Federal Register Vol. 80, No.146,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 146 (July 30, 2015)

Page Range45395-45595
FR Document

80_FR_146
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 45554 - 177th Meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 45559 - Sunshine Act Meetings; National Science BoardPDF
80 FR 45419 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Perth Amboy, New JerseyPDF
80 FR 45416 - Special Local Regulation; Seattle Seafair Unlimited Hydroplane Race, Lake Washington, WAPDF
80 FR 45416 - Special Local Regulation; Southern California Annual Marine Events for the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone; San Diego Bay, San Diego, CAPDF
80 FR 45555 - Request for Comments on Improving Cybersecurity Protections in Federal AcquisitionsPDF
80 FR 45395 - Guidance for Reporting and Use of Information Concerning Recipient Integrity and PerformancePDF
80 FR 45443 - Benalaxyl-M; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
80 FR 45536 - Product Cancellation Order for Certain Pesticide Registrations; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 45438 - Isofetamid; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
80 FR 45435 - Zeta-Cypermethrin; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
80 FR 45559 - Susquehanna Nuclear, LLC; Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2PDF
80 FR 45506 - Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof From Japan: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2008-2009PDF
80 FR 45563 - Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Indian Point Nuclear Generating, Unit No. 3PDF
80 FR 45506 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 202-Los Angeles, California; Authorization of Production Activity; syncreon Logistics (USA), LLC; (Camera and Accessories Kitting) Torrance, CaliforniaPDF
80 FR 45506 - Authorization of Production Activity, Foreign-Trade Zone 50, Mercedes Benz USA, LLC (Accessorizing Passenger Motor Vehicles), Long Beach, CaliforniaPDF
80 FR 45539 - Capitol City Plume Superfund Site Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama; Notice of settlementPDF
80 FR 45422 - Final Waiver and Extension of the Project Period; Regional Interpreter Education Centers for the Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-BlindPDF
80 FR 45421 - Final Waiver and Extension of the Project Period; National Interpreter Education Center for the Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-BlindPDF
80 FR 45536 - Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Subcommittee Meeting-August 2015PDF
80 FR 45534 - Amendment for the EPA Travel, Other Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable Files (EPA-29)PDF
80 FR 45531 - Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems in New Mexico (NMR040000)PDF
80 FR 45423 - Final Priority; Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center-Youth With DisabilitiesPDF
80 FR 45512 - Applications for New Awards; Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center-Youth With DisabilitiesPDF
80 FR 45511 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Federal Perkins/NDSL Loan Assignment FormPDF
80 FR 45543 - Endangered Species Recovery Permit ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 45564 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 45572 - Data Collection Available for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 45588 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 45501 - Notice of Request for New Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 45395 - Clarification of United States Antitrust Laws, Immunity, and Liability Under Marketing Order ProgramsPDF
80 FR 45449 - National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset 2015 Amendments to the National ListPDF
80 FR 45524 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
80 FR 45572 - Meeting on United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Environment Chapter Implementation and Biennial Review Under the United States-Singapore Memorandum of Intent on Environmental CooperationPDF
80 FR 45558 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to Office of Management and Budget Review for Reinstatement, With Change, of a Previously Approved Collection, Prompt Corrective Action; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 45550 - Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Registration: Apertus PharmaceuticalsPDF
80 FR 45550 - Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Registration: Cambridge Isotope LabPDF
80 FR 45551 - Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Registration: American Radiolabeled Chemicals, Inc.PDF
80 FR 45551 - Importer of Controlled Substances Registration: Stepan CompanyPDF
80 FR 45552 - Importer of Controlled Substances Registration: PharmacorePDF
80 FR 45516 - Application to Export Electric Energy; Roctop Investments Inc.PDF
80 FR 45452 - Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Conventional OvensPDF
80 FR 45517 - Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, LLC; Rio Grande LNG, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Rio Grande LNG Project and Rio Bravo Pipeline Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping MeetingPDF
80 FR 45525 - Annova LNG Common Infrastructure, LLC, Annova LNG Brownsville A, LLC, Annova LNG Brownsville B, LLC, Annova LNG Brownsville C, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement For the Planned Annova LNG Brownsville Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping MeetingPDF
80 FR 45520 - Texas LNG Brownsville, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Texas LNG Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping MeetingPDF
80 FR 45528 - Trans-Union Interstate Pipeline, LP; Notice of Request Under Blanket AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 45522 - Trans-Pecos Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Presidio Border Crossing Project Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
80 FR 45529 - Dominion Transmission, Inc.; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Leidy South Project and Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
80 FR 45541 - Proposed Collection; 60 Day Comment Request Conference, Meeting, Workshop, and Poster Session Registration Generic Clearance (OD)PDF
80 FR 45554 - Workforce Investment Act; Native American Employment and Training CouncilPDF
80 FR 45576 - Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Renewal of Exemption; Daimler Trucks North America (Daimler)PDF
80 FR 45575 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
80 FR 45573 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 45543 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Recovery Permit ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 45578 - Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect PetitionPDF
80 FR 45547 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery Plan for Vine Hill ClarkiaPDF
80 FR 45586 - Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services MeetingPDF
80 FR 45533 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Reporting in the FIFRA Cooperative Agreement Work Plan and Report Template; Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 45540 - Multicriteria-Based Ranking Model for Risk Management of Animal Drug Residues in Milk and Milk Products; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 45505 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 45468 - Periodic ReportingPDF
80 FR 45467 - Periodic ReportingPDF
80 FR 45548 - International Trade Data System Test-Voluntary Pilot ProjectPDF
80 FR 45508 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 45589 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 45532 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NSPS for Nonmetallic Mineral Processing (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 45539 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Asbestos (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 45538 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Source Categories: Generic Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards for Acetal Resin; Acrylic and Modacrylic Fiber; Hydrogen Fluoride and Polycarbonate Production (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 45507 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Community Resilience PanelPDF
80 FR 45554 - Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety StandardsPDF
80 FR 45542 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Post-Award Contract InformationPDF
80 FR 45465 - The Food and Drug Administration's Policy on Declaring Small Amounts of Nutrients and Dietary Ingredients on Nutrition Labels; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 45509 - Proposed Extension of Approval of Information Collection; Comment Request-Testing and Recordkeeping Requirements for Carpets and RugsPDF
80 FR 45509 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Notification Requirements for Coal and Wood Burning AppliancesPDF
80 FR 45553 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension With Change, of a Previously Approved Collection; Leased/Charter/Contract Personnel Expedited Clearance RequestPDF
80 FR 45552 - Agency Information Collection Activities;Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Approval of an Existing Collection in Use Without an OMB Control Number; Records Modification Form (FD-1115)PDF
80 FR 45541 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Announcement of Office of Management and Budget Approval; Veterinary Feed DirectivePDF
80 FR 45540 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Announcement of Office of Management and Budget Approval; State Enforcement NotificationsPDF
80 FR 45577 - Reports, Forms and Record Keeping Requirements; Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 45585 - Reports, Forms, and Recordkeeping RequirementsPDF
80 FR 45590 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 45548 - National Earthquake Prediction Evaluation CouncilPDF
80 FR 45587 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 45510 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 45586 - Knox and Kane Railroad Company-Abandonment Exemption-McKean County, PAPDF
80 FR 45557 - Privacy Act of 1974: New System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 45555 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities, Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 45565 - Request for Steering Committee NominationsPDF
80 FR 45566 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Extend the Pilot Period of the BATS Exchange, Inc. Supplemental Competitive Liquidity Provider ProgramPDF
80 FR 45568 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Introduce an Additional Data Element to the IPO Indicator ServicePDF
80 FR 45562 - Open Phase Conditions in Electric Power SystemPDF
80 FR 45413 - Commercial Distribution of Tritium MarkersPDF
80 FR 45503 - Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery ProductsPDF
80 FR 45429 - July 2015 Update on Subject Matter EligibilityPDF
80 FR 45549 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-The Telemanagement ForumPDF
80 FR 45397 - Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan GuaranteesPDF
80 FR 45504 - Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees ProgramPDF
80 FR 45491 - Requirements for Vessels With Registry Endorsements or Foreign-Flagged Vessels That Perform Certain Aquaculture Support OperationsPDF
80 FR 45466 - Issue Price Definition for Tax-Exempt Bonds; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 45469 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Kentucky Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
80 FR 45429 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Washington: Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate MatterPDF
80 FR 45498 - General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR); Removal of Unnecessary Construction Clauses and Editorial ChangesPDF
80 FR 45460 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 45453 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 45457 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 45462 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 45477 - Air Plan Approval; California; Mammoth Lakes; Redesignation Request; PM10PDF
80 FR 45528 - Bonneville Power Administration; Notice of Petition for Declaratory OrderPDF
80 FR 45525 - Grant Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 45500 - Risk Reduction Program; Public Hearing and Reopening of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 45431 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Oregon: Grants Pass Second 10-Year PM10PDF
80 FR 45477 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Oregon: Grants Pass Second 10-Year PM10PDF
80 FR 45502 - Notice of Request for an Extension of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF

Issue

80 146 Thursday, July 30, 2015 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service RULES Clarification of United States Antitrust Laws, Immunity, and Liability under Marketing Order Programs, 45395-45396 2015-18700 PROPOSED RULES National Organic Program: Sunset 2015 Amendments to the National List, 45449-45452 2015-18699 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45501-45502 2015-18701 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Food Safety and Inspection Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45502 2015-18118
Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau NOTICES International Trade Data System Test Voluntary Pilot Project, 45548-45549 2015-18664 Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Membership Changes under National Cooperative Research and Production Act: The TeleManagement Forum, 45549-45550 2015-18627 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Perth Amboy, NJ, 45419-45421 2015-18772 Special Local Regulations: Seattle Seafair Unlimited Hydroplane Race, Lake Washington, WA, 45416 2015-18771 Southern California Annual Marine Events for the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone, 45416-45419 2015-18764 PROPOSED RULES Requirements for Vessels with Registry Endorsements or Foreign-Flagged Vessels that Perform Certain Aquaculture Support Operations, 45491-45498 2015-18620 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45505-45506 2015-18667
Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Notification Requirements for Coal and Wood Burning Appliances, 45509-45510 2015-18653 Testing and Recordkeeping Requirements for Carpets and Rugs, 45509 2015-18654 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45510-45511 2015-18643 Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Importers of Controlled Substances; Registrations: Pharmacore, High Point, NC, 45552 2015-18690 Stepan Co., Maywood, NJ, 45551 2015-18691 Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Registrations: American Radiolabeled Chemicals, Inc., St. Louis, MO, 45551-45552 2015-18692 Apertus Pharmaceuticals, St. Louis, MO, 45550 2015-18695 Cambridge Isotope Lab, Andover, MA, 45550-45551 2015-18693 Education Department Education Department RULES Final Priorities: Rehabilitation Training—Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center, Youth with Disabilities, 45423-45428 2015-18713 National Interpreter Education Center for the Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who are Deaf-Blind: Final Waiver and Extension of Project Period, 45421-45422 2015-18725 Regional Interpreter Education Centers for the Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who are Deaf-Blind: Final Waiver and Extension of the Project Period, 45422-45423 2015-18726 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Perkins/NDSL Loan Assignment Form, 45511 2015-18709 Applications for New Awards: Rehabilitation Training—Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center, Youth with Disabilities, 45512-45516 2015-18712 Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Security Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, 45554 C1--2015--17424 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Meetings: Native American Employment and Training Council, 45554 2015-18677 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PROPOSED RULES Energy Conservation Program: Standards for Residential Conventional Ovens, 45452-45453 2015-18687 NOTICES Applications to Export Electric Energy: Roctop Investments Inc., 45516-45517 2015-18688
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Oregon; Grants Pass Second 10-Year PM10 Limited Maintenance Plan, 45431-45435 2015-18354 Washington; Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter, 45429-45431 2015-18611 Pesticide Tolerances: Benalaxyl-M, 45443-45448 2015-18741 Isofetamid, 45438-45443 2015-18738 Zeta-cypermethrin, 45435-45438 2015-18737 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; Mammoth Lakes; Redesignation Request; PM10 Maintenance Plan, 45477-45491 2015-18531 Kentucky Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 45469-45477 2015-18613 Oregon; Grants Pass Second 10-Year PM10 Limited Maintenance Plan, 45477 2015-18349 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: NESHAP for Asbestos, 45539 2015-18660 NESHAP for Source Categories —Generic Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards for Acetal Resin; Acrylic and Modacrylic Fiber; Hydrogen Fluoride and Polycarbonate Production, 45538-45539 2015-18659 NSPS for Nonmetallic Mineral Processing, 45532-45533 2015-18661 Reporting in the FIFRA Cooperative Agreement Work Plan and Report Template, 45533-45534 2015-18669 Amendment for Travel, Other Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable Files, 45534-45536 2015-18722 Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems in New Mexico, 45531-45532 2015-18720 Meetings: Board of Scientific Counselors Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Subcommittee, 45536-45537 2015-18724 Product Cancellation Order for Certain Pesticide Registrations; Corrections, 45536 2015-18740 Settlements: Capitol City Plume Superfund Site Montgomery, Montgomery County, AL, 45539-45540 2015-18727 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 45457-45460, 45462-45465 2015-18533 2015-18534 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 2015-18559 45453-45457, 45460-45462 2015-18561 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 45524-45525 2015-18698 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Dominion Transmission, Inc., Leidy South Expansion Project, 45529-45531 2015-18679 Trans-Pecos Pipeline, LLC, Presidio Border Crossing Project, 45522-45524 2015-18680 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Annova LNG Common Infrastructure, LLC, et al., Annova LNG Brownsville Project, 45525-45528 2015-18683 Rio Bravo Pipeline Co., LLC, and Rio Grande LNG, LLC, Pipeline Project, 45517-45520 2015-18684 Texas LNG Brownsville, LLC, Texas LNG Project, 45520-45522 2015-18682 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Grant Wind, LLC, 45525 2015-18478 Petitions for Declaratory Orders: Bonneville Power Administration, 45528-45529 2015-18482 Requests under Blanket Authorizations: Trans-Union Interstate Pipeline, LP, 45528 2015-18681 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Commercial Driver's License Standards; Exemption Renewals: Daimler Trucks North America, 45576-45577 2015-18676 Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Diabetes Mellitus, 45575-45576 2015-18675 Vision, 45573-45575 2015-18674 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration PROPOSED RULES Risk Reduction Program; Public Hearing and Reopening of Comment Period, 45500 2015-18396 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Draft Recovery Plan for Vine Hill Clarkia, 45547-45548 2015-18671 Recovery Permit Applications, 45543 2015-18673 Endangered Species Recovery Permit Applications, 45543-45547 2015-18707 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration PROPOSED RULES Guidance: Policy on Declaring Small Amounts of Nutrients and Dietary Ingredients on Nutrition Labels, 45465-45466 2015-18655 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: State Enforcement Notifications, 45540 2015-18649 Veterinary Feed Directive, 45541 2015-18650 Risk Assessments: Multicriteria-Based Ranking Model for Risk Management of Animal Drug Residues in Milk and Milk Products; Extension of Comment Period, 45540-45541 2015-18668 Food Safety Food Safety and Inspection Service NOTICES Meetings: Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products, Codex Alimentarius Commission, 45503-45504 2015-18629 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: Mercedes Benz USA, LLC, Foreign-Trade Zone 50, Long Beach, CA, 45506 2015-18728 syncreon Logistics (USA), LLC, Foreign-Trade Zone 202, Torrance, CA, 45506 2015-18729 General Services General Services Administration PROPOSED RULES Acquisition Regulations: Removal of Unnecessary Construction Clauses and Editorial Changes, 45498-45500 2015-18595 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Meetings: National Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council, 45548 2015-18645 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Post-Award Contract Information, 45542-45543 2015-18656
Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service PROPOSED RULES Issue Price Definition for Tax-Exempt Bonds; Correction, 45466-45467 2015-18614 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof from Japan, 45506-45507 2015-18732 Justice Department Justice Department See

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau

See

Antitrust Division

See

Drug Enforcement Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Leased/Charter/Contract Personnel Expedited Clearance Request, 45553 2015-18652 Records Modification Form, 45552-45553 2015-18651
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employee Benefits Security Administration

See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Mine Safety and Health Administration

Management Management and Budget Office RULES Guidance for Reporting and Use of Information Concerning Recipient Integrity and Performance, 45395 2015-18745 NOTICES Guidance: Improving Cybersecurity Protections in Federal Acquisitions, 45555 2015-18747 Mine Mine Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Petitions for Modifications of Applications of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 45554-45555 2015-18657 National Capital National Capital Planning Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45555-45557 2015-18638 National Credit National Credit Union Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Prompt Corrective Action, 45558-45559 2015-18696 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 45557-45558 2015-18639 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45577-45578, 45585-45586 2015-18647 2015-18648 Meetings: Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services, 45586 2015-18670 Petitions: Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect, 45578-45585 2015-18672 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Community Resilience Panel, 45507-45508 2015-18658 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Conference, Meeting, Workshop, and Poster Session Registration Generic Clearance, 45541-45542 2015-18678 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Meetings: Pacific Fishery Management Council, 45508-45509 2015-18663 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 45559 2015-18895 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission RULES Petitions for Rulemaking: Commercial Distribution of Tritium Markers, 45413-45415 2015-18630 NOTICES Facility Operating Licenses: Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. Indian Point Nuclear Generating, Unit No. 3, 45563-45564 2015-18730 Susquehanna Nuclear, LLC Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2, 45559-45562 2015-18733 Guidance: Open Phase Conditions in Electric Power System, 45562-45563 2015-18634 Patent Patent and Trademark Office RULES July 2015 Update on Subject Matter Eligibility, 45429 2015-18628 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Periodic Reporting, 45467-45469 2015-18666 2015-18665 NOTICES New Postal Products, 45564 2015-18706 Reagan-Udall Reagan-Udall Foundation For The Food And Drug Administration NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Steering Committee; Corrections, 45565-45566 2015-18637 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service RULES Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees, 45397-45413 2015-18624 NOTICES Requests for Applications: Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program, 45504-45505 2015-18623 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 45566-45568 2015-18636 The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, 45568-45572 2015-18635 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45572 2015-18705 State Department State Department NOTICES Meetings: United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Environment Chapter Implementation and the Biennial Review under the United States-Singapore Memorandum of Intent on Environmental Cooperation, 45572-45573 2015-18697 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Abandonment Exemptions: Knox and Kane Railroad Co., McKean County, PA, 45586-45587 2015-18640 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Surface Transportation Board

Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45587-45590 2015-18644 2015-18662 2015-18703
Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 45590-45595 2015-18646 Reader Aids

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

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

80 146 Thursday, July 30, 2015 Rules and Regulations OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET 2 CFR Parts 180 and 200 Guidance for Reporting and Use of Information Concerning Recipient Integrity and Performance AGENCY:

Office of Management and Budget.

ACTION:

Final rule; change in effective date.

SUMMARY:

The Office of Management and Budget is advancing the effective date for the Guidance for Reporting and Use of Information Concerning Recipient Integrity and Performance final rule which published on July 22, 2015. The new effective date will be July 30, 2015, and the applicability date will remain January 1, 2016.

DATES:

The effective date for the final guidance published July 22, 2015 (80 FR 43301), is changed from January 1, 2016, to July 30, 2015. The applicability date of the final guidance remains January 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Rhea Hubbard, Office of Federal Financial Management, Office of Management and Budget, [email protected], telephone (202) 395-2743.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On July 22, 2015 (80 FR 43301), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a number of changes to Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR 180 and 2 CFR 200). These changes provided guidance to Federal agencies to implement Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009. As section 872 required, OMB and the General Services Administration (GSA) have established an integrity and performance system that includes governmentwide data with specified information related to the integrity and performance of entities awarded Federal grants and contracts. This document is to advance the effective date to July 30, 2015 for the Guidance for Reporting and Use of Information Concerning Recipient Integrity and Performance final rule.

Mark Reger, Deputy Controller.
[FR Doc. 2015-18745 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 900 [Docket No. AMS-FV-14-0072; FV14-900-2 FR] Clarification of United States Antitrust Laws, Immunity, and Liability Under Marketing Order Programs AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule implements an amendment to the general regulations for federal fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and marketing orders that would accentuate the applicability of U.S. antitrust laws to marketing order programs' domestic and foreign activities. This action advises marketing order board and committee members and personnel of the restrictions, limitations, and liabilities imposed by those laws.

DATES:

Effective July 31, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Geronimo Quinones, Marketing Specialist, or Michelle P. Sharrow, Rulemaking Branch Chief, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Stop 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Small businesses may request information on complying with this regulation by contacting Jeffrey Smutny, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This final rule is issued under the general regulations for federal marketing agreements and orders (7 CFR part 900), effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the “Act.” This action adds a new § 900.202 (Restrictions applicable to Committee personnel) under “Subpart—Miscellaneous Regulations” to accentuate the applicability of U.S. antitrust laws to marketing order program activities.

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this final rule in conformance with Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13175.

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule is not intended to have retroactive effect.

The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. A handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review USDA's ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling.

This final rule implements an amendment to the general regulations for federal fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and marketing orders that would accentuate the applicability of U.S. antitrust laws to marketing order programs' domestic and foreign activities. This action advises marketing order board and committee members and personnel of the restrictions, limitations, and liabilities imposed by those laws.

Federal marketing order boards and committees have always been subject to U.S. antitrust laws. These boards and committees work with USDA in administering marketing order programs which, among other things, authorizes them, with approval of the Secretary, to establish and promote a program's domestic and foreign marketing activities. The Act immunizes board and committee members and employees from prosecution under U.S. antitrust laws so long as their conduct is authorized by the Act or provisions of a marketing order. This rule accentuates the applicability of U.S. antitrust laws to marketing order board and committee members and personnel in light of changing global marketing and production trends as well as advises boards and committees of the restrictions, limitations, and liabilities of those laws. Under the antitrust laws, Committee members and employees may not engage in any unauthorized agreement or concerted action that unreasonably restrains United States domestic or foreign commerce. Failing to adhere to these laws may lead to prosecution under the antitrust laws by the United States Department of Justice and/or suit by injured private persons seeking treble damages, and may also result in expulsion of members from the Committee or termination of employment with the Committee.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Act

Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the economic impact of this action on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this final regulatory flexibility analysis.

The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions in order that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued pursuant to the Act, and rules issued thereunder, are unique in that they are brought about through group action of essentially small entities acting on their own behalf.

There are approximately 1,090 handlers who are subject to regulation under the 28 federal marketing order programs and approximately 33,100 producers in the regulated areas. Small agricultural service firms are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts of less than $7,000,000, and small agricultural producers are defined as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000 (13 CFR 121.201). USDA estimates that many of these handlers and producers may be classified as small entities. This rule accentuates the applicability of U.S. antitrust laws to marketing order programs' domestic and foreign activities. This action also advises marketing order board and committee members and personnel of the restrictions, limitations, and liabilities imposed by those laws.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This rule contains no information collection or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

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

USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this rule.

AMS has discussed the changes to the regulations with all marketing order board and committee staff that it oversees. Moreover, AMS conducted refresher training on antitrust laws for marketing order board and committee staff and officers at the Marketing Order Management Conference on September 23-24, 2014.

A proposed rule concerning this action was published in the Federal Register on May 6, 2015 (80 FR 25969). The rule was made available through the internet by USDA and the Office of the Federal Register. A 30-day comment period ending June 5, 2015, was provided to allow interested persons to respond to the proposal. No comments were received.

A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/MarketingOrdersSmallBusinessGuide. Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Jeffrey Smutny at the previously mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

After consideration of all relevant matter presented, it is hereby found that this rule, as hereinafter set forth, will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

It is further found that good cause exists for not postponing the effective date of this rule until 30 days after publication in the Federal Register (5 U.S.C. 553) because AMS is simply updating the regulations to reemphasize the applicability of U.S. antitrust laws.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 900

Administrative practice and procedure, Freedom of information, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 900 is amended as follows:

PART 900—GENERAL REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 900 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 601-674 and 7 U.S.C. 7401.

2. The authority citation for Subpart—Miscellaneous Regulations continues to read as follows: Authority:

Sec. 10, 48 Stat. 37, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 610.

3. Add § 900.202 to read as follows:
§ 900.202 Restrictions applicable to Committee personnel.

Members and employees of Federal marketing order boards and committees are immune from prosecution under the United States antitrust laws only insofar as their conduct in administering the respective marketing order is authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, 7 U.S.C. 601-674, or the provisions of the respective order. Under the antitrust laws, Committee members and employees may not engage in any unauthorized agreement or concerted action that unreasonably restrains United States domestic or foreign commerce. For example, Committee members and employees have no authority to participate, either directly or indirectly, whether on an informal or formal, written or oral basis, in any bilateral or international undertaking or agreement with any competing foreign producer or seller or with any foreign government, agency, or instrumentality acting on behalf of competing foreign producers or sellers to raise, fix, stabilize, or set a floor for commodity prices, or limit the quantity or quality of commodity imported into or exported from the United States. Participation in any such unauthorized agreement or joint undertaking could result in prosecution under the antitrust laws by the United States Department of Justice and/or suit by injured private persons seeking treble damages, and could also result in expulsion of members from the Committee or termination of employment with the Committee.

Dated: July 27, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-18700 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service 7 CFR Part 1738 RIN 0572-AC34 Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees AGENCY:

Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Interim rule.

SUMMARY:

The Rural Utilities Service, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, hereinafter referred to as the Agency, is amending its regulation for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program (Broadband Loan Program) to implement the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill). The enactment of the 2014 Farm Bill made changes the Agency must adopt prior to accepting applications for future loans. The Agency is publishing this regulation as an interim rule, which will take effect upon publication in the Federal Register, and will allow the Agency to begin accepting applications once again. In addition, the Agency is seeking comments regarding this interim rule to guide its efforts in drafting the final rule for the Broadband Loan Program.

DATES:

Effective Date: July 30, 2015.

Comment Date: September 28, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments, identified by docket number RUS-15-Telecom-0001 and RIN number 0572-AC34, by any of the following methods:

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

Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery/Hand Delivery: Michele Brooks, Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Development, 1400 Independence Avenue, STOP 1522, Room 5159, Washington, DC 20250-1522.

RUS will post all comments received without change, including any personal information that is included with the comment, on http://regulations.gov. Comments will be available for inspection online at http://www.regulations.gov and at the address listed above between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. A copy of this rule is also available through the Rural Development homepage at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDU_FederalRegisterPubs.html. Additional information about the Agency and its programs is available on the Internet at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/index.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kenneth Kuchno, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Policy and Outreach Division, Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 1590, Room 5151-S, Washington, DC 20250-1590. Telephone number: (202) 720-9554, Facsimile: (202) 720-0810. Persons with disabilities or who require alternative means for communication should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720-2600.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Order 12866

This rule has been determined to be significant and was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. In accordance with Executive Order 12866, an Economic Impact Analysis was completed, outlining the costs and benefits of implementing this program in rural America. The complete analysis is available from the Agency upon request. The following is the discussion of the Economic Benefits section of the Analysis.

Economic Benefits of Broadband Deployment in Rural Areas

Bringing broadband services to rural areas does present some challenges. Because rural systems must contend with lower household density than urban systems, the cost to deploy fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and 4G LTE systems in urban communities is considerably lower on a per household basis, making urban systems more economical to construct. Depending upon the technology deployed it can be more expensive to provide service to rural customers than to customers located in urban areas. Other associated rural issues, such as environmental challenges or providing wireless service through mountainous areas, also can add to the cost of deployment.

Areas with low population size, locations that have experienced persistent population loss and an aging population, or places where population is widely dispersed over demanding terrain generally have difficulty attracting broadband service providers. These characteristics can make the fixed cost of providing broadband access too high, or limit potential demand, thus depressing the profitability of providing service. Clusters of lower service exist in sparsely populated areas, such as the Dakotas, eastern Montana, northern Minnesota, and eastern Oregon. Other low-service areas, such as the Missouri-Iowa border and Appalachia, have aging and declining numbers of residents. Nonetheless, rural areas in some States (such as Nebraska, Kansas, and Vermont) have higher-than expected broadband service, given their population characteristics, suggesting that policy, economic, and social factors can overcome common barriers to broadband expansion.

In general, rural America has shared in the growth of the Internet economy. Online course offerings for students in primary, secondary, post-secondary, and continuing education programs have improved educational opportunities, especially in small, isolated rural areas. Interaction among students, parents, teachers, and school administrators has been enhanced via online forums, which is especially significant given the importance of ongoing parental involvement in children's education.

Telemedicine and telehealth have been hailed as vital to health care provision in rural communities, whether simply improving the perception of locally provided health care quality or expanding the menu of medical services. More accessible health information, products, and services confer real economic benefits on rural communities, reducing transportation time and expenses, treating emergencies more effectively, reducing time missed at work, increasing local lab and pharmacy work, and providing savings to health facilities from outsourcing specialized medical procedures.

Most employment growth in the U.S. over the last several decades has been in the service sector, a sector especially conducive for broadband applications. Broadband allows rural areas to compete for low- and high-end service jobs, from call centers to software development. Rural businesses have been adopting more e-commerce and Internet practices, improving efficiency and expanding market reach. Some rural retailers use the Internet to satisfy supplier requirements. The farm sector, a pioneer in rural Internet use, is increasingly comprised of farm businesses that purchase inputs and make sales online. Farm household characteristics such as age, education, presence of children, and household income are significant factors in adopting broadband Internet use, whereas distance from urban centers is not a factor. Larger farm businesses are more apt to use broadband in managing their operation; the more multifaceted the farm business, the more the farm uses the Internet.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number assigned to this program is 10.886, Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees. The Catalog is available on the Internet and the General Services Administration's (GSA's) free CFDA Web site at http://www.cfda.gov. The CFDA Web site also contains a PDF file version of the Catalog that, when printed, has the same layout as the printed document that the Government Publishing Office (GPO) provides. GPO prints and sells the CFDA to interested buyers. For information about purchasing the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance from GPO, call the Superintendent of Documents at 202-512-1800 or toll free at 866-512-1800, or access GPO's online bookstore at http://bookstore.thefederalregister.org.

Executive Order 12372

This rule is excluded from the scope of Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Consultation, which may require a consultation with State and local officials. See the final rule related notice entitled, “Department Programs and Activities Excluded from Executive Order 12372” (50 FR 47034).

Executive Order 13563

The agency has reviewed this regulation pursuant to E.O. 13563, issued on January 18, 2011 (76 FR 3281, January 21, 2011). E.O. 13563 is supplemental to and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in E.O. 12866. To the extent permitted by law, agencies are required by E.O. 13563 to: (1) Propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify); (2) tailor regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives, taking into account, among other things, and to the extent practicable, the costs of cumulative regulations; (3) select, in choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity); (4) to the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than specifying the behavior or manner of compliance that regulated entities must adopt; and (5) identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including providing economic incentives to encourage the desired behavior, such as user fees or marketable permits, or providing information upon which choices can be made by the public.

Information Collection and Recordkeeping Requirements

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the RUS invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested. These requirements have been approved by emergency clearance under OMB Control Number 0572-0130.

Comments must be received by September 28, 2015.

Comments are invited on (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumption 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 on other forms of information technology.

Title: 7 CFR 1738, Rural Broadband Loan and Loan Guarantee Program.

OMB Control Number: 0572-0130.

Type of Request: Extension of an existing collection.

Abstract: The Rural Utilities Service is authorized under Title VI of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended (RE Act), to provide loans and loan guarantees to fund the cost of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment for the provision of broadband service in eligible rural areas in States and Territories of the United States. In conjunction with this interim rulemaking, RUS is submitting an information collection package to OMB as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection package for 7 CFR 1738 includes the estimated burden related to the application process for the Rural Broadband Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. Since the inception of the program in 2003, the Agency has tried to accurately determine the burden to respondents applying for a Rural Broadband Loan, including soliciting comments from the public. The items covered by this collection include forms and related documentation to support a loan application, including Form 532 and its supporting schedules.

The 2014 Farm Bill requires that the Agency be more transparent when identifying entities that are applying for funding, set the definition of unserved areas, address defaulted loans, and provide incentives for applicants to provide service in the most remote unserved rural areas. To accomplish the goals above, the Agency has: (1) Established a process for prioritizing applications; (2) set a minimum acceptable level of broadband service; (3) established a percentage of unserved households to receive broadband service; (4) provided additional details on the contents of applications; and (5) added additional incentives for reaching unserved areas.

The Agency has addressed these issues as follows:

Prioritizing Applications: To ensure that the priority requirements of the 2014 Farm Bill and this regulation are effectuated, a minimum of two evaluation periods will be established for ranking applications. At present, the Agency expects that evaluations will be conducted in March and September, but a notice in the Federal Register will be published, announcing the opening of each window and the deadlines for applications.

Broadband Service: With the growing need for bandwidth in the medical and business environments, as well as for the average user, the 2014 Farm Bill established a minimum acceptable level of broadband service at 4 megabits downstream and 1 megabit upstream, which the Agency will use as the benchmark for determining whether broadband service exists in an area. However, with respect to minimum standards for applications requesting funding, the Agency will be continuing its practice of a Broadband Lending Speed, which will require applicants to make available a minimum amount of bandwidth to all premises in the proposed funded service area. As with the prior broadband program, that standard will be updated from time to time in the Federal Register.

The definitions for Broadband Service and the Broadband Lending Speed are integral parameters for the administration of this program and the determination of what entities are eligible to apply for funds. Although the minimum level for Broadband Service is established by statute in the 2014 Farm Bill, this regulation allows for the standard to be raised as the need for additional bandwidth is required by the public. Therefore, we are requesting and encouraging commenters to this regulation to make recommendations on the bandwidth requirements for both Broadband Service and the Broadband Lending Speed. The level for Broadband Service will be used to determine eligibility of a service area for funding and the level for the Broadband Lending Speed will set the bandwidth requirement that a proposed system must be able to provide to every customer in the service area.

With the development of new applications and the need for greater bandwidth, the Agency strongly suggests that applicants applying for funding under this program consider system designs that will allow for 25 megabits downstream and 3 megabits upstream. Building to these requirements will ensure that facilities that are constructed today will also be able to handle the needs of the future.

Application Transparency: To ensure transparency for the Broadband Loan Program, the Agency's mapping tool will be modified to include the following information for each application:

1. Identity of the applicant 2. The areas to be served 3. The type of funding requested 4. The status of the application 5. The number of unserved households 6. A list of the census block groups to be served

For all applications that are approved, an additional report will be posted that includes the name of the company receiving funding, type of funding received and the purposes of the funding.

Additionally, in accordance with 2014 Farm bill requirements, a requirement has been added to require borrowers to submit semi-annual reports for three years after the completion of construction. It is anticipated that this reporting requirement will not become effective until approximately three years from the effective date of this rulemaking. At that time the agency will need to revise the information collection package associated with reporting requirements for the Broadband Loan Program (0572-0031). Information collected will consist of the following items;

1. The number and location of residences and businesses that will receive service at or greater than the broadband lending speed;

2. The types of facilities constructed and installed;

3. The speed of the broadband services being delivered;

4. The average price of the broadband services being delivered in each proposed service area;

5. The broadband adoption rate for each proposed service territory, including the number of new subscribers generated from the facilities funded;

This information will be used to analyze the effectiveness of the funding provided and will allow the Agency to track adoption rates as new and improved broadband services are being provided.

The Agency seeks comments on its estimate of burden related to the application process for the Rural Broadband Program and welcomes comments related to further reducing application paperwork and costs. Specifically, comments should address the estimation of hour and cost burden associated with each component of RUS Form 532, available on the agency's Web site. Burden on respondents is considered to include the time, effort, and financial resources expended to generate, maintain, retain, disclose, or provide information to or for a Federal Agency. The Agency is also interested in determining the information that Broadband applicants would have on hand in a format that could be readily provided for the loan application and which items would be prepared by parties outside the applicant's organization. Comments may be sent to Michele Brooks, Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Stop 1522, Room 5159 South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522 or via email to: [email protected]

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to average 425.5 hours per response.

Respondents: Businesses and Not-for-profit institutions.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 5.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 2094.5 hours.

Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Michele Brooks, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, at (202) 690-1078.

All responses to this information collection and recordkeeping notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

National Environmental Policy Act Certification

The Administrator has determined that this rule will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment as defined by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Therefore, this action does not require an environmental impact statement or assessment.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

It has been determined that the Regulatory Flexibility Act is not applicable to this rule because the Agency is not required by 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other provision of law to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking with respect to the subject matter of this rule.

Executive Order 12988

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. The Agency has determined that this rule meets the applicable standards provided in section 3 of the Executive Order. In addition, all state and local laws and regulations that are in conflict with this rule will be preempted, no retroactive effort will be given to this rule, and, in accordance with Sec. 212(e) of the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. Sec. 6912(e)), administrative appeal procedures, if any, must be exhausted before an action against the Department or its agencies may be initiated.

Unfunded Mandates

This rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995) for State, local, and tribal governments or the private sector. Thus, this rule is not subject to the requirements of section 202 and 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

The policies contained in this rule do not have any 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. Nor does this rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments. Therefore, consultation with the States is not required.

Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

This rule has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.” Executive Order 13175 requires Federal agencies to consult and coordinate with tribes on a government-to-government basis on policies that have tribal implications, including regulations, legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy statements or actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

Rural Development has assessed the impact of this rule on Indian tribes and determined that this rule does not, to our knowledge, have tribal implications that require tribal consultation under E.O. 13175. However, since deploying broadband infrastructure throughout Indian Country presents unique challenges, the Agency commits to provide at least one Tribal Consultation focused on those unique challenges (and potential solutions) prior to the implementation of this rule. If a Tribe requests consultation, Rural Development will work with the Office of Tribal Relations to ensure meaningful consultation is provided where changes, additions and modifications identified herein are not expressly mandated by Congress. If a tribe would like to engage in consultation with Rural Development on this rule, please contact Rural Development's Native American Coordinator at (720) 544-2911 or [email protected]

E-Government Act Compliance

The Agency is committed to the E-Government Act, which requires Government agencies in general to provide the public the option of submitting information or transacting business electronically to the maximum extent possible. The Agency is currently developing an online application system that will replace the existing manual process for submitting applications.

Background A. Introduction

The Agency improves the quality of life in rural America by providing investment capital for deployment of rural telecommunications infrastructure. In order to achieve the goal of increasing economic opportunity in rural America, the Agency finances infrastructure that enables access to a seamless, nationwide telecommunications network. With access to the same advanced telecommunications networks as its urban counterparts, especially those designed to accommodate distance learning, telework, and telemedicine, rural America will eventually see improving educational opportunities, health care, economies, safety and security, and ultimately higher employment. The Agency shares the assessment of Congress, State and local officials, industry representatives, and rural residents that broadband service is a critical component to the future of rural America. The Agency is committed to ensuring that rural America will have access to affordable, reliable, broadband services and to provide a healthy, safe, and prosperous place to live and work.

B. Regulatory History

On May 13, 2002, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, Public Law 107-171 (2002 Farm Bill) was signed into law. The 2002 Farm Bill amended the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 to include Title VI, the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program (Broadband Loan Program), to be administered by the Agency. Title VI authorized the Agency to approve loans and loan guarantees for the costs of construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment for broadband service in eligible rural communities. Under the 2002 Farm Bill, the Agency was directed to promulgate regulations without public comment. Implementing the program required a different lending approach for the Agency than it employed in its earlier telephone program because of the unregulated, highly competitive, and technologically diverse nature of the broadband market. Those regulations were published on January 30, 2003, at 68 FR 4684.

In an attempt to enhance the Broadband Loan Program and to acknowledge growing criticism of funding competitive areas, the Agency proposed to amend the program's regulations on May 11, 2007, at 72 FR 26742. As the Agency began analysis of the public comments it received on the proposed regulations, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) was working its way through Congress. On March 14, 2011, the Agency published an interim rule implementing the requirements of the 2008 Farm Bill and started accepting applications. The Agency did not receive any significant comments to the interim rule and published a final rule on February 6, 2013. With the enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) Section 6104, Public Law 113-79 (Feb. 7, 2014), additional requirements were added to the Broadband Loan Program, including the prioritization of approving applications, a minimum benchmark of broadband service, a more transparent public notice requirement, and the first statutorily required reporting standards, all of which are implemented in this rule.

C. Presidential Memorandum

On March 23, 2015, a Presidential Memorandum was issued for Expanding Broadband Deployment and Adoption by Addressing Regulatory Barriers and Encouraging Investment and Training. The memorandum states that it shall be the policy of the Federal Government for executive departments and agencies having statutory authorities applicable to broadband deployment (agencies) to use all available and appropriate authorities to: Identify and address regulatory barriers that may unduly impede either wired broadband deployment or the infrastructure to augment wireless broadband deployment; encourage further public and private investment in broadband networks and services; promote the adoption and meaningful use of broadband technology; and otherwise encourage or support broadband deployment, competition, and adoption in ways that promote the public interest. In addition to assist in this effort, there is established the Broadband Opportunity Council (Council), to be co-chaired by the Secretaries of Commerce and Agriculture, or their designees. In addition to the Co-Chairs, the Council shall include the heads, or their designees, of:

i. The Department of Defense;

ii. the Department of State;

iii. the Department of the Interior;

iv. the Department of Labor;

v. the Department of Health and Human Services;

vi. the Department of Homeland Security;

vii. the Department of Housing and Urban Development;

viii. the Department of Justice;

ix. the Department of Transportation;

x. the Department of the Treasury;

xi. the Department of Energy;

xii. the Department of Education;

xiii. the Department of Veterans Affairs;

xiv. the Environmental Protection Agency;

xv. the General Services Administration;

xvi. the Small Business Administration;

xvii. the Institute of Museum and Library Services;

xviii. the National Science Foundation;

xix. the Council on Environmental Quality;

xx. the Office of Science and Technology Policy;

xxi. the Office of Management and Budget;

xxii. the Council of Economic Advisers;

xxiii. the Domestic Policy Council;

xxiv. the National Economic Council;

xxv. the National Security Council staff; and

xxvi. such other Federal agencies or entities as determined appropriate pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

D. Rule Changes

The following summarizes the substantive changes introduced in this rule. The changes are presented in the order in which they appear within the interim rule.

Subpart A—General Section 1738.2 Definitions

Broadband service—This definition was modified to incorporate the 2014 Farm Bill's requirement that the minimum level of broadband service be initially set to 4 megabits downstream and 1 megabit upstream, and reviewed by the Agency at least once every 2 years, and adjusted as necessary through a notice published in the Federal Register, in order to ensure that high quality, cost-effective broadband service is being provided to rural areas. This definition will be used to determine if a rural area is eligible for funding.

Incumbent service provider—This definition was modified so as not to automatically eliminate an existing service provider from being counted as an incumbent service provider if the provider did not respond to the public notice filing for new applications.

The 2014 Farm Bill requires that the Agency use all means available to determine if an incumbent service provider is present in a proposed funded service area. As a result, only in cases where the Agency is unable to make an incumbent determination without input from the provider, will a provider not be counted as an incumbent for not responding to a request for information. The determination of incumbent service providers is critical to whether a loan is eligible for the broadband program.

Interim financing—This definition was modified to make only construction started after a loan has been offered as eligible for reimbursement, as opposed to the prior rule which allowed for construction started after an application was deemed “complete” to be eligible for reimbursement. Because of the new requirement to prioritize applications within at least two evaluation periods, and not process applications on a first-come, first-served basis, applications which are feasible, but not the highest priority, may never be funded. As a result, the Agency has changed its policy on when construction is eligible for reimbursement.

Unserved household or unserved area—The 2014 Farm Bill removed the definition for underserved and introduced the definition of unserved. All proposed funded service areas must include a minimum of fifteen percent unserved households.

Section 1738.3 Substantially Underserved Trust Area

In March of 2012, the Agency published 7 CFR part 1700 as a final rule instituting eligibility requirements for classifying an area as a Substantially Underserved Trust Area and making certain considerations available for those areas that qualify. The changes to this section incorporate this regulation by reference and allow for applicants to seek classification as a Substantially Underserved Trust Area and associated benefits of this classification.

Subpart B—Eligible and Ineligible Loan Purposes

Section 1738.51(b)—A statement was added to this section to clarify that if an Indefeasible Right to Use (IRU) agreement qualifies as a capital lease, the entire cost of the lease will be amortized over the life of the lease and that only the first three years of the amortization period can be funded.

Subpart C—Eligibility Requirements

Section 1738.101(b)(2)—The existing regulations require that facilities be constructed within three years from the time loan funds are made available. Given the many factors affecting when loan funds are available, the Agency has decided to simplify this requirement by making funds available 120 days after the date of the loan contract, which is the time allotted for closing a loan. The three-year construction period will commence 120 days after the date of the loan contract. This uniform change will bring clarity to applicants and assist their budgeting of time.

Section 1738.102(c)—This section was added to address the new 2014 Farm Bill requirement that the Agency determine if there are incumbent service providers in a proposed funded service area. In addition to the current use of the public notice process, the Agency will now utilize the National Broadband Map and any other data that may be available detailing service provider information in the affected area to make this determination. This process will assist the Agency in identifying ineligible areas, despite any non-responses from existing service providers.

Subpart D—Direct Loan Terms

Section 1738.155—Most areas in the U.S. that still do not have broadband service are areas with low population densities or very tough geographic conditions which impede construction. Under these conditions, it is very difficult to develop a feasible business plan that the Agency can fund. To assist and encourage companies to venture into difficult rural areas, the 2014 Farm Bill permitted modifications to the standard lending terms. As a result, the Agency, at its discretion, may consider the following for applications that propose to serve areas that contain a minimum of 50 percent unserved households and that request special terms: (1) An extension of the standard 2-year principal deferral period up to a maximum of 4 years; (2) an extension of the maturity period beyond economic life of the assets; and (3) a modification to the security arrangements for the loan. These three options individually or together may assist in the development of a successful business by reducing the initial debt service payments and allowing borrowers more time to develop operations and positive cash flow. Special terms are only authorized to the extent they are necessary to achieve financial feasibility and long-term sustainability of these projects.

Subpart E—Application Review and Underwriting

Section 1738.203—In accordance with 2014 Farm Bill requirements, this section has been modified to require applications to be evaluated and prioritized no less than twice a year, based on the number of unserved household proposed to receive service at the broadband lending speed. This process will ensure that the maximum number of unserved residents and businesses receive broadband service.

National and State reserves will be established based on the amount of funding provided for any given fiscal year. Please note that depending on the amount of funding provided, it may not be appropriate to establish State reserves.

Section 1738.204—To better inform the public of the applications that are being submitted for financial assistance, the public notice that the Agency publishes through the use of the Agency's mapping tool will now include the following additional information: (1) Amount and type of funding requested; (2) status of the review of the application; (3) the number of unserved households in the application; and (4) a list of census block groups to be served. In addition, for all approved applications, an additional notice will be published on the Agency Web page that includes the name of the entity being funded, the type of funding received, and the purpose of the assistance. All applicants that are approved for funding will also be required to submit semiannual reports that will be published on the Web page. This information will better allow the public to understand where taxpayer dollars are being spent and what is being accomplished.

Subpart F—Closing, Servicing and Reporting

Section 1738.254—In accordance with 2014 Farm Bill requirements, an additional requirement has been added to this section that requires borrowers to submit semi-annual reports for three years after the completion of construction. The report must include the purpose of the financing, number and location of the premises served, speed of the broadband service being delivered, average price of the services and the adoption rate of the services being provided. This report will allow the Agency to better track the progress of the loan and validate that the funds are being used for the purposes in the application.

The Agency urges all interested parties to provide comments. Please see instructions on how to do so in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.

If you wish to file an employment complaint, you must contact your agency's EEO Counselor (PDF) within 45 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory act, event, or in the case of a personnel action. Additional information can be found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_file.html.

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF), found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at [email protected]

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities and you wish to file either an EEO or program complaint please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish).

Persons with disabilities who wish to file a program complaint, please see information above on how to contact us by mail directly or by email. If you require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) please contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1738

Broadband, Loan programs—communications, Rural areas, Telephone, Telecommunications.

Accordingly, chapter XVII, title 7, Code of Federal Regulations is amended by revising part 1738 to read as follows:

PART 1738—RURAL BROADBAND ACCESS LOANS AND LOAN GUARANTEES Subpart A—General 1738.1 Overview. 1738.2 Definitions. 1738.3 Substantially underserved trust areas. 1738.4-1738.50 [Reserved] Subpart B—Eligible and Ineligible Loan Purposes 1738.51 Eligible loan purposes. 1738.52 Ineligible loan purposes. 1738.53-1738.100 [Reserved] Subpart C—Eligibility Requirements 1738.101 Eligible applicants. 1738.102 Eligible service area. 1738.103 Eligible service area exceptions for broadband facility upgrades. 1738.104 Preliminary assessment of service area eligibility. 1738.105-1738.150 [Reserved] Subpart D—Direct Loan Terms 1738.151 General. 1738.152 Interest rates. 1738.153 Loan terms and conditions. 1738.154 Loan security. 1738.155 Special terms and conditions. 1738.156 Other Federal requirements. 1738.157-1738.200 [Reserved] Subpart E—Application Review and Underwriting 1738.201 Application submission. 1738.202 Elements of a complete application. 1738.203 Priority for processing loan applications. 1738.204 Public notice. 1738.205 Notification of completeness. 1738.206 Evaluation for feasibility. 1738.207 Equity requirement. 1738.208 Additional cash requirements. 1738.209 Market survey. 1738.210 Competitive analysis. 1738.211 Financial information. 1738.212 Network design. 1738.213 Loan determination. 1738.214-1738.250 [Reserved] Subpart F—Closing, Servicing, and Reporting 1738.251 Loan offer and loan closing. 1738.252 Construction. 1738.253 Servicing. 1738.254 Accounting, reporting, and monitoring requirements. 1738.255 Default and de-obligation. 1738.256-1738.300 [Reserved] Subpart G—Loan Guarantee 1738.301 General. 1738.302 Eligible guaranteed lenders. 1738.303 Requirements for the loan guarantee. 1738.304 Terms for guarantee. 1738.305 Obligations of guaranteed lender. 1738.306 Agency rights and remedies. 1738.307 Additional policies. 1738.308 Full faith and credit of the United States. 1738.309-1738.349 [Reserved] 1738.350 OMB control number. Authority:

7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.

Subpart A—General
§ 1738.1 Overview.

(a) The Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program furnishes loans and loan guarantees for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide service at the broadband lending speed in eligible rural areas. This part sets forth the general policies, eligibility requirements, types and terms of loans and loan guarantees, and program requirements under 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.

(b) Additional information and application materials regarding the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program can be found on the Rural Development Web site.

§ 1738.2 Definitions.

(a) The following definitions apply to part 1738:

Acquisition means the purchase of assets by acquiring facilities, equipment, operations, licenses, or majority stock interest of one or more organizations. Stock acquisitions must be arm's-length transactions.

Administrator means the Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), or the Administrator's designee.

Advance means the transfer of loan funds from the Agency to the borrower.

Affiliate or affiliated company of any specified person or entity means any other person or entity directly or indirectly controlling of, controlled by, under direct or indirect common control with, or related to, such specified entity, or which exists for the sole purpose of providing any service to one company or exclusively to companies which otherwise meet the definition of affiliate. This definition includes Variable Interest Entities as described in Financial Accounting Standards Board Interpretation (FIN) No. 46(R), Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities. For the purpose of this definition, “control” means the possession directly or indirectly, of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of a company, whether such power is exercised through one or more intermediary companies, or alone, or in conjunction with or pursuant to an agreement with, one or more other companies, and whether such power is established through a majority or minority ownership voting of securities, common directors, officers, or stockholders, voting trust, or holding trusts (other than money exchanged) for property or services.

Agency means the Rural Utilities Service, which administers the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Rural Development Utilities Programs, including the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program.

Applicant means an entity requesting approval of a loan or loan guarantee under this part.

Arm's-length transaction means a transaction between two related or affiliated parties that is conducted as if they were unrelated, so that there is no question of conflict of interest, or a transaction between two otherwise unrelated or unaffiliated parties.

Borrower means any organization that has an outstanding broadband or telecommunications loan made or guaranteed by the Agency.

Broadband borrower means any organization that has an outstanding broadband loan made or guaranteed by the Agency.

Broadband grant means a Community Connect or Broadband Initiatives Program grant approved by the Agency.

Broadband lending speed means the minimum bandwidth requirement, as published by the Agency in its latest notice in the Federal Register that an applicant must propose to deliver to every customer in the proposed funded service area in order for the Agency to approve a broadband loan and may be different for fixed and mobile broadband service. Broadband lending speed may be faster than the minimum transmission capacity required to determine the availability of broadband service when qualifying a service area. If a new broadband lending speed is published in the Federal Register while an application is pending, the pending application will be processed based on the broadband lending speed that was in effect when the application was submitted.

Broadband loan means any loan approved under Title VI of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended (RE Act).

Broadband service means any technology identified by the Administrator as having the capacity to provide transmission facilities that enable the subscriber to receive a minimum level of service equal to at least a downstream transmission capacity of 4 megabits per second (Mbps) and an upstream transmission capacity of 1 Mbps. The Agency will publish the minimum transmission capacity that will qualify as broadband service in a notice in the Federal Register and this rate may be different for fixed and mobile broadband service. The minimum transmission capacity may be higher than 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream but cannot be lower. The minimum transmission capacity that defines broadband service may be different than the broadband lending speed. If a new minimum transmission capacity is published in the Federal Register while an application is pending, broadband service for the purpose of reviewing the application will be defined by the minimum transmission capacity that was required at the time the application was received by the Agency.

Build-out means the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment.

Competitive analysis means a study that identifies service providers and products in the service area that will compete with the applicant's operations.

Composite economic life means the weighted (by dollar amount of each class of facility in the loan) average economic life as determined by the Agency of all classes of facilities financed by the loan.

Cost share means equity, as defined by generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

Customer premises equipment (CPE), in the context of network services, means any network-related equipment used by a customer to connect to a service provider's network.

Economic life means the estimated useful service life of an asset financed by the loan, as determined by the Agency.

Equity means total assets minus total liabilities, as determined by GAAP and as classified according to the Agency's system of accounts, and as used in this Part for purposes of section 306F of the RE Act (7 U.S.C. 936f) includes the requirements of credit support and cost share in Title VI of the RE Act.

Feasibility study means the evaluation of the pro forma financial analysis prepared by the Agency, based on the financial projections supplied by the applicant and as found acceptable by the Agency, to determine the financial feasibility of a loan request.

Financial feasibility means the applicant's ability to generate sufficient revenues to cover its expenses, sufficient cash flow to service its debts and obligations as they come due, and meet the minimum Times Interest Earned Ratio (TIER) requirement of 1.25 (see § 1738.211(b)(2)(ii)) by the end of the forecast period, as evaluated by the Agency. Financial feasibility of a loan application is based on five-year projections, and will be based on the entire operation of the applicant and not limited to the funded project.

Fiscal year refers to the applicant or borrower's fiscal year, unless otherwise indicated.

Forecast period means the time period used in the feasibility study to determine if an application is financially feasible.

GAAP means generally accepted accounting principles.

Grantee means any organization that has an outstanding broadband grant made by the Agency, with outstanding obligations under the grant.

Guaranteed loan amount means the amount of the loan which is guaranteed by the Agency.

Guaranteed loan note means, collectively, the note or notes executed and delivered by the borrower to evidence the guaranteed loan.

Guaranteed loan portion means any portion of the guaranteed loan.

Guaranteed loan portion amount means that amount of payment on account of any guaranteed loan portion which is guaranteed under the terms of the guarantee.

Guaranteed loan portion note means any note executed and delivered by the borrower to evidence a guaranteed loan portion.

Incumbent service provider means a service provider that: Offers terrestrial broadband service in the proposed funded service area and has not less than five percent of the households in an applicant's proposed funded service area subscribing to their broadband service at the time of application submission. Resellers are not considered incumbent service providers. If an applicant proposes an acquisition, the applicant will be considered a service provider for that area.

Indefeasible right to use agreement (IRU) means the effective long-term lease of the capacity, or a portion thereof, of a cable, specified in terms of a certain amount of bandwidth or a certain number of dark fibers.

Interim financing means funds used for eligible loan purposes after a loan offer has been extended to the applicant by the Agency. Such funds may be eligible for reimbursement from loan funds if a loan is made.

Loan means any loan made or guaranteed under this part by the Agency, unless otherwise noted.

Loan contract means the loan agreement between the Agency and the borrower, including all amendments thereto.

Loan documents mean the loan agreement, note(s), and security instrument(s) between the borrower and the Agency and any associated documents pertaining to the broadband loan.

Loan guarantee means a guarantee of a loan, or a portion of a loan, made by another lender

Loan guarantee documents means the guarantee agreement between RUS and the lender, the loan and security agreement(s) between the guaranteed lender and the borrower, the loan note guarantee made by RUS, the guaranteed loan note, and other security documents.

Loan funds means funds provided pursuant to a broadband loan made or guaranteed under this part by the Agency.

Market survey means the collection of information on the supply, demand, usage, and rates for proposed services to be offered by an applicant within each service area. It supports the applicant's financial projections.

Pre-loan expense means any expense associated with the preparation of a loan application. Pre-loan expenses may be reimbursed with loan funds, as approved by RUS.

Proposed Funded Service Area means the geographic service territory within which the applicant is proposing to offer service at the broadband lending speed.

RE Act means the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.).

Reject means that the Agency returns the application to the applicant and discontinues processing of the loan application because the application failed to meet the requirements of this part.

Reseller means, in the context of network services, a company that purchases network services from network service providers in bulk and resells them to commercial businesses and residential households. Resellers are not considered incumbent service providers.

Rural area(s) means any area, as confirmed by the latest decennial census of the Bureau of the Census, which is not located within:

(i) A city, town, or incorporated area that has a population of greater than 20,000 inhabitants; or

(ii) An urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants. For purposes of the definition of rural area, an urbanized area means a densely populated territory as defined in the latest decennial census of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Security documents means any mortgage, deed of trust, security agreement, financing statement, or other document which grants to the Agency or perfects a security interest, including any amendments and supplements thereto.

Service area means the geographic area within which a service provider offers telecommunications service.

Service provider means an entity providing telecommunications service.

Service territory means “service area.”

Start-up means a new business venture without operations or service delivery available.

System of accounts means the Agency's system of accounts for maintaining financial records as described in RUS Bulletin 1770B-1, found on the agency's Web site.

Telecommunications means electronic transmission and reception of voice, data, video, and graphical information using wireline and wireless transmission media.

Telecommunications loan means any telecommunication loan made or guaranteed under Title II, III, or IV of the RE Act.

TIER means times interest earned ratio. TIER is the ratio of an applicant's net income (after taxes) plus (adding back) interest expense, all divided by interest expense (existing and that required in the proposed loan), and with all financial terms defined by GAAP.

Unguaranteed loan amount means all amounts of payment on account of the guaranteed loan other than the guaranteed amount.

Unguaranteed loan portion amount means all amounts of payment on account of any guaranteed loan portion other than the respective guaranteed loan portion amount.

Unserved household or Unserved area means a household or an area that is not offered broadband service.

(b) Accounting terms not otherwise defined in this part shall have the definition ascribed to them under GAAP and shall be recorded using the Agency's system of accounts.

§ 1738.3 Substantially underserved trust areas.

(a) If the Administrator determines that a community within “trust land” (as defined in 38 U.S.C. 3765) has a high need for the benefits of the Broadband Loan Program, he/she may designate the community as a “substantially underserved trust area” (as defined in section 306F of the RE Act).

