Federal Register Vol. 80, No.164,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 164 (August 25, 2015)

Page Range51423-51722
FR Document

80_FR_164
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 51612 - National Science Board; Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
80 FR 51498 - Proposed Modification of Restricted Area R-7201; Farallon De Medinilla Island; Mariana Islands, GUPDF
80 FR 51617 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 51423 - Implementation of Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal AwardsPDF
80 FR 51563 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 51611 - Records Schedules; Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 51614 - Design of Structures, Components, Equipment, and Systems, and Reactor Coolant System and Connected SystemsPDF
80 FR 51612 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 51481 - Reactor EffluentsPDF
80 FR 51649 - Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Deadline for Comments on U.S. International Trade Commission ReportPDF
80 FR 51589 - Additional Clarifying Guidance, Waivers, and Alternative Requirements for Grantees in Receipt of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Funds Under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013PDF
80 FR 51540 - Request for Comments on a Proposed Pilot Program Exploring an Alternative Approach to Institution Decisions in Post Grant Administrative ReviewsPDF
80 FR 51535 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 7-Mayaguez, Puerto Rico; Authorization of Production Activity; Neolpharma, Inc.; Subzone 7O; (Pharmaceutical Products) Caguas, Puerto RicoPDF
80 FR 51534 - Authorization of Production Activity; Foreign-Trade Zone 39; Valeo North America, Inc. d/b/a Valeo Compressor North America (Motor Vehicle Air-Conditioner Compressors); Dallas, TexasPDF
80 FR 51535 - Foreign-Trade Zone 82-Mobile, Alabama; Authorization of Production Activity; Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC (Stainless Steel Products); Calvert, AlabamaPDF
80 FR 51536 - Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative ReviewPDF
80 FR 51535 - Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Scope Ruling and Notice of Amended Final Scope Ruling Pursuant to Court DecisionPDF
80 FR 51647 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 51606 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Cooperative Research Group on Consortium for NASGRO Development and SupportPDF
80 FR 51464 - Schedule of Fees for Consular Services, Department of State and Overseas Embassies and ConsulatesPDF
80 FR 51579 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Visa Waiver Program Carrier AgreementPDF
80 FR 51558 - Final Test Guidelines; Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program Test Guidelines (Series 890); Three Tier 2 Non-Mammalian Tests; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 51561 - Notice of a Public Meeting and Opportunity for Public Comment on Considerations for Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered AlgaePDF
80 FR 51556 - Pesticide Product Registrations; Receipt of Applications for New UsesPDF
80 FR 51560 - Pesticide Product Registrations; Receipt of Applications for New Active IngredientsPDF
80 FR 51564 - Submission for OMB Review; Claims and AppealsPDF
80 FR 51607 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993; International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical OfficialsPDF
80 FR 51565 - Meeting of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force)PDF
80 FR 51605 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc.PDF
80 FR 51605 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Die Products ConsortiumPDF
80 FR 51562 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Rebate Program; EPA ICR No. 2461.02, OMB Control No. 2060-0686 RENEWALPDF
80 FR 51605 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-ODVA, Inc.PDF
80 FR 51605 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Heterogeneous System Architecture FoundationPDF
80 FR 51604 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Cooperative Research Group on Advanced Combustion Catalyst and Aftertreatment TechnologiesPDF
80 FR 51557 - Good Neighbor Environmental Board; Notification of Public Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 51606 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Pistoia Alliance, Inc.PDF
80 FR 51577 - Navigation Safety Advisory CouncilPDF
80 FR 51470 - Safety Zone, Coast Guard Exercise Area, Hood Canal, WashingtonPDF
80 FR 51606 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Cooperative Research Group on Clean Diesel VIPDF
80 FR 51570 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 51539 - Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing PermitsPDF
80 FR 51572 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 51582 - Extension of the Designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected StatusPDF
80 FR 51579 - Extension of Employment Authorization for Haitian F-1 Nonimmigrant Students Experiencing Severe Economic Hardship as a Direct Result of the January 12, 2010 Earthquake in HaitiPDF
80 FR 51572 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; Surveys To Support an Evaluation of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Summer Workshop in Genomics (Short Course)PDF
80 FR 51474 - Payment for Part B Medical and Other Health ServicesPDF
80 FR 51566 - Subcommittee for Dose Reconstruction Reviews (SDRR), Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (ABRWH or the Advisory Board), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)PDF
80 FR 51566 - Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (ABRWH or the Advisory Board), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)PDF
80 FR 51567 - Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health: Notice of Charter RenewalPDF
80 FR 51567 - Board of Scientific Counselors, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BSC, NIOSH)PDF
80 FR 51613 - Information Collection: Domestic Licensing of Source MaterialPDF
80 FR 51476 - Application of Labor Laws to Government AcquisitionsPDF
80 FR 51525 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Modifications of the West Coast Commercial, Recreational, and Treaty Indian Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions #16 Through #21PDF
80 FR 51476 - Quality AssurancePDF
80 FR 51504 - Medicare Program; Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Payment Model for Acute Care Hospitals Furnishing Lower Extremity Joint Replacement Services; CorrectionsPDF
80 FR 51474 - Quality Improvement Organization ReviewPDF
80 FR 51554 - Notice of Commission or Commission Staff Attendance at MISO MeetingsPDF
80 FR 51551 - Equitrans, L.P.; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed TP-371 Pipeline Replacement Project and Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
80 FR 51548 - Freeport LNG Development, L.P.; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Freeport LNG Train 4 Project and Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
80 FR 51551 - Notice of Commission Staff AttendancePDF
80 FR 51554 - Golden Hills Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 51550 - HIC Energy, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 51546 - Louisville Gas and Electric Company; Kentucky Utilities Company; Notice of FilingPDF
80 FR 51553 - Greycliff Wind Prime, LLC; Greycliff Wind Prime, LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory OrderPDF
80 FR 51547 - Merricourt Power Partners, LLC v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.; Notice of ComplaintPDF
80 FR 51550 - WBI Energy Transmission, Inc.; Notice of Request Under Blanket AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 51609 - OMB Sequestration Update Report to the President and Congress for Fiscal Year 2016PDF
80 FR 51534 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 51483 - Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee: Notice of Intent To Establish the Dedicated Purpose Pool Pumps Working Group To Negotiate a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) for Energy Conservation StandardsPDF
80 FR 51545 - Application To Export Electric Energy; Lion Shield Energy, LLCPDF
80 FR 51495 - Airworthiness Directives; M7 Aerospace LLC AirplanesPDF
80 FR 51556 - Central Valley Project, California-Oregon Transmission Project, Pacific Alternating Current Intertie, and Information on the Path 15 Transmission Upgrade-Rate Order No. WAPA-173PDF
80 FR 51564 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 51576 - Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 51533 - Privacy Act of 1974, New System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 51534 - Privacy Act of 1974, Abolished System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 51487 - Energy Conservation Program for Certain Commercial and Industrial Equipment: Proposed Determination of Natural Draft Commercial Packaged Boilers as Covered Industrial EquipmentPDF
80 FR 51654 - Notice of Meeting of the Advisory Council on Transportation Statistics (ACTS) of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R)PDF
80 FR 51608 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Voluntary Fiduciary Correction ProgramPDF
80 FR 51607 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Marine Terminal Operations and Longshoring StandardsPDF
80 FR 51543 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Study of Enhanced College Advising in Upward BoundPDF
80 FR 51482 - Energy Conservation Standards for Commercial and Industrial Fans and Blowers: Availability of Provisional Analysis Tools and Notice of Data AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 51527 - Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; Exemption for Large U.S. Longline Vessels To Fish in Portions of the American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited AreaPDF
80 FR 51543 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; ED School Climate Surveys (EDSCLS) Benchmark Study 2016PDF
80 FR 51476 - International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Fishing Effort Limits in Purse Seine Fisheries for 2015PDF
80 FR 51542 - Independent Review Panel on Military Medical Construction Standards; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 51478 - International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Purse Seine Fishing Restrictions During Closure PeriodsPDF
80 FR 51523 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 15PDF
80 FR 51575 - National Maritime Security Advisory Committee; MeetingPDF
80 FR 51655 - Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 51603 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
80 FR 51650 - Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect PetitionPDF
80 FR 51567 - Medical Device Epidemiology Network Registry Task Force Report; Availability, Web Site Location and Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 51544 - Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance: MeetingPDF
80 FR 51580 - Homeland Security Information Network Advisory Committee; MeetingPDF
80 FR 51568 - National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program; List of Petitions ReceivedPDF
80 FR 51571 - Meeting of the National Vaccine Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 51474 - Suspension of Community EligibilityPDF
80 FR 51554 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
80 FR 51545 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 51546 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 51632 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Listing and Trading of the Shares of the AltShares Long/Short High Yield Fund of ETFis Series Trust IPDF
80 FR 51645 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 to Proposed Rule Change Consisting of Proposed New Rule G-42, on Duties of Non-Solicitor Municipal Advisors, and Proposed Amendments to Rule G-8, on Books and Records To Be Made by Brokers, Dealers, Municipal Securities Dealers, and Municipal AdvisorsPDF
80 FR 51642 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, Relating to Rule 6.53C and Complex Orders on the Hybrid SystemPDF
80 FR 51617 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Amending Section 907.00 of the Listed Company Manual (the “Manual”) To (i) Amend the Suite of Complimentary Products and Services That Are Offered to Certain Current and Newly Listed Companies, (ii) Update the Value of Complimentary Products and Services Offered to Listed Companies, and (iii) Provide That Complimentary Products and Services Would Also Be Offered to Companies that Transfer Their Listing to the Exchange From Another National Securities ExchangePDF
80 FR 51615 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Chapter XV, Section 3 Entitled “NASDAQ Options Market-Access Services”PDF
80 FR 51641 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Its Fee SchedulePDF
80 FR 51627 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Surveillance AgreementsPDF
80 FR 51622 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Surveillance AgreementsPDF
80 FR 51638 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 and No Objection to Advance Notice Filing, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, to Establish a Prefunded Liquidity Program As Part of NSCC's Liquidity Risk ManagementPDF
80 FR 51594 - Renewal of Agency Information Collection for the Application for Admission to Haskell Indian Nations University and to Southwestern Indian Polytechnic InstitutePDF
80 FR 51595 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Accounts Receivable Confirmations-OMB Control Number 1012-0001; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 51597 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Delegated and Cooperative Activities With States and Indian Tribes-OMB Control Number 1012-0003; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 51588 - Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Comment Request; FHA Insured Title I Property Improvement and Manufactured Home Loan ProgramsPDF
80 FR 51593 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Section 3 Summary Report for Economic Opportunities for Low and Very Low Income Persons (Form HUD 60002) and Section 3 Complaint Register (Form HUD 958)PDF
80 FR 51593 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Insurance Termination Request for Multifamily MortgagePDF
80 FR 51531 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Generic Clearance for the Development of Nutrition Education Messages and Products for the General PublicPDF
80 FR 51650 - Determination Under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership ActPDF
80 FR 51604 - Hearings of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committees on the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and the Federal Rules of EvidencePDF
80 FR 51573 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 51574 - National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 51532 - Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Food HygienePDF
80 FR 51469 - Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Northeast Cape Fear River, Wilmington, NCPDF
80 FR 51469 - Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Wrightsville Beach, NCPDF
80 FR 51654 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 51470 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Klamath Falls, Oregon Nonattainment Area; Fine Particulate Matter Emissions Inventory and SIP Strengthening MeasuresPDF
80 FR 51499 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Utah; Revisions to the Utah Division of Administrative Rules, R307-300 Series; Area Source Rules for Attainment of Fine Particulate Matter StandardsPDF
80 FR 51476 - Suspension of Community EligibilityPDF
80 FR 51538 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Expenditure Survey of Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Tournaments and ParticipantsPDF
80 FR 51609 - Report on Countries That Are Candidates for Millennium Challenge Account Eligibility in Fiscal Year 2016 and Countries That Would Be Candidates But For Legal ProhibitionsPDF
80 FR 51538 - Availability of Seats for National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Councils, CorrectionPDF
80 FR 51488 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 51506 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of Critical Habitat for the Marbled MurreletPDF
80 FR 51491 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 51466 - Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Standardizing Method of Payment for FHA Insurance ClaimsPDF
80 FR 51424 - Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for External Power SuppliesPDF
80 FR 51443 - Airworthiness Directives; Cessna Aircraft Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 51456 - Airworthiness Directives; SOCATA AirplanesPDF
80 FR 51454 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus HelicoptersPDF
80 FR 51447 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 51459 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 51461 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 51450 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 51658 - Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Frameworks for Late-Season Migratory Bird Hunting RegulationsPDF
80 FR 51684 - Applications by Security-Based Swap Dealers or Major Security-Based Swap Participants for Statutorily Disqualified Associated Persons To Effect or Be Involved in Effecting Security-Based SwapsPDF

Issue

80 164 Tuesday, August 25, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Food Safety and Inspection Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for the Development of Nutrition Education Messages and Products for the General Public, 51531-51532 2015-20922
Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Changes under the National Cooperative Research and Production Act: Cooperative Research Group on Advanced Combustion Catalyst and Aftertreatment Technologies, 51604 2015-21019 Cooperative Research Group on Clean Diesel VI, 51606 2015-21011 Cooperative Research Group on Consortium for NASGRO Development and Support, 51606-51607 2015-21043 Die Products Consortium, 51605-51606 2015-21024 Heterogeneous System Architecture Foundation, 51605 2015-21020 IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc., 51605 2015-21028 International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, 51607 2015-21032 ODVA, Inc., 51605 2015-21021 Pistoia Alliance, Inc., 51606 2015-21014 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Charter Renewals: Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, 51567 2015-21000 Meetings: Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 51566-51567 2015-21001 Board of Scientific Counselors, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 51567 2015-20999 Meeting of the Community Preventive Services Task Force, 51565 2015-21029 Subcommittee for Dose Reconstruction Reviews, Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 51566 2015-21002 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services RULES Payment for Part B Medical and Other Health Services; CFR Correction, 51474 2015-21003 Quality improvement organization review; CFR Correction, 51474 2015-20993 PROPOSED RULES Medicare Programs: Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Payment Model for Acute Care Hospitals Furnishing Lower Extremity Joint Replacement Services; Corrections, 51504-51506 2015-20994 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Wrightsville Beach, NC, 51469 2015-20912 Northeast Cape Fear River, Wilmington, NC, 51469-51470 2015-20913 Safety Zones: Coast Guard Exercise Area, Hood Canal, WA, 51470 2015-21012 NOTICES Meetings: Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee, 51576-51577 2015-20973 National Maritime Security Advisory Committee, 51575-51576 2015-20953 Navigation Safety Advisory Council, 51577-51579 2015-21013 Commerce Commerce Department See

Economic Analysis Bureau

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 51533-51534 2015-20971 2015-20972
Defense Department Defense Department RULES Application of Labor Laws to Government Acquisitions; CFR Correction, 51476 2015-20997 Quality Assurance; CFR Correction, 51476 2015-20995 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Claims and Appeals, 51564-51565 2015-21034 Meetings: Independent Review Panel on Military Medical Construction Standards, 51542 2015-20956 Economic Analysis Bureau Economic Analysis Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 51534 2015-20981 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: ED School Climate Surveys Benchmark Study 2016, 51543-51544 2015-20958 Study of Enhanced College Advising in Upward Bound, 51543 2015-20964 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, 51544-51545 2015-20946 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

See

Western Area Power Administration

RULES Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for External Power Supplies, 51424-51443 2015-20717 PROPOSED RULES Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee: Establishment of Dedicated Purpose Pool Pumps Working Group to Negotiate a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Energy Conservation Standards, 51483-51486 2015-20979 Energy Conservation Program for Certain Commercial and Industrial Equipment: Determination of Natural Draft Commercial Packaged Boilers as Covered Industrial Equipment; Withdrawal, 51487-51488 2015-20970 Energy Conservation Standards for Commercial and Industrial Fans and Blowers: Provisional Analysis Tools and Notice of Data Availability, 51482 2015-20963 NOTICES Applications to Export Electric Energy: Lion Shield Energy, LLC, 51545 2015-20978
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Klamath Falls, OR, Nonattainment Area; Fine Particulate Matter Emissions Inventory and SIP Strengthening Measures, 51470-51473 2015-20903 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Utah; Revisions to the Utah Division of Administrative Rules, R307-300 Series; Area Source Rules for Attainment of Fine Particulate Matter Standards, 51499-51504 2015-20895 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Diesel Emissions Reduction Act Rebate Program, 51562-51563 2015-21022 Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program Test Guidelines: Three Tier 2 Non-Mammalian Tests, 51558-51560 2015-21040 Meetings: Considerations for Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Algae, 51561-51562 2015-21039 Good Neighbor Environmental Board, 51557-51558 2015-21016 Pesticide Product Registrations: Applications for New Active Ingredients, 51560-51561 2015-21037 Applications for New Uses, 51556-51557 2015-21038 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 51447-51450 2015-20585 Airbus Helicopters, 51454-51456 2015-20587 Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes, 51459-51463 2015-20581 2015-20584 Cessna Aircraft Company Airplanes, 51443-51447 2015-20692 SOCATA Airplanes, 51456-51459 2015-20588 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 51450-51454 2015-20372 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: M7 Aerospace LLC Airplanes, 51495-51498 2015-20977 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 51488-51495 2015-20835 2015-20853 Modifications of Restricted Areas: Area R-7201, Farallon De Medinilla Island, Mariana Islands, GU, 51498-51499 2015-21084 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 51563-51564 2015-21076 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency RULES Suspension of Community Eligibility, 51474-51476 2015-20893 2015-20942 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 51545-51547 2015-20938 2015-20939 2015-20940 Complaints: Merricourt Power Partners, LLC v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., 51547-51548 2015-20984 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Freeport LNG Train 4 Project, Freeport LNG Development, L.P., 51548-51550 2015-20990 TP-371 Pipeline Replacement Project; Equitrans, L.P., 51551-51553 2015-20991 Filings: Louisville Gas and Electric Co., Kentucky Utilities Co., 51546 2015-20986 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Golden Hills Wind, LLC, 51554 2015-20988 HIC Energy, LLC, 51550 2015-20987 Petitions for Declaratory Orders: Greycliff Wind Prime, LLC, 51553-51554 2015-20985 Requests under Blanket Authorizations: WBI Energy Transmission, Inc., 51550-51551 2015-20983 Staff Attendances, 51551, 51554-51556 2015-20989 2015-20992 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 51564 2015-20974 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Critical Habitat for the Marbled Murrelet, 51506-51523 2015-20837 Migratory Bird Hunting: Frameworks for Late-Season Migratory Bird Hunting, 51658-51682 2015-20371 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Guidance: Medical Device Epidemiology Network Registry Task Force Report; Availability, Web Site Location, 51567-51568 2015-20948 Food Safety Food Safety and Inspection Service NOTICES Meetings: Codex Alimentarius Commission; Codex Committee on Food Hygiene, 51532-51533 2015-20917 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: Neolpharma, Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 7, Mayaguez, PR, 51535 2015-21051 Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC, Foreign-Trade Zone 82, Mobile, AL, 51535 2015-21049 Valeo North America, Inc. d/b/a Valeo Compressor North America, Foreign-Trade Zone 39, Dallas, TX, 51534-51535 2015-21050 General Services General Services Administration RULES Application of Labor Laws to Government Acquisitions; CFR Correction, 51476 2015-20997 Quality Assurance; CFR Correction, 51476 2015-20995 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Claims and Appeals, 51564-51565 2015-21034 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Meetings: National Vaccine Advisory Committee, 51571-51572 2015-20943
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 51570-51571 2015-21009 National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program; List of Petitions Received, 51568-51570 2015-20944 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

NOTICES Employment Authorization for Haitian F1 Nonimmigrant Students Experiencing Severe Economic Hardship as a Direct Result of the January 12, 2010 Earthquake, 51579-51580 2015-21005 Meetings: Homeland Security Information Network Advisory Committee, 51580-51581 2015-20945
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department RULES Federal Housing Administration -- Standardizing Method of Payment for FHA Insurance Claims, 51466-51469 2015-20827 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: FHA Insured Title I Property Improvement and Manufactured Home Loan Programs, 51588-51589 2015-20925 Insurance Termination Request for Multifamily Mortgage, 51593 2015-20923 Section 3 Summary Report for Economic Opportunities for Low and Very Low Income Persons and Section 3 Complaint Register, 51593-51594 2015-20924 Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Funds under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013: Additional Clarifying Guidance, Waivers, and Alternative Requirements for Grantees, 51589-51593 2015-21065 Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Admission to Haskell Indian Nations University and to Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, 51594-51595 2015-20928 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Indian Affairs Bureau

See

Office of Natural Resources Revenue

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Amended Final Scope Ruling Pursuant to Court Decision: Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China, 51535-51536 2015-21047 Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks from the People's Republic of China, 51536-51538 2015-21048 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Silicon-on-Insulator Wafers, 51603-51604 2015-20950 Judicial Conference Judicial Conference of the United States NOTICES Hearings: Judicial Conference Advisory Committees on fhe Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence, 51604 2015-20920 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

Labor Department Labor Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Marine Terminal Operations and Longshoring Standards, 51607-51608 2015-20965 Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program, 51608-51609 2015-20966 Management Management and Budget Office NOTICES OMB Sequestration Update Report to the President and Congress for Fiscal Year 2016, 51609 2015-20982 Millenium Millennium Challenge Corporation NOTICES Candidate Countries for Millennium Challenge Account Eligibility, 51609-51611 2015-20878 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration RULES Application of Labor Laws to Government Acquisitions; CFR Correction, 51476 2015-20997 Quality Assurance; CFR Correction, 51476 2015-20995 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Claims and Appeals, 51564-51565 2015-21034 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration RULES Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, 51423-51424 2015-21077 NOTICES Records Schedules; Availability, 51611-51612 2015-21075 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition, 51650-51654 2015-20949 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Surveys to Support an Evaluation of the National Human Genome Research Institute Summer Workshop in Genomics (Short Course), 51572-51573 2015-21004 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 51573-51574 2015-20919 National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 51574-51575 2015-20918 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 51572 2015-21007 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES International Fisheries: Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Fishing Effort Limits in Purse Seine Fisheries for 2015, 51476-51478 2015-20957 Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Purse Seine Fishing Restrictions during Closure Periods, 51478-51480 2015-20955 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 15, 51523-51525 2015-20954 Fisheries of the Western Pacific: Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; Exemption for Large U.S. Longline Vessels to Fish in Portions of the American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area, 51527-51530 2015-20962 Fisheries Off West Coast States: Modifications of the West Coast Commercial, Recreational, and Treaty Indian Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions 16 through 21, 51525-51527 2015-20996 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Expenditure Survey of Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Tournaments and Participants, 51538 2015-20890 Domestic Fisheries; General Provisions: Application for Exempted Fishing Permits, 51539-51540 2015-21008 Requests for Nominations: National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Councils; Correction, 51538-51539 2015-20858 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 51612 2015-21181 National Transportation National Transportation Safety Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 51612-51613 2015-21073 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Reactor Effluents, 51481-51482 2015-21072 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Domestic Licensing of Source Material, 51613-51614 2015-20998 Standard Review Plans: Design of Structures, Components, Equipment, and Systems, and Reactor Coolant System and Connected Systems, 51614-51615 2015-21074 Natural Resources Office of Natural Resources Revenue NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Accounts Receivable Confirmations, 51595-51597 2015-20927 Delegated and Cooperative Activities with States and Indian Tribes, 51597-51603 2015-20926 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Proposed Pilot Programs: Alternative Approach to Institution Decisions in Post Grant Administrative Reviews, 51540-51542 2015-21052 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission PROPOSED RULES Security-Based Swap Dealers or Major Security-Based Swap Participants: Applications for Statutorily Disqualified Associated Persons to Effect or be Involved in Effecting Security-Based Swaps, 51684-51722 2015-19662 NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 51617 2015-21079 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 51642-51644 2015-20935 Miami International Securities Exchange LLC, 51641-51642 2015-20932 Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, 51645-51646 2015-20936 NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., 51622-51626 2015-20930 NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, 51615-51617, 51627-51638 2015-20931 2015-20933 2015-20937 National Securities Clearing Corp., 51638-51641 2015-20929 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 51617-51621 2015-20934 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 51647-51649 2015-21045 State Department State Department RULES Schedule of Fees for Consular Services: Department of State and Overseas Embassies and Consulates, 51464-51466 2015-21042 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States NOTICES Determination Under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act, 51650 2015-20921 Generalized System of Preferences Deadline for Comments on U.S. International Trade Commission Report, 51649-51650 2015-21067 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Council on Transportation Statistics, 51654 2015-20969
Treasury Treasury Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 51654-51655 2015-20911 U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status; Extension, 51582-51588 2015-21006 Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Visa Waiver Program Carrier Agreement, 51579 2015-21041 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, 51655 2015-20952 Western Western Area Power Administration NOTICES Proposed Extension of Power, Transmission, and Ancillary Services Formula Rates: Central Valley Project, California-Oregon Transmission Project, Pacific Alternating Current Intertie, and Information on the Path 15 Transmission Upgrade, 51556 2015-20976 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 51658-51682 2015-20371 Part III Securities and Exchange Commission, 51684-51722 2015-19662 Reader Aids

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

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

80 164 Tuesday, August 25, 2015 Rules and Regulations NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION 2 CFR Part 2600 36 CFR Parts 1206, 1207, and 1210 [FDMS No. NARA-15-0003; NARA-2015-058] RIN 3095-AB83 Implementation of Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule implements OMB's guidance on Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, published on December 26, 2013. NARA published an interim final rule proposing its implementation of OMB's new requirements on December 19, 2014 (79 FR 75871), along with other Federal awarding agencies. NARA received no comments on the interim final rule and by this action adopts the rule as final.

DATES:

This rule is final on September 24, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Contact Kimberly Keravuori, by telephone at 301-837-3151, by email at [email protected], or by mail at Kimberly Keravuori, Regulations Program Manager; Strategy Division (SP), Suite 4100; National Archives and Records Administration; 8601 Adelphi Road; College Park, MD 20740-6001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On December 26, 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) streamlined the Federal Government's guidance on Federal awards and published final guidance in the Federal Register (78 FR 78590), entitled Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance). OMB's final guidance at 2 CFR 200 followed on a Notice of Proposed Guidance issued February 1, 2013, and an Advanced Notice of Proposed Guidance issued February 28, 2012. The final guidance incorporated feedback received from the public in response to those earlier issuances. Additional supporting resources are available from the Council on Financial Assistance Reform at www.cfo.gov/COFAR. The final guidance delivered on two presidential directives; Executive Order 13520 on Reducing Improper Payments (74 FR 62201; November 15, 20019), and February 28, 2011 Presidential Memorandum on Administrative Flexibility, Lower Costs, and Better Results for State, Local, and Tribal Governments, (Daily Comp. Pres. Docs.; http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/DCPD-201100123/pdf/DCPD-201100123.pdf). It reflected more than two years of work by the Council on Financial Assistance Reform to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Federal financial assistance. For a detailed discussion of the reform and its impacts, please see the Federal Register notice for the issuance of the final guidance (78 FR 78589).

As stated in 2 CFR 200.110 of the guidance, Federal agencies must implement the OMB guidance on Federal awards by regulatory action. Implementing the Uniform Guidance will reduce administrative burden and risk of waste, fraud, and abuse for the approximately $600 billion per year awarded in Federal financial assistance. The result will be more Federal dollars reprogrammed to support the mission, new entities able to compete and win awards, and ultimately a stronger framework to provide key services to American citizens and support the basic research that underpins the United Stated economy.

In accord with this requirement, on December 19, 2014, OMB and Federal awarding agencies, including NARA, published a joint interim final rule in the Federal Register (79 FR 75871), in which Federal awarding agencies revised their regulations to implement OMB's 2013 Uniform Guidance. The interim final rule became effective on December 26, 2014, and comments were accepted through February 2015.

NARA's portion of the joint interim rule adopted OMB's new guidance by replacing 2 CFR 2600, making minor revisions to 36 CFR 1206 (regulations for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, NARA's grant-making organization) to reflect adoption of 2 CFR 200, and removing 36 CFR 1207 and 1210 (which were rendered obsolete by the new provisions). Additional NARA grant administration policies in 36 CFR parts 1202, 1206, 1208, 1211, and 1212 remained in effect.

NARA received no comments on these proposed changes.

Regulatory Analysis Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Ch. 3506; 5 CFR 1320 Appendix A.1) (PRA), we reviewed the final rule and determined that there are no new collections of information contained therein. However, the OMB uniform guidance in 2 CFR 200 may have a negligible effect on burden estimates for existing information collections, including recordkeeping requirements for non-Federal entities that receive Federal awards.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires an agency that is issuing a final rule to provide a final regulatory flexibility analysis or to certify that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The common interim final rule implemented OMB final guidance issued on December 26, 2013, and will not have a significant economic impact beyond the impact of the December 2013 guidance; the same remains true for this final rule.

Executive Order 12866 Determination

Pursuant to Executive Order 12866, OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has designated this joint interim final rule to be significant.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 Determination

Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Unfunded Mandates Act) (2 U.S.C. 1532) requires that covered agencies prepare a budgetary impact statement before promulgating a rule that includes any Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year. If a budgetary impact statement is required, section 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Act also requires covered agencies to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives before promulgating a rule. OMB determined that the joint interim final rule will not result in expenditures by State, local, and tribal governments, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year. The same remains true for this final rule by NARA. Accordingly, NARA has not prepared a budgetary impact statement or specifically addressed the regulatory alternatives considered.

Executive Order 13132 Determination

OMB determined that the joint interim final rule did not have any Federalism implications, as required by Executive Order 13132. The same remains true for NARA's final rule.

List of Subjects 2 CFR Part 2600

Accounting, Administrative practice and procedure, Appeal procedures, Auditing, Audit requirements, Colleges and universities, Cost principles, Grant administration, Grant programs, Hospitals, Intergovernmental relations, Nonprofit organizations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Research misconduct, Small business, State and local governments, Tribal governments.

36 CFR Part 1206

Archives and records, Grant programs—education, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

36 CFR Part 1207

Accounting, Archives and records, Audit requirements, Grant administration, Grant programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, State and local governments.

36 CFR Part 1210

Accounting, Archives and records, Audit requirements, Colleges and universities, Grant administration, Grant programs, Nonprofit organizations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Accordingly, under the authority in 44 U.S.C. 2104(a); 44 U.S.C. 2501-2506; and 2 CFR 200, NARA adopts as a final rule without change the interim rule amending 2 CFR 2600, 36 CFR 1206, 1207, and 1210, which was published at 79 FR 75871 on December 19, 2014.

Dated: August 18, 2015. David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States.
[FR Doc. 2015-21077 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7515-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Parts 429 and 430 [Docket No. EERE-2014-BT-TP-0043] RIN 1904-AD36 Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for External Power Supplies AGENCY:

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

On October 9, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) to amend the test procedure for External Power Supplies (EPSs). That proposed rulemaking serves as the basis for this final rule. The U.S. Department of Energy is issuing a final rule amending its test procedure for external power supplies. These changes, which will not affect the measured energy use, will harmonize the instrumentation resolution and uncertainty requirements with the second edition of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 62301 standard when measuring standby power along with other international standards programs, and clarify certain testing set-up requirements. This final rule also clarifies which products are subject to energy conservation standards.

DATES:

The effective date of this rule is September 24, 2015.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this rule was approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of September 24, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The docket, which includes Federal Register notices, public meeting attendee lists and transcripts, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, is available for review at regulations.gov. All documents in the docket are listed in the regulations.gov index. However, some documents listed in the index, such as those containing information that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly available.

A link to the docket Web page can be found at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/product.aspx?productid=23. This Web page will contain a link to the docket for this document on the regulations.gov site. The regulations.gov Web page will contain simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket.

For further information on how to review the docket, contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945 or by email: [email protected]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Direct requests for additional information may be sent to Mr. Jeremy Dommu, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office, EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-9870.

Email: [email protected].

In the office of the General Counsel, contact Mr. Michael Kido, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-8145. Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents I. Authority and Background A. General Test Procedure Rulemaking Process II. Synopsis of the Final Rule III. Discussion A. Measurement Accuracy and Precision B. Test Set-up C. EPSs with Current Limits D. Power Factor E. Adaptive EPSs F. EPS Loading Points G. Energy Conservation Standards H. Indirect Operation EPSs I. EPSs for Solid State Lighting J. Sampling Plan K. Expanding Regulatory Text L. Effective Date and Compliance Date of Test Procedure IV. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review A. Review Under Executive Order 12866 B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 E. Review Under Executive Order 13132 F. Review Under Executive Order 12988 G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 I. Review Under Executive Order 12630 J. Review Under Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 K. Review Under Executive Order 13211 L. Review Under Section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974 M. Description of Materials Incorporated by Reference N. Congressional Notification V. Approval of the Office of the Secretary I. Authority and Background

Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6291, et seq.; “EPCA” or, in context, “the Act”) sets forth a variety of provisions designed to improve energy efficiency. (All references to EPCA refer to the statute as amended through the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015—Public Law 114-11 (April 30, 2015). Part B of title III, which for editorial reasons was re-designated as Part A upon incorporation into the U.S. Code (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified), establishes the “Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles.” External power supplies are among the products affected by these provisions.

Under EPCA, the energy conservation program consists essentially of four parts: (1) Testing, (2) labeling, (3) Federal energy conservation standards, and (4) certification and enforcement procedures. The testing requirements consist of test procedures that manufacturers of covered products must use as the basis for (1) certifying to DOE that their products comply with the applicable energy conservation standards adopted under EPCA, and (2) making representations about the efficiency of those products. Similarly, DOE must use these test procedures to determine whether the products comply with any relevant standards promulgated under EPCA.

A. General Test Procedure Rulemaking Process

Under 42 U.S.C. 6293, EPCA sets forth the criteria and procedures DOE follows when prescribing or amending test procedures for covered products. EPCA provides in relevant part that any test procedures prescribed or amended under this section shall be reasonably designed to produce test results that measure the energy efficiency, energy use, or estimated annual operating cost of a covered product during a representative average use cycle or period of use and shall not be unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3))

In addition, when DOE determines that a test procedure requires amending, it publishes a notice with the proposed changes and offers the public an opportunity to comment on the proposal. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(2)) As part of this process, DOE determines the extent to which, if any, the proposed test procedure would alter the measured energy efficiency of any covered product as determined under the existing test procedure. (42 U.S.C. 6293(e)(1))

Section 135 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005), Public Law 109-58 (Aug. 8, 2005), amended sections 321 and 325 of EPCA by adding certain provisions related to external power supplies (EPSs). Among these provisions were new definitions defining what constitutes an EPS and a requirement that DOE prescribe “definitions and test procedures for the power use of battery chargers and external power supplies.” (42 U.S.C. 6295(u)(1)(A)) DOE complied with this requirement by publishing a test procedure final rule that, among other things, established a new Appendix Z to address the testing of EPSs to measure their energy efficiency and power consumption. See 71 FR 71340 (Dec. 8, 2006) (codified at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, Appendix Z “Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of External Power Supplies”).

Congress further amended EPCA's EPS provisions through its enactment of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007), Public Law 110-140 (Dec. 19, 2007). That law amended sections 321, 323, and 325 of EPCA. These changes are noted below.

Section 301 of EISA 2007 amended section 321 of EPCA by modifying the EPS-related definitions found in 42 U.S.C. 6291. While EPACT 2005 defined an EPS as “an external power supply circuit that is used to convert household electric current into DC current or lower-voltage AC current to operate a consumer product,” 1 42 U.S.C. 6291(36)(A), Section 301 of EISA 2007 further amended this definition by creating a subset of EPSs called Class A External Power Supplies. EISA 2007 defined this subset of products as those EPSs that, in addition to meeting several other requirements common to all EPSs,2 are “able to convert [line voltage AC] to only 1 AC or DC output voltage at a time” and have “nameplate output power that is less than or equal to 250 watts.” (42 U.S.C. 6291(36)(C)(i)) As part of these amendments, EISA 2007 prescribed minimum standards for these products and directed DOE to publish a final rule by July 1, 2011, to determine whether to amend these standards. See 42 U.S.C. 6295(u)(3)(A) and (D).

1 The terms “AC” and “DC” refer to the polarity (i.e., direction) and amplitude of current and voltage associated with electrical power. For example, a household wall socket supplies alternating current (AC), which varies in amplitude and reverses polarity. In contrast, a battery or solar cell supplies direct current (DC), which is constant in both amplitude and polarity.

2 The full EISA 2007 definition of a class A external power supply includes a device that “(I) is designed to convert line voltage AC input into lower voltage AC or DC output; (II) is able to convert to only 1 AC or DC output voltage at a time; (III) is sold with, or intended to be used with, a separate end-use product that constitutes the primary load; (IV) is contained in a separate physical enclosure from the end-use product; (V) is connected to the end-use product via a removable or hard-wired male/female electrical connection, cable, cord, or other wiring; and (VI) has nameplate output power that is less than or equal to 250 watts.” (42 U.S.C. 6291(36)(C)(i))

Section 310 of EISA 2007 amended section 325 of EPCA by defining the terms “active mode,” “standby mode,” and “off mode.” Each of these modes corresponds to the operational status of a given product—i.e., whether it is (1) plugged into AC mains and switched “on” and performing its intended function, (2) plugged in but not performing its intended function (i.e., simply standing by to be operated), or (3) plugged in, but switched “off,” if a manual on-off switch is present. Section 310 also required DOE to amend its test procedure to ensure that standby and off mode energy consumption are measured. It also authorized DOE to amend, by rule, any of the definitions for active, standby, and off mode as long as the DOE considers the most current versions of Standards 62301 (“Household Electrical Appliances—Measurement of Standby Power”) and 62087 (“Methods of Measurement for the Power Consumption of Audio, Video and Related Equipment”) of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). See 42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(2)(A) (incorporating EISA 2007 amendments related to standby and off mode energy). Consistent with these provisions, DOE issued a final rule that defined and added these terms and definitions to 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, Appendix Z (“Appendix Z”). See 74 FR 13318 (March 27, 2009).

DOE further amended Appendix Z by adding a test method for multiple-voltage EPSs, 76 FR 31750 (June 1, 2011). The amendments also revised the definition of “active power” and clarified how to test an EPS that has a current-limiting function, that can communicate with its load, or that combines the current-limiting function with the ability to communicate with a load. A current-limited EPS is one that can significantly lower its output voltage once an internal output current limit has been exceeded, while an EPS that communicates with its load refers to an EPS's ability to identify or otherwise exchange information with its load (i.e., the end-use product to which it is connected). These revisions were necessary to provide manufacturers with sufficient clarity on how to conduct the test and determine the measured energy use for these types of EPSs.

After releasing a preliminary analysis and issuing a proposed set of energy conservation standards, DOE published a final rule prescribing new standards for non-Class A EPSs and amended standards for some Class A EPSs. See 79 FR 7845 (Feb. 20, 2014). EPSs manufactured on or after February 10, 2016 must comply with these standards; for products built outside the U.S., EPSs imported on or after February 10, 2016, must comply with the new standards.3

3 Generally, a covered product must comply with the relevant standard in effect as of the date the product is manufactured. For products imported into the U.S., this is the date of importation. See 42 U.S.C. 6291(10) (“The term `manufacture' means to manufacture, produce, assemble or import.”)

Following the publication of these standards, DOE received many follow-up questions and requests for clarification regarding the testing of EPSs. To address these issues, DOE published a test procedure NOPR on October 9, 2014, which proposed amending the EPS test procedure to ensure sufficient clarity regarding EPS testing and certification. 79 FR 60996. As part of the proposed rule, DOE outlined certain clarifications to Appendix Z to eliminate any testing ambiguity when measuring the efficiency of an EPS. DOE also proposed to include additional, but optional, measurements within Appendix Z concerning EPS power factor and other loading points outside those previously codified in the CFR. Lastly, DOE expressed its intent to consider all EPSs within the scope of the standards under a single sampling plan rather than maintaining separate sampling plans for Class A EPSs and non-Class A EPSs.

Upon stakeholder request, DOE held a public meeting on November 21, 2014, to discuss these proposed changes to the EPS test procedure. Prior to that meeting, DOE extended the initial deadline for submitting comments. See 79 FR 65351 (Nov. 4, 2014). DOE noted this change at the public meeting. DOE analyzed all of the comments received in response to the October 2014 test procedure NOPR from the list of commenters in Table I-1 and incorporated recommendations, where appropriate, into this test procedure final rule.

Table I-1—List of Commenters Organization Abbreviation Organization type Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers AHAM Industry Trade Association. California Investor-Owned Utilities CA IOUs Utilities. Information Technology Industry Council ITI Industry Trade Association. Lutron Electronics Lutron Manufacturer. National Electrical Manufacturers Association NEMA Industry Trade Association. NRDC, ACEEE, ASAP NRDC, et al Energy Efficiency Advocates. Power Tool Institute, Inc PTI Industry Trade Association. Schneider Electric Schneider Electric Manufacturer. Telecommunications Industry Association TIA Industry Trade Association. Wahl Clipper Corporation Wahl Clipper Manufacturer. II. Synopsis of the Final Rule

This final rule amends the DOE test procedure for EPSs. The amendments are based on the proposed changes in the test procedure NOPR. While DOE is adopting many of the proposals from the NOPR, some of the proposed amendments have been removed from consideration or modified based on stakeholder feedback. As indicated in greater detail below, these amendments clarify the current procedure in Appendix Z and the definitions set forth in 10 CFR 430.2, as well as update the materials incorporated by reference in 10 CFR 430.3. This rule also amends 10 CFR 430.32(w) by inserting a table to more clearly identify applicable EPS standards based on whether the EPS is (1) a Class A or non-Class A EPS and (2) direct or indirect operation. These minor amendments will eliminate any potential ambiguity contained in the test procedure and clarify the regulatory text to ensure that regulated entities fully understand the long-standing views and interpretations of DOE with respect to the application and implementation of the test procedure and the scope of the EPS standards. These amendments will not affect the measured energy use of these products. Instead, they will clarify the manner in which to test for compliance with the EPS energy conservation standards.

First, this final rule harmonizes DOE's test procedure with the latest version of IEC 62301 by providing specific resolution and measurement tolerances. These specifications will help to ensure that testing is performed with equipment that is capable of reaching these tolerances and that the resulting measurements are consistent.

Second, DOE is outlining the testing configurations that can be used to avoid potential losses caused by testing cables. Appendix Z currently does not clearly outline how multiple measurement devices that operate simultaneously should be connected to a unit under test (UUT). These changes remove the potential for electrical energy losses in the measurement cables and help ensure accurate and repeatable results.

Third, DOE is clarifying that when testing an EPS that is incapable of being tested at one or more of the loading conditions used to calculate the average active mode efficiency, such conditions will be omitted when calculating this metric. Instead, the average active mode efficiency will be determined by averaging the efficiency results at each of the loading conditions that can be measured.

Fourth, this final rule defines and clarifies how to test adaptive EPSs (also referred to as “adaptive-charging,” “smart-charging,” or “quick-charging” EPSs). Because these types of EPSs were not considered when the current test procedure was first adopted, Appendix Z did not explicitly address the unique characteristics of these types of EPSs to ensure reproducible and repeatable results. This final rule makes certain clarifications to address these products by providing a standardized method for all manufacturers and testing laboratories to follow when testing an adaptive EPS.

Fifth, DOE is including a table within 10 CFR 430.32 (“Energy and water conservation standards and their compliance dates”) that clearly outlines which sets of standards apply to which EPS classes. The inclusion of the table is again meant to provide clarity to manufacturers who are trying to determine the applicable standards.

Sixth, DOE is adopting the same sampling plan that is already in place for Class A EPSs for those EPSs that will be subject to standards for the first time in 2016. These revisions consolidate all EPSs that are subject to standards under a single sampling plan and provide manufacturers with the necessary procedures they will need to follow when certifying their EPSs as compliant with the applicable standards. Previously, DOE only provided a sampling plan for Class A EPSs and reserved a second sampling plan for non-Class A EPSs. By adopting a single sampling plan that applies to all EPSs in this final rule, DOE is creating a single, statistically sufficient approach for ensuring that a given EPS basic model complies with the applicable standards.

Finally, this rule incorporates text from the California Energy Commission's (CEC) “Test Method for Calculating the Energy Efficiency of Single-Voltage External AC-DC and AC-AC Power Supplies” into Appendix Z. This document is already incorporated by reference in the current language of Appendix Z. DOE believes that by adopting the referenced text directly, it will help to reduce the testing burden on manufacturers and clarify the intended test methods within a single document.

A summary of these amendments to specific sections of 10 CFR part 430 can be found in Table II-1.

Table II-1—Summary of Proposed Changes and Affected Sections of 10 CFR Part 430 Subpart A of Part 430—General Provisions Section in 10 CFR Part 430 Subpart A NOPR Proposal Final Rule Action § 430.2. Definitions • Revising definition of “indirect operation external power supply” to include battery chargers contained in separate physical enclosureswithin Appendix Z • Did not finalize proposal. • Proposed to define “adaptive external power supply” • Finalized definition with clarification within 430.2. Appendix Z to Subpart B of Part 430—Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of External Power Supplies Section in Appendix Z NOPR Proposal Final Rule Action 1. Scope • No Change • Clarified that scope of the test procedure extends only to EPSs subject to conservation standards. 2. Definitions • Inserting definition for “average active mode efficiency” • Finalized as proposed. 3. Test Apparatus and General Instructions • Insert exceptions to the test method of 3(a) within subsections 3(a)(i) and 3(a)(ii) • Finalized within adopted text from the CEC's “Test Method for Calculating the Energy Efficiency of Single-Voltage External AC-DC and AC-AC Power Supplies”. • Incorporate by reference the uncertainty and resolution requirements of the IEC 62301 (2nd Ed.) standard in 3(a)(i)(A) • Finalized within adopted text from the CEC's “Test Method for Calculating the Energy Efficiency of Single-Voltage External AC-DC and AC-AC Power Supplies” and finalized identical requirements within 3(b)(i)(A). 4. Test Measurement • Modify 4(a)(i) to include a table of the required loading conditions and an additional optional loading point at a 10 percent loading condition • Did not finalize proposal. • Insert an optional power factor measurement at each loading condition in 4(a)(i) • Did not finalize proposal. • Clarify the necessary connections when using multiple measurement devices (4(a)(i)) • Finalized as proposed. • Clarify how to test when one or more loading conditions cannot be sustained (4(a)(i)(B)) • Finalized within adopted text from the CEC's “Test Method for Calculating the Energy Efficiency of Single-Voltage External AC-DC and AC-AC Power Supplies”. • Modify 4(a)(ii) to refer to the appropriate loading conditions in Table 1 • Did not finalize as proposed. • Modify several sections of 4(b)(i) to refer to an updated Table 2 • Did not finalize as proposed. • Revising 4(b)(i)(A)(5) to refer to a new Table 2, which contains a list of prescribed loading conditions to use, including a new 10 percent loading condition • Did not finalize proposal. • Modify 4(b)(ii) to refer to the updated loading conditions in new Table 2 • Did not finalize proposal. III. Discussion A. Measurement Accuracy and Precision

To ease the overall burden involved with the testing of EPSs, and to continue to improve DOE's efforts at harmonizing its testing requirements where feasible to do so, DOE proposed to incorporate by reference into the EPS test procedure the second edition of IEC 62301. The IEC published Edition 2.0 of IEC 62301 in January 2011, shortly before DOE's previous revision to the EPS test procedure. 76 FR 31750. This revised version of the testing standard refined the test equipment specifications, measuring techniques, and uncertainty determination to improve the method for measuring loads with high crest factors and/or low power factors, such as the low power modes typical of EPSs operating in no-load mode. Incorporating this edition into the EPS test procedure would encompass the resolution parameters for power measurements and uncertainty methodologies found in Section 4 (General conditions for measurements) as well as the associated references to Annexes B (Notes on the measurement of low power modes) and D (Determination of uncertainty of measurement) within that section of the second edition of the IEC 62301 standard. While harmonizing with the latest IEC standard is a statutory requirement, DOE nonetheless requested stakeholder feedback regarding the proposed revisions.

TIA, the CA IOUs, NRDC, and Schneider Electric were all supportive of DOE's proposal to harmonize with the latest resolution and uncertainty requirements in the second edition of IEC 62301. (TIA, No.17 at p.2; 4 CA IOUs, No.16 at p.2; NRDC, et al., No.18 at p.2; Schneider, No.13 at p.2) AHAM was also supportive of DOE's proposal but asserted that since harmonization is already required under the statute there is no need to amend the language in the test procedure. (AHAM, No.11 at p.2) ITI expressed similar thoughts, supporting DOE's harmonization efforts but suggesting that DOE should either allow for timely test procedure updates to amend the language for each successive revision of IEC standard or include language in the regulatory text referring to the “most recent version” of the standard. (ITI, No.10 at p.2) PTI had no complaints concerning DOE's proposal but noted that the scope of IEC 62301 standard is limited to standby and low-power modes and that DOE should consider how these requirements apply to other tests. (PTI. No.15 at p.2)

4 A notation in this form provides a reference for information that is in the docket for this rulemaking (Docket No. EERE-2014-BT-TP-0043), which is maintained at www.regulations.gov. This notation indicates that the statement preceding the reference is from document number 17 in the docket and appears at page 2 of that document.

With the unanimous support of stakeholders and the statutory mandate to harmonize with the latest IEC standard, DOE is amending the EPS test procedure, codified in Appendix Z of Subpart B to 10 CFR 430, in this final rule to incorporate by reference the second edition of IEC 62301. DOE is specifically referencing the second edition of this standard and is not adopting the proposed approach of referencing the most recent version. DOE lacks authority to adopt a “generic” provision for incorporation by reference. Any standard must be specifically approved for incorporation by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51; furthermore, in order to request approval, the agency must summarize the pertinent parts of the standard in the preamble of both the proposed and final rules. (1 CFR 51.5). Accordingly, references to IEC 62301 are limited to the second edition and its relevant annexes. As part of these amendments, DOE will also amend section 430.3 “Materials incorporated by reference” to add Appendix Z to the list of test procedures that reference the second edition of IEC 62301.

B. Test Set-up

In the NOPR, DOE attempted to clarify certain sections within the DOE test procedure to ensure the test procedure provides accurate, repeatable and reproducible test results. DOE had previously proposed, and ultimately finalized, requirements in 2006 that incorporated by reference certain sections of a test procedure adopted by the California Energy Commission (CEC) into Appendix Z. See generally, 71 FR 71339 (Dec. 8, 2006) (final rule incorporating elements of the CEC test procedure for EPSs). That procedure—“Test Method for Calculating the Energy Efficiency of Single-Voltage External AC-DC and AC-AC Power Supplies (August 11, 2004)”—contained a number of provisions, including one (“Measurement Approach”) that outlined how UUTs should be conditioned and connected to metering equipment to properly perform the test regardless of the type of load. While this provision generally describes the testing set-up to follow, it also contains gaps that could lead to inconsistent results when testing an EPS.

DOE specifically noted that the CEC procedure offers no clear instructions regarding how to avoid introducing additional efficiency losses when connecting additional metering equipment, such as voltmeters and ammeters. Using data it collected from investigative testing concerning multiple interpretations of the test procedure text, DOE found that technicians could measure a lower voltage on the output of the UUT when using a voltmeter and ammeter to determine the power consumption if the voltmeter is connected farther down the circuit path than the series ammeter connection. Such inconsistencies would not occur if the voltmeter were instead physically and electrically connected directly to the output of the UUT. In theory, the ammeter acts as a dead short (i.e., a short circuit having zero resistance) and does not introduce electrical resistance during the measurement. In practice, the testing leads can introduce resistive losses that vary based on, among other factors, the wire gauge of the leads, the length of the leads, and the frequency of the signal being measured. At higher current loads, these losses become even more pronounced and can lead to significant resistive losses within the signal path despite the low impedance nature of ammeters. To clarify the testing configuration, DOE proposed to amend section 4(a)(i) of Appendix Z to require that any equipment necessary to measure the active mode efficiency of a UUT at a specific loading condition must be directly connected to the output cable of the unit. DOE believed that this step would remove any unintended losses in the test measurement introduced by the metering equipment because both meters would be measuring directly from the output connector of the EPS rather than at different points in the signal path. DOE sought comment from stakeholders on whether these additional clarifications regarding the testing set-up when using voltmeters and ammeters would sufficiently clarify the test method and ensure testing accuracy.

The CA IOUs and NRDC both agreed with DOE's proposal to clarify the language in the CEC test procedure within its own EPS procedure to accurately capture real world losses without introducing any additional losses from the test equipment. (CA IOUs, No.16 at p.2; NRDC, et al., No. 18 at p.2) AHAM was also supportive of the revised text and encouraged DOE to add a connection diagram for the additional equipment within the rule text to further assist technicians who have to refer to multiple documents when following the test procedure. (AHAM, No.11 at p.3) ITI suggested that DOE require a Kelvin connection (i.e., a connection used to reduce the impact of parasitic resistances) be made between the voltmeter and the output port of the UUT. In ITI's view, separating the current and voltage contacts from each other would eliminate any contact resistance or contact impedance from affecting the overall measurement. (ITI, No.10 at p.3) Such connections are typically used in four-wire sensing applications where low voltages or currents are present such that the connection leads can have a significant impact on the final measurement. Wahl suggested that, rather than stating that the equipment should be directly connected to the output, DOE should revise the language to specify that measurements be taken directly at the physical enclosure of the UUT because it is more specific and usable for any EPS. (Wahl, No.5 at p.19) PTI, however, claimed that no changes are required to the test procedure, as any measurements should be presumed correct and taken by competent practitioners. (PTI, No.15 at p.2)

In DOE's view, the adoption of the proposed revisions will enhance the usability and repeatability of the current test procedure. Based on the stakeholder comments noted above, in addition to adopting the language proposed in the NOPR to make these connections at the output cable of the EPS, DOE has included a configuration diagram for connecting additional metering equipment between the electronic or resistive load and the output of the UTT. Adding this diagram, in addition to being consistent with DOE's proposal, will help maximize the level of clarity for tests when conducting the test procedure, thereby minimizing the risk of obtaining significantly different results regarding the energy usage of a tested EPS. Figure III.1 which will be included as part of the regulatory text, illustrates an example on how to connect the test equipment to the UUT.

ER25AU15.000

This diagram only illustrates one possible connection assuming a single-voltage EPS, but DOE believes it will also help to provide further aid to technicians in addition to the new test procedure language. These two descriptions, in combination, will help avoid errors caused by differing interpretations of the test procedure language. As stakeholders correctly noted, ensuring a correct connection will reduce any additional losses in the circuit path by eliminating the influence of the testing leads and their contact resistance. Measuring the efficiency of a UUT at any other point would significantly depart from the test methodology currently in place. If DOE were to adopt the measurement method proposed by Wahl, it would allow manufacturers to ignore the DC output cord losses associated with their products. Such an allowance would ease the design burden on manufacturers and result in more products on the EPS market that are less efficient than the recently amended efficiency standards intended. Accordingly, DOE is not adopting Wahl's suggestion and is not requiring a certain type of setup (such as a Kelvin connection), as suggested by ITI. Instead, DOE has adopted its proposed approach and is clarifying the regulatory text by specifying that additional metering equipment should be physically and electrically connected at the end of the output cable of the UUT.

C. EPSs With Current Limits

The EPS test procedure produces five output values that are used to determine whether a tested EPS complies with Federal standards. These output values (or metrics) are outlined in sections 4(a)(i) and 5(b)(i)(A)(5) of Appendix Z and include active mode efficiency measurements at 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent, and 100 percent load as well as the total power consumption of an EPS at 0 percent load. The measured efficiency levels at the loading points (i.e., 25 percent through 100 percent) are averaged to determine the overall EPS conversion efficiency and measured against the Federal standard using an equation that outputs the minimum required efficiency based on the nameplate output power of the EPS under consideration. However, some EPSs, like those used for radios and light-emitting diode (LED) applications, are designed to drive the output voltage to zero under specific loading conditions either to protect the EPS from damage, or overstress, or because the end-use application was never designed to operate in those states. Thus, it is not possible to measure the efficiency at these specific loading conditions. (This type of feature or technology is commonly referred to as “output current-limiting” or “current-limiting” because of the device's actions to limit the output current to the connected device that the EPS serves.) Prior to the publication of the June 2011 test procedure final rule, DOE solicited comments from interested parties on how to test EPSs that utilize output current-limiting techniques at 100 percent load using the test procedure in Appendix Z. 75 FR 16958, 16973 (April 2, 2010). Based on the comments received, and to ensure that these types of EPSs could be tested for compliance with the federal standards, DOE amended section 4(a)(i) to allow manufacturers with products that utilize output current-limiting at 100 percent load to test affected individual units using active-mode efficiencies measured at 25 percent, 50 percent, and 75 percent loads. 76 FR 31750, 31771 and 31782 (June 1, 2011).

However, as noted in the NOPR, DOE has become aware of other EPS designs which use hiccup protection at loading conditions under 100 percent as a form of fault protection and reset. These EPSs will drive the output voltage down to zero to eliminate any power delivery when the end-use product demands less than a certain percentage of the nameplate output current. Once the output has been reduced to zero, the EPS will periodically check the output load conditions by momentarily reestablishing the nameplate output voltage and monitoring the resulting current draw. If the minimum output current is not reached during these periods, the output voltage is driven to zero again and the EPS output power drops to zero. Similar to EPSs that utilize output current-limiting at maximum load, these EPSs cannot be tested properly under the current DOE test procedure when testing at loading conditions where the hiccup protection is implemented.

To quantify the active mode efficiency of these EPSs, DOE proposed to amend section 4(a)(i)(C) of Appendix Z (which includes a procedure to test those EPSs that list both an instantaneous and continuous output current) to require that in cases where an EPS cannot sustain output at one or more of the four loading conditions, these loading conditions should not be measured. Instead, for these EPSs, the average efficiency would be the average of the loading conditions for which it can sustain output. In addition to this provision, DOE proposed to define the “average active mode efficiency” of an EPS as the average of the active mode efficiencies recorded when an EPS is loaded at 100 percent, 75 percent, 50 percent, and 25 percent of its nameplate output current. DOE believed that defining average active mode efficiency would assist manufacturers in preparing certification reports and provide additional clarity as to which metrics are considered for compliance with the federal standards. DOE sought comment on the benefits or burdens of representing the average active mode efficiency of these devices as the average of the efficiencies at the loading conditions that can be tested and on the proposed definition for average active mode efficiency.

ITI and Schneider Electric both favored letting manufacturers of EPSs with hiccup protection test their products using only the loading conditions that can be tested. (ITI, No.10 at p.3; Schneider Electric, No.13 at p.3) However, PTI and AHAM disagreed with DOE's proposal over concerns that manufacturers would be punished for innovation and designing for overall energy savings. AHAM stated that current-limiting technologies are a well-developed feature of EPS design and could possibly deliver less power more efficiently at the loading conditions by entering states similar to hiccup protection. (AHAM, No.11 at p.3) PTI agreed with AHAM, stating that manufacturers should not be punished for finding methods of lowering power consumption and that DOE should take the issue under further study to fully understand the impact of the proposed changes (PTI, No.15 at p.2).

The EPS test procedure was developed to apply to any EPS that is subject to Federal energy conservation standards. EPSs are regulated based on the power conversion efficiency at multiple loading points and the no-load power consumption. While DOE recognizes that EPS active mode efficiency is optimized based on the loading conditions expected by the end-use product, DOE's method of measuring efficiency across the entire loading spectrum ensures that the EPS efficiency is quantifiable and repeatable for all EPSs subject to the federal efficiency standards regardless of usage profiles. The fact that an EPS uses current-limiting techniques at specific loading conditions means that the EPS cannot support such loading conditions and will instead revert to a lower power state when such load demands are required. This means that the state of operation when the current-limiting process is initiated is not representative of the EPS's ability to deliver the required loading point current to the end-use product. Accordingly, DOE believes that any efficiency measurements taken under these circumstances would not represent the actual conversion efficiency at the loading condition where current-limiting occurs and should therefore not be included in the average active mode efficiency. Additionally, DOE is aware of current-limiting techniques utilized in EPSs at only very high loads or lower loads relative to the EPS's nameplate output power. While EPS efficiency tends to decrease at these loading conditions, the conversion efficiency is typically the poorest at very low loads. When EPSs enter current-limiting, low power states, they deliver a much lower power to the end-use product and the conversion efficiency suffers. Therefore, excluding these measurements from the average active-mode efficiency metric would not impair innovation or other energy efficiency efforts because average active-mode efficiency would only include the efficiency at the loading conditions that can be sustained, and not include loading conditions that are represented by lower power, but decreased conversion efficiency. DOE also believes, contrary to AHAM and PTI's comments, that this will result in an advantage to manufacturers by requiring them to calculate average active-mode efficiency using only the higher efficiency measurements taken at the loading conditions that the EPS can sustain. As a result, DOE is codifying in this final rule its definition for average active mode efficiency as the average of the loading conditions (100 percent, 75 percent, 50 percent, and 25 percent of its nameplate output current) for which the EPS can sustain the output current.

D. Power Factor

As discussed in the NOPR, power factor is a relative measure of transmission losses between the power plant and an item plugged into AC mains (i.e., a wall outlet). The power factor of a given device is represented as a ratio of the active power delivered to the device relative to the combination of this reactive power and active power. An ideal load will have a power factor of 1, where all the power generated is delivered to the load as active power. For a given nameplate output power and efficiency, products with a lower power factor cause greater power dissipation in the transmission wiring, an effect that also becomes more pronounced at higher input powers.

DOE stated that power factor is a critical component in establishing the overall efficiency profile of EPSs. Most of the efficient power supplies available on the market today use switched-mode topologies (i.e., power transfer circuits that use switching elements and electromagnetic fields to transmit power) that draw current in short spikes from the power grid. These current spikes can cause the voltage and current input waveforms of the EPS to be significantly out of phase, resulting in a low power factor and putting more stress on the power grid to deliver real power. While switched-mode power supplies have served to dramatically improve the achievable efficiencies of EPSs, the fact that power factor had gone unexamined during their widespread adoption brought overall system efficiency into consideration. To help ascertain the power factor inputs, DOE proposed to collect power factor measurements at each loading condition through an optional provision within the test procedure but not to require its measurement or submission as part of a certification report. In DOE's view, this proposed change would increase testing flexibility while minimizing additional testing burden, as most modern power analyzers are capable of measuring true power factor. DOE sought comment on the inclusion of power factor measurements within the test procedure and the repeatability of such measurements.

The CA IOUs and NRDC urged that power factor be measured at each loading condition because the power factor affects the overall system efficiency. Both also urged DOE to make power factor measurements mandatory for EPSs with a nameplate output power exceeding 50 watts. (CA IOUs, No.16 at p.3; NRDC, et al., No.18 at p.4) NRDC agreed with DOE's initial assessment that the additional burden placed on manufacturers would be minimal as most modern day power meters are capable of measuring true power factor and collecting such data would allow for a complete analysis of the impact of EPS power factor on energy consumption. (NRDC, et al., No.18 at p.4) Several stakeholders, however, disagreed with DOE's proposal to include optional power factor measurements at each loading condition.

