory Development Section), Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960.

    5. Hand Delivery or Courier: Lynorae Benjamin, Chief, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0133. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit through www.regulations.gov or email, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sean Lakeman, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. The telephone number is (404) 562-9043. Mr. Lakeman can be reached via electronic mail at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Florida Rule 62-296.418 requires bulk gasoline plants which began operation on or after August 1, 2007, to install and operate vapor collection and control systems on their loading racks. The rule became effective on May 9, 2007, and was submitted to EPA as a proposed SIP revision on May 31, 2007. EPA approved the SIP revision on June 1, 2009 (74 FR 26103).

    On May 30, 2007, Combs Oil Company submitted a petition for variance from the requirements of Rule 62-296.418(2)(b)2, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), for its new bulk gasoline plant. The company operates an existing bulk gasoline plant in Naples, Florida. The new plant would replace the existing plant and be constructed at a different site in the area. However, between July 2005 and January 2007, the company experienced substantial construction delays beyond its control due to the effects of hurricanes, both in Florida and along the upper Gulf Coast. The company experienced delays in obtaining steel for the office and loading/tank areas as well as the rationing of steel rebar and concrete supplies. Combs Oil Company had invested $67,053 in equipment and $40,235 in construction costs for the support structure of the loading rack prior to the DEP's initiation of rule 62-296.418(2)(b)2, requiring a vapor collection and control system on the loading racks of new bulk gasoline plants. However, the company was unable to complete construction and relocation of its plant by August 1, 2007, due to the aforementioned construction delays.

    Under Section 120.542 of the Florida Statutes, the DEP may grant a variance when the person subject to a rule demonstrates that the purpose of the underlying statute will be or has been achieved by other means, or when application of a rule would create a substantial hardship or violate principles of fairness. The DEP determined that Combs Oil Company had demonstrated that principles of fairness would be violated because the delays in building and relocating to the new facility, related to hurricanes, were beyond the control of the company. Therefore, the DEP issued an Order Granting Variance to Combs Oil Company on August 20, 2008, relieving the company from the requirements of Rule 62-296.418(2)(b)2., F.A.C., for its proposed new facility.

    II. Analysis of State Submittal

    Section 110(l) of the CAA requires that SIP revisions must not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress. Like the facility it is replacing, the new Combs Oil facility is located in Collier County in Southwest Florida. Collier County has never been designated nonattainment for any air pollutant and, thus, is not subject to any reasonable further progress requirements. Air quality monitoring is currently available in the county for ozone. A comparison of the Collier County data in relation to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone is indicating that value is well within the compliance level. The ozone design value for 2011-2013 in Collier County is 0.060 parts per million (ppm).

    The proposed SIP revision involves emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC), a precursor to ozone. For fine particulate matter (PM2.5), County-level nitrogen oxide, volatile organic compound and ammonia emissions were not considered because ambient PM2.5 concentrations in the southeastern U.S. tend to be impacted most significantly by emissions of direct PM2.5 emissions and SO2 emissions. As a result of the time involved in the chemical and physical transformations of the precursor emissions, the primary impact of the source cannot be explicitly determined but can be evaluated in terms of its addition to the county and regional emissions from all sources in this area.

    The proposed source is currently operating in the county and is simply moving a relatively short distance (1.6 miles) within the same general area. Emissions of VOC from gasoline operations at the relocated source are estimated to be the same as VOC emissions at the existing facility, even when the increased storage capacity at the new location is considered. Specifically, VOC emissions are estimated to be less than 3 tons per year—minor in comparison to the county total of 31,816 tons per year. Since ozone concentration levels are currently well below the ambient air quality standard of 0.075 ppm, and emissions of VOC will not increase as a result of the relocation of this source, EPA has preliminary determined that the variance will not interfere with the area's ability to continue to maintain the ozone standards. Thus, EPA has preliminarily determined that the changes are consistent with the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule, regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the “Combs Oil Company Source Specific Variance” order granting variance on August 20, 2008. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    IV. Final Action

    EPA is proposing to approve a source specific SIP revision submitted by the Florida DEP on July 31, 2009. The revision grants a variance to the Combs Oil Company, located in Naples, Florida. This source specific revision relieves the Combs Oil Company of the requirement to comply with the Florida rule governing installation and operation of vapor collection and control systems on loading racks at bulk gasoline plants. It should be noted that approval of the variance for Combs Oil Company only relieves them from the requirements of Rule 62-296.418(2)(b)2 F.A.C., for its new bulk gasoline plant, it does not relieve them from any requirements established in 40 CFR parts 60 and 63.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. See 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this proposed action merely approves a state law as meeting Federal requirements and 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 Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Ozone, Nitrogen dioxide, Particulate Matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17736 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2013-0185; FRL-9930-87-Region 4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Alabama; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve in part, and disapprove, the November 4, 2011, State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission, provided by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) for inclusion into the Alabama SIP. This proposal pertains to the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act) infrastructure requirements for the 2008 Lead national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, which is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure” SIP. ADEM certified that the Alabama SIP contains provisions that ensure the 2008 Lead NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in Alabama. With the exception of provisions pertaining to prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permitting, which EPA is proposing no action through this notice, and with the exception of the provisions respecting state boards, for which EPA is proposing disapproval, EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission provided to EPA on November 4, 2011, as satisfying the required infrastructure elements for the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 19, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2013-0185, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected].

    3. Fax: (404) 562-9019.

    4. Mail: “EPA-R04-OAR-2013-0185,” Air Regulatory Management Section, (formerly the Regulatory Development Section), Air Planning and Implementation Branch, (formerly the Air Planning Branch) Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960.

    5. Hand Delivery or Courier: Lynorae Benjamin, Chief, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2013-0185. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit through www.regulations.gov or email, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Zuri Farngalo, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. The telephone number is (404) 562-9152. Mr. Farngalo can be reached via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Background II. What elements are required under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2)? III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions? IV. What is EPA's analysis of how Alabama addressed the elements of Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) “Infrastructure” Provisions? V. Proposed Action VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    On October 5, 1978, EPA promulgated a primary and secondary NAAQS under section 109 of the Act. See 43 FR 46246. Both the primary and secondary standards were set at a level of 1.5 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3), measured as Lead in total suspended particulate matter (Pb-TSP), not to be exceeded by the maximum arithmetic mean concentration averaged over a calendar quarter. This standard was based on the 1977 Air Quality Criteria for Lead (USEPA, August 7, 1977). On November 12, 2008 (75 FR 81126), EPA issued a final rule to revise the primary and secondary Lead NAAQS. The revised primary and secondary Lead NAAQS were revised to 0.15 µg/m3. By statute, SIPs meeting the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) are to be submitted by states within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) require states to address basic SIP requirements, including emissions inventories, monitoring, and modeling to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. States were required to submit such SIPs to EPA no later than October 15, 2011, for the 2008 Lead NAAQS.1

    1 In these infrastructure SIP submissions states generally certify evidence of compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA through a combination of state regulations and statutes, some of which have been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP. In addition, certain federally-approved, non-SIP regulations may also be appropriate for demonstrating compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2). Throughout this rulemaking, unless otherwise indicated, the term “ADEM Administrative Code” or “ADEM Admin. Code” refers to regulations that have been approved into Alabama's federally-approved SIP. The terms “Alabama Code” or “Ala. Code” indicate Alabama's state statutes, which are not a part of the SIP unless otherwise indicated.

    Today's action is proposing to in part approve and in part disapprove portions of Alabama's infrastructure SIP submissions for the applicable requirements of the 2008 Lead NAAQS. On March 18, 2015, EPA approved Alabama's November 4, 2011, infrastructure SIP submission regarding the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i) and (J) for the 2008 Lead NAAQS. See 80 FR 14019. Therefore, EPA is not proposing any action today pertaining to the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i), and (J) for the 2008 Lead NAAQS. With respect to Alabama's infrastructure SIP submissions related to section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) requirements respecting the section 128 state board requirements, EPA is proposing to disapprove this element of Alabama's submissions in today's rulemaking. For the aspects of Alabama's submittal proposed for approval today, EPA notes that the Agency is not approving any specific rule, but rather proposing that Alabama's already approved SIP meets certain CAA requirements.

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

    Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit SIPs to provide for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of a new or revised NAAQS within three years following the promulgation of such NAAQS, or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a) imposes the obligation upon states to make a SIP submission to EPA for a new or revised NAAQS, but the contents of that submission may vary depending upon the facts and circumstances. In particular, the data and analytical tools available at the time the state develops and submits the SIP for a new or revised NAAQS affects the content of the submission. The contents of such SIP submissions may also vary depending upon what provisions the state's existing SIP already contains. In the case of the 2008 Lead NAAQS, states typically have met the basic program elements required in section 110(a)(2) through earlier SIP submissions in connection with the 1978 Lead NAAQS.

    Section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for SIPs. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for “infrastructure” SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. As mentioned above, these requirements include SIP infrastructure elements such as modeling, monitoring, and emissions inventories that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. The requirements that are the subject of this proposed rulemaking are listed below 2 and in EPA's October 14, 2011, memorandum entitled “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)” (2011 Lead Infrastructure SIP Guidance).

    2 Two elements identified in section 110(a)(2) are not governed by the three year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1) because SIPs incorporating necessary local nonattainment area controls are not due within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, but rather due at the time the nonattainment area plan requirements are due pursuant to section 172. These requirements are: (1) Submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(C) to the extent that subsection refers to a permit program as required in part D Title I of the CAA, and (2) submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(I) which pertain to the nonattainment planning requirements of part D, Title I of the CAA. Today's proposed rulemaking does not address infrastructure elements related to section 110(a)(2)(I) or the nonattainment planning requirements of 110(a)(2)(C).

    • 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, PSD, and new source review (NSR) 3

    3 This rulemaking only addresses requirements for this element as they relate to attainment areas.

    • 110(a)(2)(D)(i): Interstate transport provisions • 110(a)(2)(D)(ii): Interstate and International transport provisions • 110(a)(2)(E): Adequate personnel, funding, and authority • 110(a)(2)(F): Stationary source monitoring and reporting • 110(a)(2)(G): Emergency episodes • 110(a)(2)(H): Future SIP revisions • 110(a)(2)(I): Nonattainment area plan or plan revision under part D.4

    4 As mentioned above, this element is not relevant to today's proposed rulemaking.

    • 110(a)(2)(J): Consultation with government officials, public notification, 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

    III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions?

    EPA is acting upon the SIP submission from Alabama that addresses the infrastructure requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the Lead 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's taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must address.

    EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA 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 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.5 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.

    5 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.

    The following examples of ambiguities illustrate the need for EPA to interpret some section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) requirements with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions for a given new or revised NAAQS. One example of ambiguity is that section 110(a)(2) requires that “each” SIP submission must meet the list of requirements therein, while EPA has long noted that this literal reading of the statute is internally inconsistent and would create a conflict with the nonattainment provisions in part D of title I of the Act, which specifically address nonattainment SIP requirements.6 Section 110(a)(2)(I) pertains to nonattainment SIP requirements and part D addresses when attainment plan SIP submissions to address nonattainment area requirements are due. For example, section 172(b) requires EPA to establish a schedule for submission of such plans for certain pollutants when the Administrator promulgates the designation of an area as nonattainment, and section 107(d)(1)(B) allows up to two years, or in some cases three years, for such designations to be promulgated.7 This ambiguity illustrates that rather than apply all the stated requirements of section 110(a)(2) in a strict literal sense, EPA must determine which provisions of section 110(a)(2) are applicable for a particular infrastructure SIP submission.

    6 See, e.g., “Rule To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule); Revisions to Acid Rain Program; Revisions to the NOX SIP Call; Final Rule,” 70 FR 25162, at 25163-65 (May 12, 2005) (explaining relationship between timing requirement of section 110(a)(2)(D) versus section 110(a)(2)(I)).

    7 EPA notes that this ambiguity within section 110(a)(2) is heightened by the fact that various subparts of part D set specific dates for submission of certain types of SIP submissions in designated nonattainment areas for various pollutants. Note, e.g., that section 182(a)(1) provides specific dates for submission of emissions inventories for the ozone NAAQS. Some of these specific dates are necessarily later than three years after promulgation of the new or revised NAAQS.

    Another example of ambiguity within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) with respect to infrastructure SIPs pertains to whether states must meet all of the infrastructure SIP requirements in a single SIP submission, and whether EPA must act upon such SIP submission in a single action. Although section 110(a)(1) directs states to submit “a plan” to meet these requirements, EPA interprets the CAA to allow states to make multiple SIP submissions separately addressing infrastructure SIP elements for the same NAAQS. If states elect to make such multiple SIP submissions to meet the infrastructure SIP requirements, EPA can elect to act on such submissions either individually or in a larger combined action.8 Similarly, EPA interprets the CAA to allow it to take action on the individual parts of one larger, comprehensive infrastructure SIP submission for a given NAAQS without concurrent action on the entire submission. For example, EPA has sometimes elected to act at different times on various elements and sub-elements of the same infrastructure SIP submission.9

    8 See, e.g., “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP); Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) Permitting,” 78 FR 4339 (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action approving the structural PSD elements of the New Mexico SIP submitted by the State separately to meet the requirements of EPA's 2008 PM2.5 NSR rule), and “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS,” (78 FR 4337) (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action on the infrastructure SIP for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS).

    9 On December 14, 2007, the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, made a SIP revision to EPA demonstrating that the State meets the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). EPA proposed action for infrastructure SIP elements (C) and (J) on January 23, 2012 (77 FR 3213) and took final action on March 14, 2012 (77 FR 14976). On April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22533) and July 23, 2012 (77 FR 42997), EPA took separate proposed and final actions on all other section 110(a)(2) infrastructure SIP elements of Tennessee's December 14, 2007 submittal.

    Ambiguities within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) may also arise with respect to infrastructure SIP submission requirements for different NAAQS. Thus, EPA notes that not every element of section 110(a)(2) would be relevant, or as relevant, or relevant in the same way, for each new or revised NAAQS. The states' attendant infrastructure SIP submissions for each NAAQS therefore could be different. For example, the monitoring requirements that a state might need to meet in its infrastructure SIP submission for purposes of section 110(a)(2)(B) could be very different for different pollutants because the content and scope of a state's infrastructure SIP submission to meet this element might be very different for an entirely new NAAQS than for a minor revision to an existing NAAQS.10

    10 For example, implementation of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS required the deployment of a system of new monitors to measure ambient levels of that new indicator species for the new NAAQS.

    EPA notes that interpretation of section 110(a)(2) is also necessary when EPA reviews other types of SIP submissions required under the CAA. Therefore, as with infrastructure SIP submissions, EPA also has to identify and interpret the relevant elements of section 110(a)(2) that logically apply to these other types of SIP submissions. For example, section 172(c)(7) requires that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D have to meet the “applicable requirements” of section 110(a)(2). Thus, for example, attainment plan SIP submissions must meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) regarding enforceable emission limits and control measures and section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) regarding air agency resources and authority. By contrast, it is clear that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D would not need to meet the portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) that pertains to the PSD program required in part C of title I of the CAA, because PSD does not apply to a pollutant for which an area is designated nonattainment and thus subject to part D planning requirements. As this example illustrates, each type of SIP submission may implicate some elements of section 110(a)(2) but not others.

    Given the potential for ambiguity in some of the statutory language of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2), EPA believes that it is appropriate to interpret the ambiguous portions of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) in the context of acting on a particular SIP submission. In other words, EPA assumes that Congress could not have intended that each and every SIP submission, regardless of the NAAQS in question or the history of SIP development for the relevant pollutant, would meet each of the requirements, or meet each of them in the same way. Therefore, EPA has adopted an approach under which it reviews infrastructure SIP submissions against the list of elements in section 110(a)(2), but only to the extent each element applies for that particular NAAQS.

    Historically, EPA has elected to use guidance documents to make recommendations to states for infrastructure SIPs, in some cases conveying needed interpretations on newly arising issues and in some cases conveying interpretations that have already been developed and applied to individual SIP submissions for particular elements.11 EPA issued the Lead Infrastructure SIP Guidance on October 14, 2011.12 EPA developed this document to provide states with up-to-date guidance for the 2008 Lead infrastructure SIPs. Within this guidance, EPA describes the duty of states to make infrastructure SIP submissions to meet basic structural SIP requirements within three years of promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. EPA also made recommendations about many specific subsections of section 110(a)(2) that are relevant in the context of infrastructure SIP submissions. The guidance also discusses the substantively important issues that are germane to certain subsections of section 110(a)(2). Significantly, EPA interprets sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) such that infrastructure SIP submissions need to address certain issues and need not address others. Accordingly, EPA reviews each infrastructure SIP submission for compliance with the applicable statutory provisions of section 110(a)(2), as appropriate.13

    11 EPA notes, however, that nothing in the CAA requires EPA to provide guidance or to promulgate regulations for infrastructure SIP submissions. The CAA directly applies to states and requires the submission of infrastructure SIP submissions, regardless of whether or not EPA provides guidance or regulations pertaining to such submissions. EPA elects to issue such guidance in order to assist states, as appropriate.

    12 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements Required under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2008 Lead (Pb) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS),” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, October 14, 2001.

    13 Although not intended to provide guidance for purposes of infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2008 Lead NAAQS, EPA notes, that following the 2011 Lead Infrastructure SIP Guidance, EPA issued the “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2).” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013. This 2013 guidance provides recommendations for air agencies' development and the EPA's review of infrastructure SIPs for the 2008 ozone primary and secondary NAAQS, the 2010 primary nitrogen dioxide (NO2) NAAQS, the 2010 primary sulfur dioxide (SO2) NAAQS, and the 2012 primary fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS, as well as infrastructure SIPs for new or revised NAAQS promulgated in the future.

    EPA's approach to review of infrastructure SIP submissions is to identify the CAA requirements that are logically applicable to that submission. EPA believes that this approach to the review of a particular infrastructure SIP submission is appropriate, because it would not be reasonable to read the general requirements of section 110(a)(1) and the list of elements in 110(a)(2) as requiring review of each and every provision of a state's existing SIP against all requirements in the CAA and EPA regulations merely for purposes of assuring that the state in question has the basic structural elements for a functioning SIP for a new or revised NAAQS. Because SIPs have grown by accretion over the decades as statutory and regulatory requirements under the CAA have evolved, they may include some outmoded provisions and historical artifacts. These provisions, while not fully up to date, nevertheless may not pose a significant problem for the purposes of “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of a new or revised NAAQS when EPA evaluates adequacy of the infrastructure SIP submission. EPA believes that a better approach is for states and EPA to focus attention on those elements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA most likely to warrant a specific SIP revision due to the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or other factors.

    Finally, EPA believes that its approach with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements is based on a reasonable reading of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) because the CAA provides other avenues and mechanisms to address specific substantive deficiencies in existing SIPs. These other statutory tools allow EPA to take appropriately tailored action, depending upon the nature and severity of the alleged SIP deficiency. Section 110(k)(5) authorizes EPA to issue a “SIP call” whenever the Agency determines that a state's SIP is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain the NAAQS, to mitigate interstate transport, or to otherwise comply with the CAA.14 Section 110(k)(6) authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions.15 Significantly, EPA's determination that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is not the appropriate time and place to address all potential existing SIP deficiencies does not preclude EPA's subsequent reliance on provisions in section 110(a)(2) as part of the basis for action to correct those deficiencies at a later time. For example, although it may not be appropriate to require a state to eliminate all existing inappropriate director's discretion provisions in the course of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, EPA believes that section 110(a)(2)(A) may be among the statutory bases that EPA relies upon in the course of addressing such deficiency in a subsequent action.16

    14 For example, EPA issued a SIP call to Utah to address specific existing SIP deficiencies related to the treatment of excess emissions during SSM events. See “Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Utah State Implementation Plan Revisions,” 74 FR 21639 (April 18, 2011).

    15 EPA has used this authority to correct errors in past actions on SIP submissions related to PSD programs. See “Limitation of Approval of Prevention of Significant Deterioration Provisions Concerning Greenhouse Gas Emitting-Sources in State Implementation Plans; Final Rule,” 75 FR 82536 (December 30, 2010). EPA has previously used its authority under CAA section 110(k)(6) to remove numerous other SIP provisions that the Agency determined it had approved in error. See, e.g., 61 FR 38664 (July 25, 1996) and 62 FR 34641 (June 27, 1997) (corrections to American Samoa, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada SIPs); 69 FR 67062 (November 16, 2004) (corrections to California SIP); and 74 FR 57051 (November 3, 2009) (corrections to Arizona and Nevada SIPs).

    16See, e.g., EPA's disapproval of a SIP submission from Colorado on the grounds that it would have included a director's discretion provision inconsistent with CAA requirements, including section 110(a)(2)(A). See, e.g., 75 FR 42342 at 42344 (July 21, 2010) (proposed disapproval of director's discretion provisions); 76 FR 4540 (Jan. 26, 2011) (final disapproval of such provisions).

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of how Alabama addressed the elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) “infrastructure” provisions?

    The Alabama infrastructure submission addresses the provisions of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as described below.

    1. 110(a)(2)(A): Emission limits and other control measures: Several regulations within Alabama's SIP are relevant to air quality control regulations. The regulations described below have been federally approved in the Alabama SIP and include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures. Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission cites provisions of the Administrative Code that provide ADEM with the necessary authority to adopt and enforce air quality controls such as Administrative Codes 335-3-1-.03, “Ambient Air Quality Standards,” 335-3-1.05 “Sampling and Testing,” 335-3-1-.06 “Compliance Schedule,” 335-3-14-.03(1)(g) “Standards for Granting Permits” and 335-3-4-.15 “Secondary Lead Smelters.” EPA has made the preliminary determination that the provisions contained in these chapters and Alabama's practices are adequate to protect the 2008 Lead NAAQS in the State.

    In this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State provisions with regard to excess emissions during startup, shutdown and malfunction (SSM) of operations at a facility. EPA believes that a number of states have SSM provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance, “State Implementation Plans: Policy Regarding Excess Emissions During Malfunctions, Startup, and Shutdown” (September 20, 1999), and the Agency is addressing such state regulations in a separate action.17 In the meantime, EPA encourages any state having a deficient SSM provision to take steps to correct it as soon as possible.

    17 On May 22, 2015, the EPA Administrator signed a final action entitled, “State Implementation Plans: Response to Petition for Rulemaking; Restatement and Update of EPA's SSM Policy Applicable to SIPs; Findings of Substantial Inadequacy; and SIP Calls to Amend Provisions Applying to Excess Emissions During Periods of Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction.” The prepublication version of this rule is available at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/urbanair/sipstatus/emissions.html.

    Additionally, in this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State rules with regard to director's discretion or variance provisions. EPA believes that a number of states have such provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance (52 FR 45109 (November 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.

    2. 110(a)(2)(B) Ambient air quality monitoring/data system: SIPs are required to provide for the establishment and operation of ambient air quality monitors; the compilation and analysis of ambient air quality data; and the submission of these data to EPA upon request. ADEM Administrative Code, 335-3-1-.03 “Ambient Air Quality Standards,” and 335-3-1-.04 “Monitoring Records and Reporting,” along with the Alabama Network Description and Ambient Air Network Monitoring Plan, provide for an ambient air quality monitoring system in the State. Annually, States develop and submit to EPA for approval statewide ambient monitoring network plans consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR parts 50, 53, and 58. The annual network plan involves an evaluation of any proposed changes to the monitoring network, includes the annual ambient monitoring network design plan and a certified evaluation of the agency's ambient monitors and auxiliary support equipment.18 The latest monitoring network plan for Alabama was submitted on July 17, 2014, and on March 6, 2015, EPA approved this plan. Alabama's approved monitoring network plan can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2013-0185. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices are adequate for the ambient air quality monitoring and data system related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    18 On occasion, proposed changes to the monitoring network are evaluated outside of the network plan approval process in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.

    3. 110(a)(2)(C) Program for enforcement, PSD, and NSR: This element consists of three sub-elements; enforcement, state-wide regulation of new and modified minor sources and minor modifications of major sources; and preconstruction permitting of major sources and major modifications in areas designated attainment or unclassifiable for the subject NAAQS as required by CAA title I part C (i.e., the major source PSD program). To meet these obligations, Alabama cited ADEM Administrative Codes 335-3-14-.01 “General Provisions,” 335-3-14-.02 “Permit Procedure,” 335-3-14-.03 “Standards for Granting Permits,” 335-3-14.04 “Prevention of Significant Deterioration in Permitting,” and 335-3-14-.05 “Air Permits Authorizing Construction in or Near Nonattainment Areas” of Alabama's SIP. ADEM is able to regulate sources of lead through these above cited provisions of Alabama's SIP. In this action, EPA is only proposing to approve the enforcement and the regulation of new minor sources and minor modifications aspects of Alabama's section 110(a)(2)(C) infrastructure SIP submission.

    Enforcement: ADEM's above-described, SIP-approved regulations meet the requirements for enforcement of lead emission limits and control measures and construction permitting for new or modified stationary sources.

    Preconstruction PSD Permitting for Major Sources: With respect to Alabama's November 4, 2011 infrastructure SIP submission related to the preconstruction PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(C), EPA took final action to approve this provision for the 2008 Lead NAAQS on March 18, 2015. See 80 FR 14019.

    Regulation of minor sources and modifications: Section 110(a)(2)(C) also requires the SIP to include provisions that govern a minor source pre-construction program that regulates emissions of the 2008 Lead NAAQS. ADEM Administrative Code 335-3-14-.03 “Standards for Granting Permits” governs the preconstruction permitting of modifications and construction of minor stationary sources in the State.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices are adequate for program enforcement of control measures and regulation of minor sources and modifications related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    4. 110(a)(2)(D)(i) Interstate transport provisions: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) has two components; 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II). Each of these components have two subparts resulting in four distinct components, commonly referred to as “prongs,” that must be addressed in infrastructure SIP submissions. The first two prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), are provisions that prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 1”), and interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 2”). The third and fourth prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), are provisions that prohibit emissions activity in one state interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality in another state (“prong 3”), or to protect visibility in another state (“prong 4”). Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions insuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) requires infrastructure SIP submissions to include provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment, or interfering with maintenance, of the NAAQS in another state. The physical properties of lead prevent lead emissions from experiencing that same travel or formation phenomena as PM2.5 and ozone for interstate transport as outlined in prongs 1 and 2. More specifically, there is a sharp decrease in the lead concentrations, at least in the coarse fraction, as the distance from a lead source increases. EPA believes that the requirements of prongs 1 and 2 can be satisfied through a state's assessment as to whether a lead source located within its State in close proximity to a state border has emissions that contribute significantly to the nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS in the neighboring state. For example, EPA's experience with the initial Lead designations suggest that sources that emit less than 0.5 tpy or are located more than two miles from the state border generally appear unlikely to contribute significantly to the nonattainment in another state. Alabama has one lead source that has emissions of lead over 0.5 tons per year (tpy), but because the source is located well beyond two miles from the State border,19 EPA believes it is unlikely to contribute significantly to the nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state. Therefore, EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP meets the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I).

    19 There is one facility in Alabama that has Lead emissions greater than 0.5 tpy. The facility is Sanders Lead Co, Inc., which is located at 100 Sanders Rd Troy, AL 36079. This location is about 45 miles from the Georgia border.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 3: With respect to Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission related to the interstate transport requirements for PSD of prong 3 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i), EPA took final action to approve Alabama's November 4, 2011 infrastructure SIP submission for the 2008 Lead NAAQS on March 18, 2015. See 80 FR 14019.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 4: With regard to section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), the visibility sub-element, referred to as prong 4, significant visibility impacts from stationary source lead emissions are expected to be limited to short distances from the source. Lead stationary sources in Alabama are located distances from Class I areas such that visibility impacts are negligible. The 2011 Lead Infrastructure SIP Guidance notes that the lead constituent of PM would likely not travel far enough to affect Class 1 areas and that the visibility provisions of the CAA do not directly regulate lead. Accordingly, EPA has preliminarily determined that the Alabama SIP meets the relevant visibility requirements of prong 4 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i).

    5. 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) Interstate and international transport provisions: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions insuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement. ADEM Admin. Code 335-3-14-.04—Prevention of Significant Deterioration in Permitting describes how Alabama notifies neighboring states of potential emission impacts from new or modified sources applying for PSD permits. This regulation requires ADEM to provide an opportunity for a public hearing to the public, which includes State or local air pollution control agencies, “whose lands may be affected by emissions from the source or modification” in Alabama. Additionally, Alabama does not have any pending obligation under sections 115 and 126 of the CAA. Accordingly, EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices are adequate for insuring compliance with the applicable requirements relating to interstate and international pollution abatement for the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    6. 110(a)(2)(E) Adequate personnel, funding, and authority: Section 110(a)(2)(E) requires that each implementation plan provide (i) necessary assurances that the State will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under state law to carry out its implementation plan, (ii) that the State comply with the requirements respecting State Boards pursuant to section 128 of the Act, and (iii) necessary assurances that, where the State has relied on a local or regional government, agency, or instrumentality for the implementation of any plan provision, the State has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of such plan provisions. EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's SIP as meeting the requirements of sections 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and 110(2)(E)(iii) but disapprove for element 110(2)(E)(ii). EPA's rationale for today's proposals respecting each section of 110(a)(2)(E) is described in turn below.

    To satisfy the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii), ADEM's infrastructure SIP submission describes Alabama Code section 22-28-11, which authorizes ADEM to adopt emission requirements though regulations that are necessary to prevent, abate, or control air pollution. Also, Alabama Code section 22-28-9 authorizes the Department to employ necessary staff to carry out responsibilities. The funding requirements are met through the 105 grants and the title V fee process. As further evidence of the adequacy of ADEM's resources, EPA submitted a letter to Alabama on April 24, 2014, outlining 105 grant commitments and the current status of these commitments for fiscal year 2014. The letter EPA submitted to Alabama can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2013-0185. Annually, states update these grant commitments based on current SIP requirements, air quality planning, and applicable requirements related to the NAAQS. Alabama satisfactorily met all commitments agreed to in the Air Planning Agreement for fiscal year 2014, therefore Alabama's grants were finalized. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama has adequate resources for implementation of the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    To satisfy the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii), states must comply with the requirements respecting State Boards pursuant to section 128 of the Act. Section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) requires that the state comply with section 128 of the CAA. Section 128 requires that the SIP contain provisions that provide: (1) The majority of members of the state board or body which approves permits or enforcement orders represent the public interest and do not derive any significant portion of their income from persons subject to permitting or enforcement orders under the CAA; and (2) any potential conflicts of interest by such board or body, or the head of an executive agency with similar powers be adequately disclosed. After reviewing Alabama's SIP, EPA has made the preliminary determination that the State's implementation plan does not contain provisions to comply with section 128 of the Act, and thus Alabama's November 4, 2011, infrastructure SIP submission does not meet the requirements of the Act. While Alabama has state statutes that may address, in whole or in part, requirements related to state boards at the state level, these provisions are not included in the SIP as required by the CAA. Based on an evaluation of the federally-approved Alabama SIP, EPA is proposing to disapprove Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission as meeting the requirements of 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) of the CAA for the 2008 Lead NAAQS. The submitted provisions which purport to address 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) are severable from the other portions of ADEM's infrastructure SIP submission, therefore, EPA is proposing to disapprove those provisions which relate only to sub-element 110(a)(2)(E)(ii).

    7. 110(a)(2)(F) Stationary source monitoring system: ADEM's infrastructure SIP submission describes the establishment of requirements for compliance testing by emissions sampling and analysis, and for emissions and operation monitoring to ensure the quality of data in the State. The Alabama infrastructure SIP submission also describes how the major source and minor source emission inventory programs collect emission data throughout the State and ensure the quality of such data. Alabama meets these requirements through ADEM Admin. Codes 335-3-1-.04 “Monitoring, Records, and Reporting,” and 335-3-12 “Continuous Monitoring Requirements for Existing Sources.” ADEM Admin. Code 335-3-1-.04, details how sources are required as appropriate to establish and maintain records; make reports; install, use, and maintain such monitoring equipment or methods and provide periodic emission reports as the regulation requires. These reports and records are required to be compiled, and submitted on forms furnished by the State. Additionally, ADEM Admin. Code 335-3-12-.02 requires owners and operators of emissions sources to “install, calibrate, operate and maintain all monitoring equipment necessary for continuously monitoring the pollutants.” 20 ADEM Admin. Code 335-3-1-.13 “Credible Evidence,” makes allowances for owners and/or operators to utilize “any credible evidence or information relevant” to demonstrate compliance with applicable requirements if the appropriate performance or compliance test had been performed, for the purpose of submitting compliance certification and can be used to establish whether or not an owner or operator has violated or is in violation of any rule or standard. Accordingly, EPA is unaware of any provision preventing the use of credible evidence in the Alabama SIP.

    20 ADEM Admin. Code 335-3-12-.02 establishes that data reporting requirements for sources required to conduct continuous monitoring in the state should comply with data reporting requirements set forth at 40 CFR part 51, Appendix P. Section 40 CFR part 51, Appendix P includes that the averaging period used for data reporting should be established by the state to correspond to the averaging period specified in the emission test method used to determine compliance with an emission standard for the pollutant/source category in question.

