Federal Register Vol. 80, No.148,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 148 (August 3, 2015)

Page Range45841-46180
FR Document

80_FR_148
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 46177 - Creating a National Strategic Computing InitiativePDF
80 FR 46175 - 50th Anniversary of Medicare and MedicaidPDF
80 FR 46080 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 45942 - First Responder Network Authority Board MeetingPDF
80 FR 45914 - Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles-Phase 2; Notice of Public HearingsPDF
80 FR 46066 - NextEra Energy Seabrook, LLC, Seabrook Station, Unit 1PDF
80 FR 45943 - First Responder Network Authority Board Special MeetingPDF
80 FR 45886 - Safety Zones; Recurring Marine Events in Captain of the Port Long Island Sound ZonePDF
80 FR 46061 - Testing of Open Secondary Window-Type Current Transformers-Test PlanPDF
80 FR 45885 - Safety Zones; Swim Events in Captain of the Port New York ZonePDF
80 FR 45964 - Notice Inviting Postsecondary Educational Institutions To Participate in Experiments Under the Experimental Sites Initiative; Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs Under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as AmendedPDF
80 FR 45916 - Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks To Refresh the Record on Pending Issues Regarding Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Designations and ObligationsPDF
80 FR 45943 - Foreign-Trade Zone 262-Southaven, Mississippi; Application for Subzone; Haier America Trading, LLC; Olive Branch, MississippiPDF
80 FR 45966 - Federal Need Analysis Methodology for the 2016-17 Award Year-Federal Pell Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant and TEACH Grant Programs; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 45933 - Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) Demonstration Program Under Section 514, Section 515, and Section 516 for Fiscal Year 2015PDF
80 FR 45944 - Foreign-Trade Zone 87-Lake Charles, Louisiana; Application for Subzone; Sasol Chemicals (USA), LLC; Calcasieu Parish, LouisianaPDF
80 FR 45917 - Radio Broadcasting Services; Grant, OklahomaPDF
80 FR 45894 - Suspension of Community EligibilityPDF
80 FR 45883 - Contraband and Inmate Personal Property: Technical AmendmentPDF
80 FR 45951 - Supercalendered Paper From Canada: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty DeterminationPDF
80 FR 45944 - Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty New Shipper ReviewsPDF
80 FR 45947 - Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative ReviewsPDF
80 FR 45945 - Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) ReviewPDF
80 FR 45952 - Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative ReviewPDF
80 FR 45932 - Notice of Intent To Request To Conduct a New Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 45947 - Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset ReviewsPDF
80 FR 46023 - Understanding Potential Intervention Measures To Reduce the Risk of Foodborne Illness From Consumption of Cheese Manufactured From Unpasteurized MilkPDF
80 FR 45976 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10069, Neighborhood Community Bank Newnan, GAPDF
80 FR 45976 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10489, The Community's Bank Bridgeport, ConnecticutPDF
80 FR 45998 - Sixth Annual Coalition Against Major Diseases/Food and Drug Administration Scientific Workshop; Public WorkshopPDF
80 FR 46019 - Dissolution Testing and Specification Criteria for Immediate-Release Solid Oral Dosage Forms Containing Biopharmaceutics Classification System Class 1 and 3 Drugs; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 45971 - Western Area Power Administration; Notice of FilingPDF
80 FR 45969 - Western Area Power Administration; Notice of FilingPDF
80 FR 45970 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
80 FR 45969 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
80 FR 45971 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 45972 - Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications; Public NoticePDF
80 FR 45973 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 46027 - Joint Food and Drug Administration/Health Canada Quantitative Assessment of the Risk of Listeriosis From Soft-Ripened Cheese Consumption in the United States and CanadaPDF
80 FR 46044 - State of Arizona Resource Advisory Council MeetingPDF
80 FR 46091 - Proposed Memorandum of Understanding Revision (MOU) Assigning Certain Federal Environmental Responsibilities to the State of Alaska, Including National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Authority for Certain Categorical Exclusions (CEs)PDF
80 FR 45999 - Surrogate Endpoints for Clinical Trials in Kidney Transplantation; Public WorkshopPDF
80 FR 46032 - Recommendations for Premarket Notification (510(k)) Submissions for Nucleic Acid-Based Human Leukocyte Antigen Test Kits Used for Matching of Donors and Recipients in Transfusion and Transplantation; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 46086 - Determination Under Section 610 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, As AmendedPDF
80 FR 46039 - Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 45993 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 46047 - Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil, China, India, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Russia, and the United Kingdom; Institution of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations and Scheduling of Preliminary Phase InvestigationsPDF
80 FR 45976 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 46040 - Current List of HHS-Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities Which Meet Minimum Standards To Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal AgenciesPDF
80 FR 45977 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 45955 - Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud Action PlanPDF
80 FR 46054 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Evaluation of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training Grants ProgramPDF
80 FR 46057 - Proposed Extension of Existing Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 45954 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 45963 - Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 45899 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Inflation Adjustment of Acquisition-Related Thresholds (DFARS Case 2014-D025); Partial WithdrawalPDF
80 FR 45918 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Evaluating Price Reasonableness for Commercial Items (DFARS Case 2013-D034)PDF
80 FR 45932 - Del Norte County Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 46046 - Proposed Information Collection; National Park Service President's Park National Christmas Tree Music Program ApplicationPDF
80 FR 45976 - FDIC Advisory Committee on Community Banking; Notice of Charter RenewalPDF
80 FR 46109 - Agency Information Collection (Survivors' and Dependents' Application for VA Education Benefits) (VA Form 22-5490) Activity Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 46108 - Agency Information Collection (Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan Worksheet) Activity Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 46105 - Proposed Information Collection (NCA PreNeed Burial Planning)PDF
80 FR 46106 - Agency Information Collection (Notice of Disagreement) Activity Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 46103 - Proposed Information Collection (SURVEY OF HEALTHCARE EXPERIENCES; DENTAL PATIENT SATISFACTION SURVEY) Activity: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 46106 - Agency Information Collection: Access to Financial Records, 38 CFR 3.115.PDF
80 FR 46109 - Proposed Information Collection (NCA: Legacy (Historic Resources Education Program Research))PDF
80 FR 46104 - Proposed Information Collection (Foreign Medical Program Application and Claim Cover Sheet) Activity: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 46103 - Proposed Information Collection (Direct Deposit Enrollment; International Direct Deposit Enrollment) Activity: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 46107 - Proposed Information Collection (VA Forms 21P-4706b, 21-4706c, 21-4718a) Activity: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 46105 - Proposed Information Collection (Application for Voluntary Service VA Form 10-7055 and Associated Internet Application) ; Activity: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 46107 - Proposed Information Collection: From War to Home: Improving Patient-Centered Care and Promoting Empathy for “Operation Enduring Freedom” and “Operation Iraqi Freedom” (OEF/OIF) Veterans in the Veterans Health Administration Patient Aligned Care Team Demo Lab VISN 4PDF
80 FR 46026 - Patient-Focused Drug Development for Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Lung Infections; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 46043 - Native American Policy for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServicePDF
80 FR 46093 - Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Grants; Passenger Ferry Grant ProgramPDF
80 FR 46007 - Outsourcing Facility Fee Rates for Fiscal Year 2016PDF
80 FR 46015 - Generic Drug User Fee-Abbreviated New Drug Application, Prior Approval Supplement, Drug Master File, Final Dosage Form Facility, and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Facility Fee Rates for Fiscal Year 2016PDF
80 FR 46028 - Prescription Drug User Fee Rates for Fiscal Year 2016PDF
80 FR 45993 - Animal Drug User Fee Rates and Payment Procedures for Fiscal Year 2016PDF
80 FR 46025 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Improving Food Safety and Defense Capacity of the State and Local Level: Review of State and Local CapacitiesPDF
80 FR 45999 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Guidance for Industry on Adverse Event Reporting for Outsourcing Facilities Under Section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic ActPDF
80 FR 46010 - Promoting Semantic Interoperability of Laboratory Data; Public Workshop; Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 46012 - Animal Generic Drug User Fee Rates and Payment Procedures for Fiscal Year 2016PDF
80 FR 46005 - Biosimilar User Fee Rates for Fiscal Year 2016PDF
80 FR 46033 - Medical Device User Fee Rates for Fiscal Year 2016PDF
80 FR 46020 - Food Safety Modernization Act Domestic and Foreign Facility Reinspection, Recall, and Importer Reinspection Fee Rates for Fiscal Year 2016PDF
80 FR 46072 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Advance Notice To Establish a Prefunded Liquidity Program as Part of NSCC's Liquidity Risk ManagementPDF
80 FR 45980 - Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Quarterly Listing of Program Issuances-April Through June 2015PDF
80 FR 45975 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
80 FR 46070 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 46055 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Escape and Evacuation Plans for Surface Coal Mines, Surface Facilities and Surface Work Areas of Underground Coal MinesPDF
80 FR 46056 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Explosive Materials and Blasting Units (Pertains Only to Metal and Nonmetal Underground Mines Deemed To Be Gassy)PDF
80 FR 45942 - 104th Commission MeetingPDF
80 FR 45924 - Endangered and Threatened Species: Proposed Regulations for the Designation of Experimental Populations Under the Endangered Species ActPDF
80 FR 46042 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for PermitPDF
80 FR 46053 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Foreign Labor Certification Quarterly Activity ReportPDF
80 FR 46057 - Financial Planning for Management of Radioactive Byproduct MaterialPDF
80 FR 46062 - Exelon Generation Company, LLC; LaSalle County Station, Units 1 and 2PDF
80 FR 46072 - Product Change-Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
80 FR 45977 - Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission NominationsPDF
80 FR 46074 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 4702 To Introduce a Market Maker Peg Order for Use on BXPDF
80 FR 46078 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending NYSE MKT Rule 500-Equities To Extend the Operation of the Pilot Program that Allows “UTP Securities” To Be Traded on the Exchange Pursuant to a Grant of Unlisted Trading Privileges Until October 31, 2015PDF
80 FR 46081 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Extending the Operation of Its Supplemental Liquidity Providers Pilot Until October 31, 2015PDF
80 FR 46083 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Extend the Operation of Its New Market Model Pilot Until October 31, 2015PDF
80 FR 46039 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 46040 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 45887 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Connecticut; Approval of NOXPDF
80 FR 45915 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Connecticut; Approval of NOXPDF
80 FR 46045 - Notice of Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board MeetingPDF
80 FR 45900 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Previously Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) (Airbus Helicopters)PDF
80 FR 45893 - Privacy Act Regulations; Exemption for the Indian Arts and Crafts BoardPDF
80 FR 45841 - Miscellaneous CorrectionsPDF
80 FR 46071 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 46069 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 45978 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 45974 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Tier 2 Data Collection for Certain Chemicals Under the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP)PDF
80 FR 45979 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 45890 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Amendments to the Control of Gasoline and Volatile Organic Compound Storage and HandlingPDF
80 FR 45915 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Amendments to the Control of Gasoline and Volatile Organic Compound Storage and HandlingPDF
80 FR 46086 - Implementation of Legislative Categorical Exclusion for Environmental Review of Performance Based Navigation ProceduresPDF
80 FR 46048 - Narrow Woven Ribbons With Woven Selvedge From China and Taiwan; Institution of Five-Year ReviewsPDF
80 FR 46050 - Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks From China and Mexico; Institution of Five-Year ReviewsPDF
80 FR 45905 - Allocable Cash Basis and Tiered Partnership ItemsPDF
80 FR 45865 - Determination of Distributive Share When Partner's Interest ChangesPDF
80 FR 45898 - Reform of Rules and Policies on Foreign Carrier Entry Into the U.S. Telecommunications Market; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 45862 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 45897 - Wireless E911 Location Accuracy RequirementsPDF
80 FR 45860 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 46099 - Special Permit Applications; Office of Hazardous Materials SafetyPDF
80 FR 46097 - Hazardous Materials: Delayed ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 46098 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Application for Modification of Special PermitPDF
80 FR 46101 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Application for Special PermitsPDF
80 FR 45853 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 45902 - Airworthiness Directives; DASSAULT AVIATION AirplanesPDF
80 FR 45844 - Federal Credit Union Ownership of Fixed AssetsPDF
80 FR 46112 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; U.S. Navy Training and Testing Activities in the Mariana Islands Training and Testing Study AreaPDF
80 FR 45857 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 45851 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 45864 - Duty Free Entry of Space ArticlesPDF

Issue

80 148 Monday, August 3, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Forest Service

See

National Agricultural Statistics Service

See

Rural Housing Service

Arctic Arctic Research Commission NOTICES Meetings: Reports and Updates on Programs and Research Projects Affecting Alaska and the Greater Arctic, 45942 2015-18897 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45977-45978 2015-18947 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45978-45980 2015-18848 2015-18857 Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Quarterly Listing of Program Issuances April Through June 2015, 45980-45993 2015-18904 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45993 2015-18952 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Recurring Marine Events in Captain of the Port Long Island Sound Zone, 45886-45887 2015-18998 Swim Events in Captain of the Port New York Zone, 45885-45886 2015-18995 Commerce Commerce Department See

First Responder Network Authority

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Defense Acquisition Defense Acquisition Regulations System RULES Regulation Supplements: Inflation Adjustment of Acquisition-Related Thresholds; Partial Withdrawal, 45899 2015-18939 PROPOSED RULES Regulation Supplements: Evaluating Price Reasonableness for Commercial Items, 45918-45923 2015-18938 Defense Department Defense Department See

Defense Acquisition Regulations System

Education Department Education Department NOTICES Federal Need Analysis Methodology for the 2016-17 Award Year: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, etc.; Correction, 45966-45969 2015-18991 Inviting Postsecondary Educational Institutions To Participate in Experiments; Experimental Sites Initiative, 45964-45966 2015-18994 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Connecticut; Approval of NOX Emission Offset Credits as Single Source SIP Revisions, 45887-45890 2015-18872 Maryland; Amendments to the Control of Gasoline and Volatile Organic Compound Storage and Handling, 45890-45893 2015-18828 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Connecticut; Approval of NOX Emission Offset Credits as Single Source SIP Revisions, 45915 2015-18871 Maryland; Amendments to the Control of Gasoline and Volatile Organic Compound Storage and Handling, 45915-45916 2015-18827 Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles: Phase 2; Public Hearings, 45914-45915 2015-19004 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Tier 2 Data Collection for Certain Chemicals Under the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program, 45974-45975 2015-18849 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 45851-45853, 45857-45860 2015-18535 2015-18564 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 45853-45856 2015-18694 Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures: Miscellaneous Amendments, 45860-45864 2015-18731 2015-18739 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Previously Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) (Airbus Helicopters), 45900-45902 2015-18865 DASSAULT AVIATION Airplanes, 45902-45905 2015-18689 NOTICES Implementation of Legislative Categorical Exclusion for Environmental Review of Performance Based Navigation Procedures, 46086-46091 2015-18823 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Reform of Rules and Policies on Foreign Carrier Entry Into the U.S. Telecommunications Market; Corrections, 45898 2015-18799 Wireless E911 Location Accuracy Requirements, 45897-45898 2015-18734 PROPOSED RULES Radio Broadcasting Services: Grant, OK, 45917-45918 2015-18985 Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks To Refresh the Record on Pending Issues Regarding Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Designations and Obligations, 45916-45917 2015-18993 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45975-45976 2015-18902 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Charter Renewals: Advisory Committee on Community Banking, 45976 2015-18933 Terminations of Receivership: Neighborhood Community Bank, Newnan, GA, 45976 2015-18971 The Community's Bank, Bridgeport, CT, 45976 2015-18970 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency RULES Suspensions of Community Eligibility, 45894-45897 2015-18983 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 45969-45974 2015-18961 2015-18963 2015-18964 2015-18965 Filings: Western Area Power Administration, 45969, 45971 2015-18966 2015-18967 Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications, 45972-45973 2015-18962 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Proposed Memorandum of Understanding: Assignment of Certain Federal Environmental Responsibilities to the State of Alaska, 46091-46092 2015-18958 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 45976-45977 2015-18949 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration NOTICES Funding Availabilities: Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Grants; Passenger Ferry Grant Program, 46093-46097 2015-18917 FIRSTNET First Responder Network Authority NOTICES Meetings: First Responder Network Authority Board, 45942-45943 2015-18999 2015-19006 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered Species Permit Applications: Marine Mammals, 46042-46043 2015-18893 Native American Policy, 46043-46044 2015-18918 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Guidance for Industry on Adverse Event Reporting for Outsourcing Facilities Under Section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 45999-46005 2015-18911 Improving Food Safety and Defense Capacity of the State and Local Level—Review of State and Local Capacities, 46025 2015-18912 Animal Drug User Fee Rates and Payment Procedures for Fiscal Year 2016, 45993-45998 2015-18913 Animal Generic Drug User Fee Rates and Payment Procedures for Fiscal Year 2016, 46012-46015 2015-18909 Biosimilar User Fee Rates for Fiscal Year 2016, 46005-46007 2015-18908 Food Safety Modernization Act Domestic and Foreign Facility Reinspection, Recall, and Importer Reinspection Fee Rates for Fiscal Year 2016, 46020-46023 2015-18906 Generic Drug User Fee: Abbreviated New Drug Application, Prior Approval Supplement, Drug Master File, Final Dosage Form Facility, and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Facility Fee Rates for Fiscal Year 2016, 46015-46019 2015-18915 Guidance: Dissolution Testing and Specification Criteria for Immediate-Release Solid Oral Dosage Forms Containing Biopharmaceutics Classification System Class 1 and 3 Drugs, 46019-46020 2015-18968 Joint Food and Drug Administration/Health Canada Quantitative Assessment of the Risk of Listeriosis From Soft-Ripened Cheese Consumption in the United States and Canada, 46027-46028 2015-18960 Recommendations for Premarket Notification (510(k)) Submissions for Nucleic Acid-Based Human Leukocyte Antigen Test Kits Used for Matching of Donors and Recipients in Transfusion and Transplantation, 46032-46033 2015-18956 Medical Device User Fee Rates for Fiscal Year 2016, 46033-46039 2015-18907 Meetings: Patient-Focused Drug Development for Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Lung Infections, 46026-46027 2015-18919 Promoting Semantic Interoperability of Laboratory Data; Public Workshops, 46010-46012 2015-18910 Sixth Annual Coalition Against Major Diseases/Food and Drug Administration Scientific Workshop; Public Workshops, 45998-45999 2015-18969 Surrogate Endpoints for Clinical Trials in Kidney Transplantation; Public Workshops, 45999 2015-18957 Outsourcing Facility Fee Rates for Fiscal Year 2016, 46007-46010 2015-18916 Prescription Drug User Fee Rates for Fiscal Year 2016, 46028-46032 2015-18914 Requests for Scientific Data and Information: Understanding Potential Intervention Measures to Reduce the Risk of Foodborne Illness From Consumption of Cheese Manufactured From Unpasteurized Milk, 46023-46024 2015-18972 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Subzone Applications: Foreign-Trade Zone 262, Southaven, MS; Haier America Trading, LLC, Olive Branch, MS, 45943 2015-18992 Foreign-Trade Zone 87, Lake Charles, LA; Sasol Chemicals (USA), LLC Calcasieu Parish, LA, 45944 2015-18989 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Del Norte County Resource Advisory Committee, 45932 2015-18937 Government Accountability Government Accountability Office NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, 45977 2015-18888 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children, 46039 2015-18953 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

RULES Privacy Act: Exemption for the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, 45893-45894 2015-18864
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Determination of Distributive Share When Partner's Interest Changes, 45865-45883 2015-18816 PROPOSED RULES Allocable Cash Basis and Tiered Partnership Items, 45905-45913 2015-18817 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Advance Notification of Sunset Reviews, 45947 2015-18974 Opportunity To Request Administrative Review, 45952-45954 2015-18976 Supercalendered Paper From Canada, 45951-45952 2015-18980 Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, From the People's Republic of China, 45944-45945 2015-18979 Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 45947-45951 2015-18978 Initiation of Five-Year Sunset Reviews, 45945-45947 2015-18977 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks From China and Mexico; Institution of Five-Year Reviews, 46050-46053 2015-18818 Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil, China, India, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Russia, and the United Kingdom, 46047-46048 2015-18951 Narrow Woven Ribbons with Woven Selvedge from China and Taiwan; Institution of Five-Year Reviews, 46048-46050 2015-18819 Justice Department Justice Department See

Prisons Bureau

Labor Department Labor Department See

Mine Safety and Health Administration

See

Workers Compensation Programs Office

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evaluation of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training Grants Program, 46054-46055 2015-18944 Foreign Labor Certification Quarterly Activity Report, 46053-46054 2015-18892
Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Meetings: State of Arizona Resource Advisory Council, 46044-46045 2015-18959 Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, 46045-46046 2015-18869 Mine Mine Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Escape and Evacuation Plans for Surface Coal Mines, Surface Facilities and Surface Work Areas of Underground Coal Mines, 46055-46056 2015-18899 Explosive Materials and Blasting Units, 46056 2015-18898 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration RULES Duty Free Entry of Space Articles, 45864-45865 2015-17213 National Agricultural National Agricultural Statistics Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45932-45933 2015-18975 National Credit National Credit Union Administration RULES Federal Credit Union Ownership of Fixed Assets, 45844-45851 2015-18642 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration PROPOSED RULES Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles: Phase 2; Public Hearings, 45914-45915 2015-19004 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 46039-46040 2015-18875 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 46040 2015-18874 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: U.S. Navy Training and Testing Activities in the Mariana Islands Training and Testing Study Area, 46112-46171 2015-18633 PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: Designation of Experimental Populations Under the Endangered Species Act, 45924-45931 2015-18894 NOTICES Guidance: Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud Action Plan, 45955-45963 2015-18945 Meetings: Caribbean Fishery Management Council, 45963-45964 2015-18940 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States, 45954-45955 2015-18941 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: President's Park National Christmas Tree Music Program Application, 46046-46047 2015-18935 National Telecommunications National Telecommunications and Information Administration NOTICES Meetings: First Responder Network Authority Board, 45942-45943 2015-18999 2015-19006 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission RULES Miscellaneous Corrections, 45841-45844 2015-18863 NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Exelon Generation Co., LLC; LaSalle County Station, Units 1 and 2, 46062-46066 2015-18890 Exemptions: NextEra Energy Seabrook, LLC, Seabrook Station, Unit 1, 46066-46069 2015-19003 Financial Planning for Management of Radioactive Byproduct Material, 46057-46061 2015-18891 Test Plans: Open Secondary Window-Type Current Transformers, 46061-46062 2015-18997 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Special Permit Applications, 46099-46103 2015-18718 2015-18723 Special Permit Applications: Hazardous Materials; Modifications, 46098-46099 2015-18719 Special Permit Applications; Delays, 46097-46098 2015-18721 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 46069-46072 2015-18860 2015-18861 2015-18862 2015-18900 2015-18901 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 46072 2015-18889 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: Medicare and Medicaid; 50th Anniversary (Proc. 9305), 46173-46176 2015-19180 EXECUTIVE ORDERS National Strategic Computing Initiative; Establishment (EO 13702), 46177-46180 2015-19183 Prisons Prisons Bureau RULES Contraband and Inmate Personal Property; Technical Amendments, 45883-45885 2015-18982 Rural Housing Service Rural Housing Service NOTICES Applications: Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization Demonstration Program, 45933-45942 2015-18990 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 46080-46081 2015-19077 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., 46074-46078 2015-18882 National Securities Clearing Corp., 46072-46074 2015-18905 NYSE MKT LLC, 46078-46086 2015-18879 2015-18880 2015-18881 State Department State Department NOTICES Determination Under Section 610 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, 46086 2015-18954 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities: Facilities Meeting Minimum Standards To Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal Agencies, 46040-46042 2015-18948 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Transit Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 46107-46108 2015-18923 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Access to Financial Records, 46106-46107 2015-18927 Application for Voluntary Service VA Form and Associated Internet Application, 46105-46106 2015-18922 Direct Deposit Enrollment; International Direct Deposit Enrollment, 46103-46104 2015-18924 Foreign Medical Program Application and Claim Cover Sheet, 46104-46105 2015-18925 From War to Home—Improving Patient-Centered Care and Promoting Empathy for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans in the Veterans Health Administration Patient Aligned Care Team Demo Lab VISN 4, 46107 2015-18921 Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan Worksheet, 46108 2015-18931 NCA Legacy (Historic Resources Education Program Research), 46109 2015-18926 NCA PreNeed Burial Planning, 46105 2015-18930 Notice of Disagreement, 46106 2015-18929 Survey of Health Care Experiences Dental Patient Satisfaction Survey, 46103 2015-18928 Survivors' and Dependents' Application for VA Education Benefits, 46109-46110 2015-18932 Workers' Workers Compensation Programs Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 46057 2015-18943 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Commerce Department, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 46112-46171 2015-18633 Part III Presidential Documents, 46173-46180 2015-19180 2015-19183 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.

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80 148 Monday, August 3, 2015 Rules and Regulations NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Parts 1, 37, 40, 50, 55, 74, and 75 RIN 3150-AJ60 [NRC-2015-0105] Miscellaneous Corrections AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending its regulations to make miscellaneous corrections. These changes include updating the name and the phone number of the U.S. Government Publishing Office, updating the address for the National Technical Information Service, correcting typographical errors, correcting misspellings, and correcting references. This document is necessary to inform the public of these non-substantive changes to the NRC's regulations.

DATES:

This rule is effective September 2, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0105 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this final rule. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this final rule by any of the following methods:

Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0105. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, please contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this final rule.

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 available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced.

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:

Doris Mendiola, Office of Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone: 301-415-3464, email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

The NRC is amending its regulations in parts 1, 37, 40, 50, 55, 74 and 75 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) to make miscellaneous corrections. These changes include updating the name of the U.S. Government Publishing Office, updating the address for the National Technical Information Service, correcting typographical errors, correcting misspellings, and correcting and removing references. This document is necessary to inform the public of these non-substantive changes to the NRC's regulations.

II. Summary of Changes 10 CFR Part 1

Update Office Address. In § 1.3, this final rule removes the old office address for the “National Technical Information Service” and replaces it with the new address “5301 Shawnee Road, Alexandria, VA 22312.”

10 CFR Part 37

Correct Reference. In § 37.23(b)(2), this final rule removes the incorrect reference “§ 37.25(b)” and replaces it with the correct reference “§ 37.25(c).”

10 CFR Part 40

Correct Typographical Error. In § 40.61(a)(2), this final rule removes the first use of the word “or” and replaces it with the word “of.”

10 CFR Part 50

Update Office Title and Telephone Number. In Footnote 4 of § 50.49, this final rule removes the old office title for the “U.S. Government Printing Office” and replaces it with the new office title “U.S. Government Publishing Office.” This final rule also removes the telephone number “202-275-2060” and replaces it with “202-512-1800.”

Remove Reference. In § 50.54, this final rule removes the incorrect reference “(q)” from the introductory text.

Return Omitted Information, Update Access Information, Correct Reference. In § 50.55a, this final rule includes a document that was previously approved for incorporation by reference but inadvertently omitted from the list of incorporated documents in § 50.55a(a)(2). The document is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Standard 279-1968, “Proposed IEEE Criteria for Nuclear Power Plant Protection Systems,” which was approved for incorporation by reference in 1972 (37 FR 17021; August 24, 1972). The documents currently listed in § 50.55a(a)(2)(i)-(iii) are moved to § 50.55a(a)(2)(ii)-(iv), and IEEE Standard 279-1968 is added back as § 50.55a(a)(2)(i), so that the documents are listed in chronological order. The access information in new § 50.55a(2)(iv) has been updated. This final rule also updates § 50.55a(h)(2) to reference the correct standards.

10 CFR Part 55

Update Office Title and Address. In Footnote 1 of § 55.40, this final rule removes the old office title “U.S. Government Printing Office” and replaces it with the new office title “U.S. Government Publishing Office.” This final rule also removes the old office address for the National Technical Information Service and replaces it with the new address “5301 Shawnee Road, Alexandria, VA 22312.”

10 CFR Part 74

Correct Spelling. In § 74.4, this final rule corrects the definition of Tamper-safing by removing the misspelled word “previouly” and replacing it with the correct word “previously.”

Correct Typographical Error. In § 74.55(b)(2), this final rule removes the incorrect reference “Category BI items” and replaces it with the correct reference “Category IB items.”

10 CFR Part 75

Correct References. In § 75.6(d), this final rule revises the second column of the table by removing the incorrect references “75.11(c)(1),” “75.11(c)(2),” “75.11(c)(3),” “75.11(c)(4),” “75.11(c)(5),” “75.11(c)(6),” and “75.11(c)(7)” and replacing them with the correct references “75.11(b)(1),” “75.11(b)(2),” “75.11(b)(3),” “75.11(b)(4),” “75.11(b)(5),” “75.11(b)(6),” and “75.11(b)(7).”

III. Rulemaking Procedure

Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553(b)), an agency may waive the normal notice and comment requirements if it finds, for good cause, that they are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. As authorized by 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), the NRC finds good cause to waive notice and opportunity for comment on the amendments, because notice and opportunity for comment are unnecessary. The amendments will have no substantive impact and are of a minor and administrative nature dealing with corrections to certain CFR sections related only to management, organization, procedure, and practice. Specifically, the revisions correct typographical errors, misspellings, and incorrect references.

The Commission is exercising its authority under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) to publish these amendments as a final rule. The amendments are effective September 2, 2015. These amendments do not require action by any person or entity regulated by the NRC. Also, the final rule does not change the substantive responsibilities of any person or entity regulated by the NRC.

IV. Environmental Impact: Categorical Exclusion

The NRC has determined that this final rule is the type of action described in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(2), which categorically excludes from environmental review rules that are corrective or of a minor, nonpolicy nature and do not substantially modify existing regulations. Therefore, neither an environmental impact statement nor an environmental assessment has been prepared for this rule.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

This final rule does not contain information collection requirements and, therefore, is not subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

Public Protection Notification

The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a request for information or an information collection requirement unless the requesting document displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget control number.

VI. Plain Writing

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-274) requires Federal agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, and well-organized manner. The NRC has written this document to be consistent with the Plain Writing Act as well as the Presidential Memorandum, “Plain Language in Government Writing,” published June 10, 1998 (63 FR 31883).

VII. Backfitting and Issue Finality

The NRC has determined that the corrections in this final rule do not constitute backfitting and are not inconsistent with any of the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52. The revisions are non-substantive in nature, including correcting typographical errors, correcting misspellings, and correcting and removing references. They impose no new requirements and make no substantive changes to the regulations. The corrections do not involve any provisions that would impose backfits as defined in 10 CFR chapter I, or would be inconsistent with the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52. For these reasons, the issuance of the rule in final form would not constitute backfitting or represent an inconsistency with any of the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52. Therefore, the NRC has not prepared any additional documentation for this correction rulemaking addressing backfitting or issue finality.

List of Subjects 10 CFR Part 1

Organization and functions (Government Agencies).

10 CFR Part 37

Byproduct material, Criminal penalties, Export, Hazardous materials transportation, Import, Licensed material, Nuclear materials, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures.

10 CFR Part 40

Criminal penalties, Government contracts, Hazardous materials transportation, Nuclear materials, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Source material, Uranium.

10 CFR Part 50

Antitrust, Classified information, Criminal penalties, Fire protection, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Radiation protection, Reactor siting criteria, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

10 CFR Part 55

Criminal penalties, Manpower training programs, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

10 CFR Part 74

Accounting, Criminal penalties, Hazardous materials transportation, Material control and accounting, Nuclear materials, Packaging and containers, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Scientific equipment, Special nuclear material.

10 CFR Part 75

Criminal penalties, Intergovernmental relations, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures.

For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended; and 5 U.S.C. 552 and 553, the NRC is adopting the following amendments to 10 CFR parts 1, 37, 40, 50, 55, 74, and 75.

PART 1—STATEMENT OF ORGANIZATION AND GENERAL INFORMATION 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act secs. 23, 29, 161, 191 (42 U.S.C. 2033, 2039, 2201, 2241); Energy Reorganization Act secs. 201, 203, 204, 205, 209 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5843, 5844, 5845, 5849); 5 U.S.C. 552, 553; Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1980, 45 FR 40561, June 16, 1980.

2. In § 1.3, revise paragraph (c), last sentence, to read as follows:
§ 1.3 Source of additional information.

(c) * * * Final opinions made in the adjudication of cases are published in “Nuclear Regulatory Commission Issuances,” and are available on a subscription basis from the National Technical Information Service, 5301 Shawnee Road, Alexandria, VA 22312.

PART 37—PHYSICAL PROTECTION OF CATEGORY 1 AND CATEGORY 2 QUANTITIES OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL 3. The authority citation for part 37 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act secs. 53, 81, 103, 104, 147, 148, 149, 161, 182, 183, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2073, 2111, 2133, 2134, 2167, 2168, 2169, 2201a., 2232, 2233, 2273, 2282).

4. In § 37.23, revise paragraph (b)(2), last sentence, to read as follows:
§ 37.23 Access authorization program requirements.

(b) * * *

(2) * * * The licensee shall recertify that the reviewing official is deemed trustworthy and reliable every 10 years in accordance with § 37.25(c).

PART 40—DOMESTIC LICENSING OF SOURCE MATERIAL 5. The authority citation for part 40 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act secs. 11(e)(2), 62, 63, 64, 65, 81, 161, 181, 182, 183, 186, 193, 223, 234, 274, 275 (42 U.S.C. 2014(e)(2), 2092, 2093, 2094, 2095, 2111, 2113, 2114, 2201, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2236, 2243, 2273, 2282, 2021, 2022); Energy Reorganization Act secs. 201, 202, 206 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846); Government Paperwork Elimination Act sec. 1704 (44 U.S.C. 3504 note); Energy Policy Act of 2005, Pub. L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 594 (2005).

Section 40.7 also issued under Energy Reorganization Act sec. 211, Pub. L. 95-601, sec. 10, as amended by Pub. L. 102-486, sec. 2902 (42 U.S.C. 5851). Section 40.31(g) also issued under Atomic Energy Act sec. 122 (42 U.S.C. 2152). Section 40.46 also issued under Atomic Energy Act sec. 184 (42 U.S.C. 2234). Section 40.71 also issued under Atomic Energy Act sec. 187 (42 U.S.C. 2237).

6. In § 40.61, revise paragraph (a)(2) to read as follows:
§ 40.61 Records.

(a) * * *

(2) The licensee who transferred the material shall retain each record of transfer of source or byproduct material until the Commission terminates each license that authorizes the activity that is subject to the recordkeeping requirement.

PART 50—DOMESTIC LICENSING OF PRODUCTION AND UTILIZATION FACILITIES 7. The authority citation for part 50 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act secs. 11, 102, 103, 104, 105, 147, 149, 161, 181, 182, 183, 186, 189, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2014, 2132, 2133, 2134, 2135, 2167, 2169, 2201, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2236, 2239, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act secs. 201, 202, 206 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846); Nuclear Waste Policy Act sec. 306 (42 U.S.C. 10226); Government Paperwork Elimination Act sec. 1704 (44 U.S.C. 3504 note); Energy Policy Act of 2005, Pub. L. 109-58, 119 Stat. 194 (2005). Section 50.7 also issued under Pub. L. 95-601, sec. 10, as amended by Pub. L. 102-486, sec. 2902 (42 U.S.C. 5851). Section 50.10 also issued under Atomic Energy Act secs. 101, 185 (42 U.S.C. 2131, 2235); National Environmental Policy Act sec. 102 (42 U.S.C. 4332). Sections 50.13, 50.54(d), and 50.103 also issued under Atomic Energy Act sec. 108 (42 U.S.C. 2138).

Sections 50.23, 50.35, 50.55, and 50.56 also issued under Atomic Energy Act sec. 185 (42 U.S.C. 2235). Appendix Q also issued under National Environmental Policy Act sec. 102 (42 U.S.C. 4332). Sections 50.34 and 50.54 also issued under sec. 204 (42 U.S.C. 5844). Sections 50.58, 50.91, and 50.92 also issued under Pub. L. 97-415 (42 U.S.C. 2239). Section 50.78 also issued under Atomic Energy Act sec. 122 (42 U.S.C. 2152). Sections 50.80-50.81 also issued under Atomic Energy Act sec. 184 (42 U.S.C. 2234).

8. In § 50.49, revise footnote 4 to read as follows:
§ 50.49 Environmental qualification of electric equipment important to safety for nuclear power plants.

4 Specific guidance concerning the types of variables to be monitored is provided in Revision 2 of Regulatory Guide 1.97, “Instrumentation for Light-Water-Cooled Nuclear Power Plants to Assess Plant and Environs Conditions During and Following an Accident.” Copies of the Regulatory Guide may be purchased through the U.S. Government Publishing Office by calling 202-512-1800 or by writing to the U.S. Government Publishing Office, P.O. Box 37082, Washington, DC 20013-7082.

9. In § 50.54, revise the last sentence of the introductory text to read as follows:
§ 50.54 Conditions of licenses.

* * * The following paragraphs with the exception of paragraph (r), (s), and (u) of this section are conditions in every combined license issued under part 52 of this chapter, provided, however, that paragraphs (i) introductory text, (i)(1), (j), (k), (l), (m), (n), (w), (x), (y), (z), and (hh) of this section are only applicable after the Commission makes the finding under § 52.103(g) of this chapter.

10. In § 50.55a, revise paragraphs (a)(2)(i) through (iii), add paragraph (a)(2)(iv), and revise paragraph (h)(2) to read as follows:
§ 50.55a Codes and standards.

(a) * * *

(2) * * *

(i) IEEE standard 279-1968. (IEEE Std 279-1968), “Proposed IEEE Criteria for Nuclear Power Plant Protection Systems” (Approval Date: August 30, 1968), referenced in paragraph (h)(2) of this section. (Copies of this document may be purchased from IHS Global, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112; https://global.ihs.com.)

(ii) IEEE standard 279-1971. (IEEE Std 279-1971), “Criteria for Protection Systems for Nuclear Power Generating Stations” (Approval Date: June 3, 1971), referenced in paragraph (h)(2) of this section.

(iii) IEEE standard 603-1991. (IEEE Std 603-1991), “Standard Criteria for Safety Systems for Nuclear Power Generating Stations” (Approval Date: June 27, 1991), referenced in paragraphs (h)(2) and (h)(3) of this section. All other standards that are referenced in IEEE Std 603-1991 are not approved for incorporation by reference.

(iv) IEEE standard 603-1991, correction sheet. (IEEE Std 603-1991 correction sheet), “Standard Criteria for Safety Systems for Nuclear Power Generating Stations, Correction Sheet, Issued January 30, 1995,” referenced in paragraphs (h)(2) and (h)(3) of this section. (This correction sheet is available from IEEE at http://standards.ieee.org/findstds/errata/).

(h) * * *

(2) Protection systems. For nuclear power plants with construction permits issued after January 1, 1971, but before May 13, 1999, protection systems must meet the requirements in IEEE Std 279-1968, “Proposed IEEE Criteria for Nuclear Power Plant Protection Systems,” or the requirements in IEEE Std 279-1971, “Criteria for Protection Systems for Nuclear Power Generating Stations,” or the requirements in IEEE Std 603-1991, “Criteria for Safety Systems for Nuclear Power Generating Stations,” and the correction sheet dated January 30, 1995. For nuclear power plants with construction permits issued before January 1, 1971, protection systems must be consistent with their licensing basis or may meet the requirements of IEEE Std. 603-1991 and the correction sheet dated January 30, 1995.

PART 55—OPERATORS' LICENSES 11. The authority citation for part 55 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act secs. 107, 161, 181, 182, 68 Stat. 939, 948, 953, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2137, 2201, 2231, 2232, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act secs. 201, 202 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842); Government Paperwork Elimination Act sec. 1704 (44 U.S.C. 3504 note).

Sections 55.41, 55.43, 55.45, and 55.59 also issued under Nuclear Waste Policy Act sec. 306 (42 U.S.C. 10226).

Section 55.61 also issued under Atomic Energy Act secs. 186, 187 (42 U.S.C. 2236, 2237).

12. In § 55.40, revise footnote 1 to read as follows:
§ 55.40 Implementation.

1Copies of NUREGs may be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Publishing Office, P.O. Box 38082, Washington, DC 20402-9328. Copies are also available from the National Technical Information Service, 5301 Shawnee Road, Alexandria, VA 22312. A copy is available for inspection and/or copying in the NRC Public Document Room, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (0-1F23), Rockville, MD.

PART 74—MATERIAL CONTROL AND ACCOUNTING OF SPECIAL NUCLEAR MATERIAL 13. The authority citation for part 74 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act secs. 53, 57, 161, 182, 183, 223, 234, 1701 (42 U.S.C. 2073, 2077, 2201, 2232, 2233, 2273, 2282, 2297f); Energy Reorganization Act secs. 201, 202, 206 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846); Government Paperwork Elimination Act sec. 1704 (44 U.S.C. 3504 note).

14. In § 74.4, the definition of “tamper-safing” is revised to read as follows:
§ 74.4 Definitions.

Tamper-safing means the use of devices on containers or vaults in a manner and at a time that ensures a clear indication of any violation of the integrity of previously made measurements of special nuclear material within the container or vault.

15. In § 74.55, revise paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:
§ 74.55 Item monitoring.

(b) * * *

(2) Three working days for Category IA items and seven calendar days for Category IB items located elsewhere in the MAA, except for reactor components measuring at least one meter in length and weighing in excess of 30 kilograms for which the time interval shall be 30 days;

PART 75—SAFEGUARDS ON NUCLEAR MATERIAL-IMPLEMENTATION OF US/IAEA AGREEMENT 16. The authority citation for part 75 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act secs. 53, 63, 103, 104, 122, 161, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2073, 2093, 2133, 2134, 2152, 2201, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); Government Paperwork Elimination Act sec. 1704 (44 U.S.C. 3504 note).

Section 75.4 also issued under Nuclear Waste Policy Act secs. 135 (42 U.S.C. 10155, 10161).

17. In § 75.6, revise paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 75.6 Facility and location reporting.

(d) Locations—Specific information regarding locations is to be reported as follows:

Item Section Manner of delivery Fuel cycle-related research and development information 75.11(b)(1) As specified by printed instructions for preparation of DOC/NRC Form AP-1 and associated forms. Fuel cycle-related manufacturing and construction information 75.11(b)(2) As specified by printed instructions for preparation of DOC/NRC Form AP-1 and associated forms. Mines and concentration plant information 75.11(b)(3) As specified by printed instructions for preparation of DOC/NRC Form AP-1 and associated forms. Impure source material possession information 75.11(b)(4) As specified by printed instructions for preparation of DOC/NRC Form AP-1 and associated forms. Imports and exports of source material for non-nuclear end uses 75.11(b)(5) As specified by printed instructions for preparation of DOC/NRC Form AP-1 and associated forms. IAEA safeguards-exempted and terminated nuclear material information 75.11(b)(6) As specified by printed instructions for preparation of DOC/NRC Form AP-1 and associated forms. Imports and exports of non-nuclear material and equipment 75.11(b)(7) As specified by printed instructions for preparation of DOC/NRC Form AP-1 and associated forms. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of July, 2015.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration.
[FR Doc. 2015-18863 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 701 RIN 3133-AE39 Federal Credit Union Ownership of Fixed Assets AGENCY:

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The NCUA Board (Board) is amending its regulation governing federal credit union (FCU) ownership of fixed assets. To provide regulatory relief to FCUs, the final rule eliminates a provision in the current fixed assets rule that established a five percent aggregate limit on investments in fixed assets for FCUs with $1,000,000 or more in assets. With this elimination, provisions regarding waivers from the aggregate limit are no longer relevant, so the final rule also eliminates those provisions. Instead of applying the prescriptive aggregate limit provided by regulation in the current fixed assets rule, under the final rule, NCUA will oversee FCU ownership of fixed assets through the supervisory process and guidance.

The final rule also makes conforming amendments to the scope and definitions sections of the current fixed assets rule to reflect this modified approach, and it revises the title of § 701.36 to more accurately reflect this amended scope and applicability. In addition, the final rule simplifies the current fixed assets rule's partial occupancy requirements for FCU premises acquired for future expansion by establishing a single six-year time period for partial occupancy of all premises and by removing the 30-month requirement for partial occupancy waiver requests.

DATES:

This rule is effective October 2, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Pamela Yu, Senior Staff Attorney, Office of General Counsel, at the above address or telephone (703) 518-6540, or Jacob McCall, Program Officer, Office of Examination and Insurance, at the above address or telephone (703) 518-6360.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background A. 2013 Rule B. July 2014 Proposal C. March 2015 Proposal II. Public Comments on the March 2015 Proposal III. Final Rule IV. Regulatory Procedures I. Background

The Federal Credit Union Act (FCU Act) authorizes an FCU to purchase, hold, and dispose of property necessary or incidental to its operations.1 NCUA's fixed assets rule interprets and implements this provision of the FCU Act.2 NCUA's current fixed assets rule: (1) limits FCU investments in fixed assets; (2) establishes occupancy, planning, and disposal requirements for acquired and abandoned premises; and (3) prohibits certain transactions.3 Under the current rule, fixed assets are defined as premises, furniture, fixtures, and equipment, including any office, branch office, suboffice, service center, parking lot, facility, real estate where a credit union transacts or will transact business, office furnishings, office machines, computer hardware and software, automated terminals, and heating and cooling equipment.4

1 12 U.S.C. 1757(4).

2 12 CFR 701.36.

3Id.

4 12 CFR 701.36(c).

A. 2013 Rule

The Board has a policy of continually reviewing NCUA's regulations to update, clarify, and simplify existing regulations and eliminate redundant and unnecessary provisions. To carry out this policy, NCUA identifies one-third of its existing regulations for review each year and provides notice of this review so the public may comment. In 2012, NCUA reviewed its fixed assets rule as part of this process. As a result of that review, in March 2013, the Board issued proposed amendments to the fixed assets rule to make it easier for FCUs to understand it.5 The proposed amendments did not make any substantive changes to the regulatory requirements. Rather, they only clarified the rule and improved its overall organization, structure, and readability.

5 78 FR 17136 (Mar. 20, 2013).

In response to the Board's request for public comment on the March 2013 proposal, several commenters offered suggestions for substantive changes to the fixed assets rule, such as increasing or eliminating the aggregate limit on fixed assets, changing the current waiver process, and extending the time frames for occupying premises acquired for future expansion. These comments, however, were beyond the scope of the March 2013 proposal, which only reorganized and clarified the rule. Accordingly, in September 2013, the Board adopted the March 2013 proposal as final without change except for one minor modification.6 In finalizing that rule, however, the Board indicated it would take the commenters' substantive suggestions into consideration if it were to make subsequent amendments to NCUA's fixed assets rule.

6 78 FR 57250 (Sept. 18, 2013).

B. July 2014 Proposal

In July 2014, the Board issued a proposed rule to provide regulatory relief to FCUs and to allow FCUs greater autonomy in managing their fixed assets.7 These amendments reflected some of the public comments received on the March 2013 proposal. Specifically, in the July 2014 proposal, the Board proposed to allow an FCU to exceed the five percent aggregate limit,8 without the need for a waiver, provided the FCU implemented a fixed assets management (FAM) program that demonstrated appropriate pre-acquisition analysis to ensure the FCU could afford any impact on earnings and net worth levels resulting from the purchase of fixed assets. Under the July 2014 proposal, an FCU's FAM program would have been subject to supervisory scrutiny and would have had to provide for close ongoing oversight of fixed assets levels and their effect on the FCU's financial performance. It also would have had to include a written policy that set an FCU board-established limit on the aggregate amount of the FCU's fixed assets. In the July 2014 proposal, the Board also proposed to simplify the partial occupancy requirement for premises acquired for future expansion by establishing a single five-year time period for partial occupancy of any premises acquired for future expansion, including improved and unimproved property, and by removing the current fixed assets rule's 30-month time limit for submitting a partial occupancy waiver request.

7 79 FR 46727 (Aug. 11, 2014).

8 The five percent aggregate limit on fixed assets is measured in comparison to the FCU's shares and retained earnings.

The public comment period for the July 2014 proposal closed on October 10, 2014, and NCUA received thirty-six comments on the proposal. While commenters generally supported the Board's efforts to provide regulatory relief from the requirements concerning FCU fixed assets, most commenters advocated for more relief or suggested alternative approaches to achieving that objective.

For example, a significant number of commenters suggested that the July 2014 proposal did not provide sufficient regulatory relief and that the five percent aggregate limit should be eliminated. These commenters noted that the aggregate limit is not statutorily mandated by the FCU Act and, thus, FCUs should be allowed to independently manage their own fixed assets without a strict regulatory limit. Several commenters argued further that FCUs should be permitted to manage their own fixed assets without the additional requirements.

In addition, a large percentage of commenters opposed the proposed FAM program requirement. Commenters argued that it would be unnecessary or overly burdensome, and it would impose additional burdens that FCUs are not already subject to under the current rule. For example, one commenter argued that the July 2014 proposal simply shuffled regulatory burden, rather than providing meaningful regulatory relief. Several other commenters proffered a similar argument that the additional requirements imposed after assets are acquired would increase FCUs' compliance responsibilities and costs, mitigating any flexibility gained under the proposal.

The July 2014 proposal also would have simplified the partial occupancy requirement for premises acquired for future expansion. Virtually all commenters that provided feedback on the proposed amendments to the partial occupancy requirement supported the overall concept of streamlining or improving this aspect of the fixed assets rule. However, most commenters requested additional relief beyond that proposed. For example, a number of commenters suggested that the time period for partial occupancy should be extended. Commenters also recommended that regulatory timeframes for occupancy should be eliminated entirely.

After careful consideration of the public comments, particularly those relating to the fixed assets aggregate limit, the Board determined that additional regulatory relief beyond what was provided in the July 2014 proposal was warranted. Therefore, the Board did not adopt the July 2014 proposal, including any FAM program requirements. The Board concluded upon further review that oversight of the purchase of FCU investments in fixed assets can be effectively achieved through supervisory guidance and the examination process, rather than through prescriptive regulatory limitations. Accordingly, in March 2015, the Board issued a new proposal to eliminate the five percent aggregate limit on fixed assets.

C. March 2015 Proposal

In March 2015, largely because of the public comments received in response to the July 2014 proposal, the Board issued a new proposal to address commenters' requests for additional regulatory relief from the aggregate limit on fixed assets.9 The Board also incorporated into the March 2015 proposal partial occupancy requirements similar to those from the July 2014 proposal, but with one modification to the proposed single time period for partial occupancy, to provide even more regulatory relief to FCUs.

9 80 FR 16595 (Mar. 30, 2015).

Specifically, in March 2015, the Board proposed to eliminate the five percent aggregate limit on FCU investments in fixed assets. It also proposed to eliminate the related provisions governing waivers of the aggregate limit because those provisions would no longer be relevant in the absence of a prescriptive aggregate limit.

In addition, in the March 2015 proposal, the Board proposed to incorporate, with one change, the proposed amendments in the July 2014 proposal relating to the partial occupancy requirements for FCU premises acquired for future expansion. Specifically, the Board proposed to require an FCU to partially occupy any premises acquired for future expansion, regardless of whether the premises are improved or unimproved property, within six years from the date of the FCU's acquisition of those premises. In the July 2014 proposal, the Board proposed to require partial occupancy within a uniform five-year time period. However, in response to public comments, the March 2015 proposal revised it to six years rather than five years for partial occupancy, which would retain the current fixed assets rule's time period for unimproved land or unimproved real property and extend the current rule's time period for improved premises by three years. The March 2015 proposal also reissued, without change, the amendment in the July 2014 proposal to eliminate the current requirement for an FCU that wishes to apply for a waiver of the partial occupancy requirement to do so within 30 months of acquisition of the property acquired for future expansion.

II. Public Comments on the March 2015 Proposal

The public comment period for the March 2015 proposal ended on April 29, 2015. NCUA received sixteen comments on the proposed rule: two from credit union trade associations, four from state credit union leagues, seven from FCUs, and three from FISCUs. Most commenters were generally supportive of the proposal and the Board's continuing efforts to provide regulatory relief in this area. Four commenters supported the proposal without stipulation, but eight commenters asked for more relief and flexibility or expressed concern about one or more aspects of the proposal. None of the commenters opposed the proposal entirely. However, one commenter indicated that it could not support the rule without first evaluating any related supervisory guidance.

The substantive comments on the key aspects of the March 2015 proposal are discussed in more detail below.

A. Removal of the 5% Aggregate Limit

Section 701.36(c) of the current fixed assets rule establishes an aggregate limit on investments in fixed assets for FCUs with $1,000,000 or more in assets. For an FCU meeting this asset threshold, the aggregate of all its investments in fixed assets is limited to five percent of its shares and retained earnings, unless NCUA grants a waiver establishing a higher limit.10 The March 2015 proposal eliminated this provision. It also eliminated the provisions in the current fixed assets rule relating to waivers from the aggregate limit.

10 12 CFR 701.36(c).

Eleven commenters expressed support for eliminating the five percent aggregate limit. Of those, two commenters also supported the reissuance of the proposal without the FAM program requirements that were included in the July 2014 proposal. One commenter asserted that NCUA should not impose an aggregate limit on FCU investments in fixed assets because it is not required by the FCU Act. Two commenters noted that the five percent aggregate limit is outdated and the removal of the limitation is long overdue. One commenter indicated that the current one-size-fits-all rule is very restrictive and may disadvantage credit unions in higher cost areas because credit unions located in areas with higher property costs can reach the cap much more easily and quickly. The same commenter posited that the latest proposed approach is preferable to the current rule because the individuality of each credit union can be incorporated into the supervisory evaluation process through examiner judgment.

Two commenters noted that the removal of the five percent limit will allow credit unions to make the business decisions necessary to thrive, and to accomplish their growth strategies and meet the needs of their members. Another commenter stated that the proposed amendment will allow credit unions more flexibility in finding the greatest value for their members. A different commenter said the change will increase a credit union's flexibility in the management and ownership of its fixed assets. One commenter said that the removal of the aggregate limit represents significant reform that provides FCUs with flexibility to meet their business or operational needs and the needs of members.

One commenter generally supported the concept of moving oversight of fixed assets from the regulatory process to the supervisory process, but expressed concern that the proposal simply shifts the same requirements from regulatory oversight to supervisory oversight.

In view of the generally positive comments received on this aspect of the March 2015 proposal, the Board is adopting, without change, the amendment to remove the five percent aggregate limit. As discussed in the preamble to the March 2015 proposal, the objective of the fixed assets rule is to place reasonable limits on the risk associated with excessive or speculative acquisition of fixed assets.11 The Board continues to believe this objective can be effectively achieved through the supervisory process as opposed to a regulatory limit.12 Accordingly, the final rule eliminates the five percent aggregate limit on FCU investments in fixed assets. It also eliminates the related provisions governing waivers of the aggregate limit because those provisions are no longer necessary in the absence of a prescriptive regulatory limit.

11See 43 FR 26317 (June 19, 1978) (“This regulation is intended to ensure that the officials of FCUs have considered all relevant factors prior to committing large sums of members' funds to the acquisition of fixed assets.”); 49 FR 50365, 50366 (Dec. 28, 1984) (“The intent of the regulation is to prevent, or at least curb, excessive investments in fixed assets and the related costs and expenses that may be beyond the financial capability of the credit union.”); 54 FR 18466, 18467 (May 1, 1989) (“[T]he purpose of the regulation is to provide some control on the potential risk of excess investment and/or commitment to invest substantial sums in fixed assets.”).

12See 80 FR 16595, 16601 (Mar. 30, 2015).

The Board emphasizes, however, that NCUA's supervisory expectations remain high. As noted in the March 2015 proposal, the Board cautions that the elimination of the aggregate limit should not be interpreted as an invitation for FCUs to make excessive, speculative, or otherwise irresponsible investments in fixed assets. This final rule reflects the Board's recognition that relief from the prescriptive limit on fixed assets is appropriate, but FCU investments in fixed assets are, and will continue to be, subject to supervisory review. If an FCU has an elevated level of fixed assets, NCUA will maintain close oversight to ensure the FCU conducts prudent planning and analysis with respect to fixed assets acquisitions, can afford any such acquisitions, and properly manages any ongoing risk to its earnings and capital.

Supervisory Guidance and Review

Most commenters generally supported the overall concept of overseeing FCU ownership of fixed assets through the supervisory process and guidance, instead of applying a prescriptive aggregate limit provided by regulation. One commenter noted that the supervisory examination process works well in the majority of cases. Another commenter said the proposed approach is rational because investments in fixed assets present little safety and soundness risk.

A number of other commenters, however, expressed concern about the oversight of FCU fixed assets through supervisory guidance and review. One commenter argued that a credit union's purchase of a fixed asset should not be left to an individual examiner's interpretation of what should be acquired by the credit union. One commenter encouraged the agency to adopt guidance that clearly articulates the criteria that an examiner will use to determine if a credit union's investments in fixed assets are safe and sound. Another commenter suggested that when a credit union maintains a well-capitalized net worth ratio and positive earnings, and produces a sound business plan, NCUA should not intervene or second guess the credit union's decisions. Another commenter stated generally that supervisory guidance and the examination process should allow a credit union flexibility to manage its own operations and not subject it to micro-management and the rigid scrutiny of examiners. A different commenter stated that fixed assets acquisitions must be evaluated within the context of the individual strategies of each credit union and examiners should be trained accordingly.

In addition, six commenters requested that any guidance governing investments in fixed assets be issued for public comment. One commenter said the Board should re-issue for public comment a new proposal that includes proposed supervisory guidance as an appendix to the proposed rule. One commenter asked that guidance be provided before any final rule is adopted. Another commenter suggested that guidance should be issued in conjunction with the final rule. One commenter simply urged that guidance be timely issued.

While the Board appreciates the value in affording the opportunity for public comment, the Board does not believe that formal notice-and-comment procedures for the final rule's companion guidance are required or necessary in this circumstance. As noted above, the Board has already formally solicited public comment on the subject of fixed assets in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and virtually all of the amendments contained in this final rule are in response to the comments received. Further, the amendments are intended to grant significant regulatory relief to FCUs, and a fourth notice-and-comment process on this subject would only further delay their implementation.

The Board notes that supervisory guidance does not require notice and comment rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and thus, it does not have the force and effect of law or regulation.13 The purpose of supervisory guidance and other interpretive rules is generally “to advise the public of the agency's construction of the statutes and rules that it administers.” 14 Supervisory guidance regarding FCU ownership of fixed assets is not intended to supplant FCUs' business decisions or to impose rigid and prescriptive requirements on FCUs in the management of their investments in fixed assets. Rather, the guidance will provide examiners and credit unions with clear information about NCUA's supervisory expectations with respect to the final rule, and establish a consistent framework for the exam and supervision process for the review of credit union management of fixed assets.

13 Section 4(b)(A) of the APA provides that, unless another statute states otherwise, the notice-and-comment requirement does not apply to “interpretative rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice.” 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A). The term “interpretative rule,” or “interpretive rule,” is not defined by the APA, but the United States Supreme Court has noted that the critical feature of interpretive rules is that they are “issued by an agency to advise the public of the agency's construction of the statutes and rules which it administers.” Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Ass'n, 135 S. Ct. 1199, 1203-04, 191 L. Ed. 2d 186 (2015) (citing, Shalala v. Guernsey Memorial Hospital, 514 U.S. 87, 99, 115 S. Ct. 1232, 131 L.Ed.2d 106 (1995)).

14Id.

The Board recognizes that clear and timely supervisory guidance is important to the effective implementation of this final rule. Thus, before this final rule takes effect, NCUA will issue updated supervisory guidance to examiners that will be shared with FCUs. The guidance will reflect current supervisory expectations 15 that require an FCU to demonstrate appropriate due diligence, ongoing board and management oversight,16 and prudent financial analysis to ensure the FCU can afford any impact on earnings and net worth levels caused by its purchase of fixed assets. The guidance will ensure examiners effectively identify any risks to safety and soundness due to an FCU's excessive investment in fixed assets. It will focus on evaluating the quality of an FCU's fixed assets management relative to its planning for fixed assets acquisitions and controlling the related financial risks. The guidance will also focus on evaluating an FCU's quality of earnings and capital relative to its projected performance under both baseline (expected) and stressed scenarios. The Board notes that the evaluation of fixed assets is not a current baseline review requirement for any examinations, and is only expected if examiners identify a material safety and soundness concern. In general, if an FCU can demonstrate an ability to afford and manage its fixed assets, the level of fixed assets will not be a supervisory concern.

15See NCUA Examiner's Guide, Chapter 8.

16 The credit union's board needs to approve plans for any investment in fixed assets that will materially affect the credit union's earnings. Credit union management should only purchase fixed assets in compliance with policy approved by the credit union's board.

Appeals

Two commenters recommended that the final rule include a formal appeals process to allow credit unions the opportunity to defend fixed assets investment decisions that are challenged through supervision.

The Board emphasizes that it is not NCUA's goal to second guess an FCU's reasonable business decisions, and NCUA anticipates that open communications between an FCU and its examiner should resolve most kinds of fixed assets disputes about which commenters have raised concern. Nevertheless, as with any other regulation, an FCU that fails to comply with the requirements of this final rule may be subject to commensurate supervisory action. The Board notes that all rights and procedures generally available to an FCU in appealing an NCUA administrative or enforcement action are likewise available to an FCU under this final rule.

B. Partial Occupancy

Most commenters were supportive of the overall concept of streamlining or improving the fixed assets rule's partial occupancy requirement. A number of commenters, however, asked for additional relief beyond that proposed.

Uniform 6-Year Partial Occupancy Timeframe

Under the current rule, if an FCU acquires premises for future expansion and does not fully occupy them within one year, it must have an FCU board resolution in place by the end of that year with definitive plans for full occupation.17 The current rule does not set a specific time period within which an FCU must achieve full occupation of premises acquired for future expansion. However, partial occupancy of the premises is required within a reasonable period, but no later than three years after the date of acquisition of improved property, or six years if the premises are unimproved land or unimproved real property.18 Partial occupancy must be sufficient to show, among other things, that the FCU will fully occupy the premises within a reasonable time and consistent with its plan for the premises.19 In the March 2015 proposal, the Board proposed to simplify the occupancy requirements in the fixed assets rule by establishing a single time period of six years from the date of acquisition for partial occupancy of any premises acquired for future expansion, regardless of whether the premises are improved or unimproved.

17 12 CFR 701.36(d)(1). The reasonableness of an FCU's plan for full occupation is evaluated through the examination process and based upon such factors as the defensibility of projection assumptions, the operational and financial feasibility of the plan, and the overall suitability of the plan relative to the FCU's field of membership.

18 12 CFR 701.36(d)(2).

19 12 CFR 701.36(b).

Three commenters agreed with the proposal to establish a single, uniform six-year time period for partial occupancy. One commenter, however, suggested that six years is too short a timeframe to achieve partial occupancy. Another commenter agreed that partial occupancy within six years may be appropriate in some instances, but disagreed that it should be mandated by regulation. Two commenters suggested that the rule should allow for up to ten years for partial occupancy. One commenter noted generally that allowing a longer timeframe for partial occupancy would reduce the need for waivers. One commenter said the proposed six-year timeframe is an improvement over the current rule, but preferred that the regulatory occupancy timeframes be removed altogether.

Six commenters suggested that the partial occupancy requirement should be eliminated entirely. Of those, four commenters observed that the FCU Act does not require a specific timeframe for occupancy or otherwise prescribe occupancy requirements for permissible real estate holdings. One commenter posited that NCUA has the statutory authority to provide greater flexibility in the partial occupancy requirements of the fixed assets rule.

As discussed in the preambles to the July 2014 and the March 2015 proposals, the FCU Act authorizes an FCU to purchase, hold, and dispose of property necessary or incidental to its operations.20 NCUA has interpreted this provision to mean that an FCU may only invest in property it intends to use to transact credit union business or in property that supports its internal operations or member services.21 There is no authority in the FCU Act for an FCU to invest in real estate for speculative purposes or to otherwise engage in real estate activities that do not support its purpose of providing financial services to its members.

20 12 U.S.C. 1757(4) (emphasis added).

21See 43 FR 58176, 58178 (Dec. 13, 1978) (“Part 107(4) of the Federal Credit Union Act provides that a credit union may purchase, hold, and dispose of property necessary or incidental to its operations. Retaining a piece of property whose only purpose is to provide office space to other entities is clearly not necessary or incidental to the Federal credit union's operations. Further, investing in, or holding, property with the intent of realizing a profit from appreciation at a future sale is also outside the powers of a Federal credit union.”); 69 FR 58039, 58041 (Sept. 29, 2004) (“Federal credit unions are chartered for the purpose of providing financial services to their members and it is not permissible for them to engage in real estate activities that do not support that purpose.”)

As noted above, the purpose of the fixed assets rule is to place reasonable controls on the risk associated with excess or speculative acquisition of fixed assets. The Board believes that, while partial occupancy is not expressly mandated by the FCU Act, the requirement for an FCU to partially occupy premises acquired for future expansion within a specified timeframe functions as a reasonable safeguard against speculative real estate investments or other impermissible real estate activities that are not permitted for FCUs under the FCU Act. Further, the Board maintains that a single six-year time period for partial occupancy will simplify and improve the rule, and the final rule adopts this amendment without modification. The final rule therefore retains the current time period for unimproved land or unimproved real property, and extends the current time period for improved premises by three years.

The Board emphasizes that the elimination of the 30-month requirement for partial occupancy waiver requests, which is discussed below, will allow an FCU additional leeway to apply for a waiver, as needed, if it is not able to achieve partial occupancy of premises within six years.

30-Month Waiver Deadline

Under the current rule, an FCU must submit its request for a waiver from the partial occupancy requirement within 30 months after the property is acquired. In the March 2015 proposal, the Board proposed to eliminate the 30-month requirement and allow FCUs to apply for a waiver beyond that time frame as appropriate. Four commenters provided feedback on the proposal to eliminate the 30-month timeframe for requesting a waiver of the partial occupancy requirement, and all were supportive of it. One commenter noted that the current 30-month waiver deadline does not allow FCUs the necessary flexibility to react to unanticipated business developments. The same commenter indicated that delays often occur outside the 30-month waiver timeframe and FCUs are left without options, causing greater hardship for an FCU already facing a business set-back in the development of its unimproved property.

In light of the unanimous support from commenters on this aspect of the proposal, the Board is adopting, without change, the proposal to eliminate the 30-month timeframe for requesting a waiver of the partial occupancy requirement.

C. Additional Comments Full Occupancy

As mentioned above, the current rule does not set a specific time period within which an FCU must achieve full occupancy of premises acquired for future expansion. However, if an FCU acquires such premises and does not fully occupy them within one year, it must have a board resolution in place by the end of that year with definitive plans for full occupation.22 Further, partial occupancy of the premises is required within a set timeframe and must be sufficient to show, among other things, that the FCU will fully occupy the premises within a reasonable time and consistent with its plan for the premises.23 The Board requested and received public comment on this topic in connection with the July 2014 proposal. The Board did not propose to amend the full occupancy requirement in the March 2015 proposal, but several commenters provided comment on this subject.

22 12 CFR 701.36(d)(1).

23Id.

One commenter stated that the FCU Act includes no express occupancy mandate on FCU property that supports the purpose of providing financial services to credit union members. Accordingly, the commenter believed that NCUA's interpretation of Section 107(4) of the FCU Act is unnecessarily restrictive, and the Board should eliminate the occupancy requirements from the rule. In support of this contention, the same commenter suggested that removing occupancy restrictions would allow FCUs to better compete with other financial institutions.

Another commenter stated generally that NCUA should reconsider its position on full occupancy because it oftentimes makes sense for a credit union to own a building and lease out part or all of the building to help offset the cost of property ownership.

The Board appreciates the additional comments on the full occupancy requirement and is carefully considering commenters' continued requests for relief in this area. The Board may address the full occupancy requirement in a future proposed rulemaking.

Small Credit Union Exemption

One commenter suggested NCUA review the small credit union exemption in the current fixed assets rule in order to provide additional regulatory relief to FCUs. This commenter asserted that the fixed assets rule does not apply to credit unions with less than $1 million in assets, and observed that NCUA has not adjusted the exemption amount in a number of years.

The Board clarifies, however, that the current exemption for FCUs with less than $1 million in assets 24 does not exempt those FCUs from the entirety of the fixed assets rule. Rather, the exemption applies only to the five percent aggregate limit on FCU ownership of fixed assets, which is eliminated in this final rule. Thus, the small credit union exemption to that limit is rendered moot and likewise eliminated.

24 12 CFR 701.36(c).

III. Final Rule

After careful consideration of all the public comments, the Board is generally adopting the March 2015 proposed rule as final without change.

In summary, this final rule amends the current fixed assets rule by: (1) Eliminating the five percent aggregate limit on fixed assets for FCUs with $1,000,000 or more in assets, as well as the provisions relating to waivers from that aggregate limit; (2) establishing a single time period of six years from the date of acquisition of real property for an FCU to partially occupy any premises acquired for future expansion, regardless of whether the premises are improved or unimproved property; and (3) eliminating the requirement that an FCU applying for a waiver of the partial occupancy requirement do so within 30 months of acquisition of any property acquired for future expansion.

In addition, the final rule makes conforming and technical amendments to the scope, definitions, and other sections of the fixed assets rule to reflect these changes, and it amends the title of § 701.36 to more accurately reflect its amended scope and applicability.

A. Existing Waivers or Enforcement Constraints

Because the final rule eliminates the five percent aggregate limit on fixed assets and the provisions relating to waivers from that aggregate limit, any waiver previously approved by NCUA concerning this aspect of the rule is rendered moot upon the effective date of this final rule. However, any constraints imposed on an FCU in connection with its investments in fixed assets, such as may be contained in a Letter of Understanding and Agreement, Document of Resolution, Regional Director Letter, Preliminary Warning Letter, or formal enforcement action, will remain intact. Thus, any particular enforcement measure to which an FCU is uniquely subject takes precedence over the more general application of the regulation. A constraint may take the form of a limitation or other condition that is actually imposed as part of a waiver. In such cases, the constraint will survive the adoption of this final rule.

IV. Regulatory Procedures A. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) generally requires that, in connection with a rulemaking, an agency prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the impact of a rule on small entities. A regulatory flexibility analysis is not required, however, if the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (defined for purposes of the RFA to include credit unions with assets less than $50 million) and publishes its certification and a short, explanatory statement in the Federal Register together with the rule. This rule will provide regulatory relief by allowing FCUs to manage their investments in fixed assets without having to prepare and submit a waiver request to exceed the five percent aggregate limit. Regulatory relief will also be achieved by extending the time period from three to six years for a FCU to partially occupy improved premises acquired for future expansion and by eliminating the requirement to submit a waiver request within 30 months after the property is acquired. This will reduce the number of credit unions needing to request an occupancy waiver. This rule will result in no additional costs to FCUs. NCUA certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small credit unions.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) applies to rulemakings in which an agency by rule creates a new paperwork burden on regulated entities or modifies an existing burden.25 For purposes of the PRA, a paperwork burden may take the form of either a reporting or a recordkeeping requirement, both referred to as information collections. The final rule provides regulatory relief to FCUs by eliminating the requirement that, for an FCU with $1,000,000 or more in assets, the aggregate of all its investments in fixed assets must not exceed five percent of its shares and retained earnings, unless it obtains a waiver from NCUA. The final rule does not impose new paperwork burdens. However, the final rule will relieve FCUs from the current requirement to obtain a waiver to exceed the five percent aggregate limit on investments in fixed assets.

