Federal Register Vol. 80, No.166,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 166 (August 27, 2015)

Page Range51935-52172
FR Document

80_FR_166
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 52169 - Women's Equality Day, 2015PDF
80 FR 51943 - Safety Zones; Cleveland Dragon Boat Festival and Head of the Cuyahoga, Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, OHPDF
80 FR 51942 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sacramento River, Freeport, CAPDF
80 FR 52059 - Notice of Public Meeting, Pecos District Resource Advisory Council Meeting, New MexicoPDF
80 FR 52060 - Notice of Public Meeting; Central Montana Resource Advisory CouncilPDF
80 FR 52061 - Information Collection Activities: Oil and Gas Production Requirements; Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 52060 - Filing of Plats of Survey: Oregon/WashingtonPDF
80 FR 52050 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 52051 - Center for Scientific Review; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 52036 - Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 52038 - Notice Inviting Publishers To Submit Tests for a Determination of Suitability for Use in the National Reporting System for Adult EducationPDF
80 FR 52051 - Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning the Submission of Certain Data Required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Using the Partner Government Agency (PGA) Message Set Through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)PDF
80 FR 52042 - City of River Falls, Wisconsin; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
80 FR 52041 - West Valley Water District; Notice of Preliminary Determination of a Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility and Soliciting Comments and Motions To IntervenePDF
80 FR 52045 - LRI Renewable Energy, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 52043 - Energy Resources USA Inc.; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 52093 - Proposed Information Collections; Comment Request (No. 55)PDF
80 FR 51975 - Residence Rules Involving U.S. PossessionsPDF
80 FR 52094 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Notice 2006-25PDF
80 FR 52095 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Revenue ProcedurePDF
80 FR 51991 - Source Determination for Certain Emission Units in the Oil and Natural Gas Sector; Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New and Modified Sources; and Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country: Federal Implementation Plan for Managing Air Emissions From True Minor Sources Engaged in Oil and Natural Gas Production in Indian CountryPDF
80 FR 52029 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 154-Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Authorization of Production Activity; Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC; Subzone 154B; (Herbicides and Insecticides), St. Gabriel and Baton Rouge, LouisianaPDF
80 FR 52055 - Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval; Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions (PECE)PDF
80 FR 52035 - Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 51959 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna FisheriesPDF
80 FR 52031 - Xanthan Gum From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty New Shipper ReviewPDF
80 FR 52045 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 52058 - Filing of Plats of Survey; NVPDF
80 FR 52038 - Electric Grid Resilience Self-Assessment Tool for Distribution SystemPDF
80 FR 52039 - Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Representative Average Unit Costs of EnergyPDF
80 FR 52083 - FTA Supplemental Fiscal Year 2015 Apportionments, Allocations, and Program InformationPDF
80 FR 52049 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 52050 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 52027 - Deschutes Provinicial Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 52084 - Pipeline Safety: Request for Revision of a Previously Approved Information Collection: National Pipeline Mapping System Program (OMB Control No. 2137-0596)PDF
80 FR 51938 - Medical Devices; Immunology and Microbiology Devices; Classification of Clostridium Difficile Toxin Gene Amplification AssayPDF
80 FR 52048 - Determination That BIAXIN XL Oral Tablets Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or EffectivenessPDF
80 FR 52047 - Design and Analysis of Shedding Studies for Virus or Bacteria-Based Gene Therapy and Oncolytic Products; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 52056 - Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Adams County, CO; Environmental Impact StatementPDF
80 FR 52067 - Arts Advisory Panel MeetingsPDF
80 FR 52044 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
80 FR 52044 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
80 FR 52040 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 52033 - Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Eel FisheryPDF
80 FR 52096 - Privacy Act of 1974: Computer Matching ProgramPDF
80 FR 52049 - National Cancer Institute Amended; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 52049 - National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 52049 - National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 52051 - Clinical Center; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 52048 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 52081 - Notice of Buy America Waiver for Track Turnout ComponentPDF
80 FR 52079 - Environmental Impact Statement-Closure of CCR ImpoundmentsPDF
80 FR 52035 - Marine Mammals; File No. 18636PDF
80 FR 52034 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16239PDF
80 FR 52032 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Baldrige Executive Fellows ProgramPDF
80 FR 52070 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; CBOE Futures Exchange, LLC; Notice of Proposed Rule Change Regarding Reportable Position and Ownership and Control Reporting ClarificationsPDF
80 FR 52073 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Options Regulatory FeePDF
80 FR 52075 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Use of Derivative Instruments by the SPDR Blackstone/GSO Senior Loan ETFPDF
80 FR 52071 - The RBB Fund, Inc. and Abbey Capital Limited; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 52043 - Electric Quarterly Reports: M&R Energy Resources Corp., Reliable Power, LLC, Susterra Energy, LLC; Order on Intent To Revoke Market-Based Rate AuthorityPDF
80 FR 52065 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Settlement Agreements Between a Plan and a Party in InterestPDF
80 FR 51945 - Special Regulations; Areas of the National Park System, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, BicyclingPDF
80 FR 52026 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 51992 - Determinations of Attainment by the Attainment Date, Extensions of the Attainment Date, and Reclassification of Several Areas Classified as Marginal for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
80 FR 51963 - Prevailing Rate Systems; Definition of Hancock County, Mississippi, to a Nonappropriated Fund Federal Wage System Wage AreaPDF
80 FR 52081 - Third Meeting: RTCA Special Committee 233 (SC 233) Addressing Human Factors/Pilot Interface Issues for AvionicsPDF
80 FR 52029 - Certain Uncoated Paper From Brazil: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final DeterminationPDF
80 FR 51964 - Low-Level Radioactive Waste DisposalPDF
80 FR 51942 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Gallants Channel, Beaufort, NCPDF
80 FR 52046 - National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Classifications and Public Health Data Standards Staff; MeetingPDF
80 FR 52066 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed CollectionPDF
80 FR 52064 - APEC List of Environmental Goods: Advice on the Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty Reductions for ImportsPDF
80 FR 52067 - Inservice Inspection of Ungrouted Tendons in Prestressed Concrete ContainmentsPDF
80 FR 52005 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; Framework Adjustment 4PDF
80 FR 51961 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian IslandsPDF
80 FR 51973 - Initiation of Review of Management Plan and Regulations of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary; Intent To Conduct Scoping and Prepare Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Management PlanPDF
80 FR 51965 - Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan EnginesPDF
80 FR 51935 - Airworthiness Directives; GE Aviation Czech s.r.o. Turboprop EnginesPDF
80 FR 52028 - Census Scientific Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 52027 - Sanders Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 52026 - Sanders Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 51957 - NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: NASA Capitalization Threshold (NFS Case 2015-N004)PDF
80 FR 51968 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 51966 - Airworthiness Directives; Pacific Aerospace Limited AirplanesPDF
80 FR 51936 - Airspace Designations; Incorporation by ReferencePDF
80 FR 51970 - Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Vancouver, WAPDF
80 FR 52095 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 1099-CAPPDF
80 FR 51972 - Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; International Falls, MNPDF
80 FR 52068 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Adopt a Kill SwitchPDF
80 FR 52096 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 8569PDF
80 FR 51952 - Partial Approval and Disapproval of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Nebraska; Revision to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards and the Revocation of the PM10PDF
80 FR 52037 - Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance: MeetingPDF
80 FR 52099 - Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste LandfillsPDF
80 FR 52003 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Nonattainment New Source Review Permitting State Implementation Plan Revisions for the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo CountyPDF
80 FR 52162 - Standards of Performance for Municipal Solid Waste LandfillsPDF
80 FR 52002 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Kansas; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality StandardPDF
80 FR 51955 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; State of Kansas; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality StandardPDF
80 FR 51978 - Amendments to Domestic Production Activities Deduction Regulations; Allocation of W-2 Wages in a Short Taxable Year and in an Acquisition or DispositionPDF
80 FR 51939 - Allocation of W-2 Wages in a Short Taxable Year and in an Acquisition or DispositionPDF
80 FR 52015 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Trawl Rationalization Program; Midwater Trawl RequirementsPDF

Issue

80 166 Thursday, August 27, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Forest Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 52026 2015-21197
Alcohol Tobacco Tax Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 52093-52094 2015-21260 Safety Enviromental Enforcement Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Oil and Gas Production Requirements, 52061-52064 2015-21278 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Census Scientific Advisory Committee, 52028 2015-21117 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 52045-52046 2015-21248 Meetings: ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee, 52046-52047 2015-21160 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Gallants Channel, Beaufort, NC, 51942 2015-21163 Sacramento River, Freeport, CA, 51942-51943 2015-21300 Safety Zones: Cleveland Dragon Boat Festival and Head of the Cuyahoga, Cuyahoa River, Cleveland, OH, 51943-51945 2015-21301 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 52035-52037 2015-21252 2015-21268 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, 52037-52038 2015-20947 Requests for Applications: Tests for a Determination of Suitability for Use in the National Reporting System for Adult Education, 52038 2015-21267 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Requests for Information: Electric Grid Resilience Self-Assessment Tool for Distribution System, 52038-52039 2015-21244
Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Representative Average Unit Costs of Energy, 52039-52040 2015-21243 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Kansas -- Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 51955-51957 2015-20892 Nebraska; Revision to the State Implementation Plan Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards and the Revocation of the PM10 Annual Standard and Adoption of the 24hr PM2.5 Standard, 51952-51954 2015-21018 PROPOSED RULES 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards: Determinations of Attainment by the Attainment Date, Extensions of the Attainment Date, and Reclassification of Several Areas Classified As Marginal, 51992-52002 2015-21196 Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Kansas -- Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 52002 2015-20894 New Mexico; Nonattainment New Source Review Permitting State Implementation Plan Revisions for the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County, 52003-52005 2015-20898 Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills, 52100-52162 2015-20899 Source Determination for Certain Emission Units in the Oil and Natural Gas Sector; Oil and Natural Gas Sector, etc.: Public Hearings, 51991-51992 2015-21255 Standards of Performance for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills, 52162-52168 2015-20897 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airspace Designations: Incorporation by Reference, 51936-51937 2015-21090 Airworthiness Directives: GE Aviation Czech s.r.o. Turboprop Engines, 51935-51936 2015-21119 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 51968-51970 2015-21098 General Electric Company Turbofan Engines, 51965-51966 2015-21120 Pacific Aerospace Limited Airplanes, 51966-51968 2015-21097 Establishment of Class E Airspace: International Falls, MN, 51972-51973 2015-21087 Vancouver, WA, 51970-51972 2015-21089 NOTICES Meetings: RTCA Special Committee 233 (SC 233) Addressing Human Factors/Pilot Interface Issues for Avionics, 52081 2015-21184 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Energy Resources USA, Inc., 52043 2015-21261 Combined Filings, 52040-52041, 52044-52045 2015-21229 2015-21230 2015-21231 Hydroelectric Applications: River Falls, WI, 52042 2015-21265 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: LRI Renewable Energy, LLC, 52045 2015-21263 Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facilities: West Valley Water District, 52041-52042 2015-21264 Revocation of Market-Based Rate Authority: Electric Quarterly Reports; M and R Energy Resources Corp.; Reliable Power, LLC; Susterra Energy, LLC, 52043-52044 2015-21201 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration NOTICES Buy America Waivers, 52081-52083 2015-21220 Funding Availability: Supplemental Apportionments, Allocations, and Program Information, Fiscal Year 2015, 52083-52084 2015-21242 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions, 52055-52056 2015-21253 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Adams County, CO, 52056-52058 2015-21234 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Medical Devices; Immunology and Microbiology Devices: Classification of Clostridium difficile Toxin Gene Amplification Assay, 51938-51939 2015-21237 NOTICES Determinations that Products Were Not Withdrawn from Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness: BIAXIN XL Oral Tablets, 52048 2015-21236 Guidance: Design and Analysis of Shedding Studies for Virus or Bacteria-Based Gene Therapy and Oncolytic Products, 52047 2015-21235 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activity Authorizations: Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, Subzone 154B, St. Gabriel and Baton Rouge, LA, 52029 2015-21254 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Deschutes Provincial Advisory Committee, 52027-52028 2015-21239 Sanders Resource Advisory Committee, 52026-52027 2015-21104 2015-21105 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Interior Interior Department See

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Allocation of W-2 Wages in a Short Taxable Year and in an Acquisition or Disposition, 51939-51941 2015-20770 PROPOSED RULES Domestic Production Activities Deduction Regulations; Allocation of W-2 Wages in a Short Taxable Year and in an Acquisition or Disposition, 51978-51990 2015-20772 Residence Rules Involving U.S. Possessions, 51975-51977 2015-21258 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2015-21059 2015-21088 52094-52096 2015-21256 2015-21257 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Xanthan Gum from the People's Republic of China, 52031-52032 2015-21250 Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Uncoated Paper from Brazil, 52029-52031 2015-21176 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: APEC List of Environmental Goods -- Advice on the Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty Reductions for Imports, 52064-52065 2015-21157 Labor Department Labor Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Settlement Agreements Between a Plan and a Party in Interest, 52065-52066 2015-21200 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Central Montana Resource Advisory Council, 52060-52061 2015-21280 Pecos District Resource Advisory Council, New Mexico, 52059-52060 2015-21284 Plats of Survey: Nevada, 52058-52059 2015-21245 Oregon/Washington, 52060 2015-21276 Merit Merit Systems Protection Board NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 52066-52067 2015-21158 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration RULES Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Capitalization Threshold, 51957-51959 2015-21101 National Endowment for the Arts National Endowment for the Arts NOTICES Meetings: Arts Advisory Panel, 52067 2015-21232 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

National Endowment for the Arts

National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Baldrige Executive Fellows Program, 52032-52033 2015-21214 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 52050-52051 2015-21269 2015-21270 Clinical Center, 52051 2015-21222 National Cancer Institute; Amendments, 52049 2015-21225 National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 2015-21223 52049-52050 2015-21224 National Institute on Aging, 52048-52050 2015-21221 2015-21240 2015-21241 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Atlantic Highly Migratory Species: Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 51959-51961 2015-21251 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Reallocation, 51961-51962 2015-21144 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Atlantic Herring Fishery; Framework Adjustment 4, 52005-52014 2015-21146 Fisheries off West Coast States: Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Trawl Rationalization Program; Midwater Trawl Requirements, 52015-52025 2015-20751 Marine Sanctuaries: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary; Environmental Impact Statement and Management Plan, 51973-51975 2015-21132 NOTICES Atlantic Coastal Fisheries: Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Eel Fishery, 52033-52034 2015-21228 Permits: Marine Mammals; File No. 16239, 52034-52035 2015-21215 Marine Mammals; File No. 18636, 52035 2015-21216 National Park National Park Service RULES Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Bicycling, 51945-51952 2015-21198 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal, 51964-51965 2015-21169 NOTICES Guidance: Inservice Inspection of Ungrouted Tendons in Prestressed Concrete Containments; Withdrawal, 52067-52068 2015-21156 Personnel Personnel Management Office PROPOSED RULES Prevailing Rate Systems: Definition of Hancock County, Mississippi, to a Nonappropriated Fund Federal Wage System Wage Area, 51963-51964 2015-21193 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Pipeline Mapping System Program; Meeting, 52084-52093 2015-21238 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: Women's Equality Day (Proc. 9308), 52169-52172 2015-21449 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: The RBB Fund, Inc., and Abbey Capital, Ltd., 52071-52073 2015-21206 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: CBOE Futures Exchange, LLC, 52070-52071 2015-21209 NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., 52068-52070 2015-21081 NASDAQ OMX PHLX, LLC, 52073-52075 2015-21208 NYSE Arca, Inc., 52075-52079 2015-21207 Tennessee Tennessee Valley Authority NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Closure of CCR Impoundments, 52079-52081 2015-21217 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Transit Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

See

Internal Revenue Service

Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES National Customs Automation Program Test Modifications: Certain Data Required by the Food and Drug Administration Using the Partner Government Agency Message Set through the Automated Commercial Environment, 52051-52055 2015-21266 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Privacy Act; Computer Matching Program, 52096-52097 2015-21226 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Environmental Protection Agency, 52100-52168 2015-20899 2015-20897 Part III Presidential Documents, 52169-52172 2015-21449 Reader Aids

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

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80 166 Thursday, August 27, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0625; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-09-AD; Amendment 39-18253; AD 2015-17-20] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; GE Aviation Czech s.r.o. Turboprop Engines AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain serial number (S/N) GE Aviation Czech s.r.o. M601E-11, M601E-11A, and M601F turboprop engines with certain part number (P/N) gas generator turbine (GGT) blades, installed. This AD requires removing from service any affected engine with certain GGT blades installed. This AD was prompted by the determination that certain GGT blades are susceptible to blade failure. We are issuing this AD to prevent GGT blade failure, which could lead to engine failure and loss of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective October 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

See the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

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-2015-0625; 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 mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI), the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Document 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:

Robert Green, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7754; fax: 781-238-7199; 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 the specified products. The NPRM was published in the Federal Register on April 21, 2015 (80 FR 22136). The NPRM proposed to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

It has been demonstrated that non-shot peened Gas Generator Turbine (GGT) blades are susceptible to blade separation in the shank area due to their reduced fatigue life.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead to an in-flight engine shutdown and, consequently, reduced control of the aeroplane.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM (80 FR 22136, April 21, 2015).

In our review of the NPRM, we found that we had included an S/N from the MCAI that was in error. We corrected the error by removing S/N 961001 from paragraph (c)(2) of this AD.

Conclusion

We reviewed the available data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously. We determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects one engine installed on an airplane of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 64 hours per engine to comply with this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Required parts cost about $28,765 per engine. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $34,205.

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 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.

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): 2015-17-20 GE Aviation Czech s.r.o. (Type Certificate previously held by WALTER Engines a.s., Walter a.s., and MOTORLET a.s.): Amendment 39-18253; Docket No. FAA-2015-0625; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-09-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective October 1, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to certain serial number (S/N) GE Aviation Czech s.r.o. M601E-11, M601E-11A, and M601F turboprop engine models, with gas generator turbine (GGT) blade, part number (P/N) M601-3372.6 or M601-3372.51, installed, as follows:

(1) Model M601E-11: S/Ns 862001, 863008, 894018, 034005, 034006, 034007, 034008, 041003, and 042002.

(2) Model M601E-11A: S/Ns 042003, 042004, 044001, and 044002.

(3) Model M601F: S/Ns 024001, 002001, 003001, 934001, 934002, 961001.

(d) Reason

This AD was prompted by the determination that certain GGT blades are susceptible to blade failure. These blades are identified as blade P/Ns M601-3372.6 and M601-3372.51, and are installed on an engine S/N identified in paragraph (c) of this AD. We are issuing this AD to prevent GGT blade failure, which could lead to engine failure and loss of the airplane.

(e) Actions and Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. After the effective date of this AD:

(1) Do not return to service any affected engine with GGT blade, P/N M601-3372.6 or M601-3372.51, installed, after 300 hours time in service or six months, whichever occurs first, after the effective date of this AD.

(2) If the affected engines are subsequently disassembled or overhauled, the non-shot peened GGT blades, P/N M601-3372.6 or M601-3372.51, are not eligible for installation in any other engine after removal.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

The Manager, Engine Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Use the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19 to make your request. You may email your request to: [email protected]

(g) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Robert Green, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7754; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

(2) Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency AD 2015-0015, dated January 30, 2015, for more information. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-0625-0002.

(h) Material Incorporated by Reference

None.

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on August 20, 2015. Colleen M. D'Alessandro, Directorate Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-21119 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3375; Amendment No. 71-47] RIN 2120-AA66 Airspace Designations; Incorporation by Reference AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 relating to airspace designations to reflect the approval by the Director of the Federal Register of the incorporation by reference of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points. This action also explains the procedures the FAA will use to amend the listings of Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas; air traffic service routes; and reporting points incorporated by reference.

DATES:

These regulations are effective September 15, 2015, through September 15, 2016. The incorporation by reference of FAA Order 7400.9Z is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of September 15, 2015, through September 15, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/airtraffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy and Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sarah A. Combs, 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:

History

FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, effective September 15, 2014, listed Class A, B, C, D and E airspace areas; air traffic service routes; and reporting points. Due to the length of these descriptions, the FAA requested approval from the Office of the Federal Register to incorporate the material by reference in the Federal Aviation Regulations section 71.1, effective September 15, 2014, through September 15, 2015. During the incorporation by reference period, the FAA processed all proposed changes of the airspace listings in FAA Order 7400.9Y in full text as proposed rule documents in the Federal Register. Likewise, all amendments of these listings were published in full text as final rules in the Federal Register. This rule reflects the periodic integration of these final rule amendments into a revised edition of Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points. The Director of the Federal Register has approved the incorporation by reference of FAA Order 7400.9Z in section 71.1, as of September 15, 2015, through September 15, 2016. This rule also explains the procedures the FAA will use to amend the airspace designations incorporated by reference in part 71. Sections 71.5, 71.15, 71.31, 71.33, 71.41, 71.51, 71.61, 71.71, and 71.901 are also updated to reflect the incorporation by reference of FAA Order 7400.9Z.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document incorporates by reference FAA Order 7400.9Z, airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, in section 71.1. FAA Order 7400.9Z is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this final rule. FAA Order 7400.9Z lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

The Rule

This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to reflect the approval by the Director of the Federal Register of the incorporation by reference of FAA Order 7400.9Z, effective September 15, 2015, through September 15, 2016. During the incorporation by reference period, the FAA will continue to process all proposed changes of the airspace listings in FAA Order 7400.9Z in full text as proposed rule documents in the Federal Register. Likewise, all amendments of these listings will be published in full text as final rules in the Federal Register. The FAA will periodically integrate all final rule amendments into a revised edition of the Order, and submit the revised edition to the Director of the Federal Register for approval for incorporation by reference in section 71.1.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

The FAA has determined that this action: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. This action neither places any new restrictions or requirements on the public, nor changes the dimensions or operation requirements of the airspace listings incorporated by reference in part 71.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

2. Section 71.1 is revised to read as follows:
§ 71.1 Applicability.

A listing for Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas; air traffic service routes; and reporting points can be found in FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. The approval to incorporate by reference FAA Order 7400.9Z is effective September 15, 2015, through September 15, 2016. During the incorporation by reference period, proposed changes to the listings of Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas; air traffic service routes; and reporting points will be published in full text as proposed rule documents in the Federal Register. Amendments to the listings of Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas; air traffic service routes; and reporting points will be published in full text as final rules in the Federal Register. Periodically, the final rule amendments will be integrated into a revised edition of the Order and submitted to the Director of the Federal Register for approval for incorporation by reference in this section. Copies of FAA Order 7400.9Z may be obtained from Airspace Policy and Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, (202) 267-8783. An electronic version of the Order is available on the FAA Web site at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications. Copies of FAA Order 7400.9Z may be inspected in Docket No. FAA-2015-3375; Amendment No. 71-47 on http://www.regulations.gov. A copy of FAA Order 7400.9Z may be inspected 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.

§ 71.5 [Amended]
3. Section 71.5 is amended by removing the words “FAA Order 7400.9Y” and adding, in their place, the words “FAA Order 7400.9Z.”
§ 71.15 [Amended]
4. Section 71.15 is amended by removing the words “FAA Order 7400.9Y” and adding, in their place, the words “FAA Order 7400.9Z.”
§ 71.31 [Amended]
5. Section 71.31 is amended by removing the words “FAA Order 7400.9Y” and adding, in their place, the words “FAA Order 7400.9Z.”
§ 71.33 [Amended]
6. Paragraph (c) of section 71.33 is amended by removing the words “FAA Order 7400.9Y” and adding, in their place, the words “FAA Order 7400.9Z.”
§ 71.41 [Amended]
7. Section 71.41 is amended by removing the words “FAA Order 7400.9Y” and adding, in their place, the words “FAA Order 7400.9Z.”
§ 71.51 [Amended]
8. Section 71.51 is amended by removing the words “FAA Order 7400.9Y” and adding, in their place, the words “FAA Order 7400.9Z.”
§ 71.61 [Amended]
9. Section 71.61 is amended by removing the words “FAA Order 7400.9Y” and adding, in their place, the words “FAA Order 7400.9Z.”
§ 71.71 [Amended]
10. Paragraphs (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f) of section 71.71 are amended by removing the words “FAA Order 7400.9Y” and adding, in their place, the words “FAA Order 7400.9Z.”
§ 71.901 [Amended]
11. Paragraph (a) of section 71.901 is amended by removing the words “FAA Order 7400.9Y” and adding, in their place, the words “FAA Order 7400.9Z.”
Issued in Washington, DC on August 19, 2015. Gary A. Norek, Manager, Airspace Policy and Regulations Group.
[FR Doc. 2015-21090 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 866 [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-2963] Medical Devices; Immunology and Microbiology Devices; Classification of Clostridium Difficile Toxin Gene Amplification Assay AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Final order.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is classifying Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) toxin gene amplification assay into class II (special controls). The Agency is classifying the device into class II (special controls) in order to provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness of the device.

DATES:

This order is effective September 28, 2015. The classification was applicable April 30, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Noel Gerald, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 5566, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-4695.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

In accordance with section 513(f)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 360c(f)(1)), devices that were not in commercial distribution before May 28, 1976 (the date of enactment of the Medical Device Amendments of 1976), generally referred to as postamendments devices, are classified automatically by statute into class III without any FDA rulemaking process. These devices remain in class III and require premarket approval, unless and until the device is classified or reclassified into class I or II, or FDA issues an order finding the device to be substantially equivalent, in accordance with section 513(i) of the FD&C Act, to a predicate device that does not require premarket approval. The Agency determines whether new devices are substantially equivalent to predicate devices by means of premarket notification procedures in section 510(k) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360(k)) and part 807 (21 CFR part 807) of the regulations.

Section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act, as amended by section 607 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (Pub. L. 112-144), provides two procedures by which a person may request FDA to classify a device under the criteria set forth in section 513(a)(1). Under the first procedure, the person submits a premarket notification under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act for a device that has not previously been classified and, within 30 days of receiving an order classifying the device into class III under section 513(f)(1) of the FD&C Act, the person requests a classification under section 513(f)(2). Under the second procedure, rather than first submitting a premarket notification under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act and then a request for classification under the first procedure, the person determines that there is no legally marketed device upon which to base a determination of substantial equivalence and requests a classification under section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act. If the person submits a request to classify the device under this second procedure, FDA may decline to undertake the classification request if FDA identifies a legally marketed device that could provide a reasonable basis for review of substantial equivalence with the device or if FDA determines that the device submitted is not of “low-moderate risk” or that general controls would be inadequate to control the risks and special controls to mitigate the risks cannot be developed.

In response to a request to classify a device under either procedure provided by section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act, FDA will classify the device by written order within 120 days. This classification will be the initial classification of the device.

In accordance with section 513(f)(1) of the FD&C Act, FDA issued an order on February 3, 2012, automatically classifying the Portrait Toxigenic C. difficile Assay in class III, because it was not within a type of device which was introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce for commercial distribution before May 28, 1976, nor which was subsequently reclassified into class I or class II. On March 2, 2012, Great Basin Scientific, Inc., submitted a request for de novo classification of the Portrait Toxigenic C. difficile Assay under section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act.

In accordance with section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act, FDA reviewed the request for de novo classification in order to classify the device under the criteria for classification set forth in section 513(a)(1). FDA classifies devices into class II if general controls by themselves are insufficient to provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness, but there is sufficient information to establish special controls to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device for its intended use. After review of the information submitted in the request, FDA determined that the device can be classified into class II with the establishment of special controls. FDA believes these special controls will provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device.

Therefore, on April 30, 2012, FDA issued an order to the requestor classifying the device into class II. FDA is codifying the classification of the device by adding § 866.3130.

Following the effective date of this final classification administrative order, any firm submitting a premarket notification (510(k)) for a C. difficile toxin gene amplification assay will need to comply with the special controls named in the final administrative order.

The device is assigned the generic name C. difficile toxin gene amplification assay, and it is identified as a device that consists of reagents for the amplification and detection of target sequences in C. difficile toxin genes in fecal specimens from patients suspected of having a C. difficile infection (CDI). The detection of clostridial toxin genes, in conjunction with other laboratory tests, aids in the clinical laboratory diagnosis of CDI caused by C. difficile.

FDA has identified the following risks to health associated with this type of device and the measures required to mitigate these risks:

Table 1—Identified Risks and Required Mitigations Identified risks Required mitigations A false positive test result for an individual may lead to inappropriate use of antibiotics for treatment The FDA document entitled “Class II Special Controls Guideline: Toxin Gene Amplification Assays for the Detection of Clostridium difficile,” which addresses this risk through: Specific Device Description Requirements. Performance Studies. Labeling. A false negative test result for an individual may lead to a potential delay in treatment The FDA document entitled “Class II Special Controls Guideline: Toxin Gene Amplification Assays for the Detection of Clostridium difficile,” which addresses this risk through: Specific Device Description Requirements. Performance Studies. Labeling. Failure of the test to be used or perform properly The FDA document entitled “Class II Special Controls Guideline: Toxin Gene Amplification Assays for the Detection of Clostridium difficile,” which addresses this risk through: Labeling. Failure to properly interpret the test results The FDA document entitled “Class II Special Controls Guideline: Toxin Gene Amplification Assays for the Detection of Clostridium difficile,” which addresses this risk through: Labeling.

FDA believes that the measures set forth in the special controls guideline entitled “Class II Special Controls Guideline: Toxin Gene Amplification Assays for the Detection of Clostridium difficile” are necessary, in addition to general controls, to mitigate the risks to health described in table 1.

A C. difficile toxin gene amplification assay is a prescription device. Section 510(m) of the FD&C Act provides that FDA may exempt a class II device from the premarket notification requirements under section 510(k) if FDA determines that premarket notification is not necessary to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device. For this type of device, FDA has determined that premarket notification is necessary to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device. Therefore, this type of device is not exempt from premarket notification requirements. Persons who intend to market this type of device must submit to FDA a premarket notification, prior to marketing the device, which contains information about the C. difficile toxin gene amplification assay they intend to market.

II. Environmental Impact

The Agency has determined under 21 CFR 25.34(b) that this action is of type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

III. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

This final administrative order establishes special controls that refer to previously approved collections of information found in other FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in part 807, subpart E, regarding premarket notification submissions have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0120; the collections of information in 21 CFR part 820 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0073; and the collections of information in 21 CFR parts 801 and 809 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0485.

List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 866

Biologics, Laboratories, Medical devices.

Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 866 is amended as follows:

PART 866—IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES 1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 866 continues to read as follows: Authority:

21 U.S.C. 351, 360, 360c, 360e, 360j, 371.

2. Add § 866.3130 to subpart D to read as follows:
§ 866.3130 Clostridium difficile toxin gene amplification assay.

(a) Identification. A Clostridium difficile toxin gene amplification assay is a device that consists of reagents for the amplification and detection of target sequences in Clostridium difficile toxin genes in fecal specimens from patients suspected of having Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). The detection of clostridial toxin genes, in conjunction with other laboratory tests, aids in the clinical laboratory diagnosis of CDI caused by Clostridium difficile.

(b) Classification. Class II (special controls). The special controls are set forth in FDA's guideline document entitled: “Class II Special Controls Guideline: Toxin Gene Amplification Assays for the Detection of Clostridium difficile; Guideline for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff.” See § 866.1(e) for information on obtaining this document.

Dated: August 21, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2015-21237 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9731] RIN 1545-BM11 Allocation of W-2 Wages in a Short Taxable Year and in an Acquisition or Disposition AGENCY:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION:

Final and temporary regulations.

SUMMARY:

This document contains final and temporary regulations relating to the allocation of W-2 wages for purposes of the W-2 wage limitation on the amount of a taxpayer's deduction related to domestic production activities. Specifically, the temporary regulations provide guidance on: the allocation of W-2 wages paid by two or more taxpayers that are employers of the same employees during a calendar year; and the determination of W-2 wages if the taxpayer has a short taxable year. The text of the temporary regulations also serves as the text of the proposed regulations set forth in the notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-136459-09) on this subject in the Proposed Rules section in this issue of the Federal Register.

DATES:

Effective Date: These regulations are effective on August 27, 2015.

Applicability Date: For dates of applicability, see § 1.199-8T(i)(10).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

James A. Holmes 202-317-4137 (not a toll free call).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

This document contains amendments to the Income Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 1) under section 199(b) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). Section 199(b) was enacted by the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-357, 118 Stat. 1418 (2004)). Subsequent amendments to section 199(b) were made by the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-135, 119 Stat. 25 (2005)), the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-222, 120 Stat. 345 (2005)), the Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-343, 122 Stat 3765 (2008)), and the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-295, 128 Stat. 4010 (2014)).

Under section 199(b)(1), the amount of the deduction allowable under section 199(a) for any taxable year shall not exceed 50 percent of the W-2 wages of the taxpayer for the taxable year. Section 199(b)(2)(A) generally defines W-2 wages, with respect to any person for any taxable year of such person, as the sum of amounts described in section 6051(a)(3) and (8) paid by such person with respect to employment of employees by such person during the calendar year ending during such taxable year. Section 199(b)(3), after its amendment by section 219(b) of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, provides that the Secretary shall provide for the application of section 199(b) in cases of a short taxable year or where the taxpayer acquires, or disposes of, the major portion of a trade or business, or the major portion of a separate unit of a trade or business during the taxable year. Section 219(d) of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 provides that the amendments made by section 219 shall take effect as if included in the provision of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 to which they relate. Section 1.199-2(c) provides the current rule for acquisitions and dispositions.

Section 1.199-2(c) currently provides that if a taxpayer (a successor) acquires a trade or business, the major portion of a trade or business, or the major portion of a separate unit of a trade or business from another taxpayer (a predecessor), then, for purposes of computing the respective section 199 deduction of the successor and of the predecessor, the W-2 wages paid for that calendar year shall be allocated between the successor and the predecessor based on whether the wages are for employment by the successor or for employment by the predecessor. Thus, the W-2 wages are allocated based on whether the wages are for employment for a period during which the employee was employed by the predecessor or for employment for a period during which the employee was employed by the successor. The W-2 wage allocation under the current regulations is made regardless of which permissible method is used by a predecessor or a successor for reporting wages on Form W-2, as provided in Rev. Proc. 2004-53 (2004-2 CB 320) (see § 601.601(d)(2) of this chapter). Section 1.199-2(e)(1) provides that under section 199(b)(2), the term W-2 wages means, with respect to any person for any taxable year of such person, the sum of the amounts described in section 6051(a)(3) and (8) paid by such person with respect to employment of employees by such person during the calendar year ending during such taxable year.

Rev. Proc. 2006-47 (2006-2 CB 869) (see § 601.601(d)(2)) is the currently effective guidance providing methods of calculating W-2 wages and related rules for purposes of section 199(b). Section 6.02(A) of Rev. Proc. 2006-47 provides that the amount of W-2 wages for a taxpayer with a short taxable year includes only those wages subject to Federal income tax withholding that are reported on Form W-2, “Wage and Tax Statement,” for the calendar year ending with or within that short taxable year.

In certain situations, a short taxable year may not include a calendar year ending within such short taxable year. Section 1.199-2(c) of the current regulations does not address these situations and does not reflect the amendment made by the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014. In order to provide guidance on the application of section 199(b)(3) to a short taxable year that does not include a calendar year ending within the short taxable year, the IRS and the Treasury Department are revising the regulations to address these situations. To provide immediate effect, the IRS and the Treasury Department are issuing these regulations as temporary regulations. These temporary regulations apply solely for purposes of section 199.

Explanation of Provisions

The final regulations issued in connection with these temporary regulations remove the current language of § 1.199-2(c) and replace it with a cross reference to these temporary regulations. In the place of the current language, these temporary regulations provide rules for calculating W-2 wages for purposes of the W-2 wage limitation in the case of an acquisition or disposition of a trade or business, the major portion of a trade or business, the major portion of a separate unit of a trade or business during the taxable year, or a short taxable year. Specifically, these temporary regulations provide a rule for acquisitions and dispositions if one or more taxpayers may be considered the employer of the employees of the acquired or disposed of trade or business during that calendar year. In that case, the temporary regulations provide that the W-2 wages paid during the calendar year to employees of the acquired or disposed of trade or business are allocated between each taxpayer based on the period during which the employees of the acquired or disposed of trade or business were employed by the taxpayer.

These temporary regulations also provide a rule to apply in the case of a short taxable year in which there is no calendar year ending within such short taxable year (short-taxable-year rule). Wages paid by a taxpayer during the short taxable year to employees for employment by such taxpayer are treated as W-2 wages for such short taxable year for purposes of section 199(b)(1).

These temporary regulations also describe types of transactions that are considered either an acquisition or disposition for purposes of section 199(b)(3). Specifically, these temporary regulations provide that an acquisition or disposition includes an incorporation, a formation, a liquidation, a reorganization, or a purchase or sale of assets.

These regulations also contain cross references to § 1.199-2(a), (b), (d), and (e). The IRS and the Treasury Department observe that these rules continue to apply to taxpayers that use these temporary regulations. For example, the non-duplication rule of § 1.199-2(d) applies such that a taxpayer that includes wages as W-2 wages based on these temporary regulations, including by filing an amended return for a short taxable year, may not treat those wages as W-2 wages for any other taxable year. Also, wages qualifying as W-2 wages of one taxpayer based on these temporary regulations cannot be treated as W-2 wages of another taxpayer.

The temporary regulations are applicable for taxable years beginning on or after August 27, 2015 and expire on August 24, 2018. A taxpayer may apply § 1.199-2T(c) to taxable years for which the limitations for assessment of tax has not expired beginning before August 27, 2015.

Special Analyses

Certain IRS regulations, including this one, are exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866 of, as supplemented and reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It also has been determined that section 533(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these regulations. For the applicability of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) refer to the Special Analyses section of the preamble to the cross-reference notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Proposed Rules section in this issue of the Federal Register. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, these regulations have been submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on their impact on small business.

Drafting Information

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

List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Adoption of Amendment to the Regulations

Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is amended as follows:

PART 1—INCOME TAXES

Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 is amended by adding entries in numerical order to read in part as follows:

Authority:

26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

Section 1.199-2T also issued under 26 U.S.C. 199(b)(3).

Par. 2. Section 1.199-0 is amended by revising the entry for § 1.199-2(c) and adding entries for §§ 1.199-2(c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3), and 1.199-8(i)(10) to read as follows:

§ 1.199-0 Table of contents.
§ 1.199-2 Wage limitation.

(c) Acquisitions, dispositions, and short taxable years.

(1) Allocation of wages between more than one taxpayer.

(2) Short taxable years.

(3) Operating rules.

(i) Acquisition or disposition.

(ii) Trade or business.

§ 1.199-8 Other rules.

(i) * * *

(10) Acquisitions, dispositions, and short taxable years.

Par. 3. Section 1.199-2 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:

§ 1.199-2 Wage limitation.

(c) [Reserved]. For further guidance see § 1.199-2T(c).

Par. 4. Section 1.199-2T is added to read as follows:

§ 1.199-2T Wage limitation (temporary).

(a) through (b) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.199-2(a) through (b).

(c) Acquisitions, dispositions, and short taxable years—(1) Allocation of wages between more than one taxpayer. For purposes of computing the section 199 deduction of a taxpayer, in the case of an acquisition or disposition (as defined in paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section) of a trade or business (as defined in paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section) that causes more than one taxpayer to be an employer of the employees of the acquired or disposed of trade or business during the calendar year, the W-2 wages of the taxpayer for the calendar year of the acquisition or disposition are allocated between each taxpayer based on the period during which the employees of the acquired or disposed of trade or business were employed by the taxpayer, regardless of which permissible method is used for reporting W-2 wages on Form W-2, “Wage and Tax Statement.” For this purpose, the period of employment is determined consistently with the principles for determining whether an individual is an employee described in § 1.199-2(a)(1).

(2) Short taxable years. If a taxpayer has a short taxable year that does not contain a calendar year ending during such short taxable year, wages paid to employees for employment by such taxpayer during the short taxable year are treated as W-2 wages for such short taxable year for purposes of § 1.199-2(a)(1) (if the wages would otherwise meet the requirements to be W-2 wages under § 1.199-2 but for the requirement that a calendar year must end during the short taxable year).

(3) Operating rules—(i) Acquisition or disposition. For purposes of this paragraph (c), the term acquisition or disposition includes an incorporation, a formation, a liquidation, a reorganization, or a purchase or sale of assets.

(ii) Trade or business. For purposes of this paragraph (c), the term trade or business includes a trade or business, the major portion of a trade or business, or the major portion of a separate unit of a trade or business.

(iii) Application to section 199 only. The provisions of this section apply solely for purposes of section 199 of the Internal Revenue Code.

(d) through (e) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.199-2(d) through (e).

Par. 5. Section 1.199-8 is amended by adding paragraph (i)(10) to read as follows:

§ 1.199-8 Other rules.

(i) * * *

(10) Acquisitions, dispositions, and short taxable years. [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.199-8T(i)(10).

Par. 6. Section 1.199-8T is added to read as follows:

§ 1.199-8T Other rules (temporary).

(a) through (h) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.199-8(a) through (h).

(i) Effective/applicability dates. (1) through (9) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.199-8(i)(1) through (9).

(10) Acquisitions, dispositions, and short taxable years. Section 1.199-2T(c) is applicable for taxable years beginning on or after August 27, 2015. A taxpayer may apply § 1.199-2T(c) to taxable years for which the limitations for assessment of tax has not expired beginning before August 27, 2015.

(11) Expiration date. The applicability of § 1.199-2T(c) expires on August 24, 2018.

John M. Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: May 29, 2015. Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy).
[FR Doc. 2015-20770 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0742] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Gallants Channel, Beaufort, NC AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulations.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the US 70 (Grayden Paul) Bridge across Gallants Channel, mile 0.1, at Beaufort, NC. This temporary deviation allows the draw bridge to remain in the closed to navigation position to accommodate The Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation Triathlon participants to safely complete their race without interruptions from bridge openings.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on September 12, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0742] 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 Ms. Kashanda Booker, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard; telephone (757) 398-6227, email [email protected] If you have questions on reviewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The event director for the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation Triathlon, with approval from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, owner of the drawbridge, has requested a temporary deviation from the operating schedule to accommodate the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation Triathlon.

The US 70 (Grayden Paul) Bridge operating regulations are set out in 33 CFR 117.823. The US 70 (Grayden Paul) Bridge across Gallants Channel, mile 0.1, a double-leaf bascule bridge, in Beaufort, NC has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 13 feet above mean high water.

Under this temporary deviation, the drawbridge will be allowed to remain in the closed-to-navigation position from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 12, 2015 while race participants are competing in the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation Triathlon.

The majority of the vessels that transit the bridge this time of the year are recreational boats. Vessels able to pass under the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime and are advised to proceed with caution. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies and there is no alternate route for vessels to pass. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impact 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 designated time period. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

Dated: August 21, 2015. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2015-21163 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0792] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sacramento River, Freeport, CA 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 Sacramento County highway bridge across Sacramento River, mile 46.0, at Freeport, CA. The deviation is necessary to allow the bridge owner to replace bridge counterweight bolts. This deviation allows single leaf operation of the double bascule highway bridge during the deviation period.

DATES:

This deviation is effective without actual notice from August 27, 2015 to 6 a.m. on September 11, 2015. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from 8 p.m. on August 17, 2015, until August 27, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0792], 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 David H. Sulouff, Chief, Bridge Section, Eleventh Coast Guard District; telephone 510-437-3516, 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 County of Sacramento has requested a temporary change to the operation of the Sacramento County highway bridge, a double bascule drawbridge, mile 46.0, over Sacramento River, at Freeport, CA. The drawbridge navigation span provides 29 feet vertical clearance above Mean High Water in the closed-to-navigation position. In accordance with 33 CFR 117.189(b), the draw opens on signal from May 1 through September 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. At all other times, the draw shall open on signal if at least four hours notice is give to the drawtender at the Rio Vista Bridge across the Sacramento River, mile 12.8. Navigation on the waterway is recreational and commercial.

Single leaf operation of the Sacramento County highway drawbridge will occur from 8 p.m. on August 17, 2015 to 6 a.m. on September 11, 2015, to allow the bridge owner to replace corroded counterweight bolts. This temporary deviation has been coordinated with the waterway users. No objections to the proposed temporary deviation were raised.

Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at any time. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies with one leaf in full operational status. There is no alternate route for vessels to pass through the bridge in the closed position. The Coast Guard will also inform waterway users through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impact 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 13, 2015. D.H. Sulouff, District Bridge Chief, Eleventh Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2015-21300 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2014-0082] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zones; Cleveland Dragon Boat Festival and Head of the Cuyahoga, Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, OH AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing regulations for annual, combined marine events that require the establishment of a temporary safety zone within the Captain of the Port Zone Buffalo on the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, OH. This safety zone regulation is necessary to protect the surrounding public, spectators, participants, and vessels from the hazards associated with the rowing regatta in the narrow waterway of the Cuyahoga River. This rule is intended to restrict vessels annually from a portion of the Cuyahoga River for up to 9 hours during the combined Dragon Boat Festival and the Head of the Cuyahoga Regatta.

DATES:

This rule is effective September 28, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket [USCG-2014-0082]. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email LT Stephanie Pitts, Chief of Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Cleveland; telephone 216-937-0128, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Ms. Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826 or 1-800-647-5527.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking § Section A. Regulatory History and Information

The Head of the Cuyahoga (HOTC) rowing regatta has occurred annually for over a decade and the Dragon Boat Festival for the last 8 years. In response to past years' events, the Coast Guard established a temporary safety zone to protect the boating public. For example, in 2013, the Captain of the Port Buffalo initiated a rulemaking (78 FR 42736, July 17, 2013) to ensure the safety of spectators and vessels during the rowing event. The safety zone in this final rule is identical in size, location, and effect as that established by the 2013 rulemaking.

B. Basis and Purpose

As mentioned in the “Regulatory History and Information” section, the HOTC is an annual rowing regatta that has taken place for over a decade. The HOTC takes place on the Cuyahoga River along a 4800 meter course and attracts numerous rowing clubs and programs from across the U.S. Typically, the event occurs on the third Saturday of September between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. In 2014, the HOTC occurred between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. on September 20th.

In conjunction with the HOTC, the Seventh Annual Cleveland Dragon Boat Festival will take place from Superior/Nautica Bend to just north of the Detroit Superior Viaduct Bridge. The Dragon Boat festival will feature three head-to-head races being held over the course of the day.

The Captain of the Port Buffalo has determined that the HOTC and the Cleveland Dragon Boat Festival rowing events present significant hazards to public spectators and participants.

C. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Final Rule

We received one comment on the NPRM (79 FR 24656). This comment requested the time of enforcement be changed from 10 hours to 9 hours and to begin at 7 a.m. in lieu of the proposed 6 a.m. and still end at 4 p.m. as originally proposed. This change was requested for the better facilitation of trade on the Cuyahoga River. Of note, the commenter, Great Lakes Carriers Association noted that they completed a memorandum of agreement with the Cuyahoga River rowing foundation to address this very issue and to formalize the agreement between them to better allow for diverse use of the river without hampering trade and vital to the local economy. The Coast Guard, upon reviewing the comment considers the change to the proposal to be in the best interest of this rule and has amended the final rule to be effective for 9 hours, beginning at 7 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. as requested.

The enforcement date and times for the safety zone that is listed in 33 CFR 165.T09-0082 is to occur on the 3rd Saturday of September of each year and to begin 7 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. For any given year, the Captain of the Port Sector Buffalo will provide notice to the public by publishing a Notice of Enforcement in the Federal Register, as well as, issuing a Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zones identified in § 165.T09-0082 will be prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his on-scene representative. The Captain of the Port or his on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16.

D. Regulatory Analyses

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

1. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

2. Impact on Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered the impact of this rule on small entities. The Coast Guard received no comments from the Small Business Administration on this rule. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

This rule would affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners and operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor in the safety zone while the zone is being enforced. The safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: Each safety zone in this rule will be in enforced for no more than 9 hours in any 24 hour period and enforced only once per year and will be in areas with low commercial vessel traffic. Furthermore, this safety zone has been designed to mitigate the delay to traffic by shortening the enforcement period. In the event that a safety zone affects shipping, commercial vessels may request permission from the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his or her designated representative to transit the safety zone or remain in the safety zone during the event.

If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

3. Assistance for Small Entities

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

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

4. Collection of Information

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

5. Federalism

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

6. Protest Activities

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

7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

8. Taking of Private Property

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

9. Civil Justice Reform

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

10. Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks

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

11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

12. Energy Effects

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

13. Technical Standards

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

14. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule is categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (34)(g), of the Commandant Instruction because it involves the establishment of a safety zone.

An environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

2. Add § 165.T09-0082 to read as follows:
§ 165.T09-0082 Safety Zone; Cleveland Dragon Boat Festival and Head of the Cuyahoga, Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, OH.

(a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All waters of the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, OH between a line drawn perpendicular to the river banks from position 41°29′55″ N., 081°42′23″ W. (NAD 83) just past the Detroit-Superior Viaduct bridge at MM 1.42 of the Cuyahoga River south to a line drawn perpendicular to the river banks at position 41°28′32″ N., 081°40′16″ W. (NAD 83) just south of the Interstate 490 bridge at MM 4.79 of the Cuyahoga River.

(b) Enforcement period. The third Saturday of September each year from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

(c) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this section:

(1) “On-scene Representative” means any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer designated by the Captain of the Port Buffalo to monitor a safety zone, permit entry into the zone, give legally enforceable orders to persons or vessels within the zones, and take other actions authorized by the Captain of the Port.

(2) “Public vessel” means vessels owned, chartered, or operated by the United States, or by a State or political subdivision thereof.

(d) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within this safety zone identified in paragraph (a) of this section is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his designated on-scene representative.

(2) The safety zone identified in paragraph (a) of this section is closed to all vessel traffic, except as may be permitted by the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his designated on-scene representative.

(3) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone must contact the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his on-scene representative to obtain permission to do so. The Captain of the Port Buffalo or his on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the Captain of the Port Buffalo, or his on-scene representative.

(4) Additionally, all vessels over 65 feet intending to transit, moor or conduct operations to include loading or discharging of cargo or passengers in the Cuyahoga River while the safety zone is being enforced should request permission from the COTP or his/her designated representative at least 12 hours before the zone is established.

(e) Exemption. Public vessels, as defined in paragraph (c) of this section, are exempt from the requirements in this section.

(f) Waiver. For any vessel, the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his designated representative may waive any of the requirements of this section, upon finding that operational conditions or other circumstances are such that application of this section is unnecessary or impractical for the purposes of public or environmental safety.

Dated: August 7, 2015. B.W. Roche, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Buffalo.
[FR Doc. 2015-21301 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service 36 CFR Part 7 [NPS-CUVA-18292; PPMWCUVAR0, PPMRSNR1Z.Y00000] RIN 1024-AE18 Special Regulations; Areas of the National Park System, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Bicycling AGENCY:

National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The rule authorizes and allows for the management of bicycle use on certain new trails within Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The National Park Service general regulation pertaining to bicycles requires promulgation of a special regulation to authorize bicycle use on new trails constructed outside of developed areas.

DATES:

The rule is effective September 28, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lisa Petit, Chief of Resource Management, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, (440) 546-5970.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Legislation and Purposes of Cuyahoga Valley National Park

On December 27, 1974, President Gerald Ford signed Pub. L. 93-555 creating Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area for the purpose of “preserving and protecting for public use and enjoyment, the historic, scenic, natural, and recreational values of the Cuyahoga River and the adjacent lands of the Cuyahoga Valley and for the purpose of providing for the maintenance of needed recreational open space necessary to the urban environment.” In 2000, Congress redesignated Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area as Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CUVA or Park) with the passage of the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 106-291).

CUVA is an important national resource within a predominantly metropolitan region, where the Park is visited by approximately 2,500,000 people annually. Located in Cuyahoga and Summit Counties, Ohio, and situated between the cities of Cleveland and Akron, CUVA includes approximately 33,000 acres of land, with 19,000 acres under the administration of the National Park Service (NPS). The Park contains significant resources, including the Cuyahoga River Valley and its associated ecological functions, rich cultural resources and landscapes, and a variety of recreational and outdoor use opportunities.

In the 1930's the Cuyahoga Valley provided a respite for urban dwellers from Cleveland and Akron. During this time period, private estates in the Cuyahoga Valley had established trails and carriage roads for their private recreational enjoyment, including places like the Old Carriage trail area and the Wetmore trails. Over the years, these lands and other park lands were incorporated into the Cleveland Metroparks and Summit Metro Parks that are now part of what is designated as CUVA. Two significant trail corridors accelerated the recreational connections to the Valley: The conversion of an abandoned railroad bed to the Bike and Hike Trail in 1970 and the construction of the Towpath Trail in the late 1980's and early 1990's. Many of the trails from the earliest days of Cuyahoga Valley as a recreation destination remain today for visitors to enjoy and share the experience that has remained for over a century.