ITI and Schneider Electric both stated that they do not support measuring power factor below loads of 75 watts. (ITI, No.10 at p.3; Schneider, No.13 at p.3) ITI and Schneider questioned the value of measuring this value. They also noted that global criteria were available to measure power factor at ratings of 75 watts and higher. AHAM also suggested that DOE refrain from including power factor measurements and to instead focus on product efficiency, noting that without defined test parameters such as source impedance there cannot be meaningful and repeatable power factor measurements. (AHAM, No.11 at p.3) TIA expressed similar concerns, stating that expanding the rule beyond product efficiency to power distribution will only serve to increase stakeholder confusion when the emphasis of the test procedure should be focused on product efficiencies. (TIA, No.17 at p.3) PTI argued that power factor is outside the scope of the rulemaking to provide meaningful measures of energy efficiency. (PTI, No.15 at p.3)

After carefully considering these comments, DOE has decided, at this time, not to adopt a voluntary provision to record power factor. As noted by several commenters and by DOE itself, see 79 FR at 61001, the efficiency impacts attributable to lower power factors are more pronounced in cases involving higher input powers. The availability of criteria for measuring power factors starting at 75 watts suggests that this power level may be an appropriate minimum power level at which to consider the impacts from power factor. However, DOE currently lacks sufficient data to make a fully informed decision on whether power factor measurements should be limited in this manner. Additionally, even though DOE presented its power factor proposal as a voluntary option, the benefits of the proposal are, at this time, unclear. In light of this situation, along with the significant questions raised by commenters, DOE is declining to adopt this aspect of its proposal. DOE may, however, continue to evaluate the merits of regulating power factor in future energy conservation efforts.

E. Adaptive EPSs

In the test procedure NOPR, DOE described a new EPS technology that enables EPSs that connect to their end-use products via a universal serial bus (USB) to provide higher charging currents than specified in the USB standard by increasing the output voltage of the EPS in cases where the end-use product battery is severely depleted. This technology has the advantage of speeding the charging process and cutting the overall time needed to charge a product's battery. DOE noted that this faster charging was activated through communication lines between the charger and the charge control chip embedded in the end-use device. However, DOE stated that only certain products paired with the necessary chargers are able to communicate and have the EPS provide a higher charging current. The same chargers would not be able to reach the same charging current when paired with a device not capable of this communication.

DOE proposed to refer to these types of EPSs as “adaptive EPSs” and to define them as single-voltage EPSs that can alter their output voltage during active mode based on an established communication protocol with the end-use application without any user-generated action. DOE believed that, due to the fluctuation in the output voltage of adaptive EPSs depending on the state of the end-use product, manufacturers might list multiple output voltages, multiple output currents, and/or multiple output powers to categorize all the potential states of the EPS, making the correct testing conditions difficult to discern within the existing DOE test procedure. To remove this potential ambiguity, DOE proposed that adaptive EPSs would be tested at both the highest and lowest achievable output voltages for loading conditions where output current is greater than 0% of the rated nameplate output current. For the 0% loading condition, or the no-load measurement condition, DOE proposed to add clarifying language stating that the EPS under test must be placed in no-load mode and any additional signal connections to the unit be disconnected prior to measuring input power. DOE believed that if the load was not disconnected from the EPS entirely, but instead, the current demand was decreased to zero electronically with the load still physically connected, that the output voltage may remain artificially high and impact the results of the no-load power measurement. The higher output voltage would not be representative of the voltage this EPS would operate under in no-load mode, because an adaptive EPS would only output a higher voltage when requested via the adaptive communication protocol. While this methodology was consistent with DOE's approach to testing switch-selectable EPSs, DOE sought input from stakeholders on its proposal and any additional proposals that may increase the accuracy of the test method.

Several stakeholders commented on DOE's proposed definition of an adaptive EPS. Both the CA IOUs and ITI supported DOE's proposed definition of an adaptive EPS. (CA IOUs, No.16 at p.2; ITI, No. 10 at p.4) However, Schneider Electric, AHAM, and PTI all stated that DOE's definition of an adaptive EPS was too broad and vague. (Schneider, No.13 at p.4; AHAM, No.11 at p.3, PTI, No.15 at p.2) Schneider claimed that it could not accurately identify any products that would qualify as adaptive EPSs based on DOE's proposed definition. (Schneider, No. 13 at p.4) Similarly, PTI urged DOE to refine the definition of adaptive EPSs to specify that the communication protocol is digital so as to avoid manufacturers classifying their products as adaptive EPSs due to regular and expected output voltage fluctuations. (PTI, No.15 at p.2)

DOE is not aware of any existing adaptive EPS technology that relies on analog communication. Nonetheless, some stakeholders have urged DOE to provide further guidance as to what can be considered an adaptive EPS. To this end, DOE is clarifying its adaptive EPS definition by incorporating PTI's suggestion that the communication protocol used by adaptive EPSs is digital. Consequently, an adaptive EPS is an EPS that can alter its output voltage during active-mode based on an established digital communication protocol with the end-use application without any user-generated action. By specifying the use of digital communication, DOE seeks to remove any classification ambiguity related to the line and load fluctuations that are common with any power supply and help clarify the intended definition proposed in the NOPR.

DOE also received feedback from stakeholders on its proposed approach to testing adaptive EPSs. While recognizing the limitations of the proposed approach, NRDC and the CA IOUs nevertheless supported DOE's proposed approach to test adaptive EPSs at the highest and lowest achievable output voltages. (NRDC, et al., No. 18 at p.6, CA IOUs, No. 16 at p.2) However, the CA IOUs stated that DOE should test adaptive EPSs with and without the communication enabled at both the highest and lowest output voltage to establish the most accurate no-load power consumption metric. (CA IOUs, No.16 at p.2-3) AHAM, however, stated that EPSs should be tested at the nameplate rating regardless of whether they are adaptive EPSs and that the product classification should be decided by the manufacturer. AHAM also stated it was unclear whether the current procedure could not be performed on adaptive EPSs—and if it could, in its view, there would be no reason to make a change for these EPSs. (AHAM, No.11 at p.3)

Other stakeholders provided DOE with additional information concerning the likely nameplate markings of adaptive EPSs. Both Schneider Electric and ITI commented that adaptive EPSs should align with the IEC 60950 standard for safety of information technology equipment, which requires every output voltage to be listed along with the associated output current. (Schneider, No.13 at p.4; ITI, No.10 at p.4).

DOE believes that any test procedure should be flexible enough to apply to several different design variations of one consumer product. Adaptive EPSs are unique among EPSs because of their ability to operate at one power level when communicating with certain consumer products but an inability to reach a similar operating point when used with other consumer products that lack the communication. The EPS test procedure should be able to capture the efficiencies at the various output conditions in which it will operate, which includes these two scenarios. DOE continues to believe that this could be performed by conducting the test twice at each loading condition—once at the highest achievable output voltage that is utilized while communicating with a load and once at the lowest achievable output voltage utilized during load communication. Due to the nature of EPS design, the points in between the highest and lowest output voltage will be no less efficient than either extreme.5 Additionally, DOE has been informed through conversations with manufacturers and through public comment submissions that manufacturers will list all the achievable output voltage and achievable output current combinations of adaptive EPSs on the nameplate in accordance with the IEC 60950 6 industry standard, making DOE's proposal practical to implement since the nameplate rating extremes will be used to determine the loading points for testing. Since manufacturers already include each output voltage on the nameplate, the highest and lowest achievable voltages will be included for adaptive EPSs and therefore technicians should be able to determine the appropriate test conditions.

5 At higher output voltages, EPSs typically have greater efficiency due to a lower loss ratio of the fixed voltage drops in the conversion circuitry to the nominal output voltage. These losses do not increase linearly with output voltage, so higher output voltages typically provide greater conversion efficiency.

6 IEC 60950 Ed. 2.2, Safety of information technology equipment, December 2005.

The average active-mode efficiency will still be based on the average of the four loading conditions used to measure single-voltage efficiency. However, manufacturers of adaptive EPSs will generate two average active-mode efficiency metrics for each EPS—one based on the average of the efficiencies recorded at the lowest voltage achieved during the charging cycle and one based on the average of the efficiencies recorded at the highest voltage achieved during the charging cycle. This methodology will also allow DOE to maintain consistency with its testing approach for switch-selectable EPSs. Unlike switch-selectable EPSs, DOE will only require manufacturers of adaptive EPSs to certify their products with one no-load power measurement, as such EPSs operate at only one output voltage when in a no-load state.

With respect to no-load mode, switch-selectable EPSs, by definition, can maintain several different output voltages when the end-use product is disconnected from the EPS. The exact output voltage is determined by the position of the switch on the EPS enclosure. The fact that the output voltage can change via a user-generated action means that the no-load power consumption at each output voltage can vary despite the fact that the power drawn from the mains is consumed by the EPS in the no-load state. For this reason, DOE requires manufacturers of switch-selectable EPSs to certify the no-load metric at the highest and lowest nameplate output voltage for these products.

Adaptive EPSs, however, can only maintain higher voltages while communicating with the end-use product via a physical USB connection. During the no-load measurement, the EPS will be disconnected from any load and will, as a result, not be communicating with the end-use product. Placing the EPS into no-load mode will therefore yield a static output voltage such that one measurement will be sufficient to represent the actual power consumption of the EPS when disconnected from the load. DOE will amend section 429.37 to state that manufacturers will be required to submit average active-mode efficiencies at both the highest and lowest nameplate output voltage as well as a single no-load power measurement for adaptive EPSs.

Stakeholders and interested parties also contributed a number of comments related to applicable standards for adaptive EPSs. NRDC and the CA IOUs both stated that adaptive EPSs should meet the applicable standards at both voltage conditions tested under DOE's test methodology. (NRDC, et al., No. 18 at p.6, CA IOUs, No.16 at p.3) However, ITI stated that DOE needed to elaborate on the appropriate standard level equations that should be used to certify adaptive EPSs because the proposed language indicated that only basic voltage equations would apply, which may not always be the case for adaptive EPSs because of their fluctuating output voltage and current combinations. (ITI, No.10 at p.5) Additionally, ITI commented that adaptive EPSs should not be subject to any federal efficiency standards to avoid stifling innovation. Instead, ITI recommended that DOE only focus on data collection for adaptive EPSs. (ITI, No. 10 at p.4)

The ability of an adaptive EPS to alter its output voltage based on digital communication with an end-use product does not prevent an adaptive EPS from meeting the statutory definition of a Class A EPS as set by Congress in EISA 2007. Among other factors, a Class A EPS is able to convert to only 1 AC or DC output voltage at a time. Based on DOE's understanding of adaptive EPSs, while such EPSs can alter their output voltage, and/or current based on communications received from the end-use product, they still can only output one voltage at any given time. As such, DOE expects many adaptive EPSs to fall within the definition of a Class A EPS, and would therefore, be subject to the currently applicable standards for Class A EPSs. Manufacturers of Class A adaptive EPSs should be compliant and certify compliance with the Class A EPS standards by testing them according to the DOE test procedure. Similarly, these EPSs will be subject to the standards with which compliance in required in February 2016.

F. EPS Loading Points

DOE currently requires that efficiency measurements be recorded by manufacturers at 0 percent, 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent, and 100 percent of the nameplate output current load. See 10 CFR 430, Subpart B, Appendix Z. The last four metrics are ultimately averaged to determine the overall active mode efficiency of an EPS. While these measurements span the majority of an EPS's loading profile, consumer loads are increasingly utilizing standby modes to minimize power consumption during periods of inactivity, a development that has resulted in many EPSs spending more time in loading conditions below 25 percent, where the EPS active mode efficiency tends to rapidly decrease due to the increase in the ratio of fixed losses to the output power. This decrease is due in large part to a higher loss ratio where the fixed losses represent a higher percentage of the overall power consumed when compared to the output power.

To collect data on EPS efficiency and energy consumption at these lower loading points, DOE proposed to add an optional, loading condition at 10% the nameplate output current of the EPS under test to the test procedure in the NOPR. DOE cited research conducted by NRDC 7 as well as the efforts of the European Union 8 as the reasoning behind the inclusion of the additional loading point. However, as with the EU voluntary program, DOE stated that the additional measurement would not be factored into the average active mode efficiency metric used to certify EPSs with the federal efficiency standards. Instead, the measurement would serve as a stand-alone data point for DOE's consideration should it be provided by manufacturers in the certification reports. This proposed change would have had no impact on measuring compliance with the current energy conservation standards for Class A EPSs or the recently promulgated standards for direct operation EPSs that manufacturers must meet beginning in 2016. DOE felt that this minimally burdensome revision would increase the flexibility of the EPS test procedure should DOE decide to incorporate such a measurement into an efficiency standard in the future. DOE received several comments from stakeholders on this proposed additional measurement.

7 NRDC: External Power Supplies—Additional Efficiency Opportunities, http://www.appliance-standards.org/sites/default/files/Next_Efficiency_Opportunities_for_External_Power_Supplies_NRDC.pdf.

8 European Union: Code of Conduct on External Power Supplies Version 5 (available at http://iet.jrc.ec.europa.eu/energyefficiency/sites/energyefficiency/files/code_of_conduct_for_ps_version_5_-_draft_120919.pdf.

The CA IOUs agreed that an additional measurement at 10% of the tested EPS's nameplate output power could be an important measurement when characterizing the energy consumption of EPSs and supported DOE's intention to exclude it from the average active mode efficiency metric. (CA IOUs, No.16 at p.2) In fact, both NRDC and the CA IOUs urged DOE to make the 10% measurement mandatory for all EPSs with a nameplate output power exceeding 50 watts in order to capture efficiency data for EPSs typically used with products that spend a significant portion of time in lower power modes such as laptops. (CA IOUs, No.16 at p.3; NRDC, et al., No.18 at p.3) However, several other stakeholders disagreed with DOE's proposed approach.

ITI questioned the utility of including a 10% loading condition as an optional measurement, asserted that such a requirement would be burdensome without clearly being useful and noted that DOE should not expect to see significantly higher efficiency gains made at lower loads. ITI added that the inclusion of an additional 10% loading point does not more completely represent the achievable efficiencies of EPSs. (ITI, No.10 at p.5) ITI added that while the 10% loading point could represent achievable efficiencies for some EPSs in certain industries, it would not be universally applicable. See id. Schneider Electric agreed with ITI, stating that the 10% loading condition may more accurately capture the achievable efficiencies of EPSs in certain industries but not all. (Schneider, No.13 at p.5) PTI stated similarly that the currently-followed approach of averaging of the four loading conditions within the test procedure is already questionable because EPSs generally operate at higher loads and adding a 10% loading condition moves DOE further away from its intended goal of measuring EPS efficiency under typical usage. (PTI, No.15 at p.3) AHAM added that the inclusion of a 10% loading condition gives a low loading level the same weight as a much higher loading condition. (AHAM, No.11 at p.3) Lastly, TIA stated that DOE should not include an additional loading point measurement within the test procedure even in an optional capacity unless it has collected data that would support such a revision. (TIA, No.17 at p.3)

After carefully considering these comments, DOE has re-evaluated its proposal to include an additional, optional active-mode efficiency measurement at 10% of an EPS's nameplate output power and is declining to include such a measurement in the test procedure at this time. While DOE does not believe this addition would have presented a significant burden to manufacturers, the fact that the measurement would have been optional leads DOE to believe that the likelihood of gathering substantial data on EPS efficiency at lower loads through voluntary additions to certification reports would be very low. Instead, DOE may opt to further evaluate the merits of recording additional loading point measurements prior to setting any future recording requirement at this or another level. As part of this effort, DOE may continue to evaluate any potential loading conditions that may better represent the total energy consumption of EPSs associated with various consumer products rather than focusing entirely on the 10% loading condition. Should it conclude that significant energy savings may be possible by improving the active-mode conversion efficiency of additional loading points, DOE may revisit this issue in a future rulemaking.

G. Energy Conservation Standards

After receiving several questions concerning the amended standards for EPSs issued on February 10, 2014, DOE proposed in the NOPR to amend 10 CFR 430.32(w)(1)(iii) to include a clarifying table to more clearly identify which EPS standards apply based on whether the EPS is (1) a Class A or non-Class A EPS and (2) direct or indirect operation. As currently defined in DOE's regulations at 10 CFR 430.2, a “direct operation EPS” is an EPS that can operate a consumer product that is not a battery charger without the assistance of a battery, whereas an “indirect operation EPS” is an EPS that cannot operate a consumer product (other than a battery charger) without the assistance of a battery. The applicable standards for each combination of these products can be seen in Table III-1 below.

Table III-1—Applicable Standards of Class A and Non-Class A EPSs Class A EPS Non-Class A EPS Direct Operation EPS Level VI: 10 CFR 430.32(w)(1)(ii) Level VI: 10 CFR 430.32(w)(1)(ii). Indirect Operation EPS Level IV: 10 CFR 430.32(w)(1)(i) No Standards.

DOE intended the definitions of direct operation and indirect operation EPSs to be mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive, so that any EPS would be either a direct or indirect operation EPS, but not both. The new regulations required that any direct-operation EPS (regardless of whether it was also a Class A EPS) would have to meet these new standards. Any indirect operation EPS would not be required to meet the new standards, but would still be required to comply with the Class A efficiency requirements if that EPS meets the definition of a Class A EPS. The Class A EPS definition is found in 42 U.S.C. 6291(36). DOE also updated the International Efficiency Marking Protocol to add a new mark, “VI,” to indicate compliance with the new efficiency requirements established for direct operation EPSs. In order to assist manufacturers in determining which standards apply to their product, DOE proposed to add Table III-1 to 10 CFR 430.32(w)(1)(iii).

NRDC supported DOE's clarification on which standards apply to which types of EPSs and the proposed revisions to the CFR. (NRDC et al., No.18 at p.2) There were no comments opposing the inclusion of the clarifying table. As such, DOE is amending 10 CFR 430.32(w)(1)(iii) to include Table III-1. Although DOE had intended the definitions of direct operation and indirect operation EPSs to be collectively exhaustive, DOE now believes that these terms may not adequately describe the full range of EPSs available. Nonetheless, Table 1 does accurately reflect the relationship between the new standards and classifications and the statutory standards and classifications. Additionally, since manufacturers must use the test procedure in Appendix Z to Subpart B of Part 430 when making any representation of the energy efficiency or energy consumption of an external power supply that is within the scope of the test procedure.

DOE is also clarifying that only those external power supplies subject to the energy conservation standards fall within the scope of the test procedure. By excluding external power supplies that are not subject to standards from the scope of the test procedure, manufacturers of these EPSs will not have to use Appendix Z when making representations of the energy efficiency or energy consumption of those EPSs.

In addition to the clarifications made in this final rule, DOE expects to address additional issues that were raised in the context of this rulemaking in a forthcoming notice of proposed rulemaking related to external power supplies.

H. Indirect Operation EPSs

The NOPR discussed whether EPSs that power battery chargers contained in separate physical enclosures from their end-use products would be considered indirect operation EPSs under the proposed test procedure. 79 FR at 61005. DOE noted that a battery charger is considered a consumer product in and of itself, and DOE is currently undertaking a rulemaking to consider establishing efficiency standards for battery chargers. Because that rulemaking would encompass the efficiency of EPSs that power battery chargers, DOE has defined direct operation EPS to exclude such EPSs. See 10 CFR 430.2 (“Direct operation external power supply means an external power supply that can operate a consumer product that is not a battery charger without the assistance of a battery.”). An EPS that can only operate a battery charger in a separate physical enclosure from the end-use product, but not any other consumer product, is not a direct operation EPS, and would therefore, not be subject to the efficiency standards for direct operation EPSs. See 79 FR 7859, 7929. DOE proposed to modify the indirect operation EPS definition to clarify that EPSs that can only operate battery chargers contained in physical enclosures separate from the end-use products (but not other consumer products) are indirect operation EPSs. The proposed definition specified that an indirect operation EPS is an EPS that (1) cannot operate a consumer product (that is not a battery charger) without the assistance of a battery or (2) solely provides power to a battery charger that is contained in a separate physical enclosure from the end-use product. DOE received several stakeholder comments on the definition and determination methodology associated with indirect operation EPSs.

NRDC and AHAM both supported DOE's revision to the definition of an indirect operation EPS. (NRDC, et al., No.18 at 2-3, AHAM, No.11 at p.3) AHAM also expressed concern, however, that the determination method for an indirect operation EPS is part of the definition rather than the EPS test procedure. (AHAM, No.11 at p.2) In its view, because determining whether an EPS is an indirect operation EPS involves testing, those steps should be moved to become part of the test procedure. PTI agreed with AHAM's assertion and stated that the determination method needs to be performed in the context of a test procedure that specifies equipment and environmental requirements. (PTI, No.15 at p.3)

ITI disagreed with the proposed revision to the indirect operation EPS definition and suggested removing the clause, “that is contained in a separate physical enclosure from the end-use product,” from that revision. It also urged DOE to provide more clarity as to the meaning of “operate a consumer product.” According to ITI, a consumer product should operate by providing equivalent functionality when being directly powered from an EPS as it would provide when being directly powered by a charged battery or batteries. (ITI, No.10 at p.6).

The indirect operation determination method is not intended to test a product for energy consumption, but to place it into the appropriate product class for standards compliance and remains part of the indirect operation definition itself. Therefore, DOE does not believe that providing specific conditions is necessary for a determination method as opposed to a discrete test procedure. DOE does not see any compelling reason to move a determination of the applicability of the amended federal efficiency standards into the test procedure. Therefore, DOE intends to keep the determination of an indirect operation EPS outside the language of the test procedure.

As has been discussed, an EPS that can only operate a battery charger, but not any other consumer product, may be regulated as part of the battery charger at a later date by separate efficiency standards for battery chargers. After consideration of the issues raised in ITI's comment, DOE believes that further consideration of how best to clarify the indirect operation external power supply definition is warranted. Accordingly, DOE plans to address the definition in a forthcoming notice of proposed rulemaking.

In addition to proposed revisions to the indirect operation definition, DOE attempted to clarify some of the ambiguity regarding standards applicable to EPSs that can be used with multiple end-use applications, some of which are operated directly and others indirectly in the NOPR. See generally, 79 FR 60996. DOE stated that so long as an EPS can operate any consumer product directly, DOE considers it to be a direct operation EPS. If an EPS is shipped with a consumer product that the EPS can only operate indirectly, but that same EPS can also be used to directly operate another consumer product, DOE would still consider that EPS to be a direct operation EPS and subject to the applicable direct operation EPS efficiency standards.

PTI commented that DOE's assertion that an EPS can only be indirect if it is incapable of powering any product directly is unreasonable because a manufacturer could in no way certify that the EPS associated with any end-use product might be used in another manner by a different manufacturer. (PTI, No.15 at p.3) AHAM similarly stated that manufacturers must not be held accountable for consumers using certain EPSs with other products they were never intended to be associated with. (AHAM, No.11 at p.2) ITI recommended that DOE resolve any confusion regarding the certification of products that could be used in multiple configurations by specifying that when an “individual stakeholder” sells an EPS in both configurations, the EPS should comply with the direct operation standards. (ITI, No.10 at p.6)

DOE intended this proposal regarding indirect and direct operation EPSs to clarify the standards applicable to specific EPSs. In stating that so long as an EPS can operate any consumer product directly it is considered a direct operation EPS, DOE intended to refer to a manufacturer's distribution footprint and how its products may be deployed in the field. If, for example, a manufacturer uses one EPS design for a number of consumer products within a design family, and that EPS could be considered a direct operation EPS with one product and an indirect operation EPS with another product within that design family, then the EPS would need to meet the direct operation EPS standards. If the EPS is designed in a way that would make it only capable of operating certain types of products, and those products are operated exclusively indirectly, it would not be subject to the direct operation standards. Similarly, if an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or an original design manufacturer (ODM) sells an EPS design to be used with other consumer products, the burden then falls on the EPS-certifying manufacturer (typically importers) to understand the intended use of the EPS in the field and certify accordingly. Failure to submit a certification report as a direct operation EPS, however, is not determinative that an EPS is not a direct operation EPS.

I. EPSs for Solid State Lighting

In the NOPR, DOE explained that certain components, commonly referred to as “transformers” or “drivers”, that are used with solid state lighting (SSL) applications, would be subject to the Class A EPS energy conservation standards provided that they meet the statutory definition of a Class A EPS. This definition, as established by Congress in EISA 2007, provides six characteristics of a Class A EPS, all of which must be met in order for a device to be considered a Class A EPS. As discussed in the February 10, 2014 final rule, DOE determined that there were no technical differences between the EPSs that power certain SSL (including LED) products and those that are used with other end-use applications that would prevent an EPS used with SSL products from meeting the statutory definition of a Class A EPS. 79 FR 7846. See also 79 FR at 61005-61006 (reiterating DOE's belief that “many drivers, or transformers, used for SSL applications would meet the definition of a Class A EPS and . . . be subject to the applicable energy conservation standards.”) As such, DOE believes that many drivers or transformers, such as LED drivers used for landscape lighting, lighting strings, portable luminaires, and other lighting applications, would meet all six characteristics of a Class A EPS and would therefore be subject to the applicable energy conservation standards. In the NOPR public meeting, DOE provided further guidance on how manufacturers should interpret the six characteristics of a Class A EPS as it relates to SSL applications.

Specifically, DOE clarified at the public meeting that an EPS is designed to convert line voltage AC input into lower voltage AC or DC output and explained that because fluorescent ballasts output higher voltage AC waveforms than the line voltage input they receive, they would not be considered an EPS. See Transcript (Pub. Mtg. Transcript, No. 9 at p. 47-48). During the meeting, DOE also discussed that one of the Class A criteria is that the device must be contained in a separate physical enclosure from the end-use product. Because many LED drivers are contained inside the same housing as the luminaire itself, these devices would not be considered Class A EPSs because they are contained within the same physical enclosure of the end-use product.

In response to the proposed rule, DOE received several comments on how to apply the statutory criteria for EPSs, particularly in the context of SSL drivers. The CA IOUs agreed that, with limited exceptions, drivers and transformers for SSL products meet the criteria to be considered within the scope of the rulemaking. (CA IOUs, No.16 at p.2) However, NEMA took issue with a number of aspects of DOE's approach regarding SSL products. It disagreed with DOE's conclusion that there are no technical differences between SSL drivers and other types of EPSs included within the scope of the revised EPS standards, citing such additional features as dimming functionality, network control, and light color control. (NEMA, No.14 at p.3) NEMA also commented that under certain interpretations of the rulemaking text, even the products DOE specifically listed as included within the EPS scope could be excluded. It requested that DOE revise its interpretation of a consumer product and provide concrete examples of covered and non-covered products to assist the lighting industry's understanding of the scope of the rulemaking (NEMA, No.14 at p.3) NEMA further stated that many SSL/LED drivers are not sold with, or intended to be used with, a separate end-use product and, consequently, do not fall into the Class A EPS definition and should not be subject to regulation. Additionally, even if these products did meet the Class A definition, according to NEMA, DOE could not properly test SSL drivers under the existing DOE test procedure, even with the amendments proposed in the NOPR. (NEMA, No.14 at p.2)

Lutron Electronics echoed many of NEMA's concerns, stating that the scope of the EPS rulemaking was unclear as it related to LED drivers and that DOE's assertion that LED drivers are technologically equivalent to other similarly rated EPSs that fall within the rule's scope was not based on any technical analysis. (Lutron, No.12 at p.2) Lutron also stated that DOE should follow the course of other standards development organizations and consider regulating LED drivers and lighting ballasts in a separate rulemaking from EPSs. Lutron claims that treating these products as regulated EPSs will eliminate certain SSL drivers with networking capabilities from the market because of the strict no-load standards required by the 2014 final rule. Lutron argued that eliminating this added utility will remove several smart energy management tools from buildings and result in higher overall energy consumption. Additionally, Lutron agreed with NEMA's statement that LED drivers should not be considered as part of the EPS rulemaking because they are not “external” to the luminaire they are powering. (Lutron, No.12 at p.3-4)

Any device that meets the congressional definition of an EPS is a covered product that may be subject to energy conservation standards. (42 U.S.C. 6291(36)) Congress defined an EPS as “an external power supply circuit that is used to convert household electric current into DC current or lower-voltage AC current to operate a consumer product.” 42 U.S.C. 6291(36)(A). While a device that meets the EPS definition is considered a covered product, only certain EPSs are currently subject to energy conservation standards. Specifically, Congress defined, and established energy conservation standards for, Class A EPSs. (42 U.S.C. 6291(36)(C)(i)). DOE has no authority to alter the applicability of the Class A EPS standards as set forth by Congress.

Whether a given product satisfies the applicable definition is assessed at the time a product is manufactured. For products imported into the U.S., this is the date of importation. See 42 U.S.C. 6291(10) (“The term `manufacture' means to manufacture, produce, assemble or import.”) Thus, although many LED drivers are sold to an end-user inside the same housing as a luminaire, an LED driver imported into the U.S. as a separate product, prior to being incorporated into a luminaire, is a Class A EPS at the time of its manufacture (importation), if it meets the other five criteria, because it would not yet be contained within the same physical enclosure as the end-use product. However, if any such LED driver were not able to convert household electric current into DC current or lower-voltage AC current at the time it is imported, it would not meet the definition of an EPS and, therefore, would not be subject to energy conservation standards.

When determining whether an EPS meets the statutory definition of a Class A EPS, DOE evaluates whether all six characteristics are present in the device in question. While NEMA has brought forward several additional functionalities, such as dimming functionality, network control, and light color control, that may be used to distinguish one Class A EPS from another, any device that contains the six criteria of a Class A EPS would be subject to the Class A EPS energy conservation standards. Only the six characteristics of a Class A EPS, and not any additional technical functionality, are used by DOE to determine whether a device is considered a Class A EPS. As such, DOE expects some SSL drivers to fall within the definition of a Class A EPS and, consequently, are subject to the current Class A standards. Class A EPSs must meet the Class A EPS standards when tested using the DOE test procedure and sampling provisions. Similarly, these Class A EPSs will be subject to the standards with which compliance is required in February 2016. (See discussion regarding Table III-1.)

Finally, in addressing stakeholder concerns that SSL drivers cannot be tested under the existing DOE test procedure when taking the no-load measurement of a hard-wired connection, DOE notes the test method states that the no-load measurement should be taken by cutting the cord adjacent to the end-use product and conducting the measurement probes at that point in section 4(a)(ii) of Appendix Z. As discussed in Section K, this language was previously incorporated by reference in Appendix Z by citing the CEC's “Test Method for Calculating the Energy Efficiency of Single-Voltage External AC-DC and AC-AC Power Supplies (August 11, 2004)”, but will be adopted into Appendix Z as part of this final rule. Therefore, DOE's test method does, in fact, provide a clear method for testing no-load mode of hardwired connections.

Nonetheless, DOE recognizes that EPSs may change over time as manufacturers add new features and update designs in order to compete for consumers. Acknowledging that innovation and product development may occasionally cause products to change in ways that either (1) make the results of a test procedure not representative of actual energy use or efficiency, or (2) make it impossible to test in accordance with the relevant test procedure, DOE considers petitions for waivers from test procedures under certain circumstances. Any interested party—typically a manufacturer—may submit a petition for a test procedure waiver for a basic model of a covered product if the basic model's design prevents it from being tested according to the test procedures, or if the test procedure yields materially inaccurate or unrepresentative energy use data. 10 CFR 430.27. To the extent that manufacturers wish to obtain a waiver from the EPS test procedure, manufacturers should petition DOE for a waiver and/or interim waiver. More information on the waiver process is available on the DOE Web site: http://energy.gov/eere/buildings/test-procedure-waivers.

J. Sampling Plan

For certification and compliance, manufacturers are required to rate each basic model according to the sampling provisions specified in 10 CFR part 429. In the NOPR, DOE explained that because the recent energy conservation standards apply to direct operation EPSs, which include both Class A and non-Class A EPSs, there is no longer a need to differentiate between Class A and non-Class A EPSs for the purposes of Part 429. See 79 FR at 61006. As a result, DOE proposed to amend § 429.37 so that the sampling plan would be applied to any EPS subject to energy conservation standards. DOE sought comment on this proposal to apply the sampling plan requirements to all EPSs subject to an energy conservation standard, regardless of whether they meet the Class A definition.

AHAM agreed that there should not be differing class requirements between different types of EPSs and supported DOE's proposal to have one singular sampling plan for all products within the scope of the EPS standards. (AHAM, No.11 at p.3-4) The CA IOUs and NRDC also agreed with DOE's proposal to unite all EPSs under the same sampling requirements that are currently outlined in the Class A EPS sampling plan in 429.37. (CA IOUs, No.16 at p.3; NRDC, et al., No. 18 at p.2)

ITI agreed that adopting one sampling plan may work for some but not all situations, citing the difference between DOE's sampling plans based on manufacturing volume and industry sampling plans. ITI recommended that DOE consider specific quality control documents typically used by industry to ensure an acceptable outgoing quality control level, optimize yield, and minimize cost. However, they did not outline specific instances where one sampling plan would be problematic. (ITI, No.10 at p.7)

Based on the comments submitted by stakeholders, DOE has not found any technical reason that would prevent both Class A and non-Class A EPSs from being subject to the same sampling requirements. DOE's current Class A sampling requirements are consistent with the sampling plans of other consumer products. Therefore, DOE is amending 429.37 in this final rule to establish one sampling plan for EPSs.

K. Expanding Regulatory Text

In the process of developing the EPS test procedure, DOE incorporated existing methodologies from a number of different standard setting organizations. For example, the single-voltage test procedure codified in Appendix Z references specific sections of the CEC's “Test Method for Calculating the Energy Efficiency of Single-Voltage External AC-DC and AC-AC Power Supplies (August 11, 2004)” to outline how the active mode efficiency and no-load mode power consumption tests should be performed. Within these sections, there are two additional references to standards developed by IEC 9 and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)10 . Therefore, technicians must reference four separate documents published by four independent organizations in order to properly perform the functions required by the EPS test procedure.

9 IEC 62301 Ed. 1.0, Household electrical appliances—Measurement of standby power, June 2005.

10 IEEE Std 1515-2000, IEEE Recommended Practice for Electronic Power Subsystems: Parameter Definitions, Test Conditions, and Test Methods.

In 2013, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) recognized the confusion associated with referencing multiple documents and amended their EPS test procedure 11 to incorporate the text from Appendix Z directly. Rather than keep the references to the CEC procedure found in Appendix Z, however, the CSA adopted the text from the specific sections referenced by the DOE procedure. After reviewing the revised CSA procedure, DOE found that the new text is identical to the test procedure in Appendix Z, but greatly enhances the clarity of Appendix Z by consolidated the referenced text within the test procedure itself. DOE believes that these efforts have reduced the burden on stakeholders and technicians since the text referenced from the CEC procedure can now be found within a single document. Stakeholders agreed with this determination within the comments submitted for the test procedure NOPR.

11 CAN/CSA-C381.1, Test method for calculating the energy efficiency of single-voltage external ac-dc and ac-ac power supplies, (November 2008).

AHAM specifically commented that the DOE and CSA procedures are identical and if DOE wished to incorporate any language by reference it would be more appropriate to do so from a document published by a standard setting organization rather than one developed by a government contractor. (AHAM, No.11 at p.2-3) Since then, DOE has evaluated the merits of referencing the CSA test procedure directly rather than continuing to revise the CEC text with additional exceptions and clarifications.

After further consideration, DOE is instead electing to incorporate the text previously incorporated by reference from the CEC's “Test Method for Calculating the Energy Efficiency of Single-Voltage External AC-DC and AC-AC Power Supplies (August 11, 2004)” into Appendix Z of Subpart B to 10 CFR part 430. If DOE were to incorporate the CSA test procedure, it would still need to make certain clarifications based on the amendments adopted in this final rule, and the intent behind adopting one point of reference within the test procedure would be nullified. Technicians would still need to refer to multiple sources in order to follow the DOE EPS test procedure. Instead, DOE is adopting an approach identical to the one taken by the CSA during the 2013 revision of its test procedure such that multiple references can be consolidated into a single document. This approach will not alter the method used to determine the active mode efficiency or no-load power consumption in any way. Rather, it will directly insert the test methodology from the CEC test procedure into Appendix Z and eliminate the need for technicians to reference specific sections of that document. This revision will also allow DOE to modify the specific text within Appendix Z should the need arise in any future rulemakings rather than having to provide additional clarifications on the procedures detailed in the CEC test method.

Any amendments DOE has codified within Appendix Z related to referenced CEC text will be incorporated into the language adopted in this final rule as well. For example, DOE will adopt nearly all of the text in the “General Conditions for Measurement” section of the CEC test procedure that was previously incorporated by reference, expect for those provisions in the section for which DOE had already codified exceptions. Specifically, this section of the CEC test procedure noted that EPSs are to be tested at both 115VAC, 60 Hz and 230VAC, 50 Hz. However, DOE codified language in the 2006 test procedure final rule that states that EPSs will only be tested at 115V, AC, 60Hz. So, although the text from this section is being adopted into Appendix Z as part of this final rule, DOE is modifying the specific language associated with the test voltages to align with the exceptions already codified in Appendix Z. All other similar instances are also reflected in the regulatory text. Since these clarifications to the referenced text were previously adopted for the EPS test procedure, the modifications to the text from the CEC procedure will not alter the way the test procedure is performed. DOE believes this approach will further reduce any confusion over the current EPS test procedure regulatory text, and is therefore adopting this approach as part of this final rule.

L. Effective Date and Compliance Date of Test Procedure

The effective date for this test procedure is 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. At that time, the new metrics and any other measure of energy consumption relying on these metrics may be represented pursuant to the final rule. Consistent with 42 U.S.C. 6293(c), energy consumption or efficiency representations by manufacturers must be based on the new test procedure and sampling plans starting 180 days after the date of publication of this test procedure final rule. Starting on that date, any such representations, including those made on marketing materials, Web sites (including qualification with a voluntary or State program), and product labels must be based on results generated using the final rule procedure as well as the sampling plan in 10 CFR part 429.

IV. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review A. Review Under Executive Order 12866

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that test procedure rulemakings do not constitute “significant regulatory actions” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, 58 FR 51735 (Oct. 4, 1993). Accordingly, this action was not subject to review under the Executive Order by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IFRA) for any rule that by law must be proposed for public comment, unless the agency certifies that the rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As required by Executive Order 13272, “Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking,” 67 FR 53461 (August 16, 2002), DOE published procedures and policies on February 19, 2003 to ensure that the potential impacts of its rules on small entities are properly considered during the DOE rulemaking process. 68 FR 7990. DOE has made its procedures and policies available on the Office of the General Counsel's Web site: http://energy.gov/gc/office-general-counsel.

For manufacturers of EPSs, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has set a size threshold, which defines those entities classified as “small businesses” for the purposes of the statute. DOE used the SBA's small business size standards to determine whether any small entities would be subject to the requirements of the rule. 65 FR 30836, 30848 (May 15, 2000), as amended at 65 FR 53533, 53544 (Sept. 5, 2000) and codified at 13 CFR part 121. The size standards are listed by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code and industry description and are available at http://www.sba.gov/content/summary-size-standards-industry. EPS manufacturing is classified under NAICS 335999, “All Other Miscellaneous Electrical Equipment and Component Manufacturing.” The SBA sets a threshold of 500 employees or less for an entity to be considered as a small business for this category.

DOE reviewed the final rule under the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the procedures and policies published on February 19, 2003. This final rule prescribes certain limited clarifying amendments to an already-existing test procedure that will help manufacturers and testing laboratories to consistently conduct that procedure when measuring the energy efficiency of an EPS, including in those instances where compliance with the applicable Federal energy conservation is being assessed. DOE has concluded that the final rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Although DOE initially believed that there were no domestic manufacturers of EPS who qualify as small businesses, DOE conducted a further review to update its assessment. DOE's most recent small business search continued to show that the majority of EPS manufacturers are foreign-owned and -operated companies. Of the few that are domestically-owned, most are larger companies with more than 500 employees. DOE's most recent search again showed that there are no small, domestic manufacturers of EPSs. Even if small domestic manufacturers of EPSs existed in the U.S., the nature of the revisions to the EPS test procedure make it unlikely that these changes would have created any additional certification costs that would cause adverse impacts to those manufacturers. Therefore, there are no small business impacts to evaluate for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

In addition, DOE expects any potential impact from this final rule to be minimal. As noted earlier, DOE's EPS test procedure has existed since 2005 and the modest clarifications in the final rule are unlikely to create a burden on any manufacturers. These revisions harmonize the instrumentation resolution and uncertainty requirements with the second edition of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 62301 standard when measuring standby power along with other international standards programs. They also clarify certain testing set-up requirements. These updates will not increase the testing burden on EPS manufacturers.

For these reasons, DOE certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

Manufacturers of EPSs must certify to DOE that their products comply with any applicable energy conservation standards. In certifying compliance, manufacturers must test their products according to the DOE test procedures for EPSs, including any amendments adopted for those test procedures. DOE has established regulations for the certification and recordkeeping requirements for all covered consumer products and commercial equipment, including EPSs. See 10 CFR part 429, subpart B. The collection-of-information requirement for the certification and recordkeeping is subject to review and approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). This requirement has been approved by OMB under OMB control number 1910-1400. Public reporting burden for the certification is estimated to average 30 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.

Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number.

D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

This rule amends the DOE test procedure for EPSs. DOE has determined that this rule falls into a class of actions that are categorically excluded from review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and DOE's implementing regulations at 10 CFR part 1021. Specifically, this rule amends an existing rule without affecting the amount, quality or distribution of energy usage, and, therefore, will not result in any environmental impacts. Thus, this rulemaking is covered by Categorical Exclusion A5 under 10 CFR part 1021, subpart D, which applies to any rulemaking that interprets or amends an existing rule without changing the environmental effect of that rule.12 Accordingly, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

12 In its October 2014 proposal, DOE had inadvertently identified this exclusion as Category A6.

E. Review Under Executive Order 13132

Executive Order 13132, “Federalism,” 64 FR 43255 (August 4, 1999), imposes certain requirements on agencies formulating and implementing policies or regulations that preempt State law or that have Federalism implications. The Executive Order requires agencies to examine the constitutional and statutory authority supporting any action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States and to carefully assess the necessity for such actions. The Executive Order also requires agencies to have an accountable process to ensure meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have Federalism implications. On March 14, 2000, DOE published a statement of policy describing the intergovernmental consultation process it will follow in the development of such regulations. 65 FR 13735. DOE examined this final rule and determined that it 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. EPCA governs and prescribes Federal preemption of State regulations as to energy conservation for the products that are the subject of this final rule. States can petition DOE for exemption from such preemption to the extent, and based on criteria, set forth in EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6297(d)) No further action is required by Executive Order 13132.

F. Review Under Executive Order 12988

Regarding the review of existing regulations and the promulgation of new regulations, section 3(a) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” 61 FR 4729 (Feb. 7, 1996), imposes on Federal agencies the general duty to adhere to the following requirements: (1) Eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity; (2) write regulations to minimize litigation; (3) provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct rather than a general standard; and (4) promote simplification and burden reduction. Section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988 specifically requires that Executive agencies make every reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies the preemptive effect, if any; (2) clearly specifies any effect on existing Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct while promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) adequately defines key terms; and (6) addresses other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. Section 3(c) of Executive Order 12988 requires Executive agencies to review regulations in light of applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b) to determine whether they are met or it is unreasonable to meet one or more of them. DOE has completed the required review and determined that, to the extent permitted by law, this final rule meets the relevant standards of Executive Order 12988.

G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) requires each Federal agency to assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on State, local, and Tribal governments and the private sector. Public Law 104-4, sec. 201 (codified at 2 U.S.C. 1531). For a regulatory action resulting in a rule that may cause the expenditure by State, local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 million or more in any one year (adjusted annually for inflation), section 202 of UMRA requires a Federal agency to publish a written statement that estimates the resulting costs, benefits, and other effects on the national economy. (2 U.S.C. 1532(a), (b)) The UMRA also requires a Federal agency to develop an effective process to permit timely input by elected officers of State, local, and Tribal governments on a proposed “significant intergovernmental mandate,” and requires an agency plan for giving notice and opportunity for timely input to potentially affected small governments before establishing any requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments. On March 18, 1997, DOE published a statement of policy on its process for intergovernmental consultation under UMRA. 62 FR 12820; also available at http://energy.gov/gc/office-general-counsel. DOE examined this final rule according to UMRA and its statement of policy and determined that the rule contains neither an intergovernmental mandate, nor a mandate that may result in the expenditure of $100 million or more in any year, so these requirements do not apply.

H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999

Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 (Pub. L. 105-277) requires Federal agencies to issue a Family Policymaking Assessment for any rule that may affect family well-being. This final rule will not have any impact on the autonomy or integrity of the family as an institution. Accordingly, DOE has concluded that it is not necessary to prepare a Family Policymaking Assessment.

I. Review Under Executive Order 12630

DOE has determined, under Executive Order 12630, “Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights” 53 FR 8859 (March 18, 1988), that this regulation will not result in any takings that might require compensation under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

J. Review Under Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001

Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 (44 U.S.C. 3516 note) provides for agencies to review most disseminations of information to the public under guidelines established by each agency pursuant to general guidelines issued by OMB. OMB's guidelines were published at 67 FR 8452 (Feb. 22, 2002), and DOE's guidelines were published at 67 FR 62446 (Oct. 7, 2002). DOE has reviewed this final rule under the OMB and DOE guidelines and has concluded that it is consistent with applicable policies in those guidelines.

K. Review Under Executive Order 13211

Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use,” 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001), requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit to OMB, a Statement of Energy Effects for any significant energy action. A “significant energy action” is defined as any action by an agency that promulgated or is expected to lead to promulgation of a final rule, and that: (1) Is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, or any successor order; and (2) is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy; or (3) is designated by the Administrator of OIRA as a significant energy action. For any significant energy action, the agency must give a detailed statement of any adverse effects on energy supply, distribution, or use if the regulation is implemented, and of reasonable alternatives to the action and their expected benefits on energy supply, distribution, and use.

This regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. Moreover, it would not have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, nor has it been designated as a significant energy action by the Administrator of OIRA. Therefore, it is not a significant energy action, and, accordingly, DOE has not prepared a Statement of Energy Effects.

L. Review Under Section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974

Under section 301 of the Department of Energy Organization Act (Pub. L. 95-91; 42 U.S.C. 7101), DOE must comply with section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974, as amended by the Federal Energy Administration Authorization Act of 1977. (15 U.S.C. 788; FEAA) Section 32 essentially provides in relevant part that, where a proposed rule authorizes or requires use of commercial standards, the notice of proposed rulemaking must inform the public of the use and background of such standards. In addition, section 32(c) requires DOE to consult with the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concerning the impact of the commercial or industry standards on competition.

This final rule incorporates testing methods contained in the following standard: IEC Standard 62301 “Household electrical appliances—Measurement of standby power.” It also incorporates a testing method developed by the State of California, section 1604(u)(1) of the CEC 2007 Appliance Efficiency Regulations. DOE has evaluated these testing standards and believes that the IEC standard was developed in a manner that fully provides for public participation, comment, and review. Additionally, DOE has consulted with the Attorney General and the Chairwoman of the FTC concerning the effect on competition of requiring manufacturers to use the test method in this standard and neither objected to its incorporation.

M. Description of Materials Incorporated by Reference

In this final rule, DOE is updating the incorporation by reference of International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standard 62301 (“IEC 62301”), (Edition 2.0, 2011-01), Household electrical appliances—Measurement of standby power, to add it to Appendix Z. This testing standard is an industry accepted test procedure that sets a standardized method to follow when measuring the standby power of household and similar electrical appliances. Included within this testing standard are the details regarding test set-up, testing conditions, and stability requirements that are necessary to help ensure consistent and repeatable test results. Copies of this testing standard are readily available from the IEC at https://webstore.iec.ch/publication/6789 and also from the American National Standards Institute, 25 W. 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036, (212) 642-4900, or go to http://webstore.ansi.org.

N. Congressional Notification

As required by 5 U.S.C. 801, DOE will report to Congress on the promulgation of this rule before its effective date. The report will state that it has been determined that the rule is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

V. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of this final rule.

List of Subjects 10 CFR Part 429

Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Energy conservation, Household appliances, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

10 CFR Part 430

Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Energy conservation, Household appliances, Imports, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Small businesses.

Issued in Washington, DC, on August 17, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, DOE amends parts 429 and 430 of Chapter II of Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below:

PART 429—CERTIFICATION, COMPLIANCE, AND ENFORCEMENT FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT 1. The authority citation for part 429 continues to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 6291-6317.

2. Section 429.37 is amended by revising the section heading, and paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:
§ 429.37 External power supplies.

(b) * * *

(2) * * *

(i) External power supplies: The average active mode efficiency as a percentage (%), no-load mode power consumption in watts (W), nameplate output power in watts (W), and, if missing from the nameplate, the output current in amperes (A) of the basic model or the output current in amperes (A) of the highest- and lowest-voltage models within the external power supply design family.

(ii) Switch-selectable single-voltage external power supplies: The average active mode efficiency as a percentage (%) value, no-load mode power consumption in watts (W) using the lowest and highest selectable output voltages, nameplate output power in watts (W), and, if missing from the nameplate, the output current in amperes (A).

(iii) Adaptive single-voltage external power supplies: The average active-mode efficiency as a percentage (%) at the highest and lowest nameplate output voltages, no-load mode power consumption in watts (W), nameplate output power in watts (W) at the highest and lowest nameplate output voltages, and, if missing from the nameplate, the output current in amperes (A) at the highest and lowest nameplate output voltages.

(iv) External power supplies that are exempt from no-load mode requirements under § 430.32(w)(1)(iii) of this chapter: A statement that the product is designed to be connected to a security or life safety alarm or surveillance system component, the average active-mode efficiency as a percentage (%), the nameplate output power in watts (W), and if missing from the nameplate, the certification report must also include the output current in amperes (A) of the basic model or the output current in amperes (A) of the highest- and lowest-voltage models within the external power supply design family.

PART 430—ENERGY CONSERVATION PROGRAM FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS 3. The authority citation for part 430 continues to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 6291-6309; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

4. Section 430.2 is amended by adding a definition for “Adaptive external power supply (EPS)” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
§ 430.2 Definitions.

Adaptive external power supply (EPS) means an external power supply that can alter its output voltage during active-mode based on an established digital communication protocol with the end-use application without any user-generated action.

5. Section 430.3 is amended by: a. Removing paragraph (l); b. Redesignating paragraphs (m) through (w) as paragraphs (l) through (v) respectively; and c. Revising newly redesignated paragraph (p)(4) to read as follows:
§ 430.3 Materials incorporated by reference.

(p) * * *

(4) IEC 62301 (“IEC 62301”), Household electrical appliances—Measurement of standby power, (Edition 2.0, 2011-01), IBR approved for appendices C1, D1, D2, G, H, I, J2, N, O, P, X, X1 and Z to subpart B.

6. Appendix Z to Subpart B of Part 430 is amended: a. By adding introductory text to Appendix Z. b. By revising section 1., Scope. c. In section 2, Definitions, by: i. Redesignating paragraphs f. through x. as paragraphs h. through z.; and ii. Adding new paragraphs f. and g. d. In section 3, Test Apparatus and General Instructions, by: i. Revising paragraphs (a) and (b)(i)(A); ii. Removing and reserving paragraph (b)(i)(B); and iii. Removing paragraph (b)(i)(C). e. In section 4, Test Measurement, by revising paragraphs (a)(i) and (ii).

The revisions and additions read as follows:

Appendix Z to Subpart B of Part 430—Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of External Power Supplies

Starting on February 21, 2016, any representations made with respect to the energy use or efficiency of external power supplies must be made in accordance with the results of testing pursuant to this appendix. Prior to February 21, 2016, representations made with respect to the energy use or efficiency of external power supplies must be made in accordance with this appendix or Appendix Z as it appeared at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, Appendix Z as contained in the 10 CFR parts 200 to 499 edition revised as of January 1, 2015. Because representations must be made in accordance with tests conducted pursuant to this appendix as of February 21, 2016, manufacturers may wish to begin using this test procedure as soon as possible.

1. Scope.

This appendix covers the test requirements used to measure the energy consumption of direct operation external power supplies and indirect operation Class A external power supplies subject to the energy conservation standards set forth at § 430.32(w)(1).

2. Definitions

f. Average Active-Mode Efficiency means the average of the loading conditions (100 percent, 75 percent, 50 percent, and 25 percent of its nameplate output current) for which it can sustain the output current.

g. IEC 62301 means the test standard published by the International Electrotechnical Commission, titled “Household electrical appliances—Measurement of standby power,” Publication 62301 (Edition 2.0 2011-01) (incorporated by reference; see § 430.3).

3. Test Apparatus and General Instructions

(a) Single-Voltage External Power Supply.

(i) Any power measurements recorded, as well as any power measurement equipment utilized for testing, shall conform to the uncertainty and resolution requirements outlined in Section 4, “General conditions for measurements,” as well as Annexes B, “Notes on the measurement of low power modes,” and D, “Determination of uncertainty of measurement,” of IEC 62301 (incorporated by reference; see § 430.3).

(ii) As is specified in IEC 62301 (incorporated by reference; see § 430.3), the tests shall be carried out in a room that has an air speed close to the unit under test (UUT) of ≤0.5 m/s. The ambient temperature shall be maintained at 20 ± 5 °C throughout the test. There shall be no intentional cooling of the UUT by use of separately powered fans, air conditioners, or heat sinks. The UUT shall be tested on a thermally non-conductive surface. Products intended for outdoor use may be tested at additional temperatures, provided those are in addition to the conditions specified above and are noted in a separate section on the test report.

(iii) If the UUT is intended for operation on AC line-voltage input in the United States, it shall be tested at 115 V at 60 Hz. If the UUT is intended for operation on AC line-voltage input but cannot be operated at 115 V at 60 Hz, it shall not be tested. The input voltage shall be within ±1 percent of the above specified voltage.

(iv) The input voltage source must be capable of delivering at least 10 times the nameplate input power of the UUT as is specified in IEEE 1515-2000 (Referenced for guidance only, see § 430.4). Regardless of the AC source type, the THD of the supply voltage when supplying the UUT in the specified mode must not exceed 2%, up to and including the 13th harmonic (as specified in IEC 62301). The peak value of the test voltage must be within 1.34 and 1.49 times its RMS value (as specified in IEC 62301 (incorporated by reference; see § 430.3)).

(v) Select all leads used in the test set-up as specified in Table B.2— “Commonly used values for wire gages and related voltage drops” in IEEE 15152000.

(b) * * *

(i) Verifying Accuracy and Precision of Measuring Equipment

(A) Any power measurements recorded, as well as any power measurement equipment utilized for testing, must conform to the uncertainty and resolution requirements outlined in Section 4, “General conditions for measurements”, as well as Annexes B, “Notes on the measurement of low power modes”, and D, “Determination of uncertainty of measurement”, of IEC 62301 (incorporated by reference; see § 430.3).

(B) [Reserved]

4. Test Measurement

(a) * * *

(i) Standby Mode and Active-Mode Measurement.

(A) Any built-in switch in the UUT controlling power flow to the AC input must be in the “on” position for this measurement, and note the existence of such a switch in the final test report. Test power supplies packaged for consumer use to power a product with the DC output cord supplied by the manufacturer. There are two options for connecting metering equipment to the output of this type of power supply: Cut the cord immediately adjacent to the DC output connector, or attach leads and measure the efficiency from the output connector itself. If the power supply is attached directly to the product that it is powering, cut the cord immediately adjacent to the powered product and connect DC measurement probes at that point. Any additional metering equipment such as voltmeters and/or ammeters used in conjunction with resistive or electronic loads must be connected directly to the end of the output cable of the UUT. If the product has more than two output wires, including those that are necessary for controlling the product, the manufacturer must supply a connection diagram or test fixture that will allow the testing laboratory to put the unit under test into active-mode. Figure 1 provides one illustration of how to set up an EPS for test; however, the actual test setup may vary pursuant to the requirements of this paragraph.

ER25AU15.001

(B) External power supplies must be tested in their final, completed configuration in order to represent their measured efficiency on product labels or specification sheets. Although the same procedure may be used to test the efficiency of a bare circuit board power supply prior to its incorporation into a finished housing and the attachment of its DC output cord, the efficiency of the bare circuit board power supply may not be used to characterize the efficiency of the final product (once enclosed in a case and fitted with a DC output cord). For example, a power supply manufacturer or component manufacturer may wish to assess the efficiency of a design that it intends to provide to an OEM for incorporation into a finished external power supply, but these results may not be used to represent the efficiency of the finished external power supply.

(C) All single voltage external AC-DC power supplies have a nameplate output current. This is the value used to determine the four active-mode load conditions and the no load condition required by this test procedure. The UUT shall be tested at the following load conditions:

Table 1—Loading Conditions for a Single-Voltage Unit Under Test Percentage of Nameplate Output Current Load Condition 1 100% of Nameplate Output Current ±2%. Load Condition 2 75% of Nameplate Output Current ±2%. Load Condition 3 50% of Nameplate Output Current ±2%. Load Condition 4 25% of Nameplate Output Current ±2%. Load Condition 5 0%.

The 2% allowance is of nameplate output current, not of the calculated current value. For example, a UUT at Load Condition 3 may be tested in a range from 48% to 52% of rated output current. Additional load conditions may be selected at the technician's discretion, as described in IEEE 1515-2000 (Referenced for guidance only, see § 430.4), but are not required by this test procedure. For Loading Condition 5, place the UUT in no-load mode, disconnect any additional signal connections to the UUT, and measure input power.

1. Where the external power supply lists both an instantaneous and continuous output current, test the external power supply at the continuous condition only.

2. If an external power supply cannot sustain output at one or more of loading conditions 1-4 as specified in Table 1, test the external power supply only at the loading conditions for which it can sustain output. In these cases, the average active mode efficiency is the average of the loading conditions for which it can sustain the output.

(D) Test switch-selectable single-voltage external power supplies twice—once at the highest nameplate output voltage and once at the lowest.

(E) Test adaptive external power supplies twice—once at the highest achievable output voltage and once at the lowest.

(F) In order to load the power supply to produce all four active-mode load conditions, use a set of variable resistive or electronic loads. Although these loads may have different characteristics than the electronic loads power supplies are intended to power, they provide standardized and readily repeatable references for testing and product comparison. Note that resistive loads need not be measured precisely with an ohmmeter; simply adjust a variable resistor to the point where the ammeter confirms that the desired percentage of nameplate output current is flowing. For electronic loads, adjust the desired output current in constant current (CC) mode rather than adjusting the required output power in constant power (CP) mode.

(G) As noted in IEC 62301 (incorporated by reference; see § 430.3), instantaneous measurements are appropriate when power readings are stable in a particular load condition. Operate the UUT at 100% of nameplate current output for at least 30 minutes immediately prior to conducting efficiency measurements. After this warm-up period, monitor AC input power for a period of 5 minutes to assess the stability of the UUT. If the power level does not drift by more than 5% from the maximum value observed, the UUT is considered stable and the measurements should be recorded at the end of the 5-minute period. Measure subsequent load conditions under the same 5-minute stability parameters. Note that only one warm-up period of 30 minutes is required for each UUT at the beginning of the test procedure. If the AC input power is not stable over a 5-minute period, follow the guidelines established by IEC 62301 for measuring average power or accumulated energy over time for both AC input and DC output. Conduct efficiency measurements in sequence from Load Condition 1 to Load Condition 5 as indicated in Table 1. If testing of additional, optional load conditions is desired, that testing should be conducted in accordance with this test procedure and subsequent to completing the sequence described above.

(H) Calculate efficiency by dividing the UUT's measured DC output power at a given load condition by the true AC input power measured at that load condition. Calculate average efficiency as the arithmetic mean of the efficiency values calculated at Test Conditions 1, 2, 3, and 4 in Table 1, and record this value. Average efficiency for the UUT is a simple arithmetic average of active-mode efficiency values, and is not intended to represent weighted average efficiency, which would vary according to the duty cycle of the product powered by the UUT.

(I) Power consumption of the UUT at each Load Condition 1-4 is the difference between the DC output power (W) at that Load Condition and the AC input power (W) at that Load Condition. The power consumption of Load Condition 5 (no load) is equal to the AC input power (W) at that Load Condition.

(ii) Off-Mode Measurement—If the external power supply UUT incorporates manual on-off switches, place the UUT in off-mode, and measure and record its power consumption at “Load Condition 5” in Table 1. The measurement of the off-mode energy consumption must conform to the requirements specified in paragraph 4(a)(i) of this appendix, except that all manual on-off switches must be placed in the “off” position for the off-mode measurement. The UUT is considered stable if, over 5 minutes with samples taken at least once every second, the AC input power does not drift from the maximum value observed by more than 1 percent or 50 milliwatts, whichever is greater. Measure the off-mode power consumption of a switch-selectable single-voltage external power supply twice—once at the highest nameplate output voltage and once at the lowest.

7. Section 430.32 is amended by adding paragraph (w)(1)(iii) to read as follows:
§ 430.32 Energy and water conservation standards and their compliance dates.

(w) * * *

(1)* * *

(iii) Except as provided in paragraphs (w)(5), (w)(6), and (w)(7) of this section, all external power supplies manufactured on or after February 10, 2016, shall meet the following standards:

Class A EPS Non-Class A EPS Direct Operation EPS Level VI: 10 CFR 430.32(w)(1)(ii) Level VI: 10 CFR 430.32(w)(1)(ii). Indirect Operation EPS Level IV: 10 CFR 430.32(w)(1)(i) No Standards.
[FR Doc. 2015-20717 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-1044; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-148-AD; Amendment 39-18245; AD 2015-17-12] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Cessna Aircraft Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Cessna Aircraft Company Model 500, 501, 550, 551, S550, 560, and 650 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of smoke and/or fire in the tailcone caused by sparking due to excessive wear of the brushes in the air conditioning (A/C) motor. This AD requires inspections to determine if certain A/C compressor motors are installed and to determine the accumulated hours on certain A/C compressor motor assemblies; and repetitive replacement of the brushes in the A/C compressor motor assembly, or, as an option to the brush replacement, deactivation of the A/C system and placard installation; and return of replaced brushes to Cessna. We are issuing this AD to prevent the brushes in the A/C motor from wearing down beyond their limits, which could result in the rivet in the brush contacting the commutator, causing sparks and consequent fire and/or smoke in the tailcone with no means to detect or extinguish the fire and/or smoke.

DATES:

This AD is effective September 29, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of September 29, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this AD, contact Cessna Aircraft Co., P.O. Box 7706, Wichita, KS 67277; phone: 316-517-6215; fax: 316-517-5802; email: [email protected]; Internet https://www.cessnasupport.com/newlogin.html. 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-2014-1044.

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-2014-1044; 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:

Craig Henrichsen, Aerospace Engineer, Electrical Systems and Avionics Branch, ACE-119W, FAA, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, KS 67209; phone: 316-946-4110; fax: 316-946-4107; 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 Cessna Aircraft Company Model 500, 501, 550, 551, S550, 560, and 650 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on January 23, 2015 (80 FR 3516). The NPRM was prompted by reports of smoke and/or fire in the tailcone caused by sparking due to excessive wear of the brushes in the A/C motor. The NPRM proposed to require inspections to determine if certain A/C compressor motors are installed and to determine the accumulated hours on certain A/C compressor motor assemblies; and repetitive replacement of the brushes in the A/C compressor motor assembly, or, as an option to the brush replacement, deactivation of the A/C system and placard installation; and return of replaced brushes to Cessna. We are issuing this AD to prevent the brushes in the A/C motor from wearing down beyond their limits, which could result in the rivet in the brush contacting the commutator, causing sparks and consequent fire and/or smoke in the tailcone with no means to detect or extinguish the fire and/or smoke.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM (80 FR 3516, January 23, 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 3516, January 23, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 3516, January 23, 2015).

Interim Action

We consider this AD interim action. The reporting data required by this AD will enable us to obtain better insight into brush wear. The reporting data will also indicate if the replacement intervals we established are adequate. After we analyze the reporting data received, we might consider further rulemaking.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed the following service information, which describes procedures for replacement of life-limited components, including part number FWA1134104-1 or FWA1134104-5 A/C compressor motor brushes.

• Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 6, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model 500/501 Maintenance Manual.

• Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 10, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model 550/551 Maintenance Manual.

• Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 12, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model 550 Bravo Maintenance Manual.

• Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 9, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model S550 Maintenance Manual.

• Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 22, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model 560 Maintenance Manual.

• Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 32, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model 650 Maintenance Manual.