    Additionally, Alabama is required to submit emissions data to EPA for purposes of the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The NEI is EPA's central repository for air emissions data. 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 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. Alabama made its latest update to the 2013 NEI on January 13, 2015. 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. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices are adequate for the stationary source monitoring systems related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    8. 110(a)(2)(G) Emergency episodes: This section of the CAA requires that states demonstrate authority comparable with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority. ADEM Admin. Code 335-3-2 “Air Pollution Emergency” provides for the identification of air pollution emergency episodes, episode criteria, and emissions reduction plans. Alabama's compliance with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority is also met by Ala. Code section 22-28-21 “Air Pollution Emergencies.” Ala. Code section 22-28-21 provides ADEM the authority to order the “person or persons responsible for the operation or operations of one or more air contaminants sources” causing “imminent danger to human health or safety in question to reduce or discontinue emissions immediately.” The order triggers a hearing no later than 24-hours after issuance before the Environmental Management Commission which can affirm, modify or set aside the Director's order. Additionally, the Governor can, by proclamation, declare, as to all or any part of said area, that an air pollution emergency exists and exercise certain powers in whole or in part, by the issuance of an order or orders to protect the public health. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP, state laws and practices are adequate to satisfy the infrastructure SIP obligations for emergency powers related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    9. 110(a)(2)(H) Future SIP revisions: As previously discussed, ADEM is responsible for adopting air quality rules and revising SIPs as needed to attain or maintain the NAAQS. Alabama has the ability and authority to respond to calls for SIP revisions, and has provided a number of SIP revisions over the years for implementation of the NAAQS. These requirements are met through ADEM Administrative Codes 335-1-1-.03 “Organization and Duties of the Commission,” 21 which provides ADEM with the authority to establish, adopt, promulgate, modify, repeal and suspend rules, regulations, or environmental standards which may be applicable to Alabama or “any of its geographic parts” and 335-3-1-.03 “Ambient Air Quality Standards,” which provides ADEM the authority to amend, revise, and incorporate the NAAQS into its SIP. Alabama currently has one area designated nonattainment for the 2008 Lead NAAQS located in Troy, Alabama related to the Sanders Lead Company. ADEM submitted an attainment demonstration for this area on November 9, 2012. EPA approved this attainment demonstration on January 28, 2014. See 79 FR 4407. Accordingly, EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate a commitment to provide future SIP revisions related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS, when necessary.

    21 This regulation has not been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    10. 110(a)(2)(J) Consultation with government officials, public notification, PSD, and visibility protection: EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2008 Lead NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(J) to include a program in the SIP that provides for meeting the applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127; and visibility protection requirements of part C of the Act. With respect to Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission related to the preconstruction PSD permitting requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J), EPA took final action to approve Alabama's November 4, 2011 2008 Lead NAAQS infrastructure SIP for these requirements on March 18, 2015. See 80 FR 14019. EPA's rationale for its proposed action regarding applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127, and visibility protection requirements is described below.

    Consultation with government officials (121 consultation): Section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA requires states to provide a process for consultation with local governments, designated organizations and federal land managers (FLMs) carrying out NAAQS implementation requirements pursuant to section 121 relative to consultation. ADEM Admin. Code 335-3-1-.03 “Ambient Air Quality Standards,” as well as its Regional Haze Implementation Plan (which allows for continued consultation with appropriate state, local, and tribal air pollution control agencies as well as the corresponding FLMs), provide for consultation with government officials whose jurisdictions might be affected by SIP development activities. Specifically, Alabama adopted state-wide consultation procedures for the implementation of transportation conformity which includes the development of mobile inventories for SIP development. These consultation procedures were developed in coordination with the transportation partners in the State and are consistent with the approaches used for development of mobile inventories for SIPs. Required partners covered by Alabama's consultation procedures include federal, state and local transportation and air quality agency officials. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with government officials related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS when necessary.

    Public notification (127 public notification): To meet the public notification requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J), ADEM cites Alabama Code § 22-28-21 “Air Pollution Emergencies” and ADEM Administrative Code 335-3-14-.01(7) “Public Participation,” which requires that ADEM notify the public of any air pollution alert, warning, or emergency. The ADEM Web site also sites air quality summary data and air quality index reports. Alabama maintains a public Web site on which daily air quality index forecasts and summary data are posted. This Web site can be accessed at: http://adem.alabama.gov/programs/air/airquality.cnt. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide public notification related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(J) public notification.

    Visibility Protection: The 2011 Lead Infrastructure SIP Guidance notes that the lead constituent of PM would likely not travel far enough to affect Class I areas and that the visibility provisions of the CAA do not directly regulate lead. EPA recognizes that states are subject to visibility protection and regional haze program requirements under Part C of the Act (which includes sections 169A and 169B). However, in the event of the establishment of a new primary NAAQS, the visibility protection and regional haze program requirements under part C of the CAA do not change. EPA thus does not expect states to address visibility for this element in Lead infrastructure submittals. Thus, EPA concludes there are no new applicable visibility protection obligations under section 110(a)(2)(J) as a result of the 2008 Lead NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve section 110(a)(2)(J) of ADEM's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to visibility.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to meet the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(J) to include a program in the SIP that provides for meeting the applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127 and visibility protection associated with regional haze. EPA has also preliminarily determined that it is appropriate approve the State's Lead infrastructure SIP submission with respect to the visibility aspects of section 110(a)(2)(J). EPA is making no determinations with respect the PSD requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J), which will be addressed in a different notice.

    11. 110(a)(2)(K) Air quality modeling/data: Section 110(a)(2)(K) of the CAA requires that SIPs provide for performing air quality modeling so that effects on air quality of emissions from NAAQS pollutants can be predicted and submission of such data to the USEPA can be made. ADEM Administrative Code 335-3-1-.04 “Monitoring Records and Reporting” and 335-3-14-.04 “Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permitting” which incorporates 40 CFR part 51, Appendix W “Guideline on Air Quality Models,” demonstrate that Alabama has the authority to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of the 2008 Lead NAAQS. Additionally, Alabama supports a regional effort to coordinate the development of emissions inventories and conduct regional modeling for several NAAQS, including the 2008 Lead NAAQS, for the southeastern states. Taken as a whole, Alabama's air quality regulations and practices demonstrate that ADEM has the authority to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of the Lead NAAQS. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide for air quality and modeling, along with analysis of the associated data, related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS when necessary.

    12. 110(a)(2)(L) Permitting fees: This section requires the owner or operator of each major stationary source to pay to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under the CAA, 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. To satisfy these requirements, ADEM's infrastructure SIP submission cites ADEM Admin. Code 335-1-6 “Application Fees,” 22 which are State regulations authorized by legislation. Also, ADEM has an approved Title V program with a fee structure established in ADEM Admin. Code 335-1-7 “Air Division Operating Permit Fees.” 23 The Title V fees cover the reasonable cost of implementation and enforcement of PSD and NNSR permits after they have been issued. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices adequately provide for permitting fees related to the Lead NAAQS, when necessary.

    22 This regulation has not been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    23 Title V program regulations are federally approved but not incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    12. 110(a)(2)(M) Consultation/participation by affected local entities: This element requires states to provide for consultation and participation in SIP development by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP. Alabama Administrative Code 335-3-14-.01(17) “Public Participation,” 335-3-14-.04(6) “Public Participation,” and 335-3-14-.05(13) “Public Participation, “of the Alabama SIP requires that ADEM notify the public of an application, preliminary determination, the activity or activities involved in the permit action, any emissions change associated with any permit modification, and the opportunity for comment prior to making a final permitting decision. ADEM worked closely with local political subdivisions during the development of its Transportation Conformity SIP and Regional Haze Implementation Plan. Required partners covered by Alabama's consultation procedures include federal, state and local transportation and air quality agency officials. The state and local transportation agency officials are most directly impacted by transportation conformity requirements and are required to provide public involvement for their activities including the analysis demonstrating how they meet transportation conformity requirements. Alabama has worked with the FLMs as a requirement of its regional haze rule. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with affected local entities related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS when necessary.

    V. Proposed Action

    With the exception of the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of (D)(i) and (J), and the state board requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii), EPA is proposing to approve that ADEM's infrastructure SIP submission, submitted November 4, 2011, for the 2008 Lead NAAQS meets the above described infrastructure SIP requirements. EPA is proposing to disapprove section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) of Alabama's infrastructure submission because the State's implementation plan does not contain provisions to comply with section 128 of the Act, and thus Alabama's November 4, 2011, infrastructure SIP submission does not meet the requirements of the Act. This proposed approval in part and disapproval in part, however, does not include the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of (D)(i) and (J) because the Agency has taken final action on these requirements for 2008 Lead NAAQS for Alabama in a separate rulemaking.

    Under section 179(a) of the CAA, final disapproval of a submittal that addresses a requirement of a CAA Part D Plan or is required in response to a finding of substantial inadequacy as described in CAA section 110(k)(5) (SIP call) starts a sanctions clock. The portion of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) provisions (the provisions being proposed for disapproval in today's notice) were not submitted to meet requirements for Part D or a SIP call, and therefore, if EPA takes final action to disapprove this submittal, no sanctions will be triggered. However, if this disapproval action is finalized, that final action will trigger the requirement under section 110(c) that EPA promulgate a federal implementation plan (FIP) no later than 2 years from the date of the disapproval unless the State corrects the deficiency, and EPA approves the plan or plan revision before EPA promulgates such FIP.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the 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 state law as meeting Federal requirements and 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 Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, and Recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17733 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2013-0163; FRL-9930-75-Region 4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Mississippi: Miscellaneous Changes AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve portions of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), to EPA on July 25, 2010. The SIP revision includes multiple changes to Mississippi's SIP to add definitions in accordance with federal regulations and to implement clarifying language. EPA is not proposing to take action on the aspects of the SIP revision related to the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) or hazardous air pollutants at this time.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 19, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2013-0163, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: R4-ARM[email protected]

    3. Fax: (404) 562-9019.

    4. Mail: “EPA-R04-OAR-2013-0163,” Air Regulatory Management Section (formerly Regulatory Development Section), Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960.

    5. Hand Delivery or Courier: Lynorae Benjamin, Chief, Air Regulatory Management Section (formerly Regulatory Development Section), Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2013-0163. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit through www.regulations.gov or email, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information may not be publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sean Lakeman, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Lakeman can be reached by phone at (404) 562-9043 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On June 25, 2010, MDEQ submitted a SIP revision to EPA for approval into the Mississippi SIP. MDEQ's July 25, 2010, SIP revision includes multiple changes to Mississippi's air pollution control regulation APC-S-1, entitled “Air Emission Regulations for the Prevention, Abatement, and Control of Air Contaminants,” to add and amend definitions in accordance with federal regulations and to implement clarifying language. Specifically, these changes include amendments to Section 2—“Definitions” and Section 3—“Specific Criteria for Sources of Particulate Matter.” With the exception of the changes in Section 8 related to hazardous air pollutants and the changes in Section 14 related to Mississippi's CAIR provisions, EPA is proposing to approve Mississippi's July 25, 2010, SIP revision, which became state effective on February 6, 2009.1 EPA will consider action on Mississippi's changes to its CAIR provisions and its hazardous air pollutants provisions in a separate action.

    1 MDEQ's submission includes a revision to APC-S-1, Section 8—“Provisions for Hazardous Air Pollutants” that updates the incorporate by reference date to October 3, 2008, for relevant federal regulations related to National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS) and the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR). However, EPA has not incorporated APC-S-1, Section 8 into the Mississippi SIP, and therefore, EPA is not proposing to approve these changes related to NESHAPS and CAMR into the SIP.

    II. Mississippi's July 25, 2010, SIP Revision A. Changes to APC-S-1, Section 2—“Definitions” 1. “Air Cleaning Device”

    Mississippi is amending the definition of “Air Cleaning Device” by adding language to clarify that the term “air pollution control device” is synonymous with the term “air cleaning device.” The definition of “air cleaning device” includes “[a]ny method, process or equipment which removes, reduces or renders less noxious air contaminants discharged into the atmosphere.” Mississippi's July 25, 2010, SIP revision, simply clarifies that the term “air pollution control device” has the same definition as “air cleaning device” by adding a phrase noting that these two terms are “synonymous.” Mississippi chose to link the two terms rather than provide a separate definition entry for “air pollution control device.” Mississippi is making this change to provide clarity to the regulated community regarding the definition for the term “air pollution control device.”

    2. “Ozone Action Day”

    Mississippi's July 25, 2010, SIP submission amends the definition for “Ozone Action Day” by changing the dates from April 1 and September 30 to March 1 and October 30, respectively, to align with the time period for ozone monitoring in Mississippi as specified in 40 CFR part 58. See table in 40 CFR part 58 entitled, “Table D-3 of Appendix D to Part 58—Ozone Monitoring Season by State.”

    3. “PM2.5

    Mississippi added a definition of “PM2.5” as “[p]articulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to a nominal 2.5 micrometers as measured by a reference method based on appendix L of 40 CFR part 50 and designated in accordance with 40 CFR part 53 or by an equivalent method designated in accordance with 40 CFR part 53.” This definition is consistent with EPA's definition codified at 40 CFR part 53 as well as the agency's longstanding characterization of fine particular matter. This change, if approved, will result in a renumbering of definitions at APC-S-1.

    4. “PM2.5 emissions”

    Mississippi added a definition of “PM2.5 emissions” as “[f]inely divided solid or liquid material, with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to a nominal 2.5 micrometers, emitted to the ambient air as measured by an applicable EPA Test Method, an equivalent or alternative method specified by EPA, or by a test method specified in the approved State Implementation Plan.” This definition is consistent with EPA's definition for “direct PM2.5 emissions” 2 except that the State's definition does not include a condensable PM2.5 component.3 However, EPA considers this definition acceptable because there are currently no PM2.5 nonattainment areas in Mississippi and because the State's prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) program at APC-S-5 requires sources to consider the condensable portion of PM2.5 emissions when determining PSD applicability. This change, if approved, will result in a renumbering of definitions at APC-S-1.

    2 Under the federal definition, “direct PM2.5 emissions” means “solid particles emitted directly from an air emissions source or activity, or gaseous emissions or liquid droplets from an air emissions source or activity which condense to form particulate matter at ambient temperatures. Direct PM2.5 emissions include elemental carbon, directly emitted organic carbon, directly emitted sulfate, directly emitted nitrate, and other inorganic particles (including but not limited to crustal material, metals, and sea salt).” 40 CFR 51.1000.

    3 The federal provisions for implementation of the PM2.5 NAAQS require, after January 1, 2011, that states must consider the condensable fraction of direct PM2.5 emissions when establishing limits under 40 CFR 51.1009 (Reasonable further progress requirements (RFP)) and 40 CFR 51.1010 (Requirements for reasonably available control technology (RACT) and reasonably available control measures (RACM)). See 40 CFR 51.1002(c). However, Mississippi's adopted definition of “PM2.5 emissions” does not explicitly include the condensable fraction of direct PM2.5 emissions. EPA notes that if PM2.5 nonattainment areas are designated within the State in the future, the State's definition of “PM2.5 emissions” may need to be revised to include condensable emissions to ensure that the RFP and RACT/RACM provisions are properly implemented. EPA also notes that Mississippi's PSD permitting program at APC-S-5 already requires sources to account for PM2.5 condensable emissions when determining PM2.5 emission limitations and PSD applicability.

    B. Changes to APC-S-1, Section 3—“Specific Criteria for Source of Particular Matter” 1. Paragraph 4—“Fuel Burning”

    As it currently exists in the SIP, APC-S-1, Section 3.4(b)—“Combination Boilers”—states that particulate matter emissions from combination boilers involved in fuel burning operations that utilize a mixture of combustibles are allowed emission rates up to 0.30 grains per standard dry cubic foot. Mississippi's July 25, 2010, SIP submission added language to clarify that section 3.4(b) is only applicable to fuel burning operations that utilize a mixture of combustibles “to produce steam or heat water or any other heat transfer medium through indirect means.”

    2. Paragraph 6—“Manufacturing Processes”

    Mississippi is amending subparagraph (a) relating to particulate matter emission limits based on process weight rate to clarify that the emission limit listed in that subparagraph applies to the manufacturing process including any associated stacks, vents, outlets, or combination thereof.

    3. Paragraph 7—“Open Burning”

    Mississippi is amending subparagraph (a)(1) to clarify that fires set for burning of agricultural wastes in the field and/or silvicultural wastes for forest management purposes must obtain a permit from the Mississippi Forestry Commission regardless of whether there is an available Forestry Commission tower servicing the area in which the burning occurs.

    4. Paragraph 8—“Incineration”

    Mississippi is adding subparagraph (c) to clarify that the particulate matter emission limit for incinerators, 0.2 grains per standard dry cubic foot of flue gas, does not apply to “afterburners, flares, thermal oxidizers, and other similar devices used to reduce the emissions of air pollutants from processes.” EPA notes that all particulate matter emissions discharged from such control devices are part of the total emissions from the process unit and are not excluded from determinations of compliance with applicable emission limitations. Mississippi also amended the text of subparagraph (a) to reference subparagraph (c) to further clarify that devices listed at paragraph (c) are not required to apply the particulate matter emission limit for incinerators identified in subparagraph (a).

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference certain changes to Mississippi's air pollution control regulation APC-S-1, entitled “Air Emission Regulations for the Prevention, Abatement, and Control of Air Contaminants.” Specifically, these changes include the amendments to Section 2—“Definitions” and Section 3—“Specific Criteria for Sources of Particulate Matter” described in section II, above. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    IV. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve portions of Mississippi's July 25, 2010, SIP submission revising Rule APC-S-1 to add and amend definitions in accordance with federal regulations and to implement clarifying language. EPA has preliminarily determined that these changes to the Mississippi SIP are in accordance with the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) and EPA policy and regulations. With the exception of changes in Section 8 related to hazardous air pollutants and the changes in Section 14 related to Mississippi's CAIR provisions, EPA is proposing to approve Mississippi's SIP revisions provided to EPA on July 25, 2010. EPA will consider action on Mississippi's changes to its CAIR provisions and its hazardous air pollutants provisions in a separate action.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

    • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 9, 2015. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17744 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0368; FRL-9930-77-Region 4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; North Carolina; Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards Revisions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan revision submitted by the State of North Carolina, through the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources on August 13, 2012, pertaining to definition changes for the Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards. EPA is approving this SIP revision because the State has demonstrated that it is consistent with the Clean Air Act. In the Final Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's implementation plan revision as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 19, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0368, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected].

    3. Fax: (404) 562-9019.

    4. Mail: “EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0368,” Air Regulatory Management Section (formerly the Regulatory Development Section), Air Planning and Implementation Branch (formerly the Air Planning Branch), Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960.

    5. Hand Delivery or Courier: Lynorae Benjamin, Chief, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    Please see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register for detailed instructions on how to submit comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Zuri Farngalo, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. The telephone number is (404) 562-9152. Mr. Farngalo can also be reached via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For additional information see the direct final rule which is published in the Rules Section of this Federal Register. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this document. Any parties interested in commenting on this document should do so at this time.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17682 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2012-0696; FRL-9930-85-Region 4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Georgia Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve portions of the May 14, 2012, State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission, provided by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division (hereafter referred to as GA EPD) for inclusion into the Georgia SIP. This proposal pertains to the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act) infrastructure requirements for the 2008 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, which is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure” SIP. GA EPD certified that the Georgia SIP contains provisions that ensure the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in Georgia. With the exception of provisions pertaining to prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permitting and interstate transport requirements, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission provided to EPA on May 14, 2012, as satisfying the required infrastructure elements for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 19, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2012-0696, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Fax: (404) 562-9019.

    4. Mail: “EPA-R04-OAR-2012-0696,” Air Regulatory Management Section, (formerly the Regulatory Development Section), Air Planning and Implementation Branch, (formerly the Air Planning Branch) Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960.

    5. Hand Delivery or Courier: Lynorae Benjamin, Chief, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2012-0696. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit through www.regulations.gov or email, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nacosta C. Ward, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. The telephone number is (404) 562-9140. Ms. Ward can be reached via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Background II. What elements are required under sections 110(a)(1) and (2)? III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions? IV. What is EPA's analysis of how Georgia addressed the elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) “Infrastructure” provisions? V. Proposed Action VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    On March 27, 2008, EPA promulgated a revised NAAQS for ozone based on 8-hour average concentrations. EPA revised the level of the 8-hour ozone NAAQS to 0.075 parts per million. See 77 FR 16436. Pursuant to section 110(a)(1) of the CAA, states are required to submit SIPs meeting the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2) within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a)(2) requires states to address basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. States were required to submit such SIPs for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS to EPA no later than March 2011.1

    1 In these infrastructure SIP submissions states generally certify evidence of compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA through a combination of state regulations and statutes, some of which have been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP. In addition, certain federally-approved, non-SIP regulations may also be appropriate for demonstrating compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2). Unless otherwise indicated, the Georgia Rules for Air Quality (also referred to as “Rules” or “Regulations”) of the Georgia SIP cited throughout this rulemaking have been approved into Georgia's federally-approved SIP. The state statutes cited from the Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (also referred to as “O.C.G.A.”) throughout this rulemaking, however, are not approved into the Georgia SIP.

    Today's action is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure submission for the applicable requirements of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, with the exception of the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II) prong 3 and (J) and the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1, 2, and 4). With respect to Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission related to provisions pertaining to interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs, 1, 2, and 4), EPA is not proposing any action today regarding these requirements and will act on these requirements in a separate action. On March 18, 2015, EPA approved Georgia's May 14, 2012, infrastructure SIP submission regarding the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II) prong 3 and (J) for the 2008 8-hour NAAQS. See 80 FR 14019. Therefore, EPA is not proposing any action in today's proposed rulemaking pertaining to the PSD components of sections 110(a)(2)(C), D)(i)(II) prong 3, and (J). For the aspects of Georgia's submittal proposed for approval today, EPA notes that the Agency is not approving any specific rule, but rather proposing that Georgia's already approved SIP meets certain CAA requirements.

    II. What elements are required under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2)?

    Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit SIPs to provide for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of a new or revised NAAQS within three years following the promulgation of such NAAQS, or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a) imposes the obligation upon states to make a SIP submission to EPA for a new or revised NAAQS, but the contents of that submission may vary depending upon the facts and circumstances. In particular, the data and analytical tools available at the time the state develops and submits the SIP for a new or revised NAAQS affects the content of the submission. The contents of such SIP submissions may also vary depending upon what provisions the state's existing SIP already contains. In the case of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, states typically have met the basic program elements required in section 110(a)(2) through earlier SIP submissions in connection with the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    More specifically, section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for SIPs. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for “infrastructure” SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. As mentioned above, these requirements include basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. The requirements of section 110(a)(2) are summarized below and in EPA's September 13, 2013, memorandum entitled “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2).” 2

    2 Two elements identified in section 110(a)(2) are not governed by the three year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1) because SIPs incorporating necessary local nonattainment area controls are not due within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, but rather due at the time the nonattainment area plan requirements are due pursuant to section 172. These requirements are: (1) Submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(C) to the extent that subsection refers to a permit program as required in part D Title I of the CAA; and (2) submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(I) which pertain to the nonattainment planning requirements of part D, Title I of the CAA. Today's proposed rulemaking does not address infrastructure elements related to section 110(a)(2)(I) or the nonattainment planning requirements of 110(a)(2)(C).

    • 110(a)(2)(A): Emission Limits and Other Control Measures

    • 110(a)(2)(B): Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System

    • 110(a)(2)(C): Programs for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources 3

    3 This rulemaking only addresses requirements for this element as they relate to attainment areas.

    • 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II): Interstate Pollution Transport

    • 110(a)(2)(D)(ii): Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution

    • 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): SIP revisions

    • 110(a)(2)(I): Plan Revisions for Nonattainment Areas 4

    4 As mentioned above, this element is not relevant to today's proposed rulemaking.

    • 110(a)(2)(J): Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and PSD and Visibility Protection

    • 110(a)(2)(K): Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data

    • 110(a)(2)(L): Permitting fees

    • 110(a)(2)(M): Consultation and Participation by Affected Local Entities

    III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions?

    EPA is acting upon the SIP submission from Georgia that addresses the infrastructure requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2008 8-hour ozone 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's taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must address.

    EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA 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 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.5 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.

    5 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.

    The following examples of ambiguities illustrate the need for EPA to interpret some section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) requirements with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions for a given new or revised NAAQS. One example of ambiguity is that section 110(a)(2) requires that “each” SIP submission must meet the list of requirements therein, while EPA has long noted that this literal reading of the statute is internally inconsistent and would create a conflict with the nonattainment provisions in part D of title I of the Act, which specifically address nonattainment SIP requirements.6 Section 110(a)(2)(I) pertains to nonattainment SIP requirements and part D addresses when attainment plan SIP submissions to address nonattainment area requirements are due. For example, section 172(b) requires EPA to establish a schedule for submission of such plans for certain pollutants when the Administrator promulgates the designation of an area as nonattainment, and section 107(d)(1)(B) allows up to two years, or in some cases three years, for such designations to be promulgated.7 This ambiguity illustrates that rather than apply all the stated requirements of section 110(a)(2) in a strict literal sense, EPA must determine which provisions of section 110(a)(2) are applicable for a particular infrastructure SIP submission.

    6See, e.g., “Rule To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule); Revisions to Acid Rain Program; Revisions to the NOx SIP Call; Final Rule,” 70 FR 25162, at 25163—65 (May 12, 2005) (explaining relationship between timing requirement of section 110(a)(2)(D) versus section 110(a)(2)(I)).

    7 EPA notes that this ambiguity within section 110(a)(2) is heightened by the fact that various subparts of part D set specific dates for submission of certain types of SIP submissions in designated nonattainment areas for various pollutants. Note, e.g., that section 182(a)(1) provides specific dates for submission of emissions inventories for the ozone NAAQS. Some of these specific dates are necessarily later than three years after promulgation of the new or revised NAAQS.

    Another example of ambiguity within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) with respect to infrastructure SIPs pertains to whether states must meet all of the infrastructure SIP requirements in a single SIP submission, and whether EPA must act upon such SIP submission in a single action. Although section 110(a)(1) directs states to submit “a plan” to meet these requirements, EPA interprets the CAA to allow states to make multiple SIP submissions separately addressing infrastructure SIP elements for the same NAAQS. If states elect to make such multiple SIP submissions to meet the infrastructure SIP requirements, EPA can elect to act on such submissions either individually or in a larger combined action.8 Similarly, EPA interprets the CAA to allow it to take action on the individual parts of one larger, comprehensive infrastructure SIP submission for a given NAAQS without concurrent action on the entire submission. For example, EPA has sometimes elected to act at different times on various elements and sub-elements of the same infrastructure SIP submission.9

    8See, e.g., “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP); Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) Permitting,” 78 FR 4339 (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action approving the structural PSD elements of the New Mexico SIP submitted by the State separately to meet the requirements of EPA's 2008 PM2.5 NSR rule), and “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS,” (78 FR 4337) (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action on the infrastructure SIP for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS).

    9 On December 14, 2007, the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, made a SIP revision to EPA demonstrating that the State meets the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). EPA proposed action for infrastructure SIP elements (C) and (J) on January 23, 2012 (77 FR 3213) and took final action on March 14, 2012 (77 FR 14976). On April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22533) and July 23, 2012 (77 FR 42997), EPA took separate proposed and final actions on all other section 110(a)(2) infrastructure SIP elements of Tennessee's December 14, 2007 submittal.

    Ambiguities within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) may also arise with respect to infrastructure SIP submission requirements for different NAAQS. Thus, EPA notes that not every element of section 110(a)(2) would be relevant, or as relevant, or relevant in the same way, for each new or revised NAAQS. The states' attendant infrastructure SIP submissions for each NAAQS therefore could be different. For example, the monitoring requirements that a state might need to meet in its infrastructure SIP submission for purposes of section 110(a)(2)(B) could be very different for different pollutants because the content and scope of a state's infrastructure SIP submission to meet this element might be very different for an entirely new NAAQS than for a minor revision to an existing NAAQS.10

    10 For example, implementation of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS required the deployment of a system of new monitors to measure ambient levels of that new indicator species for the new NAAQS.

    EPA notes that interpretation of section 110(a)(2) is also necessary when EPA reviews other types of SIP submissions required under the CAA. Therefore, as with infrastructure SIP submissions, EPA also has to identify and interpret the relevant elements of section 110(a)(2) that logically apply to these other types of SIP submissions. For example, section 172(c)(7) requires that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D have to meet the “applicable requirements” of section 110(a)(2). Thus, for example, attainment plan SIP submissions must meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) regarding enforceable emission limits and control measures and section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) regarding air agency resources and authority. By contrast, it is clear that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D would not need to meet the portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) that pertains to the PSD program required in part C of title I of the CAA, because PSD does not apply to a pollutant for which an area is designated nonattainment and thus subject to part D planning requirements. As this example illustrates, each type of SIP submission may implicate some elements of section 110(a)(2) but not others.

    Given the potential for ambiguity in some of the statutory language of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2), EPA believes that it is appropriate to interpret the ambiguous portions of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) in the context of acting on a particular SIP submission. In other words, EPA assumes that Congress could not have intended that each and every SIP submission, regardless of the NAAQS in question or the history of SIP development for the relevant pollutant, would meet each of the requirements, or meet each of them in the same way. Therefore, EPA has adopted an approach under which it reviews infrastructure SIP submissions against the list of elements in section 110(a)(2), but only to the extent each element applies for that particular NAAQS.

    Historically, EPA has elected to use guidance documents to make recommendations to states for infrastructure SIPs, in some cases conveying needed interpretations on newly arising issues and in some cases conveying interpretations that have already been developed and applied to individual SIP submissions for particular elements.11 EPA most recently issued guidance for infrastructure SIPs on September 13, 2013 (2013 Guidance).12 EPA developed this document to provide states with up-to-date guidance for infrastructure SIPs for any new or revised NAAQS. Within this guidance, EPA describes the duty of states to make infrastructure SIP submissions to meet basic structural SIP requirements within three years of promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. EPA also made recommendations about many specific subsections of section 110(a)(2) that are relevant in the context of infrastructure SIP submissions.13 The guidance also discusses the substantively important issues that are germane to certain subsections of section 110(a)(2). Significantly, EPA interprets sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) such that infrastructure SIP submissions need to address certain issues and need not address others. Accordingly, EPA reviews each infrastructure SIP submission for compliance with the applicable statutory provisions of section 110(a)(2), as appropriate.

    11 EPA notes, however, that nothing in the CAA requires EPA to provide guidance or to promulgate regulations for infrastructure SIP submissions. The CAA directly applies to states and requires the submission of infrastructure SIP submissions, regardless of whether or not EPA provides guidance or regulations pertaining to such submissions. EPA elects to issue such guidance in order to assist states, as appropriate.

    12 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2),” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013.

    13 EPA's September 13, 2013, guidance did not make recommendations with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions to address section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). EPA issued the guidance shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the D.C. Circuit decision in EME Homer City, 696 F.3d7 (D.C. Cir. 2012) which had interpreted the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). In light of the uncertainty created by ongoing litigation, EPA elected not to provide additional guidance on the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) at that time. As the guidance is neither binding nor required by statute, whether EPA elects to provide guidance on a particular section has no impact on a state's CAA obligations.

    As an example, section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) is a required element of section 110(a)(2) for infrastructure SIP submissions. Under this element, a state must meet the substantive requirements of section 128, which pertain to state boards that approve permits or enforcement orders and heads of executive agencies with similar powers. Thus, EPA reviews infrastructure SIP submissions to ensure that the state's implementation plan appropriately addresses the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) and section 128. The 2013 Guidance explains EPA's interpretation that there may be a variety of ways by which states can appropriately address these substantive statutory requirements, depending on the structure of an individual state's permitting or enforcement program (e.g., whether permits and enforcement orders are approved by a multi-member board or by a head of an executive agency). However they are addressed by the state, the substantive requirements of section 128 are necessarily included in EPA's evaluation of infrastructure SIP submissions because section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) explicitly requires that the state satisfy the provisions of section 128.

    As another example, EPA's review of infrastructure SIP submissions with respect to the PSD program requirements in sections 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) focuses upon the structural PSD program requirements contained in part C and EPA's PSD regulations. Structural PSD program requirements include provisions necessary for the PSD program to address all regulated sources and NSR pollutants, including greenhouse gases. By contrast, structural PSD program requirements do not include provisions that are not required under EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 51.166 but are merely available as an option for the state, such as the option to provide grandfathering of complete permit applications with respect to the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. Accordingly, the latter optional provisions are types of provisions EPA considers irrelevant in the context of an infrastructure SIP action.

    For other section 110(a)(2) elements, however, EPA's review of a state's infrastructure SIP submission focuses on assuring that the state's SIP meets basic structural requirements. For example, section 110(a)(2)(C) includes, among other things, the requirement that states have a program to regulate minor new sources. Thus, EPA evaluates whether the state has an EPA-approved minor new source review program and whether the program addresses the pollutants relevant to that NAAQS. In the context of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, however, EPA does not think it is necessary to conduct a review of each and every provision of a state's existing minor source program (i.e., already in the existing SIP) for compliance with the requirements of the CAA and EPA's regulations that pertain to such programs.

    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 that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions (“SSM”); (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 PSD programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186 (December 31, 2002), as amended by 72 FR 32526 (June 13, 2007) (“NSR Reform”). Thus, EPA believes it may approve an infrastructure SIP submission without scrutinizing the totality of the existing SIP for such potentially deficient provisions and may approve the submission even if it is aware of such existing provisions.14 It is important to note that EPA's approval of a state's infrastructure SIP submission should not be construed as explicit or implicit re-approval of any existing potentially deficient provisions that relate to the three specific issues just described.

    14 By contrast, EPA notes that if a state were to include a new provision in an infrastructure SIP submission that contained a legal deficiency, such as a new exemption for excess emissions during SSM events, then EPA would need to evaluate that provision for compliance against the rubric of applicable CAA requirements in the context of the action on the infrastructure SIP.