25 44 U.S.C. 3507(d); 5 CFR part 1320.

According to NCUA records, as of September 30, 2014, there were 3,707 FCUs with assets over $1,000,000 and subject to the five percent aggregate limit on fixed assets. Of those, approximately 150 FCUs would prepare and file a new waiver request to exceed the five percent aggregate limit. This effort, which is estimated to create 15 hours burden per waiver, would no longer be required under the final rule. Accordingly, the reduction to existing paperwork burdens that would result from the final rule is analyzed below:

Estimate of the Reduced Burden by Eliminating the Waiver Requirement

Estimated FCUs which will no longer be required to prepare a waiver request and file a waiver request: 150.

Frequency of waiver request: Annual.

Reduced hour burden: 15.

150 FCUs × 15 hours = 2250 hours annual reduced burden.

In accordance with the requirements of the PRA, NCUA submitted a copy of the rule to the Office of Management and Budget for its review and approval.

C. Executive Order 13132

Executive Order 13132 encourages independent regulatory agencies to consider the impact of their actions on state and local interests. NCUA, an independent regulatory agency, as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5), voluntarily complies with the executive order to adhere to fundamental federalism principles. Because the fixed assets rule applies only to FCUs, and not to state-chartered credit unions, this final rule will not have a substantial direct effect on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. As such, NCUA has determined that this final rule does not constitute a policy that has federalism implications for purposes of the executive order.

D. Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

NCUA has determined that this final rule will not affect family well-being within the meaning of Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999.26

26 Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 (1998).

E. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA) provides generally for congressional review of agency rules. A reporting requirement is triggered in instances where NCUA issues a final rule as defined by Section 551 of the APA. NCUA does not believe this final rule is a “major rule” within the meaning of the relevant sections of SBREFA because it will provide regulatory relief to give FCUs greater autonomy in managing their investments in fixed assets. The elimination of the aggregate limit on fixed assets and the extension of the occupancy requirement will significantly reduce the number of FCUs needing to prepare a waiver request. NCUA has submitted the rule to the Office of Management and Budget for its determination in that regard.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 701

Credit unions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

By the National Credit Union Administration Board, on July 23, 2015. Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board.

For the reasons stated above, NCUA amends 12 CFR part 701 as follows:

PART 701—ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION OF FEDERAL CREDIT UNIONS 1. The authority citation for part 701 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 1752(5), 1755, 1756, 1757, 1758, 1759, 1761a, 1761b, 1766, 1767, 1782, 1784, 1786, 1787, 1789. Section 701.6 is also authorized by 15 U.S.C. 3717. Section 701.31 is also authorized by 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 1981 and 3601-3610. Section 701.35 is also authorized by 42 U.S.C. 4311-4312.

2. Amend § 701.36 as follows: a. Revise the section heading and paragraph (a). b. In paragraph (b) remove the following definitions: “fixed assets”, “furniture, fixtures, and equipment”, “investments in fixed assets”, “retained earnings”, and “shares”. c. Remove paragraph (c). d. Redesignate paragraph (d) as (c). e. Revise newly redesignated paragraph (c)(2). f. Redesignate paragraph (e) as (d). g. Revise newly redesignated paragraphs (d)(2) and (4).

The revisions read as follows:

§ 701.36 Federal credit union occupancy, planning, and disposal of acquired and abandoned premises.

(a) Scope. Section 107(4) of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1757(4)) authorizes a federal credit union to purchase, hold, and dispose of property necessary or incidental to its operations. This section interprets and implements that provision by establishing occupancy, planning, and disposal requirements for acquired and abandoned premises, and by prohibiting certain transactions. This section applies only to federal credit unions.

(c) * * *

(2) If a federal credit union acquires premises for future expansion, including unimproved land or unimproved real property, it must partially occupy them within a reasonable period, but no later than six years after the date of acquisition. NCUA may waive the partial occupation requirements. To seek a waiver, a federal credit union must submit a written request to its Regional Office and fully explain why it needs the waiver. The Regional Director will provide the federal credit union a written response, either approving or disapproving the request. The Regional Director's decision will be based on safety and soundness considerations.

(d) * * *

(2) A federal credit union must not lease for one year or longer premises from any of its employees if the employee is directly involved in acquiring premises, unless the federal credit union's board of directors determines the employee's involvement is not a conflict of interest.

(4) To seek a waiver from any of the prohibitions in this paragraph (d), a federal credit union must submit a written request to its Regional Office and fully explain why it needs the waiver. Within 45 days of the receipt of the waiver request or all necessary documentation, whichever is later, the Regional Director will provide the federal credit union a written response, either approving or disapproving its request. The Regional Director's decision will be based on safety and soundness considerations and a determination as to whether a conflict of interest exists.

[FR Doc. 2015-18642 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0826; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-221-AD; Amendment 39-18222; AD 2015-15-12] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A318, A319, and A320 series airplanes modified by a particular supplemental type certificate (STC). This AD was prompted by reports of cracks found during inspections of the in-flight entertainment system radome assembly. This AD requires repetitive detailed inspections for cracks in the radome assembly, and replacement of the radome if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the radome assembly, which could result in the radome (or pieces) separating from the airplane and striking the tail, consequently reducing the controllability of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective September 8, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 8, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this AD, contact Live TV, 7415 Emerald Dunes Drive, Orlando, FL 32822; telephone 407-812-2643; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.LiveTV.net. 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-2015-0826.

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-2015-0826; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Barry Culler, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ACE-117A, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337; phone: 404-474-5546; fax: 404-474-5605; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Model A318, A319, and A320 series airplanes modified by a particular STC. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 15, 2015 (80 FR 20175). The NPRM was prompted by reports of cracks found during inspections of the in-flight entertainment system radome assembly that had in-flight entertainment systems installed using an STC issued to Live TV (STC ST00788SE, http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/6df40775b10ef09a86257ae200613cfe/$FILE/ST00788SE.pdf). Investigation of the cause of the cracks revealed that radome manufacturing variation, due to a lack of dimensional controls on the radome manufacturing drawings, can result in the introduction of preload stress on the radome during its assembly with the skirt fairing. Preload stress combined with flight or handling stress, such as maintenance personnel stepping on the radome fairing assembly, might initiate a crack. The radome manufacturing drawings were revised on September 13, 2010, to add a control dimension, which was incorporated into production at radome serial number 498. The NPRM proposed to require detailed inspections for cracks in the radome assembly, and replacement of the radome if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the radome assembly, which could result in the radome (or pieces) separating from the airplane and striking the tail, consequently reducing the controllability of the airplane.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM (80 FR 20175, April 15, 2015) or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

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

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 20175, April 15, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 20175, April 15, 2015).

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Live TV Service Bulletin A320-53-006, Rev 01, dated September 10, 2014. The service information describes procedures for repetitive detailed inspections for cracks in the outer ply of the radome, and replacement of the radome with a new or serviceable radome if any crack is found. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 120 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspections 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 per inspection cycle N/A $85 per inspection cycle $10,200 per inspection cycle.

We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements that would be required based on the results of the inspections. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this replacement:

On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Replacement 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $ 680 $0 $680
    Paperwork Reduction Act

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this AD is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591. ATTN: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-15-12 Airbus: Amendment 39-18222; Docket No. FAA-2015-0826; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-221-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective September 8, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the airplane models identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD, certificated in any category, with Live TV radomes having part number (P/N) 5063-100-XX (XX designates the color option) and a serial number in the range of 001 through 497 inclusive, and modified by supplemental type certificate (STC) ST00788SE, http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/6df40775b10ef09a86257ae200613cfe/$FILE/ST00788SE.pdf.

    (1) Airbus Model A318-111 and -112 airplanes.

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

    (3) Airbus Model A320-111, -211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of cracks found during inspections of the in-flight entertainment system radome assembly. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the in-flight entertainment system radome assembly, which could result in the radome (or pieces) separating from the airplane and striking the tail, consequently reducing the controllability of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Inspections and Corrective Actions

    Within 3,900 flight hours after the effective date of this AD: Perform a detailed inspection for cracks of the radome assembly, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Live TV Service Bulletin A320-53-006, Rev 01, dated September 10, 2014. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 3,900 flight hours. If any crack is found during any inspection required by this paragraph, before further flight, replace the radome with a new or serviceable radome, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Live TV Service Bulletin A320-53-006, Rev 01, dated September 10, 2014.

    (h) Reporting Requirement

    If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, submit a report of the findings to Live TV, Attn: Oscar Hernandez, email: [email protected]; at the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD. The report must include the information specified in the service bulletin reporting form provided in Live TV Service Bulletin A320-53-006, Rev 01, dated September 10, 2014.

    (1) If the inspection was accomplished on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection.

    (2) If the inspection was accomplished before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

    (i) Special Flight Permit

    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.

    (j) Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Statement

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    (k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Atlanta 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 the Related Information section of this AD.

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

    (3) If any service information contains steps that are identified as RC (Required for Compliance), those steps must be done to comply with this AD; any steps that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those steps 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 steps identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to steps identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (l) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Barry Culler, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ACE-117A, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337; phone: 404-474-5546; fax: 404 474 5605; email: [email protected]

    (m) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Live TV Service Bulletin A320-53-006, Rev 01, dated September 10, 2014.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Live TV, 7415 Emerald Dunes Drive, Orlando, FL 32822; telephone 407-812-2643; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.LiveTV.net.

    (4) 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.

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 17, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18535 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0348; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-033-AD; Amendment 39-18225; AD 2015-15-15] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 777-200, 777-200LR, 777-300ER, and 777F series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report indicating that sealant might not have been applied in production to the wing skin panel gaps above certain underwing fittings. This AD would require an inspection for missing sealant, and applicable other specified, related investigative, and corrective actions. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct missing sealant from the wing skin panel gaps above the underwing fittings, which could result in corrosion and fatigue cracking in the wing skin panel, and consequent loss of limit load capability of the wing skin and potential subsequent structural failure of the wings.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective September 8, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA 2014-0348.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0348; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Haytham Alaidy, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-6573; phone: 425-917-6573; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain The Boeing Company Model 777-200, 777-200LR, 777-300ER, and 777F series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on July 1, 2014 (79 FR 37243). The NPRM was prompted by a report indicating that sealant might not have been applied in production to the wing skin panel gaps above certain underwing fittings. The NPRM proposed to require an inspection for missing sealant, and applicable other specified, related investigative and corrective actions. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct missing sealant from the wing skin panel gaps above the underwing fittings, which could result in corrosion and fatigue cracking in the wing skin panel, and consequent loss of limit load capability of the wing skin and potential subsequent structural failure of the wings.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 37243, July 1, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment. Boeing concurs with the contents of the NPRM.

    Request To Accept Approved Repairs Without Need for Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOC)

    FedEx requested that any FAA-approved repair be accepted without the requirement of obtaining an AMOC.

    We do not agree with the request. The FAA does not consider that any FAA-approved repair will be acceptable to repair this condition. As the sealant was missing from the airplane at the time of initial delivery, it may not have been restored in prior repairs. In addition, repairs may not have detected all corrosion because the repair might not have included the inspection information contained in Boeing Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, Revision 1, dated May 4, 2015.

    Repairs for this AD must be approved by the Manager, Seattle ACO, FAA; or by the Boeing Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) using FAA Form 8100-9 in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j)(3) of this AD. We intend to delegate authority to approve AMOCs to the Boeing ODA for the repair approval process. In addition to knowledge of the unsafe condition, the Boeing ODA is knowledgeable about the original airplane design and compliance substantiation. We have not changed this AD regarding this issue.

    Request To Withdraw NPRM (79 FR 37243, July 1, 2014)

    American Airlines (AAL) stated that the Boeing 777 Maintenance Review Board Report (MRBR) has existing inspections intended to identify deterioration of sealant, as well as any corrosion or cracking. These inspections will detect deterioration or damage to the fillet seal that would lead to moisture ingression to the area of concern. AAL therefore considers the NPRM (79 FR 37243, July 1, 2014) to be unwarranted.

    We disagree with the commenter's request to withdraw the NPRM (79 FR 37243, July 1, 2014). Evaluation of the quality escapement revealed that, under certain environmental conditions, moisture can get trapped within a cavity directly under the nacelle fittings that are normally filled with sealant. With the presence of moisture in this cavity, the existing corrosion protection would degrade within an estimated ten years of service, and corrosion pitting would form on the stringer surface. Under flight loading, cracks would initiate and propagate from the corrosion pits until the stringer would no longer be able to sustain limit load, and would eventually fail. This corrosion and cracking would not be detected by the existing maintenance program prior to stringer failure. We have not changed this AD regarding this issue.

    Request for Validated Inspection Procedures

    American Airlines (AAL) stated that accomplishing the actions specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, dated January 10, 2014, could be detrimental to aircraft safety. According to AAL, any attempt at the sealant removal to do the inspection based upon the existing instructions in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, dated January 10, 2014, could potentially damage or degrade the protective surface finish of the wing skin or underwing fitting and lead to future corrosion or fatigue cracking.

    AAL stated that it attempted and failed to accomplish the inspection in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, dated January 10, 2014, because access to some of the intended inspection areas was severely inhibited by hydraulic lines. AAL also stated that any sealant, if present, would have been applied to the entire gap, so inspection from only one side should be sufficient. In addition, AAL used the recommended tooling and alternate tooling as specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, dated January 10, 2014, but experienced multiple problems with the use of this tooling. In addition, AAL requested that Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, dated January 10, 2014, be validated with workable tooling on an in-service airplane prior to any future action.

    We infer that the commenter is requesting that we delay issuance of the final rule pending validation of the existing procedures. We do not agree. AAL reported “multiple problems with the use of this tooling,” but did not describe any specific problems. However, we understand that the tools themselves require frequent but inexpensive replacement. We have determined that use of the appropriate tools and processes to remove the sealant from underneath the fitting should not damage the skin or adjacent structures.

    Boeing has performed and validated the procedures in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, dated January 10, 2014, on certain airplanes that are representative of the fleet on the flight line before delivery with no damage to the skin or adjacent structures. However, Boeing has revised Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, dated January 10, 2014, to clarify the sealant removal process and tooling, to ensure that it will not damage the skin. We also discussed AAL's concerns with Boeing, and Boeing reported that they have provided AAL with assistance. Boeing is also willing to work with any other operator that is having difficulty implementing the SB.

    Boeing considers that the revision of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, dated January 10, 2014, should address AAL's concerns about the tooling and procedures for sealant removal. We have revised paragraphs (c), (g), (h)(1), and (h)(2) of this AD to refer to Boeing Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, Revision 1, dated May 4, 2015. We have added new paragraph (i) to this AD to give credit for actions done before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, dated January 10, 2014. We have redesignated subsequent paragraphs accordingly. The FAA will consider approving alternative procedures if they are shown to be effective.

    Request for Additional Time

    AAL requested that, once Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, dated January 10, 2014, is validated, sufficient time should be provided to allow operators to procure such tooling.

    We infer that the commenter is requesting an extension to the compliance time. We do not agree with the commenter's request to extend the compliance time. We coordinated with Boeing regarding tool availability and fabrication. The tools stated in Boeing Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, dated January 10, 2014; and Revision 1, dated May 4, 2015; are nonmetallic sealant scrapers, which are widely available, with no lead time to procure these tools. Existing tools may be modified to match the wing panel gaps by cutting them to the correct size. However, we do understand that cutting the tools to size may weaken the tools, which could cause them to fracture and result in more frequent replacement of the tools. Boeing has stated that there is no engineering or drawing work required for fabrication. Any certified aircraft mechanic can fabricate the necessary tools. Boeing stated that during validation of the Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, dated January 10, 2014, the tools were fabricated in a working shift. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Conclusion

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

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 37243, July 1, 2014) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 37243, July 1, 2014).

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, Revision 1, dated May 4, 2015. The service information describes procedures for the inspection and repair of underwing fitting sealant at wing panel gaps. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 6 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on
  • U.S. operators
  • Inspection Up to 104 work-hours × $85 per hour = $8,840 $0 Up to $8,840 Up to $53,040.

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary actions that would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Sealant restoration 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85. Corrosion inspection 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 per side $0 $170 per side.

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

    According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-15-15 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18225; Docket No. FAA-2014-0348; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-033-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective September 8, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 777-200, 777-200LR, 777-300ER, and 777F series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, Revision 1, dated May 4, 2015.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report indicating that sealant might not have been applied in production to the wing skin panel gaps above certain underwing fittings. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct missing sealant from the wing skin panel gaps above the underwing fittings, which could result in corrosion and fatigue cracking in the wing skin panel, and consequent loss of limit load capability of the wing skin and potential subsequent structural failure of the wings.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection, Related Investigative and Corrective Actions

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, Revision 1, dated May 4, 2015, except as required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD: Do a detailed inspection for missing sealant in the wing skin panel gaps above the underwing fittings, and do all applicable other specified, related investigative, and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, Revision 1, dated May 4, 2015, except as required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD. Do all applicable other specified, related investigative, and corrective actions before further flight.

    (h) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

    (1) Where Boeing Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, Revision 1, dated May 4, 2015, specifies a compliance time “after the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) Where Boeing Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, Revision 1, dated May 4, 2015, specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate action: Repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (i) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, dated January 10, 2014.

    (j) 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 (k)(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 Aircraft Certification Office (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) Some steps in the Work Instructions are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC). If this service bulletin is mandated by an AD, then the steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures. Steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Haytham Alaidy, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6573; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

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

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Boeing Service Bulletin 777-57A0097, Revision 1, dated May 4, 2015.

    (ii) Reserved.

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

    (4) 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.

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 23, 2015. Victor Wicklund, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18694 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0652; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-076-AD; Amendment 39-18223; AD 2015-15-13] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A319 series airplanes; Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of cracks that could be initiated at the waste water service panel area and the potable water service panel area. This AD requires modification of the potable water service panel and waste water service panel, including doing applicable related investigative and corrective actions. We are issuing this AD to prevent any cracking at the waste water service panel area and the potable water service panel area, which could affect the structural integrity of the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective September 8, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of September 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0652 or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0652.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Model A319 series airplanes; Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on October 1, 2014 (79 FR 59160).

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0081, dated March 31, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A319 series airplanes; Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    During the full scale fatigue test on A320-200, it has been noticed that, due to fatigue, cracks could be initiated at the waste water service panel area and the potable water service panel area.

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

    Prompted by these findings, ALS [airworthiness limitations section] Part 2 tasks have been introduced for the affected A320 family aeroplanes. Since those actions were taken, Airbus developed production mod 160055 and mod 160056 to embody reinforcements (cold working on certain rivet rows) of the potable water and waste water service panels, and published associated Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A320-53-1272 (retrofit mod 153074) and SB A320-53-1267 (retrofit mod 153073) for in-service embodiment.

    Following complementary Design Office studies, it appears that the Sharklet installations on certain aeroplanes have a significant impact on the aeroplane structure (particularly, A319 and A320 post-mod 160001, and A321 post-mod 160021), leading to different compliance times, depending on aeroplane configuration.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires reinforcement of the potable water and waste water service panels. Accomplishment of these modifications cancels the need for the related ALS Part 2 Tasks.

    The modification includes doing applicable related investigative and corrective actions. Related investigative actions include measuring the diameter of a hole of a fastener and doing a rotating probe inspection. Corrective actions include repairs. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0652-0003.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 59160, October 1, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

    Request To Include Latest Service Information

    United Airlines (UAL) and Airbus requested that we revise the NPRM (79 FR 59160, October 1, 2014) to include the latest service information. UAL explained that Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1267, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014, has similar modification requirements to those specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1267, Revision 01, dated October 2, 2013, but also has updates including two new airplane configurations, which update compliance times corresponding to the times listed in paragraph (g)(2) of the NPRM. Airbus stated that Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1267, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014, updates the effectivity and compliance times in the service information.

    We agree to include Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1267, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014, in this AD. Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1267, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014, was issued to provide updated compliance times and effectivity. Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1267, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014, does not add additional requirements for AD compliance times.

    Also, we have added Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1267, Revision 01, dated October 2, 2013, to paragraph (j)(2) of this AD to offer credit for the corresponding actions performed before the effective date of this AD.

    Request To Omit Paragraph (h) of the NPRM (79 FR 59160, October 1, 2014)

    UAL requested that we revise the NPRM (79 FR 59160, October 1, 2014) to omit paragraph (h) of the proposed AD. UAL explained that Task 534126-01-3, of the Airworthiness Limitation Section (ALS) Part 2, “Damage-Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items” of the Airbus A319/A320/A321 Airworthiness Limitation Items is addressed separately in other rulemaking, NPRM Docket No. FAA-2013-0692, Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-024-AD (78 FR 49213, August 13, 2013), and that NPRM contains the instructions for the corrective actions in paragraph (o)(2) of that NPRM. UAL concluded that paragraph (h) of the NPRM (79 FR 59160, October 1, 2014), which specifies corrective actions for Task 534126-01-3, might cause confusion. UAL also suggested that, as an alternative to omitting paragraph (h) of NPRM (79 FR 59160, October 1, 2014), paragraph (h) of the NPRM could be revised so that the Task 534126-01-3 requirement refers to the other rulemaking, NPRM Docket No. FAA-2013-0692, Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-024-AD (78 FR 49213, August 13, 2013), which has since been issued as AD 2014-23-15, Amendment 39-18031 (80 FR 3871, January 26, 2015). (AD 2014-23-15 has since been superseded by AD 2015-05-02, Amendment 39-18112 (80 FR 15152, March 23, 2015)).

    We disagree to omit or revise paragraph (h) of this AD. Paragraph (h) of this AD is not a duplicated action. Paragraph (h) of this AD specifies that for Airbus A320 airplanes having pre-modification 160001, that have exceeded 46,400 flight cycles or 92,800 flight hours, whichever occurred first since the airplane's first flight, operators must repair cracks found during accomplishment of Task 534126-01-3, 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. This specific condition and corrective action is not included in paragraph (p)(2) of AD 2015-05-02, Amendment 39-18112 (80 FR 15152, March 23, 2015, which corresponds to paragraph (o)(2) of NPRM Docket No. FAA-2013-0692, Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-024-AD (78 FR 49213, August 13, 2013). AD 2015-05-02, does not mandate corrective actions associated with Task 534126-01-3, of the Airworthiness Limitation Section (ALS) Part 2, “Damage-Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items” of the Airbus A319/A320/A321 Airworthiness Limitation Items, but instead mandates incorporation of that task into operators' maintenance or inspection programs. We have made no changes to this AD in this regard.

    Conclusion

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

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 59160, October 1, 2014) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 59160, October 1, 2014).

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1267, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014; and Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1272, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014. The service information describes procedures for a modification, which includes measuring the diameter of a hole of a fastener and doing a rotating probe inspection, and repairs if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

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

    We also estimate that it will take about 25 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $420 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $2,165,795, or $2,545 per product.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0652; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-15-13 Airbus: Amendment 39-18223. Docket No. FAA-2014-0652; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-076-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective September 8, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers, except those on which Airbus Modification 160055 or Airbus Modification 160056 has been embodied in production.

    (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 was prompted by reports of cracks that could be initiated at the waste water service panel area and the potable water service panel area. We are issuing this AD to prevent any cracking at the waste water service panel area and the potable water service panel area, which could affect the structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Modification

    (1) Within the compliance time specified in paragraphs (g)(1)(i), (g)(1)(ii), (g)(1)(iii), (g)(1)(iv), and (g)(1)(v) of this AD, as applicable, modify the potable water service panel, including doing all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1272, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014, except where Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1272, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014, specifies to contact Airbus, 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). Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions within the compliance time specified in paragraphs (g)(1)(i), (g)(1)(ii), (g)(1)(iii), (g)(1)(iv), and (g)(1)(v) of this AD.

    (i) For Model A319 airplanes pre-modification 160001: Within 48,500 flight cycles or 97,000 flight hours, whichever occurs first since the airplane's first flight.

    (ii) For Model A319 airplanes post-modification 160001: Within 46,000 flight cycles or 92,000 flight hours, whichever occurs first since the airplane's first flight.

    (iii) For Model A320 airplanes pre-modification 160001: Within 54,200 flight cycles or 108,400 flight hours, whichever occurs first since the airplane's first flight.

    (iv) For Model A320 airplanes post-modification 160001: Within 36,000 flight cycles or 72,000 flight hours, whichever occurs first since the airplane's first flight.

    (v) For Model A321 airplanes: Within 60,000 flight cycles or 120,000 flight hours, whichever occurs first since the airplane's first flight.

    (2) Within the compliance time specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(i), (g)(2)(ii), (g)(2)(iii), (g)(2)(iv), (g)(2)(v), and (g)(2)(vi) of this AD, as applicable, modify the waste water service panel, including doing all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1267, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014, except where Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1267, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014, specifies to contact Airbus, repair before further flight using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions within the compliance time specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(i), (g)(2)(ii), (g)(2)(iii), (g)(2)(iv), and (g)(2)(v) of this AD.

    (i) For Airbus A319 airplanes pre-modification 160001: Within 44,400 flight cycles or 88,800 flight hours, whichever occurs first since the airplane's first flight.

    (ii) For Airbus A319 airplanes post-modification 160001: Within 43,600 flight cycles or 87,200 flight hours, whichever occurs first since the airplane's first flight.

    (iii) For Airbus A320 airplanes pre-modification 160001, within the compliance times specified in paragraph (g)(2)(iii)(A) or (g)(2)(iii)(B) of this AD, whichever occurs later:

    (A) Within 46,400 flight cycles or 92,800 flight hours, whichever occurs first since the airplane's first flight.

    (B) Within 2,300 flight cycles or 4,600 flight hours, whichever occurs first since last accomplishment of Task No. 534126-01-3, of the Airworthiness Limitation Section (ALS) Part 2, “Damage-Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items” of the Airbus A319/A320/A321 Airworthiness Limitation Items, without exceeding 48,000 flight cycles or 96,000 flight hours, whichever occurs first since the airplane's first flight.

    (iv) For Airbus A320 airplanes post-modification 160001: Within 39,200 flight cycles or 78,400 flight hours, whichever occurs first since the airplane's first flight.

    (v) For Airbus A321 airplanes pre-modification 160021: Within 51,600 flight cycles or 103,200 flight hours, whichever occurs first since the airplane's first flight.

    (vi) For Airbus A321 airplanes post-modification 160021: Within 51,200 flight cycles or 102,400 flight hours, whichever occurs first since the airplane's first flight.

    (h) Corrective Action

    For Airbus A320 airplanes having pre-modification 160001, that have exceeded 46,400 flight cycles or 92,800 flight hours, whichever occurred first since the airplane's first flight: If any crack is found during accomplishment of Task No. 534126-01-3, of the ALS Part 2, “Damage-Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items” of the Airbus A319/A320/A321 Airworthiness Limitation Items, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA.

    (i) Terminating Action for ALS Task

    (1) Modification of an airplane as required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, terminates the requirement for the task in the ALS Part 2, “Damage-Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items” of the Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Airworthiness Limitation Items for that airplane, as identified in paragraphs (i)(1)(i), (i)(1)(ii), (i)(1)(iii), (i)(1)(iv), (i)(1)(v), and (i)(1)(vi) of this AD, as applicable.

    (i) For Airbus A319 airplanes pre-modification 160001: Task No. 534125-01-2.

    (ii) For Airbus A319 airplanes post-modification 160001: Task No. 534125-01-5.

    (iii) For Airbus A320 airplanes pre-modification 160001: Task No. 534125-01-3.

    (iv) For Airbus A320 airplanes post-modification 160001: Task No. 534125-01-6.

    (v) For Airbus A321 airplanes pre-modification 160021: Task No. 534125-01-4.

    (vi) For Airbus A321 airplanes post-modification 160021: Task No. 534125-01-7.

    (2) Modification of an airplane as required by paragraphs (g)(2) and (g)(3) of this AD, terminates the requirement for the task in the ALS Part 2, “Damage-Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items” of the Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Airworthiness Limitation Items for that airplane, as identified in paragraphs (i)(2)(i), (i)(2)(ii), (i)(2)(iii), (i)(2)(iv), (i)(2)(v), and (i)(2)(vi) of this AD, as applicable.

    (i) For Airbus A319 airplanes pre-modification 160001: Task No. 534126-01-2.

    (ii) For Airbus A319 airplanes post-modification 160001: Task No. 534126-01-5.

    (iii) For Airbus A320 airplanes pre-modification 160001: Task No. 534126-01-3.

    (iv) For Airbus A320 airplanes post-modification 160001: Task No. 534126-01-6.

    (v) For Airbus A321 airplanes pre-modification 160021: Task No. 534126-01-4.

    (vi) For Airbus A321 airplanes post-modification 160021: Task No. 534126-01-7.

    (j) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1272, dated January 10, 2013; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1272, Revision 01, dated August 6, 2013; which are not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1267, dated June 24, 2013; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1267, Revision 01, dated October 2, 2013; which are not incorporated by reference in 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.

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0081, dated March 31, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0652-0003.

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

    (m) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1267, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014.

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1272, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014.

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

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

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 22, 2015. Victor Wicklund, Acting Manager,Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18564 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31028; Amdt. No. 3653] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule establishes, amends, suspends, or removes Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) and associated Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures (ODPs) for operations at certain airports. These regulatory actions are needed because of the adoption of new or revised criteria, or because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System, such as the commissioning of new navigational facilities, adding new obstacles, or changing air traffic requirements. These changes are designed to provide safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace and to promote safe flight operations under instrument flight rules at the affected airports.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective August 3, 2015. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

    The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of August 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Availability of matters incorporated by reference in the amendment is as follows:

    For Examination

    1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Ops-M30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg., Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    2. The FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located;

    3. The office of Aeronautical Navigation Products, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 or,

    4. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Availability

    All SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs are available online free of charge. Visit the National Flight Data Center at nfdc.faa.gov to register. Additionally, individual SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP copies may be obtained from the FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard A. Dunham III, Flight Procedure Standards Branch (AFS-420), Flight Technologies and Programs Divisions, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 (Mail Address: P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125) Telephone: (405) 954-4164.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This rule amends Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97), by establishing, amending, suspending, or removes SIAPS, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPS. The complete regulatory description of each SIAP and its associated Takeoff Minimums or ODP for an identified airport is listed on FAA form documents which are incorporated by reference in this amendment under 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 1 CFR part 51, and 14 CFR part § 97.20. The applicable FAA forms are FAA Forms 8260-3, 8260-4, 8260-5, 8260-15A, and 8260-15B when required by an entry on 8260-15A.

    The large number of SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, their complex nature, and the need for a special format make publication in the Federal Register expensive and impractical. Further, airmen do not use the regulatory text of the SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums or ODPs, but instead refer to their graphic depiction on charts printed by publishers of aeronautical materials. Thus, the advantages of incorporation by reference are realized and publication of the complete description of each SIAP, Takeoff Minimums and ODP listed on FAA form documents is unnecessary. This amendment provides the affected CFR sections and specifies the types of SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs with their applicable effective dates. This amendment also identifies the airport and its location, the procedure, and the amendment number.

    Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

    The material incorporated by reference is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section.

    The material incorporated by reference describes SIAPS, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPS as identified in the amendatory language for part 97 of this final rule.

    The Rule

    This amendment to 14 CFR part 97 is effective upon publication of each separate SIAP, Takeoff Minimums and ODP as Amended in the transmittal. Some SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and textual ODP amendments may have been issued previously by the FAA in a Flight Data Center (FDC) Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) as an emergency action of immediate flight safety relating directly to published aeronautical charts.

    The circumstances that created the need for some SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP amendments may require making them effective in less than 30 days. For the remaining SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, an effective date at least 30 days after publication is provided.

    Further, the SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs contained in this amendment are based on the criteria contained in the U.S. Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS). In developing these SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, the TERPS criteria were applied to the conditions existing or anticipated at the affected airports. Because of the close and immediate relationship between these SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and, where applicable, under 5 U.S.C 553(d), good cause exists for making some SIAPs effective in less than 30 days.

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 97:

    Air Traffic Control, Airports, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 17, 2015. John Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97) is amended by establishing, amending, suspending, or removing Standard Instrument Approach Procedures and/or Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures effective at 0901 UTC on the dates specified, as follows:

    PART 97—STANDARD INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44719, 44721-44722.

    2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows: Effective 20 August 2015 Russian Mission, AK, Russian Mission, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Orig-B Tuscaloosa, AL, Tuscaloosa Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 12, Orig-A Tuscaloosa, AL, Tuscaloosa Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 30, Orig-B San Diego, CA, San Diego Intl, ILS or LOC RWY 9, Amdt 2 San Diego, CA, San Diego Intl, LOC RWY 27, Amdt 5C San Diego, CA, San Diego Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Amdt 1 San Diego, CA, San Diego Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Amdt 3C San Diego, CA, San Diego Intl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 8 Washington, DC, Ronald Reagan Washington National, RNAV (GPS) RWY 15, Orig Washington, DC, Ronald Reagan Washington National, RNAV (GPS) RWY 33, Amdt 1 Washington, DC, Ronald Reagan Washington National, VOR RWY 15, Amdt 2 Washington, DC, Ronald Reagan Washington National, VOR RWY 19, Amdt 10 Atlanta, GA, Newnan Coweta County, ILS OR LOC/NDB RWY 32, Orig Atlanta, GA, Newnan Coweta County, LOC RWY 32, Amdt 2, CANCELED Millen, GA, Millen, RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Amdt 2A Millen, GA, Millen, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Amdt 1A Millen, GA, Millen, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1 Vidalia, GA, Vidalia Rgnl, ILS OR LOC RWY 25, Amdt 2 Vidalia, GA, Vidalia Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 7, Orig Vidalia, GA, Vidalia Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 25, Amdt 2 Vidalia, GA, Vidalia Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 Gary, IN, Gary/Chicago Intl, COPTER ILS OR LOC RWY 30, Amdt 1 Gary, IN, Gary/Chicago Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 30, Amdt 6 Gary, IN, Gary/Chicago Intl, NDB RWY 30, Amdt 7D, CANCELED Gary, IN, Gary/Chicago Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 30, Amdt 1 Gary, IN, Gary/Chicago Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 30, Amdt 1 Concordia, KS, Blosser Muni, NDB-A, Orig-A, CANCELED Tribune, KS, Tribune Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Orig Tribune, KS, Tribune Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Orig Tribune, KS, Tribune Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Louisville, KY, Louisville Intl-Standiford Field, LOC RWY 29, Orig Louisville, KY, Louisville Intl-Standiford Field, LOC RWY 29, Orig-B, CANCELED Baton Rouge, LA, Baton Rouge Metropolitan, Ryan Field, ILS OR LOC RWY 13, Amdt 28 Baton Rouge, LA, Baton Rouge Metropolitan, Ryan Field, ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 22R, ILS RWY 22R (SA CAT I), ILS RWY 22R (SA CAT II), Amdt 12 Baton Rouge, LA, Baton Rouge Metropolitan, Ryan Field, NDB RWY 31, Amdt 3 Baton Rouge, LA, Baton Rouge Metropolitan, Ryan Field, RADAR-1, Amdt 11 Baton Rouge, LA, Baton Rouge Metropolitan, Ryan Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 4L, Amdt 3 Baton Rouge, LA, Baton Rouge Metropolitan, Ryan Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Amdt 2 Baton Rouge, LA, Baton Rouge Metropolitan, Ryan Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 22R, Amdt 3 Baton Rouge, LA, Baton Rouge Metropolitan, Ryan Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Amdt 2 Baton Rouge, LA, Baton Rouge Metropolitan, Ryan Field, VOR RWY 4L, Amdt 18 Baton Rouge, LA, Baton Rouge Metropolitan, Ryan Field, VOR/DME RWY 22R, Amdt 9 Majuro Atoll, MH, Marshall Islands Intl, NDB RWY 7, Amdt 1 Majuro Atoll, MH, Marshall Islands Intl, NDB RWY 25, Amdt 1 Lakeview, MI, Lakeview-Griffith Field, GPS RWY 9, Orig-A, CANCELED Lakeview, MI, Lakeview-Griffith Field, GPS RWY 27, Orig-A, CANCELED Lakeview, MI, Lakeview-Griffith Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 10, Orig Lakeview, MI, Lakeview-Griffith Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 28, Orig Mahnomen, MN, Mahnomen County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Amdt 1 Mahnomen, MN, Mahnomen County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Amdt 1 Walker, MN, Walker Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 15, Amdt 1 Walker, MN, Walker Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 33, Amdt 1 Excelsior Springs, MO, Excelsior Springs Memorial, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 Excelsior Springs, MO, Excelsior Springs Memorial, VOR-A, Orig Excelsior Springs, MO, Excelsior Springs Memorial, VOR OR GPS RWY 19, Amdt 1, CANCELED Madison, MS, Bruce Campbell Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Amdt 1B Madison, MS, Bruce Campbell Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Orig-B Edgeley, ND, Edgeley Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Orig Edgeley, ND, Edgeley Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig Edgeley, ND, Edgeley Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Alma, NE., Alma Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Orig Alma, NE., Alma Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Orig Alma, NE., Alma Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Valentine, NE., Miller Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 3, Orig-A Newark, NJ, Newark Liberty Intl, RNAV (GPS) X RWY 29, Orig West Creek, NJ, Eagles Nest, RNAV (GPS)-A, Orig West Creek, NJ, Eagles Nest, RNAV (GPS)-B, Orig West Creek, NJ, Eagles Nest, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig New York, NY, John F Kennedy Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 13L, ILS RWY 13L (CAT II), Amdt 17 Oxford, OH, Miami University, NDB RWY 5, Amdt 11A, CANCELED Millersburg, OH, Holmes County, GPS RWY 27, Orig, CANCELED Millersburg, OH, Holmes County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Orig Millersburg, OH, Holmes County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Orig Millersburg, OH, Holmes County, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 Millersburg, OH, Holmes County, VOR-A, Amdt 7 Redmond, OR, Roberts Field, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 29, Amdt 2 Redmond, OR, Roberts Field, RNAV (GPS) Z RWY 29, Amdt 1 Brookings, SD, Brookings Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 12, Amdt 1A Austin, TX, Austin-Bergstrom Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 17L, Amdt 1B Austin, TX, Austin-Bergstrom Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 17R, Amdt 1B Austin, TX, Austin-Bergstrom Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 35L, Amdt 1B Austin, TX, Austin-Bergstrom Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 17L, Orig Austin, TX, Austin-Bergstrom Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 17R, Orig El Paso, TX, El Paso Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 26R, Orig El Paso, TX, El Paso Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 26R, Orig-A, CANCELED El Paso, TX, El Paso Intl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 8 Greenville, TX, Majors, ILS Y OR LOC/DME Y RWY 17, Amdt 1 Greenville, TX, Majors, ILS Z OR LOC/DME Z RWY 17, Amdt 8 Greenville, TX, Majors, RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Amdt 2 San Angelo, TX, San Angelo Rgnl/Mathis Field, LOC BC RWY 21, Amdt 14A, CANCELED Richfield, UT, Richfield Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Amdt 1 Roanoke, VA, Roanoke Rgnl/Woodrum Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Amdt 1A Hayward, WI, Sawyer County, ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 20, Orig Hayward, WI, Sawyer County, LOC/DME RWY 20, Amdt 1C, CANCELED Hayward, WI, Sawyer County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 20, Amdt 1 Hayward, WI, Sawyer County, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 5 Rice Lake, WI, Rice Lake Regional—Carl's Field, VOR RWY 1, Amdt 1, CANCELED Rice Lake, WI, Rice Lake Regional—Carl's Field, VOR/DME RWY 19, Amdt 1, CANCELED Shell Lake, WI, Shell Lake Muni, VOR/DME RWY 32, Orig-A, CANCELED Effective 17 September 2015 Hornell, NY, Hornell Muni, VOR/DME-A, Amdt 4A, CANCELED
    [FR Doc. 2015-18731 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31029; Amdt. No. 3654] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule amends, suspends, or removes Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) and associated Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures for operations at certain airports. These regulatory actions are needed because of the adoption of new or revised criteria, or because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System, such as the commissioning of new navigational facilities, adding new obstacles, or changing air traffic requirements. These changes are designed to provide for the safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace and to promote safe flight operations under instrument flight rules at the affected airports.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective August 3, 2015. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

    The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of August 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Availability of matter incorporated by reference in the amendment is as follows:

    For Examination

    1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Ops-M30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg., Ground Floor, Washington, DC, 20590-0001;

    2. The FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located;

    3. The office of Aeronautical Navigation Products, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 or,

    4. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

    For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Availability

    All SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs are available online free of charge. Visit the National Flight Data Center online at nfdc.faa.gov to register. Additionally, individual SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP copies may be obtained from the FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard A. Dunham III, Flight Procedure Standards Branch (AFS-420) Flight Technologies and Procedures Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 (Mail Address: P.O. Box 25082 Oklahoma City, OK 73125) telephone: (405) 954-4164.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This rule amends Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97) by amending the referenced SIAPs. The complete regulatory description of each SIAP is listed on the appropriate FAA Form 8260, as modified by the National Flight Data Center (NFDC)/Permanent Notice to Airmen (P-NOTAM), and is incorporated by reference under 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 1 CFR part 51, and 14 CFR 97.20. The large number of SIAPs, their complex nature, and the need for a special format make their verbatim publication in the Federal Register expensive and impractical. Further, airmen do not use the regulatory text of the SIAPs, but refer to their graphic depiction on charts printed by publishers of aeronautical materials. Thus, the advantages of incorporation by reference are realized and publication of the complete description of each SIAP contained on FAA form documents is unnecessary. This amendment provides the affected CFR sections, and specifies the SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs with their applicable effective dates. This amendment also identifies the airport and its location, the procedure and the amendment number.

    Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

    The material incorporated by reference is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section.

    The material incorporated by reference describes SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs as identified in the amendatory language for part 97 of this final rule.

    The Rule

    This amendment to 14 CFR part 97 is effective upon publication of each separate SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP as amended in the transmittal. For safety and timeliness of change considerations, this amendment incorporates only specific changes contained for each SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP as modified by FDC permanent NOTAMs.

    The SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, as modified by FDC permanent NOTAM, and contained in this amendment are based on the criteria contained in the U.S. Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS). In developing these changes to SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, the TERPS criteria were applied only to specific conditions existing at the affected airports. All SIAP amendments in this rule have been previously issued by the FAA in a FDC NOTAM as an emergency action of immediate flight safety relating directly to published aeronautical charts.

    The circumstances that created the need for these SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP amendments require making them effective in less than 30 days.

    Because of the close and immediate relationship between these SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and, where applicable, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), good cause exists for making these SIAPs effective in less than 30 days.

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 97

    Air Traffic Control, Airports, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 17, 2015. John Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, Title 14, Code of Federal regulations, Part 97, (14 CFR part 97), is amended by amending Standard Instrument Approach Procedures and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, effective at 0901 UTC on the dates specified, as follows:

    PART 97—STANDARD INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44719, 44721-44722.

    2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows:

    By Amending: § 97.23 VOR, VOR/DME, VOR or TACAN, and VOR/DME or TACAN; § 97.25 LOC, LOC/DME, LDA, LDA/DME, SDF, SDF/DME; § 97.27 NDB, NDB/DME; § 97.29 ILS, ILS/DME, MLS, MLS/DME, MLS/RNAV; § 97.31 RADAR SIAPs; § 97.33 RNAV SIAPs; and § 97.35 COPTER SIAPs, Identified as follows:­

    * * * Effective Upon Publication AIRAC date State City Airport FDC No. FDC date Subject 20-Aug-15 CA Livermore Livermore Muni 5/7014 06/11/15 This NOTAM, published in TL 15-17, is hereby rescinded in its entirety. 20-Aug-15 OK Clinton Clinton-Sherman 5/0435 07/06/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 17R, Amdt 7A. 20-Aug-15 MO Jefferson City Jefferson City Memorial 5/0449 07/06/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 30, Amdt 5B. 20-Aug-15 NY Dunkirk Chautauqua County/Dunkirk 5/0564 07/06/15 VOR RWY 24, Amdt 8. 20-Aug-15 NY Dunkirk Chautauqua County/Dunkirk 5/0571 07/06/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 15, Orig. 20-Aug-15 NY Dunkirk Chautauqua County/Dunkirk 5/0572 07/06/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Orig. 20-Aug-15 NY Dunkirk Chautauqua County/Dunkirk 5/0573 07/06/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Orig. 20-Aug-15 NY Dunkirk Chautauqua County/Dunkirk 5/0574 07/06/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 33, Orig. 20-Aug-15 NY Dunkirk Chautauqua County/Dunkirk 5/0575 07/06/15 VOR RWY 6, Amdt 3. 20-Aug-15 MA Beverly Beverly Muni 5/0582 07/06/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 16, Amdt 1A. 20-Aug-15 MA Beverly Beverly Muni 5/0583 07/06/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 34, Orig. 20-Aug-15 MA Beverly Beverly Muni 5/0584 07/06/15 LOC RWY 16, Amdt 7. 20-Aug-15 MA Beverly Beverly Muni 5/0585 07/06/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Orig-A. 20-Aug-15 MA Beverly Beverly Muni 5/0586 07/06/15 VOR RWY 16, Amdt 5. 20-Aug-15 TN amden Benton County 5/1575 06/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Orig-A. 20-Aug-15 NM Carlsbad Cavern City Air Trml 5/1690 07/09/15 ILS RWY 3, Amdt 4C. 20-Aug-15 MI Iron Mountain Kingsford Ford 5/3036 07/06/15 NDB RWY 1, Orig. 20-Aug-15 IN Gary Gary/Chicago Intl 5/4354 07/06/15 RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 12, Amdt 1. 20-Aug-15 OH Port Clinton Erie-Ottawa Intl 5/4483 07/06/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Amdt 1. 20-Aug-15 OH Port Clinton Erie-Ottawa Intl 5/4484 07/06/15 NDB RWY 27, Amdt 14. 20-Aug-15 TX Houston West Houston 5/4496 07/06/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 15, Amdt 1A. 20-Aug-15 SC Greenville Greenville Downtown 5/5829 07/07/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Orig-B. 20-Aug-15 SC Greenville Greenville Downtown 5/5830 07/07/15 NDB RWY 1, Amdt 22B. 20-Aug-15 SC Greenville Greenville Downtown 5/5831 07/07/15 ILS Y OR LOC Y RWY 1, Orig. 20-Aug-15 SC Greenville Greenville Downtown 5/5834 07/07/15 ILS Z OR LOC Z RWY 1, Amdt 30. 20-Aug-15 SC Greenville Greenville Downtown 5/5839 07/07/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Amdt 1. 20-Aug-15 SC Greenville Greenville Downtown 5/5862 07/07/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 10, Amdt 1. 20-Aug-15 ID Salmon Lemhi County 5/7282 06/11/15 RNAV (GPS)-D, Orig-A. 20-Aug-15 MN South St Paul South St Paul Muni-Richard E Fleming Fld 5/8151 07/06/15 NDB-B, Amdt 4. 20-Aug-15 MN South St Paul South St Paul Muni-Richard E Fleming Fld 5/8159 07/06/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 34, Amdt 1. 20-Aug-15 MN South St Paul South St Paul Muni-Richard E Fleming Fld 5/8164 07/06/15 LOC RWY 34, Amdt 1A. 20-Aug-15 AL Dothan Dothan Rgnl 5/9070 07/06/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Amdt 1A. 20-Aug-15 AL Dothan Dothan Rgnl 5/9072 07/06/15 VOR RWY 14, Amdt 4A.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18739 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 14 CFR Part 1217 [Docket No. NASA-2015-0006] RIN 2700-AD99 Duty Free Entry of Space Articles AGENCY:

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This direct final rule makes non-substantive changes to correct citations and office titles. The revisions to this rule are part of NASA's retrospective plan completed in August 2011 under Executive Order (EO) 13563.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule is effective on October 2, 2015. Comments due on or before September 2, 2015. If adverse comments are received, NASA will publish a timely withdrawal of the rule in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments must be identified with RIN 2700-AD99 and may be sent to NASA via the Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Please note that NASA will post all comments on the Internet with changes, including any personal information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Craig Salvas, 202-358-2330.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Direct Final Rule Adverse Comments

    NASA has determined this rulemaking meets the criteria for a direct final rule because it involves non-substantive changes to correct citations and office titles in 14 CFR part 1217. No opposition to the changes and no significant adverse comments are expected. However, if the Agency receives a significant adverse comment, it will withdraw this direct final rule by publishing a notice in the Federal Register. A significant adverse comment is one that explains: (1) Why the direct final rule is inappropriate, including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or approach; or (2) why the direct final rule will be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. In determining whether a comment necessitates withdrawal of this direct final rule, NASA will consider whether it warrants a substantive response in a notice and comment process.

    Background

    Part 1217 was last amended February 12, 1997, [62 FR 6467] to extend and expand NASA's authority with respect to duty-free imports of articles for use by NASA and for the implementation of its international programs, as prescribed by Presidential Proclamation 6780 issued March 23, 1995 [60 FR 15845]. The Part is being amended to correct citations and office titles. The revisions to this rule are part of NASA's retrospective plan completed in August 2011 under Executive Order (EO) 13563. NASA's full plan can be accessed on the Agency's open Government Web site at http://www.nasa.gov/feature/compliance-and-other-documents.

    Statutory Authority

    The National Aeronautics and Space Act (the Space Act), 51 U.S.C. 20113(a), authorizes the Administrator of NASA to make, promulgate, issue, rescind, and amend rules and regulations governing the manner of its operations and the exercise of the powers vested in it by law.

    Regulatory Analysis Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563, Improvement Regulation and Regulation Review

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

    Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires an agency to prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis to be published at the time the proposed rule is published. This requirement does not apply if the agency “certifies that the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities” (5 U.S.C. 603). This rule revises subpart 1 to correct citations and office titles.

    Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act

    This direct final rule does not contain any information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    Review Under EO 13132

    EO 13132, “Federalism,” 64 FR 43255 (August 4, 1999) requires regulations be reviewed for Federalism effects on the institutional interest of states and local governments, and if the effects are sufficiently substantial, preparation of the Federal assessment is required to assist senior policy makers. The amendments will not have any substantial direct effects on state and local governments within the meaning of the EO. Therefore, no Federalism assessment is required.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 1217:

    Custom duties and inspection, space transportation and exploration.

    Accordingly, under the authority of the National Aeronautics and Space Act, as amended, NASA amends 14 CFR part 1217 as follows:

    PART 1217—DUTY-FREE ENTRY OF SPACE ARTICLES 1. The authority citation for part 1217 is revised as follows: Authority:

    51 U.S.C. 20113; Proclamation No. 6780 of March 23, 1995, 60 FR 15845.

    2. In 1217.103, revise paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) to read as follows:
    § 1217.103 Authority to certify.

    (a)* * *

    (1) The NASA Assistant Administrator for Procurement is authorized to issue the certification for articles imported into the United States which are procured by NASA or by other U.S. Government agencies, or by U.S. Government contractors or subcontractors when title to the articles is or will be vested in the U.S. Government pursuant to the terms of the contract or subcontract. Requests for certification should be sent to: Office of Procurement, Attn: Director, Contract and Grant Policy Division, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC 20546.

    (2) The NASA Associate Administrator for International and Interagency Relations is authorized to issue the certification for articles imported into the United States pursuant to international agreements. Requests for certification should be sent to: Office of International and Interagency Relations, Attn: Director, Export Control and Interagency Liaison Division, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC 20546.

    (3) The NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations is authorized to issue the certification for articles imported into the United States by persons or entities under agreements other than those identified in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section, including launch services agreements. Requests for certification should be sent to: Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, Attn: Director, International Space Station Office, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC 20546.

    Cheryl E. Parker, NASA Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-17213 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Parts 1 and 602 [TD 9728] RIN 1545-BD71 Determination of Distributive Share When Partner's Interest Changes AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains final regulations regarding the determination of a partner's distributive share of partnership items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit when a partner's interest varies during a partnership taxable year. The final regulations also modify the existing regulations regarding the required taxable year of a partnership. These final regulations affect partnerships and their partners.

    DATES:

    Effective date: These regulations are effective on August 3, 2015.

    Applicability date: For dates of applicability, see §§ 1.706-1(b)(6)(v), 1.706-1(d), 1.706-4(g), and 1.706-5(b).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Benjamin H. Weaver of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Passthroughs and Special Industries) at (202) 317-6850 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The collection of information contained in this Treasury decision has been submitted to the OMB for review in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)). Comments on the collection of information should be sent to the Office of Management and Budget, Attn: Desk Officer for the Department of the Treasury, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20503, with copies to the Internal Revenue Service, Attn: IRS Reports Clearance Officer, SE:W:CAR:MP:T:T:SP, Washington, DC 20224. Comments on the collection of information should be received by October 2, 2015. Comments are specifically requested concerning:

    Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the IRS, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    The accuracy of the estimated burden associated with the proposed collection of information; and

    Estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.

    The collections of information in the final regulations are in § 1.706-4(f), which requires partnerships adopting the proration method, adopting the semi-monthly or monthly convention, choosing to perform semi-monthly or monthly interim closings, or selecting an additional class of extraordinary items, to maintain a statement with their books and records. This information will be available to the IRS upon examination to document the partnership's selection of the method, convention, optional interim closings, or additional class of extraordinary items. The collections of information are required to obtain a benefit. The likely respondents are partnerships. The collections will be reported and collected through the OMB approval number for Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income, under control number 1545-0123; please see the instructions for Form 1065 for estimates of the burden associated with the collection of information.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by the OMB.

    Books or records relating to a collection of information must be retained as long as their contents may become material in the administration of any internal revenue law. Generally, tax returns and tax return information are confidential, as required by section 6103.

    Background

    These final regulations contain amendments to the Income Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 1) under section 706 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). On April 14, 2009, the Treasury Department and the IRS published a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-144689-04) (the 2009 proposed regulations) in the Federal Register to provide guidance under section 706(d)(1) and to conform the Income Tax Regulations for certain provisions of section 1246 of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Public Law 105-34 (111 Stat. 788 (1997)), and section 72 of the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984, Public Law 98-369 (98 Stat. 494 (1984)). The Treasury Department and the IRS did not hold a public hearing because there were no requests to speak at a hearing. However, the Treasury Department and the IRS received comments in response to the 2009 proposed regulations. The comments are discussed in this preamble.

    The 2009 proposed regulations provided methods for determining partners' distributive shares of partnership items in any year in which there is a change in a partner's interest in the partnership, whether by reason of a disposition of the partner's entire interest or less than the partner's entire interest, or by reason of a reduction of a partner's interest due to the entry of a new partner or partners. The 2009 proposed regulations also added proposed § 1.706-1(c)(2)(iii) to provide that a deemed disposition of a partner's interest pursuant to §§ 1.1502-76(b)(2)(vi) (relating to corporate partners that become or cease to be members of a consolidated group within the meaning of § 1.1502-1(h)), 1.1362-3(c)(1) (relating to the termination of the subchapter S election of an S corporation partner), or 1.1377-1(b)(3)(iv) (regarding an election to terminate the taxable year of an S corporation partner) shall be treated as a disposition of the partner's entire interest in the partnership. Finally, the 2009 proposed regulations amended the rules applicable to the determination of the taxable year of a partnership when a partnership interest is held by a “disregarded foreign partner” (as defined in § 1.706-1(b)(6)(i)).

    After consideration of the comments, the 2009 proposed regulations are adopted as modified by this Treasury decision.

    Explanation of Provisions and Summary of Comments 1. Varying Interests Rule

    The 2009 proposed regulations under § 1.706-4 provided guidance under section 706(d)(1), which provides that, except as required by section 706(d)(2) and (d)(3), if there is a change in a partner's interest in the partnership during the partnership's taxable year, each partner's distributive share of any partnership item of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit for such taxable year is determined by the use of any method prescribed by the Secretary by regulations which takes into account the varying interests of the partners in the partnership during such taxable year. The 2009 proposed regulations incorporated several of the existing varying interest rules in the regulations under section 706. These final regulations finalize the varying interest rules contained in the 2009 proposed regulations with the modifications described in this Part 1 of the preamble. The Treasury Department and the IRS have decided that these modifications necessitate reorganizing § 1.706-4 for clarity. As finalized by these regulations, § 1.706-4(a)(3) now contains a step-by-step process for making allocations under § 1.706-4. In addition, the remainder of § 1.706-4 has been reorganized into discrete sections addressing the scope of § 1.706-4, exceptions to § 1.706-4, partnership conventions, extraordinary items, and procedures for partnership decisions relating to § 1.706-4. Where possible, this preamble tracks the organization of § 1.706-4 as finalized by these regulations.

    A. Scope of § 1.706-4

    Section 1.706-4 of the final regulations provides rules for determining the partners' distributive shares of partnership items when a partner's interest in a partnership varies during the taxable year as a result of the disposition of a partial or entire interest in a partnership as described in § 1.706-1(c)(2) and (c)(3), or with respect to a partner whose interest in a partnership is reduced as described in § 1.706-1(c)(3), including by the entry of a new partner (collectively, a “variation”). The final regulations further provide that, in all cases, all partnership items for each taxable year must be allocated among the partners, and no items may be duplicated, regardless of the particular provision of section 706 which applies, and regardless of the method or convention adopted by the partnership.

    The 2009 proposed regulations contained two exceptions for allocations that would otherwise be subject to the rules of § 1.706-4: one exception applies to certain partnerships with contemporaneous partners, and the other exception applies to certain service partnerships. As described below, the final regulations adopt these exceptions with certain modifications.

    The 2009 proposed regulations did not address the interaction of the allocable cash basis item rules of section 706(d)(2) and the tiered partnership rules of section 706(d)(3) with the rules in § 1.706-4 for determining a partner's distributive share when a partner's interest varies. However, the 2009 proposed regulations did request comments on issues that arise with regard to allocable cash basis items and tiered partnerships. In response to comments received, §§ 1.706-2 and 1.706-3 are proposed to be amended as described in a notice of proposed rulemaking issued contemporaneously with these final regulations to address the treatment of allocable cash basis items and tiered partnerships, respectively. The final regulations clarify that § 1.706-4 does not apply to items subject to allocation under other rules, including section 706(d)(2) and section 706(d)(3).

    i. Permissible Changes Among Contemporaneous Partners

    The 2009 proposed regulations contained a “contemporaneous partner exception” based on the Tax Court's opinion in Lipke v. Commissioner, 81 T.C. 689 (1983), and the legislative history of section 706. Section 761(c) provides that a partnership agreement includes any modifications of the partnership agreement made prior to, or at, the time prescribed by law for the filing of the partnership return for the taxable year (not including extensions). In Lipke, the Tax Court held that section 706(c)(2)(B) (as in effect prior to 1984) prohibited retroactive allocations of partnership losses when the allocations resulted from additional capital contributions made by both new and existing partners. However, the Tax Court held that the prohibition on retroactive allocations under section 706(c)(2)(B) did not apply to changes in the allocations among partners that were members of the partnership for the entire year (contemporaneous partners) if the changes in the allocations did not result from capital contributions. Congress amended section 706 in 1984, in part to clarify that the varying interests rule applies to any change in a partner's interest, whether in connection with a complete disposition of the partner's interest or otherwise. To that end, Congress replaced the varying interests rule in section 706(c)(2)(B) with the rule that now appears in section 706(d)(1). The legislative history pertaining to this amendment reflects Congress's intention that the new rule of section 706(d)(1) be comparable to the pre-1984 law without overruling the longstanding rule of section 761(c):

    The committee wishes to make clear that the varying interests rule is not intended to override the longstanding rule of section 761(c) with respect to interest shifts among partners who are members of the partnership for the entire taxable year, provided such shifts are not, in substance, attributable to the influx of new capital from such partners. See Lipke v. Commissioner, 81 T.C. 689 (1983). S. Prt. 98-169, Vol. I, 98th Cong., 2d Sess. 218-19 (1984); see also H. Rep. No. 432, Pt. 2, 98th Cong., 2d Sess. 1212-13 (1984) (containing similar language).

    Consistent with this authority, proposed § 1.706-4(b)(1) provided an exception to the rule in proposed § 1.706-4(a)(1) for dispositions of less than a partner's entire interest in the partnership described in § 1.706-1(c)(3), provided that the variation in the partner's interest is not attributable to a capital contribution or a partnership distribution to a partner that is a return of capital, and the allocations resulting from the modification otherwise comply with section 704(b) and the regulations promulgated thereunder.

    Commenters requested guidance on determining when changes in the allocations among partners are attributable to capital contributions to, and distributions from, the partnership, and which requirements of section 704(b) must be met. The final regulations do not address the determination of whether an amended allocation is attributable to a contribution or a distribution to a partner or whether such allocations otherwise satisfy section 704(b) because these comments raise issues beyond the scope of this project and require further consideration. However, the Treasury Department and the IRS may address these issues in future guidance.

    Commenters also requested that the final regulations expand the scope of the contemporaneous partner exception to include allocations of items attributable solely to a particular segment of a partnership's year (see § 1.706-4(a)) among partners who are partners of the partnership for that entire segment. The final regulations adopt this recommendation and finalize the contemporaneous partner exception.

    ii. Safe Harbor for Partnerships for Which Capital Is Not a Material Income-Producing Factor

    Proposed § 1.706-4(b)(2) provided that a service partnership (a partnership in which substantially all the activities involve the performance of services in the fields of health, law, engineering, architecture, accounting, actuarial science, or consulting) may choose to determine the partners' distributive shares of partnership income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit using any reasonable method, provided that the allocations were valid under section 704(b). Commenters recommended the final regulations extend the safe harbor to non-service partnerships that satisfy specific revenue and allocation thresholds (for example, gross receipts of $100 million or less and no partner receives an allocation of an item listed under section 702(a) in excess of $10 million). Another commenter requested that the final regulations provide that the list of service partnerships could be expanded by other published guidance.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS intend the safe harbor for service partnerships to be limited to partnerships that derive their income from the provision of services and not from capital because, in general, allocations among individual partners in partnerships for which capital is not a material income-producing factor do not raise concerns that may be present in allocations among partners in capital-intensive partnerships. Therefore the final regulations do not provide an exception based upon revenue and allocation thresholds. However, the Treasury Department and the IRS agree that the definition of a service partnership in the proposed regulations was overly narrow. Accordingly, the final regulations apply the service partnership safe harbor to any partnership for which capital is not a material income-producing factor.

    B. Varying Interest Rule Methods: Interim Closing and Proration

    The 2009 proposed regulations generally provided that a partnership shall take into account any variation in the partners' interests in the partnership during the taxable year in determining the distributive share of partnership items under section 702(a) by using either the interim closing method or the proration method. Unless the partners agree to use the proration method, the partnership was required to use the interim closing method and allocate its items among the partners in accordance with their respective partnership interests during each segment of the taxable year. Under the 2009 proposed regulations, if the partners agreed to use the proration method, the partnership was required to allocate the distributive share of partnership items among the partners in accordance with their pro rata shares of the items for the entire taxable year. The 2009 proposed regulations did not, however, allow certain “extraordinary items” to be prorated, and instead required that those items be allocated according to special rules. These regulations finalize the method rules of the 2009 proposed regulations with certain modifications.

    i . Use of More Than One Method and Convention During the Same Taxable Year

    Proposed § 1.706-4(a)(1) required the partnership and all of its partners to use the same method for all variations in the partners' interests occurring within the partnership's taxable year, whether resulting from a complete or partial termination of a partner's interest or the entry of a new partner. Commenters recommended that the final regulations allow a partnership to use different methods for separate variations during the partnership's taxable year, provided that the overall combination of methods is reasonable based on the overall facts and circumstances. Commenters stated that it would be reasonable for a partnership to be allowed to apply the interim closing method to a transfer of a large interest in the partnership, where the partnership or transferee or transferor partner is willing to pay for the additional accounting costs associated with the interim closing method, and in the same year apply the proration method for transfers of small interests (or other large transfers of interests if, for example, the parties are unwilling to bear the costs of closing the books), in order to minimize the costs and administrative burden of accounting for such transfers. The Treasury Department and the IRS agree that partnerships may be more willing to use the interim closing method, which is generally more accurate but more costly, for significant variations if doing so would not require the partnership to use the interim closing method for all variations, regardless of size, that occur throughout the year. Therefore, in response to comments, the final regulations allow a partnership to use different methods for different variations within the partnership's taxable year, as explained in Part 1.B.iii of this Preamble. Accordingly, a partnership may use the interim closing method with respect to one variation and may choose to use the proration method for another variation in the same year. However, the final regulations provide that the Commissioner may place restrictions on the ability of a partnership to use different methods during the same taxable year in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin.

    ii. Optional Regular Monthly or Semi-Monthly Interim Closings

    The 2009 proposed regulations require partnerships applying the interim closing method to perform the interim closing at the time the variation is deemed to occur, and do not require or permit a partnership to perform an interim closings of its books except at the time of any variation for which the partnership uses the interim closing method. One commenter stated that of the partnerships that close their books at times other than year end, most do so at month end, and some close their books semi-monthly. The commenter stated that most partnerships that currently are subject to the interim closing method do not actually close their books other than at month end as they do not have the resources and systems organized in order to do that. The commenter requested that partnerships using the interim closing method and the calendar day convention be allowed under the final regulations to determine income on a calendar day basis by closing their books at month's end, and then prorating the last month's income to the periods of the month before and after the calendar day on which the variation occurred.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS agree that partnerships should be permitted to perform regular monthly or semi-monthly interim closings, and to prorate items within each month or semi-month, as applicable. Therefore, the final regulations provide that a partnership may, by agreement of the partners, perform regular interim closings of its books on a monthly or semi-monthly basis, regardless of whether any variation occurs. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that this combination of the use of regular interim closings and the proration method with respect to variations should generally achieve the results sought by the commenter. The final regulations continue to require a partnership using the interim closing method with respect to a variation to perform the interim closing at the time the variation is deemed to occur, and do not require a partnership to perform an interim closings of its books except at the time of any variation for which the partnership uses the interim closing method.

    The final regulations provide guidance on the meaning of the term “agreement of the partners,” including for purposes of the decision to perform regular monthly or semi-monthly interim closings. Because that term applies to several different decisions in § 1.706-4, the discussion of “agreement of the partners” is consolidated into Part 1.E of this preamble.

    iii. Segments and Proration Periods

    For purposes of accounting for the partners' varying interests in the partnership, the 2009 proposed regulations required the partnership to maintain, for each partner whose interest changes in the taxable year, segments to account for such changes. Under the 2009 proposed regulations, a segment was a specific portion of a partnership's taxable year created by a variation, regardless of whether the partnership used the interim closing method or the proration method for that variation. The final regulations continue to rely on the concept of segments; however, because the final regulations now permit partnerships to use both the interim closing method and the proration method in the same taxable year, the final regulations also contain a new concept of proration periods. Under the final regulations, segments are specific periods of the partnership's taxable year created by interim closings of the partnership's books, and proration periods are specific portions of a segment created by a variation for which the partnership chooses to apply the proration method. The partnership must divide its year into segments and proration periods, and spread its income among the segments and proration periods according to the rules for the interim closing method and proration method, respectively.

    Under the final regulations, the first segment commences with the beginning of the taxable year of the partnership and ends at the time of the first interim closing of the partnership's books. Any additional segment shall commence immediately after the closing of the prior segment and ends at the time of the next interim closing. However, the last segment of the partnership's taxable year ends no later than the close of the last day of the partnership's taxable year. If there are no interim closings, the partnership has one segment, which corresponds to its entire taxable year.

    Under the final regulations, the first proration period in each segment begins at the beginning of the segment, and ends at the time of a variation for which the partnership uses the proration method. The next proration period begins immediately after the close of the prior proration period and ends at the time of the next variation for which the partnerships uses the proration method. However, each proration period ends no later than the close of the segment. Thus, segments close proration periods. Therefore, the only items subject to proration are the partnership's items attributable to the segment containing the proration period.

    a. Rules for Determining the Items in Each Segment

    Proposed § 1.706-4(a)(2)(i) required that a partnership using the interim closing method treat each segment as though the segment was a separate distributive share period and that therefore a partnership using the interim closing method may compute a capital loss for a segment of a taxable year even though the partnership has a net capital gain for the entire taxable year. Similarly, proposed § 1.706-4(a)(2)(ii) provided that any limitation applicable to the partnership year as a whole (for example, the limitation under section 179 relating to elections to expense certain depreciable business assets) must be apportioned among the segments using any reasonable method, provided that the total amount of the items apportioned among the segments does not exceed the limitation applicable to the partnership year as a whole.

    Commenters expressed concern that the examples do not clarify how a partnership accounts for items that are not determined until the end of the taxable year, such as waterfall allocations, minimum gain chargebacks, and certain reserves. Commenters specifically inquired whether these determinations are made at the interim closing dates or at the end of the partnership's taxable year. Other commenters questioned whether the distributive share periods are treated as separate taxable years for purposes of sections 461(h) (relating to economic performance) and 404(a)(5) (relating to deductions for contributions to employee plans). Finally, other commenters requested guidance on the interaction of sections 168 (relating to the modified accelerated cost recovery system) and 471 (relating to accounting for inventories) with the 2009 proposed regulations.

    Proposed § 1.706-4(a)(2)(i) and (ii) were intended to demonstrate that year-end determinations and annual limitations are evaluated only at the end of the partnership's taxable year. The final regulations continue to provide that each segment is generally treated as a separate distributive share period. Additionally, the final regulations provide that for purposes of determining allocations to segments, any special limitation or requirement relating to the timing or amount of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit applicable to the entire partnership taxable year will be applied based on the partnership's satisfaction of the limitation or requirements as of the end of the partnership's taxable year. For example, the expenses related to the election to expense a section 179 asset must first be calculated (and limited if applicable) based on the partnership's full taxable year, and then the effect of any limitation must be apportioned among the segments in accordance with the interim closing method or the proration method using any reasonable method. Thus, the segments are not treated as separate taxable years for purposes of sections 461(h) and 404(a)(5). The final regulations do not address inventory accounting under section 471 because those issues are beyond the scope of this project.