(b) To receive consideration as a substantially underserved trust area, the applicant must submit to the Agency a completed application that includes all of the information requested in 7 CFR part 1700, subpart D. In addition, the applicant must notify the Agency in writing that it seeks consideration as a substantially underserved trust area and identify the discretionary authorities of 7 CFR part 1700, subpart D, it seeks to have applied to its application. Note, however, that given the prohibition on funding operating expenses in the Broadband Program, requests for waiver of the equity or the additional cash requirements cannot be considered.

§§ 1738.4-1738.50 [Reserved]
Subpart B—Eligible and Ineligible Loan Purposes
§ 1738.51 Eligible loan purposes.

Loan funds may be used to pay for any of the following expenses:

(a) To fund the construction, improvement, or acquisition of all facilities required to provide service at the broadband lending speed to rural areas, including facilities required for providing other services over the same facilities.

(b) To fund the cost of leasing facilities required to provide service at the broadband lending speed if such lease qualifies as a capital lease under GAAP. Notwithstanding, loan funds can only be used to fund the cost of the capital lease for no more than the first three years of the loan amortization period. If an IRU qualifies as a capital lease, the entire cost of the lease will be amortized over the life of the lease and only the first three years of the amortized cost can be funded.

(c) To fund an acquisition, provided that:

(1) The acquisition is necessary for furnishing or improving service at the broadband lending speed;

(2) The acquired service area, if any, meets the eligibility requirements set forth in § 1738.102;

(3) The acquisition cost does not exceed 50 percent of the broadband loan amount; and

(4) For the acquisition of another entity, the purchase provides the applicant with a controlling majority interest in the entity acquired.

(d) To refinance an outstanding telecommunications loan made under the RE Act if refinancing the loan supports the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment for the provision of service at the broadband lending speed in rural areas provided that:

(1) No more than 40 percent of the broadband loan amount is used to refinance the outstanding telecommunications loan;

(2) The applicant is current with its payments on the telecommunication loan(s) to be refinanced; and

(3) The amortization period for that portion of the broadband loan that will be needed for refinancing will not exceed the remaining amortization period for the telecommunications loan(s) to be refinanced. If multiple notes are being refinanced, an average remaining amortization period will be calculated based on the weighted dollar average of the notes being refinanced.

(e) To fund pre-loan expenses in an amount not to exceed five percent of the broadband loan excluding amounts requested to refinance outstanding telecommunication loans. Pre-loan expenses may be reimbursed only if they are incurred prior to the date on which notification of a complete application is issued (see § 1738.205), they meet the requirements for reimbursement (found on the agency's Web site) and a loan contract is entered into with RUS.

§ 1738.52 Ineligible loan purposes.

Loan funds must not be used for any of the following purposes:

(a) To fund operating expenses of the applicant;

(b) To fund any costs associated with the project incurred prior to the date on which notification of a complete application is issued (see § 1738.205), except for eligible pre-loan expenses (see § 1738.51(e)).

(c) To fund the acquisition of the stock of an affiliate.

(d) To fund the purchase or acquisition of any facilities or equipment of an affiliate, unless approved by the Agency in writing. The Agency may approve such a purchase or acquisition if the applicant demonstrates that the purchase or acquisition will involve an arms-length transaction and that the cost is advantageous for the applicant.

(e) To fund the purchase of CPE and the installation of associated inside wiring, unless the CPE will be owned by the applicant throughout its economic life: or

(1) The applicant pledges additional collateral that is not currently owned by the applicant, acceptable to the Agency. Such collateral must have a value at least equal to the purchase price of the CPE and cannot be purchased with loan funds; or

(2) The applicant establishes a revolving fund for the initial purchase of CPE to be sold, and as CPE is sold to the customer, at least the applicant's cost of such equipment is returned to the revolving fund and used to purchase additional CPE units.

(f) To fund the purchase or lease of any vehicle unless it is used primarily in construction or system improvements.

(g) To fund the cost of systems or facilities that have not been designed and constructed in accordance with the loan contract and other applicable requirements.

(h) To fund broadband facilities leased under the terms of an operating lease.

(i) To fund merger or consolidation of entities.

§§ 1738.53—1738.100 [Reserved]
Subpart C—Eligibility Requirements
§ 1738.101 Eligible applicants.

(a) To be eligible for a broadband loan, an applicant may be either a nonprofit or for-profit organization, and must take one of the following forms:

(1) Corporation;

(2) Limited liability company (LLC);

(3) Cooperative or mutual organization;

(4) Indian tribe or tribal organization as defined in 25 U.S.C. 450b; or

(5) State or local government, including any agency, subdivision, or instrumentality thereof.

(b) To be eligible for a broadband loan, the applicant must:

(1) Submit a loan application which meets the requirements set forth in this part as well as any additional requirements published in the Federal Register;

(2) Agree to complete the build-out of the broadband system described in the loan application within three years from the day the applicant is notified that loan funds are available. Under the terms of the loan documents, this three-year period will commence 120 days after the date of the loan contract. The loan application must demonstrate that all proposed construction can be completed within this three-year period with the exception of CPE. CPE can be funded throughout the forecast period;

(3) Demonstrate an ability to furnish, improve, or extend broadband facilities to provide service at the broadband lending speed in the proposed funded service area;

(4) Demonstrate an equity position equal to at least 10 percent of the amount of the loan requested in the application (see § 1738.207); and

(5) Provide additional security if it is necessary to ensure financial feasibility (see § 1738.208) as determined by the Administrator.

§ 1738.102 Eligible service area.

(a) A service area may be eligible for a broadband loan if all of the following are true:

(1) The proposed funded service area is completely contained within a rural area;

(2) At least 15 percent of the households in the proposed funded service area are unserved households;

(3) No part of the proposed funded service area has three or more incumbent service providers; and

(4) No part of the proposed funded service area overlaps with the service area of current RUS borrowers, nor the services areas of grantees that were funded by RUS.

(b) Multiple service areas may be included in a single broadband loan application. Non-contiguous areas are considered separate service areas and must be treated separately for the purpose of determining service area eligibility. If non-contiguous areas within an application are determined to be ineligible, the Agency may consider the remaining areas in the application for eligibility. If an applicant fails to respond to Agency requests for additional information or modifications to remove ineligible areas, the application will be rejected.

(c) If no existing broadband service provider responds to the Public Notice as described in § 1738.204(b), then the number of incumbent service providers for § 1738.102(a)(3) will be determined by using:

(1) The most current National Broadband Map; or

(2) Any other data regarding the availability of broadband service that the Secretary may collect or obtain through reasonable efforts.

(d) If a service provider is identified by methods described in paragraphs (c)(1) or (2) of this section, and the Agency is unable to determine whether such provider is an incumbent service provider, as defined herein, then the Agency will request the service provider to provide information responding to the Public Notice for the loan application, demonstrating that they meet the definition for an incumbent service provider. If the service provider does not respond to the Agency's request within 30 calendar days providing the necessary information to make a determination, the provider will not be considered an incumbent service provider.

§ 1738.103 Eligible service area exceptions for broadband facility upgrades.

(a) Broadband borrowers that apply to upgrade existing broadband facilities in their existing service area are exempt from the requirement concerning the number of unserved households in § 1738.102(a)(2).

(b) Incumbent service providers, including borrowers and grantees, which apply to upgrade existing broadband facilities in existing service territories are exempt from the requirement concerning the number of incumbent service providers in § 1738.102(a)(3) unless they are eligible for funding under Titles II and III of the RE Act. Eligibility requirements for entities that would be eligible under Titles II and III can be found in 7 CFR part 1735.

(c) An applicant which is a borrower, grantee or incumbent service provider may submit one application to upgrade existing broadband facilities in existing service areas, which qualify for the exemptions specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, and to expand services at the broadband lending speed into new service areas, provided the upgrade area and the expansion area are proposed as two separate service areas even if the upgrade and expansion areas are contiguous.

(d) The applicant will be asked to remove areas determined to be ineligible from their funding request or provide funds other than loan funds for these areas. The application will then be evaluated on the basis of what remains. The applicant may be requested to provide additional information to the Agency relating to the ineligible areas. If the applicant fails to respond, the application will be returned.

§ 1738.104 Preliminary assessment of service area eligibility.

(a) Upon request, the Agency will make information available to prospective applicants to allow a preliminary assessment of a proposed service area's eligibility. At a minimum, the prospective applicant will be able to determine:

(1) Whether the proposed service area is located in a rural area;

(2) Whether the proposed service area overlaps with any part of a borrower's or grantee's service area; and

(3) Whether the proposed service area overlaps with any part of a proposed service area in a pending application for a loan.

(b) A preliminary assessment of service area eligibility does not account for all eligibility factors, and the situation within a proposed service area may change between the preliminary assessment and application submission. A preliminary assessment indicating that a proposed service area may be eligible does not guarantee that the area will remain eligible at the time of application.

§§ 1738.105—1738.150 [Reserved]
Subpart D—Direct Loan Terms
§ 1738.151 General.

(a) Direct loans shall be in the form of a cost-of-money loan, a 4 percent loan, or a combination of the two.

(b) The amount of funds available for each type of loan, as well as maximum and minimum loan amounts will be published in the Federal Register.

(c) An applicant that provides telecommunications or broadband service to at least 20 percent of the households in the United States is limited to a loan amount that is no more than 15 percent of the funds available to the Broadband Loan Program for the Federal fiscal year.

§ 1738.152 Interest rates.

(a) Direct cost-of-money loans shall bear interest at a rate equal to the cost of borrowing to the Department of Treasury for obligations of comparable maturity. The applicable interest rate will be set at the time of each advance.

(b) [Reserved]

§ 1738.153 Loan terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions of loans are set forth in a mortgage, note, and loan contract. Samples of the mortgage, note, and loan contract can be found on the Agency's Web site.

(a) Unless requested to be shorter by the applicant, broadband loans must be repaid with interest within a period that, rounded to the nearest whole year, is equal to the expected composite economic life of the assets to be financed, as determined by the Agency based upon acceptable depreciation rates. Expected composite economic life means the depreciated life plus three years.

(b) Loan advances are made at the request of the borrower. Principal payments for each advance are amortized over the remaining term of the loan and are due monthly. Principal payments will be deferred until two years after the date of the first advance of loan funds. Interest begins accruing when the advance is made and interest payments are due monthly, with no deferral period.

(c) Borrowers are required to carry fidelity bond coverage. Generally this amount will be 15 percent of the loan amount, not to exceed $5 million. The Agency may reduce the percentage required if it determines that the amount is not commensurate with the risk involved.

§ 1738.154 Loan security.

(a) The broadband loan must be secured by the assets purchased with the loan funds, as well as all other assets of the applicant and any other signer of the loan documents except as provided in § 1738.155.

(b) The Agency must be given an exclusive first lien, in form and substance satisfactory to the Agency, on all of the applicant's property and revenues and such additional security as the Agency may require. The Agency may share its first lien position with another lender on a pari passu, prorated basis if security arrangements are acceptable to the Agency.

(c) Unless otherwise designated by the Agency, all property purchased with loan funds must be owned by the applicant.

(d) In the case of loans that include financing of facilities that do not constitute self-contained operating systems, the applicant shall furnish assurance, satisfactory to the Agency, that continuous and efficient service at the broadband lending speed will be rendered.

(e) The Agency will require adequate financial, investment, operational, reporting, and managerial controls in the loan documents.

§ 1738.155 Special terms and conditions.

(a) When necessary to achieve financial feasibility and long-term sustainability of a project proposing to serve an area(s) that includes at least 50 percent unserved households, the Agency may consider applications in which the applicant has requested any of the following:

(1) A principal deferral period longer than the 2 year principal deferral period established in accordance with § 1738.153(b), but in no event longer than 4 years nor more than 40 percent of the maturity period of the loan as set forth in § 1738.153(a);

(2) An extension of the loan term by 25 percent of the maturity period established in accordance with § 1738.153(a), but in no event longer than 35 years; and

(3) A modification to the security requirements, as long as the modifications are necessary to sustain the operation and do not prejudice the government's security for the loan. The modification must ensure that the proposed security arrangements are commensurate with the risk of the project.

(b) [Reserved]

§ 1738.156 Other Federal requirements.

(a) To receive a broadband loan, the applicant must certify or agree in writing to comply with all applicable Federal regulations including, but not limited to:

(1) The nondiscrimination and equal employment opportunity requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (7 CFR part 15);

(2) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794 et seq.; 7 CFR part 15b);

(3) The Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.; 45 CFR part 90);

(4) Executive Order 11375, amending Executive Order (E.O.) 11246, Relating to Equal Employment Opportunity (3 CFR, 1966-1970). See 7 CFR parts 15 and 15b and 45 CFR part 90, RUS Bulletin 1790-1 (“Nondiscrimination Among Beneficiaries of RUS Programs”), and RUS Bulletin 20-15:320-15 (“Equal Employment Opportunity in Construction Financed with RUS Loans”), found on the agency's Web site;

(5) The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4151 et seq.);

(6) The Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) (Appendix A to 41 CFR subpart 101-19.6);

(7) The requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended;

(8) The Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA and certain related Federal environmental laws, statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders found in 7 CFR part 1794, and any successor regulation;

(9) The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq., and with implementing Federal regulations in 49 CFR part 24 and 7 CFR part 21;

(10) The regulations implementing E.O. 12549, Debarment and Suspension, 2 CFR parts 180 and 417;

(11) The requirements regarding Lobbying for Contracts, Grants, Loans, and Cooperative Agreements in 31 U.S.C. 1352;

(12) Certification regarding Flood Hazard Area Precautions;

(13) Certification regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters—Primary Covered Transactions; and

(14) Certification that the borrower is not delinquent on any Federal debt and has been informed of the collection options the Federal Government may use to collect delinquent debt.

(b) Applicants must agree in writing to comply with all Federal, State and local laws, rules, regulations, ordinances, codes, and orders applicable to the project.

§§ 1738.157—1739.200 [Reserved]
Subpart E—Application Review and Underwriting
§ 1738.201 Application submission.

(a) Loan applications must be submitted directly to the Agency's National Office. All applications must contain two hard copies and an electronic copy of the entire application. An application is considered received upon receipt of the hard and electronic copies by the National Office.

(b) The Agency is developing an online application system. Once the system becomes available, all applicants will be required to submit applications through the online system.

(c) The Agency may publish additional application submission requirements in the Federal Register.

§ 1738.202 Elements of a complete application.

Applications must be submitted in the format required by the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program Application Guide (the Application Guide), available on the agency's Web site, so that applications can be uniformly evaluated and compared. To be considered complete, an application must contain at least the following items, in form and substance acceptable to the Agency:

(a) A completed RUS Form 532, including any additional items required by the form;

(b) Information required for the public notice to determine service area eligibility (see § 1738.204);

(c) Documentation demonstrating how the applicant will meet the equity requirement of § 1738.207;

(d) A market survey, unless not required by § 1738.209(b);

(e) A competitive analysis of the entire proposed service territory(ies) (see § 1738.210);

(f) The historical and projected financial information required in § 1738.211;

(g) A network design, which also demonstrates the ability to provide service at the broadband lending speed (see § 1738.212);

(h) A legal opinion that addresses the applicant's ability to enter into a loan as requested in the loan application, to pledge security as required by the Agency, to describe all pending litigation matters, and such other requirements as are detailed in the Application Guide;

(i) Documentation proving that all required licenses and regulatory approvals for the proposed operation have been obtained, or the status of obtaining such licenses or approvals; and

(j) Additional items that may be required by the Administrator through a notice in the Federal Register.

§ 1738.203 Priority for approving loan applications.

(a) The Agency will compare and evaluate all applications that have been submitted for funding and deemed to be complete no less than twice a year, and shall give priority to applications in the following order (Note that for applications containing multiple proposed funded service areas, the percentage will be calculated combining all proposed funded service areas.):

(1) Applications in which no broadband service, as defined herein is available in the proposed funded service area;

(2) Applications in which at least 75 percent of households in the proposed funded service area have no broadband service;

(3) Applications in which at least 50 percent of households in the proposed funded service area have no broadband service;

(4) Applications in which at least 25 percent of households in the proposed funded service area have no broadband service; and

(5) Applications in which at least 25 percent of the customers in the proposed service area are commercial interests and predominately more households are proposed to be served than businesses.

(b) Once applications have been determined to be complete, they will be compared and prioritized according to the criteria listed in paragraph (a) above, and subject to available funding levels.

(c) If two or more applications are tied for a place in the processing queue, the application that promotes broadband adoption will be given priority over applications that do not promote broadband adoption.

(d) The Agency shall establish the National and State reserve levels in accordance with Title VI of the RE Act when feasible given the level of funds available for the program. In instances when funds in a particular area are insufficient to cover a loan request, priority will be given to applications for which funding is available.

§ 1738.204 Public notice.

(a) The Agency will publish a public notice of each application. The application must provide a summary of the information required for such public notice including all of the following information:

(1) The identity of the applicant;

(2) A map of each service area showing the rural area boundaries and the unserved areas using the Agency's Mapping Tool;

(3) The amount and type of support requested;

(4) The status of the review of the application;

(5) The estimated number of unserved households in each service area exclusive of satellite broadband service;

(6) A description of all the types of services that the applicant proposes to offer in each service area; and

(7) A list of the census block groups proposed to be served.

(b) The Agency will publish the public notice on an Agency Web page after the application has been received in the Agency's National Office and will remain on the Web page for a period of 30 calendar days. The notice will ask existing service providers to submit to the Agency, within this notice period, the following information:

(1) The number of residential and business customers within the applicant's service area that are currently offered broadband service by the existing service provider;

(2) The number of residential and business customers within the applicant's service area currently purchasing the existing service provider's broadband service, the rates of data transmission being offered, and the cost of each level of broadband service charged by the existing service provider;

(3) The number of residential and business customers within the applicant's service area receiving the existing service provider's non-broadband services and the associated rates for these other services;

(4) A map showing where the existing service provider's services coincide with the applicant's service area using the Agency's Mapping Tool; and

(5) Whether the existing service provider is an existing RUS borrower or grantee.

(c) The Agency will use the information submitted to determine if the existing service provider will be classified as an incumbent service provider. Notwithstanding non-responses by existing providers, the Agency will use all information available to it in evaluating the feasibility of the loan.

(d) The Agency will determine whether the service areas included in the application are eligible for funding based on all available information. If part or parts of the applicant's proposed funded service area are ineligible, the Agency will contact the applicant and require that those ineligible areas be removed from the proposed funded service area or that other funding be provided. If the ineligible service areas are not removed from the funding request or additional funds are not provided, the Agency will reject the application. Given that applications may need to be revised to reflect modified service areas, applicants are encouraged to re-submit their applications as soon as possible to avoid that their applications will not be considered for the current evaluation period.

(e) The information submitted by an existing service provider will be treated as proprietary and confidential to the extent permitted under applicable law.

(f) If an application is approved, an additional notice will be published on the agency's Web site that will include the following information:

(1) The name of the entity receiving the financial assistance;

(2) The type of assistance being received; and

(3) The purpose of the assistance;

(g) The semiannual reports submitted under § 1738.254(e).

§ 1738.205 Notification of completeness.

If all proposed funded service areas are eligible, the Agency will review the application for completeness. The completeness review will include an assessment of whether all required documents and information have been submitted and whether the information provided is of adequate quality to allow further analysis.

(a) If the application contains all documents and information required by this part and is sufficient, in form and substance acceptable to the Agency, the Agency will notify the applicant, in writing, that the application is complete. A notification of completeness is not a commitment that the loan will be approved. By submitting an application, the applicant acknowledges that no obligation to enter into a loan exists until actual loan documents have been executed.

(b) If the application is considered to be incomplete or inadequate, the Agency will notify the applicant, in writing, that the application has been rejected. The rejection letter will include an explanation of the reasons for rejection.

§ 1738.206 Evaluation for feasibility.

After an applicant is notified that the application is complete, the Agency will evaluate the application's financial and technical feasibility. Only applications that, as determined by the Agency, are technically and financially feasible will be considered for funding.

(a) The Agency will determine financial feasibility by evaluating the impact of the facilities financed with the proceeds of the loan and the associated debt, the applicant's equity, market survey (if required), competitive analysis, financial information, and other relevant information in the application.

(b) The Agency will determine technical feasibility by evaluating the applicant's network design and other relevant information in the application.

§ 1738.207 Equity requirement.

(a) To be eligible for a loan, an applicant must demonstrate a minimum equity contribution equal to 10 percent of the requested loan amount at the time of application which must remain available at loan closing. In addition to the 10 percent minimum equity requirement, § 1738.208 provides additional cash requirements that may be required in support of the loan.

(b) If the applicant does not have the required equity at the time the application is submitted, the applicant may satisfy the equity requirement at the time of application with an investor's unconditional legal commitment to cover the shortfall by providing additional equity. The additional equity must be transferred to the applicant prior to loan closing. If this option is elected, the applicant must provide evidence in the application that clearly identifies the investor's commitment to the applicant; the amount, terms, and conditions of the investment; and the investor's bank or financial statements that demonstrate its ability to fulfill its commitment. The terms and conditions of the investment must be acceptable to the Agency, but at a minimum cannot be secured by any assets of the applicant nor provide that the investment will be available when certain requirements or other thresholds are met by the applicant. The Agency will reject applications that do not provide evidence acceptable to the Agency regarding the investor's commitment.

(c) For State and local government applicants, the equity requirement can be satisfied with a general obligation bond, as long as the additional equity will be available to the applicant at closing. If the equity requirement is satisfied with a general obligation bond, the broadband loan cannot be subordinate to the bond. The applicant must submit an opinion from its legal counsel that the applicant has the authority to issue a general obligation bond in an amount sufficient to meet the minimum equity requirement. Revenue bonds supported by the operations to be funded cannot be used to satisfy the equity requirement.

§ 1738.208 Additional cash requirements.

(a) If the Agency's financial analysis indicates that the applicant's entire operation (existing operations and new operations combined) will show an inadequate cash balance at the end of any year during the five-year forecast period, the Agency will require the applicant to obtain additional cash infusions necessary to maintain an appropriate cash balance throughout the five-year forecast period. This cash infusion would be in conjunction with the required 10 percent minimum equity position.

(1) The Agency will require the applicant and its investors to:

(i) Infuse additional cash to cover projected deficits for the first two years of operations at loan closing; and

(ii) Enter into legal arrangements that commit them to making additional cash infusions to ensure that the operation will sustain a positive cash position on a quarterly basis throughout the five-year forecast period.

(2) For purposes of identifying the additional cash requirement for a start-up operation or an operation that has not demonstrated positive cash flow for the two years prior to the submission date of the application, 50 percent of projected revenues for each year of the five-year forecast period will be considered to determine if an operation can sustain a positive cash position. In addition to the initial financial projections required to demonstrate financial feasibility, such applicants must complete adjusted financial projections using the reduced revenue projections in order to identify the amount of additional cash that will be required. Projections must be fully supported with assumptions acceptable to the Agency. The applicant may present evidence in its loan application that projected revenues or a portion of projected revenues are based on binding commitments and request that more than 50 percent of the projected revenues be considered for the purpose of identifying the additional cash requirement.

(3) For purposes of satisfying the additional cash requirements for an existing operation that has demonstrated a positive cash flow for the two fiscal years prior to the submission date of the application, 100 percent of the projected revenues for each year of the five-year forecast period will be used to determine if an operation can sustain a positive cash position, as long as these projections are fully supported with assumptions acceptable to the Agency.

(4) If debt is incurred to satisfy the additional cash requirement, this debt must take a subordinate lien position to the Agency debt and must be at terms acceptable to the Agency.

(b) An applicant may satisfy the additional cash requirement with an unconditional, irrevocable letter of credit (LOC) satisfactory to the Agency. The LOC must be issued from a financial institution acceptable to the Agency and must remain in effect throughout the forecast period. The applicant and the Agency must both be payees under the LOC. The LOC must have payment conditions acceptable to the Agency, and it must be in place prior to loan closing. The applicant cannot secure the LOC with its assets and cannot pay for any LOC charges or fees with its funds.

(c) If the Agency offers a loan to the applicant, the applicant must ensure that the additional cash infusion required in the first two years is deposited into its bank account within 120 days from the date the applicant signs the loan offer letter (see § 1738.251) and must enter into any other legal arrangements necessary to cover further projected operating deficits (or in the case of the LOC, to provide an acceptable LOC to the Agency) prior to closing. If these requirements are not completed within this timeframe, the loan offer will be terminated, unless the applicant requests and the Agency approves an extension based on extenuating circumstances that the Agency was not aware of at the time the offer was made.

§ 1738.209 Market survey.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the applicant must complete a separate market survey for each service area where the applicant proposes to provide service at the broadband lending speed. Each market survey must demonstrate the need for the service at the broadband lending speed, support the projected penetration rates and price points for the services to be offered, and support the feasibility analysis. The market survey must also address all other services that will be provided in connection with the broadband loan. Additional information on the requirements of the market survey can be found in the Application Guide.

(b) The applicant is not required to complete a market survey for any service offering for which the applicant is projecting less than a 20 percent penetration rate in each service area by the end of the five-year forecast period. For example, if the applicant is projecting a penetration rate of 30 percent for data services and 15 percent for video services, a market survey must be completed for the data services. The proposed prices for those services with a projected penetration rate less than 20 percent must be affordable, as determined by the Agency.

(c) For a market survey to be acceptable to the Agency, it must have been completed within six months of the application submission date. The Agency may reject any application in which the financial projections are not supported by the market survey. If the demographics of the proposed service area have significantly changed since the survey was completed, the Agency may require an updated market survey.

§ 1738.210 Competitive analysis.

The applicant must submit a competitive market analysis for each service area regardless of projected penetration rates. Each analysis must identify all existing service providers and all resellers in each service area regardless of the provider's market share, for each type of service the applicant proposes to provide. This analysis must include each competitor's rate packages for all services offered, the area that is being covered, and to the extent possible, the quality of service being provided.

§ 1738.211 Financial information.

(a) The applicant must submit financial information acceptable to the Agency that demonstrates that the applicant has the financial capacity to fulfill the loan requirements and to successfully complete the proposed project.

(1) If the applicant is an existing company, it must provide complete copies of audited financial statements (opinion letter, balance sheet, income statement, statement of changes in financial position, and notes to the financial statement) for the three fiscal years preceding the application submission. If audited statements are not available, the applicant must submit unaudited financial statements and tax returns for those fiscal years. Applications from start-up entities must, at a minimum, provide an opening balance sheet dated within 30 days of the final submission of all application material.

(2) If the applicant is a subsidiary operation, it must also provide complete copies of audited financial statements for the parent operation for the fiscal year preceding the application submission. If audited statements are not available, unaudited financial statements and tax returns for the previous year must be submitted.

(3) If the applicant relies on services provided by an affiliated operation, it must also provide complete copies of audited financial statements for any affiliate for the fiscal year preceding the application submission. If audited statements are not available, unaudited statements and tax returns for the previous year must be submitted.

(4) Applicants must provide a list of all its outstanding obligations. Copies of existing notes and loan and security agreements must be included in the application.

(5) Applicants must provide a detailed description of working capital requirements and the source of these funds.

(b) Applicants must submit the following documents that demonstrate the proposed project's financial viability and ability to repay the requested loan.

(1) Customer projections for the five-year forecast period that substantiate the projected revenues for each service that is to be provided. The projections must be provided on at least an annual basis and must be developed separately for each service area. These projections must be clearly supported by the information contained in the market survey, unless no market survey is required (see § 1738.209(b)).

(2) Annual financial projections in the form of balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements for the five-year forecast period. Prior to the submission of an application, an applicant may request that alternative information related to financial viability be considered when the applicant can for good cause demonstrate why a full five year forecast cannot be provided. If this request is approved by the Agency, then the applicant can submit the application using the alternative information that was approved.

(i) These projections must use a system of accounts acceptable to the Agency and be supported by a detailed narrative that fully explains the methodology and assumptions used to develop the projections.

(ii) The financial projections submitted by the applicant must demonstrate that their entire operation will be able to meet a minimum TIER requirement equal to 1.25 by the end of the five-year forecast period. Demonstrating that the operation can achieve a projected TIER of 1.25 does not ensure that the Agency will approve the loan.

(iii) If the financial analysis suggests that the operation will not be able to achieve the required TIER ratio, the Agency will not approve the loan without additional capital, additional cash, additional security, and/or a change in the loan terms.

(c) Based on the financial evaluation, the loan documents will specify TIER requirements that must be met throughout the amortization period.

§ 1738.212 Network design.

(a) Applications must include a network design that demonstrates the project's technical feasibility. The network design must fully support the delivery of service at the broadband lending speed, together with any other services to be provided. In measuring speed, the Agency will take into account industry and regulatory standards. The design must demonstrate that the project will be complete within three years from the day the Agency notifies the applicant that loan funds are available and must include the following items:

(1) A detailed description of the proposed technology that will be used to provide service at the broadband lending speed. This description must clearly demonstrate that all households in the proposed funded service area will be offered service at the broadband lending speed;

(2) A detailed description of the existing network. This description should provide a synopsis of the current network infrastructure;

(3) A detailed description of the proposed network. This description should provide a synopsis of the proposed network infrastructure;

(4) A description of the approach and methodology for monitoring ongoing service delivery and service quality for the services being deployed;

(5) Estimated project costs detailing all facilities that are required to complete the project. These estimated costs must be broken down to indicate costs associated with each proposed service area and must specify how Agency and non-Agency funds will be used to complete the project;

(6) A construction build-out schedule of the proposed facilities by service area on a quarterly basis. The build-out schedule must include:

(i) A description of the work force that will be required to complete the proposed construction;

(ii) A timeline demonstrating project completion within three years and four months from the date of the loan contract;

(iii) Detailed information showing that all households within the proposed funded service area will be offered service at the broadband lending speed when the system is complete; and

(iv) Detailed information showing that construction of the proposed facilities will start within six months from the date the Agency notifies the borrower that loan funds are available.

(7) A depreciation schedule for all facilities financed with loan and non-loan funds;

(8) An environmental report prepared in accordance with 7 CFR part 1794 or successor environmental policies and procedures; and

(9) Any other system requirements required by the Administrator through a notice published in the Federal Register.

(b) The network design must be prepared by a registered Professional Engineer with telecommunications experience or by qualified personnel on the applicant's staff. If the network design is prepared by the applicant's staff, the application must clearly demonstrate the staff's qualifications, experience, and ability to complete the network design. To be considered qualified, staff must have at least three years of experience in designing the type of broadband system proposed in the application.

§ 1738.213 Loan determination.

(a) If the application meets all statutory and regulatory requirements and the feasibility study demonstrates that the TIER requirement can be satisfied and the business plan is sustainable, the application will be submitted to the Agency's credit committees for consideration according to the priorities in § 1738.203. Such submission of an application to the Agency's credit committees does not guarantee that a loan will be approved. In making a loan determination, the Administrator shall consider the recommendations of the credit committees.

(b) The applicant will be notified of the Agency's decision in writing. If the Agency does not approve the loan, a rejection letter will be sent to the applicant, and the application will be returned with an explanation of the reasons for the rejection.

§§ 1738.214-1738.250 [Reserved]
Subpart F—Closing, Servicing, and Reporting
§ 1738.251 Loan offer and loan closing.

The Agency will notify the applicant of the loan offer, in writing, and the date by which the applicant must accept the offer. If the applicant accepts the terms of the loan offer, a loan contract executed by the Agency will be sent to the applicant. The applicant must execute the loan contract and satisfy all conditions precedent to loan closing within the timeframe specified by the Agency. If the conditions are not met within this timeframe, the loan offer will be terminated, unless the applicant requests, and the Agency approves, an extension. The Agency may approve such a request if the applicant has diligently sought to meet the conditions required for loan closing and has been unable to do so for reasons outside its control.

§ 1738.252 Construction.

(a) Construction paid for with broadband loan funds must comply with 7 CFR part 1788, 7 CFR part 1794, RUS Bulletin 1738-2, and any successor regulations found on the agency's Web site, and any other guidance from the Agency.

(b) Once the Agency has extended a loan offer, the applicant, at its own risk, may start construction that is included in the loan application on an interim financing basis. For this construction to be eligible for reimbursement with loan funds, all construction procedures contained in this part must be followed. Note, however, that the Agency's extension of a loan offer is not a guarantee that a loan will be made, unless and until a loan contract has been entered into between the applicant and RUS.

(c) The build-out must be complete within three years and 4 months from the date of the loan contract. Build-out is considered complete when the network design has been fully implemented, the service operations and management systems infrastructure is operational, and the borrower is ready to support the activation and commissioning of individual customers to the new system.

§ 1738.253 Servicing.

(a) Borrowers must make payments on the broadband loan as required in the note.

(b) Borrowers must comply with all terms, conditions, affirmative covenants, and negative covenants contained in the loan documents.

(c) In the event of default of any required payment or other term or condition:

(1) A late charge shall be charged on any payment not made in accordance with the terms of the note.

(2) The Agency may exercise the default remedies provided in the loan documents and any remedy permitted by law, but is not required to do so.

(3) If the Agency chooses to not exercise its default remedies, it does not waive its right to do so in the future.

§ 1738.254 Accounting, reporting, and monitoring requirements.

(a) Borrowers must adopt a system of accounts for maintaining financial records acceptable to the Agency, as described in 7 CFR part 1770, subpart B.

(b) Borrowers must submit annual audited financial statements along with a report on compliance and on internal control over financial reporting, and management letter in accordance with the requirements of 7 CFR part 1773. The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) conducting the annual audit is selected by the borrower and must be approved by RUS as set forth in 7 CFR 1773.4.

(c) Borrowers must comply with all reasonable Agency requests to support ongoing monitoring efforts. The Borrower shall afford RUS, through its representatives, reasonable opportunity, at all times during business hours and upon prior notice, to have access to and the right to inspect the Broadband System, and any other property encumbered by the Mortgage, and any or all books, records, accounts, invoices, contracts, leases, payrolls, timesheets, cancelled checks, statements, and other documents, electronic or paper of every kind belonging to or in the possession of the Borrower or in any way pertaining to its property or business, including its subsidiaries, if any, and to make copies or extracts therefore.

(d) Borrower records shall be retained and preserved in accordance with the provisions of 7 CFR part 1770, subpart A.

(e) Borrowers must submit semiannual reports for 3 years after completion of the project. The reports must include the following information:

(1) The purpose of the financing, including new equipment and capacity enhancements that support high-speed broadband access for educational institutions, health care providers, and public safety service providers (including the estimated number of end users who are currently using or forecasted to use the new or upgraded infrastructure);

(2) The progress towards fulfilling the objectives for which the assistance was granted, including:

(i) The number and location of residences and businesses that will receive service at or greater than the broadband lending speed;

(ii) The types of facilities constructed and installed;

(iii) The speed of the broadband services being delivered;

(iv) The average price of the broadband services being delivered in each proposed service area;

(v) The broadband adoption rate for each proposed service territory, including the number of new subscribers generated from the facilities funded; and

(3) Any other reporting requirements established by the Administrator by notice in the Federal Register.

§ 1738.255 Default and de-obligation.

If a default under the loan documents occurs and such default has not been cured within the timeframes established in the loan documents, the Applicant acknowledges that the Agency may, depending on the seriousness of the default, take any of the following actions:

(a) To the greatest extent possible recover the maximum amount of loan funds.

(b) De-obligate all funds that have not been advanced; and

(c) Reallocate recovered funds to the extent possible as prescribed by the Office of Management and Budget.

§§ 1738.256-1738.300 [Reserved]
Subpart G—Loan Guarantee
§ 1738.301 General.

(a) Applicants wishing to obtain a loan guarantee for private financing are subject to the same requirements as direct loan borrowers with respect to:

(1) Loan purposes as described in subpart B of this part;

(2) Eligible borrowers and eligible areas as described in subpart C of this part;

(3) The loan terms described in subpart D of this part, with the exception of the interest rates described in § 1738.152;

(4) The application review and underwriting requirements in subpart E of this part; and

(5) The accounting, reporting, and monitoring requirements of subpart F of this part.

(b) The Agency will publish a notice in the Federal Register indicating any additional requirements, as well as the amount of funds available, if any, for loan guarantees.

§ 1738.302 Eligible guaranteed lenders.

To be eligible for a loan guarantee, a guaranteed lender must be:

(a) A financial institution in good standing that has been a concurrent lender with RUS; or

(b) A legally organized lending institution, such as commercial bank, trust company, mortgage banking firm, insurance company, or any other institutional investor authorized by law to loan money, which must be subject to credit examination and supervision by a Federal or State agency, unless the Agency determines that alternative examination and supervisory mechanisms are adequate.

§ 1738.303 Requirements for the loan guarantee.

At the time of application, applicants must provide in form and substance acceptable to the Agency:

(a) Evidence of the guaranteed lender's eligibility under § 1738.302;

(b) Evidence that the guaranteed lender has the demonstrated capacity to adequately service the guaranteed loan;

(c) Evidence that the guaranteed lender is in good standing with its licensing authority and meets the loan making, loan servicing, and other requirements of the jurisdiction in which the lender makes loans;

(d) Evidence satisfactory to the Agency of its qualification under this part, along with the name of the authority that supervises it;

(e) A commitment letter from the guaranteed lender that will be providing the funding, and the terms of such funding, all of which may be conditioned on final approval of the broadband loan guarantee by the Agency; and

(f) A description of any and all charges and fees for the loan, along with documentation that they are comparable to those normally charged other applicants for the same type of loan in the ordinary course of business. Such charges and fees will not be included within the Agency's loan guarantee.

§ 1738.304 Terms for guarantee.

Loan guarantees will only be given on the conditions that:

(a) The loan guarantee is no more than 80 percent of the principal amount, which shall exclude any and all charges and fees;

(b) The guarantee is limited to the outstanding loan repayment obligation of the borrower and does not extend to guaranteeing that the guaranteed lender will remit to a holder, loan payments made by the borrower;

(c) The interest rate must be fixed and must be the same or lesser for the guaranteed loan amount or the respective guaranteed loan portion amount or the respective guaranteed amount equivalent, as the case may be, and unguaranteed loan amount or the respective unguaranteed loan portion amount or the respective unguaranteed-amount equivalent, as the case may be;

(d) The entire loan will be secured by the same security with equal lien priority for the guaranteed loan amount or the respective guaranteed loan portion amount or the respective guaranteed-amount equivalent, as the case may be, and unguaranteed loan amount or the respective unguaranteed loan portion amount or the respective unguaranteed-amount equivalent, as the case may be;

(e) The unguaranteed loan amount or the respective unguaranteed loan portion amount or the respective unguaranteed-amount equivalent, as the case may be, will neither be paid first nor given any preference or priority over the guaranteed loan amount or the respective guaranteed loan portion amount or the respective guaranteed-amount equivalent, as the case may be;

(f) Prior written approval is obtained from the Agency for any assignment by the guaranteed lender. Any assignment shall entitle the holder to all of the guaranteed lender's rights but shall maintain the guaranteed lender responsible for servicing the entire loan;

(g) The borrower, its principal officers, members of the borrower's board of directors and members of the immediate families of said officials shall not be a holder of the guaranteed lender's loan;

(h) The Agency will not guarantee any loan under this subpart that provides for a balloon payment of principal or interest at the final maturity date of the loan or for the payment of interest on interest;

(i) All loan guarantee documents between the Agency and the guaranteed lender are prepared by the Agency; and

(j) The loan agreement between the borrower and the lender shall be subject to Agency approval.

§ 1738.305 Obligations of guaranteed lender.

Once a loan guarantee has been approved, the guaranteed lender will be responsible for:

(a) Servicing the loan;

(b) Determining that all prerequisites to each advance of loan funds by the lender under the terms of the contract of guarantee, all financing documents, and all related security documents have been fulfilled;

(c) Obtaining approval from the Agency to advance funds prior to each advance;

(d) Billing and collecting loan payments from the borrower;

(e) Notifying the Administrator promptly of any default in the payment of principal and interest on the loan and submit a report no later than 30 days thereafter, setting forth the reasons for the default, how long it expects the borrower will be in default, and what corrective actions the borrower states that it is taking to achieve a current debt service position; and

(f) Notifying the Administrator of any known violations or defaults by the borrower under the lending agreement, contract of guarantee, or related security instruments or conditions of which the lender is aware which might lead to nonpayment, violation, or other default.

§ 1738.306 Agency rights and remedies.

(a) The guarantee must provide that upon notice to the lender, the Agency may assume loan servicing responsibilities for the loan or the guaranteed loan amount or the respective guaranteed loan portion amount or the respective guaranteed-amount equivalent, as the case may be, or require the lender to assign such responsibilities to a different entity, if the lender fails to perform its loan servicing responsibilities under the loan guarantee agreement, or if the lender becomes insolvent, makes an admission in writing of its inability to pay its debts generally as they become due, or becomes the subject of proceedings commenced under the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, as amended (11 U.S.C. 101 et seq.) or any similar applicable Federal or State law, or is no longer in good standing with its licensing authority, or ceases to meet the eligibility requirements of this subpart. Such negligent servicing is defined as the failure to perform those services which a reasonable prudent lender would perform in servicing its own portfolio of loans that are not guaranteed and includes not only a failure to act but also not acting in a timely manner.

(b) The guarantee shall cease to be effective with respect to any guaranteed loan amount or any guaranteed loan portion amount or any guaranteed-amount equivalent to the extent that:

(1) The guaranteed loan amount or the respective guaranteed loan portion amount or the respective guaranteed amount equivalent, as the case may be, is separated at any time from the unguaranteed loan amount or the respective unguaranteed loan portion amount or the respective unguaranteed-amount equivalent, as the case may be, in any way.; or

(2) Any holder of the guaranteed loan note or any guaranteed loan portion note, as the case may be, having a claim to payments on the guaranteed loan receives more than its pro-rata percentage of any payment due to such holder from payments made under the guarantee at any time during the term of the guaranteed loan.

§ 1738.307 Additional policies.

The Agency shall provide additional loan guarantee policies, consistent with OMB Circular A-129, in order to achieve its mission of promoting broadband in rural areas, which shall be published, as needed, in the Federal Register.

§ 1738.308 Full faith and credit of the United States.

Loan guarantees made under this part are supported by the full faith and credit of the United States and are incontestable except for fraud or misrepresentation of which the holder had actual knowledge at the time it became a holder.

§§ 1738.309-1738.349 [Reserved]
§ 1738.350 OMB control number.

The information collection requirements in this part are approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and assigned OMB control number 0572-0130.

Dated: July 8, 2015. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-18624 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 32 [Docket Nos. PRM-32-8; NRC-2013-0078] Commercial Distribution of Tritium Markers AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Petition for rulemaking; denial.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is denying a petition for rulemaking (PRM), dated December 2, 2011, which was filed with the NRC by Motti Slodowitz on behalf of CampCo (the petitioner) and supplemented with additional information on September 18, 2012. The petitioner requests the NRC to amend its regulations that govern the licensing of products containing byproduct material to allow the commercial distribution of tritium markers for use under an exemption from licensing requirements. The NRC is denying the petition because the petitioner fails to demonstrate that a specific exemption is warranted and that the existing regulatory framework for self-luminous products is insufficient.

DATES:

The docket for the petition for rulemaking, PRM-32-8, is closed on July 30, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0078 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this petition. You can obtain publicly-available documents related to the petition using any of the following methods:

• Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search on the petition Docket ID NRC-2013-0078. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

• NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, (301) 415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

• NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Vanessa Cox, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-8342; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents I. The Petition II. Public Comments on the Petition III. Discussion IV. Reasons for Denial V. Conclusion I. The Petition

Section 2.802 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), “Petition for rulemaking,” provides an opportunity for any interested person to petition the Commission to issue, amend, or rescind any regulation. The NRC received a petition from Motti Slodowitz on behalf of CampCo dated December 2, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. ML12132A332). The petition requests that the NRC amend certain regulations concerning exemptions from licensing for products containing byproduct material to include illumination tritium markers.

On July 5, 2012 (ADAMS Accession No. ML121580046), the NRC requested supplemental information to further clarify the request. On September 18, 2012 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13112B010), the petitioner responded to the NRC's request and submitted supplemental information clarifying that the petitioner is requesting the NRC to amend paragraph (b) of 10 CFR 32.22, “Self-luminous products containing tritium, krypton-85 or promethium-147: Requirements for license to manufacture, process, produce, or initially transfer;” paragraph (c) of 10 CFR 30.19, “Self-luminous products containing tritium, krypton-85, or promethium-147;” and 10 CFR 30.15, “Certain items containing byproduct material.” The petitioner also provided a dose assessment for the purpose of showing that the tritium markers would result in acceptably low doses.

The petitioner requests that the NRC amend 10 CFR 32.22(b) to include an additional requirement stating that an applicant cannot be denied a device registration or distribution license if it has adequately demonstrated that the criteria in applicable regulations have been met. The petitioner contends that the statement in 10 CFR 32.22(b), that “the Commission may deny an application for a specific license if the end uses of the product cannot be reasonably foreseen,” is a subjective statement without specific criteria and that it is unfair to deny applications based upon subjective statements where the criteria are not codified in the regulations. The petitioner references a Memorandum on Scientific Integrity issued by President Obama on March 9, 2009, which states that “[s]cience and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of [the] Administration on a wide range of issues, including improvement of public health.” The petitioner notes that the NRC has previously denied approval of products because end uses of the products could not reasonably be foreseen. The petitioner also states that the term “frivolous use,” as used in the NRC's policy statement on consumer products (30 FR 3462; March 16, 1965, proposed revision 76 FR 63957; October 14, 2011) and in the NRC's guidance for materials licenses (NUREG-1556, Volume 3, Revision 1, “Consolidated Guidance About Materials Licenses: Applications for Sealed Source and Device Evaluation and Registration” (ADAMS Accession No. ML041340618)), is not clearly defined and that there are no detailed criteria used to make determinations. The petitioner asserts that the potential misuse of a tritium marker as a toy should not result in the product being banned outright.

The petitioner requests that the NRC also amend 10 CFR 30.19(c) to add that tritium markers used to label equipment are not considered to be toys or adornments and shall not be sold as such.

The petitioner also requests that the NRC amend 10 CFR 30.15 to add a specific exemption for tritium markers with a maximum activity of 25 millicuries (925 mBq) of tritium. The petitioner believes an exemption is warranted because of the usefulness of the tritium markers and the low dose potential. The petitioner states that the markers would not be a frivolous use of radioactive material, and that “the potential radiation doses to members of the public under normal use and accident conditions...are within regulatory limits.” The petitioner also states that the markers are sold in other countries and have practical benefit such as helping military personnel recover lost items, helping first responders locate tagged equipment at night, assisting hunters in finding lost items, and helping lost campers find their tents.

II. Public Comments on the Petition

The notice of receipt published in the Federal Register (78 FR 41720; July 11, 2013), invited interested persons to submit comments. The comment period closed on September 24, 2013. The NRC received one public comment opposing the petition. The commenter states:

An interest in record keeping in the known supply of tritium should be recognized since tritium may, in some cases, be the only useful tracer for a smuggled weapon. An unrecorded presence of legitimately obtained tritium may lead to too many false positives during a crisis.

Although the NRC is denying the petition, the NRC disagrees with the commenter that the presence of tritium in approved consumer products would negatively affect law enforcement efforts to track illegal weapons.

III. Discussion

The NRC regulates consumer products containing byproduct material without imposing regulatory controls on the consumer-user. Those who manufacture or distribute products containing byproduct material, including consumer products, must have a license issued under 10 CFR part 32. Exemptions for users of products containing byproduct material appear in 10 CFR part 30. These exemptions are either product-specific or class exemptions.

A class exemption covers a class of products, for which a person who wishes to manufacture or distribute a specific product within that class may submit a license application. An applicant must provide safety information about the product and demonstrate that the product meets a number of safety criteria. Exemption of a product under a class exemption is dependent on approval under the applicable regulations for the distributor.

Section 30.19 is a class exemption for the receipt, possession, use, transfer, ownership, or acquisition of self-luminous products containing certain radionuclides, including tritium. This exemption does not apply to persons who manufacture, process, produce, or initially transfer such products for sale or distribution. Paragraph (c) in 10 CFR 30.19 states that the exemption for products containing tritium, krypton-85, or promethium-147 does not apply to products primarily for frivolous purposes or in toys or adornments. Those who wish to intially transfer for sale or distribution self-luminous products covered by the 10 CFR 30.19 class exemption must first apply for and receive a specific license under 10 CFR 32.22 and must have the product registered under 10 CFR 32.210. Applicants for licenses under 10 CFR 32.22 must also demonstrate that the product is designed and manufactured in accordance with the safety criteria in 10 CFR 32.23. Paragraph 32.22(b) further indicates that the Commission may deny an application for a specific license if the end uses of the product cannot be reasonably foreseen.

Section 30.15 provides a list of product-specific exemptions for certain products containing byproduct material, subject to certain limits including specific radionuclide quantity limits. The receipt, possession, use, transfer, ownership, and acquisition of these products, which includes self-luminous timepieces, hands, and dials, are exempt from licensing requirements. Persons wishing to apply or incorporate byproduct material into these products or initially transfer them for sale or distribution must apply for a specific license under 10 CFR 32.14. Unlike products covered by the 10 CFR 30.19 class exemption, specific products listed in 10 CFR 30.15 do not need to be registered under 10 CFR 32.210 in order for one to obtain a specific license for distribution.

The NRC's Consumer Product Policy Statement (CPPS or policy) (79 FR 2907; January 16, 2014) provides the Commission's policy with respect to approval of the use of byproduct, source, and special nuclear material in products intended for use by the general public (consumer products) without the imposition of regulatory controls on the consumer-user. The revision of the consumer product policy statement was finalized after the petition was filed.

Petitioner's Requests Request 1

The petitioner requests that the NRC amend 10 CFR 32.22(b) to include a statement that an applicant cannot be denied a device registration or distribution license if it has adequately demonstrated that the criteria in the applicable regulations have been met.

Response to Petitioner's Request 1

Paragraph 32.22(b) allows the NRC to exercise its judgment in denying a license application when the end use of a product cannot be reasonably foreseen. The requested amendment would affect all future applications for a license under this section and would limit the NRC's ability to deny an applicant based on whether a practice (in this case, the distribution of certain products for use by the general public) is justified. Furthermore, this suggested revision would make 10 CFR 32.22(b) internally inconsistent and essentially would nullify it.

Such a revision would be inconsistent with the NRC's CPPS, revised in January 2014. In response to a public comment that discussed the ability to foresee the end uses of products, the Commission explicitly stated the importance of evaluating products “on a case-by-case basis,” listing a number of considerations such as likely doses, the probability and severity of accidents and misuse, and the benefits to be obtained from the product, noting that these cannot be reasonably evaluated if the ultimate uses of the product are not known (79 FR 2910). The Commission addressed the importance of this particular regulatory criterion that allows the denial of a distribution license for a product whose end uses cannot be reasonably foreseen, stating “[s]elf-luminous products in particular have a wide range of potential applications and might easily be widely used for purposes other than those originally intended if not clearly designed for a specific use. This criterion also ensures that the uses . . . of radioactive material in products are justified.” Id. Therefore, it is important for the NRC to be able to exercise its judgment in denying a license application when the end use of a product cannot be reasonably foreseen.

Request 2

The petitioner requests that the NRC amend 10 CFR 30.19(c) to add that tritium markers used to label equipment are not considered to be toys or adornments and shall not be sold as such.

Response to Petitioner's Request 2

The requested amendment stating that the tritium markers “shall not be sold” as toys or adornments would not further control whether these products can be distributed as such. Additionally, there is no need to expressly designate products that are or are not “toys or adornments” for purposes of 10 CFR 30.19(c) because NRC staff can apply the normal dictionary definition of such terms to individual products on a case-by-case basis. Paragraph 30.19(c) also addresses self-luminous products generally, which makes references to specific products inappropriate. Moreover, including a reference to tritium markers used for labeling purposes would prejudge the product as covered by the exemption, contrary to the intent of the regulatory framework and the CPPS, which stresses the importance of case-by-case determinations.

Request 3

The petitioner requests that the NRC amend 10 CFR 30.15 to add a specific exemption for tritium markers with a maximum activity of 25 millicuries (925 mBq) of tritium.

Response to Petitioner's Request 3

The NRC is choosing not to include a new specific exemption for these tritium markers at this time, consistent with the guiding principles within the CPPS. The exempt products in 10 CFR 30.15, such as timepiece hands or dials containing specified quantities of byproduct material including tritium, or marine compasses containing tritium, are designed for specific uses. As previously indicated, the Commission has stated that “[s]elf-luminous products in particular have a wide range of potential applications and might easily be widely used for purposes other than those originally intended if not clearly designed for a specific use” (79 FR 2910). Based on the small size (1.8 cm long by 0.8 cm diameter by 0.2 cm thick) and the design of the tritium markers, the tritium markers have potential uses beyond those intended by the petitioner, including as decorations on zipper pulls on clothing or as jewelry. The lack of a clear design for a specific use creates greater potential for unintended uses (such as the ones specifically excluded from the exemption in 10 CFR 30.19), which outweighs the product's beneficial uses. Because of the potential for widespread use, careful consideration of justification of practice is important.

Also, the size and glow-in-the-dark nature of the tritium markers would appeal to and be accessible to children. Creating a new specific exemption for these tritium markers would be inconsistent with the CPPS, in particular, paragraph four (79 FR 2912), which requires that products subject to mishandling, especially by children, require an unusual degree of safety and utility. This criterion is unchanged from the original 1965 version of the policy. The tritium markers do not meet this criterion as they do not provide an unusual degree of utility. The unique benefits as compared to other alternatives are relatively limited. For example, the uses of the tritium markers asserted by the petitioner can be achieved by other products on the market, such as battery-powered products. While the use of tritium presents a particular benefit by staying illuminated continuously without having to be turned on when needed, the amount of light created using the 25 mCi of tritium suggested for the new exemption is limited. Also, self-luminous products containing tritium light sources incorporated into products with clear end uses can provide some of the same benefits.

The petitioner stated that the tritium markers are sold in other countries. The discussion in the CPPS recognizes that it is unavoidable that there will be some differences made in judgments concerning justification of practice. Generally, international standards, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency's “Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources: International Basic Safety Standards,” suggest that this product should not be exempted. However, individual countries' regulatory bodies make their own judgments.

IV. Reasons for Denial

The NRC is denying the petition because the petitioner fails to demonstrate that a specific exemption is warranted or that the existing regulatory framework for self-luminous products is inappropriate. The tritium markers do not meet the regulatory criteria for the use of self-luminous products under an exemption from licensing. In addition, the self-luminous product class exemption was set up to eliminate the need to evaluate numerous PRMs for a wide variety of self-luminous products and the need to conduct a separate rulemaking to add individual exemptions for each acceptable one. This provision is needed to ensure that the use of radioactive material in a product is justified.

V. Conclusion

For the reasons cited in this document, the NRC is denying PRM-32-8. The petition fails to present any significant new information or arguments that would warrant the requested amendments.

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 22nd day of July, 2015.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Annette L. Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 2015-18630 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2013-1018] Special Local Regulation; Seattle Seafair Unlimited Hydroplane Race, Lake Washington, WA AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of enforcement of regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard will enforce the Seattle Seafair Unlimited Hydroplane Race Special Local Regulation on Lake Washington, WA from 8:00 a.m. on July 30, 2015 through 11:59 p.m. on August 2, 2015 during hydroplane race times. This action is necessary to ensure public safety from the inherent dangers associated with high-speed races while allowing access for rescue personnel in the event of an emergency. During the enforcement period, no person or vessel will be allowed to enter the regulated area without the permission of the Captain of the Port, on-scene Patrol Commander or Designated Representative.

DATES:

The regulations in 33 CFR 100.1301 will be enforced from 8:00 a.m. on July 30, 2015 through 11:59 p.m. on August 2, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this notice, call or email LTJG Johnny Zeng, Sector Puget Sound Waterways Management Division, Coast Guard; telephone 206-217-6175, email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Coast Guard will enforce the Seattle Seafair Unlimited Hydroplane Race Special Local Regulation in 33 CFR 100.1301 from 8:00 a.m. on July 30, 2015 through 11:59 p.m. on August 2, 2015.

Under the provisions of 33 CFR 100.1301, the Coast Guard will restrict general navigation in the following area: All waters of Lake Washington bounded by the Interstate 90 (Mercer Island/Lacey V. Murrow) Bridge, the western shore of Lake Washington, and the east/west line drawn tangent to Bailey Peninsula and along the shoreline of Mercer Island.

The regulated area has been divided into two zones. The zones are separated by a line perpendicular from the I-90 Bridge to the northwest corner of the East log boom and a line extending from the southeast corner of the East log boom to the southeast corner of the hydroplane race course and then to the northerly tip of Ohlers Island in Andrews Bay. The western zone is designated Zone I, the eastern zone, Zone II. (Refer to NOAA Chart 18447).

The Coast Guard will maintain a patrol consisting of Coast Guard vessels, assisted by Coast Guard Auxiliary vessels, in Zone II. The Coast Guard patrol of this area is under the direction of the Coast Guard Patrol Commander (the “Patrol Commander”). The Patrol Commander is empowered to control the movement of vessels on the racecourse and in the adjoining waters during the periods this regulation is in effect. The Patrol Commander may be assisted by other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Only vessels authorized by the Patrol Commander may be allowed to enter Zone I during the hours this regulation is in effect. Vessels in the vicinity of Zone I shall maneuver and anchor as directed by the Patrol Commander.

During the times in which the regulation is in effect, the following rules shall apply:

(1) Swimming, wading, or otherwise entering the water in Zone I by any person is prohibited while hydroplane boats are on the racecourse. At other times in Zone I, any person entering the water from the shoreline shall remain west of the swim line, denoted by buoys, and any person entering the water from the log boom shall remain within ten (10) feet of the log boom.

(2) Any person swimming or otherwise entering the water in Zone II shall remain within ten (10) feet of a vessel.

(3) Rafting to a log boom will be limited to groups of three vessels.

(4) Up to six (6) vessels may raft together in Zone II if none of the vessels are secured to a log boom. Only vessels authorized by the Patrol Commander, other law enforcement agencies or event sponsors shall be permitted to tow other watercraft or inflatable devices.

(5) Vessels proceeding in either Zone I or Zone II during the hours this regulation is in effect shall do so only at speeds which will create minimum wake, seven (7) miles per hour or less. This maximum speed may be reduced at the discretion of the Patrol Commander.

(6) Upon completion of the daily racing activities, all vessels leaving either Zone I or Zone II shall proceed at speeds of seven (7) miles per hour or less. The maximum speed may be reduced at the discretion of the Patrol Commander.

(7) A succession of sharp, short signals by whistle or horn from vessels patrolling the areas under the direction of the Patrol Commander shall serve as signal to stop. Vessels signaled shall stop and shall comply with the orders of the patrol vessel; failure to do so may result in expulsion from the area, citation for failure to comply, or both.

The Captain of the Port may be assisted by other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

This notice is issued under authority of 33 CFR 100.1301 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). If the Captain of the Port determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice, he or she may use a Broadcast Notice to Mariners to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

Dated: July 17, 2015. T. A. Griffitts, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port, Puget Sound.
[FR Doc. 2015-18771 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0568] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Southern California Annual Marine Events for the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone; San Diego Bay, San Diego, CA AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary interim rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is temporarily changing the enforcement date of the special local regulation on the navigable waters of San Diego Bay, San Diego, California in support of the annual San Diego Maritime Museum Festival of Sail. This temporary final rule adjusts the dates for the established special local regulations listed in 33 CFR 100.1101 (table 1, item 15). This temporary interim rule provides public notice and is necessary to ensure the safety of participants, crew, spectators, participating vessels, and other vessels and users of the waterway. Unauthorized persons and vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring within the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP), or his designated representative. The Coast Guard requests public comments on the temporary final rule.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 9 a.m. on September 4, 2015 through 7 p.m. September 7, 2015. This rule will be enforced from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. September 4 through September 7, 2015. Public comments must be received by August 31, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments using one of the listed methods, and see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for more information on public comments.