    EPA's approach to review of infrastructure SIP submissions is to identify the CAA requirements that are logically applicable to that submission. EPA believes that this approach to the review of a particular infrastructure SIP submission is appropriate, because it would not be reasonable to read the general requirements of section 110(a)(1) and the list of elements in 110(a)(2) as requiring review of each and every provision of a state's existing SIP against all requirements in the CAA and EPA regulations merely for purposes of assuring that the state in question has the basic structural elements for a functioning SIP for a new or revised NAAQS. Because SIPs have grown by accretion over the decades as statutory and regulatory requirements under the CAA have evolved, they may include some outmoded provisions and historical artifacts. These provisions, while not fully up to date, nevertheless may not pose a significant problem for the purposes of “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of a new or revised NAAQS when EPA evaluates adequacy of the infrastructure SIP submission. EPA believes that a better approach is for states and EPA to focus attention on those elements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA most likely to warrant a specific SIP revision due to the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or other factors.

    For example, EPA's 2013 Guidance gives simpler recommendations with respect to carbon monoxide than other NAAQS pollutants to meet the visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), because carbon monoxide does not affect visibility. As a result, an infrastructure SIP submission for any future new or revised NAAQS for carbon monoxide need only state this fact in order to address the visibility prong of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II).

    Finally, EPA believes that its approach with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements is based on a reasonable reading of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) because the CAA provides other avenues and mechanisms to address specific substantive deficiencies in existing SIPs. These other statutory tools allow EPA to take appropriately tailored action, depending upon the nature and severity of the alleged SIP deficiency. Section 110(k)(5) authorizes EPA to issue a “SIP call” whenever the Agency determines that a state's SIP is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain the NAAQS, to mitigate interstate transport, or to otherwise comply with the CAA.15 Section 110(k)(6) authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions.16 Significantly, EPA's determination that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is not the appropriate time and place to address all potential existing SIP deficiencies does not preclude EPA's subsequent reliance on provisions in section 110(a)(2) as part of the basis for action to correct those deficiencies at a later time. For example, although it may not be appropriate to require a state to eliminate all existing inappropriate director's discretion provisions in the course of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, EPA believes that section 110(a)(2)(A) may be among the statutory bases that EPA relies upon in the course of addressing such deficiency in a subsequent action.17

    15 For example, EPA issued a SIP call to Utah to address specific existing SIP deficiencies related to the treatment of excess emissions during SSM events. See “Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Utah State Implementation Plan Revisions,” 74 FR 21639 (April 18, 2011).

    16 EPA has used this authority to correct errors in past actions on SIP submissions related to PSD programs. See “Limitation of Approval of Prevention of Significant Deterioration Provisions Concerning Greenhouse Gas Emitting-Sources in State Implementation Plans; Final Rule,” 75 FR 82536 (December 30, 2010). EPA has previously used its authority under CAA section 110(k)(6) to remove numerous other SIP provisions that the Agency determined it had approved in error. See, e.g., 61 FR 38664 (July 25, 1996) and 62 FR 34641 (June 27, 1997) (corrections to American Samoa, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada SIPs); 69 FR 67062 (November 16, 2004) (corrections to California SIP); and 74 FR 57051 (November 3, 2009) (corrections to Arizona and Nevada SIPs).

    17See, e.g., EPA's disapproval of a SIP submission from Colorado on the grounds that it would have included a director's discretion provision inconsistent with CAA requirements, including section 110(a)(2)(A). See, e.g., 75 FR 42342 at 42344 (July 21, 2010) (proposed disapproval of director's discretion provisions); 76 FR 4540 (Jan. 26, 2011) (final disapproval of such provisions).

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of how Georgia addressed the elements of Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) “Infrastructure” Provisions?

    The Georgia infrastructure submission addresses the provisions of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as described below.

    1. 110(a)(2)(A) Emission limits and other control measures: There are several provisions within the Georgia Rules for Air Quality that provide GA EPD with the necessary authority to adopt and enforce air quality controls, which include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures. Rule 391-3-1-.01 “Definitions” provides definitions of emissions limitations, controls, and standards for Georgia. Rules 391-3-1-.02 “Provisions” and 391-3-1-.03 “Permits” provides emissions limitations, control measures and compliance schedules and provides Georgia with the authority to enforce such provisions for ozone. EPA has made the preliminary determination that the provisions contained in these rules are adequate to protect the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in the State.

    In this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State provisions with regard to excess emissions during startup, shutdown or malfunction (SSM) of operations at a facility. EPA believes that a number of states have SSM provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance, “State Implementation Plans: Policy Regarding Excess Emissions During Malfunctions, Startup, and Shutdown” (September 20, 1999), and the Agency is addressing such state regulations in a separate action.18 In the meantime, EPA encourages any state having a deficient SSM provision to take steps to correct it as soon as possible.

    18 On May 22, 2015, the EPA Administrator signed a final action entitled, “State Implementation Plans: Response to Petition for Rulemaking; Restatement and Update of EPA's SSM Policy Applicable to SIPs; Findings of Substantial Inadequacy; and SIP Calls to Amend Provisions Applying to Excess Emissions During Periods of Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction.” The prepublication version of this rule is available at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/urbanair/sipstatus/emissions.html.

    Additionally, in this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State rules with regard to director's discretion or variance provisions. EPA believes that a number of states have such provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance (52 FR 45109 (November 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.

    2. 110(a)(2)(B) Ambient air quality monitoring/data system: SIPs are required to provide for the establishment and operation of ambient air quality monitors; the compilation and analysis of ambient air quality data; and the submission of these data to EPA upon request. Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-6 (b)(13) Powers and duties of director as to air quality generally) along with the Georgia Annual Monitoring Network Plan, provides GA EPD with the authority to monitor ambient air quality in Georgia through an ambient air quality monitoring system in the State, which includes the monitoring of ozone at appropriate locations throughout the state using the EPA approved Federal Reference Method or equivalent monitors. Annually, States develop and submit to EPA for approval statewide ambient monitoring network plans consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR parts 50, 53, and 58. The annual network plan involves an evaluation of any proposed changes to the monitoring network, includes the annual ambient monitoring network design plan and a certified evaluation of the agency's ambient monitors and auxiliary support equipment.19 The latest monitoring network plan for Georgia was submitted to EPA on June 1, 2014, and on November 7, 2014, EPA approved this plan. Georgia's approved monitoring network plan can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2012-0696. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices are adequate for the ambient air quality monitoring and data system related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    19 On occasion, proposed changes to the monitoring network are evaluated outside of the network plan approval process in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.

    3. 110(a)(2)(C) Program for enforcement of control measures including review of proposed new sources: This element consists of three sub-elements; enforcement, state-wide regulation of new and modified minor sources and minor modifications of major sources; and preconstruction permitting of major sources and major modifications in areas designated attainment or unclassifiable for the subject NAAQS as required by CAA title I part C (i.e., the major source

    PSD program). To meet these obligations, Georgia cited Rules 391-3-1-.07 “Inspections and Investigations,” Rule 391-3-1-.09 “Enforcement,” and Rule 391-3-1-.03(1), “Construction (SIP) Permit” along with the Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Sections 12-9-13 Proceedings for enforcement and 12-9-7 Permit required; application; issuance; revocation, suspension, or amendment) each of which pertain to enforcement and permitting of any new major stationary source or any project at an existing major stationary source in an area designated as attainment or unclassifiable as well as regulation of minor stationary sources. In this action, EPA is only proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(C) to include a program in the SIP that provides for the enforcement of emission limits and control measures on sources of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and the regulation of minor sources and modifications to assist in the protection of air quality in nonattainment, attainment or unclassifiable areas.

    Enforcement: GA EPD's above-described, SIP-approved regulations provide for enforcement of ozone precursor (VOC and NOx) emission limits and control measures.

    Preconstruction PSD Permitting for Major Sources: With respect to Georgia's May 14, 2012, infrastructure SIP submission related to the preconstruction PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(C), EPA took final action to approve these provisions for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS on March 18, 2015. See 80 FR 14019.

    Regulation of minor sources and modifications: Section 110(a)(2)(C) also requires the SIP to include provisions that govern the minor source program that regulates emissions of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Rule 391-3-1-.03(1), “Construction (SIP) Permit” governs the preconstruction permitting of modifications and construction of minor stationary sources.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices are adequate for enforcement of control measures and regulation of minor sources and modifications related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    4. 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) Interstate Pollution Transport: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) has two components; 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and 110(a)(2)(D)(II). Each of these components have two subparts resulting in four distinct components, commonly referred to as “prongs,” that must be addressed in infrastructure SIP submissions. The first two prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), are provisions that prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 1”), and interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 2”). The third and fourth prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), are provisions that prohibit emissions activity in one state interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality in another state (“prong 3”), or to protect visibility in another state (“prong 4”). With respect to Georgia's infrastructure SIP submissions related to the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prongs 1 through 4), EPA is not proposing any action today regarding these requirements. With respect to Georgia's May 14, 2012, infrastructure SIP submission related to the preconstruction PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 3), EPA took final action to approve these provisions for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS on March 18, 2015. See 80 FR 14019. EPA will act on prongs 1, 2, and 4 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) in a separate action.

    5. 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions ensuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement. Rule 391-3-1-.02 “Provisions” provides how GA EPD will notify neighboring states of potential impacts from new or modified sources consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR 51.166. In addition, Georgia does not have any pending obligation under sections 115 and 126 of the CAA. Accordingly, EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices are adequate for ensuring compliance with the applicable requirements relating to interstate and international pollution abatement for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    6. 110(a)(2)(E) Adequate Resources and Authority, Conflict of Interest, and Oversight of Local Governments and Regional Agencies: Section 110(a)(2)(E) requires that each implementation plan provide (i) necessary assurances that the State will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under state law to carry out its implementation plan, (ii) that the State comply with the requirements respecting State Boards pursuant to section 128 of the Act, and (iii) necessary assurances that, where the State has relied on a local or regional government, agency, or instrumentality for the implementation of any plan provision, the State has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of such plan provisions. EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's SIP as meeting the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E). EPA's rationale for today's proposal respecting sub-elements (i), (ii), and (iii) is described below.

    In support of EPA's proposal to approve sub-elements 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii), EPA notes that GA EPD is responsible for promulgating rules and regulations for the NAAQS, emissions standards general policies, a system of permits, and fee schedules for the review of plans, and other planning needs. Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission cites Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-10 Permit related fees; costs of public notice and Rule 391-3-1-.03(9) “Georgia Air Permit Fee System” which provides the State's adequate funding and authority and rules for permit fees. Additionally, as evidence of the adequacy of GA EPD's resources, EPA submitted a letter to Georgia on March 26, 2014, outlining 105 grant commitments and the current status of these commitments for fiscal year 2013. The letter EPA submitted to Georgia can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2012-0696. Annually, states update these grant commitments based on current SIP requirements, air quality planning, and applicable requirements related to the NAAQS. Georgia satisfactorily met all commitments agreed to in the Air Planning Agreement for fiscal year 2013, therefore Georgia's grants were finalized and closed out.

    With respect to the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) pertaining the state board requirements of CAA section 128, Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission cites Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-5 Powers and duties of Board of Natural Resources as to air quality generally) which provides the powers and duties of the Board of Natural Resources as to air quality and provides that at least a majority of members of this board represent the public interest and not derive any significant portion of income from persons subject to permits or enforcement orders and that potential conflicts of interest will be adequately disclosed. This provision has been incorporated into the federally approved SIP. Collectively, these rules and commitments provide evidence that GA EPD has adequate personnel, funding, and legal authority under state law to carry out the state's implementation plan and related issues to ensure that conflicts of interest are adequately addressed. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia has adequate resources and authority to satisfy sections 110(a)(2)(E)(i), (ii), and (iii) of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    7. 110(a)(2)(F) Stationary Source Monitoring and Reporting: Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission describes how the State establishes requirements for emissions compliance testing and utilizes emissions sampling and analysis. It further describes how the State ensures the quality of its data through observing emissions and monitoring operations. GA EPD uses these data to track progress towards maintaining the NAAQS, develop control and maintenance strategies, identify sources and general emission levels, and determine compliance with emission regulations and additional EPA requirements. Georgia meets these requirements through the Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-5(b)(6) Powers and duties of Board of Natural Resources as to air quality generally), Rules 391-3-1-.02(3) “Sampling,” 391-3-1-.02(6)(b) “General Monitoring and Reporting Requirements,” 391-3-1-.02(6) “Source Monitoring,” 391-3-1-.02(7) “Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality,” 391-3-1-.02(11) “Compliance Assurance Monitoring,” and, 391-3-1-.03 “Permits.”

    In addition, Rule 391-3-1-.02(3) “Sampling” 20 allows for the use of credible evidence in the event that the GA EPD Director has evidence that a source is violating an emission standard or permit condition, the Director may require that the owner or operator of any source submit to the Director any information necessary to determine the compliance status of the source. In addition, EPA is unaware of any provision preventing the use of credible evidence in the Georgia SIP.

    20 This rule is not approved into the federally approved SIP.

    Georgia is required to submit emissions data to EPA for purposes of the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The NEI is EPA's central repository for air emissions data. EPA published the Air Emissions Reporting Rule (AERR) on December 5, 2008, which modified the requirements for collecting and reporting air emissions data. See 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 EPA's online Emissions Inventory System. States report emissions data for the six criteria pollutants and the precursors that form them—NOX, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. Many states also voluntarily report emissions of hazardous air pollutants. Georgia made its latest update to the 2011 NEI on June 10, 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. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices are adequate for the stationary source monitoring systems obligations for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    8. 110(a)(2)(G) Emergency powers: This section requires that states demonstrate authority comparable with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority. Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission cites air pollution emergency episodes and preplanned abatement strategies in the Georgia Air Quality Act: Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Sections 12-9-2 Declaration of public policy, 12-9-6 Powers and duties of director as to air quality generally, 12-9-12 Injunctive relief, 12-9-13 Proceedings for enforcement, and 12-9-14 Powers of director in situations involving imminent and substantial danger to public health), and Rule 391-3-1 .04 “Air Pollution Episodes.” O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-2 provides “[i]t is declared to be the public policy of the state of Georgia to preserve, protect, and improve air quality . . . to attain and maintain ambient air quality standards so as to safeguard the public health, safety, and welfare.” O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-6(b)(10) provides the Director of EPD authority to “issue orders as may be necessary to enforce compliance with [the Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A)] and all rules and regulations of this article.” O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-12 provides that “[w]henever in the judgment of the director any person has engaged in or is about to engage in any act or practice which constitutes or will constitute an unlawful action under [the Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A)], he may make application to the superior court of the county in which the unlawful act or practice has been or is about to be engaged in, or in which jurisdiction is appropriate, for an order enjoining such act or practice or for an order requiring compliance with this article. Upon a showing by the director that such person has engaged in or is about to engage in any such act or practice, a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order shall be granted without the necessity of showing lack of an adequate remedy of law.” O.C.G.A. Section 12-19-13 specifically pertains to enforcement proceedings when the Director of EPD has reason to believe that a violation of any provision of the Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A), or environmental rules, regulations or orders have occurred. O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-14 also provides that the Governor, may issue orders as necessary to protect the health of persons who are, or may be, affected by a pollution source or facility after “consult[ation] with local authorities in order to confirm the correctness of the information on which action proposed to be taken is based and to ascertain the action which such authorities are or will be taking.”

    Rule 391-3-1-.04 “Air Pollution Episodes” provides that the Director of EPD “will proclaim that an Air Pollution Alert, Air Pollution Warning, or Air Pollution Emergency exists when the meteorological conditions are such that an air stagnation condition is in existence and/or the accumulation of air contaminants in any place is attaining or has attained levels which could, if such levels are sustained or exceeded, lead to a substantial threat to the health of persons in the specific area affected.” Collectively the cited provisions provide that Georgia EPD demonstrate authority comparable with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority in the state. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices are adequate to satisfy the emergency powers obligations of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    9. 110(a)(2)(H) SIP revisions: GA EPD is responsible for adopting air quality rules and revising SIPs as needed to attain or maintain the NAAQS in Georgia. Georgia Air Quality Act: Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-6(b)(12), 12-9-6(b)(13) Powers and duties of director as to air quality generally) provides Georgia the authority to implement the CAA and submit SIP revisions whenever the NAAQS are revised. These provisions also provide GA EPD the ability and authority to respond to calls for SIP revisions, and Georgia has provided a number of SIP revisions over the years for implementation of the NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate a commitment to provide future SIP revisions related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, when necessary.

    10. 110(a)(2)(J) Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and PSD and Visibility Protection: EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(J) to include a program in the SIP that complies with the applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127, and visibility protection. With respect to Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission related to the preconstruction PSD permitting, EPA took final action to approve Georgia's May 14, 2012, 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS infrastructure SIP for these requirements on March 18, 2015. See 80 FR 14019. EPA's rationale for its proposed action regarding applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127, and the visibility requirements is described below.

    Consultation with government officials (121 consultation): Section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA requires states to provide a process for consultation with local governments, designated organizations and federal land managers (FLMs) carrying out NAAQS implementation requirements pursuant to section 121 relative to consultation. Georgia Air Quality Act: Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-5(b)(17) Powers and duties of Board of Natural Resources as to air quality generally), Georgia Administrative Procedures Act (O.C.G.A. Section 50-13-4 Procedural requirements for adoption, amendment, or repeal of rules; emergency rules; limitation on action to contest rule; legislative override), and Rule 391-3-1-.02(7) “Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD)” as it relates to Class I areas along with the Regional Haze SIP Plan provide for consultation with government officials whose jurisdictions might be affected by SIP development activities. These consultation procedures were developed in coordination with the transportation partners in the State and are consistent with the approaches used for development of mobile inventories for SIPs. Implementation of transportation conformity as outlined in the consultation procedures requires GA EPD to consult with federal, state and local transportation and air quality agency officials on the development of motor vehicle emissions budgets. The Regional Haze SIP provides for consultation between appropriate state, local, and tribal air pollution control agencies as well as the corresponding Federal Land Managers.

    Public notification (127 public notification): GA EPD has public notice mechanisms in place to notify the public of ozone and other pollutant forecasting, including an air quality monitoring Web site providing ground level ozone alerts, http://www.georgiaair.org/smogforecast/. Regulation 391-3-1-.04, “Air Pollution Episodes,” requires that EPD notify the public of any air pollution episode or NAAQS violation. Additionally, the Georgia SIP process affords the public an opportunity to participate in regulatory and other efforts to improve air quality by holding public hearings for interested persons to appear and submit written or oral comments.

    Visibility Protection: EPA's September 2013 Infrastructure SIP Guidance notes that EPA does not generally treat the visibility protection aspects of section 110(a)(2)(J) as applicable for purposes of the infrastructure SIP approval process. EPA recognizes that states are subject to visibility protection and regional haze program requirements under Part C of the Act (which includes sections 169A and 169B). However, in the event of the establishment of a new primary NAAQS, the visibility protection and regional haze program requirements under part C do not change. Thus, EPA concludes there are no new applicable visibility protection obligations under section 110(a)(2)(J) as a result of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS that need to be addressed in Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission as it relates to visibility protection.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide consultation with government officials, public notification related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS when necessary, and, as explained above, is sufficient for visibility protection for this element.

    11. 110(a)(2)(K) Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data: Section 110(a)(2)(K) of the CAA requires that SIPs provide for performing air quality modeling so that effects on air quality of emissions from NAAQS pollutants can be predicted and submission of such data to the USEPA can be made. Regulation 391-3-1-.02(7)(b)(8), “Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality (PSD)-Air Quality Models,” incorporates by reference 40 CFR 52.21(l), which specifies that air modeling be conducted in accordance with 40 CFR part 51, Appendix W “Guideline on Air Quality Models.” This regulation demonstrates that Georgia has the authority to perform air quality modeling and to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Additionally, Georgia supports a regional effort to coordinate the development of emissions inventories and conduct regional modeling for several NAAQS, including the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, for the Southeastern states. Taken as a whole, Georgia's air quality regulations demonstrate that GA EPD has the authority to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide for air quality modeling, along with analysis of the associated data, related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS when necessary.

    12. 110(a)(2)(L) Permitting fees: This element necessitates that the SIP require the owner or operator of each major stationary source to pay to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under the CAA, 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.

    To satisfy these requirements, Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission cites Rule 391-3-1-.03(9) “Permit Fees,” 21 which includes the federally approved title V fee program. Additionally, Georgia's PSD and NNSR programs are funded by title V fees. Georgia's authority to charge fees or require funding for processing PSD and NNSR permits is provided for in the Georgia Air Quality Act: Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-10 Permit related fees; costs of public notice). Georgia's fully approved title V operating permit program covers the cost of implementation and enforcement of PSD and NNSR permits after they have been issued. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's practices adequately provide for permitting fees related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, when necessary.

    21 This rule is not approved into the federally approved SIP.

    13. 110(a)(2)(M) Consultation and Participation by Affected Local Entities: This element requires states to provide for consultation and participation in SIP development by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP. The Georgia Air Quality Act: Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-5 (b)(17) Powers and duties of Board of Natural Resources as to air quality generally) establishes “satisfactory processes of consultation and cooperation with local governments or other designated organizations of elected officials or federal agencies for purposes of planning [and implementation].” Furthermore, GA EPD has demonstrated consultation with, and participation by, affected local entities through its work with local political subdivisions during the developing of its Transportation Conformity SIP, and Regional Haze Implementation Plan. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with affected local entities related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, when necessary.

    V. Proposed Action

    With the exception of the PSD permitting requirements for major sources contained in section 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II) prong 3, and (J) and the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1, 2 and 4), EPA is proposing to approve GA EPD's infrastructure SIP submission, submitted May 14, 2012, for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS because it meets the above described infrastructure SIP requirements. EPA is proposing to approve these portions of Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS because these aspects of the submission are consistent with section 110 of the CAA. EPA previously acted upon Georgia's infrastructure submission for the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II) prong 3 and (J) on March 18, 2015, and will address prongs 1, 2, and 4 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) in a separate action.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. See 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this proposed action merely approves state law as meeting federal requirements and 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 Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17740 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    80 138 Monday, July 20, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of the Secretary Meeting Notice of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board AGENCY:

    Research, Education, and Economics, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App 2, Section 1408 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3123), and the Agricultural Act of 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces an open virtual meeting of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board.

    DATES:

    The National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board will meet via teleconference on August 11, 2015, at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will take place virtually at the AT&T Meeting Room below. Please follow the pre-registration instructions to ensure your participation in the meeting. Call-In instructions for Tuesday, August 11, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time: Web Preregistration: Participants may preregister for this teleconference at http://emsp.intellor.com?p=420632&do=register&t=8. Once the participant registers, a confirmation page will display dial-in numbers and a unique PIN, and the participant will also receive an email confirmation of this information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Esch, Designated Federal Officer and Executive Director, National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0321, Washington, DC 20250-0321; telephone: (202) 720-3684; fax: (202) 720-6199; or email: [email protected] For additional information on the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, visit http://nareeeab.ree.usda.gov/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On Tuesday, August 11, 2015, at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, a virtual meeting of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board will be conducted to hear the summary of findings and recommendations from the Animal Handling and Welfare Review Panel's Phase II report on the research animal care and well-being policies, procedures, and standards at the Agricultural Research Service. The National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board will provide additional advice and recommendations to USDA on the report and hear stakeholder input received at this meeting, as well as, other written comments. The report, entitled Findings and Recommendations on the Phase II Review of the Animal Care and Well-Being at the Agricultural Research Service to the Research, Education, and Economics Under Secretary, is available at www.ree.usda.gov.

    This meeting is open to the public and any interested individuals wishing to attend. Opportunity for verbal public comment will be offered on the day of the meeting. Written comments by attendees or other interested stakeholders will be welcomed for the public record before and up to the day of the meeting (by close of business Tuesday, August 11, 2015). All written statements must be sent to Michele Esch, Designated Federal Officer and Executive Director, National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0321, Washington, DC 20250-0321; or email: [email protected]. All statements will become a part of the official record of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board and will be kept on file for public review in the Research, Education, and Economics Advisory Board Office.

    Done at Washington, DC, this 10 day of July, 2015. Ann Bartuska, Deputy Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17708 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request July 14, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received by August 19, 2015. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958 or (202) 720-8681.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Office of the Chief Financial Officer

    Title: Suspension and Debarment and Drug-Free Workplace Certifications.

    OMB Control Number: 0505—New.

    Summary of Collection: Suspension and debarment is a discretionary or statutory administrative action taken by Federal agencies to protect the government by excluding person and entities that are not presently responsible from participating in Federal programs or activities. The information will be collected by USDA Federal financial assistance agencies as certifying information concerning applicant suitability in compliance with Federal Suspension and Debarment and Drug-Free Work Place regulations, as defined by 2 CFR parts 180, 417 and Public Law 100-690, Title V, Subtitle D; 41 U.S.C., 8101 et seq., 2 CFR parts 182 and 421.

    Need and Use of the Information: The information will be collected using the following Forms: AD-1047, Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters Primary Covered Transaction; AD-1048, Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion Lower Tier Covered Transactions; AD-1049, Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements (Grants) Alternative I—For Grantees Other than Individuals; AD-1050, Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements (Grants) Alternative II—For Grantees Who Are Individuals; AD-1052, Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace State and State Agencies, Federal Fiscal Year.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or household; Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions; Federal Government; State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 1.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: One time.

    Total Burden Hours: 1.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17671 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-KS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Information Collection Activity; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on the following information collections for which the RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by September 18, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 1522, Room 5164, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-4492. Fax: (202) 720-8435 or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities [see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)]. This notice identifies information collections that USDA Rural Development is submitting to OMB for extension.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 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 on respondents, 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 Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 1522, Room 5164, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-4492. Fax: (202) 720-8435 or email [email protected]

    Title: Borrower Investments—Telecommunications Loan Program, 7 CFR 1744, Subpart E.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0098.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Abstract: The Rural Economic Development Act of 1990, Title XXIII of the Farm Bill, Public Law 101-624, authorized qualified Rural Utilities Service (RUS) borrowers to make investments in rural development projects without the prior approval of the Agency's Administrator provided that such investments do not cause the borrower to exceed its allowable qualified investment level as determined in accordance with the procedures set forth in 7 CFR part 1744, subpart E. When a borrower exceeds these limits, the security for the Government's loans could be in jeopardy. However, in the interest of encouraging rural development, RUS will consider approving such investments that exceed a borrower's qualified investment level. This information collection covers those items that a borrower would need to submit to RUS for consideration of the borrower's request to make such an investment.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response.

    Respondents: Not for profit institutions; business or other for-profit entities.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 2.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 1 hour.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17673 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-15-P
    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-45-2015] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 277—Western Maricopa County, Arizona; Notification of Proposed Production Activity;The Cookson Company, Inc. (Rolling Steel Doors); Goodyear, Arizona

    The Cookson Company, Inc. (Cookson) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility in Goodyear, Arizona within FTZ 277. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on July 13, 2015.

    The Cookson facility is located within Site 11 of FTZ 277. The facility is used for the assembly and production of rolling steel doors. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials and components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Cookson from customs duty payments on the foreign status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, Cookson would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to rolling steel doors (duty-free) for the foreign status inputs noted below. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign status production equipment.

    The components and materials sourced from abroad include: hand and roller steel chains; limit switches; single-phase AC electric motors/gear motors; multi-phase AC electric motors/gear motors; steel cranks; motor overload protectors; mounted and unmounted timers for door closure assemblies; power boards; transformers (40VA or greater); electro-mechanical alarm interfaces; fire door testing releases and converter mechanisms; steel door limits; contactors; battery backups; and, steel bolts (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 6.6%).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is August 31, 2015.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Elizabeth Whiteman at [email protected] or (202) 482-0473.

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17749 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-549-821] Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags From Thailand: Notice of Initiation and Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that TPBI Public Company Limited (TPBI) is the successor-in-interest to Thai Plastic Bags Industries Company Limited (Thai Plastic Bags) for purposes of the antidumping duty order on polyethylene retail carrier bags (PRCBs) from Thailand and, as such, will be entitled to Thai Plastic Bags's exclusion from the antidumping duty order. We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective: July 20, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas Schauer, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0410.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On June 18, 2004, the Department published the Order on PRCBs from Thailand.1 On August 12, 2010, the Department revoked the Order on PRCBs from Thailand with respect to PRCBs manufactured and exported by Thai Plastic Bags as the result of a section 129 proceeding.2

    1See Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags from Thailand, 69 FR 34122 (June 18, 2004) (Order).

    2See Notice of Implementation of Determination Under Section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act and Partial Revocation of the Antidumping Duty Order on Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags From Thailand, 75 FR 48940 (August 12, 2010).

    On June 4, 2015, TPBI requested that the Department initiate an expedited changed circumstances review to confirm that TPBI is the successor-in-interest to Thai Plastic Bags for purposes of determining antidumping duty liabilities.3 The petitioner supports TPBI's request for this changed circumstances review.4 We received no comments opposing TPBI's request.

    3See Letter from TPBI to the Department, “Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags (PRCBs) from Thailand: Request for Expedited Changed Circumstances Review” (June 4, 2015) (CCR Request).

    4Id., at Exhibit 9.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order includes PRCBs from the Thailand. PRCBs are currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading 3923.21.0085. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written product description is dispositive.5

    5 For a complete description of the Scope of the Order, see Memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, entitled “Antidumping Duty Order on Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags from Thailand: Decision Memorandum for the Initiation and Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review Requested by TPBI Public Company Limited ” dated concurrently with this notice and hereby adopted by this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Methodology

    In making a successor-in-interest determination, the Department typically examines several factors including, but not limited to, changes in: (1) Management; (2) production facilities; (3) supplier relationships; and (4) customer base.6 While no single factor or combination of factors will necessarily be dispositive, the Department generally will consider the new company to be the successor to the predecessor if the resulting operations of the successor are essentially the same as those of its predecessor.7 Thus, if the record demonstrates that, with respect to the production and sale of the subject merchandise, the new company operates as the same business entity as the predecessor company, the Department may assign the new company the cash deposit rate of its predecessor.8 For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix I of this notice.

    6See, e.g., Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Initiation of Changed Circumstances Review, 74 FR 19934, 19935 (April 30, 2009).

    7See, e.g., Notice of Initiation of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review: Certain Forged Stainless Steel Flanges from India, 71 FR 327 (January 4, 2006).

    8See, e.g., Fresh and Chilled Atlantic Salmon From Norway; Final Results of Changed Circumstances Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 64 FR 9979, 9980 (March 1, 1999).

    Initiation and Preliminary Results of the Changed Circumstances Review

    Pursuant to section 751(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.216(d), the Department will conduct a changed circumstances review (CCR) upon receipt of a request from an interested party or receipt of information concerning an antidumping duty order which shows changed circumstances sufficient to warrant a review of the order. Section 351.221(c)(3)(ii) of the Department's regulations permits the Department to combine the initiation and preliminary results of a CCR if the Department concludes that expedited action is warranted. In this instance, we have information on the record necessary to reach the preliminary results of CCR. As such, we find that expedited action is warranted. Accordingly, we have combined the preliminary results with the initiation.

    We preliminarily determine that TPBI is the successor-in-interest to Thai Plastic Bags for the purposes of administering the Order and its revocation with respect to Thai Plastic Bags. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum provides a full description of the analysis underlying our conclusions.

    Public Comment

    Interested parties may submit case briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.9 Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than five days after the date for filing case briefs.10 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.11 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce. All documents must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).12 An electronically-filed request must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.13 Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs.

    9See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii).

    10See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    11See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    12 ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov.

    13See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.216(e), the Department intends to issue the final results of this changed circumstance review not later than 270 days after the date on which the review is initiated, or within 45 days if all parties agree to our preliminary finding.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(b) and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.216 and 351.221(c)(3)(ii).

    Dated: July 14, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Successor-in-Interest Analysis A. Analytical Framework B. Relevant Facts 1. Management 2. Production Facilities 3. Customer Base 4. Suppliers C. Analysis 1. Time Period 2. Successorship Analysis a. Management b. Production Facilities c. Customer Base d. Suppliers V. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2015-17732 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE012 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR); Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of SEDAR 41 Data Workshop II for South Atlantic red snapper and gray triggerfish.

    SUMMARY:

    The SEDAR 41 assessments of the South Atlantic stocks of red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) and gray triggerfish (Balistes capriscus) will consist of: Data Workshops; an Assessment Workshop; and a Review Workshop. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES:

    The SEDAR 41 Data Workshop II will be held on August 4, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.; August 5, 2015, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.; and August 6, 2015, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. The established times may be adjusted as necessary to accommodate the timely completion of discussion relevant to the assessment process. Such adjustments may result in the meeting being extended from, or completed prior to the time established by this notice. The Assessment Workshop and Review Workshop dates and times will publish in a subsequent issue in the Federal Register. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The SEDAR 41 Data Workshop will be held at the Charleston Marriott, 170 Lockwood Boulevard, Charleston, SC 29403; phone: (843) 732-3000.

    SEDAR address: 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julia Byrd, SEDAR Coordinator; phone: (843) 571-4366; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions have implemented the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process, a multi-step method for determining the status of fish stocks in the Southeast Region. SEDAR is a three step process including: (1) Data Workshop(s); (2) Assessment Process utilizing workshops and webinars; and (3) Review Workshop. The product of the Data Workshop(s) is a data report which compiles and evaluates potential datasets and recommends which datasets are appropriate for assessment analyses. The product of the Assessment Process is a stock assessment report which describes the fisheries, evaluates the status of the stock, estimates biological benchmarks, projects future population conditions, and recommends research and monitoring needs. The assessment is independently peer reviewed at the Review Workshop. The product of the Review Workshop is a Summary documenting panel opinions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the stock assessment and input data. Participants for SEDAR Workshops are appointed by the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office and Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Participants include: data collectors and database managers; stock assessment scientists, biologists, and researchers; constituency representatives including fishermen, environmentalists, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs); international experts; and staff of Councils, Commissions, and state and federal agencies.