    Moreover, other provisions of the Code providing a convention for making a particular determination still apply. For example, section 168 provides conventions for determining when property is placed in service and when property is disposed of. The convention in section 168 would apply first to determine when the property is placed in service or when the property is disposed of, and section 706 would apply second to determine who was a partner during that segment. The Treasury Department and the IRS are studying issues relating to the interaction of section 706 and the partnership minimum gain provisions in § 1.704-2 and therefore the final regulations do not address these issues. As discussed in Part 1.F of this preamble, the interaction of sections 704 and 706 is generally beyond the scope of these final regulations; accordingly, these final regulations do not address the treatment of waterfall allocations.

    b. Determining the Items in Each Proration Period

    Under the 2009 proposed regulations, if the partners agreed to use the proration method, the partnership was required to allocate the distributive share of partnership items among the partners in accordance with their pro rata shares of the items for the entire taxable year. The Treasury Department and the IRS received several comments suggesting various modifications to the proration method. Commenters stated that the 2009 proposed regulations provided less flexibility in accounting for partners' varying interests under the proration method than the current regulations under section 706. Commenters recommended that the final regulations retain the flexibility of the current regulations by allowing partnerships to use any reasonable proration method to determine partners' distributive shares of partnership items and that the final regulations provide examples of reasonable proration methods. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that, because the final regulations provide partnerships with flexibility to use either the interim closing method or the proration method for each variation, and because the proration method can be less accurate than the interim closing method, it is appropriate to generally retain the rules applicable to the proration method from the 2009 proposed regulations. Accordingly, the final regulations do not adopt this suggestion. However, because the final regulations permit partnerships to use both the proration method and the interim closing method in the same taxable year, the rules for the proration method are now based upon the items in each segment, rather than the items for the partnership's entire taxable year. Section 1.706-4(a)(4) of the final regulations contains a detailed example illustrating the interaction of segments and proration periods.

    Proposed § 1.706-4(d)(1) provided that, for purposes of the proration method, specific items aggregated by the partnership at the end of the year (other than extraordinary items) shall be disregarded, and the aggregate of the items shall be considered to be the partnership item for the year. Commenters questioned whether proposed § 1.706-4(a)(2)(i) and (ii) and (d)(1) were intended to provide the same rules for both the interim closing method and the proration method. These sections address different issues. Proposed § 1.706-4(d)(1) was intended to allow partnerships that have multiple items that are aggregated by the partnership at the end of the year to also treat those items as a single item for purposes of the proration method (for example, capital gains and capital losses). By contrast, proposed § 1.706-4(a)(2)(i) and (ii) were intended to demonstrate that for purposes of determining allocations to segments, any annual limitation will be disregarded as long as the limitation is satisfied by the end of the partnership's taxable year.

    One commenter requested that the final regulations allow publicly traded partnerships (as defined in section 7704(b)) that are treated as partnerships (“PTPs”) using the proration method and calendar day convention to prorate their annual aggregate tax items by the number of months instead of the number of days. Because the use of the proration method can be less accurate than the interim closing method in certain circumstances, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe that partnerships using the proration method should prorate by the number of days. Therefore, the final regulations do not adopt this recommendation.

    iv. Agreement of the Partners To Use the Proration Method

    Consistent with the 2009 proposed regulations, under the final regulations the proration method may be used only by “agreement of the partners.” Commenters requested guidance on the meaning of this term, and the final regulations provide guidance as described in Part 1.E of this preamble.

    C. Varying Interest Rule Conventions: Calendar Day, Semi-Monthly, and Monthly

    The 2009 proposed regulations acknowledged that for certain partnerships using the interim closing method, such as partnerships in which interests are frequently transferred, determining the partnership items for each segment could create a significant administrative burden. Accordingly, the 2009 proposed regulations allowed the use of simplifying conventions. Conventions are rules of administrative convenience that determine when each variation is deemed to occur for purposes of § 1.706-4. Because the timing of each variation determines the partnership's segments and proration periods, which in turn are used to determine the partners' distributive shares, the convention used by the partnership with respect to a variation will generally affect the allocation of partnership items. However, as discussed in Part 1.D.ii of this preamble, extraordinary items generally must be allocated without regard to the partnership's convention.

    The 2009 proposed regulations provided that a partnership using the interim closing method could use either the calendar day convention or the semi-monthly convention to determine the segments of the partnership's taxable year, and provided that a partnership using the proration method shall use the calendar day convention. The 2009 proposed regulations required the partnership to use the same convention for all variations during a taxable year. The 2009 proposed regulations requested comments with regard to the possible expansion of these rules to include other conventions or other methods. The final regulations generally finalize the rules for conventions from the 2009 proposed regulations with the modifications described in this Part 1.C of the preamble.

    i. Allowance of Monthly Conventions

    Commenters noted that the legislative history of section 706(d) contemplated that regulations under section 706 would provide a monthly convention for all partnerships. These commenters also argued that the administrative burden and accounting complexity inherent in the interim closing method would be alleviated by a monthly convention. Accordingly, the commenters recommended that the monthly convention be available to all partnerships, regardless of method, provided that the overall allocation of partnership items is reasonable.

    The legislative history indicates that Congress did consider providing for a statutory election to use a monthly convention:

    [T]o prevent undue complexity, the bill provides, that in any case where there is a disposition of less than an entire interest in the partnership by a partner (including the entry of a new partner), the partnership may elect (on an annual basis) to determine the varying interests of the partners by using a monthly convention that treats any changes in any partner's interest in the partnership during the taxable year as occurring on the first day of the month. S. Rep. No. 98-169, at 221 (1984). However, this statutory provision was not enacted and the House-Senate Conference Committee report explains that it was omitted because Congress expected the Secretary to provide for a monthly convention by regulation. H.R. Rep. No. 98-861, at 858 (1984). In accordance with this Congressional intent, the final regulations provide that any partnership using the interim closing method (but not partnerships using the proration method) may use a monthly convention to account for partners' varying interests. Under the monthly convention, in the case of a variation occurring on the first through the 15th day of a calendar month, the variation is deemed to occur for purposes of § 1.706-4 at the end of the last day of the immediately preceding calendar month. And in the case of a variation occurring on the 16th through the last day of a calendar month, the variation is deemed to occur for purposes of § 1.706-4 at the end of the last day of that calendar month.

    Consistent with the rules for the selection of the proration method, the final regulations provide that the selection of the convention must be made by agreement of the partners by satisfying the provisions of § 1.706-4(f) of these final regulations as explained in Part 1.E of this preamble. In the absence of an agreement to use a convention, the partnership will be deemed to have chosen the calendar day convention.

    ii. Convention for Partnerships Using the Proration Method

    Commenters also requested that the final regulations allow partnerships using the proration method to allocate extraordinary items under either the calendar day convention or the semi-monthly convention to mirror the rules under the interim closing method. As explained in Part 1.D.i of this preamble, the final regulations provide that extraordinary items must generally be allocated based on the date and time on which the extraordinary items arise, without regard to the partnership's convention or use of the proration method or interim closing method. Thus, under the final regulations the allocation of extraordinary items will generally be the same regardless of the partnership's selected method or convention.

    The partnership's method and convention are generally relevant in determining allocations of non-extraordinary items. The final regulations retain the requirement that partnerships using the proration method must use a calendar day convention. Partnerships using the interim closing method have the option of using a semi-monthly or monthly convention in addition to the calendar day convention because of the additional administrative burdens inherent in using the more accurate interim closing method. Although the proration method may impose less administrative burdens on a partnership, it is less accurate than the interim closing method. Thus, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe it is necessary to retain the requirement of a calendar day convention for the proration method.

    iii. Conventions for PTPs

    Proposed § 1.706-4(b)(3) provided a safe harbor for PTPs that permitted a PTP using either the interim closing method or the proration method to treat all transfers of its publicly traded units (as described in § 1.7704-1(b)(1)) except for certain block transfers during the calendar month as occurring, for purposes of determining partner status, on the first day of the following month under a consistent method adopted by the partnership. Proposed § 1.706-4(b)(3) also provided that, alternatively, PTPs could use the semi-monthly convention described in proposed § 1.706-4(e)(2). The proposed PTP safe harbor referenced both rules for determining partner status and conventions in the same sentence, which could cause confusion. To eliminate this confusion, the Treasury Department and the IRS have decided to incorporate the rules of the PTP safe harbor from the 2009 proposed regulations, modified in response to comments as described in this section of the preamble, into the portions of the regulations providing rules for partnership conventions and methods. Therefore, the PTP safe harbor from the 2009 proposed regulations is no longer necessary and has been removed from the final regulations. However, as described below, the substantive rules from the PTP safe harbor remain largely unchanged in these final regulations.

    Commenters on the PTP safe harbor recommended that PTPs should be able to apply their conventions to all transfers of units, not just publicly traded units, including block transfers. The IRS and the Treasury Department agree that the rules from the proposed regulations should be extended to block transfers, but believe that transfers of non-publicly traded units should be accounted for similar to transfers of interests in non-publicly traded partnerships. Accordingly, the final regulations provide that a PTP may, by agreement of the partners, use any of the calendar day, the semi-monthly, or the monthly convention with respect to all variations during the taxable year relating to its publicly-traded units, regardless of whether the PTP uses the proration method with respect to those variations. A PTP must use the same convention for all variations during the taxable year relating to its publicly traded units. The final regulations provide that a PTP must use the calendar day convention with respect to all variations relating to its non-publicly traded units for which the PTP uses the proration method. In addition, consistent with the rules from the PTP safe harbor in the 2009 proposed regulations, the final regulations provide that a PTP using a monthly convention generally may consistently treat all variations occurring during each month as occurring at the end of the last day of that calendar month, if the PTP uses the monthly convention for those variations.

    The preamble to the 2009 proposed regulations acknowledged that some PTPs use conventions not described in the 2009 proposed regulations and requested comments concerning the use of additional conventions. In response to this request for comments, one commenter on the PTP safe harbor also recommended that the final regulations allow PTPs to use a quarterly convention. This commenter stated that PTPs generally declare cash distributions quarterly to their unit holders of record on the last day of the quarter to align the distributions with the PTPs' quarterly financial reporting. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that a quarterly convention could significantly reduce the accuracy of the allocations of a partnership's tax items to a particular partner. Accordingly, the final regulations do not permit PTPs to use a quarterly convention. As discussed in Part 1.D.iii.a of this preamble, however, proposed regulations under section 706 (REG-109370-10) are being published concurrently with these final regulations, and, subject to certain exceptions, provide that PTPs may, by agreement of their partners, treat all items of income that are amounts subject to withholding as defined in § 1.1441-2(a) (excluding income effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States) or withholdable payments under § 1.1473-1(a) as extraordinary items. If the partners so agree, then for purposes of section 706 such items are treated as occurring at the next time as of which the recipients of a distribution by the PTP are determined, or, to the extent such income items arise between the final time during the taxable year as of which the recipients of a distribution are determined and the end of the taxable year, such items shall be treated as occurring at the final time during the taxable year that the recipients of a distribution by the PTP are determined. This proposed rule does not apply unless the PTP has a regular practice of making at least four distributions (other than de minimis distributions) to its partners during each taxable year. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that this proposed rule is desirable to link each partner's distributive share to the related cash distributions, thereby enabling PTPs and their transfer agents to satisfy their withholding obligations under chapter 4 of the Code and under sections 1441 through 1443 from distributions.

    The convention rules in proposed § 1.706-4(c)(2) and (d)(2) did not apply to existing PTPs (existing PTP exception). Solely for purposes of the 2009 proposed regulations, an existing PTP was a partnership described in section 7704(b) that was formed on a date before the 2009 proposed regulations were published. Commenters noted that an existing PTP that terminates under section 708(b)(1)(B) due to the sale or exchange of 50 percent or more of the total interests in partnership capital and profits (a “technical termination”) on or after the publication of the 2009 proposed regulations would not receive the benefit of the existing PTP exception. These commenters noted that a technical termination is a tax concept and does not result in any changes to the partnership agreement, including any provisions relating to section 706(d). Commenters also noted that disregarding technical terminations of PTPs would be consistent with other regulation provisions (such as § 1.731-2(g)(2), which provides that a successor partnership formed as a result of technical termination is disregarded for purposes of applying section 731(c)). The final regulations adopt this recommendation and provide that, for purposes of the effective date provision, the termination of a PTP under section 708(b)(1)(B) is disregarded in determining whether the PTP is an existing PTP.

    iv. Use of More Than One Convention During a Taxable Year

    The 2009 proposed regulations required the partnership to use the same convention for all variations during a taxable year. Because the final regulations permit partnerships to use both the proration and interim closing methods during a taxable year, the final regulations provide that the partnership and all of its partners must use the same convention for all variations for which the partnership chooses to use the interim closing method. Furthermore, because PTPs are also permitted to use the semi-monthly and monthly conventions with respect to variations for which the PTP uses the proration method, the final regulations provide that PTPs must use the same convention for all variations during the taxable year.

    v. Deemed Timing of Variations

    Under the semi-monthly convention in the 2009 proposed regulations, the first segment of the partnership's taxable year commenced with the beginning of the partnership's taxable year, and with respect to a variation in interest occurring on the first through the 15th day of the month, was deemed to close at the end of the last day of the immediately preceding calendar month. Thus, although the 2009 proposed regulations provided that the first segment commences with the beginning of the partnership's taxable year, they also provided that a variation occurring on the first through the 15th day of the first calendar month of the partnership's taxable year was deemed to close at the end of the last day of the immediately preceding calendar month, which would be the last day of the prior taxable year. The final regulations provide that all variations within a taxable year are deemed to occur no earlier than the first day of the partnership's taxable year, and no later than the close of the final day of the partnership's taxable year. Thus, under the semi-monthly or monthly convention, a variation occurring on January 1st through January 15th for a calendar year partnership will be deemed to occur for purposes of § 1.706-4 at the beginning of the day on January 1. The conventions are not applicable to a sale or exchange of an interest in the partnership that causes a termination of the partnership under section 708(b)(1)(B); instead, such a sale or exchange will be considered to occur when it actually occurred.

    vi. Exception for Admission to and Exit From the Partnership Within a Convention Period

    The Treasury Department and the IRS recognize that, while the conventions are rules of administrative convenience that simplify the partnership's determination of the partners' distributive shares, the application of the conventions could result in some partners not being allocated any share of partnership items at all. For example, under the monthly convention, if a new partner buys a partnership interest on or after the 16th day of a month, and sells the entire partnership interest on or before the 15th day of the following month, that partner would not be treated as having been a partner at all for purposes of § 1.706-4, even if that partner otherwise is treated as a partner for purposes of other Code and regulations provisions, including section 6031(b) (relating to the partnership's obligation to furnish each partner a Schedule K-1, “Partner's Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc.”) and §§ 1.6012-1(b) and 1.6012-2(g) (relating to the obligation of certain foreign persons engaged in a U.S. trade or business to file a return). However, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe that the application of the conventions should not cause persons who are admitted to and exit from a partnership during a single convention period to avoid all allocations under § 1.706-4. Accordingly, the final regulations provide that in the case of a partner who becomes a partner during the partnership's taxable year as a result of a variation, and ceases to be a partner as a result of another variation, and under the application of the partnership's conventions both such variations would be deemed to occur at the same time, the variations with respect to that partner's interest will instead be treated as occurring when they actually occurred. Thus, in such a case, the partnership must treat the partner as a partner for the entire portion of its taxable year during which the partner actually owned an interest. However, in recognition of the increased administrative difficultly this exception would have for PTPs, this exception does not apply to PTPs with respect to holders of publicly traded units (as described in § 1.7704-1(b) or (c)(1)).

    D. Extraordinary Items

    Section 1.706-4(d)(3) of the 2009 proposed regulations required a partnership using the proration method to allocate extraordinary items among the partners in proportion to their interests at the beginning of the day on which they are taken into account. Section 1.706-4(d)(3) of the 2009 proposed regulations contained a list of nine enumerated extraordinary items. These final regulations continue to provide special rules for the allocation of extraordinary items; in addition, as discussed in this Part 1.D of the preamble, the final regulations expand the application of the extraordinary item rules to cover partnerships using the interim closing method, modify the list of extraordinary items and the timing of extraordinary item inclusions, and add a small item exception.

    i. Extraordinary Items and the Interim Closing Method

    The 2009 proposed regulations did not require partnerships using the interim closing method to separately account for extraordinary items. However, the Treasury Department and the IRS are aware (and commenters pointed out) that partnerships using the interim closing method and either the semi-monthly convention or the monthly convention to account for extraordinary items may achieve inappropriate tax consequences by shifting the tax consequences of extraordinary items to partners that were not partners in the partnership when the partnership incurred the extraordinary item. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that extraordinary items should generally be taken into account by the partners that were partners at the time the partnership incurred the extraordinary item. Therefore, the final regulations provide that the extraordinary item rules also apply to partnerships using the interim closing method. Thus, the final regulations require the allocation of extraordinary items as an exception to (1) the proration method, which would otherwise ratably allocate the extraordinary items across the segment, and (2) the conventions, which might otherwise inappropriately shift extraordinary items between a transferor and transferee. The final regulations also provide that extraordinary items continue to be subject to any special limitation or requirement relating to the timing or amount of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit applicable to the entire partnership taxable year (for example, the limitation for section 179 expenses).

    ii. Timing of Extraordinary Items

    Proposed § 1.706-4(d)(3) provided that a partnership must allocate extraordinary items among the partners in proportion to their interests at the beginning of the calendar day on which they are taken into account (beginning of the day rule). One commenter noted that under this rule, if a partnership interest is transferred on a given date and an extraordinary item is recognized by the partnership after the transfer, but still on the transfer date, the 2009 proposed regulations required the item to be allocated to the transferor. This commenter noted that other regulation sections use a “next day rule” (for example, §§ 1.1502-76(b)(1)(ii)(B) and 1.338-1(d)). According to the commenter, under the next day rule, an item would be treated as occurring at the beginning of the day following the day on which the extraordinary item is taken into account by the partnership. Another commenter expressed concern that the beginning of the day rule was incompatible with partnership agreements that provide that partners' distributive shares are determined on the basis of hurdles, waterfalls, or other income/loss thresholds.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS agree that extraordinary items should generally be allocated according to the partners' interests in the item at the time the extraordinary item arose. However, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe that a “next day” rule could result in inappropriate shifts of extraordinary items between a transferor and a transferee in situations in which the extraordinary items arise before, but on the same day as, the transfer of a partnership interest. In addition, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe that allowing allocation of extraordinary items based upon end of year threshold determinations such as hurdles or waterfalls would be inconsistent with the purpose of the varying interest rule and could result in inappropriate shifts in extraordinary items. Therefore, to avoid inappropriate shifts in extraordinary items, the final regulations provide that extraordinary items must be allocated in accordance with the partners' interests in the partnership item at the time of day that the extraordinary item occurs, regardless of the method and convention otherwise used by the partnership. Thus, if a partner disposes of its entire interest in a partnership before an extraordinary item occurs (but on the same day), the partnership and all of its partners must allocate the extraordinary item in accordance with the partners' interests in the partnership item at the time of day on which the extraordinary item occurred; in such a case, the transferor will not be allocated a portion of the extraordinary item, regardless of when the transfer is deemed to occur under the partnership's convention. However, the final regulations provide that PTPs (as defined in section 7704(b)) may, but are not required to, respect the applicable conventions in determining who held their publicly traded units (as described in § 1.7704-1(b) or 1.7704-1(c)(1)) at the time of the occurrence of an extraordinary item. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that this exception is necessary for administrative convenience given the frequency of variations experienced by PTPs. Examples 1 through 4 of § 1.706-4(e)(4) illustrate these timing rules.

    As discussed in Part 1.B.i of this preamble, proposed § 1.706-4(a)(1) required the partnership and all of its partners to use the same method for all variations in the partners' interests occurring within the partnership's taxable year, whether in complete or partial termination of the partners' interests. Proposed § 1.706-4(d)(3) provided that partnerships using the proration method must allocate extraordinary items among the partners in proportion to their interests at the beginning of the calendar day of the day on which they are taken into account, thus prohibiting the partnership from allocating extraordinary items using the proration method. Commenters stated that proposed § 1.706-4(a)(1) and (d)(3), when read together, could be interpreted to prohibit partnerships with extraordinary items from the using the proration method. These commenters also stated that these provisions could be interpreted to prohibit the use of the so-called “hybrid method.” One commenter explained that under a hybrid method, a partnership separates certain extraordinary items and allocates them to partners based on their interests in the partnership on particular days or periods (for example, the date of sale), effectively using the interim closing method and a calendar day convention with respect to these extraordinary items. According to this commenter, the partnership then allocates the remaining partnership items in accordance with the proration method. A commenter also requested that the final regulations permit partnerships using the proration method to use the interim closing method and a semi-monthly convention to account for extraordinary items. Under the final regulations, a partnership with extraordinary items may use the proration method. As a result, the final regulations effectively permit the hybrid method described by the commenter. However, the final regulations provide that partnerships must allocate extraordinary items according to the partners' interests in the partnership item at the time of day that the extraordinary item arose, generally without regard to the method and convention otherwise used by the partnership.

    iii. List of Extraordinary Items

    The 2009 proposed regulations defined an extraordinary item as (i) any item from the disposition or abandonment (other than in the ordinary course of business) of a capital asset as defined in section 1221 (determined without the application of any other rules of law); (ii) any item from the disposition or abandonment of property used in a trade or business (other than in the ordinary course of business) as defined in section 1231(b) (determined without the application of any holding period requirement); (iii) any item from the disposition or abandonment of an asset described in section 1221(a)(1), (3), (4), or (5), if substantially all the assets in the same category from the same trade or business are disposed of or abandoned in one transaction (or series of related transactions); (iv) any item from assets disposed of in an applicable asset acquisition under section 1060(c); (v) any section 481(a) adjustment; (vi) any item from the discharge or retirement of indebtedness (for example, if a debtor partnership transfers a capital or profits interest in such partnership to a creditor in satisfaction of its recourse or nonrecourse indebtedness, any discharge of indebtedness income recognized under section 108(e)(8) must be allocated among the persons who were partners in the partnership immediately before the discharge); (vii) any item from the settlement of a tort or similar third-party liability; (viii) any credit, to the extent it arises from activities or items that are not ratably allocated (for example, the rehabilitation credit under section 47, which is based on placement in service); and (ix) any item which, in the opinion of the Commissioner, would, if ratably allocated, result in a substantial distortion of income in any consolidated return or separate return in which the item is included.

    The 2009 proposed regulations requested comments on whether any items should be added to or removed from the definition of extraordinary items. After consideration of the comments received, the Treasury Department and the IRS have decided to generally retain the list of enumerated extraordinary items, subject to changes that are discussed in this Part 1.D.iii of the preamble.

    a. Two Additional Extraordinary Items and Two Additional Proposed Extraordinary Items

    In response to comments, the final regulations add two items to the extraordinary item list. First, commenters requested that the final regulations provide partnerships with more flexibility in determining what items are extraordinary items. One commenter argued that the definition of extraordinary item should be tied to the uniqueness of the partnership and materiality of the item. Another commenter recommended the final regulations remove the mandatory treatment of the specifically enumerated items as extraordinary items and instead highlight these specific items as items the partnership may agree to treat as extraordinary. In addition, commenters recommended that the final regulations allow the partners to agree to treat other nonenumerated items as extraordinary items. The commenters noted that this could prevent distortion of the economic deal of the partners in certain circumstances. The final regulations adopt the recommendation to allow a partnership to treat additional nonenumerated items as extraordinary items for a taxable year if, for that taxable year, there is an agreement of the partners (as described in Part 1.E of this preamble) to treat consistently such items as extraordinary items. However, this rule does not apply if treating that additional item as an extraordinary item would result in a substantial distortion of income in any partner's return. Any additional extraordinary items continue to be subject to any special limitation or requirement relating to the timing or amount of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit applicable to the entire partnership taxable year (for example, the limitation for section 179 expenses).

    Second, the final regulations provide that an extraordinary item includes any item identified as an additional class of extraordinary item in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that this addition is necessary to provide flexibility and guidance in the event that additional classes of items should be treated as extraordinary items.

    In addition, proposed regulations under section 706 (REG-109370-10) being published concurrently with these final regulations propose to add two additional extraordinary items. The first proposed additional extraordinary item responds to comments regarding the administrative difficulty PTPs face in satisfying certain withholding obligations if the PTPs are not permitted to use a quarterly convention. As discussed in Part 1.C.iii of this preamble, the final regulations do not permit PTPs to use a quarterly convention. However, the proposed regulations being published concurrently with these final regulations would add an optional extraordinary item for PTPs, which the Treasury Department and the IRS believe is desirable to link each partner's distributive share to the related cash distributions, thereby enabling PTPs and their transfer agents to satisfy their withholding obligations under Chapter 4 of the Code and sections 1441 through 1443 from distributions. Specifically, the proposed regulations provide that, for PTPs, all items of income that are amounts subject to withholding as defined in § 1.1441-2(a) (excluding income effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States) or withholdable payments under § 1.1473-1(a) occurring during a taxable year may be treated as extraordinary items if, for that taxable year, the partners agree to consistently treat all such items as extraordinary items for that taxable year. If the partners so agree, then for purposes of section 706 such items shall be treated as occurring at the next time as of which the recipients of a distribution by the PTP are determined, or, to the extent such income items arise between the final time during the taxable year as of which the recipients of a distribution are determined and the end of the taxable year, such items shall be treated as occurring at the final time during the taxable as of which the recipients of a distribution are determined. This proposed rule does not apply unless the PTP has a regular practice of making at least four distributions (other than de minimis distributions) to its partners during each taxable year. The proposed regulations provide that taxpayers may rely on this proposed additional extraordinary item for PTPs until final regulations are issued.

    The second proposed additional extraordinary item addresses partnership deductions attributable to the transfer of partnership equity in connection with the performance of services. Specifically, the proposed regulations being published concurrently with these final regulations would add as an additional extraordinary item any deduction for the transfer of an interest in the partnership in connection with the performance of services and would provide that such deduction is treated as occurring immediately before the transfer or vesting of the partnership interest that results in compensation income for the person who performs the services. Moreover, for such deductions the proposed regulations would “turn off” the exceptions to the extraordinary item rules which would otherwise apply to certain small items and for partnerships for which capital is not a material income-producing factor. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that this rule is necessary to ensure that, in the case of a transfer of partnership equity in connection with the performance of services, no portion of the deduction for the transfer of a partnership interest in connection with the performance of services will be allocated to the person who performs the services.

    b. Clarification of Certain Enumerated Items

    This Part 1.D.iii.b provides additional clarification on five of the extraordinary items from the 2009 proposed regulations.

    First, the 2009 proposed regulations provided that an extraordinary item includes any item from the disposition or abandonment (other than in the ordinary course of business) of a capital asset as defined in section 1221 (determined without the application of any other rules of law). One commenter requested that the final regulations clarify that gains or losses from the actual or deemed sale of securities by securities partnerships (as defined in § 1.704-3(e)(3)(iii)) are items resulting from the disposition or abandonment of a capital asset (as defined in section 1221) in the ordinary course of business. Without such a rule, the commenter noted that a securities partnership would incur significant administrative and accounting costs to account for each security bought and sold. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that it is unnecessary to provide a special rule for securities partnerships; if a securities partnership is engaged in the trade or business of trading securities then it will generally be true that any gains or losses from the actual or deemed sale of securities are items from the disposition of a capital asset in the ordinary course of the partnership's business. Accordingly, the final regulations do not modify this extraordinary item.

    Second, commenters inquired as to whether revaluations of partnership property under § 1.704-1(b)(2)(iv)(e) or (f) are extraordinary items. Section 1.704-1(b)(2)(iv)(e) generally requires that a partner's capital account be decreased by the fair market value of property distributed by the partnership to such partner. To do so, the partners' capital accounts are adjusted to reflect the manner in which the unrealized income, gain, loss, and deduction inherent in the property would be allocated among the partners if there were a taxable disposition of the property for fair market value on the date of distribution. Section 1.704-1(b)(2)(iv)(f) provides that a partnership may increase or decrease the capital accounts of the partners to reflect a revaluation of partnership property on the partnership's books upon the occurrence of certain events. The adjustments to the partners' capital accounts must reflect the manner in which the unrealized income, gain, loss, or deduction inherent in the property would be allocated among the partners if there were a taxable disposition of the property for fair market value on that date. Under § 1.704-3(a)(6)(i), section 704(c) principles apply to allocations with respect to property for which differences between book value and adjusted tax basis are created when a partnership revalues partnership property pursuant to § 1.704-1(b)(2)(iv)(f) (reverse section 704(c) allocations). However, partnerships are not generally required to revalue their property on the occurrence of these events. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that the treatment of an item as an extraordinary item should not depend upon whether the partnership chooses to revalue its assets. Additionally, as discussed in Part 1.F of this preamble, the final regulations generally do not address the interaction of sections 704(b), 704(c), and 706. Accordingly, the final regulations do not include book items from partnership revaluations as extraordinary items.

    Third, the 2009 proposed regulations provided that an extraordinary item included any item which, in the opinion of the Commissioner, would, if ratably allocated, result in a substantial distortion of income in any consolidated return or separate return in which the item is included. One commenter recommended that the final regulations provide that the Commissioner may only treat a nonenumerated item as an extraordinary item where the Commissioner has provided advance notice by notice or regulation of the types of income subject to scrutiny, or where there is evidence that the proration method was chosen with the intent to substantially distort income. However, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe that such a rule would unduly impede the ability of the IRS to correct substantial distortions of income, and accordingly the final regulations do not adopt this suggestion.

    Fourth, the 2009 proposed regulations provided that an extraordinary item included any section 481(a) adjustment. The Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that the inclusion of section 481(a) adjustments within the meaning of “extraordinary items” for purposes of section 706 may be overbroad. The purpose of the extraordinary items rule is to avoid substantial distortions of income among partners by requiring a partnership to allocate certain significant, nonrecurring items incurred other than in the ordinary course of business among its partners in proportion to their ownership interests in the partnership on the date the extraordinary item was incurred. Section 481 requires a taxpayer that has changed its method of accounting to compute its income by taking into account adjustments necessary to prevent any duplication or omission that would otherwise result from the change. Under certain circumstances, these adjustments may be spread over a period of years, and in all circumstances, the adjustments relate to a change of accounting method by the taxpayer rather than a particular item incurred by the taxpayer. Because the new accounting method that triggers the section 481 adjustment applies to the entire taxable year of the change, the adjustment similarly relates to that entire taxable year rather than any specific date within that taxable year. Therefore, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe that not all section 481 adjustments should be treated as extraordinary items. However, in situations in which the change in accounting method is initiated after the occurrence of a variation, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe it is appropriate to allocate any resulting item attributable to the change among the partners in accordance with their percentage interests at and after the time the method change is initiated. Therefore, the final regulations have changed this extraordinary item to include only the effects of any change in accounting method initiated by the filing of the appropriate form after a variation occurs.

    Fifth, the 2009 proposed regulations provided that an extraordinary item included:

    Any item from the discharge or retirement of indebtedness (for example, if a debtor partnership transfers a capital or profits interest in such partnership to a creditor in satisfaction of its recourse or nonrecourse indebtedness, any discharge of indebtedness income recognized under section 108(e)(8) must be allocated among the persons who were partners in the partnership immediately before the discharge). Section 108(e)(8) and (i) generally require that a partnership allocate discharge of indebtedness income (COD income) to the partners that were partners immediately prior to the transaction giving rise to the COD income. Thus, the rules under section 108(e)(8) and (i) and section 706 could provide conflicting results if items of a partnership subject to section 108(e)(1) or 108(i) were treated as an extraordinary item. This could occur where section 108(e)(8) or 108(i) provides a rule regarding the timing of COD income that is different from the extraordinary item timing rules under section 706. Thus, because section 108(e)(8) and (i) already provide special timing rules, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe it is unnecessary to treat these items as extraordinary items. Accordingly, the final regulations provide a limited exception in the definition of extraordinary items in § 1.706-4(e)(1)(v) for amounts subject to section 108(e)(8) or 108(i). iv. Small Item Exception for Extraordinary Items

    In addition to receiving comments on the items on the extraordinary item list, the Treasury Department and the IRS received many comments requesting that the final regulations provide a de minimis rule for extraordinary items. One commenter suggested that an extraordinary item would be considered de minimis if, for the partnership's taxable year: (i) The total of the particular class of extraordinary items is less than five percent of the partnership's (a) gross income in the case of income or gain items, or (b) gross expenses and losses, including section 705(a)(2)(B) expenditures, in the case of losses and expenses; and (ii) all extraordinary items in total do not exceed $10 million. Another commenter recommended using a dollar amount threshold per item, a cumulative amount (for example, $100,000), or an amount that varies depending on the size of the partnership or whether the partnership is a PTP.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS recognize that accounting for extraordinary items can be burdensome to partnerships. Accordingly, the final regulations adopt the recommendation to include a small item exception. Specifically, the final regulations allow a partnership to treat an otherwise extraordinary item as not extraordinary if, for the partnership's taxable year: (1) The total of all items in the particular class of extraordinary items (for example, all tort or similar liabilities) is less than five percent of the partnership's (a) gross income, including tax-exempt income described in section 705(a)(1)(B), in the case of income or gain items, or (b) gross expenses and losses, including section 705(a)(2)(B) expenditures, in the case of losses and expense items; and (2) the total amount of the extraordinary items from all classes of extraordinary items amounting to less than five percent of the partnership's (a) gross income, including tax-exempt income described in section 705(a)(1)(B), in the case of income or gain items, or (b) gross expenses and losses, including section 705(a)(2)(B) expenditures, in the case of losses and expense items, does not exceed $10 million in the taxable year, determined by treating all such extraordinary items as positive amounts. Examples 5 and 6 of § 1.706-4(e)(4) illustrate the small item exception.

    E. Agreement of the Partners

    As discussed in this preamble, the final regulations provide that partnerships may make certain decisions under § 1.706-4 by agreement of the partners. See Part 1.B.ii (agreement to perform regular monthly or semi-monthly interim closings), Part 1.B.iv (selection to use the proration method), Part 1.C.i (choice of convention), and Part 1.D.iii.a (adding extraordinary items).

    Proposed § 1.706-4(a)(1) provided that a partnership may only use the proration method by agreement of the partners. Proposed § 1.706-4(c)(3) and -(d)(4) provided examples that indicated that the agreement of the partners to use the proration method must be part of the partnership agreement. Commenters requested clarification on the meaning of “by agreement of the partners” and on whether a partnership may delegate the authority to select the proration method. Another commenter suggested that the final regulations adopt different rules for a variation caused by a transaction between the partnership and one or more partners, and for a variation caused by a transaction between partners. One commenter noted that existing partnerships may not be able to amend the partnership agreement within the timeframe prescribed by section 761(c). Section 1.706-4(f) of the final regulations provides guidance on the meaning of “agreement of the partners.”

    The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that the final regulations should provide the partners with a voice in the choice of methods, conventions, and additional extraordinary items, and should allow the IRS to easily ascertain what the partnership selected, without unduly burdening the partnership. In response to comments, the Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that each of these objectives can be achieved by allowing partnerships to select their method, convention, or additional extraordinary items through a dated, written statement maintained with the partnership's books and records by the due date, including extensions, of the partnership's tax return. The final regulations provide that such a statement would include, for example, a selection included in the partnership agreement. The final regulations also permit the selection of the method, convention, or additional extraordinary item to be made by a person authorized to make that selection (including under a grant of general authority provided for by either state law or in the partnership agreement), if that person's selection is in a dated, written statement maintained with the partnership's books and records by the due date, including extensions, of the partnership's tax return. That person's selection will be binding on the partnership and the partners.

    F. Interaction of Sections 706(d) and 704

    The 2009 proposed regulations did not address the interaction of section 706(d) with the rules under section 704. Section 1.704-1(b)(1) generally provides that, under section 704(b), if a partnership agreement does not provide for the allocation of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit (or item thereof) to a partner, or if the partnership agreement provides for the allocation of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit (or item thereof) to a partner but such allocation does not have substantial economic effect, then the partner's distributive share of such income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit (or item thereof) shall be determined in accordance with such partner's interest in the partnership (taking into account all facts and circumstances). However, § 1.704-1(b)(1)(iii) provides that the determination of a partner's distributive share of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit (or item thereof) under section 704(b) and the regulations thereunder is not conclusive as to the tax treatment of a partner with respect to such distributive share. Section 1.704-1(b)(1)(iii) further provides that an allocation that is respected under section 704(b) and the regulations nevertheless may be reallocated under other provisions, such as section 706(d) (and related assignment of income principles).

    The Treasury Department and the IRS received several comments requesting guidance on the interaction of sections 706(d) and 704. One commenter requested clarification on the effect of a reallocation under section 706(d) on the application of provisions of section 704(b), particularly regarding the capital account maintenance provisions in § 1.704-1(b)(2)(iv). Another commenter indicated that partnership agreements are drafted to apply section 706 to section 704(b) items and allocate tax items in the same manner as the corresponding book items, subject to the application of section 704(c). This commenter asked that the final regulations address whether section 706(d) applies to the allocation of book items rather than tax items.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS have carefully considered the comments relating to the interaction of sections 706(d) and 704 and believe that the issues require further consideration and are generally outside the scope of these final regulations. However, the Treasury Department and the IRS may consider addressing these issues in future guidance.

    2. Deemed Dispositions

    Proposed § 1.706-1(c)(2)(iii) provided that a deemed disposition of a partner's interest pursuant to § 1.1502-76(b)(2)(vi) (relating to corporate partners that become or cease to be members of a consolidated group within the meaning of § 1.1502-1(h)), § 1.1362-3(c)(1) (relating to the termination of the subchapter S election of an S corporation partner), or § 1.1377-1(b)(3)(iv) (regarding an election to terminate the taxable year of an S corporation partner) shall be treated as a disposition of the partner's entire interest in the partnership. The preamble to the 2009 proposed regulations indicated that this treatment is solely for purposes of section 706. One commenter explained that unless the regulatory language specifically limits the disposition treatment to section 706, taxpayers could deem these transactions to be dispositions for other purposes of the Code, thereby achieving unintended results. For example, the commenter stated that, unless clarified, the 2009 proposed regulations could cause unintended consequences under sections 708, 743(b), or 1001 when a member of a consolidated group sells an interest in a partnership that exits the consolidated group after the sale. Consistent with the preamble to the 2009 proposed regulations, the final regulations clarify that deemed dispositions under §§ 1.1502-76(b)(2)(vi), 1.1362-3(c)(1), or 1.1377-1(b)(3)(iv) are treated as a disposition of the partner's entire interest in the partnership solely for purposes of section 706.

    Effective/Applicability Dates

    With respect to amendments to §§ 1.706-1 (with the exception of two special rules applicable to § 1.706-1(b)(6)(iii)), 1.706-4 (with the exception of a special rule applicable to § 1.704-4(c)(3)), and 1.706-5, these final regulations are applicable to partnership taxable years that begin on or after August 3, 2015.

    With respect to the final regulations contained in § 1.706-1(b)(6)(iii), the regulations apply to the partnership taxable years that begin on or after August 3, 2015, subject to two special rules. First, under the current regulations, partnerships formed prior to September 23, 2002 (existing partnerships) generally are exempt from the rules of § 1.706-1(b)(6) unless they have voluntarily chosen to apply them or unless they have undergone a technical termination under section 708(b)(1)(B). The final regulations retain this special rule, such that an existing partnership will not be subject to the modified minority interest rule in § 1.706-1(b)(6)(iii) unless there has been such an election or technical termination of the partnership. Second, because the final regulations modify § 1.706-1(b)(6)(iii) but otherwise leave the rules of § 1.706-1(b)(6) unchanged, it is appropriate to exempt other partnerships from the modified minority interest rule if they are already subject to § 1.706-1(b)(6) and the minority interest rule of the current regulations (interim period partnerships). Thus, interim period partnerships will be exempt from the modified minority interest rule of § 1.706-1(b)(6)(iii) unless they voluntarily elect to be subject to this rule or undergo a technical termination.

    The final regulations under § 1.706-4 generally apply for partnership taxable years that begin on or after August 3, 2015; however, the rules of § 1.706-4(c)(3) do not apply to existing PTPs. For purposes of this effective date provision, an existing PTP is a partnership described in section 7704(b) that was formed prior to April 19, 2009. For purposes of this effective date provision, the termination of a PTP under section 708(b)(1)(B) due to the sale or exchange of 50 percent or more of the total interests in partnership capital and profits is disregarded in determining whether the PTP is an existing PTP.

    Special Analyses

    It has been determined that this Treasury decision is not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It has also been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these final regulations. It is hereby certified that the collection of information in this Treasury decision will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of section 601(6) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6). The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that the economic impact on small entities as a result of the collection of information in this Treasury decision will not be significant. The small entities subject to the collection are business entities formed as partnerships that choose to adopt the proration method, the semi-monthly or monthly convention, perform semi-monthly or monthly interim closings, or to add an additional class of extraordinary item, in which case the partnership must keep a written statement with its books and records evidencing the decision or delegation. Thus, the collection only applies if the partnership does not wish to accept the default method, convention, and list of extraordinary items provided in these regulations. Furthermore, the information required to be maintained with the partnership's books and records is simply a short statement evidencing the agreement of the partners. For these reasons, the Treasury Department and the IRS do not believe that the collection of information in this Treasury decision has a significant economic impact.

    Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, this regulation was submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business and no comments were received.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these final regulations is Benjamin H. Weaver, Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Passthroughs and Special Industries). However, other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated in their development.

    List of Subjects 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    26 CFR Part 2

    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR parts 1 and 602 are amended as follows:

    PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 is amended by adding a new entry in numerical order to read as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Section 1.706-4 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 706(d). * * *

    Par. 2. Section 1.706-0 is added to read as follows:
    § 1.706-0 Table of contents.

    This section lists the captions contained in the regulations under section 706.

    § 1.706-1 Taxable years of partner and partnership. (a) Year in which partnership income is includible. (b) Taxable year. (1) Partnership treated as taxpayer. (2) Partnership's taxable year. (i) Required taxable year. (ii) Exceptions. (3) Least aggregate deferral. (i) Taxable year that results in the least aggregate deferral of income. (ii) Determination of the taxable year of a partner or partnership that uses a 52-53 week taxable year. (iii) Special small item exception. (iv) Examples. (4) Measurement of partner's profits and capital interest. (i) In general. (ii) Profits interest. (A) In general. (B) Percentage share of partnership net income. (C) Distributive share. (iii) Capital interest. (5) Taxable year of a partnership with tax-exempt partners. (i) Certain tax-exempt partners disregarded. (ii) Example. (iii) Effective date. (6) Certain foreign partners disregarded. (i) Interests of disregarded foreign partners not taken into account. (ii) Definition of foreign partner. (iii) Minority interest rule. (iv) Example. (v) Effective date. (A) Generally. (B) Voluntary change in taxable year. (C) Subsequent sale or exchange of interests. (D) Transition rule. (7) Adoption of taxable year. (8) Change in taxable year. (i) Partnerships. (A) Approval required. (B) Short period tax return. (C) Change in required taxable year. (ii) Partners. (9) Retention of taxable year. (10) Procedures for obtaining approval or making a section 444 election. (11) Effect on partner elections under section 444. (i) Election taken into account. (ii) Effective date. (c) Closing of partnership year. (1) General rule. (2) Disposition of entire interest. (i) In general. (ii) Example. (iii) Deemed dispositions. (3) Disposition of less than entire interest. (4) Determination of distributive shares. (5) Transfer of interest by gift. (d) Effective/applicability date. § 1.706-2 Certain cash basis items prorated over period to which attributable. [Reserved] § 1.706-2T Temporary regulations; question and answer under the Tax Reform Act of 1984 (temporary). § 1.706-3 Items attributable to interest in lower tier partnership prorated over entire taxable year. [Reserved] § 1.706-4 Determination of distributive share when a partner's interest varies. (a) General rule. (1) Variations subject to this section. (2) Coordination with section 706(d)(2) and (3). (3) Allocation of items subject to this section. (4) Example. (b) Exceptions. (1) Permissible changes among contemporaneous partners. (2) Safe harbor for partnerships for which capital is not a material income-producing factor. (3) Special rules for publicly traded partnerships. (c) Conventions. (1) In general. (i) Calendar day convention. (ii) Semi-monthly convention. (iii) Monthly convention. (2) Exceptions. (3) Permissible conventions for each variation. (4) Examples. (d)(1) Optional monthly or semi-monthly closings. (2) Example. (e) Extraordinary items. (1) General principles. (2) Definition. (3) Small item exception. (4) Examples. (f) Agreement of the partners. (g) Effective/applicability date. § 1.706-5 Taxable year determination. (a) In general. (b) Effective/applicability date.
    Par. 3. Section 1.706-1 is amended as follows: a. The language “this paragraph (a)(1)” in the first sentence of paragraph (a)(2) is removed and the language “paragraph (a)(1) of this section” is added in its place. b. The language “capital or profits” in the first sentence in paragraph (b)(6)(iii) is removed and the language “capital and profits” is added in its place. c. Paragraph (b)(6)(v)(A) is revised. d. The last sentence of paragraph (b)(6)(v)(B) is removed and four new sentences are added in its place. e. Paragraph (b)(6)(v)(C) is revised. f. Add a sentence at the end of paragraph (b)(6)(v)(D). g. Paragraph (c)(2) is revised. h. Paragraph (c)(3) is removed. i. Paragraph (c)(4) is redesignated as paragraph (c)(3) and the last sentence of newly designated paragraph (c)(3) is removed. k. New paragraph (c)(4) is added. l. Paragraph (d) is revised.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 1.706-1 Taxable years of partner and partnership.

    (b) * * *

    (6) * * *

    (v) * * *

    (A) Generally. The provisions of this paragraph (b)(6) (other than paragraph (b)(6)(iii) of this section) apply to partnership taxable years, other than those of an existing partnership, that begin on or after July 23, 2002. The provisions of paragraph (b)(6)(iii) of this section apply to partnership taxable years, other than those of an existing partnership or an interim period partnership, that begin on or after August 3, 2015. For partnership taxable years beginning on or after July 23, 2002, and before August 3, 2015, see the provisions of § 1.706-1(b)(6)(iii) as contained in the 26 CFR part 1 on July 31, 2015. For purposes of paragraph (b)(6) of this section, an existing partnership is a partnership that was formed prior to September 23, 2002, and an interim period partnership is a partnership that was formed on or after September 23, 2002, and prior to August 3, 2015.

    (B) * * * An existing partnership that makes such a change prior to August 3, 2015 will generally cease to be exempted from the requirements of this paragraph (b)(6) of this section, and thus will be subject to the requirements of paragraph (b)(6) of this section, except for paragraph (b)(6)(iii) of this section—instead, such partnership will be subject to the provisions of § 1.706-1(b)(6)(iii) as contained in the 26 CFR part 1 on July 31, 2015. An existing partnership that makes such a change on or after August 3, 2015 will cease to be exempted from the requirements of this paragraph (b)(6). An interim period partnership may change its taxable year to a year determined in accordance with paragraph (b)(6)(iii) of this section. An interim period partnership that makes such a change will cease to be exempted from the requirements of paragraph (b)(6)(iii) of this section.

    (C) Subsequent sale or exchange of interests. If an existing partnership or an interim period partnership terminates under section 708(b)(1)(B), the resulting partnership is not an existing partnership or an interim period partnership for purposes of paragraph (b)(6)(v) of this section.

    (D) * * * If, in a partnership taxable year beginning on or after August 3, 2015, an interim period partnership voluntarily changes its taxable year to a year determined in accordance with paragraph (b)(6)(iii) of this section, then the partners of that partnership may apply the provisions of § 1.702-3T to take into account all items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit attributable to the partnership year of change ratably over a four-year period.

    (c) * * *

    (2) Disposition of entire interest—(i) In general. A partnership taxable year shall close with respect to a partner who sells or exchanges his entire interest in the partnership, with respect to a partner whose entire interest in the partnership is liquidated, and with respect to a partner who dies. In the case of a death, liquidation, or sale or exchange of a partner's entire interest in the partnership, the partner shall include in his taxable income for his taxable year within or with which the partner's interest in the partnership ends the partner's distributive share of items described in section 702(a) and any guaranteed payments under section 707(c) for the partnership taxable year ending with the date of such termination. If the decedent partner's estate or other successor sells or exchanges its entire interest in the partnership, or if its entire interest is liquidated, the partnership taxable year with respect to the estate or other successor in interest shall close on the date of such sale or exchange, or the date of the completion of the liquidation. The sale or exchange of a partnership interest does not, for the purpose of this rule, include any transfer of a partnership interest which occurs at death as a result of inheritance or any testamentary disposition.

    (ii) Example.

    H is a partner of a partnership having a taxable year ending December 31. Both H and his wife W are on a calendar year and file joint returns. H dies on March 31, 2015. Administration of the estate is completed and the estate, including the partnership interest, is distributed to W as legatee on November 30, 2015. Such distribution by the estate is not a sale or exchange of H's partnership interest. The taxable year of the partnership will close with respect to H on March 31, 2015, and H will include in his final return for his final taxable year (January 1, 2015, through March 31, 2015) his distributive share of partnership items for that period under the rules of sections 706(d)(2), 706(d)(3), and § 1.706-4.

    (iii) Deemed dispositions. A deemed disposition of the partner's interest pursuant to § 1.1502-76(b)(2)(vi) (relating to corporate partners that become or cease to be members of a consolidated group within the meaning of §§ 1.1502-1(h)), 1.1362-3(c)(1) (relating to the termination of the subchapter S election of an S corporation partner), or 1.1377-1(b)(3)(iv) (regarding an election to terminate the taxable year of an S corporation partner), shall be treated as a disposition of the partner's entire interest in the partnership solely for purposes of section 706.

    (4) Determination of distributive shares. See section 706(d)(2), 706(d)(3), and § 1.706-4 for rules regarding the methods to be used in determining the distributive shares of items described in section 702(a) for partners whose interests in the partnership vary during the partnership's taxable year as a result of a disposition of a partner's entire interest in a partnership as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section or as a result of a disposition of less than a partner's entire interest as described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

    (d) Effective/applicability date. (1) The rules for paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section apply for partnership taxable years ending on or after May 17, 2002, except for paragraphs (b)(5) and (6) of this section, which generally apply to partnership taxable years beginning on or after July 23, 2002 (however, see paragraphs (b)(5)(iii) and (b)(6)(v) of this section for certain exceptions to and transition relief from the applicability dates of paragraphs (b)(5) and (6) of this section).

    (2) The rules for paragraph (c)(1) of this section apply for partnership taxable years beginning after December 31, 1953. All other paragraphs under paragraph (c) of this section apply for partnership taxable years that begin on or after August 3, 2015.

    Par. 4. Add reserved § 1.706-2 with the following heading:
    § 1.706-2 Certain cash basis items allocable. [Reserved]
    Par. 5. Add reserved § 1.706-3 with the following heading:
    § 1.706-3 Items attributable to interest in lower tier partnership prorated over entire taxable year. [Reserved]
    Par. 6. Section 1.706-4 is added to read as follows:
    § 1.706-4 Determination of distributive share when a partner's interest varies.

    (a) General rule—(1) Variations subject to this section. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, this section provides rules for determining the partners' distributive shares of partnership items when a partner's interest in a partnership varies during the taxable year as a result of the disposition of a partial or entire interest in a partnership as described in § 1.706-1(c)(2) and (3), or with respect to a partner whose interest in a partnership is reduced as described in § 1.706-1(c)(3), including by the entry of a new partner (collectively, a “variation”).

    (2) Coordination with sections 706(d)(2) and 706(d)(3) and other Code sections. Items subject to allocation under other rules, including sections 108(e)(8) and 108(i) (which provide special allocation rules for certain items from the discharge or retirement of indebtedness), section 706(d)(2) (relating to the determination of partners' distributive shares of allocable cash basis items) and section 706(d)(3) (relating to the determination of partners' distributive share of any item of an upper tier partnership attributable to a lower tier partnership), are not subject to the rules of this section. In all cases, all partnership items for each taxable year must be allocated among the partners, and no partnership items may be duplicated, regardless of the particular provision of section 706 (or other Code section) which applies, and regardless of the method or convention adopted by the partnership.

    (3) Allocation of items subject to this section. In determining the distributive share under section 702(a) of partnership items subject to this section, the partnership shall follow the steps described in this paragraph (a)(3)(i) through (x).

    (i) First, determine whether either of the exceptions in paragraph (b) of this section (regarding certain changes among contemporaneous partners and partnerships for which capital is not a material income-producing factor) applies.

    (ii) Second, determine which of its items are subject to allocation under the special rules for extraordinary items in paragraph (e) of this section, and allocate those items accordingly.

    (iii) Third, determine with respect to each variation whether it will apply the interim closing method or the proration method. Absent an agreement of the partners (within the meaning of paragraph (f) of this section) to use the proration method, the partnership shall use the interim closing method. The partnership may use different methods (interim closing or proration) for different variations within each partnership taxable year; however, the Commissioner may place restrictions on the ability of partnerships to use different methods during the same taxable year in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin.

    (iv) Fourth, determine when each variation is deemed to have occurred under the partnership's selected convention (as described in paragraph (c) of this section).

    (v) Fifth, determine whether there is an agreement of the partners (within the meaning of paragraph (f) of this section) to perform regular monthly or semi-monthly interim closings (as described in paragraph (d) of this section). If so, then the partnership will perform an interim closing of its books at the end of each month (in the case of an agreement to perform monthly closings) or at the end and middle of each month (in the case of an agreement to perform semi-monthly closings), regardless of whether any variation occurs. Absent an agreement of the partners to perform regular monthly or semi-monthly interim closings, the only interim closings during the partnership's taxable year will be at the deemed time of the occurrence of variations for which the partnership uses the interim closing method.

    (vi) Sixth, determine the partnership's segments, which are specific periods of the partnership's taxable year created by interim closings of the partnership's books. The first segment shall commence with the beginning of the taxable year of the partnership and shall end at the time of the first interim closing. Any additional segment shall commence immediately after the closing of the prior segment and shall end at the time of the next interim closing. However, the last segment of the partnership's taxable year shall end no later than the close of the last day of the partnership's taxable year. If there are no interim closings, the partnership has one segment, which corresponds to its entire taxable year.

    (vii) Seventh, apportion the partnership's items for the year among its segments. The partnership shall determine the items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit of the partnership for each segment. In general, a partnership shall treat each segment as though the segment were a separate distributive share period. For example, a partnership may compute a capital loss for a segment of a taxable year even though the partnership has a net capital gain for the entire taxable year. For purposes of determining allocations to segments, any special limitation or requirement relating to the timing or amount of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit applicable to the entire partnership taxable year will be applied based upon the partnership's satisfaction of the limitation or requirement as of the end of the partnership's taxable year. For example, the expenses related to the election to expense a section 179 asset must first be calculated (and limited if applicable) based on the partnership's full taxable year, and then the effect of any limitation must be apportioned among the segments in accordance with the interim closing method or the proration method using any reasonable method.

    (viii) Eighth, determine the partnership's proration periods, which are specific portions of a segment created by a variation for which the partnership chooses to apply the proration method. The first proration period in each segment begins at the beginning of the segment, and ends at the time of the first variation within the segment for which the partnership selects the proration method. The next proration period begins immediately after the close of the prior proration period and ends at the time of the next variation for which the partnerships selects the proration method. However, each proration period shall end no later than the close of the segment.

    (ix) Ninth, prorate the items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit in each segment among the proration periods within the segment.

    (x) Tenth, determine the partners' distributive shares of partnership items under section 702(a) by taking into account the partners' interests in such items during each segment and proration period.

    (4) Example.

    (i) At the beginning of 2015, PRS, a calendar year partnership, has three equal partners, A, B, and C. On April 16, 2015, A sells 50% of its interest in PRS to new partner D. On August 6, 2015, B sells 50% of its interest in PRS to new partner E. During 2015, PRS earned $75,000 of ordinary income, incurred $33,000 of ordinary deductions, earned $12,000 of capital gain in the ordinary course of its business, and sustained $9,000 of capital loss in the ordinary course of its business. Within that year, PRS earned $60,000 of ordinary income, incurred $24,000 of ordinary deductions, earned $12,000 of capital gain, and sustained $6,000 of capital loss between January 1, 2015, and July 31, 2015, and PRS earned $15,000 of gross ordinary income, incurred $9,000 of gross ordinary deductions, and sustained $3,000 of capital loss between August 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015. None of PRS's items are extraordinary items within the meaning of paragraph (e)(2) of this section. Capital is a material income-producing factor for PRS. For 2015, PRS determines the distributive shares of A, B, C, D, and E as follows.

    (i) First, PRS determines that none of the exceptions in paragraph (b) of this section apply because capital is a material-income producing factor and no variation is the result of a change in allocations among contemporaneous partners.

    (ii) Second, PRS determines that none of its items are extraordinary items subject to allocation under paragraph (e) of this section.

    (iii) Third, the partners of PRS agree (within the meaning of paragraph (f) of this section) to apply the proration method to the April 16, 2015, variation, and PRS accepts the default application of the interim closing method to the August 6, 2015, variation.

    (iv) Fourth, PRS determines the deemed date of the variations for purposes of this section based upon PRS's selected convention. Because PRS applied the proration method to the April 16, 2015, variation, PRS must use the calendar day convention with respect to the April 16, 2015, variation pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section. Therefore, the variation that resulted from A's sale to D on April 16, 2015, is deemed to occur for purposes of this section at the end of the day on April 16, 2015. Further, the partners of PRS agree (within the meaning of paragraph (f) of this section) to apply the semi-monthly convention to the August 6, 2015, variation. Therefore, the August 6, 2015, variation is deemed to occur at the end of the day on July 31, 2015.

    (v) Fifth, the partners of PRS do not agree to perform regular semi-monthly or monthly closings as described in paragraph (d) of this section. Therefore, PRS will have only one interim closing for 2015, occurring at the end of the day on July 31.

    (vi) Sixth, PRS determines that it has two segments for 2015. The first segment commences January 1, 2015, and ends at the close of the day on July 31, 2015. The second segment commences at the beginning of the day on August 1, 2015, and ends at the close of the day on December 31, 2015.

    (vii) Seventh, PRS determines that during the first segment of its taxable year (beginning January 1, 2015, and ending July 31, 2015), it had $60,000 of ordinary income, $24,000 of ordinary deductions, $12,000 of capital gain, and $6,000 of capital loss. PRS determines that during the second segment of its taxable year (beginning August 1, 2015, and ending December 31, 2015), it had $15,000 of gross ordinary income, $9,000 of gross ordinary deductions, and $3,000 of capital loss.

    (viii) Eighth, PRS determines that it has two proration periods. The first proration period begins January 1, 2015, and ends at the close of the day on April 16, 2015; the second proration period begins April 17, 2015, and ends at the close of the day on July 31, 2015.

    (ix) Ninth, PRS prorates its income from the first segment of its taxable year among the two proration periods. Because each proration period has 106 days, PRS allocates 50% of its items from the first segment to each proration period. Thus, each proration period contains $30,000 gross ordinary income, $12,000 gross ordinary deductions, $6,000 capital gain, and $3,000 capital loss.

    (x) Tenth, PRS calculates each partner's distributive share. Because A, B, and C were equal partners during the first proration period, each is allocated one-third of the partnership's items attributable to that proration period. Thus, A, B, and C are each allocated $10,000 gross ordinary income, $4,000 gross ordinary deductions, $2,000 capital gain, and $1,000 capital loss for the first proration period. For the second proration period, A and D each had a one-sixth interest in PRS and B and C each had a one-third interest in PRS. Thus, A and D are each allocated $5,000 gross ordinary income, $2,000 gross ordinary deductions, $1,000 capital gain, and $500 capital loss, and B and C are each allocated $10,000 gross ordinary income, $4,000 gross ordinary deductions, $2,000 capital gain, and $1,000 capital loss for the second proration period. For the second segment of PRS's taxable year, A, B, D, and E each had a one-sixth interest in PRS and C had a one-third interest in PRS. Thus, A, B, D, and E are each allocated $2,500 gross ordinary income, $1,500 gross ordinary deductions, and $500 capital loss, and C is allocated $5,000 gross ordinary income, $3,000 gross ordinary deductions, and $1,000 capital loss for the second segment.

    (b) Exceptions—(1) Permissible changes among contemporaneous partners. The general rule of paragraph (a)(3) of this section, with respect to the varying interests of a partner described in § 1.706-1(c)(3), will not preclude changes in the allocations of the distributive share of items described in section 702(a) among contemporaneous partners for the entire partnership taxable year (or among contemporaneous partners for a segment if the item is entirely attributable to a segment), provided that—

    (i) Any variation in a partner's interest is not attributable to a contribution of money or property by a partner to the partnership or a distribution of money or property by the partnership to a partner; and

    (ii) The allocations resulting from the modification satisfy the provisions of section 704(b) and the regulations promulgated thereunder.

    (2) Safe harbor for partnerships for which capital is not a material income-producing factor. Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(3) of this section, with respect to any taxable year in which there is a change in any partner's interest in a partnership for which capital is not a material income-producing factor, the partnership and such partner may choose to determine the partner's distributive share of partnership income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit using any reasonable method to account for the varying interests of the partners in the partnership during the taxable year provided that the allocations satisfy the provisions of section 704(b).

    (c) Conventions—(1) In general. Conventions are rules of administrative convenience that determine when each variation is deemed to occur for purposes of this section. Because the timing of each variation is necessary to determine the partnership's segments and proration periods, which are used to determine the partners' distributive shares, the convention used by the partnership with respect to a variation will generally affect the allocation of partnership items. However, see paragraph (e) of this section for special rules regarding extraordinary items, which generally must be allocated without regard to the partnership's convention. Subject to the limitations set forth in paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section, partnerships may generally choose from the following three conventions:

    (i) Calendar day convention. Under the calendar day convention, each variation is deemed to occur for purposes of this section at the end of the day on which the variation occurs.

    (ii) Semi-monthly convention. Under the semi-monthly convention, each variation is deemed to occur for purposes of this section either:

    (A) In the case of a variation occurring on the 1st through the 15th day of a calendar month, at the end of the last day of the immediately preceding calendar month; or

    (B) In the case of a variation occurring on the 16th through the last day of a calendar month, at the end of the 15th calendar day of that month.

    (iii) Monthly convention. Under the monthly convention, each variation is deemed to occur for purposes of this section either:

    (A) In the case of a variation occurring on the 1st through the 15th day of a calendar month, at the end of the last day of the immediately preceding calendar month; or

    (B) In the case of a variation occurring on the 16th through the last day of a calendar month, at the end of the last day of that calendar month.

    (2) Exceptions. (i) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(1) of this section, all variations within a taxable year shall be deemed to occur no earlier than the first day of the partnership's taxable year, and no later than the close of the final day of the partnership's taxable year. Thus, in the case of a calendar year partnership applying either the semi-monthly or monthly convention to a variation occurring on January 1st through January 15th, the variation will be deemed to occur for purposes of this section at the beginning of the day on January 1st.

    (ii) In the case of a partner who becomes a partner during the partnership's taxable year as a result of a variation, and ceases to be a partner as a result of another variation, if both such variations would be deemed to occur at the same time under the rules of paragraph (c)(1) of this section, then the variations with respect to that partner's interest will instead be treated as occurring on the dates each variation actually occurred. Thus, the partnership must treat such a partner as a partner for the entire portion of its taxable year during which the partner actually owned an interest. See Example 2 of paragraph (c)(4) of this section. However, this paragraph (c)(2)(ii) does not apply to publicly traded partnerships (as defined in section 7704(b)) that are treated as partnerships with respect to holders of publicly traded units (as described in § 1.7704-1(b) or 1.7704-1(c)(1)).

    (iii) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(1)(iii) of this section, a publicly traded partnership (as defined in section 7704(b)) that is treated as a partnership may consistently treat all variations occurring during each month as occurring at the end of the last day of that calendar month if the publicly traded partnership uses the monthly convention for those variations.

    (3) Permissible conventions for each variation—(i) Rules applicable to all partnerships. A partnership generally shall use the calendar day convention for each variation; however, for all variations during a taxable year for which the partnership uses the interim closing method, the partnership may instead use the semi-monthly or monthly convention by agreement of the partners (within the meaning of paragraph (f) of this section). The partnership must use the same convention for all variations for which the partnership uses the interim closing method.

    (ii) Publicly traded partnerships. A publicly traded partnership (as defined in section 7704(b)) that is treated as a partnership may, by agreement of the partners (within the meaning of paragraph (f) of this section) use any of the calendar day, the semi-monthly, or the monthly conventions with respect to all variations during the taxable year relating to its publicly-traded units (as described in § 1.7704-1(b) or (c)(1)), regardless of whether the publicly traded partnership uses the proration method with respect to those variations. A publicly traded partnership must use the same convention for all variations during the taxable year relating to its publicly traded units. A publicly traded partnership must use the calendar day convention with respect to all variations relating to its non-publicly traded units for which the publicly traded partnership uses the proration method.

    (4) Examples. The following examples illustrate the principles in this paragraph (c).

    Example 1.

    PRS is a calendar year partnership with four equal partners A, B, C, and D. PRS is not a publicly traded partnership. PRS has the following three variations that occur during its 2015 taxable year: on March 11, A sells its entire interest in PRS to new partner E; on June 12, PRS partially redeems B's interest in PRS with a distribution comprising a partial return of B's capital; on October 21, C sells part of C's interest in PRS to new partner E. These transfers do not result in a termination of PRS under section 708. Pursuant to paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section, the partners of PRS agree (within the meaning of paragraph (f) of this section) to use the interim closing method with respect to the variations occurring on March 11 and October 21 and agree to use the proration method with respect to the variation occurring on June 12. Pursuant to paragraph (c)(3) of this section, the partners of PRS may agree (within the meaning of paragraph (f) of this section) to use any of the calendar day, semi-monthly, or monthly conventions with respect to the March 11 and October 21 variations, but must use the same convention for both variations. If the partners of PRS agree to use the calendar day convention, the March 11 and October 21 variations will be deemed to occur for purposes of this section at the end of the day on March 11, 2015, and October 21, 2015, respectively. If the partners of PRS agree to use the semi-monthly convention, the March 11 and October 21 variations will be deemed to occur for purposes of this section at the end of the day on February 28, 2015, and October 15, 2015, respectively. If the partners of PRS agree to use the monthly convention, the March 11 and October 21 variations will be deemed to occur for purposes of this section at the end of the day on February 28, 2015, and October 31, 2015, respectively. Pursuant to paragraph (c)(3) of this section PRS must use the calendar day convention with respect to the June 12 variation; thus, the June 12 variation is deemed to occur for purposes of this section at the end of the day on June 12, 2015.

    Example 2.

    PRS is a calendar year partnership that uses the interim closing method and monthly convention to account for variations during its taxable year. PRS is not a publicly traded partnership. On January 20, 2015, new partner A purchases an interest in PRS from one of PRS's existing partners. On February 14, 2015, A sells its entire interest in PRS. These transfers do not result in a termination of PRS under section 708. Under the rules of paragraph (c)(1)(iii) of this section, the January 20, 2015, variation and the February 14, 2015, variation would both be deemed to occur at the same time: the end of the day on January 31, 2015. Therefore, under the exception in paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section, the rules of paragraph (c)(1) of this section do not apply, and instead the January 20, 2015, variation and the February 14 variation are considered to occur on January 20, 2015, and February 14, 2015, respectively. PRS must perform a closing of the books on both January 20, 2015, and February 14, 2015, and allocate A a share of PRS's items attributable to that segment.

    (d)(1) Optional regular monthly or semi-monthly interim closings. Under the rules of this section, a partnership is not required to perform an interim closing of its books except at the time of any variation for which the partnership uses the interim closing method (taking into account the applicable convention). However, a partnership may, by agreement of the partners (within the meaning of paragraph (f) of this section) perform regular monthly or semi-monthly interim closings of its books, regardless of whether any variation occurs. Regardless of whether the partners agree to perform these regular interim closings, the partnership must continue to apply the interim closing or proration method to its variations according to the rules of this section.

    (2) Example. The following example illustrates the principles in this paragraph (d).

    Example.

    (i) PRS is a calendar year partnership with five equal partners A, B, C, D, and E. PRS has the following two variations that occur during its 2015 taxable year: on August 29, A sells its entire interest in PRS to new partner F; on December 27, PRS completely liquidates B's interest in PRS with a distribution. These variations do not result in a termination of PRS under section 708.

    (ii) The partners of PRS agree (within the meaning of paragraph (f) of this section) to use the interim closing method and the semi-monthly convention with respect to the variation occurring on August 29. Thus, the August variation is deemed to occur for purposes of this section at the end of the day on August 15, 2015. The partners of PRS agree (within the meaning of paragraph (f) of this section) to use the proration method with respect to the December 27 variation. Therefore, PRS must use the calendar day convention with respect to the December variation pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section. Thus, the December variation is deemed to occur for purposes of this section at the end of the day on December 27, 2015.

    (iii) Pursuant to paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the partners of PRS agree (within the meaning of paragraph (f) of this section) to perform regular monthly interim closings. Therefore, PRS will have twelve interim closings for its 2015 taxable year, one at the end of every month and one at the end of the day on August 15. Therefore, PRS will have thirteen segments for 2015, one corresponding to each month from January through July, one segment from August 1 through August 15, one segment from August 16 through August 31, and one corresponding to each month from September through December. PRS must apportion its items among these segments under the rules of paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

    (iv) PRS will have two proration periods for 2015, one from December 1 through December 27, and one from December 28 through December 31. Pursuant to the rules of paragraph (a)(3) of this section, PRS will prorate the items in its December segment among these two proration periods. Therefore, PRS will apportion 27/31 of all items in its December segment to the proration period from December 1 through December 27, and 4/31 of all items in its December segment to the proration period from December 28 through December 31.

    (v) Pursuant to the rules of paragraph (a)(3)(x) of this section, PRS determines the partners' distributive shares of partnership items under section 702(a) by taking into account the partners' interests in such items during each of the thirteen segments and two proration periods. Thus, A, B, C, D, and E will each be allocated one-fifth of all items in the following segments: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, and August 1 through August 15. B, C, D, E, and F will each be allocated one-fifth of all items in the following segments: August 16 through August 31, September, October, and November. B, C, D, E, and F will each be allocated one-fifth of all items in the proration period from December 1 through December 27. C, D, E, and F will each be allocated one-quarter of all items in the proration period from December 28 through December 31.

    (e) Extraordinary items—(1) General principles. Extraordinary items may not be prorated. The partnership must allocate extraordinary items among the partners in proportion to their interests in the partnership item at the time of day on which the extraordinary item occurred, regardless of the method (interim closing or proration method) and convention (daily, semi-monthly, or monthly) otherwise used by the partnership. These rules require the allocation of extraordinary items as an exception to the proration method, which would otherwise ratably allocate the extraordinary items across the segment, and the conventions, which could otherwise inappropriately shift extraordinary items between a transferor and transferee. However, publicly traded partnerships (as defined in section 7704(b)) that are treated as partnerships may, but are not required to, apply their selected convention in determining who held publicly traded units (as described in § 1.7704-1(b) or (c)(1)) at the time of the occurrence of an extraordinary item. Extraordinary items continue to be subject to any special limitation or requirement relating to the timing or amount of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit applicable to the entire partnership taxable year (for example, the limitation for section 179 expenses).