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 333 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs—Brush Replacement Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspection and replacement 11 work-hours × $85 per hour = $935 per replacement cycle $252 $1,187 per replacement cycle $395,271 per replacement cycle. Reporting/return parts 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 per return 0 85 $28,305 per return (2 returns required). Estimated Costs—A/C Deactivation Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Fabrication of placard for A/C deactivation 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85 Deactivation/reactivation of A/C 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 0 85
    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): 2015-17-12 Cessna Aircraft Company: Amendment 39-18245; Docket No. FAA-2014-1044; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-148-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective September 29, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Cessna Aircraft Company airplanes, certificated in any category, identified in table 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD, that have an air conditioning (A/C) system installed via a Cessna Aircraft Company supplemental type certificate (STC) identified in paragraph (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), or (c)(4) of this AD.

    (1) SA3849SW (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/029C5719AD18E79C86257C1A0069742C?OpenDocument&Highlight=sa3849sw).

    (2) SA7580SW (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/7C9B0FB7D5923D4986257C1A0069E2C0?OpenDocument&Highlight=sa7580sw).

    (3) SA7753SW (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/A78233CBB3314BAF86257C1A0069D128?OpenDocument&Highlight=sa7753sw).

    (4) SA8918SW (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/5FAD7ABA3EAA464C86257C1A0069F239?OpenDocument&Highlight=sa8918sw).

    Table 1 to Paragraph (c) of this AD—Affected Airplane Models and Serial Numbers (S/Ns) Cessna aircraft company airplane models S/Ns Model 500 and 501 airplanes 0001 through 0689 inclusive. Model 550 and 551 airplanes 0002 through 0733 inclusive, and 0801 through 1136 inclusive. Model S550 airplanes 0001 through 0160 inclusive. Model 560 airplanes 0001 through 0707 inclusive, and 0751 through 0815 inclusive. Model 650 airplanes 0200 through 0241 inclusive, and 7001 through 7119 inclusive. (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 21, Air Conditioning.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of smoke and/or fire in the tailcone caused by sparking due to excessive wear of the brushes in the A/C motor. We are issuing this AD to prevent the brushes in the A/C motor from wearing down beyond their limits, which could result in the rivet in the brush contacting the commutator, causing sparks and consequent fire and/or smoke in the tailcone with no means to detect or extinguish the fire and/or smoke.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection for Part Number (P/N)

    Within 30 days or 10 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Inspect the A/C compressor motor to determine whether P/N FWA1134104-1 or P/N FWA1134104-5 is installed. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the part number of the A/C compressor motor can be conclusively determined from that review.

    (h) Inspection of Compressor Hour Meter and Maintenance Records

    If, during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any A/C compressor motor having P/N FWA1134104-1 or P/N FWA1134104-5 is found: Within 30 days or 10 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, determine the hour reading on the A/C compressor hour meter as specified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Inspect the number of hours accumulated on the A/C compressor hour meter.

    (2) Check the airplane logbook for any entry for replacing the A/C compressor motor brushes with new brushes, or for replacing the compressor motor or compressor condenser module assembly (pallet) with a motor or assembly that has new brushes.

    (i) If the logbook contains an entry for replacement of parts, as specified in paragraph (h)(2) of this AD, determine the number of hours accumulated on the A/C compressor motor brushes by comparing the number of hours on the compressor motor since replacement and use this number in lieu of the number determined in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD.

    (ii) If, through the logbook check, a determination cannot be made regarding the number of hours accumulated on the A/C compressor motor brushes, as specified in paragraph (h)(2) of this AD, use the number of hours accumulated on the A/C compressor hour meter determined in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, or presume the brushes have over 500 hours time-in-service.

    (i) Replacement

    Using the hour reading on the A/C compressor hour meter determined in paragraph (h) of this AD, replace the A/C compressor motor brushes with new brushes at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD. Thereafter, repeat the replacement of the A/C compressor motor brushes at intervals not to exceed 500 hours time-in-service on the A/C compressor motor. Do the replacement in accordance with the applicable Cessna maintenance manual subject specified in paragraphs (j)(1) through (j)(6) of this AD.

    (1) Before the accumulation of 500 total hours time-in-service on the A/C compressor motor.

    (2) Before further flight after doing the inspection required in paragraph (h) of this AD.

    (j) Maintenance Manual Information for Replacement

    Use the instructions in the applicable Cessna maintenance manual subject specified in paragraphs (j)(1) through (j)(6) of this AD to do the replacement required by paragraph (i) of this AD.

    (1) Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 6, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model 500/501 Maintenance Manual.

    (2) Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 10, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model 550/551 Maintenance Manual.

    (3) Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 12, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model 550 Bravo Maintenance Manual.

    (4) Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 9, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model S550 Maintenance Manual.

    (5) Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 22, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model 560 Maintenance Manual.

    (6) Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 32, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model 650 Maintenance Manual.

    (k) Deactivation of the A/C System

    In lieu of replacing the A/C compressor motor brushes as required by this AD, deactivate the A/C system as specified in paragraph (k)(1) or (k)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (1) For all airplanes except Model 650 airplanes: Pull the vapor cycle A/C circuit breaker labeled “AIR COND,” do the actions specified in paragraphs (k)(1)(i) and (k)(1)(ii) of this AD, and document deactivation of the system in the airplane logbook, referring to this AD as the reason for deactivation.

    (i) Fabricate a placard that states: “A/C DISABLED” with 1/8-inch black lettering on a white background.

    (ii) Install the placard on the airplane instrument panel within 6 inches of the A/C selection switch.

    (2) For Model 650 airplanes: Pull the vapor cycle A/C circuit breaker labeled “FWD EVAP FAN,” do the actions specified in paragraphs (k)(1)(i) and (k)(1)(ii) of this AD, and document deactivation of the system in the airplane logbook, referring to this AD as the reason for deactivation.

    Note 1 to paragraph (k) of this AD:

    While the A/C system is deactivated, it is recommended that airplane operators remain aware of the operating temperature limitations specified in the applicable airplane flight manual.

    (l) Reactivation of the A/C System

    If the A/C system is deactivated, as specified in paragraph (k) of this AD, prior to the A/C system being reactivated: Perform the inspection specified in paragraph (h) of this AD, and do the replacements specified in paragraph (i) of this AD, at the times specified in paragraph (i) of this AD. Return the A/C system to service by doing the actions specified in paragraph (l)(1) or (l)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (1) For all airplanes except Model 650 airplanes: Push in the vapor cycle A/C circuit breaker labeled “AIR COND,” remove the placard by the A/C selection switch that states “A/C DISABLED,” and document reactivation of the system in the airplane logbook.

    (2) For Model 650 airplanes: Push in the vapor cycle A/C circuit breaker labeled “FWD EVAP FAN,” remove the placard by the A/C selection switch that states “A/C DISABLED,” and document reactivation of the system in the airplane logbook.

    (m) Parts Return and Reporting Requirements

    For the first two A/C compressor motor brush replacement cycles on each airplane, send the removed brushes to Cessna Aircraft Company, Cessna Service Parts and Programs, 7121 Southwest Boulevard, Wichita, KS 67215. Provide the brushes and the information specified in paragraphs (m)(1) through (m)(6) of this AD within 30 days after the replacement if the replacement was done on or after the effective date of this AD, or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD if the replacement was done before the effective date of this AD.

    (1) The model and serial number of the airplane.

    (2) The part number of the motor.

    (3) The part number of the brushes, if known.

    (4) The elapsed time, in motor hours, since the last brush/motor replacement, if known.

    (5) If motor hours are unknown, report the elapsed airplane flight hours since the last brush/motor replacement, and indicate that motor hours are unknown.

    (6) The number of motor hours currently displayed on the pallet hour meter, if installed.

    (n) Parts Installation Limitation

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install an A/C compressor motor having P/N FWA1134104-1 or P/N FWA1134104-5, unless the inspection specified in paragraph (h) of this AD is done before installation, and the replacements specified in paragraph (i) of this AD are subsequently done in accordance with the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (j)(1) through (j)(6) of this AD at the times specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

    (o) Special Flight Permit Limitation

    Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with sections 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) with the following limitation: Operation of the A/C system is prohibited.

    (p) 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.

    (q) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Wichita 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 (r) 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.

    (r) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Craig Henrichsen, Aerospace Engineer, Electrical Systems and Avionics Branch, ACE-119W, FAA, Wichita ACO, 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, KS 67209; phone: 316-946-4110; fax: 316-946-4107; email: [email protected]

    (s) 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) Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 6, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model 500/501 Maintenance Manual.

    (ii) Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 10, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model 550/551 Maintenance Manual.

    (iii) Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 12, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model 550 Bravo Maintenance Manual.

    (iv) Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 9, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model S550 Maintenance Manual.

    (v) Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 22, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model 560 Maintenance Manual.

    (vi) Subject 4-11-00, Replacement Time Limits, of Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 32, dated June 23, 2014, of the Cessna Model 650 Maintenance Manual.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Cessna Aircraft Co., P.O. Box 7706, Wichita, KS 67277; phone: 316-517-6215; fax: 316-517-5802; email: [email protected]; Internet https://www.cessnasupport.com/newlogin.html.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 10, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20692 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0242; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-100-AD; Amendment 39-18240; AD 2015-17-07] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A300 B4-603, B4-605R, B4-620, B4-622, B4-622R airplanes; all Airbus Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes; and certain Airbus Model A300 F4-605R airplanes. This AD was prompted by the manufacturer's review of all repairs accomplished using the structural repair manual. This review was done using revised fatigue and damage tolerance calculations. This AD requires an inspection of the surrounding panels of the left and right forward passenger doors, and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct previous incomplete or inadequate repairs to the surrounding panels of the left and right forward passenger doors and the fail-safe ring, which could negatively affect the structural integrity of the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective September 29, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-0242 or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0242.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Model A300 B4-603, B4-605R, B4-620, B4-622, B4-622R airplanes; all Airbus Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes; and certain Airbus Model A300 F4-605R airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on February 18, 2015 (80 FR 8566).

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0101, dated May 2, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A300 B4-603, B4-605R, B4-620, B4-622, B4-622R airplanes; all Airbus Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes; and certain Airbus Model A300 F4-605R airplanes. The MCAI states:

    In the frame of the Ageing Airplane Safety Rule (AASR), all existing Structural Repair Manual (SRM) repairs were reviewed.

    This analysis, which consisted in new Fatigue and Damage Tolerance calculations, revealed that some repairs in the area surrounding the forward passenger/crew door and the fail safe ring are no longer adequate.

    These repairs, if not reworked, could affect the structural integrity of the aeroplane.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued Service Bulletin (SB) A300-53-6173 (later revised), to provide instructions for the inspection of repairs on the left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) forward door surrounding panels.

    For the reasons described above, and further to the AASR implementation, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time inspection of the forward door surrounding panels to identify SRM repairs in these areas and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s).

    Corrective actions include rework or repair.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-0242-0002.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM (80 FR 8566, February 18, 2015) or on the determination of the cost to the public.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed 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 8566, February 18, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 8566, February 18, 2015).

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A300-53-6173, Revision 01, dated February 28, 2014. The service information describes procedures for a one-time detailed of the area surrounding the forward passenger/crew door and the fail safe ring to determine if any repairs have been done, and corrective actions. 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 65 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it will take about 120 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $663,000, or $10,200 per product.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions will take up to 730 work-hours and require parts costing up to $72,250, for a cost of up to $134,300 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-0242; 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): 2015-17-07 Airbus: Amendment 39-18240. Docket No. FAA-2015-0242; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-100-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective September 29, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

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

    (1) Model A300 B4-603, B4-605R, B4-620, B4-622, and B4-622R airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (2) Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (3) Model A300F4-605R airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers, except those on which Airbus Modification 12699 was embodied in production.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by the manufacturer's review of all repairs accomplished using the structural repair manual. This review was done using revised fatigue and damage tolerance calculations. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct previous incomplete or inadequate repairs to the surrounding panels of the left and right forward passenger doors and the fail-safe ring, which could negatively affect the structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection

    At the time specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, whichever is later: Do a detailed inspection of the surrounding panels of the left and right forward passenger doors to determine if any repairs have been done, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6173, Revision 01, dated February 28, 2014.

    (1) Prior to the accumulation of 30,000 total flight cycles or 67,500 total flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (2) Within 28 months after the effective date of this AD.

    (h) Identification of Repairs

    If any affected repair is found during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Before further flight, identify the reworked area(s), the percentage of the rework, and the limits of the rework, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6173, Revision 01, dated February 28, 2014.

    (i) Corrective Actions

    During the repair identification required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if any rework is found that is outside the allowable damage limits specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6173, Revision 01, dated February 28, 2014: Before further flight, rework or repair, as applicable, using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

    (j) Exception to Service Information Specifications

    Although Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6173, Revision 01, dated February 28, 2014, specifies to contact Airbus for repair instructions, and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance), this AD requires repair before further flight using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA.

    (k) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6173, dated August 1, 2013, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (l) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2125; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] 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) Required for Compliance (RC): Except as required by paragraph (j) of this AD: If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures and tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (3) 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; the EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0101, dated May 2, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-0242-0002.

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

    (n) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6173, Revision 01, dated February 28, 2014.

    (ii) Reserved.

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

    (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 August 10, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20585 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0772; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-090-AD; Amendment 39-18233; AD 2015-16-08] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2011-08-51 for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. AD 2011-08-51 required repetitive inspections of the lap joint at certain stringers along the entire length from certain body stations. This new AD expands the inspection area, requires additional inspections for cracks and open pockets, requires corrective actions if necessary, and revises the compliance times. This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) that has determined that the lower fastener holes in the lower skin of the fuselage lap splice are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the lower fastener holes in the lower skin of the fuselage lap splice, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective September 29, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 29, 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 2014-0772.

    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-2014-0772; 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:

    Jennifer Tsakoumakis, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5264; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2011-08-51, Amendment 39-16701 (76 FR 28632, May 18, 2011). AD 2011-08-51 applied to certain The Boeing Company Model 737-300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 17, 2014 (79 FR 68381). The NPRM was prompted by an evaluation by the DAH that has determined that the lower fastener holes in the lower skin of the fuselage lap splice are subject to WFD. The NPRM proposed to continue to require repetitive inspections of the lap joint at certain stringers along the entire length from certain body stations. The NPRM also proposed to expand the inspection area, require additional inspections for cracks and open pockets, require corrective actions if necessary, and revise the compliance times. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the lower fastener holes in the lower skin of the fuselage lap splice, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 68381, November 17, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

    Request To Revise Wording

    Boeing requested that we revise the last sentence in paragraph (k) of the proposed AD (79 FR 68381, November 17, 2014) to clarify that the on-condition actions may be “inspection or repair” rather than “inspection and repair.” Boeing stated that condition 10 in table 6 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014, describes obtaining inspection or repair instructions. Boeing explained that, depending on the configuration details identified, repetitive inspections alone may be an appropriate action, or a repair may be the appropriate action.

    We agree with the commenter's request. Varying detail configurations and the total flight cycles at the time of the finding are used to determine if an inspection program is adequate to address the unsafe condition or if installation of a repair is required. We have revised the wording in paragraph (k) of this AD to require inspection or repair.

    Request To Clarify Paragraph Heading

    Southwest Airlines (SWA) stated that the heading “Repetitive Inspections for Crack Indications at Stringers S-4R and S-4L, Body Station (BS) 360 to BS 908,” of paragraph (g) of the proposed AD (79 FR 68381, November 17, 2014) is misleading. SWA explained that the heading is confusing since the paragraph contains both an initial inspection and repetitive inspections.

    We agree to clarify the terminology used in the heading. When the term “repetitive” is used, it does not necessarily exclude the initial action. Many existing ADs use the term “repetitive” in the headers for paragraphs that contain both the initial action and repetitive actions. We find that no change to this AD is necessary regarding this issue.

    Request To Add Clarifying Note

    SWA requested that we add a note in paragraph (g) and paragraph (h) of the proposed AD (79 FR 68381, November 17, 2014) specifying that Group 3 airplanes do not require inspection between BS 540 and BS 727E. SWA stated that Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014, specifies no inspections to be accomplished from BS 540 to BS 727E on Group 3 airplanes. SWA stated that, since paragraphs (g) and (h) of the proposed AD and tables 1, 2, and 3 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014, define the inspection area as stringers 4L and 4R from BS 360 to BS 908 for all airplanes, it could be interpreted that the proposed AD would require an increased inspection area for Group 3 airplanes.

    We partially agree with the commenter's request. We disagree to add a note in paragraph (g) and paragraph (h) of this AD. The Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014, are clear regarding which areas must be inspected. The SUMMARY section of this final rule does specify that the inspection area is increased. However, we have added “as applicable” to paragraphs (g) and paragraph (h) of this AD to provide clarification regarding the inspection area.

    Request To Clarify Compliance Times

    SWA requested that we revise paragraph (g) of the proposed AD (79 FR 68381, November 17, 2014) to clarify the compliance times. SWA recommended splitting the paragraph requirements into three separate paragraphs to address three different airplane groups. SWA stated that table 1 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014, does not account for airplanes that were inspected previously using either Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, dated April 4, 2011, or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 1, dated April 8, 2011. SWA stated that it is unclear how to apply the compliance times in table 1 for these airplanes, and as a result, airplanes with more than 30,000 total flight cycles that were not inspected previously using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014, will have exceeded the compliance times in table 1 upon the effective date of the AD.

    SWA stated that since paragraph (n) of the proposed AD (79 FR 68381, November 17, 2014) provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of the proposed AD that were performed prior to the effective date of the AD using either Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, dated April 4, 2011, or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 1, dated April 8, 2011, SWA assumes that the intent of paragraph (g) of the proposed AD is for the operator to accomplish the first inspection in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014, within 500 cycles from the last inspection accomplished previously in accordance with either the Boeing Alert Service Bulletin, dated April 4, 2011, or Revision 1, dated April 8, 2011.

    We do not agree with the commenter's request to revise paragraph (g) of this AD. However, we do agree to clarify the compliance times. For airplanes that were inspected previously using either Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, dated April 4, 2011, or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 1, dated April 8, 2011, the next inspection must be done within 500 cycles from the last inspection accomplished previously in accordance with either the Boeing Alert Service Bulletin, dated April 4, 2011, or Revision 1, dated April 8, 2011, except as provided by table 2 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014. Table 2 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014, provides optional inspections that may be used after inspections in table 1 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014, have been accomplished.

    For airplanes that were not inspected previously using either Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, dated April 4, 2011, or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 1, dated April 8, 2011, the initial inspection must be done within the applicable compliance times specified in table 1 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Request To Clarify Inspection Requirements

    SWA requested that we provide clarification regarding the applicability of table 2 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014, for accomplishing the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of the proposed AD (79 FR 68381, November 17, 2014). SWA stated that the inspection intervals defined in table 2 are dependent on the total flight cycles of airplanes that meet condition 1 (no crack found), and that operators of airplanes that meet condition 2 (any crack found) should contact Boeing for repair instructions prior to further flight.

    SWA stated that the alternative repetitive inspection intervals apply only to aircraft that meet condition 1 each time the aircraft is inspected. SWA explained that it is unclear whether or not the operator is able to continue utilizing the table 2 inspection intervals if condition 2 is found during any repetitive inspection on an airplane, or if the operator must revert back to the table 1 repetitive inspection interval from that point forward for that airplane.

    We agree that clarification is necessary. Paragraph (l) of this AD requires a repair if any crack is found. Accomplishment of the repair terminates the repetitive inspections required by paragraphs (g) and (j) of this AD in the repaired area only. Repetitive inspections must be done on all unrepaired areas at the times specified in table 1 or table 2, as applicable. We find that no change to this AD is necessary regarding this issue.

    Requests for Credit and Exception to Inspection Requirements

    SWA requested that we include a provision in paragraph (n) of the proposed AD (79 FR 68381, November 17, 2014) to provide credit for the general visual inspection required by paragraph (k) of the proposed AD for skin panels that were replaced using the procedures specified in Figure 35 of Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1306, provided that the corrective action for Condition 9 is followed.

    SWA also requested that we add an exception in paragraph (m) of the proposed AD (79 FR 68381, November 17, 2014) that allows the operator to omit the inspection required by paragraph (k) of the proposed AD if the corrective action for Condition 9 is followed and the operator's records show the part number of the skin assembly installed on the airplane.

    To justify its requests, SWA stated that its airplanes, defined as Group 1 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014, on which the crown skin panel replacement was accomplished as described previously in Figure 35 of Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1306, were inspected previously to determine if the existing skin assembly was an “MPN 65C35798-1 (open pockets adjacent to the STR 4R lap joint)” or an “MPN 65C35798-8 (closed pockets adjacent to the STR 4R lap joint).” SWA stated that the existing skin panel was then replaced with a new skin panel of the same configuration as the removed production panel. SWA explained that if an operator's records show the part number of the skin panel assembly installed, the operator will be able to determine if the panel is configured with Condition 9 or Condition 10 and, therefore, SWA does not need to do the inspection required by paragraph (k) of the proposed AD.

    We disagree with the commenter's requests. The fuselage crown skin replacements described in Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1306 are a part of a SWA-specific modification program. We do not consider it appropriate to include various provisions in an AD that are applicable only to a single operator's unique use of an affected airplane. However, an operator may request approval of an alternative method of compliance under the provisions of paragraph (o) of this AD if sufficient data are submitted to substantiate that the fuselage crown skin replacements would provide an acceptable level of safety. 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 68381, November 17, 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 68381, November 17, 2014).

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

    Interim Action

    We consider this AD interim action. An investigation is ongoing, and no terminating action has been developed. Once terminating action is developed, approved, and available, we might consider additional rulemaking.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014. The service information describes procedures for inspections for crack indications at certain stringers, an inspection for open pockets of the lower skin panel at stringer S-4R, and repairs. 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 130 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
  • Repetitive inspections [actions retained from AD 2011-08-51, Amendment 39-16701 (76 FR 28632, May 18, 2011)] 6 or 4,270 work-hours (depending on inspection method) × $85 per work-hour = $510 or $362,950 per inspection cycle None $510 or $362,950 per inspection cycle $66,300 or $47,183,500 per inspection cycle. Repetitive inspections [new action] 4 or 550 work-hours (depending on inspection method) × $85 per hour = $340 or $46,750 per inspection cycle None $340 or $46,750 per inspection cycle $44,200 or $6,077,500 per inspection cycle. One-time inspections [new action] 5,370 work-hours × $85 per hour = $456,450 None $456,450 $59,338,500.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2011-08-51, Amendment 39-16701 (76 FR 28632, May 18, 2011), and adding the following new AD: 2015-16-08 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18233; Docket No. FAA-2014-0772; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-090-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective September 29, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2011-08-51, Amendment 39-16701 (76 FR 28632, May 18, 2011).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737-300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) that has determined that the lower fastener holes in the lower skin of the fuselage lap splice are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the lower fastener holes in the lower skin of the fuselage lap splice, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Inspections for Crack Indications at Stringers S-4R and S-4L, Body Station (BS) 360 to BS 908

    At the applicable time specified in table 1 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014: Do an external eddy current inspection, or internal eddy current and detailed inspections, for crack indications at stringers S-4R and S-4L, from BS 360 to BS 908, as applicable, except as provided by paragraph (h) of this AD, in accordance with Part 1 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014. Repeat the inspection(s) thereafter at the applicable intervals specified in table 1 or table 2, as applicable, of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014. Either inspection option may be used at any repetitive inspection cycle.

    (h) One-Time Inspections for Cracks at Stringers S-4L and S-4R, BS 360 to BS 908

    At the applicable time specified in table 3 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014, except as required by paragraph (m) of this AD: Do one-time internal detailed and eddy current inspections for cracks at stringers S-4R and S-4L, from BS 360 to BS 908, as applicable, in accordance with Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014. Accomplishment of the inspections required by this paragraph does not terminate the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (i) One-Time Inspections for Cracks at Stringer S-4R, BS 908 to BS 1016

    For airplanes identified as Group 2, 3, 5, and 7 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014: At the applicable time specified in table 4 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014, except as required by paragraph (m) of this AD, do one-time internal detailed and eddy current inspections for cracks at stringer S-4R, from BS 908 to BS 1016, in accordance with Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014.

    (j) Repetitive Inspections for Cracks at Stringer S-4R, BS 908 to BS 1016

    For airplanes identified as Group 2, 3, 5, and 7 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014: At the applicable time specified in table 5 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014, except as required by paragraph (m) of this AD, do external eddy current inspections, or internal eddy current and detailed inspections, for cracks at stringer S-4R, from BS 908 to BS 1016, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014. Repeat the inspection(s) thereafter at the applicable intervals specified in table 5 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014. Either inspection option may be used at any repetitive inspection cycle.

    (k) General Visual Inspection for Open Pockets at Stringer S-4R, BS 908 to BS 1016

    For airplanes identified as Group 1, 4, and 6 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014: At the applicable time specified in table 6 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014, except as required by paragraph (m) of this AD, do a general visual inspection for open pockets of the lower skin panel at stringer S-4R, from BS 908 to BS 1016, in accordance with Part 5 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014. If any open pocket is found, before further flight, inspect or repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (o) of this AD.

    (l) Corrective Action

    If any crack is found during any inspection required by this AD: Before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (o) of this AD. Accomplishment of repairs approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (o) of this AD terminates the repetitive inspections specified in paragraphs (g) and (j) of this AD in the repaired areas only.

    (m) Service Information Exception

    Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014, specifies a compliance time “after the Revision 2 date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (n) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, dated April 4, 2011; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 1, dated April 8, 2011. Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, dated April 4, 2011, was incorporated by reference in AD 2011-08-51, Amendment 39-16701 (76 FR 28632, May 18, 2011). Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 1, dated April 8, is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (o) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

    (4) AMOCs approved for AD 2011-08-51, Amendment 39-16701 (76 FR 28632, May 18, 2011), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of paragraphs (g) and (l) of this AD.

    (p) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Jennifer Tsakoumakis, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5264; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (q)(4) and (q)(5) of this AD.

    (q) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on September 29, 2015.

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1319, Revision 2, dated April 4, 2014.

    (ii) Reserved.

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

    (5) 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.

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 7, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20372 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0673; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-034-AD; Amendment 39-18244; AD 2015-17-11] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350C, AS350D, AS350D1, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, AS355NP, EC130B4, and EC130T2 helicopters. This AD requires inspecting the swashplate assembly rotating star to determine whether a ferrule was installed. If a ferrule exists, this AD requires inspecting the rotating star for a crack and removing any cracked rotating star. This AD was prompted by a report that reconditioning the rotating swashplate per a certain repair procedure could result in the rotating star cracking. The actions of this AD are intended to detect a crack in the rotating star and prevent failure of the rotating star and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective September 29, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of September 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, Texas 76177.

    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 AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any incorporated-by-reference service information, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations Office, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Grant, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, Texas 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    On March 27, 2015, at 80 FR 16325, the Federal Register published our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350C, AS350D, AS350D1, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, AS355NP, EC130B4, and EC130T2 helicopters with a swashplate assembly with rotating star, part number (P/N) 350A371003-04, 350A371003-05, 350A371003-06, 350A371003-07, or 350A371003-08. The NPRM proposed to require inspecting the swashplate assembly rotating star to determine whether a ferrule was installed. If a ferrule exists, this proposed AD would require inspecting the rotating star for a crack and removing any cracked rotating star. The proposed requirements were intended to detect a crack in the rotating star and prevent failure of the rotating star and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2014-0132R1, dated June 2, 2014, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union. EASA AD No. 2014-0132R1 corrects an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France) Model AS 350 B, BA, BB, B1, B2, B3, D, AS 355 E, F, F1, F2, N, NP, EC 130 B4, and T2 helicopters if equipped with a swashplate assembly with a rotating star, P/N 350A371003-04, P/N 350A371003-05, P/N 350A371003-06, P/N 350A371003-07, or P/N 350A371003-08. EASA advises that during a repair of a helicopter, it was discovered that rotating swashplates reconditioned in accordance with a certain repair procedure could experience a high stress level. This condition, if not corrected, could affect the service life of the part. To address this unsafe condition, EASA AD No. 2014-0132R1 requires repetitive inspections and replacement of the rotating star.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD, but we received no comments on the NPRM (80 FR 16325, March 27, 2015).

    FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of France and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with France, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.

    Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD requires reporting inspection findings to Airbus Helicopters. This AD makes no such requirement. The EASA AD does not apply to Airbus Helicopters Model AS350C and AS350D1 helicopters, whereas this AD applies to those models. The EASA AD applies to Model AS350BB helicopters, and this AD does not because that model is not type certificated in the United States. The EASA AD requires replacing the rotating star, unless already accomplished, by December 31, 2014, while we require replacing the rotating star within 160 hours time-in-service, unless already accomplished.

    This AD also prohibits installing a rotating star with a ferrule, and the EASA AD does not.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. EC130 62A010 for Model EC130B4 and EC130T2 helicopters; ASB No. AS355 62.00.33 for Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters; and ASB No. AS350 62.00.34 for Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350BB, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350D, and military version AS350L1 helicopters; all Revision 0 and all dated April 28, 2014.

    The ASBs report that a certain repair sheet instruction, which requires reconditioning the rotating swashplate by machining and adding a steel ferrule to accommodate a swashplate bearing, potentially affects the service life limit specified in the airworthiness limitations section. The ASBs provide procedures for inspecting the swashplate assembly's rotating star for a ferrule and if a ferrule exists, inspecting for a crack. The ASBs call for replacing the rotating star before further flight if a crack exists, and before December 31, 2014, if a ferrule is present and there are no cracks. If there is no ferrule, the ASBs require no additional action.

    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 1,132 helicopters of U.S. Registry and that labor costs average $85 a work hour. Based on these estimates, we expect the following costs:

    • Visually inspecting the swashplate assembly requires 0.25 work-hour for a labor cost of about $21 per inspection. No parts are needed for a total cost of about $21 per inspection per helicopter, or about $23,772 for the U.S. fleet.

    • Dye-penetrant inspecting the rotating star requires 1 work-hour for a labor cost of about $85 per helicopter. No parts are needed for a total cost of $85 per inspection helicopter and $96,220 for the U.S. fleet.

    • Replacing the rotating star, ferrule, and associated parts requires 16 work hours, and parts cost $8,354, for a total cost of $9,714 per helicopter.

    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 helicopters identified in this rulemaking action.

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this 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.

    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): 2015-17-11 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-18244; Docket No. FAA-2015-0673; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-034-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3,AS350C, AS350D, AS350D1, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, AS355NP, EC130B4, and EC130T2 helicopters with a swashplate assembly with rotating star, part number (P/N) 350A371003-04, 350A371003-05, 350A371003-06, 350A371003-07, or 350A371003-08, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in a rotating star in a main rotor blade (M/R) swashplate assembly. This condition could result in loss of the M/R pitch control and subsequent loss of helicopter control.

    (c) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective September 29, 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 165 hours time-in-service (TIS), visually inspect the swashplate assembly to determine whether a ferrule is installed on the rotating star. If the ferrule is not visible, use a magnetic retriever positioned in Area (X) as shown in the pictures under paragraph 3.B.2.b., Accomplishment Instructions, of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. EC130 62A010, ASB No. AS350 62.00.34, or ASB No. AS355 62.00.33, all Revision 0, and all dated April 28, 2014, whichever is applicable to your helicopter, to determine whether the ferrule is installed. The magnetic retriever will be magnetized if a ferrule is installed.

    (2) If a ferrule is not installed, no further action is needed.

    (3) If a ferrule is installed on the rotating star, before further flight, dye-penetrant inspect the rotating star for a crack in areas “Z” depicted in Figure 1 of Airbus Helicopters ASB No. EC130 62A010, ASB No. AS350 62.00.34, or ASB No. AS355 62.00.33, all Revision 0, and all dated April 28, 2014, as applicable to your model helicopter.

    (i) If the rotating star has a crack, before further flight, remove from service the rotating star; ferrule; and the screws, washers and nuts used to attach the pitch change rods, compass, and the rotating star deflector.

    (ii) If the rotating star does not have a crack, within 160 hours TIS, remove from service the rotating star; ferrule; and the screws, washers and nuts used to attach the pitch change rods, compass, and the rotating star deflector.

    (4) Do not install a rotating star P/N 350A371003-04, 350A371003-05, 350A371003-06, 350A371003-07, or 350A371003-08 with a ferrule.

    (f) Special Flight Permits

    Special flight permits are prohibited.

    (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Robert Grant, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, Texas 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.

    (h) Additional Information

    The subject of this AD is addressed in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2014-0132R1, dated June 2, 2014. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2015-0673.

    (i) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6200, Main Rotor System.

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference 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) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. EC130 62A010, Revision 0, dated April 28, 2014.

    (ii) Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS350 62.00.34, Revision 0, dated April 28, 2014.

    (iii) Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS355 62.00.33, Revision 0, dated April 28, 2014.

    (3) For Airbus Helicopters service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub.

    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, Texas 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.

    (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 Fort Worth, Texas, on August 13, 2015. Lance T. Gant, Acting Directorate Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20587 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2047; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-013-AD; Amendment 39-18243; AD 2015-17-10] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; SOCATA Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2007-04-13 for certain SOCATA Model TBM 700 airplaness (type certificate previously held by EADS SOCATA). This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as cracks found on the main landing gear cylinders. We are issuing this AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective September 29, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 29, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of March 23, 2007 (72 FR 7576, February 16, 2007).

    ADDRESSES:

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2047; 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 20590.

    For service information identified in this AD, contact SOCATA, Direction des Services, 65921 Tarbes Cedex 9, France; telephone: 33 (0)5 62.41.73.00; fax: 33 (0)5 62.41.76.54; or SOCATA North America, North Perry Airport, 7501 S Airport Rd., Pembroke Pines, Florida 33023, telephone: (954) 893-1400; fax: (954) 964-4141; Internet: http://www.socata.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for Docket No. FAA-2015-2047.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Albert J. Mercado, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4119; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) to make changes to an NPRM (80 FR 8821, February 19, 2015), which would amend 14 CFR part 39 to add an AD that would apply to certain SOCATA Model TBM 700 airplaness (type certificate previously held by EADS SOCATA). That SNPRM was published in the Federal Register on June 11, 2015 (80 FR 33208), and proposed to supersede AD 2007-04-13, Amendment 39-14945, (72 FR 7576, February 16, 2007) (“AD 2007-04-13”).

    Since we issued AD 2007-04-13, it has been determined that the time between repetitive inspections should be extended and an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections is now available.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued AD No. 2006-0085R2, dated January 16, 2015 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

    Cracks on several main landing gear (MLG) cylinders have been reported in service.

    This condition, if not to detected and corrected, could lead to fatigue cracks in the shock strut cylinder of the MLG, which could result in a collapsed MLG during take-off or landing runs, and possibly reduce the structural integrity of the aeroplane.

    To address this unsafe condition, EASA issued AD 2006-0085 to require repetitive special detailed inspections (SDI) for cracks of the MLG shock strut cylinder and, depending on findings, relevant investigative and corrective actions.

    After that AD was issued, SOCATA performed an analysis to demonstrate that the inspection interval could be extended, and developed a reinforced MLG less prone to fatigue, which is embodied in production through SOCATA modification (MOD) 70-0190-32 and can be introduced in service through SOCATA Service Bulletin (SB) 70-130-32 at Revision 03.

    Prompted by these developments, EASA issued AD 2006-0085R1 to increase the inspection interval and to introduce the installation of a reinforced MLG on the right hand (RH) side and left hand (LH) side as an optional terminating action for the repetitive SDI required by this AD.

    Since that AD was issued, it was found that aeroplanes MSN 639 to 683 (inclusive) are not affected by this AD. The applicability has therefore been revised to remove those MSN.

    The MCAI can be found in the AD docket on the Internet at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-2047-0002.

    In addition, we have determined that airplanes with MLG with forging body that had not reached 1,750 landings as of March 23, 2007 (the effective date of AD 2007-04-13) were not affected by the AD. This is not the intent and allows airplanes to fly indefinitely with the unsafe condition. This AD includes those airplanes with MLG with forging body either at or under 1,750 landings as of March 23, 2007, and extends the time between the repetitive inspections until a reinforced landing gear is installed, which terminates the repetitive inspections.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received one supportive comment to the NPRM (80 FR 8821, February 19, 2015) and no comments on the SNPRM (80 FR 33208, June 11, 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 the 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 SNPRM (80 FR 33208, June 11, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the SNPRM (80 FR 33208, June 11, 2015).

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EADS SOCATA has issued TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, ATA No. 32, dated January 2006, and SOCATA has issued DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI. The DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014, incorporates procedures for replacing cracked MLG with a reinforced MLG as a terminating action for the repetitive inspections. 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 will affect 431 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 3 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $109,905, or $255 per product.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions will take about 4 work-hours and require parts costing $6,000, for a cost of $6,340 per product. We have no way of determining the number of products that may need these actions.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify 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 by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2047; 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 the SNPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Amendment 39-14945 (72 FR 7576, February 16, 2007), and adding the following new AD: 2015-17-10 SOCATA (type certificate previously held by EADS SOCATA): Amendment 39-18243; Docket No. FAA-2015-2047; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-013-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective September 29, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes AD 2007-04-13, Amendment 39-14945, (72 FR 7576, February 16, 2007) (“AD 2007-04-13”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to SOCATA Model TBM 700 airplanes, serial numbers 1 through 638 and 687, that:

    (1) are not equipped with a left-hand main landing gear (MLG) body part number (P/N) D68161 or D68161-1 and a right-hand MLG body P/N D68162 or D68162-1; and

    (2) are certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 32: Landing gear.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as cracks found on the main landing gear cylinders. In addition, the FAA determined that airplanes with MLG with forging body that had not reached 1,750 landings as of March 23, 2007 (the effective date of AD 2007-04-13) were not affected by AD 2007-04-13. This is not the intent and allows airplanes to fly indefinitely with the unsafe condition. This AD increases the scope of the affected airplanes by including those airplanes with MLG with forging body either at or under 1,750 landings as of March 23, 2007, increases the time between the repetitive inspections, and incorporates a modification to terminate the required repetitive inspections. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the shock strut cylinder of the MLG, which could cause the MLG to fail. Failure of the shock strut cylinder of the MLG could result in a collapsed MLG during takeoff or landing and possible reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Actions and Compliance for Airplanes Not Previously Affected by AD 2007-04-13

    Unless already done, do the actions in paragraphs (f)(1), (f)(2), and (h) of this AD:

    (1) For MLG with forging body that were either at or under 1,750 landings as of March 23, 2007 (the effective date of (AD 2007-04-13): Upon or before accumulating 1,750 landings on the MLG with forging body since new or within the next 100 landings after September 29, 2015 (the effective date of this AD), whichever occurs later, inspect the forging body for cracks. Do the inspection following the Accomplishment Instructions of EADS SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, dated January 2006, or DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014.

    (2) If no cracks are detected during the inspection required in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, repetitively thereafter inspect at intervals not to exceed 240 landings until a reinforced landing gear specified in paragraph E. Terminating Solution of the Accomplishment Instructions in DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014, is installed.

    (g) Actions and Compliance for Airplanes Previously Affected by AD 2007-04-13

    Unless already done, do the actions in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (h) of this AD, including all subparagraphs:

    (1) As of March 23, 2007 (the effective date retained from AD 2007-04-13), for MLG with forging body totaling more than 1,750 landings but less than 3,501 landings since new:

    (i) Inspect the forging body for cracks within 100 landings after March 23, 2007 (the effective date retained from AD 2007-04-13), following the Accomplishment Instructions of EADS SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, dated January 2006, or DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014.

    (ii) If no cracks are detected during the inspection required in paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this AD, repetitively thereafter inspect at intervals not to exceed 240 landings until a reinforced landing gear specified in paragraph E. Terminating Solution of the Accomplishment Instructions in DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014, is installed.

    (2) As of March 23, 2007 (the effective date retained from AD 2007-04-13), for MLG with forging body totaling more than 3,500 landings since new:

    (i) Inspect the forging body for cracks within 25 landings after March 23, 2007 (the effective date retained from AD 2007-04-13), following the Accomplishment Instructions of EADS SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, dated January 2006, or DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014.

    (ii) If no cracks are detected during the inspection required in paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this AD, repetitively thereafter inspect at intervals not to exceed 240 landings until a reinforced landing gear specified in paragraph E. Terminating Solution of the Accomplishment Instructions in DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014, is installed.

    (h) Actions and Compliance for All Affected Airplanes

    If any cracks are detected during any inspection required in paragraphs (f)(1) through (g)(2) of this AD, including all subparagraphs:

    (1) Before further flight, remove the affected landing gear leg and confirm the presence of the crack with dye penetrant inspection or fluorescent penetrant inspection.

    (2) If the crack is confirmed, before further flight, contact SOCATA at the address in paragraph (l)(5) of this AD to coordinate the FAA-approved landing gear repair/replacement and implement any FAA-approved repair/replacement instructions obtained from SOCATA, or replace the cracked landing gear with a reinforced landing gear specified in paragraph E. Terminating Solution of the Accomplishment Instructions in DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014. This replacement terminates the repetitive inspections required by this AD.

    (i) Calculating Unknown Number of Landings for Compliance

    The compliance times of this AD are presented in landings instead of hours time-in-service (TIS). If the number of landings is unknown, hours TIS may be used by dividing the number of hours TIS by 1.35.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Standards Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Albert J. Mercado, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4119; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

    (2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service.

    (k) Related Information

    Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2006-0085R2, dated January 16, 2015, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-2047-0002.

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on September 29, 2015.

    (i) DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on March 23, 2007 (72 FR 7576, February 16, 2007).

    (i) EADS SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, dated January 2006.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (5) For SOCATA service information identified in this AD, contact SOCATA, Direction des Services, 65921 Tarbes Cedex 9, France; telephone: 33 (0)5 62.41.73.00; fax: 33 (0)5 62.41.76.54; or SOCATA North America, North Perry Airport, 7501 S Airport Rd., Pembroke Pines, Florida 33023, telephone: (954) 893-1400; fax: (954) 964-4141; Internet: http://www.socata.com.

    (6) You may view this service information at FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. In addition, you can access this service information on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2047.

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

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 14, 2015. Earl Lawrence, Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20588 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-1050; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-123-AD; Amendment 39-18241; AD 2015-17-08] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by an in-service report of an uncommanded and unannunciated nose wheel steering during airplane pushback from the gate. This AD requires installing new cable assemblies with a pull-down resistor. We are issuing this AD to prevent an uncommanded nose wheel steering during takeoff or landing in the event of an open circuit in the steering system, and possible consequent runway excursion.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective September 29, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-1050 or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-1050.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on January 23, 2015 (80 FR 3504).

    The Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2013-38, dated November 28, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400, -401, and -402 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    There has been one in-service report of an un-commanded and un-annunciated nose wheel steering during aeroplane push-back from the gate. The investigation revealed that a design deficiency exists within the steering control unit (SCU) where an open circuit may not be adequately detected and annunciated to the flight crew. A sustained open circuit could result in an un-commanded and un-annunciated nose wheel steering input.

    Un-commanded nose wheel steering during takeoff or landing may lead to a runway excursion.

    This [Canadian] AD mandates the installation of new cable assemblies, with a pull-down resistor, to ensure that the nose wheel steering system reverts to fail-safe free castor mode in the event of an open circuit in the steering system.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-1050-0002.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comment received on the NPRM (80 FR 3504, January 23, 2015) and the FAA's response to each comment.

    Request To Remove Certain Service Information Procedures

    Horizon Air requested that we amend paragraph (g) of the proposed AD (80 FR 3504, January 23, 2015) to exclude Part A, “Job Set-up,” and Part C “Close Out,” sections of the Accomplishment Instructions in Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-122, Revision A, dated August 28, 2013 Horizon Air stated that Part A, “Job Set-up,” and Part C, “Close Out,” do not directly correct the unsafe condition. Horizon Air explained that requiring operators to perform the actions in these sections in a specific manner restricts the operator's ability to perform other maintenance in conjunction with performing the corrective action.

    We agree with the commenter's request to exclude the “Job Set-up” and “Close Out” sections of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-122, Revision A, dated August 28, 2013. We have revised paragraph (g) of this AD to require accomplishment of only paragraph B., “Procedure,” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-122, Revision A, dated October 4, 2013.

    Conclusion

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

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 3504, January 23, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 3504, January 23, 2015).

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Bombardier, Inc. has issued Service Bulletin 84-32-122, Revision A, dated October 4, 2013. This service information describes procedures for incorporating Bombardier Modification Summary (Modsum) 4-126585 to install new cable assemblies with a pull-down resistor to the pilot hand control and rudder pedal potentiometer of the nose wheel steering control unit. 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 81 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it will take about 6 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 $2,541 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $247,131, or $3,051 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/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-1050; 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): 2015-17-08  Bombardier, Inc.: Amendment 39-18241. Docket No. FAA-2014-1050; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-123-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective September 29, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400, -401, and-402 series airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 4001 through 4448 inclusive.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing gear.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by an in-service report of an uncommanded and unannunciated nose wheel steering during airplane pushback from the gate. We are issuing this AD to prevent an uncommanded nose wheel steering during takeoff or landing in the event of an open circuit in the steering system, and possible consequent runway excursion.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Incorporate Bombardier Modification Summary (Modsum) 4-126585

    Within 2,000 flight cycles or 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Incorporate Bombardier Modsum 4-126585 to install new cable assemblies, with a pull-down resistor, in accordance with paragraph B., “Procedure,” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-122, Revision A, dated October 4, 2013.

    (h) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-122, dated August 28, 2013. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (i) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2013-38, dated November 28, 2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-1050.

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

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-122, Revision A, dated October 4, 2013.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 10, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20584 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0676; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-164-AD; Amendment 39-18238; AD 2015-17-05] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model BD-700-1A10 and BD-700-1A11 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of several events where pilots experienced difficulty in lateral control of the airplane after doing a climb through heavy rain conditions and a determination that the cause was water ingress in the aileron control pulley assembly. This AD requires, for certain airplanes, inspecting for correct clearance and rework if necessary, and, for certain other airplanes, installing a cover for the aileron pulley assembly. We are issuing this AD to prevent water ingress in the aileron control pulley assembly, which could freeze in cold conditions and result in reduced control of the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective September 29, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of September 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-0676 or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0676.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fabio Buttitta, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7303; fax 516-794-5531.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Bombardier, Inc. Model BD-700-1A10 and BD-700-1A11 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 30, 2015 (80 FR 16608).

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-23, dated July 18, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model BD-700-1A10 and BD-700-1A11 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    There have been several reports whereby pilots have experienced difficulty in lateral control following climb through heavy rain conditions. In each event, the pilots were able to overcome this difficulty without disconnecting the aileron control. An investigation has determined that the root cause of the restricted movement of the aileron was due to water ingress into the wing root aileron control pulley assembly through a gap on the wing-to-fuselage fairing resulting in freezing of the aileron control system.

    If not corrected, this condition could result in reduced lateral control of the aeroplane.

    This [Canadian] AD mandates [for certain airplanes] the incorporation of a cover for the aileron pulley assembly [and inspection and rework if necessary] to prevent water ingress in the aileron control pulley assembly [and for certain other airplanes, mandates an inspection and rework if necessary].

    The inspection involves doing a general visual inspection for correct clearance. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-0676-0002.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM (80 FR 16608, March 30, 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 16608, March 30, 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 16608, March 30, 2015).

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Bombardier has issued the following service information:

    • Service Bulletin 700-1A11-27-034, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014;

    • Service Bulletin 700-27-076, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014;

    • Service Bulletin 700-27-5004, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014; and

    • Service Bulletin 700-27-6004, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014.

    This service information describes procedures, for certain airplanes, for installing a cover for the No. 1 aileron pulley, including an inspection for correct clearance and rework, and for certain other airplanes, for an inspection for correct clearance and rework. 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 60 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it will take about 9 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $45,900, or $765 per product.

    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

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-0676; 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): 2015-17-05 Bombardier, Inc.: Amendment 39-18238. Docket No. FAA-2015-0676; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-164-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective September 29, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model BD-700-1A10 and BD-700-1A11 airplanes, certificated in any category, having serial numbers 9002 through 9520 inclusive and 9998.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of several events where pilots experienced difficulty in lateral control of the airplane after doing a climb through heavy rain conditions and a determination that the cause was water ingress in the aileron control pulley assembly. We are issuing this AD to prevent water ingress in the aileron control pulley assembly, which could freeze in cold conditions and result in reduced control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Installation of Cover for the Aileron Pulley Assembly

    Except as provided by paragraph (j) of this AD, for airplanes on which a cover for the No. 1 aileron pulley has not been installed as of the effective date of this AD: Within 150 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, install a cover for the No. 1 aileron pulley, including doing a general visual inspection for correct clearance and rework as applicable, in accordance with paragraph C., “PART B—Modification,” of the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service bulletins identified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) for this AD.

    (1) For Model BD-700-1A10 airplanes: Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-27-076, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014; or 700-27-6004, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014.

    (2) For Model BD-700-1A11 airplanes: Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-1A11-27-034, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014; or 700-27-5004, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014.

    (h) Inspection and Rework

    Except as provided by paragraph (j) of this AD, for airplanes on which a cover for the No. 1 aileron pulley has been incorporated using the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD as of the effective date of this AD: Within 150 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, do a general visual inspection for correct clearance and, before further flight, rework, as applicable, in accordance with paragraph B., “PART A—Inspection and Rework,” of the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD.

    (1) For Model BD-700-1A10 airplanes: Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-27-076, dated March 5, 2012; or 700-27-6004, dated March 5, 2012.

    (2) For Model BD-700-1A11 airplanes: Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-1A11-27-034, dated March 5, 2012; or 700-27-5004, dated March 5, 2012.

    (i) Re-Identification of Overwing Panels

    Except as provided by paragraph (j) of this AD, for airplanes on which the Service Non-Incorporated Engineering Orders (SNIEO) or Service Requests for Product Support Action (SRPSA) that are listed in table 2 of paragraph 1.A., “Effectivity,” in the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (i)(1), (i)(2), and (i)(3) of this AD have been incorporated: Within 150 flight cycles from the effective date of this AD, do the re-identification of the overwing panels, in accordance with paragraph 2.B(2)(g) of the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-27-076, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014.

    (2) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-27-6004, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014.

    (3) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-1A11-27-034, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014.

    (j) Exception to the Requirements of Paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of This AD

    Airplanes on which the applicable SRPSA, as identified in table 1 of paragraph 1.A., “Effectivity,” in the applicable service information identified in paragraph (j)(1), (j)(2), or (j)(3) of this AD has been accomplished as of the effective date of this AD, meet the intent of paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of this AD, and no further action is required.

    (1) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-27-076, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014.

    (2) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-27-6004, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014.

    (3) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-1A11-27-034, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014.

    (k) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (k)(1) through (k)(8) of this AD, which are not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (1) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-1A11-27-034, Revision 01, dated July 16, 2012.

    (2) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-1A11-27-034, Revision 02, dated June 17, 2014.

    (3) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-27-076, Revision 01, dated July 16, 2012.

    (4) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-27-076, Revision 02, dated June 17, 2014.

    (5) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-27-5004, Revision 01, dated July 16, 2012.

    (6) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-27-5004, Revision 02, dated June 17, 2014.

    (7) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-27-6004, Revision 01, dated July 16, 2012.

    (8) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-27-6004, Revision 02, dated June 17, 2014.

    (l) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-23, dated July 18, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-0676-0002.

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

    (n) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-1A11-27-034, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014.

    (ii) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-27-076, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014.

    (iii) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-27-5004, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014.

    (iv) Bombardier Service Bulletin 700-27-6004, Revision 04, dated September 4, 2014.

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

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 10, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20581 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE 22 CFR Part 22 [Public Notice: 9230] RIN 1400-AD47 Schedule of Fees for Consular Services, Department of State and Overseas Embassies and Consulates AGENCY:

    Department of State.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule adopts as final the interim final rule published in the Federal Register on August 28, 2014. Specifically, the rule implemented changes to the Schedule of Fees for Consular Services (“Schedule”) for a number of different fees. This rulemaking addresses public comments and adopts as final the changes to these fees.

    DATES:

    The Effective date of the final rule published in the Federal Register of August 28, 2014 (79 FR 51247) is confirmed effective September 6, 2014.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jill Warning, Office of the Comptroller, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State; phone: 202-485-6683, telefax: 202-485-6826; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For the complete explanation of the background of this rule, including the rationale for the change, the authority of the Department of State (“Department”) to make the fee changes in question, and an explanation of the study that produced the fee amounts, consult the prior public notices cited in the “Background” section below.

    Background

    The Department published an interim final rule in the Federal Register, 79 FR 51247, on August 28, 2014, amending sections of 22 CFR part 22. Specifically, the rule amended the Schedule of Fees for Consular Services and provided 60 days for comments from the public. During this 60-day comment period, more than 70 comments were received, either by mail, email, or through the submission process at www.regulations.gov.

    This rule establishes the following fees for the categories below:

    —Administrative Processing of Formal Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship from $450 to $2,350 —E Category Nonimmigrant Visas from $270 to $205 —K Category Nonimmigrant Visas from $240 to $265 —Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fees (per person) ○ Immediate relative and family preference applications from $230 to $325 ○ Employment-based applications from $405 to $345 ○ Other immigrant visa applications (including I-360 self-petitioners and special immigrant visa applicants) from $220 to $205 —Affidavit of Support Review from $88 to $120 —Special Visa Services ○ Determining Returning Resident Status from $275 to $180 ○ Waiver of Two-Year Residency Requirement from $215 to $120 —Consular Time Charges from $231 to $135

    The fee change for the reduced Border Crossing Card fee for Mexican citizens under age 15 whose parent or guardian has or is applying for a Border Crossing Card is not included in this final rule. This fee was included in the interim final rule published in August 2014, and raised from $15 to $16. The same month, Congress ordered this fee to be increased by $1 pursuant to Section 2 of Public Law 113-160. This additional increase was implemented in a final rule published on December 31, 2014, which raised this fee from $16 to $17. See 79 FR 79064. Therefore, this fee is not included in this final rule.

    The original publication of the interim final rule included an incorrect effective date of September 6, 2014, for the above changes in fees. That date was subsequently corrected, but the correction contained an error (erroneously stating “September 12, 2104”). See 79 FR 52197. The correct effective date is reflected herein; it is September 12, 2014.

    Analysis of Comments

    In the 60-day period since the publication of the interim final rule, more than 70 comments were received.

    The large majority of the comments received expressed concern about the increased fee for the Administrative Processing of Formal Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship.

    Most commenters requested to pay a lower fee for the renunciation service, suggesting that they be grandfathered in to the previous fee of $450. The majority of these commenters had initiated the process of renouncing their nationality prior to the announcement of the new fee.1 Over half of commenters requested to pay the previous fee after the new fee went into effect, five commenters asked for earlier appointments in order to pay the previous fee, and one commenter requested a refund for the difference between the new fee and the previous fee. Several commenters characterized the 15-day notice of the fee change as unfair and suggested that they should have been notified earlier if the fee was likely to change.

    1 Section 101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states that “the term ‘national of the United States’ means (A) a citizen of the United States, or (B) a person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States.” Therefore, U.S. citizens are also U.S. nationals. Section 349(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1481) governs how a U.S. national shall lose U.S. nationality. Therefore, the terms “national” and “nationality” are used throughout this rule except for references to specific instances of “citizen” or “citizenship.”

    The Department's policy for citizenship-related services, including the Administrative Processing of Formal Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship, is to collect the fee in effect at the time that the service is provided. Although the renunciation process involves multiple steps, the service is rendered when the oath to renounce one's nationality is sworn. U.S. nationals who intend to renounce their nationality and have a meeting or information session with the consular post for that purpose, but who change their minds and do not take the oath, are not charged the fee. In the interest of fairness, the Department must assess the renunciation fee when the core service is performed, rather than upon the provision of information. Therefore, the Department does not offer a lower fee or refunds for those who receive the renunciation service after the new fee went into effect on September 12, 2014. Furthermore, embassies and consulates do not have authority to waive the fee, reduce the fee, or provide a refund where the fee is properly collected. In addition, although one commenter contended that the rule-making process was “truncated,” the interim final rule was published pursuant to the “good cause” exceptions set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and 553(d)(3). The Department deemed that delaying implementation would be contrary to the public interest because several fees included in this rulemaking pay for consular services that are critical to national security. Rules that are exempt from notice and comment are often effective immediately upon publication, so the 15-day notice in this case was more notice than is often provided in such instances.

    More than one-third of the comments suggested that the increased fee to process renunciations is a burden. These commenters asserted that the new fee is too costly. Some expressed concern about their own ability to afford the higher fee, pointing to personal circumstances including low income, student status, and senior citizen status. In addition, a few of these commenters asserted that nationality renunciation is a constitutional or human right. They stated that the increased fee acts as a deterrent to renouncing one's nationality, thereby violating the right to expatriate, and suggested that the renunciation service should be offered at no or low cost. Specifically, two commenters cited the Expatriation Act of 1868 and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, both of which address the right of expatriation.

    In raising the fee to process renunciations, the Department has not restricted or burdened the right of expatriation. Further, the fee is not punitive, and is unrelated to the IRS tax legislation criticized in some comments, except to the extent that the legislation caused an increase in consular workload that must be paid for by user fees. Rather, the fee is a cost-based user fee for consular services. Conforming to guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), federal agencies make every effort to ensure that each service provided to specific recipients is self-sustaining, charging fees that are sufficient to recover the full cost to the government. (See OMB Circular A-25, ¶ 6(a)(1), (a)(2)(a).) Because costs change from year to year, the Department conducts an annual update of the Cost of Service Model (CoSM) to obtain the most accurate calculation of the costs of providing consular services. In addition to enabling the government to recover costs, the study also helps the Department to avoid charging consumers more than the cost of the services they consume. In sum, the increased fee for processing renunciations is a “user charge,” which reflects the full cost to the U.S. government of providing the service.

    On a per-service basis, renunciation is among the most time-consuming of all consular services. In the past, however, the Department charged less than the full cost of the renunciation service. The total number of renunciations was previously small and constituted a minor demand on the Department's resources. Consequently, it was difficult to assess accurately the cost of the service. In contrast, in recent years, the number of people requesting the renunciation service has risen dramatically, driven in part by tax legislation affecting U.S. taxpayers abroad, including the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), materially increasing the resources devoted to providing the service. At one post alone, renunciations rose from under 100 in 2009 to more than 1,100 in the first ten months of 2014. Finally, improvements to the CoSM made the cost of the renunciation service more apparent. For all these reasons, the Department decided to raise the fee to reflect the full cost of the service.

    The Department has closely examined comments regarding the right of expatriation, which is addressed in the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The increased fee, however, does not impinge on the right of expatriation. Rather, the increased fee reflects the amount of resources necessary for the U.S. government to verify that all constitutional and other requirements for expatriation are satisfied in every case. As described in detail below, the process of expatriation for a U.S. national requires a thorough, serious, time-consuming process, in view of U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence that declared unconstitutional an involuntary or forcible expatriation. In Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967) and Vance v. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252 (1980), the Supreme Court ruled that expatriation requires the voluntary commission of an expatriating act with the intention or assent of the citizen to relinquish citizenship. It is therefore incumbent upon the Department to maintain and implement procedures, as described below, that allow consular officers and other Department employees to ensure these requirements are satisfied in every expatriation case.

    A few commenters questioned the rationale for raising the renunciation fee, seeking more insight into how the fee is determined. Some commenters disputed that the higher fee actually represents the true cost of processing a renunciation. In particular, one commenter applied the Consular Time Charge of $135 to the renunciation fee and asked whether the service actually takes 17 hours. Another commenter specifically requested more information about the CoSM.

    As described in the interim final rule, the CoSM uses activity-based costing to identify, describe, assign costs to, and report on agency operations. Using a process view, the model assigns resource costs such as salaries, travel, and supplies to different activities such as adjudicating an application or printing a visa foil. These activity costs are then assigned to cost objects, or products and services (visas, passports, administrative processing of a renunciation), to determine how much each service costs.

    The CoSM demonstrated that documenting a U.S. national's renunciation of nationality is extremely costly. The cost of the service is not limited to the time consular officers spend with the renunciant at the appointment. The application is reviewed both overseas and domestically, requiring a substantial amount of time to ensure full compliance with the law. Through the provision of substantial information and one or two in-person interviews, the consular officer must determine that the individual is indeed a U.S. national, advise the individual on the consequences of loss of nationality, and determine that the individual fully intends to relinquish all the rights and privileges attendant to U.S. nationality, including the ability to reside in the United States unless properly documented as an alien. The consular officer also must determine whether the individual is seeking loss of nationality voluntarily or is under duress, a process that can be demanding in the case of minors or individuals with a developmental disability or mental illness. At the oath-taking interview, the consular officer must document the renunciation service on several forms signed by the individual seeking loss of nationality. The consular officer also must document the service in consular systems as well as in memoranda from the consular officer to headquarters. All forms and memoranda are closely reviewed at headquarters by a country officer and a senior approving officer within the Bureau of Consular Affairs, and may include consultation with legal advisers within the Bureau of Consular Affairs and the Office of the Legal Adviser. Some applications require multiple rounds of correspondence between post and headquarters.

    Each individual issued a Certificate of Loss of Nationality also is advised of the possibility of seeking a future Administrative Review of the loss of nationality, a process that is conducted by the Office of Legal Affairs, Directorate of Overseas Citizens Service, Bureau of Consular Affairs. This review must consider whether the statute pursuant to which the initial finding of loss of nationality was made has been deemed to be unconstitutional. The review must also take notice of any significant change in the analysis of expatriation cases following a holding of the Supreme Court. Furthermore, the review must also take notice of any change in the interpretation of expatriation law that is adopted by the Department. Lastly, the review must evaluate evidence submitted by the expatriate that indicates that his or her commission of a statutory act of expatriation was either involuntary or done without intending to relinquish his/her U.S. nationality.

    In addition to the time spent processing renunciations overseas and domestically, the full cost of processing renunciations includes a portion of overhead costs that support consular operations overseas per OMB Circular A-25, Revised. These costs include overseas rent and security, information technology equipment, and applicable headquarters support. The Consular Time Charge of $135 per hour was not used in calculating the cost of a renunciation service. The Consular Time Charge is used in conjunction with other for-fee services listed on the Schedule of Fees for Consular Services that are provided outside of the office or outside of normal working hours.

    Four comments asserted that the renunciation should be made more efficient rather than more costly. A few asked if there were ways to reduce bureaucracy and paperwork to lower the cost of the service. Specifically, one commenter pointed to the German renunciation process, which involves an online application, mailed certified copies of certain documents, and no in-person interviews. As described above, certain legal requirements exist in the U.S. system, unique to our laws and jurisprudence, to protect both the integrity of the process and the rights of those renouncing. The renunciation process involves significant safeguards to ensure that the renunciant is a U.S. national, fully understands the serious consequences of renunciation, and seeks to renounce voluntarily and intentionally. In short, the comprehensive process of expatriation under U.S. law does not impinge, but rather protects, the right of expatriation.

    Finally, two comments raised questions about payment options and sought clarification on the effective date for the fee change. The new fee for processing renunciations took effect September 12, 2014. Payment by credit card (at most posts) or cash (in local or U.S. currency) is accepted at post at the time that the oath of renunciation is sworn.

    In addition to the comments on the renunciation fee increase, the Department also received eight comments about the changes in immigrant and nonimmigrant visa fees. Most sought clarification on how the visa fees were changing, which payment options are available, and when the new fees will go into effect. One commenter asserted that the visa fees are set too low.

    All tiered immigrant and nonimmigrant visa fees addressed in this rulemaking are set to reflect the costs of providing each service. The new visa fees went into effect on September 12, 2014. Further details on particular fees, including payment options, can be found on the Web site of the embassy or consulate where the applicant would like to make a visa appointment.

    Conclusion

    The Department adjusted the fees in light of the CoSM's findings that the U.S. government was not fully covering its costs for providing these consular services. Pursuant to OMB guidance, the Department endeavors to recover the cost of providing services that benefit specific individuals, as opposed to the general public. See OMB Circular A-25, ¶ 6(a)(1), (a)(2)(a). For this reason, the Department has adjusted the Schedule.