    An assessment data set and associated documentation will be developed during the Data Workshops. Participants will evaluate available data and select appropriate sources for providing information on life history characteristics, catch statistics, discard estimates, length and age composition, and fishery independent and fishery dependent measures of stock abundance, as specified in the Terms of Reference for the workshop. This workshop will build on the work and decisions made at the 2014 SEDAR 41 Data Workshop.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the SEDAR office (see ADDRESSES) at least 10 business days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17722 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD983 Record of Decision for the Final NOAA Restoration Center Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of a Record of Decision.

    SUMMARY:

    The NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces the availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Final NOAA Restoration Center Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. The NMFS Office of Habitat Conservation Director signed the ROD on July 20, 2015, which constitutes the agency's final decision.

    ADDRESSES:

    Frederick C. Sutter, Director, Office of Habitat Conservation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melanie Gange, by mail at NOAA Restoration Center/FHC3, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910; or by telephone at 301-427-8664.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The PEIS evaluated broad issues and programmatic-level alternatives (compared to a document for a specific project or action) for future restoration activities to be carried out by NOAA. In addition to providing a programmatic analysis, NOAA intends to use this document to approve future site-specific actions, including grant actions, as long as the activity being proposed is within the range of alternatives and scope of potential environmental consequences described in the PEIS, and does not have significant adverse impacts. Any future site-specific restoration activities proposed by NOAA that are not within the scope of alternatives or environmental consequences considered in the PEIS will require additional analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

    The ROD documents the decision by NOAA to select and implement the “Current Management” alternative as its preferred alternative. The alternative represents a comprehensive programmatic restoration approach that includes funding or conducting activities such as providing technical assistance; on-the-ground riverine and coastal habitat restoration activities (including but not limited to: Fish passage projects; channel, bank, and floodplain restoration; buffer area and watershed revegetation; salt marsh restoration; oyster restoration; marine debris removal; submerged aquatic vegetation planting; invasive species removal; and coral restoration); and habitat conservation transactions. Because this is a continuation of NOAA Restoration Center's (RC) on-going restoration programs with no change in management direction, it was also considered to be the “No Action” alternative.

    The NOAA RC is not soliciting comments on the PEIS but will consider any comments submitted that would assist us in preparing future NEPA documents. An electronic copy of the PEIS is available at: http://www.restoration.noaa.gov/environmentalcompliance. Electronic correspondence regarding it can be submitted to [email protected] Otherwise, please submit any written comments via U.S. mail to the responsible official named in the ADDRESSES section.

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Frederick C. Sutter, Director, Office of Habitat Conservation, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17739 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE033 North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) Ecosystem Committee will meet in Juneau, AK.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held August 6-7, 2015, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute, Auke Bay Laboratories, 17109 Pt. Lena Loop Road, Juneau, AK 99801.

    Council address: North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W. 4th Ave., Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501-2252.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve MacLean, Council staff; phone: (907) 271-2809.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the Ecosystem Committee is to review progress on development of a strawman Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP) Module, and development of a discussion paper planned for presentation to the Council in December, 2015. The Committee will also discuss scheduling for future meetings. The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version will be posted at http://www.npfmc.org/.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is 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 15, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17723 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE019 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Cost Recovery Program AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notification of fee percentage.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS publishes notification of a 1.48 percent fee for cost recovery under the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program. This action is intended to provide holders of crab allocations with the fee percentage for the 2015/2016 crab fishing year so they can calculate the required payment for cost recovery fees that must be submitted by July 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    The Crab Rationalization Program Registered Crab Receiver permit holder is responsible for submitting the fee liability payment to NMFS on or before July 31, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Keeley Kent, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    NMFS Alaska Region administers the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program (Program) in the North Pacific. Fishing under the Program began on August 15, 2005. Regulations implementing the Program can be found at 50 CFR part 680.

    The Program is a limited access system authorized by section 313(j) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The Program includes a cost recovery provision to collect fees to recover the actual costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the Program. NMFS developed the cost recovery provision to conform to statutory requirements and to partially reimburse the agency for the actual costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the Program. Section 313(j) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act provided supplementary authority to section 304(d)(2)(A) and additional detail for cost recovery provisions specific to the Program. The cost recovery provision allows collection of 133 percent of the actual management, data collection, and enforcement costs up to 3 percent of the ex-vessel value of crab harvested under the Program. Additionally, section 313(j) requires the harvesting and processing sectors to each pay half the cost recovery fees. Catcher/processor quota shareholders are required to pay the full fee percentage for crab processed at sea.

    A crab allocation holder generally incurs a cost recovery fee liability for every pound of crab landed. The crab allocations include Individual Fishing Quota, Crew Individual Fishing Quota, Individual Processing Quota, Community Development Quota, and the Adak community allocation. The Registered Crab Receiver (RCR) permit holder must collect the fee liability from the crab allocation holder who is landing crab. Additionally, the RCR permit holder must collect his or her own fee liability for all crab delivered to the RCR. The RCR permit holder is responsible for submitting this payment to NMFS on or before July 31, in the year following the crab fishing year in which landings of crab were made.

    The dollar amount of the fee due is determined by multiplying the fee percentage (not to exceed 3 percent) by the ex-vessel value of crab debited from the allocation. Specific details on the Program's cost recovery provision may be found in the implementing regulations at 50 CFR 680.44.

    Fee Percentage

    Each year, NMFS calculates and publishes in the Federal Register the fee percentage according to the factors and methodology described in Federal regulations at § 680.44(c)(2). The formula for determining the fee percentage is the “direct program costs” divided by “value of the fishery,” where “direct program costs” are the direct program costs for the Program for the previous fiscal year, and “value of the fishery” is the ex-vessel value of the catch subject to the crab cost recovery fee liability for the current year. Fee collections for any given year may be less than, or greater than, the actual costs and fishery value for that year, because, by regulation, the fee percentage is established in the first quarter of a crab fishery year based on the fishery value and the costs of the prior year.

    Based upon the fee percentage formula described above, the estimated percentage of costs to value for the 2014/2015 fishery was 1.48 percent. Therefore, the fee percentage will be 1.48 percent for the 2015/2016 crab fishing year. This is an increase of 0.83 percent from the 2013/2014 fee percentage of 0.65 percent (79 FR 44403, July 31, 2014). The change in the fee percentage from 2013/2014 to 2014/2015 is due to an increase in NMFS management costs. These additional costs were necessary to maintain and upgrade NMFS' permitting systems and the Internet-based crab landings system used for the program. The value of crab harvested under the Program also increased from 2013/2014 to 2014/2015 by $29 million. This increase in value of the fishery offset some of the management cost increases and so limited the change in the fee percentage between 2013/2014 and 2014/2015.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1862; Pub. L. 109-241; Pub. L. 109-479.

    Dated: July 14, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17639 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE058 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Hearings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public hearings.

    SUMMARY:

    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold public hearings in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida and a Question and Answer Webinar for Regulatory Amendment 16 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan for the South Atlantic. The Council will also hold public hearings in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida and a Question and Answer Webinar for Amendment 36 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan for the South Atlantic. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES:

    The public hearings will be held between August 10 and August 25, 2015. There will be a question and answer webinar on August 3 and August 5, 2015. Please see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for specific details.

    ADDRESSES:

    The hearings for Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 16 will be held in Little River, SC, Jacksonville, NC, Ormond Beach, FL. The hearings for Snapper Grouper Amendment 36 will be held in North Charleston, SC, Murrells Inlet, SC, Morehead City, NC, Brunswick, GA and Daytona Beach, FL, with an additional hearing being held via webinar. Please see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for specific locations.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kim Iverson, Public Information Officer, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405; phone: (843) 571-4366 or toll free (866) SAFMC-10; fax: (843) 769-4520; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The hearings on Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 16 will take place August 11 (Little River, SC), August 12 (Jacksonville, NC), and August 17 (Ormond Beach, FL). The Question and Answer Webinar for Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 16 will be on Monday, August 3, 2015.

    The public hearings for Snapper Grouper Amendment 36 will take place August 10 (N. Charleston, SC), August 12 (Murrells Inlet, SC), August 13 (Morehead City, NC), August 18 (Webinar hearing), August 24 (Brunswick, GA), and August 25 (Daytona Beach, FL). The Question and Answer Webinar for Snapper Grouper Amendment 36 will be on Monday, August 5, 2015.

    Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 16 (black sea bass pots)

    The Q&A Session for Regulatory Amendment 16 will begin at 6 p.m. on Monday, August 3, 2015. Registration is required and registration information will be posted on the Council's Web site at www.safmc.net as it becomes available.

    Public Hearings for Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 16 begin at 4 p.m. in the following locations:

    1. August 11, 2015: Holiday Inn Express, 722 Highway 17, Little River, SC 29566; phone: (843) 281-9400.

    2. August 12, 2015: Comfort Suites, 130 Workshop Lane, Jacksonville, NC 28546; phone: (910) 346-8900.

    3. August 17, 2015: Hull's Seafood Market/Restaurant, 111 West Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach, FL 32174; phone: (386) 677-1511.

    Snapper Grouper Amendment 36 (Spawning SMZs)

    The Q&A Session for Snapper Grouper Amendment 36 will begin at 6 p.m. on Monday, August 5, 2015. Registration is required and registration information will be posted on the Council's Web site at www.safmc.net as is becomes available.

    Public Hearings for Snapper Grouper Amendment 36 begin at 4 p.m. in the following locations:

    1. August 10, 2015: Hilton Garden Inn, 5265 International Blvd., N. Charleston, SC 29418; phone: (843) 308-9330.

    2. August 12, 2015: Murrells Inlet Community Center, 4462 Murrells Inlet Road, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576; phone: (843) 651-7373.

    3. August 13, 2015: NC Division of Marine Fisheries, Central District Office, 5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead City, NC 28557; phone: (252) 726-7021.

    4. August 18, 2015: Public Hearing via webinar—registration for the webinar is required. Information regarding registration will be posted on the Council's Web site at www.safmc.net.

    5. August 24, 2015: Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources Division, One Conservation Way, Brunswick, GA 31520-8687; phone: (912) 264-7218.

    6. August 25, 2015: Hilton Garden Inn—Daytona Beach Airport, 189 Midway Ave., Daytona Beach, FL 32114; phone: (386) 944-4000.

    Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 16

    Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 16 has two actions. The first action is to consider options for opening the commercial South Atlantic black sea bass pot fishery from November 1 through April 30 while still providing protection for ESA listed whales during that period. The second action has alternatives that would require modifications to black sea bass pot gear such as reducing buoy line and weak link strength, as well as require markings that would identify gear as being specific to the South Atlantic black sea bass pot fishery. Background information regarding Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 16, including a public hearing draft of the document, a document summary, and a PowerPoint presentation will be posted to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Web site www.safmc.net no later than 5 p.m. on July 30, 2015. In addition to making public comments in person, interested persons can make comments via email or U.S. mail no later than 5 p.m. on August 21, 2015. Email comments may be sent to: [email protected]. Please include the words “Regulatory Amendment 16” in the subject line of the email. Comments submitted by U.S. mail should be sent to: Robert K. Mahood, Executive Director, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405.

    Snapper Grouper Amendment 36

    Snapper Grouper Amendment 36 has nine actions. Action 1 modifies the Special Management Zone (SMZ) procedures to include protection of natural bottom; Action 2 modifies the framework procedure to allow modification of and/or additional Spawning SMZs; Actions 3-7 includes alternatives to establish Spawning SMZs off NC, SC, GA, and FL where fishing for snapper grouper species would be prohibited, however, fishing for other species (e.g., billfish, tunas, mackerels) would be allowed; Action 8 would establish transit and anchoring provisions; and Action 9 would add a “sunset provision” for Spawning SMZs after 10 years if not reauthorized. Background information regarding Snapper Grouper Amendment 36, including a public hearing draft of the document, a document summary, and a PowerPoint presentation will be posted to the Council's Web site (www.safmc.net) no later than 5 p.m. on July 30, 2015. Written comments will also be accepted via email or U.S. mail until 5 p.m. on August 31, 2015. Email comments to: [email protected] Please include the words “Amendment 36” in the subject line of the email. Comments submitted by U.S. mail should be sent to: Robert K. Mahood, Executive Director, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405.

    Special Accommodations

    These hearings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the council office (see ADDRESSES) 3 days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Dated: July 14, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17650 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory Committees AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Amendment of Federal Advisory Committee.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce that it is amending the charter for the Defense Business Board (“the Board”).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jim Freeman, Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, 703-692-5952.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This committee's charter is being amended in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended) and 41 CFR 102-3.50(d).

    The Board is a discretionary Federal advisory committee that provides the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense with independent advice and recommendations on critical matters concerning the Department of Defense (DoD). The Board shall examine and advise on overall DoD management and governance from a private sector perspective.

    The DoD, through the Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer (DCMO), shall provide support for the performance of the Board's functions and shall ensure compliance with the requirements of the FACA, the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended) (“the Sunshine Act”), governing Federal statutes and regulations, and established DoD policies and procedures.

    The Board shall be composed of no more than 35 members. The members must possess the following: (a) A proven track record of sound judgment in leading or governing large, complex private sector corporations or organizations and (b) a wealth of top-level, global business experience in the areas of executive management, corporate governance, audit and finance, human resources, economics, technology, or healthcare. The Board members will be appointed by the Secretary of Defense or the Deputy Secretary of Defense for a term of service of one-to-four years and will be renewed on an annual basis in accordance with DoD policies and procedures. Members of the Board who are not full-time or permanent part-time Federal officers or employees will be appointed as experts or consultants pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3109 to serve as special government employee (SGE) members. Members of the Board who are full-time or permanent part-time Federal officers or employees will be appointed pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.130(a) to serve as regular government employee (RGE) members. All members of the Board are appointed to provide advice on the basis of their best judgment without representing any particular point of view and in a manner that is free from conflict of interest.

    Consistent with Deputy Secretary of Defense policy, the DCMO may appoint the Board chair or vice chairs from among the Secretary of Defense approved Board membership and, in doing so, the DCMO shall determine the term of service for the Board chair and/or chairs, which shall not exceed the member's approved term of service.

    All Board members will be reimbursed for travel and per diem as it pertains to official business of the Board. Board members will serve without compensation. No member, unless authorized by the Secretary of Defense or the Deputy Secretary of Defense, may serve more than two consecutive terms of service on the Board, to include its subcommittees, or serve on more than two DoD federal advisory committees at one time.

    The Secretary of Defense or the Deputy Secretary of Defense, according to DoD policies and procedures pertaining to inviting or appointing individuals to serve on advisory committees, may invite the chairs of the Defense Policy Board and the Defense Science Board to serve as non-voting ex-officio SGE members of the Board and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Comptroller General of the United States to serve as non-voting ex-officio RGE members of the Board. The non-voting ex-officio SGE members may speak to the Board membership only on those topics governed by their respective advisory boards provided the information has been voted on by their membership and is available to the general public. They do not represent their respective advisory boards. These non-voting ex-officio SGE and RGE members, when invited by the Secretary of Defense, will not count toward the Board's total membership and may not participate in the Board's deliberations.

    The Director of Administration, Office of the DCMO, on behalf of the Secretary of Defense, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the DCMO and pursuant to DoD policies and procedures, may appoint, as deemed necessary, non-voting subject matter experts (SMEs) to assist the Board or its subcommittees on an ad hoc basis. These non-voting SMEs are not members of the Board or its subcommittees and will not engage or participate in any deliberations by the Board or its subcommittees. These non-voting SMEs, if not full-time or permanent part-time Federal government officers or employees, will be appointed pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3109 on an intermittent basis to address specific issues under consideration by the Board.

    DoD, when necessary and consistent with the Board's mission and DoD policies and procedures, may establish subcommittees, task forces, or working groups to support the Board. Establishment of subcommittees will be based upon a written determination, to include terms of reference, by the Secretary of Defense or the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Such subcommittees shall not work independently of the Board and shall report all their recommendations and advice solely to the Board for full deliberation and discussion. Subcommittees, task forces, or working groups have no authority to make decisions and recommendations, verbally or in writing, on behalf of the Board. No subcommittee or any of its members can update or report, verbally or in writing, directly to the DoD or to any Federal officer or employee.

    The Secretary of Defense or the Deputy Secretary of Defense shall appoint subcommittee members even if the member in question is already a member of the Board. Subcommittee members, with the approval of the Secretary of Defense, may serve a term of one-to-four years, subject to annual renewals of their appointment; however, no individual appointed to any subcommittee of the Board shall serve more than a total of two consecutive terms of service on the Board including any subcommittees unless otherwise authorized by the Secretary of Defense or the Deputy Secretary of Defense.

    Subcommittee members, if not full-time or permanent part-time Federal officers or employees, will be appointed as experts or consultants pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3109 to serve as SGE members. Those subcommittee members who are full-time or permanent part-time Federal officers or employees will be appointed pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.130(a) to serve as RGE employees. With the exception reimbursement of official travel and per diem related to the Board or its subcommittees, subcommittee members shall serve without compensation.

    Each subcommittee member is appointed to provide advice on behalf of the Government on the basis of his or her best judgment without representing any particular point of view and in a manner that is free from conflict of interest.

    Consistent with Deputy Secretary of Defense policy, the DCMO may appoint the subcommittee chair or chairs from among the Secretary of Defense approved subcommittee membership and, in doing so, the DCMO shall determine the term of service for the subcommittee chair or chairs, which shall not exceed the member's approved term of service.

    All subcommittees operate under the provisions of FACA, the Sunshine Act, governing Federal statutes and regulations, and established DoD policies and procedures.

    The Board's Designated Federal Officer (DFO) must be a full-time or permanent part-time DoD employee, designated in accordance with established DoD policies and procedures.

    The Board's DFO is required to attend all meetings of the Board and its subcommittees for the entire duration of each and every meeting. However, in the absence of the Board's DFO, a properly approved Alternate DFO, duly appointed to the Board according to DoD policies and procedures, must attend the entire duration of all meetings of the Board or its subcommittees.

    The DFO, or the Alternate DFO, shall call all of the Board and its subcommittees meetings; prepare and approve all meeting agendas; and adjourn any meeting when the DFO, or the Alternate DFO, determines adjournment to be in the public interest or required by governing regulations or DoD policies and procedures.

    Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140, the public or interested organizations may submit written statements to Board membership about the Board's mission and functions. Written statements may be submitted at any time or in response to the stated agenda of planned meeting of the Board.

    All written statements shall be submitted to the DFO for the Board, and this individual will ensure that the written statements are provided to the membership for their consideration. Contact information for the Board's DFO can be obtained from the GSA's FACA Database—http://www.facadatabase.gov/.

    The DFO, pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.150, will announce planned meetings of the Board. The DFO, at that time, may provide additional guidance on the submission of written statements that are in response to the stated agenda for the planned meeting in question.

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17696 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Judicial Proceedings Since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel (Judicial Proceedings Panel); Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Judicial Proceedings since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel (“the Judicial Proceedings Panel” or “the Panel”). The meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    A meeting of the Judicial Proceedings Panel will be held on Thursday, August 6, 2015. The Public Session will begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The George Washington University, School of Law, Faculty Conference Center, 2000 H St. NW., Washington, DC 20052.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Julie Carson, Judicial Proceedings Panel, One Liberty Center, 875 N. Randolph Street, Suite 150, Arlington, VA 22203. Email: [email protected]. Phone: (703) 693-3849. Web site: http://jpp.whs.mil.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This public meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting: In section 576(a)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Pub. L. 112-239), as amended, Congress tasked the Judicial Proceedings Panel to conduct an independent review and assessment of judicial proceedings conducted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) involving adult sexual assault and related offenses since the amendments made to the UCMJ by section 541 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Pub. L. 112-81; 125 Stat. 1404), for the purpose of developing recommendations for improvements to such proceedings. At this meeting, the Panel will review plans to address current and pending topics and deliberate on issues relating to restitution and compensation for sexual assault victims and retaliation against individuals who report incidents of sexual assault within the military. The Panel is interested in written and oral comments from the public, including non-governmental organizations, relevant to these issues or any of the Panel's tasks.

    Agenda • 8:30-9:00 Administrative Session (41 CFR 102-3.160, not subject to notice & open meeting requirements) • 9:00-10:00 Panel Discussion Regarding Current and Pending Topics: Restitution and Compensation, Retaliation against Sexual Assault Victims, Trends and Statistics of Sexual Assault Crimes Response, and Article 120 of the UCMJ (Public meeting begins) • 10:00-12:30 Deliberations: Restitution and Compensation for Sexual Assault Victims • 12:30-1:00 Lunch • 1:00-4:30 Deliberations: Retaliation Against Victims of Sexual Assault Crimes • 4:30-4:45 Break • 4:45-5:00 Public Comment

    Availability of Materials for the Meeting: A copy of the August 6, 2015 meeting agenda or any updates or changes to the agenda, to include individual speakers not identified at the time of this notice, as well as other materials presented related to the meeting, may be obtained at the meeting or from the Panel's Web site at http://jpp.whs.mil.

    Public's Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. Seating is limited and is on a first-come basis.

    Special Accommodations: Individuals requiring special accommodations to access the public meeting should contact Ms. Julie Carson at [email protected] at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

    Procedures for Providing Public Comments: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments to the Panel about its mission and topics pertaining to this public session. Written comments must be received by Ms. Julie Carson at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting date so that they may be made available to the Judicial Proceedings Panel for their consideration prior to the meeting. Written comments should be submitted via email to Ms. Carson at [email protected] in the following formats: Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word. Please note that since the Judicial Proceedings Panel operates under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, all written comments will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection. If members of the public are interested in making an oral statement, a written statement must be submitted along with a request to provide an oral statement. Oral presentations by members of the public will be permitted between 4:45 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on August 6, 2015 in front of the JPP members. The number of oral presentations to be made will depend on the number of requests received from members of the public on a first-come basis. After reviewing the requests for oral presentation, the Chairperson and the Designated Federal Officer will, having determined the statement to be relevant to the Panel's mission, allot five minutes to persons desiring to make an oral presentation.

    Committee's Designated Federal Officer: The Panel's Designated Federal Officer is Ms. Maria Fried, Judicial Proceedings Panel, 1600 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B747, Washington, DC 20301-1600.

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17720 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION List of Correspondence From April 1, 2014 Through June 30, 2014 and July 1, 2014 Through September 30, 2014 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary is publishing the following list of correspondence from the U.S. Department of Education (Department) to individuals during the second and third quarters of 2014. The correspondence describes the Department's interpretations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or the regulations that implement the IDEA. This list and the letters or other documents described in this list, with personally identifiable information redacted, as appropriate, can be found at: www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/index.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jessica Spataro or Mary Louise Dirrigl. Telephone: (202) 245-7605.

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

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of this list and the letters or other documents described in this list in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting Jessica Spataro or Mary Louise Dirrigl at (202) 245-7605.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The following list identifies correspondence from the Department issued from April 1, 2014 through June 30, 2014 and July 1, 2014 through September 30, 2014. Under section 607(f) of the IDEA, the Secretary is required to publish this list quarterly in the Federal Register. The list includes those letters that contain interpretations of the requirements of the IDEA and its implementing regulations, as well as letters and other documents that the Department believes will assist the public in understanding the requirements of the law. The list identifies the date and topic of each letter and provides summary information, as appropriate. To protect the privacy interests of the individual or individuals involved, personally identifiable information has been redacted, as appropriate.

    Part B—Assistance for Education of All Children With Disabilities Section 611—Authorization; Allotment; Use of Funds; Authorization of Appropriations; and Section 619—Preschool Grants Topic Addressed: Subgrants to Local Educational Agencies

    ○ Letter dated June 11, 2014, to Chief State School Officers, providing guidance on how recent changes to the National School Lunch Program could affect the manner in which State educational agencies allocate Part B of IDEA funds to local educational agencies (LEAs) based on their relative numbers of children living in poverty.

    Section 612—State Eligibility Topic Addressed: Children in Private Schools

    ○ Letter dated September 29, 2014, to Teach NYS President Sam Sutton and consultant David Rubel, regarding whether certain inclusive models could be used in the delivery of special education and related services to children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private schools.

    Section 615—Procedural Safeguards Topic Addressed: Impartial Due Process Hearings

    ○ Letter dated June 2, 2014, to Pennsylvania Attorney Mark W. Voigt, regarding a State's timeline for an LEA to implement a final due process hearing decision.

    Part C—Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities Section 640—Payor of Last Resort Topic Addressed: System of Payments

    ○ Letter dated July 10, 2014, to Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services Part C Coordinator Kim Wedel, clarifying how the system of payment requirements can be implemented while using a parent's or child's public and private insurance or benefits as a funding source for services under Part C of IDEA.

    Other Letters That Do Not Interpret Idea But May Be of Interest to Readers

    ○ Dear Colleague Letter from the Office for Civil Rights dated May 14, 2014, regarding the applicability to public charter schools of Federal civil rights laws, regulations, and guidance.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Michael K. Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17766 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL15-67-000] Linden VFT, LLC v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.; Notice of Amended Complaint

    Take notice that on July 10, 2015, pursuant to sections 206 and 306 of the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 824(e) and 825(e) and Rule 206 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.206, Linden VFT, LLC (Complainant), filed an amended complaint against PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM or Respondent), alleging that the Respondent's proposed cost allocations for projects resulting from PJM's 2013 Regional Transmission Expansion Plan, including Public Service Electric and Gas Company upgrades, are unjust, unreasonable, unduly discriminatory, and preferential, as more fully explained in the complaint.

    The Complainant certifies that copies of the complaint were served on the contacts for the Respondent as listed on the Commission's list of Corporate Officials.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. The Respondent's answer and all interventions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. The Respondent's answer, motions to intervene, and protests must be served on the Complainants.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on July 30, 2015.

    Dated: July 14, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17695 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER11-3576-012; ER11-3401-011.

    Applicants: Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, Inc., Golden Spread Panhandle Wind Ranch, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-material Change in Status of Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, Inc.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15

    Accession Number: 20150713-5221.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1947-001.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Compliance filing: Designation of Filing Party assoc to Compliance Filing in Docket No. ER13-1947 to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 7/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150714-5095.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1196-003.

    Applicants: Nevada Power Company, Sierra Pacific Power Company.

    Description: Compliance Filing with no tariff revisions of Nevada Power Company, et al.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5227.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2200-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance Filing per 5/14/2015 Order in Docket No. ER13-1947-000 to be effective 1/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 7/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150714-5087.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2201-000.

    Applicants: Alabama Power Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Wheeler Solar (McRae Solar) SGIA Filing to be effective 6/29/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150714-5107.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2202-000.

    Applicants: Alabama Power Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Wheeler Solar (Wheeler Solar) SGIA Filing to be effective 6/29/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150714-5108.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2203-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-07-14_SA 2819 Certificate of Concurrence ComEd-Ameren TIA to be effective 7/13/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150714-5127.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2204-000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-07-14 Pricing Enhancements—ETC-TOR Self-Schedules to be effective 9/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150714-5135.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/4/15.

    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 14, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17694 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC15-98-000.

    Applicants: Union Power Partners, L.P., Entergy Arkansas, Inc., Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C., Entergy Texas, Inc.

    Description: Response to May 28, 2015 letter requesting additional information of Entergy Services, Inc. on behalf of Union Power Partners, L.P., et al.

    Filed Date: 6/30/15.

    Accession Number: 20150630-5458.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/14/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1942-001.

    Applicants: New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: NYISO Compliance Order 1000 Interregional Tariff Revisions to be effective 1/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5137.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1946-001.

    Applicants: New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance Filing Order No. 1000 Designation of Filing Party to be effective 7/13/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5140.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1957-001.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: Second Interregional Compliance Filing Protocol Agreement to be effective 7/13/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5106.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1960-001.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc., New England Power Pool Participants Committee.

    Description: Compliance filing: Second Interregional Compliance Filing Tariff Revisions to be effective 1/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5139.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-1661-001.

    Applicants: MidAmerican Central California Transco, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Settlement Compliance Filing to be effective 6/5/2014.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5101.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-535-002.

    Applicants: Nevada Power Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: OATT Order No. 676-H Compliance Filing 07.13.15 to be effective 5/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5138.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2184-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 3055 Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. NITSA NOA to be effective 6/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5053.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2185-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Service Agreement No. 4210; Queue No. Z2-090 to be effective 4/8/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5054.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2186-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-07-13 RSG Interchange Schedules Emergency Directives to be effective 9/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5125.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    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 13, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17692 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC15-167-000.

    Applicants: Sky River LLC, Sky River Asset Holdings, LLC, Sagebrush, a California partnership, Sagebrush Partner Fifteen, Inc.

    Description: Application of Sky River LLC, et al. for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Expedited Action.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5216.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-3168-013; ER15-356-003; ER15-357-003; ER12-2570-009; ER13-618-008.

    Applicants: ArcLight Energy Marketing, LLC, Chief Conemaugh Power, LLC, Chief Keystone Power, LLC, Panther Creek Power Operating, LLC, Westwood Generation, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of ArcLight Energy Marketing, LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5212.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-2871-005; ER10-3243-007; ER10-3244-007; ER10-3245-006; ER10-3249-006; ER10-3250-006; ER10-2977-006; ER10-3169-009; ER10-3251-005; ER14-2382-005; ER15-621-004; ER11-2639-006; ER15-622-004; ER15-463-004; ER15-110-004; ER13-1586-006; ER10-1992-012.

    Applicants: Cameron Ridge, LLC, Chandler Wind Partners, LLC, Coso Geothermal Power Holdings, LLC, Foote Creek II, LLC, Foote Creek III, LLC, Foote Creek IV, LLC, Mesquite Power, LLC, Michigan Power Limited Partnership, Oak Creek Wind Power, LLC, ON Wind Energy LLC, Pacific Crest Power, LLC, Ridge Crest Wind Partners, LLC, Ridgetop Energy, LLC, San Gorgonio Westwinds II, LLC, Terra-Gen Energy Services, LLC, TGP Energy Management, LLC, Victory Garden Phase IV, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Cameron Ridge, LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5215.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1554-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Report Filing: 2015-07-14_SA 2780 Refund Report of ATC-MP OCSA to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 7/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150714-5030.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1555-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Report Filing: 2015-07-14_SA 2781 Refund Report of ATC-SWLP OCSA to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 7/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150714-5027.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2187-000.

    Applicants: Chief Conemaugh Power, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Succession to Duquesne Interests to be effective 7/14/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5156.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2188-000.

    Applicants: Chief Keystone Power, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Succession to Duquesne Interests to be effective 7/14/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5157.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2189-000.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Progress, Inc., Duke Energy Florida, Inc., Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Joint OATT Amendment to be effective 9/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5158.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2190-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-07-13 Attachment J TSR Waiver Filing to be effective 9/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5159.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2191-000.

    Applicants: Grant Wind, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Application for MBR to be effective 7/14/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5160.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2192-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of Service Agreement No. 3939; Queue Z2-019 to be effective 6/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5163.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2193-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., Commonwealth Edison Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: ComEd submits Transmission Interconnection Agreement 4212 to be effective 7/13/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150713-5164.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2194-000.

    Applicants: SunE Solar XVII Project1, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: SFA to be effective 7/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150714-5001.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2195-000.

    Applicants: SunE Solar XVII Project2, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: SFA to be effective 7/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150714-5002.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2196-000.

    Applicants: SunE Solar XVII Project3, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: SFA to be effective 7/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150714-5003.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2197-000.

    Applicants: DTE Electric Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: DTE and City of Croswell Interconnection Agreement to be effective 9/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150714-5024.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2198-000.

    Applicants: DTE Electric Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: DTE and Village of Sebewaing Interconnection Agreement to be effective 9/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150714-5025.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2199-000.

    Applicants: DTE Electric Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: DTE and Thumb Electric Cooperative Interconnection Agreement to be effective 9/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150714-5026.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/4/15.

    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 14, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17693 Filed 7-17-15; 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: ER10-1836-007; ER10-2005-007; ER11-26-007; ER10-2551-006; ER10-1841-007; ER13-712-007; ER10-1843-007; ER10-1844-007; ER10-1845-007; ER10-1846-006; ER10-1852-010; ER10-1855-006; ER10-1897-007; ER10-1905-007; ER10-1907-007; ER10-1918-007; ER10-1925-007; ER10-1927-007; ER11-2642-007; ER10-1950-007; ER10-2006-008; ER10-1964-007; ER10-1965-007; ER10-1970-007; ER10-1972-007; ER10-1971-020; ER11-4462-012; ER10-1983-007; ER10-1984-007; ER13-2461-002; ER10-1991-007; ER12-1660-007; ER10-1994-006; ER10-2078-008; ER10-1995-006.

    Applicants: Ashtabula Wind, LLC, Ashtabula Wind II, LLC, Ashtabula Wind III, LLC, Baldwin Wind, LLC, Butler Ridge Wind Energy Center, LLC, Cimarron Wind Energy, LLC, Crystal Lake Wind, LLC, Crystal Lake Wind II, LLC, Crystal Lake Wind III, LLC, Day County Wind, LLC, Florida Power & Light Company, FPL Energy Burleigh County Wind, LLC, FPL Energy Hancock County Wind, LLC, FPL Energy Mower County, LLC, FPL Energy North Dakota Wind, LLC, FPL Energy North Dakota Wind II, LLC, FPL Energy Oliver Wind I, LLC, FPL Energy Oliver Wind II, LLC, FPL Energy South Dakota Wind, LLC, Garden Wind, LLC, Hawkeye Power Partners, LLC, Lake Benton Power Partners II, LLC, Langdon Wind, LLC, NextEra Energy Duane Arnold, LLC, NextEra Energy Point Beach, LLC, NextEra Energy Power Marketing, LLC, NEPM II, LLC, Osceola Windpower, LLC, Osceola Windpower II, LLC, Pheasant Run Wind, LLC, Story Wind, LLC, Tuscola Bay Wind, LLC, Wessington Wind Energy Center, LLC, White Oak Energy LLC, Wilton Wind II, LLC.

