Federal Register Vol. 80, No.142,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 142 (July 24, 2015)

Page Range43909-44249
FR Document

80_FR_142
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 44249 - Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Chattanooga, TennesseePDF
80 FR 44156 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 43909 - Delegation of Certain Functions and Authorities Under Section 135 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.), as amended by the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015PDF
80 FR 44140 - National Library of Medicine; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 43911 - 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) and Amendments; Delay of Effective DatePDF
80 FR 44198 - Notice of Open Meetings To Prepare the 2015 Annual Report to Congress; Advisory Committee: U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 44098 - Boulder Canyon Project-Rate Order No. WAPA-171PDF
80 FR 44158 - Lost Creek ISR, LLCPDF
80 FR 44100 - Central Arizona Project-Rate Order No. WAPA-172PDF
80 FR 44103 - Receipt of Test Data Under the Toxic Substances Control ActPDF
80 FR 44180 - Kentucky Disaster Number KY-00024PDF
80 FR 44102 - Extension of Comment Periods for the Draft Series 810-Product Performance Test Guidelines and the Proposed Antimicrobial Pesticide Use Site IndexPDF
80 FR 44181 - Texas Disaster Number TX-00447PDF
80 FR 44179 - Oklahoma Disaster Number OK-00081PDF
80 FR 44180 - Texas Disaster Number TX-00447PDF
80 FR 44146 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Certification and Funding of State and Local Fair Housing Enforcement AgenciesPDF
80 FR 44091 - G2 LNG LLC; Application for Long-Term, Multi-Contract Authorization To Export Liquefied Natural Gas to Non-Free Trade Agreement NationsPDF
80 FR 44104 - Final Release of EPA's Report on the Environment (ROE)PDF
80 FR 44145 - Notice of a Federal Advisory Committee Meeting; Manufactured Housing Consensus CommitteePDF
80 FR 44154 - Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals With Disabilities; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 44088 - Proposed Waiver and Extension of the Project Period for the Literacy Information and Communication System Regional Professional Development CentersPDF
80 FR 44090 - Notice of Final Waiver and Extension of the Project Period for the Literacy Information and Communication System Regional Professional Development CentersPDF
80 FR 43969 - Proposed Primary Category Airworthiness Design Standards; AutoGyro USA, LLC (AutoGyro) Model Calidus GyroplanesPDF
80 FR 44104 - Environmental Laboratory Advisory Board; Notice of Charter RenewalPDF
80 FR 44106 - Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video ProgrammingPDF
80 FR 44029 - Multilayered Wood Flooring From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Determination and Amended Final Determination of the Antidumping Duty InvestigationPDF
80 FR 44182 - System Wide Information Management (SWIM) Interactive Developer Workshop; Meeting AnnouncementPDF
80 FR 44031 - International Trade AdministrationPDF
80 FR 44194 - Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 44181 - Notice of Receipt of Upland Pipeline, LLC's Application for a Presidential Permit To Construct, Connect, Operate, and Maintain Pipeline Facilities on the Border of the United States and CanadaPDF
80 FR 44076 - Request for Public Comment on a Commercial Availability Request Under the U.S.-Chile Free Trade AgreementPDF
80 FR 43954 - Safety Zone; Cleveland Triathlon, Lake Erie, North Coast Harbor, Cleveland, OHPDF
80 FR 44103 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 44134 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 43998 - Safety Zone; Titan SPAR, Mississippi Canyon 941, Outer Continental Shelf on the Gulf of MexicoPDF
80 FR 43952 - Safety Zone; Red Bull GRC Air Show, Detroit River, Detroit, MIPDF
80 FR 44077 - Procurement List AdditionsPDF
80 FR 44078 - Procurement List Proposed DeletionsPDF
80 FR 44131 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 43954 - Safety Zones; Annual Firework Displays Within the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound ZonePDF
80 FR 44195 - Proposed Collection of Information: Claims Against the United States for Amounts Due in the Case of a Deceased CreditorPDF
80 FR 44195 - Proposed Collection of Information: “Notice of Reclamation-Electronic Funds Transfer, Federal Recurring Payments”PDF
80 FR 44156 - Extension of Reply Comment Period: Copyright Protection for Certain Visual WorksPDF
80 FR 44139 - National Institute on Aging; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 44141 - National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 44180 - Wyoming Disaster #WY-00028PDF
80 FR 44180 - Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans Interest Rate for Fourth Quarter FY 2015PDF
80 FR 44181 - Wyoming Disaster #WY-00030PDF
80 FR 44179 - Louisiana Disaster #LA-00009PDF
80 FR 44134 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 44083 - Revised Non-Foreign Overseas Per Diem RatesPDF
80 FR 44180 - Revocation of License of Small Business Investment CompanyPDF
80 FR 44193 - Prisoner Transportation Services, LLC-Control-Pts of America, LLC d/b/a Pts and Brevard Extraditions, Inc. d/b/a U.S. Prisoner TransportPDF
80 FR 44154 - Proposed Collection, Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 44019 - Notice of Intent To Request an Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 44138 - Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality: Change in Meeting DatesPDF
80 FR 44060 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Pier E3 Demolition via Controlled ImplosionPDF
80 FR 44057 - Revision to Management Measures for the Subsistence Taking of Northern Fur Seals on St. Paul Island, AlaskaPDF
80 FR 43969 - Petition To Develop Specific Ethologically Appropriate Standards for Nonhuman Primates in ResearchPDF
80 FR 44186 - Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From Volvo Trucks of North AmericaPDF
80 FR 44202 - Proposed Information Collection; Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) Telehealth in the Parkinson's Disease Research, Education & Clinical Center (PADRECC), Healthcare Experiences of Patients With Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)PDF
80 FR 44202 - Proposed Information Collection; From War to Home: Improving Patient-Centered Care and Promoting Empathy for “Operation Enduring Freedom” and “Operation Iraqi Freedom” (OEF/OIF) Veterans in the Veterans Health Administration Patient Aligned Care Team Demo Lab VISN 4PDF
80 FR 44198 - Proposed Information Collection: Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) Evaluating Peer Notifications To Improve Statin Medication Adherence Among Patients With Coronary Artery DiseasePDF
80 FR 44199 - Proposed Information Collection (VA MATIC Enrollment/Change); Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 44201 - Agency Information Collection: VA Form 27-0820, Report of General Information, VA Form 27-0820a, Report of Death of Veteran/Beneficiary, VA Form 27-0820b, Report of Nursing Home Information, VA Form 27-0820c, Report of Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), VA Form 27-0820d, Report of Lost Check, VA Form 27-0820e, Report of Incarceration, VA Form 27-0820f, Report of Contact-Month of Death CheckPDF
80 FR 44200 - Proposed Information Collection (Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory) Activity: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 44198 - Proposed Information Collection (Award Attachment for Certain Children With Disabilities Born of Vietnam and Certain Korea Service Veterans) Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 44200 - Proposed Information Collection (Architect-Engineer Fee Proposal, VA Form 10-6298, Daily Log (Contract Progress Report-Formal Contract), VA Form 10-6131, and Supplement Contract Progress Report, VA Form 10-61001a) Activity: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 44203 - Agency Information Collection-Application for Accreditation as Service Organization Representative Activity Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 44204 - Agency Information Collection: Applications and Appraisals for Employment for Title 38 Positions and TraineesPDF
80 FR 44188 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 44185 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 44182 - Uniform Relocation and Real Property Acquisition for Federal and Federally-Assisted Programs; Fixed Payment for Moving Expenses; Residential MovesPDF
80 FR 44060 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 44153 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Revision of an Approved CollectionPDF
80 FR 44152 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Revision of an Approved CollectionPDF
80 FR 43974 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 43972 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 44081 - LG Electronics Tianjin Appliance Co., Ltd. and LG Electronics USA Inc., Provisional Acceptance of a Settlement Agreement and OrderPDF
80 FR 44135 - Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies: Understanding and Evaluating Their Impact on the Health Care Delivery System and Patient Access; Public Meeting, Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 44133 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended by Public Law 100-503; Computer Matching ProgramPDF
80 FR 44128 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 44129 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 44033 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Two Pier Maintenance ProjectsPDF
80 FR 44137 - Third-Party Auditor/Certification Body Accreditation for Food Safety Audits: Model Accreditation Standards; Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 43987 - User Fee Program To Provide for Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/Certification Bodies To Conduct Food Safety Audits and To Issue CertificationsPDF
80 FR 44135 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Announcement of Office of Management and Budget Approval; Petition To Request an Exemption From 100 Percent Identity Testing of Dietary Ingredients: CGMP in Manufacturing, Packaging, Labeling or Holding Operations for Dietary SupplementsPDF
80 FR 43966 - Recipient Fund BalancesPDF
80 FR 44152 - Certain Marine Sonar Imaging Systems, Products Containing the Same, and Components Thereof; Notice of Request for Statements on the Public InterestPDF
80 FR 44174 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend Exchange Rule 515A to Extend the Pilot Period for Certain Aspects of the PRIME Auction to July 18, 2016PDF
80 FR 44178 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Depository Trust Company; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change Regarding the Discontinuance of the Distribution of Fractional Shares in Respect of Corporate Actions for New Issues in DTC's SystemPDF
80 FR 44164 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rules 1092 and 124, and Modify the Phlx Pricing SchedulePDF
80 FR 44172 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Options Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Add Interpretive Material to BOX Rule 8050 To Indicate That Market Makers Will Not Be Obligated To Quote in Adjusted Option Series and To Define What Qualifies as an Adjusted Options SeriesPDF
80 FR 44166 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the BX Routing Order RulePDF
80 FR 44162 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Options Regulatory FeePDF
80 FR 44176 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Options Regulatory FeePDF
80 FR 44168 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSEArca, Inc.; NYSEMKT LLC; Order Approving Proposed Rule Changes Relating to the Complex Order Auction Process and Order Exposure RequirementsPDF
80 FR 44170 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change Adopting New Equity Trading Rules Relating to Trading Sessions, Order Ranking and Display, and Order Execution To Reflect the Implementation of Pillar, the Exchange's New Trading Technology PlatformPDF
80 FR 44177 - Investment Company Act of 1940; Release No. 31719/July 20, 2015; Order under Sections 6(c) and 17(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940PDF
80 FR 44150 - Melamine From China and Trinidad and Tobago; Scheduling of the Final Phase of Countervailing Duty and Antidumping Duty InvestigationsPDF
80 FR 44151 - Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From China, India, Italy, Korea, and TaiwanPDF
80 FR 44111 - Application of Enhanced Prudential Standards and Reporting Requirements to General Electric Capital CorporationPDF
80 FR 44161 - Request for Steering Committee NominationsPDF
80 FR 44141 - Office of the Director; Notice of EstablishmentPDF
80 FR 44026 - Solicitation of Commodity Board Topics and Contribution of Funding Under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program, ImplementationPDF
80 FR 43949 - Claims for Credit or RefundPDF
80 FR 44149 - National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related ActionsPDF
80 FR 44196 - Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Meeting CancellationPDF
80 FR 44196 - Art Advisory Panel-Notice of Availability of Report of 2014 Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 44157 - Guidance for ITAAC ClosurePDF
80 FR 44160 - Clarification of Reporting RequirementsPDF
80 FR 44023 - Newspapers of Record for the Pacific Southwest Region: CaliforniaPDF
80 FR 44029 - Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 44158 - Exelon Generating Company, LLC; Byron Station, Units 1 and 2PDF
80 FR 44097 - FirstLight Hydro Generating Company; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions to Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
80 FR 44092 - National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation; Notice of Request Under Blanket AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 44095 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 44093 - Magnolia LNG, LLC; Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC; Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Magnolia LNG and Lake Charles Expansion ProjectsPDF
80 FR 43956 - Air Plan Approval; MI, Belding; 2008 Lead Clean Data DeterminationPDF
80 FR 44156 - Notice of Intent To Grant a Partially Exclusive LicensePDF
80 FR 44139 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
80 FR 44017 - Air Plan Approval; MI, Belding; 2008 Lead Clean Data DeterminationPDF
80 FR 43964 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Electronic Reporting Consistent With the Cross Media Electronic Reporting RulePDF
80 FR 44000 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Electronic Reporting Consistent With the Cross Media Electronic Reporting RulePDF
80 FR 44005 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Georgia; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
80 FR 44130 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 44139 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 44140 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 44105 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 44104 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 44208 - Final Order 1050.1F Environmental Impact: Policies and ProceduresPDF
80 FR 44001 - Approval of Air Plans; California; Multiple Districts; Prevention of Significant DeteriorationPDF
80 FR 44147 - Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval; Survey of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Bank Sponsors and ManagersPDF
80 FR 44014 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Georgia; Removal of Clean Fuel Fleet ProgramPDF
80 FR 44028 - Notice of Intent To Extend and Revise a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 43970 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Formerly Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) HelicoptersPDF
80 FR 43940 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 43921 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 44148 - Trinity River Adaptive Management Working Group; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 44078 - Order Extending the Designation of the Provider of Legal Entity Identifiers To Be Used in Recordkeeping and Swap Data Reporting Pursuant to the Commission's RegulationsPDF
80 FR 43928 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 44094 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-546); Comment Request; ExtensionPDF
80 FR 43938 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 43925 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 43931 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 43936 - Airworthiness Directives; BAE Systems (Operations) Limited AirplanesPDF
80 FR 43979 - Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas PipelinesPDF
80 FR 43944 - Revisions to Auxiliary Installations, Replacement Facilities, and Siting and Maintenance RegulationsPDF
80 FR 44019 - Proposed Directives on American Indian and Alaska Native Relations Forest Service Manual 1500, Chapter 1560 and Forest Service Handbook 1509.13, Chapter 10PDF
80 FR 44141 - Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the HomelessPDF
80 FR 44031 - Frontseating Service Valves From the People's Republic of China; Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014PDF
80 FR 44013 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Connecticut; Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Nonattainment New Source ReviewPDF
80 FR 43960 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Connecticut; Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Nonattainment New Source ReviewPDF
80 FR 44184 - Environmental Impact Statement: Lexington and Richland Counties, South Carolina; Notice of IntentPDF

Issue

80 142 Friday, July 24, 2015 Contents Agricultural Research Agricultural Research Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 44019 2015-18180 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Research Service

See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Forest Service

See

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

See

Rural Utilities Service

Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service PROPOSED RULES Petition to Develop Specific Ethologically Appropriate Standards for Nonhuman Primates in Research, 43969 2015-18174 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection RULES Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and Truth in Lending Act and Amendments; Delay of Effective Date, 43911-43921 2015-18239 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 44128-44131 2015-18094 2015-18146 2015-18147 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 44131-44133 2015-18198 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 44134-44135 2015-18185 2015-18203 Privacy Act; Computer Matching Program, 44133-44134 2015-18148 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Annual Firework Displays within the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound Zone, 43954 2015-18197 Cleveland Triathlon, Lake Erie, North Coast Harbor, Cleveland, OH, 43954-43956 2015-18206 Red Bull GRC Air Show, Detroit River, Detroit, MI, 43952-43954 2015-18201 PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Titan SPAR, Mississippi Canyon 941, Outer Continental Shelf on the Gulf of Mexico, 43998-44000 2015-18202 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 44077-44078 2015-18199 2015-18200 Committee Implementation Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements NOTICES Commercial Availability Request under the U.S. - Chile Free Trade Agreement, 44076-44077 2015-18207 Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Orders: Extending the Designation of the Provider of Legal Entity Identifiers to be Used in Recordkeeping and Swap Data Reporting, 44078-44080 2015-17959 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission NOTICES Settlement Agreements and Orders: LG Electronics Tianjin Appliance Co., Ltd. and LG Electronics USA Inc., 44081-44083 2015-18150 Copyright Office Copyright Office, Library of Congress NOTICES Copyright Protection for Certain Visual Works, 44156 2015-18192 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Revised Non-Foreign Overseas Per Diem Rates, 44083-44088 2015-18184 Disability Disability Employment Policy Office NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities, 44154 2015-18224 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Waivers and Extensions of Project Period: Literacy Information and Communication System Regional Professional Development Centers, 44088-44090 2015-18223 Literacy Information and Communication System Regional Professional Development Centers; Corrections, 44090-44091 2015-18222 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

See

Western Area Power Administration

NOTICES Authority to Import and Export Natural Gas, etc.: G2 LNG LLC, 44091-44092 2015-18227
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Belding, MI; 2008 Lead Clean Data Determination, 43956-43960 2015-18103 Connecticut; Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Nonattainment New Source Review, 43960-43964 2015-17664 New Mexico; Electronic Reporting Consistent with the Cross Media Electronic Reporting Rule, 43964-43966 2015-18098 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Belding, MI; 2008 Lead Clean Data Determination, 44017-44018 2015-18100 California; Multiple Districts; Prevention of Significant Deterioration, 44001-44005 2015-18081 Connecticut; Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Nonattainment New Source Review, 44013-44014 2015-17665 Georgia; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 44005-44013 2015-18096 Georgia; Removal of Clean Fuel Fleet Program, 44014-44017 2015-18079 New Mexico; Electronic Reporting Consistent with the Cross Media Electronic Reporting Rule, 44000-44001 2015-18097 NOTICES Charter Renewals: Environmental Laboratory Advisory Board, 44104 2015-18216 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.; Weekly Receipts, 44103 2015-18204 Guidance: Draft Series 810 -- Product Performance Test Guidelines; Proposed Antimicrobial Pesticide Use Site Index; Extensions, 44102-44103 2015-18232 Report on the Environment, 44104 2015-18226 Toxic Substances Control Act Test Data, 44103-44104 2015-18234 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 43925-43936 2015-17934 2015-17935 2015-17956 BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Airplanes, 43936-43938 2015-17933 Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes, 43938-43940 2015-17937 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 43921-43925, 43940-43944 2015-17977 2015-17978 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (formerly Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) Helicopters, 43970-43972 2015-18049 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 43972-43979 2015-18151 2015-18152 Proposed Primary Category Airworthiness Design Standards: AutoGyro USA, LLC (AutoGyro) Model Calidus Gyroplanes, 43969-43970 2015-18221 NOTICES Final Order Environmental Impact -- Policies and Procedures, 44208-44246 2015-18084 Meetings: System Wide Information Management Interactive Developer Workshop, 44182 2015-18213 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 44104-44106 2015-18090 2015-18091 Status of Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video Programming; Annual Assessment, 44106-44111 2015-18215 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission RULES Auxiliary Installations, Replacement Facilities, and Siting and Maintenance, 43944-43949 2015-17919 PROPOSED RULES Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines, 43979-43987 2015-17921 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 44094-44095 2015-17946 Applications: FirstLight Hydro Generating Co., 44097-44098 2015-18108 Combined Filings, 44095-44097 2015-18106 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Magnolia LNG, LLC, and Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC; Magnolia LNG and Lake Charles Expansion Projects, 44093-44094 2015-18105 Requests under Blanket Authorization: National Fuel Gas Supply Corp., 44092-44093 2015-18107 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Lexington and Richland Counties, SC, 44184-44185 2015-17020 Uniform Relocation and Real Property Acquisition for Federal and Federally-Assisted Programs: Fixed Payment for Moving Expenses; Residential Moves, 44182-44184 2015-18159 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Exemption Applications: Volvo Trucks of North America, 44186-44188 2015-18172 Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Vision, 44185-44186, 44188-44193 2015-18160 2015-18161 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Application of Enhanced Prudential Standards and Reporting Requirements to General Electric Capital Corp., 44111-44128 2015-18124 Fiscal Fiscal Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Claims against the United States for Amounts Due in the Case of a Deceased Creditor, 44195-44196 2015-18195 Reclamation -- Electronic Funds Transfer, Federal Recurring Payments, 44195 2015-18194 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Survey of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Bank Sponsors and Managers, 44147-44148 2015-18080 Meetings: Trinity River Adaptive Management Working Group, 44148-44149 2015-17964 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration PROPOSED RULES User Fee Program to Provide for Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and to Issue Certifications, 43987-43998 2015-18141 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Petition to Request an Exemption from 100 Percent Identity Testing of Dietary Ingredients -- CGMP in Manufacturing, Packaging, Labeling or Holding Operations for Dietary Supplements, 44135 2015-18140 Guidance: Third-Party Auditor and Certification Body Accreditation for Food Safety Audits -- Model Accreditation Standards, 44137-44138 2015-18142 Meetings: Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies - Understanding and Evaluating Their Impact on the Health Care Delivery System and Patient Access, 44135-44137 2015-18149 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Newspapers of Record for the Pacific Southwest Region: California, 44023-44025 2015-18112 Proposed Directives: American Indian and Alaska Native Relations Forest Service Manual 1500, Chapter 1560 and Forest Service Handbook 1509.13, Chapter 10, 44019-44023 2015-17911 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality, Date Changes, 44138 2015-18179 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Certification and Funding of State and Local Fair Housing Enforcement Agencies, 44146-44147 2015-18228 Federal Properties Suitable as Facilities to Assist the Homeless, 44141-44145 2015-17867 Meetings: Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, 44145-44146 2015-18225 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Claims for Credit or Refund, 43949-43952 2015-18119 NOTICES Meetings: Art Advisory Panel; Report of 2014 Closed Meetings, 44196-44198 2015-18115 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel; Cancellation, 44196 2015-18116 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Frontseating Service Valves from the People's Republic of China, 44031-44033 2015-17838 Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China, 44029-44031 2015-18214 Applications for Duty-Free Entry of Electron Microscopes: Idaho National Laboratory, et al., 44031 2015-18212 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Melamine from China and Trinidad and Tobago, 44150-44151 2015-18126 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from China, India, Italy, Korea, and Taiwan, 44151 2015-18125 Certain Marine Sonar Imaging Systems, Products Containing the Same, and Components Thereof, 44152 2015-18137 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 44152-44154 2015-18153 2015-18154 Labor Department Labor Department See

Disability Employment Policy Office

See

Labor Statistics Bureau

Labor Statistics Labor Statistics Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 44154-44155 2015-18181 Legal Legal Services Corporation RULES Recipient Fund Balances, 43966-43968 2015-18138 Library Library of Congress See

Copyright Office, Library of Congress

NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Exclusive Licenses, 44156 2015-18102 National Institute Food National Institute of Food and Agriculture NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 44028-44029 2015-18058 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program: Requests for Commodity Board Topics and Funding Contributions, 44026-44027 2015-18120 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Committee Establishment: National Asthma Education Prevention Program Coordinating Committee, 44141 2015-18121 Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 44139-44140 2015-18101 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 44140 2015-18092 Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 44139 2015-18093 National Institute on Aging, 44139 2015-18191 National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 44141 2015-18190 National Library of Medicine, 44140 2015-18241 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 44060 2015-18158 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Management Measures for the Subsistence Taking of Northern Fur Seals on St. Paul Island, AK; Revision, 44057-44060 2015-18176 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Pier E3 Demolition via Controlled Implosion, 44060-44076 2015-18178 Two Pier Maintenance Projects, 44033-44057 2015-18145 National Park National Park Service NOTICES National Register of Historic Places: Pending Nominations and Related Actions, 44149 2015-18117 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Clarification of Reporting Requirements, 44160-44161 2015-18113 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Exelon Generating Company, LLC; Byron Station, Units 1 and 2, 44158 2015-18110 Exemptions: Lost Creek ISR, LLC, 44158-44160 2015-18236 Guidance: ITAAC Closure, 44157-44158 2015-18114 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 44156-44157 2015-18353 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: Chattanooga, Tennessee; Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy (Proc. 9301), 44247-44249 2015-18422 ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Atomic Energy Act of 1954; Delegation of Functions and Authorities (Memorandum of July 17, 2015), 43909-43910 2015-18344 Reagan-Udall Reagan-Udall Foundation For The Food And Drug Administration NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Steering Committee, 44161-44162 2015-18123 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 44029 2015-18111 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Exemption Requests; Approvals: Cash Trust Series, Inc.; Federated Adjustable Rate Securities Fund; Federated Core Trust, et al., 44177-44178 2015-18127 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BOX Options Exchange, LLC, 44172-44174 2015-18133 C2 Options Exchange, Inc., 44176-44177 2015-18130 Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 44162-44164 2015-18131 Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, 44174-44176 2015-18136 NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., 44166-44168 2015-18132 NASDAQ OMX PHLX, LLC, 44164-44166 2015-18134 NYSE Arca, Inc., 44170-44172 2015-18128 NYSEArca, Inc.; NYSEMKT, LLC, 44168-44170 2015-18129 The Depository Trust Co., 44178-44179 2015-18135 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: Kentucky; Amendment 1, 44180 2015-18233 Louisiana, 44179 2015-18186 Oklahoma; Amendment 5, 44179-44180 2015-18230 Texas: Amendment 6, 44181 2015-18231 Texas; Amendment 7, 44180 2015-18229 Wyoming, 44180-44181 2015-18187 2015-18189 Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Interest Rate for Fourth Quarter FY 2015, 44180 2015-18188 Small Business Investment Company License Revocations, 44180 2015-18183 State Department State Department NOTICES Presidential Permits: Upland Pipeline, LLC to Construct, Connect, Operate, and Maintain Pipeline Facilities on the Border of the United States and Canada, 44181-44182 2015-18208 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Controls: Prisoner Transportation Services, LLC; Pts of America, LLC d/b/a Pts and Brevard Extraditions, Inc. d/b/a U.S. Prisoner Transport, 44193-44194 2015-18182 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Surface Transportation Board

NOTICES Meetings: Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Advisory Committee, 44194-44195 2015-18211
Treasury Treasury Department See

Fiscal Service

See

Internal Revenue Service

U.S. China U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission NOTICES Meetings: Preparation of the 2015 Annual Report to Congress; Correction, 44198 2015-18238 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Accreditation as Service Organization Representative, 44203-44204 2015-18163 Applications and Appraisals for Employment for Title 38 Positions and Trainees, 44204-44205 2015-18162 Architect-Engineer Fee Proposal; Daily Log (Contract Progress Report - Formal Contract); Supplement Contract Progress Report, 44200 2015-18164 Award Attachment for Certain Children with Disabilities Born of Vietnam and Certain Korea Service Veterans, 44198 2015-18165 Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory, 44200-44201 2015-18166 From War to Home - Improving Patient-Centered Care and Promoting Empathy for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans in the Veterans Health Administration Patient Aligned Care Team Demo Lab VISN 4, 44202 2015-18170 Patient Aligned Care Team Evaluating Peer Notifications to Improve Statin Medication Adherence Among Patients with Coronary Artery Disease, 44198-44199 2015-18169 Patient Aligned Care Team Telehealth in the Parkinson's Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center, Healthcare Experiences of Patients with Congestive Heart Failure, 44202-44203 2015-18171 Report of General Information; Report of Death of Veteran/Beneficiary; Report of Nursing Home Information; et al., 44201-44202 2015-18167 VA MATIC Enrollment/Change, 44199-44200 2015-18168 Western Western Area Power Administration NOTICES Rate Orders: Boulder Canyon Project, 44098-44100 2015-18237 Central Arizona Project, 44100-44102 2015-18235 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Transportation Department, Federal Aviation Administration, 44208-44246 2015-18084 Part III Presidential Documents, 44247-44249 2015-18422 Reader Aids

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80 142 Friday, July 24, 2015 Rules and Regulations BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Parts 1024 and 1026 [Docket No. CFPB-2015-0029] RIN 3170-AA48 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) and Amendments; Delay of Effective Date AGENCY:

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

ACTION:

Final rule; official interpretations; delay of effective date.

SUMMARY:

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is delaying until October 3, 2015, the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the related TILA-RESPA Amendments. In light of certain procedural requirements under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments cannot take effect on August 1, 2015, as originally provided by those rules. To comply with the CRA and to help ensure the smooth implementation of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, the Bureau is extending the effective date of both the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments beyond the additional minimum period required by the CRA to October 3, 2015, as proposed. The Bureau is also making certain technical amendments to the Official Interpretations of Regulation Z to reflect the new effective date and technical corrections to two provisions of Regulation Z adopted by the TILA-RESPA Final Rule.

DATES:

The amendments in this final rule are effective on October 3, 2015. Effective July 24, 2015, this final rule delays the effective date from August 1, 2015, until October 3, 2015, for the final rules amending 12 CFR parts 1024 and 1026 published December 31, 2013, at 78 FR 79730, and February 19, 2015, at 80 FR 8767; and for amendatory instruction 5 amending Supplement I to 12 CFR part 1026, appearing on page 65325 in the Federal Register on November 3, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Pedro De Oliveira, David Friend, or Joel Singerman, Counsels; or Laura Johnson or Amanda Quester, Senior Counsels, Office of Regulations, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552, at (202) 435-7700.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Summary of the Final Rule

In November 2013, pursuant to sections 1098 and 1100A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act),1 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau or CFPB) issued the Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) (TILA-RESPA Final Rule), combining certain disclosures that consumers receive in connection with applying for and closing on a mortgage loan.2 On January 20, 2015, the Bureau issued the Amendments to the 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) and the 2013 Loan Originator Rule Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) (TILA-RESPA Amendments or Amendments).3 As published in the Federal Register, the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments (together, the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments) are effective on August 1, 2015. Because of an administrative error on the Bureau's part in complying with the Congressional Review Act (CRA) with respect to the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments cannot take effect until, at the earliest, August 15, 2015 (CRA Effective Date).

1 Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376, 2007, 2103-04, 2107-09 (2010).

2 78 FR 79730 (Dec. 31, 2013). The TILA-RESPA Final Rule finalized a proposal the Bureau had issued on July 9, 2012, 77 FR 51116 (Aug. 23, 2012) (2012 TILA-RESPA Proposal).

3 80 FR 8767 (Feb. 19, 2015). The TILA-RESPA Amendments finalized a proposal the Bureau had issued on October 10, 2014, 79 FR 64336 (Oct. 29, 2014).

On June 24, 2015, the Bureau issued a proposed rule to delay the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments to October 3, 2015 (Proposed Rule). The Proposed Rule also included certain technical amendments to the Official Interpretations to Regulation Z to reflect the proposed new effective date.4

4 For purposes of this final rule, these technical amendments include a change to amendatory instruction 5, appearing at 79 FR 65325 (Nov. 3, 2014), which will change the effective date of comment 43(e)(3)(iv)-2. The Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) revised that comment to coordinate the points and fees cure with the tolerance cure available under the TILA-RESPA Final Rule. The Bureau proposed to change amendatory instruction 5 to conform with the new effective date for the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments and is finalizing that proposal in this final rule.

The Bureau is now issuing this final rule to delay the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments to October 3, 2015, and to finalize the related technical amendments in the Proposed Rule. As discussed in more detail in parts VI and VII below, this final rule also makes certain technical corrections to the TILA-RESPA Final Rule. Specifically, the Bureau is: (1) Amending § 1026.38(i)(8)(ii) and (iii)(A) to include, in the amount disclosed as “Final” for Adjustments and Other Credits, the amount disclosed under § 1026.38(j)(1)(iii) for certain personal property sales, thus conforming the calculation of Adjustments and Other Credits on the Closing Disclosure and Loan Estimate; and (2) amending § 1026.38(j)(1)(iv) to include, in the amount disclosed as Closing Costs Paid at Closing, lender credits disclosed under § 1026.38(h)(3), thus conforming the disclosure of the borrower's cash to close in the Calculating Cash to Close and the Summaries of Transactions tables on the Closing Disclosure. These technical corrections are in line with existing industry expectations and informal Bureau guidance.

II. Background A. The TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rulemaking

Dodd-Frank Act sections 1032(f), 1098, and 1100A mandated that the Bureau establish a single disclosure scheme for use by lenders and creditors in complying with the disclosure requirements of both the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA).5 Section 1098(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act amended RESPA section 4(a) to require that the Bureau publish a single, integrated disclosure for mortgage loan transactions, including “the disclosure requirements of this section and section 5, in conjunction with the disclosure requirements of [TILA].” 6 Similarly, section 1100A(5) of the Dodd-Frank Act amended TILA section 105(b) to require that the Bureau publish a single, integrated disclosure for mortgage loan transactions, including “the disclosure requirements of this title in conjunction with the disclosure requirements of [RESPA].” 7 The Bureau issued proposed integrated disclosure forms and rules for public comment on July 9, 2012, and issued the TILA-RESPA Final Rule on November 20, 2013.8

5 12 U.S.C. 5532(f), 2603; 15 U.S.C. 1604(b).

6 12 U.S.C. 2603(a).

7 15 U.S.C. 1604(b). The amendments to RESPA and TILA mandating a single, integrated disclosure are among numerous conforming amendments to existing Federal laws found in subtitle H of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 is title X of the Dodd-Frank Act). Subtitle C of the Consumer Financial Protection Act, “Specific Bureau Authorities,” codified at 12 U.S.C. chapter 53, subchapter V, part C, contains a similar provision. Specifically, section 1032(f) of the Dodd-Frank Act provides that, by July 21, 2012, the Bureau “shall propose for public comment rules and model disclosures that combine the disclosures required under [TILA] and sections 4 and 5 of [RESPA] into a single, integrated disclosure for mortgage loan transactions covered by those laws.” 12 U.S.C. 5532(f). The Bureau issued the 2012 TILA-RESPA Proposal pursuant to that mandate and the parallel mandates established by the conforming amendments to RESPA and TILA, discussed above.

8 77 FR 51116 (Aug. 23, 2012) (2012 TILA-RESPA Proposal); 78 FR 79730 (Dec. 31, 2013) (TILA-RESPA Final Rule); see also CFPB, CFPB Proposes “Know Before You Owe” Mortgage Forms (July 9, 2012), http://www.consumerfinance.gov/pressreleases/consumer-financial-protection-bureau-proposes-know-before-you-owe-mortgage-forms/; Know Before You Owe: Introducing Our Proposed Mortgage Disclosure Forms, CFPB Blog (July 9, 2012), http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/know-before-you-owe-introducing-our-proposed-mortgage-disclosure-forms/.

Upon issuing the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, the Bureau initiated extensive efforts to support industry implementation.9 Information regarding the Bureau's TILA-RESPA implementation initiative and available resources can be found on the Bureau's regulatory implementation Web site at www.consumerfinance.gov/regulatory-implementation/tila-respa.

9 These ongoing efforts include: (1) The publication of a small entity compliance guide and a guide to forms to help industry understand the new rules, including updates to the guides, as needed; (2) the publication of a readiness guide for institutions to evaluate their readiness and facilitate compliance with the new rules; (3) the publication of a disclosure timeline that illustrates the process and timing requirements of the new disclosure rules; (4) an ongoing series of webinars to address common interpretive questions, including an index of questions answered during those webinars; (5) roundtable meetings with industry, including creditors, settlement service providers, and technology vendors, to discuss and support their implementation efforts; (6) participation in dozens of conferences and forums; and (7) close collaboration with State and Federal regulators on implementation of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments, including coordination on consistent examination procedures. There were over 30,000 downloads of the Bureau's small entity compliance guide and other regulatory implementation support materials during June 2015 alone. Additionally, the Bureau has provided extensive informal guidance to support implementation of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments.

B. Proposed Effective Date

As adopted, the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments are effective on August 1, 2015. Section 801 of the CRA precludes a rule from taking effect until the Federal agency promulgating the rule submits a rule report, including a copy of the rule, to each House of Congress and to the Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office (GAO).10 The TILA-RESPA Final Rule is a major rule under the CRA. Major rules, as defined under the CRA, have several additional procedural requirements, including that they cannot take effect until 60 days after (1) publication in the Federal Register or (2) receipt by Congress, whichever is later.11 Although the TILA-RESPA Final Rule was published in the Federal Register on December 31, 2013, and received widespread public and Congressional attention, the Bureau discovered on June 16, 2015, that it inadvertently had not submitted the rule report to Congress. Later that day, the Bureau submitted the report to both Houses of Congress and the GAO. Under the CRA, the TILA-RESPA Final Rule cannot take effect until, at the earliest, August 15, 2015, two weeks after the originally scheduled effective date. The TILA-RESPA Amendments cannot take effect before the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, as they amend the TILA-RESPA Final Rule.

10 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

11 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(3), 804(2).

Given that the TILA-RESPA Final Rule would not take effect until the CRA Effective Date, the Bureau proposed a brief additional delay to October 3, 2015. In doing so, the Bureau discussed whether this additional delay could potentially benefit both consumers and industry more than having the new rules take effect on the CRA Effective Date. The Bureau recognized that adjusting operational systems from a target readiness date of August 1 to a target readiness date of August 15 would likely pose implementation challenges for many organizations. The Bureau also recognized that a mid-month effective date could create additional challenges. Moreover, the Bureau noted that delays in the delivery of system updates had left some creditors with limited time to fully test all of their systems and system components to ensure that each system works with the others in an effective manner. These delays pose risks to smooth implementation of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule when combined with the challenges for institutions of adjusting operational systems to a new effective date.

The Bureau also explained in the Proposed Rule that a Saturday effective date could allow for smoother implementation by affording industry time over a weekend to launch new systems configurations and to test systems. The Bureau noted that a Saturday launch would be consistent with existing industry plans tied to the original Saturday August 1 effective date. The Bureau explained its concern that a longer delay in implementation would impose unnecessary costs both on consumers and on those segments of industry that have worked diligently for a timely implementation. A longer delay would also be inconsistent with the Bureau's goal of implementing the new disclosures on the earliest practically feasible date to support consumer understanding of mortgage loan transactions.

III. Summary of the Rulemaking Process

On June 24, 2015, the Bureau issued the Proposed Rule with a request for public comment. The Proposed Rule was published in the Federal Register on June 26, 2015.12

12 80 FR 36727 (June 26, 2015).

The Bureau solicited comment on all aspects of the Proposed Rule. In particular, the Bureau asked commenters to provide specific detail and any available data regarding current and planned practices, as well as relevant knowledge and specific facts about any benefits, costs, or other impacts on both industry and consumers of the Proposed Rule. The Bureau solicited comment regarding the proposed extension of the effective date to October 3, 2015, as well as alternative dates for extension, including the prospect of allowing the new rules to take effect on the CRA Effective Date.

The comment period closed on July 7, 2015. In response to the Proposed Rule, the Bureau received more than 1,300 comments from industry trade associations, creditors, technology vendors, and other industry representatives, as well as consumer advocacy groups and others. In adopting this final rule, the Bureau has considered and discussed relevant comments in parts V and VI below. Many of the comments urged the Bureau to take actions beyond the scope of the Proposed Rule.

IV. Legal Authority

The Bureau is issuing this final rule pursuant to its authority under TILA, RESPA, and the Dodd-Frank Act. Specifically, the Bureau is exercising its rulemaking authority pursuant to TILA section 105(a), RESPA section 19(a), and Dodd-Frank Act section 1022(b)(1) to delay the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments, including related technical amendments in the Proposed Rule.

The legal authority for the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments is described in detail in the Legal Authority parts of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments, respectively.13 As amended by the Dodd-Frank Act, TILA section 105(a) directs the Bureau to prescribe regulations to carry out the purposes of TILA and provides that such regulations may contain additional requirements, classifications, differentiations, or other provisions, and may provide for such adjustments and exceptions for all or any class of transactions, that the Bureau judges are necessary or proper to effectuate the purposes of TILA, to prevent circumvention or evasion thereof, or to facilitate compliance therewith.14 Section 19(a) of RESPA authorizes the Bureau to prescribe such rules and regulations and to make such interpretations and grant such reasonable exemptions for classes of transactions as may be necessary to achieve the purposes of RESPA.15 Additionally, under Dodd-Frank Act section 1022(b)(1), the Bureau has general authority to prescribe rules “as may be necessary or appropriate to enable the Bureau to administer and carry out the purposes and objectives of the Federal consumer financial laws, and to prevent evasions thereof.” 16 TILA and RESPA are Federal consumer financial laws.17 Accordingly, in issuing this final rule, the Bureau is exercising its authority under Dodd-Frank Act section 1022(b)(1) to prescribe rules under TILA, RESPA, and title X of the Dodd-Frank Act that carry out the purposes and objectives and prevent evasion of those laws. The Bureau believes that delaying the effective date to October 3, 2015, will facilitate compliance with—and help ensure the smooth implementation of—the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments. Section 1022(b)(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act prescribes certain standards for rulemaking that the Bureau must follow in exercising its authority under section 1022(b)(1).18

13 78 FR 79730, 79753-56 (Dec. 31, 2013); 80 FR 8767, 8768-70 (Feb. 19, 2015).

14 15 U.S.C. 1604(a).

15 12 U.S.C. 2617(a).

16 12 U.S.C. 5512(b)(1).

17 12 U.S.C. 5481(12), (14).

18 12 U.S.C. 5512(b)(2).

The Bureau is also making technical corrections to § 1026.38(i)(8)(ii) and (iii)(A) and § 1026.38(j)(1)(iv), relying on the same authority used to implement § 1026.38(i) and (j) in the TILA-RESPA Final Rule: TILA section 105(a); RESPA section 19(a); and Dodd-Frank Act sections 1032(a) and 1405(b).19

19See 78 FR 79730, 80016, 80020 (Dec. 31, 2013). Sections 1032(a) and 1405(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act are codified, respectively, at 15 U.S.C. 5532 and 15 U.S.C. 1601 note.

V. Effective Date

In the Proposed Rule, the Bureau requested comment specifically regarding the proposed extension of the effective date to October 3, 2015, as well as alternative dates for extension, including allowing the new rules to take effect on the CRA Effective Date.

A. Comments Received Extending the Effective Date Beyond the CRA Effective Date

The vast majority of commenters who opined on the effective date—including banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, industry service providers, trade associations, and individual commenters—supported extending the effective date beyond the CRA Effective Date. Consumer advocacy groups did not oppose the extension beyond the CRA Effective Date. Many commenters supported the proposed October 3, 2015, effective date without requesting any additional delay in the effective date. Other commenters recommended extending the effective date to various other dates, including September 3, 2015; November 1, 2015; December 31, 2015; January 1, 2016; January 2, 2016; January 4, 2016; January 14, 2016; or February 1, 2016.

However, some commenters expressed concern about any delay of the effective date. For example, a few industry commenters suggested that their institutions or creditors more generally would be prepared for an August 1 effective date and that they consequently would not need or want any further delays. Several commenters were concerned about costs associated with any delay, including costs related to staffing, communications, scheduling, programming, and training, but they did not provide sufficient information about those costs from which to develop a reliable estimate of the costs on industry.

Several commenters opposed any further delay beyond an early October effective date. For example, consumer advocacy groups urged that the effective date should not be delayed any further, in order to maximize the benefits of the new disclosures. Consumer advocacy groups commented that the new integrated disclosures will improve the format, content, and timing of information provided to many consumers in connection with the biggest purchase of their lives. Several industry commenters, including various trade associations, a technology vendor, and two banks, stated that adjusting operational systems from an effective date of August 1, 2015, to a later date poses extensive implementation challenges. As a result, industry has begun the process of making operational systems adjustments, even before finalization of the Proposed Rule, based on the proposed October 3, 2015, effective date.

Support for extending the effective date was most often justified by commenters on the basis that industry needs more time to prepare. In particular, many commenters from industry, both individuals and institutions, cited delays in updating software and systems that industry relies on for compliance and also cited related delays in testing and training on such systems. Several industry commenters noted that extending the effective date would provide more time for creditors and service providers to clarify their understanding of the rule's extensive provisions, including through additional guidance issued by the Bureau. Some commenters, including trade organizations and a technology vendor, supported extending the effective date because implementation of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments has been occurring while industry is implementing or adjusting to various other legal and regulatory changes, and at least one commenter noted that their resources are stretched thin as a result. Some industry commenters expressed the opinion that a delay in implementation would benefit consumers because industry would be better prepared to implement the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments with more time.

Industry commenters who sought a further delay in the effective date beyond October 3, 2015, generally relied on the same arguments raised by other commenters for any extension of the effective date. Among commenters who requested an additional delay in the effective date beyond October 3, 2015, the most common alternative date fell sometime near the beginning of 2016 (e.g., January 1, 2016; January 2, 2016; or January 4, 2016). Industry commenters argued that they expect mortgage origination activity to slow during the end of the calendar year and the beginning of the new year, based on historical patterns, and a delay until early 2016 would thus permit a smoother transition. Some commenters, including a community bank and a credit union, requested a February 1, 2016, effective date instead of a date in January because implementation could be difficult around the end-of-the-year holidays.

Specific Day of the Week or Time During the Month for the Effective Date

Some industry commenters, including a national trade association, specifically supported a Saturday effective date (for example, October 3, 2015) because it would allow companies to migrate their systems over a weekend. At least one commenter, a state trade association, supported a Friday effective date for similar reasons. Other commenters favored different days of the week for the effective date, such as a Monday or Thursday. For example, a credit union commenter favored a Thursday effective date because the TILA-RESPA Final Rule allows a three-business-day window for delivering or placing the Loan Estimate in the mail, and thus a Thursday effective date would provide additional time to work through potential systems issues before the start of the following workweek. A credit union association commenter stated that a weekend effective date would require additional staff overtime costs and would therefore be undesirable.

Several commenters, including a credit union and an individual commenter, stated that an effective date on the first day of the month would simplify implementation. However, a bank commenter stated that there would be additional staff challenges if the effective date is within the first few days after the end of a quarterly reporting period.

Technical Comments on the Effective Date

The Bureau also received a number of technical comments about the effective date. One commenter suggested that the Bureau should amend an additional amendatory instruction, as discussed further below. Some commenters, including consumer advocacy groups, requested clarification as to whether all or only parts of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments will have a new effective date. Additionally, other commenters requested clarification that the proposal for the final rule to take effect immediately upon publication referred to the delay of the effective date, not to the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments.

Other Comments

The Bureau also received a number of comments that did not relate directly to the date when the TILA-RESPA Final Rule should become effective. Many banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, industry service providers, trade associations, and individual commenters from industry—including many who did not request an additional delay in the effective date beyond October 3, 2015—requested a safe harbor period, hold-harmless period, or other formal grace period after the effective date to insulate creditors from private liability or public enforcement. Many suggested that a grace period could apply to creditors that demonstrate good faith efforts to comply with the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments. Some commenters arguing for an effective date later than October 3, 2015, asked for a grace period if the Bureau maintained the October 3, 2015, effective date. Some commenters supporting a grace period stated that it should last for a specific duration.

Consumer advocacy groups opposed a formal grace period, expressing concerns about consumer protection, precedential value, and the Bureau's legal authority to implement a formal grace period. The consumer advocacy groups noted that regulators already have the discretion not to sanction creditors and that various existing provisions of TILA protect creditors acting in good faith.

Some industry commenters, including various credit unions and their trade associations, requested an optional “dual compliance” period before the effective date. During such a dual compliance period, the commenters stated that creditors should have the option to test their systems by using the new integrated disclosures in real-life transactions or continue using the current disclosures. A law firm commenter that supported an optional dual compliance period stated that creditors that are already prepared for an August 2015 effective date should not be penalized by being forced to wait until October or later.

Other industry commenters, including a technology vendor and a title underwriter, opposed a dual compliance period and stated that it would increase the risk of errors, create a competitive disadvantage for some (likely smaller) industry members not using the new disclosures, complicate the flow of information for secondary market investors, and increase the risk of consumer confusion.

The Bureau also received a number of other comments that did not relate, even indirectly, to the effective date and therefore are not discussed in this preamble.20

20 For example, the Bureau received a large number of comments asking it to revisit the requirement to identify owner's title insurance as “optional” and the method of disclosure of owner's and lender's title insurance when there is a discount for simultaneous issuance of both policies. A large number of commenters also suggested that the Bureau should require creditors' disclosures to separately itemize an appraiser's charge versus related charges for an appraisal management company. The Bureau considered the same arguments presented by these commenters in the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and did not open its decisions to notice-and-comment rulemaking in the Proposed Rule. Therefore, these comments are outside the scope of this rulemaking.

B. Final Rule Effective Date of October 3, 2015

The Bureau is adopting an October 3, 2015, effective date for the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments, as proposed.

The Bureau concludes that implementation of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments will provide significant benefits to consumers and that the earliest practically feasible implementation date remains essential to aid consumer understanding of mortgage loan transactions. The TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments significantly strengthen and streamline the mortgage loan disclosures provided to consumers. The Bureau believes the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments will deliver significant value to consumers, among other ways, by helping: (1) To ensure that consumers understand the costs, risks, and benefits of their loans at a time when they can still negotiate the terms of, or walk away from, the transaction; and (2) to minimize changes at the closing table and make it easier for consumers to understand how and why any costs may have changed.21

21 78 FR 79730, 80071 (Dec. 31, 2013).

However, given the CRA requirements discussed above, the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments cannot take effect on August 1, 2015, and therefore the effective date must be moved to the CRA Effective Date or later. Having reviewed and considered the comments, the Bureau continues to believe that a brief delay beyond the CRA Effective Date may minimize costs to consumers and those segments of industry that have worked diligently to implement on time, while allowing all industry participants time to adjust their operations to a new effective date. The Bureau recognizes that the unusual circumstances of this rulemaking place extensive implementation challenges on industry in stopping and restarting progress toward implementation.

The Bureau has considered comments supporting both earlier and later effective dates than October 3, 2015. The Bureau continues to believe that a date before the beginning of October would pose large implementation challenges for much of industry, given the time required to adjust to a new effective date. Further delaying implementation to the beginning of 2016, as many commenters suggested, would impose large costs on consumers denied the benefits of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule. Moreover, multiple commenters indicated that industry would incur additional costs should the Bureau finalize a different effective date than October 3, 2015, because many industry participants of necessity have relied on the Bureau's proposed October 3, 2015, date in taking steps towards adjusting their implementation schedules and operations. Absent compelling evidence demonstrating the objective superiority of a different effective date, the Bureau is reluctant to impose further costs on industry.

The Bureau has also considered the comments regarding the day of the week and time during the month. While industry commenters did not express a uniform preference for Saturday, many expressed a preference for a weekend day. Additionally, the Bureau notes that, since November 2013, industry has been preparing for implementation of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule with the understanding that implementation would occur on a Saturday, at the beginning of the month. Again, absent compelling arguments to the contrary, the Bureau believes it is preferable to minimize disruptions to settled industry expectations.

The Bureau acknowledges that at least one commenter expressed concern about an implementation date near the start of a quarter. However, this view was not widely expressed. Many commenters who expressed a preference for another effective date, e.g., January 1, 2016, also recommended one near the start of a quarter. Taking into account the various opinions expressed in the comments, the Bureau believes that an effective date near the start of a quarter will not pose unreasonable implementation challenges to industry. Moreover, the Bureau must balance the costs of additional delay to consumers and those segments of industry that have worked diligently to prepare, the general concern about mid-month implementation, and the need for some additional time for industry to adjust to the new effective date. Balancing those concerns, the Bureau believes that an effective date of October 3, 2015, is the earliest practically feasible date.

The Bureau recognizes, as it always has, that the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments require major operational changes for industry and close coordination among many different parties. At the same time, the Bureau concludes that the original nearly 21-month implementation period together with two additional months, coupled with the Bureau's extensive regulatory implementation support efforts, should afford all participants a reasonable opportunity to come into compliance with the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments by October 3, 2015.

Technical Issues Regarding Effective Date

In response to some commenters' requests for clarification, this final rule changes the effective date to October 3, 2015, for all provisions of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments.22 The technical amendments also take effect on October 3, 2015, the same effective date as the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments.23 Some commenters specifically asked whether the change in effective date to October 3, 2015, applies to the post-consummation notice requirements including §§ 1026.20(e) and 1026.39(d)(5). As discussed in the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act disclosures in §§ 1026.20(e) and 1026.39(d)(5) becomes mandatory on the effective date, now October 3, 2015.24 As discussed further in part VII below, the portions of this final rule related to the delay in the effective date to October 3, 2015, are effective immediately upon publication in order to move the effective date for the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments and the amendatory instruction discussed in note 4 from August 1, 2015 to October 3, 2015. As a result of this final rule, the provisions of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments, as well as the technical amendments and corrections made in this final rule, are not effective immediately upon publication, but on October 3, 2015.

22 As explained in the section-by-section analysis of § 1026.43 below, this final rule also delays from August 1, 2015, until October 3, 2015, an amendatory instruction issued in conjunction with the Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z).

23 This final rule also makes technical corrections to two provisions in § 1026.38, which are effective on October 3, 2015, the same effective date as the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments.

24 78 FR 79730, 79753 (Dec. 31, 2013).

In response to one law firm commenter's assertion that the Proposed Rule fails to amend the amendatory instruction to § 1026.36(g)(2)(ii) in the TILA-RESPA Amendments by revising the effective date from August 1, 2015, to October 3, 2015, the Bureau disagrees. The Bureau proposed to change the effective date of both the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments to October 3, 2015. The proposed change to the effective date would apply to all amendatory instructions for both rules, including the TILA-RESPA Amendments' amendatory instruction to § 1026.36(g)(2)(ii).

Requests for a Formal Grace Period or a Dual Compliance Period

With regard to some commenters' requests for a formal grace period or a dual compliance period, the Bureau considered and rejected similar arguments when it finalized the TILA-RESPA Final Rule.25 The Bureau did not seek comments on these issues in this rulemaking and, for the reasons expressed in the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and herein, is not instituting either a formal grace period or a dual compliance period.

25See, e.g., 78 FR 79730, 80066-68, 80072-73 (2013).

Although many commenters requested a formal grace period, the Bureau continues to believe that the original implementation period from November 2013 to August 2015, coupled with the Bureau's extensive regulatory implementation support initiative, afforded creditors adequate time to implement the TILA-RESPA Final Rule under the original effective date. The Bureau also believes that the additional time afforded by the October 3 effective date adequately accounts for the challenges of adjusting to a new date.

At the same time, the Bureau recognizes, as it always has, that the TILA-RESPA Final Rule poses significant implementation challenges for industry. The Bureau continues to believe that the approach expressed in Director Cordray's letter to members of Congress on June 3, 2015, remains appropriate:

[O]ur oversight of the implementation of the Rule will be sensitive to the progress made by those entities that have squarely focused on making good-faith efforts to come into compliance with the Rule on time. My statement . . . is consistent with the approach we took to implementation of the Title XIV mortgage rules in the early months after the effective dates in January 2014, which has worked out well.26

26 Letter from Director Richard Cordray, CFPB, to Representatives Andy Barr and Carolyn B. Maloney, U.S. House of Representatives (June 3, 2015). See also Know Before You Owe: You'll Get 3 Days to Review Your Mortgage Closing Documents, CFPB Blog (June 3, 2015), http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/know-before-you-owe-youll-get-3-days-to-review-your-mortgage-closing-documents/.

The Bureau considered arguments regarding dual compliance when it issued the TILA-RESPA Final Rule in November 2013 in the context of evaluating whether different creditors should be subject to different effective dates.27 While the Bureau recognizes that the delay in the effective date imposes costs on the many creditors who have worked diligently to be ready for the original August 1 effective date, the Bureau continues to share the concerns of commenters both to the 2012 TILA-RESPA Proposal and to the Proposed Rule finalized here that dual compliance could be confusing to consumers and complicated for industry, including vendors, the secondary market, and institutions who act both as correspondent lenders and originators. The Bureau is not persuaded that a dual compliance period would be beneficial. For these reasons, the Bureau declines to institute a dual compliance period.

27See, e.g., 78 FR 79730, 80066, 80068, 80073 (2013) (discussing comments requesting a bifurcated implementation period depending on the size of the institution).

VI. Section-by-Section Analysis Section 1026.1 Authority, Purpose, Coverage, Organization, Enforcement, and Liability 1(d) Organization 1(d)(5)

Comment 1(d)(5)-1 provides clarity regarding the application of the effective date to transactions covered by the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments. The Bureau proposed conforming amendments to comment 1(d)(5)-1 to reflect the proposed change in effective date to October 3, 2015. The Bureau received no comments specifically relating to comment 1(d)(5)-1, other than the general comments relating to the effective date that are discussed in part V above. The Bureau is finalizing comment 1(d)(5)-1 as proposed.

Section 1026.19 Certain Mortgage and Variable-Rate Transactions 19(g) Special Information Booklet at Time of Application 19(g)(2) Permissible Changes

Comment 19(g)(2)-3 refers to the general restriction on changing the settlement cost booklet's title under § 1026.19(g)(2)(iv). The Bureau proposed conforming amendments to comment 19(g)(2)-3 to reflect the proposed change in effective date to October 3, 2015. The Bureau received no comments specific to the amendments to comment 19(g)(2)-3, other than the general comments relating to the effective date that are discussed in part V above. The Bureau is finalizing the amendments to comment 19(g)(2)-3 as proposed.

Section 1026.38 Content of Disclosures for Certain Mortgage Transactions (Closing Disclosure) 38(i) Calculating Cash to Close 38(i)(8) Adjustments and Other Credits

The Calculating Cash to Close table in the Closing Disclosure under § 1026.38(i) generally mirrors the format of, and updates the amounts shown on, the Calculating Cash to Close table in the Loan Estimate under § 1026.37(h). To determine the amount of cash or other funds the consumer is to provide at consummation, the tables must account for the sales price of any tangible personal property being sold in a purchase real estate transaction that is excluded from the contract sales price, as disclosed under § 1026.38(j)(1)(iii). The TILA-RESPA Final Rule does not specify a place within the Calculating Cash to Close table on the Closing Disclosure for this amount. However, comment 37(h)(1)(vii)-6, relating to the Calculating Cash to Close table on the Loan Estimate, indicates that the sales price of additional personal property can be included in the Adjustments and Other Credits amount. To conform this aspect of the Closing Disclosure to the Loan Estimate, the Bureau is amending § 1026.38(i)(8)(ii) to include the amount disclosed under § 1026.38(j)(1)(iii) in the amount disclosed as “Final” for Adjustments and Other Credits. This change will ensure that the Calculating Cash to Close table on the Closing Disclosure accurately reflects the total amount of cash or other funds that the consumer must provide at consummation and will complete the alignment of the disclosure of Adjustments and Other Credits between the Closing Disclosure and the Loan Estimate. The Bureau believes this is consistent with industry expectations of the proper disclosure of the Adjustments and Other Credits on both the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure and will reduce uncertainty in implementation by confirming that the calculation of Adjustments and Other Credits is the same on both the Closing Disclosure and the Loan Estimate.

The Bureau is also making a conforming change to § 1026.38(i)(8)(iii)(A). That paragraph requires creditors to disclose the basis for any difference between the Adjustments and Other Credits disclosed on the Loan Estimate and the Adjustments and Other Credits disclosed as “Final” on the Closing Disclosure (unless the difference is due to rounding). As explained in comment 38(i)-3, creditors may disclose the basis for the difference by providing a general or specific line cross-reference to the Summaries of Transactions table. This conforming change will permit creditors to cross-reference to the personal property sales price disclosed under § 1026.38(j)(1)(iii) as a basis for the calculation of the amount disclosed under § 1026.38(i)(8)(ii). This modification is unlikely to change creditors' practice because creditors may provide consumers with a more general cross-reference to the Summaries of Transactions table and need not provide a specific line cross-reference.

These changes to § 1026.38(i)(8) will also ensure that the amount disclosed as due to or from the consumer in the Calculating Cash to Close table on the Closing Disclosure matches the amount disclosed as due to or from the consumer in the Summaries of Transactions table on the Closing Disclosure. As alignment between these two disclosures is required by existing comment 38(i)(9)(ii)-1, this change should facilitate implementation and is consistent with existing industry preparations and informal guidance provided by the Bureau.

38(j) Summary of Borrower's Transaction 38(j)(1) Itemization of Amounts Due From Borrower 38(j)(1)(iv)

In the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, § 1026.38(j) provides for a summary of the borrower's transaction on the Closing Disclosure. The total amount due from or to the consumer at the real estate closing in this Summaries of Transactions table should match the disclosure of the “Final” cash to close on the Calculating Cash to Close table pursuant to § 1026.38(i)(9)(ii) (as explained in comment 38(i)(9)(ii)-1).

For the Summaries of Transactions table, the disclosure of the total amount of closing costs that are designated borrower-paid at closing is specified in § 1026.38(j)(1)(iv). In the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, § 1026.38(j)(1)(iv) provides that the total amount of closing costs disclosed that are designated borrower-paid at closing is calculated pursuant to § 1026.38(h)(2). As originally proposed in the 2012 TILA-RESPA Proposal, § 1026.38(h)(2) included the lender credits described in § 1026.38(h)(3).28 In the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, however, the Bureau removed the lender credits set forth in § 1026.38(h)(3) from the calculation in § 1026.38(h)(2) in order to reconcile the Calculating Cash to Close table in § 1026.38(i). In doing so, the Bureau inadvertently failed to adjust § 1026.38(j)(1)(iv) to include the lender credits disclosed pursuant to § 1026.38(h)(3).

28 77 FR 51116, 51324 (Aug. 23, 2012).

As a result, under the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, the total amount due from or to the consumer at the real estate closing in the Summaries of Transactions table may not match the “Final” amount of cash to close disclosed in the Calculating Cash to Close table under § 1026.38(i)(9)(ii). To correct this, the Bureau is modifying § 1026.38(j)(1)(iv) to require disclosure of the sum of the amount disclosed under § 1026.38(h)(2) and the amount of any lender credits disclosed as a negative number under § 1026.38(h)(3). The lender credits described in § 1026.38(h)(3) are appropriately and necessarily included in the summary of the borrower's transaction as an offsetting credit to the amount due from the borrower at closing. This change makes the Summaries of Transactions table accurately reflect the total amount due from or to the consumer at the real estate closing; comports the disclosure of the “Final” amount of cash to close in the Calculating Cash to Close table with the amount disclosed in the Summaries of Transactions table as required by existing comment 38(i)(9)(ii)-1; and is consistent with informal guidance provided by the Bureau.

Section 1026.43 Minimum Standards for Transactions Secured by a Dwelling 43(e) Qualified Mortgages 43(e)(3) Limits on Points and Fees for Qualified Mortgages 43(e)(3)(iv)

In addition to proposing the amendments discussed above, the Bureau proposed one amendment to an amendatory instruction that relates to the Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z).29 Specifically, the Bureau proposed to amend instruction 5, which is drafted so the comment referenced would take effect on August 1, 2015, to coordinate with the original effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule. The amendatory instruction relating to comment 43(e)(3)(iv)-2, Relationship to RESPA tolerance cure, will replace an existing comment clarifying the relationship between tolerance cures under RESPA and Regulation Z points and fees cures with a comment that incorporates the tolerance cure provisions of § 1026.19(f)(2)(v) under the TILA-RESPA Final Rule. The Bureau proposed to have the instruction take effect on October 3, 2015, instead of August 1, 2015, to preserve this coordination. The Bureau received no comments specifically relating to this proposed amendment. The Bureau is finalizing this change to the amendatory instruction as proposed.

29 79 FR 65300, 65325 (Nov. 3, 2014).

