Federal Register Vol. 80, No.140,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 140 (July 22, 2015)

Page Range43299-43612
FR Document

80_FR_140
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 43413 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
80 FR 43299 - Captive Nations Week, 2015PDF
80 FR 43424 - Receipt of Test Data Under the Toxic Substances Control ActPDF
80 FR 43323 - Sedaxane; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
80 FR 43428 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
80 FR 43428 - Notice of Request for Additional Information; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 43407 - Applications for New Awards; Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind-Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind Training and Technical Assistance ProgramPDF
80 FR 43400 - Applications for New Awards; American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services-Training and Technical AssistancePDF
80 FR 43459 - Request for Nominations for the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Advisory CouncilPDF
80 FR 43424 - Pesticides; Risk Management Approach To Identifying Options for Protecting the Monarch Butterfly; Notice of Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 43462 - United States v. Entercom Communications Corp. and Lincoln Financial Media Company; Proposed Final Judgment and Competitive Impact StatementPDF
80 FR 43456 - South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, Phase 2; Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge; Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact ReportPDF
80 FR 43473 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Wireless Industrial Technology Konsortium, Inc.PDF
80 FR 43473 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Interchangeable Virtual Instruments Foundation, Inc.PDF
80 FR 43462 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-PXI Systems Alliance, Inc.PDF
80 FR 43456 - Extension of Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Security Programs for Foreign Air CarriersPDF
80 FR 43440 - Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 43387 - Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Components Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value InvestigationPDF
80 FR 43392 - Certain Polyester Staple Fiber From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014PDF
80 FR 43386 - Quarterly Update to Annual Listing of Foreign Government Subsidies on Articles of Cheese Subject to an In-Quota Rate of DutyPDF
80 FR 43314 - Cuba: Implementing Rescission of State Sponsor of Terrorism DesignationPDF
80 FR 43413 - Freeport LNG Development, L.P.; Application for Blanket Authorization To Export Previously Imported Liquefied Natural Gas on a Short-Term BasisPDF
80 FR 43528 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, To Adopt FINRA Rule 2242 (Debt Research Analysts and Debt Research Reports)PDF
80 FR 43482 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, To Adopt FINRA Rule 2241 (Research Analysts and Research Reports) in the Consolidated FINRA RulebookPDF
80 FR 43336 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Modifications of the West Coast Commercial Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions #14 and #15PDF
80 FR 43337 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the West Yakutat District of the Gulf of AlaskaPDF
80 FR 43386 - Delta-Bienville Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 43451 - Notice of Issuance of Final Determination Concerning Storage Infrastructure Solution SystemPDF
80 FR 43447 - Meeting on American Indian/Alaska Native Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health IssuesPDF
80 FR 43459 - Notice of Realty Action: Application for Conveyance of Federally Owned Mineral Interests in Pima County, Arizona; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 43447 - Division of Behavioral Health, Office of Clinical and Preventive Services; Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 43439 - Commission To Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities; Announcement of MeetingsPDF
80 FR 43551 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments for the Renewal of an Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 43414 - Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities; Order Denying Request For ClarificationPDF
80 FR 43422 - Notice of Commission Staff AttendancePDF
80 FR 43421 - Electronic Filing Protocols for Commission Forms; Notice of Meeting of North American Energy Standards BoardPDF
80 FR 43422 - Alexander Wind Farm, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 43419 - Dominion South Carolina Gas, Inc; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Columbia to Eastover Project and Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
80 FR 43476 - Notice of Intent To Grant an Exclusive LicensePDF
80 FR 43476 - Notice of Intent To Grant a Partially Exclusive LicensePDF
80 FR 43551 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition ReceivedPDF
80 FR 43480 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 43370 - Periodic ReportingPDF
80 FR 43557 - Open Meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee on InsurancePDF
80 FR 43554 - Reports, Forms and Recordkeeping Requirements Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 43320 - Performance Standards for Ionizing Radiation Emitting Products; Fluoroscopic Equipment; Correction; Confirmation of Effective DatePDF
80 FR 43476 - Notice of Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 43428 - Privacy Act of 1974; Systems of RecordsPDF
80 FR 43354 - Revised Critical Infrastructure Protection Reliability StandardsPDF
80 FR 43421 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
80 FR 43423 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 43421 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
80 FR 43425 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
80 FR 43426 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 43425 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
80 FR 43553 - Notice of Proposed Buy America Waiver for a Variable Refrigerant Flow HVAC SystemPDF
80 FR 43552 - Notice of Proposed Buy America Waiver for Replacement Gondola ComponentsPDF
80 FR 43479 - Submission for OMB Review; Comments RequestPDF
80 FR 43555 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Information Collection Renewal; Comment Request; FFIEC Cybersecurity Assessment ToolPDF
80 FR 43439 - General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Submission for OMB Review; Identification of Products With Environmental AttributesPDF
80 FR 43442 - Statement of Organization, Functions and Delegations of AuthorityPDF
80 FR 43478 - Submission for OMB Review; Comments RequestPDF
80 FR 43505 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Consisting of an Amendment to MSRB Rule G-45, on Reporting of Information on Municipal Fund SecuritiesPDF
80 FR 43512 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment Nos. 1, 2, and 3 and Order Approving on an Accelerated Basis a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1, 2, and 3, To List and Trade Shares of the SPDR® SSgA Flexible Allocation ETF Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600PDF
80 FR 43498 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Depository Trust Company; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the DTC Settlement Service Guide To Allow Participants To Elect To Receive Certain New Transactional and Settlement Balance Files and Effect a Related Amendment to the DTC Fee SchedulePDF
80 FR 43497 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; OneChicago, LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Decimal Pricing for Spread TransactionsPDF
80 FR 43515 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change for New Equity Trading Rules Relating to Trading Halts, Short Sales, Limit Up-Limit Down, and Odd Lots and Mixed Lots To Reflect the Implementation of Pillar, the Exchange's New Trading Technology PlatformPDF
80 FR 43500 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To List and Trade Shares of the iShares iBonds Dec 2021 AMT-Free Muni Bond ETF and iShares iBonds Dec 2022 AMT-Free Muni Bond ETF Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3)PDF
80 FR 43480 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending the NYSE Arca Options Fee SchedulePDF
80 FR 43509 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Amend Exchange Rule 1080(n), Price Improvement XL (“PIXLSMPDF
80 FR 43503 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to AIMPDF
80 FR 43507 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to a Change in the Size of a Creation Unit Applicable to Shares of the PIMCO Total Return Active Exchange-Traded FundPDF
80 FR 43548 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to AIM and FLEX AIMPDF
80 FR 43474 - Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education; Rehabilitation Services Administration; Comment Request for Information Collection for the WIOA Performance Management, Information, and Reporting System (OMB Control No. 1205-0NEW), New CollectionPDF
80 FR 43473 - Meeting of the Office of Justice Programs' Science Advisory BoardPDF
80 FR 43443 - Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 43445 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 43441 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 43444 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 43312 - Establishment and Amendment of Class E Airspace; Bremerton, WAPDF
80 FR 43311 - Revocation of Class D and E Airspace; Independence, KSPDF
80 FR 43460 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
80 FR 43461 - Chloropicrin From China; Scheduling of an Expedited Five-Year ReviewPDF
80 FR 43550 - Notice of Intent To Rule on the Change of Use of Aeronautical Property at Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, New Bern, NCPDF
80 FR 43446 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 43477 - Information Collection: NRC Form 531 “Request for Taxpayer Identification Number”PDF
80 FR 43394 - Announcement of Requirements and Registration for National Institute of Standards and Technology Prize Competition-Reference Data ChallengePDF
80 FR 43449 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 43447 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request Process and Outcomes Evaluation of NCI Physical Sciences in Oncology Centers (PS-OC) Initiative (NCI)PDF
80 FR 43448 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 43449 - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 43371 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; State of Missouri; Control of Petroleum Liquid Storage, Loading and TransferPDF
80 FR 43398 - National Assessment Governing Board Quarterly Board MeetingPDF
80 FR 43338 - Expansion of Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers of InadmissibilityPDF
80 FR 43301 - Guidance for Reporting and Use of Information Concerning Recipient Integrity and PerformancePDF
80 FR 43367 - Drug Abuse Treatment ProgramPDF
80 FR 43329 - Novaluron; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
80 FR 43427 - Controlled Carriers Under the Shipping Act of 1984PDF
80 FR 43383 - Partial Exemption of Certain Chemical Substances From Reporting Additional Chemical DataPDF
80 FR 43373 - Aldicarb, Alternaria destruens, Ampelomyces quisqualis, Azinphos-methyl, Etridiazole, Fenarimol, et al.; Proposed Tolerance and Tolerance Exemption ActionsPDF
80 FR 43559 - Limitations on Terms of Consumer Credit Extended to Service Members and DependentsPDF
80 FR 43320 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards; Updating ReferencesPDF

Issue

80 140 Wednesday, July 22, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Forest Service

Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Final Judgment and Competitive Impact Statement: United States v. Entercom Communications Corp. and Lincoln Financial Media Co., 43462-43473 2015-17992 Membership Changes under National Cooperative Research and Production Act: Interchangeable Virtual Instruments Foundation, Inc., 43473 2015-17988 PXI Systems Alliance, Inc., 43462 2015-17987 Wireless Industrial Technology Konsortium, Inc., 43473 2015-17989 Commerce Commerce Department See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: FFIEC Cybersecurity Assessment Tool, 43555-43557 2015-17907 Defense Department Defense Department RULES Limitations on Terms of Consumer Credit Extended to Service Members and Dependents, 43560-43612 2015-17480 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: WIOA Performance Management, Information, and Reporting Systems, 43474-43475 2015-17888 Applications for New Awards: American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services—Training and Technical Assistance, 43400-43406 2015-17995 Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind Training and Technical Assistance Program, 43407-43413 2015-17996 Meetings: National Assessment Governing Board, 43398-43400 2015-17832 Election Election Assistance Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 43413 2015-18099 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: WIOA Performance Management, Information, and Reporting Systems, 43474-43475 2015-17888 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Application to Import and Export Natural Gas, etc.: Freeport LNG Development, L.P., 43413-43414 2015-17980
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Pesticide Tolerances: Novaluron, 43329-43335 2015-17676 Sedaxane, 43323-43329 2015-17999 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Missouri; Control of Petroleum Liquid Storage, Loading and Transfer, 43371-43373 2015-17853 Partial Exemption of Certain Chemical Substances from Reporting Additional Chemical Data, 43383-43385 2015-17629 Tolerance and Tolerance Exemption Actions: Aldicarb, Alternaria destruens, Ampelomyces quisqualis, Azinphos-methyl, Etridiazole, Fenarimol, et al., 43373-43382 2015-17628 NOTICES Pesticides Risk Management Approach To Identifying Options for Protecting the Monarch Butterfly, 43424 2015-17993 Toxic Substances Control Act Test Data, 43424-43425 2015-18008 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Establishments and Amendments of Class E Airspace: Bremerton, WA, 43312-43313 2015-17880 Revocations of Class D and E Airspace: Independence, KS, 43311-43312 2015-17878 NOTICES Change of Use of Aeronautical Properties: Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, New Bern, NC, 43550-43551 2015-17874 Petitions for Exemptions; Summaries: The Boeing Co., 43551 2015-17941 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 43425-43427 2015-17913 2015-17914 2015-17915 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Revised Critical Infrastructure Protection Reliability Standards, 43354-43367 2015-17920 NOTICES Combined Filings, 43421-43424 2015-17916 2015-17917 2015-17918 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Dominion South Carolina Gas, Inc.; Columbia to Eastover Project, 43419-43421 2015-17944 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Alexander Wind Farm, LLC, 43422-43423 2015-17945 Meetings: North American Energy Standards Board, Electronic Filing Protocols for Commission Forms, 43421 2015-17947 Requests for Clarifications; Denials: Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities, 43414-43419 2015-17949 Staff Attendances, 43422 2015-17948 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 43551-43552 2015-17951 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 43428 2015-17998 Controlled Carriers under the Shipping Act, 43427-43428 2015-17643 Requests for Additional Information; Corrections, 43428 2015-17997 Federal Retirement Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 43428-43439 2015-17924 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration NOTICES Buy America Waivers, 43552-43554 2015-17909 2015-17910 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, Phase 2; Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, 43456-43459 2015-17991 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Performance Standards for Ionizing Radiation Emitting Products; Fluoroscopic Equipment; Correction; Effective Date Confirmation, 43320 2015-17930 NOTICES Meetings: Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee, 43440-43441 2015-17985 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Delta-Bienville Resource Advisory Committee, 43386 2015-17965 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Acquisition Regulations; Identification of Products with Environmental Attributes, 43439-43440 2015-17904 Meetings: Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, 43439 2015-17954 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

Indian Health Service

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 43441-43442, 43444-43447 2015-17873 2015-17882 2015-17883 2015-17884 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry, 43443-43444 2015-17885 Statement of Organization, Functions and Delegations of Authority, 43442-43443 2015-17902 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Transportation Security Administration

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

PROPOSED RULES Expansion of Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers of Inadmissibility, 43338-43354 2015-17794
Indian Health Indian Health Service NOTICES Meetings: American Indian/Alaska Native Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health Issues, 43447 2015-17962 Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative; Corrections, 43447 2015-17960 Industry Industry and Security Bureau RULES State Sponsor of Terrorism Designations: Cuba; Rescission, 43314-43320 2015-17981 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Polyester Staple Fiber from the People's Republic of China, 43392-43394 2015-17983 Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Components Thereof from the People's Republic of China, 43387-43392 2015-17984 Quarterly Update to Annual Listing of Foreign Government Subsidies on Articles of Cheese Subject to an In-Quota Rate of Duty, 43386-43387 2015-17982 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Chloropicrin from China; Five-Year Review, 43461 2015-17875 Complaints: Certain Table Saws Incorporating Active Injury Mitigation Technology and Components Thereof, 43460-43461 2015-17876 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

See

Justice Programs Office

See

Prisons Bureau

Justice Programs Justice Programs Office NOTICES Meetings: Science Advisory Board; Charter Renewal, 43473-43474 2015-17886 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Realty Action: Application for Conveyance of Federally Owned Mineral Interests in Pima County, AZ; Correction, 43459 2015-17961 Management Management and Budget Office RULES Reporting and Use of Information Concerning Recipient Integrity and Performance, 43301-43311 2015-17753 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 43476-43477 2015-17927 Exclusive Licenses, 43476 2015-17942 2015-17943 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 43554-43555 2015-17931 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES National Institute of Standards and Technology Prize Competition: Reference Data Challenge, Requirements, Registration, 43394-43398 2015-17865 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Process and Outcomes Evaluation of NCI Physical Sciences in Oncology Centers Initiative, 43447-43448 2015-17859 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 43448-43449 2015-17858 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 43449 2015-17857 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Pacific Ocean Perch in the West Yakutat District of the Gulf of Alaska, 43337 2015-17968 Fisheries Off West Coast States: West Coast Commercial Salmon Fisheries; Modifications; Inseason Actions 14 and 15, 43336-43337 2015-17969 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Advisory Council, 43459-43460 2015-17994 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Request for Taxpayer Identification Number, 43477-43478 2015-17869 Overseas Overseas Private Investment Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 43478-43479 2015-17901 2015-17908 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Periodic Reporting, 43370-43371 2015-17939 NOTICES New Postal Products, 43480 2015-17940 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: Captive Nations Week (Proc. 9300), 43299-43300 2015-18095 Prisons Prisons Bureau PROPOSED RULES Drug Abuse Treatment Program, 43367-43370 2015-17707 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: C2 Options Exchange, Inc., 43503-43505 2015-17891 Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 43548-43550 2015-17889 Depository Trust Co., 43498-43499 2015-17897 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 43528-43547, 43482-43497 2015-17971 2015-17972 Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, 43505-43507 2015-17899 NASDAQ OMX PHLX, LLC, 43509-43511 2015-17892 NYSE Arca, Inc., 43480-43482, 43500-43503, 43507-43508, 43512-43528 2015-17890 2015-17893 2015-17894 2015-17895 2015-17898 OneChicago, LLC, 43497-43498 2015-17896 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 43449-43451 2015-17864 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Transit Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Security Transportation Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Security Programs for Foreign Air Carriers, 43456 2015-17986 Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

NOTICES Meetings: Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance, 43557 2015-17938
Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Final Determination of Country of Origin: Storage Infrastructure Solution System, 43451-43456 2015-17963 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department RULES Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards; Updating References, 43320-43323 2015-17416 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Defense Department, 43560-43612 2015-17480 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.

80 140 Wednesday, July 22, 2015 Rules and Regulations OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET 2 CFR Parts 180 and 200 Guidance for Reporting and Use of Information Concerning Recipient Integrity and Performance AGENCY:

Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget.

ACTION:

Final guidance.

SUMMARY:

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is issuing final guidance to Federal agencies to implement Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (hereafter referred to as “section 872”), as that statute applies to grants. As section 872 required, OMB and the General Services Administration (GSA) have established an integrity and performance system that includes governmentwide data with specified information related to the integrity and performance of entities awarded Federal grants and contracts. This system, currently designated as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), integrates various sources of information on the eligibility of organizations for Government awards and is currently available at https://www.fapiis.gov.

This final guidance implements section 872's requirements for recipients and Federal awarding agencies to report information that will appear in the OMB-designated integrity and performance system and for Federal awarding agencies to consider information the system contains about a non-Federal entity before awarding a grant to that non-Federal entity. The final guidance for grants, which also applies to cooperative agreements, also addresses how the designated integrity and performance system and other information may be used in assessing recipient integrity.

DATES:

This guidance is effective January 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rhea Hubbard, Office of Federal Financial Management, Office of Management and Budget, [email protected], telephone (202) 395-2743.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

A. This final guidance to Federal agencies implement Sections 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Pub. L. 110-417, codified as amended at 41 U.S.C. 2313).

On February 18, 2010 (75 FR 7316), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) proposed a number of changes to Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR). Since publication of the February 2010 Federal Register notice, OMB finalized the portion of the guidance at 2 CFR part 25, which includes requirements for obtaining a Universal Identifier and registering in the System for Award Management (SAM) formerly called the Central Contractor Registration system (CCR) in the Federal Register on September 14, 2010 [75 FR 55671]. Part 25 was expedited and finalized separately from the guidance being issued today because it was needed to support reporting of subawards made on or after October 1, 2010, as the next step in implementation of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (“Transparency Act,” Pub. L. 109-282, as amended). The preamble of the Federal Register notice that finalized 2 CFR part 25 included responses to the public comments that we received on the proposed requirements related to DUNS numbers and CCR (which subsequently became SAM and is accessible at https://www.sam.gov). The remainder of this notice therefore does not address that portion of the February 2010 Federal Register notice.

Also since publication of the February 2010 Federal Register notice, OMB published final guidance at 2 CFR part 200 titled Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards on December 26, 2013 [78 FR 78589]. This final guidance streamlined the Federal government's guidance on Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal awards and provided a governmentwide framework for grants management. Part 200 incorporated portions of the proposed guidance at part 27 regarding notices of funding opportunities, see 2 CFR 200.203. Therefore this notice does not address certain portions of part 27 that were proposed in the February 2010 Federal Register notice. Further, OMB is no longer issuing parts 27, 35, and 77 separately. The final guidance incorporates the proposed guidance at parts 27, 35, and 77 into part 200. This approach is consistent with the intent for part 200 to serve as a governmentwide framework for grants management.

The February 2010 Federal Register notice proposed changes to governmentwide guidance for nonprocurement debarment and suspension remain reflected in the final guidance at 2 CFR part 180.

B. The major elements of the proposed guidance, which are addressed in this notice, are requirements for:

• Federal awarding agencies to report information to the designated integrity and performance system about any termination of an award due to a material failure to comply with the award terms and conditions; any administrative agreement with a non-Federal entity to resolve a suspension or debarment proceeding; and any finding that a non-Federal entity is not qualified to receive a given award, if the finding is based on criteria related to the non-Federal entity's integrity or prior performance under Federal awards.

• Recipients that have Federal contract, grant, and cooperative agreement awards with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 to provide information to the designated integrity and performance system about certain civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings that reached final disposition within the most recent five year period and that were connected with the award or performance of a Federal award.

• Recipients that have Federal contract, grant, and cooperative agreement awards with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 are required to disclose semiannually the information about the criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings that section 872(c) describes.

• Federal awarding agencies, prior to making an award to a non-Federal entity, to determine whether that non-Federal entity is qualified to receive that particular award. In making the determination, the Federal awarding agency must take into consideration any information about the entity that is in the designated integrity and performance system.

• Notice of funding opportunities and Federal award terms and conditions to inform a non-Federal entity that it may submit comments to the designated integrity and performance system about any information that the Federal awarding agency had reported to the system about the non-Federal entity, for consideration by the Federal awarding agency in making future Federal awards to the non-Federal entity.

We received comments on these elements of the proposed guidance from four State agencies, seven Federal agencies or agency components, and three associations representing community health centers, academic institutions, and industrial firms, respectively. We considered all comments received and made some of the recommended improvements in developing the final guidance. Some of the more significant changes are to:

• Make the guidance for grants and cooperative agreements as consistent where practicable with the FAPIIS guidance in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) that applies to procurement contracts (48 CFR 9.104), thereby simplifying implementation for non-Federal entities that receive both Federal assistance and procurement awards;

• provide information on the legislative amendment to section 872, which was enacted after issuance of the proposed guidance, that requires making certain information in the designated integrity and performance system available to the public;

• provide information that must be included in a notice of funding opportunity regarding implementation of integrity and performance reporting;

• clarify the process that a Federal awarding agency follows when making a determination that a non-Federal entity is qualified to receive an award based on a review of information in the designated integrity and performance system and other sources;

• add wording to help ensure that all non-Federal entities, including applicants under programs that do not have program announcements, are fully aware of the potential effects of information about them in the designated integrity and performance system and their right to submit comments about the information; and

• add a requirement that Federal awarding agencies wait 14 calendar days after posting information to the non-public segment of the designated integrity and performance system before making the information available through the public segment of the system to be consistent with the acquisitions community's requirements.

Additional changes were made for clarity or completeness. For example, the simplified acquisition threshold set by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR Subpart 2.1 (Definitions) is periodically adjusted for inflation in accordance with 41 U.S.C. 1908 and is now set at $150,000. Consequently, we updated the threshold citation throughout the guidance by including a reference to the definition available at 2 CFR 200.88. Also, several of the systems referred to in the guidance, namely the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS), have been migrated into SAM and no longer exist as stand-alone systems. Further, the General Services Administration (GSA) plans to migrate the currently designated integrity and performance system, FAPIIS, to SAM and the language describing the system in the final guidance is designed to accommodate future system changes. Additional system migrations to SAM and other central portals will make it easier for agencies and recipients to input and receive information through a central Web site.

C. The designated integrity and performance system integrates various sources of information regarding non-Federal entities to help Federal awarding agencies ensure that a thorough review of available databases with relevant information on to determine whether a recipient is qualified occurs before the issuance of Federal awards. In addition to the designated integrity and performance system, Federal awarding agencies are able to conduct matching to help determine qualification for Federal awards and payments through complementary efforts, such as the Do Not Pay working system maintained by the Department of the Treasury. While Treasury conducts matching against the Do Not Pay working system for all appropriate Federal payments, in accordance with the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012, Federal awarding agencies are responsible for determining which of the Do Not Pay databases are appropriate to review for pre-award purposes. As required by 2 CFR part 180, Federal awarding agencies are required to check SAM Exclusions prior to the issuance of Federal awards, which is available directly through SAM or the Do Not Pay working system. Federal awarding agencies are not required to check the other databases that are part of the Do Not Pay working system for pre-award purposes where the Federal awarding agency has determined that the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) and SAM provide more relevant information to making decisions on recipient qualification. As governmentwide systems continue to mature, there may be opportunities for further integration between the various systems.

D. Section 872 applies without distinguishing between for-profit and other recipients. Thus, notwithstanding 2 CFR 200.101(c) general permissive application of subparts A through E to for-profits, agencies must apply to for-profit recipients (in agencies' regulations, policies, or directly through the terms and conditions of Federal awards) the requirements reflected in this final guidance. OMB is considering governmentwide guidance to apply consistent treatment towards for-profit grant and cooperative agreement recipients, including the requirements of Section 872.

E. Since publishing the proposed guidance, Section 852 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 set forth additional requirements for the designated integrity and performance system to include, to the extent practicable, additional information on any parent, subsidiary, or successor entities to corporations included in the system. In order to address these additional requirements, OMB is considering publishing proposed guidance to implement Section 852 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.

II. Comments and Responses

Sections II. A through II. F of this preamble summarize the major comments and our responses. General comments that address more than one portion of the guidance are summarized in section II.A. Each of the other sections addresses comments pertaining to a specific portion of the proposed guidance.

A. General Comments

Comment: One State agency asked when GSA will establish the specifics of the FAPIIS data system and whether the specifics will be posted for comment.

Response: GSA continues to make improvements to enable the designated integrity and performance system to collect other information for use by Federal awarding agencies that must make determinations concerning recipient qualifications. The public opportunity to comment on specific information to be collected from contractors and recipients of assistance awards is through the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) clearance process. The PRA clearance for procurement contracts was addressed in the Federal Register documents with the FAR changes and approved under OMB Clearance Number 9000-0174. The PRA clearance for grants and cooperative agreements was addressed in the Federal Register documents issued October 1, 2010 [75 FR 60756], February 11, 2011 [76 FR 7851], and July 3, 2014 [79 FR 38028].

Comment: One industry association and one university association asked that we implement section 872 for grants in a manner that conforms with the implementation for procurement contracts, except where justified by the substantive differences between assistance and procurement. Noting that their constituents receive contracts, as well as grants, they recommended use of identical wording of any required questions or assurances, as well as electronic entry of data through the same system.

Response: We agree that conformity to the maximum extent practicable is important for requirements that are common to both recipients of grants and contractors. The award term and condition for grants and cooperative agreements therefore requires recipients to enter certain information through SAM, the same system that contractors use for that purpose. A recipient and contractor must answer identical questions in SAM and, if applicable, must provide the same information about the types of proceedings identified in section 872.

Comment: The industry and university associations and one Federal awarding agency responded to the invitation in the February 2010 Federal Register notice to comment on a possible expansion of the scope of the designated integrity and performance system to “include recipient information from authoritative data sources not described in this guidance.” One association recommended we not expand the scope to information not related to the performance of a Federal or State contract or grant. The other strongly suggested limiting it to information related to performance under Federal awards only. The Federal awarding agency recommended building the system to allow for future expansion to include data on integrity and performance information beyond what was delineated in the proposed guidance.

Response: OMB may expand the scope of the system to include information related to integrity and performance information beyond what was delineated in the proposed guidance.

Comment: A university association suggested that we reaffirm that the term “recipient” throughout the 2 CFR guidance proposed in the February 2010 Federal Register notice means the organization receiving an award, as it usually does in the assistance community, and does not also include associated individuals. They stated that the reaffirmation was especially important as it relates to recipient qualification matters addressed in subpart A of the proposed 2 CFR part 35.

Response: As defined at 2 CFR 200.86, the term “recipient” means “a non-Federal entity that receives a Federal award directly from a Federal awarding agency to carry out an activity under a Federal program.” Thus, the term does not include individuals such as the organization's employees or other individuals who may only be involved in performance of the project or program under the award because those individuals did not receive the Federal award directly from a Federal awarding agency.

Comment: The university association also recommended that we state in the guidance that information in the designated integrity and performance system is not subject to disclosure in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. They noted that the Federal Register notice for the final FAR rule on section 872 stated that the question of access to the data under FOIA would be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Response: After publication of the proposed guidance, section 872 was amended to require public disclosure of information in designated integrity and performance system other than past performance reviews. Actions posted in system on or after April 15, 2011, will be available to the public, as required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212. Agencies' disclosure of information should be consistent with all applicable statutes that limit such disclosures. For example, heightened attention should be given to whether documentation includes information that involves privacy, security, proprietary business interests, and law enforcement investigations. Only information posted after April 15, 2011 will be subject to the disclosure requirements in section 3010 of Public Law 111-212.

B. Comments on Requirements in the Proposed 2 CFR Part 27 for Announcements of Funding Opportunities

Comment: Two Federal awarding agencies recommended we revise the guidance in the proposed § 27.210 that the form and content of agency program announcements must adhere to those of the standard announcement format contained in the appendix to part 27. They recommended that we instead require agencies' announcements to comply with a “substantial conformance” standard that would provide greater flexibility. The agencies were particularly concerned about the wording in Section II of Subdivision 1 of the announcement format stating that agencies' announcements should conform to the numbering convention in the standard format. They noted that wording could require them to modify information systems currently used in conjunction with program announcements and associated agency guidance documents.

Response: We removed the information on format because OMB reissued final guidance on notice of funding opportunities available at 2 CFR 200.203 and Appendix I to part 200. Further, the remaining portions of the proposed guidance at part 27 are incorporated into part 200.

Comment: One Federal awarding agency noted that we should narrow the scope of the proposed guidance for paragraph E.3 of the announcement format in the appendix to part 27. The proposed guidance for that paragraph required an agency to inform potential applicants that awarding officials would consider information in designated integrity and performance system prior to making awards. The commenter noted that the guidance should exempt announcements under which a Federal awarding agency anticipated no Federal awards with Federal funding in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold above which section 872 requires Federal awarding agencies to consider information in the system.

Response: We agree and Appendix I to Part 200 reflects that information regarding the designated integrity and performance system is included in notices of funding opportunities when the Federal awarding agency anticipates that any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance, a total Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold.

C. Comments on the Dollar Thresholds Related to Integrity and Performance Reporting

Comment: One State agency and two Federal awarding agencies sought further explanation of the differences between the three dollar thresholds related to the designated integrity and performance system—at the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000); at $500,000; and at $10,000,000. One of the Federal awarding agencies suggested that implementation would be simpler if the three thresholds were the same.

Response: The three thresholds are consistent with the statutory requirements of section 872:

• $500,000—Subsection (b) of section 872 is the source of the $500,000 threshold. It essentially requires that the designated integrity and performance system contain information about each non-Federal entity: (1) That receives a Federal award of more than $500,000; and (2) about which there is a proceeding that must be reported as described in section 872. Therefore, the final guidance following this preamble states that Federal awarding agencies must include the award term and condition requiring the recipient to maintain its information in designated integrity and performance system for each Federal award where it is anticipated that the total Federal share will exceed $500,000 over the period of performance. Note that the award term and condition requires the non-Federal entity to provide the required information through the SAM (formerly CCR) and to provide the information specified in SAM.

• $10,000,000—The source of the $10,000,000 threshold is subsection (f) of section 872. Under that subsection (f) of section 872, a non-Federal entity receiving Federal awards with a total value more than $10,000,000 must submit any information about criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings that section 872 requires and update the information semiannually. Based on feedback or as necessary, OMB may revise the $10,000,000 threshold. Based on feedback, OMB may consider revising this affirmative disclosure threshold for grants and cooperative agreements to the extent legally permissible/consistent with the statute.

• $150,000—The third threshold relates to two requirements for the Federal awarding agency. The source of that threshold, which is at the simplified acquisition threshold set by the FAR at 48 CFR Subpart 2.1 and adjusted periodically to track inflation (currently $150,000), is subparagraph (e)(2)(A) of section 872, which requires the Federal awarding agency to consider information in the designated integrity and performance system before making a Federal award for more than that threshold amount. In addition to implementing that requirement, the final guidance requires the Federal awarding agency to report to the designated integrity and performance system any instance in which the Federal awarding agency does not award a grant or cooperative agreement above that threshold amount to a non-Federal entity based on a determination that the non-Federal entity is not qualified due to its prior record of integrity or performance under Federal awards. The latter requirement is analogous to the requirement for procurement contracts in paragraph (c)(5) of section 872.

Comment: An industry association and two Federal awarding agencies recommended clarifications of the term “total value” as used in relation to the integrity and performance requirements. The association recommended we adopt the FAR wording to specify that total value includes priced contract options, even if not yet executed. One Federal awarding agency suggested we clarify whether future funding obligations under a multi-year grant are included. The other Federal awarding agency noted that it was unclear whether the dollar thresholds in part 35 and the award term and condition in the appendix to part 35 were based on the Federal share of the funding or also included any recipient cost share or match.

Response: We agree with the comments and the final guidance located at part 200 is revised to provide the recommended clarifications. The final guidance clarifies that these thresholds are based on the Federal share of Federal awards and includes the value of all expected funding over the period of performance of the Federal award.

Comment: An industry association recommended that we amend the proposed section 35.275 and require Federal awarding agencies to include the award term and condition for integrity and performance reporting only in a grant or cooperative agreement with a total value expected to be greater than $500,000. The commenter noted that would be consistent with the FAR requirement for procurement contracts.

Response: We agree. The final guidance located at 2 CFR 200.210 is revised, as recommended.

D. Comments Related to Types of Information To Be Reported to the Designated Integrity and Performance System

Comment: One State agency asked who would determine what type of information about a recipient would be reported by the recipient, rather than the Federal awarding agency. The agency also asked when and how the recipient would be notified about its self-reporting requirements.

Response: The award term and condition in Appendix XII to 2 CFR part 200 includes the notification to the recipient that it must report certain information in order to comply with the integrity and performance reporting requirement. The details about the specific information that a recipient must provide are addressed in the guidance regarding the Entity Management area of SAM.

Comment: Four State agencies recommended clarifying the specific types of proceedings about which the proposed guidance required recipients to report to the designated integrity and performance system. Two agencies said that the proposed requirement for recipients to report on criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings was overly broad and some noted that State agencies can be parties to legal proceedings as part of their performance of grants that fund regulatory enforcement programs. One agency asked why the information was to be collected and what outcomes might result from a reported proceeding. Other questions were: Does the requirement apply to local governments or just to a recipient in the performance of its duties under an award; does a State agency have to report a fine assessed against it by another State agency; and what type of documentation must be submitted?

Response: No change was made. The governing statute, section 872, specifies the breadth of the reporting requirement. As for the purpose of collecting the information, the designated integrity and performance system gives a Federal awarding agency more information than is presently available about a potential recipient's record of performance under prior Federal awards and occurrences that may shed light on its integrity and business ethics. The information supports compliance with long-standing policy that the Federal Government protects the public interest and ensures the integrity of Federal programs by conducting business only with responsible persons.

Potential outcomes due to reported information depend on the nature of the information. A Federal awarding agency considers the information in the designated integrity and performance system about a non-Federal entity when determining that the non-Federal entity is qualified with respect to a particular Federal award. Information that the non-Federal entity is currently debarred or suspended precludes the making of the Federal award to the non-Federal entity in almost all cases, while other information may or may not lead the Federal awarding agency to determine that the non-Federal entity is not qualified for the Federal award. The Federal awarding agency also may notify other Federal awarding agencies about information in the designated integrity and performance system—e.g., he or she would refer to a debarring official information about a matter that may be a cause for debarment.

With respect to the commenters' other questions:

• A local government must report if it has a Federal award with an award term and condition making it subject to the reporting requirement. It would not be required to report solely by virtue of being a subrecipient under a Federal award to a State agency.

• The requirement is broader than proceedings related to a recipient's performance under an award. A recipient also must report about proceedings related to the making of a Federal award (e.g., a conviction for misuse of Federal appropriations to lobby for an award).

• A State agency must report a proceeding that results in a fine levied against it by another State agency if the violation or activity for which it is fined is in connection with the making of, or performance under, a Federal award.

• The recipient must provide the information about a proceeding that is required in SAM. No other documentation is required.

Comment: Two commenters made recommendations related to the proposed requirement for a recipient to report information to the designated integrity and performance system about proceedings related to State awards. One commenter recommended that the requirement be made parallel with the one for contractors in the FAR clause 52.209-7(c)(1), by requiring reporting only on proceedings related to Federal awards and not also those associated with State awards. The second commenter recommended we clarify that State funds appropriated to a State's institutions of higher education would not be a “State award” for this purpose.

Response: Due to the challenges associated with collecting State government information, the final guidance does not include the proposed requirement to collect information related to State award proceedings. Collection of information related State award proceedings may be considered in a subsequent phases of implementation. This approach is consistent with the FAR implementation of section 872 (75 FR 14059).

Comment: An industry association recommended conforming the definition of “administrative proceeding” with the definition of that term in the FAR implementation of section 872.

Response: We agree. The definition is revised to be consistent with the FAR definition in section 52.209-7 of 48 CFR part 52.

Comment: A Federal awarding agency suggested two changes related to the types of proceedings for which reporting is required. It suggested defining “conviction” analogously to 2 CFR part 180, to include any deferred prosecution agreement that included a statement of guilt on the part of the defendant. The agency also suggested eliminating vagueness from paragraph B.3.d(i) of the award term and condition in the appendix to part 35, by dropping the words “it is practical to judge” from the requirement for a recipient to report on “any other criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding if it is practical for [the recipient] to judge that it could have led to” a criminal conviction or finding of fault and liability that the recipient would have been required to report.

Response: We agree in part. We conformed the definition of “conviction” to the FAR definition, to parallel the implementation of section 872 for procurement contracts, rather than conforming it to the definition in 2 CFR part 180 that the commenter suggested. We removed the words “it is practical to judge” from the award term and condition, as recommended.

E. Other Comments on Requirements in 2 CFR Part 35 Concerning the Designated Integrity and Performance System and Recipient Qualification

Comment: One Federal awarding agency suggested amending the proposed section 35.10 to exclude open-ended entitlements and programs under which funding is allocated in accordance with mandatory formulas from coverage under part 35. The Federal awarding agency questioned whether recipient qualification was an appropriate consideration under those programs, generally known as “mandatory programs,” and noted that they were excluded from coverage under the nonprocurement suspension and debarment guidance in 2 CFR part 180.

Response: We understand that the nature of mandatory programs could make it more difficult than it would be under other programs to make a Federal award to an alternative recipient if the Federal awarding agency determined that a recipient was not qualified, as the program still must serve the intended beneficiaries. However, section 872 does not provide for an exclusion of those programs. Moreover, it would be important to protect both the investment of Federal funding and the interests of the beneficiaries in the event that a recipient was found not to be qualified.

Comment: One Federal awarding agency expressed concern that the association in the proposed section 35.110 between an awarding official's signature of an award document and his or her determination concerning the recipient's qualification could be misinterpreted as a requirement for a certification that the recipient is qualified. The agency noted that a certification would require the awarding official to have more information than one could reasonably expect to be available to him or her.

Response: The final guidance in part 200 no longer states that an awarding official's signature represents a determination that a recipient is qualified to receive a Federal award; however, Federal awarding agencies remain responsible for reviewing a potential recipient's records to determine whether the recipient meets the minimum standards as reflected in 2 CFR 200.205.

Comment: One Federal agency questioned whether the use of the terms “qualified” and “disqualified” in this part was consistent with the use of the term “disqualified” in 2 CFR part 180. The agency suggested defining at least one of the terms to avoid unnecessary confusion.

Response: We agree in part and made revisions of two types. First, we revised the wording in a number of places within part 200 to clarify that, under this guidance, each determination by Federal awarding agency of a non-Federal entity's qualification or disqualification pertains to the specific Federal award being contemplated at that time. It is possible for a Federal awarding agency to determine that a non-Federal entity is not qualified for one award and, depending on the reasons for that first determination, qualified for another award. For example, a Federal awarding agency may determine that a non-Federal entity is: (1) Not qualified for a Federal award for a large and complex program, due to information in the designated integrity and performance system indicating an unsatisfactory record for performing under Federal awards for programs of that level of complexity; and (2) qualified for a second Federal award to carry out a simpler program. Further, Federal awarding agencies may make a Federal award to a recipient who does not fully meet these standards, if there are specific conditions that can appropriately mitigate the effects of the non-Federal entity's risk in accordance with § 200.207.

The other revisions were to replace the term “disqualified” in part 200 with “not qualified,” to remove any potential for confusion with that term as it is used and defined in 2 CFR part 180.

Comment: Two Federal awarding agencies and an association of health care centers raised questions and concerns about due process. The association expressed concern that: (1) A Federal awarding agency that determines that a non-Federal entity was not qualified for an award was not required to tell the non-Federal entity why it was not qualified; and (2) the identification of the non-Federal entity in designated integrity and performance system as a result of that determination could prevent it from receiving any Federal funding for five years. One Federal awarding agency asked if there was a process by which a non-Federal entity could appeal a Federal awarding agency's determination that it was not qualified for a Federal award, and the association and other Federal awarding agency recommended there be one.

Response: We agree in part. With respect to the first concern, we added a requirement in 2 CFR 200.212 for a Federal awarding agency to provide an explanation in the notification to a non-Federal entity about the determination that the non-Federal entity is not qualified for a Federal award.

With respect to the second concern that information in the designated integrity and performance system about a non-Federal entity could prevent it from receiving any Federal funding, we note that a Federal awarding agency's determination that a non-Federal entity is not qualified is related to a specific award that is being contemplated. As explained more fully in the response to the previous comment, that determination does not preclude the making of a different Federal award to the non-Federal entity. We revised the wording in multiple places in part 200 to clarify that connection with a specific Federal award.

On the matter of appeals of a Federal awarding agency's determination that a non-Federal entity is not qualified for a Federal award, we did not revise the guidance to require delay of individual Federal awards, to allow an opportunity for appeal after the Federal awarding agency makes the determination. A govermentwide requirement is impractical in light of the constraints under which many Federal programs operate, with firm schedules for program execution that are impelled by statute or needs for timely obligation of appropriated funds. Individual Federal awarding agencies may, if timing constraints for their programs permit, offer an opportunity for appeal or additional input to the Federal awarding agency prior to award. Also note that the commenters' concern should be addressed by the opportunities provided for the non-Federal entity's input. Sections 200.212 and 200.340 require Federal awarding agencies to notify non-Federal entities when information that may be used when Federal awarding agencies are making future funding decisions is entered into the designated performance and integrity system. Non-Federal entities whose information is entered will have the opportunity to comment on information included in the system.

We anticipate that Federal agencies' and recipients' current apprehension about the use of the designated integrity and performance system will abate over time, as they gain practical experience with the system and associated requirements. If lessons learned from the use of the designated integrity and performance system warrant further improvements to the system or clarifications to the guidance, we will carefully evaluate the existing guidance and revise the guidance, as appropriate.

Comment: Two Federal awarding agencies commented on the requirements in the proposed section 35.120 for a Federal awarding official to check SAM (formerly EPLS) and the designated integrity and performance system. One agency stated that it was important that Federal awarding agencies be required to check SAM (formerly EPLS) separately, as the designated integrity and performance system would not provide all of the information they required concerning non-Federal entities that were debarred, suspended, or otherwise excluded or disqualified from participation in covered Federal transactions. The other Federal awarding agency recommended including a table to make clear the different dollar thresholds for use of the two systems—SAM (formerly EPLS) must be checked before making any Federal covered transaction, regardless of award amount, while the requirement to check the designated integrity and performance system applies to a Federal award with a total value expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.

Response: We agree in part and plan to provide further clarification to Federal awarding agencies regarding the relationship between various governmentwide systems. As discussed earlier in the preamble, GSA plans to integrate the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) into SAM, so including a detailed chart in the final guidance outlining when a Federal awarding agency is required to check specific systems is not appropriate as the chart may become obsolete. Although a Federal awarding agency searching the current designated integrity and performance system about a potential recipient entity may receive information in response to the search, as well as information from other data systems accessed through the system, the current design does not ensure that the awarding official receives all the SAM information that he or she needs. For instance, FAPIIS does not reflect whether a non-Federal entity has an active SAM registration as required by 2 CFR part 25. As the commenters note, the awarding official also must check SAM Exclusions as required by 2 CFR part 180 prior to making a Federal award for an amount below the dollar threshold at which he or she is required to check the designated integrity and performance system. Therefore, it is imperative that a Federal awarding agency separately checks SAM prior to making an award at this time.

Comment: A Federal awarding agency noted the requirement in the proposed paragraph 35.120(a)(3)(ii) for a Federal awarding agency to check the SAM Exclusions (formerly EPLS) for potential subaward recipients if Federal approval of those subrecipients was required under the terms and conditions of the Federal award. It asked if a prime recipient was required to check the designated integrity and performance system for information about a non-Federal entity to which it intended to make a subaward.

Response: If the terms and conditions of the Federal award require the recipient to obtain Federal awarding agency approval of subawardees, the Federal awarding agency must check SAM Exclusions to verify whether a proposed subrecipient is debarred, suspended, or otherwise disqualified from the subaward. In addition, a recipient is always required under existing policy (2 CFR 180.300) to verify that a non-Federal entity to which it intends to make a subaward is not excluded or disqualified from the transaction, whether or not Federal awarding agency approval of the subrecipient is required. Unlike a Federal awarding agency, however, 2 CFR 180.300 allows recipients multiple ways in which it can do the verification, checking SAM Exclusions being just one of those ways. While only Federal awarding agencies are required to consider information available through the designated integrity and performance system for awards expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold, a recipient and the general public are also able to check the system for information in doing checks of subrecipients.

Comment: A State agency, noting the same requirement in the proposed paragraph 35.120(a)(3)(ii) to check SAM (formerly EPLS), asked how the process works if a recipient does not know the identity of all subrecipients at the time it receives a Federal award. It asked if the Federal award includes a term requiring verification of subrecipients and whether that delays the making of subawards.

Response: The requirement stated in the proposed guidance is not reflected in the final guidance at 2 CFR part 200; however, this requirement is not new. The existing policy located at 2 CFR 180.425, states that a Federal awarding agency must check SAM Exclusions for potential subrecipients if its approval of the subrecipients is required. When that approval is required, the Federal awarding agency can check SAM Exclusions after the prime award is made if the subrecipients' identities are not known until then.

F. Comments on Proposed Amendments to the Nonprocurement Suspension and Debarment Guidance in 2 CFR Part 180

Comment: One Federal awarding agency recommended revising 2 CFR 180.520 to require suspending and debarring officials to enter information into SAM Exclusions (formerly EPLS) within three working days of taking a suspension or debarment action, a reduction from the current five days. The Federal awarding agency noted that this change was made in the FAR, in 48 CFR 9.404, as part of the implementation of the FAPIIS requirements for procurement contracts.

Response: We agree. We made the recommended change and similarly revised 2 CFR 180.655, to establish a three-day time period for suspending and debarring officials to report information about administrative agreements to the designated integrity and performance system.

Comment: Two Federal agencies suggested revising the requirement in the proposed section 2 CFR 180.655 for a Federal suspending or debarring official to report information to the designated integrity and performance system about each administrative agreement into which the Federal Government enters with a non-Federal entity in lieu of a suspension or debarment. One Federal awarding agency recommended delaying the effective date of the requirement until a planned update to the designated integrity and performance system added the capability to accept information about administrative agreements. The other Federal awarding agency suggested adding a requirement for reporting any modifications of administrative agreements to the designated integrity and performance system.

Response: We agree and have made changes in sections 2 CFR 180.655 and 180.660 that are responsive to the recommendations. In October 2010, the designated integrity and performance system gained the capability to accept information about administrative agreements. The system specifies the information that must be reported.

Comment: A Federal awarding agency recommended deleting the requirement in the proposed section 2 CFR 180.660 for a Federal suspending or debarring official to include information about the designated integrity and performance system in each administrative agreement into which he or she enters with a non-Federal entity in lieu of a suspension or debarment action. The Federal awarding agency stated that the express purpose of an administrative agreement is to preserve the non-Federal entity's eligibility to receive a Federal award. It added that the notice of funding opportunities under which Federal awards are made are the appropriate places to inform the non-Federal entity about Federal awarding agency's consideration of information that they receive through the designated integrity and performance system, including information about administrative agreements.

Response: We agree. We removed the proposed section 180.660 from the final guidance. Due to the removal of section 180.660, section 180.665 of the guidance proposed in the February 2010 Federal Register notice has been designated as section 180.660 in the final guidance.

Comment: The same Federal awarding agency recommended deleting the requirements in the proposed paragraphs 2 CFR 180.715(h) and 180.870(b)(2)(v) for a Federal suspending or debarring official to include information about the designated integrity and performance system in each notice of a suspension or debarment action. The Federal awarding agency noted that each notice already informs the suspended or debarred entity that the action results in its being listed in SAM Exclusions (formerly EPLS), with the mandatory effect of excluding it from covered transactions. The Federal awarding agency further noted that the availability of the information to a Federal awarding agency through the designated integrity and performance system, in addition to SAM, does not alter that mandatory effect. It suggested that adding information about designated integrity and performance system to the notice of suspension or debarment therefore could only confuse the matter.

Response: We agree. We removed the proposed amendments to sections 180.715 and 180.870 from the final guidance.

III. Next Steps

This final guidance is effective for Federal awards issued on or after January 1, 2016 that meet the thresholds as described in the preamble and to existing awards that are terminated on or after January 1, 2016 due to material failure to comply with the Federal award terms and conditions. Federal awarding agencies that have formally adopted 2 CFR parts 180 and 200 in their entirety in 2 CFR will begin implementing this final guidance on January 1, 2016. Federal awarding agencies who adopted 2 CFR parts 180 and 200 through another means must work with OMB to ensure their regulations or policies are updated effective January 1, 2016. OMB will collaborate with GSA to ensure that the user guides and other guidance materials regarding the designated integrity and performance system are updated to reflect use by the Federal assistance community. Applicants and recipients will see the agencies' implementation reflected in requirements identified in notice of funding opportunities or other agency releases with application instructions, as well as in the new award term and condition in Appendix XII to 2 CFR part 200.

List of Subjects 2 CFR Part 180

Administrative practice and procedure, Debarment and suspension, Grant programs, Loan programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

2 CFR Part 200

Accounting, Auditing, Colleges and universities, State and local governments, Grant programs, Grants administration, Hospitals, Indians, Nonprofit organizations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

David Mader, Controller.

For the reasons stated in the preamble and under the authority of the Chief Financial Officer Act of 1990 (31 U.S.C. 503), the Office of Management and Budget amends 2 CFR parts 180 and 200 as set forth below:

TITLE 2—GRANTS AND AGREEMENTS Chapter I—Office of Management and Budget Governmentwide Guidance for Grants and Agreements PART 180—OMB GUIDELINES TO AGENCIES ON GOVERNMENTWIDE DEBARMENT AND SUSPENSION (NONPROCUREMENT) 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Sec. 2455, Pub. L. 103-355, 108 Stat. 3327; E.O. 12549, 3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189; E.O. 12689, 3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235.

§ 180.520 [Amended]
2. Amend § 180.520(c) introductory text by removing the words “generally within five working days,” and adding in their place “within three business days,”. 3. Add § 180.650 to subpart F to read as follows:
§ 180.650 May an administrative agreement be the result of a settlement?

Yes, a Federal agency may enter into an administrative agreement with you as part of the settlement of a debarment or suspension action.

4. Add § 180.655 to subpart F to read as follows:
§ 180.655 How will other Federal awarding agencies know about an administrative agreement that is the result of a settlement?

The suspending or debarring official who enters into an administrative agreement with you must report information about the agreement to the designated integrity and performance system within three business days after entering into the agreement. This information is required by section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (41 U.S.C. 2313).

5. Add § 180.660 to subpart F to read as follows:
§ 180.660 Will administrative agreement information about me in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM be corrected or updated?

Yes, the suspending or debarring official who entered information into the designated integrity and performance system about an administrative agreement with you:

(a) Must correct the information within three business days if he or she subsequently learns that any of the information is erroneous.

(b) Must correct in the designated integrity and performance system, within three business days, the ending date of the period during which the agreement is in effect, if the agreement is amended to extend that period.

(c) Must report to the designated integrity and performance system, within three business days, any other modification to the administrative agreement.

(d) Is strongly encouraged to amend the information in the designated integrity and performance system in a timely way to incorporate any update that he or she obtains that could be helpful to Federal awarding agencies who must use the system.

Chapter II—Office of Management and Budget Guidance PART 200—UNIFORM ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS, COST PRINCIPLES, AND AUDIT REQUIREMENTS FOR FEDERAL AWARDS 6. The authority citation for part 200 continues to read as follows: Authority:

31 U.S.C. 503.

§ 200.0 [Amended]
7. Amend § 200.0 by adding “(accessible at https://www.sam.gov)” after “System for Award Management”. 8. Revise § 200.113 to read as follows:
§ 200.113 Mandatory disclosures.

The non-Federal entity or applicant for a Federal award must disclose, in a timely manner, in writing to the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity all violations of Federal criminal law involving fraud, bribery, or gratuity violations potentially affecting the Federal award. Non-Federal entities that have received a Federal award including the term and condition outlined in Appendix XII—Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters are required to report certain civil, criminal, or administrative proceedings to SAM. Failure to make required disclosures can result in any of the remedies described in § 200.338 Remedies for noncompliance, including suspension or debarment. (See also 2 CFR part 180, 31 U.S.C. 3321, and 41 U.S.C. 2313.)

§ 200.203 [Amended]
9. Amend § 200.203 paragraph (c)(5) by removing “See also 2 CFR part 27 (forthcoming at time of publication).” 10. Revise § 200.205 paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.

(a) Review of OMB-designated repositories of govermentwide data. (1) Prior to making a Federal award, the Federal awarding agency is required by 31 U.S.C. 3321 and 41 U.S.C. 2313 note to review information available through any OMB-designated repositories of governmentwide eligibility qualification or financial integrity information as appropriate. See also suspension and debarment requirements at 2 CFR part 180 as well as individual Federal agency suspension and debarment regulations in title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(2) In accordance 41 U.S.C. 2313, the Federal awarding agency is required to review the publicly available information in the OMB-designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)) prior to making a Federal award where the Federal share is expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold, defined in 41 U.S.C. 134, over the period of performance. At a minimum, the information in the system for a prior Federal award recipient must demonstrate a satisfactory record of executing programs or activities under Federal grants, cooperative agreements, or procurement awards; and integrity and business ethics. The Federal awarding agency may make a Federal award to a recipient who does not fully meet these standards, if it is determined that the information is not relevant to the current Federal award under consideration or there are specific conditions that can appropriately mitigate the effects of the non-Federal entity's risk in accordance with § 200.207 Specific conditions.

11. In § 200.210, add paragraph (b)(1)(iii) to read as follows:
§ 200.210 Information contained in a Federal award.

(b) * * *

(1) * * *

(iii) Recipient integrity and performance matters. If the total Federal share of the Federal award may include more than $500,000 over the period of performance, the Federal awarding agency must include the term and condition available in Appendix XII—Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters. See also § 200.113 Mandatory disclosures.

12. In § 200.211, revise paragraph (b) and add paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 200.211 Public access to Federal award information.

(b) All information posted in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) on or after April 15, 2011 will be publicly available after a waiting period of 14 calendar days, except for:

(1) Past performance reviews required by Federal Government contractors in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 42.15;

(2) Information that was entered prior to April 15, 2011; or

(3) Information that is withdrawn during the 14-calendar day waiting period by the Federal Government official.

(c) Nothing in this section may be construed as requiring the publication of information otherwise exempt under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C 552), or controlled unclassified information pursuant to Executive Order 13556.

13. Revise § 200.212 to read as follows:
§ 200.212 Reporting a determination that a non-Federal entity is not qualified for a Federal award.

(a) If a Federal awarding agency does not make a Federal award to a non-Federal entity because the official determines that the non-Federal entity does not meet either or both of the minimum qualification standards as described in § 200.205, Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants, paragraph (a)(2), the Federal awarding agency must report that determination to the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS), only if all of the following apply:

(1) The only basis for the determination described in paragraph (a) of this section is the non-Federal entity's prior record of executing programs or activities under Federal awards or its record of integrity and business ethics, as described in § 200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants, paragraph (a)(2) (i.e., the entity was determined to be qualified based on all factors other than those two standards), and

(2) The total Federal share of the Federal award that otherwise would be made to the non-Federal entity is expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold over the period of performance.

(b) The Federal awarding agency is not required to report a determination that a non-Federal entity is not qualified for a Federal award if they make the Federal award to the non-Federal entity and includes specific award terms and conditions, as described in § 200.207 Specific conditions.

(c) If a Federal awarding agency reports a determination that a non-Federal entity is not qualified for a Federal award, as described in paragraph (a) of this section, the Federal awarding agency also must notify the non-Federal entity that—

(1) The determination was made and reported to the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM, and include with the notification an explanation of the basis for the determination;

(2) The information will be kept in the system for a period of five years from the date of the determination, as required by section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313), then archived;

(3) Each Federal awarding agency that considers making a Federal award to the non-Federal entity during that five year period must consider that information in judging whether the non-Federal entity is qualified to receive the Federal award when the total Federal share of the Federal award is expected to include an amount of Federal funding in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold over the period of performance;

(4) The non-Federal entity may go to the awardee integrity and performance portal accessible through SAM (currently the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS)) and comment on any information the system contains about the non-Federal entity itself; and

(5) Federal awarding agencies will consider that non-Federal entity's comments in determining whether the non-Federal entity is qualified for a future Federal award.

(d) If a Federal awarding agency enters information into the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM about a determination that a non-Federal entity is not qualified for a Federal award and subsequently:

(1) Learns that any of that information is erroneous, the Federal awarding agency must correct the information in the system within three business days;

(2) Obtains an update to that information that could be helpful to other Federal awarding agencies, the Federal awarding agency is strongly encouraged to amend the information in the system to incorporate the update in a timely way.

(e) Federal awarding agencies shall not post any information that will be made publicly available in the non-public segment of designated integrity and performance system that is covered by a disclosure exemption under the Freedom of Information Act. If the recipient asserts within seven calendar days to the Federal awarding agency that posted the information that some or all of the information made publicly available is covered by a disclosure exemption under the Freedom of Information Act, the Federal awarding agency that posted the information must remove the posting within seven calendar days of receiving the assertion. Prior to reposting the releasable information, the Federal awarding agency must resolve the issue in accordance with the agency's Freedom of Information Act procedures.

14. Add § 200.213 to subpart C to read as follows:
§ 200.213 Suspension and debarment.

Non-federal entities are subject to the non-procurement debarment and suspension regulations implementing Executive Orders 12549 and 12689, 2 CFR part 180. These regulations restrict awards, subawards, and contracts with certain parties that are debarred, suspended, or otherwise excluded from or ineligible for participation in Federal assistance programs or activities.

§ 200.300 [Amended]
15. Amend § 200.300 paragraph (b) by removing “Central Contractor Registration” and adding in its place “System for Award Management”.
§ 200.318 [Amended]
16. Amend § 200.318 paragraph (h) by removing “§ 200.212” and adding in its place “§ 200.213”. 17. In § 200.339, revise paragraph (b) and add paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 200.339 Termination.

(b) When a Federal awarding agency terminates a Federal award prior to the end of the period of performance due to the non-Federal entity's material failure to comply with the Federal award terms and conditions, the Federal awarding agency must report the termination to the OMB-designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS).

(1) The information required under paragraph (b) of this section is not to be reported to designated integrity and performance system until the non-Federal entity either—

(i) Has exhausted its opportunities to object or challenge the decision, see § 200.341 Opportunities to object, hearings and appeals; or

(ii) Has not, within 30 calendar days after being notified of the termination, informed the Federal awarding agency that it intends to appeal the Federal awarding agency's decision to terminate.

(2) If a Federal awarding agency, after entering information into the designated integrity and performance system about a termination, subsequently:

(i) Learns that any of that information is erroneous, the Federal awarding agency must correct the information in the system within three business days;

(ii) Obtains an update to that information that could be helpful to other Federal awarding agencies, the Federal awarding agency is strongly encouraged to amend the information in the system to incorporate the update in a timely way.

(3) Federal awarding agencies, shall not post any information that will be made publicly available in the non-public segment of designated integrity and performance system that is covered by a disclosure exemption under the Freedom of Information Act. If the non-Federal entity asserts within seven calendar days to the Federal awarding agency who posted the information, that some of the information made publicly available is covered by a disclosure exemption under the Freedom of Information Act, the Federal awarding agency who posted the information must remove the posting within seven calendar days of receiving the assertion. Prior to reposting the releasable information, the Federal agency must resolve the issue in accordance with the agency's Freedom of Information Act procedures.

(c) When a Federal award is terminated or partially terminated, both the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity and the non-Federal entity remain responsible for compliance with the requirements in §§ 200.343 Closeout and 200.344 Post-closeout adjustments and continuing responsibilities.

18. Revise § 200.340, paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 200.340 Notification of termination requirement.

(b) If the Federal award is terminated for the non-Federal entity's material failure to comply with the Federal statutes, regulations, or terms and conditions of the Federal award, the notification must state that—

(1) The termination decision will be reported to the OMB-designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS);

(2) The information will be available in the OMB-designated integrity and performance system for a period of five years from the date of the termination, then archived;

(3) Federal awarding agencies that consider making a Federal award to the non-Federal entity during that five year period must consider that information in judging whether the non-Federal entity is qualified to receive the Federal award, when the Federal share of the Federal award is expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold over the period of performance;

(4) The non-Federal entity may comment on any information the OMB-designated integrity and performance system contains about the non-Federal entity for future consideration by Federal awarding agencies. The non-Federal entity may submit comments to the awardee integrity and performance portal accessible through SAM (currently (CPARS).

(5) Federal awarding agencies will consider non-Federal entity comments when determining whether the non-Federal entity is qualified for a future Federal award.

19. In Appendix I to Part 200, revise paragraph E.3., add paragraph E.4., and revise paragraph F.3. to read as follows: Appendix I to Part 200—Full Text of Notice of Funding Opportunity

E. * * *

3. For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see § 200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:

i. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);

ii. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;

iii. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in § 200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.

4. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates—Optional. This section is intended to provide applicants with information they can use for planning purposes. If there is a single application deadline followed by the simultaneous review of all applications, the Federal awarding agency can include in this section information about the anticipated dates for announcing or notifying successful and unsuccessful applicants and for having Federal awards in place. If applications are received and evaluated on a “rolling” basis at different times during an extended period, it may be appropriate to give applicants an estimate of the time needed to process an application and notify the applicant of the Federal awarding agency's decision.

F. * * *

3. Reporting—Required. This section must include general information about the type (e.g., financial or performance), frequency, and means of submission (paper or electronic) of post-Federal award reporting requirements. Highlight any special reporting requirements for Federal awards under this funding opportunity that differ (e.g., by report type, frequency, form/format, or circumstances for use) from what the Federal awarding agency's Federal awards usually require. Federal awarding agencies must also describe in this section all relevant requirements such as those at 2 CFR 180.335 and 2 CFR 180.350.

If the Federal share of any Federal award may include more than $500,000 over the period of performance, this section must inform potential applicants about the post award reporting requirements reflected in Appendix XII—Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

20. Add Appendix XII to Part 200 to read as follows: Appendix XII to Part 200—Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters A. Reporting of Matters Related to Recipient Integrity and Performance 1. General Reporting Requirement

If the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies exceeds $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of this Federal award, then you as the recipient during that period of time must maintain the currency of information reported to the System for Award Management (SAM) that is made available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)) about civil, criminal, or administrative proceedings described in paragraph 2 of this award term and condition. This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313). As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available.

2. Proceedings About Which You Must Report

Submit the information required about each proceeding that:

a. Is in connection with the award or performance of a grant, cooperative agreement, or procurement contract from the Federal Government;

b. Reached its final disposition during the most recent five year period; and

c. Is one of the following:

(1) A criminal proceeding that resulted in a conviction, as defined in paragraph 5 of this award term and condition;

(2) A civil proceeding that resulted in a finding of fault and liability and payment of a monetary fine, penalty, reimbursement, restitution, or damages of $5,000 or more;

(3) An administrative proceeding, as defined in paragraph 5. of this award term and condition, that resulted in a finding of fault and liability and your payment of either a monetary fine or penalty of $5,000 or more or reimbursement, restitution, or damages in excess of $100,000; or

(4) Any other criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding if:

(i) It could have led to an outcome described in paragraph 2.c.(1), (2), or (3) of this award term and condition;

(ii) It had a different disposition arrived at by consent or compromise with an acknowledgment of fault on your part; and

(iii) The requirement in this award term and condition to disclose information about the proceeding does not conflict with applicable laws and regulations.

3. Reporting Procedures

Enter in the SAM Entity Management area the information that SAM requires about each proceeding described in paragraph 2 of this award term and condition. You do not need to submit the information a second time under assistance awards that you received if you already provided the information through SAM because you were required to do so under Federal procurement contracts that you were awarded.

4. Reporting Frequency

During any period of time when you are subject to the requirement in paragraph 1 of this award term and condition, you must report proceedings information through SAM for the most recent five year period, either to report new information about any proceeding(s) that you have not reported previously or affirm that there is no new information to report. Recipients that have Federal contract, grant, and cooperative agreement awards with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 must disclose semiannually any information about the criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings.

5. Definitions

For purposes of this award term and condition:

a. Administrative proceeding means a non-judicial process that is adjudicatory in nature in order to make a determination of fault or liability (e.g., Securities and Exchange Commission Administrative proceedings, Civilian Board of Contract Appeals proceedings, and Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals proceedings). This includes proceedings at the Federal and State level but only in connection with performance of a Federal contract or grant. It does not include audits, site visits, corrective plans, or inspection of deliverables.

b. Conviction, for purposes of this award term and condition, means a judgment or conviction of a criminal offense by any court of competent jurisdiction, whether entered upon a verdict or a plea, and includes a conviction entered upon a plea of nolo contendere.

c. Total value of currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts includes—

(1) Only the Federal share of the funding under any Federal award with a recipient cost share or match; and

(2) The value of all expected funding increments under a Federal award and options, even if not yet exercised.

B. [Reserved]

[FR Doc. 2015-17753 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0565; Airspace Docket No. 14-ACE-7] Revocation of Class D and E Airspace; Independence, KS AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action removes Class D airspace and the associated Class E surface area airspace at Independence Municipal Airport, Independence, KS. Closure of the airport's air traffic control tower has necessitated the need for this action.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, October 15, 2015. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Raul Garza, Jr., Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76137; telephone: 817-222-4075.

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 removes controlled airspace at Independence Municipal Airport, KS.

History

On May 8, 2015, the FAA published in the Federal Register a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) to remove Class D airspace and Class E surface area airspace at Independence Municipal Airport, Independence, KS., (80 FR 26496). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

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

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This action amends Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), Part 71 by removing Class D airspace and the associated Class E surface area airspace at Independence Municipal Airport, Independence, KS, as the air traffic control tower has closed and controlled airspace is no longer needed.

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

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. Therefore, this 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 only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Environmental Review

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

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 5000 Class D Airspace ACE KS D Independence, KS [Removed] Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas ACE KS E2 Independence, KS [Removed]
Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on July 10, 2015. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2015-17878 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-1067; Airspace Docket No. 14-ANM-15] Establishment and Amendment of Class E Airspace; Bremerton, WA AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action modifies and establishes Class E airspace at Bremerton National Airport, Bremerton, WA, to accommodate new Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) at Bremerton National airport due to the decommissioning of the Kitsap non-directional radio beacon (NDB). The FAA is taking this action to enhance the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, October 15, 2015. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

On May 8, 2015, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface and modify Class E surface area airspace at Bremerton National Airport, Bremerton, WA (80 FR 26497). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received. Subsequent to publication, the FAA found a typographical error in the Proposal section for the Class E surface area airspace regarding the length of extension to the southwest, and corrects it from 7 miles to 6.1 miles. Also, the geographic latitude coordinate of the airport for the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface is corrected from lat. 47°29′34″ to lat. 47°29′25″.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6002 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.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class E surface area airspace and establishes Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Bremerton National Airport, Bremerton, WA. Class E surface area airspace is adjusted to be defined from the Bremerton National Airport reference point versus the decommissioned Kitsap NDB, with segments extending from the 4.1-mile radius of the airport to 6.1 miles southwest, and 6.1 miles northeast of the airport. Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface would be established extending from the 6.1-mile radius of the airport to 7.6 miles northeast of the airport, and 8.1 miles southwest of the airport. This action enhances the safety and management of controlled airspace within the NAS.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas ANM WA E2 Bremerton, WA [Modified] Bremerton National Airport, WA (Lat. 47°29′25″ N., long. 122°45′53″ W.)