    Regulatory Findings

    For a summary of the regulatory findings and analyses regarding this rulemaking, please refer to the findings and analyses published with the interim final rule, which can be found at 79 FR 51247, which are adopted herein. The rule became effective September 6, 2014. As noted above, the Department has considered the comments submitted in response to the interim final rule, and does not adopt them. Thus, the rule remains in effect.

    This proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of Executive Order 12866 or under section 1 of Executive Order 13563. OMB has not reviewed it under those Orders. The Department of State has also considered this rule in light of Executive Order 13563, dated January 18, 2011, and affirms that this regulation is consistent with the guidance therein.

    List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 22

    Consular services, Fees, Passports, and Visas.

    Accordingly, the interim final rule amending 22 CFR part 22, which was published in the Federal Register, 79 FR 51247, on August 28, 2014 (Public Notice 8850), effective September 6, 2014, is adopted.

    Dated: August 10, 2015. Patrick F. Kennedy, Under Secretary of State for Management, U.S. Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21042 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 24 CFR Parts 203, 207, 220, 221, 232, 236 and 241 [Docket No. FR-5805-F-02] RIN 2502-AJ26 Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Standardizing Method of Payment for FHA Insurance Claims AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule is a cost-savings measure to update HUD's regulations regarding the payment of FHA insurance claims in debentures. Section 520(a) of the National Housing Act grants the Secretary discretion to pay insurance claims in cash or debentures. Although some sections of HUD's regulations have provided mortgagees the option to elect payment of FHA insurance claims in debentures, HUD has not paid an FHA insurance claim in debentures under these regulations in approximately 5 years. This final rule amends applicable FHA regulations to bring consistency in determining the method of payment for FHA insurance claims. This final rule follows publication of the February 20, 2015, proposed rule and adopts the proposed rule without change.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: September 24, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information about: HUD's Single Family Housing program, contact Ivery Himes, Director, Office of Single Family Asset Management, Office of Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 9172, Washington, DC 20410; telephone number 202-708-1672; HUD's Multifamily Housing program, contact Sivert Ritchie, Multifamily Claims Branch, Office of Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 6252, Washington, DC 20410-8000; telephone number 202-708-2510. The telephone numbers listed above are not toll-free numbers. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access these numbers through TTY by calling the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 (this is a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background—the February 20, 2015, Proposed Rule

    On February 20, 2015, HUD published a rule in the Federal Register, at 80 FR 9253, proposing to bring consistency and uniformity to the payment of FHA insurance claims among FHA programs. Under section 520(a) of the National Housing Act, the Secretary has the discretion to pay insurance claims in either cash or debentures.1 HUD pursued this proposed rule because some of FHA's regulations provided mortgagees with the ability to request and receive payment of an insurance claim on a loan insured under the National Housing Act in debentures. As a result of these regulations, HUD was required to maintain an interagency agreement with the United States Department of the Treasury (Treasury), which is the agency responsible for issuing and servicing debentures, costing HUD over $206,000 per year, despite the fact that there are no current debentures being serviced by Treasury for HUD, and HUD has not paid an FHA insurance claim in debentures in approximately 5 years.

    1 12 U.S.C. 1735d.

    The February 20, 2015, rule proposed amending FHA's regulations to bring uniformity and consistency in the payment of FHA insurance claims among FHA programs in the following sections: §§ 203.400, 203.476, 203.478, 207.259, 220.751, 220.760, 220.822, 221.762, 232.885, 236.265, 241.261, 241.885, and 241.1205. As a result of these changes, § 220.760 was proposed to be removed because it was unnecessary. Please see the February 20, 2015, proposed rule for a more detailed description of the proposed changes.

    II. This Final Rule

    The public comment period for the proposed rule closed on April 21, 2015, and HUD did not receive any public comments. As a result, this final rule adopts the proposed rule without change.

    III. Findings and Certifications Regulatory Review—Executive Order 13563

    Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulations and Regulatory Review) directs executive agencies to analyze regulations that are “outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them in accordance with what has been learned.” Executive Order 13563 also directs that, where relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives, and to the extent permitted by law, agencies are to identify and consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public.

    Consistent with Executive Order 13563, the purposes of the reform to FHA's regulations regarding Secretarial discretion of the type of FHA insurance claim payment are to eliminate unnecessary spending and to bring consistency regarding the payment of insurance claims across FHA programs. As discussed in the preamble, the interagency agreement with Treasury costs HUD over $206,000 per year, even though HUD currently does not have any debentures for payment of FHA insurance claims in circulation, and has not made a payment in debentures in approximately 5 years for these insurance claims. In addition, different FHA programs treat payment of FHA insurance claims differently, and this final rule simplifies the regulations so that the authority to determine the method of claim payment rests with the Secretary who can determine whether it is fiscally prudent to offer FHA insurance claim payments in debentures, cash, or both.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) generally requires an agency to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This final rule only changes the party which has the authority to determine the method of payment of FHA single family, multifamily, and healthcare insurance claims. Accordingly, the undersigned certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Environmental Impact

    This final rule does not direct, provide for assistance or loan and mortgage insurance for, or otherwise govern or regulate the following: real property acquisition, disposition, leasing, rehabilitation, alteration, demolition, or new construction. Furthermore, the rule does not establish, revise, or provide for standards for construction or construction materials, manufactured housing, or occupancy. Accordingly, under 24 CFR 50.19(c)(1), this final rule is categorically excluded from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321).

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    Executive Order 13132 (entitled “Federalism”) prohibits an agency from publishing any rule that has federalism implications if the rule either (i) imposes substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments and is not required by statute or (ii) preempts State law, unless the agency meets the consultation and funding requirements of section 6 of the Executive order. This final rule does not have federalism implications and does not impose substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments or preempt State law within the meaning of the Executive order.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) (UMRA) establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and on the private sector. This final rule does not impose any Federal mandates on any State, local, or tribal governments or on the private sector, within the meaning of the UMRA.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule reduces information collection requirements already submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless the collection displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number for Mortgage Insurance-Homes is 14.117; Mortgage Insurance Nursing Homes, Intermediate Care Facilities, Board and Care Homes, and Assisted Living Facilities is 14.129; Mortgage Insurance-Rental Housing is 14.134; and Mortgage Insurance for the Purchase or Refinancing of Existing Multifamily Housing Projects is 14.155.

    List of Subjects 24 CFR Part 203

    Hawaiian Natives, Home improvement, Indians—lands, Loan programs—housing and community development; Mortgage insurance; Reporting and recordkeeping requirements; Solar energy.

    24 CFR Part 207

    Manufactured homes, Mortgage insurance, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Solar energy.

    24 CFR Part 220

    Home improvement, Loan programs—housing and community development, Mortgage insurance, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Urban renewal.

    24 CFR Part 221

    Low and moderate income housing, Mortgage insurance, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    24 CFR Part 232

    Fire prevention, Health facilities, Loan programs—health, Loan programs—housing and community development, Mortgage insurance, Nursing homes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    24 CFR Part 236

    Grant programs—housing and community development, Low and moderate income housing, Mortgage insurance, Rent subsidies, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    24 CFR Part 241

    Home improvement, Loan programs—housing and community development, Mortgage insurance, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Solar energy.

    Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, HUD amends 24 CFR parts 203, 207, 220, 221, 232, 236, and 241 as follows:

    PART 203—SINGLE FAMILY MORTGAGE INSURANCE 1. The authority citation for part 203 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1709, 1710, 1715b, 1715z-16, 1715u, 1717z-21, and 1735d; 15 U.S.C. 1639c; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    2. Revise § 203.400 to read as follows:
    § 203.400 Method of payment.

    (a) If the application for insurance benefits is acceptable to the Commissioner, payment of the insurance claim shall be made in cash, in debentures, or in a combination of both, as determined by the Commissioner either at, or prior to, the time of payment.

    (b) An insurance claim paid on a mortgage insured under section 223(e) of the National Housing Act shall be paid in cash from the Special Risk Insurance Fund.

    3. Revise § 203.476(g) to read as follows:
    § 203.476 Claim application and items to be filed.

    (g) All property of the borrower held by the lender or to which it is entitled and, if the Commissioner elects to make payments in debentures, all cash held by the lender or to which it is entitled, including deposits made for the account of the borrower and which have not been applied in reduction of the principal loan indebtedness;

    4. Revise § 203.478(c) to read as follows:
    § 203.478 Payment of insurance benefits.

    (c) Method of payment. Payment of an insurance claim shall be made in cash, in debentures, or in a combination of both, as determined by the Commissioner either at, or prior to, the time of payment.

    PART 207—MULTIFAMILY HOUSING MORTGAGE INSURANCE 5. The authority citation for part 207 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1701z-11(e), 1709(c)(1), 1713, 1715(b), and 1735d; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    6. Amend § 207.259 by revising paragraph (a), to read as follows:
    § 207.259 Insurance Benefits.

    (a) Method of payment. (1) Upon either an assignment of the mortgage to the Commissioner or a conveyance of the property to the Commissioner in accordance with requirements in § 207.258, payment of an insurance claim shall be made in cash, in debentures, or in a combination of both, as determined by the Commissioner either at, or prior to, the time of payment.

    (2) An insurance claim paid on a mortgage insured under section 223(e) of the National Housing Act shall be paid in cash from the Special Risk Insurance Fund.

    PART 220—MORTGAGE INSURANCE AND INSURED IMPROVEMENT LOANS FOR URBAN RENEWAL AND CONCENTRATED DEVELOPMENT 7. The authority citation for part 220 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1713, 1715b, 1715k, and 1735d; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    8. Revise § 220.751(a) to read as follows:
    § 220.751 Cross-reference.

    (a) All of the provisions of subpart B, part 207, of this chapter, covering mortgages insured under section 207 of the National Housing Act, apply with full force and effect to multifamily project mortgages insured under section 220 of the National Housing Act, except § 207.256b Modification of mortgage terms.

    § 220.760 [Removed]
    9. Remove § 220.760.
    § 220.822 [Amended]
    10. In § 220.822 remove and reserve paragraph (b). PART 221—LOW COST AND MODERATE INCOME MORTGAGE INSURANCE—SAVINGS CLAUSE 11. The authority citation for part 221 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1715b, 1715l, and 1735d; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    § 221.762 [Amended]
    12. In § 221.762 remove and reserve paragraph (a). PART 232—MORTGAGE INSURANCE FOR NURSING HOMES, INTERMEDIATE CARE FACILITIES, BOARD AND CARE HOMES, AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES 13. The authority citation for part 232 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1715b, 1715w, 1735d, and 1735f-19; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    14. Revise § 232.885(a) to read as follows:
    § 232.885 Insurance benefits.

    (a) Method of payment. Payment of an insurance claim shall be made in cash, in debentures, or in a combination of both, as determined by the Commissioner either at, or prior to, the time of payment.

    PART 236—MORTGAGE INSURANCE AND INTEREST REDUCTION PAYMENT FOR RENTAL PROJECTS 15. The authority citation for part 236 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1715b, 1715z-1, and 1735d; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    § 236.265 [Amended]
    16. In § 236.265, remove and reserve paragraph (a). PART 241—SUPPLEMENTARY FINANCING FOR INSURED PROJECT MORTGAGES 17. The authority citation for part 241 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1715b, 1715z-6, and 1735d; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    18. Revise § 241.261 to read as follows:
    § 241.261 Payment of insurance benefits.

    All of the provisions of § 207.259 of this chapter relating to insurance benefits shall apply to multifamily loans insured under this subpart.

    19. Revise § 241.885(a) to read as follows:
    § 241.885 Insurance benefits.

    (a) Method of payment. Payment of insurance claims shall be made in cash, in debentures, or in a combination of both, as determined by the Commissioner either at, or prior to, the time of payment.

    20. Revise § 241.1205 to read as follows:
    § 241.1205 Payment of insurance benefits.

    All the provisions of § 207.259 of this chapter relating to insurance benefits shall apply to an equity or acquisition loan insured under subpart F of this part.

    Dated: August 12, 2015. Edward L. Golding, Principal Deputy, Assistant Secretary for Housing. Approved: August 12, 2015. Nani A. Coloretti, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20827 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0722] Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Wrightsville Beach, NC AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the S. R. 74 Bridge across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, mile 283.1, at Wrightsville Beach, NC. This deviation is necessary to facilitate the annual Beach2Battleship Iron and Half-Iron Distance Triathlons. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on October 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0722], is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard; telephone (757) 398-6222, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The North Carolina Department of Transportation, who owns and operates the S. R. 74 Bridge, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating regulations set out in 33 CFR 117.821(a)(4), to facilitate the annual Beach2Battleship Iron and Half-Iron Distance Triathlons.

    Under the normal operating schedule for the S. R. 74 Bridge across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, mile 283.1, at Wrightsville Beach, NC in 33 CFR 117.821(a)(4); the draw need only open on the hour between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and open on demand between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. The bridge has a vertical clearance in the closed-to-navigation position of 20 feet above mean high water.

    Under this temporary deviation, the bridge will be closed to navigation from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on October 17, 2015. The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway is used by a variety of vessels including small commercial fishing vessels and recreational vessels. The Coast Guard has carefully coordinated the restrictions with commercial and recreational waterway users.

    Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies and there is no alternate route for vessels unable to pass through the bridge in the closed position. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notice to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impacts caused by the temporary deviation.

    In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the drawbridge must return to its regular operating schedule immediately at the end of the effective period of this temporary deviation. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20912 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0723] Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Northeast Cape Fear River, Wilmington, NC AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Isabel S. Holmes Bridge across the Northeast Cape Fear River, mile 1.0, at Wilmington, NC. This deviation is necessary to facilitate the annual Beach2Battleship Iron and Half-Iron Distance Triathlons. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on October 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0723], is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard; telephone (757) 398-6222, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The North Carolina Department of Transportation, who owns and operates the Isabel S. Holmes Bridge, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating regulations set out in 33 CFR 117.829(a), to facilitate the annual Beach2Battleship Iron and Half-Iron Distance Triathlons.

    Under the normal operating schedule for the Isabel S. Holmes Bridge across the Northeast Cape Fear River, mile 1.0, at Wilmington, NC in 33 CFR 117.829(a); the draw will be closed to pleasure craft from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the draw will open for all waiting vessels; the draw will open on signal for Government and commercial vessels at all times; the draw will open for all vessels on signal from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The bridge has a vertical clearance in the closed-to-navigation position of 40 feet above mean high water.

    Under this temporary deviation, the bridge will be closed to navigation from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on October 17, 2015. The Northeast Cape Fear River is used by a variety of vessels including small commercial fishing vessels, recreational vessels and tug and barge. The Coast Guard has carefully coordinated the restrictions with commercial and recreational waterway users.

    Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies and there is no alternate route for vessels unable to pass through the bridge in the closed position. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notice to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impacts caused by the temporary deviation.

    In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the drawbridge must return to its regular operating schedule immediately at the end of the effective period of this temporary deviation. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20913 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2012-0900] Safety Zone, Coast Guard Exercise Area, Hood Canal, Washington AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone around vessels involved in Coast Guard training exercises in Hood Canal, WA from September 23, 2015 through September 24, 2015, unless cancelled sooner by the Captain of the Port. This is necessary to ensure the safety of the maritime public and vessels participating in these exercises. During the enforcement period, entry into this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or his Designated Representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1339 will be enforced from 12:01 a.m. on September 23, 2015 through 11:59 p.m. on September 24, 2015, unless cancelled sooner by the Captain of the Port.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice, call or email LT Kate Haseley, Sector Puget Sound Waterways Management Division, Coast Guard; telephone 206-217-6051, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone around vessels involved in Coast Guard training exercises in Hood Canal, WA set forth in 33 CFR 165.1339, from 12:01 a.m. on September 23, 2015 through 11:59 p.m. on September 24, 2015, unless cancelled sooner by the Captain of the Port. Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.1339, no person or vessel may enter or remain within 500 yards of any vessel involved in Coast Guard training exercises while such vessel is transiting Hood Canal, WA between Foul Weather Bluff and the entrance to Dabob Bay, unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or his Designated Representative. In addition, the regulation establishes requirements for all vessels to obtain permission for entry during the enforcement period by contacting the on-scene patrol commander on VHF channel 13 or 16, or the Sector Puget Sound Joint Harbor Operations Center at 206-217-6001. Members of the maritime public will be able to identify participating vessels as those flying the Coast Guard Ensign. The COTP may also be assisted in the enforcement of the zone by other federal, state, or local agencies.

    This notice is issued under authority of 33 U.S.C. 165.1339 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 notification of this enforcement period via marine information broadcasts and on-scene assets. If the COTP determines that the regulated area 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: August 10, 2015. M.W. Raymond Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Puget Sound.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21012 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2013-0005; FRL-9932-40-Region 10] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Klamath Falls, Oregon Nonattainment Area; Fine Particulate Matter Emissions Inventory and SIP Strengthening Measures AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) on December 12, 2012 to address Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements for the Klamath Falls, Oregon nonattainment area for the 2006 24-hour fine particulate matter (PM2.5) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). Specifically, the EPA is approving the emissions inventory contained in the ODEQ's submittal as meeting the requirement to submit a comprehensive, accurate, and current inventory of direct PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursor emissions in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The EPA also is approving and incorporating by reference PM2.5 control measures contained in the December 12, 2012, submittal because incorporation of these measures will strengthen the Oregon SIP and are designed to reduce PM2.5 emissions in the Klamath Falls, Oregon nonattainment area (Klamath Falls NAA) that contribute to violations of the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on September 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2013-0005. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information the disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Programs Unit, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101. The EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. You may view the hard copy of the docket Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Justin A. Spenillo at (206) 553-6125, [email protected], or the above EPA, Region 10 address.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Table of Contents I. Background II. Final Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    Detailed information on the history of the PM2.5 NAAQS as it relates to the Klamath Falls NAA was included in the EPA's proposal for this action (79 FR 78372, December 30, 2014). The proposal explained how the ODEQ met its obligation under CAA section 172(c)(3) for submission of a comprehensive, accurate, and current inventory of actual emissions as submitted in its December 12, 2012 SIP submittal. The proposal analyzed the SIP strengthening measures designed to reduce emissions in the Klamath Falls NAA that contribute to violations of the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. The EPA proposed to approve both the baseline emissions inventory and SIP strengthening measures included the December 12, 2012 SIP revision, consistent with sections 110 and 172 of the CAA.

    The comment period on our proposed approval ended January 29, 2015 and we did not receive any comments on the proposal. We are therefore finalizing our approval. The primary element of the Klamath County Clean Air Ordinance 63.06 to help ensure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS is the episodic curtailment program which restricts the use of woodstoves and fireplaces on days that are conducive to the buildup of PM2.5 concentrations. The curtailment program restricts the use of woodstoves and fireplaces as described in the proposed Federal Register notice for this action.

    In addition to the episodic curtailment program, the ordinance includes provisions that impose restrictions on what can be burned in woodstoves and fireplaces at any time. The ordinance requires that only seasoned wood, specifically dry, seasoned cordwood, pressed sawdust logs, organic charcoal or pellets specifically manufactured for the appliance, be burned in solid fuel-fired appliances. The rules and ordinance also specifically prohibit the burning of garbage and other named prohibited materials. These material restrictions control the PM2.5 emissions from woodstoves and fireplaces on a continuous basis, whereas the episodic curtailment program imposes additional restrictions on the use of woodstoves and fireplaces only when necessary to address the potential buildup of PM2.5 concentrations.

    As mentioned in the Federal Register notice for the proposed action, the ordinance prohibits emissions from solid fuel-fired appliances with an opacity greater than 20% for a period or periods aggregating more than three minutes in any one hour period. This provision provides a visual indicator for the proper operation of a solid fuel-fired appliance, including the use of properly seasoned wood. The opacity limit applies at all times except during the ten-minute startup period. However, during those times, the episodic curtailment program and other restrictions regulating fuel contained in the provisions described above continue to apply, as clarified in the June 17, 2015 letter from David Collier (Air Quality Planning Manager, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality), available in the docket.

    Accordingly, this combination of provisions constitutes continuous emission limitations, consistent with Federal Clean Air Act requirements. Specifically, reliance on the episodic curtailment program and other provisions regulating fuel described above serves as an adequate alternative emission limit during the starting of fires in solid fuel-fired appliances, when use of the 20% opacity limits would be infeasible. Reliance on those requirements during startup periods is limited and specific to the operation of solid fuel-fired appliances, minimizes the frequency and duration of those periods, and minimizes the impact of emissions on ambient air quality during those periods, while the episodic curtailment program ensures that emission impacts are avoided during potential worst-case periods. While EPA's guidance on alternative emission limits also specifies that the owner or operator's actions during startup and shutdown periods be documented by properly signed, contemporaneous operating logs or other relevant evidence, we do not think it is reasonable to apply that element of the guidance in this case, because we conclude it would be an unreasonable burden to impose this recordkeeping requirement for individual home heating situations. See 80 FR 33840 (June 12, 2015). [relevant discussion is on page 278-279 of the notice available at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/urbanair/sipstatus/docs/20150522fr.pdf].

    II. Final Action

    The EPA approves the emissions inventory for the Klamath Falls NAA, submitted by ODEQ on December 12, 2012, as meeting the emissions inventory requirements of section 172(c)(3) of the CAA for 2006 PM2.5 24-hr NAAQS nonattainment area planning. The EPA also approves and incorporates by reference into the Oregon SIP the specific control measures submitted by the ODEQ on December 12, 2012, to the extent set forth in this final rule. The EPA will take action on remaining aspects of the December 12, 2012 submittal by the ODEQ in a forthcoming proposal.

    III. 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 Oregon Administrative Rules and Klamath County ordinances 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).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by October 26, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Nitrogen dioxide, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: August 4, 2015. Dennis J. McLerran, Regional Administrator, EPA Region 10.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart MM—Oregon 2. In § 52.1970, paragraph (c): a. Table 2—EPA Approved Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) is amended by: i. Revising the entries for 204-0010, 225-0090, 240-0010, and 240-0030; ii. Adding a header titled “Klamath Falls Nonattainment Area” after the entry for 240-0440 and adding entries for 240-0500, 240-0510, 240-0520, 240-0530, 240-0540, and 240-0550 in numerical order; iii. Adding a header titled “Real and Permanent PM2.5 and PM10 Offsets” after the entry for 240-0550 and adding an entry for 240-0560 in numerical order; iv. Revising the entries for 264-0040, 264-0078, 264-0080, and 264-0100; and v. Adding in numerical order an entry for 264-0175. b. Table 3—EPA Approved City and County Ordinances is amended by: i. Removing the entry for Klamath County Clean Air Ordinance 63; and ii. Adding an entry for Klamath County Clean Air Ordinance No. 63.06 at the end of the table.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 52.1970 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    Table 2—EPA Approved Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) State citation Title/subject State effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Explanations
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 204-0010 Definitions 12/11/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 225-0090 Requirements for Demonstrating a Net Air Quality Benefit 12/11/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Except (2)(a)(C). *         *         *         *         *         *         * 240-0010 Purpose 12/11/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 240-0030 Definitions 12/11/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * Klamath Falls Nonattainment Area 240-0500 Applicability 12/11/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] 240-0510 Opacity Standard 12/11/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] 240-0520 Control of Fugitive Emissions 12/11/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] 240-0530 Requirements for Operation and Maintenance Plans 12/11/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] 240-0540 Compliance Schedule for Existing Industrial Sources 12/11/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] 240-0550 Requirements for New Sources When Using Residential Wood Fuel-Fired Device Offsets 12/11/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Real and Permanent PM 2.5 and PM 10 Offsets 240-0560 Real and Permanent PM2.5 and PM10 Offsets 12/11/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 264-0040 Exemptions, Statewide 12/11/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 264-0078 Open Burning Control Areas 12/11/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] 264-0080 County Listing of Specific Open Burning Rules 12/11/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 264-0100 Baker, Clatsop, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Lincoln, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco and Wheeler Counties 12/11/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 264-0175 Klamath County 12/11/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Table 3—EPA Approved City and County Ordinances Agency and
  • ordinance
  • Title or subject Date EPA approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Klamath County Ordinance 63.06 Chapter 406—Klamath County Clean Air Ordinance 63.06 12/31/2012 08/25/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Except 406.300 and 406.400 Klamath Falls PM2.5 Attainment Plan.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20903 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 414 Payment for Part B Medical and Other Health Services CFR Correction In Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 414 to 429, revised as of October 1, 2014, on page 21, in § 414.60, correct paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 414.60 Payment for the services of CRNAs.

    (a) * * *

    (1) The allowance for an anesthesia service furnished by a medically directed CRNA is based on a fixed percentage of the allowance recognized for the anesthesia service personally performed by the physician alone, as specified in § 414.46(d)(3); and

    [FR Doc. 2015-21003 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 476 Quality Improvement Organization Review CFR Correction

    In Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 430 to 481, revised as of October 1, 2014, on page 591, in § 476.80, make the following changes:

    1. In paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2) introductory text (two places), (c)(3)(ii), (d)(1), and (d)(2), remove the phrase “fiscal intermediary or carrier” and add the phrase “Medicare administrative contractor, fiscal intermediary, or carrier” in its place. 2. In the heading for paragraph (e), and in paragraphs (e)(1) and (e)(2), remove the phrase “fiscal intermediary” and add the phrase “Medicare administrative contractor or fiscal intermediary” in its place.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20993 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency 44 CFR Part 64 [Docket ID FEMA-2015-0001; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-8395] 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:

    Effective 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 IV Kentucky: Allen, Town of, Floyd County 210070 April 14, 1977, Emerg; April 18, 1983, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. September 16, 2015 September 16, 2015. Coal Run Village, City of, Pike County 210263 April 14, 1977, Emerg; December 4, 1979, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. *......do    Do. Floyd County, Unincorporated Areas 210069 March 11, 1976, Emerg; September 5, 1984, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Inez, City of, Martin County 210362 May 19, 1988, Emerg; May 19, 1988, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Johnson County, Unincorporated Areas 210339 October 30, 1978, Emerg; May 4, 1988, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Knott County, Unincorporated Areas 210340 January 8, 1981, Emerg; February 1, 1987, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Lawrence County, Unincorporated Areas 210258 April 18, 1985, Emerg; April 18, 1985, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Louisa, City of, Lawrence County 210241 August 8, 1975, Emerg; November 19, 1980, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Magoffin County, Unincorporated Areas 210158 December 18, 1978, Emerg; March 4, 1986, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Martin, City of, Floyd County 210071 April 14, 1977, Emerg; February 15, 1984, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Martin County, Unincorporated Areas 210166 April 14, 1977, Emerg; February 19, 1986, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Morgan County, Unincorporated Areas 210292 May 13, 1975, Emerg; August 5, 1986, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Paintsville, City of, Johnson County 210127 October 18, 1974, Emerg; May 15, 1980, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Pike County, Unincorporated Areas 210298 July 20, 1977, Emerg; December 4, 1979, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Pikeville, City of, Pike County 210193 May 13, 1975, Emerg; March 2, 1981, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Prestonsburg, City of, Floyd County 210072 February 6, 1975, Emerg; July 16, 1980, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Warfield, City of, Martin County 210364 N/A, Emerg; September 4, 1986, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Wayland, City of, Floyd County 210073 March 29, 1976, Emerg; April 18, 1983, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Wheelwright, City of, Floyd County 210074 October 15, 1974, Emerg; June 17, 1986, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Region V Minnesota: St. Paul, City of, Ramsey County 275248 April 2, 1971, Emerg; February 9, 1973, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Wisconsin: Beloit, City of, Rock County 555544 November 27, 1970, Emerg; July 9, 1971, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Evansville, City of, Rock County 550366 February 5, 1975, Emerg; January 18, 1984, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Footville, Village of, Rock County 550575 March 24, 1975, Emerg; July 3, 1986, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Janesville, City of, Rock County 555560 March 26, 1971, Emerg; March 31, 1972, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Milton, City of, Rock County 550026 N/A, Emerg; May 26, 2010, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Rock County, Unincorporated Areas 550363 February 8, 1974, Emerg; August 1, 1983, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Region VIII Wyoming: Jackson, Town of, Teton County 560052 August 8, 1975, Emerg; May 4, 1989, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. Teton County, Unincorporated Areas 560094 April 19, 1978, Emerg; May 4, 1989, Reg; September 16, 2015, Susp. ......do    Do. *......do = Ditto. Code for reading third column: Emerg. —Emergency; Reg. —Regular; Susp. —Suspension.
    Dated: July 28, 2015. Roy E. Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20942 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency 44 CFR Part 64 [Docket ID FEMA-2015-0001; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-8385] Suspension of Community Eligibility AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is withdrawing a duplicate final rule which it published inadvertently on June 23, 2015.

    DATES:

    This withdrawal is effective August 25, 2015.

    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:

    On June 23, 2015, FEMA published a final rule, Suspension of Community Eligibility (Docket ID FEMA-2015-0001; Internal Docket No. FEMA-8385) (80 FR 35851), that had previously been published on June 4, 2015 (80 FR 31847). The June 23, 2015 final rule publication was in error, and FEMA withdraws publication of the duplicate rule. This error does not alter the effective dates of the final rule that was published on June 4, 2015.

    Dated: July 29, 2015. Roy Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20893 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Part 22 Application of Labor Laws to Government Acquisitions CFR Correction In Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 1, Parts 1 to 51, revised as of October 1, 2014, on page 526, in section 22.1008-2, in the last sentence of paragraph (d)(1), remove “, as amended”. [FR Doc. 2015-20997 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1501-01-D DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Part 46 Quality Assurance CFR Correction

    In Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 1, Parts 1 to 51, revised as of October 1, 2014, on page 952, remove section 46.806.

    [FR Doc. 2015-20995 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 300 [Docket No. 150406346-5700-02] RIN 0648-BF03 International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Fishing Effort Limits in Purse Seine Fisheries for 2015 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule makes final an interim rule that established a fishing effort limit for calendar year 2015 for U.S. purse seine vessels in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and on the high seas between the latitudes of 20° N. and 20° S. in the area of application of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention Area). The limit is 1,828 fishing days. This action is necessary for the United States to implement provisions of a conservation and management measure (CMM) adopted by the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC or Commission) and to satisfy the obligations of the United States under the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention), to which it is a Contracting Party.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on August 25, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of supporting documents prepared for this final rule, including the regulatory impact review (RIR) and the environmental assessment (EA) and supplemental EA prepared for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) purposes, as well as the interim rule, are available via the Federal e-rulemaking Portal, at www.regulations.gov (search for Docket ID NOAA-NMFS-2015-0058). Those documents are also available from NMFS at the following address: Michael Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Building 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Emily Crigler, NMFS PIRO, 808-725-5036.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On May 21, 2015, NMFS published an interim rule in the Federal Register (80 FR 29220) to establish a limit on fishing effort by U.S. purse seine vessels in the U.S. EEZ and on the high seas between the latitudes of 20° N. and 20° S. in the Convention Area for the calendar year 2015. This area is known in U.S. fishing regulations as the Effort Limit Area for Purse Seine, or ELAPS. The limit established in the interim rule is 1,828 fishing days. The interim rule was open for public comment until June 5, 2015.

    The 2015 purse seine fishing effort limit for the ELAPS was formulated as in previous rules to establish limits for the ELAPS: The applicable limit for the U.S. EEZ portion of the ELAPS, 558 fishing days per year, is combined with the applicable limit for the high seas portion of the ELAPS, 1,270 fishing days per year, resulting in a combined limit of 1,828 fishing days in the ELAPS for calendar year 2015.

    As established in existing regulations for purse seine fishing effort limits in the ELAPS, NMFS monitors the number of fishing days spent in the ELAPS using data submitted in logbooks and other available information. On June 8, 2015, NMFS issued a temporary rule in the Federal Register announcing that the purse seine fishery in the ELAPS would close as a result of reaching the limit of 1,828 fishing days (80 FR 32313). The closure took effect June 15, 2015, and will remain in effect through December 31, 2015.

    This final rule is issued under the authority of the WCPFC Implementation Act (16 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.), which authorizes the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Department in which the United States Coast Guard is operating (currently the Department of Homeland Security), to promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the obligations of the United States under the Convention, including the decisions of the Commission. The authority to promulgate regulations has been delegated to NMFS. The preamble to the interim rule provides background information on a number of matters, including the Convention and the Commission, the provisions of the WCPFC decisions being implemented in this rule, and the bases for the proposed regulations, which are not repeated here.

    The Action

    This final rule makes final the interim rule that established the limit of 1,828 fishing days for the calendar year 2015.

    Comments and Responses

    NMFS received two sets of comments on the interim rule. The comments are summarized below, followed by responses from NMFS.

    Comment 1: Our oceans are seriously overfished and are on the verge of collapse due to warming, acidification, toxins, and plastics, etc. Limits need to be placed upon fisheries. Economic gain of the fisheries has got to be curtailed now to save all ocean life.

    Response: NMFS acknowledges the comment.

    Comment 2: Due to the fact that U.S. purse seine fleet located in Pago Pago, American Samoa, is already under duress because of low fish prices and high access fees for fishing in the waters of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), closing the U.S. EEZ and high seas to U.S. purse seine fishing will only add to the demise of the U.S. fleet in American Samoa.

    Response: NMFS acknowledges the concerns expressed by the commenter. However, this final rule establishes limits adopted by the Commission in Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) 2014-01. We believe that taking this action to implement the 1,828 day limit in the ELAPs is necessary to satisfy the obligations of the United States under the Convention and CMM 2014-01.

    No changes from the interim rule have been made in this final rule.

    Petition for Rulemaking

    On May 12, 2015, as the interim rule was being finalized for publication, NMFS received a petition for rulemaking from Tri Marine Management Company, LLC (Tri Marine). The company requested, first, that NOAA undertake an emergency rulemaking to implement the 2015 limit on fishing effort by U.S. purse seine vessels on the high seas and in the U.S. exclusive economic zone in the Convention Area, and second, that NOAA issue a rule exempting from that limit any U.S. purse seine vessel that, pursuant to contract or declaration of intent, delivers or will deliver at least half its catch to tuna processing facilities in American Samoa. This final rule addresses the first part of the petition by implementing the 2015 limit on fishing effort for U.S. purse seiners on the high seas and in the U.S. EEZ. On July 17, 2015, NMFS published a notice of receipt of, and request for comment on, the Tri Marine petition (80 FR 42464). Any action taken by NMFS in response to the second petitioned action will be taken separately from the rulemaking in this document, after consideration of public comment on the notice of receipt of the petition.

    Fishing Restrictions During Closure Periods

    The regulations at 50 CFR 300.223 implementing the ELAPS closure prohibit U.S. purse seine vessels from conducting bunkering operations in the ELAPS during the closure period, since bunkering is included in the definition of fishing (see 50 CFR 300.211). During the ELAPS closure, the U.S. purse seine fleet generally continues to be allowed to fish under the South Pacific Tuna Treaty in some foreign EEZs; however, the vessels are not necessarily authorized by those nations to conduct bunkering activities in their waters. Consequently, they are effectively forced to conduct bunkering operations in foreign waters or ports, which can result in substantial costs to fishing businesses. In a separate, but related rulemaking (RIN 0648-BF23), which is being published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, NMFS is removing, through an interim rule, the restrictions on bunkering operations, if otherwise authorized by applicable laws and regulations, in the ELAPS during the closure period.

    Classification

    The Administrator, Pacific Islands Region, NMFS, has determined that this final rule is consistent with the WCPFC Implementation Act and other applicable laws.

    Administrative Procedure Act

    NMFS may waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness required under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553(d), upon a finding of good cause that the delay is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. NMFS finds that it would be contrary to the public interest to delay the effective date of this final rule. The requirements have been in effect through the interim rule since May 21, 2015, and the ELAPS has been closed to fishing by U.S. purse seiners since June 15, 2015. If this final rule does not enter into effect immediately, there could be public confusion as to whether the ELAPS is reopened to fishing until the rule enters into effect. Thus, this final rule is effective upon publication in the Federal Register so there is no perceived regulatory gap in the implementation of the fishing effort limit in the ELAPS for 2015.

    Executive Order 12866

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

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Because prior notice and opportunity for public comment were not required for the interim rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are inapplicable. Therefore, no final regulatory flexibility analysis was required and none has been prepared.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 300

    Administrative practice and procedure, Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, Marine resources, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Treaties.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. PART 300—INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES REGULATIONS Subpart O—Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species Accordingly, the interim rule revising § 300.223, paragraph (a)(1), which was published at 80 FR 29220 on May 21, 2015, is adopted as a final rule without change.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20957 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 300 [Docket No. 150629563-5703-01] RIN 0648-BF23 International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Purse Seine Fishing Restrictions During Closure Periods AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Interim rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This interim rule amends the regulations to remove the restriction that prohibits U.S. purse seine vessels from conducting bunkering (refueling) activities in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and on the high seas between the latitudes of 20° N. and 20° S. in the area of application of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention), also known as the Effort Limit Area for Purse Seine or ELAPS, when this area is closed to U.S. purse seine fishing. This action would relieve U.S. purse seine vessels from the burden of the prohibition while continuing to satisfy U.S. obligations pursuant to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on August 25, 2015. Comments must be submitted in writing by September 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0098, and the regulatory impact review (RIR) prepared for the interim rule, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.

    1. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0098,

    2. Click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and

    3. Enter or attach your comments.

    —OR—

    Mail: Submit written comments to Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Building 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, might not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name and address), 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).

    Copies of the RIR and the Record of Environmental Consideration prepared for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) purposes are available at www.regulations.gov or may be obtained from Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS PIRO (see address above).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Emily Crigler, NMFS PIRO, 808-725-5036.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background on the Convention

    The Convention focuses on the conservation and management of highly migratory species (HMS) and the management of fisheries for HMS. The objective of the Convention is to ensure, through effective management, the long-term conservation and sustainable use of HMS in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO). To accomplish this objective, the Convention established the Commission on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC or Commission). The Commission includes Members, Cooperating Non-members, and Participating Territories (hereafter, collectively “members”). The United States is a Member, and American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are Participating Territories.

    As a Contracting Party to the Convention and a Member of the Commission, the United States is obligated to implement the decisions of the Commission. The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (16 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.; WCPFC Implementation Act) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Department in which the United States Coast Guard is operating (currently the Department of Homeland Security), to promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the obligations of the United States under the Convention, including implementation of the decisions of the Commission. The WCPFC Implementation Act further provides that the Secretary of Commerce shall ensure consistency, to the extent practicable, of fishery management programs administered under the WCPFC Implementation Act and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), as well as other specific laws (see 16 U.S.C. 6905(b)). The Secretary of Commerce has delegated the authority to promulgate regulations under the WCPFC Implementation Act to NMFS. A map showing the boundaries of the area of application of the Convention (Convention Area), which comprises the majority of the WCPO, can be found on the Commission Web site at: www.wcpfc.int/doc/convention-area-map.

    WCPFC Decision on Tropical Tunas

    At its Eleventh Regular Session, in December 2014, the Commission adopted Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) 2014-01, “Conservation and Management Measure for Bigeye, Yellowfin and Skipjack Tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.” CMM 2014-01 is the most recent in a series of CMMs for the management of tropical tuna stocks under the purview of the Commission. It is the immediate successor to CMM 2013-01, adopted in December 2013. These and other CMMs are available at: www.wcpfc.int/conservation-and-management-measures.

    The stated general objective of CMM 2014-01 and several of its predecessor CMMs is to ensure that the stocks of bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), and skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) in the WCPO are, at a minimum, maintained at levels capable of producing their maximum sustainable yield as qualified by relevant environmental and economic factors. CMM 2014-01 includes specific objectives for each of the three stocks; the common objective is that the fishing mortality rate is to be reduced to or maintained at levels no greater than the fishing mortality rate associated with maximum sustainable yield.

    CMM 2014-01 went into effect February 3, 2015, and is generally applicable for the 2015-2017 period. The CMM includes provisions for purse seine vessels, longline vessels, and other types of vessels that fish for HMS. The CMM's provisions for purse seine vessels include limits on the allowable number of fishing vessels, limits on the allowable level of fishing effort, restrictions on the use of fish aggregating devices, requirements to retain all bigeye tuna, yellowfin tuna, and skipjack tuna except in specific circumstances, and requirements to carry vessel observers.

    The provisions of CMM 2014-01 apply on the high seas and in EEZs in the Convention Area; they do not apply in territorial seas or archipelagic waters.

    CMM 2014-01 includes specific fishing effort limits for purse seine vessels.

    NMFS Regulations Regarding Purse Seine Fishing Effort Limits

    On May 21, 2015, NMFS published an interim rule to establish a limit on fishing effort by U.S. purse seine vessels in the ELAPS for the calendar year 2015 (80 FR 29220), in accordance with the relevant provisions of CMM 2014-01. The limit is 1,828 fishing days, and went into effect on May 21, 2015. NMFS is issuing a final rule that responds to comments on the interim rule issued on May 21, 2015 (see the final rule identified by RIN 0648-BF03), which is being published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

    On June 8, 2015, NMFS determined that the 2015 ELAPS limit was expected to be reached and, in accordance with the procedures established at 50 CFR 300.223, issued a temporary rule announcing that the purse seine fishery in the ELAPS would be closed to fishing by U.S. purse seine vessels starting June 15, 2015, and would remain closed through December 31, 2015 (80 FR 32313).

    The regulations at 50 CFR 300.223, promulgated in 2009, specify that once a fishery closure in the ELAPS goes into effect, U.S. fishing vessels equipped with purse seine gear may not be used to fish in the ELAPS during the closure period. Because the definition of fishing, as established in 50 CFR 300.211, specifically includes bunkering, U.S. purse seine vessels under these regulations are prohibited from conducting bunkering operations in the ELAPS. During the closure of the ELAPS, U.S. purse seine vessels are generally allowed to fish in some foreign EEZs pursuant to the South Pacific Tuna Treaty. Information suggests that the U.S. WCPO purse seine fleet conducts about half of all bunkering operations on the high seas in order to support fishing operations in foreign EEZs in the WCPO. Since the regulations at 50 CFR 300.223 prohibit bunkering on the high seas in the WCPO for the remainder of 2015, the vessels are compelled to bunker in foreign waters or ports, which brings additional costs to these businesses. As stated in the RIR, it is difficult to estimate the costs to these businesses of the bunkering prohibition, but considering lost fishing time, transit costs, higher fuel prices, and, in the situation of having to go to port, port-associated costs, it is clear the additional costs could be substantial.

    The Action

    This interim rule is limited to amending the regulations at 50 CFR 300.223 to remove the restriction that prohibits U.S. purse seine vessels from conducting bunkering (refueling) activities within the ELAPS after a closure is announced. The regulations at 50 CFR 300.223(a)(3) state that once a fishery closure is announced, fishing vessels of the United States equipped with purse seine gear may not be used to fish in the ELAPS during the period specified in the Federal Register notice. This interim final rule amends this paragraph to include language stating that once a fishery closure is announced, fishing vessels of the United States equipped with purse seine gear may not be used to fish in the ELAPS during the period specified, except that such vessels are not prohibited from bunkering in the ELAPS during a fishery closure. U.S. vessels conducting bunkering operations in the ELAPS would still need to comply with all applicable international and Coast Guard regulations concerning ship-to-ship fuel transfers.

    This action is consistent with the provisions of CMM 2014-01 regarding purse seine fishing effort limits and is undertaken pursuant to the WCPFC Implementation Act. Although bunkering is included in the general definition of “fishing” because it is an activity that directly supports fishing operations, Commission decisions do not prohibit bunkering after a fishing effort limit is reached, and NMFS believes that a prohibition on bunkering in the ELAPS would have little or no effect on controlling fishing mortality, which is the underlying objective of CMM 2014-01. The costs of the bunkering prohibition outweigh any benefits the prohibition may have. Thus, this action is consistent with the purse seine fishing effort limit provisions of CMM 2014-01, the objective of which is to reduce or maintain the fishing mortality rates of bigeye tuna, yellowfin tuna, and skipjack tuna at levels no greater than the fishing mortality rates associated with maximum sustainable yield.

    Classification

    The Administrator, Pacific Islands Region, NMFS, has determined that this interim rule is consistent with the WCPFC Implementation Act and other applicable laws.

    Administrative Procedure Act (APA)

    The Assistant Administrator finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment on this action, because it would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This rule removes a restriction that prohibits U.S. purse seine vessels from conducting bunkering (refueling) activities in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and in certain areas of the high seas. Without the amendments in this interim final rule, vessels would be compelled to bunker in foreign waters or ports, which brings additional costs to these businesses. It is difficult to estimate the costs to these businesses, but it could be substantial due to lost fishing time, transit costs, higher fuel prices, and, in the situation of having to go to port, port-associated costs. If this rule is delayed to allow for prior notice and opportunity for public comment, it could result in substantial economic costs to the regulated community as the bunkering prohibition is currently effective and impacting the regulated community. In addition, continuing this restriction is not necessary to satisfy the obligations of the United States as a member of the Commission.

    The Assistant Administrative finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness because the bunkering prohibition is currently effective and impacting the regulated community. If this rule is delayed to allow for a 30-day delay in effectiveness, it could result in substantial economic costs to the regulated community. In order to avoid the possible economic impacts, this rule needs to be implemented immediately.

    Executive Order 12866

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

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Because prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not required for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are inapplicable. Therefore, no final regulatory flexibility analysis was required and none has been prepared.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 300

    Administrative practice and procedure, Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, Marine resources, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Treaties.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 300 is amended as follows:

    PART 300—INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES REGULATIONS Subpart O—Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 300, subpart O, continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.

    2. In § 300.223, paragraph (a)(3) is revised to read as follows:
    § 300.223 Purse seine fishing restrictions.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Once a fishery closure is announced pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section, fishing vessels of the United States equipped with purse seine gear may not be used to fish in the ELAPS during the period specified in the Federal Register notice, except that such vessels are not prohibited from bunkering in the ELAPS during a fishery closure.

    [FR Doc. 2015-20955 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 164 Tuesday, August 25, 2015 Proposed Rules NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix I [NRC-2014-0044] RIN 3150-AJ38 Reactor Effluents AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 4, 2015, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requested public comment on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to obtain input for the development of a regulatory basis that would support potential amendments to those regulations concerning how NRC licensees demonstrate meeting the “as low as is reasonably achievable” standard with respect to effluents from nuclear power plants. The purpose of the potential amendments would be to more closely align these NRC regulations with the terminology and dose-related methodology published by the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP), as contained in the ICRP Publication 103 (2007). The public comment period was originally scheduled to close on September 1, 2015. The NRC received a request to extend the public comment period on the ANPR and is approving a one-time, 30-day extension to provide additional time for members of the public and other stakeholders to develop and submit their comments.

    DATES:

    The public comment period in the notice published on May 4, 2015 (80 FR 25237), is extended. Comments should be filed no later than October 1, 2015. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the Commission is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods (unless this document describes a different method for submitting comments on a specific subject):

    Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2014-0044. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions contact the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    Email comments to: [email protected] If you do not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact us at 301-415-1677.

    Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 301-415-1101.

    Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.

    Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal workdays; telephone: 301-415-1677.

    Comments that contain proprietary or sensitive information: Please contact the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document to determine the most appropriate method for submitting these comments.

    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carolyn Lauron, telephone: 301-415-2736, email: [email protected]; and Nishka Devaser, telephone: 301-415-5196, email: [email protected] Both are staff of the Office of New Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2014-0044 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2014-0044.

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

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

    B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2014-0044 in your comment submission.

    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS.

    II. Background

    On May 4, 2015, the NRC published an ANPR (80 FR 25237) for public comment to obtain input on the development of a regulatory basis. The regulatory basis would support potential amendments to those regulations in appendix I of part 50 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), which concern how NRC licensees demonstrate meeting the “as low as is reasonably achievable” standard with respect to effluents from nuclear power plants. The purpose of the potential amendments would be to more closely align the 10 CFR part 50, appendix I, regulations with the terminology and dose-related methodology published in ICRP Publication 103 (2007).

    The ANPR identified specific questions and issues with respect to a possible revision of the NRC's regulations at 10 CFR part 50, appendix I, and associated guidance. Comments from members of the public and other stakeholders, including responses to the specific questions, will be considered by the NRC staff when it develops the regulatory basis. The public comment period was originally scheduled to close on September 1, 2015. The NRC received a request (ADAMS Accession No. ML15217A373) to extend the public comment period on the ANPR and is approving a one-time, 30-day extension, until October 1, 2015, to provide additional time for members of the public and other stakeholders to develop and submit their comments.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 18th day of August 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Michael E. Mayfield, Acting Director, Office of New Reactors.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21072 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 430 [Docket No. EERE-2013-BT-STD-0006] RIN 1904-AC55 Energy Conservation Standards for Commercial and Industrial Fans and Blowers: Availability of Provisional Analysis Tools and Notice of Data Availability AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Close of public comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The comment period for the Availability of Provisional Analysis Tools and Notice of Data Availability pertaining to the development of energy conservation standards for commercial and industrial fan and blower equipment published on May 1, 2015, closes on September 8, 2015.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the Availability of Provisional Analysis Tools and Notice of Data Availability closes on September 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Any comments submitted must identify the framework document for commercial and industrial fans and blowers and provide docket number EERE-2013-BT-STD-0006 and/or RIN number 1904-AC55. Comments may be submitted using any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected]. Include EERE-2013-BT-STD-0006 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-5B, Framework Document for Commercial and Industrial Fans and Blowers, EERE-2013-BT-STD-0006, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Phone: (202) 586-2945. Please submit one signed paper original.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 6th Floor, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024. Phone: (202) 586-2945. Please submit one signed paper original.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents, or comments received, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ashley Armstrong, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-6590. Email: [email protected].

    Mr. Peter Cochran, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-9496. Email: [email protected].

    For further information on how to submit a comment and review other public comments and the docket, contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945 or by email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a proposed determination that commercial and industrial fans and blowers (fans) meet the definition of covered equipment under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended (76 FR 37628, June 28, 2011). As part of its further consideration of this determination, DOE has initiated a rulemaking to establish energy conservation standards for commercial and industrial fans and blowers. To date, DOE has published a notice of public meeting and availability of the framework document to consider such standards (78 FR 7306 (Feb. 1, 2013)), and two Availabilities of Provisional Analysis Tools and Notices of Data Availability (NODAs) (79 FR 73246 (Dec. 10, 2014), and 80 FR 24841 (May 1, 2015)). The second NODA provided for the submission of public comments through Fans and Blowers Working Group meetings established by the Appliance Standards Regulatory Advisory Committee (ASRAC), which concludes on September 8, 2015.

    In addition to issuing these publications, DOE has participated in and provided support to the Fans and Blowers Working Group. In particular, the second NODA was published to inform the proceedings of the Working Group and serve as a starting point for its work. The proceedings of the Working Group, including revised analysis largely supersede the content of the May 2015 NODA. DOE encouraged stakeholders to provide any additional data or information and to submit comments on the content and analysis developed during the ASRAC Working Group process. Supporting material presented during the Working Group meetings and transcripts, as well as supporting documents including industry publications are available in the Fans and Blowers rulemaking docket at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2013-BT-STD-0006.

    Given that the Fans and Blowers Working Group meetings will conclude by September 8, 2015, DOE believes that closing the comment period on September 8, 2015 will allow sufficient time for interested parties to submit comments. Accordingly, DOE will consider any comments received by September 8, 2015 to be timely submitted.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 19, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20963 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 430 [Docket Number EERE-2015-BT-STD-0008] RIN 1904-AD52 Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee: Notice of Intent To Establish the Dedicated Purpose Pool Pumps Working Group To Negotiate a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) for Energy Conservation Standards AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent and announcement of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE or the Department) is giving notice of a public meeting and that DOE intends to establish a negotiated rulemaking working group under the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act (NRA) to negotiate the proposal of new energy conservation standards for dedicated purpose pool pumps standards and to discuss certain aspects of the proposed Federal test procedure for pumps that would apply to dedicated purpose pool pumps. The purpose of the working group will be to discuss and, if possible, reach consensus on a proposal to establish energy conservation standards and a test procedure for dedicated purpose pool pumps, as authorized by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, as amended. (With respect to the test procedure, DOE is seeking to establish a consensus on specific aspects that would play a role in the manner in which this equipment would be tested.) The working group will consist of representatives of parties having a defined stake in the outcome of the proposed standards and amended test procedure, and will consult, as appropriate, with a range of experts on technical issues. The working group is expected to develop the necessary data, test procedure, and definitions for dedicated purpose pool pumps and provide a report back to ASRAC no later than December 29, 2015.

    DATES:

    DOE will host a public meeting and webinar on September 30, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Room IE-245 and October 1, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Room 8E-089 Washington, DC.

    Written comments and applications (i.e., cover letter and resume) to be appointed as members of the working group are welcome and should be submitted by September 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, Room IE-245 on September 30, 2015 and in Room 8E-089 on October 1, 2015. Individuals will also have the opportunity to participate by webinar. For webinar and call-in information, please visit https://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/product.aspx/productid/44.

    Interested person may submit comments and an application for membership (including a cover letter and resume), identified by docket number EERE-2015-BT-STD-0008 any of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected] Include docket number EERE-2015-BT-STD-0008 in the subject line of the message.

    3. Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. If possible, please submit all items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.

    4. Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. If possible, please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.

    No telefacsimilies (faxes) will be accepted.

    Docket: The docket is available for review at www.regulations.gov, including Federal Register notices, public meeting attendee lists and transcripts, comments, and other supporting documents/materials. All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. However, not all documents listed in the index may be publicly available, such as information that is exempt from public disclosure.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Cymbalsky, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Building Technologies (EE-2J), 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024. Phone: 202-287-1692. Email: [email protected] .

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Authority II. Background III. Proposed Negotiating Procedures IV. Comments Requested V. Public Participation VI. Approval of the Office of the Secretary I. Authority

    DOE is announcing its intent to negotiate proposed energy conservation standards and establish a test procedure that would apply to dedicated purpose pool pumps, under the authority of sections 563 and 564 of the NRA (5 U.S.C. 561-570, Pub. L. 104-320). These efforts to establish standards and a test procedure for dedicated purpose pool pumps through a negotiated rulemaking will be developed under the authority of EPCA, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6311(1) and 42 U.S.C. 6291 et seq.

    II. Background

    As required by the NRA, DOE is giving notice that it is establishing a working group under ASRAC to discuss certain aspects related to testing and the potential development of proposed energy conservation standards for dedicated purpose pool pumps.

    A. Negotiated Rulemaking

    DOE has decided to use the negotiated rulemaking process to discuss certain test procedure amendments and develop proposed energy conservation standards for dedicated purpose pool pumps. The primary reason for using the negotiated rulemaking process for this product is that stakeholders strongly support a consensual rulemaking effort. DOE believes such a regulatory negotiation process will be less adversarial and better suited to resolving complex technical issues. An important virtue of negotiated rulemaking is that it allows expert dialog that is much better than traditional techniques at getting the facts and issues right and will result in a proposed rule that will effectively reflect Congressional intent.

    A regulatory negotiation will enable DOE to engage in direct and sustained dialog with informed, interested, and affected parties when drafting the regulation, rather than obtaining input during a public comment period after developing and publishing a proposed rule. Gaining this early understanding of all parties' perspectives allows DOE to address key issues at an earlier stage of the process, thereby allowing more time for an iterative process to resolve issues. A rule drafted by negotiation with informed and affected parties is expected to be potentially more pragmatic and more easily implemented than a rule arising from the traditional process. Such rulemaking improvement is likely to provide the public with the full benefits of the rule while minimizing the potential negative impact of a proposed regulation conceived or drafted without the full prior input of outside knowledgeable parties. Because a negotiating working group includes representatives from the major stakeholder groups affected by or interested in the rule, the number of public comments on the proposed rule may be decreased. DOE anticipates that there will be a need for fewer substantive changes to a proposed rule developed under a regulatory negotiation process prior to the publication of a final rule.

    B. The Concept of Negotiated Rulemaking

    Usually, DOE develops a proposed rulemaking using Department staff and consultant resources. Congress noted in the NRA, however, that regulatory development may “discourage the affected parties from meeting and communicating with each other, and may cause parties with different interests to assume conflicting and antagonistic positions * * *.” 5 U.S.C. 561(2)(2). Congress also stated that “adversarial rulemaking deprives the affected parties and the public of the benefits of face-to-face negotiations and cooperation in developing and reaching agreement on a rule. It also deprives them of the benefits of shared information, knowledge, expertise, and technical abilities possessed by the affected parties.” 5 U.S.C. 561(2)(3).

    Using negotiated rulemaking to develop a proposed rule differs fundamentally from the Department-centered process. In negotiated rulemaking, a proposed rule is developed by an advisory committee or working group, chartered under FACA, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, composed of members chosen to represent the various interests that will be significantly affected by the rule. The goal of the advisory committee or working group is to reach consensus on the treatment of the major issues involved with the rule. The process starts with the Department's careful identification of all interests potentially affected by the rulemaking under consideration. To help with this identification, the Department publishes a notice of intent such as this one in the Federal Register, identifying a preliminary list of interested parties and requesting public comment on that list. Following receipt of comments, the Department establishes an advisory committee or working group representing the full range of stakeholders to negotiate a consensus on the terms of a proposed rule. Representation on the advisory committee or working group may be direct; that is, each member may represent a specific interest, or may be indirect, such as through trade associations and/or similarly-situated parties with common interests. The Department is a member of the advisory committee or working group and represents the Federal government's interests. The advisory committee or working group chair is assisted by a neutral mediator who facilitates the negotiation process. The role of the mediator, also called a facilitator, is to apply proven consensus-building techniques to the advisory committee or working group process.

    After an advisory committee or working group reaches consensus on the provisions of a proposed rule, the Department, consistent with its legal obligations, uses such consensus as the basis of its proposed rule, which then is published in the Federal Register. This publication provides the required public notice and provides for a public comment period. Other participants and other interested parties retain their rights to comment, participate in an informal hearing (if requested), and request judicial review. DOE anticipates, however, that the pre-proposal consensus agreed upon by the advisory committee or working group will narrow any issues in the subsequent rulemaking.

    C. Proposed Rulemaking for Energy Conservation Standards Regarding Dedicated Purpose Pool Pumps

    The NRA enables DOE to establish an advisory committee or working group if it is determined that the use of the negotiated rulemaking process is in the public interest. DOE intends to develop Federal regulations that build on the depth of experience accrued in both the public and private sectors in implementing standards and programs.

    DOE has determined that the regulatory negotiation process will provide for obtaining a diverse array of in-depth input, as well as an opportunity for increased collaborative discussion from both private-sector stakeholders and government officials who are familiar with the test procedures and energy efficiency of dedicated purpose pool pumps.

    D. Department Commitment

    In initiating this regulatory negotiation process to develop the test procedure and energy conservation standards for dedicated purpose pool pumps, DOE is making a commitment to provide adequate resources to facilitate timely and successful completion of the process. This commitment includes making the process a priority activity for all representatives, components, officials, and personnel of the Department who need to be involved in the rulemaking, from the time of initiation until such time as a final rule is issued or the process is expressly terminated. DOE will provide administrative support for the process and will take steps to ensure that the advisory committee or working group has the dedicated resources it requires to complete its work in a timely fashion. Specifically, DOE will make available the following support services: Properly equipped space adequate for public meetings and caucuses; logistical support; word processing and distribution of background information; the service of a facilitator; and such additional research and other technical assistance as may be necessary.

    To the maximum extent possible consistent with the legal obligations of the Department, DOE will use the consensus of the advisory committee or working group as the basis for the rule the Department proposes for public notice and comment.

    E. Negotiating Consensus

    As discussed above, the negotiated rulemaking process differs fundamentally from the usual process for developing a proposed rule. Negotiation enables interested and affected parties to discuss various approaches to issues rather than asking them only to respond to a proposal developed by the Department. The negotiation process involves a mutual education of the various parties on the practical concerns about the impact of standards. Each advisory committee or working group member participates in resolving the interests and concerns of other members, rather than leaving it up to DOE to evaluate and incorporate different points of view.

    A key principle of negotiated rulemaking is that agreement is by consensus of all the interests. Thus, no one interest or group of interests is able to control the process. The NRA defines consensus as the unanimous concurrence among interests represented on a negotiated rulemaking committee or working group, unless the committee or working group itself unanimously agrees to use a different definition. 5 U.S.C. 562. In addition, experience has demonstrated that using a trained mediator to facilitate this process will assist all parties, including DOE, in identifying their real interests in the rule, and thus will enable parties to focus on and resolve the important issues.

    III. Proposed Negotiating Procedures A. Key Issues for Negotiation

    The following issues and concerns will underlie the work of the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for dedicated purpose pool pumps:

    • Certain aspects of the proposed test procedure, including key test procedure conditions, as applicable; and

    • All relevant data and proposals for definition of dedicated purpose pool pumps, leading to proposed energy conservation standards for dedicated purpose pool pumps.

    To examine the underlying issues outlined above, and others not yet articulated, all parties in the negotiation will need DOE to provide data and an analytic framework complete and accurate enough to support their deliberations. DOE's analyses must be adequate to inform a prospective negotiation—for example, a preliminary Technical Support Document or equivalent must be available and timely.

    B. Formation of Working Group

    A working group will be formed and operated in full compliance with the requirements of FACA and in a manner consistent with the requirements of the NRA. DOE has determined that the working group not exceed 25 members. The Department believes that more than 25 members would make it difficult to conduct effective negotiations. DOE is aware that there are many more potential participants than there are membership slots on the working group. The Department does not believe, nor does the NRA contemplate, that each potentially affected group must participate directly in the negotiations; nevertheless, each affected interest can be adequately represented. To have a successful negotiation, it is important for interested parties to identify and form coalitions that adequately represent significantly affected interests. To provide adequate representation, those coalitions must agree to support, both financially and technically, a member of the working group whom they choose to represent their interests.

    DOE recognizes that when it considers adding covered products and establishing energy efficiency standards for residential products and commercial equipment, various segments of society may be affected in different ways, in some cases producing unique “interests” in a proposed rule based on income, gender, or other factors. The Department will pay attention to providing that any unique interests that have been identified, and that may be significantly affected by the proposed rule, are represented.

    FACA also requires that members of the public have the opportunity to attend meetings of the full committee and speak or otherwise address the committee during the public comment period. In addition, any member of the public is permitted to file a written statement with the advisory committee. DOE plans to follow these same procedures in conducting meetings of the working group.

    C. Interests Involved/Working Group Membership

    DOE anticipates that the working group will comprise no more than 25 members who represent affected and interested stakeholder groups, at least one of whom must be a member of the ASRAC. As required by FACA, the Department will conduct the negotiated rulemaking with particular attention to ensuring full and balanced representation of those interests that may be significantly affected by the proposed rule governing dedicated purpose pool pump energy conservation standards. Section 562 of the NRA defines the term “interest” as “with respect to an issue or matter, multiple parties which have a similar point of view or which are likely to be affected in a similar manner.” Listed below are parties the Department to date has identified as being “significantly affected” by a proposed rule regarding the energy efficiency of dedicated purpose pool pumps.

    • The Department of Energy

    • Trade Associations representing manufacturers of dedicated purpose pool pumps

    • Manufacturers of dedicated purpose pool pumps and component manufacturers and related suppliers

    • Distributors or contractors selling or installing dedicated purpose pool pumps

    • Utilities

    • Energy efficiency/environmental advocacy groups

    • Consumers

    One purpose of this notice of intent is to determine whether Federal regulations regarding dedicated purpose pool pumps will significantly affect interests that are not listed above. DOE invites comment and suggestions on its initial list of significantly affected interests.