Onlinehttp://www.regulations.gov following Web site instructions.

Fax—202-493-2251.

Mail or hand deliver—Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001. Hand delivery hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays (telephone 202-366-9329).

Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket [USCG-2015-0568]. 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 Petty Officer Randy Pahilanga, Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego, Coast Guard; telephone 619-278-7656, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking TFR Temporary Final Rule BNM Broadcast Notice to Mariners LNM Local Notice to Mariners COTP Captain of the Port A. Public Participation and Comments

We encourage you to submit comments (or related material) on this temporary final rule. We will consider all submissions and may adjust our final action based on your comments. Comments should be marked with docket number USCG-2015-0568 and should provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You should provide personal contact information so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your comments; but please note that all comments will be posted to the online docket without change and that any personal information you include can be searchable online (see the Federal Register Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets, 73 FR 3316, Jan. 17, 2008).

Mailed or hand-delivered comments should be in an unbound 81/2 x 11 inch format suitable for reproduction. The Docket Management Facility will acknowledge receipt of mailed comments if you enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope with your submission.

Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following the Web site's instructions. You can also view the docket at the Docket Management Facility (see the mailing address under ADDRESSES) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

B. Regulatory History and Information

The San Diego Maritime Museum Festival of Sail is an annual reoccurring event listed in 33 CFR 100.1101 (table 1, item 15) for Southern California annual marine events for the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone. Special local regulations exist for the marine event to allow for use of the San Diego Bay waterway to allow for three days of events. For 2015, the event is occurring over four days. This temporary final rule is therefore necessary to ensure that the same measures normally provided are in place for all four days.

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.”

We did not publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for this regulation. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a NPRM. The publishing of an NPRM would be impracticable since immediate action is needed to minimize potential danger to the participants and the public during the event. The danger posed by the volume of commercial, public and private recreational marine traffic in San Diego bay makes special local regulations necessary to provide for the safety of participants, event support vessels, spectator craft and other vessels transiting the event area. For the safety concerns noted, it is important to have these regulations in effect during the event. The area covered by the special local regulation should have negligible impact on vessel movement. The Coast Guard will issue a broadcast notice to mariners (BNM) to advise vessel operators of navigational restrictions. In addition, Coast Guard will also advertise notice of the event and event date changes via local notice to mariners (LNM) report. For the same reasons, the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date would be contrary to the public interest, because immediate action is needed to ensure the safety of the event. However, notifications will be made to users of the affected area near San Diego Bay, San Diego, California via marine information broadcast and a local notice to mariners.

Furthermore, we are providing an opportunity for subsequent public comment and, should public comment show the need for modifications to the special local regulations during the 2015 event, we may make those modifications and will provide actual notice of those modifications to the affected public.

C. Basis and Purpose

The legal basis and authorities for this rule are found in 33 U.S.C. 1233, which authorize the Coast Guard to establish, and define special local regulations. The Captain of the Port San Diego is establishing a special local regulation for the waters of San Diego Bay, San Diego, California to protect event participants, spectators and transiting vessels. Entry into this area is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port San Diego or designated representative.

D. Discussion of the Final Rule

The San Diego Maritime Museum Tall Ship Festival of Sail is an annual event held in the early part of September on San Diego Bay, San Diego, California.

The regulation listing annual marine events within the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone and special local regulations is 33 CFR 100.1101. Table 1 to § 100.1101 identifies special local regulations within the COTP San Diego Zone. Table 1 to § 100.1101 at item “15” describes the enforcement date and regulated location for this marine event.

The date listed in the Table 1 to § 100.1101 has the marine event occurring over three days in September. However, this temporary rule changes the marine event date to September 4 through September 7, 2015 to reflect the actual four days of the event.

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary special local regulation for a marine event on San Diego Bay that will be effective from 9 a.m. on September 4, 2015 through 7 p.m. September 7, 2015 and will be enforced daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on September 4 through September 7, 2015.

The Coast Guard will temporarily suspend the regulation listed in Table 1 to § 100.1101 item “15”, and insert this temporary regulation in Table 1 to § 100.1101, at item “19”. This change is needed to accommodate the sponsor's event plan. No other portion of Table 1 to § 100.1101 or other provisions in Table 1 to § 100.1101 shall be affected by this regulation.

The special local regulations are necessary to provide for the safety of the crew, spectators, participants, and other vessels and users of the waterway for this event that will consist of a tall ship parade and mock cannon battle demonstrations. Persons and vessels will be prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring within this regulated waterway unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP), or his designated representative, during the proposed times. Before the effective period, the Coast Guard will publish information on the event in the weekly LNM.

E. Regulatory Analyses

We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on these statutes 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 expect the economic impact of this rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation is unnecessary. This determination is based on the size, location, and the limited duration of the marine event and associated special local regulations. Optional waterway routes exist to allow boaters to transit around the marine event area, without impacting the festival. Additionally, to the maximum extent practicable, the event sponsor will assist with the movement of boaters desiring to transit the area throughout the four days.

2. Impact on Small Entities

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule will affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor in the impacted portion of San Diego Bay, California from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on September 4 through September 7, 2015.

This special local regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. Although the special local regulations would apply to a broad portion of San Diego, traffic would be allowed to pass around the zone or through the zone with the permission of the COTP, or his designated representative. The event sponsor will also be advertising the event. Before the effective period, the Coast Guard will publish event information on the internet in the weekly LNM marine information report and will provide a BNM via marine radio during the event.

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, above.

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

4. Collection of Information

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

5. Federalism

A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and 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 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 establishment of marine event special local regulations on the navigable waters of San Diego Bay. This rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(h) 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 100

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

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 100 as follows:

PART 100—SAFETY OF LIFE ON NAVIGABLE WATERS 1. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows: Authority:

33 U.S.C. 1233

2. In § 100.1101, in Table 1 to § 100.1101, suspend item “15” and add temporary item “19” to read as follows:
§ 100.1101 Southern California Annual Marine Events for the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone. Table 1 to § 100.110 *         *         *         *         *         *         * 19. San Diego Maritime Museum Tall Ship Festival of Sail Sponsor San Diego Maritime Museum. Event Description Tall ship festival. Date September 4 through September 7, 2015. Location San Diego Bay, CA. Regulated Area The waters of San Diego Bay Harbor.
Dated: July 16, 2015. J.S. Spaner, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port San Diego.
[FR Doc. 2015-18764 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0374] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Perth Amboy, New Jersey AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is removing the existing drawbridge operation regulation for the drawbridges at State Street Bridge, mile 0.5, and the Railroad Bridge, mile 0.6, across Woodbridge Creek at Perth Amboy, New Jersey. The State Street Bridge was replaced with a fixed bridge in 1992. The Railroad Bridge was converted to a fixed bridge in 1970. The operating regulation is no longer applicable or necessary.

DATES:

This rule is effective July 30, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this final rule, [USCG-2015-0374] is available at 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 final rule. 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 Mr. Joe M. Arca, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District Bridge Branch, telephone 212-514-4336, email [email protected]. If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Ms. Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Regulatory History and Information

The Coast Guard is issuing this 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), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because the State Street Bridge and the Railroad Bridge, that once required draw operations in 33 CFR 117.761, were replaced by fixed bridges in 1992 and 1970, respectively. Therefore, the regulation is no longer applicable and shall be removed. It is unnecessary to publish an NPRM because this regulatory action does not place any restrictions on mariners but rather removes a restriction that has no further use or value.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective in less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The bridges have been a fixed bridge for 23 and 45 years, respectively, and this rule merely requires an administrative change to the Federal Register, in order to omit a regulatory requirement that is no longer applicable or necessary. The modifications have already taken place and the removal of these regulations will not affect mariners currently operating on this waterway. Therefore, a delayed effective date is unnecessary.

B. Basis and Purpose

The State Street Bridge across Woodbridge Creek, mile 0.5, was removed and replaced in 1992 with a fixed bridge. The Railroad Bridge, mile 0.6, was converted to a fixed bridge in 1970. It has come to the attention of the Coast Guard that the governing regulation for these drawbridges were not removed subsequent to the replacement and conversion of these bridges. The elimination of these drawbridges necessitates the removal of the drawbridge operation regulation, 33 CFR 117.761, pertaining to the former drawbridges.

The purpose of this rule is to remove the paragraph of 33 CFR 117.761 that refers to the State Street Bridge and the Railroad Bridge at mile 0.5 and mile 0.6, respectively, from the Code of Federal Regulations because it governs bridges that no longer open.

C. Discussion of Rule

The Coast Guard is changing the regulation in 33 CFR 117.761 by removing restrictions and the regulatory burden related to the draw operations for these bridges that are no longer drawbridges. The change removes the section 117.761 of the regulation which governs the State Street Bridge and the Railroad Bridge. This Final Rule seeks to update the Code of Federal Regulations by removing language that governs the operation of the State Street Bridge and the Railroad Bridge, which are in fact no longer drawbridges. This change does not affect waterway or land traffic.

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 or executive orders.

1. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

The Coast Guard does not consider this rule to be “significant” under that Order because it is an administrative change and does not affect the way vessels operate on the waterway.

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.

This rule will have no effect on small entities since these drawbridges have been replaced, converted with fixed bridges and the regulation governing draw operations for these bridges is no longer applicable. There is no new restriction or regulation being imposed by this rule; therefore, the Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

3. Collection of Information

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

4. Federalism

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

5. 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.

6. 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 expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Protection of Children

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

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. Technical Standards

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

13. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have concluded 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 removal of a drawbridge operation regulation that is no longer necessary. This rule is categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32) (e), of the Instruction.

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

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

Bridges.

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

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

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

§ 117.761 [Removed]
2. Remove § 117.761.
L.L. Fagan, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2015-18772 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Part 75 Final Waiver and Extension of the Project Period; National Interpreter Education Center for the Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind [Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.160B] AGENCY:

Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Final waiver and extension of the project period.

SUMMARY:

The Secretary waives the requirements that generally prohibit project periods exceeding five years and extensions of project periods involving the obligation of additional Federal funds for a 60-month project initially funded in fiscal year (FY) 2010. The Secretary also extends the project period for this project for one year. This waiver and extension enables the currently funded National Interpreter Education Center for the training of interpreters for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals who are deaf-blind (National Center) to receive funding through September 30, 2016.

DATES:

The extension of the project period and waiver are effective July 30, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kristen Rhinehart-Fernandez, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5027, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-6103 or by email: [email protected]

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf or a text telephone, call the Federal Relay Service, toll-free, at 1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On April 17, 2015, the Department published a notice in the Federal Register (80 FR 21196) proposing an extension of project period and a waiver of 34 CFR 75.250 and 34 CFR 75.261(c)(2) (proposed waiver and extension) in order to—

(1) Enable the Secretary to provide additional funds to the National Center for an additional 12-month period, from September 30, 2015, through September 30, 2016; and

(2) Invite comments on the proposed waiver and extension.

There are no substantive differences between the proposed waiver and extension and this final waiver and extension.

Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the proposed waiver and extension, one party submitted comments.

Analysis of Comments and Changes: An analysis of the comments received in response to the proposed waiver and extension and of any changes in the waiver and extension since publication of the proposed waiver and extension follows.

Comment: One commenter supported extending the National Center's project period for one year to avoid the loss of the invaluable assistance provided to the Regional Centers and the deaf consumers whom they support.

Discussion: We appreciate the commenter's support.

Changes: None.

Final Waiver and Extension

In the proposed waiver and extension, we discuss the background and purposes of the National Center and our reasons for proposing the waiver and extension. For the reasons discussed there, we conclude that it would be contrary to the public interest to have a lapse in the provision of the training currently provided by the National Center. Allowing funding to lapse before a new interpreter education delivery system can be implemented would leave individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals who are deaf-blind without necessary supports in the event that critical needs arise.

The Secretary waives the requirements in 34 CFR 75.250, which prohibit project periods exceeding five years, and the requirements in 34 CFR 75.261(c)(2), which limit the extension of a project period if the extension involves the obligation of additional Federal funds. This will allow the current National Center to request and continue to receive Federal funding through September 30, 2016. With this waiver and extension of the project period, the National Center will be required to develop a plan to demonstrate how it will continue to carry out activities during the year of the continuation award consistent with the scope, goals, and objectives of the grantee's application as approved in the 2010 competition. This plan must be submitted to RSA for review and approval by September 1, 2015.

Waiver of Delayed Effective Date

The Administrative Procedure Act requires that a substantive rule must be published at least 30 days before its effective date, except as otherwise provided for good cause (5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3)). We have not made any substantive changes to the proposed waiver and extension. The Secretary has therefore determined to waive the delayed effective date to ensure a timely continuation grant to the current National Center and continuation of the valuable services the National Center provides.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

The Secretary certifies that this final waiver and extension of the project period will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The only entity that will be affected is the current grantee receiving Federal funds to serve as the National Center and any other potential applicants.

The Secretary certifies that the final waiver and extension will not have a significant economic impact on this entity because the extension of an existing project period imposes minimal compliance costs, and the activities required to support the additional year of funding will not impose additional regulatory burdens or require unnecessary Federal supervision.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

This final waiver and extension of the project period does not contain any information collection requirements.

Intergovernmental Review

This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. However, under 34 CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental review in order to make an award by the end of FY 2015.

Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

Dated: July 27, 2015. Michael K. Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2015-18725 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Part 75 Final Waiver and Extension of the Project Period; Regional Interpreter Education Centers for the Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind AGENCY:

Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Final waiver and extension of the project period.

[Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.160A] SUMMARY:

The Secretary waives the requirements that generally prohibit project periods exceeding five years and extensions of project periods involving the obligation of additional Federal funds for five 60-month projects initially funded in fiscal year (FY) 2010. The Secretary also extends the project period for these projects for one year. This waiver and extension enables the currently funded Regional Interpreter Education Centers for the training of interpreters for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals who are deaf-blind (Regional Centers) to receive funding through September 30, 2016.

DATES:

The waiver and extension of the project period are effective July 30, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kristen Rhinehart-Fernandez, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5027, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-6103 or by email: [email protected]

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf or a text telephone, call the Federal Relay Service, toll-free, at 1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On April 17, 2015, the Department published a notice in the Federal Register (80 FR 21195) proposing an extension of the project period and a waiver of 34 CFR 75.250 and 34 CFR 75.261(c)(2) (proposed waiver and extension) in order to—

(1) Enable the Secretary to provide additional funds to the Regional Centers for an additional 12-month period, from September 30, 2015, through September 30, 2016; and

(2) Invite comments on the proposed waiver and extension.

There are no substantive differences between the proposed waiver and extension and this final waiver and extension.

Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the proposed waiver and extension, two parties submitted comments.

Analysis of Comments and Changes: An analysis of the comments received in response to the proposed waiver and extension and of any changes in the waiver and extension since publication of the proposed waiver and extension follows.

Comment: Two commenters supported extending the Regional Centers' project period for one year to avoid the loss of an essential source of training and training materials tailored to the needs of the five regions served.

Discussion: We appreciate the commenters' support.

Changes: None.

Final Waiver and Extension

In the proposed waiver and extension, we discuss the background and purposes of the Regional Centers and our reasons for proposing the waiver and extension. For the reasons discussed there, we conclude that it would be contrary to the public interest to have a lapse in the provision of the training currently provided by the Regional Centers. Allowing funding to lapse before a new interpreter education delivery system can be implemented would leave individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals who are deaf-blind without necessary supports in the event that critical needs arise.

The Secretary waives the requirements in 34 CFR 75.250, which prohibit project periods exceeding five years, and the requirements in 34 CFR 75.261(c)(2), which limits the extension of a project period if the extension involves the obligation of additional Federal funds. This will allow the five current grantees to request and continue to receive Federal funding through September 30, 2016. With this waiver and extension of the project period, each Regional Center will be required to develop a plan to demonstrate how it will continue to carry out activities during the year of the continuation award consistent with the scope, goals, and objectives of the grantee's application as approved in the 2010 competition. These plans must be submitted to RSA for review and approval by September 1, 2015.

Waiver of Delayed Effective Date

The Administrative Procedure Act requires that a substantive rule must be published at least 30 days before its effective date, except as otherwise provided for good cause (5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3)). We have not made any substantive changes to the proposed waiver and extension. The Secretary has therefore determined to waive the delayed effective date to ensure timely continuation grants to the entities affected and continuation of the valuable services the Regional Centers provide.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

The Secretary certifies that this final waiver and extension of the project period will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The only entities that will be affected are the five current grantees receiving Federal funds to serve as the Regional Centers and any other potential applicants.

The Secretary certifies that the waiver and extension will not have a significant economic impact on these entities because the extension of an existing project period imposes minimal compliance costs, and the activities required to support the additional year of funding will not impose additional regulatory burdens or require unnecessary Federal supervision.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

This final waiver and extension of the project period does not contain any information collection requirements.

Intergovernmental Review

This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. However, under 34 CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental review in order to make awards by the end of FY 2015.

Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

Dated: July 27, 2015. Michael K. Yudin, <E T="03">Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.</E>
[FR Doc. 2015-18726 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Chapter III [CFDA Number: 84.264H.] Final Priority; Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center—Youth With Disabilities AGENCY:

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Final priority.

SUMMARY:

The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services announces a priority under the Rehabilitation Training program. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2015 and later years. This priority is designed to ensure that professionals working in State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies receive the technical assistance (TA) they need to provide youth with disabilities with services and supports that lead to postsecondary education and competitive integrated employment.

DATES:

This priority is effective August 31, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tara Jordan, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5040, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-7341 or by email: [email protected]

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Purpose of Program: Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) makes grants to States and public or nonprofit agencies and organizations (including institutions of higher education) to support projects that provide training, traineeships, and TA designed to increase the numbers of, and improve the skills of, qualified personnel, especially rehabilitation counselors, who are trained to: provide vocational, medical, social, and psychological rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities; assist individuals with communication and related disorders; and provide other services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act.

Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 772(a)(1).

Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 385.

We published a notice of proposed priority for this competition in the Federal Register on May 15, 2015 (80 FR 27868). That notice contained background information and our reasons for proposing the particular priority. There are differences between the proposed priority and this final priority, and we explain those differences in the Analysis of Comments and Changes section of this notice.

Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the notice of proposed priority, three parties submitted comments on the proposed priority.

Generally, we do not address technical and other minor changes.

Analysis of Comments and Changes: An analysis of the comments and of any changes in the priority since publication of the notice of proposed priority follows.

Comment: One commenter suggested that the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center—Youth with Disabilities (VRTAC-Y) include as a focus of the training and TA to be provided by the Center best practices for improving services and supports for children with disabilities who are home schooled as well as children with disabilities in foster care. In addition, the commenter noted that, like youth without disabilities, youth with disabilities need support in obtaining work experience in intermediate jobs while they are still being encouraged to seek careers requiring postsecondary education or training. The commenter also suggested that the VRTAC-Y consult with adults with disabilities who are successful in order to identify practices they found to be helpful. Finally, the commenter suggested that best practices include mentoring programs pairing youth with disabilities and individuals with disabilities who have been successful in their chosen careers.

Discussion: The focus of this priority is to provide TA to State VR agencies to improve services to and outcomes for: (1) Students with disabilities, as defined in section 7(37) of the Rehabilitation Act, who are in school and who are not receiving services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); and (2) youth with disabilities, as defined in section 7(42) of the Rehabilitation Act, who are no longer in school and who are not employed, often referred to as dropouts. Thus, an applicant could propose to include as a focus of its TA students with disabilities who are home schooled or in foster care and who are not receiving services under the IDEA, and youth with disabilities in foster care who are between the ages of 14 and 24 and who are dropouts, if such a focus is consistent with the TA needs identified by the Center under this priority.

Similarly, nothing in this priority as currently written precludes the grantee from providing TA to help students and youth with disabilities to obtain intermediate jobs as they pursue their long-term career goals. In addition, an applicant may employ or otherwise consult with adults with disabilities to identify best practices in serving students and youth with disabilities, and an applicant may propose this strategy as one of its TA activities. Finally, we agree that developing supportive mentoring relationships can help to improve employment outcomes for youth with disabilities, and we have added language to the priority under topic area (c) to address this comment.

Changes: We have added mentoring services under topic area (c) as an example of a collaborative and coordinated service strategy that is designed to increase the number of students and youth with disabilities who obtain competitive integrated employment.

Comment: Given the potential for overlap with TA and materials provided by other TA centers on related topics, one commenter suggested that applicants for the VRTAC-Y describe their plans to coordinate with other previously established TA centers. The commenter also questioned the requirement to review current VR agency State Plans while State agencies are in the midst of developing Unified or Combined State Plans with WIOA core programs and updating relevant interagency agreements, suggesting that review of these State Plans that were developed before the implementation of WIOA might not yield current information on which to base selection of intensive TA sites or the measurement of TA impact on performance.

Discussion: Coordinating responsibilities between the VRTAC-Y and existing TA centers is required under Coordination Activities, section (b), and Application Requirements, section (b)(1)(iii), and we believe the commenter's concerns are adequately addressed in those sections.

While we recognize that State VR agencies are working with WIOA partners to develop Unified or Combined State Plans, including updating relevant interagency agreements, we expect that review of current State Plans will still provide valuable information for TA purposes. The review of State Plans is only one source of information the VRTAC-Y will consider in its knowledge development activities. In addition to reviewing State-reported data and other information, the VRTAC-Y will conduct a survey of relevant stakeholders and VR service providers to identify TA needs. Finally, the applicant is required to describe how it will determine the effectiveness of the TA, including any proposed standards or targets for determining effectiveness, and its progress toward achieving intended outcomes, which at a minimum must include data on a number of variables.

Changes: None.

Comment: One commenter suggested that the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Activities section of this priority could be strengthened by specifically identifying service providers as partners of the State VR agency in these activities in section (a)(1). The commenter suggested using the phrase “public and community-based” to better describe the service systems discussed under section (a)(2) (how to access and leverage partnerships across agencies and public and community-based service delivery systems to increase the number of students and youth with disabilities provided with relevant and accessible information regarding services available through the State VR agency) and under section (b)(1) (a curriculum guide for developing partnerships). The commenter also suggested that work experience opportunities and programs be included in section (b)(3) (a curriculum guide for developing training and work experience programs).

Discussion: Service providers are included in the term “relevant stakeholders,” which already is used in the priority, so we do not believe it is necessary to mention them specifically. We agree that the phrase “public and community-based” is most inclusive of potential partners in serving students and youth with disabilities. We also agree that the addition of work opportunities to the curriculum guide on developing training and work experience programs is consistent with the individualized nature of customized training that is included in this curriculum guide description.

Changes: We have added the phrase “public and community-based” in sections (a)(2)(i) and (ii) and (b)(1) under Technical Assistance and Dissemination Activities in order to better describe coordination among service systems. Under section (b)(3), we have added the words “career pathways” and “work opportunities” in the description of the curriculum guide.

Comment: None.

Discussion: In reviewing the NPP, we recognized that we had overlooked an obvious but important set of training programs to which students and youth with disabilities should have access.

Changes: We have added language under paragraph (3)(iii) of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Activities section. We clarify that TA on assisting students and youth with disabilities to access training that is directly responsive to employer needs and hiring requirements may include training offered by providers under the WIOA core programs.

Final Priority:

The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement to establish a Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center—Youth with Disabilities (VRTAC-Y). The focus of this priority is to provide technical assistance (TA) to State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies to improve services to and outcomes of: (1) Students with disabilities, as defined in section 7(37) of the Rehabilitation Act, who are in school and who are not receiving services under the IDEA; and (2) youth with disabilities, as defined in section 7(42) of the Rehabilitation Act, who are no longer in school and who are not employed, often referred to as dropouts. For purposes of this priority, “Students and youth with disabilities” refers to these two groups.

The VRTAC-Y is designed to achieve, at a minimum, the following outcomes:

(a) Assist State VR agencies to identify and meet the VR needs of students and youth with disabilities consistent with section 101(a)(15) of the Rehabilitation Act;

(b) Improve the ability of State VR agencies to develop partnerships with State and local agencies, service providers, or other entities to ensure that students and youth with disabilities are referred for VR services and have access to coordinated supports, services, training, and employment opportunities, including: (1) Increasing the number of referrals and applications received by State VR agencies from agencies, service providers and others serving students and youth with disabilities; and (2) increasing the number of students and youth with disabilities receiving VR services;

(c) Improve the ability of VR personnel to develop individualized plans for employment that ensure the successful transition of students and youth with disabilities and the achievement of post-school goals; and

(d) Increase the number of students and youth with disabilities served by VR agencies (particularly dropouts and youth involved in the foster care and correctional systems) who are engaged in education and training programs leading to the attainment of postsecondary educational skills and credentials needed for employment in high-demand occupations.

Topic Areas

Under this priority, the VRTAC-Y must develop and provide training and TA to State VR agency staff and related rehabilitation professionals and service providers in the following topic areas:

(a) Developing and maintaining formal and informal partnerships and relationships with relevant stakeholders (including, but not limited to, school systems, institutions of higher education (IHEs), State and local service agencies, community rehabilitation programs, correctional facilities and programs, and employers) to increase referral of students and youth with disabilities to the State VR system for the supports and services they need to achieve competitive integrated employment;

(b) Developing and implementing outreach policies and procedures using evidence-based and promising practices that ensure that students and youth with disabilities in the State are located, identified, and evaluated for services; and

(c) Developing and implementing collaborative and coordinated service strategies, such as mentoring services; higher education and training services; and internship, apprenticeship, and other work experience services designed to increase the number of students and youth with disabilities who are served by the State VR agency who obtain competitive integrated employment.

Project Activities

To meet the requirements of this priority, the VRTAC-Y must, at a minimum, conduct the following activities:

Knowledge Development Activities

(a) In the first year, collect information from the literature and from existing Federal, State, and other programs on evidence-based and promising practices relevant to the work of the VRTAC-Y and make this information publicly available in a searchable, accessible, and useful format. The VRTAC-Y must review, at a minimum:

(1) State VR agency State Plan descriptions of outreach plans and procedures, coordination and collaboration with other agencies, and coordination and collaboration with education officials relating to students and youth with disabilities;

(2) State VR agency formal interagency agreements with SEAs for the coordination of transition services, including the provision of pre-employment transition services;

(3) The results of State VR agency monitoring conducted by RSA, when available;

(4) State VR agency program and performance data; and

(5) Information on promising practices and VR needs of students and youth with disabilities from TA centers that serve relevant public and private non-profit agencies, as well as existing RSA and Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) TA centers and RSA and OSEP Parent Training and Information Centers.

(b) In the first year, conduct a survey of relevant stakeholders and VR service providers to identify TA needs that the VRTAC-Y can meet and develop a process by which TA solutions can be offered to State VR agencies and their partners. The VRTAC-Y must survey, at a minimum:

(1) State VR agency staff;

(2) Relevant RSA staff;

(3) Grantees of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research that are researching topics related to the work of the VRTAC-Y; and

(4) Educators or other professionals conducting research on topics related to the work of the VRTAC-Y.

Technical Assistance and Dissemination Activities

(a) Over the five-year grant period, provide intensive TA to a minimum of 10 State VR agencies and their associated rehabilitation professionals and service providers in the topic areas set out in this priority.1 In each of the second, third, fourth, and fifth years of the project, the VRTAC-Y must provide intensive TA to at least two different State VR agencies. Applicants must clearly describe the application process and selection criteria for the State VR agencies that would receive intensive TA. Such TA must include:

1 For the purposes of this priority, “intensive TA” means TA services often provided on-site and requiring a stable, ongoing relationship between the TA Center staff and the TA recipient. “TA services” are defined as a negotiated series of activities designed to reach a valued outcome. Intensive TA should result in changes to policy, programs, practices, or operations that support increased recipient capacity or improved outcomes at one or more systems levels.

(1) For topic area (a)—

(i) Identification of relevant stakeholders in the State or region who can improve the State VR agency's ability to perform outreach activities and meet the employment and training needs of students and youth with disabilities;

(ii) Effective marketing and outreach to school and community services personnel, such as how best to present information about VR supports, training, and programming for students and youth with disabilities; and

(iii) How to develop formal and informal service and outreach agreements with relevant stakeholders to meet the employment and training needs of students and youth with disabilities.

(2) For topic area (b)—

(i) How to conduct an analysis and assessment of outreach strategies to determine gaps between public and community-based service delivery systems, as well as the need for coordinated services and supports across service systems for students and youth with disabilities;

(ii) How to access and leverage partnerships across agencies and public and community-based service delivery systems to increase the number of students and youth with disabilities provided with relevant and accessible information regarding services available through the State VR agency.

(3) For topic area (c)—

(i) Evidence-based and promising practices in the development and implementation of vocational services to meet the employment and training needs of students and youth with disabilities;

(ii) How to incorporate students and youth with disabilities into training programs in which they have been historically underrepresented; and

(iii) How to assist students and youth with disabilities in accessing customized vocational, occupational, or certification training or other career training that is directly responsive to employer needs and hiring requirements, including, but not limited to, training offered by providers under the WIOA core programs, Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act, H-1B Ready to Work Partnership Grants, and Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grants, including two-year and four-year IHEs.

(b) In the first year, develop and refine a minimum of five curriculum guides for VR staff training in topics related to the work of the VRTAC-Y, which must include:

(1) Partnership development across public and community-based service delivery systems for purposes of leveraging resources and coordinating supports, services, training, and employment opportunities for students and youth with disabilities;

(2) Development, implementation, and dissemination of effective model outreach strategies, policies, and procedures to improve access for students and youth with disabilities to VR services and supports;

(3) Development of customized training, career pathways, other career training, work opportunities and work experience programs for students and youth with disabilities;

(4) Development and delivery of support services to providers of career training programs that facilitate completion of training and result in competitive integrated employment for students and youth with disabilities; and

(5) Delivery of support services to employers who hire students and youth with disabilities from customized or career training programs or who offer internships and work experience opportunities.

(c) Provide a range of targeted and general TA products and services on the topic areas in this priority. Such TA must include, at a minimum, the following activities:

(1) Developing and maintaining a state-of-the-art information technology platform sufficient to support Webinars, teleconferences, video conferences, and other virtual methods of dissemination of information and TA;

Note:

All products produced by the VRTAC-Y must meet government and industry-recognized standards for accessibility, including section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The VRTAC-Y may either develop a new platform or system, or modify existing platforms or systems, so long as the requirements of the priority are met.

(2) Ensuring that all TA products are sent to the National Center for Rehabilitation Training Materials, including: course curricula; audiovisual materials; Webinars; examples of emerging and best practices related to the topic areas in this priority; and any other TA products; and

(3) Providing a minimum of four Webinars or video conferences on each of the topic areas in this priority to describe and disseminate information about emerging and promising practices in each area.

Coordination Activities

(a) Establish a community of practice for all interested State VR agencies that will act as a vehicle for communication, exchange of information among State VR agencies and partners, and a forum for sharing the results of TA projects that are in progress or have been completed. Such community of practice must be focused on partnerships across service systems, outreach and identification strategies for students and youth with disabilities, and the development and provision of vocational services and vocational training to students and youth with disabilities.

(b) Communicate and coordinate, on an ongoing basis, with other Department-funded projects and those supported by the Departments of Labor and Commerce; and

(c) Maintain ongoing communication with the RSA project officer.

Application Requirements

To be funded under this priority, applicants must meet the application requirements in this priority. RSA encourages innovative approaches to meet these requirements, which are to:

(a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application, under “Significance of the Project,” how the proposed project will—

(1) Address State VR agencies' capacity to meet the employment and training needs of students and youth with disabilities. To meet this requirement, the applicant must:

(i) Demonstrate knowledge of emerging and best practices in conducting outreach and providing VR services to students and youth with disabilities;

(ii) Demonstrate knowledge of current applicable Federal statutes and regulations, current RSA guidance, and State and Federal initiatives designed to improve employment outcomes for students and youth with disabilities; and

(iii) Present information about the difficulties that State VR agencies and service providers have encountered in developing and implementing effective outreach and service delivery plans for students and youth with disabilities; and

(2) Result in increases in both the number of students and youth with disabilities receiving services from State VR agencies and related agencies and the number and quality of employment outcomes in competitive integrated employment for students and youth with disabilities;

(b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application, under “Quality of Project Services,” how the proposed project will—

(1) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet this requirement, the applicant must provide—

(i) Measurable intended project outcomes;

(ii) A plan for how the proposed project will achieve its intended outcomes; and

(iii) A plan for communicating and coordinating with key staff in State VR agencies, State and local partner programs, advocates for students and youth with disabilities, RSA partners such as the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind (NCSAB), and other TA Centers and relevant programs within the Departments of Education, Labor, and Commerce;

(2) Use a conceptual framework to develop project plans and activities, describing any underlying concepts, assumptions, expectations, beliefs, or theories, as well as the presumed relationships or linkages among these variables, and any empirical support for this framework;

(3) Be based on current research and make use of evidence-based and promising practices. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe—

(i) The current research on emerging, promising, and evidence-based practices in the topic areas in this priority;

(ii) How the current research about adult learning principles and implementation science will inform the proposed TA; and

(iii) How the proposed project will incorporate current research and evidence-based practices in the development and delivery of its products and services;

(4) Develop products and provide services that are of high quality and sufficient intensity and duration to achieve the intended outcomes of the proposed project. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

(i) Its proposed activities to identify or develop the knowledge base on emerging and promising practices in the topic areas in this priority;

(ii) Its proposed approach to universal, general TA; 2

2 For the purposes of this priority, “universal, general technical assistance” means TA and information provided to independent users through their own initiative, resulting in minimal interaction with TA center staff and including one-time, invited or offered conference presentations by TA center staff. This category of TA also includes information or products, such as newsletters, guidebooks, or research syntheses, downloaded from the TA center's Web site by independent users. Brief communications by TA center staff with recipients, either by telephone or email, are also considered universal, general TA.

(iii) Its proposed approach to targeted, specialized TA,3 which must identify—

3 For the purposes of this priority, “targeted, specialized technical assistance” means TA services based on needs common to multiple recipients and not extensively individualized. A relationship is established between the TA recipient and one or more TA center staff. This category of TA includes one-time, labor-intensive events, such as facilitating strategic planning or hosting regional or national conferences. It can also include episodic, less labor-intensive events that extend over a period of time, such as facilitating a series of conference calls on single or multiple topics that are designed around the needs of the recipients. Facilitating communities of practice can also be considered targeted, specialized TA.

(A) The intended recipients of the products and services under this approach; and

(B) Its proposed approach to measure the readiness of State VR agencies to work with the proposed project, assessing, at a minimum, their current infrastructure, available resources, and ability to effectively respond to the TA, as appropriate;

(iv) Its proposed approach to intensive, sustained TA, which must identify—

(A) The intended recipients of the products and services under this approach;

(B) Its proposed approach to measure the readiness of the State VR agencies to work with the proposed project including the State VR agencies' commitment to the TA initiatives, appropriateness of the initiatives, current infrastructure, available resources, and ability to respond effectively to the TA, as applicable;

(C) Its proposed plan for assisting State VR agencies to build training systems that include professional development based on adult learning principles and coaching; and

(D) Its proposed plan for developing intensive TA agreements with State VR agencies to provide intensive, sustained TA. The plan must describe how the intensive TA agreements will outline the purposes of the TA, the intended outcomes of the TA, and the measurable objectives of the TA that will be evaluated;

(5) Develop products and implement services to maximize the project's efficiency. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

(i) How the proposed project will use technology to achieve the intended project outcomes; and

(ii) With whom the proposed project will collaborate and the intended outcomes of this collaboration;

(c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of the Evaluation Plan,” how the proposed project will—

(1) Measure and track the effectiveness of the TA provided. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe its proposed approach to—

(i) Collecting data on the effectiveness of each TA activity from State VR agencies, partners, or other sources, as appropriate; and

(ii) Analyzing data and determining the effectiveness of each TA activity, including any proposed standards or targets for determining effectiveness. At a minimum, the VRTAC-Y must analyze data on school and service system referrals to State VR agencies and employment outcomes of students and youth with disabilities, including type of employment, wages, hours worked, weeks of employment, and public benefits received;

(2) Collect and analyze data on specific and measurable goals, objectives, and intended outcomes of the project, including measuring and tracking the effectiveness of the TA provided. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

(i) Its proposed evaluation methodologies, including instruments, data collection methods, and analyses;

(ii) Its proposed standards or targets for determining effectiveness;

(iii) How it will use the evaluation results to examine the effectiveness of its implementation and its progress toward achieving the intended outcomes; and

(iv) How the methods of evaluation will produce quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrate whether the project and individual TA activities achieved their intended outcomes;

(d) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Adequacy of Project Resources,” how—

(1) The proposed project will encourage applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have historically been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability, as appropriate;

(2) The proposed key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to provide TA to State VR agencies and their partners in each of the topic areas in this priority and to achieve the project's intended outcomes;

(3) The applicant and any key partners have adequate resources to carry out the proposed activities; and

(4) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the anticipated results and benefits;

(e) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of the Management Plan,” how—

(1) The proposed management plan will ensure that the project's intended outcomes will be achieved on time and within budget. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

(i) Clearly defined responsibilities for key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors, as applicable; and

(ii) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks;

(2) Key project personnel and any consultants and subcontractors that will be allocated to the project and how these allocations are appropriate and adequate to achieve the project's intended outcomes, including an assurance that such personnel will have adequate availability to ensure timely communications with stakeholders and RSA;

(3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and services provided are of high quality; and

(4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of perspectives, including those of State and local personnel, TA providers, researchers, and policy makers, among others, in its development and operation.

Types of Priorities:

When inviting applications for a competition using one or more priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:

Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).

Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii)).

Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).

This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

Note:

This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use this priority, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 Regulatory Impact Analysis

Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether this regulatory action is “significant” and, therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action likely to result in a rule that may—

(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to as an “economically significant” rule);

(2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;

(3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or

(4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles stated in the Executive order.

This final regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.

We have also reviewed this final regulatory action under Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency—

(1) Propose or adopt regulations only upon a reasoned determination that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify);

(2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into account—among other things and to the extent practicable—the costs of cumulative regulations;

(3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);

(4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must adopt; and

(5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including economic incentives—such as user fees or marketable permits—to encourage the desired behavior, or provide information that enables the public to make choices.

Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency “to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible.” The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these techniques may include “identifying changing future compliance costs that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavioral changes.”

We are issuing this final priority only on a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs. In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that maximize net benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes that this regulatory action is consistent with the principles in Executive Order 13563.

We also have determined that this regulatory action does not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental functions.

In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering the Department's programs and activities. The benefits of the Rehabilitation Training program have been well established over the years through the successful completion of similar projects. This priority will better prepare State VR agency personnel to assist the students and youth with disabilities who are the focus of this priority to achieve competitive integrated employment in today's challenging labor market.

Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.

This document provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for this program.

Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

Dated: July 27, 2015. Michael K. Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2015-18713 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office 37 CFR Part 1 [Docket No.: PTO-P-2015-0034] July 2015 Update on Subject Matter Eligibility AGENCY:

United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION:

Update; Request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) prepared interim guidance (2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance) for use by USPTO personnel in determining subject matter eligibility in view of then-recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court (Supreme Court). The USPTO published the 2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance in the Federal Register, and sought public comment on the 2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance. The USPTO has since produced an update pertaining to patent subject matter eligibility titled July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility, which is available to the public on the USPTO's Internet Web site, in response to the public comment on the 2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance. The July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility includes a new set of examples and discussion of various issues raised by the public comments, and is intended to assist examiners in applying the 2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance during the patent examination process. The USPTO is now seeking public comment on the July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility.

COMMENT DEADLINE DATE:

To be ensured of consideration, written comments on July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility must be received on or before October 28, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Comments on the July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility must be sent by electronic mail message over the Internet addressed to: [email protected] Electronic comments submitted in plain text are preferred, but also may be submitted in ADOBE® portable document format or MICROSOFT WORD® format. The comments will be available for viewing via the Office's Internet Web site (http://www.uspto.gov). Because comments will be made available for public inspection, information that the submitter does not desire to make public, such as an address or phone number, should not be included in the comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Raul Tamayo, Senior Legal Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, by telephone at 571-272-7728, or Michael Cygan, Senior Legal Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, by telephone at 571-272-7700.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The 2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance, prepared for use by USPTO personnel in determining subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101, was published in the Federal Register on December 16, 2014. See 2014 Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility, 79 FR 74618 (Dec. 16, 2014). The USPTO also sought public comment on the 2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance, along with additional suggestions on claim examples for explanatory example sets.

The USPTO received over sixty comments from the public. The public comments include the following six major themes: (1) requests for additional examples, particularly for claims directed to abstract ideas and laws of nature; (2) further explanation of the markedly different characteristics analysis; (3) further information regarding how examiners identify abstract ideas; (4) discussion of the prima facie case and the role of evidence with respect to eligibility rejections; (5) information regarding application of the 2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance in the Patent Examining Corps; and (6) explanation of the role of preemption in the eligibility analysis, including a discussion of the streamlined analysis.

The USPTO has produced a July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility responding to each of the six major themes from the public comments. The July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility includes three appendices. The first appendix (Appendix 1) provides new examples that are illustrative of major themes from the comments. The second appendix (Appendix 2) is a comprehensive index of examples for use with the 2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance, including new and previously issued examples. The third appendix (Appendix 3) lists and discusses selected eligibility cases from the Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility is intended to assist examiners in applying the 2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance during the patent examination process.

The July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility, including the appendices, are available to the public on the USPTO's Internet Web site. The USPTO is now seeking public comment on the July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility.

Dated: July 15, 2015. Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2015-18628 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0330; FRL-9931-46-Region 10] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Washington: Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires each State Implementation Plan (SIP) to contain adequate provisions prohibiting air emissions that will have certain adverse air quality effects in other states. On May 11, 2015, the State of Washington submitted a SIP revision to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address certain interstate transport requirements with respect to the 2006 24-hour fine particulate matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The EPA has determined that Washington adequately addressed these CAA interstate transport requirements for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS.

DATES:

This final rule is effective August 31, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0330. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information the disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Programs Unit, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98101. The EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. You may view the hard copy of the docket Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information please contact Jeff Hunt at (206) 553-0256, [email protected], or by using the above EPA, Region 10 address.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Background Information II. Final Action III. Statutory and Executive Orders Review I. Background Information

On June 10, 2015, the EPA proposed to find that Washington adequately addressed the interstate transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS (80 FR 32870). An explanation of the CAA requirements, a detailed analysis of the submittal, and the EPA's reasons for approval were provided in the notice of proposed rulemaking, and will not be restated here. The public comment period for this proposed rule ended on July 10, 2015. The EPA received no comments on the proposal.

II. Final Action

The EPA has determined that the Washington SIP meets the CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) interstate transport requirements for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS.

III. Statutory and Executive Orders Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because this action does not involve technical standards; and

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

The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land in Washington except as specifically noted below and is also not approved to apply 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 as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). Washington's SIP is approved to apply on non-trust land within the exterior boundaries of the Puyallup Indian Reservation, also known as the 1873 Survey Area. Under the Puyallup Tribe of Indians Settlement Act of 1989, 25 U.S.C. 1773, Congress explicitly provided state and local agencies in Washington authority over activities on non-trust lands within the 1873 Survey Area.

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

Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by September 28, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

Dated: July 15, 2015. Dennis J. McLerran, Regional Administrator, Region 10.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 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 WW—Washington 2. In § 52.2470, table 2 in paragraph (e) is amended by adding the entry “Interstate Transport for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS” to the end of the table to read as follows:
§ 52.2470 Identification of plan.

(e)* * *

Table 2—Attainment, Maintenance, And Other Plans Name of SIP provision Applicable geographic or nonattainment area State submittal date EPA approval date Comments *         *         *         *         *         *         * 110(a)(2) Infrastructure and Interstate Transport *         *         *         *         *         *         * Interstate Transport for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS Statewide 5/11/15 7/30/15
  • [Insert Federal Register citation]
  • This action addresses CAA 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I).
    [FR Doc. 2015-18611 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0323; FRL-9931-16-Region 10] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Oregon: Grants Pass Second 10-Year PM10 Limited Maintenance Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a limited maintenance plan submitted by the State of Oregon on April 22, 2015, for the Grants Pass area for particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to a nominal 10 micrometers (PM10). The plan explains how this area will continue to meet the PM10 National Ambient Air Quality Standard for a second 10-year period through 2025.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on September 28, 2015, without further notice, unless the EPA receives adverse comment by August 31, 2015. If the EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0323, by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected]

    Mail: Lucy Edmondson, EPA Region 10, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, AWT-150, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101. Attention: Lucy Edmondson, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, AWT-150. Such deliveries are only accepted during normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0323. The 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 the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, 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, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lucy Edmondson (360) 753-9082, [email protected], or by using the above EPA, Region 10 address.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, wherever “we”, “us” or “our” are used, it is intended to refer to the EPA.

    Table of Contents I. This Action II. Background III. Public and Stakeholder Involvement in Rulemaking Process IV. The Limited Maintenance Plan Option for PM10 Areas A. Requirements for the Limited Maintenance Plan Option B. Conformity Under the Limited Maintenance Plan Option V. Review of the State's Submittal A. Has the State demonstrated that Grants Pass qualifies for the limited maintenance plan option? B. Does the State have an approved attainment emissions inventory? C. Does the limited Maintenance plan include an assurance of continued operation of an appropriate EPA-approved air quality monitoring network, in accordance with 40 CFR part 58? D. Does the plan meet the Clean Air Act requirements for contingency provisions? E. Has the State met conformity requirements? VI. Oregon Notice Provision VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. This Action

    The EPA is approving the limited maintenance plan submitted by the State of Oregon (the State) on April 22, 2015, for the Grants Pass Urban Growth Boundary. The plan addresses maintenance of the PM10 National Ambient Air Quality Standard for a second 10-year period through 2025.

    II. Background

    The EPA identified the Grants Pass, Oregon, Urban Growth Boundary as a “Group I” area of concern due to measured violations of the newly promulgated 24-hour PM10 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) on August 7, 1987 (52 FR 29383). On November 15, 1990, the Clean Air Act (CAA) Amendments under section 107(d)(4)(B), designated Grants Pass Group I area as nonattainment for PM10 by operation of law. The EPA published a Federal Register document announcing all areas designated nonattainment for PM10 on March 15, 1991 (56 FR 11101). The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) worked with the community of Grants Pass to develop a plan for attainment of the PM10 NAAQS. Control measures focused on reducing smoke emissions with PM10 control measures for wood stoves, open forestry burning, as well as industrial growth controls and other strategies. The EPA proposed approval of the plan on March 10, 1993 (58 FR 13230), and approved it on December 17, 1993 (58 FR 65934). On November 5, 1999, Oregon submitted a complete rule renumbering and relabeling package to the EPA for approval into the SIP. On January 22, 2003, the EPA approved the recodified version of Oregon's rules to remove and replace the outdated numbering system (68 FR 2891). The EPA approved ODEQ's maintenance plan to ensure continued compliance with the PM10 NAAQS for ten years on October 27, 2003 (68 FR 61111).

    In addition to approving ODEQ's maintenance plan for the area, the EPA also approved ODEQ's request to redesignate the Grants Pass nonattainment area to attainment on October 27, 2003 (68 FR 61111). The purpose of the submitted limited maintenance plan is to fulfill the second 10-year planning requirement of CAA section 175A(b) to ensure compliance through 2025.

    III. Public and Stakeholder Involvement in Rulemaking Process

    Section 110(a)(2) of the CAA requires that each SIP revision offer a reasonable opportunity for notice and public hearing. This must occur prior to the revision being submitted by the State to the EPA. The State provided notice and an opportunity for public comment from December 16, 2014 until January 26, 2015 with no comments received. ODEQ also held a public hearing on January 22, 2015 in Grants Pass. This SIP revision was submitted by the Governor's designee and was received by the EPA on April 22, 2015. The EPA evaluated ODEQ's submittal and determined that the State met the requirements for reasonable notice and public hearing under section 110(a)(2) of the CAA.

    IV. The Limited Maintenance Plan Option for PM10 Areas A. Requirements for the Limited Maintenance Plan Option

    On August 9, 2001, the EPA issued guidance on streamlined maintenance plan provisions for certain moderate PM10 nonattainment areas (Memo from Lydia Wegman, Director, Air Quality Standards and Strategies Division, entitled “Limited Maintenance Plan Option for Moderate PM10 Nonattainment Areas” (limited maintenance plan option memo). The limited maintenance plan option memo contains a statistical demonstration that areas meeting certain air quality criteria will, with a high degree of probability, maintain the standard ten years into the future. Thus, the EPA provided the maintenance demonstration for areas meeting the criteria outlined in the memo. It follows that future year emission inventories for these areas, and some of the standard analyses to determine transportation conformity with the SIP, are no longer necessary.

    To qualify for the limited maintenance plan option, the State must demonstrate the area meets the criteria described below. First, the area should have attained the PM10 NAAQS. Second, the most recent five years of air quality data at all monitors in the area, called the 24-hour average design value, should be at or below 98 µg/m3. Third, the State should expect only limited growth in on-road motor vehicle PM10 emissions (including fugitive dust) and should have passed a motor vehicle regional emissions analysis test. Lastly, the memo identifies core provisions that must be included in all limited maintenance plans. These provisions include an attainment year emissions inventory, assurance of continued operation of an EPA-approved air quality monitoring network, and contingency provisions.

    B. Conformity Under the Limited Maintenance Plan Option

    The transportation conformity rule and the general conformity rule (40 CFR parts 51 and 93) apply to nonattainment areas and areas covered by an approved maintenance plan. Under either conformity rule, an acceptable method of demonstrating a Federal action conforms to the applicable SIP is to demonstrate that expected emissions from the planned action are consistent with the emissions budget for the area.

    While qualification for the limited maintenance plan option does not exempt an area from the need to affirm conformity, conformity may be demonstrated without submitting an emissions budget. Under the limited maintenance plan option, emissions budgets are treated as essentially not constraining for the length of the maintenance period because it is unreasonable to expect that the qualifying areas would experience so much growth in the period that a violation of the PM10 NAAQS would result. For transportation conformity purposes, the EPA would conclude that emissions in these areas need not be capped for the maintenance period and therefore a regional emissions analysis would not be required. Similarly, Federal actions subject to the general conformity rule could be considered to satisfy the “budget test” specified in 40 CFR 93.158(a)(5)(i)(A) for the same reasons that the budgets are essentially considered to be unlimited.

    V. Review of the State's Submittal A. Has the State demonstrated that Grants Pass qualifies for the limited maintenance plan option?

    As discussed above, the limited maintenance plan option memo outlines the requirements for an area to qualify. First, the area should be attaining the NAAQS. The EPA determined the Grants Pass area attained the PM10 NAAQS based on monitoring data from 1988 through 1990 and approved the State's maintenance plan and request to redesignate the area from nonattainment to attainment on October 27, 2003 (68 FR 61111). The area has been in continued compliance with the PM10 NAAQS since that time.

    Second, the average design value for the past five years of monitoring data must be at or below the critical design value of 98 μg/m3 for the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS. The critical design value is a margin of safety in which an area has a one in ten probability of exceeding the NAAQS. Using the most recently available Federal Reference Method (FRM) monitoring data for the years 2004-2008, the State's analysis demonstrated that Grants Pass average design value was 49 μg/m3, well below the 98 μg/m3 threshold. An FRM monitor is one that has been approved by the EPA under 40 CFR part 58 to measure compliance with the NAAQS. As discussed later in this proposal, ODEQ also calculated average design values using a linear regression analysis technique for the period 2009 to 2013. This more recent monitoring data shows that PM10 levels continue to be well below the standard with an average design value of 49 μg/m3. The EPA reviewed the data provided by ODEQ and finds that Grants Pass meets the design value criteria outlined in the limited maintenance plan option memo.

    Third, the area must meet the motor vehicle regional emissions analysis test described in attachment B of the limited maintenance plan option memo. ODEQ submitted an analysis showing that growth in on-road mobile PM10 emissions sources was minimal and would not threaten the assumption of maintenance that underlies the limited maintenance plan policy. Using the EPA's methodology, ODEQ calculated a regional emissions analysis margin of safety of 52 μg/m3, easily meeting the threshold of 98 μg/m3. The EPA reviewed the calculations in the State's limited maintenance plan submittal and concurs with this conclusion.

    Lastly, the limited maintenance plan option memo requires all controls relied on to demonstrate attainment remain in place for the area to qualify. The area's first 10-year maintenance plan relied on measures addressing residential wood combustion, open burning, road dust from motor vehicles and a major new source review program for industry. EPA approved the rules into the SIP on October 27, 2003 (68 FR 61111).

    As described above, Grants Pass meets the qualification criteria set forth in the limited maintenance plan option memo. Under the limited maintenance plan option, the State will be expected to determine on an annual basis that the criteria are still being met. If the State determines that the limited maintenance plan criteria are not being met, it should take action to reduce PM10 concentrations enough to requalify. One possible approach the State could take is to implement contingency measures. Section V. I. provides a description of contingency provisions included as part of the limited maintenance plan submittal.

    B. Does the State have an approved attainment emissions inventory?

    Pursuant to the limited maintenance plan option memo, the State's approved attainment plan should include an emissions inventory which can be used to demonstrate attainment of the NAAQS. The inventory should represent emissions during the same five-year period associated with air quality data used to determine whether the area meets the applicability requirements of the limited maintenance plan option.

    ODEQ's Grants Pass limited maintenance plan submittal includes an emissions inventory based on EPA's 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI) data for Josephine County. The 2011 base year represents the most recent emissions inventory data available and is consistent with the data used to determine applicability of the limited maintenance plan option. This approach is also consistent with the 1993 emission inventory developed for the first maintenance plan. Historically, exceedances of the 24-hr PM10 standard in Grants Pass have occurred during the winter months, between November 1 and the end of February. As such, in addition to annual emissions, typical season day and worst-case season day emissions are included in the inventory. The term “worst-case day” describes the maximum activity/emissions that have occurred or could occur on a season day, for each emissions source. Worst-case day emissions are summed for all sources/categories, i.e. assumed to occur on the same day. This assumption is the basis for what would be needed to cause an exceedance of the 24-hr standard. The unit of measure for annual emissions is in tons per year (tpy), while the unit of measure for season day emissions is in pounds per day (lb/day). In addition, the county-wide emissions inventory data was spatially allocated to the Grants Pass Urban Growth Boundary, and to buffers around the boundary or monitor, depending on emissions category.

    The submitted emissions inventory included the following categories: permitted point sources, area sources (including open burning, small stationary fossil fuel combustion, residential wood combustion, wildfires and prescribed burning, fugitive dust), nonroad (aircraft and airport related, locomotives, marine vessels, nonroad vehicles and equipment), and onroad mobile (exhaust/brake/tire, re-entrained road dust). The EPA has reviewed the emissions inventory data and methodology and finds that the data support ODEQ's conclusion that the control measures contained in the original attainment plan will continue to protect and maintain the PM10 NAAQS.

    C. Does the limited maintenance plan include an assurance of continued operation of an appropriate EPA-approved air quality monitoring network, in accordance with 40 CFR Part 58?

    The state of Oregon began monitoring in the Grants Pass area in 1987, with many changes to the monitoring technology and requirements since. From 2006 through 2008, the State collocated a PM2.5 monitor with the existing PM10 Federal Reference Method (FRM) monitor to establish correlation data and confirm that PM10 levels could be accurately predicted using PM2.5 concentrations for the areas. Due to the high level of correlation between the PM2.5 and PM10 monitors, ODEQ developed a report on their findings and asserted that PM2.5 monitoring was an accurate predictor of PM10 levels for purposes of determining continued maintenance of the PM10 standard in Grants Pass, and asked to discontinue the PM10 monitor. EPA approved this request in the Annual Network Plan Approval letter, dated January 6, 2012. Both the ODEQ report and the EPA approval letter are included in the materials of this docket.

    A full description of the correlation data and the estimation model is included in the State's submittal. The EPA is approving the use of PM2.5 monitoring data to estimate PM10 concentrations for the second 10-year maintenance plan period in Grants Pass and finds that it meets the relevant requirements at 40 CFR 58.14(c). This estimation method is a reproducible approach to representing air quality in the area, and the area continues to meet the applicable Appendix D requirements evaluated as part of the annual network approval process.

    In order to continue to qualify for the limited maintenance plan option, the State must calculate the PM10 design value estimate annually from PM2.5 monitoring data to confirm the area continues to meet the PM10 NAAQS.

    D. Does the plan meet the Clean Air Act requirements for contingency provisions?

    CAA section 175A states that a maintenance plan must include contingency provisions, as necessary, to ensure prompt correction of any violation of the NAAQS which may occur after redesignation of the area to attainment. The first Grants Pass maintenance plan contained contingency measures that would be implemented under two scenarios—if the official PM10 monitor registers a value of 120 μg/m3 or higher, or if a violation of the 24-hr PM10 standard were to occur. These two contingency scenarios are continued under the limited maintenance plan.

    E. Has the State met conformity requirements? (1) Transportation Conformity

    Under the limited maintenance plan option, emissions budgets are treated as essentially not constraining for the maintenance period because it is unreasonable to expect that qualifying areas would experience so much growth in that period that a NAAQS violation would result. While areas with maintenance plans approved under the limited maintenance plan option are not subject to the budget test, the areas remain subject to the other transportation conformity requirements of 40 CFR part 93, subpart A. Thus, the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) in the area or the State must document and ensure that:

    (a) Transportation plans and projects provide for timely implementation of SIP transportation control measures (TCMs) in accordance with 40 CFR 93.113;

    (b) transportation plans and projects comply with the fiscal constraint element as set forth in 40 CFR 93.108;

    (c) the MPO's interagency consultation procedures meet the applicable requirements of 40 CFR 93.105;

    (d) conformity of transportation plans is determined no less frequently than every three years, and conformity of plan amendments and transportation projects is demonstrated in accordance with the timing requirements specified in 40 CFR 93.104;

    (e) the latest planning assumptions and emissions model are used as set forth in 40 CFR 93.110 and 40 CFR 93.111;

    (f) projects do not cause or contribute to any new localized carbon monoxide or particulate matter violations, in accordance with procedures specified in 40 CFR 93.123; and

    (g) project sponsors and/or operators provide written commitments as specified in 40 CFR 93.125.

    In the June 24, 2015 adequacy finding for the Grants Pass PM10 limited maintenance plan, EPA determined that Grants Pass met the criteria to be exempt from regional emissions analysis for PM10. However, other transportation conformity requirements such as consultation, transportation control measures, and project level conformity requirements would continue to apply to the area. With approval of the LMP, the area continues to be exempt from performing a regional emissions analysis but must meet project-level conformity analyses as well as the transportation conformity criteria mentioned above.

    Upon approval of the Grants Pass PM10 limited maintenance plan, the area is exempt from performing a regional emissions analysis, but must meet project-level conformity analyses as well as the transportation conformity criteria mentioned above.

    (2) General Conformity

    For Federal actions required to address the specific requirements of the general conformity rule, one set of requirements applies particularly to ensuring that emissions from the action will not cause or contribute to new violations of the NAAQS, exacerbate current violations, or delay timely attainment. One way that this requirement can be met is to demonstrate that the total of direct and indirect emissions from the action (or portion thereof) is determined and documented by the state agency primarily responsible for the applicable SIP to result in a level of emissions which, together with all other emissions in the nonattainment area, would not exceed the emissions budgets specified in the applicable SIP (see 40 CFR 93.158(a)(5)(i)(A)).