That airspace within a 4.1-mile radius of Bremerton National Airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 33° bearing from the airport extending from the 4.1-mile radius to 6.1 miles northeast of the airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 213° bearing from the airport extending from the 4.1-mile radius to 6.1 miles southwest of the airport.

Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ANM WA E5 Bremerton, WA [New] Bremerton National Airport, WA (Lat. 47°29′25″ N., long. 122°45′53″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within 2 miles each side of the 33° bearing from Bremerton National Airport extending from 6.1-miles to 7.6 miles northeast of the airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 213° bearing from the airport extending from the 6.1-mile radius of the airport to 8.1 miles southwest of the airport.

Issued in Seattle, Washington, on July 9, 2015. Christopher Ramirez, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2015-17880 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Parts 734, 736, 740, 742, 746, 748, 750, 758, 772, and 774 [Docket No. 150416374-5374-01] RIN 0694-AG60 Cuba: Implementing Rescission of State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation AGENCY:

Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule amends the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to implement the rescission of Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. Specifically, this rule removes anti-terrorism (AT) license requirements from Cuba and eliminates references to Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but maintains preexisting license requirements for all items subject to the EAR unless authorized by a license exception. This rule also removes Cuba from Country Group E:1 (terrorist supporting countries), which makes Cuba eligible for a general 25 percent de minimis level and portions of four license exceptions. The Secretary of State rescinded the designation of Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism on May 29, 2015.

DATES:

This rule is effective July 22, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Foreign Policy Division, Office of Nonproliferation and Treaty Compliance, Bureau of Industry and Security, Phone: (202) 482-4252.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Contents I. Background II. Removal of Anti-Terrorism Controls and Text Associating Cuba With Terrorism III. Jurisdiction—Items That Are Subject to the Ear A. Items With More Than de minimis Controlled U.S. Origin Content B. Items That Are the Direct Product of U.S.-Origin National Security Technology or Software IV. Provisions Impacted by Cuba's Removal From County Group E:1 V. Provisions Being Amended To Retain Existing Cuba-Related Requirements I. Background

The United States maintains a comprehensive embargo on trade with Cuba. Pursuant to that embargo, all items that are subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) require a license for export or reexport to Cuba unless authorized by a license exception. The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) administers export and reexport restrictions on Cuba consistent with the goals of that embargo and with relevant law. Accordingly, BIS may issue specific or general authorizations in the form of licenses or license exceptions for transactions that support the goals of United States policy while the embargo remains in effect.

On December 17, 2014, the President announced that the United States is taking steps to chart a new course in bilateral relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people. As one of these steps, the President directed the Secretary of State to review Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism and provide a report to the President within six months. Cuba was designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1982. Pursuant to Sections 6(a) and 6(j) of the Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended (EAA), State Sponsors of Terrorism are subject to anti-terrorism (AT) controls and certain other restrictions in the EAR. Once designated, a country remains a State Sponsor of Terrorism until its designation is rescinded in accordance with the relevant statutes (Section 6(j) of the EAA; Section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, as amended; and Section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended).

There are two possible paths to rescission of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation under the relevant statutes. The first requires the President to submit a report to Congress before the proposed rescission would take effect certifying that (1) there has been a fundamental change in the leadership and policies of the government of the country concerned, (2) the government is not supporting acts of international terrorism, and (3) the government has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future. The second path requires that the President submit a report to Congress, at least 45 days before the proposed rescission would take effect, justifying the rescission and certifying the subject government has not provided any support for international terrorism for the preceding six-month period and has given assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future. The rescission of Cuba's designation was done consistent with the second path.

On April 8, 2015, the Secretary of State completed the review requested by the President and submitted his analysis to the President recommending that Cuba should no longer be designated as a State Sponsors of Terrorism. On April 14, 2015, the President submitted to Congress the statutorily required report indicating the Administration's intent to rescind Cuba's State Sponsor of Terrorism designation, including the certification that Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the previous six months; and that Cuba has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future. The Secretary of State then made the final decision to rescind Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, which was effective on May 29, 2015. Accordingly, this rule removes references to Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism and removes anti-terrorism (AT) controls from Cuba.

However, Cuba is still subject to a comprehensive embargo and, as specified in § 746.2(a) of the EAR, a license is still required to export or reexport to Cuba any item subject to the EAR unless authorized by a license exception. Only those license exceptions listed in § 746.2(a) may be used to export or reexport to Cuba. These requirements of § 746.2(a) apply to all items subject to the EAR, including EAR99 items and items that are controlled on the Commerce Control List (CCL) only for AT reasons.

II. Removal of Anti-Terrorism Controls and Text Associating Cuba With Terrorism

This rule removes:

• The reference to “counter-terrorism” from the licensing policy that applies to certain exports intended to provide support for the Cuban people that appears in § 746.2(b)(4)(i) (which will be redesignated as § 746.2(b)(3)(i));

• § 746.2(c), which identifies Cuba as a country whose government has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism;

• the references to “terrorism” and “state sponsors of terrorism” from § 746.2(e), which describes the license requirements regarding Cuba of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control and the U.S. Department of State; and

• the word “Cuba” from the statements of anti-terrorism license requirements in Export Control Classification Numbers 1C350, 1C355, 1C395, 2A994, 2D994 and 2E994.

This rule also removes Cuba from the following provisions, which list countries that have been designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism or that have repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism: § 742.1(d); Supplement No. 2 to part 742, paragraphs (a) and (b)(1); § 750.4(b)(6)(i); and § 772.1, definition of “countries supporting international terrorism.”

Finally, this rule removes Cuba from Country Group E:1—Terrorist Supporting Countries—in Supplement No. 1 to Part 740—Country Groups. However, Cuba remains in Country Group E:2—Unilateral embargo. Cuba also remains in Country Groups D:2, D:3, and D:5. Because country groups are used to specify the countries that are subject to certain provisions of the EAR, particularly license exceptions, and to impose certain restrictions, removal of Cuba from Country Group E:1 can have effects elsewhere in the EAR as will be discussed below.

III. Jurisdiction—Items That Are Subject to the EAR A. Items With More Than de minimis Controlled U.S. Origin Content

The EAR apply to items that contain more than a de minimis amount of controlled U.S.-origin content including foreign-made items located outside the United States. For most items, the de minimis level is 10 percent if the destination of the foreign-made item is in Country Group E:1 and 25 percent if the destination is elsewhere. The removal of Cuba from Country Group E:1 raises the de minimis level to 25 percent for most items destined for Cuba. Additionally, since Cuba is no longer in Country Group E:1, the 25 percent de minimis level now applies to certain foreign-made encryption items destined for Cuba that meet the criteria specified in § 734.4(b)(1)(iii) of the EAR.

With the general increase in the de minimis level to 25 percent, paragraph (b)(3) of § 746.2, which described the circumstances under which foreign made items containing an insubstantial proportion of U.S. origin content (i.e., not exceeding 20 percent) would generally be considered favorably, is no longer needed, so this rule removes that paragraph.

Foreign-made items destined for Cuba that incorporate U.S.-origin 9x515 or “600 series” .y content continue to be subject to the EAR regardless of the level of U.S.-origin content, i.e., there is no de minimis for these items when destined for Cuba. To maintain this exclusion with respect to Cuba, this rule adds Country Group E:2 to the list of destinations (Country Group E:1 and the People's Republic of China) subject to that exclusion. Since 9x515 and “600 series” .y items are “specially designed” items transferred from the United States Munitions List to the CCL, this de minimis exclusion is still warranted for countries subject to unilateral embargo. Accordingly, BIS is amending § 734.4(a)(6)(ii) to include Country Group E:2.

B. Items That Are the Direct Product of U.S.-Origin National Security Technology and Software

The EAR apply to foreign-made national security items that are the direct product of U.S.-origin national security technology and software. Such items are subject to the EAR (and require a license) if destined to a country in Country Group D:1 or E:1. This rule retains Cuba as one of the destinations that is subject to this requirement by adding Country Group E:2 to § 736.2(b)(3).

IV. Provisions Impacted by Cuba's Removal From County Group E:1

The provisions of the four license exceptions described below contain restrictions that apply to countries in Country Group E:1 or to nationals of those countries. This section describes the restrictions that will no longer apply to Cuba or Cuban nationals as a result of Cuba's removal from Country Group E:1. This rule makes no change to the text of the four license exceptions because the removal of the restrictions results from the removal of Cuba from Country Group E:1 and no changes to the text of the license exceptions are needed.

License Exception Servicing and Replacement of Parts and Equipment (RPL)

The removal of Cuba from Country Group E:1 implicates only paragraph (a) of License Exception Servicing and Replacement of Parts and Equipment (RPL) in § 740.10 because only paragraph (a), which authorizes export and reexport of one-for-one replacement parts for items previously lawfully exported, is authorized for Cuba in § 746.2 of the EAR. Since Cuba is no longer in Country Group E:1, the following exclusions to License Exception RPL, paragraph (a) no longer apply to Cuba: paragraph (a)(3)(iv), which excludes parts, components, accessories, or attachments to repair “aircraft” or commodities controlled for national security (NS) reasons; paragraph (a)(3)(v), which excludes parts, components, accessories, or attachments to repair explosives detection equipment classified under Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 2A983 or related software classified under ECCN 2D983; and paragraph (a)(3)(vi) which excludes parts, components, accessories, or attachments to repair concealed object detection equipment classified under ECCN 2A984 or related software classified under ECCN 2D984.

License Exception Governments, International Organizations, International Inspections Under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the International Space Station (GOV)

Since Cuba is no longer in Country Group E:1, the following restrictions in License Exception GOV (§ 740.11) no longer apply to Cuban nationals: Paragraph (a)(2)(iv), which restricts physical or computational access by Country Group E:1 nationals to certain computers for authorized international safeguard use in connection with activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the European Atomic Energy Community; paragraph (d)(4), which restricts physical or computational access by Country Group E:1 nationals to certain computers for authorized international inspection and verification use in connection with the activities of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons; and paragraph (e)(7)(i), which precludes export, reexport or transfer (in-country) to Country Group E:1 nationals of items used to support the International Space Station. Additionally, paragraph (e)(8)(iii), which precludes return of parts for the International Space Station to destinations in Country Group E:1, no longer applies to Cuba.

License Exception Baggage (BAG)

Since Cuba is no longer in Country Group E:1, § 740.14(f)(1), which authorizes certain exports and reexports of encryption commodities and software subject to Encryption Items (EI) controls on the CCL by United States citizens and permanent resident aliens to destinations other than Country Group E:1, and § 740.14(f)(2), which authorizes such exports and reexports by individuals other than nationals of a country in Country Group E:1, no longer apply to Cuba or Cuban nationals. Additionally, § 740.14(g), which authorizes certain exports and reexports of technology by U.S. persons, but excludes in paragraph (g)(4) exports and reexports of encryption technology controlled in ECCN 5E002 to destinations in Country Group E:1, no longer applies to Cuba.

License Exception Aircraft, Vessels and Spacecraft (AVS)

The removal of Cuba from Country Group E:1 implicates only paragraph (a) of License Exception Aircraft, Vessels and Spacecraft (AVS) in § 740.15 because only paragraph (a), which authorizes aircraft on temporary sojourn, is authorized for Cuba in § 746.2 of the EAR. Since Cuba is no longer in Country Group E:1, Cuba is no longer subject to the following restrictions:

• Paragraph (a)(1)(i), which prohibits use of AVS for foreign registered aircraft that were transferred to a national of a country in Country Group E:1 while in the United States;

• Paragraph (a)(1)(ii), which prohibits use of AVS for foreign registered aircraft that are departing the United States for purpose of transfer to a national of a country in Country Group E:1;

• Paragraph (a)(2)(ii), which prohibits use of AVS for U.S. registered aircraft that are not operating under an Air Carrier Operating Certificate, Commercial Operating Certificate or Air Taxi Operating Certificate from using AVS for temporary sojourns to a country in Country Group E:1;

• Paragraph (a)(3)(iv), which prohibits principal maintenance in Country Group E:1 or right to control the principal place of maintenance by a national of a country in Country Group E:1;

• Paragraph (a)(3)(v), which prohibits location of spares in a destination in Country Group E:1;

• Paragraph (a)(3)(vi), which prohibits changing the place of registration to a destination in Country Group E:1;

• Paragraph (a)(3)(vii), which prohibits transfer of technology to a national of a country in Country Group E:1;

• Paragraph (a)(3)(viii), which prohibits aircraft bearing livery, colors or logos of a national of a country in Country Group E:1; and

• Paragraph (a)(3)(ix), which prohibits flying under a flight number issued to a national of a country in Country Group E:1.

V. Provisions Being Amended To Retain Existing Cuba-Related Requirements

Although Cuba is removed from Country Group E:1, Cuba is still subject to a comprehensive embargo and, as specified in § 746.2(a) of the EAR, a license is still required to export or reexport to Cuba any item subject to the EAR unless authorized by a license exception. This rule makes the changes described below to retain the applicability of certain provisions and license conditions to Cuba, consistent with the embargo, that would otherwise cease as a result of Cuba's removal from Country Group E:1. While Cuba was in Country Group E:1, a separate reference to Country Group E:2 would have had no effect on exports or reexports to Cuba. With the removal of Cuba from Country Group E:1, it is necessary to explicitly link these provisions and conditions to the embargo.

Written Assurance for License Exception Technology and Software Under Restriction (TSR)

Before an exporter or reexporter is able to use License Exception Technology and Software under Restriction (TSR) in § 740.6 of the EAR to export or reexport software or technology controlled for national security reasons, the exporter or reexporter must obtain a written assurance from the consignee that the software or technology transferred and its direct product will not be sent to destinations in Country Group D:1 or E:1 or released to nationals thereof. This rule retains that restriction with respect to Cuba by adding Country Group E:2 to those written assurance requirements. The need for a written assurance is appropriate for countries in Country Groups E:1 and E:2. However, until the removal of Cuba from Country Group E:1, listing both country groups would have been redundant.

Note that License Exception TSR does not authorize exports or reexports to Cuba because it is not specified in § 746.2(a)(1) of the EAR and because, by its terms, License Exception TSR is available only for destinations in Country Group B, which does not include Cuba.

Supplement No. 2 to Part 748—Unique Application and Submission Requirements

Supplement No. 2 to Part 748 of the EAR describes information required to be included in license applications for certain specific situations. Paragraph (i)(2)(x) requires that technology intended to accompany any shipment to destinations in Country Group D:1 or E:1 be described in the application. Paragraph (o)(3)(i) requires applicants for licenses to export or reexport national security controlled technology to obtain a written assurance against transfer to destinations in Country Groups D:1 or E:1. This rule adds Country Group E:2 to both paragraphs to continue both requirements with respect to Cuba.

Export Clearance Requirements

Part 758 of the EAR describes certain export clearance requirements. Section 758.1(b)(1) makes the $2,500 threshold below which most exports need not be filed in the Automated Export System (AES) inapplicable for exports to Country Group E:1 by requiring such filing for exports to Country Group E:1 regardless of value. This rule retains that requirement for exports to Cuba by adding Country Group E:2 to § 758.1(b)(1).

Section 758.2(b)(3) makes export to Country Group E:1 grounds for rejecting applications for post-departure filing in AES (i.e., authorization to file after the exporting carrier departs the port of export). This rule retains export to Cuba as a ground for rejection by adding Country Group E:2 to § 758.2(b)(3).

License Condition General Order

Supplement No. 1 to Part 736 of the EAR contains certain general orders. This rule adds General Order No. 3, which was reserved, to continue all restrictions on transactions with Cuba or Cuban nationals, by reference to Country Group E:1, that are contained in licenses issued prior to July 22, 2015. Certain licenses issued by BIS contain conditions that restrict the export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) to State Sponsors of Terrorism and countries subject to unilateral embargo by reference to Country Group E:1. Many of those restrictions were intended to apply to Cuba, not only as a State Sponsor of Terrorism but also as a country subject to unilateral embargo. However, BIS did not always list both Country Groups E:1 and E:2 in license conditions because, at the time, doing so would have been redundant. This general order applies those conditions to Country Groups E:1 and E:2. Licensees who seek authorization for transactions that are affected by General Order No. 3, may submit license applications that refer to General Order No. 3 and explain the reason for the request in Block 24 of the application. All license applications involving Cuba are reviewed pursuant to the licensing policy in § 746.2(b) of the EAR.

ECCN 4A003

This rule adds a reference to Country Group E:2 to the note that immediately follows the control table in ECCN 4A003. That note states that except for destinations in Country Group E:1, no license is required for computers with an Adjusted Peak Performance not exceeding 8.0 weighted teraFLOPS. The addition of Country Group E:2 retains Cuba's status as a destination for which a license is required.

Export Administration Act

Although the Export Administration Act expired on August 20, 2001, the President, through Executive Order 13222 of August 17, 2001, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783 (2002), as amended by Executive Order 13637 of March 8, 2013, 78 FR 16129 (March 13, 2013), and as extended by the Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014), has continued the Export Administration Regulations in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. BIS continues to carry out the provisions of the Export Administration Act, as appropriate and to the extent permitted by law, pursuant to Executive Order 13222 as amended by Executive Order 13637.

Rulemaking Requirements

1. Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has been designated a “significant regulatory action,” although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (PRA), unless that collection of information displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. This rule involves a collection of information approved under OMB control number 0694-0088—Simplified Network Application Processing+ System (SNAP+) and the Multipurpose Export License Application, which are the methods for submitting all license applications, commodity classification requests and similar requests to BIS. The estimated annual total burden of all of those submissions is 31,833 hours. BIS believes that this rule will have no material impact on that burden. To the extent that it has any impact, this rule is likely to reduce the burden for two reasons. First, this rule might reduce the burden because it makes some transactions, primarily temporary sojourns in Cuba of general aviation aircraft, which would otherwise require a license, eligible for a license exception. Second, because this rule raises the percentage of U.S.-origin content that a foreign-made item must have before its export from abroad to Cuba becomes subject to the EAR, it reduces the number of foreign-made items that will need a license from BIS to be exported from abroad to Cuba.

Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to Jasmeet K. Seehra, Office of Management and Budget, by email at [email protected] or by fax to (202) 395-7285 and to William Arvin at [email protected]

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

4. The provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) requiring notice of proposed rulemaking, the opportunity for public participation, and a delay in effective date, are inapplicable because this regulation involves a military or foreign affairs function of the United States (See 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1)). This rule is a part of the implementation of the rescission of Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, which became effective on May 29, 2015. Delay in implementing this rule to obtain public comment would undermine the foreign policy objectives that the rule is intended to implement. Further, no other law requires that a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment be given for this rule. Because a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be given for this rule under 5 U.S.C. 553, or by any other law, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are not applicable.

List of Subjects 15 CFR Part 734

Administrative practice and procedure, Exports, Inventions and patents, Research, Science and technology.

15 CFR Parts 736 and 772

Exports.

15 CFR Parts 740, 748, 750, and 758

Administrative practice and procedure, Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

15 CFR Part 742

Exports, Terrorism.

15 CFR Parts 746 and 774

Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Accordingly, parts 734, 736, 740, 742, 746, 748, 750, 758, 772, and 774 of the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR parts 730-774) are amended as follows:

PART 734—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 734 continues to read as follows: Authority:

50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; E.O. 12938, 59 FR 59099, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 950; E.O. 13020, 61 FR 54079, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 219; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; E.O. 13637 of March 8, 2013, 78 FR 16129 (March 13, 2013); Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014); Notice of November 7, 2014, 79 FR 67035 (November 12, 2014).

2. Section 734.4 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(6)(ii) to read as follows:
§ 734.4 De minimis U.S. content.

(a) * * *

(6) * * *

(ii) There is no de minimis level for foreign-made items that incorporate U.S.-origin 9x515 or “600 series” .y items when destined for a country listed in Country Group E:1 or E:2 of Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR or for the People's Republic of China (PRC).

PART 736—[AMENDED] 3. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 736 continues to read as follows: Authority:

50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 2151 note; E.O. 12938, 59 FR 59099, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 950; E.O. 13020, 61 FR 54079, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 219; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; E.O. 13338, 69 FR 26751, 3 CFR, 2004 Comp., p. 168; Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014); Notice of November 7, 2014, 79 FR 67035 (November 12, 2014); Notice of May 6, 2015, 80 FR 26815 (May 8, 2015).

(6) * * *

4. Section 736.2 is amended by revising paragraphs (b)(3)(i) and (iii) to read as follows:
§ 736.2 General prohibitions and determination of applicability.

(b) * * *

(3) General Prohibition Three—Reexport and export from abroad of the foreign-produced direct product of U.S. technology and software (Foreign-Produced Direct Product Reexports)—(i) Country scope of prohibition. You may not, without a license or license exception, reexport any item subject to the scope of this General Prohibition Three to a destination in Country Group D:1, E:1, or E:2 (See Supplement No.1 to part 740 of the EAR). Additionally, you may not, without a license or license exception, reexport or export from abroad any ECCN 0A919 commodities subject to the scope of this General Prohibition Three to a destination in Country Group D:1, D:3, D:4, D:5, E:1, or E:2.

(iii) Country scope of prohibition for 9x515 or “600 series” items. You may not, except as provided in paragraphs (b)(3)(v) or (vi) of this section, reexport or export from abroad without a license any “600 series” item subject to the scope of this General Prohibition Three to a destination in Country Groups D:1, D:3, D:4, D:5, E:1, or E:2 (see Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR). You may not, except as provided in paragraphs (b)(3)(v) or (vi) of this section, reexport or export from abroad without a license any 9x515 item subject to the scope of this General Prohibition Three to a destination in Country Groups D:5, E:1, or E:2 (see Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR).

5. Supplement No. 1 to part 736 is amended by revising the heading and paragraph (c) to read as follows: Supplement No. 1 to Part 736—General Orders

(c) General Order No. 3:

General Order No. 3 of July 22, 2015. Certain licenses issued by BIS prior to July 22, 2015 contain conditions that restrict the export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) to or within Country Group E:1 as specified in Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR. At the time those license were issued, Cuba was in Country Group E:1. Many of those restrictions were intended to apply to Cuba, not only as a State Sponsor of Terrorism but also as a country subject to unilateral embargo. However, BIS did not always list both Country Groups E:1 and E:2 in license conditions because, at the time, doing so would have been redundant. However, with the rescission of Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism and resultant removal from Country Group E:1, continuing those conditions with respect to Cuba is consistent with the embargo. Accordingly, all conditions that apply to Country Group E:1 on licenses issued prior to July 22, 2015 that are in effect on that date, are revised to apply to Country Groups E:1 and E:2 as specified in Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR. Licensees who seek authorization for transactions that are affected by this General Order No. 3 may submit license applications that refer to General Order No. 3 and explain the reason for the request in Block 24 of the application. All license applications involving Cuba are reviewed pursuant to the licensing policy in § 746.2(b) of the EAR. The request should provide any available information in support of the argument that the transaction would be consistent with the licensing policy in § 746.2(b) of the EAR.

PART 740—[AMENDED] 6. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 740 continues to read as follows: Authority:

50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014).

§ 740.6 [Amended]
7. Section 740.6 is amended by removing the phrase “D:1 or E:1” wherever it appears in paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) and adding in its place the phrase “D:1, E:1, or E:2”.
Supplement No. 1 to Part 740 [Amended] 8. Supplement No. 1 to part 740 is amended by removing the “X” from the row for Cuba in the E:1 column of the “Country Group E” table. PART 742—[AMENDED] 9. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 742 continues to read as follows: Authority:

50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; Sec. 1503, Pub. L. 108-11, 117 Stat. 559; E.O. 12058, 43 FR 20947, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 179; E.O. 12851, 58 FR 33181, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 608; E.O. 12938, 59 FR 59099, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 950; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Presidential Determination 2003-23 of May 7, 2003, 68 FR 26459, May 16, 2003; Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014); Notice of November 7, 2014, 79 FR 67035 (November 12, 2014).

§ 742.1 [Amended]
10. Section 742.1 is amended by removing the word “Cuba” and the comma that follows it from each place that it appears in paragraph (d).
Supplement No. 2 to Part 742 [Amended] 11. Supplement No. 2 to part 742 is amended by removing the word “Cuba” and the comma that follows it from paragraphs (a) and (b)(1). PART 746—[AMENDED] 12. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 746 continues to read as follows: Authority:

50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 287c; Sec 1503, Pub. L. 108-11, 117 Stat. 559; 22 U.S.C. 6004; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; E.O. 12854, 58 FR 36587, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 614; E.O. 12918, 59 FR 28205, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 899; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; E.O. 13338, 69 FR 26751, 3 CFR, 2004 Comp., p 168; Presidential Determination 2003-23 of May 7, 2003, 68 FR 26459, May 16, 2003; Presidential Determination 2007-7 of December 7, 2006, 72 FR 1899 (January 16, 2007); Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014); Notice of May 6, 2015, 80 FR 26815 (May 8, 2015).

13. Section 746.2 is amended by: a. Removing paragraph (b)(3); b. Redesignating paragraphs (b)(4), (5), and (6) as paragraphs (b)(3), (4), and (5), respectively; c. Removing the phrase “or counter-terrorism” from the first sentence of newly designated paragraph (b)(3)(i); d. Removing paragraph (c); e. Redesignating paragraphs (d) and (e) as paragraphs (c) and (d), respectively; and f. Revising newly designated paragraph (d).

The revision to read as follows:

§ 746.2 Cuba.

(d) Related controls. OFAC maintains controls on the activities of persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction, wherever located, involving transactions with Cuba or any Cuban national, as provided in 31 CFR part 515. Exporters and reexporters should consult with OFAC for further guidance on its related controls.

PART 748—[AMENDED] 14. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 748 continues to read as follows: Authority:

50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014).

Supplement No. 2 to Part 748 [Amended] 15. Supplement No. 2 to part 748 is amended by removing the phrase “Country Group D:1 or E:1” wherever it appears in paragraphs (i)(2)(x) and (o)(3)(i) and adding in its place the phrase “Country Group D:1, E:1, or E:2”. PART 750—[AMENDED] 16. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 750 continues to read as follows: Authority:

50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; Sec 1503, Pub. L. 108-11, 117 Stat. 559; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; E.O. 13637 of March 8, 2013, 78 FR 16129 (March 13, 2013); Presidential Determination 2003-23 of May 7, 2003, 68 FR 26459, May 16, 2003; Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014).

§ 750.4 [Amended]
17. Section 750.4 is amended by removing the word “Cuba” and the comma immediately following it from paragraph (b)(6)(i).
PART 758—[AMENDED] 18. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 758 continues to read as follows: Authority:

50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014).

§ 758.1 [Amended]
19. Section 758.1 is amended by adding the phrase “or E:2” immediately following the phrase “Country Group E:1” in paragraph (b)(1).
§ 758.2 [Amended]
20. Section 758.2 is amended by adding the phrase “or E:2” immediately following the phrase “Country Group E:1” in paragraph (b)(3).
PART 772—[AMENDED] 21. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 772 continues to read as follows: Authority:

50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014).

§ 772.1 [Amended]
22. Section 772.1 is amended by removing the word “Cuba” and the comma that follows it from the definition of “Countries supporting international terrorism.”
PART 774—[AMENDED] 23. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 774 continues to read as follows: Authority:

50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 10 U.S.C. 7420; 10 U.S.C. 7430(e); 22 U.S.C. 287c, 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 6004; 30 U.S.C. 185(s), 185(u); 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 42 U.S.C. 6212; 43 U.S.C. 1354; 15 U.S.C. 1824a; 50 U.S.C. app. 5; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014).

24. In supplement No. 1 to part 774 (The Commerce Control List), Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 1C350 is amended by revising second paragraph that follows the License Requirements table to read as follows: Supplement No. 1 to Part 774—The Commerce Control List 1C350 Chemicals that may be used as precursors for toxic chemical agents (see List of Items Controlled). License Requirements

AT applies to entire entry. The Commerce Country Chart is not designed to determine licensing requirements for items controlled for AT reasons in 1C350. A license is required, for AT reasons, to export or reexport items controlled by 1C350 to a country in Country Group E:1 of Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR. (See part 742 of the EAR for additional information on the AT controls that apply to Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. See part 746 of the EAR for additional information on sanctions that apply to Iran, North Korea, and Syria.)

25. In supplement No. 1 to part 774, ECCN 1C355 is amended by revising the second “Control(s)” paragraph to read as follows: 1C355 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) Schedule 2 and 3 chemicals and families of chemicals not controlled by ECCN 1C350 or “subject to the ITAR” (see 22 CFR parts 120 through 130) (see List of Items Controlled). License Requirements

Control(s): * * *

AT applies to entire entry. The Commerce Country Chart is not designed to determine licensing requirements for items controlled for AT reasons in 1C350. A license is required, for AT reasons, to export or reexport items controlled by 1C350 to a country in Country Group E:1 of Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR. (See part 742 of the EAR for additional information on the AT controls that apply to Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. See part 746 of the EAR for additional information on sanctions that apply to Iran, North Korea, and Syria.)

26. In supplement No. 1 to part 774, ECCN 1C395 is amended by revising the third “Control(s)” paragraph to read as follows: 1C395 Mixtures and Medical, Analytical, Diagnostic, and Food Testing Kits Not Controlled by ECCN 1C350, as follows (See List of Items Controlled). License Requirements

Control(s): * * *

AT applies to entire entry. The Commerce Country Chart is not designed to determine licensing requirements for items controlled for AT reasons in 1C395. A license is required, for AT reasons, to export or reexport items controlled by 1C395 to a country in Country Group E:1 of Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR. (See part 742 of the EAR for additional information on the AT controls that apply to Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. See part 746 of the EAR for additional information on sanctions that apply to Iran, North Korea, and Syria.)

27. In supplement No. 1 to part 774, ECCN 2A994 is amended by revising the “Control(s)” paragraph to read as follows: 2A994 Portable electric generators and “specially designed” “parts” and “components.” Control(s): AT applies to entire entry. A license is required for items controlled by this entry to Iran and North Korea. The Commerce Country Chart is not designed to determine licensing requirements for this entry. See part 746 of the EAR for additional information on Iran. See § 742.19 of the EAR for additional information on North Korea. 28. In supplement No. 1 to part 774, ECCN 2D994 is amended by revising the “Control(s)” paragraph to read as follows: 2D994 “Software” “specially designed” for the “development” or “production” of portable electric generators controlled by 2A994. License Requirements Control(s): AT applies to entire entry. A license is required for items controlled by this entry to Iran and North Korea for anti-terrorism reasons. The Commerce Country Chart is not designed to determine licensing requirements for this entry. See part 746 of the EAR for additional information on Iran. See § 742.19 of the EAR for additional information on North Korea. 29. In supplement No. 1 to part 774, ECCN 2E994 is amended by revising the “Control(s)” paragraph to read as follows: 2E994 “Technology” for the “use” of portable electric generators controlled by 2A994. License Requirements Control(s): AT applies to entire entry. A license is required for items controlled by this entry to Iran and North Korea for anti-terrorism reasons. The Commerce Country Chart is not designed to determine licensing requirements for this entry. See part 746 of the EAR for additional information on Iran. See § 742.19 of the EAR for additional information on North Korea. ECCN 4A001—[Amended] 30. In supplement No. 1 to part 774, ECCN 4A003 is amended by adding the phrase “or E:2” immediately following the phrase “Country Group E:1” in the note that immediately follows the License Requirements table. Dated: July 17, 2015. Kevin J. Wolf, Assistant Secretary for Export Administration.
[FR Doc. 2015-17981 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 1020 [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-0828] Performance Standards for Ionizing Radiation Emitting Products; Fluoroscopic Equipment; Correction; Confirmation of Effective Date AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Direct final rule; confirmation of effective date.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is confirming the effective date of August 26, 2015, for the direct final rule that appeared in the Federal Register of April 13, 2015. The direct final rule amends a Federal performance standard for ionizing radiation to correct a drafting error regarding fluoroscopic equipment measurement. We are taking this action to ensure clarity and improve the accuracy of the regulations. This document confirms the effective date of the direct final rule.

DATES:

Effective date of the final rule published in the Federal Register of April 13, 2015 (80 FR 19530), confirmed: August 26, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Scott Gonzalez, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 4641, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-5889.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In the Federal Register of April 13, 2015 (80 FR 19530), FDA solicited comments concerning the direct final rule for a 75-day period ending June 29, 2015. We stated that the effective date of the direct final rule would be on August 26, 2015, 30 days after the end of the comment period, unless FDA received any significant adverse comment during the comment period. FDA did not receive any significant adverse comments.

Authority:

21 U.S.C. 351, 352, 360e-360j, 360hh-360ss, 371, 381. Accordingly, the amendment issued thereby is effective.

Dated: July 16, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2015-17930 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Parts 17, 39, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 59, 61, 62, and 64 RIN 2900-AP22 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards; Updating References AGENCY:

Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its regulations with updated citations and references to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) authorities for Federal grant programs. OMB has issued final guidance, located in Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which streamlines and supersedes requirements previously found in various OMB Circulars. VA has adopted OMB's guidance, and this rule replaces the obsolete OMB references in VA's regulations.

DATES:

This final rule is effective July 22, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Brian McCarthy, Office of Regulatory and Administrative Affairs (10B4), Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-6345. (This is not a toll-free telephone number.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is streamlining the Federal government's guidance on Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal awards. In a document published in the Federal Register on December 26, 2013 (78 FR 78590), OMB adopted final guidance, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance), that supersedes and streamlines requirements from OMB Circulars A-21, A-87, A-110, and A-122 (which have been placed in OMB guidances); Circulars A-89, A-102, and A-133; and the guidance in Circular A-50 on Single Audit Act follow-up. The final guidance is located in title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

On December 19, 2014, OMB published a joint interim final rule in the Federal Register (79 FR 75871). OMB made technical corrections to the Uniform Guidance, and Federal awarding agencies, including VA, implemented the guidance in their respective chapters of title 2 of the CFR. VA amended title 2 of the CFR to add part 802. Section 802.101 of title 2 CFR now provides, “The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards set forth in 2 CFR part 200 shall apply to the Department of Veterans Affairs.” VA also removed parts 41 and 43 from title 38 CFR. Those parts codified OMB Circulars that were superseded by the Uniform Guidance.

Because of these changes, existing references in VA's regulations to the superseded OMB guidance documents and to parts 41 and 43 are obsolete. Accordingly, we are amending various VA regulations located in 38 CFR parts 17, 39, 48, 51, 52, 53, 59, 61, 62, and 64 to replace the obsolete references with references to the current authority. For the same reason, we are removing part 49 of title 38 CFR, which codified OMB Circular A-110, and amending VA's regulations referencing part 49 to reference 2 CFR part 200 instead.

Administrative Procedure Act

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs finds there is good cause under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and (d)(3) to publish this rule without prior opportunity for public comment and with an immediate effective date. This rule does not amend the substantive content of the regulations cited. We are merely making technical revisions to replace obsolete OMB references and citations in existing VA regulations because 2 CFR part 200, which VA is adopting, supersedes OMB's previous guidance. We are also deleting existing references to parts 41 and 43 of 38 CFR, which were removed from 38 CFR by the interim final rule published on December 19, 2014 (79 FR 75871), and removing part 49 of title 38 CFR and existing references to part 49, which codified OMB guidance that was superseded by the Uniform Guidance. Because these changes are merely technical, advance notice and public comment are unnecessary and we find good cause to make these necessary changes effective immediately upon publication.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a “significant regulatory action,” which requires review by OMB, unless OMB waives such review, as “any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive Order.”

The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this regulatory action have been examined, and it has been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. VA's impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's Web site at http://www.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for “VA Regulations Published From FY 2004 Through Fiscal Year to Date.”

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Secretary hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) because the amendments are merely technical in nature. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this final rule is exempt from the final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of section 604.

Unfunded Mandates

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This final rule will have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This final rule contains no provisions constituting a collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521).

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance numbers and titles for the programs affected by this document are 64.005, Grants to States for Construction of State Home Facilities; 64.024, VA Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program; 64.026, Veterans State Adult Day Health Care; 64.033, VA Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program; 64.034, VA Assistance to United States Paralympic Integrated Adaptive Sports Program; 64.037, VA U.S. Paralympics Monthly Assistance Allowance Program; 64.038, Grants for the Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot; 64.100, Automobiles and Adaptive Equipment for Certain Disabled Veterans and Members of the Armed Forces; 64.201, National Cemeteries; and 64.203, State Cemetery Grants.

Signing Authority

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Robert L. Nabors II, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on July 7, 2015, for publication.

List of Subjects 38 CFR Part 17

Administrative practice and procedure, Grant programs—health, Grant programs—veterans, Health care, Health facilities, Nursing homes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Travel and transportation expenses, Veterans.

38 CFR Part 39

Cemeteries, Grant programs—veterans, Veterans.

38 CFR Part 48

Administrative practice and procedure, Drug abuse, Grant programs, Loan programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

38 CFR Part 49

Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements.

38 CFR Parts 51 and 52

Administrative practice and procedure, Day care, Grant programs—health, Grant programs—veterans, Health care, Health facilities, Nursing homes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Veterans.

38 CFR Part 53

Administrative practice and procedure, Grant programs—health, Grant programs—veterans, Health care, Health facilities, Health professions, Nursing homes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Scholarships and fellowships, Veterans.

38 CFR Part 59

Administrative practice and procedure, Day care, Grant programs—health, Grant programs—veterans, Health care, Health facilities, Nursing homes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Veterans.

38 CFR Part 61

Administrative practice and procedure, Alcohol abuse, Alcoholism, Drug abuse, Grant programs—health, Grant programs—veterans, Health care, Health facilities, Homeless, Mental health programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Travel and transportation expenses, Veterans.

38 CFR Part 62

Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Grant programs—health, Grant programs—social services, Grant programs—transportation, Grant programs—veterans, Grants—housing and community development, Heath care, Homeless, Housing, Housing assistance payments, Indian—lands, Individuals with disabilities, Low and moderate income housing, Manpower training program, Medicare, Medicaid, Public assistance programs, Public housing, Relocation assistance, Rent subsidies, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rural areas, Social security, Supplemental security income (SSI), Travel and transportation expenses, Unemployment compensation, Veterans.

38 CFR Part 64

Administrative practice and procedure, Disability benefits, Claims, Grant programs—health, Grant programs—veterans, Health care, Health records, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Veterans.

Dated: July 13, 2015. William F. Russo, Acting Director, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, VA amends 38 CFR parts 17, 39, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 59, 61, 62, and 64 as follows:

PART 17—MEDICAL 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Authority:

38 U.S.C. 501, and as noted in specific sections.

§ 17.200 [Amended]
2. Amend § 17.200 by removing “Single Audit Act of 1984 (part 41 of this chapter).” and adding in its place “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards under 2 CFR part 200.”. 3. Amend § 17.715 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 17.715 Grant Agreements.

(b) Additional requirements. Grantees and identified subrecipients are subject to the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards under 2 CFR part 200, and subject to 2 CFR parts 25 and 170, if applicable.

PART 39—AID FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT, EXPANSION, AND IMPROVEMENT, OR OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF VETERANS CEMETERIES Subpart B—Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Projects 4. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority:

25 U.S.C. 450b(1); 38 U.S.C. 101, 501, 2408, 2411, 3765.

§ 39.31 [Amended]
5. Amend § 39.31(c)(6) by removing “parts 180 and 801 and 38 CFR part 43” and adding in its place “parts 180, 200, and 801”.
§ 39.32 [Amended]
6. Amend § 39.32 introductory text by removing “the provisions of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-87.” and removing “OMB Circular No. A-102, Revised.” and adding in each place “2 CFR part 200.”. Subpart C—Operation and Maintenance Projects
§ 39.81 [Amended]
7. Amend § 39.81(d)(2) by removing “parts 180 and 801 and 38 CFR part 43” and adding in its place “parts 180, 200, and 801”.
§ 39.82 [Amended]
8. Amend § 39.82: a. In paragraph (a)(2), by removing “the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-87” and adding in its place “2 CFR part 200”. b. In paragraph (a)(3), by removing “OMB Circular No. A-102, Revised.” and adding in its place “2 CFR part 200.”. Subpart D—Grant Recipient Responsibilities, Inspections, and Reports Following Project Completion
§ 39.122 [Amended]
9. Amend § 39.122(a) by removing “(see Part 41 of this chapter)”. PART 48—GOVERNMENTWIDE REQUIREMENTS FOR DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE (FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE) Subpart F—Definitions 10. The authority citation for part 48 continues to read as follows: Authority:

41 U.S.C. 701, et seq.; 38 U.S.C 501.

§ 48.605 [Amended]
11. Amend § 48.605(a)(2) by removing “the Governmentwide rule 38 CFR part 43 that implements OMB Circular A-102 (for availability, see 5 CFR 1310.3) and specifies uniform administrative requirements.” and adding in its place “2 CFR part 200.”. PART 49—[REMOVED] 12. Under the authority of 38 U.S.C. 501, remove part 49. PART 51—PER DIEM FOR NURSING HOME CARE OF VETERANS IN STATE HOMES Subpart C—Per Diem Payments 13. The authority citation for part 51 continues to read as follows: Authority:

38 U.S.C. 101, 501, 1710, 1720, 1741-1743, and as stated in specific sections.

§ 51.43 [Amended]
14. Amend § 51.43(e) by removing “the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular number A-87, dated May 4, 1995, “Cost Principles for State, Local, and Indian Tribal Governments.” ” and adding in its place “2 CFR part 200.”. PART 52—PER DIEM FOR ADULT DAY HEALTH CARE OF VETERANS IN STATE HOMES Subpart C—Per Diem Payments 15. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

38 U.S.C. 101, 501, 1741-1743, unless otherwise noted.

§ 52.40 [Amended]
16. Amend § 52.40(b) by removing “the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular number A-87, dated May 4, 1995, “Cost Principles for State, Local, and Indian Tribal Governments” (OMB Circulars are available at the addresses in 5 CFR 1310.3).” and adding in its place “2 CFR part 200.”. PART 53—PAYMENTS TO STATES FOR PROGRAMS TO PROMOTE THE HIRING AND RETENTION OF NURSES AT STATE VETERANS HOMES 17. The authority citation for part 53 continues to read as follows: Authority:

38 U.S.C. 101, 501, 1744.

§ 53.31 [Amended]
18. Amend § 53.31(b) by removing “Single Audit Act of 1984 (see 38 CFR part 41)” and adding in its place “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards under 2 CFR part 200”.
PART 59—GRANTS TO STATES FOR CONSTRUCTION OR ACQUISITION OF STATE HOMES 19. The authority citation for part 59 continues to read as follows: Authority:

38 U.S.C. 101, 501, 1710, 1742, 8105, 8131-8137.

§ 59.124 [Amended]
20. Amend § 59.124(a) by removing “Single Audit Act of 1984 (see part 41 of this chapter)” and adding in its place “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards under 2 CFR part 200”.
PART 61—VA HOMELESS PROVIDERS GRANT AND PER DIEM PROGRAM 21. The authority citation for part 61 continues to read as follows: Authority:

38 U.S.C. 501, 2001, 2002, 2011, 2012, 2061, 2064.

Subpart B—Capital Grants
§ 61.16 [Amended]
22. Amend § 61.16(a) by removing “OMB Circular A-122 as codified at 2 CFR part 230.” and adding in its place “the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards under 2 CFR part 200.”. Subpart E—Technical Assistance Grants
23. Amend § 61.50 by revising paragraph (b)(3)(i) to read as follows:
§ 61.50 Technical assistance grants- general.

(b) * * *

(3) * * *

(i) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards under 2 CFR part 200;

Subpart F—Awards, Monitoring, and Enforcement of Agreements
§ 61.61 [Amended]
24. Amend § 61.61(a) by removing “VA common grant rules at 38 CFR parts 43 and 49 and the OMB Circulars, including those cited in § 61.66.” and adding in its place “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards under 2 CFR part 200.”. 25. Revise § 61.66 to read as follows:
§ 61.66 Financial management.

(a) All recipients must comply with applicable requirements of the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards under 2 CFR part 200.

(b) All entities receiving assistance under this part must use a financial management system that follows generally accepted accounting principles and meets the requirements set forth under 2 CFR part 200. All recipients must implement the requirements of 2 CFR part 200 when determining costs reimbursable under all awards issued under this part.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501)
§ 61.67 [Amended]
26. Amend § 61.67: a. In paragraph (c) by removing “38 CFR 49.32” and adding in its place “2 CFR part 200”. b. In paragraph (f) by removing “38 CFR 49.34” and adding in its place “2 CFR part 200”. PART 62—SUPPORTIVE SERVICES FOR VETERANS FAMILIES PROGRAM 27. The authority citation for part 62 continues to read as follows: Authority:

38 U.S.C. 501, 2044, and as noted in specific sections.

28. Amend § 62.70: a. By revising paragraph (a). b. In paragraph (b) by removing “OMB Circular A-110, Subpart C, Section 21 (codified at 2 CFR 215.21) and 38 CFR 49.21.” and adding in its place “2 CFR part 200.”. c. In paragraph (c) by removing “OMB Circular A-122, Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations, codified at 2 CFR part 235.” and adding in its place “2 CFR part 200.”.

The revision reads as follows:

§ 62.70 Financial management and administrative costs.

(a) Grantees must comply with applicable requirements of the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards under 2 CFR part 200.

PART 64—GRANTS FOR THE RURAL VETERANS COORDINATION PILOT (RVCP) 29. The authority citation for part 64 continues to read as follows: Authority:

38 U.S.C. 501, 523 note.

30. Amend § 64.14 by revising paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:
§ 64.14 RVCP grant agreement.

(b) * * *

(2) Abide by the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards under 2 CFR part 200, and 2 CFR parts 25 and 170, if applicable.

[FR Doc. 2015-17416 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0354; FRL-9930-84] Sedaxane; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of sedaxane as a seed treatment for cotton, undelinted seed; cotton, gin byproducts; and beet, sugar. Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

DATES:

This regulation is effective July 22, 2015. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before September 21, 2015, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0354, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Susan Lewis, Registration Division (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].

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. How can I get electronic access to other related information?

You may access a frequently updated electronic version of EPA's tolerance regulations at 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

C. How can I file an objection or hearing request?

Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0354 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before September 21, 2015. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0354, 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 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.

II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

In the Federal Register of August 1, 2014 (79 FR 44729) (FRL-9911-67), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 4F8263) by Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, 410 Swing Road, P.O. Box 18300, Greensboro, NC 27419. The petition requested that 40 CFR part 180 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the fungicide sedaxane, N-[2-[1,1′-bicyclopropyl]-2-ylphenyl]-3-(difluoromethyl)-1-methyl-1H-pyrazole-4-carboxamide, as a seed treatment for cotton, undelinted seed at 0.01 parts per million (ppm); cotton, gin byproducts at 0.01 ppm; and beet, sugar at 0.01 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing.

Based upon review of the data supporting the petition, EPA has altered the commodity name from “beet, sugar” to “beet, sugar, roots”. The reason for this change is explained in Unit IV.D.

III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue. . . .”

Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), and the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure for sedaxane including exposure resulting from the tolerances established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with sedaxane follows.

A. Toxicological Profile

EPA has evaluated the available toxicity data and considered its validity, completeness, and reliability as well as the relationship of the results of the studies to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children. The toxicological effects reported in the submitted animal studies such as mitochondrial disintegration and glycogen depletion in the liver are consistent with the pesticidal mode of action also being the mode of toxic action in mammals. The rat is the most sensitive species tested, and the main target tissue for sedaxane is the liver. Sedaxane also caused thyroid hypertrophy/hyperplasia. In the acute neurotoxicity (ACN) and sub-chronic neurotoxicity (SCN) studies, sedaxane caused decreased activity, decreased muscle tone, decreased rearing, and decreased grip strength. There are indications of reproductive toxicity in rats such as decreased follicle counts, but these effects did not result in reduced fertility. Offspring effects in the reproduction study occurred at the same doses causing parental effects, and do not indicate any quantitative or qualitative increase in sensitivity in rat pups. In the rat, no adverse effects in fetuses were seen in developmental toxicity studies at maternally toxic doses. In the rabbit, fetal toxicity (increased unossified sternebrae and 13th rudimentary ribs, decrease in fetal weights, increased numbers of abortions) was observed at the same doses that produced toxicity in the dams (abortions, decreased body weight gain/body weight loss, reduced food consumption, defecation), and therefore does not indicate any increased susceptibility. Sedaxane is tumorigenic in the liver in the rat and mouse, and led to tumors in the thyroid and uterus in the rat and was classified as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” Sedaxane was negative in the mutagenicity studies. The 28-day dermal study did not show systemic toxicity at the limit dose of 1,000 milligrams/kilogram/day (mg/kg/day). Sedaxane has low acute toxicity by the oral, dermal, and inhalation routes. It is not a dermal sensitizer, causes no skin irritation and only slight eye irritation.

Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by sedaxane as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in document “Sedaxane. Human Health Risk Assessment to Support New Seed Treatment Uses on Cotton and Sugar Beet” on pages 13-20 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0354.

B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

Once a pesticide's toxicological profile is determined, EPA identifies toxicological points of departure (POD) and levels of concern to use in evaluating the risk posed by human exposure to the pesticide. For hazards that have a threshold below which there is no appreciable risk, the toxicological POD is used as the basis for derivation of reference values for risk assessment. PODs are developed based on a careful analysis of the doses in each toxicological study to determine the dose at which no adverse effects are observed (the NOAEL) and the lowest dose at which adverse effects of concern are identified (the LOAEL). Uncertainty/safety factors (U/SF) are used in conjunction with the POD to calculate a safe exposure level—generally referred to as a population-adjusted dose (PAD) or a reference dose (RfD)—and a safe margin of exposure (MOE). For non-threshold risks, the Agency assumes that any amount of exposure will lead to some degree of risk. Thus, the Agency estimates risk in terms of the probability of an occurrence of the adverse effect expected in a lifetime. For more information on the general principles EPA uses in risk characterization and a complete description of the risk assessment process, see http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/riskassess.htm.

A summary of the toxicological endpoints for sedaxane used for human risk assessment is shown in the Table of this unit.

Table—Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Sedaxane for Use in Human Health Risk Assessment Exposure/Scenario Point of departure and
  • uncertainty/safety
  • factors
  • RfD, PAD, LOC for risk
  • assessment
  • Study and toxicological effects
    Acute dietary (All populations, including children and women 13-49 years of age) NOAEL = 30 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Acute RfD = 0.30 mg/kg/day
  • aPAD = 0.30 mg/kg/day
  • Rat ACN Study.
  • LOAEL = 250 mg/kg based on reduced activity, decreased rearing, initial inactivity, piloerection, ruffled fur and recumbency, decreased BW, decreased BWG and food consumption (males). In females, weakened condition, swaying gait, and decreased activity, reduced muscle tone, decreased locomotor activity and rearing. The weakened condition, swaying gait and decreased activity were observed on days 2-7, while the other effects were on day 1.
  • Chronic dietary (All populations) NOAEL= 11 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Chronic RfD = 0.11 mg/kg/day
  • cPAD = 0.11 mg/kg/day
  • Chronic Rat Study.
  • NOAEL= 11/14 mg/kg bw/day (male/female).
  • LOAEL = 67/86 mg/kg bw/day (male/female) based on decreased hind limb grip strength increased liver weight, increased incidences of hepatocyte hypertrophy and eosinophilic foci, and thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy, basophilic colloid, epithelial desquamation and increased phosphate levels (males). In females it was based on decreased body weight and body weight gain, increased liver weight and the same histopathology noted above for males.
  • Cancer (Oral, dermal, inhalation) “Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans” based on significant tumor increases in two adequate rodent carcinogenicity studies. Q1* = 4.64 × 10 − 3 (mg/kg/day)−1 (linear low-dose extrapolation model). FQPA SF = Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor. LOAEL = lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level. mg/kg/day = milligram/kilogram/day. NOAEL = no-observed-adverse-effect-level. PAD = population adjusted dose (a = acute, c = chronic). RfD = reference dose. UF = uncertainty factor. UFA = extrapolation from animal to human (interspecies). UFH = potential variation in sensitivity among members of the human population (intraspecies). Q1* = Linear cancer slope factor
    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to sedaxane, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing sedaxane tolerances in 40 CFR 180.665. EPA assessed dietary exposures from sedaxane in food as follows:

    i. Acute exposure. Quantitative acute dietary exposure and risk assessments are performed for a food-use pesticide, if a toxicological study has indicated the possibility of an effect of concern occurring as a result of a 1-day or single exposure.

    Such effects were identified for sedaxane. In estimating acute dietary exposure, EPA used food consumption information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America, (NHANES/WWEIA) conducted from 2003-2008. As to residue levels in food, EPA conducted a highly conservative acute dietary assessment using tolerance-level residues and 100% crop treated assumptions for all commodities.

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment EPA used the food consumption data from the USDA NHANES/WWEIA conducted from 2003-2008. As to residue levels in food, EPA conducted a partially refined chronic dietary assessment using anticipated residue levels for all commodities and percent crop treated data.

    iii. Cancer. Based on the data summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has concluded that sedaxane should be classified as “Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans” and a linear approach has been used to quantify cancer risk. Cancer risk was quantified using the same estimates as discussed in Unit III.C.1.ii., Chronic exposure. A linear low-dose extrapolation model (Q1*) = 4.64 × 10−3 (mg/kg/day)−1 was used to estimate cancer risk.

    iv. Anticipated residue and percent crop treated (PCT) information.

    Section 408(b)(2)(E) of FFDCA authorizes EPA to use available data and information on the anticipated residue levels of pesticide residues in food and the actual levels of pesticide residues that have been measured in food. If EPA relies on such information, EPA must require pursuant to FFDCA section 408(f)(1) that data be provided 5 years after the tolerance is established, modified, or left in effect, demonstrating that the levels in food are not above the levels anticipated. For the present action, EPA will issue such data call-ins as are required by FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(E) and authorized under FFDCA section 408(f)(1). Data will be required to be submitted no later than 5 years from the date of issuance of these tolerances.

    Section 408(b)(2)(F) of FFDCA states that the Agency may use data on the actual percent of food treated for assessing chronic dietary risk only if:

    • Condition a: The data used are reliable and provide a valid basis to show what percentage of the food derived from such crop is likely to contain the pesticide residue.

    • Condition b: The exposure estimate does not underestimate exposure for any significant subpopulation group.

    • Condition c: Data are available on pesticide use and food consumption in a particular area, the exposure estimate does not understate exposure for the population in such area.

    In addition, the Agency must provide for periodic evaluation of any estimates used. To provide for the periodic evaluation of the estimate of PCT as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(F), EPA may require registrants to submit data on PCT. The Agency estimated the PCT for existing uses as follows: For chronic and cancer dietary exposure assessment, 100 PCT was assumed for all commodities except for soybeans (51%), wheat (32%) and potato (67%), which incorporated average PCT estimates.

    In most cases, EPA uses available data from United States Department of Agriculture/National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA/NASS), proprietary market surveys, and the National Pesticide Use Database for the chemical/crop combination for the most recent 6-7 years. EPA uses an average PCT for chronic dietary risk analysis. The average PCT figure for each existing use is derived by combining available public and private market survey data for that use, averaging across all observations, and rounding to the nearest 5%, except for those situations in which the average PCT is less than one. In those cases, 1% is used as the average PCT and 2.5% is used as the maximum PCT. EPA uses a maximum PCT for acute dietary risk analysis. The maximum PCT figure is the highest observed maximum value reported within the recent 6 years of available public and private market survey data for the existing use and rounded up to the nearest multiple of 5%.

    The Agency believes that the three conditions discussed in Unit III.C.1.iv. have been met. With respect to Condition a, PCT estimates are derived from Federal and private market survey data, which are reliable and have a valid basis. The Agency is reasonably certain that the percentage of the food treated is not likely to be an underestimation. As to Conditions b and c, regional consumption information and consumption information for significant subpopulations is taken into account through EPA's computer-based model for evaluating the exposure of significant subpopulations including several regional groups. Use of this consumption information in EPA's risk assessment process ensures that EPA's exposure estimate does not understate exposure for any significant subpopulation group and allows the Agency to be reasonably certain that no regional population is exposed to residue levels higher than those estimated by the Agency. Other than the data available through national food consumption surveys, EPA does not have available reliable information on the regional consumption of food to which sedaxane may be applied in a particular area.

    2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. The Agency used screening level water exposure models in the dietary exposure analysis and risk assessment for sedaxane in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of sedaxane. Drinking water accounted for 95% of the total dietary exposure to sedaxane. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at http://www.epa.gov/oppefed1/models/water/index.htm.

    Based on the FQPA Index Reservoir Screening Tool (FIRST) and Pesticide Root Zone Model Ground Water (PRZM GW), the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of sedaxane for acute exposures are estimated to be 4.1 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 22.0 ppb for ground water, for chronic exposures and cancer assessments are estimated to be 1.2 ppb for surface water and 19.3 ppb for ground water.

    Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For acute dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 22.0 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water. For chronic and cancer dietary risk assessment, the water concentration of value 19.3 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

    3. From non-dietary exposure. The term “residential exposure” is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., for lawn and garden pest control, indoor pest control, termiticides, and flea and tick control on pets). Sedaxane is not registered for any specific use patterns that would result in residential exposure.

    4. Cumulative effects from substances with a common mechanism of toxicity. Section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) of FFDCA requires that, when considering whether to establish, modify, or revoke a tolerance, the Agency consider “available information” concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues and “other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.” EPA has not found sedaxane to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and sedaxane does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that sedaxane does not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/cumulative.

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

    1. In general. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold (10X) margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the database on toxicity and exposure unless EPA determines based on reliable data that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. This additional margin of safety is commonly referred to as the FQPA SF. In applying this provision, EPA either retains the default value of 10X, or uses a different additional safety factor when reliable data available to EPA support the choice of a different factor.

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. There is no evidence for increased susceptibility following prenatal and/or postnatal exposures to sedaxane based on effects seen in developmental toxicity studies in rabbits or rats. In range finding and definitive developmental toxicity studies in rats, neither quantitative nor qualitative evidence of increased susceptibility of fetuses to in utero exposure to sedaxane was observed. In these studies, there were no single-dose effects. There was no evidence of increased susceptibility in a 2-generation reproduction study in rats following prenatal or postnatal exposure to sedaxane. Clear NOAELs/LOAELs were established for the developmental effects seen in rats and rabbits as well as for the offspring effects seen in the 2-generation reproduction study. The dose-response relationship for the effects of concern is well characterized. The NOAEL used for the acute dietary risk assessment (30 mg/kg/day), based on effects observed in the ACN study, is protective of the developmental and offspring effects seen in rabbits and rats (NOAELs of 100-200 mg/kg/day). In addition, there is no evidence of neuropathology or abnormalities in the development of the fetal nervous system from the available toxicity studies conducted with sedaxane.

    3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the FQPA SF were reduced to 1x. That decision is based on the following findings:

    i. The toxicity database for sedaxane is complete.

    ii. There is no indication that sedaxane is a neurotoxic chemical and there is no need for a developmental neurotoxicity study or additional UFs to account for neurotoxicity. Although sedaxane caused changes in apical endpoints such as decreased activity, decreased muscle tone, decreased rearing and decreased grip strength in the ACN and SCN studies, EPA believes these effects do not support a finding that sedaxane is a neurotoxicant. The observed effects in the ACN and SCN studies were likely secondary to inhibition of mitochondrial energy production caused by sedaxane. Furthermore, there was no corroborative neuro-histopathology demonstrated in any study, even at the highest doses tested (i.e., 2,000 mg/kg/day). Therefore, based on its chemical structure, its pesticidal mode of action, and lack of evidence of neuro-histopathology in any acute and repeated-dose toxicity study, sedaxane does not demonstrate potential for neurotoxicity. Since sedaxane did not demonstrate increased susceptibility to the young or specific neurotoxicity, a developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) study is not required.

    iii. As discussed in Unit III.D.2., there is no evidence that sedaxane results in increased susceptibility in in utero rats or rabbits in the prenatal developmental studies or in young rats in the 2-generation reproduction study.

    iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the exposure databases. The dietary food exposure assessments are highly conservative (acute) or only partially refined (chronic), resulting in high-end estimates of dietary food exposure. EPA made conservative (protective) assumptions in the ground and surface water modeling used to assess exposure to sedaxane in drinking water. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by sedaxane.

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

    EPA determines whether acute and chronic dietary pesticide exposures are safe by comparing aggregate exposure estimates to the acute PAD (aPAD) and chronic PAD (cPAD). For linear cancer risks, EPA calculates the lifetime probability of acquiring cancer given the estimated aggregate exposure. Short-, intermediate-, and chronic-term risks are evaluated by comparing the estimated aggregate food, water, and residential exposure to the appropriate PODs to ensure that an adequate MOE exists.

    1. Acute risk. Using the exposure assumptions discussed in this unit for acute exposure, the acute dietary exposure from food and water to sedaxane will occupy 1.3% of the aPAD for all infants (<1 year old), the population group receiving the greatest exposure.

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to sedaxane from food and water will utilize 1% of the cPAD for all infants (<1 year old), the population group receiving the greatest exposure. There are no residential uses for sedaxane.

    3. Short- and Intermediate-term risk. Short- and intermediate-term aggregate exposure takes into account short-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level).

    A short- and intermediate-term adverse effect was identified; however, sedaxane is not registered for any use patterns that would result in short- or intermediate-term residential exposure. Short- and intermediate-term risk is assessed based on short- and intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic dietary exposure. Because there is no short- or intermediate-term residential exposure and chronic dietary exposure has already been assessed under the appropriately protective cPAD (which is at least as protective as the POD used to assess short-term risk), no further assessment of short- and intermediate-term risk is necessary, and EPA relies on the chronic dietary risk assessment for evaluating short- and intermediate-term risk for sedaxane.

    4. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. The Agency has classified sedaxane as “Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans” based on significant tumor increases in two adequate rodent carcinogenicity studies. A cancer dietary risk assessment was conducted using a linear low-dose extrapolation model (Q1*) = 4.64 × 10−3 (mg/kg/day)−1 which indicated a risk estimate to the U.S. population as 2 × 10−6. EPA generally considers cancer risks in the range of 10−6 or less to be negligible. The precision that can be assumed for cancer risk estimates is best described by rounding to the nearest integral order of magnitude on the log scale; for example, risks falling between 3 × 10−7 and 3 × 10−6 are expressed as risks in the range of 10−6. Considering the precision with which cancer hazard can be estimated, the conservativeness of low-dose linear extrapolation, and the rounding procedure described above in this unit, cancer risk should generally not be assumed to exceed the benchmark level of concern of the range of 10−6 until the calculated risk exceeds approximately 3 × 10−6. This is particularly the case where some conservatism is maintained in the exposure assessment. Based on this approach, EPA considers the risks of cancer from exposure to sedaxane to be negligible.

    5. Determination of safety. Based on these risk assessments, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to sedaxane residues.

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate enforcement methodology (liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS)) is available to enforce the tolerance expression. A modification of the Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe (QuEChERS) method was developed for the determination of residues of sedaxane (as its isomers SYN508210 and SYN508211) in/on various crops. The sedaxane isomers (SYN508210 and SYN508211) are quantitatively determined by LC/MS/MS. The validated limit of quantitation (LOQ) reported in the method is 0.005 ppm for both sedaxane isomers. A successful independent laboratory validation (ILV) study was also conducted on the modified QuEChERS method using samples of wheat green forage and wheat straw fortified with SYN508210 and SYN508211 at 0.005 and 0.05 ppm. The analytical standard for sedaxane, with an expiration date of February 28, 2018, is currently available in the EPA National Pesticide Standards Repository.

    The method may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address: [email protected]

    B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level. The Codex has not established MRLs for sedaxane.

    C. Revisions to Petitioned-For Tolerances

    Although the petitioner sought a tolerance for the commodity name “beet, sugar”, EPA is establishing a tolerance for “beet, sugar, roots” to be consistent with the general food and feed commodity vocabulary EPA uses for tolerances and exemptions.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of sedaxane, N-[2-[1,1′-bicyclopropyl]-2-ylphenyl]-3-(difluoromethyl)-1-methyl-1H-pyrazole-4-carboxamide, as a seed treatment for cotton, undelinted seed at 0.01 ppm; cotton, gin byproducts at 0.01 ppm; and beet, sugar, roots at 0.01 ppm.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes tolerances under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), nor does it 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).

    Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis of a petition under FFDCA section 408(d), such as the tolerances in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), do not apply.

    This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not 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. 1501 et seq.).

    This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

    VII. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: July 16, 2015. G. Jeffrey Herndon, Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

    PART 180—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

    2. In § 180.665, add alphabetically the following commodities to the table in paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 180.665 Sedaxane; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    Commodity Parts
  • per
  • million
  • *    *    *    *    * Beet, sugar, roots 0.01 *    *    *    *    * Cotton, undelinted seed 0.01 Cotton, gin byproducts 0.01 *    *    *    *    *
    [FR Doc. 2015-17999 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0232; FRL-9929-57] Novaluron; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of novaluron in or on multiple commodities and removes several existing tolerances which are identified and discussed later in this document. This regulation additionally revises existing tolerances in or on vegetable, cucurbit, group 9; and plum, prune, dried. Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4) requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective July 22, 2015. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before September 21, 2015, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0232, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan Lewis, Registration Division (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]

    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. How can I get electronic access to other related information?

    You may access a frequently updated electronic version of EPA's tolerance regulations at 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

    C. How can I file an objection or hearing request?

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0232 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before September 21, 2015. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0232, 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 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.

    II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of December 17, 2014 (79 FR 75107) (FRL-9918-90), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 4E8241) by Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4), 500 College Road East, Suite 201 W., Princeton, NJ 08540. The petition requested that 40 CFR part 180 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the insecticide novaluron, (N-[[[3-chloro-4-[1,1,2-trifluoro-2- (trifluoromethoxy)ethoxy]phenyl]amino]carbonyl]-2,6-difluorobenzamide), in or on avocado at 0.60 parts per million (ppm); carrot at 0.05 ppm; bean at 0.60 ppm; vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10 at 1.0 ppm; fruit, pome, group 11-10 at 2.0 ppm; cherry subgroup 12-12A at 8.0 ppm; peach subgroup 12-12B at 1.9 ppm; and plum subgroup 12-12C at 1.9 ppm.