VII. Administrative Procedure Act 5 U.S.C. 553(b)

In the Proposed Rule, the Bureau provided notice and an opportunity for public comment with respect to its proposal to delay the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments and to make certain technical amendments to the Official Interpretations of Regulation Z related to the proposed new effective date. In this final rule, the Bureau is also finalizing technical corrections to § 1026.38(i)(8)(ii) and (iii)(A) and § 1026.38(j)(1)(iv). The Bureau did not seek public comment on these technical corrections but finds that there is good cause to publish them without notice and comment. Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), notice and opportunity for public comment are not required if the Bureau finds that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.30 The Bureau has determined that notice and comment are unnecessary because the technical corrections to § 1026.38(i)(8)(ii) and (iii)(A) and § 1026.38(j)(1)(iv) in this final rule correct inadvertent, technical errors and merely align and harmonize those provisions with other provisions of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule. Furthermore, the technical corrections clarify the operation of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule in a way that is consistent with informal guidance provided by the Bureau and with industry preparations. The Bureau believes that there is minimal, if any, basis for substantive disagreement with these technical corrections. Therefore, the technical corrections to § 1026.38(i)(8)(ii) and (iii)(A) and § 1026.38(j)(1)(iv) are adopted in final form.

30 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B).

5 U.S.C. 553(d)

Section 553(d) of the APA generally requires that the effective date of a final rule be at least 30 days after publication of that final rule, except for (1) a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction; (2) interpretive rules or statements of policy; or (3) as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.31 The Bureau finds that there is good cause for making the portions of this final rule related to delaying the effective date effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register. These portions do not establish any requirements; instead, they delay the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments and the amendatory instruction referenced in note 4 until October 3, 2015. Therefore, under section 553(d)(1) of the APA, the Bureau is publishing these portions less than 30 days before the effective date of this final rule because they are substantive rules which grant or recognize an exemption or relieve a restriction. Further, delaying the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments will ensure an orderly change to the new integrated disclosures and will synchronize the effective date of the Amendments with that of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule. Thus, this final rule will facilitate compliance and help reduce industry and consumer confusion and market disruption. Therefore, the Bureau also finds it has good cause pursuant to section 553(d)(3) of the APA to dispense with the 30-day delayed effective date requirement for this final rule because, on balance, the need to implement immediately the delay of the August 1, 2015, effective date to October 3, 2015, outweighs the need for affected parties to prepare for this delay.

31 5 U.S.C. 553(d).

VIII. Section 1022(b)(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act A. Overview

In developing this final rule, the Bureau has considered potential benefits, costs, and impacts.32 The Bureau has consulted, or offered to consult, with the prudential regulators; the Federal Housing Finance Agency; the Federal Trade Commission; the U.S. Department of Agriculture; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General; the U.S. Department of the Treasury; the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Bureau's consultation and offer of consultation included assessing consistency with any prudential, market, or systemic objectives administered by such agencies.

32 Specifically, section 1022(b)(2)(A) of the Dodd-Frank Act calls for the Bureau to consider the potential benefits and costs of a regulation to consumers and covered persons, including the potential reduction of access by consumers to consumer financial products or services; the impact on depository institutions and credit unions with $10 billion or less in total assets as described in section 1026 of the Dodd-Frank Act; and the impact on consumers in rural areas.

The Bureau requested comment on the preliminary analysis presented in the Proposed Rule, as well as submissions of additional data that could inform the Bureau's analysis of the benefits, costs, and impacts of the Proposed Rule. Because the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments cannot take effect before the CRA Effective Date, the Bureau has evaluated the benefits, costs, and impacts of this final rule, assuming that the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments would become effective on August 15 absent this final rule. The Bureau has relied on a variety of data sources to consider the potential benefits, costs, and impacts of this final rule. In some instances, the requisite data are not available or are quite limited. Data with which to quantify the benefits of this final rule are particularly limited. As a result, portions of this analysis rely in part on general economic principles to provide a qualitative discussion of the benefits, costs, and impacts of this final rule.

As a result of this final rule, affected covered persons will incur costs associated with delaying implementation from the CRA Effective Date until October 3, 2015. These costs include communication with and training of staff, software programming, vendor and outside supplier coordination, advertising and product development costs, and broker and settlement agent coordination. The Bureau believes that these costs are likely higher for larger creditors and creditors that rely primarily on proprietary systems rather than on third-party software vendors.33 While many of these costs are largely incurred with the initial delay to the CRA Effective Date, affected entities may incur additional costs for subsequent delay beyond the CRA Effective Date, including ongoing training, testing, and opportunity costs.

33 As in the section 1022(b)(2) analysis of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, the Bureau believes that approximately 5 percent of creditors do not rely on third-party vendors. See 78 FR 79730, 80081, 80101 (Dec. 31, 2013).

Similarly, consumers will incur costs associated with delaying the effective date. These costs will consist mostly of delayed benefits described in the section 1022(b)(2) analysis of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, primarily improved consumer understanding of mortgage loan transactions and an increased ability to shop for a mortgage loan. The longer the delay in the implementation of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments, the greater will be the cost to consumers from not receiving the benefits of the new integrated disclosures.

This final rule amends the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments. In the section 1022(b)(2) analyses of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments, the Bureau previously considered the costs, benefits, and impact of the rules. This final rule also contains technical corrections to two provisions of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule. These technical corrections are necessary to resolve minor inconsistencies in the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and are consistent with informal guidance provided by the Bureau. Thus, the Bureau believes that creditors will not be adversely affected by these technical corrections and will enjoy additional certainty when originating loans. Given that the Bureau believes that the vast majority of creditors would have implemented their systems in a manner consistent with these technical corrections regardless of this final rule, the Bureau does not believe that these technical corrections will have a discernible impact on consumers.

B. Potential Benefits and Costs to Consumers and Covered Persons

The primary consumers who will be affected by this final rule are consumers that engage in mortgage shopping between the CRA Effective Date and October 3, 2015. Those consumers will be harmed by not receiving the benefits of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments. Consumers shopping for a mortgage during the period of delay in the effective date will not receive those benefits, even if they close on their loans after the delayed effective date. The benefits of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments include easier-to-understand disclosures and the requirement that the creditor deliver the Closing Disclosure containing the settlement information as well as the TILA disclosures at least three days before closing.34 Some consumers may benefit if the delay results in the industry using the time before October 3 for more system testing or other preparation, leading to a smoother transition to the new integrated disclosures. As in the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, the Bureau cannot quantify either the benefit or the cost of this final rule to consumers.

34 These and other benefits are described in detail in the section 1022(b)(2) analysis of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule. 78 FR 79730, 80073-89 (Dec. 31, 2013).

As in the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, for purposes of this section 1022(b)(2) analysis, the Bureau has considered three categories of affected covered persons that will benefit or incur adjustment costs: Creditors that engage in mortgage lending, mortgage brokers, and settlement agents.35 The Bureau estimates that, in 2014, there were about 11,150 creditors engaged in mortgage lending, about 7,000 mortgage brokers, and about 7,700 settlement agent firms.36 As noted in part V above, due to industry's implementation challenges, the Bureau believes that the delay of the effective date beyond the CRA Effective Date could benefit many of these creditors, mortgage brokers, and settlement agents, by allowing them more time to transition to the new integrated disclosures required by the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments and by diminishing the magnitude of any potential disruptions associated with the transition. The delay in the effective date could also benefit them to the extent that it allows them to delay incurring any of the costs described in the TILA-RESPA Final Rule section 1022(b)(2) analysis.37

35 Some service providers, such as software vendors, will incur costs, as well, as they update their products to comply with this final rule, but these are not covered persons for the purposes of this analysis.

36 The primary source of data used in this analysis is 2013 data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The empirical analysis also uses data from the 4th quarter 2013 bank and thrift Call Reports, and the 4th quarter 2013 credit union Call Reports from the National Credit Union Administration, to identify financial institutions and their characteristics. Unless otherwise specified, the numbers provided include appropriate projections made to account for any missing information, for example, any institutions that do not report under HMDA. The Bureau also utilizes data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Bureau analyzes data from all creditors, both the ones that report under HMDA and the ones that do not, with the exception of non-depository institutions that do not report under HMDA. For HMDA reporters, the Bureau uses the data reported. For HMDA non-reporters, the Bureau uses projections based on the match of the Call Report data with HMDA.

37See 78 FR 79730, 80073-89 (Dec. 31, 2013).

Creditors and other affected persons might also incur costs due to the delay of the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments. The Bureau estimated in its section 1022(b)(2) analysis of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule that 95 percent of creditors (about 10,600) rely on third-party vendors for their software, and the Bureau estimates that these creditors will not incur significant software programming costs.38 However, for the 5 percent of creditors (approximately 560) that do not rely on third-party vendors, the change of the effective date will require additional programming expense. While a portion of this cost is already imposed by the delay in the effective date to the CRA Effective Date and therefore is not imposed by this final rule, the Bureau believes that some of this cost might be greater with the delay of the effective date to October 3. The Bureau specifically requested comment on the extent of programming expense but received no specific comments thereon.

38Id. at 80081, 80101.

Moreover, the delay might also require rearranging already established operational schedules and business processes. This potential disruption might be costly and require additional effort from employees and additional expenses due to, for example, overtime pay. This potential disruption might especially affect creditors not relying primarily on third-party vendors. The Bureau believes that mortgage brokers and settlement agents will incur similar coordination and implementation costs.

Finally, affected covered persons will incur costs in internal communications, training, and software re-programming, among other costs. The Bureau believes that the change in the effective date might require communicating with any external suppliers of forms and booklets and potentially ordering additional forms in the current format. Any pre-ordered Loan Estimates or Closing Disclosures that comply with the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments will still be usable after October 3, and the Bureau does not believe that the current forms are significantly more expensive than the ones that are required by the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments; thus, there should be no net increase in expense of procuring forms and booklets. While many of these costs are already imposed as a result of the delay in the effective date to the CRA Effective Date (and therefore are not costs imposed by this final rule), the Bureau believes that some of the costs may be greater because this final rule further delays the effective date until October 3.

The Bureau is uncertain as to the extent of the foregoing costs. The Bureau requested comments on the magnitude of such costs, but there were no comments submitted that provided a representative basis for quantification. The Bureau is therefore unable to quantify the costs for industry participants associated with delaying the effective date from the CRA Effective Date to October 3, 2015.

C. Impact on Depository Institutions With No More Than $10 Billion in Assets

The vast majority of the creditors described above have no more than $10 billion in assets. The Bureau believes that depository institutions with no more than $10 billion in assets will not be differentially affected by the extension of the effective date.

D. Impact on Access to Credit

The Bureau does not believe that there will be an adverse impact on credit availability resulting from this final rule.

E. Impact on Rural Areas

The Bureau does not believe that this final rule will have a unique impact on consumers in rural areas.

IX. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA),39 as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996,40 requires each agency to consider the potential impact of its regulations on small entities, including small businesses, small governmental units, and small nonprofit organizations. The RFA defines a “small business” as a business that meets the size standard developed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) pursuant to the Small Business Act.41

39 Public Law 96-354, 94 Stat. 1164 (1980).

40 Public Law 104-121, section 241, 110 Stat. 847, 864-65 (1996).

41 5 U.S.C. 601(3). The Bureau may establish an alternative definition after consultation with SBA and an opportunity for public comment.

The RFA generally requires an agency to conduct an initial regulatory flexibility analysis and a final regulatory flexibility analysis of any proposed rule subject to notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements, unless the agency certifies that the proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Bureau also is subject to certain additional procedures under the RFA involving the convening of a panel to consult with small business representatives prior to proposing a rule for which an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

In the Proposed Rule, the Bureau concluded that the proposed extension of the effective date, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities and that an initial regulatory flexibility analysis was therefore not required. This final rule adopts the Proposed Rule substantially as proposed.42 Therefore, a final regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

42 In addition to adopting the Proposed Rule substantially as proposed, this final rule also includes technical corrections to two provisions of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule to resolve potential inconsistencies in the TILA-RESPA Final Rule requirements that could have resulted in creditors being inadvertently out of compliance. Under section 601(2) of the RFA, “rule” means “any rule for which the agency publishes a general notice of proposed rulemaking pursuant to section 553(b) of this title, or any other law[.]” As discussed in Part VII above, the Bureau has found that notice and comment are unnecessary for the issuance of these technical corrections. Therefore, these technical corrections are not considered in the Bureau's RFA certification analysis.

As discussed above, this final rule extends the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments and technical amendments to October 3, 2015.

A. Number and Classes of Affected Entities

The following table summarizes the estimated number and type of entities that will be affected by this final rule.43

43 The Bureau assumes that all mortgage creditor non-depository institutions are below the Small Business Administration's threshold for small entities (annual receipts of $38.5 million). See 13 CFR 121.201 (listing applicable size standard for NAICS code 522292). Consistent with the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, the Bureau has not reviewed the impact on software vendors for the purposes of this analysis. 78 FR 79730, 80089-100 (Dec. 31, 2013).

Category NAICS codes Affected
  • entities
  • Small affected entities
    Mortgage Creditors 522110, 522120, 522130, 522292 11,150 10,403 Mortgage Brokers 522310 7,007 6,895 Settlement Agents 541191 7,719 7,580

    The Bureau believes that, as in the section 1022(b)(2) analysis of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, 5 percent of all creditors, including small creditors, do not utilize software vendors.44 Small creditors who do not use software vendors could incur greater costs, but the fraction of small creditors incurring these costs (at most 5 percent) is not substantial.

    44 78 FR 79730, 80081 (Dec. 31, 2013).

    B. Certification

    Accordingly, the undersigned hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    X. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), Federal agencies are generally required to seek Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for information collection requirements prior to implementation. Under the PRA, the Bureau may not conduct or sponsor and, notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person is not required to respond to an information collection unless the information collection displays a currently valid control number assigned by OMB. The collections of information related to the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth In Lending Act (Regulation Z) (78 FR 79730), have been previously reviewed and approved by OMB in accordance with the PRA and assigned OMB Control Numbers 3170-0015 (Regulation Z) and 3170-0016 (Regulation X). These OMB approvals will become active on October 3, 2015, the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule as established herein.

    The Bureau has determined that this final rule would not have any new or revised information collection requirements (recordkeeping, reporting, or disclosure requirements) on covered entities or members of the public that would constitute collections of information requiring OMB approval under the PRA.

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1026

    Advertising, Consumer protection, Credit, Credit unions, Mortgages, National banks, Recordkeeping and recordkeeping requirements, Reporting, Savings associations, Truth in lending.

    Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Bureau amends Regulation Z, 12 CFR part 1026, as set forth below:

    PART 1026—TRUTH IN LENDING (REGULATION Z) 1. The authority citation for part 1026 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 2601, 2603-2605, 2607, 2609, 2617, 5511, 5512, 5532, 5581; 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.

    2. In amendatory instruction 5 appearing on page 65325 in the Federal Register on November 3, 2014, change “Effective August 1, 2015” to read “Effective October 3, 2015.” Subpart E—Special Rules for Certain Home Mortgage Transactions 3. Section 1026.38 is amended by revising paragraphs (i)(8)(ii), (i)(8)(iii)(A), and (j)(1)(iv) to read as follows:
    § 1026.38 Content of disclosures for certain mortgage transactions (Closing Disclosure).

    (i) * * *

    (8) * * *

    (ii) Under the subheading “Final,” the amount equal to the total of the amounts disclosed under paragraphs (j)(1)(iii) and (v) through (x) of this section reduced by the total of the amounts disclosed under paragraphs (j)(2)(vi) through (xi) of this section.

    (iii) * * *

    (A) If the amount disclosed under paragraph (i)(8)(ii) of this section is different than the amount disclosed under paragraph (i)(8)(i) of this section (unless the difference is due to rounding), a statement of that fact, along with a statement that the consumer should see the details disclosed under paragraphs (j)(1)(iii) and (v) through (x) and (j)(2)(vi) through (xi) of this section; or

    (j) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (iv) The total amount of closing costs disclosed that are designated borrower-paid at closing, as the sum of the amounts calculated pursuant to paragraphs (h)(2) and (3) of this section, labeled “Closing Costs Paid at Closing”;

    4. In Supplement I to Part 1026—Official Interpretations, as amended by 78 FR 79730 (Dec. 31, 2013): A. Under Section 1026.1—Authority, Purpose, Coverage, Organization, Enforcement and Liability, under Paragraph 1(d)(5), paragraph 1 is revised. B. Under Section 1026.19—Certain Mortgage and Variable-Rate Transactions, under 19(g)(2) Permissible changes, paragraph 3 is revised.

    The revisions read as follows:

    Supplement I to Part 1026—Official Interpretations Subpart A—General Section 1026.1—Authority, Purpose, Coverage, Organization, Enforcement and Liability 1(d) Organization Paragraph 1(d)(5)

    1. Effective date. The Bureau's revisions to Regulation X and Regulation Z published on December 31, 2013 (the TILA-RESPA Final Rule), apply to covered loans (closed-end credit transactions secured by real property) for which the creditor or mortgage broker receives an application on or after October 3, 2015 (the “effective date”), except that new § 1026.19(e)(2), the amendments to § 1026.28(a)(1), and the amendments to the commentary to § 1026.29, become effective on October 3, 2015, without respect to whether an application has been received. The provisions of § 1026.19(e)(2) apply prior to a consumer's receipt of the disclosures required by § 1026.19(e)(1)(i), and therefore, restrict activity that may occur prior to receipt of an application by a creditor or mortgage broker under § 1026.19(e). These provisions include § 1026.19(e)(2)(i), which restricts the fees that may be imposed on a consumer, § 1026.19(e)(2)(ii), which requires a statement to be included on written estimates of terms or costs specific to a consumer, and § 1026.19(e)(2)(iii), which prohibits creditors from requiring the submission of documents verifying information related to the consumer's application. Accordingly, the provisions under § 1026.19(e)(2) are effective on October 3, 2015, without respect to whether an application has been received on that date. In addition, the amendments to § 1026.28 and the commentary to § 1026.29 govern the preemption of State laws and thus, the amendments to those provisions and associated commentary made by the TILA-RESPA Final Rule are effective on October 3, 2015, without respect to whether an application has been received on that date. The following examples illustrate the application of the effective date for the TILA-RESPA Final Rule.

    i. General. Assume a creditor receives an application, as defined under § 1026.2(a)(3) of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, for a transaction subject to § 1026.19(e) and (f) on October 3, 2015, and that consummation of the transaction occurs on October 31, 2015. The amendments of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, including the requirements to provide the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure under § 1026.19(e) and (f), apply to the transaction. The creditor would also be required to provide the special information booklet under § 1026.19(g) of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, as applicable. Assume a creditor receives an application, as defined under § 1026.2(a)(3) of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, for a transaction subject to § 1026.19(e) and (f) on September 30, 2015, and that consummation of the transaction occurs on October 30, 2015. The amendments of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, including the requirements to provide the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure under § 1026.19(e) and (f), do not apply to the transaction, except that the provisions of § 1026.19(e)(2), specifically § 1026.19(e)(2)(i), (e)(2)(ii), and (e)(2)(iii), do apply to the transaction beginning on October 3, 2015, because they become effective on October 3, 2015, without respect to whether an application, as defined under § 1026.2(a)(3) of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, has been received by the creditor or mortgage broker on that date. The creditor does not provide the Closing Disclosure so that it is received by the consumer at least three business days before consummation; instead, the creditor and the settlement agent provide the disclosures under § 1026.19(a)(2)(ii) and § 1024.8, as applicable, under the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, respectively. The requirement to provide the special information booklet under § 1026.19(g) of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule would also not apply to the transaction. But the creditor would provide the special information booklet under § 1024.6, as applicable.

    ii. Predisclosure written estimates. Assume a creditor receives a request from a consumer for a written estimate of terms or costs specific to the consumer on October 3, 2015, before the consumer submits an application to the creditor, and thus before the consumer has received the disclosures required under § 1026.19(e)(1)(i). The creditor, if it provides such written estimate to the consumer, must comply with the requirements of § 1026.19(e)(2)(ii) and provide the required statement on the written estimate, even though the creditor has not received an application for a transaction subject to § 1026.19(e) and (f) on that date.

    iii. Request for preemption determination. Assume a creditor submits a request to the Bureau under § 1026.28(a)(1) for a determination of whether a State law is inconsistent with the disclosure requirements of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule on October 3, 2015. Because the amendments to § 1026.28(a)(1) are effective on that date and do not depend on whether the creditor has received an application as defined under § 1026.2(a)(3) of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, § 1026.28(a)(1), as amended by the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, is applicable to the request on that date and the Bureau would make a determination based on the amendments of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, including, for example, the requirements of § 1026.37.

    Subpart C—Closed End Credit Section 1026.19—Certain Mortgage and Variable-Rate Transactions

    19(g)(2) Permissible changes.

    3. Permissible changes to title of booklets in use before October 3, 2015. Section 1026.19(g)(2)(iv) provides that the title appearing on the cover of the booklet shall not be changed. Comment 19(g)(1)-1 states that the Bureau may, from time to time, issue revised or alternative versions of the special information booklet that address transactions subject to § 1026.19(g) by publishing a notice in the Federal Register. Until the Bureau issues a version of the special information booklet relating to the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure under §§ 1026.37 and 1026.38, for applications that are received on or after October 3, 2015, a creditor may change the title appearing on the cover of the version of the special information booklet in use before October 3, 2015, provided the words “settlement costs” are used in the title. See comment 1(d)(5)-1 for guidance regarding compliance with § 1026.19(g) for applications received on or after October 3, 2015.

    Dated: July 20, 2015. Richard Cordray, Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18239 Filed 7-22-15; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0572; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-027-AD; Amendment 39-18214; AD 2015-15-05] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 98-22-10 for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, and -300 series airplanes. AD 98-22-10 required repetitive inspections for cracking of the aft frame and frame support structure of the forward service doorway, and repair if necessary. AD 98-22-10 also provided an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspection requirements of that AD. This new AD requires new inspections and adds airplanes to the applicability; for certain airplanes, this new AD provides an optional preventive modification, which terminates the repetitive inspections. This AD was prompted by reports of fatigue cracking of the aft frame and frame support structure of the forward service doorway around the six doorstop fittings, and a determination that inspections are needed in additional locations and that additional airplanes might be subject to the identified unsafe condition. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the aft frame and frame support structure of the forward service doorway around the six doorstop fittings, which could result in door deflection and loss of pressurization.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective August 28, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; phone: 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax: 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0572.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0572; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nenita Odesa, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5234; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 98-22-10, Amendment 39-10858 (63 FR 57240, October 27, 1998). AD 98-22-10 applied to certain The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, and -300 series airplanes. The NPRM was published in the Federal Register on August 26, 2014 (79 FR 50867). The NPRM was prompted by reports of cracking in the surround structure of the forward galley service doorway between body station (STA) 332.1 and STA 344, which are outside the inspection area of AD 98-22-10, and by reports that cracking has been discovered on airplanes outside the applicability of AD 98-22-10. We have determined that inspections are needed in additional locations, and that additional airplanes are subject to the identified unsafe condition.

    The NPRM (79 FR 50867, August 26, 2014) proposed to continue to require repetitive inspections for cracking of the aft frame and frame support structure of the forward service doorway, and repair if necessary. The NPRM also proposed to add inspections, add airplanes to the applicability, and for certain airplanes, provide an optional preventive modification, which would terminate the repetitive inspections. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the aft frame and frame support structure of the forward service doorway around the six doorstop fittings, which could result in door deflection and loss of pressurization.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 50867, August 26, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

    Request To Clarify Wording in NPRM (79 FR 50867, August 6, 2014)

    Boeing stated paragraph 1.E, “Compliance,” of Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014, provides actions for airplanes repaired or modified previously where the preventive modifications have been accomplished. Boeing stated that paragraph (l)(4) of the proposed AD reads: “AMOCs approved for AD 98-22-10, Amendment 39-10858 (63 FR 57240, October 27, 1998), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.” Boeing interpreted the latter statement to mean that AMOCs approved for AD 98-22-10 do not supersede (or negate) the additional inspection requirements provided in Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014, and requested concurrence with its interpretation of this language.

    We agree with Boeing's interpretation. Paragraph (m)(4) of this AD (paragraph (l)(4) of the proposed AD) establishes that an AMOC issued for actions performed in accordance with AD 98-22-10, Amendment 39-10858 (63 FR 57240, October 27, 1998), satisfies the corresponding provisions, and only those corresponding provisions, of the this AD. All requirements of this AD must be satisfied, whether by previous AMOC, accomplishment of the specified AD actions, or a new AMOC. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Request To Clarify Actions That Are Not Required

    Southwest Airlines (Southwest) noted that paragraph (h) of the proposed AD (79 FR 50867, August 26, 2014) would provide terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD. Southwest requested that we revise the NPRM to state that the post preventive modification inspections specified in tables 9, 10, 11, and 12 in paragraph 1.E, “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014, would not be required. Southwest also requested that this provision apply to paragraph (k) of the proposed AD (paragraph (l) of this AD), which specifies credit for actions done previously using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 6, dated January 9, 2014.

    We agree with the requests. While the post-preventive modification inspections specified by tables 9 through 12 in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014, may be used in support of compliance with section 121.1109(c)(2) or 129.109(b)(2) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 121.1109(c)(2) or 14 CFR 129.109(b)(2)), those actions are not required by this AD. We have revised paragraph (g) of this AD by specifying the required parts of the service information: Parts 2 and 4. We have also added new paragraph (j) in this final rule to specify that post-preventive modification inspections (Part 6) are not required by this AD. We have redesignated subsequent paragraphs of this AD accordingly.

    Effect of Winglets on This AD

    Aviation Partners Boeing stated that accomplishing the supplemental type certificate (STC) ST01219SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/ebd1cec7b301293e86257cb30045557a/$FILE/ST01219SE.pdf) does not affect accomplishment of the actions specified in the NPRM (79 FR 50867, August 26, 2014).

    We concur with the commenter. We have redesignated paragraph (c) of the proposed AD (79 FR 50867, August 26, 2014) as (c)(1) and added new paragraph (c)(2) to this AD to state that installation of STC ST01219SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/ebd1cec7b301293e86257cb30045557a/$FILE/ST01219SE.pdf) does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this final rule. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is installed, a “change in product”' alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

    Explanation of Additional Changes Made to This AD

    We have updated the Costs of Compliance section to add existing inspection and repair costs from AD 98-22-10, Amendment 39-10858 (63 FR 57240, October 27, 1998).

    We have changed paragraph (b) of this AD to add AD 90-06-02, Amendment 39-6489, (55 FR 8372, March 7, 1990), as an affected AD since accomplishment of the preventative modification required by paragraph (h) of this AD is an alternative method of compliance for paragraph A. of AD 90-06-02.

    In various locations, Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014, cites Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 6, dated January 9, 2014, instead of Revision 7 of the service information. We have added a new paragraph (k)(3) in this AD to clarify that, where Revision 7 of the service information specifies accomplishment of a preventative modification be done using Revision 6 of the service information, this AD requires accomplishment of that preventative modification with Revision 7 of this service information.

    We also noted a discrepancy in table 4 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014. Although the fourth action is an inspection of the intercostals “and attaching stringers,” the corresponding corrective action specified in table 4 is for only a crack in “an intercostal.” We have confirmed with Boeing that the “attaching stringers” were inadvertently omitted from this condition in table 4. Repair of a cracked attaching stringer, however, is described in PART 4, paragraph 7, of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014. We have added a new paragraph (k)(4) in this AD to specify that cracking in the attaching stringers also requires repair.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 50867, August 26, 2014) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 50867, August 26, 2014).

    We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014. The service information describes procedures for inspections for cracking of the aft frame and frame support structure of the forward service doorway, and repair if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 419 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Inspection [retained actions from AD 98-22-10, Amendment 39-10858 (63 FR 57240, October 27, 1998)] 7 work-hours × $85 per hour = $595 per inspection cycle $0 $595 per inspection cycle $249,305 per inspection cycle. Inspection [new AD action] 28 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,380 per inspection cycle None $2,380 per inspection cycle $997,220 per inspection cycle.
    Estimated Costs for On-Condition Actions Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Repair [retained actions from AD 98-22-10, Amendment 39-10858 (63 FR 57240, October 27, 1998)] 42 work-hours × $85 per hour = $3,570 $913 $4,483 Estimated Costs for Optional Modification Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Repair/preventive modification [new AD action] Between 12 and 17 work-hours × $85 per hour = between $1,020 and $1,445 Between $90 and $913 Between $1,110 and $2,358. Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 98-22-10, Amendment 39-10858 (63 FR 57240, October 27, 1998), and adding the following new AD: 2015-15-05 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18214; Docket No. FAA-2014-0572; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-027-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective August 28, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    (1) This AD replaces AD 98-22-10, Amendment 39-10858 (63 FR 57240, October 27, 1998).

    (2) This AD affects AD 90-06-02, Amendment 39-6489 (55 FR 8372, March 7, 1990).

    (c) Applicability

    (1) This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014.

    (2) Installation of Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01219SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/ebd1cec7b301293e86257cb30045557a/$FILE/ST01219SE.pdf) does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is installed, a “change in product” alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of fatigue cracking of the aft frame and frame support structure of the forward service doorway around the six doorstop fittings, and a determination that inspections are needed in additional locations and that additional airplanes might be subject to the identified unsafe condition. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the aft frame and frame support structure of the forward service doorway around the six doorstop fittings, which could result in door deflection and loss of pressurization.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspections and Corrective Actions

    At the applicable times specified in tables 1 through 6 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014, except as required by paragraph (k)(1) of this AD: Do detailed inspections of the frame web between body station (STA) 332.1 and STA 344, intercostal T-brackets, intercostal T-chords, intercostals, and stringers, as applicable; do high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for cracking of door stop intercostal T-brackets, intercostal web, door stop intercostal T-chords, intercostals, and stringers, as applicable; and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions; in accordance with Parts 2 and 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014, except as required by paragraphs (k)(2) through (k)(4) of this AD. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the inspections at the applicable times specified in tables 1 through 6 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014, until the terminating action specified in paragraph (h) of this AD is done.

    (h) Optional Terminating Action

    For Group 1, Configuration 1; Group 1, Configuration 2; Group 2; Group 3; Group 4, Configuration 1; and Group 4, Configuration 2 airplanes identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014: Accomplishment of a preventive modification in accordance with Part 5 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014, terminates the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (i) Inspections and Corrective Actions for Group 5 Airplanes

    For Group 5 airplanes identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014: Within 120 days after the effective date of this AD, inspect and repair any cracking using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this AD. Repair any cracking, before further flight.

    (j) Post Preventive Modification Inspections Not Required

    The post preventive modification inspections specified in tables 9 through 12 in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 6, dated January 9, 2014; and Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014; are not required by this AD.

    Note 1 to paragraph (j) of this AD:

    Tables 9 through 12 in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 6, dated January 9, 2014; and Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014; specify that post preventive modification inspections may be used in support of compliance with section 121.1109(c)(2) or 129.109(b)(2) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 121.1109(c)(2) or 14 CFR 129.109(b)(2)). The corresponding actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 6, dated January 9, 2014; and Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014; are not required by this AD.

    (k) Exceptions to the Service Information

    (1) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014, specifies a compliance time “after the issue date of Revision 6 of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified time after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014, specifies to contact Boeing for repair instructions: Before further flight, repair the cracking using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this AD.

    (3) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014, specifies accomplishment of a preventative modification in accordance with “Revision 6 of this service bulletin,” this AD requires accomplishment of those actions to be done in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014.

    (4) Where table 4 in paragraph 1.E, “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014, specifies repairing a condition identified as any crack found in “an intercostal,” this AD requires repairing a condition identified as any crack found in “an intercostal or attaching stringers.”

    (l) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 6, dated January 9, 2014. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (m) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (n)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Los Angeles ACO, to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (4) AMOCs approved previously for AD 98-22-10, Amendment 39-10858 (63 FR 57240, October 27, 1998), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

    (5) Accomplishment of the preventive modification in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014, as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, is an AMOC for the structural modification specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108 that is required by paragraph A. of AD 90-06-02, Amendment 39-6489, (55 FR 8372, March 7, 1990), for the airplanes identified in paragraph (h) of this AD.

    (n) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Nenita Odesa, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles ACO, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5234; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraph (o)(3) of this AD.

    (o) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1108, Revision 7, dated July 7, 2014. (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For Boeing service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; phone: 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax: 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 10, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17977 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0679; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-182-AD; Amendment 39-18211; AD 2015-15-02] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2012-13-06, for all Airbus Model A300 series airplanes and all Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes). AD 2012-13-06 required a one-time detailed inspection to determine the length of the fire shut-off valve (FSOV) bonding leads and for contact or chafing of the wires, and corrective actions if necessary. This new AD requires a new one-time detailed inspection of the FSOV bonding leads to ensure that the correct bonding leads are inspected, and corrective action if necessary. This AD was prompted by a determination that the description of the inspection area specified in the service information was misleading; therefore, some operators might have inspected incorrect bonding leads. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct contact or chafing of wires and the bonding leads, which, if not detected, could be a source of sparks in the wing trailing edge, and could lead to an uncontrolled engine fire.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective August 28, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of August 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-0679; or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0679.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2125; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2012-13-06, Amendment 39-17108 (77 FR 40485, July 10, 2012). AD 2012-13-06 applied to all Airbus Model A300 series airplanes and all Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes). The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 31, 2015 (80 FR 17003). The NPRM was prompted by a determination that the description of the inspection area specified in the service information was misleading; therefore, some operators might have inspected incorrect bonding leads. The NPRM proposed to require a new one-time detailed inspection of the FSOV bonding leads to ensure that the correct bonding leads are inspected, and corrective action if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct contact or chafing of wires and the bonding leads, which, if not detected, could be a source of sparks in the wing trailing edge, and could lead to an uncontrolled engine fire.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0204, dated September 6, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition. The MCAI states:

    During a scheduled maintenance check, one operator reported inoperative Fire Shut Off Valve (FSOV). Investigations showed damage at wire located between engine 2 hydraulic FSOV and wing rear spar, in the zones 575/675, and at bonding lead, located between wing rib 7A and rib 8 below hydraulic pressure lines.

    Similar inspections on different aeroplanes have shown that one of the causes of damage is the contact between bonding lead and the harness, due to over length of the bonding lead.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to either:

    —A potential explosive condition on-ground if the FSOV, that is installed in fuel vapor zone is commanded to close position, or —a temporary uncontrolled engine fire, if combined with a fire event in the nacelle fed by an hydraulic leakage and not controlled by the fire extinguishing system.

    As the affected wire is not powered during normal operation, no defect can be detected unless a test is performed on the FSOV during maintenance check.

    EASA issued AD 2011-0084 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/blob/easa_ad_2011_0084.pdf/AD_2011-0084_Superseded] which required a one-time [detailed] inspection of the wires [for contact or chafing] located between [LH/RH] engines hydraulic FSOV and wing rear spar in the zones 575/675, and the bonding lead [for length] that is located between rib 7A and rib 8 below hydraulic pressure lines, and corrective actions [repair of wires or replacement of bonding leads] depending on findings.

    It appeared that the original issue of the Airbus inspection Service Bulletins (SB's) as well as EASA AD 2011-0084 might have caused possible misunderstandings on the exact bonding leads and wires that are required to be inspected.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2011-0084, which is superseded, and requires additional work on aeroplanes that have already been inspected in accordance with the instructions of the original issue of the SB's.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-0679-0002. Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM (80 FR 17003, March 31, 2015) or on the determination of the cost to the public.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 17003, March 31, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 17003, March 31, 2015).

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A300-24-0106, Revision 01, dated March 26, 2013 (for Model A300 series airplanes); and Service Bulletin A300-24-6108, Revision 01, dated March 26, 2013 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes). The service information describes procedures for inspecting the FSOV bonding leads, corrective actions, and repair of the associated wires. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 123 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate that it takes about 8 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts cost about $500 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $145,140, or $1,180 per product.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions take about 1 work-hour and require parts costing $50, for a cost of $135 per product. We have no way of determining the number of products that may need these actions.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

    1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-0679; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2012-13-06, Amendment 39-17108 (77 FR 40485, July 10, 2012), and adding the following new AD: 2015-15-02 Airbus: Amendment 39-18211. Docket No. FAA-2015-0679; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-182-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective August 28, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2012-13-06, Amendment 39-17108 (77 FR 40485, July 10, 2012).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the airplanes specified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (1) Airbus Model A300 B2-1A, B2-1C, B2K-3C, B2-203, B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes.

    (2) Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, B4-622, B4-605R, B4-622R, F4-605R, and F4-622R airplanes.

    (3) Airbus Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 24, Electrical Power.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a determination that the description of the inspection area specified in the service information was misleading; therefore, some operators might have inspected incorrect bonding leads. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct contact or chafing of wires and the bonding leads, which, if not detected, could be a source of sparks in the wing trailing edge, and could lead to an uncontrolled engine fire.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection of the Fire Shut-Off Valve (FSOV) Bonding Leads

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD: Do a one-time detailed inspection to determine the length of the FSOV bonding leads, and to detect contact or chafing of the wires located on the left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) sides of the wing rear spar, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-0106, Revision 01, dated March 26, 2013 (for Model A300 series airplanes); or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6108, Revision 01, dated March 26, 2013 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes); as applicable.

    (1) For airplanes on which the inspection required by paragraph (g) of AD 2012-13-06, Amendment 39-17108 (77 FR 40485, July 10, 2012), has not been done as of the effective date of this AD: Inspect within 4,500 flight hours or 30 months after August 14, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-13-06), whichever occurs first.

    (2) For airplanes on which the inspection required by paragraph (g) of AD 2012-13-06, Amendment 39-17108 (77 FR 40485, July 10, 2012), has been done as of the effective date of this AD: Inspect within 4,500 flight hours or 30 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

    (h) Corrective Action for FSOV Bonding Leads

    If, during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, the length of the bonding lead(s) is more than 80 millimeters (mm) (3.15 inches): Before further flight, replace the bonding lead(s) with a new bonding lead having a length equal to 80 mm ± 2 mm (3.15 inches) ± 0.08 inch, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (i) Repair of the Wires of the LH and RH Sides

    If, during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any contact or chafing of the wires is found, repair the wires before further flight, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (j) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of August 14, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-13-06, Amendment 39-17108 (77 FR 40485, July 10, 2012), no person may install any bonding lead longer than 80 mm ± 2 mm (3.15 inches) ± 0.08 inch, located between the LH/RH engine hydraulic FSOV and wing rear spar in zones 575/675 on any airplane.

    (k) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2125; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: As of the effective date of this AD, for any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (l) Related Information

    Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0204, dated September 6, 2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0679.

    (m) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on August 28, 2015.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-0106, Revision 01, dated March 26, 2013.

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6108, Revision 01, dated March 26, 2013.

    (4) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

    (5) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    (6) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 10, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17935 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0748; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-013-AD; Amendment 39-18219; AD 2015-15-10] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of wear of the trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuator (THSA). This AD requires repetitive inspections of the THSA for damage, and replacement if necessary; and replacement of the THSA after reaching a certain life limit. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct wear on the THSA, which would reduce the remaining life of the THSA, possibly resulting in premature failure and consequent reduced control of the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective August 28, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0748 or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA 2014-0748.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on October 16, 2014 (79 FR 62072).

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0011R1, dated January 17, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition. The MCAI states:

    In the frame of the A320 Extended Service Goal (ESG) project and the study on the Trimmable Horizontal Stabilizer Actuator (THSA), a sampling programme of in-service units has been performed and several cases of wear at different THSA levels were reported.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, would reduce the remaining life of the THSA, possibly resulting in premature failure and consequent reduced control of the aeroplane.

    Prompted by these findings, Airbus issued Service Bulletin (SB) A320-27-1227 to provide THSA inspection instructions.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires repetitive inspections of the THSA and introduces a life limit for the THSA.

    This AD also requires a detailed inspection of the magnetic chip detector for metal particles, a spectrometric analysis of the oil drained from the THSA gearbox, a detailed inspection of the ballscrew and nut, and a detailed inspection of the upper and the lower attachments for damage. The corrective action is replacement of the THSA with a serviceable THSA. The compliance time for the THSA replacement ranges from before further flight to within 4 months from drainage of the oil sample.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0748-0002.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We have considered the comments received. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 62072, October 16, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

    Requests To Extend Compliance Time

    Airlines for America (A4A), on behalf of American Airlines (AAL), Delta Airlines (DAL), and United Airlines (UAL), requested that we extend the initial inspection compliance time in paragraph (g)(2) of the NPRM (79 FR 62072, October 16, 2014) from 4 months to 12 months after the effective date of the AD. A4A stated that the fleet age of multiple U.S. carriers means that a large number of airplanes will require inspection in a short period of time, likely resulting in schedule disruptions and/or cancellations.

    We disagree with the commenters' request. We base AD compliance times primarily on our assessment of safety risk. Some safety issues are more time sensitive than others. We consider the overall risk to the fleet, including the severity of the failure and the likelihood of the failure's occurrence in development of the compliance time for the ADs. The FAA and EASA work closely with the respective manufacturers to ensure that all appropriate instructions and parts are available at the appropriate time to meet our collective safety goals, and that those goals are based on safety of the fleet. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Requests To Clarify Wording in Paragraphs (h) and (j) of the NPRM (79 FR 62072, October 16, 2014)

    A4A, on behalf of UAL and JetBlue, requested that we clarify the wording of the flight time/cycle guidance in paragraphs (h) and (j) of the NPRM (79 FR 62072, October 16, 2014). JetBlue asked whether an operator can continue a THSA in service in perpetuity if the inspection is performed every 4 months, or whether the THSA must be removed at 12 months after the effective date of the AD.

    We agree that clarification is necessary. If a THSA exceeds 67,500 flight hours on the effective date of the AD, then repetitive inspections are to be accomplished every 4 months until replacement is performed within 12 months after the effective date of the AD. Paragraph (m) of this AD is an exception or an alternative to paragraph (j) of this AD and is intended to match the requirements of the MCAI. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Requests To Extend or Remove Life Limit of the THSA

    JetBlue objected to the THSA 67,500-flight-hour life limit specified by paragraph (j) of the NPRM (79 FR 62072, October 16, 2014). JetBlue stated that establishing a life limit for a component that previously had no such life limit, with no overhaul or inspection criteria for continued airworthiness, is an enormous burden for operators. JetBlue commented that both Airbus and UTAS/Goodrich are developing either an overhaul procedure to zero-time the units, or a method to permit continued airworthy operation of the units beyond the 67,500-flight-hour life limit.

    A4A stated that an operator that prefers to bear the overhaul costs to restore an older THSA to service beyond 67,500 flight hours should not be precluded from doing so because repair and/or overhaul would return the unit to a new condition, which should address any safety concerns.

    We disagree with the commenters' request to change the THSA life limit. JetBlue did not provide substantiation that overhaul or repair methods would provide an acceptable level of safety in lieu of the life limits. The FAA takes into consideration the system safety analysis and quantitative and qualitative risk assessment for establishing a life limit for a component, failure of which may cause a catastrophic failure and consequently affect the safe flight of the airplane. This assessment resulted in establishing the THSA life limit required by paragraph (j) of this AD. Once we issue this AD, a request for approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) to extend the THSA life limit under the provisions of paragraph (o)(1) of this AD may be submitted. Sufficient data must be submitted to substantiate that the THSA has been modified or inspected in a manner that would provide an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Requests To Remove Oil Sampling Inspection

    A4A, on behalf of AAL and JetBlue, requested that we remove the proposed oil sampling inspection requirement in paragraph (g) of the NPRM (79 FR 62072, October 16, 2014). A4A stated that there is no data on the correlation between sample findings and associated component wear. JetBlue commented that the sampling test results may be skewed high or low depending on either a low oil level in the THSA at the time of testing or any recent introduction of clean oil.

    We disagree with the commenters' request. The oil sampling inspection includes examination for metal particles in the magnetic chip detector. The spectrometric analysis checks for the presence of aluminum particles. Findings may include unusually large quantities of metal particles larger than 2 millimeters by 1 millimeter, which could indicate wear or damage of the THSA. We and our colleagues in the foreign certification authorities (in this case, EASA) work closely with manufacturers to determine appropriate service information for addressing the identified unsafe condition. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Request To Clarify Reporting Requirement

    JetBlue requested that we permit the reporting described in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1227, Revision 01, dated October 7, 2013, to be done at the operator's discretion. JetBlue stated that there is no value in the reporting, which does not require quantitative disclosure of the oil sampling result—only pass/fail. JetBlue stated that mandating this reporting requirement adds an undue burden to the operator as there is no information to be gained by having operators report whether or not the THSA was changed.

    We agree with the commenter's request. This AD and the EASA MCAI do not include a reporting requirement. However, when the service information includes a reporting request, then operators are encouraged to provide the report. Reports provide data that can be valuable for the airframe original equipment manufacturers to develop product improvements and/or enhance safety. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Requests To Revise Cost Estimates

    A4A, on behalf of AAL, JetBlue, and UAL, requested that we revise the cost analysis to accurately reflect the accomplishment burden. A4A stated that the inspections in paragraph (g) of the NPRM (79 FR 62072, October 16, 2014) would require 7 to 9 work-hours rather than 6 work-hours, while removal, replacement, and checkout typically consume 15 to 20 work-hours, not the NPRM estimate of 7 work-hours.

    We partially agree with the commenter's request to revise the cost estimate. We recognize that costs may vary from operator to operator. Our cost estimates are based on the manufacturer's service information. The service information for this AD specifies 6 work-hours for the inspection and 11 work-hours for the replacement. Therefore, we have changed the work-hours for the replacement accordingly.

    Clarification of Requirements

    In order to clarify the repetitive compliance times, we have added a reference to “paragraph (h) of this AD” within paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD.

    We have also have added a reference to “paragraph (h) of this AD” in paragraphs (k) and (l) of this AD to clarify that repetitive inspections are required.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 62072, October 16, 2014) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 62072, October 16, 2014).

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1227, Revision 01, dated October 7, 2013. The service information describes procedures for an inspection for damage of the THSA and replacement. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 851 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it would take about 6 work-hours per product to comply with the inspection requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost for the inspection specified in this AD on U.S. operators to be $434,010, or $510 per product.

    We estimate that it would take about 11 work-hours per product to comply with the actuator replacement requirements of this AD. Required parts would cost about $240,000 per product. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost for the actuator replacement specified in this AD on U.S. operators to be $205,035,685, or $240,935 per product.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

    1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0748; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-15-10 Airbus: Amendment 39-18219. Docket No. FAA-2014-0748; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-013-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective August 28, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes, certificated in any category, identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), and (c)(4) of this AD, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (1) Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes.

    (2) Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes.

    (3) Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes.

    (4) Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight Controls.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of wear of the trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuator (THSA). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct wear on the THSA, which would reduce the remaining life of the THSA, possibly resulting in premature failure and consequent reduced control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Initial Inspections

    At the later of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD: Do a detailed inspection of the magnetic chip detector for metal particles, a spectrometric analysis of the oil drained from the THSA gearbox, a detailed inspection of the ballscrew and nut for damage (including, but not limited to, cracks, dents, corrosion, and unsatisfactory surface protection), and a detailed inspection of the upper and the lower attachments for damage (including, but not limited to, cracks, dents, corrosion, and unsatisfactory surface protection), in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1227, Revision 01, dated October 7, 2013.

    (1) Before the THSA accumulates 48,000 total flight hours or 30,000 total flight cycles, whichever occurs first since first installation on an airplane.

    (2) Within 4 months after the effective date of this AD.

    (h) Repetitive Inspections

    Repeat the inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD thereafter at intervals not to exceed the applicable time specified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD.

    (1) For a THSA that, as of the date of the most recent inspection required by paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD, has accumulated less than 67,500 total flight hours since first installation on an airplane: The repetitive inspection interval is 24 months.

    (2) For a THSA that, as of the date of the most recent inspection required by paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD, has accumulated 67,500 total flight hours or more since first installation on an airplane: The repetitive inspection interval is 4 months.

    (i) THSA Corrective Action

    If, during any inspection required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, any finding as described in the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1227, Revision 01, dated October 7, 2013, is found: At the applicable compliance time (depending on the applicable findings) specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1227, Revision 01, dated October 7, 2013, replace the THSA with a serviceable THSA, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1227, Revision 01, dated October 7, 2013. For the purposes of this AD, a serviceable THSA is a THSA that has accumulated less than 67,500 total flight hours since first installation on an airplane.

    (j) THSA Replacement

    Before a THSA accumulates 67,500 total flight hours since first installation on an airplane, or within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Replace the THSA with a serviceable THSA, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1227, Revision 01, dated October 7, 2013. Thereafter, before the accumulation of 67,500 total flight hours on any THSA since first installation on an airplane, replace it with a serviceable THSA.

    (k) Replacement THSA: No Terminating Action

    Replacement of a THSA on an airplane, as required by paragraph (i) or (j) of this AD, does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD for that airplane. After THSA replacement: At the applicable compliance time specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (h)(1), and (h)(2) of this AD, do the inspections required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD.

    (l) Replacement THSA Equivalency

    A THSA that has been repaired in shop as specified in United Technologies Corporation Aerospace Systems Component Maintenance Manual 27-44-51 is considered equivalent to having passed an inspection in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1227, Revision 01, dated October 7, 2013. Depending on the flight hours or flight cycles accumulated by the repaired THSA: At the applicable compliance time specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (h)(1), and (h)(2) of this AD, do the inspections required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD.

    (m) Parts Installation Limitation

    As of the effective date of this AD, installation on an airplane of a THSA that has accumulated 67,500 or more total flight hours is allowed, provided that, prior to installation, the THSA has been modified or inspected using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

    (n) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for inspections required by paragraphs (g), (h), and (l) of this AD, if those inspections were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1227, dated July 1, 2013, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (o) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (p) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0011R1, dated January 17, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0748-0002.

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (q)(3) and (q)(4) of this AD.

    (q) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1227, Revision 01, dated October 7, 2013.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 12, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17956 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0011; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-046-AD; Amendment 39-18194; AD 2015-13-07] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 98-13-23 for certain Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes). AD 98-13-23 required inspections to detect corrosion and cracking of the lower horizontal stabilizer cutout longeron, the corner fitting, the skin strap, and the outer skin; and repair, if necessary. This new AD reduces the compliance times and repetitive intervals, and changes the inspection procedures. This AD was prompted by the determination that the risk of cracking is higher than initially determined. We are issuing this AD to prevent cracking of the lower horizontal stabilizer cutout longeron, the corner fitting, the skin strap, and the outer skin, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the horizontal-stabilizer cutout longeron.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective August 28, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 28, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of July 30, 1998 (63 FR 34576).

    ADDRESSES:

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0011; or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0011.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2125; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 98-13-23, Amendment 39-10614 (63 FR 34576, June 25, 1998). AD 98-13-23 applied to certain Airbus Model 300-600 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on February 10, 2014 (79 FR 7592).

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0048, dated March 4, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on certain Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes). The MCAI states:

    During a full scale fatigue test, a crack was found at the lower corner of the assembly of the horizontal stabilizer cut-out, between Frame (FR)87 and FR89 and between Stringer (STGR)24 and STGR27, Left Hand (LH) and Right Hand (RH) sides.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could reduce the structural integrity of the aeroplane.

    DGAC [The Direction Generale de l'Aviation Civile France] France issued AD * * * to require repetitive visual and High Frequency Eddy Current (HFEC) rotating probe inspections of the affected areas and subsequent corrective action, in case of cracks.

    Since that [DGAC France] AD was issued, a fleet survey and updated Fatigue and Damage Tolerance analyses have been performed to substantiate the second A300-600 Extended Service Goal (ESG2) exercise. The results of these analyses have shown that the risk of cracks for these aeroplanes is higher than initially determined and that, consequently, the thresholds and intervals must be reduced to allow timely detection of these cracks and accomplishment of an applicable corrective action.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of DGAC France AD * * *, which is superseded, and requires the accomplishment of these actions within the new thresholds and intervals defined in Revision 03 of Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A300-53-6042 [dated August 30, 2012].

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0011-0002.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 7592, February 10, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

    Acknowledgement of the NPRM (79 FR 7592, February 10, 2014)

    FedEx acknowledges the requirements of the NPRM (79 FR 7592, February 10, 2014).

    Request To Revise Compliance Times

    UPS requested that we revise the compliance times in the proposed AD (79 FR 7592, February 10, 2014) to reflect specific times regardless of the aircraft utilization rate. UPS stated that a comment response in AD 98-13-23, Amendment 39-10614 (63 FR 34576, June 25, 1998), noted that the FAA did not concur with the “average flight time” (AFT) compliance time methodology as it may not address the unsafe condition in a timely manner. UPS stated that paragraph (h) of the proposed AD specifies that the compliance time is at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E. of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012, which establishes the initial and repetitive inspection compliance times based on AFT methodology. UPS requested changing the compliance times in paragraph (h) of the proposed AD to reflect specific values regardless of the aircraft utilization rate to provide consistency in the compliance times for paragraphs (g) and (h) of the proposed AD.

    We disagree with the commenter's request to revise the compliance times in this AD. At the time the FAA issued AD 98-13-23, Amendment 39-10614 (63 FR 34576, June 25, 1998), the required actions in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 1, dated February 20, 1995, contained inspection thresholds and intervals based on airplane flight cycles, and provided instructions for adjusting the flight cycle threshold and interval using each individual airplane's AFT utilization. The FAA did not agree with the AFT method because it could result in a different inspection threshold and interval for each individual airplane, and the FAA did not agree with adjusting a flight cycle based threshold and interval using the average flight time utilization without also having a related flight hour based threshold and interval. In Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012, the inspection thresholds and intervals are now based on the accumulation of both flight cycles and flight hours, and are listed in tables appropriately grouping airplanes with average flight time utilization above 1.5 hours, and airplanes with average flight time utilization at or below 1.5 hours. The changes made in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012 have addressed the FAA's original concerns with the AFT method and is acceptable for this AD.

    We acknowledge that a fixed compliance time for a fleet could be easier for operators to schedule and record compliance. Therefore, under the provisions of paragraph (l)(1) of this AD, we will consider requests for approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) if a proposal is submitted that is supported by technical data that includes fatigue and damage tolerance analysis. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Request for Credit for Previous Cold Expansion

    UPS requested that we allow credit for previous accomplishment of cold expansion of the fastener holes. UPS stated that paragraph (h)(3) of the proposed AD (79 FR 7592, February 10, 2014) requires cold working fastener holes in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012, if no cracking is found. However, the fastener holes were previously cold worked as a requirement of paragraph (c)(2) of AD 98-13-23, Amendment 39-10614 (63 FR 34576, June 25, 1998). UPS suggested that we add the phrase “unless previously accomplished” to the second sentence of paragraph (h)(3) of the proposed AD.

    We agree with the request to give credit if fastener holes were cold worked before the effective date of this AD. We have added a new paragraph (k)(2) to this AD to give credit for cold working fastener holes using Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 1, dated February 20, 1995, which is referred to as the appropriate source of service information for the actions in AD 98-13-23, Amendment 39-10614 (63 FR 34576, June 25, 1998); or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 02, dated April 28, 1998.

    We have re-designated paragraph (k) of the proposed AD (79 FR 7592, February 10, 2014) as paragraph (k)(1) of this AD. We also removed the reference to Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 1, dated February 20, 1995 from paragraph (k)(1) of this AD, which gives credit for actions in paragraph (g) of this AD. Paragraph (g) of this AD already refers Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 1, dated February 20, 1995, as a source of service information.

    Request To Remove Requirement To Refer to This AD in Repair Approvals

    UPS also requested that we revise paragraph (i)(2) of the proposed AD (79 FR 7592, February 10, 2014) to remove the requirement to include the AD reference in repair approvals. UPS noted its concerns that the proposal would require development of a unique Airbus process for U.S. operators; that it could have significant financial and administrative impacts to existing customer support agreements and different AD records requirements within an operator's fleet; and that it will increase requests for approval of AMOCs and result in delayed return to service.

    We concur with the commenter's request to remove from this AD the requirement that repair approvals must specifically refer to this AD. We have revised paragraph (i)(2) of this AD accordingly.

    Since late 2006, we have included a standard paragraph titled “Airworthy Product” in all MCAI ADs in which the FAA develops an AD based on a foreign authority's AD. The MCAI or referenced service information in an FAA AD often directs the owner/operator to contact the manufacturer for corrective actions, such as a repair. Briefly, the Airworthy Product paragraph allowed owners/operators to use corrective actions provided by the manufacturer if those actions were FAA-approved. In addition, the paragraph stated that any actions approved by the State of Design Authority (or its delegated agent) are considered to be FAA-approved.

    In the NPRM (79 FR 7592, February 10, 2014), we proposed to prevent the use of repairs that were not specifically developed to correct the unsafe condition, by requiring that the repair approval provided by the State of Design Authority or its delegated agent specifically refer to this FAA AD. This change was intended to clarify the method of compliance and to provide operators with better visibility of repairs that are specifically developed and approved to correct the unsafe condition. In addition, we proposed to change the phrase “its delegated agent” to include “the Design Approval Holder (DAH) with a State of Design Authority's design organization approval (DOA)” to refer to a DAH authorized to approve required repairs for the AD.

    In its comments to the NPRM (79 FR 7592, February 10, 2014), UPS stated the following: “The proposed wording, being specific to repairs, eliminates the interpretation that Airbus messages are acceptable for approving minor deviations (corrective actions) needed during accomplishment of an AD mandated Airbus service bulletin.”

    This comment has made the FAA aware that some operators have misunderstood or misinterpreted the Airworthy Product paragraph to allow the owner/operator to use messages provided by the manufacturer as approval of deviations during the accomplishment of an AD-mandated action. The Airworthy Product paragraph does not approve messages or other information provided by the manufacturer for deviations to the requirements of the AD-mandated actions. The Airworthy Product paragraph only addresses the requirement to contact the manufacturer for corrective actions for the identified unsafe condition and does not cover deviations from other AD requirements. However, deviations to AD-required actions are addressed in 14 CFR 39.17, and anyone may request the approval for an alternative method of compliance to the AD-required actions using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.

    To address this misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Airworthy Product paragraph, we have changed that paragraph and retitled it “Contacting the Manufacturer.” This paragraph now clarifies that for any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the actions must be accomplished using a method approved by the FAA, EASA, or Airbus's EASA DOA.

    The Contacting the Manufacturer paragraph also clarifies that, if approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. The DOA signature indicates that the data and information contained in the document are EASA-approved, which is also FAA-approved. Messages and other information provided by the manufacturer that do not contain the DOA-authorized signature approval are not EASA-approved, unless EASA directly approves the manufacturer's message or other information.

    This clarification does not remove flexibility afforded previously by the Airworthy Product paragraph. Consistent with long-standing FAA policy, such flexibility was never intended for required actions. This is also consistent with the recommendation of the AD Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee to increase flexibility in complying with ADs by identifying those actions in manufacturers' service instructions that are “Required for Compliance” with ADs. We continue to work with manufacturers to implement this recommendation. But once we determine that an action is required, any deviation from the requirement must be approved as an alternative method of compliance.

    Other commenters to an NPRM having Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-101-AD (78 FR 78285, December 26, 2013) pointed out that in many cases the foreign manufacturer's service bulletin and the foreign authority's MCAI may have been issued some time before the FAA AD. Therefore, the DOA may have provided U.S. operators with an approved repair, developed with full awareness of the unsafe condition, before the FAA AD is issued. Under these circumstances, to comply with the FAA AD, the operator would be required to go back to the manufacturer's DOA and obtain a new approval document, adding time and expense to the compliance process with no safety benefit.

    Based on these comments, we removed the requirement from this AD that the DAH-provided repair specifically refer to this AD. Before adopting such a requirement in the future, the FAA will coordinate with affected DAHs and verify they are prepared to implement means to ensure that their repair approvals consider the unsafe condition addressed in an AD. Any such requirements will be adopted through the normal AD rulemaking process, including notice-and-comment procedures, when appropriate.

    We have also decided not to include a generic reference to either the “delegated agent” or the “DAH with State of Design Authority design organization approval,” but instead we will provide the specific delegation approval granted by the State of Design Authority for the DAH.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the available data, including the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 7592, February 10, 2014) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 7592, February 10, 2014).

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus issued Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012. The service information describes procedures for an inspection of the lower tail plane cut-out. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 5 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    The actions required by AD 98-13-23, Amendment 39-10614 (63 FR 34576, June 25, 1998), and retained in this AD take about 268 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Required parts cost about $0 per product. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that were required by AD 98-13-23 is $22,780 per product.

    We also estimate that it will take about 88 work-hours per product to comply with the new basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $37,400, or $7,480 per product per inspection cycle.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions will take about 155 work-hours and require parts costing $0, for a cost of $13,175 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this action.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

    1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0011; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 98-13-23, Amendment 39-10614 (63 FR 34576, June 25, 1998), and adding the following new AD: 2015-13-07 Airbus: Amendment 39-18194. Docket No. FAA-2014-0011; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-046-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective August 28, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 98-13-23, Amendment 39-10614 (63 FR 34576, June 25, 1998).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622 airplanes; Model A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes; Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes; and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes; certificated in any category; on which Airbus Modification 6146 has not been installed.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of cracking found at the lower corner of the horizontal stabilizer cutout longeron during a full scale fatigue test, and a determination that the risk of cracking is higher than initially determined. We are issuing this AD to prevent cracking of the lower horizontal stabilizer cutout longeron, the corner fitting, the skin strap, and the outer skin, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the horizontal-stabilizer cutout longeron.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Inspections and Corrective Actions

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), and (e) of AD 98-13-23, Amendment 39-10614 (63 FR 34576, June 25, 1998), with revised service information.

    (1) Prior to the accumulation of 18,000 total landings, or within 2,000 landings after July 30, 1998 (the effective date of AD 98-13-23, Amendment 39-10614 (63 FR 34576, June 25, 1998), whichever occurs later: Perform a visual and eddy current inspection to detect cracks and/or corrosion of Areas 1 and 2 of the lower horizontal stabilizer cutout longeron, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 1, dated February 20, 1995; or the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012, to do the actions required by this paragraph.

    (2) At the later of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(i) and (g)(2)(ii) of this AD: Perform a visual and an eddy current inspection to detect cracks and corrosion of Area 3 of the lower horizontal stabilizer cutout longeron, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 1, dated February 20, 1995; or the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012, to do the actions required by this paragraph.

    (i) Prior to the accumulation of 24,000 total landings, but not before the accumulation of 18,000 total landings; or

    (ii) Prior to the accumulation of 2,000 landings after July 30, 1998 (the effective date of AD 98-13-23, Amendment 39-10614 (63 FR 34576, June 25, 1998)).

    (3) If no cracking is detected during any inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD: Before further flight, cold work and ream the vacated fastener holes, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 1, dated February 20, 1995; or the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012; and perform the requirements of paragraph (g)(3)(i) or (g)(3)(ii) of this AD, as applicable. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012, to do the actions required by this paragraph.

    (i) For airplanes on which no cracking is found in Area 1 or 2: Repeat the inspections required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD thereafter at intervals not to exceed 6,000 flight cycles.