    Description: Triennial Market Power Update for the Central Region of the NextEra Companies.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5260.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER11-2489-005; ER15-1019-001; ER14-1656-004; ER14-1439-002; ER13-2308-002; ER13-2102-003; ER12-726-004; ER12-2639-003; ER12-2513-004; ER12-2512-004; ER12-2511-004; ER12-2510-004; ER12-1435-005; ER12-1434-005; ER12-1432-005; ER12-1431-005; ER11-3959-004; ER11-3620-007; ER11-2882-008; ER10-2628-002; ER10-2449-007; ER10-2446-007; ER10-2444-007; ER10-2442-007; ER10-2440-007; ER10-2435-007; ER10-2432-007.

    Applicants: Hatchet Ridge Wind, LLC, Spring Valley Wind LLC, Ocotillo Express LLC, Lyonsdale Biomass, LLC, ReEnergy Sterling CT Limited Partnership, Bayonne Plant Holding, L.L.C., Camden Plant Holding, L.L.C., Dartmouth Power Associates Limited Partnership, Elmwood Park Power, LLC, Newark Bay Cogeneration Partnership, L.P, Pedricktown Cogeneration Company LP, York Generation Company LLC, ReEnergy Ashland LLC, ReEnergy Fort Fairfield LLC, ReEnergy Livermore Falls LLC, ReEnergy Stratton LLC, ReEnergy Black River LLC, Brandon Shores LLC, C.P. Crane LLC, H.A. Wagner LLC, Raven Power Marketing LLC, Sapphire Power Marketing LLC, TrailStone Power, LLC, CSOLAR IV West, LLC, Fowler Ridge IV Wind Farm LLC, Lost Creek Wind, LLC, Post Rock Wind Power Project, LLC.

    Description: Supplement to June 15, 2015 Notification of Non-Material Change in Status of the Riverstone MBR Entities.

    Filed Date: 7/1/15.

    Accession Number: 20150701-5369.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/22/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2154-000.

    Applicants: Ashtabula Wind, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Ashtabula Wind, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5147.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2155-000.

    Applicants: Ashtabula Wind II, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Ashtabula Wind II, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5148.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2156-000.

    Applicants: Ashtabula Wind III, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Ashtabula Wind III, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5149.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2157-000.

    Applicants: Baldwin Wind, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Baldwin Wind, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5150.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2158-000.

    Applicants: Butler Ridge Wind Energy Center, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Butler Ridge Wind Energy Center, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5151.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2159-000.

    Applicants: Crystal Lake Wind, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Crystal Lake Wind, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5152.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2160-000.

    Applicants: Crystal Lake Wind II, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Crystal Lake Wind II, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5153.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2161-000.

    Applicants: Crystal Lake Wind III, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Crystal Lake Wind III, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5154.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2162-000.

    Applicants: Day County Wind, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Day County Wind, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5155.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2163-000.

    Applicants: FPL Energy Burleigh County Wind, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: FPL Energy Burleigh County Wind, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5156.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2164-000.

    Applicants: FPL Energy Hancock County Wind, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: FPL Energy Hancock County Wind, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5157.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2165-000.

    Applicants: FPL Energy Mower County, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: FPL Energy Mower County, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5158.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2166-000.

    Applicants: FPL Energy North Dakota Wind, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: FPL Energy North Dakota Wind, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5159.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2167-000.

    Applicants: FPL Energy North Dakota Wind II, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: FPL Energy North Dakota Wind II, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5160.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2168-000.

    Applicants: FPL Energy Oliver Wind I, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: FPL Energy Oliver Wind I, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5161.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2169-000.

    Applicants: FPL Energy Oliver Wind II, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: FPL Energy Oliver Wind II, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5162.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2170-000.

    Applicants: FPL Energy South Dakota Wind, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: FPL Energy South Dakota Wind, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5164.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2171-000.

    Applicants: Garden Wind, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Garden Wind, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5165.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2172-000.

    Applicants: Lake Benton Power Partners II, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Lake Benton Power Partners II, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5166.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2173-000.

    Applicants: Langdon Wind, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Langdon Wind, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5167.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2174-000.

    Applicants: NextEra Energy Duane Arnold, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: NextEra Energy Duane Arnold, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5168.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2175-000.

    Applicants: NextEra Energy Point Beach, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: NextEra Energy Point Beach, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5169.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2176-000.

    Applicants: Osceola Windpower, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Osceola Windpower, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5170.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2177-000.

    Applicants: Osceola Windpower II, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Osceola Windpower II, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5171.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2178-000.

    Applicants: Pheasant Run Wind, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Pheasant Run Wind, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5172.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2179-000.

    Applicants: Story Wind, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Story Wind, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5173.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2180-000.

    Applicants: Tuscola Bay Wind, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Tuscola Bay Wind, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5174.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2181-000.

    Applicants: Tuscola Wind II, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Tuscola Wind II, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5176.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2182-000.

    Applicants: Wessington Wind Energy Center, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Wessington Wind Energy Center, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5177.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2183-000.

    Applicants: Wilton Wind II, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Wilton Wind II, LLC Order No. 784 Compliance Filing to be effective 7/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150710-5178.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/31/15.

    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 13, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17691 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL15-84-000] Caithness Long Island II, LLC v. New York Independent System Operator, Inc.; Notice of Complaint

    Take notice that on July 10, 2015, pursuant to sections 206 and 306 of the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 824e and 825e and Rule 206 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.206, Caithness Long Island II, LLC (Complainant) filed a formal complaint against New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (NYISO or Respondent) alleging that NYISO's application of certain interconnection requirements to the Class Year 2015 Interconnection Facilities Study violates Commission policy and the NYISO Open Access Transmission Tariff.

    The Complainant certify that copies of the complaint were served on the contacts for NYISO as listed on the Commission's list of Corporate Officials.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. The Respondent's answer and all interventions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. The Respondent's answer, motions to intervene, and protests must be served on the Complainants.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on August 10, 2015.

    Dated: July 13, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17690 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0021; FRL-9930-12] Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Active Ingredients AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA has received applications to register pesticide products containing active ingredients not included in any currently registered pesticide products. Pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on these applications.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 19, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0021 and the File Symbol of interest as shown in the body of this document, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Mclain, Acting Director, Antimicrobials Division (AD) (7510P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

    Robert McNally, Director, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (BPPD) (7511P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

    Susan Lewis, Director, Registration Division (RD) (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

    The Division to contact is listed at the end of each application in Unit II.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

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

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    II. Registration Applications

    EPA has received applications to register pesticide products containing active ingredients not included in any currently registered pesticide products. Pursuant to the provisions of FIFRA section 3(c)(4) (7 U.S.C. 136a(c)(4)), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on these applications. Notice of receipt of these applications does not imply a decision by the Agency on these applications.

    File Symbol: 70644-L. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0417. Applicant: LidoChem, Inc., 20 Village Ct., Hazlet, NJ 07730. Product name: Varnimo® ST. Active ingredient: Nematocide and Plant Growth Regulator; Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain PTA-4838 at 73.4%. Proposed classification/Use: None. Contact: BPPD.

    File Symbol: 70644-A. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0417. Applicant: LidoChem, Inc., 20 Village Ct., Hazlet, NJ 07730. Product name: Varnimo® WSP. Active ingredient: Fungicide, Plant Growth Regulator, and Nematocide; Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain PTA-4838 at 0.29%. Proposed classification/Use: None. Contact: BPPD.

    File Symbol: 70644-T. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0417. Applicant: LidoChem, Inc., 20 Village Ct., Hazlet, NJ 07730. Product name: Varnimo® Technical. Active ingredient: Manufacturing Use; Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain PTA-4838 at 73.4%. Proposed classification/Use: None. Contact: BPPD.

    File Symbol: 84427-R. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0418. Applicant: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 700 Experiment Station Rd., Lake Alfred, FL 33850. Product name: X17-2 Papaya. Active ingredient: Plant-Incorporated Protectant; Papaya Ringspot Virus Resistance Gene (Papaya Ringspot Virus Coat Protein Gene) in X17-2 Papaya at 0.00000005%. Proposed classification/Use: None. Contact: BPPD.

    File Symbol: 89046-G. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0419. Applicant: AEF Global, Inc. c/o SciReg, Inc., 12733 Director's Loop, Woodbridge, VA 22192. Product name: Bioprotec Technical. Active ingredient: Manufacturing Use; Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki strain EVB-113-19 at 99.2%. Proposed classification/Use: None. Contact: BPPD.

    File Symbol: 71512-EI and 71512-EO. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0383. Applicant: ISK Biosciences Corporation, 7470 Auburn Road, Suite A, Concord, Ohio 44077. Product names: Technical Tolpyralate Herbicide and Tolpyralate 400SC Herbicide. Active ingredient: Herbicide and Tolpyralate at 97% (Technical Herbicide) and 37% (400SC Herbicide). Proposed classification/Use: Corn (field corn, sweet corn, and popcorn). Contact: RD.

    File Symbol: 10163-GGG. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0226. Applicant: Gowan Company, P.O. Box 5569, Yuma, AZ 85366. Product name: Benzobicyclon Technical. Active ingredient: Herbicide, benzobicyclon at 98%. Proposed classification/Use: Formulating into end-use products for use on rice (grain, straw). Contact: RD.

    File Symbol: 10163-GGU. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0226. Applicant: Gowan Company, P.O. Box 5569, Yuma, AZ 85366. Product name: Butte Herbicide. Active ingredients: Herbicide, benzobicyclon at 3% and halosulfuron at .64%. Proposed classification/Use: Rice (grain, straw). Contact: RD.

    File Symbols: 59639-ENR, 59639-ENN, 59639-ROO, and 59639-ROI: Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0285. Applicant: Valent USA Corporation, 1600 Riviera Ave., Suite 200, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. Product names: S 2200 Fungicide Technical, S 2200 3.2 FS Fungicide, S 2200 4SC VPP Fungicide, and S 2200 4SC Ag Fungicide. Active ingredient: Fungicide, S 2200 (Mandestrobin) at 88.8%, 35.1%, 43.4% and 43.4%, respectively. Proposed classification/Use: Small fruit vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit crop subgroup 13-F, Low growing berry subgroup 13-07G, Rapeseed Crop Subgroup 20A, Turf, and Seed Treatment. Contact: RD.

    File Symbol: 91581-R. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0367. Applicant: I-Tech AB, Pepparedsleden 1, Gothenburg, SE43183, Sweden. Product name: Selektope. Active ingredient: Antimicrobial and Medetomidine at 99.8%. Proposed classification/Use: Antifoulant Paint Contact: AD.

    File Symbol: 91581-E. Docket ID number: 2015-0367. Applicant: I-Tech AB, Pepparedsleden 1, Gothenburg, SE43183, Sweden. Product name: CMP-2 RED. Active ingredient: Antimicrobial and Medetomidine at 4.41%. Proposed classification/Use: Antifoulant Paint Contact: AD.

    File Symbol: 56228-AN. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0319. Applicant: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Policy and Program Development, Environmental and Risk Analysis Services, Unit 149, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, MD 20737. Product name: Sodium Nitrite Technical. Active ingredient: Rodenticide, Sodium Nitrite at 99%. Proposed classification/Use: Manufacturing use. Contact: RD.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: July 8, 2015. Jennifer Mclain, Acting Director, Antimicrobials Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17738 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Agency Information Collection Activities: Announcement of Board Approval Under Delegated Authority and Submission to OMB AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of the final approval of a proposed information collection by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) under the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) delegated authority. Board-approved collections of information are incorporated into the official OMB inventory of currently approved collections of information. Copies of the Paperwork Reduction Act Submission, supporting statement and approved collection of information instruments are placed into OMB's public docket files. The Federal Reserve 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Federal Reserve Board Clearance Officer—Nuha Elmaghrabi—Office of the Chief Data Officer, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551, (202) 452-3829. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551.

    OMB Desk Officer—Shagufta Ahmed—Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503.

    Final approval under OMB delegated authority of the extension for three years, with revision, of the following information collection:

    Report title: Report of Selected Money Market Rates.

    Agency form number: FR 2420.

    OMB Control number: 7100-0357.

    Effective Date: October 20, 2015, for Part A-Federal Funds, Part AA-Selected Borrowings from Non-Exempt Entities, and Part B-Eurodollars. January 15, 2016, for Part C-Time Deposits and Certificates of Deposit.

    Frequency: Daily.

    Reporters: Domestically chartered commercial banks and thrifts that have $18 billion or more in total assets, or $5 billion or more in assets and meet certain unsecured borrowing activity thresholds; U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks with total third-party assets of $2.5 billion or more.

    Estimated annual reporting hours: Commercial banks and thrifts—34,200 hours; U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks—35,100 hours; International Banking Facilities—19,750 hours; Significant banking organizations—900 hours.

    Estimated average hours per response: Commercial banks and thrifts—1.8 hours; U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks—1.8 hours; International Banking Facilities—1.0 hour; Significant banking organizations—1.8 hours.

    Number of respondents: Commercial banks and thrifts—76; U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks—78; International Banking Facilities—79; Significant banking organizations—2.

    General description of report: The FR 2420 is a mandatory report that is authorized by sections 9 and 11 of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 324 and 248(a)(2)), sections 7(c)(2) and 8(a) of the International Banking Act (12 U.S.C. 3105(c)(2) and 3106(a)), and section 5(c) of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1844(c)(1)(A)). Individual respondent data are regarded as confidential under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)).

    Abstract: The FR 2420 is a transaction-based report that currently collects daily liability data on federal funds transactions, Eurodollar transactions, and certificates of deposit (CD) issuance from (1) domestically chartered commercial banks and thrifts that have $26 billion or more in total assets and (2) U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks with total third-party assets of $900 million or more. FR 2420 data are used in the analysis of current money market conditions and will allow the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) to calculate and publish interest rate statistics for selected money market instruments.

    Current Actions: On April 7, 2015, the Federal Reserve published a notice in the Federal Register (80 FR 18620) requesting public comment for 60 days on the extension, with revision, of the FR 2420. The comment period for this notice expired on June 8, 2015. The Federal Reserve received four comment letters on the proposed revisions of the FR 2420; three from trade organizations and one from a U.S. branch of a foreign bank. Substantive comments on the data collection are discussed in detail below. In addition, several technical comments were received and the Federal Reserve will update the final reporting forms and instructions for these comments, as appropriate.

    Summary of Public Comments Report Cost-Benefit

    A trade organization asked if the marginal increase in information from adding new U.S. bank reporters outweighs the increase in costs and burden on these additional institutions affected by the proposal. While the Federal Reserve is sensitive to the reporting burden of the affected depository institutions, revisions to the data are being made to fulfill high-priority policy objectives. First, the expanded and enhanced data collection is expected to improve unsecured money market monitoring and augment the ability of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, on behalf of the Federal Reserve, to analyze these markets and implement monetary policy.

    Second, the data set is expected to provide robust transaction data for calculating the effective federal funds rate (EFFR), an improvement over the current rate constructed from brokered data. The collection also is expected to allow for the calculation of a new overnight bank funding rate (OBFR) that uses both federal funds and Eurodollar data. Third, data collected under the FR 2420 report also represent an important source of information on individual depository institutions' borrowing rates, which is expected to allow for more effective monitoring of firm-specific liquidity risks for purposes of supervisory surveillance.

    Given these critical uses for the data, the Federal Reserve is seeking to ensure that the reporting panel captures entities that are meaningfully involved in unsecured money markets and that it remains robust to changes in borrower composition in these markets. Additional U.S. bank reporters are necessary to provide insight into a distinct and important segment of the federal funds market. The federal funds borrowing in this segment can represent a significant proportion of overall activity in certain market environments, and can occur at rates that are distinct from funding activity conducted by other institutions. However, the Federal Reserve understands the need to strike a balance between reporting burden and the collection of information required to fulfill its policy objectives. As such, adjustments are being made to the asset-size thresholds to reduce reporting burden, as discussed below. In addition, exceptions may be made for those institutions that meet the asset-size threshold but can demonstrate that they have an ongoing business model that results in a negligible amount of activity in these markets. The “Reporting Exception” section below provides more information on how an exception may be obtained.

    Asset Size and Activity Thresholds

    A trade organization wrote that the asset-size threshold imposes costs on institutions that may not have substantial activity and noted that, according to Call Report data, institutions with between $15 billion and $26 billion in assets hold only about five percent of total federal funds purchased. This trade organization noted that the activity threshold approach is more targeted and should be used for any institution to which the Federal Reserve intends to extend reporting requirements.

    Asset-size thresholds create a stable panel of reporters, by ensuring that banks of meaningful size will be consistently required to report activity in a timely manner. This stable panel of banks is necessary to effectively analyze trends in unsecured funding markets and publish the EFFR and OBFR. The Federal Reserve proposed a lower asset-size threshold in order to create a more comprehensive dataset that captures an important segment of the federal funds market that is not currently covered in the existing criteria. Collectively, the federal funds activity of domestic depository institutions with assets between $15 billion and $26 billion can be notable. Call Report data suggest that the aggregate amount of federal funds activity of banks in this asset size varies and has, at times, represented more than 10 percent of federal funds activity. In addition, in the current market environment, borrowing by these institutions often occurs at different rates than seen in the current sample and represents an important segment of the market that the current FR 2420 report does not capture.

    Activity thresholds, on the other hand, are beneficial for providing insight into activity that is outside the scope of the regular panel of reporters, and represents an important supplement to the asset-size thresholds. However, activity thresholds used alone can create gaps in reporting and a more inconsistent panel of banks. These thresholds necessarily require a look-back period to measure activity and some forward period to prepare for reporting; thus, there is a significant lag between the threshold for activity being met and the commencement of reporting. The Federal Reserve considered relying more heavily on an activity threshold and found that the panel of banks was more inconsistent and the data capture was less complete.

    Nonetheless, the Federal Reserve understands the need to find a balance between the burden being placed on reporting institutions and the achievement of reporting objectives. In light of the burden on smaller institutions of FR 2420 reporting, the Federal Reserve will retain the asset-size thresholds, but raise the minimum reporting threshold for domestically chartered commercial banks and thrifts from $15 billion to $18 billion. With this revised criteria, U.S. institutions with between $15 billion and $18 billion in assets will now only report if they meet the activity threshold. This change in threshold will result in a reduction in the number of additional, smaller institutions being required to report under the asset-size threshold.

    Reporting Exception

    A trade organization asked for clarification on how and with what frequency institutions with ongoing business models that result in negligible activity can apply for exceptions to filing the FR 2420 report. Institutions can request a review of their reporting requirement at any point that they believe the reporting is an unreasonable burden. Requests should be made in writing and provide a look back of the data for at least two quarters and provide justification on why continuing to provide these data causes an undue burden.

    Implementation Date

    Two trade organizations requested additional time to implement the revisions. One organization noted that the proposed timeline would be difficult to implement, as the recommended revisions add and redefine several elements of the FR 2420 report. This organization stated that the current panel of banks would need two quarters after final requirements and newly covered institutions would need one year. A second organization stated that although the proposal was well-developed and vetted, it would be difficult to commit systems and personnel until the final Federal Register notice. This organization asked the Federal Reserve to re-assess the proposed date, with not less than 6 months from the final requirements for implementation.

    The revisions to the FR 2420 data are being implemented to meet high priority policy objectives. Most of the reporters under the new criteria are active reporters under the existing criteria. However, in order to provide the lead time for new reporters to prepare for reporting and still fulfill these objectives, the initially proposed reporting date of September 9, 2015 will be extended to October 20, 2015 for Part A-Federal Funds, Part AA-Selected Borrowings from Non-Exempt Entities, and Part B-Eurodollars. The reporting date for Part C-Time Deposits and Certificates of Deposit will be extended until January 15, 2016. This delay will allow reporters to focus on the changes applicable to the most time-sensitive parts of the report.

    Submission Deadline

    A trade organization noted the 7 a.m. deadline imposes administrative costs for covered institutions and these costs are magnified, on a relative basis, for smaller institutions, which have fewer resources. A second organization stated that banks continue to experience challenges in meeting the 7 a.m. deadline for federal funds reporting as it conflicts with normal batch processing. This organization noted the time will also be a challenge for the expanded Eurodollar reporting requirements.

    After considering these comments, the Federal Reserve determined that federal funds and Eurodollar data are needed by 7 a.m. each business day for the preceding day's reportable transactions to support the implementation of monetary policy and daily market monitoring. Therefore, the Federal Reserve is retaining the 7 a.m. deadline in the final report. The FR 2420 data provide a key insight on the previous day's unsecured market activity in the morning when the Federal Reserve is monitoring markets for the purposes of implementing monetary policy. In addition, in 2016, the data will be used as the source for daily calculation of the EFFR and OBFR. The EFFR is published in the morning in order to provide the market with a timely view on the previous day's activity.

    Supervisory Purpose

    A trade organization objected to the broadening of the purpose of the reporting form to include a supervisory component. According to this organization, the timing and frequency of FR 2420 reporting makes it difficult for covered institutions to subject data to proper regulatory reporting controls. The trade organization would prefer the Federal Reserve to use the supervisory and reporting framework already in place to monitor individual firm liquidity conditions. The organization requested clarification on the interaction of the FR 2420 with the FR 2052b, which eliminated the requirement for daily reporting from institutions with between $15 to $26 billion in total assets after acknowledging through the FR 2052b implementation process that daily reporting is burdensome and unnecessary for these institutions. The organization also wrote that given significant changes being implemented to the FR 2052a, banks do not have enough information to comment on whether the FR 2420 report is duplicative or complementary. The organization noted that not all institutions that would be required to file the FR 2420 are required to file the FR 2052b. Furthermore, according to this organization, the FR 2420 collection encompasses institutions for whom the Federal Reserve is not the primary regulator, and it is unclear by which process the Federal Reserve will coordinate with the other banking agencies.

    FR 2420 data are used by the Federal Reserve to carry out both monetary policy and supervisory functions. Although daily reporting for smaller institutions may not be required for supervisory surveillance on the FR 2052b, reporting at a daily frequency is required on the FR 2420 for analysis of current money market conditions and publication of the EFFR and OBFR. Institutions with asset sizes under the $26 billion represent an important segment of the federal funds market that is not currently captured by the FR 2420 report, and collecting their borrowing transactions is necessary for understanding unsecured money markets. As noted above, the minimum asset-size threshold for reporting by U.S. institutions on the FR 2420 is being raised to $18 billion in order to balance the need to capture this information with the reporting burden on smaller institutions. This higher minimum threshold will eliminate the need for daily reporting for many smaller institutions. Furthermore, including a supervisory component to the FR 2420 report is not expected to increase, in itself, the burden on institutions required to file an FR 2420 since all report submissions are subject to control, audit, and governance protocols.

    Utilization of the FR 2420 report for supervisory purposes will complement existing liquidity monitoring reports and allow the Federal Reserve to reduce reporting requirements in those reports. Specifically, with regard to the interaction between the FR 2420 and FR 2052, the Federal Reserve has reviewed the current and proposed reports and confirms there is no duplicated information or material overlaps between these reports. A subset of the FR 2420 pricing data was already being collected on the FR 2052a as part of supervisory liquidity monitoring. Going forward, information contained on the FR 2420 will replace certain information currently gathered on the FR 2052a, as these data elements will be dropped from the FR 2052a collection. Pricing information on the FR 2052b will not change, as that data is not similar to FR 2420 data. However, the amended FR 2420 will offer greater insight on the borrowing costs for these firms' liabilities. Pricing information, when used in tandem with liquidity data, is an area that supervisors review when gauging a firm's overall liquidity profile. Rapid changes in pricing can indicate a firm is entering a period of constrained market access and subsequent liquidity stress.

    For institutions whose primary regulator is not the Federal Reserve and who do not file FR 2052 reports, the FR 2420 data is intended primarily for monetary policy purposes. The Federal Reserve does not plan to share these data with other agencies.

    Clarifications and Other Issues

    One trade organization asked for clarification on several definitions, including counterparty types, embedded options on CDS, borrowings from GSEs and FHLBs, deposits from non-financial corporations, and the office identifier on Part B. Each of these definitions will be updated with further clarification in the reporting instructions. The organization also asked for a formal process for Frequently Asked Questions. The Federal Reserve will have a process to document reporting questions and communicate these to reporters. Lastly, the organization asked for the Reporting Central application to be open for testing as soon as possible. The application will be available for testing at least one month before the implementation dates.

    One commenter provided additional comments outside the scope of the data collection proposal that focused on the calculation of the published rates.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, July 15, 2015. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17713 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RETIREMENT THRIFT INVESTMENT BOARD Sunshine Act; Notice of Meeting TIME AND DATE:

    9:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) July 27, 2015.

    PLACE:

    10th Floor Board Meeting Room, 77 K Street NE., Washington, DC 20002.

    STATUS:

    Parts will be open to the public and parts closed to the public.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Open to the Public 1. Approval of the Minutes of the June 25, 2015 Board Member Meeting 2. Monthly Reports (a) Monthly Participant Activity Report (b) Legislative Report 3. Quarterly Reports (a) Investment Policy Report (b) Vendor Financials (c) Audit Status (d) Budget Review (e) Project Activity Report 4. Withdrawal Options 5. Mutual Fund Window Project and Policy 6. Investment Consultant Memo 7. Impact of Proposed Changes to G Fund 8. Investment Advice Discussion Closed to the Public 9. Litigation 10. Security 11. Personnel CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Kimberly Weaver, Director, Office of External Affairs, (202) 942-1640.

    Dated: July 16, 2015. James Petrick, General Counsel, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17870 Filed 7-16-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6760-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The FTC intends to ask the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) to extend through November 30, 2018, the current Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”) clearance for the information collection requirements in the FTC Red Flags, Card Issuers, and Address Discrepancies Rules 1 (“Rules”). That clearance expires on November 30, 2015.

    1 16 CFR 681.1; 16 CFR 681.2; 16 CFR part 641.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted by September 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Red Flags Rule, PRA Comment, Project No. P095406” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/RedFlagsPRA by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be addressed to Steven Toporoff, Attorney, Bureau of Consumer Protection, (202) 326-2252, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Overview of the Rules

    The Red Flags Rule requires financial institutions and certain creditors to develop and implement written Identity Theft Prevention Programs (“Program”). The Card Issuers Rule requires credit and debit card issuers (“card issuers”) to assess the validity of notifications of address changes under certain circumstances. The Address Discrepancy Rule provides guidance on what users of consumer reports must do when they receive a notice of address discrepancy from a nationwide consumer reporting agency (“CRA”). Collectively, these three anti-identity theft provisions are intended to prevent impostures from misusing another person's personal information for a fraudulent purpose.

    The Rules implement sections 114 and 315 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq., to require businesses to undertake measures to prevent identity theft and increase the accuracy of consumer reports.

    Since promulgation of the original Rule, President Obama signed the Red Flag Program Clarification Act of 2010 (“Clarification Act”), which narrowed the definition of “creditor” for purposes of the Red Flags Rule. Specifically, the Clarification Act limits application of the Red Flags Rule to creditors that regularly and in the ordinary course of business: (1) Obtain or use consumer reports, directly or indirectly, in connection with a credit transaction; (2) furnish information to consumer reporting agencies in connection with a credit transaction; or (3) advance funds to or on behalf of a person, based on a person's obligation to repay the funds to or on behalf of a person, based on a person's obligation to repay the funds or on repayment from specific property pledged by or on the person's behalf. This third prong does not include a creditor that advances funds on behalf of a person for expenses incidental to a service provided by the creditor to that person.

    II. Description of Collection of Information A. FCRA Section 114

    The Red Flags Rule requires financial institutions and covered creditors to develop and implement a written Program to detect, prevent, and mitigate identity theft in connection with existing accounts or the opening of new accounts. Under the Rule, financial institutions and certain creditors must conduct a periodic risk assessment to determine if they maintain “covered accounts.” The Rule defines the term “covered account” as either: (1) A consumer account that is designed to permit multiple payments or transactions, or (2) any other account for which there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of identity theft. Each financial institution and covered creditor that has covered accounts must create a written Program that contains reasonable policies and procedures to identify relevant indicators of the possible existence of identity theft (“red flags”); detect red flags that have been incorporated into the Program; respond appropriately to any red flags that are detected to prevent and mitigate identity theft; and update the Program periodically to ensure it reflects change in risks to customers.

    The Red Flags Rule also requires financial institutions and covered creditors to: (1) Obtain approval of the initial written Program by the board of directors; a committee thereof or, if there is no board, an appropriate senior employee; (2) ensure oversight of the development, implementation, and administration of the Program; and (4) exercise appropriate and effective oversight of service provider arrangements.

    In addition, the Rules implement the section 114 requirement that card issuers generally must assess the validity of change of address notifications. Specifically, if the card issuer receives a notice of change of address for an existing account and, within a short period of time (during at least the first 30 days), receives a request for an additional or replacement card for the same account, the issuer must follow reasonable policies and procedures to assess the validity of the change of address.

    B. FCRA Section 315

    In implementing section 315 of the FCRA, the Rules require each user of consumer reports to have reasonable policies and procedures in place to employ when the user receives a notice of address discrepancy from a CRA. Specifically, each user of consumer reports must develop reasonable policies and procedures to: (1) Enable the user to form a reasonable belief that a consumer report relates to the consumer about whom it has requested the report, when the user receives a notice of address discrepancy; and (2) furnish an address for the consumer that the user has reasonably confirmed is accurate to the CRA from which it receives a notice of address discrepancy, if certain conditions are met.

    III. Burden Estimates

    Under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, Federal agencies must get OMB approval for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” includes agency requests or requirements to submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. 44 U.S.C. 3502(3); 5 CFR 1320.3(c). The figures below reflect FTC staff's estimates of the hours burden and labor costs to complete the tasks described above that fall within reporting, disclosure, or recordkeeping requirements. FTC staff believes that the Rules impose negligible capital or other non-labor costs, as the affected entities are likely to have the necessary supplies and/or equipment already (e.g., offices and computers) for the information collection described herein.

    Overall estimated burden hours regarding sections 114 and 315, combined, total 2,296,863 hours and the associated estimated labor costs are $92,465,982. Staff assumes that affected entities will already have in place, independent of the Rule, equipment and supplies necessary to carry out the tasks necessary to comply with it.

    A. FCRA Section 114 1. Estimated Hours Burden—Red Flags Rule

    As noted above, the Rule requires financial institutions and certain creditors with covered accounts to develop and implement a written Program. Under the FCRA, financial institutions over which the FTC has jurisdiction include state chartered credit unions and certain insurance companies.

    Although narrowed by the Clarification Act, the definition of “creditor” still covers a broad array of entities. Moreover, the Clarification Act does not set forth any exemptions from Rule coverage. Rather, application of the Rule depends upon an entity's course of conduct, not its status as a particular type of business. For these reasons, it is difficult to determine precisely the number of creditors subject to the FTC's jurisdiction. There are numerous small businesses under the FTC's jurisdiction that may qualify as “creditors,” and there is no formal way to track them. Nonetheless, FTC staff estimates that the Rule's requirement to have a written Program affects 6,298 financial institutions 2 and 162,295 creditors.3

    2 The total number of financial institutions is derived from an analysis of state credit unions and insurers within the FTC's jurisdiction using 2012 Census data (“County Business Patterns,” U.S.) and other online industry data.

    3 The total number of creditors (162,295) is derived from an analysis of 2012 Census data and industry data for businesses or organizations that market goods and services to consumers or other businesses or organizations subject to the FTC's jurisdiction, reduced by entities not likely to: (1) Obtain credit reports, report credit transactions, or advance loans; and (2) entities not likely to have covered accounts under the Rule.

    To estimate burden hours for the Red Flags Rule under section 114, FTC staff divided affected entities into two categories, based on the nature of their business: (1) Entities that are subject to high risk of identity theft and (2) entities that are subject to a low risk of identity theft, but have covered accounts that will require them to have a written Program.

    a. High-Risk Entities

    FTC staff estimates that high-risk entities 4 will each require 25 hours to create and implement a written Program, with an annual recurring burden of one hour. FTC staff anticipates that these entities will incorporate into their Program policies and procedures that they likely already have in place. Further, FTC staff estimates that preparation for an annual report will require each high-risk entity four hours initially, with an annual recurring burden of one hour. Finally, FTC staff believes that many of the high-risk entities, as part of their usual and customary business practice, already take steps to minimize losses due to fraud, including conducting employee training. Accordingly, only relevant staff need be trained to implement the Program: For example, staff already trained as part of a covered entity's anti-fraud prevention efforts do not need to be re-trained as incrementally needed. FTC staff estimates that training connected with the implementation of a Program of a high-risk entity will require four hours, and annual training thereafter will require one hour.

    4 High-risk entities include, for example, financial institutions within the FTC's jurisdiction and utilities, motor vehicle dealerships, telecommunications firms, colleges and universities, and hospitals.

    Thus, estimated hours for high-risk entities are as follows:

    • 101,328 high-risk entities subject to the FTC's jurisdiction at an average annual burden of 13 hours per entity [average annual burden over 3-year clearance period for creation and implementation of a Program ((25+1+1)/3), plus average annual burden over 3-year clearance period for staff training ((4+1+1)/3), plus average annual burden over 3-year clearance period for preparing an annual report ((4+1+1)/3)], for a total of 1,317,264 hours.

    b. Low-Risk Entities

    Entities that have a minimal risk of identity theft,5 but that have covered accounts, must develop a Program; however, they likely will only need a streamlined Program. FTC staff estimates that such entities will require one hour to create such a Program, with an annual recurring burden of five minutes. Training staff of low-risk entities to be attentive to future risks of identity theft should require no more than 10 minutes in an initial year, with an annual recurring burden of five minutes. FTC staff further estimates that these entities will require, initially, 10 minutes to prepare an annual report, with an annual recurring burden of five minutes.