    Members may be individuals or organizations. If the effort is to be fruitful, participants on the working group should be able to fully and adequately represent the viewpoints of their respective interests. This document gives notice of DOE's process to other potential participants and affords them the opportunity to request representation in the negotiations. Those who wish to be appointed as members of the working group, should submit a request to DOE, in accordance with the public participation procedures outlined in the DATES and ADDRESSES sections of this notice of intent. Membership of the working group is likely to involve:

    • Attendance at approximately ten (10), one (1) to two (2) day meetings (with the potential for two (2) additional one (1) or two (2) day meetings);

    • Travel costs to those meetings; and

    • Preparation time for those meetings.

    Members serving on the working group will not receive compensation for their services. Interested parties who are not selected for membership on the working group may make valuable contributions to this negotiated rulemaking effort in any of the following ways:

    • The person may request to be placed on the working group mailing list and submit written comments as appropriate.

    • The person may attend working group meetings, which are open to the public; caucus with his or her interest's member on the working group; or even address the working group during the public comment portion of the working group meeting.

    • The person could assist the efforts of a workgroup that the working group might establish.

    A working group may establish informal workgroups, which usually are asked to facilitate committee deliberations by assisting with various technical matters (e.g., researching or preparing summaries of the technical literature or comments on specific matters such as economic issues). Workgroups also might assist in estimating costs or drafting regulatory text on issues associated with the analysis of the costs and benefits addressed, or formulating drafts of the various provisions and their justifications as previously developed by the working group. Given their support function, workgroups usually consist of participants who have expertise or particular interest in the technical matter(s) being studied. Because it recognizes the importance of this support work for the working group, DOE will provide appropriate technical expertise for such workgroups.

    D. Good Faith Negotiation

    Every working group member must be willing to negotiate in good faith and have the authority, granted by his or her constituency, to do so. The first step is to ensure that each member has good communications with his or her constituencies. An intra-interest network of communication should be established to bring information from the support organization to the member at the table, and to take information from the table back to the support organization. Second, each organization or coalition therefore should designate as its representative a person having the credibility and authority to ensure that needed information is provided and decisions are made in a timely fashion. Negotiated rulemaking can require the appointed members to give a significant sustained commitment for as long as the duration of the negotiated rulemaking. Other qualities of members that can be helpful are negotiating experience and skills, and sufficient technical knowledge to participate in substantive negotiations.

    Certain concepts are central to negotiating in good faith. One is the willingness to bring all issues to the bargaining table in an attempt to reach a consensus, as opposed to keeping key issues in reserve. The second is a willingness to keep the issues at the table and not take them to other forums. Finally, good faith includes a willingness to move away from some of the positions often taken in a more traditional rulemaking process, and instead explore openly with other parties all ideas that may emerge from the working group's discussions.

    E. Facilitator

    The facilitator will act as a neutral in the substantive development of the proposed standard. Rather, the facilitator's role generally includes:

    • Impartially assisting the members of the working group in conducting discussions and negotiations; and

    • Impartially assisting in performing the duties of the Designated Federal Official under FACA.

    F. Department Representative

    The DOE representative will be a full and active participant in the consensus building negotiations. The Department's representative will meet regularly with senior Department officials, briefing them on the negotiations and receiving their suggestions and advice so that he or she can effectively represent the Department's views regarding the issues before the working group. DOE's representative also will ensure that the entire spectrum of governmental interests affected by the standards rulemaking, including the Office of Management and Budget, the Attorney General, and other Departmental offices, are kept informed of the negotiations and encouraged to make their concerns known in a timely fashion.

    G. Working Group and Schedule

    After evaluating the comments submitted in response to this notice of intent and the requests for nominations, DOE will either inform the members of the working group that they have been selected or determine that conducting a negotiated rulemaking is inappropriate.

    DOE will advise working group members of administrative matters related to the functions of the working group before beginning. DOE will establish a meeting schedule based on the settlement agreement and produce the necessary documents so as to adhere to that schedule. While the negotiated rulemaking process is underway, DOE is committed to performing much of the same analysis as it would during a normal standards rulemaking process and to providing information and technical support to the working group.

    Under the framework that would be presented to ASRAC, the working group would be expected to provide a status report to ASRAC by December 29, 2015 so that ASRAC can determine next steps in the process, including negotiation of energy conservation standards for dedicated purpose pool pumps.

    IV. Comments Requested

    DOE requests comments on whether it should use the negotiated rulemaking process to address the issues addressed in this notice and if so, which parties should be included in a negotiated rulemaking to develop draft language pertaining to the energy efficiency of dedicated purpose pool pumps. DOE also seeks suggestions of additional interests and/or stakeholders that should be represented on the working group. All who wish to participate as members of the working group should submit a request for nomination to DOE.

    V. Public Participation

    Members of the public are welcome to observe the business of the meeting and, if time allows, may make oral statements during the specified period for public comment. To attend the meeting and/or to make oral statements regarding any of the items on the agenda, email [email protected] In the email, please indicate your name, organization (if appropriate), citizenship, and contact information. Please note that foreign nationals participating in the public meeting are subject to advance security screening procedures which require advance notice prior to attendance at the public meeting. If a foreign national wishes to participate in the public meeting, please inform DOE as soon as possible by contacting Ms. Regina Washington at (202) 586-1214 or by email: [email protected] so that the necessary procedures can be completed. Anyone attending the meeting will be required to present a government photo identification, such as a passport, driver's license, or government identification. Due to the required security screening upon entry, individuals attending should arrive early to allow for the extra time needed.

    Due to the REAL ID Act implemented by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recent changes regarding ID requirements for individuals wishing to enter Federal buildings from specific states and U.S. territories. Driver's licenses from the following states or territory will not be accepted for building entry and one of the alternate forms of ID listed below will be required.

    DHS has determined that regular driver's licenses (and ID cards) from the following jurisdictions are not acceptable for entry into DOE facilities: Alaska, Louisiana, New York, American Samoa, Maine, Oklahoma, Arizona, Massachusetts, Washington, and Minnesota.

    Acceptable alternate forms of Photo-ID include: U.S. Passport or Passport Card; An Enhanced Driver's License or Enhanced ID-Card issued by the states of Minnesota, New York or Washington (Enhanced licenses issued by these states are clearly marked Enhanced or Enhanced Driver's License); A military ID or other Federal government issued Photo-ID card.

    VI. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of today's notice of intent.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 18, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20979 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 431 [Docket Number EERE-2013-BT-STD-0030] RIN 1904-AD01 Energy Conservation Program for Certain Commercial and Industrial Equipment: Proposed Determination of Natural Draft Commercial Packaged Boilers as Covered Industrial Equipment AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Proposed determination of coverage; withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) withdraws its August 13, 2013, notice of proposed determination that natural draft commercial packaged boilers meet the criteria for covered equipment under Part A-1 of Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), as amended. 78 FR 49202. DOE is taking this action after consideration of comments received in response to the notice of proposed determination and other relevant rulemakings that indicate a common and long-standing understanding from interested parties that natural draft commercial packaged boilers are and have been covered equipment under part A-1 of Title III of EPCA.

    DATES:

    The proposed determination is withdrawn August 25, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. James Raba, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-8654. Email: [email protected]

    Mr. Peter Cochran, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. Telephone: (202) 586-9496. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Authority II. Background III. Discussion IV. Approval of the Office of the Secretary I. Authority

    Title III, Part C 1 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), Public Law 94-163, as amended, (42 U.S.C. 6311-6317, as codified), added by Public Law 95-619, Title IV, § 441(a), established the Energy Conservation Program for Certain Industrial Equipment, which includes commercial packaged boilers.2 In addition to specifying a list of covered commercial and industrial equipment, EPCA contains provisions that enable the Secretary of Energy to classify additional types of commercial and industrial equipment as covered equipment. (42 U.S.C. 6311(1)(L))

    1 For editorial reasons, upon codification in the United States Code (U.S.C.), Part C was re-designated Part A-1.

    2 All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute as amended through Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, Public Law 114-11 (April 30, 2015).

    II. Background

    On August 13, 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Determination (August 2013 NOPD) to clarify that natural draft commercial packaged boilers are covered equipment under EPCA. 78 FR 49202. Under EPCA, “the term `packaged boiler' means a boiler that is shipped complete with heating equipment, mechanical draft equipment, and automatic controls; usually shipped in one or more sections.” (42 U.S.C. 6311(11)(B)) In the August 2013 NOPD, DOE sought to clarify its statutory authority to cover commercial packaged boilers that do not include mechanical draft equipment by proposing the following definition for natural draft commercial packaged boilers: The term “natural draft commercial packaged boiler means a commercial packaged boiler designed to operate with negative pressure in the firebox and in the flue connection created by a chimney or the height of the unit itself, up to the draft control device. Such boilers do not require mechanical drafting equipment to vent combustion gases, but may include mechanical devices such as mechanical flue or stack dampers to limit the heat losses through the flue vent during off-cycle.” 78 FR 49203. DOE also requested public comment on the proposed determination of coverage and proposed definition.

    In parallel, DOE initiated a rulemaking to amend the energy conservation standards for commercial packaged boilers. On September 3, 2013, DOE published a notice of public meeting in the Federal Register that announced the availability of the framework document. 78 FR 54197. Subsequently, on November 20, 2014, DOE published another notice of public meeting (November 2014 NOPM) in the Federal Register that announced the availability of the preliminary analysis technical support document. 79 FR 69066. Both notices requested public comment from interested parties about various aspects of the rulemakings.

    III. Discussion

    DOE received several written comments that are relevant to the coverage determination of natural draft commercial packaged boilers in response both to the August 2013 NOPD and the November 2014 NOPM.

    In response to the August 2013 NOPD, DOE received comments from the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).

    AHRI stated that the long time practices of both industry and DOE make clear that natural draft commercial packaged boilers are covered equipment subject to the efficiency standards established in accordance with EPCA, noting that the minimum efficiency standards specified for commercial boilers have been applied to all commercial packaged boiler models, natural draft or otherwise, for the past 20 years. AHRI further noted that the minimum efficiency standards specified for commercial boilers in American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1, “Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings” (upon which the Federal standards are based) have been applied to all models since the first edition of the standard more than 35 years ago, and asserted that there should be no question that natural draft commercial packaged boilers are covered equipment subject to DOE's efficiency standards. Finally, AHRI suggested that if it is necessary to prevent ambiguity in the definition, DOE simply edit the definition to clarify that a commercial packaged boiler is shipped with mechanical draft equipment only if required, which AHRI asserted reflects the proper reading that the definition covers all types of boilers. (AHRI, No. 7 at pp. 1-2) 3

    3 A notation in the form “AHRI, No. 7 at pp. 1-2” identifies a written comment: (1) Made by AHRI; (2) recorded as comment number 7 in the docket of this rulemaking (Docket No. EERE-2013-BT-STD-0030) and available for review at www.regulations.gov; and (3) which appears on pages 1 and 2 of comment number 7.

    In response to the November 2014 NOPM, DOE received comments from various interested parties, including AHRI and Raypak Inc. Raypak argued that the industry has recognized, and there should be no question, that natural draft boilers have been covered under EPCA for many years. (Raypak, No. 35 at p. 2) AHRI commented that the minimum efficiency standards specified for commercial packaged boilers in EPCA have been applied to all models including natural draft for the past 20 years. AHRI also restated its position from previous comments (discussed above) that there should be no question that natural draft commercial packaged boilers are covered equipment subject to DOE's standards. (AHRI, No. 37 at p. 2)

    In summary, comments received from interested parties, both from the August 2013 NOPD and the November 2014 NOPM, support DOE's understanding that packaged boilers, as currently defined under EPCA, include natural draft packaged boilers. Therefore, DOE concludes that it is not necessary to publish a final coverage determination for natural draft commercial packaged boilers and is withdrawing its notice of proposed determination.

    IV. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of this withdrawal notice.

    List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 431

    Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Energy conservation, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 14, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20970 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3146; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-249-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 777-200 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the skin lap splices at certain stringers in certain fuselage sections are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require inspections to detect cracking of fuselage skin lap splices in certain fuselage sections, and corrective actions if necessary; modification of left-side and right-side lap splices; and post-modification repetitive inspections for cracks in the modified lap splices, and corrective actions if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the skin lap splices, and consequent risk of sudden decompression and the inability to sustain limit flight and pressure loads.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 9, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3146.

    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-2015-3146; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Haytham Alaidy, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6573; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-3146; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-249-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    Structural fatigue damage is progressive. It begins as minute cracks, and those cracks grow under the action of repeated stresses. This can happen because of normal operational conditions and design attributes, or because of isolated situations or incidents such as material defects, poor fabrication quality, or corrosion pits, dings, or scratches. Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural design details, or globally. Global fatigue damage is general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural details and stress levels. Multiple-site damage is global damage that occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. Global damage can also occur in multiple elements such as adjacent frames or stringers. Multiple-site-damage and multiple-element-damage cracks are typically too small initially to be reliably detected with normal inspection methods. Without intervention, these cracks will grow, and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the airplane, in a condition known as WFD. As an airplane ages, WFD will likely occur, and will certainly occur if the airplane is operated long enough without any intervention.

    The FAA's WFD final rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD rule requires certain actions to prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that DAHs establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV is approved.

    The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by airworthiness directives through separate rulemaking actions.

    In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur. This approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes.

    During Model 777 fatigue testing, skin cracks were found at the stringer S-14 lap splice. These cracks initiated at scribe lines that were made inadvertently in production when maskant was removed from the skin panels. This condition, if not corrected, could result in fatigue cracking of the skin lap splices, and consequent reduced structural integrity of the airplane and could cause sudden decompression and the inability to sustain limit flight and pressure loads.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0052, dated October 10, 2014. The service bulletin describes procedures for inspections to detect cracking of fuselage skin lap splices and repairs, modification to the skin lap splices; and repetitive inspections for cracks in the modified lap splices and repairs. 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.

    Other Related Service Information

    Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0052, dated October 10, 2014, specifies concurrent accomplishment of an inspection of the fuselage skin for external scribe lines, skin cracks, and repair, which are described in Boeing Service Bulletin 777-53A0054, Revision 1, dated November 4, 2010. The actions described in Boeing Service Bulletin 777-53A0054, Revision 1, dated November 4, 2010, are required by AD 2013-07-11, Amendment 39-17415 (78 FR 22185, April 15, 2013); therefore, those actions are not required in this NPRM.

    Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0052, dated October 10, 2014, describes doing inspections for cracks in the skin of the stringer lap splices and repair, which are also described in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0043, dated November 9, 2011. The actions described in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0043, dated November 9, 2011, are required by AD 2012-14-03, Amendment 39-17117 (77 FR 42962, July 23, 2012); therefore, those actions are not required in this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information.” Refer to Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0052, dated October 10, 2014, for information on the procedures and compliance times.

    The phrase “corrective actions” is used in this proposed AD. “Corrective actions” are actions that correct or address any condition found. Corrective actions in an AD could include, for example, repairs.

    Explanation of Compliance Time

    The compliance time for the modification specified in this proposed AD for addressing WFD was established to ensure that discrepant structure is modified before WFD develops in airplanes. Standard inspection techniques cannot be relied on to detect WFD before it becomes a hazard to flight. We will not grant any extensions of the compliance time to complete any AD-mandated service bulletin related to WFD without extensive new data that would substantiate and clearly warrant such an extension.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    The service bulletin specifies to contact the manufacturer for instructions on how to repair certain conditions, but this proposed AD would require repairing those conditions in one of the following ways:

    • In accordance with a method that we approve; or

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

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

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

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 21 airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspection and modification 2,713 work-hours × $85 per hour = $230,605 $0 $230,605 $4,842,705. Post-modification inspection 1,391 work-hours × $85 per hour = $118,235 per inspection cycle 0 $118,235 per inspection cycle $2,482,935 per inspection cycle.

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

    According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all available costs in our cost estimate.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-3146; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-249-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by October 9, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 777-200 series airplanes, certified in any category; as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0052, dated October 10, 2014.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the skin lap splices at certain stringers in certain fuselage sections are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the skin lap splices, and consequent risk of sudden decompression and the inability to sustain limit flight and pressure loads.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspections and Corrective Actions

    Except as provided by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0052, dated October 10, 2014: Do Part 1, inspection “A,” of the modification area for cracks; Part 2, inspection “B,” of the modification area for cracks; and Part 3, inspection “C,” of the modification area for scribe lines and cracks; as applicable; and do all applicable corrective actions; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0052, dated October 10, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

    (1) Inspection “A” includes an external phased array ultrasonic inspection for cracks in the lower/overlapped skin of the stringer S-14 left and right (L/R) lap splices between fuselage station 655 and station 1434, and an open hole high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for skin cracks at the upper and lower fastener rows of the stringer lap splices.

    (2) Inspection “B” includes the inspections specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(i) through (g)(2)(iv) of this AD.

    (i) A detailed inspection for cracks of any skin panel common to a stringer lap splice between fuselage station 655 and station 1434 that has a scribe line 0.001 inch or deeper.

    (ii) Either an ultrasonic inspection or a surface HFEC inspection for cracks (depending on the location of the scribe line(s)) of any skin panel common to a stringer lap splice between fuselage station 655 and station 1434 that has a scribe line 0.001 inch or deeper.

    (iii) An external phased array ultrasonic inspection for cracks in the lower/overlapped skin of the stringer S-14L/R lap splices between fuselage station 655 and station 1434.

    (iv) An open hole HFEC inspection for skin cracks at the upper and lower fastener rows of the stringer lap splices.

    (3) Inspection “C” includes the inspections for scribe lines and cracks specified in paragraphs (g)(3)(i), (g)(3)(ii), and (g)(3)(iii) of this AD on stringer S-14L/R lap splice between fuselage station 655 and station 1434 on both sides of the airplane.

    (i) A detailed inspection for scribe lines. If any scribe line is found during the inspection required by this paragraph, the actions include the inspections specified in paragraphs (g)(3)(i)(A) and (g)(3)(i)(B) of this AD.

    (A) A detailed inspection for cracks of the scribe line area(s).

    (B) Either an ultrasonic inspection or a surface HFEC inspection for cracks (depending on the location of the scribe line(s)).

    (ii) An external phased array ultrasonic inspection for cracks in the lower/overlapped skin of the stringer lap splices between fuselage station 655 and station 1434.

    (iii) An open hole HFEC inspection for skin cracks at the upper and lower fastener rows of the stringer S-14L/R lap splices.

    (h) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

    (1) Where Paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0052, dated October 10, 2014, 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) If, during accomplishment of any inspection required by this AD, any condition is found for which Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0052, dated October 10, 2014, specifies to contact Boeing for special repair instructions or supplemental instructions for the modification, and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance): Before further flight, do the repair or modification using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (i) Lap Splice Modification

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0052, dated October 10, 2014: Do the left-side and right-side lap splice modification, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0052, dated October 10, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD.

    (j) Post-Modification Inspections and Corrective Action

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0052, dated October 10, 2014: Do a post-modification internal surface HFEC inspection for skin cracks in the modified lap splices on both sides of the airplane; and do all applicable corrective actions; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0052, dated October 10, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the inspection of the modified lap splices thereafter at the applicable intervals specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0052, dated October 10, 2014.

    (k) 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 (l)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

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

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

    (4) Except as required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD: For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (k)(4)(i) and (k)(4)(ii) apply.

    (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

    (ii) Steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    (l) 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) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 17, 2015. Kevin Hull, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20853 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3147; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-094-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, and -300ER series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of fractured forward attach fittings of the inboard flap outboard aft flap track. The fractured fittings were determined to be the result of corrosion pits forming on the inside diameter of the fittings. This proposed AD would require an inspection for the affected part number and serial number of the main flap; various additional repetitive inspections of the fitting, if necessary; and replacement of the fitting or nested bushing installation, if necessary, which would terminate the inspections. This proposed AD would also provide for optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fracture of the fitting, which could result in the loss of the inboard aft flap and could lead to a punctured fuselage, causing injury to the flightcrew and passengers, and damage to the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 9, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    • Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3147.

    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-2015-3147; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric Lin, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-917-6412; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-3147; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-094-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We have received reports of fractured forward attach fittings of the inboard flap outboard aft flap track, and it is believed to be the result of corrosion pits forming on the inside diameter of the fittings. Four operators have reported finding four fractured forward attach fittings of the aft flap track of the inboard flap on airplanes with approximately 20,300 to 31,900 total flight hours and approximately 5,900 to 8,500 total flight cycles. In addition, two operators reported three cracked fittings on airplanes with approximately 29,300 to 35,700 total flight hours and approximately 5,200 to 7,900 total flight cycles. This condition, if not corrected, could result in the loss of the inboard aft flap and could lead to a punctured fuselage, causing injury to the flightcrew and passengers, and damage to the airplane.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014. The service information describes procedures for an inspection for the affected part number and serial number of the main flap; various additional repetitive inspections of the fitting, if necessary; and replacement of the fitting or nested bushing installation, if necessary, which would eliminate the need for the inspections. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information.” Refer to this service information for details on the procedures and compliance times.

    Explanation of “RC” Steps in Service Information

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

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

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014, specifies groups 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 airplanes as the effectivity. However, this proposed AD is applicable only to groups 1, 2, and 4 airplanes (Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, and -300ER airplanes) because the identified unsafe condition only affects these airplanes. For groups 3 and 5 airplanes (Model 777F airplanes), the consequence of fitting fracture on these airplanes has not been determined to be an unsafe condition at this time. Therefore, we are not requiring inspections for groups 3 and 5 airplanes. We have coordinated this difference with Boeing.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 148 airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspection to determine the part number 3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255 $0 $255 $37,740. Additional Inspections Up to 7 work-hours × $85 per hour = $595, per cycle 0 Up to $595, per cycle Up to $88,060, per cycle.

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. The nested bushing installation of the attach fitting and the fitting replacement are also optional terminating actions. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft on which these actions might be done.

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Nested bushing installation of the attach fitting 40 work-hours × $85 per hour = $3,400 $45 $3,445. Fitting replacement 73 work-hours × $85 per hour = $6,205 7,400 13,605.

    According to the manufacturer, all of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-3147; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-094-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by October 9, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, and -300ER series airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of fractured forward attach fittings of the inboard flap outboard aft flap track. The fractured fittings were determined to be the result of corrosion pits forming on the inside diameter of the fittings. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fracture of the fitting, which could result in the loss of the inboard aft flap and could lead to a punctured fuselage, causing injury to the flightcrew and passengers, and damage to the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection To Determine the Part Number

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (l) of this AD: Do an inspection of the inboard flap of the main flap for affected part and serial numbers, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the part number and serial number of the inboard flap can be conclusively determined from that review.

    (h) Additional Inspections

    If any inboard flap of the main flap having an affected part number and serial number is found during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Except as provided by paragraph (l) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014, do the inspections specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014, until a terminating action in paragraph (k)(1), (k)(2), or (k)(3) of this AD is done.

    (1) At the forward attach fitting of the aft flap track of the inboard flap: Do a detailed inspection for cracking and bushing migration, and a high frequency eddy current inspection for cracking, in accordance with Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014.

    (2) At the forward attach fitting of the aft flap track of the inboard flap: Do a detailed inspection for cracking and bushing migration, and an ultrasound inspection for cracking, in accordance with Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014.

    (i) Corrective Action for Bushing Migration

    If any bushing migration but no cracking is found during any inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD: At the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014, do the actions specified in paragraphs (i)(1) through (i)(3) of this AD. Accomplishment of a terminating action specified in paragraph (i)(3) or (k) of this AD terminates the actions required by this paragraph.

    (1) Apply corrosion inhibiting compound BMS 3-23, Type II, around the bushing flanges on each side of the fitting, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014. Re-apply the corrosion inhibiting compound at the time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014.

    (2) Repeat the inspections specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD, except inspect for cracking only.

    (3) Do a terminating action specified in paragraph (i)(3)(i), (i)(3)(ii), or (i)(3)(iii) of this AD.

    (i) Install a nested bushing to the forward attach fitting of the aft flap track of the inboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014.

    (ii) Replace the forward attach fitting of the aft flap track of the inboard flap with an aluminum fitting, in accordance with Part 5 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014.

    (iii) Replace the forward attach fitting of the aft flap track of the inboard flap with a titanium fitting, in accordance with Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014.

    (j) Corrective Actions for Cracking

    If any cracking is found during any inspection required by paragraph (h) or (i)(3) of this AD: At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014, do a terminating action specified in paragraph (j)(1) or (j)(2) of this AD. Replacement of the forward attach fitting as specified in paragraph (j)(1) or (j)(2) of this AD terminates the actions in this AD.

    (1) Replace the forward attach fitting of the aft flap track of the inboard flap with an aluminum fitting, in accordance with Part 5 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014.

    (2) Replace the forward attach fitting of the aft flap track of the inboard flap with a titanium fitting, in accordance with Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014.

    (k) Optional Terminating Actions

    (1) Installation of the nested bushing to the forward attach fitting of the aft flap track of the inboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014, terminates the requirements of this AD.

    (2) Replacement of the forward attach fitting of the aft flap track of the inboard flap with an aluminum fitting, in accordance with Part 5 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014, terminates the requirements of this AD.

    (3) Replacement of the forward attach fitting of the aft flap track of the inboard flap with a titanium fitting, in accordance with Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014, terminates the requirements of this AD.

    (l) Exception to the Service Information

    Where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, Revision 1, dated November 5, 2014, 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.

    (m) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-57-0094, dated January 29, 2014, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Multi Operator Message MOM-MOM-13-0137-01B, dated February 21, 2013, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (n) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

    (4) For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (n)(4)(i) and (n)(4)(ii) apply.

    (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

    (ii) Steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    (o) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Eric Lin, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-917-6412; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 17, 2015. Kevin Hull, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20835 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3607; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-010-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; M7 Aerospace LLC Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all M7 Aerospace LLC Models SA26-AT, SA226-T, SA226-AT, SA226-T(B), SA226-TC, SA227-AT, SA227-TT, SA227-AC (C-26A), SA227-BC (C-26A), SA227-CC, and SA227-DC (C-26B) airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by information that the airplane flight manual (AFM) does not provide adequate guidance in the handling of engine failures, which may lead to reliance on the negative torque system (NTS) for reducing drag. This condition could lead the pilot to not fully feather the propeller with consequent loss of control. This proposed AD would require inserting updates into the airplane flight manual (AFM) and/or the pilot operating handbook (POH) that will clearly establish that the NTS is not designed to automatically feather the propeller but only to provide drag protection. We are proposing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 9, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    • Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact M7 Aerospace LLC, 10823 NE Entrance Road, San Antonio, Texas 78216; phone: (210) 824-9421; fax: (210) 804-7766; Internet: http://www.elbitsystems-us.com; email: [email protected] You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 816-329-4148.

    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-2015-3607; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Heusser, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Fort Worth Aircraft Certification Office, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone: (817) 222-5038; fax: (817) 222-5960; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-3607; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-010-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    The FAA received a report of an accident where an M7 Aerospace LLC Model SA227-AC airplane experienced left engine power loss and consequent loss of control. Training manuals provide descriptions of the negative torque system (NTS), which provides partial anti-drag protection if a negative torque condition is sensed. This feature might cause pilots to assume the system automatically provides full anti-drag protection in the event of an engine failure or power loss. The pilot must also take prompt action to fully feather the propeller on the failed engine to reduce drag. A pilot's sole reliance on the NTS for reducing drag in the event of engine power loss may result in the pilot's failure to initiate the Engine Failure Inflight checklist and feather the propellers in time.

    This condition, if not corrected, could result in loss of control of the aircraft due to excessive asymmetric drag.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed the following M7 Aerospace LLC AFM revisions:

    • AFM revision dated May 14, 2015, section III, SA26-AT Dash One;

    • AFM revision dated May 14, 2015, section III, SA26-AT Dash Two;

    • AFM revision B-33, sections i and III, SA226-AT, dated November 14, 2014;

    • AFM revision A-29, sections i and III, SA226-T, dated November 14, 2014;

    • AFM revision B-29, sections i and 3, SA226-T(B), dated November 14, 2014;

    • AFM revision A-43, sections i and III, SA226-TC, dated November 14, 2014;

    • AFM (4AC) revision B-11, sections 0 and 3, SA227-AC, dated November 14, 2014;

    • AFM (4MC) revision A-12, sections 0 and 3, SA227-AC, dated November 14, 2014;

    • AFM (6AC) revision A-16, sections 0 and 3, SA227-AC, dated November 14, 2014;

    • AFM (7AC) revision B-19, sections 0 and 3, SA227-AC, dated November 14, 2014;

    • AFM (7MC) revision A-13, sections 0 and 3, SA227-AC, dated November 14, 2014;

    • AFM (8AC) revision A-15, sections 0 and 3, SA227-AC, dated November 14, 2014;

    • Pilot operating handbook (POH)/AFM (4AT) revision A-12, sections 0 and 3, SA227-AT, dated November 14, 2014;

    • POH/AFM (6AT) revision 13, sections 0 and 3, SA227-AT, dated November 14, 2014;

    • POH/AFM (6AT), section 7, revision 7, SA227-AT, dated November 14, 2014;

    • POH/AFM (7AT) revision B-12, sections 0 and 3, SA227-AT, dated November 14, 2014;

    • POH/AFM (8AT) revision 13, sections 0 and 3, SA227-AT, dated November 14, 2014;

    • AFM (6BC) revision 21, sections 0 and 3, SA227-BC, dated November 14, 2014;

    • AFM (6CC) revision 17, sections 0 and 3, SA227-CC, dated November 14, 2014;

    • AFM (6DC) revision 34, sections 0 and 3, SA227-DC, dated November 14, 2014;

    • AFM (8DC) revision 8, sections 0 and 3, SA227-DC, dated November 14, 2014;

    • POH/AFM revision 15, sections 0 and 3, SA227-TT Fairchild 300, dated November 14, 2014;

    • POH/AFM revision 13, sections 0 and 3, SA227-TT Fairchild 312, dated November 14, 2014;

    • POH/AFM revision 29, sections 0 and 3, SA227-TT, dated November 14, 2014.

    The M7 Aerospace LP service information describes procedures for inflight engine shutdown procedures. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination

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

    In addition, minimum controllable airspeed for single engine landing is being investigated for possible future action.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require updates be inserted into the AFM that will clearly establish that the NTS is not designed to automatically feather the propeller but only to provide drag protection.

    The proposed requirements do not address anything on the above-referenced minimum controllable airspeed for single engine landing.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 360 airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Insert revision into the appropriate AFM describing action to take when feathering propellers in the event of engine failure .5 work-hour × $85 per hour = $42.50 Not applicable $42.50 $15,300.
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive. (AD): M7 Aerospace LP: Docket No. FAA-2015-3607; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-010-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by October 9, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to M7 Aerospace LLC Models SA26-AT, SA226-T, SA226-AT, SA226-T(B), SA226-TC, SA227-AT, SA227-TT, SA227-AC (C-26A), SA227-BC (C-26A), SA227-CC, and SA227-DC (C-26B) airplanes, all serial numbers, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 01, Operations Information.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by information that a pilot's sole reliance on the NTS for reducing drag in the event of engine power loss may result in the pilot's failure to initiate the Engine Failure Inflight checklist and feather the propellers in time. This could lead the pilot to not fully feather the propeller with consequent loss of control. We are issuing this AD to add information to the AFM and/or POH that reliance on the NTS to reduce drag during an engine failure could lead the pilot to not fully feather the propeller with consequent loss of control.

    (f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, unless already done.

    (g) Actions

    Incorporate the applicable M7 Aerospace LLC AFM revisions as listed in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(12) of this AD:

    (1) For Model SA26-AT Dash One airplanes: Insert pages III-1 through III-6, revised May 14, 2015; and pages III-7 through III-8, FAA Approved May 14, 2015; into the Merlin Model SA-26AT Dash One AFM.

    (2) For Model SA26-AT Dash Two airplanes: Insert pages III-1 through III-6, revised May 14, 2015; and pages III-7 through III-8, FAA Approved May 14, 2015; into the Merlin Model SA-26AT Dash Two AFM.

    (3) For Model SA226-T airplanes: Insert pages III-2 though III-26, revised November 14, 2014, into the Swearingen Merlin SA226-T AFM, Reissue A, dated June 28, 1976.

    (4) For Model SA226-AT airplanes: Insert pages III-2 through III-30, revised November 14, 2014, into the Merlin SA226-AT AFM, Reissue B, dated May 6, 1977.

    (5) For Model SA226-T(B) airplanes: Insert pages 3-2, Emergency Procedures, through page 3-20, Emergency Procedures, revised November 14, 2014; and pages 3-21 through 3-24, Emergency Procedures, issued November 14, 2014; into the Merlin SA226-T(B) AFM, Reissue B, dated November 2, 1979.

    (6) For Model SA226-TC airplanes: Insert pages III-2 through page III-24, revised November 24, 2014; and pages III-25 through III-32, FAA Approved November 14, 2014; into the Metro SA226-TC AFM, Reissue A, dated December 1, 1976.

    (7) For Model SA227-AT airplanes:

    (i) Model 4AT: Insert pages 3-4 through 3-30, Emergency Procedures, revised November 14, 2014; and pages 3-31 through 3-34, Emergency Procedures, FAA Approved November 14, 2014; into the SA227-AT (4AT) pilot operating handbook (POH)/AFM, Reissue A, dated November 30, 1988;

    (ii) Model 6AT: Insert pages 3-4 through 3-36, FAA Approved, Emergency Procedures, revised November 14, 2014, into the SA227-AT (6AT) POH/AFM, dated May 13, 1987.

    (iii) Model 7AT: Insert pages 3-4 through 3-30, Emergency Procedures, revised December 9, 2014, and pages 3-31 through 3-34, FAA Approved December 9, 2014, into the SA227-AT (7AT) POH/AFM, Reissue B, dated November 30, 1988.

    (iv) Model 8AT: Insert pages 3-4 through 3-30, Emergency Procedures, revised December 9, 2014; and pages 3-31 through 3-34, FAA Approved December 9, 2014; into the SA227-AT (8AT) POH/AFM, dated May 13, 1987.

    (8) For Model SA227-TT Fairchild 300 airplanes: Insert page 3-3 through 3-30, Emergency Procedures, revised December 9, 2014; and pages 3-31 through 3-34, Emergency Procedures, FAA Approved December 9, 2014; into the SA227-TT Fairchild 300 POH/AFM, Reissue A, dated August 7, 1981.

    (9) For Model SA227-TT Fairchild 312 airplanes: Insert page 3-3, Emergency Procedures, revised December 9, 2014; pages 3-5 through 3-30, Emergency Procedures, revised December 9, 2014; and pages 3-31 through 3-32, Emergency Procedures, FAA Approved December 9, 2014; into the Model SA227-TT Fairchild 300 (312) 12,500 LBS POH/AFM, dated October 4, 1981.

    (10) For Model SA227-TT Fairchild Merlin IIIC airplanes: Insert pages 3-3 through 3-24, revised December 9, 2014, and pages 3-25 through 3-32, issued December 9, 2014; into the SA227-TT Merlin IIIC POH/AFM, Reissue A, dated August 7, 1981.

    (11) For Model SA227-AC (4AC) airplanes: Insert pages 3-3 through 3-30, Emergency Procedures, revised November 14, 2014; into the SA227-AC AFM, Reissue B, dated November 7, 1990.

    (12) For Model SA227-AC (4MC) airplanes: Insert pages 3-3 through 3-30, Emergency Procedures, revised November 14, 2014; and pages 3-31 through 3-36, Emergency Procedures, FAA Approved November 14, 2014, into the SA227-AC AFM, Reissue A, dated May 22, 1989.

    (13) For Model SA227-AC (7AC) airplanes: Insert pages 3-3 through 3-30, Emergency Procedures, revised December 9, 2014; and pages 3-31 through 3-34, Emergency Procedures, FAA Approved December 9, 2014, into the SA227-AC AFM, Reissue B, dated April 2, 1986.

    (14) For Model SA227-AC (7MC) airplanes: Insert pages 3-3 through 3-30, Emergency Procedures, revised December 9, 2014; and pages 3-31 through 3-34, Emergency Procedures, FAA Approved December 9, 2014, into the SA227-AC AFM, Reissue A, dated May 22, 1989.

    (15) For Model SA227-AC (8AC) airplanes: Insert pages 3-3 through 3-30, Emergency Procedures, revised December 9, 2014; and pages 3-31 through 3-34, Emergency Procedures, FAA Approved December 9, 2014, into the SA227-AC AFM, Reissue A, dated May 22, 1989

    (16) For Model SA227-AC (6AC) airplanes: Insert pages 3-3 through 3-20, Emergency Procedures, revised November 14, 2014; into the SA227-AC AFM, Reissue A, dated May 22, 1989.

    (17) For Model SA227-AC (6BC) airplanes: Insert pages 3-3 through 3-30, Emergency Procedures, revised November 14, 2014; and pages 3-31 through 3-36, Emergency Procedures, FAA Approved November 14, 2014, into the SA227-BC AFM, dated September 25, 1989.

    (18) For Model SA227-DC (6DC) airplanes: Insert pages 3-3 through 3-26, Emergency Procedures, revised December 9, 2014; and pages 3-27 through 3-32, Emergency Procedures, FAA Approved December 9, 2014, into the SA227-DC AFM, dated August 23, 1991.

    (19) For Model SA227-BC (C-26A) airplanes: Insert pages 3-4 through 3-30, Emergency Procedures, revised December 9, 2014; and pages 3-31 through 3-36, Emergency Procedures, FAA Approved December 9, 2014; into the SA227-BC AFM, dated September 25, 1989.

    (20) For Model SA227-CC (6CC) airplanes: Insert pages 3-3 through 3-24, Emergency Procedures, revised December 9, 2014; and pages 3-25 through 3-30, Emergency Procedures, FAA Approved December 9, 2014; into the SA227-CC AFM, dated December 11, 1992.

    (21) For Model SA227-DC (8DC) airplanes: Insert pages 3-3 through 3-26, Emergency Procedures, revised December 9, 2014; and pages 3-27 through 3-32, Emergency Procedures, FAA Approved December 9, 2014; into the SA227-DC AFM.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

    (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.

    (i) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Michael Heusser, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Fort Worth Aircraft Certification Office, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone: (817) 222-5038; fax: (817) 222-5960; email: Michae[email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact M7 Aerospace LLC, 10823 NE Entrance Road, San Antonio, Texas 78216; phone: (210) 824-9421; fax: (210) 804-7766; Internet: http://www.elbitsystems-us.com; email: [email protected] You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 816-329-4148.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 19, 2015. Earl Lawrence, Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20977 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 73 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0739; Airspace Docket No. 14-AWP-11] RIN 2120-AA66 Proposed Modification of Restricted Area R-7201; Farallon De Medinilla Island; Mariana Islands, GU AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to expand the lateral boundary of restricted area R-7201, Farallon De Medinilla Island, Mariana Islands, GU. The expanded restricted airspace would be used to support strategic and attack bombing, close air support bombing, naval gunfire, and strafing and special operations training. This action also proposes to rename the restricted area from R-7201 to R-7201A.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before October 9, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001; telephone: (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2015-0739 and Airspace Docket No. 14-AWP-11, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at www.regulations.gov. Comments on environmental and land use aspects should be directed to: Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific, Attention: MIRC Airspace EA/OEA Project Manager, 258 Makalapa Drive, Suite 100, Pearl Harbor, HI 96860-3134.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of the airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would modify the restricted area airspace at Farallon De Medinilla Island, Mariana Islands, GU, to enhance aviation safety and accommodate essential U.S. Navy training requirements.

    Background

    The Department of the Navy is seeking to expand R-7201 out from its current 3-nautical mile (NM) radius to a 12-NM radius. The proposed action is needed in order to support training activities that involve the use of advanced weapons systems which the current airspace does not sufficiently and safely provide. The Navy and other services require fully capable training and testing range complexes (land, sea, and airspace) that provide realistic and controlled environments with sufficient surface Danger Zones (DZs) and Special Use Airspace vital for safety and mission success.

    Farrallon de Medinilla (FDM) consists of the island land mass and the restricted airspace designated R-7201. The land mass is approximately 1.7 miles long and 0.3 miles wide. It contains a live-fire and inert bombing range and supports live-fire and inert engagements such as surface-to-ground and air-to-ground gunnery, bombing and missile exercises, fire support, and precision weapons. Restricted Area R-7201 surrounds FDM and the surrounding waters within a 3-NM radius from center extending from the surface to Flight Level (FL) 600. FDM and R-7201 are the Department of Defense's (DOD) only United States controlled range in the western Pacific available to forward-deployed forces for live-fire and inert training. For this reason, it plays a unique role in national defense. R-7201's location is ideal for access and availability and its relative isolation facilitates a variety of attack profiles.

    Due to Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands' (CNMI) strategic location and DOD's ongoing reassessment of the Western Pacific military alignment, there has been a dramatic increase in the importance of the Mariana Islands Range Complex (MIRC) as a training venue and its capabilities to support required military training. Flight training profiles, altitudes and speed are severely restricted to ensure containment due to the small size of the current restricted area. In order to fully exploit the capabilities of modern weapons systems and provide the required training scenarios that replicate conditions encountered during deployments today, it is necessary to expand R-7201 laterally. This action would enable the military to continue to achieve and maintain service readiness using the MIRC to support and conduct current, emerging, and future training activities. The proposed R-7201 expansion would support naval gun fire training, readiness and the utilization of advanced lasers with Nominal Ocular Hazard Distance that exceed the current 3 NM constraints of the existing airspace. Additionally, the expansion would serve to support the U.S. Air Force's Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)/Strike program. It is anticipated that a 45 percent increase in operations and training would occur within the expanded airspace and will accommodate an increased training tempo, newer aircraft and weapon systems that are commensurate with the ISR/Strike mission that the current airspace cannot support.

    The Navy has leased FDM from CNMI since 1971 and in 1983 negotiated a 50-year lease with an option to renew for another 50 years. No maneuver training is permitted on FDM and the nearshore waters are leased to the U.S. for military purposes, specifically for use as a live fire naval gunfire and air warfare air strike training range. As such, FDM and its nearshore area have always been an off-limits area to all personnel both civilian and military due to unexploded ordnance concerns. In addition to the proposed R-7201 expansion, the DZ around FDM would be expanded to 12 NM to align with the proposed restricted airspace. The DZ would restrict all private and commercial vessels from entering the area only when hazardous activities are scheduled.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal.

    Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket No. FAA-2014-0739 and Airspace Docket No. 14-AWP-11) and be submitted in triplicate to the Docket Management System (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the Internet at www.regulations.gov.

    Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to FAA Docket No. FAA-2015-0739 and Airspace Docket No. 14-AWP-11.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received on or before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this action may be changed in light of comments received. All comments submitted will be available for examination in the public docket both before and after the closing date for comments. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at www.regulations.gov.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received and any final disposition in person at the Dockets Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the office of the Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, 1601 Lind Ave. SW., Renton, WA 98057.

    Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRMs should contact the FAA's Office of Rulemaking, (202) 267-9677, for a copy of Advisory Circular No. 11-2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure.

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to 14 CFR part 73 to expand the lateral dimensions of restricted area R-7201, Farallon De Medinilla Island, Mariana Islands, GU and rename it R-7201A. The proposed R-7201A would be the minimum size required for containing stand-off weapons employment, naval gun fire training, and laser activities conducted there. The actual usage of the restricted area is estimated to be 4-5 days per week, 3-6 hours per day with 1,680 sorties per year.

    The proposed R-7201A boundary would extend the current boundary from 3 NM to 12 NM from latitude 16°01′04″ N., longitude 146°03′31″ E.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subjected to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 73

    Airspace, Prohibited areas, Restricted areas.

    The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 73 as follows:

    PART 73—SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE 1. The authority citation for part 73 is amended to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 73.72 Guam [Amended]
    2. § 73.72 is amended as follows: R-7201 Farallon De Medinilla Island Mariana Islands, GU [Removed] R-7201A Farallon De Medinilla Island Mariana Islands, GU [New]

    Boundaries: Beginning at latitude 16°01′04″ N., longitude 146°03′31″ E.; extending outward in a 12 NM radius.

    Altitudes: Surface up to and including FL 600.

    Times of Use: As scheduled by NOTAM 12 hours in advance.

    Controlling Agency: FAA, Guam Center/Radar Approach Control.

    Using Agency: Commander, Naval Forces, Marianas.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 19, 2015. Gary A. Norek, Manager, Airspace Policy and Regulations Group.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21084 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2014-0369; FRL-9932-90-Region 8] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Utah; Revisions to the Utah Division of Administrative Rules, R307-300 Series; Area Source Rules for Attainment of Fine Particulate Matter Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing approval and conditional approval of portions of the fine particulate matter (PM2.5) State Implementation Plan (SIP) and other general rule revisions submitted by the State of Utah. The revisions affect the Utah Division of Administrative Rules (DAR), R307-300 Series; Requirements for Specific Locations; the revisions had submission dates of February 2, 2012, May 9, 2013, June 8, 2013, February 18, 2014, April 17, 2014, May 20, 2014, July 10, 2014, August 6, 2014, and December 9, 2014. These area source rules control emissions of direct PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursors, sulfur dioxides (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). Additionally, the EPA will be proposing to approve the State's reasonably available control measure (RACM) determinations for the rule revisions that pertain to the PM2.5 SIP. This action is being taken under section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before September 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by EPA-R08-OAR-2014-0369, by one of the following methods:

    http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected]

    Fax: (303) 312-6064 (please alert the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT if you are faxing comments).

    Mail: Director, Air Program, EPA, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129.

    Hand Delivery: Director, Air Program, EPA, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129. Such deliveries are only accepted Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding federal holidays. Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2014-0369. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or email. The http://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 http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional instructions on submitting comments, go to Section I. General Information of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly-available docket materials are available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the EPA Region 8, Office of Partnerships and Regulatory Assistance, Air Program, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado, 80202-1129. EPA requests that you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. You may view the hard copy of the docket Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding federal holidays. An electronic copy of the State's SIP compilation is also available at http://www.epa.gov/region8/air/sip.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Crystal Ostigaard, Air Program, EPA, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, (303) 312-6602, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information

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

    b. Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

    i. Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).

    ii. Follow directions—The agency may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.

    iii. Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes.

    iv. Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used.

    v. If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.

    vi. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives.

    vii. Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.

    viii. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

    II. Background A. Regulatory Background

    On October 17, 2006 (71 FR 61144), the EPA strengthened the level of the 24-hour PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), lowering the primary and secondary standards from 65 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3), the 1997 standard, to 35µg/m3. On November 13, 2009 (74 FR 58688), the EPA designated three nonattainment areas in Utah for the 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS of 35 µg/m3. These are the Salt Lake City, UT; Provo, UT; and Logan, UT-ID nonattainment areas. The EPA originally designated these areas under CAA title I, part D, subpart 1, which required Utah to submit an attainment plan for each area no later than three years from the date of their nonattainment designations. These plans needed to provide for the attainment of the PM2.5 standard as expeditiously as practicable, but no later than five years from the date the areas were designated nonattainment.

    Subsequently, on January 4, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held that the EPA should have implemented the 2006 PM2.5 24-hour standard based on both CAA title I, part D, subpart 1 and subpart 4. Under subpart 4, nonattainment areas are initially classified as moderate, and moderate area attainment plans must address the requirements of subpart 4 as well as subpart 1. Additionally, CAA subpart 4 sets a different SIP submittal due date and attainment year. For a moderate area, the attainment SIP is due 18 months after designation and the attainment year is the end of the sixth calendar year after designation. On June 2, 2014 (79 FR 31566), the EPA finalized the Identification of Nonattainment Classification and Deadlines for Submission of State Implementation Plan (SIP) Provisions for the 1997 Fine Particulate (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS (“the Classification and Deadline Rule”). This rule classified to moderate the areas that were designated in 2009 as nonattainment, and set the attainment SIP submittal due date for those areas at December 31, 2014. This rule did not affect the moderate area attainment date of December 31, 2015.

    On March 23, 2015, the EPA proposed the Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards: State Implementation Plan Requirements (“PM2.5 Implementation Rule”), 80 FR 15340, which partially addresses the January 4, 2013 court ruling. This proposed rule details how air agencies should meet the statutory SIP requirements that apply under subparts 1 and 4 to areas designated nonattainment for any PM2.5 NAAQS, such as: General requirements for attainment plan due dates and attainment demonstrations; provisions for demonstrating reasonable further progress; quantitative milestones; contingency measures; Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) permitting programs; and RACM (including reasonably available control technology (RACT)), among other things. The statutory attainment planning requirements of subparts 1 and 4 were established to ensure that the following goals of the CAA are met: (i) That states implement measures that provide for attainment of the PM2.5 NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable; and, (ii) that states adopt emissions reduction strategies that will be the most effective, and the most cost-effective, at reducing PM2.5 levels in nonattainment areas.

    The PM2.5 Implementation Rule proposed a process for states to determine the control strategy for PM2.5 attainment plans. The process consists of identifying all technologically and economically feasible control measures, including control technologies for all sources of direct PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursors in the emissions inventory for the nonattainment area which are not otherwise exempted from consideration for controls.1 From that list of measures, the state must identify those that it can implement within four years of designation of the area (and which would thus meet the statutory requirements for RACM and RACT) and any “additional reasonable measures,” which EPA is proposing in the PM2.5 Implementation Rule to define as those technologically and economically feasible measures that the state can only implement on sources in the nonattainment area after the four year deadline for RACM and RACT has passed. See proposed 40 CFR 51.1000.

    1 Such exemptions could be due to a demonstrated lack of significant contribution of a certain PM2.5 precursor to the area's elevated PM2.5 concentrations or due to a presumptive determination that a certain source category contributes only a de minimis amount toward PM2.5 levels in a nonattainment area.

    B. RACT and RACM Requirements for PM2.5 Attainment Plans

    Section 172(c)(1) of the Act (from subpart 1) requires that attainment plans, in general, provide for the implementation of all RACM as expeditiously as practicable (including RACT) and shall provide for attainment of the national primary ambient air quality standards. Section 189(a)(1)(C) (from subpart 4) requires moderate area attainment plans to contain provisions to assure that RACM is implemented no later than four years after designation.

    The EPA stated its interpretation of the RACT and RACM requirements of subparts 1 and 4 in the 1992 General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, 57 FR 13498 (Apr. 6, 1992). For RACT, the EPA followed its “historic definition of RACT as the lowest emission limitation that a particular source is capable of meeting by the application of control technology that is reasonably available considering technological and economic feasibility.” 57 FR 13541. Like RACT, the EPA has historically considered RACM to consist of control measures that are reasonably available, considering technological and economic feasibility. See PM2.5 Implementation Rule, 80 FR 15373.

    C. Utah's PM2.5 Attainment Plan Submittals

    Prior to the January 4, 2013 decision of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Utah developed a PM2.5 attainment plan intended to meet the requirements of subpart 1. The EPA submitted written comments dated November 1, 2012 to the Utah Division of Air Quality (DAQ) on Utah's draft PM2.5 SIP, technical support document (TSD), and area source and other rules. After the court's decision, Utah amended its attainment plan to address requirements of subpart 4. On December 2, 2013, the EPA provided comments on Utah's revised draft PM2.5 SIPs for the Salt Lake City and Provo areas, including the TSDs and rules in Section IX, Part H. These written comments from EPA included some comments applicable to the rules we are proposing to act on today. The comment letters can be found within the docket for this action on www.regulations.gov.

    In addition to Utah's February 2, 2012 SIP submittal, on May 9, 2013, June 8, 2013, February 18, 2014, April 17, 2014, May 20, 2014, July 10, 2014, August 6, 2014, and December 9, 2014 the State of Utah submitted to EPA various revisions to the Division of Administrative Rules (DAR), Title R307—Environmental Quality, set of rules, most of which are applicable to the Utah SIP for PM2.5 nonattainment areas. The new rules or revised rules we are addressing in this proposed rule were provided by Utah in the nine different submissions listed above, and these rules are: R307-101-2, General Requirements: Definitions; R307-103, Administrative Procedures; R307-303, Commercial Cooking; R307-307, Road Salting and Sanding; R307-312, Aggregate Processing Operations for PM2.5 Nonattainment Areas; R307-328, Gasoline Transfer and Storage; R307-335, Degreasing and Solvent Cleaning Operations; R307-342, Adhesives and Sealants; R307-343 Emissions Standards for Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations; R307-344, Paper, Film, and Foil Coatings; R307-345, Fabric and Vinyl Coatings; R307-346, Metal Furniture Surface Coatings; R307-347, Large Appliance Surface Coatings; R307-348, Magnet Wire Coatings; R307-349, Flat Wood Panel Coatings; R307-350, Miscellaneous Metal Parts and Products Coatings; R307-351, Graphic Arts; R307-352, Metal Container, Closure, and Coil Coatings; R307-353, Plastic Parts Coatings; R307-354, Automotive Refinishing Coatings; R307-355, Control of Emissions from Aerospace Manufacture and Rework Facilities; R307-356, Appliance Pilot Light; R307-357, Consumer Products; and R307-361, Architectural Coatings.

    A previous rule, Rule R307-340 Surface Coating Processes, was replaced in these submittals by the specific rules for coatings listed above. Utah correspondingly repealed R307-340. In addition, Rule R307-342, Adhesives and Sealants, replaces an unrelated rule, R307-342 Qualifications of Contractors and Test Procedures for Vapor Recovery Systems for Gasoline Delivery Tanks. The removal of the previous version of R307-342 is addressed by the State's February 2, 2012 submittal, which repeals R307-342 and amends R307-328, Gasoline Transfer and Storage, to account for the repeal of R307-342.

    The final Utah submittal for fourteen of these rules was the December 9, 2014 submittal. The final Utah submittals for the remaining rules were from the February 2, 2012, May 9, 2013, June 8, 2013, February 18, 2014, April 17, 2014, May 20, 2014, July 10, 2014, and August 6, 2014 submittals. For each individual rule, the particular submittal containing the final version of the rule is identified in the technical support document provided in the docket for this proposed action.

    III. EPA's Evaluation of Utah's Submittals

    The SIP revisions in the February 2, 2012, May 9, 2013, June 8, 2013, February 18, 2014, April 17, 2014, May 20, 2014, July 10, 2014, August 6, 2014, and December 9, 2014 submittals that we are proposing to act on involve revisions to the DAR, Title R307—Environmental Quality, R307-101-2 General Requirements: Definitions; R307-103, Administrative Procedures; and the R307-300 Series; Requirements for Specific Locations (Within Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas). A number of the rules were submitted in multiple submission packages. The final, most recent submission package for each individual rule supersedes earlier submissions, and our proposed determination for each rule takes all changes from those earlier submissions into account. These final rule submissions, except for revisions to R307-101-2, R307-103, and R307-328, and the repeal of R307-342, are submitted and requested for approval as RACM components of the PM2.5 SIP submitted by the State of Utah. EPA is also taking action on two rule revisions that do not pertain to the Utah PM2.5 SIPs which include revisions to R307-328 and the repeal of R307-342. All of these rule revisions found in these submittals can be found on www.regulations.gov.

    The rules for RACM for area sources fall into two types. First, there are a number of similar rules for control of VOC emissions. These rules cover categories of area sources that use materials that contain VOCs, and also in some cases categories of area sources that manufacture or produce these materials.2 The second type of rule provide specific requirements for emissions of direct PM2.5, VOCs, NOx, and SO2 from a few specific categories of sources.3

    2 The rules of this type are: R307-335, Degreasing and Solvent Cleaning Operations; R307-342, Adhesives and Sealants; R307-343 Emissions Standards for Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations; R307-344, Paper, Film, and Foil Coatings; R307-345, Fabric and Vinyl Coatings; R307-346, Metal Furniture Surface Coatings; R307-347, Large Appliance Surface Coatings; R307-348, Magnet Wire Coatings; R307-349, Flat Wood Panel Coatings; R307-350, Miscellaneous Metal Parts and Products Coatings; R307-351, Graphic Arts; R307-352, Metal Container, Closure, and Coil Coatings; R-307-353, Plastic Parts Coatings; R307-354, Automotive Refinishing Coatings; R307-355, Control of Emissions from Aerospace Manufacture and Rework Facilities; R307-357, Consumer Products; and R307-361, Architectural Coatings.

    3 The rules of this type are: R307-303, Commercial Cooking; R307-307, Road Salting and Sanding; R307-312, Aggregate Processing Operations for PM2.5 Nonattainment Areas; and R307-357, Appliance Pilot Light.

    For the first type of rule, Utah generally allows area sources to comply in two ways. One is through use or production of materials with specified VOC content levels. The other is through use of add-on controls. For use of materials, in most rules sources can demonstrate compliance through manufacturer's data sheets. For add-on controls, the State has provided specific test methods to determine the efficiency of the controls.

    The following is a summary of EPA's evaluation of the rule revisions. The details of our evaluation are provided in a TSD that is available in the docket for this action. In general, we reviewed the rules for: enforceability; RACM requirements (for those rules submitted as RACM); and other applicable requirements of the Act.

    With respect to enforceability, section 110(a)(2)(A) of the Act requires SIP provisions such as emission limitations to be enforceable, and sections 110(a)(2)(F)(i) and (F)(ii) require plans to contain certain types of provisions related to enforceability, such as source monitoring, as prescribed by the Administrator. 40 CFR part 51, subpart K, Source Surveillance, prescribes requirements that plans must meet in this respect. 40 CFR Section 51.211 requires plans to contain legally enforceable procedures for owners or operators of stationary sources to maintain records and report information to the State in order to determine whether the source is in compliance. 40 CFR Section 51.212 requires plans to, among other things, contain enforceable test methods for each emission limit in the plan. Appropriate test methods may be selected from Appendix M to 40 CFR part 51 or Appendix A to 40 CFR part 60, or a state may use an alternative method following review and approval of that method by the EPA.

    Our review of the rules for enforceability revealed a few potential issues. First, certain rules did not clearly identify the test method that should be used to determine compliance. On August 4, 2015, the State provided a clarification letter that addresses this issue. Second, certain rules specified use of an “equivalent method” for compliance. This can create issues for enforceability of the provision under section CAA 110(a)(2)(C), as well as potentially violating the requirement of section 110(i) that SIP requirements for stationary sources can only be changed (with certain limited exceptions) through the SIP revision process. The State has provided a letter on August 4, 2015 that commits to provide a specific SIP revision to either remove the provision for use of an equivalent method, or to specify the other methods that can be used for compliance. Details of our analysis are in the docket for this rulemaking.

    For review of the State's RACM analyses, the EPA proposes to adopt the interpretation of RACM set out in the General Preamble, 57 FR 13498, 13540-13544 (April 6, 1992), and described in the March 23, 2015 proposed PM2.5 Implementation Rule. That is, RACM consists of the control measures that are reasonably available considering technological and economic feasibility. This includes EPA's longstanding interpretation that economic feasibility “involves considering the cost of reducing emissions and the difference between the cost of an emissions reduction measure at a particular source and the cost of emissions reduction measures that have been implemented at other similar sources in the same or other areas.” 80 FR 15373-74.

    Our detailed review of the State's RACM analyses for the rules we are acting on is provided in a TSD in the docket for this action. We did not review whether Utah's PM2.5 attainment plan as a whole addresses all necessary requirements for RACM under subparts 1 and 4. Based on our review, we are proposing to approve the State's submission that the particular rules we are acting on constitute RACM for the covered source categories, but we are not proposing to approve the PM2.5 attainment plan as a whole with respect to RACM requirements. We will act on the remainder of the attainment plan in a separate action.

    Finally, we reviewed all rules for compliance with other requirements of the Act. This review revealed a potential issue with one provision in the general definitions in R307-101-2. The provision defined “PM2.5 precursor” to include specifically only VOC, SO2, and NOX. As a factual matter, ammonia (NH3) is also a precursor to PM2.5, and at a minimum PM2.5 attainment plans should include inventories of all PM2.5 precursors.4 However, after review by UDAQ and EPA, we found that this definition was not used anywhere in Utah's SIP and could be removed. On August 4, 2015, the State provided a commitment letter to address the issue by removing the definition of PM2.5 precursor.

    4 The PM2.5 Implementation Rule proposes options for how states should substantively address control of these precursors.

    IV. What action is EPA proposing?

    EPA is proposing approval of the revisions to Administrative Rules R307-101-2 and R307-103, along with the additions/revisions/repeals in R307-300 Series; Requirements for Specific Locations (Within Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas), R307-303, R307-307, R307-312 (conditionally approved, see below), R307-335, R307-340 (repealed), R307-342 (repealed and replaced), R307-343, R307-344, R307-345, R307-346, R307-347, R307-348, R307-349, R307-350, R307-351, R307-352, R307-353, R307-354, R307-355, R307-356, R307-357, and R307-361 for incorporation to the Utah SIP as submitted by the State of Utah on May 9, 2013, June 8, 2013, February 18, 2014, April 17, 2014, May 20, 2014, July 10, 2014, August 6, 2014, and December 9, 2014. We are proposing to approve Utah's determination that the above rules in R307-300 Series; Requirements for Specific Locations (Within Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas) constitute RACM for the Utah PM2.5 SIP for the specific source categories addressed; however, we are not proposing to determine that Utah's PM2.5 attainment plan has met all requirements regarding RACM under subparts 1 and 4 of Part D, title I of the Act. We intend to act separately on the remainder of Utah's PM2.5 attainment plan.

    EPA is proposing to conditionally approve revisions to R307-312 and R307-328. Additionally, EPA is proposing to conditionally approve Utah's determination that R307-312 constitutes RACM for the Utah PM2.5 SIP for aggregate processing operations. As stated above, we are not proposing to determine that Utah's PM2.5 attainment plan has met all requirements regarding RACM under subparts 1 and 4 of Part D, title I of the Act. Under section 110(k)(4) of the Act, EPA may approve a SIP revision based on a commitment by the State to adopt specific enforceable measures by a date certain, but not later than one year after the date of approval of the plan revision. On August 4, 2015, Utah submitted a commitment letter to adopt and submit specific revisions within one year of our final action on these submittals; specifically to remove the phrase “or equivalent method” in one rule and to specify three equivalent methods in the other rule. If we finalize our proposed conditional approval, Utah must adopt and submit the specific revisions it has committed to within one year of our finalization. If Utah does not submit these revisions within one year, or if we find Utah's revisions to be incomplete, or we disapprove Utah's revisions, this conditional approval will convert to a disapproval. If any of these occur and our conditional approvals convert to a disapproval, that will constitute a disapproval of a required plan element under part D of title I of the Act, which starts an 18-month clock for sanctions, see CAA section 179(a)(2), and the two-year clock for a federal implementation plan (FIP), see CAA section 110(c)(1)(B).

    Finally, EPA is proposing to approve the repeal of R307-342, Qualification of Contractors and Test Procedures for Vapor Recovery Systems for Gasoline Delivery Tanks, submitted by DAQ on February 2, 2012.

    V. Consideration of Section 110(l) of the CAA

    Under section 110(l) of the CAA, the EPA cannot approve a SIP revision if the revision would interfere with any applicable requirements concerning attainment and reasonable further progress toward attainment of the NAAQS, or any other applicable requirement of the Act. In addition, section 110(l) requires that each revision to an implementation plan submitted by a state shall be adopted by the state after reasonable notice and public hearing.

    The Utah SIP revisions that the EPA is proposing to approve do not interfere with any applicable requirements of the Act. The DAR section R307-300 Series submitted by the DAQ on May 9, 2013, June 8, 2013, February 18, 2014, April 17, 2014, May 20, 2014, July 10, 2014, August 6, 2014, and December 9, 2014 are intended to strengthen the SIP and to serve as RACM for certain area sources for the Utah PM2.5 SIP. The repeal of R307-340 does not weaken the Utah SIP or the Ozone Maintenance Plan as a number of the new or revised rules addressing surface coatings take the place of R307-340 in total, and are as or more protective than R307-340. The revision to R307-328, Gasoline Transfer and Storage, and the repeal of R307-342, Qualification of Contractors and Test Procedures for Vapor Recovery Systems for Gasoline Delivery Tanks, submitted on by DAQ February 2, 2012, do not weaken the Utah SIP or the Ozone Maintenance Plan, because R307-328 replaces the testing requirements for trucks in R307-342 with the federal Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) requirements. Finally, Utah's submittals provide adequate evidence that the revisions were adopted after reasonable public notices and hearings. Therefore, CAA section 110(l) requirements are satisfied.