    Upon approval of the petitioned-for tolerances listed above, the petition proposed to remove the following established tolerances for residues of novaluron from 40 CFR 180.598: Bean, succulent, snap at 0.60 ppm; bean, dry, seed at 0.30 ppm; cherry at 8.0 ppm; fruit, pome, group 11 at 2.0 ppm; fruit, stone, group 12, except cherry at 1.9 ppm; vegetable, fruiting, group 8 at 1.0 ppm; cocona at 1.0 ppm; African eggplant at 1.0 ppm; pea eggplant at 1.0 ppm; scarlet eggplant at 1.0 ppm; goji berry at 1.0 ppm; garden huckleberry at 1.0 ppm; martynia at 1.0 ppm; naranjilla at 1.0 ppm; okra at 1.0 ppm; roselle at 1.0 ppm; sunberry at 1.0 ppm; bush tomato at 1.0 ppm; currant tomato at 1.0 ppm; and tree tomato at 1.0 ppm. These tolerances were requested for removal because they will be superseded by establishment of the petitioned-for tolerances. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared on behalf of IR-4 by Makhteshim-Agan of North America, Inc., the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. Comments were received on the notice of filing. EPA's response to these comments is discussed in Unit IV.C.

    Based upon review of the data supporting the petition, EPA has revised several proposed tolerances. EPA has also determined that the previously established tolerances in or on vegetable, cucurbit, group 9 and plum, prune, dried should be revised. Finally, EPA determined that establishing a tolerance on bean is not appropriate; rather, a tolerance should be established on bean, succulent and the previously established tolerance on bean, dry, seed should not be removed. The reasons for these changes are explained in Unit IV.D.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

    Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue . . . .”

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), and the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure for novaluron including exposure resulting from the tolerances established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with novaluron follows.

    A. Toxicological Profile

    EPA has evaluated the available toxicity data and considered its validity, completeness, and reliability as well as the relationship of the results of the studies to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children.

    In subchronic and chronic toxicity studies, novaluron primarily produced hematotoxic effects such as methemoglobinemia, decreased hemoglobin, decreased hematocrit, decreased red blood cells (RBCs) (or erythrocytes) and increased reticulocyte counts that were associated with compensatory erythropoiesis. Increased spleen weights or hemosiderosis in the spleen were considered to be due to enhanced removal of damaged erythrocytes and not to a direct immunotoxic effect.

    There was no maternal or developmental toxicity seen in the rat and rabbit developmental toxicity studies up to the limit doses. In the 2-generation reproductive toxicity study in rats, both parental and offspring toxicity (increased spleen weights) were observed at the same dose. Reproductive toxicity, including decreases in epididymal sperm counts and increased age at preputial separation in the F1 generation, was observed at a higher dose than the increased spleen weights and were consistent with the primary effects in the database.

    Clinical signs of neurotoxicity (piloerection, irregular breathing), changes in functional observational battery (FOB) parameters (increased head swaying, abnormal gait), and neuropathology (sciatic and tibial nerve degeneration) were seen in the rat acute neurotoxicity study at the limit dose. However, no signs of neurotoxicity or neuropathology were observed in the subchronic neurotoxicity study in rats at similar doses or in any other subchronic or chronic toxicity study in rats, mice, or dogs. In the submitted immunotoxicity study, the only sign of potential immunotoxicity for novaluron was a decreased anti-sheep red blood cell (anti-SRBC) response at twice the limit dose in female rats. There was no evidence of carcinogenic potential in either the rat or mouse carcinogenicity studies, and there was also no concern for genotoxicity or mutagenicity.

    Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by novaluron as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in document: “Novaluron: Human Health Risk Assessment for the Petition for the Establishment of Permanent Tolerances for Residues of Novaluron in/on Avocado; Carrot; Succulent Bean; Vegetable, Fruiting, Crop Group 8-10; Fruit, Pome, Crop Group 11-10; Cherry Subgroup 12-12A; Peach Subgroup 12-12B; and Plum Subgroup 12-12C; and Revisions to the Label to Include Uses on Greenhouse-Grown Cucumber” at pages 36-40 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0232.

    B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

    Once a pesticide's toxicological profile is determined, EPA identifies toxicological points of departure (POD) and levels of concern to use in evaluating the risk posed by human exposure to the pesticide. For hazards that have a threshold below which there is no appreciable risk, the toxicological POD is used as the basis for derivation of reference values for risk assessment. PODs are developed based on a careful analysis of the doses in each toxicological study to determine the dose at which no adverse effects are observed (the NOAEL) and the lowest dose at which adverse effects of concern are identified (the LOAEL). Uncertainty/safety factors are used in conjunction with the POD to calculate a safe exposure level—generally referred to as a population-adjusted dose (PAD) or a reference dose (RfD)—and a safe margin of exposure (MOE). For non-threshold risks, the Agency assumes that any amount of exposure will lead to some degree of risk. Thus, the Agency estimates risk in terms of the probability of an occurrence of the adverse effect expected in a lifetime. For more information on the general principles EPA uses in risk characterization and a complete description of the risk assessment process, see http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/riskassess.htm.

    A summary of the toxicological endpoints for novaluron used for human risk assessment is shown in Table 1 of this unit.

    Table 1—Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Novaluron for Use in Human Health Risk Assessment Exposure/scenario Point of departure
  • and uncertainty/
  • safety factors
  • RfD, PAD, LOC for
  • risk assessment
  • Study and toxicological effects
    Acute dietary (General population, including infants and children) An endpoint of concern attributable to a single dose was not identified, and an acute RfD was not established. Chronic dietary (All populations) NOAEL = 1.1 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Chronic RfD = 0.011 mg/kg/day
  • cPAD = 0.011 mg/kg/day
  • Combined chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity feeding in rat.
  • LOAEL = 30.6 mg/kg/day based on erythrocyte damage resulting in a compensatory regenerative anemia.
  • Incidental oral, all durations NOAEL = 4.38 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • LOC for MOE = 100 90-day feeding study in rat.
  • LOAEL = 8.64 mg/kg/day based on clinical chemistry (decreased hemoglobin, hematocrit, and RBC counts) and histopathology (increased hematopoiesis and hemosiderosis in spleen and liver).
  • Inhalation, all durations Inhalation (or oral) study NOAEL = 4.38 mg/kg/day (inhalation absorption rate = 100%)
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • LOC for MOE = 100 90-day feeding study in rat.
  • LOAEL = 8.64 mg/kg/day based on clinical chemistry (decreased hemoglobin, hematocrit, and RBC counts) and histopathology (increased hematopoiesis and hemosiderosis in spleen and liver).
  • Cancer (Oral, dermal, inhalation) Classified as not likely to be carcinogenic to humans. FQPA SF = Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor. LOAEL = lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level. LOC = level of concern. mg/kg/day = milligram/kilogram/day. MOE = margin of exposure. NOAEL = no-observed-adverse-effect-level. PAD = population adjusted dose (a = acute, c = chronic). RfD = reference dose. UF = uncertainty factor. UFA = extrapolation from animal to human (interspecies). UFH = potential variation in sensitivity among members of the human population (intraspecies).
    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to novaluron, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing novaluron tolerances in 40 CFR 180.598. EPA assessed dietary exposures from novaluron in food as follows:

    i. Acute exposure. Quantitative acute dietary exposure and risk assessments are performed for a food-use pesticide, if a toxicological study has indicated the possibility of an effect of concern occurring as a result of a 1-day or single exposure. No such effects were identified in the toxicological studies for novaluron; therefore, a quantitative acute dietary exposure assessment is unnecessary.

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment EPA used the food consumption data from the USDA under the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America (NHANES/WWEIA); 2003-2008. As to residue levels in food, EPA incorporated average field trial residues for the majority of commodities; anticipated residues (ARs) for meat, milk, hog, and poultry commodities; and average percent crop treated (PCT) data for apples, blueberries, cabbage, cauliflower, cotton, dry beans, pears, peppers, potatoes, strawberries, and tomatoes. Percent crop treated for new use (PCTn) data were incorporated for the recently registered grain sorghum and sweet corn uses. For the remaining food commodities, 100 PCT was assumed. The registered food-handling use was also incorporated into the dietary assessment. Empirical processing factors were utilized for apple juice (translated to pear and stone fruit juice), cottonseed oil, dried plums, and tomato paste and purée. Dietary Exposure Evaluation Model (DEEM) (ver. 7.81) default processing factors were used for the remaining processed commodities.

    iii. Cancer. Based on the data summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has concluded that novaluron does not pose a cancer risk to humans. Therefore, a dietary exposure assessment for the purpose of assessing cancer risk is unnecessary.

    iv. Anticipated residue and PCT information. Section 408(b)(2)(E) of FFDCA authorizes EPA to use available data and information on the anticipated residue levels of pesticide residues in food and the actual levels of pesticide residues that have been measured in food. If EPA relies on such information, EPA must require pursuant to FFDCA section 408(f)(1) that data be provided 5 years after the tolerance is established, modified, or left in effect, demonstrating that the levels in food are not above the levels anticipated. For the present action, EPA will issue such data call-ins as are required by FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(E) and authorized under FFDCA section 408(f)(1). Data will be required to be submitted no later than 5 years from the date of issuance of these tolerances.

    Section 408(b)(2)(F) of FFDCA states that the Agency may use data on the actual percent of food treated for assessing chronic dietary risk only if:

    • Condition a: The data used are reliable and provide a valid basis to show what percentage of the food derived from such crop is likely to contain the pesticide residue.

    • Condition b: The exposure estimate does not underestimate exposure for any significant subpopulation group.

    • Condition c: Data are available on pesticide use and food consumption in a particular area, the exposure estimate does not understate exposure for the population in such area.

    In addition, the Agency must provide for periodic evaluation of any estimates used. To provide for the periodic evaluation of the estimate of PCT as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(F), EPA may require registrants to submit data on PCT.

    The Agency estimated the average PCT for existing uses as follows:

    Apple, 10%; blueberry, 1%; cabbage, 5%; cauliflower, 2.5%; cotton, 2.5%; dry beans, 1%; pear, 15%; pepper, 2.5%; potato, 2.5%; strawberry, 35%; and tomato, 2.5%.

    In most cases, EPA uses available data from United States Department of Agriculture/National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA/NASS), proprietary market surveys, and the National Pesticide Use Database for the chemical/crop combination for the most recent 6 to 7 years. EPA uses an average PCT for chronic dietary risk analysis. The average PCT figure for each existing use is derived by combining available public and private market survey data for that use, averaging across all observations, and rounding to the nearest 5%, except for those situations in which the average PCT is less than one. In those cases, 1% is used as the average PCT and 2.5% is used as the maximum PCT. EPA uses a maximum PCT for acute dietary risk analysis. The maximum PCT figure is the highest observed maximum value reported within the recent 6 years of available public and private market survey data for the existing use and rounded up to the nearest multiple of 5%.

    The Agency estimated the PCT for new uses as follows: Grain sorghum, 2%; and sweet corn, 36%.

    EPA estimates PCTn for novaluron based on the PCT of the dominant pesticide (i.e., the one with the greatest PCT) on that site over the three most recent years of available data. Comparisons are only made among pesticides of the same pesticide types (i.e., the dominant insecticide on the use site is selected for comparison with a new insecticide). The PCTs included in the analysis may be for the same pesticide or for different pesticides since the same or different pesticides may dominate for each year. Typically, EPA uses USDA/NASS as the source for raw PCT data because it is publicly available and does not have to be calculated from available data sources. When a specific use site is not surveyed by USDA/NASS, EPA uses proprietary data and calculates the estimated PCT.

    This estimated PCTn, based on the average PCT of the market leader, is appropriate for use in the chronic dietary risk assessment. This method of estimating a PCT for a new use of a registered pesticide or a new pesticide produces a high-end estimate that is unlikely, in most cases, to be exceeded during the initial five years of actual use. The predominant factors that bear on whether the estimated PCTn could be exceeded are: The extent of pest pressure on the crops in question; the pest spectrum of the new pesticide in comparison with the market leaders as well as whether the market leaders are well-established for this use; and resistance concerns with the market leaders.

    Novaluron specifically targets lepidopterous insects, which are not key pests of sorghum but are key pests of sweet corn. However, novaluron has a relatively narrow spectrum of pest activity when compared to the market leader insecticides. In addition, there are no resistance or pest pressure issues as indicated in Section 18 Emergency Exemption requests for use of novaluron on sorghum or sweet corn. All information currently available has been considered for novaluron use on sorghum and sweet corn, and it is the opinion of EPA that it is unlikely that actual PCT for novaluron will exceed the estimated PCT for new uses during the next five years.

    The Agency believes that the three conditions discussed in Unit III.C.1.iv. have been met. With respect to Condition a, PCT estimates are derived from Federal and private market survey data, which are reliable and have a valid basis. The Agency is reasonably certain that the percentage of the food treated is not likely to be an underestimation. As to Conditions b and c, regional consumption information and consumption information for significant subpopulations is taken into account through EPA's computer-based model for evaluating the exposure of significant subpopulations including several regional groups. Use of this consumption information in EPA's risk assessment process ensures that EPA's exposure estimate does not understate exposure for any significant subpopulation group and allows the Agency to be reasonably certain that no regional population is exposed to residue levels higher than those estimated by the Agency. Other than the data available through national food consumption surveys, EPA does not have available reliable information on the regional consumption of food to which novaluron may be applied in a particular area.

    2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. The residues of concern in drinking water for risk assessment purposes are novaluron, the chlorophenyl urea degradate, and the chloroaniline degradates. The estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) for each of these was calculated using a molecular weight conversion and then combined for each modeled scenario. The degradates are assumed to have equal toxicity to the parent. The Agency used screening level water exposure models in the dietary exposure analysis and risk assessment for novaluron and its degradates in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of novaluron and its degradates. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at http://www.epa.gov/oppefed1/models/water/index.htm.

    Based on the Pesticide Root Zone Model/Exposure Analysis Modeling System (PRZM/EXAMS), the Screening Concentration in Ground Water (SCI-GROW), and Pesticide Root Zone Model Ground Water (PRZM GW) models, the combined EDWCs of novaluron, chlorophenyl urea, and chloroaniline for chronic exposures are estimated to be 16.7 ppb for surface water and 77.8 ppb for groundwater.

    Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration of value 77.8 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

    3. From non-dietary exposure. The term “residential exposure” is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., for lawn and garden pest control, indoor pest control, termiticides, and flea and tick control on pets).

    Novaluron is currently registered for the following uses that could result in residential exposures: Indoor and outdoor crack and crevice or perimeter applications in residential areas and their immediate surroundings, including homes and apartment buildings; on modes of transportation; and as a spot-on use for pets. EPA assessed residential exposure using the following assumptions:

    Adult handlers were assessed for potential short-term inhalation exposures from mixing, loading, and applying novaluron via manually-pressurized hand wand and from liquid applications of novaluron to turf. Adults were also assessed for potential short-term post-application inhalation exposures to novaluron from indoor uses. For children 1 to <2 years old, short-term post-application inhalation and incidental oral exposures were assessed resulting from hand-to-mouth contact with treated residential areas, turf, and from contact with treated pets. There is also the potential for intermediate-term and long-term post-application hand-to-mouth exposures to children 1 to <2 years old from the registered pet spot-on use of novaluron. Inhalation exposures are considered negligible for this exposure scenario; therefore, the intermediate- and long-term aggregate risk estimates do not include inhalation exposures. For adults, inhalation exposure is expected to be negligible for intermediate- and long-term durations and was not included in the aggregate assessment. Additionally, a dermal endpoint has not been selected for novaluron, so dermal exposures to adults or children were not assessed.

    Further information regarding EPA standard assumptions and generic inputs for residential exposures may be found at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/trac/science/trac6a05.pdf.

    4. Cumulative effects from substances with a common mechanism of toxicity. Section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) of FFDCA requires that, when considering whether to establish, modify, or revoke a tolerance, the Agency consider “available information” concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues and “other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.”

    EPA has not found novaluron to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and novaluron does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that novaluron does not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/cumulative.

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

    1. In general. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold (10X) margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the database on toxicity and exposure unless EPA determines based on reliable data that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. This additional margin of safety is commonly referred to as the FQPA Safety Factor (SF). In applying this provision, EPA either retains the default value of 10X, or uses a different additional safety factor when reliable data available to EPA support the choice of a different factor.

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. The prenatal and postnatal toxicology database for novaluron includes rat and rabbit prenatal developmental toxicity studies and a two-generation reproduction toxicity study in rats. There was no evidence of increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibility following in utero exposure to rats or rabbits in the developmental toxicity studies and no evidence of increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibility of offspring in the reproduction study. Neither maternal nor developmental toxicity was seen in the developmental studies up to the limit doses (1,000 mg/kg/day). In the 2-generation reproductive study in rats, offspring and parental toxicity (increased absolute and relative spleen weights) were similar and occurred at the same dose (74.2 mg/kg/day). Additionally, reproductive effects (decreases in epididymal sperm counts and increased age at preputial separation in the F1 generation) occurred at a higher dose than that which resulted in parental toxicity.

    3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the FQPA SF were reduced to 1X. That decision is based on the following findings:

    i. The toxicity database for novaluron is complete.

    ii. Acute and subchronic rat neurotoxicity studies were performed for novaluron. The clinical signs of neurotoxicity, changes in FOB parameters, and neuropathology were seen in the acute neurotoxicity study at the limit dose (2,000 mg/kg/day) only and were not reproduced at similar, repeated doses in the subchronic neurotoxicity study. In addition, no evidence of neuropathology was observed in subchronic and chronic toxicity studies in rats, mice, or dogs. Therefore, novaluron is not considered a neurotoxic chemical and there is no need for a developmental neurotoxicity study or additional UFs to account for neurotoxicity.

    iii. There is no evidence that novaluron results in increased susceptibility in in utero rats or rabbits in the prenatal developmental studies or in young rats in the 2-generation reproduction study.

    iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the exposure databases. The chronic dietary food exposure assessment was performed using average field trial residues, anticipated residues for livestock commodities, average PCT and PCTn data for some commodities, and empirical and default processing factors. For the remaining food commodities, 100 PCT was assumed. The registered food handling use was also incorporated into the dietary assessment. EPA made conservative (protective) assumptions in the ground and surface water modeling used to assess exposure to novaluron in drinking water. EPA used similarly conservative assumptions to assess postapplication exposure of children as well as incidental oral exposure of toddlers. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by novaluron.

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

    EPA determines whether acute and chronic dietary pesticide exposures are safe by comparing aggregate exposure estimates to the acute PAD (aPAD) and chronic PAD (cPAD). For linear cancer risks, EPA calculates the lifetime probability of acquiring cancer given the estimated aggregate exposure. Short-, intermediate-, and chronic-term risks are evaluated by comparing the estimated aggregate food, water, and residential exposure to the appropriate PODs to ensure that an adequate MOE exists.

    1. Acute risk. An acute aggregate risk assessment takes into account acute exposure estimates from dietary consumption of food and drinking water. No adverse effect resulting from a single oral exposure was identified and no acute dietary endpoint was selected. Therefore, novaluron is not expected to pose an acute risk.

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to novaluron from food and water will utilize 73% of the cPAD for children 1 to 2 years old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure.

    3. Short-term risk. Short-term aggregate exposure takes into account short-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level). Novaluron is currently registered for uses that could result in short-term residential exposure, and the Agency has determined that it is appropriate to aggregate chronic exposure through food and water with short-term residential exposures to novaluron.

    Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for short-term exposures, EPA has concluded the combined short-term food, water, and residential exposures result in aggregate MOEs of 1,560 for adults and 350 for children 1 to <2 years old. Because EPA's level of concern for novaluron is a MOE of 100 or below, these MOEs are not of concern.

    4. Intermediate- and long-term risk. Intermediate- and long-term aggregate exposure takes into account intermediate- and long-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level). Novaluron is currently registered for uses that could result in intermediate- and long-term residential exposure, and the Agency has determined that it is appropriate to aggregate chronic exposure through food and water with intermediate- and long-term residential exposures to novaluron.

    Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for intermediate- and long-term exposures, EPA has concluded that the combined intermediate- and long-term food, water, and residential exposures result in an aggregate MOE of 530 for children 1 to <2 years old. For adults, since there is no dermal endpoint and inhalation exposure is expected to be negligible, the average dietary consumption (food and drinking water) exposure estimate is representative of intermediate- and long-term aggregate risk, and results in an MOE of 1640. Because EPA's level of concern for novaluron is a MOE of 100 or below, these MOEs are not of concern.

    5. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. Based on the lack of evidence of carcinogenicity in two adequate rodent carcinogenicity studies, novaluron is not expected to pose a cancer risk to humans.

    6. Determination of safety. Based on these risk assessments, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to novaluron residues.

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate enforcement methodologies, gas chromatography/electron-capture detection (GC/ECD) and high-performance liquid chromatography/ultraviolet (HPLC/UV), are available to enforce the tolerance expression.

    The methods may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address: [email protected]

    B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

    The Codex has established MRLs for novaluron in or on common beans (pods and/or immature seeds) at 0.7 ppm; pome fruit at 3 ppm; cucurbit vegetables at 0.2 ppm; and prunes at 3.0 ppm. EPA is establishing tolerances in or on succulent bean at 0.70 ppm; pome fruit crop group 11-10 at 3.0 ppm; cucurbit vegetable crop group 9 at 0.20 ppm; and dried prune at 3.0 ppm in order to harmonize with Codex. The Codex has additionally established a tolerance in or on fruiting vegetables other than cucurbits at 0.7 ppm and stone fruits at 7 ppm. Because EPA is recommending a tolerance in or on fruiting vegetables crop group 8-10 (1.0 ppm) that is higher than Codex, EPA cannot harmonize this tolerance. Residue data for greenhouse tomatoes supports the 1.0 ppm tolerance for the group 8-10 tolerance.

    The data supporting the EPA petition result in stone fruit tolerances that are either higher (cherry subgroup 12-12A at 8.0 ppm) or much lower (peach subgroup 12-12B and plum subgroup 12-12C at 1.9 ppm) than the established Codex MRL for stone fruit at 7 ppm. EPA notes that the stone fruit tolerances are not harmonized with associated Codex MRLs on these commodities because it has been determined that the major export market for these commodities is Canada. Therefore, in order to maintain harmonization of U.S. tolerances and Canadian MRLs for these commodities, the EPA is establishing these subgroup tolerances at the levels that align with the Canadian MRLs. No Codex MRLs have been established for residues of novaluron in or on avocado or carrot.

    C. Response to Comments

    One comment was received to the batched Notice of Filing that provided brief and general concerns about toxins and potential impacts to bees, but the commenter did not cite a specific petition within the Notice. The Agency has received similar comments from this commenter on numerous previous occasions. Refer to Federal Register 70 FR 37686 (June 30, 2005), 70 FR 1354 (January 7, 2005), 69 FR 63096-63098 (October 29, 2004) for the Agency's response to these objections.

    D. Revisions to Petitioned-For Tolerances

    The Agency was petitioned to establish a tolerance of novaluron in or on plum subgroup 12-12C. As a part of that request, the Agency reviewed the existing tolerance on dried prune, and determined that the tolerance should be amended from 2.6 ppm to 3.0 ppm in order to harmonize with Codex. Data were also submitted and reviewed by EPA to allow the use of novaluron in or on greenhouse-grown cucumbers. During review, the Agency determined that the existing tolerance in or on cucurbit vegetable group 9 (which includes cucumber) should be amended from 0.15 ppm to 0.20 ppm in order to harmonize with Codex.

    EPA was also petitioned to establish a tolerance in or on bean at 0.60 ppm and to remove the existing tolerance in or on dry bean seed at 0.30 ppm upon approval of the proposed bean tolerance. However, the Agency determined that separate tolerances should be established in or on succulent bean and dry bean seed. Therefore, this action will not remove the existing tolerance for the use of novaluron in or on dry bean seed at 0.30 ppm, and the Agency determined that a tolerance in or on succulent bean at 0.70 ppm is appropriate in order to harmonize with the established Codex tolerance on beans. Finally, EPA revised the proposed pome fruit crop group 11-10 tolerance from 2.0 ppm to 3.0 ppm in order to harmonize with the established Codex MRL.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of novaluron, (N-[[[3-chloro-4-[1,1,2-trifluoro-2- (trifluoromethoxy)ethoxy]phenyl]amino]carbonyl]-2,6-difluorobenzamide), in or on avocado at 0.60 ppm; bean, succulent at 0.70 ppm; carrot at 0.05 ppm; cherry subgroup 12-12A at 8.0 ppm; fruit, pome, group 11-10 at 3.0 ppm; peach subgroup 12-12B at 1.9 ppm; plum subgroup 12-12C at 1.9 ppm; and vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10 at 1.0 ppm. This regulation additionally revises the existing tolerances in or on vegetable, cucurbit, group 9 from 0.15 ppm to 0.20 ppm; and plum, prune, dried from 2.6 ppm to 3.0 ppm. Finally, this regulation removes established tolerances in or on bean, snap, succulent; cherry; cocona; fruit, pome, group 11; fruit, stone, group 12, except cherry; eggplant, African; eggplant, pea; eggplant, scarlet; goji berry; huckleberry, garden; martynia; naranjilla; okra; roselle; sunberry; tomato, bush; tomato, currant; tomato, tree; and vegetable, fruiting, group 8.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes tolerances under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), nor does it 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).

    Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis of a petition under FFDCA section 408(d), such as the tolerance in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), do not apply.

    This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not 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. 1501 et seq.).

    This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

    VII. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: July 9, 2015. Susan Lewis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

    PART 180—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

    2. In § 180.598: a. Remove the entries in the table in paragraph (a) for “Bean, snap, succulent”, “Cherry”, “Cocona”, “Eggplant, African”, “Eggplant, pea”, “Eggplant, scarlet”, “Fruit, pome, group 11”, “Fruit, stone, group 12, except cherry”, “Goji berry”, “Huckleberry, garden”, “Martynia”, “Naranjilla”, “Okra”, “Roselle;” “Sunberry”, “Tomato, bush”, “Tomato, currant”, “Tomato, tree”, and “Vegetable, fruiting, group 8”. b. Add alphabetically the entries for “Avocado”, “Bean, succulent”, “Carrot”, “Cherry subgroup 12-12A”, “Fruit, pome, group 11-10”, “Peach subgroup 12-12B”, “Plum subgroup 12-12-C”, and “Vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10” to the table in paragraph (a). c. Revise the entries for “Plum, prune, dried”, and “Vegetable, cucurbit, group 9” in the table in paragraph (a).

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 180.598 Novaluron; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • *    *    *    *    * Avocado 0.60 *    *    *    *    * Bean, succulent 0.70 *    *    *    *    * Carrot 0.05 *    *    *    *    * Cherry subgroup 12-12A 8.0 *    *    *    *    * Fruit, pome, group 11-10 3.0 *    *    *    *    * Peach subgroup 12-12B 1.9 *    *    *    *    * Plum, prune, dried 3.0 Plum subgroup 12-12C 1.9 *    *    *    *    * Vegetable, cucurbit, group 9 0.20 Vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10 1.0 *    *    *    *    *
    [FR Doc. 2015-17676 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 150316270-5270-01] RIN 0648-XE054 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Modifications of the West Coast Commercial Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions #14 and #15 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Modification of fishing seasons; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    The effective dates for the inseason actions are set out in this document under the heading Inseason Actions. Comments will be accepted through August 6, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peggy Mundy at 206-526-4323.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

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

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

    Inseason Actions Inseason Action #14

    Description of action: Inseason action #14 adjusted the July quota for the commercial salmon fishery in the Oregon KMZ. Unutilized quota from June was rolled over on an impact-neutral basis to July. The adjusted July quota is 1,184 Chinook salmon.

    Effective dates: Inseason action #14 took effect on July 1, 2015, and remains in effect until the end of the season.

    Reason and authorization for the action: The commercial salmon fishery in the Oregon KMZ had a June quota of 1,800 Chinook salmon. The State of Oregon reported that 1,528 Chinook salmon were landed in June, leaving quota of 272 Chinook salmon unutilized. To address temporal differences in impacts to Klamath River fall and California coastal Chinook salmon stocks, the Council's Salmon Technical Team (STT) calculated the impact-neutral rollover of 272 Chinook salmon from June to July. As a result, 184 Chinook salmon were added to the July quota of 1,000 Chinook, for an adjusted quota of 1,184 Chinook salmon. After consideration of Chinook salmon landings to date and the STT's calculations, the Regional Administrator (RA) determined that it was appropriate to adjust the July quota for the commercial salmon fishery in the Oregon KMZ. This action was taken to allow access to available Chinook salmon quota, without exceeding conservation impacts to Klamath River fall and California coastal Chinook salmon stocks. Inseason action to modify quotas and/or fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(i).

    Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #14 occurred on July 9, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, WDFW, and ODFW.

    Inseason Action #15

    Description of action: Inseason action #15 adjusted the landing and possession limit in the commercial salmon fishery north of Cape Falcon to 60 Chinook salmon and 50 marked coho per vessel per open period from the U.S./Canada border to Queets River, WA, or 75 Chinook salmon and 50 marked coho per vessel per open period from Queets River, WA to Cape Falcon, OR. This action superseded the landing limit set preseason at 50 Chinook salmon and 50 marked coho per vessel per open period from the U.S./Canada border to Cape Falcon, OR (80 FR 25611).

    Effective dates: Inseason action #15 took effect on July 10, 2015, and remains in effect until superseded by inseason action or the end of the season.

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

    Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #15 occurred on July 9, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, WDFW, and ODFW.

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

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

    Classification

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

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: July 17, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17969 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 140918791-4999-02] RIN 0648-XE064 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the West Yakutat District of the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the West Yakutat District of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2015 total allowable catch of Pacific ocean perch in the West Yakutat District of the GOA.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 17, 2015, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.

    The 2015 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific ocean perch in the West Yakutat District of the GOA is 2,014 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish of the (80 FR 10250, February 25, 2015).

    In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2015 TAC of Pacific ocean perch in the West Yakutat District of the GOA will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 1,914 mt, and is setting aside the remaining 100 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the West Yakutat District of the GOA.

    After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the closure of directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the West Yakutat District of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of July 16, 2015.

    The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment.

    This action is required by § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: July 17, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17968 Filed 7-17-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 140 Wednesday, July 22, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 8 CFR Parts 103 and 212 [CIS No. 2557-14; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2012-0003] RIN 1615-AC03 Expansion of Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers of Inadmissibility AGENCY:

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to expand eligibility for provisional waivers of certain grounds of inadmissibility based on the accrual of unlawful presence to all aliens who are statutorily eligible for a waiver of such grounds, are seeking such a waiver in connection with an immigrant visa application, and meet other conditions. The provisional waiver process currently allows certain aliens who are present in the United States to request from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) a provisional waiver of certain unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility prior to departing from the United States for consular processing of their immigrant visas—rather than applying for a waiver abroad after the immigrant visa interview using the Form I-601, Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (hereinafter “Form I-601 waiver process”). DHS proposes to expand its current provisional waiver process in two principal ways. First, DHS would eliminate current limitations on the provisional waiver process that restrict eligibility to certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. Under this proposed rule, the provisional waiver process would be made available to all aliens who are statutorily eligible for waivers of inadmissibility based on unlawful presence and meet certain other conditions. Second, in relation to the statutory requirement that the waiver applicant demonstrate that denial of the waiver would result in “extreme hardship” to certain family members, DHS proposes to expand the provisional waiver process by eliminating the current restriction that limits extreme hardship determinations only to aliens who can establish extreme hardship to U.S. citizen spouses or parents. Under this proposed rule, an applicant for a provisional waiver would be permitted to establish the eligibility requirement of showing extreme hardship to any qualifying relative (namely, U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents). DHS is proposing to expand the provisional waiver process in the interests of encouraging eligible aliens to complete the visa process abroad, promoting family unity, and improving administrative efficiency.

    DATES:

    Submit written comments on or before September 21, 2015. Comments on the information collection revisions in this rule, as described in the Paperwork Reduction Act section, will also be accepted until September 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by DHS Docket No. USCIS-2012-0003, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow this site's instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: You may email comments directly to USCIS at [email protected] Include DHS Docket No. USCIS-2012-0003 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Laura Dawkins, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2020. To ensure proper handling, please reference DHS Docket No. USCIS-2012-0003 on your correspondence. This mailing address may be used for paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Laura Dawkins, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2020. Contact Telephone Number is (202) 272-8377.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Roselyn Brown-Frei, Office of Policy and Strategy, Residence and Naturalization Division, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2099, Telephone (202) 272-1470 (this is not a toll free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Executive Summary II. Public Participation III. Background A. Legal Authority B. Immigrant Visa Categories 1. Immediate Relatives, Family-Sponsored Immigrants, Employment-Based Immigrants, and Certain Special Immigrants 2. Diversity Visa Program C. Grounds of Inadmissibility D. Unlawful Presence E. Form I-601 Waiver Process 1. Form I-601 Waiver Process for Immigrant Visa Applicants Abroad 2. Difficulties With the Form I-601 Waiver Process F. Provisional Waiver Process 1. Creation of Provisional Waiver 2. Impact of Provisional Waiver Process IV. Proposed Changes A. Immediate Relative, Family-Sponsored, Employment-Based, and Certain Special Immigrants B. Diversity Immigrants C. Qualifying Relatives D. Aliens With Scheduled Immigrant Visa Interviews E. Miscellaneous Changes F. Benefits of the Proposed Changes V. Public Input VI. Statutory and Regulatory Requirements A. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 B. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 C. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Purpose of Rule 4. Current Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver Program 5. Population Affected by This Rule 6. Costs and Benefits D. Regulatory Flexibility Act E. Executive Order 13132 F. Executive Order 12988 Civil Justice Reform G. Paperwork Reduction Act II. Public Participation

    DHS invites all interested parties to submit written data, views, or arguments on all aspects of this proposed rule. DHS also invites comments about how the proposed rule might affect the economy, environment, or federalism. The most helpful comments will:

    (1) Refer to a specific portion of this proposed rule;

    (2) Explain the reason for any recommended change; and

    (3) Include data, information, or references to authority that support the recommended change.

    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and DHS Docket No. USCIS-2012-0003 assigned to this rulemaking. Regardless of the method you used to submit comments or material, all submissions will be posted, without change, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, and will include any personal information you provide. Your entire submission will be available for the public to view. Therefore, you may wish to consider limiting the amount of personal information that you provide. DHS may withhold information provided in comments from public viewing that it determines may impact the privacy of an individual or is deemed to be inappropriate or offensive. For additional information, please read the Privacy Act notice that is available on the link in the footer of http://www.regulations.gov.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and enter this proposed rule's DHS Docket No. USCIS-2012-0003.

    III. Background A. Legal Authority

    Section 102 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135), 6 U.S.C. 112, and section 103 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1103, charge the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) with the administration and enforcement of the immigration and naturalization laws of the United States. The Secretary proposes the changes in this rule under the broad authority to administer the authorities provided under the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the immigration and nationality laws, and other delegated authorities. The Secretary's discretionary authority to waive the unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility is provided in INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(v), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(v). See also Homeland Security Act of 2002, sec. 451(b), 6 U.S.C. 271(b) (transferring to the Director of USCIS the immigration benefits adjudication functions of the Commissioner of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service).

    B. Immigrant Visa Categories

    U.S. immigration laws provide avenues for U.S. citizens, LPRs, and U.S. employers to bring their families or employees permanently to the United States. Certain other categories of aliens are eligible for immigrant visas through special processes. See, e.g., INA section 201(b), 8 U.S.C. 1151(b) (describing aliens who are not subject to numerical limitations on immigration levels); INA section 203(a)-(d); 8 U.S.C. 1153(a)-(d) (providing for the allocation of immigrant visas to family-sponsored immigrants, employment-based immigrants, certain special immigrants, and diversity immigrants, as well as the derivative spouses and children of such immigrants).

    1. Immediate Relatives, Family-Sponsored Immigrants, Employment-Based Immigrants, and Certain Special Immigrants

    Generally, if a U.S. citizen or LPR seeks to sponsor a relative for lawful permanent residence in the United States, the U.S. citizen or LPR must first file an immigrant visa petition for the relative with USCIS.1 See INA sections 201(b)(2)(A)(i), 203(a), 204; 8 U.S.C. 1151(b)(2)(A)(i), 1153(a), 1154; 8 CFR part 204. The same is generally true with respect to a U.S. employer that wishes to petition on behalf of a noncitizen worker. See INA sections 203(b), 204; 8 U.S.C. 1153(b), 1154; 8 CFR part 204. Certain other categories of immigrants, such as “special immigrants,” are eligible for permanent residence through special processes. See INA sections 101(a)(27), 203(b)(4), 204(a)(1)(I); 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27), 1153(b)(4), 1154(a)(1)(I); 8 CFR part 204; 22 CFR 42.32(d).

    1 Certain immediate relatives (e.g., widows or widowers of U.S. citizens and their children) and special immigrants can self-petition for classification as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen by filing a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant. Similarly, certain employment-based categories (e.g., aliens with extraordinary ability) allow an alien to self-petition for classification as an employment-based immigrant. See INA sections 201 and 203(b)(1)(A) & (2)(B); 8 U.S.C. 1151, 1153(b)(1)(A) & (2)(B); 8 CFR 204.5(h) and (k)(4)(ii).

    The purpose of the immigrant visa petition is to classify the alien as an intending immigrant who is either an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen (i.e., the spouse, parent, or unmarried child of a U.S. citizen) or an alien described under the family-sponsored preference, employment-based preference, or special immigrant categories. Except with respect to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, immigrant visa petitions may also serve to classify derivatives (i.e., spouses and unmarried children) of principal beneficiaries as immigrants. See INA 203(d); 8 U.S.C. 1153(d). USCIS determines, among other things, whether an alien has the necessary familial relationship to the U.S. citizen or the LPR, has the necessary professional qualifications or skills and expertise for the position offered by the U.S. employer, or meets the requirements for the specific special immigrant category, before approving an immigrant visa petition. Approval of an immigrant visa petition does not give the beneficiary any lawful immigration status in the United States. If the beneficiary is without lawful status when the immigrant visa petition is filed, the beneficiary remains without such status even after it is approved. Once approved, the relative, employee, or special immigrant who is the beneficiary of the approved immigrant visa petition may seek to adjust status to lawful permanent residence in the United States or obtain an immigrant visa abroad at a U.S. embassy or consulate, if eligible. See INA section 204, 8 U.S.C. 1154; see also 8 CFR part 204.

    Many aliens present in the United States who are the beneficiaries of approved immigrant visa petitions are eligible to adjust to LPR status while remaining in the United States. See, e.g., INA section 245, 8 U.S.C. 1255; 8 CFR part 245. Other aliens, however, are ineligible to adjust status in the United States. For example, aliens who entered the United States without inspection and admission or parole, or who are not in a lawful immigration status, are generally ineligible to adjust status in the United States. See INA section 245(a), (c); 8 U.S.C. 1255(a), (c); see also 8 CFR 245.1(b)-(c) (describing aliens who are ineligible to apply for adjustment of status or who are restricted from applying unless they meet certain conditions). An alien who is unable to adjust status in the United States must obtain an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or consulate abroad before he or she can be lawfully admitted to the United States as an immigrant. An alien who is eligible to apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence in the United States can also choose to apply for an immigrant visa and obtain that visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad through consular processing.

    If an alien seeks an immigrant visa abroad through consular processing, USCIS forwards the approved immigrant visa petition to the DOS National Visa Center (NVC), which completes initial processing of petition-based immigrant visa applications. The NVC notifies the alien when he or she can start the immigrant visa process and will request, among other things, that the alien pay the immigrant visa processing fee and submit the necessary documents. After receiving the fee and necessary documents, the NVC schedules the alien for an immigrant visa interview with a DOS consular officer at a U.S. Embassy or consulate abroad. During the interview, the DOS consular officer determines whether the alien is admissible to the United States and eligible for an immigrant visa.

    2. Diversity Visa Program

    An alien may also immigrate to the United States through the Diversity Visa program administered by DOS. See INA section 203(c), 8 U.S.C. 1153(c); 22 CFR 42.33. Under the Diversity Visa program, up to 55,000 immigrant visas and adjustment of status applications can be approved annually for aliens who are from countries with low immigration rates to the United States.2 See INA section 201(e), 8 U.S.C. 1151(e). An alien seeking to immigrate as a diversity immigrant submits an entry with the Diversity Visa program during the designated registration period. After the registration period closes, DOS randomly selects aliens from the pool of registrants to continue the Diversity Visa process. Being selected to participate in the Diversity Visa program does not afford the selectee any lawful immigration status.

    2 INA section 203(c) authorizes up to 55,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year for aliens from countries with low admissions during the previous five years. However, this number is reduced by up to 5,000 for applicants seeking adjustment of status under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA), Pub. L. 105-100, title II, secs. 201-204, 111 Stat. 2160, 2193-201 (Nov. 19, 1997), amended by Pub. L. 105-139, 111 Stat. 2644 (Dec. 2, 1997) (8 U.S.C. 1255 note).

    If selected and eligible, an alien may be authorized to seek LPR status either through adjustment of status in the United States or through consular processing abroad with DOS. If the alien chooses to use the consular process, he or she must submit an immigrant visa application (Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application) to the DOS Kentucky Consular Center (KCC), which completes initial processing of the immigrant visa applications from Diversity Visa program selectees and derivatives. If the immigrant visa application is complete and an immigrant visa is available, the KCC schedules the alien for an immigrant visa interview abroad. The DOS consular officer determines whether the alien is admissible to the United States and eligible for the immigrant visa. A program selectee or derivative (such as the spouse or minor child of a program selectee), however, can obtain an immigrant visa only in the fiscal year for which he or she was selected, provided the numerical limits have not been reached. See 22 CFR 42.33(c)-(f).

    Diversity Visa program processing is different from the petition-based immigrant visa process, as Diversity Visa program selectees and their derivatives are not beneficiaries of approved immigrant visa petitions. DOS completes initial processing of program selectees and derivatives at the KCC instead of at the NVC. The Diversity Visa program pre-processing steps aim to ensure that DOS can issue as many visas to program selectees and derivatives as possible during the particular fiscal year. For example, Diversity Visa program selectees and their derivatives submit their immigrant visa applications to the KCC without the additional documents required for immigrant visa processing. Program selectees and derivatives submit the additional required documents to the DOS consular officer as part of the immigrant visa interview and process. In addition, unlike immediate-relative, family-sponsored, employment-based, and special-immigrant visa applicants, Diversity Visa program selectees and their derivatives pay their immigrant visa processing fees at their immigrant visa interviews rather than before DOS schedules the interviews.

    C. Grounds of Inadmissibility

    U.S. immigration laws specify acts, conditions, and conduct that bar aliens from being admitted to the United States or from obtaining visas, including immigrant visas. See INA section 212(a), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a) (listing the grounds of inadmissibility). The Secretary has the discretion to waive certain inadmissibility grounds if an alien applies for a waiver and meets the relevant statutory and regulatory requirements. See, e.g., INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(v), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(v); 8 CFR 212.7. If the Secretary grants a waiver of inadmissibility, the waived inadmissibility ground no longer bars the alien's admission, readmission, or immigrant visa eligibility. See 8 CFR 212.7(a)(4).

    D. Unlawful Presence

    The inadmissibility ground based on the accrual of unlawful presence in the United States is found at INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(i), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(i). Under that provision, an alien who was unlawfully present in the United States for more than 180 days but less than one year and who then departs voluntarily from the United States before removal proceedings begin is inadmissible to the United States for 3 years from the date of departure. See INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(i)(I). An alien who was unlawfully present in the United States for one year or more and who then departs the United States before, during, or after removal proceedings is inadmissible for 10 years from the date of departure. See INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(i)(II).

    These 3- and 10-year unlawful presence bars do not take effect unless and until the alien departs from the United States.3 See, e.g., Matter of Rodarte-Roman, 23 I. & N. Dec. 905 (BIA 2006); 22 CFR 40.92(a)-(b). Once the 3- or 10-year unlawful presence bar is triggered, the alien must apply for and be granted a waiver of inadmissibility before he or she can be issued an immigrant visa and be admitted to the United States for permanent residence. The Secretary has the discretion to waive the 3- and 10-year unlawful presence bars for an alien seeking admission to the United States as an immigrant, if he or she demonstrates that the refusal of his or her admission to the United States would cause extreme hardship to the alien's U.S. citizen or LPR spouse or parent. See INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(v), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(v).

    3 By statute, certain aliens do not accrue unlawful presence for purposes of INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(i), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(i). For example, aliens under the age of 18 do not accrue unlawful presence. See INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(iii)(I), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(iii)(I). Similarly, aliens with pending asylum claims generally do not accrue unlawful presence while their asylum applications are pending. See INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(iii)(II), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(iii)(II). See INA sections 212(a)(9)(B)(iii)(III), (IV), and (V), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(iii)(III), (IV), and (V) for additional exceptions to the accrual of unlawful presence.

    Because approval of the waiver is discretionary, the alien also must establish that he or she merits a favorable exercise of discretion. See INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(v), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(v). Accordingly, USCIS may deny a waiver application as a matter of discretion, even if the applicant meets all of the other regulatory requirements.

    E. Form I-601 Waiver Process 1. Form I-601 Waiver Process for Immigrant Visa Applicants Abroad

    The 3- and 10-year unlawful presence bars to admissibility under INA section 212(a)(9)(B) do not apply unless and until an alien who accrued sufficient unlawful presence departs from the United States. Many aliens who would trigger these bars upon departure from the United States are ineligible to adjust status in the United States and must travel abroad to obtain an immigrant visa from DOS. DOS cannot issue an immigrant visa to an inadmissible alien unless he or she applies for, and USCIS approves, a waiver of inadmissibility, if a waiver is authorized under the INA for the specific ground of inadmissibility. See 22 CFR 40.6, 40.9, 40.92(c).

    Under the Form I-601 waiver process, an immigrant visa applicant may file an Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, Form I-601, with USCIS after the DOS consular officer makes the inadmissibility determination during the immigrant visa interview abroad.4 Once the alien files the Form I-601 waiver application, he or she must remain abroad while USCIS adjudicates the waiver application. Currently, USCIS adjudicates these Form I-601 waiver applications at the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) in the United States.5

    4 To be eligible for the waiver, the alien must meet all requirements described in INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(v), including the requirement to demonstrate that refusing the alien's admission to the United States would result in extreme hardship to the alien's U.S. citizen or LPR spouse or parent. This same requirement applies to the Form I-601A provisional waiver process. The fundamental distinction between the Form I-601 and Form I-601A processes is the manner in which the applicant applies for the waiver.

    5 The alien files the waiver application from abroad by sending it to a USCIS “lockbox” facility in the United States. In limited circumstances, as outlined in the Form I-601 instructions, an alien may file a waiver application at a USCIS international office.

    Upon approving the Form I-601 waiver application, USCIS notifies DOS so that DOS may issue the immigrant visa if the alien is otherwise eligible. If USCIS denies the Form I-601 waiver application, the alien remains inadmissible and, therefore, ineligible for an immigrant visa and is generally unable to lawfully return to the United States. If the alien is inadmissible based on the 3- or 10-year unlawful presence bar, he or she must remain outside of the United States for the relevant 3- or 10-year period before he or she can reapply for an immigrant visa without having to obtain a waiver. An alien may appeal the denial of a Form I-601 waiver application with the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). Alternatively, the alien can file another Form I-601 waiver application.

    2. Difficulties With the Form I-601 Waiver Process

    Immigrant visa applicants typically encounter difficulties when seeking waivers of the 3- and 10-year unlawful presence bars through the Form I-601 waiver process abroad. After attending the immigrant visa interview with DOS, these applicants must gather the necessary information and supporting documents, file their Form I-601 waiver applications with USCIS, and typically wait abroad for at least several months for a decision on their applications based on the average adjudication time for Form I-601 waiver applications.6 During this period, the applicant must endure separation from U.S. citizen and LPR family members in the United States. Such separation may cause some U.S. citizens, LPRs, and their families to experience emotional and financial hardships while the alien relative waits abroad for a decision on his or her application. If the waiver is approved, and the alien is otherwise eligible for the immigrant visa, the alien must then return to DOS to pick up the immigrant visa. Due to these difficulties and uncertainties, many alien relatives of U.S. citizens and LPRs are reluctant to leave the United States to obtain an immigrant visa.

    6 The average adjudication time of Form I-601 waivers is currently five months based on information gathered from USCIS's Nebraska Service Center on March 3, 2015. Updated processing times for Form I-601 are also posted on the USCIS Web site at: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do.

    Inefficiencies in the Form I-601 waiver process also create costs for the Federal Government. If a DOS officer at a U.S. Embassy or consulate determines that the applicant is inadmissible based on a ground that can be waived, the DOS officer informs the applicant about the option to file a waiver application with USCIS. After the interview, DOS puts the immigrant visa process on hold while waiting for the applicant to submit the Form I-601 waiver application and for USCIS's decision on the waiver. If a waiver is approved, DOS must reschedule the applicant for additional visa processing at a U.S. Embassy or consulate, which uses valuable DOS consular officer resources that could be used for processing other visa applications.

    F. Provisional Waiver Process 1. Creation of the Provisional Waiver Process

    In 2013, DHS sought to partially address the difficulties and inefficiencies of the Form I-601 waiver process through rulemaking. DHS published a rule establishing a provisional waiver process, which streamlines certain aspects of the Form I-601 waiver process, facilitates immigrant visa issuance, and promotes family unity. See 78 FR 536 (Jan. 3, 2013); see also 77 FR 19902 (Apr. 2, 2012) (proposed rule). The goal of the provisional waiver process is to reduce the adverse impact of the Form I-601 waiver process on families in the United States.7 In particular, the current provisional waiver process permits certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are physically present in the United States to apply for a provisional waiver of the 3- and 10-year unlawful presence bars before departing for their immigrant visa interviews abroad. The provisional waiver is available to only those aliens who will be inadmissible on account of the 3-year or 10-year unlawful presence bar at the time of the immigrant visa interview. Aliens who, at the time of the immigrant visa interview, may be inadmissible based on another ground of inadmissibility or multiple grounds of inadmissibility, are not eligible for provisional waivers. USCIS's approval of a provisional waiver allows DOS to issue the immigrant visa without the further delay associated with the Form I-601 waiver process, if the applicant is otherwise eligible. See 8 CFR 212.7(e).

    7 Promoting family unity has always played a significant role in the development of U.S. immigration laws. See, e.g., Holder v. Martinez Gutierrez, 132 S. Ct. 2011, 2019 (2012); INS v. Errico, 385 U.S. 214, 219-20 (1966).

    DHS initially limited eligibility for provisional waivers to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (spouses, parents and children (under the age of 21) of U.S. citizens). The intention was to prioritize the family reunification of immediate relatives of U.S. citizens over other categories of aliens. Limiting the program also allowed DHS to assess the initial effectiveness of a provisional waiver process. Accordingly, DHS restricted eligibility for provisional waivers to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who could demonstrate that their U.S. citizen spouses or parents would suffer extreme hardship if the immediate relatives were refused admission to the United States. See 78 FR at 542. Although other aliens are eligible for waivers of the 3- and 10-year unlawful presence bars under the Form I-601 waiver process, the provisional waiver process was not made available to them. DHS limited eligibility to immediate relatives able to demonstrate extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent. See 78 FR at 543 (describing rationale for eligibility limitations). Immediate relatives who can show extreme hardship to only their LPR spouses or parents, and other categories of immigrant visa applicants, are ineligible to obtain a provisional waiver under the current regulation.8

    8 In the 2012 proposed rule, DHS explained that the provisional waiver process would not be extended to non-immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or immediate relatives who can only show extreme hardship to their LPR spouses or parents. See 77 FR 19907. Commenters to the proposed provisional waiver rule from April 2, 2012 objected to both limitations. See 78 FR at 542-543.

    2. Impact of Provisional Waiver Process

    In the 2013 final rule, DHS noted that it would consider expanding provisional waiver eligibility after DHS and DOS assessed the effectiveness of the provisional waiver process and the operational impact it may have on existing agency processes and resources. See 78 FR at 542-543 (citing Beach Commc'ns v. FCC, 508 U.S. 307, 316 (1993) (observing that policymakers “must be allowed leeway to approach a perceived problem incrementally”)). Preliminary review of the provisional waiver process has shown that it can reduce the time that relatives are separated from their U.S. citizen families, reduce the processing costs incurred by DOS and DHS, limit the number of exchanges between DOS and DHS, and reduce the number of immigrant visa cases DOS has to either reschedule or place on hold under the Form I-601 waiver process. DHS initially anticipated receiving as many as 62,348 provisional waiver applications per year and allocated resources accordingly. USCIS, however, received only about 39,000 applications in fiscal year 2014. As a result, both DHS and DOS have determined that there would not be a significant operational impact if DHS expanded eligibility for provisional waivers to include other statutorily eligible aliens who are beneficiaries of approved immigrant visa petitions and can establish extreme hardship to their U.S. citizen or LPR spouses or parents.

    IV. Proposed Changes

    DHS proposes to expand the class of aliens who may be eligible for a provisional waiver beyond immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to aliens in all statutorily eligible immigrant visa categories. Such aliens include family-sponsored immigrants, employment-based immigrants, certain special immigrants, and Diversity Visa program selectees, together with their derivative spouses and children. See proposed 8 CFR 212.7(e)(3)(iv). DHS also proposes to expand who may be considered a qualifying relative for purposes of the extreme hardship determination to include LPR spouses and parents.

    This proposed expansion will permit any alien seeking an immigrant visa who would be eligible to apply for a Form I-601 waiver of unlawful presence abroad to now apply for a provisional waiver before leaving the United States to attend his or her immigrant visa interview abroad. Aliens who will become eligible for a provisional waiver, including derivative spouses and children, would still need to meet all other requirements of proposed 8 CFR 212.7(e) to obtain the waiver.9 Under this proposed rule, any alien who meets the eligibility requirements for a provisional waiver and who is pursuing consular processing abroad can apply for the waiver irrespective of his or her current immigration status in the United States.10

    9 Although derivative spouses and children apply for an immigrant visa based on their relationship to a principal beneficiary, the admissibility determination is made individually for each immigrant visa applicant. See INA 212, 221(g), 291, 8 U.S.C. 1182, 1201(g), 1361; 22 CFR 40.6, 40.92. If the derivative is inadmissible, he or she must apply for a provisional waiver and meet the eligibility requirements independent of the principal.

    10 As stated in the 2013 rule, an alien's current immigration status is not relevant for purposes of seeking a provisional waiver of an unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility. See 78 FR at 547. No alien, including one who is in Temporary Protected Status, has received deferred action, or is currently in a lawful nonimmigrant status, is barred from seeking a provisional waiver as long as the alien meets the eligibility requirements stated in the rule.

    DHS does not propose to change any eligibility requirements for a provisional waiver other than those described in this rulemaking.

    A. Immediate Relatives, Family-Sponsored Immigrants, Employment-Based Immigrants, and Certain Special Immigrants

    Under the proposed rule, an alien would be eligible for a provisional waiver if, among other criteria, he or she has an immigrant visa case pending with DOS based on an approved immigrant visa petition and has paid the immigrant visa processing fee. Aliens with an approved immigrant visa petition include: 11

    11 A Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, Form I-730, is not an immigrant visa petition and is therefore not a basis for filing a provisional waiver application.

    • A beneficiary of an approved Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, or Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), and Special Immigrant, Form I-360 (classifying the alien as immigrant visa applicant under INA section 201(b)(2), 8 U.S.C. 1151(b)(2), or INA section 203(a) or (b), 8 U.S.C. 1153(a) or (b));

    • A beneficiary of an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140 (classifying the alien as immigrant visa applicant under INA section 203(b), 8 U.S.C. 1153(b)); and

    • A spouse or child, as defined in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), (D) or (E) of INA section 101(b)(1), 8 U.S.C. 1101(b)(1), if accompanying or following-to-join an alien spouse or parent seeking to immigrate under INA section 203(a) or (b), 8 U.S.C. 1153(a) or (b), or under INA section 203(d), 8 U.S.C. 1153(d).

    B. Diversity Immigrants

    Under the proposed rule, an alien would also be eligible for a provisional waiver based on selection by DOS to participate in the Diversity Visa program under INA section 203(c), 8 U.S.C. 1153(c) for the fiscal year for which the alien registered. Expanding the provisional waiver process to Diversity Visa program selectees and their derivatives requires USCIS to develop procedures that apply only to these applicants because such applicants do not have approved immigrant visa petitions. DOS's selection of an alien for the Diversity Visa program is for these purposes being considered the functional equivalent of having an approved immigrant visa petition. See proposed 8 CFR 212.7(e)(3)(iv). Additionally, Diversity Visa program processing must be completed by the end of the fiscal year for the program year for which the alien registered. See INA section 204(a)(1)(I)(ii)(II), 8 U.S.C. 1154(a)(1)(I)(ii)(II). To meet the time constraints of the Diversity Visa program, USCIS would consider an immigrant visa case pending as soon as DOS selects the alien for the program. See proposed 8 CFR 212.7(e)(3)(iv) and 8 CFR 212.7(e)(5)(ii)(F). Because Diversity Visa program selectees and derivatives do not have to pay the immigrant visa processing fee until the immigrant visa interview, DHS proposes that such aliens would not have to provide proof of payment of the immigrant visa processing fee when they apply for a provisional waiver. See proposed 8 CFR 212.7(e)(3)(iv) and 8 CFR 212.7(e)(5)(ii)(F).

    C. Qualifying Relatives

    DHS proposes to expand eligibility for provisional waivers to include aliens who can establish extreme hardship to an LPR spouse or parent. This proposed expansion would allow immigrant visa applicants, including diversity visa applicants, to seek provisional waivers based on extreme hardship to all categories of qualifying relatives authorized by statute. See proposed 8 CFR 212.7(e)(3)(vi) and 8 CFR 212.7(e)(8). Although the benefits of this rule largely would accrue to the expanded group of aliens newly eligible to apply for provisional waivers under the rule, certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens will also experience benefits from this rule. For example, an alien who is the beneficiary of an immediate relative petition filed by his or her U.S. citizen son or daughter—who is not a qualifying relative for purposes of the waiver—could seek a provisional waiver based on extreme hardship that would be suffered by the alien's LPR spouse.

    D. Aliens With Scheduled Immigrant Visa Interviews

    DHS proposes to limit eligibility for provisional waivers under this rulemaking to aliens, other than immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, who have not had their immigrant visa interviews scheduled before the effective date of a final rule. DHS also proposes that immediate relatives of U.S. citizens will be eligible to file for provisional waivers if they have not had their immigrant visa interviews scheduled before January 3, 2013, even if they may not have been previously eligible to apply for provisional waivers under the current rule.12 For these purposes, DHS will use the date that DOS initially acted to schedule the immigrant visa interview, not the date that the alien is scheduled to appear for the immigrant visa interview.

    12 Aliens who are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens but who can only demonstrate that the denial of admission would cause extreme hardship to an LPR spouse or parent (rather than a U.S. citizen spouse or parent) are currently ineligible for provisional waivers.

    As reflected in the 2013 rulemaking, these restrictions are necessary to make the process operationally manageable without creating delays in the processing of other petitions or applications filed with USCIS or in the DOS immigrant visa process. If the proposed rule included aliens who were scheduled for an interview prior to the effective date of a final rule, the projected volume of cases could increase and create backlogs not only in the provisional waiver process, but also in adjudication of other USCIS benefits. The increased volume could also adversely impact DOS and its immigrant visa process.13

    13 Focusing on U.S. citizens and their immediate relative family members in the expansion of this discretionary procedure also is consistent with permissible distinctions that may be drawn between U.S. citizens and aliens and between classes of aliens in immigration laws and policies. See, e.g., Fiallo v. Bell, 430 U.S. 787, 792 (1977); Mathews v. Diaz, 426 U.S. 67, 81 (1976).

    E. Miscellaneous Changes

    This rule also proposes to remove from the affected regulations all unnecessary procedural instructions regarding office names and locations, position titles and responsibilities, and form numbers. Prescribing an office name, such as “Application Support Center,” is unnecessary and restricts USCIS' ability to vary work locations as necessary to address its workload needs, better utilize its resources, and serve its customers. See, e.g., proposed 8 CFR 212.7(e)(3)(ii) (replacing the term “USCIS ASC” with “location in the United States designated by USCIS”). Likewise, requiring a specific form to be filed for a certain benefit in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is generally unnecessary, and enumerating specific form numbers reduces the agency's ability to modify or modernize its business processes to address changing needs. See, e.g., proposed 8 CFR 212.7(e)(5)(i) (replacing “Form I-601A” with “application for a provisional unlawful presence waiver”). Finally, listing specific officer titles for consideration of provisional waiver applications restricts USCIS' flexibility in the adjudication of immigration benefits. See, e.g., proposed 8 CFR 212.7(e)(12)(i)(C) (removing “consular officer”). Authorities and functions of DHS to administer and enforce the immigration laws are appropriately delegated to DHS employees and others in accordance with section 102(b)(1) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, 6 U.S.C. 112(b)(1); section 103(a) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1103(a); and 8 CFR 2.1.

    In addition, USCIS is proposing to revise 8 CFR 212.7(e)(8) by removing the superfluous sentence that states USCIS may require the alien and the U.S. citizen petitioner to appear for an interview pursuant to 8 CFR 103.2(b)(9). USCIS already has the authority to require an applicant or petitioner to appear for an interview under 8 CFR 103.2(b)(9). USCIS thus retains the authority to require an interview regardless of the inclusion of such authority in § 212.7(e)(8). The cross reference at 8 CFR 212.7(e)(8) was unnecessarily redundant.

    Finally, DHS is correcting two errors. First, in 8 CFR 103.2(b), DHS is replacing the article “an” with the article “a,” wherever the article appears before the term “benefit request” in paragraphs (b)(6), (b)(9), (b)(10), and (b)(12). Second, in 8 CFR 212.7(a), DHS is removing the title to effectuate the change that was intended to be made in the 2013 rule.

    F. Benefits of the Proposed Changes

    By making the provisional waiver process available to all aliens who are statutorily eligible for the waiver of unlawful presence under section 212(a)(9)(B)(v) and meet certain other conditions, DHS would be expanding the population of aliens who could benefit from a streamlined immigrant visa process. DHS believes that expanding availability of the provisional waiver process would likely reduce the overall immigrant visa processing time for eligible immigrant visa applicants, thereby saving DHS, DOS, and applicants both the time and resources currently devoted to the Form I-601 waiver process. DHS also believes that the proposed expansion would reduce the hardship that U.S. citizen and LPR families experience as a result of separation from their alien relatives. Some immediate relatives of U.S. citizens may also benefit from the proposal to broaden the group of individuals who can serve as qualifying relatives for the provisional waiver's extreme hardship determination.

    V. Public Input

    DHS invites comments from all interested parties, including advocacy groups, nongovernmental organizations, community-based organizations, and legal representatives who specialize in immigration law, on any and all aspects of this proposed rule. DHS is specifically seeking comments on:

    a. The proposal to expand eligibility for provisional waivers to include the following aliens not covered by the current rule:

    • Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens under INA section 201(b)(2), 8 U.S.C. 1151(b)(2), who can establish extreme hardship to an LPR spouse or parent as provided under INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(v);

    • Family-sponsored immigrant visa applicants under INA section 203(a), 8 U.S.C. 1153(a);

    • Employment-based immigrant visa applicants and certain special immigrants under INA section 203(b), 8 U.S.C. 1153(b);

    • Diversity immigrants under INA section 203(c), 8 U.S.C. 1153(c); and

    • Derivative family members of the above mentioned immigrant visa applicants, in accordance with INA section 203(d), 8 U.S.C. 1153(d).

    b. The proposal to limit eligibility for provisional waivers to aliens as follows: (1) for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, to those for whom DOS initially acted to schedule their immigrant visa interviews on or after January 3, 2013; and (2) for all other immigrant visa applicants, on or after the effective date of the final rule.

    c. Any alternatives to this proposed rule that may be more effective than the current provisional waiver process or the amended process described in the proposed rule.

    VI. Statutory and Regulatory Requirements A. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This proposed rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    B. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This proposed rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Act of 1996. This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

    C. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule is a “significant regulatory action,” although not an economically significant regulatory action, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget has reviewed this regulation. This effort is consistent with Executive Order 13563's call for agencies to “consider how best to promote retrospective analysis of rules that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them in accordance with what has been learned.”

    1. Summary

    The proposed expansion of the provisional waiver process would create costs and benefits to provisional waiver (Form I-601A) applicants, their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) family members, and the Federal Government (namely, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State (DOS)), as summarized in Table 1. This rule would impose fee, time, and travel costs on aliens who choose to complete and submit provisional waiver applications and biometrics (namely, fingerprints, photograph, and signature) to USCIS for consideration. These costs would be $58.5 million at a 7 percent discount rate and $71.6 million at a 3 percent discount rate in present value across the 10-year period of analysis. On an annualized basis, the costs are $8.3 million and $8.4 million at 7 percent and 3 percent, respectively (see Table 1).

    Newly eligible provisional waiver applicants and their U.S. citizen or LPR family members would benefit from this rule. Beneficiaries of provisional waivers may experience shortened periods of separation from their family members living in the United States while they pursue an immigrant visa abroad, thus reducing any related financial and emotional strain on the family. If finalized, some immediate relatives of U.S. citizens may also benefit from the rule's broadened group of individuals who can be qualifying relatives for the provisional waiver's extreme hardship determination. Additionally, USCIS and DOS would continue to benefit from the operational efficiencies gained from the provisional waiver's role in streamlining immigrant visa application processing, though on a larger scale than currently in place.

    In the absence of this rule, DHS assumes that the majority of aliens newly eligible for provisional waivers under this rule would pursue an immigrant visa through consular processing abroad and apply for waivers of unlawful presence through the Form I-601 process. Aliens who would otherwise apply for unlawful presence waivers through the Form I-601 process would incur fee, time, and travel costs similar to aliens applying for waivers through the provisional waiver process. But in the absence of this rule, Form I-601 applicants would face longer separation times from their family in the United States and less certainty regarding their application for the waiver.

    Table 1—Total Costs and Benefits of This Rule, Year 1-Year 10 10-Year present values 3% Discount rate 7% Discount rate Annualized values 3% Discount rate 7% Discount rate Total Costs: Quantitative $71,622,948 $58,520,192 $8,396,394 $8,331,959 Total Benefits: Qualitative Decreased amount of time that U.S. citizens or LPRs are separated from their alien family members, leading to reduced financial and emotional hardship for these families. Decreased amount of time that U.S. citizens or LPRs are separated from their alien family members, leading to reduced financial and emotional hardship for these families. Federal Government would achieve increased efficiencies by streamlining immigrant visa processing for aliens seeking inadmissibility waivers of unlawful presence. Federal Government would achieve increased efficiencies by streamlining immigrant visa processing for aliens seeking inadmissibility waivers of unlawful presence. Aliens, and their family members, would receive advance notice of USCIS's decision on their waiver application prior to leaving the United States for their immigrant visa interview abroad, offering many the certainty of knowing they have been provisionally approved for a waiver. Aliens, and their family members, would receive advance notice of USCIS's decision on their waiver application prior to leaving the United States for their immigrant visa interview abroad, offering many the certainty of knowing they have been provisionally approved for a waiver. Certain previously ineligible immediate relatives may now qualify for provisional waivers due to the broadened group of individuals who can be qualifying relatives for the waiver's extreme hardship determination. Certain previously ineligible immediate relatives may now qualify for provisional waivers due to the broadened group of individuals who can be qualifying relatives for the waiver's extreme hardship determination. Note: The cost estimates in this table are contingent upon Form I-601A filing (or receipt) projections as well as the discount rates applied for monetized values. 2. Background

    Aliens who are in the United States and seeking LPR status must either obtain an immigrant visa abroad through consular processing with DOS or apply to adjust status in the United States, if eligible. Aliens present in the United States without having been inspected and admitted or paroled are typically ineligible to adjust their status in the United States. To obtain LPR status, such aliens must leave the United States for immigrant visa processing at a U.S. Embassy or consulate abroad. Because these aliens are present in the United States without having been inspected and admitted or paroled, many have already accrued enough unlawful presence (more than 180 days) to trigger the 3- or 10-year unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility upon departure from the United States. Indeed, in most cases, the action these aliens must take to obtain their immigrant visa—departing the United States to attend a consular interview—is the very action that triggers the 3- or 10-year bar to admissibility due to the accrual of unlawful presence. See INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(i), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(i). While there may be limited exceptions, the population affected by this rule would consist almost exclusively of aliens who are eligible for immigrant visas but are unlawfully present in the United States without having been inspected and admitted or paroled.