The Park's General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (GMP) confirms the purpose, significance, and special mandates of the Park. According to the Park's GMP, one of the significant purposes of CUVA is to “[preserve] a landscape reminiscent of simpler times, a place where recreation can be a gradual process of perceiving and appreciating the roots of our contemporary existence.” The GMP also provides direction for park management during land acquisition and provides a framework for NPS managers to use when making decisions about how to conserve the Park's resources and manage visitor uses in the Park. Resource preservation for compatible recreational use is the overall concept for management and development of the Park.

Current Status of Trails and Associated Facilities

Regional recreational trail networks have blossomed across Northeastern Ohio, increasing demands for additional trail connections, new trail uses, and expanded recreational opportunities. Today, the Park contains approximately 175 miles of trails, approximately 97 miles of which are managed by the NPS. The NPS trail system consists of three long-distance trails—the Towpath Trail, Buckeye Trail and Valley Bridle Trail—and eleven smaller localized trail systems with separate access points. The park currently has one limited community connector through the Old Carriage Trail connector trail in the northern portion of the park and has some portions of the primary roadways improved for bike use. Metropark partners provide five additional trail systems within their units inside CUVA, and another trail, the Buckeye Trail, is managed by the Buckeye Trail Association. Currently, the Park provides access to all its trails through 25 trailheads and from the four primary Visitor Contact Centers.

These trails provide for various uses, including 34 miles for hiking and trail running only, 22 miles for multipurpose biking and hiking, 17 miles for cross-country skiing, and 35 miles for equestrian riding. Nonetheless, requests for new trail uses to meet the needs of growing user groups have become more frequent in recent years. Technologies exist today (such as personal mobility devices) that provide new means to enjoy trails. Walk‐in camping is a desired amenity that recently was approved for the first time in the park. Trail running is increasing in popularity, and biking has grown into a major recreational activity within the Cuyahoga Valley.

Comprehensive Trail Management Plan

In 1985, the Park's first Trail Management Plan was developed as the primary document to initiate many trails in the Park. The 1985 Trail Plan identified 105 miles of existing trails and proposed and evaluated 115 miles of new trail. An additional 46 miles of trails were identified for future consideration but were not evaluated in the 1985 Trail Plan. In 2013, CUVA completed a Comprehensive Trails Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (TMP/EIS) to guide the expansion, restoration, management, operations, and use of the trail system and its associated amenities over the next 15 years, while keeping with the purpose, mission, and significance of the Park. Some trails proposed in the 1985 Trail Plan but not yet implemented were considered as part of the TMP/EIS.

The goals of the TMP/EIS were to develop a trail network that:

• Provides experiences for a variety of trail users;

• shares the historic, scenic, natural and recreational significance of the Park;

• minimizes impacts to the park's historic, scenic, natural and recreational resources;

• can be sustained; and

• engages cooperative partnerships that contribute to the success of the Park's trail network.

The Park conducted internal scoping with Park staff, regional park district partners, and the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park and external scoping, including the mailing and distribution of four separate newsletters, nine public meetings, and a 60-day public comment period. As a result of this process, eight alternatives, including a “No Action Alternative,” for the Park's Trail Management Plan were developed.

The Record of Decision (ROD), for the TMP/EIS, signed by the NPS Midwest Regional Director on August 8, 2013, identified the Preferred Alternative 5 as the Selected Alternative for implementation. Under this Alternative, approximately 14.5 miles of new bicycle trails could be constructed in undeveloped regions of the park and authorized by special regulations for bicycle use. The Alternative also considers approximately eight additional miles of existing trail or roadways that could be authorized for bicycle use in the future. The construction and authorization of these trails for bicycle use will be conditional on funding and subject to the development of other facilities or activities (including evaluation of resource impacts) conducted prior to implementation.

Due to the age and conceptual nature of the 1977 GMP, a 2013 Foundation Document was developed for the Park that identifies active recreation and implementation of the TMP/EIS as an objective to meets its goals. The TMP/EIS and ROD may be viewed online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/cuyahogatrailplan.

Construction and Management of the Bicycle Trails

Many of the proposed bicycle trails have not yet been built and will not be immediately open for use. An Implementation Strategy is under development to prioritize trail projects and assemble the additional planning, funding, staffing, project management, and monitoring that will be needed to accomplish them successfully. The Trails Forever Program, administered by the Park in partnership with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, will be the overarching program under which this implementation strategy will be realized.

Volunteers for trail work at the Park will continue to be a vital component of trail stewardship in the Park. Management and coordination of volunteers will continue through the joint Volunteer Program office of the Park and the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The use of Park staff and the existing volunteer trail groups to monitor and mitigate the environmental impacts of bicycle use on these trails will ensure that the trails are maintained in good condition and that any issues of concern are immediately brought to the attention of Park management. In addition, the Park will continue to update its Sign Plan and upgrade park and trail signs accordingly. As trail signs are updated, trail accessibility information for each trail will be made available to the public.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On October 14, 2014 the NPS published a proposed rule that would authorize and allow for management of bicycle use on certain new trails within CUVA, (79 FR 61587). The proposed rule was available for a 60-day public comment period, from October 14, 2014 through December 15, 2014. Comments were accepted through the mail, by hand delivery, and through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

Summary of and Responses to Public Comments

The NPS received 300 public comments during the comment period. Responses to the comments mostly referred to the TMP/EIS completed in 2013. Of these comments, 276 expressed support for the proposed rule. One supportive comment was from an organization, the National Parks Conservation Association, and the rest were from individuals. There were three commenters who had a neutral stance and 21 comments submitted in opposition to the proposed rule. There were no opposing responses from organizations.

Supporting Comments

The 276 supporting comments expressed eight central themes:

Engaging More Park Users Including Youth and Families

The authorization of off-road bicycle use in CUVA will expand the utilization of the park by new users, including youth and families, by providing new and exciting opportunities to participate in outdoor recreation activities. Providing younger members of society with off-road bicycling opportunities encourages them to develop a sense of pride and ownership in the trails they ride and maintain, creating the next generation of stewards. It is well substantiated that there are many individuals that enjoy this activity in other parks and on other public lands outside of the region with only a few areas available within the region. Recent years have seen new trails within Cleveland Metroparks and Summit Metro Parks and the activity continues to grow in popularity as evidenced by an increase in bike sales.

Healthy Lifestyles/Enjoying Nature

Allowing off-road bicycle use is important for public health because it contributes to healthy, active lifestyles and getting people out into nature. Bike riding is well established as a significant form of exercise that contributes to personal health and well-being. By providing for greater use of bicycles on trails more people can benefit from this form of exercise as well enjoying time in the out of doors

Tourism & Economic Development

Allowing off-road bicycle use is an important draw for tourism and a catalyst for economic development in and around CUVA and the northeast Ohio region. CUVA serves increasingly as a destination for out of town visitors crossing the country and visiting national parks. With the addition of off-road single track bike trails, the park and region will be even more inviting as a destination for extended-stay excursions. Bike trails are well known to be a quality of life indicator and an attraction for young professionals and others looking to relocate for jobs and family.

Volunteerism & Stewardship

Off-road bicycle use is environmentally appropriate and can contribute to protection of natural and cultural resources. This has been demonstrated both outside of our region and within our area, where many individuals who are avid off-road bicyclists frequently volunteer for trail maintenance and stewardship activities. The bicycling community provides extensive education to encourage volunteerism and environmental stewardship. This education includes trail etiquette to facilitate coexistence among user groups, and to model appropriate use of the trails systems for improved safety. Local park districts within the surrounding communities have developed a volunteer network of trail stewards that maintain and patrol trails and report when conditions are not favorable for riding and/or when closing a trail is needed to prevent damage.

Planning, Sustainability, Safety

The NPS is a trusted source for protection of natural resources and included a robust planning process and Sustainable Trail Design Guidelines in the preparation of the TMP/EIS. These activities reinforce the communities' knowledge and appreciation for appropriate planning processes, and provide leadership in the execution of sustainable trail building practices that will benefit other public land stewards in the region. Safety is a primary design criterion for trail improvements within the park and is central to considerations for operational and utilization decisions.

Increased Access and Trail Linkages

Allowing off-road bicycle use will make remote parts of CUVA more accessible to some visitors who want to experience the full breadth of resources in the park. Additionally, there will be opportunities for additional linkages and looped systems within the existing trail network.

Community Development & Partnerships

Bicycle trails in CUVA have been the center point for partnerships and community development, such as the volunteer efforts of the Boy Scouts to build the Arrowhead Trail. If permanent access for bicycle use is allowed, these relationships will continue to flourish, building a sense of stewardship among trail users and park staff.

Resource Protection

The construction of single track off-road bicycle trails will exemplify sustainable construction practices and provide an educational opportunity to the public and volunteers participating in construction and maintenance. This exposure will enable users to better understand the sensitivity of natural resources and how proper design practices are necessary for protection and conservation. Volunteers can become engaged in the on-going maintenance and consequently learn firsthand the proper construction and maintenance techniques to protect natural resources. This has been demonstrated both outside of our region and within our area where many individuals who are avid off-road bicyclists frequently volunteer for trail maintenance and stewardship activities.

Some commenters supported the new bicycle rule but also had questions, asked for clarifications, or proposed ideas for which the NPS has prepared responses. These comments are paraphrased and answered below:

1. Comment: I would propose that a mountain bike trail be built on Latta Lane where homes were previously located. This area is flat and would not need extensive construction to create a parking space.

Response: Latta Lane has been proposed as a designated camping area in the Park's Boston Mills Area Conceptual Development Plan and Environmental Assessment (2013). No off-road bicycle trails are planned for this area.

2. Comment: “Outside of developed areas” needs to be clarified.

Response: Developed area is defined at 36 CFR 1.4, and means roads, parking areas, picnic areas, campgrounds, or other structures, facilities or lands located within development and historic zones depicted on the park area land management and use map. Trails in developed areas are typically multi-use trails, with improved surface pathways that serve several types of users including bicyclists and hikers. Off-road bicycle trails are located in undeveloped areas of a park, designed with a natural surface and designated for cross-country non-motorized bicycle use that can also be utilized for hiking or running.

3. Comment: I would also love to see Thru Hiking and Thru Biking such as the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NP. I would also like to see easier put in and take out for paddling.

Response: Within the Park, the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and the Summit Metro Park's Bike & Hike Trail currently offer thru biking and hiking with existing and proposed connections between the two. The Buckeye Trail offers thru hiking as well. A water trail with launch sites has been proposed in TMP/EIS.

4. Comment: I'm not sure what the “cross country” designation for the High Meadow Trail means. Does this mean that it is for foot and bicycle use? Also for that trail, where are the end points of the trail? A little more description in the proposal would be helpful.

Response: In the TMP/EIS, High Meadow is a proposed 5-kilometers (3.1 miles) loop trail for cross-country skiing training and competitive purposes, located west of Blue Hen Falls along Boston Mills Road. The trail would link to the Buckeye Trail for hike connections and is proposed for conditional use as an off-road bicycle trail. Conditional use of High Meadow is subject to evaluation by the Park of the following activities: Implementation of the proposed East Rim Trail and its success to meet the goals and objectives of the Trail Plan, Cleveland Metroparks' implementation of off-road bicycle use on the Buckeye Trail portion owned by them that may terminate at NPS lands, and evaluation of the potential impacts of bicycle use on the NPS portion of the Buckeye Trail. Because no other conditional trails are included in this rule, and because the use of High Meadow Trail for bicycling is contingent on other conditional trails being established, this trail is being withdrawn from and will not be authorized for bicycle use in this final rule.

5. Comment: Can the superintendent deny bicycle access at any time despite information included in the EIS, and that any new trail openings will require a separate approval? Was the scope of the EIS only to allow the construction of the trails, irrespective of the intended use of the trails? Or is this language to assure that, in the case of changing/degrading conditions over time, that some person has the authority to suspend use of the trails until solutions can be implemented?

Response: New trail construction requires additional compliance or agency review prior to implementation, subject to federal and park regulations. The TMP/EIS developed a blueprint that will guide the expansion, restoration, management, operations and use of the trail system and its associated amenities, over the next 15 years, in keeping with the purpose, mission and significance of CUVA. As this plan is implemented, all trails and their uses will be evaluated and monitored to ensure resource protection, visitor safety, and operational sustainability. The Superintendent of CUVA will have the authority to close or restrict use of trails after taking into consideration public health and safety, resource protection, and other management activities and objectives.

6. Comment: I believe there needs to be stricter regulation of bike trails than hiker trails. Bikers should stay on these proposed trails that were designed for their use.

Response: All trails will be monitored as per the Sustainable Trail Guidelines (Appendix C) of the TMP/EIS. Education, signage and monitoring will help curb straying from the trail tread.

7. Comment: I would expect and hope that the Bike and Hike Trail would connect to this [East Rim] trail at several points and also the Towpath could also connect to this at a point or two as well.

Response: Access to the proposed East Rim Trail is from the Bike & Hike Trail. There are existing and proposed connections between the Bike & Hike Trail and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail as proposed in the TMP/EIS.

8. Comment: I hope the mountain bike trails have a variety of difficulty levels—easy, medium and hard—to satisfy the different visitors. I also hope that you offer classes or workshops for the beginning rider. And I would like to see the Carriage Trail re-opened soon!

Response: Trails will be built working with the terrain using the Sustainable Trail Guidelines and the goal is to have a variety of difficulty levels. The Park identifies the restoration of the Old Carriage Trail bridges for visitor use within the Trail Plan. The Park continues to seek funding for the design, engineering and construction work required for replacement of three deteriorated, long-span trail bridges. Once this construction work is completed the Old Carriage trail will be opened for public use.

9. Comment: “Mountain bikes just tear up trails”, but in the late fall and all spring, the bridle trails can be completely decimated by horses. There are portions that are not even suitable for hiking, let alone running.

Response: The Park will use the Sustainable Trail Guidelines for all trails and implement seasonal closures to protect park resources and to meet the goals of a sustainable trails system in the Park. Seasonal closures will reduce impacts to park resources, minimize risk of tread widening, reduce annual maintenance costs to high-risk areas and provide an improved visitor experience during the drier seasons of the year. Natural resource related seasonal closures will address three primary conditions; wet, muddy conditions, flood events, and wildlife nesting activities. The Park may identify additional resource or operational issues that require seasonal trail closures.

10. Comment: Ten miles of single track is much too short. Having volunteered at the park for several years, I'm curious why there are over twice the miles of bridle trails to the proposed single track?

Response: During public scoping of the TMP/EIS, many of the trail user groups, particularly the mountain bike and equestrian trail users, desired significantly expanded trail miles within CUVA for their particular use. Given the current level of use, limitations of land ownership and resource conditions, and current, planned or projected regional trail systems available to these user groups, significant expansions were not included in the selected alternative.

11. Comment: I would also love to see areas that allowed climbing. There were so many opportunities in the park for climbing.

Response: During the public scoping period of the TMP/EIS, the public was invited to provide ideas regarding the future trail system in the Park. Some proposals like rock climbing were outside the scope of the TMP/EIS and were not considered. Rock climbing is prohibited in CUVA.

12. Comment: If off-road refers to something with a motor I object. Motors do NOT belong in a park.

Response: Off-road motorized vehicles are prohibited by NPS Management Policies and are not permitted on current or proposed park trails.

Neutral Comment

One neutral commenter proposed ideas for which the NPS has prepared a response. The comment is paraphrased and answered below:

Comment: I think the CUVA should limit single-track bike trails within its federal boundaries to this east rim. The plan suggests possible future off road bicycle development along the High Meadow/Buckeye trail area of the CUVA. If the Cleveland Metroparks decides to put in a bike trail in the more remote southern section of the Brecksville Reservation I do not think the CUVA needs to extend that use through federal property. My reasons are as follows: Existing off road trails in Bedford Reservation and in-process trails at Hampton Hills Metro Park now complement the CUVA's Eastern Rim plan and extend off road bike trail connections at both ends of the park. Development of off road trails in less used portions of the park does isolate them, but the fast pace, rough and probable heavy use alters the localized area. The western rim should be kept as it is—a quieter, more isolated area of the park, where one can experience this geologically interesting portion of the park without off-road biking trails.

Response: In the TMP/EIS, High Meadow is a proposed 5-kilometers (3.1 miles) loop trail for cross-country skiing training and competitive purposes, located west of Blue Hen Falls along Boston Mills Road. The trail would link to the Buckeye Trail for hike connections and is proposed for conditional use as an off-road bicycle trail. Conditional use of High Meadow is subject to evaluation by the Park of the following activities: Implementation of the proposed East Rim Trail and its success to meet the goals and objectives of the Trail Plan; Cleveland Metroparks' implementation of off-road bicycle use on the Buckeye Trail portion owned by them that may terminate at NPS lands; and evaluation of the potential impacts of bicycle use on the NPS portion of the Buckeye Trail. Because no other conditional trails are included in this rule, and the use of High Meadow Trail for off-road bicycles is contingent on other conditional trails being established, this trail location is being withdrawn from and will not be authorized for bicycle use in this final rule.

Opposing Comments

The 24 comments submitted in opposition to off-road bicycle trails were focused on five primary areas of concern: Impacts on natural resources; User conflicts-safety; User conflicts-visitor experience; NPS operational burden; and Inconsistency with NPS mission.

Impacts on Natural Resources

The most common concern expressed by commenters in opposition to the proposed rule was that off-road bicycles cause serious impacts to natural resources, including wildlife habitat, plants, soils, and water quality.

Representative Comments

(1) Trail building destroys wildlife habitat! It not only destroys the habitat under and next to the trail, but it renders a wide swathe of habitat on either side of the trail useless to the wildlife, due to the presence of people.

(2) Each time a pathway is created, that new opening allows invasive species into that area, both plant and animal.

(3) This is not a good idea. The trails already suffer erosion from heavy use and allowing mountains bikes will only worsen the problem.

(4) Constructing new trails removes vegetation, which fragments habitats, risks destroying important or rare species, and can contribute to high soil erosion, which leads to water contamination.

Response: The analysis of potential adverse effects of trail elements in the selected action is provided in Chapter 4 of the TMP/EIS. Impacts of the proposed off-road bicycle trails on wildlife and wildlife habitat, vegetation, soils, and water quality are expected to be relatively minor because of the locations selected, the current ecological conditions, and the use of Sustainable Trail Guidelines for planning, design, construction, management and monitoring of all trails. Sensitive habitats including wetlands will be avoided, and trails will be constructed using best practices to minimize adverse impacts such as erosion. As stated in the Record of Decision for the TMP/EIS, “as the NPS implements the actions associated with the selected action, it must protect the park's natural and cultural resources and not impair the quality of the visitor experience. Additionally, bicycle use must be consistent with the protection of the park area's natural, scenic and aesthetic values, safety considerations and management objectives, and not disturb wildlife or park resources. To ensure that this occurs, a consistent set of mitigation measures will be applied to all trail management actions in the park. The NPS will avoid, minimize, and mitigate adverse impacts of trail management actions when practicable. Compliance monitoring and reporting will be part of all mitigation measures. The Sustainable Trail Guidelines outline monitoring that will be conducted to detect and arrest resource damage from trail use. In addition, the Superintendent will be authorized to impose closures or restrictions on bicycle trails after taking into consideration public health and safety, resource protection, and other management activities and objectives.

User Conflicts—Safety

Most comments in opposition to the proposed rule expressed concern for safety of hikers sharing trails with off-road bicycles, primarily due to concerns about speed and inconsiderate/intimidating behavior of bikers, as well as a perception that bikers have little regard for authority or regulations.

Representative Comments

(1) If you have ever tried to hike around large, fast-moving pieces of machinery such as bicycles, you know that it is scary and no fun!

(2) I avoid areas used by mountain bikers because, generally speaking, they are rude by not signaling when approaching from behind and scare the “heck” out of you. They also speed on the trails and do not have good control of their bikes.

(3) I have enough difficulty on the authorized paved hike and bike trails trying to bird watch or nature study, while dodging inconsiderate bikers too oblivious to issue an approaching warning.

(4) Much of the scenic opportunity seems lost on cyclists who are more concerned with how fast they can get from point A to point B.

(5) Mountain bikers consider themselves renegades with justified use of all public land with impunity.

Response: This rule provides the Superintendent the authority to manage off-road bicycling on trails in undeveloped areas, including the establishment and enforcement of closures, restrictions, and conditions to ensure public safety and protection of park resources. Public scoping provided a variety of ideas regarding trail sharing among different user groups. The Park utilized data and research available on a variety of trail systems to evaluate visitor experience of trail uses, as outlined in the TMP/EIS. The information indicated that some trail uses are more compatible together than others. The selected alternative provides opportunities for increased trail sharing among compatible trail uses such as off-road bicycles and hikers, and limits sharing between less compatible trail user groups. The sharing of trails among compatible user groups will assist the Park in meeting goals of the TMP/EIS to minimize the footprint of trails within the Park to protect resources. The Sustainable Trail Guidelines outline methods that will be used to monitor visitor carrying capacity on trails. In addition to impacts on natural resources, numbers of different user types on trails and incidents of conflict or accidents will be monitored to determine methods to eliminate conflicts and impacts.

User Conflicts—Visitor Experience

Some commenters expressed specific concerns that off-road bicycles disrupt the quiet and tranquility of the hiking experience.

Representative Comments

(1) Bicyclists inevitably . . . disrupt the peace and tranquility that comes with a National Park experience.

(2) Biking in pristine areas takes away the beauty and quiet of the area.

(3) The serenity and tranquility have forever been transformed into the BMX race course.

(4) Please do not allow mountain bikes in the Cuyahoga Valley Park. It will ruin the sublime, quiet nature of the park, at the expense of walkers and joggers.

Response: The preferred alternative in the TMP/EIS was the selected action because it best fulfills the purpose and need for the plan and provides the broadest range of visitor experiences while minimizing impacts to park resources. Most existing trails and proposed new trails will be primarily for hiking and will provide a variety of experiences, including more remote, primitive experiences. Where shared use between off-road bicycles and hikers is planned, park managers will monitor visitor carrying capacity and manage trail use to minimize or eliminate user conflicts and ensure safety. Further, this rule will authorize the Superintendent to impose closures and or establish conditions or restrictions on bicycle trails after taking into consideration public health and safety, resource protection, and other management activities and objectives.

NPS Operational Burden

Many commenters expressed concerns regarding the costs of long-term maintenance of trails. Some concerns were related to there being enough or too many trails in the park already. Comments also included concerns about prioritization of trail work, suggesting more emphasis on improving existing trails before building new trails. Two commenters specifically mentioned that the Old Carriage Trail bridges should be replaced.

Representative Comments

(1) No money should be spent on these new trails until the Bridges on the Old Carriage Trail have been replaced.

(2) You don't seem to be able to maintain the trails that you have now. Much of the buckeye trail through the park would greatly benefit from stabilization projects.

(3) I would . . . request that before proceeding with actual trail construction CUVA consider adopting a method, open for public comment, for determining the priority in which proposed trail changes set forth in the Trail Plan are to be implemented.

(4) I just think that preexisting trails are sufficient and there is no need to create more. Sticking to preexisting trails . . . will not significantly increase trail maintenance as the creation of new trails would.

Response: The TMP/EIS is intended to set a vision for implementation over the next 15 years. Implementation will occur as funding becomes available and projects are prioritized. This Plan will require the NPS to seek a new approach for funding than traditional NPS base and capital budgets. The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park assists the park trails through fundraising efforts under the TRAILS FOREVER Program for trail maintenance and capital projects. The creation of a portfolio of funding sources is necessary to accomplish the recommendations set forth in the TMP/EIS and will be part of the Implementation Strategy that is identified in the TMP/EIS. Prioritization of trail projects will emphasize restoration and maintenance of existing trails as well as seeking funding to implement new trails. The Park will continue to work in cooperation with trail stakeholder groups as appropriate in the planning and design process for trails. In addition, the Old Carriage Trail bridges remain a priority for the Park, which continues to pursue funding opportunities to replace the failing bridges.

Inconsistency With NPS Mission

Some commenters expressed concerns that allowing off-road bicycles outside of developed areas was inconsistent with the mission of the NPS and of the CUVA.

Representative Comments

(1) Thought the national park systems were created to preserve the natural biological systems remaining in this land, and not provide an outlet for mechanized thrill seekers. Authorizing such activities is not in keeping with the intent of the national park system, and I urge you to severely limit, or totally ban any such activities on park lands.

(2) The purpose of the park is to preserve nature and enjoy it—not to damage it with deep ruts that create more erosion and mud, etc.

(3) The primary purpose of the national park system is to PRESERVE those remaining bits of wildlife habitat, so that all future generations will still be able to experience it. You are failing to adhere to your mission.

(4) Is the CUVA's main attraction really “trails”? And should the park want to be characterized that way? What is the desired experience for visitors from other states, for locals who walk or bike casually in the park, for suburban/urban families who visit on weekends? How does the CUVA make itself different from a state park or a metropark or a national recreation area?

Response: The enabling legislation that established CUVA states that the park was created “To preserve and protect for public use and enjoyment, the historic, scenic, natural and recreational values of the Cuyahoga River and the adjacent lands of the Cuyahoga Valley and for the purpose of providing for the maintenance of needed recreational open space necessary to the urban environment.” The purpose of the TMP/EIS is to develop a blueprint that will guide the expansion, restoration, management, operations and use of the trail system and its associated amenities, over the next 15 years, in keeping with the purpose, mission and significance of CUVA. Since its establishment in 1974, the Park has experienced significant changes in visitation, programs and operations. Outdoor recreation trends have continued to evolve over the past 31 years in how visitors use or would like to use the Park. The additional development of trails and trail facilities will assist in meeting the needs of current and future visitation to the Park's trails.

Changes From the Proposed Rule

After consideration of the public comments, and additional review, the NPS has determined that one substantive change is necessary in the final rule: Removal of the High Meadow Trail from consideration as an off-road bicycle trail. This trail is designated as a cross-country ski trail, with conditional status as a potential off-road bicycle trail. Because no other conditional trails are included in this rule, and the use of High Meadow Trail for off-road bicycles is contingent on other conditional trails being established, this trail location is being withdrawn from and will not be authorized for bicycle use in this final rule.

The Final Rule

To provide visitors with additional recreational bicycling opportunities and in compliance with the provisions of 36 CFR 4.30, this rule will allow the Superintendent to authorize bicycle use on all or portions of each of the following trails:

Trail name Approximate length Surface type Usage type Description East Rim 10 miles Natural surface Off-road, single-track bicycle Approximately ten miles of a loop system trail of varying distances along the east central portion of the Park, north of Old Akron-Peninsula Road and south of Brandywine Falls trailhead, near the Krecjic Restoration Site. Old Carriage Connector Trail 0.35 miles Crushed gravel Multi-purpose Extension of existing Old Carriage Road connector to existing Bike and Hike Trail. Highland Connector Trail 1.0 miles Crushed gravel Multi-purpose New connector from existing Bike and Hike Trail to existing Towpath Trail on south side of Highland Road, extending on the north side of Highland Road from Towpath to the Vaughn overflow parking area.

After trail construction is completed, but before a trail is authorized for bicycle use, the Superintendent will be required to issue a written determination that the trail is open for public use and that bicycle use is consistent with the TMP/EIS, including implementation of the park's sustainable trail guidelines with monitoring and mitigation through adaptive management. This will ensure that bicycle use remains consistent with the protection of the park area's natural, scenic and aesthetic values, safety considerations and management objectives, and will not disturb wildlife or park resources. No additional NEPA compliance would be necessary beyond the TMP/EIS ROD, and the written determination will be added into the park's administrative file for the trail project. The Superintendent will provide public notice when trail(s) are authorized for bicycle use through one or more of the procedures under 36 CFR 1.7.

The final rule also authorizes the Superintendent to establish conditions, impose closures, or restrictions for bicycle use on authorized trails, after taking into consideration public health and safety, resource protection, and other management activities and objectives, provided public notice is given under 36 CFR 1.7.

Compliance With Other Laws, Executive Orders, and Department Policy Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget 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 (RFA)

This rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). This certification is based on information contained in the report titled, “Cost-Benefit and Regulatory Flexibility Analyses: Proposed Regulations to Designate Bicycle Routes in Cuyahoga Valley National Park” that is available for review at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/cuyahogatrailplan.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA)

This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the SBREFA. This rule:

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

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

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

The current and anticipated users of bicycle routes in CUVA are predominantly individuals engaged in recreational activities. There are no businesses in the surrounding area that would be adversely affected by bicycle use of these trails. Although the park does not have any bicycle rental concessioners, there is a bicycle rental facility adjacent to the park that provides bike rentals that are used within CUVA.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, local or tribal governments or the private sector. A statement containing the information required by the UMRA (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

Takings (Executive Order 12630)

This rule does not affect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630. A taking implications assessment is not required because this rule will not deny any private property owner of beneficial uses of their land, nor will it significantly reduce their land's value.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. A Federalism summary impact statement is not required.

Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

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

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

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

Consultation With Indian tribes (Executive Order 13175 and Department Policy)

The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes through a commitment to consultation with Indian Tribes and recognition of their right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this rule under the Department's consultation policy and under the criteria in Executive Order 13175 and have determined that it has no substantial direct effects on federally recognized Indian tribes and that consultation under the Department's tribal consultation policy is not required. Affiliated Native American tribes were contacted by letters sent in June, 2012 and May, 2013 to solicit any interests or concerns with the proposed action. No responses were received by the Park.

Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and a submission to the Office of Management and Budget under the PRA is not required.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

We have prepared an environmental impact statement and have determined that this rule will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment under the NEPA of 1969. The TMP/EIS for the Park and ROD that included an evaluation of bicycling within the proposed areas may be viewed online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/cuyahogatrailplan.

Effects on the Energy Supply (Executive Order 13211)

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

Drafting Information

The primary authors of this regulation are Lynn Garrity, and Kim Norley, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and C. Rose Wilkinson and A.J. North, NPS Regulations Program, Washington, DC.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7

National Parks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

In consideration of the foregoing, the NPS amends 36 CFR part 7 as set forth below:

PART 7—SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM 1. The authority for Part 7 continues to read as follows: Authority:

54 U.S.C. 100101, 100751, 320102; Sec. 7.96 also issued under D.C. Code 10-137 and D.C. Code 50-2201.07.

2. Amend § 7.17 by revising the section heading and adding paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 7.17 Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

(b) Bicycles. (1) The Superintendent may authorize bicycle use on all or portions of each of the following trails:

(i) East Rim (approximately 10 miles);

(ii) Old Carriage Connector Trail (approximately 0.35 miles); and

(iii) Highland Connector Trail (approximately 1.0 mile).

(2) After trail construction is complete:

(i) To authorize bicycle use, the Superintendent must make a written determination that:

(A) The trail is open for public use; and

(B) Bicycle use is consistent with the protection of the park area's natural, scenic and aesthetic values, safety considerations, and management objectives, and will not disturb wildlife or park resources.

(ii) The Superintendent will provide public notice of all such actions through one or more of the methods listed in § 1.7 of this chapter.

(3) The Superintendent may open or close authorized trails, or portions thereof, or impose conditions or restrictions for bicycle use after taking into consideration public health and safety, natural and cultural resource protection, and other management activities and objectives.

(i) The Superintendent will provide public notice of all such actions through one or more of the methods listed in § 1.7 of this chapter.

(ii) Violating a closure, condition, or restriction is prohibited.

Dated: July 31, 2015. Michael Bean, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2015-21198 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-EJ-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0269; FRL-9933-04-Region 7] Partial Approval and Disapproval of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Nebraska; Revision to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards and the Revocation of the PM10 Annual Standard and Adoption of the 24hr PM2.5 Standard AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to partially approve and disapprove elements of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission from the State of Nebraska addressing the applicable requirements of Clean Air Act (CAA) section 110 for the 1997 and 2006 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP to support implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each new or revised NAAQS promulgated by EPA. These SIPs are commonly referred to as “infrastructure” SIPs. The infrastructure requirements are designed to ensure that the structural components of each state's air quality management program are adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the CAA. Additionally, EPA is taking final action approving the revocation of the coarse particulate matter (PM10) annual standard and adoption of the 24hr PM2.5 standard.

DATES:

This final rule is effective September 28, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0269. All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. Interested persons wanting to examine these documents should make an appointment with the office at least 24 hours in advance.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Gregory Crable, Air Planning and Development Branch, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, KS 66219; telephone number: (913) 551-7391; fax number: (913) 551-7065; email address: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document, the terms “we,” “us,” or “our” refer to EPA. This section provides additional information by addressing the following:

I. Background II. Summary of SIP Revision III. Final Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Review I. Background

On May 28, 2015, (80 FR 30404), EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) for the State of Nebraska. The NPR proposed partial approval and disapproval of Nebraska's submission that provides the basic elements specified in section 110(a)(2) of the CAA, or portions thereof, necessary to implement, maintain, and enforce the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. At the same time, EPA proposed approval of the revocation of the PM10 annual standard and adoption of the 24 hr. PM2.5 NAAQS standard.

II. Summary of SIP Revision

On April 3, 2008, EPA received a SIP submission from the state of Nebraska that addressed the infrastructure elements specified in section 110(a)(2) for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. Then on August 29, 2011, EPA received a second SIP submission addressing the infrastructure elements specified in section 110(a)(2) for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. Both submissions addressed the following infrastructure elements of section 110(a)(2): (A), (B), (C), (D), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). Specific requirements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA and the rationale for EPA's proposed action to approve and disapprove the SIP submissions are explained in the NPR and will not be restated here. No public comments were received on the NPR.

Finally, a third submission was received by the EPA on November 14, 2011, as a part of a larger submission dealing with various title 129 revisions, which we will address at a later date. This submission revises Chapter 4, Title 129 of the Nebraska Administrative Code. The change repeals the annual NAAQS for PM10 which was revoked by the EPA on October 17, 2006, and adopts the new 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS which was issued by EPA, at the same time (71 FR 61144).

III. Final Action

EPA is approving Nebraska's April 3, 2008, and August 29, 2011, submissions for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS respectively. Specifically, EPA approves the following infrastructure elements: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II) (prong 3), (D)(ii) (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M) of the CAA, or portions thereof, necessary to implement, maintain, and enforce the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, as a revision to the Nebraska SIP. At the same time, EPA is disapproving 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 4) as it relates to the protection of visibility. As discussed in each applicable section of the NPR, EPA is not acting on section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2), and section 110(a)(2)(I)—Nonattainment Area Plan or Plan Revisions Under part D. And finally, EPA is approving the November 14, 2011 SIP submittal repealing the annual NAAQS for PM10 and adopting the new 24hr PM2.5 NAAQS.

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Review

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

Under the CAA the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this 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 (Public Law 104-4);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Under section 307(b)(1) of the 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, Intergovernmental relations, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Dated: August 17, 2015. Mark Hague, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 7.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA amends 40 CFR part 52 as set forth below:

Chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations 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 CC—Nebraska 2. Amend § 52.1420 by: a. Under paragraph (c) in the table entitled “EPA-Approved Nebraska Regulations”, revising the entry for “129-4”; and b. Under paragraph (e), in the table entitled “EPA-Approved Nebraska Nonregulatory Provisions”, adding an entry for (30) in numerical order.

The revisions and additions read as follows:

§ 52.1420 Identification of plan.

(c) * * *

EPA-Approved Nebraska Regulations Nebraska citation Title State effective date EPA approval date Explanation STATE OF NEBRASKA Department of Environmental Quality Title 129—Nebraska Air Quality Regulations *         *         *         *         *         *         * 129-4 Ambient Air Quality Standards 8/18/08 8/27/2015 and insert Federal Register page number where the document begins This revision to Chapter 4 repeals the annual National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for PM10 and adopts the Federal 24-hour NAAQS for PM2.5. The standard was reduced from 65 to 35 micrograms per cubic meter by EPA on December 18, 2006. *         *         *         *         *         *         *

(e) * * *

EPA-Approved Nebraska Nonregulatory Provisions Name of nonregulatory SIP provision Applicable geographic area or nonattainment area State submittal date EPA approval date Explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * (30) Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS Statewide 4/3/08
  • 8/29/11
  • 8/27/2015 and [Insert Federal Register citation] This action addresses the following CAA elements 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M).
    [FR Doc. 2015-21018 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0512; FRL-9932-81-Region 7] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; State of Kansas; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve an element of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission from the State of Kansas addressing the applicable requirements of Clean Air Act (CAA) section 110 for the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone (O3), which requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP to support implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each new or revised NAAQS promulgated by EPA. These SIPs are commonly referred to as “infrastructure” SIPs. The infrastructure requirements are designed to ensure that the structural components of each state's air quality management program are adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the CAA.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective October 26, 2015, without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by September 28, 2015. If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0512, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Mail or Hand Delivery: Lachala Kemp, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0512. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit through www.regulations.gov or email information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding legal holidays. The interested persons wanting to examine these documents should make an appointment with the office at least 24 hours in advance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lachala Kemp, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at (913) 551-7214 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we”, “us”, or “our” is used, we refer to EPA. This section provides additional information by addressing the following questions:

    I. Background II. Summary of SIP Revision III. Final Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Review I. Background

    On July 16, 2014, (79 FR 41486), EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) for the State of Kansas. The NPR proposed approval of Kansas' submission that provides the basic elements specified in section 110(a)(2) of the CAA, or portions thereof, necessary to implement, maintain, and enforce the 2008 O3 NAAQS. EPA subsequently published the final rulemaking on October 21, 2014, (79 FR 62861). EPA did not act on the visibility protection portion of section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA at that time.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision

    On March 19, 2013, and May 9, 2013, EPA received SIP submissions from the state of Kansas that address the infrastructure elements specified in section 110(a)(2) of the CAA for the 2008 O3 NAAQS. The submissions addressed the following infrastructure elements of section 110(a)(2): (A), (B), (C), (D), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). Specific requirements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA and the rationale for EPA's proposed action to approve the SIP submission are explained in the NPR and will not be restated here.

    Under section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA, states are required to submit SIPs that meet, among other provisions, part C of the CAA, relating to prevention of significant deterioration of air quality and visibility protection. With respect to the visibility component of section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA, Kansas stated in its 2008 O3 NAAQS infrastructure SIP submissions that EPA had finalized approval of the Kansas Regional Haze SIP on December 27, 2011 (76 FR 80754). In that rulemaking, EPA determined that Kansas' Regional Haze Plan met the CAA requirements for preventing future and remedying existing impairment of visibility caused by air pollutants. However, EPA did not act on the visibility protection portion of section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA in its final rule that approved portions of Kansas' 2008 O3 NAAQS infrastructure SIP submissions.

    EPA recognizes that states are subject to visibility and regional haze program requirements under part C of the CAA. However, when EPA establishes or revises a NAAQS, these visibility and regional haze requirements under part C do not change. EPA believes that there are no new visibility protection requirements under part C as a result of a revised NAAQS. Therefore, there are no newly applicable visibility protection obligations pursuant to element J after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. EPA is therefore approving Kansas' SIP as it satisfies the applicable visibility requirements of Element J with respect to the 2008 O3 NAAQS as there are no new applicable visibility requirements triggered by the 2008 O3 NAAQS.

    III. Final Action

    EPA is taking direct final action to approve the visibility protection portion of section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA with regard to the March 19, 2013, and May 9, 2013, infrastructure SIP submissions from the state of Kansas.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submission or referenced in Kansas' SIP, EPA is approving Kansas' SIP submittals as they satisfy the applicable visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA with respect to the 2008 O3 NAAQS as there are no new applicable visibility requirements triggered by the 2008 O3 NAAQS.

    We are publishing this direct final rule without a prior proposed rule because we view this as a noncontroversial action and anticipate no adverse comment. However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of this Federal Register, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposed rule to approve the SIP revision if adverse comments are received on this direct final rule. We will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. For further information about commenting on this rule, see the ADDRESSES section of this document. If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this direct final rule will not take effect. We will address all public comments in any subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the 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, Intergovernmental relations, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: August 12, 2015. Mark Hague, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 7.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA amends 40 CFR part 52 as set forth below:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart R—Kansas 2. In § 52.870, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding the entry “(41) Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 O3 NAAQS” in numerical order at the end of the table to read as follows:
    § 52.870 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Kansas Nonregulatory Provisions Name of nonregulatory
  • SIP provision
  • Applicable geographic area or nonattainment area State submittal date EPA approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * (41) Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 O3 NAAQS Statewide 3/19/2013 8/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] This action addresses the visibility protection portion of section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20892 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Parts 1845 and 1852 RIN 2700-AE23 NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: NASA Capitalization Threshold (NFS Case 2015-N004) AGENCY:

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    ACTION:

    Interim rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is issuing an interim rule amending the NASA FAR Supplement to increase the NASA capitalization threshold from $100,000 to $500,000.

    DATES:

    Effective August 27, 2015.

    Comment Date: Comments on this interim rule should be submitted in writing to the address shown below on or before October 26, 2015 to be considered in the formation of the final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may submit comments identified by NFS Case 2015-N004, using any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by entering “NFS Case 2015-N004” under the heading “Enter keyword or ID” and selecting “Search.” Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “NFS Case 2015-N004.” Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “NFS Case 2015-N004” on your attached document.

    Email: [email protected] Include NFS Case 2015-N004 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: (202) 358-3082.

    Mail: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Headquarters, Office of Procurement, Contract and Grant Policy Division, Attn: Andrew O'Rourke, Room 5L32, 300 E. Street SW., Washington, DC 20546-0001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew O'Rourke, NASA Office of Procurement, Contract and Grant Policy Division, 202-358-4560, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In accordance with the Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standard (SFFAS) No. 6, Accounting for Property, Plant, and Equipment, federal agencies are to record as property and equipment all items that meet certain characteristics, such as a useful life of 2 years or more, and are permitted to establish individual capitalization thresholds and useful life policies due to their diverse size and uses of property, plant & equipment. SFFAS No. 6 was issued in November 1995 and was effective for fiscal years beginning after September 30, 1997. The current NASA capitalization threshold of $100,000, was established when SFFAS 6 was initially implemented and is in the NFS.

    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommends that capitalization thresholds should be periodically reevaluated to help ensure their continuing relevance and are tied to materiality as well, in that they generally are established at a level that would not omit a significant amount of assets from the balance sheet, which could materially misstate the financial statements of an entity or its components.

    Recently, the NASA Office of the Chief Financial Officer conducted a review of the current NASA capitalization threshold of $100,000 and based on this review it was determined to increase the capitalization threshold from $100,000 to $500,000.

    II. Discussion

    This interim rule revises NFS parts 1845 and 1852 by increasing an already established NASA capitalization threshold from $100,000 to $500,000. Specifically, the proposed changes are as follows:

    • Added a new paragraph (b) to section 1845.301-71.

    • Changed capitalization threshold amount from $100,000 to $500,000 in sections 1845.7101-1, 1845.7101-2, 1845.7101-3, 1852.245-70, and 1852.245-78.

    III. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

    IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    NASA does not expect this interim rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., because the objective of this interim rule is to increase the already established NASA capitalization threshold from $100,000 to $500,000. However, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis has been performed and is summarized as follows:

    The increase in the NASA capitalization threshold is expected to benefit NASA contractors by reducing the administrative burden associated with financial reporting of NASA property in the custody of contractors. The legal basis for this rule is 51 U.S.C. 20113(a).

    The requirements under this rule will apply to any contract award (including contracts for supplies, services, construction, and major systems) that requires the use of Government property by contractors. According to NASA Property Records in FY 2014 there were 568 contracts that required reporting of Government property by NASA contractors. Of the 568 contracts, it is estimated that approximately 20% or 114 contracts were small businesses.

    The rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rules. No alternatives were identified that would meet the objectives of the rule.

    NASA invites comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities. NASA will also consider comments from small entities concerning the existing regulations in subparts affected by this rule in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610 (NASA Case 2015-N004), in correspondence.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act (Pub. L. 104-13) is applicable. However, the NFS changes do not impose information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq. beyond those identified and approved as part of the FAR part 45 (Ref OMB Control No. 9000-0075) and under NASA OMB Control No. 2700-0017.

    VI. Determination To Issue an Interim Rule

    A determination has been made by the Assistant Administrator for Procurement, pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 1707(d) that urgent and compelling reasons exist to justify promulgating this rule on an interim basis without prior opportunity for public comment. This interim rule is needed to prevent the continuation of the mandate of contractors having to submit reports at the current threshold specified in the NASA FAR Supplement while the NASA Financial Regulation requires reporting at a higher dollar threshold. This inconsistency of reporting threshold results in contractors incurring costs of reporting unnecessary information at taxpayer expense. Immediate implementation of this rule will reduce superfluous reporting burdens to contractors resulting in savings to both contractor and the Government. By increasing the NASA capitalization threshold, we estimate a reduction in reporting of 320 assets resulting in an annual decrease in burden of 1,920 hours and approximately $148,000 in cost avoidance.

    The current NASA capital asset threshold of $100,000 was established when Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standard (SFFAS) No. 6, Accounting for Property, Plant, and Equipment was initially implemented in 1997 and has not been adjusted in the NFS since that time. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommends that capital asset thresholds should be periodically reevaluated to ensure their continuing relevance and that they are established at a level that would not omit a significant amount of assets from the balance sheet. As such the NASA Office of the Chief Financial Officer conducted a review of the current NASA capital asset threshold of $100,000 and based on this review determined an increase in the capital asset threshold to $500,000 was warranted per NASA Interim Directive (NID) for NPR 9250.1, Property, Plant, and Equipment and Operating Materials and Supplies.

    The most effective and efficient way to ensure awareness of and compliance by contractors with this increase to the capital asset threshold reporting requirement is through an immediate regulatory change. Delaying promulgation of this increase to the capital asset threshold would cause contractors to continue reporting such assets at the lower threshold effectively maintaining this unnecessary administrative burden on the contractor and delaying contractor savings that would come from this reduced reporting requirement. Moreover, contractors would be providing information on capital assets that would not be used by NASA since the NID implementing this capital asset threshold increase within the NASA financial community is already in effect. Pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 1707 and FAR 1.501-3(b), NASA will consider public comments received in response to this interim rule in the formation of the Agency's final rule.

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 1845 and 1852

    Government procurement.

    Manuel Quinones, Federal Register Liaison.

    Accordingly, 48 CFR parts 1845 and 1852 are amended as follows:

    PART 1845—GOVERNMENT PROPERTY 1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 1845 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    51 U.S.C. 20113(a) and 41 U.S.C. chapter 1.

    2. Amend section 1845.301-71 by adding paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    1845.301-71 Use of Government property for commercial work.

    (b)(1) The Center Procurement Officer is the approval authority for non-Government use of equipment exceeding 25 percent.

    (2) The percentage of Government and non-Government use shall be computed on the basis of time available for use. For this purpose, the contractor's normal work schedule, as represented by scheduled production shift hours, shall be used. All equipment having a unit acquisition cost of less than $500,000 at any single location may be averaged over a quarterly period. Equipment having a unit acquisition cost of $500,000 or more shall be considered on an item-by-item basis.

    (3) Approvals for non-Government use, less than 25 percent, may not exceed 1 year. Approval for non-Government use in excess of 25 percent shall not exceed 3 months.

    (4) Requests for the approval shall be submitted to the Center Procurement Officer at least 6 weeks in advance of the projected use and shall include—

    (i) The number of equipment items involved and their total acquisition cost; and

    (ii) An itemized listing of equipment having an acquisition cost of $500,000 or more, showing for each item the nomenclature, year of manufacture, and acquisition cost.

    1845.7101-1 [Amended]
    3. Amend section 1845.7101-1 by removing “100,000” everywhere it appears and adding “500,000” in its place.
    1845.7101-2 [Amended]
    4. Amend section 1845.7101-2, in paragraph (a), by removing “100,000” and adding “500,000” in its place. 5. Amend section 1845.7101-3 by revising paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    1845.7101-3 Unit acquisition cost.

    (f) Only modifications that improve an item's capacity or extend its useful life two years or more and that cost $500,000 or more shall be reported on the NF 1018 on the $500,000 & Over line. The costs of any other modifications, excluding routine maintenance, will be reported on the Under $500,000 line. If an item's original unit acquisition cost is less than $500,000, but a single subsequent modification costs $500,000 or more, that modification only will be reported as an item $500,000 or more on subsequent NF 1018s. The original acquisition cost of the item will continue to be included in the under $500,000 total. The quantity for the modified item will remain “1” and be reported with the original acquisition cost of the item. If an item's acquisition cost is reduced by removal of components so that its remaining acquisition cost is under $500,000, it shall be reported as under $500,000.

    PART 1852—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 6. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 1852 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    51 U.S.C. 20113(a) and 41 U.S.C. chapter 1.

    7. Amend section 1852.245-70 by revising the date of the clause, paragraphs (b)(1)(iv) and (v), and the date of the clause and introductory text for Alternate I to read as follows:
    1852.245-70 Contractor requests for Government-provided equipment. CONTRACTOR REQUESTS FOR GOVERNMENT-PROVIDED EQUIPMENT AUG 2015

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (iv) Combine requests for quantities of items with identical descriptions and estimated values when the estimated values do not exceed $500,000 per unit; and

    (v) Include only a single unit when the acquisition or construction value equals or exceeds $500,000.

    ALTERNATE I AUG 2015

    As prescribed in 1845.107-70(a)(2), add the following paragraph (e).

    1852.245-78 [Amended]
    8. Amend section 1852.245-78 by removing “JAN 2011” and adding “AUG 2015” in its place and in paragraph (a) removing “100,000” and adding “500,000” in its place.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21101 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 120328229-4949-02] RIN 0648-XE095 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; inseason General category retention limit adjustment.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is adjusting the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) General category daily retention limit from the default limit of one large medium or giant BFT to four large medium or giant BFT for the September, October through November, and December subquota time periods of the 2015 fishing year. This action is based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments, and applies to Atlantic tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels when fishing commercially for BFT.

    DATES:

    Effective September 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah McLaughlin or Brad McHale, 978-281-9260.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Regulations implemented under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 635. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) among the various domestic fishing categories, per the allocations established in the 2006 Atlantic Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 58058, October 2, 2006), as amended by Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (Amendment 7) (79 FR 71510, December 2, 2014), and in accordance with implementing regulations. NMFS is required under ATCA and the Magnuson-Stevens Act to provide U.S. fishing vessels with a reasonable opportunity to harvest the ICCAT-recommended quota.

    The currently codified baseline U.S. quota is 923.7 mt (not including the 25 mt ICCAT allocated to the United States to account for bycatch of BFT in pelagic longline fisheries in the Northeast Distant Gear Restricted Area). Among other things, Amendment 7 revised the allocations to all quota categories, effective January 1, 2015. See § 635.27(a). The currently codified General category quota is 403 mt. Each of the General category time periods (“January,” June through August, September, October through November, and December) is allocated a portion of the annual General category quota. The codified baseline General category subquotas include 106.8 mt for September, 52.4 mt for October through November, and 21 mt for December. NMFS transferred 21 mt of BFT quota from the December 2015 subquota to the January 2015 subquota period (79 FR 77943, December 29, 2014).

    Unless changed, the General category daily retention limit starting on September 1 would be the default retention limit of one large medium or giant BFT (measuring 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length (CFL) or greater) per vessel per day/trip (§ 635.23(a)(2)). This default retention limit would apply to General category permitted vessels and to HMS Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels when fishing commercially for BFT.

    For the 2014 fishing year, NMFS adjusted the General category limit from the default level of one large medium or giant BFT as follows: Two large medium or giant BFT for January (78 FR 77362, December 23, 2013), four large medium or giant BFT for June through August (79 FR 30745, May 29, 2014), and four large medium or giant BFT for September through December (79 FR 50854, August 26, 2014). NMFS adjusted the daily retention limit for the 2015 January subquota period from the default level of one large medium or giant BFT to three large medium or giant BFT in the same action as the 21-mt transfer from the December 2015 subquota period to the January 2015 subquota period described above (79 FR 77943, December 29, 2014). For the June through August 2015 subquota period, NMFS adjusted the daily retention limit to four large medium or giant BFT (80 FR 27863, May 15, 2015).