    (ii) For airplanes on which no cracking is found in Area 3: Perform the various follow-on actions in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 1, dated February 20, 1995; or the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012. (The follow-on actions include installing a new corner fitting, installing a new longeron, and performing a cold working procedure.) After accomplishment of these follow-on actions, no further action is required by this AD. After the effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012, to do the actions required by this paragraph.

    (4) If any cracking is detected during any inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, perform the requirements of paragraph (g)(4)(i) or (g)(4)(ii) of this AD, as applicable.

    (i) If any cracking is found in Area 1 or 3 that is within the limits specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 1, dated February 20, 1995; or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012: Before further flight, repair in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 1, dated February 20, 1995; or the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012, to do the actions required by this paragraph.

    (ii) If any cracking is found in Area 2, or if any cracking is found in any area and that cracking is beyond the limits described in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 1, dated February 20, 1995; or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012: Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

    (5) If any corrosion is detected during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, prior to further flight, repair the corrosion, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 1, dated February 20, 1995; or the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012, to do the actions required by this paragraph.

    (h) New Inspections

    At the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012, except as provided by paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(2) of this AD: Do the actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and (h)(3) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012. Repeat the inspections, thereafter, at the applicable intervals specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012. Doing the initial inspections required by paragraph (h) of this AD and applicable corrective actions required by paragraph (i) of this AD terminates the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (1) Do a general visual inspection for cracking and corrosion of the lower horizontal stabilizer cut-out longeron, the corner fitting, the skin strap, and the skin between frame (FR)87 and FR89 and between stringers (STGR)24 and STGR27, left- and right-hand sides.

    (2) Do a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for cracking of the flanges of the lower corner fittings and the edges of the outer skin and the edges of the longeron, the skin strap, and the skin at the run-out of the corner fitting above the last eight fasteners.

    (3) Do a rotating probe inspection for cracking of the fastener holes. If no cracking is found during the rotating probe inspection, before further flight, do a cold expansion of the fastener holes, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012.

    (i) New Corrective Actions

    (1) If any corrosion is found during any inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD, before further flight, repair, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012.

    (2) If any cracking is found during any inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD, before further flight, repair in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012, except where Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012, specifies to contact Airbus, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA, or Airbus's EASA DOA.

    (j) Exception

    (1) Where Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012, specifies a grace period of 1950 flight cycles or 4100 flight hours, this AD specifies the grace period after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) Where Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012, specifies a compliance time “after receipt of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (k) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for the corresponding actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 02, dated April 28, 1998, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for the corresponding actions required by paragraph (h)(3) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 1, dated February 20, 1995, which was incorporated by reference in AD 98-13-23, Amendment 39-10614 (63 FR 34576, June 25, 1998), and continues to be incorporated by reference in this AD; or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 02, dated April 28, 1998, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (l) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2125; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected].

    (i) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

    (ii) AMOCs approved for AD 98-13-23, Amendment 39-10614 (63 FR 34576, June 25, 1998), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding requirements of this AD.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: As of the effective date of this AD, for any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0048, dated March 4, 2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0011.

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference in this AD is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (n)(5) and (n)(6) of this AD.

    (n) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on August 28, 2015.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 03, dated August 30, 2012.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on July 30, 1998 (63 FR 34576, June 25, 1998).

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6042, Revision 1, dated February 20, 1995.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (5) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

    (6) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    (7) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 17, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17934 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2957; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-089-AD; Amendment 39-18218; AD 2015-15-09] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model 4101 airplanes. This AD requires a one-time inspection for damage of the stop arms of the stop plates, an adjustment of the electric trim limit switches, and replacement of the stop plates with newly manufactured stop plates if necessary. This AD was prompted by a report that the pitch trim jammed in the fully down position. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct broken stop arms of the stop plates, which could lead to the pitch trim jamming, loss of control of the elevator trim, and possible reduced control of the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective August 10, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 10, 2015.

    We must receive comments on this AD September 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this AD, contact BAE Systems (Operations) Limited, Customer Information Department, Prestwick International Airport, Ayrshire, KA9 2RW, Scotland, United Kingdom; telephone: +44 1292 675207; fax: +44 1292 675704; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.baesystems.com/Businesses/RegionalAircraft/index.htm. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-18218.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-18218; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1175; fax: 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2015-0099, dated June 3, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model 4101 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    An in-service event was reported of the Pitch Trim jammed in the fully down position. During the event, the trim circuit was adjusted fully nose down and the swaged stop on the trim cable passed beyond the stop plates. With gear down and the autopilot disconnected, the aeroplane pitched nose down and, even with the control column pulled fully back, the pilot was unable to prevent descent. The trim circuit was freed and control restored by the combined efforts of both pilots turning the trim handwheels, which forced the swaged stop on the trim cable back past the broken stop plates. The results of the technical investigation revealed that the pitch trim servo motor travel stops were incorrectly adjusted, allowing the servo motor to force contact of the swaged stop on the trim cable with the stop plates, and parts of the stop plates breaking off.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to loss of control of the elevator trim, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.

    To address this unsafe condition, BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd issued Inspection Service Bulletin (ISB) 27-068 to provide instructions to inspect and correct pitch trim servo motor travel stop adjustment and to install new stop plates made of improved (more robust) material.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time [detailed] inspection [for damage of the stop arms of the stop plates, an adjustment of the electric trim limit switches] to correct adjustment of the pitch trim servo motor travel stops to prevent the jam condition and, if damage [including broken stop arms of the stop plates] is found, replacement of the stop arms and plates.

    You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-18218. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    BAE Systems (Operations) Limited has issued Inspection Service Bulletin J41-27-068, dated January 21, 2014. The service information describes procedures for a one-time inspection for damage of the stop arms of the stop plates, an adjustment of the electric trim limit switches, and replacement of the stop plates with newly manufactured stop plates if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

    FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because a pitch trim that has jammed in the fully down position could lead to loss of control of the elevator trim, and possible reduced control of the airplane. Therefore, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in fewer than 30 days.

    Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-18218; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-089-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD based on those comments.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 15 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it will take about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $1,275, or $85 per product.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions will take about 1 work-hour and require parts costing $156, for a cost of $241 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

    1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-15-09 BAE Systems (Operations) Limited: Amendment 39-18218. Docket No. FAA-2015-2957; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-089-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective August 10, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model 4101 airplanes, certificated in any category, all serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight controls.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report that the pitch trim jammed in the fully down position due to incorrectly adjusted travel stops of the pitch trim servo motor, causing parts of the stop plates to break off and allowing the servo motor to force contact of the swaged stop on the trim cable with the stop plates. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct broken stop arms of the stop plates, which could lead to the pitch trim jamming, loss of control of the elevator trim, and possible reduced control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) One-Time Inspection

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD: Do a one-time detailed inspection for damage of the stop arms of the stop plates, and an adjustment of the electric trim limit switches, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Inspection Service Bulletin J41-27-068, dated January 21, 2014. If any damage is found, before further flight, replace the stop plate with a newly manufactured stop plate made of tufnol, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Inspection Service Bulletin J41-27-068, dated January 21, 2014.

    (h) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1175; fax: 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or BAE Systems (Operations) Limited's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (i) Related Information

    Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2015-0099, dated June 3, 2015, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2957.

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

    (i) BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Inspection Service Bulletin J41-27-068, dated January 21, 2014.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact BAE Systems (Operations) Limited, Customer Information Department, Prestwick International Airport, Ayrshire, KA9 2RW, Scotland, United Kingdom; telephone: +44 1292 675207; fax: +44 1292 675704; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.baesystems.com/Businesses/RegionalAircraft/index.htm.

    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 15, 2015. Suzanne Masterson, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17933 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0088; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-179-AD; Amendment 39-18217; AD 2015-15-08] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model BD-100-1A10 (Challenger 300) airplanes. This AD was prompted by testing of the spoiler electronic control unit (SECU) software for an upgrade, which revealed a timing error between the command and monitor channels. This AD requires revising the maintenance or inspection program to incorporate repetitive operational tests of the aileron disconnect system, and corrective action if necessary. This AD also requires modification and reidentification of the SECU, which would terminate the repetitive operational tests. We are issuing this AD to prevent a timing error in the SECU software, which, in combination with failure of the roll disconnect switch, could result in complete loss of spoiler functionality and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective August 28, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-0088 or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0088.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Assata Dessaline, Aerospace Engineer, Avionics and Service Branch, ANE-172, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7301; fax 516-794-5531.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Bombardier, Inc. Model BD-100-1A10 (Challenger 300) airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on February 18, 2015 (80 FR 8564).

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-24, dated August 5, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on certain Bombardier, Inc. Model BD-100-1A10 (Challenger 300) airplanes. The MCAI states:

    During testing of the software for an upgrade of the spoiler electronic control unit (SECU), a timing error between the Command and Monitor channels was found in the SECU software. This timing error, if not corrected, in combination with the failure of the roll disconnect switch, may lead to a complete loss of spoiler functionality and result in a reduction or complete loss of aeroplane roll control.

    This [Canadian] AD mandates the SECU software modification to correct the timing error and to change the inspection interval for a maintenance task based on System Functional Hazard Analysis [by revising the inspection or maintenance program].

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-0088-0002.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM (80 FR 8564, February 18, 2015) or on the determination of the cost to the public.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed, with minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 8564, February 18, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 8564, February 18, 2015).

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Bombardier, Inc. has issued Service Bulletin 100-27-16, dated October 31, 2013. The service information describes procedures for modification and reidentification of the SECU. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 107 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it takes up to 6 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be up to $54,570, or up to $510 per product.

    We have received no definitive data on the parts cost for doing the modification in this AD.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

    1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-0088; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): AD 2015-15-08 Bombardier, Inc.: Amendment 39-18217. Docket No. FAA-2015-0088; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-179-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective August 28, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model BD-100-1A10 (Challenger 300) airplanes, equipped with a spoiler electronic control unit (SECU) having part number (P/N) C47330-006, C47330-007, or C47330-008; certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight Controls.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by testing of the spoiler electronic control unit (SECU) software for an upgrade, which revealed a timing error between the command and monitor channels. We are issuing this AD to prevent a timing error in the SECU software, which, in combination with failure of the roll disconnect switch, could result in complete loss of spoiler functionality and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Revision of the Maintenance or Inspection Program

    Within 600 flight hours since the most recent operational test of the aileron disconnect system for spoiler functionality as of the effective date of this AD, or within 400 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate repetitive operational tests of the aileron disconnect system for spoiler functionality, and all applicable corrective actions, using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA.

    Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD:

    Guidance on operational tests of the aileron disconnect system can be found in the Bombardier Inc., BD-100-1A10 Time Limits/Maintenance Checks (TLMC) Manual.

    (h) Modification of the SECU

    Within 1,600 flight hours or 48 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Modify and re-identify the SECU, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 100-27-16, dated October 31, 2013. Doing the actions required by this paragraph terminates the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (i) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install an SECU, P/N C47330-006, C47330-007, or C47330-008, on any airplane.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the ACO, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO. If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

    (k) Related Information

    Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-24, dated August 5, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2015-0088-0002.

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

    (i) Bombardier Service Bulletin 100-27-16, dated October 31, 2013.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com.

    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 15, 2015. Suzanne Masterson, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17937 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-1052; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-140-AD; Amendment 39-18210; AD 2015-15-01] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2004-13-02, which applied to certain The Boeing Company Model 747-100, -200B, and -200F series airplanes. AD 2004-13-02 required repetitive inspections to find discrepancies in the upper and lower skins of the fuselage lap joints, and repair if necessary. This new AD adds post-repair inspections for cracking and corrosion, and repair if necessary; structural modification at the lap joints; and post-modification inspections for cracking and corrosion, and repair if necessary. This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) that indicates the longitudinal lap joints are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). The actions mandated by this AD are necessary to reach the limit of validity (LOV). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking in the upper and lower skins of the fuselage lap joints, which could result in sudden fracture and failure of a lap joint and rapid in-flight decompression of the airplane fuselage.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective August 28, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-1052.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-1052; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bill Ashforth, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6432; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2004-13-02, Amendment 39-13682 (69 FR 35237, June 24, 2004). AD 2004-13-02 applied to certain The Boeing Company Model 747-100, -200B, and -200F series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on January 23, 2015 (80 FR 3506). The NPRM was prompted by an evaluation by the DAH that indicates the longitudinal lap joints are subject to WFD. A structural modification at the lap joint, and post-modification repetitive inspections of the skin, existing internal doubler, or splice strap for cracks, and corrective actions if necessary, are necessary to reach the limit of validity (LOV). The NPRM proposed to continue to require repetitive inspections to find discrepancies in the upper and lower skins of the fuselage lap joints, and repair if necessary; and to add post-repair inspections for cracking and corrosion, and repair if necessary; structural modification at the lap joints; and post-modification inspections for cracking and corrosion, and repair if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking in the upper and lower skins of the fuselage lap joints, which could result in sudden fracture and failure of a lap joint and rapid in-flight decompression of the airplane fuselage.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (80 FR 3506, January 23, 2015) and the FAA's response to each comment.

    Support for the NPRM (80 FR 3506, January 23, 2015)

    Boeing stated that it concurs with the content of the proposed rule (80 FR 3506, January 23, 2015).

    Request To Increase Inspection Frequency for Certain Airplanes

    An anonymous commenter expressed an opinion that there may be more reason to check airplanes that are frequently pressurized to a greater than 2.0 per-square-inch (psi) range than those that are not pressurized to that extent. The commenter also asked if there should be a weighted system that requires inspections sooner if an airplane has proportionally more flight cycles in the greater-than-, rather than the less-than, 2.0-psi differentials.

    We do not agree with the commenter's request for different inspection intervals based on pressurization ranges. The proposed inspection intervals were based on airplanes flying in a normal condition, which included full pressurization. In the past, if an operator had documentation substantiating flight cycles of less than 2.0 psi, some of the inspection requirements could be reduced. This reduced inspection requirement was relieving in nature and occurred roughly 10 years ago. We have since determined that fleet findings did not support this relief and have disallowed reduced inspection requirements in future ADs. We have not provided this relief in this AD. We have not changed this final rule in this regard.

    Request To Increase WFD Rule Applicability

    An anonymous commenter requested a reason why the WFD regulation applies only to Boeing and not to any other airplane manufacturer. The commenter stated that it seems like this type of WFD would be present in more than just Boeing airplanes, and yet the regulation and requirement for inspection seems to single out Boeing. The commenter suggested that it would make sense to consolidate and apply these requirements equally over all the types of airplanes.

    We do not agree with the commenter's request. On May 24, 2012, we made effective Amendment 26-6 of 14 CFR 26.21, “Limit of Validity,” of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 26.21). This regulation required all design approval holders (DAHs) to develop an LOV for affected airplanes, which affected several manufacturers and models (not exclusively Boeing). The LOV is established by means of engineering data that support the structural maintenance program that corresponds to the period of time, stated as a number of total accumulated flight cycles or flight hours or both, during which it is demonstrated that WFD will not occur in the airplane. We have not changed this final rule in this regard.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 3506, January 23, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 3506, January 23, 2015).

    We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014. The service information describes procedures for inspections and repairs of cracks and corrosion in the skin at lap joints in the fuselage. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 2 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspections [actions retained from AD 2004-13-02, Amendment 39-13682 (69 FR 35237, June 24, 2004)] 5,628 work-hours × $85 per hour = $478,380 per inspection cycle $0 $478,380 per inspection cycle $956,760 per inspection cycle. Modification [new action] Up to 3,764 work-hours × $85 per hour = $319,940 $0 Up to $319,940 Up to $639,880. Post-modification/post-repair inspections [new action] Up to 3,764 work-hours × $85 per hour = $319,940 per inspection cycle $0 Up to $319,940 per inspection cycle Up to $639,880 per inspection cycle.

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this AD.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2004-13-02, Amendment 39-13682 (69 FR 35237, June 24, 2004), and adding the following new AD: 2015-15-01 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18210; Docket No. FAA-2014-1052; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-140-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective August 28, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2004-13-02, Amendment 39-13682 (69 FR 35237, June 24, 2004).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 747-100, -200B, and -200F series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) that indicates the longitudinal lap joints are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking in the upper and lower skins of the fuselage lap joints, which could result in sudden fracture and failure of a lap joint and rapid in-flight decompression of the airplane fuselage.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspections for Corrosion, and Corrective Actions

    For airplanes identified as Groups 2 through 14 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014: Except as provided by paragraph (l)(3) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014, do an external low frequency eddy current inspection for corrosion at the upper row of fasteners in the lap joint, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (l)(1) of this AD. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the inspection at the upper row of fasteners in the lap joint thereafter at the applicable intervals specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (l)(3) of this AD. Accomplishment of a structural modification in accordance with Part 5 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (l)(1) of this AD, terminates the inspection requirements of this paragraph in the area of the modification only. The actions required by paragraph (j) of this AD are still applicable in the area of the modification.

    (h) Inspections for Cracking, and Corrective Actions

    For airplanes identified as Groups 2 through 14 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014: Except as provided by paragraph (l)(3) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014, do an internal medium frequency eddy current inspection for skin cracks at the lower row of fasteners in the lap joint, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (l)(1) of this AD. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the inspection at the lower row of fasteners in the lap joint thereafter at the applicable intervals specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (l)(3) of this AD. Accomplishment of a structural modification in accordance with Part 5 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (l)(1) of this AD, terminates the inspection requirements of this paragraph in the area of the modification only. The actions required by paragraph (j) of this AD are still applicable in the area of the modification.

    (i) Structural Modification

    For airplanes identified as Groups 2 through 14 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014: At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (l)(2) of this AD, do a structural modification at the lap joints, and all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (l)(1) of this AD. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Accomplishment of the structural modification required by this paragraph terminates the inspections required by paragraphs (g), (h), and (k) of this AD in the area of the modification only. The actions required by paragraph (j) of this AD are still applicable in the area of the modification.

    (j) Post-Modification Inspections and Corrective Actions

    For airplanes on which the actions required by paragraph (i) of this AD have been done: At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (l)(2) of this AD, do an internal high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for cracks of the skin or existing internal doublers, and an open-hole HFEC inspection for splice strap cracks, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014. If any cracking is found, before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (n) of this AD. Repeat the inspections of the skin, internal doublers, and splice straps thereafter at the applicable intervals specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014.

    (k) Post-Repair Inspections and Corrective Actions

    For airplanes with any new or existing external doubler repair accomplished at a lap joint and the repair doubler length is 40 inches or longer: At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (l)(2) of this AD, do an internal HFEC inspection for cracking or corrosion of the repairs, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (l)(1) of this AD. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the inspection of external doubler repairs accomplished at lap joints thereafter at the applicable intervals specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014. Accomplishment of a structural modification in accordance with Part 5 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (l)(1) of this AD, terminates the inspection requirements of this paragraph in the area of the modification only. The actions required by paragraph (j) of this AD are still applicable in the area of the modification.

    (l) Exceptions

    (1) If, during any action required by this AD, Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014, specifies to contact Boeing for an inspection or modification procedure, or repair instructions: Before further flight, do the inspection, or modification, or repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (n) of this AD.

    (2) Where Paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014, specifies a compliance time “after the Revision 2 date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (3) For the compliance threshold and repetitive interval calculations for inspections required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, the provisions specified in paragraphs (l)(3)(i) and (l)(3)(ii) of this AD apply regarding differential pressure.

    (i) For inspections done before the effective date of this AD: Flight cycles in which the cabin differential pressure was at 2.0 pounds-per-square-inch (psi) or less need not be counted in the flight-cycle determination, provided that flight cycles with momentary spikes in cabin differential pressure above 2.0 psi were included as full pressure flight cycles. For this provision to apply, all cabin pressure records must have been maintained for each airplane. No fleet-averaging of cabin pressure is allowed.

    (ii) For inspections done on or after the effective date of this AD: All flight cycles must be counted, regardless of differential pressure.

    (m) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the service information identified in paragraph (m)(1) or (m)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, dated March 7, 2002, including Appendices A, B, and C, dated March 7, 2002, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2004-13-02, Amendment 39-13682 (69 FR 35237, June 24, 2004).

    (2) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 1, dated April 16, 2009, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (n) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (o)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair required by this AD, if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (4) AMOCs approved for AD 2004-13-02, Amendment 39-13682 (69 FR 35237, June 24, 2004), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD.

    (o) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Bill Ashforth, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6432; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (p)(3) and (p)(4) of this AD.

    (p) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2463, Revision 2, dated June 16, 2014.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For Boeing service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 10, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17978 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Parts 2 and 157 [Docket No. RM12-11-003; Order No. 790-B] Revisions to Auxiliary Installations, Replacement Facilities, and Siting and Maintenance Regulations AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule, order on clarification.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is amending its regulations to: Provide pre-granted authority under a new paragraph to abandon or replace auxiliary facilities, subject to certain conditions; permit auxiliary facilities that cannot meet the conditions for the pre-granted abandonment authority in the new paragraph to be abandoned under the blanket certificate regulations, subject to those regulations' requirements; and permit replacement facilities constructed under the regulations to be abandoned under the blanket certificate regulations, subject to those regulations' requirements.

    DATES:

    This rule will become effective October 7, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Katherine Liberty, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6491, [email protected] Gordon Wagner, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8947, [email protected] Howard Wheeler, Office of Energy Projects, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8688, [email protected] Shannon Jones, Office of Energy Projects, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6410, [email protected]
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    ORDER NO. 790-B Table of Contents Paragraph Nos. I. Discussion 4 A. Section 2.55(a) Auxiliary Facilities 9 B. Section 2.55(b) Replacements 14 II. Information Collection Statement 18 III. Environmental Analysis 23 IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act 24 V. Document Availability 26 VI. Effective Date and Congressional Notification 29 Order No. 790-B Final Rule Order on Rehearing and Clarification

    1. On November 20, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) issued Order No. 790-A,1 which affirmed, inter alia, the Commission's clarification in Order No. 790 2 that auxiliary facilities installed under section 2.55(a) of the Commission's regulations 3 may only utilize rights-of-way, facility sites, and work spaces authorized for the construction and operation of interstate transmission facilities.

    1Revisions to Auxiliary Installations, Replacement Facilities, and Siting and Maintenance Regulations, Order No. 790-A, 79 FR 70056 (Nov. 25, 2014), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,361 (2014) (cross-referenced at 149 FERC ¶ 61,144 (2014)).

    2 Order No. 790, 78 FR 72794-801 (Dec. 4, 2013), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,351 (2013) (cross-referenced at 145 FERC ¶ 61,154 (2013)).

    3 18 CFR 2.55 (2014).

    2. On December 22, 2014, National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation and Empire Pipeline, Inc. (collectively, National Fuel) filed a request that the Commission revise its part 157, subpart F, blanket certificate regulations to provide a mechanism under those regulations for the abandonment of auxiliary facilities that were constructed under section 2.55(a) and replacement facilities that were constructed under section 2.55(b). National Fuel also requests clarification that in addition to authorizing new auxiliary installations, section 2.55(a) also authorizes the replacement of existing auxiliary facilities without the need for abandonment authority under section 7(b) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA).

    3. As discussed below, this order responds to National Fuel's requests by (1) adopting a new subsection 2.55(a)(3) to provide pre-granted authority to abandon or replace auxiliary facilities, subject to certain conditions; (2) amending part 157 to provide authority, subject to the blanket certificate regulations' conditions, to abandon section 2.55(a) auxiliary facilities that cannot meet the conditions for the pre-granted abandonment authority being added to section 2.55(a) and to abandon section 2.55(b) replacement facilities.

    I. Discussion

    4. In Order No. 790-A, the Commission explained that section 2.55 facilities are installed under the certificate authority that authorized the interstate transmission pipeline facilities being augmented or replaced. The Commission further explained that because section 2.55 auxiliary and replacement facilities are certificated facilities, a company needs prior authorization under NGA section 7(b) to abandon such facilities. The Commission stated that in many instances companies should be able to rely on their part 157, subpart F, blanket certificate authority to abandon section 2.55 facilities. In view of this statement, National Fuel believes it is the Commission's intent that companies be able to rely on their part 157 blanket certificate authority to abandon facilities installed under section 2.55.

    5. National Fuel points out, however, that section 157.202(b)(3) of the blanket certificate regulations states that a “facility” for purposes of the blanket program does not include a facility “described under section 2.55,” and that section 157.216 states that blanket certificate abandonment authority is limited to facilities that “did or could now qualify” for construction authorization under the blanket provisions. National Fuel therefore requests that the Commission revise its blanket certificate regulations to ensure that companies will be able to rely on part 157 blanket certificate authority to abandon section 2.55 auxiliary and replacement facilities. National Fuel stresses that without clear blanket certificate authority to abandon section 2.55 facilities that did or could now qualify for construction authorization under the blanket provisions, companies will be subject to the burden of having to file an NGA section 7(b) application for abandonment authorization for each individual facility.

    6. In view of the Commission's statement in Order No. 790-A that NGA section 7(b) authority is required for the abandonment of section 2.55 facilities, National Fuel also seeks clarification on whether section 7(b) abandonment authority is needed to retire an auxiliary facility that is being replaced.

    7. The Commission affirms its statement in Order No. 790-A that NGA section 7(b) authority is required for the abandonment of section 2.55 facilities, which includes the retirement of section 2.55 facilities that will be replaced. However, for the reasons discussed below, the Commission believes section 2.55(a) can be amended to include pre-granted authority to abandon section 2.55 facilities in certain situations and agrees that the blanket certificate regulations should be amended so that companies can rely on their blanket certificate authority to abandon auxiliary and replacement facilities that were or could have been constructed under section 2.55, provided the abandonment facilities meet the blanket program criteria.

    8. Therefore, the Commission will amend: (1) Section 2.55(a) to provide pre-granted authorization to retire auxiliary facilities that are being replaced or permanently abandon the auxiliary facilities if there will be no need to go outside an authorized right-of-way, facility site, or work space,4 and (2) part 157, subpart F, to permit the use of blanket certificate authority, subject to the blanket program's conditions, to abandon section 2.55(a) auxiliary facilities if a company is unable to exercise the new pre-granted abandonment authority in section 2.55(a)(3) and to abandon section 2.55(b) replacement facilities.5 In view of the revisions and additions to section 2.55 since its original provisions were proposed in 1948,6 the Commission also is changing the current heading for section 2.55, “Definition of terms used in section 7(c).” The revised heading for section 2.55 will read “Auxiliary installations and replacement facilities.”

    4 As the Commission has previously explained in this rulemaking proceeding, the certificate authority for section 2.55 auxiliary and replacement facilities is a type of blanket certificate that was both a precursor of and a complement to part 157, subpart F, blanket certificate authority. Order No. 790, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,351 at P 16; Order No. 790-A, ¶ 31,361 at P 13. However, unlike activities under section 2.55, which must comply with previously established environmental conditions, activities under part 157 that will involve ground disturbance or change operational air or noise emissions are subject to a project-specific environmental review in order to comply with the conditions in section 157.206(b). Because of this safeguard, blanket projects are permitted to use new rights-of-way and other previously undisturbed areas. In addition, environmental assessment reports are prepared for companies' larger-scale blanket projects to confirm that section 157.206(b)'s standard conditions will be adequate to ensure that the blanket project will have no significant adverse environmental impacts.

    5 As discussed herein, section 2.55 facilities are jurisdictional, and therefore cannot be abandoned without prior authorization under NGA section 7(b). While the certificate authorization for the transmission facilities being augmented or replaced by section 2.55 facilities is the predicate for the certificate authority to construct section 2.55 facilities, the underlying certificate authorization does not include pre-granted abandonment authority. Note that although a company cannot abandon a newer facility which replaces an older facility without first securing authorization to do so, section 2.55(b) operates to provide pre-granted authority for the older facility. This final rule's regulatory changes are prospective only, and therefore do not operate to retroactively authorize any previous abandonments of section 2.55 facilities. However, consistent with the Commission's prior assurances in this proceeding regarding instances where companies may have mistakenly relied on section 2.55 to install auxiliary facilities that utilized new rights-of-way or other areas that had not been subject to the Commission's prior environmental review and approval, the Commission similarly does not intend to look back to pursue enforcement action with respect to earlier abandonments of auxiliary facilities unless it comes to the Commission's attention that remedial environmental measures need to be taken. See Order No. 790-A at P 42.

    6Filing of Applications for Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, NOPR, 13 FR 6253, at 6254 (October 23, 1948).

    A. Section 2.55(a) Auxiliary Facilities

    9. Auxiliary installations under section 2.55(a) are limited to facilities that will serve “only for the purpose of obtaining more efficient operation or more economical operation of the authorized or proposed transmission facilities” (emphasis added).7 Further, to add an auxiliary facility to a transmission pipeline system, a company cannot rely on section 2.55(a) unless its activities are confined to the permanent right-of-way, facility site, and temporary work space surveyed and authorized by the Commission in its environmental review of the transmission system.8 In addition, because section 2.55 facilities are constructed and operated under the certificate authorization for the transmission facilities being augmented or replaced, section 2.55 activities must not result in a violation of any environmental conditions applicable to the certificate authorizing the transmission facilities. Therefore, to install auxiliary facilities under section 2.55(a), a company must:

    7 As examples of auxiliary facilities that serve only to make pipeline operation more efficient or economical, section 2.55(a) lists “[v]alves; drips; pig launchers/receivers; yard and station piping; cathodic protection equipment; gas cleaning, cooling and dehydration equipment; residual refining equipment; water pumping, treatment and cooling equipment; electrical and communication equipment; and buildings.”

    8 The Commission acknowledged in Order No. 790 that it was not aware of any section 2.55(a) auxiliary installation activities outside authorized areas that approached the scale of certain section 2.55(b) replacement activities that had taken place outside authorized areas. However, as the Commission explained, section 2.55(a) auxiliary installations also must be restricted to previously authorized areas because “the issues raised for sections 2.55(a) and (b) activities are the same.” Order No. 790, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,351 at P 20 (footnotes omitted).

    conform to the conditions of the certificate authorizing construction of the transmission facilities (e.g., all required mitigation measures, such as erosion control or revegetation protocols, that applied to the case-specific certificate or Part 157 blanket certificate authority under which the transmission facilities were constructed).9

    9 Order No. 790, FERC Stats. & ¶ 31,351 at P 33.

    10. The Commission believes these limitations will be sufficient to obviate the need for further environmental review if section 2.55(a) is amended to include pre-granted authority for companies to abandon, or to retire and replace, auxiliary facilities “as described in section 2.55(a),” regardless of whether the facilities to be abandoned or replaced were installed under section 2.55. Therefore, the Commission will add a new paragraph to section 2.55(a)(3) to provide pre-granted authority to abandon or replace auxiliary facilities if the auxiliary facilities were or could have been installed under section 2.55(a) 10 and all activities are confined to areas previously reviewed and approved by the Commission in conjunction with its authorization of the augmented transmission facilities.

    10 Note that auxiliary facilities installed under case-specific or blanket certificate authority can also qualify for the pre-granted authority under section 2.55(a)(3) if such facilities comply with the section 2.55 spatial constraints.

    11. Auxiliary facilities, by definition, serve exclusively to enhance the efficiency or economy of the operation of a transmission system; thus, the abandonment or replacement of auxiliary facilities should not result in a reduction or abandonment of service supplied by that system.11 Nevertheless, the abandonment or replacement of auxiliary facilities under new section 2.55(a)(3) will be authorized only if there will be no adverse impact on customers' certificated services.12

    11 Because section 2.55(b) provides authority to abandon the existing facilities being replaced under that subsection, section 2.55(b)(1)(i) provides that a replacement project is authorized only if the abandonment of the existing facilities “will not result in a reduction or abandonment of service.”

    12 The pre-granted abandonment authority provided by new subsection 2.55(a)(3) will satisfy the requirement set forth in NGA section 7(b) that “no natural-gas company shall abandon all or any portion of its facilities subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission, or any service rendered by means of such facilities, without the permission and approval of the Commission first had and obtained.”

    12. Further, like the section 2.55(a) authority to install auxiliary facilities, the new section 2.55(a)(3) pre-granted authority will be available only if a company's abandonment or replacement activities will not result in a violation of the conditions on the certificate authorizing the augmented transmission facilities, in particular, the environmental mitigation conditions. For example, if the auxiliary facilities a company plans to abandon or replace are cathodic protection equipment located in a pipeline right-of-way, the case-specific or part 157 blanket certificate authorization for construction of the pipeline generally would have been conditioned on the company's compliance with an Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan13 and Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures. 14 Just as the company would have been required to ensure compliance with these environmental certificate conditions to install the cathodic equipment under section 2.55(a), the company will need to similarly ensure that any exercise of the new section 2.55(a)(3) authority to abandon or replace the cathodic protection equipment will also comply with these environmental certificate conditions.15

    13See http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/plan.pdf.

    14See http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/procedures.pdf.

    15 A company should seek guidance from staff if it is uncertain whether or how an environmental mitigation condition on the construction and operation of transmission facilities at a given location will apply to its abandonment of auxiliary facilities.

    B. Section 2.55(b) Replacements

    13. Replacements under section 2.55(b), like auxiliary facility activities under section 2.55(a), are restricted to areas previously subject to the Commission's environmental review and approval.16 Also, replacements under section 2.55(b), like auxiliary facility activities under section 2.55(a), must conform to the conditions on the case-specific or part 157 blanket certificate authorization of the affected transmission facilities.

    16 As the Commission explained in Order No. 790, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,351 at P 15, “[i]n the case of section 2.55(b) replacement facilities, an environmental review was performed prior to construction of the existing facilities to be replaced.”

    14. As discussed earlier in this proceeding, replacement projects under section 2.55(b) can be much larger in scale than auxiliary installations under section 2.55(a).17 Further, section 2.55(b) can be used without prior notice to the Commission and shippers for replacing facilities upon which existing services are dependent,18 necessitating section 2.55(b)(1)(i)'s condition limiting replacement projects to situations where companies can ensure that the abandonment of existing facilities will not result in a reduction or cessation of service. In view of these considerations, even though activities under section 2.55 are restricted to areas subject to the Commission's prior environmental review and approval, the Commission cannot find, as it has above for section 2.55(a) auxiliary facilities, that it would be consistent with the public interest to provide pre-granted authority to abandon section 2.55(b) replacement facilities. However, abandonment authority for section 2.55(b) replacements can be provided under section 157.216 of the part 157 blanket certificate regulations, since blanket abandonments provide for environmental review.19 In addition, the blanket provisions afford an opportunity for public input under the prior notice provisions applicable to larger abandonment projects and also require that a company be able to demonstrate the facility it is planning to abandon (be it original or a replacement) is no longer needed to meet its service obligations.20

    17Id. at P 39. The Commission has explained the original intent for section 2.55(b) as follows:

    The types of construction activities being conducted under section 2.55 are replacements that should only involve basic maintenance or repair to relatively minor facilities where the Commission has determined that no significant impact to the environment will occur. The Commission believes that the existing right-of-way that was used to construct the original facilities should be sufficient for these types of activities. Pipelines may use their blanket certificate authority to perform projects involving more extensive work that would need additional workspace, including the use of other unrelated rights-of-way. This would allow for the required additional environmental scrutiny. Therefore, those projects should be done under the pipeline's blanket certificate.

    Id. at P 7, citing Order No. 603-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,081 at 31,922 (1999).

    18 The only notice requirement applicable to replacements under section 2.55(b) is the requirement that a company give the Commission at least 30 days prior notice if the cost of a replacement project will exceed the blanket certificate regulations' current automatic cost limit. See section 2.55(b)(1)(iii) and (2). There is no public notice requirement under section 2.55(a).

    19 In general, a facility is replaced as it approaches the end of its useful life, a lifespan which may be measured in decades for cathodically protected pipeline. Given this lifespan, by the time a replaced facility reaches the end of its useful life, there may have been changes in the use of land proximate to the replaced facility that were not contemplated in the Commission's review of the initial project proposal, and thus not accounted for in the certificate conditions. Accordingly, the Commission finds it prudent to revisit potential environmental impacts prior to the abandonment of certain replaced facilities.

    20 Even when a company obtains written consent from all customers whose services during the last year depended on the facilities to be abandoned under section 157.216, the abandonment is subject to the blanket certificate regulations' prior notice provisions if the current cost of constructing the facilities to be abandoned would exceed the blanket certificate regulations' current automatic cost limit. 18 CFR 157.216(b)(2) (2014).

    15. National Fuel observes that section 157.202(b)(3) states that a “facility,” for the purposes of the blanket program, “does not include the items described” in section 2.55, and section 157.216 states that the blanket abandonment authority described in that section is limited to facilities that “did or could now qualify” for construction under the blanket certificate regulations. Because these sections operate to exclude the items described in section 2.55 from eligibility for blanket certificate abandonment authorization, we will revise the blanket certificate regulations to allow companies to use the automatic and prior notice provisions of section 157.216 to abandon (1) replacement facilities that were or could have been constructed under section 2.55(b); and (2) auxiliary facilities that cannot be abandoned under new subsection 2.55(a)(3)'s pre-granted authority because their abandonment will require going out outside areas previously reviewed and approved by the Commission in authorizing the augmented transmission facilities.

    16. As a result of these revisions to the blanket certificate regulations, a company will need to file an application for case-specific authority to abandon section 2.55 facilities only when the abandonment cannot qualify under the automatic or prior notice provisions of section 157.216 because the current cost to construct the facilities would exceed the blanket regulations' applicable cost limits, or because the company cannot obtain necessary customer consent as required by section 157.216, or because the project cannot satisfy the section 157.206(b)'s environmental requirements.21

    21 When a company relies on the automatic or prior notice provisions of section 157.216 to abandon a section 2.55 auxiliary or replacement facility, it will have to identify the abandonment in accordance with section 157.216(d) in the annual report of blanket certificate activities required by section 157.207. Section 157.216(d)(2) requires facilities abandoned under that section to be identified in a company's annual report by the “docket number(s) of the certificate(s) authorizing the construction and operation of the facilities to be abandoned.” Since the Commission does not assign docket numbers to facilities put in place under section 2.55, companies' annual reports of blanket certificate activities should identify the docket number(s) associated with the transmission facilities that were augmented or replaced by the section 2.55 facilities abandoned under section 157.216. If section 2.55 facilities are abandoned under section 157.216's prior notice provisions, the company's annual report should also include the docket number that was assigned to its prior notice filing.

    II. Information Collection Statement

    17. The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) 22 requires each federal agency to seek and obtain Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval before undertaking a collection of information directed to ten or more persons or contained in a rule of general applicability.23 The OMB regulations implementing the PRA require approval of certain information collection requirements imposed by agency rules.24 We expect a net decrease in the reporting burden due to this rule's amendment of section 2.55(a) to provide pre-granted authority for companies to abandon or replace auxiliary facilities and amendment of the part 157 regulations to extend blanket certificate authority to the abandonment of certain section 2.55 auxiliary and replacement facilities. Companies must identify facilities abandoned under section 157.216 in the annual report submitted pursuant to section 157.207. While the expanded authority this rule provides under section 156.216 can be expected to increase the number of facilities abandoned under that section, companies can be expected to account for these additional facilities in the annual report with minimal, ministerial efforts. Consequently, this rule will substantially reduce current burdens on companies by eliminating the additional information that would otherwise need to be submitted in an NGA section 7(b) case-specific abandonment application.25

    22 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520 (2012).

    23 OMB's regulations provide at 5 CFR 1320.3(c)(4)(i) (2014) that “[a]ny recordkeeping, reporting, or disclosure requirement contained in a rule of general applicability is deemed to involve ten or more persons.”

    24 5 CFR part 1320 (2014).

    25 FERC-537 (Gas Pipeline Certificates: Construction, Acquisition and Abandonment, OMB Control No. 1902-0060) covers both the abandonment application requirements of part 157 and the annual reports under 18 CFR 157.207. The expanded part 157 abandonment authority, as well as the new section 2.55(a)(3) pre-granted authority to abandon and replace auxiliary facilities, will be covered under FERC-537.

    18. The Commission solicits 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 burden estimates are for implementing the information collection requirements of this Final Rule. The Commission asks that any revised burden estimates submitted by commenters include the details and assumptions used to generate the estimates.

    19. The collection of information modified by this Final Rule falls under FERC-537 (Gas Pipeline Certificates: Construction, Acquisition, and Abandonment). The following estimates of reporting burden are related only to this Final Rule. Public Reporting Burden: The estimated average annual burden changes made in Docket RM12-11-003 follow.

    26 The estimates for cost per response are derived using the following formula: Average Burden Hours per Response × $72 per Hour = Average Cost per Response. The cost per hour figure is the FERC average salary plus benefits for Fiscal Year 2015. Subject matter experts found that industry employment costs closely resemble FERC's regarding the FERC-537 information collection.

    RM12-11-003 Final Rule Number of respondents Number of responses per
  • respondent
  • Average burden hours per response Total annual burden hours Total annual cost
    (1) (2) (3) (1)×(2)×(3) ($) 26 FERC-537 Pre-Granted Auxiliary Approval (18 CFR 2.55) 3 1 5 15 $1,080 Additional Blanket Certificate Abandonment Applications 2 1 25 50 3,600 Eliminated Blanket Certificate Abandonment Applications −3 1 25 −75 −5,400 Eliminated Case-Specific Abandonment Applications −2 1 160 −320 −23,040 Net Change due to RM12-11-003 −330 −23,760

    Title: FERC-537 (Gas Pipeline Certificates: Construction, Acquisition and Abandonment)

    Action: Proposed revisions to information collection

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0060.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit enterprise (Natural Gas Companies).

    Frequency of Responses: Ongoing and annual.

    Necessity of Information and Internal Review: The Commission has determined that the proposed revisions are necessary to establish more efficient means to abandon auxiliary and replacement facilities. These requirements conform to the Commission's plan for efficient information collection, communication, and management within the natural gas 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 abandonment requirements.

    20. 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].

    21. Comments concerning the collection of information and the associated burden estimate should be sent 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, telephone: (202) 395-0710, fax: (202) 395-4718]. For security reasons, comments to OMB should be submitted by email to: [email protected] Comments submitted to OMB should include OMB Control Number 1902-0060 (FERC-537).

    III. Environmental Analysis

    22. 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. The Commission has categorically excluded certain actions from these requirements as not having a significant effect on the human environment. Generally, the regulatory actions taken in this rulemaking proceeding fall within the categorical exclusions in the Commission's regulations for actions that are clarifying, corrective, or procedural, and for information gathering, analysis, and dissemination. Although this rule alters the procedures by which companies may obtain abandonment authorization for certain types of facilities, it will not result in any additional abandonment activities and therefore will not have a significant adverse effect on the human environment. Accordingly, an environmental review is not necessary and has not been prepared in connection with this rulemaking.

    IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    23. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) generally requires a description and analysis of agency rules that will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The RFA mandates consideration of regulatory alternatives that accomplish the stated objectives of a proposed rule and that minimize any significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The SBA Office of Size Standards develops the numerical definition of a small business. The SBA has established a size standard for companies transporting natural gas, stating that a firm is small if its annual receipts (and the receipts of its affiliates) are less than or equal to $27.5 million.27

    27 See 13 CFR 121.201 for Subsector 486, NAICS code 486210 (Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas).

    24. The final rule provides less burdensome and less costly options for specified natural gas companies, the majority of which are not small businesses. The reporting requirements, which provide pre-granted abandonment authority under certain conditions and clarify the regulations, will reduce the burden and cost on those companies (large or small). The Commission estimates that an average of five projects per year will benefit from the less burdensome, streamlined requirements. Three of those five projects are expected to save $1,440 each, by using the new pre-granted approval in 18 CFR 2.55 (rather than the more burdensome blanket certificate abandonment application). In addition, two of those five filers are expected to save $9,720 each, by using the additional blanket certificate applications (rather than the case-specific abandonment applications). Accordingly, the Commission certifies that this Final Rule should not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    V. Document Availability

    25. 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 FERC's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in FERC'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.

    26. From FERC'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 excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field.

    27. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the FERC's Web site during normal business hours from FERC 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]

    VI. Effective Date and Congressional Notification

    28. These regulations are effective October 7, 2015. The Commission has determined, with the concurrence of the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, that this rule is not a “major rule” as defined in section 351 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This final rule is being submitted to the Senate, House of Representatives, Government Accountability Office, and Small Business Administration.

    List of Subjects 18 CFR Part 2

    Administrative practice and procedure, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    18 CFR Part 157

    Administrative practice and procedure, Natural gas, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    By the Commission.

    Issued: July 16, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Commission amends parts 2 and 157, chapter I, title 18, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

    PART 2—GENERAL POLICY AND INTERPRETATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 601; 15 U.S.C. 717-717z, 3301-3432; 16 U.S.C. 792-828c, 2601-2645, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4370h, 7101-7352.

    2. Amend § 2.55 by revising the section heading and adding paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:
    § 2.55 Auxiliary installations and replacement facilities.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Abandonment or replacement of auxiliary installations. Authorization to abandon or replace auxiliary facilities that were or could be installed under paragraph (a)(1) of this section is pre-granted under section 7(b) of the Natural Gas Act, and no reporting is required, provided that:

    (i) All activities will be confined to areas, including temporary work space, previously authorized by the Commission for the construction and operation of facilities at that location;

    (ii) All activities will comply with applicable conditions on certificate authorizations for the construction and operation of facilities at that location; and

    (iii) The abandonment or replacement will have no adverse impact on customers' certificated services.

    PART 157—APPLICATIONS FOR CERTIFICATES OF PUBLIC CONVENIENCE AND NECESSITY AND FOR ORDERS PREMITTING AND APPROVING ABANDONMENT UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE NATURAL GAS ACT 3. The authority citation for part 157 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 717-717z.

    4. Amend § 157.202 by adding a sentence at the end of paragraph (b)(2)(i) and revising paragraph (b)(3) to read as follows:
    § 157.202 Definitions.

    (b) * * *

    (2)(i) * * * Finally, for purposes of abandonment under § 157.216, eligible facilities include auxiliary installations that do not qualify for pre-granted abandonment authority under § 2.55(a)(3) and replacement facilities constructed under § 2.55(b).

    (3) Facility, for purposes of construction under this subpart, does not include an auxiliary facility that qualifies for construction under § 2.55(a) of this chapter or a replacement facility that qualifies for construction under § 2.55(b).

    5. Amend § 157.216 by revising paragraphs (a)(2) and (b)(2) to read as follows:
    § 157.216 Abandonment.

    (a) * * *

    (2)(i) An auxiliary facility as described in § 2.55(a) of this chapter when the abandonment:

    (A) Will not exceed the cost limit in § 157.208(d) for activities under the automatic provisions;

    (B) Will have no adverse impact on customers' certificated services; and

    (C) Cannot satisfy the right-of-way, facility site, and work space limitations for the pre-granted abandonment authority in § 2.55(a)(3);

    (ii) A replacement facility that was or could have been constructed under § 2.55(b) of this chapter, provided the current cost to construct the facilities would not exceed the cost limit in § 157.208(d) for activities under the automatic provisions and the certificate holder obtains the written consent of each customer served using the facility during the past 12 months;

    (iii) Any other facility that did or could now qualify for automatic authorization as described in § 157.203(b), provided the certificate holder obtains the written consent of each customer served using the facility during the past 12 months.

    (b) * * *

    (2)(i) An auxiliary facility as described in § 2.55(a) of this chapter when the abandonment:

    (A) Will exceed the cost limit in § 157.208(d) for activities under the prior notice provisions;

    (B) Will have no adverse impact on customers' certificated services; and

    (C) Cannot satisfy the right-of-way, facility site, and work space limitations for the pre-granted abandonment authority in § 2.55(a)(3).

    (ii) A replacement facility that was or could have been constructed under § 2.55(b) of this chapter, provided the current cost to construct the facilities would not exceed the cost limit in § 157.208(d) for activities under the prior notice provisions and the certificate holder obtains the written consent of each customer served using the facility during the past 12 months;

    (iii) Any other facility that did or could now qualify for prior notice authorization as described in § 157.203(c), provided the certificate holder obtains the written consent of each customer served using the facility during the past 12 months.

    [FR Doc. 2015-17919 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 301 [TD 9727] RIN 1545-BI36 Claims for Credit or Refund AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains final regulations for filing a claim for credit or refund. The regulations provide guidance to taxpayers generally as to the proper place to file a claim for credit or refund. The regulations are updated to reflect changes made by the Tax Reform Act of 1976, section 1210, the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, and the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act of 2000. The regulations are further updated to reflect that the IRS may prescribe additional claim forms.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: These regulations are effective on July 24, 2015.

    Applicability Dates: For dates of applicability, see §§ 301.6402-2(g), 301.6402-3(f) and 301.6402-4(b).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Micah A. Levy, (202) 317-6832 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    These final regulations amend current regulations under section 6402 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). Section 6402 of the Code authorizes the Secretary to make credits or refunds of overpayments. Section 6511 provides the limitations period within which a taxpayer must file a claim for credit or refund and restricts the ability of the Secretary to issue a credit or refund unless the claim is filed by the taxpayer within that period. Section 7422 prohibits the maintenance of a suit for refund until a claim has been duly filed with the Secretary. Currently, § 301.6402-2(a)(2) provides generally that a claim for credit or refund must be filed with the service center serving the internal revenue district in which the tax was paid. These final regulations clarify that, unless otherwise directed, the proper place to file a claim for credit or refund is with the service center at which the taxpayer currently would be required to file a tax return for the type of tax to which the claim relates, irrespective of where the tax was paid or was required to have been paid.

    These final regulations remove outdated portions of § 301.6402-2 that provided rules for claims filed prior to April 15, 1968 and § 301.6402-3 that provided special rules for claims for credit or refund of income taxes filed before July 1, 1976, and revises the reference in § 301.6402-4 to reflect the threshold for referral to the Joint Committee on Taxation pursuant to section 6405. These final regulations do not affect § 301.6402-3T as promulgated in Treasury Decision 9658 (79 FR 12880) (March 6, 2014). Other stylistic revisions were adopted solely to conform the regulations to modern drafting style and usage.

    On June 10, 2011, the IRS published a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-137128-08) in the Federal Register (76 FR 34017). No request for a public hearing was received. The IRS received written and electronic comments responding to the notice of proposed rulemaking. After consideration of the comments, the proposed regulations are adopted as amended by this Treasury decision. All comments are available at www.regulations.gov or upon request.

    Explanation of Provisions and Summary of Comments I. Electronic Filing

    Commentators suggested that the regulations should provide for electronic filing, when available. Although the final regulations do not explicitly refer to electronic filing, the final regulations instruct taxpayers to file a claim for credit or refund in a manner consistent with forms, form instructions, publications, and other guidance on the IRS Web site. To the extent that electronic filing is or becomes available for filing a claim for credit or refund, it will be described elsewhere—for example, in forms, form instructions, publications, or the IRS Web site.

    2. Claims Unrelated to a Tax for Which a Return Is Required

    Commentators noted that some penalties are not related to any tax for which a return is required. These commentators observed that the instructions to Form 843, “Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement,” that taxpayers use to file a claim for credit or refund of penalties that are unrelated to any tax for which a return is required are unhelpful because they instruct taxpayers to file Form 843 with the service center in which the taxpayer would be required to file a current tax return for “the tax to which your claim or request relates.” For an assessable penalty that is unrelated to a particular tax, the notice containing or issued along with demand for payment would provide the proper address for filing a claim for credit or refund and the taxpayer should file a claim in accordance with any specific instructions contained therein.

    The locations at which the IRS processes the various forms for any given subset of taxpayers may change and the proper place to identify such locations is in the various forms, instructions, publications, and the IRS.gov Web site. These regulations appropriately cross-reference such authorities.

    3. Protective and Informal Claims

    Commentators suggested that the regulations be amended to discuss protective claims and informal claims. Although not provided for in the Code, case law provides that protective claims may be filed to preserve a taxpayer's right to claim a refund when the taxpayer's right to the refund is contingent on future events and may not be determinable until after the statute of limitations expires. Case law also provides that a claim for refund that is technically deficient with respect to some formal claim requirement (that is, an “informal” claim) might nonetheless be a valid claim as long as it meets certain basic requirements (for example, even an informal claim must contain a written component). While the IRS has recognized both protective and informal claims in some circumstances, neither is within the scope of these regulations.

    4. Authority To Make Refunds on Equitable Grounds

    Commentators suggested that Treas. Reg. sec. 301.6402-2(b)(2), which explains that the IRS lacks the authority to make a refund on equitable grounds, should include exceptions for sections 6015(f) and 6343(d). Those and other Code provisions allow the IRS to consider equitable factors in making certain determinations, such as whether a taxpayer is eligible for innocent spouse relief or whether a levy may be released. The equitable factors that the IRS may consider in these statutorily prescribed situations affect only whether the taxpayer has an overpayment or otherwise may be entitled to particular relief. Once an overpayment is determined, whether by taking equitable considerations into account or not, such overpayment may be refunded only if the taxpayer or IRS follows all of the statutory and administrative prerequisites required to allow and make a refund. See United States v. Clinton Elkhorn Mining Co., 553 U.S. 1 (2008). None of those equitable factors otherwise determine whether or how the IRS is to issue a refund. Section 6402, in turn, prescribes the treatment of overpayments and provides the regime under which the IRS may issue a refund. In other words, although equitable considerations may be taken into account under some Code sections in determining either the existence or amount of an overpayment, those sections do not provide any authority (equitable or statutory) to allow or make credits and refunds under section 6402. The statutory language of section 6402(a) provides that, if there is an overpayment, then the IRS shall refund that overpayment (subject to certain exceptions enumerated in the statute).

    The IRS has discretion to grant equitable relief from joint and several liability under section 6015(f) to a requesting spouse if, considering all of the facts and circumstances, it would be inequitable to hold the requesting spouse jointly and severally liable. In those cases in which the IRS does apply equitable factors to determine whether a taxpayer is in an overpayment situation, such as under section 6015(f), the IRS considers things such as (1) whether the taxpayer is divorced, (2) whether the tax liability is due to income of the non-requesting spouse, and (3) the health of the requesting spouse. See, Rev. Proc. 2013-34, 2013-43 IRB 397 (Sept. 16, 2013). When a requesting spouse is relieved of joint and several liability, relief will rarely result in an overpayment because equitable relief under section 6015(f) generally involves unpaid liabilities. As a result, in many cases in which the IRS determines that a requesting spouse is entitled to equitable relief, the IRS ceases collection activity against the requesting spouse for any due, but unpaid, tax liabilities. Nonetheless, when equitable relief does result in an overpayment, the requesting spouse may receive a refund by filing a claim for refund using a Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, that complies with section 6402. Thus, the equitable considerations in section 6015(f) relate to whether the requesting spouse is entitled to relief, not whether a resulting overpayment is refunded.

    Section 6343(d) provides for the return of levied property to a taxpayer in certain circumstances, including when, “with the consent of the taxpayer or the National Taxpayer Advocate, the return of such property would be in the best interests of the taxpayer (as determined by the National Taxpayer Advocate) and the United States.” Although section 6343(d) may allow the IRS to consider equitable factors in determining whether to return the property, the return of levied property does not affect the amount of a taxpayer's tax liability and will not result in an overpayment. Accordingly, if the IRS returns property under section 6343(d) and the taxpayer fails to pay the previously assessed liability for which the levy was made on the returned property, then the IRS may collect the liability again, administratively or otherwise.

    The refund provisions of section 6402 are only triggered once an overpayment exists and is established. Indeed, the section begins “[i]n the case of any overpayment. . . .” By presupposing the existence of an overpayment, the equitable factors that the IRS may have considered are not implicated or relevant in the determination of whether the overpayment is credited or refunded. Moreover, once the equitable factors have been used to establish the taxpayer's ability to claim a refund, the amount of any overpayment is a purely mathematical calculation—no equitable factors exist at this stage. The final regulations continue to make clear that the IRS lacks the authority to refund on equitable grounds penalties or other amounts legally collected that comprise an overpayment.

    Special Analyses

    It has been determined that this Treasury decision is not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It has also been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) and the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) do not apply to the regulations and, therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, the notice of proposed rulemaking preceding these regulations were submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comments on its impact on small business, and no comments were received.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of the regulations is Micah A. Levy, Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure & Administration). Mr. Levy can be reached at (202) 317-6832 (not a toll-free number).

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 301

    Employment taxes, Estate taxes, Excise taxes, Gift taxes, Income taxes, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 301 is amended as follows:

    PART 301—PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 2. Section 301.6402-2 is amended by: 1. Revising paragraphs (a)(2), (b)(2), (c), and (d). 2. Adding paragraph (g).

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    § 301.6402-2 Claims for credit or refund.

    (a) * * *

    (2) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of § 301.6091-1 (relating to hand-carried documents), if a taxpayer is required to file a claim for credit or refund using a particular form, then the claim, together with appropriate supporting evidence, shall be filed in a manner consistent with such form, form instructions, publications, or other guidance found on the IRS.gov Web site. If a taxpayer is filing a claim in response to an IRS notice or correspondence, then the claim must be filed in accordance with the specific instructions contained in the notice or correspondence regarding the manner of filing. Any other claim not described in the preceding sentences generally must be filed with the service center at which the taxpayer currently would be required to file a tax return for the type of tax to which the claim relates or via the appropriate electronic portal. For rules relating to interest in the case of credits or refunds, see section 6611. For rules treating timely mailing as timely filing, see section 7502. For rules relating to the time for filing a claim when the last day falls on Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, see section 7503.

    (b) * * *

    (2) The IRS does not have the authority to refund on equitable grounds penalties or other amounts legally collected.

    (c) Form for filing claim. If a particular form is prescribed on which the claim must be made, then the claim must be made on the form so prescribed. For special rules applicable to refunds of income taxes, see § 301.6402-3. For provisions relating to credits and refunds of taxes other than income tax, see the regulations relating to the particular tax. All claims by taxpayers for the refund of taxes, interest, penalties, and additions to tax that are not otherwise provided for must be made on Form 843, “Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement.”

    (d) Separate claims for separate taxable periods. In the case of income and gift taxes, income tax withheld, taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, taxes under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act, and taxes under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, a separate claim must be made for each return for each taxable period.

    (g) Effective/applicability date. Paragraphs (a)(2), (b)(2), (c), and (d) of this section apply to claims for credit or refund filed on or after July 24, 2015. Paragraphs (a)(1), (b)(1), (e), and (f) of this section apply to claims for credit or refund filed before, on or after July 24, 2015.

    Par. 3. Section 301.6402-3 is amended by: 1. Revising the introductory text of paragraph (a). 2. Removing and reserving paragraph (b). 3. Revising paragraphs (c) and (f).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 301.6402-3 Special rules applicable to income tax.

    (a) The following rules apply to a claim for credit or refund of income tax:—

    (b) [Reserved]

    (c) If the taxpayer is not required to show the tax on the form (see section 6014 and the accompanying regulations), the IRS will treat a properly filed income tax return as a claim for refund and such return will constitute a claim for refund within the meaning of section 6402 and section 6511 for the amount of the overpayment shown by the computation of the tax made by the IRS on the basis of the return. For purposes of the limitations period of section 6511, such claim will be treated as filed on the date the return is treated as filed.

    (f) Effective/applicability date. (1) Paragraph (c) of this section, as revised, applies to claims for credit or refund filed on or after July 24, 2015. Paragraphs (a), (d), and (e) of this section apply to claims for credit or refund filed before, on or after July 24, 2015, except references in paragraph (e) to Form 8805 or other statements required under § 1.1446-3(d)(2) of this chapter apply to partnership taxable years beginning after April 29, 2008.

    (2) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 301.6402-3T(f)(2).

    Par. 4. Section 301.6402-4 is revised to read as follows:
    § 301.6402-4 Payments in excess of amounts shown on return.

    (a) If the IRS determines that the payments by the taxpayer that are made within the period prescribed for payment and before the filing of the return exceed the amount of tax shown on the return (for example, excessive estimated income tax payments or excessive withholding), the IRS may credit or refund such overpayment without awaiting examination of the completed return and without awaiting the filing of a claim for refund. The provisions of §§ 301.6402-2 and 301.6402-3 are applicable to such overpayment, and taxpayers should submit claims for refund (if the income tax return is not itself a claim for refund, as provided in § 301.6402-3) to protect themselves in the event the IRS fails to make such determination and credit or refund. The provisions of section 6405 (relating to reports of refunds in excess of the statutorily prescribed threshold referral amount to the Joint Committee on Taxation) do not apply to the overpayments described in this section.

    (b) Effective/applicability date. The rules of this section apply to payments made on or after July 24, 2015.

    John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: July 8, 2015. Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2015-18119 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0618] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Red Bull GRC Air Show, Detroit River, Detroit, MI AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on the waters of the Detroit River in the vicinity of Detroit, MI. This zone is intended to restrict and control the movement of vessels in a portion of the Detroit River. This zone is necessary to protect spectators and vessels from the hazards associated with an air show.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 1:30 p.m. on July 25, 2015 until 4:30 p.m. on July 26, 2015. It will be enforced from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day on July 25 and 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket are part of docket USCG-2015-0618 and are available online by going to www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. They are also available for inspection or copying at the Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary final rule, contact or email PO1 Todd Manow, Prevention Department, Sector Detroit, Coast Guard; telephone 313-568-9580, or email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NAD 83 North American Datum of 1983 A. Regulatory History and Information

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

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this temporary rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. For the same reasons discussed in the preceding paragraph, waiting for a 30 day notice period to run would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest.

    B. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis for the rule is the Coast Guard's authority to establish regulated navigation areas and limited access areas: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 33 CFR 1.05-1 and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    The Coast Guard was informed that on July 25, 2015, and July 26, 2015, an air show will take place on the Detroit River in the vicinity of Detroit, MI. The Captain of the Port Detroit has determined that the air show may pose a significant risk to public safety and property.

    C. Discussion of Rule

    With the aforementioned hazards in mind, the Captain of the Port Detroit has determined a temporary safety zone is necessary to ensure the safety of spectators and vessels during the Red Bull GRC air show. This safety zone will encompass U.S. navigable waters of the Detroit River from the Belle Isle Bridge to position: 42°19′58.60″ N., 083°0′38.47″ W. (NAD 83).

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

    D. Regulatory Analyses

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

    1. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    We conclude that this rule is not a significant regulatory action because we anticipate that it will have minimal impact on the economy, will not interfere with other agencies, will not adversely alter the budget of any grant or loan recipients, and will not raise any novel legal or policy issues. The safety zone created by this rule will be relatively small and enforced for a relatively short time. Under certain conditions, moreover, vessels may still transit through the safety zone when permitted by the Captain of the Port or his on-scene representative.

    2. Impact on Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, we have considered the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    This rule will affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor in a portion of the Detroit River from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on July 25, 2015 and July 26, 2015.

    This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the reasons cited in the Regulatory Planning and Review section. Additionally, before the enforcement of the zone, the Captain of the Port will issue a local Broadcast Notice to Mariners so vessel owners and operators can plan accordingly.