    Historically, aliens seeking an immigrant visa through consular processing were only able to apply for a waiver of a ground of inadmissibility, like a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence, after attending their immigrant visa interview abroad. If a consular officer identified a ground or grounds of inadmissibility during an immigrant visa interview, the immigrant visa applicant was tentatively denied an immigrant visa and allowed to complete a waiver of the applicable ground(s) of inadmissibility, if a waiver was available. The immigrant visa applicant could apply for such a waiver by filing an Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, Form I-601, with USCIS. Applicants who applied for such waivers were required to remain abroad while USCIS adjudicated their Form I-601, which currently takes an average of five months to complete.14 If USCIS granted a waiver of the inadmissibility ground(s), DOS subsequently scheduled a follow-up consular interview. Provided there were no other concerns raised by the consular officer, DOS generally issued the immigrant visa during the follow-up consular interview. For some aliens, the Form I-601 waiver process has led to lengthy separations of immigrant visa applicants and their U.S. citizen or LPR spouses, parents, and children, causing both financial and emotional harm. The Form I-601 waiver process has also created processing inefficiencies for both USCIS and DOS through repeated interagency communication and through multiple consular appointments or interviews.

    14 This figure is based on Form I-601 average adjudication times gathered from USCIS's Nebraska Service Center on March 3, 2015.

    With the goals of streamlining the inadmissibility waiver process, facilitating efficient immigrant visa issuance, and promoting family unity, DHS promulgated a rule that established an alternative inadmissibility waiver process on January 3, 2013 (“2013 rule”).15 The 2013 rule created a provisional waiver process for certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (namely, spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens) who are in the United States, are seeking immigrant visas, can demonstrate extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent, and would be inadmissible upon departure from the United States due to only the accrual of unlawful presence. That process allowed such aliens to apply for a provisional waiver prior to departing for DOS consular processing of their immigrant visa applications. Instead of requiring them to wait abroad while USCIS adjudicates their application for a waiver of inadmissibility through the Form I-601 waiver process, the provisional waiver process established in 2013 allowed those applicants to remain in the United States with their U.S. citizen relative(s) while awaiting notification of USCIS's decision on their provisional waiver application. Following approval of a provisional waiver, applicants are scheduled for their immigrant visa interviews abroad.

    15See 78 FR 536 (Jan. 3, 2013).

    Since the provisional waiver process's inception, USCIS has approved more than 44,000 provisional waiver applications (through Form I-601A filings) for certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens,16 allowing these individuals to enjoy the benefits incident to such waivers. Illustrating the demand for provisional waivers, Table 2 displays the historical numbers of Form I-601A receipts, approvals, and denials recorded for March of fiscal year (FY) 2013 through January of FY 2015.

    16 This figure is based on Form I-601A approvals data through January 2015. Please note that USCIS began accepting provisional waiver applications on March 4, 2013. Source: Data gathered from USCIS's Office of Performance and Quality on February 20, 2015.

    Table 2—Historical Numbers of Form I-601A Receipts, Approvals, and Denials Fiscal Year Month Receipts Approvals Denials 2013 Mar. 1,306 746 421 Apr. 2,737 5 2 May 3,267 52 19 Jun. 3,119 226 345 Jul. 3,425 1006 763 Aug. 3,075 1435 937 Sep. 2,798 1,749 458 FY 2013 Total 19,727 4,473 2,524 2014 Oct. 2,886 1,465 612 Nov. 2,697 1,456 577 Dec. 2,641 1,708 541 Jan. 2,256 1,616 793 Feb. 2,483 1,282 574 Mar. 2,989 1,216 987 Apr. 3,265 1,363 675 May 3,650 2,052 640 Jun. 4,184 3,152 1,057 Jul. 3,778 4,211 1,451 Aug. 3,907 3,914 1,808 Sep. 4,237 4,076 1,493 FY 2014 Total 38,973 27,511 11,208 2015 Oct. 4,540 4,196 1,465 Nov. 3,726 2,168 948 Dec. 4,103 2,838 1,185 Jan. 3,370 3,012 1,443 FY 2015 Total 15,739 12,214 5,041 Cumulative FY 2013-FY 2015 Total 74,439 44,198 18,773 Note: Approvals and denials reflect actual cases adjudicated, which do not directly correspond to filing receipts for the month. Source: Data gathered from USCIS's Office of Performance and Quality on March 5, 2015. 3. Purpose of Rule

    Despite the provisional waiver process's benefits to certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, thousands of non-immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and LPRs 17 seeking immigrant visas who are inadmissible to the United States due to only unlawful presence still face the financial and emotional burdens of pursuing a Form I-601 waiver while outside of the country and away from their family in the United States. In addition to promoting the goal of family unity between eligible non-immediate relatives and their U.S. citizen or LPR family members, this rule would increase USCIS and DOS efficiencies by streamlining the waiver process for unlawful presence for this expanded group of aliens.

    17 Examples of family relationships that fall into the “non-immediate” category include, but are not limited to, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens; and spouses and children of LPRs.

    To assess the initial effectiveness of the provisional waiver process, DHS decided to offer this process to a limited group of aliens in the 2013 rule.18 Based on the Form I-601 waiver process's financial and emotional burdens to families and the efficiencies realized for both USCIS and DOS through the provisional waiver process, the Secretary directed USCIS to expand eligibility for the provisional waiver process beyond certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to all statutorily eligible relatives of U.S. citizens and LPRs.19 Consistent with that directive, USCIS (through DHS authority) now proposes to extend the provisional waiver process to include all other aliens seeking an immigrant visa (hereafter, “all other immigrant visa applicants”) who are statutorily eligible to apply for a waiver of the 3- or 10-year unlawful presence bar, are present in the United States, and otherwise meet the requirements of the provisional waiver process.20 USCIS also proposes to allow LPR spouses and parents, in addition to currently eligible U.S. citizen spouses and parents, to serve as qualifying relatives for the provisional waiver's extreme hardship determination. Under this proposal, provisional waiver applicants could show that their denial of admission would cause extreme hardship to their U.S. citizen or LPR spouses or parents.

    18See 78 FR at 542 (Jan. 3, 2013).

    19See Memorandum from Jeh Charles Johnson, Secretary, for León Rodríguez, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Expansion of the Provisional Waiver Program, Nov. 20, 2014, available at http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_i601a_waiver.pdf.

    20 The phrase “all other immigrant visa applicants” encompasses the following immigrant visa categories: Family-sponsored immigrants, employment-based immigrants, diversity immigrants, and certain special immigrants.

    This rule's proposed changes would provide more aliens and their U.S. citizen or LPR family members with the provisional waiver's main benefit of shortened family separation periods, while increasing USCIS and DOS efficiencies by streamlining the immigrant visa process for such aliens. Additionally, the proposed changes may allow more immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to qualify for provisional waivers by broadening the group of individuals who could serve as qualifying relatives for the waiver's extreme hardship determination. Other than the changes proposed in this rulemaking, DHS would maintain all other eligibility requirements for the provisional waiver as currently outlined in 8 CFR 212.7(e), including the requirements to submit biometrics, pay a $585 application fee and $85 biometric services fee, and be currently present in the United States at the time of the provisional waiver application filing and biometrics appointment.

    4. Current Provisional Waiver Process

    In this analysis, DHS draws on relevant DOS inadmissibility statistics and historical provisional waiver application data to estimate the demand for provisional waivers occurring in the absence of this rule (for certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens), as well as directly resulting from this rule (for the expanded population of eligible immigrant visa beneficiaries). Table 3 shows DOS's historical immigrant visa inadmissibility findings due to only unlawful presence. Between FYs 2010 and 2014, DOS recorded inadmissibility due to only unlawful presence for almost 241,000 immediate relative visas and for nearly 60,000 all other immigrant visas.21

    21 Of the inadmissibility figures recorded for all other immigrant visa categories, nearly 98 percent corresponded to family-sponsored (other than immediate relatives of U.S. citizens) immigrant visa applications, 1 percent corresponded to employment-based immigrant visa applications, 1 percent corresponded to Diversity Visa immigrant applications, and a fraction of 1 percent corresponded to certain special immigrant visa applications.

    Table 3—Number of Immigrant Visa Inadmissibility Findings Due to Only Unlawful Presence Fiscal year Visa category type Immediate
  • relatives 22
  • All other
  • immigrants 23
  • Total
    2010 44,497 4,955 49,452 2011 45,961 13,162 59,123 2012 46,520 13,568 60,088 2013 45,602 14,354 59,956 2014 58,058 13,946 72,004 Total 240,638 59,985 300,623 Source: Data gathered from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs on March 25, 2015.

    With the implementation of the 2013 rule, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens seeking immigrant visas who were present in the United States, demonstrated extreme hardship to their U.S. citizen spouse or parent, and were inadmissible only for unlawful presence became eligible to apply for provisional waivers. See 8 CFR 212.7(e). Table 4 compares the number of DOS immediate relative visa inadmissibility findings due to only unlawful presence and provisional waiver applications filed with USCIS for FYs 2013 and 2014. Because the provisional waiver process went into effect in March 2013, immediate relatives could file provisional waiver applications only during the last seven months of FY 2013.24 Thus, for comparison purposes, USCIS adjusted DOS's FY 2013 immediate relative visa inadmissibility counts to reflect only a partial year (specifically, 7/12 of a year). During FYs 2013 and 2014, USCIS received a total of 58,700 provisional waiver applications, which represented approximately 70 percent 25 of the population of certain immediate relatives found inadmissible for unlawful presence during that same time period.26

    22 Population addressed in the 2013 rule (immediate relatives of U.S. citizens).

    23 Population impacted by this rule.

    24 FY 2013 is October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013.

    25 Calculated as 58,700 2-year total Form I-601A receipts divided by 84,659 total immediate relative inadmissibility count for March 2013 through FY 2014, which equals 0.693, or 0.70 when rounded to the first decimal place.

    26 Data gathered from USCIS's Office of Performance and Quality Reporting on March 5, 2015.

    Table 4—Number of Immediate Relative Immigrant Visa Inadmissibility Findings Due to Only Unlawful Presence Compared to Historical Form I-601A Receipts Fiscal year Immediate relative immigrant visa
  • inadmissibility
  • Inadmissibility findings Inadmissibility findings adjusted for partial year Immediate relative Form I-601A
  • receipts
  • Actual Form
  • I-601A receipts
  • Ratio of Form I-601A receipts to inadmissibility findings
  • (%)
  • Year 1 (2013) 45,602 26,601 19,727 74 Year 2 (2014) 58,058 58,058 38,973 67 2-Year Total/Avg. 103,660 84,659 58,700 70 Notes: The provisional waiver process's implementation date was March 4, 2013. DHS adjusted the full year of immediate relative immigrant visa inadmissibility counts due to only unlawful presence in 2013 to account for only the portion of the year in which the provisional waiver process existed. The data listed in this table was rounded.

    The actual Form I-601A filing demands, illustrated in Table 2 and Table 4, differ from the estimates in the 2013 rule's economic impact analysis. When DHS conducted the 2013 rule's economic impact analysis, DHS did not have statistics on unlawful presence inadmissibility findings for immediate relatives that would allow for a precise calculation of the rule's impact. Due to such limitations, DHS instead estimated the rule's impact based on various demand scenarios. In this rule's analysis, DHS retrospectively examined DOS data on unlawful presence inadmissibility findings for immediate relatives and compared this information against USCIS receipts for provisional waiver applications (through Form I-601A filings) to determine the future demand for provisional waivers.

    When determining a figure upon which to base future inadmissibility estimates and subsequent Form I-601A demand, DHS chose to use the actual FY 2014 inadmissibility count for unlawful presence rather than a multi-year average of historical values as the averages did not seem to fully capture the general rise in inadmissibility findings occurring between FYs 2010 and 2014 (see Table 3).27 Consistent with the ratio of provisional waiver application filings to immediate relative visa inadmissibility counts based solely on unlawful presence during FYs 2013 and 2014 listed in Table 4, DHS assumes that 70 percent of the population of immediate relatives found inadmissible only for unlawful presence would file a Form I-601A provisional waiver application. In the absence of this rule, DHS projects that the number of immediate relative visa inadmissibility findings due to only unlawful presence would continue to increase from the FY 2014 count shown in Table 4 (58,058) by 2.5 percent per year based on the compound annual growth rate of the unauthorized immigrant population living in the United States between 2000 and 2012.28 To calculate future Form I-601A filing (or receipt) volumes, DHS multiplies the 70 percent provisional waiver filing rate by the annual numbers of immediate relative immigrant visa inadmissibility findings due to only unlawful presence. Note that when applying this filing rate to yearly inadmissibility figures, the numbers may not match those listed in Table 5 due to rounding.29 DHS originally calculated the estimates in Table 5 using unrounded figures. Thereafter, all estimates were simultaneously rounded for tabular presentation. In the absence of this rule, USCIS would receive a projected 467,000 provisional waiver applications across 10 years of analysis, as Table 5 illustrates. These provisional waiver applications may ultimately result in waiver approvals or denials.

    27 Both the three-year FY 2012-FY 2014 average (50,060) and five-year FY 2010-FY 2014 average (48,128) of immediate relative inadmissibility finding counts differed significantly from the FY 2014 total immediate relative inadmissibility finding count of 58,058 (see Table 3).

    28 Calculated by comparing the estimated unauthorized immigrant population living in the United States in 2000 (8,500,000) and the estimated unauthorized immigrant population living in the United States in 2012 (11,400,000). In recent years, the estimated unauthorized immigrant population has decreased. DHS uses the historical growth rate in the unauthorized immigrant population from 2000 to 2012 because it most likely reflects the population impacted by this rule. This population includes those who have likely been unlawfully present in the United States for an extended period and who have already started the immigrant visa process by having an approved petition. Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Immigration Statistics, Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: January 2012, Figure 1, Unauthorized Immigrant Population: 2000-2012, Mar. 2013, available at http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/ois_ill_pe_2012_2.pdf.

    29 For example, using the figures in Table 5, the Year 1 immediate relative immigrant visa inadmissibility findings count due to only unlawful presence equals 59,509. Calculation: 59,909 multiplied by 0.70 (the Form I-601A filing rate) equals 41,656.3. The calculated result differs slightly from the 41,657 Year 1 Form I-601A receipts figure in the table.

    Table 5—Projected Numbers of Immediate Relative Immigrant Visa Inadmissibility Findings Due to Only Unlawful Presence and Form I-601A Applications in the Absence of This Rule [Population addressed in 2013 rule] Fiscal year Inadmissibility findings due to only unlawful presence—immediate relatives 30 Form I-601A receipts—immediate relatives 31 Year 1 59,509 41,657 Year 2 60,997 42,698 Year 3 62,522 43,765 Year 4 64,085 44,860 Year 5 65,687 45,981 Year 6 67,329 47,131 Year 7 69,013 48,309 Year 8 70,738 49,517 Year 9 72,506 50,755 Year 10 74,319 52,023 Total 666,705 466,696 Notes: The estimates in this table were originally calculated using unrounded figures. Thereafter, all estimates were simultaneously rounded for tabular presentation. Estimates may not sum to total due to rounding. 5. The Population Affected by This Rule

    30 Population of immediate relatives potentially eligible for provisional waivers.

    31 Estimated number of provisional waiver applications from the eligible population of immediate relatives. These applications do not necessarily correspond to waiver approvals.

    With this rule's implementation, the number of provisional waiver applications would increase from the figures listed in Table 5 as the waiver eligibility criteria expands from only certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to include all other immigrant visa applicants who are present in the United States and who otherwise meet the requirements of the provisional waiver process.32 DHS does not believe that this proposed rule would induce any new demand above the status quo for petitions or immigrant visa applications for this expanded group of aliens. DHS bases this assumption on the fact that the immigrant visa categories to which this rule would now apply (namely, family-sponsored, employment-based, diversity, and certain special immigrant visa categories) are generally subject to statutory visa issuance limits and lengthy visa availability waits due to oversubscription,33 unlike the immediate relative category currently eligible for provisional waivers. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the Secretary's November 2014 memorandum 34 on the expansion of the provisional waiver process spurred a significant increase in filings of the Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, or the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140.35 Thus, DHS does not believe that this rule would increase the demand for the immigrant visa categories to which it applies.

    32 As previously mentioned, the phrase “all other immigrant visa applicants” encompasses the following immigrant visa categories: Family-sponsored immigrants, employment-based immigrants, Diversity Visa immigrants, and certain special immigrants.

    33 Family-sponsored immigrant visa applicants, who represent nearly 98 percent of the “all other immigrant visa applicant” population found inadmissible due to only unlawful presence, currently face visa oversubscription. This means that any new family-sponsored visa applicants must wait in line for available visas. Depending upon the applicant's country of chargeability and preference category, this wait could be many years. Source: U.S. Department of State, Visa Bulletin for April 2015, IX (79), Mar. 2015, available at http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin/2015/visa-bulletin-for-april-2015.html.

    34See Memorandum from Jeh Charles Johnson, Secretary, for León Rodríguez, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Expansion of the Provisional Waiver Program, Nov. 20, 2014, available at http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_i601a_waiver.pdf.

    35 Based on a DHS comparison of Form I-130 and Form I-140 filings during the fiscal years before and after the Secretary's 2014 memorandum on the expansion of the provisional waiver program.

    To determine the impact of this rule, DHS employs the same projection method used to estimate future volumes of unlawful presence inadmissibility findings and provisional waiver applications occurring in the absence of this rule. By applying the previously discussed historical 2.5 percent compound annual growth rate of unauthorized immigrants from 2000 to 2012, to the FY 2014 count of all other immigrant visa inadmissibility findings due to only unlawful presence (13,946, as listed in Table 3), DHS projects that non-immediate relative immigrant visa inadmissibility findings due to only unlawful presence would measure approximately 14,295 during this rule's first year of implementation (see Table 6).36 Based on the current demand for provisional waivers, DHS assumes that 70 percent of the “all other immigrant visa applicant” population found inadmissible due to only unlawful presence each year would apply for a provisional waiver annually (see Table 6). Note that when applying this 70 percent filing rate to the inadmissible population estimates in Table 6, the numbers may not match those in the table due to rounding. The estimates in Table 6 were originally calculated using unrounded figures. Thereafter, all estimates were simultaneously rounded for tabular presentation.

    36 FY 2014 “all other immigrant visa applicants” count found inadmissible due to only unlawful presence of 13,946 multiplied by 2.5 percent growth rate (that is, 1.025), which equals 14,295 non-immediate relative immigrant visa applicants found inadmissible due to only unlawful presence (rounded).

    Table 6 outlines the population of all other immigrant visa applicants impacted by this rule. During this rule's first year of implementation, DHS projects that USCIS could receive approximately 10,006 provisional waiver applications from newly eligible non-immediate relatives.37 Across a 10-year period of analysis, DHS estimates that inadmissibility findings based solely on unlawful presence for non-immediate relatives would total about 160,000, while provisional waiver applications from this population of inadmissible non-immediate relative immigrants would measure nearly 112,000. These provisional waiver applications may ultimately result in waiver approvals or denials. Note that Table 6 presents only the additional Form I-601A filings that would occur as a result of this rule; it does not account for the provisional waiver applications that DHS anticipates would be filed in the absence of this rule by certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (listed in Table 5).

    37 Year 1's 14,295 non-immediate relative immigrant visa applicant count found inadmissible due to only unlawful presence multiplied by a 70 percent filing rate (0.70), which equals 10,006 Form I-601A receipts.

    38 Population of immigrants newly eligible under this rule for provisional waivers.

    39 Estimated number of provisional waiver applications from the eligible population of all other immigrants. These applications do not necessarily correspond to waiver approvals.

    Table 6—Projected Numbers of All Other Immigrant Visa Inadmissibility Findings Due to Only Unlawful Presence and Form I-601A Applications Resulting From This Rule Fiscal year Inadmissibility findings due to only unlawful presence—
  • All other
  • immigrants 38
  • Total Form I-601A receipts—All other immigrants 39
    Year 1 14,295 10,006 Year 2 14,652 10,256 Year 3 15,018 10,513 Year 4 15,394 10,776 Year 5 15,779 11,045 Year 6 16,173 11,321 Year 7 16,577 11,604 Year 8 16,992 11,894 Year 9 17,417 12,192 Year 10 17,852 12,496 Total 160,149 112,103 Notes: The estimates in this table were originally calculated using unrounded figures. Thereafter, all estimates were simultaneously rounded for tabular presentation. Estimates may not sum to total due to rounding.

    In addition to the non-immediate relative population affected by this rule illustrated in Table 6, this rule's broadened group of qualifying relatives for the provisional waiver's extreme hardship determination may impact some immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. Yet, the exact number of such immediate relatives is unknown. DHS welcomes any public comments on the population projections used in this analysis.

    6. Costs and Benefits

    To summarize, aliens who are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and who are currently eligible for provisional waivers would continue to apply for such waivers in the absence of this rule. At the time of the 2013 rule, DHS was unable to predict the likely application volumes of Form I-601A with precision. With additional information from DOS and the experience since the provisional waiver's inception, DHS can reasonably project the provisional waiver application rate from currently eligible immediate relatives who trigger unlawful presence bars. In fact, DHS estimates that USCIS would receive 467,000 provisional waiver applications from currently eligible immediate relatives of U.S. citizens across 10 years of analysis (see Table 5). Table 5 represents the baseline of immediate relatives of U.S. citizens that would trigger unlawful presence bars, and those that would likely apply for a provisional waiver based on recent application rates. This proposed rule would expand eligibility for the provisional waiver process to include individuals who fall within all other immigrant visa classifications, are statutorily eligible to apply for a waiver of the 3- or 10-year unlawful presence bar, are present in the United States, and otherwise meet the requirements of the provisional waiver process.40 As illustrated in Table 6, DHS estimates that provisional waiver applications from the population of newly eligible non-immediate relative immigrants would measure nearly 112,000 across a 10-year period of analysis. As previously mentioned, this proposed rule could also impact some immediate relatives of U.S. citizens by amending the definition of qualifying relatives for purposes of extreme hardship determinations, but the exact number is unknown. Accordingly, DHS analyzes the costs and benefits of this rule to the population of newly eligible non-immediate relatives expected to apply for provisional waivers (see Table 6, “Total Form I-601A Receipts—All Other Immigrants” column), while qualitatively discussing the rule's potential impact on immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who would now qualify for provisional waivers under this proposed rule.

    40 “All other immigrant visa applicants” encompass the following immigrant visa categories: Family-sponsored, employment-based, diversity, and certain special immigrants.

    Costs

    Applicants from the expanded population of aliens who are newly eligible to apply for a provisional waiver under this proposed rule would bear the costs of this regulation. Certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens already eligible to apply for a provisional waiver would not incur costs from this rule.41 Although the waiver expansion may require USCIS to expend resources on additional adjudication personnel, associated equipment (e.g., computers and telephones), and related occupancy demands, USCIS expects these costs to be offset by the additional fee revenue collected from the $585 Form I-601A filing fee and the $85 biometric services fee.42 Accordingly, DHS does not believe that this rule would impose additional net costs on the agency.

    41See 78 FR 536 (Jan. 3, 2013).

    42 Fee information gathered from USCIS, “I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver,” available at http://www.uscis.gov/i-601a (last updated Mar. 3, 2015). The $585 Form I-601A filing fee and the $85 biometric services fee are subject to change through the normal fee review cycle and any subsequent rulemaking issued by USCIS. USCIS will consider the impact of the provisional waiver and biometrics process workflows and resource requirements as a normal part of its biennial fee review. The biennial fee review determines if fees for immigration benefits are sufficient in light of resource needs and filing trends. See INA section 286(m), 8 U.S.C. 1356(m).

    To receive a provisional waiver under this rule, eligible aliens must first complete a Form I-601A and submit it to USCIS with its $585 filing fee and $85 biometric services fee. DHS estimates the time burden of completing Form I-601A to be 1.5 hours, which translates to a time, or opportunity, cost of $15.89 per application.43 DHS calculates the Form I-601A application's opportunity cost to aliens by first multiplying the current Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour by 1.46 to account for the full cost of employee benefits (such as paid leave, insurance, and retirement), which results in a time value of $10.59 per hour.44 Then, DHS multiplies the $10.59 hourly time value by the current 1.5-hour Form I-601A completion time burden to determine the opportunity cost for aliens to complete Form I-601A ($15.89). DHS recognizes that the aliens impacted by the rule are generally unlawfully present and not eligible to work; however, consistent with other DHS rulemakings, DHS uses wage rates as a mechanism to estimate the opportunity costs to aliens associated with completing this rule's required application and biometrics collection. The cost for aliens to initially file a Form I-601A, including only the $585 filing fee and opportunity cost, equals $600.89.

    43See 79 FR 36543 (June 27, 2014) for the estimated Form I-601A completion time burden.

    44 Federal minimum wage information gathered from the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, available at http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/wages/minimumwage.htm (last accessed Mar. 5, 2015). Employer benefits adjustment information gathered from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Economic News Release, Table 1. Employer costs per hour worked for employee compensation and costs as a percent of total compensation: Civilian workers, by major occupational and industry group, September 2014.” Dec. 10, 2015, available at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecec.htm.

    After USCIS receives an alien's completed Form I-601A and its filing and biometric services fees, the agency sends the alien a notice scheduling him or her to visit a USCIS Application Support Center (ASC) for biometrics collection. Along with an $85 biometric services fee, the applicant would incur the following costs to comply with the provisional waiver's biometrics submission requirement: the opportunity cost of traveling to an ASC, the opportunity cost of submitting his or her biometrics, and the mileage cost of traveling to an ASC. While travel times and distances vary, DHS estimates that an applicant's average roundtrip distance to an ASC is 50 miles, and that the average time for that trip is 2.5 hours. DHS estimates that an alien waits an average of 1.17 hours for service and to have his or her biometrics collected at an ASC, adding up to a total biometrics-related time burden of 3.67 hours.45 By applying the $10.59 hourly time value for aliens to the total biometrics-related time burden, DHS finds that the opportunity cost for a provisional waiver applicant to travel to and from an ASC, and to submit biometrics, would total $38.87.46 In addition to the opportunity cost of providing biometrics, provisional waiver applicants would experience travel costs related to biometrics collection. The cost of such travel would equal $28.75 per trip, based on the 50-mile roundtrip distance to an ASC and the General Services Administration's (GSA) travel rate of $0.575 per mile.47 DHS assumes that each alien would travel independently to an ASC to submit his or her biometrics, meaning that this rule would impose a time cost on each of these applicants. Adding the fee, opportunity, and travel costs of biometrics collection together, DHS estimates that the provisional waiver's requirement to submit biometrics would cost a total of $152.62 per Form I-601A filing.

    45See 79 FR 36543 (June 27, 2014) for Form I-601A biometrics collection time burden.

    46 3.67 hours multiplied by $10.59 per hour equals $38.87.

    47 50 miles multiplied by $0.575 per mile equals $28.75. See 79 FR 78437 (Dec. 30, 2014) for GSA mileage rate.

    Once all of the aforementioned fee, time, and travel costs to comply with the provisional waiver's requirements are accounted for, DHS finds that each Form I-601A filing would cost an alien $753.51. Table 7 shows that the overall cost of this rule to the expanded population of provisional waiver applicants (namely, non-immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and LPRs) would measure $84.5 million (undiscounted) over the 10-year period of analysis. DHS calculates this rule's total cost to applicants by multiplying the individual cost of completing the provisional waiver application requirements ($753.51) by the number of newly eligible aliens projected to apply for provisional waivers each year following the implementation of this rule (listed in Table 6). In present value terms, this rule would cost newly eligible non-immediate relative waiver applicants $58.5 million to $71.6 million across a 10-year period, depending on the discount rate applied (see Table 7). Because this rule would not generate any net costs to USCIS, Table 7 also illustrates the total cost of this rule.

    Table 7—Total Cost of This Rule to Non-Immediate Relative Applicants Fiscal year Total waiver cost to
  • applicants
  • Year 1 $7,539,621 Year 2 7,727,999 Year 3 7,921,651 Year 4 8,119,824 Year 5 8,322,518 Year 6 8,530,487 Year 7 8,743,730 Year 8 8,962,248 Year 9 9,186,794 Year 10 9,415,861 10-Year Total: Undiscounted 84,470,732 10-Year Total: Present Value, Discounted at 3 percent 71,622,948 10-Year Total: Present Value, Discounted at 7 percent 58,520,192 Notes: Estimates may not sum to total due to rounding. The cost estimates in this table are contingent upon Form I-601A filing (or receipt) projections as well as the discount rates applied.

    DHS welcomes any public comments on the costs of this proposed rule.

    Benefits

    The benefits of this proposed rule are largely the result of streamlining the immigrant visa process for an expanded population of aliens who are inadmissible to the United States solely due to unlawful presence. For those aliens who are newly eligible for a provisional waiver and their U.S. citizen or LPR family members, the primary benefits of this rule are its reduced separation time among family members during the immigrant visa process for aliens granted waivers and improved predictability of the immigrant visa process. Instead of attending multiple immigrant visa interviews and waiting abroad while USCIS adjudicates a waiver application as required under the Form I-601 waiver process, the provisional waiver process allows aliens to file a provisional waiver application and remain in the United States while it is adjudicated by USCIS. This process generally allows eligible provisional waiver applicants to stay with their family members in the United States while awaiting adjudication and to receive advance notice of USCIS's decision on their waiver application prior to leaving the United States for their immigrant visa interview abroad. Although DHS cannot estimate with precision the exact amount of separation time families would save through this rule, DHS estimates that some newly eligible provisional waiver applicants and their U.S. citizen or LPR family members could experience several months of reduced separation time based on the average adjudication time for Form I-601 waiver applications.48 In addition to the humanitarian and emotional benefits derived from reduced separation of families, DHS anticipates that the shortened periods of family separation resulting from this rule may lessen the financial burden U.S. citizens and LPRs face to support their relatives while they remain outside of the country. Because of data limitations, however, DHS cannot predict the exact financial impact of this change.

    48 The average adjudication time of Form I-601 waivers is currently five months based on information gathered from USCIS's Nebraska Service Center on March 3, 2015. Updated processing times for Form I-601 are also posted on the USCIS Web site at: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do.

    Due to the unique nature of the Diversity Visa program, aliens seeking an immigrant visa through that program and wishing to use the provisional waiver process are likely to enjoy fewer overall benefits from this rule than other non-immediate relative immigrant visa and waiver applicants. Although an alien may be selected to participate in the Diversity Visa program, he or she may not ultimately receive an immigrant visa due to visa unavailability. Under this proposed rule, Diversity Visa selectees and their derivatives who wish to use the provisional waiver process may file a waiver application in advance of knowing whether their immigrant visa will ultimately be available to them. For those provisional waiver applicants pursuing the Diversity Visa track, the risk of completing the provisional waiver process without being issued a visa is higher compared to applicants of other immigrant visa categories filing Form I-601A.49 If a Diversity Visa program selectee's provisional waiver is approved but he or she is not ultimately issued an immigrant visa, he or she would incur the costs but not the benefits associated with a provisional waiver.

    49 There is a statutory maximum of only 55,000 diversity visas authorized for allocation each fiscal year, but this number is reduced by up to 5,000 visas set aside exclusively for use under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act. See NACARA section 203(d), as amended. DOS regularly selects more than 50,000 entrants to proceed on to the next step for diversity visa processing to ensure that all of the 50,000 diversity visas are allotted. Source: U.S. Department of State, Office of the Spokesman. Special Briefing: Senior State Department Official on the Diversity Visa Program. May 13, 2011, available at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/05/166811.htm.

    Although the main benefits of this rule would center on the expanded group of aliens newly eligible to apply for provisional waivers, certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens may also experience benefits from this rule. Through this rulemaking, DHS proposes to allow LPR spouses and parents, in addition to currently eligible U.S. citizen spouses and parents, to serve as qualifying relatives for the provisional waiver's extreme hardship determination. This change may allow some immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (included in Table 5's inadmissible immediate relative estimates) to now qualify for a provisional waiver, although the exact number of individuals who would benefit from this change is unknown due to data limitations.

    Based on USCIS and DOS efficiencies realized as a result of the current provisional waiver process, DHS believes that this rule could provide additional Federal Government efficiencies through its expansion to a larger population of aliens. As previously described in the 2013 rule, the provisional waiver process allows USCIS to communicate to DOS the status of an unlawful presence inadmissibility waiver prior to a waiver applicant's immigrant visa interview abroad. Such early communication eliminates the current need for USCIS and DOS to transfer cases repeatedly between the two agencies when adjudicating an immigrant visa application and Form I-601 waiver application.50 Through the provisional waiver process, DOS receives advance notification from USCIS of the discretionary decision to provisionally waive the unlawful presence inadmissibility bar, which allows for better allocation of valuable agency resources like time, storage space, and human capital.

    50See 78 FR 536 (Jan. 3, 2013).

    DHS welcomes any public comments on the benefits of this proposed rule.

    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, Public Law 104-121 (Mar. 29, 1996), requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small businesses, small governmental jurisdictions, and small organizations during the development of their rules. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. DHS has reviewed this regulation in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act and certifies that this rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination is that this rule directly regulates individuals, who are not, for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, within the definition of small entities established by 5 U.S.C. 601(6).

    E. Executive Order 13132

    This proposed rule would not have substantial direct effects 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. Therefore, in accordance with section 6 of Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement.

    F. Executive Order 12988 Civil Justice Reform

    Section 3(c) of Executive Order 12988 requires Executive agencies to review regulations in light of applicable standards in section 3(a) and section 3(b) to determine whether they are met or it is unreasonable to meet one or more of them. DHS has completed the required review and determined that, to the extent permitted by law, this rule meets the relevant standards of Executive Order 12988.

    G. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, Departments are required to submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), for review and approval, any reporting requirements inherent in a rule. This rule proposes a revision to the Application for a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, Form I-601A, OMB Control Number 1615-0123. USCIS estimates that approximately 10,258 new respondents would file applications for provisional waivers as a result of the changes proposed by this rule.

    DHS is requesting comments on the revisions it is proposing to make to this information collection until September 21, 2015.

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the information collection notice is published in the Federal Register to obtain comments regarding the nature of the information collection, the categories of respondents, the estimated burden (i.e., the time, effort, and resources used by the respondents to respond), the estimated cost to the respondent, and the actual information collection instruments. When submitting comments on this information collection, your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection: Revision of a Currently Approved Collection.

    (2) Title of the Form/Collection: Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver.

    (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the DHS sponsoring the collection: I-601A; USCIS.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Individuals or households: Individuals who: (a) Are immigrant visa applicants, including: (1) Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, (2) aliens seeking to immigrate under a family-sponsored, employment-based, or special immigrant visa category, and (3) Diversity Visa selectees and derivatives, and (b) are applying from within the United States for a provisional waiver under INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(v) before obtaining an immigrant visa abroad.

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: The estimated total number of respondents for the information collection I-601A is 52,965 and the estimated hour burden per response is 1.5 hours; and 52,965 respondents providing biometrics at 1.17 hours.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total estimated annual hour burden associated with this collection is 141,417 hours.

    (7) An estimate of the total public burden (in cost) associated with the collection: The estimated total annual cost burden associated with this collection of information is $1,497,601.

    List of Subjects 8 CFR Part 103

    Administrative practice and procedure, Authority delegations (Government agencies), Freedom of information, Privacy, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Surety bonds.

    8 CFR Part 212

    Administrative practice and procedure, Aliens, Immigration, Passports and visas, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Accordingly, DHS proposes to amend chapter I of title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 103—IMMIGRATION BENEFITS; BIOMETRIC REQUIREMENTS; AVAILABILITY OF RECORDS 1. The authority citation for part 103 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301, 552, 552a; 8 U.S.C. 1101, 1103, 1304, 1356; 31 U.S.C. 9701; Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135; 6 U.S.C. 1 et seq.; E.O. 12356, 47 FR 14874, 15557, 3 CFR, 1982 Comp., p. 166; 8 CFR part 2; Pub. L. 112-54.

    § 103.2 [Amended]
    2. Section 103.2 is amended by: a. In paragraphs (a)(2) and (3) and (b)(6) and (10) by removing “an benefit request” and adding in its place “a benefit request”, wherever it appears; and b. In paragraph (b)(12) by removing “An benefit request” and adding in its place “A benefit request”, wherever it appears. PART 212—DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS; NONIMMIGRANTS; WAIVERS; ADMISSION OF CERTAIN INADMISSIBLE ALIENS; PAROLE 3. The authority citation for part 212 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    8 U.S.C. 1101 and note, 1102, 1103, 1182 and note, 1184, 1187, 1223, 1225, 1226, 1227, 1255, 1359; 8 U.S.C. 1185 note (section 7209 of Pub. L. 108-458); 8 CFR part 2. Section 212.1(q) also issued under section 702, Public Law 110-229, 122 Stat. 754, 854.

    4. Amend § 212.7 by: a. Removing the heading for paragraph (a); b. Revising paragraphs (e) heading and introductory text and (e)(3)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), and (vi); c. Remove paragraph (e)(3)(vii); and d. Revising paragraphs (e)(4)(iii), (iv), (v), and (vi), (e)(5)(i), (e)(5)(ii)(E), (F), and (G), (e)(6)(ii), (e)(7), (8), (9), and (10), (e)(12)(i)(C), (e)(12)(ii), and (e)(14)(i), (iii), and (iv).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 212.7 Waivers of certain grounds of inadmissibility.

    (e) Provisional unlawful presence waivers of inadmissibility. The provisions of this paragraph (e) apply to certain aliens who are pursuing consular immigrant visa processing.

    (3) * * *

    (i) Is present in the United States at the time of filing the application for a provisional unlawful presence waiver;

    (ii) Provides biometrics to USCIS at a location in the United States designated by USCIS;

    (iii) Upon departure, would be inadmissible only under section 212(a)(9)(B)(i) of the Act at the time of the immigrant visa interview;

    (iv) Has a case pending with the Department of State, based on:

    (A) An approved immigrant visa petition, for which the Department of State immigrant visa processing fee has been paid; or

    (B) Selection by the Department of State to participate in the Diversity Visa Program under section 203(c) of the Act for the fiscal year for which the alien registered;

    (v) Will depart from the United States to obtain the immigrant visa; and

    (vi) Meets the requirements for a waiver provided in section 212(a)(9)(B)(v) of the Act.

    (4) * * *

    (iii) The alien does not have a case pending with the Department of State, based on:

    (A) An approved immigrant visa petition, for which the Department of State immigrant visa processing fee has been paid; or

    (B) Selection by the Department of State to participate in the Diversity Visa program under section 203(c) of the Act for the fiscal year for which the alien registered;

    (iv) The Department of State initially acted to schedule the immigrant visa interview:

    (A) Before January 3, 2013, for an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen with an approved immediate relative petition on which a provisional unlawful presence waiver is based, even if the interview was cancelled or rescheduled on or after January 3, 2013; or

    (B) For all other immigrant visa applicants, before [EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE], for the approved immigrant visa petition or the Diversity Visa program application on which a provisional unlawful presence waiver is based, even if the interview was cancelled or rescheduled on or after [EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE];

    (v) The alien is in removal proceedings, unless the removal proceedings are administratively closed and have not been recalendared at the time of filing the application for a provisional unlawful presence waiver;

    (vi) The alien is subject to a final order of removal issued under section 217, 235, 238, or 240 of the Act or a final order of exclusion or deportation under former section 236 or 242 of the Act (pre-April 1, 1997), or any other provision of law (including an in absentia removal order under section 240(b)(5) of the Act);

    (5) Filing. (i) An application for a provisional unlawful presence waiver of the unlawful presence inadmissibility bars under section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I) or (II) of the Act, including an application by an alien in removal proceedings that are administratively closed and have not been recalendared at the time of filing the application for a provisional unlawful presence waiver, must be filed in accordance with 8 CFR part 103 and on the form designated by USCIS. The prescribed fee under 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1) and supporting documentation must be submitted in accordance with the form instructions.

    (ii) * * *

    (E) Does not include evidence of:

    (1) An approved immigrant visa petition;

    (2) Selection by the Department of State to participate in the Diversity Visa Program under section 203(c) of the Act for the fiscal year for which the alien registered; or

    (3) Eligibility as a derivative beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition or of an alien selected for participation in the Diversity Visa Program as provided in this section and outlined in section 203(d) of the Act.

    (F) Fails to include documentation evidencing:

    (1) That the alien has paid the immigrant visa processing fee to the Department of State for the immigrant visa application upon which the alien's approved immigrant visa petition is based; or

    (2) In the case of a Diversity immigrant, that the Department of State selected the alien to participate in the Diversity Visa Program for the fiscal year for which the alien registered; or

    (G) Has indicated on a provisional unlawful presence waiver application that the Department of State initially acted to schedule the immigrant visa interview:

    (1) Before January 3, 2013, for an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen with an approved immediate relative petition on which a provisional unlawful presence waiver is based, even if the interview was cancelled or rescheduled on or after January 3, 2013; or

    (2) For all other immigrant visa applicants, before [EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE], for the approved immigrant visa petition or the Diversity Visa Program application upon which a provisional unlawful presence waiver is based, even if the interview was cancelled or rescheduled on or after [EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE].

    (6) * * *

    (ii) Failure to appear for biometric services. If an alien fails to appear for a biometric services appointment or fails to provide biometrics in the United States as directed by USCIS, a provisional unlawful presence waiver application will be considered abandoned and denied under 8 CFR 103.2(b)(13). The alien may not appeal or file a motion to reopen or reconsider an abandonment denial under 8 CFR 103.5.

    (7) Burden and standard of proof. The alien has the burden to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, eligibility for a provisional unlawful presence waiver as described in this paragraph, and under section 212(a)(9)(B)(v) of the Act, including that the alien merits a favorable exercise of discretion.

    (8) Adjudication. USCIS will adjudicate a provisional unlawful presence waiver application in accordance with this paragraph and section 212(a)(9)(B)(v) of the Act. If USCIS finds that the alien is not eligible for a provisional unlawful presence waiver, or if USCIS determines in its discretion that a waiver is not warranted, USCIS will deny the waiver application. Notwithstanding 8 CFR 103.2(b)(16), USCIS may deny an application for a provisional unlawful presence waiver without prior issuance of a request for evidence or notice of intent to deny.

    (9) Notice of decision. USCIS will notify the alien and the alien's attorney of record or accredited representative of the decision in accordance with 8 CFR 103.2(b)(19). USCIS may notify the Department of State of the denial of an application for a provisional unlawful presence waiver. A denial is without prejudice to the alien's filing another provisional unlawful presence waiver application under this paragraph (e), provided the alien meets all of the requirements in this part, including that the alien's case must be pending with the Department of State. An alien also may elect to file a waiver application under paragraph (a)(1) of this section after departing the United States, appearing for his or her immigrant visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or consulate abroad, and after the Department of State determines the alien's admissibility and eligibility for an immigrant visa. Accordingly, denial of an application for a provisional unlawful presence waiver is not a final agency action for purposes of section 10(c) of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 704.

    (10) Withdrawal of waiver applications. An alien may withdraw his or her application for a provisional unlawful presence waiver at any time before USCIS makes a final decision. Once the case is withdrawn, USCIS will close the case and notify the alien and his or her attorney or accredited representative. The alien may file a new application for a provisional unlawful presence waiver, in accordance with the form instructions and required fees, provided that the alien meets all of the requirements included in this paragraph (e).

    (12) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (C) Is determined to be otherwise eligible for an immigrant visa by the Department of State in light of the approved provisional unlawful presence waiver.

    (ii) Waives the alien's inadmissibility under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Act only for purposes of the application for an immigrant visa and admission to the United States as an immigrant based on the approved immigrant visa petition upon which a provisional unlawful presence waiver application is based or selection by the Department of State to participate in the Diversity Visa Program under section 203(c) of the Act for the fiscal year for which the alien registered, with such selection being the basis for the alien's provisional unlawful presence waiver application;

    (14) * * *

    (i) The Department of State determines at the time of the immigrant visa interview that the alien is ineligible to receive an immigrant visa for any reason other than under section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I) or (II) of the Act;

    (iii) The immigrant visa registration is terminated in accordance with section 203(g) of the Act, and has not been reinstated in accordance with section 203(g) of the Act; or

    (iv) The alien, at any time before or after approval of a provisional unlawful presence waiver or before an immigrant visa is issued, reenters or attempts to reenter the United States without being inspected and admitted or paroled.

    Jeh Charles Johnson, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17794 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 40 [Docket No. RM15-14-000] Revised Critical Infrastructure Protection Reliability Standards AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) proposes to approve seven critical infrastructure protection (CIP) Reliability Standards: CIP-003-6 (Security Management Controls), CIP-004-6 (Personnel and Training), CIP-006-6 (Physical Security of BES Cyber Systems), CIP-007-6 (Systems Security Management), CIP-009-6 (Recovery Plans for BES Cyber Systems), CIP-010-2 (Configuration Change Management and Vulnerability Assessments), and CIP-011-2 (Information Protection). The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) submitted the proposed Reliability Standards in response to the Commission's Order No. 791. The proposed Reliability Standards address the cyber security of the bulk electric system and improve upon the current Commission-approved CIP Reliability Standards. In addition, the Commission proposes to direct NERC to develop certain modifications to Reliability Standard CIP-006-6 and to develop requirements addressing supply chain management.

    DATES:

    Comments are due September 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, identified by docket number, may be filed in the following ways:

    • Electronic Filing through http://www.ferc.gov. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format.

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Those unable to file electronically may mail or hand-deliver comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Comment Procedures Section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Daniel Phillips (Technical Information), Office of Electric Reliability, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6387, [email protected] Kevin Ryan (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6840 [email protected] SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    1. Pursuant to section 215 of the Federal Power Act (FPA),1 the Commission proposes to approve seven critical infrastructure protection (CIP) Reliability Standards: CIP-003-6 (Security Management Controls), CIP-004-6 (Personnel and Training), CIP-006-6 (Physical Security of BES Cyber Systems), CIP-007-6 (Systems Security Management), CIP-009-6 (Recovery Plans for BES Cyber Systems), CIP-010-2 (Configuration Change Management and Vulnerability Assessments), and CIP-011-2 (Information Protection). The North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the Commission-certified Electric Reliability Organization (ERO), submitted the proposed Reliability Standards in response to Order No. 791.2 The Commission also proposes to approve NERC's proposed implementation plan and violation risk factor and violation severity level assignments. In addition, we propose to approve NERC's proposed new or revised definitions for inclusion in the NERC Glossary of Terms Used in Reliability Standards (NERC Glossary). Further, the Commission proposes to approve the retirement of Reliability Standards CIP-003-5, CIP-004-5.1, CIP-006-5, CIP-007-5, CIP-009-5, CIP-010-1, and CIP-011-1.

    1 16 U.S.C. 824o.

    2Version 5 Critical Infrastructure Protection Reliability Standards, Order No. 791, 78 FR 72,755 (Dec. 3, 2013), 145 FERC ¶ 61,160 (2013), order on clarification and reh'g, Order No. 791-A, 146 FERC ¶ 61,188 (2014).

    2. The proposed Reliability Standards are designed to mitigate the cybersecurity risks to bulk electric system facilities, systems, and equipment, which, if destroyed, degraded, or otherwise rendered unavailable as a result of a cybersecurity incident, would affect the reliable operation of the Bulk-Power System.3 As discussed below, we believe that the proposed CIP Reliability Standards are just and reasonable and address the directives in Order No. 791 by: (1) Eliminating the “identify, assess, and correct” language in 17 of the CIP version 5 Standard requirements; (2) providing enhanced security controls for Low Impact assets; (3) providing controls to address the risks posed by transient electronic devices (e.g., thumb drives and laptop computers); and (4) addressing in an equally effective and efficient manner the need for a NERC Glossary definition for the term “communication networks.” Accordingly, we propose to approve the proposed CIP Reliability Standards because they improve the base-line cybersecurity posture of applicable entities compared to the current Commission-approved CIP Reliability Standards.

    3See NERC Petition at 3.

    3. In addition, pursuant to FPA section 215(d)(5), the Commission proposes to direct NERC to develop certain modifications to Reliability Standard CIP-006-6. Specifically, while proposed CIP-006-6 would require protections for communication networks among a limited group of bulk electric system Control Centers, we propose to direct that NERC modify Reliability Standard CIP-006-6 to require protections for communication network components and data communicated between all bulk electric system Control Centers. In addition, we seek comment on the sufficiency of the security controls incorporated in the current CIP Reliability Standards regarding remote access used in relation to bulk electric system communications. Finally, as discussed in more detail below, we propose to direct NERC to develop requirements relating to supply chain management for industrial control system hardware, software, and services.

    I. Background A. Section 215 and Mandatory Reliability Standards

    4. Section 215 of the FPA requires a Commission-certified ERO to develop mandatory and enforceable Reliability Standards, subject to Commission review and approval. Reliability Standards may be enforced by the ERO, subject to Commission oversight, or by the Commission independently.4 Pursuant to section 215 of the FPA, the Commission established a process to select and certify an ERO,5 and subsequently certified NERC.6

    4 16 U.S.C. 824o(e).

    5Rules Concerning Certification of the Electric Reliability Organization; and Procedures for the Establishment, Approval, and Enforcement of Electric Reliability Standards, Order No. 672, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,204, order on reh'g, Order No. 672-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,212 (2006).

    6North American Electric Reliability Corp., 116 FERC ¶ 61,062, order on reh'g and compliance, 117 FERC ¶ 61,126 (2006), aff'd sub nom. Alcoa, Inc. v. FERC, 564 F.3d 1342 (D.C. Cir. 2009).

    B. Order No. 791

    5. On November 22, 2013, in Order No. 791, the Commission approved the CIP version 5 Standards (Reliability Standards CIP-002-5 through CIP-009-5, and CIP-010-1 and CIP-011-1).7 The Commission determined that the CIP version 5 Standards represented an improvement over prior iterations of the CIP Reliability Standards because, inter alia, they included a revised BES Cyber Asset categorization methodology that incorporated mandatory protections for all High, Medium, and Low Impact BES Cyber Assets, and because several new security controls improved the security posture of responsible entities.8 In addition, pursuant to section 215(d)(5) of the FPA, the Commission directed NERC to: (1) Remove the “identify, assess, and correct” language in 17 of the CIP Standard requirements; (2) develop enhanced security controls for Low Impact assets; (3) develop controls to protect transient electronic devices (e.g., thumb drives and laptop computers); (4) create a NERC Glossary definition for the term “communication networks,” and develop new or modified Reliability Standards to protect the nonprogrammable components of communications networks.

    7 Order No. 791, 145 FERC ¶ 61,160 at P 41.

    8Id.

    6. In addition, the Commission directed NERC to conduct a survey of Cyber Assets that are included or excluded under the new BES Cyber Asset definition and submit an informational filing within one year.9 Finally, the NOPR directed Commission staff to convene a technical conference to examine the technical issues concerning communication security, remote access, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Risk Management Framework.10

    9Id. PP 76, 108, 136, 150.

    10Id. P 225.

    C. Informational Filing

    7. On February 3, 2015, NERC submitted an informational filing assessing the results of a survey conducted to identify the scope of assets subject to the definition of the term BES Cyber Asset as it is applied in the CIP version 5 Standards. NERC states that the results of the survey indicate that, in general, the application of the BES Cyber Asset definition, and the 15 minute parameter in particular, resulted in the identification of BES Cyber Assets consistent with the language and intent of the CIP version 5 Standards.11 NERC maintained that the survey results demonstrate that the definition of BES Cyber Asset provides a sound basis for identifying the types of Cyber Assets that should be subject to the cyber security protections required by the CIP Reliability Standards.12

    11See NERC Informational Filing, Docket No. RM13-5-000, at 3 (filed Feb. 3, 2015).

    12Id.

    D. April 29, 2014 Technical Conference

    8. On April 29, 2014, a staff-led technical conference was held pursuant to a directive in Order No. 791.13 The topics discussed at the technical conference included: (1) The adequacy of the approved CIP version 5 Standards' protections for Bulk-Power System data being transmitted over data networks; (2) whether additional security controls are needed to protect Bulk-Power System communications networks, including remote systems access; and (3) the functional differences between the respective methods utilized for the identification, categorization, and specification of appropriate levels of protection for cyber assets using the CIP version 5 Standards as compared with those employed within the NIST Cybersecurity Framework.

    13 Order No. 791, 145 FERC ¶ 61,160 at P 225.

    9. With respect to the current state of protection for communications networks under the CIP version 5 Standards, some panelists opined that the CIP version 5 Standards lack controls to: (1) Protect communications outside of the Electronic Security Perimeter; (2) protect data in motion; (3) authenticate messages and commands to BES Cyber Assets; and (4) protect systems or communications using non routable protocols. On the subject of the adequacy of protections for Bulk-Power System data under the CIP version 5 Standards, several panelists stated that stronger measures, such as encryption, would enhance the overall protection for Bulk-Power System communications. However, other panelists also stated that encryption was not a universal solution because it could cause unacceptable latency (i.e., time delay in communications) in certain applications.

    10. Regarding the need for additional security controls for Bulk-Power System communications, panelists identified a number of worthwhile steps that could be explored to enhance remote access. Suggestions included the adoption of additional physical security controls, integrity checks, encryption (in certain cases), out of bounds detection for communications links, and coordination with vendors to enhance risk management. In addition, certain panelists stated their position that the use of intermediate systems, alone, is not sufficient to address remote access concerns.14 Several panelists identified suggestions that could be explored to enhance protections for remote access, including the addition of logical or physical controls to provide additional network segmentation behind the intermediate systems.15

    14 An Intermediate System is defined as “A Cyber Asset or collection of Cyber Assets performing access control to restrict Interactive Remote Access to only authorized users. The Intermediate System must not be located inside the Electronic Security Perimeter.” NERC Glossary at 46 (April 29, 2015).

    15See Transcript at pp. 176-177 (Kevin Perry speaking), 177-178 (Richard Kinas speaking), 178 (Dr. Andrew Wright speaking), 179 (Andrew Ginter speaking).

    E. NERC Petition

    11. On February 13, 2015, NERC submitted a petition seeking approval of Reliability Standards CIP-003-6, CIP-004-6, CIP-006-6, CIP-007-6, CIP-009-6, CIP-010-2, and CIP-011-2, as well as the proposed implementation plan,16 associated violation risk factor and violation severity level assignments, proposed new or revised definitions,17 and retirement of Reliability Standards CIP-003-5, CIP-004-5.1, CIP-006-5, CIP-007-5, CIP-009-5, CIP-010-1, and CIP-011-1.18 NERC states that the proposed Reliability Standards are just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest because they satisfy the factors set forth in Order No. 672 that the Commission applies when reviewing a proposed Reliability Standard.19 NERC maintains that the proposed Reliability Standards “improve the cybersecurity protections required by the CIP Reliability Standards[.]” 20

    16 The proposed implementation plan is designed to match the effective dates of the proposed Reliability Standards with the effective dates of the prior versions of those Reliability Standards under the implementation plan of the CIP version 5 Standards.

    17 The six new or revised definitions proposed for inclusion in the NERC Glossary are: (1) BES Cyber Asset; (2) Protected Cyber Asset; (3) Low Impact Electronic Access Point; (4) Low Impact External Routable Connectivity; (5) Removable Media; and (6) Transient Cyber Asset.

    18 The proposed Reliability Standards are available on the Commission's eLibrary document retrieval system in Docket No. RM15-14-000 and on the NERC Web site, www.nerc.com.

    19See NERC Petition at 13 and Exhibit C (citing Order No. 672, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,204 at PP 323-335).

    20 NERC Petition at 4.

    12. NERC avers that the proposed CIP Reliability Standards satisfy the Commission directives in Order No. 791. Specifically, NERC states that the proposed Reliability Standards remove the “identify, assess, and correct” language, which represents the Commission's preferred approach to addressing the underlying directive.21 In addition, NERC states that the proposed Reliability Standards address the Commission's directive regarding a lack of specific controls or objective criteria for Low Impact BES Cyber Systems by requiring responsible entities “to implement cybersecurity plans for assets containing Low Impact BES Cyber Systems to meet specific security objectives relating to: (i) Cybersecurity awareness; (ii) physical security controls; (iii) electronic access controls; and (iv) Cyber Security Incident response.” 22

    21Id. at 4, 15.

    22Id. at 5.

    13. With regard to the Commission's directive that NERC develop specific controls to protect transient electronic devices (e.g., thumb drives and laptop computers), NERC explains that the proposed Reliability Standards require responsible entities “to implement controls to protect transient devices connected to their high impact and medium impact BES Cyber Systems and associated [Protected Cyber Assets].” 23 In addition, NERC states that the proposed Reliability Standards address the protection of communication networks “by requiring entities to implement security controls for nonprogrammable components of communication networks at Control Centers with high or medium impact BES Cyber Systems.” 24 Finally, NERC explains that it has not proposed a definition of the term “communication network” because the term is not used in the CIP Reliability Standards. Additionally, NERC states that “any proposed definition would need to be sufficiently broad to encompass all components in a communication network as they exist now and in the future.” 25 NERC concludes that the proposed Reliability Standards “meet the ultimate security objective of protecting communication networks (both programmable and nonprogrammable communication network components).” 26

    23Id. at 6.

    24Id. at 8.

    25Id. at 51-52.

    26Id. at 52.

    14. Accordingly, NERC requests that the Commission approve the proposed Reliability Standards, the proposed implementation plan, the associated violation risk factor and violation severity level assignments, and the proposed new and revised definitions. NERC requests an effective date for the Reliability Standards of the later of April 1, 2016 or the first day of the first calendar quarter that is three months after the effective date of the Commission's order approving the proposed Reliability Standard, although NERC proposes that responsible entities will not have to comply with the requirements applicable to Low Impact BES Cyber Systems (CIP-003-6, Requirement R1, Part 1.2 and Requirement R2) until April 1, 2017.

    II. Discussion

    15. Pursuant to section 215(d)(2) of the FPA, we propose to approve Reliability Standards CIP-003-6, CIP-004-6, CIP-006-6, CIP-007-6, CIP-009-6, CIP-010-2 and CIP-011-2 as just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest. In addition, pursuant to FPA section 215(d)(5), we propose to direct NERC to develop certain modifications to Reliability Standard CIP-006-6 and to develop requirements addressing supply chain management.

    16. The proposed Reliability Standards address the Commission's directives from Order No. 791 and are an improvement over the current Commission-approved CIP Reliability Standards. Specifically, we propose to approve the removal of the “identify, assess, and correct” language in certain requirements of the CIP version 5 Standards. We also propose to approve NERC's submission regarding the protection of Low Impact BES Cyber Systems. With regard to the directive to create a NERC Glossary definition for the term “communication networks,” we propose to approve NERC's proposal as an equally effective and efficient method to achieve the reliability goal underlying that directive in Order No. 791.

    17. The technical controls in proposed Reliability Standard CIP-006-6, which addresses the protection of non-programmable components of communication networks (i.e., network cabling and switches), are generally consistent with the type of controls cited by the Commission in Order No. 791.27 We are concerned, however, that the limited applicability of the proposed standard, i.e., BES Cyber Assets within the same Electronic Security Perimeter but located outside of a Physical Security Perimeter, results in a reliability gap. For the reasons discussed below, we propose to direct that NERC modify Reliability Standard CIP-006-6 to require physical or logical protections for communication network components between all bulk electric system Control Centers.

    27See Order No. 791, 145 FERC ¶ 61,160 at P 149.

    18. Separately, we are concerned that changes in the bulk electric system cyber threat landscape, identified through recent malware campaigns targeting supply chain vendors, have highlighted a gap in the protections under the CIP Reliability Standards. These malware campaigns represent a new type of threat to the reliability of the bulk electric system where malicious code can infect the software of industrial control systems used by responsible entities. Therefore, we propose to direct NERC to develop a new Reliability Standard or modified Reliability Standard to provide security controls for supply chain management for industrial control system hardware, software, and services associated with bulk electric system operations.

    19. We also propose to approve the new or revised definitions for inclusion in the NERC Glossary, and seek comment on the proposed definition for Low Impact External Routable Connectivity. Depending on the comments received, we may direct NERC to develop modifications to this definition to eliminate possible ambiguities and ensure that BES Cyber Assets receive adequate protection.

    20. In addition, we propose to accept 19 violation risk factor and violation severity level assignments associated with the proposed Reliability Standards. Finally, we propose to approve NERC's proposed implementation plan and effective date. Below, we discuss the following matters: (A) Identify, assess, and correct language; (B) enhanced security controls for Low Impact assets; (C) protection of Transient Devices; (D) protection of bulk electric system communication networks; (E) supply chain management; (F) proposed definitions; (G) NERC's proposed implementation plan; and (H) proposed violation severity level and violation risk factor assignments.

    A. Identify, Assess, and Correct Language Order No. 791

    21. In the proposed CIP version 5 Standards, NERC included language in 17 CIP requirements that would have required responsible entities to implement requirements in a manner to “identify, assess, and correct” deficiencies.28 In Order No. 791, the Commission concluded that the “identify, assess, and correct” language proposed by NERC was unclear with respect to the obligations it would impose on responsible entities, how it would be implemented by responsible entities, and how it would be enforced.29 The Commission explained that proposed Reliability Standards should be clear and unambiguous regarding what is required for compliance and who is required to comply.30 The Commission directed NERC, pursuant to section 215(d)(5) of the FPA, to develop modifications to the CIP version 5 Standards to address the Commission's concerns with the “identify, assess, and correct” language. The Commission stated its preference that NERC should remove the “identify, assess, and correct” language from the 17 CIP version 5 requirements, while retaining the substantive provisions of those requirements.31

    28 Order No. 791, 145 FERC ¶ 61,160 at P 44.

    29Id. P 67.

    30Id. P 68 (citing Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk-Power System, Order No. 693, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,242, at P 274, order on reh'g, Order No. 693-A, 120 FERC ¶ 61,053 (2007)).

    31Id. P 67 (citing Order No. 693, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,242 at P 186).

    NERC Petition

    22. In its Petition, NERC explains that it has addressed the Order No. 791 directive regarding the “identify, assess, and correct” language by removing the language from the 17 requirements that included the language in the CIP version 5 Standards.32 NERC states that it is addressing the concerns underlying the development of the “identify, assess, and correct” language through “transformation of its [Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program] and the implementation of a risk-based approach to compliance monitoring and enforcement activities.” 33 NERC explains that the changes it is making to the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program, outside the text of a reliability standard, “directly accomplish the goal of the `identify, assess, and correct' language by focusing ERO and industry resources on those areas that pose a more-than-minimal risk to reliability and helping to improve internal controls.” 34

    32 NERC Petition at 15.

    33Id. at 15-16.

    34Id. at 18.

    Discussion

    23. NERC's proposal to remove the “identify, assess, and correct” language from the 17 requirements that included the language in the CIP version 5 Standards, while retaining the substantive provisions of those requirements, reflects the Commission's preferred approach outlined in Order No. 791.35 Consistent with the rationale underlying the Order No. 791 directive, removing the “identify, assess, and correct” language avoids the possibility of inconsistent application and enforcement of the requirements at issue by eliminating the possibility of multiple interpretations of that language.

    35 Order No. 791, 145 FERC ¶ 61,160 at P 67.

    24. Accordingly, we propose to approve NERC's removal of the “identify, assess, and correct” language from the 17 affected requirements.

    B. Enhanced Security Controls for Low Impact Assets Order No. 791

    25. In Order No. 791, the Commission approved NERC's new approach to categorizing BES Cyber Systems based on the High, Medium or Low Impact that each system could have on the reliable operation of the bulk electric system. Specifically, the Commission noted that the new tiered approach, “which requires at least a minimum classification of Low Impact for BES Cyber Systems, better assures the protection of assets that can cause cyber security risks to the bulk electric system.” 36 The Commission, however, raised concerns that the CIP version 5 Standards do not require any specific controls for BES Cyber Systems classified as Low Impact, nor do the standards contain clear, objective criteria “to judge the sufficiency of the controls ultimately adopted by responsible entities for Low Impact BES Cyber Systems.” 37 The Commission concluded that the lack of objective criteria to evaluate any controls adopted under proposed Reliability Standard CIP-003-5, Requirement R2 “introduces an unacceptable level of ambiguity and potential inconsistency into the compliance process,” resulting in an unnecessary gap in reliability.38 The Commission therefore directed NERC, pursuant to section 215(d)(5) of the FPA, to develop modifications to the CIP version 5 Standards to address the ambiguity and potential for inconsistency in the compliance process created by the lack of objective criteria pertaining to Low Impact BES Cyber Systems.39

    36Id. P 87.

    37Id. P 107.

    38Id. P 108.

    39Id. P 108.

    26. While not directing NERC to develop specific controls for Low Impact BES Cyber Systems, the Commission noted that NERC could address the lack of objective criteria in a number of ways, including: (1) Requiring specific controls for Low Impact assets, including subdividing the assets into different categories with different defined controls applicable to each subcategory; (2) developing objective criteria against which the controls adopted by responsible entities can be compared and measured in order to evaluate their adequacy, including subdividing the assets into different categories with different defined control objectives applicable to each subcategory; (3) defining with greater specificity the processes that responsible entities must have for Low Impact facilities under Reliability Standard CIP-003-5, Requirement R2; or (4) another equally efficient and effective solution.40 Finally, the Commission emphasized that however NERC decides to address the Commission's concern, “the criteria NERC proposes for evaluating a responsible entities' protections for Low Impact facilities should be clear, objective, commensurate with their impact on the system, and technically justified.” 41

    40Id. P 108.

    41Id. P 110.