    The decision about whether to include specific allocations of allowable emissions increases to sources is one made by the State air quality agencies. These emissions budgets are different than those used in transportation conformity. Emissions budgets in transportation conformity are required to limit and restrain emissions. Emissions budgets in general conformity allow increases in emissions up to specified levels. The State has not chosen to include specific emissions allocations for Federal projects that would be subject to the provisions of general conformity.

    VI. Oregon Notice Provision

    Oregon Revised Statute 468.126, prohibits ODEQ from imposing a penalty for violation of an air, water or solid waste permit, unless the source has been provided five days advanced written notice of the violation, and has not come into compliance or submitted a compliance schedule within that five-day period. By its terms, the statute does not apply to Oregon's Title V program, or to any program if application of the notice provision would disqualify the program from Federal delegation. Oregon has previously confirmed that, because application of the notice provision would preclude EPA approval of the Oregon SIP, no advance notice is required for violation of SIP requirements.

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because this action does not involve technical standards; and

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by September 28, 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 the Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that the 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, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 8, 2015. Dennis J. McLerran, Regional Administrator, Region 10.

    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 MM—Oregon 2. In § 52.1970, paragraph (e), the table entitled “State of Oregon Air Quality Control Program” is amended by adding a new entry for “Section 4” to read as follows:
    § 52.1970 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    State of Oregon Air Quality Control Program SIP citation Title/subject State
  • effective date
  • EPA approval date Explanations
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 4 Grants Pass Second 10-Year PM10 Limited Maintenance Plan 4/16/2015 7/30/2015
  • [Insert Federal Register citation]
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-18354 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0889; FRL-9929-74] Zeta-Cypermethrin; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation amends the tolerances for residues of zeta-cypermethrin in or on corn, field, forage; corn, field, stover; and corn, pop, stover. FMC Corporation requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective July 30, 2015. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before September 28, 2015, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0889, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan Lewis, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

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

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0889 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before September 28, 2015. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0889, by one of the following methods:

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

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of January 28, 2015 (80 FR 4525) (FRL-9921-55), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 4F8290) by FMC Corporation, 1735 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19103. The petition requested to amend the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.418 for residues of the insecticide zeta-cypermethrin, S-cyano (3-phenoxyphenyl) methyl (±))(cis-trans 3-(2-2-dichloroethenyl)-2,2 dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate, in or on corn, field, forage from 0.2 parts per million (ppm) to 9.0 ppm; corn, field, stover from 3.0 ppm to 30.0 ppm; and corn, pop, stover from 3.0 ppm to 30.0 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by FMC Corporation, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. Comments were received on the notice of filing. EPA's response to these comments is discussed in Unit IV.C.

    Instead of the proposed tolerances in field corn stover (30.0 ppm) and popcorn stover (30.0 ppm), the Agency is establishing the tolerances at 30 ppm. The Agency establishes tolerances using whole numbers for tolerances of 10 ppm or more, per the OECD's User Guide ENV/JM/MONO (2011)2 for the OECD tolerance calculation procedure.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

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

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

    Zeta-cypermethrin is an enriched isomer of the pyrethroid insecticide cypermethrin. In addition, alpha-cypermethrin is also an enriched isomer of cypermethrin. Although cypermethrin, zeta-cypermethrin, and alpha-cypermethrin are separate active ingredients with different end-use products, they are included together in the hazard evaluation for the purpose of human health risk assessment. The toxicology database for the cypermethrins includes studies with cypermethrin and both of its enriched isomers, and is considered complete for the purpose of risk assessment.

    The aggregate risk assessment for zeta-cypermethrin must consider potential exposure from all cypermethrins (i.e., cypermethrin, zeta-cypermethrin, and alpha-cypermethrin), since the three active ingredients are considered to be essentially the same from the mammalian toxicity perspective. The revised tolerances are associated with decreased pre-harvest intervals (PHIs) for field corn and popcorn—from 30 days for grain and stover and 60 days for forage to 7 days for all these commodities—and have no impact on the existing dietary exposure assessment for the cypermethrins. Corn forage and stover are livestock feed items and are not directly entered into the dietary exposure assessment, and EPA has determined that the existing tolerances for livestock commodities are adequate to support the changed use pattern. The existing zeta-cypermethrin use on corn was included in previous dietary exposure assessments. Decreasing the PHI and increasing the zeta-cypermethrin tolerances for field corn forage, field corn stover, and popcorn stover will have no impact on the dietary risk estimates, as they are already covered in the existing dietary assessment.

    In the final rule published in the Federal Register of December 7, 2012 (77 FR 72975) (FRL-9371-7), EPA established tolerances for residues of zeta-cypermethrin in multiple commodities. Since the publication of that final rule, the toxicity profile of zeta-cypermethrin has not changed, and since the revised tolerances associated with decreased PHIs for field corn and popcorn have no impact on the existing dietary and aggregate risk determinations, the risk assessments that supported the establishment of the zeta-cypermethrin tolerances published in the December 7, 2012 Federal Register final rule remain valid. Therefore, EPA is relying on those risk assessments in order to support the revised tolerances for zeta-cypermethrin in field corn forage, field corn stover, and popcorn stover.

    An updated aggregate risk assessment was not needed to support the proposed increased tolerances for residues in field corn forage, field corn stover, and popcorn stover, and the increased tolerances will not result in a change in the previously estimated dietary (food and water) or residential exposure estimates for zeta-cypermethrin. For a detailed discussion of the aggregate risk assessments and determination of safety, refer to the December 7, 2012 Federal Register final rule and its supporting documents, available at http://www.regulations.gov in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0472. EPA is relying on those supporting risk assessments and findings to support this final rule.

    Based on the risk assessments and information described in this unit, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children, from aggregate exposure to zeta-cypermethrin residues. Additional information can be found in the document: “Zeta-Cypermethrin—Human Health Risk Assessment for a Petition to Amend (Increase) the Established Tolerances for the Insecticide in Field Corn and Popcorn Stover, and in Field Corn Forage,” available in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0889.

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate tolerance enforcement methods are available in Pesticide Analytical Manual (PAM) Volume II for determining residues of alpha-cypermethrin, cypermethrin, and zeta-cypermethrin in plant (Method I) and livestock (Method II) commodities. Both methods are gas chromatographic methods with electron-capture detection (GC/ECD), and have undergone successful Agency petition method validations (PMVs). These methods are not stereospecific; thus no distinction is made between residues of cypermethrin (all 8 stereoisomers), alpha-cypermethrin (enriched in 2 isomers), and zeta-cypermethrin (enriched in 4 isomers). The January 1994 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) PESTDATA database (PAM Volume I) indicates that residues of cypermethrin are completely recovered (>80%) using multi-residue method sections 302 (Luke), 303 (Mills, Onley, and Gaither), and 304 (Mills fatty food).

    B. International Residue Limits

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

    There are no Codex MRLs for cypermethrin, which includes both alpha- and zeta-cypermethrin, established in corn forage or stover.

    C. Response to Comments

    One comment was received from the general public, urging the Agency to deny the request. The commenter particularly addressed toxicity to bees and other insects, and human toxicological and reproductive effects.

    The Agency understands the commenter's concerns, and recognizes that some individuals believe that certain pesticide chemicals should not be permitted in food. Regarding effects to bees and other insects, the safety standard for approving tolerances under section 408 of FFDCA focuses on potential harms to human health and does not permit consideration of effects on other species or the environment. The existing legal framework provided by section 408 of FFDCA states that tolerances may be set when persons seeking such tolerances or exemptions have demonstrated that the pesticide meets the safety standard imposed by that statute. When new or amended tolerances are requested for residues of a pesticide in food or feed, the Agency, as is required by Section 408 of FFDCA, estimates the risk of the potential exposure to these residues by performing an aggregate risk assessment. Such a risk assessment integrates the individual assessments that are conducted for food, drinking water, and residential exposures. Additionally, the Agency, as is further required by Section 408 of the FFDCA, considers available information concerning what are termed the cumulative toxicological effects of the residues of that pesticide and of other substances having a common mechanism of toxicity. Therefore, these assessments consider both exposure and toxicological effects—including information concerning the reproductive effects of the pesticide—in reaching a conclusion as to whether or not the reasonable certainty of no harm decision can be made. The Agency has concluded after this assessment that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from exposure to the residues of zeta-cypermethrin. Therefore, the proposed tolerances are found to be acceptable.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of zeta-cypermethrin, S-cyano (3-phenoxyphenyl) methyl (±))(cis-trans 3-(2-2-dichloroethenyl)-2,2 dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate, in or on corn, field, forage at 9.0 ppm; corn, field, stover at 30 ppm; and corn, pop, stover at 30 ppm.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes tolerances under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

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

    This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

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

    VII. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: July 22, 2015. Susan Lewis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. In § 180.418, revise the entries for “corn, field, forage,” “corn, field, stover,” and “corn, pop, stover” in the table in paragraph (a)(2) to read as follows:
    § 180.418 Cypermethrin and isomers alpha-cypermethrin and zeta-cypermethrin; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    (2) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • *    *    *    *    *     Corn, field, forage 9.0 *    *    *    *    *     Corn, field, stover 30 *    *    *    *    *     Corn, pop, stover 30 *    *    *    *    *    
    [FR Doc. 2015-18737 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0138; FRL-9923-86] Isofetamid; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of isofetamid in or on multiple commodities that are identified and discussed later in this document. ISK Biosciences Corporation requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective July 30, 2015. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before September 28, 2015, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0138, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan Lewis, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: 703-305-7090; email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

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

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0138 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before September 28, 2015. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0138, by one of the following methods:

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

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

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

    II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of June 5, 2013 (78 FR 33785) (FRL-9386-2), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 3F8142) by ISK Biosciences Corporation, 7470 Auburn Road, Suite A, Concord, Ohio 44077. The petition requested that 40 CFR part 180 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the fungicide isofetamid, N-[1,1-dimethyl-2-[2-methyl-4-(1-methylethoxy)phenyl]-2-oxoethyl]-3-methyl-2-thiophenecarboxamide in or on almond at 0.02 parts per million (ppm); almond, hulls at 0.2 ppm; lettuce, head at 6.0 ppm; lettuce, leaf at 7.0 ppm; low growing berry crop subgroup 13-07G at 4.0 ppm; rapeseed, crop subgroup 20A at 0.04 ppm; and small fruit vine climbing crop subgroup 13-07F at 3.0 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by ISK Biosciences Corporation, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing.

    Based upon review of the data supporting the petition, EPA has determined that additional tolerances are necessary; revised some of the proposed tolerances; and corrected some commodity definitions for the tolerances. The reasons for these changes are explained in Unit IV.C.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

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

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

    A. Toxicological Profile

    EPA has evaluated the available toxicity data and considered its validity, completeness, and reliability as well as the relationship of the results of the studies to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children. The toxicology database is complete for isofetamid. In repeated dose studies, the liver was the primary target organ in the rat, mouse, and dog, as indicated by increased liver weights, changes in the clinical chemistry values, and liver hypertrophy. A second target organ was the thyroid in the rat and dog, as indicated by changes in thyroid weights and histopathology. Adrenal weight changes were observed in the subchronic rat and dog studies. In the rat and dog, the dose levels where toxicity was observed were similar or higher in the chronic studies compared with the respective subchronic studies, showing an absence of progression of liver toxicity with time. There was no evidence of carcinogenicity in the rat or mouse cancer studies; the mutagenicity battery was negative. There are no genotoxicity, neurotoxicity, or immunotoxicity concerns observed in the available toxicity studies. Developmental toxicity was not observed in the rat or rabbit, and offspring effects such as decreased body weight were seen only in the presence of parental toxicity in the multi-generation rat study. Isofetamid is classified as “Not Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans” based on the absence of increased tumor incidence in acceptable/guideline carcinogenicity studies in rats and mice. Isofetamid is not acutely toxic; it is classified as Toxicity Category III for acute oral and dermal exposure, and Toxicity Category IV for inhalation exposure. Furthermore, it is not irritating to the eye or skin, and it is not a dermal sensitizer. Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by isofetamid as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in document Isofetamid. Aggregate Human Health Risk Assessment for the Proposed New Uses of the New Active Fungicide, including Agricultural Uses on Almonds, Lettuce, Small Vine Climbing Fruits (Crop Subgroup 13-07F), Low Growing Berries (Crop Subgroup 13-07G), and Rapeseed (Crop Subgroup 20A); and Uses on Turfgrass (including Golf Courses, Sod Farms, Seed Farms, Recreational Fields, and Commercial/Residential Lawns) at pages 12-18 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0138.

    B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

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

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

    Table 1—Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Isofetamid for Use in Human Health Risk Assessment Exposure/scenario Point of departure and
  • uncertainty/safety factors
  • RfD, PAD, LOC for risk assessment Study and toxicological effects
    Acute Dietary (All Populations) A toxicity endpoint was not identified.
  • Toxicological effects attributable to a single exposure (dose) were not observed in oral toxicity studies.
  • Chronic dietary (All populations) NOAEL = 76.6 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10X
  • UFH = 10X
  • FQPA SF = 1X
  • Chronic RfD = 0.77 mg/kg/day
  • cPAD = 0.77 mg/kg/day
  • Reproduction and fertility effects (rat)
  • LOAEL = 679/775 mg/kg/day based on hepatocellular hypertrophy in the liver and follicular cell hypertrophy in the thyroid in both sexes and generations, decreased spleen weights and cytoplasmic eosinophilic inclusion bodies in the liver of F1 males, and decreased pup body weight in both sexes and generations.
  • Incidental oral short-term (1 to 30 days) and Incidental oral intermediate-term (1 to 6 months) NOAEL = 76.6 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10X
  • UFH = 10X
  • FQPA SF = 1X
  • Residential LOC for MOE = 100. Reproduction and fertility effects (rat)
  • LOAEL = 679/775 mg/kg/day based on hepatocellular hypertrophy in the liver and follicular cell hypertrophy in the thyroid in both sexes and generations, decreased spleen weights and cytoplasmic eosinophilic inclusion bodies in the liver of F1 males, and decreased pup body weight in both sexes and generations
  • Dermal Short-Term (1-30 days) A toxicity endpoint was not identified.
  • Systemic toxicity was not seen in 28-day dermal toxicity in rats up to the limit dose (1,000 mg/kg/day). There are no concerns for developmental or reproductive toxicity or neurotoxicity in rat and rabbit studies.
  • Inhalation short-term (1 to 30 days) NOAEL = 76.6 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10X
  • UFH = 10X
  • FQPA SF = 1X
  • Residential LOC for MOE = 100 Reproduction and fertility effects (rat)
  • LOAEL = 679/775 mg/kg/day based on hepatocellular hypertrophy in the liver and follicular cell hypertrophy in the thyroid in both sexes and generations, decreased spleen weights and cytoplasmic eosinophilic inclusion bodies in the liver of F1 males, and decreased pup body weight in both sexes and generations.
  • Cancer (Oral, dermal, inhalation) Classification: “Not likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans” based on the absence of significant tumor increases in two adequate rodent carcinogenicity studies. FQPA SF = Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor. LOAEL = lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level. LOC = level of concern. mg/kg/day = milligram/kilogram/day. MOE = margin of exposure. NOAEL = no-observed-adverse-effect-level. PAD = population adjusted dose (a = acute, c = chronic). RfD = reference dose. UF = uncertainty factor. UFA = extrapolation from animal to human (interspecies). UFDB = to account for the absence of data or other data deficiency. UFH = potential variation in sensitivity among members of the human population (intraspecies). UFL = use of a LOAEL to extrapolate a NOAEL. UFS = use of a short-term study for long-term risk assessment.
    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. EPA assessed dietary exposures from isofetamid in food as follows:

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

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment, EPA used the 2003-2008 food consumption data from the USDA's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America (NHANES/WWEIA). A partially refined chronic (food and drinking water) dietary assessment was conducted assuming mean field trial residues of the combined residues of parent and GPTC for all proposed crops and 100% CT. Empirical and default processing factors were used as available.

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

    iv. Anticipated residue and percent crop treated (PCT) information. EPA did not use PCT information in the dietary assessment for isofetamid. Mean field trial residues of the combined residues of parent and GPTC were used.

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

    Based on the Pesticide Flooded Application Model and the Pesticide Root Zone Model Ground Water (PRZM GW) the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of isofetamid for chronic exposures for non-cancer assessments are estimated to be 110 ppb for surface water and 43 ppb for ground water.

    Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 110 ppb was used to assess the contribution from drinking water.

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

    Isofetamid is currently under review for registering the following uses that could result in residential exposures: Foliar and systemic fungicide for control in turfgrass including golf courses, residential lawns, and recreational turfgrass. Since there may be residential use sites, residential handler exposure and risk estimates were calculated for all possible residential exposure scenarios. Including all possible residential exposure scenarios provides a conservative and health protective assessment for the potential for homeowners to use the professionally labeled products on residential use sites. Since there is no dermal toxicity endpoint, the residential handler assessment only includes the inhalation route of exposure. Residential handler exposure is expected to be short-term in duration as a maximum of eight applications are allowed per year. Thus, intermediate-term exposures are not likely because of the intermittent nature of applications by homeowners. Unit exposure values and estimates for area treated or amount handled were taken from the Agency's 2012 Residential SOPs 1 (Lawns/Turf). The algorithms used to estimate exposure and dose for residential handlers can be found in the 2012 Residential SOPs 2 (Lawns/Turf). Risk estimates of all possible scenarios are not of concern. Short-term inhalation MOEs range from 850,000 to 18,000,000. Further information regarding EPA standard assumptions and generic inputs for residential exposures may be found at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/trac/science/trac6a05.pdf.

    1 Available: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/science/residential-exposure-sop.html.

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

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

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

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

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. There is no evidence of developmental toxicity or reproductive susceptibility, and there are no residual uncertainties concerning pre- or post-natal toxicity or exposure.

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

    i. The toxicity database for isofetamid is complete.

    ii. There is no indication that isofetamid is a neurotoxic chemical and there is no need for a developmental neurotoxicity study or additional UFs to account for neurotoxicity.

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

    iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the exposure databases. The dietary food exposure assessments were performed based on 100 PCT and average (mean) field trial residues. EPA made conservative (protective) assumptions in the ground and surface water modeling used to assess exposure to isofetamid in drinking water. EPA used similarly conservative assumptions to assess post application exposure of children as well as incidental oral exposure of toddlers. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by isofetamid.

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

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

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

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to isofetamid from food and water will utilize <1% of the cPAD for children (1-2 years old), the population group receiving the greatest exposure. Based on the explanation in Unit III.C.3., regarding residential use patterns, chronic residential exposure to residues of isofetamid is not expected.

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

    Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for short-term exposures, EPA has concluded the combined short-term food, water, and residential exposures result in aggregate MOEs of 24,000 and 3,900 for adults and children (1-2 years old) respectively. Because EPA's level of concern for isofetamid is a MOE of 100 or below, these MOEs are not of concern.

    4. Intermediate-term risk. Intermediate-term aggregate exposure takes into account intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level). An intermediate-term adverse effect was identified; however, isofetamid is not registered for any use patterns that would result in intermediate-term residential exposure. Intermediate-term risk is assessed based on intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic dietary exposure. Because there is no intermediate-term residential exposure and chronic dietary exposure has already been assessed under the appropriately protective cPAD (which is at least as protective as the POD used to assess intermediate-term risk), no further assessment of intermediate-term risk is necessary, and EPA relies on the chronic dietary risk assessment for evaluating intermediate-term risk for isofetamid.

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

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

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate enforcement methodology liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method (Document Number JSM0119; MRID 49011967) is available to enforce the tolerance expression.

    B. International Residue Limits

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

    The Codex has not established any MRLs for isofetamid. Canada is concurrently establishing tolerances for all of the same commodities identified in this document except almond hulls because Canada does not set tolerances on livestock feed commodities. Canada's recommended tolerance levels for these commodities are the same as the U.S. established tolerance levels. The tolerance expression for the U.S. and Canada is the same, with isofetamid as the residue of concern for primary crops.

    C. Revisions to Petitioned-For Tolerances

    The Agency has made revisions to some of the petitioned-for tolerance levels based on the following reasons:

    1. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tolerance calculation procedures;

    2. The parent only is the residue of concern for primary crop tolerances rather than parent and the metabolite GPTC; and

    3. The concentration of residues in two processed commodities.

    Since all residues of isofetamid (parent) were nondetectable (<0.01 ppm) in almond nutmeat and hulls, the proposed tolerances of 0.02 ppm for almond (nutmeat) and 0.2 ppm for almond hulls will both be reduced to 0.01 ppm, the limit of quantitation of the analytical method.

    Based on the OECD tolerance calculation procedures, the proposed tolerance for head lettuce of 6.0 ppm will be reduced to 5.0 ppm. Based on the OECD tolerance calculation procedures, the proposed tolerance for the rapeseed subgroup 20A of 0.04 ppm will be reduced to 0.015 ppm.

    The petitioner did not propose tolerances for the processed commodities, canola oil and raisins. Since residues concentrate significantly in canola oil and raisins, tolerances will be established at 0.03 ppm for canola, refined oil, and 5.0 ppm for grape, raisin. These Agency recommendations are based on the highest average field trial (HAFT) residues for canola seed and grape and the processing factors for canola oil and raisins. The petitioner did not propose tolerances for flaxseed oil, mustard seed oil, or sesame oil. However, flaxseed, mustard seed, and sesame are members of the rapeseed subgroup 20A, with canola as the representative crop, and treated commodities could be processed to produce sesame oil, mustard seed oil and flaxseed oil. Therefore, the Agency is also establishing tolerances for residues in flaxseed oil, mustard seed oil, and sesame oil. Tolerances are being established at 0.03 ppm, the same level as for refined canola oil.

    Additionally, some of the requested tolerances have been corrected. Almond has been revised from 0.02 ppm to 0.01 ppm; almond, hulls from 0.2 ppm to 0.01 ppm; lettuce, head from 6.0 ppm to 5.0 ppm; and rapeseed, subgroup 20A from 0.04 ppm to 0.015 ppm. The Agency is setting tolerances on some processed commodities that were not proposed by the petitioner including canola, refined oil at 0.03 ppm; flax, seed, oil at 0.03 ppm; grape, raisin at 5.0 ppm; mustard, seed, oil at 0.03 ppm and sesame, oil at 0.03 ppm.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of isofetamid, in or on almond at 0.01 ppm; almond, hulls at 0.01 ppm; canola, refined oil at 0.03 ppm; flax, seed, oil at 0.03 ppm; grape, raisin at 5.0 ppm; lettuce, head at 5.0 ppm; lettuce, leaf at 7.0 ppm; berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G at 4.0 ppm; mustard, seed, oil at 0.03 ppm; rapeseed subgroup 20A at 0.015 ppm; sesame, oil at 0.03 ppm; and fruit, small vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit, subgroup 13-07F at 3.0 ppm.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes tolerances under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

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

    This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

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

    VII. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: July 21, 2015. Jack Housenger, Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. Add § 180.681 to subpart C to read as follows:
    §  180.681 Isofetamid; tolerances for residues.

    (a) General. Tolerances are established for residues of the fungicide isofetamid, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in the table below. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified below is to be determined by measuring only isofetamid, N-[1,1-dimethyl-2-[2-methyl-4-(1-methylethoxy)phenyl]-2-oxoethyl]-3-methyl-2-thiophenecarboxamide, in or on the following commodities:

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Almond 0.01 Almond, hulls 0.01 Berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G 4.0 Canola, refined oil 0.03 Flax, seed, oil 0.03 Fruit, small vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit, subgroup 13-07F 3.0 Grape, raisin 5.0 Lettuce, head 5.0 Lettuce, leaf 7.0 Mustard, seed, oil 0.03 Rapeseed subgroup 20A 0.015 Sesame, oil 0.03

    (b) Section 18 emergency exemptions. [Reserved]

    (c) Tolerances with regional registrations. [Reserved]

    (d) Indirect or inadvertent residues. [Reserved]

    [FR Doc. 2015-18738 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0714; FRL-9927-63] Benalaxyl-M; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of benalaxyl-M in or on grape and tomato. Since there are currently no U.S. registrations of benalaxyl-M for use on grape and tomato, this tolerance will allow the import of grape and tomato containing residues of benalaxyl-M. Technology Sciences Group, on behalf of Isagro S.p.A, requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective July 30, 2015. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before September 28, 2015, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0714, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan Lewis, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

    You may access a frequently updated electronic version of EPA's tolerance regulations at 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl. To access the OCSPP test guidelines referenced in this document electronically, please go to http://www.epa.gov/ocspp and select “Test Methods and Guidelines.”

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0714 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before September 28, 2015. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0714, by one of the following methods:

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

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. Summary of Petitioned-for Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of February 21, 2014 (79 FR 9870) (FRL-9904-98), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 3E8162) by Technology Sciences Group on behalf of Isagro S.p.A., 1150 18th Street NW., Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20036. The petition requested that 40 CFR part 180 be amended by establishing import tolerances for residues of the fungicide benalaxyl-M in or on grape at 1.1 parts per million (ppm); grape juice at 1.1 ppm; grape wine at 1.1 ppm; grape raisin at 2.2 ppm; tomato at 0.25 ppm; and tomato processed at 0.25 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Technology Sciences Group on behalf of Isagro S.p.A., the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. No tolerance-related comments were submitted.

    Based upon review of the data supporting the petition, EPA is establishing tolerances as follows: 3.0 ppm for grapes and 0.20 ppm for tomato. The reasons for these changes are explained in Unit IV.C.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

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

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

    A. Toxicological Profile

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

    Benalaxyl-M has no significant acute toxicity via oral, dermal or inhalation route of exposure. It is not a skin irritant and does not cause skin sensitization.

    The liver and thyroid are the primary target organs for benalaxyl-M. In rats, increased liver weights, clinical chemistry changes indicative of liver toxicity, hepatocellular hypertrophy, and thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy were seen following subchronic and chronic exposure. In mice, increased liver weight and microscopic lesions in the liver (hepatocellular hypertrophy, necrosis, eosinophilic foci) were observed following subchronic and chronic exposure. Additionally, chronic exposure in rats and mice led to increases in the incidence of liver (rat, mouse) and thyroid (rat) tumors. In dogs, increased liver weight, changes in clinical chemistry indicative of liver toxicity, and hepatocellular hypertrophy were observed following subchronic exposure via the diet, whereas clinical chemistry changes indicative of liver toxicity, fat vacuolation in the liver, and thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy were observed following chronic exposure via capsules.

    No evidence of increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibility was seen in the benalaxyl-M hazard database following in utero exposure with rats or rabbits in the prenatal developmental studies or in young rats in the 2-generation reproduction study. No evidence of maternal toxicity or developmental effects was observed in the developmental toxicity studies in rabbits or rats. There is no reproductive concern. No neurotoxic effects were observed in the acute and subchronic neurotoxicity studies in rats, and no immunotoxic effects were observed in the immunotoxicity study in rats.

    Benalaxyl-M was classified as “Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans”. This determination was based on the treatment-related liver tumors observed in male mice, liver tumors observed in male and female rats; and thyroid follicular cell tumors observed in female rats. No treatment-related tumors were observed in female mice. A linear low-dose extrapolation model (Q*1) was used to estimate cancer risk, based on the male mouse liver tumor rates. There is no mutagenicity concern from the in vivo or in vitro genetic toxicity assays.

    Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by benalaxyl-M as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in document “Benalaxyl-M. Human-Health Risk Assessment for Tolerances in/on Imported Grape and Tomato” on pages 10 through 20 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0714.

    B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

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

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

    Table—Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Benalaxyl-M for Use in Human Health Risk Assessment Table 4.5.4.—Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Benalaxyl-M for Use in Dietary Human Health Risk Assessments Exposure/Scenario Point of departure Uncertainty/
  • FQPA safety factors
  • RfD, PAD, Level of concern for risk assessment Study and toxicological effects
    Acute Dietary (General Population, including Infants, Children, and females 13+) No appropriate acute endpoint was identified Chronic Dietary
  • (All Popyulations)
  • NOAEL= 20 mg/kg/day UFA= 10x
  • UFH= 10x
  • FQPA UFDB = 10x
  • Chronic RfD =
  • cPAD = 0.02 mg/kg/day
  • Chronic Toxicity/Carcinogenicity Study—rat (49040634)
  • LOAEL = 135 mg/kg/day based on based on an increase in γ-glutamyl transferase (GGT) in males, slight increases liver weight in both sexes, increased incidence of hepatocellular hypertrophy in both sexes, increased incidence of thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy in both sexes, increased incidence of thyroid cell hyperplasia in females, increased incidence of thyroid follicular ectasia in females, and an increased incidence of ovarian stromal cell hyperplasia in females.
  • Cancer (oral) Classification: “Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans”. Based on male mouse liver tumors, Q1*= 5.90 × 10-3 (mg/kg/day)-1 Point of Departure (POD) = A data point or an estimated point that is derived from observed dose-response data and used to mark the beginning of extrapolation to determine risk associated with lower environmentally relevant human exposures. NOAEL = no observed adverse effect level. LOAEL = lowest observed adverse effect level. UF = uncertainty factor. UFA = extrapolation from animal to human (interspecies). UFH = potential variation in sensitivity among members of the human population (intraspecies). UFDB = to account for the absence of a comparative thyroid study. FQPA SF = FQPA Safety Factor. PAD = population adjusted dose (c = chronic). RfD = reference dose.
    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to benalaxyl-M, EPA assessed dietary exposures from benalaxyl-M in food as follows:

    i. Acute exposure. No such effects were identified in the toxicological studies for benalaxyl-M; therefore, a quantitative acute dietary exposure assessment is unnecessary.

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment EPA used the food consumption data from the USDA 2003-2008 CSFII. As to residue levels in food, EPA used tolerance-level residues and 100% crop treated.

    iii. Cancer. EPA determines whether quantitative cancer exposure and risk assessments are appropriate for a food-use pesticide based on the weight of the evidence from cancer studies and other relevant data. If quantitative cancer risk assessment is appropriate, cancer risk may be quantified using a linear or nonlinear approach. If sufficient information on the carcinogenic mode of action is available, a threshold or nonlinear approach is used and a cancer RfD is calculated based on an earlier noncancer key event. If carcinogenic mode of action data are not available, or if the mode of action data determines a mutagenic mode of action, a default linear cancer slope factor approach is utilized. Based on the data summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has concluded that benalaxyl-M should be classified as “Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans” and a linear approach has been used to quantify cancer risk. Cancer risk was quantified using the same estimates as discussed in Unit III.C.1.ii., chronic exposure.

    iv. Anticipated residue and percent crop treated (PCT) information. EPA did not use anticipated residue and/or PCT information in the dietary assessment for benalaxyl-M. Tolerance level residues and/or 100% CT were assumed for all food commodities.

    2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. An assessment of residues in drinking water is not required for this assessment because there is no drinking water exposure in the U.S. associated with the establishment of an import tolerance.

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

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

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

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

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

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. No evidence of increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibility was seen following in utero exposure to benalaxyl-M with rats or rabbits in the prenatal developmental toxicity studies or in young rats in the 2-generation reproduction study. The 2-generation reproduction study resulted in no effects on reproductive function or fertility. The offspring effects occurred at the same dose that caused parental effects. No evidence of developmental delay or developmental toxicity was observed in developmental toxicity studies in rabbits or in rats.

    The rabbit was tested at the limit dose (1000 mg/kg/day), and no maternal or developmental toxicity was observed. No significant developmental or maternal toxicity occurred at the highest dose level tested in the rat study, but the limit dose was not tested. It is not necessary to require the submission of an additional rat study since a study at higher dose levels would not result in a lower NOAEL and the point of departure is already 10-fold lower than the NOAEL in the rat study.

    3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the FQPA SF were retained at 10×. That decision is based on the following findings:

    i. The toxicity database for benalaxyl-M is complete for purposes of assessing the exposures from the use of benalaxyl-M on imported grapes and tomatoes. However, there remains some uncertainty regarding the potential for benalaxyl-M effects on thyroid. Thyroid toxicity was seen following subchronic and chronic exposures to adult rats. There are, however, no data regarding the potential effects of benalaxyl-M on thyroid homeostasis in the young animals. This lack of characterization creates uncertainty with regards to potential life stage sensitivities due to exposure to benalaxyl-M. For future uses with higher exposure potential, the Agency will require a comparative thyroid assay in rats to assess the potential impact of benalaxyl-M exposure on thyroid function in the young given the pivotal role of thyroid hormones in brain development.

    ii. There is no indication that benalaxyl-M is a neurotoxic chemical and there is no need for a developmental neurotoxicity study or additional UFs to account for neurotoxicity.

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

    iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the exposure databases.

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

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

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

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to benalaxyl-M from food will utilize 1.4% of the cPAD for the general U.S. population and all population sub-groups. The most highly exposed population subgroup was children 1-2 years old with an estimated risk of 7.1% cPAD.

    3. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. The cancer dietary assessment made use of the same input assumptions as the chronic analysis. Benalaxyl-M has been classified as “Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans”. A linear low-dose extrapolation model (Q1*) was used to estimate cancer risk, with a Q1* = 5.90 × 10−3 (mg/kg/day) −1. The cancer risk estimate to the U.S. population is 1.7 × 10−6. EPA generally considers cancer risks in the range of 10−6 or less to be negligible. The precision which can be assumed for cancer risk estimates is best described by rounding to the nearest integral order of magnitude on the log scale; for example, risks falling between 3 × 10−7 and 3 × 10−6 are expressed as risks in the range of 10−6. Considering the precision with which cancer hazard can be estimated, the conservativeness of low-dose linear extrapolation, and the rounding procedure described above in this unit, cancer risk should generally not be assumed to exceed the benchmark level of concern of the range of 10−6 until the calculated risk exceeds approximately 3 × 10−6. This is particularly the case where some conservatism is maintained in the exposure assessment.

    4. Determination of safety. There are no existing or proposed US registrations of benalaxyl-M and the only route of exposure is via dietary ingestion from imported grape and tomato commodities. Therefore, aggregate exposure and risk estimates are equivalent to the dietary exposures and risk estimates. Based on these risk assessments, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to benalaxyl-M residues.

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate enforcement methodology (RA.09.01, a high-performance liquid chromatography method with tandem mass spectrometry detection (HPLC/MS/MS) is available to enforce the tolerance expression.

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

    B. International Residue Limits

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

    The Codex has established MRLs for benalaxyl-M at 0.3 and 0.2 ppm in or on grape and tomato, respectively. As a result, the EPA recommendations will result in harmonization of the U.S. tolerance with the Codex MRL for tomato, but not for grape since benalaxyl-M residues from the grape trials in Argentina were significantly higher than the Codex MRL.

    C. Revisions to Petitioned-for Tolerances

    The requested tolerance levels differ from those being established by EPA. The petitioner used the NAFTA calculator to propose tolerance levels while EPA used OECD MRL calculation procedures. Additionally, for determination of the grape and tomato tolerance levels, the petitioner included the results from all trials. In contrast, EPA included only those data that matched the critical Good Agricultural Practice (cGAP). The tolerance for grape, raisin was not recommended because it is covered by the grape tolerance. No separate tolerances are needed for grape juice, grape wine, or processed tomato products as processing studies showed that residues of benalaxyl-M do not concentrate in these processed commodities.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of benalaxyl-M, in or on grape and tomato at 3.0 and 0.20 ppm, respectively.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes tolerances under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

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

    This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

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

    VII. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: July 24, 2015. Marty Monell, Acting Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. Add § 180.684 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 180.684 Benalaxyl-M; tolerances for residues.

    (a) General. Tolerances are established for residues of the fungicide benalaxyl-M, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in the table below. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified below is to be determined by measuring only benalaxyl [methyl N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)-N-(phenylacetyl)-DL-alaninate] in or on the commodity.

    Commodity Parts per million Grape 1 3.0 Tomato 1 0.20 1 There is no U.S. registration for use on this commodity as of July 30, 2015.

    (b) Section 18 emergency exemptions. [Reserved]

    (c) Tolerances with regional registrations. [Reserved]

    (d) Indirect or inadvertent residues. [Reserved]

    [FR Doc. 2015-18741 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    80 146 Thursday, July 30, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 205 [Document Number AMS-NOP-15-0015; NOP-15-07] RIN 0581-AD39 National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset 2015 Amendments to the National List AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule would address recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) following their October 2014 meeting. These recommendations pertain to the 2015 Sunset Review of substances on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). Consistent with the recommendations from the NOSB, this proposed rule would remove two non-organic agricultural substances from the National List for use in organic handling, fortified cooking wines—marsala wine and sherry wine. This proposed rule would also remove two listings for synthetic substances allowed for use in organic crop production on the National List, streptomycin and tetracycline, as their use exemptions expired on October 21, 2014.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by August 31, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons may comment on the proposed rule using the following procedures:

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

    Mail: Robert Pooler, Standards Division, National Organic Program, USDA-AMS-NOP, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Room 2642-So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250-0268.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the docket number AMS-NOP-15-0015; NOP-15-07, and/or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) XXXX-XXXX for this rulemaking. You should clearly indicate the topic and section number of this proposed rule to which your comment refers. You should clearly indicate whether you support the action being proposed for the substances in this proposed rule. You should clearly indicate the reason(s) for your position. You should also supply information on alternative management practices, where applicable, that support alternatives to the proposed action. You should also offer any recommended language change(s) that would be appropriate to your position. Please include relevant information and data to support your position (e.g. scientific, environmental, manufacturing, industry, impact information, etc.). Only relevant material supporting your position should be submitted. All comments received and any relevant background documents will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov.

    Document: For access to the document and to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Comments submitted in response to this proposed rule will also be available for viewing in person at USDA-AMS, National Organic Program, Room 2642-South Building, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (except official Federal holidays). Persons wanting to visit the USDA South Building to view comments received in response to this proposed rule are requested to make an appointment in advance by calling (202) 720-3252.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Pooler, Standards Division, Telephone: (202) 720-3252; Fax: (202) 205-7808.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The National Organic Program (NOP) is authorized by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA), as amended (7 U.S.C. 6501-6522). The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) administers the NOP. Final regulations implementing the NOP, also referred to as the USDA organic regulations, were published December 21, 2000 (65 FR 80548), and became effective on October 21, 2002. Through these regulations, the AMS oversees national standards for the production, handling, and labeling of organically produced agricultural products. Since becoming fully effective, the USDA organic regulations have been frequently amended, mostly for changes to the National List in 7 CFR 205.601-205.606.

    This National List identifies the synthetic substances that may be used and the nonsynthetic substances that may not be used in organic production. The National List also identifies synthetic, nonsynthetic nonagricultural, and nonorganic agricultural substances that may be used in organic handling. The OFPA and the USDA organic regulations, as indicated in § 205.105, specifically prohibit the use of any synthetic substance in organic production and handling unless the synthetic substance is on the National List. Section 205.105 also requires that any nonorganic agricultural substance and any nonsynthetic nonagricultural substance used in organic handling appear on the National List.

    As stipulated by the OFPA, recommendations to propose amendment of the National List are developed by the 15 member NOSB, organized under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App. 2 et seq.) to assist in the evaluation of substances to be used or not used in organic production and handling, and to advise the Secretary on the USDA organic regulations. The OFPA also requires a sunset review of all substances included on the National List within five years of their addition to or renewal on the list. If a listed substance is not reviewed by the NOSB and renewed by the USDA within the five year period, its allowance or prohibition on the National List is no longer in effect. Under the authority of the OFPA, the Secretary can amend the National List through rulemaking based upon proposed amendments recommended by the NOSB.

    The NOSB's recommendations to continue existing exemptions and prohibitions are based on consideration of public comments and applicable supporting evidence that express a continued need for the use or prohibition of the substance(s) as required by the OFPA.

    Concerning OFPA criteria used to make recommendations regarding the discontinuation of an authorized exempted synthetic substance (7 U.S.C. 6517(c)(1)), the NOSB's decision is based on consideration of public comments and applicable supporting evidence that demonstrates the substance is: (a) Harmful to human health or the environment; (b) no longer necessary for organic production due to the availability of alternative wholly nonsynthetic substitute products or practices; or (c) inconsistent with organic farming and handling practices.

    In accordance with the sunset review process published in the Federal Register on September 16, 2013 (78 FR 61154), this proposed rule would amend the National List to reflect two recommendations submitted to the Secretary by the NOSB on October 30, 2014, to amend the National List to remove two substances, marsala wine and sherry wine, allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic.” This proposed rule would also remove listings of two substances, streptomycin and tetracycline, since their National List exemptions expired on October 21, 2014. The exemptions of each substance appearing on the National List for use in organic production and handling are evaluated by the NOSB using the evaluation criteria specified on the OFPA (7 U.S.C. 6517-6518).

    II. Overview of Proposed Amendments Nonrenewals

    After considering public comments and supporting documents, the NOSB determined that two substance exemptions on § 205.606 of the National List are no longer necessary for organic handling. AMS has reviewed and accepts the NOSB recommendations for removal. Based upon these NOSB recommendations, this action proposes to amend the National List to remove the exemptions as indicated for marsala wine and sherry wine.

    Marsala Wine

    The USDA organic regulations currently include an exemption on the National List for fortified cooking wines as an ingredient for use in organic processed products at § 205.606(g) as follows: Fortified cooking wines, (1) Marsala. In 2007, marsala wine was petitioned for addition to § 205.606 because it was considered a key flavor ingredient that was not commercially available in organic form and quantity. As required by the OFPA, the exemption for marsala wine was considered during the NOSB's 2015 sunset review. Two notices of the public meetings with request for comments were published in Federal Register on March 10, 2014 (79 FR 13272) and on September 8, 2014 (79 FR 53162) to notify the public that the marsala wine exemption discussed in this proposed rule would expire on December 14, 2015, if not reviewed by the NOSB and renewed by the Secretary. During their sunset review deliberation, the NOSB considered written comments received prior to and during the public meetings on all substance exemptions included in the 2015 sunset review. These written comments can be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for the document ID numbers: AMS-NOP-14-0006 (March 2014 public meeting) and AMS-NOP-14-0063 (October 2014 public meeting). The NOSB also considered oral comments received during these public meetings which are included in the meeting transcripts available on the NOP Web site at http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop. As indicated on the National List and Petitioned Substance database on the NOP Web site, there is no technical report or technical advisory panel report on marsala wine. The NOSB did not request a new technical report for marsala wine for the 2015 sunset review.

    The NOSB received no public comments supporting the continued need for the use of non-organic marsala wine in organic processed products. In addition, the NOSB considered evidence that only a few operations use marsala wine as an ingredient in organic processed products. Based upon the lack of public comments requesting the continued use of marsala wine and supportive documents, the NOSB determined that the exemption for marsala wine on § 205.606 is no longer necessary or essential for organic processed products. Subsequently, the NOSB recommended removal of marsala wine from the National List.

    AMS accepts the NOSB's recommendation on removing marsala wine from the National List. This proposed rule would amend § 205.606 by removing the substance exemption for marsala wine. This amendment would be effective on marsala wine's current sunset date, December 14, 2015.

    Sherry Wine

    The USDA organic regulations currently include an exemption on the National List for fortified cooking wine, sherry wine, as an ingredient for use in organic processed products at § 205.606(g) as follows: Fortified cooking wines, (2) Sherry. In 2007, sherry wine was petitioned for addition to § 205.606 because it was considered a key flavor ingredient that was not commercially available in organic form or quantity. As required by the OFPA, the exemption for sherry wine was considered during the NOSB's 2015 sunset review. Two notices of the public meetings with request for comments were published in Federal Register on March 10, 2014 (79 FR 13272) and on September 8, 2014 (79 FR 53162) to notify the public that the sherry wine listing discussed in this proposed rule would expire on December 14, 2015, if not reviewed by the NOSB and renewed by the Secretary. During their sunset review deliberation, the NOSB considered written comments received prior to and during the public meetings on all substance exemptions included in the 2015 sunset review. These written comments can be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for the document ID numbers: AMS-NOP-14-0006 (March 2014 meeting) and AMS-NOP-14-0063 (October 2014 meeting). The NOSB also considered oral comments received during these public meetings which are included in the meeting transcripts available on the NOP Web site at http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop. As indicated on the National List and Petitioned Substance database on the NOP Web site, there is no technical report or technical advisory panel report on sherry wine. The NOSB did not request new technical report for sherry wine for the 2015 sunset review.

    The NOSB received no public comments supporting the continued need for the use of non-organic sherry wine in organic processed products. In addition, the NOSB considered evidence that only a few operations use sherry wine as an ingredient in organic processed products. Based upon the lack of public comments requesting the continued use of sherry wine and supportive documents, the NOSB determined that the exemption for sherry wine on § 205.606 is no longer necessary or essential for organic processed products. Subsequently, the NOSB recommended removal of sherry wine from the National List.

    AMS accepts the NOSB's recommendation on removing sherry wine from the National List. This proposed rule would amend § 205.606 by removing the substance exemption for sherry wine. This amendment would be effective on sherry wine's current sunset date, December 14, 2015.

    This proposed rule would further amend § 205.606 by redesignating paragraphs (h) through (z) as (g) through (y), respectively.

    Expired Listings Streptomycin

    This proposed rule would amend § 206.601 of the National List by removing the expired exemption for “Streptomycin, for fire blight control in apples and pears only until October 21, 2014.” Streptomycin was considered by the NOSB at their October 31-November 4, 1995, meeting. At this 1995 meeting, the NOSB recommended adding streptomycin as a plant disease control to the National List and also indicated that the exemption listing should be reviewed in two years by the NOSB. The NOSB recommendation was accepted by the Secretary and streptomycin was included, as a plant disease control, in the initial final rule establishing the NOP that was published on December 21, 2000 (65 FR 80548). Subsequently, as recommended by the NOSB, the listing for streptomycin was amended on June 27, 2012 (77 FR 33290) to add an expiration date to the streptomycin annotation: Streptomycin, for fire blight control in apples and pears only until October 21, 2014. This proposed rule would remove the listing for streptomycin that expired on October 21, 2014 from § 205.601. Removal of this exempted substance from the National List has no new regulatory effect.

    Tetracycline

    This proposed rule would amend § 206.601 of the National List by removing the expired exemption for “Tetracycline, for fire blight control in apples and pears only until October 21, 2014.” Tetracycline was considered by the NOSB at their October 31-November 4, 1995, meeting. At this 1995 meeting, the NOSB recommended adding tetracycline as a plant disease control to the National List and also indicated that the exemption listing should be reviewed in two years by the NOSB. The NOSB recommendation was accepted by the Secretary and tetracycline was included, as a plant disease control, in the initial final rule establishing the NOP that was published on December 21, 2000 (65 FR 80548). Subsequently, as recommended by the NOSB, the listing for tetracycline was amended on June 27, 2012 (77 FR 33290) to add an expiration date to the tetracycline annotation: Tetracycline, for fire blight control in apples and pears only until October 21, 2014. This proposed rule would remove the listing for tetracycline from section 205.601 that expired on October 21, 2014. Removal of this exempted substance from the National List has no new regulatory effect.

    III. Related Documents

    Two notices of public meeting with request for comments were published in Federal Register on March 10, 2014 (79 FR 13272) and on September 8, 2014 (79 FR 53162) to notify the public that the 2015 sunset review listings discussed in this proposed rule would expire on December 14, 2015, if not reviewed by the NOSB and renewed by the Secretary. The listing for both streptomycin and tetracycline was added to the National List by the final rule (65 FR 80548) published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2000. Subsequently, an expiration date of October 21, 2014 was added to the streptomycin and tetracycline annotations on June 27, 2012 (77 FR 33290).

    IV. Statutory and Regulatory Authority

    OFPA, as amended (7 U.S.C. 6501-6522), authorizes the Secretary to make amendments to the National List based on proposed recommendations developed by the NOSB. Sections 6518(k)(2) and 6518(n) of OFPA authorize the NOSB to develop proposed amendments to the National List for submission to the Secretary and establish a petition process by which persons may petition the NOSB for the purpose of having substances evaluated for inclusion on or deletion from the National List. The National List petition process is implemented under § 205.607 of the USDA organic regulations. The current petition process was published on January 18, 2007 (72 FR 2167) and can be accessed through the NOP Web site at http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop. AMS published a revised sunset review process in the Federal Register on September 16, 2013 (78 FR 56811).

    A. Executive Order 12866

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

    B. Executive Order 12988

    Executive Order 12988 instructs each executive agency to adhere to certain requirements in the development of new and revised regulations in order to avoid unduly burdening the court system. This proposed rule is not intended to have a retroactive effect.

    States and local jurisdictions are preempted under OFPA from creating programs of accreditation for private persons or State officials who want to become certifying agents of organic farms or handling operations. A governing State official would have to apply to USDA to be accredited as a certifying agent, as described in section 2115(b) of OFPA (7 U.S.C. 6514(b)). States are also preempted under section 2104 through 2108 of OFPA (7 U.S.C. 6503 through 6507) from creating certification programs to certify organic farms or handling operations unless the State programs have been submitted to, and approved by, the Secretary as meeting the requirements of OFPA.

    Pursuant to section 2108(b)(2) of OFPA (7 U.S.C. 6507(b)(2)), a State organic certification program may contain additional requirements for the production and handling of organically produced agricultural products that are produced in the State and for the certification of organic farm and handling operations located within the State under certain circumstances. Such additional requirements must: (a) Further the purposes of OFPA, (b) not be inconsistent with OFPA, (c) not be discriminatory toward agricultural commodities organically produced in other States, and (d) not be effective until approved by the Secretary.

    Pursuant to section 2120(f) of OFPA (7 U.S.C. 6519(f)), this proposed rule would not alter the authority of the Secretary under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601-624), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 451-471), or the Egg Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 1031-1056), concerning meat, poultry, and egg products, nor any of the authorities of the Secretary of Health and Human Services under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 301-399), nor the authority of the Administrator of EPA under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136-136(y)).

    Section 2121 of OFPA (7 U.S.C. 6520) provides for the Secretary to establish an expedited administrative appeals procedure under which persons may appeal an action of the Secretary, the applicable governing State official, or a certifying agent under this title that adversely affects such person or is inconsistent with the organic certification program established under this title. OFPA also provides that the U.S. District Court for the district in which a person is located has jurisdiction to review the Secretary's decision.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612) requires agencies to consider the economic impact of each rule on small entities and evaluate alternatives that would accomplish the objectives of the rule without unduly burdening small entities or erecting barriers that would restrict their ability to compete in the market. The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to the action. Section 605 of the RFA allows an agency to certify a rule, in lieu of preparing an analysis, if the rulemaking is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Pursuant to the requirements set forth in the RFA, AMS performed an economic impact analysis on small entities in the final rule published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2000 (65 FR 80548). AMS has also considered the economic impact of this action on small entities. The impact on entities affected by this proposed rule would not be significant. The effect of this proposed rule would be to prohibit the use of two non-organic agricultural products that may be available in organic form for use in organic processed products. AMS concludes that the economic impact of removing the nonorganic agricultural products, marsala wine and sherry wine, would be minimal to small agricultural firms since organic form of these agricultural products or organic forms of alternative agricultural products may be commercially available and, as such, their nonorganic forms are proposed to be removed from the National List under this rule. Accordingly, AMS certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Small agricultural service firms, which include producers, handlers, and accredited certifying agents, have been defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) (13 CFR 121.201) as those having annual receipts of less than $7,000,000 and small agricultural producers are defined as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000.

    According to USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), certified organic acreage exceeded 3.5 million acres in 2011.1 According to NOP's Accreditation and International Activities Division, the number of certified U.S. organic crop and livestock operations totaled over 19,470 in 2014. The list of certified operations is available on the NOP Web site at http://apps.ams.usda.gov/nop/. AMS believes that most of these entities would be considered small entities under the criteria established by the SBA. U.S. sales of organic food and non-food have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to $39.1 billion in 2014, an 11.3 percent growth over 2013 sales.2 In addition, the USDA has 80 accredited certifying agents who provide certification services to producers and handlers. A complete list of names and addresses of accredited certifying agents may be found on the AMS NOP Web site, at http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop. AMS believes that most of these accredited certifying agents would be considered small entities under the criteria established by the SBA. Certifying agents reported 27,810 certified operations worldwide in 2014.

    1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service. October 2012. 2011 Certified Organic Productions Survey.

    2 Organic Trade Association. 2014. Organic Industry Survey. www.ota.com.

    D. Paperwork Reduction Act

    No additional collection or recordkeeping requirements are imposed on the public by this proposed rule. Accordingly, OMB clearance is not required by section 350(h) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501, Chapter 35, or OMB's implementing regulations at 5 CFR part 1320.

    E. Executive Order 13175

    This proposed rule has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. The review reveals that this regulation will not have substantial and direct effects on Tribal governments and will not have significant Tribal implications.

    F. General Notice of Public Rulemaking

    This proposed rule reflects recommendations submitted to the Secretary by the NOSB for substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances that, under the Sunset review provisions of OFPA, would otherwise expire on December 14, 2015. A 30-day period for interested persons to comment on this rule is provided. Thirty days is deemed appropriate because the review of these listings was widely publicized through two NOSB meeting notices; the use or prohibition of these substances, as applicable, are critical to organic production and handling; and this rulemaking must be completed before the sunset date of December 14, 2015.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 205

    Administrative practice and procedure, Agriculture, Animals, Archives and records, Imports, Labeling, Organically produced products, Plants, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Seals and insignia, Soil conservation.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 205 is amended as follows:

    PART 205—NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 205 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 6501-6522.

    § 205.601 [Amended]
    2. Section 205.601 is amended by removing paragraphs (i)(11) and (i)(12).
    § 205.606 [Amended]
    3. Section 205.606 is amended by removing paragraph (g) and redesignating paragraphs (h) through (z) as (g) through (y).
    Dated: July 27, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18699 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 430 [Docket No. EERE-2014-BT-STD-0005] RIN 1904-AD15 Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Conventional Ovens AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Extension of public comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    On June 10, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) and public meeting regarding energy conservation standards for residential conventional ovens in the Federal Register. 80 FR 33030 This document announces an extension of the public comment period for submitting comments on the NOPR. The comment period is extended to September 9, 2015.

    DATES:

    DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this rulemaking received no later than September 9, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons may submit comments, identified by docket number EERE-2014-BT-STD-0005, by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected] Include the docket number EERE-2014-BT-STD-0005 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-5B, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Conventional Ovens, Docket No. EERE-2014-BT-STD-0014, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. If possible, please submit all items on a CD. It is not necessary to include printed copies.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20024. Telephone (202) 586-2945. If possible, please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this rulemaking. No telefacsimiles (faxes) will be accepted.

    Docket: The docket is available for review at www.regulations.gov, including Federal Register notices, comments, and other supporting documents/materials. All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. However, not all documents listed in the index may be publicly available, such as information that is exempt from public disclosure.

    A link to the docket Web page can be found at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EERE-2014-BT-STD-0005-0014. This Web page contains a link to the docket for this notice on the regulation.gov site. The www.regulations.gov Web page contains instructions on how to access all documents in the docket, including public comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. John Cymbalsky, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Program, EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 287-1692. Email: [email protected] Ms. Celia Sher, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 287-6122. Email: [email protected] SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 10, 2015, DOE published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) and public meeting in the Federal Register that proposed new and amended energy conservation standards for residential conventional ovens. 80 FR 33030. The NOPR requested comment from the public on the proposed standards, associated analyses, and results, and provided for the written submission of comments by August 10, 2015. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) requested that DOE extend the comment period by 60 days so that manufacturers can obtain sufficient data to fully analyze DOE's proposed rule according to the conventional oven test procedure final rule that was published on July 2, 2015. 80 FR 37954. Because there are currently no performance based energy conservation standards, AHAM noted that manufacturers do not conduct regular energy tests on conventional ovens. AHAM further stated that by allowing additional time for manufacturers (and other stakeholders who wish to conduct testing) to test their products, manufacturers will be able to provide key data to support DOE's analysis.

    Based on AHAM's request, DOE determines that a 30 day extension of the public comment period is appropriate to allow interested parties additional time to submit comments. DOE notes that it issued and made available a pre-publication version of the conventional oven test procedure final rule on June 9, 2015. Based on DOE's testing experience, extending the comment period by 30 days for a 90 day total period should be sufficient time for manufacturers to conduct testing using the new oven test procedure and aggregate results. DOE will consider any comments received by midnight of September 9, 2015 to be timely submitted.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 23, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. [FR Doc. 2015-18687 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2965; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-227-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) 2012-17-13, which applies to certain The Boeing Company Model 707 airplanes, and Model 720 and 720B series airplanes. For certain airplanes, AD 2012-17-13 required using redefined flight cycle counts; determining the type of material of the horizontal stabilizer, rear spar, and upper and lower chords on the inboard and outboard ends of the rear spar; repetitively inspecting for cracking of the horizontal stabilizer components; and repairing or replacing the chord, or modifying chord segments made of 7079 aluminum, if necessary. For all airplanes, AD 2012-17-13 required inspecting certain structurally significant items, and repairing discrepancies if necessary. Since we issued AD 2012-17-13, we have determined that all chord segments made of 7079 aluminum must be replaced with new, improved chord segments made of 7075 aluminum. This proposed AD would add a requirement to replace all chord segments made of 7079 aluminum with new, improved chord segments made of 7075 aluminum. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct stress corrosion and potential early fatigue cracking in the horizontal stabilizer, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the horizontal stabilizer.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 14, 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, 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.

    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-2015-2965; 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:

    Chandra Ramdoss, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5239; fax: 562-627-5210; 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-2015-2965; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-227-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 August 24, 2012, we issued AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012), for certain The Boeing Company Model 707 airplanes, and Model 720 and 720B series airplanes. For certain airplanes, AD 2012-17-13 required using redefined flight cycle counts, determining the type of material of the horizontal stabilizer, rear spar, and upper and lower chords on the inboard and outboard ends of the rear spar; repetitively inspecting for cracking of the horizontal stabilizer components; and repairing or replacing the chord, or modifying chord segments made from 7079 aluminum, if necessary. For all airplanes, AD 2012-17-13 required inspecting certain structurally significant items, and repairing discrepancies if necessary. AD 2012-17-13 resulted from reports of stress corrosion cracking in the chord segments made from 7079 aluminum in the horizontal stabilizer rear spar, and potential early fatigue cracking in the chord segments made from 7075 aluminum. We issued AD 2012-17-13 to detect and correct stress corrosion and potential early fatigue cracking in the horizontal stabilizer, which could compromise the structural integrity of the stabilizer.

    Actions Since AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012), Was Issued

    The preamble to AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012), explained that we considered the requirements “interim action” and were considering further rulemaking. We now have determined that it is necessary to initiate further rulemaking to continue to require the repetitive inspections required by AD 2012-17-13, and to add a requirement for replacement of all chord segments made of 7079 aluminum with new chord segments made of 7075 aluminum. This proposed AD follows from that determination.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014. The service information describes procedures for incorporating a new cycle counting procedure, determining the material for the horizontal stabilizer rear spar chord segment, inspecting for stress corrosion cracking and fatigue cracking, repair, and replacing all chord segments made of 7079 aluminum with new, improved chord segments made of 7075 aluminum. 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 these same type designs.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would retain all requirements of AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012). This proposed AD would also add a requirement to replace all chord segments made of 7079 aluminum with new chord segments made of 7075 aluminum. This replacement would not terminate the repetitive inspections required by AD 2012-17-13.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 10 airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

    Table—Estimated costs Action Work hours Parts Cost per product Fleet cost Retained inspections from AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012) Up to 32 work-hours X $85 per hour = up to $2,720 per inspection cycle $0 Up to $2,720 per inspection cycle Up to $27,200 per inspection cycle Replacement [new action] 500 work-hours X $85 per work-hour = $42,500 Up to $228,000 per chord Up to $2,322,500 (up to 10 chords per airplane) 1 Up to $23,225,000 2 1 The parts for the modification could cost up to $2.28 million per airplane, depending on whether only one operator is ordering the parts or multiple operators. The parts cost will go down if multiple operators order parts at the same time. 2 The number of chords which must be replaced on each specific airplane varies. 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) 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012), and adding the following new AD: The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-2965; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-227-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by September 14, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company airplanes, certificated in any category; identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Model 707 airplanes identified in Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014.