    Adjustment of General Category Daily Retention Limit

    Under § 635.23(a)(4), NMFS may increase or decrease the daily retention limit of large medium and giant BFT over a range of zero to a maximum of five per vessel based on consideration of the relevant criteria provided under § 635.27(a)(8), which are: The usefulness of information obtained from catches in the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the status of the stock; the catches of the particular category quota to date and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the fishery if no adjustment is made; the projected ability of the vessels fishing under the particular category quota to harvest the additional amount of BFT before the end of the fishing year; the estimated amounts by which quotas for other gear categories of the fishery might be exceeded; effects of the adjustment on BFT rebuilding and overfishing; effects of the adjustment on accomplishing the objectives of the fishery management plan; variations in seasonal distribution, abundance, or migration patterns of BFT; effects of catch rates in one area precluding vessels in another area from having a reasonable opportunity to harvest a portion of the category's quota; review of dealer reports, daily landing trends, and the availability of the BFT on the fishing grounds; optimizing fishing opportunity; accounting for dead discards, facilitating quota monitoring, supporting other fishing monitoring programs through quota allocations and/or generation of revenue; and support of research through quota allocations and/or generation of revenue.

    NMFS has considered these criteria and their applicability to the General category BFT retention limit for September through December 2015. These include, but are not limited to, the following considerations: Biological samples collected from BFT landed by General category fishermen and provided by BFT dealers continue to provide NMFS with valuable data for ongoing scientific studies of BFT age and growth, migration, and reproductive status. Continued BFT landings would support the collection of a broad range of data for these studies and for stock monitoring purposes.

    As this action would be taken consistent with the quotas previously established and analyzed in Amendment 7 (79 FR 71510, December 2, 2014), and consistent with objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, it is not expected to negatively impact stock health. A principal consideration is the objective of providing opportunities to harvest the full 2015 General category quota without exceeding it based upon the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP goal: “Consistent with other objectives of this FMP, to manage Atlantic HMS fisheries for continuing optimum yield so as to provide the greatest overall benefit to the Nation, particularly with respect to food production, providing recreational opportunities, preserving traditional fisheries, and taking into account the protection of marine ecosystems.” It is also important that NMFS constrain landings to BFT subquotas both to adhere to the FMP quota allocations and to ensure that landings are as consistent as possible with the pattern of fishing mortality (e.g., fish caught at each age) that was assumed in the projections of stock rebuilding.

    NMFS also considered the fact that it has prepared a final quota rule that would implement and give domestic effect to the 2014 ICCAT recommendation on western Atlantic BFT management, which increased the U.S. BFT quota for 2015 and 2016 by 14 percent from the 2014 level (proposed rule: 80 FR 33467, June 12, 2015; final rule expected to file with the Office of the Federal Register in late August and be effective in late September 2015). The domestic subquotas in that action would result from application of the allocation process established in Amendment 7 to the increased U.S. quota, and would include an increase in the General category quota from the currently codified 403 mt to 466.7 mt. As explained below, however, the retention limits being set in this action are not dependent on those quota increases.

    Commercial-sized BFT migrated to the fishing grounds off New England by early June and are actively being landed. As of August 14, 2015, 141.5 mt of the 2015 General category quota of 403 mt have been landed, and landings rates remain at approximately 1 mt per day. Given the rollover of unused quota from one time period to the next, current catch rates, and the fact that the daily retention limit will automatically revert to one large medium or giant BFT per vessel per day on September 1, 2015, absent agency action, NMFS anticipates the full 2015 General category quota may not be harvested. In September through December 2014, under a four-fish limit, BFT landings were approximately 268.4 mt. For the entire 2014 fishing year, 94.6 percent of the available General category quota was filled.

    A limit lower than four fish could result in unused quota being added to the later portion of the General category season (i.e., rolling forward to the subsequent subquota time period). Increasing the daily retention limit from the default may mitigate rolling an excessive amount of unused quota from one subquota time period to the next. However, increasing the daily limit to five fish may risk exceeding the available General category quota. Increasing the daily retention limit to four fish will increase the likelihood that the General category BFT landings will approach, but not exceed, the annual quota, as well as increase the opportunity for catching BFT harvest during September through December. Increasing (and sometimes maximizing) opportunity within each subquota period is also important because of the migratory nature and seasonal distribution of BFT. In a particular geographic region, or waters accessible from a particular port, the amount of fishing opportunity for BFT may be constrained by the short amount of time the BFT are present.

    Based on these considerations, NMFS has determined that a four-fish General category retention limit is warranted. It would provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the U.S. BFT quota, without exceeding it, while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing opportunities; help achieve optimum yield in the BFT fishery; allow the collection of a broad range of data for stock monitoring purposes; and be consistent with the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, as amended. Therefore, NMFS increases the General category retention limit from the default limit (one) to four large medium or giant BFT per vessel per day/trip, effective September 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

    Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip, the daily retention limit applies upon landing. For example (and specific to the September through December 2015 limit), whether a vessel fishing under the General category limit takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day, the daily limit of four fish may not be exceeded upon landing. This General category retention limit is effective in all areas, except for the Gulf of Mexico, where NMFS prohibits targeting fishing for BFT, and applies to those vessels permitted in the General category, as well as to those HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels fishing commercially for BFT.

    Monitoring and Reporting

    NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fishery closely through the landings and catch reports. Dealers are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer receiving BFT. General, HMS Charter/Headboat, Harpoon, and Angling category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing hmspermits.noaa.gov. Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, NMFS may determine that additional retention limit adjustment or closure is necessary to ensure available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas.

    Closures or subsequent adjustments to the daily retention limits, if any, will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (978) 281-9260, or access hmspermits.noaa.gov, for updates on quota monitoring and inseason adjustments.

    Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for the following reasons.

    The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, as amended, provide for inseason retention limit adjustments to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery. Based on available BFT quotas, fishery performance in recent years, the availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, among other considerations, adjustment to the General category BFT daily retention limit from the default level is warranted. Analysis of available data shows that adjustment to the BFT daily retention limit from the default level would result in minimal risks of exceeding the ICCAT-allocated quota. NMFS provides notification of retention limit adjustments by publishing the notice in the Federal Register, emailing individuals who have subscribed to the Atlantic HMS News electronic newsletter, and updating the information posted on the Atlantic Tunas Information Line and on hmspermits.noaa.gov.

    Delays in increasing these retention limits would adversely affect those General and Charter/Headboat category vessels that would otherwise have an opportunity to harvest more than the default retention limit of one BFT per day/trip and may exacerbate the problem of low catch rates and quota rollovers. Limited opportunities to harvest the respective quotas may have negative social and economic impacts for U.S. fishermen that depend upon catching the available quota within the time periods designated in the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, as amended. Adjustment of the retention limit needs to be effective September 1, 2015, or as soon as possible thereafter, to minimize any unnecessary disruption in fishing patterns, to allow the impacted sectors to benefit from the adjustment, and to not preclude fishing opportunities for fishermen in geographic areas with access to the fishery only during this time period. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For these reasons, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness.

    This action is being taken under § 635.23(a)(4) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 24, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21251 Filed 8-24-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 141021887-5172-02] RIN 0648-XE143 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of the Aleut Corporation's pollock directed fishing allowance from the Aleutian Islands subarea to the Bering Sea subarea directed fisheries. This action is necessary to provide opportunity for harvest of the 2015 total allowable catch of pollock, consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), August 27, 2015, until 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    In the Aleutian Islands subarea, the portion of the 2015 pollock total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to the Aleut Corporation's directed fishing allowance (DFA) is 12,146 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015), and through reallocation (80 FR 15695, March 25, 2015).

    As of August 19, 2015, the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) has determined that 10,000 metric tons (mt) of Aleut Corporation's DFA will not be harvested. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(4), NMFS reallocates 10,000 mt of Aleut Corporation's DFA from the Aleutian Islands subarea to the 2015 Bering Sea subarea allocations. The 10,000 mt of pollock is apportioned to the AFA Inshore sector (50 percent), AFA catcher/processor sector (40 percent), and the AFA mothership sector (10 percent). The 2015 Bering Sea pollock incidental catch allowance remains at 47,160 mt. As a result, the harvest specifications for pollock in the Aleutian Islands subarea included in the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015), and revised (80 FR 15695, March 25, 2015), are further revised as follows: 2,146 mt to Aleut Corporation's DFA. Furthermore, pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5), Table 4 of the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015), and revised (80 FR 15695, March 25, 2015), is further revised as follows to make 2015 pollock allocations consistent with this reallocation. This reallocation results in an adjustment to the 2015 Aleut Corporation allocation established at § 679.20(a)(5).

    Table 4—Final 2015 Allocations of Pollock Tacs to the Directed Pollock Fisheries and to the CDQ Directed Fishing Allowances (DFA) 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] Area and sector 2015
  • Allocations
  • 2015 A season 1 A season DFA SCA harvest limit 2 2015 B
  • season 1
  • B season DFA
    Bering Sea subarea TAC 1 1,324,454 n/a n/a n/a CDQ DFA 132,900 53,160 37,212 79,740 ICA 1 47,160 n/a n/a n/a AFA Inshore 572,197 228,879 160,215 343,318 AFA Catcher/Processors 3 457,758 183,103 128,172 274,655 Catch by C/Ps 418,848 167,539 n/a 251,309 Catch by CVs 3 38,909 15,564 n/a 23,346 Unlisted C/P Limit 4 2,289 916 n/a 1,373 AFA Motherships 114,439 45,776 32,043 68,664 Excessive Harvesting Limit 5 200,269 n/a n/a n/a Excessive Processing Limit 6 343,318 n/a n/a n/a Total Bering Sea DFA 1,144,394 457,758 320,430 686,636 Aleutian Islands subarea ABC 29,659 n/a n/a n/a Aleutian Islands subarea TAC 1 4,546 n/a n/a n/a CDQ DFA 0 0 n/a 0 ICA 2,400 1,200 n/a 1,200 Aleut Corporation 2,146 2,146 n/a 0 Area harvest limit 541 8,898 n/a n/a n/a 542 4,449 n/a n/a n/a 543 1,483 n/a n/a n/a Bogoslof District ICA 7 100 n/a n/a n/a 1 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the BS subarea pollock, after subtracting the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (4.0 percent), is allocated as a DFA as follows: Inshore sector—50 percent, catcher/processor sector (C/P)—40 percent, and mothership sector—10 percent. In the BS subarea, 40 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20-June 10) and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10-November 1). Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual AI pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second the ICA (2,400 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a pollock directed fishery. In the AI subarea, the A season is allocated 40 percent of the ABC and the B season is allocated the remainder of the pollock directed fishery. 2 In the BS subarea, no more than 28 percent of each sector's annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before April 1. 3 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), not less than 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed catcher/processors shall be available for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels delivering to listed catcher/processors. 4 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the catcher/processors sector's allocation of pollock. 5 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6), NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs. 6 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7), NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs. 7 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(6), NMFS establishes harvest limits for pollock in the A season in Area 541 no more than 30 percent, in Area 542 no more than 15 percent, and in Area 543 no more than 5 percent of the Aleutian Islands pollock ABC. 8 The Bogoslof District is closed by the final harvest specifications to directed fishing for pollock. The amounts specified are for ICA only and are not apportioned by season or sector. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.
    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the reallocation of AI pollock. Since the pollock fishery is currently open, it is important to immediately inform the industry as to the final Bering Sea subarea pollock allocations. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery; allow the industry to plan for the fishing season and avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet as well as processors; and provide opportunity to harvest increased seasonal pollock allocations while value is optimum. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of August 19, 2015.

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

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 21, 2015. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21144 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 166 Thursday, August 27, 2015 Proposed Rules OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 5 CFR Part 532 RIN 3206-AN20 Prevailing Rate Systems; Definition of Hancock County, Mississippi, to a Nonappropriated Fund Federal Wage System Wage Area AGENCY:

    U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule with request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing a proposed rule that would define Hancock County, Mississippi, as an area of application county to the Harrison, MS, nonappropriated fund (NAF) Federal Wage System (FWS) wage area. This change is necessary because there are four NAF FWS employees working in Hancock County, and the county is not currently defined to a NAF wage area.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on or before September 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by “RIN 3206-AN20,” using any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Brenda L. Roberts, Deputy Associate Director for Pay and Leave, Employee Services, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Room 7H31, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415-8200.

    Email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Madeline Gonzalez, by telephone at (202) 606-2858 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OPM is issuing a proposed rule that would define Hancock County, MS, as an area of application to the Harrison, MS, NAF FWS wage area. The Navy Exchange and Navy Morale, Welfare, and Recreation in Hancock County is now operating NAF activities at the John C. Stennis Space Center, located in southwestern Mississippi, with a combined total of four NAF employees.

    Under section 532.219 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, each NAF wage area “shall consist of one or more survey areas, along with nonsurvey areas, if any, having nonappropriated fund employees.” Hancock County does not meet the regulatory criteria under 5 CFR 532.219 to be established as a separate NAF wage area; however, nonsurvey counties may be combined with a survey area to form a wage area. Section 532.219 lists the regulatory criteria that OPM considers when defining FWS wage area boundaries:

    • Proximity of largest facilities activity in each county;

    • Transportation facilities and commuting patterns; and

    • Similarities of the counties in:

    ○ Overall population,

    ○ Private employment in major industry categories, and

    ○ Kinds and sizes of private industrial establishments.

    Based on an analysis of the regulatory criteria for defining NAF wage areas, Hancock County, MS, should be defined as an area of application to Harrison, MS, NAF FWS wage area. The proximity criterion favors the Harrison, MS, wage area more than the Orleans, LA, wage area. The transportation facilities criterion does not favor one wage area more than another. The commuting patterns criterion favors the Harrison wage area. Although the overall population, employment sizes, and kinds and sizes of private industrial establishments criterion does not favor one wage area more than another, the industrial distribution pattern for Hancock County is more similar to the Harrison survey area than to the Orleans survey area. While a standard review of regulatory criteria shows mixed results, the proximity and commuting patterns criteria solidly favor the Harrison wage area. Based on this analysis, we propose that Hancock County be defined to the Harrison NAF wage area.

    The proposed expanded Harrison NAF wage area would consist of one survey county (Harrison County, MS) and four area of application counties (Mobile County, AL, and Forrest, Hancock, and Jackson Counties, MS). The Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee, the national labor-management committee responsible for advising OPM on matters concerning the pay of FWS employees, recommended this change by consensus. This change would be effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after 30 days following publication of the final regulations.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that these regulations would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because they would affect only Federal agencies and employees.

    List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 532

    Administrative practice and procedure, Freedom of information, Government employees, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Wages.

    U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Beth F. Cobert, Acting Director.

    Accordingly, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is proposing to amend 5 CFR part 532 as follows:

    PART 532—PREVAILING RATE SYSTEMS 1. The authority citation for part 532 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 5343, 5346; § 532.707 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552.

    Appendix D to Subpart B of Part 532—Nonappropriated Fund Wage and Survey Areas 2. Appendix D to subpart B is amended by revising the wage area listing for the Harrison, NAF wage areas to read as follows: *    *    *    *    * MISSISSIPPI *    *    *    *    * Harrison Survey Area Mississippi: Harrison Area of Application. Survey area plus: Alabama: Mobile Mississippi: Forrest Hancock Jackson *    *    *    *    *
    [FR Doc. 2015-21193 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-39-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Parts 20 and 61 [NRC-2011-0012; NRC-2015-0003] RIN 3150-AI92 Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule and draft NUREG; reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    On March 26, 2015, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requested public comment on a proposed rule that would amend its regulations that govern low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) disposal facilities. The proposed rule would require new and revised site-specific technical analyses, permit the development of site-specific criteria for LLRW acceptance based on the results of those analyses, facilitate implementation, and better align the requirements with current health and safety standards. Also on March 26, 2015, the NRC requested comment on draft guidance to address the implementation of the proposed regulations (NUREG-2175, “Guidance for Conducting Technical Analyses for 10 CFR part 61”). The public comment period for the proposed rule and draft guidance closed on July 24, 2015. The NRC is reopening the public comment periods for the proposed rule and draft guidance to allow more time for members of the public to develop and submit their comments.

    DATES:

    The comment periods for the proposed rule published on March 26, 2015 (80 FR 16081), and the draft guidance published on March 26, 2015 (80 FR 15930), have been reopened. Comments should be filed no later than September 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The methods for submitting comments on the proposed rule are different from the methods for submitting comments on the draft guidance.

    Proposed Rule: You may submit comments on the proposed rule by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2011-0012.

    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.

    Draft Guidance: You may submit comments on the draft guidance by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0003.

    Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: OWFN-12-H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    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.

    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:

    Gary Comfort, telephone: (301) 415-8106, email: [email protected]; or Stephen Dembek, telephone: (301) 415-2342, email: [email protected] Both of the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, 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-2011-0012 (proposed rule) and Docket ID NRC-2015-0003 (draft guidance) when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to the proposed rule and draft guidance by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2011-0012 (proposed rule) or Docket ID NRC-2015-0003 (draft guidance).

    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 draft guidance, NUREG-2175, is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML15056A516.

    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-2011-0012 (proposed rule) or Docket ID NRC-2015-0003 (draft guidance) 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. Discussion

    On March 26, 2015 (80 FR 16081), the NRC requested comment on a proposed rule that would amend its regulations that govern LLRW disposal facilities to require new and revised site-specific technical analyses, to permit the development of site-specific criteria for LLRW acceptance based on the results of those analyses, to facilitate implementation, and to better align the requirements with current health and safety standards. Also on March 26, 2015 (80 FR 15930), the NRC requested comments on draft guidance to address the implementation of the proposed regulations (NUREG-2175, “Guidance for Conducting Technical Analyses for 10 CFR part 61”). The public comment periods for the proposed rule and draft guidance closed on July 24, 2015. The NRC has decided to reopen the public comment periods for the proposed rule and draft guidance until September 21, 2015, to allow more time for members of the public to develop and submit their comments.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 19th day of August, 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Annette L. Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21169 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2984; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-21-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all General Electric Company (GE) GEnx-1B54, -1B58, -1B64, -1B67, and -1B70 turbofan engine models. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of two in-flight shutdowns (IFSDs) caused by high-pressure turbine (HPT) rotor stage 1 blade failure. This proposed AD would require inspection and conditional removal of affected HPT rotor stage 1 blades. We are proposing this AD to prevent failure of the HPT rotor stage 1 blades, which could lead to failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and damage to the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 26, 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 General Electric Company, GE Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215; phone: 513-552-3272; email: [email protected] You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

    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-2015-2984; 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:

    Christopher McGuire, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7120; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this NPRM. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-2984; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-21-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM 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 NPRM.

    Discussion

    We propose to adopt a new AD for all GE GEnx-1B54, -1B58, -1B64, -1B67, and -1B70 turbofan engine models. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of two IFSDs caused by HPT rotor stage 1 blade failure. This proposed AD would require inspection and conditional removal of affected HPT rotor stage 1 blades. This condition, if not corrected, could result in failure of the HPT rotor stage 1 blades, which could lead to failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and damage to the airplane.

    Related Service Information

    We reviewed GE GEnx-1B Service Bulletin (SB) No. 72-0267 R00, dated April 10, 2015. The SB describes procedures for borescope inspection (BSI) of the HPT rotor stage 1 blades.

    FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this NPRM 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 NPRM would require initial and repetitive BSI and conditional removal of affected HPT rotor stage 1 blades.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 4 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 2 hours per engine to comply with this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost of this proposed AD to U.S. operators to be $680.

    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 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.

    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): General Electric Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-2984; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-21-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by October 26, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all General Electric Company (GE) GEnx-1B54, -1B58, -1B64, -1B67, and -1B70 turbofan engines with high-pressure turbine (HPT) rotor stage 1 blade, part number 2305M26P06, installed.

    (d) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of two in-flight shutdowns caused by HPT rotor stage 1 blade failure. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the HPT rotor stage 1 blades, which could lead to failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and damage to the airplane.

    (e) Compliance

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

    (1) After the effective date of this AD, perform an initial borescope inspection (BSI) of the convex surface of the HPT rotor stage 1 blades for axial cracks from the platform to 30% span, within 1,000 blade cycles since new or 25 cycles in service, whichever comes later, and disposition as follows:

    (i) If any axial crack with a length greater than or equal to 0.3 inch is found, or if any axial crack of any length turning in a radial direction is found, or if more than one axial crack of any length is found, remove the cracked blade before further flight.

    (ii) If an axial crack is found with a length greater than or equal to 0.2 inch and less than 0.3 inch, remove the cracked blade within 10 blade cycles in service.

    (iii) If an axial crack is found with a length greater than or equal to 0.1 inch and less than 0.2 inch, inspect the cracked blade within 50 blade cycles since last inspection (CSLI).

    (iv) If an axial crack is found with a length less than 0.1 inch, inspect the cracked blade within 100 blade CSLI.

    (v) If no cracks were found, perform a BSI of the blades within 125 blade CSLI.

    (2) Thereafter, perform a repetitive BSI of the convex surface of the HPT rotor stage 1 blades for axial cracks from the platform to 30% span within 125 blade CSLI and disposition as specified in (e)(1)(i) through (e)(1)(v), or remove the blades from service.

    (f) Definition

    For the purpose of this AD, a “blade cycle” is defined as the number of engine cycles that a set of rotor blades has accrued, regardless of the engine(s) in which they have operated.

    (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    The Manager, Engine Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs to this AD. Use the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19 to make your request. You may email your request to: [email protected]

    (h) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Christopher McGuire, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7120; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    (2) GE GEnx-1B Service Bulletin No. 72-0267 R00, dated April 10, 2015 can be obtained from GE using the contact information in paragraph (h)(3) of this proposed AD.

    (3) For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact General Electric Company, GE Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215; phone: 513-552-3272; email: [email protected]

    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on August 21, 2015. Colleen M. D'Alessandro, Directorate Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21120 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3620; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-029-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Pacific Aerospace Limited Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Pacific Aerospace Limited Model 750XL airplanes that would supersede AD 2014-20-13. This proposed AD results 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 fatigue cracks on the fin forward pickup plates, which could cause it to fail. We are issuing this proposed AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 13, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: (202) 493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Pacific Aerospace Limited, Airport Road, Hamilton, Private Bag 3027, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand, phone: +64 7 843 6144; fax: +64 7 843 6134; email: [email protected]; Internet: www.aerospace.co.nz. You may review copies of the 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-2015-3620; 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 (telephone (800) 647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4123; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-3620; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-029-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://regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

    Discussion

    On September 26, 2014, we issued AD 2014-20-13, Amendment 39-17986 (79 FR 60329, October 7, 2014). That AD required actions intended to address an unsafe condition on all Pacific Aerospace Limited Model 750XL airplanes and was based on mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country.

    Since we issued AD 2014-20-13, Amendment 39-17986 (79 FR 60329, October 7, 2014), Pacific Aerospace Limited has revised the related service information and developed a terminating action for the repetitive inspections.

    The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is the aviation authority for New Zealand, has issued AD DCA/750XL/18A, dated August 4, 2015 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

    DCA/750XL/18A revised to add note 2 and introduce minor editorial changes. This AD supersedes DCA/750XL/18 and DCA/750XL/16A to introduce the requirements in Pacific Aerospace Limited Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) PACSB/XL/068 issue 5, dated 29 June 2015. The revised MSB introduces a life limit for fin forward pickup P/N 11-10281-1 and reduces the torque setting for the fin forward pickup bolt to alleviate some of the loads applied to the pickup. The MSB also introduces a replacement fin forward pickup P/N 11-03375-1 which is not life limited.

    You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3620.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR part 51

    Pacific Aerospace Limited has issued Mandatory Service Bulletin PACSB/XL/068, Issue 5, dated June 29, 2015. This service bulletin reduces the torque setting for the fin forward pickup bolt and introduces a new, improved replacement fin forward pickup plate, part number P/N 11-0375-1, to replace P/N 11-10281-1. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 18 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 22 work-hours per product to comply with all the requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $1,692 per product.

    Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $64,116, or $3,562 per product.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Amendment 39-17986 (79 FR 60329, October 7, 2014), and adding the following new AD: Pacific Aerospace Limited: Docket No. FAA-2015-3620; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-029-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by October 13, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes AD 2014-20-13, Amendment 39-17986 (79 FR 60329, October 7, 2014).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Pacific Aerospace Limited Model 750XL airplanes, all serial numbers through XL-193, XL-195, and XL-197, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by 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 fatigue cracks on the fin forward pickup plates. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracked fin forward pickup plates to prevent failure of the fin forward pickup plates, which could result in reduced control.

    (f) Actions and Compliance

    Unless already done, do the actions in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(4) of this AD:

    (1) Within the next 150 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD, reduce the fin forward pickup bolt torque following the procedures in section 1.D., paragraphs A. 1) and A. 2) of the PLANNING INFORMATION in Pacific Aerospace Limited Mandatory Service Bulletin PACSB/XL/068, Issue 5, dated June 29, 2015.

    (2) At or before reaching 2,000 hours total time-in-service (TTIS) or within the next 150 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, and repetitively thereafter at intervals not to exceed 600 hours TIS or 12 months, whichever occurs first, do a detailed visual inspection and liquid penetrant inspection of the fin forward pickup plates for any evidence of cracking. Do the inspections following the procedures in sections 2.A. and 2.B. of the ACCOMPLISHMENT INSTRUCTIONS in Pacific Aerospace Limited Mandatory Service Bulletin PACSB/XL/068, Issue 5, dated June 29, 2015.

    (3) If cracks are found during any inspection required in paragraph (f)(2) of this AD, before further flight, replace the fin forward pickup plates with new fin forward pickup plates, part number (P/N) 11-03375-1. Do the replacement following the procedures in section 2.C. of the ACCOMPLISHMENT INSTRUCTIONS in Pacific Aerospace Limited Mandatory Service Bulletin PACSB/XL/068, Issue 5, dated June 29, 2015. This replacement terminates the repetitive inspections required in paragraph (f)(2) of this AD.

    (4) If no cracks are found during any inspection required in paragraph (f)(2) of this AD, at or before reaching 6,000 hours TTIS or within the next 600 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, replace the fin forward pickup plates, P/N 11-10281-1, with P/N 11-03375-1. Do the replacement following the procedures in section 2.D. of the ACCOMPLISHMENT INSTRUCTIONS in Pacific Aerospace Limited Mandatory Service Bulletin PACSB/XL/068, Issue 5, dated June 29, 2015. This replacement terminates the repetitive inspections required in paragraph (f)(2) of this AD .

    (g) 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: Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4146; 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.

    (h) Related Information

    Refer to MCAI Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) AD DCA/750XL/18A, dated August 4, 2015, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3620. For service information related to this AD, contact Pacific Aerospace Limited, Airport Road, Hamilton, Private Bag 3027, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand, phone: +64 7 843 6144; fax: +64 7 843 6134; email: [email protected]; Internet: www.aerospace.co.nz. You may review copies of the 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 14, 2015. Earl Lawrence, Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21097 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3148; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-254-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A320-212, -214, -232, and -233 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of a crack found during an inspection of the pocket radius of the fuselage frame. This proposed AD would require repetitive low frequency eddy current inspections or repetitive high frequency eddy current inspections of this area, and repair if necessary. The repair terminates the repetitive inspections. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct any cracking of the pocket radius, which could lead to in-flight decompression of the airplane and possible injury to the passengers.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 13, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3148; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-3148; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-254-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0278, dated December 19, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A320-212, -214, -232, and -233 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    An operator reported finding a crack during an inspection in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A53N007-14. What was found, a 170 mm through-thickness crack in the pocket radius between frame 36 and 37 above stringer 6 on left hand (LH) side lap joint, was not the aim of the AOT inspection. Prior to this finding, the operator reported noise in the affected area during several weeks.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to in-flight decompression of the aeroplane, possibly resulting in injury to occupants.

    To address this unsafe condition, Airbus published AOT A53N009-14 to provide inspection and repair instructions to detect and prevent crack propagation.

    EASA decided to agree on a sampling inspection to determine whether additional aeroplanes need to be inspected.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires, for the selected aeroplanes, repetitive Low Frequency Eddy Current (LFEC) or High Frequency Eddy Current (HFEC) inspections of the pocket radii [for cracks] located between fuselage frames 35 and 40, above stringer 6 on both LH and right hand (RH) sides and, depending on findings, accomplishment of repair instructions.

    This [EASA] AD is considered an interim action and further [EASA] AD action may follow.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3148.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Airbus Alert Operators Transmission A53N009-14, dated December 17, 2014. The service information describes procedures for repetitive inspections of the pocket radii located between fuselage frames 35 and 40, above stringer 6 on both the left- and right-hand sides, and repair if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 1 airplane of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it would take about 3 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $255, or $255 per product.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2015-3148; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-254-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by October 13, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A320-212 airplanes having manufacturer serial number (MSN) 1011; Airbus Model A320-214 airplanes having MSNs 1009, 1026 and 1030; Airbus Model A320-232 airplanes having MSN 0977; and Airbus Model A320-233 airplanes having MSNs 1007 and 1013, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of a crack found during an inspection of the pocket radius of the fuselage frame. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct any cracking of the pocket radius, which could lead to in-flight decompression of the airplane and possible injury to the passengers.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Inspections

    (1) Within 750 flight cycles or 4 months, whichever occurs first after the effective date of this AD: Do a low frequency eddy current (LFEC) inspection or a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for cracking of the pocket radii located between fuselage frames 35 and 40, above stringer 6 on both the left- and right-hand sides, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A53N009-14, dated December 17, 2014. Repeat the inspection, thereafter, at intervals not to exceed the times specified in paragraphs (g)(1)(i) and (g)(1)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) For the LFEC inspection performed on the outside: Repeat the inspection at intervals not to exceed 1,000 flight cycles.

    (ii) For the HFEC inspection performed on the inside: Repeat the inspection at intervals not to exceed 2,000 flight cycles.

    (h) Corrective Action

    If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any crack is found, before further flight, accomplish the repair in accordance with the instructions of Airbus AOT A53N009-14, dated December 17, 2014; except if the crack is beyond the structural repair manual limits as specified in Airbus AOT A53N009-14, dated December 17, 2014, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

    (i) Terminating Action

    Repair of an airplane as required by paragraph (h) of this AD terminates the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD for the repaired area only.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0278, dated December 19, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3148.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 19, 2015. Kevin Hull, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21098 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3322; Airspace Docket No. 15-ANM-16] Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Vancouver, WA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class E surface area airspace at Pearson Field, Vancouver, WA, to accommodate existing Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) at the airport. The FAA is taking this action to enhance the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before October 13, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2015-3322; Airspace Docket No. 15-ANM-16, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

    FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy and ATC Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 29591; telephone: 202-267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    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 and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2015-3322; Airspace Docket No. 15-ANM-16.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the 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 Northwest Mountain Regional Office of the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Western Service Center, Operations Support Group, 1601 Lind Avenue 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.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by establishing Class E surface area airspace at Pearson Field, Vancouver, WA. A review of the airspace revealed establishment necessary due to current standard instrument approach procedures not contained within controlled airspace.

    Class E surface area airspace would be established to an area 4.9 miles west, 4 miles east, 2.9 miles north, and 1.8 miles south of Pearson Field.

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined 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 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 this proposed rule, when promulgated, would 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 subject 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 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas ANM OR E2 Vancouver, WA [New] Pearson Field, WA (Lat. 45°37′14″ N., long. 122°39′23″ W.) That airspace extending upward from the surface bounded by a line beginning at lat. 45°36′06″ N., long. 122°46′29″ W.; to lat. 45°38′27″ N., long. 122°46′19″ W.; to lat. 45°40′21″ N., long. 122°44′08″ W.; to lat. 45°39′49″ N., long. 122°33′23″ W.; to lat. 45°34′51″ N., long. 122°33′53″ W.; thence to the point of beginning. Issued in Seattle, Washington, on August 19, 2015. Christopher Ramirez, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21089 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3084; Airspace Docket No. 15-AGL-13] Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; International Falls, MN AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class E en route domestic airspace in the International Falls, MN area, to facilitate vectoring of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) aircraft under control of Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). The FAA is proposing this action to enhance the safety and efficiency of aircraft operations within the National Airspace System (NAS).

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before October 13, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001. You must identify the docket number FAA-2015-3084/Airspace Docket No. 15-AGL-13, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

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

    FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy and Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: 202-267-8783.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    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 and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2015-3084/Airspace Docket No. 15-AGL-13.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received and any final disposition in person in 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 Central Service Center, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76137.

    Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRMs should contact the FAA's Office of Rulemaking (202) 267-9677, to request a copy of Advisory Circular No. 11-2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    This action proposes to amend Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), Part 71 by establishing Class E en route domestic airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface in the International Falls, MN area. This action would contain aircraft while in IFR conditions under control of Minneapolis ARTCC by safely vectoring aircraft from en route airspace to terminal areas.

    Class E airspace areas are published in Paragraph 6006 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document would be published subsequently in the Order.

    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. It, therefore, (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a Regulatory Evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this 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 subject 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 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6006 En Route Domestic Airspace Areas AGL MN E6 International Falls, MN [New]

    That airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within an area bounded by lat. 49°00′00″ N., long. 095°00′00″ W.; to lat. 49°00′00″ N., long. 093°30′00″ W.; to lat. 48°06′30″ N., long. 090°06′00″ W.; to lat. 47°53′00″ N., long. 090°55′00″ W.; to lat. 48°34′00″ N., long. 094°00′00″ W.; to lat. 48°40′00″ N., long. 095°00′00″ W., thence to the point of beginning, excluding that airspace within Federal airways.

    Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on August 13, 2015. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21087 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 15 CFR Part 922 Initiation of Review of Management Plan and Regulations of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary; Intent To Conduct Scoping and Prepare Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Management Plan AGENCY:

    Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Initiation of review of management plan and regulations; intent to conduct scoping and prepare environmental impact statement.

    SUMMARY:

    Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS or sanctuary) was designated in September 1992. It spans 4,601 square nautical miles (6.094 square miles) of marine waters off the central California coast, encompassing several large, nearshore submarine canyons, an offshore seamount and numerous marine habitats representative of the central California coastal and marine ecosystem. The present management plan was written and published in 2008 along with a final environmental impact statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In accordance with Section 304(e) of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, as amended, (NMSA), the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is initiating a review of the MBNMS management plan, to evaluate substantive progress toward implementing the goals for the sanctuary, and to make revisions to the plan and regulations as necessary to fulfill the purposes and policies of the NMSA. NOAA anticipates regulatory and management plan changes will require preparation of an environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NOAA will conduct public scoping meetings to gather information and other comments from individuals, organizations, tribes, and government agencies on the scope, types and significance of issues related to the MBNMS management plan and regulations and the proper scope of environmental review for the project. The scoping meetings are scheduled as detailed below.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before October 30, 2015.

    Scoping meetings will be held on:

    (1) September 10, 6-8 p.m., Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, CA.

    (2) September 23, 6-8 p.m., Louden Nelson Center, Santa Cruz, CA.

    (3) October 23, 6-8 p.m., Veteran's Memorial Hall, Cambria, CA.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NOS-2015-0999, 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-NOS-2015-0999, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: 99 Pacific Street, Bldg. 455A, Monterey, California 93940, Attn: Paul Michel, Superintendent.

    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 NOAA. 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. NOAA will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dawn Hayes, 831.647.4256, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Reviewing the MBNMS management plan may result in proposed changes to existing plans and policies to address contemporary issues and challenges, and better protect and manage the sanctuary's resources and qualities. The review process is composed of four major stages: (1) Information collection and characterization; (2) preparation and release of a draft management plan and environmental impact statement, and any proposed amendments to the regulations; (3) public review and comment; (4) preparation and release of a final management plan and environmental document, and any final amendments to the regulations. NOAA will also address other statutory and regulatory requirements that may be required pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Essential Fish Habitat provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act.

    Preliminary Priority Topics

    NOAA has prepared a preliminary list of priority topics to consider during the MBNMS management plan review process. We are interested in public comment on these topics, as well as any other topics of interest to the public or other agencies in the context of the MBNMS management plan review. This list does not preclude or in any way limit the consideration of additional topics raised through public comment, government-to-government and interagency consultations, and discussions with partner agencies.

    Collaborative Research and Management

    There is a continuing need for characterization, research and monitoring to understand baseline conditions of marine resources within the sanctuary, ecosystem functions, and status and trends of biological and socioeconomic resources. NOAA relies on the continued support of multiple partners and volunteers, and strives to address critical resource protection through collaborative multi-stakeholder management efforts. In addition to updating existing action plans in the management plan, NOAA is considering adding strategies and activities to address the following issues:

    Climate Change—Climate change is widely acknowledged, yet there is considerable uncertainty about current and future consequences at local, ecosystem and oceanic scales. Increased coordination and cooperation among science and resource management agencies are required to improve planning, monitoring and adaptive management to address this phenomenon as it pertains to the protection of MBNMS resources.

    Wildlife Disturbance—MBNMS is an active area with abundant human use, offering some of the most significant marine wildlife viewing in the world. NOAA is concerned about a variety of human activities that have the ability to disturb marine wildlife. The harassment of wildlife, in particular marine mammals, has increased in recent years due to increased numbers (and proximity) of certain whale species and humans involved in on-the-water activities. Impacts to the MBNMS soundscape are also a concern, as the cumulative effects of underwater noise generated by a variety of human activities have grown over the past half century. Expanded use of unmanned aircraft systems over the sanctuary may also require additional analysis to determine the degree to which these aircraft may, or may not, be causing harm to wildlife.

    Water Quality Protection—Water quality is key to ensuring protection for all sanctuary resources. Given the level of coastal development along MBNMS's extensive coastline, runoff of contaminants such as sediments, nutrients, fecal bacteria, pesticides, oil, grease, metals, and detergents from the approximately 7,000 square miles of coastal watershed areas makes the sanctuary vulnerable to coastal water pollution problems. Although MBNMS has an award-winning water quality protection program, NOAA believes that more focused attention on specific water quality issues is needed, as well as a coordinated regional monitoring program to provide meaningful information on conditions, trends, and contaminant loads.

    Marine Debris—Coastal marine debris is a persistent and poorly diagnosed problem within the sanctuary that negatively impacts natural and socioeconomic resources and qualities, including marine mammals, turtles and seabirds. NOAA is seeking input on innovative source controls and cleanups could help minimize impacts to sanctuary waters and habitats.

    Regulatory Changes and Clarifications

    NOAA is considering several modifications to MBNMS regulations and definitions to facilitate resource protection, clarify legal intent, and enhance public understanding. These include: Clarifying the extent of the shoreward sanctuary boundary line and the means by which some of the zones within MBNMS are delineated; clarifying the intent of the prohibition on the take of historical resources; and prohibiting tampering with MBNMS signage and buoys. Other regulatory changes may be considered based on public scoping comments and staff work to adjust various action plans within the management plan.

    Other potential regulatory modifications on which NOAA is seeking public input include:

    (1) Reducing the required High Surf Warning (HSW) condition for Motorized Personal Watercraft operations at Mavericks to a High Surf Advisory (HSA) condition.

    (2) Minimizing disturbance from low overflights in the area of the Common Murre colony at Devil's Slide, a restoration site just beyond the MBNMS boundary line at Point San Pedro (San Mateo County).

    (3) Designating of specific zones where fireworks may be permitted within MBNMS.

    (4) Updating regulations to clarify the extent of the shoreward sanctuary boundary line.

    (5) Ensuring that salvers operating within MBNMS meet minimum industry standards for safety, liability, capacity, and environmentally sensitive salvage techniques during both emergency and non-emergency operations.

    (6) Clarifying the definition of “cruise ship” to include not only ships with berths for hire as is currently defined, but also ships with condominiums under private ownership.

    (7) Clarifying the intent and applicability of the existing prohibition on deserting a vessel in MBNMS.

    Education, Outreach and Citizen Science

    Enhancing the public's awareness and appreciation of sanctuary resources is a cornerstone of MBNMS's mission. Recent initiatives, such as visitor centers, video media production, and partnering with recreation and tourism industry offer opportunities for NOAA and other entities to expand educational and outreach contributions and reach larger audiences. NOAA is seeking the public's view on developing and enhancing programs designed to enhance public awareness, including opportunities to participate in environmental research and monitoring.

    Condition Report

    To inform the MBNMS management plan review, NOAA is updating the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Condition Report, which was first published in 2009. The 2009 report provided a summary of resources in MBNMS, pressures on those resources, current conditions and recent trends within the Sanctuary, and management responses to mitigate negative impacts. The 2015 Condition Report will update current conditions and recent changes for water quality, habitat, living resources and maritime archaeological resources in the sanctuary. It will also include an assessment of the Davidson Seamount Management Zone which NOAA added to MBNMS in 2009.

    A summary of the 2015 Condition Report will be available to the general public during the public scoping period and on the Internet at: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/science/condition/welcome.html. The final report will be made available in late December 2015 on the same Web site.

    Public Comments

    NOAA is interested in hearing the public's view on:

    • The potential impacts of the proposed actions discussed above and ways to mitigate these impacts.

    • The topics discussed above for the next five to ten years and whether these are the right topics, the priority topics, or if there are additional topics NOAA should consider.

    • The effectiveness of the existing management plan in meeting both the mandates of the NMSA and MBNMS goals and objectives.

    • The public's view on the effectiveness of the MBNMS programs, including programs focused on: Resource protection; research and monitoring; education; volunteer; and outreach.

    • NOAA's implementation of MBNMS regulations and permits.

    • Adequacy of existing boundaries to protect sanctuary resources.

    • Assessment of the existing operational and administrative framework (staffing, offices, vessels, etc.).

    Federal Consultations

    This document also advises the public that NOAA will coordinate its consultation responsibilities under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) under the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA, 16 U.S.C. 470), and Federal Consistency review under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), along with its ongoing NEPA process including the use of NEPA documents and public and stakeholder meetings to also meet the requirements of other federal laws.

    In fulfilling its responsibility under the NHPA and NEPA, NOAA intends to identify consulting parties; identify historic properties and assess the effects of the undertaking on such properties; initiate formal consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer, the Advisory Council of Historic Preservation, and other consulting parties; involve the public in accordance with NOAA's NEPA procedures, and develop in consultation with identified consulting parties alternatives and proposed measures that might avoid, minimize or mitigate any adverse effects on historic properties and describe them in any environmental assessment or draft environmental impact statement.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.

    Dated: August 20, 2015. John Armor, Acting Director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21132 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-NK-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG-109813-11] RIN 1545-BK18 Residence Rules Involving U.S. Possessions AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains proposed amendments to the regulations for determining whether an individual is a bona fide resident of a U.S. territory. These proposed amendments affect individuals establishing bona fide residency in a U.S. territory by allowing additional days of constructive presence in a U.S. territory.

    DATES:

    Written or electronic comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by November 25, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-109813-11), room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand-delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-109813-11), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC, or sent electronically, via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-109813-11).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning the proposed regulations, Stephen Huggs, (202) 317-6941; concerning submission of comments and/or requests for a hearing, Oluwafunmilayo (Funmi) Taylor, (202) 317-6901 (not toll-free numbers).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    This document contains proposed amendments to the Income Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 1) under section 937 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). Section 937 was added to the Code by the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-357, 118 Stat. 1418 (2004)). Section 937(a) provides rules for determining if an individual is a bona fide resident of a U.S. possession (generally referred to in this preamble as a “U.S. territory”).

    On April 11, 2005, the Federal Register published temporary regulations (TD 9194, 70 FR 18920) and proposed regulations (REG-159243-03, 70 FR 18949) under section 937, providing rules to implement section 937 and conforming existing regulations to other legislative changes with respect to the U.S. territories. On January 31, 2006, the Federal Register published final regulations (TD 9248, 71 FR 4996) under section 937(a) concerning whether an individual is a bona fide resident of a U.S. territory. Section 1.937-1 was amended on November 14, 2006, and on April 9, 2008, to provide additional guidance concerning bona fide residency in the U.S. territories. See TD 9297 (71 FR 66232) and TD 9391 (73 FR 19350).

    Section 937(a) provides that an individual is a bona fide resident of a U.S. territory if the individual meets a presence test, a tax home test, and a closer connection test. In order to satisfy the presence test, an individual must be present in the U.S. territory for at least 183 days during the taxable year (183-day rule), unless otherwise provided in regulations.

    Section 1.937-1 provides several alternatives to the 183-day rule. An individual who does not satisfy the 183-day rule nevertheless meets the presence test if the individual satisfies one of four alternative tests: (1) The individual is present in the relevant U.S. territory for at least 549 days during the three-year period consisting of the current taxable year and the two immediately preceding taxable years, provided the individual is present in the U.S. territory for at least 60 days during each taxable year of the period; (2) the individual is present no more than 90 days in the United States during the taxable year; (3) the individual has no more than $3,000 of earned income from U.S. sources and is present for more days in the U.S. territory than in the United States during the taxable year; or (4) the individual has no significant connection to the United States during the taxable year. The term “significant connection” is generally defined as a permanent home, voter registration, spouse, or minor child in the United States. See § 1.937-1(c)(5). Section 1.937-1 also provides that certain days count as days of presence in the relevant U.S. territory for purposes of the presence test, even if the individual is not physically present in the U.S. territory (constructive presence).

    Explanation of Provisions

    Following the original issuance of § 1.937-1, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) received comments requesting that the presence test be revisited to make it more flexible. These comments included a proposal to allow days of constructive presence for business or personal travel outside of the relevant U.S. territory. The Treasury Department and the IRS have concluded that it would be appropriate to allow additional days of constructive presence subject to certain limitations. Accordingly, these proposed regulations provide an additional rule for calculating days of presence in the relevant U.S. territory for purposes of the presence test in § 1.937-1(c)(1).

    Under the proposed amendment, an individual would be considered to be present in the relevant U.S. territory for up to 30 days during which the individual is outside of both the United States and the relevant U.S. territory. The proposed amendment would not apply, however, if the number of days that the individual is considered to be present in the United States during the taxable year equals or exceeds the number of days that the individual is considered to be present in the relevant U.S. territory during the taxable year, determined without taking into account any days for which the individual would be treated as present in the U.S. territory under this proposed amendment. Furthermore, the 30-day constructive presence rule would not apply for purposes of calculating the minimum 60 days of presence in the relevant U.S. territory that is required for the 549-day test under § 1.937-1(c)(1)(ii). Therefore, an individual invoking § 1.937-1(c)(1)(ii) must otherwise be considered to have been present at least 60 days in the relevant U.S. territory in each of the three years in order to benefit from the 30-day constructive presence rule.

    Proposed Effective/Applicability Date

    These amendments to the regulations are proposed to apply to taxable years beginning after the date these regulations are published as final regulations in the Federal Register.

    Reliance on Proposed Regulations

    Until these regulations are published as final regulations in the Federal Register, taxpayers may rely on these proposed regulations with respect to taxable years beginning on or after the date these proposed regulations are published in the Federal Register.

    Special Analyses

    Certain IRS regulations, including this one, are exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866, as supplemented and reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory impact assessment is not required. It has also been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these regulations, and because the regulations do not impose a collection of information on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, this regulation has been submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business.

    Comments and Requests for Public Hearing

    Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any comments that are submitted timely to the IRS as prescribed in this preamble under the Addresses heading. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on all aspects of the proposed rules. All comments will be available at www.regulations.gov or upon request. A public hearing will be scheduled if requested in writing by any person that timely submits written comments. If a public hearing is scheduled, notice of the date, time, and place for the public hearing will be published in the Federal Register.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these proposed regulations is Cleve Lisecki, formerly of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (International). However, other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated in their development.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Proposed Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Section 1.937-1 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 937(a). * * *

    Par. 2. Section 1.937-1 is amended as follows: 1. Revising paragraph (c)(3)(i)(B) and paragraph (c)(3)(i)(C)(2). 2. Adding paragraph (c)(3)(i)(D). 3. Revising Example 1 of paragraph (g). 4. Redesignating Examples 2 through 10 of paragraph (g) as Examples 5 through 13 respectively. 5. Adding new Examples 2, 3, and 4 to paragraph (g). 6. Revising newly re-designated Example 5 of paragraph (g). 7. Adding a new sentence to the end of paragraph (i).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 1.937-1 Bona fide residency in a possession.

    (c) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (B) Any day that an individual is outside of the relevant possession to receive, or to accompany on a full-time basis a parent, spouse, or child (as defined in section 152(f)(1)) who is receiving, qualifying medical treatment as defined in paragraph (c)(4) of this section;

    (C) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (2) Period for which a mandatory evacuation order is in effect for the geographic area in the relevant possession in which the individual's place of abode is located; and

    (D) Any day not described in paragraph (c)(3)(i)(B) or (C) of this section that an individual is outside of the United States and the relevant possession, except that an individual will not be considered present in the relevant possession under this paragraph (c)(3)(i)(D) for more than 30 days during the taxable year, and this paragraph (c)(3)(i)(D) does not apply for purposes of calculating the required minimum 60 days of presence in the relevant possession under paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section. Furthermore, this paragraph (c)(3)(i)(D) applies only if the number of days that the individual is considered to be present in the relevant possession during the taxable year, determined without regard to this paragraph (c)(3)(i)(D), exceeds the number of days that the individual is considered to be present in the United States during the taxable year.

    (g) * * *

    Example 1.

    Presence test. H, a U.S. citizen, is engaged in a profession that requires frequent travel. In each of the years 2016 and 2017, H spends 195 days in Possession N and the balance of the year in the United States. In 2018, H spends 160 days in Possession N and the balance of the year in the United States. Thus, H spends a total of 550 days in Possession N for the three-year period consisting of years 2016, 2017, and 2018. Under paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, H satisfies the presence test of paragraph (c) of this section with respect to Possession N for taxable year 2018 because H is present in Possession N for more than the required 549 days during the three-year period of 2016 through 2018 and is present in Possession N for at least 60 days during each of those taxable years. Assuming that in 2018 H does not have a tax home outside of Possession N and does not have a closer connection to the United States or a foreign country under paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section respectively, then regardless of whether H was a bona fide resident of Possession N in 2016 and 2017, H is a bona fide resident of Possession N for taxable year 2018.

    Example 2.

    Presence test. Same facts as Example 1, except that in 2018, H spends 130 days in Possession N, 110 days in foreign countries, and 125 days in the United States. Because H satisfies the requirements of paragraph (c)(3)(i)(D) of this section, 30 of the days spent in foreign countries during 2018 are treated as days of presence in Possession N. Thus, H will be treated as being present for 160 days in Possession N for 2018. Under paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, H meets the presence test of paragraph (c) of this section with respect to Possession N for taxable year 2018 because H is present in Possession N for 550 days (more than the required 549 days) during the three-year period of 2016 through 2018 and is present in Possession N for at least 60 days in each of those taxable years. As in Example 1, assuming that in 2018 H does not have a tax home outside of Possession N and does not have a closer connection to the United States or a foreign country under paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section respectively, then regardless of whether H was a bona fide resident of Possession N in 2016 and 2017, H is a bona fide resident of Possession N in 2018.

    Example 3.

    Presence test. Same facts as Example 1, except that in 2018, H spends 130 days in Possession N, 100 days in foreign countries, and 135 days in the United States. Under these facts, H does not satisfy paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section for taxable year 2018 because H is present in Possession N for only 520 days (less than the required 549 days) during the three-year period of 2016 through 2018. The rule of paragraph (c)(3)(i)(D) of this section (treating up to 30 days spent in foreign countries as days of presence in Possession N) is not available because H fails to satisfy the condition that H be present more days in Possession N than in the United States during 2018, determined without regard to the application of paragraph (c)(3)(i)(D) of this section.

    Example 4.

    Presence test. Same facts as Example 1, except that in 2016, H spends 360 days in Possession N and six days in the United States; in 2017, H spends 45 days in Possession N, 290 days in foreign countries, and 30 days in the United States; and in 2018, H spends 180 days in Possession N and 185 days in the United States. Under these facts, H does not satisfy paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section for taxable year 2018. During the three-year period from 2016 through 2018, H is present in Possession N for 615 days, including 30 of the days spent in foreign countries in 2017, which are treated under paragraph (c)(3)(i)(D) of this section as days of presence in Possession N. Although H is present in Possession N for more than the required 549 days during the three-year period, H is only present for 45 days in Possession N during one of the taxable years (2017) of the period, less than the 60 days of minimum presence required under paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section. The rule of paragraph (c)(3)(i)(D) of this section does not apply for purposes of determining whether H is present in Possession N for the 60-day minimum required under paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section.

    Example 5.

    Presence test. W, a U.S. citizen, owns a condominium in Possession P where she spends part of the taxable year. W also owns a house in State N near her grown children and grandchildren. W is retired and her income consists solely of pension payments, dividends, interest, and Social Security benefits. For 2016, W spends 145 days in Possession P, 101 days in Europe and Asia on vacation, and 120 days in State N. For taxable year 2016, W is not present in Possession P for at least 183 days, is present in the United States for more than 90 days, and has a significant connection to the United States by reason of her permanent home. However, under paragraph (c)(1)(iv) of this section, W still satisfies the presence test of paragraph (c) of this section with respect to Possession P for taxable year 2016 because she has no earned income in the United States and is present for more days in Possession P than in the United States.