    NERC Petition

    27. In its Petition, NERC states that the revised CIP Reliability Standards include “additional specificity regarding the controls that responsible entities must implement for protecting their low impact BES Cyber Systems.” 42 NERC explains that proposed Reliability Standard CIP-003-6, Requirement R1 requires responsible entities to develop cyber security policies for Low Impact BES Cyber Systems “to communicate management's expectation for cybersecurity across the organization.” 43 According to NERC, the cyber security policies required under proposed Reliability Standard CIP-003-6, Requirement R1 must include the four subject matter areas addressed by proposed Reliability Standard CIP-003-6, Requirement R2, Attachment 1, and must be reviewed and approved by the CIP Senior Manager at least once every 15 calendar months. NERC explains that, while a responsible entity has the flexibility to develop either a single comprehensive cyber security policy or single high-level umbrella policy with detail provided in lower-level documents, “the purpose of these policies is to communicate the responsible entity's management goals, objectives, and expectations for the protection of low impact BES Cyber Systems and establish a culture of security and compliance across the organization.” 44

    42 NERC Petition at 23.

    43Id. at 24.

    44Id. at 32.

    28. In addition, NERC explains that proposed Reliability Standard CIP-003-6, Requirement R2 requires responsible entities with Low Impact BES Cyber Systems to implement controls necessary to meet specific security objectives for: (1) Cyber security awareness; (2) physical security controls; (3) electronic access controls; and (4) cyber security incident response. NERC explains further that while the four topics addressed by Reliability Standard CIP-003-6, Requirement R2 are the same as those under the CIP version 5 Standards, focusing resources on the four identified subject matter areas “will have the greatest cybersecurity benefit for low impact BES Cyber Systems without diverting resources necessary for the protection of high and medium impact BES Cyber Systems.” 45

    45Id. at 25.

    29. NERC explains further that proposed Reliability Standard CIP-003-6, Requirement R2 provides responsible entities with flexibility to adopt security controls for Low Impact BES Cyber Systems “in the manner that best suits the needs and characteristics of their organization, so long as the responsible entity can demonstrate that it designed its controls to meet the ultimate security objective.” 46 NERC states that attempts to overly prescribe specific security controls would be problematic and could inhibit the development of innovative security controls due to the diversity of Low Impact BES Cyber Systems. However, NERC explains that by having responsible entities articulate clear security objectives, “the ERO and the Commission will have a basis from which to judge the sufficiency of the controls ultimately adopted by a responsible entity.” 47

    46Id. at 25.

    47Id. at 25.

    Discussion

    30. We propose to approve proposed Reliability Standard CIP-003-6. NERC's proposal satisfies the Commission's Order No. 791 directive by providing responsible entities with a list of specific security objectives relevant to Low Impact BES Cyber Systems that must be addressed through one or more documented cyber security plans. Reliability Standard CIP-003-6, Requirement R2 provides clarity regarding what is expected for compliance and requires responsible entities to implement specific security controls to meet the four subject matter areas identified by NERC to address the risks associated with Low Impact BES Cyber Systems, providing enhanced protections for Low Impact assets.

    31. As noted above, Attachment 1 to revised CIP-003-6, Requirement R2 identifies four topics addressed by the requirement, and describes the affirmative obligations associated with each topic, including: (1) Mandatory reinforcement of cyber security awareness practices at least once every 15 calendar months; (2) mandatory physical access controls to the asset or locations of the Low Impact BES Cyber Systems within the asset and Low Impact BES Cyber System Electronic Access Points, if any; (3) mandatory electronic access point protection to permit only necessary inbound and outbound bi-directional routable protocol access and mandatory authentication for all dialup connectivity that provides access to the Low Impact BES Cyber System; and (4) specific information to be included in incident response plans. We believe that Attachment 1 provides sufficient context to evaluate objectively the effectiveness of the procedures developed by a responsible entity to implement CIP-003-6 and judge the sufficiency of the controls ultimately adopted by a responsible entity under its security plans.

    32. Furthermore, we agree that NERC's proposal to use clear security objectives in lieu of specific security controls for each Low Impact system is reasonable owing to the diversity of assets covered under the Low Impact category. With respect to the security subject matter areas covered under proposed CIP-003-6, we believe that NERC's proposal is reasonable in relation to the risk posed by Low Impact BES Cyber Systems, as well as the diversity of systems captured by the Low Impact category. Therefore, we propose to approve proposed Reliability Standard CIP-003-6.

    C. Protection of Transient Devices Order No. 791

    33. In Order No. 791, the Commission approved the proposed definition of BES Cyber Asset that provides, in part, that “[a] Cyber Asset is not a BES Cyber Asset if, for 30 consecutive calendar days or less, it is directly connected to a network within an [Electronic Security Perimeter], a Cyber Asset within an [Electronic Security Perimeter], or to a BES Cyber Asset, and it is used for data transfer, vulnerability assessment, maintenance, or troubleshooting purposes.” 48 While the Commission had requested comment in the CIP version 5 NOPR on whether the 30 consecutive calendar day qualifier in the proposed definition of BES Cyber Asset “could result in the introduction of malicious code or new attack vectors to an otherwise trusted and protected system,” 49 the Commission concluded, based on comments, that “it would be unduly burdensome to protect transient devices in the same manner as BES Cyber Assets because transient devices are portable and frequently connected and disconnected from systems.” 50

    48 Order No. 791, 145 FERC ¶ 61,160 at P 132.

    49Version 5 Critical Infrastructure Protection Reliability Standards, 143 FERC ¶ 61,055, at P 78 (2013) (CIP Version 5 NOPR).

    50 Order No. 791, 145 FERC ¶ 61,160 at P 133.

    34. While accepting the 30-day exemption in the BES Cyber Asset definition, the Commission reiterated its concern whether the provisions of the CIP version 5 Standards “provide adequately robust protection from the risks posed by transient devices.” 51 Therefore, the Commission directed that NERC, pursuant to section 215(d)(5) of the FPA, develop either new or modified Reliability Standards to address the reliability risks posed by connecting transient devices to BES Cyber Assets and Systems. In particular, the Commission stated that it expects NERC to consider the following security elements for transient devices and removable media: (1) Device authorization as it relates to users and locations; (2) software authorization; (3) security patch management; (4) malware prevention; (5) detection controls for unauthorized physical access to a transient device; and (6) processes and procedures for connecting transient devices to systems at different security classification levels (i.e., High, Medium, Low Impact).52

    51Id. P 132.

    52Id. P 136.

    NERC Petition

    35. In its Petition, NERC states that the revised CIP Reliability Standards satisfy the Commission's directive in Order No. 791 by requiring that applicable entities: (1) Develop plans and implement cybersecurity controls to protect Transient Cyber Assets and Removable Media associated with their High Impact and Medium Impact BES Cyber Systems and associated Protected Cyber Assets; and (2) train their personnel on the risks associated with using Transient Cyber Assets and Removable Media. NERC states that the purpose of the proposed revisions is to prevent unauthorized access to and use of transient devices, mitigate the risk of vulnerabilities associated with unpatched software on transient devices, and mitigate the risk of the introduction of malicious code on transient devices. NERC explains that the standard drafting team determined that the proposed requirements should only apply to transient devices associated with High and Medium Impact BES Cyber Systems, concluding that “the application of the proposed transient devices requirements to transient devices associated with low impact BES Cyber Systems was unnecessary, and likely counterproductive, given the risks low impact BES Cyber Systems present to the Bulk Electric System.” 53

    53 NERC Petition at 34-35.

    36. NERC proposes to add two terms to the NERC Glossary, Transient Cyber Asset and Removable Media, to clarify the types of transient devices subject to the CIP Reliability Standards. NERC also proposes to revise the definitions for BES Cyber Asset and Protected Cyber Asset to remove the 30-day exemption as the proposed definition for Transient Cyber Assets obviates the need for the 30-day exemption language. NERC indicates that, as defined, Transient Cyber Assets and Removable Media do not provide reliability services and are not part of the BES Cyber System to which they are connected.54

    54Id. at 36-37.

    37. NERC proposes to define Transient Cyber Asset as: “A Cyber Asset that (i) is capable of transmitting or transferring executable code, (ii) is not included in a BES Cyber System, (iii) is not a Protected Cyber Asset (PCA) and (iv) is directly connected (e.g., using Ethernet, serial, Universal Serial Bus, or wireless, including near field or Bluetooth communication) for 30 consecutive calendar days or less to a BES Cyber Asset, a network within an [Electronic Security Perimeter], or a [Protected Cyber Asset].” NERC explains that examples of Transient Cyber Assets include but are not limited to: Diagnostic test equipment, packet sniffers, equipment used for BES Cyber System maintenance, equipment used for BES Cyber System configuration or equipment used to perform vulnerability assessments, and may include devices or platforms such as laptops, desktops or tablet computers which run applications that support BES Cyber Systems.55

    55Id. at 36.

    38. NERC proposes to define the term Removable Media as: “Storage media that (i) are not Cyber Assets, (ii) are capable of transferring executable code, (iii) can be used to store, copy, move, or access data, and (iv) are directly connected for 30 consecutive calendar days or less to a BES Cyber Asset, a network within an [Electronic Security Perimeter] or a Protected Cyber Asset. Examples include but are not limited to floppy disks, compact disks, USB flash drives, external hard drives and other flash memory cards/drives that contain nonvolatile memory.” 56

    56Id. at 36.

    39. NERC explains that proposed Reliability Standard CIP-010-2, Requirement R4 requires entities to document and implement a plan for managing and protecting Transient Cyber Assets and Removable Media in order to protect BES Cyber Systems from the risks associated with transient devices. Specifically, Requirement R4 provides that “[e]ach responsible entity for its high impact and medium impact BES Cyber Systems and associated Protected Cyber Assets, shall implement, except under CIP Exceptional Circumstances, one or more documented plans for Transient Cyber Assets and Removable Media that include the sections in Attachment 1 [to the proposed standard].” NERC indicates that Attachment 1 does not prescribe a standard method or set of controls that each entity must implement to protect its transient devices, but rather requires responsible entities to meet certain security objectives by implementing the controls that the responsible entity determines are necessary to meet its affirmative obligation to protect BES Cyber Systems.57

    57Id. at 37.

    40. NERC further explains that Attachment 1 to CIP-010-2, Requirement R4 requires a responsible entity to adopt controls to address the following areas: (1) Protections for Transient Cyber Assets managed by responsible entities; (2) protections for Transient Cyber Assets managed by another party; and (3) protections for Removable Media. NERC indicates that these provisions reflect the standard drafting team's recognition that the security controls required for a particular transient device must account for (1) the functionality of that device and (2) whether the responsible entity or a third party manages the device. NERC also states that, because Transient Cyber Assets and Removable Media have different capabilities, they present different levels of risk to the bulk electric system.58

    58Id. at 38.

    Discussion

    41. Based on our review, proposed Reliability Standard CIP-010-2 appears to provide a satisfactory level of security for transient devices used at High and Medium Impact BES Cyber Systems. As described above, proposed Reliability Standard CIP-010-2, Requirement R4 addresses the following security elements: (1) Device authorization; (2) software authorization; (3) security patch management; (4) malware prevention; and (5) unauthorized use. The proposed security controls, taken together, constitute a reasonable approach to address the reliability objectives outlined by the Commission in Order No. 791. The proposed security controls outlined in Attachment 1 should ensure that responsible entities apply multiple security controls to provide defense-in-depth protection to transient devices (i.e., transient cyber assets and removable media) in the High and Medium Impact BES Cyber System environments.

    42. We are concerned, however, that NERC's proposed revisions do not provide adequate security controls to address the risks posed by transient devices used at Low Impact BES Cyber Systems, including Low Impact control centers, due to the limited applicability of Requirement R4. We believe that this omission may result in a gap in protection for Low Impact BES Cyber Systems. For example, malware inserted via a USB flash drive at a single Low Impact substation could propagate through a network of many substations without encountering a single security control under NERC's proposal. In addition, we note that Low Impact security controls do not provide for the use of mandatory anti-malware/antivirus protections within the Low Impact facilities, heightening the risk that malware or malicious code could propagate through these systems without being detected.

    43. We do not believe that NERC has provided an adequate justification to limit the applicability of Reliability Standard CIP-010-2. In its petition, NERC states that “the application of the proposed transient devices requirements to transient devices associated with low impact BES Cyber Systems was unnecessary, and likely counterproductive, given the risks low impact BES Cyber Systems present to the Bulk Electric System.” 59 Essentially, NERC posits that resources are better placed in the protection of High and Medium Impact devices. The burden of expanding the applicability of Reliability Standard CIP-010-2 to transient devices at Low Impact BES Cyber Systems, however, is not clear from the information in the record. Nor is it clear what information and analysis led NERC to conclude that the application of the transient device requirements to Low Impact BES Cyber Systems “was unnecessary.” 60 Therefore, we direct NERC to provide additional information supporting the proposed limitation in Reliability Standard CIP-010-2 to High and Medium Impact BES Cyber Systems. Depending on the information provided, we may direct NERC to address the potential reliability gap by developing a solution, which could include modifying the applicability section of CIP-010-2, Requirement R4 to include Low Impact BES Cyber Systems, that effectively addresses, and is appropriately tailored to address, the risks posed by transient devices to Low Impact BES Cyber Systems.

    59 NERC Petition at 34-35.

    60Id.

    D. Protection of Bulk Electric System Communication Networks Order No. 791

    44. In Order No. 791, the Commission approved a revised definition of the NERC Glossary term Cyber Asset, including the removal of the phrase “communication networks.” In reaching its decision, the Commission recognized that maintaining the phrase “communication networks” in the definition of “cyber asset” could cause confusion and potentially complicate implementation of the CIP version 5 Standards “as many communication network components, such as cabling, cannot strictly comply with the CIP Reliability Standards.” 61

    61 Order No. 791, 145 FERC ¶ 61,160 at P 148.

    45. However, while the Commission approved the revised Cyber Asset definition, the Commission also directed NERC to create a definition of communication networks. Specifically, the Commission stated that “[t]he definition of communication networks should define what equipment and components should be protected, in light of the statutory inclusion of communication networks for the reliable operation of the Bulk-Power System.” 62

    62Id. P 150.

    46. The Commission also directed NERC to develop new or modified Reliability Standards to address the reliability gap resulting from the removal of the phrase “communication networks” from the Cyber Asset definition. Specifically, the Commission found that a gap in protection may exist since the CIP version 5 Standards “do not address security controls needed to protect the nonprogrammable components of communication networks.” 63 The Commission explained that the new or modified Reliability Standards should require appropriate and reasonable controls to protect the non-programmable aspects of communication networks.64 The Commission provided examples of other relevant information security standards that address the protection of the nonprogrammable aspects of communication networks by requiring, among other things, locked wiring closets, disconnected or locked spare jacks, protection of cabling by conduit or cable trays, or generally emphasizing the protection of communication network cabling from interception or damage.65

    63Id. P 149.

    64Id. P 150.

    65Id. P 149 (referencing NIST SP 800-53 Revision 3, security control family Physical and Environmental Protection, Annex 2, page 54; BSI ISO/IEC (2005). Information technology—Security techniques—Information security management systems—Requirements (ISO/IEC 27001:2005).British Standards Institute).

    NERC Petition

    47. In its petition, NERC states that the standard drafting team concluded that it did not need to create a new definition for communication networks to address the Commission's concerns. NERC explains that the term communication network “is generally understood to encompass both programmable and nonprogrammable components (i.e., a communication network includes computer peripherals, terminals, and databases as well as communication mediums such as wires).” 66 Therefore, NERC concludes that any proposed definition of communication network “would need to be sufficiently broad to encompass all components in a communication network as they exist now and in the future.” 67 NERC explains that, based on that conclusion, the standard drafting team identified the types of equipment and components that responsible entities must protect, and developed reasonable controls to secure those components based on the risk they pose to the bulk electric system, rather than develop a specific definition.

    66 NERC Petition at 52 (citing North American Electric Reliability Corp., 142 FERC ¶ 61,203, at PP 13-14 (2013)).

    67Id. at 52.

    48. NERC states that the revised CIP Reliability Standards, as proposed, address the ultimate security objective of protecting both the programmable and nonprogrammable components of communication networks.68 NERC explains that the proposed standards include protections for cables and other nonprogrammable components of communication networks through proposed Reliability Standard CIP-006-6, Requirement R1, Part 1.10, which augments the existing protections for programmable communication components by requiring entities to implement various security controls to restrict and manage physical access to Physical Security Perimeters.69 NERC further states that the standard drafting team focused on nonprogrammable communication components at control centers with High or Medium Impact BES Cyber Systems because those locations present a heightened risk to the Bulk-Power System, warranting the increased protections.70

    68Id.

    69Id. at 52-53.

    70Id. at 48.

    49. NERC explains that proposed Reliability Standard CIP-006-6, Requirement R1, Part 1.10 provides that, for High and Medium Impact BES Cyber Systems and their associated Protected Cyber Assets, responsible entities must restrict physical access to cabling and other nonprogrammable communication components used for connection between covered Cyber Assets within the same Electronic Security Perimeter in those instances when such cabling and components are located outside of a Physical Security Perimeter. NERC explains further that, where physical access restrictions to such cabling and components are not feasible, Part 1.10 provides that the responsible entity must document and implement encryption of data transmitted over such cabling and components and/or monitor the status of the communication link composed of such cabling and components. Further, pursuant to Part 1.10, a responsible entity must issue an alarm or alert in response to detected communication failures to the personnel identified in the BES Cyber Security Incident response plan within 15 minutes of detection, or implement an equally effective logical protection.71

    71Id. at 48-49.

    50. NERC states that proposed Reliability Standard CIP-006-6 provides flexibility for responsible entities to implement the physical security measures that best suit their needs and to account for configurations where logical measures are necessary because the entity cannot implement physical access restrictions effectively. Responsible entities have the discretion as to the type of physical or logical protections to implement pursuant to Part 1.10, provided that the protections are designed to meet the overall security objective. According to NERC, the protections required by Part 1.10 will reduce the possibility of tampering and the likelihood that “man-in-the-middle” attacks could compromise the integrity of BES Cyber Systems or Protected Cyber Assets at control centers with High or Medium Impact BES Cyber Systems.72

    72Id. at 49-50.

    51. NERC explains that proposed Part 1.10 applies only to nonprogrammable components outside of a Physical Security Perimeter because nonprogrammable components located within a Physical Security Perimeter are already subject to physical security protections by virtue of their location. NERC further states that Part 1.10 only applies to nonprogrammable components used for connection between applicable Cyber Assets within the same Electronic Security Perimeter because Reliability Standard CIP-005-5 already requires logical protections for communications between discrete Electronic Security Perimeters.73

    73Id. at 49.

    52. In addition, NERC asserts that the proposed Reliability Standards will strengthen the defense-in-depth approach by further minimizing the “attack surface” of BES Cyber Systems. NERC also clarifies that the standard drafting team limited the applicability in this manner to clarify that responsible entities are not responsible for protecting nonprogrammable communication components outside of the responsible entity's control (i.e., components of a telecommunication carrier's network).74

    74Id. at 51.

    Discussion

    53. We believe that NERC's proposed alternative approach to addressing the Commission's Order No. 791 directive regarding the definition of communication networks adequately addresses part of the underlying concerns set forth in Order No. 791. Proposed Reliability Standard CIP-006-6, Requirement R1.10 specifies the types of assets subject to mandatory protection by using the existing definitions of Electronic Security Perimeter 75 and Physical Security Perimeter.76 Proposed Reliability Standard CIP-006-6 addresses protection for non-programmable components of communication networks, such as network cabling and switches, that are located within the same Electronic Security Perimeter, but span separate Physical Security Perimeters. Specifically, proposed Reliability Standard CIP-006-6 requires responsible entities to restrict physical access to cabling and other nonprogrammable communication components between BES Cyber Assets within the same Electronic Security Perimeter in those instances when such cabling and components are located outside of a Physical Security Perimeter. Where physical access restrictions to such cabling and components is not feasible, Part 1.10 provides that responsible entities must document and implement encryption of data transmitted over such cabling and components, monitor the status of the communication link composed of such cabling and components, or implement an equally effective logical protection.

    75 Electronic Security Perimeter: The logical border surrounding a network to which Critical Cyber Assets are connected and for which access is controlled. See NERC Glossary at 33.

    76 Physical Security Perimeter: The physical, completely enclosed (“six-wall”) border surrounding computer rooms, telecommunications rooms, operations centers, and other locations in which Critical Cyber Assets are housed and for which access is controlled. See NERC Glossary at 60.

    54. We propose to accept NERC's proposed omission of a definition of communication networks based on NERC's explanation that responsible entities must develop controls to secure the non-programmable components of communication networks based on the risk they pose to the bulk electric system, rather than develop a specific definition of communication networks to identify assets for protection. NERC's proposal is an equally efficient and effective solution to the Commission's directive in Order No. 791 that NERC develop a definition of communication networks, subject to the proposed modification discussed below.

    55. NERC's proposed solution for the protection of nonprogrammable components of communication networks, however, does not fully meet the intent of the Commission's Order No. 791 directive, resulting in a gap in security for bulk electric system communication systems. While the technical substance of CIP-006-6, Requirement R1, Part 1.10 appears to be adequate, we are concerned that the limited applicability of the provision results in limited protection for the nonprogrammable components of the communication systems at issue. Specifically, proposed CIP-006-6, Requirement R1, Part 1.10 would only apply to nonprogrammable components of communication networks within the same Electronic Security Perimeter, excluding from protection other programmable and non-programmable communication network components that may exist outside of a discrete Electronic Security Perimeter.

    56. While NERC asserts that this limitation is justified by the controls required under Reliability Standard CIP-005-5, NERC's position does not appear to consider that the controls set forth in Reliability Standard CIP-005-5 are limited to interactive remote access into an Electronic Security Perimeter, and can only be applied on programmable electronic devices and data that exists within an Electronic Security Perimeter.77 This limitation would exclude communication network components that may be necessary to facilitate the automated transmission of reliability data between bulk electric system Control Centers in discrete Electronic Security Perimeters and would also exclude real time monitoring data that is used by Reliability Coordinators to monitor and assess the operation of their control areas. In other words, revised Reliability Standard CIP-006-6, Requirement R1 provides mandatory protection against: (1) Physical attacks on nonprogrammable equipment; (2) man-in-the-middle attacks; and (3) session hijacking attacks within the confines of a bulk electric system Control Center, but does not extend protections to real-time data passing between Control Centers outside of a facility.

    77See Reliability Standard CIP-005-5 (Electronic Security Perimeters), Requirement R2.

    57. Comments from participants at the April 29, 2014 Technical Conference suggest that the Commission should take action to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive bulk electric system data when it is in motion both inside and outside of an Electronic Security Perimeter.78 We understand that inter-Control Center communications play a vital role in maintaining bulk electric system reliability and, as a result, we believe that the communication links and data used to control and monitor the bulk electric system should receive protection under the CIP Reliability Standards.

    78See Transcript at pp. 19, 24, 74-75 (Kevin Perry speaking), 79 (Mikhail Falkovich speaking).

    58. We also recognize that third party communication infrastructure (e.g., facilities owned by a telecommunications company) cannot necessarily be physically protected by responsible entities. This fact, however, does not alleviate the need to protect reliability data that traverses third party communication infrastructure. Proposed Reliability Standard CIP-006-6, Requirement R1, Part 1.10 mandates that logical controls, such as encryption and connection link monitoring, be applied to cabling and components that cannot be physically restricted by the responsible entity. However, similar protections are not afforded to communications and data leaving bulk electric system Control Centers where they may be intercepted and altered while traversing communication networks.

    59. Therefore, pursuant to section 215(d)(5) of the FPA, we propose to direct NERC to develop a modification to proposed Reliability Standard CIP-006-6 to require responsible entities to implement controls to protect, at a minimum, all communication links and sensitive bulk electric system data communicated between all bulk electric system Control Centers. This includes communication between two (or more) Control Centers, but not between a Control Center and non-Control Center facilities such as substations. Also, if latency concerns mitigate against use of encryption as a logical control for any inter-Control Center communications, our understanding is that other logical protections are available, and we seek comment on this point.

    60. Further, as discussed at the April 29, 2014 technical conference, panelists identified suggestions that could be explored to enhance protections for remote access, including the addition of logical or physical controls to provide additional network segmentation behind the intermediate systems. For example, the Commission is interested in comments that address the value achieved if the CIP standards were to require the incorporation of additional network segmentation controls, connection monitoring, and session termination controls behind responsible entity intermediate systems. We seek comment on whether these or other steps to improve remote access protection are needed, and whether the adoption of any additional security controls addressing this topic would provide substantial reliability and security benefits.

    E. Risks Posed by Lack of Controls for Supply Chain Management

    61. The information and communications technology and industrial control system supply chains provide hardware, software and operations support for computer networks. Such supply chains are complex, globally distributed and interconnected systems that have geographically diverse routes and consist of multiple tiers of outsourcing. The supply chain includes public and private sector entities that depend on each other to develop, integrate, and use information and communications technology and industrial control system supply chain products and services. Thus, the supply chain provides the opportunity for significant benefits to customers, including low cost, interoperability, rapid innovation, a variety of product features and choice.

    62. However, the global supply chain also enables opportunities for adversaries to directly or indirectly affect the management or operations of companies that may result in risks to the end user. Supply chain risks may include the insertion of counterfeits, unauthorized production, tampering, theft, or insertion of malicious software, as well as poor manufacturing and development practices. To address these risks, NIST developed SP 800-161 79 to provide guidance and controls that can be used to comply with Federal Information Processing Standard 199 Standards for Security Categorization of Federal Information and Information Systems for Federal Government Information Systems.80 Similarly, the Department of Energy has developed guidance on cybersecurity procurement language for energy delivery systems.81

    79 NIST SP 800-161, Supply Chain Risk Management Practices for Federal Information Systems and Organizations (April 2015), available at: http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-161.pdf.

    80 Federal Information Processing Standard Publication, Standards for Security Categorization of Federal Information and Information Systems, available at: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/fips/fips199/FIPS-PUB-199-final.pdf.

    81Cybersecurity Procurement Language for Energy Delivery Systems, April 2014 at page 1. http://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/04/f15/CybersecProcurementLanguage-EnergyDeliverySystems_040714_fin.pdf.

    63. While the Commission did not address supply chain management in Order No. 791, changes in the bulk electric system cyber threat landscape identified through recent malware campaigns targeting supply chain vendors have highlighted a gap in the protections under the CIP Standards. Specifically, in 2014, after Order No. 791 was issued, the Industry Control System—Computer Emergency Readiness Team (ICS-CERT) reported on two focused malware campaigns.82 This new type of malware campaign is based on the injection of malware while a product or service remains in the control of the hardware or software vendor, prior to delivery to the customer.

    82 ICS-CERT is a division of the Department of Homeland Security that works to reduce risks within and across all critical infrastructure sectors by partnering with law enforcement agencies and the intelligence community. See https://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/alerts/ICS-ALERT-14-176-02A; and https://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/alerts/ICS-ALERT-14-281-01B for “alert” information on supply chain malware campaigns.

    64. We believe that it is reasonable to direct NERC to develop a new or modified Reliability Standard to provide security controls for supply chain management for industrial control system hardware, software, and computing and networking services associated with bulk electric system operations. The reliability goal should be to create a forward-looking, objective-driven standard that encompasses activities in the system development life cycle: from research and development, design and manufacturing stages (where applicable), to acquisition, delivery, integration, operations, retirement, and eventual disposal of the Registered Entity's information and communications technology and industrial control system supply chain equipment and services. The standard should support and ensure security, integrity, quality, and resilience of the supply chain and the future acquisition of products and services.

    65. Since security controls for supply chain management will likely vary greatly with each responsible entity due to variations in individual business practices, the right set of supply chain management security controls should accommodate for, among other things, an entity's: (1) Procurement process; (2) vendor relations; (3) system requirements; (4) information technology implementation; and (5) privileged commercial or financial information. The following Supply Chain Risk Management controls from NIST SP 800-161 may be instructional in the development of any new reliability standard to address this security topic: 83 (1) Access Control Policy and Procedures; (2) Security Assessment Authorization; (3) Configuration Management; (4) Identification and Authentication; (5) System Maintenance Policy and Procedures; (6) Personnel Security Policy and Procedures; (7) System and Services Acquisition; (8) Supply Chain Protection; and (9) Component Authenticity.84

    83 The listed controls do not reflect a comprehensive scope of the proposed standard.

    84See NIST SP 800-161.

    66. Therefore, pursuant to section 215(d)(5) of the FPA, we propose to direct NERC to develop a new reliability standard or modified reliability standard to provide security controls for supply chain management for industrial control system hardware, software, and services associated with bulk electric system operations. In addition to the parameters discussed above, due to the broadness of the topic and the individualized nature of many aspects of supply chain management, we anticipate that a Reliability Standard pertaining to supply chain management security would:

    • Respect section 215 jurisdiction by only addressing the obligations of registered entities. A reliability standard should not directly impose obligations on suppliers, vendors or other entities that provide products or services to registered entities.

    • Be forward-looking in the sense that the reliability standard should not dictate the abrogation or re-negotiation of currently-effective contracts with vendors, suppliers or other entities.

    • Recognize the individualized nature of many aspects of supply chain management by setting goals (the “what”), while allowing flexibility in how a registered entity subject to the standard achieves that goal (the “how”).85

    85See Order No. 672, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,204 at P 260.

    • Given the types of specialty products involved and diversity of acquisition processes, the standard may need to allow exceptions, e.g., to meet safety requirements and fill operational gaps if no secure products are available.

    • Provide enough specificity so that compliance obligations are clear and enforceable. In particular, we anticipate that a reliability standard that simply requires a registered entity to “have a plan” addressing supply chain management would not suffice. Rather, to adequately address our concerns, we believe that a reliability standard should identify specific controls. As discussed above, NIST SP 800-161 may be instructional in identifying appropriate controls in the development of an effective supply chain management reliability standard.

    We recognize that developing a supply chain management standard would likely be a significant undertaking and require extensive engagement with stakeholders to define the scope, content, and timing of the standard. Accordingly, to further that stakeholder engagement, we seek comment on this proposal, including: (1) The general proposal to direct that NERC develop a Reliability Standard to address supply chain management; (2) the anticipated features of, and requirements that should be included in, such a standard; and (3) a reasonable timeframe for development of a standard. We also direct staff, after receipt and consideration of those comments, to engage in additional outreach to further the Commission's consideration of the need for, and scope, content, and timing of, a supply chain management standard.

    F. Proposed Definitions

    67. The proposed revised CIP Reliability Standards include six new or revised definitions for inclusion in the NERC glossary. NERC's proposal includes four new definitions and two revised definitions. Specifically, NERC seeks approval for the following terms: (1) BES Cyber Asset; (2) Protected Cyber Asset; (3) Low Impact Electronic Access Point; (4) Low Impact External Routable Connectivity; (5) Removable Media; and (6) Transient Cyber Asset. We propose to approve the proposed definitions for inclusion in the NERC Glossary. We also seek comment on certain aspects of the proposed definition for Low Impact External Routable Connectivity, as discussed below. After receiving comments, depending on the adequacy of the explanations provided in response to our questions, we may direct NERC to develop modifications to this definition to eliminate ambiguities and assure that the revised CIP Reliability Standards provide adequate protection for the bulk electric system.

    Definition—Low Impact External Routable Connectivity

    68. In its petition, NERC proposes the following definition for Low Impact External Routable Connectivity:

    Direct user-initiated interactive access or a direct device-to-device connection to a low impact BES Cyber System(s) from a Cyber Asset outside the asset containing those low impact BES Cyber System(s) via a bidirectional routable protocol connection. Point-to-point communications between intelligent electronic devices that use routable communication protocols for time-sensitive protection or control functions between Transmission station or substation assets containing low impact BES Cyber Systems are excluded from this definition (examples of this communication include. but are not limited to, IEC 61850 GOOSE or vendor proprietary protocols).86

    86 NERC Petition at 28.

    69. NERC explains that the proposed definition describes the scenarios where responsible entities are required to apply Low Impact access controls under Reliability Standard CIP-003-6, Requirement R2 to their Low Impact assets. Specifically, if Low Impact External Routable Connectivity is used, a responsible entity must implement a Low Impact Electronic Access Point to permit only necessary inbound and outbound bidirectional routable protocol access.87

    87Id. at 29.

    70. We seek comment on the following aspects of the proposed definition. First, we seek comment on the purpose of the meaning of the term “direct” in relation to the phrases “direct user-initiated interactive access” and “direct device-to-device connection” within the proposed definition. In addition, we seek comment on the implementation of the “layer 7 application layer break” contained in certain reference diagrams in the Guidelines and Technical Basis section of proposed Reliability Standard CIP-003-6.88 It appears that guidance provided in the Guidelines and Technical Basis section of the proposed standard may conflict with the plain reading of the term “direct.” We are concerned that a conflict in the reading of the term “direct” could lead to complications in the implementation of the proposed CIP Reliability Standards, hindering the adoption of effective security controls for Low Impact BES Cyber Assets. Depending upon the responses received, we may direct NERC to develop a modification to the definition of Low Impact External Routable Connectivity.

    88See CIP-003-6 Guidelines and Technical Basis Section, Reference Model 6 at p. 39.

    G. Implementation Plan

    71. NERC's proposed implementation plan for the proposed Reliability Standards is designed to match the effective dates of the proposed Reliability Standards with the effective dates of the prior versions of the related Reliability Standards under the implementation plan of the CIP version 5 Standards. NERC states that the purpose of this approach is to provide regulatory certainty by limiting the time, if any, that the CIP version 5 Standards with the “identify, assess, and correct” language would be effective. Specifically, pursuant to the CIP version 5 implementation plan, the effective date of each of the CIP version 5 Standards is April 1, 2016, except for the effective date for Requirement R2 of CIP-003-5, which is April 1, 2017. Consistent with those dates, the proposed implementation plan provides that: (1) each of the proposed reliability Standards shall become effective on the later of April 1, 2016 or the first day of the first calendar quarter that is three months after the effective date of the Commission's order approving the proposed Reliability Standard; and (2) responsible entities will not have to comply with the requirements applicable to Low Impact BES Cyber Systems (CIP-003-6, Requirement R1, Part 1.2 and Requirement R2) until April 1, 2017.89

    89Id. at 53-54.

    72. NERC's proposed implementation plan also includes effective dates for the new and modified definitions associated with: (1) transient devices (i.e., BES Cyber Asset, Protected Cyber Asset, Removable Media, and Transient Cyber Asset); and (2) Low Impact controls (i.e., Low Impact Electronic Access Point and Low Impact External Routable Connectivity). Specifically, NERC proposes: (1) That the definitions associated with transient device become effective on the compliance date for Reliability Standard CIP-010-2, Requirement R4; and (2) that the definitions addressing the Low Impact controls become enforceable on the compliance date for Reliability Standard CIP-003-6, Requirement R2. Lastly, NERC proposes that the retirement of Reliability Standards CIP-003-5, CIP-004-5.1, CIP-006-5, CIP-007-5, CIP-009-5, CIP-010-1 and CIP-011-1 become effective on the effective date of the proposed Reliability Standards.90

    90Id. at 56.

    73. We propose to approve NERC's implementation plan for the proposed CIP Reliability Standards, as described above.

    H. Violation Risk Factor/Violation Severity Level Assignments

    74. NERC requests approval of the violation risk factors and violation severity levels assigned to the proposed Reliability Standards. Specifically, NERC requests approval of 19 violation risk factor and violation severity level assignments associated with the proposed Reliability Standards.91 We propose to accept these violation risk factors and violation severity levels.

    91Id., Exhibit E.

    III. Information Collection Statement

    75. The FERC-725B information collection requirements contained in this Proposed Rule are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.92 OMB's regulations require approval of certain information collection requirements imposed by agency rules.93 Upon approval of a collection of information, OMB will assign an OMB control number and expiration date. Respondents subject to the filing requirements of this rule will not be penalized for failing to respond to these collections of information unless the collections of information display a valid OMB control number. The Commission solicits comments on the Commission's need for this information, whether the information will have practical utility, the accuracy of the burden estimates, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected or retained, and any suggested methods for minimizing respondents' burden, including the use of automated information techniques.

    92 44 U.S.C. 3507(d).

    93 5 CFR 1320.11 (2012).

    76. The Commission based its paperwork burden estimates on the changes in paperwork burden presented by the proposed CIP Reliability Standards as compared to the CIP version 5 Standards. The Commission has already addressed the burden of implementing the CIP version 5 Standards.94 As discussed above, the immediate rulemaking addresses four areas of modification to the CIP standards: (1) Removal of the “identify. assess, and correct” language from 17 CIP requirements; (2) development of enhanced security controls for low impact assets; (3) development of controls to protect transient devices (e.g. thumb drives and laptop computers); and (4) protection of communications networks. We do not anticipate that the removal of the “identify, assess and correct” language will impact the reporting burden, as the substantive compliance requirements would remain the same, while NERC indicates that the concept behind the deleted language continues to be implemented within NERC's compliance function. The development of controls to protect transient devices and protection of communication networks (as proposed by NERC) have associated reporting burdens that will affect a limited number of entities, i.e., those with Medium and High Impact BES Cyber Systems. The enhanced security controls for Low Impact assets are likely to impose a reporting burden on a much larger group of entities.

    94See Order No. 791, 145 FERC ¶ 61,160 at PP 226-244.

    77. The NERC Compliance Registry, as of June 2015, identifies approximately 1,435 U.S. entities that are subject to mandatory compliance with Reliability Standards. Of this total, we estimate that 1,363 entities will face an increased paperwork burden under the proposed CIP Reliability Standards, and we estimate that a majority of these entities will have one or more Low Impact assets. In addition, we estimate that approximately 23 percent of the entities have assets that will be subject to Reliability Standards CIP-006-6 and CIP-010-2. Based on these assumptions, we estimate the following reporting burden:

    Registered entities Number of
  • entities
  • Total burden hours in year 1 Total burden hours in year 2 Total burden hours in year 3
    Entities subject to CIP-006-6 and CIP-010-2 with Medium and/or High Impact Assets 313 75,120 130,208 130,208 Totals 313 75,120 130,208 130,208

    78. The following shows the annual cost burden for each group, based on the burden hours in the table above:

    • Year 1: Entities subject to CIP-006-6 and CIP-010-2 with Medium and/or High Impact Assets: 313 × 240 hours/entity * $76/hour = $5,709,120.

    • Years 2 and 3: 313 entities × 416 hours/entity * $76/hour = $9,895,808 per year.

    • The paperwork burden estimate includes costs associated with the initial development of a policy to address requirements relating to transient devices, as well as the ongoing data collection burden. Further, the estimate reflects the assumption that costs incurred in year 1 will pertain to policy development, while costs in years 2 and 3 will reflect the burden associated with maintaining logs and other records to demonstrate ongoing compliance.

    Registered entities Number of
  • entities
  • Total burden hours in year 1 Total burden hours in year 2 Total burden hours in year 3
    Entities subject to CIP-003-6 with low impact Assets 1,363 163,560 283,504 283,504 Totals 1,363 163,560 283,504 283,504

    79. The following shows the annual cost burden for each group, based on the burden hours in the table above:

    • Year 1: Entities subject to CIP-003-6 with Low Impact Assets: 1,363 × 120 hours/entity * $76/hour = $12,430,560.

    • Years 2 and 3: 1,363 entities × 208 hours/entity * $76/hour = $21,546,304 per year.

    • The paperwork burden estimate includes costs associated with the modification of existing policies to address requirements relating to low impact assets, as well as the ongoing data collection burden, as set forth in CIP-003-6, Requirements R1.2 and R2, and Attachment 1. Further, the estimate reflects the assumption that costs incurred in year 1 will pertain to revising existing policies, while costs in years 2 and 3 will reflect the burden associated with maintaining logs and other records to demonstrate ongoing compliance.

    80. The estimated hourly rate of $76 is the average loaded cost (wage plus benefits) of legal services ($129.68 per hour), technical employees ($58.17 per hour) and administrative support ($39.12 per hour), based on hourly rates and average benefits data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.95

    95See http://bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm and http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecec.nr0.htm. Hourly figures as of June 1, 2015.

    81. Title: Mandatory Reliability Standards, Revised Critical Infrastructure Protection Standards.

    Action: Proposed Collection FERC-725B.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0248.

    Respondents: Businesses or other for-profit institutions; not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency of Responses: On Occasion.

    Necessity of the Information: This proposed rule proposes to approve the requested modifications to Reliability Standards pertaining to critical infrastructure protection. As discussed above, the Commission proposes to approve NERC's proposed revised CIP Reliability Standards pursuant to section 215(d)(2) of the FPA because they improve the currently-effective suite of cyber security CIP Reliability Standards.

    Internal Review: The Commission has reviewed the proposed Reliability Standards and made a determination that its action is necessary to implement section 215 of the FPA.

    82. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting requirements by contacting the following: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426 [Attention: Ellen Brown, Office of the Executive Director, email: [email protected]v, phone: (202) 502-8663, fax: (202) 273-0873].

    83. For submitting comments concerning the collection(s) of information and the associated burden estimate(s), please send your comments to the Commission, and to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20503 [Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, phone: (202) 395-4638, fax: (202) 395-7285]. For security reasons, comments to OMB should be submitted by email to: [email protected]. Comments submitted to OMB should include Docket Number RM15-14-000 and OMB Control Number 1902-0248.

    IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    84. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) generally requires a description and analysis of Proposed Rules that will have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.96 The Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of Size Standards develops the numerical definition of a small business.97 The SBA revised its size standard for electric utilities (effective January 22, 2014) to a standard based on the number of employees, including affiliates (from the prior standard based on megawatt hour sales).98 Proposed Reliability Standards CIP-003-6, CIP-004-6, CIP-006-6, CIP-007-6, CIP-009-6, CIP-010-2, and CIP-011-2 are expected to impose an additional burden on 1,363 entities 99 (reliability coordinators, generator operators, generator owners, interchange coordinators or authorities, transmission operators, balancing authorities, transmission owners, and certain distribution providers).

    96 5 U.S.C. 601-12.

    97 13 CFR 121.101 (2013).

    98 SBA Final Rule on “Small Business Size Standards: Utilities,” 78 FR 77343 (Dec. 23, 2013).

    99 Public utilities may fall under one of several different categories, each with a size threshold based on the company's number of employees, including affiliates, the parent company, and subsidiaries. For the analysis in this NOPR, we are using a 500 employee threshold for each affected entity to conduct a comprehensive analysis.

    85. Of the 1,363 affected entities discussed above, we estimate that 444 entities are small entities. We estimate that 399 of these 444 small entities do not own BES Cyber Assets or BES Cyber Systems that are classified as Medium or High Impact and, therefore, will only be affected by the proposed modifications to Reliability Standard CIP-003-6. As discussed above, proposed Reliability Standard CIP-003-6 enhances reliability by providing criteria against which NERC and the Commission can evaluate the sufficiency of an entity's protections for Low Impact BES Cyber Assets. We estimate that each of the 399 small entities to whom the proposed modifications to Reliability Standard CIP-003-6 applies will incur one-time costs of approximately $149,358 per entity to implement this standard, as well as the ongoing paperwork burden reflected in the Information Collection Statement (approximately $15,000 per year per entity). We do not consider the estimated costs for these 399 small entities a significant economic impact.

    86. In addition, we estimate that 14 small entities own Medium Impact substations and that 31 small transmission operators own Medium or High impact control centers. These 45 small entities represent 10.1 percent of the 444 affected small entities. We estimate that each of these 45 small entities may experience an economic impact of $50,000 per entity in the first year of initial implementation to meet proposed Reliability Standard CIP-010-2 and $30,000 in ongoing annual costs,100 for a total of $110,000 per entity over the first three years. Therefore, we estimate that each of these 45 small entities will incur a total of $258,654 in costs over the first three years. We conclude that 10.1 percent of the total 444 affected small entities does not represent a substantial number in terms of the total number of regulated small entities.

    100 Estimated annual cost for year 2 and forward.

    87. Based on the above analysis, we propose to certify that the proposed Reliability Standards will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    V. Environmental Analysis

    88. The Commission is required to prepare an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for any action that may have a significant adverse effect on the human environment.101 The Commission has categorically excluded certain actions from this requirement as not having a significant effect on the human environment. Included in the exclusion are rules that are clarifying, corrective, or procedural or that do not substantially change the effect of the regulations being amended.102 The actions proposed herein fall within this categorical exclusion in the Commission's regulations.

    101Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Order No. 486, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,783 (1987).

    102 18 CFR 380.4(a)(2)(ii).

    VI. Comment Procedures

    89. The Commission invites interested persons to submit comments on the matters and issues proposed in this notice to be adopted, including any related matters or alternative proposals that commenters may wish to discuss. Comments are due September 21, 2015. Comments must refer to Docket No. RM15-14-000, and must include the commenter's name, the organization they represent, if applicable, and address.

    90. The Commission encourages comments to be filed electronically via the eFiling link on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov. The Commission accepts most standard word processing formats. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format. Commenters filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing.

    91. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    92. All comments will be placed in the Commission's public files and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely as described in the Document Availability section below. Commenters on this proposal are not required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters.

    VII. Document Availability

    93. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the Internet through the Commission's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in the Commission's Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426.

    94. From the Commission's Home Page on the Internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number of this document, excluding the last three digits, in the docket number field.

    User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission's Web site during normal business hours from the Commission's Online Support at (202) 502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at [email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-8371, TTY (202) 502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at [email protected].

    By direction of the Commission.

    Issued: July 16, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17920 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Bureau of Prisons 28 CFR Part 550 [BOP-1168-P] RIN 1120-AB68 Drug Abuse Treatment Program AGENCY:

    Bureau of Prisons, Justice.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) proposes revisions to the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program (RDAP) regulations to allow greater inmate participation in the program and positively impact recidivism rates.

    DATES:

    Comments are due by September 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public is encouraged to submit comments on this proposed rule using the www.regulations.gov comment form. Written comments may also be submitted to the Rules Unit, Office of General Counsel, Bureau of Prisons, 320 First Street NW., Washington, DC 20534. You may view an electronic version of this regulation at www.regulations.gov. When submitting comments electronically you must include the BOP Docket Number in the subject box.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah Qureshi, Office of General Counsel, Bureau of Prisons, phone (202) 307-2105.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Posting of Public Comments

    Please note that all comments received are considered part of the public record and made available for public inspection online at www.regulations.gov. Such information includes personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter.

    If you want to submit personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) as part of your comment, but do not want it to be posted online, you must include the phrase “PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also locate all the personal identifying information you do not want posted online in the first paragraph of your comment and identify what information you want redacted.

    If you want to submit confidential business information as part of your comment but do not want it to be posted online, you must include the phrase “CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also prominently identify confidential business information to be redacted within the comment. If a comment has so much confidential business information that it cannot be effectively redacted, all or part of that comment may not be posted on www.regulations.gov.

    Personal identifying information identified and located as set forth above will be placed in the agency's public docket file, but not posted online. Confidential business information identified and located as set forth above will not be placed in the public docket file. If you wish to inspect the agency's public docket file in person by appointment, please see the For Further Information Contact paragraph.

    Discussion

    In this document, the Bureau proposes revisions to the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program (RDAP) regulations in four areas to allow greater inmate participation in the program and positively impact recidivism rates. Specifically, the Bureau proposes to (1) remove the regulatory requirement for RDAP written testing because it is more appropriate to assess an inmate's progress through clinical evaluation of behavior change (the written test is no longer used in practice); (2) remove existing regulatory provisions which automatically expel inmates who have committed certain acts (e.g., abuse of drugs or alcohol, violence, attempted escape); (3) limit the time frame for review of prior offenses for early release eligibility purposes to ten years before the date of federal imprisonment; and (4) lessen restrictions relating to early release eligibility.

    Community Treatment Services. Currently, the Bureau's regulations contain the term “Transitional drug abuse treatment (TDAT)” in 28 CFR 550.53(a)(3) and in the title and paragraphs (a) and (b) of § 550.56. We propose to replace this phrase because the name of this program has been changed to “Community Treatment Services (CTS).” This is a minor change to more accurately reflect the nature of the treatment program.

    § 550.50 Purpose and scope. We propose changes to this regulation to more accurately describe the purpose of the subpart and to reflect the source of drug treatment services within the Bureau of Prisons. The current regulation states that Bureau facilities have drug abuse treatment specialists who are supervised by a Coordinator and that facilities with residential drug abuse treatment programs (RDAP) should have additional specialists for treatment in the RDAP unit. This is inaccurate. We propose to change the regulation to explain that the Bureau's drug abuse treatment programs, which include drug abuse education, RDAP and non-residential drug abuse treatment services, are provided by the Psychology Services Department.

    We likewise propose to make a minor corresponding change in § 550.53(a)(1), which also refers inaccurately to the Drug Abuse Program Coordinator, when instead the course of activities referenced in that regulation is provided by the Psychology Services Department.

    § 550.53 Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program (RDAP)(f)(2). The Bureau proposes to remove subparagraph (f)(2) of § 550.53, which requires inmates to pass RDAP testing procedures and refers to an RDAP exam. The RDAP program no longer includes written testing as a requirement for completion of the program. Instead, RDAP uses clinical observation and clinical evaluation of inmate behavior change to assess readiness for completion. Therefore, the current language is inaccurate and imposes a requirement upon inmates that no longer exists.

    In 2010, the Bureau converted the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Programs to the Modified Therapeutic Community Model of treatment (MTC). This evidenced-based model is designed to assess progress through treatment as determined by the participants' completion of treatment goals and activities on their individualized treatment plan, and demonstrated behavior change. Each participant jointly works with their treatment specialist to create the content of their treatment plan. Every three months, or more often if necessary, each participant meets with their clinical team (four or more treatment staff) to review their progress in treatment. Progress in treatment is determined through assessing the accomplishment of their treatment goals and activities, along with demonstrated behavior change, such as improved personal and social conduct, no disciplinary incidents, etc. Unsatisfactory progress is evident when the participant does not accomplish their treatment goals and does not demonstrate mastery of skill development.

    There are several studies about the effectiveness of the MTC model of treatment. The most seminal study pertaining to this topic is titled “Outcome Evaluation of A Prison Therapeutic Community for Substance Abuse Treatment.” 1

    1Wexler, H., Falkin, G., Lipton, D., (1990). Outcome Evaluation of A Prison Therapeutic Community for Substance Abuse Treatment. Criminal Justice and Behavior, vol.17 No.1, March 1990 71-92, 1990 American Association for Correctional Psychology.

    This behavioral form of assessing progress is a much more powerful form of assessment than assessing the results of a written test. The written test assesses knowledge, but knowledge does not necessarily demonstrate whether the program has positively affected an individual's behavior or addictive lifestyle.

    All of the treatment specialists in the Bureau have a doctorate degree in psychology. They are well qualified to use their knowledge of treatment and the behavior of individuals suffering from substance abuse to objectively determine if a participant is ready to complete the program. There are three decades of evaluation research that support the efficacy of the therapeutic community model of treatment. The most comprehensive source of program description, theory, and summary of research associated with this model of treatment is found in the book entitled The Therapeutic Community: Theory, Model, and Method. New York: Springer Publishing Company, Inc. (De Leon, G. (2000).

    § 550.53(g) Expulsion from RDAP. We propose to remove § 550.53(g)(3), which requires Discipline Hearing Officers (DHOs) to remove an inmate automatically from RDAP if there is a finding that the inmate has committed a prohibited act involving alcohol, drugs, violence, escape, or any 100-level series incident.

    Removing the language would give the Bureau more latitude and clinical discretion when determining which inmates should be expelled from the program. If the language is deleted, inmates will then only be expelled from RDAP according to criteria in § 550.53(g)(1) which allows inmates to be removed from the program by the Drug Abuse Program Coordinator because of disruptive behavior related to the program or unsatisfactory progress in treatment, and requires at least one formal warning before removal, unless there is documented lack of compliance and the inmate's continued presence would present an immediate problem for staff and other inmates.

    Removing paragraph (g)(3) removes the automatic expulsion of inmates committing the listed prohibited acts and allows for greater possibility of continuance of the program for inmates with discipline problems.

    § 550.55(b) Inmates not eligible for early release. We propose to make two changes to § 550.55(b). The first is to modify the current language of (b)(4), which precludes inmates from consideration for early release if they have a prior felony or misdemeanor conviction for homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, arson, kidnaping, or an offense that involves sexual abuse of minors. The Bureau proposes to modify the language of (b)(4) to clarify that we intend to limit consideration of “prior felony or misdemeanor” convictions to those which were imposed within the ten years prior to the date of sentencing for the inmate's current commitment. By making this change, the Bureau clarifies that it will not preclude from early release eligibility those inmates whose prior felony or misdemeanor convictions were imposed longer than ten years before the date of sentencing for the inmate's current commitment.

    Title 18 U.S.C. 3621(e) provides the Director of the Bureau of Prisons the discretion to grant an early release of up to one year upon the successful completion of a residential drug abuse treatment program. In exercising the Director's statutory discretion, we considered the crimes of homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, arson, and kidnaping. In the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses: Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses which involve force or threat of force. The Director exercised his discretion, therefore, to include these categories of violent crimes and also expanded the list to include arson and kidnaping, as they also are crimes of an inherently violent nature and particular dangerousness to the public.

    The Director exercises discretion to deny early release eligibility to inmates who have a prior felony or misdemeanor conviction for theses offenses because commission of such offenses rationally reflects the view that such inmates displayed readiness to endanger the public. The UCR explained that “because of the variances in punishment for the same offenses in different state codes, no distinction between felony and misdemeanor crimes was possible.”

    The application of national standards to the numerous local, state, tribal, and federal prior convictions promotes uniformity, but creates unique issues since each separate entity will have its own criminal statutory schemes in which offenses may be categorized as either misdemeanors or felonies. Limiting the Bureau to an analysis of how an offense is categorized in local, state, tribal, or federal criminal codes, rather than to an analysis of the nature of the prior offense, would effectively prevent the Director from exercising the discretion authorized by 18 U.S.C. 3621(e). Furthermore, eliminating the analysis of prior violent misdemeanor convictions would allow inmates to receive the benefit of early release merely because of the manner in which the prior convictions were categorized.

    Additionally, 28 CFR 550.55(b)(6) provides that inmates who have been convicted of an attempt, conspiracy, or other offense which involved certain underlying offenses are also precluded from early release eligibility. Many state statutes provide that “attempt” convictions are to be categorized as one degree lower than the underlying offense (e.g., Alaska Statutes sec. 11.31.100(d), N.C. Gen Stat. sec. 14-2.5, Tex. Penal Code sec. 15.01(d), and Wash. Rev. Code sec. 9A.28.020(3)). Therefore, eliminating the analysis of prior misdemeanor convictions may result in offenders convicted of attempting to commit a precluding offense being found eligible for early release, despite the provisions of 28 CFR 550.55(b)(6).

    Further, based on a random sampling of inmates who participated in RDAP but were precluded from RDAP early release eligibility, the Bureau estimates that of the 856 inmates precluded in the year 2014 based only on convictions for prior offense, at least half that number would have been eligible for early release if the Bureau had not considered prior offenses greater than 10 years old. The Fiscal Year 2015 estimated annual marginal rate to incarcerate an inmate in the Bureau of Prisons is $11,324 per inmate. Based on an estimate of 400 inmates released up to a year early if this proposed rule change is made, that could equate to a cost avoidance of over $4.5 million per year.

    We also propose to narrow the language in § 550.55(b)(6) relating to early release eligibility. In § 550.55(b), the Director exercises his discretion to disallow particular categories of inmates from eligibility for early release, including, in (b)(6), those who were convicted of an attempt, conspiracy, or other offense which involved an underlying offense listed in paragraph (b)(4) and/or (b)(5) of § 550.55.

    We propose to narrow the language of § 550.55(b)(6) to preclude only those inmates whose prior conviction involved direct knowledge of the underlying criminal activity and who either participated in or directed the underlying criminal activity. The proposed change would more precisely tailor the regulation to the congressional intent to exclude from early release consideration only those inmates who have been convicted of a violent offense. Furthermore, the changed language would potentially expand early release benefits to more inmates.

    Beginning in 1991, in coordination with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Bureau conducted a 3-year outcome study of the RDAP. Federal Bureau of Prisons (2000). TRIAD Drug Treatment Evaluation Project Final Report of Three-Year Outcomes: Part I. (“TRIAD Study”). The study evaluated the effect of treatment on both male and female inmates (1,842 men and 473 women). This study demonstrates that the Bureau's RDAP makes a positive difference in the lives of inmates and improves public safety.

    The TRIAD study showed that the RDAP program is effective in reducing recidivism. Male participants were 16 percent less likely to recidivate and 15 percent less likely to relapse than similarly situated inmates who do not participate in residential drug abuse treatment for up to 3 years after release. The analysis also found that female inmates who participate in RDAP are 18 percent less likely to recidivate than similarly situated female inmates who do not participate in treatment.

    The TRIAD study defined criminal recidivism was defined two ways: (1) An arrest for a new offense or (2) an arrest for a new offense or supervision revocation. Revocation was defined as occurring only when the revocation was solely the result of a technical violation of one or more conditions of supervision (e.g., detected drug use, failure to report to probation officer). Drug use as a post-release outcome, for the purposes of the study, referred to the first occurrence of drug or alcohol use as reported by U.S. Probation officers (i.e., a positive urinalysis (u/a), refusal to submit to a urinalysis, admission of drug use to the probation officer, or a positive breathalyser test).

    Offenders who completed the residential drug abuse treatment program and had been released to the community for three years were less likely to be re-arrested or to be detected for drug use than were similar inmates who did not participate in the drug abuse treatment program. Specifically, 44.3 percent of male inmates who completed the program were likely to be re-arrested or revoked within three years after release to supervision in the community, compared to 52.5 percent of those inmates who did not receive such treatment. For women, 24.5 percent of those who completed the residential drug abuse treatment program were arrested or revoked within three years after release, compared to 29.7 percent of the untreated women.

    With respect to drug use, 49.4 percent of men who completed treatment were likely to use drugs within 3 years following release, compared to 58.5 percent of those who did not receive treatment. Among female inmates who completed treatment, 35.2 percent were likely to use drugs within the three-year postrelease period in the community, compared to 42.6 percent of those who did not receive such treatment.

    § 550.56 Community Transitional Drug Abuse Treatment Program (TDAT).

    In addition to changing “Transitional Drug Abuse Treatment Program (TDAT)” to “Community Treatment Services (CTS)” throughout this regulation as indicated earlier, we also propose to delete paragraph (c) which appears to require that inmates successfully completing RDAP and participating in transitional treatment programming must participate in such programming for one hour per month. The provision in the regulation is an error. It does not relate to Community Treatment Services (CTS), but instead relates to RDAP. It is therefore unnecessary to retain this language. The substance of this language will be retained as implementing text in the relevant policy statement as part of RDAP procedures.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    This proposed regulation has been drafted and reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” section 1(b), Principles of Regulation, and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.” These executive orders direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility.

    The Director, Bureau of Prisons has determined that this proposed rule is a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f), and accordingly this proposed rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    As context regarding the current impact of the RDAP (i.e., without the changes proposed in this rule), in FY 2014, 18,102 inmates participated in the residential drug abuse treatment program. Title 18 U.S.C. 3621(e)(2) allows the Bureau to grant a non-violent offender up to one year off his/her term of imprisonment for successful completion of the RDAP. In fiscal year 2014, 5,229 inmates received a reduction in their term of imprisonment resulting in a cost avoidance of nearly $50 million based on this law (average reduction was 10.4 months and the marginal cost avoidance was $10,994 annually). The changes made by this proposed rule would increase the number of current inmates who benefit from the RDAP program and would increase the number of inmates who may be eligible for early release, thereby resulting in cost avoidance to the Bureau in the future.

    For instance, the change we propose to make to § 550.55(b)(6), regarding changing “other offense” to “solicitation to commit,” based on prior year data (Jan 2014 through Dec 2014), we estimate that approximately 45 inmates would be made eligible for early release as a result of the suggested change.

    We will not require more resources in order to put more individuals through RDAP. RDAP is a nine-month program. The program has a treatment capacity large enough to accommodate about 8,400 participants at any given time. Therefore, during a year, program capacity is filled twice, which means that at least 16,800 participants can be accommodated every year. It is not uncommon for more than 16,800 to participate. For example, in FY 2014, approximately 18,000 inmates participated. This number also reflects inmates who may drop out of the program and are replaced with other inmates on the wait list.

    Executive Order 13132

    This proposed regulation would not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Under Executive Order 13132, this rulemaking does not have sufficient federalism implications for which we would prepare a Federalism Assessment.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Director of the Bureau of Prisons, under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), reviewed this regulation. By approving it, the Director certifies that it will not have a significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities because: This proposed rule is about the correctional management of offenders committed to the custody of the Attorney General or the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, and its economic impact is limited to the Bureau's appropriated funds.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This proposed rule will not cause State, local and tribal governments, or the private sector, to spend $100,000,000 or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. We do not need to take action under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This proposed rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This proposed rule would not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

    List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 550

    Prisoners.

    Charles E. Samuels, Jr., Director, Bureau of Prisons.

    Under the rulemaking authority vested in the Attorney General in 5 U.S.C. 301; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510 and delegated to the Director, Bureau of Prisons in 28 CFR 0.96, we propose to amend 28 CFR part 550 as follows:

    PART 550—DRUG PROGRAMS 1. The authority citation for part 550 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 18 U.S.C. 3521-3528, 3621, 3622, 3624, 4001, 4042, 4046, 4081, 4082 (Repealed in part as to offenses committed on or after November 1, 1987), 5006-5024 (Repealed October 12, 1984 as to offenses committed after that date), 5039; 21 U.S.C. 848; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510; Title V, Pub. L. 91-452, 84 Stat. 933 (18 U.S.C. Chapter 223).

    2. Revise § 550.50 to read as follows:
    § 550.50 Purpose and scope.

    The purpose of this subpart is to describe the Bureau's drug abuse treatment programs for the inmate population, to include drug abuse education, non-residential drug abuse treatment services, and residential drug abuse treatment programs (RDAP). These services are provided by Psychology Services department.

    3. Amend § 550.53 by revising paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(3), (f), and (g) to read as follows:
    § 550.53 Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program (RDAP).

    (a) * * *

    (1) Unit-based component. Inmates must complete a course of activities provided by the Psychology Services Department in a treatment unit set apart from the general prison population. This component must last at least six months.

    (3) Community Treatment Services (CTS). Inmates who have completed the unit-based program and (when appropriate) the follow-up treatment and transferred to a community-based program must complete CTS to have successfully completed RDAP and receive incentives. The Warden, on the basis of his or her discretion, may find an inmate ineligible for participation in a community-based program; therefore, the inmate cannot complete RDAP.

    (f) Completing the unit-based component of RDAP. To complete the unit-based component of RDAP, inmates must have satisfactory attendance and participation in all RDAP activities.

    (g) Expulsion from RDAP. (1) Inmates may be removed from the program by the Drug Abuse Program Coordinator because of disruptive behavior related to the program or unsatisfactory progress in treatment.

    (2) Ordinarily, inmates must be given at least one formal warning before removal from RDAP. A formal warning is not necessary when the documented lack of compliance with program standards is of such magnitude that an inmate's continued presence would create an immediate and ongoing problem for staff and other inmates.

    (3) We may return an inmate who withdraws or is removed from RDAP to his/her prior institution (if we had transferred the inmate specifically to participate in RDAP).

    4. Revise § 550.55(b)(4) and (6) to read as follows:
    § 550.55 Eligibility for early release.

    (b) * * *

    (4) Inmates who have a prior felony or misdemeanor conviction within the ten years prior to the date of sentencing for their current commitment for:

    (i) Homicide (including deaths caused by recklessness, but not including deaths caused by negligence or justifiable homicide);

    (ii) Forcible rape;

    (iii) Robbery;

    (iv) Aggravated assault;

    (v) Arson;

    (vi) Kidnaping; or

    (vii) An offense that by its nature or conduct involves sexual abuse offenses committed upon minors;

    (6) Inmates who have been convicted of an attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit an underlying offense listed in paragraph (b)(4) and/or (b)(5) of this section; or

    5. Revise § 550.56 to read as follows:
    § 550.56 Community Treatment Services (CTS).

    (a) For inmates to successfully complete all components of RDAP, they must participate in CTS. If inmates refuse or fail to complete CTS, they fail RDAP and are disqualified for any additional incentives.

    (b) Inmates with a documented drug use problem who did not choose to participate in RDAP may be required to participate in CTS as a condition of participation in a community-based program, with the approval of the Supervisory Community Treatment Services Coordinator.

    [FR Doc. 2015-17707 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-05-P
    POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION 39 CFR part 3050 [Docket No. RM2015-11; Order No. 2593] Periodic Reporting AGENCY:

    Postal Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing requesting that the Commission initiate an informal rulemaking proceeding to consider changes to analytical principles relating to periodic reports (Proposal Three). This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps.

    DATES:

    Comments are due: August 31, 2015. Reply Comments are due: September 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Summary of Proposal III. Initial Commission Action IV. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction

    On July 14, 2015, the Postal Service filed a petition pursuant to 39 CFR 3050.11 requesting that the Commission initiate an informal rulemaking proceeding to consider a proposed change in analytical principles relating to periodic reports.1 A description of Proposal Three is attached to the Petition. Petition at 1. The Petition identifies the proposed change as a modification to the analytical method used to estimate shape and weight for a portion of the “Origin-Destination Information System—Revenue, Pieces and Weight” (ODIS-RPW) sampling frame related to letter and card shaped mailpieces. Id.

    1 Petition of the United States Postal Service Requesting Initiation of a Proceeding to Consider a Proposed Change in Analytical Principles (Proposal Three), July 14, 2015 (Petition).

    II. Summary of Proposal

    The Postal Service explains that ODIS-RPW is a probability-based destinating mail sampling system that primarily supplies the official “Revenue, Pieces and Weight By Class and Special Services” (RPW) report estimates of revenue, volume, and weight for single-piece stamped and metered mail. Id., Proposal Three at 4. Currently, ODIS-RPW data collectors travel to randomly selected Mail Exit Points (MEPs) on randomly selected days and manually sample mail as it arrives at these locations. Id. These data collectors record mail characteristics from the sampled mail pieces, such as revenue, volume, weight, mail class, subclass, and indicia. Id.

    Under Proposal Three, a portion of MEPs would begin digitally capturing the images of letter and card shaped mail from Delivery Barcode Sequencing (DBCS) second pass operations. Id. at 3. The remaining portion of MEPs would continue to employ the existing manual ODIS-RPW sampling techniques. Id. at 4-5. The Postal Service asserts that all of the mail characteristics currently collected from manually sampled mailpieces can be collected from digitally captured images of sampled mailpieces, except for weight and shape. Id. at 3. The Postal Service proposes to use the weight and shape data from those MEPs that continue to employ manual sampling techniques as a distribution key for the digitally sampled mailpieces. Id. at 5.

    The Postal Service plans to implement the change in Proposal Three beginning on January 1, 2016. Id. at 3. The Postal Service asserts that the proposed change would only impact three mail categories: First-Class Mail single-piece cards, First-Class Mail single-piece stamped letters, and First-Class Mail single-piece metered letters. Id. at 5.

    The Postal Service states that the change in Proposal Three would have very little impact on the business needs that the ODIS-RPW system supports. Id. at 10. Moreover, the Postal Service notes that the changes in Proposal Three will result in cost savings through the elimination of travel time and on-site work hours for ODIS-RPW data collectors. Id. at 5 n.1.