    (2) Model 720 and 720B series airplanes identified in Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3516, dated April 4, 2008.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 55, Stabilizers.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a determination that all chord segments made of 7079 aluminum must be replaced with new, improved chord segments made of 7075 aluminum. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct stress corrosion and potential early fatigue cracking in the horizontal stabilizer, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the horizontal stabilizer.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Flight Cycle Counting Procedure, With Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012), with revised service information. Flight cycles, as used in this AD, must be counted as defined in the service information identified in paragraph (g)(1), (g)(2), or (g)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007 (for Model airplanes).

    (2) Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014 (for Model airplanes).

    (3) Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3516, dated April 4, 2008 (for Model airplanes, and Model 720 and 720B series airplanes).

    (h) Retained Determination of Material of the Components of the Horizontal Stabilizer, With Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the actions required by paragraph (h) of AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012), with revised service information. For airplanes identified in Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014: At the earlier of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD, determine the type of material of the horizontal stabilizer, rear spar, upper chords, and lower chords on the inboard and outboard ends of the rear spar, in accordance with Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014.

    (1) Within 180 days after October 16, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012)).

    (2) Before further flight after any horizontal stabilizer is replaced after October 16, 2012.

    (i) Retained Repetitive Inspections of 7075 Aluminum Components, With Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the actions required by paragraph (i) of AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012), with revised service information. For airplanes with horizontal stabilizer components made from 7075 aluminum, as determined during the inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD: Within 180 days after October 16, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-17-13), and before further flight after any replacement of the horizontal stabilizer, do a special detailed inspection for cracking of the upper chord on the inboard end of the rear spar on both the left and right side horizontal stabilizers, from stabilizer station -13.179 to 92.55, in accordance with Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014. Repeat the inspections thereafter at intervals not to exceed 500 flight cycles, and before further flight after any replacement of the horizontal stabilizer, except as provided by paragraph (j) of this AD. If any cracking is found, before further flight, either repair the cracking in accordance with Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014, except as required by paragraph (n) of this AD; or replace the chord with a new chord, in accordance with Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014.

    (j) Retained Repetitive Inspections on Airplanes With Replaced Chord, With Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the actions required by paragraph (j) of AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012), with revised service information. For airplanes on which the chord is replaced with a new chord in accordance with Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014: Within 4,000 flight cycles after the chord replacement, do the inspections required by paragraph (i) of this AD, and repeat the inspections thereafter at the times specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

    (k) Retained Repetitive Inspections of 7079 Aluminum Components, With Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the actions required by paragraph (k) of AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012), with revised service information. For airplanes with horizontal stabilizers that have components of the chords of the rear spar made from 7079 aluminum, as determined during the inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD: Within 180 days after October 16, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-17-13), do the actions required by paragraphs (k)(1), (k)(2), and (k)(3) of this AD, and repeat those actions at the applicable intervals specified in paragraphs (k)(1), (k)(2), and (k)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Do a special detailed inspection for cracking of the upper chord of the inboard side of the rear spar of both the -left and right-side horizontal stabilizers from stabilizer station -13.179 to 92.55, in accordance with Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 250 flight cycles or 180 days, whichever occurs first. If any cracking is found during any inspection required by this paragraph, before further flight, either repair the cracking, in accordance with Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014, except as required by paragraph (n) of this AD; or replace the chord with a new chord, in accordance with Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014.

    (2) Do a high frequency eddy current inspection for cracking of the web flanges of the upper and lower chords of the rear spar in the left and right side horizontal stabilizers from stabilizer stations 92.55 to 272.55, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 1,000 flight cycles or 180 days, whichever occurs first. If any cracking is found during any inspection required by this paragraph, before further flight, do the actions specified in paragraph (k)(2)(i) or (k)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) Determine whether the cracking meets the limits specified in Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014, and whether a previous repair has been done; determine if all 7079 upper and lower chord segments installed on the horizontal stabilizer have had the Part II, Group 1, Preventative Modification specified in Boeing Service Bulletin 3356 done; and do all applicable repairs and modifications, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014. Do the actions required by this paragraph in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014, except as required by paragraph (n) of this AD. Do all applicable repairs and modifications before further flight.

    (ii) Replace the chord with a new chord, in accordance with Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014.

    (3) Do low frequency eddy current (LFEC) inspections for cracking of the forward skin flanges of the upper and lower chords of the rear spar in the left and right side horizontal stabilizers from stabilizer stations -13.179 to 272.55 (for lower chords) and 92.55 to 272.55 (for upper chords), in accordance with Part 5 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014. Repeat the inspections thereafter at intervals not to exceed 1,000 flight cycles or 180 days, whichever occurs first. If any cracking is found during any inspection required by this paragraph, before further flight, do the actions specified in either paragraph (k)(3)(i) or paragraph (k)(3)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) Repair any cracking, determine whether all 7079 upper and lower chord segments installed on the horizontal stabilizer have had the Part II—Preventative Modification specified in Boeing Service Bulletin 3381 done, and do all applicable modifications, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014. Do the actions required by this paragraph in accordance with Part 5 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014, except as required by paragraph (n) of this AD. Do all applicable modifications before further flight.

    (ii) Replace the chord with a new chord, in accordance with Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007; or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014.

    (l) Retained Modification/Chord Replacement, With Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the actions required by paragraph (l) of AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012), with revised service information. For airplanes identified in Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014, with horizontal stabilizers that have rear spar chord components made from 7079 aluminum and have not had embodied the modification of Part II of Boeing Service Bulletin 3381, dated July 25, 1980, or Boeing Service Bulletin 3381, Revision 1, dated July 31, 1981: Before further flight after determining the type of material in accordance with paragraph (h) of this AD, modify all 7079 chord segments installed on the horizontal stabilizer, in accordance with Part 5 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014; or replace the chord, in accordance with Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014.

    (m) Retained Supplemental Structural Inspection Document Inspections

    This paragraph restates the actions required by paragraph (m) of AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012). For all airplanes: Within 180 days or 1,000 flight cycles after October 16, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-17-13), whichever occurs first, do the inspections of the applicable structurally significant items specified in and in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3516, dated April 4, 2008. If any cracking is found, before further flight, repair in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (r) of this AD. The inspections required by AD 85-12-01 R1, Amendment 39-5439 (51 FR 36002, October 8, 1986), are still required, except, as of October 16, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-17-13), the flight-cycle interval for the repetitive inspections specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3516, dated April 4, 2008, must be counted in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (n) Retained Exception to Certain Service Information: Contacting FAA for Crack Repair

    This paragraph restates the actions required by paragraph (n) of AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012), with revised service information. If any cracking is found during any inspection required by this AD, and Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014, specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate action: Before further flight, repair the cracking using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (r) of this AD.

    (o) Retained Exception to Certain Service Information: Nondestructive Test Compliance Procedures

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (o) of AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012), with revised service information. Where Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014, specifies that operators “refer to” nondestructive test (NDT) procedures, the procedures must be done in accordance with the service information identified in paragraphs (o)(1), (o)(2), and (o)(3) of this AD, as applicable.

    (1) Figure 20, “Electrical Conductivity Measurement for Aluminum,” of Subject 51-00-00, “Structures-General,” of Part 6—Eddy Current, of the Boeing 707/720 Nondestructive Test Manual, Document D6-48023, Revision 118, dated July 15, 2011.

    (2) Subject 55-10-07, “Horizontal Stabilizer,” of Part 6—Eddy Current, of the Boeing 707/720 Nondestructive Test Manual, Document D6-48023, Revision 118, dated July 15, 2011.

    (3) Subject 51-01-00, “Orientation and Preparation for Testing” of Part 1—General, of the Boeing 707/720 Nondestructive Test Manual, Document D6-48023, Revision 118, dated July 15, 2011.

    (p) Retained Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of October 16, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012)), no person may install any horizontal stabilizer assembly with any chord segment having a part number other than that identified in paragraph 2.C.2. of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, dated December 19, 2007, or Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014, on any airplane.

    (q) New Replacement of 7079 Aluminum Components

    Within 48 months after the effective date of this AD: Replace all 7079 aluminum chord segments of the upper and lower chords installed on the horizontal stabilizer with 7075 aluminum chord segments, in accordance with Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 707 Alert Service Bulletin A3515, Revision 1, dated October 10, 2014. Within 4,000 flight cycles after accomplishing the replacements required by this paragraph, repeat the inspection required by paragraph (j) of this AD; and repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 500 flight cycles, and before further flight after any replacement of the horizontal stabilizer.

    (r) 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 (s)(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 for AD 2012-17-13, Amendment 39-17176 (77 FR 55681, September 11, 2012), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

    (s) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Chandra Ramdoss, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5239; fax: 562-627-5210; 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. 2015-18559 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2964; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-206-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This proposed AD is intended to complete certain mandated programs intended to support the airplane reaching its limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the established structural maintenance program. This proposed AD would require reinforcing the forward pressure bulkhead at a certain stringer on both the left-hand and right-hand sides, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are proposing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking of the forward pressure bulkhead, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 14, 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 proposed 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.

    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-2015-2964; 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 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:

    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:

    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-2015-2964; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-206-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 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 proposed AD.

    Discussion

    As described in FAA Advisory Circular 120-104 (http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/120-104.pdf), several programs have been developed to support initiatives that will ensure the continued airworthiness of aging airplane structure. The last element of those initiatives is the requirement to establish a LOV of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program under 14 CFR 26.21. This proposed AD is the result of an assessment of the previously established programs by the design approval holder (DAH) during the process of establishing the LOV for Model A319, A320, and Model A321 series airplanes. The actions specified in this proposed AD are necessary to complete certain programs to ensure the continued airworthiness of aging airplane structure and to support an airplane reaching its LOV.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0209, dated September 19, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on all Model A319, A320, and Model A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    During the A320 fatigue test campaign for Extended Service Goal (ESG), it was determined that fatigue damage could develop on the forward pressure bulkhead at Frame (FR) 35 on left hand (LH) side and right hand (RH) side.

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

    To address this potential unsafe condition, a reinforcement modification was developed, which has been published through Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A320-53-1268 for in-service application to allow aeroplanes to operate up to the new ESG limit.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires reinforcement of the centre fuselage forward pressure bulkhead at FR35.

    The forward pressure bulkhead reinforcement includes related investigative actions of measuring the diameters of certain fastener holes, and if they are not oversized, doing a rotating probe inspection for cracking of the fastener holes.

    Required corrective actions include cold expanding crack-free holes or repairing oversize or cracked holes by using a method approved by the FAA, EASA, or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2964.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-53-1268, Revision 02, dated July 15, 2014. The service information describes procedures for reinforcing the forward pressure bulkhead at frame 35, stringer 30, on both the left-hand and right-hand sides; and repairs. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI. 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 and Requirements of This Proposed 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 proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs.

    Explanation of “RC” Procedures and Tests in Service Information

    The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directives Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (AD ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement was a new process for annotating which procedures and tests in the service information are required for compliance with an AD. Differentiating these procedures and tests 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 actions specified in the service information identified previously include procedures and tests that are identified as RC (required for compliance) because these procedures have a direct effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an identified unsafe condition.

    As specified in a NOTE under the Accomplishment Instructions of the specified service information, procedures and tests that are identified as RC in any service information must be done to comply with the proposed AD. However, procedures and tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC), provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC will require approval of an AMOC.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 48 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it would take about 21 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $85,680, or $1,785 per product.

    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): Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2015-2964; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-206-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by September 14, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

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

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

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

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

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD is intended to complete certain mandated programs intended to support the airplane reaching its limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the established structural maintenance program. We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking of the forward pressure bulkhead, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Reinforcement, Related Investigative Actions, and Corrective Actions

    Before the accumulation of 48,000 total flight cycles or 96,000 total flight hours, whichever occurs first: Reinforce the forward pressure bulkhead at frame 35, stringer 30, on both the left-hand and right-hand sides; and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1268, Revision 02, dated July 15, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (h) of this AD. Do all corrective actions before further flight.

    (h) Exception to Service Information Specifications

    Although Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1268, Revision 02, dated July 15, 2014, specifies to contact Airbus for repair instructions, and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance), this AD requires repair before further flight 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).

    (i) 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 Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1268, dated January 8, 2013; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1268, Revision 01, dated July 23, 2013. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (j) 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 EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): Except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified 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 procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2014-0209, dated September 19, 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 Docket No. FAA-2015-2964.

    (2) 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 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 17, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18534 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2966; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-051-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 a report of fuel leaking onto the hot exhaust portion of an engine as a result of an un-intended leak path from the leading edge through the pylons. This proposed AD would require installing new seal dams in the inboard and outboard corners of the aft pylon frame on the left and right engines, including an inspection for damage of the outboard blade seal and applicable corrective actions. We are proposing this AD to prevent fuel leaking from an unintended drain path from the leading edge through the pylons and onto the hot engine parts or brakes, which could lead to a major ground fire.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 14, 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-2015-2966.

    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-2015-2966; 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:

    Sherry Vevea, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6514; 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-2015-2966; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-051-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We received a report of fuel leaking onto the hot exhaust portion of an engine as a result of an un-intended leak path from the leading edge through the pylons. An incorrect installation of a flexible coupling in a wing leading edge led to the leakage of fuel into the aft pylon compartment. During an investigation, it was determined that the pylon-to-wing interface design did not address drain paths for potential low-flow leakage rates, and that a seal dam at the inboard and outboard corners of the aft pylon compartment would correct the drain path. This condition, if not corrected, could result in fuel leaking from an unintended drain path from the leading edge through the pylons and onto the hot engine parts or brakes, which could lead to a major ground fire.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB540004-00, Issue 001, dated October 24, 2014. This service information describes procedures for installing new seal dams in the inboard and outboard corners of the aft pylon frame on the left and right engines, doing a general visual inspection to detect damage of the outboard blade seal, and doing 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.

    The phrase “corrective actions” is used in this proposed AD. “Corrective actions” correct or address any condition found. Corrective actions in an AD could include, for example, repairs.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 17 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
    Installation of seal dams Up to 22 work-hours X $85 per hour = $1,870 Up to $14,611 Up to $16,481 Up to $280,177.

    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-2015-2966; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-051-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by September 14, 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-SB540004-00, Issue 001, dated October 24, 2014.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 54, Nacelles/pylons.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of fuel leaking onto the hot exhaust portion of the engine as a result of an unintended leak path from the leading edge through the pylons. We are issuing this AD to prevent fuel leaking from an unintended drain path from the leading edge through the pylons and onto the hot engine parts or brakes, which could lead to a major ground fire.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Installation of Inboard and Outboard Seal Dams

    Within 60 months after the effective date of this AD, install new seal dams in the inboard and outboard corners of the aft pylon frame on the left and right engines, including a general visual inspection to detect damage of the outboard blade seal, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB540004-00, Issue 001, dated October 24, 2014. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

    (h) 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 (i)(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.

    (i) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Sherry Vevea, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6514; fax: 425-917-6590; email: sherry.vev[email protected]

    (2) 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. 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 22, 2015. Victor Wicklund, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18561 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2963; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-016-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A319-131, -132, and -133 airplanes; Model A320-232 and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-131, -231, and -232 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of forward engine mount attachment pins that were manufactured from discrepant raw material. This proposed AD would require identification and replacement of affected forward engine mount attachment pins. We are proposing this AD to prevent failure of a forward engine mount attachment pin, possible loss of an engine in-flight, and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 14, 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 Airbus service information identified in this proposed 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. For Goodrich Aerostructures service information identified in this proposed AD, contact UTC Aerospace Systems, ATTN: Christopher Newth—V2500 A1/A5 Project Engineer, Aftermarket—Aerostructures; 850 Lagoon Drive, Chula Vista, CA; telephone 619-498-7505; email [email protected] 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.

    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-2015-2963; 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 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:

    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: 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-2015-2963; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-016-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 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 proposed AD.

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0004, dated January 13, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A319-131, -132, and -133 airplanes; Model A320-232 and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-131, -231, and -232 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    A number of forward engine mount pins, Part Number (P/N) 740-2022-501, intended for IAE V2500 series engines, have been reported as non-compliant with the current certification requirements, due to a quality issue during manufacturing of the raw material. It was also determined that a batch of 88 affected pins are installed on in-service aeroplanes fitted with forward engine mount P/N 745-2010-503 and the serial numbers (s/n) of the affected pins and the [manufacturer serial number] MSN of the related aeroplanes have been identified.

    This condition, if not corrected, could lead to forward engine mount pin failure, possibly resulting in in-flight loss of an engine and consequent reduced control of the aeroplane.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires identification of the affected forward engine mount pins and removal from service [replacement] of those pins.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2963.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-71-1064, dated November 5, 2014; and Goodrich Aerostructures has issued Service Bulletin V2500-NAC-71-0323, dated September 18, 2014. The service information describes procedures for an inspection to determine the serial number of the attachment pins for the forward engine mount crossbeam to main beam for each engine, and replacement of affected pins. 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 and Requirements of This Proposed 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 proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs.

    Explanation of “RC” Procedures and Tests 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 procedures and tests in the service information are required for compliance with an AD. Differentiating these procedures and tests 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 procedures and tests identified as RC (required for compliance) in any service information have a direct effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an identified unsafe condition.

    As specified in a NOTE under the Accomplishment Instructions of the specified Airbus service information, procedures and tests identified as RC must be done to comply with the proposed AD. However, procedures and tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC), provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC will require approval of an AMOC.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 922 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it would take about 2 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $156,740, or $170 per product.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 4 work-hours and require parts costing $1,724, for a cost of $2,064 per attachment pin replacement. 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 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): Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2015-2963; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-016-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by September 14, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

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

    (1) Model A319-131, -132, and -133 airplanes.

    (2) Model A320-232 and -233 airplanes.

    (3) Model A321-131, -231, and -232 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 71, Power Plant.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of forward engine mount attachment pins that were manufactured from discrepant raw material. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of a forward engine mount attachment pin, possible loss of an engine in-flight, and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Identification of Part Numbers for Forward Engine Mount and Attachment Pins

    Except as provided by paragraph (i) of this AD, at the earliest of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(4) of this AD: For each engine, identify the part number of the forward engine mount, and the part number and serial number of the attachment pin for that forward engine mount, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1064, dated November 5, 2014; and Goodrich Aerostructures Service Bulletin V2500-NAC-71-0323, dated September 18, 2014. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this identification if the part number of the forward engine mount, and the part number and serial number of the attachment pin for that forward engine mount can be conclusively determined from that review. If any part number of the forward engine mount, or part number or serial number of the attachment pins for the forward engine mount, cannot be identified: At the earliest of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(4) of this AD, contact 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), for identification information.

    (1) Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) At the next engine removal after the effective date of this AD.

    (3) Within 7,500 flight hours after the effective date of this AD.

    (4) Within 5,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.

    (h) Corrective Actions

    If, during any identification required by paragraph (g) of this AD, a forward engine mount having part number (P/N) 745-2010-503 is found, and the attachment pin has P/N 740-2022-501 with any serial number that is included in figure 1 to paragraphs (h) and (j) of this AD: At the earliest of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(4) of this AD, replace the affected attachment pin with a serviceable part having a part number other than P/N 740-2022-501, and having a serial number that is not identified in figure 1 to paragraphs (h) and (j) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1064, dated November 5, 2014; and Goodrich Aerostructures Service Bulletin V2500-NAC-71-0323, dated September 18, 2014.

    Figure 1 to Paragraphs (h) and (j) of This AD—Part Numbers and Serial Numbers of Affected Forward Engine Mounts and Attachment Pins Serial Nos. Attachment Pin
  • (P/N 740-2022-501)
  • Forward Engine Mount
  • (P/N 745-2010-503)
  • 1396SC 13665001 1391SC 13655001 1412SC 13689001 1402SC 13669001 1409SC 13683001 1416SC 13697001 1418SC 13701001 1417SC 13699001 1414SC 13693001 1415SC 13695001 1420SC 13705001 1421SC 13707001 1422SC 13709001 1436SC 13737001 1438SC 13741001 1452SC 13769001 1456SC 13777001 1397SC 13667001 1432SC 13729001 1405SC 13675001 1411SC 13687001 1389SC 13651001 1392SC 13657001 1382SC 13637001 1384SC 13641001 1407SC 13679001 1408SC 13681001 1395SC 13663001 1406SC 13677001 1383SC 13639001 1404SC 13673001 1393SC 13659001 1413SC 13691001 1386SC 13645001 1388SC 13649001 1390SC 13653001 1410SC 13685001 1423SC 13711001 1424SC 13713001 1403SC 13671001 1419SC 13703001 1385SC 13643001 1387SC 13647001 1431SC 13727001 1433SC 13731001 1425SC 13715001 1428SC 13721001 1429SC 13723001 1430SC 13725001 1427SC 13719001 1434SC 13733001 1442SC 13749001 1394SC 13661001 1441SC 13747001 1426SC 13717001 1437SC 13739001 1439SC 13743001 1443SC 13751001 1448SC 13761001 1435SC 13735001 1440SC 13745001 1454SC 13773001 1455SC 13775001 1451SC 13767001 1453SC 13771001 1444SC 13753001 1450SC 13765001 1461SC 13787001 1469SC 13817001 1480SC 13839001 1481SC 13841001 1446SC 13757001 1449SC 13763001 1467SC 13813001 1445SC 13755001 1462SC 13789001 1464SC 13793001 1466SC 13811001 1470SC 13819001 1459SC 13783001 1463SC 13791001 1475SC 13829001 1458SC 13781001 1477SC 13833001 1474SC 13827001 1478SC 13835001 1479SC 13837001 1472SC 13823001
    (i) Exception to Paragraph (g) of This AD

    For airplanes with manufacturer serial numbers identified in figure 2 to paragraph (i) of this AD: If it can be conclusively determined that an engine has not been replaced after March 1, 2011 (the date of manufacture of the first airplane with affected engine mounts), the airplane is not affected by the requirements of paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD.

    Figure 2 to Paragraph (i) of This AD—Airplane Manufacturer Serial Numbers Airplane manufacturer serial Nos. 4593 4602 4620 4637 4638 4642 4643 4644 4660 4677 4690 4696 4700 4701 4703 4706 4707 4710 4716 4719 4725 4726 4731 4736 4737 4741 4746 4751 4752 4753 4754 4755 4757 4761 4762 4772 4773 4774 4775 4779 4782 4783 4784 4786 4788 4790 4791 4798 4804 4813 (j) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install on any airplane any engine mount attachment pin having P/N 740-2022-501 with a serial number identified in figure 1 to paragraphs (h) and (j) of this AD.

    (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: 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.

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified 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 procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (l) Special Flight Permits Prohibited

    Special flight permits, as described in Section 21.197 and Section 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199), are not allowed.

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0004, dated January 13, 2015, 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-2015-2963.

    (2) For Airbus 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. For Goodrich Aerostructures service information identified in this AD, contact UTC Aerospace Systems, ATTN: Christopher Newth—V2500 A1/A5 Project Engineer, Aftermarket—Aerostructures; 850 Lagoon Drive, Chula Vista, CA; telephone 619-498-7505; email [email protected] 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.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 17, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18533 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 101 [Docket No. FDA-2015-D-1839] The Food and Drug Administration's Policy on Declaring Small Amounts of Nutrients and Dietary Ingredients on Nutrition Labels; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notification of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, we, or the Agency) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “FDA's Policy on Declaring Small Amounts of Nutrients and Dietary Ingredients on Nutrition Labels: Guidance for Industry.” The draft guidance, when finalized, will explain to manufacturers of conventional foods and dietary supplements our policy on determining the amount to declare on the nutrition label for certain nutrients and dietary ingredients that are present in a small amount.

    DATES:

    Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on the draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by September 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-820), Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740. Send two self-addressed adhesive labels to assist the office in processing your request. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance.

    Submit electronic comments on the draft guidance to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments on the draft guidance to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    We are announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “FDA's Policy on Declaring Small Amounts of Nutrients and Dietary Ingredients on Nutrition Labels: Guidance for Industry.” We are issuing the draft guidance consistent with our good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance represents the current thinking of FDA on our policy on declaring small amounts of nutrients and dietary ingredients on nutrition labels. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

    The draft guidance, when finalized, will explain our nutrition labeling policy on declaring the nutrient values in conventional foods and dietary ingredient values in dietary supplements in certain cases. Specifically, declaring small amounts of nutrients and dietary ingredients in the nutrition labeling may result in a conflict between 21 CFR 101.9(c)(1) through (8) and 21 CFR 101.9(g)(4)(ii) and 21 CFR 101.9(g)(5). In such cases, we are recommending manufacturers declare nutrients and dietary ingredients in accordance with § 101.9(c)(1) through (8). If the draft guidance is finalized, we intend to consider the use of our enforcement discretion with respect to the compliance requirements in § 101.9(g)(4)(ii)) and § 101.9(g)(5) when a conflict exists with § 101.9(c)(1) through (8).

    We also are considering whether changes to our nutrition labeling regulations are needed, including changes to § 101.9(c) or (g), or both. If we determine that rulemaking is needed, we will consider whether to revise or withdraw the draft guidance.

    II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    The draft guidance refers to previously approved collections of information found in FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in § 101.9 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0381.

    III. Comments

    Interested persons may submit either electronic comments regarding the draft guidance to http://www.regulations.gov or written comments regarding the draft guidance 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.

    IV. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the draft guidance document at http://www.fda.gov/FoodGuidances or http://www.regulations.gov. Use the FDA Web site listed in the previous sentence to find the most current version of the guidance.

    Dated: July 24, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18655 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG-138526-14] RIN 1545-BM46 Issue Price Definition for Tax-Exempt Bonds; Correction AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Partial withdrawal of notice of proposed rulemaking, notice of proposed rulemaking, and notice of public hearing; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains corrections to partial withdrawal of notice of proposed rulemaking, notice of proposed rulemaking, and notice of public hearing; correction (REG-138526-14) that were published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 (80 FR 36301). The partial withdrawal of notice of proposed rulemaking, notice of proposed rulemaking, and notice of public hearing are relating to the definition of issue price for purposes of the arbitrage restrictions under section 148 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code).

    DATES:

    Written or electronic comments and requests for a public hearing for the notice of proposed rulemaking published at 80 FR 36301, June 24, 2015, are still being accepted and must be received by September 22, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lewis Bell at (202) 317-6980 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The notice of proposed rulemaking that is the subject of this correction is under section 148 of the Internal Revenue Code.

    Need for Correction

    As published in the Wednesday, June 24, 2015 (80 FR 36301) partial withdrawal of notice of proposed rulemaking, notice of proposed rulemaking, and notice of public hearing (REG-138526-14) contains an error that may prove to be misleading, and is in need of clarification.

    Correction of Publication

    Accordingly, the partial withdrawal of notice of proposed rulemaking, notice of proposed rulemaking, and notice of public hearing (REG-138526-14) that is subject to FR Doc. 2015-15411, is corrected as follows:

    § 1.148-1 [Corrected]
    1. On page 36305, second column, second line of paragraph (f)(3)(ii), the language “include” is corrected to read “includes”. Martin V. Franks, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration).
    [FR Doc. 2015-18614 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION 39 CFR Part 3050 [Docket No. RM2015-13; Order No. 2599] Periodic Reporting AGENCY:

    Postal Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing requesting that the Commission initiate an informal rulemaking proceeding to consider changes to analytical principles relating to periodic reports (Proposal Five). This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps.

    DATES:

    Comments are due: August 31, 2015. Reply Comments are due: September 15, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Proposal Five: A New Methodology To Develop IMTS—Outbound and Inbound Product Costs III. Initial Commission Action IV. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction

    In the Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Compliance Determination (FY 2014 ACD), the Commission directed the Postal Service to report within 90 days on the feasibility of developing attributable costs for the International Money Transfer Service (IMTS)—Outbound and Inbound products based upon alternatives to the In-Office Cost System (IOCS).1 Cost data for the IMTS—Outbound and Inbound products are reported in the International Cost and Revenue Analysis (ICRA) report.

    1 Docket No. ACR2014, Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Compliance Determination Report, March 27, 2015, at 76 (FY 2014 ACD). The IOCS is one of several Postal Service statistical sampling systems used to develop product costs.

    On June 30, 2015, the Postal Service filed its response to this directive.2 In Item No. 4 of the Response, the Postal Service proposes to use data reported by the Federal Reserve Bank to estimate the transaction volume for the IMTS—Inbound product. Id. at 3. The Postal Service also proposes to use the inbound transaction volume in a new methodology to develop attributable costs for the IMTS—Outbound and Inbound products as an alternative to using IOCS statistical data. Id. at 5.

    2 Docket No. ACR2014, Responses of the United States Postal Service to Commission Requests for Additional Information Regarding IMTS and EPG in the FY 2014 Annual Compliance Determination, June 30, 2015 (Response).

    Pursuant to 39 CFR 3050.11 et. seq., the Commission establishes the instant docket to initiate an informal rulemaking proceeding to consider the changes proposed in Item No. 4 of the Response to the Commission's directive in the FY 2014 ACD. The proposed changes to the IMTS—Outbound and Inbound products are labeled as Proposal Five and will be considered in this docket.

    II. Proposal Five: A New Methodology To Develop IMTS—Outbound and Inbound Product Costs

    The Postal Service proposes to estimate the transaction volume for the IMTS—Inbound product for the first time on an annual basis using data available from the Federal Reserve Bank on the number of foreign-origin money orders cashed by the Postal Service. Id. at 3. Using this new inbound transaction volume, the Postal Service proposes a new methodology to develop the attributable costs of the IMTS—Outbound and Inbound products. Id. at 5.

    Currently, total attributable costs for the combined IMTS—Outbound and Inbound products are distributed between the products using IOCS tallies.3 The Postal Service states that both the IMTS—Outbound and Inbound products are small products with relatively few transactions. Response at 4. As a result, it is difficult to obtain a sufficient number of IOCS tallies to reliably estimate attributable costs for the IMTS—Outbound product, which causes relatively volatile unit costs year-to-year. Id. Moreover, in most fiscal years, the Postal Service has been unable to develop attributable costs for the IMTS—Inbound product because of an absence of IOCS tallies. In addition, the ICRA report does not present transaction volume for the IMTS—Inbound product because the Postal Service has been unable to estimate such transaction volume through special studies or the use of data from postal retail systems. Id. at 2-3.

    3See Docket No. RM2011-5, Order No. 724, Order Concerning Analytical Principles for Periodic Reporting (Proposals Ten through Twelve, May 4, 2011, at 6-8. The IOCS collects data on the proportion of time spent by an employee performing various functions on different mail products or services. These proportions of time are used to estimate the costs of such products or services. An example might be the time spent by city carriers in a delivery post office casing (i.e., sorting) mail. Individuals referred to as “tally takers” sample the time data; hence, the term tally is used to identify the source of the data.

    To develop attributable costs for the IMTS—Outbound and Inbound products, the Postal Service proposes to use an estimate of retail window service time for electronic wire transfer transactions to develop an electronic window service cost per transaction. Id. at 5. When multiplied by the number of electronic transfer transactions, the resulting total electronic window service costs is then subtracted from the total attributable costs for the combined IMTS products, with the remainder apportioned between transactions for outbound paper money orders and foreign-origin money orders cashed by the Postal Service based on transaction volume. Id.

    III. Initial Commission Action

    The Commission establishes Docket No. RM2015-13 for consideration of matters raised by Item No. 4 of the Response, now identified as Proposal Five. More information on Proposal Five may be accessed via the Commission's Web site at http://www.prc.gov. The Postal Service filed portions of its supporting documentation under seal as part of a non-public annex. Information concerning access to non-public materials is located in 39 CFR part 3007.

    Interested persons may submit comments on Proposal Five no later than August 31, 2015. Reply comments are due no later than September 15, 2015. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, Nina Yeh is designated as officer of the Commission (Public Representative) to represent the interests of the general public in this proceeding.

    IV. Ordering Paragraphs

    It is ordered:

    1. The Commission establishes Docket No. RM2015-13 for consideration of the matters raised by the United States Postal Service in its Docket No. ACR2014, Responses of the United States Postal Service to Commission Requests for Additional Information Regarding IMTS and EPG in the FY 2014 Annual Compliance Determination, Item No. 4, filed June 30, 2015, identified herein as Proposal Five.

    2. Comments by interested persons in this proceeding are due no later than August 31, 2015. Reply comments are due no later than September 15, 2015.

    3. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, the Commission appoints Nina Yeh to serve as an officer of the Commission (Public Representative) to represent the interests of the general public in this docket.

    4. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the Federal Register.

    By the Commission.

    Ruth Ann Abrams, Acting Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18665 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
    POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION 39 CFR part 3050 [Docket No. RM2015-12; Order No. 2601] Periodic Reporting AGENCY:

    Postal Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing requesting that the Commission initiate an informal rulemaking proceeding to consider changes to analytical principles relating to periodic reports (Proposal Four). This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps.

    DATES:

    Comments are due: August 31, 2015. Reply Comments are due: September 15, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Summary of Proposal III. Initial Commission Action IV. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction

    On July 17, 2015, the Postal Service filed a petition pursuant to 39 CFR 3050.11 requesting that the Commission initiate an informal rulemaking proceeding to consider changes to analytical principles relating to periodic reports.1 Proposal Four is attached to the Petition and identifies the proposed analytical method change as a change relating to the use of the Summary of International Revenue and Volume Outbound statistical system (SIRVO) in the International Cost and Revenue Analysis (ICRA) report. Id. The Postal Service concurrently filed a nonpublic library reference, along with an application for nonpublic treatment of materials.2

    1 Petition of the United States Postal Service for the Initiation of a Proceeding to Consider Proposed Changes in Analytical Principles (Proposal Four), July 17, 2015 (Petition).

    2 Notice of Filing of USPS-RM2015-12/NP1 and Application for Nonpublic Treatment, July 17, 2015 (Notice). The Library Reference is USPS-RM2015-12/NP1—Nonpublic Material Relating to Proposal Four (SIRVO Inputs to ICRA). The Notice incorporates by reference the Application for Non-Public Treatment of Materials contained in Attachment Two to the December 29, 2014, United States Postal Service Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Compliance Report. Notice at 1. See 39 CFR part 3007 for information on access to nonpublic material.

    II. Summary of Proposal

    The Postal Service explains that the ICRA processing currently uses 20 individual quarterly international accounting datasets to provide country-specific outbound mail flow data for 46 individual countries and four regional aggregated country groupings. Petition, Proposal Four at 2. International accounting data have been the source of the mail flow data for countries not reported in the ICRA inputs by SIRVO. Id.

    Under Proposal Four, the Postal Service seeks to use expanded SIRVO data in lieu of international accounting data. Id. The Postal Service asserts that the change does not materially affect the overall workings of the ICRA because the use of the SIRVO data is parallel to the use of the international accounting data. Id. The Postal Service states this change will streamline the ICRA data sources by eliminating 16 of the 20 datasets and retaining only four files for outbound Priority Mail Express International data that are not provided by SIRVO. Id. at 2. Further, Proposal Four will include data for the 186 additional countries/territories currently subsumed in the four regional aggregate groups. Id.

    The Postal Service states that despite movement in the costs for individual products because of the new weighting scheme, overall costs will remain the same (to within one ten-thousandth of 1 percent) due to the ICRA benchmarking process. Id. at 4. The Postal Service identifies 36 changes that differ by more than $0.01 and 1 percent at the same time as a result of Proposal 4. Id. at 3. By way of example, the Postal Service represents that the shift to the SIRVO data sources will increase the volume-variable costs for International Priority Airmail and International Surface Airlift by $125,000 and $85,000, respectively. Id. The Postal Service asserts that this cost change is isolated in outbound products covered by SIRVO and any affected NSAs in the international settlements estimates. Id. The Postal Service also asserts that the only market dominant category to experience a change of 1 percent or more was the total volume-variable cost increase of $10,000 for Outbound International Cards to Transition System Countries at Universal Postal Union rates. Id. at 4.

    III. Initial Commission Action

    The Commission establishes Docket No. RM2015-12 for consideration of matters raised by the Petition. Additional information concerning the Petition may be accessed via the Commission's Web site at http://www.prc.gov. Interested persons may submit comments on the Petition and Proposal Four no later than August 31, 2015. Reply comments are due no later than September 15, 2015. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, James F. Callow is designated as officer of the Commission (Public Representative) to represent the interests of the general public in this proceeding.

    IV. Ordering Paragraphs

    It is ordered:

    1. The Commission establishes Docket No. RM2015-12 for consideration of the matters raised by the Petition of the United States Postal Service for the Initiation of a Proceeding to Consider Proposed Changes in Analytical Principles (Proposal Four), filed July 17, 2015.

    2. Comments are due no later than August 31, 2015. Reply comments are due no later than September 15, 2015.

    3. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, the Commission appoints James F. Callow to serve as officer of the Commission (Public Representative) to represent the interests of the general public in this docket.

    4. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the Federal Register.

    By the Commission.

    Ruth Ann Abrams, Acting Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18666 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0443; FRL-9931-34-Region 4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Kentucky Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve the July 17, 2012, State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission, submitted by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Energy and Environment Cabinet, Department for Environmental Protection, through the Kentucky Division for Air Quality (KY DAQ) for inclusion into the Kentucky SIP. This proposal pertains to the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act) infrastructure requirements for the 2008 Lead national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, which is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure SIP submission.” KY DAQ certified that the Kentucky SIP contains provisions that ensure the 2008 Lead NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in Kentucky. With the exception of provisions pertaining to prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permitting, EPA is proposing to determine that Kentucky's infrastructure SIP submission, provided to EPA on July 17, 2012, satisfies the required infrastructure elements for the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 31, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0443, 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-2014-0443,” 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-2014-0443. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit through www.regulations.gov or email, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Background II. What elements are required under sections 110(a)(1) and (2)? III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions? IV. What is EPA's analysis of how Kentucky 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 primary and secondary NAAQS for lead under section 109 of the Act. See 43 FR 46246. Both 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 August 7, 1977 Air Quality Criteria for Lead. On November 12, 2008 (75 FR 81126), EPA issued a final rule to revise the primary and secondary Lead NAAQS. The 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 Title 15A regulations of the Kentucky Administrative Regulation (“KAR”) cited throughout this rulemaking have been approved into Kentucky's federally-approved SIP. The Kentucky Revised Statutes (“KRS”) cited throughout this rulemaking, however, are not approved into the Kentucky SIP unless otherwise indicated.

    This action is proposing to approve Kentucky's infrastructure SIP submission for the applicable requirements of the 2008 Lead NAAQS, with the exception of preconstruction PSD permitting requirements for major sources contained in sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i), and (J). On March 18, 2015, EPA approved Kentucky's July 17, 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. Therefore, EPA is not proposing any action today pertaining to the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i), and (J) for the 2008 Lead NAAQS. For the aspects of Kentucky's submittal proposed for approval today, EPA notes that the Agency is not approving any specific rule, but rather proposing that Kentucky'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.

    More specifically, section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for SIPs. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for “infrastructure” SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. As mentioned above, these requirements include 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. This 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)(i): Interstate transport provisions.

    • 110(a)(2)(D)(ii): Interstate and International Transport.

    • 110(a)(2)(E): Adequate personnel, funding, and authority.

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

    • 110(a)(2)(G): Emergency episodes.

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

    • 110(a)(2)(I): Nonattainment area plan or plan revision under Part D.4

    4 As mentioned above, this element is not relevant to this proposed rulemaking.

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

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

    • 110(a)(2)(L): Permitting fees.

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

    III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions?

    EPA is acting upon the SIP submission from Kentucky 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.5 EPA therefore believes that while the timing requirement in section 110(a)(1) is unambiguous, some of the other statutory provisions are ambiguous. In particular, EPA believes that the list of required elements for infrastructure SIP submissions provided in section 110(a)(2) contains ambiguities concerning what is required for inclusion in an infrastructure SIP submission.

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

    The following examples of ambiguities illustrate the need for EPA to interpret some section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) requirements with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions for a given new or revised NAAQS. One example of ambiguity is that section 110(a)(2) requires that “each” SIP submission must meet the list of requirements therein, while EPA has long noted that this literal reading of the statute is internally inconsistent and would create a conflict with the nonattainment provisions in part D of title I of the Act, which specifically address nonattainment SIP requirements.6 Section 110(a)(2)(I) pertains to nonattainment SIP requirements and part D addresses when attainment plan SIP submissions to address nonattainment area requirements are due. For example, section 172(b) requires EPA to establish a schedule for submission of such plans for certain pollutants when the Administrator promulgates the designation of an area as nonattainment, and section 107(d)(1)(B) allows up to two years, or in some cases three years, for such designations to be promulgated.7 This ambiguity illustrates that rather than apply all the stated requirements of section 110(a)(2) in a strict literal sense, EPA must determine which provisions of section 110(a)(2) are applicable for a particular infrastructure SIP submission.

    6See, e.g., “Rule To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule); Revisions to Acid Rain Program; Revisions to the NOX SIP Call; Final Rule,” 70 FR 25162, at 25163-65 (May 12, 2005) (explaining relationship between timing requirement of section 110(a)(2)(D) versus section 110(a)(2)(I)).

    7 EPA notes that this ambiguity within section 110(a)(2) is heightened by the fact that various subparts of part D set specific dates for submission of certain types of SIP submissions in designated nonattainment areas for various pollutants. Note, e.g., that section 182(a)(1) provides specific dates for submission of emissions inventories for the ozone NAAQS. Some of these specific dates are necessarily later than three years after promulgation of the new or revised NAAQS.

    Another example of ambiguity within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) with respect to infrastructure SIPs pertains to whether states must meet all of the infrastructure SIP requirements in a single SIP submission, and whether EPA must act upon such SIP submission in a single action. Although section 110(a)(1) directs states to submit “a plan” to meet these requirements, EPA interprets the CAA to allow states to make multiple SIP submissions separately addressing infrastructure SIP elements for the same NAAQS. If states elect to make such multiple SIP submissions to meet the infrastructure SIP requirements, EPA can elect to act on such submissions either individually or in a larger combined action.8 Similarly, EPA interprets the CAA to allow it to take action on the individual parts of one larger, comprehensive infrastructure SIP submission for a given NAAQS without concurrent action on the entire submission. For example, EPA has sometimes elected to act at different times on various elements and sub-elements of the same infrastructure SIP submission.9

    8See, e.g., “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP); Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) Permitting,” 78 FR 4339 (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action approving the structural PSD elements of the New Mexico SIP submitted by the State separately to meet the requirements of EPA's 2008 PM2.5 NSR rule), and “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS,” (78 FR 4337) (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action on the infrastructure SIP for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS).

    9 On December 14, 2007, the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, made a SIP revision to EPA demonstrating that the State meets the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). EPA proposed action for infrastructure SIP elements (C) and (J) on January 23, 2012 (77 FR 3213) and took final action on March 14, 2012 (77 FR 14976). On April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22533) and July 23, 2012 (77 FR 42997), EPA took separate proposed and final actions on all other section 110(a)(2) infrastructure SIP elements of Tennessee's December 14, 2007 submittal.

    Ambiguities within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) may also arise with respect to infrastructure SIP submission requirements for different NAAQS. Thus, EPA notes that not every element of section 110(a)(2) would be relevant, or as relevant, or relevant in the same way, for each new or revised NAAQS. The states' attendant infrastructure SIP submissions for each NAAQS therefore could be different. For example, the monitoring requirements that a state might need to meet in its infrastructure SIP submission for purposes of section 110(a)(2)(B) could be very different for different pollutants because the content and scope of a state's infrastructure SIP submission to meet this element might be very different for an entirely new NAAQS than for a minor revision to an existing NAAQS.10

    10 For example, implementation of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS required the deployment of a system of new monitors to measure ambient levels of that new indicator species for the new NAAQS.

    EPA notes that interpretation of section 110(a)(2) is also necessary when EPA reviews other types of SIP submissions required under the CAA. Therefore, as with infrastructure SIP submissions, EPA also has to identify and interpret the relevant elements of section 110(a)(2) that logically apply to these other types of SIP submissions. For example, section 172(c)(7) requires that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D have to meet the “applicable requirements” of section 110(a)(2). Thus, for example, attainment plan SIP submissions must meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) regarding enforceable emission limits and control measures and section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) regarding air agency resources and authority. By contrast, it is clear that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D would not need to meet the portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) that pertains to the PSD program required in part C of title I of the CAA, because PSD does not apply to a pollutant for which an area is designated nonattainment and thus subject to part D planning requirements. As this example illustrates, each type of SIP submission may implicate some elements of section 110(a)(2) but not others.

    Given the potential for ambiguity in some of the statutory language of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2), EPA believes that it is appropriate to interpret the ambiguous portions of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) in the context of acting on a particular SIP submission. In other words, EPA assumes that Congress could not have intended that each and every SIP submission, regardless of the NAAQS in question or the history of SIP development for the relevant pollutant, would meet each of the requirements, or meet each of them in the same way. Therefore, EPA has adopted an approach under which it reviews infrastructure SIP submissions against the list of elements in section 110(a)(2), but only to the extent each element applies for that particular NAAQS.

    Historically, EPA has elected to use guidance documents to make recommendations to states for infrastructure SIPs, in some cases conveying needed interpretations on newly arising issues and in some cases conveying interpretations that have already been developed and applied to individual SIP submissions for particular elements.11 EPA issued the Lead Infrastructure SIP Guidance on October 14, 2011.12 EPA developed this document to provide states with up-to-date guidance for the 2008 Lead infrastructure SIPs. Within this guidance, EPA describes the duty of states to make infrastructure SIP submissions to meet basic structural SIP requirements within three years of promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. EPA also made recommendations about many specific subsections of section 110(a)(2) that are relevant in the context of infrastructure SIP submissions. The guidance also discusses the substantively important issues that are germane to certain subsections of section 110(a)(2). Significantly, EPA interprets sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) such that infrastructure SIP submissions need to address certain issues and need not address others. Accordingly, EPA reviews each infrastructure SIP submission for compliance with the applicable statutory provisions of section 110(a)(2), as appropriate.13

    11 EPA notes, however, that nothing in the CAA requires EPA to provide guidance or to promulgate regulations for infrastructure SIP submissions. The CAA directly applies to states and requires the submission of infrastructure SIP submissions, regardless of whether or not EPA provides guidance or regulations pertaining to such submissions. EPA elects to issue such guidance in order to assist states, as appropriate.

    12 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements Required under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2008 Lead (Pb) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS),” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, October 14, 2001.

    13 Although not intended to provide guidance for purposes of infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2008 Lead NAAQS, EPA notes that, following the 2011 Lead Infrastructure SIP Guidance, EPA issued the “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2).” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013. This 2013 guidance provides recommendations for air agencies' development and the EPA's review of infrastructure SIPs for the 2008 ozone primary and secondary NAAQS, the 2010 primary nitrogen dioxide (NO2) NAAQS, the 2010 primary sulfur dioxide (SO2) NAAQS, and the 2012 primary fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS, as well as infrastructure SIPs for new or revised NAAQS promulgated in the future.

    EPA's approach to review of infrastructure SIP submissions is to identify the CAA requirements that are logically applicable to that submission. EPA believes that this approach to the review of a particular infrastructure SIP submission is appropriate, because it would not be reasonable to read the general requirements of section 110(a)(1) and the list of elements in 110(a)(2) as requiring review of each and every provision of a state's existing SIP against all requirements in the CAA and EPA regulations merely for purposes of assuring that the state in question has the basic structural elements for a functioning SIP for a new or revised NAAQS. Because SIPs have grown by accretion over the decades as statutory and regulatory requirements under the CAA have evolved, they may include some outmoded provisions and historical artifacts. These provisions, while not fully up to date, nevertheless may not pose a significant problem for the purposes of “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of a new or revised NAAQS when EPA evaluates adequacy of the infrastructure SIP submission. EPA believes that a better approach is for states and EPA to focus attention on those elements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA most likely to warrant a specific SIP revision due to the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or other factors.

    Finally, EPA believes that its approach with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements is based on a reasonable reading of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) because the CAA provides other avenues and mechanisms to address specific substantive deficiencies in existing SIPs. These other statutory tools allow EPA to take appropriately tailored action, depending upon the nature and severity of the alleged SIP deficiency. Section 110(k)(5) authorizes EPA to issue a “SIP call” whenever the Agency determines that a state's SIP is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain the NAAQS, to mitigate interstate transport, or to otherwise comply with the CAA.14 Section 110(k)(6) authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions.15 Significantly, EPA's determination that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is not the appropriate time and place to address all potential existing SIP deficiencies does not preclude EPA's subsequent reliance on provisions in section 110(a)(2) as part of the basis for action to correct those deficiencies at a later time. For example, although it may not be appropriate to require a state to eliminate all existing inappropriate director's discretion provisions in the course of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, EPA believes that section 110(a)(2)(A) may be among the statutory bases that EPA relies upon in the course of addressing such deficiency in a subsequent action.16

    14 For example, EPA issued a SIP call to Utah to address specific existing SIP deficiencies related to the treatment of excess emissions during SSM events. See “Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Utah State Implementation Plan Revisions,” 74 FR 21639 (April 18, 2011).

    15 EPA has used this authority to correct errors in past actions on SIP submissions related to PSD programs. See “Limitation of Approval of Prevention of Significant Deterioration Provisions Concerning Greenhouse Gas Emitting-Sources in State Implementation Plans; Final Rule,” 75 FR 82536 (December 30, 2010). EPA has previously used its authority under CAA section 110(k)(6) to remove numerous other SIP provisions that the Agency determined it had approved in error. See, e.g., 61 FR 38664 (July 25, 1996) and 62 FR 34641 (June 27, 1997) (corrections to American Samoa, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada SIPs); 69 FR 67062 (November 16, 2004) (corrections to California SIP); and 74 FR 57051 (November 3, 2009) (corrections to Arizona and Nevada SIPs).

    16See, e.g., EPA's disapproval of a SIP submission from Colorado on the grounds that it would have included a director's discretion provision inconsistent with CAA requirements, including section 110(a)(2)(A). See, e.g., 75 FR 42342 at 42344 (July 21, 2010) (proposed disapproval of director's discretion provisions); 76 FR 4540 (Jan. 26, 2011) (final disapproval of such provisions).

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of how Kentucky addressed the elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) “infrastructure” provisions?

    The Kentucky infrastructure submission addresses the provisions of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as described below.

    1. 110(a)(2)(A) Emission limits and other control measures: There are several provisions within Kentucky's regulations that provide KY DAQ with the necessary authority to adopt and enforce air quality controls, which include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures. Some sections but not all of the following chapters,17 provide the state the necessary authority; 401 KAR Chapter 50 General Administrative Procedures 401 KAR 51 Attainment and Maintenance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 401 KAR 52 Permits, Registrations, and Prohibitory Rules, and 401 KAR 53 Ambient Air Quality. EPA has made the preliminary determination that these provisions and Kentucky's practices are adequate to protect the 2008 Lead NAAQS in the Commonwealth.

    17 There are various chapters from the Kentucky submittal cited to throughout this document as showing that Kentucky meets the infrastructure requirements. To see exactly what sections Kentucky cited in each chapter, refer to the submittal which can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0443.

    In this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing Kentucky provisions with regard to excess emissions during startup, shutdown and malfunction (SSM) of operations at a facility. EPA believes that a number of states have SSM provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance, “State Implementation Plans: Policy Regarding Excess Emissions During Malfunctions, Startup, and Shutdown” (September 20, 1999), and the Agency is addressing such state regulations in a separate action.18 In the meantime, EPA encourages any state having a deficient SSM provision to take steps to correct it as soon as possible.

    18 On May 22, 2015, the EPA Administrator signed a final action entitled, “State Implementation Plans: Response to Petition for Rulemaking; Restatement and Update of EPA's SSM Policy Applicable to SIPs; Findings of Substantial Inadequacy; and SIP Calls to Amend Provisions Applying to Excess Emissions During Periods of Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction.” The prepublication version of this rule is available at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/urbanair/sipstatus/emissions.html.

    Additionally, in this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State rules with regard to director's discretion or variance provisions. 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. 401 KAR 50:050 Monitoring and KRS 224.10-100(22) along with the Kentucky Annual Monitoring Network Plan, provide for an ambient air quality monitoring system in the State, which includes the monitoring of lead at appropriate locations throughout the state using the EPA approved Federal Reference Method or equivalent monitors. 401 KAR Chapter 50 General Administrative Procedures also provides Kentucky with the statutory authority to “determine by means of field sampling and other studies, including the examination of available data collected by any local, State or federal agency or any person, the degree of air contamination and air pollution in the State and the several areas of the State.” The monitors are all part of the Air Quality Systems (AQS) and identification numbers. Annually, States develop and submit to EPA for approval statewide ambient monitoring network plans consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR parts 50, 53, and 58. The annual network plan involves an evaluation of any proposed changes to the monitoring network, includes the annual ambient monitoring network design plan and a certified evaluation of the agency's ambient monitors and auxiliary support equipment.19 The latest monitoring network plan for Kentucky was submitted to EPA on June 30, 2014, and on October 30, 2014, EPA approved this plan. Kentucky's approved monitoring network plan can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0443. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Kentucky's SIP and practices are adequate for the ambient air quality monitoring and data system related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    19 On occasion, proposed changes to the monitoring network are evaluated outside of the network plan approval process in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.

    3. 110(a)(2)(C) Program for enforcement, PSD, and NSR: This element consists of three sub-elements; enforcement, state-wide regulation of new and modified minor sources and minor modifications of major sources; and preconstruction permitting of major sources and major modifications in areas designated attainment or unclassifiable for the subject NAAQS as required by CAA title I part C (i.e., the major source PSD program). To meet these obligations, Kentucky cited regulations 401 KAR 50:060. The enforcement aspect of 110(a)(2)(C) provides for enforcement of the terms and conditions of permits and compliance schedules, and 401 KAR 52 Permits, Registrations, and Prohibitory Rules, which pertain to the construction of new stationary sources or any project at an existing stationary source. In this action, EPA is only proposing to approve the enforcement and the regulation of minor sources and minor modifications aspects of Kentucky's section 110(a)(2)(C) infrastructure SIP submission.

    Enforcement: KY DAQ's above-described, SIP-approved regulations provide for enforcement of lead emission limits and control measures and construction permitting for new or modified stationary sources.

    Preconstruction PSD Permitting for Major Sources: With respect to Kentucky's July 17, 2012, infrastructure SIP submission related to the preconstruction PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(C), EPA took final action to approve these provisions for the 2008 Lead NAAQS on March 18, 2015. See 80 FR 14019.

    Regulation of minor sources and modifications: Section 110(a)(2)(C) also requires the SIP to include provisions that govern the minor source pre-construction program that regulates emissions of the 2008 Lead NAAQS. Regulation 401 KAR 52:030 governs the preconstruction permitting of modifications and construction of minor stationary sources.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that Kentucky'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) and (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 interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality in another state (“prong 3”), or to protect visibility in another state (“prong 4”). Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions insuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) prongs 1 and 2: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) requires infrastructure SIP submissions to include provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment in, or interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state. The physical properties of lead prevent lead emissions from experiencing that same travel or formation phenomena as PM2.5 and ozone for interstate transport as outlined in prongs 1 and 2. More specifically, there is a sharp decrease in the lead concentrations, at least in the coarse fraction, as the distance from a lead source increases. EPA believes that the requirements of prongs 1 and 2 can be satisfied through a state's assessment as to whether a lead source located within its State in close proximity to a state border has emissions that contribute significantly to the nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS in the neighboring state. For example, EPA's experience suggests that sources located more than two miles from the state border or that sources that emit less than 0.5 tons per year (tpy) generally appear unlikely to contribute significantly to the nonattainment in another state. Kentucky has one lead source that has emissions which exceed 0.5 tpy, however, the source is located about 50 miles from the border.20 As a result of its distance to the border, EPA believes it is unlikely to contribute significantly to the nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state. Therefore, EPA has made the preliminary determination that Kentucky's SIP meets the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I).

    20 The one facility in Kentucky that has lead emissions greater than 0.5 tpy is the EnerSys facility located at 761 Eastern Bypass Richmond, KY 40475. The lead emissions from this facility are 0.55 tpy.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) Prong 3: With respect to Kentucky's July 17, 2012 infrastructure SIP submission related to the interstate transport requirements for PSD of prong 3 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i), EPA took final action to approve this portion of Kentucky's submission for the 2008 Lead NAAQS on March 18, 2015. See 80 FR 14019.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) prong 4: With regard to section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), the visibility sub-element, referred to as prong 4, significant visibility impacts from stationary source lead emissions are expected to be limited to short distances from the source. The 2011 Lead Infrastructure SIP Guidance notes that the lead constituent of PM would likely not travel far enough to affect Class 1 areas and that the visibility provisions of the CAA do not directly regulate lead. Lead stationary sources in Kentucky are located distances from Class I areas such that visibility impacts are negligible. Accordingly, EPA has preliminarily determined that the Kentucky SIP meets the relevant visibility requirements of prong 4 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i).

    110(a)(2)(D)(ii) Interstate and International transport provisions: With regard to section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii), section 6 of KAR Chapter 52:100, Public, Affected State, and US EPA Review, outlines how Kentucky will notify neighboring states of potential impacts from new or modified sources. Further, EPA is unaware of any pending obligations for the Commonwealth pursuant to sections 115 or 126 of the CAA. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Kentucky DAQ'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. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Kentucky's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii).

    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 Kentucky's SIP as meeting the requirements of sub-elements 110(a)(2)(E)(i), (ii) and (iii). EPA's rationale for this proposal respecting sub-element (i), (ii),and(iii) is described in turn below.

    To satisfy the requirements of sections 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii), Kentucky's infrastructure SIP submission cites regulation 401 KAR 50:038 Air Emissions Fee, which provides the assessment fees necessary to fund the state Title V permit program. EPA submitted a letter to Kentucky on February 27, 2014, outlining 105 grant commitments and the current status of these commitments for fiscal year 2013. The letter EPA submitted to Kentucky can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0443. Annually, states update these grant commitments based on current SIP requirements, air quality planning, and applicable requirements related to the NAAQS. Kentucky satisfactorily met all commitments agreed to in the Air Planning Agreement for fiscal year 2013, therefore Kentucky's grants were finalized and closed out.

    Section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) requires that Kentucky comply with section 128 of the CAA. Section 128 requires that: (1) The majority of members of the state board or body which approves permits or enforcement orders represent the public interest and do not derive any significant portion of their income from persons subject to permitting or enforcement orders under the CAA; and (2) any potential conflicts of interest by such board or body, or the head of an executive agency with similar, powers be adequately disclosed.

    KY DAQ's infrastructure SIP submission adequately demonstrated that Kentucky's SIP meets the applicable section 128 requirements pursuant to section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii).

    For purposes of section 128(a)(1), Kentucky has no boards or bodies with authority over air pollution permits or enforcement actions. Such matters are instead handled by the Director of the KY DAQ. As such, a “board or body” is not responsible for approving permits or enforcement orders in Kentucky, and the requirements of section 128(a)(1) are not applicable. For purposes of section 128(a)(2), Kentucky's SIP has been updated. On October 3, 2012, EPA finalized approval of KY DAQ's July 17, 2012, SIP revision requesting incorporation of KRS Chapters 11A.020, 11A.030, 11A.040 and Chapters 224.10-020 and 224.10-100 into the SIP to address sub-element 110(a)(2)(E)(ii). See 77 FR 60307. With the incorporation of these regulations into the Kentucky SIP, EPA has made the preliminary determination that the Commonwealth has adequately addressed the requirements of section 128(a)(2), and accordingly has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii). Therefore, EPA is proposing to approve KY DAQ's SIP as meeting the requirements of sub-elements 110(a)(2)(E)(i), (ii) and (iii).