    (i) * * * Notwithstanding the foregoing, paragraph (c)(3)(i)(D) and Examples 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of paragraph (g) of this section apply for taxable years beginning after the date these regulations are published as final regulations in the Federal Register.

    John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21258 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG-136459-09] RIN 1545-BI90 Amendments to Domestic Production Activities Deduction Regulations; Allocation of W-2 Wages in a Short Taxable Year and in an Acquisition or Disposition AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking, notice of proposed rulemaking by cross reference to temporary regulations and notice of public hearing.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains proposed regulations involving the domestic production activities deduction under section 199 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). The proposed regulations provide guidance to taxpayers on the amendments made to section 199 by the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 and the Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008, involving oil related qualified production activities income and qualified films, and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, involving activities in Puerto Rico. The proposed regulations also provide guidance on: Determining domestic production gross receipts; the terms manufactured, produced, grown, or extracted; contract manufacturing; hedging transactions; construction activities; allocating cost of goods sold; and agricultural and horticultural cooperatives. In the Rules and Regulations of this issue of the Federal Register, the Treasury Department and the IRS also are issuing temporary regulations (TD 9731) clarifying how taxpayers calculate W-2 wages for purposes of the W-2 wage limitation in the case of a short taxable year or an acquisition or disposition of a trade or business (including the major portion of a trade or business, or the major portion of a separate unit of a trade or business) during the taxable year. This document also contains a notice of a public hearing on the proposed regulations.

    DATES:

    Written or electronic comments must be received by November 25, 2015. Outlines of topics to be discussed at the public hearing scheduled for December 16, 2015, at 10:00 a.m., must be received by November 25, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-136459-09), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand-delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-136459-09), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC, or sent electronically, via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-136459-09). The public hearing will be held in the Auditorium of the Internal Revenue Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning §§ 1.199-1(f), 1.199-2(c), 1.199-2(e), 1.199-2(f), 1.199-3(b), 1.199-3(e), 1.199-3(h), 1.199-3(k), 1.199-3(m), 1.199-6(m), and 1.199-8(i) of the proposed regulations, James Holmes, (202) 317-4137; concerning § 1.199-4(b) of the proposed regulations, Natasha Mulleneaux (202) 317-7007; concerning submissions of comments, the hearing, or to be placed on the building access list to attend the hearing, Regina Johnson, at (202) 317-6901 (not toll-free numbers).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    This document contains proposed amendments to §§ 1.199-0, 1.199-1, 1.199-2, 1.199-3, 1.199-4(b), 1.199-6, and 1.199-8(i) of the Income Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 1). Section 1.199-1 relates to income that is attributable to domestic production activities. Section 1.199-2 relates to W-2 wages as defined in section 199(b). Section 1.199-3 relates to determining domestic production gross receipts (DPGR). Section 1.199-4(b) describes the costs of goods sold allocable to DPGR. Section 1.199-6 applies to agricultural and horticultural cooperatives. Section 1.199-8(i) provides the effective/applicability dates.

    Section 199 was added to the Code by section 102 of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-357, 118 Stat. 1418 (2004)), and amended by section 403(a) of the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-135, 119 Stat. 25 (2005)), section 514 of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-222, 120 Stat. 345 (2005)), section 401 of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-432, 120 Stat. 2922 (2006)), section 401(a), Division B of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-343, 122 Stat. 3765 (2008)) (Energy Extension Act of 2008), sections 312(a) and 502(c), Division C of the Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-343, 122 Stat. 3765 (2008)) (Tax Extenders Act of 2008), section 746(a) of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-312, 124 Stat. 3296 (2010)), section 318 of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-240, 126 Stat. 2313 (2013)), and sections 130 and 219(b) of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-295, 128 Stat. 4010 (2014)).

    General Overview

    Section 199(a)(1) allows a deduction equal to nine percent (three percent in the case of taxable years beginning in 2005 or 2006, and six percent in the case of taxable years beginning in 2007, 2008, or 2009) of the lesser of: (A) The qualified production activities income (QPAI) of the taxpayer for the taxable year, or (B) taxable income (determined without regard to section 199) for the taxable year (or, in the case of an individual, adjusted gross income).

    Section 199(b)(1) provides that the amount of the deduction allowable under section 199(a) for any taxable year shall not exceed 50 percent of the W-2 wages of the taxpayer for the taxable year. Section 199(b)(2)(A) generally defines W-2 wages, with respect to any person for any taxable year of such person, as the sum of amounts described in section 6051(a)(3) and (8) paid by such person with respect to employment of employees by such person during the calendar year ending during such taxable year. Section 199(b)(3), after its amendment by section 219(b) of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, provides that the Secretary shall provide for the application of section 199(b) in cases of a short taxable year or where the taxpayer acquires, or disposes of, the major portion of a trade or business, or the major portion of a separate unit of a trade or business during the taxable year. Section 199(b)(2)(B) limits the W-2 wages to those properly allocable to DPGR for taxable years beginning after May 17, 2006.

    Section 199(c)(1) defines QPAI for any taxable year as an amount equal to the excess (if any) of: (A) The taxpayer's DPGR for such taxable year, over (B) the sum of: (i) The cost of goods sold (CGS) that are allocable to such receipts; and (ii) other expenses, losses, or deductions (other than the deduction under section 199) that are properly allocable to such receipts.

    Section 199(c)(4)(A)(i) provides that the term DPGR means the taxpayer's gross receipts that are derived from any lease, rental, license, sale, exchange, or other disposition of: (I) Qualifying production property (QPP) that was manufactured, produced, grown, or extracted (MPGE) by the taxpayer in whole or in significant part within the United States; (II) any qualified film produced by the taxpayer; or (III) electricity, natural gas, or potable water (utilities) produced by the taxpayer in the United States.

    Section 199(d)(10), as renumbered by section 401(a), Division B of the Energy Extension Act of 2008, authorizes the Secretary to prescribe such regulations as are necessary to carry out the purposes of section 199, including regulations that prevent more than one taxpayer from being allowed a deduction under section 199 with respect to any activity described in section 199(c)(4)(A)(i).

    Explanation of Provisions 1. Allocation of W-2 Wages in a Short Taxable Year and in an Acquisition or Disposition of a Trade or Business (or Major Portion)

    Temporary regulations in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register contain amendments to the Income Tax Regulations that provide rules clarifying how taxpayers calculate W-2 wages for purposes of the W-2 wage limitation under section 199(b)(1) in the case of a short taxable year or where a taxpayer acquires, or disposes of, the major portion of a trade or business, or the major portion of a separate unit of a trade or business during the taxable year under section 199(b)(3). The text of those regulations serves as the text of these proposed regulations. The preamble to the temporary regulations explains the temporary regulations.

    2. Oil Related Qualified Production Activities Income

    Section 401(a), Division B of the Energy Extension Act of 2008 added new section 199(d)(9), which applies to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2008. Section 199(d)(9) reduces the otherwise allowable section 199 deduction when a taxpayer has oil related qualified production activities income (oil related QPAI), and defines oil related QPAI. Section 199(d)(9)(A) provides that if a taxpayer has oil related QPAI for any taxable year beginning after 2009, the amount otherwise allowable as a deduction under section 199(a) must be reduced by three percent of the least of: (i) The oil related QPAI of the taxpayer for the taxable year, (ii) the QPAI of the taxpayer for the taxable year, or (iii) taxable income (determined without regard to section 199).

    Section 1.199-1(f) of the proposed regulations provides guidance on oil related QPAI. In defining oil related QPAI, the Treasury Department and the IRS considered the relationship between QPAI and oil related QPAI. Section 199(c)(1) defines QPAI as the amount equal to the excess (if any) of the taxpayer's DPGR for the taxable year over the sum of CGS allocable to such receipts and other costs, expenses, losses, and deductions allocable to such receipts. So, for example, if gross receipts are not included within DPGR, those gross receipts are not included when calculating QPAI. Section 199(d)(9)(B) defines oil related QPAI as QPAI attributable to the production, refining, processing, transportation, or distribution of oil, gas, or any primary product thereof. In general, gross receipts from the transportation and distribution of QPP are not includable in DPGR because those activities are not considered part of the MPGE of QPP. See § 1.199-3(e)(1), which defines MPGE. Section 199(c)(4)(B)(ii) specifically excludes gross receipts attributable to the transmission or distribution of natural gas from the definition of DPGR.

    Based on these considerations, the proposed regulations define oil related QPAI as an amount equal to the excess (if any) of the taxpayer's DPGR from the production, refining, or processing of oil, gas, or any primary product thereof (oil related DPGR) over the sum of the CGS that is allocable to such receipts and other expenses, losses, or deductions that are properly allocable to such receipts. The proposed regulations specifically provide that oil related DPGR does not include gross receipts derived from the transportation or distribution of oil, gas, or any primary product thereof, except if the de minimis rule under § 1.199-1(d)(3)(i) or an exception for embedded services applies under § 1.199-3(i)(4)(i)(B). The proposed regulations further provide that, to the extent a taxpayer treats gross receipts derived from the transportation or distribution of oil, gas, or any primary product thereof as DPGR under § 1.199-1(d)(3)(i) or § 1.199-3(i)(4)(i)(B), the taxpayer must include those gross receipts in oil related DPGR.

    The proposed regulations define oil as including oil recovered from both conventional and non-conventional recovery methods, including crude oil, shale oil, and oil recovered from tar/oil sands. Section 199(d)(9)(C) defines primary product as having the same meaning as when used in section 927(a)(2)(C) (relating to property excluded from the term export property under the former foreign sales corporations rules), as in effect before its repeal. The proposed regulations incorporate the rules in § 1.927(a)-1T(g)(2)(i) regarding the definition of a primary product with modifications that are consistent with the definition of oil for purposes of section 199(d)(9).

    Section 1.199-1(f)(2) of the proposed regulations provides guidance on how a taxpayer should allocate and apportion costs under the section 861 method, the simplified deduction method, and the small business simplified overall method when determining oil related QPAI. The proposed regulations require taxpayers to use the same cost allocation method to allocate and apportion costs to oil related DPGR as the taxpayer uses to allocate and apportion costs to DPGR.

    3. Qualified Films a. Statutory Amendments

    Section 502(c), Division C of the Tax Extenders Act of 2008 amended the rules relating to qualified films. Section 502(c)(1) added section 199(b)(2)(D) to broaden the definition of the term W-2 wages as applied to a qualified film to include compensation for services performed in the United States by actors, production personnel, directors, and producers.

    Section 502(c)(2), Division C of the Tax Extenders Act of 2008 amended the definition of qualified film in section 199(c)(6) to mean any property described in section 168(f)(3) if not less than 50 percent of the total compensation relating to production of the property is compensation for services performed in the United States by actors, production personnel, directors, and producers. The term does not include property with respect to which records are required to be maintained under 18 U.S.C. 2257 (generally, films, videotapes, or other matter that depict actual sexually explicit conduct and are produced in whole or in part with materials that have been mailed or shipped in interstate or foreign commerce, or are shipped or transported or are intended for shipment or transportation in interstate or foreign commerce). Section 502(c)(2), Division C of the Tax Extenders Act of 2008 also amended the definition of a qualified film under section 199(c)(6) to include any copyrights, trademarks, or other intangibles with respect to such film. The method and means of distributing a qualified film does not affect the availability of the deduction.

    Section 502(c)(3), Division C of the Tax Extenders Act of 2008 added an attribution rule for a qualified film for taxpayers who are partnerships or S corporations, or partners or shareholders of such entities under section 199(d)(1)(A)(iv). Section 199(d)(1)(A)(iv) provides that in the case of each partner of a partnership, or shareholder of an S corporation, who owns (directly or indirectly) at least 20 percent of the capital interests in such partnership or the stock of such S corporation, such partner or shareholder is treated as having engaged directly in any film produced by such partnership or S corporation, and that such partnership or S Corporation is treated as having engaged directly in any film produced by such partner or shareholder.

    The amendments made by section 502(c), Division C of the Tax Extenders Act of 2008 apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2007.

    b. W-2 Wages

    Section 1.199-2(e)(1) of the proposed regulations modifies the definition of W-2 wages to include compensation for services (as defined in § 1.199-3(k)(4)) performed in the United States by actors, production personnel, directors, and producers (as defined in § 1.199-3(k)(1)).

    c. Definition of Qualified Films

    To address the amendments to the definition of qualified film in section 199(c)(6) for taxable years beginning after 2007, the proposed regulations amend the definition of qualified film in § 1.199-3(k)(1) to include copyrights, trademarks, or other intangibles with respect to such film. The proposed regulations define other intangibles with a non-exclusive list of intangibles that fall within the definition.

    Section 1.199-3(k)(10) provides a special rule for disposition of promotional films to address concerns of the Treasury Department and the IRS that the inclusion of intangibles in the definition of qualified film could be interpreted too broadly. This rule clarifies that, when a taxpayer produces a qualified film that is promoting a product or service, the gross receipts a taxpayer later derives from the disposition of the product or service promoted in the qualified film are derived from the disposition of the product or service and not from a disposition of the qualified film (including any intangible with respect to such qualified film). The rule is intended to prevent taxpayers from claiming that gross receipts are derived from the disposition of a qualified film (rather than the product or service itself) when a taxpayer sells a product or service with a logo, trademark, or other intangible that appears in a promotional film produced by the taxpayer. The Treasury Department and the IRS recognize that a taxpayer can, in certain cases, derive gross receipts from a disposition of a promotional film or the intangibles in a promotional film. The proposed regulations add Example 9 in § 1.199-3(k)(11) relating to a license to reproduce a character used in a promotional film to illustrate a situation where gross receipts can qualify as DPGR because the gross receipts are distinct (separate and apart) from the disposition of the product or service. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on how to determine when gross receipts are distinct.

    The proposed regulations add four examples in redesignated § 1.199-3(k)(11), formerly § 1.199-3(k)(10), to illustrate application of the amended definition of qualified film that includes copyrights, trademarks, or other intangibles.

    The proposed regulations remove the last sentence of § 1.199-3(k)(3)(ii) (which states that gross receipts derived from a license of the right to use or exploit film characters are not gross receipts derived from a qualified film) because gross receipts derived from a license of the right to use or exploit film characters are now considered gross receipts derived from a qualified film.

    Section 1.199-3(k)(2)(ii), which allows a taxpayer to treat certain tangible personal property as a qualified film (for example, a DVD), is amended to exclude film intangibles because tangible personal property affixed with a film intangible (such as a trademark) should not be treated as a qualified film. For example, the total revenue from the sale of an imported t-shirt affixed with a film intangible should not be treated as gross receipts derived from the sale of a qualified film. The portion of the gross receipts attributable to the qualified film intangible separate from receipts attributable to the t-shirt may qualify as DPGR, however. The proposed regulations also add Example 10 and Example 11 in redesignated § 1.199-3(k)(11) to address situations in which tangible personal property is offered for sale in combination with a qualified film affixed to a DVD.

    Section 1.199-3(k)(3)(i) and (k)(3)(ii) of the proposed regulations address the amendment to section 199(c)(6) (effective for taxable years beginning after 2007) that provides the methods and means of distributing a qualified film will not affect the availability of the deduction under section 199. The exception that describes the receipts from showing a qualified film in a movie theater or by broadcast on a television station as not derived from a qualified film is removed from § 1.199-3(k)(3)(ii) because, if a taxpayer produces a qualified film, then the receipts the taxpayer derives from these showings qualify as DPGR in taxable years beginning after 2007. In addition, Example 4 in § 1.199-3(i)(5)(iii) and Example 3 in § 1.199-3(k)(11) (formerly § 1.199-3(k)(10)) have been revised to illustrate that, for taxable years beginning after 2007, product placement and advertising income derived from the distribution of a qualified film qualifies as DPGR if the qualified film containing the product placements and advertising is broadcast over the air or watched over the Internet.

    The proposed regulations also add a sentence to § 1.199-3(k)(6) to clarify that production activities do not include activities related to the transmission or distribution of films. The Treasury Department and the IRS are aware that some taxpayers have taken the inappropriate position that these activities are part of the production of a film. The Treasury Department and the IRS consider film production as distinct from the transmission and distribution of films. This clarification is also consistent with the amendment to the definition of qualified film, which provides that the methods and means of distribution do not affect the availability of the deduction under section 199.

    d. Partnerships and S Corporations

    Section 1.199-3(i)(9) of the proposed regulations describes the application of section 199(d)(1)(A)(iv) to partners and partnerships and shareholders and S corporations for taxable years beginning after 2007. The Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that for a partnership to apply the provisions of section 199(d)(1)(A)(iv) to treat itself as having engaged directly in a film produced by a partner, the partnership must treat itself as a partnership for all purposes of the Code. Further, a partner of a partnership can apply the provisions of section 199(d)(1)(A)(iv) to treat itself as having engaged directly in a film produced by the partnership only if the partnership treats itself as a partnership for all purposes of the Code. Section 1.199-3(i)(9)(i) describes generally that a partner of a partnership or shareholder of an S corporation who owns (directly or indirectly) at least 20 percent of the capital interests in such partnership or the stock of such S corporation is treated as having engaged directly in any film produced by such partnership or S corporation. Further, such partnership or S corporation is treated as having engaged directly in any film produced by such partner or shareholder.

    Section 1.199-3(i)(9)(ii) of the proposed regulations generally prohibits attribution between partners of a partnership or shareholders of an S corporation, partnerships with a partner in common, or S corporations with a shareholder in common. Thus, when a partnership or S corporation is treated as having engaged directly in any film produced by a partner or shareholder, any other partners or shareholders who did not participate directly in the production of the film are treated as not having engaged directly in the production of the film at the partner or shareholder level. Similarly, when a partner or shareholder is treated as having engaged directly in any film produced by a partnership or S corporation, any other partnerships or S corporations in which that partner or shareholder owns an interest (excluding the partnership or S corporation that produced the film) are treated as not having engaged directly in the production of the film at the partnership or S corporation level.

    Section 1.199-3(i)(9)(iii) of the proposed regulations describes the attribution period for a partner or partnership or shareholder or S corporation under section 199(d)(1)(A)(iv). A partner or shareholder is treated as having engaged directly in any qualified film produced by the partnership or S corporation, and a partnership or S corporation is treated as having engaged directly in any qualified film produced by the partner or shareholder, regardless of when the qualified film was produced, during the period in which the partner or shareholder owns (directly or indirectly) at least 20 percent of the capital interests in the partnership or the stock of the S corporation. During any period that a partner or shareholder owns less than 20 percent of the capital interests in such partnership or the stock of such S corporation that partner or shareholder is not treated as having engaged directly in the qualified film produced by the partnership or S corporation for purposes of § 1.199-3(i)(9)(iii), and that partnership or S corporation is not treated as having engaged directly in any qualified film produced by the partner or shareholder.

    Section 1.199-3(i)(9)(iv) of the proposed regulations provides examples that illustrate section 199(d)(1)(A)(iv).

    e. Qualified Film Safe Harbor

    Existing § 1.199-3(k)(7)(i) provides a safe harbor that treats a film as a qualified film produced by the taxpayer if not less than 50 percent of the total compensation for services paid by the taxpayer is compensation for services performed in the United States and the taxpayer satisfies the safe harbor in § 1.199-3(g)(3) for treating a taxpayer as MPGE QPP in whole or significant part in the United States. The Treasury Department and the IRS are aware that it may be unclear how the safe harbor in § 1.199-3(k)(7)(i) applies to costs of live or delayed television programs that may be expensed (specifically, whether such expensed costs are part of the CGS or unadjusted depreciable basis of the qualified film for purposes of § 1.199-3(g)(3)). Further, it may be unclear whether license fees paid for third-party produced programs are included in direct labor and overhead when applying the safe harbor in § 1.199-3(g)(3). The proposed regulations clarify how a taxpayer producing live or delayed television programs should apply the safe harbor in § 1.199-3(k)(7)(i); in particular, how a taxpayer should calculate its unadjusted depreciable basis under § 1.199-3(g)(3)(ii). Specifically, proposed § 1.199-3(k)(7)(i) requires a taxpayer to include all costs paid or incurred in the production of a live or delayed television program in the taxpayer's unadjusted depreciable basis of such program under § 1.199-3(g)(3)(ii), including the licensing fees paid to a third party under § 1.199-3(g)(3)(ii). The proposed regulations further clarify that license fees for third-party produced programs are not included in the direct labor and overhead to produce the film for purposes of applying § 1.199-3(g)(3).

    4. Treatment of Activities in Puerto Rico

    Section 199(d)(8)(A) provides that in the case of any taxpayer with gross receipts for any taxable year from sources within the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, if all of such receipts are taxable under section 1 or 11 for such taxable year, then for purposes of determining the DPGR of such taxpayer for such taxable year under section 199(c)(4), the term United States includes the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Section 199(d)(8)(B) provides that in the case of a taxpayer described in section 199(d)(8)(A), for purposes of applying the wage limitation under section 199(b) for any taxable year, the determination of W-2 wages of such taxpayer is made without regard to any exclusion under section 3401(a)(8) for remuneration paid for services performed in Puerto Rico. Section 130 of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 amended section 199(d)(8)(C) for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2013. As amended, section 199(d)(8)(C) provides that section 199(d)(8) applies only with respect to the first nine taxable years of the taxpayer beginning after December 31, 2005, and before January 1, 2015.

    Section 1.199-2(f) of the proposed regulations modifies the W-2 wage limitation under section 199(b) to the extent provided by section 199(d)(8). Section 1.199-3(h)(2) of the proposed regulations modifies the term United States to include the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to the extent provided by section 199(d)(8).

    5. Determining DPGR on Item-by-Item Basis

    Section 1.199-3(d)(1) provides that a taxpayer determines, using any reasonable method that is satisfactory to the Secretary based on all of the facts and circumstances, whether gross receipts qualify as DPGR on an item-by-item basis. Section 1.199-3(d)(1)(i) provides that item means the property offered by the taxpayer in the normal course of the taxpayer's business for lease, rental, license, sale, exchange, or other disposition (for purposes of § 1.199-3(d), collectively referred to as disposition) to customers, if the gross receipts from the disposition of such property qualify as DPGR. Section 1.199-3(d)(2)(iii) provides that, in the case of construction activities and services or engineering and architectural services, a taxpayer may use any reasonable method that is satisfactory to the Secretary based on all of the facts and circumstances to determine what construction activities and services or engineering or architectural services constitute an item.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS are aware that the item rule in § 1.199-3(d)(2)(iii) has been interpreted to mean that the gross receipts derived from the sale of a multiple-building project may be treated as DPGR when only one building in the project is substantially renovated. The Treasury Department and the IRS have concluded that treating gross receipts from the sale of a multiple-building project as DPGR, and the multiple-building project as one item, is not a reasonable method satisfactory to the Secretary for purposes of § 1.199-3(d)(2)(iii) if a taxpayer did not substantially renovate each building in the multiple-building project. Section 1.199-3(d)(4) of the proposed regulations includes an example (Example 14) illustrating the appropriate application of § 1.199-3(d)(2)(iii) to a multiple building project.

    In addition, the Treasury Department and the IRS are aware that taxpayers may be unsure how to apply the item rule in § 1.199-3(d)(2)(i) when the property offered for disposition to customers includes embedded services as described in § 1.199-3(i)(4)(i). The proposed regulations add Example 6 to § 1.199-3(d)(4) to clarify that the item rule applies after excluding the gross receipts attributable to services.

    6. MPGE

    Section 1.199-3(e)(1) provides that the term MPGE includes manufacturing, producing, growing, extracting, installing, developing, improving, and creating QPP; making QPP out of scrap, salvage, or junk material as well as from new or raw material by processing, manipulating, refining, or changing the form of an article, or by combining or assembling two or more articles; cultivating soil, raising livestock, fishing, and mining minerals. The Treasury Department and the IRS are aware that Example 5 in § 1.199-3(e)(5) has been interpreted to mean that testing activities qualify as an MPGE activity even if the taxpayer engages in no other MPGE activity. The Treasury Department and the IRS disagree that testing activities, alone, qualify as an MPGE activity. The proposed regulations add a sentence to Example 5 in § 1.199-3(e)(5) to further illustrate that certain activities will not be treated as MPGE activities if they are not performed as part of the MPGE of QPP. Taxpayers are not required to allocate gross receipts to certain activities that are not MPGE activities when those activities are performed in connection with the MPGE of QPP. However, if the taxpayer in Example 5 in § 1.199-3(e)(5) did not MPGE QPP, then the activities described in the example, including testing, are not MPGE activities.

    Section 1.199-3(e)(2) provides that if a taxpayer packages, repackages, labels, or performs minor assembly of QPP and the taxpayer engages in no other MPGE activities with respect to that QPP, the taxpayer's packaging, repackaging, labeling, or minor assembly does not qualify as MPGE with respect to that QPP. This rule has been the subject of recent litigation. See United States v. Dean, 945 F. Supp. 2d 1110 (C.D. Cal. 2013) (concluding that the taxpayer's activity of preparing gift baskets was a manufacturing activity and not solely packaging or repackaging for purposes of section 199). The Treasury Department and the IRS disagree with the interpretation of § 1.199-3(e)(2) adopted by the court in United States v. Dean, and the proposed regulations add an example (Example 9) that illustrates the appropriate application of this rule in a situation in which the taxpayer is engaged in no other MPGE activities with respect to the QPP other than those described in § 1.199-3(e)(2).

    7. Definition of “by the taxpayer”

    Section 1.199-3(f)(1) provides that if one taxpayer performs a qualifying activity under § 1.199-3(e)(1), § 1.199-3(k)(1), or § 1.199-3(l)(1) pursuant to a contract with another party, then only the taxpayer that has the benefits and burdens of ownership of the QPP, qualified film, or utilities under Federal income tax principles during the period in which the qualifying activity occurs is treated as engaging in the qualifying activity.

    Taxpayers and the IRS have had difficulty determining which party to a contract manufacturing arrangement has the benefits and burdens of ownership of the property while the qualifying activity occurs. Cases analyzing the benefits and burdens of ownership have considered the following factors relevant: (1) Whether legal title passes; (2) how the parties treat the transaction; (3) whether an equity interest was acquired; (4) whether the contract creates a present obligation on the seller to execute and deliver a deed and a present obligation on the purchaser to make payments; (5) whether the right of possession is vested in the purchaser and which party has control of the property or process; (6) which party pays the property taxes; (7) which party bears the risk of loss or damage to the property; (8) which party receives the profits from the operation and sale of the property; and (9) whether a taxpayer actively and extensively participated in the management and operations of the activity. See ADVO, Inc. & Subsidiaries v. Commissioner, 141 T.C. 298, 324-25 (2013); see also Grodt & McKay Realty, Inc. v. Commissioner, 77 T.C. 1221 (1981). The ADVO court noted that the factors it used in its analysis are not exclusive or controlling, but that they were in the particular case sufficient to determine which party had the benefits and burdens of ownership. ADVO, Inc., 141 T.C. at 325 n. 21. Determining which party has the benefits and burdens of ownership under Federal income tax principles for purposes of section 199 requires an analysis and weighing of many factors, which in some contexts could result in more than one taxpayer claiming the benefits of section 199 with respect to a particular activity. Resolving the benefits and burdens of ownership issue often requires significant IRS and taxpayer resources.

    Section 199(d)(10) directs the Treasury Department to provide regulations that prevent more than one taxpayer from being allowed a deduction under section 199 with respect to any qualifying activity (as described in section 199(c)(4)(A)(i)). The Treasury Department and the IRS have interpreted the statute to mean that only one taxpayer may claim the section 199 deduction with respect to the same activity performed with respect to the same property. See § 1.199-3(f)(1). Example 1 and Example 2 in § 1.199-3(f)(4) currently illustrate this one-taxpayer rule using factors that are relevant to the determination of who has the benefits and burdens of ownership.

    The Large Business and International (LB&I) Division issued an Industry Director Directive on February 1, 2012 (LB&I Control No. LB&I-4-0112-01) (Directive) addressing the benefits and burdens factors. The Directive provides a three-step analysis of facts and circumstances relating to contract terms, production activities, and economic risks to determine whether a taxpayer has the benefits and burdens of ownership for purposes of § 1.199-3(f)(1). LB&I issued a superseding second directive on July 24, 2013 (LB&I Control No. LB&I-04-0713-006), and a third directive updating the second directive on October 29, 2013 (LB&I Control No. LB&I-04-1013-008). The third directive allows a taxpayer to provide a statement explaining the taxpayer's determination that it had the benefits and burdens of ownership, along with certification statements signed under penalties of perjury by the taxpayer and the counterparty verifying that only the taxpayer is claiming the section 199 deduction.

    To provide administrable rules that are consistent with section 199, reduce the burden on taxpayers and the IRS in evaluating factors related to the benefits and burdens of ownership, and prevent more than one taxpayer from being allowed a deduction under section 199 with respect to any qualifying activity, the proposed regulations remove the rule in § 1.199-3(f)(1) that treats a taxpayer in a contract manufacturing arrangement as engaging in the qualifying activity only if the taxpayer has the benefits and burdens of ownership during the period in which the qualifying activity occurs. In place of the benefits and burdens of ownership rule, these proposed regulations provide that if a qualifying activity is performed under a contract, then the party that performs the activity is the taxpayer for purposes of section 199(c)(4)(A)(i). This rule, which applies solely for purposes of section 199, reflects the conclusion that the party actually producing the property should be treated as engaging in the qualifying activity for purposes of section 199, and is therefore consistent with the statute's goal of incentivizing domestic manufacturers and producers. The proposed rule would also provide a readily administrable approach that would prevent more than one taxpayer from being allowed a deduction under section 199 with respect to any qualifying activity.

    Example 1 has been revised, and current Example 2 has been removed, to reflect the new rule. In addition, the benefits and burdens language has been removed from: (1) The definition of MPGE in § 1.199-3(e)(1) and (3), including Example 1, Example 4, and Example 5 in § 1.199-3(e)(5); (2) the definition of in whole or in significant part in § 1.199-3(g)(1); (3) Example 5 in the qualified film rules in existing § 1.199-3(k)(7); and (4) the production pursuant to a contract in the qualified film rules in § 1.199-3(k)(8).

    The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on whether there are narrow circumstances that could justify an exception to the proposed rule. In particular, the Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on whether there should be a limited exception to the proposed rule for certain fully cost-plus or cost-reimbursable contracts. Under such an exception, the party that is not performing the qualifying activity would be treated as the taxpayer engaged in the qualifying activity if the party performing the qualifying activity is (i) reimbursed for, or provided with, all materials, labor, and overhead costs related to fulfilling the contract, and (ii) provided with an additional payment to allow for a profit. The Treasury Department and the IRS are uncertain regarding the extent to which such fully cost-plus or cost-reimbursable contracts are in fact used in practice. Comments suggesting circumstances that could justify an exception to the proposed rule should address the rationale for the proposed exception, the ability of the IRS to administer the exception, and how the suggested exception will prevent two taxpayers from claiming the deduction for the qualifying activity.

    8. Hedging Transactions

    The proposed regulations make several revisions to the hedging rules in § 1.199-3(i)(3). Section 1.199-3(i) of the proposed regulations defines a hedging transaction to include transactions in which the risk being hedged relates to property described in section 1221(a)(1) giving rise to DPGR, whereas the existing regulations require the risk being hedged relate to QPP described in section 1221(a)(1). A taxpayer commented in a letter to the Treasury Department and the IRS that there is no reason to limit the hedging rules to QPP giving rise to DPGR, and the proposed regulations accept the comment.

    The other changes to the hedging rules are administrative. Section 1.199-3(i)(3)(ii) of the existing regulations on currency fluctuations was eliminated because the regulations under sections 988(d) and 1221 adequately cover the treatment of currency hedges. Similarly, the rules in § 1.199-3(i)(3)(iii) that address the effect of identification and non-identification were duplicative of the rules in the section 1221 regulations. Accordingly, § 1.199-3(i)(3)(ii) has been revised to cross-reference the appropriate rules in § 1.1221-2(g), and to clarify that the consequence of an abusive identification or non-identification is that deduction or loss, but not income or gain, is taken into account in calculating DPGR.

    9. Construction Activities

    Section 199(c)(4)(A)(ii) includes in DPGR, in the case of a taxpayer engaged in the active conduct of a construction trade or business, gross receipts derived from construction of real property performed in the United States by the taxpayer in the ordinary course of such trade or business. Under § 1.199-3(m)(2)(i), activities constituting construction include activities performed by a general contractor or activities typically performed by a general contractor, for example, activities relating to management and oversight of the construction process such as approvals, periodic inspection of progress of the construction project, and required job modifications. The Treasury Department and the IRS are aware that some taxpayers have interpreted this language to mean that a taxpayer who only approves or authorizes payments is engaged in activities typically performed by a general contractor under § 1.199-3(m)(2)(i). The Treasury Department and the IRS disagree that a taxpayer who only approves or authorizes payments is engaged in construction for purposes of § 1.199-3(m)(2)(i). Accordingly, § 1.199-3(m)(2)(i) of the proposed regulations clarifies that a taxpayer must engage in construction activities that include more than the approval or authorization of payments or invoices for that taxpayer's activities to be considered as activities typically performed by a general contractor.

    Section 1.199-3(m)(2)(i) provides that activities constituting construction are activities performed in connection with a project to erect or substantially renovate real property. Section 1.199-3(m)(5) currently defines substantial renovation to mean the renovation of a major component or substantial structural part of real property that materially increases the value of the property, substantially prolongs the useful life of the property, or adapts the property to a new or different use. This standard reflects regulations under § 1.263(a)-3 related to amounts paid to improve tangible property that existed at the time of publication of the final § 1.199-3(m)(5) regulations (TD 9263 [71 FR 31268] June 19, 2006) but which have since been revised. See (TD 9636 [78 FR 57686] September 19, 2013).

    The proposed regulations under § 1.199-3(m)(5) revise the definition of substantial renovation to conform to the final regulations under § 1.263(a)-3, which provide rules requiring capitalization of amounts paid for improvements to a unit of property owned by a taxpayer. Improvements under § 1.263(a)-3 are amounts paid for a betterment to a unit of property, amounts paid to restore a unit of property, and amounts paid to adapt a unit of property to a new or different use. See § 1.263(a)-3(j), (k), and (l). Under the proposed regulations, a substantial renovation of real property is a renovation the costs of which are required to be capitalized as an improvement under § 1.263(a)-3, other than an amount described in § 1.263(a)-3(k)(1)(i) through (iii) (relating to amounts for which a loss deduction or basis adjustment requires capitalization as an improvement). The improvement rules under § 1.263(a)-3 provide specific rules of application for buildings (see § 1.263(a)-3(j)(2)(ii), (k)(2), and (l)(2)), which apply for purposes of § 1.199-3(m)(5).

    10. Allocating Cost of Goods Sold

    Section 1.199-4(b)(1) describes how a taxpayer determines its CGS allocable to DPGR. The Treasury Department and the IRS are aware that in the case of transactions accounted for under a long-term contract method of accounting (either the percentage-of-completion method (PCM) or the completed-contract method (CCM)), a taxpayer incurs allocable contract costs. The Treasury Department and the IRS recognize that allocable contract costs under PCM or CCM are analogous to CGS and should be treated in the same manner. Section 1.199-4(b)(1) of the proposed regulations provides that in the case of a long-term contract accounted for under PCM or CCM, CGS for purposes of § 1.199-4(b)(1) includes allocable contract costs described in § 1.460-5(b) or § 1.460-5(d), as applicable.

    Existing § 1.199-4(b)(2)(i) provides that a taxpayer must use a reasonable method that is satisfactory to the Secretary based on all of the facts and circumstances to allocate CGS between DPGR and non-DPGR. This allocation must be determined based on the rules provided in § 1.199-4(b)(2)(i) and (ii). Taxpayers have asserted that under § 1.199-4(b)(2)(ii) the portion of current year CGS associated with activities in earlier tax years (including pre-section 199 tax years) may be allocated to non-DPGR even if the related gross receipts are treated by the taxpayer as DPGR. Section 1.199-4(b)(2)(iii)(A) of the proposed regulations clarifies that the CGS must be allocated between DPGR and non-DPGR, regardless of whether any component of the costs included in CGS can be associated with activities undertaken in an earlier taxable year. Section 1.199-4(b)(2)(iii)(B) of the proposed regulations provides an example illustrating this rule.

    11. Agricultural and Horticultural Cooperatives

    Section 199(d)(3)(A) provides that any person who receives a qualified payment from a specified agricultural or horticultural cooperative must be allowed for the taxable year in which such payment is received a deduction under section 199(a) equal to the portion of the deduction allowed under section 199(a) to such cooperative that is (i) allowed with respect to the portion of the QPAI to which such payment is attributable, and (ii) identified by such cooperative in a written notice mailed to such person during the payment period described in section 1382(d).

    Under § 1.199-6(c), the cooperative's QPAI is computed without taking into account any deduction allowable under section 1382(b) or section 1382(c) (relating to patronage dividends, per-unit retain allocations, and nonpatronage distributions).

    Section 1.199-6(e) provides that the term qualified payment means any amount of a patronage dividend or per-unit retain allocation, as described in section 1385(a)(1) or section 1385(a)(3), received by a patron from a cooperative that is attributable to the portion of the cooperative's QPAI for which the cooperative is allowed a section 199 deduction. For this purpose, patronage dividends and per-unit retain allocations include any advances on patronage and per-unit retains paid in money during the taxable year.

    Section 1388(f) defines the term per-unit retain allocation to mean any allocation by an organization to which part I of subchapter T applies to a patron with respect to products marketed for him, the amount of which is fixed without reference to net earnings of the organization pursuant to an agreement between the organization and the patron. Per-unit retain allocations may be made in money, property, or certificates.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS are aware that Example 1 in § 1.199-6(m) has been interpreted as describing that the cooperative's payment for its members' corn is a per-unit retain allocation paid in money as defined in sections 1382(b)(3) and 1388(f). Example 1 in § 1.199-6(m) does not identify the cooperative's payment for its members' corn as a per-unit retain allocation and is not intended to illustrate how QPAI is computed when a cooperative's payments to its patrons are per-unit retain allocations. The proposed regulations provide an example (Example 4) in § 1.199-6(m) illustrating how QPAI is computed when the cooperative's payments to members for corn qualify as per-unit retain allocations paid in money under section 1388(f). The new example has the same facts as Example 1 in § 1.199-6(m), except that the cooperative's payments for its members' corn qualify as per-unit retain allocations paid in money under section 1388(f) and the cooperative reports per-unit retain allocations paid in money on Form 1099-PATR, “Taxable Distributions Received From Cooperatives.”

    Request for Comments

    Existing § 1.199-3(e)(2) provides that if a taxpayer packages, repackages, labels, or performs minor assembly of QPP and the taxpayer engages in no other MPGE activity with respect to that QPP, the taxpayer's packaging, repackaging, labeling, or minor assembly does not qualify as MPGE with respect to that QPP.

    The term minor assembly for purposes of section 199 was first introduced in Notice 2005-14 (2005-1 CB 498 (February 14, 2005)) (see § 601.601(d)(2)(ii)(b)) (Notice 2005-14), and was used (by exclusion) in determining whether a taxpayer met the in-whole-or-in-significant-part requirement. Specifically, section 3.04(5)(d) of Notice 2005-14 states that in connection with the MPGE of QPP, packaging, repackaging, and minor assembly operations should not be considered in applying the general “substantial in nature” test, and the costs should not be considered in applying the safe harbor. The section further states that this rule is similar to the rule in § 1.954-3(a)(4)(iii). The rule in § 1.954-3(a)(4)(iii) applies when deciding whether a taxpayer selling property will be treated as selling a manufactured product rather than components of that sold property.

    Section 1.199-3(g) of the current regulations, which superseded Notice 2005-14, does not provide a specific definition of minor assembly, but it does allow taxpayers to consider minor assembly activities to determine whether the taxpayer has met the in-whole-or-in-significant-part requirement (either by showing their activities were substantial in nature under § 1.199-3(g)(2) or by meeting the safe harbor in § 1.199-3(g)(3)). However, the current regulations also contain § 1.199-3(e)(2), which excludes certain activities from the definition of MPGE. Section 1.199-3(e)(2) provides that if a taxpayer packages, repackages, labels, or performs minor assembly of QPP and the taxpayer engages in no other MPGE activity with respect to that QPP, the taxpayer's packaging, repackaging, labeling, or minor assembly does not qualify as MPGE with respect to that QPP. Therefore, a taxpayer with only minor assembly activities would not meet the definition of MPGE and a determination of whether a taxpayer met the in-whole-or-in-significant-part requirement is not made.

    In considering whether to provide a specific definition of minor assembly, the Treasury Department and the IRS have found it difficult to identify an objective test that would be widely applicable.

    The definition of minor assembly could focus on whether a taxpayer's activity is only a single process that does not transform an article into a materially different QPP. Such process may include, but would not be limited to, blending or mixing two materials together, painting an article, cutting, chopping, crushing (non-agricultural products), or other similar activities. An example of blending or mixing two materials is using a paint mixing machine to combine paint with a pigment to match a customer's color selection when a taxpayer did not MPGE the paint or the pigment. An example of cutting is a taxpayer using an industrial key cutting machine to custom cut keys for customers using blank keys that taxpayer purchased from unrelated third parties. Examples of other similar activities include adding an additive to extend the shelf life of a product and time ripening produce that was purchased from unrelated third parties.

    Another possible definition could be based on whether an end user could reasonably engage in the same assembly activity of the taxpayer. For example, assume QPP made up of component parts purchased by taxpayer is sold by a taxpayer to end users in either assembled or disassembled form. To the extent an end user can reasonably assemble the QPP sold in disassembled form, the taxpayer's assembly activity would be considered minor assembly.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on how the term minor assembly in § 1.199-3(e)(2) should be defined and encourage the submission of examples illustrating the term.

    Special Analyses

    Certain IRS regulations, including this one, are exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866 of, as supplemented and reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It also has been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these regulations, and because the regulations do not impose a collection of information on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, this notice of proposed rulemaking has been submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on their impact on small business.

    Comments and Public Hearing

    Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any written comments (a signed original and eight (8) copies) or electronic comments that are submitted timely to the IRS. Comments are requested on all aspects of the proposed regulations. All comments will be available for public inspection and copying at http://www.regulations.gov or upon request.

    A public hearing has been scheduled for December 16, 2015, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Auditorium of the Internal Revenue Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC. Due to building security procedures, visitors must enter at the Constitution Avenue entrance. Because of access restrictions, visitors will not be admitted beyond the immediate entrance area more than 30 minutes before the hearing starts. In addition, all visitors must present photo identification to enter the building. For information about having your name placed on the building access list to attend the hearing, see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble.

    The rules of 26 CFR 601.601(a)(3) apply to the hearing. Persons who wish to present oral comments at the hearing must submit electronic or written comments by November 25, 2015, and an outline of the topics to be discussed and the time to be devoted to each topic by November 25, 2015. A period of 10 minutes will be allotted to each person for making comments. An agenda showing the scheduling of the speakers will be prepared after the deadline for receiving outlines has passed. Copies of the agenda will be available free of charge at the hearing.

    Drafting Information

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

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Proposed Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 2. Section 1.199-0 is amended by: 1. Adding entries in the table of contents for § 1.199-1(f). 2. Revising the entry in the table of contents for § 1.199-2(c) and adding entries for § 1.199-2(c)(1), (2), and (3). 3. Adding an entry in the table of contents for § 1.199-2(f). 4. Redesignating the entry in the table of contents for § 1.199-3(h) as the entry for § 1.199-3(h)(1), adding introductory text for § 1.199-3(h), and adding an entry for § 1.199-3(h)(2). 5. Redesignating the entry in the table of contents for § 1.199-3(i)(9) as the entry for § 1.199-3(i)(10) and adding introductory text and entries in the table of contents for § 1.199-3(i)(9). 6. Redesignating the entry in the table of contents for § 1.199-3(k)(10) as the entry for § 1.199-3(k)(11) and adding an entry for § 1.199-3(k)(10). 7. Adding entries in the table of contents for § 1.199-4(b)(2)(iii). 8. Revising the introductory text in the table of contents for § 1.199-8(i) and adding the entries for § 1.199-8(i)(10) and (i)(11).

    The additions and revision read as follows:

    § 1.199-0 Table of contents.
    § 1.199-1 Income attributable to domestic production activities.

    (f) Oil related qualified production activities income.

    (1) In general.

    (i) Oil related QPAI.

    (ii) Special rule for oil related DPGR.

    (iii) Definition of oil.

    (iv) Primary product from oil or gas.

    (A) Primary product from oil.

    (B) Primary product from gas.

    (C) Primary products from changing technology.

    (D) Non-primary products.

    (2) Cost allocation methods for determining oil related QPAI.

    (i) Section 861 method.

    (ii) Simplified deduction method.

    (iii) Small business simplified overall method.

    § 1.199-2 Wage limitation.

    (c) Acquisitions, dispositions, and short taxable years.

    (1) Allocation of wages between more than one taxpayer.

    (2) Short taxable years.

    (3) Operating rules.

    (i) Acquisition or disposition.

    (ii) Trade or business.

    (f) Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

    § 1.199-3 Domestic production gross receipts.

    (h) United States.

    (2) Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

    (i) * * *

    (9) Engaging in production of qualified films.

    (i) In general.

    (ii) No double attribution.

    (iii) Timing of attribution.

    (iv) Examples.

    (k) * * *

    (10) Special rule for disposition of promotional films and products or services promoted in promotional films.

    § 1.199-4 Costs allocable to domestic production gross receipts.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iii) Cost of goods sold associated with activities undertaken in an earlier taxable year.

    (A) In general.

    (B) Example.

    § 1.199-8 Other rules.

    (i) Effective/applicability dates.

    (10) Acquisition or disposition of a trade or business (or major portion).

    (11) Energy Improvement and Extension Act of the 2008, Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008, American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, and other provisions.

    Par. 3. Section 1.199-1 is amended by adding paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 1.199-1 Income attributable to domestic production activities.

    (f) Oil related qualified production activity income (Oil related QPAI)—(1) In general—(i) Oil related QPAI. Oil related QPAI for any taxable year is an amount equal to the excess (if any) of the taxpayer's DPGR (as defined in § 1.199-3) derived from the production, refining or processing of oil, gas, or any primary product thereof (oil related DPGR) over the sum of:

    (A) The CGS that is allocable to such receipts; and

    (B) Other expenses, losses, or deductions (other than the deduction allowed under this section) that are properly allocable to such receipts. See §§ 1.199-3 and 1.199-4.

    (ii) Special rule for oil related DPGR. Oil related DPGR does not include gross receipts derived from the transportation or distribution of oil, gas, or any primary product thereof. However, to the extent that a taxpayer treats gross receipts derived from transportation or distribution of oil, gas, or any primary product thereof as DPGR under paragraph (d)(3)(i) of this section or under § 1.199-3(i)(4)(i)(B), then the taxpayer must treat those gross receipts as oil related DGPR.

    (iii) Definition of oil. The term oil includes oil recovered from both conventional and non-conventional recovery methods, including crude oil, shale oil, and oil recovered from tar/oil sands.

    (iv) Primary product from oil or gas. A primary product from oil or gas is, for purposes of this paragraph:

    (A) Primary product from oil. The term primary product from oil means all products derived from the destructive distillation of oil, including:

    (1) Volatile products;

    (2) Light oils such as motor fuel and kerosene;

    (3) Distillates such as naphtha;

    (4) Lubricating oils;

    (5) Greases and waxes; and

    (6) Residues such as fuel oil.

    (B) Primary product from gas. The term primary product from gas means all gas and associated hydrocarbon components from gas wells or oil wells, whether recovered at the lease or upon further processing, including:

    (1) Natural gas;

    (2) Condensates;

    (3) Liquefied petroleum gases such as ethane, propane, and butane; and

    (4) Liquid products such as natural gasoline.

    (C) Primary products and changing technology. The primary products from oil or gas described in paragraphs (f)(1)(iv)(A) and (B) of this section are not intended to represent either the only primary products from oil or gas, or the only processes from which primary products may be derived under existing and future technologies.

    (D) Non-primary products. Examples of non-primary products include, but are not limited to, petrochemicals, medicinal products, insecticides, and alcohols.

    (2) Cost allocation methods for determining oil related QPAI—(i) Section 861 method. A taxpayer that uses the section 861 method to determine deductions that are allocated and apportioned to gross income attributable to DPGR must use the section 861 method to determine deductions that are allocated and apportioned to gross income attributable to oil related DPGR. See § 1.199-4(d).

    (ii) Simplified deduction method. A taxpayer that uses the simplified deduction method to apportion deductions between DPGR and non-DPGR must determine the portion of deductions allocable to oil related DPGR by multiplying the deductions allocable to DPGR by the ratio of oil related DPGR divided by DPGR from all activities. See § 1.199-4(e).

    (iii) Small business simplified overall method. A taxpayer that uses the small business simplified overall method to apportion total costs (CGS and deductions) between DPGR and non-DPGR must determine the portion of total costs allocable to DPGR that are allocable to oil related DPGR by multiplying the total costs allocable to DPGR by the ratio of oil related DPGR divided by DPGR from all activities. See § 1.199-4(f).

    Par. 4. Section 1.199-2 is amended by revising paragraph (c), adding a sentence at the end of paragraph (e)(1), and adding paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 1.199-2 Wage limitation.

    (c) [The text of the proposed amendments to § 1.199-2(c) is the same as the text of § 1.199-2T(c) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    (e) * * *

    (1) * * * In the case of a qualified film (as defined in § 1.199-3(k)) for taxable years beginning after 2007, the term W-2 wages includes compensation for services (as defined in § 1.199-3(k)(4)) performed in the United States by actors, production personnel, directors, and producers (as defined in § 1.199-3(k)(1)).

    (f) Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. In the case of a taxpayer described in § 1.199-3(h)(2), the determination of W-2 wages of such taxpayer shall be made without regard to any exclusion under section 3401(a)(8) for remuneration paid for services performed in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. This paragraph (f) only applies as provided in section 199(d)(8).

    Par. 5. Section 1.199-3 is amended by: 1. In paragraph (d)(4): a. Redesignating Example 6, Example 7, Example 8, Example 9, Example 10, Example 11, and Example 12 as Example 7, Example 8, Example 9, Example 10, Example 11, Example 12, and Example 13, respectively; b. In newly-designated Example 10, removing the language “Example 8” and adding “Example 9” in its place; and c. Adding Example 6 and Example 14. 2. Revising the last sentence in paragraphs (e)(1) and (3). 3. In paragraph (e)(5): a. Revising the third sentence in Example 1, the second sentence in Example 4, and Example 5. b. Adding Example 9. 4. Revising the last sentence in paragraph (f)(1). 5. Revising Example 1, removing Example 2, and redesignating Example 3 as Example 2 in paragraph (f)(4). 6. Removing the second and third sentences in paragraph (g)(1). 7. Revising paragraph (g)(4)(i). 8. Redesignating paragraph (h) as paragraph (h)(1), adding paragraph (h) heading and adding paragraph (h)(2). 9. Revising paragraph (i)(3). 10. Removing Example 3; redesignating Example 5 as Example 3; and revising Example 4 in paragraph (i)(5)(iii). 11. In paragraph (i)(6)(iv)(D)(2), removing the language “§ 1.199-3T(i)(8)” and adding “§ 1.199-3(i)(8)” in its place. 12. Redesignating paragraph (i)(9) as paragraph (i)(10) and adding paragraph (i)(9). 13. Adding three sentences after the first sentence in paragraph (k)(1), revising paragraph (k)(2)(ii) introductory text, and adding a sentence at the end of paragraph (k)(3)(i). 14. Removing the first, second, and fifth sentences in paragraph (k)(3)(ii). 15. Adding one sentence at the end of paragraph (k)(6). 16. Adding two sentences before the last sentence in paragraph (k)(7)(i). 17. Revising the last sentence in paragraph (k)(8). 18. Redesignating paragraph (k)(10) as paragraph (k)(11) and adding paragraph (k)(10). 19. In newly redesignated paragraph (k)(11): a. Revising Example 3; b. Removing Example 4; redesignating Example 5 and Example 6 as Example 4 and Example 5, respectively; and adding Example 6, Example 7, Example 8, Example 9, Example 10, and Example 11; and c. Revising the third sentence in newly redesignated Example 4. 20. Adding one sentence at the end of paragraph (m)(2)(i). 21. Revising paragraph (m)(5).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 1.199-3 Domestic production gross receipts.

    (d) * * *

    (4) * * *

    Example 6.

    The facts are the same as Example 3 except that R offers three-car sets together with a coupon for a car wash for sale to customers in the normal course of R's business. The gross receipts attributable to the car wash do not qualify as DPGR because a car wash is a service, assuming the de minimis exception under paragraph (i)(4)(i)(B)(6) of this section does not apply. In determining R's DPGR, under paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, the three-car set is an item if the gross receipts derived from the sale of the three-car sets without the car wash qualify as DPGR under this section.