    III. Initial Commission Action

    The Commission establishes Docket No. RM2015-11 for consideration of matters raised by the Petition. Additional information concerning the Petition may be accessed via the Commission's Web site at http://www.prc.gov. Interested persons may submit comments on the Petition and Proposal Three no later than August 31, 2015. Reply comments are due no later than September 10, 2015. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, Katalin K. Clendenin is designated as an officer of the Commission to represent the interests of the general public (Public Representative) in this proceeding.

    IV. Ordering Paragraphs

    It is ordered:

    1. The Commission establishes Docket No. RM2015-11 for consideration of the matters raised by the Petition of the United States Postal Service Requesting Initiation of a Proceeding to Consider a Proposed Change in Analytical Principles (Proposal Three), filed July 14, 2015.

    2. Comments are due no later than August 31, 2015. Reply comments are due no later than September 10, 2015.

    3. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, the Commission appoints Katalin K. Clendenin to serve as Public Representative in this docket.

    4. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the Federal Register.

    By the Commission.

    Ruth Ann Abrams, Acting Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17939 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0268; FRL-9930-92-Region 7] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; State of Missouri; Control of Petroleum Liquid Storage, Loading and Transfer AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve the State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the state of Missouri. This revision includes regulatory amendments that remove the requirements of stage II vapor recovery control systems at gasoline dispensing facilities in the St. Louis area, revises certification and testing procedures for stage I vapor recovery systems, prohibits above ground storage tanks at gasoline dispensing facilities, and includes general revisions to better clarify the rule. These revisions to Missouri's SIP do not have an adverse effect on air quality as demonstrated in Missouri's technical demonstration document and EPA's technical support demonstration which is a part of this docket.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0268, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Mail or Hand Delivery or Courier: Steven Brown, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0268. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket. All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219. EPA requests that you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The interested persons wanting to examine these documents should make an appointment with the office at least 24 hours in advance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steven Brown Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at (913) 551-7718, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document “we,” “us,” or “our” refer to EPA. This section provides additional information by addressing the following:

    I. What is being addressed? II. Have the requirements for approval of a SIP revision been met? III. What action is EPA taking? I. What is being addressed?

    EPA proposes to approve the SIP revision submitted by the state of Missouri that removes the requirements of stage II vapor recovery control systems at gasoline dispensing facilities in the St. Louis area including minor revisions to the rule as described below.

    On November 20, 2014, MDNR submitted a request to revise the SIP to include the following revision to Missouri Rule 10 CSR 10-5.220, “Control of Petroleum Liquid Storage, Loading and Transfer”: (1) Removes the requirements of stage II vapor recovery control systems at gasoline dispensing facilities in the St. Louis area, (2) revises certification and testing procedures for the remaining stage I systems consistent with California Air Resources Board (CARB) vapor recovery requirements instead of the Missouri Performance Evaluation and Test Procedures (MOPETP), (3) the prohibition of above ground storage tanks at gasoline dispensing facilities, and (4) general text revisions to better clarify the rule.

    II. Have the requirements for approval of a SIP revision been met?

    The state submission has met the public notice requirements for SIP submissions in accordance with 40 CFR 51.102. The submission also satisfied the completeness criteria of 40 CFR part 51, appendix V. In addition, as explained in this proposed action, the revisions meet the substantive SIP requirements of the CAA, including section 110(l) and section 193 and implementing regulations. EPA has determined that the revisions meet all applicable CAA regulations, policy and guidance as detailed in EPA Technical Support Document and Missouri's technical support documentation which is part of this docket.

    III. What action is EPA taking?

    We are processing this as a proposed action because we are soliciting comments on this proposed action. Final rulemaking will occur after consideration of any comments.

    Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    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 the Missouri Regulation “Control of Petroleum Liquid Storage, Loading and Transfer” described in the proposed 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).

    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” under the terms of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and is therefore not subject to review under Executive Orders 12866 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 and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: June 29, 2015. Mark Hague, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 7.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA proposes to amend 40 CFR part 52 as set forth below:

    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 AA—Missouri 2. In § 52.1320(c), the table is amended by revising the entry for 10-5.220 to read as follows:
    § 52.1320 Identification of Plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved Missouri Regulations Missouri citation Title State effective date EPA Approval date Explanation Missouri Department of Natural Resources *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 5—Air Quality Standards and Air Pollution Control Regulations for the St. Louis Metropolitan Area *         *         *         *         *         *         * 10-5.220 Control of Petroleum Liquid Storage, Loading and Transfer 07/21/14 07/22/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-17853 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0212; FRL-9929-12] RIN 2070-ZA16 Aldicarb, Alternaria destruens, Ampelomyces quisqualis, Azinphos-methyl, Etridiazole, Fenarimol, et al.; Proposed Tolerance and Tolerance Exemption Actions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is proposing, in follow-up to canceled product registrations or uses, to revoke certain tolerances for acephate, aldicarb, azinphos-methyl, etridiazole, fenarimol, imazamethabenz-methyl, tepraloxydim, thiacloprid, thiazopyr, and tralkoxydim, and tolerance exemptions for certain pesticide active ingredients. Also, EPA is proposing to make minor revisions to the section heading and introductory text for Pythium oligandrum DV 74. In addition, in accordance with current Agency practice, EPA is proposing to make minor revisions to the tolerance expression for imazamethabenz-methyl, and remove expired tolerances and tolerance exemptions for certain pesticide active ingredients.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0212, 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:

    Joseph Nevola, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8037; email address: [email protected]

    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.

    C. What can I do if I wish the agency to maintain a tolerance that the agency proposes to revoke?

    This proposed rule provides a comment period of 60 days for any person to state an interest in retaining a tolerance proposed for revocation. If EPA receives a comment within the 60-day period to that effect, EPA will not proceed to revoke the tolerance immediately. However, EPA will take steps to ensure the submission of any needed supporting data and will issue an order in the Federal Register under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) section 408(f), if needed. The order would specify data needed and the timeframes for its submission, and would require that within 90 days some person or persons notify EPA that they will submit the data. If the data are not submitted as required in the order, EPA will take appropriate action under FFDCA.

    EPA issues a final rule after considering comments that are submitted in response to this proposed rule. In addition to submitting comments in response to this proposal, you may also submit an objection at the time of the final rule. If you fail to file an objection to the final rule within the time period specified, you will have waived the right to raise any issues resolved in the final rule. After the specified time, issues resolved in the final rule cannot be raised again in any subsequent proceedings.

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

    EPA is proposing, in follow-up to canceled product registrations or uses, to revoke certain tolerances for the fungicides etridiazole and fenarimol; the herbicides imazamethabenz-methyl, tepraloxydim, thiazopyr, and tralkoxydim; the insecticides acephate, aldicarb, azinphos-methyl, and thiacloprid, in or on commodities listed in the regulatory text; and revoke certain tolerance exemptions for various microbial or biochemical pesticides. Also, EPA is proposing to make minor revisions to the section heading and introductory text for Pythium oligandrum DV 74. In addition, in accordance with current Agency practice, EPA is proposing to make minor revisions to the tolerance expression for imazamethabenz-methyl, and remove expired tolerances and tolerance exemptions for various pesticide active ingredients.

    In addition, EPA is proposing to revoke certain specific tolerances because either they are no longer needed or are associated with food uses that are no longer registered under FIFRA. Those instances where registrations were canceled were because the registrant failed to pay the required maintenance fee and/or the registrant voluntarily requested cancellation of one or more registered uses of the pesticide. It is EPA's general practice to propose revocation of those tolerances for residues of pesticide active ingredients on crop uses for which there are no active registrations under FIFRA, unless any person in comments on the proposal indicates a need for the tolerance to cover residues in or on imported commodities or legally treated domestic commodities.

    1. Acephate. In the Federal Register notice of July 13, 2011 (76 FR 41250) (FRL-8879-7), EPA announced its receipt of voluntary requests by registrants to amend certain registrations, including amendments that would terminate the use of acephate on succulent beans as a food use on technical registrations for acephate. In the Federal Register notice of September 14, 2011 (76 FR 56753) (FRL-8888-2), EPA granted the requested amendments to terminate certain uses, including use of acephate on succulent beans as a food use. In late 2012 and early 2013, EPA issued letters to registrants with end-use registrations for acephate use on succulent beans to explain that all end-use products needed amendment to prohibit such use as a food. Since then, all but three of those acephate product labels with a food use on succulent beans have been voluntarily amended with restrictions that prohibit use on succulent beans as a food. One of the remaining acephate products with use on succulent beans as a food is now canceled. In the Federal Register notice of March 12, 2015 (80 FR 12996) (FRL-9923-27), EPA announced its receipt of voluntary requests by registrants to cancel certain product registrations, including certain acephate products, one of which is registered for use on succulent beans as a food. In the Federal Register notice of June 3, 2015 (80 FR 31596) (FRL-9926-88), EPA published a cancellation order in follow-up to the March 12, 2015 notice and granted the requested product cancellations for acephate. Because the registrant ended the manufacture and distribution of these canceled acephate products about 6 to 7 years ago, EPA believes that existing stocks for these canceled acephate products are now exhausted. Two of the remaining acephate products with food uses for succulent beans have labels that are in process to be amended, to prohibit such use as a food, and await approval by the Agency. One product's label has been re-submitted for Agency review, while another product's label, recently in review, needs to be sent back to the registrant for re-submission to the Agency. EPA expects that both acephate labels could be submitted and their amendments approved by the Agency before a final rule is published in the Federal Register in follow-up to this proposed rule. Upon completion of the amendments for the two acephate products in process, there would no longer be any active food uses for acephate on succulent beans and therefore no longer any need for the acephate tolerances on succulent beans. Therefore, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerances for acephate in 40 CFR 180.108(a)(1) and (a)(3) on bean, succulent.

    2. Aldicarb. In the Federal Register notice of October 8, 2008 (73 FR 58958) (FRL-8385-2), EPA announced its receipt of voluntary requests by registrants to cancel and amend certain product registrations, including deletion of the sorghum use for aldicarb from two registrations. In the Federal Register notice of May 20, 2009 (74 FR 23690) (FRL-8412-8), EPA published a cancellation order and granted the requested amendments to terminate certain uses in follow-up to the October 8, 2008 notice, including deletion of the sorghum uses for aldicarb from two registrations. EPA permitted persons other than the registrant to sell, distribute, or use the existing stocks until supplies are exhausted. Also, in the Federal Register notice of December 10, 2008 (73 FR 75105) (FRL-8393-7), EPA announced its receipt of voluntary requests by registrants to cancel certain product registrations, including the last aldicarb registration with sorghum use in the United States. In a letter to the registrant dated June 8, 2009, EPA cancelled the last aldicarb registration with sorghum use and permitted persons other than the registrant to sell, distribute, or use the existing stocks until supplies are exhausted. EPA believes that existing stocks regarding these three aldicarb registrations described herein are now exhausted. Therefore, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerances for aldicarb in 40 CFR 180.269(a) on sorghum, grain, bran; sorghum, grain, grain; and sorghum, grain, stover.

    3. Alternaria destruens strain 059. In the Federal Register of July 24, 2009 (74 FR 36699) (FRL-8427-4), EPA published a list of cancellation orders issued for non-payment of the annual maintenance fee to keep pesticide registrations in effect. That list included cancellation orders for the last active registrations for Alternaria destruens strain 059. There have been no active registrations for over 5 years, and therefore the tolerance exemption for Alternaria destruens strain 059 is no longer needed and should be revoked. Consequently, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerance exemption when used in or on all raw agricultural commodities for Alternaria destruens strain 059 in 40 CFR 180.1256.

    4. Azinphos-methyl (AZM). In the Federal Register notice of August 8, 2007 (72 FR 44511) (FRL-8134-7), EPA announced its receipt of voluntary requests by registrants to cancel all remaining AZM products registered for use in the United States by September 30, 2012. In the Federal Register notice of February 20, 2008 (73 FR 9328) (FRL-8349-8), as corrected on March 26, 2008 (73 FR 16006) (FRL-8355-1), EPA published a cancellation order in follow-up to the August 8, 2007 notice, and granted the requested product cancellations for AZM. Among the AZM cancellations, EPA permitted distribution, sale, and use of existing stocks of the last AZM products (use on apples, blueberries, cherries, parsley, and pears) until September 30, 2012. On November 28, 2012 (77 FR 70998) (FRL-9363-9), EPA modified the cancellation order of February 20, 2008 to permit use of existing stocks of the last AZM products (use on apples, blueberries, cherries, parsley, and pears) until September 30, 2013. Because existing stocks may no longer be used, the tolerances are no longer needed and should be revoked. Consequently, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerances for AZM in 40 CFR 180.154(a) on almond; almond, hulls; apple; blackberry; blueberry; boysenberry; Brussels sprouts; cherry; crabapple; loganberry; parsley, leaves; parsley, turnip rooted, roots; peach; pear; pistachio; plum, prune; quince; raspberry; and walnut. Also, EPA proposes to remove the AZM tolerance in 40 CFR 180.154(a) on cranberry which expired on December 31, 2012.

    5. Butylate. Because the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.232 for residues of butylate all expired on March 23, 2013, EPA proposes to remove that section in its entirety.

    6. Cacodylic acid. Because the sole tolerance in 40 CFR 180.311 for cacodylic acid residues of concern expired on January 1, 2012, EPA proposes to remove that section in its entirety.

    7. Chloroneb. Because the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.257 for chloroneb residues of concern all expired on April 16, 2012, EPA proposes to remove that section in its entirety.

    8. Clofencet. Because the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.497 for residues of clofencet all expired on July 14, 2012, EPA proposes to remove that section in its entirety.

    9. Delta endotoxin of Bacillus thuringiensis variety San Diego encapsulated into killed Pseudomonas fluorescens. In the Federal Register of November 6, 2003 (68 FR 62785) (FRL-7331-3), EPA published a list of cancellation orders issued for non-payment of the annual maintenance fee to keep pesticide registrations in effect. That list included cancellation orders for the last active registration for the delta endotoxin of Bacillus thuringiensis variety San Diego. There have been no active registrations for over eleven years, and therefore the tolerance exemption for them is no longer needed and should be revoked. Consequently, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerance exemption in or on all raw agricultural commodities for the delta endotoxin of Bacillus thuringiensis variety San Diego in 40 CFR 180.1108.

    10. 2,2-Dimethyl-1,3-benzodioxol-4-ol methylcarbamate. Because the two tolerances in 40 CFR 180.530 for residues of 2,2-dimethyl-1,3-benzodioxol-4-ol methylcarbamate expired on April 26, 2005, EPA proposes to remove that section in its entirety.

    11. Etridiazole (5-ethoxy-3-(trichloromethyl)-1,2,4-thiadiazole). In the Federal Register notice of November 20, 2013 (78 FR 69666) (FRL-9902-40), EPA announced its receipt of voluntary requests by registrants to cancel certain product registrations, including the last etridiazole product registered for use on specific food commodities (barley, bean, corn, pea, peanut, safflower, sorghum, soybean, and wheat) in the United States. In the Federal Register notice of March 13, 2014 (79 FR 14247) (FRL-9905-37), EPA published a cancellation order in follow-up to the November 20, 2013 notice and granted the requested product cancellations for etridiazole. EPA permitted the registrant to sell and distribute existing stocks of those etridiazole products until March 13, 2015 and persons other than the registrant to sell, distribute, or use the existing stocks until supplies are exhausted. EPA believes that existing stocks are likely to be exhausted by March 13, 2016. However, as explained in Unit II.C., EPA is proposing that the actions herein become effective 6 months after the date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. Consequently, EPA expects that the effective date of the final rule will occur after existing stocks are exhausted; i.e., after March 13, 2016. Therefore, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerances for etridiazole (5-ethoxy-3-(trichloromethyl)-1,2,4-thiadiazole) in 40 CFR 180.370(a) on barley, grain; barley, hay; corn, field, forage; corn, field, grain; corn, field, stover; corn, sweet, forage; corn, sweet, stover; peanut; peanut, hay; safflower, seed; sorghum, grain, forage; sorghum, grain, grain; vegetable, foliage of legume, group 7; vegetable, legume, group 6; wheat, forage; wheat, grain; and wheat, straw.

    12. Eucalyptus oil. Because time-limited tolerance exemptions in 40 CFR 180.1241 for the use of the pesticide Eucalyptus oil on honey and honeycomb expired on June 30, 2007, EPA is proposing to remove them from 40 CFR 180.1241, and remove that section in its entirety.

    13. Fenarimol. In the Federal Register notice of February 22, 2012 (77 FR 10516) (FRL-9336-4), EPA announced its receipt of voluntary requests by registrants to cancel certain product registrations, including the last fenarimol products registered for use on specific food commodities (apple, cherry, grape, hazelnut, hops, pear, and pecan) in the United States. In the Federal Register notice of May 2, 2012 (77 FR 26004) (FRL-9347-4), EPA published a cancellation order in follow-up to the February 22, 2012 notice and granted the requested product cancellations for fenarimol. EPA permitted the registrant to sell and distribute existing stocks of those fenarimol products until July 31, 2013 and persons other than the registrant to sell and distribute existing stocks through July 31, 2015, and use the existing stocks until supplies are exhausted. EPA believes that existing stocks are likely to be exhausted by July 31, 2016. Therefore, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerances for fenarimol in 40 CFR 180.421(a) on apple; apple, wet pomace; cattle, fat; cattle, kidney; cattle, meat; cattle, meat byproducts, except kidney; cherry, sweet; cherry, tart; goat, fat; goat, kidney; goat, meat; goat, meat byproducts, except kidney; grape; hazelnut; hop, dried cones; horse, fat; horse, kidney; horse, meat; horse, meat byproducts, except kidney; pear; pecan; sheep, fat; sheep, kidney; sheep, meat; and sheep, meat byproducts, except kidney; each with an expiration/revocation date of July 31, 2016.

    Also, EPA is proposing to re-instate a footnote for the import tolerance on banana in 40 CFR 180.421(a), which was inadvertently removed on September 15, 2006 (71 FR 54423) (FRL-8077-9), as shown in the regulatory text at the end of this document.

    14. Flusilazole. Because the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.630 for residues of flusilazole all expired on December 31, 2010, EPA proposes to remove that section in its entirety.

    15. Gentamicin. Because the sole tolerance in 40 CFR 180.642 for residues of gentamicin expired on December 31, 2010, EPA proposes to remove that section in its entirety.

    16. Imazamethabenz-methyl (2-(4-isopropyl-4-methyl-5-oxo-2-imidazolin-2-yl)-p-toluate and methyl 6-(4-isopropyl-4-methyl-5-oxo-2-imidazolin-2-yl)-m-toluate). In the Federal Register notice of May 20, 2014 (79 FR 28920) (FRL-9909-40), EPA announced its receipt of voluntary requests by registrants to cancel certain product registrations, including the last imazamethabenz-methyl products registered for use in or on food in the United States. In the Federal Register notice of August 6, 2014 (79 FR 45798) (FRL-9914-09), EPA published cancellation orders in follow-up to the May 20, 2014 notice, and granted the requested product cancellations for imazamethabenz-methyl. EPA permitted the registrant to sell and distribute existing stocks of one of the last imazamethabenz-methyl products for use in or on food until August 6, 2015 and the other until December 31, 2015 (per the registrant's request). Persons other than the registrant were permitted to sell, distribute, or use existing stocks until supplies are exhausted. EPA believes that existing stocks are likely to be exhausted by December 31, 2016. Therefore, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerances for imazamethabenz-methyl in 40 CFR 180.437 on barley, grain; barley, straw; sunflower, seed; wheat, grain; and wheat, straw; each with an expiration/revocation date of December 31, 2016, revise the section heading to imazamethabenz-methyl, and designate the existing introductory text as paragraph (a). In addition, in order to describe more clearly the measurement and scope or coverage of the tolerances, EPA is proposing to revise the text in newly designated paragraph (a) to read as set out in the proposed regulatory text at the end of this document. The revision would not substantively change the tolerance or, in any way, modify the permissible level of residues permitted by the tolerance.

    Also, in accordance with current Agency practice, EPA is proposing to revise 40 CFR 180.437 by adding separate paragraphs (b), (c), and (d), and reserving those sections for tolerances with section 18 emergency exemptions, regional registrations, and indirect or inadvertent residues, respectively.

    17. Kaolin. Because the time-limited tolerance exemption in 40 CFR 180.1180(a) for the use of the pesticide kaolin on crops (apples, apricots, bananas, beans, cane berries, citrus fruits, corn, cotton, cranberries, cucurbits, grapes, melons, nuts, ornamentals, peaches, peanuts, pears, peppers, plums, potatoes, seed crops, small grains, soybeans, strawberries, sugar beets, and tomatoes) expired on December 31, 1999, EPA proposes to remove that paragraph and proposes to revise 40 CFR 180.1180(b) to 40 CFR 180.1180.

    18. Lagenidium giganteum. In the Federal Register of September 28, 2011 (76 FR 60025) (FRL-8889-7), EPA published a notice which granted registrant-requested cancellations. That list included cancellation orders for the last active registrations for Lagenidium giganteum. The registrant was permitted to sell and distribute existing pesticide stocks until September 28, 2012. Persons other than the registrant were permitted to sell, distribute, and use existing stocks until exhaustion. EPA believes that existing stocks are exhausted; i.e., more than 2 years after the registrant was no longer permitted to sell and distribute them, and therefore the tolerance exemptions for them are no longer needed and should be revoked. Consequently, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerance exemptions for residues in or on aspirated grain fractions; grass, forage; grass, hay; rice, grain; rice, straw; soybean, seed; soybean, forage; soybean, hay; and rice, wild, grain for Lagenidium giganteum in 40 CFR 180.1113.

    19. Methamidophos. Because the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.315 for residues of methamidophos all expired, some on December 31, 2012 and others on December 31, 2013, EPA proposes to remove that section in its entirety.

    20. Methyl parathion. Because the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.121 for residues of methyl parathion all expired on December 31, 2013, EPA proposes to remove that section in its entirety.

    21. Multiple active ingredients. In the Federal Register of October 27, 2004 (69 FR 62666) (FRL-7683-7), EPA published a list of cancellation orders issued for non-payment of the annual maintenance fee to keep pesticide registrations in effect. That list included cancellation orders for the last active registrations for the following pesticide active ingredients: Delta endotoxin of Bacillus thuringiensis variety kurstaki encapsulated into killed Pseudomonas fluorescens, Ampelomyces quisqualis isolate M10, Candida oleophila isolateI-182, and CryIA(c) and CryIC derived delta-endotoxins of Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki encapsulated in killed Pseudomonas fluorescens, and the expression plasmid and cloning vector genetic constructs. They have had no active registrations for over ten years, and therefore the tolerance exemptions for them are no longer needed and should be revoked. Consequently, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerance exemptions for the following: Delta endotoxin of Bacillus thuringiensis variety kurstaki in 40 CFR 180.1107, Ampelomyces quisqualis isolate M10 in 40 CFR 180.1131, Candida oleophila isolate I-182 in 40 CFR 180.1144, and CryIA(c) and CryIC derived delta-endotoxins of Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki encapsulated in killed Pseudomonas fluorescens, and the expression plasmid and cloning vector genetic constructs in 40 CFR 180.1154.

    22. Phosalone. Because the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.263 for residues of phosalone all expired on September 30, 2013, EPA proposes to remove that section in its entirety.

    23. Pseudomonas fluorescens strain PRA-25. Because the temporary tolerance exemption in 40 CFR 180.1200 for the use of the pesticide Pseudomonas fluorescens strain PRA-25 on peas, snap beans, and sweet corn expired on July 31, 2001, EPA proposes to remove that section in its entirety.

    24. Pseudozyma flocculosa strain PF-A22 UL. In the Federal Register of July 27, 2011 (76 FR 44907) (FRL-8879-8), EPA published a list of cancellation orders issued for non-payment of the annual maintenance fee to keep pesticide registrations in effect. That list included cancellation orders for the last active registrations for Pseudozyma flocculosa strain PF-A22 UL. There have been no active registrations for over 3 years, and therefore the tolerance exemption for them is no longer needed and should be revoked. Consequently, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerance exemption when used in or on all food commodities for Pseudozyma flocculosa strain PF-A22 UL in 40 CFR 180.1221.

    25. Pythium oligandrum DV 74. EPA is proposing in 40 CFR 180.1275 to revise the section heading from “Pythium” to “Pythium oligandrum DV 74” and make minor grammatical, non-substantive revisions to the introductory text to read as set out in the proposed regulatory text at the end of this document.

    26. Tepraloxydim. In the Federal Register notice of May 20, 2014 (79 FR 28920) (FRL-9909-40), EPA announced its receipt of voluntary requests by registrants to cancel certain product registrations, including the last tepraloxydim products registered for use in the United States. In the Federal Register notice of August 6, 2014 (79 FR 45798) (FRL-9914-09), EPA published cancellation orders in follow-up to the May 20, 2014 notice, and granted the requested product cancellations for tepraloxydim. The registrant indicated to EPA that tepraloxydim products were never marketed in the United States since the time of first registration, and therefore provisions for them to sell and distribute existing stocks are not necessary. Persons other than the registrant were permitted by EPA to sell, distribute, or use existing stocks until supplies are exhausted. The registrant stated that the products will continue to be used in Canada through 2017 and requested that EPA maintain the existing tolerances through 2018 in order to avoid trade barriers of tepraloxydim-treated commodities such as canola and dried peas and beans. Consequently, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.573(a)(1) on cotton, undelinted seed; cotton, gin byproducts; flax, seed; grain, aspirated fraction; pea and bean, dried shelled, except soybean, subgroup 6C; soybean, seed; soybean, hulls; and sunflower subgroup 20B; each with an expiration/revocation date of December 31, 2018.

    Also, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.573(a)(2) on cattle, fat; cattle, kidney; cattle, meat; cattle, meat byproducts, except kidney; egg; goat, fat; goat, kidney; goat, meat; goat, meat byproducts, except kidney; hog, fat; hog, kidney; hog, meat; hog, meat byproducts, except kidney; horse, fat; horse, kidney; horse, meat; horse, meat byproducts, except kidney; milk; poultry, fat; poultry, liver; poultry, meat; poultry, meat byproducts, except liver; sheep, fat; sheep, kidney; sheep, meat; and sheep, meat byproducts, except kidney; each with an expiration/revocation date of December 31, 2018.

    In addition, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerance in 40 CFR 180.573(c) on canola, seed with an expiration/revocation date of December 31, 2018.

    27. Thiacloprid. In the Federal Register notice of May 20, 2014 (79 FR 28920) (FRL-9909-40), EPA announced its receipt of voluntary requests by registrants to cancel certain product registrations, including the last thiacloprid products registered for use in the United States. In the Federal Register notice of August 6, 2014 (79 FR 45798) (FRL-9914-09), EPA published cancellation orders in follow-up to the May 20, 2014 notice, and granted the requested product cancellations for thiacloprid. EPA permitted the registrant to sell and distribute existing stocks of one of the last thiacloprid products until August 6, 2015 and the other until February 8, 2016 (per the registrant's request). Persons other than the registrant were permitted to sell, distribute, or use existing stocks until supplies are exhausted. EPA believes that existing stocks are likely to be exhausted by February 8, 2017. Therefore, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerances for thiacloprid in 40 CFR 180.594(a) on apple, wet pomace; cattle, fat; cattle, kidney; cattle, liver; cattle, meat; cattle, meat byproducts; cherry subgroup 12-12A; cotton, gin byproducts; cotton, undelinted seed; fruit, pome, group 11; goat, fat; goat, kidney; goat, liver; goat, meat; goat, meat byproducts; horse, fat; horse, kidney; horse, liver; horse, meat; horse, meat byproducts; milk; peach subgroup 12-12B; pepper; plum subgroup 12-12C; sheep, fat; sheep, kidney; sheep, liver; sheep, meat; sheep, meat byproducts; each with an expiration/revocation date of February 8, 2017.

    28. Thiazopyr. In the Federal Register notice of June 13, 2012 (77 FR 35379) (FRL-9351-7), EPA announced its receipt of voluntary requests by the registrants to cancel certain product registrations, including the last thiazopyr products registered for use on specific food commodities (grapefruit and orange) in the United States. In the Federal Register notice of September 12, 2012 (77 FR 56202) (FRL-9359-1), EPA published a cancellation order in follow-up to the June 13, 2012 notice and granted the requested product cancellations for thiazopyr. EPA permitted the registrant to sell and distribute existing stocks of those thiazopyr products until September 12, 2013 and persons other than the registrant to sell, distribute, and use existing stocks until supplies are exhausted. EPA believes that existing stocks are now exhausted. Therefore, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerances for thiazopyr in 40 CFR 180.496 on grapefruit and orange, sweet.

    29. Tralkoxydim. In the Federal Register notices of June 12, 2013 (78 FR 35268) (FRL-9388-5) and August 21, 2013 (78 FR 51721) (FRL-9396-5), EPA announced its receipt of voluntary requests by registrants to cancel certain product registrations, including the last tralkoxydim products registered for use in the United States. In the Federal Register notices of September 20, 2013 (78 FR 57850) (FRL-9396-3) and October 30, 2013 (78 FR 64938) (FRL-9403-2), EPA published cancellation orders in follow-up to the June 12, 2013 and August 21, 2013 notices, respectively, and granted the requested product cancellations for tralkoxydim. EPA permitted the registrant to sell and distribute existing stocks of those last tralkoxydim products until November 1, 2014 and persons other than the registrant to sell, distribute, or use existing stocks until supplies are exhausted. EPA believes that existing stocks are likely to be exhausted by November 1, 2015. However, as explained in Unit II.C., EPA is proposing that the actions herein become effective 6 months after the date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. Consequently, EPA expects that the effective date of the final rule will occur after the existing stocks are exhausted; i.e., after November 1, 2015. Therefore, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerances for tralkoxydim in 40 CFR 180.548(a) on barley, grain; barley, hay; barley, straw; wheat, forage; wheat, grain; wheat, hay; and wheat, straw.

    30. Tralomethrin. Because the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.422 for tralomethrin residues of concern all expired on July 9, 2013, EPA proposes to remove that section in its entirety.

    31. Trichoderma harzianum strain T-39. In the Federal Register of August 3, 2005 (70 FR 44637) (FRL-7726-4), EPA published a list of cancellation orders issued for non-payment of the annual maintenance fee to keep pesticide registrations in effect. That list included cancellation orders for the last active registration for Trichoderma harzianum strain T-39. There have been no active registrations for over 9 years, and therefore the tolerance exemption for them is no longer needed and should be revoked. Consequently, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerance exemption on all food commodities for Trichoderma harzianum strain T-39 in 40 CFR 180.1201.

    32. Zucchini yellow mosaic virus-weak strain. In the Federal Register of July 28, 2010 (75 FR 44240) (FRL-8835-2), EPA published a list of cancellation orders issued for non-payment of the annual maintenance fee to keep pesticide registrations in effect. That list included cancellation orders for the last active registration for Zucchini yellow mosaic virus-weak strain. There have been no active registrations for over 4 years, and therefore the tolerance exemption for them is no longer needed and should be revoked. Consequently, EPA is proposing to revoke the tolerance exemption when used in or on all raw cucurbits for Zucchini yellow mosaic virus-weak strain in 40 CFR 180.1279.

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

    A “tolerance” represents the maximum level for residues of pesticide chemicals legally allowed in or on raw agricultural commodities and processed foods. Section 408 of FFDCA, 21 U.S.C. 346a, authorizes the establishment of tolerances, exemptions from tolerance requirements, modifications in tolerances, and revocation of tolerances for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on raw agricultural commodities and processed foods. Without a tolerance or exemption, food containing pesticide residues is considered to be unsafe and therefore “adulterated” under FFDCA section 402(a), 21 U.S.C. 342(a). Such food may not be distributed in interstate commerce, 21 U.S.C. 331(a). For a food-use pesticide to be sold and distributed, the pesticide must not only have appropriate tolerances under the FFDCA, but also must be registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), 7 U.S.C. 136 et seq. Food-use pesticides not registered in the United States must have tolerances in order for commodities treated with those pesticides to be imported into the United States.

    EPA's general practice is to propose revocation of tolerances for residues of pesticide active ingredients on crops for which FIFRA registrations no longer exist and on which the pesticide may therefore no longer be used in the United States. EPA has historically been concerned that retention of tolerances that are not necessary to cover residues in or on legally treated foods may encourage misuse of pesticides within the United States. Nonetheless, EPA will establish and maintain tolerances even when corresponding domestic uses are canceled if the tolerances, which EPA refers to as “import tolerances,” are necessary to allow importation into the United States of food containing such pesticide residues. However, where there are no imported commodities that require these import tolerances, the Agency believes it is appropriate to revoke tolerances for unregistered pesticides in order to prevent potential misuse.

    Furthermore, as a general matter, the Agency believes that retention of import tolerances not needed to cover any imported food may result in unnecessary restriction on trade of pesticides and foods. Under FFDCA section 408, a tolerance may only be established or maintained if EPA determines that the tolerance is safe based on a number of factors, including an assessment of the aggregate exposure to the pesticide and an assessment of the cumulative effects of such pesticide and other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity. In doing so, EPA must consider potential contributions to such exposure from all tolerances. If the cumulative risk is such that the tolerances in aggregate are not safe, then every one of these tolerances is potentially vulnerable to revocation. Furthermore, if unneeded tolerances are included in the aggregate and cumulative risk assessments, the estimated exposure to the pesticide would be inflated. Consequently, it may be more difficult for others to obtain needed tolerances or to register needed new uses. To avoid potential trade restrictions, the Agency is proposing to revoke tolerances for residues on crops uses for which FIFRA registrations no longer exist, unless someone expresses a need for such tolerances. Through this proposed rule, the Agency is inviting individuals who need these import tolerances to identify themselves and the tolerances that are needed to cover imported commodities.

    Parties interested in retention of the tolerances should be aware that additional data may be needed to support retention. These parties should be aware that, under FFDCA section 408(f), if the Agency determines that additional information is reasonably required to support the continuation of a tolerance, EPA may require that parties interested in maintaining the tolerances provide the necessary information. If the requisite information is not submitted, EPA may issue an order revoking the tolerance at issue.

    C. When do these actions become effective?

    EPA is proposing that the actions herein become effective 6 months after the date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. EPA is proposing this effective date for these actions to allow a reasonable interval for producers in exporting members of the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures Agreement to adapt to the requirements of a final rule. With the exception of the proposed revocation of tolerances with expiration dates for fenarimol, imazamethabenz-methyl, tepraloxydim, and thiacloprid, the Agency believes that existing stocks of pesticide products labeled for the uses associated with the tolerances proposed for revocation have been completely exhausted and that treated commodities have cleared the channels of trade. Where EPA is proposing revocation with expiration dates for fenarimol, imazamethabenz-methyl, tepraloxydim, and thiacloprid, the Agency believes that this revocation date allows users to exhaust stocks and allows sufficient time for passage of treated commodities through the channels of trade. If you have comments regarding existing stocks and whether the effective date allows sufficient time for treated commodities to clear the channels of trade, please submit comments as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    Any commodities listed in this proposal treated with the pesticides subject to this proposal, and in the channels of trade following the tolerance revocations, shall be subject to FFDCA section 408(1)(5), as established by FQPA. Under this unit, any residues of these pesticides in or on such food shall not render the food adulterated so long as it is shown to the satisfaction of the Food and Drug Administration that:

    1. The residue is present as the result of an application or use of the pesticide at a time and in a manner that was lawful under FIFRA, and

    2. The residue does not exceed the level that was authorized at the time of the application or use to be present on the food under a tolerance or exemption from tolerance. Evidence to show that food was lawfully treated may include records that verify the dates when the pesticide was applied to such food.

    III. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

    The Codex has not established a MRL for etridiazole, imazamethabenz-methyl, tepraloxydim, thiazopyr, and tralkoxydim.

    The Codex has established MRLs for acephate, in or on various commodities, including beans, except broad bean and soya bean at 5 milligrams/kilogram (mg/kg). The beans, except broad bean and soya bean MRL is different than the tolerance established for alidicarb on succulent bean in the United States because of a difference in use pattern and/or agricultural practice.

    The Codex has established MRLs for aldicarb, in or on various commodities, including sorghum at 0.1 mg/kg, which is covered by a current U.S. tolerance at a higher level than the MRL, and sorghum straw and fodder, dry at 0.5 mg/kg, which is the same as the U.S. tolerance. The sorghum MRL is different than the tolerance established for alidicarb in the United States because of a difference in use pattern and/or agricultural practice.

    The Codex has established MRLs for azinphos-methyl in or on various commodities, including almond hulls and blueberries at 5 m/kilogram (mg/kg), cherries, peach, and plums (including prunes) at 2 mg/kg, and walnuts at 0.3 mg/kg. These MRLs are the same as the tolerances established for azinphos-methyl in the United States.

    The Codex has established MRLs for azinphos-methyl, in or on various commodities, including almonds and apple at 0.05 mg/kg (which are covered by current U.S. tolerances at a higher level than the MRLs), and pear at 2 mg/kg. These MRLs are different than the tolerances established for azinphos-methyl in the United States because of differences in use patterns and/or agricultural practices.

    The Codex has established MRLs for fenarimol in or on various commodities, including cattle, liver at 0.05 mg/kg, cherries at 1 mg/kg, hops, dry at 5 mg/kg, and pecan at 0.02 mg/kg. These MRLs are the same as the tolerances established for fenarimol in the United States.

    The Codex has established MRLs for fenarimol, in or on various commodities, including cattle kidney and cattle meat at 0.02 mg/kg; and grapes at 0.3 mg/kg. These MRLs are different than the tolerances established for fenarimol in the United States because of differences in use patterns and/or agricultural practices.

    The Codex has established MRLs for thiacloprid in or on various commodities, including cotton seed at 0.02 mg/kg, peppers, sweet at 1 mg/kg, and stone fruits at 0.5 mg/kg (for U.S. tolerances on cherry subgroup and peach subgroup). These MRLs are the same as the tolerances established for thiacloprid in the United States.

    The Codex has established MRLs for thiacloprid, in or on various commodities, including milks at 0.05 mg/kg; pome fruits at 0.7 mg/kg, and stone fruits at 0.5 mg/kg (for U.S. tolerance on plum subgroup). These MRLs are different than the tolerances established for thiacloprid in the United States because of differences in use patterns and/or agricultural practices.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    In this proposed rule, EPA is proposing to revoke specific tolerances established under FFDCA section 408. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this type of action (e.g., tolerance revocation for which extraordinary circumstances do not exist) from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this proposed rule has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866 due to its lack of significance, this proposed rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001). This proposed rule does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), or 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. 1501 et seq.). Nor does it require any special considerations as required by Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994); or OMB review or any other Agency action under Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This proposed rule does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note). Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the Agency previously assessed whether revocations of tolerances might significantly impact a substantial number of small entities and concluded that, as a general matter, these actions do not impose a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This analysis was published in the Federal Register of December 17, 1997 (62 FR 66020) (FRL-5753-1), and was provided to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. Taking into account this analysis, and available information concerning the pesticides listed in this proposed rule, the Agency hereby certifies that this proposed rule will not have a significant negative economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In a memorandum dated May 25, 2001, EPA determined that eight conditions must all be satisfied in order for an import tolerance or tolerance exemption revocation to adversely affect a significant number of small entity importers, and that there is a negligible joint probability of all eight conditions holding simultaneously with respect to any particular revocation. (This Agency document is available in the docket of this proposed rule). Furthermore, for the pesticides named in this proposed rule, the Agency knows of no extraordinary circumstances that exist as to the present proposed rule that would change EPA's previous analysis. Any comments about the Agency's determination should be submitted to the EPA along with comments on the proposed rule, and will be addressed prior to issuing a final rule. In addition, the Agency has determined that this proposed rule will not have a substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). Executive Order 13132 requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.” “Policies that have federalism implications” is defined in the Executive order to include regulations that have “substantial direct effects 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.” This proposed rule directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States. This proposed rule does not alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). For these same reasons, the Agency has determined that this proposed rule does not have any “tribal implications” as described in Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). Executive Order 13175, requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications.” “Policies that have tribal implications” is defined in the Executive order to include regulations that have “substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and the Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.” This proposed rule will not have substantial direct effects on tribal governments, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, as specified in Executive Order 13175. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this proposed rule.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Jack E. Housenger, Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, it is proposed that 40 CFR chapter I be amended as follows:

    PART 180—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

    § 180.108 [Amended]
    2. In § 180.108, remove the entries for “Bean, succulent” from the tables in paragraphs (a)(1) and (3).
    §§ 180.121, 180.154, 180.232, 180.257, and 180.263 [Removed]
    3. Remove §§ 180.121, 180.154, 180.232, 180.257, and 180.263.
    § 180.269 [Amended]
    4. In § 180.269, remove the entries for “Sorghum, grain, bran,” “Sorghum, grain, grain,” and “Sorghum, grain, stover,” from the table in paragraph (a).
    §§ 180.311 and 180.315 [Removed]
    5. Remove §§ 180.311 and 180.315. 6. In § 180.370, revise the table in paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 180.370 5-Ethoxy-3-(trichloromethyl)-1,2,4-thiadiazole; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Cotton, gin byproducts 0.1 Cotton, undelinted seed 0.1 Tomato 0.15
    7. In § 180.421, revise the table in paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 180.421 Fenarimol; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Expiration/
  • revocation
  • date
  • Apple 0.3 7/31/16 Apple, wet pomace 0.3 7/31/16 Banana1 0.25 None Cattle, fat 0.01 7/31/16 Cattle, kidney 0.01 7/31/16 Cattle, meat 0.01 7/31/16 Cattle, meat byproducts, except kidney 0.05 7/31/16 Cherry, sweet 1.0 7/31/16 Cherry, tart 1.0 7/31/16 Goat, fat 0.01 7/31/16 Goat, kidney 0.01 7/31/16 Goat, meat 0.01 7/31/16 Goat, meat byproducts, except kidney 0.05 7/31/16 Grape 0.1 7/31/16 Hazelnut 0.02 7/31/16 Hop, dried cones 5.0 7/31/16 Horse, fat 0.01 7/31/16 Horse, kidney 0.01 7/31/16 Horse, meat 0.01 7/31/16 Horse, meat byproducts, except kidney 0.05 7/31/16 Pear 0.1 7/31/16 Pecan 0.02 7/31/16 Sheep, fat 0.01 7/31/16 Sheep, kidney 0.01 7/31/16 Sheep, meat 0.01 7/31/16 Sheep, meat byproducts, except kidney 0.05 7/31/16 Vegetable, cucurbit, group 9 2 0.20 None 1 There are no U.S. registrations for bananas as of April 26, 1995. 2 There are no U.S. registrations for cucurbit vegetable group 9 as of August 27, 2010.
    § 180.422 [Removed]
    8. Remove § 180.422. 9. Revise § 180.437 to read as follows:
    § 180.437 Imazamethabenz-methyl; tolerances for residues.

    (a) General. Tolerances are established for residues of the herbicide imazamethabenz-methyl, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in the table in this paragraph. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified in this paragraph is to be determined by measuring only imazamethabenz-methyl (methyl 2-[4,5-dihydro-4-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1H-imidazol-2-yl]-4-methylbenzoate) or (methyl 2-[4,5-dihydro-4-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1H-imidazol-2-yl]-5-methylbenzoate), as the sum of its para- and meta-isomers in or on the commodity.

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Expiration/
  • revocation
  • date
  • Barley, grain 0.10 12/31/16 Barley, straw 2.00 12/31/16 Sunflower, seed 0.10 12/31/16 Wheat, grain 0.10 12/31/16 Wheat, straw 2.00 12/31/16

    (b) Section 18 emergency exemptions. [Reserved]

    (c) Tolerances with regional registrations. [Reserved]

    (d) Indirect or inadvertent residues. [Reserved]

    §§ 180.496, 180.497, 180.530, and 180.548 [Removed]
    10. Remove §§ 180.496, 180.497, 180.530, and 180.548. 11. In § 180.573, revise the table in paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), and (c) to read as follows:
    § 180.573 Tepraloxydim; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * * (1) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Expiration/
  • revocation
  • date
  • Cotton, undelinted seed 0.2 12/31/18 Cotton, gin byproducts 3.0 12/31/18 Flax, seed 0.10 12/31/18 Grain, aspirated fraction 1200.0 12/31/18 Pea and bean, dried shelled, except soybean, subgroup 6C 1 0.10 12/31/18 Soybean, seed 6.0 12/31/18 Soybean, hulls 8.0 12/31/18 Sunflower subgroup 20B 1 0.20 12/31/18 1 There are no U.S. registrations for commodities in this subgroup.

    (2) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Expiration/
  • revocation
  • date
  • Cattle, fat 0.15 12/31/18 Cattle, kidney 0.50 12/31/18 Cattle, meat 0.20 12/31/18 Cattle, meat, byproducts, except kidney 0.20 12/31/18 Egg 0.20 12/31/18 Goat, fat 0.15 12/31/18 Goat, kidney 0.50 12/31/18 Goat, meat 0.20 12/31/18 Goat, meat, byproducts, except kidney 0.20 12/31/18 Hog, fat 0.15 12/31/18 Hog, kidney 0.50 12/31/18 Hog, meat 0.20 12/31/18 Hog, meat, byproducts, except kidney 0.20 12/31/18 Horse, fat 0.15 12/31/18 Horse, kidney 0.50 12/31/18 Horse, meat 0.20 12/31/18 Horse, meat, byproducts, except kidney 0.20 12/31/18 Milk 0.10 12/31/18 Poultry, fat 0.30 12/31/18 Poultry, liver 1.00 12/31/18 Poultry, meat 0.20 12/31/18 Poultry, meat byproducts, except liver 0.20 12/31/18 Sheep, fat 0.15 12/31/18 Sheep, kidney 0.50 12/31/18 Sheep, meat 0.20 12/31/18 Sheep, meat byproducts, except kidney 0.20 12/31/18

    (c) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Expiration/
  • revocation
  • date
  • Canola, seed 0.50 12/31/18
    12. In § 180.594, revise the table in paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 180.594 Thiacloprid; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Expiration/
  • revocation
  • date
  • Apple, wet pomace 0.60 2/8/17 Cattle, fat 0.020 2/8/17 Cattle, kidney 0.050 2/8/17 Cattle, liver 0.15 2/8/17 Cattle, meat 0.030 2/8/17 Cattle, meat byproducts 0.050 2/8/17 Cherry subgroup 12-12A 0.5 2/8/17 Cotton, gin byproducts 11.0 2/8/17 Cotton, undelinted seed 0.020 2/8/17 Fruit, pome, group 11 0.30 2/8/17 Goat, fat 0.020 2/8/17 Goat, kidney 0.050 2/8/17 Goat, liver 0.15 2/8/17 Goat, meat 0.030 2/8/17 Goat, meat byproducts 0.050 2/8/17 Horse, fat 0.020 2/8/17 Horse, kidney 0.050 2/8/17 Horse, liver 0.15 2/8/17 Horse, meat 0.030 2/8/17 Horse, meat byproducts 0.050 2/8/17 Milk 0.030 2/8/17 Peach subgroup 12-12B 0.5 2/8/17 Pepper 1.0 2/8/17 Peach subgroup 12-12C 0.05 2/8/17 Sheep, fat 0.020 2/8/17 Sheep, kidney 0.050 2/8/17 Sheep, liver 0.15 2/8/17 Sheep, meat 0.030 2/8/17 Sheep, meat byproducts 0.050 2/8/17
    § § 180.630, 180.642, 180.1107, 180.1108, 180.1113, 180.1131, 180.1144, and 180.1154 [Removed]
    13. Remove § § 180.630, 180.642, 180.1107, 180.1108, 180.1113, 180.1131, 180.1144, and 180.1154. 14. Revise § 180.1180 to read as follows:
    § 180.1180 Kaolin; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.

    Kaolin is exempted from the requirement of a tolerance for residues when used on or in food commodities to aid in the control of insects, fungi, and bacteria (food/feed use).

    § § 180.1200, 180.1201, 180.1221, 180.1241, and 180.1256 [Removed]
    15. Remove §§ 180.1200, 180.1201, 180.1221, 180.1241, and 180.1256. 16. Revise § 180.1275 to read as follows:
    § 180.1275 Pythium oligandrum DV 74; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.

    An exemption from the requirement of a tolerance is established on all food/feed commodities for residues of Pythium oligandrum DV 74 when the pesticide is used on food crops.

    § 180.1279 [Removed]
    17. Remove § 180.1279.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17628 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 711 [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0809; FRL-9928-99] RIN 2070-AK01 Partial Exemption of Certain Chemical Substances From Reporting Additional Chemical Data AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is proposing to amend the list of chemical substances that are partially exempt from reporting additional information under the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule. EPA has determined that, based on the totality of information available on the chemical substances listed in this proposed rule, there is a low current interest in their CDR processing and use information. EPA reached this conclusion after considering a number of factors, including the risk of adverse human health or environmental effects, information needs for CDR processing and use information, and the availability of other sources of comparable processing and use information.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0809, by one of the following methods:

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

    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.htm.

    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: Christina Thompson, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-0983; 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. What action is the agency taking?

    This partial exemption would eliminate an existing reporting requirement under 40 CFR 711.6(b)(2). EPA is proposing to add the following chemical substances to the list of chemical substances that are exempt from reporting the information described in 40 CFR 711.15(b)(4): Fatty acids, C14-18 and C16-18 unsaturated, methyl esters (Chemical Abstract Services Registry Number (CASRN) 67762-26-9); Fatty acids, C16-18 and C-18 unsaturated, methyl esters (CASRN 67762-38-3); fatty acids, canola oil, methyl esters (CASRN 129828-16-6); Fatty acids, corn oil, methyl esters (CASRN 515152-40-6); Fatty acids, tallow, methyl esters (CASRN 61788-61-2); and Soybean oil, methyl esters (CASRN 67784-80-9). However, by existing terms at 40 CFR 711.6, this partial exemption will become inapplicable to a subject chemical substance in the event that the chemical substance later becomes the subject of a rule proposed or promulgated under section 4, 5(a)(2), 5(b)(4), or 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); an enforceable consent agreement (ECA) developed under the procedures of 40 CFR part 790; an order issued under TSCA section 5(e) or 5(f); or relief that has been granted under a civil action under TSCA section 5 or 7.

    B. Why is the agency taking this action?

    This proposed rule is in response to a petition EPA received for these chemical substances (Refs. 2 and 3) submitted under 40 CFR 711.6(b)(2)(iii)(A). EPA reviewed the information put forward in the petition and additional information against the considerations listed at 40 CFR 711.6(b)(2)(ii). EPA's chemical substance-specific analysis is detailed in supplementary documents available in the docket under docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0809 (Refs. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9). The Agency is proposing to add these chemical substances to the partially exempt chemical substances list because it has concluded that, based on the totality of information available, the CDR processing and use information for these chemical substances is of low current interest.

    In the January 27, 2015 Federal Register (80 FR 4482) (FRL-9921-56), EPA published a direct final rule to add these six chemical substances to the list of chemical substances that are partially exempt from reporting additional information under the CDR rule. EPA received an adverse comment that is pertinent to all six of the chemical substances that were the subject of that direct final rule (EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0809-0014). In accordance with the procedures described in the January 27, 2015 Federal Register document, EPA withdrew the direct final rule. EPA is now proposing to make the same additions to the list of partially exempt chemical substances. Before taking final action on this proposal, EPA will consider the adverse comment it received in response to the direct final rule, together with any other timely comments it receives on this proposed rule. On the basis of comments received, EPA may finalize this proposed rule or revise its prior determination that the CDR processing and use information for these six chemical substances is of low current interest.

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

    This action is proposed under the authority of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), 15 U.S.C. 2600 et seq., to carry out the provisions of section 8(a), 15 U.S.C. 2607(a). TSCA section 8(a) authorizes EPA to promulgate rules under which manufacturers of chemical substances and mixtures must submit such information as the Agency may reasonably require. The partial exemption list was established in 2003 (Ref. 10) and can be found in 40 CFR 711.6.

    D. What are the impacts of this action?

    There are no costs associated with this action and the benefits provided would be related to avoiding potential costs. This partial exemption would eliminate an existing reporting requirement without imposing any new requirements. See also the discussion in Unit V of the January 27, 2015 Federal Register document.

    E. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you manufacture (defined by statute at 15 U.S.C. 2602(7) to include import) the chemical substances contained in this rule. The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes provided here are not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provide a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include chemical manufacturers subject to CDR reporting of one or more subject chemical substances (NAICS codes 325 and 324110), e.g., chemical manufacturing and petroleum refineries.

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

    Do not submit CBI 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.

    II. Background

    EPA published a direct final rule in the Federal Register of January 27, 2015 (80 FR 4482) (FRL-9921-56). The preamble to that direct final rule explained our reasons for amending the list of chemical substances that are partially exempt from reporting additional information under the TSCA CDR rule. In addition, EPA explained the low current interest partial exemption and petition process in 40 CFR 711.6(b)(2)(iv), and further explained that we would withdraw the amendment presented in the direct final rule if written adverse comment was received within 30 days of the publication of that direct final rule. Since EPA received written adverse comment, EPA has withdrawn the direct final rule in a separate document published in the Federal Register of March 30, 2015 (80 FR 16576) (FRL-9924-84), and is now issuing this proposed rule for the six chemical substances. The record for the direct final rule was established as docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0809.

    III. References

    The following is a listing of the documents that have been placed in the docket for this proposed rule. The docket contains information considered by EPA in developing this proposed rule, including the documents listed in this unit, which are physically located in the docket. In addition, interested parties should consult documents that are referenced in the documents that EPA has placed in the docket, regardless of whether the referenced document is physically located in the docket. For assistance in locating documents that are referenced in documents that EPA has placed in the docket, but that are not physically located in the docket, please consult the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. The docket is available for review as specified under ADDRESSES.

    1. Public Comment from G. Valasek to EPA, February 26, 2015. 2. Letter from Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group, to EPA, OPPT CDR Submission Coordinator, October 21, 2014. Docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0809, regarding request for exemption of biodiesel products. 3. Letter from Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group, to EPA, OPPT CDR Submission Coordinator, November 5. Docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0809, supplement to request for exemption of biodiesel products. 4. EPA, OPPT. Fatty acids, C14-18 and C16-18 unsaturated, methyl esters (CASRN 67762-26-9) Partial Exemption Analysis. December 2014. 5. EPA, OPPT. Fatty acids, C16-18 and C-18 unsaturated, methyl esters (CASRN 67762-38-3) Partial Exemption Analysis. December 2014. 6. EPA, OPPT. Fatty acids, canola oil, methyl esters (CASRN 129828-16-6) Partial Exemption Analysis. December 2014. 7. EPA, OPPT. Fatty acids, corn oil, methyl esters (CASRN 515152-40-6) Partial Exemption Analysis. December 2014. 8. EPA, OPPT. Fatty acids, tallow, methyl esters (CASRN 61788-6-2) Partial Exemption Analysis. December 2014. 9. EPA, OPPT. Soybean oil, methyl esters (CASRN 67784-80-9) Partial Exemption Analysis. December 2014. 10. EPA. TSCA Inventory Update Rule Amendments; Final Rule. Federal Register (68 FR 848, January 7, 2003) (FRL-6767-4). IV. 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).

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    According to the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information that requires OMB approval under PRA, unless it has been approved by OMB and displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA regulations in title 40 of the CFR, after appearing in the Federal Register, are listed in 40 CFR part 9, and included on the related collection instrument or form, as applicable.

    The information collection requirements related to CDR have already been approved by OMB pursuant to the PRA under OMB control number 2070-0162 (EPA ICR No. 1884.06). Since this action will create a partial exemption from that reporting, without creating any new reporting or recordkeeping requirements, this action will not impose any new burdens that require additional OMB approval.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    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, EPA is proposing to eliminate an existing reporting requirement for the chemical identified in this document. In granting a partial exemption from existing reporting, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any affected entities, regardless of their size.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. In granting a partial exemption from existing reporting, this action will impose no new enforceable duty on any State, local or tribal governments, or on the private sector. In addition, based on EPA's experience with chemical data reporting under TSCA, State, local, and Tribal governments are not engaged in the activities that would require them to report chemical data under 40 CFR part 711.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

    F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

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

    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because this action does not address environmental health or safety risks disproportionately affecting children.

    H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001), because this action is not expected to affect energy supply, distribution, or use.

    I. National Technology Transfer 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.

    J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    EPA has determined that this action will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations because it does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment. As such, this action does not entail special considerations of environmental justice related issues as delineated by Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 711

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

    Dated: July 13, 2015. James Jones, Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

    Therefore, it is proposed that 40 CFR chapter I be amended as follows:

    PART 711—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 711 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2607(a).

    2. In § 711.6, add in numerical order by CASRN number the following entries to Table 2 in paragraph (b)(2)(iv) to read as follows:
    § 711.6 Chemical substances for which information is not required.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iv) * * *

    Table 2—CASRN of Partially Exempt Chemical Substances CASRN Chemical *         *         *         *         *         *         * 61788-61-2 Fatty acids, tallow, methyl esters. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 67762-26-9 Fatty acids, C14-18 and C16-18 unsaturated, methyl esters. 67762-38-3 Fatty acids, C16-18 and C-18 unsaturated, methyl esters. 67784-80-9 Soybean oil, methyl esters. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 129828-16-6 Fatty acids, canola oil, methyl esters. 515152-40-6 Fatty acids, corn oil, methyl esters. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-17629 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    80 140 Wednesday, July 22, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Delta-Bienville Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Delta-Bienville Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Forest, Mississippi. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following Web site: https://fsplaces.fs.fed.us/fsfiles/unit/wo/secure_rural_schools.nsf/RAC/ADA00765529071A58825754A0055730D?OpenDocument.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. on August 17, 2015.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at Bienville Ranger District, 3473 Hwy 35 South, Forest, Mississippi. Interested parties may also attend via teleconference by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT; or via video teleconference at the Delta Ranger District, 68 Frontage Road, Rolling Fork, Mississippi.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Bienville Ranger District. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Esters, Designated Federal Officer, by phone at 601-469-3811 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is:

    1. Review projects submitted; and

    2. Recommend projects for approval.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by August 10, 2015, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Michael T. Esters, Designated Federal Officer, Bienville Ranger District, 3473 Hwy 35 South, Forest, Mississippi 39074; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 601-469-2513.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Michael T. Esters, Designated Federal Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17965 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Quarterly Update to Annual Listing of Foreign Government Subsidies on Articles of Cheese Subject to an In-Quota Rate of Duty AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective date: July 22, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephanie Moore, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-3692.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 702 of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (as amended) (the Act) requires the Department of Commerce (the Department) to determine, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, whether any foreign government is providing a subsidy with respect to any article of cheese subject to an in-quota rate of duty, as defined in section 702(h) of the Act, and to publish quarterly updates to the type and amount of those subsidies. We hereby provide the Department's quarterly update of subsidies on articles of cheese that were imported during the periods January 1, 2015, through March 31, 2015.

    The Department has developed, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, information on subsidies, as defined in section 702(h) of the Act, being provided either directly or indirectly by foreign governments on articles of cheese subject to an in-quota rate of duty. The appendix to this notice lists the country, the subsidy program or programs, and the gross and net amounts of each subsidy for which information is currently available. The Department will incorporate additional programs which are found to constitute subsidies, and additional information on the subsidy programs listed, as the information is developed.

    The Department encourages any person having information on foreign government subsidy programs which benefit articles of cheese subject to an in-quota rate of duty to submit such information in writing to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    This determination and notice are in accordance with section 702(a) of the Act.

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary, for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix Subsidy Programs on Cheese Subject to an In-Quota Rate of Duty Country Program(s) Gross 1
  • subsidy
  • ($/lb)
  • Net 2
  • subsidy
  • ($/lb)
  • 28 European Union Member States 3 European Union Restitution Payments 0.00 0.00 Canada Export Assistance on Certain Types of Cheese 0.42 0.42 Norway Indirect (Milk) Subsidy 0.00 0.00 Consumer Subsidy 0.00 0.00   Total 0.00 0.00 Switzerland Deficiency Payments 0.00 0.00 1 Defined in 19 U.S.C. 1677(5). 2 Defined in 19 U.S.C. 1677(6). 3 The 28 member states of the European Union are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17982 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-028] Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Components Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective date: July 22, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephen Bailey or Dennis McClure at (202) 482-0193 and (202) 482-5973, respectively; AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Petition

    On June 25, 2015, the Department of Commerce (the Department) received an antidumping duty (AD) petition concerning imports of certain hydrofluorocarbon blends and certain single hydrofluorocarbon components thereof (HFCs) from the People's Republic of China (PRC), filed in proper form on behalf of the American HFC Coalition and its individual members,1 as well as District Lodge 154 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (collectively, the petitioners).2 The petitioners are either domestic manufacturers or blenders of HFCs, or a union representing the HFC industry.3

    1 The individual members of the American HFC Coalition are: Amtrol Inc., Arkema Inc., The Chemours Company FC LLC, Honeywell International Inc., Hudson Technologies, Mexichem Fluor Inc., and Worthington Industries, Inc.

    2See Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Components from the PRC, dated June 25, 2015 (the Petition).

    3See Volume I of the Petition, at 1, 5, and 6.

    On June 30, 2015, the Department requested additional information and clarification of certain areas of the Petition.4 The petitioners filed responses to these requests on July 6, 2015, July 7, 2015, and July 14, 2015.5

    4See Letter from the Department to the Petitioners entitled “Re: Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Components from the PRC: Supplemental Questions” dated June 30, 2015 (Supplemental Questionnaire).

    5See Response to the Department's June 30, 2015, Questionnaire Regarding Volume I of the Petition for Antidumping Duties, dated July 6, 2015 (Petition Supplement).

    In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioners allege that imports of HFCs from the PRC are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value within the meaning of section 731 of the Act, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Also, consistent with section 732(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(b), the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioners supporting their allegations.

    The Department finds that the petitioners filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioners are interested parties as defined in sections 771(9)(C), (D), and (F) of the Act. The Department also finds that the petitioners demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of this AD investigation.6

    6See the “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section below.

    Period of Investigation

    Because the Petition was filed on June 25, 2015, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1), the period of investigation (POI) is October 1, 2014, through March 31, 2015.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are blended HFCs and certain single HFC components of those blends thereof, from the PRC. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I of this notice.

    Comments on Scope of the Investigation

    During our review of the Petition, the Department issued questions to, and received responses from, the petitioners pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petition would be an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.7 In the scope provided by the petitioners was the following substantive provision:

    7See Supplemental Questionnaire; see also Petition Supplement.

    This investigation includes any Chinese HFC components that are blended in a third country to produce a subject HFC blend before being imported into the United States. Also included are semi-finished blends of Chinese HFC components. Semi-finished blends are blends of one or more of the single-component Chinese HFCs used to produce the subject HFC blends, whether or not blended in China or a third country, that have not been blended to the specific proportions required to meet the definition of one of the subject HFC blends described above (R-404A, R-407A, R-407C, R-410A, and R-507A). Single-component HFCs and semi-finished HFC blends are not excluded from the scope of this investigation when blended with HFCs from non-subject countries.

    The Department has not adopted this provision for the purposes of initiation because the additional language has presented the Department with some novel and complex issues with respect to administering any potential AD order and, as such, we believe this warrants further discussion and analysis from parties to this proceeding.8 As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations,9 we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope). The period for scope comments is intended to provide the Department with ample opportunity to consider all comments and to consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information (see 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), all such factual information should be limited to public information. The Department encourages all interested parties to submit such comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, August 14, 2015.

    8 The Department has independent authority to determine the scope of its investigations. See Diversified Products Corp. v. United States, 572 F. Supp. 883, 887 (CIT 1983).

    9See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).10 An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date when it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    10See 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements); see also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011) for details of the Department's electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Comments on Product Characteristics for AD Questionnaire

    The Department requests comments from interested parties regarding the appropriate physical characteristics of HFCs to be reported in response to the Department's AD questionnaire. This information will be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the subject merchandise in order to report the relevant factors of production (FOPs).

    Interested parties may provide any information or comments that they feel are relevant to the development of an accurate list of physical characteristics. Specifically, they may provide comments as to which characteristics are appropriate to use as: (1) General product characteristics and (2) product-comparison criteria. We note that it is not always appropriate to use all product characteristics as product-comparison criteria. We base product-comparison criteria on meaningful commercial differences among products. In other words, although there may be some physical product characteristics utilized by manufacturers to describe HFCs, it may be that only a select few product characteristics take into account commercially meaningful physical characteristics. In addition, interested parties may comment on the order in which the physical characteristics should be used in matching products. Generally, the Department attempts to list the most important physical characteristics first and the least important characteristics last.

    In order to consider the suggestions of interested parties in developing and issuing the AD questionnaire, all comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, August 14, 2015. All comments and submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as explained above.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 732(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,11 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.12

    11See section 771(10) of the Act.

    12See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the Petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioners do not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigation. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that HFCs constitute a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.13

    13 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Certain Single Hydrofluorocarbon Components Thereof from the People's Republic of China (Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping Duty Petition Covering Certain Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Certain Single Hydrofluorocarbon Components Thereof from the People's Republic of China (Attachment II). This checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether the petitioners have standing under section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I of this notice. The petitioners provided their production of HFC blends in 2014, and estimated the potential maximum U.S. production of HFC blends for the entire domestic industry using data on merchant market shipments and imports of HFC components.14 To establish industry support, the petitioners compared their own production of HFC blends to estimated potential maximum production of HFC blends for the entire domestic industry.15

    14See Volume I of the Petition, at 9-10 and Exhibit I-1; see also Volume II of the Petition, at Exhibits II-2 and II-5; Petition Supplement, at 11-13 and Exhibits 3 and 4; and Second Petition Supplement.

    15Id. For further discussion, see Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, Petition Supplements, and other information readily available to the Department indicates that the petitioners have established industry support.16 First, the Petition established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).17 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.18 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petition.19 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act.

    16See Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    17See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    18See Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    19Id.

    The Department finds that the petitioners filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because they are interested parties as defined in sections 771(9)(C), (D), and (F) of the Act and they have demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the AD investigation that they are requesting the Department initiate.20

    20Id.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioners allege that the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product is being materially injured, or is threatened with material injury, by reason of the imports of the subject merchandise sold at less than fair value. In addition, the petitioners allege that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.21

    21See Volume I of the Petition, at 37-38; see also Petition Supplement, at 13 and Exhibit 5.

    The petitioners contend that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and price depression or suppression; lost sales and revenues; negative impact on domestic industry capacity, capacity utilization, and employment; and negative impact on domestic industry sales revenues and operating profits.22 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.23

    22See Volume I of the Petitions, at 2-4, 39-52; see also Volume II of the Petition, at Exhibits II-1 through II-3 and II-5 through II-13; and Petition Supplement, at 13-14 and Exhibits 5-6.

    23See Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping Duty Petition Covering Certain Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Certain Single Hydrofluorocarbon Components Thereof from the People's Republic of China.

    Allegation of Sales at Less Than Fair Value

    The following is a description of the allegation of sales at less than fair value upon which the Department based its decision to initiate an investigation of imports of HFCs from the PRC. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and normal value (NV) are discussed in greater detail in the initiation checklist.

    Export Price

    The petitioners based export price (EP) on price lists and PRC export data.24 The petitioners made deductions from U.S. price for certain movement expenses consistent with the delivery terms.25 Where applicable, the petitioners also deducted from U.S. price sales commission and trading company mark-ups estimated using the petitioners' knowledge of the PRC HFC industry.26

    24See Initiation Checklist. The petitioners also based EP on prices calculated from other pricing data but we have not relied on these prices for purposes of initiation.