    6. 110(a)(2)(F) Stationary source monitoring system: KY DAQ's infrastructure SIP submission describes how the State establishes requirements for emissions compliance testing and utilizes emissions sampling and analysis. It further describes how the State ensures the quality of its data through observing emissions and monitoring operations. KY DAQ 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. KY DAQ meets these requirements through KY DAQ 401 KAR 50:050 Monitoring. These requirements are incorporated into the SIP at Chapter 50 General Administrative Procedures allows for the use of credible evidence in the event that the KY DAQ Director has evidence that a source is violating an emission standard or permit condition, the Director may require that the owner or operator of any source submit to the Director any information necessary to determine the compliance status of the source. In addition, EPA is unaware of any provision preventing the use of credible evidence in the Kentucky SIP.

    In addition, Kentucky is required to submit emissions data to EPA for purposes of the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The NEI is EPA's central repository for air emissions data. EPA published the Air Emissions Reporting Rule (AERR) on December 5, 2008, which modified the requirements for collecting and reporting air emissions data. See 73 FR 76539. The AERR shortened the time states had to report emissions data from 17 to 12 months, giving states one calendar year to submit emissions data. All states are required to submit a comprehensive emissions inventory every three years and report emissions for certain larger sources annually through EPA's online Emissions Inventory System. States report emissions data for the six criteria pollutants and the precursors that form them—NOX, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. Many states also voluntarily report emissions of hazardous air pollutants. Kentucky made its latest update to the 2013 NEI on November 11, 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 Kentucky's SIP and practices are adequate for the stationary source monitoring systems obligations for the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    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. Kentucky's infrastructure SIP submission cites 401 KAR Chapter 55 Emergency Episodes as identifying air pollution emergency episodes and preplanned abatement strategies, and providing the means to implement emergency air pollution episode measures. Conditions justifying the proclamation of an air pollution alert, air pollution warning, or air pollution emergency shall be deemed to exist whenever the cabinet determines that the accumulation of air contaminants in any place is attaining or has attained levels which could, if such levels are sustained or exceeded, present a threat to the health of the public. The intent of this administrative regulation is to provide for the curtailment or reduction of processes or operations which emit an air contaminant or an air contaminant precursor whose criteria has been reached and are located in the affected area for which an episode level has been declared. This rule defines what an episodic criteria is and the procedure for an episode declaration. In addition, KRS 224.10-410 provides: “Notwithstanding any inconsistent provisions of law, whenever the Secretary of the Energy and Environment Cabinet finds, after investigation, that any person or combination of persons is causing, engaging in or maintaining a condition or activity which, in his judgment, presents a danger to the health or welfare of the people of the state or results in or is likely to result in damage to natural resources, and relates to the prevention and abatement powers of the secretary and it therefore appears to be prejudicial to the interests of the people of the state to delay action until an opportunity for a hearing can be provided, the secretary may, without prior hearing, order such person or combination of persons by notice, in writing wherever practicable or in such other form as in the secretary's judgment will reasonably notify such person or combination of persons whose practices are intended to be proscribed, to discontinue, abate or alleviate such condition or activity, and thereupon such person or combination of persons shall immediately discontinue, abate or alleviate such condition or activity. As soon as possible thereafter, not to exceed ten (10) days, the secretary shall provide the person or combination of persons an opportunity to be heard and to present proof that such condition or activity does not violate the provisions of this section. The secretary shall adopt any other appropriate rules and regulations prescribing the procedure to be followed in the issuance of such orders. The secretary shall immediately notify the Governor of any order issued pursuant to this section.” EPA has made the preliminary determination that Kentucky's SIP and practices are adequate to satisfy the emergency powers obligations of the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    8. 110(a)(2)(H) Future SIP revisions: KY DAQ is responsible for adopting air quality rules and revising SIPs as needed to attain or maintain the NAAQS in Kentucky. 401 KAR Chapter 53 Ambient Air Quality and Chapter 51 Attainment and Maintenance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards grant KY DAQ the broad authority to implement the CAA, and as such, provides KY DAQ the authority to prepare and develop, after proper study, a comprehensive plan for the prevention of air pollution. These statutes also provide KY DAQ 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 has made the preliminary determination that Kentucky's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate a commitment to provide future SIP revisions related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS, when necessary.

    9. 110(a)(2)(J): EPA is proposing to approve Kentucky'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 visibility protection. With respect to Kentucky's infrastructure SIP submission related to the preconstruction PSD permitting requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J), EPA took final action to approve Kentucky's July 17, 2012, 2008 Lead infrastructure SIP for these requirements on March 18, 2015. 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.

    Consultation with government officials (121 consultation): Section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA requires states to provide a process for consultation with local governments, designated organizations and federal land managers (FLMs) carrying out NAAQS implementation requirements pursuant to section 121 relative to consultation. 401 KAR 52 Permits, Registrations, and Prohibitory Rules along with the Regional Haze SIP Plan (which allows for consultation between appropriate state, local, and tribal air pollution control agencies as well as the corresponding FLMs), provide for consultation with government officials whose jurisdictions might be affected by SIP development activities. Implementation of transportation conformity as outlined in the consultation procedures requires KY DAQ to consult with federal, state and local transportation and air quality agency officials on the development of motor vehicle emissions budgets. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Kentucky's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate that the State meets applicable requirements related to consultation with government officials for the 2008 Lead NAAQS when necessary.

    Public notification (127 public notification): To meet the public notification requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J), statutes 401 KAR 51 Attainment and Maintenance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and 401 KAR 52 Permits, Registrations provides Kentucky with the authority to declare an emergency and notify the public accordingly when it finds t a generalized condition of water or air pollution which is causing imminent danger to the health or safety of the public. For example, 401 KAR 52:100. Public, Affected State, and U.S. EPA Review of the Kentucky SIP process affords the public an opportunity to participate in regulatory and other efforts to improve air quality by holding public hearings for interested persons to appear and submit written or oral comments. EPA also notes that KY DAQ maintains a Web site that provides the public with notice of the health hazards associated with Lead NAAQS exceedances, measures the public can take to help prevent such exceedances, and the ways in which the public can participate in the regulatory process. See http://air.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that Kentucky's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide public notification related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS when necessary.

    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. EPA thus does not expect states to address visibility in lead infrastructure submittals. Thus, EPA concludes there are no new applicable visibility protection obligations under section 110(a)(2)(J) as a result of the 2008 Lead NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve section 110(a)(2)(J) of KY DAQ's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to visibility.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that Kentucky's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J) to include a program in the SIP that provides for meeting the applicable requirements of section 121 (consultation), section 127 public notification, and visibility protection.

    10. 110(a)(2)(K) Air quality modeling/data: Section 110(a)(2)(K) of the CAA requires that SIPs provide for performing air quality modeling so that effects on air quality of emissions from NAAQS pollutants can be predicted and submission of such data to the USEPA can be made. 401 KAR Chapter 50 General Administrative Procedures require that air modeling be conducted in accordance with 40 CFR part 51, appendix W “Guideline on Air Quality Models.” These regulations demonstrate that Kentucky has the authority to perform air quality modeling and to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of the 2008 Lead NAAQS. Additionally, Kentucky 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, Kentucky's air quality regulations demonstrate that KY DAQ 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 Kentucky'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.

    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.

    To satisfy these requirements, Kentucky Regulation 401 KAR 50:038 Air Emissions Fee, and the Title V Operating Permit Program Implementation Protocol dated August 13, 1999, is how KY DAQ collects adequate emission fees related to the cost of administering the air quality program mandated under Title V of the CAA Amendments of 1990 (Public Law 101-549, as amended). Funds collected in support of the program are used in support of review, implementation, and enforcement of PSD/NNSR permits. The Title V program takes over for the PSD/NNSR permit once the source begin operating. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Kentucky's practices adequately provide for permitting fees related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS, when necessary.

    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. 401 KAR 52 Permits, Registrations authorize and require KY DAQ 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 Kentucky's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with affected local entities related to the 2008 Lead NAAQS, when necessary.

    V. Proposed Action

    With the exception of the PSD permitting requirements for major sources contained in sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of (D)(i), and (J), EPA is proposing to approve that KY DAQ's infrastructure SIP submission, submitted July 17, 2012, for the 2008 Lead NAAQS meets the above described infrastructure SIP requirements. EPA is proposing to approve these portions of Kentucky's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2008 Lead NAAQS because these aspects of the submission are consistent with section 110 of the CAA.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, the Kentucky 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, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 14, 2015. Heather Mc Teer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18613 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0323; FRL-9931-15-Region 10] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Oregon: Grants Pass Second 10-Year PM10 Limited Maintenance Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve the limited maintenance plan submitted by the State of Oregon on April 22, 2015, for the Grants Pass maintenance area for particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to a nominal 10 micrometers (PM10). The plan explains how this area will continue to meet the PM10 National Ambient Air Quality Standard for a second 10-year period through 2025.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 31, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0323, by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected]

    Mail: Lucy Edmondson, U.S. EPA Region 10, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, AWT-150, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101

    Hand Delivery/Courier: U.S. EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101. Attention: Lucy Edmondson, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, AWT-150. Such deliveries are only accepted during normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    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:

    Lucy Edmondson at telephone number: (360) 753-9082, email address: [email protected], or the above EPA, Region 10 address.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For further information, please see the direct final action, of the same title, which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register. The EPA is simultaneously approving the State's SIP revision as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the EPA views this as a noncontroversial SIP revision and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the preamble to the direct final rule. If the EPA receives no adverse comments, the EPA will not take further action on this proposed rule.

    If the EPA receives adverse comments, the EPA will withdraw the direct final rule and it will not take effect. The EPA will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. The EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if we receive adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, the EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    Dated: July 8, 2015. Dennis J. McLerran, Regional Administrator, Region 10.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18349 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 81 [EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0279; FRL-9930-98-Region 9] Air Plan Approval; California; Mammoth Lakes; Redesignation Request; PM10 Maintenance Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve, as a revision to the California State Implementation Plan (SIP), California's request to redesignate the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area to attainment for the 1987 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for particulate matter of ten microns or less (PM10). EPA is also proposing to approve the maintenance plan for the Mammoth Lakes area and the associated motor vehicle emissions budgets for use in transportation conformity determinations. Finally, EPA is proposing to approve the attainment year emissions inventory. EPA is proposing these actions because the SIP revision meets the requirements of the Clean Air Act and EPA guidance for maintenance plans and motor vehicle emissions budgets.

    DATES:

    Any comments must arrive by August 31, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments, identified by docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0279 by one of the following methods:

    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal:http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions.

    2. Email: [email protected] epa.gov.

    3. Mail or deliver: Jerry Wamsley (Air-2), 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 whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Information that you consider CBI or otherwise protected should be clearly identified as such and should not be submitted throughhttp://www.regulations.gov or email. http://www.regulations.gov is an “anonymous access” system, and 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 EPA, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the public comment. 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: Generally, documents in the docket for this action are available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy format at EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California. While all documents in the docket are listed at www.regulations.gov, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material, large maps), 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jerry Wamsley, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4111, [email protected] epa.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, “we,” “us” and “our” refer to EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Summary of Our Proposal II. Background of This Action A. The PM10 National Ambient Air Quality Standard B. PM10 Planning Requirements Applicable to the Mammoth Lakes Area C. Summary of the PM10 Attainment Plan for the Mammoth Lakes Area III. Procedural Requirements for the Adoption and Submittal of SIP Revisions IV. Substantive Requirements for Redesignation to Attainment of a NAAQS V. Our Evaluation of California's Redesignation Request for the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Nonattainment Area A. Our Determination That the Area Has Attained the Applicable NAAQS B. The Area Has a Fully Approved SIP Meeting Requirements Applicable for Purposes of Redesignation Under Section 110 and Part D of the Clean Air Act 1. Basic SIP Requirements Under Section 110 of the Clean Air Act 2. SIP Requirements Under Part D of the Clean Air Act a. Permits for New and Modified Major Stationary Sources b. Control of PM10 Precursor Pollutants c. General and Transportation Conformity Requirements C. The Area Must Show the Improvement in Air Quality Is Due to Permanent and Enforceable Emission Reductions D. The Area Must Have a Fully Approved Maintenance Plan Under Clean Air Act Section 175A 1. Attainment and Projected Emissions Inventories 2. Maintenance Demonstration 3. Monitoring Network and Verifying Continued Attainment 4. Contingency Provisions E. Transportation Conformity and Motor Vehicle Emissions Budgets VI. Proposed Action and Request for Public Comment VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Summary of Our Proposal

    EPA is proposing approval of the Mammoth Lakes PM10 redesignation and maintenance plan. We are proposing this action because California's SIP revision meets the Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements and EPA guidance concerning redesignations to attainment of a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS or standard) and maintenance plans.

    First, under CAA section 107(d)(3)(D), EPA is proposing to approve the State's request to redesignate the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area to attainment for the PM10 NAAQS. Our proposal is based on our conclusion that the area has met the five criteria for redesignation under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E): (1) The area has attained the PM10 NAAQS; (2) the required portions of the SIP are fully approved for the area; (3) the improvement in ambient air quality in the area is due to permanent and enforceable reductions in PM10 emissions; (4) California has met all requirements applicable to the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area with respect to section 110 and part D of the CAA; and, (5) the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, as described below, meets the requirements of CAA section 175A.

    Second, under section 110(k)(3) of the CAA, EPA is proposing to approve as a revision to the SIP, the maintenance plan developed by the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (GBUAPCD) entitled “2014 Update Air Quality Maintenance Plan and Redesignation Request for the Town of Mammoth Lakes” (herein referred to as the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan), dated May 5, 2014, submitted by California, through the California Air Resources Board (CARB), to EPA on October 21, 2014.1 EPA is proposing to find that the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan meets the requirements in section 175A of the CAA. The plan's maintenance demonstration shows that the Mammoth Lakes area will continue to attain the PM10 NAAQS for at least 10 years beyond redesignation (i.e., through 2030). The plan's contingency provisions incorporate a process for identifying new or more stringent control measures in the event of a future monitored violation. Finally, EPA is proposing to approve the plan's 2012 emission inventory as meeting the requirements of CAA section 172 and 175A.

    1 See Section III in this action for list of documents submitted by the California. See the docket for this action for copies of the submittal documents including the October 21, 2014 submittal letter from the State.

    Third, EPA is proposing to approve the motor vehicle emission budgets (budgets) in the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan because we find they meet the applicable transportation conformity requirements under 40 CFR 93.118(e). With this Federal Register notice, EPA is informing the public that we are reviewing the plan's budgets for adequacy. With this action, we are starting the public comment period on adequacy of the proposed budgets. Please see the DATES section of this proposal for the closing date of the comment period.

    II. Background of This Action A. The PM10 National Ambient Air Quality Standard

    EPA sets the NAAQS for certain ambient air pollutants at levels required to protect public health and welfare. Particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to a nominal ten micrometers, or PM10, is one of the ambient air pollutants for which EPA has established health-based standards. As discussed below, we have promulgated and revised the PM10 NAAQS several times.

    EPA revised the NAAQS for particulate matter on July 1, 1987, replacing standards for total suspended particulates (TSP, particulate less than 30 microns in diameter) with new standards applying only to particulate matter up to 10 microns in diameter (PM10) (52 FR 24633). In 1987, EPA established two PM10 standards, an annual standard and a 24-hour standard. An area attains the 24-hour PM10 standard of 150 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) when the expected number of days per calendar year with a 24-hour concentration exceeding the standard (referred to as an exceedance), is equal to or less than one.2 The annual PM10 standard is attained when the expected annual arithmetic mean of the 24-hour samples averaged over a three year period does not exceed 50 μg/m3. See 40 CFR 50.6 and 40 CFR part 50, Appendix K.

    2 An exceedance is defined as a daily value that is above the level of the 24-hour standard, 150 μg/m3, after rounding to the nearest 10 μg/m3 (i.e., values ending in five or greater are to be rounded up). Consequently, a recorded value of 154 μg/m3 would not be an exceedance because it would be rounded to 150 μg/m3; whereas, a recorded value of 155 μg/m3 would be an exceedance because it would be rounded to 160 μg/m3. See 40 CFR part 50, Appendix K, section 1.0.

    In a 2006 p.m. NAAQS revision, the 24-hour PM10 standards were retained but the annual standards were revoked, effective December 18, 2006 (71 FR 61144, October 17, 2006). On January 15, 2013, EPA announced that it was again retaining the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS as a 24-hour standard of 150 μg/m3 (78 FR 3086). California's submittal of the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan addresses the 1987 24-hour PM10 standard, as originally promulgated, and as reaffirmed on January 15, 2013.

    B. PM10 Planning Requirements Applicable to the Mammoth Lakes Area

    On the date of enactment of the 1990 CAA Amendments, PM10 areas meeting the qualifications of section 107(d)(4)(B) of the amended Act, such as Mammoth Lakes, were designated nonattainment by operation of law (56 FR 11101, March 15, 1991). See 40 CFR 81.305. Once an area is designated nonattainment, section 188 of the CAA outlines the process for classification of the area and establishes the area's attainment date. Consistent with section 188(a), at the time of designation, all PM10 nonattainment areas were initially classified as moderate by operation of law, including the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area.3

    3 For the designated boundaries of the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area, see 40 CFR 81.305. The Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area is located in the southern portion of Mono County, California; see Figures 1-1 and 1-2 within the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, pages 3 and 4.

    The 1990 CAA established new planning requirements and attainment deadlines for the PM10 NAAQS. A fundamental nonattainment area requirement applicable to the Mammoth Lakes area is that the State submit a SIP demonstrating attainment of the PM10 NAAQS. This demonstration must be based upon enforceable control measures producing emission reductions and emissions at or below the level predicted to result in attainment of the PM10 NAAQS throughout the nonattainment area (see CAA section 189(a)). As stated in section 189(a)(1) of the CAA, the State was required to make the following SIP submittals by November 15, 1991: The State had to submit a SIP ensuring implementation of all reasonably available control measures (RACM) no later than December 10, 1993, as required by CAA section 189(a)(1)(C); and, the State had to submit a SIP providing for expeditious attainment by the applicable attainment date, December 31, 1994, as required by CAA sections 188(c)(1)and 189(a)(1)(B).

    More specifically, Subparts 1 and 4 of part D, title 1 of the CAA contain air quality planning requirements for PM10 nonattainment areas. Subpart 1 of part D, sections 172(c) and 176 contain general requirements for areas designated as nonattainment. The subpart 1 requirements include, among other things, provisions for RACM, reasonable further progress (RFP), emissions inventories, contingency measures and conformity. Subpart 4 of part D contains specific planning and scheduling requirements for PM10 nonattainment areas. Section 189(a), (c), and (e) detail requirements that apply specifically to moderate PM10 nonattainment areas such as Mammoth Lakes. These requirements include the following: (1) An approved permit program for construction of new and modified major stationary sources; (2) an attainment demonstration; (3) provisions for RACM; (4) quantitative milestones demonstrating RFP toward attainment by the applicable attainment date; and, (5) provisions to ensure that the control requirements applicable to major stationary sources of PM10 also apply to major stationary sources of PM10 precursors except where the Administrator has determined that such sources do not contribute significantly to PM10 levels exceeding the NAAQS within the area.

    C. Summary of the PM10 Attainment Plan for the Mammoth Lakes Area

    GBUAPCD adopted its moderate area Air Quality Management Plan for PM10 in December 1990 (1990 AQMP). California submitted the 1990 AQMP for the Mammoth Lakes area on September 11, 1991 with an addenda submitted on January 9, 1992. Subsequently, EPA approved the 1990 AQMP in 1996 (61 FR 32341, June 24, 1996). In our 1996 action, we approved the following components of the 1990 AQMP: The emissions inventory; its provision for implementation of RACM; and, the demonstration of attainment. In support of the 1990 AQMP, the State submitted two local rules: GBUAPCD Rule 431—Particulate Emissions; and Town of Mammoth Lakes Municipal Code, Chapter 8.3, Particulate Emissions Regulations. We also approved these rules, which control PM10 emissions from entrained road dust and wood burning fireplaces and appliances, into the SIP in our 1996 action (61 FR 32341). GBUAPCD Rule 431 was revised on December 4, 2006 and subsequently approved into the SIP in 2007 (72 FR 61525, October 31, 2007).

    Because of the timing of the development of the 1990 AQMP, the plan did not address subsequent SIP requirements such as contingency measures and transportation conformity. We will review how these and other CAA requirements, such as a permit program for new and modified stationary sources, were met by the State in section V, below.

    III. Procedural Requirements for the Adoption and Submittal of SIP Revisions

    The GBUAPCD governing Board adopted the “2014 Air Quality Maintenance Plan and Redesignation Request for the Town of Mammoth Lakes” on May 5, 2014 and forwarded it to CARB on May 22, 2014. CARB held a Board Hearing on September 18, 2014 and adopted the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan.4 California submitted their redesignation request and the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan to EPA on October 21, 2014.5

    4 See Resolution 14-27, State of California, Air Resources Board, “Approval and Submittal of the Town of Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan and Redesignation Request”, dated September 18, 2014.

    5 See letter from Richard Corey, Executive Officer, CARB, to Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, EPA Region 9, dated October 21, 2014, with attachments.

    CARB's SIP submittal includes the following documents: (1) A submittal letter dated October 21, 2014, from Richard Corey, Executive Officer, CARB to Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, U.S. EPA Region 9 submitting the State's redesignation request and Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan; (2) a transmittal letter dated May 22, 2014 from Duane Ono, Deputy Air Pollution Control Officer, GBUAPCD to Richard Corey, Executive Officer, CARB; (3) May 22, 2014 Affidavit from The Clerk of the GBUAPCD Board, providing Proof of Publication of Public Notice for Public Hearing on “2014 Update Air Quality Maintenance Plan and Redesignation Request for the Town of Mammoth Lakes” and the May 5, 2014 GBUAPCD Board Hearing; (4) GBUAPCD Board Order #140505-03 approving and adopting the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, dated May 5, 2014; (5) CARB's August 8, 2014 Notice of Public Hearing for consideration of the adoption and approval of the redesignation request and Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan and associated motor vehicle emissions budgets on September 18, 2014; (6) “2014 Update Air Quality Maintenance Plan and Redesignation Request for the Town of Mammoth Lakes” dated May 5, 2014; (7) CARB Board Resolution 14-27 adopting the redesignation request and Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan; and, (8) the CARB Staff Report, dated August 18, 2014, containing the motor vehicle emissions budgets adopted at the CARB Board hearing. All of these documents are available for review in the docket for today's proposed rule.

    Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(l) of the Act require states to provide reasonable notice and public hearing prior to adoption of SIP revisions. CARB's submittal of the redesignation request and Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan documents the public review process followed by GBUAPCD in adopting the plan prior to transmittal to CARB for subsequent submittal to EPA as a revision to the SIP. The documentation listed above provides evidence that reasonable notice of a public hearing was provided to the public and that a public hearing was conducted prior to adoption.

    Both GBUAPCD and CARB satisfied applicable statutory and regulatory requirements for reasonable public notice and hearing prior to adoption of the SIP revisions. GBUAPCD conducted public workshops, and properly noticed the public hearing at which the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan was adopted. The SIP submittal included proof of publication for notices of the public hearings of CARB and GBUAPCD. Consequently, we conclude that the SIP submittals have met the public notice and involvement requirements of section 110(a)(1) of the CAA. Based on the documentation submitted with the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, we find that the submittal satisfies the procedural requirements of section 110(l) of the Act for revising SIPs.

    CAA section 110(k)(1)(B) requires EPA to determine whether a SIP submittal is complete within 60 days of receipt. This section also provides that any plan that we have not affirmatively determined to be complete or incomplete will become complete six months after the day of submittal by operation of law. A completeness review allows us to determine if the submittal includes all the necessary items and information we need to act on it. We make completeness determinations using criteria we have established in 40 CFR part 51, Appendix V.6

    6 The completeness criteria fall into two categories: administrative information and technical support information. The administrative information provides documentation that the State has followed required administrative procedures during the SIP-adoption process; thus, ensuring that we have a legally-adopted SIP revision before us. The technical support information provides us the information we need to determine the impact of the proposed revision on attainment and maintenance of the air quality standards.

    We notify a state of our completeness determination by letter unless the submittal becomes complete by operation of law. Once a SIP submittal is determined to be complete, either by letter or by operation of law, EPA is under a 12 month time clock for EPA to act on the SIP submittal. See CAA section 110(k)(2). A finding of completeness does not approve the submittal as part of the SIP nor does it indicate that the submittal is approvable. The redesignation request and Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan became complete by operation of law on April 21, 2015.

    IV. Substantive Requirements for Redesignation to Attainment of a NAAQS

    In section 107(d)(3)(E), the CAA establishes the requirements for redesignating an area from nonattainment to attainment of a NAAQS. The Administrator may not redesignate an area unless the following criteria are met: (1) EPA determines that the area has attained the applicable NAAQS; (2) EPA has fully approved the applicable implementation plan for the area under Section 110(k) of the CAA; (3) EPA determines that the improvement in air quality is due to permanent and enforceable reductions; (4) EPA has fully approved a maintenance plan for the area as meeting the requirements of Section 175A of the CAA; and, (5) the State containing such an area has met all requirements applicable to the area under section 110 and part D of the CAA. Section 110 identifies a comprehensive list of elements that SIPs must include, and part D establishes the SIP requirements for nonattainment areas. Part D is divided into six subparts. The generally-applicable nonattainment SIP requirements are found in part D, subpart 1, and the particulate matter-specific SIP requirements are found in part D, subpart 4.

    EPA provided guidance on redesignations to states in a 1992 document entitled “State Implementation Plans; General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990” (referred to herein as the “General Preamble”).7 Additional guidance was issued in a September 4, 1992 memorandum entitled “Procedures for Processing Requests to Redesignate Areas to Attainment” from John Calcagni, Director, Air Quality Management Division, EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, (referred to herein as the Calcagni memorandum). Maintenance plan submittals are SIP revisions. Consequently, under section 110(k) of the Act, EPA is obligated to approve or disapprove a maintenance plan depending on whether it meets the applicable CAA requirements for such plans.

    7 The General Preamble was first published at 57 FR 13498 (April 16, 1992) and supplemented at 57 FR 18070 (April 28, 1992).

    As discussed in more detail below in section V, we have evaluated the State's submittal and propose to approve CARB's request to redesignate the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area to attainment for the PM10 NAAQS. Our proposal is based on our conclusion that all the criteria under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E) have been satisfied.

    V. Our Evaluation of California's Redesignation Request for the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Nonattainment Area A. Our Determination That the Area Has Attained the Applicable NAAQS

    Section 107(d)(3)(E)(i) of the CAA requires that EPA determine that the area has attained the NAAQS. Generally, EPA determines whether an area's air quality is meeting the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS based upon complete, quality-assured, and certified data gathered at established state and local air monitoring stations (SLAMS) in the nonattainment area, and entered into the EPA Air Quality System (AQS) database.8 Data from air monitors operated by state, local, or tribal agencies in compliance with EPA monitoring requirements must be submitted to the AQS. These monitoring agencies certify annually that these data are accurate to the best of their knowledge. Accordingly, EPA relies primarily on data in AQS when determining the attainment status of an area. See 40 CFR 50.6; 40 CFR part 50, appendices J and K; 40 CFR part 53; and, 40 CFR part 58, appendices A, C, D, and E.

    8 For PM10, a complete set of data includes a minimum of 75 percent of the scheduled PM10 samples per quarter. See 40 CFR part 50, Appendix K, section 2.3(a). Because the annual PM10 standard was revoked effective December 18, 2006, our action and determination discusses only attainment of the 24-hour PM10 standard; see 71 FR 61144, October 17, 2006.

    GBUAPCD is responsible for assuring that the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area meets air quality monitoring requirements. Both CARB and GBUAPCD submit annual monitoring network plans to EPA. GBUAPCD's network plans describe the air quality monitoring network they operate within the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area and discuss the status of the monitoring network, as required under 40 CFR 58.10. In the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area, GBUAPCD operates an air quality monitoring station for PM10 in the Gateway Center commercial area within the Town of Mammoth Lakes. As required by 40 CFR part 58, the District conducts an annual review of the air quality monitoring station that is forwarded to CARB and EPA for evaluation. EPA regularly reviews these annual plans for compliance with the applicable reporting requirements in 40 CFR part 58. With respect to PM10, EPA has found that GBUAPCD's network plans meet the applicable requirements of 40 CFR part 58.9 Also, GBUAPCD annually certifies that the data it submits to AQS are complete and quality-assured. All data has been certified by GBUAPCD for the period under review, 2009 through 2014.10

    9 See EPA letters to GBUAPCD reviewing the District's annual network plans for the years 2009 to 2014, within the docket for this action.

    10 For 2009 to 2014 annual certification letters see the docket for this action, e.g., letter from Theodore D. Schade, GBUAPCD, to Jared Blumenfeld, EPA Region IX, dated April 25, 2014.

    From its 2007 Technical System Audit (TSA) of CARB, the Primary Quality Assurance Organization (PQAO), EPA concluded that the ambient air monitoring program operated by GBUAPCD in the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area currently meets or exceeds EPA requirements.11 A TSA is an on-site review and inspection of a state or local ambient air monitoring program to assess its compliance with established regulations governing the collection, analysis, validation, and reporting of ambient air quality data. See 40 CFR part 58, Appendix A, Section 2.5.

    11 See the Technical System Audit of Primary Quality Assurance Organization, California Air Resources Board, dated August 18, 2008, conducted by Air Quality Analysis Office, US EPA Region 9, within the docket for this action.

    EPA determines attainment of the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS by calculating the expected number of exceedances of the standard in a year. The 24-hour PM10 standard is attained when the expected number of exceedances averaged over a three year period is less than or equal to one at each monitoring site within the nonattainment area. Generally, three consecutive years of complete, quality-assured, and certified air quality data is sufficient to show attainment of the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS. See 40 CFR part 50 and appendix K. To demonstrate attainment of the 24-hour PM10 standard at a given monitoring site, the monitor must provide sufficient data to perform the required calculations in 40 CFR part 50, appendix K described above. The amount of data required varies with the sampling frequency, data capture rate and the number of years of record. In all cases, three years of representative monitoring data must be complete meaning a minimum of 75 percent of scheduled PM10 samples must be recorded during each calendar quarter of the three year period under review. The purpose of these calculations and data completeness review is to determine a valid design value for making a determination of attainment for the PM10 standard.

    At the Gateway Center monitoring site, GBUAPCD operates two PM10 monitors. The first monitor is a Federal Reference Method (FRM) monitor (POC 5) run at a sampling frequency of once every three days. The second monitor is a Federal Equivalent Method (FEM) continuous monitor (POC 6) run at a daily sampling frequency. The FEM/POC 6 monitor is the primary monitor we will focus on in our determination of attainment. Each monitor produces its own data stream, and the data from the two monitors produce separate design values. Our calculations show the highest design value for the Mammoth Lakes Planning Area over the 2009 through 2014 timeframe is 0.7 expected exceedances, as determined by data from the POC 6 monitor. Usually, this design value would be sufficient to determine that the Mammoth Lakes area has attained the PM10 NAAQS, but we found that the POC 6 data failed to meet the 75 percent completeness standard in the third quarter of 2012, showing a 61 percent completeness record.12 Table 1 provides the design values or expected annual exceedances of the PM10 standard for the Mammoth Lakes area over the year 2009 through 2014 for both monitors.13

    12 See AQS Design Value Reports dated April 30, 2015 and AQS Raw Data Reports dated May 7, 2015 for completeness information. The reports can be found in the docket for today's action.

    13 A design value is calculated using a specific methodology from monitored air quality data and is used to compare an area's air quality to a NAAQS. The methodologies for calculating expected exceedances for the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS are found in 40 CFR part 50, Appendix K, Section 2.1(a).

    Table 1—Design Values and Annual Average Expected Exceedances of PM10 NAAQS in Mammoth Lakes Nonattainment Area, 2009 Through 2014 Monitor 2009-2011 2010-2012 2011-2013 2012-2014 Gateway Center monitor, Site ID 06-051-0001 POC 5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Gateway Center monitor, Site ID 06-051-0001 POC 6 0.0 0.0 0.7 0.7 Source: EPA Air Quality System, Design Value Report, April 30, 2015.

    Given the data completeness issue with the third quarter 2012 data at POC 6, we conducted two analyses to determine if the missing data could reasonably change the design value from attaining to violating the PM10 NAAQS.14 In the first analysis, we compared the POC 5 data with the POC 6 data over the 2009 through 2014 time period to see if the data correlated closely enough to allow the POC 5 data to represent the missing POC 6 data. We found that the data correlated very well, and when POC 6 was not operating during the third quarter of 2012, the observed PM10 values at POC 5 were between 9 and 17 μg/m3, well below the 150 μg/m3 value of the PM10 NAAQS. The two monitors differ, however, in the frequency of their observations with POC 5 making observations one day in three and POC 6 making daily observations. Consequently, our second analysis examined whether exceedances may have reasonably occurred on the days POC 5 was not collecting data.

    14 See “Technical Support Document for the Determination of Attainment and Redesignation of the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Nonattainment Area: Analyses Addressing 2012 Incomplete Data”, April 30, 2015, in the docket for this action.

    To determine whether it is reasonable to assume that exceedances did not occur on the days POC 5 was not sampling, we identified the highest PM10 values over the 2009 through 2014 time period. Looking at POC 6, the winter months, December, January, and February, of 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 exhibit consistently elevated PM10 concentrations and the highest annual concentrations at Mammoth Lakes.15 Then, in 2013 and 2014, the highest 24-hour PM10 concentrations at POC 6 were measured during the third quarter of 2013 and 2014; see Table 2. Of these highest concentrations, on two days, July 28, 2013 and July 29, 2013, concentrations were higher than the 150 μg/m3 standard.

    15 Gateway Center monitors POC 5 and POC 6 24-hour concentration data and monthly mean summary statistics can be found in the Air Quality System, Raw Data Report, dated May 7, 2015, in the docket for today's action.

    Table 2—Five Highest PM10 Concentrations Observed at Mammoth Lakes Gateway Center Monitor From 2009 Through 2014 and Wildfire Events Date Concentration
  • (μg/m3)
  • Wildfire event
    July 28, 2013 166 Aspen Fire—Exceptional Event Flag. July 29, 2013 182 Aspen Fire—Exceptional Event Flag. July 30, 2013 122 Aspen Fire. August 1, 2013 133 Aspen Fire. August 2, 2014 130 French Fire. Source: EPA Air Quality System, Raw Data Report, May 7, 2015; all observations are from Site ID 06-051-0001, POC 6.

    Further examination shows that the July 28, 2013 and July 29, 2013 exceedances measured at the Gateway Center monitoring site are flagged as wildfire exceptional events within AQS; however, an exceptional event demonstration package was not submitted for the two exceedances. The Aspen Wildfire occurred near the Mammoth Lakes area over an extended period from July 22, 2013 to September 8, 2013, burning 22,992 acres approximately 30 miles south southwest of Mammoth Lakes near Mammoth Pool Reservoir on the upper San Joaquin River in the Sierra National Forest; thus, reasonably accounting for four of the five highest observed concentrations of PM10. In a similar wildfire event, the French Fire burned from July 28, 2014 to August 18, 2014 consuming 13,838 acres west of and adjacent to the site of the Aspen Fire; again, reasonably accounting for the August 2, 2014 high concentration.16 As a check, we examined the 2013 and 2014 data for the months with the highest average monthly concentration and confirmed that in these two years, similar to 2009 through 2012, January and December had the highest monthly average PM10 concentrations observed. In sum, the high summertime third quarter concentrations observed in 2013 and 2014 are related to wildfire events and are not consistent with the remaining 2009 through 2014 data showing that the winter months, December to February, is the period during which high PM10 concentrations are most likely to be observed in Mammoth Lakes. As noted earlier, the State has submitted complete data for all first and fourth calendar quarters (i.e. winter season) during the 2009 through 2014 time frame and no exceedance of the PM10 NAAQS has occurred during these quarters. Also, no exceedance occurred during the third quarter of the years 2009, 2010, and 2011.

    16 For information concerning the Aspen wildfire, see the 2013 Cal Fire Large Fire List at www.cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/pub/cdf/images/incidentstatevents_250.pdf. For information concerning the French wildfire, see the 2014 Cal Fire Large Fire List at www.cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/pub/cdf/images/incidentstatevents_249.pdf. For a map showing the relative location of the Aspen and French wildfires, see www.wildfiretoday.com/2014/07/30/california-french-fire/.

    To summarize, it is reasonable to conclude that the missing third quarter 2012 p.m.10 data would not have an effect on the design value and would not overturn our determination of attainment for the following reasons: (1) The only two exceedances and other high ambient values in the last six years were due to wildfire events; (2) data from the third quarters in 2009, 2010, and 2011 show no exceedances and do not correspond with the observed summer time period of elevated PM10 concentrations in 2013 and 2014; and, (3) the POC 5 data correlates well enough to be a valid representation of the missing third quarter POC 6 data. Consequently, we are proposing to find that the design values in Table 1 are accurate and representative design values for the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area with no expected exceedances greater than 0.7 calculated over the 2009 through 2014 period. Twenty-four hour ambient PM10 levels in Mammoth Lakes meet the requirement of no more than 1.0 expected annual average exceedance over a three year period.

    Therefore, EPA proposes to determine that the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area has attained the 24-hour PM10 standard and continues to attain the standard to date based on the most recent available AQS data. In addition, preliminary air quality data for 2015 show that the area is continuing to meet the PM10 NAAQS. Before finalizing this proposal, EPA will include a review of any available preliminary data for 2015.

    B. The Area Has a Fully Approved SIP Meeting Requirements Applicable for Purposes of Redesignation Under Section 110 and Part D of the Clean Air Act

    Section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii) and (v) require EPA to determine that the area has a fully-approved SIP under section 110(k) that meets all applicable requirements under section 110 and part D for the purposes of redesignation. EPA may rely on prior SIP approvals in approving a redesignation request as well as any additional measures it may approve in conjunction with a redesignation action.17

    17 See the following EPA guidance and court decisions: Calcagni memorandum at p. 3; Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance v. Browner, 144 F.3d 984, 989-90 (6th Cir. 1998). See 68 FR 25418 and 25426 (May 12, 2003) and citations therein concerning EPA's reliance on added measures approved with an action on a redesignation request.

    1. Basic SIP Requirements Under Section 110 of the Clean Air Act

    The general SIP elements and requirements provided in section 110(a)(2) include, but are not limited to, the following: Submittal of a SIP that has been adopted by the State after reasonable public notice and hearing; provisions for establishment and operation of appropriate procedures needed to monitor ambient air quality; implementation of a source permit program; provision for the implementation of part C requirements for prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) provisions; provisions for the implementation of part D requirements for nonattainment new source review (nonattainment NSR) permit programs; provisions for air pollution modeling; and, provisions for public and local agency participation in planning and emission control rule development.

    We note that SIPs must be fully approved only with respect to the applicable requirements for redesignations consistent with section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii) of the Act. The section 110 (and part D) requirements that are linked to a particular nonattainment area's designation and classification are the relevant measures to evaluate in reviewing a redesignation request. Requirements that apply regardless of the designation of any particular area in the State are not applicable requirements for the purposes of redesignation, and the State will remain subject to these requirements after the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area is redesignated to attainment. For example, CAA section 110(a)(2)(D) requires that SIPs contain certain measures to prevent sources in a State from significantly contributing to air quality problems in another state, known as “transport SIPs.” Because the section 110(a)(2)(D) requirements for transport SIPs are not linked to a particular nonattainment area's designation and classification but rather apply regardless of the attainment status, these are not applicable requirements for the purposes of redesignation under section 107(d)(3)(E).

    Similarly, EPA believes that other section 110 (and part D) requirements that are not linked to nonattainment plan submittals or to an area's attainment status are not applicable requirements for purposes of redesignation. EPA believes that the section 110 (and part D) requirements relating to a particular nonattainment area's designation and classification are the relevant measures to evaluate in reviewing a redesignation request. This view is consistent with EPA's existing policy on applicability of the conformity SIP requirement for redesignations.18

    18 See discussion in 75 FR 36023 and 36026 (June 24, 2010).

    Regarding Mammoth Lakes, CARB and GBUAPCD have submitted and EPA has approved provisions addressing the basic CAA section 110 provisions. The GBUAPCD portion of the approved California SIP contains enforceable emissions limitations; requires monitoring, compiling, and analyzing of ambient air quality data; requires preconstruction review of new or modified stationary sources; provides for adequate funding, staff, and associated resources necessary to implement its requirements; and, provides the necessary assurances that the State maintains responsibility for ensuring that the CAA requirements are satisfied in the event that GBUAPCD is unable to meet its CAA requirements. There are no outstanding or disapproved applicable section 110 SIP submittals with respect to the State, the GBUAPCD, and Mammoth Lakes.19 In sum, we propose to conclude that CARB and GBUAPD have met all applicable SIP requirements under section 110 of the CAA (General SIP Requirements) for the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area for purpose of redesignating the area to attainment of the PM10 NAAQS.

    19 The applicable California SIP for all nonattainment areas can be found at: http://yosemite.epa.gov/r9/r9sips.nsf/Casips?readform&count=100&state=California.

    2. SIP Requirements Under Part D of the Clean Air Act

    Subparts 1 and 4 of part D within title 1 of the CAA contain air quality planning requirements for PM10 nonattainment areas. Subpart 1 contains general requirements for all nonattainment areas of any NAAQS pollutant, including PM10. Among other provisions, the subpart 1 requirements include provisions for RACM, RFP, emissions inventories, contingency measures, and conformity. Subpart 4 contains specific planning and scheduling requirements for PM10 nonattainment areas. Section 189(a), (c), and (e) requirements apply specifically to moderate PM10 nonattainment areas and include: (1) An approved permit program for construction of new and modified major stationary sources; (2) provisions for RACM; (3) an attainment demonstration; (4) quantitative milestones demonstrating RFP toward attainment by the applicable attainment date; and, (5) provisions to ensure that the control requirements applicable to major stationary sources of PM10 also apply to major stationary sources of PM10 precursors except where the Administrator has determined that such sources do not contribute significantly to PM10 levels that exceed the NAAQS in the area.

    With respect to the subpart 4 requirements discussed above, California submitted a moderate area PM10 plan, the 1990 AQMP, for the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area on September 11, 1991. This attainment plan was developed and adopted by the GBUAPCD on December 12, 1990. The State submitted a revision to this plan on January 9, 1992, also previously adopted by the GBUAPCD on November 6, 1991. This 1990 AQMP for the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Planning Area relied on two control measures to reduce PM10 emissions sufficient to meet the PM10 standard: GBUAPCD, Rule 431—Particulate Emissions, adopted on November 6, 1991; and, Town of Mammoth Lakes Municipal Code Chapter (TMLMCC) 8.30—Particulate Matter Emissions Regulations, dated October 2, 1991. Both of these rules were submitted with the 1990 AQMP so as to reduce emissions from the primary sources of PM10 in the nonattainment area, fireplaces and woodstoves, and re-suspended road dust and pulverized cinders from motor vehicles driving on paved roads.

    EPA reviewed the 1990 AQMP and its companion control measures and in 1996 approved the moderate area plan, GBUAPCD Rule 431, and TMLMCC 8.30, incorporating them into the SIP (61 FR 32341, June 24, 1996). In this approval action, we made the following findings concerning the 1990 AQMP: The plan provided a comprehensive, accurate, and current emissions inventory meeting the requirements of section 172(c)(3); the plan provided for all RACM to be implemented by December 10, 1993, as required by sections 172(c) and 189(a)(1)(C) of the Act; the plan provided a demonstration of attainment by December 31, 1994, the applicable attainment date, as required by section 189(a)(1)(B); and, we found that precursor pollutants of PM10 do not contribute significantly to PM10 levels in excess of the NAAQS. Regarding RFP, our General Preamble provides that initial moderate nonattainment areas, such as the Mammoth Lakes area, could meet the RFP requirement by demonstrating attainment by the applicable attainment date, December 31, 1994.20 As noted above, we approved the demonstration of attainment as meeting section 189(a)(1)(B).

    20 See our discussion concerning RFP/quantitative milestones in the General Preamble, (57 FR 13498 and 13539, April 16, 1992).

    The 1990 AQMP did not provide for motor vehicle emissions budgets as required by section 176(c) of the Act because EPA's guidance and regulations were not published at the time the plan was developed and adopted. The maintenance plan has provided for motor vehicle emission budgets. We review them later in this action and propose to approve them.

    The 1990 AQMP as approved in 1996 did not address contingency measures required by section 172(c)(9) of the CAA. Again, this was because the 1990 AQMP was developed prior to EPA guidance on contingency measures.

    Since our 1996 action on GBUAPCD Rule 431, the State has submitted and EPA has approved into the SIP a subsequent revision to the rule (72 FR 61525, October 31, 2007). This 2006 amendment to Rule 431 eliminated the operational exemption from no-burn day requirements granted to EPA-certified devices. These EPA-certified devices comprise 84 percent of the residential wood burning device inventory.21 Since 2007, all wood-burning devices in the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area have been required to shut down on designated no-burn days, adding an additional increment of emission reductions when no-burn days are called for under the rule. In general, the 2006 revisions to GBUAPCD Rule 431 are surplus to the rule provisions in the 1990 AQMP that represent the control strategy that has resulted in the Mammoth Lakes area meeting the PM10 standard. In this manner, GBUAPCD Rule 431 represents a pre-implemented contingency measure and fulfils the requirements of section 172(c)(9).

    21 See Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, Table 5-1, page 18.

    Separate and distinct from a finding of attainment of a standard, EPA has taken the position that CAA requirements associated with attainment of the NAAQS are not applicable for purposes of redesignation. In the General Preamble, EPA has stated that section 172(c)(9) requirements are directed at ensuring reasonable further progress and attainment by the applicable attainment date specified by statute. These attainment related requirements no longer apply when an area has attained a standard and is eligible to be redesignated to attainment.22 The Calcagni memorandum states a similar position that requirements for reasonable further progress and other measures needed for attainment will not apply for redesignations because they only have meaning and applicability where areas do not meet the NAAQS.23 While the attainment related provisions of RFP and section 172(c)(9) are no longer relevant in the context of redesignation, the maintenance plan provisions in section 175A of the CAA require that such plans incorporate contingency provisions sufficient for an area to expeditiously regain attainment of a NAAQS. We review the contingency provisions in the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan later in this action and propose to approve them.

    22 See the General Preamble at 57 FR 13498 and 13564, (April 16, 1992).

    23 See the Calcagni memorandum at page 6.

    a. Permits for New and Modified Major Stationary Sources

    CAA sections 172(c)(5) and 189(a)(1)(A) require the State to submit SIP revisions that establish certain requirements for new or modified stationary sources in nonattainment areas, including provisions to ensure that major new sources or major modifications of existing sources of nonattainment pollutants incorporate the highest level of control, referred to as the Lowest Achievable Emission Rate (LAER), and that increases in emissions from such stationary sources are offset so as to provide for reasonable further progress towards attainment in the nonattainment area. The process for reviewing permit applications and issuing permits for new or modified stationary sources in nonattainment areas is referred to as “nonattainment New Source Review” (nonattainment NSR). With respect to the part D requirements for a nonattainment NSR permit program for construction of new and modified major stationary sources, EPA has previously approved the following nonattainment NSR rules for GBUAPCD which apply within the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area: GBUAPCD Rule 209-A and 216.24

    24 For Rule 209-A, see 47 FR 26379, June 18, 1982, and for Rule 216, see 41 FR 53661, December 8, 1976.

    Final approval of the NSR program, however, is not a prerequisite to finalizing our proposed approval of the State's redesignation request. EPA has determined in past redesignations that a NSR program does not have to be approved prior to redesignation, provided that the area demonstrates maintenance of the standard without part D NSR requirements in effect. The rationale for this position is described in a memorandum from Mary Nichols, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, dated October 14, 1994, entitled “Part D NSR Requirements for Areas Requesting Redesignation to Attainment.” See the more detailed explanations in the following redesignation rulemakings: Detroit, MI (60 FR 12459, March 7, 1995); Cleveland-Akron-Lorrain, OH (61 FR 20458, May 7, 1996); Louisville, KY (66 FR 53665, October 23, 2001); Grand Rapids, MI (61 FR 31831, June 21, 1996); and San Joaquin Valley, CA (73 FR 22307, April 25, 2008 and 73 FR 66759, November 12, 2008).

    The requirements of the PSD program under Part C will apply to PM10 once the area has been redesignated. Thus, new major sources of PM10 emissions and major modifications at major sources of PM10 as defined under 40 CFR 52.21 will be required to obtain a PSD permit or include PM10 emissions in their existing PSD permit. Currently, EPA is the PSD permitting authority in the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area under a federal implementation plan; see 40 CFR 52.270(a)(3). GBUAPCD can implement the federal PSD program, however, either through a delegation agreement with EPA, or by making the necessary changes to its NSR rules and submitting those revisions to EPA for a SIP-approved PSD rule.

    b. Control of PM10 Precursor Pollutants

    Section 189(e) of the CAA requires that the control requirements applicable under the part D SIP for major stationary sources of PM10 also apply to major stationary sources of PM10 precursors, except where the Administrator determines that such sources do not contribute significantly to PM10 levels that exceed the standard in the area. As noted above, in our approval action on the 1990 AQMP, we found that PM10 precursors do not contribute significantly to exceedances of the PM10 standard in the Mammoth Lakes PM10 area (61 FR 32344, June 24, 1996). Using similar analytical techniques in developing the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, GBUAPCD confirmed that direct PM10 emissions are most likely to cause or contribute to future violations of the NAAQS and addressed these sources of direct PM10 in their maintenance plan discussed below.

    c. General and Transportation Conformity Requirements

    Section 176(c) of the CAA requires states to establish criteria and procedures to ensure that federally supported or funded projects conform to the air quality planning goals in the applicable SIP. The requirement to determine conformity applies to transportation plans, programs and projects developed, funded or approved under Title 23 U.S.C. and the Federal Transit Act (transportation conformity), as well as to other federally-supported or funded projects (general conformity). State conformity regulations must be consistent with federal conformity regulations that the CAA required EPA to promulgate relating to consultation, enforcement and enforceability.

    GBUAPCD's general conformity regulation, Regulation 13, was submitted to EPA on October 5, 1994 and approved on April 23, 1999 (64 FR 19916).

    EPA has not approved a transportation conformity regulation for Mammoth Lakes and the GBUAPCD. EPA believes, however, that it is reasonable to interpret the conformity SIP requirements as not applying for purposes of a redesignation request under section 107(d) because state conformity rules are still required after redesignation, and federal conformity rules apply where state rules have not been approved.25

    25 See Wall v. EPA, 265 F. 3d 426 (6th Cir. 2001), upholding this interpretation. Also, see 60 FR 62748 (December 7, 1995).

    In conclusion, if EPA finalizes today's proposal approving the PM10 emissions inventory and motor vehicle emissions budgets for the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area, then EPA will have determined the State has a fully-approved SIP meeting all requirements applicable under section 110 and part D for the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area for purposes of redesignation, per section 107(d)(3)(E)(v) of the CAA.

    C. The Area Must Show the Improvement in Air Quality Is Due to Permanent and Enforceable Emission Reductions

    Before redesignating an area to attainment of a NAAQS, section 107(d)(3)(E)(iii) of the CAA requires EPA to determine that the air quality improvement in the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area is due to permanent and enforceable emission reductions resulting from implementation of the applicable SIP and applicable federal air pollution control regulations and other permanent and enforceable regulations. Under this criterion, the State must reasonably be able to attribute the improvement in air quality to emissions reductions that are permanent and enforceable. Attainment resulting from temporary reductions in emissions rates (e.g., reduced production or shutdown) or unusually favorable meteorology would not qualify as an air quality improvement due to permanent and enforceable emission reductions.26 As discussed earlier, EPA may rely on prior SIP approvals in approving a redesignation request and any additional measures it may approve in conjunction with a redesignation action. As noted earlier, GBUAPCD has jurisdiction over air quality planning requirements for the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area and produced a moderate area PM10 plan, the 1990 AQMP, and related rules designed to reduce PM10 emissions in the Mammoth Lakes area so as to meet the PM10 NAAQS.

    26 See the Calcagni memorandum, page 4.

    As discussed, GBUAPCD developed and California submitted the 1990 AQMP for the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area on September 11, 1991. The 1990 AQMP relied on two control measures to reduce PM10 emissions sufficient to meet the PM10 standard: GBUAPCD Rule 431—Particulate Emissions, adopted on November 6, 1991; and, Town of Mammoth Lakes Municipal Code Chapter 8.30—Particulate Matter Emissions Regulations, dated October 2, 1991. Both of these rules were implemented so as to reduce emissions from the primary sources of PM10 in the nonattainment area, fireplaces and woodstoves, and re-suspended road dust and cinders from motor vehicles driving on paved roads. In 1996, EPA approved the 1990 AQMP, GBUAPCD Rule 431, and TMLMCC 8.30, incorporating them into the SIP (61 FR 32341, June 24, 1996). In this approval action, we found that the rules provided for RACM and were sufficient to reduce PM10 to levels necessary to meet the PM10 NAAQS. CARB cites figures from 1995 showing that from 1990 to 1994 the percentage of cleaner burning EPA certified wood burning devices in the area increased from 1 percent to 35 percent.27 Since 1994, the percentage of EPA-certified wood-burning devices has increased to 84 percent in 2013.28 With regard to entrained road dust PM10 emissions on paved roads, the purchase and continued use of high efficiency vacuum street sweepers have resulted in reducing PM10 emissions by as much as 68 percent from pre-1990 levels.29

    27 See “Staff Report: Town of Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan and Redesignation Request,” CARB, August 18, 2014, page 5.

    28 See Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, Table 5-1, page 18.

    29 See “Staff Report: Town of Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan and Redesignation Request,” CARB, August 18, 2014, page 6.

    We are proposing to determine that the Mammoth Lakes area has attained the PM10 standard continuously since 2009 according to complete, quality-assured, and certified air quality data, per our discussion in section V.A. of this proposal. In addition to our review of air quality data supporting our proposed determination, the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan provided data showing that over the period these two control measures were implemented and enforced, 1994 to the present, there have been no violations of the federal PM10 standard.30 Also, see Figures 4-1 and 4-2 of the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan showing how winter time average and peak ambient PM10 levels have fallen since 1990.

    30 See Table 2-1 in the Mammoth Lakes PM10 maintenance plan, page 10. We note that while the data record shows falling PM10 levels and PM10 levels below the NAAQS over the period of control measure implementation and enforcement, the data record shown in Table 2-1 was not sufficient to determine attainment of the PM10 NAAQS, until recently. For instance, Table 2-1 shows periods where the PM10 monitor was not operating and therefore not providing a data record complete enough to determine attainment of the PM10 NAAQS. See our prior discussion of data requirements in our proposed determination that the area has attained the PM10 standard in section V.A above.

    In conclusion, EPA is proposing to find that the improvement in PM10 air quality for the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area is the result of permanent and enforceable reductions in emissions from significant sources of PM10 in the area and, in accordance with 107(d)(3)(E)(iii), is not the result of temporary reductions (e.g., economic downturns or shutdowns) or unusually favorable meteorology.

    D. The Area Must Have a Fully Approved Maintenance Plan Under Clean Air Act Section 175A

    Section 175A of the CAA describes the elements of a maintenance plan for areas seeking redesignation from nonattainment to attainment. We interpret this section of the CAA to require the following elements: An attainment emissions inventory; a maintenance demonstration; a monitoring network capable of verification of continued attainment along with a commitment to do so; and, a contingency plan.31 Under CAA section 175A, a maintenance plan must demonstrate continued attainment of the relevant NAAQS for at least ten years after EPA approves a redesignation to attainment. To address the possibility of future NAAQS violations, the maintenance plan must contain contingency provisions that EPA finds sufficient to correct promptly any violation of the NAAQS that occurs after the area's redesignation. Based on our review and evaluation provided below, we are proposing to approve the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan because it meets the requirements of CAA section 175A.

    31 See Calcagni memorandum, pages 8 through 13.

    Before reviewing the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan and its components in more detail, it is important to provide a description of the geography and the economy of the region. The Mammoth Lakes area sits on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range on the western edge of the Long Valley Caldera in southwestern Mono County, California. At the western boundary of the nonattainment area, there is Mammoth Mountain at an elevation of 11,053 feet. From the foot of Mammoth Mountain and the developed portion of the Town of Mammoth Lakes at 7,891 feet elevation, the Mammoth Creek Valley slopes to the east and down to the eastern edge of the PM10 nonattainment area near the Mammoth Lakes airport at 7,127 feet elevation.32 Much of the area surrounding the Town of Mammoth Lakes within and without the nonattainment area is public land, either national forest or national monument lands.

    32 See Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, Figures 1-1 and 1-2, page 3 and 4.

    The Town of Mammoth Lakes is the area's only population center and the only incorporated community in Mono County with an estimated permanent population of 8,234 in 2010.33 Within the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area and the boundaries of the Town of Mammoth Lakes is the Mammoth Mountain ski area, west of the town center. The ski area attracts 1.2 to 1.5 million visitors every winter, swelling the Town of Mammoth Lakes population to approximately 35,000 people on a major winter weekend.34 The large number of winter time visitors contribute to PM10 emissions from residential wood burning and vehicle entrained dust from pulverized cinders that have been applied to the paved roads to provide better vehicle traction on snow-covered roads. In the 1990 AQMP and in the Maintenance Plan, these two sources were determined to be the overwhelming contributors of PM10 to potential exceedances of the NAAQS in the Mammoth Lakes area.

    33 U. S. Census figure.

    34 See Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan at Section 1.3, page 2.

    1. Attainment and Projected Emissions Inventories

    Section 172(c)(3) of the CAA requires plan submittals to include a comprehensive, accurate, and current inventory of emissions from all sources in the nonattainment area. In demonstrating maintenance according to CAA section 175A and the Calcagni memorandum, the State should provide an attainment emissions inventory for the area so as to identify the emissions level sufficient to attain the NAAQS. Where the State has made an adequate demonstration that air quality has improved as a result of the SIP, the attainment emissions inventory will generally be an inventory of actual emissions at the time the area attained the standard.35 A maintenance plan for the 24-hour PM10 standard must include an inventory of emissions of PM10 in the area to identify a level of emissions sufficient to attain the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS. This inventory must be consistent with EPA's most recent guidance on emissions inventories for nonattainment areas available at the time and should represent emissions during the time period associated with the monitoring data showing attainment. The inventory must also be comprehensive, including emissions from stationary point sources, area sources, and mobile sources.

    35 EPA's primary guidance for evaluating these emissions inventories is the document entitled, “PM10 Emissions Inventory Requirements,” EPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, EPA-454/R-94-033 (September 1994) which can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/eidocs/PM10eir.pdf.

    The Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan provides an estimated daily PM10 emissions inventory for 2012 and 2030. The year 2012 provides an appropriate attainment year inventory because it is one of the years in the most recent three-year periods (2012 through 2014) in which attainment of the PM10 NAAQS was monitored. Table 3 presents the PM10 emissions inventories for 2012 and 2030 provided in the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan.