    Example 14.

    Z is engaged in the trade or business of construction under NAICS code 23 on a regular and ongoing basis. Z purchases a piece of property that has two buildings located on it. Z performs construction activities in connection with a project to substantially renovate building 1. Building 2 is not substantially renovated and together building 1 and building 2 are not substantially renovated, as defined under paragraph (m)(5) of this section. Z later sells building 1 and building 2 together in the normal course of Z's business. Z can use any reasonable method to determine what construction activities constitute an item under paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this section. Z's method is not reasonable if Z treats the gross receipts derived from the sale of building 1 and building 2 as DPGR. This is because Z's construction activities would not have substantially renovated buildings 1 and 2 if they were considered together as one item. Z's method is reasonable if it treats the construction activities with respect to building 1 as the item under paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this section because the proceeds from the sale of building 1 constitute DPGR.

    (e) * * *

    (1) * * * Pursuant to paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the taxpayer must be the party engaged in the MPGE of the QPP during the period the MPGE activity occurs in order for gross receipts derived from the MPGE of QPP to qualify as DPGR.

    (3) * * * Notwithstanding paragraph (i)(4)(i)(B)(4) of this section, if the taxpayer installs QPP MPGE by the taxpayer, then the portion of the installing activity that relates to the QPP is an MPGE activity.

    (5) * * *

    Example 1.

    * * * A stores the agricultural products. * * *

    Example 4.

    * * * Y engages in the reconstruction and refurbishment activity and installation of the parts. * * *

    Example 5.

    The following activities are performed by Z as part of the MPGE of the QPP: Materials analysis and selection, subcontractor inspections and qualifications, testing of component parts, assisting customers in their review and approval of the QPP, routine production inspections, product documentation, diagnosis and correction of system failure, and packaging for shipment to customers. Because Z MPGE the QPP, these activities performed by Z are part of the MPGE of the QPP. If Z did not MPGE the QPP, then these activities, such as testing of component parts, performed by Z are not the MPGE of QPP.

    Example 9.

    X is in the business of selling gift baskets containing various products that are packaged together. X purchases the baskets and the products included within the baskets from unrelated third parties. X plans where and how the products should be arranged into the baskets. On an assembly line in a gift basket production facility, X arranges the products into the baskets according to that plan, sometimes relabeling the products before placing them into the baskets. X engages in no other activity besides packaging, repackaging, labeling, or minor assembly with respect to the gift baskets. Therefore, X is not considered to have engaged in the MPGE of QPP under paragraph (e)(2) of this section.

    (f) * * *

    (1) * * * If a qualifying activity under paragraph (e)(1), (k)(1), or (l)(1) of this section is performed under a contract, then the party to the contract that is the taxpayer for purposes of this paragraph (f) during the period in which the qualifying activity occurs is the party performing the qualifying activity.

    (4) * * *

    Example 1.

    X designs machines that it sells to customers. X contracts with Y, an unrelated person, for the manufacture of the machines. The contract between X and Y is a fixed-price contract. To manufacture the machines, Y purchases components and raw materials. Y tests the purchased components. Y manufactures the raw materials into additional components and Y physically performs the assembly of the components into machines. Y oversees and directs the activities under which the machines are manufactured by its employees. X also has employees onsite during the manufacturing for quality control. Y packages the finished machines and ships them to X's customers. Pursuant to paragraph (f)(1) of this section, Y is the taxpayer during the period the manufacturing of the machines occurs and, as a result, Y is treated as the manufacturer of the machines.

    (g) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (i) Contract with an unrelated person. If a taxpayer enters into a contract with an unrelated person pursuant to which the unrelated person is required to MPGE QPP within the United States for the taxpayer, the taxpayer is not considered to have engaged in the MPGE of that QPP pursuant to paragraph (f)(1) of this section, and therefore, for purposes of making any determination under this paragraph (g), the MPGE or production activities or direct labor and overhead of the unrelated person under the contract are only attributed to the unrelated person.

    (h) United States * * *

    (2) Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The term United States includes the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in the case of any taxpayer with gross receipts for any taxable year from sources within the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, if all of such receipts are taxable under section 1 or 11 for such taxable year. This paragraph (h)(2) only applies as provided in section 199(d)(8).

    (i) * * *

    (3) Hedging transactions—(i) In general. For purposes of this section, provided that the risk being hedged relates to property described in section 1221(a)(1) giving rise to DPGR or relates to property described in section 1221(a)(8) consumed in an activity giving rise to DPGR, and provided that the transaction is a hedging transaction within the meaning of section 1221(b)(2)(A) and § 1.1221-2(b) and is properly identified as a hedging transaction in accordance with § 1.1221-2(f), then—

    (A) In the case of a hedge of purchases of property described in section 1221(a)(1), income, deduction, gain, or loss on the hedging transaction must be taken into account in determining CGS;

    (B) In the case of a hedge of sales of property described in section 1221(a)(1), income, deduction, gain, or loss on the hedging transaction must be taken into account in determining DPGR; and

    (C) In the case of a hedge of purchases of property described in section 1221(a)(8), income, deduction, gain, or loss on the hedging transaction must be taken into account in determining DPGR.

    (ii) Effect of identification and nonidentification. The principles of § 1.1221-2(g) apply to a taxpayer that identifies or fails to identify a transaction as a hedging transaction, except that the consequence of identifying as a hedging transaction a transaction that is not in fact a hedging transaction described in paragraph (i)(3)(i) of this section, or of failing to identify a transaction that the taxpayer has no reasonable grounds for treating as other than a hedging transaction described in paragraph (i)(3)(i) of this section, is that deduction or loss (but not income or gain) from the transaction is taken into account under paragraph (i)(3) of this section.

    (iii) Other rules. See § 1.1221-2(e) for rules applicable to hedging by members of a consolidated group and § 1.446-4 for rules regarding the timing of income, deductions, gains or losses with respect to hedging transactions.

    (5) * * *

    (iii) * * *

    Example 4.

    X produces a live television program that is a qualified film. In 2010, X broadcasts the television program on its station and distributes the program through the Internet. The television program contains product placements and advertising for which X received compensation in 2010. Because the methods and means of distributing a qualified film under paragraph (k)(1) of this section do not affect the availability of the deduction under section 199 for taxable years beginning after 2007, pursuant to paragraph (i)(5)(ii) of this section, all of X's product placement and advertising gross receipts for the program are treated as derived from the distribution of the qualified film.

    (9) Partnerships and S corporations engaging in production of qualified films—(i) In general. For taxable years beginning after 2007, in the case of each partner of a partnership or shareholder of an S corporation who owns (directly or indirectly) at least 20 percent of the capital interests in such partnership or the stock of such S corporation, such partner or shareholder shall be treated as having engaged directly in any qualified film produced by such partnership or S corporation, and such partnership or S corporation shall be treated as having engaged directly in any qualified film produced by such partner or shareholder.

    (ii) No double attribution. When a partnership or S corporation is treated as having engaged directly in any qualified film produced by a partner or shareholder, any other partners of the partnership or shareholders of the S corporation who did not participate directly in the production of the qualified film are treated as not having engaged directly in the production of the qualified film at the partner or shareholder level. When a partner or shareholder is treated as having engaged directly in any qualified film produced by a partnership or S corporation, any other partnerships or S corporations in which that partner or shareholder owns an interest (excluding the partnership or S corporation that produced the film), are treated as not having engaged directly in the production of the qualified film at the partnership or S corporation level.

    (iii) Timing of attribution. A partner or shareholder is treated as having engaged directly in any qualified film produced by the partnership or S corporation, regardless of when the qualified film was produced by the partnership or S corporation, during any period that the partner or shareholder owns (directly or indirectly) at least 20 percent of the capital interests in the partnership or stock of the S corporation (attribution period). During any period that a partner or shareholder owns less than a 20 percent of the capital interests in such partnership or the stock of such S corporation, that partner or shareholder is not treated as having engaged directly in the qualified film produced by the partnership or S corporation for purposes of this paragraph (i)(9). A partnership or S corporation is treated as having engaged directly in a qualified film produced by a partner or shareholder during any period the partner or shareholder owns (directly or indirectly) at least 20 percent of the capital interests in such partnership or the stock of S corporation (attribution period). During any period that the partner or shareholder owns less than 20 percent of the capital interests in such partnership or stock of such S corporation, the partnership or S corporation is not treated as having engaged directly in the qualified film produced by the partner or shareholder for purposes of this paragraph (i)(9). The attribution period under this paragraph (i)(9) may be shorter or longer than a taxpayer's taxable year, depending on the length of the attribution period.

    (iv) Examples. The following examples illustrate an application of this paragraph (i)(9). Assume that all taxpayers are calendar year taxpayers.

    Example 1.

    In 2010, Studio A and Studio B form an S corporation in which each is a 50-percent shareholder to produce a qualified film. Studio A owns the rights to distribute the film domestically and Studio B owns the rights to distribute the film outside of the United States. The production activities of the S corporation are attributed to each shareholder, and thus each shareholder's revenue from the distribution of the qualified film is treated as DPGR during the attribution period because Studio A and Studio B are treated as having directly engaged in any film that was produced by the S corporation.

    Example 2.

    The facts are the same as Example 1 except that, in 2011, after the S corporation's production of the qualified film, Studio C becomes a shareholder that owns at least 20 percent of the stock of the S corporation. Studio C is treated as having directly engaged in any film that was produced by the S corporation during the attribution period, as defined in paragraph (i)(9)(iii) of this section.

    Example 3.

    In 2010, Studio A and Studio B form a partnership in which each is a 50-percent partner to distribute a qualified film. Studio A produced the film and contributes it to the partnership and Studio B contributes cash to the partnership. The production activities of Studio A are attributed to the partnership, and thus the partnership's revenue from the distribution of the qualified film is treated as DPGR during the attribution period, as defined in paragraph (i)(9)(iii) of this section, because the partnership is treated as having directly engaged in any film that was produced by Studio A.

    Example 4.

    The facts are the same as Example 3 except that Studio B receives a distribution of the rights to license an intangible associated with the qualified film produced by Studio A. Any receipts derived from the licensing of the intangible by Studio B are non-DPGR because Studio A's production activities are attributed to the partnership, and are not further attributed to Studio B.

    Example 5.

    The facts are the same as Example 3 except that, at some point in 2011, Studio A owns less than a 20-percent capital interest in the partnership. During the period that Studio A owns less than a 20-percent capital interest in the partnership between Studio A and Studio B, the partnership is not treated as directly engaging in the production of a qualified film. Therefore, any future receipts the partnership derives from the film after the end of the attribution period, as defined in paragraph (i)(9)(iii) of this section, are non-DPGR. Studio A, however, is still treated as having engaged directly in the production of the qualified film.

    (k) * * *

    (1) * * * For taxable years beginning after 2007, the term qualified film includes any copyrights, trademarks, or other intangibles with respect to such film (intangibles). For purposes of this paragraph (k), other intangibles include rights associated with the exploitation of a qualified film, such as endorsement rights, video game rights, merchandising rights, and other similar rights. See paragraph (k)(10) of this section for a special rule for disposition of promotional films. * * *

    (2) * * *

    (ii) Film produced by a taxpayer. Except for intangibles under paragraph (k)(1) of this section, if a taxpayer produces a film and the film is affixed to tangible personal property (for example, a DVD), then for purposes of this section—

    (3) * * *

    (i) * * * For taxable years beginning after 2007, the methods and means of distributing a qualified film shall not affect the availability of the deduction under section 199.

    (6) * * * Production activities do not include transmission or distribution activities with respect to a film, including the transmission of a film by electronic signal and the activities facilitating such transmission (such as formatting that enables the film to be transmitted).

    (7) * * *

    (i) * * * Paragraph (g)(3)(ii) of this section includes all costs paid or incurred by a taxpayer, whether or not capitalized or required to be capitalized under section 263A, to produce a live or delayed television program, and also includes any lease, rental, or license fees paid by a taxpayer for all or any portion of a film, or films produced by a third party that taxpayer uses in its film. License fees for films produced by third parties are not included in the direct labor and overhead to produce the film for purposes of applying paragraph (g)(3) of this section. * * *

    (8) * * * If one party performs a production activity pursuant to a contract with another party, then only the party that is considered the taxpayer pursuant to paragraph (f)(1) of this section during the period in which the production activity occurs is treated as engaging in the production activity.

    (10) Special rule for disposition of promotional films and products or services promoted in promotional films. A promotional film is a film produced to promote a taxpayer's particular product or service and the term includes, but is not limited to, commercials, infomercials, advertising films, and sponsored films. A product or service is promoted in a promotional film if the product or service appears in, is described during, or is in a similar way alluded to by such film. If a promotional film meets the requirements to be treated as a qualified film produced by the taxpayer, then a taxpayer derives gross receipts from the lease, rental, license, sale, exchange, or other disposition of a qualified film, including any copyrights, trademarks, or other intangibles when the promotional film's disposition is distinct (separate and apart) from the disposition of the promoted product or service. Gross receipts are not derived from the disposition of a qualified film, including any copyrights, trademarks, or other intangibles when gross receipts are derived from a disposition of the promoted product or service.

    (11) * * *

    Example 3.

    X produces live television programs that are qualified films. X shows the programs on its own television station. X sells advertising time slots to advertisers for the television programs. Because the methods and means of distributing a qualified film under paragraph (k)(1) of this section do not affect the availability of the deduction under section 199 for taxable years beginning after 2007, the advertising income X receives from advertisers is derived from the lease, rental, license, sale, exchange, or other disposition of the qualified films and is DPGR.

    Example 4.

    * * * Y is considered the taxpayer performing the qualifying activities pursuant to paragraph (f)(1) of this section with respect to the DVDs during the MPGE and duplication process. * * *

    Example 6.

    X produced a qualified film and licenses the trademark of Character A, a character in the qualified film, to Y for reproduction of the Character A image onto t-shirts. Y sells the t-shirts with Character A's likeness to customers, and pays X a royalty based on sales of the t-shirts. X's qualified film only includes intangibles with respect to the qualified film in taxable years beginning after 2007, including the trademark of Character A. Accordingly, any gross receipts derived from the license of the trademark of Character A to Y occurring in a taxable year beginning before 2008 are non-DPGR, and any gross receipts derived from the license of the trademark of Character A occurring in a taxable year beginning after 2007 are DPGR (assuming all other requirements of this section are met). The royalties X derives from Y occurring in a taxable year beginning before 2008 are non-DPGR because the royalties are derived from an intangible (which is not within the definition of a qualified film under paragraph (k)(1) of this section for taxable years beginning before 2008).

    Example 7.

    Y, a media company, acquires all of the intangible rights to Book A, which was written and published in 2008, and all of the intangible rights associated with a qualified film that is based on Book A. The qualified film based on Book A is produced in 2009 by Y. Y owns the copyright and trademark to Character B, the lead character in Book A and the qualified film based on Book A. Y licenses Character B's copyright and trademark to Z for $50,000,000. For 2009, without taking into account the payment from Z, Y derives 40 percent of its gross receipts from the qualified film based on Book A, and 60 percent from Book A. Z's payment is attributable to both Book A and the qualified film based on Book A. Therefore, Y must allocate Z's payment, and only the gross receipts derived from licensing the intangible rights associated with the qualified film based on Book A, or 40 percent, are DPGR.

    Example 8.

    Z produces a commercial in the United States that features Z's shirts, shoes, and other athletic equipment that all have Z's trademarked logo affixed (promoted products). Z's commercial is a qualified film produced by Z. Z sells the shirts, shoes, and athletic equipment to customers at retail establishments. Z's gross receipts are derived from the disposition of the promoted products and are not derived from the disposition of Z's qualified film, including any copyrights, trademarks, or other intangibles with respect to Z's qualified film.

    Example 9.

    X produces a commercial in the United States that features X's services (promoted services). X's commercial is a qualified film produced by X. The commercial includes Character A developed to promote X's services. Gross receipts that X derives from providing the promoted services are not derived from the disposition of X's qualified film, including any copyrights, trademarks, or other intangibles with respect to X's qualified film. X also licenses the right to reproduce Character A developed to promote X's services to Y so that Y can produce t-shirts featuring Character A. This license is distinct (separate and apart) from a disposition of the promoted services and the gross receipts are derived from the license of an intangible with respect to X's qualified film produced by X. X's gross receipts derived from the license to reproduce Character A are DPGR.

    Example 10.

    Y produces a qualified film in the United States. Y purchases DVDs and affixes the qualified film to the DVDs. Y purchases gift baskets and sells individual gift baskets that contain a DVD with the affixed qualified film in its retail stores in the normal course of Y's business. Under § 1.199-3(k)(2)(ii)(A), Y may treat the DVD as part of the qualified film produced by taxpayer, but Y cannot treat the gift baskets as part of the qualified film produced by taxpayer. The gross receipts that Y derives from the sale of the DVD are DPGR derived from a qualified film, but the gross receipts that Y derives from the sale of the gift baskets are non-DPGR.

    Example 11.

    The facts are the same as in Example 10 except that the individual gift baskets that Y sells also contain boxes of popcorn and candy manufactured by Y within the United States. Under § 1.199-3(k)(2)(ii)(A), Y cannot treat the gift baskets including the boxes of popcorn and candy manufactured by Y as part of the qualified film produced by taxpayer. Gross receipts from the sale of the DVD are still treated as DPGR derived from a qualified film. Y must separately determine whether the gross receipts from the tangible personal property it sells qualify as DPGR. Thus, Y must determine whether the gift basket, including the boxes of popcorn and candy but excluding the qualified film, is an item for purposes of § 1.199-3(d)(1)(i).

    (m) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (i) * * * A taxpayer whose engagement in the activity is primarily limited to approving or authorizing invoices or payments is not considered engaged in a construction activity as a general contractor or in any other capacity.

    (5) Definition of substantial renovation. The term substantial renovation means activities the costs of which would be required to be capitalized by the taxpayer as an improvement under § 1.263(a)-3, other than an amount described in § 1.263(a)-3(k)(1)(i) through (iii). If not otherwise defined under § 1.263(a)-3, the unit of property for purposes of § 1.263(a)-3 is the real property, as defined in paragraph (m)(3) of this section, to which the activities relate.

    Par. 6. Section 1.199-4 is amended by adding a sentence after the seventh sentence in paragraph (b)(1) and adding paragraph (b)(2)(iii) to read as follows:

    § 1.199-4 Costs allocable to domestic production gross receipts.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * * In the case of a long-term contract accounted for under the percentage-of-completion method described in § 1.460-4(b) (PCM), or the completed-contract method described in § 1.460-4(d) (CCM), CGS for purposes of this section includes the allocable contract costs described in § 1.460-5(b) (in the case of a contract accounted for under PCM) or § 1.460-5(d) (in the case of a contract accounted for under CCM). * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iii) Cost of goods sold associated with activities undertaken in an earlier taxable year—(A) In general. A taxpayer must allocate CGS between DPGR and non-DPGR under the rules provided in paragraphs (b)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section, regardless of whether certain costs included in CGS can be associated with activities undertaken in an earlier taxable year (including a year prior to the effective date of section 199). A taxpayer may not segregate CGS into component costs and allocate those component costs between DPGR and non-DPGR.

    (B) Example. The following example illustrates an application of paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(A) of this section:

    Example.

    During the 2009 taxable year, X manufactured and sold Product A. All of the gross receipts from sales recognized by X in 2009 were from the sale of Product A and qualified as DPGR. Employee 1 was involved in X's production process until he retired in 2003. In 2009, X paid $30 directly from its general assets for Employee 1's medical expenses pursuant to an unfunded, self-insured plan for retired X employees. For purposes of computing X's 2009 taxable income, X capitalized those medical costs to inventory under section 263A. In 2009, the CGS for a unit of Product A was $100 (including the applicable portion of the $30 paid for Employee 1's medical costs that was allocated to cost of goods sold under X's allocation method for additional section 263A costs). X has information readily available to specifically identify CGS allocable to DPGR and can identify that amount without undue burden and expense because all of X's gross receipts from sales in 2009 are attributable to the sale of Product A and qualify as DPGR. The inventory cost of each unit of Product A sold in 2009, including the applicable portion of retiree medical costs, is related to X's gross receipts from the sale of Product A in 2009. X may not segregate the 2009 CGS by separately allocating the retiree medical costs, which are components of CGS, to DPGR and non-DPGR. Thus, even though the retiree medical costs can be associated with activities undertaken in prior years, $100 of inventory cost of each unit of Product A sold in 2009, including the applicable portion of the retiree medical expense cost component, is allocable to DPGR in 2009.

    Par. 7. Section 1.199-6 is amended by adding Example 4 to paragraph (m) to read as follows:
    § 1.199-6 Agricultural and horticultural cooperatives.

    (m) * * *

    Example 4.

    (i) The facts are the same as Example 1 except that Cooperative X's payments of $370,000 for its members' corn qualify as per-unit retain allocations paid in money within the meaning of section 1388(f) and Cooperative X reports the per-unit retain allocations paid in money on Form 1099-PATR.

    (ii) Cooperative X is a cooperative described in paragraph (f) of this section. Accordingly, this section applies to Cooperative X and its patrons and all of Cooperative X's gross receipts from the sale of its patrons' corn qualify as domestic production gross receipts (as defined in § 1.199-3(a)). Cooperative X's QPAI is $1,370,000. Cooperative X's section 199 deduction for its taxable year 2007 is $82,200 (.06 × $1,370,000). Because this amount is more than 50% of Cooperative X's W-2 wages (.5 × $130,000 = $65,000), the entire amount is not allowed as a section 199 deduction, but is instead subject to the wage limitation section 199(b), and also remains subject to the rules of section 199(d)(3) and this section.

    Par. 8. Section 1.199-8 is amended by revising the heading of paragraph (i) and adding paragraphs (i)(10) and (11) to read as follows:
    § 1.199-8 Other rules.

    (i) Effective/applicability dates * * *

    (10) [The text of the proposed amendments to § 1.199-8(i)(10) is the same as the text of § 1.199-8T(i)(10) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    (11) Energy Improvement and Extension Act of the 2008, Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008, Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, and other provisions. Section 1.199-1(f); the last sentence in § 1.199-2(e)(1) and paragraph (f); § 1.199-3(d)(4) Example 6 and Example 14, the last sentence in paragraph (e)(1), the last sentence in paragraph (e)(3), the third sentence in paragraph (e)(5) Example 1, the second sentence in paragraph (e)(5) Example 4, paragraph (e)(5) Example 5 and Example 9, the last sentence in paragraph (f)(1), paragraph (f)(4) Example 1, paragraph (g)(4)(i), paragraphs (h)(2), (i)(3), (i)(5) Example 4, and (i)(9), the second, third, and fourth sentences in paragraph (k)(1), paragraph (k)(2)(ii), the second sentence in paragraph (k)(3)(i), the last sentence in paragraph (k)(6), the second sentence from the last sentence in paragraph (k)(7)(i), the last sentence in paragraph (k)(8), paragraph (k)(10), the third sentence in paragraph (k)(11) Example 4, paragraph (k)(11) Example 3, Example 6, Example 7, Example 8, Example 9, Example 10, and Example 11, the last sentence in paragraph (m)(2)(i), paragraph (m)(5); the eighth sentence in § 1.199-4(b)(1) and paragraph (b)(2)(iii); and § 1.199-6(m) Example 4 apply to taxable years beginning on or after the date the final regulations are published in the Federal Register.

    John M. Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20772 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 49, 51, 52, 60, 70, and 71 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0685; EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505; EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0606; FRL-9933-15-OAR] Source Determination for Certain Emission Units in the Oil and Natural Gas Sector; Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New and Modified Sources; and Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country: Federal Implementation Plan for Managing Air Emissions From True Minor Sources Engaged in Oil and Natural Gas Production in Indian Country AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; notice of public hearings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing three public hearings to be held for three proposed rules titled, “Source Determination for Certain Emission Units in the Oil and Natural Gas Sector,” “Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New and Modified Sources,” and “Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country: Federal Implementation Plan for Managing Air Emissions from True Minor Sources Engaged in Oil and Natural Gas Production in Indian Country.” Two hearings will be held on September 23, 2015, simultaneously—one in Denver, CO, and one in Dallas, TX. One hearing will be on September 29, 2015, in Pittsburgh, PA.

    DATES:

    Two public hearings will be held at different locations on September 23, 2015, and one public hearing will be held on September 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The September 23, 2015, Denver, CO, hearing will be held at the EPA, Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202. The September 23, 2015, Dallas, TX, hearing will be held at the Dallas City Hall, Council Chambers, 1500 Marilla Street, Dallas, TX 75201. The September 29, 2015, Pittsburgh, PA, hearing will be held at the William S. Moorhead Federal Building, 1000 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Identification is required at the Denver, CO, and Pittsburgh, PA, hearings because they are being held in federal facilities. If your driver's license is issued by American Samoa, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire or New York, you must present an additional form of identification to enter (see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for additional information on this location).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information related to these public hearings, please contact Ms. Aimee St. Clair, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (E143-03), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, by phone at (919) 541-1063, or by email at [email protected] To register to speak at these public hearings, please use the online registration form available at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/oilandgas/, no later than September 18, 2015, for the hearings in Denver, CO and Dallas, TX, and no later than September 25, 2015, for the hearing in Pittsburgh, PA.

    For questions concerning the proposed rule titled, “Source Determination for Certain Emission Units in the Oil and Natural Gas Sector,” contact Ms. Cheryl Vetter, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, by phone at (919) 541-4391, or by email at [email protected]

    For questions concerning the proposed rule titled, “Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New and Modified Sources,” contact Mr. Bruce Moore, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, by phone at (919) 541-5460, or by email at [email protected]

    For questions concerning the proposed rule titled, “Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country: Federal Implementation Plan for Managing Air Emissions from True Minor Sources Engaged in Oil and Natural Gas Production in Indian Country,” contact Mr. Christopher Stoneman, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, by phone at (919) 541-0823, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The public hearings will be held to accept oral comments on all three proposed rulemakings listed in the summary section of this document. Commenters may choose to speak on one or more of the three proposed rulemakings.

    All three hearings will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will conclude at 8:00 p.m. (local time). There will be a lunch break from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (local time) and a dinner break from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (local time). To register to speak at the hearings, please use the online registration form available at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/oilandgas/registration.html. For questions regarding registration, please contact Aimee St. Clair at (919) 541-1063. The last day to pre-register to speak at the Denver, CO, and Dallas, TX, hearings will be September 18, 2015. The last day to pre-register to speak at the Pittsburgh, PA, hearing will be September 23, 2015. Additionally, requests to speak will be taken the day of the hearings at the hearings registration desk, although preferences on speaking times may not be able to be fulfilled. Please note that registration requests received before the hearings will be confirmed by the EPA via email. We cannot guarantee that we can accommodate all timing requests and will provide requestors with the next available speaking time, in the event that their requested time is taken. Please note that the time outlined in the confirmation email will be the scheduled speaking time. Depending on the flow of the day, times may fluctuate. If you require the service of a translator or special accommodations such as audio description, we ask that you pre-register for the Denver, CO, and Dallas, TX, hearings no later than September 18, 2015, and the Pittsburgh, PA, hearing no later than September 23, 2015, as we may not be able to arrange such accommodations without advance notice. Please note that any updates made to any aspect of the hearing will be posted online at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/oilandgas/. While the EPA expects the hearings to go forward as set forth above, we ask that you monitor our Web site or contact Aimee St. Clair at (919) 541-1063 to determine if there are any updates to the information on the hearings. The EPA does not intend to publish a document in the Federal Register announcing any such updates.

    Oral testimony will be limited to 5 minutes for each commenter. The EPA encourages commenters to provide the EPA with a copy of their oral testimony electronically (via email) before the hearings and in hard copy form at the hearings.

    The hearings will provide interested parties the opportunity to present data, views, or arguments concerning the proposed actions. The EPA will make every effort to accommodate all speakers who wish to register to speak at the hearing venues on the day of the hearings. The EPA may ask clarifying questions during the oral presentations, but will not respond to the presentations at that time. Written statements and supporting information submitted during the comment period will be considered with the same weight as oral comments and supporting information presented at the public hearings. Verbatim transcripts of the hearings and written statements will be included in the dockets for each rulemaking. The EPA plans for the hearings to run on schedule; however, due to on-site schedule fluctuations, actual speaking times may shift slightly.

    Because the Denver, CO, and Pittsburgh, PA, hearings are being held at United States government facilities, individuals planning to attend these hearings should be prepared to show valid picture identification to the security staff in order to gain access to the meeting room. Please note that the REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, established new requirements for entering federal facilities. If your driver's license is issued by American Samoa, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire or New York, you must present an additional form of identification to enter the federal building. Acceptable alternative forms of identification include: Federal employee badges, passports, enhanced driver's licenses, and military identification cards. For additional information for the status of your state regarding REAL ID, go to http://www.dhs.gov/real-id-enforcement-brief. In addition, you will need to obtain a property pass for any personal belongings you bring with you. Upon leaving the buildings, you will be required to return this property pass to the security desk. No large signs will be allowed in the buildings, cameras may only be used outside of the buildings, and demonstrations will not be allowed on federal property for security reasons.

    At all of the hearing locations, atttendees will be asked to go through metal detectors. To help facilitate this process, please be advised that you will be asked to remove all items from all pockets and place them in provided bins for screening; remove laptops, phones, or other electronic devices from their carrying case and place in provided bins for screening; avoid shoes with metal shanks, toe guards, or supports as a part of their construction; remove any metal belts, metal belt buckles, large jewelry, watches; and follow the instructions of the guard if identified for secondary screening. Additionally, no weapons (e.g., pocket knives) or drugs or drug paraphernalia (e.g., marijuana) will be allowed in the buildings. We recommend that you arrive 20 minutes in advance of your speaking time in Denver, CO, Dallas, TX, and Pittsburgh, PA, to allow time to go through security and to check in with the registration desk.

    How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The EPA has established separate dockets for all three of the proposed rulemakings (available at http://www.regulations.gov). For the proposed rulemaking titled, “Source Determination for Certain Emission Units in the Oil and Natural Gas Sector,” the Docket ID No. is EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0685. For the proposed rulemaking titled, “Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New and Modified Sources,” the Docket ID No. is EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505. For the proposed rulemaking titled, “Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country: Federal Implementation Plan for Managing Air Emissions from True Minor Sources Engaged in Oil and Natural Gas Production in Indian Country,” the Docket ID No. is EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0606. All three proposed rulemakings are posted at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/oilandgas/actions.html. If you need assistance in accessing any information related to these rulemakings, please contact Ms. Aimee St. Clair, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, by phone at (919) 541-1063, or by email at [email protected]

    Dated: August 21, 2015. Mary E. Henigin, Acting Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21255 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0468; FRL-9933-06-OAR] Determinations of Attainment by the Attainment Date, Extensions of the Attainment Date, and Reclassification of Several Areas Classified as Marginal for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing three separate and independent determinations related to the 36 areas that are currently classified as “Marginal” for the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). First, the EPA is proposing to determine that 17 areas attained the 2008 ozone NAAQS by the applicable attainment date of July 20, 2015, based on complete, quality-assured and certified ozone monitoring data for 2012-2014. Second, the EPA is proposing to grant 1-year attainment date extensions for eight areas on the basis that the requirements for such extensions under the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) have been met. Third, the EPA is proposing to determine that 11 areas failed to attain the 2008 ozone NAAQS by the applicable attainment date of July 20, 2015, and that they are not eligible for an extension, and to reclassify these areas as “Moderate” for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Once reclassified as Moderate, states must submit State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions that meet the statutory and regulatory requirements that apply to 2008 ozone NAAQS nonattainment areas classified as Moderate. In this action, the EPA is proposing and taking comment on two options for the deadline by which states would need to submit to the EPA for review and approval the SIP revisions required for Moderate areas once their areas are reclassified.

    DATES:

    Comments. Comments must be received on or before September 28, 2015. Public Hearings. If anyone contacts us requesting a public hearing on or before September 11, 2015, we will hold a public hearing. Please refer to SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for additional information on the comment period and the public hearing.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-OAR-2015-0468, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. If you need to include CBI as part of your comment, please visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html for instructions. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Cecil (Butch) Stackhouse, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Air Quality Policy Division, Mail Code C539-01, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, telephone (919) 541-5208; fax number: (919) 541-5315; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    Entities potentially affected by this action include states (typically state air pollution control agencies), the District of Columbia and, in some cases, tribal governments. In particular, 26 states 1 with areas designated nonattainment and classified as “Marginal” for the 2008 ozone NAAQS and the District of Columbia are affected by this action. Entities potentially affected indirectly by this proposal include owners and operators of sources of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions that contribute to ground-level ozone formation within the subject ozone nonattainment areas.

    1 AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI and WY.

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for the EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to the 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 the 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 to be CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

    • Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).

    • 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.

    • Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes.

    • Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used.

    • If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.

    • Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives.

    • Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.

    • Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

    C. Where can I get a copy of this document and other related information?

    In addition to being available in the docket, an electronic copy of this document will be posted at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/ozonepollution/actions.html#impl.

    D. What information should I know about a possible public hearing?

    To request a public hearing or information pertaining to a public hearing on this document, contact Ms. Pamela Long at (919) 541-0641 before 5 p.m. on September 11, 2015. If requested, further details concerning a public hearing for this proposed rule will be published in a separate Federal Register document. For updates and additional information on a public hearing, please check the EPA's Web site for this rulemaking at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/ozonepollution/actions.html#impl.

    E. How is this preamble organized?

    The information presented in this preamble is organized as follows.

    I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA? C. Where can I get a copy of this document and other related information? D. What information should I know about a possible public hearing? E. How is this preamble organized? II. Overview and Basis of Proposal A. Overview of Proposal B. What is the background for the proposed actions? C. What is the statutory authority for the proposed actions? D. How does the EPA determine whether an area has attained the 2008 ozone standard? III. What is the EPA proposing and what is the rationale? A. Determination of Attainment B. Extension of Marginal Area Attainment Dates C. Determinations of Failure To Attain and Reclassification D. Moderate Area SIP Revision Submission Deadline E. Summary of Proposed Actions IV. Environmental Justice Considerations V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations II. Overview and Basis of Proposal A. Overview of Proposal

    CAA section 181(b)(2) requires the EPA Administrator to determine, based on an area's design value (which represents air quality in the area for the most recent 3 year period) 2 as of an area's attainment deadline, whether an ozone nonattainment area attained the ozone standard by that date. The statute provides a mechanism by which states that meet certain criteria may request and be granted by the EPA Administrator a 1-year extension of an area's attainment deadline. The CAA also requires that areas that have not attained the standard by their attainment deadlines be reclassified to either the next “highest” classification (e.g., Marginal to Moderate, Moderate to Serious, etc.) or to the classifications applicable to the areas' design values in Table 1 of 40 CFR 51.1103. In this document, the EPA proposes to find that 17 Marginal areas attained the 2008 NAAQS by the applicable deadline of July 20, 2015, based on complete, quality-assured and certified ozone monitoring data for 2012-2014.3 The EPA also proposes to find that 8 Marginal areas meet the criteria, as provided in CAA section 181(a)(5) and interpreted by regulation at 40 CFR 51.1107, to qualify for a 1-year attainment date extension for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Finally, the EPA proposes to find that 11 Marginal areas failed to attain the 2008 ozone NAAQS by the applicable Marginal attainment deadline of July 20, 2015, and do not qualify for a 1-year extension. Accordingly, as required by CAA section 181(b)(2)(A), if the EPA finalizes the determinations that these areas failed to attain, the EPA must reclassify those 11 Marginal areas to Moderate. The reclassified areas must attain the 2008 ozone NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable, but no later than July 20, 2018. Table 1 provides a summary of the EPA's proposed actions that would apply to these 36 Marginal areas.

    2 An area's design value for the 8-hour ozone NAAQS is the highest 3-year average of the annual fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentration of all monitors in the area. See 40 CFR part 50, appendix P.

    3 These proposed determinations of attainment do not constitute a redesignation to attainment. Redesignations require states to meet a number of additional criteria, including EPA approval of a state plan to maintain the air quality standard for 10 years after redesignation.

    The EPA is proposing in this document to apply the discretion granted to the Administrator in the statute to adjust the statutory deadlines for submitting required SIP revisions for reclassified Moderate ozone nonattainment areas in order to align the SIP due dates with the regulatory deadline for implementing reasonably available control measures (RACM), including reasonably available control technology (RACT), in such areas as necessary to attain the 2008 ozone standard by the Moderate area attainment deadline of July 20, 2018.

    Table 1—2008 Ozone NAAQS Marginal Nonattainment Area Evaluation Summary 2008 NAAQS Nonattainment area 2012-2014 Design value
  • (ppm)
  • Meets 2008 NAAQS by marginal attainment date 2014 4th
  • Highest daily
  • maximum 8-hr
  • average
  • (ppm)
  • Areas not attaining 2008 NAAQS eligible for attainment date extensions based on 2014 4th highest daily maximum 8-hr average ≤0.075 ppm
    Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA 0.070 Attaining 0.068 Not applicable. Atlanta, GA 0.077 Not Attaining 0.079 No. Baton Rouge, LA 0.072 Attaining 0.075 Not applicable. Calaveras County, CA 0.071 Attaining 0.071 Not applicable. Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC 0.073 Attaining 0.068 Not applicable. Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI 0.081 Not Attaining 0.076 No. Chico (Butte County), CA 0.074 Attaining 0.074 Not applicable. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 0.075 Attaining 0.071 Not applicable. Cleveland-Akron-Lorain, OH 0.078 Not Attaining 0.075 Yes. Columbus, OH 0.075 Attaining 0.070 Not applicable. Denver-Boulder-Greeley-Fort Collins-Loveland, CO 0.082 Not Attaining 0.077 No. Dukes County, MA 0.068 Attaining 0.059 Not applicable. Greater Connecticut, CT 0.080 Not Attaining 0.077 No. Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, TX 0.080 Not Attaining 0.072 Yes. Imperial County, CA 0.080 Not Attaining 0.078 No. Jamestown, NY 0.071 Attaining 0.066 Not applicable. Kern County (Eastern Kern), CA 0.084 Not Attaining 0.089 No. Knoxville, TN 0.067 Attaining 0.064 Not applicable. Lancaster, PA 0.071 Attaining 0.066 Not applicable. Mariposa County, CA 0.078 Not Attaining 0.077 No. Memphis, TN-MS-AR 0.073 Attaining 0.067 Not applicable. Nevada County (Western part), CA 0.079 Not Attaining 0.082 No. New York, N. New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT 0.085 Not Attaining 0.081 No. Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, PA-NJ-MD-DE 0.077 Not Attaining 0.074 Yes. Phoenix-Mesa, Arizona 0.080 Not Attaining 0.080 No. Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley, PA 0.077 Not Attaining 0.071 Yes. Reading, PA 0.071 Attaining 0.068 Not applicable. San Diego County, CA 0.079 Not Attaining 0.079 No. San Francisco Bay Area, CA 0.072 Attaining 0.076 Not applicable. San Luis Obispo County (Eastern San Luis Obispo), CA 0.076 Not Attaining 0.073 Yes. Seaford, DE 0.074 Attaining 0.067 Not applicable. Sheboygan, Wisconsin 0.081 Not Attaining 0.072 Yes. St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL 0.078 Not Attaining 0.072 Yes. Tuscan Buttes, CA 0.075 Attaining 0.076 Not applicable. Upper Green River Basin, WY 0.064 Attaining 0.065 Not applicable. Washington, DC-MD-VA 0.076 Not Attaining 0.069 Yes.
    B. What is the background for the proposed actions?

    On March 12, 2008, the EPA issued its final action to revise the NAAQS for ozone to establish new 8-hour standards (73 FR 16436, March 27, 2008). In that action, we promulgated identical revised primary and secondary ozone standards, designed to protect public health and welfare, that specified an 8-hour ozone standard of 0.075 parts per million (ppm).4 Specifically, the standards require that the 3-year average of the annual fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentration may not exceed 0.075 ppm. The 2008 ozone NAAQS retains the same general form and averaging time as the 0.08 ppm NAAQS set in 1997 but is set at a level that is more protective of public health and the environment.

    4 Since the 2008 primary and secondary NAAQS for ozone are identical, for convenience, we refer to both as “the 2008 ozone NAAQS” or “the 2008 ozone standard.”

    On April 30, 2012 (May 31, 2012), the EPA issued rules designating 46 areas throughout the country as nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, effective July 20, 2012 (77 FR 30088, May 21, 2012 and 77 FR 34221, June 11, 2012). In April 30, 2012, action, the EPA established classifications for the designated nonattainment areas, and classified 36 of those areas as Marginal. We used primarily certified air quality monitoring data from calendar years 2008-2010 5 to designate these areas as nonattainment, and as the basis for their classification (77 FR 30088 and 77 FR 34221). Also in the April 30, 2012, action, the EPA promulgated a Classifications Rule that specified some of the requirements for implementing the 2008 ozone NAAQS under the provisions of Subpart 2 of part D of title I of the CAA to the newly designated nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone standard (77 FR 30160, May 21, 2012). CAA Section 181 provides that the attainment deadline for ozone nonattainment areas is “as expeditiously as practicable” but no later than the prescribed dates that are provided in Table 1 of that section. In the 2008 ozone NAAQS Classifications Rule, the EPA translated the “maximum” deadlines in Table 1 of Subpart 2 for purposes of the 2008 standard by measuring those deadlines from the effective date of the new designations, but extended those deadlines by several months to December 31 of the corresponding calendar year (77 FR 30166).

    5 In certain cases, states included as part of their designation recommendations a request that the EPA consider more up-to-date monitoring data from 2009-2011 in making final designation decisions. The EPA considered the state requests, and, accordingly, adjusted some of the classifications based on the more recent data.

    Pursuant to a challenge of the EPA's interpretation of the attainment deadlines, on December 23, 2014, the D.C. Circuit issued a decision rejecting, among other things, the Classifications Rule's attainment deadlines for the 2008 ozone nonattainment areas, finding that the EPA did not have statutory authority under the CAA to extend those deadlines to the end of the calendar year. NRDC v. EPA, 777 F.3d 456, 464-69 (D.C. Cir. 2014). Accordingly, as part of the final 2008 ozone NAAQS SIP Requirements Rule (80 FR 12264, March 6, 2015), the EPA modified the maximum attainment dates for all nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, consistent with the court's decision. As relevant here, the SIP Requirements Rule established a maximum deadline for Marginal nonattainment areas of 3 years from the effective date of designation, or July 20, 2015, to attain the 2008 ozone NAAQS. See 80 FR at 12268; 40 CFR 51.1103.

    C. What is the statutory authority for the proposed actions?

    The statutory authority for the actions proposed in this document is provided by the CAA, as amended (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.). Relevant portions of the CAA include, but are not necessarily limited to, sections 181(a)(5) and 181(b)(2).

    By way of background, CAA section 107(d) provides that when the EPA establishes or revises a NAAQS, the agency must designate areas of the country as nonattainment, attainment, or unclassifiable based on whether they are not meeting (or contributing to air quality in a nearby area that is not meeting) the NAAQS, meeting the NAAQS, or cannot be classified as meeting or not meeting the NAAQS, respectively. Subpart 2 of part D of title I of the CAA governs the classification, state planning and emissions control requirements for any areas designated as nonattainment for a revised primary ozone NAAQS. In particular, CAA section 181(a)(1) requires each area designated as nonattainment for a revised ozone NAAQS to be “classified” at the same time as the area is designated based on the severity of the ozone level in the area (as determined based on the area's “design value,” which represents air quality in the area for the most recent 3 years). See footnote 2. Classifications for ozone nonattainment areas range from “Marginal” (for areas with monitored ozone levels just exceeding the level of the NAAQS) to “Extreme” (for areas with monitored ozone levels well above the levels of the NAAQS). CAA section 182 stipulates the specific attainment planning and additional requirements that apply to each ozone nonattainment area based on its classification. CAA section 182, as interpreted by the EPA's implementation regulations at 40 CFR 51.1108-1117, also establishes the timeframes by which air agencies must submit SIP revisions to address the applicable attainment planning elements, and the timeframes by which ozone nonattainment areas must attain the relevant NAAQS.

    Section 181(b)(2)(A) of the CAA requires that within 6 months following the applicable attainment date, the Administrator will determine whether an ozone nonattainment area attained the ozone standard based on the area's design value as of that date. Section 181(a)(5) of the CAA gives the Administrator the discretion to grant a 1-year extension of the attainment date specified in CAA section 181(a) upon application by any state if: (i) The state has complied with all requirements and commitments pertaining to the area in the applicable implementation plan; and (ii) no more than one measured exceedance of the NAAQS for ozone has occurred in the area preceding the extension year. The EPA may grant a second 1-year extension if these same criteria are met by the end of the first extension year.6

    6 The EPA considers the average of the annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour ozone concentrations for 2 years at each monitoring site in an area.

    Because CAA section 181(a)(5)(B) was written for an exceedance-based standard, such as the 1-hour ozone NAAQS, the EPA has interpreted through notice-and-comment rulemaking the air quality requirement of the extension criteria for purposes of a concentration-based standard like the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. For purposes of determining an area's eligibility for an attainment date extension for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, the EPA has interpreted the criteria of CAA section 181(a)(5)(B) to mean that an area's fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour value for the attainment year 7 is at or below the level of the standard [80 FR 12264, 12292 (March 6, 2015); 40 CFR 51.1107].

    7See 40 CFR 51.1107(a)(1).

    In the event an area fails to attain the relevant ozone NAAQS by the applicable attainment date, CAA section 181(b)(2)(A) requires the Administrator to make the determination that an ozone nonattainment area failed to attain the ozone standard by the applicable attainment date, and subsequently requires the area to be reclassified by operation of law to the higher of (i) the next higher classification for the area, or (ii) the classification applicable to the area's design value as determined at the time of the required Federal Register document.8 Section 181(b)(2)(B) requires the EPA to publish a document in the Federal Register identifying the reclassification status of an area that has failed to attain the standard by its attainment date no later than 6 months after the attainment date, which in the case of the Marginal nonattainment areas addressed in this document would be January 20, 2016.

    8 All of the affected nonattainment areas addressed in this document would be classified to the next highest classification of Moderate. None of the affected areas has a design value that would otherwise place it in a higher classification (e.g., Serious) under CAA section 181(b)(2)(A)(ii).

    Once an area is reclassified, the EPA must address the schedule by which the state is required to submit a revised SIP for that area to, among other things, demonstrate how the area will attain the relevant NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable but no later than the new applicable attainment date under the statute. According to CAA section 182(i), a state with a reclassified ozone nonattainment area must submit the applicable attainment plan requirements “according to the schedules prescribed in connection with such requirements” in CAA section 182(b) for Moderate areas, section 182(c) for Serious areas, and section 182(d) for Severe areas. However, the Act permits the Administrator to adjust the statutory due dates that would otherwise apply for any SIP revisions required as a result of the reclassification “to the extent that such adjustment is necessary or appropriate to assure consistency among the required submissions.”

    D. How does the EPA determine whether an area has attained the 2008 ozone standard?

    Under EPA regulations at 40 CFR part 50, appendix P, the 2008 ozone NAAQS is attained at a site when the 3-year average of the annual fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour average ambient air quality ozone concentration is less than or equal to 0.075 ppm. This 3-year average is referred to as the design value. When the design value is less than or equal to 0.075 ppm at each ambient air quality monitoring site within the area, then the area is deemed to be meeting the NAAQS. The rounding convention under 40 CFR part 50, appendix P, dictates that concentrations shall be reported in ppm to the third decimal place, with additional digits to the right being truncated. Thus, a computed 3-year average ozone concentration of 0.076 ppm is greater than 0.075 ppm and, therefore, over the standard.

    The EPA's determination of attainment is based upon data that have been collected and quality-assured in accordance with 40 CFR part 58 and recorded in the EPA's Air Quality System database (formerly known as the Aerometric Information Retrieval System). Ambient air quality monitoring data for the 3-year period must meet a data completeness requirement. The ambient air quality monitoring data completeness requirement is met when the average percent of required monitoring days with valid ambient monitoring data is greater than 90 percent, and no single year has less than 75 percent data completeness as determined according to Appendix P of part 50.

    III. What is the EPA proposing and what is the rationale?

    The EPA is issuing this proposal pursuant to the agency's statutory obligation under CAA section 181(b)(2) to determine whether the 36 Marginal ozone nonattainment areas have attained the 2008 ozone NAAQS by the applicable attainment date of July 20, 2015. The separate actions being taken in this proposal, as well as the rationale for these actions, are described in the sections below.

    A. Determinations of Attainment

    The EPA evaluated data from air quality monitors in the 36 Marginal nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS in order to determine the areas' attainment status as of the applicable attainment date of July 20, 2015. The data were supplied and quality assured by state and local agencies responsible for monitoring ozone air monitoring networks. Seventeen of the 36 nonattainment areas' monitoring sites with valid data had a design value equal to or less than 0.075 ppm based on the 2012-2014 monitoring period. Thus, the EPA proposes to determine, in accordance with section 181(b)(2)(A) of the CAA and the provisions of the SIP Requirements Rule (40 CFR 51.1103), that these 17 areas (listed in Table 2 below) attained the standard by the applicable attainment date for Marginal nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. The EPA's determination is based upon 3 years of complete, quality-assured and certified data. Table 2 displays the 2012-2014 design value for these 17 areas. The fourth high values for each of the 3 years used to calculate each monitor's 2012-2014 design value are provided in the technical support document (TSD) in the docket for this action.9 The EPA is soliciting comments on these proposed determinations of attainment by the applicable attainment date.

    9 “Technical Support Document Regarding Ozone Monitoring Data—Determinations of Attainment, 1-Year Attainment Date Extensions, and Reclassifications for Marginal Areas under the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0468.

    Table 2—Marginal Nonattainment Areas That Attained the 2008 Ozone NAAQS by the July 20, 2015, Attainment Date 2008 Ozone NAAQS
  • nonattainment area
  • 2012-2014 Design value
  • (ppm)
  • Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA 0.070 Baton Rouge, LA 0.072 Calaveras County, CA 0.071 Charlotte-Rock Hill, NC-SC a 0.073 Chico (Butte County), CA 0.074 Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 0.075 Columbus, OH 0.075 Dukes County, MA 0.068 Jamestown, NY 0.071 Knoxville, TN b 0.067 Lancaster, PA 0.071 Memphis, TN-MS-AR 0.073 Reading, PA 0.071 San Francisco Bay Area, CA 0.072 Seaford, DE 0.074 Tuscan Buttes, CA 0.075 Upper Green River Basin, WY 0.064 a On July 28, 2015, the EPA redesignated to attainment the North Carolina portion of the Charlotte-Rock Hill, NC-SC, nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, effective August 27, 2015. See 80 FR 44873. Given that this area was still designated nonattainment as of July 20, 2015, the EPA is herein proposing to determine that this area attained the 2008 ozone NAAQS by the applicable attainment date in order to satisfy the agency's obligation under CAA section 181(b)(2)(A) to make determinations of attainment for nonattainment areas within 6 months following an area's applicable attainment date. b On July 13, 2015, the EPA redesignated to attainment the Knoxville, TN, nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, effective August 12, 2015. See 80 FR 39970. Given that this area was still designated nonattainment as of July 20, 2015, the EPA is herein proposing to determine that this area attained the 2008 ozone NAAQS by the applicable attainment date in order to satisfy the agency's obligation under CAA section 181(b)(2)(A) to make determinations of attainment for nonattainment areas within 6 months following an area's applicable attainment date.
    B. Extension of Marginal Area Attainment Dates

    Of the 36 Marginal nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, there are eight areas for which the EPA is proposing to grant a 1-year attainment date extension based on determinations that these areas have met the requirements for an extension under CAA section 181(a)(5).

    Specifically, for each of the eight nonattainment areas, the EPA received a letter from a state air agency requesting a 1-year extension of the area's attainment date and certifying that the state is in compliance with the applicable implementation plan, as required under CAA section 181(a)(5)(A). In their requests, the states certified that they have complied with all requirements and commitments pertaining to their respective nonattainment areas in the applicable implementation plan and that all monitors in the area have a fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour average of 0.075 ppm or less for 2014 (i.e., the last full year of air quality data prior to the July 20, 2015, attainment date). A summary of the information in these letters is provided in the TSD for this action. The EPA evaluated the information submitted by each state for its nonattainment area(s) and is proposing determinations that each state has met the requirement of CAA section 181(a)(5)(A) for each applicable area.10

    10 The EPA notes that while Delaware did not submit a letter requesting a 1-year attainment date extension for the multi-state Philadelphia nonattainment area, based on extension requests from the other states with jurisdiction over that area, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland, and the EPA's own analysis of the CAA section 181(a)(5)(A) criteria with regard to Delaware, the EPA is exercising its discretion to propose granting the Philadelphia area a 1-year extension of the attainment date.