    25Id.

    26Id.

    Normal Value

    The Department has always treated the PRC as a non-market economy (NME) country. In accordance with section 771(18)(C)(i) of the Act, the presumption of NME status remains in effect until revoked by the Department. The presumption of NME status for the PRC has not been revoked by the Department and, therefore, remains in effect for purposes of the initiation of this investigation. Accordingly, the NV of the product is appropriately based on FOPs valued in a surrogate market economy country, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act. In the course of this investigation, all parties, and the public, will have the opportunity to provide relevant information related to the issues of the PRC's NME status and the granting of separate rates to individual exporters.

    The petitioners claim that Thailand is an appropriate surrogate country because it is a market economy that is at a level of economic development comparable to that of the PRC, it is a significant producer of the merchandise under consideration, and the data for valuing FOPs, factory overhead, selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, and profit are both available and reliable.27

    27Id.

    Based on the information provided by the petitioners, we believe it is appropriate to use Thailand as a surrogate country for initiation purposes. Interested parties will have the opportunity to submit comments regarding surrogate country selection and, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(i), will be provided an opportunity to submit publicly available information to value FOPs within 30 days before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination.

    Factors of Production

    The petitioners based the FOPs for materials, labor, and energy on petitioning U.S. producers' consumption rates for producing HFCs.28 The petitioners valued the estimated factors of production for most material using surrogate values from Thailand.29

    28See Volume I of the Petition, at 55-56.

    29See Volume III of the Petition, at Exhibit III-6; see also Petition Supplement, at 16-17 and Exhibit 8. Additionally, in certain cases, the petitioners used surrogate values from Bulgaria, as discussed in “Valuation of Raw Materials,” above. Id.

    Valuation of Raw Materials

    The petitioners valued the FOPs for raw materials (e.g., hydrofluoric acid, methylene chloride, lime, caustic soda, sodium sulfite, etc.) using reasonably available, public import data for Thailand from the Global Trade Atlas (GTA) for the POI.30 In addition, the petitioners valued the FOPs for 1,1,1-trichloroethane, chlorine, and hydrogen chloride using reasonably available, public import data for Bulgaria from the GTA for the POI because the petitioners claim that the Thai import data for these materials were either aberrational or did not exist.31 The petitioners excluded all import values from countries previously determined by the Department to maintain broadly available, non-industry-specific export subsidies and from countries previously determined by the Department to be NME countries. In addition, in accordance with the Department's practice, the average import value excludes imports that were labeled as originating from an unidentified country. The Department determines that the surrogate values in the petition are those that are reasonably available to the petitioners and, thus, are acceptable for purposes of initiation.

    30Id.

    31See Volume I of the Petition, at 56-57; see also Petition Supplement, at 14-16. Bulgaria has also recently been found to be a level of economic development comparable to the PRC by the Department.

    Valuation of Labor

    The petitioners valued labor using data published by Thailand's National Statistics Office (NSO).32 Specifically, the petitioners relied on Thai NSO data for the manufacturing industry (public and private) for the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015. As the Thai wage data are monthly data denominated in Thai Baht, the petitioners converted these wage rates to hourly rates and then converted them to U.S. dollars using the average exchange rate during the POI.33 The petitioners then applied that resulting labor rate to the labor hours expended by a U.S. producer of HFCs.34

    32See Volume III of the Petition, at Exhibit III-11.

    33See Volume I of the Petition, at 59.

    34See Volume III of the Petition, at Exhibit III-12.

    Valuation of Energy

    The petitioners used published rates by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) for 2013 to value electricity.35 The petitioners adjusted the EGAT rate information for inflation using the International Monetary Fund's producer price index and converted to U.S. dollars.36 The petitioners calculated the cost of natural gas in Thailand using the average unit value of imports of liquid natural gas for the period, as reported by GTA.37 Using universal conversion factors, the petitioners converted that cost to the U.S. producer-reported factor unit of million British thermal units to ensure the proper comparison.38

    35See Volume I of the Petition, at page 58 and Volume III of the Petition, at Exhibit III-10.

    36See Volume III of the Petition, at Exhibits III-6 and III-10.

    37Id., at Exhibit III-6.

    38Id., at Exhibit III-10; see also Petition Supplement, at 17-18.

    Valuation of Factory Overhead, SG&A Expenses, and Profit

    The petitioners calculated surrogate financial ratios (i.e., manufacturing overhead, SG&A expenses, and profit) using the 2013 audited financial statements of Air Liquide, Air Products, and Bangkok Industrial Gas, Thai producers of comparable merchandise (i.e., industrial gases).39

    39See Volume I of the Petition, at 59; see also Petition Supplement, at Exhibit 9.

    Fair Value Comparisons

    Based on the data provided by the petitioners, there is reason to believe that imports of HFCs from the PRC are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. Based on comparisons of EP to NV, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act, the estimated dumping margins for HFCs from the PRC range from 111.20 to 300.30 percent.40

    40See Initiation Checklist; see also Petition Supplement, at Exhibit 14.

    Initiation of Less-than-Fair-Value Investigation

    Based upon the examination of the Petition on HFCs from the PRC, we find that the Petition meets the requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating an AD investigation to determine whether imports of HFCs from the PRC are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. In accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 140 days after the date of this initiation.

    Respondent Selection

    The petitioners named 44 companies as producers/exporters of HFCs.41 In accordance with our standard practice for respondent selection in AD cases involving NME countries, we intend to issue quantity-and-value (Q&V) questionnaires to each potential respondent for which we have a complete address, and base respondent selection on the responses received. In addition, the Department will post the Q&V questionnaire along with filing instructions on the Enforcement and Compliance Web site at http://www.trade.gov/enforcement/news.asp.

    41See the Volume I of the Petition, at 27 and Volume III of the Petition, at Exhibit III-1.

    Exporters/producers of HFCs from the PRC that do not receive Q&V questionnaires by mail may still submit a response to the Q&V questionnaire and can obtain a copy from the Enforcement and Compliance Web site. The Q&V response must be submitted by all PRC exporters/producers no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on July 29, 2015, which is two weeks from the signature date of this notice. With very limited exceptions, all Q&V responses should be filed electronically via ACCESS.42

    42See, e.g., 19 CFR 351.303(b)(2)(ii)(B).

    Separate Rates

    In order to obtain separate-rate status in an NME investigation, exporters and producers must submit a separate-rate application.43 The specific requirements for submitting a separate-rate application in the PRC investigation are outlined in detail in the application itself, which is available on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html. The separate-rate application will be due 30 days after publication of this initiation notice.44 Exporters and producers who submit a separate-rate application and have been selected as mandatory respondents will be eligible for consideration for separate-rate status only if they respond to all parts of the Department's AD questionnaire as mandatory respondents. The Department requires that respondents from the PRC submit a response to both the Q&V questionnaire and the separate-rate application by 5:00 p.m. ET on their respective deadlines in order to receive consideration for separate-rate status.

    43See Policy Bulletin 05.1: Separate-Rates Practice and Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigation involving Non-Market Economy Countries (April 5, 2005), available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/bull05-1.pdf (Policy Bulletin 05.1).

    44 Although in past investigations this deadline was 60 days, consistent with section 351.301 (a) of the Department's regulations, which states that “the Secretary may request any person to submit factual information at any time during a proceeding,” this deadline is now 30 days.

    Use of Combination Rates

    The Department will calculate combination rates for certain respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in an NME investigation. The Separate Rates and Combination Rates Bulletin states:

    {w}hile continuing the practice of assigning separate rates only to exporters, all separate rates that the Department will now assign in its NME Investigation will be specific to those producers that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation. Note, however, that one rate is calculated for the exporter and all of the producers which supplied subject merchandise to it during the period of investigation. This practice applies both to mandatory respondents receiving an individually calculated separate rate as well as the pool of non-investigated firms receiving the weighted-average of the individually calculated rates. This practice is referred to as the application of “combination rates” because such rates apply to specific combinations of exporters and one or more producers. The cash-deposit rate assigned to an exporter will apply only to merchandise both exported by the firm in question and produced by a firm that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation.45

    45See Policy Bulletin 05.1 at 6 (emphasis added).

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 732(b)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), copies of the public version of the Petition have been provided to the government of the PRC via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petition to each exporter named in the Petition, as provided under 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We have notified the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 732(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determination by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of HFCs from the PRC are materially injuring or threatening material injury to a U.S. industry.46 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated; 47 otherwise, this investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    46See section 733(a) of the Act.

    47Id.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). The regulation requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Please review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under Part 351, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under Part 351 expires. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.48 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials, as well as their representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications found in the Department's regulations at 19 CFR 351.303(g).49 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised certification requirements.

    48See section 782(b) of the Act.

    49See also Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration during Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (for additional information about the certification requirements); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at: http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3627 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed in 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—Scope of the Investigation

    The products subject to this investigation are blended hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and single HFC components of those blends thereof, whether or not imported for blending. HFC blends covered by the scope are R-404, a zeotropic mixture consisting of 52 percent 1,1,1-Trifluoroethane, 44 percent Pentafluoroethane, and 4 percent 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane; R-407A, a zeotropic mixture of 20 percent Difluoromethane, 40 percent Pentafluoroethane, and 40 percent 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane; R-407C, a zeotropic mixture of 23 percent Difluoromethane, 25 percent Pentafluoroethane, and 52 percent 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane; R-410A, a zeotropic mixture of 50 percent Difluoromethane and 50 percent Pentafluoroethane; and R-507A, an azeotropic mixture of 50 percent Pentafluoroethane and 50 percent 1,1,1-Trifluoroethane also known as R-507. The foregoing percentages are nominal percentages by weight. Actual percentages of single component refrigerants by weight may vary by plus or minus two percent points from the nominal percentage identified above.50

    50 R-404A is sold under various trade names, including Forane® 404A, Genetron® 404A, Solkane® 404A, Klea® 404A, and Suva®404A. R-407A is sold under various trade names, including Forane® 407A, Solkane® 407A, Klea®407A, and Suva®407A. R-407C is sold under various trade names, including Forane® 407C, Genetron® 407C, Solkane® 407C, Klea® 407C and Suva® 407C. R-410A is sold under various trade names, including EcoFluor R410, Forane® 410A, Genetron® R410A and AZ-20, Solkane® 410A, Klea® 410A, Suva® 410A, and Puron®. R-507A is sold under various trade names, including Forane® 507, Solkane® 507, Klea®507, Genetron®AZ-50, and Suva®507. R-32 is sold under various trade names, including Solkane®32, Forane®32, and Klea®32. R-125 is sold under various trade names, including Solkane®125, Klea®125, Genetron®125, and Forane®125. R-143a is sold under various trade names, including Solkane®143a, Genetron®143a, and Forane®125.

    The single component HFCs covered by the scope are R-32, R-125, and R-143a. R-32 or Difluoromethane has the chemical formula CH2F2, and is registered as CAS No. 75-10-5. It may also be known as HFC-32, FC-32, Freon-32, Methylene difluoride, Methylene fluoride, Carbon fluoride hydride, halocarbon R32, fluorocarbon R32, and UN 3252. R-125 or 1,1,1,2,2-Pentafluoroethane has the chemical formula CF3CHF2 and is registered as CAS No. 354-33-6. R-125 may also be known as R-125, HFC-125, Pentafluoroethane, Freon 125, and Fc-125, R-125. R-143a or 1,1,1-Trifluoroethane has the chemical formula CF3CH3 and is registered as CAS No. 420-46-2. R-143a may also be known as R-143a, HFC-143a, Methylfluoroform, 1,1,1-Trifluoroform, and UN2035.

    Excluded from this investigation are blends of refrigerant chemicals that include products other than HFCs, such as blends including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).

    Also excluded from this investigation are patented HFC blends, such as ISCEON® blends, including MO99TM (RR-438A), MO79 (R-422A), MO59 (R-417A), MO49Plus TM (R-437A) and MO29TM (R-4 22D), and Genetron® PerformaxTM LT (R-407F).

    HFC blends covered by the scope of this investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) at subheading 3824.78.0000. Single component HFCs are currently classified at subheading 2903.39.2030, HTSUS. Although the HTSUS subheadings and CAS registry numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2015-17984 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-905] Certain Polyester Staple Fiber From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the “Department”) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain polyester staple fiber from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”), for the period of review (“POR”), June 1, 2013, to May 31, 2014.

    DATES:

    Effective date: July 22, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Javier Barrientos, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2243.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION Background

    The Department preliminarily determines that Zhaoqing Tifo New Fibre Co., Ltd. (“Zhaoqing Tifo”) failed to establish that it is entitled to a separate rate for the POR and, thus, we are treating Zhaoqing Tifo as part of the PRC-wide entity.1 In addition, we preliminarily determine that Takayasu Industrial (Jiangyin) Co., Ltd. (“Takayasu”) had no shipments during the POR and, therefore, did not have any reviewable entries. If these preliminary results are adopted in the final results, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries of subject merchandise during the POR. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    1See Decision Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, entitled “Preliminary Results of 2013-2014 Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Certain Polyester Staple Fiber from the People's Republic of China” (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”) issued concurrently with this notice for a complete description of the Scope of the Order.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order is certain polyester staple fiber. The product is currently classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) numbers 5503.20.0045 and 5503.20.0065. Although the HTSUS numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the order remains dispositive.2

    2 For a full description of the scope of the Order, see Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Methodology

    The Department conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.3 The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://www.trade.gov/enforcement/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    3 A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is provided at Appendix I to this notice.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    The Department initiated a review for two companies.4 The Department preliminarily determines that Zhaoqing Tifo failed to cooperate by not acting to the best of its ability to comply with the Department's request for information and, therefore, is not eligible for a separate rate. Accordingly, the Department preliminarily finds that the PRC-wide entity includes Zhaoqing Tifo.5 We also note that the Department's change in policy 6 regarding conditional review of the PRC-wide entity applies to this administrative review.7

    4See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 79 FR 44390 (July 31, 2014).

    5See section 776(b) of the Act.

    6See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013).

    7 Under this policy, the PRC-wide entity will not be under review unless a party specifically requests, or the Department self-initiates, a review of the entity. Because no party requested a review of the PRC-wide entity in this review, the entity is not under review.

    In addition, the Department preliminarily determines that Takayasu had no shipments during the POR and, therefore, had no reviewable entries.

    Public Comment and Opportunity to Request a Hearing

    Interested parties may submit case briefs within 30 days after the date of publication of these preliminary results of review.8 Rebuttals to case briefs, which must be limited to issues raised in the case briefs, must be filed within five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.9 Parties who submit arguments are requested to submit with the argument (a) a statement of the issue, (b) a brief summary of the argument, and (c) a table of authorities.10 Parties submitting briefs should do so pursuant to the Department's electronic filing system, ACCESS.

    8See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii).

    9See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(1)-(2).

    10See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2), (d)(2).

    Any interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of publication of this notice.11 Hearing requests should contain the following information: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of the issues to be discussed. Oral presentations will be limited to issues raised in the briefs.12 If a request for a hearing is made, parties will be notified of the time and date for the hearing to be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.13

    11See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    12Id.

    13See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    The Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, which will include the results of our analysis of all issues raised in the case briefs, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results in the Federal Register, unless extended, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, the Department will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.14 The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of the final results of this review.

    14See 19 CFR 351.212(b).

    For any individually examined respondent whose weighted average dumping margin is above de minimis (i.e., 0.50 percent) in the final results, the Department will calculate importer-specific assessment rates on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales to the total entered value of sales, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). Where an importer- (or customer-) specific ad valorem rate is greater than de minimis, the Department will instruct CBP to collect the appropriate duties at the time of liquidation.15 Where either a respondent's weighted average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, or an importer- (or customer-) specific ad valorem rate is zero or de minimis, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.16 We intend to instruct CBP to liquidate entries containing subject merchandise exported by the PRC-wide entity at the PRC-wide rate.

    15See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    16See 19 CFR 351.106(c)(2).

    The Department announced a refinement to its assessment practice in non-market economy (“NME”) cases.17 Pursuant to this refinement in practice, for entries that were not reported in the U.S. sales databases submitted by companies individually examined during the administrative review, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate such entries at the PRC-wide rate. Additionally, if the Department determines that an exporter had no shipments of the subject merchandise, any suspended entries, other than Takayasu's sample shipments, that entered under that exporter's case number (i.e., at that exporter's rate) will be liquidated at the PRC-wide rate.18 For Takayasu's sample suspended entries, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate such entries without regard to antidumping duties.

    17 For a full discussion of this practice, see Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011).

    18Id.

    In accordance with section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act, the final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by the final results of this review and for future deposits of estimated duties, where applicable.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this review for shipments of the subject merchandise from the PRC entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided by sections 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For any companies listed that have a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be that established in the final results of this review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, then zero cash deposit will be required); (2) for previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters not listed that received a separate rate in a prior segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the existing exporter-specific rate; (3) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be that for the PRC-wide entity; and (4) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during the POR. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    These preliminary results are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: June 30, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum Summary 1. Summary 2. Case History 3. Scope of the Order 4. Non-Market Economy Status 5. PRC-Wide Entity 6. Preliminary Determination of No Shipments
    [FR Doc. 2015-17983 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology [Docket Number: 150702573-5573-01] Announcement of Requirements and Registration for National Institute of Standards and Technology Prize Competition—Reference Data Challenge AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce, is conducting this prize competition to spur the development of innovative mobile applications that utilize NIST datasets to help better share the data and provide a useful service to those who can best use it. NIST Standard Reference Data (SRD) are well-documented numeric data used in technical problem-solving, research, and development; over 100 types are available for use in scientific and engineering applications, with over 19 million downloads recorded annually (excluding web-based time services). Most of these data sets are currently freely accessible through web-based interfaces or are made available on CD upon request. Mobile applications that can readily access and utilize this data will help drive further innovation and support research through easy and low-barrier access to the results of U.S. tax-payer funded research.

    Participants in this prize competition are invited to submit Apps (as defined in this Notice) that use eligible NIST Standard Reference Data (SRD) datasets listed on the Event Web site, http://nistdata.challengepost.com. These eligible datasets pertain to physics and chemistry and are frequently used by high school, college, and graduate students in advanced chemistry and physics coursework.

    DATES:

    Submission Period: July 27, 2015-September 28, 2015.

    Announcement of Winners: November 16, 2015.

    The Submission Period begins July 27, 2015, at 9 a.m. EDT and ends September 28, 2015, at 5 p.m. EDT. Prize competition dates are subject to change at the discretion of NIST. Entries submitted before or after the Submission Period will not be reviewed or considered for award.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions about the prize competition can be directed to NIST via the Event Web site, or by email to Heather Evans at [email protected], phone 301-975-4525.

    Changes or updates to the prize competition rules will be posted and can be viewed at the Event Web site, http://nistdata.challengepost.com.

    Results of the prize competition will be announced on the Event Web site, http://nistdata.challengepost.com and on the NIST Web site, www.nist.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Competition Sponsor

    This prize competition (“Competition”) is sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; www.nist.gov), a non-regulatory Federal agency within the United States Department of Commerce. Founded in 1901, NIST's mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. NIST carries out its mission through its programs, which include: The NIST Laboratories, conducting world-class research, often in close collaboration with industry, that advances the Nation's technology infrastructure and helps U.S. companies continually improve products and services; the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a nation-wide network of local centers offering technical and business assistance to smaller manufacturers to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money; and the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which promotes performance excellence among U.S. manufacturers, service companies, educational institutions, health care providers, and nonprofit organizations, conducts outreach programs, and manages the annual Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which recognizes performance excellence and quality achievement. The agency operates in two locations: Gaithersburg, Maryland (headquarters—234-hectare/578-acre campus); and Boulder, Colorado (84-hectare/208-acre campus). NIST employs about 3,000 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support and administrative personnel. NIST also hosts about 2,700 associates from academia, industry, and other government agencies, who collaborate with NIST staff and access user facilities. In addition, NIST partners with more than 1,300 manufacturing specialists and staff at more than 400 local MEP centers around the country. NIST provides measurement and calibration services via its Standard Reference Materials®, calibration services, and Standard Reference Data.

    Eligibility Rules for Participating in the Competition

    This Competition is open to all individuals over the age of 18 that are residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa, and to for-profit or non-profit corporations, institutions, or other validly formed legal entities organized or incorporated in, and which maintain a primary place of business in, any of the preceding jurisdictions. An individual, whether participating singly or with a group, must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.

    To be eligible to win a Competition prize, a Participant (whether an individual or legal entity) must have registered to participate, must have complied with all the requirements under section 3719 of title 15, United States Code (“Prize competitions”).

    A Participant shall not be deemed ineligible because the Participant used Federal facilities or consulted with Federal employees in preparing its submission to the Competition if the facilities and employees are made available to all Participants on an equitable basis.

    Multiple entries are permitted. Each entry will be reviewed independently. Multiple individuals and/or legal entities may collaborate as a group to submit a single entry, in which case all members of the group must satisfy the eligibility requirements, and a single individual from the group must be designated as an official representative for each entry. That designated individual will be responsible for meeting all entry and evaluation requirements. Participation is subject to all U.S. federal, state and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Participants are responsible for checking applicable laws and regulations in their jurisdiction(s) before participating in this Competition, to ensure that their participation is legal. Individuals entering on behalf of or representing a company, institution or other legal entity are responsible for confirming that their entry does not violate any policies of that company, institution or legal entity.

    NIST employees, NIST associates, and any other individuals or legal entities involved with the design, production, execution, distribution or evaluation of the Competition, are not eligible to enter. NIST employees and NIST Guest Researchers are not eligible to enter. Federal entities and non-NIST Federal employees acting in their official capacities are not eligible to enter. Non-NIST Federal employees acting in their personal capacities should consult with their respective agency ethics officials to determine whether their participation in this Competition is permissible.

    Entry Process for Participants

    To enter, create a user account at ChallengePost by visiting challengepost.com and register your interest in participating in the Competition at the Event Web site, http://nistdata.challengepost.com. Create an App (as defined herein) that uses at least one of the eligible NIST datasets identified on the Event Web site.

    NIST provides free online access to high quality scientific data in a wide range of disciplines. The eligible NIST datasets for this Competition pertain to physics and chemistry and are frequently used by high school, college, and graduate students in advanced chemistry and physics coursework. For example, below are links to four NIST Standard Reference Data that represent some of the eligible NIST datasets for this Competition:

    (1) Ground Levels and Ionization Energies for the Neutral Atoms (SRD 111, http://www.nist.gov/pml/data/ion_energy.cfm),

    (2) Atomic Weights and Isotopic Compositions (SRD 144, http://www.nist.gov/pml/data/comp.cfm),

    (3) CODATA Fundamental Physical Constants (SRD 121, http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Constants/), and

    (4) the NIST Computational Chemistry Comparison and Benchmark Database (SRD 101, http://cccbdb.nist.gov).

    These four datasets are a subset of the eligible NIST SRD datasets that are listed on the Event Web site, http://nistdata.challengepost.com. The four datasets listed above represent some of the most fundamental data in the NIST SRD collection—from the speed of light to the atomic weight of carbon. Participants in this Competition are invited to integrate other freely available datasets into their applications to increase the usefulness of the data to a wider audience. For example, additional free online NIST Standard Reference Data can be found by searching the NIST Data Gateway at http://srdata.nist.gov/gateway.

    While not required, other freely available scientific data (from NIST or a third-party) may enhance the usefulness of the App for other users. A submission requires (1) your App software provided to the Competition Sponsor at no cost; (2) a brief (less than 250 words) text description of your App; (3) at least one screenshot image of your App in use on a mobile phone or tablet device; (4) a brief (less than five minutes) video demonstrating the functionality of your App; and (5) confirmation that you have read and agree to the Competition Rules contained in this Notice. Participants may begin submitting Competition Entries at 9:00 a.m. EDT on July 27, 2015, to the Event Web site. Competition Entries must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on September 28, 2015, to the Event Web site.

    Entries submitted before the start date and time, or after the end date and time, will not be evaluated or considered for award. Entries sent to NIST in any manner other than through the Event Web site will not be evaluated or considered for award. Entries that do not comply with the formatting requirements set forth in this Notice and the Event Web site will not be evaluated or considered for award. Changes or updates to the prize competition rules will be posted and can be viewed at the Event Web site, http://nistdata.challengepost.com.

    Entries must be complete, non-confidential and in English.

    In general, each Entry:

    (a) Must affirmatively represent that the Participant (and each Participant if more than one) has read and consents to be governed by the Competition rules and meets the eligibility requirements;

    (b) Must include an App (i.e., a working software application that operates on a mobile device using one of three operating systems, i.e., iOS, Android, or Windows, together with relevant documentation and code to install and run the application) that uses at least one of the eligible NIST datasets as described above in the Entry Process for Participants. The App should meet the minimum criteria described below in the Evaluation, Judging, and Selection of Winner(s). The Participant must provide a way for the Competition Sponsor to test the App at no cost, such as a weblink, installation file, or shared test build. Details are provided at the Event Web site. Namely, for Android or Windows applications, the Participant can upload an .apk file in the submission form or provide a link for the Competition Sponsor to download the Participant's App. For iOS applications, the Participant should provide a link if it is in the Apple Store (promo code must be provided if the Participant charges money for the app). If a Participant's iOS App is not yet publicly available, the Participant must send a test build following the instructions on the Event Web site.

    (c) Must include a brief (less than 250 words) text description of the Participant's App; and

    (d) Must include at least one photograph of the App running on a mobile phone or tablet device, and

    (e) Must include a weblink (YouTube or Vimeo) to a short (less than five minutes) video that demonstrates the functionality of the application. Participant must have permission to use all content in the video, including footage, music and images.

    Competition Award(s)

    The Prize Purse is a total of $45,000. The Prize Purse may increase, but will not decrease. Any increases in the Prize Purse will be posted on the Event Web site and published in the Federal Register. The Prize Purse will be used to fund one or more awards.

    NIST will announce via the Event Web site any Entry(ies) as to which the Judges have made a cash award (each, an “Award”). The anticipated number and amount of the Awards that will be awarded for this Competition is set forth in this Notice; however, the Judges are not obligated to make all or any Awards, and reserve the right to award fewer than the anticipated number of Awards in the event an insufficient number of eligible Entries meet any one or more of the Judging Criteria for this Competition, based on the Judges' evaluation of the quality of Entries and in their sole discretion. Awards will be made based on the Judges' evaluation of an Entry's compliance with the Judging Criteria for this Competition. All potential winners will be notified by the email address provided in the submission document and may be required to complete further documentation confirming their eligibility. Return of any notification as “undeliverable” will result in disqualification. After verification of eligibility, Awards will be distributed in the form of a check or electronic funds transfer addressed to the official representative specified in the winning entry. That official representative will have sole responsibility for further distribution of any Award among Participants in a group Entry or within a company or institution that has submitted an Entry through that representative. Each list of Entries receiving Awards for the Competition will be made public according to the timeline outlined on the Event Web site.

    All Awards are a one-time offer and there is no offer of licensure, royalty, or other financial compensation implied beyond the Awards. Winners are responsible for all taxes and reporting related to any Award received as part of the Competition.

    All costs incurred in the preparation of Competition Entries are to be borne by Participants.

    Evaluation, Judging, and Selection of Winner(s) Submission Evaluation Criteria

    This section discusses how Participant submissions will be evaluated.

    Entry Submission and Review

    The requirements for submission of a complete entry are detailed in the above section “Entry Process for Participants” and at the Event Web site. Submissions will be reviewed by Subject Matter Experts (described below), who will determine whether the submission meets the following minimum criteria for consideration for a Prize:

    1. General: App submission should include detailed instructions on how to install and operate the App, and system requirements to run the App.

    2. NIST Acknowledgment: The following notice should be displayed prominently within the application: “This product uses data provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) but is not endorsed or certified by NIST.” The NIST SRD number must also be displayed prominently in the application. Use of the NIST or Department of Commerce logos is prohibited.

    3. Functionality/Accuracy: A Submission may be disqualified if the software application fails to function as expressed in the description submitted by the Participant.

    4. Privacy: Participants should keep in mind that NIST considers protection of personal information an essential element of App security. Apps must seek user permission to access and use personal information.

    5. Security Vulnerabilities: Participants must agree that NIST may conduct testing on the App to determine whether malware or other security threats may be present. NIST may disqualify the App if, in NIST's sole judgment, the App may damage government or others' equipment or operating environment. For guidance about minimizing security vulnerabilities in mobile applications, Participants can consult NIST Special Publication 800-163, “Vetting the Security of Mobile Applications” (http://dx.doi.org/10.6028/NIST.SP.800-163).

    6. Completeness: Other required components of the submission (as listed in the Entry Process for Participants section above) are complete.

    Submissions that meet the minimum criteria specified above will be presented to the Judges for evaluation. Judges are not required to test the App and may choose to judge based solely on the text description, images, and video provided in the Submission. Judges will evaluate submissions using the following Judging Criteria (the weighting percentage for each criterion is given in parentheses):

    1. Potential impact: How strong is the potential of the submission to help students and other technical experts use NIST Standard Reference Data? (25%)

    2. Creativity and Innovation: To what degree is this submission innovative? Does it bring new thinking and creativity to improving access to NIST Standard Reference Data? (25%)

    3. Implementation: Does the App work well? Does it provide an engaging user experience and have interactive capabilities? (25%)

    4. Uses scientific reference data: Does the App use at least one of the eligible datasets? Preference will be given to applications that integrate more than one dataset. (25%)

    Awards:

    First, Second, and Third Place Prizes will be selected by the Judges.

    • First Place Prize is $30,000 • Second Place Prize is $10,000 • Third Place Prize is $5,000 Subject Matter Experts and Judges

    Subject Matter Experts, to be selected by NIST, will, as a body, represent a high degree of technical background in App development, software security, and scientific research data. Subject Matter Experts will consist of NIST employees or NIST associates and will provide initial assessments of App submissions using the criteria described herein to determine whether the submission meets the minimum criteria. Subject Matter Experts will not select winners of any Awards.

    A panel of highly qualified Judges appointed by the NIST Director will select winners of Awards to be awarded to First, Second, and Third Place Submissions using the Judging Criteria described herein. The panel of Judges has a collective expertise that creates an overall balanced panel with broad representation of relevant areas to the challenge such as App design, NIST datasets, measurement science, standards, data security, user interfaces, Web sites, and/or mobile devices. Judges include individuals from both inside and outside NIST who are experts in areas relevant to the challenge. The Judges may not have personal or financial interests in, or be an employee, officer, director, or agent of any entity that is a registered Participant in this Competition, and may not have a familial or financial relationship with an individual who is a registered Participant. In the event of such a conflict, a Judge must recuse himself or herself. A Participant(s) should review the list of the Judges available at the Event Web site, and must identify, as part of their Entry submission, any Judge who has personal or financial interests in, or is an employee, officer, director, or agent of any entity that is a Participant in this Competition, or who has a familial or financial relationship with an individual who is a Participant. Thereafter, a Participant(s) must immediately inform the Competition Sponsor through the Event Web site of a change in status resulting in a conflict for any Judge as described above. Failure to do so may disqualify a Participant(s) from receiving an Award.

    Intellectual Property Rights

    Other than as set forth herein, NIST does not make any claim to ownership of your Entry or any of your intellectual property or third party intellectual property that it may contain therein. By participating in the Competition, you are not granting any rights in any patents or pending patent applications related to your Entry; provided that by submitting an Entry, you are granting NIST certain limited rights as set forth herein.

    By submitting an Entry, you grant to NIST the right to review your Entry as described above in the section “Entry Submission and Review,” to describe your Entry in connection with any materials created in connection with the Competition and to have the Subject Matter Experts, Judges, Competition administrators, and the designees of any of them, review your Entry.

    By submitting an Entry, you grant a non-exclusive right and license to NIST to use your name, likeness, biographical information, image, any other personal data submitted with your Entry and the contents in your Entry (including any created works, such as YouTube® videos, but not including any App software submitted with or as part of your Entry), in connection with the Competition. You also agree that this license is perpetual and irrevocable.

    You agree that nothing in this Notice grants you a right or license to use any names or logos of NIST or the Department of Commerce, or any other intellectual property or proprietary rights of NIST or the Department of Commerce. You grant to NIST the right to include your company or institution name and logo (if your Entry is from a company or institution) as a Participant on the Event Web site and in materials from NIST announcing winners of or Participants in the Competition. Other than these uses or as otherwise set forth herein, you are not granting NIST any rights to your trademarks.

    Entries containing any matter which, in the sole discretion of NIST, is indecent, defamatory, in obvious bad taste, which demonstrates a lack of respect for public morals or conduct, which promotes discrimination in any form, which shows unlawful acts being performed, which is slanderous or libelous, or which adversely affects the reputation of NIST, will not be accepted. If NIST, in its sole discretion, finds any Entry to be unacceptable, then such Entry shall be deemed disqualified and will not be evaluated or considered for award. NIST shall have the right to remove any content from the Event Web site in its sole discretion at any time and for any reason, including, but not limited to, any online comment or posting related to the Competition.

    Confidential Information

    By making a submission to the Competition, you agree that no part of your submission includes any confidential or proprietary information, ideas or products, including but not limited to information, ideas or products within the scope of the Trade Secrets Act, 18 U.S.C. 1905. Since NIST does not wish to receive or hold any submitted materials “in confidence,” it is agreed that, with respect to your Entry, no confidential or fiduciary relationship or obligation of secrecy is established between NIST and you, your Entry team, the company or institution you represent when submitting an Entry, or any other person or entity associated with any part of your Entry.

    Warranties

    By submitting an Entry, you represent and warrant that all information you submit is true and complete to the best of your knowledge, that you have the right and authority to submit the Entry on your own behalf or on behalf of the persons and entities that you specify within the Entry, and that your Entry (both the information and software submitted in the Entry and the underlying technologies or concepts described in the Entry):

    (a) Is your own original work, or is submitted by permission with full and proper credit given within your Entry;

    (b) does not contain confidential information or trade secrets (yours or anyone else's);

    (c) does not knowingly, after due inquiry (including, by way of example only and without limitation, reviewing the records of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and inquiring of any employees and other professionals retained with respect to such matters), violate or infringe upon the patent rights, industrial design rights, copyrights, trademarks, rights in technical data, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity;

    (d) does not contain malicious code, such as viruses, malware, timebombs, cancelbots, worms, Trojan horses or other potentially harmful programs or other material or information;

    (e) does not and will not violate any applicable law, statute, ordinance, rule or regulation, including, without limitation, United States export laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and the Department of Commerce Export Regulations; and

    (f) does not trigger any reporting or royalty or other obligation to any third party.

    Limitation of Liability

    By participating in the Competition, you agree to assume any and all risks and to release, indemnify and hold harmless NIST, each of the Judges, and Subject Matter Experts, from and against any injuries, losses, damages, claims, actions and any liability of any kind (including attorneys' fees) resulting from or arising out of your participation in, association with or submission to the Competition (including any claims alleging that your Entry infringes, misappropriates or violates any third party's intellectual property rights). In addition, you agree to waive claims against the Federal Government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from your participation in this Competition, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.

    NIST is not responsible for any miscommunications such as technical failures related to computer, telephone, cable, and unavailable network or server connections, related technical failures, or other failures related to hardware, software or virus, or incomplete or late Entries. Any compromise to the fair and proper conduct of the Competition may result in the disqualification of an Entry or Participant, termination of the Competition, or other remedial action, at the sole discretion of NIST. NIST reserves the right in its sole discretion to extend or modify the dates of the Competition, and to change the terms set forth herein governing any phases taking place after the effective date of any such change. By entering, you agree to the terms set forth herein and to all decisions of NIST, the Judges, the Subject Matter Experts, and/or all of their respective agents, which are final and binding in all respects.

    NIST is not responsible for: (1) Any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by a Participant, printing errors, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or used in the Competition; (2) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the Entry process for the Competition; (3) technical or human error that may occur in the administration of the Competition or the processing of Entries; or (4) any injury or damage to persons or property that may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from a Participant's participation in the Competition or receipt or use or misuse of an Award. If for any reason an Entry is confirmed to have been deleted erroneously, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, the Participant's sole remedy is to submit another Entry in the Competition.

    Termination and Disqualification

    NIST reserves the authority to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the Competition, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures, or any other factor beyond NIST's reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Competition, as determined by NIST in its sole discretion.

    NIST reserves the right to disqualify any Participant or Participant team it believes to be tampering with the Entry process or the operation of the Competition or to be acting in violation of any applicable rule or condition. Any attempt by any person to undermine the legitimate operation of the Competition may be a violation of criminal or civil law.

    Verification of Potential Winner(s)

    All potential winners are subject to verification by NIST, whose decisions are final and binding in all matters related to the Competition.

    Potential winner(s) must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of the Competition Rules described in this notice and posted on the Event Web site as Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. In the event that a potential winner, or an announced winner, is found to be ineligible or is disqualified for any reason, NIST may make award, instead, to another Participant, as may be determined by the Judges.

    Privacy and Disclosure Under FOIA

    Personal and contact information is not collected by NIST for commercial or marketing purposes. Except as provided herein, information submitted throughout the Competition will be used only to communicate with Participants regarding Entries and/or the Competition. Participant Entries and submissions to the Competition may be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”).

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 3719.

    Kevin Kimball, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17865 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION National Assessment Governing Board Quarterly Board Meeting AGENCY:

    National Assessment Governing Board, U.S. Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of open and closed meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the agenda for the August 6-8, 2015 Quarterly Meeting of the National Assessment Governing Board (hereafter referred to as Governing Board). This notice provides information to members of the public who may be interested in attending the meeting or providing written comments on the meeting. The notice of this meeting is required under section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

    DATES:

    The Quarterly Board meeting will be held on the following dates:

    • August 6, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.

    • August 7, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    • August 8, 2015 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Westin Arlington Gateway, 801 North Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22203.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Munira Mwalimu, Executive Officer, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Suite 825, Washington, DC 20002, telephone: (202) 357-6938, fax: (202) 357-6945.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Statutory Authority and Function: The National Assessment Governing Board is established under Title III—National Assessment of Educational Progress Authorization Act, Public Law 107-279. Information on the Board and its work can be found at www.nagb.gov.

    The Board is established to formulate policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The Board's responsibilities include the following: Selecting subject areas to be assessed, developing assessment frameworks and specifications, developing appropriate student achievement levels for each grade and subject tested, developing standards and procedures for interstate and national comparisons, improving the form and use of NAEP, developing guidelines for reporting and disseminating results, and releasing initial NAEP results to the public.

    Detailed Meeting Agenda: August 6-8, 2015 August 6: Committee Meetings

    Assessment Development Committee: Closed Session: 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

    Executive Committee: Open Session: 4:30 p.m.-5:20 p.m.; Closed Session: 5:20 p.m.-6:15 p.m.

    August 7: Full Board and Committee Meetings

    Full Board: Open Session: 8:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m.; Closed Session: 12:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.; Open Session 2:45 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

    Committee Meetings

    Assessment Development Committee (ADC): Open Session: 10:15 a.m.-11:10 a.m.; Closed Session: 11:10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    Reporting and Dissemination Committee (R&D): Open Session: 10:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    Committee on Standards, Design and Methodology (COSDAM): Open Session: 10:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m.; Closed Session: 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    August 8: Full Board and Committee Meetings

    Nominations Committee: Closed Session: 7:30 a.m.-8:15 a.m.

    Full Board: Closed Session: 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Open Session 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    On August 6, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Assessment Development Committee will meet in closed session to review assessment items for the NAEP transition to digital-based assessments (DBA). The review will include secure items in mathematics at grades 4 and 8 for the 2016 pilot, in preparation for the 2017 operational assessment. The Committee's reviews and discussions on secure test items cannot be discussed in an open meeting to protect the confidentiality of the secure assessment materials. Premature disclosure of these results would significantly impede implementation of the NAEP assessment program, and is therefore protected by exemption 9(B) of section 552b(c) of Title 5 United States Code.

    The Board's standing committees will meet to conduct regularly scheduled work, based on agenda items planned for this quarterly Board meeting, and follow up items as reported in the Board's committee meeting minutes available at http://nagb.gov/what-we-do/board-committee-reports-and-agendas.html.

    The Executive Committee will convene in open session on August 6, 2015 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. and thereafter in closed session from 5:20 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. During the closed session, the Executive Committee will receive and discuss cost estimates for implementing NAEP's Assessment Schedule for 2014-2024, and the implications of the cost and funding estimates for the NAEP Assessment Schedule and future NAEP activities will also be discussed. This meeting must be conducted in closed session because public disclosure of this information would likely have an adverse financial effect on the NAEP program by providing confidential cost details and proprietary contract costs of current contractors to the public. Discussion of this information would be likely to significantly impede implementation of a proposed agency action if conducted in open session. Such matters are protected by exemption 9(B) of section 552b of Title 5 U.S.C.

    On August 7, 2015, the full Board will meet in open session from 8:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. The Board will review and approve the August 6-7, 2015 Board meeting agenda and meeting minutes from the May 2015 Quarterly Board meeting. This session will be followed by the Chairman's remarks and welcome remarks from the Governing Board's new Executive Director, Bill Bushaw. Thereafter, the full Board will receive a briefing on the Trial Urban District Assessments (TUDA) and implications for education reforms from Michael Casserly, Executive Director of the Council of the Great City Schools. The briefing will be followed by update reports from the Acting Director of the Institute of Education Sciences, Sue Betka, and the Acting Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, Peggy Carr. The Board will recess for Committee meetings from 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    The Reporting and Dissemination Committee will meet in open session from 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    The Committee on Standards, Design and Methodology (COSDAM) will meet in open session from 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and thereafter in closed session from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. During the closed session COSDAM will discuss information regarding analyses of the 2014 grade 8 Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) assessment, and discuss secure NAEP TEL data. This part of the meeting must be conducted in closed session because the analysis involves the use of secure data for the NAEP TEL assessment. Public disclosure of secure data would significantly impede implementation of the NAEP assessment program if conducted in open session. Such matters are protected by exemption 9(B) of section 552b of Title 5 U.S.C.

    The Assessment Development Committee will meet in open session from 10:15 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. and thereafter in closed session from 11:10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. During the closed session, the Committee will receive a briefing on transitioning NAEP to Digital-Based Assessments (DBA). The briefing will be in-depth, with discussion of secure NAEP reading and mathematics test questions for the 2017 operational assessments at grades 4 and 8, and secure items at grades 8 and 12 in U.S. history, civics, and geography for the 2018 operational assessments. This part of the meeting must be conducted in closed session because the items are to be used in NAEP assessments; public disclosure of secure test items would significantly impede implementation of the NAEP assessment program if conducted in open session. Such matters are protected by exemption 9(B) of section 552b of Title 5 U.S.C.

    Following the Committee meetings, the Board will convene in closed session from 12:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. The closed session will for the Board to receive a briefing and discuss the NAEP 2015 Report Cards in Reading and Mathematics for grades 4 and 8 national and state data. This part of the meeting must be conducted in closed session because results of these NAEP assessments have been embargoed and are not ready for public release. Public disclosure of this information would likely have an adverse technical and financial impact on the NAEP program. Discussion of this information would be likely to significantly impede implementation of a proposed agency action if conducted in open session. Such matters are protected by exemption 9(B) of section 552b of Title 5 U.S.C.

    Thereafter, the Board will meet in open session from 2:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. From 3:15-4:15 p.m., the Board will meet in breakout sessions by groups comprised of NAGB members established by the Chairman to discuss the Governing Board's Strategic Planning Initiative. The Board will then convene from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to receive reports from the group breakouts and engage in discussions prior to taking action on the Governing Board's Strategic Planning Framework.

    The August 7, 2015 session of the Board meeting will adjourn at 5:30 p.m.

    On August 8, 2015, the Nominations Committee will meet in closed session from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. to discuss candidates for six Board vacancies for terms beginning on October 1, 2016. The Committee's discussions pertain solely to internal personnel rules and practices of an agency and information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. As such, the discussions are protected by exemptions 2 and 6 of section 552b(c) of Title 5 of the United States Code.

    On Saturday, August 8, the full Board will meet in closed session from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. to discuss preliminary information regarding the 2014 grade 8 Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) assessment and achievement levels setting process. This part of the meeting must be conducted in closed session because it involves secure items and data for the NAEP TEL assessment. Public disclosure of secure items and data would significantly impede implementation of the NAEP assessment program if conducted in open session. Such matters are protected by exemption 9(B) of section 552b of Title 5 U.S.C.

    From 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. the Board will discuss and take action on the Assessment Literacy Communications Plan. Outgoing Board members whose terms expire in September 2015 will provide remarks from 11:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    The Board will receive reports from the standing committees and take action proposed by the Executive and Reporting Committees from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. as follows:

    1. Executive Committee: Election of Board Vice Chair for 2015-2016

    2. Executive Committee: Budget Resolution on NAEP Funding

    3. Reporting and Dissemination Committee: Release Plan for 2015 Reading and Mathematics Report Cards.

    The August 8, 2015 meeting is scheduled to adjourn at 12:00 p.m.

    Access to Records of the Meeting: Pursuant to FACA requirements, the public may also inspect the meeting materials at www.nagb.gov on Friday, August 7, 2015 by 7:00 a.m. ET. The official verbatim transcripts of the public meeting sessions will be available for public inspection no later than 30 calendar days following the meeting.

    Reasonable Accommodations: The meeting site is accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you will need an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting (e.g., interpreting service, assistive listening device, or materials in an alternate format), notify the contact person listed in this notice at least two weeks before the scheduled meeting date. Although we will attempt to meet a request received after that date, we may not be able to make available the requested auxiliary aid or service because of insufficient time to arrange it.

    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.

    Authority:

    Pub. L. 107-279, Title III—National Assessment of Educational Progress section 301.

    Dated: July 16, 2015. Mary Crovo, Deputy Executive Director, National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), U.S. Department of Education.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17832 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services—Training and Technical Assistance AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information:American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services—Training and Technical Assistance Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.250Z.

    DATES:

    Applications Available: July 22, 2015.

    Date of Pre-Application Webinar: July 30, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 21, 2015.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program is to provide training and technical assistance (TA) to governing bodies of Indian tribes that have received an American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) grant under section 121(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (the Act). Under section 121(c)(3) of the Act, the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) makes grants to, or enters into contracts or other cooperative agreements with, entities that have experience in the operation of AIVRS programs to provide such training and TA on developing, conducting, administering, and evaluating these programs.

    Priority: We are establishing this priority for the FY 2015 grant competition only in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).

    Absolute Priority: This priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

    Background: The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (Pub. L. 113-128), enacted in July of 2014, made significant changes to the Act, including adding provisions to the AIVRS program that require the reservation of funds to support training and TA. In particular, the new section 121(c) of the Act requires the Commissioner of RSA to reserve not less than 1.8 percent and not more than 2 percent of the funds set aside from the State vocational rehabilitation (VR) program (section 110(d) of the Act) for the AIVRS program to provide training and TA to governing bodies of Indian tribes that have received AIVRS grants under section 121(a) of the Act.

    Under section 121(a) the Department currently supports 83 projects that provide VR services to American Indians with disabilities, consistent with each individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice, so that they may prepare for, and engage in, high-quality competitive integrated employment that will increase opportunities for economic self-sufficiency.

    To help determine funding priorities, section 121(c)(3) of the Act requires RSA to survey the governing bodies of Indian tribes operating AIVRS projects to identify their training and TA needs. RSA's survey of the AIVRS grantees conducted in January 2015 resulted in a 50 percent response rate and indicated training and TA needs in five primary areas: (1) Knowledge of applicable laws and regulations governing the AIVRS program; (2) staff development and service provision (e.g., best practices for serving individuals with physical and mental disabilities, case management and case record documentation, eligibility determinations, and developing individualized plans for employment); (3) financial management (e.g., budget management and compliance with applicable Federal grant administrative regulations and cost principles); (4) data collection, reporting, and performance measures; and (5) assistive technology (AT) (e.g., knowledge of what AT is, evaluating the need for AT, use of AT, access to AT). Beginning in FY 2016, this survey will be conducted each year as part of the AIVRS grantees' annual reporting to the Department. We will consider the results of the survey in determining specific training and TA topics to be included each year in the training and TA cooperative agreement.

    The priority is:

    American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services—Training and Technical Assistance Program.

    This priority supports a five-year cooperative agreement to establish an American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) Training and Technical Assistance Center (Center) to provide three different types of training and technical assistance (TA) for AIVRS projects: (1) Intensive, sustained training and TA; 1 (2) targeted, specialized training and TA; 2 and (3) universal, general training and TA.3 The Center will develop and provide these types of training and TA for AIVRS projects in the following priority areas:

    1 For the purposes of this priority, “intensive, sustained training and technical assistance” means TA services often provided on-site and requiring a stable, ongoing relationship between the AIVRS—Training and Technical Assistance program staff and the training and TA recipient. “Technical assistance services” are defined as negotiated series of activities designed to reach a valued outcome. This category of training and TA should result in changes to policy, program, practice, or operations that support increased recipient capacity of improved outcomes at one or more systems levels.

    2 For the purposes of this priority, “targeted, specialized training and technical assistance” means TA based on needs common to multiple recipients and not extensively individualized. A relationship is established between the training and TA recipient and one or more training and TA center staff. This category of training and TA includes one-time, labor-intensive events, such as facilitating strategic planning or hosting regional or national conferences. It can also include episodic, less labor-intensive events that extend over a period of time, such as facilitating a series of conference calls on single or multiple topics that are designed around the needs of the recipients. Facilitating communities of practice can also be considered targeted, specialized training and TA.

    3 For the purposes of this priority, “universal, general training and technical assistance” means training and TA and information provided to independent users through their own initiative, resulting in minimal interaction with training and TA center staff and including one-time, invited or offered conference presentations by training and TA center staff. This category of training and TA also includes information or products, such as newsletters, guidebooks, or research syntheses, downloaded from the training and TA center's Web site by independent users. Brief communications by training and TA center staff with recipients, either by telephone or email, are also considered universal, general training and TA.

    (a) Applicable laws and regulations governing the AIVRS program;

    (b) Promising practices for providing services to American Indians with disabilities;

    (c) The delivery of services to American Indians with disabilities, including the determination of eligibility, case management, case record documentation, assessment, development of the individualized plan for employment, and placement into competitive integrated employment;

    (d) Knowledge of assistive technology (AT), including what AT is, how to evaluate the need for AT, use of AT, and access to AT;

    (e) Implementing professional development practices to ensure effective project coordination, administration, and management;

    (f) Implementing appropriate financial and grant management practices to ensure compliance with OMB's Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200) and the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR); and

    (g) Evaluating program performance, including data collection, data analysis, and reporting.

    Specific topics for training and TA in each of these priority areas will be identified on an annual basis and in coordination with the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).

    Project Activities

    To be considered for funding under this priority, the Center must, at a minimum, conduct the following activities in a culturally appropriate manner:

    (a) Develop and provide intensive, sustained training and TA to a minimum of three AIVRS projects in the first year. For future years, the minimum number of AIVRS projects to receive intensive, sustained training and TA will be negotiated through the Cooperative Agreement. The Center must—

    (1) Develop and implement training and TA consistent with AIVRS project activities and tailored to the specific needs and challenges of the AIVRS project receiving the intensive training and TA;

    (2) Provide training and TA under an agreement with each AIVRS project receiving intensive training and TA that, at a minimum, details the purpose of the training and TA, intended outcomes, and requirements for the subsequent evaluation of the training and TA; and

    (3) Assess the results of the training and TA 90 days after its completion to ensure that the recipient is able to apply effectively the training and TA, identify any issues or challenges in its implementation, and provide additional training and TA, either virtually or on-site, as needed;

    (b) Provide a range of targeted, specialized training and TA in the topic areas described in this priority based on needs common to multiple AIVRS projects. The Center must follow-up with recipients of targeted, specialized training and TA in order to determine the effectiveness of the training and TA;

    (c) Provide universal, general training and TA in the topic areas in this priority;

    (d) Provide a minimum of two Webinars or video conferences in each of the topic areas in this priority to describe and disseminate up-to-date information, guides, examples, and emerging and promising practices in each area; and

    (e) Develop new information technology (IT) platforms and systems, or modify existing platforms and systems, as follows:

    (i) Develop and maintain a state-of-the-art IT platform sufficient to support Webinars, teleconferences, video conferences, and other virtual methods of dissemination of information and TA;

    (ii) Develop and maintain a state-of-the-art archiving and dissemination system that is open and available to all AIVRS projects and that provides a central location for training and TA products for later use, including course curricula, audiovisual materials, Webinars, examples of promising practices related to the topic areas in this priority, the primary areas identified through the annual surveys completed by AIVRS projects, other topics identified by RSA, and other relevant TA products;

    Note: All products produced by the Center must meet government and industry-recognized standards for accessibility; and

    (iii) Ensure that all products, resources, and materials developed by the Center are widely disseminated across the AIVRS projects and reflect the AIVRS population and diversity among its communities to the maximum extent possible;

    (f) Establish a community of practice 4 that will act as a vehicle for communication, an exchange of information among AIVRS projects, and a forum for sharing the results of training and TA projects that are in progress or have been completed;

    4 For more information on communities of practice, see: www.tadnet.org/pages/510.

    (g) Conduct outreach to AIVRS projects so that they are aware of, and can participate in, training and TA activities; and

    (h) Conduct an evaluation to determine the quality, relevance, and usefulness of the Center's training and TA, including the impact of the Center's activities on the ability of AIVRS grantees to manage effectively their projects and improve the delivery of VR services to American Indians with disabilities.

    Application Requirements

    To be funded under this priority, applicants must meet the application and administrative requirements in this priority. RSA encourages innovative approaches to meet these requirements, which are:

    (a) Demonstrate in the narrative section of the application under “Significance of the Proposed Project” how the proposed project will—

    (1) Use the applicant's knowledge and experience in the operation of AIVRS projects in order to provide training and TA for these projects;

    (2) Address the AIVRS grantees' capacity to implement effectively an AIVRS project. To meet this requirement, the applicant must:

    (i) Demonstrate knowledge of emerging and promising practices in the topic areas in this priority;

    (ii) Demonstrate knowledge of current RSA guidance and Federal initiatives designed to improve the functioning of grant programs in general and grant programs for American Indian tribes in particular; and

    (iii) Present information about the difficulties that AIVRS grantees have encountered in implementing effective AIVRS projects;

    (b) Demonstrate in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of Project Design” how the proposed project will—

    (1) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet this requirement, the applicant must provide—

    (i) Measurable intended project outcomes;

    (ii) A plan for how the proposed project will achieve its intended outcomes;

    (iii) A plan for communicating and coordinating with RSA and key staff in AIVRS projects; and

    (iv) A draft training module for one of the topic areas in this priority to demonstrate how participants would be trained in that area. The module is a required attachment in the application and must include, at a minimum, the following:

    (A) The goals and objectives of this training module;

    (B) A specific list of what participants should know and be able to do as a result of successfully completing the module;

    (C) Up-to-date resources, publications, applicable laws and regulations, and other materials that may be used to develop the module;

    (D) Exercises that will provide an opportunity for application of the subject matter; and

    (E) A description of how participant knowledge, skills, and abilities will be measured;

    (2) Use a logic model 5 to develop project plans and activities that includes, at a minimum, the goals, activities, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed project;

    5 For purposes of this priority, a “logic model” is as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c). The following Web sites provide more information on logic models: www.researchutilization.org/matrix/logicmodel_resource3c.html and www.tadnet.org/pages/589.

    (3) Be based on current research and make use of emerging and promising practices, and evidence-based practices, where available. To meet this requirement the applicant must describe—

    (i) The current research on the emerging and promising practices in the topic areas in this priority; and

    (ii) How the Center will incorporate current research and promising and evidence-based practices, including research about adult learning principles and implementation science, in the development and delivery of its products and services;

    (4) Develop products and provide services that are of high quality and sufficient intensity and duration to achieve the intended outcomes of the proposed project. To address this requirement the applicant must describe—

    (i) Its proposed approach to universal, general training and TA;

    (ii) Its proposed approach to targeted, specialized training and TA, which must identify—

    (A) The intended recipients of the products and services under this approach, including the categories of personnel that would be receiving the training and TA;

    (B) Its proposed medium for providing targeted, specialized training and TA; and

    (C) Its proposed methodology for determining topics for the targeted, specialized training and TA;

    (iii) Its proposed approach to intensive, sustained training and TA, which must identify—

    (A) Its proposed approach to identifying recipients for intensive, sustained training and TA;

    (B) Its proposed methodology for providing intensive, sustained training and TA to recipients; and

    (C) Its proposed approach to assessing the training and TA needs of recipients, including their ability to respond effectively to the training and TA;

    (5) Develop products and implement services to maximize the proposed project's efficiency. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) How the proposed project will use technology to achieve the intended project outcomes; and

    (ii) With whom the proposed project will collaborate and the intended outcomes of this collaboration;

    (c) Demonstrate in the narrative section of the application under “Adequacy of Project Resources” how—

    (1) The applicant and any key partners possess adequate resources to carry out the proposed activities; and

    (2) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the anticipated results and benefits;

    (d) Demonstrate in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of Project Personnel” how—

    (1) The proposed project will encourage applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have historically been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability, as appropriate; and

    (2) The proposed key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to provide training and TA to AIVRS projects in each of the topic areas in this priority and to achieve the project's intended outcomes;

    (e) Demonstrate in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of the Management Plan” how the proposed management plan will ensure that the project's intended outcomes will be achieved on time and within budget. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (1) Clearly defined roles and responsibilities for two full-time key project personnel designated to the Center through the entire project period and for consultants and subcontractors, as applicable;

    (2) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks;

    (3) By using a personnel loading chart, detail project activities through the entire project period, key personnel and any consultants or subcontractors that will be allocated to each activity, and the designated level of effort for each of those activities;

    (4) How the personnel allocations in the personnel loading chart are appropriate and adequate to achieve the project's intended outcomes, including an assurance that all personnel will communicate with stakeholders and RSA in a timely fashion;

    (5) How the proposed management plan will ensure that the training and TA products developed through this cooperative agreement are complete, accurate, and of high quality; and

    (6) How the proposed project will benefit from a diversity of perspectives, including AIVRS projects and consumers, State VR agencies, TA providers, and policy makers, in its development and operation;

    (f) Demonstrate in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of the Evaluation Plan” how the applicant proposes to collect and analyze data on specific and measurable goals, objectives, and intended outcomes of the project, including the effectiveness of the training and TA provided. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) Its proposed evaluation methodologies, including instruments, data collection methods, and analyses;

    (ii) Its proposed standards or targets for determining effectiveness;

    (iii) How it will use the evaluation results to examine the effectiveness of its implementation and its progress toward achieving the intended outcomes; and

    (iv) How the methods of evaluation will produce quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrate whether the project and individual training and TA activities achieved their intended outcomes.

    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553), the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities. Section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, however, allows the Secretary to exempt from rulemaking requirements regulations governing the first grant competition under a new or substantially revised program authority. This is the first grant competition for this program under the revised authority in section 121(c) of the Rehabilitation Act and therefore qualifies for this exemption. In order to ensure timely grant awards, the Secretary has decided to forego public comment on the priority under section 437(d)(1) of GEPA. This priority will apply to the FY 2015 grant competition only.

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 741.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, and 86. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485, and the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreement.

    Estimated Available Funds: $704,880.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 1.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

    Continuing the Fourth and Fifth Years of the Program:

    In deciding whether to continue funding the Center for the fourth and fifth years, the Department, as part of the review of the cooperative agreement, the application narrative, and the annual performance reports will consider the degree to which the Center demonstrates substantial progress in providing intensive, sustained training and TA to AIVRS projects; targeted, specialized training and TA to AIVRS projects; and universal, general training and TA to AIVRS projects, and the extent to which the training and TA provided has had an impact on the ability of AIVRS projects to implement appropriate practices in the seven areas outlined in the priority.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: State, local, or tribal governments, non-profit organizations, or institutions of higher education that have experience in the operation of AIVRS programs.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require cost sharing or matching.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: [email protected]

    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.250Z.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

    Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition.

    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. Because of the limited time available to review applications and make a recommendation for funding, we strongly encourage applicants to limit the application narrative to no more than 45 pages, using the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.

    • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

    In addition to the page-limit guidance on the application narrative section, we recommend that you adhere to the following page limits, using the standards listed above: (1) The abstract should be no more than one page, (2) the resumes of key personnel should be no more than two pages per person, and (3) the bibliography should be no more than three pages. A personnel loading chart and a draft training model are required attachments in the application. There are no page limits or standards for these attachments. The only optional materials that will be accepted are letters of support. Please note that our reviewers are not required to read optional materials.

    Please note that any funded applicant's application abstract will be made available to the public.

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: July 22, 2015.

    Date of Pre-Application Webinar: Interested parties are invited to participate in a pre-application Webinar. The pre-application Webinar with staff from the Department will be held on July 30, 2015, at 2:00 p.m., Washington, DC time. The Webinar will be recorded. For further information about the pre-application Webinar, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 21, 2015.

    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. However, under 34 CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental review in order to make an award by the end of FY 2015.

    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:

    Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

    Applications for grants under the AIVRS—Training and Technical Assistance program, CFDA number 84.250Z, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    You may access the electronic grant application for the AIVRS—Training and Technical Assistance program at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.250, not 84.250Z).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that the problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

    Note:

    The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system;

    and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Thomas Finch, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5147, Washington, DC 20202-2800. FAX: (202) 245-7592.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.250Z) LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.250Z) 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

    If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210 of EDGAR and are listed in the application package.

    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    3. Special Conditions: Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    4. Performance Measures: The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) directs Federal departments and agencies to improve the effectiveness of their programs by engaging in strategic planning, setting outcome-related goals for programs, and measuring program results against those goals.

    The goal of this grant is to provide training and TA to governing bodies of Indian tribes located on Federal and State reservations (and consortia of such governing bodies) that receive grants under section 121(a) of the Act.

    Pursuant to GPRA, the Department is in the process of developing performance measures for this program to assess the success of the grantee in meeting the training and TA goals of this program. In general, these measures will assess the quality, relevance, and usefulness of the training and TA provided by the Center, as well as the performance of the Center in achieving the project's intended outcomes with respect to the specific topics in each of the priority areas specified annually by RSA in the cooperative agreement. The grantee will be required to collect and annually report qualitative and quantitative data related to its performance on these measures in the Center's annual and final performance reports to the Department. The data used must be valid and verifiable.

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas Finch, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5147, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-7343 or by email: [email protected]

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

    VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting Wendell Bell, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363.

    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 17, 2015. Michael K. Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17995 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind—Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind Training and Technical Assistance Program AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information: Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind—Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind Training and Technical Assistance Program Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.177Z. DATES:

    Applications Available: July 22, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 21, 2015.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program is to provide training and technical assistance (TA) to designated State agencies (DSAs) (the State agencies that provide vocational rehabilitation services to individuals who are blind) that receive grant funding under the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) program and to other service providers that receive OIB program funding from DSAs to provide services to consumers. Such training and TA is designed to improve the administration, operation, and performance of the OIB program.

    Priority: We are establishing this priority for the FY 2015 grant competition only, in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).

    Absolute Priority: This priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

    This priority is:

    Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind (OIB) Training and Technical Assistance.

    Background:

    The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), enacted in July of 2014, made significant changes to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (the Act), including adding provisions to the OIB program that require the reservation of funds to support training and technical assistance. In particular, section 751A of the Act requires the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to reserve not less than 1.8 percent and not more than 2 percent of the funds appropriated to the OIB program to provide training and technical assistance to DSAs or other providers of OIB services that receive OIB program funds.

    The purpose of the OIB program is to: (1) Provide independent living (IL) services to older individuals who are blind; (2) conduct activities that will improve or expand services for these individuals; and (3) conduct activities to help improve public understanding of these individuals' challenges. An “older individual who is blind” is an individual age 55 or older whose significant visual impairment makes competitive employment extremely difficult to attain but for whom independent living goals are feasible. Through these services and activities, the program seeks to improve independent living options for older individuals who are blind and increase their independence and self-sufficiency.

    To help determine funding priorities, section 751A of the Act requires RSA to conduct a survey of DSAs that receive OIB program grants to determine their training and TA needs. In response to this requirement, RSA added a new section to the annual report submitted by DSAs (Section VII Training and Technical Assistance) to obtain this information.

    Survey results from the most recent annual report submitted by each of the OIB program grantees identified the need for training and TA in the following areas: Fiscal and management practices, annual report (Form RSA 7-OB) reporting requirements, data analysis and program performance, service provision and service delivery, promising practices, resources and information, and outreach.

    Priority:

    This priority supports a cooperative agreement to establish an OIB Training and Technical Assistance Center (Center) to provide sustained training and TA—generalized, targeted, and intensive—to DSAs funded under the OIB program and to any service providers the DSAs fund to provide services directly to consumers. The Center will develop and provide training and TA to DSAs and other service providers funded under the OIB program in the following general topic areas:

    (a) Community outreach;

    (b) Best practices in the provision and delivery of services;

    (c) Program performance, including data reporting and analysis; and

    (d) Financial and management practices, including practices to ensure compliance with grant administration requirements.

    Project Activities

    To meet the requirements of this priority, the Center must, at a minimum, conduct the following activities:

    (a) Annually provide intensive training and TA to a minimum of three DSAs and other service providers on the topic areas in this priority. The TA must be:

    (1) Consistent with the project activities and tailored to the specific needs and challenges of the DSA or other service provider receiving the intensive training and TA;

    (2) Provided under an agreement with each DSA or other service provider that, at a minimum, details the purpose, intended outcomes, and requirements for subsequent evaluation of the training and TA; and

    (3) Assessed 90 days after completion to ensure that DSAs and other service providers receiving intensive training and TA are applying it effectively and to address any issues or challenges in its implementation.

    (b) Provide a range of targeted and general training and TA products and services on the general topic areas in this priority. The training and TA should include, at a minimum, the following activities:

    (1) Provide a minimum of two Webinars or video conferences on each of the topic areas in this priority to describe and disseminate information about emerging and best practices in each area.

    (2) Develop new information technology (IT) platforms or systems, or modify existing platforms and systems, as follows:

    (i) Develop and maintain a state-of-the-art IT platform sufficient to support Webinars, teleconferences, video conferences, and other virtual methods of dissemination of information and training and TA;

    (ii) Develop and maintain a state-of-the-art archiving and dissemination system that is open and available to the public and that provides a central location for later use of training and TA products, including course curricula, audiovisual materials, Webinars, examples of emerging and best practices related to the topic areas in this priority, and any other training and TA products.

    Note:

    All products produced by the Center must meet government and industry-recognized standards for accessibility.

    (c) Conduct outreach to DSAs so that they are aware of and can participate in training and TA activities.

    (d) Establish a community of practice 1 that will act as a vehicle for communication, an exchange of information among DSAs and other service providers, and a forum for sharing the results of training and TA projects that are in progress or have been completed.

    1 For more information on communities of practice, see www.tadnet.org/pages/510.

    (e) Communicate and coordinate, on an ongoing basis, with other federally funded training and TA projects, particularly Department-funded projects and the Training and Technical Assistance grant for Centers for Independent Living supported by the Department of Health and Human Services, to ensure that training and TA activities are complementary and non-duplicative;

    (f) Conduct an evaluation to determine the impact of the Center's training and TA on the DSAs and other service providers that received the Center's services.