    Table 3—2012 and 2030 Mammoth Lakes Nonattainment Area Peak 24 Hour PM10 Emissions [kilograms/winter day] Source category 2012 2030 Residential Wood Combustion Sources 850 802 Entrained Road Dust Cinders/Paved Roads 3,455 4,305 On-road Mobile Sources (exhaust, tire and brake wear) 11 14 Stationary—Point Sources 8 8 Total PM10 4,324 5,129 Source: Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, Tables 5-7, 8-1, and 8-3, pages 22, 36, and 37.

    The Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan's emissions inventory for sources within the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area air basin is subdivided into four subcategories: residential wood combustion, entrained road dust and cinders, on-road mobile sources, and stationary sources. Because the most consistently elevated values of ambient PM10 concentrations occur in the winter, sources like construction dust and fugitive dust from unpaved roads are not accounted for in this inventory. In the Mammoth Lakes area, construction activity is seasonal and inactive during the winter due to the wet and cold climate. Similarly, unpaved roads are snow covered or rarely used due to wet conditions; in either case, little fugitive dust is generated by vehicle use on unpaved roads. As shown in Table 3, direct PM10 emissions in the Mammoth Lakes area are dominated by entrained road dust from paved roads and residential wood combustion. The estimates for peak winter day PM10 emissions incorporate the highest ski season visitors and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) estimates in the calculation for both entrained paved road dust and on-road mobile emissions. GBUAPCD used a chemical mass balance (CMB) analysis to determine if PM10 precursors were affecting PM10 values at the Gateway Center monitor/receptor. CMB uses chemical profiles of emission sources to apportion the monitored concentration between the various source types. The CMB study showed that on representative days of high PM10 concentrations the total contribution of nitrates, sulfates, and ammonium was approximately 1-2% of total mass collected. Consistent with the large contributions from entrained road dust and residential wood combustion the largest contributors to PM10 concentrations were organic carbon, elemental carbon, and soil.36

    36 See Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, Appendix G, “Chemical Analysis of PM10 and PM2.5 Filters from Mammoth Lakes”, Desert Research Institute, May 21, 2013; see Table 3, page 3.

    GBUAPCD projects that overall, direct PM10 emissions will increase from 2012 to 2030 because of a general and winter-time tourist population increase due to build out of the Town of Mammoth Lakes. While higher emitting wood combustion sources will be replaced by cleaner burning devices or removed entirely, population growth and resulting VMT growth will drive the predicted increase in entrained road dust. The District's maintenance demonstration modeling and supporting analyses indicate that despite the population and VMT growth, the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area will continue to attain the federal 24-hour PM10 standard because of the relative importance and continuing decline of residential wood combustion emissions. The overall predicted result is a slight increase in ambient PM10 levels over the 2012 to 2030 timeframe. We will review the maintenance demonstration and 2030 predicted PM10 concentrations in greater detail in the next section of this action.

    In conclusion, GBUAPCD's selection of 2012 as the attainment year inventory is appropriate since the area was determined to have attained the NAAQS during the 2011 to 2013 period. Based on our review of the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, we propose to find that the emissions inventories for 2012 and 2030 are comprehensive, current, and accurate in that they include estimates of PM10 from all of the relevant source categories, residential wood combustion, entrained road dust, on-road mobile sources, and stationary sources. Therefore, we are proposing to approve the 2012 emissions inventory, which serves as the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan's attainment year inventory, as satisfying the requirements of section 172(c)(3) of the CAA for the purposes of redesignation of the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area to attainment of the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS.

    2. Maintenance Demonstration

    Section 175A(a) of the CAA requires a demonstration of maintenance of the NAAQS for at least 10 years after redesignation. Generally, a State may demonstrate maintenance of the NAAQS by either showing that future emissions of a pollutant or its precursors will not exceed the level of the attainment inventory, or by modeling to show that the future anticipated mix of sources and emission rates will not cause a violation of the NAAQS. For areas that are required under the CAA to submit modeled attainment demonstrations, the maintenance demonstration should use the same type of modeling.37

    37 See Calcagni memorandum, page 9.

    In the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, GBUAPCD chose to use modeling to demonstrate maintenance of the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS and to show that the future anticipated mix of sources and emission rates will not cause a violation of the NAAQS in the Mammoth Lakes area. The maintenance demonstration builds upon the previous 1990 AQMP attainment plan, and incorporates the specifics of the Mammoth Lakes area, including geography, the winter-time peak visitor population, and the contribution of the two major sources of PM10, residential wood combustion and entrained dust from paved roads. Below, we review the maintenance demonstration in more detail.

    To be consistent with the 1990 AQMP attainment demonstration, GBUAPCD limited the area modeled in the maintenance demonstration to the Town of Mammoth Lakes boundary, somewhat smaller than the larger nonattainment area boundary.38 This was done for two reasons. First, the land east of the Town boundary is mostly public lands, is sparsely populated, and is downhill from the PM10 monitoring station located within the Town. Almost all of the human population and developed land in the nonattainment area is situated and concentrated within a smaller portion of the larger Township. The PM10 monitor/receptor at Gateway Center, providing much of the data for the maintenance demonstration, is located there, too. Meteorologically, an analysis of wind speeds and wind directions on high winter PM10 days shows that hourly wind speeds are low (less than 2 meters/second) and primarily from the west.39 In these near stagnant air mass conditions, the observed wind direction and speed most likely result from cold air flows moving downhill from higher to lower elevations. As a result, on design days of likely high PM10 observations, PM10 emissions east of the Town of Mammoth Lakes are unlikely to affect the levels observed at the PM10 monitor/receptor because those emissions would be moving away, further downhill and to the east. Consequently, an in-Town emissions inventory is the more appropriate inventory of PM10 sources contributing to high PM10 values observed at the Gateway Center PM10 monitor. This in-Town emissions inventory accounts for 78 percent of the total area emissions inventory described in the preceding section of this notice.40 The excluded PM10 emissions are almost entirely entrained road dust produced east and downhill from the PM10 monitor/receptor at Gateway Center in the Town of Mammoth Lakes.

    38 See Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, Figure 1-2, page 4.

    39 See Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, Chapter 5.0 page 17.

    40 See Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, Table 8-3, page 37.

    The second point of comparison with the 1990 AQMP attainment demonstration and maintenance demonstration is the use of a chemical mass balance (CMB) analysis to determine the emissions sources affecting PM10 values at the monitor/receptor. CMB uses chemical profiles of emission sources to apportion the monitored concentration between the various source types. The 1990 AQMP's attainment demonstration and emissions inventory showed that the primary sources contributing to exceedances of the PM10 NAAQS were residential wood combustion and entrained dust from vehicle traffic. Using a second CMB study and a new emissions inventory, GBUAPCD confirmed that the same two sources continue to disproportionately affect PM10 levels in the Mammoth Lakes area.41 The 2013 CMB analysis done for the maintenance demonstration also provides critical inputs for the linear rollback analysis described next.

    41 See Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, Chapter 6, page 23; Table 6-4, page 26; and Appendix G.

    The maintenance demonstration modeling is based on a linear rollback methodology. In a linear rollback model, a fundamental assumption is that the ambient concentration attributed to a given source is proportional to emissions from that source. The rollback model used by GBUAPCD incorporated the following parameters: A background PM10 concentration of 5 μg/m3; a PM10 design value concentration of 99 μg/m3 based on 2010 through 2012 observations at the Gateway Center monitoring site; peak winter season VMT based on peak winter season visitor population consistent with a 2025 Town build out under the 2007 Town of Mammoth Lakes General Plan; and, in-Town peak winter PM10 emissions estimated for residential wood combustion and entrained road dust on paved roads.42 The maintenance demonstration analyzed two worst case design day scenarios: (1) a day indicative of highest residential wood smoke conditions; and, (2) a day indicative of highest entrained road dust emissions.43 The proportionalities for residential wood sources and entrained road dust used within the rollback model scenarios are derived from the 2013 CMB source apportionment studies discussed in Chapter 6 and Appendix G of the maintenance plan. In the first scenario of highest residential wood smoke emissions, the predicted 2030 PM10 concentration was 100 μg/m3.44 In the second scenario of highest entrained road dust emissions, the predicted 2030 PM10 concentration was 104.8 μg/m3.45 In either scenario, PM10 concentrations are predicted to remain below the PM10 NAAQS of 150 μg/m3 and are slightly higher than the 2010-2012 attainment design value concentration of 99 μg/m3.

    42 See the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, Chapter 8, pages 36-42; Table 8-4, page 38; and, the Executive Summary at page x for population and VMT discussion.

    43 See the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan Chapter 8.3, page 39, for calculations.

    44 See the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan Chapter 8.4, page 40, and Table 8-6, page 41.

    45 See the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan Chapter 8.4, page 40, and Table 8-7, page 42.

    To conclude, EPA proposes to find that the forecasted increases in PM10 levels from 2012 to 2030 are consistent with the control measures currently implemented and are not anticipated to result in PM10 levels above the PM10 NAAQS, as shown in the maintenance demonstration described above. Based on our review of the information presented in the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, we propose to find that the State has shown that attainment of the PM10 standard will be maintained in the Town of Mammoth Lakes and the larger Mammoth Lakes area for at least 10 years after redesignation.

    3. Monitoring Network and Verifying Continued Attainment

    Continued attainment of the NAAQS can be verified through operation of an appropriate air quality monitoring network. The Calcagni memorandum states that the maintenance plan should contain provisions for continued operation of air quality monitors that will provide such verification.46 GBUAPCD has committed to continue to operate an appropriate air quality monitoring network in accordance with 40 CFR part 58, to continue daily monitoring of PM10 at the existing monitoring site so as to verify the ongoing attainment status of the area.47 As we discussed in Section V.A. of this proposal, GBUAPCD's monitoring network for PM10 and the Mammoth Lakes PM10 monitors are part of an EPA-approved air quality monitoring network.

    46 See Calcagni memorandum, page 11.

    47 See Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, Chapter 9.2.2, page 45.

    4. Contingency Provisions

    Under section 175A of the CAA, contingency provisions are required for maintenance plans to correct promptly any violations of the NAAQS that occur after the area is redesignated to attainment. These contingency provisions must include a requirement that the State will implement all measures with respect to the control of the air pollutant concerned that were contained in the SIP for the area before redesignation of the area to attainment. These contingency provisions are distinguished from those generally required for nonattainment areas under section 172(c)(9) because they are not required to be fully-adopted measures that will take effect without further action by the State before the maintenance plan can be approved. The contingency plan is considered, however, to be an enforceable part of the SIP and should ensure that the contingency measures are adopted expeditiously once they are triggered by a specified event.

    The Calcagni memorandum states that the contingency provisions of the maintenance plan should identify the measures to be adopted, a schedule and procedure for adoption and implementation, and a time limit for action by the State. The memo also states that the contingency provisions should identify indicators or triggers which will be used to determine when the contingency measures need to be implemented. While the memo suggests inventory or monitoring indicators, it states that contingency provisions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

    In several actions, EPA has long approved contingency provisions that rely on reductions from measures that are already in place but are over and above those relied on for attainment and RFP under section 172(c)(9) of the CAA (62 FR 15844, April 3, 1997), (62 FR 6627, December 18, 1997), (66 FR 30811, June 8, 2001), (66 FR 586 and 66 FR 634, January 3, 2001). This interpretation has been upheld in LEAN v. EPA, 382 F.3d 575 (5th Cir. 2004), where the court set forth its reasoning for accepting excess reductions from already adopted measures as contingency measures.

    Our interpretation that excess emission reductions can appropriately serve as section 172(c)(9) contingency measures is equally applicable to section 175A(d) contingency measures. EPA has approved maintenance plans under section 175A that included contingency provisions relying on measures to be implemented prior to any post-redesignation NAAQS violation (60 FR 27028, May 22, 1995) and (73 FR 66759, November 12, 2008).

    As required by section 175A of the CAA, GBUAPCD adopted a contingency plan to address possible future PM10 air quality problems. The contingency provisions in the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan are contained in Chapter 9.1.2 of the plan. In the event of a violation of the PM10 NAAQS, the District commits to adopt additional control measures to meet the PM10 NAAQS within 18 months of the violation; the measures cited may include reducing the “no burn day” trigger threshold, or improving roadway clean-up procedures.48 Also, the District commits to track the progress of the maintenance plan and the continuing validity of its analyses and assumptions, such as an updated peak winter day emissions inventory and an analysis of air quality trends.49 Finally, the District commits to continued implementation of plan's control measures, continued performance of ambient air quality monitoring, as well as the progress reports described previously.50

    48 See the Mammoth Lakes Maintenance Plan Chapter 9.1.2, page 44.

    49 See the Mammoth Lakes Maintenance Plan Chapter 9.2.1, pages 44-45.

    50 See the Mammoth Lakes Maintenance Plan Chapter 9.3, page 45.

    To summarize, given the commitments described above, EPA is proposing to find that the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan is consistent with the maintenance plan contingency provision requirements of the CAA and EPA guidance. The contingency provisions of the maintenance plan contain tracking and triggering mechanisms to determine when contingency measures are needed, and specific timelines for action. Thus, we conclude that the contingency provisions of the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan are adequate to ensure prompt correction of a violation of the PM10 NAAQS and comply with section 175A(d) of the Act.

    E. Transportation Conformity and Motor Vehicle Emissions Budgets

    Under section 176(c) of the CAA, transportation plans, programs and projects in the nonattainment or maintenance areas that are funded or approved under title 23 U.S.C. and the Federal Transit Laws (49 U.S.C. chapter 53) must conform to the applicable SIP. In short, a transportation plan and program conforms to the applicable SIP if the emissions resulting from the implementation of that transportation plan and program are less than or equal to the motor vehicle emissions budgets (budgets) established in the SIP for the attainment year, maintenance year and other years.51 The budgets serve as a ceiling on emissions that would result from an area's planned transportation system. The budget concept is explained in the preamble to the transportation conformity rule (58 FR 62188, November 24, 1993). The preamble describes how to establish budgets in the SIP and how to revise the budgets.

    51 See 40 CFR part 93 for the federal conformity regulations and 40 CFR 93.118 specifically for how budgets are used in conformity.

    Maintenance plan submittals must specify the maximum emissions of transportation-related PM10 and PM10 precursor emissions allowed in the last year of the maintenance period, i.e., the budgets.52 Budgets may also be specified for additional years during the maintenance period. The submittal must also demonstrate that these emissions levels, when considered with emissions from all other sources, are consistent with maintenance of the NAAQS. For EPA to find these emissions levels or budgets adequate and approvable, the submittal must meet the conformity adequacy provisions of 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4) and (5).

    52 Transportation-related emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and/or oxides of nitrogen (NOX) emissions must also be specified in PM10 areas if EPA or the state finds that transportation-related emissions of one or both of these precursors within the nonattainment area are a significant contributor to the PM10 nonattainment problem and has so notified the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), or if the applicable SIP revision or SIP revision submittal establishes an approved or adequate budget for such emissions as part of the RFP, attainment or maintenance strategy. See 40 CFR 93.102(b)(2)(iii). Neither of these conditions apply to the Mammoth Lake PM10 nonattainment area. Consequently, the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan establishes motor vehicle emissions budgets for PM10 only and does not include PM10 precursors.

    EPA's process for determining adequacy of a budget consists of three basic steps: (1) Notifying the public of a SIP submittal; (2) providing the public the opportunity to comment on the budget during a public comment period; and, (3) making a finding of adequacy or inadequacy. The process for determining the adequacy of a submitted budget is codified at 40 CFR 93.118(f). EPA can notify the public by either posting an announcement that EPA has received SIP budgets on EPA's adequacy Web site (40 CFR 93.118(f)(1)), or via a Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking when EPA reviews the adequacy of an implementation plan budget simultaneously with its review and action on the SIP itself (40 CFR 93.118(f)(2)).53

    53 The availability of the SIP submittal with budgets can be announced for public comment on EPA's adequacy Web site at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/currsips.htm which provides a 30-day public comment period. The public can then comment directly on this Web site.

    Today, we are notifying the public that EPA will be reviewing the adequacy of the 2012 and 2030 budgets in the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan. The public has a 30-day comment period as described in the DATES section of this notice. After this comment period, EPA will indicate whether the budgets are adequate via the final rulemaking on this proposed action or on the adequacy Web site, according to 40 CFR 93.118(f)(2)(iii). EPA's adequacy review is provided in the subject Memorandum accompanying today's Federal Register notice and included in the docket for this action.

    During GBUAPCD's 30-day comment period prior to the District Board adopting the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, District staff amended the budgets in a response to comments from EPA. Consequently, the budget considered and adopted by the District Board and transmitted to CARB was not the budget released to the general public at the start of the District's public comment period. To fully comply with public notice requirements for SIP revisions prior to submittal by the State, CARB provided a full 30-day comment period and public hearing for the GBUAPCD Board adopted version of the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan and the budgets contained therein.54

    54 For the budgets as presented and adopted by CARB, see their “Staff Report: Town of Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan and Redesignation Request”, dated August 18, 2014 at Table 3, page 10. For evidence of CARB's public notice and hearing see our earlier discussion of procedural requirements and CARB's documentation included in the docket for this action.

    The Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan submitted by the State contains PM10 budgets for the entire Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area for the years 2012 and 2030. The PM10 budgets for the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area are as follows: 2012—3,466 kilograms per day; and, 2030—4,319 kilograms per day.55 These budgets include direct PM10 emissions from vehicle exhaust, tire and brake wear emissions, and entrained dust on paved roads due to vehicle travel. See Table 4. These budgets do not include road construction dust or fugitive dust from vehicle travel on unpaved roads because emissions from these sources are minimal during the winter; see our earlier review of the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan emissions inventory. As noted in our emission inventory review, PM10 precursors are a very small component of the overall inventory and a negligible contribution to the budgets. The on-road mobile source PM10 emissions (motor vehicle exhaust, tire and brake wear) were calculated using the latest approved emission factor model, EMFAC2011.56 The fugitive dust emissions for paved roads were calculated using the latest version of the Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors (AP-42).57

    55 See the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan Chapter 10, page 47.

    56 See the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan Chapter 5.7, page 21. Also see 78 FR 14533 (March 6, 2013) for our approval of EMFAC2011.

    57 January 2011 Version of AP42, Fifth Edition, Volume I, Chapter 13.2.1 Miscellaneous Sources, Paved Roads: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/ap42/ch13/final/c13s0201.pdf.

    Table 4—Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan 2012 and 2030 PM10 Motor Vehicle Emissions Budgets [Kilograms/day] Source category 2012 2030 Entrained Road Dust Cinders/Paved Roads 3,455 4,305 On-road Mobile Sources (tailpipe, tire and brake wear) 11 14 Total Motor Vehicle Emissions Budget 3,466 4,319 Peak 24-hour winter PM10 emissions calculated for the entire planning area. Source: Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, Tables 5-7, 8-1, and 8-3, pages 22, 36, and 37, respectively; also, see page 47.

    As previously discussed in our review of the maintenance demonstration for the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, for reasons related to the topography, economy, and winter time meteorology of the Mammoth Lakes area, GBUAPCD modeled within the maintenance demonstration an area equivalent to the Township of Mammoth Lakes boundaries and smaller than the total nonattainment area. Although EPA concurs with the rationale for using an in-town PM10 emissions inventory in the maintenance demonstration, EPA also modeled the total area emissions shown in Table 4 to ensure that the higher estimated emissions do not, as we anticipate, cause or contribute to future violations of the ambient 24-hour PM10 standard. Using the same methodology as the maintenance demonstration and the modeling scenario of highest ambient contribution of entrained road dust emissions, we found that the predicted 2030 ambient PM10 concentration was 104.8 μg/m3, well below the standard and consistent with the concentration calculated in the maintenance demonstration for the same scenario.58

    58 See the Mammoth Lakes Maintenance Plan, Chapter 8.3, page 39 for the maintenance demonstration methodology and model equation. Also, see our prior discussion of the emissions inventory and maintenance demonstration for model equation inputs, such as background concentration and residential wood smoke emissions. For our calculations, see the Memorandum regarding our documentation supporting our budgets adequacy determination in the docket for this action.

    Based on the information presented in the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan and our adequacy review to date, we propose to approve the motor vehicle emissions budgets in the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan as meeting the requirements of the CAA and EPA regulations. EPA has determined that the budgets are consistent with control measures in the SIP and are consistent with maintenance of the 24-hour PM10 standard within the Mammoth Lakes area through 2030. The details of EPA's evaluation of the budget for compliance with the budget adequacy criteria of 40 CFR 93.118(e) are provided in a separate memorandum included within the docket for this rulemaking.59 As noted earlier, the public comment period for EPA's adequacy finding will be concurrent with the public comment period for this proposed action on the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan.

    59 See EPA memorandum titled, “EPA's Adequacy Review of Motor Vehicle Emissions Budgets in Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan”, dated July 1, 2015.

    VI. Proposed Action and Request for Public Comment

    Based on our review of the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan and redesignation request submitted by California, air quality monitoring data, and other relevant materials contained on our docket, EPA is proposing to find that the State has addressed all the necessary requirements for redesignation of the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area to attainment of the PM10 NAAQS, pursuant to CAA sections 107(d)(3)(E) and 175A.

    First, under CAA section 107(d)(3)(D), we are proposing to approve the State's request, which accompanied the submittal of the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, to redesignate the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area to attainment for the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS. We are doing so based on our conclusion that the area has met the five criteria for redesignation under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E): (1) The area has attained the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS; (2) the relevant portions of the SIP are fully approved; (3) the improvement in air quality in the Mammoth Lakes area is due to permanent and enforceable reductions in PM10 emissions; (4) California has met all requirements applicable to the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area with respect to section 110 and part D of the CAA; and, (5) our proposed approval of the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, as part of this action.

    Second, under section 110(k)(3) of the CAA, EPA proposes to approve the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan and find that it meets the requirements of Section 175A. We propose to find that the maintenance demonstration shows that the area will continue to attain the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS for at least 10 years beyond redesignation (i.e., through 2030). We propose to find that the Maintenance Plan provides a contingency process for identifying and adopting new or more stringent control measures if a monitored violation of the PM10 NAAQS occurs. Finally, we are proposing to approve the 2012 emissions inventory as meeting applicable requirements for emissions inventories in Section 172 of the CAA.

    Last, we propose that the Maintenance Plan's motor vehicle emissions budgets meet applicable CAA requirements for maintenance plans and transportation conformity requirements under 40 CFR 93.118(e). With this action, we are starting the public comment period on the adequacy of these proposed motor vehicle emissions budgets.

    We are soliciting comments on this proposed action. We will accept comments from the public on this proposal for 30 days following publication of this proposal in the Federal Register. We will consider these comments before taking final action.

    VII. 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 proposed action merely proposes to approve State law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law. For that reason, this proposed action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

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

    40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, National parks, Wilderness areas.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 10, 2015. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18531 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 46 CFR Part 106 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0086] RIN 1625-AC23 Requirements for Vessels With Registry Endorsements or Foreign-Flagged Vessels That Perform Certain Aquaculture Support Operations AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to amend its regulations to implement Section 901(c) of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 that grants the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) the authority to issue a waiver allowing a documented vessel with only a registry endorsement or a foreign-flagged vessel to be used in certain aquaculture operations. Specifically, those operations include the treatment and/or protection of aquaculture fish from disease, parasitic infestation, or other threats to their health. The proposed part would establish the requirement for an owner or operator of a vessel who is issued a waiver by the Secretary of DOT to notify the Coast Guard that the vessel owner or operator has been issued a waiver that allows the vessel to conduct certain aquaculture support operations. The proposed part would also establish operational and geographic requirements for vessels that are issued such a waiver.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must either be submitted to our online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before October 28, 2015 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date. Comments sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on the collection of information must reach OMB on or before October 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2015-0086 using any one of the following methods:

    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal:http://www.regulations.gov.

    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.

    (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.

    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

    Collection of Information Comments: If you have comments on the collection of information discussed in section VI.D. of this notice of proposed rulemaking, you must also send comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget. To ensure that your comments to OIRA are received on time, the preferred methods are by email to [email protected] (include the docket number and “Attention: Desk Officer for Coast Guard, DHS” in the subject line of the email) or fax at 202-395-6566. An alternate, though slower, method is by the U.S. Postal Service to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, ATTN: Desk Officer, U.S. Coast Guard.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email Mr. David Belliveau, Fishing Vessels Division (CG-CVC-3), U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 202-372-1247, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Ms. Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents for Preamble I. Public Participation and Request for Comments A. Submitting Comments B. Viewing Comments and Documents C. Privacy Act D. Public Meeting II. Abbreviations III. Basis and Purpose IV. Background V. Discussion of Proposed Rule VI. Regulatory Analyses A. Regulatory Planning and Review B. Small Entities C. Assistance for Small Entities D. Collection of Information E. Federalism F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act G. Taking of Private Property H. Civil Justice Reform I. Protection of Children J. Indian Tribal Governments K. Energy Effects L. Technical Standards M. Environment I. 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.

    A. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG-2015-0086), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission.

    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, and follow the instructions on that Web site. 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 this proposed rule based on your comments.

    B. 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 and follow the instructions on that Web site. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may view the docket online by visiting 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. We have an agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket Management Facility.

    C. Privacy Act

    You can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by searching for the name of the individual who submitted the comment (or who signed the comment, if the comment was 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).

    D. Public Meeting

    We do not plan to hold a public meeting, but you may submit a request for one to the docket using one of the methods specified under ADDRESSES. In your request, explain why you believe a public meeting would be beneficial. If we determine that a public meeting would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced in a later notice in the Federal Register.

    II. Abbreviations BLS U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CBP U.S. Customs and Border Protection CFR Code of Federal Regulations CGAA Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 COD Certificate of Documentation DHS U.S. Department of Homeland Security DOT U.S. Department of Transportation E.O. Executive Order FR Federal Register NAICS North American Industry Classification System NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking OIRA Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs OMB Office of Management and Budget Pub. L. Public Law RA Regulatory Analysis U.S.C. United States Code III. Basis and Purpose

    Under Title 46 U.S.C. 12102(d)(1), the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) may issue a waiver to allow a documented vessel with only a registry endorsement or a foreign-flagged vessel to be used in operations that treat aquaculture fish for or protect aquaculture fish from disease, parasitic infestation, or other threats to their health if the Secretary finds, after publishing a notice in the Federal Register (FR), that a suitable vessel of the United States is not available to perform those services.1

    1 These services are generally performed by “wellboats” (commonly understood as fishing and housing facility vessels) that pump fish out of their pens and into the vessel's fish hold. The fish hold is full of sea water and while the fish are inside the fish hold, a metered dose of de-lousing chemical is added to the fish holds. The water is then circulated vigorously to ensure complete mixing of the de-lousing agent. Upon completion of the treatment cycle, the fish are returned to their pens.

    In this notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), the Coast Guard proposes to amend 46 CFR subchapter I—Cargo and Miscellaneous Vessels, by adding a new part 106 that would establish the requirement for an owner or operator of a vessel who is issued a waiver by the Secretary of DOT, for the purpose of conducting certain aquaculture support operations, to notify the Coast Guard that such a waiver has been issued. The proposed part would also establish operational and geographic requirements for a vessel that is issued such a waiver.

    IV. Background

    Section 901 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (CGAA) (Pub. L. 111-281) amended 46 U.S.C. 12102 by adding subsection (d). Pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 12102(d)(1), the Secretary of DOT may issue a waiver allowing a documented vessel with only a registry endorsement or a foreign-flagged vessel to be used in operations that treat or protect aquaculture fish from disease, parasitic infestation, or other threats to their health if the Secretary finds, after publishing a notice in the Federal Register, that a suitable vessel of the United States is not available that could perform those services.

    This NPRM proposes regulations necessary to implement the Coast Guard's rulemaking responsibility as prescribed by 901(c)(2) of the CGAA. In that subsection, Congress directed the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the department under which the Coast Guard operates, to promulgate regulations that are necessary and appropriate for permitting nonqualified vessels to perform certain aquaculture support operations. It also authorizes the Secretary of DHS to “grant interim permits pending the issuance of such regulations upon receipt of applications containing the required information.” Through this rule, we propose to establish the requirement that an owner or operator of a vessel who is issued a waiver by the Secretary of DOT for the purpose of conducting certain aquaculture support operations notify the Coast Guard that such a waiver has been issued. This proposed rule would also establish operational and geographic requirements for vessels that are issued such waivers.

    V. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    Through this rulemaking, the Coast Guard proposes to add 46 CFR part 106, “Requirements for Nonqualified Vessels that Perform Certain Aquaculture Support Operations.” This proposed part would establish the requirement for owners or operators of vessels who are issued a waiver by the Secretary of DOT to conduct certain aquaculture support operations to notify the Coast Guard that such a waiver has been issued. In developing this proposed notification requirement, we considered the possibility of DOT notifying the Coast Guard that a waiver has been issued rather than imposing this notification burden on the owner/operator. However, we decided that an owner/operator may be better served if the owner/operator retains the responsibility of notifying the Coast Guard rather than rely on the issuing agency because doing so gives the owner/operator full and complete control regarding the timing of the notification. For more information on this proposed notification requirement, including the mailing and email addresses that notifications are to be sent, refer to § 106.115. We are interested in hearing public comment on this proposed notification requirement (and the possibility of having DOT provide waiver notifications instead of an owner/operator) as we do with all of the requirements proposed in this rule. The proposed part would also establish operational and geographic requirements for vessels that are issued such a waiver. Based on submissions of applications for interim permits, we propose to require an owner or operator of a vessel who is issued a waiver by the Secretary of DOT, to submit to the Coast Guard:

    (1) The vessel(s) name(s);

    (2) The vessel's official and/or International Maritime Organization number;

    (3) The geographic location within the waters of the United States where the vessel(s) will conduct aquaculture treatment operations;

    (4) The period of time during which the waiver for the vessel(s) is approved including:

    (i) The start date (MM/DD/YYYY); and

    (ii) The expiration date (MM/DD/YYYY); and

    (5) A copy of the DOT-approved aquaculture waiver.

    VI. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, and 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility.

    This NPRM is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of E.O. 12866 as supplemented by E.O. 13563. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not reviewed it under that Order. A combined preliminary Regulatory Analysis (RA) follows.

    This RA provides an evaluation of the economic impacts associated with this proposed rule. The table that follows provides a summary of the proposed rule's costs and benefits.

    Table 1—Summary of the Proposed Rule's Impacts Category Summary Applicability Owners or operators of vessels that are issued a waiver allowing a documented vessel with only a registry endorsement or a foreign-flagged vessel to be used in operations that treat aquaculture fish. Affected Population 2 vessels. Costs to Industry and Government
  • ($, 7% discount rate)
  • 10-year: $808.98.
  • Annualized: $115.18.
  • Unquantified Benefits Allows the Coast Guard to readily identify vessels with waivers to perform certain aquaculture support operations.

    On May 27, 2010, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ruled that aquaculture activities constitute “engag[ing] in the fisheries,” and is thus within the meaning of 46 U.S.C. 108, for which a vessel must possess a Certificate of Documentation (COD) endorsed pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 12113 (See CBP ruling HQ H105735). Title 46 U.S.C. 12113 limits employment in the fisheries to a vessel issued a COD with a fishery endorsement. This effectively disqualifies any foreign-flagged vessel from carrying out these activities.

    Wellboats (or live fish carriers) were especially affected by this CBP ruling. Wellboats are highly specialized vessels that are used to treat farmed salmon. The wellboats are designed to service large inventories of farmed salmon during the salt-water grow-out phase and are specially equipped to protect the fish onboard the vessel. Direct treatment aboard a wellboat is currently the most efficient and effective method to treat salmon. If left untreated, salmon inventories can be destroyed and the industry can lose revenue. Currently, no U.S.-flagged wellboats exist. The only wellboats available to the U.S. salmon aquaculture industry are foreign-flagged vessels, which make the industry highly dependent on foreign-flagged wellboats.

    Through this rulemaking, the Coast Guard proposes to amend its regulations to implement Section 901(c) of the CGAA. Under that provision, the Secretary of DOT has the authority to issue a waiver allowing a documented vessel with only a registry endorsement or a foreign-flagged vessel to be used in certain aquaculture support operations that treat or protect aquaculture fish from disease, parasitic infestation, or other threats to their health if no suitable U.S.-flagged vessel is available to perform those services. Under this proposed rule, a vessel owner or operator of a vessel who has been issued a waiver by DOT to perform aquaculture support operations will be required to notify and provide a copy of the waiver to the Coast Guard. Through this rulemaking, we also propose to establish operational and geographic requirements for a vessel that is issued a waiver by DOT to perform aquaculture support operations. For more information on these requirements, refer to § 106.120 Operational and Geographic Requirements.

    Affected Population

    The Coast Guard determined the affected population based on the number of waiver requests from vessel owners and operators. Since the 2010 CBP ruling, only one entity has applied for waivers for foreign-flagged wellboats to treat salmon. This U.S. entity operates two foreign-flagged wellboats, and we anticipate that this entity will continue to apply for waivers in the future. Therefore, this proposed rule is projected to affect one U.S. entity that operates two vessels. Depending on the growth of the salmon aquaculture industry, there is the potential for the number of affected vessels to increase in the future. However, current trends indicate no increase in growth in the salmon aquaculture industry. Therefore, we did not consider, in this analysis, an annual increase in the number of waivers that would be submitted to the Coast Guard.

    Costs

    In this proposed rule, owners or operators of foreign-flagged vessels, which are issued waivers by DOT to conduct certain aquaculture support operations, must notify the Coast Guard that such waivers have been issued. The costs of this proposed rule include the costs to the industry to provide copies of the waivers and the costs to the Government to process the information. Waivers will be issued on an annual basis per DOT requirements. Owners or operators of the vessels are required to provide copies of these waivers to the Coast Guard annually. Waivers are issued individually for each vessel involved in aquaculture support operations, and therefore, costs are estimated on a per vessel basis.

    Industry Costs

    The Coast Guard estimates it will take 0.5 hours for a legal secretary to copy and send each waiver to the Coast Guard, via postal mail and electronic mail. The wage rate for a legal assistant was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), using Occupational Series 23-2011, Paralegals and Legal Assistants (May 2013). BLS reports that the mean hourly rate for a legal assistant is $24.60.2 To account for employee benefits, we use the load factor of 1.43, which we calculated from June 2014 BLS data.3 The loaded wage rate for a legal assistant is estimated at $35.18 per hour ($24.60 wage rate × 1.43 load factor). The expected cost to industry to provide copies of the waiver is $35.18 ($35.18 × 0.5 hours × 2 vessels). Table 2 shows the total 10-year cost of two affected vessels to be $247.09 and annualized cost of $35.18, both discounted at 7 percent.

    2 Mean wage, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes232011.htm.

    3 Employer Costs for Employee Compensation news release text provides information on the employer compensation, and can be found at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/ecec_09102014.htm.

    Table 2—Total 10 Year Cost to Industry Year Undiscounted costs Discount rate 7% 3% 1 $35.18 $32.88 $34.16 2 35.18 30.73 33.16 3 35.18 28.72 32.19 4 35.18 26.84 31.26 5 35.18 25.08 30.35 6 35.18 23.44 29.46 7 35.18 21.91 28.60 8 35.18 20.48 27.77 9 35.18 19.14 26.96 10 35.18 17.88 26.18 Total 351.80 247.09 300.09 Annualized 35.18 35.18 Note: Total may not add due to rounding. Government Costs

    The Coast Guard estimates it will take 0.5 hours per vessel for Coast Guard personnel at the GS-13 level to record the information from the waivers. The fully loaded wage rate for a GS-13 is $80, per Commandant Instruction 7310.1P.4 The total cost for the Coast Guard is $80 [(0.5 hours ″ $80) × 2 vessels]. The total 10-year undiscounted Government cost of the proposed rule is $800. Table 3 shows the total Government 10-year discounted cost at $561.89, and the annualized cost at $80, both discounted at 7 percent.

    4 See http://www.uscg.mil/directives/ci/7000-7999/CI_ 7310_1P.pdf.

    Table 3—Total Government Cost Year Undiscounted costs Discount rate 7% 3% 1 $80.00 $74.77 $77.67 2 80.00 69.88 75.41 3 80.00 65.30 73.21 4 80.00 61.03 71.08 5 80.00 57.04 69.01 6 80.00 53.31 67.00 7 80.00 49.82 65.05 8 80.00 46.56 63.15 9 80.00 43.51 61.31 10 80.00 40.67 59.53 Total 800.00 561.89 682.42 Annualized 80.00 80.00 Note: Total may not add due to rounding.

    Table 4 displays the total costs on an undiscounted basis, and discounted at 7 percent and 3 percent interest rates, respectively. The total 10-year undiscounted cost of the proposed rule is $1,151.80. The total 10-year (industry and government) discounted cost of the proposed rule is $808.98 and the annualized cost is $115.18, both discounted at 7 percent.

    Table 4—Total Costs of the Proposed Rule Year Total undiscounted costs Total, discounted 7% 3% 1 $115.18 $107.64 $111.83 2 115.18 100.60 108.57 3 115.18 94.02 105.41 4 115.18 87.87 102.34 5 115.18 82.12 99.36 6 115.18 76.75 96.46 7 115.18 71.73 93.65 8 115.18 67.04 90.92 9 115.18 62.65 88.28 10 115.18 58.55 85.70 Total 1,151.80 808.98 982.51 Annualized 115.18 115.18 Note: Total may not add due to rounding. Benefits

    This proposed rule does not provide any quantitative benefits. However, it does have a qualitative benefit. It provides the Coast Guard with greater maritime domain awareness through the proposed requirement that an owner or operator of a vessel who has received a waiver from DOT must submit a copy of the waiver to the Coast Guard. The requirement to submit a copy of the waiver to the Coast Guard will ensure that appropriate Coast Guard officials are aware that foreign-flagged vessels or vessels with only registry endorsements are conducting aquaculture support activities in U.S waters pursuant to a waiver issued by DOT under the authority of 46 U.S.C. 12102(d)(1).

    B. Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, we have considered whether this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 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.

    There is one U.S. entity that operates two foreign-flagged vessels that would be affected by this rulemaking at this time. This entity is neither a not-for-profit nor a governmental organization. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) for this entity is 424460, Fish and Seafood Merchant Wholesalers. An entity with this NAICS code is considered a small entity if it has less than 100 employees. Using the small entity definition for the NAICS code, we determined the entity is classified as a small entity, since this entity has 40 employees. Table 5 shows information on the U.S. entity classified as a small entity by NAICS code, and the small entity standard size established by the Small Business Administration.

    Table 5—NAICS Code and Small Entities Size Standards NAICS Code Description Small business size standard 424460 Fish and Seafood Merchant Wholesalers Less than 100 employees.

    We reviewed business revenue data provided by a publicly available source 5 and found that this entity has annual revenue estimated at $4,800,000. Therefore, the expected burden on the company from this rulemaking is estimated at less than 0.001 percent of total annual revenue.

    5 MANTA (http:// www.manta.com/ ) is an online business service directory and search engine that provides business revenue and size data.

    Therefore, the Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment to the Docket Management Facility at the address under ADDRESSES. In your comment, explain why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this proposed rule would economically affect it.

    C. Assistance for Small Entities

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

    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).

    D. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520. This collection is explained below under ESTIMATE OF TOTAL ANNUAL BURDEN. As defined in 5 CFR 1320.3(c), “collection of information” comprises reporting, recordkeeping, monitoring, posting, labeling, and other, similar actions. The title and description of the information collections, a description of those who must collect the information, and an estimate of the total annual burden follow. The estimate covers the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing sources of data, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection.

    Under the provisions of the proposed rule, an owner or operator of a vessel who is issued a waiver to conduct certain aquaculture support operations would notify the Coast Guard that such a waiver has been issued.

    Title: Requirements for Vessels that Perform Certain Aquaculture Support Operations

    Summary of the Collection of Information: An owner or operator of a vessel who is issued a waiver to conduct certain aquaculture support operations would be required to notify the Coast Guard that such a waiver has been issued.

    Need for Information: This information is necessary to ensure that appropriate Coast Guard officials are aware that foreign-flagged vessels or documented vessels with only registry endorsements are conducting aquaculture support activities in U.S. waters pursuant to waivers issued by DOT under the authority of 46 U.S.C. 12102(d)(1).

    Proposed Use of Information: The Coast Guard would use this information to ensure vessels operating in U.S. waters in support of aquaculture are compliant with DOT's requirement.

    Description of the Respondents: The respondents are owners or operators of vessels that are issued waivers to conduct certain aquaculture support operations.

    Number of Respondents: The number of respondents is one per year.

    Frequency of Response: Waivers are issued on an annual basis, so the frequency of response is one response per vessel, per year.

    Burden of Response: The estimated burden for each respondent is 0.5 hours per vessel to copy waivers and send information to the Coast Guard.

    Estimate of Total Annual Burden: There is currently one entity operating two vessels that have been issued waivers. The total annual burden would be 1 hour (0.5 hours × 2 vessels). Assuming this task is performed by a legal assistant at a loaded hourly rate of $35.18, the annual cost burden for this requirement is $35.18 ($35.18 loaded wage rate × 1 total entity hours).

    We ask for public comment on the proposed collection of information to help us determine—

    (1) How useful the information is;

    (2) Whether it can help us perform our functions better;

    (3) Whether it is readily available elsewhere;

    (4) How accurate our estimate of the burden of collection is;

    (5) How valid our methods for determining burden are;

    (6) How we can improve the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information; and

    (7) How we can minimize the burden of collection.

    If you submit comments on the collection of information, submit them to both OMB and to the Docket Management Facility where indicated under ADDRESSES, by the date under DATES.

    You are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number from OMB. Before we could enforce the collection of information requirements in this proposed rule, OMB would need to approve our request to collect this information.

    E. Federalism

    A rule has implications for federalism under E.O. 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in E.O. 13132. Our analysis is explained below.

    This proposed rule implements Section 901(c) of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010. Section 901(c) amends Section 12102 of Chapter 121 of 46 U.S.C. by adding a waiver of certain Federal vessel documentation requirements for vessels performing aquaculture support operations. Neither Section 901 nor Chapter 121 contains authority for States to waive Federal vessel documentation requirements. Additionally, while Chapter 121 does not expressly prohibit States from having state titling systems, vessels that are required to be documented under Chapter 121 cannot be simultaneously titled by a State or numbered by a State pursuant to Chapter 123 (see 46 U.S.C. Section 12106). Therefore, the rule is consistent with the principles of federalism and preemption requirements in E.O. 13132.

    While it is well settled that States may not regulate in categories in which Congress intended the Coast Guard to be the sole source of a vessel's obligations, the Coast Guard recognizes the key role that State and local governments may have in making regulatory determinations. Additionally, for rules with federalism implications and preemptive effect, E.O. 13132 specifically directs agencies to consult with State and local governments during the rulemaking process. If you believe this proposed rule has implications for federalism under E.O. 13132, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble.

    F. 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 proposed rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    G. Taking of Private Property

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

    H. Civil Justice Reform

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

    I. Protection of Children

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under E.O. 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This proposed 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.

    J. Indian Tribal Governments

    This proposed rule does not have tribal implications under E.O. 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.

    K. Energy Effects

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under E.O. 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” under E.O. 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

    L. Technical Standards

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, 15 U.S.C. 272 note directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through OMB, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.

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

    M. 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, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f, and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” section of this preamble. This proposed rule involves vessels that have received waivers from the DOT to perform certain aquaculture support operations in U.S. waters (or could receive such waivers in the future) and the Coast Guard's notification and documentation requirements for those vessels. The proposed rule entails administrative activities, which pertain to regulations concerning documentation of vessels, and collectively appear to fall under section 2.B.2 and Figure 2-1, paragraphs (34)(a) and (d) of the Instruction. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact resulting from this proposed rule.

    List of Subjects in 46 CFR Part 106

    Aquaculture operations, Coastwise, Fishing vessels, Registry endorsement, Waiver.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to add 46 CFR part 106 to read as follows:

    Title 46—Shipping

    PART 106—REQUIREMENTS FOR NON-QUALIFIED VESSELS THAT PERFORM CERTAIN AQUACULTURE SUPPORT OPERATIONS Sec. 106.100 Purpose. 106.105 Applicability. 106.110 Definitions. 106.115 Notification requirements. 106.120 Operational and geographic requirements. 106.125 Penalties. Authority:

    Sec. 901(c)(2), Pub. L. 111-281, 124 Stat. 2905, Title IX; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    § 106.100 Purpose.

    The regulations in this part implement 46 U.S.C. 12102(d).

    § 106.105 Applicability.

    The regulations in this part apply to a documented vessel with only a registry endorsement or a foreign-flagged vessel that has been issued a waiver by DOT under 46 U.S.C. 12102(d)(1), for the purpose of conducting aquaculture support operations.

    § 106.110 Definitions.

    For the purpose of this part:

    Aquaculture support operations means activities that treat aquaculture fish for or protect aquaculture fish from disease, parasitic infestation, or other threats to their health.

    § 106.115 Notification requirements.

    (a) Prior to operating in U.S. waters, a vessel owner, operator, or charterer that has been issued a waiver by DOT to conduct aquaculture support operations must notify the Coast Guard in writing of its status. The notification must include the following information:

    (1) The vessel(s) name(s);

    (2) The vessel's official and/ or International Maritime Organization number;

    (3) The geographic location within the waters of the United States where the vessel(s) will conduct treatment operations;

    (4) The period of time during which the waiver for the vessel(s) is approved including:

    (i) The start date (MM/ DD/ YYYY); and

    (ii) The expiration date (MM/ DD/ YYYY); and

    (5) A copy of the DOT-approved aquaculture waiver.

    (b) Written notification must be made to the Commandant (CG-CVC), ATTN: Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance, U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7501, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20593-7501, or by email to [email protected] uscg.mil.

    § 106.120 Operational and geographic requirements.

    (a) Vessels with a DOT waiver, issued under 46 U.S.C. 12102(d)(1), for the purpose of performing aquaculture support operations are subject to the following restrictions:

    (1) Commercial operations other than operations that treat or protect aquaculture fish are prohibited;

    (2) While conducting aquaculture support operations, vessels will operate solely within the geographic location identified in the approved waiver issued by DOT; and

    (3) Vessels will not conduct aquaculture support operations beyond the period of time approved in the waiver issued by DOT.

    (b) Vessels conducting aquaculture support operations will, at all times, maintain a copy of the waiver issued by DOT on board the vessel as proof of its eligibility to conduct aquaculture support operations.

    § 106.125 Penalties.

    A vessel owner, operator, or charterer not operating a vessel as required in this part is subject to penalty under 46 U.S.C. 12151.

    Dated: July 23, 2015. V.B. Gifford, Jr., Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Director of Inspections and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18620 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Parts 536 and 552 [GSAR Case 2015-G508; Docket No. 2005-0013; Sequence No. 1] RIN 3090-AJ57 General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR); Removal of Unnecessary Construction Clauses and Editorial Changes AGENCY:

    Office of Acquisition Policy, General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The General Services Administration (GSA) is issuing a proposed rule amending the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) coverage on Construction and Architect-Engineer Contracts, including provisions and clauses for solicitations and resultant contracts, to remove unnecessary regulations.

    DATES:

    Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat at one of the addressees shown below on or before September 28, 2015 to be considered in the formation of the final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments in response to GSAR Case 2015-G508 by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments by searching for “GSAR Case 2015-G508”. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “GSAR Case 2015-G508.” Follow the instructions provided at the “Comment Now” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “GSAR Case 2015-G508” on your attached document.

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

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite GSAR Case 2015-G508, in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Christina Mullins, Program Analyst, at 202-969-4066 or email at [email protected], for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division at 202-501-4755. Please cite GSAR Case 2015-G508.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    GSA is proposing to amend the GSAR to revise sections of GSAR part 536, Construction and Architect-Engineer Contracts, and part 552, Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses, to remove unnecessary construction clauses.

    The proposed rule includes the removal of one section and seven GSAR subpart 536.5 supplemental provisions and clauses that are now covered in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) or are otherwise no longer necessary for the agency.

    A GSA Acquisition Manual (GSAM) rewrite initiative was undertaken by GSA to revise the GSAM starting in 2008. A proposed rule to update GSAR part 536, Construction and Architect-Engineer Contracts was initially published as GSAR Case 2008-G509 in the Federal Register at 73 FR 73199, December 2, 2008. Due to the variety of issues addressed in the GSAR 536 rewrite, and strong internal stakeholder interest, the agency re-evaluated the implementation plan for the GSAR 536 rewrite and withdrew this initial proposed rule. The initial proposed rule withdrawal was published in the Federal Register at 80 FR 6944, February 9, 2015. GSAR Case 2015-G508 is the first of several new GSAR cases to separately address the issues and update the GSAR 536 text.

    II. Discussion and Analysis

    The changes to the GSAM included in the proposed rule are summarized below:

    • GSAR subpart 536.1, General: Revised to add language at GSAR 536.101 to clarify applicability of this part.

    • GSAR 536.271, Project Labor Agreements (PLA): The coverage on project labor agreements is being removed in its entirety as Executive Order (E.O.) 13202 revoked the June 5, 1997 Presidential Memorandum entitled “Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects” that provided for the original inclusion in the GSAM. In addition, later PLA guidance from E.O. 13502 was incorporated into the FAR effective May 13, 2010 under FAR Case 2009-005. The GSAR language is out of date and conflicts with FAR subpart 22.5 and clause 52.222-33. The current FAR coverage does not require further agency implementation or supplementation.

    • GSAR subpart 536.5, Contract Clauses: Several prescriptions and associated clauses will be removed as listed below.

    ○ GSAR prescription 536.570-3, Specialist and associated clause 552.236-72. The specialist requirement is a technical detail contained in the scope of work or specifications for a contract or task order. A regulatory clause is not warranted.

    ○ GSAR prescription 536.570-5, Working Hours and associated clause 552.236-74. The working hour's requirement is a technical detail contained in the scope of work or specifications for a contract or task order. Working hours are also covered in FAR subparts 22.3 and 22.4. A regulatory clause is not warranted.

    ○ GSAR prescription 536.570-6, Use of Premises and associated clause 552.236-75. The use of premises requirement is a technical detail contained in the scope of work or specifications for a contract or task order. A regulatory clause is not warranted.

    ○ GSAR prescription 536.570-7, Measurements and associated clause 552.236-76. The measurements requirement is a technical detail contained in the scope of work or specifications for a contract or task order. A regulatory clause is not warranted.

    ○ GSAR prescription 536.570-10, Samples and associated clause 552.236-79. Samples are a type of submittal. Submittal requirements are contained in the scope of work or specification for a contract or task order. Submittals are also covered under FAR Subpart 42.3 and FAR clause 52.246-12. A regulatory clause is not warranted.

    ○ GSAR prescription 536.570-11, Heat and associated clause 552.236-80. The heat requirement is a technical detail contained in the scope of work or specifications for a contract or task order. A regulatory clause is not warranted.

    ○ GSAR prescription 536.570-14, Requirement for a Project Labor Agreement and associated clause 552.236-83. The GSAR language is out of date and conflicts with FAR subpart 22.5 and clause 52.222-33. The current FAR coverage does not require further agency implementation or supplementation.

    III. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

    IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    GSA does not expect this proposed rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., because the rule only deletes unnecessary sections and clauses and does not contain substantive changes. However, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) has been prepared and is summarized as follows:

    The proposed rule changes will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The rule changes do not place any new requirements on small entities. The section, provision and clause associated with project labor agreement is no longer a requirement based on E.O. 13202 and because E.O. 13502 was incorporated into FAR Subpart 22.5. The provisions and associated clauses for specialist, working hours, use of premises, measurements, samples, heat, and government use of equipment are considered technical requirements that are contained in the scope of work or specifications. The rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rules. No alternatives were determined that will accomplish the objectives of the rule.

    The Regulatory Secretariat has submitted a copy of the IRFA to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. A copy of the IRFA may be obtained from the Regulatory Secretariat. GSA invites comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities.

    GSA will also consider comments from small entities concerning the existing regulations in subparts affected by this rule in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., (GSAR Case 2015-G508), in correspondence.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 536 and 552

    Government procurement.

    Dated: July 23, 2015. Jeffrey A. Koses, Senior Procurement Executive, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.

    Therefore, GSA proposes to amend 48 CFR parts 536 and 552 as set forth below:

    1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 536 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 486(c).

    PART 536—CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS 2. Revise section 536.101 to read as follows:
    536.101 Applicability.

    This part supplements FAR part 36 policies and procedures applicable to contracting for construction and architect-engineer services. Contracts for construction management services are covered by FAR part 37 and GSAM part 537. Part 536 shall take precedence when the acquisition involves construction or architect-engineer services, and when the requirement is inconsistent with another part of the GSAR.

    536.271 [Removed and Reserved]
    3. Remove and reserve section 536.271.
    536.570-3 [Removed and Reserved]
    4. Remove and reserve section 536.570-3.
    536.570-5 through 536.570-7 [Removed and Reserved]
    5. Remove and reserve sections 536.570-5 through 536.570-7.
    536.570-10 and 536.570-11 [Removed and Reserved]
    6. Remove and reserve sections 536.570-10 and 536.570-11.
    536.570-14 [Removed]
    7. Remove section 536.570-14. Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c).

    PART 552—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 8. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 552 continues to read as follows:
    552.236-72 [Removed and Reserved]
    9. Remove and reserve section 552.236-72.
    552.236-74 through 552.236-76 [Removed and Reserved]
    10. Remove and reserve sections 552.236-74 through 552.236-76.
    552.236-79 and 552.236-80 [Removed and Reserved]
    11. Remove and reserve sections 552.236-79 and 552.236-80.
    552.236-83 [Removed]
    12. Remove section 552.236-83.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18595 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-61-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration 49 CFR Part 271 [Docket No. FRA-2009-0038] RIN 2130-AC11 Risk Reduction Program; Public Hearing and Reopening of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; notice of public hearing and reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    On February 27, 2015, FRA published a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require certain railroads to develop a Risk Reduction Program (RRP). FRA is announcing a public hearing to provide interested persons an opportunity to provide oral comments on the proposal. The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 requires the development and implementation of railroad safety risk reduction programs. Risk reduction is a comprehensive, system-oriented approach to safety that: (1) Determines an operation's level of risk by identifying and analyzing applicable hazards; and (2) involves the development of plans to mitigate that risk. Each RRP is statutorily required to be supported by a risk analysis and a Risk Reduction Program Plan (RRPP), which must include a Technology Implementation Plan and a Fatigue Management Plan. FRA is also reopening the comment period for this proceeding to allow time for interested parties to submit comments after the public hearing.

    DATES:

    A public hearing will be held on August 27, 2015, in Washington, DC and will commence at 9 a.m. The comment period for the proposed rule published on February 27, 2015 (80 FR 10950) is reopened. Comments must be received by September 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Public Hearing. The public hearing will be held at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel, 999 9th St. NW., Washington, DC 20001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Miriam Kloeppel, Staff Director, Risk Reduction Program Division, Office of Safety Analysis, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Mail Stop 25, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: 202-493-6224; email: [email protected]; or Elizabeth Gross, Trial Attorney, Office of Chief Counsel, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Mail Stop 10, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: 202-493-1342; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Interested parties are invited to present oral statements and to offer information and views at the hearing. The hearing will be informal and will be conducted by a representative FRA designates under FRA's Rules of Practice (49 CFR 211.25). The hearing will be a non-adversarial proceeding. Therefore, there will be no cross examination of persons presenting statements or offering evidence. An FRA representative will make an opening statement outlining the scope of the hearing. After all initial statements are completed, those persons wishing to make a brief rebuttal will be given the opportunity to do so in the same order in which the initial statements were made. FRA will announce additional procedures necessary to conduct of the hearing at the hearing. The purpose of this hearing is to receive oral comments in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that requested public comment on a potential risk reduction rulemaking. See 80 FR 10950, February 27, 2015. FRA will add a transcript of the discussions to the public docket in this proceeding.

    Public Participation Procedures. Any persons wishing to make a statement at the hearing should notify Miriam Kloeppel, Staff Director, Risk Reduction Program Division, by telephone, email, or in writing, at least five business days before the date of the hearing and submit three copies of the oral statement that he or she intends to make at the proceeding. The notification should identify the party the person represents, the particular subject(s) the person plans to address, and the time requested. The notification should also provide the participant's mailing address and other contact information. FRA reserves the right to limit participation in the hearing of persons who fail to provide such notification. FRA also reserves the right to limit the duration of presentations if necessary to afford all persons with the opportunity to speak. Ms. Kloeppel's contact information is as follows: Staff Director, Risk Reduction Program Division, Office of Safety Analysis, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone: 202-493-6224; email: [email protected]

    For information on facilities or services for persons with disabilities, or to request special assistance at the hearing, contact FRA Program Analyst, Kenton Kilgore; by telephone, email, or in writing; at least five business days before the date of the hearing. Mr. Kilgore's contact information is as follows: FRA, Office of Railroad Safety, Mail Stop 25, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; (202) 493-6286; [email protected]

    Reopening of Comment Period. A public hearing is scheduled after the close of the comment period specifically provided for in the notice of proposed rulemaking. To accommodate the public hearing and afford interested parties the opportunity to submit comments in response to views or information provided at the public hearing, FRA is reopening the comment period for the proposed rule published on February 27, 2015 (80 FR 10950), comments must be received by September 10, 2015.

    Issued in Washington, DC.

    Robert C. Lauby, Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety, Chief Safety Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18396 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-06-P
    80 146 Thursday, July 30, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Doc. No. AMS-FV-14-0104; FV-15-332] Notice of Request for New Information Collection AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for new information.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval, from the Office of Management and Budget, for NEW information collection for the Fruit and Vegetable Specialty Crops Inspection Division.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by September 28, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

    Additional Information or Comments: Contact ToiAyna Thompson, Management Support Staff, Specialty Crops Inspection Division, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 0247, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., telephone: (202) 720-0867 and FAX: (202) 690-3824; or Internet: http://www.regulations.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Upon approval of this collection we will submit a request to merge this collection into the 0581-0125 Regulations Governing Inspection Certification of Fresh & Processed Fruits, Vegetables & Other Products 7 CFR part 51 & 52, approved on 8/16/2013.

    Title: Specialty Crops Inspection Division Order Forms.

    OMB Number: 0581—NEW.

    Expiration Date of Approval: 3 years from approval.

    Type of Request: New Information Collection with intent to merge with 0581-0125.

    Abstract: The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1937, (7 U.S.C. 1621-1627) as amended authorizes the Agricultural Marketing Service, Specialty Crops Inspection Division to provide inspection and certification of the quality and condition of agricultural products. Specialty Crops Inspection Division provides a nationwide inspection, grading, and auditing service for fresh and processed fruits, vegetables and other products to shippers, importers, processors, sellers, buyers, and other financially interested parties on a “user fee” basis. The use of services is voluntary and is made available only upon request or when specified by some special program or contract. Information is needed to carry out the inspection, grading, or auditing services. Such information includes; the name and location of the person or company requesting services, the type and location of the product to be inspected, the type of inspection being requested, information that will identify the product or type and scope of audit requested. Upon approval AMS will request a merge for this NEW collection into the currently approved 0581-0125. Merging the Collections will enable the Division to more efficiently manage the collection and prevent duplication of burden.

    This is a request for approval and subsequent merger of FV-380 Order Form for USDA SCI Division Inspection Equipment and Miscellaneous Items, FV-387 SCI Alternate Payment Application, and FV-357 Notification of Entry to the information collection. These forms are authorized under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1621 et seq.) The FV-380 and FV-387 are used by the Federal, Federal/State partners, and members of the industry to order equipment and other miscellaneous items from SCI Division's supply depot. The FV-357 form is a notification of entry of imported products covered under Section 8e, of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. This notification of entry form addresses products such as fresh and processed fruits, vegetables, nuts, and specialty crops. It notes the port of entry and the type of inspection (quality and condition) required for the products.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 5 minutes per response.