    (2) Definition. Except as provided in paragraph (e)(3) of this section, an extraordinary item is:

    (i) Any item from the disposition or abandonment (other than in the ordinary course of business) of a capital asset as defined in section 1221 (determined without the application of any other rules of law);

    (ii) Any item from the disposition or abandonment (other than in the ordinary course of business) of property used in a trade or business as defined in section 1231(b) (determined without the application of any holding period requirement);

    (iii) Any item from the disposition or abandonment of an asset described in section 1221(a)(1), (a)(3), (a)(4), or (a)(5) if substantially all the assets in the same category from the same trade or business are disposed of or abandoned in one transaction (or series of related transactions);

    (iv) Any item from assets disposed of in an applicable asset acquisition under section 1060(c);

    (v) Any item resulting from any change in accounting method initiated by the filing of the appropriate form after a variation occurs;

    (vi) Any item from the discharge or retirement of indebtedness (except items subject to section 108(e)(8) or 108(i), which are subject to special allocation rules provided in section 108(e)(8) and 108(i));

    (vii) Any item from the settlement of a tort or similar third-party liability or payment of a judgment;

    (viii) Any credit, to the extent it arises from activities or items that are not ratably allocated (for example, the rehabilitation credit under section 47, which is based on placement in service);

    (ix) For all partnerships, any additional item if, the partners agree (within the meaning of paragraph (f) of this section) to consistently treat such item as an extraordinary item for that taxable year; however, this rule does not apply if treating that additional item as an extraordinary item would result in a substantial distortion of income in any partner's return; any additional extraordinary items continue to be subject to any special limitation or requirement relating to the timing or amount of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit applicable to the entire partnership taxable year (for example, the limitation for section 179 expenses);

    (x) Any item which, in the opinion of the Commissioner, would, if ratably allocated, result in a substantial distortion of income in any return in which the item is included;

    (xi) Any item identified as an additional class of extraordinary item in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin.

    (3) Small item exception. A partnership may treat an item described in paragraph (e)(2) of this section as other than an extraordinary item for purposes of this paragraph (e) if, for the partnership's taxable year the total of all items in the particular class of extraordinary items (as enumerated in paragraphs (e)(2)(i) through (xi) of this section, for example, all tort or similar liabilities, but in no event counting an extraordinary item more than once) is less than five percent of the partnership's gross income, including tax-exempt income described in section 705(a)(1)(B), in the case of income or gain items, or gross expenses and losses, including section 705(a)(2)(B) expenditures, in the case of losses and expense items; and the total amount of the extraordinary items from all classes of extraordinary items amounting to less than five percent of the partnership's gross income, including tax-exempt income described in section 705(a)(1)(B), in the case of income or gain items, or gross expenses and losses, including section 705(a)(2)(B) expenditures, in the case of losses and expense items, does not exceed $10 million in the taxable year, determined by treating all such extraordinary items as positive amounts.

    (4) Examples. The following examples illustrate the provisions of this paragraph (e).

    Example 1.

    PRS, a calendar year partnership, uses the proration method and calendar day convention to account for varying interests of the partners. At 3:15 p.m. on December 7, 2015, PRS recognizes an extraordinary item within the meaning of paragraph (e)(2) of this section. On December 12, 2015, A, a partner in PRS, disposes of its entire interest in PRS. PRS does not experience a termination under section 708 during 2015. PRS has no other extraordinary items for the taxable year, the small item exception of paragraph (e)(3) of this section does not apply, the exceptions in paragraph (b) of this section do not apply, and PRS is not a publicly traded partnership. Pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the item of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit attributable to the extraordinary item will be allocated in accordance with the partners' interests in the extraordinary item at 3:15 p.m. on December 7, 2015. The remaining partnership items of PRS that are subject to this section must be prorated across the partnership's taxable year in accordance with paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

    Example 2.

    Assume the same facts as in Example 1, except that PRS uses the interim closing method and monthly convention to account for varying interests of the partners. Pursuant to paragraph (c)(1)(iii) of this section, the December 12 variation is deemed to have occurred for purposes of this section at the end of the day on November 30, 2015. Thus, A will not generally be allocated any items of PRS attributable to the segment between December 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015; however, pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section, PRS must allocate the item of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit attributable to the extraordinary item in accordance with the partners' interests in the extraordinary item at the time of day on which the extraordinary item occurred, regardless of the convention used by PRS. Thus, because A was a partner in PRS at 3:15 p.m. on December 7, 2015 (ignoring application of PRS's convention), A must be allocated a share of the extraordinary item.

    Example 3.

    Assume the same facts as in Example 2, except that PRS is a publicly traded partnership (within the meaning of section 7704(b)) and A held a publicly traded unit (as described in § 1.7704-1(b) or 1.7704-1(c)(1)) in PRS. Under PRS's monthly convention, the December 12 variation is deemed to have occurred for purposes of this section at the end of the day on November 30, 2015. Pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section, a publicly traded partnership (as defined in section 7704(b)) may choose to respect its conventions in determining who held its publicly traded units (as described in § 1.7704-1(b) or § 1.7704-1(c)(1)) at the time of the occurrence of an extraordinary item. Therefore, PRS may choose to treat A as not having been a partner in PRS for purposes of this paragraph (e) at the time the extraordinary item arose, and thus PRS may choose not to allocate A any share of the extraordinary item.

    Example 4.

    A and B each own a 15 percent interest in PRS, a partnership that is not a publicly traded partnership and for which capital is a material income-producing factor. At 9:00 a.m. on April 25, 2015, A sells its entire interest in PRS to new partner D. At 3:00 p.m. on April 25, 2015, PRS incurs an extraordinary item (within the meaning of paragraph (e)(2) of this section). At 5:00 p.m. on April 25, 2015, B sells its entire interest in PRS to new partner E. Under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, PRS must allocate the extraordinary item in accordance with the partners' interests at 3:00 p.m. on April 25, 2015. Accordingly, a portion of the extraordinary item will be allocated to each of B and D, but no portion will be allocated to A or E.

    Example 5.

    PRS, a calendar year partnership that is not a publicly traded partnership, has a variation in a partner's interest during 2015 and the exceptions in paragraph (b) of this section do not apply. During 2015 PRS has two extraordinary items: PRS recognizes $8 million of gross income on the sale outside the ordinary course of business of an asset described in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section, and PRS also recognizes $12 million of gross income from a tort settlement as described in paragraph (e)(2)(vii) of this section. PRS's gross income (including the gross income from the extraordinary items) for the taxable year is $200 million. The gain from all items described in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section is less than five percent of PRS's gross income ($8 million gross income from the asset sale divided by $200 million total gross income, or four percent) and all of the extraordinary items of PRS from classes that are less than five percent of PRS's gross income ($8 million), in the aggregate, do not exceed $10 million for the taxable year. Thus, the $8 million gain recognized on the asset sale is considered a small item under paragraph (e)(3) of this section and is therefore excepted from the rules of paragraph (e)(1) of this section. Because the gross income attributable to the tort settlement exceeds five percent of PRS's gross income (six percent), the tort settlement gross income is not considered a small item under paragraph (e)(3) of this section. Therefore, the $12 million gross income attributable to the tort settlement must be allocated according to the rules of paragraph (e)(1) of this section in accordance with PRS's partners' interests in the item at the time of the day that the tort settlement income arose.

    Example 6.

    Assume the same facts as Example 5, except that during the year, PRS also recognizes two additional extraordinary items: $2 million of gross income from the sale of a capital asset described in paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section, and $1 million of gross income from discharge of indebtedness described in paragraph (e)(2)(vi) of this section. Although the gain from items described in each of paragraphs (e)(2)(i), (e)(2)(ii), and (e)(2)(vi) of this section is each less than five percent of PRS's gross income, the extraordinary items of PRS from classes that are less than five percent of PRS's gross income ($11 million), in the aggregate, exceeds $10 million for the taxable year. Thus, none of the items are considered a small item under paragraph (e)(3) of this section. Therefore, the items attributable to the sale of the capital asset, the sale of the trade or business asset, the discharge of indebtedness income, and the tort settlement must each be allocated according to the rules of paragraph (e)(1) of this section in accordance with PRS's partners' interests in the item at the time of the day that the items arose.

    (f) Agreement of the partners. For purposes of paragraphs (a)(3)(iii) (relating to selection of the proration method), (c)(3) (relating to selection of the semi-monthly or monthly convention), (d) (relating to performance of regular monthly or semi-monthly interim closings), and (e)(2)(ix) (relating to selection of additional extraordinary items) of this section, the term agreement of the partners means either an agreement of all the partners to select the method, convention, or extraordinary item in a dated, written statement maintained with the partnership's books and records, including, for example, a selection that is included in the partnership agreement, or a selection of the method, convention, or extraordinary item made by a person authorized to make that selection, including under a grant of general authority provided for by either state law or in the partnership agreement, if that person's selection is in a dated, written statement maintained with the partnership's books and records. In either case, the dated written agreement must be maintained with the partnership's books and records by the due date, including extension, of the partnership's tax return.

    (g) Effective/applicability date. Except with respect to paragraph (c)(3) of this section, this section applies for partnership taxable years that begin on or after August 3, 2015. The rules of paragraph (c)(3) of this section apply for taxable years of partnerships other than existing publicly traded partnerships that begin on or after August 3, 2015. For purposes of the immediately preceding sentence, an existing publicly traded partnership is a partnership described in section 7704(b) that was formed prior to April 19, 2009. For purposes of this effective date provision, the termination of a publicly traded partnership under section 708(b)(1)(B) due to the sale or exchange of 50 percent or more of the total interests in partnership capital and profits is disregarded in determining whether the publicly traded partnership is an existing publicly traded partnership.

    Par. 7. Section 1.706-5 is added to read as follows:
    § 1.706-5 Taxable year determination.

    (a) In general. For purposes of § 1.706-4, the taxable year of a partnership shall be determined without regard to section 706(c)(2)(A) and its regulations.

    (b) Effective/applicability date. This section applies for partnership taxable years that begin on or after August 3, 2015.

    PART 602—OMB CONTROL NUMBERS UNDER THE PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT Par. 8. The authority for part 602 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805. * * *

    Par. 9. In § 602.101, paragraph (b) is amended by adding the following entry in numerical order to the table to read as follows:
    § 602.101 OMB Control numbers.

    (b) * * *

    CFR Part or section where identified and described Current OMB control no. *    *    *    *    * 1.706-4(f) 1545-0123 *    *    *    *    *
    Karen L. Schiller, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: June 3, 2015. Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2015-18816 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Bureau of Prisons 28 CFR Part 553 [Docket No. BOP-1163] RIN 1120-AB63 Contraband and Inmate Personal Property: Technical Amendment AGENCY:

    Bureau of Prisons, Justice.

    ACTION:

    Interim rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Bureau of Prisons makes a minor technical amendment to its regulations on contraband and inmate personal property to maintain consistency in language which describes the purpose of the regulations as ensuring the safety, security, or good order of the facility or protection of the public.

    DATES:

    This interim rule is effective September 2, 2015. Written comments must be postmarked and electronic comments must be submitted on or before October 2, 2015. Commenters should be aware that the electronic Federal Docket Management System will not accept comments after Midnight Eastern Time on the last day of the comment period.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be submitted to the Rules Unit, Office of General Counsel, Bureau of Prisons, 320 First Street NW., Washington, DC 20534. You may view an electronic version of this regulation at www.regulations.gov. You may also comment by using the www.regulations.gov comment form for this regulation. When submitting comments electronically you must include the BOP Docket No. in the subject box.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah Qureshi, Office of General Counsel, Bureau of Prisons, phone (202)307-2105.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Posting of Public Comments

    Please note that all comments received are considered part of the public record and are made available for public inspection online at www.regulations.gov. Such information includes personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter.

    If you want to submit personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) as part of your comment, but do not want it to be posted online, you must include the phrase “PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also locate all the personal identifying information you do not want posted online in the first paragraph of your comment and identify what information you want redacted.

    If you want to submit confidential business information as part of your comment but do not want it to be posted online, you must include the phrase “CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also prominently identify confidential business information to be redacted within the comment. If a comment contains confidential business information that cannot be effectively redacted, all or part of that comment may not be posted on www.regulations.gov.

    Personal identifying information identified and located as set forth above will be placed in the agency's public docket file but not posted online. Confidential business information identified and located as set forth above will not be placed in the public docket file. If you wish to inspect the agency's public docket file in person by appointment, please see the For Further Information Contact paragraph.

    Interim Regulations

    In this document, the Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) makes a minor technical change to its regulations on contraband and inmate personal property to maintain consistency in language which describes the purpose of the regulations as ensuring the “safety, security, or good order of the facility or protection of the public.”

    Variations on this phrase appear throughout the Bureau's regulations in 28 CFR Chapter V. See 28 CFR 500.1(h), 501.2(b), 501.3(b), 511.10(a), 511.11(a), 511.12(a), 511.15(b), 511.17(b), 540.12(a), 540.14(c) and (d), 540.15(d), 540.40, 540.44(c), 540.51(h), 540.70, 540.71(b) and (d), 540.100(a), 540.101(a), 541.12, 541.43(b), 541.63(c), 543.11(f), 543.14(a) and (c), 543.15(c), 543.16(b), 544.20, 544.21(b), 548.10, 548.16-.18, 549.13(b), 549.50, 549.51(b), 551.1, 551.10, 551.12(d), 551.16(a), 551.31(b), 551.34(b), 551.35, 551.71(d), 551.110(a), 551.112(b), 551.113(a), 551.115(a), 552.13(b), 552.20, 552.21(a) and (d), 553.11(h), 553.12(b).

    The Bureau has conformed the phrase in all revised regulations since approximately 2005. We now propose to similarly alter our regulations on contraband, an important threat to the safety, security, or good order of the facility or protection of the public.

    Currently, the definition of contraband in § 500.1(h) reads as follows: “Contraband is material prohibited by law, or by regulation, or material which can reasonably be expected to cause physical injury or adversely affect the security, safety, or good order of the institution.” We now propose to conform the “security, safety, or good order” phrase to the language we have used in recent years, to read as follows: “Contraband is material prohibited by law, regulation, or policy that can reasonably be expected to cause physical injury or adversely affect the safety, security, or good order of the facility or protection of the public.”

    Likewise, in order to conform the phrase and underscore the importance of prohibiting contraband, we propose to add the phrase to the end of the first sentence of § 553.10, regarding inmate personal property, to read as follows: “It is the policy of the Bureau of Prisons that an inmate may possess ordinarily only that property which the inmate is authorized to retain upon admission to the institution, which is issued while the inmate is in custody, which the inmate purchases in the institution commissary, or which is approved by staff to be mailed to, or otherwise received by an inmate, that does not threaten the safety, security, or good order of the facility or protection of the public.” [Emphasis added.] Further, § 543.12(b) contains another description/definition of contraband, categorizing it as either “hard contraband” or “nuisance contraband.” We add the “safety, security” phrase to this regulation as well.

    It is important to note that this interim rule changes none of the substantive requirements or obligations relating to petitions for commutation of sentence, nor does it alter the Bureau's responsibilities in this regard.

    Administrative Procedure Act

    The Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) allows exceptions to notice-and-comment rulemaking for “(A) interpretive rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice; or (B) when the agency for good cause finds . . . that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.”

    This rulemaking is exempt from normal notice-and-comment procedures because it is a minor technical change. Because this change is a minor clarification of current agency procedure and practice by conforming language, we find that normal notice-and-comment rulemaking is unnecessary. The alternation of the language in this regulation is a minor clarification of current agency procedure, and is therefore exempt from normal notice-and-comment procedures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A). Adding a rote phrase indicating that the purpose of the regulation is to insure the safety, security, and good order of the facility and the protection of the public does not impose any new rights or obligations, nor does it leave the Bureau free to exercise further discretion. See National Ass'n of Broadcasters v. F.C.C., 569 F.3d 416, 426 (D.C. Cir. 2009). Despite the technical nature of the change, however, we are still allowing the public to comment on this rule change by publishing it as an interim final rule.

    Executive Order 12866

    This regulation falls within a category of actions that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined not to constitute “significant regulatory actions” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 and, accordingly, it was not reviewed by OMB.

    Executive Order 13132

    This regulation will not have substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, under Executive Order 13132, we determine that this regulation does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Director of the Bureau of Prisons, under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), reviewed this regulation and by approving it certifies that it will not have a significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: This regulation pertains to the correctional management of offenders committed to the custody of the Attorney General or the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, and its economic impact is limited to the Bureau's appropriated funds.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This regulation will not result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This regulation is not a major rule as defined by § 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This regulation will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

    List of Subjects in 28 CFR Parts 500 and 553

    Prisoners.

    Charles E. Samuels, Jr., Director, Bureau of Prisons.

    Under rulemaking authority vested in the Attorney General in 5 U.S.C. 301; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510 and delegated to the Director, Bureau of Prisons in 28 CFR 0.96, we amend 28 CFR parts 500 and 553 as follows.

    SUBCHAPTER A—GENERAL MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION PART 500—GENERAL DEFINITIONS 1. The authority citation for 28 CFR part 500 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 18 U.S.C. 3621, 3622, 3624, 4001, 4042, 4081, 4082 (Repealed in part as to offenses committed on or after November 1, 1987), 5006-5024 (Repealed October 12, 1984 as to offenses committed after that date), 5039; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510; 28 CFR 0.95-0.99.

    2. In § 500.1, paragraph (h) is revised to read as follows:
    § 500.1 Definitions.

    (h) Contraband is material prohibited by law, regulation, or policy that can reasonably be expected to cause physical injury or adversely affect the safety, security, or good order of the facility or protection of the public.

    SUBCHAPTER C—INSTITUTIONAL MANAGEMENT PART 553—INMATE PROPERTY 3. The authority citation for 28 CFR part 553 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 18 U.S.C. 3621, 3622, 3624, 4001, 4042, 4081, 4082 (Repealed in part as to offenses committed on or after November 1, 1987), 4126, 5006-5024 (Repealed October 12, 1984 as to offenses committed after that date), 5039; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510; 28 CFR 0.95-0.99.

    4. In § 553.10, revise the first sentence to read as follows:
    § 553.10 Purpose and scope.

    It is the policy of the Bureau of Prisons that an inmate may possess ordinarily only that property which the inmate is authorized to retain upon admission to the institution, which is issued while the inmate is in custody, which the inmate purchases in the institution commissary, or which is approved by staff to be mailed to, or otherwise received by an inmate, that does not threaten the safety, security, or good order of the facility or protection of the public. * * *

    5. In § 553.12, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 553.12 Contraband.

    (b) For the purposes of this subpart, there are two types of contraband.

    (1) Staff shall consider as hard contraband any item which threatens the safety, security, or good order of the facility or protection of the public and which ordinarily is not approved for possession by an inmate or for admission into the institution. Examples of hard contraband include weapons, intoxicants, and currency (where prohibited).

    (2) Staff shall consider as nuisance contraband any item other than hard contraband, which has never been authorized, or which may be, or which previously has been authorized for possession by an inmate, but whose possession is prohibited when it presents a threat to safety, security, or good order of the facility or protection of the public, or its condition or excessive quantities of it present a health, fire, or housekeeping hazard. Examples of nuisance contraband include: personal property no longer permitted for admission to the institution or permitted for sale in the commissary; altered personal property; excessive accumulation of commissary, newspapers, letters, or magazines which cannot be stored neatly and safely in the designated area; food items which are spoiled or retained beyond the point of safe consumption; government-issued items which have been altered, or other items made from government property without staff authorization.

    [FR Doc. 2015-18982 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0594] Safety Zones; Swim Events in Captain of the Port New York Zone AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce various safety zones within the Captain of the Port New York Zone on the specified dates and times. This action is necessary to ensure the safety of vessels and spectators from hazards associated with swim events. During the enforcement period, no person or vessel may enter the safety zones without permission of the Captain of the Port (COTP).

    DATES:

    The regulation for the safety zones described in 33 CFR 165.160 will be enforced on the dates and times listed in the table below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice, call or email Lieutenant Douglas Neumann, Coast Guard; telephone 718-354-4154, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zones listed in 33 CFR 165.160 on the specified dates and times as indicated in Table 1 below. This regulation was published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2011 (76 FR 69617).

    Table 1 1. Hudson Valley Triathlon
  • Swim Event
  • 33 CFR 165.160(1.1)
  • • Location: All waters of the Hudson River in the vicinity of Ulster Landing, bound by the following points: 42°00′03.7″ N., 073°56′43.1″ W.; thence to 41°59′52.5″ N., 073°56′34.2″ W. thence to 42°00′15.1″ N., 073°56′25.2″ W. thence to 42°00′05.4″ N., 073°56′41.9″ W. thence along the shoreline to the point of beginning. This Safety Zone includes all waters within a 100-yard radius of each participating swimmer.
  • • Date: July 12, 2015.
  • • Time: 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
  • 2. Newburgh to Beacon
  • Swim Event
  • 33 CFR 165.160(1.2)
  • Date: July 18, 2015
  • • Location: Participants will cross the Hudson River between Newburgh and Beacon, New York approximately 1300 yards south of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridges. This Safety Zone includes all waters within a 100-yard radius of each participating swimmer.
  • • Date: July 18, 2015.
  • • Reserve Date: July 19, 2015.
  • • Time 10:15 a.m.-01:15 p.m.
  • 3. Rose Pitnof Swim
  • Swim Event
  • 33 CFR 165.160(4.2)
  • • Location: Participants will swim between Manhattan, New York and the shore of Coney Island, New York transiting through the Upper New York Bay, under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and south in the Lower New York Bay. The route direction is determined by the predicted tide state and direction of current on the scheduled day of the event. This Safety Zone includes all waters within a 100-yard radius of each participating swimmer.
  • • Date: August 15, 2015.
  • • Time: 10:00 a.m.-05:00 p.m.
  • Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.160, vessels may not enter the safety zones unless given permission from the COTP or a designated representative. Spectator vessels may transit outside the safety zones but may not anchor, block, loiter in, or impede the transit of other vessels. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This notice is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.160(a) and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide mariners with advanced notification of enforcement periods via the Local Notice to Mariners and marine information broadcasts.

    If the COTP determines that a safety zone need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the safety zone.

    Dated: June 23, 2015. G. Loebl, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port New York.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18995 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2012-1036] Safety Zones; Recurring Marine Events in Captain of the Port Long Island Sound Zone AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce 3 safety zones for fireworks displays in the Sector Long Island Sound area of responsibility on the dates and times listed in the table below. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during the events. During the enforcement periods, no person or vessel may enter the safety zones without permission of the Captain of the Port (COTP) Sector Long Island Sound or designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.151 will be enforced during the dates and times as listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice, call or email Petty Officer Ian Fallon, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound; telephone 203-468-4565, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zones listed in 33 CFR 165.151 on the specified dates and times as indicated in the following Table.

    Table 1 to § 165.151 6.2 Town of Branford Fireworks • Date: July 25, 2015. • Rain Date: July 26, 2015. • Time: 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: Waters of Branford Harbor, Branford, CT in approximate position, 41°15′37″ N., 072°49′15″ W. (NAD 83). 8.4 Town of Babylon Fireworks • Date: August 22, 2015. • Rain Date: August 23, 2015. • Time: 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Waters off of Cedar Beach Town Park, Babylon, NY in approximate position 40°37′53″ N., 073°20′12″ W. (NAD 83). 9.1 East Hampton Fire Department Fireworks • Date: August 29, 2015. • Rain Date: August 30, 2015. • Time: 8:45 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. • Location: Waters off Main Beach, East Hampton, NY in approximate position 40°56′40.28″ N., 072°11′21.26″ W. (NAD 83).

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.151, the fireworks displays listed above are established as safety zones. During the enforcement periods, persons and vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, mooring, or anchoring within the safety zones unless they receive permission from the COTP or designated representative.

    This notice is issued under authority of 33 CFR part 165 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification of this enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners or marine information broadcasts. If the COTP determines that the safety zones need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: July 24, 2015. E.J. Cubanski, III, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector Long Island Sound.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18998 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2014-0498, FRL-9927-49-Region 1] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Connecticut; Approval of NOX Emission Offset Credits as Single Source SIP Revisions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Connecticut. The revision approves amendments to two existing Trading and Agreement Orders for new source review nitrogen oxides (NOX) emission offsets at PSEG Power Connecticut's facility in Bridgeport, Connecticut. This action is being taken in accordance with the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective October 2, 2015, unless EPA receives adverse comments by September 2, 2015. If adverse comments are received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R01-OAR-2014-0498 by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected].

    3. Fax: (617) 918-0657.

    4. Mail: “Docket Identification Number EPA-R01-OAR-2014-0498”, Donald Dahl, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, Air Permits, Toxics, and Indoor Programs Unit, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, (Mail code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912.

    5. Hand Delivery or Courier. Deliver your comments to: Donald Dahl, Air Permits, Toxics, and Indoor Programs Unit, Office of Ecosystem Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square, 5th floor, (OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30 excluding legal holidays.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R01-OAR-2014-0498. 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” systems, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at Office of Ecosystem Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, MA. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30 excluding legal holidays.

    In addition to the publicly available docket materials available for inspection electronically in the Federal Docket Management System at www.regulations.gov, and the hard copy available at the Regional Office, which are identified in the ADDRESSES section of this Federal Register, copies of the state submittals are also available for public inspection during normal business hours, by appointment at the State Air Agency. The Bureau of Air Management, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, State Office Building, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-1630.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Donald Dahl, Air Permits, Toxics, and Indoor Programs Unit, Office of Ecosystem Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, (OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912, phone number (617) 918-1657, fax number (617) 918-0657, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Table of Contents I. What did Connecticut submit as a SIP revision? II. What is the background for EPA's action in this notice? III. How does Connecticut account for bank emission reduction credits (ERC) in its Ozone SIP? IV. What is EPA's analysis of Connecticut's SIP revision? V. Final Action VI. Incorporation by Reference VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What did Connecticut submit as a SIP revision?

    On October 31, 2012, the State of Connecticut submitted a formal revision to its State Implementation Plan (SIP). The SIP revision consists of two modifications to existing Trading and Agreement Orders (TAO) issued to PSEG Power Connecticut, LLC. The modified TAOs are No. 8187 Modification 1 issued to PSEG Power Connecticut, LLC (formerly Wisvest Connecticut LLC.) and No. 8242 Modification 1 issued to PSEG Power Connecticut, LLC. The modified TAOs remove an outdated restriction in the original TAOs No. 8187 and No. 8242 that limited the use of the NOX offsets to sources that were also subject to a NOX emission trading program in Section 22a-174-22a or 22a-174-22b of Connecticut's regulations, or another NOX budget trading program established by another state in accordance with the Ozone Transport Commission Memorandum of Understanding dated September 27, 1994 or 40 CFR part 96. Connecticut held a public hearing on the proposed SIP revision on October 19, 2012.

    II. What is the background for EPA's action in this notice?

    EPA approved the original TAO No. 8187 on March 23, 2001 (see 66 FR 16135). This TAO recognized that Wisvest, the owner of Bridgeport Harbor Electric Generating Station at the time, voluntarily reduced actual NOX emissions from Unit No. 2. The TAO made the voluntary reductions mandatory, thus creating a permanent, enforceable reduction of 816 tons of NOX emissions at Unit No. 2. Subsequently, these NOX emission reductions could be used for offsetting NOX emissions for sources subject to the nonattainment new source review permitting program under Connecticut's Regulation Section 22a-174-3a. As discussed above, TAO No. 8187 also limited the use of the NOX offsets to sources that were also subject to a NOX emission trading program in Section 22a-174-22a or 22a-174-22b of Connecticut's regulations, or another NOX budget trading program established by another state in accordance with the Ozone Transport Commission Memorandum of Understanding dated September 27, 1994 or 40 CFR part 96.

    In late 2001, 424 tons of NOX offset credits from the original 816 tons were transferred to sources subject to nonattainment new source review in New York and are no longer available for use in Connecticut. Moreover, in late 2001, 192 tons of NOX offset credits were transferred to a private entity and held for future use.

    On December 6, 2002, PSEG purchased Bridgeport Harbor Electric Generating Station from Wisvest along with the remaining 200 tons of the 816 tons NOX offsets created by TAO No. 8187. To recognize this transaction, Connecticut issued a new TAO (No. 8242) on February 13, 2003 that acknowledged the change in ownership of the facility and the 200 tons of NOX offsets from Wisvest to PSEG. EPA approved TAO No. 8242 on September 9, 2013 (78 FR 54962). As with the original TAO that created the NOX offsets (i.e., TAO No. 8187), TAO No. 8242 also limited the use of NOX offsets for nonattainment new source review to sources that were also subject to a NOX emission trading program in Section 22a-174-22a or 22a-174-22b of Connecticut's regulations, or another NOX budget trading program established by another state in accordance with the Ozone Transport Commission Memorandum of Understanding dated September 27, 1994 or 40 CFR part 96.

    Under Connecticut's Regulations for the Abatement of Air Pollution, Section 22a-174-22a was repealed effective September 4, 2007, and Section 22a-174-22b was repealed May 1, 2010. Moreover, with the transition from the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) to the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), the State of Connecticut is no longer part of any trading program under 40 CFR part 96. As such, the original restrictions in TAOs No. 8187 and 8242 are now outdated and would no longer serve the purpose for which they were created.

    III. How does Connecticut account for bank emission reduction credits (ERC) in its Ozone SIP?

    On February 1, 2008, Connecticut submitted its 2002 to 2008 reasonable further progress (RFP) plans and 2002 base year inventory to EPA as part of its attainment demonstration SIP submittal for the 1997 8-hr ozone standard. On October 14, 2009, Connecticut submitted a revision to the RFP plans which it had originally submitted to EPA on February 1, 2008. The revision consisted of the incorporation of a small number of banked NOX ERCs into the state's RFP analysis. Those banked NOX ERCs were incorporated into Connecticut's 2002 and 2008 emission inventories, and included all of the remaining unused portion of the 816 tons of NOX offsets created under TAO No. 8187 (i.e., the 200 tons of NOX owned by PSEG under TAO No. 8242, and the 192 tons of NOX transferred to a private entity in late 2001). The inclusion of the banked ERCs into the RFP analysis did not alter Connecticut's conclusion that it easily meets RFP requirements, and EPA approved Connecticut's RFP plans on August 22, 2012 (77 FR 50595). Since ERCs represent emissions that may occur at some point in the future, banked emissions need to be accounted for in a state's RFP analysis, and Connecticut has properly done that.

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of Connecticut's SIP revision?

    Today, EPA is approving two modifications to existing TAOs that will allow the NOX offset credits, originally created in TAO No. 8187, to be used for nonattainment new source review without the additional outdated restrictions contained in the original TAOs No. 8187 and 8242. As described above, Connecticut has properly accounted for the unused portion of the NOX offset credits (i.e., 392 tons) from the original TAO No. 8187 in the state's RFP analysis, and thus these credit remain available for future use.

    This action does not alter any existing requirements in Connecticut's approved SIP that a facility must meet when using NOX emission reductions to offset any new permitted emissions. This is important to note since subsection 22a-174-3a(l)(4)(B)(ii) of Connecticut's regulations states that:

    “(B) The commissioner shall not grant a permit to an owner or operator of the subject source or modification unless the owner or operator demonstrates that internal offset or certified emission reduction credits pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this subdivision:

    (i) . . .

    (ii) are not otherwise required by any of the following: the Act; a federally enforceable permit or order; the State Implementation Plan; or the regulations or statutes in effect when such application is filed,”

    Pursuant to this provision in Section 22a-174-3a, the unused portion of the NOX emission reduction credits originally created under TAO No. 8187 will need to be adjusted pursuant to subsection 22a-174-22(e)(3) of Connecticut's regulations. This provision in Section 22a-174-22 was adopted by Connecticut after the original issuance of TAO No. 8187 and requires sources such as Unit No. 2 at Bridgeport Harbor Electric Generating Station to meet a NOX emission limit of 0.15 lbs/MMBtu during the nonozone season. Because the NOX emission limit for Unit No. 2 became more stringent after the time when the NOX offset credits were first created, the original number of tons of NOX offset credits must be adjusted downward to reflect the new, more stringent NOX emission limit, before a source subject to NNSR may use the credits.

    V. Final Action

    Pursuant to section 110 of the CAA, EPA is approving Trading and Agreement Orders No. 8187 Modification 1 issued to PSEG Power Connecticut, LLC (formerly Wisvest Connecticut LLC) and 8242 Modification 1 issued to PSEG Power Connecticut, LLC. The EPA is publishing this action without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision should relevant adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective October 2, 2015 without further notice unless the Agency receives relevant adverse comments by September 2, 2015.

    If the EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a notice withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the rule will not take effect. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. The EPA will not institute a second comment period on the proposed rule. All parties interested in commenting on the proposed rule should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on October 2, 2015 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    VI. Incorporation by Reference

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

    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 action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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. Section 804, however, exempts from section 801 the following types of rules: Rules of particular applicability; rules relating to agency management or personnel; and rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice that do not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties. 5 U.S.C. 804(3). Because this is a rule of particular applicability, EPA is not required to submit a rule report regarding this action under section 801.

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: April 29, 2015. H. Curtis Spalding, Regional Administrator, EPA New England.

    Part 52 of chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

    PART 52—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart H—Connecticut 2. Section 52.370 is amended by adding paragraph (c)(109) to read as follows:
    § 52.370 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    (109) Revisions to the State Implementation Plan submitted by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection on October 31, 2012.

    (i) Incorporation by reference.

    (A) Connecticut Trading Agreement and Order No. 8187, Modification 1 issued to PSEG Power Connecticut LLC on July 16, 2012.

    (B) Connecticut Trading Agreement and Order No. 8242, Modification 1 issued to PSEG Power Connecticut LLC on July 16, 2012.

    3. In § 52.385, Table 52.385 is amended by adding new entries to an existing state citation for 22a-174-22 to read as follows:
    § 52.385 EPA-approved Connecticut regulations. Table 52.385—EPA-Approved Regulations Connecticut State citation Title/Subject Dates Date adopted by State Date approved by EPA Federal Register citation Section 52.370 Comments/Description *         *         *         *         *         *         * 22a-174-22 Control of Nitrogen Oxides emissions 7/16/12 8/3/15 [Insert Federal Register page number where the document begins] (c)(109) Connecticut Trading Agreement and Order No. 8187, Modification 1. 22a-174-22 Control of Nitrogen Oxides emissions 7/16/12 8/3/15 [Insert Federal Register page number where the document begins] (c)(109) Connecticut Trading Agreement and Order No. 8242, Modification 1. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-18872 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0854; FRL-9931-54-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Amendments to the Control of Gasoline and Volatile Organic Compound Storage and Handling AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve a revision to the Maryland State Implementation Plan (SIP). The revision pertains to amendments to Code of Maryland Regulation (COMAR) 26.11.13, Control of Gasoline and Volatile Organic Compound Storage and Handling. The amendments consist of establishing an alternative and equivalent method of transfer of high pressure materials as well as changing incorrect references in regulations .04 and .05. EPA is approving this revision in accordance with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on October 2, 2015 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse written comment by September 2, 2015. If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0854 by one of the following methods:

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

    B. Email: [email protected]

    C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0854, Cristina Fernandez, Associate Director, Office of Air Program Planning, Mailcode 3AP30, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

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

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0854. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI, or otherwise protected, through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 705, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Asrah Khadr, (215) 814-2071, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On October 8, 2014, Maryland submitted a formal revision (#14-05) to its State Implementation Plan (SIP). The SIP revision consists of amendments to COMAR 26.11.13, Control of Gasoline and Volatile Organic Compound Storage and Handling. The amendments consist of establishing an alternative and equivalent method of transfer of high pressure materials as well as changing incorrect references in regulations .04 and .05.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision

    COMAR 26.11.13, Control of Gasoline and Volatile Organic Compound Storage and Handling, provides regulations that control the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the storage and handling of substances containing VOCs. The October 8, 2014 SIP submittal includes corrections to references found within sections .04 and .05 of COMAR 26.11.13. The corrected references add an update regarding the technical memorandum referenced in the sections. Maryland updated its citation to Test Methods and Equipment Specifications for Stationary Sources for both Sections .04 and .05 by adding a reference to an update to the memorandum. The reference now reads as Test Methods and Equipment Specifications for Stationary Sources [(]January 1991[)], as amended through Supplement 3 (October 1, 1997). Section .04 was amended to establish an alternative and equivalent method of transfer of high pressure materials.

    Section .04 sets requirements for loading/transfer operations of high pressure materials (defined as having a pressure which exceeds 1.5 pound per square inch absolute (psia)). Currently in the State of Maryland an industry standard is used for the transfer of gasoline and fuel grade ethanol products. The industry standard is referred to as a dry disconnect. Dry disconnects transfer high pressure materials and upon disconnection, they immediately close to prevent the release of VOCs or high pressure material. Currently, there is no industry standard for the loading/transfer of other high pressure materials outside of gasoline and fuel grade ethanol. Because there is a lack of industry standard for the transfer of other high pressure materials, this SIP revision provides amendments to establish alternative and equivalent compliance procedures for the transfer of other high pressure materials.

    The alternative compliance procedures include the use of an overhead loading rack that would transfer the high pressure materials from a railroad tank car to a tank truck or vice versa. This would also require the utilization of spill control equipment, such as spill pans, that would prevent the leak of high pressure material during post loading disconnection. In addition to this system one of the following measures must also be used: Walking the hose clear of material, using a pump to clean the line of material, or using an inert gas to clean the material from the hose.

    III. Final Action

    EPA is approving amendments to COMAR 26.11.13, Control of Gasoline and Volatile Organic Compound Storage and Handling, which include establishing an alternative and equivalent method of transfer of high pressure materials as well as changing incorrect references in regulations .04 and .05. EPA is publishing this rule prior to proposal because EPA views this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipates no adverse comment. However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of today's Federal Register, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision if adverse comments are filed. This rule will be effective on October 2, 2015 without further notice unless EPA receives adverse comment by September 2, 2015. If EPA receives adverse comment, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. EPA will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rulemaking action, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of COMAR 26.11.13. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

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

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

    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 October 2, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking action.

    This action which approves changes to COMAR 26.11.13 may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: July 20, 2015. William C. Early, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.

    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 V—Maryland 2. In § 52.1070, the table in paragraph (c) is amended by revising entries for “26.11.13.04” and “26.11.13.05” to read as follows:
    § 52.1070 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved Regulations, Technical Memoranda, and Statutes in the Maryland Sip Code of Maryland Administrative Regulations (COMAR) citation Title/subject State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Additional explanation/
  • citation at 40 CFR 52.1100
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * 26.11.13 Control of Gasoline and Volatile Organic Compound Storage and Handling *         *         *         *         *         *         * 26.11.13.04 Loading Operations 5/28/14 8/3/15, [Insert Federal Register citation] Addition of alternative compliance procedure and administrative changes. 26.11.13.05 Gasoline Leaks from Tank Trucks 5/28/14 8/3/15, [Insert Federal Register citation] Administrative changes. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-18828 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of the Secretary 43 CFR Part 2 RIN 1090-AB10 [156D0102DM/DS10700000/DMSN00000.000000/DX.10701.CEN00000] Privacy Act Regulations; Exemption for the Indian Arts and Crafts Board AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Interior is issuing a final rule to amend its regulations to exempt certain records in the Indian Arts and Crafts Board system of records from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act because of criminal, civil, and administrative law enforcement requirements.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective September 2, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Teri Barnett, Departmental Privacy Officer, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Mail Stop 5547 MIB, Washington, DC 20240. Email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Department of the Interior (DOI) published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register on May 14, 2015, 80 FR 27623, proposing to exempt certain records in the Indian Arts and Crafts Board system of records in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2) of the Privacy Act because of criminal, civil, and administrative law enforcement requirements. The Indian Arts and Crafts Board system of records notice was published in the Federal Register on May 14, 2015, 80 FR 27700. Comments were invited on the Indian Arts and Crafts Board system of records notice and the notice of proposed rulemaking. DOI received no comments on the published system of records notice and one general comment on the notice of proposed rulemaking that required no revisions, and will therefore implement the rulemaking as proposed.

    Procedural Requirements 1. Regulatory Planning and Review (E.O. 12866)

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that this rule is not a significant rule and has not reviewed it under the requirements of Executive Order 12866. We have evaluated the impacts of the rule as required by E.O. 12866 and have determined that it does not meet the criteria for a significant regulatory action. The results of our evaluation are given below.

    (a) This rule will not have an annual effect of $100 million or more on the economy. It will not adversely affect in a material way the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local or tribal governments or communities.

    (b) This rule would not create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency.

    (c) This rule does not alter the budgetary effects of entitlements, grants, user fees, concessions, loan programs, water contracts, management agreements, or the rights and obligations of their recipients.

    (d) This rule does not raise any novel legal or policy issues.

    2. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Interior certifies that this document will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601, et seq.). This rule does not impose a requirement for small businesses to report or keep records on any of the requirements contained in this rule. The exemptions to the Privacy Act apply to individuals, and individuals are not covered entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    3. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA)

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:

    (a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.

    (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions.

    (c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

    4. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate, or on the private sector, of more than $100 million per year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. This rule makes only minor changes to 43 CFR part 2. A statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

    5. Takings (E.O. 12630)

    In accordance with Executive Order 12630, the rule does not have significant takings implications. This rule makes only minor changes to 43 CFR part 2. A takings implication assessment is not required.

    6. Federalism (E.O. 13132)

    In accordance with Executive Order 13132, this rule does not have any federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. The rule is not associated with, nor will it have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. A Federalism Assessment is not required.

    7. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

    This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. Specifically, this rule:

    (a) Does not unduly burden the judicial system.

    (b) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be written to minimize litigation; and

    (c) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal standards.

    8. Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175)

    In accordance with Executive Order 13175, the Department of the Interior has evaluated this rule and determined that it would have no substantial effects on Federally recognized Indian tribes.

    9. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not require an information collection from 10 or more parties and a submission under the Paperwork Reduction Act is not required.

    10. National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule does not constitute a major Federal action and would not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment. Therefore, this rule does not require the preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

    11. Data Quality Act

    In developing this rule, there was no need to conduct or use a study, experiment, or survey requiring peer review under the Data Quality Act (Pub. L. 106-554).

    12. Effects on Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

    This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

    13. Clarity of This Regulation

    We are required by Executive Order 12866 and 12988, the Plain Writing Act of 2010 (H.R. 946), and the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means each rule we publish must:

    — Be logically organized; — Use the active voice to address readers directly; — Use clear language rather than jargon; — Be divided into short sections and sentences; and — Use lists and table wherever possible. List of Subjects in 43 CFR Part 2

    Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential information, Courts, Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Act.

    Dated: July 21, 2015. Kristen J. Sarri, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of the Interior amends 43 CFR part 2 as follows:

    PART 2—FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT; RECORDS AND TESTIMONY 1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301, 552, 552a, 553; 31 U.S.C. 3717; 43 U.S.C. 1460, 1461.

    2. Amend § 2.254 by adding paragraph (b)(17) to read as follows:
    § 2.254 Exemptions.

    (b) Law enforcement records exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), the following systems of records have been exempted from paragraphs (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4) (G), (H), and (I), and (f) of 5 U.S.C. 552a and the provisions of the regulations in this subpart implementing these paragraphs:

    (17) Indian Arts and Crafts Board, DOI-24.

    [FR Doc. 2015-18864 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4334-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency 44 CFR Part 64 [Docket ID FEMA-2015-0001; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-8393] Suspension of Community Eligibility AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule identifies communities where the sale of flood insurance has been authorized under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that are scheduled for suspension on the effective dates listed within this rule because of noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. If the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) receives documentation that the community has adopted the required floodplain management measures prior to the effective suspension date given in this rule, the suspension will not occur and a notice of this will be provided by publication in the Federal Register on a subsequent date. Also, information identifying the current participation status of a community can be obtained from FEMA's Community Status Book (CSB). The CSB is available at http://www.fema.gov/fema/csb.shtm.

    DATES:

    The effective date of each community's scheduled suspension is the third date (“Susp.”) listed in the third column of the following tables.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you want to determine whether a particular community was suspended on the suspension date or for further information, contact Bret Gates, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-4133.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The NFIP enables property owners to purchase Federal flood insurance that is not otherwise generally available from private insurers. In return, communities agree to adopt and administer local floodplain management measures aimed at protecting lives and new construction from future flooding. Section 1315 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4022, prohibits the sale of NFIP flood insurance unless an appropriate public body adopts adequate floodplain management measures with effective enforcement measures. The communities listed in this document no longer meet that statutory requirement for compliance with program regulations, 44 CFR part 59. Accordingly, the communities will be suspended on the effective date in the third column. As of that date, flood insurance will no longer be available in the community. We recognize that some of these communities may adopt and submit the required documentation of legally enforceable floodplain management measures after this rule is published but prior to the actual suspension date. These communities will not be suspended and will continue to be eligible for the sale of NFIP flood insurance. A notice withdrawing the suspension of such communities will be published in the Federal Register.

    In addition, FEMA publishes a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that identifies the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) in these communities. The date of the FIRM, if one has been published, is indicated in the fourth column of the table. No direct Federal financial assistance (except assistance pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act not in connection with a flood) may be provided for construction or acquisition of buildings in identified SFHAs for communities not participating in the NFIP and identified for more than a year on FEMA's initial FIRM for the community as having flood-prone areas (section 202(a) of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. 4106(a), as amended). This prohibition against certain types of Federal assistance becomes effective for the communities listed on the date shown in the last column. The Administrator finds that notice and public comment procedures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b), are impracticable and unnecessary because communities listed in this final rule have been adequately notified.

    Each community receives 6-month, 90-day, and 30-day notification letters addressed to the Chief Executive Officer stating that the community will be suspended unless the required floodplain management measures are met prior to the effective suspension date. Since these notifications were made, this final rule may take effect within less than 30 days.

    National Environmental Policy Act. This rule is categorically excluded from the requirements of 44 CFR part 10, Environmental Considerations. No environmental impact assessment has been prepared.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act. The Administrator has determined that this rule is exempt from the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, Section 1315, 42 U.S.C. 4022, prohibits flood insurance coverage unless an appropriate public body adopts adequate floodplain management measures with effective enforcement measures. The communities listed no longer comply with the statutory requirements, and after the effective date, flood insurance will no longer be available in the communities unless remedial action takes place.

    Regulatory Classification. This final rule is not a significant regulatory action under the criteria of section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993, Regulatory Planning and Review, 58 FR 51735.

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism. This rule involves no policies that have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

    Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule meets the applicable standards of Executive Order 12988.

    Paperwork Reduction Act. This rule does not involve any collection of information for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    List of Subjects in 44 CFR Part 64

    Flood insurance, Floodplains.

    Accordingly, 44 CFR part 64 is amended as follows:

    PART 64—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for Part 64 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.; Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp.; p. 329; E.O. 12127, 44 FR 19367, 3 CFR, 1979 Comp.; p. 376.

    § 64.6 [Amended]
    2. The tables published under the authority of § 64.6 are amended as follows: State and location Community
  • No.
  • Effective date authorization/cancellation of sale of flood insurance in community Current effective
  • map date
  • Date certain
  • Federal
  • assistance no longer
  • available
  • in SFHAs
  • Region III Pennsylvania: Chester, City of, Delaware County 420404 December 10, 1971, Emerg; August 1, 1979, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp September 2, 2015 September 2, 2015 Chester, Township of, Delaware County 420405 December 3, 1971, Emerg; May 15, 1984, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp *......do   Do. Collingdale, Borough of, Delaware County 420408 October 13, 1972, Emerg; February 2, 1977, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Colwyn, Borough of, Delaware County 420409 September 15, 1972, Emerg; May 2, 1977, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Darby, Township of, Delaware County 421603 November 8, 1974, Emerg; April 3, 1984, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Eddystone, Borough of, Delaware County 420413 September 15, 1972, Emerg; February 2, 1977, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Folcroft, Borough of, Delaware County 420415 February 2, 1973, Emerg; August 1, 1977, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Glenolden, Borough of, Delaware County 420416 June 30, 1972, Emerg; November 18, 1981, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Lower Chichester, Township of, Delaware County 421604 October 9, 1974, Emerg; September 22, 1978, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Marcus Hook, Borough of, Delaware County 420419 June 10, 1975, Emerg; September 16, 1981, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Nether Providence, Township of, Delaware County 420424 November 12, 1971, Emerg; December 1, 1978, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Norwood, Borough of, Delaware County 420425 August 18, 1972, Emerg; May 3, 1982, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Parkside, Borough of, Delaware County 420426 December 10, 1971, Emerg; July 5, 1977, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Prospect Park, Borough of, Delaware County 420427 September 19, 1974, Emerg; March 18, 1980, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Ridley, Township of, Delaware County 420429 September 8, 1972, Emerg; January 6, 1983, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Ridley Park, Borough of, Delaware County 420430 August 29, 1974, Emerg; January 2, 1980, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Sharon Hill, Borough of, Delaware County 420433 July 19, 1974, Emerg; August 15, 1979, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Tinicum, Township of, Delaware County 421605 February 7, 1975, Emerg; May 1, 1980, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Trainer, Borough of, Delaware County 420437 December 10, 1971, Emerg; September 30, 1977, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Upland, Borough of, Delaware County 420438 December 3, 1971, Emerg; December 10, 1976, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Upper Chichester, Township of, Delaware County 420439 December 17, 1971, Emerg; May 16, 1977, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Virginia: King William County, Unincorporated Areas 510304 May 22, 1975, Emerg; February 6, 1991, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. West Point, Town of, King William County 510083 April 16, 1975, Emerg; June 18, 1990, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Region IV North Carolina: Charlotte, City of, Mecklenburg County 370159 April 12, 1973, Emerg; August 15, 1978, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Cornelius, Town of, Mecklenburg County 370498 N/A, Emerg; September 30, 1997, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Huntersville, Town of, Mecklenburg County 370478 January 11, 1995, Emerg; February 4, 2004, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Mecklenburg County, Unincorporated Areas 370158 May 17, 1973, Emerg; June 1, 1981, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Pineville, Town of, Mecklenburg County 370160 May 6, 1975, Emerg; March 18, 1987, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Region VII Kansas: Bonner Springs, City of, Wyandotte County 200361 June 6, 1975, Emerg; January 3, 1979, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Douglas County, Unincorporated Areas 200087 May 30, 1975, Emerg; March 2, 1981, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Edwardsville, City of, Wyandotte County 200362 May 13, 1975, Emerg; September 29, 1978, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Kansas City, City of, Wyandotte County 200363 December 10, 1974, Emerg; August 3, 1981, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Lawrence, City of, Douglas County 200090 June 15, 1973, Emerg; March 2, 1981, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Wyandotte County, Unincorporated Areas 200562 March 7, 1975, Emerg; December 18, 1979, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do. Region VIII North Dakota: Alexander, City of, McKenzie County 380055 March 10, 1976, Emerg; September 18, 1987, Reg; September 2, 2015, Susp ......do   Do.  *......do and   Do. = Ditto.  Code for reading third column: Emerg. —Emergency; Reg. —Regular; Susp —Suspension.
    Dated: July 17, 2015. Roy E. Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18983 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 20 [PS Docket No. 07-114; FCC 15-9] Wireless E911 Location Accuracy Requirements AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; announcement of effective date.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection associated with the Commission's Fourth Report and Order that adopted rules requiring Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) providers to conform with tightened wireless E911 location accuracy requirements. This document is consistent with the Fourth Report and Order, which stated that the Commission would publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of those rules.

    DATES:

    The amendments to 47 CFR 20.18(i)(2)(ii)(A) and (B); 20.18(i)(2)(iii) and (iv); 20.18(i)(3)(i), (ii), and (iii); 20.18(i)(4)(i), (ii), (iii) and (iv); 20.18(j)(2) and (3), published at 80 FR 11806, March 4, 2015, are effective August 3, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Timothy May, Policy and Licensing Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, at (202) 418-1463, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document announces that, on July 20, 2015, OMB approved the information collection requirements relating to the wireless E911 location accuracy rules contained in the Commission's Fourth Report and Order, FCC 15-9, published at 80 FR 11806 March 4, 2015. The OMB Control Number is 3060-1210. The Commission publishes this document as an announcement of the effective date of the rules.

    If you have any comments on the burden estimates listed below, or how the Commission can improve the collections and reduce any burdens caused thereby, please contact Benish Shah, Federal Communications Commission, Room 1-A866, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. Please include the OMB Control Number, 3060-1210, in your correspondence. The Commission will also accept your comments via email at [email protected] To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    Synopsis

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), the FCC is notifying the public that it received OMB approval on July 20, 2015, for the information collection requirements contained in the modifications to the Commission's rules in 47 CFR part 20. Under 5 CFR 1320, an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a current, valid OMB Control Number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act that does not display a current, valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number is 3060-1210. The foregoing notice is required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, October 1, 1995, and 44 U.S.C. 3507.

    The total annual reporting burdens and costs for the respondents are as follows:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1210.

    OMB Approval Date: July 20, 2015.

    OMB Expiration Date: July 31, 2018.

    Title: Wireless E911 Location Accuracy Requirements.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: New Collection.

    Respondents: Businesses or other for profit institutions; and state, local or tribal governments.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 4,394 respondents; 29,028 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1—100 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirements, and third-party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Mandatory and voluntary. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47. U.S.C. 1, 2, 4(i), 7, 10, 201, 214, 222, 251(e), 301, 302, 303, 303(b), 303(r), 307, 307(a), 309, 309(j)(3), 316, 316(a), and 332 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 143,138 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: The Commission will work with respondents to ensure that their concerns regarding the confidentiality of any proprietary or business-sensitive information are resolved in a manner consistent with the Commission's rules.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: This information collection does not affect individuals or households, and therefore a privacy impact assessment is not required.

    Needs and Uses: Section 20.18(i)(2)(ii)(A) rule requires that, within three years of the effective date of rules, CMRS providers shall deliver to uncompensated barometric pressure data from any device capable of delivering such data to PSAPs. This requirement is necessary to ensure that PSAPs are receiving all location information possible to be used for dispatch. This requirement is also necessary to ensure that CMRS providers implement a vertical location solution in the event that the proposed “dispatchable location” solution does not function as intended by the three-year mark and beyond.

    Section 20.18(i)(2)(ii)(B) requires that the four nationwide providers submit to the Commission for review and approval a reasonable metric for z-axis (vertical) location accuracy no later than 3 years from the effective date of rules. The requirement is critical to ensure that the vertical location framework adopted in the Fourth Report and Order is effectively implemented.

    Section 20.18(i)(2)(iii) requires CMRS providers to certify compliance with the Commission's rules at various benchmarks throughout implementation of improved location accuracy. This requirement is necessary to ensure that CMRS providers remain “on track” to reach the goals that they themselves agreed to.

    Section 20.18(i)(2)(iv) provides that PSAPs may seek Commission enforcement of the location accuracy requirements within their geographic service area, as long as they have implemented policies that are designed to obtain all location information made available by CMRS providers when initiating and delivering 911 calls to the PSAP, and, prior to seeking Commission enforcement, a PSAP must provide the CMRS provider with 30 days written notice, and the CMRS provider shall have an opportunity to address the issue informally.

    Section 20.18(i)(3)(i) requires that within 12 months of the effective date, the four nationwide CMRS providers must establish the test bed described in the Fourth Report and Order, which will validate technologies intended for indoor location, The test bed is necessary for the compliance certification framework adopted in the Fourth Report and Order.

    Section 20.18(i)(3)(ii) requires that beginning 18 months from effective date of rules, nationwide CMRS providers providing service in any of the six Test Cities identified by ATIS (Atlanta, Denver/Front Range, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Manhattan Borough of New York City) must collect and report aggregate data on the location technologies used for live 911 calls. This reporting requirement is necessary to validate and verify the compliance certifications made by CMRS providers.

    Section 20.18(i)(3)(iii) requires that CMRS providers shall retain testing and live call data gathered pursuant to this section for a period of 2 years.

    Section 20.18(i)(4)(i) and (ii) require that no later than 18 months from the effective date, each CMRS provider shall submit to the Commission its plan for implementing improved indoor location accuracy and a report on its progress toward doing so. Non-nationwide CMRS providers will have an additional 6 months to submit their progress reports. All CMRS providers shall provide an additional progress report no later than 36 months from the effective date of the adoption of this rule. The 36-month reports shall indicate what progress the provider has made consistent with its implementation plan.

    Section 20.18(i)(4)(iii) requires that prior to activation of the NEAD but no later than 18 months from the effective date of the adoption of this rule, the nationwide CMRS providers shall file with the Commission and request approval for a security and privacy plan for the administration and operation of the NEAD. This requirement is necessary to ensure that the four nationwide CMRS providers are building in privacy and security measures to the NEAD from its inception.

    Section 20.18(i)(4)(iv) requires that before use of the NEAD or any information contained therein, CMRS providers must certify that they will not use the NEAD or associated data for any non-911 purpose, except as otherwise required by law. This requirement is necessary to ensure the privacy and security of any personally identifiable information that may be collected by the NEAD.

    Section 20.18(j) requires CMRS providers to provide standardized confidence and uncertainty (C/U) data for all wireless 911 calls, whether from outdoor or indoor locations, on a per-call basis upon the request of a PSAP. This requirement will serve to make the use of C/U data easier for PSAPs

    Section 20.18(k) requires that CMRS providers must record information on all live 911 calls, including, but not limited to, the positioning source method used to provide a location fix associated with the call, as well as confidence and uncertainty data. This information must be made available to PSAPs upon request, as a measure to promote transparency and accountability for this set of rules.

    Federal Communications Commission. Sheryl D. Todd, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18734 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 63 [IB Docket No. 12-299; FCC 14-48] Reform of Rules and Policies on Foreign Carrier Entry Into the U.S. Telecommunications Market; Correction AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Correcting amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains a correction to a final regulation, which was published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 (79 FR 31877). The regulation relates to the contents of applications for international common carriers.

    DATES:

    Effective August 3, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Veronica Garcia-Ulloa, Policy Division, International Bureau at 202-418-0481; David Krech, Policy Division, International Bureau at 202-418-7443; Susan O'Connell, Policy Division, International Bureau at 202-418-1484.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In a final rule published on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 (79 FR 31877), the revision description of § 63.18(k) incorrectly states that “Section 63.18 is amended by revising paragraph (k) introductory text,” instead of correctly stating that “Section 63.18 is amended by revising paragraph (k),” leading the published final regulation § 63.18(k) to incorrectly keep subparagraphs (1)-(3), which should be removed. This correcting amendment document removes subparagraphs (1)-(3) of § 63.18(k).

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 63

    Communications common carriers.

    Accordingly, 47 CFR part 63 is corrected by making the following correcting amendment:

    PART 63—EXTENSION OF LINES, NEW LINES, AND DISCONTINUANCE, REDUCTION, OUTAGE AND IMPAIRMENT OF SERVICE BY COMMON CARRIERS; AND GRANTS OF RECOGNIZED PRIVATE OPERATING AGENCY STATUS 1. The authority citation for part 63 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), 10, 11, 201-205, 214, 218, 403 and 651 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 160, 201-205, 214, 218, 403, and 571, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Section 63.18 is amended by revising paragraph (k) to read as follows:
    § 63.18 Contents of applications for international common carriers.

    (k) For any country that the applicant has listed in response to paragraph (j) of this section that is not a member of the World Trade Organization, the applicant shall make a demonstration as to whether the foreign carrier has market power, or lacks market power, with reference to the criteria in § 63.10(a).

    NOTE TO PARAGRAPH (k):

    Under § 63.10(a), the Commission presumes, subject to rebuttal, that a foreign carrier lacks market power in a particular foreign country if the applicant demonstrates that the foreign carrier lacks 50 percent market share in international transport facilities or services, including cable landing station access and backhaul facilities, intercity facilities or services, and local access facilities or services on the foreign end of a particular route.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18799 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Part 207 RIN 0750-AI43 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Inflation Adjustment of Acquisition-Related Thresholds (DFARS Case 2014-D025); Partial Withdrawal AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Final rule; partial withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System published in the Federal Register of June 26, 2015, at 80 FR 36903, a document to implement the inflation adjustment of acquisition-related dollar thresholds. Inadvertently, by an amendment to DFARS section 207.170-3, paragraph (a) was escalated from $6 million to $6.5 million. This document withdraws that amendment.

    DATES:

    Effective: October 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Amy G. Williams, telephone 571-372-6106.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    DARS published a document in the Federal Register of June 26, 2015, (80 FR 36903) escalating the acquisition-related dollar threshold in DFARS, which included an adjustment to section 207.170-3 to revise the threshold from $6 million to $6.5 million. As published in the Federal Register on June 26, 2015 (80 FR 36903), the DFARS final rule 2014-D025 contains an error, which is in need of correction. To address this error, this correction removes the amendment to DFARS section 207.170-3 thereby reinstating the $6 million threshold.

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 207

    Government procurement.

    Amy G. Williams, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.

    In final rule Federal Register document (80 FR 36903) published on June 26, 2015, make the following correction:

    On page 36904, in the center column, remove amendatory instruction number 6 amending 207.170-3.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18939 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    80 148 Monday, August 3, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0577; Directorate Identifier 2013-SW-042-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Previously Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) (Airbus Helicopters) AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to revise airworthiness directive (AD) 2015-12-09 for Airbus Helicopters Model EC135P1, EC135T1, EC135P2, EC135T2, EC135P2+, EC135T2+, and MBB-BK 117 C-2 helicopters. AD 2015-12-09 currently requires inspecting certain washers for movement and making the appropriate repairs if the washers move. As published, AD 2015-12-09 references an incorrect date for the service information in the Credit for Previous Actions section. This proposed AD would correct the error while retaining the requirements of AD 2015-12-09. These proposed actions are intended to prevent loss of concerned control axis and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matt Wilbanks, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

    We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive.

    Discussion

    On June 18, 2015, at 80 FR 34831, the Federal Register published AD 2015-12-09, Amendment 39-18184, for Airbus Helicopters Model EC135P1, EC135T1, EC135P2, EC135T2, EC135P2+, EC135T2+, and MBB-BK 117 C-2 helicopters. AD 2015-12-09 requires inspecting certain washers for movement in the attachment hardware that connects the Smart Electro Mechanical Actuator (SEMA) and the control rod of the longitudinal, lateral, and yaw actuators. If a washer can be moved, AD 2015-12-09 requires replacing the four screws, installing two additional washers, and torque-tightening the screws. AD 2015-12-09 was prompted by play found between the SEMA and the control rod during installation work on a helicopter. The requirements of AD 2015-12-09 are intended to prevent loss of concerned control axis and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    AD 2015-12-09 was prompted by AD No. 2013-0176, dated August 7, 2013, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH Model EC 135 P1 (CDS), EC 135 P1 (CPDS), EC 135 P2+, EC 135 P2 (CPDS), EC 135 T1 (CDS), EC 135 T1 (CPDS), EC 135 T2+, EC 135 T2 (CPDS), EC 635 P2+, EC 635 T1 (CPDS), EC 635 T2+, and MBB-BK 117 C-2 helicopters. EASA advises that during installation work on a helicopter, it was discovered that it was not possible to install attachment hardware on a threaded blind borehole between the SEMA and the control rod without play. EASA advises that this condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to loss of the concerned control axis, possibly resulting in loss of helicopter control. For these reasons, EASA AD No. 2013-0176 requires a one-time inspection of the affected SEMA attachment hardware to detect improper connection and play and, depending on the findings, replacement of the affected hardware. After the issuance of EASA AD No. 2013-0176, Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH changed its name to Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH.

    When AD 2015-12-09 was published, an incorrect reference to the date of Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) EC135-22A-015, Revision 0, dated May 13, 2008, appeared in the text of the rule. Specifically, AD 2015-12-09 includes the following under paragraph (f), Credit for Previous Actions: “If you performed the actions in Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin EC135-22A-015, Revision 0, dated May 13, 2018, or Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin MBB BK117 C-2-22A-009, Revision 0, May 13, 2008, before the effective date of this AD, you met the requirements of this AD.” As published, the reference to May 13, 2018, is incorrect. The correct date for Eurocopter ASB EC135-22A-015, Revision 0, is May 13, 2008.

    The FAA has determined that it is appropriate to revise AD 2015-12-09 to correct the date for Eurocopter ASB EC135-22A-015, Revision 0. Further, we are changing the physical address of the FAA Southwest Regional Office throughout the NPRM and the email address in paragraph (g), Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs). Since AD 2015-12-09 was issued, the FAA Southwest Regional Office has relocated and a group email address has been established for requesting an FAA AMOC for a helicopter of foreign design. We are not proposing to change any other part of the preamble or regulatory information. The final rule would be reprinted in its entirety for the convenience of affected operators.

    FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of Germany and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with Germany, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in its AD. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Eurocopter reported in ASBs EC135-22A-015, Revision 1, dated January 28, 2013, and MBB BK117 C-2-22A-009, Revision 1, dated August 3, 2009, that it was discovered during the installation work on a helicopter that it was not possible to establish attachment hardware on a threaded blind borehole between the SEMA and the control rod without play. The ASBs state that “unfavourable adding of the tolerances” of the individual attachment hardware elements caused the screw to push against the bottom of the threaded blind borehole on the SEMA, preventing any clamping force on the screw head. The ASBs call for inspecting the SEMA attachment hardware connected to their respective control rods for play and making the proper adjustments to eliminate any play.

    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 proposed AD.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would continue to require, within 50 hours time-in-service, inspecting whether the washers can be moved in the attachment hardware that connects the SEMA and the control rod of the longitudinal, lateral, and yaw actuators. For Model MBB BK117 C-2 helicopters, this inspection is only for the hardware connecting the Yaw-SEMA and the Yaw-SEMA control rod. If none of the washers can be moved, then no further action is needed. If a washer can be moved, then this proposed AD would require replacing the four screws, installing two additional washers, and torque-tightening the screws to 5-6 Nm.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD applies to Eurocopter Model EC635P2+, EC635T1 and EC635T2+ helicopters. This proposed AD does not apply to these model helicopters because they have no FAA type certificate.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 385 helicopters of U.S. Registry and that labor costs would average $85 per work-hour. Based on these estimates, we expect the following costs:

    • Inspecting for movement of the washers would require 1.5 work-hours for a labor cost of $128 per helicopter and $49,280 for the U.S. fleet.

    • Replacing the screws and related work would require an additional 0.5 work-hours for a labor cost of $43. Screws would cost $4 each while washers would cost $10 each. We estimate the cost would be $79 per repair.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and

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

    We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2015-12-09, Amendment 39-18184 (80 FR 34831, June 18, 2015), and adding the following new AD: Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Previously Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) (Airbus Helicopters): Docket No. FAA-2014-0577; Directorate Identifier 2013-SW-042-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC135P1, EC135T1, EC135P2, EC135T2, EC135P2+, EC135T2+, and MBB-BK 117 C-2 helicopters, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as loose attachment hardware between the Smart Electro Mechanical Actuator (SEMA) and a control rod. This condition could result in loss of the control axis and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    (c) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by August 18, 2015.

    (d) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

    (e) Required Actions

    (1) Within 50 hours time-in-service (TIS), for Model EC135P1, EC135T1, EC135P2, EC135T2, EC135P2+, and EC135T2+ helicopters, do the following:

    (i) Using Figure 1 and Figure 2 of Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin EC135-22A-015, Revision 1, dated January 28, 2013 (ASB EC135-22A-015) as reference, inspect the attachment hardware between the SEMA and the longitudinal actuator control rod to determine whether any of the washers can be moved.

    (A) If no washer can be moved, no further action is needed.

    (B) If a washer can be moved, replace the four screws and install two additional washers, part number (P/N) EN2139-05016, to connect the SEMA with the control rod. Torque-tighten each screw to 5-6 Nm.

    (ii) Using Figure 1 and Figure 2 of ASB EC135-22A-015 as reference, inspect the attachment hardware between the SEMA and the lateral actuator control rod to determine whether any of the washers can be moved.

    (A) If no washer can be moved, no further action is needed.

    (B) If a washer can be moved, replace the four screws and install two additional washers, P/N EN2139-05016, to connect the SEMA with the control rod. Torque-tighten each screw to 5-6 Nm.

    (iii) Using Figure 1, Figure 3, and Figure 4 of ASB EC135-22A-015 as reference, inspect the attachment hardware between the SEMA and the yaw actuator control rod to determine whether any of the washers can be moved.

    (A) If no washer can be moved, no further action is needed.

    (B) If a washer can be moved, replace the four screws and install two additional washers, P/N EN2139-05016, to connect the SEMA with the control rod. Torque-tighten each screw to 5-6 Nm.

    (2) Within 50 hours TIS, for Model MBB BK117 C-2 helicopters, using Figure 1 of Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin MBB BK117 C-2-22A-009, Revision 1, dated August 3, 2009, as reference, inspect the attachment hardware between the Yaw-SEMA and the Yaw-SEMA control rod to determine whether any of the washers can be moved.

    (i) If no washer can be moved, no further action is needed.

    (ii) If a washer can be moved, replace the four screws and install two additional washers, P/N EN2139-05016, to connect the SEMA with the control rod. Torque-tighten each screw to 5-6 Nm and apply polyurethane lacquer onto the attachment hardware.

    (f) Affected ADs

    This AD revises AD 2015-12-09, Amendment 39-18184 (80 FR 34831, June 18, 2015).

    (g) Credit for Previous Actions

    If you performed the actions in Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin EC135-22A-015, Revision 0, dated May 13, 2008, or Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin MBB BK117 C-2-22A-009, Revision 0, May 13, 2008, before the effective date of this AD, you met the requirements of this AD.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Regulations and Policy Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Matt Wilbanks, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

    (i) Additional Information

    The subject of this AD is addressed in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2013-0176, dated August 7, 2013. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2014-0577.

    (j) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2213, Flight Controller

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 24, 2015. Lance T. Gant, Acting Directorate Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18865 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2967; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-072-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; DASSAULT AVIATION Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2002-23-20, for certain Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 900EX and MYSTERE-FALCON 900 airplanes. AD 2002-23-20 currently requires repetitive operational tests of the flap asymmetry detection system to verify proper functioning, and repair if necessary; repetitive replacement of the inboard flap jackscrews with new or reconditioned jackscrews; and repetitive measurement of the screw/nut play of the jackscrews on the inboard and outboard flaps to detect discrepancies, and corrective action if necessary. AD 2002-23-20 currently requires a revision of the airplane flight manual. Since we issued AD 2002-23-20, the maintenance manual has been revised. This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to include the maintenance tasks and airworthiness limitations specified in the Airworthiness Limitations section of the airplane maintenance manual. This proposed AD also removes the Model FALCON 900EX airplanes from the applicability of the existing AD. We are proposing this AD to prevent reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments 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 Dassault Falcon Jet, P.O. Box 2000, South Hackensack, NJ 07606; telephone 201-440-6700; Internet http://www.dassaultfalcon.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-2015-2967; 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:

    Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1137; 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-2015-2967; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-072-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

    On January 3, 2003, we issued AD 2002-23-20, Amendment 39-12964 (67 FR 71098, November 29, 2002); corrected May 4, 2010 (75 FR 23579). AD 2002-23-20 requires actions intended to address an unsafe condition on certain Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 900EX and MYSTERE-FALCON 900 airplanes.