    Application Requirements

    To be funded under this priority, applicants must meet the application and administrative requirements in this priority. RSA encourages innovative approaches to meet these requirements, which are:

    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Significance of the Project,” how the proposed project will—

    (1) Address DSAs' capacity to implement effectively an OIB program. To meet this requirement, the applicant must:

    (i) Demonstrate knowledge of emerging and best practices in the topic areas in this priority;

    (ii) Demonstrate knowledge of current RSA guidance and State and Federal initiatives designed to improve the functioning of grant programs in general, the OIB program in particular, and independent living outcomes for older individuals who are blind; and

    (iii) Present information about the difficulties that DSAs and service providers have encountered in implementing effective OIB programs.

    (2) Increase both the efficiency and effectiveness of the OIB program.

    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of Project Services,” how the proposed project will—

    (1) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet this requirement, the applicant must provide—

    (i) Measurable intended project outcomes;

    (ii) A plan for how the proposed project will achieve its intended outcomes;

    (iii) A plan for communicating and coordinating with key staff in DSAs and other service providers; and

    (iv) A draft training module for one of the topic areas in this priority to serve as an example of how participants would be trained in that area. The module is a required attachment in the application and must include, at a minimum, the following:

    (A) The goals and objectives of this training module;

    (B) A specific list of what participants should know and be able to do as a result of successfully completing the module;

    (C) Up-to-date resources, publications, applicable laws and regulations, and other materials that may be used to supplement the module;

    (D) Exercises that will provide an opportunity for application of the module's subject matter; and

    (E) A description of how participant knowledge, skills, and abilities will be measured.

    (2) Use a logic model to develop project plans and activities that includes, at a minimum, the goals, activities, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed project.

    Note:

    For purposes of this priority, a “logic model” is defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c). The following Web sites provide more information on logic models: www.researchutilization.org/matrix/logicmodel_resource3c.html and www.tadnet.org/pages/589.

    (3) Be based on current research and make use of emerging and promising practices, and evidence-based practices, where available. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) The current research on the emerging and promising practices in the topic areas in this priority; and

    (ii) How the Center will incorporate current research and promising and evidence-based practices, including research about adult learning principles and implementation science, in the development and delivery of its products and services.

    (4) Develop products and provide services that are of high quality and sufficient intensity and duration to achieve the intended outcomes of the proposed project. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) Its proposed approach to universal, general training and TA; 2

    2 For the purposes of this priority, “universal, general training and technical assistance” means technical assistance and information provided to independent users through their own initiative, resulting in minimal interaction with technical assistance center staff and including one-time, invited or offered conference presentations by technical assistance center staff. This category of technical assistance also includes information or products, such as newsletters, guidebooks, or research syntheses, downloaded from the technical assistance center's Web site by independent users. Brief communications by technical assistance center staff with recipients, either by telephone or email, are also considered universal, general technical assistance.

    (ii) Its proposed approach to targeted, specialized training and TA,3 which must identify—

    3 For the purposes of this priority, “targeted, specialized training and technical assistance” means technical assistance based on needs common to multiple recipients and not extensively individualized. A relationship is established between the technical assistance recipient and one or more technical assistance center staff. This category of technical assistance includes one-time, labor-intensive events, such as facilitating strategic planning or hosting regional or national conferences. It can also include episodic, less labor-intensive events that extend over a period of time, such as facilitating a series of conference calls on single or multiple topics that are designed around the needs of the recipients. Facilitating communities of practice can also be considered targeted, specialized technical assistance.

    (A) The intended recipients of the products and services under this approach, including the categories of personnel that would be receiving the training and TA;

    (B) Its proposed medium for providing targeted, specialized training and TA; and

    (C) Its proposed methodology for determining topics for the targeted, specialized training and TA.

    (iii) Its proposed approach to intensive, sustained training and TA,4 which must identify—

    4 For the purposes of this priority, “intensive, sustained training and TA” means training and TA services often provided on-site and requiring a stable, ongoing relationship between the TA center staff and the TA recipient. “TA services” are defined as negotiated series of activities designed to reach a valued outcome. This category of TA should result in changes to policy, program, practice, or operations that support increased recipient capacity or improved outcomes at one or more systems levels.

    (A) Its proposed approach to identifying recipients for intensive, sustained training and TA products and services;

    (B) Its proposed approach to assessing the training and TA needs of recipients, including their ability to respond effectively to the training and TA; and

    (C) Its proposed methodology for providing intensive, sustained training and TA.

    (5) Develop products and implement services to maximize the project's efficiency. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) How the proposed project will use technology to achieve the intended project outcomes; and

    (ii) With whom the proposed project will collaborate and the intended outcomes of this collaboration.

    (c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of Evaluation Plan,” how the proposed project will—

    (1) Measure and track the effectiveness of the training and TA provided. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe its proposed approach to—

    (i) Collecting data on the effectiveness of each training and TA activity from DSAs and other service providers, or other sources, as appropriate; and

    (ii) Analyzing the collection of data to determine the effectiveness of each training and TA activity using any proposed standards or targets for determining effectiveness.

    (2) Collect and analyze data on specific and measurable goals, objectives, and progress on intended outcomes of the project to measure and track the effectiveness of the training and TA provided. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) Its proposed evaluation methodologies, including instruments, data collection methods, and analyses;

    (ii) Its proposed standards or targets for determining effectiveness;

    (iii) How it will use the evaluation results to examine the effectiveness of its implementation and its progress toward achieving the intended outcomes; and

    (iv) How the methods of evaluation will produce quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrate whether the project and individual training and TA activities achieved their intended outcomes.

    (d) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of Project Personnel,” how—

    (1) The proposed project will encourage applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability, as appropriate; and

    (2) The proposed key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to provide training and TA to DSAs and other service providers in each of the topic areas in this priority and to achieve the project's intended outcomes.

    (e) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Adequacy of Project Resources,” how—

    (1) The applicant and any key partners have adequate resources to carry out the proposed activities; and

    (2) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the anticipated results and benefits.

    (f) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of the Management Plan,” how—

    (1) The proposed management plan will ensure that the project's intended outcomes will be achieved on time and within budget. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) Clearly defined responsibilities for key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors, as applicable; and

    (ii) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks.

    (2) Key project personnel and any consultants and subcontractors will be allocated to the project and how these allocations are appropriate and adequate to achieve the project's intended outcomes, including an assurance that such personnel will have adequate availability to ensure timely communications with stakeholders and RSA;

    (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and services provided are of high quality; and

    (4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of perspectives, including those of State and local personnel, training and TA providers, policy makers, OIB program consumers, and intended beneficiaries of the training, among others, in its development and operation.

    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities. Section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, however, allows the Secretary to exempt from rulemaking requirements, regulations governing the first grant competition under a new or substantially revised program authority. This is the first grant competition for this program under section 751A of the Act, as amended by WIOA (29 U.S.C. 796j-1), and therefore qualifies for this exemption. In order to ensure timely grant awards, the Secretary has decided to forego public comment on the priority under section 437(d)(1) of GEPA. This priority will apply to the FY 2015 grant competition only.

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 796j-1.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, and 86. (b) The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreement.

    Estimated Available Funds: $596,373.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 1.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: State and public or non-profit agencies and organizations and institutions of higher education that have the capacity to provide training and TA in the provision of IL services for older individuals who are blind and have demonstrated through their application a capacity to provide the level of training and TA as indicated in the priority section of this notice.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html.

    To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: [email protected]

    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program as follows: CFDA number 84.177Z.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the person or team listed under Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.

    2. a. Content and Form of Application Submission:

    Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this program.

    b. Submission of Proprietary Information:

    Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind Training and Technical Assistance program, an application may include business information that the applicant considers proprietary. The Department's regulations define “business information” in 34 CFR 5.11.

    Because the funded applicant's abstract will be made available to the public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business information.

    Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your application any information that you feel is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under “Other Attachments Form,” please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: July 22, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 21, 2015.

    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. However, under 34 CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental review in order to make an award by the end of FY 2015.

    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:

    Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

    7. Other Submission Requirements:

    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

    Applications for grants under the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind Training and Technical Assistance program, CFDA number 84.177Z, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    You may access the electronic grant application for the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind Training and Technical Assistance program at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.177, not 84.177Z).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this program to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Additional, detailed information on how to attach files is in the application instructions.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

    Note:

    The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system;

    and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Mary Williams, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5144, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2800. FAX: (202) 245-7593

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.177Z), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.177Z), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

    If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the program under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from the selection criteria found in EDGAR at 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed in the application package.

    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    3. Special Conditions: Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this program, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the program. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to http://www2.ed.gov/print/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    4. Performance Measures: The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 directs Federal departments and agencies to improve the effectiveness of their programs by engaging in strategic planning, setting outcome-related goals for programs, and measuring program results against those goals.

    The goal of this grant is to provide training and TA designed to improve the operation and performance of OIB programs to eligible DSAs and other service providers that receive funding under chapter 2 of title VII of the Act, as amended by WIOA.

    To assess the success of the grantee in meeting the training and TA goals of this program, the Department is in the process of developing performance measures. In general, these measures will assess the quality, relevance, and usefulness of the training and TA provided by the Center, as well as the performance of the Center in achieving the project's intended outcomes in the specific topics in each priority area established annually by RSA in the cooperative agreement.

    The grantee will be required to collect and annually report data showing its performance on these measures in the Center's annual and final performance reports to the Department.

    The annual performance report must include both quantitative and qualitative information sufficient to assess the quality, relevance, and usefulness of the training and TA provided by the Center and the progress toward training and TA objectives for that year. The data used must be valid and verifiable.

    The annual performance reports must provide, at a minimum, specific information on the number of training and TA activities conducted by the Center, the topics of these activities, the type of training and TA provided (i.e., intensive, targeted, general), the number and types of participants served (i.e., DSAs or other providers of services under the OIB program), and summary data from participant evaluations.

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Williams, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5144, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-7586 or by email: [email protected].

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

    VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting Wendell Bell, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    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 17, 2015. Michael K. Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17996 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings AGENCY:

    Election Assistance Commission

    DATE AND TIME:

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.

    PLACE:

    The Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1000 H St NW., Washington, DC 20001, Phone: (202) 582-1234.

    STATUS:

    This meeting will be open to the public.

    ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:

    • EAC Transition Report Regarding Accessibility Awareness • Disability Research • Disability Access and Study of Online Voter Registration • Disability Rights—Technical Assistance to Election Officials and Poll Worker Training Materials • Voting and the Visually Impaired • 2014 Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS) • Advisory Opinions • EAC Future VVSG Working Group White Paper: The Goals for Future Federal Voting System Standards Development Efforts AGENDA:

    The Commission will receive a presentation on an EAC Transition Report regarding accessibility awareness. The Commission will receive presentations on the following topics: Disability Research; Disability Access and Study of Online Voter Registration; Disability Rights and Technical Assistance to Election Officials and Poll Worker Training Materials; and Voting and the Visually Impaired. The Commission will receive a presentation on the 2014 Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS). The Commission may consider future development goals of the voluntary voting system guidelines (VVSG) presented in a Future VVSG Working Group White Paper. The Commission will consider advisory opinions. The Commission may consider other administrative matters.

    PERSON TO CONTACT FOR INFORMATION:

    Bryan Whitener, Telephone: (301) 563-3961.

    Submitted: July 20, 2015. Bryan Whitener, Director of Communications & Clearinghouse.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18099 Filed 7-20-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6820-KF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [FE Docket No. 15-103-LNG] Freeport LNG Development, L.P.; Application for Blanket Authorization To Export Previously Imported Liquefied Natural Gas on a Short-Term Basis AGENCY:

    Office of Fossil Energy, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy (DOE) gives notice of receipt of an application (Application), filed on June 25, 2015, by Freeport LNG Development, L.P. (Freeport LNG), requesting blanket authorization to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) previously imported into the United States from foreign sources in an amount up to the equivalent of 24 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas on a short-term or spot market basis for a two-year period commencing on July 19, 2015.1 Freeport LNG seeks authorization to export the LNG from the Freeport LNG Terminal located on Quintana Island, Texas, to any country with the capacity to import LNG via ocean-going carrier and with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy. Freeport LNG states that it does not seek authorization to export any domestically produced natural gas or LNG. DOE/FE notes that Freeport LNG currently holds a blanket authorization to import LNG from various international sources by vessel in an amount up to the equivalent of 30 Bcf of natural gas.2 Freeport LNG is requesting this authorization both on its own behalf and as agent for other parties who hold title to the LNG at the time of export. The Application was filed under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA). Additional details can be found in Freeport LNG's Application, posted on the DOE/FE Web site at: http://energy.gov/fe/downloads/freeport-lng-development-lp-fe-dkt-no-15-103-lng. Protests, motions to intervene, notices of intervention, and written comments are invited.

    1 Freeport LNG's current blanket authorization to export previously imported LNG, granted in DOE/FE Order No. 3317 on July 19, 2013, extends through July 18, 2015 (FE Docket No. 13-51-LNG).

    2Freeport LNG Development, L.P., DOE/FE Order No. 3379, FE Docket No. 13-148-LNG, Order Granting Blanket Authorization to Import Liquefied Natural Gas from Various International Sources by Vessel (Jan. 9, 2014).

    DATES:

    Protests, motions to intervene or notices of intervention, as applicable, requests for additional procedures, and written comments are to be filed using procedures detailed in the Public Comment Procedures section no later than 4:30 p.m., Eastern time, August 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES: Electronic Filing by Email [email protected] Regular Mail U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply, Office of Fossil Energy, P.O. Box 44375, Washington, DC 20026-4375. Hand Delivery or Private Delivery Services (e.g., FedEx, UPS, etc.) U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Beverly Howard, or Larine Moore, U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9387; (202) 586-9478. Cassandra Bernstein, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Electricity and Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9793.
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DOE/FE Evaluation

    The Application will be reviewed pursuant to section 3 of the NGA, as amended, and the authority contained in DOE Delegation Order No. 00-002.00N (July 11, 2013) and DOE Redelegation Order No. 00-006.02 (Nov. 17, 2014). In reviewing this LNG export application, DOE will consider domestic need for the gas, as well as any other issues determined to be appropriate, including whether the arrangement is consistent with DOE's policy of promoting competition in the marketplace by allowing commercial parties to freely negotiate their own trade arrangements. Parties that may oppose this application should comment in their responses on these issues.

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., requires DOE to give appropriate consideration to the environmental effects of its proposed decisions. No final decision will be issued in this proceeding until DOE has met its NEPA responsibilities.

    Public Comment Procedures

    In response to this Notice, any person may file a protest, comments, or a motion to intervene or notice of intervention, as applicable. Any person wishing to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene or notice of intervention. The filing of comments or a protest with respect to the Application will not serve to make the commenter or protestant a party to the proceeding, although protests and comments received from persons who are not parties will be considered in determining the appropriate action to be taken on the Application. All protests, comments, motions to intervene, or notices of intervention must meet the requirements specified by the regulations in 10 CFR part 590.

    Filings may be submitted using one of the following methods: (1) Emailing the filing to [email protected], with FE Docket No. 15-103-LNG in the title line; (2) mailing an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply at the address listed in ADDRESSES; or (3) hand delivering an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Oil and Gas Global Supply at the address listed in ADDRESSES. All filings must include a reference to FE Docket No. 15-103-LNG. PLEASE NOTE: If submitting a filing via email, please include all related documents and attachments (e.g., exhibits) in the original email correspondence. Please do not include any active hyperlinks or password protection in any of the documents or attachments related to the filing. All electronic filings submitted to DOE must follow these guidelines to ensure that all documents are filed in a timely manner. Any hardcopy filing submitted greater in length than 50 pages must also include, at the time of the filing, a digital copy on disk of the entire submission.

    A decisional record on the Application will be developed through responses to this notice by parties, including the parties' written comments and replies thereto. Additional procedures will be used as necessary to achieve a complete understanding of the facts and issues. If an additional procedure is scheduled, notice will be provided to all parties. If no party requests additional procedures, a final Opinion and Order may be issued based on the official record, including the Application and responses filed by parties pursuant to this notice, in accordance with 10 CFR 590.316.

    The Application is available for inspection and copying in the Division of Natural Gas Regulatory Activities docket room, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585. The docket room is open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Application and any filed protests, motions to intervene or notice of interventions, and comments will also be available electronically by going to the following DOE/FE Web address: http://www.fe.doe.gov/programs/gasregulation/index.html.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 13, 2015. John A. Anderson, Director, Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply, Office of Oil and Natural Gas.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17980 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PL15-1-001] Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities; Order Denying Request For Clarification Before Commissioners: Norman C. Bay, Chairman; Philip D. Moeller, Cheryl A. LaFleur, Tony Clark, and Colette D. Honorable.

    1. On April 16, 2015, the Commission issued a policy statement in the referenced proceeding to provide greater certainty regarding the ability of interstate natural gas pipelines to recover the costs of modernizing their facilities and infrastructure to enhance the efficient and safe operation of their systems.1 The Policy Statement explains the standards the Commission will require interstate natural gas pipelines to satisfy in order to establish simplified mechanisms, such as trackers or surcharges, to recover certain costs associated with replacing old and inefficient compressors and leak-prone pipes and performing other infrastructure improvements and upgrades to enhance the efficient and safe operation of their pipelines. On May 15, 2015, Process Gas Consumers Group (PGC) and the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA)(jointly Requesters) filed, pursuant to 18 CFR 385.212 (2014), a joint “Request for Clarification” of the Policy Statement. 2 As discussed more fully below, the Commission denies the requested clarifications of the Policy Statement.

    1Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities, 151 FERC ¶ 61,047 (2015) (Policy Statement).

    2 On June 1, 2015, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) and Tenaska Marketing Ventures (Tenaska) filed answers to the request for clarification, and on June 2, 2015, the Kansas Corporation Commission filed in support of the clarification request. On June 9, AF&PA and PGC separately filed replies to INGAA and Tenaska. On June 11, 2015, the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) filed an answer to the request for clarification and comments on INGAA's answer. On June 24, 2015, Tenaska filed an answer to AF&PA and PGC.

    I. Background A. Policy Statement

    2. The Policy Statement established a process to allow interstate natural gas pipelines to seek to recover certain capital expenditures made to modernize system infrastructure through a surcharge mechanism, subject to conditions intended to ensure that the resulting rates are just and reasonable and protect natural gas consumers from excessive costs. Recognizing that historically the Commission has required interstate natural gas pipelines to design their transportation rates based on projected units of service, the Commission found in the Policy Statement that recent governmental safety and environmental initiatives have raised the probability that interstate natural gas pipelines will soon face increased costs to enhance the safety and reliability of their systems. The Commission issued the Policy Statement in an effort to address these potential costs and to ensure that existing Commission ratemaking policies do not unnecessarily inhibit interstate natural gas pipelines' ability to expedite needed or required upgrades and improvements, such as replacing old and inefficient compressors and leak-prone pipelines. The Policy Statement adopted five guiding standards a pipeline would have to satisfy for the Commission to approve a proposed modernization cost tracker or surcharge. Those criteria are (1) Review of Existing Base Rates; (2) Defined Eligible Costs; (3) Avoidance of Cost Shifting; (4) Periodic Review of the Surcharge and Base Rates; and (5) Shipper Support.

    3. The Policy Statement addressed how the Commission would apply those standards, and noted that “the Policy Statement will be most effective and efficient if designed according to flexible parameters that will allow for accommodation of the particular circumstances of each pipeline's circumstances. Maintaining a transparent policy with flexible standards will best allow pipelines and their customers to negotiate just and reasonable, and potentially mutually agreeable, cost recovery mechanisms to address the individual safety, reliability, regulatory compliance and other infrastructure issues facing that pipeline.” 3 The Commission also stated that “while we are imposing specific conditions on the approval of any proposed modernization cost tracker, leaving the parameters of those conditions reasonably flexible will be more productive in addressing needed and required system upgrades in a timely manner. Further, consistent with this approach, the Commission will be able to evaluate any proposals in the context of the specific facts relevant to the particular pipeline system at issue.” 4

    3Policy Statement, 151 FERC ¶ 61,047 at P 40.

    4Id.

    B. Request for Clarification

    4. In the Request for Clarification, the Requesters seek what they assert is “clarification” of six points related to the Policy Statement. Specifically they request the Commission clarify (1) that pipelines must provide actual cost and revenue information, based on twelve months of operation, including the type of data required in section 154.312 of the Commission's regulations, to justify its existing rates under standard 1; (2) the party responsible for paying modernization surcharges in existing capacity release arrangements; (3) the formal procedures for conducting the collaborative process to ensure all stakeholders are invited and included in meetings; (4) that the Commission intends the pipeline to work with each shipper sector in the collaborative process; (5) that if a pipeline has over-collected through a surcharge or tracker such that its rates are later found unjust and unreasonable the pipeline must pay refunds calculated from the date a protest or complaint was filed; and (6) that pipelines may not seek to implement a modernization tracker or surcharge until the October 1, 2015 effective date of the Policy Statement.

    5. On June 1, INGAA and Tenaska filed answers to the request for clarification. INGAA asserts the clarification request raises issues that were addressed by the Policy Statement and attempts to impose added burdens and restrictions not required by the Policy Statement, and as such should be rejected as an impermissible request for rehearing.5 INGAA further states that even if the requests can be considered requests for clarification, they are unnecessary because contrary to the assertion of Requesters, the Policy Statement's resolution of the issues raised is clear. Tenaska urges the Commission to reject the request for clarification of the cost responsibility for modernization charges in the capacity release context, stating that to do so would preemptively resolve a bilateral contract issue against replacement shippers. NGSA makes similar comments, stating that the issue of cost responsibility for modernization surcharges is one for the parties to the contracts, and that a generic determination by the Commission will inhibit contract negotiations.

    5 INGAA Answer at 2 (citing Natural Gas Supply Ass'n, et al., 137 FERC ¶ 61,051, at P 30 (2011)).

    6. As discussed more fully below, the Commission denies the requests for clarification and declines to adopt the suggested formal procedures.

    II. Discussion

    7. The Commission issued the Policy Statement in order to provide guidance to the industry as to how the Commission will evaluate proposals by interstate natural gas pipelines for the recovery of infrastructure modernization costs. As we stated in the Policy Statement, the Commission intends the standards a pipeline must satisfy to implement a modernization cost tracker “to be sufficiently flexible so as not to require any specific form of compliance but to allow pipelines and their customers to reach reasonable accommodations based on the specific circumstances of their systems.” 6 The Commission will evaluate any proposal for such a surcharge on an individual, case-by-case basis, at which time interested parties will have the opportunity to raise any issues or concerns. The requested clarifications are antithetical to that approach, and accordingly, as discussed below, the Commission denies the requested clarifications.

    6Policy Statement, 151 FERC ¶ 61,047 at P 3.

    A. Collaborative Process

    8. The Policy Statement requires pipelines to work collaboratively with shippers and other interested parties to seek support for any proposed cost modernization surcharge. As part of this collaborative process, the Commission stated that, before submitting a modernization cost recovery proposal to the Commission, a pipeline should meet with its customers and other interested parties to seek resolution of as many issues as possible.

    9. The Requesters ask the Commission to “clarify” the “formal procedures” for conducting the collaborative process required by the Policy Statement before the pipeline files its proposal with the Commission, asserting that because the Policy Statement does not require a filing to commence such a process, there is no clear way for all shippers to know when a pipeline is initiating the process, or to ensure that the process is fair and transparent. Requesters state that the Commission should require the involvement of Commission settlement judges, mediators or technical staff to ensure shippers' rights are protected during the collaborative process.7 Requesters also request clarification that the Commission intends the pipeline to work with “each shipper sector” during the collaborative process. Requesters assert that while the Commission stated it was not requiring a specific percentage of shipper support to approve a potential modernization cost tracker, it did not address “whether the pipeline is required to seek shipper support from a broad spectrum of shipper sectors . . . or whether it can just strike a deal with a subset of its customers.” 8

    7 Request for Clarification at 6-8.

    8 Request for Clarification at 9 & n.25 (citing Requester's February 26, 2015 Joint Reply Comments).

    10. The Commission denies clarification and declines to adopt formal procedures or specified rules for the pre-filing collaborative process required for a modernization cost tracker. The Policy Statement makes clear the Commission's expectation that a pipeline work with all of its customers during the collaborative process 9 that would precede a Natural Gas Act (NGA) section 4 filing. 10 We decline to adopt formal procedures for this collaboration, however, as it is the Commission's intention that the process be an informal process for parties to share information and negotiate absent Commission involvement. The Policy Statement clearly states that during this process, a pipeline should share with its customers the results of its review of its systems to determine what system upgrades and improvements are necessary, be responsive to requests for specific cost and revenue data to determine whether existing rates are just and reasonable, and provide parties the opportunity to comment on draft tariff language for the proposed modernization cost mechanism. 11

    9Policy Statement, 151 FERC ¶ 61,047 at P 93 (“As part of this collaborative process, pipelines should meet with their customers and other interested parties to seek resolution of as many issues as possible before submitting a modernization cost recovery proposal to the Commission.”)

    10 15 U.S.C. 717c (2006).

    11Id.

    11. With respect to concerns that customers may not be aware of, or be made aware of, the initiation of the collaborative process to implement a modernization cost tracker, a pipeline will have to make an NGA section 4 filing to implement any cost modernization surcharge. That filing will be noticed the same as any other NGA section 4 filing at the Commission, and will provide all interested persons the opportunity to intervene in the proceeding and to protest. Consistent with NGA section 4, the burden in that instance will be on the pipeline to demonstrate that its proposal is just and reasonable, and as we stated, the Commission will decide upon appropriate procedures to address protests based upon the specific circumstances of each proposal. Thus, in order to implement a proposed modernization cost tracker in an efficient manner and without unnecessary delay, it is in the proposing pipeline's best interest to resolve as many outstanding issues as possible through the collaborative process prior to filing a modernization cost recovery mechanism proposal.12 As noted in the Policy Statement, the intent is to “provide pipelines and their customers wide latitude to reach agreements incorporating remedies for a variety of system safety, reliability and/or efficiency issues.” 13 Adoption of formal procedures as suggested by the Requesters would thwart rather than facilitate this intent and the collaborative process.

    12 In fact, INGAA recognizes in its answer (at 5) that “excluding specific shippers or shipper sectors from the collaborative process . . . would not be in pipelines' best interests because any shippers or shipper groups that were excluded from the process would surely contest any agreement reached by the other parties.”

    13Policy Statement, 151 FERC ¶ 61,047 at P 94.

    B. Existing Rate Justification

    12. The Policy Statement states that “any pipeline seeking a modernization cost recovery tracker must demonstrate that its current base rates to which the surcharge would be added are just and reasonable. This is necessary to ensure that the overall rate produced by the addition of the surcharge to the base rate is just and reasonable, and does not reflect any cost over-recoveries that may have been occurring under the preexisting base rates.” 14

    14Id. P 51.

    13. Requesters assert that the Policy Statement does not identify the data that pipelines must provide under the Commission's regulations to show that the rates are just and reasonable, and whether a cost and revenue study would need to include the information in the form required by section 154.312 or 154.313 of the Commission's regulations. Requesters state the Commission should clarify that the pipeline must provide its most recent 12-months of actual costs and revenues, and the information required under the more inclusive section 154.312, prior to engaging in any collaborative process with its shippers.15

    15 Request for Clarification at 1-5.

    14. The Commission denies clarification. In the Policy Statement, we declined to adopt suggestions that we require an NGA general section 4 rate proceeding as the only means to satisfy the standard that existing rates are just and reasonable. As we noted, the “type of rate review necessary to determine whether a pipeline's existing rates are just and reasonable is likely to vary from pipeline to pipeline . . . therefore, we remain open to considering alternative approaches for a pipeline to justify its existing rates.” 16 As that statement implies, the Commission determined neither to require a specific method by which the pipeline must show its existing rates are just and reasonable, nor to proscribe the specific data or form that the data must take if a pipeline chooses to justify its existing rates by a method other than a general NGA section 4 rate case.

    16Policy Statement, 151 FERC ¶ 61,047 at P 52.

    15. As we made clear in the Policy Statement, a pipeline seeking a modernization cost surcharge must demonstrate to the Commission that its existing base rates are no higher than a just and reasonable level. Absent such a showing, the Commission would be unable to find that the overall rate produced by the addition of the surcharge to the base rate is just and reasonable. In order to facilitate the review of the pipeline's existing rates, we encouraged pipelines to engage in a full exchange of information with their customers.17 If that process fails to satisfy interested parties that existing base rates are no higher than a just and reasonable level, then the Commission will establish procedures to resolve any disputed issues of fact raised in the parties' protests to the filing based upon substantial evidence on the record. Such procedures may include, if necessary, a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.18 Thus, to the extent a pipeline seeks expedient approval of a modernization cost tracker, the Commission expects that the pipeline will freely share data and the results of its system testing to attempt to resolve as many issues as possible prior to filing for the tracker.

    17Policy Statement, 151 FERC ¶ 61,047 at P 53.

    18 If the pipeline files a settlement supported by many of its shippers but some contesting parties raise issues that cannot be resolved on the existing record, the Commission may approve the settlement as uncontested for the consenting parties and sever the contesting parties to litigate their issues. This preserves the benefit of the settlement for the consenting parties, while allowing the contesting parties to obtain a litigated result on the merits. Trailblazer Pipeline Co., 85 FERC ¶ 61,345, at 62,344-5 (1998), reh'g, 87 FERC ¶ 61,110, at 61,446-7 (1999).

    C. Retroactive Refunds

    16. Requesters also state that the Commission should clarify that if a pipeline has over-collected through a surcharge or tracker, such that its rates are later found to be unjust and unreasonable after a protest or complaint proceeding, the pipeline must pay refunds calculated from the date a protest or complaint was filed. They request a requirement that a pipeline seeking a modernization cost surcharge or tracker must agree that, if during the period that the surcharge is in effect, a protest or an NGA section 5 complaint is filed against the pipeline, the pipeline must make refunds retroactive to the date of the protest or complaint.19 Requesters assert the condition is justified in return for obtaining an exception to the standard NGA section 4 ratemaking principles.

    19 Request for Clarification at 10-11.

    17. The Commission denies the requested clarification.20 If the Commission is unable to determine the justness and reasonableness of a proposed modernization cost tracker mechanism within 30 days after its filing pursuant to NGA section 4, the Commission will suspend the filing and it will remain subject to refund until the Commission determines whether it is just and reasonable. Further, once a modernization cost tracker mechanism has been approved, the requirement that such mechanisms include a provision for trueing up cost over and under-recoveries will ensure that the pipeline only recovers eligible costs approved for recovery in the tracker mechanism. Each of the pipeline's periodic filings pursuant to its modernization cost tracker mechanism would include a comparison of the costs approved for recovery during the prior period with the amounts the pipeline actually collected from its shippers during that period.21 To the extent the pipeline over-recovered or under-recovered those costs during the relevant period, it would adjust the surcharge for the next period up or down so as to either return the over-recovery to its shippers or collect any under-recovery from them. Accordingly, the Commission finds no reason to condition the right to implement a modernization cost tracker mechanism on the pipeline's agreement to forego its NGA section 5 rights against retroactive refunds for amounts recovered pursuant to a modernization cost tracker mechanism that the Commission has approved as just and reasonable under NGA section 4.

    20 The Commission notes further that this request is effectively a request for rehearing of the Commission's decision not to adopt a virtually identical condition requested by APGA in its comments on the Proposed Policy Statement. See APGA Initial Comments at 20, Policy Statement, 151 FERC ¶ 61,047 at P 86.

    21 The pipeline's customers would have a chance to challenge any of the projected costs included in the periodic filings.

    D. Cost Responsibility in Capacity Release Agreements

    18. With respect to capacity releases, Requesters state that the Policy Statement did not respond to concerns raised by AF&PA that parties to existing capacity release agreements did not contemplate cost responsibility for modernization costs in existing capacity release agreements, and thus the Commission should clarify that such costs should be placed on replacement shippers.22

    22 Request for Clarification at 5-6.

    19. In their answers, INGAA and the NGSA oppose Requesters' proposal that cost responsibility for any modernization surcharge be placed on replacement shippers. INGAA states that under Commission policy, the releasing shipper remains ultimately liable for any surcharge amount that a replacement shipper does not pay. NGSA asserts that given the myriad of current day contracting options, the resolution of contractual matters, particularly where the contract is silent as to surcharge cost responsibility, is best left to the contracting parties. NGSA also argues that the Commission should not make a generic determination as to the responsibility for modernization cost surcharges within existing capacity release agreements because doing so would unnecessarily impede the parties' attempts to negotiate and resolve the issue.

    20. The Commission denies clarification. Section 284.8(f) of the Commission's regulations 23 provides that, unless otherwise agreed by the pipeline, the contract of the releasing shipper will remain in full force and effect during the release, with the net proceeds from any release to a replacement shipper credited to the releasing shipper's reservation charge. Therefore, to the extent the releasing shipper's service agreement permits the pipeline to recover the surcharge from the releasing shipper, the releasing shipper would remain liable for the surcharge during the term of any temporary release. The replacement shipper's liability for the surcharge would turn on the terms of its release. If the release requires the replacement shipper to pay any portion of the surcharge, those payments would be credited to the releasing shipper. In short, the issue of cost responsibility for modernization costs during the term of a capacity release is a contractual issue between the relevant parties,24 and that issue cannot be resolved on a generic basis.

    23 18 CFR 284.8(f) (2014).

    24See Policy Statement, 151 FERC ¶ 61,047 at P 82, stating that the pipeline's ability to impose a modernization cost surcharge on discounted or negotiated rate shippers is a contractual issue between the pipeline and its discounted or negotiated rate shippers.

    E. Effective Date

    21. Finally, Requesters seek clarification that pipelines may not seek to implement a modernization cost tracker through a filing, or even commence the collaborative process, until the October 1, 2015 effective date of the Policy Statement. 25 Requesters state that this effective date enforcement would provide the Commission time to proscribe the formal procedures that it requests.

    25 Request for Clarification at 11-12.

    22. The Commission declines to provide the requested clarification. The Commission has no authority to regulate a pipeline's discussions with its customers or the content of such discussions. Moreover, even if it had the authority, the Commission advocates active discussions between pipelines and their customers, and as we stated in the Policy Statement, “[t]he Commission sees no reason for pipelines to wait to make needed improvements to their systems until a regulation is adopted requiring them to do so.” 26

    26Policy Statement, 151 FERC ¶ 61,047 at P 68.

    23. Additionally, the Commission lacks the authority to prevent a pipeline from making an NGA section 4 filing to request approval for a modernization cost tracker. As INGAA notes, the Policy Statement did not permit pipelines to file for tracker mechanisms for the first time; it announced the Commission's policy for addressing such filings. There is nothing to prevent a pipeline from making a proposal consistent with the Commission's existing policy as set forth in Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, 27 prior to October 1, 2015.28

    27Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, 142 FERC ¶ 61,062 (2013).

    28 Further, because the Commission declines to adopt the requested formal procedures for the collaborative process there is no need for the suggested delay to allow time for the Commission to develop those procedures.

    24. Finally, we note that, as with any policy statement, the Policy Statement is not a final action of the Commission but an expression of our intent as to how we will evaluate proposals by interstate natural gas pipelines for the recovery of infrastructure modernization costs. As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has held, a statement of policy “is not finally determinative of the issues or rights to which it is addressed;” rather, it only “announces the agency's tentative intentions for the future.” 29 We will consider each pipeline proposal to implement a modernization cost tracker based on the facts relevant to that particular pipeline and will address any further concerns regarding the Policy Statement on a case-by-case basis.

    29Pacific Gas & Electric Co. v. FPC, 506 F.2d 33, 38 (D.C. Cir. 1974). See Alternatives to Traditional Cost-of-Service Ratemaking for Natural Gas Pipelines, 75 FERC ¶ 61,024, at 61,076 (citing, American Gas Ass'n v. FERC, 888 F.2d 136 (1989); Interstate Natural Gas Pipeline Rate Design, 47 FERC ¶ 61,295 (1985), order on reh'g, 48 FERC ¶ 61,122, at 61,442 (1989)).

    F. Information Collection Statement

    25. The collection of information discussed in the Policy Statement is being submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 30 and OMB's implementing regulations.31 OMB must approve information collection requirements imposed by agency rules.

    30 44 U.S.C. 3507(d) (2012).

    31 5 CFR 1320.

    26. In the Policy Statement, the Commission solicited comments from the public on the Commission's need for this information, whether the information will have practical utility, the accuracy of the burden estimates, recommendations to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and any suggested methods for minimizing respondents' burden, including the use of automated information techniques. The Commission received no comments on those issues.

    27. The burden estimates are for implementing the information collection requirements of the Policy Statement. The collection of information related to the Policy Statement falls under FERC-545 (Gas Pipeline Rates: Rate Change (Non-Formal).32 The following estimate of reporting burden is related only to the Policy Statement.

    32 The information collection requirements in the Policy Statement were included in FERC-545A (OMB Control No.: TBD). The Commission used FERC-545A (a temporary collection number) because another item was pending OMB review under FERC-545, and only one item per OMB Control Number can be pending review at OMB at a time. The submittal to OMB will now be made under FERC-545 (OMB Control No. 1902-0154).

    33 An estimated 165 natural gas pipelines (Part 284 program) may be affected by the Policy Statement. Of the 165 pipelines, Commission staff estimates that 3 pipelines may choose to submit an application for a modernization cost tracker per year.

    28. Public Reporting Burden: The estimated annual burden and cost follow.

    34 The hourly wage figures are published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, United States, Occupation Profiles, May 2014 (available 4/1/2015) at http://www.bls.gov/oes/home.htm, and the benefits are calculated using BLS information, at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecec.nr0.htm.

    The average hourly cost (salary plus benefits) to prepare the modernization cost tracker filing is $65.59. It is the average of the following hourly costs (salary plus benefits): manager ($77.93, NAICS 11-0000), Computer and mathematical ($58.17, NAICS 15-0000), Legal ($129.68, NAICS 23-0000), Office and administrative support ($39.12, NAICS 43-0000), Accountant and auditor ($51.04, NAICS 13-2011), Information and record clerk ($37.45, NAICS 43-4199), Engineer ($66.74, NAICS 17-2199), Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager ($64.55, NAICS 11-3071).

    The average hourly cost (salary plus benefits) to perform the periodic review is $67.04. It is the average of the following hourly costs (salary plus benefits): manager ($77.93, NAICS 11-0000), Legal ($129.68, NAICS 23-0000), Office and administrative support ($39.12, NAICS 43-0000), Accountant and auditor ($51.04, NAICS 13-2011), Information and record clerk ($37.45, NAICS 43-4199).

    35 The pipeline's modernization cost tracker filing is expected to include information to:

    Demonstrate that its current rates are just and reasonable and that proposal includes the types of benefits that the Commission found maintained the pipeline's incentives for innovation and efficiency;

    Identify each capital investment to be recovered by the surcharge, the facilities to be upgraded or installed by those projects, and an upper limit on the capital costs related to each project to be included in the surcharge, and schedule for completing the projects;

    Establish accounting controls and procedures that it will utilize to ensure that only identified eligible costs are included in the tracker;

    Include method for periodic review of whether the surcharge and the pipeline's base rates remain just and reasonable; and

    State the extent to which any particular project will disrupt primary firm service, explain why it expects it will not be able to continue to provide firm service, and describe what arrangements the pipeline intends to make to mitigate the disruption or provide alternative methods of providing service.

    36 Based on the Columbia case, we estimate that a review may be required every 5 years, triggering the first pipeline reviews to be done in Year 6 (for the pipelines which applied and received approval in Year 1).

    FERC-545, Modifications From Policy Statement in PL15-1-000 Number of respondents 33 Number of responses per respondent Average burden hours per response Total annual burden hours Total annual cost
  • ($) 34
  • [rounded]
  • (1) (2) (3) (1) × (2) × (3) Provide information to shippers for any surcharge proposal, and prepare modernization cost tracker filing 35 3 1 750 2,250 $147,578 Perform periodic review and provide information to show that both base rates and the surcharge amount remain just and reasonable 3 36 0.60 350 630 $42,235

    29. Title: FERC-545, Gas Pipeline Rates: Rate Change (Non-formal).

    30. Action: Revisions to an information collection.

    31. OMB Control No.: 1902-0154.

    32. Respondents: Business or other for profit enterprise (Natural Gas Pipelines).

    33. Frequency of Responses: Ongoing.

    34. Necessity of Information: The Commission is establishing a policy to allow interstate natural gas pipelines to seek to recover certain capital expenditures made to modernize system infrastructure through a surcharge mechanism, subject to certain conditions. The information that the pipeline should share with its shippers and submit to the Commission is intended to ensure that the resulting rates are just and reasonable and protect natural gas consumers from excessive costs

    35. Internal Review: The Commission has reviewed the guidance in the Policy Statement and has determined that the information is necessary. These requirements conform to the Commission's plan for efficient information collection, communication, and management within the natural gas pipeline industry. The Commission has assured itself, by means of its internal review, that there is specific, objective support for the burden estimates associated with the information requirements.

    36. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting requirements by contacting the following: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426 [Attention: Ellen Brown, Office of the Executive Director, email: [email protected], phone: (202) 502-8663, fax: (202) 273-0873].

    37. Comments filed with OMB, identified by the OMB Control No. 1902-0154 should be sent via email to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: [email protected], Attention: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Desk Officer. The Desk Officer may also be reached via telephone at 202-395-0710. A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Commission, in Docket No. PL15-1-000. Comments concerning the collection of information and the associated burden estimate should be submitted by August 21, 2015.

    The Commission orders:

    The requests for clarification are denied as discussed above.

    By the Commission.

    Issued: July 16, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17949 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-504-000] Dominion South Carolina Gas, Inc; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Columbia to Eastover Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Columbia to Eastover Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Dominion South Carolina Gas, Inc (DCG) in Calhoun, Richland, and Lexington Counties, South Carolina. The Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity.

    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the project. You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EA. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before August 17, 2015.

    If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on May 29, 2015, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. CP15-504-000 to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding.

    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for this project. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this proposed project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

    If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facilities. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if the Commission approves the project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law.

    DCG provided landowners with a fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled “An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?” This fact sheet addresses a number of typically asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission's proceedings. It is also available for viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov).

    Public Participation

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected] Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing” as the filing type; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number (CP15-504-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Summary of the Proposed Project

    DCG proposes the Columbia to Eastover Project to construct and operate 28 miles of new 8-inch-diameter pipeline in Calhoun and Richland Counties, South Carolina, with sections of access roads in Lexington County, South Carolina. The Project would deliver 18,000 dekatherms per day of firm transmission natural gas service to International Paper Company to replace the current use of coal and fuel oil, as well as trucked-delivered natural gas, as a means of complying with maximum achievable control technology environmental air quality standards mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    The pipeline would originate from DCG's existing 20-inch-diameter Salley to Eastman pipeline at the DAK Americas industrial facility. In addition to the pipeline, DCG proposes to install the following ancillary facilities:

    • a tap and pig launcher; 1

    1 A “pig” is a tool that the pipeline company inserts into and pushes through the pipeline for cleaning the pipeline, conducting internal inspections, or other purposes.

    • a metering and regulation station and pig receiver; and

    • eight mainline valves.

    The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 1.2

    2 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called “eLibrary” or from the Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

    Land Requirements for Construction

    Construction of the proposed facilities would disturb about 423 acres of land for the aboveground facilities and the pipeline. Following construction, DCG would maintain about 121 acres for permanent operation of the project's facilities; the remaining acreage would be restored and revert to former uses. About 75 percent of the proposed pipeline route parallels existing pipeline or utility rights-of-way.

    The EA Process

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires us 3 to discover and address concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as “scoping.” The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EA on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EA.

    3 “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    In the EA we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the proposed project under these general headings:

    • geology and soils;

    • land use;

    • water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;

    • vegetation and wildlife;

    • endangered and threatened species;

    • cultural resources;

    • air quality and noise;

    • public safety; and

    • cumulative impacts

    We will also evaluate reasonable alternatives to the proposed project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

    The EA will present our independent analysis of the issues. The EA will be available in the public record through eLibrary. Depending on the comments received during the scoping process, we may also publish and distribute the EA to the public for an allotted comment period. We will consider all comments on the EA before making our recommendations to the Commission. To ensure we have the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section, beginning on page 2.

    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues of this project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EA.4 Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation section of this notice.

    4 The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6.

    Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's implementing regulations for Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation with the applicable State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the project's potential effects on historic properties.5 We will define the project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, aboveground facilities, and access roads). Our EA for this project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under Section 106.

    5 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

    Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental interest groups; Native American Tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the project. We will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that we send the information related to this environmental review to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the proposed project.

    If we publish and distribute the EA, copies will be sent to the environmental mailing list for public review and comment. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the document instead of the CD version or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (appendix 2).

    Becoming an Intervenor

    In addition to involvement in the EA scoping process, you may want to become an “intervenor” which is an official party to the Commission's proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission's final ruling. An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a request to intervene. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in the User's Guide under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site.

    Additional Information

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site at www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search” and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP15-504). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    Dated: July 16, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17944 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1116-000.

    Applicants: Questar Overthrust Pipeline Company.

    Description: Annual Fuel Gas Reimbursement Percentage Report for 2015 of Questar Overthrust Pipeline Company under RP15-1116.

    Filed Date: 7/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150709-5228.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/21/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1117-000.

    Applicants: Kern River Gas Transmission Company.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: 2015 Converted Contracts to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150714-5047.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/27/15.

    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 15, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17916 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. AD15-11-000] Electronic Filing Protocols for Commission Forms; Notice of Meeting of North American Energy Standards Board

    Take notice that the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) has announced that it will hold its first conference call on August 13, 2015, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, to initiate its process for developing standards for the submission of Commission forms in XML format. In the Commission's April 16, 2015, Order in this proceeding, the Commission announced it was beginning a process to develop a revised method for natural gas pipelines, public utilities, and oil pipelines to file forms, and asked NAESB and the electric, natural gas, and oil industries to establish a collaborative process with Commission staff to develop standards for filing forms.1 On June 10, 2015, Commission staff held a technical conference to explore a transition to XML format, as well as NAESB's assistance in that transition process.

    1Electronic Filing Protocols for Commission Forms, 151 FERC ¶ 61,025 (2015).

    After the staff technical conference, the Commission received five comments generally supportive of moving forward with the NAESB process. NAESB has agreed to sponsor this project and the August 13, 2015 conference call is to establish procedures for moving forward. The comments also posed certain questions that should be addressed during the NAESB meetings.

    NAESB has posted details regarding the conference at https://www.naesb.org/pdf4/naesb_weq-wgq_ffs_081315ma.pdf. Further information regarding participation can be obtained by contacting NAESB by phone (713-356-0060) or email ([email protected]).

    Commission notices for future meetings will not be issued. The Commission will post the time and dates for future meetings on its Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/forms/eforms-refresh.asp, Information also may be found on the NAESB Web site at https://www.naesb.org/ferc_forms.asp (NAESB Members) or https://www.naesb.org/committee_activities.asp (non-Members).

    For more information about this conference call or the proceeding, please contact Robert Hudson, Office of Enforcement, at (202) 502-6620 or [email protected] or Nicholas Gladd, Office of General Counsel, at (202) 502-8836 or [email protected]c.gov.

    Dated: July 16, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17947 Filed 7-21-15; 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: ER14-694-004.

    Applicants: Entergy Services, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: EAI-ESI_Response_7-16-2015 to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 7/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150716-5154.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-702-004.

    Applicants: Entergy Arkansas, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: EAI-ESI_Response_7-16-2015 to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 7/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150716-5152.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-1332-001.

    Applicants: DATC Path 15, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance to 2181401 to be effective 5/17/2014.

    Filed Date: 7/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150716-5134.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1799-001.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., Virginia Electric and Power Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Virginia Electric and Power submits revisions to Service Agreement No. 3453 to be effective 5/4/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150716-5142.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2214-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Original SA Nos. 4205 and 4206 (Z2-043/AA1-072 and Z2-044 ISAs) to be effective 6/16/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150716-5096.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2215-000.

    Applicants: San Diego Gas & Electric Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: SDG&E TO4 Formula Depreciation Rate Change 2015 to be effective 1/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150716-5135.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2216-000.

    Applicants: EONY Generation Limited.

    Description: Compliance filing: MBR—EONY Generation Limited to be effective 7/17/2105.

    Filed Date: 7/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150716-5138.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/6/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following land acquisition reports:

    Docket Numbers: LA15-2-000.

    Applicants: Indigo Generation LLC, Larkspur Energy LLC, Wildflower Energy LP, Mariposa Energy, LLC.

    Description: Quarterly Land Acquisition Report of the DGC Companies under LA15-2.

    Filed Date: 7/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150716-5104.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/6/15.

    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 16, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17918 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Commission Staff Attendance

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) hereby gives notice that members of the Commission's staff may attend the following meeting related to the transmission planning activities of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO):

    MISO Planning Advisory Committee July 29, 2015, 9 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (EST)

    The above-referenced meeting will be held at: MISO Headquarters, 720 City Center Drive, Carmel, IN 46032.

    Further information may be found at www.misoenergy.org.

    The discussions at the meeting described above may address matters at issue in the following proceedings:

    Docket Nos. ER13-1944, et al., PJM Interconnection, LLC Docket No. ER14-1174, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER14-1736, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER14-2445, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER13-1864, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. EL14-21, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. EL14-30, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. v. Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. EL11-34, Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER11-1844, Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. Docket No. EL13-88, Northern Indiana Public Service Company v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. and PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket Nos. ER13-1923, et al., Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket Nos. ER13-1937, et al., Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    For more information, contact Chris Miller, Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at (317) 249-5936 or [email protected]; or Jason Strong, Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at (202) 502-6124 or [email protected]

    Dated: July 16, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17948 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER15-2135-000] Alexander Wind Farm, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Alexander Wind Farm, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is August 5, 2015.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 16, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17945 Filed 7-21-15; 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: ER10-2331-033; ER14-630-010; ER10-2319-025; ER10-2317-025; ER10-2326-031; ER14-1468-009; ER13-1351-007; ER10-2330-032.

    Applicants: J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corporation, AlphaGen Power LLC, BE Alabama LLC, BE CA LLC, Cedar Brakes I, L.L.C., KMC Thermo, LLC, Florida Power Development LLC, Utility Contract Funding, L.L.C.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of J.P. Morgan Sellers.

    Filed Date: 7/15/15.

    Accession Number: 20150715-5179.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/5/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-3297-006.

    Applicants: Powerex Corp.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Powerex Corp.

    Filed Date: 7/15/15.

    Accession Number: 20150715-5183.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/5/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1489-005; ER13-1488-003.

    Applicants: Quantum Choctaw Power, LLC, Quantum Lake Power, LP, Quantum Pasco Power, LP.

    Description: Supplement to December 23, 2014 Updated Market Power Analysis of the Quantum Entities.

    Filed Date: 7/15/15.

    Accession Number: 20150715-5181.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/5/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-518-003.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Florida, Inc., Duke Energy Progress, Inc., Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Order 676-H Compliance Filing to be effective 7/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/15/15.

    Accession Number: 20150715-5089.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/5/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1407-002.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2015-07-16_SA 2767 2nd Amendment to ATC-Manitowoc CFA to be effective 5/31/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150716-5048.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1411-002.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2015-07-16_SA 2770 2nd Amendment to ATC-Sun Prairie CFA to be effective 5/31/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150716-5045.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1481-002.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2015-07-16_SA 2776 2nd Amendment to ATC-Village of Prairie du Sac CFA to be effective 6/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150716-5053.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1482-002.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2015-07-16_SA 2777 2nd Amendment to ATC-Wisconsin Rapids CFA to be effective 6/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150716-5056.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1483-002.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2015-07-16_SA 2775 2nd Amendment to ATC-Marshfield CFA to be effective 6/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150716-5051.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1618-001.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Florida, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: DEF IA Annual Cost Factor Update Amendment to RS 91 to be effective 5/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150716-5037.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2212-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Rate Schedule 13—Western Area Power Administration JOA Cancellation to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 7/15/15.

    Accession Number: 20150715-5151.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/5/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2213-000.

    Applicants: Portland General Electric Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: 2nd NAESB V3 Standards Compliance Filing to be effective 5/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 7/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150716-5055.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/6/15.

    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 16, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17917 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0389; FRL-9930-60] Pesticides; Risk Management Approach To Identifying Options for Protecting the Monarch Butterfly; Notice of Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of June 24, 2015, concerning the document “Risk Management Approach to Identifying Options for Protecting the Monarch Butterfly.” This notice extends the comment period for 30 days, from July 24, 2015 to August 24, 2015. Crop Life America, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment, and the California Crops Council requested an extension of the comment period to allow sufficient time to analyze the subject document and assemble relevant information.

    DATES:

    Comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0389, must be received on or before August 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Follow the detailed instructions provided under ADDRESSES in the Federal Register document of June 24, 2015 (80 FR 36338) (FRL-9929-01).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Khue Nguyen, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 347-0248; email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice extends the public comment period established in the Federal Register document of June 24, 2015. EPA is hereby extending the comment period, which was set to end on July 24, 2015, to August 24, 2015.

    To submit comments, or access the docket, please follow the detailed instructions provided under ADDRESSES in the Federal Register document of June 24, 2015. If you have questions, consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: July 16, 2015. Richard P. Keigwin, Jr., Director, Pesticide Re-Evaluation, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17993 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2013-0677; FRL-9930-52] Receipt of Test Data Under the Toxic Substances Control Act AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is announcing its receipt of test data submitted pursuant to a test rule issued by EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). As required by TSCA, this document identifies each chemical substance and/or mixture for which test data have been received; the uses or intended uses of such chemical substance and/or mixture; and describes the nature of the test data received. Each chemical substance and/or mixture related to this announcement is identified in Unit I. under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Kathy Calvo, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-8089; 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. Chemical Substances and/or Mixtures

    Information about the following chemical substances and/or mixtures is provided in Unit IV.:

    Phosphorochloridothioic acid, O,O-diethyl (CAS RN 2524-04-1) II. Federal Register Publication Requirement

    Section 4(d) of TSCA (15 U.S.C. 2603(d)) requires EPA to publish a notice in the Federal Register reporting the receipt of test data submitted pursuant to test rules promulgated under TSCA section 4 (15 U.S.C. 2603).

    III. Docket Information

    A docket, identified by the docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2013-0677, has been established for this Federal Register document that announces the receipt of data. Upon EPA's completion of its quality assurance review, the test data received will be added to the docket for the TSCA section 4 test rule that required the test data. Use the docket ID number provided in Unit IV. to access the test data in the docket for the related TSCA section 4 test rule.

    The docket for this Federal Register document and the docket for each related TSCA section 4 test rule is available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Docket (OPPT Docket), Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPPT Docket is (202) 566-0280. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    IV. Test Data Received

    This unit contains the information required by TSCA section 4(d) for the test data received by EPA.

    Phosphorochloridothioic acid, O,O-diethyl (CAS RN 2524-04-1)

    1. Chemical Uses: An intermediate for pesticides, an oil and gasoline additive, in flame-retardents, and in flotation agents.

    2. Applicable Test Rule: Chemical testing requirements for second group of high production volume chemicals (HPV2), 40 CFR 799.5087.

    3. Test Data Received: The following listing describes the nature of the test data received. The test data will be added to the docket for the applicable TSCA section 4 test rule and can be found by referencing the docket ID number provided. EPA reviews of test data will be added to the same docket upon completion.

    Aquatic Toxicity Studies (Fish) (Daphnid) (Algal) (C1). The docket ID number assigned to this data is EPA-HQ-OPPT-2007-0531.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.

    Dated: July 15, 2015. Maria J. Doa, Director, Chemical Control Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18008 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-1054] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated Authority AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burden and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection(s). Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before September 21, 2015. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control No.: 3060-1054.

    Title: Application for Renewal of an International Broadcast Station License.

    Form No.: FCC Form 422-IB.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents: 10 respondents; 50 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1-8 hours per response.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement; Recordkeeping requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 154, 303, 334, 336 and 339.

    Total Annual Burden: 160 hours.

    Annual Cost Burden: $36,000.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: In general, there is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: This collection will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as an extension following the 60-day comment period in order to obtain the full three-year clearance from OMB.

    The Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) plans to implement and release to the public an “Application for Renewal of an International Broadcast Station License (FCC Form 422-IB).” The form has not been implemented yet due to a lack of budget resources and technical staff. After the FCC Form 422-IB has been implemented and the Commission receives final approval from OMB, applicants will complete the FCC Form 422-IB in lieu of the “Application for Renewal of an International or Experimental Broadcast Station License,” (FCC Form 311). In the interim, applicants will continue to file the FCC Form 311 with the Commission. (Note: The OMB approved the FCC Form 311 under OMB Control No. 3060-1035).

    The Commission stated previously that the FCC Form 422-IB will be available to applicants in the International Bureau Filing System (“IBFS”) after it is implemented. However, the Commission plans to develop a new licensing system within the next five years that will replace IBFS. Therefore, the FCC Form 422-IB will be made available to the public in CLS instead of IBFS.

    The information collected pursuant to the rules set forth in 47 CFR part 73, subpart F, is used by the Commission to assign frequencies for use by international broadcast stations, to grant authority to operate such stations and to determine if interference or adverse propagation conditions exist that may impact the operation of such stations. If the Commission did not collect this information, it would not be in a position to effectively coordinate spectrum for international broadcasters or to act for entities in times of frequency interference or adverse propagation conditions. The orderly nature of the provision of international broadcast service would be in jeopardy without the Commission's involvement.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17913 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0854] Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted on or before August 21, 2015. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contacts below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB, via email [email protected]; and to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]. Include in the comments the OMB control number as shown in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information or copies of the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918. To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the Web page <http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain>, (2) look for the section of the Web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the OMB control number of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0854.

    Title: Section 64.2401, Truth-in-Billing Format, CC Docket No. 98-170 and CG Docket No. 04-208.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 4,447 respondents; 36,699 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2 to 230 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement; Third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this information collection is found at section 201(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 201(b), and section 258, 47 U.S.C. 258, Public Law 104-104, 110 Stat. 56. The Commission's implementing rules are codified at 47 CFR 64.2400-01.

    Total Annual Burden: 2,129,905 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $15,918,200.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: An assurance of confidentiality is not offered because this information collection does not require the collection of personally identifiable information from individuals.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: In 1999, the Commission released the Truth-in-Billing and Billing Format, CC Docket No. 98-170, First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, (1999 TIB Order); published at 64 FR 34488, June 25, 1999, which adopted principles and guidelines designed to reduce telecommunications fraud, such as slamming and cramming, by making bills easier for consumers to read and understand, and thereby, making such fraud easier to detect and report. In 2000, Truth-in-Billing and Billing Format, CC Docket No. 98-170, Order on Reconsideration, (2000 Reconsideration Order); published at 65 FR 43251, July 13, 2000, the Commission, granted in part petitions for reconsideration of the requirements that bills highlight new service providers and prominently display inquiry contact numbers. On March 18, 2005, the Commission released Truth-in-Billing and Billing Format; National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates' Petition for Declaratory Ruling Regarding Truth-in-Billing, Second Report and Order, Declaratory Ruling, and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, CC Docket No. 98-170, CG Docket No. 04-208, (2005 Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice); published at 70 FR 29979 and 70 FR 30044, May 25, 2005, which determined, inter alia, that Commercial Mobile Radio Service providers no longer should be exempted from 47 CFR 64.2401(b), which requires billing descriptions to be brief, clear, non-misleading and in plain language. The 2005 Second Further Notice proposed and sought comment on measures to enhance the ability of consumers to make informed choices among competitive telecommunications service providers.

    On April 27, 2012, the Commission released the Empowering Consumers to Prevent and Detect Billing for Unauthorized Charges (“Cramming”), Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, CG Docket No. 11-116, CG Docket No. 09-158, CC Docket No. 98-170, FCC 12-42 (Cramming Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking); published at 77 FR 30972, May 24, 2012, which determined that additional rules are needed to help consumers prevent and detect the placement of unauthorized charges on their telephone bills, an unlawful and fraudulent practice commonly referred to as “cramming.”

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17915 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-xxxx] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before September 21, 2015. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-xxxx.

    Title: Direct Access to Numbers Order FCC 15-70 Conditions.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: New Collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 13 respondents; 13 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 120 hours.

    Frequency of Response: One-time application, on-going and bi-annual reporting requirements.

    Obligation To Respond: Voluntary. Statutory Authority: 47 U.S.C. 251(e)(1).

    Total Annual Burden: 1,560 hours.

    Total Annual Costs: No Cost.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: If respondents submit information which respondents believe is confidential, respondents may request confidential treatment of such information pursuant to section 0.459 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 0.459.

    Needs and Uses: On June 18, 2015, the Commission adopted a Report and Order establishing the Numbering Authorization Application process, which allows interconnected VoIP providers to apply for a blanket authorization from the FCC that, once granted, will allow them to demonstrate that they have the authority to provide service in specific areas, thus enabling them to request numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators. This collection covers the information and certifications that applicants must submit in order to comply with the Numbering Authorization Application process. The data, information, and documents acquired through this collection will allow interconnected VoIP providers to obtain numbers with minimal burden or delay while also preventing providers from obtaining numbers without first demonstrating that they can deploy and properly utilize such resources. This information will also help the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) protect against number exhaust while promoting competitive neutrality among traditional telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers by allowing both entities to obtain numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators. It will further help the FCC to maintain efficient utilization of numbering resources and ensure that telephone numbers are not being stranded.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17914 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Controlled Carriers Under the Shipping Act of 1984 AGENCY:

    Federal Maritime Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Maritime Commission is publishing an updated list of controlled carriers, i.e., ocean common carriers operating in U.S.-foreign trades that are owned or controlled by foreign governments. Such carriers are subject to special regulatory oversight by the Commission under the Shipping Act of 1984.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tyler J. Wood, General Counsel, Federal Maritime Commission, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Washington, DC 20573, (202) 523-5740.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Maritime Commission is publishing an updated list of controlled carriers. Section 3(8) of the Shipping Act of 1984 (46 U.S.C. 40102(8)), defines a “controlled carrier” as an ocean common carrier that is, or whose operating assets are, directly or indirectly, owned or controlled by a government, with ownership or control by a government being described in the statute.

    As required by the Shipping Act, controlled carriers are subject to special oversight by the Commission. Section 9(a) of the Shipping Act (46 U.S.C. 40701(b)), states that the Commission, at any time after notice and opportunity for a hearing, may prohibit the publication or use of a rate, charge, classification, rule, or regulation that a controlled carrier has failed to demonstrate is just and reasonable.

    Congress enacted these protections to ensure that controlled carries, whose marketplace decision-making can be influenced by foreign governmental priorities or by their access to non-market sources of capital, do not engage in unreasonable below-market pricing practices which could disrupt trade or harm privately-owned shipping companies.

    The controlled carrier list is not a comprehensive list of foreign-owned or -controlled ships or ship owners; rather, it is only a list of ocean common carriers that are controlled by governments. See 46 U.S.C. 40102(8). Thus, tramp operators and other non-common carriers are not included, nor are non-vessel-operating common carriers, regardless of their ownership or control.

    Since the last publication of this list on August 22, 2012 (77 FR 51801), the Commission has newly classified two ocean common carriers as controlled carriers, CNAN Nord SPA (“CNAN”) and United Arab Shipping Company (S.A.G.) (“UASC”).

    Pursuant to 46 CFR 501.23, CNAN was classified as a controlled carrier on September 23, 2014.

    Pursuant to 46 CFR 501.23 and 565.4, UASC notified the Commission of its change in majority ownership by the State of Qatar on June 18, 2014, and after review, the Commission classified UASC as a controlled carrier on July 6, 2015.

    It is requested that any other information regarding possible omissions or inaccuracies in this list be provided to the Commission's Office of General Counsel. See 46 CFR 501.23. The amended list of currently classified controlled carriers and their corresponding Commission-issued Registered Persons Index numbers is set forth below:

    (1) American President Lines, Ltd. and APL Co. Pte. Ltd. (RPI No. 000240)—Republic of Singapore;

    (2) COSCO Container Lines Company, Limited (RPI No. 015614)—People's Republic of China;

    (3) China Shipping Container Lines Co., Ltd and China Shipping Container Lines (Hong Kong) Co., Limited (RPI No. 019270)—People's Republic of China;

    (4) Hainan P O Shipping Co., Ltd. (RPI No. 022860)—People's Republic of China;

    (5) CNAN Nord SPA (RPI No. 021980)—People's Democratic Republic of Algeria;

    (6) United Arab Shipping Company (S.A.G.) (RPI No. 006256)—State of Qatar.

    Karen V. Gregory, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17643 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreements Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreements under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreements to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. Copies of the agreements are available through the Commission's Web site (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202) 523-5793 or [email protected].

    Agreement No.: 011426-058.

    Title: West Coast of South America Discussion Agreement.

    Parties: CMA CGM S.A.; Frontier Liner Services, Inc.; Hamburg-Süd; Hapag-Lloyd AG; King Ocean Services Limited, Inc.; Mediterranean Shipping Company, SA; Seaboard Marine Ltd.; and Trinity Shipping Line.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Conner; 1627 I Street NW., Suite 1100; Washington, DC 20006-4007.

    Synopsis: The amendment deletes Compania Chilena de Navegacion, S.A. and Norasia Container Lines Limited as parties to the agreement.

    Agreement No.: 201217-002.

    Title: Port of Long Beach Data Services Agreement.

    Parties: Port of Long Beach; PierPass LLC.; Long Beach Container Terminal, Inc.; SSA Terminals, LLC; SSA Terminal (Long Beach), LLC; International Transportation Service, Inc.; Pacific Maritime Services, L.L.C.; and Total Terminals, LLC.

    Filing Party: Charles Parkin, Esq.; City of Long Beach; 333 W. Ocean Boulevard, 11th Floor; Long Beach, CA; 90802.

    Synopsis: The amendment would extend the agreement term and adjust the compensation provided for in the agreement. The parties have requested expedited review.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: July 17, 2015. Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17998 Filed 7-21-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Request for Additional Information; Correction AGENCY:

    Federal Maritime Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    DATES:

    The date for submission of comments by interested parties is extended to fifteen (15) days after publication of this correction in the Federal Register.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Maritime Commission published a document in the Federal Register on July 17, 2015, indicating it has formally requested that the parties to the Pacific Ports Operational Improvements Agreement (FMC Agreement Nos. 201227-002 and 201227-003) provide additional information pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 40304(d). This action prevents the Agreement amendment from becoming effective as originally scheduled. The notice erroneously did not list each of the parties to the Agreement.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen V. Gregory, 202-523-5725.

    Correction

    In the Federal Register of July 17, 2015, in FR Doc. 2015-17521, on page 42496, in the third column, correct the “Parties” caption to read:

    Parties: Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association, Inc.; West Coast MTO Agreement; Maersk Line A/S; APL Co. Pte Ltd.; American President Lines, Ltd.; CMA CGM S.A.; Cosco Container Lines Company Limited; Evergreen Line Joint Service Agreement FMC Agreement No. 011982; Hamburg-Sud; Alianca Navegaca