    VI. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the DAQ rules promulgated in the DAR, R307-300 Series as discussed in section III, EPA's Evaluation of Utah's Submittals, of this preamble. 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 proposes to approve state law as meeting federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this proposed action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: August 10, 2015. Debra H. Thomas, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 8.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20895 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 510 [CMS-5516-CN] RIN 0938-AS64 Medicare Program; Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Payment Model for Acute Care Hospitals Furnishing Lower Extremity Joint Replacement Services; Corrections AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This document corrects technical and typographical errors that appeared in the proposed rule published in the July 14, 2015 Federal Register entitled “Medicare Program; Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Payment Model for Acute Care Hospitals Furnishing Lower Extremity Joint Replacement Services.”

    DATES:

    The comment due date for the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on July 14, 2015 (80 FR 41198) remains September 8, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Claire Schreiber, [email protected], (410) 786-8939.

    Gabriel Scott, [email protected], (410) 786-3928.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In FR Doc. 2015-17190 of July 14, 2015 (80 FR 41198), there were a number of technical and typographical errors that are identified and corrected in the Correction of Errors section of this document.

    II. Summary of Errors

    On page 41210, in our discussion of the factors considered but not used in creating proposed strata, we inadvertently omitted a term and used an incorrect term.

    On pages 41212 and 41269, we made errors in referencing the name of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CCJR) model.

    On pages 41223 and 41224, in our discussion of the proposed pricing adjustment for high payment episodes, we made errors in describing the distribution model presented in Figure 2.

    On page 41234, in our discussion of the proposed combination of CCJR episodes anchored by Medical Severity Diagnosis-Related Groups (MS-DRGs) 469 and 470, we made an error in the unpooled hospital-specific historical average payments calculation for MS-DRG 469 anchored target prices.

    On pages 41235 and 41236, in our discussion of the proposed approach to combine pricing features, we made an error in the placement and the language of a sentence that was part of the bulleted text.

    On page 41240, in the discussion of the criteria for applicable hospitals and performance scoring, we made errors in stating the percentage of eligible elective primary total hip arthroplasty/total knee arthoplasty (THA/TKA) patients for which hospitals must submit data and the timeframe for the submission of data.

    On pages 41241 and 41242, we made errors in stating a National Quality Forum (NQF) measure number.

    On page 41250, in the discussion of the accounting for CCJR reconciliation payments and repayments in other models and programs, we inadvertently omitted a word.

    On page 41251, in the discussion of the accounting for per beneficiary per month (PBPM) payments in the episode definition, we made an error in stating the total number of models with PBPMs.

    On pages 41268, 41270, and 41278, we made typographical errors in footnotes 42, 43, and 55, respectively. These errors include omitting the title of the article that was referenced, omitting the text of the footnote, and inadvertently adding a reference to a footnote.

    On page 41283, in the discussion of “Case Mix Adjustment,” we inadvertently omitted a term.

    On pages 41242, 41281, and 41284, we made technical and typographical errors in using the acronyms “CCJR-,” “HCAHPS,” and “THA”.

    On page 41285, in our discussion of pre-operative assessments, we made errors in our designation of several bulleted paragraphs.

    On pages 41287 and 41288, Table 16, we made errors in the table formatting and omitted language that would identify the entries pertaining to the duration of the performance period.

    III. Correction of Errors

    In FR Doc. 2015-17190 of July 14, 2015 (80 FR 41198), make the following corrections:

    1. On page 41210, first column, fifth full paragraph, lines 1 through 3, the phrase “these measures are proposed to be part of the selection stratus” is corrected to read “these measures are not proposed to be part of the selection strata”.

    2. On page 41212, lower half of the page, second column, first paragraph, lines 1 and 2, the phrase “Coordinated Quality Care-Joint Replacement” is corrected to read “Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement”.

    3. On page 41223, third column, last paragraph, lines 7 through 12, the sentence “Similarly, we believe the BPCI distribution of Model 2 90-day LEJR episode payment amounts as displayed in Figure 1 provides information that is relevant to policy development regarding CCJR episodes.” is corrected to read “Similarly, we believe the distribution of 90-day LEJR episode payment amounts utilizing the BPCI Model 2 episode definition as displayed in Figure 2 provides information that is relevant to policy development regarding CCJR episodes.”.

    4. On page 41224, top of the page, in the figure heading (Figure 2), the heading “FIGURE 2: ESTIMATED NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION of BPCI MODEL 2 LEJR 90-day EPISODE PAYMENT AMOUNTS” is corrected to read “FIGURE 2: ESTIMATED NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF LEJR 90-day EPISODE PAYMENT AMOUNTS”.

    5. On page 41234, first column, first full paragraph, line 11, the phrase “hospital weight” is corrected to read “anchor factor”.

    6. On page 41235, third column—

    a. Sixth bulleted paragraph, last line, the phrase “the previous step.” is corrected to read “the previous step. We have posted region-specific historical average episode payments on the CCJR proposed rule Web site at http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/ccjr/.”.

    b. Last bulleted paragraph, lines 12 through 13, and page 41236, first column, first partial paragraph, lines 1 through 3, the sentence, “We have posted region-specific pooled historical average episode payments on the CCJR proposed rule Web site at http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/ccjr/.” is corrected by removing the sentence.

    7. On page 41240—

    a. Second column, last bulleted paragraph, line 3, the figure “70” is corrected to read “80”.

    b. Third column—

    (1) First full paragraph (bulleted), line 3, the phrase “12 month” is corrected to read “performance”.

    (2) Second full paragraph, line 30, the figure “70” is corrected to read “80”.

    8. On page 41241—

    a. Top of the page, second column, first partial paragraph, line 27, the parenthetical reference “(NQF #1661)” is corrected to read “(NQF #0166)”.

    b. Lower third of the page, in the table titled “TABLE 8—QUALITY MEASURE WEIGHTS IN COMPOSITE QUALITY SCORE”, first column of the table (Quality measure), line 3, the parenthetical reference “(NQF #1661)” is corrected to read “(NQF #0166)”.

    9. On page 41242, top third of the page, third column, first full paragraph, line 9—

    a. The acronym “HCAPHS” is corrected to read “HCAHPS”.

    b. The parenthetical reference “(NQF #1661)” is corrected to read “(NQF #0166)”.

    10. On page 41250, third column, first full paragraph, line 12, the phrase “to be able make” is corrected to read “to be able to make”.

    11. On page 41251, second column, first full paragraph, line 2, the phrase “four existing models” is corrected to read “active models”.

    12. On page 41268, second column, last paragraph, the footnote (footnote 42), “ 42 Naylor MD, Brooten D, Campbell R, Jacobsen BS, Mezey MD, Pauly MV, Schwartz JS. JAMA. 1999: 281(7): 613-620. doi:10/1001/jama.281.7.613” is corrected to read “ 42 Naylor MD, Brooten D, Campbell R, Jacobsen BS, Mezey MD, Pauly MV, Schwartz JS. Comprehensive discharge planning and home follow-up of hospitalized elders: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 1999: 281(7): 613-620. doi:10/1001/jama.281.7.6136.”.

    13. On page 41269—

    a. Second column, second full paragraph, lines 28 and 29, the phrase “Coordinated quality care-joint replacement model” is corrected to read “Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement model”.

    b. Third column, first partial paragraph, lines 5 and 6, the phrase “Medicare-approved coordinated quality care-Joint Replacement model)” is corrected to read “Medicare-approved Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement model)”.

    14. On page 41270, third column, following the last paragraph, is corrected by adding the following footnoted paragraph (Footnote 43):

    “ 43 Telehealth in an Evolving Health Care Environment: Workshop Summary (2012). Available at: http://www.ic4n.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/IoM-Telehealth-2012-Workshop-Summary.pdf. Accessed on June 7, 2015.”

    15. On page 41278, second column, third footnoted paragraph (Footnote 55) “ 55 Soohoo NF, Farng E, Lieberman JR, Chambers L, Zingmond DS. Factors That Predict Short-term Complication Rates After Total Hip Arthroplasty. Clin Orthop Relat Res. Sep 2010; 468(9): 2363-2371. Cram P, Vaughn-Sarrazin MS, Wolf B, Katz JN, Rosenthal GE. A comparison of total hip and knee replacement in specialty and general hospitals. J Bone Joint Surg Am. Aug 2007; 89(8): 1675-1684.” is corrected to read “ 55 Soohoo NF, Farng E, Lieberman JR, Chambers L, Zingmond DS. Factors that predict short-term complication rates after total hip arthroplasty. Clin Orthop Relat Res. Sep 2010; 468(9): 2363-2371.”.

    16. On page 41281, second column, last partial paragraph, line 1, the phrase “We note that CCJR—we chose to align” is corrected to read “We note that we chose to align”.

    17. On page 41283, first column, sixth bulleted paragraph, the phrase “discharge and survey.” is corrected to read “discharge and survey completion.”.

    18. On page 41284—

    a. First column, first partial paragraph, line 44, the acronym “HCAPHS” is corrected to read “HCAHPS”.

    b. Second column, first partial paragraph, line 7, the phrase “THA THA/TKA patient-reported” is corrected to read “THA/TKA patient-reported”.

    19. On page 41285, second column, second bulleted paragraph—

    a. Line 17, the phrase “—PROMIS” is corrected to read “++ PROMIS”.

    b. Line 29, the phrase “—American Society” is corrected to read “++ American Society”.

    c. Line 33, the phrase “—Total painful” is corrected to read “++ Total painful”.

    d. Line 34, the phrase “—Quantified spinal” is corrected to read “++ Quantified spinal”.

    20. On pages 41287 and 41288, the table titled “TABLE 16—EXAMPLE OF POTENTIAL PERFORMANCE PERIODS FOR PRE- AND POST-OPERATIVE THA/TKA VOLUNTARY DATA SUBMISSION” is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 16—Example of Potential Performance Periods for Pre- and Post-Operative THA/TKA Voluntary Data Submission CCJR Model year Performance period Duration of the performance period (months) Patient population eligible for THA/TKA voluntary data submission Requirements for successful THA/TKA voluntary data submission * 2016 April 1, 2016 through June 30, 2016 3 All patients undergoing elective primary THA/TKA procedures performed between April 1, 2016 and June 30, 2016 Submit PRE-operative data on primary elective THA/TKA procedures for ≥80% of procedures performed between April 1, 2016 and June 30, 2016. 2017 April 1, 2016 through June 30, 2016 15 All patients undergoing elective primary THA/TKA procedures performed between April 1, 2016 and June 30, 2016 Submit POST-operative data on primary elective THA/TKA procedures for ≥80% of procedures performed between April 1, 2016 and June 30, 2016. 2017 July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 All patients undergoing elective primary THA/TKA procedures performed between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 Submit PRE-operative data on primary elective THA/TKA procedures for ≥80% of procedures performed between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. 2018 July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 24 All patients undergoing elective primary THA/TKA procedures performed between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 Submit POST-operative data on primary elective THA/TKA procedures for ≥80% of procedures performed between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. 2018 July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018 All patients undergoing elective primary THA/TKA procedures performed between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 Submit PRE-operative data on primary elective THA/TKA procedures for ≥80% of procedures performed between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. 2019 July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018 24 All patients undergoing elective primary THA/TKA procedures performed between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 Submit POST-operative data on primary elective THA/TKA procedures for ≥80% of procedures performed between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. 2019 July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 All patients undergoing elective primary THA/TKA procedures performed between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 Submit PRE-operative data on primary elective THA/TKA procedures for ≥80% of procedures performed between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019. 2020 July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 24 All patients undergoing elective primary THA/TKA procedures performed between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 Submit POST-operative data on primary elective THA/TKA procedures for ≥80% of procedures performed between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019. 2020 July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020 All patients undergoing elective primary THA/TKA procedures performed between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 Submit PRE-operative data on primary elective THA/TKA procedures for ≥80% of procedures performed between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. * Requirements for determining successful submission of THA/TKA voluntary data are located in section III.D.3.a.(9). of this proposed rule. Dated: August 19, 2015. Madhura Valverde, Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20994 Filed 8-21-15; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2015-0070;4500030114] RIN 1018-BA91 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of Critical Habitat for the Marbled Murrelet AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), request public comment in regard to our designation of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The current designation includes approximately 3,698,100 acres (1,497,000 hectares) of critical habitat in the States of Washington, Oregon, and California. We are reconsidering this designation for the purpose of assessing whether all of the designated areas meet the statutory definition of critical habitat. Because our proposed determination is that all areas currently designated do meet the statutory definition, we are not proposing any changes to the boundaries of the specific areas identified as critical habitat at this time. We seek public comment on our proposed determination.

    DATES:

    We will consider comments received or postmarked on or before October 26, 2015. Please note that comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. Any comments that we receive after the closing date may not be considered in the final determination.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comment submission: You may submit written comments by one of the following methods:

    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R1-ES-2015-0070, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R1-ES-2015-0070; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see the Information Requested section below for more information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric V. Rickerson, State Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington Fish and Wildlife Office, 510 Desmond Drive SE., Suite 102, Lacey, WA 98503-1273 (telephone 360-753-9440, facsimile 360-753-9008); Paul Henson, State Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, 2600 SE 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97266, telephone 503-231-6179, facsimile 503-231-6195; Bruce Bingham, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office, 1655 Heindon Road, Arcata, CA 95521, telephone 707-822-7201, facsimile 707-822-8411; Jennifer Norris, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-2605, Sacramento, CA 95825, telephone 916-414-6700, facsimile 916-414-6713; or Stephen P. Henry, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003, telephone 805-644-1766, facsimile 805-644-3958. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Summary

    Purpose of this document. On May 24, 1996, we published in the Federal Register a final rule designating 3,887,800 acres (ac) (1,573,340 hectares (ha)) of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet (61 FR 26256) in the States of Washington, Oregon, and California. On October 5, 2011, we published in the Federal Register a final rule revising critical habitat for the marbled murrelet (76 FR 61599), resulting in the removal of approximately 189,671 ac (76,757 ha) of critical habitat in the States of Oregon and California. We are reconsidering the 1996 final rule, as revised in 2011, for the purpose of assessing whether all of the designated areas meet the statutory definition of critical habitat. We are not proposing any changes to the boundaries of the specific areas identified as critical habitat.

    Why we need to reconsider the rule. In 2012, the American Forest Resource Council (AFRC) and other parties filed suit against the Service, challenging the designation of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet, among other things. After this suit was filed, the Service concluded that the 1996 rule that first designated critical habitat for the marbled murrelet, as well as the 2011 rule that revised that designation, did not comport with recent case law holding that the Service should specify which areas were occupied at the time of listing, and should further explain why unoccupied areas are essential for conservation of the species. Hence, the Service moved for a voluntary remand of the critical habitat rule, requesting until September 30, 2015, to issue a proposed rule, and until September 30, 2016, to issue a final rule. On September 5, 2013, the court granted the Service's motion, leaving the current critical habitat rule in effect pending completion of the remand.

    The basis for our action. Under the Act, any species that is determined to be an endangered or threatened species shall, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable, have habitat designated that is considered to be critical habitat. Section 4(b)(2) of the Act states that the Secretary shall designate and make revisions to critical habitat on the basis of the best scientific data available after taking into consideration the economic impact, national security impact, and any other relevant impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. Section 4 of the Act and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 424) set forth the procedures for designating or revising critical habitat for listed species.

    We considered the economic impacts of this proposed rule. Our evaluation of the potential economic impacts of this rulemaking regarding critical habitat for the marbled murrelet is provided in this document; we seek public review of our analysis.

    Information Requested

    We will base any final action on the best scientific data available. Therefore, we request comments or information from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested party concerning this proposed rule. We particularly seek comments concerning:

    (1) What areas within the currently designated critical habitat for the marbled murrelet were occupied at the time of listing and contain features essential to the conservation of the species;

    (2) Special management considerations or protection that may be needed in critical habitat areas, including managing for the potential effects of climate change;

    (3) What areas within the currently designated critical habitat are essential for the conservation of the species and why; and

    (4) Information on the extent to which the description of economic impacts in this document is a reasonable estimate of the likely economic impacts of our proposed determination.

    We will consider all comments and information received during the comment period on this proposed rulemaking during our preparation of a final determination.

    Please note that submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the action under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination, as section 4(b) of the Act directs that determinations regarding the designation of critical habitat, or revisions thereto, must be made ”on the basis of the best scientific data available.”

    You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods described 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 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. Please include sufficient information with your comments to allow us to verify any scientific information you include.

    In making a final decision on this matter, we will take into consideration the comments and any additional information we receive. Comments and materials received, as well as some of the supporting documentation used in the preparation of a final determination, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov. All information we use in making our final rule will be available by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Previous Federal Actions

    For additional information on previous Federal actions concerning the marbled murrelet, refer to the final listing rule published in the Federal Register on October 1, 1992 (57 FR 45328), the final rule designating critical habitat published in the Federal Register on May 24, 1996 (61 FR 26256), and the final revised critical habitat rule published in the Federal Register on October 5, 2011 (76 FR 61599). In the 1996 final critical habitat rule, we designated 3,887,800 ac (1,573,340 ha) of critical habitat in 32 units on Federal and non-Federal lands. On September 24, 1997, we completed a recovery plan for the marbled murrelet in Washington, Oregon, and California (USFWS 1997, entire). On January 13, 2003, we entered into a settlement agreement with AFRC and the Western Council of Industrial Workers, whereby we agreed to review the marbled murrelet critical habitat designation and make any revisions deemed appropriate after a revised consideration of economic and any other relevant impacts of designation. On April 21, 2003, we published in the Federal Register a notice initiating a 5-year review of the marbled murrelet (68 FR 19569), and published a second information request for the 5-year review on July 25, 2003 (68 FR 44093). The 5-year review evaluation report was finished in March 2004 (McShane et al. 2004), and the 5-year review was completed on August 31, 2004.

    On September 12, 2006, we published in the Federal Register a proposed revision to critical habitat for the marbled murrelet, which included adjustments to the original designation and proposed several exclusions under section 4(b)(2) of the Act (71 FR 53838). On June 26, 2007, we published in the Federal Register a document announcing the availability of a draft economic analysis (72 FR 35025) related to the September 12, 2006, proposed critical habitat revision (71 FR 53838). On March 6, 2008, we published a notice in the Federal Register (73 FR 12067) stating that the critical habitat for marbled murrelet should not be revised due to uncertainties regarding U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) revisions to its District Resource Management Plans in western Oregon, and this notice fulfilled our obligations under the settlement agreement.

    On July 31, 2008, we published in the Federal Register a proposed rule to revise currently designated critical habitat for the marbled murrelet by removing approximately 254,070 ac (102,820 ha) in northern California and Oregon from the 1996 designation (73 FR 44678). A second 5-year review was completed on June 12, 2009. On January 21, 2010, in response to a May 28, 2008, petition to delist the California/Oregon/Washington distinct population segment (DPS) of the marbled murrelet and our subsequent October 2, 2008, 90-day finding concluding that the petition presented substantial information (73 FR 57314), we published a 12-month finding notice in the Federal Register (75 FR 3424) determining that removing the marbled murrelet from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (50 CFR 17.11) was not warranted. We also found that the Washington/Oregon/California population of the marbled murrelet is a valid DPS in accordance with the discreteness and significance criteria in our 1996 DPS policy (February 7, 1996; 61 FR 4722) and concluded that the DPS continues to meet the definition of a threatened species under the Act.

    On October 5, 2011, we published in the Federal Register a final rule revising the critical habitat designation for the marbled murrelet (76 FR 61599). This final rule removed approximately 189,671 ac (76,757 ha) in northern California and southern Oregon from the 1996 designation, based on new information indicating these areas did not meet the definition of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet, resulting in a final revised designation of approx­i­mately 3,698,100 ac (1,497,000 ha) of critical habitat in Washington, Oregon, and California.

    On January 24, 2012, AFRC filed suit against the Service to delist the marbled murrelet and vacate critical habitat. On March 30, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted in part AFRC's motion for summary judgment and denied a joint motion for vacatur of critical habitat pending completion of a voluntary remand. Following this ruling, the Service moved for a remand of the critical habitat rule, without vacatur, in light of recent case law setting more stringent requirements on the Service for specifying how designated areas meet the definition of critical habitat. On September 5, 2013, the district court ordered the voluntary remand without vacatur of the critical habitat rule, and set deadlines of September 30, 2015, for a proposed rule and September 30, 2016, for a final rule. The court ruled in favor of the Service regarding the Service's denial of plaintiffs' petition to delist the species, and that ruling was affirmed on appeal. See American Forest Resource Council v. Ashe, 946 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2013), aff'd 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6205 (D.C. Cir., Feb. 27, 2015).

    Background

    A final rule designating critical habitat for the marbled murrelet was published in the Federal Register on May 24, 1996 (61 FR 26256). A final rule revising the 1996 designation of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet was published in the Federal Register on October 5, 2011 (76 FR 61599). Both of these rules are available under the “Supporting Documents” section for this docket in the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS-R1-ES-2015-0070. It is our intent to discuss only those topics directly relevant to the 1996 and revised 2011 designations of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet. A complete description of the marbled murrelet, including a discussion of its life history, distribution, ecology, and habitat, can be found in the May 24, 1996, final rule (61 FR 26256) and the final recovery plan (USFWS 1997).

    In this document, we are reconsidering the final rule designating critical habitat for the marbled murrelet (May 24, 1996; 61 FR 26256, as revised on October 5, 2011; 76 FR 61599). The current designation consists of approximately 3,698,100 ac (1,497,000 ha) of critical habitat in Washington, Oregon, and California. The critical habitat consists of 101 subunits: 37 in Washington, 33 in Oregon, and 31 in California. We are reconsidering the final rule for the purpose of evaluating whether all areas currently designated meet the definition of critical habitat under the Act. We describe and assess each of the elements of the definition of critical habitat, and evaluate whether these statutory criteria apply to the current designation of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet. In order to conduct this evaluation, here we present the following relevant information:

    I. The statutory definition of critical habitat. II. A description of the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the marbled murrelet, for the purpose of evaluating whether the areas designated as critical habitat provide these essential features. III. The primary constituent elements for the marbled murrelet. IV. A description of why those primary constituent elements may require special management considerations or protection. V. Our standard for defining the geographical areas occupied by the species at the time of listing. VI. The evaluation of those specific areas within the geographical area occupied at the time of listing for the purpose of determining whether designated critical habitat meets the definition under section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act. VII. An additional evaluation of all critical habitat to determine whether the designated units meet the test of being essential to the conservation of the species, under section 3(5)(A)(ii) of the Act. We conduct this analysis to assess whether all areas of critical habitat meet the statutory definition under either of the definition's prongs, regardless of occupancy. This approach is consistent with the ruling in Home Builders Ass'n of Northern California v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 616 F.3d 983 (9th Cir.), cert. denied 131 S.Ct. 1475 (2011), in which the court upheld a critical habitat rule in which the Service had determined that the areas designated, whether occupied or not, met the more demanding standard of being essential for conservation. VIII. Restated correction to preamble language in 1996 critical habitat rule. IX. Effects of critical habitat designation under section 7 of the Act. X. As required by section 4(b)(2) of the Act, consideration of the potential economic impacts of this proposed rule. XI. Proposed determination that all areas currently designated as critical habitat for the marbled murrelet meet the statutory definition under the Act. I. Critical Habitat

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as:

    (1) The specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which are found those physical or biological features

    (a) Essential to the conservation of the species, and

    (b) Which may require special management considerations or protection; and

    (2) Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed, upon a determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species.

    Under the first prong of the Act's definition of critical habitat in section 3(5)(a)(i), areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it was listed may be included in critical habitat if they contain physical or biological features: (1) Which are essential to the conservation of the species; and (2) which may require special management considerations or protection. For these areas, critical habitat designations identify, to the extent known using the best scientific data available, those physical or biological features that are essential to the conservation of the species (such as space, food, cover, and protected habitat). In identifying those physical and biological features within an area, we focus on the primary biological or physical constituent elements (primary constituent elements such as roost sites, nesting grounds, seasonal wetlands, water quality, tide, soil type) that are essential to the conservation of the species. Primary constituent elements (PCEs) are those specific elements of the physical or biological features that provide for a species' life-history processes and are essential to the conservation of the species.

    Under the second prong of the Act's definition of critical habitat in section 3(5)(A)(ii), we can designate critical habitat in areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed, upon the Secretary's determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species. For example, an area currently occupied by the species but that was not occupied at the time of listing may be essential for the conservation of the species and may be included in the critical habitat designation. In addition, if critical habitat is designated or revised subsequent to listing, we may designate areas as critical habitat that may currently be unoccupied but that were occupied at the time of listing. We designate critical habitat in areas outside the geographical area presently occupied by a species only when a designation limited to its present range would be inadequate to ensure the conservation of the species.

    II. Physical or Biological Features

    Here we describe the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the marbled murrelet, for the purpose of evaluating whether these features are present within the areas designated as critical habitat for this reconsideration of the final rule.

    We identified the specific physical or biological features essential for the conservation of the marbled murrelet from studies of this species' habitat, ecology, and life history as described below. Additional information can be found in the final listing rule published in the Federal Register on October 1, 1992 (57 FR 45328), and the Recovery Plan for the Marbled Murrelet (USFWS 1997). In the 1996 final critical habitat rule (May 24, 1996; 61 FR 26256), we relied on the best available scientific information to describe the terrestrial habitat used for nesting by the marbled murrelet. For this 2015 rule reconsideration, the majority of the following information is taken directly from the 1996 final critical habitat rule, where the fundamental physical or biological features essential to the marbled murrelet as described therein remain valid (described in the section titled Ecological Considerations) (May 24, 1996; 61 FR 26256).

    Where newer scientific information is available that refutes or validates the information presented in the 1996 final critical habitat rule, that information is provided here and is so noted. However, this proposed rule does not constitute a complete summary of all new scientific information on the biology of the marbled murrelet since 1996. Because this rule reconsideration addresses the 1996 final critical habitat, as revised in 2011 (October 5, 2011; 76 FR 61599), which designated critical habitat only in the terrestrial environment, the following section will solely focus on the terrestrial nesting habitat features. Forested areas with conditions that are capable of supporting nesting marbled murrelets are referred to as “suitable nesting habitat.” Loss of such nesting habitat was the primary basis for listing the marbled murrelet as threatened; hence protection of such habitat is essential to the conservation of the species. We consider the information provided here to represent the best available scientific data with regard to the physical or biological features essential for the marbled murrelet's use of terrestrial habitat.

    Throughout the forested portion of the species' range, marbled murrelets typically nest in forested areas containing characteristics of older forests (Binford et al. 1975, p. 305; Quinlan and Hughes 1990, entire; Hamer and Cummins 1991, pp. 9-13; Kuletz 1991, p. 2; Singer et al. 1991, pp. 332-335; Singer et al. 1992, entire; Hamer et al. 1994, entire; Hamer and Nelson 1995, pp. 72-75; Ralph et al. 1995a, p. 4). The marbled murrelet population in Washington, Oregon, and California nests in most of the major types of coniferous forests (Hamer and Nelson 1995, p. 75) in the western portions of these states, wherever older forests remain inland of the coast. Although marbled murrelet nesting habitat characteristics may vary throughout the range of the species, some general habitat attributes are characteristic throughout its range, including the presence of nesting platforms, adequate canopy cover over the nest, landscape condition, and distance to the marine environment (Binford et al. 1975, pp. 315-316; Hamer and Nelson 1995, pp. 72-75; Ralph et al. 1995b, p. 4; McShane et al. 2004, p. 4-39).

    Individual tree attributes that provide conditions suitable for nesting (i.e., provide a nesting platform) include large branches (ranging from 4 to 32 in (10 to 81 cm), with an average of 13 inches (in) (32 centimeters (cm)) in Washington, Oregon, and California) or forked branches, deformities (e.g., broken tops), dwarf mistletoe infections, witches' brooms, and growth of moss or other structures large enough to provide a platform for a nesting adult marbled murrelet (Hamer and Cummins 1991, p. 15; Singer et al. 1991, pp. 332-335; Singer et al. 1992, entire; Hamer and Nelson 1995, p. 79). These nesting platforms are generally located greater or equal to 33 feet (ft) (10 meters (m)) above ground (reviewed in Burger 2002, pp. 41-42 and McShane et al. 2004, pp. 4-55-4-56). These structures are typically found in old-growth and mature forests, but may be found in a variety of forest types including younger forests containing remnant large trees. Since 1996, research has confirmed that the presence of platforms is considered the most important characteristic of marbled murrelet nesting habitat (Nelson 1997, p. 6; reviewed in Burger 2002, pp. 40, 43; McShane et al. 2004, pp. 4-45-4-51, 4-53, 4-55, 4-56, 4-59; Huff et al. 2006, pp. 12-13, 18). Platform presence is more important than the size of the nest tree because tree size alone may not be a good indicator of the presence and abundance of platforms (Evans Mack et al. 2003, p. 3). Tree diameter and height can be positively correlated with the size and abundance of platforms, but the relationship may change depending on the variety of tree species and forest types marbled murrelets use for nesting (Huff et al. 2006, p. 12). Overall, nest trees in Washington, Oregon, and northern California have been greater than 19 in (48 cm) diameter at breast height (dbh) and greater than 98 ft (30 m) tall (Hamer and Nelson 1995, p. 81; Hamer and Meekins 1999, p. 10; Nelson and Wilson 2002, p. 27).

    Northwestern forests and trees typically require 200 to 250 years to attain the attributes necessary to support marbled murrelet nesting, although characteristics of nesting habitat sometimes develop in younger coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) forests. Forests with older residual trees remaining from previous forest stands may also develop into nesting habitat more quickly than those without residual trees. These remnant attributes can be products of fire, windstorms, or previous logging operations that did not remove all of the trees (Hansen et al. 1991, p. 383; McComb et al. 1993, pp. 32-36). Other factors that may affect the time required to develop suitable nesting habitat characteristics include site productivity and microclimate.

    Through the 1995 nesting season, 59 active or previously used tree nests had been located in Washington (9 nests), Oregon (36 nests), and California (14 nests) (Hamer and Nelson 1995, pp. 70-71; Nelson and Wilson 2002, p. 134; Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife murrelet database; California Department of Fish and Game murrelet database). All of the nests for which data were available in 1996 in Washington, Oregon, and California were in large trees that were more than 32 in (81 cm) dbh (Hamer and Nelson 1995, p. 74). Of the 33 nests for which data were available, 73 percent were on a moss substrate and 27 percent were on litter, such as bark pieces, conifer needles, small twigs, or duff (Hamer and Nelson 1995, p. 74). The majority of nest platforms were created by large or deformed branches (Hamer and Nelson 1995, p. 79). Nests found subsequently have characteristics generally consistent with these tree diameter and platform sources (McShane et al. 2004, pp. 4-50 to 4-59; Bloxton and Raphael 2009, p. 8). However, in Oregon, nests were found in smaller diameter trees (as small as 19 in (49 cm)) that were distinguished by platforms provided by mistletoe infections (Nelson and Wilson 2002, p. 27). In Washington, one nest was found on a cliff (i.e., ground nest) that exhibited features similar to a tree platform, such as vertical and horizontal cover (Bloxton and Raphael 2009, pp. 8 and 33). In central California, nest platforms were located on large limbs and broken tops with 32.3 percent mean moss cover on nest limbs (Baker et al. 2006, p. 944).

    More than 94 percent of the nests for which data were available in 1996 were in the top half of the nest trees, which may allow easy nest access and provide shelter from potential predators and weather. Canopy cover directly over the nests was typically high (average 84 percent; range 5 to 100 percent) in Washington, Oregon, and California (Hamer and Nelson 1995, p. 74). This cover may provide protection from predators and weather. Such canopy cover may be provided by trees adjacent to the nest tree, or by the nest tree itself. Canopy closure of the nest stand/site varied between 12 and 99 percent and averaged 48 percent (Hamer and Nelson 1995, p. 73). Information gathered subsequent to 1996 confirms that additional attributes of the platform are important including both vertical and horizontal cover and substrate. Known nest sites have platforms that are generally protected by branches above (vertical cover) or to the side (horizontal cover) (Huff et al. 2006, p. 14). Marbled murrelets appear to select limbs and platforms that provide protection from predation (Marzluff et al. 2000, p. 1135; Luginbuhl et al. 2001, p. 558; Raphael et al. 2002.a, pp. 226, 228) and inclement weather (Huff et al. 2006, p. 14). Substrate, such as moss, duff, or needles on the nest limb is important for protecting the egg and preventing it from falling (Huff et al. 2006, p. 13).

    Nests have been located in forested areas dominated by coastal redwood, Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana), Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), western hemlock, and western red cedar (Thuja plicata) (Binford et al. 1975, p. 305; Quinlan and Hughes 1990, entire; Hamer and Cummins 1991, p. 15; Singer et al. 1991, p. 332, Singer et al. 1992, p. 2; Hamer and Nelson 1995, p. 75). Individual nests in Washington, Oregon, and California have been located in Douglas-fir, coastal redwood, western hemlock, western red cedar, and Sitka spruce trees (Hamer and Nelson 1995, p. 74).

    For nesting habitat to be accessible to marbled murrelets, it must occur close enough to the marine environment for marbled murrelets to fly back and forth. The farthest inland distance for a site with nesting behavior detections is 52 mi (84 km) in Washington. The farthest known inland sites with nesting behavior detections in Oregon and California are 40 and 24 mi (65 and 39 km), respectively (Evans Mack et al. 2003, p. 4). Additionally, as noted below in the section titled Definition of Geographical Area Occupied at the Time of Listing, presence detections have been documented farther inland in Washington, Oregon, and California (Evans Mack et al. 2003, p. 4).

    Prior to Euroamerican settlement in the Pacific Northwest, nesting habitat for the marbled murrelet was well distributed, particularly in the wetter portions of its range in Washington, Oregon, and California. This habitat was generally found in large, contiguous blocks of forest (Ripple 1994, p. 47) as described under the Management Considerations section of the 1996 final critical habitat rule (May 24, 1996; 61 FR 26256).

    Areas where marbled murrelets are concentrated at sea during the breeding season are likely determined by a combination of terrestrial and marine conditions. However, nesting habitat appears to be the most important factor affecting marbled murrelet distribution and numbers. Marine survey data confirmed conclusions made in the supplemental proposed critical habitat rule (August 10, 1995; 60 FR 40892) that marine observations of marbled murrelets during the nesting season generally correspond to the largest remaining blocks of suitable forest nesting habitat (Nelson et al. 1992, p. 64; Varoujean et al. 1994, entire; Ralph et al. 1995b, pp. 5-6; Ralph and Miller 1995, p. 358).

    Consistent with Varoujean et al.'s (1994) 1993 and 1994 aerial surveys, Thompson (1996, p. 11) found marbled murrelets to be more numerous along Washington's northern outer coast and less abundant along the southern coast. Thompson reported that this distribution appears to be correlated with: (1) Proximity of old-growth forest, (2) the distribution of rocky shoreline/substrate versus sandy shoreline/substrate, and (3) abundance of kelp (Thompson 1996, p. 11). In British Columbia Canada, Rodway et al. (1995, pp. 83, 85, 86) observed marbled murrelets aggregating on the water close to breeding areas at the beginning of the breeding season and, for one of their two study areas, again in July as young were fledging. Burger (1995, pp. 305-306) reported that the highest at-sea marbled murrelet densities in both 1991 and 1993 were seen immediately adjacent to two tracts of old-growth forest, while areas with very low densities of marbled murrelets were adjacent to heavily logged watersheds. More recent evidence supports that detections of marbled murrelets at inland sites and densities offshore were higher in or adjacent to areas with large patches of old-growth, and in areas of low fragmentation and low isolation of old-growth patches (Raphael et al. 1995, pp. 188-189; Burger 2002, p. 54; Meyer and Miller 2002, pp. 763-764; Meyer et al. 2002, pp. 109-112; Miller et al. 2002, p. 100; Raphael et al. 2002a, p. 221; Raphael et al. 2002b, p. 337). Overall, landscapes with detections indicative of nesting behavior tended to have large core areas of old-growth and low amounts of overall edge (Meyer and Miller 2002, pp. 763-764; Raphael et al. 2002b, p. 331).

    In contrast, where nesting habitat is limited in southwest Washington, northwest Oregon, and portions of California, few marbled murrelets are found at sea during the nesting season (Ralph and Miller 1995, p. 358; Varoujean and Williams 1995, p. 336; Thompson 1996, p. 11). For instance, as of 1996, the area between the Olympic Peninsula in Washington and Tillamook County in Oregon (100 mi (160 km)) had few sites with detections indicative of nesting behavior or sightings at sea of marbled murrelets. In California, approximately 300 mi (480 km) separate the large breeding populations to the north in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties from the southern breeding population in San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties. This reach contained few marbled murrelets during the breeding season; however, the area likely contained significant numbers of marbled murrelets before extensive logging (Paton and Ralph 1988, p. 11, Larsen 1991, pp. 15-17). More recent at-sea surveys confirm the low numbers of marbled murrelets in marine areas adjacent to inland areas that have limited nesting habitat (Miller et al. 2012, p. 775; Raphael et al. 2015, p. 21).

    Dispersal mechanisms of marbled murrelets are not well understood; however, social interactions may play an important role. The presence of marbled murrelets in a forest stand may attract other pairs to currently unused habitat within the vicinity. This may be one of the reasons marbled murrelets have been observed in habitat not currently suitable for nesting, but in close proximity to known nesting sites (Hamer and Cummins 1990, p. 14; Hamer et al. 1994, entire). Although marbled murrelets appear to be solitary in their nesting habits (Nelson and Peck 1995, entire), they are frequently detected in groups above the forest, especially later in the breeding season (USFWS 1995, pp. 14-16). Two active nests discovered in Washington during 1990 were located within 150 ft (46 m) of each other (Hamer and Cummins 1990, p. 47), and two nests discovered in Oregon during 1994 were located within 100 ft (33 m) of each other (USFWS 1995, p. 14). Therefore, unused habitat in the vicinity of known nesting habitat may be more important for recovering the species than suitable habitat isolated from known nesting habitat (USFWS 1995; USFWS 1997, p. 20). Similarly, marbled murrelets are more likely to discover newly developing habitat in proximity to sites with documented nesting behaviors. Because the presence of marbled murrelets in a forest stand may attract other pairs to currently unused habitat within the vicinity, the potential use of these areas may depend on how close the new habitat is to known nesting habitat, as well as distance to the marine environment, population size, and other factors (McShane et al. 2004, p. 4-78).

    Marbled murrelets are believed to be highly vulnerable to predation when on the nesting grounds, and the species has evolved a variety of morphological and behavioral characteristics indicative of selection pressures from predation (Ralph et al. 1995b, p. 13). For example, plumage and eggshells exhibit cryptic coloration, and adults fly to and from nests by indirect routes and often under low-light conditions (Nelson and Hamer 1995a, p. 66). Potential nest predators include the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii), barred owl (Strix varia), northwestern crow (Corvus caurinus), American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), and gray jay (Perisoreus canadensis) (Nelson and Hamer 1995b, p. 93; Marzluff et al. 1996, p. 22; McShane et al. 2004, p. 2-17). The common raven (Corvus corax), Steller's jay (Cyanocitta stelleri), and sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus) are known predators of eggs or chicks (Nelson and Hamer 1995b, p. 93, McShane et al. 2004, pp. 2-16-2-17). Based on experimental work with artificial nests, predation on eggs and chicks by squirrels and mice may also occur (Luginbuhl et al. 2001, p. 563; Bradley and Marzluff 2003, pp. 1183-1184). In addition, a squirrel has been documented rolling a recently abandoned egg off a nest (Malt and Lank 2007, p. 170).

    From 1974 through 1993, of those marbled murrelet nests in Washington, Oregon, and California where nest success or failure was documented, approximately 64 percent of the nests failed. Of those nests, 57 percent failed due to predation (Nelson and Hamer 1995b, p. 93). Continuing research further supports predation as a significant cause of nest failure (McShane et al. 2004, pp. 2-16 to 2-19; Peery et al. 2004, pp. 1093-1094; Hebert and Golightly 2006, pp. 98-99; Hebert and Golightly 2007, pp. 222-223; Malt and Lank 2007, p. 165). The relatively high predation rate could be biased because nests near forest edges may be more easily located by observers and also more susceptible to predation, and because observers may attract predators. However, Nelson and Hamer (1995b, p. 94) believed that researchers had minimal impacts on predation in most cases because the nests were monitored from a distance and relatively infrequently, and precautions were implemented to minimize predator attraction. More recent research has relied on remotely operated cameras for observing nests, rather than people, in order to reduce the possible effects of human attraction (Hebert and Golightly 2006, p. 12; Hebert and Golightly 2007, p. 222).

    Several possible reasons exist for the high observed predation rates of marbled murrelet nests. One possibility is that these high predation rates are normal, although it is unlikely that a stable population could have been maintained historically under the predation rates observed (Beissinger 1995, p. 390).

    In the 1996 rule we hypothesized that populations of marbled murrelet predators such as corvids (jays, crows, and ravens) and great horned owls are increasing in the western United States, largely in response to habitat changes and food sources provided by humans (Robbins et al. 1986, pp. 43-46; Johnson 1993, pp. 58-60; Marzluff et al. 1994, pp. 214-216; National Biological Service 1996, entire), resulting in increased predation rates on marbled murrelets. Subsequent to the 1996 rule, surveys have confirmed that corvid populations are indeed increasing in western North America as a result of land use and urbanization (Marzluff et al. 2001, pp. 332-333; McShane et al. 2004, pp. 6-11; Sauer et al. 2013, pp. 18-19). However, breeding bird surveys in North America indicate that great horned owls are declining in 40 percent of the areas included in the surveys (Sauer et al. 2013, p. 17). Barred owls (Strix varia), foraging generalists that may prey on marbled murrelets, were not considered in 1996, but have subsequently been shown to be significantly increasing in numbers and distribution (Sauer et al. 2013, p. 17).

    In the 1996 rule, we also posited that creation of greater amounts of forest edge habitat may increase the vulnerability of marbled murrelet nests to predation and ultimately lead to higher rates of predation. Edge effects have been implicated in increased forest bird nest predation rates for other species of birds (Chasko and Gates 1982, pp. 21-23; Yahner and Scott 1988, p. 160). In a comprehensive review of the many studies on the potential relationship between forest fragmentation, edge, and adverse effects on forest nesting birds, Paton (1994, p. 25) concluded that “strong evidence exists that avian nest success declines near edges.” Small patches of habitat have a greater proportion of edge than do large patches of the same shape. However, many of the studies Paton (1994, entire) reviewed involved lands where forests and agricultural or urban areas interface, or they involved experiments with ground nests that are not readily applicable to canopy nesters such as marbled murrelets. Paton (1994, p. 25), therefore, stressed the need for studies specific to forests fragmented by timber harvest in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere.

    Some research on this topic has been conducted in areas dominated by timber production and using nests located off the ground (Ratti and Reese 1988, entire; Rudnicky and Hunter 1993, entire; Marzluff et al. 1996, entire; Vander Haegen and DeGraaf in press, entire). Vander Haegen and DeGraaf (in press, p. 8; 1996, pp. 175-176) found that nests in shrubs less than 75 m (246 ft) from an edge were three times as likely to be depredated than nests greater than 75 m (264 ft) from an edge. Likewise, Rudnicky and Hunter (1993, p. 360) found that shrub nests on the forest edge were depredated almost twice as much as shrub nests located in the forest interior. They also observed that shrub nests were taken primarily by avian predators such as crows and jays, which is consistent with the predators believed to be impacting marbled murrelets, while ground nests were taken by large mammals such as raccoons and skunks. Ratti and Reese (1988, entire) did not find the edge relationship documented by Rudnicky and Hunter (1993, entire), Vander Haegen and DeGraaf (in press), and others cited in Paton (1994, entire). However, Ratti and Reese (1988, p. 488) did observe lower rates of predation near “feathered” edges compared to “abrupt” edges (e.g., clearcut or field edges), and suggested that the vegetative complexity of the feathered edge may better simulate natural edge conditions than do abrupt edges. These authors also concluded that their observations were consistent with Gates and Gysel's (1978, p. 881) hypothesis that birds are poorly adapted to predator pressure near abrupt artificial edge zones.

    Studies of artificial and natural nests conducted in Pacific Northwest forests also indicate that predation of forest bird nests may be affected by habitat fragmentation, forest management, and land development (Hansen et al. 1991, p. 388; Vega 1993, pp. 57-61; Bryant 1994, pp. 14-16; Nelson and Hamer 1995b, pp. 95-97; Marzluff et al. 1996, pp. 31-35). Nelson and Hamer (1995b, p. 96), found that successful marbled murrelet nests were further from edge than unsuccessful nests. Marzluff et al. (1996, entire) conducted experimental predation studies that used simulated marbled murrelet nests, and more recent research documented predation of artificial marbled murrelet nests by birds and arboreal mammals (Luginbuhl et al. 2001, pp. 562-563; Bradley and Marzluff 2003, pp. 1183-1884; Marzluff and Neatherlin 2006, p. 310; Malt and Lank 2007, p. 165). Additionally, more recent research indicates proximity to human activity and landscape contiguity may interact to determine rate of predation (Marzluff et al. 2000, pp. 1136-1138, Raphael et al. 2002a, entire; Zharikov et al. 2006, p. 117; Malt and Lank 2007, p. 165). Interior forest nests in contiguous stands far from human activity appear to experience the least predation (Marzluff et al. 1996, p. 29; Raphael et al. 2002a, pp. 229-231).

    More recent information indicates that marbled murrelets locate their nests throughout forest stands and fragments, including along various types of natural and human-made edges (Hamer and Meekins 1999, p. 1; Manley 1999, p. 66; Bradley 2002, pp. 42, 44; Burger 2002, p. 48; Nelson and Wilson 2002, p. 98). In California and southern Oregon, areas with abundant numbers of marbled murrelets were farther from roads, occurred more often in parks protected from logging, and were less likely to occupy old-growth habitat if they were isolated (greater than 3 mi (5 km)) from other nesting marbled murrelets (Meyer et al. 2002, pp. 95, 102-103). Marbled murrelets no longer occur in areas without suitable forested habitat, and they appear to abandon highly fragmented areas over time (areas highly fragmented before the late 1980s generally did not support marbled murrelets by the early 1990s) (Meyer et al. 2002, p. 103).

    The conversion of large tracts of native forest to small, isolated forest patches with large edge can create changes in microclimate, vegetation species, and predator-prey dynamics—such changes are often collectively referred to as “edge effects.” Unfragmented, older-aged forests have lower temperatures and solar radiation and higher humidity compared to clearcuts and other open areas (e.g., Chen et al. 1993, p. 219; Chen et al. 1995, p. 74). Edge habitat is also exposed to increased temperatures and light, high evaporative heat loss, increased wind, and decreased moisture. Fundamental changes in the microclimate of a stand have been recorded at least as far as 787 ft (240 m) from the forest edge (Chen et al. 1995, p. 74). The changes in microclimate regimes with forest fragmentation can stress an old-growth associate species, especially a cold-water adapted seabird such as the marbled murrelet (Meyer and Miller 2002, p. 764), and can affect the distribution of epiphytes that marbled murrelets use for nesting. Branch epiphytes or substrate have been identified as a key component of marbled murrelet nests (Nelson et al. 2003, p. 52; McShane et al. 2004, pp. 4-48, 4-89, 4-104). While there are no data on the specific effects of microclimate changes on the availability of marbled murrelet nesting habitat at the scale of branches and trees, as discussed in the references above, the penetration of solar radiation and warm temperatures into the forest could change the distribution of epiphytes, and wind could blow moss off nesting platforms.

    A large body of research indicates that marbled murrelet productivity is greatest in large, complex-structured forests far from human activity due to the reduced levels of predation present in such landscapes. Marbled murrelet productivity is lowest in fragmented landscapes; therefore, marbled murrelet nesting stands may be more productive if surrounded by simple-structured forests, and minimal human recreation and settlement. Human activities can significantly compromise the effectiveness of the forested areas surrounding nests to protect the birds and/or eggs from predation (Huhta et al. 1998, p. 464; Marzluff et al. 1999, pp. 3-4; Marzluff and Restani 1999, pp. 7-9, 11; Marzluff et al. 2000, pp. 1136-1138; De Santo and Willson 2001, pp. 145-147; Raphael et al. 2002a, p. 221; Ripple et al. 2003, p. 80).

    In addition to studies of edge effects, some research initiated prior to 1996 looked at the importance of stand size. Among all Pacific Northwest birds, the marbled murrelet is considered to be one of the most sensitive to forest fragmentation (Hansen and Urban 1992, p. 168). Marbled murrelet nest stand size in Washington, Oregon, and California varied between 7 and 2,717 ac (3 and 1,100 ha) and averaged 509 ac (206 ha) (Hamer and Nelson 1995, p. 73). Nelson and Hamer (1995b, p. 96) found that successful marbled murrelets tended to nest in larger stands than did unsuccessful marbled murrelets, but these results were not statistically significant. Miller and Ralph (1995, entire) compared marbled murrelet survey detection rates among four stand size classes in California. Recording a relatively consistent trend, they observed that a higher percentage of large stands (33.3 percent) had nesting behavior detections when compared to smaller stands (19.8 percent), while a greater percentage of the smallest stands (63.9 percent) had no presence or nesting behavior detections when compared to the largest stands (52.4 percent) (Miller and Ralph 1995, pp. 210-212). However, these results were not statistically significant, and the authors did not conclude that marbled murrelets preferentially select or use larger stands. The authors suggested the effects of stand size on marbled murrelet presence and use may be masked by other factors such as stand history and proximity of a stand to other old-growth stands. Rodway et al. (1993, p. 846) recommended caution when interpreting marbled murrelet detection data, such as that used by Miller and Ralph (1995), because numbers of detections at different sites may be affected by variation caused by weather, visibility, and temporal shifts.

    In addition to stand size, general landscape condition may influence the degree to which marbled murrelets nest in an area. In Washington, marbled murrelet detections increased when old-growth/mature forests make up more than 30 percent of the landscape (Hamer and Cummins 1990, p. 43). Hamer and Cummins (1990, p. 43) found that detections of marbled murrelets decreased in Washington when the percentage of clear-cut/meadow in the landscape increased above 25 percent. Additionally, Raphael et al. (1995, p. 177) found that the percentage of old-growth forest and large sawtimber was significantly greater within 0.5 mi (0.8 km) of sites (501-ac (203-ha) circles) that were used by nesting marbled murrelets than at sites where they were not detected. Raphael et al. (1995, p. 189) suggested tentative guidelines based on this analysis that sites with 35 percent old-growth and large sawtimber in the landscape are more likely to be used for nesting. In California, Miller and Ralph (1995, pp. 210-211) found that the density of old-growth cover and the presence of coastal redwood were the strongest predictors of marbled murrelet presence.

    In summary, the best scientific information available strongly suggests that marbled murrelet reproductive success may be adversely affected by forest fragmentation associated with either natural disturbances, such as severe fire or windthrow, or certain land management practices, generally associated with timber harvest or clearing of forest. Based on this information, the Service concluded that the maintenance and development of suitable habitat in relatively large contiguous blocks as described in the 1996 rule and the draft Marbled Murrelet (Washington, Oregon, and California Population) Recovery Plan (draft recovery plan) (USFWS 1995, pp. 70-71, finalized in 1997) would contribute to the recovery of the marbled murrelet. These blocks of habitat should contain the structural features and spatial heterogeneity naturally found at the landscape level, the stand level, and the individual tree level in Pacific Northwest forest ecosystems (Hansen et al. 1991, pp. 389-390; Hansen and Urban 1992, pp. 171-172; Ripple 1994, p. 48; Bunnell 1995, p. 641; Raphael et al. 1995, p. 189). Newer information further supports the conclusion that the maintenance of suitable nesting habitat in relatively large, contiguous blocks will be needed to recover the marbled murrelet (Meyer and Miller 2002, pp. 763-764; Meyer et al. 2002, p. 95; Miller et al. 2002, pp. 105-107; Raphael et al. 2011, p. 44).

    Summary of Physical or Biological Features Essential to the Conservation of the Marbled Murrelet

    Therefore, based on the information presented in the 1996 final critical habitat rule and more recent data that continue to confirm the conclusions drawn in that rule, we consider the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the marbled murrelet to include forests that are capable of providing the characteristics required for successful nesting by marbled murrelets. Such forests are typically coniferous forests in contiguous stands with large core areas of old-growth or trees with old-growth characteristics and a low ratio of edge to interior. However, due to timber harvest history we recognize that, in some areas, such as south of Cape Mendocino in California, coniferous forests with relatively smaller core areas of old-growth or trees with old-growth characteristics are essential for the conservation of the marbled murrelet because they are all that remain on the landscape. Forests capable of providing for successful nesting throughout the range of the listed DPS are typically dominated by coastal redwood, Douglas-fir, mountain hemlock, Sitka spruce, western hemlock, or western red cedar, and must be within flight distance to marine foraging areas for marbled murrelets.

    The most important characteristic of marbled murrelet nesting habitat is the presence of nest platforms. These structures are typically found in old-growth and mature forests, but can also be found in a variety of forest types including younger forests containing remnant large trees. Potential nesting areas may contain fewer than one suitable nesting tree per acre and nest trees may be scattered or clumped throughout the area. Large areas of unfragmented forest are necessary to minimize edge effects and reduce the impacts of nest predators to increase the probability of nest success. Forests are dynamic systems that occur on the landscape in a mosaic of successional stages, both as the result of natural disturbances (fire, windthrow) or anthropogenic management (timber harvest). On a landscape basis, forests with a canopy height of at least one-half the site-potential tree height in proximity to potential nest trees contribute to the conservation of the marbled murrelet. Trees of at least one-half the site-potential height are tall enough to reach up into the lower canopy of nest trees, which provides nesting murrelets more cover from predation. The site-potential tree height is the average maximum height for trees given the local growing conditions, and is based on species-specific site index tables. The earlier successional stages of forest also play an essential role in providing suitable nesting habitat for the marbled murrelet, as they proceed through successional stages and develop into the relatively large, unfragmented blocks of suitable nesting habitat needed for the conservation of the species.

    III. Primary Constituent Elements for the Marbled Murrelet

    According to 50 CFR 424.12(b), we are required to identify the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the marbled murrelet within the geographical area occupied at the time of listing, focusing on the “primary constituent elements” (PCEs) of those features. We consider PCEs to be those specific elements of the physical or biological features that provide for a species' life-history processes and are essential to the conservation of the species. For the marbled murrelet, those life-history processes associated with terrestrial habitat are specifically related to nesting. Therefore, as previously described in our designation of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet (61 FR 26256; May 24, 1996), and further supported by more recent information, our designation of critical habitat focused on the following PCEs specific to the marbled murrelet:

    (1) Individual trees with potential nesting platforms, and

    (2) forested areas within 0.5 mile (0.8 kilometer) of individual trees with potential nesting platforms, and with a canopy height of at least one-half the site-potential tree height. This includes all such forest, regardless of contiguity.

    These PCEs are essential to provide and support suitable nesting habitat for successful reproduction of the marbled murrelet.

    IV. Special Management Considerations or Protection

    In our evaluation of whether the current designation meets the statutory definition of critical habitat, we must assess not only whether the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing contain the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species, but also whether those features may require special management considerations or protection. Here we describe the special management considerations or protection that apply to the physical or biological features and PCEs identified for the marbled murrelet.

    As discussed above and in the 1996 final rule designating critical habitat (May 24, 1996; 61 FR 26261-26263), marbled murrelets are found in forests containing a variety of forest structure, which is in part the result of varied management practices and natural disturbance (Hansen et al. 1991, p. 383; McComb et al. 1993, pp. 32-36). In many areas, management practices have resulted in fragmentation of the remaining older forests and creation of large areas of younger forests that have yet to develop habitat characteristics suitable for marbled murrelet nesting (Hansen et al. 1991, p. 387). Past and current forest management practices have also resulted in a forest age distribution skewed toward younger even-aged stands at a landscape scale (Hansen et al. 1991, p. 387; McComb et al. 1993, p. 31). Bolsinger and Waddell (1993, p. 2) estimated that old-growth forest in Washington, Oregon, and California had declined by two-thirds statewide during the previous five decades.

    Current and historical loss of marbled murrelet nesting habitat is generally attributed to timber harvest and land conversion practices, although, in some areas, natural catastrophic disturbances such as forest fires have caused losses (Hansen et al. 1991, pp. 383, 387; Ripple 1994, p. 47; Bunnell 1995, pp. 638-639; Raphael et al. 2011, pp. 34-39; Raphael et al. 2015 in prep, pp. 94-96). Reduction of the remaining older forest has not been evenly distributed in western Washington, Oregon, and California. Timber harvest has been concentrated at lower elevations and in the Coast Ranges (Thomas et al. 1990, p. 63), generally overlapping the range of the marbled murrelet. In California today, more than 95 percent of the original old-growth redwood forest has been logged, and 95 percent of the remaining old-growth is now in parks or reserves (Roa 2007, p. 169).

    Some of the forests that were affected by past natural disturbances, such as forest fires and wind throw, currently provide suitable nesting habitat for marbled murrelets because they retain scattered individual or clumps of large trees that provide structure for nesting (Hansen et al. 1991, 383; McComb et al. 1993, p. 31; Bunnell 1995, p. 640). This is particularly true in coastal Oregon where extensive fires occurred historically. Marbled murrelet nests have been found in remnant old-growth trees in mature and young forests in Oregon. Forests providing suitable nesting habitat and nest trees generally require 200 to 250 years to develop characteristics that supply adequate nest platforms for marbled murrelets. This time period may be shorter in redwood and western hemlock forests and in areas where significant remnants of the previous stand remain. Intensively managed forests in Washington, Oregon, and California have been managed on average cutting rotations of 70 to 120 years (USDI 1984, p. 10). Cutting rotations of 40 to 50 years are common for some private lands. Timber harvest strategies on Federal lands and some private lands have emphasized dispersed clear-cut patches and even-aged management. Forest lands that are intensively managed for wood fiber production are generally prevented from developing the characteristics required for marbled murrelet nesting. In addition, suitable nesting habitat that remains under these harvest patterns is highly fragmented.

    Within the range of the marbled murrelet on Federal lands, the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) (USDA and USDI 1994, entire) designated a system of Late Successional Reserves (LSRs), which provides large areas expected to eventually develop into contiguous, unfragmented forest. In addition to LSRs, the NWFP designated a system of Adaptive Management Areas, where efforts focus on answering management questions, and matrix areas, where most forest production occurs. Administratively withdrawn lands, as described in the individual National Forest or BLM land use plans, are also part of the NWFP.

    In the 1996 final rule, we acknowledged the value of implementation of the NWFP as an integral role in marbled murrelet conservation. As a result, designated critical habitat on lands within the NWFP area administered by the National Forests and BLM was congruent with LSRs. These areas, as managed under the NWFP, should develop into large blocks of suitable murrelet nesting habitat given sufficient time. However, LSRs are plan-level designations with less assurance of long-term persistence than areas designated by Congress. Designation of LSRs as critical habitat complements and supports the NWFP and helps to ensure persistence of this management directive over time. These lands managed under the NWFP require special management considerations or protection to allow the full development of the essential physical or biological features as represented by large blocks of forest with the old-growth characteristics that will provide suitable nesting habitat for marbled murrelets.

    In some areas, the large blocks of Federal land under the NWFP are presently capable of providing the necessary contribution for recovery of the species. However, the marbled murrelet's range includes areas that are south of the range of the northern spotted owl (the focus of the NWFP), where Federal lands are subject to timber harvest. Therefore, the critical habitat designated on Federal lands outside of the NWFP also require special management considerations or protection to enhance or restore the old-growth characteristics required for nesting by marbled murrelets, and to attain the large blocks of contiguous habitat necessary to reduce edge effects and predation.

    In the 1996 critical habitat rule (May 24, 1996; 61 FR 26256), the Service designated selected non-Federal lands that met the requirements identified in the Criteria for Identifying Critical Habitat section, in those areas where Federal lands alone were insufficient to provide suitable nesting habitat for the recovery of the species. For example, State lands were considered to be particularly important in southwestern Washington, northwestern Oregon, and in California south of Cape Mendocino. Small segments of county lands were also included in northwestern Oregon and central California. Some private lands were designated as critical habitat because they provided essential elements and occurred where Federal lands were, and continue to be, very limited, although suitable habitat on private land is typically much more limited than on public lands. In California, south of Cape Mendocino, State, county, city, and private lands contain the last remnants of nesting habitat for the southern-most population of murrelets, which is the smallest, most isolated, and most susceptible to extirpation. All of the non-Federal lands have been and continue to be subject to some amount of timber harvest and habitat fragmentation and lower habitat effectiveness due to human activity. Therefore, all non-Federal lands within the designation require special management considerations or protection to preserve suitable nesting habitat where it is already present, and to provide for the development of suitable nesting habitat in areas currently in early successional stages.

    In summary, areas that provide the essential physical or biological features and PCEs for the marbled murrelet may require special management considerations or protection. Because succession has been set back or fragmentation has occurred due to either natural or anthropogenic disturbance, those essential features may require special management considerations or protections to promote the development of the large, contiguous blocks of unfragmented, undisturbed coniferous forest with old-growth characteristics (i.e., nest platforms) required by marbled murrelets. Areas with these characteristics provide the marbled murrelet with suitable nesting habitat, and reduce edge effects, such as increased predation, resulting in greater nest success for the species. Areas that currently provide suitable nesting habitat for the marbled murrelet may require protection to preserve those essential characteristics, as the development of old-growth characteristics may take hundreds of years and thus cannot be easily replaced once lost.

    V. Definition of Geographical Area Occupied at the Time of Listing

    Critical habitat is defined as the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species, at the time it is listed under section (3)(5)(A)(i) of the Act. For the purposes of critical habitat, the Service must first determine what constitutes the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing. We consider this to be a relatively broad-scale determination, as the wording of the Act clearly indicates that the specific areas that constitute critical habitat will be found within some larger geographical area. We consider the “geographical area occupied by the species” at the time of listing, for the purposes of section 3(5)(A)(i), to be the area that may be broadly delineated around the occurrences of a species, or generally equivalent to what is commonly understood as the “range” of the species. We consider a species occurrence to be a particular location in which individuals of the species are found throughout all or part of their life cycle, even if not used on a regular basis (e.g., migratory corridors, seasonal habitats, and habitats used periodically, but not solely by vagrant individuals). Because the “geographical area occupied by the species” can, depending on the species at issue and the relevant data available, be defined on a relatively broad, coarse scale, individuals of the species may or may not be present within each area at a smaller scale within the geographical area occupied by the species. For the purposes of critical habitat, then, we consider an area to be “occupied” (within the geographical area occupied by the species) if it falls within the broader area delineated by the species' occurrences, i.e., its range.

    Within the listed DPS, at-sea observations indicate marbled murrelets use the marine environment along the Pacific Coast from the British Columbia, Canada/Washington border south to the Mexico/California border. Because they must fly back and forth to the nest from their marine foraging areas, marbled murrelets use inland areas for nesting that are nearby to those areas used by the species offshore. The inland extent of terrestrial habitat use varies from north to south and depends upon the presence of nesting structures in relation to marine foraging areas. Marbled murrelets have been detected as far inland as 70 miles (mi) (113 kilometers (km)) in Washington, but the inland extent narrows going south, where marbled murrelets generally occur within 25 mi (40 km) of the coast in California. At a broad scale, the geographical area occupied by the listed DPS of the marbled murrelet at the time of listing includes the west coast from the British Columbia, Canada/Washington border south to the Mexico/California border, ranging inland from approximately 70 mi (113 km) in Washington to roughly 25 mi (40 km) of the coast in California. However, the inland nesting habitat extends southward in California only to just south of Monterey Bay. Occurrence data that supports this geographic range includes at-sea surveys, radar detections, radio-telemetry studies, and audio-visual surveys.