    Since we issued AD 2002-23-20, Amendment 39-12964 (67 FR 71098, November 29, 2002); corrected May 4, 2010 (75 FR 23579), the maintenance manual has been revised. In addition, we are removing the Model 900EX airplanes from the applicability of the existing AD and those airplanes are addressed through a separate AD action (AD 2014-16-26, Amendment 39-17950 (79 FR 51077, August 27, 2014)).

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0053, dated March 4, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all MYSTERE-FALCON 900 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    The airworthiness limitations and maintenance requirements for the Mystère-Falcon 900 type design are included in Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM) chapter 5-40 and are approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). EASA issued AD 2008-0221[http://ad.easa.europa.eu/blob/easa_ad_2008_0221_Corrected.pdf/AD_2008-0221_1] to require accomplishment of the maintenance tasks, and implementation of the airworthiness limitations, as specified in Dassault Aviation F900 AMM chapter 5-40 referenced DGT 113873 at revision 16.

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, Dassault Aviation issued revision 20 of F900 AMM chapter 5-40 which contains new or more restrictive maintenance requirements and/or airworthiness limitations and introduces, among others, the following changes:

    —Tasks renumbering; —Introduction of a Corrosion Prevention Control Program (CPCP); —Upgrade of screwjack of flap actuators from the older to the latest -3 version; —Revised Time Between Overhaul for screwjack of flap actuators -3 version; —Revised interval for checking the screw/nut play on screwjack of flap actuators -3 version; —Removal of calendar limit for checking the screw/nut play on screwjack of external flap actuators -1 and -2 versions; —Removal of service life limit for screwjack of flap actuators; —Test of flap asymmetry protection system. Compliance with this test is required by [a certain AD ***], but F900 AMM chapter 5-40 at revision 20 introduces an extended inspection interval; —Inspection procedures of fuselage and wings; —Check of overpressure tightness on pressurization control regulating valves. Compliance with this check is required by EASA AD 2008-0072 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/blob/easa_ad_2008_0072.pdf/AD_2008-0072_1] [which corresponds to FAA AD 2010-26-05, Amendment 39-16544 (75 FR 79952, December 21, 2010], but F900 AMM chapter 5-40 at revision 20 introduces an extended inspection interval; —Check of overpressure relief valve vacuum supply lines.

    The maintenance tasks and airworthiness limitations, as specified in the F900 AMM chapter 5-40, have been identified as mandatory actions for continued airworthiness of the F900 type design. Failure to comply with AMM chapter 5-40 at revision 20 may result in an unsafe condition [reduced structural integrity of the airplane].

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires the implementation of the maintenance tasks and airworthiness limitations, as specified in the Dassault Aviation F900 AMM chapter 5-40 DGT 113873 at revision 20.

    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-2015-2967. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Chapter 5-40, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 20, dated October 2012, of the Dassault Aviation Falcon 900 Maintenance Manual. This service information describes procedures, maintenance tasks, and airworthiness limitations specified in the Airworthiness Limitations section of the AMM. 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 the same type design.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 112 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate that it would take about 1 work-hour 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 $9,520, or $85 per product.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

    We determined that this 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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2002-23-20, Amendment 39-12964 (67 FR 71098, November 29, 2002); corrected May 4, 2010 (75 FR 23579); and adding the following new AD: DASSAULT AVIATION: Docket No. FAA-2015-2967; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-072-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by September 17, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2002-23-20, Amendment 39-12964 (67 FR 71098, November 29, 2002); corrected May 4, 2010 (75 FR 23579). This AD also affects AD 2010-26-05, Amendment 39-16544 (75 FR 79952, December 21, 2010).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all DASSAULT AVIATION Model MYSTERE-FALCON 900 airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 05, Time Limits/Maintenance Checks.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by our determination of the need for a revision to the airplane airworthiness limitations to introduce a corrosion prevention control program, among other changes, to the maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. We are issuing this AD to prevent reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Revision of Maintenance or Inspection Program

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the information specified in Chapter 5-40, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 20, dated October 2012, of the Dassault Aviation Falcon 900 Maintenance Manual. The initial compliance time for accomplishing the actions specified in Chapter 5-40, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 20, dated October 2012, of the Dassault Aviation Falcon 900 Maintenance Manual, is within the applicable times specified in the maintenance manual or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, except as provided by paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(4) of this AD.

    (1) The term “LDG” in the “First Inspection” column of any table in the service information means total airplane landings.

    (2) The term “FH” in the “First Inspection” column of any table in the service information means total flight hours.

    (3) The term “FC” in the “First Inspection” column of any table in the service information means total flight cycles.

    (4) The term “M” in the “First Inspection” column of any table in the service information means months.

    (h) Terminating Action

    Accomplishing paragraph (g) of this AD terminates the requirements of paragraph (g)(1) of AD 2010-26-05, Amendment 39-16544 (75 FR 79952, December 21, 2010), for DASSAULT AVIATION Model MYSTERE-FALCON 900 airplanes.

    (i) No Alternative Actions and Intervals

    After accomplishing the revision required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may be used unless the actions or intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j)(1) of 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: Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1137; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

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

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0053, dated March 4, 2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2967.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Dassault Falcon Jet, P.O. Box 2000, South Hackensack, NJ 07606; telephone 201-440-6700; Internet http://www.dassaultfalcon.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 23, 2015. Victor Wicklund, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18689 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG-109370-10] RIN 1545-BJ34 Allocable Cash Basis and Tiered Partnership Items AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Partial withdrawal of notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains proposed regulations regarding the determination of a partner's distributive share of certain allocable cash basis items and items attributable to an interest in a lower-tier partnership during a partnership taxable year in which a partner's interest changes. These proposed regulations affect partnerships and their partners.

    DATES:

    Written or electronic comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by November 2, 2015. As of August 3, 2015, the notice of proposed rulemaking that was published in the Federal Register on May 24, 2005 (70 FR 29675), is partially withdrawn.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-109370-10), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, PO Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand-delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-109370-10), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC, or sent electronically, via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov/(IRSREG-109370-10).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning the proposed regulations, Benjamin H. Weaver, (202) 317-6850; concerning submissions of comments and requests for public hearing, Regina Johnson, (202) 317-6901 (not toll free numbers).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Section 706 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) generally provides rules for the taxable years of partners and partnerships. Section 72 of the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984, Public Law 98-369 (98 Stat. 494 (1984)) added section 706(d) to the Code to prevent a partner who acquires an interest in the partnership late in the taxable year from deducting partnership expenses incurred prior to the partner's entry into the partnership (retroactive allocations). Section 706(d)(1) provides that, except as provided in section 706(d)(2) and (d)(3), if during any taxable year of the partnership there is a change in any partner's interest in the partnership, each partner's distributive share of any item of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit of the partnership for such taxable year shall be determined by the use of any method prescribed by regulations which takes into account the varying interests of the partners in the partnership during such taxable year.

    On April 14, 2009, the Treasury Department and the IRS published a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-144689-04) (the 2009 proposed regulations) in the Federal Register to provide guidance under section 706(d)(1) and to conform the Income Tax Regulations for certain provisions of section 1246 of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Public Law 105-34 (111 Stat. 788 (1997)) and section 72 of the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984, Public Law 98-369 (98 Stat. 494 (1984)). The Treasury Department and the IRS are publishing final regulations under section 706(d)(1) (the final regulations) contemporaneously with these proposed regulations. However, the Treasury Department and the IRS have decided to propose an amendment to the final regulations expanding the list of extraordinary items to include two new items: (1) For publicly traded partnerships, any item of income that is an amount subject to withholding as defined in § 1.1441-2(a) (excluding amounts effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States) or a withholdable payment under § 1.1473-1(a) occurring during a taxable year if, for that taxable year, the partners agree to treat all such items as extraordinary items, and (2) for any partnership, deductions for the transfer of partnership equity in connection with the performance of services. In addition, these proposed regulations provide guidance under sections 706(d)(2) and (3).

    1. Allocable Cash Basis Items

    Section 706(d)(2) provides rules for certain allocable cash basis items. Section 706(d)(2)(A) provides that if during any taxable year of the partnership there is a change in any partner's interest in the partnership, then (except to the extent provided in regulations) each partner's distributive share of any allocable cash basis item shall be determined (i) by assigning the appropriate portion of such item to each day in the period to which it is attributable, and (ii) by allocating the portion assigned to any such day among the partners in proportion to their interests in the partnership at the close of such day. Section 706(d)(2)(B) defines “allocable cash basis item” as any of the following items with respect to which the partnership uses the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting (cash method): (i) Interest, (ii) taxes, (iii) payments for services or for the use of property, or (iv) any other item of a kind specified in regulations prescribed by the Secretary as being an item with respect to which the application of section 706(d)(2) is appropriate to avoid significant misstatements of the income of the partners. Section 706(d)(2)(C) further provides that if any portion of any allocable cash basis item is attributable to (i) any period before the beginning of the taxable year, such portion shall be assigned under section 706(d)(2)(A)(i) to the first day of the taxable year, or (ii) any period after the close of the taxable year, such portion shall be assigned under section 706(d)(2)(A)(i) to the last day of the taxable year. Finally, section 706(d)(2)(D) provides that if any portion of a deductible cash basis item is assigned under section 706(d)(2)(C)(i) to the first day of any taxable year, (i) such portion shall be allocated among persons who are partners in the partnership during the period to which such portion is attributable in accordance with their varying interests in the partnership during such period, and (ii) any amount allocated under section 706(d)(2)(C)(i) to a person who is not a partner in the partnership on such first day shall be capitalized by the partnership and treated in the manner provided for in section 755.

    The legislative history explains that section 706(d)(2) was enacted to prevent cash method partnerships from avoiding the retroactive allocation rules:

    [P]artnerships may attempt to avoid the retroactive allocation rules by using the cash method of accounting and deferring actual payment of deductible items until near the close of the partnership's taxable year. For example, if a partnership defers the payment of an expense (e.g., interest) until December 31, and the partnership uses the interim closing method of allocations, a partner admitted on December 31 may be allowed a deduction for a full portion of the expense. This may be the case although the expense has economically accrued at an equal rate throughout the taxable year . . . In adding these rules, Congress rejected the argument that the retroactive allocations were proper because the funds invested by the new partners served to reimburse the original partners for their expenditures so that, as an economic matter, the new partners had incurred the costs for which they were claiming deductions. H.R. Rep. No. 98-432, at 1212-1213 (1984).

    On November 30, 1984, the Treasury Department and the IRS issued temporary regulations under section 706(d)(2) (§ 1.706-2T (TD 7991)) to address the interaction of sections 706(d)(2) and 267(a)(2). The temporary regulations provide that a deduction for any expense that is deferred under section 267 constitutes an allocable cash basis item under section 706(d)(2)(B)(iv). Specifically, the temporary regulations provide:

    Question 1: For purposes of section 706(d), how is an otherwise deductible amount that is deferred under section 267(a)(2) treated?

    Answer 1: In the year the deduction is allowed, the deduction will constitute an allocable cash basis item under section 706(d)(2)(B)(iv).

    Neither the 2009 proposed regulations nor the final regulations provide guidance under section 706(d)(2). However, the 2009 proposed regulations specifically requested comments on issues that arise concerning allocable cash basis items, in particular whether the list of items in section 706(d)(2)(B) should be expanded (to include, for example, items such as property insurance), as well as any other issues with regard to allocating cash basis items. The Treasury Department and the IRS received comments relating to allocable cash basis items in response to the 2009 proposed regulations. The comments are discussed in this preamble.

    2. Tiered Partnerships

    Section 706(a) provides that, in computing the taxable income of a partner for a taxable year, the inclusions required by section 702 and section 707(c) with respect to a partnership shall be based on the income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit of the partnership for any taxable year of the partnership ending within or with the taxable year of the partner. Prior to the issuance of Rev. Rul. 77-311, 1977-2 CB 218, in 1977 and the enactment of section 706(d)(3) in 1984, some taxpayers took the position that, in the case of tiered partnerships, the language of section 706(a) means that an upper-tier partnership's distributive share of items from a lower-tier partnership is sustained by the upper-tier partnership on the last day of the lower-tier partnership's taxable year. These taxpayers therefore allocated the upper-tier partnership's share of the lower-tier partnership's items based solely upon the upper-tier partnership's partners' interests as of the last day of the lower-tier partnerships' taxable year. Rev. Rul. 77-311 rejected that position, and explains through an example that an upper-tier partnership's distributive share of any items of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit from a lower-tier partnership is considered to be realized or sustained by the upper-tier partnership at the same time and in the same manner as such items were realized or sustained by the lower-tier partnership. Therefore, in allocating items from a lower-tier partnership, the upper-tier partnership must take into account variations among its partners' interests throughout the year, rather than merely looking to its partners' interests as of the last day of the lower-tier partnership's taxable year.

    Section 706(d)(3) was enacted in 1984 and confirms the analysis of Rev. Rul. 77-311. Section 706(d)(3) provides that if during any taxable year of the partnership there is a change in any partner's interest in the partnership (the “upper-tier partnership”), and such partnership is a partner in another partnership (the “lower-tier partnership”), then (except to the extent provided in regulations) each partner's distributive share of any item of the upper-tier partnership attributable to the lower-tier partnership shall be determined by assigning the appropriate portion (determined by applying principles similar to the principles of section 706(d)(2)(C) and (D)) of each such item to the appropriate days during which the upper-tier partnership is a partner in the lower-tier partnership and by allocating the portion assigned to any such day among the partners in proportion to their interests in the upper-tier partnership at the close of such day.

    Neither the 2009 proposed regulations nor the final regulations provide guidance under section 706(d)(3). However, the 2009 proposed regulations specifically requested comments on issues that arise concerning tiered partnerships, and stated that the daily allocation method, used for cash basis items, applies to all items of the lower-tier partnership if there is a change in the partnership interests in the upper-tier partnership. The Treasury Department and the IRS received comments relating to tiered partnerships in response to the 2009 proposed regulations. The comments are discussed in this preamble.

    Explanation of Provisions and Summary of Comments 1. Allocable Cash Basis Items

    With respect to allocable cash basis items, the proposed regulations generally restate the statutory provisions. Commenters requested that regulations clarify whether section 706(d)(2) applies only to items of deduction and loss or whether it also applies to items of income and gain. Generally, under the Code, the word “item” includes items of income, gain, deduction, and loss. Other than the item “taxes,” the items listed in section 706(d)(2)(B) can be either items of income (and gain) or deduction (and loss), depending on a taxpayer's particular circumstances. Section 706(d)(2)(B)(iv) also provides broad regulatory authority for the Secretary to add “any other item . . . with respect to which the application of this paragraph is appropriate to avoid significant misstatements of the income of the partners.” A significant misstatement of the income of partners can occur equally through an item of deduction or loss or an item of income or gain. Partnerships using the cash method that also use the interim closing method for accounting for partners' varying interests can use this distortion to affect the allocation of income to an incoming or outgoing partner. For these reasons, the proposed regulations provide that the allocable cash basis item rules apply to items of deduction, loss, income, and gain.

    The proposed regulations provide that the term “allocable cash basis item” generally includes items of deduction, loss, income, or gain specifically listed in the statute: (i) interest, (ii) taxes, and (iii) payments for services or for the use of property. However, as discussed in part 4 of this preamble, the proposed regulations contain an exception for deductions for the transfer of an interest in the partnership in connection with the performance of services; such deductions generally must be allocated under the rules for extraordinary items in § 1.706-4(d).

    Section 706(d)(2)(B)(iv) specifically grants the Secretary regulatory authority to include additional items in the list of allocable cash basis items to avoid significant misstatements of the income of the partners. Pursuant to the regulatory authority granted in section 706(d)(2)(B)(iv), the proposed regulations provide that the term “allocable cash basis item” includes any allowable deduction that had been previously deferred under section 267(a)(2). This provision incorporates the concept of § 1.706-2T and includes within the meaning of “allocable cash basis item” amounts deferred under section 267(a)(2) in the year in which the deduction is allowed. Accordingly, § 1.706-2T is proposed to be withdrawn by final regulations issued under section 706(d)(2).

    Finally, pursuant to the regulatory authority granted in section 706(d)(2)(B)(iv), the proposed regulations provide that the term “allocable cash basis item” also includes any item of income, gain, loss, or deduction that accrues over time and that would, if not allocated as an allocable cash basis item, result in the significant misstatement of a partner's income. To provide additional clarification on the scope of the rule in proposed § 1.706-2(a)(2)(v), the Treasury Department and the IRS believe that items such as rebate payments, refund payments, insurance premiums, prepayments, and cash advances are examples of items which, if not allocated in the manner described in section 706(d)(2), could result in the significant misstatement of a partner's income. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on the inclusion of these items and other items within the meaning of “allocable cash basis items.”

    One commenter noted that section 706(d)(2) imposes the same administrative burden on partnerships regardless of the percentage of the partner's total expenses that are allocable cash basis items and therefore recommended that regulations under section 706(d)(2) include a de minimis rule. The Treasury Department and the IRS agree that a de minimis rule is appropriate given the scope of the proposed regulations. Accordingly, the proposed regulations provide that an allocable cash basis item will not be subject to the rules in section 706(d)(2) if, for the partnership's taxable year: (1) The total of the particular class of allocable cash basis items (for example, all interest income) is less than five percent of the partnership's (a) gross income, including tax-exempt income described in section 705(a)(1)(B), in the case of income or gain items, or (b) gross expenses and losses, including section 705(a)(2)(B) expenditures, in the case of losses and expense items; and (2) the total amount of allocable cash basis items from all classes of allocable cash basis items amounting to less than five percent of the partnership's (a) gross income, including tax-exempt income described in section 705(a)(1)(B), in the case of income or gain items, or (b) gross expenses and losses, including section 705(a)(2)(B) expenditures, in the case of losses and expense items, does not exceed $10 million in the taxable year, determined by treating all such allocable cash basis items as positive amounts.

    Additionally, the Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on whether the final regulations should provide an exception for certain items of income or deduction arising from payments for services or for the use of property. For example, comments are requested on whether payments for services or for the use of property should be excluded from the rules in section 706(d)(2) if they arise and are, as applicable, paid or received in the ordinary course of the partnership's business (such as the regular payment of wages to employees), and whether deferred compensation or contingency or success-based fees and other payments for services based on performance conditions (which are not calculated based on an hourly rate) should be subject to the rules of section 706(d)(2) (and, if so, on the proper method for assigning the appropriate portion of such item to each day in the period).

    The proposed regulations contain two examples illustrating the operation of section 706(d)(2)(D)(ii), which requires certain portions of deductible cash basis items to be capitalized in the manner provided in section 755 in the event that the deduction is otherwise partially allocable to a former partner who is no longer a partner as of the first day of the partnership's taxable year. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on the appropriate interaction between the principles and rules of section 755 and section 706(d), including whether the final regulations should provide an exception to the capitalization rules of section 706(d)(2)(D)(ii) in cases where the former partner ceased to be a partner in the partnership as a result of the partner's contribution of its partnership interest to another entity in a non-recognition transaction.

    2. Tiered Partnerships

    With respect to tiered partnerships, the proposed regulations provide that the daily allocation method used for cash basis items applies to all items of the lower-tier partnership if there is a change in any partner's interest in the upper-tier partnership.

    Commenters noted the administrative burden of the daily allocation method on tiered partnerships. Commenters stated that obtaining information from a lower-tier partnership to track changes in the ownership interest in an upper-tier partnership is burdensome, and often impractical, unless the upper-tier partnership owns a controlling interest in the lower-tier partnership. One commenter suggested that the Treasury Department and the IRS issue interim guidance to provide that section 706(d)(3) should not apply to a change in a partner's interest in an upper-tier partnership unless the upper-tier partnership owns an interest in more than 50 percent of the profits and capital of the lower-tier partnership. Another commenter recommended an exception when the upper-tier partnership owns a relatively small portion (such as 10 percent or less) of the lower-tier partnership. The Treasury Department and the IRS acknowledge that a lack of information sharing among tiered partnerships may make it difficult to comply with a daily allocation requirement. Thus, the proposed regulations provide an exception from section 706(d)(3) if the upper-tier partnership directly owns an interest in less than 10 percent of the profits and capital of the lower-tier partnership (“a de minimis upper-tier partnership”), all de minimis upper-tier partnerships in aggregate own an interest in less than 30 percent of the profits and capital of the lower-tier partnership, and if no partnership is created with a purpose of avoiding the application of the tiered partnership rules of section 706(d)(3). The application of this exception is determined at each tier, depending on the interests held by the direct partners at each tier. Thus, in the case of an upper-tier partnership owning an interest in a middle tier partnership, which in turn owns an interest in a lower-tier partnership, it may be the case that the exception applies to the upper-tier partnership's interest in the middle tier partnership, but not to the middle tier partnership's interest in the lower-tier partnership (or vice-versa).

    If the de minimis upper-tier partnership exception applies, the upper-tier partnership may, but is not required to, apply the general rules of § 1.706-4 in allocating items attributable to the lower-tier partnership. However, as explained in Rev. Rul. 77-311, an upper-tier partnership's distributive share of any items of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit from a lower-tier partnership is considered to be realized or sustained by the upper-tier partnership at the same time and in the same manner as such items were realized or sustained by the lower-tier partnership. Thus, if the de minimis upper-tier partnership exception applies to an upper-tier partnership using the interim closing method, the upper-tier partnership's allocations of the lower-tier partnership items under the general rules of § 1.706-4 will generally reach the same result as applying the rules of section 706(d)(3). On the other hand, if the de minimis upper-tier partnership exception applies to an upper-tier partnership using the proration method, the upper-tier partnership may prorate the items from the lower-tier partnership across the upper-tier partnership's segments (or, if the upper-tier partnership has only one segment for its entire taxable year, it may prorate the items across its entire taxable year). Even if the de minimis upper-tier partnership exception applies, the upper-tier partnership may choose to allocate the items attributable to the lower-tier partnership according the tiered partnership rules instead. However, the proposed regulations do not impose on lower-tier partnerships an obligation to disclose to upper-tier partnerships the timing of the lower-tier partnership's items. The proposed regulations contain three examples illustrating these principles.

    Commenters also requested additional guidance on the application of section 706(d)(3) in certain circumstances. One commenter requested that the final regulations provide guidance on tiered partnerships that would allow an upper-tier partnership to determine the items from the lower-tier partnership that are allocable to the upper-tier partnership segments based on an interim closing method (as of any upper-tier partnership segment end) applied to the lower-tier partnership if the upper-tier partnership: (i) Has the same taxable year as its lower-tier partnership; (ii) holds a fixed percentage interest in the lower-tier partnership during a taxable year; and (iii) uses the interim closing method. This commenter also recommended that guidance provide that an upper-tier partnership that has the same taxable year as its lower-tier partnership and holds a fixed percentage interest in that lower-tier partnership during the upper-tier partnership's taxable year may prorate the non-extraordinary items of the lower-tier partnership to each day of the upper-tier partnership's taxable year, without regard to whether the upper-tier partnership uses the proration method or the interim closing method.

    However, as explained in this preamble, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe that because an upper-tier partnership's distributive share of any items of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit from a lower-tier partnership is considered to be realized or sustained by the upper-tier partnership at the same time and in the same manner as such items were realized or sustained by the lower-tier partnership, application of the interim closing method will generally reach the same result as applying the rules of section 706(d)(3). The Treasury Department and the IRS also believe that allowing an upper-tier partnership that uses the interim closing method to prorate items from a lower-tier partnership across the upper-tier partnership's entire taxable year would be inconsistent with the principles explained in Rev. Rul. 77-311. Therefore, the proposed regulations do not adopt these comments. However, the Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on safe harbors that might be appropriate in these circumstances as well as comments on the treatment of an upper-tier partnership and a lower-tier partnership that have different taxable years.

    One commenter also recommended that guidance provide that the default method for tiered partnerships is the proration method unless the upper-tier partnership agrees to use the interim closing method and receives sufficient information from the lower-tier partnership to use that method. Under section 706(d)(1) as implemented by § 1.706-4, the interim closing method is the default method unless the partners agree in writing to use the proration method. Because the recommended rule would be inconsistent with section 706(d)(1) as implemented by § 1.706-4, the Treasury Department and the IRS did not adopt this rule in the proposed regulations.

    A commenter further recommended that any conventions applicable to the upper-tier partnership should apply to income from the lower-tier partnership. In general, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe that any conventions applicable to the upper-tier partnership should apply to items from the lower-tier partnership, but are continuing to consider this recommendation in the context of section 706(d)(3) and request comments on safe harbors when the upper-tier partnership and the lower-tier partnership use the same method, but different conventions.

    Another commenter recommended that the final regulations permit partnerships to voluntarily apply the rules of section 706(d)(3) if the upper-tier partnership and the lower-tier partnership have an advance agreement establishing the allocation method for items derived from the upper-tier partnership's interest in the lower-tier partnership. As described in this preamble, the Treasury Department and the IRS are requesting comments on appropriate safe harbors and will continue to consider this recommendation.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS also request comments on appropriate rules, if any, when there is a variance at both the upper-tier partnership and lower-tier partnership.

    More generally, the Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on the appropriate coordination between the rules of sections 706(d)(2) and (3) and the rules of § 1.706-4. In particular, the Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on whether certain items such as contingency or success-based fees and other payments for services based on performance conditions are more appropriately addressed under the rules of section 706(d)(2) and (3), which require allocation of items across the period to which they are attributable, or under the rules for the allocation of extraordinary items under § 1.706-4(e), which requires allocation of items according to the partners' interests at the time of day on which the extraordinary item occurs. Additionally, the Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on whether certain items subject to section 706(d)(2) and (3) may instead be simply allocated under the proration method of § 1.706-4(d) without impinging on the Congressional intent behind sections 706(d)(2) and (3) or resulting in a substantial distortion of income.

    3. Additional Extraordinary Item for Publicly Traded Partnerships (PTPs)

    Section 1.706-4(e) of the final regulations provides rules for the allocation of certain “extraordinary items.” In general, extraordinary items must be allocated among the partners in proportion to their interests in the partnership item at the time of day on which the extraordinary item occurs. Section 1.706-4(e)(2) contains a list of extraordinary items. These proposed regulations add two additional extraordinary items to that list.

    The first proposed additional extraordinary item responds to comments received on the 2009 proposed regulations regarding the administrative difficulty PTPs face in satisfying withholding obligations under section 1441 if PTPs are not permitted to use a quarterly convention. As explained in Part 1.C.iii of the preamble to the final regulations, the final regulations do not permit PTPs to use a quarterly convention. One commenter on the 2009 proposed regulations suggested other options of addressing this issue if the Treasury Department and the IRS are concerned that allowing a quarterly convention would be too broad. One option suggested was to permit PTPs that have income subject to withholding under section 1441 to treat that income as an extraordinary item allocated to PTP unit holders who are the record holders on the date the distribution is declared. The Treasury Department and the IRS agree that a special rule is desirable to link each partner's distributive share to the related cash distributions, thereby enabling PTPs and their transfer agents to satisfy their withholding obligations under chapter 4 of the Code and sections 1441 through 1443 from distributions. Therefore, these proposed regulations generally adopt this suggested alternative to a quarterly convention.

    Specifically, these proposed regulations provide that for PTPs, all items of income that are amounts subject to withholding as defined in § 1.1441-2(a) (excluding income effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States) or withholdable payments under § 1.1473-1(a) occurring during a taxable year may be treated as extraordinary items if the partners agree (within the meaning of § 1.706-4(f)) to consistently treat all such items as extraordinary items for that taxable year. If the partners so agree, then for purposes of section 706 such items shall be treated as occurring at the next time as of which the recipients of a distribution by the PTP are determined, or, to the extent such income items arise between the final time during the taxable year as of which the recipients of a distribution are determined and the end of the taxable year, such items shall be treated as occurring at the final time during the taxable year as of which the recipients of a distribution by the PTP are determined. However, this rule does not apply unless the PTP has a regular practice of making at least four distributions (other than de minimis distributions) to its partners each taxable year. The proposed regulations contain an example illustrating this rule.

    The final regulations generally require extraordinary items to be allocated without regard to the partnership's method or convention. However, § 1.706-4(e)(1) of the final regulations provides that PTPs may, but are not required to, respect the applicable conventions in determining who held their publicly traded units at the time of the occurrence of an extraordinary item. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that this exception should be turned off for all items subject to the new proposed extraordinary item rule for PTPs to ensure that each partner's distributive share of such items is linked to the related cash distributions. Accordingly, the proposed regulations modify the rule in § 1.706-4(e)(1) to provide that PTPs that choose to treat items subject to withholding under section 1441 as extraordinary items must allocate those items among the partners in proportion to their interests in those items at the time as of which the recipients of the relevant distribution are determined, regardless of the method and convention otherwise used by the PTP.

    Taxpayers may rely on this proposed additional extraordinary item until final regulations are published. The proposed regulations do not use the phrase “record holders on the date the distribution is declared,” because the Treasury Department and the IRS understand that the recipients of a distribution by a PTP may be determined as of a time other than on the date the distribution is declared. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on the operation of this special rule, and on the interaction between the rules under section 706 and PTP allocations generally.

    4. Coordination With Proposed Partnership Equity for Services Regulations

    On May 24, 2005, the Treasury Department and the IRS published a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-105346-03, 70 FR 29675) in the Federal Register, the proposed Partnership Equity for Services regulations, relating to the tax treatment of certain transfers of partnership interests in connection with the performance of services. The proposed Partnership Equity for Services regulations provide rules for coordinating section 83 with partnership taxation principles. On June 13, 2005, the Treasury Department and the IRS published Notice 2005-43, I.R.B. 2005-24, setting forth a proposed revenue procedure providing additional related guidance. The proposed Partnership Equity for Services regulations and the proposed revenue procedure are not effective until finalized. Notice 2005-43 provides that, until then, taxpayers may continue to rely on Rev. Proc. 93-27, 1993-2 C.B. 343, and Rev. Proc. 2001-43, 2001-2 C.B. 191. The Treasury Department and the IRS continue to consider the interaction of section 83 with partnership taxation principles. No inferences should be drawn from these proposed regulations as to the resolution of the issues addressed in the proposed Partnership Equity for Services regulations or any other related issues.

    The proposed Partnership Equity for Services regulations contain two provisions relating to the varying interest rule under section 706. First, proposed § 1.706-3(a) of the proposed Partnership Equity for Services regulations is intended to provide an exception to the allocable cash basis item rules of section 706(d)(2) for deductions for the transfer of partnership interests and other property subject to section 83. The preamble to the proposed Partnership Equity for Services regulations indicates that the exception was intended to allow partnerships to allocate such deductions under a closing of the books method. The preamble indicates that the Treasury Department and the IRS had concluded that, absent treatment under the allocable cash basis item rules of section 706(d)(2), the application of section 706(d)(1) would adequately ensure that partnership deductions that are attributable to the portion of the partnership's taxable year prior to a new partner's entry into the partnership are allocated to the historic partners.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS have concluded that, in the case of a transfer of a partnership interest in connection with the performance of services, no portion of the partnership's deduction should be allocated to the person who performs the services. However, the Treasury Department and the IRS have also concluded that the scope of the exception to allocable cash basis treatment in proposed § 1.706-3(a) may have been too broad because it applies to all transfers of property subject to section 83, for which the Treasury Department and the IRS request comments under these proposed regulations. Therefore, the Treasury Department and the IRS withdraw proposed § 1.706-3(a). Instead, these proposed regulations provide an exception to allocable cash basis treatment for deductions for transfers of partnership interests in connection with the performance of services. Additionally, to ensure that such deductions are allocated solely to partners other than the person who performed the services, the proposed regulations add to the list of extraordinary items in § 1.706-4(d)(2) any deduction for the transfer of an interest in the partnership in connection with the performance of services, and clarify that such extraordinary item is treated as occurring immediately before the transfer or vesting of the partnership interest that results in compensation income for the person who performs the services.

    As explained in the final § 1.706-4 in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register, extraordinary items generally must be allocated among the partners in proportion to their interests in the partnership item at the time of day on which the extraordinary item occurs. However, there are exceptions to the extraordinary item rules for certain small items in § 1.704-4(e)(3) and for partnerships for which capital is not a material income-producing factor in § 1.706-4(b)(2)). To ensure that partnership deductions attributable to the transfer of interests in the partnership in connection with the performance of services are always allocated solely to the historic partners, the proposed regulations turn off these exceptions to extraordinary item treatment for such deductions. Thus, treatment as an extraordinary item subject to the special timing rule will ensure that, for both accrual and cash-method partnerships, no portion of the deduction for the transfer of a partnership interest in connection with the performance of services will be allocated to the person who performs the services.

    Second, proposed § 1.706-3(b) of the proposed Partnership Equity for Services regulations provides that a partnership must make certain forfeiture allocations upon forfeiture of a partnership interest for which a section 83(b) election was made. In particular, proposed § 1.706-3(b) provides that although the person forfeiting the interest may not have been a partner for the entire taxable year, forfeiture allocations may be made out of the partnership's items for the entire taxable year. The Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate that if the rules for forfeiture allocations in proposed § 1.706-3(b) are adopted when the proposed Partnership Equity for Services regulations are finalized, those rules will include in § 1.706-3(b) an additional exception to the general application of the varying interest rule. In the meantime, these proposed regulations move § 1.706-3(b) of the proposed Partnership Equity for Services regulations to new proposed § 1.706-6(a) to accommodate the new proposed regulations in § 1.706-3.

    Proposed Effective Date

    The regulations are proposed to apply to partnership taxable years beginning on or after the date of publication of the Treasury decision adopting these regulations as final regulations in the Federal Register.

    Reliance on Proposed Regulations

    Taxpayers may rely on §§ 1.706-4(e)(1) and 1.706-4(e)(2)(ix) of the proposed regulations (relating to a publicly traded partnership's treatment of all amounts subject to withholding as defined in § 1.1441-2(a) that are not effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States or withholdable payments under § 1.1473-1(a) as extraordinary items) until final regulations are issued.

    Special Analyses

    It has been determined that this notice of proposed rulemaking is not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It has also been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to this proposed regulation, and because this proposed regulation does not impose a collection of information on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, these regulations have been submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business.

    Comments and Requests for a Public Hearing

    Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any written comments (a signed original and eight (8) copies) or electronic comments that are submitted timely to the IRS. The Treasury Department and the IRS specifically request comments on the clarity of the proposed rules and how they can be made easier to understand. All comments will be available for public inspection and copying. A public hearing will be scheduled if requested in writing by any person that timely submits written comments. If a public hearing is scheduled, notice of the date, time, and place for the public hearing will be published in the Federal Register.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these proposed regulations is Benjamin H. Weaver, Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Passthroughs and Special Industries). However, other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated in their development.

    Withdrawal of Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    Accordingly, under the authority of 26 U.S.C. 7805 and 706(d)(2), § 1.706-3(a) of the notice of proposed rulemaking that was published in the Federal Register on May 24, 2005 (70 FR 29675), is withdrawn.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Proposed Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    § 1.706-2 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 706(d)(2)

    § 1.706-3 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 706(d)(3).

    § 1.706-4 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 706(d).* * *

    Par. 2. Section 1.706-0 is amended by removing the entry for § 1.706-2T and adding entries for §§ 1.706-2, 1.706-3, and 1.706-6 to read as follows:

    § 1.706-0 Table of contents.

    § 1.706-2 Certain cash basis items prorated over period to which attributable. (a) Allocable cash basis items prorated over period to which attributable. (1) In general. (2) Allocable cash basis item. (3) Items attributable to periods not within taxable year. (4) Treatment of deductible items attributable to prior periods. (b) Example. (c) De minimis exception. (d) Effective/applicability date. § 1.706-3 Items attributable to interest in lower-tier partnership prorated over entire taxable year. (a) General rule. (b) Safe harbor. (c) De minimis upper-tier partner exception. (d) Effective/applicability date. § 1.706-6 Property transferred in connection with the performance of services. (a) Forfeiture allocations. (b) Effective date. Par. 3. Section 1.706-2 is added to read as follows:
    § 1.706-2 Certain cash basis items allocable.

    (a) Allocable cash basis items prorated over period to which attributable—(1) In general. If during any taxable year of the partnership there is a change in any partner's interest in the partnership, then each partner's distributive share of any allocable cash basis item shall be determined—

    (i) By assigning the appropriate portion of such item to each day in the period to which it is attributable; and

    (ii) By allocating the portion assigned to any such day among the partners in proportion to their interests in the partnership at the close of such day.

    (2) Allocable cash basis item. For purposes of this section, the term allocable cash basis item means any of the following items of deduction, loss, income, or gain with respect to which the partnership uses the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting:

    (i) Interest;

    (ii) Taxes;

    (iii) Payments for the use of property or for services (other than deductions for the transfer of an interest in the partnership in connection with the performance of services; such deductions generally must be allocated under the rules for extraordinary items in § 1.706-4(d));

    (iv) Any allowable deduction that had been previously deferred under section 267(a)(2);

    (v) Any deduction, loss, income, or gain item that accrues over time and that would, if not allocated as an allocable cash basis item, result in the significant misstatement of a partner's income.

    (3) Items attributable to periods not within taxable year. If any portion of any allocable cash basis item is attributable to—

    (i) Any period before the beginning of the taxable year, such portion shall be assigned under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section to the first day of the taxable year, or

    (ii) Any period after the close of the taxable year, such portion shall be assigned under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section to the last day of the taxable year.

    (4) Treatment of deductible items attributable to prior periods. If any portion of a deductible cash basis item is assigned under paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section to the first day of any taxable year—

    (i) Such portion shall be allocated among persons who are partners in the partnership during the period to which such portion is attributable in accordance with their varying interests in the partnership during such period; and

    (ii) Any amount allocated under paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section to a person who is not a partner in the partnership on such first day shall be capitalized by the partnership and allocated among partnership assets under the principles of section 755 (applying the principles of § 1.755-1(b) for partners who sold or exchanged their interest, and the principles of § 1.755-1(c) for partners who received a distribution from the partnership in exchange for their interest).

    (b) Example 1.

    On January 1, 2015, A, B, and C are equal one-third partners in PRS, a calendar year partnership that uses the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting. On July 1, 2015, A sells her entire interest in PRS to D. On December 1, 2015, PRS pays a $12,000 interest expense that is attributable to every day in PRS's taxable year. Assume the de minimis exception of paragraph (c) of this section does not apply, and that the $12,000 interest expense must be allocated under the rules of paragraph (a) of this section. A was a partner in PRS for 181 days, and D was a partner in PRS for 184 days, including on July 1 pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section. Under paragraph (a) of this section, A is entitled to 181/365 of her otherwise allocable share of deductions for the $12,000 interest expense, and D is entitled to 184/365 of his otherwise allocable share of deductions for the $12,000 interest expense. Thus, PRS allocates the interest expense deductions $1,983.56 to A, $2,016.44 to D, and $4,000 to each B and C.

    Example 2.

    In 2015, E, F, and G are equal one-third partners in PRS, a calendar year partnership that uses the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting. On December 31, 2015, E sells her entire interest in PRS to H. In November 2016, PRS makes a $6,000 payment for the use of property that is attributable to the period from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016. Assume the de minimis exception of paragraph (c) of this section does not apply, and that the $6,000 payment for the use of property must be allocated under the rules of paragraph (a) of this section. Under paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section, half of the $6,000 expense is attributable to 2015 and must be assigned to January 1, 2016. Of this $3,000 assigned to January 1, 2016, one-third is allocable to each E, F, and G under paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section. However, because E is not a partner in 2016, PRS must capitalize E's $1,000 share of the expense under paragraph (a)(4)(ii) of this section. Because E sold her interest to H, PRS must treat the capitalized $1,000 similar to a section 743(b) adjustment for H allocated among PRS's property under the principles of § 1.755-1(b).

    Example 3.

    Assume the same facts as Example 2, except that on December 31, 2015, PRS distributed property to E in complete redemption of E's interest, and H never becomes a partner in PRS. PRS must capitalize E's $1,000 share of the expense under paragraph (a)(4)(ii) of this section. However, because E was redeemed, PRS must instead treat the capitalized $1,000 similar to a section 734(b) common basis adjustment allocated among PRS's property under the principles of § 1.755-1(c).

    (c) De minimis exception. An item described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section will not be subject to the rules of this section if, for the partnership's taxable year the total amount of the particular class of allocable cash basis items described in paragraph (a)(2)(i) through (v) of this section (but in no event counting an item more than once) is less than five percent of the partnership's gross income, including tax-exempt income described in section 705(a)(1)(B), in the case of income or gain items, or gross expenses and losses, including section 705(a)(2)(B) expenditures, in the case of losses and expense items; and the total amount of allocable cash basis items from all classes of allocable cash basis items amounting to less than five percent of the partnership's gross income, including tax-exempt income described in section 705(a)(1)(B), in the case of income or gain items, or gross expenses and losses, including section 705(a)(2)(B) expenditures, in the case of losses and expense items, does not exceed $10 million in the taxable year, determined by treating all such allocable cash basis items as positive amounts.

    (d) Effective/applicability date. This section applies to taxable years beginning on or after the date of publication of the Treasury decision adopting these rules as a final regulation in the Federal Register.

    § 1.706-2T [Removed]
    Par. 4. Section 1.706-2T is removed. Par. 5. Section 1.706-3 is added to read as follows:
    § 1.706-3 Items attributable to interest in lower-tier partnership.

    (a) General rule. Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, if during any taxable year of the partnership—

    (1) There is a change in any partner's interest in the partnership (the upper-tier partnership); and

    (2) Such partnership is a partner in another partnership (the lower-tier partnership),

    then each partner's distributive share of any item of the upper-tier partnership attributable to the lower-tier partnership shall be determined by assigning the appropriate portion (determined by applying principles similar to the principles of § 1.706-2(a)(3) and (4)) of each such item to the appropriate days during which the upper-tier partnership is a partner in the lower-tier partnership and by allocating the portion assigned to any such day among the partners in proportion to their interests in the upper-tier partnership at the close of such day. An upper-tier partnership's distributive share of any items of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit from a lower-tier partnership is considered to be realized or sustained by the upper-tier partnership at the same time and in the same manner as such items were realized or sustained by the lower-tier partnership. For an additional example of the application of the principles of this paragraph (a), see Revenue Ruling 77-311, 1977-2 CB 218. See section 601.601(d)(2)(ii)(b).

    (b) De minimis upper-tier partnership exception. A de minimis upper-tier partnership is not required to, but may, apply paragraph (a) of this section. For purposes of this paragraph, a de minimis upper-tier partnership is a partnership that directly owns an interest in less than 10 percent of the profits and capital of the lower-tier partnership. This paragraph (b) only applies if all de minimis upper-tier partnerships own an interest in, in the aggregate, less than 30 percent of the profits and capital of the lower-tier partnership, and if no partnership is created with a purpose of avoiding the application of this section.

    (c) Example 1.

    On January 1, 2015, A, B, and C are equal one-third partners in UTP, a calendar year partnership that uses the proration method and calendar day convention to account for variations during its taxable year. UTP is itself a partner in a lower-tier partnership, LTP, which is also a calendar year partnership. UTP owns a 15 percent interest in the profits and capital of LTP throughout 2015. On August 1, 2015, A sells her entire interest in UTP to D. During 2015, LTP incurred $100,000 of ordinary deductions, which were attributable to the period from January 1, 2015, to July 1, 2015. None of LTP's deductions were extraordinary items within the meaning of § 1.706-4(e). UTP's distributive share of LTP's deductions is $15,000. Under paragraph (a) of this section, UTP must assign the $15,000 equally among all days from January 1, 2015 to July 1, 2015, and allocate the assigned daily portions among its partners in accordance with their interests in UTP on those days. Accordingly, A, B, and C are each allocated $5,000 of the deduction, and D is not allocated any portion of the deduction.

    Example 2.

    Assume the same facts as Example 1, except that UTP owned a 9 percent interest in the profits and capital of LTP throughout 2015, and that LTP had only one other partner, which owned the remaining 91 percent of LTP. UTP's distributive share of LTP's $100,000 ordinary deductions is $9,000. UTP qualifies as a de minimis upper-tier partnership under paragraph (b) of this section, and therefore UTP is not required to apply the rules of paragraph (a) of this section. Instead, UTP may apply the rules of § 1.706-4 to the $9,000 ordinary deduction. If UTP decides to apply the rules of § 1.706-4, UTP prorates the $9,000 deduction equally over its entire taxable year, and allocates it according to its partners' interests on each day. Because A was a partner in UTP for 213 days, and D was a partner in UTP for 152 days, UTP allocates the $9,000 deduction $3,000 to each of B and C, $1,750.68 to A, and $1,249.32 to D.

    Example 3.

    Assume the same facts as Example 2, except that UTP uses the interim closing method rather than the proration method. UTP qualifies as a de minimis upper-tier partnership under paragraph (b) of this section, and therefore UTP is not required to apply the rules of paragraph (a) of this section. Instead, UTP may apply the rules of § 1.706-4 to the $9,000 ordinary deduction. UTP's distributive share of LTP items is considered to have been realized or sustained by UTP at the same time and in the same manner as such items were realized or sustained by LTP. Accordingly, even if UTP decides to apply the rules of § 1.706-4, UTP's application of the interim closing method of § 1.706-4 to the $9,000 deduction results in UTP allocating to each of A, B, and C $3,000 of the deduction, and not allocating any portion of the deduction to D. UTP would reach the same result if it had instead chosen to apply the rules of paragraph (a) of this section.

    (d) Effective/applicability date. This section applies to partnership taxable years beginning on or after the date of publication of the Treasury decision adopting these rules as a final regulation in the Federal Register.

    § 1.706-3(b) and (c) [Redesignated as § 1.706-6(a) and (b)]
    Par. 6. As proposed to be added May 24, 2005 (70 FR 29675), redesignate § 1.706-3(b) and (c) as § 1.706-6(a) and (b). Par. 7. Section 1.706-4 is amended by: a. Adding a new sentence to the end of paragraph (b)(2); b. Revising paragraph (e)(1); c. Redesignating paragraphs (e)(2)(ix), (x), and (xi) as paragraphs (e)(2)(xi), (xii), and (xiii) respectively; d. Adding new paragraphs (e)(2)(ix) and (e)(2)(x); e. Adding a new sentence to the end of paragraph (e)(3); f. Revising paragraph (e)(4) Example 3; and g. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (f).

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 1.706-4 Determination of distributive share when a partner's interest varies.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * * However, this paragraph (b)(2) does not apply to any deduction for the transfer of an interest in the partnership in connection with the performance of services. Instead, such deduction must be allocated under the extraordinary item rules of paragraphs (e)(1) and (2) of this section.

    (e) * * *(1) General principles. Extraordinary items may not be prorated. The partnership must allocate extraordinary items among the partners in proportion to their interests in the partnership item at the time of day on which the extraordinary item occurred, regardless of the method (interim closing or proration method) and convention (daily, semi-monthly, or monthly) otherwise used by the partnership. These rules require the allocation of extraordinary items as an exception to the proration method, which would otherwise ratably allocate the extraordinary items across the segment, and the conventions, which could otherwise inappropriately shift extraordinary items between a transferor and transferee. However, publicly traded partnerships (as defined in section 7704(b)) that are treated as partnerships may, but are not required to, apply their selected convention in determining who held publicly traded units (as described in § 1.7704-1(b) or § 1.7704-1(c)(1)) at the time of the occurrence of any extraordinary item except extraordinary items described in paragraph (e)(2)(ix) of this section. Publicly traded partnerships that choose to treat items described in paragraph (e)(2)(ix) of this section as extraordinary items must allocate those items among the partners in proportion to their interests in those items at the time of day on which the items are deemed to have occurred according to the special timing rules for those items in paragraph (e)(2)(ix) of this section, regardless of the method and convention otherwise used by the partnership. Extraordinary items continue to be subject to any special limitation or requirement relating to the timing or amount of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit applicable to the entire partnership taxable year (for example, the limitation for section 179 expenses).

    (2) * * *

    (ix) For publicly traded partnerships (as defined in section 7704(b)), any item of income that is an amount subject to withholding as defined in § 1.1441-2(a) (excluding amounts effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States) or a withholdable payment under § 1.1473-1(a) occurring during a taxable year if the partners agree (within the meaning of paragraph (e) of this section) to consistently treat all such items as extraordinary items for that taxable year. If the partners so agree, then for purposes of section 706 such items shall be treated as occurring at the next time as of which the recipients of a distribution by the partnership are determined, or, to the extent such income items arise between the final time during the taxable year as of which the recipients of a distribution by the partnership are determined and the end of the taxable year, such items shall be treated as occurring at the final time during the taxable year as of which the recipients of a distribution by the partnership are determined. This paragraph (e)(2)(ix) does not apply unless the partnership has a regular practice of making at least four distributions (other than de minimis distributions) to its partners during each taxable year.

    (x) Any deduction for the transfer of an interest in the partnership in connection with the performance of services. Such an extraordinary item is treated as occurring immediately before the transfer or vesting of the partnership interest that results in compensation income for the person who performs the services, but in no case shall the item be treated as occurring prior to the beginning of the partnership's taxable year.

    (3) * * * However, this paragraph (e)(3) does not apply to any deduction for the transfer of an interest in the partnership in connection with the performance of services. Instead, such deduction must be allocated under the extraordinary item rules of paragraphs (e)(1) and (2) of this section.

    (4) * * *

    Example 3.

    (i) Assume the same facts as in Example 2, except that PRS is a publicly traded partnership (within the meaning of section 7704(b)), A held a publicly traded unit (as described in § 1.7704-1(b) or § 1.7704-1(c)(1)) in PRS, and the extraordinary item recognized at 3:15 p.m. on December 7, 2015 is not described in paragraph (e)(2)(ix) of this section. Under PRS's monthly convention, the December 12 variation is deemed to have occurred for purposes of this section at the end of the day on November 30, 2015. Pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section, a publicly traded partnership (as defined in section 7704(b)) may choose to respect its conventions in determining who held its publicly traded units (as described in § 1.7704-1(b) or § 1.7704-1(c)(1)) at the time of the occurrence of an extraordinary item, except for extraordinary items described in paragraph (e)(2)(ix) of this section. Therefore, PRS may choose to treat A as not having been a partner in PRS for purposes of this paragraph (e) at the time the extraordinary item arose, and thus PRS may choose not to allocate A any share of the extraordinary item.

    (ii) Assume the same facts as in paragraph (i) of this Example 3, except that on November 5, 2015, PRS recognizes an item of income that is an amount subject to withholding as defined in § 1.1441-2(a) (and that is not effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States). PRS has a regular practice of making quarterly distributions to its partners each taxable year. PRS determines that the recipients of its fourth-quarter distribution will be interest holders of record at the close of business on December 15, 2015. The partners of PRS agree (within the meaning of paragraph (f) of this section) to consistently treat all such items during the taxable year as extraordinary items. Pursuant to paragraph (e)(2)(ix) of this section, the item of income that arose on November 5 is treated as an extraordinary item occurring at the next time as of which the recipients of a distribution by the partnership are determined (unless that time occurs in a different taxable year). Because December 15 occurs before the end of PRS's taxable year, the item of income is treated as occurring at the close of business on December 15, and must be allocated according to PRS's partners' interests at that time, determined without regard to PRS's applicable convention. Therefore, A will not be allocated any share of the item because A disposed of its entire interest in PRS before the close of business on December 15.

    (iii) Assume the same facts as in paragraph (ii) of this Example 3, except that PRS determines that the recipients of its fourth-quarter distribution will be interest holders of record at the close of business on January 15, 2016, and PRS determines that the recipients of its third-quarter distribution will be interest holders of record at the close of business on October 21, 2015. Therefore, the last time during 2015 as of which the recipients of a distribution by PRS are determined is at the close of business on October 21, 2015. Pursuant to paragraph (e)(2)(ix) of this section, because the item of income subject to withholding as defined in § 1.1441-2(a) which arises on November 5 arises between the final time during the taxable year as of which the recipients of a distribution are determined and the end of the taxable year, such item shall be treated as occurring at the final time during the taxable year as of which the recipients of a distribution by the partnership are determined. Therefore, the item of income subject to withholding as defined in § 1.1441-2(a) which arises on November 5, 2015 is treated as occurring at the close of business on October 21, 2015, and must be allocated according to PRS's partners' interests at that time.

    (f) Agreement of the partners. For purposes of paragraphs (a)(3)(iii) (relating to selection of the proration method), (c)(3) (relating to selection of the semi-monthly or monthly convention), (d)(1) (relating to performance of regular semi-monthly or monthly interim closings), (e)(2)(ix) (relating to a publicly traded partnership's treatment of all amounts subject to withholding as defined in § 1.1441-2(a) that are not effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States or withholdable payments under § 1.1473-1(a) as extraordinary items), and (e)(2)(xi) (relating to selection of additional extraordinary items) of this section, the term agreement of the partners means either an agreement of all the partners to select the method, convention, or extraordinary item in a dated, written statement maintained with the partnership's books and records, including, for example, a selection that is included in the partnership agreement, or a selection of the method, convention, or extraordinary item made by a person authorized to make that selection, including under a grant of general authority provided for by either state law or in the partnership agreement, if that person's selection is in a dated, written statement maintained with the partnership's books and records.

    Karen L. Schiller, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18817 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 9, 22, 85, 86, 600, 1033, 1036, 1037, 1039, 1042, 1065, 1066, and 1068 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Parts 512, 523, 534, 535, 537, and 583. [EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0827; NHTSA-2014-0132; FRL-9931-77-OAR] RIN 2060-AS16; RIN 2127-AL52 Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2; Notice of Public Hearings AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public hearing.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are announcing a public hearing to be held for the joint proposed rules “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2,” and also for NHTSA's Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The proposed rules were published in the Federal Register on July 13, 2015. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement was published on June 19, 2015, and is available on the NHTSA Web site mentioned below. This hearing will be the second of two hearings, which will be held on August 6 and August 18, 2015. The August 6, 2015 hearing was announced in a separate Federal Register notice on July 28, 2015.

    DATES:

    NHTSA and EPA will jointly hold a public hearing on Tuesday, August 18, 2015, beginning at 9:00 a.m. local time. EPA and NHTSA will make every effort to accommodate all speakers that arrive and register. The hearing will continue until everyone has had a chance to speak. If you would like to present oral testimony at this public hearing, please contact the person identified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by August 11, 2015.

    In order to provide commenters 30 days after the last public hearing, the comment period for the proposal has been extended through September 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The August 18, 2015 hearing will be held at the Westin Hotel Long Beach, 333 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, California. The hearing will be held at sites accessible to individuals with disabilities. Written comments on the proposed rule may also be submitted to EPA and NHTSA electronically, by mail, by facsimile, or through hand delivery/courier. Please refer to the notice of proposed rulemaking for the addresses and detailed instructions for submitting written comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you would like to present oral testimony at the public hearing, please contact JoNell Iffland at EPA by the date specified under DATES, at: Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Assessment and Standards Division (ASD), Environmental Protection Agency, 2000 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; telephone number: (734) 214-4454; fax number: (734) 214-4050; email address: [email protected] (preferred method for registering). Please provide the following information: Name, affiliation, address, email address, and telephone and fax numbers, and whether you require accommodations such as a sign language interpreter.

    Questions concerning the NHTSA proposed rule or Draft Environmental Impact Statement should be addressed to NHTSA: Ryan Hagen or Analiese Marchesseault, Office of Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (202) 366-2992. Questions concerning the EPA proposed rule should be addressed to EPA: Tad Wysor, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Assessment and Standards Division (ASD), Environmental Protection Agency, 2000 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; telephone number: (734) 214-4332; fax number: (734) 214-4050; email address: [email protected] You may learn more about the jointly proposed rules by visiting NHTSA's or EPA's Web sites at http://www.nhtsa.gov/fuel-economy or http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/regs-heavy-duty.htm or by searching the rulemaking dockets (EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0827; NHTSA-2014-0132;) at www.regulations.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the public hearing is to provide the public an opportunity to present oral comments regarding NHTSA and EPA's proposal for “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2.” The hearing also offers an opportunity for the public to provide oral comments regarding NHTSA's Draft Environmental Impact Statement, accompanying the proposed NHTSA fuel efficiency standards. The proposed rules would establish a second round of standards for the agencies' comprehensive Heavy-Duty National Program, which would further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase fuel efficiency for on-road heavy-duty vehicles. These new standards would phase in over time, beginning in the 2018 model year and entering into full effect in model year 2027. NHTSA's proposed fuel consumption standards and EPA's proposed carbon dioxide (CO2) emission standards are tailored to each of four regulatory categories of heavy-duty vehicles: (1) Combination Tractors; (2) Trailers used in combination with those tractors; (3) Heavy-duty Pickup Trucks and Vans; and (4) Vocational Vehicles. The proposal also includes separate fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for the engines that power combination tractors and vocational vehicles.

    The joint proposed rules for which EPA and NHTSA are holding this public hearing were published in the Federal Register on July 13, 2015 (80 FR 40138), and are also available at the Web sites listed above under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. NHTSA's Draft Environmental Impact Statement is available on the NHTSA Web site and in NHTSA's rulemaking docket, both referenced above. Once NHTSA and EPA learn how many people have registered to speak at the public hearing, we will allocate an appropriate amount of time to each participant, allowing time for necessary breaks. In addition, we will reserve a block of time for anyone else in the audience who wants to give testimony. For planning purposes, each speaker should anticipate speaking for approximately five minutes, although we may need to shorten that time if there is a large turnout. We request that you bring two copies of your statement or other material for the EPA and NHTSA panels.

    EPA and NHTSA will conduct the hearing informally, and technical rules of evidence will not apply. We will arrange for a written transcript of each hearing and keep the official record for the proposed rule open for 30 days after this public hearing to allow speakers to submit supplementary information. Panel members may ask clarifying questions during the oral statements but will not respond to the statements at that time. You may make arrangements for copies of the transcripts directly with the court reporter. Written statements and supporting information submitted during the comment period will be considered with the same weight as oral comments and supporting information presented at the public hearings. The comment period for the proposed rule has been extended such that the closing date is 30 days after this public hearing. Therefore, written comments on the proposal must be postmarked no later than September 17, 2015.

    Dated: July 28, 2015. Raymond R. Posten, Associate Administrator for Rulemaking, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Dated: July 28, 2015. Christopher Grundler, Director, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Environmental Protection Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-19004 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2014-0498; A-1-FRL-9927-51-Region 1] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Connecticut; Approval of NOX Emission Offset Credits as Single Source SIP Revisions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Connecticut. The revision consists of amendments to two existing Trading and Agreement Orders for new source review nitrogen oxides (NOX) emission offsets at PSEG Power Connecticut's facility in Bridgeport, Connecticut. This action is being taken in accordance with the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before September 2, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R01-OAR-2014-0498 by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Fax: (617) 918-0657

    4. Mail: “Docket Identification Number EPA-R01-OAR-2014-0498”, Donald Dahl, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, Air Permits, Toxics, and Indoor Programs Unit, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, (Mail code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912.

    5. Hand Delivery or Courier. Deliver your comments to: Donald Dahl, Air Permits, Toxics, and Indoor Programs Unit, Office of Ecosystem Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square, 5th floor, (OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30 excluding legal holidays.

    Please see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules and Regulations section of this Federal Register for detailed instructions on how to submit comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Donald Dahl, Air Permits, Toxics, and Indoor Programs Unit, Office of Ecosystem Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, (OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912, phone number (617) 918-1657, fax number (617) 918-0657, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Rules and Regulations section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of the direct final rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules and Regulations section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: April 29, 2015. H. Curtis Spalding, Regional Administrator, EPA New England.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18871 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0854; FRL-9931-53-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Amendments to the Control of Gasoline and Volatile Organic Compound Storage and Handling AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to approve the State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Maryland for the purpose of establishing amendments to Code of Maryland Regulation (COMAR) 26.11.13, Control of Gasoline and Volatile Organic Compound Storage and Handling. The amendments consist of establishing an alternative and equivalent method of transfer of high pressure materials as well as changing incorrect references in regulations .04 and .05. In the Rules and Regulations section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received in writing by September 2, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0854 by one of the following methods:

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

    B. Email: [email protected]

    C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0854, Cristina Fernandez, Associate Director, Office of Air Program Planning, Mailcode 3AP30, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

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

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0854. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 705, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Asrah Khadr, (215) 814-2071, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For further information, please see the information provided in the direct final action, with the same title, that is located in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register publication. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of the rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    Dated: July 20, 2015. William C. Early, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18827 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 54 [WC Docket No. 10-90, 14-192, 11-42, 09-197; DA 15-851] Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks To Refresh the Record on Pending Issues Regarding Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Designations and Obligations AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Wireline Competition Bureau seeks to refresh the record on pending issues related to Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) designations and obligations in areas served by price cap carriers.

    DATES:

    Comments are due on or before September 2, 2015 and reply comments are due on or before September 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 14-192, 11-42 or 09-197, by any of the following methods:

    • Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.

    • People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: [email protected] or phone: 202-418-0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.

    For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Heidi Lankau, Wireline Competition Bureau at (202) 418-7400 or TTY (202) 418-0484.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a synopsis of the Wireline Competition Bureau's document in WC Docket No. 10-90, 14-192, 11-42 and 09-197; DA 15-851, released July 23, 2015. The complete text of these documents are available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554.

    I. Introduction

    1. Against the backdrop of the relief already granted in the December 2014 Connect America Order, 80 FR 4446, January 27, 2015. The Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) seeks to refresh the record on issues raised in various proceedings related to ETC designations and obligations in areas served by price cap carriers. In the USF/ICC Transformation FNPRM, 76 FR 78384, December 16, 2011, the Commission noted that ETC service obligations and funding should be “appropriately matched, while avoiding consumer disruption in access to communications services.” It sought comment on how existing voice telephony service obligations for ETCs would change as funding shifts to new, more targeted mechanisms, including potentially via forbearance from the relevant requirements of section 214(e)(1). In the April 2014 Connect America FNPRM, 79 FR 39196, July 9, 2014, the Commission sought to develop the record further on how relieving incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) of their ETC obligations would comport with section 214 of the Communications Act and what specific obligations incumbent LECs would be relieved of in areas where they do not receive high-cost support. In October 2014, USTelecom submitted a petition seeking, among other things, forbearance from the enforcement of section 214(e)(1)(A) where a price cap carrier receives no high-cost support. And recently the Commission released a FNPRM for the Lifeline program seeking comment on proposals for ETC relief from Lifeline obligations and incorporating the record from the Connect America and USTelecom forbearance petition proceedings into that docket.

    2. Specifically, the Bureau seeks to refresh the record on the issues that remain pending and how the actions already taken in the December 2014 Connect America Order might affect the Commission's analysis with respect to these pending issues in several open dockets. In the December 2014 Connect America Order, the Commission did not resolve the issues that were raised in the Connect America Fund rulemaking proceeding and the forbearance petition regarding possible forbearance or other relief from the price cap carriers' ETC designations or the regulatory requirements imposed on ETCs for those census blocks where forbearance was not granted. Moreover, the Commission did not resolve the issue of granting broader forbearance or other relief from the ETC designations of the price cap carriers serving the census blocks where limited forbearance was granted. The Commission neither accepted nor rejected commenters' various arguments—whether in favor of, or against—such proposals. These issues remain pending to the extent originally raised in the rulemaking proceeding or the forbearance proceeding (or both).

    II. Procedural Matters 1. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    3. The USF/ICC Transformation FNPRM and April 2014 Connect America FNPRM included Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analyses (IRFAs) pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 603, exploring the potential impact on small entities of the Commission's proposal concerning potential relief from ETC obligations. We invite parties to file comments on the IRFAs in light of this request to refresh the record.

    2. Paperwork Reduction Analysis

    4. This document does not contain proposed information collection(s) subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any new or modified information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

    3. Filing Requirements

    5. Interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. Comments are to reference WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 14-192, 11-42, 09-197 and DA 15-851 and may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).

    • Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/.

    Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

    (1) All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St. SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of before entering the building.

    (2) Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.

    (3) U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., Washington DC 20554.

    6. People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

    7. This matter shall continue to be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

    8. For further information, please contact Heidi Lankau, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau at 202-418-7400; or at TTY (202) 418-0484.

    Federal Communications Commission. Ryan B. Palmer, Chief, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18993 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 73 [DA 15-805; MB Docket No. 15-167; RM-11751] Radio Broadcasting Services; Grant, Oklahoma AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This document proposes, at the request of Katherine Pyeatt (“Pyeatt”), the allotment of FM Channel 286A at Grant, Oklahoma. The document also treats a conflicting application (File No. BPH-20141028AAK) filed by Liberman Broadcasting of Dallas Licensee LLC (“Liberman”), licensee of Station KZMP-FM, Pilot Point, Texas, for a construction permit to implement a previously granted upgrade in KZMP's channel class from Channel 285C1 to 285C0 (“Pilot Point Application”) as a counterproposal. Finally, to accommodate Pyeatt's proposal, an Order to Show Cause is issued to Liberman as to why KZMP's channel class should not be involuntarily downgraded. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, supra.

    DATES:

    Comments must be filed on or before August 31, 2015, and reply comments on or before September 15, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 Twelfth Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. In addition to filing comments with the FCC, interested parties should serve the rule making petitioner and the counter proponent as follows: Katherine Pyeatt, 2215 Cedar Springs Rd., #1605, Dallas, Texas 75201; James R. Bayes, Esq., Mark N. Lipp, Esq., and Marnie K. Sarver, Esq., Wiley Rein LLP, 1776 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20006 (Counsel to Liberman).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew J. Rhodes, Media Bureau, (202) 418-2700.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a synopsis of the Commission's Notice of Proposed Rule Making (“NPRM”) and Order to Show Cause (“OSC”), MB Docket No. 15-167, adopted July 9, 2015, and released July 10, 2015. The full text of this Commission decision is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC's Reference Information Center at Portals II, CY-A257, 445 Twelfth Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. This document does not contain proposed information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any proposed information collection burden “for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees,” pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

    The document solicits comment on the proposed allotment of Channel 286A at Grant (population 289) because it could result in a first local service to that community. The proposed reference coordinates for Channel 286A at Grant are 33-57-16 NL and 95-36-30 WL. The NPRM also addresses Liberman's concerns regarding the credibility of Pyeatt's expression of interest in the proposed Grant allotment.

    Next, the OSC proposes the involuntary downgrade of KZMP, Pilot Point, Texas, from Channel 285C0 to 285C1 because nearly seven years have passed since KZMP was upgraded and Liberman has not implemented the upgrade.

    Finally, the NPRM also states that the public interest would be served by considering the Pilot Point Application because it could result in the provision of service to an additional 1,507,667 people and treating it as a counterproposal to Pyeatt's Petition for Rule Making. Both Pyeatt and Liberman are invited to submit comments, seeking to demonstrate why their proposals better serve the public interest under the FM Allotment Priorities. The Pilot Point Application reference coordinates are 33-32-14 NL and 96-49-54 WL.

    Provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 do not apply to this proceeding.

    Members of the public should note that from the time a Notice of Proposed Rule Making is issued until the matter is no longer subject to Commission consideration or court review, all ex parte contacts are prohibited in Commission proceedings, such as this one, which involve channel allotments. See 47 CFR 1.1204(b) for rules governing permissible ex parte contacts.

    For information regarding proper filing procedures for comments, see 47 CFR 1.415 and 1.420.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 73

    Radio, Radio broadcasting.

    Federal Communications Commission. Nazifa Sawez, Assistant Chief, Audio Division, Media Bureau.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR part 73 as follows:

    PART 73—RADIO BROADCAST SERVICES 1. The authority citation for part 73 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 303, 334, 336 and 339.

    § 73.202 [Amended]
    2. Section 73.202(b), the Table of FM Allotments under Oklahoma, is amended by adding Grant, Channel 286A.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18985 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Parts 202, 212, 215, and 252 RIN 0750-AI64 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Evaluating Price Reasonableness for Commercial Items (DFARS Case 2013-D034) AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD is proposing to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 that requires the issuance of guidance on the use of the authority to require the submission of other than cost or pricing data.

    DATES:

    Comments on the proposed rule should be submitted in writing to the address shown below on or before October 2, 2015, to be considered in the formation of the final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by DFARS Case 2013-D034, using any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by entering “DFARS Case 2013-D034” under the heading “Enter keyword or ID” and selecting “Search.” Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “DFARS Case 2013-D034.” Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “DFARS Case 2013-D034” on your attached document.

    Email: [email protected] Include DFARS Case 2013-D034 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 571-372-6094.

    Mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Mr. Mark Gomersall, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP/DARS, Room 3B855, 3060 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Mark Gomersall, Defense Acquisition Regulations System, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP/DARS, Room 3B855, 3060 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060. Telephone 571-372-6099.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    DoD is proposing to amend the DFARS to implement portions of section 831 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 (Pub. L. 112-239, enacted January 2, 2013). Title 10, United States Code (U.S.C.), mandates that offerors submitting proposals for negotiated procurements provide certified cost or pricing data under certain circumstances if the estimated value of the procurement is above a certain dollar threshold. For other types of procurements, e.g., commercial-item acquisitions, the law requires only that an offeror provide “data other than certified cost or pricing data to the extent necessary to determine the reasonableness of the price” (10 U.S.C. 2306a(d)(1)). Section 831 requires the issuance of guidance on the use of the authority to require the submission of other than cost or pricing data. Specifically, section 831, paragraph (a) provides that the guidance accomplish the following:

    1. Include standards for determining whether information on the prices at which the same or similar items have previously been sold is adequate for evaluating the reasonableness of price;

    2. Include standards for determining the extent of uncertified cost information that should be required in cases in which price information is not adequate for evaluating the reasonableness of price;

    3. Ensure that in cases in which such uncertified cost information is required, the information shall be provided in the form in which it is regularly maintained by the offeror in its business operations; and

    4. Provide that no additional cost information may be required by the Department of Defense in any case in which there are sufficient nongovernment sales to establish reasonableness of price.

    II. Discussion and Analysis

    This rule proposes to amend the DFARS as follows to—

    • Add new definitions at 202.101 for “market-based pricing” and “uncertified cost data” and at 215.401 for “nongovernment sales,” “relevant sales data,” and “sufficient nongovernment sales to establish reasonableness of price”;

    • Add section 212.209 entitled “Determination of price reasonableness”;

    • Add guidelines at 215.402(a)(3), for obtaining data other than certified cost or pricing data;

    • Add instructions at 215.403-5 for the submission of certified cost or pricing data and data other than certified cost or pricing data;

    • Add guidelines at 215.404-1 concerning proposal analysis techniques;

    • Renumber the paragraph structure at 215.404-1-70;

    • Revise the clause prescription at 215.408, paragraph(3)(i), and add three new provision prescriptions at paragraph (6); and

    • Add three new provisions in part 252.