    5 Low-risk entities include, for example, public warehouse and storage firms, nursing and residential care facilities, automotive equipment rental and leasing firms, office supplies and stationery stores, fuel dealers, and financial transactions processing firms.

    Thus, the estimated hours burden for low-risk entities is as follows:

    • 60,974 low risk entities that have covered account subject to the FTC's jurisdiction at an average annual burden of approximately 37 minutes per entity [average annual burden over 3-year clearance period for creation and implementation of streamlined Program ((60+5+5)/3), plus average annual burden over 3-year clearance period for staff training ((10+5+5)/3), plus average annual burden over 3-year clearance period for preparing annual report ((10+5+5)/3], for a total of 37,600 hours.

    2. Estimated Hours Burden—Card Issuers Rule

    As noted above, section 114 also requires financial institutions and covered creditors that issue credit or debit cards to establish policies and procedures to assess the validity of a change of address request, including notifying the cardholder or using another means of assessing the validity of the change of address.

    • FTC staff estimates that the Rule affects as many as 16,301 6 card issues within the FTC's jurisdiction. FTC staff believes that most of these card issuers already have automated the process of notifying the cardholder or are using another means to assess the validity of the change of address, such that implementation will pose no further burden. Nevertheless, taking a conservative approach, FTC staff estimates that it will take each card issuer 4 hours to develop and implement policy and procedures to assess the validity of a change of address request for a total burden of 65,204 hours.

    6 Card issuers within the FTC's jurisdiction include, for example, state credit unions, general retail merchandise stores, colleges and universities, and telecoms.

    Thus, the total average annual estimated burden for Section 114 is 1,420,068 hours.

    3. Estimated Cost Burden—Red Flags and Card Issuers Rules

    The FTC staff estimates labor costs by applying appropriate estimated hourly cost figures to the burden hours described above. It is difficult to calculate with precision the labor costs associated with compliance with the Rule, as they entail varying compensation levels of management (e.g., administrative services, computer and information systems, training and development) and/or technical staff (e.g., computer support specialists, systems analysts, network and computer systems administrators) among companies of different sizes. FTC staff assumes that for all entities, professional technical personnel and/or management personnel will create and implement the Program, prepare the annual report, and train employees, at an hourly rate of $54.7

    7 This estimate is based on mean hourly wages found at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.t01.htm (“Occupational Employment and Wages—May 2014,” U.S. Department of Labor, released March 2015, Table 1 (“National employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey by occupation, May 2014”) for the various managerial and technical staff support exemplified above (administrative service managers, computer & information systems managers, training & development managers, computer systems analysts, network & computer systems analysts, computer support specialists).

    Based on the above estimates and assumptions, the total annual labor costs for all categories of covered entities under the Red Flags and Card Issuers Rules for Section 114 is $76,683,672 (1,420,068 hours x $54).

    B. FCRA Section 315—The Address Discrepancy Rule

    As discussed above, the Rule's implementation of Section 315 provides guidance on reasonable policies and procedures that a user of consumer reports must employ when a user receives a notice of address discrepancy from a CRA. Given the broad scope of users of consumer reports, it is difficult to determine with precision the number of users of consumer reports that are subject to the FTC's jurisdiction. As noted above, there are numerous small businesses under the FTC's jurisdiction, and there is no formal way to track them; moreover, as a whole, the entities under the FTC's jurisdiction are so varied that there are no general sources that provide a record of their existence. Nonetheless, FTC staff estimates that the Rule's implementation of section 315 affects approximately 1,875,275 users of consumer reports subject to the FTC's jurisdiction.8 Commission staff estimates that approximately 10,000 of these users will receive notice of a discrepancy, in the course of their usual and customary business practices, and thereby have to furnish to CRAs an address confirmation.9

    8 This estimate is derived from an analysis of Census databases of U.S. businesses based on NAICS codes for businesses in industries that typically use consumer reports from CRAs described in the Rule, which total 1,875,275 users of consumer reports subject to the FTC's jurisdiction.

    9 Report to Congress Under Sections 318 and 319 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions of 2003, Federal Trade Commission, 80 (Dec. 2004) available at http://www.ftc.gov/reports/facta/041209factarpt.pdf.

    For section 315, as detailed below, FTC staff estimates that the average annual burden during the three-year period for which OMB clearance is sought will be 876,795 hours with an associated labor cost of $15,782,310.

    1. Estimated Hours Burden

    Prior to enactment of the Address Discrepancy Rule, users of consumer reports could compare the address on a consumer report to the address provided by the consumer and discern for themselves any discrepancy. As a result, FTC staff believes that many users of consumer reports have developed methods of reconciling address discrepancies, and the following estimates represent the incremental amount of time users of consumer reports may require to develop and comply with the policies and procedures for when they receive a notice of address discrepancy.

    a. Customer Verification

    Given the varied nature of the entities under the FTC's jurisdiction, it is difficult to determine precisely the appropriate burden estimates. Nonetheless, FTC staff estimates that it would require an infrequent user of consumer reports no more than 16 minutes to develop and comply with the policies and procedures that it will employ when it receives a notice of address discrepancy, while a frequent user might require one hour. Similarly, FTC staff estimates that, during the remaining two years of clearance, it may take an infrequent user no more than one minute to comply with the policies and procedures it will employ when it receives a notice of address discrepancy, while a frequent user might require 45 minutes. Taking into account these extremes, FTC staff estimates that, during the first year, it will take users of consumer reports under the FTC's jurisdiction an average of 38 minutes [the midrange between 16 minutes and 60 minutes] to develop and comply with the policies and procedures that they will employ when they receive a notice of address discrepancy. FTC staff also estimates that the average recurring burden for users of consumer reports to comply with the Rule will be 23 minutes [the midrange between one minute and 45 minutes].

    Thus, for these 1,875,275 entities, the average annual burden for each of them to perform these collective tasks will be 28 minutes [(38 + 23 + 23) ÷ 3]; cumulatively, 875,128 hours.

    b. Address Verification

    For the estimated 10,000 users of consumer reports that will additionally have to furnish to CRAs an address confirmation upon notice of a discrepancy, staff estimates that these entities will require, initially, 30 minutes to develop related policies and procedures. But, these 10,000 affected entities likely will have automated the process of furnishing the correct address in the first year of a three-year PRA clearance cycle. Thus, allowing for 30 minutes in the first year, with no annual recurring burden in the second and third years of clearance, yields an average annual burden of 10 minutes per entity to furnish a correct address to a CRA, for a total of 1,667 hours.

    2. Estimated Cost Burden

    FTC staff assumes that the policies and procedures for compliance with the address discrepancy part of the Rule will be set up by administrative support personnel at an hourly rate of $18.10 Based on the above estimates and assumptions, the total annual labor cost for the two categories of burden under section 315 is $15,782,310.

    10 This estimate—rounded to the nearest dollar —is based on mean hourly wages for all management occupations found within the “Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release,” March 25, 2015, Table 1, “National employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey by occupation, May 2014.” http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.t01.htm.

    C. Burden Totals for FCRA Sections 114 and 315

    Cumulatively, then, estimated burden is 2,296,863 hours (1,420,068 hours for section 114 and 876,795 hours for section 315) and $92,465,982 ($76,683,672 and $15,782,310) in associated labor costs.

    IV. Request for Comment

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the FTC to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before [60 days after publication]. Write: “Red Flags Rule, PRA Comment, Project No. P095406” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individual's home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.

    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number, or other state identification number of foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information . . . which is privileged or confidential]” as provided in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, don't include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).11 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    11 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/RedFlagsPRA, by following the instructions on the web-based form. When this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you file your comment on paper, write “Red Flags Rule PRA, Project No. P095406” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail or deliver it to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite CC-5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

    The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before September 18, 2015. For information on the Commission's privacy policy, including routine uses by the Privacy Act, see http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

    David C. Shonka, Principal Deputy General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17764 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 141 0207] Dollar Tree, Inc. and Family Dollar Stores, Inc.; Analysis of Proposed Consent Orders To Aid Public Comment AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed consent agreement.

    SUMMARY:

    The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the draft complaint and the terms of the consent orders—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

    DATES:

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

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/dollartreeconsent online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Dollar Tree, Inc. and Family Dollar Stores, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 141-0207” on your comment and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/dollartreeconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “Dollar Tree, Inc. and Family Dollar Stores, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 141-0207” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sean Pugh, Bureau of Competition, (202-326-3201), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing consent orders to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for July 2, 2015), on the World Wide Web, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/actions.shtm.

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before August 3, 2015. Write “Dollar Tree, Inc. and Family Dollar Stores, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 141-0207” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.

    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential,” as discussed in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR § 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR § 4.9(c).1 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    1 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR § 4.9(c).

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/dollartreeconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you file your comment on paper, write “Dollar Tree, Inc. and Family Dollar Stores, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 141-0207” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before August 3, 2015. For information on the Commission's privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

    Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Orders To Aid Public Comment I. Introduction and Background

    The Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) has accepted for public comment, subject to final approval, an Agreement Containing Consent Orders (“Consent Order”) from Dollar Tree, Inc. (“Dollar Tree”) and Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (“Family Dollar”), (collectively, the “Respondents”). On July 27, 2014, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar entered into an agreement whereby Dollar Tree would acquire Family Dollar for approximately $9.2 billion (the “Acquisition”). The purpose of the proposed Consent Order is to remedy the anticompetitive effects that otherwise would result from Dollar Tree's acquisition of Family Dollar. Under the terms of the proposed Consent Order, Respondents are required to divest 330 stores in local geographic markets (collectively, the “relevant markets”) in 35 states to the Commission-approved buyer. The divestitures must be completed within 150 days from the date of the Acquisition. The Commission and Respondents have agreed to an Order to Maintain Assets to maintain the viability of Respondents' assets until they are transferred to the Commission-approved buyer.

    The proposed Consent Order has been placed on the public record for 30 days to solicit comments from interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After 30 days, the Commission again will review the proposed Consent Order and any comments received, and decide whether the Consent Order should be withdrawn, modified, or made final.

    The Commission's Complaint alleges that the Acquisition, if consummated, would violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 18, and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 45, by removing an actual, direct, and substantial competitor in localized geographic markets in 222 cities nationwide.2 The elimination of this competition would result in significant competitive harm; specifically the Acquisition will allow the combined entity to increase prices unilaterally above competitive levels. Similarly, absent a remedy, there is significant risk that the merged firm may decrease the quality and service aspects of its stores. The proposed Consent Order would remedy the alleged violations by requiring divestitures to replace competition that otherwise would be lost in these markets because of the Acquisition.

    2 The list of cities in which stores will be divested is attached as Appendix A. The list of stores to be divested is attached to the Decision and Order as Schedule A.

    II. The Respondents

    As of January 31, 2015, Dollar Tree operated 5,157 discount general merchandise retail stores across the United States under the Dollar Tree and Deals banners. Presently, Dollar Tree banner stores are located in 48 states and the District of Columbia, while Deals banner stores are currently located in 18 states and the District of Columbia. In the Dollar Tree banner stores, Dollar Tree sells a wide selection of everyday basic, seasonal, closeout, and promotional merchandise for $1 or less. At its Deals banner stores, Dollar Tree offers an expanded assortment of this merchandise at prices generally less than $10. Dollar Tree and Deals banner stores range in size from 8,000 to 12,000 square feet of selling space and typically carry between 6,600 to 7,000 stock keeping units (“SKUs”).

    As of February 28, 2015, Family Dollar operated approximately 8,184 discount general merchandise retail stores nationwide. Family Dollar sells an assortment of consumables, home products, apparel and accessories, seasonal items, and electronic merchandise at prices generally less than $10. Currently, Family Dollar stores are located in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Stores typically have 7,150 square feet of selling space and carry approximately 6,500 to 7,000 SKUs.

    III. Competition in the Relevant Markets

    Dollar stores are small-format, deep-discount retailers that sell an assortment of consumables and non-consumables, including food, home products, apparel and accessories, and seasonal items, at prices typically under $10. Dollar stores differentiate themselves from other retailers on the basis of both convenience and value by offering a broad assortment but limited variety of general merchandise items at discounted prices in stores with small footprints (i.e., approximately 7,000 to 10,000 square feet of selling space), located relatively close to consumers' homes or places of work.3 Customers often shop at dollar stores as part of a “fill-in” shopping trip. Dollar stores typically compete most closely with other dollar stores that provide the same kind of convenient shopping trip for discounted general merchandise.

    3 The term “dollar stores” as used here includes stores operated by Respondents, Dollar General, 99 Cents Only, and Fred's Super Dollar. Independently-owned retailers that sell discounted merchandise at the $1 or multi-price point in substantially smaller stores are not included.

    Walmart competes closely with dollar stores and offers a wide assortment of products at deeply-discounted prices. Although Walmart does not provide the same kind of convenience as that of dollar stores given its less-accessible locations, larger store footprints, and greater assortment of products, Walmart nevertheless competes closely with dollar stores by offering a comparable or better value to consumers in terms of pricing. For purposes of this matter, “discount general merchandise retail stores” refers to dollar stores and the retailer Walmart.

    Although other retail stores (i.e., supermarkets, pharmacies, mass merchandisers, and discount specialty merchandise retail stores) often sell discounted merchandise similar to that offered by dollar stores and Walmart, these other retailers generally are not as effective at constraining Respondents as are other discount general merchandise retail stores.4 These other retailers do not offer the same value as Walmart or the same combination of convenience and value offered by dollar stores, which tends to make them less effective substitutes for discount general merchandise retail stores. As a result, consumers shopping at discount general merchandise retail stores are unlikely to significantly increase purchases of discounted merchandise at other retailers in response to a small but significant price increase at discount general merchandise retail stores. However, in certain geographic markets, typically characterized by high population density, where the number and geographic proximity of these other retailers is substantial relative to the competing discount general merchandise retail stores, the collective presence of these other retailers acts as a more significant price constraint on the discount general merchandise retail stores operating in the area.5

    4 The term “supermarkets” as used here includes traditional supermarkets such as Kroger and Publix, as well as supermarkets included within hypermarkets such as SuperTarget or Kroger's Fred Meyer banner. The term “pharmacies” includes national retail drug stores such as CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens. The term “mass merchandisers” includes retailers such as Target and K-Mart. The term “discount specialty merchandise retail stores” includes retailers such as Big Lots and Aldi.

    5 Online retailers are not participants in the relevant product market. The primary appeal of dollar stores is the combination of value and convenience they offer consumers. Given the time required to process and ship items ordered online, Internet retailers are less convenient shopping options for consumers looking to make an immediate purchase on a fill-in trip.

    Thus, the relevant line of commerce in which to analyze the Acquisition is no narrower than discount general merchandise retail stores. In certain geographic markets, the relevant line of commerce may be as broad as the sale of discounted general merchandise in retail stores (i.e., discount general merchandise retail stores as well as supermarkets, pharmacies, mass merchandisers, and discount specialty merchandise retail stores). Whether the relevant line of commerce is discount general merchandise retail stores or discounted general merchandise in retail stores depends on the specifics of the geographic market at issue, such as population density and the density and proximity of the Respondents' stores and competing retailers.

    The relevant geographic market varies depending on the unique characteristics of each market, including the local road network, physical boundaries, and population density. A strong motivation of consumers shopping at discount general merchandise retail stores is convenience. As with grocery shopping, the vast majority of consumers who shop for discounted general merchandise do so at stores located very close to where they live or work. The draw area of a dollar store, which varies depending on whether it is located in an urban, suburban, or rural area, may range from a couple of city blocks to several miles. Other market participants, such as supermarkets and retail pharmacies, may have similar, although somewhat broader draw areas. Walmart's stores, particularly Walmart Supercenters, tend to have a considerably broader draw area. In highly urban areas, the geographic markets are generally no broader than a half-mile radius around a given store. In highly rural areas, the geographic market is generally no narrower than a three-mile radius around a given store. In areas neither highly urban nor highly rural, the geographic market is generally within a half-mile to three-mile radius around a given store.

    Respondents are close competitors in terms of format, customer service, product offerings, and location in the relevant geographic markets. With regard to pricing, product assortment, and a host of other competitive issues, Respondents typically focus most directly on the actions and responses of each other and other dollar stores, while also paying close attention to Walmart. In many of the relevant geographic markets, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar operate the only dollar stores in the area or the vast majority of conveniently-located discount general merchandise retail stores. Absent relief, the Acquisition would increase the incentive and ability of Dollar Tree to raise prices unilaterally post-Acquisition in the relevant geographic markets. The Acquisition would also decrease incentives to compete on non-price factors, including product selection, quality, and service.

    Entry into the relevant geographic markets that is timely and sufficient to prevent or counteract the expected anticompetitive effects of the Acquisition is unlikely. Entry barriers include the time, costs, and feasibility associated with identifying and potentially constructing an appropriate and available location for a discount general merchandise retail store, the resources required to support one or more new stores over a prolonged ramp-up period, and the sufficient scale to compete effectively. An entrant's ability to secure a viable competitive location may be hindered by restrictive-use commercial lease covenants, which can limit the products sold, or even the type of retailer that can be located, at a particular location.

    IV. The Proposed Consent Order

    The proposed remedy, which requires the divestiture of 330 Family Dollar stores in the relevant markets to Sycamore Partners (“Sycamore”), will restore fully the competition that otherwise would be eliminated in these markets as a result of the Acquisition. Sycamore is a private equity firm specializing in consumer and retail investments. The proposed buyer appears to be a highly suitable purchaser and is well positioned to enter the relevant geographic markets and prevent the likely competitive harm that otherwise would result from the Acquisition. Sycamore's proposed executive team has extensive experience operating discount general merchandise retail stores.

    The proposed Consent Order requires Respondents to divest 330 stores to Sycamore within 150 days from the date of the Acquisition. If, at any time before the proposed Consent Order is made final, the Commission determines that Sycamore is not an acceptable buyer, Respondents must immediately rescind the divestitures and divest the assets to a different buyer that receives the Commission's prior approval.

    The proposed Consent Order contains additional provisions to ensure the adequacy of the proposed relief. For example, Respondents have agreed to an Order to Maintain Assets that will be issued at the time the proposed Consent Order is accepted for public comment. The Order to Maintain Assets requires Family Dollar to operate and maintain each divestiture store in the normal course of business through the date the store is ultimately divested to Sycamore. Because the divestiture schedule runs for an extended period of time, the proposed Consent Order appoints Gary Smith as a Monitor to oversee Respondents' compliance with the requirements of the proposed Consent Order and Order to Maintain Assets. Mr. Smith has the experience and skills to be an effective Monitor, no identifiable conflicts, and sufficient time to dedicate to this matter through its conclusion.

    The sole purpose of this Analysis is to facilitate public comment on the proposed Consent Order. This Analysis does not constitute an official interpretation of the proposed Consent Order, nor does it modify its terms in any way.

    Appendix A City Number
  • of stores
  • divested
  • Alabama Montgomery 1 Arizona Lake Havasu 1 Arizona Tucson 1 California Farmersville 1 California Fresno 1 California Inglewood 1 California Lemoore 1 California San Bernardino 1 Colorado Aurora 1 Colorado Colorado Springs 3 Colorado Denver 1 Colorado Federal Heights 1 Colorado Lakewood 1 Connecticut Bloomfield 1 Connecticut Bridgeport 1 Connecticut Groton 1 Connecticut Meriden 1 Connecticut New Haven 1 Connecticut West Hartford 1 Delaware Wilmington 1 Florida Dania 1 Florida Deltona 2 Florida Hollywood 1 Florida Homestead 1 Florida Jacksonville 2 Florida Kissimmee 3 Florida Miami 3 Florida Miami Gardens 1 Florida Plantation 1 Florida Tampa 3 Georgia Atlanta 7 Georgia Columbus 1 Georgia Decatur 3 Georgia Lake City 1 Georgia Norcross 1 Georgia Stone Mountain 1 Idaho Emmett 1 Illinois Aurora 1 Illinois Berwyn 1 Illinois Chicago 13 Illinois Elgin 1 Illinois Harvey 1 Indiana Fort Wayne 1 Indiana Gary 2 Indiana Indianapolis 2 Kentucky Covington 1 Kentucky Louisville 2 Louisiana Baton Rouge 1 Louisiana Lafayette 1 Louisiana New Orleans 1 Maine Caribou 1 Maine Gray 1 Maine Lewiston 1 Maine Livermore Falls 1 Maine Old Town 1 Maine South Portland 1 Maine Waterville 1 Maryland Baltimore 4 Maryland Capitol Heights 1 Maryland Lanham 1 Maryland Mount Rainier 1 Maryland Oxon Hill 1 Maryland Salisbury 1 Maryland Silver Spring 1 Maryland Temple Hills 1 Massachusetts Boston 1 Massachusetts Brockton 1 Massachusetts Cambridge 1 Massachusetts Chelsea 1 Massachusetts Dorchester 1 Massachusetts Framingham 1 Massachusetts Gloucester 1 Massachusetts Greenfield 1 Massachusetts Holyoke 1 Massachusetts Lowell 1 Massachusetts Medford 1 Massachusetts New Bedford 1 Massachusetts North Adams 1 Massachusetts Randolph 1 Massachusetts Revere 1 Massachusetts South Yarmouth 1 Massachusetts Springfield 2 Massachusetts Ware 1 Massachusetts West Springfield 1 Massachusetts Worcester 1 Michigan Benton Harbor 1 Michigan Burton 1 Michigan Detroit 5 Michigan Eastpointe 1 Michigan Ferndale 1 Michigan Grand Rapids 2 Michigan Hamtramck 1 Michigan Hazel Park 1 Michigan Highland Park 1 Michigan Holland 1 Michigan Inkster 1 Michigan Lansing 1 Michigan Livonia 1 Michigan Mount Morris 1 Michigan Oak Park 1 Michigan Portage 1 Michigan Saginaw 1 Michigan Taylor 1 Michigan Westland 1 Michigan Wyoming 1 Minnesota Minneapolis 3 Minnesota Robbinsdale 1 Minnesota St. Paul 3 Mississippi Jackson 1 Missouri Jennings 1 Missouri St. Louis 6 Nebraska Omaha 1 New Jersey Belmar 1 New Jersey Brigantine 1 New Jersey East Orange 1 New Jersey Elizabeth 2 New Jersey Ewing 1 New Jersey Glassboro 1 New Jersey Hamilton Township 1 New Jersey Irvington 1 New Jersey Mount Holly 1 New Jersey Newark 2 New Jersey Paterson 1 New Jersey Pleasantville 1 New Jersey Vineland 1 New Mexico Albuquerque 3 New Mexico Las Cruces 1 New York Astoria 1 New York Bronx 8 New York Brooklyn 7 New York College Point 1 New York East Aurora 1 New York Far Rockaway 1 New York Glendale 1 New York Grand Island 1 New York Greece 1 New York Jamaica 2 New York Johnstown 1 New York Lindenhurst 1 New York Mattydale 1 New York Mount Vernon 1 New York Patchogue 1 New York Poughkeepsie 1 New York Queens 2 New York Queens Village 1 New York Ridgewood 1 New York Rochester 3 New York Rocky Point 1 New York Saranac Lake 1 New York Selden 1 New York Shirley 1 New York Springfield Gardens 1 New York Staten Island 2 New York Syracuse 2 New York Utica 1 North Carolina Charlotte 2 Ohio Akron 1 Ohio Canton 1 Ohio Cincinnati 5 Ohio Cleveland 4 Ohio Columbus 3 Ohio East Cleveland 1 Ohio Milford 1 Ohio St. Bernard 1 Ohio Toledo 2 Ohio Whitehall 1 Oklahoma Oklahoma City 2 Pennsylvania Allentown 1 Pennsylvania East Liberty 1 Pennsylvania Edwardsville 1 Pennsylvania Harrisburg 2 Pennsylvania Lansdowne 1 Pennsylvania Levittown 1 Pennsylvania Mckeesport 1 Pennsylvania Middletown 1 Pennsylvania Morrisville 1 Pennsylvania Philadelphia 5 Pennsylvania Pittsburgh 2 Pennsylvania Swissvale 1 Pennsylvania Upper Darby 1 Pennsylvania Yeadon 1 Rhode Island Bristol 1 Rhode Island Central Falls 1 Rhode Island Pawtucket 2 Rhode Island Providence 2 Rhode Island Rumford 1 Tennessee Memphis 3 Tennessee Nashville 1 Texas Arlington 1 Texas Balch Springs 1 Texas Beaumont 1 Texas Brownsville 1 Texas Corpus Christi 1 Texas Dallas 1 Texas Eagle Pass 1 Texas El Paso 3 Texas Fort Worth 2 Texas Houston 5 Texas Lubbock 1 Texas Odessa 1 Texas Pasadena 1 Texas San Antonio 2 Utah Midvale 1 Utah Ogden 1 Utah Provo 1 Utah Salt Lake City 1 Utah St. George 1 Utah West Valley City 1 Vermont Morrisville 1 Vermont Newport 1 Virginia Alexandria 1 Virginia Chesapeake 1 Virginia Hampton 1 Virginia Lynchburg 1 Virginia Norfolk 3 Virginia Portsmouth 1 Virginia Richmond 1 West Virginia Huntington 1 Wisconsin Appleton 1 Wisconsin Eau Claire 1 Wisconsin Milwaukee 3 Wisconsin St. Francis 1

    By direction of the Commission, Commissioner Wright dissenting.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    Statement of the Federal Trade Commission

    The Federal Trade Commission has accepted a proposed settlement to resolve the likely anticompetitive effects of Dollar Tree, Inc.'s proposed $9.2 billion acquisition of Family Dollar Stores, Inc.1 We have reason to believe that, absent a remedy, the proposed acquisition is likely to substantially lessen competition between Dollar Tree and Family Dollar in numerous local markets. Under the terms of the proposed consent order, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are required to divest 330 stores to a Commission-approved buyer. As we explain below, we believe the proposed divestitures preserve competition in the markets adversely affected by the acquisition and are therefore in the public interest.

    1 This statement reflects the views of Chairwoman Ramirez and Commissioners Brill, Ohlhausen, and McSweeny.

    Dollar Tree operates over 5,000 discount general merchandise retail stores across the United States under two banners which follow somewhat different business models. In its Dollar Tree banner stores, Dollar Tree sells a wide selection of everyday basic, seasonal, closeout, and promotional merchandise—all for $1 or less. At its Deals banner stores, Dollar Tree sells an expanded assortment of this merchandise at prices that may go above the $1 price point but are generally less than $10. Family Dollar operates over 8,000 discount general merchandise retail stores. Family Dollar sells an assortment of consumables, home products, apparel and accessories, seasonal items, and electronic merchandise at prices generally less than $10, including items priced at or under $1.

    Dollar Tree and Family Dollar compete head-to-head in numerous local markets across the United States. They are close competitors in terms of format, pricing, customer service, product offerings, and location. When making competitive decisions regarding pricing, product assortment, and other salient aspects of their businesses, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar focus most directly on the actions and responses of each other and other “dollar store” chains, while also paying close attention to Walmart. In many local markets, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar operate stores in close proximity to each other, often representing the only or the majority of conveniently located discount general merchandise retail stores in a neighborhood.

    To evaluate the likely competitive effects of this transaction and identify the local markets where it may likely harm competition, the Commission considered multiple sources of quantitative and qualitative evidence. One component of the investigation involved a Gross Upward Pricing Pressure Index (“GUPPI”) analysis. As described in the 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines, this mode of analysis can serve as a useful indicator of whether a merger involving differentiated products is likely to result in unilateral anticompetitive effects.2 Such effects can arise “when the merger gives the merged entity an incentive to raise the price of a product previously sold by one merging firm” because the merged entity stands to profit from any sales that are then diverted to products that would have been “previously sold by the other merging firm.” 3 Using the value of diverted sales as an indicator of the upward pricing pressure resulting from the merger, a GUPPI is defined as the value of diverted sales that would be gained by the second firm measured in proportion to the revenues that would be lost by the first firm. If the “value of diverted sales is proportionately small, significant unilateral price effects are unlikely.” 4

    2 U.S. Dept. of Justice and Fed. Trade Comm'n, Horizontal Merger Guidelines § 6.1 (2010), available at https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/attachments/merger-review/100819hmg.pdf.

    3Id.

    4Id.

    The Commission's investigation involved thousands of Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores with overlapping geographic markets. A GUPPI analysis served as a useful initial screen to flag those markets where the transaction might likely harm competition and those where it might pose little or no risk to competition. As a general matter, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores with relatively low GUPPIs suggested that the transaction was unlikely to harm competition, unless the investigation uncovered specific reasons why the GUPPIs may have understated the potential for anticompetitive effects. Conversely, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores with relatively high GUPPIs suggested that the transaction was likely to harm competition, subject to evidence or analysis indicating that the GUPPIs may have overstated the potential for anticompetitive effects.

    While the GUPPI analysis was an important screen for the Commission's inquiry, it was only a starting point. The Commission considered several other sources of evidence in assessing the transaction's likely competitive effects, including additional detail regarding the geographic proximity of the merging parties' stores relative to each other and to other retail stores, ordinary course of business documents and data supplied by Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, information from other market participants, and analyses conducted by various state attorneys general who were also investigating the transaction. After considering all of this evidence, the Commission identified specific local markets where the acquisition would be likely to harm competition and arrived at the list of 330 stores slated for divestiture.

    In his statement, Commissioner Wright criticizes the way that the Commission used the GUPPI analysis in this case and argues that GUPPIs below a certain threshold should be treated as a “safe harbor.” 5 We respectfully disagree.

    5 Statement of Commissioner Joshua D. Wright Dissenting in Part and Concurring in Part, Dollar Tree, Inc. and Family Dollar Stores, Inc., File No. 141-0207.

    As an initial matter, Commissioner Wright mischaracterizes the way that the GUPPI analysis was used in this case. Contrary to his suggestion, GUPPIs were not used as a rigid presumption of harm. As explained above, they were used only as an initial screen to identify those markets where further investigation was warranted. The Commission then proceeded to consider the results of the GUPPI analysis in conjunction with numerous other sources of information.6 Based on this complete body of evidence, we have reason to believe that, without the proposed divestitures, the acquisition would substantially lessen competition in each of the relevant local markets.

    6 As Joseph Farrell and Carl Shapiro have noted, “[r]eal-world mergers are complex, and our proposed test, like the concentration-based test, is consciously oversimplified. . . . In the end, the evaluation of any merger that is thoroughly investigated or litigated may come down to the fullest feasible analysis of effects.” Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, Antitrust Evaluation of Horizontal Mergers: An Economic Alternative to Market Definition, 10 B.E. J. Theoretical Econ. 1, 26 (2010).

    Our market-by-market review showed that the model of competition underlying the GUPPI analysis was largely consistent with other available evidence regarding the closeness of competition between the parties' stores in each local market. For example, stores with high GUPPIs were generally found in markets in which there were few or no other conveniently located discount general merchandise retail stores. The GUPPI analysis did have some limitations, however. For example, there were Family Dollar stores with relatively low GUPPIs in markets that were nevertheless price-zoned to Dollar Tree stores, which meant that if Dollar Tree stores were removed as competition, then the prices of certain items at those Family Dollar stores would likely go up. The GUPPI analysis also was not sufficiently sensitive to differentiate between Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores that were in the same shopping plaza from those that were almost a mile away from each other. For these situations, we appropriately relied on other evidence to reach a judgment about the closeness of competition.7

    7 Commissioner Wright cites the Albertson's/Safeway transaction as another recent case in which a GUPPI analysis was used. See Wright Statement at 2 n.6. To be precise, the Commission analyzed that transaction using diversion ratios, not GUPPI scores, but in any event, Commissioner Wright himself voted to accept the consent order in that case.

    More broadly, Commissioner Wright's view that the Commission should identify and treat GUPPIs below a certain threshold as a “safe harbor” ignores the reality that merger analysis is inherently fact-specific. The manner in which GUPPI analysis is used will vary depending on the factual circumstances, the available data, and the other evidence gathered during an investigation. Moreover, whether the value of diverted sales is considered “proportionately small” compared to lost revenues will vary from industry to industry and firm to firm.8 For example, intense competition between merging firms may cause margins to be very low, which could produce a low GUPPI even in the presence of very high diversion ratios. Such conditions could produce a false negative implying that the merger is not likely to harm competition when in fact it is.9

    8 Marginal cost efficiencies, as well as pass-through rates, also will vary from industry to industry and from firm to firm. The pass-through rate will determine the magnitude of the post-merger unilateral price effects.

    9 Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, Upward Pricing Pressure and Critical Loss Analysis: Response, CPI Antitrust J. 1, 6-7 & n.15 (Feb. 2010); Farrell & Shapiro, Antitrust Evaluation of Horizontal Mergers, supra note 6, at 13-14.

    Indeed, we agree with Commissioner Wright that “a GUPPI-based presumption of competitive harm is inappropriate at this stage of economic learning.” 10 We think that a GUPPI-based safe harbor is equally inappropriate. In antitrust law, bright-line rules and presumptions rest on accumulated experience and economic learning that the transaction or conduct in question is likely or unlikely to harm competition.11 We do not believe there is a basis for the recognition of a GUPPI safe harbor.