    The EPA has also evaluated the certified air quality monitoring data for 2014 and is proposing to determine that each of the eight areas listed in Table 3 meets the air quality requirements of CAA section 181(a)(5)(B) and the EPA's interpretation of that statutory provision in 40 CFR 51.1107. As explained in Section II.C of this preamble, the EPA has interpreted the air quality criterion in CAA section 181(a)(5)(B) for purposes of the 2008 8-hour standard to mean that an eligible area's fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour average in the year preceding the attainment date is equal to or below the NAAQS (80 FR 12292). The EPA has evaluated the data for these eight areas and has determined that the fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour average for each area in 2014 is equal to or below 0.075 ppm. Table 3 provides the fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour averages for 2014 for each of the eight Marginal nonattainment areas for which a state has requested an attainment date extension.

    Based on the EPA's evaluation and determination that eight Marginal nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS that failed to attain the NAAQS by July 20, 2015, have met the attainment date extension criteria of CAA section 181(a)(5), the EPA is exercising its discretion to propose granting a 1-year extension of the applicable Marginal area attainment date to July 20, 2016, from July 20, 2015, for the nonattainment areas listed in Table 3. If this proposal is finalized, then the nonattainment areas would remain classified as Marginal for the 2008 ozone NAAQS unless and until the EPA makes a determination that the areas have not attained the NAAQS by the July 20, 2016, attainment date. The EPA is soliciting comments on this proposal.

    Table 3—Marginal Nonattainment Areas That Qualify for a 1-Year Attainment Date Extension for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS  a 2008 Ozone NAAQS nonattainment area 2012-2014 Design value
  • (ppm)
  • 2014 4th
  • Highest daily
  • maximum 8-hr
  • average
  • (ppm)
  • Cleveland-Akron-Lorain, OH 0.078 0.075 Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, TX 0.080 0.072 Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, PA-NJ-MD-DE 0.077 0.074 Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley, PA 0.077 0.071 San Luis Obispo County (Eastern part), CA 0.076 0.073 Sheboygan, WI 0.081 0.072 St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL 0.078 0.072 Washington, DC-MD-VA 0.076 0.069 a The areas listed are Marginal nonattainment areas that did not attain the 2008 ozone standard by July 20, 2015, but qualify for an extended attainment date to July 20, 2016, under CAA section 181(a)(5).
    C. Determinations of Failure To Attain and Reclassification

    The EPA is proposing to determine that 11 Marginal nonattainment areas (listed in Table 4) have failed to attain the 2008 ozone NAAQS by the applicable attainment date of July 20, 2015. These areas are not eligible for a 1-year attainment date extension because the fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour average for at least one monitor in each area is greater than 0.075 ppm for 2014 (i.e., last full year of air quality data prior to the July 20, 2015, attainment date). Each of these areas failed to attain because the 2012-2014 design value for at least one monitor in each area exceeded the 2008 ozone NAAQS of 0.075 ppm. The TSD for this action shows all monitoring data for the relevant years for each of these nonattainment areas, as well as the 3-year design value calculations for each area.

    CAA section 181(b)(2)(A) provides that a Marginal nonattainment area shall be reclassified by operation of law upon a determination by the EPA that such area failed to attain the relevant NAAQS by the applicable attainment date. Based on quality-assured ozone monitoring data from 2012-2014, as provided in the TSD for this proposal, the new classification applicable to each of these 11 areas would be the next higher classification of “Moderate” under the CAA statutory scheme.11

    11 The 2012-2014 design value for each of the 11 areas does not exceed 0.100 ppm, which is the threshold for reclassifying an area to Serious per CAA section 181(b)(2)(A)(ii) and 40 CFR 51.1103.

    Moderate nonattainment areas are required to attain the standard “as expeditiously as practicable” but no later than 6 years after the initial designation as nonattainment (which, in the case of these 11 areas, is July 20, 2018). The attainment deadlines associated with each classification are prescribed by the Act and codified at 40 CFR 51.1103.

    We also note that the states with areas that attain the 2008 ozone NAAQS after they are reclassified to Moderate can use the EPA's existing Clean Data Policy. The state with areas attaining the NAAQS could also submit a complete redesignation request with a maintenance plan to the EPA prior to the SIP revision deadline that uses the EPA's redesignation guidance.12

    12 Details on the EPA's existing Clean Data Policy and redesignation guidance are available at http://www.epa.gov/air/urbanair/sipstatus/policy.html.

    There are a number of significant emission reduction programs that will lead to reductions of ozone precursors, and that are in place today or are expected to be in place by 2017 to meet the July 20, 2018 attainment date for the 2008 ozone NAAQS Moderate areas. Examples of such rules include state and federal implementation plans adopted under the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), the regional haze rule and the Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) requirements, as well as regulations controlling on-road and non-road engines and fuels, Tier 3 motor vehicle emission and fuel standards program,13 hazardous air pollutant rules for utility and industrial boilers, and various other programs already adopted by states to reduce emissions from key emissions sources. Further, states and the EPA are currently evaluating interstate transport obligations addressing CAA 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requirements for this NAAQS, and the state or federal plans that are adopted to satisfy these obligations will provide a level of additional emission reductions from upwind states that will further assist each nonattainment area in attaining the ozone NAAQS by the Moderate attainment area deadline.

    13 79 FR 23414 (April 29, 2014). Control of Air Pollution From Motor Vehicles: Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards.

    Table 4—Marginal Nonattainment Areas That Will Be Reclassified as Moderate Because They Did Not Attain the 2008 Ozone NAAQS by the July 20, 2015, Attainment Date 2008 Ozone NAAQS nonattainment area 2012-2014 Design value
  • (ppm)
  • 2014 4th
  • highest daily
  • maximum 8-hr
  • average
  • (ppm)
  • Atlanta, GA 0.077 0.079 Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI 0.081 0.076 Denver-Boulder-Greeley-Fort Collins-Loveland, CO 0.082 0.077 Greater Connecticut, CT 0.080 0.077 Imperial County, CA 0.080 0.078 Kern County (Eastern Kern), CA 0.084 0.089 Mariposa County, CA 0.078 0.077 Nevada County (Western part), CA 0.079 0.082 New York-N. New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT 0.085 0.081 Phoenix-Mesa, AZ 0.080 0.080 San Diego County, CA 0.079 0.079
    D. Moderate Area SIP Revision Submission Deadline

    For each new Moderate ozone nonattainment area, the states responsible for managing air quality in the 11 areas identified in Table 4 will be required to submit a revised SIP that addresses the CAA's Moderate nonattainment area requirements, as interpreted and described in the final SIP Requirements Rule for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. See 40 CFR 51.1100 et seq. Those requirements include: (1) an attainment demonstration (CAA section 182(b) and 40 CFR 51.1108); (2) provisions for RACT (CAA section 182(b)(2) and 40 CFR 51.1112(a)-(b)) and RACM (CAA section 172(c)(1) and 40 CFR 51.1112(c)); (3) reasonable further progress (RFP) reductions in VOC and/or NOX emissions in the area (CAA sections 172(c)(2) and 182(b)(1) and 40 CFR 51.1110); (4) contingency measures to be implemented in the event of failure to meet a milestone or to attain the standard (CAA section 172(c)(9)); (5) a vehicle inspection and maintenance program, if applicable (CAA section 181(b)(4) and 40 CFR 51.350); and, (6) NOX and VOC emission offsets at a ratio of 1.15 to 1 for major source permits (CAA section 182(b)(5) and 40 CFR 51.165(a)). See also the requirements for Moderate ozone nonattainment areas set forth in CAA section 182(b) and the general nonattainment plan provisions required under CAA section 172(c).14

    14 All 11 of the areas reclassified to Moderate except Denver-Boulder-Greeley-Fort Collins-Loveland, CO have been classified Moderate or higher classification for a prior ozone NAAQS.

    As noted elsewhere in this preamble, when an area is reclassified under CAA section 181(b)(2), CAA section 182(i) directs that the state shall meet the new requirements according to the schedules prescribed in those requirements. It provides, however, “that the Administrator may adjust any applicable deadlines (other than attainment dates) to the extent such adjustment is necessary or appropriate to assure consistency among the required submissions.” CAA section 182(b), as interpreted by 40 CFR 51.1100 et seq., describes the required SIP revisions and associated deadlines for a nonattainment area classified as Moderate at the time of the initial designations. However, these SIP submission deadlines (e.g., 3 years after the effective date of designation for submission of an attainment plan and attainment demonstration) have already passed. Accordingly, the EPA is proposing to exercise its discretion under CAA section 182(i) to adjust the SIP submittal deadlines for these 11 new Moderate nonattainment areas.

    In determining an appropriate deadline for the Moderate area SIP revisions for these 11 areas, the EPA notes that pursuant to 40 CFR 51.1108(d), for each nonattainment area, the state must provide for implementation of all control measures needed for attainment no later than the beginning of the attainment year ozone season. The attainment year ozone season is the ozone season immediately preceding a nonattainment area's attainment date. In the case of nonattainment areas classified as Moderate for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, the attainment year ozone season is the 2017 ozone season (40 CFR 51.1100(g)). The ozone season is the ozone monitoring season as defined in 40 CFR part 58, appendix D, section 4.1, Table D-3 (October 17, 2006, 71 FR 61236). We note that the EPA has proposed changes to the ozone monitoring season in its most recent proposal to revise the ozone NAAQS (79 FR 75234, December 17, 2014). For the purposes of reclassification for the 11 Marginal nonattainment areas identified in this proposal, Table 5 provides the starting month of the ozone monitoring season for each state with one of the 11 Marginal areas as currently codified in the EPA's regulations. Table 5 also includes the December 17, 2014, proposed changes, if any, to the beginning of the ozone monitoring season in such states. If the proposed changes to the beginning of the ozone monitoring seasons are included in the final ozone NAAQS revision (expected by October 1, 2015), and that rulemaking is finalized before the EPA finalizes this action, the revised ozone season dates would also apply to our adjusted deadlines for the Moderate area SIP revisions for the areas we propose to reclassify in this document. We also note that we believe it is reasonable to provide states with a period of at least approximately 1 year after the reclassification is finalized to develop and submit the Moderate area SIP revisions. This provides time necessary for states and local air districts to finish their review of available control measures, adopt necessary attainment strategies, address other SIP requirements, and complete the public notice process necessary to adopt and submit SIP revisions.

    Therefore, the EPA is proposing and taking comment on two options for setting the date by which states with jurisdiction for these 11 reclassified nonattainment areas would be required to submit for EPA review and approval SIP revisions to address Moderate area requirements. The first option, which is reflected in Table 5 below, would require that states submit the required SIP revisions as expeditiously as practicable, but no later than the beginning of the ozone season in 2017 for each state. This proposed option would align the SIP submittal deadline with the deadline for implementing applicable controls, which, as noted above, is also no later than the beginning of the ozone season in 2017 for each area. This option would give 9 states additional time that may be needed to accomplish planning, administrative and SIP revision processes. This option would treat states consistently in that they would need to have submitted SIP revisions by the beginning of their respective ozone seasons, but it would result in SIP submittal dates that vary among the states. In addition, as noted above, if the EPA finalizes the proposed changes to the start dates of the ozone season in a number of states, the proposed deadlines for SIP revisions in this rulemaking would also change accordingly. Under this first option, in multi-state nonattainment areas, such as the Chicago-Naperville area, where the three affected states do not have the same ozone season start date, the deadline for the entire nonattainment area would be the earliest ozone season start date for any of the states (e.g., April 1, 2017, for the Chicago area).

    Table 5—Beginning of Ozone Season for States With Areas Identified for Reclassification to Moderate for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS 2008 Moderate ozone areas State Current month or date ozone season begins a Proposed deadline for moderate area SIP
  • submittal
  • Proposed month or date ozone season begins b
    Atlanta, GA Georgia March 1-Mar-17 No change. Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI Illinois April 1-Apr-17 March. Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI Indiana April 1-Apr-17 March. Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI Wisconsin 15-Apr 15-Apr-17 15-Mar. Denver-Boulder-Greeley-Fort Collins-Loveland, CO Colorado March 1-Mar-17 January. Greater Connecticut, CT Connecticut April 1-Apr-17 March. Imperial County, CA California January 1-Jan-17 No change. Kern County (Eastern Kern), CA California January 1-Jan-17 No change. Mariposa County, CA California January 1-Jan-17 No change. Nevada County (Western part), CA California January 1-Jan-17 No change. New York-N. New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT New Jersey April 1-Apr-17 March. New York-N. New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT New York April 1-Apr-17 March. New York-N. New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT Connecticut April 1-Apr-17 March. Phoenix-Mesa, AZ Arizona January 1-Jan-17 No change. San Diego County, CA California January 1-Jan-17 No change. a Table D-3 of Appendix D to Part 58—Ozone Monitoring Season by State. First day of beginning month except for WI. b Beginning of ozone season proposed in the ozone NAAQS revision proposal (79 FR 75234, December 17, 2014).

    Under the second option, the EPA proposes that the deadline for the required SIP revisions for areas that would be reclassified under this rulemaking would be as expeditiously as practicable, but no later than January 1, 2017. By establishing a single specific submittal date, this option would establish a consistent deadline for all 11 areas, similar to the single uniform SIP submission deadline that would have applied to all areas if they had been initially classified as Moderate. A uniform deadline of January 1, 2017, is reasonable because it would provide all states with approximately 1 year after these reclassifications are finalized to develop complete SIP submissions, and it is the latest SIP submittal date that would be compatible with ensuring controls are in place no later than the start of the attainment year ozone season for all of the 11 reclassified areas.

    The EPA solicits comments on both of these proposed options for deadlines to submit the required SIP revisions that would apply to states after any current Marginal nonattainment area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS is reclassified to Moderate.

    With regard to the New York-N. New Jersey-Long Island (NY-NJ-CT) nonattainment area, the EPA notes that in addition to the actions related to the 2008 ozone standard addressed in this proposed rulemaking, on May 15, 2014, the agency proposed to rescind the clean data determination (CDD) for that nonattainment area under the 1997 8-hour ozone standard because the EPA determined that the area was no longer attaining the 1997 ozone NAAQS (79 FR 27830, “May 2014 proposal document”). The CDD, issued by the EPA in June 2012, suspended the three states' obligations to meet attainment-related planning requirements for that standard, including submitting attainment demonstrations, RACM, RFP plans, and contingency measures. In the May 2014 proposal document, the EPA proposed to find that the New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut's SIPs were substantially inadequate to demonstrate attainment of the 1997 ozone NAAQS, and the agency proposed to issue a SIP Call under the authority of CAA section 110(k)(5) requiring the states to submit revised SIPs within 18 months to demonstrate how the New York-N. New Jersey-Long Island nonattainment area would re-attain the 1997 standard as expeditiously as practicable.

    One option proposed by the EPA in the May 2014 proposal document would permit the relevant states to respond to the final SIP Call by requesting to be reclassified to Moderate for the 2008 ozone standard (see CAA section 181(b)(3)), which would consequently require that the states submit SIPs demonstrating how they would attain the more stringent 2008 standard as expeditiously as practicable. We proposed that this alternative response of submitting an attainment plan for the 2008 ozone standard would satisfy a final SIP Call on the 1997 ozone standard because an approvable plan would demonstrate compliance with a more stringent NAAQS.

    The public comment period for the May 2014 proposal document closed on June 16, 2014, and the EPA is reviewing comments received on the proposal. However, given that this action proposes to find that the New York-N. New Jersey-Long Island nonattainment area has failed to attain the 2008 ozone standard by its Marginal attainment date of July 20, 2015, and must be reclassified to Moderate by operation of law in accordance with CAA section 181(b)(2)(A), this proposed action would effectively eliminate the need for the three affected states to request reclassification for the area under the option described in the May 2014 proposal document. Although we are not taking final action in this document on the proposed CDD rescission and SIP Call (79 FR 27830), the actions which may occur pursuant to this proposal (i.e., a final finding of failure to attain the 2008 standard by the applicable attainment date, reclassification of the area as Moderate, and a state submittal of a Moderate area attainment demonstration) would, thus, also serve to satisfy a final SIP Call under CAA section 110(k)(5). We also note that either of the 2008 ozone attainment plan due dates proposed in this document would meet the statutory timeframe for the SIP revision due subsequent to a SIP Call for the 1997 ozone NAAQS for the area.

    E. Summary of Proposed Actions

    The actions proposed in this document affect the 36 nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS that were initially designated and classified Marginal effective July 20, 2012, based on their individual design values. The design value of an area is represented by the annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentration measured at each monitor in the area, averaged over a consecutive 3-year period. According to CAA section 181(a)(1), as interpreted by EPA regulations at 40 CFR 51.1103, nonattainment Marginal areas are required to attain the standard “as expeditiously as practicable” but no later than 3 years after the designation effective date of July 20, 2012 (i.e., no later than July 20, 2015). CAA section 181(b)(2)(A) requires that within six months of the attainment date, which, in the case of the Marginal areas that are the subject of this document, was July 20, 2015, the EPA must determine, based on the ozone nonattainment area's design value as of the attainment date, whether the area attained the ozone standard by that date. A Marginal nonattainment area has attained the 2008 ozone NAAQS by the attainment date if its design value is equal to or less than 0.075 ppm based on data from the period 2012-2014. If the EPA determines that an area has failed to attain by its attainment date, CAA section 181(b)(2) requires that those areas be reclassified to the higher of (i) the next highest classification, or (ii) the classification that corresponds with the area's design value as of the time that the EPA publishes the document identifying the areas that have failed to attain by their attainment date. Accordingly, the EPA is proposing that the following 11 Marginal nonattainment areas failed to attain the 2008 ozone NAAQS by July 20, 2015, and must be reclassified as Moderate: Atlanta, GA; Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI; Denver-Boulder-Greeley-Fort Collins-Loveland, CO; Greater Connecticut, CT; Imperial County, CA; Kern County (Eastern Kern), CA; Mariposa County, CA; Nevada County (Western part), CA; New York-N. New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT; Phoenix-Mesa, AZ; and, San Diego County, CA. For these 11 areas, the EPA is further proposing that the responsible states must submit SIP revisions to fulfill the CAA's Moderate area requirements by one of the following two alternative deadlines: Option 1—as expeditiously as practicable but not later than the start of each nonattainment area's 2017 ozone season; Option 2—as expeditiously as practicable but not later than January 1, 2017. The EPA is taking comment on the determinations of failure to attain and subsequent reclassifications of each of these 11 nonattainment areas from Marginal to Moderate, and on an appropriate deadline for responsible states to submit SIP revisions to fulfill Moderate area requirements for these areas.

    Upon application by any state, the Administrator may extend the 2008 ozone attainment date by 1 year, in accordance with CAA section 181(a)(5) and 40 CFR 51.1107, provided that the state has complied with all requirements and commitments pertaining to the area in the applicable implementation plan, and the area's fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour average value for the last full year of air quality data prior to the July 20, 2015, attainment date (i.e., 2014) is at or below 0.075 ppm. Based on state requests and a review of 2014 ozone air quality data, the EPA is proposing to grant 1-year extensions of the attainment date to July 20, 2016 (from July 20, 2015) for the following eight Marginal nonattainment areas: Cleveland-Akron-Lorain, OH; Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, TX; Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, PA-NJ-MD-DE; Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley, PA; San Luis Obispo County (Eastern part), CA; Sheboygan, WI; St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL; and, Washington, DC-MD-VA. The EPA is taking comment on the 1-year attainment date extensions for each of these eight areas.

    For the 17 remaining 2008 ozone NAAQS nonattainment areas currently classified as Marginal, the EPA is proposing to determine that each area has ozone design values for the 2012-14 period at or below 0.075 ppm, and, thus, each area has attained the NAAQS by the attainment date of July 20, 2015. The 17 areas are: Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA; Baton Rouge, LA; Calaveras County, CA; Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC; Chico (Butte County), CA; Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN; Columbus, OH; Dukes County, MA; Jamestown, NY; Knoxville, TN; Lancaster, PA; Memphis, TN-MS-AR; Reading, PA; San Francisco Bay Area, CA; Seaford, DE; Tuscan Buttes, CA; and, Upper Green River Basin, WY. The EPA is taking comment on the determinations of attainment by the applicable attainment date for these 17 areas.

    IV. Environmental Justice Considerations

    The CAA requires that states with areas designated as nonattainment submit to the Administrator the appropriate SIP revisions and implement specified control measures by certain dates applicable to the area's classification. By requiring additional planning and implementation requirements for the 11 nonattainment areas proposed to be reclassified from Marginal to Moderate, the part of this action reclassifying the areas from Marginal to Moderate will protect all those residing, working, attending school, or otherwise present in those areas regardless of minority or economic status.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was, therefore, not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    The information collection activities associated with this proposed rule were submitted for approval to the OMB under the PRA as part of the information collection assessment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS SIP Requirements Rule. The Information Collection Request (ICR) document prepared by the EPA has been assigned the EPA ICR number 2347.01. You can find a copy of the ICR in the docket for the 2008 ozone NAAQS SIP Requirements Rule 15 (EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0885), and in the docket for this rule (EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0468). The ICR is briefly summarized here.

    15 80 FR 12264, March 6, 2015.

    The EPA issued the 2008 ozone NAAQS SIP Requirements Rule to provide states with assistance in interpreting how CAA requirements apply to their nonattainment areas when the states develop their SIPs for attaining and maintaining the 2008 ozone NAAQS. The intended effect of the SIP Requirements Rule—in conjunction with other rules that address additional aspects of implementation, such as this proposed action—is to provide assistance to states regarding their planning obligations such that states may begin SIP development. In preparing its analysis of the estimated paperwork burden associated with the SIP Requirements Rule and additional rules providing clarity on implementation of the 2008 ozone NAAQS, the EPA calculated that burden for the 46 areas designated non-attainment under that standard.16 17 The estimate in the ICR included the assumption that 10 nonattainment areas originally classified as Marginal would require reclassification to Moderate after the July 20, 2015, attainment date for Marginal nonattainment areas. If this proposed action is finalized, 11 nonattainment areas originally classified as Marginal would be reclassified to Moderate. Therefore, we believe that the original estimate in the ICR has fairly quantified the information collection activities that will be associated with the 11 areas we proposed to reclassify in this action. Upon finalization of the reclassification to Moderate, the states with jurisdiction over the 11 areas will be required to prepare an attainment demonstration as well as submit SIP revisions for purposes of meeting RFP requirements and RACT. The attainment demonstration requirement is codified at 40 CFR 51.908, which implements CAA subsections 172(c)(1), 182(b)(1)(A) and 182(c)(2)(B). The RFP SIP submission requirement is codified at 40 CFR 51.910, which implements CAA subsections 172(c)(2) and 182(b)(1)(A), and the RACT SIP submission requirement is codified at 40 CFR 51.912, which implements CAA subsections 172(c)(1) 182(b)(2),(c),(d) and (e).

    16 77 FR 30088, May 21, 2012.

    17 77 FR 34227, June 11, 2012.

    States should already have information from emission sources, as facilities should have provided this information to meet 1-hour and 1997 ­8-hour ozone NAAQS SIP requirements, operating permits and/or emissions reporting requirements. Such information does not generally reveal the details of production processes. But, to the extent it may, CBI for the affected facilities is protected. Specifically, submissions of emissions and control efficiency information that is confidential, proprietary and trade secret is protected from disclosure under the requirements of subsections 503(e) and 114(c) of the CAA.

    The annual burden for the information collection associated with all 46 nonattainment areas, averaged over the first 3 years of the ICR, was estimated to be a total of 120,000 labor hours per year at an annual labor cost of $2.4 million (present value) over the 3-year period, or approximately $91,000 per state for the 25 state respondents and the District of Columbia. The average annual reporting burden is 690 hours per response, with approximately two responses per state for 58 state responses.18 There are no capital or operating and maintenance costs associated with the SIP Requirements Rule's or this proposed rule's requirements. Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    18 State responses are the number of SIP revisions required from the respective states to satisfy their 2008 ozone nonattainment requirements. Due to an oversight in the original submitted ICR, the estimated number of state responses (58) does not include the one required SIP revision for the Mississippi portion of the multi-state Memphis nonattainment area.

    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. The OMB control numbers for the EPA's regulations in 40 CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9.

    The comment period on the agency's need for this information ran from June 6, 2013, to August 5, 2013.19 No comments were received on the accuracy of the provided burden estimates and any suggested methods for minimizing respondent burden. The EPA public docket for this rule includes the ICR approved in conjunction with the 2008 ozone NAAQS SIP Requirements Rule.

    19 78 FR 34178, June 6, 2013.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action will not impose any requirements on small entities. The proposed determinations of attainment and failure to attain the 2008 ozone NAAQS (and resulting reclassifications), and the proposed determination to grant 1-year attainment date extensions do not in and of themselves create any new requirements beyond what is mandated by the CAA. Instead, this rulemaking only makes factual determinations, and does not directly regulate any entities.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This action has tribal implications. However, it will neither impose substantial direct compliance costs on federally recognized tribal governments, nor preempt tribal law. The EPA has identified a number of tribal areas implicated in the 36 areas covered by the EPA's proposed determinations of attainment and failure to attain the 2008 ozone NAAQS (and resulting reclassifications), and the proposed determination to grant 1-year attainment date extensions. We intend to communicate with potentially affected tribes located within the boundaries of the nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS as we move forward in developing a final rule.

    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it does not concern an environmental health risk or safety risk.

    H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    I. National Technology Transfer Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

    J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    The EPA believes the human health or environmental risk addressed by this action will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income or indigenous populations. The results of this evaluation are contained in the section of the preamble titled “Environmental Justice Considerations.”

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Janet G. McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21196 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0512; FRL-9932-79-Region 7] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Kansas; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve an element of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission from the State of Kansas addressing the applicable requirements of Clean Air Act (CAA) section 110 for the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone (O3), which requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP to support implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each new or revised NAAQS promulgated by EPA. These SIPs are commonly referred to as “infrastructure” SIPs. The infrastructure requirements are designed to ensure that the structural components of each state's air quality management program are adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the CAA.

    DATES:

    Comments on this proposed action must be received in writing by September 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0512, by mail to Lachala Kemp, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219. Comments may also be submitted electronically or through hand delivery/courier by following the detailed instructions in the ADDRESSES section of the direct final rule located in the rules section of this Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lachala Kemp, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at (913) 551-7214 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the final rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the state's SIP revision as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial revision amendment and anticipates no relevant adverse comments to this action. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no relevant adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated in relation to this action. If EPA receives relevant adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed action. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on part of this rule and if that part can be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those parts of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the rules section of this Federal Register.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: August 12, 2015. Mark Hague, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 7.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20894 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2009-0648; FRL-9931-31-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Nonattainment New Source Review Permitting State Implementation Plan Revisions for the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve revisions to the New Mexico State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County. These revisions provide updates to the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County major Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) permit program. The EPA is proposing this action under section 110 and part D of the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act).

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2009-0648, by one of the following methods:

    http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions.

    Email: Ms. Erica Le Doux at [email protected]

    Mail or delivery: Ms. Erica Le Doux, Air Permits Section (6PD-R), Environmental Protection Agency, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2009-0648. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information the disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Do not submit information through http://www.regulations.gov or email, if you believe that it is CBI or otherwise protected from disclosure. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means that the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through 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, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment along with any disk or CD-ROM submitted. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters and any form of encryption and should be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Erica Le Doux, (214) 665-7265, [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with Ms. Le Doux or Mr. Bill Deese at (214) 665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. Background

    The Act at section 110(a)(2)(C) requires states to develop and submit to the EPA for approval into the state SIP, preconstruction review programs applicable to new and modified stationary sources of air pollutants for attainment and nonattainment areas that cover both major and minor new sources and modifications, collectively referred to as the NSR SIP. The CAA NSR SIP program is composed of three separate programs: Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD), NNSR, and Minor NSR. PSD is established in part C of title I of the CAA and applies in areas that are designated as meeting the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), i.e., “attainment areas”, as well as areas designated as “unclassifiable” because there is insufficient information to determine if the area meets the NAAQS. The NNSR SIP program is established in part D of title I of the CAA and applies in areas that are designated as not being in attainment of the NAAQS, i.e., “nonattainment areas.” The Minor NSR SIP program addresses construction or modification activities that do not emit, or have the potential to emit, beyond certain major source thresholds and thus do not qualify as “major” and applies regardless of the designation of the area in which a source is located. The revisions to 20.11.60 NMAC submitted on August 16, 2010 and July 26, 2013 were submitted as revisions to the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County NNSR permit program and will be evaluated against the requirements for NNSR programs at 40 CFR 51.160-51.165.

    A. August 16, 2010, Submittal

    On August 16, 2010, the Governor Bill Richardson submitted revisions to the New Mexico SIP that incorporated revisions to the NMAC for the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County. The August 16, 2010, submittal includes final revised regulation sections 1, 2, 6, 7, 12 through 27 (including five new additional sections) in 20.11.60 NMAC, Permitting in Nonattainment Areas. The updates that were accepted by the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board constitutes the integration of language that is consistent with federal NNSR permitting regulations.

    B. July 26, 2013, Submittal

    On July 26, 2013, the designee of the Governor, New Mexico Environment Department Cabinet Secretary, Ryan Flynn, submitted revisions to the SIP. This SIP submittal incorporated revisions to the NMAC for the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County. It includes final revised regulation sections 6, 7, 12, 13, and 15 in 20.11.60 NMAC, Permitting in Nonattainment Areas. The updates that were accepted by the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board constitutes the integration of language that is consistent with federal NNSR permitting regulations.

    C. What is not included in today's proposed action?

    The EPA also received in the August 16, 2010 submittal revisions to regulations within 20.11.61 NMAC—Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting program and Infrastructure SIP for Particulate Matter less than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5) and Ozone (O3). In the July 26, 2013 submittals, revisions to regulations within 20.11.61 NMAC-PSD permitting program and 20.11.42 NMAC—Operating Permits were also included. The revisions to 20.11.61 NMAC were submitted as revisions to the New Mexico SIP. The 20.11.42 NMAC revisions were submitted as an update the title V program. As part of this review, EPA is taking action only on the submitted revisions to 20.11.60 NMAC. We are addressing the amended regulations in 20.11.61 NMAC as part of separate SIP action (See 80 FR 28901); for the revisions to 20.11.42 NMAC, it will be addressed separately in a later action to update the NM title V program.

    II. The EPA's Evaluation

    The current SIP-approved version of 20.11.60 NMAC, Permitting in Nonattainment Areas, was last approved by EPA on April 26, 2007, and became effective on May 29, 2007. See 72 FR 20728. Substantive revisions to the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County NNSR program amend the existing state regulations to address the following federal NNSR requirements promulgated by the EPA:

    • Implementation of the NSR Program for PM2.5 (73 FR 28321);

    • PSD for PM2.5-Increments, Significant Impact Levels (SILs) and Significant Monitoring Concentration (SMC) (75 FR 64864);

    • Final Rule to Implement the 8-hour Ozone (O3) NAAQS-Phase 2; Final Rule to Implement Certain Aspects of the 1990 Amendments Relating to NSR and PSD as They Apply to Carbon Monoxide (CO), PM and O3 NAAQS (70 FR 71612);

    • PSD and NNSR: Reasonable Possibility in Recordkeeping (72 FR 72607); and

    • PSD and NNSR: Reconsideration of Inclusion of Fugitive Rule; Interim Rule; Stay and Revisions (76 FR 17548).

    Further, the amendments contained in the two submittals revise the rules to conform to the latest changes to New Mexico Air Code for the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County laws which must continue to meet minimum federal requirements and include grammatical and formatting corrections. In addition, more headings were added to provide clarity to the rules.

    The EPA's evaluation of the revisions to the New Mexico SIP for the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County NNSR program included a line-by-line comparison in the TSD of the proposed revisions with the federal requirements. State and local permitting authorities may meet the requirements of 40 CFR part 51 with different but equivalent regulations. While some permitting authorities choose to incorporate by reference the applicable federal rules, other permitting authorities (such as the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County) choose to draft rules that track the federal language but contain differences. We found that in most cases, the state regulatory language is identical to the federal rule. Where the rules are not identical, they are at least consistent and support the federal rules and definitions. The EPA is therefore making a preliminary determination that the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County has adopted the necessary elements for the NNSR program to comply with the federal regulatory requirements for implementation of the PM2.5 and O3 NAAQS.

    III. Proposed Action

    We evaluated and are proposing to approve the revisions to 20.11.60 NMAC submitted for SIP inclusion on August 16, 2010 and July 26, 2013. The EPA has made the preliminary determination that the revisions are approvable because the submitted rules are adopted and submitted in accordance with the CAA and are consistent with the EPA's regulations for NNSR permitting at 40 CFR 51.160-51.165. Therefore, under section 110 and part D of the Act, and for the reasons presented above and our accompanying TSD, the EPA proposes to fully approve the specific revisions to the New Mexico SIP for the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County as identified below.

    • Revisions to 20.11.60.1 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010;

    • Revisions to 20.11.60.2 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010;

    • Revisions to 20.11.60.6 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010; and adopted on April 10, 2013 and submitted on July 26, 2013

    • Revisions to 20.11.60.7 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010; and adopted on April 10, 2013 and submitted on July 26, 2013

    • Revisions to 20.11.60.12 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010; and adopted on April 10, 2013 and submitted on July 26, 2013

    • Revisions to 20.11.60.13 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010; and adopted on April 10, 2013 and submitted on July 26, 2013

    • New 20.11.60.14 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010;

    • New 20.11.60.15 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010; and adopted on April 10, 2013 and submitted on July 26, 2013

    • New 20.11.60.16 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010;

    • Revisions to 20.11.60.17 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010;

    • Revisions to 20.11.60.18 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010;

    • New 20.11.60.19 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010;

    • New 11.60.20 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010;

    • Revisions to 20.11.60.21 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010;

    • Revisions to 20.11.60.22 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010;

    • Revisions to 20.11.60.23 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010;

    • Revisions to 20.11.60.24 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010;

    • Revisions to 20.11.60.25 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010;

    • Revisions to 20.11.60.26 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010;

    • Revisions to 20.11.60.27 NMAC as adopted on July 14, 2010 and submitted on August 16, 2010;

    The EPA is proposing to find that the August 16, 2010 and July 26, 2013, submittals together addresses all required NNSR elements for the implementation of the 8-hour ozone NAAQS and the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. We note that the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County NNSR program does not include regulation of VOCs and ammonia as PM2.5 precursors. However, section 189(e) of the Act requires regulation of PM2.5 precursors that significantly contribute to PM2.5 levels “which exceed the standard in the area” and PM2.5 levels in the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County do not currently exceed the standard. In the event that an area is designated nonattainment for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS or any other future PM2.5 NAAQS, New Mexico for the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County will have a deadline under section 189(a)(2) of the CAA to make a submission addressing the statutory requirements as to that area, including the requirements in section 189(e) that apply to the regulation of PM2.5 precursors.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this action, we are proposing to include in a final rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with the requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, we are proposing to incorporate by reference revisions to the New Mexico State regulations for the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County as described in the Proposed Action section above. We have made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the EPA Region 6 office.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA and applicable Federal regulations. See, 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this 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 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, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: August 12, 2015. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20898 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 150304214-5660-01] RIN 0648-BE94 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; Framework Adjustment 4 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule, request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes management measures recommended by the New England Fishery Management Council in Framework Adjustment 4 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan to further enhance catch monitoring and address discarding in the herring fishery. NMFS proposes measures that would clarify the slippage definition (i.e., discarding catch before it has been sampled by an observer), require limited access herring vessels to report slippage via the daily vessel monitoring system catch report, and require slippage consequence measures. NMFS also proposes management measures recommended by the Council in Framework 4 that would require volumetric estimates of total catch and fish holds to be empty of fish before vessels depart on a herring trip and seeks public comment on specific issues with these measures identified by NMFS. Lastly, NMFS proposes minor corrections to existing regulations.

    DATES:

    Public comments must be received by September 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The New England Fishery Management Council developed an environmental assessment (EA) for this action that describes the proposed action and other considered alternatives and provides a thorough analysis of the impacts of the proposed measures and alternatives. Copies of the framework, the EA, and the Regulatory Impact Review (RIR)/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), are available upon request from Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950. The EA/RIR/IRFA is accessible via the Internet at www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov.

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0067, 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-2015-0067, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    • Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Northeast Regional Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, “Comments on the Herring Framework Adjustment 4 Proposed Rule.”

    • Fax: (978) 281-9135, Attn: Carrie Nordeen.

    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).

    Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this proposed rule may be submitted to NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, and by email to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carrie Nordeen, Fishery Policy Analyst, phone 978-281-9272, fax 978-281-9135.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Council adopted Framework Adjustment 4 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan at its April 22, 2014, meeting. The Council submitted Framework 4 to NMFS for review on July 18, 2014, and resubmitted to NMFS on February 27, 2015, and April 30, 2015.

    This proposed rule includes management measures recommended by the Council in Framework 4 intended to further enhance catch monitoring and address discarding in the herring fishery. If implemented, Framework 4 would clarify the slippage definition, require limited access herring vessels to report slippage events on the daily vessel monitoring system (VMS) catch report, and establish slippage consequences. Slippage consequence measures would require vessels with All Areas (Category A) or Areas 2/3 (Category B) Limited Access Herring Permits to move 15 nautical miles (27.78 km) following an allowable slippage event, slippage due to safety, mechanical failure, or excess catch of spiny dogfish, and to terminate a fishing trip and return to port following a non-allowable slippage event, slippage for any other reason.

    This proposed rule includes two additional management measures also recommended by the Council in Framework 4. These measures include requiring volumetric catch estimates to be collected aboard vessels with limited access herring permits and requiring vessels with Category A or B herring permits to have fish holds empty of fish when departing on a herring trip. NMFS specifically seeks public comment on the consistency of these measures with the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and other applicable law.

    Additionally, this proposed rule contains minor corrections to existing regulations. NMFS proposes these adjustments under the authority of section 305(d) to the MSA, which provides that the Secretary of Commerce may promulgate regulations necessary to ensure that adjustments to a fishery management plan (FMP) are carried out in accordance with the FMP and the MSA. These adjustments, which are identified and described below, are necessary to clarify current regulations or the intent of the Herring FMP, and would not change the intent of any regulations.

    Proposed Measures

    The proposed regulations are based on the measures in Framework 4. The Council developed Framework 4 to build on catch monitoring improvements implemented in Amendment 5 to the Herring FMP (79 FR 8786, February 13, 2014) and to address dealer reporting requirements and slippage caps that NMFS disapproved as part of Amendment 5.

    NMFS supports improvements to fishery dependent data collections and shares the Council's concern for reducing unnecessary discarding. During the development of Framework 4, NMFS expressed concern with the lack of rationale supporting two of the measures in Framework 4, specifically the measures requiring volumetric estimates of total catch and empty fish holds at the beginning of a trip. The Council did not provide evidence of specific problems with catch monitoring or discarding that these measures would address, nor did it demonstrate how these measures would rectify any such problems. Therefore, NMFS urged the Council to ensure Framework 4 provided adequate justification to support these measures. At this time, NMFS does not consider Framework 4 to contain sufficient justification for these measures and NMFS remains concerned that the utility of these measures does not outweigh the compliance, administration, and enforcement costs.

    This proposed rule describes concerns about these measures' consistency with the MSA and other applicable law. Following public comment, NMFS will determine if these two measures can be approved or if they must be disapproved. NMFS seeks public comment on all proposed measures in Framework 4, and, in particular, NMFS seeks public comment on the proposed requirements for volumetric estimates of total catch and empty fish holds at the beginning of a trip and whether these measures should be approved or disapproved.

    Volumetric Catch Estimates

    Framework 4 would require vessels with limited access herring permits to have their fish holds certified and Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFOP) observers to collect volumetric estimates of total catch by measuring the volume of fish in the hold prior to offloading. Observers would convert the volumetric estimate to a weight and submit the estimated weight to the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO) for a cross-check of vessel trip reports (VTRs) and dealer reports.

    Vessels with limited access herring permits that store herring catch in fish holds would be required to certify the capacity of their fish holds and mark their holds at regular intervals to facilitate collection of volumetric catch estimates. The fish hold capacity measurement would need to be certified by one of the following entities: (1) A Certified Marine Surveyor with a fishing specialty by the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS); (2) an Accredited Marine Surveyor with a fishing specialty by the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS); (3) employees or agents of a classification society approved by the U.S. Coast Guard pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 3316(c); (4) the Maine State Sealer of Weights and Measures; (5) a professionally-licensed and/or registered Marine Engineer; or (6) a Naval Architect with a professional engineer license. This proposed list of entities is consistent with the list of entities approved to certify fish hold capacities in the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP. As part of the limited access herring permit renewal process in 2016, vessel owners would be required to submit a certified fish hold capacity measurement to NMFS with a signed certification by the individual or entity that completed the measurement specifying how they met the definition of a qualified individual or entity.

    Regulations in the State of Maine already require that herring vessels have their fish holds measured and “sealed” by the State Sealer of Weights and Measures. Additionally, regulations at 50 CFR 648.4(a)(5)(iii)(H)(1) specifying vessel upgrade restrictions require that Tier 1 and Tier 2 limited access Atlantic mackerel vessels certify the capacity of their fish holds and submit this information to NMFS. Therefore, many vessels that participate in the herring fishery may already have the information necessary to determine the capacity of their fish holds.

    Vessels with limited access herring permits would be required to obtain and retain on board a NMFS-approved measuring stick that would be available to the observer to measure the amount of fish in the fish hold. At the completion of a fishing trip, but prior to offloading, the observer would lower the NMFS-approved measuring stick into the fish hold(s) to measure the amount of fish and then estimate the total volume of fish on board. Once the observer estimates the total volume of fish in the fish hold, the observer would calculate the total weight of fish on board based on NMFS-approved volume to weight conversions. Framework 4 proposes the following conversions: (1) 1 cubic foot (0.28 cubic m) = 56.2 pounds (25.49 kg); (2) 1.244 cubic feet (0.035 cubic m) = 1 bushel herring (0.035 cubic m) = 70 pounds (31.75 kg); (3) 1 hogshead (0.62 cubic m) = 17.5 bushels (0.62 cubic m) = 1,225 pounds (555.65 kg). Additionally, Framework 4 proposes that 5 percent of the total weight would be deducted to account for water in the fish hold. Once the final estimate of total weight of fish is determined by the observer, that estimate would be recorded along with other sampling data collected on that fishing trip. After the observer's data are checked and finalized by NEFOP, the observer's estimate of total catch would be made available to GARFO for the purpose of cross-checking VTRs and dealer data.

    Currently, observers do not estimate total catch in the herring fishery. Estimating the volume of fish in fish holds is an accepted practice elsewhere in the world, particularly Europe, to estimate the weight of total catch. However, requiring observers in the herring fishery to collect volumetric estimates of total catch would necessitate significant development of this measure prior to implementation, including developing a sampling protocol, approving volume to weight conversions and deductions to account for water in the fish hold, training observers, and evaluating how to use the data. Additionally, observers in the herring fishery are not currently required to stay with the vessel after landing and contracts for observers do not include sampling responsibilities when the vessel is in port. Requiring observers to sample vessels in port would require modifications to the description of observer duties and contracts with observer service providers.

    The requirement for observers to estimate the amount of catch in the fish hold is intended to enhance catch monitoring in the herring fishery by providing an independent estimate of total catch. This measure was developed to address stakeholder concerns with NMFS's reliance on industry-reported catch data to monitor the herring fishery. Specifically, some stakeholders, including environmental organizations, the groundfish industry, and recreational fishing groups, believe that herring catch is not accurately reported by the industry and that large discrepancies exist between vessel and dealer reports. The herring industry, in general, does not believe that herring catch is being misreported but, in an effort to address stakeholder concerns, supports the requirement for observers to collect an estimate of total catch.

    Vessels and dealers report catch by species. VTRs, in combination with observer data, are used by NMFS in herring stock assessments and to track catch against catch caps in the herring fishery, while dealer data are used to track catch against herring annual catch limits. The proposed measure would provide an estimate of total catch, but not catch by species. Therefore, the volumetric estimate could not be used to replace either VTRs or dealer data and it could not be used for catch monitoring or stock assessments. While the data generated under this proposed measure would not replace industry-reported data used for quota monitoring and stock assessments, it is intended to help measure the utility of industry-reported catch data, identify, catch reporting issues, and alleviate concerns that vessel operators and dealers collude to misreport catch.

    Framework 4 does not provide evidence of misreporting by the herring industry, but it does highlight past differences between the amount of herring reported by vessels and dealers. Prior to 2008, discrepancies between VTRs and dealer data ranged from 4 percent to 54 percent. The vessel hail estimate (reported on the VTR) is different than amount of fish purchased (reported by dealers) so differences between these data sets are expected. However, discrepancies between VTR and dealer data greater than 10 percent are considered substantial.

    In recent years, discrepancies between VTRs and dealer data have been minimal. VTRs were higher than dealer reports in 2009 (2 percent), 2010 (1.3 percent), 2011 (1.2 percent), and 2013 (0.1 percent) and less than dealer reports in 2012 (0.1 percent). As described in NMFS's April 17, 2014, letter to the Council, GARFO has improved the process for cross-checking and resolving differences between VTR and dealer data. Staff use advanced programming to match VTR and dealer data for each trip and identify records that do not match. They then investigate each unmatched record to determine the cause of the discrepancy and make the correction to the appropriate data set. This investigation process includes interviews with dealers, vessel operators, and owners to obtain supporting documentation for the correction and to ensure industry concurs with the data corrections. Given that discrepancies between VTR and dealer data are investigated and resolved, NMFS does not consider as necessary the proposed measure for observers to collect a volumetric estimate of total catch to help identify or resolve discrepancies between VTR and dealer data.

    Framework 4 discusses the concern that catch is not being accurately reported, but cautions whether the proposed measure would be more accurate than methods currently used by vessel operators or dealers to estimate catch. The volumetric conversions proposed in Framework 4 are based on herring harvested in other parts of the world. Using a volumetric conversion assumes consistency in the size, weight, and density of the catch, but there can be substantial variability in the catch composition of the herring fishery, depending on the area and season. The proposed 5 percent deduction from total weight to account for water in the tanks is based on best known practices among the industry, but the Council did not rigorously evaluate the amount of the deduction. For these reasons, Framework 4 explains that converting a volume of total fish to pounds based on a herring-based conversion could produce less accurate catch estimates than current vessel or dealer estimates. Because of the potential variability and uncertainties associated with volumetric estimates and volumetric conversions, catch estimates derived under this proposed measure would not be used to replace any current estimates of herring catch. Therefore, the impact of this proposed measure on the herring resource is likely to be negligible.

    Framework 4 suggests that portside samplers, in addition to observers, could provide independent catch verification in the herring fishery. Currently, the portside sampling program that samples the herring fishery is a voluntary program administered by the states of Massachusetts and Maine. It is not possible to implement a mandatory Federal data collection through a voluntary state sampling program. It may be possible to collect catch data in a future Federal portside sampling program, such as the portside sampling alternative for the midwater trawl fleet being considered in the Council's Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment, provided that the data collected would improve monitoring in the herring fishery.

    During the development of Framework 4, NMFS expressed concern regarding the utility of the proposed measure and the reliability of a volumetric estimate of total catch. When the Council adopted Framework 4 at its April 2014 meeting, NMFS commented that it was unclear how GARFO would use the volumetric estimate of total catch and whether a volumetric estimate collected by an observer would be any more accurate than either the vessel or dealer reported data. Framework 4 describes that the proposed measure is intended to enhance catch monitoring, but it does not describe the specifics of how the volumetric catch estimate will be used to cross-check vessel and dealer data. In recent years, discrepancies between VTR and dealer reports have averaged approximately 1 percent; therefore, using the volumetric estimate to resolve those discrepancies does not seem necessary. Additionally, because of assumptions inherent in the calculation to convert volume to weight, Framework 4 cautions that the proposed measure could result in the catch estimate less accurate than either the vessel or dealer data.

    In summary, NMFS seeks public comment on whether and how the proposed measure has practical utility that outweighs its additional compliance and administrative costs. Specifically, NMFS seeks comment on whether and how the benefit of the information provided from this measure compares to the additional burden on vessel owner/operators to certify their fish holds and make available a measuring stick for observers, consistent with the requirements of MSA National Standards 5 and 7 and the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). NMFS seeks comment on the quality of the information produced and whether and how it is relevant to and sufficient for the purposes of monitoring the fishery, facilitating inseason management, or judging the performance of the management regime, consistent with the requirements of MSA National Standard 2. NMFS also seeks comment on whether and how this measure allows the fishery to operate at the lowest possible administrative and enforcement costs relative to any additional monitoring benefit provided by this measure, consistent with the requirements of MSA National Standard 5. Lastly, NMFS seeks comment on the accuracy of the burden estimate, ways to enhance the quality or utility of the information collected, and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection. After evaluating public comment, NMFS will determine if the proposed volumetric catch estimate requirement can be approved or if it must be disapproved.

    Empty Fish Holds

    Framework 4 would require fish holds of vessels with Category A or B limited access herring permits to be empty of fish before leaving the dock on any trip declared into the herring fishery. A waiver may be issued by an authorized law enforcement officer when fish have been reported as caught and cannot be sold due to the condition of fish.

    The Council proposed this measure to enhance catch monitoring and discourage wasteful fishing practices in the herring fishery. The practice of discarding unmarketable fish on a subsequent trip is not known to be prevalent in the herring fishery, but some stakeholders are concerned that fish not purchased by a dealer, and discarded on a subsequent trip, may not be reported on the VTR. The Council intended this measure to discourage the discarding of unreported fish, provide a mechanism to document when harvested fish become unmarketable, and prevent vessel operators from mixing fish from multiple trips in the hold, potentially biasing catch data.

    Initially, this measure consisted of only the requirement that vessel fish holds be empty of fish at the beginning of a herring trip. But recognizing that there may be unforeseen events that make it difficult to sell fish (e.g., refrigeration failure, poor condition, lack of market), the Council proposed the waiver provision to mitigate the potential costs associated with disposing of unmarketable catch on land. The Council intended the waiver to provide a mechanism to verify that fish had been reported and document the nature and extent to which vessels are departing on trips with fish in their holds. Additionally, some vessels in the herring fishery land their catch in multiple ports, and the Council intended that the waiver provision would allow that practice to continue.

    NMFS is concerned with the lack of justification for this measure and how the compliance and enforcement costs associated with this measure seem to outweigh the benefits. NMFS would still need to significantly develop this measure prior to implementation, including developing a protocol for checking if fish holds are empty of fish, developing guidance for when/how waivers would be issued, specifying what a vessel must do if it cannot obtain a waiver, and developing a process to use/track waivers. At the April 2014 Council meeting, NMFS commented that it was unclear how this requirement would improve catch data and urged the Council to ensure that Framework 4 provided clear rationale for this measure.

    While prohibiting the disposal of unmarketable catch at sea, unless a waiver is issued, may discourage wasteful fishing practices, there is insufficient support in the record to determine whether this practice is frequently occurring in the herring fishery. The costs associated with a herring trip, such as fuel, crew wages, and insurance, are substantial, so it is unlikely that vessel owners/operators are harvesting fish with the intention to discard rather than sell the fish. Additionally, Framework 4 acknowledges that disposing of unmarketable catch at sea on a subsequent fishing trip is not known to occur regularly in the herring fishery.

    Framework 4 explains that it is unclear whether unmarketable catch discarded at sea on a subsequent trip is reported. Part of the justification for the waiver provision is to provide a way to verify that fish have been reported and document the extent to which vessels are departing on trips with fish in their holds. However, the Council's proposed waiver provides no way of verifying the amount of fish reported relative to the amount of fish left in the hold. Therefore, NMFS does not consider this measure to contain a viable mechanism to verify whether harvested fish that are left in the hold were reported by the vessel.

    Because the proposed measure lacks a mechanism to verify or correct the amount of fish reported on the VTR, the proposed measure is unlikely to improve catch monitoring in the herring fishery. In contrast, the compliance and enforcement costs associated with the proposed measure may be high. For example, vessel operators needing to dispose of fish at sea may lose time and money waiting for an authorized law enforcement officer to travel to their vessel, inspect it, and issue a waiver. Additionally, it would likely be time consuming for authorized officers to issue waivers and would divert resources from other law enforcement duties.