    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

    DoD 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 proposed rule does not add to or remove any of the existing requirements for the submission of other than certified cost or pricing data for the purpose of determining the reasonableness of prices proposed for commercial items. However, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis has been performed and is summarized as follows:

    This initial regulatory flexibility analysis has been prepared consistent with 5 U.S.C. 603. It addresses additional guidance to be included in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) concerning the appropriate amount and type of other than certified cost or pricing information that contracting officers must require an offeror to submit in order to determine whether proposed prices for commercial items are fair and reasonable. The rule also proposes to add three new provisions.

    The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 included section 831, entitled “Guidance and Training Related to Evaluating Reasonableness of Price.” Paragraph (a) of section 831 required the issuance of guidance addressing the following four areas:

    1. Requirement to include standards for determining whether information on the prices at which the same or similar items have previously been sold is adequate for evaluating the reasonableness of price.

    2. Requirement to include standards for determining the extent of uncertified cost information that should be required in cases in which price information is not adequate for evaluating the reasonableness of price.

    3. Ensure that in cases in which such uncertified cost information is required, the information shall be provided in the form in which it is regularly maintained by the offeror in its business operations.

    4. Provide that no additional cost information may be required by the Department of Defense in any case in which there are sufficient non-Government sales to establish reasonableness of price.

    DoD 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 this rule merely provides guidance to contracting officers on the use of the existing authority to require the submission of other than cost or pricing data.

    The reporting requirements for small entities do not differ from those for large entities and are covered by OMB Control Number 9000-0013, Cost or Pricing Data Exemption. This proposed rule does not add to or remove any of the existing requirements; it does clarify the limits on the amount and types of data that may be required from offerors so that contracting officers do not inadvertently impose submission requirements on small entities or other types of businesses that are excessive.

    The rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rules. Consistent with the stated objectives of section 831 of the NDAA for FY 2013 and with the statutory requirements for cost or pricing data in title 10, United States Code (U.S.C.), there is no alternative to applying the requirements for other than cost or pricing data equally to small and large entities.

    DoD invites comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities.

    DoD 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. 610 (DFARS Case 2013-D034), in correspondence.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule affects the information collection requirements in the provisions at Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) subpart 15.4, Contract Pricing (in particular, FAR 15.403, Obtaining Certified Cost or Pricing Data) and the clauses at FAR 52.215-20, Requirements for Certified Cost or Pricing Data and Data Other Than Certified Cost or Pricing Data, and FAR 52.215-21, Requirements for Certified Cost or Pricing Data and Data Other Than Certified Cost or Pricing Data—Modifications, currently approved under OMB Control Number 9000-0013, entitled “Cost or Pricing Data Exemption,” in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35). The impact, however, is negligible, because the DFARS change does not add or remove requirements for submission of other than cost or pricing data. The DFARS merely provides clarification of the circumstances under which the FAR requires contracting officers to obtain other than cost or pricing data solely for the purpose of determining reasonableness of prices proposed by offerors for commercial items. There are no changes to the existing requirement for supporting cost data for determining price reasonableness.

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 202, 212, 215, and 252

    Government procurement.

    Amy G. Williams, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.

    Therefore, 48 CFR parts 202, 212, 215, and 252 are proposed to be amended as follows:

    1. The authority citation for parts 202, 212, 215, and 252 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    41 U.S.C. 1303 and 48 CFR chapter 1.

    PART 202—DEFINITIONS OF WORDS AND TERMS 2. Amend section 202.101 by adding, in alphabetical order, the definitions for “market-based pricing” and “uncertified cost data” to read as follows:
    202.101 Definitions.

    Market-based pricing means pricing that results when nongovernmental buyers drive the price in a commercial marketplace. When nongovernmental buyers in a commercial marketplace account for a preponderance (50 percent or more) of sales by volume of a particular item, there is a strong likelihood the pricing is market based.

    Uncertified cost data means the subset of “data other than certified cost or pricing data” (see FAR 2.101) that relates to cost.

    PART 212—ACQUISITION OF COMMERCIAL ITEMS 3. Add section 212.209 to subpart 212.2 to read as follows:
    212.209 Determination of price reasonableness.

    In order to establish a fair and reasonable price based on market-based pricing (see 215.404-1), the contracting officer shall obtain adequate commercial marketplace sales data (see 215.404-1(b)) to ensure the price offered to the Government is reasonably consistent with market-based pricing. When obtaining such data, follow the order of preference at FAR 15.402(a)(2), and otherwise comply with the requirements of FAR part 15, part 215, and PGI part 215.

    PART 215—CONTRACTING BY NEGOTIATION 4. Add section 215.401 to subpart 215.4 to read as follows:
    215.401 Definitions.

    Nongovernment sales means sales of the supplies or services to nongovernmental entities for purposes other than governmental purposes.

    Relevant sales data means the subset of an offeror's sales data that, as considered by a prudent person, could reasonably be expected to influence the contracting officer's determination of price reasonableness, taking into consideration the age, volume, and nature of the transactions (including any related discounts, refunds, rebates, offsets or other adjustments) in the data subset.

    Sufficient nongovernment sales to establish reasonableness of price (see 215.402(a)(3)) exist when relevant sales data reflects market-based pricing, are made available for the contracting officer to review, and contains enough information to make adjustments covered by FAR 15.404 1(b)(2)(ii)(B).

    5. Amend section 215.402 by adding paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:
    215.402 Pricing policy.

    (a)(3) When obtaining data other than certified cost or pricing data (Pub. L. 112-239 sec. 831)—

    (A) The standard to be used by contracting officers in determining the adequacy of information on prices at which same or similar items have been sold is whether a prudent person would conclude that it is sufficient to determine whether the proposed price is fair and reasonable. See 215.404-1 and PGI 215.404-1; and

    (B) In cases when uncertified cost data is necessary to determine that the price is fair and reasonable, the contracting officer should request uncertified cost data only to the extent that a prudent person would consider necessary to determine a fair and reasonable price.

    6. Amend section 215.403-5 by adding paragraphs (a) and (b)(2) to read as follows:
    215.403-5 Instructions for submission of certified cost or pricing data and data other than certified cost or pricing data.

    (a) The contracting officer shall not limit the Government's ability to obtain any data that may be necessary to support a determination of fair and reasonable pricing.

    (b)(2) If the contracting officer requires the offeror to provide uncertified cost data, it shall be the form in which it is regularly maintained by the offeror in its business operations (Pub. L. 112-239 sec. 831).

    7. Revise section 215.404-1 to read as follows:
    215.404-1 Proposal analysis techniques.

    (b)(2)(ii) In the absence of adequate price competition in response to the solicitation, market-based pricing is the preferred method to establish a fair and reasonable price (Pub. L. 112-239 sec. 831).

    (A)(i) Relevant sales data are a valid basis for price comparison, in the following order of preference:

    (a) Relevant sales data for the same good or service being acquired that reflect market-based pricing.

    (b) Relevant sales data for substantially similar goods or services that reflect market-based pricing.

    (c) Relevant sales data for the same good or services being acquired that do not reflect market-based pricing.

    (d) Relevant sales data for substantially similar goods or services that do not reflect market-based pricing.

    (ii) The contracting officer may obtain additional data necessary to verify the price to be paid is fair and reasonable. However, if relevant sales data for the same supplies or services being acquired reflects market-based pricing, and is made available for the contracting officer to review, the contracting officer shall not obtain uncertified cost data.

    (iii) When evaluating sales data, contracting officers shall exercise prudent business judgment and consider standards such as the following, using the order of preference in FAR 15.402(a) and 215.402(a)(3):

    (a) Market-based pricing. See 202.101.

    (b) Age of data.

    (1) Whether data is too old to be relevant depends on the industry (e.g., rapidly evolving technologies), product maturity (e.g., stable), economic factors (e.g., new sellers in the marketplace), and various other considerations.

    (2) A pending sale may be relevant if it is probable at the anticipated price, and the sale could reasonably be expected to materially influence the contracting officer's determination of price reasonableness. Consult with the offeror's corporate or divisional administrative contracting officer (if applicable) about future sales.

    (c) Volume. The number of transactions must be sufficient to permit the contracting officer to make a determination on price reasonableness based on the relevant sales data. If the number of transactions is insufficient to make a determination, the contracting officer shall consider broadening the search (e.g., identify whether all customers were included) to obtain additional relevant sales data as necessary to make the determination, following the order of preference at 215.404-1(b)(2)(ii)(A)(i), and complying with FAR 15.402(a)(2).

    (d) Nature of transactions. The nature of a sales transaction includes the information necessary to understand the transaction, such as terms and conditions, date, quantity sold, sale price, the intended end-user, the type of customer (government, distributor, retail end-user, etc.), and related agreements. It also includes information such as warranty information, key product technical specifications, maintenance agreements, or preferred customer rewards, if they substantially impact price differences among sales. When relevant sales data has materially differing terms and conditions (see 215.404-1(b)(2)(ii)(B)), the contracting officer shall adjust the prices as required by FAR 15.404-1(b)(2)(ii)(B).

    (e) Catalog Prices. Catalog prices are reliable when consistent with relevant sales data (including any related discounts, refunds, rebates, offsets or other adjustments).

    (B) Terms and conditions, quantities, and market and economic factors, are materially differing if the differences could reasonably be expected to influence the contracting officer's determination of price reasonableness.

    (C) The DoD cadre of experts is identified at PGI 215.404-2(a)(iii).

    8. Add section 215.404-1-70 to read as follows:
    215.404-1-70 Procedures.

    (a) Follow the procedures at PGI 215.404-1 for proposal analysis.

    (b) For spare parts or support equipment, perform an analysis of—

    (1) Those line items where the proposed price exceeds by 25 percent or more the lowest price the Government has paid within the most recent 12-month period based on reasonably available data;

    (2) Those line items where a comparison of the item description and the proposed price indicates a potential for overpricing;

    (3) Significant high-dollar-value items. If there are no obvious high-dollar-value items, include an analysis of a random sample of items; and

    (4) A random sample of the remaining low-dollar value items. Sample size may be determined by subjective judgment, e.g., experience with the offeror and the reliability of its estimating and accounting systems.

    9. Amend section 215.408 by— a. Revising paragraph (3)(i)(A)(1) introductory text; b. Revising paragraph (3)(i)(A)(2) introductory text; c. Revising paragraph (3)(i)(B) introductory text; and d. Adding paragraph (6).

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    215.408 Solicitation provisions and contract clauses.

    (3) * * *

    (i)(A) * * *

    (1) In lieu of 252.215-70XX, Requirement for Data Other Than Certified Cost or Pricing Data, in a solicitation, including solicitations using FAR part 12 procedures for the acquisition of commercial items, for a sole source acquisition from the Canadian Commercial Corporation that is—

    (2) In lieu of 252.215-70XX in a solicitation, including solicitations using FAR part 12 procedures for the acquisition of commercial items, for a sole source acquisition from the Canadian Commercial Corporation that does not meet the thresholds specified in paragraph (3)(i)(A)(1), if approval is obtained as required at 225.870-4(c)(2)(ii); and

    (B) Do not use 252.225-7003 in lieu of 252.215-70XX in competitive acquisitions.

    (6) Requirements for certified cost or pricing data and data other than certified cost or pricing data.

    (i) Use the provision at 252.215-70XX, Requirements for Certified Cost or Pricing Data and Data Other Than Certified Cost or Pricing Data, in lieu of the provision at FAR 52.215-20 Requirements for Certified Cost or Pricing Data and Data Other Than Certified Cost or Pricing Data, in solicitations and contracts when it is reasonably certain that the submission of certified cost or pricing data or data other than certified cost or pricing data will be required.

    (A) Use the basic provision when the submission of certified cost or pricing data may not be required at the time of solicitation, or when submission of certified cost or pricing data is required to be in the format required by FAR Table 15-2.

    (B) Use the Alternate I provision to specify a format for certified cost or pricing data other than the format required by FAR Table 15-2.

    (ii) Use the provision at 252.215-70YY, Requirements for Submission of Proposals to the Administrative Contracting Officer and Contract Auditor, when using the basic or alternate of the provision at 252.215-70XX if copies of the proposal are to be sent to the ACO and contract auditor.

    (iii) Use the provision at 252.215-70ZZ, Requirements for Submission of Proposals via Electronic Media, when using the basic or alternate of the provision at 252.215-70XX if submission via electronic media is required.

    PART 252—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 10. Add section 252.215-70XX to read as follows:
    252.215-70XX Requirements for Certified Cost or Pricing Data and Data Other Than Certified Cost or Pricing Data.

    Basic. As prescribed in 215.408(6)(i) and (6)(i)(A), use the following provision:

    Requirements for Certified Cost or Pricing Data and Data Other Than Certified Cost or Pricing Data—Basic (DATE)

    (a) Definitions. As used in this provision—

    Nongovernment sales means sales of the supplies or services to nongovernmental entities for purposes other than governmental purposes.

    Market-based pricing means pricing that results when nongovernmental buyers drive the price in a commercial marketplace. When nongovernmental buyers in a commercial marketplace account for a preponderance (50 percent or more) of sales by volume of a particular item, there is a strong likelihood the pricing is market based.

    Relevant sales data means the subset of an offeror's sales data that, as considered by a prudent person, could reasonably be expected to influence the contracting officer's determination of price reasonableness, taking into consideration the age, volume, and nature of the transactions (including any related discounts, refunds, rebates, offsets or other adjustments) in the data subset.

    Sufficient nongovernment sales to establish reasonableness of price (see DFARS 215.402(a)(3)(A)) exist when relevant sales data reflects market-based pricing, are made available for the contracting officer to review, and contains enough information to make adjustments covered by FAR 15.404 1(b)(2)(ii)(B).

    (b) Exceptions from certified cost or pricing data.

    (1) In lieu of submitting certified cost or pricing data, offerors may submit a written request for exception by submitting the information described in the following paragraphs. The Contracting Officer may require additional supporting information, but only to the extent necessary to determine whether an exception should be granted, and whether the price is fair and reasonable.

    (i) Identification of the law or regulation establishing the price offered. If the price is controlled under law by periodic rulings, reviews, or similar actions of a governmental body, attach a copy of the controlling document, unless it was previously submitted to the contracting office.

    (ii) Commercial item exception. For a commercial item exception, the offeror shall submit, at a minimum, information on prices at which the same item or similar items have previously been sold in the commercial market that is adequate for evaluating the reasonableness of the price for this acquisition. Such information shall include—

    (A) For items priced based on a catalog—

    (1) A copy of the offeror's current catalog showing the price for that item; and

    (2) Either of the following two alternative statements, included in the proposal:

    (i) “The catalog provided with this proposal is consistent with all relevant sales data (including any related discounts, refunds, rebates, offsets or other adjustments). Relevant sales data shall be made available upon request of the contracting officer.”

    (ii) “The catalog provided with this proposal is not consistent with all relevant sales data, due to the following: [Insert a detailed description of differences or inconsistencies between or among the relevant sales data, the proposed price, and the catalog price (including any related discounts, refunds, rebates, offsets or other adjustments).]”;

    (B) For items priced using market-based pricing, a description of: the nature of the commercial market; the methodology used to establish a market-based price; and all relevant sales data. The description shall be adequate to permit the Department of Defense to verify the accuracy of the description. If relevant sales data exist, the Offeror shall make such data available to the contracting officer for review within 10 days of a written request from the contracting officer; and

    (C) For items included on an active Federal Supply Service Multiple Award Schedule contract, proof that an exception has been granted for the schedule item.

    (2) The Offeror grants the contracting officer or an authorized representative the right to examine, at any time before award, books, records, documents, or other directly pertinent records to verify any request for an exception under this provision, and the reasonableness of price.

    (c) Requirements for certified cost or pricing data. If the offeror is not granted an exception from the requirement to submit certified cost or pricing data, the following applies:

    (1) The Offeror shall prepare and submit certified cost or pricing data, and supporting attachments in accordance with the instructions contained in Table 15-2 of FAR 15.408, which is incorporated by reference with the same force and effect as though it were inserted here in full text. The instructions in Table 15-2 are incorporated as a mandatory format to be used in this contract, unless the Contracting Officer and the Offeror agree to a different format and change this provision to use Alternate I.

    (2) As soon as practicable after agreement on price, but before contract award (except for unpriced actions such as letter contracts), the Offeror shall submit a Certificate of Current Cost or Pricing Data, as prescribed by FAR 15.406-2.

    (d) Requirements for data other than certified cost or pricing data.

    (1) Data other than certified cost or pricing data submitted in accordance with this provision shall include all data necessary to permit a determination that the proposed price is fair and reasonable, to include the requirements in DFARS 215.402 and DFARS 215.404-1.

    (2) In cases in which uncertified cost data is required, the information shall be provided in the form in which it is regularly maintained by the offeror or prospective subcontractor in its business operations.

    (3) The Offeror shall provide information described as follows: [Insert description of the data and the format that are required, including access to records necessary to permit an adequate evaluation of the proposed price in accordance with FAR 15.403-3.]

    (4) Within 10 days of a written request from the contracting officer to the offeror for additional information to support proposal analysis, the Offeror shall either provide the requested information, or provide a written explanation for the inability to fully comply with the request. Before providing an explanation for noncompliance, offerors are encouraged to clarify the request with the contracting officer.

    (5) Subcontract price evaluation.

    (i) Offerors shall obtain from subcontractors whatever information is necessary to support a determination of price reasonableness, as described in FAR part 15 and DFARS art 215. It may include cost data to support a commerciality determination, cost realism analysis, should-cost review, or any other type of analysis addressed by FAR part 15 and DFARS part 215. The data needed from a prospective subcontractor may include data other than certified cost or pricing data (which includes uncertified cost data obtained from the subcontractor), and information on the prices at which the same or similar items have previously been sold.

    (ii) No additional cost information may be required from a prospective subcontractor in any case in which there are sufficient nongovernment sales of the same item to establish reasonableness of price.

    (iii) If the offeror relies on relevant sales data for similar items to determine the price is reasonable, the Offeror shall obtain only that technical information necessary to support the conclusion that—

    (A) The items are technically similar; and,

    (B) Any dissimilarities should not produce a material price difference.

    (e) The Offeror shall require all prospective subcontractors above the simplified acquisition threshold in FAR part 2 to adhere to the requirements of paragraph (c) of this provision when determining that the proposed prices from prospective lower-tier subcontractors are fair and reasonable.

    (End of provision)

    Alternate I. As prescribed in 215.408(6)(i) and (6)(i)(B), use the following provision, which includes a different paragraph (c)(1).

    Requirements for Certified Cost or Pricing Data and Data Other Than Certified Cost or Pricing Data—Alternate I (DATE)

    (a) Definitions. As used in this provision—

    Nongovernment sales means sales of the supplies or services to nongovernmental entities for purposes other than governmental purposes.

    Market-based pricing means pricing that results when nongovernmental buyers drive the price in a commercial marketplace. When nongovernmental buyers in a commercial marketplace account for a preponderance (50 percent or more) of sales by volume of a particular item, there is a strong likelihood the pricing is market based.

    Relevant sales data means the subset of an offeror's sales data that, as considered by a prudent person, could reasonably be expected to influence the contracting officer's determination of price reasonableness, taking into consideration the age, volume, and nature of the transactions (including any related discounts, refunds, rebates, offsets or other adjustments) in the data subset.

    Sufficient nongovernment sales to establish reasonableness of price (see DFARS 215.402(a)(3)(A)) exist when relevant sales data reflects market-based pricing, are made available for the contracting officer to review, and contains enough information to make adjustments covered by FAR 15.404 1(b)(2)(ii)(B).

    (b) Exceptions from certified cost or pricing data.

    (1) In lieu of submitting certified cost or pricing data, offerors may submit a written request for exception by submitting the information described in the following paragraphs. The Contracting Officer may require additional supporting information, but only to the extent necessary to determine whether an exception should be granted, and whether the price is fair and reasonable.

    (i) Identification of the law or regulation establishing the price offered. If the price is controlled under law by periodic rulings, reviews, or similar actions of a governmental body, attach a copy of the controlling document, unless it was previously submitted to the contracting office.

    (ii) Commercial item exception. For a commercial item exception, the offeror shall submit, at a minimum, information on prices at which the same item or similar items have previously been sold in the commercial market that is adequate for evaluating the reasonableness of the price for this acquisition. Such information may include—

    (A) For items priced based on a catalog—

    (1) A copy of the offeror's current catalog showing the price for that item; and

    (2) Either of the following two alternative statements, included in the proposal:

    (i) “The catalog provided with this proposal is consistent with all relevant sales data (including any related discounts, refunds, rebates, offsets or other adjustments). Relevant sales data shall be made available upon request of the contracting officer.”

    (ii) “The catalog provided with this proposal is not consistent with all relevant sales data, due to the following: [Insert a detailed description of differences or inconsistencies between or among the relevant sales data, the proposed price, and the catalog price (including any related discounts, refunds, rebates, offsets or other adjustments).]”;

    (B) For items priced using market-based pricing, a description of the nature of the commercial market; the methodology used to establish a market-based price; and all relevant sales data. The description shall be adequate to permit the Department of Defense to verify the accuracy of the description. If relevant sales data exist, the Offeror shall make such data available to the contracting officer for review within 10 days of a written request from the contracting officer; and

    (C) For items included on an active Federal Supply Service Multiple Award Schedule contract, proof that an exception has been granted for the schedule item.

    (2) The Offeror grants the contracting officer or an authorized representative the right to examine, at any time before award, books, records, documents, or other directly pertinent records to verify any request for an exception under this provision, and the reasonableness of price.

    (c) Requirements for certified cost or pricing data. If the offeror is not granted an exception from the requirement to submit certified cost or pricing data, the following applies:

    (1) The Offeror shall submit certified cost or pricing data, data other than certified cost or pricing data, and supporting attachments in the following format: [Insert description of the data and format that are required, and include access to records necessary to permit an adequate evaluation of the proposed price in accordance with FAR 15.408, Table 15-2, Note 2. The description may be inserted at the time of issuing the solicitation, or the Contracting Officer may specify that the format regularly maintained by the offeror or prospective subcontractor in its business operations will be acceptable, or the description may be inserted as the result of negotiations].

    (2) As soon as practicable after agreement on price, but before contract award (except for unpriced actions such as letter contracts), the Offeror shall submit a Certificate of Current Cost or Pricing Data, as prescribed by FAR 15.406-2.

    (d) Requirements for data other than certified cost or pricing data.

    (1) Data other than certified cost or pricing data submitted in accordance with this provision shall include all data necessary to permit a determination that the proposed price is fair and reasonable, to include the requirements in DFARS 215.402 and DFARS 215.404-1.

    (2) In cases in which uncertified cost data is required, the information shall be provided in the form in which it is regularly maintained by the offeror or prospective subcontractor in its business operations.

    (3) The Offeror shall provide information described as follows: [Insert description of the data and the format that are required, including access to records necessary to permit an adequate evaluation of the proposed price in accordance with FAR 15.403-3.]

    (4) Within 10 days of a written request from the contracting officer to the offeror for additional information to support proposal analysis, the Offeror shall either provide the requested information, or provide a written explanation for refusing to comply with the request. Before providing a refusal and explanation, offerors are encouraged to clarify the request with the contracting officer.

    (5) Subcontract price evaluation.

    (i) Offerors shall obtain from subcontractors whatever information is necessary to support a determination of price reasonableness, as described in FAR part 15 and DFARS part 215. The information may include cost data to support a commerciality determination, cost realism analysis, should-cost review, or any other type of analysis addressed by FAR part 15 and DFARS part 215. The data needed from a prospective subcontractor may include data other than certified cost or pricing data (which includes uncertified cost data obtained from the subcontractor), and information on the prices at which the same or similar items have previously been sold.

    (ii) No additional cost information may be required from a prospective subcontractor in any case in which there are sufficient nongovernment sales of the same item to establish reasonableness of price.

    (iii) If the offeror relies on relevant sales data for similar items to determine the price is reasonable, the Offeror shall obtain only that technical information necessary to support the conclusion that—

    (A) The items are technically similar; and

    (B) Any dissimilarities should not produce a material price difference.

    (e) The Offeror shall require all prospective subcontractors above the simplified acquisition threshold in FAR part 2 to adhere to the requirements of paragraph (c) of this provision when determining that the proposed prices from prospective lower-tier subcontractors are fair and reasonable.

    (End of provision)
    11. Add section 252.215-70YY to read as follows:
    252.215-70YY Requirements for Submission of Proposals to the Administrative Contracting Officer and Contract Auditor.

    As prescribed in 215.408(6)(iii), use the following provision:

    Requirements for Submission of Proposals to the Administrative Contracting Officer and Contract Auditor (DATE)

    When the proposal is submitted, the Offeror shall also submit one copy each to—

    (a) The Administrative Contracting Officer, and

    (b) The Contract Auditor.

    (End of provision)
    12. Add section 252.215-70ZZ to read as follows:
    252.215-70ZZ Requirements for Submission of Proposals via Electronic Media.

    As prescribed in 215.408(6)(iv), use the following provision:

    Requirements for Submission of Proposals Via Electronic Media (DATE)

    The Offeror shall submit the cost portion of the proposal via the following electronic media: [Insert media format, e.g., electronic spreadsheet format, electronic mail, etc.].

    (End of provision)
    [FR Doc. 2015-18938 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 222 [Docket No. 140725620-4620-01] RIN 0648-BE43 Endangered and Threatened Species: Proposed Regulations for the Designation of Experimental Populations Under the Endangered Species Act AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), propose regulations to amend the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to implement the Endangered Species Act (ESA) regarding experimental populations. The CFR would be amended to establish definitions and procedures for: establishing and/or designating certain populations of species otherwise listed as endangered or threatened as experimental populations; determining whether experimental populations are “essential” or “nonessential;” and promulgating appropriate protective measures for experimental populations. We seek public comment on this proposal.

    DATES:

    To allow us adequate time to consider your comments on this proposed rule, they must be received no later than October 2, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this proposed rule, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2014-0104, by any of the following methods:

    • Electronic submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.

    1. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2014-0104.

    2. Click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields.

    3. Enter or attach your comments.

    —or—

    • Mail: Submit written comments to Dwayne Meadows, Endangered Species Division F/PR3, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

    • Fax: (301) 713-4060.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dwayne Meadows, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, (301) 427-8403.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Congress amended the ESA in 1982 (Pub. L. 97-304). Among the changes made to the law at that time was the addition of a new section, 10(j), which established procedures for designating a specific population of a listed species as an “experimental population.” Prior to the 1982 amendments we, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), which implements the ESA for terrestrial, freshwater, and some other species of wildlife and plants, were authorized to translocate a listed species into unoccupied portions of its range in order to aid in the recovery of the species. Significant opposition to translocation efforts often occurred, however, usually due to concerns over the rigid protections and prohibitions applicable to these translocated populations. ESA section 10(j) was designed to resolve these conflicts by providing new administrative flexibility for selectively applying the prohibitions of the ESA to experimental populations of listed species (see, e.g., H.R. Rep. No. 567, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 34 (1982)).

    Section 10(j)(1) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1539(j)(1)) defines an experimental population as a population that has been authorized for release by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) or Secretary of Interior, but only when, and at such times as, the population is wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species. The Secretary may authorize the release (and related transportation) of any experimental population (including eggs, propagules, or individuals) of a listed species outside of the species' current range if the Secretary determines that the release would “further the conservation of” the listed species (16 U.S.C. 1539(j)(2)(A)). Section 10(j)(2)(B) also requires that, before authorizing the release of an experimental population, the Secretary “identify” the experimental population by regulation and determine, based on the best available information, whether the experimental population is “essential to the continued existence” of the listed species (16 U.S.C. 1539(j)(2)(B)).

    Section 10(j) of the ESA further establishes that an experimental population shall be treated as a threatened species under the ESA, with two exceptions that apply if an experimental population is determined to be not essential to the listed species' continued existence (i.e., is nonessential): (1) A nonessential experimental population (NEP) shall be treated as a species proposed for listing for purposes of section 7 of the ESA, except when the NEP occurs in an area within the National Wildlife Refuge System or the National Park System; and (2) critical habitat shall not be designated for a NEP. Treatment of an experimental population as “threatened” under the ESA enables the Secretary to issue regulations under the authority of section 4(d) of the ESA that he or she deems necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the species, which may be less restrictive than taking prohibitions applicable to endangered species under ESA section 9. For essential experimental populations, treatment as a threatened species also means ESA section 7(a)(2) applies, requiring each Federal agency to consult with us to insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out by the agency is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the experimental population or result in the destruction or adverse modification of the experimental population's critical habitat. When a NEP occurs within the National Wildlife Refuge System or National Park System, it also must be treated as a threatened species for the purposes of ESA section 7, and section 7(a)(2) consultations are required. Under the first exception described above, however, the only provisions of section 7 that apply to a NEP outside of a National Wildlife Refuge or National Park are sections 7(a)(1) and 7(a)(4). Section 7(a)(1) requires that Federal agencies use their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the ESA by carrying out programs for the conservation of threatened and endangered species. Section 7(a)(4) requires Federal agencies to confer, rather than consult, with us on actions that are likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a species proposed to be listed. The results of a conference are advisory in nature.

    The provisions of section 10(j) of the ESA, as summarized above, introduce some terminology and concepts that are not otherwise used or defined in the ESA or in our current implementing regulations. These terms and concepts include: “further the conservation of,” “experimental population,” identifying an experimental population, and determining whether an experimental population is essential to the continued existence of the species. The USFWS promulgated regulations in 1984 (49 FR 33885, August 27, 1984) to guide their implementation of ESA section 10(j) (50 CFR 17.80 through 17.83), including provisions related to the terms and concepts noted above. The USFWS has designated dozens of experimental populations using those regulations (see 50 CFR 17.84 through 17.85). Although the USFWS regulations do not govern regulatory actions by NMFS, we have explicitly considered those regulations recently in the only three experimental population designations we have made: Middle Columbia River steelhead trout in the Deschutes River Basin (78 FR 2893, January 15, 2013); Central Valley spring-run Chinook Salmon in the San Joaquin River (78 FR 79622, December 31, 2013); and upper Columbia River spring-run Chinook Salmon in the Okanogan River Subbasin (79 FR 40004, July 11, 2014).

    We believe that there is a need for us to have regulations laying out NMFS's interpretation of and procedures for implementing ESA section 10(j), beyond what Congress has specifically directed, just as USFWS did in their section 10(j) implementing regulations. Now that we have gained some experience in designating experimental populations, we are in a position to develop our own implementing regulations for ESA section 10(j) that will help provide clarity and reduce uncertainty for the public about our future practices. In developing this proposal, we reviewed the ESA, legislative history of the 1982 ESA amendments, existing USFWS ESA section 10(j) regulations, public comments from the USFWS rulemaking to develop their ESA section 10(j) regulations, and relevant public comments from our own recent experimental population designations, and we consulted with USFWS staff. We then convened a group of NMFS staff with experience in ESA section 10(j) designations to help develop this proposal. In the following sections, we discuss our proposed regulations section by section. We compare our proposal to the existing USFWS regulations to make clear the areas where our regulations will differ from the USFWS regulations. We strove to maintain consistency between our proposed regulations and the existing USFWS regulations as much as possible to provide for consistent implementation of ESA section 10(j) between the agencies, but we are proposing changes we believe are necessary to implement the statutory requirements in a manner appropriate for species under NMFS' jurisdiction. NMFS' intent when designating an experimental population under ESA section 10(j) is that the population will retain that designation until the donor species is delisted, or until, for some unforeseen reason, the experimental population fails, for example, due to lack of donor stock or problems with implementation.

    Definitions

    Section 10(j) of the ESA states that an “experimental population” means “any population (including any offspring arising solely there from) authorized by the Secretary for release under [section 10(j)(2)], but only when, and at such times as, the population is wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species.” Where members of an experimental population overlap with natural populations of the same species, they are not deemed to be an experimental population. In its ESA section 10(j) regulations at 50 CFR 17.80, USFWS added that a population shall be treated as experimental only when the times of geographic separation are “reasonably predictable”, for example, with “fixed migration patterns, natural or man-made barriers.” They further stated that “[a] population is not treated as experimental if total separation will occur solely as a result of random and unpredictable events.” USFWS full definition of “experimental population” is:

    “The term experimental population means an introduced and/or designated population (including any off-spring arising solely therefrom) that has been so designated in accordance with the procedures of this subpart but only when, and at such times as the population is wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species. Where part of an experimental population overlaps with natural populations of the same species on a particular occasion, but is wholly separate at other times, specimens of the experimental population will not be recognized as such while in the area of overlap. That is, experimental status will only be recognized outside the areas of overlap. Thus, such a population shall be treated as experimental only when the times of geographic separation are reasonably predictable; e.g., fixed migration patterns, natural or man-made barriers. A population is not treated as experimental if total separation will occur solely as a result of random and unpredictable events.”

    We believe USFWS's interpretation is applicable for situations in which complete temporal or physical barriers exist that ensure the geographic isolation of an experimental population for at least part of the year or life cycle of the individuals in the experimental population. Thus, we propose to adopt the same definition as USFWS for “experimental population,” with two small changes. First, we propose to substitute “any” for the word “an” in the first sentence of USFWS's definition, to match the statutory language. Second, in the second sentence of their definition, USFWS uses the word “natural” to distinguish populations not designated as experimental from experimental populations. In our experience with our species, the term natural can be confusing when dealing with situations where some nonexperimental animals or populations derive from hatchery, aquaculture, or other captive breeding programs (e.g., such programs for salmonids). Therefore, we propose to substitute the word “nonexperimental” for “natural” in the definition to improve clarity for species under NMFS's jurisdiction.

    Therefore, we propose that an “experimental population” means “any introduced and/or designated population (including any off-spring arising solely therefrom) that has been so designated in accordance with the procedures of this subpart [of the regulations] but only when, and at such times as, the population is wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species. Where part of an experimental population overlaps with nonexperimental populations of the same species on a particular occasion, but is wholly separate at other times, specimens of the experimental population will not be recognized as such while in the area of overlap. That is, experimental status will only be recognized outside the areas of overlap. Thus, such a population shall be treated as experimental only when the times of geographic separation are reasonably predictable; e.g., fixed migration patterns, natural or man-made barriers. A population is not treated as experimental if total separation will occur solely as a result of random and unpredictable events.”

    In order to implement ESA section 10(j) for any new experimental population, the ESA requires a determination as to whether or not the experimental population is essential to the continued existence of the species. ESA section 10(j), however, does not provide a definition of an “essential experimental population.” The USFWS defined an “essential experimental population” as an experimental population “whose loss would be likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival of the species in the wild,” and stated that “[a]ll other experimental populations are to be classified as nonessential.” This definition closely follows language in the report of the Congressional Conference Committee when the 1982 ESA amendments were passed (see Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference, H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 97-835 (1982), at 15). Here again we believe the definition used by USFWS is helpful, is consistent with congressional intent and has worked well to date; and we recognize that adopting an identical definition for this fundamental term will provide consistency between NMFS and USFWS in the implementation of ESA section 10(j). We therefore propose to adopt the same definition as USFWS.

    Listing

    The beginning of the “Listing” section of the USFWS section 10(j) regulations (50 CFR 17.81(a)) describes the experimental population designation process and specifies that it is the Secretary of the Interior who has the authority to designate and release an experimental population of a listed species under USFWS jurisdiction into suitable habitat outside of the species' current natural range. In our proposed regulations, we similarly specify that it is the Secretary of Commerce who has the authority to designate and release an experimental population for species under our jurisdiction.

    Consistent with the general intent of Congress with regard to the adoption of regulations and the specific requirement in ESA section 10(j)(2)(B) that an experimental population be identified by regulation, USFWS included a requirement that regulations designating experimental populations be adopted in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553 (see 50 CFR 17.81(a)), which contains the informal rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act. Therefore, we propose to adopt this provision as well.

    Current Range

    The USFWS regulations at 50 CFR 17.81(a) provide for the designation of an experimental population that has been or will be released into suitable habitat “outside the current natural range” of the species. However, ESA section 10(j)(2)(A) only uses the phrase “outside the current range” rather than “outside the current natural range” to identify the geographic area in which an experimental population is authorized for release. Further, there is no definition of “range”, “current range,” or “current natural range” in the ESA or 50 CFR parts 222 (NMFS ESA implementing regulations) or 424 (Joint NMFS/USFWS ESA implementing regulations). The USFWS ESA section 10(j) regulations at 50 CFR 17.80 through 17.83 also do not define “natural”. Based on our experience with our species, we do not believe addition of the word “natural” in the phrase “outside the current range” is necessary for our species. Therefore, we do not propose to include the word “natural” as a qualifier for the current range of a species.

    The USFWS regulations at 50 CFR 17.81(a) also establish a limitation that release of an experimental population outside of the probable historic range of a species is allowed only if the Director of the USFWS makes a finding that “the primary habitat of the species has been unsuitably and irreversibly altered or destroyed.” This provision is not required under the ESA, and we believe it unnecessarily limits our ability to implement section 10(j) of the ESA in a manner that conserves our listed species. Therefore, we do not include this language in our proposed rule.

    Furthering the Conservation of the Species

    As noted above, ESA section 10(j) requires that before authorizing the release of an experimental population outside the current range of the species, the Secretary must determine that such release will further the conservation of the species. The ESA provides little guidance on how to make such a determination. The ESA does define “conservation” as “the use of all methods and procedures which are necessary to bring any endangered species or threatened species to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to this [Act] are no longer necessary.” In their ESA section 10(j) regulations, USFWS identified four factors that, using the best scientific and commercial data available, they consider in making a finding that the experimental population release will further the conservation of the species: (1) Any possible adverse effects on extant populations of a species as a result of removal of individuals, eggs, or propagules for introduction elsewhere; (2) The likelihood that any such experimental population will become established and survive in the foreseeable future; (3) The relative effects that establishment of an experimental population will have on the recovery of the species; and (4) The extent to which the introduced population may be affected by existing or anticipated Federal or State actions or private activities within or adjacent to the experimental population area (50 CFR 17.81(b)).

    The first factor USFWS considers is related to effects on the source populations of the organisms used to establish or enhance an experimental population. The remaining three factors they consider relate to the likelihood or extent the experimental population will survive, thrive, and contribute to the recovery and conservation of the species. These three factors focus on key steps in the implementation of an experimental population: (1) initial establishment, (2) the contribution of an established experimental population to the recovery of the listed species, and (3) the effect any nearby human activities might have on the experimental population and its potential contribution to the species recovery.

    We have found that using the list of factors developed by USFWS gives the public adequate general information about how we plan to interpret the provision for “furthering the conservation of the species,” without introducing needless complexity. In rulemakings we have already completed to designate experimental populations (see above), we have provided detailed discussions of relevant species-specific information that we considered in order to make the “further the conservation of” finding based on these four factors, and we intend to continue this practice in future rulemakings. We also note the desirability of maintaining consistency between our regulations and those of USFWS. Therefore, we propose to adopt the same language and four factors as the USFWS regulations for making the determination that release of an experimental population will further the conservation of the species, with two small editorial revisions. First, we added a comma in the second sentence of paragraph (b) because it is appropriate grammatically. Second, the third factor in USFWS's regulations says USFWS will consider the “relative effects” the experimental population will have on recovery of the species. In our experience with our species, we have found the term “relative” in this factor is superfluous, and we therefore do not include it in our proposal. Neither of these changes is intended to make our proposed regulation functionally different than USFWS's corresponding regulation.

    Identification of the Experimental Population

    In their ESA section 10(j) implementing regulations, USFWS requires that any regulation designating an experimental population shall provide, among other things, “[a]ppropriate means to identify the experimental population, including, but not limited to, its actual or proposed location, actual or anticipated migration, number of specimens released or to be released, and other criteria appropriate to identify the experimental population(s)” (50 CFR 17.81(c)(1)). We believe these examples of means of identifying an experimental population are relevant and helpful, and we propose to include them in our regulations. However, we add the qualifier “if appropriate” to our proposal to make it clear that not all of the listed means will be relevant to each experimental population designation for our species. With the addition of the “if appropriate” qualifier, we also change the commas separating the examples to semicolons to more clearly separate them.

    Finding Whether the Experimental Population Is or Is Not Essential

    The USFWS ESA section 10(j) regulations at 50 CFR 17.81(c)(2) incorporate the requirement of the ESA that the designation of an experimental population include a determination as to whether the experimental population is essential to the continued existence of the listed species. The language is as follows: “(c) Any regulation promulgated under paragraph (a) of this section shall provide: . . . (2) A finding, based solely on the best scientific and commercial data available, and the supporting factual basis, on whether the experimental population is, or is not, essential to the continued existence of the species in the wild[.]” Based on our experience, this language is adequate to describe the statutory requirement, and we propose to adopt identical language. We have already discussed above that we will adopt the same definition as the USFWS regulations for “essential experimental population.”

    Protective Measures

    In 50 CFR 17.81(c)(3) of their ESA section 10(j) regulations, USFWS establishes that their rulemakings for designating experimental populations will also provide: “Management restrictions, protective measures, or other special management concerns of that population, which may include, but are not limited to, measures to isolate and/or contain the experimental population designated in the regulation from natural populations[.]” This provision addresses the linkage between designating experimental populations under section 10(j) of the ESA and implementing companion protective regulations under ESA section 4(d). The language also specifies actions needed to successfully implement an experimental population release. We agree that it is helpful to clarify the relationship between sections 4(d) and 10(j) of the ESA and the intent of Congress and the agency in implementing ESA section 10(j). Based on our experience with our species, however, we believe additional clarifying language in this section is appropriate for our species.

    We believe this section should make it clear that management restrictions, protective measures, and other special management concerns would be applied to an experimental population as appropriate to the specific situation as not all of these measures would be applicable for all of our species. We therefore add this clarification to our proposed regulatory language. Second, we again propose using the word “nonexperimental,” instead of the word “natural,” to describe nonexperimental populations, as discussed above. Third, we add language to further clarify the distinction between regulations adopted under the provisions of ESA section 4(d) and those adopted under ESA section 10(j). Finally, we add a comma after “include,” because it is appropriate grammatically to separate the “but are not limited to” clause. These clarifications are not intended to make our proposed regulations functionally differ from those of USFWS. Therefore, our proposed regulatory language is: “Management restrictions, protective measures, or other special management concerns of that population, as appropriate, which may include, but are not limited to, measures to isolate and/or contain the experimental population designated in the regulation from nonexperimental populations and protective regulations established pursuant to section 4(d) of the Act.”

    Periodic Review

    50 CFR 17.81(c)(4) of the USFWS section 10(j) regulations requires that any regulation designating an experimental population shall provide a process for periodic review and evaluation of the success or failure of the release and the effect of the release on the conservation and recovery of the species. We agree with this provision to help ensure the success of experimental population designations and to formally and publicly review these designations. We note that the ESA requires that we conduct a status review every 5 years for each listed species under our jurisdiction. We intend to use the 5 year review process for tracking the status of experimental populations and ensuring that experimental population designations further the conservation of the species as expected.

    Permits To Allow Establishment and Maintenance of an Experimental Population

    In their ESA section 10(j) regulations, USFWS notes that they may issue a permit under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA, if appropriate under the standards set out in subsections 10(d) and (j) of the ESA, to allow acts necessary for the establishment and maintenance of an experimental population. This provision highlights the intent of Congress that experimental populations be implemented through provisions of the ESA and provides the relevant mechanism by which this would normally occur. Our implementing practices are similar to those of USFWS, and we therefore propose to include this provision in our regulations, with some edits solely to improve clarity and streamline the provision. In the USFWS regulations at 50 CFR 17.81, this provision is an un-numbered sentence as part of paragraph (4) under subparagraph (b), which otherwise deals with the factors to consider in making a determination that an experimental population will further the conservation of the species. In order to emphasize the provision as a stand-alone provision and to make it easier to directly cite, in our proposed rule we place this provision in its own numbered subparagraph (d). We also propose to not include the following phrase from the USFWS regulations: “under the standards set out in subsections 10(d) and (j) of the ESA,” because the phrase is unnecessary. Under the provisions of the statute, any permit for an experimental population issued under ESA section 10(a)(1)(A) would have to meet the standards set out in those subsections, so it is not necessary to explicitly list the subsections in the regulations. Our proposed regulations will thus read, “The Secretary may issue a permit under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act, if appropriate, to allow acts necessary for the establishment and maintenance of an experimental population.”

    Stakeholder Consultations

    In their regulations implementing ESA section 10(j), USFWS establishes that, in the process of developing and implementing experimental population rules, they will consult with appropriate State fish and wildlife agencies, local governmental entities, affected Federal agencies, and affected private landowners, including through public meetings, when appropriate (50 CFR 17.81(d)). USFWS further establishes in this paragraph that, to the maximum extent practicable, any regulation promulgated pursuant to this section shall represent an agreement between USFWS, the affected State and Federal agencies, and persons holding any interest in land which may be affected by the establishment of an experimental population. We strongly believe that consultations with affected parties are critical to the success of experimental population designations and propose to adopt this language in our regulations. We believe that our trust responsibilities with regard to tribal governments warrant explicitly including consultation with tribes in our ESA section 10(j) regulations. We have therefore listed tribal governments in our proposal. This addition is not intended to suggest that USFWS's regulations do not allow for consultation with tribal governments, and, in fact, USFWS has consulted with tribal governments on ESA section 10(j) designations. Therefore, listing tribal governments in our regulations would not make our provision functionally differ from the corresponding provision in USFWS's regulations. We would just like to explicitly list tribal governments in our regulations based on our experience with our species. In fact, tribal governments have been integral in the development of experimental populations we have already designated (see above).

    We propose one other addition in this section of our regulations. The USFWS regulations at 50 CR 17.81(d) identify persons holding an interest in land which may be affected by an experimental population designation as a stakeholder group to be consulted. Based on our experience and work in aquatic habitat and the fact that all of our species are aquatic species, we believe the addition of persons holding interests in water (i.e., aquatic habitat), which may be affected by an experimental population designation, as an additional stakeholder group is warranted and have included that addition in this proposed rule.

    Location of Experimental Population Regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations

    In their ESA section 10(j) regulations, USFWS provides that special rules relating to a designation of an experimental population will be published in specific sections of the CFR as appropriate, and that experimental populations will be separately listed in the lists of threatened and endangered plants and animals in the CFR as appropriate. In our proposed regulations, we similarly state that our regulations relating to specific experimental populations will continue to be published in Title 50, part 223 of the CFR, with our regulations related to threatened species, and that our designated experimental populations also will be separately listed in the lists of threatened and endangered plants and animals in the CFR as appropriate. We note that the regulations relating to listing and designation of an experimental population that are being proposed in this rulemaking would be published in Title 50, part 222 of the CFR, with our other ESA implementing regulations.

    Critical Habitat for Experimental Populations Determined To Be Essential

    The Secretary may designate critical habitat, as defined in section (3)(5)(A) of the ESA, for an experimental population determined to be essential (but not for populations determined to be nonessential). In their ESA section 10(j) regulations, USFWS emphasizes that the designation of critical habitat for an essential experimental population will be made in accordance with section 4 of the ESA (50 CFR 17.81(f)). We agree that emphasizing the provisions of ESA section 4 in the ESA section 10(j) regulations is useful, and we therefore propose to include the same language in our regulations. In our proposed regulations, we made two changes from the language in 50 CFR 17.81(f), however. First, the USFWS regulations say: “No designation of critical habitat will be made for nonessential populations.” We add the word “experimental” after “nonessential,” to emphasize that the nonessential populations are, in fact, ESA section 10(j) experimental populations.

    Second, in their regulations, USFWS adds additional language regarding critical habitat for experimental populations (50 CFR 17.81(f)). The language USFWS uses is: “In those situations where a portion or all of an essential experimental population overlaps with a natural population of the species during certain periods of the year, no critical habitat will be designated for the area of overlap, unless implemented as a revision to critical habitat of the natural population for reasons unrelated to the overlap itself.” This language is not included in the ESA, and in our experience with our species this language has been unnecessary to understand and implement the relevant provisions of the ESA. We therefore do not include this language in our proposed rule.

    Prohibitions

    The USFWS ESA section 10(j) regulations at 50 CFR 17.82 reiterate the ESA section 10(j) provision that each member of an experimental population shall be treated as if it were listed as a threatened species and add that this applies for purposes of establishing protective regulations under section 4(d) of the ESA. Based on our experience with our species, even with the language in 50 CFR 17.82, stakeholders still have questions regarding the relationship between ESA sections 10(j) and 4(d). Therefore, we propose modified language for our regulations to clarify and explain in more detail the relationship between these two sections. This modified language is not intended to function differently or lead to different outcomes than the USFWS language, but is only intended to provide greater explanation about the relationship between ESA sections 10(j) and 4(d). The first sentence would read the same as 50 CFR 17.82: “Any population determined by the Secretary to be an experimental population shall be treated as if it were listed as a threatened species for purposes of establishing protective regulations under section 4(d) of the Act with respect to such population.” However, we propose to replace the second sentence of the USFWS regulations at 50 CFR 17.82 (“The Special rules (protective regulations) adopted for an experimental population under § 17.81 will contain applicable prohibitions, as appropriate, and exceptions for that population.”) with the following text in our regulations: “Accordingly, when designating, or revising, an experimental population under section 10(j) of the Act, the Secretary may also exercise his or her authority under section 4(d) of the Act to include protective regulations necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of such species as part of the special rule for the experimental population. Any protective regulations applicable to the species from which the experimental population was sourced do not apply to the experimental population unless specifically included in the special rule for the experimental population.”

    Interagency Cooperation

    In their regulations implementing ESA section 10(j), USFWS includes a section on provisions related to interagency cooperation under section 7 of the ESA (50 CFR 17.83) that describes what types of analyses are conducted under ESA section 7 with respect to experimental populations. Much of this section reiterates language in section 10(j) of the ESA itself (see ESA section 10(j)(2)(C)). However, USFWS does include an additional provision that any biological opinion prepared pursuant to section 7(b) of the ESA and any agency determination made pursuant to section 7(a) of the ESA “shall consider any experimental and nonexperimental populations to constitute a single listed species for the purposes of conducting the analyses under such sections.”

    We propose to adopt the language used by USFWS in 50 CFR 17.83(a) and (b) in our own regulations, with the addition of citations to the relevant parts of ESA section 7 that are referenced in each subparagraph (i.e., section 7(a)(4) in subparagraph (a) and section 7(a)(1) in subparagraph (b)) for ease of reference, to direct the reader to the applicable part of the ESA, and with the addition of the phrase “of the Act” in paragraph (a) to explicitly specify that the regulation refers to section 7 of the statute. However, we do not propose to include the additional USFWS provision quoted above related to ESA section 7, as section 10(j) of the ESA and our proposed regulations already describe how ESA section 7 is to be implemented with respect to experimental populations, and based on our experience, this additional language is unnecessary for our species. None of these differences are intended to cause our regulation to functionally differ from USFWS's corresponding regulation.

    Relationship to Existing Experimental Populations

    We have already designated three experimental populations of salmonids (see above). We do not intend the proposed implementing regulations herein to require us to review or revise those designations. We do not believe the implementing regulations we are proposing in this proposed rule would meaningfully alter the findings we came to in our prior designations and rulemakings.

    Request for Information

    We intend that any rule finally adopted be as effective as possible in implementing the ESA. Any final regulation based on this proposal will consider information and recommendations timely submitted from all interested parties. Therefore, we solicit comments, information, and recommendations on this proposed regulation from governmental agencies, Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry groups, environmental interest groups, and any other interested parties. Comments should be as specific as possible and refer to sections and paragraphs involved. Specifically we request information and comments on:

    (1) The terms we define above and in the proposed regulations, and

    (2) The proposed listing and experimental population designation process and considerations.

    This rulemaking does not materially modify our current methods and procedures for designating experimental populations.

    You may submit your information concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. If your submission is made via a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this personal identifying information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Information Quality Act and Peer Review

    In December 2004, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review pursuant to the Information Quality Act (Section 515 of Pub. L. 106-554), which was published in the Federal Register on January 14, 2005 (70 FR 2664). The Bulletin established minimum peer review standards, a transparent process for public disclosure of peer review planning, and opportunities for public participation with regard to certain types of information disseminated by the Federal Government. The peer review requirements of the OMB Bulletin apply to influential or highly influential scientific information disseminated on or after June 16, 2005. There are no documents supporting this proposed rule that meet this criteria.

    Classification Executive Order 12866

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant under E.O. 12866.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996; 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), whenever a Federal agency is required to publish a notification of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare, and make available for public comment, a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small government jurisdictions). However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The SBREFA amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation, Department of Commerce, will certify to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy at the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities. The following discussion explains our rationale.

    The proposed regulations clarify how we implement the provisions of section 10(j) of the ESA. The proposed regulations do not materially alter our current practices. The proposed regulations do not expand our reach. We are the only entity that is directly affected by this proposed rule because we are the only entity that can designate experimental populations of threatened or endangered species under NMFS jurisdiction. No external entities, including any small businesses, small organizations, or small governments, will experience any economic impacts from this proposed rule. Therefore, the only potential effect on any external entities large or small would likely be positive, through reducing any uncertainty on the part of the public about our process for designating experimental populations by formalizing our practices and procedures.

    Executive Order 12630

    In accordance with E.O. 12630, this proposed rule does not have significant takings implications. A takings implication assessment is not required because this rulemaking: (1) Would not effectively compel a property owner to have the government physically invade property, and (2) would not deny all economically beneficial or productive use of the land or aquatic resources. This rulemaking would substantially advance a legitimate government interest (conservation and recovery of listed species) and would not present a barrier to all reasonable and expected beneficial use of private property.

    Executive Order 13132

    In accordance with E.O. 13132, we have determined that this rule does not have federalism implications as that term is defined in E.O. 13132.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations at 5 CFR part 1320, which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), require that Federal agencies obtain approval from OMB before collecting information from the public. A Federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. This proposed rule does not include any new collections of information that require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    We have analyzed this proposed rule in accordance with the criteria of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4332(c)), the Council on Environmental Quality's Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and NOAA's Administrative Order regarding NEPA compliance (NAO 216-6 (May 20, 1999)).

    We have determined that this proposed rule is categorically excluded from NEPA documentation requirements, consistent with 40 CFR 1508.4. We have determined that this action satisfies the standards for reliance upon a categorical exclusion under NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 216-6. Specifically, this action fits within the categorical exclusion for “policy directives, regulations and guidelines of an administrative, financial, legal, technical or procedural nature.” NAO 216-6, section 6.03c.3(i). This action would not trigger an exception precluding reliance on the categorical exclusion because it does not involve a geographic area with unique characteristics, is not the subject of public controversy based on potential environmental consequences, will not result in uncertain environmental impacts or unique or unknown risks, does not establish a precedent or decision in principle about future proposals, will not have significant cumulative impacts, and will not have any adverse effects upon endangered or threatened species or their habitats (Id. sec. 5.05c). As such, it is categorically excluded from the need to prepare an Environmental Assessment. In addition, we find that because this proposed rule will not result in any effects to the physical environment, much less any adverse effects, there would be no need to prepare an Environmental Assessment even aside from consideration of the categorical exclusion. See, e.g., Oceana, Inc. v. Bryson, 940 F. Supp. 2d 1029 (N.D. Cal. April 12, 2013). Issuance of this proposed rule does not alter the legal and regulatory status quo in such a way as to create any environmental effects. See, e.g., Humane Soc. of U.S. v. Johanns, 520 F. Supp. 2d. 8 (D.D.C. 2007).

    Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes (E.O. 13175)

    E.O. 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, outlines the responsibilities of the Federal Government in matters affecting tribal interests. If we issue a regulation with tribal implications (defined as having 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), we must consult with those governments or the Federal Government must provide funds necessary to pay direct compliance costs incurred by tribal governments.

    We invite all interested tribes to discuss the proposed rule with us at their convenience should they choose to have a government-to-government consultation.

    Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (E.O. 13211)

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued E.O. 13211 on regulations that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and use. Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking any action that promulgates or is expected to lead to the promulgation of a final rule or regulation that (1) is a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866 and (2) is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

    This proposed rule has been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866 and is not expected to significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, and use. Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action and no Statement of Energy Effects is required.

    References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this rule is available upon request (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 222

    Endangered and threatened species.

    Dated: July 24, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs,National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, part 222, of chapter II, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 222—GENERAL ENDANGERED AND THREATENED MARINE SPECIES 1. The authority citation for part 222 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 742a et seq.

    2. Add subpart E to part 222 to read as follows: Subpart E—Experimental Populations Sec. 222.501 Definitions. 222.502 Listing. 222.503 Prohibitions. 222.504 Interagency cooperation. Subpart E—Experimental Populations
    § 222.501 Definitions.

    (a) The term experimental population means any introduced and/or designated population (including any off-spring arising solely therefrom) that has been so designated in accordance with the procedures of this subpart but only when, and at such times as, the population is wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species. Where part of an experimental population overlaps with nonexperimental populations of the same species on a particular occasion, but is wholly separate at other times, specimens of the experimental population will not be recognized as such while in the area of overlap. That is, experimental status will only be recognized outside the areas of overlap. Thus, such a population shall be treated as experimental only when the times of geographic separation are reasonably predictable; e.g., fixed migration patterns, natural or man-made barriers. A population is not treated as experimental if total separation will occur solely as a result of random and unpredictable events.

    (b) The term essential experimental population means an experimental population whose loss would be likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival of the species in the wild. All other experimental populations are to be classified as nonessential.

    § 222.502 Listing.

    (a) The Secretary may designate as an experimental population a population of endangered or threatened species that has been or will be released into suitable habitat outside the species' current range, subject to the further conditions specified in this section, provided, that all designations of experimental populations must proceed by regulation adopted in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553 and the requirements of this subpart.

    (b) Before authorizing the release as an experimental population of any population (including eggs, propagules, or individuals) of an endangered or threatened species, and before authorizing any necessary transportation to conduct the release, the Secretary must find by regulation that such release will further the conservation of the species. In making such a finding, the Secretary shall utilize the best scientific and commercial data available to consider:

    (1) Any possible adverse effects on extant populations of a species as a result of removal of individuals, eggs, or propagules for introduction elsewhere;

    (2) The likelihood that any such experimental population will become established and survive in the foreseeable future;

    (3) The effects that establishment of an experimental population will have on the recovery of the species; and

    (4) The extent to which the introduced population may be affected by existing or anticipated Federal or State actions or private activities within or adjacent to the experimental population area.

    (c) Any regulation promulgated under paragraph (a) of this section shall provide:

    (1) Appropriate means to identify the experimental population, including, but not limited to, its actual or proposed location; actual or anticipated migration; number of specimens released or to be released, if appropriate; and other criteria appropriate to identify the experimental population(s);

    (2) A finding, based solely on the best scientific and commercial data available, and the supporting factual basis, on whether the experimental population is, or is not, essential to the continued existence of the species in the wild;

    (3) Management restrictions, protective measures, or other special management concerns of that population, as appropriate, which may include, but are not limited to, measures to isolate and/or contain the experimental population designated in the regulation from nonexperimental populations and protective regulations established pursuant to section 4(d) of the Act; and

    (4) A process for periodic review and evaluation of the success or failure of the release and the effect of the release on the conservation and recovery of the species.

    (d) The Secretary may issue a permit under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act, if appropriate, to allow acts necessary for the establishment and maintenance of an experimental population.

    (e) The National Marine Fisheries Service shall consult with appropriate State fish and wildlife agencies, affected tribal governments, local governmental entities, affected Federal agencies, and affected private landowners in developing and implementing experimental population rules. When appropriate, a public meeting will be conducted with interested members of the public. Any regulation promulgated pursuant to this section shall, to the maximum extent practicable, represent an agreement between the National Marine Fisheries Service, the affected State and Federal agencies and tribal governments, and persons holding any interest in land or water which may be affected by the establishment of an experimental population.

    (f) Any population of an endangered species or a threatened species determined by the Secretary to be an experimental population in accordance with this subpart shall be identified by special rule in part 223 as appropriate and separately listed in 50 CFR 17.11(h) (wildlife) or 50 CFR 17.12(h) (plants) as appropriate.

    (g) The Secretary may designate critical habitat as defined in section (3)(5)(A) of the Act for an essential experimental population as determined pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section. Any designation of critical habitat for an essential experimental population will be made in accordance with section 4 of the Act. No designation of critical habitat will be made for nonessential experimental populations.

    § 222.503 Prohibitions.

    (a) Any population determined by the Secretary to be an experimental population shall be treated as if it were listed as a threatened species for purposes of establishing protective regulations under section 4(d) of the Act with respect to such population.

    (b) Accordingly, when designating, or revising, an experimental population under section 10(j) of the Act, the Secretary may also exercise his or her authority under section 4(d) of the Act to include protective regulations necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of such species as part of the special rule for the experimental population. Any protective regulations applicable to the species from which the experimental population was sourced do not apply to the experimental population unless specifically included in the special rule for the experimental population.

    § 222.504 Interagency cooperation.

    (a) Any experimental population designated for a listed species determined pursuant to § 222.502(c)(2) not to be essential to the survival of that species and not occurring within the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System, shall be treated for purposes of section 7 of the Act (other than this paragraph (a) thereof) as a species proposed to be listed under the Act as a threatened species, and the provisions of section 7(a)(4) of the Act shall apply.

    (b) Any experimental population designated for a listed species that either has been determined pursuant to § 222.502(c)(2) to be essential to the survival of that species, or occurs within the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System as now or hereafter constituted, shall be treated for purposes of section 7 of the Act as a threatened species, and the provisions of section 7(a)(2) of the Act shall apply.

    [FR Doc. 2015-18894 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 148 Monday, August 3, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Del Norte County Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Del Norte County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Crescent City, California. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with title II of the Act. Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/srnf/workingtogether/advisorycommittee.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held September 1, 2015, at 6:00 p.m.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Del Norte County Unified School District, Redwood Room, 301 West Washington Boulevard, Crescent City, California.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under Supplementary Information. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Six Rivers National Forest (NF) Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lynn Wright, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 707-441-3562 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to:

    • Provide updates regarding status of Secure Rural Schools Title II program and funding; and

    • Review and recommend potential projects eligible for funding.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by August 21, 2015 to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Lynn Wright, RAC Coordinator, Six Rivers NF Office, 1330 Bayshore Way, Eureka, CA 95501; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 707-445-8677.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled For Further Information Contact. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: July 25, 2015. Merv George Jr., Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18937 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Statistics Service Notice of Intent To Request To Conduct a New Information Collection AGENCY:

    National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to seek approval to conduct a new information collection to gather data related to the costs incurred by farmers to improve the pollination of their crops through the use of honey bees and other pollinators.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by October 2, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number 0535-NEW, by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected]. Include docket number above in the subject line of the message.

    eFax: (855) 838-6382

    Mail: Mail any paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Hand deliver to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Renee Picanso, Associate Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 720-2707. Copies of this information collection and related instructions can be obtained without charge from David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, at (202) 690-2388.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Cost of Pollination Survey.

    OMB Control Number: 0535—NEW.

    Type of Request: Intent to seek approval to conduct a new information collection for a period of three years.

    Abstract: The primary objective of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is to prepare and issue state and national estimates of crop and livestock production, prices, and disposition; as well as economic statistics, environmental statistics related to agriculture, and also to conduct the Census of Agriculture.

    Pollinators (honey bees, bats, butterflies, hummingbirds, etc.) are vital to the agricultural industry for pollinating numerous food crops for the world's population. Concern for honey bee colony mortality has risen since the introduction of Varroa mites in the United States in the late 1980s and the appearance of Colony Collapse Disorder in the past decade.

    In the Pollinator Research Action Plan, the President's Pollinator Health Task Force identified nearly 200 tasks that need to be conducted and coordinated from across the government to research all aspects of pollinator health and to come up with suggestions for improving this vital part of our food system. The Task Force's plan will involve conducting research and collecting data for the following categories: Status & Trends, Habitats, Nutrition, Pesticides, Native Plants, Collections, Genetics, Pathogens, Decision Tools, and Economics. The pollinators have been classified into Honey Bee, Native Bee, Wasp, Moth/Butterfly, Fly, and Vertebrate. The departments that will conduct the bulk of the research are the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Smithsonian Institute (SI), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    NASS has been given the tasks of collecting economic data related to honey bees and quantifying the number of colonies that were lost or reduced. NASS was approved to conduct the Quarterly and Annual Colony Loss Surveys under OMB approval number 0535-0255. NASS plans to also collect the economic data under this new collection. NASS collects data from crop farmers who rely on pollinators for their crops (fruits, nuts, vegetables, etc.). Data relating to the targeted crops will be collected for the total number of acres that rely on honey bee pollination, the number of honey bee colonies that were used on those acres, and any cash fees associated with honey bee pollination. Crop Farmers will also be asked if beekeepers who were hired to bring their bees to their farm were notified of pesticides used on the target acres, how many acres they were being hired to pollinate, and how much they were being paid to pollinate the targeted crops.

    Authority: These data will be collected under the authority of 7 U.S.C. 2204(a). Individually identifiable data collected under this authority are governed by Section 1770 of the Food Security Act of 1985 as amended, 7 U.S.C. 2276, which requires USDA to afford strict confidentiality to non-aggregated data provided by respondents. This Notice is submitted in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-113) and the Office of Management and Budget regulations at 5 CFR part 1320.

    NASS also complies with OMB Implementation Guidance, “Implementation Guidance for Title V of the E-Government Act, Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA),” Federal Register, Vol. 72, No. 115, June 15, 2007, p. 33376.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 15 minutes per response. Publicity materials and an instruction sheet for reporting via internet will account for 5 minutes of additional burden per respondent. Respondents who refuse to complete a survey will be allotted 2 minutes of burden per attempt to collect the data.

    Once a year, NASS will contact approximately 53,000 crop farmers who rely on honey bees to pollinate their fruit, nut, vegetable, and other crops. NASS will conduct the annual survey initially using a mail and internet approach. This will be followed up with phone and personal enumeration for non-respondents. NASS will attempt to obtain at least an 80% response rate.

    Respondents: Farmers.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 53,000.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: With an estimated response rate of approximately 80%, we estimate the burden to be 13,400 hours.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, technological, or other forms of information technology collection methods.

    All responses to this notice will become a matter of public record and be summarized in the request for OMB approval.

    Signed at Washington, DC, July 24, 2015. Joseph T. Reilly, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18975 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) Demonstration Program Under Section 514, Section 515, and Section 516 for Fiscal Year 2015 AGENCY:

    Rural Housing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Housing Service (Agency) announces the timeframe to submit applications to participate in a demonstration program to preserve and revitalize existing Rural Rental Housing (RRH) projects under Section 514, Section 515, and Section 516 of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended. Under this demonstration program, existing Section 515 Multi-Family Housing (MFH) loans and Sections 514/516 Off-Farm Labor Housing (FLH) loans will be restructured to ensure sufficient resources are available to preserve the ability of rental projects to provide safe and affordable housing for very low-, low-, or moderate-income residents. Projects participating in this program will be expected to be revitalized to extend their affordable use without displacing tenants because of increased rents. No additional Agency Rental Assistance (RA) will be made available under this program.

    DATES:

    For Fiscal Year 2015, the Agency will facilitate use of the Fiscal Year 2015 Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) funding tools by holding a competitive application round for MPR applications requesting other MPR funding tools, in addition to the available MPR deferral assistance, and by adding a continuous open application process for any transfer applications that request only the MPR loan deferral assistance. Application deadlines for these opportunities are:

    (1) For MPR applications requesting debt deferral of eligible Section 514 or Section 515 loans, plus other MPR funding tools, complete applications must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time,120 calendar days after August 3, 2015, and

    (2) For any MPR applications requesting debt deferral only for eligible Section 514 or Section 515 loans, complete applications may be submitted on an ongoing basis through COB 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, December 31, 2015.

    The pre-application closing deadline is firm as to date and hour. The Agency will not consider any pre-application that is received after the closing deadline. Applicant's intending to mail pre-applications must allow sufficient time to permit delivery on or before the closing deadline. Acceptance by a post office or private mailer does not constitute delivery. Facsimile (FAX) and postage-due pre-applications will not be accepted.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Greenwalt, [email protected], (314) 457-5933, and/or Abby Boggs [email protected], (615) 783 1382, Finance and Loan Analyst, Multi-Family Housing Preservation and Direct Loan Division, STOP 0782, (Room 1263-S) U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0782. All hard copy pre-applications and required documents (attachments) must be submitted to this address. (Please note these telephone numbers are not a toll-free numbers.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 funding for the MPR demonstration program will be posted on the Rural Development Web site, www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/notices-solicitation-applications-nosas. The commitment of program dollars will be made to applicants of selected applications that have fulfilled the necessary requirements for obligation, to the extent an appropriation act provides funding for the MPR demonstration program.

    Expenses incurred in applying for this Notice will be borne by and be at the applicant's risk.

    Of particular note this year, the Rural Housing Service (the Agency) will assign additional points to pre-applications for projects based in or serving census tracts with poverty rates greater than or equal to 20 percent. This emphasis will support Rural Development's (RD) mission of improving the quality of life for Rural Americans and commitment to directing resources to those most in need.

    A synopsis of this program and the pre-application's universal resource locator will be listed by Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number or at Federal Grants Wire at http://www.federalgrantswire.com.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection requirements contained in this Notice have received approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Control Number 0570-0190.

    Overview

    Federal Agency Name: Rural Housing Service, USDA.

    Funding Opportunity Title: Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization Demonstration Program—Section 514, Section 515, and Section 516 for Fiscal Year 2015.

    Announcement Type: Inviting responses in the form of pre-applications from interested applicants.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number (CFDA): 10.447.

    I. Funding Opportunity Description

    The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235, signed December 16, 2014, authorized the Agency to conduct a demonstration program for the preservation and revitalization of the Section 515 MFH portfolio and Sections 514/516 Off-FLH portfolio. Section 514, Section 515 and Section 516 MFH programs are authorized by the Housing Act of 1949, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1484, 1485 and 1486) and provide Rural Development with the authority to provide financial assistance for low- income MFH and FLH and related facilities, as described in 7 CFR part 3560.

    This Notice solicits pre-applications from interested borrowers/applicants to restructure existing MFH projects already participating in the Agency's Section 515 MFH portfolio and Sections 514/516 FLH portfolio for the purpose of revitalization and preservation. Eligible borrowers are sometimes referred to in this Notice as “applicants,” “borrowers,” “applicant/borrowers,” or “owners” as seems most appropriate for the context of the relevant Notice provision. The MPR demonstration program shall be referred to in this Notice as the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization demonstration program. Agency regulations for the Section 515 MFH program and the Sections 514/516 FLH program are published at 7 CFR part 3560.

    The intent of the MPR demonstration program is to ensure that existing rental projects will continue to deliver decent, safe and sanitary affordable rental housing for 20 years, the remaining term of any Agency loan, or the remaining term of any existing Restrictive-Use Provisions (RUP) or prohibition, whichever ends later.