    10 Wright Statement, supra note 5, at 8 & nn.23 & 24 (citing commentators' concerns and criticisms regarding the use of GUPPI analysis generally). Such concerns and criticisms, if valid, would apply equally to the wisdom of using GUPPIs to recognize a safe harbor.

    11See, e.g., Leegin Creative Leather Prods., Inc. v. PSKS, Inc., 551 U.S. 877, 886-87 (2007) (“As a consequence, the per se rule is appropriate only after courts have had considerable experience with the type of restraint at issue, . . . and only if courts can predict with confidence that it would be invalidated in all or almost all instances under the rule of reason, . . .”); Cal. Dental Ass'n v. FTC, 526 U.S. 756, 781 (1999) (“The object is to see whether the experience of the market has been so clear, or necessarily will be, that a confident conclusion about the principal tendency of a restriction will follow from a quick (or at least quicker) look, in place of a more sedulous one.”); ProMedica Health Sys., Inc. v. FTC, 749 F.3d 559, 570, 571 (6th Cir. 2014) (noting that “the strong correlation between market share and price, and the degree to which this merger would further concentrate markets that are already highly concentrated—converge in a manner that fully supports the Commission's application of a presumption of illegality” but also noting that “the Commission did not merely rest upon the presumption, but instead discussed a wide range of evidence that buttresses it”).

    Accordingly, in any case where a GUPPI analysis is used, the Commission will consider the particular factual circumstances and evaluate other sources of quantitative and qualitative evidence.12 As with other quantitative evidence such as market shares and HHIs, we believe that GUPPIs should be considered in the context of all other reasonably available evidence. The 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines do not instruct otherwise.13 For all of these reasons, we believe it is appropriate to use GUPPIs flexibly and as merely one tool of analysis in the Commission's assessment of unilateral anticompetitive effects.

    12See Carl Shapiro, The 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines: From Hedgehog to Fox in Forty Years, 77 Antitrust L.J. 701, 729 (2010) (“The value of diverted sales is an excellent simple measure for diagnosing or scoring unilateral price effects, but it cannot capture the full richness of competition in real-world industries. Indeed, as stressed above, all of the quantitative methods discussed here must be used in conjunction with the broader set of qualitative evidence that the Agencies assemble during a merger investigation.”); Farrell & Shapiro, Upward Pricing Pressure, supra note 8, at 6 (“Whatever measure is used for screening purposes, it is important that the full analysis give proper weight to all the available evidence.”). Notwithstanding Commissioner Wright's suggestion to the contrary, we do not believe that the Commission's use of GUPPIs as a tool for assessing unilateral effects differs materially from their use by the Department of Justice.

    13 Recognizing in the 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines that when the “value of diverted sales is proportionately small, significant unilateral price effects are unlikely” does not necessarily mean that “proportionately small” should be reduced to some numerical value that applies in all cases. See Merger Guidelines, supra note 2, § 1 (“These Guidelines should be read with the awareness that merger analysis does not consist of uniform application of a single methodology.”).

    By direction of the Commission, Commissioner Wright not participating.

    Statement of Commissioner Joshua D. Wright Dissenting in Part and Concurring in Part

    The Commission has voted to issue a Complaint and a Decision & Order against Dollar Tree, Inc. (“Dollar Tree”) and Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (“Family Dollar”) to remedy the allegedly anticompetitive effects of the proposed acquisition by Dollar Tree of Family Dollar. I dissent in part from and concur in part with the Commission's decision. I dissent in part because in 27 markets I disagree with the Commission's conclusion that there is reason to believe the proposed transaction violates the Clayton Act.

    The record evidence includes a quantitative measure of the value of diverted sales as well as various forms of qualitative evidence. The value of diverted sales is typically measured as the product of the diversion ratio between the merging parties' products—the diversion ratio between two products is the percentage of unit sales lost by one product when its price rises, that are captured by the second product—and the profit margin of the second product. When the value of diverted sales is measured in proportion to “the lost revenues attributable to the reduction in unit sales resulting from the price increase,” 1 it is the “gross upward pricing pressure index,” or “GUPPI.” The GUPPI is an economic tool used to score or rank the incentives for potential unilateral price effects. In the markets where I depart from the Commission's decision the GUPPI is below 5 percent, indicating insignificant upward pricing pressure even before efficiencies or entry are taken into account, and weak incentives for unilateral price increases. In my view, the available quantitative and qualitative evidence are insufficient to support a reason to believe the proposed transaction will harm competition in these markets. I write separately to explain more fully the basis for my dissent in these markets.

    1 U.S. Dep't of Justice & Fed. Trade Comm'n, Horizontal Merger Guidelines § 6.1 n.11 (2010) [hereinafter Merger Guidelines].

    I also write to address an important merger policy issue implicated by today's decision—that is, whether the FTC should adopt a safe harbor in unilateral effects merger investigations by defining a GUPPI threshold below which it is presumed competitive harm is unlikely. The Merger Guidelines clearly contemplate such a safe harbor. The Merger Guidelines explain that “[i]f the value of diverted sales is proportionately small, significant unilateral price effects are unlikely.” 2 In other words, the Merger Guidelines recognize that if the GUPPI is small, significant unilateral price effects are unlikely.

    2Id. § 6.1 (emphasis added); see Steven C. Salop, Serge X. Moresi & John Woodbury, CRA Competition Memo, Scoring Unilateral Effects with the GUPPI: The Approach of the New Horizontal Merger Guidelines 2 (Aug. 31, 2010), available at http://crai.com/sites/default/files/publications/Commentary-on-the-GUPPI_0.pdf.

    Without more, one might reasonably conclude it is unclear whether the Merger Guidelines merely offer a truism about the relationship between the GUPPI and likely unilateral price effects or invite the agencies to take on the task of identifying a safe harbor of general applicability across cases. But there is more. A principal drafter of the Merger Guidelines has explained the Merger Guidelines' reference to a “proportionately small” value of diverted sales was intended to establish a GUPPI safe harbor. The Department of Justice's Antitrust Division (“Division”), consistent with this interpretation of the Merger Guidelines, publicly announced precisely such a safe harbor when the GUPPI is less than 5 percent.3 Further, there is significant intellectual support for a GUPPI-based safe harbor among economists 4 —once again including the principal drafters of the Merger Guidelines. 5 The Commission, however, has rejected the safe harbor approach both in practice—indeed, the Commission has recently entered into another consent involving divestitures in markets with GUPPI scores below 5 percent 6 —and as a matter of the policy announced in the Commission's statement today.7

    3 Carl Shapiro, Deputy Ass't Att'y Gen. for Econ., Antitrust Div., U.S. Dep't of Justice, Update from the Antitrust Division, Remarks as Prepared for the ABA Antitrust Law Fall Forum 24 (Nov. 18 2010).

    4See, e.g., Salop, Moresi & Woodbury, supra note 2, at 2 (explaining that “a GUPPI of less than 5% would be reasonably treated as evidence that `the value of diverted sales is proportionately small' and hence that the proposed merger is unlikely to raise unilateral effects concerns”).

    5See Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, Antitrust Evaluation of Horizontal Mergers: An Economic Alternative to Market Definition, 10 B.E. J. Theoretical Econ. 1 (2010).

    6See Cerberus Institutional Partners V, L.P., FTC File No. 141-0108 (July 2, 2015). There, though one could not possibly infer this from the public-facing documents in the case, the Commission applied a diversion ratio threshold to identify stores for divestiture. To be accurate, a GUPPI threshold could be implied from the Commission's analysis and, as algebraically mindful readers will note, setting a diversion ratio threshold given profit margin data and a predicted price increase is not analytically distinguishable from the analysis in this matter. The Commission rightly points out that I voted in favor of the consent in Cerberus. As to whether I am merely being inconsistent in my views on the role of GUPPIs in merger analysis or, alternatively, there is some other more reasonable explanation for my votes, I can provide the explanation and let readers decide. In Cerberus, I voted for the consent on the basis that the use of diversion or GUPPI-based analysis was a step forward relative to relying exclusively upon structural analysis. The fact that there were stores identified for divestiture with implied GUPPIs less than 5 percent was unique. It is now a trend reinforced by a Commission decision to reject a GUPPI-based safe harbor—a decision I do not believe is in the public interest.

    Regarding Cerberus, it is worth pointing out further that even a careful reader of the public documents in that case would come away with the impression that the Commission's analysis was largely structural, and concluded a number of six-to-five mergers were presumptively anticompetitive. See Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order to Aid Public Comment Exhibit A, id. An ancillary benefit of the transparency reluctantly generated by today's Commission statement is that the antitrust community is now on notice that more sophisticated economic tools were used in that matter, how they were used, and that the potential structural policy change signaled by those public documents does not appear to describe accurately the Commission's complete analysis in that case.

    7 Statement of the Federal Trade Commission at 3, Dollar Tree, Inc., FTC File No. 141-0207 (July 13, 2015) [hereinafter Majority Statement] (“[A] GUPPI-based safe harbor is . . . inappropriate.”).

    This is unfortunate. The legal, economic, and policy case for the GUPPI-based safe harbor contemplated by the Merger Guidelines is strong.8 There are a number of reasons why such a safe harbor might be desirable as a matter of antitrust policy if sufficiently supported by economic theory and evidence. Efficient resource allocation—expending agency resources on the transactions most likely to raise serious competitive concerns and quickly dispensing with those that do not—is one such goal.

    8 A second question is whether a presumption of competitive harm should follow, as a matter of economic theory and empirical evidence, from a demonstration of a GUPPI above a certain threshold value. There appears to be a consensus that the answer to this question, at this point, is no. I agree. See, e.g., Thomas A. Lambert, Respecting the Limits of Antitrust: The Roberts Court Versus the Enforcement Agencies 13 (Heritage Foundation Legal Memorandum No. 144, Jan. 28, 2015) (the GUPPI “has not been empirically verified as a means of identifying anticompetitive mergers”); Steven C. Salop, The Evolution and Vitality of Merger Presumptions: A Decision-Theoretic Approach 40-41 (Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works, Working Paper No. 1304, 2014), available at http://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/facpub/1304/ (“The 2010 Merger Guidelines do not adopt an anticompetitive enforcement presumption based on high values of the GUPPI score. This was a practical policy decision at this time because the use of the GUPPI was new to much of the defense bar and the courts.”).

    A second reason a safe harbor for proportionately small diversion might be desirable antitrust policy is to compensate for the sources of downward pricing pressure not measured by the GUPPI but expected with most transactions, including efficiencies, entry, or repositioning. Some have argued that—as a GUPPI attempts a rough measure of upward pricing pressure without a full blown analysis—a symmetrical approach would include a standard efficiencies deduction which would be applied to account for the downward pricing pressure from the marginal-cost efficiencies that can typically be expected to result from transactions.9 This approach would permit the identification of a gross-upward-pricing-pressure threshold that triggers additional scrutiny.10

    9 Farrell & Shapiro, supra note 5, at 10-12.

    10See id. at 12.

    Yet a third reason a safe harbor might be desirable is to compensate the well-known feature of GUPPI-based scoring methods to predict harm for any positive diversion ratio—that is, even for distant substitutes—by distinguishing de minimis GUPPI levels from those that warrant additional scrutiny.11 The Merger Guidelines contemplate a “safe harbor” because it “reflects that a small amount of upward pricing pressure is unlikely . . . to correspond to any actual post-merger price increase.” 12 Carl Shapiro explained shortly after adoption of the Merger Guidelines, on behalf of the Division, that “Current Division practice is to treat the value of diverted sales as proportionately small if it is no more than 5% of the lost revenues.” 13

    11 James A. Keyte & Kenneth B. Schwartz, “Tally-Ho!”: UPP and the 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines, 7 Antitrust L.J. 587, 628 (2010) (“an uncalibrated tool cannot have predictive value as a screen if it always indicates postmerger price pressure”).

    12 Shapiro, supra note 3, at 24. Shapiro further cautioned that, although a GUPPI analysis “can be highly informative, the Agencies understand full well that measuring upward pricing pressure . . . typically is not the end of the story . . . . Repositioning, entry, innovation, and efficiencies must also be considered.” Id. at 26.

    13Id. at 24. Others have interpreted this speech as clearly announcing Division policy. See Salop, supra note 8, at 43 & n.105 (“In a speech while he was Deputy AAG, Carl Shapiro also specified a GUPPI safe harbor of 5%. As a speech by the Deputy AAG, this statement appeared to reflect DOJ policy.” (citing Shapiro, supra note 3)). Other economists agree that a GUPPI safe harbor should apply. E.g., Farrell & Shapiro, supra note 5, at 10; Salop, Moresi & Woodbury, supra note 2, at 2.

    Against these benefits of adopting a GUPPI-based safe harbor, the Commission must weigh the cost of reducing its own flexibility and prosecutorial discretion. This begs the question: How likely are mergers within the proposed safe harbor to be anticompetitive? The benefits of this flexibility are proportional to the probability that the Commission's economic analysis leads them to conclude that mergers with a GUPPI of less than 5 percent are anticompetitive. I am not aware of any transactions since the Merger Guidelines were adopted other than the two already mentioned that meet these criteria. The domain in which flexibility would be reduced with adoption of a reasonable safe harbor is small and the costs of doing so correspondingly low.

    The Commission rejects a GUPPI safe harbor on the grounds that such an approach “ignores the reality that merger analysis is inherently fact-specific.” 14 The Commission appears especially concerned that a GUPPI-based safe harbor might result in a false negative—that is, it is possible that a merger with a GUPPI less than 5 percent harms competition. This objection to safe harbors and bright-line rules and presumptions is both conceptually misguided and is in significant tension with antitrust doctrine and agency practice. Merger analysis is, of course, inherently fact specific. One can accept that reality, as well as the reality that evidence is both imperfect and can be costly to obtain, and yet still conclude that the optimal legal test from a consumer welfare perspective is a rule rather than a standard. This is a basic insight of decision theory, which provides a lens through which economists and legal scholars have long evaluated antitrust legal rules, burdens, and presumptions.15 The Commission's assertion that the mere possibility of false negatives undermines in the slightest the case for a safe harbor reveals a misunderstanding of the economic analysis of legal rules. The relevant question is not which legal rule drives false positives or false negatives to zero, but rather which legal rule minimizes the sum of the welfare costs associated with false negatives, false positives, and the costs of obtaining evidence and otherwise administering the law.

    14 Majority Statement, supra note 7, at 3.

    15See, e.g., C. Frederick Beckner III & Steven C. Salop, Decision Theory and Antitrust Rules, 67 Antitrust L.J. 41 (1999); James C. Cooper, Luke M. Froeb, Dan O'Brien & Michael G. Vita, Vertical Antitrust Policy as a Problem of Inference, 23 Int'l J. Indus. Org. 639 (2005); Frank H. Easterbrook, The Limits of Antitrust, 63 Tex. L. Rev. 1 (1984); Isaac Ehrlich & Richard A. Posner, An Economic Analysis of Legal Rulemaking, 3 J. Legal Stud. 257 (1974); David S. Evans & A. Jorge Padilla, Designing Antitrust Rules for Assessing Unilateral Practices: A Neo-Chicago Approach, 72 U. Chi. L. Rev. 27 (2005); Keith N. Hylton & Michael Salinger, Tying Law and Policy: A Decision Theoretic Approach, 69 Antitrust L.J. 469 (2001); Geoffrey A. Manne & Joshua D. Wright, Innovation and the Limits of Antitrust, 6 J. Comp. L. & Econ. 153 (2010).

    Existing antitrust law regularly embraces bright-line rules and presumptions—rejecting the flexibility of a case-by-case standard taking full account of facts that vary across industries and firms. A simple example is the application of per se rules in price-fixing cases.16 This presumption of illegality is not based upon a belief that it is impossible for a horizontal restraint among competitors to increase welfare. Rather, the per se prohibition on naked price fixing “reflects a judgment that the costs of identifying exceptions to the general rule so far outweigh the costs of occasionally condemning conduct that might upon further inspection prove to be acceptable, that it is preferable not to entertain defenses to the conduct at all.” 17 Similar decision-theoretic logic explains, for example, the presumption that above-cost prices are lawful.18 A GUPPI-based presumption would be based upon the same economic logic—not that small-GUPPI mergers can never result in anticompetitive effects, but rather that mergers involving small GUPPIs are sufficiently unlikely to result in unilateral price increases such that incurring the costs of identifying exceptions to the safe harbor is less efficient than simply allowing mergers within the safe harbor to move forward.19

    16See Broad. Music, Inc. v. Columbia Broad. Sys., Inc., 441 U.S. 1, 19-20 (1979) (“More generally, in characterizing this conduct under the per se rule, our inquiry must focus on . . . whether the practice facially appears to be one that would always or almost always tend to restrict competition and decrease output.”).

    17 Andrew I. Gavil, William E. Kovacic & Jonathan B. Baker, Antitrust Law in Perspective: Cases, Concepts and Problems in Competition Policy 104-05 (2d ed. 2008); see Barry Wright Corp. v. ITT Grinnell Corp., 724 F.2d 227, 234 (1st Cir. 1983) (“Rules that seek to embody every economic complexity and qualification may well, through the vagaries of administration, prove counter-productive, undercutting the very economic ends they seek to serve. Thus, despite the theoretical possibility of finding instances in which horizontal price fixing, or vertical price fixing, are economically justified, the courts have held them unlawful per se, concluding the administrative virtues of simplicity outweigh the occasional `economic' loss.”); Herbert Hovenkamp, The Antitrust Enterprise: Principle and Execution 50 (2005) (“[N]ot every anticompetitive practice can be condemned.”); Thomas A. Lambert, Book Review, Tweaking Antitrust's Business Model, 85 Tex. L. Rev. 153, 172 (2006) (“Hovenkamp's discussion of predatory and limit pricing reflects a key theme that runs throughout The Antitrust Enterprise: That antitrust rules should be easily administrable, even if that means they must permit some anticompetitive practices to go unpunished.”).

    18See Brooke Grp. Ltd. v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 509 U.S. 209, 226 (1993); see also Barry Wright Corp., 724 F.2d at 234 (“Conversely, we must be concerned lest a rule or precedent that authorizes a search for a particular type of undesirable pricing behavior end up by discouraging legitimate price competition. . . . [A] price cut that ends up with a price exceeding total cost—in all likelihood a cut made by a firm with market power—is almost certainly moving price in the `right' direction (towards the level that would be set in a competitive marketplace). The antitrust laws very rarely reject such `birds in hand' for the sake of more speculative (future low-price) `birds in the bush.' To do so opens the door to similar speculative claims that might seek to legitimate even the most settled unlawful practices.”).

    19 The Commission asserts that a GUPPI safe harbor cannot be justified by economic theory and evidence unless a presumption of liability can also be supported. I appreciate the Commission clarifying its view, but I believe it to be based upon a false equivalence. The Commission appears to misunderstand the difference between evidence sufficient to conclude harm is likely and evidence sufficient to conclude harm is unlikely. These are two very different economic propositions and it should not be surprising that one might be substantiated while the other is not. For example, one might rationally be uncomfortable pointing to the economic literature for support that mergers above a certain level of concentration are sufficiently likely to harm competition to support a presumption of antitrust liability, but also recognize the same body of economic theory and evidence would indeed support a safe harbor for mergers involving markets with thousands of competitors. To the extent the Commission appeals to academics who have raised concerns with GUPPI-based merger screens, my view clearly differs from the Commission. The Commission's more important dispute, in my view, is with the Merger Guidelines and its principal drafters, who clearly contemplated such a safe harbor.

    Whether the Commission should adopt a GUPPI-based safe harbor is particularly relevant in the instant matter, as the FTC had data sufficient to calculate GUPPIs for Dollar Tree, Deals,20 and Family Dollar stores. The sheer number of stores owned and operated by the parties rendered individualized, in-depth analysis of the competitive nuances of each and every market difficult, if not impossible, to conduct. GUPPI calculations provided an efficient and workable alternative to identifying the small fraction of markets in which the transaction may be anticompetitive. This was a tremendous amount of work and I want to commend staff on taking this approach. Staff identified a GUPPI threshold such that stores with GUPPIs greater than the threshold were identified for divestiture. About half of the 330 stores divested as part of the Commission's Order were identified through this process.

    20 Deals is a separate banner under which Dollar Tree operates. See Majority Statement, supra note 7, at 1.

    What about the other stores? The Commission asserts I “mischaracterize[]” its use of GUPPIs and that “GUPPIs were not used as a rigid presumption of harm.” 21 It claims that GUPPIs were used only as “an initial screen” to identify markets for further analysis, and that the Commission “proceeded to consider the results of the GUPPI analysis in conjunction with numerous other sources of information.” 22 The evidence suggests otherwise. One might reasonably hypothesize that further consideration and analysis of “numerous sources of information” should result in both the identification of some stores above the GUPPI threshold that were ultimately determined unlikely to harm competition as well as some stores with GUPPIs below the threshold that nonetheless did create competitive problems—that is, further scrutiny might reveal both false negatives and false positives.

    21Id. at 2.

    22Id.

    The number of stores with GUPPIs exceeding the identified threshold that, after evaluation in conjunction with the qualitative and other evidence described by the Commission, were not slated for divestiture is nearly zero. This outcome is indistinguishable from the application of a presumption of competitive harm. The additional stores with GUPPIs below the threshold that were then identified for divestiture based upon additional qualitative factors included a significant number of stores with GUPPIs below 5 percent. The ratio of stores falling below the GUPPI threshold but deemed problematic after further qualitative evidence is taken into account to stores with GUPPIs above the threshold but deemed not to raise competitive problems after qualitative evidence is accounted for is unusual and remarkably high. It is difficult to conceive of a distribution of qualitative and other evidence occurring in real-world markets that would result in this ratio. Qualitative evidence should not be a one-way ratchet confirming the Commission's conclusion of likely anticompetitive effects when GUPPIs are high and providing an independent basis for the same conclusion when GUPPIs are low.

    I applaud the FTC for taking important initial steps in applying more sophisticated economic tools in conducting merger analysis where the data are available to do so. Scoring metrics for evaluating incentives for unilateral price increases are no doubt a significant improvement over simply counting the number of firms in markets pre- and post-transaction. To be clear, it bears repeating that I agree that a GUPPI-based presumption of competitive harm is inappropriate at this stage of economic learning.23 There is no empirical evidence to support the use of GUPPI calculations in merger analysis on a standalone basis, let alone the use of a particular GUPPI threshold to predict whether a transaction is likely to substantially harm competition.24 I also agree that in the context of a full-scale evaluation of whether a proposed transaction is likely to harm competition, GUPPI-based analysis can and should be interpreted in conjunction with all other available quantitative and qualitative evidence. The relevant policy question is a narrow one: Whether there exists a GUPPI threshold below which the Commission should presumptively conclude a proposed transaction is unlikely to violate the antitrust laws.

    23 Joseph J. Simons & Malcolm B. Coate, Upward Pressure on Price Analysis: Issues and Implications for Merger Policy, 6 Eur. Competition J. 377, 389 (2010) (the upward pricing pressure screen “identifies as potentially problematic far more mergers than would be challenged or even investigated under the enforcement standards that have existed for more than twenty years”); Lambert, supra note 8, at 13 (“In the end, the agencies' reliance on the difficult-to-administer, empirically unverified, and inherently biased GUPPI is likely to generate many false condemnations of mergers that are, on the whole, beneficial.”).

    24See Dennis W. Carlton, Revising the Horizontal Merger Guidelines, 10 J. Competition L. & Econ. 1, 7 (2010) (“Perhaps most importantly, UPP [as described in the 2010 Merger Guidelines] is new and little empirical analysis has been performed to validate its predictive value in assessing the competitive effects of mergers.”); Keyte & Schwartz, supra note 11, at 590 (discussing the 2010 Merger Guidelines' inclusion of the GUPPI and opining that “in light of the [its] extremely light judicial record, as well as the absence of demonstrated reliability in predicting real-world competitive effects, we think it is premature, at best, to embrace [it] as a screening tool for merger review”); Simons & Coate, supra note 23 (“Because screening mechanisms [such as the GUPPI] purport to highlight general results, they need empirical support to show the methodology actually predicts concerns relatively well. This empirical support is not available at this time.”); Lambert, supra note 8, at 13 (the GUPPI “has not been empirically verified as a means of identifying anticompetitive mergers”).

    The FTC has not publicly endorsed a GUPPI-based safe harbor of 5 percent and disappointingly, has rejected the concept in its statement today. The Commission's interpretation is that what is a “proportionately small” value of diverted sales should vary according to the industry—and even the individual firms—in a given investigation.25 As discussed, I believe this interpretation contradicts the letter and spirit of the Merger Guidelines. 26 Moreover, the Commission's apparent discomfort with safe harbors on the grounds that they are not sufficiently flexible to take into account the fact-intensive nature of antitrust analysis in any specific matter is difficult to reconcile with its ready acceptance of presumptions and bright-line rules that trigger liability. 27

    25 Majority Statement, supra note 7, at 3.

    26See supra text accompanying note 12.

    27 For example, the Commission regularly applies such presumptions of liability involving the number of firms in a market, or presumptions based upon increased market concentration as articulated by the Merger Guidelines or the courts. See, e.g., Statement of the Federal Trade Commission, Holcim Ltd., FTC File No. 141-0129 (May 8, 2015) (finding liability based upon, alternatively, changes in concentration and number of firms pre- and post-merger); Statement of the Federal Trade Commission, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, FTC File No. 141-0235 (May 8, 2015) (finding liability based upon number of firms pre- and post-merger); Mem. in Supp. of Pl. Federal Trade Commission's Mot. for T.R.O. and Prelim. Inj. at 23, FTC, v. Sysco Corp., 2015 WL 1501608, No. 1:15-cv-00256 (D.D.C. 2015) (arguing that the proposed merger was presumptively unlawful based upon the holding of United States v. Phila. Nat'l Bank, 374 U.S. 321 (1963)). That the Commission's tolerance of presumptions that that satisfy its own prima facie burden does not extend to safe harbors raises basic questions about the symmetry of the burdens applied in its antitrust analysis. See Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Joshua D. Wright 6, Ardagh Group S.A., FTC File No. 131-0087 (June 18, 2014) (“[S]ymmetrical treatment in both theory and practice of evidence proffered to discharge the respective burdens of proof facing the agencies and merging parties is necessary for consumer-welfare based merger policy.”).

    Once it is understood that a safe harbor should apply, it becomes obvious that, for the safe harbor to be effective, the threshold should not move. As the plane crash survivors in LOST can attest, a harbor on an island that cannot be found and that can be moved at will is hardly “safe.” 28

    28 Move the Island, LOST—Move the Island, YouTube (Nov. 17, 2008), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fa57rVkLal4.

    In my view, the Commission should adopt a GUPPI-based safe harbor in unilateral effects investigations where data are available. While reasonable minds can and should debate the optimal definition of a “small” GUPPI, my own view is that 5 percent is a reasonable starting point for discussion. Furthermore, failure to adopt a safe harbor could raise concerns about the potential for divergence between Commission and Division policy in unilateral effects merger investigations.29 What would be most problematic, however, is if, rather than moving toward a GUPPI-based safe harbor, the FTC were to use GUPPI thresholds to employ a presumption of competitive harm.30

    29 I do not take a position as to how the Division currently uses the GUPPI analysis. But see Majority Statement, supra note 7, at 4 n.12. However, public statements by the Division and the Commission—the only sources upon which business firms and the antitrust bar can rely—suggest there are material differences. Compare id. at 3 (“[W]hether the value of diverted sales is considered ‘proportionately small' compared to lost revenues will vary from industry to industry and firm to firm.”) with Shapiro, supra note 3, at 24 (“Current Division practice is to treat the value of diverted sales as proportionately small if it is no more than 5% of the lost revenues.”).

    30 A GUPPI-based safe harbor of the type endorsed by the Merger Guidelines implies a GUPPI above the threshold is necessary but not sufficient for liability. A GUPPI-based presumption of harm implies a GUPPI above the threshold is sufficient but not necessary for liability. Unfortunately, the use of GUPPIs here is more consistent with the latter than the former.

    For these reasons, I dissent in part from and concur in part with the Commission's decision.

    [FR Doc. 2015-17767 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
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    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A. Purpose

    Section 5 of the International Air Transportation Fair Competitive Practices Act of 1974 (49 U.S.C. 1517) (Fly America Act) requires that all Federal agencies and Government contractors and subcontractors at FAR 47.402, use U.S.-flag air carriers for U.S. Government-financed international air transportation of personnel (and their personal effects) or property, to the extent that service by those carriers is available. It requires the Comptroller General of the United States, in the absence of satisfactory proof of the necessity for foreign-flag air transportation, to disallow expenditures from funds, appropriated or otherwise established for the account of the United States, for international air transportation secured aboard a foreign-flag air carrier if a U.S.-flag air carrier is available to provide such services. In the event that the contractor selects a carrier other than a U.S.-flag air carrier for international air transportation during performance of the contract, the contractor shall include per FAR clause 52.247-64 a statement on vouchers involving such transportation. The contracting officer uses the information furnished in the statement to determine whether adequate justification exists for the contractor's use of other than a U.S.-flag air carrier.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 150.

    Responses per Respondent: 2.

    Annual Responses: 300.

    Hours per Response: .25.

    Total Burden Hours: 75.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the 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. 9000-0054, Submission for OMB Review; U.S.-Flag Air Carriers Statement, in all correspondence.

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Edward Loeb, Director, Office of Government-wide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17762 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Multi-Agency Informational Meeting Concerning Compliance With the Federal Select Agent Program; Public Webcast AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of public webcast.

    SUMMARY:

    The HHS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Select Agents and Toxins (DSAT) and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Agriculture Select Agent Services (AgSAS) are jointly charged with the oversight of the possession, use and transfer of biological agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a severe threat to public, animal or plant health or to animal or plant products (select agents and toxins). This joint effort constitutes the Federal Select Agent Program. The purpose of the webcast is to provide guidance related to the Federal Select Agent Program for interested individuals.

    DATES:

    The webcast will be held on Thursday, November 19, 2015 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST. All who wish to join the webcast must register by October 23, 2015. Registration instructions can be found on the Web site http://www.selectagents.gov.

    ADDRESSES:

    The webcast will be broadcast from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's facility, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333. This will only be produced as a webcast, therefore no accommodations will be provided for in-person participation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    CDC: Ms. Diane Martin, Division of Select Agents and Toxins, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, NE., MS A-46, Atlanta, GA 30329; phone: 404-718-2000; email: [email protected]

    APHIS: Dr. Keith Wiggins, APHIS Agriculture Select Agent Services, 4700 River Road, Unit 2, Riverdale, MD 20737; phone: 301-851-3300 (option 3); email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The public webcast is an opportunity for the affected community (i.e., registered entity responsible officials, alternate responsible officials, and entity owners) and other interested individuals to obtain specific regulatory guidance and information concerning biosafety, security and incident response issues related to the Federal Select Agent Program.

    Representatives from the Federal Select Agent Program will be present during the webcast to address questions and concerns from the Web participants.

    Individuals who want to participate in the webcast must complete their registration online by October 23, 2015. The registration instructions are located on this Web site: http://www.selectagents.gov.

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Pamela J. Cox, Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17734 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—Health Disparities Subcommittee (HDS)

    In accordance with section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces the following meeting of the aforementioned subcommittee:

    Times And Dates: 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m., EDT, August 11, 2015

    Place: This meeting will be held by teleconference. To participate in the teleconference, please dial (866) 763-0273 Passcode: 6158968.

    Status: This meeting is open to the public, limited only by the availability of telephone ports. The public is welcome to participate during the public comment period, which is tentatively scheduled from 2:15 to 2:30 p.m.

    Purpose: The Subcommittee will provide advice to the CDC Director through the ACD on strategic and other health disparities and health equity issues and provide guidance on opportunities for CDC.

    Matters For Discussion: The Health Disparities Subcommittee members will discuss progress toward implementation of the Health Disparities Subcommittee recommendations and discuss the intersection of health disparities and women's health.

    The agenda is subject to change as priorities dictate.

    Contact Person For More Information: Leandris Liburd, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.A., Designated Federal Officer, Health Disparities Subcommittee, Advisory Committee to the Director, CDC, 1600 Clifton Road, NE., M/S K-77, Atlanta, Georgia 30333 Telephone (770) 488-8343, Email: [email protected].

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine L. Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17661 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-15-15AUJ; Docket No. CDC-2015-0056] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing efforts to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program (PCNASP) reporting system, which was established to improve quality of care for acute stroke patients from onset of signs and symptoms through hospital care and rehabilitation and recovery.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before September 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2015-0056 by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Please note:

    All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (Regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact the Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Proposed Project

    Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program (PCNASP)—New—National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and results in approximately 130,000 deaths per year. Additionally, approximately 800,000 stroke events are reported each year, including approximately 250,000 recurrent strokes. However, many strokes are preventable, or their severity can be reduced through coordinated care that is delivered in a timely manner.

    Stroke outcomes depend upon the rapid recognition of signs and symptoms of stroke, prompt transport to a treatment facility, and early rehabilitation. Improving outcomes requires a coordinated systems approach involving pre-hospital care, emergency department and hospital care, rehabilitation, prevention of complications, and ongoing secondary prevention. Each care setting has unique opportunities for improving the quality of care provided and access to available professional and clinical care at the local level within a coordinated state-based system of care.

    Through the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program (PCNASP), CDC has been continuously working to measure and improve acute stroke care using well-known quality improvement strategies coupled with frequent evaluation of results. PCNASP awardees are state health departments who work with participating hospitals and EMS agencies in their jurisdictions to improve quality of care for stroke patients. State-based efforts include identifying effective stroke treatment centers and building capacity and infrastructure to ensure that stroke patients are routed to effective treatment centers in a timely manner.