    This proposed measure is also intended to enhance catch monitoring in the herring fishery by preventing vessel operators from mixing fish from multiple trips in the hold and biasing catch data. NEFOP observers sample the catch while it is on the deck, before it is placed in the fish hold, so there is no chance that observers would be sampling fish from multiple trips that were mixed in the hold. The herring fishery is also sampled portside by the Massachusetts' Department of Marine Fisheries (MA DMF) and Maine's Department of Marine Resources. Mixing of catch from multiple fishing trips, although unlikely, may have the potential to bias landings data used to inform herring stock assessments, state management spawning closures, and the river herring avoidance program operated by the University of Massachusetts' School of Marine Fisheries and MA DMF.

    The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is also considering a requirement that vessel fish holds be empty of fish before vessels depart on a herring fishing trip in Amendment 3 to its Interstate FMP for Atlantic Herring. Establishing a similar provision in this action may promote coordination between Federal and state management of the herring fishery, but for the reasons described above, it is unlikely to improve catch monitoring in the herring fishery.

    In summary, NMFS seeks public comment on whether and how the proposed measure has practical utility that outweighs its additional compliance and enforcement costs. Specifically, NMFS seeks comment on whether and how requiring empty fish holds improves catch monitoring and how any benefit of catch monitoring provided by requiring empty fish holds compares to the additional burden on vessel owner/operators to obtain a waiver from an authorized officer, consistent with the requirements of MSA National Standard 7 and the PRA. NMFS also seeks comment on whether and how the measure minimizes costs, avoids unnecessary duplication, and provides fishermen with the greatest possible freedom of action in conducting business or imposes an unnecessary enforcement burden relative to the requirements of MSA National Standard 7. Further, NMFS seeks comment on the proposed measure's efficient use of fishery resources, specifically whether and how this measure allows the fishery to operate at the lowest possible enforcement costs relative to the requirements of MSA National Standard 5. Lastly, NMFS seeks comment on the accuracy of the burden estimate, ways to enhance the quality or utility of the information collected, and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection. After evaluating public comment, NMFS will determine if the proposed empty fish hold requirement can be approved or if it must be disapproved.

    Clarification of Existing Slippage Measures

    Framework 4 proposes clarifications to slippage measures implemented in Amendment 5 (79 FR 8786, February 13, 2014). Currently, slippage requirements exist for vessels with limited access herring permits and midwater trawl vessels fishing in Groundfish Closed Areas.

    Slippage is currently defined at 50 CFR 648.2 as catch that is discarded prior to it being brought aboard a vessel issued a herring permit and/or prior to making it available for sampling and inspection by a NMFS-approved observer. Slippage includes releasing catch from a codend or seine prior to the completion of pumping the catch aboard and the release of catch from a codend or seine while the codend or seine is in the water. Fish that cannot be pumped and remain in the codend or seine at the end of pumping operations are characterized as operational discards, not slippage. Discards that occur after the catch is brought on board and sorted are also not considered slippage.

    Measures at § 648.11(m)(4) prohibit slippage aboard any vessel issued a limited access herring permit and carrying a NMFS-approved observer, except when safety or mechanical failure necessitate slipping catch or when excess catch of spiny dogfish prevents fish from being pumped aboard the vessel. Vessel may also make test tows without pumping catch on board for sampling, provided the gear is re-set without releasing its contents and all catch from test tows would be available to the observer to sample when the next tow is brought on board. If catch is slipped for any the reasons described previously, the vessel operator must complete and sign a Released Catch Affidavit detailing where, when, and why catch was slipped and the estimated weight of each species either retained or slipped on that tow. A completed affidavit must be submitted to NMFS within 48 hr of the end of the trip.

    When midwater trawl vessels are fishing in the Groundfish Closed Areas, measures at § 648.202(b) require those vessels to carry an observer and prohibit slippage, except when slippage is due to safety, mechanical failure, or excess catch of spiny dogfish, and operational discards. Operational discards are the relatively small amounts of fish that remain in the codend or seine after catch is pumped aboard the vessel. The Groundfish Closed Areas include Closed Area I, Closed Area II, Nantucket Lightship Closed Area, Cashes Ledge Closure Area, and the Western Gulf of Maine Closure Area. Midwater trawl vessels fishing in the Groundfish Closed Areas may make test tows, but if catch is slipped or operationally discarded, the vessel must immediately exit the Groundfish Closed Areas for the remainder of that trip and complete a Released Catch Affidavit within 48 hr of the end of the trip.

    When sampling catch at-sea, observers document all catch not brought on board and categorize the catch based on disposition code. Those codes are later evaluated to determine if they were discard, slippage, or operational discard events. Consistent with the recommendations of the Herring Plan Development Team, the Council believes that clarifying the treatment of catch not brought on board should enhance the effectiveness and enforceability of existing and proposed management measures to address slippage.

    Framework 4 proposes to maintain the existing requirements that prohibit operational discards aboard midwater trawl vessels fishing in the Groundfish Closed Areas but allow operational discards to occur on board herring vessels fishing outside the Groundfish Closed Areas. Current observer protocols include documenting operational discards and existing regulations require vessel operators to assist the observer with this process. Because it can be time and labor intensive to bring these small amounts of fish on board the vessel, the compliance costs associated with prohibiting operational discards outside the Groundfish Closed Areas would likely outweigh any benefits to the catch monitoring program and the herring resource. Especially considering that hauls containing operational discards are considered to be “observed” hauls as the amount and composition of operational discards can be estimated by observers. For these reasons, the Council decided to maintain the existing requirements that prohibit operational discards aboard midwater trawl vessels fishing in the Groundfish Closed Areas but allow operational discards to occur on herring vessels fishing outside the Groundfish Closed Areas.

    Framework 4 proposes clarifying slippage, such that a slippage event due to safety, mechanical failure, or excess catch of spiny dogfish would be categorized as an “allowable” slippage event and slippage for any other reason would be categorized as a “non-allowable” slippage event. These proposed categorizations are intended to help clarify the type of slippage event and would then be used to determine whether a vessel would be subject to any slippage consequences proposed in Framework 4.

    Framework 4 proposes that catch not brought on board due to gear damage would be categorized as mechanical failure and, therefore, as an allowable slippage event. Although a gear failure that results in the release of catch from a codend is often beyond the control of the captain and crew, instances of catch released due to gear damage are similar to instances of catch released due to mechanical failure. Therefore, the Council believes that catch released due to gear damage should be categorized as mechanical failure and an allowable slippage event. As an allowable slippage event, catch not brought on board due to gear damage would be subject to existing slippage requirements and a slippage consequence proposed in Framework 4.

    Framework 4 proposes that catch that falls out of or off of gear and is not brought on board would not be categorized as a slippage event. In general, only small amounts of catch fall out or off of gear during fishing and/or when catch is being brought aboard the vessel, unlike the potential for catch loss due to mechanical failure. Therefore, the Council believes that fish that fall out of the gear should be categorized as discarded catch, but not slippage. For these reasons, instances of catch falling out or off of gear during fishing and/or when catch is being brought aboard the vessel would not be subject to existing slippage requirements or any proposed slippage consequences in Framework 4.

    Slippage Consequences

    Building on the slippage restrictions established in Amendment 5, Framework 4 proposes requiring vessels to move away from the slippage location following an allowable slippage event before resuming fishing. Specifically, vessels with Category A or B herring permits slipping catch, due to safety, mechanical failure, or excess catch of spiny dogfish, would be required to move at least 15 nautical miles (27.78 km) away from the slippage event location. The vessel would be allowed to move 15 nautical miles (27.78 km) away in any direction, but it would be prohibited from resuming fishing until it was at least 15 nautical miles (27.78 km) from the location of the allowable slippage event. Additionally, the vessel would be required to remain at least 15 nautical miles (27.78 km) from the slippage event location for the duration of that fishing trip.

    Framework 4 also proposes a trip termination consequence for non-allowable slippage events. Specifically, vessels with Category A or B herring permits slipping catch, for any reason other than safety, mechanical failure, or excess catch of spiny dogfish, would be required to immediately stop fishing and return to port. After having returned to port and terminated the fishing trip, vessels would be allowed to initiate another fishing trip, consistent with the existing pre-trip notification requirements (e.g., contact NEFOP to request an observer, VMS trip/gear declaration) for limited access vessels participating in the herring fishery.

    Vessels with Category A or B limited access herring permits fishing with midwater trawl gear in the Groundfish Closed Areas would also be subject to these proposed slippage consequences. Midwater trawl vessels are currently required to exit the Groundfish Closed Areas following an allowable slippage event and remain outside the Groundfish Closed Areas for the duration of that trip. Under these proposed slippage consequences, vessels with Category A or B limited access herring permits fishing with midwater trawl gear in the Groundfish Closed Area would also be required to move at least 15 nautical miles (27.78 km) away from the slippage location following an allowable slippage event. Therefore, following an allowable slippage event, a midwater trawl vessel would need to exit the Groundfish Closed Areas and remain outside of the Groundfish Closed Areas for the remainder of the fishing trip. If the vessel has been issued a Category A or B limited access herring permit, the vessel would also be required to move at least 15 nautical miles (27.78 km) away from the slippage event and remain at least 15 nautical miles (27.78 km) away from the slippage event for the remainder of the fishing trip. Additionally, vessels with Category A or B limited access herring permits fishing with midwater trawl gear in the Groundfish Closed Areas would be required to terminate the fishing trip and return to port following a non-allowable slippage event.

    The Council believes that additional consequences for both allowable and non-allowable slippage events will enhance the catch monitoring program established through Amendment 5 by further discouraging slippage in the herring fishery. The herring fishery is a relatively high-volume fishery capable of catching large quantities of fish in a single tow. Therefore, even a few slippage events have the potential to substantially affect species composition data, especially extrapolations of incidental catch. The Council recommended the requirement that vessels move at least 15 nautical miles (27.78 km) following an allowable slippage event for two reasons. First, the 15-nautical mile (27.78-km) move requirement would apply uniformly to all vessels that slipped catch, unlike other considered alternatives (e.g., leaving a management area, leaving a statistical area) where the magnitude of the move would have depended upon the location of the allowable slippage event. Second, the Council believes the 15-nautical mile (27.78-km) move requirement would likely provide sufficient incentive (i.e., costing time and fuel) for herring vessels to minimize slippage while still maximizing opportunities for participating in the herring fishery and fully utilizing the available yield. Additionally, the Council recommended the requirement that vessels terminate their fishing trip following a non-allowable slippage event to reiterate the importance of minimizing slippage. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council recommended these same slippage consequences for allowable and non-allowable slippage events in the mackerel fishery as part of Framework 9 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP. Many vessels participate in both the herring and mackerel fisheries, and implementing consistent slippage consequences across these fisheries is expected to improve compliance and enforcement of these measures.

    Slippage is a significant concern for many stakeholders because they believe it undermines the ability to collect unbiased estimates of herring catch, as well as other species, in the herring fishery. Stakeholders expressed support for proposed measures to address slippage in Framework 4, suggesting that implementing these measures would further ensure that there is accountability for all catch in the herring fishery. Framework 4 explains that when the benefits of slipping catch outweigh the costs of slipping catch, vessel operators are likely to slip catch. Additionally, Framework 4 describes the impact of the slippage consequence measures as low positive for the herring resource and low negative for the herring industry. Minimizing slippage events and better documentation of slipped catch may improve estimates of bycatch in the fishery. To the extent that the amount and species composition of slipped catch can be sampled and/or estimated, catch monitoring will be enhanced. To the extent that slippage events can continue to be reduced, bycatch can be further minimized.

    Reporting Slippage Events

    Framework 4 proposes requiring vessels with limited access herring permits to report slippage events, including the reason for the slippage event, via the herring daily VMS catch report. This report, in combination with observer data, would help enhance the enforceability of existing slippage requirements, such as completing a released catch affidavit, as well as the slippage consequences proposed in Framework 4.

    Clarifications and Corrections

    This proposed rule also contains minor clarifications and corrections to existing regulations. NMFS proposes these adjustments under the authority of section 305(d) to the MSA, which provides that the Secretary of Commerce may promulgate regulations necessary to ensure that framework adjustments to FMPs are carried out in accordance with the FMP and the MSA. These adjustments, which are identified and described below, are necessary to clarify current regulations and would not change the intent of any regulations.

    NMFS proposes to add a transiting provision for herring management areas with seasonal sub-ACLs. This provision would allow vessels to transit herring management areas during periods when zero percent of the sub-ACL for those areas was available for harvest with herring harvested from other herring management areas aboard, provided gear was stowed and not available for use. This provision was overlooked during rulemaking for Framework Adjustment 2 to the Herring FMP and is consistent with the intent of that action. NMFS proposes to remove regulations at § 648.80(d)(7) describing requirements for midwater trawl vessels fishing in Groundfish Closed Area I because they are redundant with regulations at § 648.202(b) describing requirements for midwater trawl vessels fishing in any of the Groundfish Closed Areas. NMFS proposes adding the definition of operational discards at § 648.2 and clarifying that operational discards are not permitted aboard midwater trawl vessels fishing in Groundfish Closed Areas, unless those fish have first been made available to an observer for sampling. NMFS proposes revising references to individual years in regulations for carryover at § 648.201 to more correctly describe the timing of carryover. Lastly, NMFS proposes to correct coordinates for Herring Management Area 2 at § 648.200(f)(2) to more accurately define the area.

    Classification

    Except for the proposed measures requiring volumetric estimates of catch and empty fish holds at the beginning of a trip and pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the MSA, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has preliminarily determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the Atlantic Herring FMP; other provisions of the MSA; 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 Council prepared an IRFA, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed rule, if adopted, would have on small entities. A summary of the analysis follows. A copy of this analysis is available from the Council or NMFS (see ADDRESSES) or via the Internet at www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov.

    Description of the Reasons Why Action by the Agency Is Being Considered

    This action proposes measures intended to further enhance catch monitoring and address discarding in the herring fishery. The preamble to this rule includes a complete description of the reasons why this action is being considered; therefore, those reasons are not repeated here.

    Statement of the Objectives of, and Legal Basis for, This Proposed Rule

    This action proposes measures intended to further enhance catch monitoring and address discarding in the herring fishery. The preamble to this proposed rule includes a complete description of the objectives of and legal basis for this action; therefore, that description is not repeated here.

    Description and Estimate of Number of Small Entities to Which This Proposed Rule Would Apply

    This action proposes measures to regulate the activity of vessels with limited access herring permits and vessels with Category A or B limited access herring permits. Therefore, the regulated entity is the business that owns at least one limited access herring permit.

    In 2013, the most recent full year of fishery permit data, 93 fishing vessels were issued a limited access herring permit. Vessels and/or permits may be owned by entities affiliated by stock ownership, common management, identity of interest, contractual relationships, or economic dependency. For the purposes of this analysis, ownership entities are defined by those entities with common ownership personnel as listed on permit application documentation. Only permits with identical ownership personnel are categorized as an affiliated entity. For example, if five permits have the same seven personnel listed as co-owners on their application paperwork, those seven personnel form one ownership entity, covering those five permits. If one or several of the seven owners also own additional vessels, with sub-sets of the original seven personnel or with new co-owners, those ownership arrangements are deemed to be separate entities for the purpose of this analysis.

    Based on this ownership criterion, NMFS dealer data for recent years (2010-2013), and the size standards for finfish and shellfish firms, there are 68 regulated fishing firms with a limited access herring permit. Of those 68 firms, there are 61 small entities and 7 large entities. Not all of these permitted firms are active: Only 32 small entities and 5 large entities were actively fishing for herring during the last 3 years. Additionally, there are 32 regulated fishing firms that hold Category A or B herring permits. Of those 32 firms, there are 27 small entities and 5 large entities. Not all of these permitted firms are active: Only 19 small entities and 5 large entities were actively fishing for herring during the last 3 years.

    Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements of This Proposed Rule

    This action proposes collection-of-information requirements subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the PRA. This requirement will be submitted to OMB for approval under Control Numbers 0648-0202 and 0648-0674.

    This action proposes that limited access vessels report slippage events via the daily VMS herring catch report. All limited access herring vessels are currently required to submit daily VMS catch reports, therefore, reporting slippage via VMS is not expected to cause any additional time or cost burden above that which was previously approved under OMB Control Number 0648-0202.

    This action proposes that vessels with limited access herring permits that store herring catch in fish holds would be required to certify the capacity of their fish holds and mark their holds at regular intervals to facilitate collection of volumetric catch estimates. The fish hold capacity measurement would need to be certified by one of the following entities: (1) A Certified Marine Surveyor with a fishing specialty by the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS); (2) an Accredited Marine Surveyor with a fishing specialty by the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS); (3) employees or agents of a classification society approved by the U.S. Coast Guard pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 3316(c); (4) the Maine State Sealer of Weights and Measures; (5) a professionally-licensed and/or registered Marine Engineer; or (6) a Naval Architect with a professional engineer license. Additionally, vessels would be required to obtain and carry on board a NMFS-approved measuring stick that would be available to observers to place into the fish hold(s) to measure the amount of fish. Each hold volume measurement done by a certified marine surveyor is estimated to cost $300-$400. The cost of the NMFS-approved measuring stick is unknown at this time, but expected to be minimal. Ninety-three vessels were issued a limited access herring permit in 2013. Therefore, an estimated 93 vessels would be required to submit a fish hold volume measurement at the time of permit issuance in 2016 and obtain and carry on board a NMFS-approved measuring stick.

    This action also proposes that vessels with Category A or B limited access herring permits would be required to have empty holds prior to departing on a herring trip. A waiver may be issued by an authorized law enforcement officer when fish have been reported as caught and cannot be sold due to the condition of fish. Forty-three vessels were issued a Category A or B limited access herring permit in 2013. Therefore, an estimated 43 vessels would be required to obtain a waiver from an authorized officer prior to leaving the dock on a herring trip with fish in the hold. The burden to the vessel operator/owner associated with obtaining a waiver would be any loss of time and/or money waiting for an authorized officer to travel to their vessel, inspect it, and issue a waiver.

    Public comment is sought regarding: Whether this proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Send comments on these or any other aspects of the collection of information to the Regional Administrator (see ADDRESSES), and email to [email protected], or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Notwithstanding any other provisions of the law, no person is required 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. All currently approved NOAA collections of information may be viewed at: http://www.cio.noaa.gov/services_programs/prasubs.html.

    Federal Rules Which May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With This Proposed Rule

    This action does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal law.

    Description of Significant Alternatives to the Proposed Action Which Accomplish the Stated Objectives of the Applicable Statues and Which Minimize Any Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities

    This action considered alternatives to the proposed action, but, according to the analysis in Framework 4, the non-selected alternatives would not have met the stated goal of the action, minimized any significant economic impact on small entities compared to the proposed action, or been consistent with applicable law.

    To help minimize slippage, Framework 4 considered slippage consequence measures that would have required vessels to leave either a herring management or statistical area following an allowed slippage event and remain out of that area for the remainder of the trip. The economic cost of complying with these requirements and their effectiveness at deterring slippage would have arbitrarily depended upon the location of the slippage event and the magnitude of the required move. Therefore, the impact of the non-selected alternatives would not have applied uniformly to all vessels that slipped catch, unlike the impact of complying with the proposed action requiring vessels to move 15 nautical miles (27.78 km), and the non-selected alternatives may not minimize bycatch to the extent practicable. Framework 4 also considered only requiring trip termination following non-allowable slippage events, rather than the proposed action of requiring both a 15-nautical mile (27.78-km) move following allowable slippage events and trip termination following non-allowable slippage events. The proposed action was selected rather than just a trip termination requirement because the proposed action likely provides a greater incentive to not slip catch, thereby helping to minimize bycatch to the extent practicable.

    To help identify errors with catch information in the herring fishery, Framework 4 considered requiring dealers to have vessel representatives corroborate dealer landings data and requiring VTRs and dealers reports to be submitted daily rather than weekly. The analysis in Framework 4 indicated that both these non-selected alternatives would have only had a negligible impact on improving the quality of catch information in the herring fishery. Additionally, the reporting burden associated with these non-selected alternatives would have likely been greater than the reporting burden associated with the proposed action requiring vessel fish holds to be empty of fish at the beginning of a herring trip.

    Lastly, to improve the quality of herring catch information, Framework 4 considered requiring dealers to estimate herring landings based on standardized weight conversions for specific volumes of herring (e.g., box, storage tote, or truck). The economic cost of complying with these non-selected alternatives would have likely been similar to the costs associated with the proposed action requiring volumetric catch estimates to be collected aboard limited access herring vessels. However, the Framework 4 analysis suggests that the benefit of these non-selected alternatives would likely have been variable, depending on the accuracy of the weight conversions, and may have been more uncertain than any benefit resulting from the proposed action.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    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 648 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 648.2, the definition for “Slippage in the Atlantic herring fishery” is removed and the definitions for “Operational discards in the Atlantic herring fishery” and “Slip, slips, or slipping catch in the Atlantic herring fishery” are added in alphabetical order to read as follows:
    § 648.2 Definitions.

    Operational discards in the Atlantic herring fishery means small amounts of fish that cannot be pumped on board and remain in the codend or seine at the end of pumping operations. Leaving small amounts of fish in the codend or seine at the end of pumping operations is operationally discarding catch.

    Slip, slips, or slipping catch in the Atlantic herring fishery means catch that is discarded by a vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit prior to it being brought on board and made available for sampling and inspection by a NMFS-approved observer. Slip or slipping catch includes releasing fish from a codend or seine prior to the completion of pumping the fish on board and the release of fish from a codend or seine while the codend or seine is in the water. Slippage or slipped catch refers to fish that are slipped. Slippage or slipped catch does not include operational discards, discards that occur after the catch is brought on board, or fish that inadvertently fall out of or off fishing gear as gear is being brought on board the vessel.

    3. In § 648.4, paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(P) is added to read as follows:
    § 648.4 Vessel permits.

    (a) * * *

    (10) * * *

    (iv) * * *

    (P) Volumetric hold certification. All vessels with limited access herring permits that store catch in fish holds must certify the capacity of the vessel fish hold. The fish hold capacity measurement must be certified by one of the following qualified individuals or entities: Certified Marine Surveyor with a fishing specialty by the National Association of Marine Surveyors; Accredited Marine Surveyor with a fishing specialty by the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors; employees or agents of a classification society approved by the Coast Guard pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 3316(c); the Maine State Sealer of Weights and Measures; a professionally-licensed and/or registered Marine Engineer; or a Naval Architect with a professional engineer license. Vessel owners must submit a certified fish hold capacity measurement to NMFS with a signed certification by the individual or entity that completed the measurement.

    4. In § 648.11, paragraphs (m)(3)(ii) and (m)(4) are revised and paragraph (m)(5) is added to read as follows:
    § 648.11 At-sea sea sampler/observer coverage.

    (m) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (ii) Reasonable assistance to enable observers to carry out their duties, including but not limited to assistance with: Obtaining and sorting samples; measuring decks, codends, and holding bins; providing an observer a NMFS-approved measuring stick when requested; estimating the volume of fish in fish hold(s) before offloading; collecting bycatch when requested by the observers; and collecting and carrying baskets of fish when requested by the observers.

    (4) Measures to address slippage. (i) No vessel issued a limited access herring permit may slip catch, as defined at § 648.2, except in the following circumstances:

    (A) The vessel operator has determined, and the preponderance of available evidence indicates that, there is a compelling safety reason; or

    (B) A mechanical failure, including gear damage, precludes bringing some or all of the catch on board the vessel for inspection; or,

    (C) The vessel operator determines that pumping becomes impossible as a result of spiny dogfish clogging the pump intake. The vessel operator shall take reasonable measures, such as strapping and splitting the net, to remove all fish which can be pumped from the net prior to release.

    (ii) Vessels may make test tows without pumping catch on board if the net is re-set without releasing its contents provided that all catch from test tows is available to the observer to sample when the next tow is brought on board for sampling.

    (iii) If a vessel issued any limited access herring permit slips catch, the vessel operator must report the slippage event on the Atlantic herring daily VMS catch report and indicate the reason for slipping catch. Additionally, the vessel operator must complete and sign a Released Catch Affidavit detailing: The vessel name and permit number; the VTR serial number; where, when, and the reason for slipping catch; the estimated weight of each species brought on board or slipped on that tow. A completed affidavit must be submitted to NMFS within 48 hr of the end of the trip.

    (iv) If a vessel issued an All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring permit slips catch for any of the reasons described in paragraph (m)(4)(i) of this section, the vessel operator must move at least 15 nm (27.78 km) from the location of release before deploying any gear again, and must stay at least 15 nm (27.78 km) away from the slippage event location for the remainder of the fishing trip.

    (v) If catch is slipped by a vessel issued an All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring permit for any reason not described in paragraph (m)(4)(i) of this section, the vessel operator must immediately terminate the trip and return to port. No fishing activity may occur during the return to port.

    (5) Vessels must carry on board a NMFS-approved measuring stick which must be made available to the observer upon request.

    5. In § 648.14, paragraphs (r)(1)(ii)(D), (r)(1)(vii)(F), and (r)(2)(xiii) are added and paragraphs (r)(2)(v) through (xii) are revised to read as follows:
    § 648.14 Prohibitions.

    (r) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (D) For vessels issued an All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permit to begin a declared herring trip to fish for, possess, transfer, or receive herring without fish holds empty of fish as specified at § 648.204(c), unless the vessel has received a waiver to begin a trip with fish in the fish hold.

    (vii) * * *

    (F) Transit or be in an area that has zero percent sub-ACL available for harvest specified at § 648.201(d) with herring on board, unless such herring were caught in an area or areas with an available sub-ACL specified at § 648.201(d), all fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2, and the vessel is issued a vessel permit that authorizes the amount of herring on board for the area where the herring was harvested.

    (r) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (v) Fish with midwater trawl gear in any Northeast Multispecies Closed Area, as defined in § 648.81(a) through (e), without a NMFS-approved observer on board, if the vessel has been issued an Atlantic herring permit.

    (vi) Slip or operationally discard catch, as defined at § 648.2, unless for one of the reasons specified at § 648.202(b)(2), if fishing any part of a tow inside the Northeast Multispecies Closed Areas, as defined at § 648.81(a) through (e).

    (vii) Fail to immediately leave the Northeast Multispecies Closed Areas and comply with reporting requirements after slipping or operationally discarding catch, as required by § 648.202(b)(4).

    (viii) Slip catch, as defined at § 648.2, unless for one of the reasons specified at § 648.11(m)(4)(i).

    (ix) For vessels with All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permits, fail to move 15 nm (27.78 km), as required by § 648.11(m)(4)(iv) and § 648.202(b)(4)(iv).

    (x) For vessels with All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permits, fail to immediately return to port, as required by § 648.11(m)(4)(v) and § 648.202(b)(4)(iv).

    (xi) Fail to complete, sign, and submit a Released Catch Affidavit if fish are released pursuant to the requirements at § 648.11(m)(4)(iii).

    (xii) Fail to report a slippage event on the Atlantic herring daily VMS catch report, as required by § 648.11(m)(4)(iii).

    (xiii) Fail to carry on board, or make available to an observer upon request, a NMFS-approved measuring stick, as required by § 648.11(m)(5).

    § 648.80 [Amended]
    6. In § 648.80, paragraph (d)(7) is removed. 7. In § 648.200, paragraph (f)(2) is revised to read as follows:
    § 648.200 Specifications.

    (f) * * *

    (2) Management Area 2 (South Coastal Area): All state and Federal waters inclusive of sounds and bays, bounded on the east by 70°00′ W. long. and the outer limit of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone; bounded on the north and west by the southern coastline of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and the coastlines of Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina; and bounded on the south by a line following the lateral seaward boundary between North Carolina and South Carolina from the coast to the Submerged Lands Act line, approximately 33°48′46.37″ N. lat, 78°29′46.46″ W. long., and then heading due east along 33°48′46.37″ N. lat. to the outer limit of the US Exclusive Economic Zone.

    8. In § 648.201, paragraphs (e) and (f) are revised and paragraph (g) is added to read as follows:
    § 648.201 AMs and harvest controls.

    (e) A vessel may transit an area that has zero percent sub-ACL available for harvest specified in paragraph (d) of this section with herring on board, provided such herring were caught in an area or areas with sub-ACL available specified in paragraph (d) of this section, that all fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2, and the vessel is issued a permit that authorizes the amount of herring on board for the area where the herring was harvested.

    (f) Up to 500 mt of the Area 1A sub-ACL shall be allocated for the fixed gear fisheries in Area 1A (weirs and stop seines) that occur west of 67°16.8′ W. long (Cutler, Maine). This set-aside shall be available for harvest by fixed gear within the specified area until November 1 of each fishing year. Any portion of this allocation that has not been utilized by November 1 shall be restored to the sub-ACL allocation for Area 1A.

    (g) Carryover. Subject to the conditions described in this paragraph (g), unharvested catch in a herring management area in a fishing year (up to 10 percent of that area's sub-ACL) shall be carried over and added to the sub-ACL for that herring management area for the fishing year following the year when total catch is determined. For example, NMFS will determine total catch from Year 1 during Year 2, and will add carryover to the applicable sub-ACL(s) in Year 3. All such carryover shall be based on the herring management area's initial sub-ACL allocation for the fishing year, not the sub-ACL as increased by carryover or decreased by an overage deduction, as specified in paragraph (a)(3) of this section. All herring landed from a herring management area shall count against that area's sub-ACL, as increased by carryover. For example, if 500 mt of herring is added as carryover to a 5,000 mt sub-ACL, catch in that management area would be tracked against a total sub-ACL of 5,500 mt. NMFS shall add sub-ACL carryover only if the ACL, specified consistent with § 648.200(b)(3), for the fishing year in which there is unharvested herring, is not exceeded. The ACL, consistent with § 648.200(b)(3), shall not be increased by carryover specified in this paragraph (g).

    9. In § 648.202, paragraphs (b)(2) introductory text, (b)(4) introductory text, and (b)(4)(ii) are revised, and paragraphs (b)(4)(iii) and (iv) are added to read as follows:
    § 648.202 Season and area restrictions.

    (b) * * *

    (2) No vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit and fishing with midwater trawl gear, when fishing any part of a midwater trawl tow in the Closed Areas, may slip or operationally discard catch, as defined at § 648.2, except in the following circumstances:

    (4) If catch is slipped or operational discarded by a vessel, the vessel operator must:

    (ii) Complete and sign a Released Catch Affidavit detailing: The vessel name and permit number; the VTR serial number; where, when, and for what reason the catch was released; the estimated weight of each species brought on board or released on that tow. A completed affidavit must be submitted to NMFS within 48 hr of the end of the trip.

    (iii) Report slippage events on the Atlantic herring daily VMS catch report and indicate the reason for slipping catch if the vessel was issued a limited access herring permit.

    (iv) Comply with the measures to address slippage specified in § 648.11(m)(4)(iv) and (v) if the vessel was issued an All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permit.

    10. In § 648.204, paragraph (c) is added to read as follows:
    § 648.204 Possession restrictions.

    (c) Vessels issued an All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permit must have fish holds empty of fish before leaving the dock on any trip declared into the Atlantic herring fishery. After inspection by an authorized officer, a waiver for the requirement to have fish holds empty of fish may be issued to vessels for instances when there are fish in the hold due to a lack of marketability or refrigeration malfunction, provided those fish have been reported by the vessel.

    [FR Doc. 2015-21146 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 140703553-5687-01] RIN 0648-BE29 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Trawl Rationalization Program; Midwater Trawl Requirements AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule, if adopted, would clarify the regulatory requirements for vessels using midwater trawl gear in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota Program. This action is needed to eliminate inconsistencies and confusion in the current regulations. For vessels targeting Pacific whiting, the action would clarify that the retention of prohibited and protected species is allowed until landing. The disposition of prohibited and protected species would be specified consistent with the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan, the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan, and other applicable law.

    DATES:

    Comments on this proposed rule or the Environmental Assessment (EA) supporting the action must be received no later than 5 p.m., local time on September 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0093, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0093, 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 98115-0070; Attn: Becky Renko.

    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).

    Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this proposed rule may be submitted to William W. Stelle Jr., Regional Administrator, West Coast Region NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115-0070 and to OMB by email to [email protected], or fax to (202) 395-7285.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This action would amend the Pacific Coast groundfish fishery regulations to eliminate redundancies and inconsistencies relative to the use of midwater trawl gear in the Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota Program (Shorebased IFQ Program). The action is consistent with policy decisions that the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) made during the implementation of Amendment 20 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (groundfish FMP).

    In 2011, a trawl catch share program was implemented under Amendment 20 to the groundfish FMP. The trawl catch share program included the Shorebased IFQ Program, where individual permit holders receive quota pounds (QP) that they can fish for, lease, or sell. Permit holders also receive QP to cover catch of Pacific Halibut.

    In anticipation of the trawl catch share program, the groundfish regulations were restructured on October 1, 2010 (75 FR 60868). When the Shorebased IFQ Program was implemented, the midwater Pacific whiting shorebased fishery and the bottom trawl fishery were merged to create a single Shorebased IFQ fishery. Many of the pre-IFQ fishery management measures relating to time and area management were retained in the regulations for use in the Shorebased IFQ Program. However, integrating pre-IFQ regulations with new regulations for the Shorebased IFQ Program resulted in inconsistencies and numerous unclear and confusing management restrictions relative to the use of midwater trawl gear.

    Groundfish fishery management includes the use of time and area restrictions. Time and area restrictions affecting the use of midwater trawl gear include: Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas, Pacific whiting primary seasons, Ocean Salmon Conservation Zones (OSCZs), Bycatch Reduction Areas (BRAs), and Klamath and Columbia River salmon conservation zones. In addition, there are midwater trawl trip limit restrictions for operating shoreward of the 100 fathom (fm) contour in the Eureka area, and a prohibition on night fishing south of 42° north latitude.

    Vessel monitoring systems (VMSs) that automatically transmit hourly position reports to NMFS Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) are the primary management tool used to monitor vessel compliance with time and area restrictions. All vessels in the Shorebased IFQ Program are required to have an operational VMS. In addition, each vessel operator is required to submit a declaration report to OLE that allows the vessel's position to be linked to the type of fishing gear being used. In some cases, the declaration also identifies the particular species the vessel is fishing for and the target strategy. For the Shorebased IFQ Program, vessels using midwater trawl may declare either “limited entry midwater trawl, non-whiting shorebased IFQ” or “limited entry midwater trawl, Pacific whiting shorebased IFQ.”

    Midwater trawl gear has primarily been used to target Pacific whiting, but can also be used to target other groundfish species. Prior to 2002, when widow rockfish was declared overfished, midwater trawl was used to target widow rockfish, yellowtail rockfish, and, to a lesser extent, chilipepper rockfish. During the rebuilding period for widow rockfish, the access to co-occurring species was constrained by the low widow rockfish Annual Catch Limits (ACLs). Since widow rockfish was declared rebuilt in 2012, there has been increased interest in targeting non-whiting groundfish with midwater trawl gear, particularly in the management area north of 40°10′ north latitude. Since 2011, midwater trawl gear has been used to target Pacific whiting and non-whiting north of 40°10′ north latitude by vessels in the Shorebased IFQ Program. South of 40°10′ north latitude midwater trawling has been allowed year round seaward of the trawl RCAs for all target species.

    Groundfish management includes restrictions on the retention of certain non-groundfish species, including prohibited and protected species. Prohibited species include all salmonids, Pacific halibut, and Dungeness crab off Oregon and Washington. Protected species include marine mammals, seabirds, sea turtles, and species such as green sturgeon and eulachon, which are listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Generally, prohibited species must be returned to the sea as soon as practicable with a minimum of injury. An exception to the retention restrictions may be made for tagged fish, or when retention is authorized by other applicable law. Pacific halibut may be retained until landing by vessels in the Pacific whiting fishery that do not sort the catch at sea only pursuant to NMFS donation regulations. Amendment 10 to the groundfish FMP and Amendment 12 to the Pacific Coast Salmon FMP (salmon FMP) were revised to allow salmon bycatch to be retained until landing in cases where the Council determines it is beneficial to the management of the groundfish and salmon resources. Under a Council and NMFS approved program, salmon must remain a prohibited species; and, at a minimum, the requirements must allow for accurate monitoring of the retained salmon and must not provide incentives for fishers to increase salmon bycatch or allow salmon to reach commercial markets.

    From 2007 through 2010, prior to the Shorebased IFQ Program, the Pacific whiting shorebased fishery was composed of vessels landing 10,000 pounds or more of Pacific whiting on a trip and was managed under exempted fishing permits (EFPs). The terms and conditions of the EFPs established “maximized retention” provisions where only species longer than 6 feet and minor amounts of operational discards were allowed to be discarded. The EFPs allowed vessels to land catch containing prohibited and protected species. The EFPs issued to first receivers specified handling and disposition measures for prohibited species. In 2011, with implementation of the Shorebased IFQ Program, a maximized retention provision was added to the groundfish regulations. However, the provision did not address the retention of prohibited species other than Pacific halibut, nor did it establish handling and disposition requirements for prohibited species. For consistency with the salmon FMP and Pacific halibut regulations, provisions for the retention and disposition of prohibited species would be added by this rule.

    Protected species are species protected under the ESA, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and Executive Order 13186. A December 2012, section 7 biological opinion for the groundfish fishery included reasonable and prudent measures that require the collection of important biological data on specific protected species. The West Coast Groundfish Observer Program (WCGOP) has sampling protocols for sampling discards at-sea that includes the collection of biological data on marine mammals, seabirds, turtles, eulachon, and green sturgeon. However, protected species in maximized retention landings are not sampled by observers. Therefore, regulatory revisions are necessary to assure that valuable biological data are gathered.

    Proposed Regulatory Changes

    As noted above, the following changes are intended to revise the regulations consistent with previous actions taken by the Council to implement Amendment 20. This action is needed to eliminate inconsistencies and confusion in the current regulations.

    The proposed regulations would revise the definition of Pacific whiting trip consistent with Appendix E of the groundfish FMP, which details the Final Preferred Alternative adopted under Amendment 20, and which is consistent with the Environmental Impact Statement analysis conducted in support Amendment 20. Appendix E defines non-whiting landings as those with less than 50 percent Pacific whiting by weight. Therefore, this proposed rule would define landings with 50 percent or more Pacific whiting by weight as Pacific whiting shorebased IFQ trips.

    The current regulations do not have a minimum threshold for the amount of Pacific whiting that must be harvested on a Pacific whiting shorebased IFQ trip. Without a minimum threshold, vessels fishing north of 40°10′ north latitude have been making Pacific whiting shorebased IFQ declarations while targeting both Pacific whiting and non-whiting groundfish. The groundfish regulations include mitigation measures to reduce the take of Chinook salmon that are specific to the targeting of Pacific whiting and that are in some cases contrary to fishing practices for non-whiting species (e.g., a prohibition on night fishing when historically widow rockfish aggregations were targeted at night with midwater trawl gear). Clearly defining the criteria for a Pacific whiting IFQ trip and identifying which time area restrictions apply to all midwater trawl and which time area restrictions apply to the targeting of Pacific whiting will result in regulations that are clear and therefore will benefit both management and the public. The proposed change was discussed by the Council at its November 2014 meeting, and the Council concurred with defining trips with more than 50 percent whiting as Pacific whiting trips.

    General definitions at 50 CFR 660.11 would be revised to add a definition for protected species. Adding the definition allows the term to be clearly used relative to the handling and disposition requirements established in the regulations. General prohibitions at 50 CFR 660.12 would be revised to prohibit the retention of protected species except as allowed for vessels on maximized retention trips. In 50 CFR 660.12 and 660.55, pre-IFQ terminology would be revised consistent with the terms established under the IFQ program.

    Regulations pertaining to automatic actions in the specification and management measures provision at 50 CFR 660.60 would be updated by this action. Paragraph (c)(3)(i) of § 660.60 would be revised for readability and to clarify how BRAs may be implemented. Pre-IFQ terminology for the Pacific whiting fishery sectors would be revised consistent with the terms established under the IFQ program; an inactive Internet link would be replaced with an active link; an automatic action currently specified in regulation at 50 CFR 660.150(h)(2) would be added to the list of allowed automatic actions; and language would be added to clarify where the effective date for automatic actions is specified. These actions are being taken for consistency between the different subparts of groundfish regulations.

    Regulations at 50 CFR 660.60 would be revised to add an allowance for prohibited species retention until landing on maximized retention trips in the Pacific whiting Shorebased IFQ Program. Appendix E of the groundfish FMP indicates that maximized retention is an option for Pacific whiting shorebased IFQ vessels and that Pacific halibut may be retained until landing. The Council originally considered maximized retention for the Shorebased IFQ Program at its June 2008 meeting as elements of the tracking, monitoring, and enforcement structure for ongoing management. In 2008, a maximized retention program had been recommended by the Council for implementation in Amendment 10 to the groundfish FMP prior to the start of an IFQ program. The implementing regulations for Amendment 10 included maximized retention requirements and video monitoring for vessels targeting Pacific whiting in the Pacific whiting shorebased fishery. Because Amendment 20 required full observer coverage and did not provide for video monitoring, the Amendment 10 regulations were never implemented. In late 2010, during the final stages of implementation of the Shorebased IFQ Program, the public requested and NMFS agreed to provide the maximized retention opportunity that had existed prior to the Shorebased IFQ Program. Previously, maximized retention was not addressed in the regulations, but was defined in the Maximized Retention and Monitoring Program EFPs issued to the Pacific whiting shorebased fishery. This proposed rule would revise the groundfish regulations to include a maximized retention opportunity along with appropriate disposition requirements.

    This proposed rule would revise the language explaining the purpose and scope of subpart D at 50 CFR 660.100 for clarity. The regulations at 50 CFR 660.111 contain the trawl definitions. The proposed rule would revise the definitions for Catcher/Processor Coop Program, Mothership Coop Program, Pacific whiting IFQ fishery, Pacific whiting IFQ trip, and Shorebased IFQ Program for clarity. The term Pacific whiting IFQ trip would specify that a qualifying trip must be 50 percent or more Pacific whiting by weight. New definitions for maximized retention and Pacific whiting fishery are being added for clarity.

    The trawl fishery prohibitions at 50 CFR 660.112 would be revised to clearly prohibit first receivers from disposing of prohibited and protected species without sorting them from maximized retention landings and to clearly state that all midwater trawl is prohibited outside the Pacific whiting primary season north of 40°10′ north latitude. Redundant regulatory text at 50 CFR 660.112(b)(2)(ii) would be removed. Duplicate language pertaining to the weighing of catch, which is also stated in regulations at 50 CFR 660.130(d), would be removed and only sorting provisions would be retained.

    Numerous minor changes would be made throughout the regulations at 50 CFR 660.130 to align the regulations with the terms defined at 50 CFR 660.11 and 660.111 and to revise pre-IFQ terminology to be consistent with the terms established under trawl rationalization. Currently, regulations at 50 CFR 660.130(c)(3) pertain to the use of midwater trawl gear both north and south of 40°10′ north latitude. This rule would add language to clearly state that midwater trawl gear is required for vessels targeting Pacific whiting during the primary seasons north of 40°10′ north latitude, and that midwater trawl gear is allowed for vessel targeting non-whiting species during the Pacific whiting Shorebased IFQ Program primary season. The action would remove a restriction that allows midwater trawl to only be used by vessels participating in the Pacific whiting Shorebased IFQ fishery that is stated at 50 CFR 660.130(c)(3) and repeated at 50 CFR 660.130(c)(4)(i)(F). These changes would allow vessels using midwater trawl gear north of 40°10′ north latitude to declare either “limited entry midwater trawl, non-whiting shorebased IFQ” or “limited entry midwater trawl, Pacific whiting shorebased IFQ” consistent with the target strategy.

    North of 40°10′ north latitude vessels are allowed to carry multiple types of midwater gear, but may only declare one target strategy (whiting or non-whiting) on a trip. The regulations at 50 CFR 660.130(c)(4) would be revised for clarity. Because all midwater trawl gears have similar closed area restrictions, carrying multiple types of midwater trawl gear is not expected to affect enforcement of the closed areas. The fishery restriction at 50 CFR 660.130(c)(4)(i)(F) that only allows midwater trawl gear to be used in the Pacific whiting fishery would be removed.

    The proposed rule would remove redundant regulatory text at 50 CFR 660.130(d)(i). Duplicate language pertaining to the sorting of catch, which is the same requirement stated in regulations at 50 CFR 660.112(b)(2)(ii), would be removed. Because the paragraph addresses the weighing of catch, language specific to weighing would be retained. Regulations pertaining to catch weighing requirements for Pacific whiting IFQ trips at 50 CFR 660.140(j)(2) would be consolidated and revised for clarity.

    The regulations at 50 CFR 660.130(e)(4)(i) would be revised to clearly state that vessels using midwater trawl gear, regardless of the target species, are exempt from the trawl RCA restrictions in the area north of 40°10′ north latitude during the dates of the Pacific whiting primary season. This allowance already exists under the current regulations, but is confusing because the regulations may be interpreted as requiring that vessels must declare “limited entry midwater trawl, Pacific whiting shorebased IFQ” regardless of the target species. Adding clarity to the regulations and allowing either midwater trawl declaration is expected to reduce confusion for members of industry.

    Regulatory language at 50 CFR 660.131(a) and (b) would be revised to remove pre-IFQ terminology for the Pacific whiting sectors, consistent with the terms established under trawl rationalization. The regulations specific to the BRAs would be moved. Trip limit restrictions for midwater trawl seaward of the 100 fm depth contour in the Eureka area are currently found at 50 CFR 660.131(d). For consistency with the other sections of the regulations, the requirement to use the 100 fm line shown on NOAA charts would be replaced with a requirement to use the 100 fm depth contour defined in groundfish regulations at 50 CFR 660.73.

    Regulations pertaining to the disposition of prohibited species would be added to the Shorebased IFQ Program regulations at 50 CFR 660.140(g). For vessels on Pacific whiting IFQ trips engaged in maximized retention, clearly stating handling and disposition requirements for prohibited species and protected species would allow for accurate monitoring; would reduce incentives for increased bycatch by clearly stating that protected and prohibited species must not reach commercial markets; and would identify a preference for catch to be handled in a manner that preserves the quality for human consumption for donation to a local food share or other appropriate charitable organizations. The disposition of salmon would be consistent with salmon FMP. The disposition of Pacific halibut and Dungeness crab would be consistent with Pacific halibut regulations and state regulations.

    Regulatory language at 50 CFR 660.140(b) is revised for clarity and duplicate language is removed. Retention requirements specified at 50 CFR 660.140(g) are revised such that the maximized retention requirements are clearly stated. New provisions are added at 50 CFR 660.140(g) relative to the disposition of prohibited species and protected species in maximized retention landings. First receivers that accept maximized retention landings would be responsible for following the handling and disposition protocols and for maintaining records of the disposition. Under EFPs, the vessels abandoned prohibited species to the state of landing, and each state had agreements with the first receivers and coordinated the donation or disposal of the prohibited species. The states no longer have resources to coordinate such activity. Under the IFQ program, first receivers are licensed to process IFQ catch. It is therefore reasonable for each first receiver who accepts maximized retention landings to be responsible for the disposition of the prohibited and protected species.

    Classification

    NMFS has made a preliminary determination that the proposed action is consistent with groundfish FMP, the MSA, and other applicable law. In making its final determination, NMFS will take into account the complete record, including the data, views, and comments received during the comment period. The EA is available for public comment (See ADDRESSES) and is available on line at www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/nepa/groundfish/groundfish_nepa_documents.html.

    An environmental assessment (EA) was prepared for this action. The EA includes socio-economic information that was used to prepare the RIR and IRFA. The EA is available on the Council's Web site at www.pcouncil.org/. This action also announces a public comment period on the EA.

    The Office of Management and Budget has determined that this proposed rule is not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    An initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) was prepared, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed rule, if adopted, would have on small entities. A description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action are contained at the beginning of this section in the preamble and in the SUMMARY section of the preamble. A copy of the IRFA is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). Under the RFA, the term “small entities” includes small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established size criteria for all major industry sectors in the United States, including fish harvesting and fish processing businesses. A business involved in fish harvesting is a small business if it is independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates) and if it has combined annual receipts not in excess of $20.5 million (previously $19 million) for all its affiliated operations worldwide. For marinas and charter/party boats, a small business is one with annual receipts not in excess of $7.5 million (previously $7 million). For purposes of rulemaking, NMFS is also applying the $20.5 million standard to catcher/processors because they are involved in the commercial harvest of finfish. A seafood processor is a small business if it is independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field of operation, and employs 500 or fewer persons on a full time, part time, temporary, or other basis, at all its affiliated operations worldwide. A wholesale business servicing the fishing industry is a small business if it employs 100 or fewer persons on a full time, part time, temporary, or other basis, at all its affiliated operations worldwide. A small organization is any nonprofit enterprise that is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field. A small governmental jurisdiction is a government of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts with populations of less than 50,000.

    NMFS is issuing this proposed rule to modify midwater trawl restrictions for vessels participating in the Shorebased IFQ Program under the authority of the groundfish FMP and the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The proposed rule would amend the regulations to remove redundancies and inconsistencies relative to the use of midwater trawl gear, and would add provisions to fully implement “maximized retention” allowances for vessels targeting Pacific whiting. Maximized retention encourages full retention of all catch while recognizing that minor discard events may occur. Two alternatives, each with sub-options, are being considered.

    Alternative 1—No Action

    • North of 40°10′ north latitude midwater trawl gear may be used by vessels with a “Limited entry midwater trawl, Pacific whiting shorebased IFQ” declaration after the start of the primary season. Vessels may use midwater trawl gear to target Pacific whiting and non-whiting if the vessel also fishes in the Pacific whiting fishery.

    • There is no requirement to target or land Pacific whiting on a Pacific whiting IFQ trip.

    • Vessels with a “Limited entry midwater trawl, Pacific whiting shorebased IFQ” declaration may fish within the RCAs after the start of the primary season.

    • Other than Pacific Halibut, prohibited species and protected species retention until landing is prohibited.

    • Vessels North of 40°10′ north latitude may carry multiple types of midwater gear and both whiting and non-whiting target strategies are allowed on the same trip, however the vessel must have a valid “Limited entry midwater trawl, Pacific whiting shorebased IFQ” declaration.

    Alternative 2 (Preferred)—Eliminate Redundancies and Inconsistencies in Regulations Regarding the Use of Midwater Trawl Gear

    • Midwater trawl gear will be allowed for all target species with a valid declaration for either “limited entry midwater trawl, non-whiting shorebased IFQ” or “limited entry midwater trawl, Pacific whiting shorebased IFQ.” Non-whiting vessels would not be obligated to also target Pacific whiting.

    • A Pacific whiting IFQ trip must be 50 percent or more whiting by weight at landing.

    • Midwater trawl gear will be allowed within the trawl RCAs and EFH conservation areas for all target species.

    • For vessels targeting Pacific whiting on “maximized retention” trips, prohibited and protected species must be retained until landing.

    • The disposition of salmon would be specified such that it is consistent with salmon FMP.

    • The disposition of Pacific halibut and Dungeness crab would be specified so they are consistent with Pacific halibut regulations and state regulations.

    • The disposition of protected species would be consistent with the current biological opinions.

    • North of 40°10′ north latitude, vessels will be allowed to carry multiple types of midwater gear, but:

    Sub-option A (preferred): Allow only one target strategy (whiting or non-whiting) on a trip.

    Sub-option B: Allow both whiting and non-whiting target strategies on the same trip. However, “maximized retention” would not be allowed if the landed catch was greater than 50 percent non-whiting species.

    Under No Action, it is unclear whether vessels using midwater trawl north of 40°10′ north latitude must submit a declaration for “limited entry midwater trawl, Pacific whiting shorebased IFQ” even if they intend to target non-whiting species. Alternative 2 results in a low positive impact over No Action as it removes the prohibition that restricts midwater trawl to the Pacific whiting fishery north of 40°10′ north latitude and allows for the use of either midwater trawl declaration. Alternative 2 would improve tracking of activity relative to time/area restrictions and the specific target strategy. Aligning the declaration with the activity could allow for a more surgical management response that can be clearly understood by harvesters.

    Under No Action, Pacific whiting trips would not be defined. Alternative 2 establishes criteria for a Pacific whiting trip as being landings that are 50 percent or more Pacific whiting by weight at landing. Alternative 2 is not expected to have a measureable effect on the vast majority of midwater trawl trips targeting Pacific whiting. Only a small number of vessels may have reduced flexibility under Alternative 2 sub-option A (one target strategy per trip) because a vessel operator cannot change the target fishing strategy after they leave port. However, sub-option A is most similar to how harvesters currently operate. Either sub-option provides clarity and eliminates inconsistencies, making the regulations less complicated for harvesters and easier to enforce. Revising the groundfish regulations for clarity under Alternative 2 is expected to provide more equitable opportunity for non-whiting vessels north of 40°10' north latitude as it is clear they do not need to also fish for Pacific whiting.