    3. Assistance for Small Entities

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

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

    4. Collection of Information

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

    5. Federalism

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

    6. Protest Activities

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

    7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    8. Taking of Private Property

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

    9. Civil Justice Reform

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

    10. Protection of Children

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

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

    12. Energy Effects

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

    13. Technical Standards

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

    14. Environment

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T09-0618 to read as follows:
    § 165.T09-0618 Safety Zone; Red Bull GRC Detroit, Detroit River, Detroit, MI.

    (a) Location. The following area is a temporary safety zone: U.S. navigable waters of the Detroit River from the Belle Isle Bridge to position: 42°19′58.60″ N., 083°0′38.47″ W. (NAD 83).

    (b) Enforcement periods. The safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section will be enforced from 1:30 p.m. through 4:30 p.m. each day on July 25 and 26, 2015.

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

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

    (3) The “on-scene representative” of the Captain of the Port Detroit is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer or a Federal, State, or local law enforcement officer designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port Detroit to act on his behalf.

    (4) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone shall contact the Captain of the Port Detroit or his on-scene representative to obtain permission to do so. The Captain of the Port Detroit or his on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16 or at 313—568-9560. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the Captain of the Port Detroit or his on-scene representative.

    Dated: July 13, 2015. Scott B. Lemasters, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Detroit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18201 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2010-0063] Safety Zones; Annual Firework Displays Within the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound Zone AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zones for annual firework displays in the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound Zone during the dates and times noted below. This action is necessary to prevent injury and to protect life and property of the maritime public from the hazards associated with the firework displays. During the enforcement periods, entry into, transit through, mooring, or anchoring within these zones is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound or Designated Representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1332 will be enforced during the dates and times noted below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice of enforcement, call or email Petty Officer Ryan Griffin, Sector Puget Sound Waterways Management, Coast Guard; telephone 206-217-6051, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zones established for Annual Fireworks Displays within the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound Area of Responsibility in 33 CFR 165.1332 during the dates and times noted below.

    The following safety zone will be enforced from 5:00 p.m. on September 12, 2015 through 1:00 a.m. on September 13, 2015: Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival, Possession Sound, 47°56.9′ N., 122°18.6′ W.

    The special requirements listed in 33 CFR 165.1332 apply to the activation and enforcement of these safety zones.

    All vessel operators who desire to enter the safety zone must obtain permission from the Captain of the Port or Designated Representative by contacting the Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound Joint Harbor Operations Center (JHOC) on VHF Ch 13 or Ch 16 or via telephone at (206) 217-6002.

    The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.1332 and 33 CFR 165 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with extensive advanced notification of the safety zones via the Local Notice to Mariners and marine information broadcasts on the day of the events.

    Dated: July 8, 2015. M.W. Raymond, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Puget Sound.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18197 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0659] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Cleveland Triathlon, Lake Erie, North Coast Harbor, Cleveland, OH AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on Lake Erie, North Coast Harbor, Cleveland, OH. This safety zone is intended to restrict vessels from a portion of the North Coast Harbor during the Cleveland Triathlon. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect mariners and vessels from the navigational hazards associated with a large scale swimming event.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 5:45 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. on July 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket [USCG-2015-0659]. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email LTJG Amanda Garcia, Chief of Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Buffalo; telephone 716-843-9573, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), The Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this temporary rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. For the same reasons discussed in the preceding paragraph, waiting for a 30-day notice period to run would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest.

    B. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis for the rule is the Coast Guard's authority to establish regulated navigation areas and limited access areas: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 33 CFR 1.05-1 and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    Between 5:45 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. on July 26, 2015, a large scale swimming event will be held on Lake Erie, North Coast Harbor in Cleveland, OH. The Captain of the Port Buffalo has determined that a large scale swimming event in close proximity to a gathering of watercraft poses a significant risk to participants and the boating public safety and property.

    C. Discussion of the Final Rule

    With the aforementioned hazards in mind, the Captain of the Port Buffalo has determined that this temporary safety zone is necessary to ensure the safety of participants, spectators and vessels during the Cleveland Triathlon swimming event. This zone will be enforced from 5:45 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. on July 26, 2015. This zone will encompass all waters of Lake Erie, North Coast Harbor, Cleveland, OH within the vicinity of position 41°30′29.66″ N. and 081°41′46.33″ W. (NAD 83) extending in a straight line approximately .4 miles NNW of the transient marina into the East Basin.

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

    D. Regulatory Analyses

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

    1. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

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

    2. Impact on Small Entities

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

    This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: this safety zone would be effective, and thus subject to enforcement, for only 4.5 hours and early in the day. Traffic may be allowed to pass through the zone with the permission of the Captain of the Port. The Captain of the Port can be reached via VHF channel 16. Before the enforcement of the zone, we would issue local Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    3. Assistance for Small Entities

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

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

    4. Collection of Information

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

    5. Federalism

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

    6. Protest Activities

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

    7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    8. Taking of Private Property

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

    9. Civil Justice Reform

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

    10. Protection of Children

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

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

    12. Energy Effects

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

    13. Technical Standards

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

    14. Environment

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T09-0659 to read as follows:
    § 165.T09-0659 Safety Zone; Cleveland Triathlon, Lake Erie, North Coast Harbor, Cleveland, OH.

    (a) Location. This zone will encompass all waters of Lake Erie, North Coast Harbor, Cleveland, OH within the vicinity of position 41°30′29.66″ N. and 081°41′46.33″ W. (NAD 83) extending in a straight line approximately .4 miles NNW out of the transient marina into the East Basin.

    (b) Enforcement period. This regulation will be enforced on July 26, 2015 from 5:45 a.m. until 10:15 a.m.

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

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

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

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

    Dated: July 14, 2015. B.W. Roche, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Buffalo.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18206 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0407; FRL-9930-81-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; MI, Belding; 2008 Lead Clean Data Determination AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 13, 2015, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) submitted a request to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make a determination under the Clean Air Act (CAA) that the Belding, MI nonattainment area has attained the 2008 lead (Pb) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS or standard). In this action, EPA is determining that the Belding, MI nonattainment area (hereafter also referred to as the “Belding area” or “area”) has attained the 2008 Pb NAAQS. This clean data determination is based upon complete, quality-assured and certified ambient air monitoring data for the 2012-2014 period showing that the area has monitored attainment of the 2008 Pb NAAQS. Additionally, as a result of this determination, EPA is suspending the requirements for the area to submit an attainment demonstration, together with reasonably available control measures (RACM), a reasonable further progress (RFP) plan, contingency measures for failure to meet the RFP plan, and the attainment deadline for as long as the area continues to attain the 2008 Pb NAAQS.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective September 22, 2015, unless EPA receives adverse comments by August 24, 2015. If adverse comments are received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0407, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Fax: (312) 408-2279.

    4. Mail: Douglas Aburano, Chief, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

    5. Hand Delivery: Douglas Aburano, Chief, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The Regional Office official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0407. 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 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, Region 5, Air and Radiation Division, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. We recommend that you telephone Sarah Arra, Environmental Scientist, at (312) 886-9401 before visiting the Region 5 office.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah Arra, Environmental Scientist, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-9401, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. What action is EPA taking? II. What is the background for this action? III. Application of EPA's Clean Data Policy to the 2008 Pb NAAQS IV. Does the Belding area meet the 2008 Pb NAAQS? V. What is the effect of this action? VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is taking final action to determine that the Belding area has attained the 2008 Pb NAAQS. This is based upon complete, quality-assured and certified ambient air monitoring data for the 2012-2014 monitoring period showing that the area has monitored attainment of the 2008 Pb NAAQS.

    Further, with this clean data determination, the requirements for the Belding area to submit an attainment demonstration together with RACM, a RFP plan, and contingency measures for failure to meet the RFP plan and attainment deadlines are suspended for as long as the area continues to attain the 2008 Pb NAAQS. As discussed below, this action is consistent with EPA's regulations and with its longstanding interpretation of subpart 1 of part D of the CAA.

    If the Belding area violates the 2008 Pb NAAQS after this action, the basis for the suspension of these attainment planning requirements would no longer exist for that area, and the area would thereafter have to address applicable requirements.

    II. What is the background for this action?

    On November 12, 2008 (73 FR 66964), EPA established a 2008 primary and secondary Pb NAAQS at 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) based on a maximum arithmetic three-month mean concentration for a three-year period. See 40 CFR 50.16. This is the “2008 Pb NAAQS.” On November 22, 2010 (75 FR 71033), EPA published its initial air quality designations for the 2008 Pb NAAQS based upon air quality monitoring data for calendar years 2007-2009. On November 22, 2011 (76 FR 72097), EPA published a second and final round of designations for the 2008 Pb NAAQS based upon air quality monitoring data for calendar years 2008-2010. As part of the second round, the Belding area was designated nonattainment for the 2008 Pb NAAQS.

    On May 13, 2015, MDEQ submitted a request to EPA to make a determination that the Belding area has attained the 2008 Pb NAAQS based on complete, quality-assured, quality-controlled monitoring data from 2012 through 2014. For the reasons set forth in this document, EPA finds the request approvable.

    III. Application of EPA's Clean Data Policy to the 2008 Pb NAAQS

    Following enactment of the CAA Amendments of 1990, EPA promulgated its interpretation of the requirements for implementing the NAAQS in the General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the CAA Amendments of 1990 (General Preamble) 57 FR 13498, 13564 (April 16, 1992). In 1995, based on the interpretation of CAA sections 171 and 172, and section 182 in the General Preamble, EPA set forth what has become known as its “Clean Data Policy” for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS. See Memorandum from John S. Seitz, Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, “RFP, Attainment Demonstration, and Related Requirements for Ozone Nonattainment areas Meeting the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard” (May 10, 1995). In 2004, EPA indicated its intention to extend the Clean Data Policy to the fine particulates (PM2.5) NAAQS. See Memorandum from Steve Page, Director, EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, “Clean Data Policy for the Fine Particle National Ambient Air Quality Standards” (December 14, 2004). This policy was extended to Pb in 2012 (see 77 FR 35653).

    Since 1995, EPA has applied its interpretation under the Clean Data Policy in many rulemakings, suspending certain attainment-related planning requirements for individual areas, based on a clean data determination. For a full discussion on EPA's application of this policy, see section III of the Bristol, Tennessee Determination of Attaining Data for the 2008 Pb Standards (77 FR 35653).

    IV. Does the Belding area meet the 2008 Pb NAAQS? A. Criteria

    This rulemaking assesses whether the Belding area has attained the 2008 Pb NAAQS, based on the most recent three years of quality-assured data. The Belding area is comprised of a partial county area in Ionia County 1 and surrounds the Mueller Industries facility.

    1 The specific area is bounded by the following coordinates: Southeast corner by latitude 43.0956705 N and longitude 85.2130771 W; southwest corner (intersection of S. Broas St. and W. Washington St.) by latitude 43.0960358 N and longitude 85.2324027 W; northeast corner by latitude 43.1074942 N and longitude 85.2132313 W; western boundary 1 (intersection of W. Ellis St. and the vertical extension of S. Broas St.) by latitude 43.1033277 N and longitude 85.2322553 W; western boundary 2 (intersection of W. Ellis St. and N. Bridge St.) by latitude 43.1033911 N and longitude 85.2278464 W; western boundary 3 (intersection of N. Bridge St. and Earle St.) by latitude 43.1074479 N and longitude 85.2279722 W.

    Under EPA regulations at 40 CFR 50.16, the 2008 primary and secondary Pb standards are met when the maximum arithmetic three-month mean concentration for a three-year period, as determined in accordance with 40 CFR part 50, appendix R, is less than or equal to 0.15 µg/m3 at all relevant monitoring sites in the subject area.

    EPA has reviewed the ambient air monitoring data for the Belding area in accordance with the provisions of 40 CFR part 50, appendix R. All data considered are complete, quality-assured, certified, and recorded in EPA's Air Quality System database. This review addresses air quality data collected in the 2012-2014 period which are the most recent quality-assured data available.

    B. Belding Area Air Quality

    The Belding area has two monitoring sites that are Federal reference method source-oriented monitors which meet the quality assurance requirements of 40 CFR 58, appendix A.2 After the Mueller Industries facility: Restricted Pb emissions on its chip driers and induction furnaces, implemented a preventative maintenance plan, properly operated controls, increased stack height of the chip driers, and increased monitoring, testing, and record keeping, as required through state rules by October of 2013, the monitored Pb values were well below the standard.

    2 During a routine audit, the monitor at site 26-067-0002 was discovered to be 0.13 meters below the recommended height. However, EPA determined that this would have minimal effect on the data and, if any, would incorrectly measure concentrations as too high, rather than too low. Therefore, the data were determined valid. The problem was fixed on October 9, 2014 (see Belding Reed Memorandum in the docket).

    Table 1 shows the 2012-2014 three-month rolling averages for Belding Area monitor 26-067-0002 in µg/m3.

    Location 3-month period 2012 2013 2014 545 Reed St Nov-Jan 3 0.03 0.02 0.02 Dec-Feb 0.04 0.01 0.02 Jan-Mar 0.05 0.01 0.02 Feb-Apr 0.04 0.01 0.01 Mar-May 0.04 0.03 0.02 Apr-Jun 0.04 0.03 0.02 May-July 0.04 0.04 0.02 Jun-Aug 0.04 0.05 0.01 July-Sept 0.05 0.05 0.04 Aug-Oct 0.04 0.06 0.04 Sept-Nov 0.03 0.04 0.04 Oct-Dec 0.02 0.04 0.02

    Table 2 shows the 2012-2014 three-month rolling averages for Belding Area monitor 26-067-0003 in µg/m3.

    3 When calculating a three-month rolling average, the first two data points, November through January for 2012 and December through February of 2012, would additionally use data from November and December of 2011.

    Location 3-month period 2012 2013 2014 509 Merrick St Nov-Jan 4 0.02 0.02 0.05 Dec-Feb 0.02 0.03 0.03 Jan-Mar 0.03 0.03 0.02 Feb-Apr 0.04 0.03 0.04 Mar-May 0.05 0.03 0.04 Apr-Jun 0.06 0.03 0.04 May-July 0.05 0.04 0.03 Jun-Aug 0.05 0.04 0.03 July-Sept 0.04 0.04 0.03 Aug-Oct 0.03 0.03 0.03 Sept-Nov 0.02 0.04 0.03 Oct-Dec 0.02 0.05 0.04

    The data shown in Tables 1 and 2 are complete, quality-assured, and certified and show 0.06 µg/m3 as the highest three-month rolling average.

    4 The 2012 data set includes data from November and December of 2011.

    The Mueller Industries facility's National Emissions Inventory emissions in 2011 were 0.70 tons per year. With the combination of restricted Pb emissions, preventative maintenance plan, properly operating controls, increased stacks, and increased monitoring, testing, and recordkeeping at the facility, the area is now monitoring less than half of the standard.

    EPA's review of these data indicates that the Belding area has attained and continues to attain the 2008 Pb NAAQS, with a design value of 0.06 µg/m3 for the period of 2012-2014.

    V. What is the effect of this action?

    Based on complete, quality-assured and certified data for 2012-2014, EPA is determining that the Belding area has attained the 2008 Pb NAAQS. The requirements for MDEQ to submit an attainment demonstration and associated RACM, a RFP plan, contingency measures, and any other planning State Implementation Plans related to attainment of the 2008 Pb NAAQS for the Belding area is suspended for as long as the area continues to attain the 2008 Pb NAAQS. This EPA rulemaking is consistent and in keeping with its long-held interpretation of CAA requirements, as well as with EPA's regulations for similar determinations for ozone (see 40 CFR 51.918) and PM2.5 (see 40 CFR 51.1004(c)).

    This action does not constitute a redesignation of the area to attainment of the 2008 Pb NAAQS under section 107(d)(3) of the CAA. This action does not involve approving a maintenance plan for the area as required under section 175A of the CAA, nor does it find that the area has met all other requirements for redesignation. The Belding area remains designated nonattainment for the 2008 Pb NAAQS until such time as EPA determines that the area meets the CAA requirements for redesignation to attainment and takes action to redesignate the area.

    We are publishing this action without prior proposal because we view this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the state plan if relevant adverse written comments are filed. This rule will be effective September 22, 2015 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse written comments by August 24, 2015. If we receive such comments, we will withdraw this action before the effective date by publishing a subsequent document that will withdraw the final action. Public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed action. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. If we do not receive any comments, this action will be effective September 22, 2015.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action makes a clean data determination for the Belding area for the 2008 Pb NAAQS based on air quality data and results in the suspension of certain Federal requirements and does not impose any additional requirements. For that reason, this action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by September 22, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: July 14, 2015. Susan Hedman, Regional Administrator, Region 5.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    2. Add § 52.1188 to read as follows:
    § 52.1188 Control strategy: Lead (Pb).

    (a) Based upon EPA's review of the air quality data for the three-year period 2012 to 2014, EPA determined that the Belding, MI Pb nonattainment area has attained the 2008 Pb National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). This clean data determination suspends the requirements for this area to submit an attainment demonstration, associated reasonably available control measures, a reasonable further progress plan, contingency measures, and other planning SIPs related to attainment of the standard as long as this area continues to meet the 2008 Pb NAAQS.

    (b) [Reserved]

    [FR Doc. 2015-18103 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2014-0842; A-1-FRL-9927-32-Region 1] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Connecticut; Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Nonattainment New Source Review AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to fully approve revisions to the State of Connecticut's State Implementation Plan (SIP) relating to regulation of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions within the context of EPA's Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) regulations. EPA is also approving clarifications to the applicability section of Connecticut's Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) regulations. These revisions will be part of Connecticut's major stationary source preconstruction permitting programs, and are intended to align Connecticut's regulations with the federal PSD and NNSR regulations. This action is being taken in accordance with the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective September 22, 2015, unless EPA receives adverse comments by August 24, 2015. If adverse comments are received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R01-OAR-2014-0842 by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Fax: (617) 918-0657.

    4. Mail: “Docket Identification Number EPA-R01-OAR-2014-0842”, Donald Dahl, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, Air Permits, Toxics, and Indoor Programs Unit, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, (Mail code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912.

    5. Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver your comments to: Donald Dahl, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, Air Permits, Toxics, and Indoor Programs Unit, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100 (Mail code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding legal holidays.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R01-OAR-2014-0842. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit through www.regulations.gov, or email, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information may not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, Boston, MA. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding legal holidays.

    In addition, a copy of the state submittal is also available for public inspection during normal business hours, by appointment at the State Air Agency; the Bureau of Air Management, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, State Office Building, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-1630.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Donald Dahl, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, Air Permits, Toxics, and Indoor Programs Unit, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, (Mail code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912. Mr. Dahl's telephone number is (617) 918-1657; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Organization of this document. The following outline is provided to aid in locating information in this preamble.

    Table of Contents I. What is the background for EPA's action? II. What is EPA's analysis of Connecticut's proposed SIP revisions? A. Connecticut's September 27, 2012 SIP Submission B. Connecticut's October 9, 2012 SIP Submission III. Final Action IV. Incorporation by Reference V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What is the background for EPA's action?

    On September 27, 2012 and October 9, 2012, the State of Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) submitted to EPA proposed formal revisions to Connecticut's State Implementation Plan (SIP). The submitted SIP revisions consist of: (1) Amendments to Connecticut's PSD regulations and tables to address PM2.5 emissions; (2) a notice requirement to be provided to states affected by emissions from major new or modified construction; (3) one modified definition relating to the State's PSD program; (4) language amending an existing section of the State's NNSR SIP regulations for purposes of clarification; and (5) the addition of PM2.5 in an emissions offset provision of the State's NNSR regulations. Each of these revisions relates to requirements contained in EPA's regulations codified at either 40 CFR 51.165 (NNSR) or 51.166 (PSD).

    II. What is EPA's analysis of Connecticut's proposed SIP revisions?

    Connecticut is currently a SIP-approved state for all CAA major stationary source preconstruction permitting programs, PSD and NNSR. EPA's analysis of Connecticut's September 27, 2012 and October 9, 2012 submissions in relation to those federal programs appears below.

    A. Connecticut's September 27, 2012 SIP Submission

    Connecticut's submission included sections 22a-174-2a(b)(5)(E) and (b)(6) of its air program regulations. Those provisions clarify when and which entities will receive from the CT DEEP a copy of the notice of the State's “tentative determination” (or draft major stationary source preconstruction permit). More specifically, Connecticut's SIP-approved regulations had not previously contained a provision requiring notice (prior to issuance of a PSD permit) to states whose air quality may be affected by emissions from a major new or modified source. EPA identified this missing requirement when determining whether Connecticut's SIP met the affected state notification requirement in CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) and 40 CFR 51.166(q)(2)(iv). On October 16, 2012, EPA conditionally approved Connecticut's infrastructure SIP for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 standards. See 77 FR 63228. The portion of the October 16, 2012 conditional approval addressed by the State's September 27, 2012 SIP revision involved the requirement that Connecticut notify other affected states prior to issuing a PSD permit.

    EPA has analyzed the submitted provisions and has determined that they are consistent with EPA's regulations, including the requirement at 40 CFR 51.166(q)(2)(iv) applicable to affected state notice. Therefore, EPA is fully approving the revisions into Connecticut's SIP.

    B. Connecticut's October 9, 2012 SIP Submission

    Connecticut's submission addresses PM2.5 emissions requirements for PSD permitting by adding PM2.5 to several sections of the State's SIP regulations. These sections are Section 22a-174-1 (definition of “Major source baseline date”) and Tables 3a(i)-1 (Ambient Impact 1 ), 3a(k)-1 (Significant Emission Rate Thresholds) and 3a(k)-2 (PSD Increment) in Section 22a-174-3a.

    1 The values contained in Connecticut's Ambient Impact table correspond to EPA's Significant Impact Levels (SILs).

    Connecticut's SIP-approved regulations had not previously contained provisions that addressed PM2.5 requirements for PSD permitting. EPA identified these missing requirements when determining whether Connecticut's infrastructure SIP met the requirements of a fully approved PSD program set forth in CAA sections 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II) and (J). On October 16, 2012, EPA conditionally approved Connecticut's infrastructure SIP for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 standards. See 77 FR 63228. The portion of EPA's October 16, 2012 conditional approval addressed by the State's October 9, 2012 SIP revision submission involved establishing a Significant Emission Rate Threshold for PM2.5 emissions and precursors to PM2.5, PM2.5 increment, and adding PM2.5 to the definition of “Major source baseline date.”

    The October 9, 2012 submission also included revisions to Connecticut's NNSR regulations. These revisions are to Section 22a-174-3a(l)(1) (applicability), discussed in more detail below, and Section 22a-174-3a(l)(4)(B)(iv), adding PM2.5 to a list of pollutants relevant to emissions offsets. We note, however, that Connecticut currently does not have any PM2.5 nonattainment areas.

    In EPA's “Implementation of the New Source Review (NSR) Program for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers,” Final Rule, 73 FR 28321 (May 16, 2008), EPA established a new significance level for PM2.5 emissions. In EPA's “Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)—Increments, Significant Impact Levels (SILs) and Significant Monitoring Concentration (SMC),” Final Rule, 75 FR 64864 (October 20, 2010), EPA established increments, SILs, and SMCs for PM2.5 emissions. Both of these EPA rules required Connecticut to amend their state regulations for permitting major new and modified major stationary sources in relation to the PM2.5 NAAQS.

    On January 22, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted a request from EPA to vacate and remand to EPA the portions of the PM2.5 PSD Increment-SILs-SMC Rule (40 CFR 51.166(k)(2) and 40 CFR 52.21(k)(2)) addressing the SILs for PM2.5 so that EPA could voluntarily correct an error in these provisions. See Sierra Club v. EPA, 705 F.3d 458, 463-66 (D.C. Cir. 2013). The court declined to vacate the SILs provision at 40 CFR 51.165(b)(2) that did not contain that same error. Id. The Court also vacated the part of the PM2.5 PSD Increment-SILs-SMC Rule establishing the PM2.5 SMC for the PSD permitting program, finding that EPA was precluded from using the PM2.5 SMC to exempt permit applicants from the statutory requirement to compile and submit preconstruction monitoring data as part of a complete PSD application. Id. at 469. On December 9, 2013, EPA issued a final rulemaking to remove the vacated PM2.5 SILs provisions and revising the existing PM2.5 SMC listed in 40 CFR 51.166(i)(5)(i)(c) to zero micrograms per cubic meter (0 μg/m3). See 78 FR 73698.

    Connecticut has never adopted an SMC for PM2.5 emissions pursuant to 40 CFR 51.166(i)(5), which was vacated by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, because the provision is an optional element of a state's program and Connecticut chose not to include that element in its program. Connecticut's regulations also do not contain provisions that address the SIL provisions at 40 CFR 51.166(k)(2) vacated by the Court.

    EPA has analyzed the above-described amended sections of Connecticut's regulations and has determined those sections are consistent with the requirements codified at 40 CFR 51.166, and therefore should be approved into Connecticut's SIP.

    Connecticut's October 9, 2012 submission also included amendments to certain sections of the State's NNSR regulations. One change affected section 22a-174-3a(l)(1) of Connecticut's regulations and was adopted to clarify that the applicability of the State's NNSR requirements is triggered in designated nonattainment areas by emissions of the pollutant for which the area is designated nonattainment.

    As noted earlier, Connecticut also added PM2.5 emissions to a list of pollutants in section 22a-174-3a(l)(4)(B)(iv), which addresses emission reduction credits. As also noted earlier, however, Connecticut currently does not have any PM2.5 nonattainment areas.

    EPA has analyzed the above-described amended sections of Connecticut's regulations and has determined those sections are consistent with the requirements codified at 40 CFR 51.165, and therefore should be approved into Connecticut's SIP.

    The State's October 9, 2012 submission also included an amendment to Table 3a(i)-1 of section 22a-174-3a, adding values for PM2.5 Ambient Impact (these values are equivalent conceptually to EPA's SILs). The State's October 9, 2012 submission also included section 22a-174-3a(l)(l)(C), which requires sources to undergo NNSR and permitting even though they are located in attainment areas or areas that are unclassifiable, but only if the allowable emissions from such sources would cause or exacerbate a violation of a NAAQS in an adjacent nonattainment area. EPA is approving these two revisions to Connecticut's SIP. In doing so, however, we note that section 22a-174-3a(l)(l)(C) contains a reference to Table 3a(i)-1 of section 22a-174-3a (the State's Ambient Impact values) and specifies that if the modeled ambient impacts from a source's allowable emissions would be below those impact values the NNSR permitting requirements of section 22a-174-3a(l)(l)(C) would then not apply. EPA interprets this provision to only apply in the state's NNSR permitting program to determine whether a source locating in an attainment or unclassifiable area will cause or exacerbate a violation of the NAAQS in an adjacent nonattainment area and thus be subject to NNSR review under the particular requirements of the Connecticut SIP. As this provision only appears in the state's NNSR permitting rules, EPA does not interpret this provision to apply in Connecticut's PSD permitting program to determine whether a proposed new or modified source would cause or contribute to a violation of the NAAQS anywhere. Thus, this narrowly drafted NNSR applicability provision and the manner in which Connecticut's regulation applies the ambient impact values from Table 3a(i)-1 in this provision are not in conflict with the DC Circuit decision in Sierra Club v. EPA that vacated EPA's SIL provision at 40 CFR 51.166(k)(2). EPA views Section 22a-174-3a(l)(l)(C) as a NNSR applicability provision that has no effect on Connecticut's PSD permitting program, which still requires that a proposed new or modified source locating in an attainment or unclassifiable area to make an appropriate demonstration that it does not cause or contribute to a violation of any NAAQS or increment. See Section 22a-174-3a(k) of CT DEEP's regulations.

    III. Final Action

    Pursuant to section 110 of the CAA, EPA is fully approving Connecticut's September 27, 2012 and October 9, 2012 SIP revisions. The EPA is publishing this action without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revisions should relevant adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective September 22, 2015 without further notice unless the Agency receives relevant adverse comments by August 24, 2015.

    If the EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a notice withdrawing today's final rule and informing the public that the rule will not take effect. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. The EPA will not institute a second comment period on the proposed rule. All parties interested in commenting on the proposed rule should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on September 22, 2015 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

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

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by September 22, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: April 20, 2015. H. Curtis Spalding, Regional Administrator, EPA New England.

    Part 52 of chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

    PART 52—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart H—Connecticut 2. Section 52.370 is amended by adding paragraphs (c)(107) and (108) to read as follows:
    § 52.370 Identification of plan

    (c) * * *

    (107) Revisions to the State Implementation Plan submitted by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on September 27, 2012.

    (i) Incorporation by reference.

    (A) Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Section 22a-174-2a(b)(5) introductory text and Section 22a-174-2a(b)(5)(E), as published in the Connecticut Law Journal on October 23, 2012, effective September 10, 2012.

    (B) Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Section 22a-174-2a(b)(6), as published in the Connecticut Law Journal on October 23, 2012, effective September 10, 2012.

    (108) Revisions to the State Implementation Plan submitted by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on October 9, 2012.

    (i) Incorporation by reference.

    (A) Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Section 22a-174-1(62), as published in the Connecticut Law Journal on October 16, 2012, effective September 10, 2012.

    (B) Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Section 22a-174-3a(i), Table 3a(i)-1, published in the Connecticut Law Journal on October 16, 2012, effective September 10, 2012.

    (C) Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies revisions to Section 22a-174-3a(k), Table 3a(k)-1, published in the Connecticut Law Journal on October 16, 2012, effective September 10, 2012.

    (D) Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies revisions to Section 22a-174-3a(k), Table 3a(k)-2, published in the Connecticut Law Journal on October 16, 2012, effective September 10, 2012.

    (E) Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies revisions to Section 22a-174-3a (l)(1), published in the Connecticut Law Journal on October 16, 2012, effective September 10, 2012.

    (F) Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies revisions to Section 22a-174-3a(l)(4)(B) introductory text and Section 22a-174-3a(l)(4)(B)(iv), published in the Connecticut Law Journal on October 16, 2012, effective September 10, 2012.

    3. In § 52.385, Table 52.385 is amended by adding new entries to existing state citations for 22a-174-1, 22a-174-2a, and 22a-174-3a to read as follows:
    § 52.385 EPA-approved Connecticut regulations. Table 52.385—EPA-Approved Regulations Connecticut
  • State
  • citation
  • Title/subject Dates Date adopted by State Date approved by EPA Federal Register
  • citation
  • Section
  • 52.370
  • Comments/description
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 22a-174-1 Definitions 9/10/2012 7/24/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] (c)(108) Modified definition of “major source baseline date” for purposes of adding PM2.5. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 22a-174-2a Procedural Requirements for New Source Review and Title V Permitting 9/10/2012 7/24/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] (c)(107) Only sections 22a-174-2a(b)(5)(E) and (b)(6) are being approved. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 22a-174-3a Permit to Construct and Operate Stationary Sources 9/10/2012 7/24/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] (c)(108) Added Ambient Impact values for PM2.5 in Table 3a(i)-1, Significant Emission Rate Thresholds for PM2.5 emissions and its precursors in Table 3a(k)-1, PM2.5 increment added to Table 3a(k)-2, and PM2.5 added to section 22a-174-3a(l)(4)(B)(iv). Revised section 22a-174-3a(l)(1). *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-17664 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0172; FRL-9931-09-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Electronic Reporting Consistent With the Cross Media Electronic Reporting Rule AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of New Mexico. The revision pertains primarily to electronic reporting and would require electronic reporting of documents submitted for compliance with Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements. The revision also includes other changes which are non-substantive and primarily address updates to New Mexico Environment Department's (NMED) document viewing locations.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on September 22, 2015 without further notice, unless EPA receives relevant adverse comment by August 24, 2015. If EPA receives such comment, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0172, by one of the following methods:

    www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions.

    Email: [email protected]

    Mail or delivery: Mr. Guy Donaldson, Chief, Air Planning Section (6PD-L), Environmental Protection Agency, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0172. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information the disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Do not submit information through http://www.regulations.gov or email, if you believe that it is CBI or otherwise protected from disclosure. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means that EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment along with any disk or CD-ROM submitted. 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 and any form of encryption and should be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Sherry Fuerst, 214-665-6454, [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with Ms. Fuerst or Mr. Bill Deese at 214-665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. Background

    On February 2, 2015, the Secretary of the NMED submitted rules for inclusion into the SIP which amended regulations to include authorizing and requiring the electronic submittal of data, reports and permit applications in lieu of paper submittals. The revision to the SIP would incorporate amendments to rule 20.2.1 of the New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC)—General Provisions. The amendments provide that, after proper notification is given, submittals to NMED required under 20 NMAC Chapter 2 (Air Quality) must be electronic, unless a waiver is granted (20.2.1.117NMAC). Additionally, the revision amends 20 NMAC Chapter 2, Part 1 to make non-substantive changes which primarily address updates to NMED document viewing locations.

    II. EPA's Evaluation

    Our regulations assert that States that wish to receive electronic documents must revise the SIP to satisfy the requirements of 40 CFR part 3 (Electronic reporting) (40 CFR 51.286). EPA has evaluated the State's submittal allowing electronic reporting and has determined that it meets the applicable requirements of the EPA air quality regulations because it is consistent with EPA's requirements for electronic reporting.

    Section 110(l) of the Federal CAA states that each revision to an implementation plan submitted by a State under this chapter shall be adopted by such State after reasonable notice and public hearing. Additionally, we may not approve a revision of a plan if the revision would interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress, or any other applicable requirement of the CAA. In its submittal, NMED provided documentation that reasonable notice and a public hearing were provided. As the revision allows for the electronic reporting of information and does not alter the substance of the state monitoring submittals, it will not interfere with any applicable requirement of the CAA.

    III. Final Action

    We are approving revisions to the New Mexico SIP that pertain to electronic reporting, 20.2.1.117 A and B, as proposed in the SIP revision proposal package submitted by the Secretary of NMED on February 2, 2015.

    We are also approving the amendments that were proposed to correct typographical errors and to standardize formatting of rule language.

    EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because we view this as a non-controversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision if relevant adverse comments are received. This rule will be effective on September 22, 2015 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse comment by August 24, 2015. If we receive relevant adverse comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. We will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. We will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so now. Please note that if we receive relevant adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, we may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

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

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by September 22, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart GG—New Mexico 2. In § 52.1620(c), the table titled “EPA Approved New Mexico Regulations” is amended by revising the entry for “Part 1” under “New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) Title 20—Environment Protection, Chapter 2—Air Quality” to read as follows:
    § 52.1620 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA Approved New Mexico Regulations State citation Title/subject State
  • approval/
  • effective date
  • EPA approval date Comments
    New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) Title 20—Environment Protection Chapter 2—Air Quality Part 1 General Provisions 1/23/2015 7/24/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-18098 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION 45 CFR Part 1628 Recipient Fund Balances AGENCY:

    Legal Services Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule revises the Legal Services Corporation (LSC or Corporation) regulation on recipient fund balances to give the Corporation more discretion to grant a recipient's request for a waiver to retain a fund balance in excess of 25% of its annual LSC support. This final rule also provides that recipients facing a fund balance in excess of 25% of their annual LSC support may submit a waiver request prior to submitting their annual audited financial statements.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective August 24, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stefanie K. Davis, Assistant General Counsel, Legal Services Corporation, 3333 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20007; (202) 295-1563 (phone), (202) 337-6519 (fax), or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Regulatory Background

    LSC issued its first instruction on recipient fund balances in 1983 to implement what is now the Corporation's longstanding objective of ensuring the timely expenditure of LSC funds for the effective and economical provision of high quality legal assistance to eligible clients. 48 FR 560, 561, Jan. 5, 1983. Later that year, LSC published a redrafted version titled Instruction 83-4, Recipient Fund Balances (“Instruction”). 48 FR 49710, 49711, Oct. 27, 1983. The Instruction limited recipients' ability to carry over LSC funds that remained unused at the end of the fiscal year. Id. Specifically, the Instruction provided that in the absence of a waiver granted by the Corporation, a recipient must repay to LSC any funds retained at the end of the fiscal year in excess of 10% of its total annual LSC support. Id. The Instruction also prohibited a recipient from ever retaining a fund balance in excess of 25% of its annual support, thereby limiting the Corporation's waiver granting authority to fund balance amounts of 25% or less of a recipient's annual LSC support. Id.

    In 1984, LSC substantially adopted the Instruction in a regulation published at 45 CFR part 1628. 49 FR 21331, May 21, 1984. Part 1628 remained unchanged until 2000, when LSC promulgated revisions in response to public comments and staff advice that the rule was “more strict” than the fund balance requirements of most federal agencies. 65 FR 66637, 66638, Nov. 7, 2000. The revised rule provided the Corporation with more discretion to grant a recipient's request for a waiver to retain a fund balance of up to 25% of its annual LSC support. Id. at 66637. In addition, for the first time, the rule authorized the Corporation to exercise its discretion to grant a recipient's request for a waiver to retain a fund balance in excess of 25% of its annual LSC support. Id. The Corporation reasoned that, by allowing for waivers to retain that amount, “[t]he recipient can better plan and find the best use for the funds, rather than being forced into a hasty expenditure simply to avoid the limitation on the carryover of fund balances.” Id. at 66640. The rule, however, limited the situations justifying a recipient's request to retain more than 25% of its annual support to “three specific circumstances when extraordinary and compelling reasons exist for such a waiver,” listed in § 1628.3(c). Id. at 66638. These extraordinary and compelling circumstances were restricted to the following situations when a recipient received income derived from its use of LSC funds: “(1) An insurance reimbursement; (2) the sale of real property; and (3) the receipt of monies from a lawsuit in which the recipient was a party.” Id. at 66639. Although the Operations and Regulations Committee (Committee) “considered using a standard of `extraordinary and compelling' for these waivers with the three specific circumstances discussed as examples,” it ultimately decided “that more guidance was required to avoid erosion of the standard,” and the three circumstances became exclusive limitations, not mere examples. Id. at 66640. The LSC Board of Directors (Board) adopted the revisions to part 1628 on November 20, 1999, and the revised rule has been in effect since December 7, 2000. Id. at 66637-38.

    During the nearly 15-year period since part 1628 was last revised, LSC grantees have experienced various unexpected occurrences outside of those listed in § 1628.3(c) that caused them to accrue fund balances in excess of 25% of their annual support. These occurrences have included an end-of-year transfer of assets from a former grantee to a current grantee, a natural disaster that resulted in a significant infusion of use-or-lose disaster relief funds from non-LSC sources, and receipt of a large attorneys' fees award in an LSC-funded case near the end of the fiscal year. In each of these situations, LSC determined that part 1628 prevented recipients with legitimate reasons for having fund balances exceeding 25% of their annual LSC support from seeking and obtaining needed waivers.

    On January 22, 2015, LSC staff presented the Committee with a proposal to consider revising part 1628 to address the difficulties faced by recipients that encounter these types of occurrences, yet are unable to justify a waiver request to retain a balance in excess of 25% of their annual support under part 1628's standards. The Committee authorized LSC management to add the matter to the Committee's rulemaking agenda.

    As required by the LSC Rulemaking Protocol, LSC staff prepared an explanatory rulemaking options paper, accompanied by a proposed rule amending part 1628. On April 12, 2015, the Committee voted to recommend that the Board publish the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register for notice and comment. On April 14, 2015, the Board accepted the Committee's recommendation and voted to approve publication of the NPRM in the Federal Register. 80 FR 21700, Apr. 20, 2015. The comment period remained open for thirty days and closed on May 20, 2015.

    On July 16, 2015, the Committee considered the draft final rule for publication and voted to recommend its adoption publication to the Board. On July 18, 2015, the Board adopted the final rule and approved its publication.

    Material regarding this rulemaking is available in the open rulemaking section of LSC's Web site at http://www.lsc.gov/about/regulations-rules/open-rulemaking. After the effective date of this rule, those materials will appear in the closed rulemaking section of LSC's Web site at http://www.lsc.gov/about/regulations-rules/closed-rulemaking.

    II. Section-by-Section Discussion of Comments and Regulatory Provisions

    LSC received two comments during the public comment period. One comment was submitted by an LSC recipient, the Northwest Justice Project (NJP). The other comment was submitted by the non-LSC-funded nonprofit National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) through its Civil Policy Group and Regulations and Policy Committee. Both commenters were generally supportive of LSC's proposed changes to part 1628.

    Section 1628.3 Policy

    LSC proposed to revise § 1628.3(c) to eliminate the language limiting the extraordinary and compelling circumstances in which LSC may grant a recipient's request for a waiver to retain a fund balance that exceeds 25% of its annual support. LSC staff determined that the list of extraordinary and compelling circumstances should be illustrative, rather than exhaustive, so that recipients that encounter truly unforeseeable situations can avoid having to make the difficult choice between returning large portions of unused balances and hurriedly spending funds before the end of the fiscal year. Whereas existing § 1628.3(c) is limited to three circumstances where a recipient receives a sudden infusion of income, the new section expands the types of situations that the Corporation, in its discretion, may consider to be extraordinary and compelling circumstances. The new section adds the example of a natural disaster to illustrate a situation where a recipient would be unable to expend its current LSC grant for reasons other than the receipt of new funds, such as being forced to temporarily shut down operations. The section also adds the example of “a payment from an LSC-funded lawsuit, regardless of whether the recipient was a party to the lawsuit.” This revision makes clear that a recipient may request a waiver to retain a fund balance in excess of 25% of its annual support when it receives an award as the result of a court decision in an LSC-funded case, even if the recipient was not named as a party to the action. LSC also proposed to make a minor revision to § 1628.3(d) to reflect the proposed redesignation of certain paragraphs in § 1628.4.

    Comments: Both commenters expressed strong support of the revisions to § 1628.3.

    Section 1628.4 Procedures

    LSC proposed to add a new § 1628.4(d) to expressly allow recipients that expect to have a fund balance in excess of 25% of their annual support at the end of the fiscal year to submit a waiver request prior to the submission of their annual audited financial statements. This addition will require existing § 1628.4(d), (e), (f), and (g) to be redesignated as § 1628.4(e), (f), (g), and (h). The new § 1628.4(d) will list the written requirements for a waiver request to retain a fund balance in excess of 25% of annual support. It will also require recipients that receive early approval to later submit updated information consistent with the requirements of § 1628.4(a) to confirm the actual fund balance amount to be retained by the recipient, as determined by reference to its annual audited financial statements. Accordingly, an advance approval would be, in effect, an approval of the reasons for a waiver and of the proposed amount to be retained. The recipient must later provide confirmation of the actual amount of excess funds it has retained. Finally, LSC proposed to revise the introductory text of paragraph (a), as well as paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3), for clarity and readability.

    Comments: Both commenters were supportive of LSC's proposal to allow recipients with fund balances in excess of 25% of annual support to submit waiver requests prior to the submission of their annual audit reports. NLADA recommended that LSC further revise § 1628.4 to also allow recipients expecting to have fund balances in excess of 10% and up to 25% of their annual LSC support to submit early waiver requests. NLADA reasoned that this would allow recipients seeking such waivers to plan for the next fiscal year with greater certainty. NJP, on the other hand, expressed support for continuing the standard waiver request process for recipients with fund balances that do not exceed 25% of annual support. NJP stated that, in its experience, such requests are more than likely to be approved and that using annual audit report information to draft them assures that the amount approved for retention is equal to the final audited carryover.

    Response: As stated in the preamble of the NPRM, LSC staff found that limiting early approvals to waiver requests for fund balances in excess of 25% of annual support was proper in light of the unique and significant financial planning burdens faced by recipients that experience extraordinary and compelling circumstances causing them to accrue substantial amounts of unused funds. Furthermore, while the Corporation will continue to apply the heightened standard of “extraordinary and compelling circumstances” to requests to retain fund balances in excess of 25% of annual support, it will maintain the less burdensome standard of “special circumstances” for requests to retain fund balances that do not exceed 25% of annual support. Therefore, LSC believes that recipients seeking to retain fund balance amounts in excess of 10% and up to 25% of annual support would not benefit significantly from the minimal level of additional assurance that allowing the early submission of waiver requests may potentially provide. In addition, recipients that receive early approvals of such requests would later have to provide confirmation of the actual amount of excess funds they accrued when they submit their annual audited financial statements. LSC believes that the additional time and effort required by this process would not be justified by the small amount of additional assurance that it may provide.

    List of Subjects in 45 CFR Part 1628

    Administrative practice and procedure, Grant programs—law, Legal services.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Legal Services Corporation amends 45 CFR part 1628 as follows:

    PART 1628—RECIPIENT FUND BALANCES 1. The authority citation for Part 1628 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 2996g(e).

    2. Revise paragraphs (c) and (d) of § 1628.3 to read as follows:
    § 1628.3 Policy.

    (c) Recipients may request a waiver to retain a fund balance in excess of 25% of a recipient's LSC support only for extraordinary and compelling circumstances, such as when a natural disaster or other catastrophic event prevents the timely expenditure of LSC funds, or when the recipient receives an insurance reimbursement, the proceeds from the sale of real property, a payment from a lawsuit in which the recipient was a party, or a payment from an LSC-funded lawsuit, regardless of whether the recipient was a party to the lawsuit.

    (d) A waiver pursuant to paragraph (b) or (c) of this section may be granted at the discretion of the Corporation pursuant to the criteria set out in § 1628.4(e).

    3. Amend § 1628.4 by revising paragraphs (a) introductory text, (a)(2) and (3), and (d) to read as follows:
    § 1628.4 Procedures.

    (a) A recipient may request a waiver of the 10% ceiling on LSC fund balances within 30 days after the submission to LSC of its annual audited financial statements. The request shall specify:

    (2) The reason(s) for the excess fund balance;

    (3) The recipient's plan for disposing of the excess fund balance during the current fiscal year;

    (d) A recipient may submit a waiver request to retain a fund balance in excess of 25% of its LSC support prior to the submission of its audited financial statements. The Corporation may, at its discretion, provide approval in writing. The request shall specify the extraordinary and compelling circumstances justifying the fund balance in excess of 25%; the estimated fund balance that the recipient anticipates it will accrue by the time of the submission of its audited financial statements; and the recipient's plan for disposing of the excess fund balance. Upon the submission of its annual audited financial statements, the recipient must submit updated information consistent with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section to confirm the actual fund balance to be retained.

    Dated: July 20, 2015. Stefanie K. Davis, Assistant General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18138 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7050-01-P
    80 142 Friday, July 24, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 9 CFR Part 3 [Docket No. APHIS-2014-0098] Petition To Develop Specific Ethologically Appropriate Standards for Nonhuman Primates in Research AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of petition; reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We are reopening the comment period for a petition requesting that we amend the Animal Welfare Act regulations to specify ethologically appropriate standards that researchers must adhere to in order to promote the psychological well-being of nonhuman primates used in research. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the notice published May 1, 2015 (80 FR 24840-24841) is reopened. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 31, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2014-0098.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2014-0098, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2014-0098 or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Carol Clarke, Research Program Manager, USDA, APHIS, Animal Care, 4700 River Road Unit 84, Riverdale, MD 20737-1234; (301) 851-3751.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On May 1, 2015, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service published in the Federal Register (80 FR 24840-24841, Docket No. APHIS-2014-0098) a notice 1 requesting comments on a petition to amend the Animal Welfare Act regulations to specify ethologically appropriate standards that researchers must adhere to in order to promote the psychological well-being of nonhuman primates used in research.

    1 To view the notice, supporting documents, and the comments we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2014-0098.

    Comments on the notice were required to be received on or before June 30, 2015. We are reopening the comment period on Docket No. APHIS-2014-0098 for an additional 60 days, until August 31, 2015. We will accept all comments received between July 1, 2015 (the day after the close of the original comment period) and the date of this notice. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.

    We encourage the submission of scientific data, studies, or research to support your comments and position. We also invite data on the costs and benefits associated with any recommendations. We will consider all comments and recommendations received.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 2131-2159; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.7.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 20th day of July 2015. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18174 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 21 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3031] Proposed Primary Category Airworthiness Design Standards; AutoGyro USA, LLC (AutoGyro) Model Calidus Gyroplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the existence of and requests comments on the proposed airworthiness design standards for acceptance of the AutoGyro Model Calidus gyroplane under the regulations for primary category aircraft.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments by September 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send all comments to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Rotorcraft Standards Staff, Rotorcraft Directorate (ASW-110), FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gary Roach, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, Texas 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Any person may obtain a copy of this information by contacting the person named above under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to submit comments on the proposed airworthiness standards to the address specified above. Commenters must identify the AutoGyro Model Calidus on all submitted correspondence. The FAA will consider all communications received on or before the closing date before issuing the final acceptance. The proposed airworthiness design standards and comments received may be inspected at the FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Standards Staff (ASW-110), FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76137, between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays, except Federal holidays.

    Background

    The “primary” category for aircraft was created specifically for the simple, low performance personal aircraft. Section 21.17(f) provides a means for applicants to propose airworthiness standards for their particular primary category aircraft. The FAA procedure establishing appropriate airworthiness standards includes reviewing and possibly revising the applicant's proposal, publication of the submittal in the Federal Register for public review and comment, and addressing the comments. After all necessary revisions, the standards are published as approved FAA airworthiness standards.

    Accordingly, the applicant, AutoGyro, has submitted a request to the FAA to include the following:

    Proposed Airworthiness Standards for Acceptance Under the Primary Category Rule

    For Aircraft Certification and the Powerplant Installation:

    Section T Light Gyroplanes, of the British Civil Airworthiness Requirements, Issue 3, dated August 12, 2005.

    14 CFR 27.853(a) and (c)(1) Amdt 27-37 Compartment Interior; §§ 23.735(a) through (c) Amdt 23-62 Brakes except that the reference to 23.75 is replaced with Section T75 of BCAR Section T, Issue 3; §§ 27.735(a) and (c)(1) Amdt 27-21 Brakes; §§ 27.1365(b) and (c) Amdt 27-35 Electrical Cables; and § 27.1561(a) Safety Equipment, as applicable to these aircraft.

    For Engine Assembly Certification:

    ASTM F2339-06 (2009), “Standard Practice for Design and Manufacture of Reciprocating Spark Ignition Engines for Light Sport Aircraft,” except paragraph A1.1.3.

    For Propeller Certification:

    Section T Light Gyroplanes, of the British Civil Airworthiness Requirements, Issue 3, dated August 12, 2005; ASTM F2506-10 (2009), “Standard Specification for Design and Testing of Fixed-Pitch or Ground Adjustable Light Sport Aircraft Propellers,” paragraph 5.5 Propeller Strength and Endurance and Section 6 Tests and Inspections.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas on July 16, 2015. Bruce E. Cain, Acting Directorate Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18221 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2994; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-057-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Formerly Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) Helicopters AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Airbus) (formerly Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) Model MBB-BK 117C-2 helicopters with an external mounted hoist system wiring harness installed. This proposed AD would require inspecting the hoist control pendant wiring harness for chafing, and if there is chafing, before the next hoist operation, replacing the wiring harness. This proposed AD would also require a installing a protection sleeve on the hoist control pendant wiring harness. This proposed AD is prompted by an uncommanded hoist release involving chafing on the wiring harness of the hoist control pendant and on the wiring. The proposed actions are intended to prevent loss of an external load or person from the hoist resulting in injury to persons being lifted and loss of control of the helicopter.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 22, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    George Schwab, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

    We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive.

    Discussion

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, issued EASA AD No. 2014-0211, dated September 19, 2014, to correct an unsafe condition for the Airbus Model MBB-BK117 C-2 helicopters “equipped with optional equipment external mounted hoist system.” EASA advises that an uncommanded hoist cable cut occurred and that an investigation revealed chafing on the wiring harness of the hoist control pendant and on the wiring of the +28V wire of the stand-by horizon inside the middle ceiling panel. The wire of the stand-by horizon contacted the hoist control pendant wiring harness and caused the uncommanded cable cut. EASA also states that this condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to load release, possibly resulting in injury to a human load or to the persons on the ground. EASA issued AD No. 2014-0211 requiring an inspection and modification of the wiring harness to correct this unsafe condition.

    FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of Germany and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with Germany, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in its AD. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus Helicopters issued Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) MBB-BK117 C-2-88A-009, Revision 0, on June 18, 2014, specifying a visual inspection of the hoist control pendant wiring harness for chafing. If there is heavy chafing, before the next hoist operation, the ASB specifies replacing the wiring harness. The ASB also specifies a “retrofit” of an additional protective sleeve for the hoist control pendant wiring harness. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require:

    • Before the next hoist operation:

    ○ Visually inspecting the hoist control pendant wiring harness for chafing, and replacing the wiring harness if there is chafing on the wiring harness protection sleeve and any internal wiring is visible, or if there is chafing on any internal wire.

    ○ Installing each wiring harness cable tie so that the cable tie heads do not contact any adjacent parts or wiring harnesses.

    • Within the next 100 hours time-in-service, installing a protection sleeve on the wiring harness and inspecting each cable tie for correct installation.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 109 helicopters of U.S. Registry.

    We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work hour. We estimate 1.5 work hours to inspect the hoist control pendant wiring harness at a cost of about $128 per helicopter and $13,952 for the fleet. We estimate 2 work hours to install a protection sleeve and inspect the cable ties and $125 for required parts at a cost of $295 per helicopter and $32,155 for the fleet. If required, we estimate a minimal amount of time for labor and $224 for required parts to replace a wiring harness.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed, I certify this proposed regulation:

    1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and

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

    We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (formerly Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH): Docket No. FAA-2015-2994; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-057-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model MBB-BK 117 C-2 helicopters with an external mounted hoist system wiring harness part number (P/N) B851M2063101 installed, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as chafing on the wiring harness or wiring of a hoist control pendant. This condition could result in loss of an external load or person from the hoist resulting in injury to persons being lifted and loss of control of the helicopter.

    (c) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by September 22, 2015.

    (d) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

    (e) Required Actions

    (1) Before the next hoist operation:

    (i) Visually inspect the hoist control pendant wiring harness (wiring harness) for chafing. The wiring harness is shown in Figure 1 of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) MBB-BK117 C-2-88A-009, Revision 0, dated June 18, 2014 (MBB-BK117 C-2-88A-009). If there is chafing on the wiring harness protection sleeve such that any internal wiring is visible, or if there is chafing on any internal wire, replace the wiring harness.

    (ii) Install each wiring harness cable tie so that the cable tie heads do not contact any adjacent parts or wiring harnesses, as shown in Figure 3 of ASB MBB-BK117 C-2-88A-009.

    (2) Within the next 100 hours time-in-service, install a protection sleeve on the wiring harness and inspect each cable tie by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B.3, of ASB MBB-BK117 C-2-88A-009.

    (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Regulations Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: George Schwab, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

    (g) Additional Information

    (1) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2014-0211, dated September 19, 2014. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2015-2994.

    (h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code: 5397 Fuselage Wiring.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 15, 2015. Bruce E. Cain, Acting Directorate Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18049 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2959; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-008-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 787-8 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports indicating that the ram air turbine (RAT) assembly may fail to operate if deployed at low airspeeds. This proposed AD would require replacing either the RAT pump and control module assembly or the entire RAT assembly. We are proposing this AD to prevent failure of the RAT assembly to operate at low air speeds. The volume fuse on the RAT assembly may be activated in-flight before the RAT is deployed. This may lead to improper pump hydraulic pressure offloading when the RAT is needed. Failure of the RAT to operate in an all engine out event would result in loss of control of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA 2015-2959.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2959; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sean J. Schauer, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6479; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-2959; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-008-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    An engineering review by Boeing's RAT supplier discovered that the RAT assembly may fail to operate if deployed at low airspeeds. A hydraulic fuse in the RAT control module is intended to remain open to enable RAT spin-up at low air speeds by off-loading the RAT hydraulic pump. After the RAT is spinning, the fuse sets and the pump output supplies power to the center hydraulic system. The supplier found that the fuse may prematurely set as a result of nominal leakage through the hydraulic pump and/or check valve, preventing the RAT from spinning up when deployed below 160 knots. This has been attributed to a design defect in the fuse. A RAT in service will spin up if deployed above 160 knots and remain operational as the airplane decelerates through the minimum RAT design speed of 130 knots. The premature setting of the RAT fuse can prevent the RAT from spinning up and providing emergency hydraulic power when deployed below 160 knots. In an all engine out event, an inoperative RAT would result in loss of control of the airplane.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB290015-00, Issue 002, dated November 25, 2014. The service information describes procedures for replacing either the RAT pump and control module assembly or the RAT assembly including an installation test and corrective actions if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously. Refer to this service information for details on the procedures and compliance times.

    The phrase “corrective actions” is used in this proposed AD. “Corrective actions” are actions that correct or address any condition found. Corrective actions in an AD could include, for example, repairs.

    Explanation of “RC” Steps in Service Information

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

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 12 airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Replacement 7 work-hours × $85 per hour = $595 N/A $595 $7,140

    According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-2959; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-008-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by September 8, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 787-8 airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB290015-00, Issue 002, dated November 25, 2014.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 29, Hydraulic Power.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports indicating that the ram air turbine (RAT) assembly may fail to operate if deployed at low airspeeds. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the RAT assembly to operate at low air speeds. The volume fuse on the RAT assembly may be activated in-flight before the RAT is deployed. This may lead to improper pump hydraulic pressure offloading when the RAT is needed. Failure of the RAT to operate in an all engine out event would result in loss of control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Replacement

    Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the RAT pump and control module assembly or the RAT assembly, including an installation test and applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB290015-00, Issue 002, dated November 25, 2014. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

    (h) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB290015-00, Issue 001, dated September 4, 2014, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (4) For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (i)(4)(i) and (i)(4)(ii) of this AD apply.

    (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

    (ii) Steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Sean J. Schauer, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM 130S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6479; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 16, 2015. Suzanne Masterson, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18151 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2961; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-145-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2012-15-13, which applies to certain The Boeing Company Model 747-100B SUD, 747-300, 747-400, and 747-400D series airplanes; and Model 747-200B series airplanes having a stretched upper deck. AD 2012-15-13 currently requires inspections for cracking and discrepancies of certain fasteners; modification of the frame-to-tension-tie joints; repetitive post-modification inspections; related investigative and corrective actions if necessary; and repetitive inspections for cracking in the tension tie channels, and repair if necessary. For certain airplanes, AD 2012-15-13 also requires an inspection to determine if the angle is installed correctly, and re-installation if necessary; and an inspection at the fastener locations where the tension tie previously attached to the frame prior to certain modifications, and repair if necessary. Since we issued AD 2012-15-13, an evaluation indicated that the upper deck is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would add a new inspection for cracking in the tension tie channels and post-modification inspections of the modified tension ties for cracking, and repair if necessary. We are proposing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking of the tension ties, shear webs, and frames of the upper deck, which could result in rapid decompression and reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2961.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2961; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bill Ashforth, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6432; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-2961; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-145-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    On July 23, 2012, we issued AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012), for certain The Boeing Company Model 747-100B SUD, 747-300, 747-400, and 747-400D series airplanes; and Model 747-200B series airplanes having a stretched upper deck. AD 2012-15-13 requires repetitive open hole high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for cracking in the forward and aft tension tie channels, and repair if necessary. For certain airplanes, AD 2012-15-13 also requires a one-time angle inspection to determine if the angle is installed correctly, and re-installation if necessary; and a one-time open hole HFEC inspection at the fastener locations where the tension tie previously attached to the frame prior to certain modifications, and repair if necessary. AD 2012-15-13 resulted from reports of cracked and severed tension ties, broken fasteners, and cracks in the frame, shear web, and shear ties adjacent to tension ties for the upper deck. We issued AD 2012-15-13 to detect and correct cracking of the tension ties, shear webs, and frames of the upper deck, which could result in rapid decompression and reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    Widespread Fatigue Damage

    Structural fatigue damage is progressive. It begins as minute cracks, and those cracks grow under the action of repeated stresses. This can happen because of normal operational conditions and design attributes, or because of isolated situations or incidents such as material defects, poor fabrication quality, or corrosion pits, dings, or scratches. Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural design details, or globally. Global fatigue damage is general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural details and stress levels. Multiple-site damage is global damage that occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. Global damage can also occur in multiple elements such as adjacent frames or stringers. Multiple-site-damage and multiple-element-damage cracks are typically too small initially to be reliably detected with normal inspection methods. Without intervention, these cracks will grow, and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the airplane, in a condition known as widespread fatigue damage (WFD). As an airplane ages, WFD will likely occur, and will certainly occur if the airplane is operated long enough without any intervention.

    The FAA's WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD rule requires certain actions to prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that design approval holders (DAHs) establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV is approved.

    The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by airworthiness directives through separate rulemaking actions.

    In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur. This approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes.

    Actions Since AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012), Was Issued

    The preamble to AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012), specified that we considered the requirements of that AD “interim action.” AD 2012-15-13 explained that we might consider further rulemaking if final action is later identified. Since we issued AD 2012-15-13, an evaluation by the DAH indicated that the upper deck is subject to WFD. We have determined that it is necessary to mandate a new inspection for cracking in the tension tie channels, repetitive post-modification inspections of the modified tension ties for cracking, and repair if necessary.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, Revision 2, dated May 13, 2014. The service information describes procedures for modifying the tension tie and frame at certain center sections. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would retain all of the requirements of AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012). For certain airplanes, this proposed AD would mandate a new inspection for cracking in the forward and aft tension tie channels, repetitive post-modification inspections of the modified tension ties for cracking, and repair if necessary. Refer to Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, Revision 2, dated May 13, 2014, for details on the procedures and compliance times.

    Explanation of Compliance Time

    The compliance time for the modification specified in this proposed AD for addressing WFD was established to ensure that discrepant structure is modified before WFD develops in airplanes. Standard inspection techniques cannot be relied on to detect WFD before it becomes a hazard to flight. We will not grant any extensions of the compliance time to complete any AD-mandated service bulletin related to WFD without extensive new data that would substantiate and clearly warrant such an extension.

    Costs of Compliance

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

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Retained modification in AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012) (67 airplanes) Between 257 and 263 work-hours = between $21,845 and $22,355 Between $341,334 and $345,490 Between $363,179 and $367,845 Between $24,332,993 and $24,645,615. Retained post-modification inspections in AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012) (67 airplanes) 6 work-hours × $85 per hour = $510 per inspection cycle $0 $510 per inspection cycle $34,170 per inspection cycle. New proposed inspection 10 work-hours × $85 per hour = $850 $0 $850 $102,000. New proposed post-modification eddy current inspections 216 work-hours × $85 per hour = $18,360 per inspection cycle $0 $18,360 per inspection cycle $2,203,200 per inspection cycle.