    During initial cooperative agreement cycles, PCNASP awardees focused on in-hospital quality of care (QoC) issues with technical assistance provided by CDC. Through lessons learned during this process and other supporting evidence in the field, it has become evident that it is also important to examine pre- and post-hospital transitions of care to link the entire continuum of stroke care when improving QoC for stroke patients.

    The PCNASP will continue under a new five-year cooperative agreement, subject to available funding, to begin on or around July 1, 2015. The new funding period reflects additional emphasis on pre-hospital quality of care as well as the post-hospital transition of care setting from hospital to home and the next care provider. Therefore, awardees will systematically collect and report data on hospital capacity and all three phases of the stroke care continuum.

    The new cooperative agreement funding cycle will include pre-hospital (EMS), in-hospital, and post-hospital patient care data. Data to be collected for pre- and in-hospital care closely align with standards of The Joint Commission (TJC), the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines (GWTG) program, and the National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS). CDC and awardees will work on defining performance measures for the post-hospital transition of care setting. Data from these three settings will be transmitted from the awardees to CDC quarterly. The average burden per response for this data will vary between 30-90 minutes. The burden will be 30 minutes each for independent submission of information relating to the pre-hospital, in-hospital, and post-hospital phases of patient care. Alternatively, the burden will be 90 minutes for awardees who transmitpre-, in-, and post-hospital data as one combined file. CDC accepts file transmissions as individual phases or combined.

    In addition, the new cooperative agreement funding cycle will also include primary data collection of hospital inventory data to understand the capacity and infrastructure of the hospitals that admit and treat stroke patients. Each hospital will report inventory information to its PCNASP awardee annually. The average burden per response is 15 minutes. In addition, each PCNASP awardee will prepare an annual aggregate hospital inventory file for transmission to CDC. The average burden of reporting hospital inventory information for each PCNASP awardee is 8 hours per response. All patient, hospital, and EMS provider data that is submitted to CDC by PCNASP awardees will be de-identified and occur through secure data systems.

    Proposed data elements and quality indicators may be updated over time to include new or revised items based on evolving recommendations and standards in the field to improve the quality of stroke care.

    OMB approval is requested for three years. All information is submitted to CDC electronically. Participation is voluntary and there are no costs to respondents other than their time.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hrs.)
  • Total burden (in hrs.)
    PCNASP Awardee Hospital Inventory 9 1 8 72 In-hospital care data 9 4 30/60 18 Pre-hospital care data 9 4 30/60 18 Post-hospital transition of care data 9 4 30/60 18 Hospital Hospital Inventory 400 1 15/60 100 Total 226
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17699 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Informational Meeting: The Importation and Exportation of Infectious Biological Agents, Infectious Substances and Vectors; Public Webcast AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of public webcast.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is hosting a public webcast which will include representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, CDC Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, HHS/Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response/Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. This public webcast will address import and export regulations for infectious biological agents, infectious substances, and vectors, and import and export exemptions. The purpose of this notice is to inform all interested parties, including those individuals and entities already possessing an import or export permit (or license) of the webcast.

    DATES:

    The webcast will be held on September 16, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT. Registration instructions are found on the HHS/CDC's Import Permit Program Web site, http://www.cdc.gov/od/eaipp/importApplication/agents.htm.

    ADDRESSES:

    The webcast will be broadcast from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Von McClee, Division of Select Agents and Toxins, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS A-46, Atlanta, GA 30333; phone: 404-718-2000; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This webcast is an opportunity for the regulated community (i.e., academic institutions and biomedical centers, commercial manufacturing facilities, federal, state, and local laboratories, including clinical and diagnostic laboratories, research facilities, exhibition facilities, and educational facilities) and other interested individuals to obtain specific regulatory guidance and information regarding import and export regulations. The webcast will also provide assistance to those interested in applying for an import or export permit (or license) from federal agencies within the United States.

    Instructions for registration are found on the HHS/CDC's Import Permit Program Web site, http://www.cdc.gov/od/eaipp/importApplication/agents.htm. Participants must register by September 2, 2015. This is a webcast only event and there will be no on-site participation at the HHS/CDC broadcast facility.

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Pamela J. Cox, Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17735 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (ABRWH or Advisory Board), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

    Correction: This notice was published in the Federal Register on June 30, 2015, Volume 80, Number 125, Pages 37263-37264. The time and date should read as follows:

    Time and Date: 8:15 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Mountain Time, July 23, 2015.

    Public Comment Time and Date: 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Mountain Time, July 23, 2015.

    Contact Person for More Information: Theodore Katz, Designated Federal Officer, NIOSH, CDC, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS E-20, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, telephone: (513) 533-6800, toll free: 1-800-CDC-INFO, email: [email protected].

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine L. Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17704 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request

    Title: Accomplishments of the Domestic Violence Hotline, Online Connections and Text (ADVHOCaT) Study.

    OMB No.: New Collection.

    Description: The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) and the National Dating Abuse Helpline or Love Is Respect (NDAH/LIR), which are supported by the Division of Family Violence Prevention and Services within the Family and Youth Services Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), serve as partners in the intervention, prevention, and resource assistance efforts of the network of family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence service providers.

    In order to describe the activities and accomplishments of the NDVH and NDAH/LIR and develop potential new or revised performance measures, the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), within ACF/HHS is proposing data collection activity as part of the Accomplishments of the Domestic Violence Hotline, Online Connections and Text (ADVHOCaT) Study.

    This study will primarily analyze data previously collected by the NDVH and NDAH/LIR as part of their ongoing program activities and monitoring. ACF proposes to collect additional information, including information about the preferred mode (phone, chat, text), ease of use, and perceived safety of each mode of contact.

    This data is to be collected through voluntary web-based surveys that are to be completed by those who access the NDVH and NDAH/LIR Web sites. This information will be critical to informing future efforts to monitor and improve the performance of domestic violence hotlines and provide hotline services.

    Respondents: Individuals who access the NDVH and NDAH/LIR Web sites.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Total/annual
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average burden hours per
  • response
  • Annual burden hours
    NDVH/LIR Preference of Use Survey 5000 1 0.041 hours (150 seconds) 205

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 205 hours.

    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. 2015-17687 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-2406] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Market Claims in Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug Print Ads AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the Agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), Federal Agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on research entitled, “Market Claims in Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug Print Ads.” This study will examine the impact of market claim information in direct-to-consumer (DTC) print advertising for prescription drugs.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the collection of information by September 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit electronic comments on the collection of information to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments on the collection of information to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. All comments should be identified with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    FDA PRA Staff, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, 8455 Colesville Rd., COLE-14526, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal Agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes Agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal Agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

    With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Market Claims in Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug Print Ads—OMB Control Number 0910—NEW

    Section 1701(a)(4) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300u(a)(4)) authorizes the FDA to conduct research relating to health information. Section 1003(d)(2)(C) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 393(d)(2)(C)) authorizes FDA to conduct research relating to drugs and other FDA regulated products in carrying out the provisions of the FD&C Act.

    The marketing literature divides product attributes (“cues”) into intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic cues are physical characteristics of the product (e.g., size, shape), whereas extrinsic cues are product-related but not part of the product (e.g., price and brand name) (Refs. 1, 2). Research has found that both intrinsic and extrinsic cues can influence perceptions of product quality (Ref. 3). Consumers may rely on product cues in the absence of explicit quality information. The objective quality of prescription drugs is not easily obtained from promotional claims in DTC ads; thus consumers may rely upon extrinsic cues to inform their decisions. Market claims such as “#1 prescribed” and “new” may act as extrinsic cues about the product's quality, independent of the product's intrinsic characteristics. Prior research has found that market leadership claims can affect consumer beliefs about product efficacy, as well as their beliefs about doctors' judgments about product efficacy (Ref. 4). One limitation of these prior studies is the lack of quantitative information about product efficacy in the information provided to respondents. Research indicates that providing consumers with efficacy information generally improves understanding and facilitates decisionmaking (Refs. 5, 6). Efficacy information may moderate the effect of the extrinsic cue by providing insight into characteristics that would otherwise be unknown. Other research has shown that consumers are able to use information about efficacy to inform judgments about the product (Refs. 6, 7).

    The Office of Prescription Drug Promotion plans to investigate, through empirical research, the impact of market claims on prescription drug product perceptions with and without quantitative information about product efficacy. This will be investigated in DTC print advertising for prescription drugs.

    The project consists of two parts; a main study and a followup study. Pretesting will be conducted to assess and identify problems with the questionnaire, stimuli, and procedures. Participants will be consumers who self-identify as having been diagnosed with diabetes. All participants will be 18 years of age or older. We will exclude individuals from the consumer sample who work in healthcare or marketing settings because their knowledge and experiences may not reflect those of the average consumer. Recruitment and administration of the study will take place over the Internet. Participation is estimated to take no more than 30 minutes.

    In the main study, participants will be randomly assigned to view one of nine possible versions of an ad, as depicted in table 1. The two variables of interest are type of market claim (#1 Prescribed, New) and level of efficacy information (high, low, or none). Efficacy information will be operationalized in the form of simple quantitative information (for example, product X can provide 50 percent relief for up to 60 percent of patients). We will investigate memory, perception, and understanding of product risks and benefits; perception and understanding of the market claim; perception of product quality; perceptions of product acceptance by doctor, intention to seek more information about the product; and perceptions of trust/skepticism regarding product claims and the sponsor. To examine differences between experimental conditions, we will conduct inferential statistical tests such as analysis of variance. With the sample size described below, we will have sufficient power to detect small- to medium-sized effects in the main study.

    Table 1—Main Study Design Type of Market Claim #1 Prescribed New None (control) Efficacy Level Information: High A B C Low D E F None (control) G H I

    The followup study will examine the tradeoff between efficacy level and market share claim using decision analysis techniques. Participants will be asked to choose between two different DTC print ads over 48 trials. One set of DTC ads will feature the two claims from the main study. The other set of DTC ads will depict 48 different levels of product efficacy. Participants will be asked to choose one product on one or more dependent measures.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 2—Estimated Burden 1 Activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual respondents Average burden per response Total hours
    Sample outgo (pretests and main survey) 16,384 Screener completes 1,638 1 1,638 .03 (2 minutes) 49 Eligible 1,556 Completes, Pretest 1 252 1 252 .5 (30 minutes) 126 Completes, Pretest 2 252 1 252 .5 (30 minutes) 126 Completes, Main Study 495 1 495 .5 (30 minutes) 248 Completes, Pretest 3 108 1 108 .25 (15 minutes) 27 Completes, Followup Study 216 1 216 .25 (15 minutes) 54 Total 630 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    References

    The following references have been placed on display in the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES) and may be seen by interested persons between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and are available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov.

    1. Lee, M. and Y.C. Lou, “Consumer Reliance on Intrinsic and Extrinsic Cues in Product Evaluations: A Conjoint Approach,” Journal of Applied Business Research, 12(1), pp. 21-29 (2011). 2. Teas, R.K. and S. Agarwal, “The Effects of Extrinsic Product Cues on Consumers' Perceptions of Quality, Sacrifice, and Value,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 28(2), pp. 278-290 (2000). 3. Rao, A.R. and K.B. Monroe, “The Effect of Price, Brand Name, and Store Name on Buyers' Perceptions of Product Quality: An Integrative Review,” Journal of Marketing Research, pp. 351-357 (1989). 4. Mitra, A., J.L. Swasy, and K.J. Aikin, “How Do Consumers Interpret Market Leadership Claims in Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs?” Advances in Consumer Research, 33, pp. 381-387 (2006). 5. O'Donoghue, A., H.K. Sullivan, D. Aikin, R. Chowdhury, et al., “Presenting Efficacy Information in Direct to Consumer Prescription Drug Advertisements,” Patient Education Counsel, 95(2), pp. 271-80 (2014). 6. Schwartz, L.M., S. Woloshin, and H.G. Welch, “Using a Drug Facts Box to Communicate Drug Benefits and Harmstwo Randomized Trials,” Annals of Internal Medicine, 150(8), pp. 516-527 (2009). 7. Sullivan, H.W., A. C. O'Donoghue, and K.J. Aikin, “Presenting Quantitative Information About Placebo Rates to Patients,” JAMA Internal Medicine, doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.10399 (2013). Dated: July 15, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17725 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0128] Prescription Drug User Fee Act; Stakeholder Consultation Meetings on the Prescription Drug User Fee Act Reauthorization; Request for Notification of Stakeholder Intention To Participate AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for notification of participation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is issuing this notice to request that public stakeholders—including patient and consumer advocacy groups, health care professionals, and scientific and academic experts—notify FDA of their intent to participate in periodic consultation meetings on the reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA). The statutory authority for PDUFA expires in September 2017. At that time, new legislation will be required for FDA to continue collecting user fees for the prescription drug program. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) requires that FDA consult with a range of stakeholders in developing recommendations for the next PDUFA program. The FD&C Act also requires that FDA hold discussions (at least every month) with patient and consumer advocacy groups during FDA's negotiations with the regulated industry. The purpose of this request for notification is to ensure continuity and progress in these monthly discussions by establishing consistent stakeholder representation.

    DATES:

    Submit notification of intention to participate in these series of meetings by August 28, 2015. Stakeholder meetings will be held monthly. It is anticipated that they will commence in September or October 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit notification of intention to participate in monthly stakeholder meetings by email to [email protected] The meetings will be held at the FDA campus, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Graham Thompson, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 1146, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-5003, FAX: 301-847-8443.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    FDA is requesting that public stakeholders—including patient and consumer advocacy groups, health care professionals, and scientific and academic experts—notify the Agency of their intent to participate in periodic stakeholder consultation meetings on the reauthorization of PDUFA. PDUFA authorizes FDA to collect user fees from the regulated industry for the process for the review of human drugs. The authorization for the current program (PDUFA V) expires in September 2017. Without new legislation, FDA will no longer be able to collect user fees for future fiscal years to fund the human drug review process.

    Section 736B(d) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 379h-2(d)) requires that FDA consult with a range of stakeholders, including representatives from patient and consumer groups, health care professionals, and scientific and academic experts, in developing recommendations for the next PDUFA program. FDA will initiate the reauthorization process by holding a public meeting on July 15, 2015, where stakeholders and other members of the public will be given an opportunity to present their views on the reauthorization. The FD&C Act further requires that FDA continue meeting with these stakeholders at least once every month during negotiations with the regulated industry to continue discussions of stakeholder views on the reauthorization. It is anticipated that these monthly stakeholder consultation meetings will commence in September or October 2015.

    FDA is issuing this Federal Register notice to request that stakeholder representatives from patient and consumer groups, health care professional associations, as well as scientific and academic experts, notify FDA of their intent to participate in the periodic stakeholder consultation meetings on PDUFA reauthorization. FDA believes that consistent stakeholder representation at these meetings will be important to ensure progress in these discussions. If you wish to participate in the stakeholder consultation meetings, please designate one or more representatives from your organization who will commit to attending these meetings and preparing for the discussions. Stakeholders who identify themselves through this notice will be included in all stakeholder consultation discussions while FDA negotiates with the regulated industry. If a stakeholder decides to participate in these monthly meetings at a later time, that stakeholder may join the remaining monthly stakeholder consultation meetings after notifying FDA of this intention (see ADDRESSES). These stakeholder discussions will satisfy the consultation requirement in section 736B(d)(3) of the FD&C Act.

    II. Notification of Intent To Participate in Periodic Stakeholder Consultation Meetings

    If you intend to participate in continued periodic stakeholder consultation meetings regarding PDUFA reauthorization, please provide notification by email to [email protected] by August 28, 2015. Your email should contain complete contact information, including name, title, affiliation, address, email address, phone number, and notice of any special accommodations required because of disability. Stakeholders will receive confirmation and additional information about the first meeting after FDA receives this notification.

    Dated: July 14, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17684 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-1992-N-0199] David J. Brancato: Grant of Special Termination; Final Order Terminating Debarment AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing an order under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) granting special termination of the debarment of David J. Brancato. FDA bases this order on a finding that Dr. Brancato provided substantial assistance in the investigations or prosecutions of offenses relating to a matter under FDA's jurisdiction, and that special termination of Dr. Brancato's debarment serves the interest of justice and does not threaten the integrity of the drug approval process.

    DATES:

    This order is effective July 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should reference Docket No. FDA-1992-N-0199 and be sent to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kenny Shade, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Food and Drug Administration, 12420 Parklawn Dr. (ELEM-4144), Rockville, MD 20857, 301-796-4640.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In a Federal Register notice dated January 6, 1994 (59 FR 00751), David J. Brancato, a former review chemist with FDA's Division of Generic Drugs was permanently debarred from providing services in any capacity to a person with an approved or pending drug product application under section 306(a) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 335a(a)). The debarment was based on FDA's finding that Dr. Brancato was convicted of a felony under Federal law for conduct relating to the development, or approval of any drug product, or otherwise relating to the regulation of a drug product. On May 26, 1998, Dr. Brancato applied for special termination of debarment, under section 306(d)(4) of the FD&C Act, as amended by the Generic Drug Enforcement Act. On April 15, 2015, the Agency requested additional information. On April 20, 2015, Dr. Brancato provided the requested information.

    Under section 306(d)(4)(C) and (d)(4)(D) of the FD&C Act, FDA may limit the period of debarment of a permanently debarred individual if the Agency finds that: (1) The debarred individual has provided substantial assistance in the investigation or prosecution of offenses described in section 306(a) or (b) of the FD&C Act or relating to a matter under FDA's jurisdiction; (2) termination of the debarment serves the interest of justice; and (3) termination of the debarment does not threaten the integrity of the drug approval process.

    Special termination of debarment is discretionary with FDA. FDA generally considers a determination by the Department of Justice concerning the substantial assistance of a debarred individual conclusive in most cases. Dr. Brancato cooperated with the United States Attorney's Office in the investigation of several individuals, as substantiated by letters submitted to the Agency by Thomas Holland, a Special Agent in the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. His cooperation contributed to the successful prosecution of these individuals, and in one instance continued over a period of 7 years. Accordingly, FDA finds that Dr. Brancato provided substantial assistance as required by section 306(d)(4)(C) of the FD&C Act.

    The additional requisite showings, i.e., that termination of debarment serves the interest of justice and poses no threat to the integrity of the drug approval process, are difficult standards to satisfy. In determining whether these have been met, the Agency weighs the significance of all favorable and unfavorable factors in light of the remedial, public health-related purposes underlying debarment. Termination of debarment will not be granted unless, weighing all favorable and unfavorable information, there is a high level of assurance that the conduct that formed the basis for debarment has not recurred and will not recur, and that the individual will not otherwise pose a threat to the integrity of the drug approval process.

    The evidence presented to FDA in support of termination shows that Dr. Brancato was convicted for a first offense; that he has no prior or subsequent convictions for conduct described under the FD&C Act and has committed no other wrongful acts affecting the drug approval process; and that his character and scientific accomplishments are highly regarded by his professional peers. The evidence presented supports the conclusion that the conduct upon which Dr. Brancato's debarment was based is unlikely to recur. For these reasons, the Agency finds that termination of Dr. Brancato's debarment serves the interest of justice and will not pose a threat to the integrity of the drug approval process.

    Under section 306(d)(4)(D) of the FD&C Act, the period of debarment of an individual who qualifies for special termination may be limited to less than permanent but to no less than 1 year. Dr. Brancato's period of debarment, which commenced on January 6, 1994, has lasted more than 1 year. Accordingly, the Director of the Office of Enforcement and Import Operations, under section 306(d)(4) of the FD&C Act and under authority delegated to the Director (Staff Manual Guide 1410.35), finds that David J. Brancato's application for special termination of debarment should be granted, and that the period of debarment should terminate immediately, thereby allowing him to provide services in any capacity to a person with an approved or pending drug product application. The Director of Enforcement and Import Operations further finds that because the Agency is granting Dr. Brancato's application, an informal hearing under section 306(d)(4)(C) of the FD&C Act is unnecessary.

    As a result of the foregoing findings, Dr. David J. Brancato's debarment is terminated effective (see DATES) (21 U.S.C. 335a(d)(4)(C) and (d)(4)(D)).

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17712 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-1196] List of Bulk Drug Substances That May Be Used by an Outsourcing Facility To Compound Drugs for Use in Animals; Extension of Nomination Period AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice; extension of nomination period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is extending the nomination period for the notice that appeared in the Federal Register of May 19, 2015. In the notice, FDA requested nominations for a list of bulk drug substances that may be used by facilities registered as outsourcing facilities under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) to compound animal drugs from bulk substances, in accordance with FDA's draft guidance for industry (GIF) #230, “Compounding Animal Drugs from Bulk Drug Substances.” The FDA is taking this action in response to a request for an extension to allow interested persons additional time to submit nominations.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written nominations for the bulk drug substances list by November 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit nominations by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic nominations in the following way:

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

    Written Submissions

    Submit written nominations in the following ways:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2015-N-1196. All nominations received may be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For additional information on submitting nominations, see the “Request for Nominations” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or nominations received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Neal Bataller, Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration (HFV-210), 7519 Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855, 240-402-5745, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In the Federal Register of May 19, 2015 (80 FR 28622), FDA published a notice with a 90-day nomination period for the list of bulk drug substances that may be used by a facility registered as an outsourcing facility under section 503B of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 353B) to compound drugs for use in animals in accordance with FDA's draft GFI #230, “Compounding Animal Drugs from Bulk Drug Substances.” That notice describes the information that should be provided to the FDA in support of each nomination.

    FDA has received a request for a 90-day extension of the nomination period as the requestor wanted more time to nominate drugs to the list and to provide supporting data. FDA has considered the request and is extending the nomination period for 90 days, until November 16, 2015. The FDA believes that a 90-day extension allows adequate time for interested persons to submit nominations without significantly delaying consideration of these nominations.

    II. Nomination Process

    The process for nominations for bulk drug substances that may be used by facilities registered as outsourcing facilities under section 503B of the FD&C Act to compound animal drugs from bulk drug substances is described in the previous notice published May 19, 2015. FDA cannot guarantee that all drugs nominated during the nomination period will be considered for initial inclusion in Appendix A at the time of its initial publication. Nominations submitted during the nomination period (ending on November 16, 2015) that are not evaluated and included in Appendix A at the time of its initial publication will receive consideration for later addition to Appendix A. In addition, individuals and organizations may petition FDA, in accordance with 21 CFR 10.30, to make additional amendments to Appendix A after the nomination period.

    III. Request for Nominations

    Interested persons may submit either electronic nominations to http://www.regulations.gov or written nominations to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). It is only necessary to send one set of nominations. Identify nominations with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received nominations may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17729 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-2412] Determination That TESSALON (Benzonatate) Capsules and Other Drug Products Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that the drug products listed in this document were not withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. This determination means that FDA will not begin procedures to withdraw approval of abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) that refer to these drug products, and it will allow FDA to continue to approve ANDAs that refer to the products as long as they meet relevant legal and regulatory requirements.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stacy Kane, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 6207, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-8363.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In 1984, Congress enacted the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-417) (the 1984 amendments), which authorized the approval of duplicate versions of drug products approved under an ANDA procedure. ANDA sponsors must, with certain exceptions, show that the drug for which they are seeking approval contains the same active ingredient in the same strength and dosage form as the “listed drug,” which is a version of the drug that was previously approved. ANDAs applicants do not have to repeat the extensive clinical testing otherwise necessary to gain approval of a new drug application (NDA).

    The 1984 amendments include what is now section 505(j)(7) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355(j)(7)), which requires FDA to publish a list of all approved drugs. FDA publishes this list as part of the “Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations,” which is generally known as the “Orange Book.” Under FDA regulations, a drug is removed from the list if the Agency withdraws or suspends approval of the drug's NDA or ANDA for reasons of safety or effectiveness, or if FDA determines that the listed drug was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness (21 CFR 314.162).

    Under § 314.161(a) (21 CFR 314.161(a)), the Agency must determine whether a listed drug was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness: (1) Before an ANDA that refers to that listed drug may be approved, (2) whenever a listed drug is voluntarily withdrawn from sale and ANDAs that refer to the listed drug have been approved, and (3) when a person petitions for such a determination under 21 CFR 10.25(a) and 10.30. Section 314.161(d) provides that if FDA determines that a listed drug was withdrawn from sale for safety or effectiveness reasons, the Agency will initiate proceedings that could result in the withdrawal of approval of the ANDAs that refer to the listed drug.

    FDA has become aware that the drug products listed in the table are no longer being marketed. (As requested by the applicant, FDA withdrew approval of NDA 050448 for GRIFULVIN (griseofulvin) Oral Suspension in the Federal Register of August 16, 2001 (66 FR 43017)).

    Application No. Drug Applicant NDA 011210 TESSALON (benzonatate) Capsule; Oral 200 milligrams (mg) Pfizer Inc., 1 Giralda Farms, Madison, NJ 07940. NDA 012093 ISORDIL (isosorbide dinitrate) Tablet; Oral 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America, LLC, 400 Somerset Corporate Blvd., Bridgewater, NJ 08807. NDA 018702 ACLOVATE (alclometasone dipropionate) Ointment; Topical 0.05% Fougera Pharmaceuticals Inc., 60 Baylis Rd., P.O. Box 2006, Melville, NY 11747. NDA 018707 ACLOVATE (alclometasone dipropionate) Cream; Topical 0.05% Do. NDA 018936 SARAFEM (fluoxetine hydrochloride (HCl)) Capsule; Oral Equivalent to (EQ) 10 mg Base, EQ 20 mg Base Eli Lilly and Co., Lilly Corp. Ctr., Indianapolis, IN 46285. NDA 018988 VASOCIDIN (prednisolone sodium phosphate; sulfacetamide sodium), Solution/Drops; Ophthalmic, EQ 0.23% phosphate; 10% Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., 105 Eisenhower Pky., 280 Corporate Center, Roseland, NJ 07068. NDA 019898 PRAVACHOL (pravastatin sodium) Tablet; Oral 10 mg Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., P.O. Box 4000, Princeton, NJ 08543-4000. NDA 020092 DILACOR XR (diltiazem HCl) Capsule, Extended-Release; Oral 120 mg, 180 mg, 240 mg Actavis Laboratories UT, Inc., 577 Chipeta Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108. NDA 021551 HALFLYTELY (polyethylene glycol 3350; potassium chloride; sodium bicarbonate; sodium chloride) For Solution and bisacodyl Delayed-Release Tablets); Oral 210 grams (g); 0.74 g; 2.86 g; 5.6 g; 5 mg Braintree Laboratories, Inc., 60 Columbia St., P.O. Box 850929, Braintree, MA 02185. NDA 021871 LOESTRIN 24 FE (ethinyl estradiol; norethindrone acetate) Tablet; Oral 0.02 mg; 1 mg Warner Chilcott Co. LLC, Union Street Rd. 195 KM 1.1., Fajardo, Puerto Rico 00738. NDA 050448 GRIFULVIN V (griseofulvin, microcrystalline) Suspension; Oral 125 mg/5 milliliters (mL) Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Co., 199 Grandview Rd., Skillman, NJ 08558. NDA 050719 HELIDAC (bismuth subsalicylate; metronidazole; tetracycline HCl) Tablet, Chewable, Tablet, Capsule; Oral 262.4 mg; 250 mg, 500 mg Prometheus Laboratories Inc., 9410 Carroll Park Dr., San Diego, CA 92121. ANDA 040454 PROMETHAZINE HYDROCHLORIDE (promethazine HCl) Injectable; Injection 25 mg/mL, 50 mg/mL Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, 425 Privet Rd., Horsham, PA 19044. ANDA 062483 GRIFULVIN V (griseofulvin, microsize) Suspension; Oral 125 mg/5 mL Valeant Pharmaceuticals Luxembourg S.a.r.l, C/O Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC, 400 Somerset Corporate Blvd., Bridgewater, NJ 08807. ANDA 088762 PROMETH W/DEXTROMETHORPHAN (dextromethorphan hydrobromide; promethazine HCl) Syrup; Oral 15 mg/5 mL; 6.25 mg/5 mL G&W Laboratories Inc.,111 Coolidge St., South Plainfield, NJ 07080.

    FDA has reviewed its records and, under § 314.161, has determined that the drug products listed in this document were not withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. Accordingly, the Agency will continue to list the drug products listed in this document in the “Discontinued Drug Product List” section of the Orange Book. The “Discontinued Drug Product List” identifies, among other items, drug products that have been discontinued from marketing for reasons other than safety or effectiveness.

    Approved ANDAs that refer to the NDAs and ANDAs listed in this document are unaffected by the discontinued marketing of the products subject to those NDAs and ANDAs. Additional ANDAs that refer to these products may also be approved by the Agency if they comply with relevant legal and regulatory requirements. If FDA determines that labeling for these drug products should be revised to meet current standards, the Agency will advise ANDA applicants to submit such labeling.

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17730 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2007-D-0369] Bioequivalence Recommendations for Lubiprostone; Revised Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the availability of a revised draft guidance for industry on lubiprostone capsules entitled “Bioequivalence Recommendations for Lubiprostone.” The recommendations provide specific guidance on the design of bioequivalence (BE) studies to support abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) for lubiprostone capsules.

    DATES:

    Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the Agency considers your comments on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by September 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

    Submit electronic comments on the draft guidance to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Xiaoqiu Tang, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (HFD-600), Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 75, Rm. 4730, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-5850.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In the Federal Register of June 11, 2010 (75 FR 33311), FDA announced the availability of a guidance for industry, “Bioequivalence Recommendations for Specific Products,” which explained the process that would be used to make product-specific BE recommendations available to the public on FDA's Web site at http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm. As described in that guidance, FDA adopted this process as a means to develop and disseminate product-specific BE recommendations and provide a meaningful opportunity for the public to consider and comment on those recommendations. This notice announces the availability of draft BE recommendations for lubiprostone capsules.

    FDA initially approved new drug application (NDA) 021908 for AMITIZA capsules in January 2006. There are no approved ANDAs for this product. In August 2010, we issued a draft guidance for industry on BE recommendations for generic lubiprostone capsules. We are now issuing a revised draft guidance for industry on BE recommendations for generic lubiprostone capsules (“Bioequivalence Recommendations for Lubiprostone”).

    In January 2014, Sucampo Pharma Americas, LLC, manufacturer of the reference listed drug, AMITIZA, submitted a citizen petition requesting that FDA revise the BE requirements for any new drug product that references AMITIZA and seeks approval by means of demonstrating BE to AMITIZA. FDA has reviewed the issues raised in the petition and is responding to the petition (Docket No. FDA-2014-P-0144).

    This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the Agency's current thinking on the design of BE studies to support ANDAs for lubiprostone capsules. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. An alternative approach may be used if such approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

    II. Comments

    Interested persons may submit either electronic comments regarding this document to http://www.regulations.gov or written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). It is only necessary to send one set of comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the document at either http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm or http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17726 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Small Business: HIV/AIDS Innovative Research Applications.

    Date: August 4, 2015.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Mark P Rubert, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5218, MSC 7852, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1775, [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 14, 2015. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17648 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in section 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Special Emphasis Panel.

    Date: August 31, 2015.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6100 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Cathy Wedeen, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, 6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 5B01, Bethesda, MD 20892-9304, (301) 435-6878, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.864, Population Research; 93.865, Research for Mothers and Children; 93.929, Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research; 93.209, Contraception and Infertility Loan Repayment Program, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: July 14, 2015. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17646 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in section 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The contract proposals and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the contract proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Special Emphasis Panel.

    Date: August 12, 2015.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6100 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Sathasiva B. Kandasamy, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, 6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 5B01, Bethesda, MD 20892-9304, (301) 435-6680, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.864, Population Research; 93.865, Research for Mothers and Children; 93.929, Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research; 93.209, Contraception and Infertility Loan Repayment Program, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: July 14, 2015. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17649 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2015-0001] Final Flood Hazard Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Flood hazard determinations, which may include additions or modifications of Base Flood Elevations (BFEs), base flood depths, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundaries or zone designations, or regulatory floodways on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and where applicable, in the supporting Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports have been made final for the communities listed in the table below.

    The FIRM and FIS report are the basis of the floodplain management measures that a community is required either to adopt or to show evidence of having in effect in order to qualify or remain qualified for participation in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In addition, the FIRM and FIS report are used by insurance agents and others to calculate appropriate flood insurance premium rates for buildings and the contents of those buildings.

    DATES:

    The effective date of August 3, 2015 which has been established for the FIRM and, where applicable, the supporting FIS report showing the new or modified flood hazard information for each community.

    ADDRESSES:

    The FIRM, and if applicable, the FIS report containing the final flood hazard information for each community is available for inspection at the respective Community Map Repository address listed in the tables below and will be available online through the FEMA Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov by the effective date indicated above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Luis Rodriguez, Chief, Engineering Management Branch, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-4064, or (email) [email protected]; or visit the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) online at www.floodmaps.fema.gov/fhm/fmx_main.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) makes the final determinations listed below for the new or modified flood hazard information for each community listed. Notification of these changes has been published in newspapers of local circulation and 90 days have elapsed since that publication. The Deputy Associate Administrator for Mitigation has resolved any appeals resulting from this notification.

    This final notice is issued in accordance with section 110 of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. 4104, and 44 CFR part 67. FEMA has developed criteria for floodplain management in floodprone areas in accordance with 44 CFR part 60.

    Interested lessees and owners of real property are encouraged to review the new or revised FIRM and FIS report available at the address cited below for each community or online through the FEMA Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov.

    The flood hazard determinations are made final in the watersheds and/or communities listed in the table below.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 97.022, “Flood Insurance.”) Date: June 16, 2015. Roy E. Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency. Community Community map repository address Augusta County, Virginia, and Incorporated Areas Docket No.: FEMA-B-1412 Unincorporated Areas of Augusta County Augusta County Community Development Office, 18 Government Center Lane, Verona, VA 24482. New Kent County, Virginia (All Jurisdictions)