    Note:

    All pre-applications will be selected by the Agency using the process described in this Notice, and the selected applicants will be invited to participate in the MPR demonstration program. Upon written notification to the Agency from the selected applicant of their acceptance to participate, an independent third-party Capital Needs Assessment (CNA) will be conducted to provide a fair and objective review of projected capital needs. The Agency shall implement any restructuring proposal that may be offered under this Notice through an MPR Conditional Commitment (MPRCC) with the eligible borrower/applicant, which will include all the terms and conditions offered by the Agency.

    One of the MPR tools to be used in this program is debt deferral for up to 20 years of the existing Section 514 or Section 515 loans obligated prior to October 1, 1991. The cash flow from the deferred payment will be deposited, as directed by the Agency, to the reserve account to help meet the future physical needs of the project, support new debt or to reduce rents, as determined by the Agency.

    A. Debt deferral is described as follows:

    1. MPR Debt Deferral. A deferral of the existing Section 514 or Section 515 Agency loan(s), obligated prior to October 1, 1991, for 20 years. If the term of any existing Section 514 or Section 515 loans is less than 20 years, the Agency will offer a re-amortization of the existing loans extending the term to a minimum of 20 years. Section 514 or Section 515 loans obligated prior to October 1, 1991, and subsequently transferred on new rates and terms may not be eligible for deferral. Any questions on whether or not a loan is eligible for deferral should be directed to the local RD State Office at: http://teamrd.usda.gov/rd/emp_services/directory/states/Combined.doc. All terms and conditions of the deferral will be described in the MPR Debt Deferral Agreement. A balloon payment of principal and accrued interest will be due at the end of the deferral period. Interest will accrue at the promissory note rate and, if applicable, the subsidy will be applied as set out in the Agency's “Multiple Family Housing Interest Credit Agreement” Form RD 3560-9, which is available at http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD3560-9.PDF.

    B. Other Agency MPR funding tools are as follows:

    1. MPR Grant. A grant limited to non-profit applicants/borrowers only. The grant will be limited to the cost of correcting health and safety violations of a project identified by a CNA accepted by the Agency. The grant administration will be in accordance with applicable provisions of 2 CFR parts 200 and 400.

    2. MPR Zero Percent Loan. A loan at zero percent interest. The loan's maximum term and amortization will be as authorized by the respective program authority.

    (a) For Section 515 RRH projects, the maximum loan term is 30 years amortized over a maximum term of 50 years.

    (b) For Sections 514/516 projects, the loan will be amortized over a maximum term of 33 years.

    3. MPR Soft-Second Loan. A loan with a one percent interest rate that will have its accrued interest and principal deferred to a balloon payment. The balloon payment will be due at the same time the latest maturing Section 514 or Section 515 loan already in place at the time of closing, or the maturity date of any current loan being re-amortized as part of the restructuring, is due.

    MPR funds cannot be used to build community rooms, add additional parking areas, playgrounds, laundry rooms or additional new units, unless the additional unit(s) are needed for the project to meet the 5 percent fully accessible requirement as defined by Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS), and the Agency concurs. However, other funding sources as outlined below in (a) through (f) can be used either for such revitalization and/or improvements:

    4. Other Sources of Funds

    (a) Rural Development Section 515 Rehabilitation loan funds;

    (b) Rural Development Sections 514/516 Off-Farm rehabilitation loan/grant funds;

    (c) Rural Development Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing (GRRH) program financing;

    (d) Rural Development Multi-Family Housing Preservation Revolving Loan Funds program;

    (e) Third-party loans, grants, tax credits and tax-exempt financing; and

    (f) Owner-provided capital contributions in the form of a cash infusion. A cash infusion cannot be a loan.

    Transfers, subordinations, and consolidations may be approved as part of an MPR transaction in accordance with 7 CFR part 3560. If a transfer is part of the MPR transaction, and the transfer includes a seller payment and/or increase in the allowable Return to Owner (RTO), the transfer must first be underwritten to meet the requirements of 7 CFR 3560.406. The transfer underwriting may assume the deferral of all eligible Sections 514/516 or Section 515 loans. After the transfer has been underwritten and concurred with by the Agency's Multifamily Housing Preservation and Direct Loan Division, the MPR transaction may be underwritten.

    For the purposes of the MPR demonstration program, the restructuring transactions will be identified by the Agency in three categories:

    • Simple Transactions: These involve no change in ownership.

    • Complex Transactions: These may consist of a project transfer to a new ownership, processed in accordance with 7 CFR 3560.406, with or without a consolidation, or transactions requiring a subordination agreement as a result of third-party funds. The applicant will submit one pre-application. If a consolidation is proposed, all projects to be consolidated must be submitted on one pre-application and be located in the same market area.

    To be considered in the same market area, projects must be in a neighborhood or similar area where the property competes for tenants; managed under one management plan and one management agreement; and, in sufficiently close proximity to permit convenient and efficient management of the property.

    Applicants should discuss proposed consolidations with the Rural Development State Office in the State(s) where the projects are located prior to filing their MPR pre-application to ensure Rural Development concurs with the applicant's market area estimation.

    If either the Agency or the owner chooses to remove one or more projects from the proposal, this may be done without affecting the eligibility of the complex transaction. To be a complex transaction, the Agency assumes only one project remains at the MPR closing.

    • Portfolio transactions: These include two or more projects with one stay-in owner, or two or more projects with multiple project sale transactions to a common purchaser all located in one State. A stay-in-owner is defined as an existing Section 515 or Sections 514/516 borrower who owns two or more properties either as a single ownership entity or as separate legal entities with at least one common general partner/managing member. Each project included in the portfolio will be submitted on a separate pre-application form unless some projects are located in the same market area, as defined above, and are being consolidated. Any projects in the portfolio proposed to be consolidated should be listed on the same pre-application form. Each pre-application must have the same portfolio name. If the owner chooses to remove one or more projects from the proposal, at least two projects must remain in order to be classified as a portfolio transaction. At the end of the transaction, the Agency assumes there will be two or more projects. The projects of the stay-in owner or common purchaser must have at least one general partner/managing member in common.

    Transactions within each category may utilize any or all MPR funding tools described above in paragraph I, “Funding Opportunity Description.” MPR tools available through the MPR demonstration program will be used to address preservation and rehabilitation needs identified in the Agency accepted CNA.

    Liens against the project, with the exception of Agency deferred debt, cannot exceed the Agency-approved security value of the project. All Agency debt, either in first lien position or a subordinated lien position, must be secured by the project, except deferred debt, which is not included in the Agency's total lien position for computation of the Agency's security value. Payment of any deferred debt will not be required from normal project operations income. Payment of any deferred debt will be required from excess cash generated from project operations after all other secured debts are satisfied or as directed by the Agency.

    Maturing Mortgage Applications

    The Agency recognizes that a number of Section 515 and Sections 514/516 properties are financed through mortgages scheduled to mature through calendar year 2018. The Agency will make an MPR debt deferral available to properties with all Agency mortgages maturing on or before December 31, 2018, in order to extend the affordable use of the housing and continue its eligibility for Section 521 Rental Assistance. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Notice, applicants applying for a deferral of their eligible mortgage debt will be required to meet the eligibility requirements in either 7 CFR 3560.55 or 3560.555, as determined applicable by the Agency. Applicants applying solely for deferral of eligible maturing mortgages will only be required to submit the MPR pre-application within the established deadlines set out in the DATES section of this Notice; no additional supporting documentation is required.

    The applicant will complete the MPR pre-application documenting the date the Agency loans will mature. The Agency reserves the right to approve an MPR debt deferral under this paragraph in its sole discretion, based on factors including but not limited to: The preceding 12-month average physical vacancy; analysis of current ownership; evidence the property is financially solvent; the current physical condition of the property; amount of assistance needed to meet immediate and long term physical needs of the property; and the availability of other subsidized housing within the community.

    If other MPR tools are needed, in addition to debt deferral, the Agency will require selected applicants to submit an approved Capital Needs Assessment to provide a fair and objective review of the property's projected physical needs.

    II. Award Information

    All Agency funding of pre-applications selected under this Notice will carry over to the next fiscal year and be considered for funding. However, pre-applications selected under this Notice must be approved by the Agency no later than December 31, 2017. Any pre-applications selected under this Notice, not approved by the Agency prior to December 31, 2017, will be considered automatically withdrawn. Applicants may reapply for funding under future Notices.

    Applicants are alerted the Agency has unfunded applications carried over from prior Notices that will receive priority consideration for funding approval in FY 2015 based on the terms of those Notices. If fiscal year funds available for the MPR demonstration program are fully committed before all eligible pre-applications selected for further processing under this Notice are funded, the Agency may suspend further processing of the pre-applications at that time.

    MPR funding tools will be used in accordance with 7 CFR part 3560. The program will be administered within the resources available to the Agency through Public Law 113-235 and any future appropriations for the preservation and revitalization of Sections 514/516 and Section 515-financed projects. In the event that any provisions of 7 CFR part 3560 conflict with this Notice, the provisions of this Notice will take precedence.

    III. Eligibility Information

    A. Applicants (and the principals associated with each applicant) must meet the following requirements:

    1. All applicants must meet the eligibility requirements included in 7 CFR 3560.55 or 3560.555, as determined appropriate by the Agency. This Notice requires selected applicants to make the required equity contribution as outlined in 3560.63(c) for any new Section 515 loan offered as part of the MPR. Funds committed under Section I may be used to fund all or a portion of the required equity contribution. Loan applicants will not be given consideration for any increased equity value the property may have since the initial loan was made. Eligibility also includes the continued ability of the borrower/applicant to provide acceptable management and will include an evaluation of any current outstanding deficiencies. Any outstanding violations or extended open findings as defined in Section V, and recorded in the Agency's automated Multi-Family Information System (MFIS), will preclude further processing of any MPR applications associated with the applicant/borrower as well as any affiliated entity having a 10 percent or more ownership interest unless there is a current, approved workout plan in place and the plan has been satisfactorily followed for a minimum of 6 consecutive months, as determined by the Agency.

    2. For Section 515 RRH projects, the average physical vacancy rate for the 12 months preceding this Notice's publication date can be no more than 10 percent for projects consisting of 16 or more revenue units and no more than 15 percent for projects less than 16 revenue units unless an exception applies under section VI paragraph (1) of this Notice. If a project consolidation is involved, the consolidation will remain eligible so long as the average vacancy rate for each individual project meets the occupancy standard noted in this paragraph. Projects that do not meet the occupancy threshold at the time of filing the application, regardless of reason, may be withdrawn by the owner or the Agency without jeopardizing the application.

    3. For Sections 514/516 FLH projects, rather than an average physical vacancy rate as noted in section (ii) above, a positive cash flow for the previous full 3 years of operation is required unless an exception applies as described section III(A)(2), above.

    4. Ownership of and ability to operate the project after the transaction is completed. In the event of a transfer, the proposed transferee must submit evidence of site control. Evidence may include a Purchase Agreement, Letter of Intent, or other documentation acceptable to the Agency.

    5. An Agency approved CNA (for guidance refer to http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/housing-preservation-revitalization-demonstration-loans-grants) and an Agency financial evaluation must be conducted to ensure that utilization of the restructuring tools of the MPR demonstration program is financially feasible and necessary for the revitalization and preservation of the project for affordable housing. Initial eligibility for processing will be determined as of the date of the pre-application filing deadline. The Agency reserves the right to discontinue processing any application due to material changes in the applicant's status occurring at any time after the initial eligibility determination.

    6. All grant-eligible applicants must obtain a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and register in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) prior to submitting a pre-application pursuant to 2 CFR 25.200. In addition, an entity applicant must maintain registration in the CCR database at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by the Agency. Similarly, all recipients of Federal Financial Assistance are required to report information about first-tier, sub-awards and executive compensation, in accordance with 2 CFR part 170. So long as an entity applicant does not have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b), the applicant must have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the reporting requirements should the applicant receive funding. See 2 CFR 170.200(b).

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    A. The general steps of the MPR application process are as follows:

    1. Pre-application: Applicants submit a pre-application described in Section IV below along with any supporting documentation as outlined in the Notice. Failure to timely submit all required documentation will result in an incomplete pre-application. This pre-application process is designed to lessen the cost burden on all applicants, including those who may not be eligible or whose proposals may not be feasible.

    Note:

    If you receive a loan or grant award under this Notice, USDA reserves the right to post all information submitted as part of the pre-application/application package, which is not protected under the Privacy Act, on a public Web site with free and open access to any member of the public.

    2. Eligible Projects: Using criteria described below in Section III, the Agency will conduct an initial screening for eligibility. As described in Section VI, the Agency will conduct an additional eligibility screening later in the application process.

    3. Scoring and Ranking: All complete, eligible and timely-filed pre-applications will be scored, ranked and put in potential funding categories as discussed in Sections VI and VII below.

    4. Formal Applications: Top ranked pre-applicants will receive a letter from the Agency inviting them to submit a formal application. As discussed in Section III of this Notice, the Agency will require the owner to provide a CNA, completed in accordance with the Agency's published guidance (available at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/housing-preservation-revitalization-demonstration-loans-grants) to underwrite the proposal to determine financial feasibility. Applicants will be informed of any proposals that are determined to be incomplete, ineligible or financially infeasible. Any proposal denied by the Agency will be returned to the applicant, and the applicant will be given appeal rights pursuant to 7 CFR part 11.

    5. Financial Feasibility: The Agency will use the results of the CNA to help identify the need for resources and applicant provided information regarding anticipated or available third-party financing, in order to determine the financial feasibility of each potential transaction, using restructuring tools available either through existing regulatory authorities or specifically authorized through the MPR demonstration program. A project is financially feasible when it can provide affordable, decent, safe, and sanitary housing for 20 years or the remaining term of any Agency loan, whichever ends later, by using the authorities of this program while minimizing the cost to the Agency, and without increasing rents for eligible tenants or farm laborers, except when necessary to meet normal and necessary operating expenses, as determined by the Agency. If the transaction is determined financially feasible by the Agency, the borrower will be offered a restructuring proposal, subject to available funding. This will include a requirement that the borrower execute, for recordation, an Agency-approved Restrictive-Use Covenant (RUC) for a period of 20 years, the remaining term of any loans, or the remaining term of any existing RUPs, whichever ends later. The restructuring proposal will be established in the MPRCC.

    6. MPR Agreements: If the offer is accepted by the applicant, the applicant must sign and return the MPRCC. By signing the offer, the applicant agrees to the terms of the MPRCC. Any third-party lender will be required to subordinate to the Agency's RUC unless the Agency determines, on a case-by-case basis, that the lender's refusal to subordinate will not compromise the purpose of the MPR demonstration program.

    7. General Requirements: The MPR transactions may be conducted with a stay-in owner (simple) or may involve a change in ownership (complex or portfolio). Any housing or related facilities that are constructed or repaired must meet the Agency design and construction standards and the development standards contained in 7 CFR part 1924, subparts A and C, respectively. Once constructed or rehabbed, Section 515 MFH and Sections 514/516 FLH projects must be managed in accordance with 7 CFR part 3560. Tenant eligibility will be limited to persons who qualify as an eligible household under Agency regulations. Tenant eligibility requirements are contained in 7 CFR 3560.152.

    B. The application submission and scoring process will be completed in two phases in order to avoid unnecessary effort and expense on the part of applicants, are as follows:

    1. Phase I—The first phase is the pre-application process. Applicants must submit a complete pre-application by the deadline listed under the DATES section of this Notice. The applicant's submission will be classified as “complete” when the MPR pre-application is received in the correct format and place as described in this Notice for each existing property the applicant wishes to be considered in the demonstration program. In the event the MPR proposal involves a project consolidation, it will be completed in accordance with 7 CFR 3560.410. One pre-application for the proposed consolidated project is required and must identify each project included in the consolidation. If the MPR proposal involves a portfolio transaction (sale or stay-in owner), one pre-application for each project in the portfolio is required and each pre-application must identify each project included in the portfolio transaction. In order for the pre-application to be considered complete, all applicable information requested on the MPR pre-application form must be provided. Additional information that must be provided with the pre-application to be considered complete, when applicable, includes:

    (a) For all transfers of ownership, evidence of site control must be provided.

    (b) Current market data (defined as no more than 6 months old at time of filing) for any project not meeting the occupancy standards cited in sections III(2) and III(3) above. The market data must demonstrate there is need for the project evidenced by waiting lists and a housing shortage confirmed by local housing agencies and realtors and accepted by the Agency. The market data must show a clear need and demand for the project once a restructuring transaction is completed. The results of the survey of existing or proposed rental or labor housing, including complex name, location, number of units, bedroom mix, family or elderly type, year built, and rent charges must be provided, as well as the existing vacancy rate of all available rental units in the community, their waiting lists and amenities, and the availability of RA or other subsidies. The Agency will determine whether or not the proposal has market feasibility based on the data provided by the applicant. Any costs associated with the completion of the market data is not an eligible program project expense.

    (c) For a property that has been sold to a non-profit entity under the Sale to Non-Profit process defined in 3560, Subpart N, a copy of the recorded Deed.

    Unless an exception under this section applies, the requirements stated in Section III, paragraphs (2) and (3) of this Notice must be met.

    Note:

    All documents must be received on or before the pre-application closing deadline to be considered complete and timely filed. Pre-applications that do not include evidence of site control for transfer proposals or current market data for projects that do not meet the occupancy standards of Section III paragraphs (2) and (3) of this Notice, will be considered incomplete and will be returned to the applicant.

    2. Phase II—The second phase of the application process will be completed by the Agency based on Agency records and the pre-application information submitted. All complete, eligible, and timely-filed pre-applications will be scored and ranked based on points received during this two-phase application process. Further, the Agency will categorize each MPR proposal as being a Simple, Complex, or Portfolio transaction based on the information submitted on the pre-application, in accordance with the category descriptions provided in Section I of this Notice.

    Pre-applications can be submitted either electronically or in hard copy. The Agency will record pre-applications received electronically by the actual date and time received in the MPR Web site mail box. This date may impact ranking of the pre-application as discussed under section VI. For all hard copy pre-applications received, the recorded receipt time will be the close of business time for the day received, for the location to which the pre-applications are sent. Assistance for filing electronic and hard copy pre-applications can be obtained from any Rural Development State Office. USDA Rural Development MFH State Office contacts can be found at http://teamrd.usda.gov/rd/emp_services/directory/states/Combined.doc

    (Note: Telephone numbers listed in the Web site are not toll-free.)

    The pre-application is in Adobe Acrobat format and may be completed as a fillable form. The form contains a button labeled “Submit by Email.” Clicking on the button will result in an email containing a completed pre-application being sent to the MPR Web site mail box for consideration. If a purchase agreement or market data is required, these additional documents are to be attached to the resulting email prior to submission.

    Pre-applications may be downloaded from the Agency's Web site at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/housing-preservation-revitalization-demonstration-loans-grants or obtained by contacting the State Office in the State the project is located. Hard copy pre-applications and additional materials can be mailed to the attention of Dean Greenwalt or Abby Boggs, Finance and Loan Analyst, Multi-Family Housing Preservation and Direct Loan Division, STOP 0782, (Room 1263-S), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0782.

    V. Application Review Information

    A. Pre-application ranking points will be based on information provided during the submission process, and in Agency records. Only timely, complete pre-applications requesting debt deferral of eligible Section 514 or Section 515 loans plus other MPR funding tools will be ranked. Points will be awarded as follows:

    1. Contribution of other sources of funds. Other funds are those discussed in Section I.B, “Other Sources of Funds” paragraph, items (a) through (f), above. Points will be awarded based on documented written evidence that the funds are committed, as determined by the Agency. “Commitment” means an actual award of funds, or another contractual agreement between a third-party funder and the borrower/applicant entity to provide funds.] Commitments that include the terms such as `may' or `intend' will not be acceptable for scoring purposes. The maximum points awarded for this criterion is 25 points. These points will be awarded in the following manner:

    (a) Evidence of a commitment of at least $3,000 to $5,000 per unit per project from other sources—15 points, or

    (b) Evidence of a commitment greater than $5,000 per unit per project from other sources—25 points.

    2. Owner contribution. Points will be awarded if the owner agrees to make a contribution of at least $10,000 per project to pay transaction costs. (These funds cannot be from the project's reserve, operating funds, tax credit equity or be in the form of donated services provided by the applicant.) Transaction costs are defined as those Agency-approved costs required to complete the transaction under this Notice and include, but are not limited to the CNA, legal and closing costs, appraisal costs and filing/recording fees. This contribution must be deposited into the respective project reserve account prior to closing the MPR transaction from the owner's non-project resources. 20 points

    3. Owner contribution for the hard costs of construction. (These funds cannot be from the project's reserve account or project's general operating account or in the form of a loan.) Hard costs of construction are defined as those costs for materials equipment, property or machinery required to complete the proposal under this Notice. Hard costs must be itemized on Form RD 1924-13, “Estimate and Certificate of Actual Cost”. Form RD 1924-13 can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD1924-13.PDF.

    The minimum contribution required to receive these points is $1,000 per unit per project, which will be required to be deposited in the project reserve account or supervised/construction account, as directed by Rural Development, prior to closing. An increased RTO may be allowed for funds committed in accordance with 7 CFR 3560.406(d)(14)(ii). 10 points

    4. Maturing Mortgages. Points will be awarded to properties where all existing RD loans will mature (make their final loan payment) on or before December 31, 2018. 10 Points.

    5. Persistent poverty counties. Points will be awarded to projects located in persistent poverty counties. A persistent poverty county is a classification for counties in the United States that have had a relatively high rate of poverty over a long period. The USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) (http://ers.usda.gov/) is the main source of economic information and research for USDA and a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System located in Washington, DC. ERS has defined counties as being persistently poor if 20 percent or more of their populations were living in poverty over the last 30 years (measured by the 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial censuses and 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-year estimates). 10 points

    6. Points may be awarded to projects that have been adversely impacted by an event that, as determined by the Agency, directly and exclusively results from the occurrence of natural causes that could not have been prevented by the exercise of foresight or caution over the previous 24 months, or other unavoidable accident causing physical property damage or failure that is not reimbursable by property, casualty or liability insurance any other form of third-party compensation, such as disaster loans and grants from other agencies. 25 points

    7. Age of project. For a project consolidation (including portfolio transactions) proposal, the project with the earliest operational date (operational date is the date the project initially placed in service and documented in MFIS) will be used in determining the age of the project. Since the age of the project and the date the project placed in service are generally directly related to physical needs, a maximum of 30 points will be awarded based on the following criteria:

    (a) Projects with initial operational dates prior to December 21, 1979—30 points.

    (b) Projects with initial operational dates on or after December 21, 1979, but before December 15, 1989—20 points.

    (c) Projects with initial operational dates on or after December 15, 1989, but before October 1, 1991—10 points.

    (d) Projects with initial operational dates on or after October 1, 1991—0 points;

    8. Projects with Open Physical Findings. An “Open Physical Finding” is a condition at the property, identified by the Agency that is not in compliance with the Agency standards published in 7 CFR 3560.103. Projects with Open Physical Findings classified “B”, “C,” or “D”, as defined below, will be awarded points in the following manner:

    Class “D” Projects

    Class “D” projects are those projects that are in default and may be taken into inventory, be lost to the program, or cause the displacement of tenants. Defaults can be monetary or non-monetary. Projects in default are those where the Agency has notified the borrower of a violation using the Agency's servicing letter process, and the borrower has not addressed the violation to the Agency's satisfaction.

    Class “C” Projects

    Class “C” projects are projects with Open Physical or Financial findings or violations, which are not associated to an approved workout and/or transition plan. This can include projects with violations where a servicing letter has been issued but 60 calendar days have not passed since the issuance of the first servicing letter.

    Class “B” Projects

    Class “B” projects indicate the Agency has taken servicing steps and the borrower is cooperating to resolve identified findings or violations by associating an approved workout plan and/or transition plan.

    For transfer proposals:

    (a) For projects classified a “C” or “D” for 24 months or more. 20 points

    (b) For projects classified as a “C” or “D” for less than 24 months. 15 points

    Stay-in owner proposals:

    (a) For projects classified as a “B” as a result of a workout and/or transition plan approved by the Agency prior to April 1, 2015. 25 points.

    (b) Projects with an Agency “C” classification for 24 months or longer with Open Findings at the time the MPR pre- application is filed, will not be eligible to participate in the MPR demonstration program.

    1. Closed Sale of Section 515 projects to non-profit/Public Housing Authority. The Agency will award 20 points for projects that have been sold to non-profit organizations under the prepayment process as explained in 7 CFR part 3560, subpart N. To receive points, the borrower/applicant must provide a copy of the filed deed with their pre-application. 20 points.

    2. Prior approved Capital Needs Assessments (CNAs). In the interest of ensuring timely application processing and underwriting, the Agency will award up to 20 points for projects with CNAs already approved by the Agency. “Approved” means the date the CNA or an updated CNA was approved by the Agency. CNAs or updates before October 1, 2013, may not be used for MPR underwriting without an update approved by the Agency. Points will be awarded for:

    (a) CNAs approved on or after October 1, 2014, but prior to the publication of this Notice 20 points

    (b) CNAs approved on or after October 1, 2013, but prior to October 1, 2014, 10 points

    2. Tenant service provision. The Agency will award 5 points for applications that include new services provided by either a for-profit or a non-profit organization, which may include a faith-based organization, or by another Government agency. Such services shall be provided at no cost to the project and shall be made available to all tenants. Examples of such services may include transportation for the elderly, after-school day care services or after-school tutoring. 5 points.

    3. For portfolio sales and project consolidations, the Agency will award the following points:

    (a) Proposal does not involve a consolidation of properties 0 points;

    (b) Proposal involves a consolidation of 2-4 properties 5 points;

    (c) Proposal involves a consolidation of 5 or more properties 10 points.

    4. Energy Conservation, Energy Generation, and Green Property Management. Under the MPR Energy Initiatives, projects may receive a maximum of 42 points under three categories: Energy Conservation, Energy Generation, and Green Property Management.

    (a) Energy Conservation 30 Points

    Pre-applications for rehabilitation and preservation of projects may be eligible to receive a maximum of 30 points for the following energy conservation measures.

    (1) Participation in the Green Communities program by the Enterprise Community Partners, http://www.enterprisecommunity.com/solutions-and-innovation/enterprise-green-communities, will be awarded 30 points for any project that qualifies for the program. At least 30 percent of the points needed to qualify for the Green Communities program must be earned under the Energy Efficiency section of the Green Communities program. Green Communities has an initial checklist indicating prerequisites for participation. Each applicant must provide a checklist establishing that the prerequisites for each program's participation will be met. Additional points will be awarded for checklists that achieve higher levels of energy efficiency certification as set forth in paragraph 2 below. All checklists must be accompanied by a signed affidavit by the project architect or engineer stating that the goals are achievable.

    (2) If you are not enrolling in the Green Communities program, then points can be accumulated for each of the following items up to a total of 20 points. Provide documentation to substantiate your answers below: Documentation may include a signed statement agreeing to replace the items, when needed, with Energy Star rated items.

    (i) This proposal includes the replacement of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment with Energy Star qualified heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment. 3 points

    (ii) This proposal includes the replacement of windows and doors with Energy Star qualified windows and doors. 3 points

    (iii) This proposal includes additional attic and wall insulation that exceeds the required R-Value of these building elements for your areas as per the International Energy Conservation Code 2012. Two points will be awarded if all exterior walls exceed insulation code, and 1 point will be awarded if attic insulation exceeds code for a maximum of 3 points.

    (iv) This proposal includes the reduction in building shell air leakage by at least 15 percent as determined by pre- and post-rehab blower door testing on a sample of units. Building shell air leakage may be reduced through materials such as caulk, spray foam, gaskets and house-wrap. Sealing of duct work with mastic, foil-backed tape, or aerosolized duct sealants can also help reduce air leakage. 3 points

    (v) This proposal includes 100 percent of installed appliances and exhaust fans that are Energy Star qualified. 2 points

    (vi) This proposal includes 100 percent of installed water heaters that are Energy Star qualified. 2 points

    (vii) This proposal included replacement of 100 percent of toilets with flush capacity of more than 1.6 gallon flush capacity with new toilets having 1.6 gallon flush capacity or less, and with Environment Protection Agency (EPA) Water Sense label. 1 point

    (viii) This proposal includes 100 percent of new showerheads with EPA Water Sense label. 1 point

    (ix) This proposal included 100 percent of new faucets with EPA Water Sense label. 1 point

    (x) This proposal included 100 percent energy-efficient lighting including, but not limited to, Energy Star qualified fixtures, compact fluorescent replacement bulbs in standard incandescent fixtures and Energy Star ceiling fans. 1 point

    AND

    (3) Participation in local green/energy efficient building standards. Applicants who participate in a city, county, or municipality program will receive an additional 2 points. The applicant should be aware and look for additional requirements that are sometimes embedded in the third-party program's rating and verification systems. 2 points

    5. Energy Generation (Maximum 5 Points)

    Pre-applications which participate in the Green Communities program by the Enterprise Community Partners, or receive at least 20 points for Energy Conservation measures, are eligible to earn additional points for installation of on-site renewable energy sources. Renewable, on-site energy generation will complement a weather-tight, well-insulated building envelope with highly efficient mechanical systems. Possible renewable energy generation technologies include, but are not limited to: Wind turbines and micro-turbines, micro-hydro power, photovoltaic (capable of producing a voltage when exposed to radiant energy, especially light), solar hot water systems and biomass/biofuel systems that do not use fossil fuels in production. Geo-exchange systems are highly encouraged as they lessen the total demand for energy and, if supplemented with other renewable energy sources, can achieve zero energy consumption more easily.

    Points under this paragraph will be awarded as follows. Projects with preliminary or rehabilitation building plans and energy analysis that propose a 10 percent to 100 percent energy generation commitment (where generation is considered to be the total amount of energy needed to be generated on-site to make the building a net-zero consumer of energy) may be awarded points corresponding to their percent of commitment as follows:

    (a) 0 to 9 percent commitment to energy generation receives 0 points;

    (b) 10 to 20 percent commitment to energy generation receives 1 point;

    (c) 21 to 40 percent commitment to energy generation receives 2 points;

    (d) 41 to 60 percent commitment to energy generation receives 3 points;

    (e) 61 to 80 percent commitment to energy generation receives 4 points;

    (f) 81 to 100 percent or more commitment to energy generation receives 5 points.

    In order to receive more than 1 point for this energy generation paragraph, an accurate energy analysis prepared by an engineer will need to be submitted with the pre-application. Energy analysis of preliminary building plans using industry-recognized simulation software must document the projected total energy consumption of the building, the portion of building consumption which will be satisfied through on-site generation, and the building's Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score.

    6. Green Property Management Credentials 5 Points

    Pre-applications may be awarded an additional 5 points if the designated property management company or individuals that will assume maintenance and operations responsibilities upon completion of construction work have a Credential for Green Property Management. Credentialing can be obtained from the National Apartment Association (NAA), National Affordable Housing Management Association, the Institute for Real Estate Management, or the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Operations and Maintenance (LEED OM). Credentialing must be illustrated in the resume(s) of the property management team and included with the pre-application.

    The Agency will total the points awarded to each pre-application and rank each pre-application according to total score. If point totals are equal, the earliest time and date the pre-application was received by the Agency will determine the ranking. In the event pre-applications are still tied, they will be further ranked by giving priority to those projects with the earliest Rural Development operational date as defined under section V A 7.

    B. Confirmation of Eligibility

    For pre-applications submitted under Round 1 of this Notice requesting debt deferral only of the eligible Section 515 or Section 514 loans, the Agency will conduct eligibility determinations on an ongoing basis, and eligible applicants will be authorized to proceed, subject to the availability of appropriated funds under the MPR program.

    For pre-applications submitted under Round 2 of this Notice, Eligibility will be confirmed after ranking is completed on the highest-scoring pre-applications in each State. If one or more of the highest-scoring pre-applications is determined ineligible, (i.e. the applicant is a borrower that is not in good standing with the Agency or has been debarred or suspended by the Agency, etc.), then the next highest-scoring pre-application will be confirmed for eligibility.

    If one or more of the highest ranking pre-applications is a portfolio transaction, eligibility determinations will be conducted on each pre-application associated with the portfolio. Should any of the pre-applications associated with the portfolio be determined ineligible, those ineligible pre-application(s) will be rejected, but the overall eligibility of the portfolio will not be affected as long as the requirements in Section I and other provisions of this Notice are met, as determined by the Agency.

    If one or more of the highest-ranking pre-applications in a State is a project consolidation, and one of the projects involved in the consolidation does not meet the occupancy standards cited in Section III (ii), that project(s) will be determined ineligible and eliminated from the proposed consolidation transaction.

    VI. Award Administration Information A. Selection of Pre-Applications for Further Processing

    For pre-applications submitted under this Notice and requesting debt deferral only, the Agency will complete the eligibility confirmations on an ongoing basis and authorize those applicants determined eligible to proceed, subject to the availability of appropriated funds under the MPR program

    For pre-applications submitted under this Notice, the Agency will conduct a four-step process, described below, to select eligible pre-applications for submission of formal applications. This process will allow the Agency to develop a representative sampling of revitalization transaction types, assure geographic distribution, and assure an adequate pipeline of transactions to use all available funding. No State will be authorized to accept more than ten (10) pre-applications for submission of formal applications. If an insufficient number of pre-applications is received to use available funds, the Agency, at its sole discretion, may exceed the maximum pre-application cap per State.

    All MPR funding tools are available to be used on both Sections 514/516 and Section 515 projects.

    STEP ONE: The Agency will review the eligible pre-applications, categorize each pre-application as either Simple, Complex, or Portfolio (see section I), and sort by State.

    STEP TWO: Portfolio transactions will be limited to 3 per State (either RRH or FLH) and will count as 3 MPR transactions. A portfolio transaction, as defined in section I, will be limited to a maximum of 15 projects.

    STEP THREE: The highest ranked complex transactions (RRH or FLH) will be selected for further processing, not to exceed 2 per State.

    STEP FOUR: Additional projects will be selected from the highest ranked eligible pre-applications involving simple transactions in each State until a total of 10 (RRH or FLH) pre-applications for MPR transactions is reached.

    If there are insufficient funds for all projects selected under any step, the Agency may suspend further selections.

    This demonstration project is subject to the availability of funds. Any selected eligible applications from this Notice or prior NOFAs will be carried over to the next fiscal year for consideration. Any such unfunded pre-applications not approved by the Agency prior to December 31, 2017, will automatically be considered withdrawn by the Agency. Applicants, however, may reapply for funding under future Notices.

    B. Pre-Application Selection

    Those eligible pre-applications that are ranked and then selected for further processing will be invited to submit a formal application on SF 424, “Application for Federal Assistance.” Applications (SF 424s) can be obtained and completed online. An electronic version of this form may be found at: http://www.epa.gov/ogd/AppKit/index.htm. A hard copy may be obtained by contacting the State Office in the State where the project is located and can be submitted either electronically or in hard copy. Refer to Section VIII of this Notice, below, for a link to all Rural Development State Offices.

    Those eligible pre-applications that are not selected for further processing will be retained by the Agency unless they are withdrawn according to this Notice. Applicants rejected will be notified that their pre-applications were not selected and advised of their appeal rights under 7 CFR part 11. In the event a pre-application is selected for further processing and the applicant declines, the next highest ranked pre-application of the same transaction type in that State will be selected provided there is no change in the preliminary eligibility of the pre-applicant. If there are no other pre-applications of the same transaction type, then the next highest-ranked pre-application, regardless of transaction type, will be selected.

    Awards made under this Notice are subject to the provisions contained in the Agriculture, Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235, Division E, Title 1, sections 744 and 745, regarding corporate felony convictions and corporate federal tax delinquencies. In accordance with those provisions, only selected applicants that are or propose to be corporations need submit the following form as part of their MPR application; such applicants must submit an executed form AD-3030, which can be found online at: http://www.ocio.usda.gov/document/ad3030.

    If a pre-application is accepted for further processing, the applicant must submit additional information needed to demonstrate eligibility and feasibility (such as a CNA), consistent with this Notice and 7 CFR part 3560, prior to the issuance of any restructuring offer. The Agency will provide additional guidance to the applicant and request information and documents necessary to complete the underwriting and review process. Since the character of each application may vary substantially depending on the type of transaction proposed, information requirements will be provided as appropriate. Complete project information must be submitted as soon as possible, but in no case later than 45 calendar days from the date of Agency notification of the applicant's selection for further processing. Failure to submit the required information in a timely manner may result in the Agency discontinuing the processing of the request.

    The Agency will work with the applicants selected for further processing in accordance with the following:

    (a) Based on the feasibility of the type of transaction that will best suit the project and the availability of funds, further eligibility confirmation determinations will be conducted by the Agency.

    (b) If an Agency-approved CNA has not already been submitted to the Agency, an Agency-approved CNA will be required (see 7 CFR 3560.103(c) and the Agency's published “Guidance on the Capital Needs Assessment Process” available at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/housing-preservation-revitalization-demonstration-loans-grants and the CNA Statement of Work together with any non-conflicting amendments). Agency-approved CNAs must be prepared by a qualified independent contractor, and are obtained to determine needed repairs and any necessary adjustments to the reserve account for long-term project viability.

    (c) Underwriting will be conducted by the Agency. The feasibility and structure of each revitalization proposal will be based on the Agency's underwriting and determination of the MPR funding tools that will minimize the cost to the Government consistent with the purposes of this Notice.

    C. MPR Offers

    Approved MPR offers will be presented to successful applicants who will then have up to 15 calendar days to accept or reject the offer in writing. If no offer is made, the application will be rejected and appeal rights will be given. Closing of MPR offers will occur within six months of the obligation of MPR tools unless extended in writing by the Agency.

    VII. Non-Discrimination Statement

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. All borrowers and applicants will comply with the provisions of 7 CFR 3560.2. All housing must meet the accessibility requirements found at 7 CFR 3560.60(d). All MPR participants must submit or have on file a valid Form RD 400-1, “Equal Opportunity Agreement” and Form RD 400-4, “Assurance Agreement.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the basis 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, 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 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, 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) 720-7442 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).

    VIII. Award Agency Contacts

    USDA Rural Development MFH State Office contacts can be found at http://teamrd.usda.gov/rd/emp_services/directory/states/Combined.doc. (Note: Telephone numbers listed are not toll-free.)

    Appropriation Act funding will be posted on the Rural Development Web site.

    All adverse determinations are appealable pursuant to 7 CFR part 11. Instructions on the appeal process will be provided at the time an applicant is notified of the adverse action.

    Dated: July 28, 2015. Tony Hernandez, Administrator, Rural Housing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18990 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P
    ARCTIC RESEARCH COMMISSION 104th Commission Meeting

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Arctic Research Commission will hold its 104th meeting in Anchorage and Nome, Alaska, on August 24-26, 2015. The business sessions, open to the public, will convene at 9 a.m. in Anchorage and 8:30 a.m. in Nome.

    The Agenda items include:

    (1) Call to order and approval of the agenda

    (2) Approval of the minutes from the 103rd meeting

    (3) Commissioners and staff reports

    (4) Discussion and presentations concerning Arctic research activities

    The focus of the meeting will include reports and updates on programs and research projects affecting Alaska and the greater Arctic.

    If you plan to attend this meeting, please notify us via the contact information below. Any person planning to attend who requires special accessibility features and/or auxiliary aids, such as sign language interpreters, must inform the Commission of those needs in advance of the meeting.

    Contact person for further information: John Farrell, Executive Director, U.S. Arctic Research Commission, 703-525-0111 or TDD 703-306-0090.

    Kathy Farrow, Communications Specialist.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18897 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration First Responder Network Authority First Responder Network Authority Board Meeting AGENCY:

    First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Public meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) will hold a Special Meeting via telephone conference (teleconference) on August 17, 2015.

    DATES:

    The Special Meeting of the FirstNet Board will be held on August 17, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Special Meeting of the Board will be conducted via teleconference. Members of the public may listen to the meeting by dialing toll-free 1-888-997-9859 and using passcode 3572169. Due to the limited number of ports, attendance via teleconference will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Uzoma Onyeije, Secretary, FirstNet, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, M/S 243, Reston, VA 20192; telephone: (703) 648-4165; email: [email protected] Please direct media inquiries to Ryan Oremland at (703) 648-4114.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Act), Public Law 112-96, 126 Stat. 156 (2012), created FirstNet as an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The Act directs FirstNet to ensure the establishment of a single nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network. The FirstNet Board is responsible for making strategic decisions regarding FirstNet's operations. As provided in section 4.08 of the FirstNet Bylaws, the Board through this Notice provides at least two days notice of a Special Meeting of the Board to be held August 17, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The Board may, by a majority vote, close a portion of the Special Meeting as necessary to preserve the confidentiality of commercial or financial information that is proprietary or confidential, to discuss personnel matters, or to discuss legal matters affecting FirstNet, including pending or potential litigation. See 47 U.S.C. 1424(e)(2).

    Matters to be Considered: FirstNet will post a detailed agenda for the Special Meeting on its Web site, http://www.firstnet.gov, prior to the meeting. The agenda topics are subject to change.

    Time and Date of Meeting: The open public meeting of the full FirstNet Board will be held via teleconference on August 17, 2015, between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The times and dates are subject to change. Please refer to FirstNet's Web site at www.firstnet.gov for the most up-to-date information.

    Other Information: The teleconference for the Special Meeting is open to the public. On the date and time of the Special Meeting, members of the public may call toll-free 1-888-997-9859 and use passcode 3572169 to listen to the meeting. To view the slide presentation, the public may visit https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join and enter Conference number: 276507910 and audience passcode: Board. As an alternative, members of the public may view the slide presentations by visiting: http://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?sigKey=mymeetings&i=276507910&p=Board&t=c. If you experience technical difficulty, please contact Eli Veenendaal by telephone at (703) 648-4167 or via email at [email protected] Public access will be limited to listen-only. Due to the limited number of ports, attendance via teleconference will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The Special Meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals requiring accommodations are asked to notify Mr. Onyeije, by telephone at (703) 648-4165 or email at [email protected], at least two (2) business days before the meeting.

    Records: FirstNet maintains records of all Board proceedings. Minutes of the meetings will be available at www.firstnet.gov.

    Dated: July 29, 2015. Eli Veenendaal, Attorney Advisor, First Responder Network Authority.
    [FR Doc. 2015-19006 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-TL-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration First Responder Network Authority First Responder Network Authority Board Special Meeting AGENCY:

    First Responder Network Authority, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Public meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Finance Committee will hold a Special Meeting via telephone conference (teleconference) on August 5, 2015.

    DATES:

    The Special Meeting of FirstNet Finance Committee will be held on August 5, 2015, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Special Meeting of the Finance Committee will be conducted via teleconference. Members of the public may listen to the meeting by dialing toll-free 1-888-997-9859 and using passcode 3572169. Due to the limited number of ports, attendance via teleconference will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Uzoma Onyeije, Secretary, FirstNet, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, M/S 243, Reston, VA 20192; telephone: (703) 648-4165; email: [email protected] Please direct media inquiries to Ryan Oremland at (703) 648-4114.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Act), Public Law 112-96, 126 Stat. 156 (2012), created FirstNet as an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The Act directs FirstNet to ensure the building, operation and maintenance of a single nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network. The FirstNet Board is responsible for making strategic decisions regarding FirstNet's operations. As provided in section 4.08 of the FirstNet Bylaws, the Board through this Notice provides at least two days notice of a Special Meeting of the Finance Committee to be held August 5, 2015, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The Committee may, by a majority vote, close a portion of the Special Meeting as necessary to preserve the confidentiality of commercial or financial information that is proprietary or confidential, to discuss personnel matters, or to discuss legal matters affecting FirstNet, including pending or potential litigation. See 47 U.S.C. 1424(e)(2).

    Matters to Be Considered: FirstNet will post an agenda for the Special Meeting on its Web site at www.firstnet.gov prior to the meeting. The agenda topics are subject to change.

    Time and Date: The Special Meeting will be held on August 5, 2015, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The times and dates are subject to change. Please refer to FirstNet's Web site at www.firstnet.gov for the most up-to-date information.

    Other Information: The teleconference for the Special Meeting is open to the public. On the date and time of the Special Meeting, members of the public may call toll-free 1-888-997-9859 and use passcode 3572169 to listen to the meeting. To view the slide presentation, the public may visit https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join and enter Conference number: 276507910 and audience passcode: Board. As an alternative, members of the public may view the slide presentations by visiting: http://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?sigKey=mymeetings&i=276507910&p=Board&t=c. If you experience technical difficulty, please contact Eli Veenendaal by telephone at (703) 648-4167 or via email at [email protected] Public access will be limited to listen-only. Due to the limited number of ports, attendance via teleconference will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The Special Meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals requiring accommodations are asked to notify Mr. Onyeije, by telephone at (703) 648-4165 or email at [email protected], at least two (2) business days before the meeting.

    Records: FirstNet maintains records of all Board proceedings. Minutes of the meetings will be available at www.firstnet.gov.

    Dated: July 27, 2015. Eli Veenendaal, Attorney Advisor, First Responder Network Authority.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18999 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-TL-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-113-2015] Foreign-Trade Zone 262—Southaven, Mississippi; Application for Subzone; Haier America Trading, LLC; Olive Branch, Mississippi

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) by the Northern Mississippi FTZ, Inc., grantee of FTZ 262, requesting subzone status for the facility of Haier America Trading, LLC, located in Olive Branch, Mississippi. The application was submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on July 29, 2015.

    The proposed subzone (21.194 acres) is located at 12386 Crossroad Drive in Olive Branch. The proposed subzone would be subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 262. No authorization for production activity has been requested at this time.

    In accordance with the Board's regulations, Camille Evans of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to review the application and make recommendations to the Executive Secretary.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is September 14, 2015. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to September 28, 2015.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Camille Evans at [email protected] or (202) 482-2350.

    Dated: July 29, 2015. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18992 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-48-2015] Foreign-Trade Zone 87—Lake Charles, Louisiana; Application for Subzone; Sasol Chemicals (USA), LLC; Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the Lake Charles Harbor & Terminal District, grantee of FTZ 87, requesting subzone status for the facilities of Sasol Chemicals (USA), LLC, located in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. The application was submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on July 28, 2015.

    The proposed subzone would consist of the following sites: Site 1 (36.5 acres)—1130 Miller Avenue in Westlake; Site 2 (1,478.5 acres)—2201 Old Spanish Trail in Westlake; and, Site 3 (10 acres)—two parcels located near the eastern end of Louis Alleman Parkway in Sulphur. No authorization for production activity has been requested at this time.

    In accordance with the FTZ Board's regulations, Camille Evans of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to review the application and make recommendations to the FTZ Board.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is September 14, 2015. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to September 28, 2015.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Camille Evans at [email protected] or (202) 482-2350.

    Dated: July 28, 2015.

    Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18989 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-601] Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Reviews AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Department) has received requests from Shandong Bolong Bearing Co., Ltd. (Bolong) and Zhejiang Changxing CTL Auto Parts Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Changxing) for new shipper reviews (NSRs) of the antidumping duty order on tapered roller bearings and parts thereof, finished and unfinished (TRBs), from the People's Republic of China (PRC). We have determined that these requests meet the statutory and regulatory requirements for initiation. The period of review (POR) for these NSRs is June 1, 2014, through May 31, 2015.

    DATES:

    Effective date: August 3, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shannon Morrison or Blaine Wiltse, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-6274 or (202) 482-6345, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On June 15, 1987, the Department published in the Federal Register the antidumping duty order on TRBs from the PRC.1 Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department received two properly-filed requests for NSRs from Bolong and Changxing 2 during the anniversary month of the antidumping duty order.

    1See Antidumping Duty Order; Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished or Unfinished, From the People's Republic of China, 52 FR 22667 (June 15, 1987).

    2See Bolong's June 18, 2015, submission (Bolong NSR Request); and Changxing's June 23, 2015, submission (Changxing NSR Request).

    In their requests, Bolong and Changxing certified that they both are producers and exporters of TRBs from the PRC. Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i)(I) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(i), these companies also certified that they did not export TRBs to the United States during the period of investigation (POI).3 In addition, pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i)(II) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iii)(A), Bolong and Changxing certified that, since the initiation of the investigation, they have never been affiliated with any PRC exporter or producer who exported TRBs to the United States during the POI, including those respondents not individually examined during the investigation.4 As required by 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iii)(B), Bolong and Changxing certified that their export activities were not controlled by the government of the PRC.5

    3See Changxing NSR Request, at Exhibit 1; and Bolong NSR Request, at Exhibit 1.

    4Id.

    5Id.

    In addition to the certifications described above, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iv), each company submitted documentation establishing the following: (1) The date on which it first shipped TRBs for export to the United States and the date on which the TRBs were first entered; (2) the volume of its first shipment; and (3) the date of its first sale to an unaffiliated customer in the United States.6

    6See Changxing NSR Request, at Exhibit 2; and Bolong NSR Request, at Exhibit 2.

    The Department conducted U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) database queries to confirm that Bolong's and Changxing's shipments of subject merchandise had entered the United States for consumption and that liquidation of these entries had been properly suspended for antidumping duties. The Department also examined whether the CBP data confirmed that these entries were made during the POR. The information the Department examined was consistent with that provided by Bolong and Changxing. After the initiation of the NSRs, the Department intends to place additional CBP data on the record and, if necessary, request additional information from Bolong and/or Changxing.

    Period of Review

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.214(g)(1)(i)(A), the POR for an NSR initiated in the month immediately following the anniversary month will be the twelve-month period immediately preceding the anniversary month. Therefore, the POR is June 1, 2014, through May 31, 2015. Based on the information provided by Bolong and Changxing, the sales and entries into the United States of subject merchandise produced and exported by these companies occurred during this twelve-month POR.

    Initiation of New Shipper Reviews

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act, 19 CFR 351.214(b), 19 CFR 351.214(d)(1), and after reviewing the information on the record, the Department finds that the requests from Bolong and Changxing meet the threshold requirements for initiation of NSRs for shipments of TRBs from the PRC produced and exported by each company.7 If the information supplied by Bolong or Changxing cannot be verified using CBP import data, or is otherwise found to be incorrect or insufficient during the course of this proceeding, the Department may rescind the review for that company or apply facts available pursuant to section 776 of the Act, depending on the facts on record.

    7See Memorandum to the File from Stephen A. Banea, International Trade Compliance Analyst, Office II, AD/CVD Operations, entitled “Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of New Shipper Review of Changxing,” dated concurrently with this notice; and Memorandum to the File from Shannon Morrison, International Trade Compliance Analyst, Office II, AD/CVD Operations, entitled “Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of New Shipper Review of Bolong,” dated concurrently with this notice.

    The Department intends to issue the preliminary results of these NSRs no later than 180 days from the date of initiation, and the final results within 90 days after the date on which the preliminary results are issued, pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(iv) of the Act.

    It is the Department's usual practice, in cases involving non-market economy countries, to require that a company seeking to establish eligibility for an antidumping duty rate separate from the country-wide rate provide evidence of de jure and de facto absence of government control over the company's export activities. Accordingly, we will issue questionnaires to Bolong and Changxing, which will include a section requesting information concerning their eligibility for separate rates. The reviews will proceed if the responses provide sufficient indication that Bolong and Changxing are not subject to either de jure or de facto government control with respect to their exports of subject merchandise.

    We will instruct CBP to allow, at the option of the importer, the posting, until the completion of these reviews, of a bond or security in lieu of a cash deposit for each entry of the subject merchandise from Bolong or Changxing in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(B)(iii) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(e). Because each of these companies certified that it both produced and exported the subject merchandise, the sale of which is the basis of the NSR request, we will instruct CBP to permit the use of a bond only for subject merchandise which each new shipper applicant both produced and exported.

    To assist in its analysis of the bona fides of Bolong's and Changxing's sales, upon initiation of these NSRs, the Department will require each company to submit on an ongoing basis complete transaction information concerning any sales of subject merchandise to the United States that were made subsequent to the POR.

    Interested parties requiring access to proprietary information in these NSRs should submit applications for disclosure under administrative protective order in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305 and 351.306. This initiation and notice are published in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214 and 351.221(c)(1)(i).

    Dated: July 28, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18979 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) is automatically initiating the five-year review (“Sunset Review”) of the antidumping and countervailing duty (“AD/CVD”) orders listed below. The International Trade Commission (“the Commission”) is publishing concurrently with this notice its notice of Institution of Five-Year Review which covers the same orders.

    DATES:

    Effective date: (August 1, 2015).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Department official identified in the Initiation of Review section below at AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. For information from the Commission contact Mary Messer, Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission at (202) 205-3193.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department's procedures for the conduct of Sunset Reviews are set forth in its Procedures for Conducting Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders, 63 FR 13516 (March 20, 1998) and 70 FR 62061 (October 28, 2005). Guidance on methodological or analytical issues relevant to the Department's conduct of Sunset Reviews is set forth in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    Initiation of Review

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.218(c), we are initiating Sunset Reviews of the following antidumping and countervailing duty orders:

    DOC Case No. ITC Case No. Country Product Department contact A-201-837 731-TA-1168 Mexico Magnesia Carbon Bricks (1st Review) Matthew Renkey (202) 482-2312. A-570-954 731-TA-1167 PRC Magnesia Carbon Bricks (1st Review) Matthew Renkey (202) 482-2312. C-570-955 701-TA-468 PRC Magnesia Carbon Bricks (1st Review) Jacqueline Arrowsmith (202) 482-5255. A-570-952 731-TA-1164 PRC Narrow Woven Ribbons with Woven Selvedge (1st Review) Matthew Renkey (202) 482-2312. C-570-953 701-TA-467 PRC Narrow Woven Ribbons with Woven Selvedge (1st Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. A-583-844 731-TA-1165 Taiwan Narrow Woven Ribbons with Woven Selvedge (1st Review) Matthew Renkey (202) 482-2312. Filing Information

    As a courtesy, we are making information related to sunset proceedings, including copies of the pertinent statute and Department's regulations, the Department's schedule for Sunset Reviews, a listing of past revocations and continuations, and current service lists, available to the public on the Department's Web site at the following address: “http://enforcement.trade.gov/sunset/.” All submissions in these Sunset Reviews must be filed in accordance with the Department's regulations regarding format, translation, and service of documents. These rules, including electronic filing requirements via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”), can be found at 19 CFR 351.303.1

    1See also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    Revised Factual Information Requirements

    This notice serves as a reminder that any party submitting factual information in an AD/CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.2 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials as well as their representatives in all AD/CVD investigations or proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013.3 The formats for the revised certifications are provided at the end of the Final Rule. The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the revised certification requirements.

    2See section 782(b) of the Act.

    3See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (“Final Rule”) (amending 19 CFR 351.303(g)).

    On April 10, 2013, the Department published Definition of Factual Information and Time Limits for Submission of Factual Information: Final Rule, 78 FR 21246 (April 10, 2013), which modified two regulations related to antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings: The definition of factual information (19 CFR 351.102(b)(21), and the time limits for the submission of factual information (19 CFR 351.301). The final rule identifies five categories of factual information in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21), which are summarized as follows: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). The final rule requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. The final rule also modified 19 CFR 351.301 so that, rather than providing general time limits, there are specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. These modifications are effective for all segments initiated on or after May 10, 2013. Review the final rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1304frn/2013-08227.txt, prior to submitting factual information in this segment. To the extent that other regulations govern the submission of factual information in a segment (such as 19 CFR 351.218), these time limits will continue to be applied.

    Revised Extension of Time Limits Regulation

    On September 20, 2013, the Department modified its regulation at 19 CFR 351.302(c) concerning the extension of time limits for submissions in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings: Extension of Time Limits, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013). The modification clarifies that parties may request an extension of time limits before a time limit established under part 351 of the Department's regulations expires, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the time limit established under part 351 expires. For submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. on the due date. Under certain circumstances, the Department may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, the Department will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. This modification also requires that an extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission, and clarifies the circumstances under which the Department will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. These modifications are effective for all segments initiated on or after October 21, 2013. Review the final rule, available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in these segments.

    Letters of Appearance and Administrative Protective Orders

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(d), the Department will maintain and make available a public service list for these proceedings. Parties wishing to participate in any of these five-year reviews must file letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)). To facilitate the timely preparation of the public service list, it is requested that those seeking recognition as interested parties to a proceeding submit an entry of appearance within 10 days of the publication of the Notice of Initiation.

    Because deadlines in Sunset Reviews can be very short, we urge interested parties who want access to proprietary information under administrative protective order (“APO”) to file an APO application immediately following publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The Department's regulations on submission of proprietary information and eligibility to receive access to business proprietary information under APO can be found at 19 CFR 351.304-306.

    Information Required From Interested Parties

    Domestic interested parties, as defined in section 771(9)(C), (D), (E), (F), and (G) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.102(b), wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must respond not later than 15 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation by filing a notice of intent to participate. The required contents of the notice of intent to participate are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(ii). In accordance with the Department's regulations, if we do not receive a notice of intent to participate from at least one domestic interested party by the 15-day deadline, the Department will automatically revoke the order without further review.4

    4See 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(iii).

    If we receive an order-specific notice of intent to participate from a domestic interested party, the Department's regulations provide that all parties wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must file complete substantive responses not later than 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The required contents of a substantive response, on an order-specific basis, are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3). Note that certain information requirements differ for respondent and domestic parties. Also, note that the Department's information requirements are distinct from the Commission's information requirements. Consult the Department's regulations for information regarding the Department's conduct of Sunset Reviews. Consult the Department's regulations at 19 CFR part 351 for definitions of terms and for other general information concerning antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings at the Department.

    This notice of initiation is being published in accordance with section 751(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(c).

    Dated: July 27, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18977 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset Reviews AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    Background

    Every five years, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) and the International Trade Commission automatically initiate and conduct a review to determine whether revocation of a countervailing or antidumping duty order or termination of an investigation suspended under section 704 or 734 of the Act would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or a countervailable subsidy (as the case may be) and of material injury.

    Upcoming Sunset Reviews for September 2015

    The following Sunset Reviews are scheduled for initiation in September 2015 and will appear in that month's Notice of Initiation of Five-Year Sunset Review (“Sunset Review”).

    Department contact Antidumping duty proceedings Chlorinated Isocyanurates from China (A-570-898) (2nd Review) Jacqueline Arrowsmith, (202) 482-5255. Potassium Permanganate from China (A-570-001) (4th Review) Matthew Renkey, (202) 482-2312. Chlorinated Isocyanuraters from Spain (A-469-814) (2nd Review) Jacqueline Arrowsmith, (202) 482-5255. Countervailing Duty Proceedings

    No Sunset Review of countervailing duty orders is scheduled for initiation in September 2015.

    Suspended Investigations

    No Sunset Review of suspended investigations is scheduled for initiation in September 2015.

    The Department's procedures for the conduct of Sunset Reviews are set forth in 19 CFR 351.218. The Notice of Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews provides further information regarding what is required of all parties to participate in Sunset Reviews.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(c), the Department will maintain and make available a service list for these proceedings. To facilitate the timely preparation of the service list(s), it is requested that those seeking recognition as interested parties to a proceeding contact the Department in writing within 10 days of the publication of the Notice of Initiation.

    Please note that if the Department receives a Notice of Intent to Participate from a member of the domestic industry within 15 days of the date of initiation, the review will continue. Thereafter, any interested party wishing to participate in the Sunset Review must provide substantive comments in response to the notice of initiation no later than 30 days after the date of initiation.

    This notice is not required by statute but is published as a service to the international trading community.

    Dated: July 27, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18974 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“the Department”) has received requests to conduct administrative reviews of various antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings with June anniversary dates. In accordance with the Department's regulations, we are initiating those administrative reviews.

    DATES:

    Effective date: August 3, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda E. Waters, Office of AD/CVD Operations, Customs Liaison Unit, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-4735.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Department has received timely requests, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), for administrative reviews of various antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings with June anniversary dates.

    All deadlines for the submission of various types of information, certifications, or comments or actions by the Department discussed below refer to the number of calendar days from the applicable starting time.

    Notice of No Sales

    If a producer or exporter named in this notice of initiation had no exports, sales, or entries during the period of review (“POR”), it must notify the Department within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. All submissions must be filed electronically at http://access.trade.gov in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303.1 Such submissions are subject to verification in accordance with section 782(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”). Further, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f)(1)(i), a copy must be served on every party on the Department's service list.

    1See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    Respondent Selection

    In the event the Department limits the number of respondents for individual examination for administrative reviews, the Department intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) data for U.S. imports during the POR. We intend to release the CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (“APO”) to all parties having an APO within seven days of publication of this initiation notice and to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 21 days of publication of this Federal Register notice. The Department invites comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection within five days of placement of the CBP data on the record of the applicable review. Rebuttal comments will be due five days after submission of initial comments.

    In the event the Department decides it is necessary to limit individual examination of respondents and conduct respondent selection under section 777A(c)(2) of the Act:

    In general, the Department has found that determinations concerning whether particular companies should be “collapsed” (i.e., treated as a single entity for purposes of calculating antidumping duty rates) require a substantial amount of detailed information and analysis, which often require follow-up questions and analysis. Accordingly, the Department will not conduct collapsing analyses at the respondent selection phase of this review and will not collapse companies at the respondent selection phase unless there has been a determination to collapse certain companies in a previous segment of this antidumping proceeding (i.e., investigation, administrative review, new shipper review or changed circumstances review). For any company subject to this review, if the Department determined, or continued to treat, that company as collapsed with others, the Department will assume that such companies continue to operate in the same manner and will collapse them for respondent selection purposes. Otherwise, the Department will not collapse companies for purposes of respondent selection. Parties are requested to (a) identify which companies subject to review previously were collapsed, and (b) provide a citation to the proceeding in which they were collapsed. Further, if companies are requested to complete the Quantity and Value (“Q&V”) Questionnaire for purposes of respondent selection, in general each company must report volume and value data separately for itself. Parties should not include data for any other party, even if they believe they should be treated as a single entity with that other party. If a company was collapsed with another company or companies in the most recently completed segment of this proceeding where the Department considered collapsing that entity, complete Q&V data for that collapsed entity must be submitted.

    Deadline for Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), a party that has requested a review may withdraw that request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The regulation provides that the Department may extend this time if it is reasonable to do so. In order to provide parties additional certainty with respect to when the Department will exercise its discretion to extend this 90-day deadline, interested parties are advised that the Department does not intend to extend the 90-day deadline unless the requestor demonstrates that an extraordinary circumstance has prevented it from submitting a timely withdrawal request. Determinations by the Department to extend the 90-day deadline will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Separate Rates

    In proceedings involving non-market economy (“NME”) countries, the Department begins with a rebuttable presumption that all companies within the country are subject to government control and, thus, should be assigned a single antidumping duty deposit rate. It is the Department's policy to assign all exporters of merchandise subject to an administrative review in an NME country this single rate unless an exporter can demonstrate that it is sufficiently independent so as to be entitled to a separate rate.

    To establish whether a firm is sufficiently independent from government control of its export activities to be entitled to a separate rate, the Department analyzes each entity exporting the subject merchandise under a test arising from the Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Sparklers from the People's Republic of China, 56 FR 20588 (May 6, 1991), as amplified by Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Silicon Carbide from the People's Republic of China, 59 FR 22585 (May 2, 1994). In accordance with the separate rates criteria, the Department assigns separate rates to companies in NME cases only if respondents can demonstrate the absence of both de jure and de facto government control over export activities.

    All firms listed below that wish to qualify for separate rate status in the administrative reviews involving NME countries must complete, as appropriate, either a separate rate application or certification, as described below. For these administrative reviews, in order to demonstrate separate rate eligibility, the Department requires entities for whom a review was requested, that were assigned a separate rate in the most recent segment of this proceeding in which they participated, to certify that they continue to meet the criteria for obtaining a separate rate. The Separate Rate Certification form will be available on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html on the date of publication of this Federal Register notice. In responding to the certification, please follow the “Instructions for Filing the Certification” in the Separate Rate Certification. Separate Rate Certifications are due to the Department no later than 30 calendar days after publication of this Federal Register notice. The deadline and requirement for submitting a Certification applies equally to NME-owned firms, wholly foreign-owned firms, and foreign sellers who purchase and export subject merchandise to the United States.

    Entities that currently do not have a separate rate from a completed segment of the proceeding 2 should timely file a Separate Rate Application to demonstrate eligibility for a separate rate in this proceeding. In addition, companies that received a separate rate in a completed segment of the proceeding that have subsequently made changes, including, but not limited to, changes to corporate structure, acquisitions of new companies or facilities, or changes to their official company name,3 should timely file a Separate Rate Application to demonstrate eligibility for a separate rate in this proceeding. The Separate Rate Status Application will be available on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html on the date of publication of this Federal Register notice. In responding to the Separate Rate Status Application, refer to the instructions contained in the application. Separate Rate Status Applications are due to the Department no later than 30 calendar days of publication of this Federal Register notice. The deadline and requirement for submitting a Separate Rate Status Application applies equally to NME-owned firms, wholly foreign-owned firms, and foreign sellers that purchase and export subject merchandise to the United States.

    2 Such entities include entities that have not participated in the proceeding, entities that were preliminarily granted a separate rate in any currently incomplete segment of the proceeding (e.g., an ongoing administrative review, new shipper review, etc.) and entities that lost their separate rate in the most recently completed segment of the proceeding in which they participated.

    3 Only changes to the official company name, rather than trade names, need to be addressed via a Separate Rate Application. Information regarding new trade names may be submitted via a Separate Rate Certification.

    For exporters and producers who submit a separate-rate status application or certification and subsequently are selected as mandatory respondents, these exporters and producers will no longer be eligible for separate rate status unless they respond to all parts of the questionnaire as mandatory respondents.

    Initiation of Reviews

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.221(c)(1)(i), we are initiating administrative reviews of the following antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings. We intend to issue the final results of these reviews not later than June 30, 2016.

    Period to be
  • reviewed
  • Antidumping Duty Proceedings Japan: Carbon and Alloy Seamless Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe, A-588-850 (Over 41/2 Inches) 6/1/14-5/31/15 JFE Steel Corporation Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation Nippon Steel Corporation NKK Tubes Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd. Japan: Carbon and Alloy Seamless Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe, A-588-851 (Under 41/2 Inches) 6/1/14-5/31/15 JFE Steel Corporation Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation Nippon Steel Corporation NKK Tubes Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd. Kazakhstan: Silicomanganese,4 A-834-807 5/1/14-4/30/15 Transnational Co. Kazchrome. Mexico: Prestressed Concrete Steel Rail Tie Wire, A-201-843 12/12/13-5/31/15 Aceros Camesa, S.A. de C.V. The People's Republic of China: Chlorinated Isocyanurates, A-570-898 6/1/14-5/31/15 Hebei Jiheng Chemical Co., Ltd. Heze Huayi Chemical Co. Ltd. Juancheng Kangtai Chemical Co. Ltd. The People's Republic of China: Furfuryl Alcohol, A-570-835 6/1/14-5/31/15 Qingdao WenKem Co., Ltd. The People's Republic of China: High Pressure Steel Cylinders, A-570-977 6/1/14-5/31/15 Beijing Tianhai Industry Co., Ltd. The People's Republic of China: Polyester Staple Fiber, A-570-905 6/1/14-5/31/15 Hangzhou Best Chemical Fibre Jiangyin Hailun Chemical Fiber Jiangyin Huahong Chemical Fiber/Hua Hong Fiber USA Jiangyin Jinyin Chemical Fiber Zhejiang Huashun Poly-Fiber The People's Republic of China: Silicon Metal, A-570-806 6/1/14-5/31/15 Shanghai Jinneng International Trade Co. Ltd. Shanghai Jinfeng Hardware Plastics Co. Ltd. The People's Republic of China: Tapered Roller Bearings, A-570-601 6/1/14-5/31/15 Changshan Peer Bearing Co., Ltd. GGB Bearing Technology (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. Haining Nice Flourish Auto Parts Co., Ltd. Roci International (HK) Limited Yantai CMC Bearing Co. Ltd./CMC Bearing Co. Ltd. Turkey: Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes,5 A-489-501 5/1/14-4/30/15 Borusan Ihracat Ithalat ve Dagitim A.S. Cayirova Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. Countervailing Duty Proceedings The People's Republic of China: High Pressure Steel Cylinders, C-570-978 1/1/14-12/31/14 Beijing Tianhai Industry Co., Ltd. Suspension Agreements None.
    Duty Absorption Reviews

    During any administrative review covering all or part of a period falling between the first and second or third and fourth anniversary of the publication of an antidumping duty order under 19 CFR 351.211 or a determination under 19 CFR 351.218(f)(4) to continue an order or suspended investigation (after sunset review), the Secretary, if requested by a domestic interested party within 30 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the review, will determine, consistent with FAG Italia v. United States, 291 F.3d 806 (Fed Cir. 2002), as appropriate, whether antidumping duties have been absorbed by an exporter or producer subject to the review if the subject merchandise is sold in the United States through an importer that is affiliated with such exporter or producer. The request must include the name(s) of the exporter or producer for which the inquiry is requested.

    4 The company name listed above was misspelled in the initiation notice that published on July 1, 2015 (80 FR 37588). The correct spelling of the company is listed.

    5 The two company names listed were misspelled in the initiation notice that published on July 1, 2015 (80 FR 37588). The correct spellings of the companies are listed in this notice.

    Gap Period Liquidation

    For the first administrative review of any order, there will be no assessment of antidumping or countervailing duties on entries of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the relevant provisional-measures “gap” period, of the order, if such a gap period is applicable to the POR.

    Administrative Protective Orders and Letters of Appearance

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under administrative protective orders in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Those procedures apply to administrative reviews included in this notice of initiation. Parties wishing to participate in any of these administrative reviews should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of separate letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    Revised Factual Information Requirements

    On April 10, 2013, the Department published Definition of Factual Information and Time Limits for Submission of Factual Information: Final Rule, 78 FR 21246 (April 10, 2013), which modified two regulations related to antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings: The definition of factual information (19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), and the time limits for the submission of factual information (19 CFR 351.301). The final rule identifies five categories of factual information in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21), which are summarized as follows: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). The final rule requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. The final rule also modified 19 CFR 351.301 so that, rather than providing general time limits, there are specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. These modifications are effective for all segments initiated on or after May 10, 2013. Please review the final rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1304frn/2013-08227.txt, prior to submitting factual information in this segment.

    Any party submitting factual information in an antidumping duty or countervailing duty proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.6 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials as well as their representatives. All segments of any antidumping duty or countervailing duty proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule. 7 The Department intends to reject factual submissions in any proceeding segments if the submitting party does not comply with applicable revised certification requirements.

    6See section 782(b) of the Act.