    At the time the marbled murrelet was listed (October 1, 1992; 57 FR 45528), occurrence data were very limited. However, the geographic range was generally known at that time, with the exception of the exact inland extent.

    We now describe what is known about marbled murrelet use of the critical habitat subunits that were designated in 1996, as revised in 2011. In 1996, only terrestrial areas were designated as critical habitat. Terrestrial habitat is used by the marbled murrelet only for the purpose of nesting; therefore, we focus on those specific areas used for nesting by the species. Because we did not designate critical habitat in the marine environment, that aspect of the species' life history or available data will not be discussed further, unless it is pertinent to the terrestrial habitat.

    At the landscape scale, marbled murrelets show fidelity to marine foraging areas and may return to specific watersheds for nesting (Nelson 1997, pp. 13, 16-17, 20; Cam et al. 2003, p. 1123). For example, marbled murrelets have been observed to return to the same specific nest branches or sites (Hebert and Golightly 2006, p. 270; Bloxton and Raphael 2009, p. 11). Repeated surveys in nesting stands have revealed site tenacity similar to that of other birds in the alcid family (Huff et al. 2006, p. 12) in that marbled murrelets have been observed in the same suitable habitat areas for more than 20 years in California and Washington. Based on the high site tenacity exhibited by marbled murrelets, it is highly likely that areas found to be used by marbled murrelets since listing in 1992 were also being used at the time of listing. Therefore, in order to determine whether any particular area was being used at the time the marbled murrelet was listed, we used all years of survey data available to us (for example, through 2013 in Washington, and some data through 2014 for California).

    Not all survey data are indicative of nesting. The specific types of data that we relied upon include audiovisual surveys and specific nest locations, which may have been located through radio-telemetry studies, tree climbing, chicks on the ground, or egg shell fragments. Audiovisual surveys result in a variety of detections, only some of which are specific indicators of nesting behavior tied to the area being surveyed. The types of behaviors that are indicative of nesting include: Sub-canopy behaviors, circling above the canopy, and stationary calling. Other types of detections, such as radar and fly-overs observed during audiovisual surveys, provide information regarding the general use of an area, but generally do not tie the observed individual(s) to a specific forested area (Evans Mack et al. 2003, pp. 20-23).

    There continue to be gaps in our knowledge of marbled murrelet use in the terrestrial environment. Surveys are site/project specific and generally have been conducted for the purposes of allowing timber harvest. Surveys not conducted in adherence to the strict protocol may have missed nesting behaviors due to the cryptic nature of marbled murrelets and their nests. For example, a single visit to a location where marbled murrelets are present has only a 55 percent chance of detecting marbled murrelets (Evans Mack et al. 2003, p. 39). In addition, on some lands, such as Federal LSRs, our history of consultation under section 7 of the Act demonstrates that, in general, land managers choose not to conduct surveys to determine site “presence;” rather they consider the suitable habitat to be used by nesting murrelets and adjust their projects accordingly. Therefore, we recognize that our information regarding marbled murrelet use of the terrestrial landscape is incomplete; however, we have determined that the information used in this document is the best scientific data available.

    We consider the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing for the purposes of critical habitat to be equivalent to the nesting range of the marbled murrelet, for the reasons described above. However, it is important to note that at the time of listing, we may not have had data that definitively demonstrated the presence of nesting murrelets within each specific area designated as critical habitat. Some of these areas still lack adequate survey information. Yet because these areas fall within the broader nesting range of the species, we consider them to have been occupied at the time of listing. For the purposes of clarity, we further evaluated the specific areas within that broader geographic range to determine whether we have documented detections of behaviors indicative of nesting by the marbled murrelet at the scale of each subunit. The following types of data are indicative of the marbled murrelet's use of forested areas for nesting and will be relied upon to make the determination of whether we have documentation of nesting behavior by critical habitat subunit:

    (a) Data indicative of nesting behavior. A subunit with any of the following data will be considered to have a documented detection of nesting behavior. We consider one detection in a subunit sufficient to support a positive nesting behavior determination for the entire subunit.

    (1) Audio/visual surveys conducted according to the Pacific Seabird Group (PSG) survey protocol (Evans Mack et al. 2003 or earlier versions). Detection types that are indicative of nesting include: Sub-canopy behaviors (such as flying through the canopy or landing), circling above the canopy, and stationary calling.

    (2) Nest locations obtained through radio-telemetry tracking, tree climbing, egg-shell fragments, and chicks on the ground.

    (b) Contiguity of forested areas within which nesting behaviors have been observed. According to the PSG protocol (Evans Mack et al. 2003), a contiguously forested area with detections indicative of nesting behavior is deemed to be used by nesting marbled murrelets throughout its entirety. Therefore, any subunits where there were no detections of behaviors indicative of nesting or possibly no surveys, but the forested areas in the subunit are contiguous with forested areas extending outside of the subunit within which there are documented nesting behaviors, will be deemed to be positive in terms of a nesting behavior detection.

    Radar-based marbled murrelet detections and presence-only detections (such as flying over or heard only) resulting from audio/visual surveys were not used to classify a subunit as positive in terms of nesting behavior detections. Even though these detections indicate use of an area by marbled murrelets, these types of detections do not link murrelet nesting to specific areas of forested habitat.

    In Washington and California, occurrence data, including nest locations and audio/visual survey data, are maintained in State wildlife agency databases. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife marbled murrelet data was obtained by the Service on June 19, 2014, and includes data collected through 2013. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife's marbled murrelet occurrence database, as currently maintained by the Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office, was accessed on February 5, 2015. The database includes information on some surveys conducted through 2006, with one observation from 2014, but is incomplete for the State. Audio/visual surveys in Oregon are not maintained in a centralized database. The Service, through a cooperative agreement, provided funds to the Oregon State University to obtain and collate Oregon survey data. The data provided to the Service included surveys through 2003, mainly on Federal lands. Additionally, the BLM and Oregon Department of Forestry provided a summary of current survey data, as of March of 2015, within critical habitat in Oregon. Survey data for private lands in Oregon were not available.

    VI. Specific Areas Occupied at the Time of Listing

    We have determined that all 101 subunits designated as critical habitat in 1996, as revised in 2011, are within the geographical range occupied by the species at the time of listing, and all 101 subunits contain the physical or biological features and PCEs essential to the conservation of the species. Evidence of the presence of PCEs is based on nests located within a subunit, nesting behavior detections, audio-visual survey station placements (generally surveys are only conducted if there are nesting platforms present in the forested area), and specific forest inventory data. All of these forms of evidence point to the presence of PCE 1, nesting platforms, within the subunit, as well as the presence of PCE 2. In addition, within all 101 subunits, the essential physical or biological features and PCEs may require special management considerations or protection, as described above, because these subunits have received or continue to receive some level of timber harvest, fragmentation of the forested landscape, and reduced habitat effectiveness from human activity. Therefore, all 101 subunits meet the definition of critical habitat under section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act.

    Of the 101 subunits, 78 (all critical habitat subunits except for those identified in Table 1, below) have either specific nesting behavior detection data within the subunit or forested areas within the subunit that are contiguous with forested areas within which nesting behaviors have been observed. In total, the 78 subunits with nesting behavior detections account for 3,335,400 ac (1,349,800 ha), or 90 percent of the total designation. These 78 subunits all contain the physical or biological features and PCEs essential to the conservation of the species, which may require special management considerations or protection, as described above, because these subunits have received or continue to receive some level of timber harvest, fragmentation of the forested landscape, and reduced habitat effectiveness from human activity. Therefore, we conclude that these 78 subunits meet the definition of critical habitat under section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act.

    Table 1—Marbled Murrelet Critical Habitat Subunits Without Detections Indicative of Nesting Behavior Subunit WA-04a WA-11d OR-01d OR-06a OR-06c OR-07f OR-07g CA-01d CA-01e CA-04b CA-05a CA-05b CA-06a CA-06b CA-07b CA-07c CA-08a CA-08b CA-09a CA-09b CA-11b CA-13 CA-14c

    There are 23 subunits that did not have data indicating marbled murrelet nesting behaviors at the time of listing (Table 1). All of these subunits, however, are within the range of the species at the time of listing, and, hence, we consider them to be occupied. Of these 23 subunits, 2 are in Washington, 5 are in Oregon, and 16 are in California, totaling up to 362,600 ac (145,800 ha) or 10 percent of the designation. We have determined that all 23 subunits contain the essential physical or biological features and PCEs based on specific forest inventory data and audio-visual survey station placements. Only 7 of these 23 subunits have received partial or complete surveys to determine use by marbled murrelets. Very limited inland distribution information was available when the species was listed (1992) and in 1996 when critical habitat was designated (May 24, 1996; 61 FR 26256, pp. 26269-26270). However, continued survey efforts have filled in gaps in the distribution that were not known at the time of listing. For example, as of June 2014, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife murrelet detection database contained 5,225 nesting behavior detections. Of these 5,225 detections, only 254 were from surveys before 1992 and only 2,149 were prior to 1996. Therefore, it is our opinion that had surveys been conducted in many of these 23 subunits, it is likely that nesting behaviors would have been detected.

    Even if these 23 subunits were considered unoccupied at the time of listing because we do not have specific documentation of nesting behaviors, the Act permits designation of such areas as critical habitat if they are essential for the conservation of the species. We evaluated whether each of these 23 subunits are essential for the conservation of the species. In this evaluation we considered: (1) The importance of the area to the future recovery of the species; (2) whether the areas have or are capable of providing the essential physical or biological features; and (3) whether the areas provide connectivity between marine and terrestrial habitats. As stated above, we determined that all 23 subunits contain the physical or biological features and PCEs for the marbled murrelet; therefore, all 23 subunits provide essential nesting habitat that is currently limited on the landscape. In particular, 13 subunits in California that are south of Cape Mendocino contain the last remnants of nesting habitat in that part of California. All 101 designated subunits work together to create a distribution of essential nesting habitat from north to south and inland from marine foraging areas. All of the designated critical habitat units occur within areas identified in the draft and final recovery plans for the marbled murrelet (USFWS 1995 and 1997, entire) as essential for the conservation of the species. Maintaining and increasing suitable nesting habitat for the marbled murrelet is a key objective for the conservation and recovery of the species, by providing for increases in nest success and productivity needed to attain long-term population viability. Based upon this information, we have determined that all of the 23 subunits where nesting behaviors have not been documented are, nonetheless, essential for the conservation of the species. Therefore, even if these 23 subunits were considered unoccupied, we conclude that they meet the definition of critical habitat under section 3(5)(A)(ii) of the Act.

    VII. All Critical Habitat Is Essential to the Conservation of the Marbled Murrelet

    As described above, all areas designated as critical habitat for the marbled murrelet (101 subunits) contain the physical or biological features and PCEs essential to the conservation of the species, which may require special management considerations or protection. We recognize that the physical or biological features and PCEs may not be uniformly distributed throughout these 101 subunits because historical harvest patterns and natural disturbances have created a mosaic of multiple-aged forests. Replacement of essential physical or biological features and PCEs for the marbled murrelet can take centuries to grow.

    We have additionally evaluated all currently designated critical habitat for the marbled murrelet applying the standard under section 3(5)(A)(ii) of the Act, and have determined that all 101 subunits included in this designation are essential for the conservation of the species. As detailed above, we have determined that all areas of critical habitat, whether known to be occupied at the time of listing or not, contain the physical or biological features and PCEs for the marbled murrelet. All 101 designated subunits work together to create a distribution of essential nesting habitat from north to south and inland from marine foraging areas, and occur within areas identified in the draft and final recovery plans for the marbled murrelet (USFWS 1995 and 1997, entire) as essential for the conservation of the species. All areas designated as critical habitat are essential for the conservation and recovery of the marbled murrelet by maintaining and increasing suitable nesting habitat and limiting forest fragmentation, thereby providing for increases in nest success and productivity to attain long-term population viability of the species. Therefore, we have determined that all areas currently identified as critical habitat for the marbled murrelet, whether confirmed to be occupied at the time of listing or not, are essential for the conservation of the species and meet the definition of critical habitat under section 3(5)(A)(ii) of the Act. Recent population and suitable habitat research confirms that these areas continue to be essential because the marbled murrelet population has declined since listing (Miller et al. 2012, entire) and continues to decline in Washington (Lance and Pearson 2015, pp. 4-5), hence suitable nesting areas are of increased importance to provide recovery potential for the marbled murrelet. In addition, while habitat loss has slowed since adoption of the NWFP, suitable nesting habitat continues to be lost to timber harvest (Raphael et al. 2015 in prep, pp. 94-95).

    VIII. Restated Correction

    The preamble to the 1996 final critical habitat rule (May 24, 1996; 61 FR 26265) stated that within the boundaries of designated critical habitat, only those areas that contain one or more PCEs are, by definition, critical habitat, and areas without any PCEs are excluded by definition. This statement was in error; we clarified this language in the revised critical habitat rule published in 2011 (October 5, 2011; 76 FR 61599, p. 61604), and we reemphasize this correction here. By introducing some ambiguity in our delineation of critical habitat, this language was inconsistent with the requirement that each critical habitat unit be delineated by specific limits using reference points and lines (50 CFR 424.12(c)). The Service does its best not to include areas that obviously cannot attain PCEs, such as alpine areas, water bodies, serpentine meadows, lava flows, airports, buildings, parking lots, etc. (May 24, 1996; 61 FR 26256, p. 26269). However, the scale at which mapping is done for publication in the Code of Federal Regulations does not allow precise identification of these features, and, therefore, some may fall within the critical habitat boundaries. Hence, all lands within the mapped critical habitat boundaries for the marbled murrelet are critical habitat.

    IX. Effects of Critical Habitat Designation

    Section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies, including the Service, to ensure that any action they fund, authorize, or carry out is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat of such species. A detailed explanation of the regulatory effects of critical habitat in terms of consultation under section 7 of the Act and application of the adverse modification standard is provided in the October 5, 2011, final rule revising critical habitat for the marbled murrelet (76 FR 61599).

    Section 7 consultation is required whenever there is a discretionary Federal action that may affect listed species or designated critical habitat. Section 7(a)(3) also states that a Federal agency shall consult with the Secretary on any prospective agency action at the request of, and in cooperation with, the prospective permit or license applicant if the applicant has reason to believe that an endangered species or a threatened species may be present in the area affected by his or her project and that implementation of such action will likely affect such species. The initiation of section 7 consultation under the jeopardy standard takes place if the species may be present and the action may affect the species. As described above, because of the relatively coarse scale at which critical habitat is designated, the species may or may not be present within all portions of the “geographical area occupied by the species” or may be present only periodically. Therefore, at the time of any consultation under section 7 of the Act, the species of interest may not be present within the action area for the purposes of the section 7 consultation, even if that action area is within the “geographical area occupied by the species.”

    We recognize that critical habitat designated at a particular point in time may not include all of the habitat areas that we may later determine are necessary for the recovery of the species. For these reasons, a critical habitat designation does not signal that habitat outside the designated area is unimportant or may not be needed for recovery of the species. Areas that are important to the conservation of the species, both inside and outside the critical habitat designation, will continue to be subject to: (1) Conservation actions implemented under section 7(a)(1) of the Act, (2) regulatory protections afforded by the requirement in section 7(a)(2) of the Act for Federal agencies to ensure their actions are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species, and (3) section 9 of the Act's prohibitions on taking any individual of the species, including taking caused by actions that affect habitat. Federally funded or permitted projects affecting listed species outside their designated critical habitat areas may still result in jeopardy findings in some cases. These protections and conservation tools will continue to contribute to recovery of this species. Similarly, critical habitat designations made on the basis of the best available information at the time of designation will not control the direction and substance of future recovery plans, habitat conservation plans (HCPs), or other species conservation planning efforts if new information available at the time of these planning efforts calls for a different outcome.

    X. Economic Considerations

    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act and its implementing regulations require that we consider the economic impact that may result from a designation or revision of critical habitat. If critical habitat has not been previously designated, the probable economic impact of a proposed critical habitat designation is analyzed by comparing scenarios both “with critical habitat” and “without critical habitat.” The “without critical habitat” scenario represents the baseline for the analysis, and includes the existing regulatory and socio-economic burden imposed on landowners, managers, or other resource users potentially affected by the designation of critical habitat (e.g., under the Federal listing as well as other Federal, State, and local regulations). In this case the baseline represents the costs of all efforts attributable to the listing of the species under the Act (i.e., conservation of the species and its habitat incurred regardless of whether critical habitat is designated). The “with critical habitat” scenario describes the incremental impacts associated specifically with the designation of critical habitat for the species. These are the conservation efforts and associated impacts that would not be expected but for the designation of critical habitat for the species. In other words, the incremental costs are those attributable solely to the designation of critical habitat, above and beyond the baseline costs. These incremental costs represent the potential economic impacts we consider in association with a designation or revision of critical habitat, as required by the Act.

    Baseline protections as a result of the listed status of the marbled murrelet include sections 7, 9, and 10 of the Act, and any economic impacts resulting from these protections to the extent they are expected to occur absent the designation of critical habitat:

    • Section 7 of the Act, even absent critical habitat designation, requires Federal agencies to consult with the Service to ensure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out will not likely jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species. Consultations under the jeopardy standard result in administrative costs, as well as impacts of conservation efforts resulting from consideration of this standard.

    • Section 9 defines the actions that are prohibited by the Act. In particular, it prohibits the “take” of endangered wildlife, where “take” means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct. The economic impacts associated with this section manifest themselves in sections 7 and 10.

    • Under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act, an entity (e.g., a landowner or local government) may develop an HCP for a listed animal species in order to meet the conditions for issuance of an incidental take permit in connection with a land or water use activity or project. The requirements posed by the HCP may have economic impacts associated with the goal of ensuring that the effects of incidental take are adequately avoided or minimized. The development and implementation of HCPs is considered a baseline protection for the species and habitat unless the HCP is determined to be precipitated by the designation of critical habitat, or the designation influences stipulated conservation efforts under HCPs.

    In the present rulemaking, we are not starting from a “without critical habitat” baseline. In this particular case, critical habitat has been in place for the marbled murrelet since May 24, 1996 (61 FR 26256), and was most recently revised on October 5, 2011 (76 FR 61599). Since the 2011 revision resulted only in the removal of some areas of critical habitat, all areas remaining in the current designation have been critical habitat for the marbled murrelet since 1996. This current critical habitat designation forms the baseline for our consideration of the potential economic impacts of this proposed rule. In this document, we describe our evaluation and conclusion that all of the currently designated areas meet the statutory definition of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet. Specifically, we have clarified that all areas are within the range of the marbled murrelet and, therefore, occupied by the species at the time of listing, and contain the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species, which may require special management consideration or protection. Furthermore, although all areas are considered to have been occupied at the time of listing, all areas do not necessarily have specific data indicating known detections of nesting murrelets at the time of listing. Therefore, we have further evaluated and determined that all critical habitat, regardless of whether we have information indicating definitive use by nesting murrelets at the time of listing, is essential for the conservation of the species. As a result of our evaluation, we are not proposing any modification to the boundaries of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet, nor are we proposing any changes to the definition of the PCEs (May 24, 1996; 61 FR 26256).

    We have considered the probable incremental economic impacts that may result from this proposed rule with regard to critical habitat for the marbled murrelet. Critical habitat designation will not affect activities that do not have any Federal involvement; designation of critical habitat affects only activities conducted, funded, permitted, or authorized by Federal agencies. In areas where the marbled murrelet is present, Federal agencies already are required to consult with the Service under section 7 of the Act on activities they fund, permit, or implement that may affect the species. In this particular case, because all areas that we have considered are already designated as critical habitat for the marbled murrelet, where a Federal nexus occurs, consultations to avoid the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat have been incorporated into the existing consultation process. Federal agencies have been consulting under section 7 of the Act on critical habitat for the marbled murrelet for approximately 20 years. As this proposed rule does not suggest the addition of any new areas as critical habitat, any probable economic impacts resulting from this rulemaking would result solely from our clarification of how all of the areas currently designated meet the statutory definition of critical habitat. The incremental economic impacts of this proposed rule would, therefore, be equal to any additional costs incurred as the result of a difference between the outcome of consultations as they are currently conducted and consultations as they would be conducted if this rulemaking is finalized as proposed.

    We fully considered any probable economic impacts that may result from this proposed rule. Based upon our evaluation, we do not anticipate changes to the consultation process or effect determinations made for critical habitat as a result of our evaluation and conclusion that all areas meet the definition of critical habitat under the Act. In addition, we do not anticipate requiring additional or different project modifications than are currently requested when an action “may affect” critical habitat. Therefore, it is the Service's expectation that this proposed rule clarifying the 1996 critical habitat designation, as revised in 2011, which explains how all areas within the boundaries of the current designation meet the definition of critical habitat under the Act, will result in no additional (incremental) economic impacts.

    In order to confirm that our assessment of the potential economic impacts of this proposed rule is accurate, we asked those Federal action agencies that manage lands that are critical habitat or with whom we have consulted over the past 20 years on marbled murrelet critical habitat to review our evaluation and characterization of the changes, if any, to consultation under section 7 that may be anticipated as a consequence of this proposed rule. We specifically asked each agency whether our proposed rule would be likely to result in any additional economic impacts on their agency (incremental impacts), above and beyond those already incurred as a result of the current critical habitat designation for the marbled murrelet (baseline impacts). Based on our consultation history with Federal agencies, it is our understanding that action agencies currently consult on effects to marbled murrelet critical habitat through an analysis of the effects to the PCEs. We asked the action agencies to confirm or correct this understanding, and to verify our characterization of how these consultations take place under the current designation, which we described as follows:

    • If an action will take place within designated critical habitat, the action agency considers the action area to be critical habitat, irrelevant of the presence of PCEs. The action agency then determines whether there are PCEs within the action area. If the action agency determines there are no PCEs within the action area, the agency makes a “no effect” determination and the Service is not consulted.

    • If the action agency determines there are PCEs within the action area, they analyze the action's potential effects on the PCEs, which may result in a “no effect” or “may effect” determination. If the action agency determines the action “may affect” the PCEs, they undergo section 7 consultation with the Service.

    Whether the critical habitat subunit or action area is considered to be “occupied” by the species is irrelevant to the effect determination made for critical habitat. Rather, the determination of “occupancy” is relevant to the effect determination for the species and any minimization measures that may be implemented (such as project timing).

    In this proposed rule we have reconsidered and clarified that we consider all areas to have been occupied by the species at the time of listing, and that all of these areas have the PCEs. Because occupancy of the critical habitat subunit or action area is considered irrelevant to the effect determination made for critical habitat, the Service does not anticipate changes to the consultation process or effect determinations made for critical habitat as a result of this determination. In addition, the Service does not anticipate requiring additional or different project modifications than are currently requested when an action “may affect” critical habitat. Therefore, it is the Service's expectation that the proposed rule clarifying the 1996 critical habitat designation [sic: as revised in 2011], which will clearly explain how all areas within the boundaries of the current designation meet the definition of critical habitat under the Act, will not result in additional (incremental) costs to the Federal agencies.

    We solicited review and comment on our draft summary of the anticipated economic impacts of this proposed rule, as described above, from seven Federal agencies with whom we regularly consult on marbled murrelet critical habitat (the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Federal Highway Administration (FHA), and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)). We received responses from four of these agencies: the USFS representing multiple national forests, the BLM representing multiple districts, the NPS representing Redwood National Park and State Parks partnership, and the BIA. All responses agreed with our evaluation of the potential incremental effects of the proposed rule, and confirmed that they did not anticipate any additional costs as a result of the clarification of areas occupied at the time of listing. Our initial letter of inquiry and all responses received from the action agencies are available for review in the Supplemental Materials folder at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2015-0070.

    We additionally considered any potential economic impacts on non-Federal entities as a result of this proposed rule. In our experience, any economic impacts to non-Federal parties are generally associated with the development of HCPs under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act. However, as described above, in most cases the incentive for the development of an HCP is the potential issuance of an incidental take permit in connection with an activity or project in an area where a listed animal species occurs. HCPs are seldom undertaken in response to a critical habitat designation, but in such a case the costs associated with the development of an HCP prompted by the designation of critical habitat would be considered an incremental impact of that designation. In this particular situation, because we are not proposing any changes to the boundaries of critical habitat, we do not anticipate the initiation of any new HCPs in response to this proposed rule; therefore, we do not anticipate any costs to non-Federal parties associated with HCP development.

    Other potential costs to non-Federal entities as a result of critical habitat designation might include costs to third party private applicants in association with Federal activities. In most cases, consultations under section 7 of the Act involve only the Service and other Federal agencies, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Sometimes, however, consultations may include a third party involved in projects that involve a permitted entity, such as the recipient of a Clean Water Act section 404 permit. In such cases, these private parties may incur some costs, such as the cost of applying for the permit in question, or the time spent gathering and providing information for a permit. These costs and administrative effort on the part of third party applicants, if attributable solely to critical habitat, would be incremental impacts of the designation. In this particular case, however, because we are not proposing any boundary changes to the current critical habitat designation, we do not anticipate any change from the current baseline conditions in terms of potential costs to third parties; therefore, we expect any incremental impacts to non-Federal parties associated with this proposed rule to be minimal.

    Based on our evaluation and the information provided to us by the Federal action agencies within the critical habitat area under consideration, we conclude that this proposed rule will result in little if any additional economic impacts above baseline costs, and we seek public input on this conclusion.

    XI. Determination

    We have examined all areas designated as critical habitat for the marbled murrelet in 1996 (May 24, 1996; 61 FR 26256), as revised in 2011 (October 5, 2011; 76 FR 61599), and evaluated whether all areas meet the definition of critical habitat under section 3(5)(A) of the Act. Based upon our evaluation, we have determined that all 101 subunits designated as critical habitat are within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing, and each of these subunits provide the physical or biological features and PCEs essential to the conservation of the species, which may require special management considerations or protections. Therefore, we conclude that all areas designated as critical habitat for the marbled murrelet meet the definition of critical habitat under section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act. Of the 101 subunits, 78 of those subunits had documented detections of nesting behavior at the time of listing. We have determined that we do not have sufficient data to definitively document nesting behavior within the other 23 subunits at the time of listing. However, even if these 23 subunits were considered unoccupied, the Secretary has determined that they are essential for the conservation of the species, as they contribute to the maintenance or increase of suitable nesting habitat required to achieve the conservation and recovery of the marbled murrelet; therefore, we conclude that they meet the definition of critical habitat under section 3(5)(A)(ii) of the Act.

    In addition, recognizing that the detection of nesting behaviors or the presence of essential physical or biological features or PCEs within a subunit may be evaluated on multiple scales, such that at some finer scales some subset of the subunit may be considered unoccupied or lacking in PCEs, we evaluated the designation in its entirety as if it were unoccupied under section 3(5)(A)(ii) of the Act, and found that all areas of critical habitat are essential for the conservation of the species. We have here clarified that we have evaluated all critical habitat for the marbled murrelet, and have concluded that in all cases the areas designated as critical habitat for the marbled murrelet meet the definition of critical habitat under section 3(5)(A) of the Act. In addition, as required by section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we have considered the potential economic impact of this clarification, and we have concluded that any potential economic effects resulting from this rulemaking are negligible.

    Therefore, we conclude that, under the Act, critical habitat as currently designated for the marbled murrelet in the Code of Federal Regulations remains valid, and we seek public input on this determination.

    Public Hearings

    Section 4(b)(5) of the Act provides for one or more public hearings on this proposal, if requested. Requests must be received within 45 days after the date of publication of this proposed rule in the Federal Register. Such requests must be sent to the address shown in the ADDRESSES section. We will schedule public hearings on this proposal, if any are requested, and announce the dates, times, and places of those hearings, as well as how to obtain reasonable accommodations, in the Federal Register and local newspapers at least 15 days before the hearing.

    Required Determinations Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not significant.

    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA; 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA; 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effects 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 the agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The SBREFA amended the RFA to require Federal agencies to provide a certification statement of the factual basis for certifying that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    According to the Small Business Administration, small entities include small organizations such as independent nonprofit organizations; small governmental jurisdictions, including school boards and city and town governments that serve fewer than 50,000 residents; and small businesses (13 CFR 121.201). Small businesses include manufacturing and mining concerns with fewer than 500 employees, wholesale trade entities with fewer than 100 employees, retail and service businesses with less than $5 million in annual sales, general and heavy construction businesses with less than $27.5 million in annual business, special trade contractors doing less than $11.5 million in annual business, and agricultural businesses with annual sales less than $750,000. To determine if potential economic impacts to these small entities are significant, we considered the types of activities that might trigger regulatory impacts under this designation as well as types of project modifications that may result. In general, the term “significant economic impact” is meant to apply to a typical small business firm's business operations.

    The Service's current understanding of the requirements under the RFA, as amended, and following recent court decisions, is that Federal agencies are only required to evaluate the potential incremental impacts of rulemaking on those entities directly regulated by the rulemaking itself, and therefore, not required to evaluate the potential impacts to indirectly regulated entities. The regulatory mechanism through which critical habitat protections are realized is section 7 of the Act, which requires Federal agencies, in consultation with the Service, to ensure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out by the Agency is not likely to destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. Therefore, under section 7, only Federal action agencies are directly subject to the specific regulatory requirement (avoiding destruction and adverse modification) imposed by critical habitat designation. Consequently, it is our position that only Federal action agencies will be directly regulated by this designation. Moreover, Federal agencies are not small entities. Therefore, because no small entities are directly regulated by this rulemaking, the Service certifies that, if promulgated, this determination of critical habitat will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    In summary, we have considered whether this proposed rule would result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. For the above reasons and based on currently available information, we certify that, if promulgated, the proposed determination of critical habitat would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small business entities. Therefore, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

    Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use—Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211 (Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use) requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain action. In our consideration of potential economic impacts, we did not find that this rule clarification will significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. This proposed rule only clarifies how the designated critical habitat meets the definition of critical habitat under the Act, and does not propose any changes to the boundaries of the current critical habitat. Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action, and no Statement of Energy Effects is required.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.)

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.), we make the following findings:

    (1) This rule will not produce a Federal mandate. In general, a Federal mandate is a provision in legislation, statute, or regulation that would impose an enforceable duty upon State, local, or tribal governments, or the private sector, and includes both “Federal intergovernmental mandates” and “Federal private sector mandates.” These terms are defined in 2 U.S.C. 658(5)-(7). “Federal intergovernmental mandate” includes a regulation that “would impose an enforceable duty upon State, local, or tribal governments” with two exceptions. It excludes “a condition of Federal assistance.” It also excludes “a duty arising from participation in a voluntary Federal program,” unless the regulation “relates to a then-existing Federal program under which $500,000,000 or more is provided annually to State, local, and tribal governments under entitlement authority,” if the provision would “increase the stringency of conditions of assistance” or “place caps upon, or otherwise decrease, the Federal Government's responsibility to provide funding,” and the State, local, or tribal governments “lack authority” to adjust accordingly. At the time of enactment, these entitlement programs were: Medicaid; Aid to Families with Dependent Children work programs; Child Nutrition; Food Stamps; Social Services Block Grants; Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants; Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, and Independent Living; Family Support Welfare Services; and Child Support Enforcement. “Federal private sector mandate” includes a regulation that “would impose an enforceable duty upon the private sector, except (i) a condition of Federal assistance or (ii) a duty arising from participation in a voluntary Federal program.”

    The designation of critical habitat does not impose a legally binding duty on non-Federal Government entities or private parties. Under the Act, the only regulatory effect is that Federal agencies must ensure that their actions do not destroy or adversely modify critical habitat under section 7. While non-Federal entities that receive Federal funding, assistance, or permits, or that otherwise require approval or authorization from a Federal agency for an action, may be indirectly impacted by the designation of critical habitat, the legally binding duty to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat rests squarely on the Federal agency. Furthermore, to the extent that non-Federal entities are indirectly impacted because they receive Federal assistance or participate in a voluntary Federal aid program, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act would not apply, nor would critical habitat shift the costs of the large entitlement programs listed above onto State governments.

    (2) We do not believe that this rule will significantly or uniquely affect small governments because this proposed rule only clarifies how the designated critical habitat meets the definition of critical habitat under the Act, and does not propose any changes to the boundaries of the current critical habitat, therefore, landownership within critical habitat does not change. Therefore, a Small Government Agency Plan is not required.

    Takings—Executive Order 12630

    In accordance with Executive Order 12630 (“Government Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Private Property Rights”), we analyzed the potential takings implications of this proposed determination of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet. This proposed rule clarifies whether and how the designated critical habitat meets the definition of critical habitat under the Act, and does not propose any changes to the boundaries of the current critical habitat, therefore, landownership within critical habitat does not change. Thus, we conclude that this proposed rule does not pose additional takings implications for lands within or affected by the original 1996 designation. Critical habitat designation does not affect landowner actions that do not require Federal funding or permits, nor does it preclude development of habitat conservation programs or issuance of incidental take permits to permit actions that do require Federal funding or permits to go forward. Therefore, based on the best available information, as described above, we conclude that this proposed determination of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet does not pose significant takings implications.

    Federalism—Executive Order 13132

    In accordance with E.O. 13132 (Federalism), this proposed rule does not have significant Federalism effects. A Federalism assessment is not required. From a Federalism perspective, the designation of critical habitat directly affects only the responsibilities of Federal agencies. The Act imposes no other duties with respect to critical habitat, either for States and local governments, or for anyone else. As a result, the rule does not have substantial direct effects either on the States, or on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of powers and responsibilities among the various levels of government. The designation may have some benefit to these governments because the areas that contain the features essential to the conservation of the species are more clearly defined, and the physical and biological features of the habitat necessary to the conservation of the species are specifically identified. This information does not alter where and what federally sponsored activities may occur. However, it may assist these local governments in long-range planning (because these local governments no longer have to wait for case-by-case section 7 consultations to occur).

    Where State and local governments require approval or authorization from a Federal agency for actions that may affect critical habitat, consultation under section 7(a)(2) would be required. While non-Federal entities that receive Federal funding, assistance, or permits, or that otherwise require approval or authorization from a Federal agency for an action, may be indirectly impacted by the designation of critical habitat, the legally binding duty to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat rests squarely on the Federal agency.

    Civil Justice Reform—Executive Order 12988

    In accordance with Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform), the Office of the Solicitor has determined that the rule does not unduly burden the judicial system and that it meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order. In our proposal, we have reconsidered designated critical habitat for the marbled murrelet for the purpose of assessing whether all of the areas meet the statutory definition of critical habitat in accordance with the provisions of the Act. To assist the public in understanding the habitat needs of the species, the proposed rule identifies the elements of physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the marbled murrelet.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    This rule does not contain any new collections of information that require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This rule will not impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements on State or local governments, individuals, businesses, or organizations. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

    It is our position that, outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, we do not need to prepare environmental analyses pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) in connection with designating critical habitat under the Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244). This position was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Douglas County v. Babbitt, 48 F.3d 1495 (9th Cir. 1995), cert. denied 516 U.S. 1042 (1996)).

    Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994 (Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments; 59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments), and the Department of the Interior's manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal Tribes on a government-to-government basis. In accordance with Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights, Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act), we readily acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge that tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal public lands, to remain sensitive to Indian culture, and to make information available to tribes.

    There are no tribal lands designated as critical habitat for the marbled murrelet.

    Clarity of the Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must:

    (1) Be logically organized;

    (2) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

    (3) Use clear language rather than jargon;

    (4) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

    (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

    References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this rule is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. In addition, a complete list of all references cited herein, as well as others, is available upon request from the Washington Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES).

    Authors

    The primary authors of this document are the staff members of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES).

    Authority

    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1977, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: July 29, 2015. Michael J. Bean, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20837 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-55-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 150302204-5204-01] RIN 0648-BE93 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 15 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 15 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) Fishery Management Council (Council). This rule would revise the FMP framework procedures to streamline the process for changing certain regulations affecting the shrimp fishery. Additionally, this rule proposes changes to the FMP that would revise the maximum sustainable yield (MSY), overfishing threshold, and overfished threshold definitions and values for three species of penaeid shrimp. The intent of this proposed rule and Amendment 15 are to streamline the management process for Gulf shrimp stocks and to revise criteria for determining the overfished and overfishing status of each penaeid shrimp stock using the best available science.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before September 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2015-0097” 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-2015-0097, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Susan Gerhart, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

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

    Electronic copies of Amendment 15, which includes an environmental assessment, a Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis, and a regulatory impact review, may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/shrimp/2015/Am%2015/index.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan Gerhart, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The shrimp fishery in the Gulf is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

    Management Measure Contained in This Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would revise the FMP framework procedures at § 622.60(a) and (b) to allow for modification of accountability measures under the standard documentation process of the open framework procedure. Framework procedures for a FMP allow for changes in specific management measures and parameters that can be made more efficiently than changes made through a FMP plan amendment. This framework procedure was first implemented in the Generic Annual Catch Limit (ACL) Amendment (76 FR 82044, December 29, 2011). Also, this proposed rule would remove outdated terminology from the regulations, such as “total allowable catch,” and remove the phrase “transfer at sea provisions” from the list of framework procedures because this phrase was inadvertently included in the final rule for the Generic ACL Amendment (76 FR 82044, December 29, 2011).

    Additional Measures Contained in Amendment 15

    Amendment 15 also contains actions that are not being codified in the regulations, but guide the Council and NMFS in establishing other management measures, which are codifed. Amendment 15 would revise the MSY, overfishing threshold, and the overfished threshold definitions and values for penaeid shrimp stocks (brown, white, and pink shrimp). MSY is the largest average catch that can continuously be taken from a stock under existing environmental conditions. Overfishing occurs whenever the rate of removal is too high and jeopardizes the capacity of a stock or stock complex to produce the MSY on a continuing basis. A stock or stock complex is considered overfished when its biomass has declined below the capacity of the stock or stock complex to produce MSY on a continuing basis.

    The criteria and values for MSY, overfishing threshold, and overfished threshold for penaeid shrimp were established in Amendment 13 to the FMP (71 FR 56039, September 26, 2006). Historically, Gulf penaeid shrimp stocks were assessed with a virtual population analysis (VPA), which reported output in terms of number of parents. However, the 2007 pink shrimp stock assessment VPA incorrectly determined pink shrimp were undergoing overfishing because the model could not accommodate low effort. In 2009, NMFS stock assessment analysts determined that the stock synthesis model was the best choice for modeling Gulf shrimp populations. Amendment 15 would modify these stock status determination criteria to match the biomass-based output of the stock synthesis model, which was deemed a better assessment model for shrimp by NMFS biologists and the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee. These revisions to the penaeid shrimp stock status criteria are expected to have little to no change in the biological, physical, or ecological environments because these changes are only to the stock status reference points and will not have a direct impact on the actual harvest of penaeid shrimp.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with Amendment 15, the FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

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

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that this rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination is as follows:

    A description of this proposed rule, why it is being considered, and the objectives of this proposed rule are contained in the preamble and in the SUMMARY section of the preamble. The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the basis for this proposed rule.

    This proposed rule is expected to directly affect commercial fishermen holding valid or renewable Federal Gulf shrimp permits. The SBA established size criteria for all major industry sectors in the U.S. including fish harvesters and for-hire operations. A business involved in shellfish harvesting is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and its combined annual receipts are not in excess of $5.5 million (NAICS code 114112, shellfish fishing) for all of its affiliated operations worldwide.

    The Federal shrimp permit for the commercial harvest of penaeid shrimp in the Gulf exclusive economic zone has been under a moratorium since 2007 (71 FR 56039, September 26, 2006). At the start of the moratorium, 1,933 vessels qualified for and received the Federal shrimp permit. Over time, the number of permitted shrimp vessels has declined, and in 2013 there were 1,546 such permitted vessels.

    From 2006 through 2012, an average of 4,757 vessels fished for shrimp in the Gulf, of which 27 percent were federally permitted vessels and the rest, non-federally permitted vessels that fished only in state waters. Despite the fewer number of vessels, federally permitted vessels accounted for an average of 67 percent of total shrimp landings and 77 percent of total ex-vessel revenues. A federally permitted vessel in the Gulf shrimp fishery, on average, generated revenues from commercial fishing of approximately $254,000 (2012 dollars) annually.

    Based on the revenue figures above, all vessels expected to be directly affected by this proposed rule are determined for the purpose of this analysis to be small business entities.

    The modifications to the MSY, overfishing threshold, and overfished threshold definitions and values for penaeid shrimp in Amendment 15 would make these parameters consistent with the model currently used in the stock assessment for penaeid shrimp species. Because modifications of these parameters would not affect the harvest of shrimp or restrict the operations of shrimp vessels, no direct economic effects would ensue from this action within the amendment.

    The proposed regulatory change to allow for modification of accountability measures under the standard documentation process of the open framework procedure would streamline the process for changing certain regulations affecting the shrimp fishery. This action would improve the administrative environment of developing regulations for the shrimp fishery, but would have no direct economic effects on the operations of affected shrimp vessels. This rule would also remove outdated terminology from the regulations, such as “total allowable catch,” and remove the phrase “transfer at sea provisions” from the list of framework procedures to correct an inadvertent error. Both these change would have no direct economic effects on the operations of affected shrimp vessels. Therefore, it is expected that the measures contained in this proposed rule would have no effects on the profits of any affected shrimp vessels.

    No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been identified. In addition, no new reporting, record-keeping, or other compliance requirements are introduced by this proposed rule. Accordingly, this rule does not implicate the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    The information provided above supports a determination that this rule, if implemented, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Because of this determination, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, Shrimp.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 622.60, revise paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as follows:
    § 622.60 Adjustment of management measures.

    (a) Gulf penaeid shrimp. For a species or species group: Reporting and monitoring requirements, permitting requirements, size limits, vessel trip limits, closed seasons or areas and reopenings, quotas (including a quota of zero), MSY (or proxy), OY, management parameters such as overfished and overfishing definitions, gear restrictions (ranging from regulation to complete prohibition), gear markings and identification, vessel markings and identification, allowable biological catch (ABC) and ABC control rules, rebuilding plans, restrictions relative to conditions of harvested shrimp (maintaining shrimp in whole condition, use as bait), target effort and fishing mortality reduction levels, bycatch reduction criteria, BRD certification and decertification criteria, BRD testing protocol and certified BRD specifications.

    (b) Gulf royal red shrimp. Reporting and monitoring requirements, permitting requirements, size limits, vessel trip limits, closed seasons or areas and reopenings, annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), quotas (including a quota of zero), accountability measures (AMs), MSY (or proxy), OY, management parameters such as overfished and overfishing definitions, gear restrictions (ranging from regulation to complete prohibition), gear markings and identification, vessel markings and identification, ABC and ABC control rules, rebuilding plans, and restrictions relative to conditions of harvested shrimp (maintaining shrimp in whole condition, use as bait).

    [FR Doc. 2015-20954 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 150316270-5270-01] RIN 0648-XE111 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Modifications of the West Coast Commercial, Recreational, and Treaty Indian Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions #16 Through #21 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Modification of fishing seasons; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces six inseason actions in the ocean salmon fisheries. These inseason actions modified the commercial, recreational, and treaty Indian salmon fisheries in the area from the U.S./Canada border to the U.S./Mexico border.

    DATES:

    The effective dates for the inseason actions are set out in this document under the heading Inseason Actions. Comments will be accepted through September 9, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peggy Mundy at 206-526-4323.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

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

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

    Inseason Actions Inseason Action #16

    Description of action: Inseason action #16 adjusted the daily bag limit in the recreational salmon fishery from the U.S./Canada border to Queets River, WA (Neah Bay and La Push Subareas), to limit retention of Chinook salmon, which had been two per day, to one per day. The new bag limit under inseason action #16 was: Two salmon per day, only one of which can be a Chinook salmon, plus two additional pink salmon.

    Effective dates: Inseason action #16 took effect on July 24, 2015, and remained in effect until the part of the action that affected the Neah Bay Subarea was superseded by inseason action #18, which took effect on August 2, 2015.

    Reason and authorization for the action: The Regional Administrator (RA) considered fishery effort and Chinook salmon landings to date, and determined that it was necessary to reduce the daily bag limit for Chinook salmon to avoid exceeding the harvest guidelines set preseason for the Neah Bay and La Push Subareas. Inseason action to modify recreational bag limits is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(iii).

    Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #16 occurred on July 21, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, WDFW, and ODFW.

    Inseason Action #17

    Description of action: Inseason action #17 adjusted the summer quota (July through September) for the treaty Indian salmon fishery north of Cape Falcon, that was set preseason at 30,000 Chinook salmon, to 29,084 Chinook salmon.

    Effective dates: Inseason action #17 took effect on July 1, 2015, and remains in effect until the end of the 2015 treaty Indian salmon season.

    Reason and authorization for the action: The tribal fisheries reported an overage of 916 Chinook salmon in the May/June fishery. The Council's Salmon Technical Team (STT) determined that no impact-neutral adjustment was required, and that the spring overage could be deducted from the summer quota on a 1 to 1 basis. Modification of quotas and/or fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(i).

    Consultation date and participants: The treaty tribes notified staff from NMFS, Council, and WDFW of the need for modification of the summer quota on July 22, 2015, and consulted with the STT on the need for any adjustments needed to make the modification impact-neutral. The RA concurred with the quota modification.

    Inseason Action #18

    Description of action: Inseason action #18 adjusted the daily bag limit in the recreational salmon fishery from the U.S./Canada border to Cape Alava (Neah Bay Subarea) to prohibit retention of Chinook salmon. This action superseded that part of inseason action #16 that applied to the Neah Bay Subarea.

    Effective dates: Inseason action #18 took effect August 2, 2015, and remains in effect until the end of the salmon fishing season or until modified by further inseason action.

    Reason and authorization for the action: The RA considered Chinook salmon landings and effort in the recreational salmon fishery north of Cape Falcon and determined that the Neah Bay Subarea was likely to exceed the subarea guideline if retention of Chinook salmon continued. Prohibiting retention of Chinook salmon in this subarea allowed fishers access to remaining coho quota without exceeding the Chinook salmon guideline. Inseason action to modify recreational bag limits is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(iii).

    Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #18 occurred on July 28, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, WDFW, and ODFW.

    Inseason Action #19

    Description of action: Inseason action #19 adjusted the summer quota (June through September) for the recreational salmon fishery north of Cape Falcon. Unutilized quota from the spring season was rolled over on an impact-neutral basis to the summer season. The adjusted summer quota is 56,700 Chinook salmon.

    Effective dates: Inseason action #19 took effect on July 28, 2015, and remains in effect until the end of the 2015 recreational salmon season.

    Reason and authorization for the action: The spring recreational salmon fishing season north of Cape Falcon closed on June 12, 2015. Once landings were finalized, 8,798 Chinook salmon remained unutilized from the spring mark-selective Chinook salmon quota of 10,000. The STT calculated the quota rollover to the non-mark-selective Chinook salmon summer quota on an impact-neutral basis for Puget Sound Puyallup and Nisqually Chinook salmon stocks. This resulted in a net, impact-neutral rollover of 2,700 non-mark-selective Chinook salmon quota to the summer fishery. Modification of quotas and/or fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(i).

    Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #19 occurred on July 28, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, WDFW, and ODFW.

    Inseason Action #20

    Description of action: Inseason action #20 changed the landing and possession limit for retention of Pacific halibut caught incidental to the commercial salmon fishery from 12 halibut per trip to 2 halibut per trip. This action applies to the commercial salmon fishery from the U.S./Canada border to the U.S./Mexico border.

    Effective dates: Inseason action #20 took effect on August 7, 2015, and remains in effect until the end of the commercial salmon fishing season or until modified by further inseason action.

    Reason and authorization for the action: The RA considered landings of halibut caught incidental to the commercial salmon fishery and determined that the allocation of halibut set by the International Pacific Halibut Commission was close to attainment. Inseason action #20 was taken to allow access to the remaining halibut allocation without exceeding the allocation. Inseason modification of limited retention regulations is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(ii).

    Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #20 occurred on August 5, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, CDFW, WDFW, and ODFW.

    Inseason Action #21

    Description of action: Inseason action #21 adjusted the August quota for the commercial salmon fishery in the Oregon KMZ. Unutilized quota from July was rolled over on an impact-neutral basis to August. The adjusted August quota is 772 Chinook salmon.

    Effective dates: Inseason action #21 took effect August 1, 2015, and remains in effect to the end of the season.

    Reason and authorization for the action: Under inseason action #14 (80 FR 43336, July 22, 2015), the commercial salmon fishery in the Oregon KMZ had an adjusted July quota of 1,184 Chinook salmon. The State of Oregon reported that 813 Chinook salmon were landed in the area in July, leaving quota of 371 Chinook salmon unutilized. To address temporal differences in impacts to Klamath River fall and California coastal Chinook salmon stocks, the STT calculated the impact-neutral rollover of 371 Chinook salmon from July to August. As a result, 272 Chinook salmon were added to the August quota of 500 Chinook salmon, for an adjusted quota of 772 Chinook salmon. After consideration of Chinook salmon landings to date and the STT's calculations, the RA determined that it was appropriate to adjust the August quota for the commercial salmon fishery in the Oregon KMZ. This action was taken to allow access to available Chinook salmon quota, without exceeding conservation impacts to Klamath River fall and California coastal Chinook salmon stocks. Inseason action to modify quotas and/or fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(i).

    Consultation date and participants: Consultation on inseason action #21 occurred on August 5, 2015. Participants in this consultation were staff from NMFS, Council, CDFW, WDFW, and ODFW.

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

    The RA determined that the best available information indicated that Chinook salmon and halibut catch to date and fishery effort supported the above inseason actions recommended by the states of Washington and Oregon, and the treaty Indian tribes. The states manage the fisheries in state waters adjacent to the areas of the U.S. exclusive economic zone in accordance with these Federal actions; the tribes manage fisheries in areas described in the annual management measures (80 FR 25611, May 5, 2015). As provided by the inseason notice procedures of 50 CFR 660.411, actual notice of the described regulatory actions was given, prior to the time the action was effective, by telephone hotline numbers 206-526-6667 and 800-662-9825, and by U.S. Coast Guard Notice to Mariners broadcasts on Channel 16 VHF-FM and 2182 kHz.

    Classification

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

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 20, 2015. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20996 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 150625552-5710-01] RIN 0648-BF22 Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; Exemption for Large U.S. Longline Vessels To Fish in Portions of the American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes to allow large federally permitted U.S. longline vessels to fish in certain areas of the Large Vessel Prohibited Area (LVPA) around Swains Island, Tutuila, and the Manua Islands. NMFS would continue to prohibit fishing in the LVPA by large purse seine vessels. The fishing requirements for the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument would remain unchanged. The intent of the proposed rule is to improve the viability of the American Samoa longline fishery and achieve optimum yield from the fishery while preventing overfishing, in accordance with National Standard 1.

    DATES:

    NMFS must receive comments by September 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0080, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0080, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Send written comments to Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.

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

    The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and NMFS prepared an environmental analysis that describes the potential impacts on the human environment that could result from the proposed rule. The environmental analysis and other supporting documents are available at www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jarad Makaiau, NMFS PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808-725-5176.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In 2002, the Council recommended establishing, and NMFS implemented, the LVPA around Swain's, Tutuila, and the Manua Islands, and Rose Atoll. At the time, the Council and NMFS established the LVPA to prevent the potential for gear conflicts and catch competition between large and small fishing vessels. Such conflicts and competition could have led to reduced opportunities for sustained participation in the small-scale pelagic fisheries. The LVPA, which extends seaward approximately 30-50 nm offshore from the islands, restricts vessels 50 ft and longer from fishing for pelagic management unit species. You may read more about the establishment of the LVPA in the 2001 proposed rule (66 FR 39475, July 31, 2001) and 2002 final rule (67 FR 4369, January 30, 2002).

    The American Samoa pelagic fisheries have changed since 2002, and the conditions that led the Council and NMFS to establish the LVPA are no longer present. Only a few small longline vessels (just one active in 2014) have been operating on a regular basis, and the large vessels (19 active in 2014) have faced declining catch per unit of effort (CPUE), increased costs, and greatly reduced revenues. The LVPA may be unnecessarily reducing the efficiency of the larger American Samoa longline vessels by displacing the fleet from a part of their historical fishing grounds.

    To address fishery conditions resulting from the LVPA, the Council recommended that NMFS allow federally-permitted U.S. longline vessels 50 ft and longer to fish in portions of the LVPA. Specifically, the proposed action would allow large U.S. vessels that hold a Federal American Samoa longline limited entry permit to fish within the LVPA seaward of 12 nm around Swains Island, Tutuila, and the Manua Islands (see Fig. 1). NMFS would continue to prohibit fishing in the LVPA by large purse seine vessels. The fishing requirements for the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument would also remain unchanged.

    EP25AU15.002

    The proposed action would allow fishing in an additional 16,817 nm2 of Federal waters, thereby reducing the total portion of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone around American Samoa that is now closed to large longline vessels from 25.5 percent to 11.3 percent. The proposed action is intended to improve the efficiency and economic viability of the American Samoa longline fleet, while ensuring that fishing by the longline and small vessel fleets remains sustainable on an ongoing basis. The proposed action would allow large longline vessels to distribute fishing effort over a larger area, which may reduce catch competition among the larger vessels and promote economic efficiency by reducing transit costs. The longline fishery targets albacore, so it does not compete with small-scale bottomfish fishermen or trollers, who target skipjack and yellowfin tunas and billfish. NMFS would continue to prohibit fishing by large longline vessels within the EEZ from 3-12 nm around the islands, thus maintaining non-competitive fishing opportunities for the small-vessel longline fleet.

    The Council and NMFS will annually review the effects of the proposed action on catch rates, small vessel participation, and sustainable fisheries development initiatives. Any proposed changes would be subject to additional environmental review and opportunity for public review and comment.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the FEP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further consideration after public comment.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act: Certification of Finding of No Significant Impact on Substantial Number of Small Entities

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. A description of the proposed action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for it are contained in the preamble to this proposed rule.

    The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) established the American Samoa large vessel prohibited areas (LVPA) to separate large-vessel (50 feet or greater) fishing activities from those of smaller vessels, and to prevent potential gear conflicts and catch competition. NMFS implemented the LVPA in 2002 (67 FR 4369; January 30, 2002), with minor modifications to the boundaries in 2012, related to the establishment of the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument (77 FR 34260; June 11, 2012).

    At the time that the LVPA was implemented, nearly 40 alia and other small vessels fished alongside 25 large vessels. The establishment of the LVPA prohibited fishing by all but two large vessels. The Council and NMFS allowed the two vessels to fish in the LVPA based on their fishing history. In recent years, far fewer small vessels operate within the LVPA and the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surrounding American Samoa. Meanwhile, the large longliners based in American Samoa struggle to maintain operating, with estimated fleet-wide revenue of $6.8 million (http://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/wpacfin/as/Data/ECL_Charts/ae3bmain.htm, accessed July 22, 2015) and some vessels reportedly operating at a loss.

    This proposed rule would provide economic relief to the American Samoa large longline vessel fleet, through an exemption to the prohibition from fishing within specific areas of the LVPA. The proposed action would allow the large longline vessels to fish over an additional 16,817 nm2 of Federal waters, thereby reducing the total area of the U.S. EEZ around American Samoa currently closed to large longliners from 25.5 percent to 11.3 percent. The proposed action would improve the efficiency and economic viability of the American Samoa longline fleet, while ensuring fishing by the longline and small vessel fleets remain sustainable on an ongoing basis. The Council and NMFS would annually review the effects of the proposed action on catch rates of all pelagic fishery participants, small vessel participation in pelagic fisheries, and sustainable fisheries development initiatives.

    The proposed action would directly affect operators of American Samoa-based longline vessels with Class C or D permits. Based on available information, NMFS has determined that all affected entities are small entities under the SBA definition of a small entity, i.e., they are engaged in the business of fish harvesting, are independently owned or operated, are not dominant in their field of operation, and have gross annual receipts below $20.5 million (NAICS code: 114111). In 2013, NMFS issued 11 Class C permits and 26 Class D permits, with seven active Class C permits and 14 active Class D permits (http://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/wpacfin/as/Data/Pelagic/apel24main.htm and http://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/wpacfin/as/Data/Pelagic/apel25main.htm, accessed July 22, 2015). Therefore, NMFS estimates that this action would potentially affect up to 37 vessels directly.

    NMFS does not expect the rule to have disproportionate economic impacts between large and small entities directly affected by this rule, although the small vessels currently allowed to fish throughout the LVPA may be indirectly affected by the potential increase in the number of large longliners fishing within a portion of the LVPA. Furthermore, there would be disproportionate economic impacts among the universe of vessels based on gear, homeport, or vessel length.

    Even though this proposed action would apply to a substantial number of vessels, the implementation of this action will not result in significant adverse economic impacts to individual vessels. The proposed action does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with other Federal rules and is not expected to have significant impact on small entities (as discussed above), organizations, or government jurisdictions. As such, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared.

    Executive Order 12866

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

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 665

    Administrative practice and procedure, American Samoa, Fisheries, Fishing, Guam, Hawaiian natives, Northern Mariana Islands, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: August 18, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS proposes to amend 50 CFR part 665 as follows:

    PART 665—FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 665 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. Revise § 665.818 to read as follows:
    § 665.818 Exemptions for American Samoa large vessel prohibited areas.

    (a) Exemption for historical participation.

    (1) An exemption will be issued to a person who currently owns a large vessel to use that vessel to fish for western Pacific pelagic MUS in the American Samoa large vessel prohibited areas, if the person seeking the exemption had been the owner of that vessel when it was registered for use with a Western Pacific general longline permit, and has made at least one landing of western Pacific pelagic MUS in American Samoa on or prior to November 13, 1997.

    (2) A landing of western Pacific pelagic MUS for the purpose of this paragraph must have been properly recorded on a NMFS Western Pacific Federal daily longline form that was submitted to NMFS, as required in § 665.14.

    (3) An exemption is valid only for a vessel that was registered for use with a Western Pacific general longline permit and landed western Pacific pelagic MUS in American Samoa on or prior to November 13, 1997, or for a replacement vessel of equal or smaller LOA than the vessel that was initially registered for use with a Western Pacific general longline permit on or prior to November 13, 1997.

    (4) An exemption is valid only for the vessel for which it is registered. An exemption not registered for use with a particular vessel may not be used.

    (5) An exemption may not be transferred to another person.

    (6) If more than one person, e.g., a partnership or corporation, owned a large vessel when it was registered for use with a Western Pacific general longline permit and made at least one landing of western Pacific pelagic MUS in American Samoa on or prior to November 13, 1997, an exemption issued under this section will be issued to only one person.

    (b) Exemption for vessel size. Except as otherwise prohibited in Subpart I of this chapter, a vessel of any size that is registered for use with a valid American Samoa longline limited access permit is authorized to fish for western Pacific pelagic MUS within the American Samoa large vessel prohibited areas as defined in § 665.806(b), except that no large vessel as defined in § 665.12 of this subpart may be used to fish for western Pacific pelagic MUS in the portions of the American Samoa large vessel prohibited areas, as follows:

    (1) EEZ waters around Tutuila Island enclosed by straight lines connecting the following coordinates:

    Point S. lat. W. long. 1 14°01′42″ 171°02′36″ 2 14°01′42″ 170°20′22″ 3 14°34′31″ 170°20′22″ 4 14°34′31″ 171°03′10″ 5 14°02′47″ 171°03′10″ 1 14°01′42″ 171°02′36″

    (2) EEZ waters around the Manua Islands enclosed by straight lines connecting the following coordinates:

    Point S. lat. W. long. 1 13°57′16″ 169°53′7″ 2 13°57′16″ 169°12′45″ 3 14°28′28″ 169°12′45″ 4 14°28′28″ 169°53′37″ 1 13°57′16″ 169°53′37″

    (3) EEZ waters around Swains Island enclosed by straight lines connecting the following coordinates:

    Point S. lat. W. long. 1 10°51′ 171°18′ 2 10°51′ 170°51′ 3 11°16′ 170°51′ 4 11°16′ 171°18′ 1 10°51′ 171°18′
    [FR Doc. 2015-20962 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 164 Tuesday, August 25, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request—Generic Clearance for the Development of Nutrition Education Messages and Products for the General Public AGENCY:

    Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on a proposed information collection. This is an extension of a currently approved collection. Burden hours and total number of responses have not changed. This notice announces the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion's (CNPP) intention to request the Office of Management and Budget's approval of the information collection processes and instruments to be used during consumer research while testing nutrition education messages and products developed for the general public. The purpose of performing consumer research is to identify consumers' understanding of potential nutrition education messages and obtain their reaction to prototypes of nutrition education products, including Internet based tools. The information collected will be used to refine messages and improve the usefulness of products as well as aid consumer understanding of current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and related materials (OMB No.: 0584-0523, Expiration Date 1/31/2016).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before October 26, 2015 to be assured consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    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 collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments may be sent to Dietary Guidelines Communications, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1034, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be submitted via fax to the attention of Dietary Guidelines Communications at 703-305-3300 or through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically.

    All written comments will be open for public inspection during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday) at the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion's main office located at 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1034, Alexandria, Virginia 22302.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be directed to Dietary Guidelines Communications at 703-305-7600 or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Generic Clearance for the Development of Nutrition Education Messages and Products for the General Public.

    OMB Number: 0584-0523.

    Expiration Date: January 31, 2016.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducts consumer research to identify key issues of concern related to the understanding and use of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as well as the effort and tools used to help implement the Dietary Guidelines. The mission of CNPP is to improve the health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers.

    The Dietary Guidelines are issued jointly by the Secretaries of USDA and Health and Human Services (HHS) every five years (the National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act of 1990 [7 U.S.C. 5341]). The Dietary Guidelines serve as the cornerstone of Federal nutrition policy and form the basis for nutrition education efforts (nutrition messages and development of consumer materials) for these agencies. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans provides advice for making food and physical activity choices that help promote good health, a healthy weight, and help prevent disease.

    The Dietary Guidelines for Americans includes USDA Food Pattern recommendations about what and how much to eat. To communicate the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, USDA established a comprehensive communications initiative which includes the MyPlate icon; a Web site designed for professionals and consumers, ChooseMyPlate.gov; and a variety of professional and consumer resources. The MyPlate icon emphasizes the five food groups to remind Americans to eat more healthfully. Activities to promote the Dietary Guidelines are critical to CNPP's mission, and fulfill requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (31 U.S.C. 9701).

    Information collected from consumer research will be used to further develop the Dietary Guidelines and related communications. These may include: (1) Messages and products that help general consumers make healthier food and physical activity choices; (2) Additions and enhancements to ChooseMyPlate.gov; and (3) Resources for special population groups that might be identified. USDA is working closely in collaboration with HHS in the current Dietary Guidelines revision cycle for producing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. With the potential for revised or new recommendations, the possibility for developing new messages, materials and tools exists. CNPP has among its major functions the development and coordination of nutrition policy within USDA and is involved in the investigation of techniques for effective nutrition communication. Under Subtitle D of the National Agriculture Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3171-3175), the Secretary of Agriculture is required to develop and implement a national food and human nutrition research and extension program, including the development of techniques to assist consumers in selecting food that supplies a nutritionally adequate diet.

    Pursuant to 7 CFR 2.19(a)(3), the Secretary of Agriculture has delegated authority to CNPP for, among other things, developing materials to aid the public in selecting food for good nutrition; coordinating nutrition education promotion and professional education projects within the Department; and consulting with Federal and State agencies, Congress, universities, and other public and private organizations and the general public regarding food consumption and dietary adequacy.

    The products for these initiatives will be tested using qualitative and possibly quantitative consumer research techniques, which may include focus groups (with general consumers or with specific target groups such as low-income consumers, children, older Americans, educators, students, etc.), interviews (i.e., intercept, individual, diads, triads, usability testing, etc.), and web-based surveys. Information collected from participants will be formative and will be used to improve the clarity, understandability, and acceptability of resources, messages and products. Information collected will not be nationally representative, and no attempt will be made to generalize the findings to be nationally representative or statistically valid.