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide a cost estimate for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed AD.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that the proposed regulation:

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

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

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012), and adding the following new AD: The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-2961; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-145-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by September 8, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 747-100B SUD, 747-300, 747-400, and 747-400D series airplanes; and Model 747-200B series airplanes having a stretched upper deck; certificated in any category; excluding airplanes that have been converted to a large cargo freighter configuration.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of cracked and severed tension ties, broken fasteners, and cracks in the frame, shear web, and shear ties adjacent to tension ties for the upper deck. This AD was also prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH), which indicated that the upper deck is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking of the tension ties, shear webs, and frames of the upper deck, which could result in rapid decompression and reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Repetitive Stage 1 Inspections, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012), with no changes. For all airplanes: Do detailed inspections for cracking or discrepancies of the fasteners in the tension ties, shear webs, and frames at body stations (STA) 1120 through 1220, and related investigative and corrective actions as applicable, by doing all actions specified in and in accordance with “Stage 1 Inspection” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, dated April 21, 2005, except as provided by paragraph (k) of this AD; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, dated January 14, 2010. As of September 12, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-15-13), only Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, dated January 14, 2010, may be used to do the actions required by this paragraph. Do the Stage 1 inspections at the applicable times specified in paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD, except as provided by paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD. Accomplishment of the initial Stage 2 inspection required by paragraph (j) of this AD terminates the requirements of this paragraph. Any applicable related investigative and corrective actions must be done before further flight. Doing the modification required by paragraph (p) of this AD terminates the repetitive inspection requirements of this paragraph.

    (1) Where paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, dated April 21, 2005, specifies a compliance time relative to “the original issue date on this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance before the specified compliance time after April 26, 2006 (the effective date of AD 2006-06-11, Amendment 39-14520 (71 FR 14367, March 22, 2006)).

    (2) For any airplane that reaches the applicable compliance time for the initial Stage 2 inspection (as specified in Table 1, Compliance Recommendations, under paragraph 1.E., of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, dated April 21, 2005) before reaching the applicable compliance time for the initial Stage 1 inspection: Accomplishment of the initial Stage 2 inspection terminates the Stage 1 inspections.

    (h) Retained Compliance Time for Initial Stage 1 Inspection, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (h) of AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012), with no changes. Do the initial Stage 1 inspection at the earlier of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Inspect at the earlier of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(1)(i) and (h)(1)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, dated April 21, 2005.

    (ii) Before the accumulation of 10,000 total flight cycles, or within 250 flight cycles after November 28, 2007 (the effective date of AD 2007-23-18, Amendment 39-15266 (72 FR 65655, November 23, 2007)), whichever occurs later.

    (2) Inspect at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(2)(i) and (h)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) Before the accumulation of 12,000 total flight cycles.

    (ii) Within 50 flight cycles or 20 days, whichever occurs first, after November 28, 2007 (the effective date of AD 2007-23-18, Amendment 39-15266 (72 FR 65655, November 23, 2007)).

    (i) Retained Compliance Times for Repetitive Stage 1 Inspections, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (i) of AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012), with no changes. Repeat the Stage 1 inspection specified in paragraph (g) of this AD at the time specified in paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(2) of this AD, as applicable. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 250 flight cycles, until the initial Stage 2 inspection required by paragraph (j) of this AD has been done.

    (1) For airplanes on which the initial Stage 1 inspection has not been accomplished as of November 28, 2007 (the effective date of AD 2007-23-18, Amendment 39-15266 (72 FR 65655, November 23, 2007)): Do the next inspection before the accumulation of 10,000 total flight cycles, or within 250 flight cycles after the initial Stage 1 inspection done in accordance with paragraph (g) of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (2) For airplanes on which the initial Stage 1 inspection has been accomplished as of November 28, 2007 (the effective date of AD 2007-23-18, Amendment 39-15266 (72 FR 65655, November 23, 2007)): Do the next inspection at the applicable time specified in paragraph (i)(2)(i) or (i)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) For airplanes that have accumulated fewer than 12,000 total flight cycles as of November 28, 2007 (the effective date of AD 2007-23-18, Amendment 39-15266 (72 FR 65655, November 23, 2007)): Do the next inspection before the accumulation of 10,000 total flight cycles, or within 250 flight cycles after November 28, 2007, whichever occurs later.

    (ii) For airplanes that have accumulated 12,000 total flight cycles or more as of November 28, 2007 (the effective date of AD 2007-23-18, Amendment 39-15266 (72 FR 65655, November 23, 2007)): Do the next inspection at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (i)(2)(ii)(A) and (i)(2)(ii)(B) of this AD.

    (A) Within 250 flight cycles after accomplishment of the initial Stage 1 inspection.

    (B) Within 50 flight cycles or 20 days, whichever occurs first, after November 28, 2007 (the effective date of AD 2007-23-18, Amendment 39-15266 (72 FR 65655, November 23, 2007)).

    (j) Retained Repetitive Stage 2 Inspections, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (j) of AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012), with no changes. For all airplanes: Do detailed and high frequency eddy current inspections for cracking or discrepancies of the fasteners in the tension ties, shear webs, and frames at body stations 1120 through 1220, and related investigative and corrective actions as applicable, by doing all actions specified in and in accordance with “Stage 2 Inspection” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, dated April 21, 2005, or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, dated January 14, 2010; except as provided by paragraph (k) of this AD. Do the initial inspections at the earlier of the times specified in paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(2) of this AD. Repeat the Stage 2 inspection thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, dated April 21, 2005, or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, dated January 14, 2010. As of September 12, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-15-13), only Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, dated January 14, 2010, may be used. Any applicable related investigative and corrective actions must be done before further flight. Accomplishment of the initial Stage 2 inspection ends the repetitive Stage 1 inspections. Doing the modification required by paragraph (p) of this AD terminates the repetitive inspection requirements of this paragraph.

    (1) Before the accumulation of 16,000 total flight cycles, or within 1,000 flight cycles after November 28, 2007 (the effective date of AD 2007-23-18, Amendment 39-15266 (72 FR 65655, November 23, 2007)), whichever occurs later.

    (2) Before the accumulation of 10,000 total flight cycles, or within 1,000 flight cycles after September 12, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012)), whichever occurs later.

    (k) Retained Exception to Corrective Action Instructions, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (k) of AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012), with no changes. If any discrepancy, including but not limited to any crack, broken fastener, loose fastener, or missing fastener is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g), (h), (i), or (j) of this AD, and Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, dated April 21, 2005, or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, dated January 14, 2010, specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate action: Before further flight, repair the discrepancy using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (t) of this AD.

    (l) Retained Stage 2 Inspection: Work at STA 1140, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (l) of AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012), with no changes. For all airplanes: Except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the time specified in paragraph 1.E, “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, dated January 14, 2010, do an open hole high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for cracking in the forward and aft tension tie channels at 12 fastener locations inboard of the aluminum straps at STA 1140, and before further flight do all applicable repairs. Do all actions in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, dated January 14, 2010. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, dated January 14, 2010. Doing the modification required by paragraph (p) of this AD terminates the inspection requirements in this paragraph.

    (m) Retained One-Time Inspection for Incorrectly Installed Angles, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (m) of AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012), with no changes. For Group 1, Configuration 1, airplanes as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, dated January 14, 2010: Except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the time specified in paragraph 1.E, “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, dated January 14, 2010, do a detailed inspection to determine if the angle is installed correctly, and before further flight re-install all angles that were installed incorrectly. Do all actions in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, dated January 14, 2010.

    (n) Retained One-time Inspection for Cracks in Frames at Previous Tension Tie Locations, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (n) of AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012), with no changes. For Group 1, Configuration 2, airplanes; and Groups 2 and 3 airplanes; as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, dated January 14, 2010: Except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the time specified in paragraph 1.E, “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, dated January 14, 2010, do an open hole HFEC inspection for cracks at the fastener locations (STAs 1120, 1160, 1200, and 1220) where the tension tie previously attached to the frame prior to modification to the Boeing Special Freighter or Boeing Converted Freighter configuration, and before further flight do all applicable repairs. Do all actions in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, dated January 14, 2010. Doing the modification required by paragraph (p) of this AD terminates the one-time inspection requirements in this paragraph.

    (o) Retained Exception to Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, Dated January 14, 2010, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (o) of AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012), with no changes. Where paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2507, Revision 1, dated January 14, 2010, specifies a compliance time relative to “the Revision 1 date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after September 12, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-15-13).

    (p) Retained Modification and Post-Modification Repetitive Inspections, With Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (p) of AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012), with revised service information. Except as provided by paragraphs (p)(1) and (p)(2) of this AD: At the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E, “Compliance,” of Boeing Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, Revision 1, dated August 4, 2011, modify the frame-to-tension-tie joints at STAs 1120 through 1220; do all related investigative and applicable corrective actions; do the repetitive post-modification detailed inspections for cracking of the tension tie and frame structure and all applicable corrective actions; and do the additional modification. Do all actions in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, Revision 1, dated August 4, 2011, or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, Revision 2, dated May 13, 2014. Modifying the frame-to-tension-tie joints at STAs 1120 through 1220 terminates the repetitive inspection requirements of paragraphs (g) and (j) of this AD, the inspection requirements of paragraph (l) of this AD, and the one-time inspection requirement of paragraph (n) of this AD. As of the effective date of this AD, only Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, Revision 2, dated May 13, 2014, may be used to accomplish the actions specified in this paragraph.

    (1) Where paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, Revision 1, dated August 4, 2011, specifies a compliance time relative to “the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after September 12, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012)).

    (2) Where Boeing Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, Revision 1, dated August 4, 2011, or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, Revision 2, dated May 13, 2014, specifies to contact Boeing for repair instructions or additional modification requirements: Before further flight, repair the cracking or do the additional actions using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (t) of this AD.

    (q) Retained Credit for Previous Actions, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the credit provided by paragraph (q) of AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012), with no changes. This paragraph provides credit for the corresponding actions required by paragraph (p) of this AD, if those actions were done before September 12, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-15-13), using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, dated January 8, 2009.

    (r) New Repetitive Post-Modification Eddy Current Inspections

    Do an eddy current inspection of all areas of the modified tension ties for cracking, in accordance with Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, Revision 2, dated May 13, 2014. Do the inspection at the time specified in Table 2 of paragraph 1.E, “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, Revision 2, dated May 13, 2014, except where paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, Revision 2, dated May 13, 2014, specifies a compliance time relative to “the Revision 2 date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD. If any crack is found, before further flight, repair the crack using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (t) of this AD. If no crack is found, repeat the inspection thereafter at the intervals specified in paragraph 1.E, “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, Revision 2, dated May 13, 2014.

    (s) New One-Time Surface HFEC Inspections

    Do a surface HFEC inspection of the tension tie center section, for cracking in the forward and aft tension tie channels between STA 1120 through 1220, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, Revision 2, dated May 13, 2014. Do the inspection at the applicable time specified in Table 1 or Table 3 of paragraph 1.E, “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, Revision 2, dated May 13, 2014, except where paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2559, Revision 2, dated May 13, 2014, specifies a compliance time relative to “the Revision 2 date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD. If any crack is found, before further flight, repair the crack using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (t) of this AD.

    (t) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (u)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (4) AMOCs approved previously for AD 2012-15-13, Amendment 39-17142 (77 FR 47267, August 8, 2012), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

    (u) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Bill Ashforth, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6432; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, MC D800-0019, Long Beach, CA 90846-0001; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 2; fax 206-766-5683; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 16, 2015. Suzanne Masterson, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18152 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Parts 157, 260, and 284 [Docket No. RM96-1-038] Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is proposing to amend its regulations to incorporate by reference, with certain enumerated exceptions, the latest version (Version 3.0) of business practice standards adopted by the Wholesale Gas Quadrant of the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) applicable to natural gas pipelines. These revisions, in part, revise the codes used to identify receipt and delivery locations in the Index of Customers. In addition, for consistency with the revisions to the Index of Customers, the Commission is proposing certain conforming changes to the Commission's regulations on exhibits and on system flow diagrams.

    DATES:

    Comments are due August 24, 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:

    Stanley Wolf (technical issues), Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 502-6841, Email: [email protected]

    Oscar F. Santillana (technical issues), Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 502-6392, Email: [email protected]

    Gary D. Cohen (legal issues), Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 502-8321, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents Paragraph Nos. I. Background 2 II. Discussion 8 A. Modifications to Standards to Support the Commission's Show Cause Order in Docket No. RP14-442-000 12 B. Location Codes 15 C. Request in Order No. 587-V for NAESB to Evaluate the Use of the Terms “Operating Capacity” and “Design Capacity” 18 D. Standards Previously Not Incorporated by Reference 20 1. Contracts Standards and eTariff Related Standards 20 2. Record Retention Standards 21 3. WGQ Interpretations 22 E. Proposed Implementation Procedures 23 III. Notice of Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards 28 IV. Incorporation By Reference 29 V. Information Collection Statement 32 VI. Environmental Analysis 36 VII. Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis and Certification 37 VIII. Comment Procedures 40 IX. Document Availability 44 Appendix a

    1. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) proposes to amend its regulations at 18 CFR 284.12 to incorporate by reference, with certain enumerated exceptions, the latest version (Version 3.0) of business practice standards adopted by the Wholesale Gas Quadrant (WGQ) of the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) applicable to natural gas pipelines that NAESB reported to the Commission on November 14, 2014. The Version 3.0 package of standards includes standards governing coordination of the scheduling processes of interstate natural gas pipelines and public utilities that the Commission incorporated by reference in Docket No. RM14-2-000.1 The standards also revise the codes used to identify receipt and delivery locations in the Index of Customers. In addition, for consistency with the Index of Customers, the Commission proposes to amend its regulations at 18 CFR 157.14, 157.18, and 260.8 to have receipt and delivery point information in exhibits and system flow diagrams use the same location point names as provided for in the Version 3.0 Standards.

    1Coordination of the Scheduling Processes of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines and Public Utilities, Order No. 809, Final Rule, 80 FR 23197 (Apr. 24, 2015), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,368.

    I. Background

    2. Since 1996, the Commission has adopted regulations to standardize the business practices and communication methodologies of interstate natural gas pipelines to create a more integrated and efficient pipeline grid. These regulations have been promulgated in the Order No. 587 series of orders,2 wherein the Commission has incorporated by reference standards for interstate natural gas pipeline business practices and electronic communications that were developed and adopted by NAESB's WGQ. Upon incorporation by reference, this version of these standards will become part of the Commission's regulations and compliance by interstate natural gas pipelines will become mandatory.

    2 This series of orders began with the Commission's issuance of Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines, Order No. 587, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,038 (1996).

    3. On July 23, 2013, as corrected on July 25, 2013, NAESB filed a report informing the Commission that it had adopted and ratified Version 2.1 of its business practice standards applicable to natural gas pipelines. NAESB reports that the WGQ reviewed, at the request of the industry, the necessity of maintaining the current location common codes system to determine if the system provides a significant benefit to the industry and should be continued.3 NAESB (in its previous corporate incarnation as the Gas Industry Standards Board) adopted a system of registering common codes to identify interconnection points between pipelines using a single code for the shared point. The industry chose an independent third party to assign and maintain the common code database.

    3 NAESB Version 2.1 Report dated July 23, 2013 (NAESB Version 2.1 Report). As explained in the NAESB Version 2.1 Report, this request was received by NAESB in November 2010 and was included by the NAESB Board of Directors in the 2011 WGQ Annual Plan as part of Item No. 7 and as part of the 2012 WGQ Annual Plan Item No. 8. See NAESB Version 2.1 Report at 3. The proposed modifications made in response to this request were developed by the WGQ's Business Practices Subcommittee and jointly by the Information Requirements/Technical Subcommittees.

    4. NAESB reports that, after extensive discussions, the WGQ reached the conclusion that the NAESB WGQ Standards should no longer support the location common codes system, as the NAESB membership concluded that the system provided little commercial benefit to the industry at large. Consistent with this determination, the Version 2.1 Standards added seven new standards, modified six standards, and deleted three standards to match up with a transition from common codes to proprietary codes.4 These will be the codes assigned by the transportation service providers for the identification of locations.5 The standards require pipelines to post sufficient information on their Web sites to permit shippers and the Commission to identify the interconnection points between pipelines that were previously identified through the common codes.

    4 NAESB Version 2.1 Report at 2.

    5Id. at 4.

    5. Additionally, as requested by the Commission in Order No. 587-V,6 NAESB modified the standards to include reporting requirements for “Design Capacity” for each location by transportation service providers.7 Other changes to the existing standards were made at the request of industry. These include changes to the NAESB WGQ Additional Standards, Nominations Related Standards, Flowing Gas Related Standards, Invoicing Related Standards, Quadrant Electronic Delivery Mechanism Standards, Capacity Release Related Standards, and Data Set Standards.8 NAESB further reports on the changes it made to the NAESB WGQ Interpretations and Contracts and Manuals that the Commission has declined to incorporate by reference in past Final Rules.9 NAESB also reports on all the minor corrections it has made to the standards since Version 2.0 of the Standards.10 Finally, NAESB reports on items that it considered changing but on which it took no action.11

    6Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines, Final Rule, Order No. 587-V, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,332 (2012) (Order No. 587-V).

    7Id. at 2-3.

    8Id. at 3.

    9See, e.g., Order No. 587-V, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,332 at n.11.

    10 NAESB Version 2.1 Report at 18.

    11Id. at 17-18.

    6. On November 14, 2014, NAESB filed a report informing the Commission that it had adopted and ratified Version 3.0 of its business practice standards applicable to natural gas pipelines. NAESB reports that all of the modifications made in the Version 2.1 Standards are included in the Version 3.0 Standards and thus no action is needed on the Version 2.1 Standards.12 The Version 3.0 Standards added the modifications to support efforts to harmonize gas-electric scheduling coordination that NAESB had separately filed and that the Commission incorporated by reference in Order No. 809.13 In addition, the Version 3.0 Standards contain revisions to the capacity release standards regarding posting requirements for offers to purchase released capacity that were the subject of the Commission's order to show cause in Docket No. RP14-442-000.14 Other revisions in the Version 3.0 Standards are: (1) Revisions to the standards to define “Operating Capacity” and “Design Capacity” in response to the Commission request in Order No. 587-V; 15 (2) elimination of the WGQ Interpretations, which the Commission declined to incorporate by reference; (3) modifications to standards to reflect the interpretations; (4) modifications for maintenance purposes, which includes changes to eliminate the appearance of the electronic data interchange in the imbalance trading process; (5) modifications to reflect new data elements; and (6) edits for clarity and to increase user-friendliness. The Version 3.0 standards have also been revised to include 29 minor corrections.16

    12 NAESB Version 3.0 Report dated Nov. 14, 2014 (NAESB Version 3.0 Report) at 2.

    13See supra n.1.

    14Posting of Offers to Purchase Capacity, 146 FERC ¶ 61,203, at P 6 (2014) (Show Cause Order); B-R Pipeline Co., 149 FERC ¶ 61,031 (2014) (order accepting compliance filings).

    15 Order No. 587-V, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,332 at P 8.

    16 The NAESB Version 3.0 Report also provides information on other NAESB activities and tools unrelated to standards development.

    7. On July 7, 2015, NAESB filed a report informing the Commission that it has made errata corrections to the WGQ Version 3.0 Business Practice Standards.17 These corrections incorporate a 9:00 a.m. Central Clock Time (CCT) start to the gas operating day, consistent with the Commission's findings in Order No. 809 18 and also correct other minor errors.

    17 NAESB adopted two minor corrections, MC15009 and MC15012, approved on April 30, 2015 and May 29, 2015, respectively.

    18 Order No. 809, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,368 at P 171.

    II. Discussion

    8. In this NOPR, the Commission proposes to incorporate by reference, in its regulations, Version 3.0 of the NAESB WGQ's consensus business practice standards,19 with certain exceptions.20 We propose that the implementation date for these standards coincide with the implementation of the Gas-Electric Coordination standards on April 1, 2016.

    19 A list of the revisions NAESB's WGQ Version 3.0 Standards made to prior standards is appended to this NOPR.

    20 In the discussion below we identify the NAESB WGQ Version 3.0 Standards that we propose not to incorporate by reference.

    9. Adoption of the Version 3.0 Standards will continue the process of updating and improving NAESB's business practice standards for the benefit of the entire wholesale natural gas market.

    10. As the Commission found in Order No. 587, adoption of consensus standards is appropriate because the consensus process helps ensure the reasonableness of the standards by requiring that the standards draw support from a broad spectrum of industry participants representing all segments of the industry.21 Moreover, because the industry has to conduct business under these standards, the Commission's regulations should reflect those standards that have the widest possible support. In section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTT&AA), Congress affirmatively requires federal agencies to use technical standards developed by voluntary consensus standards organizations, like NAESB, as a means to carry out policy objectives or activities.22

    21 The NAESB process first requires a super-majority vote of 17 out of 25 members of the WGQ's Executive Committee with support from at least two members from each of the five industry segments—Distributors, End Users, Pipelines, Producers, and Services (including marketers and computer service providers). For final approval, 67 percent of the WGQ's general membership voting must ratify the standards.

    22 Pub. L. 104-113, section 12(d), 110 Stat. 775 (1996), 15 U.S.C. 272, note (1997).

    11. We discuss below some specific aspects of the filing.

    A. Modifications to Standards To Support the Commission's Show Cause Order in Docket No. RP14-442-000

    12. On March 20, 2014, the Commission issued an Order to Show Cause in Docket No. RP14-442-000,23 which required all interstate pipelines to either revise their respective tariffs to provide for the posting of offers to purchase released capacity as required by section 284.8(d) of the Commission's regulations,24 or to demonstrate that their existing tariffs are in full compliance with that section. In the Show Cause Order, the Commission also requested that NAESB develop certain business practice and communications standards specifying: (1) The information required for requests to acquire capacity; (2) the methods by which such information is to be exchanged; and (3) the location of the information on a pipeline's Internet Web site.25

    23 Show Cause Order, 146 FERC ¶ 61,203 at P 6.

    24 18 CFR 284.8(d). That section states that “[t]he pipeline must provide notice of offers to release or to purchase capacity, the terms and conditions of such offers, and the name of any replacement shipper . . ., on an Internet Web site, for a reasonable period.”

    25 Show Cause Order, 146 FERC ¶ 61,203 at P 6.

    13. In response, NAESB proposes to modify WGQ Standard 4.3.23 to add “Request to Purchase Releasable Capacity” as a subcategory of information contained in a transportation service provider's information postings Web site. NAESB also proposes to add new WGQ Standard 5.3.73, containing requirements regarding requests to purchase capacity that is releasable.

    14. The Commission proposes to incorporate by reference revised WGQ Standard 4.3.23 and WGQ Standard 5.3.73. We note, however, that our proposal to incorporate WGQ Standard 5.3.73 by reference is not intended to eliminate any posting requirements additionally imposed by the Commission in Docket No. RP14-442-000.

    B. Location Codes

    15. NAESB has proposed to revise its standards regarding the use of location codes. The industry has determined that having a third party maintain a common code database is not worth the expense and effort and has revised the prior standards to introduce the use of proprietary codes to identify the location of points of receipt and delivery. The revised standards include requirements for the pipelines to post on their Web sites information on each of the proprietary points that can be used to determine which points are interconnecting points between pipelines, one of the primary reasons for adoption of the common code database. These codes are also used by the Commission in its Index of Customers to identify the points on shippers' contracts and we propose to revise section 284.13(c) of the regulations to coordinate with this change.

    16. We propose to incorporate by reference these revised standards, as they are based on an industry consensus, will reduce industry's costs to support the retention of common codes, and because the changes will maintain the ability of shippers and others to identify interconnection points between pipelines. Given the ability of the Commission and customers to continue to identify interconnection points referenced in the Index of Customers, the Commission finds that the revised code standards appear to satisfy the requirements for the Index of Customers and we will modify the regulations to permit the use of the proprietary codes. In addition, to avoid any confusion from the use of inconsistent location codes, we propose to accompany our incorporation by reference of these revised standards with a proposal to revise our regulations at 18 CFR 157.14, 157.18, and 260.8 that require the use of location code information in certain filings and flow diagrams.

    17. Pipelines will be required to continue to file the Index of Customers using the current tab-delimited file format according to the Form No. 549B—Index of Customers Instruction Manual. The major changes to the instructions are the change from the use of common codes to proprietary codes and the use of the pipelines' company registration number in place of three digit pipeline code. A revised instruction manual (with revisions marked) will be posted in this docket on eLibrary and will be available on the Commission's Web site.26 Because tab-delimited file formats can be difficult and can result in errors that impose burdens both on Commission and pipeline staff to correct, we also are adding the Index of Customers form to the list of forms that are being updated as part of the Commission's forms refresh project in Docket No. AD15-11-000 (Forms Project).27 Adding the Index of Customers to the Forms Project will move the Commission towards the use of a standard approach for all Commission forms that will result in more efficient filing and processing of forms.

    26http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/indus-act/pipelines/standards.asp.

    27Electronic Filing Protocols for Commission Forms, 151 FERC ¶ 61,025 (2015).

    C. Request in Order No. 587-V for NAESB to Evaluate the Use of the Terms “Operating Capacity” and “Design Capacity”

    18. In Order No. 587-V, the Commission directed the industry, through NAESB, to consider whether the term “Operating Capacity,” found in NAESB WGQ Standard No. 0.3.19 and related standards,28 and “Design Capacity,” found in section 284.13(d) of the Commission's regulations, are functionally equivalent,29 and to include this information as part of the next version of the NAESB WGQ Standards.30

    28 NAESB defines Operating Capacity as “the total capacity which could be scheduled at (or through) the identified point, segment or zone in the indicated direction of flow.”

    29 In Order No. 587-V, the Commission explained that while pipelines that post both design and operating capacity, often report the same number for both types of capacity, they may sometimes report differences between operating and design capacity. See Order No. 587-V, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,332 at P 30, n.41.

    30Id. P 30. NAESB also states it proposes to correct typographical errors and to clarify that “All Quantities Available Indicator” in NAESB WGQ Dataset 0.4.2 applies to all quantities at a specific identified point, segment, or zone.

    19. In response, NAESB states that a consensus could not be reached for a detailed definition of the term “Design Capacity” and that “Design Capacity” and “Operating Capacity” are not equivalent terms and therefore proposed to include both terms as separately reportable items.31 NAESB modified WGQ Dataset 0.4.2 to provide a definition of terms:

    31 NAESB also states it proposes to correct typographical errors and to clarify that “All Quantities Available Indicator” in NAESB WGQ Dataset 0.4.2 applies to all quantities at a specific identified point, segment, or zone.

    Design capacity is the design capacity of the point, segment, or zone as required by the applicable regulatory authority. Operating Capacity is the total capacity which could be scheduled at (or through) the identified point, segment or zone in the indicated direction of flow. Total scheduled quantity is the net quantity scheduled at the point, segment or zone level in the indicated direction of flow. Operationally available capacity is the quantity remaining that is available to be scheduled at (or through) the identified point, segment or zone, in the indicated direction of flow.

    The Commission finds reasonable NAESB's approach of separately reporting both “Design Capacity” and “Operating Capacity” as part of the reporting data set as this will provide shippers and the Commission with added information. Accordingly, the Commission proposes to incorporate by reference revised WGQ Standards 0.3.18, 0.3.20, and 0.3.21, and Dataset 0.4.2, as the revised standards and dataset meet the Commission's past concerns and no longer conflict with section 284.13(d) of the Commission's regulations. D. Standards Previously Not Incorporated by Reference 1. Contracts Standards and eTariff Related Standards

    20. The Commission proposes to continue its past practice of not incorporating by reference into its regulations any optional contracts, because the Commission does not require the use of these contracts.32 In addition, consistent with our findings in past proceedings, the Commission is not proposing to incorporate by reference the WEQ/WGQ eTariff Related Standards, because the Commission has already adopted standards and protocols for electronic tariff filings based on the NAESB Standards.33

    32 Order No. 587-V, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,332 at n.11.

    33See Electronic Tariff Filings, Order No. 714, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,276 (2008).

    2. Record Retention Standards

    21. In past rulemakings, the Commission declined to incorporate by reference WGQ Standards 4.3.4 and 10.3.2, because the Commission found they were inconsistent with the Commission's record retention requirement in 18 CFR 284.12(b)(3)(v).34 In Version 3.0, NAESB deleted WGQ Standards 4.3.4 and 10.3.2. NAESB asserts that deleting the standards avoids any potential conflict between the WGQ Standards and the Commission mandated requirements for regulated entities or the retention policies of non-regulated entities. Thus, the Version 3.0 Standards that the Commission is considering for incorporation by reference no longer conflict with Commission regulations regarding storage retention.

    34See, e.g., Standards for Business Practices for Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines, Final Rule, Order No. 587-T, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,289, at P 5 & n.9 (2009); see also Order No. 587-V, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,332 at P 8.

    3. WGQ Interpretations

    22. In past rulemakings, the Commission also declined to incorporate by reference into the Commission's regulations NAESB's interpretations of NAESB WGQ business practice standards because, while interpretations may provide useful guidance, they are not determinative.35 In the Version 3.0 Standards, NAESB deleted the interpretations of standards. NAESB states that the WGQ decided that, where greater clarity was needed to make standards more easily understood, it modified and/or added new standards to provide additional clarity, rather than adopting interpretations.36 NAESB states that moving forward, the WGQ will evaluate new requests for clarifications or interpretations on a case-by-case basis and plans to work with the requestor to determine if the request would be more appropriately framed as a request for a minor correction or a request for a new and/or modified standard. NAESB asserts that this approach is similar to the one used by the Wholesale Electric Quadrant. Thus, there are no NAESB interpretations of its business practice standards for the Commission to decline to incorporate by reference.

    35 Order No. 587-V, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,332 at P 28.

    36 In its Version 3.0 Standards, the WGQ revised Standards 1.1.3, 1.2.2, 1.3.3, 1.3.15, 1.3.22, 2.3.9, 2.3.14, 2.3.15, 2.3.26, 3.3.14, 3.3.15, and 4.3.23; added Standard 0.2.5; and deleted Standard 3.3.2.

    E. Proposed Implementation Procedures

    23. The Commission anticipates acting on the proposed rule in order to permit these standards to become effective April 1, 2016 at the same time as the Gas-Electric Harmonization standards, with compliance filings due February 1, 2016. Requiring implementation on the same date should reduce the compliance burden on the pipelines and avoid confusion. Requests for waivers that do not meet the requirements set forth in Order No. 587-V will not be granted. In particular, as we explained in Order No. 587-V, waivers are unnecessary and will not be granted when the standard applies only on condition the pipeline performs a business function and the pipeline currently does not perform that function.37

    37 Order No. 587-V, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,332 at P 38(2). For example, the Commission has denied waivers of NAESB's gas-electric operational communications standards requested by pipelines on the grounds that their systems do not connect to power plants. Trans-Union Interstate Pipeline L.P, 141 FERC ¶ 61,167, at P 18 (2012).

    24. The Commission is proposing to continue the compliance filing requirements as revised in Order No. 587-V.38 As the Commission found in Order No. 587-V, adoption of the revised compliance filing requirements increases the transparency of the pipelines' incorporation by reference of the NAESB WGQ Standards so that shippers and the Commission will know which tariff provision(s) implements each standard as well as the status of each standard.39 Likewise, consistent with past practice, the Commission will post on its eLibrary Web site (under Docket No. RM96-1-038) a sample tariff format, to provide filers an illustrative example to aid them in preparing their compliance filings. Requests for waivers need to comply with the requirements of Order No. 587-V.40

    38 Order No. 587-V, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,332 at PP 36-37.

    39Id. P 36. To accomplish this, the Commission gave instructions on how pipelines should designate sections in their tariff filings.

    40 Order No. 587-V, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,332 at PP 38-41.

    25. Consistent with our practice in Order No. 587-V, the pipelines should designate a single tariff section under which every NAESB standard incorporated by reference by the Commission is listed.41 The pipeline tariff filings should list all the incorporated standards with which the pipeline will comply. In addition, for any standard that the pipeline seeks approval not to comply with, the tariff filing must identify the standard in question and either identify the provision in its tariff that complies with the standard; 42 or provide an explanation of any waiver, extension of time, or other variance with respect to compliance with the standard that would excuse compliance.43

    41 This section should be a separate tariff record under the Commission's electronic tariff filing requirement and be filed electronically using the eTariff portal using the Type of Filing Code 580.

    42 For example, pipelines are required to include the full text of the NAESB nomination timeline standards (WGQ Standards 1.3.2(i-v) and 5.3.2) in their tariffs. Standards for Business Practices for Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines, Final Rule, Order No. 587-U, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,307, at P 39 & n. 42 (2010). The pipeline would indicate which tariff provision complies with each of these standards.

    43 Shippers can use the Commission's electronic tariff system to locate the tariff record containing the NAESB standards, which will indicate the docket number in which any waiver or extension of time was granted.

    26. If the pipeline is requesting a continuation of an existing waiver or extension of time, it must include a table in its transmittal letter that identifies the standard for which a waiver or extension of time was granted, and the docket number or order citation to the proceeding in which the waiver or extension was granted. It must also present an explanation for why such waiver or extension should remain in force with regard to the WGQ Version 3.0 Business Practice Standards.

    27. This continues the Commission's practice of having pipelines including in their tariffs a common location that identifies the way the pipeline is incorporating all the NAESB WGQ Standards and the standards with which it is required to comply. As explained above, the Commission will post on its eLibrary Web site (under Docket No. RM96-1-038) a sample tariff format, to provide filers an illustrative example to aid them in preparing their compliance filings.44

    44http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp.

    III. Notice of Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards

    28. Office of Management and Budget Circular A-119 (section 11) (February 10, 1998) provides that federal agencies should publish a request for comment in a NOPR when the agency is seeking to issue or revise a regulation proposing to adopt a voluntary consensus standard or a government-unique standard. In this NOPR, the Commission is proposing to incorporate by reference voluntary consensus standards developed by the WGQ.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    29. The Office of the Federal Register requires agencies incorporating material by reference in final rules to discuss, in the preamble of the final rule, the ways that the materials it incorporates by reference are reasonably available to interested parties and how interested parties can obtain the materials.45 The regulations also require agencies to summarize, in the preamble of the final rule, the material it incorporates by reference.

    45 1 CFR 51.5. See Incorporation by Reference, 79 FR 66267 (Nov. 7, 2014).

    30. The NAESB standards we are proposing in this NOPR to incorporate by reference are summarized in paragraphs 3-6 above. Our regulations provide that copies of the NAESB standards incorporated by reference may be obtained from the North American Energy Standards Board, 801 Travis Street, Suite 1675, Houston, TX 77002, Phone: (713) 356-0060. NAESB's Web site is at http://www.naesb.org/. Copies may be inspected at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference and Files Maintenance Branch, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, Phone: (202) 502-8371, http://www.ferc.gov. 46

    46 18 CFR 284.12.

    31. NAESB is a private consensus standards developer that develops voluntary wholesale and retail standards related to the energy industry. The procedures used by NAESB make its standards reasonably available to those affected by the Commission regulations, which is comprised of entities that have the means to acquire the information they need to effectively participate in Commission proceedings. Participants can join NAESB, for an annual membership cost of only $7,000, which entitles them to full participation in NAESB and enables them to obtain these standards at no additional cost.47 Non-members may obtain the Individual Standards Manual or Booklets for each of the seven Manuals by email for $250 per manual, which in the case of these standards would total $1,750.48 Nonmembers also may obtain the complete set of Standards Manuals, Booklets, and Contracts on CD for $2,000. NAESB also provides a free electronic read-only version of the standards for a three business day period or, in the case of a regulatory comment period, through the end of the comment period.49 In addition, NAESB considers requests for waivers of the charges on a case-by-case basis depending on need.

    47 North American Energy Standards Board Membership Application, https://www.naesb.org/pdf4/naesbapp.pdf.

    48 NAESB Materials Order Form, https://www.naesb.org//pdf/ordrform.pdf.

    49 Procedures for non-members to evaluate work products before purchasing, https://www.naesb.org/misc/NAESB_Nonmember_Evaluation.pdf. See Incorporation by Reference, 79 FR at 66271, n. 51 & 53 (Nov. 7, 2014) (citing to NAESB's procedure of providing “no-cost, no-print electronic access”, NAESB Comment, at 1, available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=OFR-2013-0001-0023).

    V. Information Collection Statement

    32. The following collections of information contained in this proposed rule are being submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507(d). Upon approval of a collection(s) of information, OMB will assign an OMB control number and an expiration date. Respondents subject to the filing requirements of a 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.

    33. The Commission solicits comments on the Commission's need for this information, whether the information will have practical utility, the accuracy of the provided burden estimates, ways 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.

    Public Reporting Burden: The Commission's burden estimates for the proposals in this NOPR are for one-time implementation of the information collection requirements of this NOPR (including tariff filing, documentation of the process and procedures, and IT work). The collections of information related to this NOPR fall under FERC-545 (Gas Pipeline Rates: Rate Change (Non-Formal)) 50 and FERC-549C (Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines).51 The following estimates of reporting burden are related only to this NOPR and anticipate the costs to pipelines for compliance with the Commission's proposals in this NOPR.52 The burden estimates are primarily related to start-up to implement these standards and regulations and will not result in ongoing costs.

    50 FERC-545 covers rate change filings made by natural gas pipelines, including tariff changes.

    51 FERC-549C covers Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines.

    52 We note that although this NOPR proposes a minor revision to section 260.8, we are not including Form No. 567 (OMB No. 1902-005) as part of this burden estimate because we estimate that the substitution of proprietary codes for common codes in the system flow diagrams submitted under section 260.8 will not increase the burden of filing that form. The same is true with regard to the identical revisions we are proposing to sections 157.14 and 157.18, Form No. 537 (OMB No. 1902-0060). Likewise, we estimate that our proposed revision to Form 549B (OMB No. 1902-0169), see http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/forms.asp, which changes the point record for Point identification Code Qualifier (Item ID yj) and Point Identification Code (Item ID yk) will not increase the burden of filing that form.

    RM96-1-038, Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines Number of
  • respondents 53
  • Annual number of responses per respondent Total number of responses Average burden & cost per
  • response
  • Total annual
  • burden hours &
  • total annual cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent 54
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) FERC-545 55 165 1 165 10 1,650 $138,056 FERC-549C 165 1 165 22 3,630 303,722 Totals 5,280 441,778

    Information Collection Costs: The Commission seeks comments on the costs to comply with these requirements. It has projected the average annualized cost for all respondents to be the following:

    53 The number of respondents is the number of entities in which a change in burden from the current standards to the proposed exists, not the total number of entities from the current or proposed standards that are applicable.

    54 Wage data is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 2012 (“May 2012 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, [for] Sector 22—Utilities” at http://bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm) and is compiled for the top 10 percent earned. For the estimate of the benefits component, see http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecec.nr0.htm.

    55 The mean hourly cost of tariff filings and implementation for interstate natural gas pipelines is $83.67. This represents the average composite wage (salary and benefits for 2,080 annual work-hours) of the following occupational categories: “Legal” ($128.02 per hour), “Computer Analyst” ($83.50 per hour), and “Office and Administrative” ($39.49 per hour). Wage data is available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics at http://bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm and is compiled for the top 10 percent earned. For the estimate of the benefits component, see http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecec.nr0.htm.

    FERC-545 FERC-549C Annualized Capital/Startup Costs $138,056 $303,722 Annualized Costs (Operations & Maintenance) N/A N/A Total Annualized Costs 138,056 303,722

    Total Cost for all Respondents = $441,778.

    OMB regulations require OMB to approve certain information collection requirements imposed by agency rule. The Commission is submitting notification of this proposed rule to OMB. These information collections are mandatory requirements.

    Title: FERC-545, Gas Pipeline Rates: Rates Change (Non-Formal); FERC-549C, Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines.

    Action: Proposed collections.

    OMB Control Nos.: 1902-0154, 1902-0174.

    Respondents: Business or other for profit, (i.e., Natural Gas Pipelines, applicable to only a few small businesses.) Although the intraday reporting requirements will affect electric plant operators, the Commission is not imposing the reporting burden of adopting these standards on those entities.

    Frequency of Responses: One-time implementation (business procedures, capital/start-up).

    Necessity of Information: The proposals in this NOPR would, if implemented, upgrade the Commission's current business practices and communication standards by specifically: (1) Requiring the posting of information on requests to purchase releasable capacity on a pipeline's Web site; (2) revising standards to support the elimination of NAESB WGQ interpretations; (3) revising standards to add new data elements; and (4) revising standards related to the technical implementation and data sets for the NAESB WGQ Standards.

    The implementation of these data requirements will provide additional transparency to informational posting Web sites and will improve communication standards, including gas-electric communications. The implementation of these standards and regulations will promote the additional efficiency and reliability of the gas industries' operations thereby helping the Commission to carry out its responsibilities under the Natural Gas Act of promoting the efficiency and reliability of the gas industries' operations. In addition, the Commission's Office of Enforcement will use the data for general industry oversight.

    Internal Review: The Commission has reviewed the requirements pertaining to business practices of natural gas pipelines and made a preliminary determination that the proposed revisions are necessary to establish more efficient coordination between the gas and electric industries. Requiring such information ensures both a common means of communication and common business practices to limit miscommunication for participants engaged in the sale of electric energy at wholesale and the transportation of natural gas. These requirements conform to the Commission's plan for efficient information collection, communication, and management within the natural gas pipeline industries. 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.

    34. 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].

    35. Comments concerning the collection of information(s) and the associated burden estimate(s), should be sent to the contact listed above 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, telephone: (202) 395-0710, fax: (202) 395-4718].

    VI. Environmental Analysis

    36. 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.56 The Commission has categorically excluded certain actions from these requirements as not having a significant effect on the human environment.57 The actions proposed here fall within categorical exclusions in the Commission's regulations for rules that are clarifying, corrective, or procedural, for information gathering, analysis, and dissemination, and for sales, exchange, and transportation of natural gas that requires no construction of facilities.58 Therefore, an environmental assessment is unnecessary and has not been prepared as part of this NOPR.

    56Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Order No. 486, 52 FR 47897 (Dec. 17, 1987), FERC Stats. & Regs. Regulations Preambles 1986-1990 ¶ 30,783 (1987).

    57 18 CFR 380.4.

    58See 18 CFR 380.4(a)(2)(ii), 380.4(a)(5), 380.4(a)(27).

    VII. Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis and Certification

    37. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) 59 generally requires a description and analysis of proposed rules that will have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The RFA mandates consideration of regulatory alternatives that accomplish the stated objectives of a proposed rule and that minimize any significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of Size Standards develops the numerical definition of a small business.60 The SBA has established a size standard for pipelines transporting natural gas, stating that a firm is small if its annual receipts are less than $25.5 million.61

    59 5 U.S.C. 601-612.

    60 13 CFR 121.101.

    61 13 CFR 121.201, subsection 486.

    38. The regulations proposed here impose requirements only on interstate pipelines, the majority of which are not small businesses. Most companies regulated by the Commission do not fall within the RFA's definition of a small entity. Approximately 165 entities are potential respondents subject to data collection FERC-545 reporting requirements and also are subject to data collection FERC 549-C reporting requirements. Nearly all of these entities are large entities. For the year 2012 (the most recent year for which information is available), only eleven companies not affiliated with larger companies had annual revenues of less than $25.5 million and are defined by the SBA as “small entities.” These companies constitute about seven percent of the total universe of potential respondents. The Commission estimates that the one-time implementation cost of the proposals in this NOPR is $441,778 (or $2,677 per entity, regardless of entity size).62 The Commission does not consider the estimated $2,677 impact per entity to be significant. Moreover, these requirements are designed to benefit all customers, including small businesses that must comply with them. Further, as noted above, adoption of consensus standards helps ensure the reasonableness of the standards by requiring that the standards draw support from a broad spectrum of industry participants representing all segments of the industry. Because of that representation and the fact that industry conducts business under these standards, the Commission's regulations should reflect those standards that have the widest possible support.

    62 This number is derived by dividing the total cost figure by the number of respondents. $441,778/165 = $2,677.

    39. Accordingly, pursuant to § 605(b) of the RFA,63 the regulations proposed herein should not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    63 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

    VIII. Comment Procedures

    40. 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 August 24, 2015. Comments must refer to Docket No. RM96-1-038, and must include the commenter's name, the organization they represent, if applicable, and their address in their comments.

    41. 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.

    42. 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.

    43. 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.

    IX. Document Availability

    44. 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.

    45. 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 excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field.

    46. 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]

    List of Subjects in 18 CFR Parts 157, 260, and 284

    Incorporation by reference, Natural gas, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Issued: July 16, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Commission proposes to amend parts 157, 260, and 284, chapter I, title 18, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows.

    PART 157—APPLICATIONS FOR CERTIFICATES OF PUBLIC CONVENIENCE AND NECESSITY AND FOR ORDERS PERMITTING AND APPROVING ABANDONMENT UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE NATURAL GAS ACT 1. The authority citation for part 157 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 717-717Z.

    2. Section 157.14 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 157.14 Exhibits.

    (a) To be attached to each application. All exhibits specified must accompany each application when tendered for filing. Together with each exhibit applicant must provide a full and complete explanation of the data submitted, the manner in which it was obtained, and the reasons for the conclusions derived from the exhibits. If the Commission determines that a formal hearing upon the application is required or that testimony and hearing exhibits should be filed, the Secretary will promptly notify the applicant that submittal of all exhibits and testimony of all witnesses to be sponsored by the applicant in support of his case-in-chief is required. Submittal of these exhibits and testimony must be within 20 days from the date of the Secretary's notice, or any other time as the Secretary will specify. Exhibits, except exhibits F, F-1, G, G-I, G-II, and H(iv), must be submitted to the Commission on electronic media as prescribed in § 385.2011 of this chapter. Receipt and delivery point information required in various exhibits must be labeled with a location point name in accordance with the name adopted in § 284.12 of this chapter.

    3. Section 157.18 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 157.18 Applications to abandon facilities or service; exhibits.

    (c) Exhibit V—Flow diagram showing daily design capacity and reflecting operation of applicant's system after abandonment. Receipt and delivery point information required in various exhibits must be labeled with a location point name in accordance with the name adopted in § 284.12 of this chapter. A flow diagram showing daily design capacity and reflecting operating conditions of applicant's system after abandonment of facilities on that segment of the system affected by the abandonment, including the following:

    PART 260—STATEMENTS AND REPORTS (SCHEDULES) 4. The authority citation for part 260 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 717-717w, 3301-3432; 42 U.S.C. 7101-7352.

    5. Section 260.8 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 260.8 System flow diagrams: Format No. FERC 567.

    (a) Each Major natural gas pipeline company, having a system delivery capacity in excess of 100,000 Mcf per day (measured at 14.73 p.s.i.a. and60 °F), shall file with the Commission by June 1 of each year five (5) copies of a diagram or diagrams reflecting operating conditions on its main transmission system during the previous twelve months ended December 31. For purposes of system peak deliveries, the heating season overlapping the year's end shall be used. Facilities shall be those installed and in operation on December 31 of the reporting year. All volumes shall be reported on a uniform stated pressure and temperature base. Receipt and delivery point information required in various exhibits must be labeled with a location point name in accordance with the name adopted in § 284.12 of this chapter.

    PART 284—CERTAIN SALES AND TRANSPORTATION OF NATURAL GAS UNDER THE NATURAL GAS POLICY ACT OF 1978 AND RELATED AUTHORITIES 6. The authority citation for part 284 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 717-717w, 3301-3432; 42 U.S.C. 7101-7352; 43 U.S.C. 1331-1356.

    7. Section 284.12 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 284.12 Standards for pipeline business operations and communications.

    (a) * * *

    (1) An interstate pipeline that transports gas under subparts B or G of this part must comply with the business practices and electronic communications standards as promulgated by the North American Energy Standards Board, as incorporated herein by reference in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) thru (vii) of this section, and as revised by Minor Correction/Clarification MC15009 and Minor Correction/Clarification MC15012, as incorporated herein by reference in paragraphs (a)(1)(viii) and (ix) of this section.

    (i) Additional Standards (Version 3.0, November 14, 2014);

    (ii) Nominations Related Standards (Version 3.0, November 14, 2014);

    (iii) Flowing Gas Related Standards (Version 3.0, November 14, 2014);

    (iv) Invoicing Related Standards (Version 3.0, November 14, 2014);

    (v) Quadrant Electronic Delivery Mechanism Related Standards (Version 3.0, November 14, 2014);

    (vi) Capacity Release Related Standards (Version 3.0, November 14, 2014);

    (vii) Internet Electronic Transport Related Standards (Version 3.0, November 14, 2014);

    (viii) Minor Correction/Clarification, Request No. MC15009, approved April 30, 2015; and

    (ix) Minor Correction/Clarification, Request No. MC15012, approved May 29, 2015.

    8. Section 284.13 is amended by revising paragraph (c)(2)(vi) to read as follows:
    § 284.13 Reporting requirements for interstate pipelines.

    (c) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (vi) The receipt and delivery points and the zones or segments covered by the contract in which the capacity is held, including the location code for each point zone or segment along with a posting on the pipeline's Web site that identifies active and inactive points, the date the point becomes active or inactive, the location of the point, and an identification of the upstream or downstream entity, if any, at that point;

    Note:

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

    Appendix List of Revisions in NAESB's WGQ Version 3.0 Business Practice Standards to Its Prior Business Practice Standards

    Version 3.0 makes the following changes to the Version 2.1 Standards:

    a. Revises Standards 0.3.28, 1.1.3, 1.3.1, 1.3.2 through 1.3.5, 1.3.7 through 1.3.9, 1.3.11, 1.3.13 through 1.3.15, 1.3.22, 1.3.27, 1.3.33, 1.3.41, 1.3.42, 1.3.51, 1.3.80, 2.3.5, 2.3.9, 2.3.14, 2.3.15, 2.3.21, 2.3.26, 2.3.40, 2.3.46, 2.3.47, 3.3.3, 3.3.7, 3.3.14, 3.3.15, 4.3.2, 4.3.3, 4.3.16, 4.3.23, 4.3.35, 4.3.45, 4.3.46, 4.3.54, 4.3.90, 5.3.2, 5.3.32, 5.3.44, 5.3.45, 5.3.48, 5.3.49, 5.3.53, 5.3.54, 5.3.56; Datasets 0.4.1, 0.4.2, 0.4.4, 1.4.1 through 1.4.7, 2.4.1 through 2.4.11, 2.4.17, 2.4.18, 3.4.1 through 3.4.4, 5.4.14 through 5.4.17, 5.4.20 through 5.4.27; Principles 1.1.15, 1.1.18, 2.1.5; and Definitions 1.2.2, 1.2.4, 2.2.5.

    b. Adds Standards 0.2.5, 4.3.105, 5.3.73.

    c. Deletes Standards 1.3.52, 2.3.49, 3.3.2, 3.3.20, 4.3.4, 4.3.39, 4.3.65, 5.3.27, 10.3.2; Datasets 2.4.12 through 2.4.16; and Principles 1.1.5, 1.1.7, 1.1.9, 1.1.17, 4.1.31.

    Version 2.1 made the following changes to the Version 2.0 Standards:

    a. Revises Standards 0.3.18, 0.3.20, 0.3.21, 1.3.27, 1.3.55, 1.3.73, 2.3.32, 4.3.23, 4.3.28, 4.3.35, 4.3.52, 4.3.67, 5.3.2, 5.3.4, 5.3.26, 5.3.38, 5.3.70, 5.3.71, 6.5.2, 7.3.16, 7.3.27; Datasets 0.4.1 through 0.4.3, 1.4.1 through 1.4.7, 2.4.1 through 2.4.7, 2.4.9 through 2.4.11, 2.4.13 through 2.4.18, 3.4.1 through 3.4.4, 5.4.14 through 5.4.17, 5.4.20 through 5.4.22, 5.4.24 through 5.4.26; and Definitions 10.2.8, 10.2.30.

    b. Adds Standards 0.3.23 through 0.3.29, 1.3.58, 1.3.73, 1.3.81, 2.3.66, 4.3.103, 4.3.104; and Dataset 0.4.4.

    c. Deletes Standards 0.3.19, 1.3.47, 1.3.49, 1.3.50, 1.3.54, 1.3.57, 1.3.59 through 1.3.61, 1.3.63, 2.3.33 through 2.3.35, 3.3.1, 4.3.39, 4.3.51, 4.3.56, 4.3.59, 4.3.73, 4.3.74, 4.3.76.

    [FR Doc. 2015-17921 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 1 [Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0146] RIN 0910-AG66 User Fee Program To Provide for Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/Certification Bodies To Conduct Food Safety Audits and To Issue Certifications AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, the Agency, or we) is issuing this proposed rule to amend the proposed rule, “Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and to Issue Certifications” (Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule) and to propose to establish a reimbursement (user fee) program to assess fees and require reimbursement for the work performed to establish and administer the system for the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the proposed rule by October 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods.

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

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

    Written Submissions

    Submit written submissions in the following ways:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0146 for this rulemaking. All comments received may be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For additional information on submitting comments, see the “Comments” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number(s), found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Charlotte A. Christin, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-3708.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Background A. Introduction B. Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors Proposed Rule C. Regulatory Use of Certifications Under FSMA D. Reimbursement (User Fee) Program Under Section 808(c)(8) of the FD&C Act II. Legal Authority III. Description of the Proposed Rule A. Who would be subject to a user fee? B. What user fees would be established? C. How will FDA notify the public about the fee schedule? D. When must the user fee be submitted? E. Are user fees refundable? F. What are the consequences of not paying a user fee on time? G. Possible Exemptions IV. Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis A. Introduction B. Regulatory Flexibility Act C. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 D. Need for This Regulation V. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 VI. Analysis of Environmental Impact VII. Federalism VIII. Comments IX. References I. Background A. Introduction

    President Obama signed FSMA (Pub. L. 111-353) into law on January 4, 2011. FSMA enables us to better protect public health by helping to ensure the safety and security of the U.S. food supply. Among other things, FSMA gives us important new tools to better ensure the safety of imported foods, which constitute approximately 15 percent of the U.S. food supply (including approximately 80 percent of our seafood, 50 percent of our fresh fruit, and 20 percent of our vegetables). One of these tools is a new program authorized by section 307 of FSMA for third-party auditing and certification of eligible foreign entities, including registered foreign food facilities that meet our applicable requirements.

    B. Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors Proposed Rule

    On July 29, 2013, FDA published for public comment in the Federal Register a proposed rule, “Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and to Issue Certifications” (Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule) to establish a program that would provide for accreditation of third-party auditors/certification bodies (CBs) to conduct food safety audits of eligible foreign entities (including registered foreign food facilities), and to issue food and facility certifications (third-party accreditation program) (78 FR 45782, July 29, 2013). Under this program, FDA would recognize accreditation bodies (ABs) to accredit CBs, except for limited circumstances in which we may directly accredit CBs. The Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule contains eligibility requirements for ABs to qualify for recognition and requirements that ABs participating in the FDA program must meet, once recognized. It also contains eligibility requirements for CBs to qualify for accreditation and requirements that CBs choosing to participate in the FDA program must meet, once accredited. These proposed requirements would ensure the competence and independence of the ABs and CBs participating in the third-party accreditation program. The Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule also provides for the monitoring and oversight of participating ABs and CBs, and procedures for removing a CB or an AB from the program. Finally, the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule proposes requirements relating to auditing and certification of eligible foreign entities under the program and for notifying FDA of conditions in an audited facility that could cause or contribute to a serious risk to the public health. More information on the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule can be found on FDA's Web site at http://www.fda.gov/FSMA.

    The comment period on that proposed rule closed on January 27, 2014, and FDA is currently working on the final rule, which will respond to the comments submitted. Because that rule has not yet been finalized, this user fee proposed rule is based on the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule. When this user fee proposed rule is finalized, this proposed rule will be finalized to align with the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors final rule.

    C. Regulatory Use of Certifications Under FSMA

    FDA will use certifications issued by accredited CBs in deciding whether to admit certain imported food into the United States that FDA has determined poses a food safety risk under section 801(q) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 381), and in deciding whether an importer is eligible to participate in the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) under section 806(a) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 384b(a)) for expedited review and entry of food imports. These and other potential uses of facility and food certifications are discussed in more detail in the Federal Register notice announcing the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule (78 FR 45782 at 45785 through 45786). On June 5, 2015, FDA published a notice of availability, “Draft Guidance for Industry on the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program for Food Importers and Guidelines in Consideration of the Burden of the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program Fee Amounts on Small Business,” which contains draft criteria and procedures for VQIP participation (80 FR 32136). The VQIP draft guidance can be found on FDA's Web site at http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm253380.htm.

    D. Reimbursement (User Fee) Program Under Section 808(c)(8) of the FD&C Act

    Section 808(c)(8) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 384d(c)(8)), established by FSMA, requires FDA to establish by regulation a reimbursement (user fee) program by which we assess fees and require reimbursement for the work we perform to establish and administer the third-party accreditation program under section 808 of the FD&C Act. In this document, we are proposing to establish this user fee program.

    II. Legal Authority

    Section 307 of FSMA, Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors, amends the FD&C Act to create a new provision, section 808, under the same name. Section 808 of the FD&C Act directs us to establish a new program for accreditation of third-party auditors conducting food safety audits and issuing food and facility certifications to eligible foreign entities (including registered foreign food facilities) that meet our applicable requirements. Under this provision, we will recognize ABs to accredit CBs, except for limited circumstances in which we may directly accredit CBs to participate in the third-party accreditation program.

    Our authority for this proposed rule is derived in part from section 808(c)(8) of the FD&C Act, which requires us to establish by regulation a reimbursement (user fee) program by which we assess fees and require accredited third-party auditors and audit agents to reimburse us for the work performed to establish and administer the third-party accreditation program under section 808 of the FD&C Act. Accordingly, section 808(c)(8) of the FD&C Act authorizes us to assess fees and require reimbursement from ABs applying for recognition under section 808 of the FD&C Act, CBs applying for direct accreditation under section 808 of the FD&C Act, and recognized ABs and accredited CBs participating in the third-party accreditation program under section 808 of the FD&C Act.

    Further, section 701(a) (21 U.S.C. 371(a)) authorizes us to issue regulations for the efficient enforcement of the FD&C Act, including this proposed rule to establish a user fee program for the third-party accreditation program under section 808 of the FD&C Act. Thus, FDA has the authority to issue this proposed rule under sections 808 and 701(a) of the FD&C Act.

    III. Description of the Proposed Rule

    This proposal includes the following: (1) Who would be subject to a user fee; (2) how user fees would be computed; (3) how FDA would notify the public about annual fee rates; (4) how the user fee would be collected; and (5) what the consequences would be for not paying a user fee.

    A. Who would be subject to a user fee?

    In determining what user fees to establish, FDA considered the obligations the Agency would have under the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule and the parties that would be participating in the third-party accreditation program. FDA is likely to perform a significant amount of work reviewing applications for recognition of ABs, even where FDA denies an application (see proposed 21 CFR 1.631). Reviewing renewal applications is also a source of cost to FDA, but that will likely take fewer resources than reviewing original applications for recognition. FDA will also perform a significant amount of work to monitor recognized ABs, which may include onsite assessments of statistically significant numbers of CBs accredited by the recognized AB and onsite audits of eligible entities that such CBs certified (see proposed § 1.633). FDA also will perform a significant amount of work to periodically evaluate the performance of each accredited CB to determine whether it continues to comply with the requirements for participation (see proposed § 1.662).

    In certain circumstances, FDA would consider applications from CBs for direct accreditation (see proposed § 1.670). This application review, and any subsequent monitoring and renewal application review, would add to FDA's program costs.

    FDA tentatively concludes that there are four main groups to whom costs should be attributed for the purposes of charging fees:

    • ABs submitting applications or renewal applications for recognition in the third-party accreditation program;

    • Recognized ABs participating in the third-party accreditation program subject to FDA monitoring activities;

    • CBs submitting applications or renewal applications for direct accreditation; and

    • Accredited CBs (whether accredited by recognized ABs or by FDA through direct accreditation) participating in the third-party accreditation program subject to FDA monitoring activities.

    These are the parties identified in proposed § 1.700.

    We note that under this proposed rule, FDA's collection of fees through the proposed user fee program would not recover all costs associated with the establishment and administration of the third-party accreditation program under section 808 of the FD&C Act. Other FDA costs include those involving reconsiderations of certain regulatory decisions such as denial of an application for recognition or waiver request (see proposed § 1.691), reviewing waiver requests (see proposed § 1.663), revocation of recognition of ABs or withdrawal of accreditation of CBs (see proposed § 1.634 and § 1.664), and maintaining a Web site listing recognized ABs and accredited CBs (see proposed § 1.690). Additionally, FDA would bear general initial startup costs, mainly due to training new employees and establishing an IT system to support the new third-party accreditation program.

    FDA requests comment on whether any of the costs to FDA of the third-party accreditation program that are not accounted for in this proposed rulemaking should be paid for through user fees collected under section 808(c)(8) of the FD&C Act, and if so, to whom should the fees be charged and how should the fees be calculated (e.g., the estimated average cost of processing a waiver request, per hour of FDA's work to determine whether to revoke recognition of an AB or withdraw accreditation of a CB, a flat annual fee to recognized ABs and accredited CBs to cover maintenance of the Web site).

    B. What user fees would be established?

    Proposed § 1.705 would establish application fees and annual fees. The proposed rule would establish application fees for ABs applying for recognition (proposed § 1.705(a)(1)), recognized ABs submitting renewal applications (proposed § 1.705(a)(2)), CBs applying for direct accreditation (proposed § 1.705(a)(3)), and CBs applying for renewal of direct accreditation (proposed § 1.705(a)(4)). The proposed rule would establish annual fees for recognized ABs (proposed § 1.705(b)(1)), CBs directly accredited by FDA (proposed § 1.705(b)(2)), and CBs accredited by recognized ABs (proposed § 1.705(b)(3)). The application fees would fund our review of the applications. The annual fees would support relevant monitoring activities.

    1. Application Fee for ABs Applying for Recognition

    Under proposed § 1.705(a)(1), ABs applying for recognition would be subject to an application fee for the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs in reviewing and evaluating applications for recognition of ABs. The average cost of the work FDA performs in reviewing and evaluating one application for recognition of an AB would be estimated by: (1) Estimating the number of hours, on average, it would take a full-time federal employee (FTE) to review and evaluate an application for recognition and (2) multiplying that estimate by the fully supported FTE hourly rates calculated by the Agency for the applicable fiscal year.

    Data collected over a number of years and used consistently in other FDA user fee programs (e.g., under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act and the Medical Device User Fee and Modernization Act) show that every seven FTEs who perform direct FDA work require three indirect and supporting FTEs. These indirect and supporting FTEs function in budget, facility, human resource, information technology, planning, security, administrative support, legislative liaison, legal counsel, program management, and other essential program areas. On average, two of these indirect and supporting FTEs are located in the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) or the FDA center where the direct work is being conducted, and one of them is located in the Office of the Commissioner.

    To calculate an hourly rate of a fully supported FTE (i.e., an hourly rate that takes into account the direct work performed by FTEs and the work performed by indirect and supporting FTEs), FDA would first calculate the average cost of the direct work performed by an FTE per year and multiply that average annual cost of the work performed by an FTE by 1.43 (10 total FTEs divided by 7 direct FTEs). FDA would then divide the fully supported cost of an FTE per year by the average number of supported direct FDA work hours in that year an average FTE is available for work assignment (which excludes, e.g., annual leave, sick leave, and trainings).