    7See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (“Final Rule”); see also the frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Revised Extension of Time Limits Regulation

    On September 20, 2013, the Department modified its regulation concerning the extension of time limits for submissions in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings: Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013). The modification clarifies that parties may request an extension of time limits before a time limit established under Part 351 expires, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the time limit established under Part 351 expires. For submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. on the due date. Examples include, but are not limited to: (1) Case and rebuttal briefs, filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309; (2) factual information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c), or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2), filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3) and rebuttal, clarification and correction filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(iv); (3) comments concerning the selection of a surrogate country and surrogate values and rebuttal; (4) comments concerning U.S. Customs and Border Protection data; and (5) quantity and value questionnaires. Under certain circumstances, the Department may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, the Department will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. This modification also requires that an extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission, and clarifies the circumstances under which the Department will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. These modifications are effective for all segments initiated on or after October 21, 2013. Please review the final rule, available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in these segments.

    These initiations and this notice are in accordance with section 751(a) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675(a)) and 19 CFR 351.221(c)(1)(i).

    Dated: July 27, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18978 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-122-854] Supercalendered Paper From Canada: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of supercalendered paper (SC paper) from Canada. The period of investigation is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: August 3, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dana Mermelstein or Shane Subler, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1391 and (202) 482-0189, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On March 18, 2015, the Department initiated this countervailing duty (CVD) investigation.1 On April 15, in response to a request from the petitioner, the Coalition for Fair Paper Imports,2 the Department postponed the preliminary determination in the CVD investigation.3

    1See Supercalendered Paper From Canada: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 80 FR 15981 (March 26, 2015).

    2 The individual member companies of the Coalition for Fair Paper Imports are Madison Paper Industries and Verso Corporation.

    3See Supercalendered Paper From Canada: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations in the Countervailing Duty Investigation, 80 FR 22477 (April 22, 2015).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is SC paper. For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix 1 to this notice.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this CVD investigation in accordance with section 701 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.4 The list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix 2 to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    4See Memorandum from Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, regarding “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Supercalendered Paper From Canada,” dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    For this preliminary determination, we have relied partially on facts available for Resolute, because the company did not act to the best of its ability when responding to the Department's request for information. Further, we have drawn an adverse inference in selecting from among the facts otherwise available to calculate the ad valorem rate for Resolute.5 For further information, see “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences” in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    5See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act.

    In accordance with section 703(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, we calculated a CVD rate for each individually investigated producer/exporter of the subject merchandise.

    Preliminary Determination and Suspension of Liquidation

    We preliminarily determine the countervailable subsidy rates to be:

    Company Subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • Port Hawkesbury Paper LP (Port Hawkesbury) 20.33 Resolute FP Canada Inc. (Resolute) 2.04 All Others 11.19

    In accordance with sections 703(d)(1)(B) and (2) of the Act, we are directing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to suspend liquidation of all entries of SC paper from Canada that are entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, and to require a cash deposit for such entries of merchandise in the amounts indicated above.

    In accordance with section 705(c)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, we calculated a rate for each company respondent. Section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act states that, for companies not individually investigated, we will determine an “all others” rate equal to the weighted-average countervailable subsidy rates established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis countervailable subsidy rates, and any rates determined entirely under section 776 of the Act.

    Notwithstanding the language of section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act, we have not calculated the “all others” rate by weight averaging the rates of Port Hawkesbury and Resolute because doing so risks disclosure of proprietary information. Therefore, we calculated a simple average of Port Hawkesbury's and Resolute's rates.6

    6 We have calculated the simple average of the two responding firm's rates for the all-others rate using the following calculation: (20.33 (Port Hawkesbury's calculated rate) + 2.04 (Resolute's calculated rate))/2 = 11.19 (the all others rate).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i)(1) of the Act, we intend to verify the information submitted by the respondents prior to making our final determination.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with this preliminary determination within five days of its public announcement.7 Interested parties may submit case and rebuttal briefs,8 and request a hearing.9 For a schedule of the deadlines for filing case briefs, rebuttal briefs, and hearing requests, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    7See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    8See 19 CFR 351.309(c) and (d).

    9See 19 CFR 351.510.

    U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information relating to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order, without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    In accordance with section 705(b)(2) of the Act, if our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will make its final determination within 45 days after the Department makes its final determination.

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 703(f) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: July 27, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix 1 Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is supercalendered paper (SC paper). SC paper is uncoated paper that has undergone a calendering process in which the base sheet, made of pulp and filler (typically, but not limited to, clay, talc, or other mineral additive), is processed through a set of supercalenders, a supercalender, or a soft nip calender operation.1

    1 Supercalendering and soft nip calendering processing, in conjunction with the mineral filler contained in the base paper, are performed to enhance the surface characteristics of the paper by imparting a smooth and glossy printing surface. Supercalendering and soft nip calendering also increase the density of the base paper.

    The scope of this investigation covers all SC paper regardless of basis weight, brightness, opacity, smoothness, or grade, and whether in rolls or in sheets. Further, the scope covers all SC paper that meets the scope definition regardless of the type of pulp fiber or filler material used to produce the paper.

    Specifically excluded from the scope are imports of paper printed with final content of printed text or graphics.

    Subject merchandise primarily enters under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading 4802.61.3035, but may also enter under subheadings 4802.61.3010, 4802.62.3000, 4802.62.6020, and 4802.69.3000. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix 2 List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope Comments IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Injury Test VI. Subsidies Valuation VII. Analysis of Programs VIII. Calculation of the All Others Rate IX. ITC Notification X. Disclosure and Public Comment XI. Verification XII. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2015-18980 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda E. Waters, Office of AD/CVD Operations, Customs Liaison Unit, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-4735.

    Background

    Each year during the anniversary month of the publication of an antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation, an interested party, as defined in section 771(9) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), may request, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213, that the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) conduct an administrative review of that antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation.

    All deadlines for the submission of comments or actions by the Department discussed below refer to the number of calendar days from the applicable starting date.

    Respondent Selection

    In the event the Department limits the number of respondents for individual examination for administrative reviews initiated pursuant to requests made for the orders identified below, the Department intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) data for U.S. imports during the period of review. We intend to release the CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (“APO”) to all parties having an APO within five days of publication of the initiation notice and to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 21 days of publication of the initiation Federal Register notice. Therefore, we encourage all parties interested in commenting on respondent selection to submit their APO applications on the date of publication of the initiation notice, or as soon thereafter as possible. The Department invites comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection within five days of placement of the CBP data on the record of the review.

    In the event the Department decides it is necessary to limit individual examination of respondents and conduct respondent selection under section 777A(c)(2) of the Act:

    In general, the Department finds that determinations concerning whether particular companies should be “collapsed” (i.e., treated as a single entity for purposes of calculating antidumping duty rates) require a substantial amount of detailed information and analysis, which often require follow-up questions and analysis. Accordingly, the Department will not conduct collapsing analyses at the respondent selection phase of this review and will not collapse companies at the respondent selection phase unless there has been a determination to collapse certain companies in a previous segment of this antidumping proceeding (i.e., investigation, administrative review, new shipper review or changed circumstances review). For any company subject to this review, if the Department determined, or continued to treat, that company as collapsed with others, the Department will assume that such companies continue to operate in the same manner and will collapse them for respondent selection purposes. Otherwise, the Department will not collapse companies for purposes of respondent selection. Parties are requested to (a) identify which companies subject to review previously were collapsed, and (b) provide a citation to the proceeding in which they were collapsed. Further, if companies are requested to complete the Quantity and Value Questionnaire for purposes of respondent selection, in general each company must report volume and value data separately for itself. Parties should not include data for any other party, even if they believe they should be treated as a single entity with that other party. If a company was collapsed with another company or companies in the most recently completed segment of this proceeding where the Department considered collapsing that entity, complete quantity and value data for that collapsed entity must be submitted.

    Deadline for Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), a party that requests a review may withdraw that request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The regulation provides that the Department may extend this time if it is reasonable to do so. In order to provide parties additional certainty with respect to when the Department will exercise its discretion to extend this 90-day deadline, interested parties are advised that, with regard to reviews requested on the basis of anniversary months on or after August 2015, the Department does not intend to extend the 90-day deadline unless the requestor demonstrates that an extraordinary circumstance prevented it from submitting a timely withdrawal request. Determinations by the Department to extend the 90-day deadline will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    The Department is providing this notice on its Web site, as well as in its “Opportunity to Request Administrative Review” notices, so that interested parties will be aware of the manner in which the Department intends to exercise its discretion in the future.

    Opportunity to Request a Review: Not later than the last day of August 2015,1 interested parties may request administrative review of the following orders, findings, or suspended investigations, with anniversary dates in August for the following periods:

    1 Or the next business day, if the deadline falls on a weekend, federal holiday or any other day when the Department is closed.

    Period of review Antidumping duty proceedings Germany: Seamless Line and Pressure Pipe, A-428-820 8/1/14-7/31/15 Sodium Nitrite, A-428-841 8/1/14-7/31/15 Italy: Granular Polytetrafluorethylene Resin, A-475-703 8/1/14-7/31/15 Japan: Brass Sheet & Strip, A-588-704 8/1/14-7/31/15 Tin Mill Products, A-588-854 8/1/14-7/31/15 Malaysia: Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags, A-557-813 8/1/14-7/31/15 Mexico: Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube, A-201-836 8/1/14-7/31/15 Republic of Korea: Large Power Transformers, A-580-867 8/1/14-7/31/15 Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube, A-580-859 8/1/14-7/31/15 Romania: Carbon and Alloy Seamless Standard, Line and Pressure Pipe, (Under 4 1/2 Inches), A-485-805 8/1/14-7/31/15 Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Frozen Fish Fillets, A-552-801 8/1/14-7/31/15 Thailand: Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags, A-549-821 8/1/14-7/31/15 The People's Republic of China: Floor-Standing, Metal-Top Ironing Tables and Parts Thereof, A-570-888 8/1/14-7/31/15 Laminated Woven Sacks, A-570-916 8/1/14-7/31/15 Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube, A-570-914 8/1/14-7/31/15 Petroleum Wax Candles, A-570-504 8/1/14-7/31/15 Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags, A-570-886 8/1/14-7/31/15 Sodium Nitrite, A-570-925 8/1/14-7/31/15 Steel Nails, A-570-909 8/1/14-7/31/15 Sulfanilic Acid, A-570-815 8/1/14-7/31/15 Tetrahydrofurfuryl Alcohol, A-570-887 8/1/14-7/31/15 Tow-Behind Lawn Groomers and Parts Thereof, A-570-939 8/1/14-7/31/15 Woven Electric Blankets, A-570-951 8/1/14-7/31/15 Ukraine: Silicomanganese, A-823-805 8/1/14-7/31/15 Countervailing Duty Proceedings Republic of Korea: Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils, C-580-835 1/1/14-12/31/14 The People's Republic of China: Laminated Woven Sacks, C-570-917 1/1/14-12/31/14 Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube, C-570-915 1/1/14-12/31/14 Sodium Nitrite, C-570-926 1/1/14-12/31/14 Suspension Agreements None.

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), an interested party as defined by section 771(9) of the Act may request in writing that the Secretary conduct an administrative review. For both antidumping and countervailing duty reviews, the interested party must specify the individual producers or exporters covered by an antidumping finding or an antidumping or countervailing duty order or suspension agreement for which it is requesting a review. In addition, a domestic interested party or an interested party described in section 771(9)(B) of the Act must state why it desires the Secretary to review those particular producers or exporters. If the interested party intends for the Secretary to review sales of merchandise by an exporter (or a producer if that producer also exports merchandise from other suppliers) which was produced in more than one country of origin and each country of origin is subject to a separate order, then the interested party must state specifically, on an order-by-order basis, which exporter(s) the request is intended to cover.

    Note that, for any party the Department was unable to locate in prior segments, the Department will not accept a request for an administrative review of that party absent new information as to the party's location. Moreover, if the interested party who files a request for review is unable to locate the producer or exporter for which it requested the review, the interested party must provide an explanation of the attempts it made to locate the producer or exporter at the same time it files its request for review, in order for the Secretary to determine if the interested party's attempts were reasonable, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.303(f)(3)(ii).

    As explained in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003), and Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011) the Department clarified its practice with respect to the collection of final antidumping duties on imports of merchandise where intermediate firms are involved. The public should be aware of this clarification in determining whether to request an administrative review of merchandise subject to antidumping findings and orders.2

    2See also the Enforcement and Compliance Web site at http://trade.gov/enforcement/.

    Further, as explained in Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013), the Department clarified its practice with regard to the conditional review of the non-market economy (NME) entity in administrative reviews of antidumping duty orders. The Department will no longer consider the NME entity as an exporter conditionally subject to administrative reviews. Accordingly, the NME entity will not be under review unless the Department specifically receives a request for, or self-initiates, a review of the NME entity.3 In administrative reviews of antidumping duty orders on merchandise from NME countries where a review of the NME entity has not been initiated, but where an individual exporter for which a review was initiated does not qualify for a separate rate, the Department will issue a final decision indicating that the company in question is part of the NME entity. However, in that situation, because no review of the NME entity was conducted, the NME entity's entries were not subject to the review and the rate for the NME entity is not subject to change as a result of that review (although the rate for the individual exporter may change as a function of the finding that the exporter is part of the NME entity).

    3 In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b)(1), parties should specify that they are requesting a review of entries from exporters comprising the entity, and to the extent possible, include the names of such exporters in their request.

    Following initiation of an antidumping administrative review when there is no review requested of the NME entity, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate entries for all exporters not named in the initiation notice, including those that were suspended at the NME entity rate.

    All requests must be filed electronically in Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”) on Enforcement and Compliance's ACCESS Web site at http://access.trade.gov. 4 Further, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f)(l)(i), a copy of each request must be served on the petitioner and each exporter or producer specified in the request.

    4See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    The Department will publish in the Federal Register a notice of “Initiation of Administrative Review of Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation” for requests received by the last day of August 2015. If the Department does not receive, by the last day of August 2015, a request for review of entries covered by an order, finding, or suspended investigation listed in this notice and for the period identified above, the Department will instruct CBP to assess antidumping or countervailing duties on those entries at a rate equal to the cash deposit of (or bond for) estimated antidumping or countervailing duties required on those entries at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption and to continue to collect the cash deposit previously ordered.

    For the first administrative review of any order, there will be no assessment of antidumping or countervailing duties on entries of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the relevant provisional-measures “gap” period of the order, if such a gap period is applicable to the period of review.

    This notice is not required by statute but is published as a service to the international trading community.

    Dated: July 27, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18976 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE083 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) Spiny Dogfish Advisory Panel (AP) will meet to review recent fishery performance and develop a Fishery Performance Report and/or other recommendations in preparation for the Council's setting of specifications at the October 2015 Council meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 1:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar, but anyone can also attend at the Council office address (see below). The webinar link is: http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/dogfishap2015/. Please call the Council at least 24 hours in advance if you wish to attend at the Council office.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State St., Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D. Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; telephone: (302) 526-5255. The Council's Web site, www.mafmc.org will also have details on webinar access and any background materials.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to create a Fishery Performance Report by the Council's Spiny Dogfish Advisory Panel. The intent of the report is to facilitate structured input from the Advisory Panel members into the specifications process.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: July 29, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18941 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE078 Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud Action Plan AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Ocean Council Committee on IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud (NOC Committee) is seeking public input on draft principles for determining seafood species at risk of IUU fishing and seafood fraud (“at risk”) and a draft list of “at risk” species developed using the draft principles.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by September 2, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2014-0090, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2014-0090, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Danielle Rioux, 1315 East-West Highway; Silver Spring, Maryland 20910.

    Webinar: A webinar will be held on August 25th 3:30-5pm Eastern time. Please go to http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ia/iuu/taskforce.html for information on how to join.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Danielle Rioux, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service (phone 301-427-8516, or email [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    According to NOAA, in 2013, U.S. fishers landed 9.9 billion pounds of fish and shellfish worth $5.5 billion. Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and seafood fraud undermine the sustainability of U.S. and global seafood stocks and negatively impact general ecosystem health. At the same time, IUU fishing and fraudulent seafood products distort legal markets and unfairly compete with the products of law-abiding fishers and seafood industries. On March 15, 2015, the Presidential Task Force on Combating IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud (Task Force), co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and State, took an historic step to address these issues and published its Action Plan for Implementing Task Force Recommendations (Action Plan).

    The Action Plan

    (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ia/iuu/noaa_taskforce_report_final.pdf) articulates the proactive steps that Federal agencies will take to implement the recommendations the Task Force made to the President in December 2014 on a comprehensive framework of integrated programs to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud. The Action Plan identifies actions that will strengthen enforcement, create and expand partnerships with state and local governments, industry, and non-governmental organizations, and create a risk-based traceability program to track seafood from harvest to entry into U.S. commerce, including through the use of existing traceability mechanisms. The work the Task Force began continues under the oversight of the National Ocean Council's Committee on IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud (NOC Committee), established this past April, 2015.

    This notice is one of several steps in the plan to implement Task Force Recommendations 14 and 15, identifying “species of fish or seafood that are presently of particular concern because they are currently subject to significant seafood fraud or because they are at significant risk of being caught by IUU fishing.” To begin implementing these recommendations, the NOC Committee created a Working Group (Working Group), led by NOAA and composed of members from partner agencies: Department of State, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

    As the first step, the NOC Committee, through the Working Group, solicited public input through a Federal Register notice (80 FR 24246, April 30, 2015) on what principles should be used to determine the seafood species “at risk” for IUU fishing or seafood fraud. Public input was received both in writing and through webinars. Taking into consideration comments received, the Working Group developed draft principles and a draft list of “at risk” species based on those principles. This notice seeks public comment on the draft principles and “at risk” species list. Following public comment, the Working Group will develop final principles and a final recommended list of at risk species. Once at risk species have been determined, the NOC Committee will transmit the list to agencies charged with implementing the Task Force recommendations for appropriate action. The list will be published by October 2015, in the Federal Register. The list will not impose any legal requirements, but will inform the first phase of the risk-based seafood traceability program, as described in the Action Plan for Implementing Task Force Recommendations. The traceability program itself will be developed through notice-and-comment rulemaking, pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and that rulemaking will address data requirements, the design of the program, and the species to which the first phase of the program will be applied.

    Draft Principles for Determining Species at Risk of IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud

    To develop draft principles, the Working Group reviewed all public comments received and evaluated the strength and utility of various principles as indicators for potential risk of IUU fishing or seafood fraud as well as their measurability and the robustness of data available to assess them. The Working Group worked to minimize overlap of principles to ensure that alignment with several principles does not overstate associated risk, and also to distinguish between risk of IUU fishing and risk of seafood fraud. The Working Group then applied the draft principles to a base list of species to determine a draft list of species at risk for IUU fishing or seafood fraud.

    Based on the Working Group's evaluation and synthesis of comments received, the draft principles for which public comment is sought are listed below. Species and species groups were evaluated using these principles:

    • Enforcement Capability: The enforcement capability of the United States and other countries, which includes both the existing legal authority to enforce fisheries management laws and regulations and the capacity (e.g., resources, infrastructure, etc.) to enforce those laws and regulations throughout the geographic range of fishing activity for a species.

    • Catch Documentation Scheme: The existence of a catch documentation scheme throughout the geographic range of fishing activity for a species, and the effectiveness of that scheme if it exists, including whether a lack of proper documentation leads to discrepancies between total allowable catch and trade volume of a species.

    • Complexity of the Chain of Custody and Processing: The transparency of chain-of-custody for a species, which includes the amount of transshipment (in this context, the transfer of fish from one vessel to another, either at sea or in port) for a species, as well as the complexity of the supply chain and extent of processing (e.g., fish that is commonly exported for processing or that is sold as fillet block vs. whole fish) as it pertains to comingling of species or catch.

    • Species Substitution: The history of known species substitution for a species, focused on mislabeling or other forms of misrepresentation of seafood products regarding the species contained therein.

    • Mislabeling: The history of mislabeling other than mislabeling related to species substitution, e.g., customs misclassification or misrepresentation related to country of origin, whether product is wild vs. aquaculture, or product weight.

    • History of Violations: The history of fisheries violations in the United States and abroad for a species, particularly those related to IUU fishing.

    • Human Health Risks: History of mislabeling, other forms of misrepresentation, or species substitution leading to human health concerns for consumers, including in particular, incidents when misrepresentation of product introduced human health concerns due to different production, harvest or handling standards, or when higher levels of harmful pathogens were introduced directly from the substituted species.

    Application of Draft Principles

    Given the large number of seafood species domestically landed and imported, it was not feasible to analyze all species that enter U.S. commerce under the principles listed above. Therefore, the Working Group created a base list of species for evaluation using several factors: (1) The value of domestic landings and imports (all seafood species with an imported or domestically landed value over $100 million USD in 2014 were included on the base list); (2) species identified by the Working Group due to a high cost of product per pound (which was considered to potentially increase the incentive for IUU fishing and fraud); and (3) species proposed based on the expertise of representatives from the Working Group agencies. In some cases, the Working Group combined related species (e.g., shrimp), together in its analysis because the supporting data utilized nomenclature which made further analytical breakouts (e.g., by scientific name) unworkable. The resulting list of species and groups analyzed is set forth below:

    Abalone; Billfish (Marlins, Spearfishes, and Sailfishes); Catfish (Ictaluridae); Cod, Atlantic; Cod, Pacific; Crab, Blue; Crab, Dungeness; Crab, King; Crab, Snow; Dolphinfish (Mahi Mahi); Oyster; Grouper; Haddock; Halibut, Atlantic; Halibut, Pacific; Lake or Yellow Perch; Lobster; Mackerel; Menhaden; Opah; Orange Roughy; Red Drum; Red Snapper; Sablefish; Salmon, Atlantic; Salmon, Chinook; Salmon, Chum; Salmon, Coho; Salmon, Pink; Salmon, Sockeye; Scallop; Sea bass; Sea cucumber; Shrimp; Sharks; Sole; Squid; Sturgeon caviar; Swordfish; Tilapia; Toothfish; Tunas (Albacore, Bigeye, Bluefin, Skipjack, Yellowfin); Wahoo; Walleye (Alaskan) Pollock; Pacific Whiting.

    Both imported and domestically landed species were evaluated using the same data sources and methodology, as described below.

    The Working Group identified appropriate data sources for analyzing the base list of species using the principles to determine species at risk of IUU fishing and seafood fraud. The Working Group used verifiable data, including information from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and NOAA databases, published reports, or data gathered by Regional Fisheries Management Organizations to which the United States is a member and whose scientific data is developed and reviewed with active U.S. government participation, and the knowledge of subject matter experts, including members of the Working Group and other personnel from represented agencies. The Working Group decided to analyze data from the past five years as the appropriate timeframe for decision-making because a longer timeframe might not reflect improvements that have been made in some fisheries over time and a shorter timeframe might not include sufficient data to identify risks to certain species.

    Sub-working groups based on subject matter expertise were created to complete the analyses under each individual principle. The Working Group then used the analyses done by the sub-working groups to determine which species were most at risk of IUU fishing and seafood fraud.

    The Working Group then had in-depth discussions regarding the application of the draft principles to the base list of species, and noted that the suite of risks posed to species varied not only in terms of what risks affected which species, but also in terms of the scale of the risks. For example, a single documented case of species substitution for a species that is sold in high volumes was considered differently than one case for a species rarely found in U.S. markets.

    Additionally, as the Working Group discussed the suite of risks associated with the principles, a relationship became evident between the enforcement capability associated with a species and the history of violations. In many cases a history of violations was indicative of a strong enforcement capability for a species. Conversely, for some species, a lack of violations history may have been due to a lack of ability to detect or prosecute violations.

    Draft Species at Risk of IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud

    The Working Group recognizes that all species of fish can be susceptible to some risk of IUU fishing or seafood fraud due to the inherent complexities in the fishing industry and supply chain. However, the draft species list was developed to identify species for which the current risks for IUU fishing or seafood fraud warrant prioritization for the first phase of the traceability program. Pursuant to the Action Plan, implementation of the first phase of the traceability program will be regularly evaluated, beginning with a report to be issued by December 2016, in order to determine “whether it is meeting the intended objectives and how it can be expanded to provide more information to prevent seafood fraud and combat IUU fishing.”

    Based on its evaluation, the Working Group identified the following draft list of species or species groups at risk for IUU fishing and seafood fraud, in alphabetical order:

    Abalone: Abalone is considered to be at risk due to enforcement concerns. The fishery has a history of poaching, and there is a known black market for this expensive seafood. The fishery is primarily conducted by small vessels close to shore, and does not require specialized gear, which makes it difficult to detect illegal harvest, despite some enforcement capability. In addition to the IUU fishing risks for abalone, there is a history of species substitution where topshell is marketed as abalone.

    Atlantic Cod: Atlantic cod have been targets of global IUU fishing operators. Despite a moderate amount of enforcement capability, there has been concern that adequate resources have not been dedicated to law enforcement for this species globally. Additional IUU fishing risk is tied to a lack of an effective catch documentation scheme throughout the geographic range of fishing activity, despite rigorous reporting requirements in some areas, including the United States. In addition, there is a history of species substitution with other white fish, as well as concerns over mislabeling related to over-glazing (ice coating), and short-weighting.

    Blue Crab: Blue crab is sold in a number of different forms from live animals to significantly processed crab meat. In the highly processed form, species identification is only possible through DNA testing. There is a strong history of both species substitution and mislabeling. Blue crab has been substituted with swimming crab, which is native to Southeast Asia. The mislabeling history is largely associated with misidentification of product origin, with crab from other locations sold as “Maryland crab,” although there have also been incidents of short-weighting in the sale of crab meat.

    Dolphinfish: Dolphinfish (also known as Mahi Mahi) is associated with a lack of enforcement capability and a lack of a catch documentation scheme throughout the geographic range of fishing activity, which makes it vulnerable to the risk of IUU fishing. Some dolphinfish is transshipped prior to entry into the U.S, and there is concern over mislabeling associated with product origin. In addition, there is a history of species substitution, in which yellowtail flounder has been sold as dolphinfish.

    Grouper: Grouper refers to a group of species legally fished and sold under the names grouper and spotted grouper. Grouper, as a species group, has history of fisheries violations, and a lack of a catch documentation scheme throughout the geographic range of fishing activity for the species group. Additionally, this global species is transshipped, and processed both at the local level and at regionally located or third country processing plants. Grouper has a strong history of species substitution, including substitution using seafood that is of human health concern, such as escolar (which has a Gemplytoxin hazard).

    King Crab: King crab has a significant history of fisheries violations, despite insufficient enforcement capability in some parts of the world. Additional IUU fishing risk is tied to the lack of an effective catch documentation scheme throughout the geographic range of fishing activity, despite rigorous reporting requirements in some areas, including the United States. Further, King crab is often transshipped before entering the United States, which increases the IUU fishing and seafood fraud risks. King crab is at risk for seafood fraud, mostly due to mislabeling of product origin, as well as some species substitution.

    Pacific cod: Pacific cod is proposed as a species at risk despite significant enforcement capability associated with this fishery. Pacific cod is a target of global IUU fishing operators and has a clear a history of fishing violations. It is also subject to highly globalized processing and transshipment. Additional IUU fishing risk is tied to a lack of an effective catch documentation scheme throughout the geographic range of fishing activity, despite rigorous reporting requirements in some areas, including the United States. In addition, as with Atlantic cod, there is a history of species substitution using other white fish and concerns over mislabeling associated with over-glazing (ice coating) and short-weighting.

    Red Snapper: Red Snapper is at risk for IUU fishing, based upon the history of fisheries violations, as well as the lack of a catch documentation scheme throughout the geographic range of fishing activity, despite rigorous reporting requirements in some areas, including the United States. There are also enforcement capability concerns for red snapper throughout the full geographic range of fishing activity for the species. Additionally, there is a strong history of species substitution with some of the substituted species (e.g. rockfish, porgy, other snappers) presenting a risk to human health due to parasites and natural toxins.

    Sea Cucumber: Sea cucumber is an IUU fishing concern, due to the lack of enforcement capability and known illegal harvesting and smuggling associated with this species. There is also a lack of a catch documentation scheme throughout the geographic range of fishing activity and a significant amount of transshipment. Although sea cucumber is often sold live, it can also be processed into a dried product for preservation. There are mislabeling concerns for sea cucumber, often tied to falsification of shipping and export documentation to conceal illegally harvested product.

    Sharks: “Sharks,” as included on the draft at risk species list, refers to a group of species that are often sold as fins with some species also sold as steaks or filets. Depending upon the product form, differentiating between species in this broad group is a challenge without identification guides or DNA testing. This led the Working Group to group all shark species together to assess risks. Sharks as a species group have a history fishing violations because they are processed and transshipped and there is a lack of enforcement capability throughout the geographic range of fishing activity. There is a global trade in shark fins that is a known enforcement concern. In addition to the IUU fishing risks associated with sharks, there are fraud concerns tied to the sale of imitation shark fin, which has been labeled as wild caught product.

    We are seeking additional public comment on whether this broader grouping is appropriate, potential ways to refine how sharks are addressed on the list, and any exclusions from the group that should be considered. Any refinements would need to be enforceable without the need for DNA testing, and should not unintentionally shift the risk of IUU fishing or seafood fraud to other species or introduce new IUU fishing or seafood fraud risks.

    Shrimp: Shrimp is produced through both aquaculture and wild harvest. The Working Group found that shrimp is at risk for IUU fishing activity due to the history of fishery violations, as well as the level of processing often associated with shrimp products. Shrimp is also at risk for seafood fraud. There is a significant amount of mislabeling and/or misrepresentation of shrimp, tied largely to misrepresentation of weight, including where product has been treated with Sodium Tripolyphosphate to increase water retention. Mislabeling is also a concern regarding wild versus aquacultured labeling and product origin. Additionally, there is a history of substitution of one species of shrimp for another when imports cross the border into the United States.

    We are seeking additional public comment on possible ways to refine the scope of this species group, e.g., by limiting the scope based on product type, species, processing type, or other approaches. Shrimp is the largest seafood import into the United States, with the value of shrimp imports representing more than twice the value of any other seafood species group. Wild capture fisheries exist both in the United States and foreign nations. Due to the sheer volume of shrimp that enters U.S. markets, traceability for all shrimp may exceed the capacity of implementing agencies.

    Swordfish: Swordfish are at risk in terms of both IUU fishing and seafood fraud. Swordfish are a highly migratory species and their range crosses numerous jurisdictions, including into the high seas. There has been a history of fisheries violations in certain swordfish fisheries and regions, in addition to a lack of enforcement capability. The United States does, however, implement a statistical document program for swordfish pursuant to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) to help mitigate IUU fishing and seafood fraud risk. This document is required for all swordfish product entering the United States, regardless of the product form or ocean area where it was harvested, although it does not provide the full range of information that would be expected in a traceability program, particularly for fish harvested outside the Atlantic. Swordfish is commonly transshipped and is also at risk in terms of species substitution with mako shark.

    Tunas: Tunas are a high volume and high visibility species group that includes five main species: albacore, bigeye, bluefin, skipjack, and yellowfin. There has been a history of fisheries violations in certain tuna fisheries and in certain regions. Further, harvesting, transshipment, and trade patterns for tunas can be complex, in particular for certain value-added products. While there are multilateral management and reporting measures in place for many stocks within the tuna species group, these management and reporting mechanisms vary in terms of information standards and requirements and do not all provide a complete catch documentation scheme. Tunas are also subject to complicated processing that includes comingling of species and transshipments. Further, there has been a history of some species substitutions, with most instances involving substitution of one tuna species for another. However, there have also been instances of escolar, which can contain a toxin, being substituted for albacore tuna.

    The Working Group is asking for public comment on possible ways to refine the scope of this species group possibly by limiting to certain product types, species, processing types, or other approaches.

    Programs To Mitigate Risk

    Through the application of the draft principles, the Working Group identified two species—toothfish and catfish—that had a number of risk factors for IUU fishing or seafood fraud, but due to mechanisms to address those risks are not being proposed as at risk species in this Notice.

    Toothfish has been known, historically, as a species with IUU fishing concerns, which led to the development, by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), of a number of monitoring tools including a comprehensive catch documentation scheme. Without the existing level of reporting, documentation, and enforcement capability, including through measures adopted by CCAMLR, for this species, the Working Group would have found it to be at risk.

    The Working Group found that while existing measures do not eliminate risk for toothfish, they mitigate the IUU fishing and seafood fraud risks to such a level that the Working Group does not propose toothfish as an at risk species for the first phase of the traceability program.

    In the United States, seafood sold as catfish must be from the family Ictaluridae (per section 403(t) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 343(t)) Regarding the Use of the Term “Catfish”). As such, there is a strong history of species substitution, in which non-Ictaluridae species are sold as catfish. Some of this species substitution has been tied to Silurformes species, which could have a drug hazard associated with them, as well as other species that have been found contaminated with prohibited chemicals and pharmaceuticals. In addition to species substitution, there is a history of other mislabeling issues, including product origin and failure to accurately label product that has been treated with carbon monoxide.

    These risks were discussed and are fully recognized by the Working Group. However, there is a rulemaking on catfish inspection (http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201410&RIN=0583-AD36) under development, separate from the NOC Committee and Working Group actions. Once in effect, this pending rulemaking may mitigate risks identified by the Working Group. Taking into consideration the underlying principle of the Task Force to maximize existing resources and expertise from across the federal government through increased federal agency collaboration, the Working Group did not include catfish on the draft list of at risk species. In the absence of this pending rulemaking, or if the pending rulemaking has not progressed when a final list of at risk species is determined, the decision to exclude catfish from the list of at risk species can be revisited.

    Summary of Comments in Response to 80 FR 24246 (April 30, 2015)

    In response to the April 30, 2015, notice (described above), U.S. fishing industry groups, non-governmental organizations, foreign nations, and interested citizens submitted comments on a wide breadth of topics related to the development of the draft principles and the draft at risk species list. A total of 155 written comments, and 26 oral comments received via webinars, were provided. The comments included 66 unique comments and 115 comments that were substantially the same and therefore are treated as one unified comment supporting implementation of a seafood traceability program for imported Dolphinfish (noted as “Dorado” in public comments, also known as Mahi Mahi, Coryphaena hippurus) from Mexico. The Working Group considered all public comments, and has provided responses to all relevant issues raised by comments below. We have not responded to comments that are outside the scope of this request and that may be more relevant to future steps in the process, i.e., the pending rulemaking on the design of the traceability system.

    1. Enforcement Capability

    Comment: Many public comments noted that a species will be at risk when there is a lack of enforcement capability for managing the species. Comments addressed two different aspects of enforcement capability: enforcement authority for a species (i.e., if there is an existing legal framework that gives authority to enforce fisheries management regulations), and enforcement capacity (i.e., if the resources and infrastructure necessary for effective enforcement, such as patrol vessels and personnel, exists).

    Response: The Working Group agrees that this is an important factor to consider in determining whether a species is at risk for IUU fishing and used enforcement capability (i.e., both enforcement authority and enforcement capacity) as one of the draft principles for its analysis.

    2. Catch Documentation Scheme

    Comment: We received multiple comments regarding the importance of a catch documentation scheme to reduce a species' risk for IUU fishing and seafood fraud. Example comments: “A lack of effective catch documentation systems: Thorough, up-to-date catch documentation and consistent cross-checks of those records helps to reduce opportunities to funnel illegally-caught fish into legal market streams, especially for complicated trade routes,” and “the presence of relevant and reliable catch records in an easily stored and shared format (such as electronic) would be considered an indicator for degree of risk.”

    Response: The Working Group agrees and has made the existence of a catch documentation scheme for a species, and the effectiveness of the scheme if one exists, one of the draft principles for determining at risk species. An effective catch documentation scheme is a tool that enhances seafood traceability and helps decrease the opportunity for IUU fishing and seafood fraud.

    3. Complexity of the Chain of Custody and Processing

    Comment: A number of comments were received that were related to the complexity and transparency of the chain of custody for seafood. In the more complex chains of custody there are more opportunities for mixing illegally caught fish with legally caught fish, or for mislabeling. Multiple comments noted that transshipments make tracking the chain of custody harder and present an opportunity to commingle legally and illegally caught fish. Similarly, the complexity of the processing a species undergoes is also important. It is much more difficult to mislabel whole fish, because the identification of the species is easier. Conversely, highly processed seafood (such as fillet block or surimi) could have a number of species mixed into it, either legally, or fraudulently, and without DNA testing it is impossible to identify the constituent parts. Example comments include: “Prioritize mixed products that are composed of more than one species . . . numerous species in a single product can increase IUU risk.” “Seafood products that have been co-mingled, processed, transshipped, or transported throughout multiple jurisdictions.” “Monitoring and control of transshipments; Does the supply chain actor (i.e. retailer, importer, etc.) request/have a list of vessels involved in transshipments including carrier vessel (basic level information, flag State, registration number, license, unique vessel identifier).”

    Response: The Working Group agrees that the transparency in the supply chain is important to detecting and discouraging IUU fishing and seafood fraud. Accordingly, we have made the transparency of chain of custody for a species a draft principle. This draft principle includes an assessment of how common transshipment is for each species, the complexity of processing, and the resulting final product (e.g., fillet block vs. whole fish).

    4. Species Substitution

    Comment: The Working Group received many comments highlighting the problems associated with mislabeling and other forms of misrepresentation of seafood. Due to the magnitude of comments concerned with the substitution of one species for another, the Working Group addressed species substitutions separately from other forms of mislabeling fraud (see next comment). Commenters highlighted some reasons species substitutions might occur: Avoiding tariffs, increasing value (i.e., a less valuable species sold as a higher value species), and masking illegal fishing. Example comments include: “operators intentionally mislabel species to avoid tariffs or regulations or to pass off lower value fish as higher value product.” “Low value species whose products `resemble' those from higher value species. Even if the species itself is plentiful, economic incentive then exists for seafood fraud and substitution.”

    Response: The Working Group agrees that substituting one species for another species can be harmful to the seafood industry and to the consumer, regardless of the reason for species substitution. Therefore, the Working Group has included a draft principle that takes into account the history of seafood substitutions for a species.

    5. Seafood Mislabeling

    Comment: In addition to species substitutions, there are many other types of seafood mislabeling that can be considered fraud, including, but not limited to: Improper weighting, unlabeled chemical additives, added water, mislabeled harvest location, misrepresentation of farmed vs. wild product, and misclassification of import codes. Example comments include: “Net weight is the most widespread fraudulent activity and the hardest to fix. It is very tempting to sell and ice glaze for $10 to $25 a pound.” “Lower value farm raised species that are substituted for higher value wild species . . . [is] economically motivated adulteration or fraud.”

    Response: The Working Group agrees. Seafood mislabeling and other forms of misrepresentation create an unfair market for law-abiding members of the seafood industry and directly impacts consumers. The motive for mislabeling and other forms of misrepresentation are more difficult to ascertain and in some instances mislabeling can be unintentional. Therefore, the Working Group chose to analyze instances of mislabeling unrelated to species substitution to determine species most at risk, and did not attempt to address intent.

    6. History of Violations

    Comment: A number of comments received highlighted fisheries with prior IUU fishing violations as being at risk fisheries. Without additional controls or management and monitoring systems, continued IUU fishing activity would be expected for species that have a history as a target for IUU fishing. Example comments: “We encourage the Task Force to identify and review the cases for those companies and individuals, both domestic and foreign, convicted for incidents of misreporting.”

    Response: The Working Group agrees with public comments that a history of violations is a risk factor. The Working Group therefore included the history of violations for a species as a draft principle for identifying risk of IUU fishing for a species. It should be noted that the history of fisheries violations within a fishery is separate from the draft principles concerning mislabeling and species substitution.

    7. Human Health Risks

    Comment: The Working Group received comments that species at risk of seafood fraud should also be reviewed and prioritized according to potential human health impacts. When species are substituted or mislabeled, in addition to defrauding the customer, there can be an introduced or increased human health risk. An example comment includes: “Farmed fish from developing countries with little or no health standards are increasingly being found to contain toxins that pose health threats to consumers. These fish are often substituted for fish with local names, and passed off to the American consumer as domestic wild caught [sic.].”

    Response: The Working Group agrees that human health risk should be considered. As such, the Working Group has made history of mislabeling impacting human health a draft principle for determining at risk species.

    8. Species Health and Vulnerability

    Comment: The Working Group received numerous comments regarding the importance of sustainable seafood, and requesting that the biological health of the species, or associated bycatch levels, gear impacts and other environmental impacts be considered. Example comments include: “[Species] [k]nown or projected to be biologically vulnerable, including low intrinsic rates of population increase or highly migratory (subject to fishing from multiple jurisdictions).” “Unfortunately, as a species' numbers decline the market value of the species often rises. This could boost the incentive for illegal fishers to chase those species.”

    Response: The Working Group acknowledges that the sustainability of fishing resources is an important goal and is a priority for NOAA under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Some vulnerable species identified in the comments such as sharks, sturgeon, and abalone were added to the base list and analyzed by the Working Group. However, the main focus of this process is to identify species at risk for IUU fishing or seafood fraud and a species' vulnerability is not, in and of itself, indicative of such risk, and thus is beyond the scope of this process.

    9. Economic Importance of a Species (Volume and Value)

    Comment: Multiple comments encouraged the Working Group to include information about the volume and value of the species traded or landed when determining risk. The comments note that high volume and high value species are more likely at risk for IUU fishing and seafood fraud. Example comments include: “ IUU fishing is often associated with highly valuable species that are prized in the global marketplace, including large apex predators, such as tunas or sharks and specialty products such as eel”, and “Value and volume of species: initial focus on species of significant value and volume, both aspects that increase motivation for IUU and seafood fraud.”

    Response: To ensure that the economic importance of a species was taken into account, the Working Group ensured that all species or groups of species, either domestically landed or imported, with an annual value of $100 million USD or more for 2014 were included in the base list of species evaluated to determine whether they are at risk for IUU fishing or seafood fraud. This encompassed both the demand for a product, as well as the value, and, in most cases, also the volume (most high volume species also have an annual value of over $100 million). Recognizing, however, that value or volume is only one measurement, the Working Group also identified species that are known to have high prices per pound, but do not meet the threshold of annual landings or import value of over $100 million, and added them for evaluation (e.g., sturgeon caviar, sea cucumber), as well as species identified by subject matter experts from the Working Group agencies.

    10. Bycatch Concern

    Comment: In addition to comments about target species' sustainability, comments were received regarding the level of bycatch associated with the harvest of a species. These comments generally were in agreement that a high level of bycatch would make the target species more likely to be at risk.” Example comments: “It must adequately address bycatch.” “Harvested from fisheries with a high frequency of destructive fishing methods . . . and fishing methods that result in significant bycatch are more likely to be threatened by IUU fishing.”

    Response: The Working Group acknowledges the importance of reducing incidental bycatch of marine species to the sustainability of global fisheries. The selection of species to which the principles were applied as described in this notice includes species harvested both as targeted catch and bycatch. Despite the importance of minimizing bycatch in sustainable fisheries management, the level of bycatch associated with harvest of a target species is not, in and of itself, determinative of the level of risk for IUU fishing or seafood fraud for the target species. Thus, the Working Group did not include this consideration as a draft principle.

    11. Marine Mammal Protection Act Ties to Risk

    Comment: One commenter stated: “in addition to concerns about the seafood products themselves, the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) at 16 U.S.C. 1371(a)(2) requires the government to insure that seafood products imported into the United States must be caught in a manner that does not result in the killing or serious injury of ocean mammals in excess of U.S. standards.”

    Response: MMPA section 101(a)(2) (16 U.S.C. 1371(a)(2)) concerns the level of marine mammal bycatch in the course of commercial fishing operations. As stated above, the level of bycatch associated with harvest of a target species is not, in and of itself, determinative of the level of risk for IUU fishing or seafood fraud for the target species. In a separate rulemaking, NOAA intends to publish a proposed rule to implement MMPA section 101(a)(2).

    12. Country-Specific Risk

    Comment: A large number of public comments requested that we look at the country of origin as a critical principle for determining a species' risk of IUU fishing or seafood fraud. For example, comments received include: “The Task Force should start with the existing report NOAA provides to Congress every two years that identifies nations that have vessels engaging in IUU fishing. Imported seafood from nations identified in this report should be categorized as high risk” and “[k]nown or established history of illegal fishing or fisheries product coming from a nation identified as having documented IUU fishing.”

    Response: The Working Group has already identified as draft principles enforcement capability and history of fisheries violations. These principles will allow the Working Group to take into account fisheries identified in NOAA's biennial report to Congress as engaging in IUU fishing (see 16 U.S.C. 1826(h)). The Working Group does not believe it is useful or appropriate to establish a principle based on country of origin.

    13. European Union (EU) IUU Seafood Certification

    Comment: A number of comments included discussion of the EU approach to combatting IUU fishing, which is country-of-origin based, rather than species-based. Example comments: “Ideally the United States could also use the well-researched `red and yellow card' system of the European Union to assess the likelihood of IUU products coming out of a country's fishery or processing operations” and “[p]rioritize products imported from countries already issued IUU yellow or red cards by the EU.”

    Response: The Working Group is implementing the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on Combatting IUU fishing and Seafood Fraud, which outlines a species specific approach as the basis for a risk-based traceability scheme. As noted above, the Working Group does not believe it is appropriate to establish a principle based on country of origin. In addition, the U.S. government does not have active involvement with the EU country-based IUU fishing risk identification system. Therefore, the Working Group did not include a principle that would identify species at risk based on whether they are associated with nations that have been issued a yellow and red card under the EU system. However, to the extent available, information generated or collected pursuant to the EU system that could be relevant to other principles used by the Working Group, such as enforcement capability and history of fisheries violations for specific species.

    14. Vessel-Specific Risk and Flags of Convenience

    Comment: A comment was received that a principle for determining risk should be: “Presence of flags of convenience in a fishery: Flags of convenience (FOCs) are a well-known challenge to effective fisheries management . . . Therefore, the Working Group should pay special attention to species caught in fisheries with large numbers of vessels registered to known FOCs).”

    Response: The Working Group used history of fisheries violations as a principle, which covers incidents from all vessels. Although the Working Group recognizes the challenges associated with FOCs, the Working Group decided to use a metric of documented offenses rather than a flag- or vessel-specific approach.

    15. Wildlife Trafficking Connections

    Comment: There is an existing President's Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking that is working to implement the National Strategy for Combatting Wildlife Trafficking, released by the White House on February 11, 2014. Public comments encouraged the Working Group to connect with the Wildlife Trafficking Advisory Council to ensure we do not duplicate efforts, and to work to synergize activity where appropriate. Additionally, comments requested: “In continuing to fulfill its mission, we encourage the Working Group to continue reaching out to the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking, especially on illegal trade in marine species, particularly sharks, rays, and marine turtles.” “Seafood products that are known to be involved in wildlife trafficking. Illegally harvested seafood products, many of which are depleted or highly depleted, are sometimes involved with underground wildlife trade.”

    Response: The Working Group is coordinating with the President's Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking as some members participate in both groups. The Working Group has not used wildlife trafficking as a principle for any determination of a species' risk of IUU fishing or seafood fraud, but did consider the history of fisheries violations, species substitution and mislabeling violations associated with a species.

    16. Sport vs. Commercial IUU fishing

    Comment: One comment stated: “The Task Force should differentiate between sport and commercial fishing when determining IUU fishing activities.”

    Response: While the Working Group acknowledges that illegal sport fishing can have adverse impacts on fishery resources, the traceability program will only include products that enter into U.S. commerce. Landings from sport fishing trips, for the most part, do not enter the United States in commercially significant quantities and thus, the Working Group used data based on commercial fisheries for all at risk determinations.

    17. Market Price Versus Catch Price

    Comment: A comment was received noting: “Another indicator of whether IUU products are present in the market are [sic] if there are price discrepancies such that the catch price is significantly lower than the average price on the market. Where the market price is significantly higher than the catch price this may be an indication that the product was derived from IUU fishing.”

    Response: The Working Group did not review price discrepancies in its at risk analysis. Data on price in the market versus off the boat is not robust or consistently collected. In addition, the connection between market price and risk of IUU fishing and seafood fraud has not been clearly established, and there are many variables that could cause a discrepancy in price other than IUU fishing.

    18. Risk From World Customs Organization Harmonized Schedule (New HS Codes)

    Comment: One comment was received regarding the increased risks associated with species for which there are new import codes that will go into effect in 2017: “imports of species that originate in countries that have failed to implement the seafood-related amendments to the 2012 [World Customs Organization Harmonized Schedule (HS)] HS Codes should be considered `at risk.' As of March 20, 2015 only 115 out of 151 Contracting parties to the World Customs Organization had implemented the current HS Code Schedule. As the new HS Codes for seafood products come into force in January of 2017, we believe that there will be a heightened risk of fraud and mislabeling (whether inadvertent, as people adjust to the new codes, or intentional so as to avoid tariffs). Consequently, we believe that those species for which new codes have been added should be `at risk.' ”

    Response: There is another working group addressing the Action Plan for Implementing Task Force Recommendation 10 (Enforcement: Species Name and Code) that is currently assessing ways to enhance the identification of products through the use of the HS and the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Though the outcomes of this assessment may not influence other countries' actions with regards to adopting the 2012 or 2017 HS changes, the Working Group may propose changes to the HTSUS and make other recommendations relative to naming and identification that could impact certain seafood imports into the United States, as well as changing the potential associated risks highlighted.

    19. Highly Migratory Species (HMS)

    Comment: Highly migratory species were noted in public comments as being more susceptible to IUU fishing and seafood fraud. Because of the transient and pelagic nature of these species, they are fished outside of or across multiple Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), as well as on the high seas, making regulatory development and enforcement more difficult. Example comments: “Highly migratory stocks, particularly those that travel through and between national boundaries, may be more susceptible to IUU fishing activities” and “The life history of certain species can lead to IUU vulnerability. For instance, fisheries for highly migratory species are difficult to monitor and enforce, which can make illegal behavior harder to detect and deter (e.g. tuna).”

    Response: The Working Group concluded that a separate principle for HMS was not necessary. HMS at a high risk for IUU fishing should be identified through a combination of other principles such as enforcement capability and the absence of a catch documentation scheme or an ineffective scheme. In addition, to alleviate potential risk associated with the migratory nature of these species, many HMS are managed internationally through Regional Fishery Management Organizations that adopt harvest limits, data collection requirements, and enforcement measures. The Working Group applied the drafted principles to HMS along with non-HMS, and those determined to be at risk are on the draft list of species (e.g., sharks and tunas).

    20. Species-Based Approach

    Comment: Many comments requested that the Working Group not take a species-based approach, and rather employ a larger scaled approach and begin the traceability program with all seafood products. Example comments: “any legitimate approach to identifying IUU risk in seafood will inevitably produce a much broader and larger set of products than could be achieved through the selection of a limited set of “species at risk” and “[w]hile we understand the need to prioritize resources on high risk problems, we do not believe that a species-by-species approach is an effective long-term solution to the challenges of IUU fishing and seafood fraud, which are global in nature, occur at all levels, from harvest through final sale, and are influence by changing market demands and other factors.”

    Response: The Action Plan for Implementing Task Force Recommendations specifies that the traceability program will be implemented by first targeting high risk species, while preserving the opportunity to leverage the value and effectiveness of other traceability efforts. By December 2016, the NOC will issue a report, taking into careful consideration input from stakeholders, evaluating implementation of the first phase of the traceability program and recommending how and under what timeframe it should be expanded.

    21. Data for Analyzing Principles Identified

    Comment: There were multiple public comments expressing concerns with the data that would be used to analyze the base list of species using the draft principles to identify species at risk. One commenter noted that species at risk shift over time as changes in management occur, and therefore, the Working Group should use current information when identifying at risk species. Conflicting comments were submitted regarding the appropriate data to use: Some comments suggested use of government data only, while others supported use of non-governmental information submitted through public comment.

    Response: To develop the draft list the Working Group used verifiable data, including information from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and NOAA databases, published reports, or data gathered by Regional Fisheries Management Organizations to which the United States is a member and whose scientific data is developed and reviewed with active U.S. government participation, and the knowledge of subject matter experts, including members of the Working Group and other personnel from represented agencies. The Working Group determined that including data from the past five years was appropriate, as a longer timeframe may not recognize improvements that have been made in some fisheries over time, and a shorter timeframe may not include enough data to identify the species at risk.

    22. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Lists as Basis for Determining Risk

    Comment: A number of public comments requested that species listed with CITES or that are on IUCN red lists be determined as species at risk. Example comments: “A species listed on one of the CITES appendices: A number of commercially exploited species, including shark and ray species, are included in the appendices of CITES” and “Of the more than 1200 described species, one quarter have been designated as threatened under the IUCN Red List, and 500 species are so data deficient that their conservation status cannot be determined, putting them at even greater risk.”

    Response: CITES is an international agreement between governments that aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. The IUCN red list of threatened species is an approach for evaluating the conservation status of plant and animal species on a global scale. As mentioned in response to a prior comment, the Working Group affirms that sustainability of fishing resources is an important goal. However, the main focus here is to identify species at risk for IUU fishing and seafood fraud. Thus, the draft principles do not include consideration of the conservation status of species.

    23. Science-Based Fishery Management

    Comment: Public comments requested that species not managed using science-based fisheries management be considered at risk. This commentary was often tied to a country, rather than a species, but the premise of science-based fishery management was consistent in both approaches. For example, a comment stated that at risk species should include species “[t]aken in managed fisheries but without science-based or precautionary (where population assessments are not available) catch limits; where limits exceed scientific advice; or where catch limits are routinely exceeded.”

    Response: The Working Group agrees that fishery management must be science-based to be effective. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, conservation and management measures for federal fisheries managed in the U.S. EEZ “shall be based upon the best scientific information available” (16 U.S.C. 1851(a)(2)). As noted earlier, the Working Group considered in its analysis scientific information from Regional Fisheries Management Organizations to which the United States is a member. Beyond this, the Working Group does not, as a general matter, have sufficient information or the ability to evaluate the science used by foreign nations in the management of their fishing resources. Thus, whether or not a species is subject to a management regime using best available scientific information was not included as a draft principle for determining at risk species. Rather, the NOC will seek to address this concern through other approaches aimed at international stewardship (e.g., capacity building, diplomatic outreach, etc.)

    24. Magnitude of the Violations

    Comment: One public comment requested: “The Task Force should weigh the magnitude of labeling violations and impact on U.S. consumer prior to deeming a species at risk. The following are examples of mislabeling that should represent lower concern and should NOT be the sole basis from an at risk determination: Species that are mislabeled within the same genus or within the same acceptable market name grouping.”

    Response: The Working Group took known violations from the past five years into account in evaluating species for at risk” determination. Adding a value judgment on the magnitude of the violations was beyond the capacity of the Working Group.

    25. Poor Species Identification in the Catch and/or Trade Data

    Comment: One public comment noted that the lack of species identification in catch and trade data can increase a species' vulnerability to IUU fishing.

    Response: This issue will be captured under the draft principles concerning any history of species mislabeling and the existence of a catch documentation scheme. In addition, the Working Group recognizes the concern regarding import codes. This issue will be discussed through the work on Task Force Recommendation 10 “to standardize and clarify rules on identifying the species, common name, and origin of seafood.”

    26. Existing Traceability System

    Comment: Multiple comments recommended that the Working Group review and take into account whether there is already a certification system or traceability system for a species. Example comment: “Some private industry sectors have initiated traceability requirements.”

    Response: The Working Group commends organizations and fishing groups that have initiated traceability programs on their own and recognizes the investment by the private sector in developing improved traceability. For species with a recently implemented traceability program, the number of enforcement violations over the past five years can be used as a measure of the effectiveness of the program and will allow us to either remove these species from our list of at risk species or, where appropriate, include existing catch documentation provisions into a traceability program to further address risk of IUU fishing and seafood fraud.

    Dated: July 28, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18945 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE032 Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Caribbean Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold its 153rd meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on August 19-20, 2015. The Council will convene on Wednesday, August 19, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will reconvene on Thursday, August 20, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn & Tropical Casino Mayaguez, 2701 Hostos Avenue, Puerto Rico 00680.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Caribbean Fishery Management Council, 270 Muñoz Rivera Avenue, Suite 401, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00918; telephone: (787) 766-5926.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Council will hold its 153rd regular Council Meeting to discuss the items contained in the following agenda:

    August 19, 2015 ○ Call to Order ○ Adoption of Agenda ○ Consideration of 152nd Council Meeting Verbatim Transcriptions ○ Executive Director's Report ○ SSC National Workshop Report—Dr. Richard Appeldoorn ○ Island-Based Fishery Management: Choosing Species to be Included for Federal Management Within Each Island Group • Outcomes from the Panel of Experts and District Advisory Panel Meetings ○ Participation ○ Presentations • Review Draft List of Species Selected for Management ○ Puerto Rico ○ St. Croix ○ St. Thomas/St. John • Next Steps in Developing Island Based ○ Action 2—Species Complexes ○ Action 3—Reference Points ○ Other Needed Actions ○ Comprehensive Amendment: Application of Accountability Measures in the Council Fishery Management Plans • Review Draft Comprehensive Amendment/Select Preferred Alternative • Final Action/Revisit Codified Text, Including: ○ Clarifying Queen Conch Minimum Size Limits ○ Addition of Accountability Measures-Based Closure Language —Public Comment Period— (5-minutes presentations) 5:15 p.m.-6 p.m. ○ Administrative Matters —Budget Update FY 2015/16 —Other Administrative Business —Closed Session August 20, 2015 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. ○ ABT Public Hearing 10:45 a.m.-5 p.m. ○ Abrir/Bajo/Tourmaline: Revision of Management Regulations in Federal Portion of Each Area • Review Draft Amendment • HMS input on requests from CFMC • Discuss Outcomes of Public Hearing • Final Action • Review Codified Text, Including: Coordinate-Based Definition of State/Federal Closure Boundaries ○ Timing of Accountability Measures-Based Closures Amendment Review Public Hearing Draft Document/Select Preferred Alternatives Schedule Public Hearings; Discuss Next Steps ○ Saltonstall-Kennedy Funding Program: Caribbean Projects—Dr. Bonnie Ponwith ○ Outreach and Education Report—Dr. Alida Ortíz ○ Enforcement Issues: —Puerto Rico-DNER —U.S. Virgin Islands-DPNR —U.S. Coast Guard —NMFS/NOAA ○ Meetings Attended by Council Members and Staff Public Comment Period (5-minute presentations) ○ Other Business ○ Next Council Meeting

    The established times for addressing items on the agenda may be adjusted as necessary to accommodate the timely completion of discussion relevant to the agenda items. To further accommodate discussion and completion of all items on the agenda, the meeting may be extended from, or completed prior to the date established in this notice.

    The meeting is open to the public, and will be conducted in English. Fishers and other interested persons are invited to attend and participate with oral or written statements regarding agenda issues.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be subjects for formal action during this meeting. Actions will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice, and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided that the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. For more information or request for sign language interpretation and/other auxiliary aids, please contact Mr. Miguel A. Rolón, Executive Director, Caribbean Fishery Management Council, 270 Muñoz Rivera Avenue, Suite 401, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00918, telephone (787) 766-5926, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: July 29, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-18940 Filed 7-31-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Notice Inviting Postsecondary Educational Institutions To Participate in Experiments Under the Experimental Sites Initiative; Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs Under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as Amended AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary invites postsecondary educational institutions (institutions) that participate in the student financial assistance programs authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (the HEA), to apply to participate in a new institution-based experiment under the Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI). Under the ESI, the Secretary has authority to grant waivers from certain title IV HEA statutory or regulatory requirements to allow a limited number of institutions to participate in experiments to test alternative methods for administering the title IV HEA programs. The alternative methods of title IV HEA administration that the Secretary is permitting under the ESI are designed to facilitate efforts by institutions to test certain innovative practices aimed at improving student outcomes and the delivery of services.

    Under this experiment, participating institutions will provide Federal Pell Grant funding to otherwise eligible students who are incarcerated in Federal or State penal institutions. Details of the experiment are provided below in the “The Experiment” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Letters of application to participate in the proposed experiment described in this notice must be received by the Department of Education (the Department) no later than October 2, 2015 in order for an institution to receive priority to be considered for participation in the experiment. Institutions submitting letters that are received after October 2, 2015 may still, at the discretion of the Secretary, be considered for participation.

    ADDRESSES:

    Letters of application must be submitted by electronic mail to the following email address: [email protected]. For formats and other required information, see “Instructions for Submitting Letters of Application” under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Warren Farr, U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid, 830 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20002. Telephone: (202) 377-4380 or by email at: [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: Instructions for Submitting Letters of Application

    Letters of application should take the form of an Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) attachment to an email message sent to the email address provided in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The subject line of the email should read “ESI 2015—Pell for Students who are Incarcerated.” The text of the email should include the name and address of the institution. The letter of application should be on institutional letterhead and be signed by the institution's financial aid administrator. The letter of application must include the institution's official name and the Department's Office of Postsecondary Education Identification (OPEID), as well as the name of a contact person at the institution, a mailing address, email address, FAX number, and telephone number. Please include in the letter a listing of the academic programs that the institution is considering for inclusion in this experiment and, for each of those programs, an estimate of the number of participating students. We understand that institutions' academic program listings and the actual number of students who participate may vary from the information submitted in the letter.

    Background

    Section 401(b)(6) of the HEA provides that students who are incarcerated in a Federal or State penal institution are not eligible to receive Federal Pell Grant funds. This prohibition is included in the Department's regulations at 34 CFR 668.32(c)(2)(ii).

    The experiment outlined below will allow participating institutions to provide Federal Pell Grant funding to otherwise eligible students who are incarcerated in Federal or State penal institutions and who are eligible for release into the community, particularly those who are likely to be released within five years of enrollment in the program.

    The prison population is significantly less educated than the general population. For nearly half of all incarcerated individuals in Federal or State facilities, a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate is their highest level of education. Only 11 percent of incarcerated individuals in State correctional facilities and 24 percent of individuals incarcerated in Federal prisons have completed at least some postsecondary education.1 In addition, educational offerings at Federal and State penal institutions are limited in that they generally focus on adult basic education and secondary education that aim to improve foundational reading, writing, numeracy, and English language skills. Surveys of Federal and State prisons have found that only about 40 percent offer postsecondary education programs.2 Given the statutory prohibition on incarcerated students accessing Federal student aid, roughly 1,574,700 persons in Federal or State penal institutions in 2013 were unable to be considered for higher education courses financed through the Pell Grant Program.3

    1 Caroline Wolf Harlow. “Education and Correctional Populations.” U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. January 2003. Accessed on June 12, 2015 at: www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ecp.pdf.

    2 Wendy Erisman and Jeanne Bayer Contardo. “Learning to Reduce Recidivism: A 50-state Analysis of Postsecondary Correctional Education Policy.” Institute for Higher Education Policy. November 2005. Accessed on June 12, 2015 at: www.ihep.org/sites/default/files/uploads/docs/pubs/learningreducerecidivism.pdf.

    3 Lauren E. Glaze and Danielle Kaeble. “Correctional Populations in the United States, 2013.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. December 2014. Accessed on May 1, 2015 at: www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cpus13.pdf.

    While fewer than half of all prisons offer postsecondary education, research suggests that postsecondary education and training for incarcerated individuals is correlated with several positive post-release outcomes, including increased educational attainment levels, reduced recidivism rates, and improved post-release employment opportunities and earnings.4 According to the Department of Justice, postsecondary correctional education is a promising and cost-effective practice that supports the successful reentry of justice-involved individuals.5 Providing greater postsecondary education and training opportunities to incarcerated individuals, particularly the approximately 630,000 individuals expected to be released from Federal and State prisons each year,6 some of whom will be eligible to receive Pell grants, may help to facilitate their successful transition back into society. Consistent with the President's “My Brother's Keeper Task Force” recommendations to enforce the rights of incarcerated youth to a quality education and eliminate unnecessary barriers to reentry, on December, 8, 2014, the Department of Education and the Department of Justice jointly released a Correctional Education Guidance Package.7 The guidance package included a Dear Colleague Letter on Access to Pell Grants for Students in Juvenile Justice Facilities (DCL GEN-14-21) from the Department of Education clarifying that students who are confined or incarcerated in locations that are not penal institutions, such as juvenile justice facilities and local or county jails, and who otherwise meet applicable eligibility criteria, are eligible for Federal Pell Grants.8 The experiment, which is described in more detail in the “The Experiment” section of this notice, is intended to test whether participation in high-quality educational opportunities increases after access to financial aid for incarcerated adults is expanded.

    4 Lois M. David, Robert Bozick, Jennifer L. Steele, Jessica Saunders and Jeremy N. V. Miles. “Evaluating the Effectiveness of Correctional Education: A Meta-Analysis of Programs That Provide Education to Incarcerated Adults.” RAND Corporation. 2013. Accessed on June 12, 2015 at: www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR266.

    5 “Practice Profile: Postsecondary Correctional Education.” National Institute of Justice. Accessed on May 1, 2015 at: www.crimesolutions.gov/PracticeDetails.aspx?ID=23.

    6 “Prisoners in 2013.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. September 2014. Accessed on June 12, 2015 at: www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p13.pdf.

    7 Department of Education. Correctional Education in Juvenile Justice Facilities. Available at: www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/correctional-education/index.html.

    8 Department of Education. Federal Pell Grant Eligibility for Students Confined or Incarcerated in Locations That Are Not Federal or State Penal Institutions. Dear Colleague Letter GEN-14-21. Available at: http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN1421.html.

    This notice is in response to a notice that was published in the Federal Register on December 6, 2013 (78 FR 73518), through which the Secretary solicited suggestions from postsecondary institutions for new experiments under the ESI. In response, the Department received submissions from a diverse range of institutions and other interested parties. The experiment included in this notice was informed by suggestions submitted that were related to the title IV HEA eligibility of incarcerated students.

    Reporting and Evaluation

    The Department is interested in obtaining information that will allow for an evaluation of the experiment. Institutions that are selected for participation in the experiment will be required to provide the Department information about the participating students, which may include identifying information for students who submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for enrollment in one of the programs included in the experiment offered by the participating postsecondary educational institution.

    In addition, participating institutions will be required to submit an annual report about the experiment, its implementation, and its results. Through this survey, institutions will provide the Department information on (1) courses and programs offered, (2) numbers and types of degrees and certificates awarded, (3) partnerships with the correctional facilities, (4) challenges in providing programs and courses in the prison settings, (5) how these challenges were addressed, and (6) other relevant data.

    In addition to complying with these reporting and evaluation requirements, participating institutions will be required to participate, if requested, in an outcome evaluation of the experiment.

    The specific evaluation and reporting requirements will be finalized prior to the start of each experiment.

    Application and Selection

    From the institutions that submit letters of interest, the Secretary will select a limited number of institutions to participate in the experiment, carefully considering institutional diversity by, among other characteristics, institutional type and control, geographic location, enrollment size, and title IV HEA participation levels.

    When determining which institutions will be selected for participation in this experiment, the Secretary will consider evidence that demonstrates a strong record on student outcomes and in the administration of the title IV HEA programs, such as evidence of programmatic compliance, cohort default rates, financial responsibility ratios, completion rates, and, for for-profit institutions, “90/10” funding levels.

    Before institutions are selected for this experiment, the Secretary will consult with the institutions on the final experimental design through webinars or other outreach activities.

    Institutions selected for participation in the experiment will have their Program Participation Agreements (PPAs) with the Secretary amended to reflect the specific statutory or regulatory provisions that the Secretary waives or modifies for the experiment. The amended PPA will document the agreement between the Secretary and the institution for the administration of the experiment.

    The Experiment Background

    Section 401(b)(6) of the HEA provides that students who are incarcerated in a Federal or State penal institution are not eligible to receive Federal Pell Grant funds. This restriction prevents many otherwise eligible incarcerated individuals from accessing financial aid and benefiting from postsecondary education and training.

    In accordance with the waiver authority granted to the Secretary under section 487A(b) of the HEA, this experiment will examine how waiving the restriction on providing Pell Grants to individuals incarcerated in Federal or State penal institutions influences participation in education opportunities as well as academic and life outcomes. The experiment will also examine whether the waiver creates any challenges or obstacles to an institution's administration of the title IV HEA programs.

    Description

    This experiment will provide a waiver of the statutory provision that a student who is incarcerated in a Federal or State penal institution may not receive a Pell Grant. The experiment will allow some otherwise eligible students who are incarcerated in Federal or State penal institutions to receive a Pell Grant to help cover some of the costs of their participation in a postsecondary education and training program developed and offered by the participating postsecondary educational institution. This experiment only waives specific requirements of the title IV HEA programs. Additional restrictions or requirements associated with postsecondary study imposed by postsecondary institutions or correctional institutions may still apply. Students' eligibility to receive Federal Pell Grants aid under this experiment would remain subject to those requirements.

    The education and training programs offered by the postsecondary institution must meet all title IV HEA program eligibility requirements. While the program must be credit-bearing and result in a certificate or degree, up to one full year of remedial coursework is allowed for students in need of academic support.

    The experiment will require that participating institutions:

    • Partner with one or more Federal or State correctional facilities to offer one or more title IV HEA eligible academic programs to incarcerated students;

    • Work with the partnering correctional facilities to encourage interested students to submit a FAFSA;

    • Only disburse Pell Grant funding to otherwise eligible students who will eventually be eligible for release from the correctional facility, while giving priority to those who are likely to be released within five years of enrollment in the educational program;

    • Only enroll students in postsecondary education and training programs that prepare them for high-demand occupations from which they are not legally barred from entering due to restrictions on formerly incarcerated individuals obtaining any necessary licenses or certifications for those occupations;

    • Disclose to interested students and to the Department information about any portions of a program of study that, by design, cannot be completed while students are incarcerated, as well as the options available for incarcerated students to complete any remaining program requirements post-release;

    • As appropriate, offer students the opportunity to continue their enrollment in the academic program if the student is released from prison prior to program completion; and

    • Inform students of the academic and financial options available if they are not able to complete the academic program while incarcerated. This includes whether the students can continue in the program after release, transfer credits earned in the program to another program offered by the institution, or transfer credits earned in the program to another postsecondary institution.

    Participating institutions, in partnership with Federal or State correctional facilities, will also submit their plans for providing academic and career guidance, as well as transition services to their incarcerated students to support successful reentry.

    The Pell Grant funds made available to eligible students through this experiment are intended to supplement, not supplant, existing investments in postsecondary prison-based education programs by either the postsecondary institution, the correctional facility, or outside sources.

    Waivers

    Institutions selected for this experiment will be exempt from, or will be granted waivers from, section401(b)(6) of the HEA; and 34 CFR 668.32(c)(2)(ii), which provides that students who are incarcerated in any Federal or State penal institution are not eligible to receive Pell Grant funding.

    The waiver described in this notice does not apply to individuals subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or nonforcible sexual offense.

    All other provisions and regulations of the title IV HEA student assistance programs will remain in effect.

    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 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.

    Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated authority to Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary, to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

    Program Authority:

    HEA, section 487A(b); 20 U.S.C. 1094a(b).

    Dated: July 29