    Affected Public: Individuals and Households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 57,000.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: One.

    Estimated Time per Response: 12.63 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 12,004 hours.

    Estimated Burden Hours

    Testing instrument Estimated
  • number of
  • individual
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Estimated total annual
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Estimated time per response in hours Estimated total annual burden in hours
    Focus Group Screeners 7,500 1 7,500 .25 1,875 Interview Screeners 7,500 1 7,500 .25 1,875 Focus Groups 500 1 500 2 1,000 Interviews 500 1 500 1 500 Web-based Collections 20,000 1 20,000 .25 5,000 Confidentiality Agreement 21,000 1 21,000 .08 1,753.50 Total 57,000 57,000 3.83 12,003.50

    The total estimated annual burden is 12,003.50 hours and 57,000 responses. Current estimates are based on both historical numbers of respondents from past projects as well as estimates for projects to be conducted in the next three years.

    Dated: August 12, 2015. Angela Tagtow, Executive Director, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20922 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service [Docket No. FSIS-2015-0025] Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), are sponsoring a public meeting on October 19, 2015. The objective of the public meeting is to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft United States (U.S.) positions to be discussed at the 47th Session of the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), taking place in Boston, Massachusetts November 9-13, 2015. The Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety and the FDA recognize the importance of providing interested parties the opportunity to obtain background information on the 47th Session of CCFH and to address items on the agenda.

    DATES:

    The public meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 19, 2015 from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will take place at the Jamie L. Whitten Building, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 107-A, Washington, DC 20250.

    Documents related to the 47th Session of the CCFH will be accessible via the Internet at the following address: http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en/.

    Jenny Scott, U.S. Delegate to the CCFH, invites U.S. interested parties to submit their comments electronically to the following email address [email protected].

    Call-In Number

    If you wish to participate in the public meeting for the 47th Session of the CCFH by conference call, please use the call-in number listed below.

    Call-in Number: 1-888-844-9904

    Participant code will be listed on the following link closer to the meeting date. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/us-codex-alimentarius/public-meetings.

    Registration

    Attendees may register to attend the public meeting by emailing [email protected] by August 4, 2015. Early registration is encouraged because it will expedite entry into the building. On the day of the meeting attendees should also bring photo identification and plan for adequate time to pass through security screening systems. Attendees who are not able to attend the meeting in person, but who wish to participate, may do so by phone.

    For Further Information About The 47th Session of CCFH Contact: Jenny Scott, Senior Advisor, Office of Food Safety, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, HFS-300, Room 3B-014, College Park, MD 20740-3835, Telephone: (240) 402-2166, Fax: (202) 436-2632, Email: [email protected]

    For Further Information About The Public Meeting Contact: Barbara McNiff, U.S. Codex Office, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 4861, Washington, DC 20250, Telephone: (202) 690-4719, Fax: (202) 720-3157, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Codex was established in 1963 by two United Nations organizations, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Through adoption of food standards, codes of practice, and other guidelines developed by its committees, and by promoting their adoption and implementation by governments, Codex seeks to protect the health of consumers and ensure that fair practices are used in the food trade.

    The Codex Committee on Food Hygiene is responsible for:

    (a) Drafting basic provisions on food hygiene applicable to all food;

    (b) Considering, amending if necessary, and endorsing provisions on hygiene prepared by Codex commodity committees and contained in Codex commodity standards;

    (c) Considering, amending if necessary, and endorsing provisions on hygiene prepared by Codex commodity committees and contained in Codex codes of practice unless, in specific cases, the Commission has decided otherwise;

    (d) Drafting provisions on hygiene applicable to specific food items or food groups, whether coming within the terms of reference of a Codex commodity committee or not;

    (e) Considering specific hygiene problems assigned to it by the Commission;

    (f) Suggesting and prioritizing topics on which there is a need for microbiological risk assessment at the international level and to develop questions to be addressed by the risk assessors; and

    (g) Considering microbiological risk management matters in relation to food hygiene, including food irradiation, and in relation to the risk assessment of FAO and WHO.

    The CCFH is hosted by the United States.

    Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting

    The following items on the Agenda for the 47th Session of the CCFH will be discussed during the public meeting:

    • Proposed Draft Guidelines for the Control of Nontyphoidal Salmonella spp. In Beef and Pork Meat.

    • Proposed Draft Guidelines on the Application of General Principles of Food Hygiene to the Control of Foodborne Parasites.

    • New work proposals/Forward Work plan.

    • Discussion paper on the need to revise the Code of Hygienic Practice for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

    • Discussion paper on the revision of the General Principles of Food Hygiene and its HACCP annex

    Each issue listed will be fully described in documents distributed, or to be distributed, by the Codex Secretariat prior to the Committee meeting. Members of the public may access or request copies of these documents (see ADDRESSES).

    Public Meeting

    At the October 19, 2015, public meeting, draft U.S. positions on the agenda items will be described and discussed, and attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions and offer comments. Written comments may be offered at the meeting or sent to the U.S. Delegate for the 47th Session of the CCFH, Jenny Scott (see ADDRESSES). Written comments should state that they relate to activities of the 47th Session of the CCFH.

    Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS Web page located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register .

    FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The Update is available on the FSIS Web page. Through the Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password protect their accounts.

    USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA.

    How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative.

    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email:

    Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410.

    Fax: (202) 690-7442.

    Email: [email protected]

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Done at Washington, DC on August 19, 2015. Mary Frances Lowe, U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20917 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE [Docket No.: 150619535-5738-02] Privacy Act of 1974, New System of Records AGENCY:

    U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Privacy Act System of Records: “COMMERCE/NIST-8, Child Care Subsidy Program Records.”

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce publishes this notice to announce the effective date of a new Privacy Act System of Records notice entitled COMMERCE/NIST-8, Child Care Subsidy Program Records.

    DATES:

    The system of records becomes effective on August 25, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    For a copy of the system of records please mail requests to: Essex W. Brown, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, Building 101, Room A224, (301) 975-3801.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kaitlyn Kemp, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, Building 101, Room A123, (301) 975-3319.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On July 14, 2015 (80 FR 40995), the Department of Commerce published a notice in the Federal Register requesting comments on a proposed new Privacy Act System of Records notice entitled COMMERCE/NIST-8, Child Care Subsidy Program Records. No comments were received in response to the request for comments. By this notice, the Department of Commerce is adopting the proposed new system as final without changes effective August 25, 2015.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Michael J. Toland, Department of Commerce, Acting Freedom of Information and Privacy Act Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20972 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE [Docket No.: 150619534-5740-02] Privacy Act of 1974, Abolished System of Records AGENCY:

    U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology

    ACTION:

    Final notice to delete a Privacy Act System of Records: “COMMERCE/NBS-2, Inventors of Energy-Related Processes and Devices.”

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce publishes this notice to announce the effective date of a deletion of a Privacy Act System of Records notice COMMERCE/NBS-2, Inventors of Energy-Related Processes and Devices.

    DATES:

    This system of records will be deleted on August 25, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Director, Management and Organization Office, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 1710, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1710, 301-975-4074.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Director, Management and Organization Office, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 1710, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1710, 301-975-4074.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On July 14, 2015 (80 FR 40997), the Department of Commerce published a notice in the Federal Register requesting comments on the deletion of a Privacy Act System of Records entitled COMMERCE/NBS-2, Inventors of Energy-Related Processes and Devices. The system of records is no longer collected or maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. There are no records remaining in the system. No comments were received in response to the request for comments. By this notice, the Department of Commerce is deleting this system of records on August 25, 2015.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Michael J. Toland, Department of Commerce, Acting Freedom of Information and Privacy Act Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20971 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Commerce.

    Title: Annual Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States.

    OMB Control Number: 0608-0034.

    Form Number: BE-15.

    Type of Request: Regular submission.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,800 annually, of which approximately 1,800 file A forms, 1,100 file B forms, 1,400 file C forms, and 500 file Claims for Exemption.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 87,450 hours. Total annual burden is calculated by multiplying the estimated number of submissions of each form by the average hourly burden per form, which is 44.5 hours for the A form, 4 hours for the B form, 1.75 hours for the C form, and 1 hour for the Claim for Exemption form.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 18.2 hours per respondent (87,450 hours/4,800 respondents) is the average, but may vary considerably among respondents because of differences in company structure, size, and complexity.

    Needs and Uses: The Annual Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States (Form BE-15) collects financial and operating data covering the operations of U.S. affiliates of foreign parents, including their balance sheets, income statements, property, plant and equipment, employment and employee compensation, merchandise trade, sales of goods and services, taxes, and research and development activity. The BE-15 is a sample survey that covers U.S. affiliates of foreign parents above a size-exemption level. The sample data are used to derive universe estimates in nonbenchmark years by extrapolating forward similar data reported in the BE-12, Benchmark Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, which is conducted every five years.

    The data from the survey are primarily intended as general purpose statistics. They should be readily available to answer any number of research and policy questions related to foreign direct investment in the U.S.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: Annual.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to OIRA [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: August 20, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20981 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-26-2015] Authorization of Production Activity; Foreign-Trade Zone 39; Valeo North America, Inc. d/b/a Valeo Compressor North America (Motor Vehicle Air-Conditioner Compressors); Dallas, Texas

    On April 20, 2015, Valeo North America, Inc. d/b/a Valeo Compressor North America, an operator of FTZ 39, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board for its facility in Dallas, Texas.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (80 FR 25278, 5-4-2015). The FTZ Board has determined that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification is authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the FTZ Board's regulations, including Section 400.14.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21050 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-28-2015] Foreign-Trade Zone 82—Mobile, Alabama; Authorization of Production Activity; Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC (Stainless Steel Products); Calvert, Alabama

    On April 21, 2015, the City of Mobile, grantee of FTZ 82, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board on behalf of Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC, within Subzone 82I, in Calvert, Alabama.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (80 FR 26537-26538, 5-8-2015). The FTZ Board has determined that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification is authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.14, and further subject to a condition that all foreign status ferrosilicon, molybdenum and titanium classified under HTSUS Subheadings 7202.21, 8102.94, 8108.20 and 8108.90 be admitted to the subzone in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41).

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21049 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-24-2015] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 7—Mayaguez, Puerto Rico; Authorization of Production Activity; Neolpharma, Inc.; Subzone 7O; (Pharmaceutical Products) Caguas, Puerto Rico

    On April 20, 2015, the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, grantee of FTZ 7, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board on behalf of Neolpharma, Inc., located within Subzone 7O, in Caguas, Puerto Rico.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (84 FR 24895-24896, 05-01-2015). The FTZ Board has determined that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification is authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.14.

    Dated: August 18, 2015. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21051 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-967; C-570-968] Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Scope Ruling and Notice of Amended Final Scope Ruling Pursuant to Court Decision AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On July 22, 2015, the United States Court of International Trade (CIT or Court) sustained the Department of Commerce's (Department's) final results of redetermination,1 in which the Department determined that certain Quick-Connect frames and Quick-Connect handles imported by Rubbermaid Commercial Products LLC (Rubbermaid) meet the description of excluded finished merchandise, and that certain mopping kits imported by Rubbermaid meet the description of excluded finished goods kits, and are therefore not covered by the scope of the Orders, 2 pursuant to the CIT's remand order in Rubbermaid Commercial Products LLC v. United States, Court No. 11-00463, Slip Op. 14-113 (CIT September 23, 2014) (Rubbermaid I).

    1See Rubbermaid Commercial Products LLC v. United States, Court No. 11-00463, Slip Op. 15-79 (CIT July 22, 2015) (Rubbermaid II), which sustained the Final Results of Redetermination Pursuant to Court Remand, Rubbermaid Commercial Products LLC v. United States, Court No. 11-00463 (CIT September 23, 2014) (Remand Results).

    2See Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Antidumping Duty Order, 76 FR 30650 (May 26, 2011) and Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 76 FR 30653 (May 26, 2011) (Orders).

    Consistent with the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in Timken, 3 as clarified by Diamond Sawblades, 4 the Department is notifying the public that the final judgment in this case is not in harmony with the Department's Final Scope Ruling on Cleaning System Components and is therefore amending its final scope ruling.5

    3See Timken Co. v. United States, 893 F.2d 337 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (Timken).

    4See Diamond Sawblades Mfrs. Coalition v. United States, 626 F.3d 1374 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (Diamond Sawblades).

    5See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Final Scope Ruling on Certain Cleaning System Components,” (October 25, 2011) (Final Scope Ruling on Cleaning System Components).

    DATES:

    Effective date: August 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric B. Greynolds, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: 202-482-6071.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On July 7, 2011, Rubbermaid submitted its scope request involving 13 product models, which fall into three categories of floor cleaning products: Quick-Connect frames, Quick-Connect handles, and mopping kits.6 The Department issued the Final Scope Ruling on Cleaning System Components on October 25, 2011, in which it determined that the Quick-Connect frames and Quick-Connect handles at issue do no not meet the exclusion criteria for finished merchandise and, thus, are covered by the scope of the Orders because they are designed to function collaboratively in order to form a completed cleaning device, but the components to make a final cleaning device are not part of a packaged combination at the time of importation.7 The Department further determined that the mopping kits at issue do not meet the exclusion criteria for finished goods kits and, thus, are covered by the scope of the Orders because they lack the disposable mop ends at the time of importation.8

    6See Rubbermaid's July 7, 2011, Scope Request (Scope Request).

    7See Final Scope Ruling on Cleaning System Components at 9.

    8Id.

    In Rubbermaid I the Court held that the Department failed to adequately explain its reasoning in the final scope ruling that the Quick-Connect frames and Quick-Connect handles at issue did not meet the finished merchandise exclusion because they were “designed to function collaboratively” with other components to form a completed cleaning device.9 Thus, on remand, the Court ordered the Department to reconsider its analysis of the finished merchandise exclusion and its application to products designed to work in conjunction with other goods,10 and to further consider Rubbermaid's argument distinguishing “finished goods” (to be excluded) from “intermediate goods” (to be included).11 In addition, the Court ordered the Department to reconsider its alleged distinction between merchandise that is designed to be adaptable, interchangeable and flexible, and merchandise that is permanently assembled, in light of any appropriate scope rulings.12 The Court also held that if the Department continues to find that the Quick-Connect handles and Quick-Connect frames do not constitute “finished merchandise”, then the Department must affirmatively define that term, taking into account Rubbermaid's proposed definition.13 Lastly, concerning the mopping kits at issue, the Court ordered the Department to reconsider its interpretation of the finished goods kit exclusion, taking into account applicable scope rulings that discuss the adaptable, interchangeable nature of products for purposes of this exclusion.14

    9See Rubbermaid I, Slip Op. 14-113 at 17-20.

    10Id. at 20.

    11Id. at 20-23.

    12Id. at 23-27.

    13Id. at 28-29.

    14Id. at 30-33, referencing Banner Stands Scope Ruling and the Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Final Scope Ruling on EZ Fabric Wall Systems,” (November 9, 2011) (EZ Fabric Wall Systems Scope Ruling).

    In the Remand Results, the Department clarified its interpretation of the exclusion criteria for “finished merchandise” and “finished goods kits.” 15 The Department first found that, pursuant to its interpretation of the finished merchandise exclusion, the quick-connect frames and quick-connect handles were excluded from the Orders because (1) they are comprised of extruded aluminum and non-extruded aluminum components (thus satisfying the “aluminum extrusions as parts . . .” definition of the exclusion), and (2) they are “fully and permanently assembled and completed at the time of entry,” regardless of whether they are later incorporated with other components, or assembled into a larger downstream product (i.e., a subassembly).16

    15See Remand Results 11-12, 14-17.

    16Id. at 11-12, 14-17.

    With respect to the mopping kits, the Department found that these products met the exclusion for finished goods kits because (1) they were comprised of aluminum extrusions plus an additional non-extruded aluminum component which went beyond mere fasteners, and (2) in light of the certain other scope rulings,17 the interchangeable disposable mop end was not necessary to meet the exclusion for a finished goods kit.18 On July 22, 2015, the CIT sustained the Department's Remand Results.19

    17See Banner Stands Scope Ruling; see also EZ Wall Systems Scope Ruling.

    18Id.

    19See Rubbermaid II, Slip Op. 15-79 at 15.

    Timken Notice

    In its decision in Timken20 as clarified by Diamond Sawblades, the CAFC has held that, pursuant to sections 516A(c) and (e) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department must publish a notice of a court decision that is not “in harmony” with a Department determination and must suspend liquidation of entries pending a “conclusive” court decision. The CIT's July 22, 2015, judgment in Rubbermaid II sustaining the Department's decision in the Remand Results to find that the Quick-Connect frames, Quick-Connect handles, and mopping kits at issue to be excluded from the scope of the Orders, constitutes a final decision of that court that is not in harmony with the Department's Final Scope Ruling on Cleaning System Components. This notice is published in fulfillment of the publication requirements of Timken. Accordingly, the Department will continue the suspension of liquidation of the Quick-Connect frames, Quick-Connect handles, and mopping kits at issue pending expiration of the period of appeal or, if appealed, pending a final and conclusive court decision.

    20See Timken, 893 F.2d at 341.

    Amended Final Determination

    Because there is now a final court decision with respect to the Final Scope Ruling on Cleaning System Components, the Department amends its final scope ruling. The Department finds that the scope of the Orders does not cover the 13 product models of Quick-Connect frames, Quick-Connect handles, and mopping kits addressed in the underlying Scope Request filed by Rubbermaid. The Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that the cash deposit rate will be zero percent for Rubbermaid's Quick-Connect frames, Quick-Connect handles, and mopping kits. In the event that the CIT's ruling is not appealed, or if appealed, upheld by the CAFC, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate entries of Rubbermaid's Quick-Connect frames, Quick-Connect handles, and mopping kits without regard to antidumping and/or countervailing duties, and to lift suspension of liquidation of such entries.

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with section 516A(c)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21047 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-955] Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is rescinding its administrative review of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on certain magnesia carbon bricks (MCBs) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) for the period January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013 (POR).

    DATES:

    Effective date: August 25, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gene H. Calvert, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3586.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On September 2, 2014, the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of “Opportunity to Request Administrative Review” of the CVD order on MCBs from the PRC for the POR.1 The deadline for the completion of the preliminary results is August 31, 2015.2 On September 30, 2014, Petitioner in this proceeding, Resco Products, Inc., and an interested party, Magnesita Refractories Company (Magnesita), submitted a timely request for an administrative review of five companies: (1) Fedmet Resources Corporation; (2) Fengchi Imp. and Exp. Co., Ltd. of Haicheng City (Fengchi Co.); (3) Fengchi Mining Co., Ltd. of Haicheng City (Fengchi Mining); (4) Fengchi Refractories Corp. (Fengchi Refractories); and (5) Puyang Refractories Co., Ltd. (collectively, Companies Subject to Review).3 On October 30, 2014, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.221(c)(1)(i), the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation of an administrative review on the CVD order on MCBs from the PRC with respect to the Companies Subject to Review.4

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review, 79 FR 51958 (September 2, 2014).

    2See Department Memoranda, “Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks from the People's Republic of China: Extension of Time Limit for Preliminary Results of the Countervailing Duty Administrative Review,” (May 22, 2015), and “Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks from the People's Republic of China: Second Extension of Time Limit for Preliminary Results of the Countervailing Duty Administrative Review,” (July 1, 2015).

    3See Letter to the Secretary from Petitioner and Magnesita, “Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks from the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Administrative Review,” (September 30, 2014).

    4See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 79 FR 64565, 64568 (October 30, 2014) (Initiation Notice); see also Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 79 FR 66694, 66695 (November 10, 2014), and Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 80 FR 37588, 37596 (July 1, 2015), correcting printing errors in the Initiation Notice.

    The Department stated in the Initiation Notice that it intended to rely on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data to select respondents.5 On November 5, 2014, we released U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) entry data to interested parties for comments regarding respondent selection.6 On November 14, 2014, Fengchi Co. submitted comments on the Original CBP Data, and expressed concerns that the Original CBP Data may not accurately reflect POR entries of subject merchandise.7 No other party commented on the Original CBP Data.

    5See Initiation Notice at “Respondent Selection.”

    6See Department Memorandum, “2013 Countervailing Duty Administrative Review of Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks from the People's Republic of China: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Entry Data,” (November 5, 2014) (Original CBP Data).

    7See Letter to the Secretary from Fengchi Co., “Magnesia Carbon Bricks form the People's Republic of China, Case No. C-570-955: Comments on U.S. Customs and Border Protection Entry Data,” (November 14, 2014) (Fengchi Co. CBP Data Comments).

    On December 19, 2014, we received timely no shipment certifications from Fengchi Co., Fengchi Mining, and Fengchi Refractories.8 These three companies also requested that we rescind this administrative review.9 Although Fengchi Co., Fengchi Mining, and Fengchi Refractories each certified that they had had no reviewable entries of subject merchandise during the POR, the Original CBP Data did show that Fengchi Co. had exports of subject merchandise that were entered during the POR.10 As a result, in our Respondent Selection Memorandum, we selected Fengchi Co. as our sole mandatory respondent.11

    8See Letter to the Secretary from Fengchi Co., Fengchi Mining, and Fengchi Refractories, “Magnesia Carbon Brick from the People's Republic of China, Case No. C-570-955: No Shipments Letter,” (December 19, 2014).

    9Id.

    10See Original CBP Data.

    11See Department Memorandum, “Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks from the People's Republic of China: Respondent Selection,” (January 28, 2015) (Respondent Selection Memorandum).

    Subsequently, the Department found that its data query that generated the Original CBP Data had been constructed for an incorrect period. The Department placed Corrected CBP Data onto the record on July 22, 2015, and gave interested parties an opportunity to comment on these data.12 Our review of the Corrected CBP Data led us to conclude that there were no entries of MCBs from the PRC that were subject to countervailing duties with respect to the Companies Subject to Review during the POR.13 Accordingly, we sent requests to CBP to notify us if there was any indication from CBP ports that shipments of MCBs from the PRC regarding the Companies Subject to Review entered the United States during the POR.14 We received no information from CBP to contradict the Corrected CBP Data.

    12See Department Memorandum, “Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks from the People's Republic of China: Respondent Selection—Corrected POR Entry Information,” (July 14, 2015) (Corrected CBP Data).

    13Id.

    14See CBP Inquiries, Message Nos.: 5174303 (June 23, 2015); 5174304 (June 23, 2015); 5198315 (July 17, 2015); and 5219308 (August 7, 2015).

    On July 28, 2015, Resco, Magnesita, and Harbison Walker International submitted timely comments on the Corrected CBP Data, requesting that the Department ask CBP for entry summary information regarding the entries listed in the Corrected CBP Data.15 No other party commented on the Corrected CBP Data.

    15See Letter to the Secretary from the Magnesia Carbon Bricks Fair Trade Committee, “Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks From the People's Republic of China: Petitioners' Comments on the CBP Data,” (July 28, 2015).

    On August 12, 2015, the Department issued a memorandum stating that it intended to rescind this review based on the lack of suspended entries for Companies Subject to Review.16 We invited parties to comment on our intent to rescind this administrative review; 17 we did not receive any comments from any interested party.

    16See Department Memorandum, “Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks from the People's Republic of China; Intent to Rescind Administrative Review,” (August 12, 2015).

    17Id.

    Rescission of Review

    Section 351.213(d)(3) of the Department's regulations states that “{the} Secretary may rescind an administrative review, in whole or only with respect to a particular exporter or producer, if the Secretary concludes that, during the period covered by the review, there were no entries, exports, or sales of the subject merchandise, as the case may be.” 18 At the end of a review, the suspended entries are liquidated at the assessment rate calculated for the review period.19 Therefore, for an administrative review to be conducted there must be a suspended entry to be liquidated at the newly calculated assessment rate. The Department's practice of rescinding annual reviews when there are no entries of subject merchandise during the POR has been upheld by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.20

    18See, e.g., Certain Preserved Mushrooms From India: Notice of Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 79 FR 52300 (September 3, 2014) (Mushrooms from India); see also Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From Brazil: Notice of Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 77 FR 32498 (June 1, 2012).

    19See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(2). See also section 751(a)(1)(A) of the Act.

    20See Allegheny Ludlum Corp. v. United States, 346 F.3d 1368 (Fed. Cir. 2003).

    In this instance, because the Corrected CBP Data show there are no suspended entries from the Companies Subject to Review upon which to assess duties for the POR, the Department is rescinding this review of the countervailing duty order on MCBs from the PRC pursuant to 19 CFR 351.231(d)(3). The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of this notice.

    Administrative Protective Order

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    This notice is published in accordance with section 751 of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4).

    Dated: August 18, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21048 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Expenditure Survey of Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Tournaments and Participants AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before October 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to George Silva at (301) 427-8503 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    This request is for a new collection of information.

    The objective of the study is to collect information on the earnings and expenditures of Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) tournament operators and participants. The study will use two survey instruments to collect information from tournament operators and participants. One survey will ask tournament operators to characterize and quantify their operating costs and income sources in addition to describing their tournament participants. The other survey instrument will ask fishing tournament participants to estimate their expenditures associated with travel to, entering, and participating in the tournament.

    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will collect cost and earnings data from all tournaments registered within the year (approximately 260 based on recent years' tournament registration data). In addition, NMFS will select fifty percent of registered tournaments to distribute expenditure surveys to anglers registered for those tournament events. The Atlantic HMS Management Division is currently consulting with tournament organizers and participants to design the survey instruments to ensure NMFS captures data on all relevant expenditures.

    As specified in the Magnuson-Stevenson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1996 (and reauthorized in 2007), NMFS is required to enumerate the economic impacts of the policies it implements on fishing participants and coastal communities. The cost and earnings data collected in this survey will be used to estimate the economic contributions and impacts of Atlantic HMS tournaments regionally.

    II. Method of Collection

    The primary data collection vehicle will be paper and/or internet-based survey forms delivered at tournament events. Telephone and personal interviews may be employed to supplement and verify written survey responses.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-XXXX.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (request for a new information collection).

    Affected Public: Members of the public.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 260 tournament operators and 2,500 tournament participants.

    Estimated Time Per Response: 15 minutes per survey.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 690.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20890 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Availability of Seats for National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Councils, Correction AGENCY:

    Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for applications; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    ONMS published a request for applications for vacant seats on seven of its 13 national marine sanctuary advisory councils on August 14, 2015 (80 FR 48828). This notice is a correction to the number of vacant seats available for the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. Previously, ONMS requested applications for the following six seats on this council: Business/Industry (primary member); Mobile Gear Commercial Fishing (alternate); Recreational Fishing (alternate); Research (alternate); Whale Watch (alternate); and Youth (alternate). ONMS is requesting applications for all of the following seats: At-Large (primary member); Business/Industry (primary member); Diving (primary member); Diving (alternate); Education (two primary members); Fixed Gear Commercial Fishing (primary member); Fixed Gear Commercial Fishing (alternate); Mobile Gear Commercial Fishing (alternate); Recreational Fishing (alternate); Research (two alternates); Whale Watch (primary member); and Youth (alternate). No other advisory councils are affected by this notice.

    DATES:

    Applications are due by September 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Application kits are specific to each advisory council. As such, application must be obtained from and returned to a council-specific address. For the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, contact: Nathalie Ward, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, 175 Edward Foster Road, Scituate, MA 02066; (781) 545-8026 extension 206; email [email protected]; or download application from http://stellwagen.noaa.gov. Refer to council-specific addresses identified in the August 14, 2015, notice (identified above) for the other six advisory councils with vacant seats.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information on the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, please contact the individual identified in the Addresses section of this notice. Additional information on the other six advisory councils with vacant seats is available in the August 14, 2015, notice discussed under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As described in the August 14, 2015 notice (80 FR 48828), ONMS is seeking applications for vacant seats for seven of its 13 national marine sanctuary advisory councils (advisory councils). Vacant seats, including positions (i.e., primary member and alternate), for each of the advisory councils were listed in the August 14, 2015, notice. Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; views regarding the protection and management of marine or Great Lake resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the sanctuary. Applicants who are chosen as members or alternates should expect to serve two- or three year terms, pursuant to the charter of the specific national marine sanctuary advisory council.

    The following is a list of the vacant seats, including positions (i.e., primary member or alternate), for the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council:

    Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council: At-Large (primary member); Business/Industry (primary member); Diving (primary member); Diving (alternate); Education (two primary members); Fixed Gear Commercial Fishing (primary member); Fixed Gear Commercial Fishing (alternate); Mobile Gear Commercial Fishing (alternate); Recreational Fishing (alternate); Research (two alternates); Whale Watch (primary member); and Youth (alternate).

    The list of all other vacant seats for which applications are currently being sought is included in the August 14, 2015, notice referenced above.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. Sections 1431, et seq.

    (Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog Number 11.429 Marine Sanctuary Program) Dated: August 17, 2015. John Armor, Acting Director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20858 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-NK-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE124 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS has made a preliminary determination that an exempted fishing permit application contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. This exempted fishing permit would allow two commercial fishing vessels to test the functional performance of a large-mesh belly panel to reduce windowpane flounder bycatch while fishing for scup within the Southern New England and Mid-Atlantic windowpane flounder stock area. The research would be conducted by the Cornell University Cooperative Extension of the Suffolk County Marine Program.

    Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for a proposed exempted fishing permit.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 9, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit written comments by any of the following methods:

    • Email: [email protected] Include in the subject line “Comments on Cornell Small Mesh Windowpane Bycatch EFP.”

    • Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope “Comments on Cornell Small Mesh Windowpane Bycatch EFP.”

    • Fax: (978) 281-9135.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reid Lichwell, Fishery Management Specialist, 978-281-9112, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Cornell University Cooperative Extension of the Suffolk County Marine Program (CCE) submitted a complete application for an exempted fishing permit on June 18, 2015. This EFP would exempt vessels from the following regulations: 50 CFR 648.122(d), possession limits for scup. This EFP would also exempt participating vessels from possession limits and minimum size requirements specified in 50 CFR part 648, subparts B and D through O, including windowpane flounder, while samples are being weighed prior to discard. The EFP would allow these exemptions from September 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016.

    This exemption would allow vessels to retain scup in excess of the Winter II possession limit. The Winter II possession limit timeframe is November 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015, and the limit will be identified in a future Federal Register notice. This exemption would save the participating vessels time that would otherwise be used for transiting to port to unload catch and to return to the research area to conduct more experimental tows. The temporary exemption from the regulated size and possession limits would allow for scup, windowpane flounder, and various bycatch species to be onboard the vessel while sampling and weighing activities are taking place prior to discard.

    The project will be conducted primarily during the fall months (September-November), while both scup and windowpane flounder reside predominately inshore, with the two species occurring together in high numbers south of Long Island, NY, and Nantucket, MA. However, trips may also occur in the spring if more data or additional trips are needed.

    The participating vessels would conduct research fishing concurrently, orienting the vessels side-by-side, within a half mile of each other while fishing gear is deployed. The vessels would be using typical scup trawl fishing methods and the participants would be members of the small mesh scup trawl fleet, holding scup permits. To test the experimental gear, one vessel will have its scup net modified with the large-mesh belly panel installed into the first belly of the net, the other vessel will have the same scup net without the large-mesh belly panel added. The resulting catch data will identify the differences in catch between the standard net and the experimental net. The vessels will alternate the use of the standard net and the net with the experimental gear, giving each vessel the same amount of tows using each gear type. The two vessels would be of similar size and horsepower with identical doors, legs, and ground cables.

    The vessels will concurrently conduct seven days of research fishing over the course of two to three trips, with a minimum of six tows per day for each vessel, with each tow lasting an hour. This will provide a minimum of 84 tows (42 with the standard net and 42 with the experimental net) for the research project. Each vessel would weigh its respective catch of both scup and windowpane flounder and measure the length of 100 random samples of each species after each tow. If fewer than 100 individuals from a sample species are caught, all individuals will be measured. The total weight of all additional species from each tow will be obtained either by weighing or by catch estimations.

    The vessels would retain legal size scup and other legally permitted species to be landed and sold. Windowpane flounder and other prohibited species will not be retained. No additional mortality of fish species or interactions with protected species would occur during this project, beyond that of typical commercial scup trawl operations.

    If approved, the applicant may request minor modifications and extensions to the EFP throughout the year. EFP modifications and extensions may be granted without further notice if they are deemed essential to facilitate completion of the proposed research and have minimal impacts that do not change the scope or impact of the initially approved EFP request. Any fishing activity conducted outside the scope of the exempted fishing activity would be prohibited.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 20, 2015. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21008 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No.: PTO-P-2015-0055] Request for Comments on a Proposed Pilot Program Exploring an Alternative Approach to Institution Decisions in Post Grant Administrative Reviews AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is requesting comments on a proposed pilot program pertaining to the institution and conduct of the post grant administrative trials provided for in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). The AIA provides for the following post grant administrative trials: Inter Partes Review (IPR), Post-Grant Review (PGR), and Covered Business Method Review (CBM). The USPTO currently has a panel of three APJs decide whether to institute a trial, and then normally has the same three-APJ panel conduct the trial, if instituted. The USPTO is considering a pilot program under which the determination of whether to institute an IPR will be made by a single APJ, with two additional APJs being assigned to the IPR if a trial is instituted. Under this pilot program, any IPR trial will be conducted by a panel of three APJs, two of whom were not involved in the determination to institute the IPR.

    DATES:

    Comment Deadline Date: To be ensured of consideration, written comments must be received on or before October 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Scott R. Boalick, Vice Chief Administrative Patent Judge, Patent Trial and Appeal Board, by telephone at (571) 272-9797.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Introduction: The first petitions for AIA post grant administrative trials were filed on September 16, 2012. Since then, over 3,600 petitions have been filed, and over 1,500 trials have been instituted. The USPTO has thus far been able to meet the demands placed on its resources created by the unexpectedly heavy workload. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has issued over 2,200 decisions on institution and over 450 final written decisions. In three-plus years, the PTAB has not missed one statutory or regulatory deadline. At the same time, the PTAB has reduced the backlog of ex parte appeals.

    Notwithstanding the success-to-date, the USPTO is pro-actively looking for ways to enhance its operations for the benefit of its stakeholders and therefore is interested in exploring alternative approaches that might improve its efficiency in handling AIA post grant proceedings while being fair to both sides and continuing to provide high quality decisions. Based upon comments received from the public through public fora and formal requests, the agency is considering a pilot program to test changing how the institution phase of a post grant proceeding is handled.

    Once trial is instituted, the AIA mandates that the resulting trial be conducted before a three-member panel of the PTAB. Generally, under current practice, the same panel of three administrative patent judges (APJs) decides whether to institute and, if instituted, handles the remainder of the proceeding, much like how federal district court judges handle cases through motions to dismiss, summary judgment, and trial. But a three-judge panel of the PTAB is not required under the statute prior to institution, and the USPTO believes it is prudent to explore other potentially more efficient options, especially given that the number of petitions filed may continue to increase.

    To date and currently, the agency has intended to meet the resource demands on the PTAB due to both AIA post grant proceedings and ex parte appeals by hiring additional judges. Even with continued hiring, however, increases in filings and the growing number of cases may strain the PTAB's continuing ability to make timely decisions and meet statutory deadlines. Therefore, the agency wishes to explore and gain data on a potentially more efficient alternative to the current three-judge institution model. Having a single judge decide whether to institute trial in a post grant proceeding, instead of a panel of three judges, would allow more judges to be available to attend to other matters, such as reducing the ex parte appeal backlog and handling more post grant proceedings.

    Background: As discussed previously, the AIA provides for IPR, PGR, and CBM trials, under which a petitioner may seek cancellation of one or more claims of a patent. The AIA provides that the Director decides whether to institute an IPR, PGR, or CBM trial. See 35 U.S.C. 314 and 324. An IPR is not instituted unless there is a determination that the petition demonstrates that there is a reasonable likelihood that at least one of the claims challenged in the petition is unpatentable. See 35 U.S.C. 314(a). A PGR or CBM is not instituted unless there is a determination that the petition, if unrebutted, demonstrates that it is more likely than not that at least one of the claims challenged in the petition is unpatentable. See 35 U.S.C. 324(a). Alternatively, a PGR or CBM may be instituted where the petition raises a novel or unsettled legal question that is important to other patents or patent applications. See 35 U.S.C. 324(b). Once instituted, and after a trial is conducted, the PTAB issues a final written decision with respect to the patentability of any patent claim challenged by the petitioner and any new claim added during the review. See 35 U.S.C. 318 and 328. The final determination in an IPR, PGR, or CBM must, with limited exceptions, be issued not later than one year after the date on which the institution of the IPR, PGR, or CBM is noticed. See 35 U.S.C. 316(a)(11) and 326(a)(11); 37 CFR 42.100(c), 200(c), and 300(c).

    The authority to determine whether to institute and conduct a trial has been delegated to a Board member or employee acting with the authority of the Board. See 37 CFR 42.4; see also Rules of Practice for Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and Judicial Review of Patent Trial and Appeal Board Decisions, 77 FR 48612, 48647 (Aug. 14, 2012). As a result, neither the AIA nor the USPTO's rules require that an institution decision be made by a panel of multiple individuals within the USPTO. The AIA does, however, require that the final written decision in an IPR, PGR, or CBM be rendered by a panel of at least three APJs. See 35 U.S.C. 6(c). The PTAB has developed the practice of deciding whether to institute an IPR, PGR, or CBM trial via three-APJ panels, and then conducting the trial, if instituted, usually by the same three-APJ panel.

    Proposed Pilot Program: The USPTO is seeking input on whether to conduct a pilot program under which a single APJ would decide whether to institute an IPR trial, with two additional APJs being assigned to conduct the IPR trial, if instituted. Under this pilot program, any IPR trial will be conducted by a panel of three APJs, two of whom were not involved in the determination to institute the IPR.

    Conduct of Proposed Pilot Program: The USPTO is considering selecting certain petitions for inclusion in the proposed pilot program from among all IPR petitions filed during a specific period. The selection would continue for at least three and up to six months. The pilot program would be limited to IPRs. The USPTO would consider the results of this pilot program to determine whether and to what degree to implement this approach more generally in the future, for example, potentially only in response to an unusually high volume of petitions.

    Due to the inter partes nature of IPR trials and the need to avoid selection bias during the evaluation of the results, it is not practical to allow petitioners or patentees to request participation in, or exclusion from, the pilot program.

    Finally, it is possible that an IPR initially selected for the single-APJ pilot program will ultimately be determined unsuitable for inclusion in the pilot. In such a situation, the IPR would be removed from the proposed single-APJ pilot program.

    Assignment of Trial Panel under the Single-Judge Pilot Program: If the single-APJ decision results in institution of trial, the PTAB would, after institution, assign two additional APJs to the panel for rendering interlocutory decisions, as needed, and for issuing a final written decision on the merits. The PTAB may assign three new APJs to the panel, for example, in the rare circumstance that the APJ who granted the institution is not available to sit on the panel post institution or where, due to workloads, it would be more efficient to assign a new three-judge panel to the proceeding. When possible, the trial panel assignment would maintain the role of the single APJ as the judge generally managing the proceeding during trial. This would ensure that the judge most familiar with the IPR has the responsibility of coordinating interlocutory activity with the parties during trial.

    Scheduling Order: Typically, when trial is instituted, a scheduling order is entered concurrently with the decision on institution. To allow for coordination of deadlines and the trial panel's availability for oral argument and other due dates, the scheduling order in trials instituted pursuant to a decision under this pilot program will not be entered concurrently with the decision on institution. The PTAB expects that, after the trial panel is notified of the assignment, the panel will issue promptly a scheduling order for the IPR.

    Question for Public Comment: The USPTO is inviting written comments from any member of the public on the pilot program under consideration. Specifically, the USPTO is seeking comment on any issue relevant to the design and implementation of a pilot program under which an IPR trial is conducted by a panel of three APJs in which two of the APJs were not involved in the determination to institute the IPR. In particular, the USPTO is seeking public input on the following questions.

    Questions

    1. Should the USPTO conduct the single-APJ institution pilot program as proposed herein to explore changes to the current panel assignment practice in determining whether to institute review in a post grant proceeding?

    2. What are the advantages or disadvantages of the proposed single-APJ institution pilot program?

    3. How should the USPTO handle a request for rehearing of a decision on whether to institute trial made by a single APJ?

    4. What information should the USPTO include in reporting the outcome of the proposed single-APJ institution pilot program?

    5. Are there any other suggestions for conservation and more efficient use of the judicial resources at the PTAB?

    Dated: August 20, 2015. Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21052 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Independent Review Panel on Military Medical Construction Standards; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Independent Review Panel on Military Medical Construction Standards (“the Panel”).

    DATES:

    Friday, September 11, 2015

    8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. EDT (Administrative Working Meeting)

    9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. EDT (Open Session)

    11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. EDT (Administrative Working Meeting)

    ADDRESSES:

    Falls Church Marriott Fairview Park, 3111 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church, Virginia, 22042.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Executive Director and Designated Federal Officer is Ms. Christine Bader, 7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101, Falls Church, Virginia 22042, [email protected], (703) 681-6653, Fax: (703) 681-9539. For meeting information, please contact Ms. Kendal Brown, 7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101, Falls Church, Virginia 22042, [email protected], (703) 681-6670, Fax: (703) 681-9539.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting

    At this meeting, the Panel will publically deliberate its findings and recommendations of its final report addressing the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2011 (Pub. L. 111-383), Section 2852(b) requirement to provide the Secretary of Defense independent advice and recommendations regarding a construction standard for military medical centers to provide a single standard of care, as set forth in this notice:

    a. Reviewing the unified military medical construction standards to determine the standards consistency with industry practices and benchmarks for world class medical construction;

    b. Reviewing ongoing construction programs within the DoD to ensure medical construction standards are uniformly applied across applicable military centers;

    c. Assessing the DoD approach to planning and programming facility improvements with specific emphasis on facility selection criteria and proportional assessment system; and facility programming responsibilities between the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and the Secretaries of the Military Departments;

    d. Assessing whether the Comprehensive Master Plan for the National Capital Region Medical (“the Master Plan”), dated April 2010, is adequate to fulfill statutory requirements, as required by section 2714 of the Military Construction Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (division B of Pub. L. 111-84; 123 Stat. 2656), to ensure that the facilities and organizational structure described in the Master Plan result in world class military medical centers in the National Capital Region; and

    e. Making recommendations regarding any adjustments of the Master Plan that are needed to ensure the provision of world class military medical centers and delivery system in the National Capital Region.

    Agenda

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165 and subject to availability of space, the Panel meeting is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on September 11, 2015, as the Panel will meet in an open forum to deliberate the findings and recommendations that will be contained in the Panel's final report to the Secretary of Defense.

    Availability of Materials for the Meeting

    A copy of the agenda or any updates to the agenda for the September 11, 2015, meeting, as well as any other materials presented, may be obtained at the meeting.

    Public's Accessibility to the Meeting

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165 and subject to availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. Seating is limited and is on a first-come basis. All members of the public who wish to attend the public meeting must contact Ms. Kendal Brown at the number listed in the section FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT no later than 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1, 2015, to register.

    Special Accommodations

    Individuals requiring special accommodations to access the public meeting should contact Ms. Kendal Brown at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

    Written Statements

    Any member of the public wishing to provide comments to the Panel may do so in accordance with 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the procedures described in this notice.

    Individuals desiring to provide comments to the Panel may do so by submitting a written statement to the Executive Director (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Written statements should address the following details: the issue, discussion, and a recommended course of action. Supporting documentation may also be included, as needed, to establish the appropriate historical context and to provide any necessary background information.

    The Executive Director will review all timely submissions with the Panel Chairperson and ensure they are provided to members of the Panel before the meeting that is subject to this notice. After reviewing the written comments, the Panel Chairperson and the Executive Director may choose to invite the submitter to orally present their issue during the open portion of this meeting. The Executive Director, in consultation with the Panel Chairperson, may allot time for members of the public to present their issues for review and discussion by the Panel.

    Dated: August 20, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20956 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0106] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Study of Enhanced College Advising in Upward Bound AGENCY:

    IES, Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before October 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting Docket ID number ED-2015-ICCD-0106 or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. If the regulations.gov site is not available to the public for any reason, ED will temporarily accept comments at [email protected] Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted; ED will ONLY accept comments during the comment period in this mailbox when the regulations.gov site is not available. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Mailstop L-OM-2-2E319, Room 2E103, Washington, DC 20202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Marsha Silverberg, (202)208-7178.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Study of Enhanced College Advising in Upward Bound.

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0912.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 2,836.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 885.

    Abstract: The Study of Enhanced College Advising in Upward Bound will test the effectiveness of providing Upward Bound projects with a professional development package and tools to provide semi-customized college advising to students participating in Upward Bound. Upward Bound projects were invited to volunteer for the demonstration, and approximately 200 projects that volunteered for the demonstration are included. Volunteer projects will be randomly assigned so that half receive the staff training, materials, tools, and resources in the first wave (spring 2015), and the other half will receive the staff training, materials, tools, and resources in the second wave (summer and fall 2016). The study will follow students who participate in both groups of projects as 11th graders in the 2014-2015 school year. The study will examine the impact of the demonstration on key outcomes including college application behavior, college acceptance and matriculation, and receipt of financial aid. The first of two ICRs for the study requested approval for the overall evaluation design, to collect 11th grade student rosters at each participating project and to administer the student baseline survey; the first ICR was approved on 8/8/2014. This is the second of two ICRs and requests approval for the remaining data collection activities, including a project survey, a follow-up student survey, and administrative records. Three reports will be produced, with one (expected 2017) reporting on the outcomes measures prior to high school graduation; a second (expected 2018) reporting on the results regarding actual college enrollment, college selectivity and use of Federal financial aid; and a third (expected 2020) reporting results regarding college persistence. The analyses will be both descriptive (distributions and means) and causal (using standard regression analyses to estimate impacts).

    Dated: August 20, 2015. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Privacy, Information and Records Management Services, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20964 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0081] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; ED School Climate Surveys (EDSCLS) Benchmark Study 2016 AGENCY:

    Institute of Education Sciences (IES)/National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing a new information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before September 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting Docket ID number ED-2015-ICCD-0081 or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. If the regulations.gov site is not available to the public for any reason, ED will temporarily accept comments at [email protected] Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted; ED will only accept comments during the comment period in this mailbox when the regulations.gov site is not available. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Mailstop L-OM-2-2E319, Room 2E103, Washington, DC 20202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Kashka Kubzdela, (202) 502-7411.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: ED School Climate Surveys (EDSCLS) Benchmark Study 2016.

    OMB Control Number: 1850—NEW.

    Type of Review: A new information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Voluntary.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 358,649.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 190,665.

    Abstract: The ED School Climate Surveys (EDSCLS) are a suite of survey instruments being developed for schools, districts, and states by the U.S. Department of Education's (ED) National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This national effort extends current activities that measure school climate, including the state-level efforts of the Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) grantees, which were awarded funds in 2010 by the ED's Office of Safe and Healthy Students (OSHS) to improve school climate. Through the EDSCLS, schools nationwide will have access to survey instruments and a survey platform that will allow for the collection and reporting of school climate data across stakeholders at the local level. The surveys can be used to produce school-, district-, and state-level scores on various indicators of school climate from the perspectives of students, teachers, noninstructional school staff and principals, and parents and guardians. This request is to conduct a national EDSCLS benchmark study, collecting data from a nationally representative sample of schools across the United States, to create a national comparison point for users of EDSCLS. A nationally representative sample of 500 schools serving students in grades 5-12 will be sampled to participate in the national benchmark study in spring 2016. The data collected from the sampled schools will be used to produce national school climate scores on the various topics covered by EDSCLS, which will be released in the updated EDSCLS platform and provide a basis for comparison between data collected by schools and school systems and the national school climate.

    Dated: August 20, 2015. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20958 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance: Meeting AGENCY:

    Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of open teleconference meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a forthcoming open teleconference meeting of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. This notice also describes the functions of the Advisory Committee. Notice of this meeting is required under section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. This document is intended to notify the general public of their opportunity to attend.

    DATES:

    The Committee will meet via teleconference on Wednesday, September 9, 2015, beginning at 3:00 p.m. and ending at approximately 3:30 p.m. (EDT).

    ADDRESSES:

    Office of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, Capitol Place, 555 New Jersey Ave. NW., Suite 522, Washington DC 20202-7582.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Tracy Jones, Executive Officer, Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, Capitol Place, 555 New Jersey Ave. NW., Suite 522, Washington DC 20202-7582, (202) 219-2099.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Statutory Authority and Function: The Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance is established under section 491 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended by Public Law 100-50 (20 U.S.C. 1098). The Advisory Committee serves as an independent source of advice and counsel to the Congress and the Secretary of Education on student financial aid policy. Since its inception, the congressional mandate requires the Advisory Committee to conduct objective, nonpartisan, and independent analyses on important aspects of the student assistance programs under title IV of the Higher Education Act. In addition, Congress expanded the Advisory Committee's mission in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 to include several important areas: Access, title IV modernization, early information and needs assessment and review and analysis of regulations. Specifically, the Advisory Committee is to review, monitor and evaluate the Department of Education's progress in these areas and report recommended improvements to Congress and the Secretary.

    Meeting Agenda

    The Advisory Committee has scheduled this teleconference for the sole purpose of electing an ACSFA member to serve as chair and a member to serve as vice-chair for one year beginning October 1, 2015.

    Space at the New Jersey Avenue meeting site and “dial-in” (listen only) line for the teleconference meeting is limited, and you are encouraged to register early if you plan to attend. You may register by sending an email to the following email address: [email protected] Please include your name, title, affiliation, complete address (including Internet and email, if available), and telephone and fax numbers. If you are unable to register electronically, you may fax your registration information to the Advisory Committee staff office at (202) 219-3032. You may also contact the Advisory Committee staff directly at (202) 219-2099. The registration deadline is Wednesday, September 2, 2015.

    Access to Records of the Meeting: The Department will post the official report of the meeting on the Committee's Web site 90 days after the meeting. Pursuant to the FACA, the public may also inspect the materials at 555 New Jersey Ave. NW., Suite 522, Washington, DC, or by emailing [email protected] or by calling (202) 219-2099 to schedule an appointment.

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

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

    Authority:

    Section 491 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended by Pub. L. 100-50 (20 U.S.C. 1098).

    William J. Goggin, Executive Director, Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20946 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. EA-415] Application To Export Electric Energy; Lion Shield Energy, LLC AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Lion Shield Energy, LLC (Applicant) has applied for authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Mexico pursuant to section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act.

    DATES:

    Comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be submitted on or before September 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, protests, motions to intervene, or requests for more information should be addressed to: Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Mail Code: OE-20, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0350. Because of delays in handling conventional mail, it is recommended that documents be transmitted by overnight mail, by electronic mail to [email protected], or by facsimile to 202-586-8008.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Exports of electricity from the United States to a foreign country are regulated by the Department of Energy (DOE) pursuant to sections 301(b) and 402(f) of the Department of Energy Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7151(b), 7172(f)) and require authorization under section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824a(e)).

    On August 14, 2015, DOE received an application from the Applicant for authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Mexico as a power marketer for a five-year term using existing international transmission facilities.

    In its application, the Applicant states that it does not own or control any electric generation or transmission facilities, and it does not have a franchised service area. The electric energy that the Applicant proposes to export to Mexico would be surplus energy purchased from third parties such as electric utilities and Federal power marketing agencies pursuant to voluntary agreements. The existing international transmission facilities to be utilized by the Applicant have previously been authorized by Presidential permits issued pursuant to Executive Order 10485, as amended, and are appropriate for open access transmission by third parties.

    Procedural Matters: Any person desiring to be heard in this proceeding should file a comment or protest to the application at the address provided above. Protests should be filed in accordance with Rule 211 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.211). Any person desiring to become a party to these proceedings should file a motion to intervene at the above address in accordance with FERC Rule 214 (18 CFR 385.214). Five copies of such comments, protests, or motions to intervene should be sent to the address provided above on or before the date listed above.

    Comments and other filings concerning the Applicant's application to export electric energy to Mexico should be clearly marked with OE Docket No. EA-415. An additional copy is to be provided to Sergio Blanchet, Lion Shield Energy, LLC, 1095 Evergreen Circle, Suite 200, The Woodlands, TX 77380.

    A final decision will be made on this application after the environmental impacts have been evaluated pursuant to DOE's National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021) and after a determination is made by DOE that the proposed action will not have an adverse impact on the sufficiency of supply or reliability of the U.S. electric power supply system.

    Copies of this application will be made available, upon request, for public inspection and copying at the address provided above, by accessing the program Web site at http://energy.gov/node/11845, or by emailing Angela Troy at [email protected]

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 19, 2015. Christopher Lawrence, Electricity Policy Analyst, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20978 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG15-117-000.

    Applicants: Parrey, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of Parrey, LLC.

    Filed Date: 8/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150818-5041.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1740-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2015-08-17-SA 1972 Deficiency Response GRE-OTP Sub 3rd Rev GIA (G645/G788) to be effective 7/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5223.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1950-000.

    Applicants: Southern Power Company.

    Description: Response to July 24, 2015 letter requesting additional information of Georgia Power Company.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5268.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2463-000.

    Applicants: MDU Resources Group, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Operation and Maintenance Agreement for Big Stone South to Ellendale to be effective 6/12/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5157.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2464-000.

    Applicants: Otter Tail Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Transmission Exchange Agreement with MDU to be effective 10/17/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5160.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2465-000.

    Applicants: Otter Tail Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Extension Facilities Agreement with MDU to be effective 10/17/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5163.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2466-000.

    Applicants: PJLB LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: PJLB LLC, FERC Electric Tariff to be effective 10/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5168.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2467-000.

    Applicants: Southwestern Electric Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Cleco Robson Road Interconnection Agreement Cancellation to be effective 8/17/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5170.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2468-000.

    Applicants: Liberty Utilities (Granite State Electric) Corp.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Borderline Sales Rate Sheet Update to be effective 5/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5225.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2469-000.

    Applicants: R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015 normal Aug to be effective 8/17/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5226.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2470-000.

    Applicants: Longreach Energy, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Longreach Energy LLC MBR Application to be effective 10/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150818-5042.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2471-000.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: PacifiCorp submits Average System Cost Filing for Sales of Electric Power to the Bonneville Power Administration, FY 2016-2017.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5283.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 18, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20939 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL15-92-000] Louisville Gas and Electric Company; Kentucky Utilities Company; Notice of Filing

    Take notice that on August 14, 2015, Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company (LG&E/KU) submitted a petition for waiver and request for expedited review in connection with a proposed refined coal sale arrangement between LG&E/KU and Clean Coal Solutions LLC.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on September 4, 2015.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20986 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC15-190-000.

    Applicants: Town Square Energy, LLC, Town Square Energy East, LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Expedited Consideration of Town Square Energy, LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5148.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1950-000.

    Applicants: Southern Power Company.

    Description: Response to July 24, 2015 letter requesting additional information of Southern Power Company.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5123.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2327-001.

    Applicants: Appalachian Power Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: OATT—Revise Attachments K, TCC & TNC Rate Update Amendment to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 8/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150814-5224.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2456-000.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Georgia-Pacific E&P Agmt—Troutdale Sub to be effective 10/14/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150814-5222.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2457-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: GIA and Dist. Serv Agmt for Windland Refresh 2 Project WDT879QFC to be effective 8/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150814-5226.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2458-000.

    Applicants: Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: SMUD Distribution Construction Agreement to be effective 8/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5003.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2459-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 1886R4 Westar Energy, Inc. NITSA and NOA to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5097.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2460-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 1888 Westar Energy, Inc. NITSA and NOA to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5107.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2461-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 1891R4 Westar Energy, Inc. NITSA and NOA to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5114.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2462-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 1895R4 Westar Energy, Inc. NITSA and NOA to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150817-5117.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric reliability filings:

    Docket Numbers: RR15-8-001.

    Applicants: North American Electric Reliability Corporation.

    Description: Compliance Filing of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation in Response to Paragraph 18 of June 18, 2015 Order Concerning Amendments to NERC's Working Capital and Operating Reserve Policy.

    Filed Date: 8/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150814-5248.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: RR15-14-000.

    Applicants: North American Electric Reliability Corporation.

    Description: Petition of North American Electric Reliability Corporation for Approval of the Amendments to Exhibit B of the Amended and Restated Delegation Agreement with Midwest Reliability Organization, Inc.—the MRO Bylaws.

    Filed Date: 8/14/15.

    Accession Number: 20150814-5303.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/28/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 17, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20938 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL15-90-000] Merricourt Power Partners, LLC v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.; Notice of Complaint

    Take notice that on August 17, 2015, pursuant to section 206 and 306 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824e and 825e and Rule 206 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.206, Merricourt Power Partners, LLC (Merricourt or Complainant), filed a formal complaint against Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (Respondent or MISO) alleging that MISO's refusal to amend Complainant's generation interconnection agreement (GIA) to extend the commercial operation date is unjust, unreasonable and unduly discriminatory and preferential in violation of the FPA, as more fully explained in the complaint.

    Complainant certifies that copies of the complaint were served on the contacts for MISO and Montana-Dakota Utilities Company, the interconnecting transmission owner, as listed on the Commission's list of Corporate Officials and in the GIA.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. The Respondent's answer and all interventions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. The Respondent's answer, motions to intervene, and protests must be served on the Complainants.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on September 1, 2015.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20984 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF15-25-000] Freeport LNG Development, L.P.; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Freeport LNG Train 4 Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Freeport LNG Train 4 Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Freeport LNG Development, L.P. (Freeport LNG) in Brazoria, Texas. The Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the planned project is in the public interest.

    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the project. You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EA. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before September 18, 2015.

    If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on June 3, 2015, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. PF15-25-000 to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding.

    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for this project. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this planned project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

    A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled “An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?” is available for viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). This fact sheet addresses a number of typically asked questions, including how to participate in the Commission's proceedings.

    Public Participation

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected] Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing” as the filing type; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number (PF15-25-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Summary of the Planned Project

    Freeport LNG intends to add a fourth liquefaction unit to Freeport LNG's natural gas liquefaction facilities on Quintana Island in Brazoria County, Texas. The Freeport LNG Train 4 Project (Train 4 Project) would be located west and adjacent to the facilities authorized and currently under construction for the Phase II Modification Project (Docket No. CP12-29-000) and Liquefaction Project (Docket No. CP12-509-000), which comprises three liquefaction trains and related facilities. Train 4 would be within the existing Freeport LNG site boundary.

    Freeport LNG indicates that the Train 4 Project would provide additional liquefaction capacity of approximately 5.1 million metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG for export, which equates to a natural gas throughput capacity of approximately 0.72 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). This would enable Freeport LNG to respond favorably and proactively to short- and longer-term fluctuations in domestic and global gas markets.

    The Freeport LNG Train 4 Project would consist of the following facilities:

    • A propane pre-cooled mixed refrigerant liquefaction unit;

    • a feed gas receiving and metering station;

    • utility, auxiliary, and control systems, including common utilities, spill containment systems, fire and safety systems, one electric substation, security systems, and plant roads.

    The general location of the project facilities is shown in Appendix 1.1

    1 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called “eLibrary” or from the Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

    Land Requirements for Construction

    The Train 4 Project liquefaction facilities would be entirely within the Freeport LNG's existing site boundary on Quintana Island in Brazoria County, Texas. Construction of the liquefaction facilities would be within areas approved as temporary work space for the Phase II Modification Project and Liquefaction Project. Construction of the Train 4 Project liquefaction facilities is expected to affect about 87 acres of land.

    Following construction, Freeport LNG would maintain about 21 acres for permanent operation of the Train 4 Project's facilities; the remaining acreage would be restored and revert to former uses.

    Non-jurisdictional Facilities

    The facility will receive natural gas from a 2,000-foot-long intrastate natural gas pipeline (feed gas pipeline) and power from a five-mile-long electric line to be provided by CenterPoint Energy. These facilities would extend beyond the existing site boundary. Although FERC doesn't have the regulatory authority to modify or deny the construction of the above-described facilities, we will disclose available information regarding the construction impacts in the cumulative impacts section of our EA.

    The EA Process

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the authorization of natural gas facilities under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act. NEPA also requires us 2 to discover and address concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as scoping. The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EA on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. We will consider all comments filed during the preparation of the EA.

    2 “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    In the EA we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the planned project under these general headings:

    • Geology and soils;

    • land use;

    • water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;

    • cultural resources;

    • vegetation and wildlife, including endangered and threatened species;

    • socioeconomics;

    • visual impacts;

    • air quality and noise;

    • public safety; and

    • cumulative impacts.

    We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the planned project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

    Although no formal application has been filed, we have already initiated our NEPA review under the Commission's pre-filing process. The purpose of the pre-filing process is to encourage early involvement of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before the FERC receives an application. As part of our pre-filing review, we have begun to contact some federal and state agencies to discuss their involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EA.

    The EA will present our independent analysis of the issues. The EA will be available in the public record through eLibrary. If we publish and distribute the EA to the public there will be an allotted comment period. We will consider all comments on the EA before we make our recommendations to the Commission. To ensure we have the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section, beginning on page 2.

    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues related to this project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EA.3 Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation section of this notice.

    3 The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6.

    Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation with the Texas State Historic Preservation Office, and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the project's potential effects on historic properties.4 We will define the project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, and access roads). Our EA for this project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.

    4 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

    Currently Identified Environmental Issues

    We have already identified several issues that we think deserve attention based on a preliminary review of the planned facilities and the environmental information provided by Freeport LNG. This preliminary list of issues may change based on your comments and our analysis.

    • visual impacts • noise and air emissions • traffic • cumulative impacts Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the project. We will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that we send the information related to this environmental review to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the planned project.

    If we publish and distribute the EA, copies of the EA will be sent to the environmental mailing list for public review and comment. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the document instead of the CD version or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (Appendix 2).

    Becoming an Intervenor

    Once Freeport LNG files its application with the Commission, you may want to become an “intervenor,” which is an official party to the Commission's proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission's final ruling. An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a request to intervene. Motions to intervene are more fully described at http://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in the “Document-less Intervention Guide” under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site. Please note that the Commission will not accept requests for intervenor status at this time. You must wait until the Commission receives a formal application for the project.

    Additional Information

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search” and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., PF15-25). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20990 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER15-2473-000] HIC Energy, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of HIC Energy, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is September 8, 2015.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20987 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-542-000] WBI Energy Transmission, Inc.; Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization

    Take notice that on August 10, 2015, WBI Energy Transmission, Inc. (WBI), 1250 West Century Avenue, Bismarck, North Dakota 58503, filed in Docket No. CP15-542-000 a prior notice request pursuant to sections 157.205 and 157.210 of the Commission's regulations under the Natural Gas Act (NGA), as amended, requesting authorization to install and operate new mainline natural gas facilities in North Dakota (Project). Specifically, WBI proposes to: (i) Install a new 1,380 horsepower compressor unit at the Charbonneau Compressor Station in McKenzie County; (ii) retrofit the existing compressor unit at the Williston Compressor Station in Williams County; (iii) install an additional regulator at the Minot Transfer Station in Ward County; and (iv) install various appurtenances. WBI states that the Project will make available an additional 18,200 dekatherms per day of firm transportation capacity from the Bakken Shale to an existing interconnect with Northern Border Pipeline Company at an estimated cost of $3,650,000, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The filing may also be viewed on the Web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions concerning this application may be directed to Keith A. Tiggelaar, Director of Regulatory Affairs, WBI Energy Transmission, Inc., 1250 West Century Avenue, Bismarck, North Dakota 58503, by telephone at (701) 530-1560 or by email at [email protected].

    Any person or the Commission's staff may, within 60 days after issuance of the instant notice by the Commission, file pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Procedural Rules (18 CFR 385.214) a motion to intervene or notice of intervention and pursuant to section 157.205 of the regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.205), a protest to the request. If no protest is filed within the time allowed therefore, the proposed activity shall be deemed to be authorized effective the day after the time allowed for filing a protest. If a protest is filed and not withdrawn within 30 days after the allowed time for filing a protest, the instant request shall be treated as an application for autho