    For example, in fiscal year (FY) 2013, a recent fiscal year for which data is available, the estimated average cost of an FTE doing Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) related field activities work was $216,543, excluding the cost of inspection travel. Multiplying $216,543 by 1.43 results in an average fully supported cost of $309,657 per FTE, excluding travel costs. Dividing this average fully supported cost of an FTE in FY 2013 by the total number of supported direct work hours available for assignment per FTE (1,600 hours) results in an average fully supported cost of $194 per supported direct work hour in FY 2013, excluding travel costs.

    In this example, to estimate the inflation-adjusted average fully supported cost for FY 2015, we use the method set forth in the Prescription Drug User Fee Act provisions of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 379h), the statutory method for inflation adjustment in the FD&C Act that FDA has used consistently in setting user fees. FDA previously determined the FY 2014 inflation adjustment factor to be 2.20 percent (78 FR 46980, August 2, 2013), and the inflation adjustment factor for the FY 2015 to be 2.0813 percent (79 FR 44807, August 1, 2014). The inflation adjustment factor for FY 2015 (2.0813 percent) is compounded by adding 1 and then multiplying by 1 plus the inflation adjustment factor for FY 2014 (2.20 percent), which equals a compounded inflation adjustment factor of 1.043271 (rounded) (1.020813 × 1.0220). After adjusting for inflation, the estimated cost of $192 per supported direct work hour in FY 2013 increases to $202 per supported direct work hour in FY 2015.

    For the purposes of providing a sense of the fee we are proposing, in this document we use $202 as the base unit fee in determining the hourly fee rate, prior to including domestic or foreign travel costs as applicable for the activity.

    When travel is required, we would have one hourly rate for domestic travel and one hourly rate for foreign travel. To calculate an hourly rate of a fully supported FTE including travel costs, FDA would calculate the additional cost per hour spent on travel (taking into account domestic and foreign travel, as applicable), adjust for inflation, and add this amount to the base unit fee.

    For the purposes of providing a sense of the fee we are proposing, in this document we demonstrate calculation of additional costs per hour spent on travel using information from ORA's inspection trips related to FDA's CFSAN and CVM field activities programs. In FY 2013, ORA spent a total of $2,797,656 on 235 foreign inspection trips related to FDA's CFSAN and CVM field activities programs which averaged a total of $11,905 per trip. The average paid hours per trip was 120 hours. Dividing $11,905 per trip by the average paid hours per trip (120 hours) results in a total and an additional cost of $99 per paid hour spent for foreign inspection travel costs in FY 2013. To adjust for inflationary increases in FY 2014 and FY 2015, we multiply $99 by the compounded inflation adjustment factor previously mentioned in this document (1.04327), which results in an adjusted estimated additional cost of $103 per paid hour spent for foreign inspection travel costs in FY 2015. We then add $103 to $202 (base unit fee) to get a total of $305 per paid hour for each direct hour of work requiring foreign inspection travel.

    In addition, in FY 2013, ORA spent a total of $4,687,907 on 11,779 domestic regulatory inspection trips related to FDA's CFSAN and CVM activities programs which averaged a total of $398 per inspection. Dividing $398 by the average number of hours per inspection (27.91 hours) results in an additional cost of $14 per hour spent for domestic inspection travel costs in FY 2013. To adjust for inflationary increases in FY 2014 and FY 2015, we multiply $14 by the compounded inflation adjustment factor previously mentioned in this document (1.04327), which results in an adjusted estimated additional cost of $15 per paid hour spent for domestic inspection travel costs in FY 2015. We then add $15 to $202 (base unit fee) to get a total of $217 per paid hour for each direct hour of work requiring domestic inspection travel.

    To provide a sense of the fee we are proposing, we calculate an estimated fee using these fully supported FTE hourly rates, and estimates of the number of hours it would take FDA to perform relevant activities. These estimates represent FDA's current thinking and differ from the Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis (PRIA) for the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule (Ref. 1). FDA's thinking may also continue to evolve as we consider the RIA for the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors final rule. We estimate that it would take, on average, 60 person-hours to review an AB's submitted application, 48 person-hours for an onsite performance evaluation of the applicant AB (including travel and other steps necessary for a fully supported FTE to complete an onsite performance evaluation), and 45 person-hours to prepare a written report documenting the onsite audit.

    FDA employees are likely to review applications and prepare reports from their worksites, so we use the fully supported FTE hourly rate excluding travel, $202/hour, to estimate the portion of the user fee attributable to those activities: $202/hour × (60 hours + 45 hours) = $21,210. FDA employees will likely travel to foreign countries for the onsite performance evaluations because most ABs are located in foreign countries, so for this estimated fee we use the fully supported FTE hourly rate for work requiring foreign inspection travel, $305/hour, to estimate the portion of the user fee attributable to those activities: $305 × 48 hours (i.e., 2 fully supported FTEs × (2 travel days + 1 day onsite)) = $14,640. The estimated average cost of the work FDA performs in total for reviewing an application for recognition for an AB based on these figures would be $21,210 + $14,640 = $35,850.

    We anticipate that the RIA for the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors final rule, which FDA intends to publish in the fall of 2015, will include updated hourly estimates based on comments received on that rulemaking. In addition, we expect that all of these estimates used to calculate the actual user fees will be informed by FDA's experience with the third-party accreditation program, once that program begins, and the estimates used to calculate the user fees will be updated accordingly. For example, if it takes less time, on average for us to prepare written reports documenting audits, we will use that information to decrease the fee for the following year. As another example, if an AB applying for recognition is located in the United States, domestic travel, not foreign travel will be needed to conduct onsite audits of such applicant ABs. This, too, would lower the average cost to FDA of conducting onsite audits, and, in turn, would contribute to lowering the estimated fee rate.

    Note that in the above calculation, we estimate the average number of hours it would take for FDA to conduct relevant activities, and multiply that by the appropriate fully supported FTE hourly rate to generate one flat fee that would be paid by every applicant AB. Alternatively, we could track the number of hours it actually takes FDA staff to conduct relevant activities for each applicant AB, and multiply that number by the fully supported FTE hourly rate calculated by the Agency for the applicable fiscal year. We could then bill each applicant AB separately for the actual application costs attributable to it. Under this approach, we would likely bill after ABs learn whether or not they are accepted into the program.

    The proposed approach provides predictability for FDA and for industry, and allows FDA to collect application fees before beginning to perform the work of reviewing the application. However, this alternative approach may create incentives for higher quality applications. Applications that are faster to review, e.g., because they are better prepared, could result in lower fees, while applications that are slower to review, e.g., because they are less organized or necessitate more back-and-forth with the applicant, could result in higher fees. Similarly, applicants that facilitate the onsite audit process and have higher quality operations would likely have shorter onsite audits than other applicants. Still, because FDA would bill applicant ABs after completing application review, applicants whose applications are not accepted may have a lowered incentive to pay the application fee at all. This alternative approach might also raise questions regarding differences in application review costs that in turn could take additional FDA resources to resolve.

    We request comment on the proposed and alternative approaches, particularly whether one approach would create more favorable incentives for quality of the application. For the alternative approach, we also request comment on possible consequences we should impose on ABs for not paying the fee on time. We also request comment on whether we should adopt the alternative approach for a portion of the application review process, e.g., the onsite audit portion, while maintaining a flat fee for other portions, e.g., the paper application review. Such a hybrid approach may be most consistent with how ABs currently charge CBs and provide a balance of predictability and incentives.

    2. Application Fee for Recognized ABs Submitting Renewal Applications

    Under proposed § 1.705(a)(2), recognized ABs submitting renewal applications would be subject to a renewal application fee for the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs in reviewing and evaluating renewal applications for recognition of ABs. The average cost of the work FDA performs in reviewing and evaluating renewal applications for recognized ABs would be estimated by: (1) Estimating the number of hours it would take an FTE to review and evaluate a renewal application, on average and (2) multiplying that estimate by the fully supported FTE hourly rates calculated by the Agency for the applicable fiscal year.

    The review and evaluation of renewal applications submitted by recognized ABs, including the onsite assessments, is expected to be less burdensome than the review and evaluation required for initial applications for recognition submitted by ABs. As above, to provide a sense of the fee we are proposing, we calculate an estimated fee here using estimates that represent FDA's current thinking of the number of hours it would take FDA to perform relevant activities and the fully supported FTE hourly rates described above. We estimate that it would take, on average, 40 person-hours to review an AB's renewal application, including review of reports prepared by FDA detailing the FDA performance evaluations, which include FDA's onsite assessments of the AB, review of the AB's annual self-assessment reports submitted to FDA, and review of relevant records maintained by the AB. We estimate that for AB's seeking renewal of recognition, approximately 25 percent of such FDA performance evaluations will be conducted onsite and we expect that it will take 1 fully supported FTE 2 travel days and 2 onsite days to conduct an onsite assessment for a total of 32 hours. Therefore, on average, 8 person-hours (i.e., 25 percent × 1 fully supported FTE × (2 travel days + 2 onsite days)) would be spent on an onsite evaluation of an AB as part of FDA's review of an AB's renewal of recognition application. In addition, 41.25 person-hours would be spent on report preparation. For activities FDA employees are likely to perform at their worksites (i.e., the application review and report preparation), we use the fully supported FTE hourly rate excluding travel, of $202/hour, while for activities FDA employees are likely to need to travel to foreign countries to perform (i.e., the onsite audit), we use the fully supported FTE hourly rate for work requiring inspection travel, of $305/hour. The estimated average cost of the work FDA performs in reviewing and evaluating an application for renewal of recognition for an AB would be $16,413 ($202/hour × (40 hours + 41.25 hours)) plus $2,440 ($305/hour × 8 hours), which is $18,853 total. As previously mentioned, the hourly rate used would be adjusted each year for changes in FDA's costs using an inflation adjustment factor, and we expect the estimates of the number of hours each activity takes will be revised in the RIA of the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors final rule. More generally, we expect that these estimates will be informed by FDA's experience with the third-party accreditation program, once that program begins.

    Similar to the alternative approach we discussed for initial application fees, we are considering billing each applicant for the actual amount of time FDA takes to review and evaluate the particular applicant's renewal application, using the fully supported FTE hourly rates calculated by the Agency for the applicable fiscal year. We see the same policy considerations as discussed for the analogous alternative approach for the initial application fees discussed above. We request comment on the proposal and alternative approach for renewal application fees. We also request comment on whether we should adopt the alternative approach for a portion of the renewal application review process, e.g., the onsite audit portion, while maintaining a flat fee for other portions, e.g., the paper application review.

    3. Application Fee for CBs Applying for Direct Accreditation

    Under proposed § 1.705(a)(3), CBs applying for direct accreditation would be subject to an application fee for the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs in reviewing and evaluating applications for direct accreditation. As with the two proposed application fees for ABs, the average cost of the work FDA performs in reviewing and evaluating applications for direct accreditation of CBs would be estimated by: (1) Estimating the number of hours, on average, it would take an FTE to review and evaluate an application for direct accreditation and (2) multiplying that estimate by the fully supported FTE hourly rates calculated by the Agency for the applicable fiscal year.

    Again, to provide a sense of the fee we are proposing, we calculate an estimated fee here using estimates that represent FDA's current thinking of the number of hours it would take FDA to perform relevant activities and the fully supported FTE hourly rates described above. For activities FDA employees are likely to perform at their worksites, we use the fully supported FTE hourly rate excluding travel, of $202/hour, while for activities FDA employees are likely to need to travel to foreign countries to perform, we use the fully supported FTE hourly rate for work requiring inspection travel, of $305/hour. We tentatively estimate that it would take, on average, 60 person-hours to review a CB's application for direct accreditation, 48 person-hours to conduct an onsite performance evaluation of the applicant CB, including travel and other steps necessary for a fully supported FTE to complete an onsite performance evaluation, and 45 person-hours to prepare a written report documenting the onsite performance evaluation. Given that FDA employees are likely to conduct application review and report preparation at their worksites, the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs for those activities would be $202/hour × (60 hours + 45 hours) = $21,210. FDA employees will likely travel to foreign countries for the onsite performance evaluations, so the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs for those activities would be $305 × 48 hours (i.e., 2 fully supported FTEs × (2 travel days + 1 day onsite)) = $14,640. Therefore, the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs in reviewing and evaluating an application for direct accreditation for a CB would be $21,210 + $14,640 = $35,850. As previously mentioned, the hourly rate used would be adjusted each year for changes in FDA's costs using an inflation adjustment factor, we expect the estimates of the number of hours each activity takes will be revised in the RIA for the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors final rule based on comments to that proposed rulemaking, and we expect our estimates used to calculate actual user fees will be informed by FDA's experience with the third-party accreditation program, once that program begins.

    Similar to the alternative approach we discussed for initial application fees for AB recognition, we considered an alternative approach for direct accreditation applications where FDA would bill each applicant for the actual amount of time FDA takes to review and/or evaluate the particular applicant's application, using the fully supported FTE hourly rate calculated by the Agency for the applicable fiscal year. This would likely have the same policy considerations as discussed for the analogous alternative approach discussed in section III.B.1. We request comment on this alternative. We also request comment on whether we should adopt the alternative approach for a portion of the application review process, e.g., the onsite audit portion, while maintaining a flat fee for other portions, e.g., the paper application review.

    4. Application Fee for CBs Applying for Renewal of Direct Accreditation

    Under proposed § 1.705(a)(4), CBs applying for renewal of direct accreditation would be subject to an application fee for the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs in reviewing and evaluating renewal applications for direct accreditation. The average cost of the work FDA performs in reviewing and evaluating renewal applications for directly accredited CBs would be estimated by: (1) Estimating the number of hours it would take an FTE to review and evaluate a renewal application, on average and (2) multiplying that estimate by the fully supported FTE hourly rates calculated by the Agency for the applicable fiscal year.

    The review and evaluation of renewal applications submitted by directly accredited CBs, including the onsite assessments, is expected to be less burdensome than the review and evaluation required for initial applications for direct accreditation. As above, to provide a sense of the fee we are proposing, we calculate an estimated fee here using estimates that represent FDA's current thinking of the number of hours it would take FDA to perform relevant activities and the fully supported FTE hourly rates described above. We estimate that it would take, on average, 40 person-hours to review a CB's renewal application, including review of reports prepared by FDA detailing the records review from the FDA performance evaluations, which include FDA's onsite assessments of the CB, review of the CB's annual self-assessment reports submitted to FDA, and review of relevant records maintained by the CB. In addition, we estimate that 32 person-hours (i.e., 1 fully supported FTE × (2 travel days + 2 onsite days)) would be spent on onsite audits and 45 person-hours would be spent on report preparation. For activities FDA employees are likely to perform at their worksites (i.e., the application review and report preparation), we use the fully supported FTE hourly rate excluding travel, of $202/hour, while for activities FDA employees are likely to need to travel to foreign countries to perform (i.e., the onsite audit), we use the fully supported FTE hourly rate for work requiring inspection travel, of $305/hour. The estimated average cost of the work FDA performs in reviewing and evaluating a renewal application for direct accreditation for a CB would be $17,170 ($202/hour × (40 hours + 45 hours)) plus $9,760 ($305/hour × 32 hours), which is $26,930 total.

    As previously mentioned, the hourly rate used would be adjusted each year for changes in FDA's costs using an inflation adjustment factor, and we expect the estimates of the number of hours each activity takes will be revised in the RIA for the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors final rule. More generally, we expect that these estimates will be informed by FDA's experience with the third-party accreditation program, once that program begins.

    Similar to the approach we discussed for renewal application fees for AB recognition, we considered an alternative approach to renewal applications for direct accreditation of CBs where FDA would bill each applicant for the actual amount of time FDA takes to review and evaluate the particular applicant's renewal application, using the fully supported FTE hourly rates calculated by the Agency for the applicable fiscal year. We see the same policy considerations as discussed for the analogous alternative approach for renewal application fees for ABs discussed above. We request comment on the proposal and alternative approach for these renewal application fees. We also request comment on whether we should adopt the alternative approach for a portion of the renewal application process, e.g., the onsite audit portion, while maintaining a flat fee for other portions, e.g., the paper application review.

    5. Annual Fees for Recognized ABs

    Proposed § 1.633(a) of the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule states that FDA would periodically evaluate the performance of each recognized AB to determine its compliance with the applicable requirements of that proposed rule. Such evaluation would occur by at least 4 years after the date of recognition for a 5-year term of recognition, or by no later than the mid-term point for recognition granted for less than 5 years. FDA may conduct additional performance evaluations of a recognized AB at any time.

    Proposed § 1.705(b)(1) would require recognized ABs to pay an annual fee for the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs to monitor performance of recognized ABs under proposed § 1.633. The average cost of the work FDA performs to monitor performance of a recognized AB would be estimated by: (1) Estimating the number of hours, on average, it would take an FTE to monitor the performance of a recognized AB and (2) multiplying that estimate by the fully supported FTE hourly rates calculated by the Agency for the applicable fiscal year.

    To calculate the annual fee for each recognized AB, FDA would take the estimated average cost of work FDA performs to monitor performance of a single recognized AB and annualize that over the average term of recognition. For the calculations in this document, we assume an average term of recognition of 5 years. We also assume that FDA would monitor 10 percent of recognized ABs onsite. Terms of recognition may initially be shorter than 5 years during the first few years of the program, but we anticipate that 5 years is likely to be the most common term of recognition as the program continues. We estimate that for one performance evaluation of a recognized AB, it would take, on average (taking into account that not all recognized ABs would be monitored onsite), 24 hours for FDA to conduct records review, 4.8 hours of onsite performance evaluation (i.e., 10 percent × 2 fully supported FTEs × (2 travel days + 1 day onsite)), and 8 hours to prepare a report detailing the records review and onsite performance evaluation. Using the fully supported FTE hourly rates described above, the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs to monitor performance of a single recognized AB would be $6,464 ($202/hour × (24 hours + 8 hours)) plus $1,464 ($305/hour × 4.8 hours), which is $7,928. Annualizing this amount over 5 years would lead to an annual fee of roughly $1,585 to $1,878, depending on inflation.

    The proposed approach is relatively simple and consistent with industry models. However, if a recognized AB leaves the program, either voluntarily or because FDA revokes such AB's recognition, before FDA conducts its monitoring activities, such AB will have paid an annual fee for monitoring that never occurs. If a recognized AB leaves the program after FDA conducts its monitoring activities, but before the term of recognition ends, such AB's annual fees will not fully compensate FDA for monitoring. In addition, if an AB completes its term of recognition in the program but its term of recognition is less than the average term of recognition used to calculate the annual fee, the proposed approach will not fully reimburse FDA for monitoring of that AB.

    We request comment on the proposed approach and whether another approach would resolve some of these issues. For example, each AB could pay in full for monitoring in the year that FDA conducts it. FDA could calculate the fee using the same method applied under the proposed approach (i.e., by estimating the number of hours, on average, it would take an FTE to monitor the performance of a recognized AB and multiplying that estimate by the fully supported FTE hourly rates calculated by the Agency for the applicable fiscal year). Or, FDA could track the number of hours spent monitoring that particular AB and multiply the fully supported FTE hourly rate by that number of hours. Either way, in general, FDA would receive the money as costs are incurred. However, a large fee for each instance that FDA conducts a performance evaluation that may or may not be charged in any given year may be financially impractical for ABs who would otherwise participate in the program. They may prefer a smaller fee collected annually, rather than a much larger fee due at one time.

    Under another alternative, FDA would calculate the annual monitoring fee using the same method applied by the proposed approach, adjusted for inflation, but the fee would be annualized based on the term of recognition for each recognized AB. So if an AB is only recognized for a term of 3 years, the fee would be annualized over 3 years, while an AB that is recognized for a 5-year term would have its fee annualized over 5 years. As a result, an AB with a shorter term of recognition would have a higher annual fee than an AB with a longer term of recognition. Under this alternative, FDA would need to calculate a different annual fee for each possible term length, and FDA would have to ensure that ABs are billed an annual fee consistent with their particular term lengths.

    6. Annual Fees for CBs Directly Accredited by FDA

    Similarly, proposed § 1.662 of the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule states that FDA would periodically evaluate the performance of each accredited CB to determine whether the accredited CB continues to comply with the requirements and whether there are deficiencies in the performance of the accredited CB that, if not corrected, would warrant withdrawal of its accreditation. FDA would evaluate each directly accredited CB annually. FDA may conduct additional performance evaluations of an accredited CB at any time.

    Proposed § 1.705(b)(2) would require directly accredited CBs to pay an annual fee for the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs to monitor directly accredited CBs under proposed § 1.662. The average cost of the work FDA performs to monitor directly accredited CBs would be estimated by: (1) Estimating the number of hours, on average, it would take an FTE to monitor the performance of a directly accredited CB and (2) multiplying that estimate by the fully supported FTE hourly rates calculated by the Agency for the applicable fiscal year. We estimate that it would take FDA about the same amount of time to conduct records review (24 hours) and to prepare a report detailing the records review and onsite performance evaluation (8 hours) as it would for FDA to perform these activities for a recognized AB. However, we expect to conduct onsite performance evaluations for 100 percent of directly accredited CBs (48 hours per directly accredited CB, including travel and other steps necessary for a fully supported FTE to complete an onsite performance evaluation). In addition, because FDA would be conducting these activities annually for each directly accredited CB, the annual fee for a directly accredited CB would cover the full cost of performance evaluation, approximately $21,104. We request comment on this proposal.

    7. Annual Fees for CBs That Are Accredited by a Recognized AB

    Proposed § 1.662(a) of the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule states that FDA would evaluate an accredited CB annually evaluated by a recognized accreditation body by not later than 3 years after the date of accreditation for a 4-year term of accreditation, or by no later than the mid-term point for accreditation granted for less than 4 years. FDA may conduct additional performance evaluations of an accredited CB at any time.

    Under proposed § 1.705(b)(3), CBs accredited by recognized ABs would be subject to an annual fee for the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs to monitor CBs under proposed § 1.662 that are accredited by a recognized AB. The average cost of the work FDA performs to monitor performance of a CB accredited by a recognized AB would be estimated by: (1) Estimating the number of hours, on average, it would take an FTE to monitor the performance of a CB accredited by a recognized AB and (2) multiplying that estimate by the fully supported FTE hourly rates calculated by the Agency for the applicable fiscal year.

    To calculate the annual fee for each CB accredited by a recognized AB, FDA would take the estimated average cost of work FDA performs to monitor performance of a single CB accredited by a recognized AB and annualize that over 4 years, assuming that 4 years would be the most common term of accreditation. We estimate that FDA would conduct, on average, the same activities for the same amount of time to monitor CBs accredited by a recognized AB as we would to monitor an AB recognized by FDA, costing approximately $7,928. Annualizing this over 4 years would generate an annual fee of approximately $1,982 to $2,250, depending on inflation.

    The proposed provision is analogous to proposed § 1.705(b)(1), which would establish the annual fee for recognized accreditation bodies. As discussed for that provision, the proposed approach is relatively simple and consistent with industry models. But if an accredited CB leaves the program, either voluntarily or because of a decision from its AB or FDA, before FDA conducts its monitoring activities, such CB will have paid an annual fee for monitoring that never occurs. If the CB leaves the program after FDA conducts its monitoring activities, but before the term ends, the CB's annual fees will not fully compensate FDA for monitoring. In addition, if a CB completes its term of accreditation in the program but its term is less than 4 years, the proposed approach will not fully reimburse FDA for monitoring of that CB. We request comment on the proposed approach and any possible alternatives. For example, each CB could pay in full for monitoring in the year that FDA conducts it. FDA could calculate the fee using the same method applied under the proposed approach (i.e., estimating the number of hours, on average, it would take an FTE to monitor the performance of a CB accredited by a recognized AB and multiplying that estimate by the fully supported FTE hourly rates calculated by the Agency for the applicable fiscal year). Or, FDA could track the number of hours spent monitoring that particular CB and multiply the fully supported FTE hourly rate by that number of hours. Either way, in general, FDA would receive the money as we incur the costs. However, a large fee for each instance that FDA conducts a performance evaluation that may or may not be charged in any given year may be impractical for CBs who would otherwise participate in the program.

    Under another alternative, FDA would calculate the annual monitoring fee using the same method applied under the proposed approach, adjusted for inflation, but the fee would be annualized based on the term of accreditation for each CB. So if a CB is only accredited for a term of 2 years, the fee would be annualized over 2 years, while a CB that is accredited for a 4-year term would have its fee annualized over 4 years. As a result, a CB with a shorter term of accreditation would have a higher annual fee than a CB with a longer term of accreditation. FDA would need to calculate a different annual fee for each possible term length, and FDA would have to ensure that CBs are billed an annual fee consistent with their particular term lengths.

    8. General Fee Structure and Alternatives

    Having an application fee that is separate from the annual monitoring fee would allow FDA to recover costs of work performed to review applications that are ultimately denied because the applicants do not meet the eligibility criteria for the program. In addition, we understand that it is common for ABs to charge an application fee to CBs that apply for accreditation and an annual fee to accredited CBs; our proposed fee structure is consistent with this industry model.

    The application fee would likely be significantly higher than the annual monitoring fee, as can be seen by the examples above. We are wary that a high application fee could deter participation in the program. We considered alternative fee structures to address this potential issue. For example, we considered annualizing the cost of application review over the length of the term of recognition (e.g., 5 years) or accreditation (e.g., 4 years), adjusting for inflation. The annualized application fee could be added to the annual fee funding FDA's monitoring costs to generate a single annual fee. Under this alternative, the total fee paid each year by participants in the program would be consistent, adjusting for inflation, over the term of the recognition or accreditation. In an application year, the total fee charged for that year would be lower under this alternative than under the proposed fee structure, but the total fee charged in each subsequent year of the term of recognition or accreditation would be higher than under the proposed fee structure.

    We decided against this alternative approach for several reasons. First, if an application is not accepted into the program or an applicant leaves the program before the end of the term of recognition or accreditation, e.g., because FDA revokes an AB's recognition under proposed § 1.634, FDA would not recover the total cost of reviewing the application. Second, while an excessively large application fee could deter participation in a way that would negatively affect program participation, an application fee that is appropriately high, and not annualized over the length of the term of recognition or accreditation, could serve as a barrier for lower quality applicants that may not have sufficient resources to meet the program criteria and carry out the duties of program participants as prescribed in proposed 21 CFR part 1, subpart M.

    Third, as described above, the cost to FDA of reviewing a renewal application is expected to be less than the cost to FDA of reviewing an initial application. Therefore, to avoid overcharging ABs and directly accredited CBs in their second or third terms of recognition or direct accreditation, we would need to establish two different annual fees for ABs and two different annual fees for directly accredited CBs; one for those in their first term and one for those who are in a subsequent term, with the latter reduced to account for the lower annualized cost to FDA of reviewing renewal applications. For proper billing, FDA would need to keep track of which term each participant was in as well as the length of the term, adding another layer of complexity. Moreover, FDA would continue to need to establish a separate annual fee that does not include an application surcharge for those CBs that are accredited by ABs. For these reasons, FDA tentatively concludes that the alternative fee structure could potentially reimburse FDA less for work performed and could lead to more lower-quality applications.

    We request comment on the proposed fee structure, the alternative discussed here, and any other alternative fee structures that may be simpler or more consistent with industry practice.

    C. How will FDA notify the public about the fee schedule?

    In general, FDA publishes notices in the Federal Register in late summer announcing the fee rates of its user fee programs for the upcoming fiscal year (e.g., Generic Drug User Fee Rates for Fiscal Year 2015 (79 FR 44797, August 1, 2014) and Medical Device User Fee Rates for Fiscal Year 2015 (79 FR 44178, July 30, 2014)). Therefore, under proposed § 1.710, FDA would notify the public of the fee schedule annually prior to the beginning of the fiscal year for which the fees apply. Each new fee schedule would be calculated based on the parameters in this proposed rulemaking, adjusting for improvements in the estimates of the cost to FDA of performing relevant work for the upcoming year and inflation. For example, after experience with the program, FDA is likely to have more accurate estimates of the costs of performing certain activities to carry out the program than it does now. FDA would use these revised estimates to calculate the fee.

    D. When must the user fee be submitted?

    Under proposed § 1.715(a), ABs applying for recognition and CBs applying for direct accreditation would be required to submit a fee concurrently with submitting their applications or renewal applications. FDA would not review an application until the fee has been submitted (see proposed § 1.725(a)). This approach would require applicants to pay the user fee in a timely manner and would maximize the extent to which work FDA performs to review applications is user fee funded.

    Under proposed § 1.715(b), ABs and CBs subject to an annual fee must submit payment within 30 days of receiving billing for the fee. We understand 30 days to be a generally accepted norm in financial transactions and consistent with FDA's practice for its other user fee programs. We request comment on these proposed timeframes.

    E. Are user fees refundable?

    Under proposed § 1.720, user fees submitted under this subpart would not be refundable. We tentatively conclude that this is the simplest approach and is most likely to encourage higher quality applications and to encourage ABs and CBs to make thoughtful decisions about whether to remain in the program for subsequent years. In addition, we are wary of creating additional costs to administer the program—which would then need to be paid for either through raising user fees or through appropriated funds—as a result of disagreements between FDA and industry about whether a particular refund would be granted. However, we note that FDA may refund other user fees in a few very limited specific circumstances (see, e.g., User Fees and Refunds for Premarket Approval Applications and Device Biologics License Applications; Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff).

    We request comment on whether we should consider refund requests under this program and, if so, under what circumstances.

    F. What are the consequences of not paying a user fee on time?

    Under proposed § 1.725(a), applications would not be considered complete until FDA receives the application fee. In practice, this means that FDA would not review an application until it is informed by the receiving bank that the application fee payment is received. This is consistent with FDA's practices for its other user fee programs with application fees. In addition, this approach would require applicants to pay the user fee in a timely manner and would maximize the extent to which work FDA performs to review applications is user fee funded.

    As of the date of this publication, the two receiving banks that FDA uses for user fee payment are the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, for wire transfer, and U.S. Bank, for check payment. For FDA's user fee programs currently in place, these banks generally notify FDA within 24 hours of the receipt of fee payments. We expect the same for the user fee proposed here. FDA intends to publish payment instructions with the addresses for sending payments (by mail, courier, or wire) at the time that the fee payment schedules are published, before the start of the fiscal year. Again, this is consistent with FDA's practice for its other user fee programs.

    Under proposed § 1.725(b), a recognized AB that fails to submit its annual user fee within 30 days of the due date would have its recognition suspended. FDA would notify the AB that its recognition is suspended electronically, in English. FDA would notify the public of the suspension on the Web site that lists the recognized ABs (described in previously proposed § 1.690 of the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule). During the period that an AB's recognition is suspended, the AB would not be permitted to accredit additional CBs for participation in FDA's program. However, any CB accredited by such AB prior to the suspension would be unaffected by the suspension, as would any food or facility certification issued by such CB.

    Unlike the grounds for revocation listed in proposed § 1.634 of the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule, failure to pay a user fee within 30 days does not necessarily indicate that the AB no longer meets the substantive standards of the program. We tentatively conclude that there should be some significant consequence to the AB for not paying the user fee in a timely manner, but the consequence should be easily reversible once the fee is paid. Therefore, we decided to propose a middle ground, suspension, during which an AB suffers some consequences for not paying the fee, but those consequences are not as significant as the consequences of revocation.

    Our proposal to notify the AB electronically in English of suspension is consistent with the provision in proposed § 1.634(c)(1) that FDA would notify the AB electronically in English of revocation. Our proposal to notify the public of the suspension on our Web site is consistent with the provision in proposed § 1.634(f) of the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule that FDA would provide notice on its Web site of the revocation of recognition of an AB. We tentatively conclude that there is no reason for the process of notifying the AB and the public of suspension to differ from the process of notifying the AB and the public of revocation in these respects. We request comment on these tentative conclusions. We also request comment on whether FDA should notify a CB if the recognition of its AB has been suspended.

    At some point, an AB that does not pay its annual fee should not be allowed to continue to participate in the program. Therefore, under proposed § 1.725(b)(3), if payment is not received within 90 days of the payment due date, FDA would revoke the AB's recognition under proposed § 1.634(a)(4), and provide notice of such revocation in accordance with the procedures in proposed § 1.634. We are proposing to amend proposed § 1.634(a)(4) by adding a new proposed § 1.634(a)(4)(iii), which would explicitly include failure to pay the annual user fee within 90 days of the payment due date, as specified in § 1.725(b)(3), as a basis for revoking an AB's recognition. We request comment on whether 90 days is an appropriate timeframe and whether all of the consequences of revocation (see proposed § 1.634(d) and (e)) should apply here. Please note that we are no longer soliciting comment on the consequences of revocation generally proposed in § 1.634; we are only requesting comment on the appropriate consequences in the narrow circumstance of failure to pay a user fee.

    Under proposed § 1.725(c), an accredited CB that fails to submit its annual user fee within 30 days of the due date would have its accreditation suspended. FDA would notify the CB that its accreditation is suspended electronically, in English. FDA would notify a recognized AB as well, electronically and in English, if the accreditation of one of its CBs is suspended. FDA would notify the public of the suspension on the Web site that lists the recognized ABs and accredited CBs (described in proposed § 1.690). While a CB's accreditation is suspended, it would not be allowed to issue food or facility certifications as part of FDA's third-party accreditation program. However, food or facility certifications issued by a CB prior to the suspension of the CB's accreditation would remain in effect. If payment is not received within 90 days of the payment due date, FDA would withdraw the CB's accreditation under proposed § 1.664(a), and provide notice of such withdrawal in accordance with the procedures in proposed § 1.664. We propose this process to be analogous to the process for suspending recognition of a recognized AB that is delinquent on its fee payment. We are also proposing to amend proposed § 1.664(a) of the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors proposed rule to add a new proposed § 1.664(a)(4), which would explicitly include failure to pay the annual user fee within 90 days of the payment due date, as specified in § 1.725(c)(3), as a basis for withdrawing a CB's accreditation. We request comment on whether the consequences of a CB failing to pay a user fee by the due date are appropriate. Please note that we are no longer soliciting comment on the consequences of withdrawal of accreditation generally proposed in § 1.664(a); we are only requesting comment on the appropriate consequences in the narrow circumstance of failure to pay a user fee.

    G. Possible Exemptions

    Under the proposed rule, there would be no exemption or reduced fee for small businesses or entities. Under other (non-food) FDA user fee programs, some exemptions or reductions for small businesses are specified by the authorizing legislation (Refs. 2 and 3). For the user fees proposed here, no such statutory exemption, reduction, or requirement for consideration exists in section 808 of the FD&C Act. While we are not proposing a small business exemption or reduction here, we believe that some of the proposed approaches and alternative approaches we discussed above could be more amenable to small businesses than others. For example, an annualized fee may be more affordable for a small business than a larger lump sum payment. We seek comment on whether we should account for small businesses in other ways, including whether an exemption or fee reduction would be appropriate. We request that comments that state that FDA should provide an exemption or fee reduction for small businesses state who should be eligible for an exemption or fee reduction; if recommending a fee reduction, how much of a reduction should be granted; and why.

    Under the proposed rule, FDA would charge user fees to government entities that are applying to and participating in the program as either an AB or a CB. FDA is requesting comment on the impact of charging a user fee to foreign governments applying to and participating in the program, and whether, for trade or other reasons, we should consider a different approach.

    IV. Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis A. Introduction

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

    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires Agencies to analyze regulatory options that would minimize any significant impact of a rule on small entities. The proposed rule demonstrates how user fees will be calculated for different activities FDA conducts under FDA's third-party accreditation program. The proposed rule does not require action by entities affected by the forthcoming Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors final rule; it merely provides additional information so that affected entities can make an informed decision on whether to participate in FDA's third-party accreditation program. FDA plans to analyze the costs and benefits of FDA's third-party accreditation program including imposition of user fees resulting from participating in the third-party accreditation program in the regulatory impact analysis of the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors final rule. Hence, for the purpose of this rule, the Agency proposes to certify that the resulting final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    C. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

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

    D. Need for This Regulation

    The need for the proposed regulation is under the authority of section 808(c)(8) of the FD&C Act, established by FSMA, which requires FDA to establish by regulation a reimbursement (user fee) program by which we assess fees and require reimbursement for the work we perform to establish and administer the third-party accreditation program under section 808 of the FD&C Act.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This proposed rule contains no collection of information. Therefore, clearance by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 is not required.

    VI. Analysis of Environmental Impact

    We have carefully considered the potential environmental effects of this action. We have concluded, under 21 CFR 25.30(h), that this action is of a type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required (Ref. 4).

    VII. Federalism

    We have analyzed this proposed rule in accordance with the principles set forth in Executive Order 13132. We have determined that the proposed rule does not contain policies 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. Accordingly, we have tentatively concluded that the proposed rule does not contain policies that have federalism implications as defined in the Executive order and, consequently, a federalism summary impact statement is not required.

    VIII. Comments

    Interested persons may submit either electronic comments regarding this document to http://www.regulations.gov or written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). It is only necessary to send one set of comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

    IX. References

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

    1. FDA, “Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis for the proposed rules on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0143) and Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and to Issue Certifications (Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0146) under Executive Order 13563, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-4), and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520),” (http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Reports/EconomicAnalyses/UCM363286.pdf), 2013. Accessed and printed on June 23, 2015. 2. FDA, “FY 2015 Medical Device User Fee Small Business Qualification and Certification: Guidance for Industry, Food and Drug Administration Staff and Foreign Governments,” (http://www.fda.gov/downloads/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/Overview/MDUFAIII/UCM314389.pdf), August 1, 2014. Accessed and printed on June 23, 2015. 3. FDA, “Guidance for Industry: User Fee Waivers, Reductions, and Refunds for Drug and Biological Products,” (http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/ucm079298.pdf), September 2011. Accessed and printed on June 23, 2015. 4. FDA, “Memorandum: Proposed Rule: User Fees for FDA's Third Party Accreditation Program for Food and Feed,” March 3, 2015. List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 1

    Cosmetics, Drugs, Exports, Food labeling, Imports, Labeling, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, it is proposed that 21 CFR part 1, as proposed to be amended on July 29, 2013 (78 FR 45782), be further amended as follows:

    PART 1—GENERAL ENFORCEMENT REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 1 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 1453, 1454, 1455; 19 U.S.C. 1490, 1491; 21 U.S.C. 321, 331, 332, 333, 334, 335a, 343, 350c, 350d, 350k, 352, 355, 360b, 362, 371, 374, 381, 382, 384a, 384b, 384d, 393; 42 U.S.C. 216, 241, 243, 262, 264.

    2. In § 1.634, add paragraph (a)(4)(iii) to read as follows:
    § 1.634 When will FDA revoke recognition?

    (iii) Failure to pay the annual user fee within 90 days of the payment due date, as specified in § 1.725(b)(3).

    3. In § 1.664, add paragraph (a)(4) to read as follows:
    § 1.664 When can FDA withdraw accreditation?
    (4) If payment of the auditor/certification body's annual fee is not received within 90 days of the payment due date, as specified in § 1.725(c)(3). 4. In subpart M, add §§ 1.700 through 1.725 to read as follows: Sec. 1.700 Who is subject to a user fee under this subpart? 1.705 What user fees are established under this subpart? 1.710 How will FDA notify the public about the fee schedule? 1.715 When must a user fee required by this subpart be submitted? 1.720 Are user fees under this subpart refundable? 1.725 What are the consequences of not paying a user fee under this subpart on time?
    § 1.700 Who is subject to a user fee under this subpart?

    (a) Accreditation bodies submitting applications or renewal applications for recognition in the third-party accreditation program;

    (b) Recognized accreditation bodies participating in the third-party accreditation program;

    (c) Auditors/certification bodies submitting applications or renewal applications for direct accreditation; and

    (d) Accredited auditors/certification bodies (whether accredited by recognized accreditation bodies or by FDA through direct accreditation) participating in the third-party accreditation program.

    § 1.705 What user fees are established under this subpart?

    (a) The following application fees:

    (1) Accreditation bodies applying for recognition are subject to an application fee for the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs in reviewing and evaluating applications for recognition of accreditation bodies.

    (2) Recognized accreditation bodies submitting renewal applications are subject to a renewal application fee for the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs in reviewing and evaluating renewal applications for recognition of accreditation bodies.

    (3) Auditors/certification bodies applying for direct accreditation are subject to an application fee for the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs in reviewing and evaluating applications for direct accreditation.

    (4) Accredited auditors/certification bodies applying for renewal of direct accreditation are subject to an application fee for the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs in reviewing and evaluating renewal applications for direct accreditation.

    (b) The following annual fees:

    (1) Recognized accreditation bodies are subject to an annual fee for the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs to monitor performance of recognized accreditation bodies under § 1.633.

    (2) Auditors/certification bodies directly accredited by FDA are subject to an annual fee for the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs to monitor directly accredited auditors/certification bodies under § 1.662.

    (3) Auditors/certification bodies accredited by recognized accreditation bodies are subject to an annual fee for the estimated average cost of the work FDA performs to monitor auditors/certification bodies that are accredited by a recognized accreditation body under § 1.662.

    § 1.710 How will FDA notify the public about the fee schedule?

    FDA will notify the public of the fee schedule annually prior to the beginning of the fiscal year for which the fees apply. Each new fee schedule will be adjusted for inflation and improvements in the estimates of the cost to FDA of performing relevant work for the upcoming year.

    § 1.715 When must a user fee required by this subpart be submitted?

    (a) Accreditation bodies applying for recognition and auditors/certification bodies applying for direct accreditation must submit a fee concurrently with submitting an application or a renewal application.

    (b) Accreditation bodies and auditors/certification bodies subject to an annual fee must submit payment within 30 days of receiving billing for the fee.

    § 1.720 Are user fees under this subpart refundable?

    No. User fees submitted under this subpart are not refundable.

    § 1.725 What are the consequences of not paying a user fee under this subpart on time?

    (a) An application for recognition or renewal of recognition will not be considered complete for the purposes of § 1.631(a) until the date that FDA receives the application fee. An application for direct accreditation or for renewal of direct accreditation will not be considered complete for the purposes of § 1.671(a) until FDA receives the application fee.

    (b) A recognized accreditation body that fails to submit its annual user fee within 30 days of the due date will have its recognition suspended.

    (1) FDA will notify the accreditation body electronically that its recognition is suspended. FDA will notify the public of the suspension on the Web site described in § 1.690.

    (2) While an accreditation body's recognition is suspended, the accreditation body will not be able to accredit additional auditors/certification bodies. The accreditation of auditors/certification bodies that occurred prior to an accreditation body's suspension, as well as food or facility certifications issued by such auditors/certification bodies, would remain in effect.

    (3) If payment is not received within 90 days of the payment due date, FDA will revoke the accreditation body's recognition under § 1.634(a)(4)(iii), and provide notice of such revocation in accordance with § 1.634.

    (c) An accredited auditor/certification body that fails to submit its annual fee within 30 days of the due date will have its accreditation suspended.

    (1) FDA will notify the auditor/certification body that its accreditation is suspended, electronically and in English. FDA will notify a recognized accreditation body, electronically and in English, if the accreditation of one if its auditors/certification bodies is suspended. FDA will notify the public of the suspension on the Web site described in § 1.690.

    (2) While an auditor/certification body's accreditation is suspended, the auditor/certification body will not be able to issue food or facility certifications. A food or facility certification issued by an auditor/certification body prior to the suspension of the auditor/certification body accreditation will remain in effect.

    (3) If payment is not received within 90 days of the payment due date, FDA will withdraw the auditor/certification body's accreditation under § 1.664(a)(4), and provide notice of such withdrawal in accordance with § 1.664.

    Dated: July 20, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18141 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 147 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0320] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Titan SPAR, Mississippi Canyon 941, Outer Continental Shelf on the Gulf of Mexico AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes a safety zone around the Titan SPAR system, located in Mississippi Canyon Block 941 on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of the safety zone is to protect the facility from all vessels operating outside the normal shipping channels and fairways that are not providing services to or working with the facility. Placing a safety zone around the facility will significantly reduce the threat of allisions, collisions, security breaches, oil spills, releases of natural gas, and thereby protect the safety of life, property, and the environment.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before August 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2015-0320 using any one of the following methods:

    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.

    (3) Mail or Delivery: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001. Deliveries accepted between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email Mr. Rusty Wright, U.S. Coast Guard, District Eight Waterways Management Branch; telephone 504-671-2138, [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl F. Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking OCS Outer Continental Shelf SPAR A large diameter, vertical cylinder supporting a deck USCG United States Coast Guard A. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided.

    1. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online at http://www.regulations.gov, or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. If you submit a comment online, it will be considered received by the Coast Guard when you successfully transmit the comment. If you fax, hand deliver, or mail your comment, it will be considered as having been received by the Coast Guard when it is received at the Docket Management Facility. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a telephone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission.

    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number [USCG-2015-0320] in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on “Submit a Comment” on the line associated with this rulemaking.

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

    2. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number (USCG-2015-0320) in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    3. Privacy Act

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008 issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

    4. Public Meeting

    We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for one by using one of the methods specified under ADDRESSES. Please explain why you believe a public meeting would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

    B. Basis and Purpose

    The authority provided in 14 U.S.C. 85, 43 U.S.C. 1333, and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1, Title 33 CFR part 147 permits the establishment of safety zones for facilities located on the OCS for the purpose of protecting life, property and the marine environment. Bennu Oil and Gas requested that the Coast Guard establish a safety zone around its facility located in the deepwater area of the Gulf of Mexico on the OCS. Placing a safety zone around the facility will significantly reduce the threat of allisions, oil spills, and releases of natural gas, and thereby protect the safety of life, property, and the environment.

    For the purpose of safety zones established under 33 CFR part 147, the deepwater area is considered to be waters of 304.8 meters (1,000 feet) or greater depth extending to the limits of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) contiguous to the territorial sea of the United States and extending to a distance up to 200 nautical miles from the baseline from which the breadth of the sea is measured. Navigation in the vicinity of the safety zone consists of large commercial shipping vessels, fishing vessels, cruise ships, tugs with tows, and the occasional recreational vessel. The deepwater area also includes an extensive system of fairways.

    C. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    Bennu Oil and Gas requested that the Coast Guard establish a safety zone extending 500 meters (1640.4 feet) from each point on the Titan SPAR facility structure's outermost edge. The request for the safety zone was made due to safety concerns for both the personnel aboard the facility and the environment. Bennu Oil and Gas indicated that it is highly likely that any allision with the facility would result in a catastrophic event. In evaluating this request, the Coast Guard explored relevant safety factors and considered several criteria, including but not limited to, (1) the level of shipping activity around the facility, (2) safety concerns for personnel aboard the facility, (3) concerns for the environment, (4) the probability that an allision would result in a catastrophic event based on proximity to shipping fairways, offloading operations, production levels, and size of the crew, (5) the volume of traffic in the vicinity of the proposed area, (6) the types of vessels navigating in the vicinity of the proposed area, and (7) the structural configuration of the facility.

    Results from a thorough and comprehensive examination of the criteria, IMO guidelines, and existing regulations warrant the establishment of a safety zone of 500 meters (1640.4 feet) around the facility. The proposed safety zone would reduce significantly the threat of allisions, oil spills, and releases of natural gas and increase the safety of life, property, and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico by prohibiting entry into the zone unless specifically authorized by the Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District or a designated representative.

    D. Regulatory Analyses

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

    1. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action due to the location of the Titan SPAR—on the Outer Continental Shelf—and its distance from both land and safety fairways. Vessels traversing waters near the proposed safety zone will be able to safely travel around the zone using alternate routes. Exceptions to this proposed rule include vessels measuring less than 100 feet in length overall and not engaged in towing. Deviation to transit through the proposed safety zone may be requested. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be authorized by the Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District or a designated representative.

    2. Impact on Small Entities

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

    This proposed rule would affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor within the area extending 500 meters (1640.4 feet) from the outermost edges of the Titan SPAR located in Mississippi Canyon 941 on the OCS.

    This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact or a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: Vessel traffic can pass safely around the safety zone using alternate routes. Based on the limited scope of the safety zone, any delay resulting from using an alternate route is expected to be minimal depending on vessel traffic and speed in the area. Deviation to transit through the proposed safety zone may be requested. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be authorized by the Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District or a designated representative.

    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    3. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    4. Collection of Information

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

    5. Federalism

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

    6. Protest Activities

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

    7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    8. Taking of Private Property

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

    9. Civil Justice Reform

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

    10. Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks

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

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

    12. Energy Effects

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use.

    13. Technical Standards

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

    14. Environment

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 147

    Continental shelf, Marine safety, Navigation (water).

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 147 as follows:

    PART 147—SAFETY ZONES 1. The authority citation for part 147 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    14 U.S.C. 85; 43 U.S.C. 1333; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Add § 147.865 to read as follows:
    § 147.865 Titan SPAR Facility Safety Zone.

    (a) Description. The Titan SPAR system is in the deepwater area of the Gulf of Mexico at Mississippi Canyon 941. The facility is located at 28°02′02″ N. 89°06′04″ W. and the area within 500 meters (1640.4 feet) from each point on the facility structure's outer edge is a safety zone.

    (b) Regulation. No vessel may enter or remain in this safety zone except the following:

    (1) An attending vessel;

    (2) A vessel under 100 feet in length overall not engaged in towing; or

    (3) A vessel authorized by the Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District.

    Dated: June 7, 2015. David R. Callahan, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18202 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0172; FRL-9931-08-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Electronic Reporting Consistent With the Cross Media Electronic Reporting Rule AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of New Mexico. The revision pertains primarily to electronic reporting and would require electronic reporting of documents submitted for compliance with Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements. The revision also includes other changes which are non-substantive and primarily address updates to New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) document viewing locations.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before August 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be mailed to Mr. Guy Donaldson, Chief, Air Planning Section (6PD-L), Environmental Protection Agency, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733. Comments may also be submitted electronically or through hand delivery/courier by following the detailed instructions in the ADDRESSES section of the direct final rule located in the rules section of this Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sherry Fuerst, 214-665-6454, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the final rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no relevant adverse comments are received in response to this action no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives relevant adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time.

    For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the rules section of this Federal Register.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18097 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0257; FRL-9931-04-Region 9] Approval of Air Plans; California; Multiple Districts; Prevention of Significant Deterioration AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The EPA is proposing approval of five permitting rules submitted for inclusion in the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). The State of California (State) is required under the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) to adopt and implement a SIP-approved Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit program. This SIP revision proposes to incorporate PSD rules for five local California air districts into the SIP to establish a PSD permit program for pre-construction review of certain new and modified major stationary sources in attainment and unclassifiable areas. The local air districts with PSD rules that are the subject of this proposal are the Feather River Air Quality Management District (Feather River or FRAQMD), Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (Great Basin or GBUAPCD), Butte County Air Quality Management District (Butte or BCAQMD), Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (Santa Barbara or SBAPCD), and San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (San Luis Obispo or SLOAPCD)—collectively, the Districts. We are soliciting public comment on this proposal and plan to follow with a final action after consideration of comments received.

    DATES:

    Any comments must be submitted no later than August 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments, identified by docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0257, by one of the following methods:

    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions.

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Mail or deliver: Lisa Beckham (Air-3), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

    Instructions: All comments 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 Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information the disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Information that you consider CBI or otherwise protected should be clearly identified as such and should not be submitted through www.regulations.gov or email. www.regulations.gov is an “anonymous access” system, and the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send email directly to the EPA, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the public comment. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment.

    Docket: The index to the docket for this proposed action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov, docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0257, and in hard copy at EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available in either location (e.g., CBI). To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section below. Due to building security procedures, appointments must be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa Beckham, Permits Office (AIR-3), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, (415) 972-3811, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, “we,” “us” and “our” refer to the EPA.

    Table of Contents I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit? B. Are there other versions of these rules? C. What is the purpose of the submitted rules? II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating these rules? B. Do the rules meet the evaluation criteria? C. Significant impact levels and significant monitoring concentrations for PM2.5. D. Greenhouse Gases E. Transfer of existing permits issued by the EPA F. Public comment and proposed action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit?

    Table 1 identifies the rules on which we are proposing action along with the dates on which each rule was adopted by the local air district and submitted to the EPA by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). On June 1, 2015, CARB requested the withdrawal from its earlier SIP submittals of these local air district rules the portion of each rule that incorporates a specific federal PSD rule provision—40 CFR 52.21(b)(49)(v). As such, our proposed approval of these local air district rules does not include the rules' incorporation by reference of 40 CFR 52.21(b)(49)(v).

    Table 1—Submitted Rules Local agency Rule No. Rule title Adopted Submitted FRAQMD 10.10 Prevention of Significant Deterioration 8/1/2011 4/22/2013 GBUAPCD 221 Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Permit Requirements for New Major Facilities or Major Modifications in Attainment or Unclassifiable Areas 9/5/2012 2/6/2013 BCAQMD 1107 Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Permits 6/28/2012 2/6/2013 SBAPCD 810 Federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) 6/20/2013 2/10/2014 SLOAPCD 220 Federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration 1/22/2014 5/13/2014

    The submitted rules were found to meet the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 51, appendix V, which must be met before formal review by the EPA.

    B. Are there other versions of these rules?

    There are no previous versions of the rules in Table 1 in the California SIP.

    C. What is the purpose of the submitted rules?

    Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to adopt and submit regulations for the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of the primary and secondary NAAQS. Specifically, sections 110(a)(2)(C), 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), and 110(a)(2)(J) of the Act require such state plans to meet the applicable requirements of section 165 relating to a pre-construction permit program for the prevention of significant deterioration of air quality and visibility protection. The rules reviewed for this action are intended to implement a pre-construction PSD permit program as required by section 165 of the CAA for certain new and modified major stationary sources located in attainment and unclassifiable areas. Because the State does not currently have a SIP-approved PSD program within the Districts, the EPA is currently the PSD permitting authority within these Districts. Approval of the Districts' PSD rules into the SIP will transfer PSD permitting authority from the EPA to the Districts. The EPA would then assume the role of overseeing the Districts' PSD permitting programs, as intended by the CAA.

    II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating these rules?

    The relevant statutory provisions for our review of the submitted rules include CAA sections 110(a), 110(l), and 165 and part 51, § 51.166 of title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR 51.166). Section 110(a) requires, among other things, that SIP rules be enforceable, while section 110(l) precludes the EPA's approval of SIP revisions that would interfere with any applicable requirements concerning attainment and reasonable further progress. Section 165 of the CAA requires states to adopt a pre-construction permitting program for certain new and modified major stationary sources located in attainment areas and unclassifiable areas. 40 CFR 51.166 establishes the specific requirements for SIP-approved PSD permit programs that must be met to satisfy the requirements of section 165 of the CAA.

    B. Do the rules meet the evaluation criteria?

    With some exclusions and revisions, the Districts' PSD rules incorporate by reference the EPA's PSD permit program requirements at 40 CFR 52.21, as of particular dates. We generally consider the EPA's PSD permit program requirements at 40 CFR 52.21 to be consistent with the criteria for SIP-approved PSD permit programs in 40 CFR 51.166. However, we conducted a review of each District PSD rule to ensure that all requirements of 40 CFR 51.166 were met by each such rule. Our detailed evaluation is available as an attachment to the technical support document (TSD) for this proposed rulemaking action. We also reviewed the revisions that the Districts made to the provisions of 40 CFR 52.21 that were incorporated by reference into each rule, such as revising certain terms and definitions to reflect that the Districts, rather than the EPA, will be the PSD permitting authority. In addition, we reviewed revisions made to 40 CFR 51.166 and 40 CFR 52.21 after each District adopted its PSD rule. Please see the TSD for additional information. Based on our review of these rules, the underlying statutes and regulations, and clarifying information that the Districts provided in letters dated November 13, 2014, November 25, 2014, December 16, 2014, December 18, 2014, April 8, 2015, and April 15, 2015, we are proposing to find the SIP revision for the Districts' PSD rules acceptable under CAA sections 110(a), 110(l) and 165 and 40 CFR 51.166.

    The EPA's TSD for this rulemaking action has more information about these rules, including our evaluation and recommendation to approve them into the SIP.

    C. Significant Impact Levels and Significant Monitoring Concentrations for PM2.5

    On January 22, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (D.C. Circuit or Court) in Sierra Club v. EPA, 705 F.3d 458, granted a request from the EPA to vacate and remand to the EPA the portions of two PSD rules (40 CFR 51.166(k)(2) and 40 CFR 52.21(k)(2)) addressing the significant impact levels (SILs) for PM2.5 so that the EPA could voluntarily correct an error in these provisions. The D.C. Circuit also vacated the parts of these two PSD rules (40 CFR 51.166(i)(5)(i)(c) and 40 CFR 52.21(i)(5)(i)(c)) establishing a PM2.5 significant monitoring concentration (SMC), finding that the EPA was precluded from using the PM2.5 SMC to exempt permit applicants from the statutory requirement to compile and submit preconstruction monitoring data as part of a complete PSD application. On December 9, 2013, revisions to 40 CFR 51.166 and 52.21 were published in the Federal Register to remove the affected provisions from the PSD regulations, effective as of that date. 78 FR 73698.

    As Feather River Rule 10.10 incorporates 40 CFR 52.21 by reference as in effect prior to the D.C. Circuit's decision, the rule incorporates by reference an earlier version of 40 CFR 52.21 that contains the PM2.5 SILs 1 and SMC provisions that were later vacated by the D.C. Circuit and removed from 40 CFR 52.21 by the EPA. Accordingly, the EPA requested clarification from Feather River concerning its interpretation of Rule 10.10 to the extent that it incorporates by reference these provisions.

    1 The PSD rules submitted by Great Basin, Butte, and San Luis Obispo specifically excluded the PM2.5 SILs from their incorporation by reference of 40 CFR 52.21. Santa Barbara's PSD rule incorporated by reference 40 CFR 52.21 as in effect after the PM2.5 SILs were vacated by the Court and no longer in effect, and thus does not include the PM2.5 SILs.

    Great Basin Rule 221 and Butte Rule 1107 also incorporate 40 CFR 52.21 by reference as in effect prior to January 22, 2013. While these two District PSD rules specifically exclude the PM2.5 SILs provisions that were vacated by the D.C. Circuit, they do contain the PM2.5 SMC provisions that were vacated by the Court and removed from 40 CFR 52.21 by the EPA.2 Accordingly, the EPA requested clarification from Great Basin and Butte concerning their interpretation of Rules 221 and 1107, respectively, to the extent they incorporate by reference these PM2.5 SMC provisions.

    2 San Luis Obispo's PSD rule specifically revised its rule language concerning the PM2.5 SMC to be consistent with the Court's decision. Santa Barbara's PSD rule incorporated by reference 40 CFR 52.21 as in effect after the PM2.5 SMC was vacated by the Court and no longer in effect, and thus does not include the PM2.5 SMC.

    With respect to the PM2.5 SILs, Feather River Rule 10.10 incorporates by reference an earlier version of 40 CFR 52.21 that contained the PM2.5 SILs provisions that were later vacated by the D.C. Circuit and removed from 40 CFR 52.21 by the EPA. 40 CFR 52.21(k)(1) requires that a source applying for a new PSD permit demonstrate that any allowable emission increases from the proposed source or modification, in conjunction with all other applicable emissions increases or reductions, will not cause or contribute to a violation of any NAAQS or any applicable increment. In the preamble to the 2010 final rule adding the 40 CFR 52.21(k)(2) provision, the EPA advised that, “notwithstanding the existence of a SIL, permitting authorities should determine when it may be appropriate to conclude that even a de minimis impact will `cause or contribute' to an air quality problem and to seek remedial action from the proposed new source or modification.” Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) for Particulate Matter Less than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)—Increments, Significant Impact levels (SILs) and Significant Monitoring Concentration (SMC), 75 FR 64,864, 64,892 (Oct. 20, 2010). In another passage of the preamble, the EPA also observed that “the use of a SIL may not be appropriate when a substantial portion of any NAAQS or increment is known to be consumed.” Id. at 64,894. The D.C. Circuit's decision in Sierra Club v. EPA held that, contrary to these statements in the preamble, the text of the (k)(2) provision “does not give permitting authorities sufficient discretion to require a cumulative air quality analysis” under such circumstances. 705 F.3d at 464.

    Consistent with the Court's decision in Sierra Club v. EPA and the statements by the EPA in the preamble to the 2010 final rule that are discussed above, Feather River affirmed in a letter dated December 18, 2014 that it does not interpret § 52.21(k)(2), as incorporated by reference in Rule 10.10, to preclude FRAQMD from exercising discretion to determine when it may be appropriate to conclude that an impact below the PM2.5 SIL values in § 52.21(k)(2) will cause or contribute to an air quality problem and to seek remedial action from the proposed new source or modification. Such discretion is necessary to ensure adherence to the requirement of the Clean Air Act that a PSD project not cause or contribute to a violation of any NAAQS or any applicable increment. Based on this interpretation, the District affirmed in the December 18, 2014 letter that it will not read § 52.21(k)(2), as incorporated by reference in District Rule 10.10, as an absolute “safe harbor,” but will exercise discretion to determine whether a particular application of the PM2.5 SIL values is appropriate when a substantial portion of the PM2.5 NAAQS or increment is known to be consumed. The District confirmed that it retains the discretion to require additional information from a permit applicant as needed to assure that the source will not cause or contribute to a violation of any NAAQS or applicable increment pursuant to § 52.21(k)(1).

    As noted above, Feather River Rule 10.10, Great Basin Rule 221, and Butte Rule 1107 also incorporated by reference an earlier version of the federal regulation at § 52.21(i)(5)(i) that contains the PM2.5 SMC, which provides that each District may exempt a proposed major stationary source or major modification from the requirements of paragraph (m) of this section, with respect to monitoring for a particular pollutant, if the emissions increase or net emissions increase is below the applicable SMC. Feather River, Butte, and Great Basin confirmed in their letters dated December 18, 2014, April 8, 2015, and April 15, 2015 that this provision, specifically at § 52.21(i)(5)(i)(c), as incorporated into each rule, provides the Districts with the discretion to determine whether it is appropriate to apply the SMC for PM2.5 to exempt a permit applicant from the requirement to compile and submit preconstruction ambient monitoring data for PM2.5 as part of a complete PSD application. Consistent with the D.C. Circuit's decision in Sierra Club v. EPA vacating the PM2.5 SMC, the Districts affirmed in their letters dated December 18, 2014, April 8, 2015, and April 15, 2015 that they will not exercise their discretionary authority to use the PM2.5 SMC in order to exempt PSD permit applicants from the requirement in Clean Air Act section 165(e)(2) that ambient monitoring data for PM2.5 be included in applications subject to the PSD program for PM2.5. Accordingly, the Districts' APCOs will require all applicants requesting a PSD permit from the District to submit ambient PM2.5 monitoring data in accordance with Clean Air Act requirements when proposed increases of direct PM2.5 emissions or any emissions of a PM2.5 precursor equal or exceed a significant amount.