    Respondents: Federal and State.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 49,892.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 49,892.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 4,156 hours.

    (1) Order Form for Equipment and Miscellaneous items (FV-380)

    Estimate of Burden: 5 minutes per response.

    Respondents: Federal and State.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 584.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 48.65 hours

    (2) Alternate Payment Application (FV-387):

    Estimate of Burden: 5 minutes per response.

    Respondents: Federal and State.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 708.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 58.98 hours.

    (3) Notification of Entry (FV-357):

    Estimate of Burden: 5 minutes per response.

    Respondents: Federal and State.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 48,600.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 4,048.38 hours.

    Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to ToiAyna Thompson, Management Support Staff, Specialty Crops Inspection Division, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 0247, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., telephone: (202) 720-0867 and FAX: (202) 690-3824; or Internet: http://www.regulations.gov. All comments received will be available for public inspection during regular business hours at the same address.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: July 27, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18701 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of the Secretary Notice of Request for an Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    Office of Advocacy and Outreach, USDA/1890 Programs.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), this notice announces the Office of Advocacy and Outreach, USDA/1890 Program's intention to request an extension for a currently approved information collection for the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by September 28, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Office of Advocacy and Outreach invites interested persons to submit comments on this notice. Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. This site provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on this Web page or attach a file for lengthier comments. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. Send all U.S. Postal Service Mail and courier delivered submissions to: Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Advocacy and Outreach, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 520-A, Whitten Building, Washington, DC 20250.

    Instructions: All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the Agency name, Office of Advocacy and Outreach. Comments received in response to this docket will be made available for public inspection and posted without change, including any personal information, to http://www.regulations.gov.

    Docket: For access to background documents or comments received, send to the Office of Advocacy and Outreach, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 520-A, Whitten Building, Washington, DC 20250 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Jordan, USDA/1890 National Scholar Program Coordinator, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 520-A, Whitten Building, Washington, DC 20250 or call (202) 205-4307 (O) or (202) 720-7136 (Fax).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: USDA/1890 National Scholars Program Application.

    OMB Number: 0503-0015.

    Expiration Date of Approval: August 31, 2015.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is a joint human capital initiative between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities. Through the 1890 Program, USDA offers scholarships to high school and college students who are seeking a bachelor's degree in the fields of agriculture, food, or natural resource sciences and related disciplines at 1890 Land-Grant Universities. In order for graduating high school students and current freshman and sophomores to be considered for the scholarship, a completed application is required. The first section of the high school application requests the applicant to include biographical information (i.e. name, address, age, etc.); educational background information (i.e. grade point average, test scores, name of university(ies), interested in attending, and desired major); and extracurricular activities. The second section of the application is completed by the student's guidance counselor and requests information pertaining to the student's academic status, grade point average, and test scores. The last section of the application, which is to be completed by a teacher, provides information that assesses the applicant's interests, habits, and potential. Two letters of recommendation must be submitted on behalf of the applicant. The letters may be from a Department Head, Dean of a College, or one of the University Vice Presidents or a College Professor for college-level applicants; and the Principal, Assistant Principal, Career Counselor, Guidance Counselor, or a Teacher for high school applicants. There are no sections included in the application that these individuals will need to complete.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response.

    Respondents: High School Students, Freshman, and Sophomore College Students, Teachers, and Guidance Counselors.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,400 (600 applications).

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 7,200 hours.

    Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to Mary Jordan, USDA/1890 National Scholars Program Coordinator, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 520-A, Whitten Building, Washington, DC 20250. All comments received will be available for public inspection during regular business hours at the same address. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Christian Obineme, Associate Director, Office of Advocacy and Outreach.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18118 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service [Docket No. FSIS-2015-0023] Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are sponsoring a public meeting on September 24, 2015. The objective of the public meeting is to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft United States (U.S.) positions to be discussed at the 34th Session of the Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products (CCFFP) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), taking place in Ålesund, Norway from October 19-24, 2015. The Under Secretary for Food Safety, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Food and Drug Administration recognizes the importance of providing interested parties the opportunity to obtain background information on the 34th Session of CCFFP and to address items on the agenda.

    DATES:

    The public meeting is scheduled for September 24, 2015, from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will take place at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), Harvey Wiley Building, Room 1A-002, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740. Documents related to the 34th Session of CCFFP will be accessible via the Internet at the following address: http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en/.

    Dr. William Jones, U.S. Delegate to the 34th Session of CCFFP, invites U.S. interested parties to submit their comments electronically to the following email address: [email protected]

    Call In Number: If you wish to participate in the public meeting for the 34th Session of the CCFFP, by conference call, Please use the call in number listed below:

    Call in Number: 301-796-7777 or Toll Free: 855-828-1770, Participant Meeting ID: 17359750#, Participant Password: 4021401#

    Registration: Attendees may register to attend the public meeting by emailing [email protected] by September 21, 2015. Early registration is encouraged because it will expedite entry into the building. The meeting will be held in a Federal building. Attendees should also bring photo identification and plan for adequate time to pass through security screening systems. Attendees who are not able to attend the meeting in person, but who wish to participate, may do so by phone.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For Further Information About the 34th Session of CCFFP Contact: Dr. William Jones, Director, Division of Seafood Safety, Office of Food Safety,(HFS-325) U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD, 20740, Phone: (240) 402-2300, Fax: (301) 436-2601, Email: [email protected]

    For Further Information About the Public Meeting Contact: Paulo Almeida, U.S. Codex Office, 1400 Independence Avenue, Room 4861, Washington, DC 20250. Phone: (202) 205-7760, Fax: (202) 720-3157, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Codex Alimentarius (Codex) was established in 1963 by two United Nations organizations, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Through adoption of food standards, codes of practice, and other guidelines developed by its committees, and by promoting their adoption and implementation by governments, Codex seeks to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade.

    The CCFFP is responsible for elaborating worldwide standards for fresh, frozen (including quick frozen) or otherwise processed fish, crustaceans and molluscs.

    The Committee is hosted by Norway.

    Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting

    The following items on the agenda for the 34th Session of CCFFP will be discussed during the public meeting:

    • Matters Referred to the Committee by the Codex Alimentarius Commission and other Codex Committees

    • Matters arising from the Work of FAO and WHO

    • Draft Code of Practice for Processing of Fish Sauce

    • Proposed Draft Code of Practice on the Processing of Fresh and Quick-Frozen Raw Scallop Products

    • Proposed Draft Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products (section on sturgeon caviar)

    • Proposed Food Additive Provisions in Standards for Fish and Fishery Products

    • Discussion Paper on Nitrogen Factors (amendments to section 7.4 of the Standard for Quick Frozen Fish Sticks (Fish Fingers), Fish Portions and Fish Fillets-Breaded or in Batter (Codex STAN 166-1989)

    • Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products (optional final product requirements for commodities/appendix on MAP)

    • Discussion Paper on Histamine

    • Other Business and Future Work

    (a) New Work Proposal on a standard for Fresh Chilled Pirarucu Fillet or whole Fish

    (b) Discussion Paper on the future of the Committee

    Each issue listed will be fully described in documents distributed, or to be distributed, by the Secretariat prior to the Meeting. Members of the public may access or request copies of these documents (see ADDRESSES).

    Public Meeting

    At the September 24, 2015, public meeting, draft U.S. positions on the agenda items will be described and discussed, and attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions and offer comments. Written comments may be offered at the meeting or sent to the U.S. Delegate for the 34th Session of CCFFP, Dr. William Jones (see ADDRESSES). Written comments should state that they relate to activities of the 34th Session of CCFFP.

    Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS Web page located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register .

    FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The Update is available on the FSIS Web page. Through the Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password protect their accounts.

    USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA.

    How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative.

    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email:

    Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410.

    Fax: (202) 690-7442.

    Email Email: [email protected]

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Done at Washington, DC, on July 24, 2015. Mary Frances Lowe, U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18629 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of solicitation of applications (NOSA).

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces that it is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2015 for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee program (the Broadband Program). RUS has published on its Web site http://www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/notices-solicitation-applications-nosas the amount of funding received through the final appropriations act.

    In addition to announcing the application window, RUS announces the minimum and maximum amounts for broadband loans for FY 2015. Moreover, the Agency is concurrently publishing a proposed interim final rule that will revise the current Broadband Program regulations at 7 CFR part 1738, as necessitated by Pubic Law 113-79, the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill).

    DATES:

    Applications under this NOSA will be accepted immediately, July 30, 2015 through September 30, 2015, subject to the requirements of the interim regulation published concurrently with this NOSA.

    ADDRESSES:

    Applications should be submitted to the RUS General Field Representative or to U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, Loan Originations and Approval Division, ATTN: Shawn Arner, STOP 1597, Room 2808-S, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-1597, as provided in the application guide found online at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/farm-bill-broadband-loans-loan-guarantees.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information contact Shawn Arner, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Loan Originations and Approval Division, Rural Utilities Service, STOP 1597, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-1597, Telephone (202) 720-0800.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: General Information

    The Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program (the Broadband Program) is authorized by the Rural Electrification Act (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.), as amended by the 2014 Farm Bill.

    During FY 2015, loans will be made available for the construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment to provide service at the broadband lending speed for eligible rural areas. Applications must be submitted in accordance with the interim final rule published concurrently with this NOSA.

    To assist in the preparation of applications, the application guide is available online at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/farm-bill-broadband-loans-loan-guarantees. Application guides may also be requested from RUS by contacting the agency contact.

    Application requirements and Addresses: All requirements and addresses for submission of an application under the Broadband Program will be set forth in the interim regulation published concurrently with this NOSA.

    Application Materials: Applications for the Broadband Program will be available at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/farm-bill-broadband-loans-loan-guarantees.

    Minimum and Maximum Loan Amounts

    Loans under this authority will not be made for less than $100,000. The maximum loan amount that will be considered for FY 2015 is $20,000,000.

    Required Definitions for Broadband Program Regulation

    The interim regulation for the Broadband Program requires that certain definitions affecting eligibility be revised and published from time to time by the agency in the Federal Register. For the purposes of this interim regulation, the agency shall use the following definitions: Broadband Service and Broadband Lending Speed. Until otherwise revised in the Federal Register, for applications in FY 2015, to qualify as broadband service, the minimum rate-of-data transmission shall be four megabits downstream and one megabit upstream for both fixed and mobile broadband service and the broadband lending speed will be a minimum bandwidth of ten megabits downstream and one megabit upstream for both fixed and mobile service to the customer.

    Priority for Approving Loan Applications

    Applications for FY 2015 will be accepted from July 30, 2015 through September 30, 2015. Although review of applications will start when they are submitted, all applications submitted by September 30, 2015 will be evaluated and ranked on the basis of the number of unserved households in the proposed funded service area. Subject to available funding, eligible applications that propose to serve the most unserved households will receive funding offers before other eligible applications that have been submitted.

    Applications will not be accepted after September 30, 2015, until a new funding window has been opened with the publication of an additional NOSA in the Federal Register.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the information collection requirements associated with Broadband loans, as covered in this NOSA, have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0572-0130.

    Dated: July 8, 2015. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18623 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

    Title: Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs.

    OMB Control Number: None.

    Form Number(s): The online survey instrument does not have a form number.

    Type of Request: New collection.

    Number of Respondents: 290,000.

    Average Hours per Response: 35 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 169,167.

    Needs and Uses: In an effort to improve the timely measurement of business dynamics in the United States, the U.S. Census Bureau plans to conduct a new annual survey focused on employer businesses. The new survey will be known as the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs (ASE) and will collect information on characteristics of businesses and business owners. The survey was going to be called the Annual Survey of Business Owners, but that name was changed to fit the survey's focus on assessing entrepreneurial business practices and demographics. The ASE will be a supplement to the Survey of Business Owners and Self-Employed Persons (SBO), which provides economic and demographic characteristics for businesses and business owners by gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status every 5 years. The ASE is an intercensal program. The ASE will help assess the health of the economy and provide detailed statistics on businesses and business owners more frequently. The ASE is a joint effort funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), and the Census Bureau. On behalf of the Secretary of Commerce, pursuant to section 1(a)(3) of Executive Order 11625, the MBDA may enter into this agreement with the Census Bureau to establish a means for the development, collection, summation, and dissemination of information that will be helpful to persons and organizations throughout the nation in undertaking or promoting the establishment and successful operation of minority business enterprises. The Census Bureau will collaborate with the Kauffman Foundation, the MBDA, and other agencies to ensure the ASE is as robust and effective as possible.

    The Census Bureau will collect data starting with the 2014 reference year, with corresponding estimates released in 2016. Estimates will include number of firms, sales/receipts, annual payroll, and employment by gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status. The ASE includes questions from the 2012 SBO long form SBO-1 with additional questions to collect data on entrepreneurs' access to capital. The ASE will introduce a new module each year focusing on an important component related to business growth. Proposed module topics include innovation, research and development, technological advances, Internet usage, management and business practices, exporting practices, and globalization. The 2014 ASE module covers innovation and research and development. The survey will be a sample of 290,000 employer businesses stratified by metropolitan statistical area (MSA), state, frame, and age of business. By oversampling young businesses, this survey will help assess the impact young firms have on the growth of the economy. Additionally, the survey will implement a longitudinal component that will allow the growth of the firms in the sample to be tracked and analyzed over time.

    This collection will allow the Census Bureau to collaborate on the implementation of a key National Academies recommendation for improving the measurement of business dynamics in the U.S. economy, which recommended:

    “The Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners (SBO) should be conducted on an annual basis. The survey should include both a longitudinal component and a flexible, modular design that allows survey content to change over time. In addition, the Census Bureau should explore the possibility of creating a public-use (anonymized) SBO or a restricted access version of the data file.”

    Lisa M. Lynch, John Haltiwanger, and Christopher Mackie, eds. Understanding Business Dynamics: An Integrated Data System for America's Future. National Academies Press, 2007.

    The additional sources of capital and financing questions will provide information on the financial trends and financial challenges faced by entrepreneurs. Tabulation of the financing questions will offer insight into the type of funding acquired and used by women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses. The 2014 ASE module will allow for a better understanding of the innovation and research and development activities conducted by entrepreneurs. Additionally, it will allow for an assessment on the competitiveness of businesses by ownership characteristics. The longitudinal component will help track and assess the growth of firms in the sample over time. This will also allow for research into the changes to the characteristics of businesses over time.

    Under Title 13, United States Code, Section 182, the Secretary of Commerce has deemed it necessary to conduct an annual survey on characteristics of businesses and business owners. The ASE augments the quinquennial SBO collected and disseminated under Title 13, United States Code, Section 131.

    Government program officials, industry organization leaders, economic and social analysts and researchers, and business entrepreneurs are anticipated users of ASE statistics. Examples of data use include:

    • The Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to assess business assistance needs and allocate available program resources.

    • Local government commissions on small and disadvantaged businesses to establish and evaluate contract procurement practices.

    • Federal, state and local government agencies as a framework for planning, directing and assessing programs that promote the activities of disadvantaged groups.

    • The National Women's Business Council to assess the state of women's business ownership for policymakers, researchers, and the public at large.

    • Consultants and researchers to analyze long-term economic and demographic shifts, and differences in ownership and performance among geographic areas.

    • Individual business owners to analyze their operations in comparison to similar firms, compute their market share, and assess their growth and future prospects.

    • Researchers and businesses to understand the innovation and research and development activities conducted by entrepreneurs.

    • Federal agencies to assess the competitiveness of businesses by ownership characteristics.

    • Data users to understand time-series data in certain industries for entrepreneurs.

    • Business owners or perspective business owners to gain knowledge about the funding of businesses.

    Businesses which reported any business activity on any one of the following Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax forms will be eligible for survey selection: 1040 (Schedule C), “Profit or Loss from Business” (Sole Proprietorship); 1065, “U.S. Return of Partnership Income”; 941, “Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return”; 944 “Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return”; or any one of the 1120 corporate tax forms. Current plans will only request responses from businesses filing the 941, 944, or 1120 tax forms. Estimates for businesses filing the 1040 or 1065 tax returns will be created using statistical modeling of administrative data and will only provide data by gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status by geography, industry, and size of firm.

    The 2014 ASE collection is electronic only. An initial letter that informs the respondents of their requirement to complete the survey and provides survey access instructions will be mailed from the Census Bureau's processing headquarters in Jeffersonville, Indiana. There will be 290,000 letters mailed to employer businesses that were in business during 2014. Initial mailout will occur in September 2015, with a due date of November 4, 2015. There will be two follow-up letter mailings to nonrespondents after the due date. Closeout of mail operations is scheduled for January 2016. Upon the close of the collection period, the response data will be processed, edited, reviewed, tabulated, and released publically.

    The survey will collect data on the gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status for up to four persons owning the majority of rights, equity, or interest in the business. These data are needed to evaluate the extent and growth of business ownership by women, minorities, and veterans in order to provide a framework for assessing and directing federal, state, and local government programs designed to promote the activities of disadvantaged groups.

    The SBA and the MBDA will use the data to allocate resources for their business assistance programs.

    The data will also be widely used by private firms and individuals to evaluate their own businesses and markets. Additionally, the data will be used by entrepreneurs to write business plans and loan application letters, by the media for news stories, by researchers and academia for determining firm characteristics, and by the legal profession in evaluating the concentration of minority businesses in particular industries and/or geographic areas.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C., Sections 8(b), 131, and 182; and Executive Order 11625, Section 1(a)(3).

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: July 27, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18667 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-18-2015] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 202—Los Angeles, California; Authorization of Production Activity; syncreon Logistics (USA), LLC; (Camera and Accessories Kitting) Torrance, California

    On March 27, 2015, syncreon Logistics (USA), LLC (syncreon) submitted a notification of proposed production activity, on behalf of GoPro, Inc., to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board for its facility within FTZ 202—Site 43, in Torrance, California.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (80 FR 18807, 04-08-2015). The FTZ Board has determined that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification is authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.14.

    Dated: July 24, 2015. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18729 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-20-2015] Authorization of Production Activity, Foreign-Trade Zone 50, Mercedes Benz USA, LLC (Accessorizing Passenger Motor Vehicles), Long Beach, California

    On March 24, 2015, the Port of Long Beach, grantee of FTZ 50, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board on behalf of Mercedes Benz USA, LLC, within FTZ 50, in Long Beach, California.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (80 FR 19958, 4-14-2015). The FTZ Board has determined that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification is authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the FTZ Board's regulations, including Section 400.14.

    Dated: July 24, 2015. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18728 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-588-804] Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof From Japan: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2008-2009 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On July 14, 2015, the United States Court of International Trade (CIT) issued final judgment in NTN Bearing Corporation of America v. United States, Court No. 10-00286, Slip Op. 15-76 (CIT July 14, 2015), affirming the Department of Commerce's (the Department) amended final results of redetermination pursuant to remand.1

    1See Amended Final Results of Remand Redetermination pursuant to NTN Bearing Corporation of America v. United States, Court No. 10-00286, Slip Op. 15-12 (CIT February 3, 2015), dated May 6, 2015, and filed with the CIT on May 7, 2015 (Amended Final Remand).

    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 final judgment in this case is not in harmony with the Department's final results of the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on ball bearings and parts thereof from Japan covering the period May 1, 2008 through April 30, 2009.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: July 24, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas Schauer, AD/CVD Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0410.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On September 1, 2010, the Department published AFBs 20. 2 NTN Corporation (NTN) and other parties appealed AFBs 20 to the CIT. On February 3, 2015, the CIT remanded AFBs 20 and ordered the Department to revise its calculation of NTN's U.S. credit expenses to use the correct variable and recalculate the weighted-average dumping margin for NTN.3 On May 4, 2015, the Department filed its final results of redetermination pursuant to remand in accordance with the CIT's order,4 but on the same day the Department sought leave to file an amended remand redetermination, noting that The Timken Company had commented on the draft remand redetermination.5 The CIT granted the Department's leave request on May 5, 2015.6 On May 7 2015, the Department filed its amended final results of redetermination.7 The changes to the Department's calculations with respect to NTN did not result in a change in the weighted-average dumping margin.8 The CIT affirmed the Department's Amended Final Remand on July 14, 2015, and entered judgment.9

    2See Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof From France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Reviews, Final Results of Changed-Circumstances Review, and Revocation of an Order in Part, 75 FR 53661 (September 1, 2010) (AFBs 20).

    3See NTN Bearing Corporation of America v. United States, Court No. 10-00286, Slip Op. 15-12 (CIT February 3, 2015) at 21.

    4See Final Results of Remand Redetermination pursuant to NTN Bearing Corporation of America v. United States, Court No. 10-00286, Slip Op. 15-12 (CIT February 3, 2015), dated April 13, 2015, and filed with the CIT on May 4, 2015.

    5See NTN Bearing Corporation of America v. United States, Court No. 10-00286, Slip Op. 15-76 (CIT July 14, 2015) (NTN Bearing II) at 1 n.1.

    6Id.

    7See Amended Final Remand.

    8Id.

    9See NTN Bearing II.

    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 14, 2015, judgment affirming the Amended Final Remand constitutes a final decision of the CIT that is not in harmony with AFBs 20. This notice is published in fulfillment of the publication requirements of Timken.

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    The Department will continue the suspension of liquidation of the subject merchandise pending the expiration of the period of appeal or, if appealed, pending a final and conclusive court decision. In the event the CIT's ruling is not appealed, or if appealed and upheld by the CAFC, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties on appropriate entries of the subject merchandise using the rate calculated by the Department in AFBs 20.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    Because we revoked the antidumping duty order on ball bearings and parts thereof from Japan, effective September 15, 2011, no cash deposits for estimated antidumping duties on future entries of subject merchandise will be required.10

    10See Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof From Japan and the United Kingdom: Final Results of Sunset Reviews and Revocation of Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 16771 (March 26, 2014).

    Notification to Interested Parties

    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 24, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18732 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Community Resilience Panel AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before September 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Nancy McNabb, Community Resilience Program, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive MS8615, 301-975-3777 or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    The Community Resilience Panel for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems (Panel) is an organization that will engage a diverse group of stakeholders around goals and actions needed to achieve community resilience and to derive benefits from improved buildings and infrastructure.

    The mission of the Panel is to promote collaboration among stakeholders who strive to strengthen the resilience of buildings, infrastructure, and social systems upon which communities rely. The Panel will consider the adequacy of standards, guidelines, best practices, and recommend, develop, and work with others to make improvements in community resilience.

    The Panel will provide an open process for stakeholders to participate in the ongoing development, coordination and harmonization of community resilience guidance. The Panel will also evaluate existing metrics and standards to determine where improvements can be made to enhance resilience. Members will review case studies, recommend practices, coordinate, accelerate, and propose action plans for achieving community resilience goals.

    The Panel will be managed and guided by the Community Resilience Panel Coordinating Committee (CRPCC) that approves and prioritizes work and arranges for the resources necessary to carry out its planned activities. The CRPCC's responsibilities include facilitating dialogue with standards development organizations and communities to ensure that proposed plans will be implemented.

    A NIST contractor will serve as the Panel Administrator to review Panel documents and products approved by the CRPCC, add their own technical expertise to these deliverables prior to review by NIST, report on progress by managing the Panel's activities and ensure that all Panel work products are publicly available in the online Resilience Knowledge Base.

    The Panel and CRPCC will constitute an open organization dedicated to balancing the needs of a variety of resilience related organizations. Any organization may become a member of the Panel. Members are required to declare an affiliation with an identified Stakeholder Category. Stakeholder members may contribute multiple Member Representatives, but only one voting Member Representative. Members must participate regularly in order to vote on the work products of the Panel.

    The Panel membership form asks the applicant to provide his/her name, title, address, telephone, email address, organization, education, relevant work experience, standards developing experience, professional associations, stakeholder and standing committee areas of interest, as well as other relevant experience and areas of interest. The information provided by the applicants will be used to organize the Panel and select leaders who will use their expertise and experience in a consensus process that will achieve the goals and actions set forth in the Panel Charter and ByLaws.

    The Panel is established under a contract to support NIST in its role under the NIST authorities set forth in 15 U.S.C. 272(b)(10), (c)(12) and (c)(15) and to fulfill NIST's responsibilities described in the President's Climate Action Plan of 2013. The Panel will identify, describe, and prioritize guidance for comprehensive community resilience planning across the United States,

    II. Method of Collection

    The Panel Administrator will launch a call for candidates for Panel members. Interested parties are encouraged to submit an application for membership electronically (Internet). Applications will also be accepted in paper format or by email.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0693-XXXX.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission, new information collection.

    Affected Public: Organizations and individuals associated with the following stakeholder groups: Businesses and Industry, Building Construction and Safety, Community Planning, Community Social Institutions, Communication, Energy, Transportation and Water/Wastewater Systems, Facility Operations and Maintenance, Federal, Tribal, Regional, State and Local Governments, Insurance/Reinsurance, Relief Services, Standards Development and Vulnerable Populations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 200.

    Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 50.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: July 27, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18658 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE059 Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting (workshop).

    SUMMARY:

    The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council), in collaboration with NMFS and NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC), will convene a scientific workshop to consider the distribution of the northern subpopulation of Pacific sardine. The workshop is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The workshop will take place August 17-19, 2015. Meeting times are Monday, August 17, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, August 18, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Wednesday, August 19, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon or until business for the workshop is complete.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the SWFSC Pacific Conference Room, 8901 La Jolla Shores Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kerry Griffin, Staff Officer; telephone: (503) 820-2409.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the workshop is to consider scientific information, data, and potential alternative means for establishing the Distribution value used in the Pacific sardine harvest control rule (HCR). The workshop is not intended as a review of other aspects of the HCR, Pacific sardine harvest management, or policy. The current Distribution value of 0.87 is intended to account for the fact that some portion of the U.S. sardine stock is present and subject to harvest outside U.S. waters. It is intended as a long-term average, recognizing that the distribution is variable because the sardine stock migrates seasonally and interannually.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Dale Sweetnam, (858) 546-7170, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: July 27, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18663 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION [Docket No. CPSC-2012-0030] Proposed Extension of Approval of Information Collection; Comment Request—Testing and Recordkeeping Requirements for Carpets and Rugs AGENCY:

    Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC” or “Commission”) requests comments on a proposed extension of approval of information collection requirements for manufacturers and importers of carpets and rugs under the Standard for the Surface Flammability of Carpets and Rugs (16 CFR part 1630) and the Standard for the Surface Flammability of Small Carpets and Rugs (16 CFR part 1631). The Commission will consider all comments received in response to this notice before requesting an extension of this collection of information from the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”).

    DATES:

    The Office of the Secretary must receive comments not later than September 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CPSC-2012-0030, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit electronic comments to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. The Commission does not accept comments submitted by electronic mail (email), except through www.regulations.gov. The Commission encourages you to submit electronic comments by using the Federal eRulemaking Portal, as described above.

    Written Submissions: Submit written submissions by mail/hand delivery/courier to: Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone (301) 504-7923.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this notice. All comments received may be posted without change, including any personal identifiers, contact information, or other personal information provided, to: http://www.regulations.gov. Do not submit confidential business information, trade secret information, or other sensitive or protected information that you do not want to be available to the public. If furnished at all, such information should be submitted in writing.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to: http://www.regulations.gov, and insert the docket number CPSC-2012-0030, into the “Search” box, and follow the prompts.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert H. Squibb, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; (301) 504-7815, or by email to: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    CPSC seeks to renew the following currently approved collection of information:

    Title: Safety Standard for the Flammability of Carpets and Rugs and Standard for the Flammability of Small Carpets and Rugs.

    OMB Number: 3041-0017.

    Type of Review: Renewal of collection.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: Manufacturers and importers of carpets and rugs.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 120 firms issue guarantees of compliance under the carpet and rug flammability standards. The actual number of tests performed to affirm the guarantees of compliance may vary from one to 200, depending on the number of carpet styles and annual production volume. To estimate a burden, a midpoint of 100 tests per year per firm is used.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2.5 hours to conduct each test, and to establish and maintain test records.

    Total Estimated Annual Burden: 30,000 hours (120 firms × 100 tests × 2.5 hours).

    General Description of Collection: The Standard for the Surface Flammability of Carpets and Rugs (16 CFR part 1630) and the Standard for the Surface Flammability of Small Carpets and Rugs (16 CFR part 1631) establish requirements for testing and recordkeeping for manufacturers and importers who furnish guaranties subject to the carpet flammability standards.

    Request for Comments

    The Commission solicits written comments from all interested persons about the proposed collection of information. The Commission specifically solicits information relevant to the following topics:

    —Whether the collection of information described above is necessary for the proper performance of the Commission's functions, including whether the information would have practical utility; —Whether the estimated burden of the proposed collection of information is accurate; —Whether the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected could be enhanced; and —Whether the burden imposed by the collection of information could be minimized by use of automated, electronic or other technological collection techniques, or other forms of information technology. Dated: July 27, 2015. Todd A. Stevenson, Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18654 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION [Docket No. CPSC-2012-0024] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Notification Requirements for Coal and Wood Burning Appliances AGENCY:

    Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC” or “Commission”) requests comments on a proposed extension of approval of a collection of information for notification requirements for coal and wood burning appliances. The Commission will consider all comments received in response to this notice before requesting an extension of this collection of information from the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”).

    DATES:

    Submit written or electronic comments on the collection of information by September 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CPSC-2012-0024, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit electronic comments to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. The Commission does not accept comments submitted by electronic mail (email), except through www.regulations.gov. The Commission encourages you to submit electronic comments by using the Federal eRulemaking Portal, as described above.

    Written Submissions: Submit written submissions by mail/hand delivery/courier to: Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone (301) 504-7923.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this notice. All comments received may be posted without change, including any personal identifiers, contact information, or other personal information provided, to: http://www.regulations.gov. Do not submit confidential business information, trade secret information, or other sensitive or protected information that you do not want to be available to the public. If furnished at all, such information should be submitted in writing.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to: http://www.regulations.gov, and insert the docket number CPSC-2012-0024, into the “Search” box, and follow the prompts.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert H. Squibb, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; (301) 504-7815, or by email to: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    CPSC seeks to renew the following currently approved collection of information:

    Title: Notification Requirements for Coal and Wood Burning Appliances.

    OMB Number: 3041-0040.

    Type of Review: Renewal of collection.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: Manufacturers and importers of coal and wood burning appliances.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: An estimated five submissions annually.

    Estimated Time per Response: Three hours per submission.

    Total Estimated Annual Burden: 15 hours (5 submissions × 3 hours).

    General Description of Collection: 16 CFR part 1406, Coal and Wood Burning Appliances—Notification of Performance and Technical Data requires that manufacturers and importers provide consumers with written notification regarding certain technical and performance information related to safety on each coal and wood burning appliance. Manufacturers are also required to provide to the Commission a copy of the notification to consumers and an explanation of all clearance distances contained in the notification. For existing models, all known manufacturers have complied with the requirements. Accordingly, there is no new burden associated with the requirements of 16 CFR part 1406, except in cases where existing models are changed or new models are introduced. Less than five submissions are estimated annually as a result of new stove models coming into the market or new firms entering the market.

    Request for Comments

    The Commission solicits written comments from all interested persons about the proposed collection of information. The Commission specifically solicits information relevant to the following topics:

    —Whether the collection of information described above is necessary for the proper performance of the Commission's functions, including whether the information would have practical utility; —Whether the estimated burden of the proposed collection of information is accurate; —Whether the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected could be enhanced; and —Whether the burden imposed by the collection of information could be minimized by use of automated, electronic or other technological collection techniques, or other forms of information technology. Dated: July 27, 2015. Todd A. Stevenson, Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18653 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2015-OS-0074] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Defense Logistics Agency, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Defense Logistics Agency announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by September 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Audit Matters Office, 9010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-9010.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to Attn: David Henry, DTS-PMO Suite 09F09-02, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22350

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; And OMB Number: Defense Travel System Web Portal; OMB Control Number 0704-XXXX.

    Needs and Uses: DTS (Defense Travel System) is a paperless system that provides DOD authorized users/travelers with automated travel planning and reimbursement capabilities. There are 2 groups of public travelers associated with DOD that DTS collects privacy information in order to book travel through the system.

    1. Family members of DOD employees (Military and Civilian)

    2. Invitational traveler. Persons invited by DOD who are not federal employees, contractors or foreign military personnel.

    The following informations are collected from family members of DOD Employees (Military and Civilian):

    • Family members first, middle and last name • Family members relationship to the sponsor • Family members passport number and expiration date • Family members date of birth

    The following informations are collected from DOD Invitational Traveler.

    • Invitational traveler's first name, middle initial and last name • Invitational traveler's gender • Invitational traveler's Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number (foreign national only) • Invitational traveler's address

    The system used to collect the data contains Privacy Act Statements as required by 5 U.S.C. 522a(e)(3). Only authorized personnel with “need to know” can access an individual's PII information.

    Affected Public: Family members of DOD military and civilian employees and eligible persons invited by DOD who are not federal employees, contractors or foreign military personnel.

    Annual Burden Hours: 734,597 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 4,407,584.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Average Burden per Response: 10 minutes.

    Frequency: As Needed.

    The Defense Travel System (DTS) is a fully integrated, automated, end-to-end travel management system that enables DOD travelers to create authorizations and reservations, receive approvals, generate travel vouchers, and receive a split disbursement between their bank account and the Government Travel Charge Card. The traveler can access DTS via a single web portal available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Only DOD military and civilian employees are issued DTS user account. Dependent family members travel arrangements are booked under the sponsorship of DTS user account holder. Invitational travelers are booked under the sponsorship of the requesting DOD organization or agency. Only necessary privacy information specified above are collected in order to complete travel booking through DTS.

    Dated: July 24, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18643 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0098] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Federal Perkins/NDSL Loan Assignment Form AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before September 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://wwww.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2015-ICCD-0098. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E103, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Beth Grebeldinger, 202-377-4018.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Federal Perkins/NDSL Loan Assignment Form.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0048.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Private Sector, State, Local and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 15,096.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 7,548.

    Abstract: Institutions participating in the Federal Perkins Loan program use the assignment form to assign loans to the Department for collection without recompense, transferring the authority to collect on the loan. This request is for continuing approval off the paper based assignment form and for approval of the electronic process being finalized. The same information is being requested in both processing methods. The electronic process will allow for batch processing as well as individual processing.

    Dated: July 27, 2015. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18709 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center—Youth With Disabilities AGENCY:

    Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information

    Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center—Youth with Disabilities.

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.264H.

    DATES:

    Applications Available: July 30, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 31, 2015.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) makes grants to States and public or nonprofit agencies and organizations (including institutions of higher education (IHEs)) to support projects that provide training, traineeships, and technical assistance (TA) designed to increase the numbers of, and improve the skills of, qualified personnel, especially rehabilitation counselors, who are trained to: Provide vocational, medical, social, and psychological rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities; assist individuals with communication and related disorders; and provide other services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act.

    Priority: This notice includes one absolute priority. This priority is from the notice of final priority (NFP) for this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

    Absolute Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.

    This priority is:

    Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center—Youth With Disabilities.

    Note:

    The full text of this priority is included in the notice of final priority for this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, and in the application package for this competition.

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 772(a)(1).

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) 34 CFR part 385. (e) The NFP.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply only to IHEs.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grant.

    Estimated Available Funds: $1,500,000.

    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $1,500,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 1.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

    Continuing the Fourth and Fifth Years of the Project: In deciding whether to continue funding the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center—Youth with Disabilities for the fourth and fifth years, the Department, as part of the review of the application narrative and annual performance reports will consider the degree to which the program demonstrates substantial progress toward—

    (a) Assisting State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies to identify and meet the VR needs of students and youth with disabilities consistent with section 101(a)(15) of the Rehabilitation Act;

    (b) Improving the ability of State VR agencies to develop partnerships with State and local agencies, service providers, or other entities to ensure that students and youth with disabilities are referred for VR services and have access to coordinated supports, services, training, and employment opportunities, including: (1) Increasing the number of referrals and applications received by State VR agencies from agencies, service providers and others serving students and youth with disabilities; and (2) increasing the number of students and youth with disabilities receiving VR services;

    (c) Improving the ability of VR personnel to develop individualized plans for employment that ensure the successful transition of students and youth with disabilities and the achievement of post-school goals; and

    (d) Increasing the number of students and youth with disabilities served by VR agencies (particularly dropouts and youth involved in the correctional and foster care systems) who are engaged in education and training programs leading to the attainment of postsecondary educational skills and credentials needed for employment in high-demand occupations.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: States and public or nonprofit agencies and organizations, including Indian tribes and IHEs.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing of at least 10 percent of the total cost of the project is required of grantees under the Rehabilitation Training Program. Any program income that may be incurred during the period of performance may only be directed towards advancing activities in the approved grant application and may not be used towards the 10 percent match requirement. The Secretary may waive part of the non-Federal share of the cost of the project after negotiations if the applicant demonstrates that it does not have sufficient resources to contribute the entire match (34 CFR 386.30).

    Note:

    Under 34 CFR 75.562(c), an indirect cost reimbursement on a training grant is limited to the recipient's actual indirect costs, as determined by its negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, or eight percent of a modified total direct cost base, whichever amount is less. Indirect costs in excess of the limit may not be charged directly, used to satisfy matching or cost-sharing requirements, or charged to another Federal award.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet, from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs), or from the program office.

    To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html.

    To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: [email protected]

    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.264H.

    To obtain a copy from the program office, contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of this notice.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the person or team listed under Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.

    2.a. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition.

    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. Because of the limited time available to review applications and make a recommendation for funding, we strongly encourage applicants to limit the application narrative to no more than 50 pages, using the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.

    • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

    In addition to the page-limit guidance on the application narrative section, we recommend that you adhere to the following page limits, using the standards listed above: (1) The abstract should be no more than one page, (2) the resumes of key personnel should be no more than two pages per person, and (3) the bibliography should be no more than three pages. The only optional materials that will be accepted are letters of support. Please note that our reviewers are not required to read optional materials.

    Please note that any funded applicant's application abstract will be made available to the public.

    b. Submission of Proprietary Information:

    Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for the Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center—Youth with Disabilities competition, an application may include business information that the applicant considers proprietary. The Department's regulations define “business information” in 34 CFR 5.11.

    Because we plan to make the abstract of the successful application available to the public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business information.

    Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your application any information that you feel is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under “Other Attachments Form,” please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: July 30, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 31, 2015.

    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV.7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. However, under 34 CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental review in order to make an award by the end of FY 2015.

    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:

    Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications

    Applications for grants under the Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center—Youth with Disabilities, CFDA number 84.264H, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    You may access the electronic grant application for the Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center—Youth with Disabilities competition at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.264, not 84.264H).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

    Note:

    The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system;

    and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Tara Jordan, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5040, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2800. FAX: (202) 245-7592.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.264H), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.264H), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

    If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed in the application package.

    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    3. Special Conditions: Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    4. Performance Measures: The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) directs Federal departments and agencies to improve the effectiveness of programs by engaging in strategic planning, setting outcome-related goals for programs, and measuring program results against those goals.

    The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement to establish a Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center—Youth with Disabilities to achieve, at a minimum, the following outcomes:

    (a) Assist State VR agencies to identify and meet the VR needs of students and youth with disabilities consistent with section 101(a)(15) of the Rehabilitation Act;

    (b) Improve the ability of State VR agencies to develop partnerships with State and local agencies, service providers, or other entities to ensure that students and youth with disabilities are referred for VR services and have access to coordinated supports, services, training, and employment opportunities, including: (1) Increasing the number of referrals and applications received by State VR agencies from agencies, service providers and others serving students and youth with disabilities; and (2) increasing the number of students and youth with disabilities receiving VR services;

    (c) Improve the ability of VR personnel to develop individualized plans for employment that ensure the successful transition of students and youth with disabilities and the achievement of post-school goals; and

    (d) Increase the number of students and youth with disabilities served by VR agencies, particularly dropouts and youth involved in the correctional and foster care systems, who are engaged in education and training programs leading to the attainment of postsecondary educational skills and credentials needed for employment in high-demand occupations.

    The Cooperative Agreement will specify the short-term and long-term measures that will be used to assess the grantee's performance against the goals and objectives of the project and the outcomes listed in the preceding paragraph.

    In its annual and final performance report to the Department, the grant recipient will be expected to report the data outlined in the Cooperative Agreement that is needed to assess its performance.

    The Cooperative Agreement and annual report will be reviewed by RSA and the grant recipient between the third and fourth quarter of each project period. Adjustments will be made to the project accordingly in order to ensure demonstrated progress towards meeting the goals and outcomes of the project.

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tara Jordan, U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5040, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-7341 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: July 27, 2015. Michael K. Yudin, <E T="03">Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.</E>
    [FR Doc. 2015-18712 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. EA-414] Application to Export Electric Energy; Roctop Investments Inc. AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Roctop Investments Inc. (Roctop) has applied for authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Canada pursuant to section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act.

    DATES:

    Comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be submitted on or before August 31, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, protests, motions to intervene, or requests for more information should be addressed to: Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Mail Code: OE-20, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0350. Because of delays in handling conventional mail, it is recommended that documents be transmitted by overnight mail, by electronic mail to [email protected], or by facsimile to 202-586-8008.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Exports of electricity from the United States to a foreign country are regulated by the Department of Energy (DOE) pursuant to sections 301(b) and 402(f) of the Department of Energy Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7151(b), 7172(f)) and require authorization under section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824a(e)).

    On July 13, 2015, DOE received an application from Roctop for authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Canada as a power marketer for five years using existing international transmission facilities.

    In its application, Roctop states that it does not own or control any electric generation or transmission facilities, and it does not have a franchised service area. Roctop states that it has applied for market-based rate authority from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to engage in the sale and purchase of electric energy to and from Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission Organizations. As such, the electric energy that Roctop proposes to export to Canada would be surplus energy purchased from third parties such as power marketers, independent power producers, electric utilities, and Federal power marketing agencies pursuant to voluntary agreements. The existing international transmission facilities to be utilized by Roctop have previously been authorized by Presidential permits issued pursuant to Executive Order 10485, as amended, and are appropriate for open access transmission by third parties.

    Procedural Matters: Any person desiring to be heard in this proceeding should file a comment or protest to the application at the address provided above. Protests should be filed in accordance with Rule 211 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.211). Any person desiring to become a party to these proceedings should file a motion to intervene at the above address in accordance with FERC Rule 214 (18 CFR 385.214). Five copies of such comments, protests, or motions to intervene should be sent to the address provided above on or before the date listed above.

    Comments and other filings concerning the Roctop application to export electric energy to Canada should be clearly marked with OE Docket No. EA-414. An additional copy is to be provided directly to Ruta Kalvaitis Skucas, Pierce Atwood LLC, 900 17th St. NW., Suite 350, Washington, DC 20006 and to Vincent Thellen, 1061 Merivale Road—Unit 5, Ottawa (ON), Canada K1Z 6A9.

    A final decision will be made on this application after the environmental impacts have been evaluated pursuant to DOE's National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021, et seq.) and after a determination is made by DOE that the proposed action will not have an adverse impact on the sufficiency of supply or reliability of the U.S. electric power supply system.

    Copies of this application will be made available, upon request, for public inspection and copying at the address provided above, by accessing the program Web site at http://energy.gov/node/11845, or by emailing Angela Troy at [email protected]

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 24, 2015. Brian Mills, Director, Permitting and Siting, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18688 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF15-20-000] Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, LLC; Rio Grande LNG, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Rio Grande LNG Project and Rio Bravo Pipeline Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Rio Grande LNG Project and Rio Bravo Pipeline Project (Rio Grande LNG Project) involving construction and operation of natural gas pipeline and liquefaction facilities by Rio Grande LNG, LLC, and Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, LLC, collectively the Rio Grande Developers (RG Developers), in Kleberg, Kenedy, Willacy, and Cameron Counties, Texas. The Commission will use this EIS in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public interest.

    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the project. You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EIS. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before August 24, 2015.

    If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on March 20, 2015, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. PF15-20-000 to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding.

    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for this project. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this planned project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

    If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the planned facilities. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if the Commission approves the project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law.

    A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled “An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?” is available for viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). This fact sheet addresses a number of typically asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission's proceedings.

    Public Participation

    For your convenience, there are four methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission will provide equal consideration to all comments received, whether filed in written form or provided verbally. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected] Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing” as the filing type; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number (PF15-20-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    (4) In lieu of sending written or electronic comments, the Commission invites you to attend one of the public scoping meetings its staff will conduct in the project area, scheduled as follows.

    FERC Public Scoping Meetings Rio Grande LNG Project Date and time Location Monday, August 10, 2015, 3:00-8:00 p.m Raymondville High School Auditorium, 419 FM 3168, Raymondville, TX 78580, (956) 689-8170. Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 12:00-8:00 p.m Port Isabel Event and Cultural Center, 309 E. Railroad St., Port Isabel, TX 78578, (956) 943-0719. Thursday, August 13, 2015, 3:00-8:00 p.m Helen Kleberg Community Center, 230 W. Yoakum Ave, Kingsville, TX 78363, (361) 592-8021.

    You may attend at any time during the meetings, as the primary goal of a scoping meeting is for us to have your verbal environmental concerns documented. There will not be a formal presentation by Commission staff, but FERC staff will be available to answer your questions about the FERC environmental review process. Representatives of the RG Developers will also be present to answer questions about the project.

    For your convenience, FERC staff will hold a joint scoping meeting on Tuesday, August 11, for the Rio Grande LNG Project, the Texas LNG Brownsville LNG Project (PF15-14), and Annova LNG Brownsville Project (PF15-15). This joint scoping meeting will give you the opportunity to provide your verbal comments on one or all three of the planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects along the Brownsville Ship Channel currently in our pre-filing process. In addition to the RG Developers, representatives from the Texas LNG Brownsville LNG Project and Annova LNG Brownsville Project will be present at the joint scoping meeting on Tuesday to answer questions about their respective projects.

    Verbal comments will be recorded by a stenographer and transcripts will be placed into the appropriate docket(s) for the project, and made available for public viewing on FERC's eLibrary system (see page 8 “Additional Information” for instruction on using eLibrary). It is important to note that verbal comments hold the same weight as written or electronically submitted comments. If a significant number of people are interested in providing verbal comments, a time limit of 3 to 5 minutes may be implemented for each commenter to ensure all those wishing to comment have the opportunity to do so within the designated meeting time. Time limits will be strictly enforced if they are implemented.

    Please note this is not your only public input opportunity; please refer to the review process flow chart in appendix 1.1

    1 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called “eLibrary” or from the Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

    Summary of the Planned Project

    The RG Developers plan to construct and operate interrelated LNG terminal and natural gas infrastructure projects. The Rio Grande LNG Terminal (Terminal) would involve an LNG export terminal and marine facilities to accommodate LNG vessels along the Brownsville Ship Channel in Cameron County, Texas. The Rio Bravo Pipeline Project would include two new natural gas pipelines capable of transporting 4.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of natural gas from Kleberg County, Texas, to the planned Terminal. The Rio Grande LNG Project would be constructed in two phases and, when complete, would export the LNG equivalent of about 3.8 bcf/d of natural gas. According to the RG Developers, their project would provide an additional source of firm, long-term, and competitively priced liquefied natural gas.

    The Rio Grande LNG Project would consist of the following facilities:

    • An export liquefaction terminal that includes:

    ○ Six liquefaction trains and natural gas treatment facilities;

    ○ a marine facility, including two LNG berths and a turning basin;

    ○ a 600-megawatt electrical power generation station;

    ○ truck loading/unloading facilities for LNG, natural gas liquid condensate, and refrigerant;

    ○ a marine construction dock; and

    ○ four full-containment LNG storage tanks;

    • two parallel 140-mile-long, 42-inch-diameter pipelines extending northerly from the Terminal to Kleberg County, Texas;

    • three compressor stations;

    • two meter stations;

    • multiple pipeline interconnects with third-party pipelines;

    • mainline valves;

    • pig launcher and receiver facilities; 2 and

    2 A “pig” is a tool that the pipeline company inserts into and pushes through the pipeline for cleaning the pipeline, conducting internal inspections, or other purposes.

    • other pipeline-related facilities (e.g., access roads, contractor and pipe yards).

    The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 2.

    Land Requirements for Construction

    Construction and operation of the planned Terminal would disturb about 750 acres of land within a 1,000-acre parcel to accommodate the liquefaction facilities, marine berth, and turning basin. The RG Developers are assessing the total land requirements for construction of the planned pipelines but currently plan to maintain a permanent easement of up to 120 feet centered on the pipelines; the remaining acreage would be restored and would revert to former uses. About 64 percent of the planned pipeline routes parallel existing pipeline, utility, or road rights-of-way.

    The EIS Process

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires us 3 to discover and address concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as scoping. The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EIS on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EIS. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EIS.

    3 “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    In the EIS we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the planned project under these general headings:

    • Geology and soils;

    • land use;

    • water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;

    • cultural resources;

    • vegetation and wildlife;

    • air quality and noise;

    • endangered and threatened species;

    • socioeconomics;

    • public safety; and

    • cumulative impacts.

    We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the planned project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

    Although no formal application has been filed, we have already initiated our NEPA review under the Commission's pre-filing process. The purpose of the pre-filing process is to encourage early involvement of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before the FERC receives an application. As part of our pre-filing review, we have begun to contact some federal and state agencies to discuss their involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EIS.

    The EIS will present our independent analysis of the issues. We will publish and distribute the draft EIS for public comment. After the comment period, we will consider all timely comments and revise the document, as necessary, before issuing a final EIS. To ensure we have the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section, beginning on page 2.

    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues related to this project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EIS.4 Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation section of this notice.

    4 The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6.

    Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation with the Texas State Historic Preservation Office, and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the project's potential effects on historic properties.5 We will define the project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, and access roads). Our EIS for this project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.

    5 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

    Currently Identified Environmental Issues

    We have already identified several issues that we think deserve attention based on a preliminary review of the planned facilities, comments received by the public to date, and the environmental information provided by RG Developers. This preliminary list of issues may change based on your comments and our analysis.

    • Public health and safety;

    • air quality;

    • special status species, including the ocelot and aplomado falcon;

    • biological diversity and wildlife preserves, including the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, and the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge;

    • impacts on vegetation and habitat, including wetlands;

    • economic impacts on fishing and tourism industries;

    • environmental justice;

    • visual impacts of the Terminal; and

    • cumulative effects, including the effects of multiple planned LNG projects along the Brownsville Ship Channel.

    Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the project. We will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that we send the information related to this environmental review to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the planned project.

    Copies of the completed draft EIS will be sent to the environmental mailing list for public review and comment. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the document instead of the CD version or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (appendix 3).

    Becoming an Intervenor

    Once the RG Developers file their application with the Commission, you may want to become an “intervenor” which is an official party to the Commission's proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission's final ruling. An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a request to intervene. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in the User's Guide under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site. Please note that the Commission will not accept requests for intervenor status at this time. You must wait until the Commission receives a formal application for the project.

    Additional Information

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search” and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., PF15-20). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    Dated: July 23, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18684 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF15-14-000] Texas LNG Brownsville, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Texas LNG Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) examining the potential environmental effects of the Texas LNG Project (Project), planned by Texas LNG Brownsville LLC (Texas LNG). The Project involves the construction and operation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction and export terminal on the Brownsville Ship Channel located in Cameron County, Texas. The Project purpose is to liquefy domestically produced natural gas, store LNG, and deliver LNG to carriers for export overseas. The Commission will use the EIS in its decision-making process to determine whether to authorize the Project.

    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies about the Project. You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the Project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. Your input will help the Commission's staff determine what issues need to be evaluated in the EIS. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before August 24, 2015.

    If you sent comments on this Project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on March 9, 2015, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. PF15-14-000 to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding.

    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for this Project. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this planned Project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern. If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a Texas LNG representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the planned facilities.

    Public Participation

    For your convenience, there are four methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission will provide equal consideration to all comments received, whether filed in written form or provided verbally. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected] Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing” as the filing type; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number (PF15-14-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    (4) In lieu of sending written or electronic comments, the Commission invites you to attend the public scoping meeting its staff will conduct in the Project area, scheduled as follows.

    FERC Public Scoping Meeting; Tuesday, August 11, 2015, From 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Port Isabel Event & Cultural Center, 309 E. Railroad Ave., Port Isabel, TX 78578

    You may attend at any time during the scoping meeting. There will not be a formal presentation presented by Commission staff, but you will be provided information about the FERC process. Commission staff will be available to take verbal comments.

    For your convenience, we are combining the Port Isabel scoping meetings for the three Brownsville area LNG projects currently in our pre-filing process. Representatives of Texas LNG, as well as those of Annova LNG Common Infrastructure, LLC for its planned Annova LNG Brownsville Project (Docket No. PF15-15-000) and Rio Grande LNG, LLC for its planned Rio Grande LNG Export Project and Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, LLC for its planned Rio Bravo Pipeline Project (Docket No. PF15-20-000) will be present to answer questions about their respective planned projects.

    You may comment on any one, two, or all three planned projects. Comments will be recorded by a stenographer and transcripts will be placed into the appropriate docket(s) for the project and made available for public viewing on FERC's eLibrary system (see page 8 “Additional Information” for instructions on using eLibrary). We believe it is important to note that verbal comments hold the same weight as written or electronically submitted comments. If a significant number of people are interested in providing verbal comments, a time limit of 3 to 5 minutes may be implemented for each commenter to ensure all those wishing to comment have the opportunity to do so within the designated meeting time. Time limits will be strictly enforced if they are implemented.

    Please note this is not your only public input opportunity; please refer to the review process flow chart in appendix 1.1

    1 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called “eLibrary” or from the Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

    Summary of the Planned Project

    Texas LNG plans to site, construct, and operate a natural gas liquefaction and export terminal at the Port of Brownsville, on north side of the Brownsville Ship Channel located in Cameron County, Texas. The Project would have the capacity to produce 4.4 million tons of LNG each year for export.

    Texas LNG's proposed terminal is composed of multiple LNG facility components at an approximately 625-acre site. The Project would include a liquefaction plant, two single containment storage tanks with a capacity of 210,000 cubic meters (m3) of LNG each, an LNG carrier berthing dock, and a materials offloading facility.

    As currently planned, the Texas LNG Project site would consist of the following facilities:

    • Natural Gas Pipeline Receiving Interface;

    • Natural Gas Pretreatment Process;

    • LNG Liquefaction Process;

    • LNG Loading Marine Terminal;

    • LNG Transfer Lines;

    • LNG Storage Tanks;

    • Vapor Handling System;

    • Control Systems, and Safety Systems; and

    • Utilities, Infrastructure, and Support Systems.

    The general location of the planned facilities is shown in appendix 2.

    Land Requirements for Construction

    The planned Texas LNG Project would occupy an approximately 625-acre property secured via a lease option and subsequent amendment from the Brownsville Navigation District by Texas LNG. Of the approximately 625 acres, approximately 185 acres would support permanent operational facilities, approximately 75 acres would be temporarily disturbed during construction activities, and the remaining approximately 365 acres would be undisturbed. Of the approximately 185 acres supporting permanent operational facilities, approximately 46 acres would be converted to open water through excavation and dredging to create the LNG carrier berthing area. An additional approximately 19 acres of impacts located outside of the site boundaries would be associated with dredging of the turning basin within the Brownsville Ship Channel.

    Non-Jurisdictional Facilities

    The LNG facility would receive natural gas via a non-jurisdictional intrastate natural gas pipeline to be constructed from the Agua Dulce natural gas hub approximately 150 miles north of Brownsville to the Brownsville market. This pipeline would provide natural gas to the planned Project, industrial projects, power generation facilities, gas utility companies, and export markets in Mexico. Texas LNG does not plan to own or operate the proposed intrastate pipeline that will provide feed gas supply to the Texas LNG Project. Construction of the pipeline would likely require a construction right-of-way about 100 feet wide and additional temporary extra workspaces at features such as road and stream crossings.

    The planned Project would also require the installation of a new non-jurisdictional electric transmission line. To provide power to the facility, American Electric Power would build a new approximately 10 mile long radial line to the Project site from the existing Union Carbide Substation located near the Port of Brownsville.

    Although FERC has no regulatory authority to modify, approve, or deny the construction of the above-described facilities, we will disclose available information regarding the construction impacts in the cumulative impacts section of our EIS.

    The EIS Process

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the authorization of LNG facilities under Section 3a of the Natural Gas Act. NEPA also requires us 2 to discover and address concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as scoping. The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EIS on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EIS. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EIS.

    2 “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    In the EIS, we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the planned Project under these general headings:

    • Geology and soils;

    • land use, recreation, and visual resources;

    • water resources and wetlands;

    • cultural resources;

    • vegetation, fisheries, and wildlife;

    • endangered and threatened species;

    • socioeconomics;

    • air quality and noise;

    • public safety and reliability; and

    • cumulative impacts.

    We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the planned Project or portions of the Project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

    Although no formal application has been filed, we have already initiated our NEPA review under the Commission's pre-filing process. The purpose of the pre-filing process is to encourage early involvement of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before the FERC receives an application. As part of our pre-filing review, we have begun to contact some federal and state agencies to discuss their involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EIS.

    The EIS will present our independent analysis of the issues. We will publish and distribute the draft EIS for public comment. After the comment period, we will consider all timely comments and revise the document, as necessary, before issuing a final EIS. To ensure we have the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section beginning on page 2 of this notice.

    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues related to this Project to formally cooperate with staff in preparing the EIS.3 Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided in the Public Participation section of this notice. Currently, the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have expressed their intention to participate as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS.

    3 The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6.

    Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's implementing regulations for Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation with applicable State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the Project's potential effects on historic properties.4 We will define the project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the Project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction area, contractor storage yards, and access roads). Our EIS for this Project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under Section 106.

    4 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register for Historic Places.

    Currently Identified Environmental Issues

    We have identified several issues based on a preliminary review of the planned facilities and the environmental information provided by Texas LNG that we think deserves attention. This preliminary list of issues may be changed based on your comments and our continued analysis. The issues identified to date include:

    • Potential impacts on water quality;

    • potential impact on fisheries and aquatic resources;

    • potential impact on federally listed endangered and threatened species;

    • visual effects on surrounding areas, including Port Isabel, Laguna Vista, and South Padre Island;

    • potential impacts on tourism and recreational and commercial fisheries, including eco-tourism and the local shrimp fishery;

    • potential for disproportionate impact on lower income communities;

    • potential impacts on air quality, and associated impacts on human health and local agricultural areas;

    • public safety and hazards associated with the transport of natural gas and LNG; and

    • cumulative impacts from construction and operation of multiple LNG facilities within the Port of Brownsville, and from the Brownsville Ship Channel deepening project.

    Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for Project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the Project. Staff will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that it sends the information related to this environmental review to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the planned Project.

    Copies of the completed draft EIS will be sent to the environmental mailing list for public review and comment. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the document instead of the CD version or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (appendix 3).

    Becoming an Intervenor

    Once Texas LNG files its application with the Commission, you may want to become an “intervenor” which is an official party to the Commission's proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission's final ruling. An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a request to intervene. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in the “Document-less Intervention Guide” under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site (http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/document-less-intervention.pdf). Motions to intervene are more fully described at http://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp. Please note that the Commission will not accept requests for intervenor status at this time. You must wait until the Commission receives a formal application for the Project.

    Additional Information

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search” and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., PF15-14). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/esubscribenow.htm.

    FERC public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    Finally, Texas LNG has established a Web site at www.txlng.com with further information about its planned Project.

    Dated: July 23, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18682 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-500-000] Trans-Pecos Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Presidio Border Crossing Project Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Presidio Border Crossing Project involving construction and operation of facilities for the export of natural gas by Trans-Pecos Pipeline, LLC (Trans-Pecos) in Presidio County, Texas. The Commission will use this EA in its de