    In summary, Feather River has clarified and confirmed that it intends to implement its PSD program with respect to the PM2.5 SILs consistent with the Sierra Club Court's decision. In addition, Feather River, Great Basin, and Butte have clarified and confirmed that they intend to implement their PSD programs with respect to the PM2.5 SMC consistent with the Sierra Club Court's decision. Upon review of the Districts' PSD rules and the clarifications provided by the Districts, we find that the PSD SIP submittals including the PM2.5 SILs and SMC language are approvable and consistent with the Act and the requirements for a PSD program.

    D. Greenhouse Gases

    The PSD permitting requirements applied to greenhouse gases (GHGs) for the first time on January 2, 2011. 75 FR 17004 (Apr. 2, 2010). On June 3, 2010, the EPA issued a final rule, known as the Tailoring Rule, which phased in permitting requirements for GHG emissions from stationary sources under the CAA PSD and title V permitting programs. 75 FR 31514. Under its understanding of the CAA at the time, the EPA believed the Tailoring Rule was necessary to avoid a sudden and unmanageable increase in the number of sources that would be required to obtain PSD and Title V permits under the CAA because the sources emitted GHG emissions over applicable major source and major modification thresholds. In Step 1 of the Tailoring Rule, which began on January 2, 2011, the EPA limited application of PSD requirements to sources of GHG emissions only if the sources were subject to PSD “anyway” due to their emissions of pollutants other than GHGs. These sources are referred to as “anyway sources.” In Step 2 of the Tailoring Rule, which began on July 1, 2011, the EPA applied the PSD requirements under the CAA to sources that were then-classified as major, and, thus, required to obtain a permit, based solely on their potential GHG emissions and to modifications of otherwise major sources that required a PSD permit because they increased only GHG emissions above applicable levels in the EPA regulations.

    On June 23, 2014, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. Environmental Protection Agency, 134 S. Ct. 2427, 189 L. Ed. 2d 372 (2014), holding that the EPA may not treat GHGs as an air pollutant for purposes of determining whether a source is a major source (or a modification thereof) required to obtain a PSD permit. The Supreme Court's decision also said that the EPA could continue to require that PSD permits, otherwise required based on emissions of pollutants other than GHGs, contain limitations on GHG emissions based on the application of BACT. The Supreme Court decision effectively upheld PSD permitting requirements for GHG emissions under Step 1 of the Tailoring Rule for “anyway sources” and invalidated PSD permitting requirements for GHG emissions for Step 2 sources. In accordance with the Supreme Court decision, on April 10, 2015, the D.C. Circuit issued an amended judgment vacating the regulations that implemented Step 2 of the Tailoring Rule, including 40 CFR 52.21(b)(49)(v), but not the regulations that implement Step 1 of the Tailoring Rule. Coalition for Responsible Regulation, Inc. v. EPA, No. 09-1322, (D.C. Cir. April 10, 2015) (Amended Judgment).

    In light of the Supreme Court's UARG decision, and consistent with the D.C. Circuit's amended judgment, each of the five Districts with PSD rules under consideration in this action requested that CARB notify the EPA that CARB and the respective Districts would like to withdraw from the respective Districts' PSD rule SIP submittals the portion of each District PSD rule that incorporates by reference 40 CFR 52.21(b)(49)(v). CARB sent a letter to the EPA dated June 1, 2015 making this withdrawal request for the five District PSD submittals. These withdrawals were designed to ensure that the EPA can act on the District's SIP submittals consistent with the Supreme Court's UARG decision concerning Step 2 of the GHG Tailoring Rule and the D.C. Circuit's amended judgment.3 With this withdrawal request from CARB, the EPA's action on these PSD SIP submittals will not include the provisions of 40 CFR 52.21(b)(49)(v) as incorporated by reference into the five PSD rules. This approach will ensure that the EPA's action is consistent with the Supreme Court's UARG decision and the D.C. Circuit Court's April 10, 2015 amended judgment.

    3 See letter to EPA dated June 1, 2015 from Richard Corey, Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board.

    The EPA intends to revise the PSD rules at 40 CFR 52.21 and 40 CFR 51.166 as a result of the UARG decision and the D.C. Circuit's amended judgment. However, in the meantime, the EPA and the states will need to ensure that “anyway” sources obtain PSD permits meeting the requirements of the CAA. The CAA continues to require that PSD permits issued to “anyway sources” satisfy the BACT requirement for GHGs. Based on the language that remains applicable under 52.21(b)(49)(iv), the EPA will continue to limit the application of BACT to GHG emissions to those circumstances where a source emits GHGs in the amount of 75,000 tons per year on a CO2e basis. The EPA's intention is for this to serve as an interim approach until the EPA can complete revisions to its PSD rules consistent with the Supreme Court decision. Each of the five Districts has confirmed that it intends to apply 40 CFR 52.21 as incorporated by reference into its PSD rule in a manner consistent with the EPA's interpretation of the Supreme Court's UARG decision and the EPA guidance and policy with respect to application of section 52.21 while revisions to the PSD regulations are pending.4 Although the Districts provided this information to the EPA prior to the D.C. Circuit's amended judgment vacating the relevant rule provisions, this confirmation is consistent with that amended judgment.

    4 See letters dated November 13, 2014 from Butte, November 13, 2014 from Great Basin, November 25, 2014 from Santa Barbara, December 16, 2014 from San Luis Obispo, and December 18, 2014 from Feather River.

    E. Transfer of existing permits issued by the EPA

    With the exception of San Luis Obispo, the Districts requested approval to exercise their authority to administer the PSD program with respect to those sources located in the Districts that have existing PSD permits issued by the EPA or by the Districts as part of a delegation agreement under 40 CFR 52.21(u).5 This would include authority to conduct general administration of these existing permits, authority to process and issue any and all subsequent PSD permit actions relating to such permits (e.g., modifications, amendments, or revisions of any nature), and authority to enforce such permits.

    5 There are no such active permits in San Luis Obispo, thus San Luis Obispo is not requesting such approval.

    Consistent with section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) of the Act, the SIP submittals and additional information provided by the Districts make clear that each District has the authority under State statute and rule to administer the PSD permit program, including but not limited to the authority to administer, process and issue any and all permit decisions, and enforce PSD permit requirements within each District. This applies to PSD permits that the Districts will issue and to existing PSD permits issued by the EPA that are to be transferred to the Districts upon the effective date of the EPA's approval of the PSD SIP submittals.

    F. Public comment and proposed action

    Because the EPA believes the submitted rules fulfill all relevant CAA requirements, we are proposing to fully approve them as a revision to the California SIP pursuant to section 110(k)(3) of the Act. Specifically, we are proposing to approve the rules listed in Table 1, except for Step 2 of the GHG Tailoring Rule found at 40 CFR 52.21(b)(49)(v) as incorporated by reference into each rule, which was subsequently withdrawn from CARB's request for SIP approval. Our determination is based, in part, on the clarifications provided by the Districts related to the implementation of the PSD program, including the clarifications related to PM2.5 SILs and SMC, in letters dated November 13, 2014, November 25, 2014, December 16, 2014, December 18, 2014, April 8, 2015, and April 15, 2015. We intend to include these clarification letters as additional material in the SIP.

    We will accept comments from the public on this proposal until August 24, 2015.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is proposing to include in a final rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the rules listed in Table 1 of this preamble, except for the portion of each rule that incorporates Step 2 of the GHG Tailoring Rule at 40 CFR 52.21(b)(49)(v). The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate office of the EPA (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: July 7, 2015. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18081 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0442; FRL-9931-14-Region 4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Georgia; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve the March 6, 2012, State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision, submitted by the State of Georgia, through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Environmental Protection Division (EPD), demonstrating that the State meets the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act) for the 2008 lead national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, which is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure” SIP. EPD certified that the Georgia SIP contains provisions that ensure the 2008 Lead NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in Georgia. With the exception of provisions pertaining to prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permitting, EPA is proposing to determine that Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission, provided to EPA on March 6, 2012, addresses the required infrastructure elements for the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0442, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Fax: (404) 562-9019.

    4. Mail: “EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0442,” Air Regulatory Management Section (formerly the Regulatory Development Section), Air Planning and Implementation Branch (formerly the Air Planning Branch), Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960.

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

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0442. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit through www.regulations.gov or email, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Background II. What elements are required under sections 110(a)(1) and (2)? III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions? IV. What is EPA's analysis of how Georgia addressed the elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) “infrastructure” provisions? V. Proposed Action VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    On October 5, 1978, EPA promulgated a primary and secondary NAAQS for lead under section 109 of the Act. See 43 FR 46246. Both the primary and secondary standards were set at a level of 1.5 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3), measured as lead in total suspended particulate matter (Pb-TSP), not to be exceeded by the maximum arithmetic mean concentration averaged over a calendar quarter. This standard was based on the 1977 Air Quality Criteria for Lead (USEPA, August 7, 1977). On November 12, 2008 (75 FR 81126), EPA issued a final rule to revise the primary and secondary lead NAAQS. The revised primary and secondary lead NAAQS were revised to 0.15 µg/m3. By statute, SIPs meeting the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) are to be submitted by states within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) require states to address basic SIP requirements, including emissions inventories, monitoring, and modeling to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. States were required to submit such SIPs to EPA no later than October 15, 2011, for the 2008 Lead NAAQS.1

    1 In these infrastructure SIP submissions states generally certify evidence of compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA through a combination of state regulations and statutes, some of which have been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP. In addition, certain federally-approved, non-SIP regulations may also be appropriate for demonstrating compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2). Unless otherwise indicated, the Georgia Rules for Air Quality cited throughout this rulemaking have been approved into Georgia's federally-approved SIP. The Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1cited throughout this rulemaking, however, are not approved into the Georgia SIP unless otherwise indicated.

    Today's action is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure submission for the applicable requirements of the Lead NAAQS, with the exception of preconstruction PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i), and (J). On March 18, 2015, EPA approved Georgia's March 6, 2012, infrastructure SIP submission regarding the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i) and (J) for the 2008 Lead NAAQS. See 80 FR 14019. This action is not approving any specific rule, but rather proposing that Georgia's already approved SIP meets certain CAA requirements.

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

    Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit SIPs to provide for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of a new or revised NAAQS within three years following the promulgation of such NAAQS, or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a) imposes the obligation upon states to make a SIP submission to EPA for a new or revised NAAQS, but the contents of that submission may vary depending upon the facts and circumstances. In particular, the data and analytical tools available at the time the state develops and submits the SIP for a new or revised NAAQS affects the content of the submission. The contents of such SIP submissions may also vary depending upon what provisions the state's existing SIP already contains. In the case of the 2008 Lead NAAQS, states typically have met the basic program elements required in section 110(a)(2) through earlier SIP submissions in connection with the 1978 lead NAAQS.

    Section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for SIPs. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for “infrastructure” SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. As mentioned above, these requirements include SIP infrastructure elements such as modeling, monitoring, and emissions inventories that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. The requirements that are the subject of this proposed rulemaking are listed below 2 and in EPA's October 14, 2011, memorandum entitled “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2008 lead (Pb) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)” (2011 Lead Infrastructure SIP Guidance.)

    2 Two elements identified in section 110(a)(2) are not governed by the three year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1) because SIPs incorporating necessary local nonattainment area controls are not due within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, but rather due at the time the nonattainment area plan requirements are due pursuant to section 172. These requirements are: (1) Submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(C) to the extent that subsection refers to a permit program as required in part D Title I of the CAA, and (2) submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(I) which pertain to the nonattainment planning requirements of part D, Title I of the CAA. Today's proposed rulemaking does not address infrastructure elements related to section 110(a)(2)(I) or the nonattainment planning requirements of 110(a)(2)(C).

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

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

    • 110(a)(2)(C): Program for enforcement, Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and new source review (NSR).3

    3 This rulemaking only addresses requirements for this element as they relate to attainment areas.

    • 110(a)(2)(D): Interstate and international transport provisions.

    • 110(a)(2)(E): Adequate personnel, funding, and authority.

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

    • 110(a)(2)(G): Emergency episodes.

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

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

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

    • 110(a)(2)(L): Permitting fees.

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

    III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions?

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

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

    Section 110(a)(1) addresses the timing and general requirements for infrastructure SIP submissions, and section 110(a)(2) provides more details concerning the required contents of these submissions. The list of required elements provided in section 110(a)(2) contains a wide variety of disparate provisions, some of which pertain to required legal authority, some of which pertain to required substantive program provisions, and some of which pertain to requirements for both authority and substantive program provisions.4 EPA therefore believes that while the timing requirement in section 110(a)(1) is unambiguous, some of the other statutory provisions are ambiguous. In particular, EPA believes that the list of required elements for infrastructure SIP submissions provided in section 110(a)(2) contains ambiguities concerning what is required for inclusion in an infrastructure SIP submission.

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

    The following examples of ambiguities illustrate the need for EPA to interpret some section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) requirements with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions for a given new or revised NAAQS. One example of ambiguity is that section 110(a)(2) requires that “each” SIP submission must meet the list of requirements therein, while EPA has long noted that this literal reading of the statute is internally inconsistent and would create a conflict with the nonattainment provisions in part D of title I of the Act, which specifically address nonattainment SIP requirements.5 Section 110(a)(2)(I) pertains to nonattainment SIP requirements and part D addresses when attainment plan SIP submissions to address nonattainment area requirements are due. For example, section 172(b) requires EPA to establish a schedule for submission of such plans for certain pollutants when the Administrator promulgates the designation of an area as nonattainment, and section 107(d)(1)(B) allows up to two years, or in some cases three years, for such designations to be promulgated.6 This ambiguity illustrates that rather than apply all the stated requirements of section 110(a)(2) in a strict literal sense, EPA must determine which provisions of section 110(a)(2) are applicable for a particular infrastructure SIP submission.

    5See, e.g., “Rule To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule); Revisions to Acid Rain Program; Revisions to the NOx SIP Call; Final Rule,” 70 FR 25162, at 25163-65 (May 12, 2005) (explaining relationship between timing requirement of section 110(a)(2)(D) versus section 110(a)(2)(I)).

    6 EPA notes that this ambiguity within section 110(a)(2) is heightened by the fact that various subparts of part D set specific dates for submission of certain types of SIP submissions in designated nonattainment areas for various pollutants. Note, e.g., that section 182(a)(1) provides specific dates for submission of emissions inventories for the ozone NAAQS. Some of these specific dates are necessarily later than three years after promulgation of the new or revised NAAQS.

    Another example of ambiguity within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) with respect to infrastructure SIPs pertains to whether states must meet all of the infrastructure SIP requirements in a single SIP submission, and whether EPA must act upon such SIP submission in a single action. Although section 110(a)(1) directs states to submit “a plan” to meet these requirements, EPA interprets the CAA to allow states to make multiple SIP submissions separately addressing infrastructure SIP elements for the same NAAQS. If states elect to make such multiple SIP submissions to meet the infrastructure SIP requirements, EPA can elect to act on such submissions either individually or in a larger combined action.7 Similarly, EPA interprets the CAA to allow it to take action on the individual parts of one larger, comprehensive infrastructure SIP submission for a given NAAQS without concurrent action on the entire submission. For example, EPA has sometimes elected to act at different times on various elements and sub-elements of the same infrastructure SIP submission.8

    7See, e.g., “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP); Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) Permitting,” 78 FR 4339 (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action approving the structural PSD elements of the New Mexico SIP submitted by the State separately to meet the requirements of EPA's 2008 PM2.5 NSR rule), and “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS,” (78 FR 4337) (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action on the infrastructure SIP for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS).

    8 On December 14, 2007, the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, made a SIP revision to EPA demonstrating that the State meets the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). EPA proposed action for infrastructure SIP elements (C) and (J) on January 23, 2012 (77 FR 3213) and took final action on March 14, 2012 (77 FR 14976). On April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22533) and July 23, 2012 (77 FR 42997), EPA took separate proposed and final actions on all other section 110(a)(2) infrastructure SIP elements of Tennessee's December 14, 2007 submittal.

    Ambiguities within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) may also arise with respect to infrastructure SIP submission requirements for different NAAQS. Thus, EPA notes that not every element of section 110(a)(2) would be relevant, or as relevant, or relevant in the same way, for each new or revised NAAQS. The states' attendant infrastructure SIP submissions for each NAAQS therefore could be different. For example, the monitoring requirements that a state might need to meet in its infrastructure SIP submission for purposes of section 110(a)(2)(B) could be very different for different pollutants because the content and scope of a state's infrastructure SIP submission to meet this element might be very different for an entirely new NAAQS than for a minor revision to an existing NAAQS.9

    9 For example, implementation of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS required the deployment of a system of new monitors to measure ambient levels of that new indicator species for the new NAAQS.

    EPA notes that interpretation of section 110(a)(2) is also necessary when EPA reviews other types of SIP submissions required under the CAA. Therefore, as with infrastructure SIP submissions, EPA also has to identify and interpret the relevant elements of section 110(a)(2) that logically apply to these other types of SIP submissions. For example, section 172(c)(7) requires that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D have to meet the “applicable requirements” of section 110(a)(2). Thus, for example, attainment plan SIP submissions must meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) regarding enforceable emission limits and control measures and section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) regarding air agency resources and authority. By contrast, it is clear that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D would not need to meet the portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) that pertains to the PSD program required in part C of title I of the CAA, because PSD does not apply to a pollutant for which an area is designated nonattainment and thus subject to part D planning requirements. As this example illustrates, each type of SIP submission may implicate some elements of section 110(a)(2) but not others.

    Given the potential for ambiguity in some of the statutory language of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2), EPA believes that it is appropriate to interpret the ambiguous portions of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) in the context of acting on a particular SIP submission. In other words, EPA assumes that Congress could not have intended that each and every SIP submission, regardless of the NAAQS in question or the history of SIP development for the relevant pollutant, would meet each of the requirements, or meet each of them in the same way. Therefore, EPA has adopted an approach under which it reviews infrastructure SIP submissions against the list of elements in section 110(a)(2), but only to the extent each element applies for that particular NAAQS.

    Historically, EPA has elected to use guidance documents to make recommendations to states for infrastructure SIPs, in some cases conveying needed interpretations on newly arising issues and in some cases conveying interpretations that have already been developed and applied to individual SIP submissions for particular elements.10 EPA issued the Lead Infrastructure SIP Guidance on October 14, 2011.11 EPA developed this document to provide states with up-to-date guidance for the 2008 Lead infrastructure SIPs. Within this guidance, EPA describes the duty of states to make infrastructure SIP submissions to meet basic structural SIP requirements within three years of promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. EPA also made recommendations about many specific subsections of section 110(a)(2) that are relevant in the context of infrastructure SIP submissions. The guidance also discusses the substantively important issues that are germane to certain subsections of section 110(a)(2). Significantly, EPA interprets sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) such that infrastructure SIP submissions need to address certain issues and need not address others. Accordingly, EPA reviews each infrastructure SIP submission for compliance with the applicable statutory provisions of section 110(a)(2), as appropriate.12

    10 EPA notes, however, that nothing in the CAA requires EPA to provide guidance or to promulgate regulations for infrastructure SIP submissions. The CAA directly applies to states and requires the submission of infrastructure SIP submissions, regardless of whether or not EPA provides guidance or regulations pertaining to such submissions. EPA elects to issue such guidance in order to assist states, as appropriate.

    11 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements Required under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2008 Lead (Pb) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS),” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, October 14, 2001.

    12 Although not intended to provide guidance for purposes of infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2008 Lead NAAQS, EPA notes, that following the 2011 Lead Infrastructure SIP Guidance, EPA issued the “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2).” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013. This 2013 guidance provides recommendations for air agencies' development and the EPA's review of infrastructure SIPs for the 2008 ozone primary and secondary NAAQS, the 2010 primary nitrogen dioxide (NO2) NAAQS, the 2010 primary sulfur dioxide (SO2) NAAQS, and the 2012 primary fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS, as well as infrastructure SIPs for new or revised NAAQS promulgated in the future.

    EPA's approach to review of infrastructure SIP submissions is to identify the CAA requirements that are logically applicable to that submission. EPA believes that this approach to the review of a particular infrastructure SIP submission is appropriate, because it would not be reasonable to read the general requirements of section 110(a)(1) and the list of elements in 110(a)(2) as requiring review of each and every provision of a state's existing SIP against all requirements in the CAA and EPA regulations merely for purposes of assuring that the state in question has the basic structural elements for a functioning SIP for a new or revised NAAQS. Because SIPs have grown by accretion over the decades as statutory and regulatory requirements under the CAA have evolved, they may include some outmoded provisions and historical artifacts. These provisions, while not fully up to date, nevertheless may not pose a significant problem for the purposes of “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of a new or revised NAAQS when EPA evaluates adequacy of the infrastructure SIP submission. EPA believes that a better approach is for states and EPA to focus attention on those elements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA most likely to warrant a specific SIP revision due to the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or other factors.

    Finally, EPA believes that its approach with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements is based on a reasonable reading of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) because the CAA provides other avenues and mechanisms to address specific substantive deficiencies in existing SIPs. These other statutory tools allow EPA to take appropriately tailored action, depending upon the nature and severity of the alleged SIP deficiency. Section 110(k)(5) authorizes EPA to issue a “SIP call” whenever the Agency determines that a state's SIP is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain the NAAQS, to mitigate interstate transport, or to otherwise comply with the CAA.13 Section 110(k)(6) authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions.14 Significantly, EPA's determination that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is not the appropriate time and place to address all potential existing SIP deficiencies does not preclude EPA's subsequent reliance on provisions in section 110(a)(2) as part of the basis for action to correct those deficiencies at a later time. For example, although it may not be appropriate to require a state to eliminate all existing inappropriate director's discretion provisions in the course of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, EPA believes that section 110(a)(2)(A) may be among the statutory bases that EPA relies upon in the course of addressing such deficiency in a subsequent action.15

    13 For example, EPA issued a SIP call to Utah to address specific existing SIP deficiencies related to the treatment of excess emissions during SSM events. See “Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Utah State Implementation Plan Revisions,” 74 FR 21639 (April 18, 2011).

    14 EPA has used this authority to correct errors in past actions on SIP submissions related to PSD programs. See “Limitation of Approval of Prevention of Significant Deterioration Provisions Concerning Greenhouse Gas Emitting-Sources in State Implementation Plans; Final Rule,” 75 FR 82536 (December 30, 2010). EPA has previously used its authority under CAA section 110(k)(6) to remove numerous other SIP provisions that the Agency determined it had approved in error. See, e.g., 61 FR 38664 (July 25, 1996) and 62 FR 34641 (June 27, 1997) (corrections to American Samoa, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada SIPs); 69 FR 67062 (November 16, 2004) (corrections to California SIP); and 74 FR 57051 (November 3, 2009) (corrections to Arizona and Nevada SIPs).

    15See, e.g., EPA's disapproval of a SIP submission from Colorado on the grounds that it would have included a director's discretion provision inconsistent with CAA requirements, including section 110(a)(2)(A). See, e.g., 75 FR 42342 at 42344 (July 21, 2010) (proposed disapproval of director's discretion provisions); 76 FR 4540 (Jan. 26, 2011) (final disapproval of such provisions).

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of how Georgia addressed the elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) “infrastructure” provisions?

    The Georgia infrastructure submission addresses the provisions of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as described below.

    1. 110(a)(2)(A): Emission limits and other control measures: There are several rules and regulations within Georgia's SIP that are relevant to air quality control regulations. The regulations described below have been federally approved into the Georgia SIP and include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures. Georgia Rules for Air Quality 391-3-1-.01—Definitions. Amended, 391-3-1-.02—Provisions. Amended, and 391-3-1-.03—Permits. Amended, establish emission limits for lead and address the required control measures, means, and techniques for compliance with the 2008 Lead NAAQS. EPA has made the preliminary determination that the provisions contained in these rules are adequate to protect the 2008 Lead NAAQS in the State.

    In this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State provisions with regard to excess emissions during startup, shutdown and malfunction (SSM) of operations at a facility. EPA believes that a number of states have SSM provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance, “State Implementation Plans: Policy Regarding Excess Emissions During Malfunctions, Startup, and Shutdown” (September 20, 1999), and the Agency plans to address such state regulations in a separate action.16 In the meantime, EPA encourages any state having a deficient SSM provision to take steps to correct it as soon as possible.

    16 On May 22, 2015, the EPA Administrator signed a final action entitled, “State Implementation Plans: Response to Petition for Rulemaking; Restatement and Update of EPA's SSM Policy Applicable to SIPs; Findings of Substantial Inadequacy; and SIP Calls to Amend Provisions Applying to Excess Emissions During Periods of Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction.” The prepublication version of this rule is available at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/urbanair/sipstatus/emissions.html.

    Additionally, in this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State rules with regard to director's discretion or variance provisions. EPA believes that a number of states have such provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance (52 FR 45109 (November 24, 1987)), and the Agency plans to take a separate action to address such state regulations. In the meantime, EPA encourages any state having a director's discretion or variance provision which is contrary to the CAA and EPA guidance to take steps to correct the deficiency as soon as possible.

    2. 110(a)(2)(B) Ambient air quality monitoring/data system: SIPs are required to provide for the establishment and operation of ambient air quality monitors; the compilation and analysis of ambient air quality data; and the submission of these data to EPA upon request. the Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-6 (b)(13)), along with the Georgia Network Description and Ambient Air Monitoring Network Plan provides for an ambient air quality monitoring system in the State. Annually, States develop and submit to EPA for approval statewide ambient monitoring network plans consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR parts 50, 53, and 58. The annual network plan involves an evaluation of any proposed changes to the monitoring network, includes the annual ambient monitoring network design plan and a certified evaluation of the agency's ambient monitors and auxiliary support equipment.17 On June 1, 2014, Georgia submitted its plan to EPA. On November 7, 2014, EPA approved Georgia's monitoring network plan as related to lead. Georgia's approved monitoring network plan can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0442. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices are adequate for the ambient air quality monitoring and data system related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    17 On occasion, proposed changes to the monitoring network are evaluated outside of the network plan approval process in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.

    3. 110(a)(2)(C) Program for enforcement, prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) and new source review (NSR): This element consists of three sub-elements; enforcement, state-wide regulation of new and modified minor sources and minor modifications of major sources; and preconstruction permitting of major sources and major modifications in areas designated attainment or unclassifiable for the subject NAAQS as required by CAA title I part C (i.e., the major source PSD program). In this action EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2008 Lead NAAQS with respect to the general requirement of 110(a)(2)(C) to include a program in the SIP that provides for enforcement of emission limits and control measures and regulation of minor sources and minor modifications as well as the enforcement of lead emission limits to assist in the protection of air quality in nonattainment, attainment or unclassifiable areas. This is established in Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9, et seq. Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.07—Inspections and Investigations. Amended, and Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.09—Enforcement. Amended. EPA's analysis of each sub-element is provided below.

    Enforcement: Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9, et seq. Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.07—Inspections and Investigations. Amended, and Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.09—Enforcement. Amended in Georgia's SIP approved regulations provide for enforcement of lead emission limits and control measures and construction permitting for new or modified stationary lead sources.

    Preconstruction PSD Permitting for Major Sources: With respect to Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission related to the preconstruction PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3, EPA approved this sub-element on March 18, 2015, and thus is not proposing any action today regarding these requirements. See 80 FR 14019.

    Regulation of minor sources and modifications: Section 110(a)(2)(C) also requires the SIP to include the regulation of new and modified minor sources and minor modifications provisions that govern the minor source pre-construction program. Georgia has a SIP-approved minor NSR permitting program at Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-7 and 12-9-13, et seq.), Georgia Rules for Air Quality 391-3-1-.02.—Provisions. Amended, Georgia Rules for Air Quality 391-3-1-.03(1).—Construction Permit, that regulates the preconstruction of modifications and construction of minor stationary sources.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices are adequate for enforcement of control measures and regulation of minor sources and modifications related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    4. 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II), and 110(a)(2)(D)(ii)—Interstate and International transport provisions: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) has two components; 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II). Each of these components have two subparts resulting in four distinct components, commonly referred to as “prongs,” that must be addressed in infrastructure SIP submissions. The first two prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), are provisions that prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 1”), and interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 2”). The third and fourth prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), are provisions that prohibit emissions activity in one state from interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality in another state (“prong 3”), or to protect visibility in another state (“prong 4”). Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) Intestate and International transport provisions requires SIPs to include provisions insuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)and (ii)— Interstate and International transport provisions: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) provides for infrastructure SIPs to include provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment, or interfering with maintenance, of the NAAQS in another state. The preceding requirements, from subsection 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), respectively refer to what may be called prongs 1 and 2.

    The physical properties of lead prevent lead emission from experiencing that same travel or formation phenomena as PM2.5 and ozone for interstate transport as outlined in prongs 1 and 2. More specifically, there is a sharp decrease in the lead concentrations, at least in the coarse fraction, as the distance from a lead source increases. EPA believes that the requirements of prongs 1 and 2 can be satisfied through a state's assessment as to whether a lead source located within its State in close proximity to a state border has emissions that contribute significantly to the nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS in the neighboring state. For example, EPA's experience with the initial lead designations suggests that sources that emit less than 0.5 tons per year (tpy) generally appear unlikely to contribute significantly to the nonattainment in another state. EPA's experience also suggests that sources located more than two miles from the state border generally appear unlikely to contribute significantly to the nonattainment in another state. Georgia has three lead sources that have emissions of lead over 0.5 tpy. The sources are located beyond two miles from the State border.18 Thus, EPA concludes that sources in Georgia are unlikely to contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS in neighboring states. Therefore, EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP meets the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    18 There are three facilities in Georgia that have lead emissions greater than 0.5 tpy. The facilities are Gerdau Ameristeel Cartersville Steel Mill, Georgia Power Plant Bowen (both in Cartersville, Bartow County), and Exide Technologies in Columbus, Muscogee County. Gerdau Ameristeel (1.41 tpy) is located at least 37 miles from the state border. Plant Bowen (0.77 tpy) is located at least 35 miles from the state border. Exide Technologies located in the Columbus Area which is in Muscogee County, Georgia, and is about three miles from the Alabama-Georgia border. Exide owns and operates a lead-acid battery and lead oxide manufacturing facility co-located with a lead recycling plant. The facility-wide actual emissions are 0.66 tpy, which is above the 0.5 tpy threshold, requiring that a source-oriented Pb monitor be placed near the facility.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 3: With respect to Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission related to the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) prong 3, EPA approved this sub-element on March 18, 2015, (See 80 FR 14019), and thus is not proposing any action today regarding these requirements.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 4: With regard to section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), the visibility sub-element, referred to as prong 4, significant visibility impacts from stationary source lead emissions are expected to be limited to short distances from the source. See the 2011 Lead Infrastructure SIP Guidance. Lead stationary sources in Georgia are located at distances from Class I areas such that visibility impacts are negligible. Georgia has 3 Class 1 areas, Cohutta Wilderness Area, Okefenokee Wilderness Area, and Wolf Island Wilderness Area and none of these are within 2 miles of a lead source that emits more than .5 tons per year. EPA has preliminarily determined that the Georgia SIP meets the relevant visibility requirements.

    110(a)(2)(D)(ii)—Interstate and International transport provisions: EPA is unaware of any pending obligations for the State of Georgia pursuant to sections 115 and 126. Georgia's SIP-approved PSD requirements under Georgia Rules for Air Quality 391-3-1-.02(7).—Prevention of Significant Deterioration provides how Georgia will notify neighboring states of potential impacts from new or modified sources proposed to locate in attainment or unclassifiable areas. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices are adequate for insuring compliance with the applicable requirements relating to interstate and international pollution abatement for the 2008 Lead NAAQS

    5. 110(a)(2)(E)—Adequate personnel, funding, and authority. Section 110(a)(2)(E) requires that each implementation plan provide (i) necessary assurances that the State will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under state law to carry out its implementation plan, (ii) that the State comply with the requirements respecting State Boards pursuant to section 128 of the Act, and (iii) necessary assurances that, where the State has relied on a local or regional government, agency, or instrumentality for the implementation of any plan provision, the State has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of such plan provisions. EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's SIP as meeting the requirements of sub-elements 110(a)(2)(E)(i),(ii), and (iii). EPA's rationale for today's proposals respecting each sub-element is described in turn below.

    In support of EPA's proposal to approve sub-elements 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii), EPA notes that EPD is responsible for promulgating rules and regulations for the NAAQS, emissions standards general policies, a system of permits, and fee schedules for the review of plans, and other planning needs. As evidence of the adequacy of EPD's resources, EPA submitted a letter to Georgia on March 26, 2014, outlining 105 grant commitments and the current status of these commitments for fiscal year 2013. The letter EPA submitted to Georgia can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0442. Annually, states update these grant commitments based on current SIP requirements, air quality planning, and applicable requirements related to the NAAQS. Georgia satisfactorily met all commitments agreed to in the Air Planning Agreement for fiscal year 2013, therefore Georgia's grants were finalized and closed out. Additionally, to satisfy the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E), Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission cites Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Sections 12-9-10 and Rule 391-3-1-.03(9) “Georgia Air Permit Fee System” which provides the State's adequate funding and authority and rules for permit fees.

    Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-5) provides the powers and duties of the Board of Natural Resources as to air quality and provides that at least a majority of members of this board represent the public interest and not derive any significant portion of income from persons subject to permits or enforcement orders and that potential conflicts of interest will be adequately disclosed. This provision has been incorporated into Georgia's federally approved SIP. Collectively, these rules and commitments provide evidence that GA EPD has adequate personnel, funding, and legal authority under state law to carry out the state's implementation plan and related issues. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia has adequate resources and authority to satisfy sections 110(a)(2)(E)(i), (ii), and (iii) of the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    6. 110(a)(2)(F)—Stationary source monitoring and reporting: Georgia's infrastructure submission describes how the State establishes requirements for emissions compliance testing and utilizes emissions sampling and analysis. It further describes how the State ensures the quality of its data through observing emissions and monitoring operations. EPD uses these data to track progress towards maintaining the NAAQS, develop control and maintenance strategies, identify sources and general emission levels, and determine compliance with emission regulations and additional EPA requirements. These requirements are provided in the Georgia Air Quality Act: 19 Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-5(b)(6)), Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.02(3)—Sampling, Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.02(6)(b) General Monitoring and Reporting Requirements, Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.02(6)—Source Monitoring, Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.02(7)—Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality, Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.02(8)—New Source Performance Standards, Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.02(9)—Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.02(11)—Compliance Assurance Monitoring, and, Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.03—Permits. Amended.

    19 When “Georgia Air Quality Act” is referenced it refers to rules that the state relies on but are not in the federally approved SIP. While on the other hand when “Georgia Rule for Air Quality” is used refers to rules that are in the federally-approved SIP.

    Additionally, Georgia is required to submit emissions data to EPA for purposes of the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The NEI is EPA's central repository for air emissions data. EPA published the Air Emissions Reporting Rule (AERR) on December 5, 2008, which modified the requirements for collecting and reporting air emissions data (73 FR 76539). The AERR shortened the time states had to report emissions data from 17 to 12 months, giving states one calendar year to submit emissions data. All states are required to submit a comprehensive emissions inventory every three years and report emissions for certain larger sources annually through EPA's online Emissions Inventory System. States report emissions data for the six criteria pollutants and the precursors that form them—nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. Many states also voluntarily report emissions of hazardous air pollutants. Georgia made its latest update to the 2011 NEI on June 10, 2014. EPA compiles the emissions data, supplementing it where necessary, and releases it to the general public through the Web site http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/eiinformation.html. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices are adequate for the stationary source monitoring systems related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(F).

    7. 110(a)(2)(G)—Emergency episodes: This section requires that states demonstrate authority comparable with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority. Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission cites air pollution emergency episodes and preplanned abatement strategies in the Georgia Air Quality Act: Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Sections 12-9-2 Declaration of public policy, 12-9-6 Powers and duties of director as to air quality generally, 12-9-12 Injunctive relief, 12-9-13 Proceedings for enforcement, and 12-9-14 Powers of director in situations involving imminent and substantial danger to public health), and Rule 391-3-1-.04 “Air Pollution Episodes.” O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-2 provides “it is declared to be the public policy of the state of Georgia to preserve, protect, and improve air quality to attain and maintain ambient air quality standards so as to safeguard the public health, safety, and welfare.” O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-6(b)(10) provides the Director of EPD authority to “issue orders as may be necessary to enforce compliance with the Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A) and all rules and regulations of this article.” O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-12 provides that “whenever in the judgment of the director any person has engaged in or is about to engage in any act or practice which constitutes or will constitute an unlawful action under the Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A), he may make application to the superior court of the county in which the unlawful act or practice has been or is about to be engaged in, or in which jurisdiction is appropriate, for an order enjoining such act or practice or for an order requiring compliance with this article. Upon a showing by the director that such person has engaged in or is about to engage in any such act or practice, a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order shall be granted without the necessity of showing lack of an adequate remedy of law.” O.C.G.A. Section 12-19-13 specifically pertains to enforcement proceedings when the Director of EPD has reason to believe that a violation of any provision of the Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A), or environmental rules, regulations or orders have occurred. O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-14 also provides that the Governor, may issue orders as necessary to protect the health of persons who are, or may be, affected by a pollution source or facility after “consultation with local authorities in order to confirm the correctness of the information on which action proposed to be taken is based and to ascertain the action which such authorities are or will be taking.”

    Rule 391-3-1-.04 “Air Pollution Episodes” provides that the Director of EPD “will proclaim that an Air Pollution Alert, Air Pollution Warning, or Air Pollution Emergency exists when the meteorological conditions are such that an air stagnation condition is in existence and/or the accumulation of air contaminants in any place is attaining or has attained levels which could, if such levels are sustained or exceeded, lead to a substantial threat to the health of persons in the specific area affected.” Collectively the cited provisions provide that Georgia EPD demonstrate authority comparable with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority in the State. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices are adequate for emergency powers related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    8. 110(a)(2)(H)—Future SIP revisions: EPD is responsible for adopting air quality rules and revising SIPs as needed to attain or maintain the NAAQS in Georgia. Georgia Air Quality Act: Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9, and EPD is required by 12-9-6(b)(12) and (13) grants EPD the broad authority to implement the CAA, which authorizes EPD to adopt a comprehensive program for the prevention, control, and abatement of pollution of the air of the state, and from time to time review and modify such programs as necessary. EPD has the ability and authority to respond to calls for SIP revisions, and has provided a number of SIP revisions over the years for implementation of the NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(H) for the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    9. 110(a)(2)(J): EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP for the 2008 Lead NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(J) to include a program in the SIP that provides for meeting the applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127; and the PSD and visibility protection requirements of part C of the Act. With respect to Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission related to the preconstruction PSD permitting requirements, EPA approved this sub-element of 110(a)(2)(J) on March 18, 2015, and thus is not proposing any action today regarding these requirements. See 80 FR 14019. EPA's rationale for applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127, and visibility is described below.

    110(a)(2)(J) (121 consultation) Consultation with government officials: Section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA requires states to provide a process for consultation with local governments, designated organizations and federal land managers (FLMs) carrying out NAAQS implementation requirements pursuant to section 121 relative to consultation. The Georgia Air Quality Act: Article I: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9(b)(17)), Georgia Administrative Procedures Act (O.C.G.A. § 50-13-4), and Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(7) as it relates to Class I areas provide for consultation with government officials whose jurisdictions might be affected by SIP development activities. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with government officials related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS, when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(J) consultation with government officials.

    110(a)(2)(J) (127 public notification) Public notification: Georgia Air Quality Act: Article I: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9), Georgia Administrative Procedures Act (O.C.G.A. § 50-13-4), and Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(7) as it relates to Class I areas also include public notice requirements. Additionally, notification to the public of instances or areas exceeding the NAAQS and associated health effects is provided through implementation of the Air Quality Index reporting system in all required areas. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(J) public notification.

    110(a)(2)(J) (PSD)—PSD: With respect to Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission related to the PSD requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J), EPA addressed this requirement in a separate action. Specifically, on March 18, 2015, EPA approved Georgia's March 6, 2012, infrastructure SIP submission regarding the PSD permitting requirements for section 110(a)(2) (J) for the 2008 Lead NAAQS. See 80 FR 14019.

    110(a)(2)(J)—Visibility Protection: The 2011 Lead Infrastructure SIP Guidance notes that EPA does not generally treat the visibility protection aspects of section 110(a)(2)(J) as applicable for purposes of the infrastructure SIP approval process. EPA recognizes that states are subject to visibility protection and regional haze program requirements under Part C of the Act (which includes sections 169A and 169B). However, in the event of the establishment of a new primary NAAQS, the visibility protection and regional haze program requirements under part C do not change. Thus, EPA concludes there are no new applicable visibility protection obligations under section 110(a)(2)(J) as a result of the 2008 Lead NAAQS, and as such, EPA is proposing to approve section 110(a)(2)(J) of Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission as it relates to visibility protection.

    10. 110(a)(2)(K)—Air quality and modeling/data: Section 110(a)(2)(K) of the CAA requires that SIPs provide for performing air quality modeling so that effects on air quality of emissions from NAAQS pollutants can be predicted and submission of such data to the EPA can be made. Georgia Air Quality Act: Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9), specifies that air modeling be conducted in accordance with 40 CFR part 51, Appendix W “Guideline on Air Quality Models.” These regulations demonstrate that Georgia has the authority to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of the 2008 Lead NAAQS. Additionally, Georgia supports a regional effort to coordinate the development of emissions inventories and conduct regional modeling for several NAAQS, including the 2008 Lead NAAQS, for the Southeastern states. Taken as a whole, Georgia's air quality regulations demonstrate that EPD has the authority to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of the 2008 Lead NAAQS. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide for air quality and modeling, along with analysis of the associated data, related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(K).

    11. 110(a)(2)(L)—Permitting fees: This element necessitates that the SIP require the owner or operator of each major stationary source to pay to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under the CAA, a fee sufficient to cover (i) the reasonable costs of reviewing and acting upon any application for such a permit, and (ii) if the owner or operator receives a permit for such source, the reasonable costs of implementing and enforcing the terms and conditions of any such permit (not including any court costs or other costs associated with any enforcement action), until such fee requirement is superseded with respect to such sources by the Administrator's approval of a fee program under title V.

    Georgia Air Quality Act: Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-10, and Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.03(9)—Permit Fees requires the collection of permitting fees through the title V Fee Program, which EPD ensures is sufficient for the reasonable cost of reviewing and acting upon PSD and NNSR permits. Additionally, Georgia has a fully approved title V operating permit program at Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.03(9)—Permit Fees that covers the cost of implementation and enforcement of PSD and NNSR permits after they have been issued. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices adequately provide for permitting fees related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS, when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(L).

    12. 110(a)(2)(M)—Consultation/participation by affected local entities: This element requires states to provide for consultation and participation in SIP development by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP. Georgia Air Quality Act: Article I: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9) authorizes EPD to advise, consult, cooperate and enter into agreements with other agencies of the state, the Federal Government, other states, interstate agencies, groups, political subdivisions, and industries affected by the provisions of this act, rules, or policies of the department. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with affected local entities related to the 22008 Lead NAAQS, when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(M).

    V. Proposed Action

    With the exception of the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of (D)(i), and (J), EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's March 6, 2012, SIP submittal to address infrastructure requirements for the 2008 Lead NAAQS. EPA is proposing to take this action because the Agency has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's infrastructure SIP revision is consistent with section 110 and EPA's 2011 Lead Infrastructure SIP Guidance.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, and Recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 14, 2015. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18096 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2014-0842; A-1-FRL-9927-33-Region 1] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Connecticut; Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Nonattainment New Source Review AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve certain revisions to the State of Connecticut State Implementation Plan (SIP) relating to regulation of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions within the context of EPA's Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) regulations. EPA is also proposing to approve clarifications to the applicability section of Connecticut's Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) regulations. These revisions will be part of Connecticut's major stationary source preconstruction permitting programs, and are intended to align Connecticut's regulations with the federal PSD and NNSR regulations. This action is being taken in accordance with the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R01-OAR-2014-0842 by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Fax: (617) 918-01657.

    4. Mail: “Docket Identification Number EPA-R01-OAR-2014-0842”, Donald Dahl, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, Air Permits, Toxics, and Indoor Programs Unit, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, (Mail code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912.

    5. Hand Delivery or Courier. Deliver your comments to: Donald Dahl, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, Air Permits, Toxics, and Indoor Programs Unit, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100 (Mail code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding legal holidays.

    Please see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register for detailed instructions on how to submit comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Donald Dahl, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, Air Permits, Toxics, and Indoor Programs Unit, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, (mail code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912. Mr. Dahl's telephone number is (617) 918-1657; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this action rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register.

    Dated: April 20, 2015. H. Curtis Spalding, Regional Administrator, EPA New England.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17665 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0114; FRL-9931-03-Region 4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Georgia; Removal of Clean Fuel Fleet Program AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve changes to the Georgia State Implementation Plan (SIP) that were submitted by the State of Georgia, through the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD), on January 22, 2015, for the purpose of moving the Clean Fuel Fleet Program (CFFP) from the active portion of the Georgia SIP to the contingency measures portion of the maintenance plan for the Atlanta Area for the 1997 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). EPA has preliminarily determined that Georgia's January 22, 2015, SIP revision regarding the CFFP is approvable because it is consistent with the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0114, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Fax: (404) 562-9019.

    4. Mail: “EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0114” Air Regulatory Management Section (formerly the Regulatory Development Section), Air Planning and Implementation Branch (formerly the Air Planning Branch), Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960.

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

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0114. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit through www.regulations.gov or email, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kelly Sheckler, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Sheckler's phone number is (404) 562-9222. She can also be reached via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background for Atlanta's Air Quality Status Related to the 1-Hour Ozone NAAQS

    On November 6, 1991, EPA designated and classified the following counties in and around the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area as a serious ozone nonattainment area for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS (hereinafter referred to as the “Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area”): Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding, and Rockdale.1 See 56 FR 56694. The nonattainment designation was based on the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area's design value for the 1987-1989 three-year period. The “serious” classification triggered various statutory requirements for the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area, including the requirement pursuant to section 182(c)(4) of the CAA for the Area to adopt measures necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the applicable provisions of the CFFP described below in section II of this document. EPA redesignated the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area to attainment for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS, effective June 14, 2005.2 3 See 70 FR 34660.

    1 On September 26, 2003 (effective January 1, 2004), the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area was reclassified to “severe” for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS because the Area failed to attain the 1-hour ozone NAAQS by its attainment date of November 15, 1999. See 68 FR 55469.

    2 On April 30, 2004, EPA designated the following 20 counties in and around metropolitan Atlanta as a marginal nonattainment area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS (hereinafter referred to as the “Atlanta 1997 8-Hour Ozone Area”): Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding, and Walton. See 69 FR 23858. Subsequently, EPA reclassified this same area as a moderate nonattainment area on March 6, 2008, because the Area failed to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS by the required attainment date of June 15, 2007. See 73 FR 12013. Subsequently, the area attained the 1997 8-hour ozone standard, and on December 2, 2013, EPA redesignated the area to attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 78 FR 72040.

    3 On May 21, 2012, EPA published a final rule designating the following 15 counties in and around metropolitan Atlanta as a marginal nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS: Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Paulding, and Rockdale.

    II. Background for the CFFP

    The CFFP is addressed in Title II, part C of the CAA. See CAA sections 241-250. Congress added Part C, entitled “Clean Fuel Vehicles,” to the CAA to establish two programs: A clean-fuel vehicle pilot program in the State of California (the California Pilot Test Program), and a CFFP in certain ozone and carbon monoxide (CO) nonattainment areas. EPA promulgated regulations for the CFFP at 40 CFR part 88, subpart C on March 1, 1993. See 58 FR 11888. Under section 246 of the CAA, certain states were required to adopt and submit to EPA a SIP revision containing a CFFP for ozone nonattainment areas with a 1980 population greater than 250,000 that were classified as serious, severe, or extreme.

    A state's CFFP SIP revision must require fleet operators with 10 or more centrally-fueled vehicles or vehicles capable of being centrally-fueled to include a specified percentage of clean-fuel vehicles in their purchases each year and to meet additional CAA requirements, including the requirement that covered fleet operators must operate the Clean Fuel Vehicles (CFVs) in covered nonattainment areas on a clean alternative fuel, defined as a fuel on which the vehicle meets EPA's CFV standards. EPA promulgated emission standards for CFVs on September 30, 1994. See 59 FR 50042.

    On May 2, 1994, the State of Georgia submitted a SIP revision to address the CFFP requirements for the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area. EPA approved that SIP revision, containing Georgia's CFFP rules (Georgia Rules 391-3-22-.01 through .11, “Clean Fleet Rules”) in a document published on May 2, 1994. See 60 FR 66149. Georgia's rules require fleets of 10 or more vehicles that are centrally fueled or capable of being centrally fueled and operated in the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area to include in their vehicle purchases a certain percentage of CFVs. A CFV is one which meets any one of the exhaust emission standards for the following vehicle categories: Low emission vehicles (LEV), ultra low emission vehicles (ULEV), and zero emission vehicles (ZEV).

    Under the CAA and Federal CFFP regulations, vehicles weighing 26,000 pounds (lbs) or less count towards the requirement, and the CFFP purchase requirements started with 1998 model year vehicles under the following phase-in schedule for light-duty vehicles and trucks under 6,000 lbs. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and light-duty trucks between 6,000 and 8,500 lbs. GVWR: 30 percent CFV in Model Year 1998, 50 percent CFV in Model Year 1999, and 70 percent CFV in Model Year 2000 and after. The phase-in schedule for heavy-duty vehicles weighing above 8,500 lbs but less than 26,001 lbs. GVWR was: 50 percent CFV in Model Year 1998, 50 percent CFV in Model Year 1999, and 50 percent CFV in Model Year 2000 and after. The following vehicles are exempted from these requirements: Motor vehicles for lease or rental to the general public, dealer demonstration vehicles that are used solely for the purpose of promoting motor vehicle sales, emergency vehicles, law enforcement vehicles, nonroad vehicles (farm and construction vehicles), vehicles garaged at a personal residence and not being centrally fueled, and vehicles used for motor vehicle manufacturer product evaluations and tests.

    III. Analysis of the State's Submittal

    On January 22, 2015, GA EPD submitted a SIP revision to EPA with a request to move Georgia's CFFP rules (Georgia Rules 391-3-22-.01 through .11) from the active portion of the Georgia SIP to the contingency measure portion of the ozone maintenance plan for the Atlanta Area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.4 EPA incorporated this maintenance plan into the SIP in a final action published on December 2, 2013. See 78 FR 72040. In order for EPA to approve Georgia's January 22, 2015, SIP revision, the revision must satisfy the anti-backsliding requirements of EPA's implementation rules for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS 5 and CAA section 110(l). More discussion on EPA's evaluation of these requirements in relation to Georgia's January 22, 2015, SIP revision is provided below.

    4 See footnote 2 for a description of this Area.

    5See 80 FR 12264 (March 6, 2015).

    A. Consideration of Anti-Backsliding Requirements

    To support Georgia's request for EPA to move the CFFP from the active portion of the Georgia SIP to the contingency measure portion of the SIP, the State must demonstrate that the requested change is in compliance with EPA's anti-backsliding requirements for ozone. The anti-backsliding requirements for the revoked 1-hour ozone NAAQS were originally promulgated at 40 CFR part 51, subpart X. However, with the promulgation of the implementation rules for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, EPA moved these requirements to 40 CFR part 50, subpart AA and expanded the provisions to address anti-backsliding requirements for the revoked 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and the revoked 1-hour ozone NAAQS in relation to compliance with the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    The CFFP is one of the “applicable requirements” for anti-backsliding purposes under EPA's implementation rules for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS “to the extent such requirements apply to the area pursuant to its classification under CAA section 181(a)(1) for the 1-hour NAAQS or 40 CFR 51.902 for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS at the time of revocation of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.” See 40 CFR 51.1100(o). The 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS was revoked on April 6, 2015. As mentioned above, the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area was redesignated to attainment effective June 14, 2005, the CFFP requirements apply to the Atlanta 1-Hour Ozone Area given its former status as a serious nonattainment area, the 1997 Atlanta 8-hour Ozone Area was redesignated to attainment effective January 2, 2014, and fifteen counties in and around metropolitan Atlanta are currently in nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.6 Thus, the CFFP is an applicable requirement, and the anti-backsliding requirements under 40 CFR 51.1105(a)(2) in EPA's implementation rules for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS apply to the Atlanta Area. Pursuant to 40 CFR 51.1105(a)(2), a state may request that an applicable requirement under § 51.1100(o) be moved to the list of maintenance plan contingency measures for the area in the state's implementation plan so long as compliance with CAA section 110(l) and CAA section 193 (if applicable) is demonstrated.7

    6 See footnotes 2 and 3 for descriptions of the 1997 and 2008 ozone nonattainment areas, respectively.

    7 Section 193 is a general savings clause pertaining to regulations, standards, rules, notices, orders, and guidance promulgated or issued prior to November 15, 1990. The CFFP was effective on May 22, 1994. Therefore, section 193 is not relevant to this action.

    Today, EPA is proposing to determine that Georgia's January 22, 2014, SIP revision satisfies the anti-backsliding requirements of EPA's ozone implementation rules and the CAA section 110(l) requirements (discussed in detail below) and to move Georgia Rules 391-3-22-.01 through .11 from the active portion of the Georgia SIP to the contingency measures portion of Georgia's maintenance plan in the SIP for the 1997 Atlanta 8-hour Ozone Area.

    B. Consideration of Section 110(l) Requirements

    As noted above, the State must demonstrate that the requested change will satisfy section 110(l) of the CAA. Section 110(l) requires that a revision to the SIP not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (as defined in section 171), or any other applicable requirement of the Act.

    EPA evaluates each section 110(l) noninterference demonstration on a case-by-case basis considering the circumstances of each SIP revision. EPA interprets 110(l) as applying to all NAAQS that are in effect, including those that have been promulgated but for which the EPA has not yet made designations. The degree of analysis focused on any particular NAAQS in a noninterference demonstration varies depending on the nature of the emissions associated with the proposed SIP revision. EPA's analysis of Georgia's January 22, 2015, SIP revision pursuant to section 110(l) is provided below.

    In 2000, EPA promulgated new tailpipe emissions standards (commonly referred to as the “Tier 2 Rule”) for all passenger vehicles, including sport utility vehicles (SUVs), minivans, vans, and pick-up trucks. See 65 FR 6698 (February 10, 2000). This regulation marked the first time that SUVs and other light-duty trucks—even the largest passenger vehicles—were subject to the same national pollution standards as cars. The new tailpipe standards were set at an average standard of 0.07 grams per mile (gpm) for nitrogen oxides (NOX) for all classes of passenger vehicles beginning in 2004-2007. For the heaviest light-duty trucks, the program provided a three step approach to reducing emissions. First, in 2004, EPA implemented standards not to exceed 0.6 gpm—a more than 60 percent reduction from current standards. Second, to ensure further progress, these vehicles were required to achieve an interim standard of 0.2 gpm phased-in between 2004-2007, an 80 percent reduction from current standards. Third, in the final step, half of these vehicles were required to meet the 0.07 standard in 2008, and the remaining were required to comply in 2009. Vehicles weighing between 8,500 and 10,000 pounds had the option to take advantage of additional flexibilities during the 2004 to 2008 interim period.

    In 2001, EPA promulgated new tailpipe emissions standards (commonly referred to as the “Heavy Duty Vehicle Rule”) for heavy duty trucks and buses.8 See 66 FR 5002 (January 18, 2001). In this regulation, EPA finalized a PM emissions standard for new heavy-duty engines of 0.01 grams per brake-horsepower-hour (g/bhp-hr), to take full effect for diesels in the 2007 model year. EPA also finalized standards for NOX and non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) of 0.20 g/bhp-hr and 0.14 g/bhp-hr, respectively. These NOX and NMHC standards were phased in together between 2007 and 2010, for diesel engines. The phase-in was based on a percent-of-sales: 50 percent from 2007 to 2009 and 100 percent in 2010. Gasoline engines were subject to these standards based on a phase-in requiring 50 percent compliance in the 2008 model year and 100 percent compliance in the 2009 model year. Both of the standards discussed above (Tier 2 Rule and Heavy Duty Vehicle Rule) reduce tailpipe emission significantly over the LEV standards.

    8 The Heavy Duty Vehicle Rule builds upon the “phase 1 program” finalized on October 6, 2000 (65 FR 59896), that affirmed the 50 percent reduction in NOX emissions from 2004 model year highway diesel engines set in 1997 (62 FR 54693, October 21, 1997) and set new emission standards for heavy-duty gasoline fueled engines and vehicles for 2005.

    EPA issued a memorandum on April 17, 2006, noting that after the CFFP requirement became law, EPA promulgated new vehicle emission standards (e.g., Tier 2 Rule and heavy-duty engine standards) that are generally more stringent, or equivalent to, the CFV emission standards for light-duty vehicles, light-duty trucks, and heavy-duty vehicles and engines.9 The memorandum also stated that “[t]o meet the requirements of the Clean Fuel Fleet Program fleet managers can be assured that vehicles and engines certified to current Part 86 emission standards, which EPA has determined to be as or more stringent than corresponding CFV emission standards per the attached EPA Dear Manufacturer Letter meet the CFV emission standards and the CFFP requirements as defined in CFR part 88.” Further reductions from these same vehicles will be achieved by EPA's newly promulgated Tier 3 emission standards.10

    9 Memorandum from Leila H. Cook, EPA Transportation & Regional Programs Division, to Air Program Managers re: Clean Fuel Fleet Program Requirements (April 17, 2006). This memorandum superseded a July 2, 2004, memorandum from Leila H. Cook noting that the Tier 2 standards are equivalent to or cleaner than earlier emission levels mandated by the CFFP. These memoranda are included with the State's SIP revision in the docket for this proposed action.

    10 “Control of Air Pollution From Motor Vehicles: Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards.” See 79 FR 23414 (April 28, 2014).

    In its SIP submission, GA EPD provided an independent analysis of the expected emission benefits of Tier 2 and heavy-duty engine standards over LEV standards.11 According to GA EPD's analysis, Tier 2 NOX standards have a benefit over LEV ranging from 0.09 gpm to 0.99 gpm on a per vehicle basis. With regard to the heavy-duty engine standards, GA EPD indicates that there is a benefit of 1.4 grams/brake-horse power per hour for the combination of non-methane hydrocarbons and NOX on a per vehicle basis.

    11 See Table 1 of the Georgia's January 22, 2015, SIP revision.

    EPA has preliminarily determined that the removal of the Georgia CFFP will not interfere with attainment or reasonable further progress, or any other applicable requirement of the Act because the emission reductions that were generated by Georgia's CFFP have been overtaken by EPA's Tier 2 Rule and heavy-duty emissions standards. As discussed above, the vehicle emissions standards referenced in EPA's April 17, 2006 memorandum have been fully implemented, thus ensuring that all new vehicle fleet purchases meet CFV standards.12

    12 In its January 22, 2015, SIP revision, GA EPD analyzed the annual reports submitted by the fleets for the model years 2001-2004 and 2006 to determine the number of used vehicles purchased and the range of the model years. GA EPD determined that 98 percent of the vehicles purchased are new. Only 2 percent of vehicles are purchased as used. Out of the used vehicles purchased, 80 percent are 2004 and newer models. As a result, only 0.4 percent of vehicles purchased are older than the 2004 model year.

    IV. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's January 22, 2015, SIP revision and move Georgia's CFFP rules (Georgia Rules 391-3-22-.01 through .11) from the active portion of Georgia SIP to the contingency measures portion of Georgia's maintenance plan in the SIP for the 1997 Atlanta 8-hour Ozone Area. EPA is proposing this approval because the Agency has made the preliminarily determination that Georgia's January 22, 2015, SIP revision is consistent with the CAA and EPA's regulations and guidance.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 14, 2015. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18079 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0407; FRL-9930-80-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; MI, Belding; 2008 Lead Clean Data Determination AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 13, 2015, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) submitted a request to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make a determination under the Clean Air Act (CAA) that the Belding nonattainment area has attained the 2008 lead (Pb) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). In this action, EPA is proposing to determine that the Belding nonattainment area (area) has attained the 2008 Pb NAAQS. This clean data determination is based upon complete, quality-assured and certified ambient air monitoring data for the 2012-2014 design period showing that the area has monitored attainment of the 2008 Pb NAAQS. Additionally, as a result of this proposed determination, EPA is proposing to suspend the requirements for the area to submit an attainment demonstration, together with reasonably available control measures, a reasonable further progress (RFP) plan, and contingency measures for failure to meet the RFP plan and attainment deadlines for as long as the area continues to attain the 2008 Pb NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0407, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Fax: (312) 408-2279.

    4. Mail: Douglas Aburano, Chief, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

    5. Hand Delivery: Douglas Aburano, Chief, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The Regional Office official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    Please see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register for detailed instructions on how to submit comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah Arra, Environmental Scientist, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-9401, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is making a clean data determination as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the action is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: July 14, 2015. Susan Hedman, Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18100 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    80 142 Friday, July 24, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Research Service Notice of Intent To Request an Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    Agricultural Research Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, this notice announces the Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) intention to seek approval to collect information in support of research and related activities.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received on or before September 22, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Address all comments concerning this notice to Jill Lake, ARS Webmaster, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Beltsville, Maryland 20705.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Contact Jill Lake, ARS Webmaster, (301) 504-5683.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Web Forms for Research Data, Models, Materials, and Publications as well as Study and Event Registration.

    Type of Request: Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection.

    OMB Number: 0518-0032.

    Expiration Date: December 31, 2015.

    Abstract: Sections 1703 and 1705 of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA), Public Law 105-277, Title XVII, require agencies, by October 21, 2003, to provide for the option of electronic submission of information by the public. To advance GPEA goals, online forms are needed to allow the public to request from ARS research data, models, materials, and publications as well as registration for scientific studies and events. For the convenience of the public, the forms itemize the information we need to provide a timely response. Information from forms will only be used by the Agency for the purposes identified.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 3 minutes per response (range: 1-5 minutes).

    Respondents: Agricultural researchers, students and teachers, business people, members of service organizations, community groups, other Federal and local Government agencies, and the general public.

    Estimated Number Respondents: 5,000. This is a reduction from the 15,000 estimated number of respondents in the previous Approved Information Collection due to less actual annual respondents than originally estimated from 2012-2015.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 250 hours.

    Copies of forms used in this information collection can be obtained from Jill Lake, ARS Webmaster, at (301) 504-5683.

    The information collection extension requested by ARS is for a period of 3 years.

    Comments are invited on (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) 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; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Dated: July 14, 2015. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Administrator, ARS.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18180 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service RIN 0596-AD15 Proposed Directives on American Indian and Alaska Native Relations Forest Service Manual 1500, Chapter 1560 and Forest Service Handbook 1509.13, Chapter 10 AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Proposed Directives; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Forest Service proposes to revise its internal Agency directives for American Indian and Alaska Native Relations to establish better direction for the Agency to work effectively with Indian tribes. Specifically, the proposed directives modify Forest Service staff roles and responsibilities, establish staff training standards, describe authorities for working with Indian tribes, delineate consultation procedures, explain the historical trust and treaty responsibility underlying the government-to-government relationship, and outline Dispute Resolution options within the Forest Service. The proposed directives cross reference to other Forest Service directives, including those detailing aspects of Business Operations, National Forest System Management, State and Private Forestry, and Research and Development. The proposed directives were reorganized and revised to be consistent with the 2013 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Departmental Regulation No. 1350-002 “Tribal Consultation, Coordination, and Collaboration”; Report to the Secretary, USDA Policy and Procedures Review and Recommendations: Indian Sacred Sites (2012), legislation (including the Culture and Heritage Cooperation Authority provisions of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 [Public Law 110-246; the Farm Bill]), and input from Forest Service Field staff. The directives were last revised in 2004, with an Interim Directive issued in 2012. These proposed directives have tribal implications as defined by Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.” The 120-day consultation with Tribes was conducted from June 6, 2013, to November 27, 2013, consistent with the Executive Order and the current Forest Service directives. Tribal consultation continued after October 6, 2013, and will end at the same time as the public comment period. All comments received so far have been supportive of the revised directives. Tribal consultation and public comment are invited and will be considered by the Agency in determining the scope of the final directives.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received in writing by September 22, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments electronically by following the instructions at the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Comments also may be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail to Tribal Relations Directives Comments, USDA Forest Service, Attn: Fred Clark—OTR, 201 14th Street SW., Washington, DC 20024. Hand-delivered comments will not be accepted, and receipt of comments cannot be confirmed. If comments are sent electronically, do not send duplicate comments by mail. Please confine comments to issues pertinent to the proposed directives. Explain the reasons for any recommended changes. Where possible, refer to the specific wording being addressed. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, will be placed in the record and will be available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect the comments received at 201 14th Street SW., Washington, DC between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. Those wishing to inspect comments are encouraged to call ahead at 202-205-1514 to facilitate entry to the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Clark, Director of the Office of Tribal Relations, 202-205-1514. 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.

    Additional information concerning these documents may be obtained on the Internet at http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/tribalrelations/bundledconsultation.shtml.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background and Need for the Proposed Directives

    The Forest Service and federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes (Indian tribes) share the value of restoring, sustaining, and enhancing the nation's forests and grasslands, providing and sustaining benefits to the American people. In many instances, Indian tribes continue their traditional uses of the nation's forests and grasslands to sustain their cultural identity and continuity. The Government's trust responsibilities and treaty obligations make it essential that the Forest Service engages with Indian tribes in a timely and meaningful consultation on policies that may affect one or more Indian tribes. However, consultation alone is not sufficient. In addition to consultation, coordination and collaboration together lead to information exchange, common understanding, informed decision-making, and mutual benefit. The importance of consultation and coordination with Indian tribes was affirmed through Presidential Memoranda in 1994, 2004, and 2009, in Executive Orders in 1998 and 2000, as well as in numerous statutes and policies. The value of collaboration is fully recognized within the Forest Service for all of its constituents, including Indian tribes. The proposed directives would implement a tribal relations framework that fosters more effective and efficient consultation with Indian tribes and Alaska Native Corporations, and better collaboration with individual American Indians and Alaska Natives, across the Agency.

    Every part of the Forest Service involves Tribal relations; every Forest Service employee shares in that responsibility. The proposed directives will help Forest Service employees improve their understanding of the requirements, complexities, and opportunities of Tribal relations. The purpose in revising the directives is to affect changes in behavior that will lead to enhanced relationships with Indian tribes, which in turn will enable the Forest Service to better accomplish its mission. The proposed directives will, therefore, result in more effective and efficient protection of tribal rights and interests, as well as better information for the Agency in its planning, decision making, and program delivery.

    Finally, the proposed directives will ensure the Forest Service is in compliance with and is held accountable to several recently enacted authorities, policies, and agreements. Authorities such as the Tribal Forest Protection Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-278) and the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246; the Farm Bill) include provisions that will be incorporated into the directives. In addition, the USDA promulgated a new regulation (DR1350-002, January 18, 2013) on Tribal Consultation, Coordination, and Collaboration, with which the Forest Service must comply. The Secretary has also directed the USDA to implement the recommendations from the 2012 Report to the Secretary, USDA Policy and Procedures Review and Recommendations: Indian Sacred Sites. The recommendations require updates to the Forest Service directives. Finally, the Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, and Energy, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 6, 2012, to improve the protection of and tribal access to Indian sacred sites through enhanced and improved interdepartmental coordination and collaboration. Elements of the Action Plan implementing that MOU which pertain to the Forest Service will be reflected in the revised directives.

    Summary of Proposed Changes

    Under the proposed directives:

    • Forest Service staff roles and responsibilities would be modified to emphasize working with Indian tribes. Delegation of the authority to serve as a Consultation Official passes through Line Officers, and the Forest Service Chief would be able to delegate consultation authority to non-line staff on a case-by-case basis as “Chief's representatives”.

    • The requirement for a minimum 120-day tribal consultation period for national consultations from the Interim Directive on Tribal Consultation would continue.

    • Guidance would be provided on who in the Forest Service may consult, processes, steps, and monitoring and evaluation measures to increase accountability.

    • Authorities would be provided regarding State and Private Forestry, National Forest System, Research, and Business Operations opportunities to enable Forest Service staff to partner and contract with Indian tribes for mutual interest and/or benefit.

    • Tribal history and sovereignty and the Forest Service treaty and trust responsibilities would be clarified.

    • Training goals and core competencies would be established based on the 2013 USDA Departmental Regulation on Consultation training and the Sacred Sites Report to guide future training.

    • Key definitions would be provided for applying the Tribal Relations directives and fulfilling the Federal trust and treaty resposibility to Indian tribes.

    • A Dispute Resolution option for Indian tribes would be explained.

    • New sections on closures, forest products, and confidentiality would be added in accordance with the Cultural Heritage Cooperation Act (25 U.S.C. 3054-3056).

    • A new section including policy on reburial of tribal remains on National Forest System lands would provide guidance.

    • Cross-referencing to other Forest Service directives for topic-specific guidance would be added to faciliate use of the directives.

    Section-by-Section Analysis 1. Forest Service Manual 1560 1563—Tribal Relations

    This proposed section outlines the Forest Service Tribal Relations policy generally. First, it defines Indian tribes per 25 U.S.C. 479a. It also emphasizes that Tribal Relations should go beyond consultation to include coordination and collaboration, recognizing the value of collaboration. The section encourages engagement with Alaska Native Corporations, non-federally recognized Tribes, Native Hawaiians, along with American Indian and Alaska Native individuals, communities, intertribal organizations, enterprises, and institutions.

    1563.01—Authorities

    This proposed section emphasizes developing capacity of Agency personnel in fostering effective partnerships and protecting tribal rights, and seeking opportunities to enter into contracts, grants, and agreements. Furthermore, it encourages tribal participation in contracting and agreements as part of the Agency's trust responsibility.

    The proposed subsection on the U.S. constitution was revised to reflect the correct Articles corresponding to Indian tribes.

    The proposed subsection on treaty rights and the Federal trust responsibility was expanded to include specific citation of all relevant authorities.

    The proposed subsection on consultation and coordination listed additional authorities, including for cooperative land use planning on National Forest System lands. The subsection mandates consultation with Alaska Native Corporations under PL 108-199 and PL 108-177. It also emphasizes consultation with Alaska Native Corporations under EO 13175, the Federal Subsistence Board's Tribal Consultation Policy, and the Draft Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Consultation Policy.

    The proposed subsection on cultural resources was expanded to specifically include consideration of Indian sacred sites per the 2012 Report to the Secretary, USDA Policy and Procedures Review and Recommendations: Indian Sacred Sites. It also identifies the Forest Service Heritage Program as lead staff for cultural resources, and the Tribal Relations Program as lead staff for sacred sites, while recognizing overlap between the two categories. It also recognizes that actions protective of cultural resources, watersheds, animal or biological communities, and other natural resources that also protect an American Indian or Alaska Native sacred site may serve a secular purpose, as well as accommodate Tribal religion.

    Proposed subsections on National Forest System authorities were added, including one on the Tribal Forest Protection Act of 2004 (25 U.S.C. 3115a) and the Cultural and Heritage Cooperation Authority (25 U.S.C. 32A).

    The proposed subsection on Business Operations, Grants, and Agreements, Contracts, and Procurement with Indian tribes was significantly enhanced to include partnering authorities from the Forest Service Deputy Areas including the National Forest System, State and Private Forestry, and Research and Development. For example, it lists additional authorities for research support, emphasizing opportunities for Joint Venture Agreements with any entity or individual. In addition, numerous additional authorities for support under State and Private Forestry programs were listed, including forest health, fire assistance, and law enforcement.

    A proposed subsection on the coordination of law enforcement with authorities for self-determination and self-governance was added.

    The proposed subsection for supporting Tribal Colleges and Universities was enhanced and added to as well.

    1563.02—Objectives

    This proposed section significantly expands the objectives of the Forest Service in meeting its trust responsibility. It also adds support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

    1563.03—Policy

    This proposed section expands Forest Service policy to consult with Indian tribes in a meaningful way, adding emphasis on tribal sovereignty. It also increases employee accountability through detailed reporting processes, up-front statements of potential impact on agency activities and proposed policies on Indian tribes (in “Tribal Summary Impact Statements”), and certifications of compliance. The section recommends the use of negotiated rulemaking, mandates Departmental training in tribal relations for all Forest Service staff, and emphasizes the importance of keeping tribal culturally-sensitive and proprietary information confidential, especially regarding repatriation and reburial.

    1563.04—Responsibility

    Proposed section 1563.04a expands reserved authority of the Forest Service Chief to delegate consultation authority.

    Proposed section 1563.04b expands responsibilities of all Deputy Chiefs to implement the Tribal Relations Program.

    Proposed section 1563.04c expands responsibilities and authorities of the Director of the Washington Office of Tribal Relations.

    Proposed section 1563.04d expands responsibilities of the Regional Tribal Relations Program Managers to include staff training at the regional and local level, annual reporting, and periodic compliance review.

    Proposed section 1563.04j expands responsibilities of Forest/Grasslands Supervisors in fulfilling the trust responsibility mandate and consultation reporting.

    Proposed section 1563.04k expands responsibilities of District Rangers in fulfilling the trust responsibility and consultation mandate.

    Proposed section 1563.04j is new, expanding responsibilities of Forest/Grasslands Tribal Liaisons in fulfilling the trust responsibility and consultation mandate, including accountability (maintenance of consultation data).

    Proposed section 1563.04m is new, expanding responsibilities of Research and Development Tribal Liaisons in fulfilling the trust responsibility and consultation mandate related to research programs and activities, tribal data requests, traditional knowledge, and reporting.

    The final proposed section 1563.04n is new, expanding responsibilities of State and Private Forestry Tribal Liaisons in fulfilling the trust responsibility and consultation mandate related to research programs and activities, tribal data requests, traditional knowledge, and reporting.

    1563.05—Definitions

    This proposed section includes definitions of terms used in the proposed directive. Several of the material definitions follow.

    Indian Tribe is defined as any Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or other community, the name of which is included on a list published by the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to section 104 of the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 (25 U.S.C. 479a-1).

    Alaska Native Corporations are described as follows: created under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, these corporations manage lands and resources for Alaska Natives. While not federally-recognized Indian tribes, consultation is required with these organizations in some instances as if they were Indian tribes pursuant to Public Law (Pub. L.) 108-199 and 108-477 directing all Federal agencies to consult with Alaska Native Corporations on the same basis as Indian tribes under E.O. 13175. This type of consultation is considered government-to-corporation, rather than government-to-government.

    Trust responsibility is explained as arising from the United States' unique legal and political relationship with Indian tribes. It derives from the Federal Government's consistent promise, in the treaties that it signed, to protect the safety and well-being of the Indian tribes and tribal members in return for their willingness to give up their lands.

    Government-to-Government Consultation, or “Tribal Consultation,” is the timely, meaningful, and substantive dialogue between Forest Service Officials who have delegated authority to consult, and the official leadership of federally recognized Indian tribes, or their designated representative(s), pertaining to decisions or actions that may have tribal implications.

    As defined per Executive Order 13007, a sacred site is any specific, discrete, narrowly delineated location on Federal land that is identified by an Indian tribe, or Indian individual determined to be an appropriately authoritative representative of an Indian religion, as sacred by virtue of its established religious significance to, or ceremonial use by, an Indian religion; provided that the tribe or appropriately authoritative representative of an Indian religion has informed the Agency of the existence of such a site.

    1563.10—Consultation With Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations

    This proposed section simplifies steps in the consultation process generally, with details outlined in the following sections.

    1563.11—General Consultation Requirements

    This proposed section clarifies protocols for meaningful consultation. It also expands and amends the table of authorities for consultation and coordination.

    1563.12—Consultation, Monitoring, and Evaluation—Consulting Officials

    This proposed section substantially clarifies formal roles and responsibilities in consultation while emphasizing the value of informal staff communication in effective tribal relations.

    1563.13—Consultation Timelines

    This proposed section substantially clarifies timelines for meaningful consultation.

    1563.14—Consultation, Monitoring, and Evaluation

    This proposed section mandates accountability through use and management of a consultation database.

    1563.15—Additional Consultation Considerations

    This proposed section addresses additional issues such as where to find additional guidance, compensation, and emergency situations.

    1563.2—Dispute Resolution

    This proposed section expands on dispute resolution and appeal procedures for Indian tribes.

    1563.3—Reburial of American Indian and Alaska Native Ancestral Remains and Cultural Items

    This proposed section expands guidance on repatriation and reburials, including general considerations as well as reviews.

    1563.4—Closures for Traditional and Cultural Purposes

    This proposed new section covers closures for temporary and cultural purposes per 25 U.S.C. 32A § 3054.

    1563.5—Forest Products for Traditional and Cultural Purposes

    This proposed new section covers forest products for traditional and cultural purposes per 25 U.S.C. 32A § 3055.

    1563.6—Prohibition on Disclosure

    This proposed new section covers prohibition against disclosure per 25 U.S.C. 32A § 3056.

    1563.7—Information and Technology Sharing

    This proposed new section emphasizes that the maintenance of traditional gathering, hunting, fishing, and other activities; and use of certain landscapes, sites, and locations that contain important natural and cultural resources should be considered in Forest Service land management planning and research activities. It also recommends that the Forest Service seek to identify traditional knowledge that tribal citizens hold regarding ecosystems that may be helpful in meeting management objectives of both the Forest Service and Tribes.

    1563.8—References

    This proposed new section contains further explanatory information regarding authorities identified in section 1563.01—Authorities. Overall, it elaborates on treaty rights and the trust responsibility; cooperative land management and planning with Indian tribes; subsistence rights; tribal cultural resources and sacred sites within the National Forest System, including reburial; the Tribal Forest Protection Act; the Cultural and Heritage Cooperation Authority; grants, agreements, and contracts with Tribes across all Deputy areas; coordination of law enforcement with Tribes; and support of and engagement with Tribal Colleges and Universities.

    2. Forest Service Handbook 1509.13 10.01—Authorities

    This proposed section refers the reader to FSM 1563 for relevant laws, Executive Orders, and regulations that govern Federal agencies' relationship with Indian tribes.

    11—Consultation With Tribes

    This section expands on consultation roles and responsibilities, timelines, and processes while also encouraging collaboration prior to or concurrent with formal consultation.

    Proposed section 11.1 mandates consultation with Alaska Native Corporations in Alaska and clarifies consultation representatives.

    Proposed section 11.2 clarifies consultation timelines, including the fact that tribal consultation for National policies includes a minimum of 120 days.

    Proposed section 11.3 substantially expands and clarifies consultation process (type, modes, leveraging meetings) and steps for establishing consultation protocol and procedure with Indian tribes.

    Proposed section 11.5 outlines monitoring and evaluation of consultation, adding responsibilities for reporting to include maintenance of a consultation database, outcomes reporting, and compliance monitoring. It further requires that consultation input and outcomes be addressed in resulting policy, plan, project, or action. Finally, it adds additional responsibilities for monitoring and evaluation to include sustainability of cultural resources and sacred sites, successes and additional opportunities for partnerships, socio-economic impacts, and customer (tribal) satisfaction.

    12—Compensation

    This proposed section adds additional funding authorities for compensation for consultation, historic preservation.

    13—Training

    This proposed section encourages mandated training, including alignment with recommendations in the 2012 Report to the Secretary, USDA Policy and Procedures

    Review and Recommendations: Indian Sacred Sites 13.3—Core Competencies

    This proposed section establishes core competencies in Tribal relations.

    14—Exhibits

    This proposed section provide copies of additional authorities for management of Indian sacred sites.

    Regulatory Certifications Environmental Impact

    These proposed directives would establish direction for Forest Service staff in working with Indian tribes and American Indian and Alaska Native individuals. Section 31.1b of Forest Service Handbook 1909.15 (57 FR 43180, September 18, 1992) excludes from documentation in an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement rules, regulations, or policies to establish service-wide administrative procedures, program processes, or instructions. The Agency's assessment for these proposed directives falls within this category of actions and that no extraordinary circumstances exist which would require preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Regulatory Impact

    These proposed directives have been reviewed under USDA procedures and Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review. It has been determined that this is not a significant action. These proposed directives will not have an annual effect of $100 million or more on the economy nor adversely affect productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, nor State or local governments. These proposed directives would not interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency nor raise new legal or policy issues. Finally, these proposed directives would not alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients of such programs.

    Moreover, these proposed directives have been considered in light of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), and it has been determined that these proposed directives would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as defined by the act because they will not impose recordkeeping requirements on them; it would not affect their competitive position in relation to large entities; and it would not affect their cash flow, liquidity, or ability to remain in the market.

    Federalism and Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    The Agency has considered these proposed directives under the requirements of Executive Order 13132, Federalism, and has made an assessment that these proposed directives conform with the federalism principles set out in this Executive Order; would not impose any compliance costs on the States; and would not have substantial direct effects on the States or the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, the Agency has determined that no further assessment of federalism implications is necessary at this time.

    These proposed directives have tribal implications as defined by Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments,” and the 120-day consultation with Indian tribes and Alaska Native Corporations was conducted from June 6, 2013 to October 6, 2013, as required.

    No Takings Implications

    These proposed directives have been analyzed in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights, and it has been determined that these proposed directives do not pose the risk of a taking of Constitutionally protected private property.

    Civil Justice Reform

    These proposed directives have been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. If these proposed directives were adopted, (1) all State and local laws and regulations that are in conflict with these proposed directives or which would impede its full implementation would be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect would be given to these proposed directives; and (3) it would not require administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging its provisions.

    Unfunded Mandates

    Pursuant to Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538), which the President signed into law on March 22, 1995, the Agency has assessed the effects of these proposed directives on State, local, and Indian tribal governments and the private sector. These proposed directives would not compel the expenditure of $100 million or more by any State, local, or Indian tribal government or anyone in the private sector. Therefore, a statement under section 202 of the act is not required.

    Energy Effects

    These proposed directives have been reviewed under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. It has been determined that these proposed directives do not constitute a significant energy action as defined in the Executive Order.

    Controlling Paperwork Burdens on the Public

    These proposed directives do not contain any additional recordkeeping or reporting requirements or other information collection requirements as defined in 5 CFR part 1320 that are not already required by law or not already approved for use. Accordingly, the review provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and its implementing regulations at 5 CFR part 1320 do not apply.

    Dated: July 6, 2015. Thomas L. Tidwell, Chief, Forest Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17911 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Newspapers of Record for the Pacific Southwest Region: California AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice lists the newspapers that will be used by all Ranger Districts, Forests, and the Regional Office of the Pacific Southwest Region to publish legal notices required under 36 CFR 214, 218, and 219. The intended effect of this action is to inform interested members of the public which newspapers the Forest Service will use to publish notices of proposed actions, notices of decision, and notices of opportunity to file an appeal/objection. This will provide the public with constructive notice of Forest Service proposals and decisions, provide information on the procedures to comment, appeal, or object and establish the date that the Forest Service will use to determine if comments, appeals, or objections were timely.

    DATES:

    Publication of legal notices in the listed newspapers will begin on the date of this publication and remain in effect until another notice is published in the Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Theresa Corless, Regional Appeals/Objections Coordinator, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Regional Office, 1323 Club Drive, Vallejo, CA 94592, (707) 562-8768.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In addition to the primary newspaper listed for each unit, some Forest Supervisors and District Rangers have listed newspapers providing additional notice of their decisions. The timeframe for filing comment, appeal or an objection shall be based on the date of publication of the notice in the first (primary) newspaper listed for each unit.

    The newspapers to be used are as follows:

    Pacific Southwest Regional Office Regional Forester Decisions: Sacramento Bee, published daily in Sacramento, Sacramento County, California, for decisions affecting National Forest System lands and for any decision of Region-wide impact. Angeles National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: Los Angeles Times, published daily in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California. District Rangers Decisions: Los Angeles Ranger District: Daily News, published daily in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California. Newspapers providing additional notice of Los Angeles District Ranger decisions: Pasadena Star News, published in Pasadena, California; and Foothill Leader, published in Glendale, California. San Gabriel River Ranger District: Inland Valley Bulletin, published daily in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California. Newspaper providing additional notice of San Gabriel River District Ranger decisions: San Gabriel Valley Tribune published in the eastern San Gabriel Valley, West Covina, Los Angeles County, California. Santa Clara/Mojave Rivers Ranger District: Daily News, published daily in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California. Newspapers providing additional notice of Santa Clara/Mojave Rivers District Ranger decisions: Antelope Valley Press, published in Palmdale, Los Angeles County, California; and Mountaineer Progress, published in Wrightwood, California. Cleveland National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: San Diego Union-Tribune, published daily in San Diego, San Diego County, California. District Rangers Decisions: Descanso Ranger District: San Diego Union-Tribune, published daily in San Diego, San Diego County, California. Palomar Ranger District: San Diego Union-Tribune, published daily in San Diego, San Diego County, California. Newspaper providing additional notice of Palomar District Ranger decisions: Riverside Press Enterprise, published daily in Riverside, Riverside County, California. Trabuco Ranger District: Riverside Press Enterprise, published daily in Riverside, Riverside County, California. Newspaper providing additional notice of Trabuco District Ranger decisions: Orange County Register, published daily in Santa Ana, Orange County, California. Eldorado National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: Mountain Democrat published three-times weekly in Placerville, El Dorado County, California. District Rangers Decisions: Mountain Democrat published three-times weekly in Placerville, El Dorado County, California. lnyo National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: Inyo Register published three-times weekly in Bishop, lnyo County, California. District Rangers Decisions: Inyo Register published three-times weekly in Bishop, lnyo County, California. Klamath National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: Siskiyou Daily News, published daily in Yreka, Siskiyou County, California. District Rangers Decisions: Siskiyou Daily News, published daily in Yreka, Siskiyou County, California. Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, California and Nevada Forest Supervisor Decisions: Tahoe Daily Tribune, published three-times weekly in South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, California. Lassen National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: Lassen County Times, published weekly in Susanville, Lassen County, California. District Rangers Decisions: Eagle Lake Ranger District: Lassen County Times, published weekly in Susanville, Lassen County, California. Almanor Ranger District: Chester Progressive, published weekly in Chester, Plumes County, California. Hat Creek Ranger District: Intermountain News, published weekly in Burney, Shasta County, California. Los Padres National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: Santa Barbara News Press, published daily in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, California. District Rangers Decisions: Monterey Ranger District: Monterey County Herald, published daily in Monterey, Monterey County, California. Santa Lucia Ranger District: The Tribune, published daily in San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo County, California. Santa Barbara Ranger District: Santa Barbara News Press, published daily in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, California. Ojai Ranger District: Ventura County Star, published daily in Ventura, Ventura County, California. Mt. Pinos Ranger District: The Mountain Enterprise, published weekly in Frazier Park, Kern County, California. Mendocino National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: Chico Enterprise-Record, published daily in Chico, Butte County, California. District Rangers Decisions: Grindstone Ranger District: Chico Enterprise-Record, published daily in Chico, Butte County, California. Upper Lake and Covelo Districts: Ukiah Daily Journal, published daily in Ukiah, Mendocino County, California. Modoc National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: The Modoc County Record, published weekly in Alturas, Modoc County, California. District Rangers Decisions: All districts: The Modoc County Record, published weekly in Alturas, Modoc County, California. Doublehead and Big Valley Districts: Klamath Falls Herald and News, published daily (except Mondays) in Klamath Falls, Klamath County, Oregon. Plumas National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: Feather River Bulletin, published weekly in Quincy, Plumas County, California. Newspaper providing additional notice for Environmental Impact Statements: Sacramento Bee published daily in Sacramento, Sacramento County, California. District Rangers Decisions: Beckwourth Ranger District: Portola Reporter, published weekly in Portola, Plumas County, California. Newspaper occasionally providing additional notice of Beckwourth District Ranger decisions: Feather River Bulletin, published weekly in Quincy, Plumas County California. Feather River Ranger District: Oroville Mercury Register, published daily in Oroville, Butte County, California. Newspaper occasionally providing additional notice of Feather River District Ranger decisions: Feather River Bulletin, published weekly in Quincy, Plumas County, California. Mt. Hough Ranger District: Feather River Bulletin, published weekly in Quincy, Plumas County, California. Newspaper occasionally providing additional notice of Mt. Hough District Ranger decisions: Portola Reporter, published weekly in Portola, Plumas County, California. San Bernardino National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: San Bernardino Sun, published daily in San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, California. District Rangers Decisions: Mountaintop Ranger District—Arrowhead Area: Mountain News, published weekly in Blue Jay, San Bernardino County, California. Mountaintop Ranger District—Big Bear Area: Big Bear Life and Grizzly, published weekly in Big Bear, San Bernardino County, California. Front Country Ranger District: San Bernardino Sun, published daily in San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, California. San Jacinto Ranger District: Idyllwild Town Crier, published weekly in Idyllwild, Riverside County, California. Sequoia National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: Porterville Recorder, published daily (except Sunday) in Porterville, Tulare County, California. District Rangers Decisions: Porterville Recorder, published daily (except Sunday) in Porterville, Tulare County, California. Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: Record Searchlight, published daily in Redding, Shasta County, California. District Rangers Decisions: Record Searchlight, published daily in Redding, Shasta County, California. Sierra National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: Fresno Bee, published daily in Fresno, Fresno County, California. District Rangers Decisions: Fresno Bee published daily in Fresno, Fresno County, California. Six Rivers National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: Times Standard, published daily in Eureka, Humboldt County, California. District Rangers Decisions: Smith River National Recreation Area: Del Norte Triplicate, published daily in Crescent City, Del Norte County, California. Orleans and Lower Trinity Districts: The Two Rivers Tribune, published weekly in Hoopa, Humboldt County, California. Mad River District: Times Standard, published daily in Eureka, Humboldt County, California. Stanislaus National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: The Union Democrat, published daily (five-times weekly) in Sonora, Tuolumne County, California. District Rangers Decisions: The Union Democrat, published daily (five-times weekly) in Sonora, Tuolumne County, California. Tahoe National Forest, California Forest Supervisor Decisions: The Union, published daily (except Sunday) in Grass Valley, Nevada County, California. District Rangers Decisions: American River Ranger District: Auburn Journal, published daily in Auburn, Placer County, California. Sierraville Ranger District: Mountain Messenger, published weekly in Downieville, Sierra County, California. Newspapers providing additional notice of Sierraville District Ranger decisions: Sierra Booster, published weekly in Loyalton, Sierra County, California; and Portola Recorder, published weekly in Portola, Plumas County, California. Truckee Ranger District: Sierra Sun, published five times weekly in Truckee, Nevada County, California. Yuba River Ranger District: The Union, published daily (except Sunday) in Grass Valley, Nevada County, California. Newspaper providing additional notice of Yuba River District Ranger decisions: Mountain Messenger, published weekly in Downieville, Sierra County, California. Dated: July 13, 2015. Barnie Gyant, Deputy Regional Forester, Pacific Southwest Region.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18112 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-11-M
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Institute of Food and Agriculture Solicitation of Commodity Board Topics and Contribution of Funding Under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program, Implementation AGENCY:

    National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of opportunity for commodity boards to submit topics and contribute funding under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's (NIFA) strategy to implement section 7404 of Public Law 113-79, the Agricultural Act of 2014, NIFA is soliciting topics from eligible commodity board entities (Federal and State-level commodity boards, as defined below) which they are willing to equally co-fund with NIFA. Such topics must relate to the established priority areas of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program (AFRI) to be considered for inclusion in future AFRI Requests for Applications (RFAs).

    Commodity boards are those entities established under a commodity promotion law (as such term is defined under section 501(a) of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7401(a))) or a State commodity board (or other equivalent State entity). See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this Notice under the heading “Eligibility for Submitting Topics” for further information.

    If proposed topics are accepted for inclusion in an AFRI RFA after evaluation by NIFA, they will be incorporated into AFRI competitive grants program RFAs. As a condition of funding grants in a topic, NIFA will require an agreement with the commodity board to provide funds that are equal to the amount NIFA is contributing under the agreed upon topic.

    This Notice invites topic submissions from commodity boards as defined above, outlines the process NIFA will use to evaluate the appropriateness of these topics for inclusion in AFRI RFAs, and describes the commitment commodity boards will be required to make in order for NIFA to jointly fund AFRI applications competitively selected for award within a topic area submitted by the commodity boards.

    DATES:

    Topics may be submitted by commodity boards at any time; however, all topics to be considered for the fiscal year 2016 AFRI RFAs must be received by 5:00 p.m., EDT on September 22, 2015. Topics submitted by eligible commodity board entities after this date will be considered for RFAs to be issued in future years. NIFA will hold a webinar to respond to questions from commodity boards interested in submitting topics. Details including the date and time, and access information will be posted on the NIFA Web site (http://nifa.usda.gov/commodity-boards/).

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit topics, identified by NIFA-2015-0001, by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected]. Include NIFA-2015-0001 in the subject line of the message.

    Instructions: All topics received must include the agency name and reference to NIFA-2015-0001. All comments received will be posted to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Hedberg; Phone: (202) 720-5384, or Mark Mirando; Phone: (202) 401-4336, or Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background and Purpose

    This Notice represents the second step in implementing section 7404 of the Agricultural Act of 2014, Public Law 113-79, which amends section 2(b) of the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act (7 U.S.C. 450i(b)) to require that NIFA “establish procedures, including timelines, under which an entity established under a commodity promotion law (as such term is defined under section 501(a) of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7401(a))) or a State commodity board (or other equivalent State entity) may directly submit to the Secretary [(NIFA)] for consideration proposals for requests for applications . . .” within the AFRI Program.

    In September of 2014, NIFA took the first step toward implementing section 7404 by publishing a Federal Register Notice, which solicited stakeholder feedback on implementing this provision. See 79 FR 58727 (Sept. 30, 2014) (http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-09-30/html/2014-23352.htm).

    Stakeholder feedback gathered as a result of the September 2014 Notice informed this second step toward implementing section 7404. This Notice invites entities established under a commodity promotion law or State commodity boards (or other equivalent State entities) to submit topics which they are proposing for inclusion in upcoming AFRI RFAs. Topics must relate to the established AFRI priority areas, which are plant health and production and plant products; animal health and production and animal products; food safety, nutrition, and health; renewable energy, natural resources, and environment; agriculture systems and technology; and agriculture economics and rural communities. A summary statement on AFRI is included below. To learn more about AFRI programs, including program priorities, go to: http://nifa.usda.gov/program/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative.

    AFRI Program Overview

    The AFRI program is the largest agricultural competitive grants program in the United States and a primary funding source for research, education, and extension projects that bring practical solutions to some of today's most critical societal challenges. AFRI programs impact all components of agriculture, including farm and ranch efficiency and profitability, renewable energy, forestry, aquaculture, rural communities, human nutrition, food safety, biotechnology, and genetic improvement of plants and animals.

    NIFA issues eight AFRI RFAs annually to solicit applications in the six statutory priority areas in AFRI (Plant health and production and plant products; Animal health and production and animal products; Food safety, nutrition, and health; Renewable energy, natural resources, and environment; Agriculture systems and technology; Agriculture economics and rural communities). These include six Challenge Area RFAs, which address the following major societal challenges: Sustainable Bioenergy; Climate Variability and Change; Water for Agriculture; Food Security; Childhood Obesity Prevention; and Food Safety. The Challenge Area RFAs solicit grant applications for focused problem-solving efforts and provide large awards (typically $1 million or more) for periods of up to 5 years to enable collaboration among multiple organizations and the integration of research with education and extension. The seventh RFA is the Foundational Program RFA issued annually which solicits grant applications that focus predominately, but not exclusively, on fundamental scientific research that addresses statutory priorities. The final RFA is the AFRI Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI) RFA which solicits grant applications for undergraduate research and extension experiential learning fellowships, and pre- and post-doctoral fellowships.

    Eligibility for Submitting Topics

    Eligible commodity board entities are those established under a commodity promotion law (as such term is defined under section 501(a) of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7401(a))) or a State commodity board (or other equivalent State entity). Language in 7 U.S.C. 7401(a) defines a “commodity promotion law” as “a Federal law that provides for the establishment and operation of a promotion program regarding an agricultural commodity that includes a combination of promotion, research, industry information, or consumer information activities, is funded by mandatory assessments on producers or processors, and is designed to maintain or expand markets and uses for the commodity (as determined by the Secretary).” Section 7401(a) includes a list of such Federal laws.

    The following Federally recognized commodity boards are currently eligible to submit topics under this provision: Beef Board, Blueberry Council, Christmas Tree Board, Cotton Board, Dairy Board, Egg Board, Fluid Milk Board, Hass Avocado Board, Honey Board, Lamb Board, Mango Board, Mushroom Council, Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Board, Peanut Board, Popcorn Board, Pork Board, Potato Board, Processed Raspberry Council, Softwood Lumber Board, Sorghum Board, Soybean Board, and the Watermelon Board, as well as the following marketing order boards: Oregon/Washington pears (fresh and processed), California olives, Georgia Vidalia onions, SE Washington/NW Oregon Walla Walla Valley sweet onions, Idaho/Oregon onions, Florida tomatoes, California almonds, Oregon/Washington hazelnuts, Riverside County, California domestic dates, and California raisins.

    Additionally, entities eligible to submit topics include a State commodity board (or other equivalent State entity). This includes commodity boards authorized by State law; commodity boards that are not authorized by State law but are organized and operate within a State and meet the requirements of their authorizing statute; and commodity boards that are authorized by a State and operate within the State for commodities that have no Federal program or oversight.

    Topic Submission Guidance and Procedures

    Topics may be submitted at any time and will be evaluated by NIFA on an annual basis. However, to be considered for the proposed fiscal year 2016 AFRI RFAs, topics must be received by COB (5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time) on September 22, 2015.

    Each topic proposed must be submitted as a separate PDF document that may not exceed 2 pages in length, using 12 point font. Submissions must include: A clear description of the proposed topic; the total matching contribution that will be made by the commodity board; and a justification that describes how the proposed topic supports a specific AFRI priority area. Commodity boards may propose support for multiple awards for each topic proposed. For each topic the commodity board proposes to support, the minimum amount they must provide is $150,000 and the maximum amount is $2.5 million total. NIFA does not intend to match funding from a single commodity board in excess of $10 million in any year. Commodity boards should only submit topics that have a strong economic impact on their industry and U.S. agriculture as a whole. Examples of topics typically supported by AFRI can be found at http://nifa.usda.gov/program/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative.

    If topics are accepted for funding, they will be incorporated into AFRI RFAs, and grants supporting the topic area may be awarded to AFRI eligible entities based on a competitive peer review process. As a condition of funding grants in a topic, NIFA will require an agreement to provide funds by the commodity board that is equal to the amount NIFA is contributing under the agreed upon topic. If a topic is selected for inclusion in an RFA, the commodity board submitting the topic will be required to maintain the confidentiality of the topic until the RFA is issued by NIFA. Commodity board funds will need to be made available to NIFA no later than the time awards are selected for funding. Applications submitted under topics provided by commodity boards will be required to include a letter of support from the commodity board that proposed the topic.

    Evaluation and Notification Process

    NIFA will screen proposed research topics to ensure they were submitted by eligible commodity boards and consult with USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to determine that submissions and proposed financial contributions are consistent with commodity promotion laws and commodity boards' charters as applicable.

    Commodity board topics will be reviewed by an internal panel based on evaluation criteria that were developed using stakeholder input from commodity boards and other stakeholders from government, industry, and academe. Each topic will be evaluated based on: Alignment with one or more of the statutory AFRI priority areas (six AFRI priority areas authorized in the Farm Bill and described in 7 CFR 3430.309); alignment with the President's budget proposal for NIFA, as identified in the Department of Agriculture's annual budget submission; and alignment with the priority areas in the AFRI RFAs to be released by NIFA during the fiscal year for which the commodity board is proposing a topic for funding (for example, within the AFRI Foundational Program RFA, the AFRI Animal Health and Production and Animal Product's “Animal Reproduction” priority area).

    From those topics received by COB (5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time) on September 22, 2015, NIFA will select the topic(s) that were evaluated the most favorably for inclusion in the appropriate FY 2016 AFRI RFA. NIFA will notify applicants whether their topics will be included by October 7, 2015. Based on the evaluation, NIFA reserves the right to negotiate with commodity boards should changes be required for topics and funding amounts to be accepted. Any changes to topics and funding amounts will be reviewed by USDA's AMS to determine if such changes are consistent with applicable commodity promotion laws.

    NIFA will evaluate topics submitted after the September 22, 2015 deadline on an annual basis and notify commodity boards whether their topics will be included in subsequent RFAs within two weeks following the meeting of the internal evaluation panel, the date of which will be published on NIFA's Commodity Boards Web page at(http://nifa.usda.gov/commodity-boards/).

    Done at Washington, DC this 17th day of July, 2015. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18120 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Institute of Food and Agriculture Notice of Intent To Extend and Revise a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's (NIFA) intention to extend a currently approved information collection entitled, “Reporting Requirements for State Plans of Work for Agricultural Research and Extension Capacity Funds.”

    DATES:

    Written comments on this notice must be received by September 22, 2015 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments concerning this notice and requests for copies of the information collection may be submitted by any of the following methods: Email: [email protected]; Fax: 202-720-0857; Mail: Office of Information Technology (OIT), NIFA, USDA, STOP 2216, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2216.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Martin, eGovernment Program Leader; Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Reporting Requirements for State Plans of Work for Agricultural Research and Extension Capacity Grants.

    Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Number: 0524-0036.

    Expiration Date of Current Approval: January 1, 2016.

    Type of Request: Notice of intent to extend and revise the submission requirements for a currently approved information collection. The burden for this submission remains unchanged.

    Abstract: Type of Request: Intent to seek approval for the extension of a currently approved information collection for three years.

    Abstract: The purpose of this collection of information is to continue implementing the requirements of sections 202 and 225 of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (AREERA) which require that a plan of work must be submitted by each institution and approved by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) before capacity funds may be provided to the 1862 and 1890 land-grant institutions.

    The capacity funds are authorized under the Hatch Act for agricultural research activities at the 1862 land-grant institutions, under the Smith-Lever Act for the extension activities at the 1862 land-grant institutions, and under sections 1444 and 1445 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 for research and extension activities at the 1890 land-grant institutions. The plan of work must address critical agricultural issues in the State and describe the programs and projects targeted to address these issues using the NIFA capacity funds. The plan of work also must describe the institution's multistate activities as well as their integrated research and extension activities.

    This collection of information also includes the reporting requirements of section 102(c) of AREERA for the 1862 and 1890 land-grant institutions. This section requires the 1862, 1890, and 1994 land-grant institutions receiving agricultural research, education, and extension capacity funds from NIFA of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish and implement processes for obtaining input from persons who conduct or use agricultural research, extension, or education concerning the use of such funds by October 1, 1999.

    Section 102(c) further requires that the Secretary of Agriculture promulgate regulations that prescribe what the institutions must do to meet this requirement and the consequences of not complying with this requirement. The Stakeholder Input Requirements for Recipients of Agricultural Research, Education, and Extension Capacity Funds (7 CFR part 3418) final rule (65 FR 5993, Feb. 8, 2000) applies not only to the land-grant institutions receiving capacity funds but also to the veterinary and forestry schools that are not land-grant institutions but receive forestry research funds under the McIntire-Stennis Act of 1962 and animal health and disease research funds under section 1433 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (NARETPA). Failure to comply with the requirements of this rule may result in the withholding of a recipient institution's capacity funds and redistribution of its share of capacity funds to other eligible institutions. The institutions are required to annually report to NIFA: (1) The actions taken to seek stakeholder input to encourage their participation; (2) a brief statement of the process used by the recipient institution to identify individuals and groups who are stakeholders and to collect input from them; and (3) a statement of how collected input was considered. There is no legislatively prescribed form or format for this reporting requirement. However, the 1862 and 1890 land-grant institutions are required to report on their Stakeholder Input Process annually as part of their Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results.

    Section 103(e) of AREERA requires that the 1862, 1890, and 1994 land-grant institutions establish a merit review process, prior to October 1, 1999, in order to obtain agricultural research and extension funds. Section 104 of AREERA also stipulated that a scientific peer review process be established for research programs funded under section 3(c)(3) of the Hatch Act (commonly referred to as Hatch Multistate Research Funds).

    I. Initial 5-Year Plan of Work

    Estimate of Burden: The Initial 5-Year Plan of Work was submitted for the FY 2007-2011 Plan of Work in 2006. Thus, this reporting burden has been satisfied and will no longer be collected. Consequently, the total reporting and record keeping requirements for the submission of the “Initial 5-Year Plan of Work” is estimated to average 0 hours per response.

    II. Annual Update to 5-Year Plan of Work

    Estimate of the Burden: The total reporting and record keeping requirements for the submission of the “Annual Update to the 5-Year Plan of Work” is estimated to average 64 hours per response. There are five components of this “5-Year Plan of Work”: “Planned Programs,” “Stakeholder Input Process,” “Program Review Process,” “Multi state Activities,” and “Integrated Activities.”

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 75.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 150.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 9,600 hours.

    Frequency of Responses: Annually.

    III. Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results

    Estimate of the Burden: The total annual reporting and record keeping requirements of the “Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results” is estimated to average 260 hours per response.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 75.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 150.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 39,000 hours.

    Frequency of Responses: Annually.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) 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; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on 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.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request to OMB for approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 10th day of July, 2015. Ann Bartuska, Deputy Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18058 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Information Collection Activity; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by September 22, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., STOP 1522, Room 5181, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-4492. FAX: (202) 720-4120.

    Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). This notice identifies an information collection that RUS is submitting to OMB for reinstatement.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) 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; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on 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. Comments may be sent to: Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 1522, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-1522. FAX: (202) 720-8435.

    Title: Lien Accommodations and Subordinations, 7 CFR 1717, Subparts R & S.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0100.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Abstract: The RE Act of 1936, as amended (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.), authorizes and empowers the Administrator of RUS to make loans in the several United States and Territories of the United States for rural Electrification and the furnishing of electric energy to persons in rural areas who are not receiving central station service. The RE Act also authorizes and empowers the Administrator of RUS to provide financial assistance to borrowers for purposes provided in the RE Act by accommodating or subordinating loans made by the national Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation, the Federal Financing Bank, and other lending agencies. Title 7 CFR part 1717, subparts R & S sets forth policy and procedures to facilitate and support borrowers' efforts to obtain private sector financing of their capital needs, to allow borrowers greater flexibility in the management of their business affairs without compromising RUS loan security, and to reduce the cost to borrowers, in terms of time, expenses and paperwork, of obtaining lien accommodations and subordinations. The information required to be submitted is limited to necessary information that would allow the Agency to make a determination on the borrower's request to subordinate and accommodate their lien with other lenders.

    Estimate of Burden: Public Reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 19 hours per response.

    Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions; Business or other for profit.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 21.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 290 hours.

    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from MaryPat Daskal, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, at (202) 720-7853. FAX: (202) 720-8435.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Dated: July 16, 2015. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18111 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-970] Multilayered Wood Flooring From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Determination and Amended Final Determination of the Antidumping Duty Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On July 6, 2015, the United States Court of International Trade (“CIT”) issued Changzhou Hawd Flooring Co. v. United States, Ct. No. 12-20, Slip Op. 15-71 (CIT July 6, 2015), affirming the Department of Commerce's (the “Department”) amended final determination of sales at less than fair value in the antidumping duty investigation on multilayered wood flooring from the People's Republic of China (“Amended Final Determination”),1 as modified by the Department's fourth remand redetermination pursuant to court order.

    1See Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 76 FR 64318 (October 18, 2011) (“Final Determination”); Multilayered Wood Flooring From the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order, 76 FR 76690 (December 8, 2011) (“Amended Final Determination”).

    Consistent with the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) in Timken Co. v. United States, 893 F.2d 337 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (“Timken”), as clarified by Diamond Sawblades Mfrs. Coalition v. United States, 626 F.3d 1374 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (“Diamond Sawblades”), the Department is notifying the public that the Court's final judgment in this case is not in harmony with the Amended Final Determination, and that the Department is revising its Amended Final Determination.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: July 16, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Galantucci and Brandon Farlander, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2923 and (202) 482-0182, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The litigation in this case relates to the Department's final determination in the antidumping duty investigation covering multilayered wood flooring from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”),2 which was later amended.3 Pursuant to a series of remand orders issued by the CIT 4 that resulted in four remand redeterminations,5 the Department: (1) Revised its calculation of dumping margins for two mandatory respondents and the PRC-wide entity; and (2) the Department made certain findings regarding the dumping margins for eight separate rate respondents that were plaintiffs in the litigation, as summarized below.6

    2See Final Determination, 76 FR at 64318.

    3See Amended Final Determination, 76 FR at 76690.

    4See Baroque Timber Indus. (Zhongshan) Co., Ltd. v. United States, 925 F. Supp. 2d 1332 (CIT July 31, 2013); Baroque Timber Indus. (Zhongshan) Co., Ltd. v. United States, 971 F. Supp. 2d 1333 (CIT March 31, 2014); Changzhou Hawd Flooring Co. v. United States, 44 F. Supp. 3d 1376 (CIT January 23, 2015).

    5See Final Results of Redetermination Pursuant to Court Order, Court No. 12-00007, dated November 14, 2013; Final Results of Redetermination Pursuant to Court Order, Court No. 12-00007, dated May 29, 2014; Final Results of Redetermination Pursuant to Court Order, Court No. 12-00020, dated October 14, 2014; and Final Results of Redetermination Pursuant to Court Order, Court No. 12-00020, dated March 24, 2015.

    6 The eight separate rate respondents were cooperative respondents, but were not individually investigated in the antidumping duty investigation.

    Regarding the dumping margins for two mandatory respondents in the investigation, on April 23, 2014, the CIT granted a consent motion for severance and entered final judgment in Baroque Timber Industries (Zhongshan) Company, Limited v. United States and Zhejiang Layo Wood Industry Co., Ltd. v. United States with respect to Layo Wood and the Samling Group.7 The Department previously gave notice of this decision, as well as the amended dumping margins of zero percent calculated for Layo Wood and Samling Group, in accordance with the notice requirements of Timken. 8 Further, because we changed the surrogate values in our first remand redetermination for mandatory respondents Layo Wood and Samling Group, the highest calculated transaction-specific rate on the record became 25.62 percent, and we assigned that rate to the PRC-wide entity.9

    7 The full names of those companies are Zhejiang Layo Wood Industry Co. Ltd. (“Layo Wood”) and Baroque Timber Industries (Zhongshan) Co., Ltd., Riverside Plywood Corporation, Samling Elegant Living Trading (Labuan) Limited, Samling Global USA, Inc., Samling Riverside Co., Ltd., and Suzhou Times Flooring Co., Ltd. (collectively, “the Samling Group”).

    8See Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Determination and Amended Final Determination of the Antidumping Duty Investigation, 79 FR 25109 (May 2, 2014).

    9See Final Results of Redetermination Pursuant to Court Order, Court No. 12-00007, dated November 14, 2013, at 27.

    Regarding the dumping margins for the eight separate rate respondents that were plaintiffs to this litigation, the CIT issued a series of a remand orders before affirming the Department's fourth remand redetermination.10 As a result of the Department's second redetermination on remand, the Department assigned to seven of the eight separate rate respondents above de minimis antidumping duty rates for the investigation, but found that it was unnecessary to calculate an exact rate for those respondents because any rate assigned for the investigation stage of the proceeding would be superseded by the rates assigned to those companies in the first administrative review and would not be used for liquidation purposes. The CIT affirmed this portion of the Department's remand redetermination on January 23, 2015.11 However, the eighth separate rate respondent, Changzhou Hawd Flooring Co. (“Changzhou Hawd”), did not have any shipments of subject merchandise during the first period of review and the Department did not assign Changzhou Hawd a separate rate from the first administrative review. Thus, in a fourth remand redetermination, the Department assigned Changzhou Hawd a margin of 3.30 percent (Changzhou Hawd's original rate from the Department's Amended Final Determination in the investigation),12 effective for cash deposit purposes only, pending final establishment in the second administrative review of Changzhou Hawd's new cash deposit rate and assessment rate. On July 6, 2015, the CIT found that the Department's methodology in applying this rate was supported by substantial evidence and in accordance with law.13 Subsequent to the CIT's entry of judgment, the Department published the final results of the second administrative review, which have superseded the cash deposit rate of 3.30 percent assigned to Changzhou Hawd for purposes of this litigation.14

    10See Changzhou Hawd Flooring Co. v. United States, Ct. No. 12-20, Slip Op. 15-71 (CIT July 6, 2015).

    11See Changzhou Hawd Flooring Co. v. United States, 44 F. Supp. 3d 1376, 1387-88 (CIT January 23, 2015). The seven respondents to which the Department's determination applied were: Fine Furniture (Shanghai) Limited, Armstrong Wood Products (Kunshan) Co., Ltd., Dunhua City; Jisen Wood Industry Co., Ltd., Dunhua City Dexin Wood Industry Co., Ltd., Dalian Huilong Wooden Products Co., Ltd., Kunshan Yingyi-Nature Wood Industry Co., Ltd., and Karly Wood Product Limited.

    12 This cash deposit rate of 3.30 percent was the original rate applied to Changzhou Hawd in the Amended Final Determination. The rate was calculated by taking the simple average of the two non-de minimis rates calculated for Layo Wood and the Samling Group in the Amended Final Determination. Although Layo Wood's and the Samling Group's rates were subsequently changed on remand (thus altering the basis for Changzhou Hawd's 3.30 percent rate), the Department provided evidence that the rate was “reasonably reflective” of Changzhou Hawd's “potential dumping margin,” and the CIT sustained this determination. See Changzhou Hawd, Slip Op. 15-71 (CIT July 6, 2015), at 11.

    13See Changzhou Hawd, Slip Op. 15-71 (CIT July 6, 2015), at 3-4.

    14See Multilayered Wood Flooring From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Final Results of New Shipper Review; 2012-2013, 80 FR 41476 (July 15, 2015).

    Timken Notice

    In its decision in Timken, as clarified by Diamond Sawblades, the CAFC held that, pursuant to section 516A(e) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), the Department must publish a notice of a court decision that is not “in harmony” with a Department determination and must suspend liquidation of entries pending a “conclusive” court decision.

    The CIT's July 6, 2015 final judgment affirming the Department's redetermination constitutes a final decision of the Court that is not in harmony with the original Amended Final Determination. This notice is published in fulfillment of the publication requirements of Timken.

    Amended Final Determination

    There is now a final court decision with respect to the Amended Final Determination as it concerns the eight separate rate respondents and the PRC-wide entity in this matter. For the eight separate rate respondents, as of the date of this notice, all eight companies have received updated cash deposit rates, and their rates will not change as a result of this litigation. However, for the PRC-wide entity, the Department is amending the Amended Final Determination and the revised cash deposit rate for this entity is as follows:

    Exporter Cash deposit rate
  • (percent)
  • PRC-wide entity 25.62

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 516A(e)(1), 751(a)(1), and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: July 20, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18214 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Idaho National Laboratory, et al.; Notice of Consolidated Decision on Applications for Duty-Free Entry of Electron Microscope

    This is a decision consolidated pursuant to Section 6(c) of the Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Materials Importation Act of 1966 (Pub. L. 89-651, as amended by Pub. L. 106-36; 80 Stat. 897; 15 CFR part 301). Related records can be viewed between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. in Room 3720, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC.

    Docket Number: 15-005. Applicant: Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID 83415. Instrument: Electron Microscope. Manufacturer: FEI, Czech Republic. Intended Use: See notice at 80 FR 26896, May 11, 2015.

    Docket Number: 15-010. Applicant: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. Instrument: Electron Microscope. Manufacturer: JEOL Ltd., Japan. Intended Use: See notice at 80 FR 26896, May 11, 2015.

    Docket Number: 15-011. Applicant: University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36688. Instrument: Electron Microscope. Manufacturer: FEI Czech Republic s.r.o., Czech Republic. Intended Use: See notice at 80 FR 26896, May 11, 2015.

    Docket Number: 15-012. Applicant: Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY 10461. Instrument: Electron Microscope. Manufacturer: JEOL Ltd., Japan. Intended Use: See notice at 80 FR 26896, May 11, 2015.

    Docket Number: 15-014. Applicant: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218. Instrument: Electron Microscope. Manufacturer: FEI Company, the Netherlands. Intended Use: See notice at 80 FR 26896, May 11, 2015.

    Docket Number: 15-016. Applicant: Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Instrument: LN Microscope. Manufacturer: Luigs Neumann, Germany. Intended Use: See notice at 80 FR 26896, May 1, 2015.

    Docket Number: 15-017. Applicant: City University of New York, New York, NY 10017. Instrument: Electron Microscope.

    Manufacturer: FEI Company, Japan. Intended Use: See notice at 80 FR 26896, May 11, 2015.

    Docket Number: 15-018. Applicant: City University of New York, New York, NY 10017. Instrument: Electron Microscope. Manufacturer: FEI Company, Japan. Intended Use: See notice at 80 FR 26896, May 11, 2015.

    Comments: None received. Decision: Approved. No instrument of equivalent scientific value to the foreign instrument, for such purposes as these instruments are intended to be used, was being manufactured in the United States at the time the instruments were ordered. Reasons: Each foreign instrument is an electron microscope and is intended for research or scientific educational uses requiring an electron microscope. We know of no electron microscope, or any other instrument suited to these purposes, which was being manufactured in the United States at the time of order of each instrument.

    Dated: July 20, 2015. Gregory W. Campbell, Director, Subsidies Enforcement Office, Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18212 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-933] Frontseating Service Valves From the People's Republic of China; Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On April 8, 2015, the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) published the preliminary results of the administrative review of the antidumping duty on frontseating service valves from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”).1 The period of review is April 1, 2013, through April 28, 2014. The review covers one exporter of the subject merchandise, Zhejiang Sanhua Co., Ltd. (“Sanhua”). We find that Sanhua made no sales in the United States at prices below normal value. None of the interested parties submitted case or rebuttal briefs. Therefore, we made no changes to our margin calculations for Sanhua. The final weighted-average dumping margin for this review is listed below in the section entitled “Final Results of the Review.”

    1See Frontseating Service Valves from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014, 80 FR 18811 (April 8, 2015) (“Preliminary Results”).

    DATES:

    Effective date: July 24, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Laurel LaCivita, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4243.

    Background

    On April 8, 2015, the Department published the preliminary results of the subject administrative review of the order.2 At that time, we invited interested parties to comment on our preliminary results.

    2Id.

    Subsequent to the Preliminary Results, Sanhua placed comments on the record concerning the Preliminary Results3 in lieu of a case brief. No other party provided comments on our Preliminary Results.

    3See letter from Sanhua, “Frontseating Service Valves from the People's Republic of China; A-570-933; Comments by Zhejiang Sanhua Co., Ltd. Regarding the Preliminary Results,” dated May 8, 2015 (“Sanhua's Comment Letter”).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by this order is frontseating service valves, assembled or unassembled, complete or incomplete, and certain parts thereof. Frontseating service valves contain a sealing surface on the front side of the valve stem that allows the indoor unit or outdoor unit to be isolated from the refrigerant stream when the air conditioning or refrigeration unit is being serviced. Frontseating service valves rely on an elastomer seal when the stem cap is removed for servicing and the stem cap metal to metal seat to create this seal to the atmosphere during normal operation.

    For purposes of the scope, the term “unassembled” frontseating service valve means a brazed subassembly requiring any one or more of the following processes: The insertion of a valve core pin, the insertion of a valve stem and/or O ring, the application or installation of a stem cap, charge port cap or tube dust cap. The term “complete” frontseating service valve means a product sold ready for installation into an air conditioning or refrigeration unit. The term “incomplete” frontseating service valve means a product that when sold is in multiple pieces, sections, subassemblies or components and is incapable of being installed into an air conditioning or refrigeration unit as a single, unified valve without further assembly.

    The major parts or components of frontseating service valves intended to be covered by the scope under the term “certain parts thereof” are any brazed subassembly consisting of any two or more of the following components: A valve body, field connection tube, factory connection tube or valve charge port. The valve body is a rectangular block, or brass forging, machined to be hollow in the interior, with a generally square shaped seat (bottom of body). The field connection tube and factory connection tube consist of copper or other metallic tubing, cut to length, shaped and brazed to the valve body in order to create two ports, the factory connection tube and the field connection tube, each on opposite sides of the valve assembly body. The valve charge port is a service port via which a hose connection can be used to charge or evacuate the refrigerant medium or to monitor the system pressure for diagnostic purposes.

    The scope includes frontseating service valves of any size, configuration, material composition or connection type. Frontseating service valves are classified under subheading 8481.80.1095, and also have been classified under subheading 8415.90.80.85, of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). It is possible for frontseating service valves to be manufactured out of primary materials other than copper and brass, in which case they would be classified under HTSUS subheadings 8481.80.3040, 8481.80.3090, or 8481.80.5090. In addition, if unassembled or incomplete frontseating service valves are imported, the various parts or components would be classified under HTSUS subheadings 8481.90.1000, 8481.90.3000, or 8481.90.5000. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, but the written description of the scope of this proceeding is dispositive.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    Sanhua noted that the draft liquidation instructions issued subsequent to the Preliminary Results incorrectly identified the importer of record,4 and requested that the Department correct its liquidation instructions accordingly.5 We agree, and we will revise the final liquidation instructions to include the correct importer name.

    4Id., at 2.

    5Id., at 5.

    Final Results of the Review

    We determine that the following weighted-average dumping margin exists for the period April 1, 2013, through April 28, 2014:

    Exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Zhejiang Sanhua Co., Ltd. 0.00
    Assessment Rates

    The Department shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.212(b).6 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. The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of these final results of review.

    6See Antidumping Proceeding: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8103 (February 14, 2012).

    We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review for each individual assessment rate calculated in the final results of this review that is above de minimis (i.e., at or above 0.50 percent). Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.106(c)(2), we will instruct CBP to liquidate without regard to antidumping duties any entries for which the assessment rate is de minimis (i.e., less than 0.50 percent).

    Consistent with its assessment practice in non-market economy (“NME”) antidumping cases,7 for entries that were not reported in the U.S. sales databases submitted by companies individually examined during this review, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate such entries at the NME-wide rate. In addition, if the Department determines that an exporter under review had no shipments of subject merchandise, any suspended entries that entered under that exporter's case number (i.e., at that exporter's rate) will be liquidated at the NME-wide rate. For a full discussion of this practice, see NME Antidumping Proceedings.

    7See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694, 65694-95 (October 24, 2011) (“NME Antidumping Proceedings”).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    Because the antidumping duty order on frontseating service valves from the PRC has been revoked,8 the Department will not issue cash deposit instructions at the conclusion of this administrative review.

    8See Frontseating Service Valves from the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Sunset Review and Revocation of Antidumping Duty Order, 79 FR 27573 (May 14, 2014).

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of the antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), this notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (“APO”) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under the APO. Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    These final results of review and notice are published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: July 14, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17838 Filed 7-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE055 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Two Pier Maintenance Projects AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; two proposed incidental harassment authorizations; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS has received two requests from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to construction activities as part of two separate pier maintenance projects at Naval Base Kitsap Bremerton. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue incidental harassment authorizations (IHA) to the Navy to incidentally take marine mammals, by Level B Harassment only, during the specified activity.

    DATES:

    Comments and information must be received no later than August 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments on the applications should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Physical comments should be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 and electronic comments should be sent to [email protected]

    Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or Adobe PDF file formats only. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to the Internet at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ben Laws, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Availability

    An electronic copy of the Navy's application and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained by visiting the Internet at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Pier 6 Maintenance Project

    The Navy prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA; 2013) for this project. We subsequently adopted the EA and signed our own Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) prior to issuing the first IHA for this project, in accordance with NEPA and the regulations published by the Council on Environmental Quality. Information in the Navy's application, the Navy's EA, and this notice collectively provide the environmental information related to proposed issuance of this IHA for public review and comment. All documents are available at the aforementioned Web site. We will review all comments submitted in response to this notice as we complete the NEPA process, including a decision of whether to reaffirm the existing FONSI, prior to a final decision on the incidental take authorization request.

    Pier 4 Maintenance Project

    The Navy prepared an EA to consider the direct, indirect and cumulative effects to the human environment resulting from the maintenance project. NMFS has reviewed the EA and believes it appropriate to adopt the EA in order to assess the impacts to the human environment of issuance of an IHA to the Navy and subsequently sign our own FONSI. Information in the Navy's application, the Navy's EA, and this notice collectively provide the environmental information related to proposed issuance of this IHA for public review and comment.

    For both proposed IHAs, all documents are available at the aforementioned Web site. We will review all comments submitted in response to this notice as we complete the NEPA processes, including a final decision of whether to reaffirm the existing FONSI or adopt the Navy's EA and sign a FONSI (for the Pier 6 and Pier 4 IHAs, respectively), prior to a final decision on the incidental take authorization requests.

    Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified area, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals, providing that certain findings are made and the necessary prescriptions are established.

    The incidental taking of small numbers of marine mammals may be allowed only if NMFS (through authority delegated by the Secretary) finds that the total taking by the specified activity during the specified time period will (i) have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s) and (ii) not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant). Further, the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such taking must be set forth, either in specific regulations or in an authorization.

    The allowance of such incidental taking under section 101(a)(5)(A), by harassment, serious injury, death, or a combination thereof, requires that regulations be established. Subsequently, a Letter of Authorization may be issued pursuant to the prescriptions established in such regulations, providing that the level of taking will be consistent with the findings made for the total taking allowable under the specific regulations. Under section 101(a)(5)(D), NMFS may authorize such incidental taking by harassment only, for periods of not more than one year, pursuant to requirements and conditions contained within an IHA. The establishment of prescriptions through either specific regulations or an authorization requires notice and opportunity for public comment.

    NMFS has defined “n