    Time/Area restrictions under No Action include Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs), Klamath River conservation zone, Columbia River conservation zone, Ocean Salmon Conservation Zones (OSCZs), Bycatch Reduction Areas (BRAs), the Eureka area 100 fm restriction, prohibition on night fishing south of 42°00′ north latitude and the Pacific whiting primary seasons. These restrictions were initially implemented to reduce incidental catch of Chinook salmon in the Pacific whiting fisheries. The Klamath River conservation zone, Columbia River conservation zone, OSCZs, and the prohibition on night fishing are specific to the targeting of Pacific whiting and would remain linked to the targeting of whiting under both No Action and Alternative 2. The impacts of No Action on the closed areas are neutral as no changes would be made to reduce the confusion by fishermen or enforcement about prohibited or allowed activities. Because widow rockfish were historically targeted at night with low bycatch, Alternative 2 revisions would clearly state that the prohibition on night fishing does not apply to non-whiting targeting. BRAs have evolved since their initial implementation in 2007 when they applied specifically to the targeting of whiting. Since 2013, the BRAs have been considered as a tool for use in the Pacific whiting sectors (all midwater trawl). Alternative 2 revisions would clearly state that the BRAs and RCA exemptions apply to all midwater trawl. Providing clarification on how time/area restrictions relate to specific target fishing activity under Alternative 2 is expected to reduce regulatory complexity and eliminate contradictory regulations. Changes under Alternative 2 are expected to be beneficial to the harvesters, managers, and enforcement.

    Maximized retention is allowed under No Action. However, supporting regulations would not be added to reduce confusion regarding the landing of maximized retention catch for non-whiting target strategies. Provisions would not be added to allow the retention of prohibited species under No Action. The socio-economic impacts of managing under No Action are neutral, providing restrictions on the retention of prohibited species continue to be unenforced. Alternative 2 would revise the regulations to clearly state that maximized retention would only be allowed for trips targeting Pacific whiting, consistent with the provisions of Amendment 20. Because of relatively low bycatch by vessels targeting Pacific whiting, maximized retention allows sorting to be delayed until landing. Because whiting flesh deteriorates rapidly once the fish are caught, whiting must be minimally handled and immediately chilled to maintain the flesh quality. Allowing Pacific whiting shoreside vessels to retain unsorted catch benefits harvesters by enabling whiting quality to be maintained. Under Alternative 2, provisions would be added to allow Pacific whiting vessels to retain otherwise prohibited species until landing. Non-whiting vessels would have to continue to sort prohibited and protected species at sea. Some non-whiting landings under maximized retention have had a greater variety in bycatch than is typically seen in Pacific whiting landings and have been landed at first receivers with only one catch monitor. Long offloads associated with sorting and weighing non-whiting maximized retention catch has resulted in offload time exceeding the catch monitor's allowed work hours in a 24 hour period. Alternative 2 would also provide clarification on the disposition of protected species for maximized retention landings. Revisions to the maximized retention requirements under Alternative 2 are expected to reduce regulatory complexity and eliminate contradictory regulations, benefiting harvesters.

    Under No Action, Pacific whiting trips would continue to be undefined and no protocols for handling or disposing of prohibited or protected species would be defined. The impacts of No Action are neutral, as first receivers would use current methods to identify maximized retention deliveries and determine how to handle and dispose of prohibited and protected species. Defining Pacific whiting trips under Alternative 2 should make it easier for first receivers/processors to identify which trips are classified as “maximized retention” such that it would be more clear which groundfish regulations apply. Alternative 2 specifies handling and disposition of prohibited and protected species. Clear protocols for the disposition of prohibited catch should reduce complexity and confusion for first receivers/processors. Currently, provisions that affect the disposition of prohibited or protected species exist in various federal regulations, non-groundfish FMPs, and ESA biological opinions. Clarifying these provisions in the groundfish regulations would reduce complexity in the requirements for disposition and handling of maximized retention catch and result in a low positive benefit to first receivers/processors. First receivers are currently taking salmon and grinding and processing the fish into fish meal and/or providing edible fish to food pantries, soup kitchens, or other non-profit organizations. In some states, state agencies have assisted in the transfer of fish to food banks, but this assistance is being withdrawn. However, NMFS concludes that these new regulations do not impose any significant burden on first receivers as they are consistent with current first receiver practices and with prior practices established under the 2007-2010 whiting EFPs.

    This action would clarify the regulatory requirements for vessels using midwater trawl gear in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Shorebased Individual Fishery Quota Program. This action is needed to eliminate inconsistencies and confusion in the current regulations. For vessels targeting Pacific whiting, the action would clarify that the retention of prohibited and protected species is allowed until landing. The disposition of prohibited and protected species would be specified consistent with the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan, the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan and other applicable law. As this rule is about clarifying the regulations, we do not believe that this rule will have a significant impact when comparing small versus large businesses in terms of disproportionality and profitability given available information. Nonetheless, NMFS has prepared this IRFA. Through the rulemaking process associated with this action, we are requesting comments on this conclusion.

    This proposed rule contains a collection-of-information requirement subject to review and approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). This requirement has been submitted to OMB for approval as revisions to OMB collection 0648-0619. Relative to OMB collection 0648-0619 the public reporting burden for first receivers to retain records showing the disposition of prohibited and protected species is estimated to average 1 minute per response.

    Public comment is sought regarding: Whether this proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Send comments on these or any other aspects of the collection of information to (enter office name) at the ADDRESSES above, and by email to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-7285.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, and no person shall be subject to 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.

    Pursuant to Executive Order 13175, this proposed rule eliminated redundancies and inconsistencies with state law relative to the use of midwater trawl gear and does not have a direct effect on tribes. The action is consistent with policy decisions that the Council made during the implementation of Amendment 20 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan which was developed after meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials from the area covered by the groundfish FMP. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act at 16 U.S.C. 1852(b)(5), one of the voting members of the Pacific Council must be a representative of an Indian tribe with federally recognized fishing rights from the area of the Council's jurisdiction. The proposed regulations do not have a direct effect on the tribes.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660

    Fisheries, Fishing, and Indian fisheries.

    Dated: August 17, 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 660 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES 1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq., and 16 U.S.C. 7001 et seq.

    2. In § 660.11, add, in alphabetical order, a definition for “Protected species” and revise the definition of “Trawl fishery” to read as follows:
    § 660.11 General definitions.

    Protected species means those species, other than prohibited species, that are protected under Federal law, including species listed under the Endangered Species Act, marine mammals protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and bird species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Species that are both protected and prohibited are considered prohibited species for purposes of this part.

    Trawl fishery or Limited entry trawl fishery means the groundfish limited entry trawl fishery referred to in subparts C and D, which is composed of vessels registered to a limited entry permit with a trawl endorsement and vessels registered to an MS permit. The trawl fishery is comprised of the following sectors: Catcher/Processor, Mothership, and Shorebased IFQ. The trawl fishery does not include the non-groundfish trawl fisheries, which are all within the open access fishery.

    3. In § 660.12, revise paragraphs (a)(1), (10) and (11) to read as follows:
    § 660.12 General groundfish prohibitions.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Retain any prohibited or protected species caught by means of fishing gear authorized under this subpart, unless otherwise authorized. Except as otherwise authorized, prohibited and protected species must be returned to the sea as soon as practicable with a minimum of injury when caught and brought on board.

    (10) Transfer fish to another vessel at sea unless the vessel transferring fish is participating in the MS Coop or C/P Coop Programs.

    (11) Fail to remove all fish from the vessel at landing (defined in § 660.11) and prior to beginning a new fishing trip, except for processing vessels participating in the MS Coop or C/P Coop Programs.

    4. In § 660.55, revise paragraphs (c)(1)(i)(A) through (C) to read as follows:
    § 660.55 Allocations.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) Darkblotched rockfish. Allocate 9 percent or 25 mt, whichever is greater, of the total trawl allocation of darkblotched rockfish to the Pacific whiting fishery (MS sector, C/P sector, and Shorebased IFQ sectors). The distribution of allocation of darkblotched to each of these sectors will be done pro rata relative to the sector's allocation of the commercial harvest guideline for Pacific whiting. After deducting allocations for the Pacific whiting fishery, the remaining trawl allocation is allocated to the Shorebased IFQ sector.

    (B) Pacific Ocean Perch (POP). Allocate 17 percent or 30 mt, whichever is greater, of the total trawl allocation of POP to the Pacific whiting fishery (MS sector, C/P sector, and Shorebased IFQ sector). The distribution of POP to each sector will be done pro rata relative to the sector's allocation of the commercial harvest guideline for Pacific whiting. After deducting allocations for the Pacific whiting fishery, the remaining trawl allocation is allocated to Shorebased IFQ sector.

    (C) Widow rockfish. Allocate 52 percent of the total trawl allocation of widow rockfish to the Pacific whiting fishery if the stock is under rebuilding, or 10 percent of the total trawl allocation or 500 mt of the trawl allocation, whichever is greater, if the stock is rebuilt. The distribution of the trawl allocation of widow to each sector will be done pro rata relative to the sector's allocation of the commercial harvest guideline for Pacific whiting. After deducting allocations for the Pacific whiting sectors, the remaining trawl allocation is allocated to Shorebased IFQ sector.

    5. In § 660.60, revise paragraphs (c)(3)(i) and (d) and remove and reserve paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 660.60 Specifications and management measures.

    (c) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (i) Depth-based management measures. Depth-based management measures, particularly closed areas known as Groundfish Conservation Areas, may be implemented in any fishery sector that takes groundfish directly or incidentally. Depth-based management measures are set using specific boundary lines that approximate depth contours with latitude/longitude waypoints found at §§ 660.70 through 660.74. Depth-based management measures and closed areas may be used for the following conservation objectives: To protect and rebuild overfished stocks; to prevent the overfishing of any groundfish species by minimizing the direct or incidental catch of that species; or to minimize the incidental harvest of any protected or prohibited species taken in the groundfish fishery. Depth-based management measures and closed areas may be used for the following economic objectives: To extend the fishing season; for the commercial fisheries, to minimize disruption of traditional fishing and marketing patterns; for the recreational fisheries, to spread the available catch over a large number of anglers; to discourage target fishing while allowing small incidental catches to be landed; and to allow small fisheries to operate outside the normal season. BRAs may be implemented as an automatic action in the Pacific whiting fishery consistent with paragraph (d)(1) of this section. BRAs may be implemented as a routine action for vessels using midwater groundfish trawl gear consistent with the purposes for implementing depth-based management and the setting of closed areas as described in this paragraph.

    (d) Automatic actions. Automatic management actions may be initiated by the NMFS Regional Administrator or designee without prior public notice, opportunity to comment, or a Council meeting. These actions are nondiscretionary, and the impacts must have been taken into account prior to the action. Unless otherwise stated, a single notice will be published in the Federal Register making the action effective if good cause exists under the APA to waive notice and comment.

    (1) Automatic actions are used to:

    (i) Close the MS or C/P sector when that sector's Pacific whiting allocation is reached, or is projected to be reached. The MS sector non-coop fishery may be closed by automatic action when the Pacific whiting or non-whiting allocation to the non-coop fishery has been reached or is projected to be reached.

    (ii) Close one or both MS and C/P sectors when a non-whiting groundfish species with allocations is reached or projected to be reached.

    (iii) Reapportion unused allocations of non-whiting groundfish species between the MS and C/P sectors.

    (iv) Reapportion the unused portion of the tribal allocation of Pacific whiting to the MS sector, C/P sector, and Shorebased IFQ sector.

    (v) Implement the Ocean Salmon Conservation Zone, described at § 660.131, when NMFS projects the Pacific whiting fishery and the tribal whiting fishery combined will take in excess of 11,000 Chinook within a calendar year.

    (vi) Implement BRAs, described at § 660.131, when NMFS projects a sector-specific allocation will be reached before the sector's whiting allocation.

    (2) Automatic actions are effective when actual notice is sent by NMFS identifying the effective time and date. Actual notice to fishers and processors will be by email, Internet www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/fishery_management/groundfish/public_notices/recent_public_notices.html), phone, letter, or press release. Allocation reapportionments will be followed by publication in the Federal Register, in which public comment will be sought for a reasonable period of time thereafter.

    (e) [Reserved]

    6. In § 660.100, revise the first sentence of the introductory paragraph to read as follows:
    § 660.100 Purpose and scope.

    This subpart applies to the Pacific coast groundfish limited entry trawl fishery. * * *

    7. In § 660.111: a. Revise the definition for “Catcher/Processor Coop Program or C/P Coop Program”; b. Add a definition for “Maximized retention”; c. Revise the definition for “Mothership Coop Program or MS Coop Program”; d. Add a definition for “Pacific whiting fishery”; and e. Revise the definitions for “Pacific whiting IFQ Fishery,” “Pacific whiting IFQ trip,” and “Shorebased IFQ Program,” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
    § 660.111 Trawl fishery—definitions.

    Catcher/Processor (C/P) Coop Program or C/P sector, refers to the fishery described at § 660.160, subpart D. The C/P Coop Program is composed of vessels registered to a limited entry permit with a C/P endorsement and a valid declaration for limited entry, midwater trawl, Pacific whiting catcher/processor sector.

    Maximized retention means a vessel retains all catch from a trip until landing, subject to the specifications of this subpart.

    Mothership (MS) Coop Program or MS sector refers to the fishery described at § 660.150, subpart D, and includes both the coop and non-coop fisheries. The MS Coop Program is composed of motherships with MS permits and catcher vessels registered to a limited entry permit with an MS/CV endorsement and a valid declaration for limited entry, midwater trawl, Pacific whiting mothership sector. The MS Coop Program also includes vessels registered to a limited entry permit without an MS/CV endorsement if the vessel is authorized to harvest the MS sector's allocation and has a valid declaration for limited entry, midwater trawl, Pacific whiting mothership sector.

    Pacific whiting fishery refers to the Pacific whiting primary season fisheries described at § 660.131. The Pacific whiting fishery is composed of vessels participating in the C/P Coop Program, the MS Coop Program, or the Pacific whiting IFQ fishery.

    Pacific whiting IFQ fishery is composed of vessels on Pacific whiting IFQ trips.

    Pacific whiting IFQ trip means a trip in which a vessel uses midwater groundfish trawl gear during the dates of the Pacific whiting primary season to target Pacific whiting, and Pacific whiting constitutes 50 percent or more of the catch by weight at landing as reported on the state landing receipt. Vessels on Pacific whiting IFQ trips must have a valid declaration for limited entry midwater trawl, Pacific whiting shorebased IFQ.

    Shorebased IFQ Program or Shorebased IFQ sector, refers to the fishery described at § 660.140, subpart D, and includes all vessels on IFQ trips.

    8. In § 660.112, revise paragraph (a)(2), paragraphs (b)(1)(viii) through (x), and (b)(2)(ii) to read as follows:
    § 660.112 Trawl fishery—prohibitions.

    (a) * * *

    (2) Sorting, retention, and disposition.

    (i) Fail to sort, retain, discard, or dispose of catch consistent with the requirements specified at §§ 660.130(d), 660.140 (b)(2)(iii) and (viii), 660.140(g), and 660.140(j)(2).

    (ii) Fail to sort, retain, discard, or dispose of prohibited and protected species from maximized retention landings consistent with the requirements specified at § 660.140(g)(3).

    (iii) Retain for personal use or allow to reach commercial markets any part of any prohibited or protected species.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (viii) Fish on a Pacific whiting IFQ trip with a gear other than midwater groundfish trawl gear.

    (ix) Fish on a Pacific whiting IFQ trip without a valid declaration for limited entry midwater trawl, Pacific whiting shorebased IFQ.

    (x) Use midwater groundfish trawl gear Pacific whiting IFQ fishery primary season dates as specified at § 660.131(b).

    (2) * * *

    (ii) Fail to sort or dispose of catch received from an IFQ trip in accordance with the requirements of §§ 660.130(d) and 660.140(g)(3).

    9. In § 660.130: a. Revise paragraphs (a), (c)(3), and (c)(4)(i)(A) through (E); b. Remove paragraph (c)(4)(i)(F); c. Revise paragraphs (d)(2)(i) and (3), paragraph (e) introductory text, and paragraphs (e)(4)(i) and (ii); and d. Add paragraphs (e)(6) through (7) to read as follows:
    § 660.130 Trawl fishery—management measures.

    (a) General. This section applies to the limited entry trawl fishery. Most species taken in the limited entry trawl fishery will be managed with quotas (see § 660.140), allocations or set-asides (see § 660.150 or § 660.160), or cumulative trip limits (see trip limits in Tables 1 (North) and 1 (South) of this subpart), size limits (see § 660.60 (h)(5), subpart C), seasons (see Pacific whiting at § 660.131(b), subpart D), gear restrictions (see paragraph (b) of this section) and closed areas (see paragraph (e) of this section and §§ 660.70 through 660.79, subpart C). The limited entry trawl fishery has gear requirements and harvest limits that differ by the type of groundfish trawl gear on board and the area fished. Groundfish vessels operating south of Point Conception must adhere to CCA restrictions (see paragraph (e)(1) of this section and § 660.70, subpart C). The trip limits in Tables 1 (North) and 1 (South) of this subpart applies to vessels participating in the limited entry trawl fishery and may not be exceeded. Federal commercial groundfish regulations are not intended to supersede any more restrictive state commercial groundfish regulations relating to federally-managed groundfish.

    (c) * * *

    (3) Fishing with midwater groundfish trawl gear.

    (i) North of 40°10′ N. lat., midwater groundfish trawl gear is required for Pacific whiting fishery vessels; midwater groundfish trawl gear is allowed for vessels targeting non-whiting species during the Pacific whiting primary season for the Pacific whiting IFQ fishery. Also see restrictions on the use of midwater groundfish trawl gear within the RCAs north of 40°10′ N. lat. at § 660.130(e)(4)(i).

    (ii) South of 40°10′ N. lat., midwater groundfish trawl gear is prohibited shoreward of the RCA boundaries and permitted seaward of the RCA boundaries.

    (4) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) A vessel may not have both groundfish trawl gear and non-groundfish trawl gear onboard simultaneously. A vessel may not have both bottom groundfish trawl gear and midwater groundfish trawl gear onboard simultaneously. A vessel may have more than one type of limited entry bottom trawl gear on board, either simultaneously or successively, during a cumulative limit period. A vessel may have more than one type of midwater groundfish trawl gear on board, either simultaneously or successively, during a cumulative limit period.

    (B) If a vessel fishes exclusively with large or small footrope trawl gear during an entire cumulative limit period, the vessel is subject to the small or large footrope trawl gear cumulative limits and that vessel must fish seaward of the RCA boundaries during that limit period.

    (C) If a vessel fishes exclusively with selective flatfish trawl gear during an entire cumulative limit period, then the vessel is subject to the selective flatfish trawl gear-cumulative limits during that limit period, regardless of whether the vessel is fishing shoreward or seaward of the RCA boundaries.

    (D) If more than one type of bottom groundfish trawl gear (selective flatfish, large footrope, or small footrope) is on board, either simultaneously or successively, at any time during a cumulative limit period, then the most restrictive cumulative limit associated with the bottom groundfish trawl gear on board during that cumulative limit period applies for the entire cumulative limit period, regardless of whether the vessel is fishing shoreward or seaward of the RCA.

    (E) If a vessel fishes both north and south of 40°10′ N. lat. with any type of small footrope gear onboard the vessel at any time during the cumulative limit period, the most restrictive trip limit associated with the gear on board applies for that trip and will count toward the cumulative trip limit for that gear (See crossover provisions at § 660.120.)

    (d) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (i) First receivers. Fish landed at IFQ first receivers (including shoreside processing facilities and buying stations that intend to transport catch for processing elsewhere) must be sorted, prior to first weighing after offloading from the vessel and prior to transport away from the point of landing, with the following exception: Catch from a Pacific whiting IFQ trip may be sorted after weighing as specified at § 660.140(j)(2).

    (3) Sorting requirements for the MS Coop and the C/P Coop Programs.

    (i) Processing vessels in the MS and C/P Coop Programs may use a bulk weighing scale in compliance with the equipment requirement at § 660.15(b) to derive an accurate total catch weight prior to sorting. Immediately following weighing of the total catch, the catch must be sorted to the species groups specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section and all catch of-groundfish and non-groundfish species must be accurately accounted for and the weight of all catch other than a single predominant species deducted from the total catch weight to derive the weight of a single predominant species.

    (ii) If sorting occurs on a catcher vessel in the MS Coop Program, the catch must not be discarded from the vessel and the vessel must not mix catch from hauls until the observer has sampled the catch.

    (e) Groundfish conservation areas (GCAs) applicable to trawl vessels. A GCA, a type of closed area, is a geographic area defined by coordinates expressed in degrees of latitude and longitude. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the GCA boundaries are specified at §§ 660.70 through 660.74. A vessel that is fishing within a GCA listed in this paragraph (e) with trawl gear authorized for use within a GCA may not have any other type of trawl gear on board the vessel. The following GCAs apply to vessels participating in the limited entry trawl fishery. Additional closed areas that specifically apply to vessels using midwater groundfish trawl gear are described at § 660.131(c).

    (4) * * *

    (i) Operating a vessel with groundfish trawl gear onboard within a trawl RCA is prohibited, except for the purpose of continuous transit, or under the following conditions when the vessel has a valid declaration for the allowed fishing:

    (A) Midwater groundfish trawl gear may be used within the RCAs north of 40°10′ N. lat. by vessels targeting Pacific whiting or non-whiting during the applicable Pacific whiting primary season.

    (B) Vessels fishing with demersal seine gear between 38° N. lat. and 36° N. lat. shoreward of a boundary line approximating the 100 fm (183 m) depth contour as defined at § 660.73, subpart C, may have groundfish trawl gear onboard.

    (ii) Trawl vessels may transit through an applicable GCA, with or without groundfish on board, provided all groundfish trawl gear is stowed either: Below deck; or if the gear cannot readily be moved, in a secured and covered manner, detached from all towing lines, so that it is rendered unusable for fishing; or remaining on deck uncovered if the trawl doors are hung from their stanchions and the net is disconnected from the doors. These restrictions do not apply to vessels allowed to fish within the trawl RCA under paragraph (e)(4)(i) of this section.

    (6) Bycatch reduction areas (BRAs). Vessels using midwater groundfish trawl gear during the applicable Pacific whiting primary season may be prohibited from fishing shoreward of a boundary line approximating the 75 fm (137 m), 100 fm (183 m) or 150 fm (274 m) depth contours.

    (7) Eureka management area midwater trawl trip limits. No more than 10,000-lb (4,536 kg) of whiting may be taken and retained, possessed, or landed by a vessel that, at any time during a fishing trip, fished with midwater groundfish trawl gear in the fishery management area shoreward of the 100 fm (183 m) depth contour in the Eureka management area.

    10. In § 660.131, revise paragraphs (a), (b)(1), paragraph (b)(2) introductory text, paragraphs (b)(2)(i) and (ii), paragraph (b)(2)(iii) introductory text, paragraph (b)(3) introductory text, paragraph (b)(3)(ii), paragraph (c) introductory text, and paragraphs (c)(4), (d), and (h)(2) to read as follows:
    § 660.131 Pacific whiting fishery management measures.

    (a) General. This section applies to the MS sector, the C/P sector, the Pacific whiting IFQ fishery, and Shorebased IFQ vessels targeting Pacific whiting under trip limits outside the Pacific whiting primary season.

    (b) Pacific whiting primary seasons and Pacific whiting trip limits.

    (1) Pacific whiting fishery primary seasons.

    (i) For the Pacific whiting IFQ fishery, the primary season is the period(s) of the large-scale Pacific whiting target fishery conducted after the primary season start date.

    (ii) For the C/P sector, the primary season is the period(s) when catching and at-sea processing are allowed (after the season closes, at-sea processing of any fish already on board the processing vessel is allowed to continue).

    (iii) For vessels delivering to motherships, the primary season is the period(s) when catching and at-sea processing is allowed for the MS sector (after the season closes, at-sea processing of any fish already on board the processing vessel is allowed to continue).

    (2) Different primary season start dates. North of 40°30′ N. lat., different primary season starting dates may be established for the C/P Coop Program, the MS Coop Program, and in the Pacific whiting IFQ fishery for vessels delivering to IFQ first receivers north of 42° N. lat. and vessels delivering to IFQ first receivers between 42° and 40°30′ N. lat.

    (i) Procedures. The Pacific whiting primary seasons north of 40°30′ N. lat. generally will be established according to the procedures of the PCGFMP for developing and implementing harvest specifications and apportionments. The season opening dates remain in effect unless changed.

    (ii) Criteria. The start of a Pacific whiting primary season may be changed based on a recommendation from the Council and consideration of the following factors, if applicable: Size of the harvest guidelines for whiting and bycatch species; age/size structure of the whiting population; expected harvest of bycatch and prohibited species; availability and stock status of prohibited species; expected participation by catchers and processors; the period between when catcher vessels make annual processor obligations and the start of the fishery; environmental conditions; timing of alternate or competing fisheries; industry agreement; fishing or processing rates; and other relevant information.

    (iii) Primary whiting season start dates and duration. After the start of a primary season for a sector of the Pacific whiting fishery, the primary season remains open for that sector until the sector allocation of whiting or non-whiting groundfish (with allocations) is reached or projected to be reached and the primary season for that sector is closed by NMFS. The starting dates for the primary seasons are as follows:

    (3) Pacific whiting trip limits. For Shorebased IFQ Program vessels targeting Pacific whiting outside the primary season, the “per trip” limit for whiting is announced in Table 1 of this subpart. The per-trip limit is a routine management measure under § 660.60(c). This trip limit includes any whiting caught shoreward of 100 fm (183 m) in the Eureka management-area. The per-trip limit for other groundfish species are announced in Table 1 (North) and Table 1 (South) of this subpart and apply as follows:

    (i) * * *

    (ii) If a vessel on a Pacific whiting IFQ trip harvests a groundfish species other than whiting for which there is a midwater trip limit, then that vessel may also harvest up to another footrope-specific limit for that species during any cumulative limit period that overlaps the start or close of the primary season.

    (c) Closed areas. Vessels fishing during the Pacific whiting primary seasons shall not target Pacific whiting with midwater groundfish trawl gear in the following portions of the fishery management area:

    (4) Bycatch reduction areas (BRAs). Bycatch reduction area closures specified at § 660.130(e) may be implemented inseason through automatic action when NMFS projects that a Pacific whiting sector will exceed an allocation for a non-whiting groundfish species specified for that sector before the sector's whiting allocation is projected to be reached.

    (d) Eureka management area trip limits. Trip landing or frequency limits may be established, modified, or removed under § 660.60 or this paragraph, specifying the amount of Pacific whiting that may be taken and retained, possessed, or landed by a vessel that, at any time during a fishing trip, fished in the fishery management area shoreward of the 100 fathom (183 m) contour in the Eureka management area. Unless otherwise specified, no more than 10,000-lb (4,536 kg) of whiting may be taken and retained, possessed, or landed by a vessel that, at any time during a fishing trip, fished in the fishery management area shoreward of the 100 fm (183 m) contour in the Eureka management area.

    (h) * * *

    (2) The reapportionment of surplus whiting will be made by actual notice under the automatic action authority provided at § 660.60(d)(1).

    11. In § 660.140: a. Revise paragraph (a) introductory text; b. Revise paragraphs (b)(2)(i) through (iii); and c. Revise paragraphs (g) and (j)(2)(viii) to read as follows:
    § 660.140 Shorebased IFQ Program.

    (a) General. The regulations in this section apply to the Shorebased IFQ Program. The Shorebased IFQ Program includes a system of transferable QS for most groundfish species or species groups, IBQ for Pacific halibut, and trip limits or set-asides for the remaining groundfish species or species groups. NMFS will issue a QS permit to eligible participants and will establish a QS account for each QS permit owner to track the amount of QS or IBQ and QP or IBQ pounds owned by that owner. QS permit owners may own QS or IBQ for IFQ species, expressed as a percent of the allocation to the Shorebased IFQ Program for that species. NMFS will issue QP or IBQ pounds to QS permit owners, expressed in pounds, on an annual basis, to be deposited in the corresponding QS account. NMFS will establish a vessel account for each eligible vessel owner participating in the Shorebased IFQ Program, which is independent of the QS permit and QS account. In order to use QP or IBQ pounds, a QS permit owner must transfer the QP or IBQ pounds from the QS account into the vessel account for the vessel to which the QP or IBQ pounds is to be assigned. Harvests of IFQ species may only be delivered to an IFQ first receiver with a first receiver site license. In addition to the requirements of this section, the Shorebased IFQ Program is subject to the following groundfish regulations of subparts C and D:

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (i) Ensure that all catch removed from a vessel making an IFQ delivery is weighed on a scale or scales meeting the requirements described in § 660.15(c).

    (ii) Ensure that all catch is landed, sorted, and weighed in accordance with a valid catch monitoring plan as described in § 660.140(f)(3)(iii).

    (iii) Ensure that all catch is sorted, prior to first weighing, as specified at § 660.130(d) and consistent with § 660.140(j)(2)(viii).

    (g) Retention and disposition requirements.

    (1) General. Shorebased IFQ Program vessels may discard IFQ species/species groups, provided such discards are accounted for and deducted from QP in the vessel account. With the exception of vessels on Pacific whiting IFQ trips engaged in maximized retention, prohibited and protected species must be discarded at sea; Pacific halibut must be discarded as soon as practicable and the discard mortality must be accounted for and deducted from IBQ pounds in the vessel account. Non-IFQ species and non-groundfish species may be discarded at sea. The sorting of catch, the weighing and discarding of any IBQ and IFQ species, and the retention of IFQ species must be monitored by the observer.

    (2) Maximized retention for Pacific whiting IFQ trips. Vessels on Pacific whiting IFQ trips may engage in maximized retention. Maximized retention allows for the discard minor operational amounts of catch at sea if the observer has accounted for the discard. Vessels engaged in maximized retention must retain prohibited species until landing. Protected species may be retained until landing except as provided under paragraph (g)(3) of this section. Pacific halibut must be accounted for and deducted from IBQ pounds in the vessel account.

    (3) Disposition of prohibited species and protected species in maximized retention landings.

    (i) Prohibited species handling and disposition. To ensure compliance with fishery regulations at 50 CFR part 300, subparts E and F, and part 600, subpart H; with the Pacific Salmon Fishery Management Plan; and with the Pacific Halibut Catch Share Plan; the handling and disposition of all prohibited species in maximized retention landings are the responsibility of the first receiver and must be consistent with the following requirements:

    (A) Any prohibited species landed at first receivers must not be transferred, processed, or mixed with another landing until the catch monitor has: Recorded the number and weight of salmon by species; inspected all prohibited species for tags or marks; and, collected biological data, specimens, and genetic samples.

    (B) No part of any prohibited species may be retained for personal use by a vessel owner or crew member, or by a first receiver or processing crew member. No part of any prohibited species may be allowed to reach commercial markets.

    (C) Prohibited species suitable for human consumption at landing must be handled and stored to preserve the quality. Priority in disposition must be given to the donation to surplus food collection and distribution system operated and established to assist in bringing donated food to nonprofit charitable organizations and individuals for the purpose of reducing hunger and meeting nutritional needs.

    (D) The first receiver must report all prohibited species landings on the electronic fish ticket and is responsible for maintaining records verifying the disposition of prohibited species. Records on catch disposition may include, but are not limited to: Receipts from charitable organizations that include the organization's name and amount of catch donated; cargo manifests setting forth the origin, weight, and destination of all prohibited species; or disposal receipts identifying the recipient organization and amount disposed. Any such records must be maintained for a period not less than three years after the date of disposal and such records must be provided to OLE upon request.

    (ii) Protected Species handling and disposition. All protected species must be abandoned to NMFS or the US Fish and Wildlife Service or disposed of consistent with paragraphs (g)(3)(ii)(A) and (B) of this section. No part of any protected species may be retained for personal use by a vessel owner or crew member, or by a first receiver or processing crew member. No part of any protected species may be allowed to reach commercial markets.

    (A) Eulachon and green sturgeon. Must be sorted and reported by species on electronic fish tickets and state landing receipts and may not be reported in unspecified categories. Whole body specimens of green sturgeon must be retained, frozen, stored separately by delivery, and labeled with the vessel name, electronic fish ticket number, and date of landing. Arrangements for transferring the specimens must be made by contacting NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center at 831-420-3903 within 72 hours after the completion of the offload.

    (B) Seabirds, marine mammals, and sea turtles. Albatross must reported to the US Fish and Wildlife Service 541-867-4558 extension 237 or 503-231-6179) as soon as possible and directions for surrendering must be followed. Marine mammals and sea turtles must be reported to NMFS as soon as possible (206- 526-6550) and directions for surrendering or disposal must be followed. Whole body specimens must labeled with the vessel name, electronic fish ticket number, and date of landing. Whole body specimens must be kept frozen or on ice until arrangements for surrendering or disposing are completed. Unless directed otherwise, after reporting is completed, seabirds, marine mammals, and sea turtles may be disposed by incinerating, rendering, composting, or returning the carcasses to sea.

    (j) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (viii) Pacific whiting IFQ trips. Immediately following weighing of the total catch and prior to processing or transport away from the point of landing, the catch must be sorted to the species groups specified at § 660.130(d) and all catch other than the target species (groundfish and non groundfish species) must be accurately weighed and the weight of non-target species deducted from the total catch weight to derive the weight of a single predominant species. Catch from a Pacific whiting IFQ trip may be sorted after weighing and the weight of a single predominant species determined by deducting the weight of all other species from the total weight of the landing, provided that:

    (A) The unsorted catch is weighed on a bulk weighing scale in compliance with equipment requirements at § 660.15(c);

    (B) All catch (groundfish and non-groundfish species) in the landing other than the single predominant species is reweighed on a scale in compliance with equipment requirements at § 660.15(c) and the reweighed catch is deducted from the total weight of the landing;

    (C) The catch is sorted to the species groups specified at § 660.130(d) prior to processing or transport away from the point of landing; and

    (D) Prohibited species are sorted by species, counted, and weighed.

    12. In § 660.405, revise paragraph (a) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 660.405 Prohibitions.

    (a) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in § 600.725 of this chapter, it is unlawful for any person to do any of the following, except as otherwise authorized under this part:

    [FR Doc. 2015-20751 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 166 Thursday, August 27, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request August 21, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques and other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by September 28, 2015 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Commentors are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Forest Service

    Title: Understanding Value Trade-Offs Regarding Fire Hazard Reduction Programs in the Wildland-Urban Interface.

    OMB Control Number: 0596-0189.

    Summary of Collection: The Healthy Forests Restoration Act (P.L. 108-148), improves the ability of the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to plan and conduct hazardous fuels reduction projects on National Forest System and Bureau of Land Management Lands. The Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and many State agencies with fire protection responsibilities have undertaken a very ambitious and expensive forest fuels reduction program. The Forest Service (FS) and university researchers will contact recipients of a phone/mail questionnaire to help forest and fire managers understand value trade-offs regarding fire hazard reduction programs in the wildland-urban interface.

    Need and Use of the Information: Through the questionnaire, researchers will evaluate the responses of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas residents to different scenarios related to fire hazard reduction programs; how residents think the programs presented to them are effective, and calculate how much residents would be willing to pay to implement the alternatives. The collected information will help researchers provide better information to natural resources, forest, and fire managers when they are contemplating the kind and type of fire hazard reduction programs to implement to achieve forest land management planning objectives. Without the information the agencies with fire protection responsibilities will lack the capability to evaluate the general public understanding of proposed fuels reduction projects and programs or their willingness to pay for implementing such programs.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households.

    Number of Respondents: 1,400.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Other (One time only).

    Total Burden Hours: 703.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21197 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Sanders Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Sanders Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Thompson Falls, Montana. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following Web site: http://cloudapps-usda-gov.force.com/FSSRS/RAC_Page?id=001t0000002JcwJAAS.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held September 24, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Sanders County Courthouse, 1111 Main Street Thompson Falls, Montana.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the Plains Ranger District, 408 Clayton Plains, Montana. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Gubel, Designated Federal Officer, by phone at 406-827-3533 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is:

    1. Review and approve previous meeting minutes;

    2. Discuss status of RAC and memberships;

    3. Review progress status of approved projects and discuss monitoring;

    4. Review project proposals submitted; and

    5. Open forum for public discussion.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by September 1, 2015, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Robin Walker, RAC Coordinator, P.O. Box 429, Plains, Montana 59859; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 406-826-4358.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled For Further Information Contact. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Robin Walker, Sanders Resource Advisory Committee Coordinator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21104 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Sanders Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Sanders Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Thompson Falls, Montana. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following Web site: http://cloudapps-usda-gov.force.com/FSSRS/RAC_Page?id=001t0000002JcwJAAS.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held October 8, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Sanders County Courthouse, 1111 Main Street, Thompson Falls, Montana.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under Supplementary Information. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the Plains Ranger District, 408 Clayton Plains, Montana. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Gubel, Designated Federal Officer, by phone at 406-827-3533 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is:

    1. Review and approve previous meeting minutes;

    2. Discuss project proposals and address project specific questions;

    3. Discuss project recommendations and rankings;

    4. Vote on projects to be recommended for approval; and

    5. Open forum for public discussion.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by October 1, 2015, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time for oral comments must be sent to Robin Walker, RAC Coordinator, P.O. Box 429, Plains, Montana 59859; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 406-826-4358.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Robin Walker, Sander Resource Advisory Committee Coordinator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21105 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Deschutes Provinicial Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Deschutes Provincial Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Bend, Oregon. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional PAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/deschutes/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on September 29, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    All PAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Deschutes National Forest Headquarters Office, Ponderosa Conference Room, 63095 Deschutes Market Road, Bend, Oregon.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Deschutes National Forest Headquarters Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Beth Peer, PAC Coordinator, by phone at 541-383-4769 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to:

    1. Introduce newly appointed committee members;

    2. Review the history and accomplishments of the PAC under previous charters;

    3. Discuss the goals and objectives of the PAC; and

    4. Discuss the expected program of work for the year.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by September 15, 2015, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Beth Peer, Deschutes PAC Coordinator, 63095 Deschutes Market Road, Bend, Oregon, 97701; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 541-383-4755.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: August 17, 2015. John P. Allen, Forest Supervisor, Deschutes National Forest.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21239 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of the Census Census Scientific Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of the Census (Census Bureau) is giving notice of a meeting of the Census Scientific Advisory Committee (C-SAC). The Committee will address policy, research, and technical issues relating to a full range of Census Bureau programs and activities, including communications, decennial, demographic, economic, field operations, geographic, information technology, and statistics. The C-SAC will meet in a plenary session on September 17-18, 2015. Last minute changes to the schedule are possible, which could prevent giving advance public notice of schedule adjustments. Please visit the Census Advisory Committees Web site for the most current meeting agenda at: http://www.census.gov/cac/. The meeting will be available via webcast at: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/census-live.html or at http://www.ustream.tv/embed/6504322?wmode=direct.

    DATES:

    September 17-18, 2015. On September 17, the meeting will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. and end at approximately 4:15 p.m. On September 18, the meeting will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. and end at approximately 12:15 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the U.S. Census Bureau Auditorium, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, Maryland 20746.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kim Collier, Assistant Division Chief for Stakeholders, Customer Liaison and Marketing Services Office, [email protected], Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 8H185, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233, telephone 301-763-6590. For TTY callers, please use the Federal Relay Service 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Members of the C-SAC are appointed by the Director, U.S. Census Bureau. The Committee provides scientific and technical expertise, as appropriate, to address Census Bureau program needs and objectives. The Committee has been established in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (title 5, United States Code, Appendix 2, section 10).

    All meetings are open to the public. A brief period will be set aside at the meeting for public comment on September 18. However, individuals with extensive questions or statements must submit them in writing to: [email protected] (subject line “September 2015 C-SAC Meeting Public Comment”), or by letter submission to the Committee Liaison Officer, Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 8H185, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233.

    If you plan to attend the meeting, please register by Tuesday, September 15, 2015. You may access the online registration from the following link: https://www.regonline.com/csacseptember2015. Seating is available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should also be directed to the Committee Liaison Officer as soon as known, and preferably two weeks prior to the meeting.

    Due to increased security and for access to the meeting, please call 301-763-9906 upon arrival at the Census Bureau on the day of the meeting. A photo ID must be presented in order to receive your visitor's badge. Visitors are not allowed beyond the first floor.

    Topics to be discussed include the following items:

    • 2020 Census Update ○ Census Tests ○ Reorganized Census with Integrated Technology (ROCkIT) ○ Census Enterprise Data Collection and Processing Systems (CEDCaP) • BIG Data • Census Surveys ○ Demographic Survey Overview ○ 2017 Economic Census • Working Groups Reports ○ BIG Data ○ ACS Group Quarters • Software Development Kit for Building Open Data Apps Dated: August 20, 2015. John H. Thompson, Director, Bureau of the Census.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21117 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-27-2015] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 154—Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Authorization of Production Activity; Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC; Subzone 154B; (Herbicides and Insecticides), St. Gabriel and Baton Rouge, Louisiana

    On April 22, 2015, the Greater Baton Rouge Port Commission, grantee of FTZ 154, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board on behalf of Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, within Subzone 154B, located at sites in St. Gabriel and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

    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 25277, 05-04-2015). 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 20, 2015. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21254 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-351-842] Certain Uncoated Paper From Brazil: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the “Department”) preliminarily determines that certain uncoated paper (“uncoated paper”) from Brazil is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”), as provided in section 733(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”). The period of investigation (“POI”) is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. The estimated weighted-average dumping margins of sales at LTFV are shown in the “Preliminary Determination” section of this notice. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: August 27, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julia Hancock or Paul Walker, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1394 or (202) 482-0413, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On February 10, 2015, the Department initiated the antidumping duty investigation on uncoated paper from Brazil.1

    1See Certain Uncoated Paper from Australia, Brazil, the People's Republic of China, Indonesia, and Portugal: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 80 FR 8608 (February 18, 2015).

    For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.2 The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    2See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Uncoated Paper from Brazil” (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”), dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is uncoated paper from Brazil. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I.

    Scope Comments

    Certain interested parties commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. For a discussion of those comments, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.3

    3See also Memorandum from Erin Begnal, Director, Office III, to Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance “Scope Comments Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determinations” (August 3, 2015).

    Postponement of Deadline for Preliminary Determination

    On May 18, 2015, Petitioners 4 submitted a timely request for a 50-day postponement of the preliminary determination in this investigation pursuant to section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(e).5 On June 1, 2015, we postponed the preliminary determination by 50 days.6 As a result of the postponement, the revised deadline for the preliminary determination of this investigation is now August 19, 2015.

    4 Petitioners are United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union; Domtar Corporation; Finch Paper LLC; P.H. Glatfelter Company; and Packaging Corporation of America (collectively “Petitioners”).

    5See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from Petitioners “Request For Postponement Of The Preliminary Determination” (May 18, 2015).

    6See Certain Uncoated Paper from Australia, Brazil, the People's Republic of China, Indonesia, and Portugal: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations of Antidumping Duty Investigations, 80 FR 31017 (June 1, 2015).

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. There are two mandatory respondents participating in this investigation, International Paper 7 and Suzano.8 Export price and constructed export price for these companies, as appropriate, are calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value (“NV”) is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    7 International Paper do Brasil Ltda., and International Paper Exportadora Ltda. (collectively “International Paper”).

    8 Suzano Papel e Celulose S.A./Suzano Pulp and Paper America, Inc. (“Suzano”).

    All-Others Rate

    Consistent with sections 733(d)(1)(A)(ii) and 735(c)(5) of the Act, the Department also calculated an estimated all-others rate. Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated all-others rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis margins, and any margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act.

    Specifically, this rate of 37.76 percent is based on a simple average of the weighted-average margin calculated for each mandatory respondent. Because the Department cannot apply our normal methodology of calculating a weighted-average margin due to requests to protect business-proprietary information, the Department finds this rate to be the best proxy of the actual weighted-average margin determined for these respondents.9 10

    9See, e.g., Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from India: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, Partial Rescission, and Final No Shipment Determination, 76 FR 41203, 41205 (July 13, 2011).

    10See Memorandum to the File from Julia Hancock, Senior Case Analyst, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, Subject: Certain Uncoated Paper from Brazil: Calculation of All-Others' Rate in Preliminary Determination (August 19, 2015).

    Preliminary Determination

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist:

    11 In this preliminary determination, we determine that International Paper do Brasil Ltda. and International Paper Exportadora Ltda. constitute a single entity. See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at “Affiliation Determinations” section, and Memorandum to the File from Julia Hancock, Senior International Trade Analyst, Office V, through Paul Walker, Acting Program Manager, Office V “Calculations Performed for International Paper do Brasil Ltda. and International Paper Exportadora Ltda. for the Preliminary Determination in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Uncoated Paper from Brazil” (August 19, 2015), at 2-3.

    Exporter/producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • International Paper do Brasil Ltda. and International Paper Exportadora Ltda.11 42.42 Suzano Papel e Celulose S.A 33.09 All-Others 37.76
    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d)(2) of the Act, we are directing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to suspend liquidation of all entries of uncoated paper from Brazil, as described in Appendix I of this notice, entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.205(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the preliminary weighted-average amount by which normal value exceeds U.S. price, as indicated in the chart above.12 These suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

    12See Modification of Regulations Regarding the Practice of Accepting Bonds During the Provisional Measures Period in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations, 76 FR 61042 (October 3, 2011).

    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations performed to interested parties in this proceeding within five days of the date of the announcement of our preliminary determination in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.307, we intend to verify information relied upon in making our final determination.

    Public Comment

    Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination. Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the final verification report is issued in this proceeding, and rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for case briefs.13 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

    13See 19 CFR 351.309.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce. All documents must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically-filed request must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.14 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and date to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    14See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures

    Section 735(a)(2) of the Act provides that a final determination may be postponed until not later than 135 days after the date of the publication of the preliminary determination if, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by exporters who account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise, or in the event of a negative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by Petitioners. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2) requests by respondents for postponement of a final antidumping determination must be accompanied by a request for extension of provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not more than six months in duration.

    On August 13, 2015, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.210(b) and (e), International Paper requested that, contingent upon an affirmative preliminary determination of sales at LTFV, the Department postpone the final determination and that provisional measures be extended to a period not to exceed six months.15 In addition, Petitioners requested that the Department postpone its final determination in accordance with 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2)(i).16

    15See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from International Paper “Request for Postponement of Final Determination” (August 13, 2015).

    16See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from Petitioners “Petitioners' Comments on the Extension of the Final Determination” (July 31, 2015).

    In accordance with section 735(a)(2)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2)(ii), because (1) our preliminary determination is affirmative; (2) the requesting exporters account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise; and (3) no compelling reasons for denial exist, we are postponing the final determination and extending the provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not greater than six months. Accordingly, we will make our final determination no later than 135 days after the date of publication of this preliminary determination, pursuant to section 735(a)(2) of the Act.17

    17See also 19 CFR 351.210(e).

    International Trade Commission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, we have notified the ITC of our affirmative preliminary determination of sales at LTFV. If our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will determine before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after our final determination whether these imports are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the U.S. industry.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: August 19, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I

    The merchandise covered by this investigation includes uncoated paper in sheet form; weighing at least 40 grams per square meter but not more than 150 grams per square meter; that either is a white paper with a GE brightness level of 85 or higher or is a colored paper; whether or not surface-decorated, printed (except as described below), embossed, perforated, or punched; irrespective of the smoothness of the surface; and irrespective of dimensions (Certain Uncoated Paper).

    Certain Uncoated Paper includes (a) uncoated free sheet paper that meets this scope definition; (b) uncoated ground wood paper produced from bleached chemi-thermo-mechanical pulp (“BCTMP”) that meets this scope definition; and (c) any other uncoated paper that meets this scope definition regardless of the type of pulp used to produce the paper.

    Specifically excluded from the scope are (1) paper printed with final content of printed text or graphics and (2) lined paper products, typically school supplies, composed of paper that incorporates straight horizontal and/or vertical lines that would make the paper unsuitable for copying or printing purposes.

    Imports of the subject merchandise are provided for under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) categories 4802.56.1000, 4802.56.2000, 4802.56.3000, 4802.56.4000, 4802.56.6000, 4802.56.7020, 4802.56.7040, 4802.57.1000, 4802.57.2000, 4802.57.3000, and 4802.57.4000. Some imports of subject merchandise may also be classified under 4802.62.1000, 4802.62.2000, 4802.62.3000, 4802.62.5000, 4802.62.6020, 4802.62.6040, 4802.69.1000, 4802.69.2000, 4802.69.3000, 4811.90.8050 and 4811.90.9080. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Period of Investigation 4. Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provision Measures 5. Scope Comments 6. Affiliation Determinations 7. All Others Rate 8. Discussion of the Methodology A. Determination of the Comparison Method B. Results of Differential Pricing Analysis 9. Date of Sale 10. Product Comparisons 11. Treatment of Re-Export Sales 12. Export Price 13. Constructed Export Price 14. Normal Value A. Home Market Viability B. Affiliated Party Transactions and Arm's-Length Test C. Level of Trade D. Cost of Production Analysis 1. Calculation of COP 2. Test of Comparison Market Sales Prices 3. Results of the COP Test 4. Constructed Value E. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices 15. Currency Conversion 16. Verification
    [FR Doc. 2015-21176 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-985] Xanthan Gum From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: August 27, 2015.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“Department”) is initiating a new shipper review of the antidumping duty order on xanthan gum from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”) with respect to Inner Mongolia Jianlong Biochemical Co., Ltd. (“Inner Mongolia Jianlong”). The period of review (“POR”) for the new shipper review is July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brandon Farlander, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0182.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department published the antidumping duty order on xanthan gum from the PRC on July 19, 2013.1 On July 31, 2015, pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the “Act”), and 19 CFR 351.214(c), the Department received a timely request for a new shipper review from Inner Mongolia Jianlong.2 On August 11, 2015, the Department received entry data from U.S Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) relating to this request for a new shipper review.3 In addition, the Department requested that CBP provide entry documents pertaining to the entry that is subject to Inner Mongolia Jianlong's request to confirm certain information reported in the Initiation Request.4 The continuation of the new shipper review will be contingent upon confirmation of the relevant information reported in the Initiation Request.

    1See Xanthan Gum From the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order, 78 FR 43143 (July 19, 2013) (“Order”).

    2See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce “Re: Xanthan Gum from the People's Republic of China—Request for New Shipper Review,” dated July 31, 2015 (“Initiation Request”).

    3See Memorandum to the File from Howard Smith, Program Manager, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV regarding “U.S. Customs and Border Protection Data; Customs Query Results for Inner Mongolia Jianlong Biochemical Co., Ltd.,” dated August 18, 2015.

    4See Memorandum to Sherri L. Hoffman, Director, AD/CVD/Revenue Policy & Programs, Office of International Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, from Abdelali Elouaradia, Director Office IV, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, “Request for U.S. Entry Documents—Xanthan Gum from the People's Republic of China (A-570-985),” dated August 18, 2015.

    Inner Mongolia Jianlong reported that it was the producer and exporter for the sale of subject merchandise upon which the request for the new shipper review is based.5

    5See Initiation Request at 1.

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i)(I) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(i), Inner Mongolia Jianlong certified that it did not export xanthan gum to the United States during the period of investigation (“POI”).6 In addition, pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i)(II) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iii)(A), Inner Mongolia Jianlong certified that, since the initiation of the investigation, it has never been affiliated with an exporter or producer that exported xanthan gum to the United States during the POI, including those not individually examined during the investigation.7 As required by 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iii)(B), Inner Mongolia Jianlong also certified that its export activities were not controlled by the government of the PRC.8

    6Id. at 2.

    7Id.

    8Id.

    In addition, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iv), Inner Mongolia Jianlong submitted documentation concerning the following: (1) The date on which it first shipped xanthan gum for export to the United States and the date on which the xanthan gum was first entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption; (2) the volume of its first shipment; and (3) the date of its first sale to an unaffiliated customer in the United States.9

    9Id. at 2-3 and Exhibit 1.

    The Department conducted a CBP database query and confirmed by examining the results of the CBP data query that Inner Mongolia Jianlong's subject merchandise entered the United States during the POR specified by the Department's regulations.10

    10See 19 CFR 351.214(g)(1)(i)(A).

    Period of Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.214(g)(1)(i)(A), the POR for the new shipper review of Inner Mongolia Jianlong is July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015.11

    11See 19 CFR 351.214(g)(1)(ii)(B).

    Initiation of New Shipper Review

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act, 19 CFR 351.214(b), and based on the information on the record, the Department finds that Inner Mongolia Jianlong meets the threshold requirements for initiation of a new shipper review of its shipment of xanthan gum from the PRC.12 However, if the information supplied by Inner Mongolia Jianlong is later found to be incorrect or insufficient during the course of this proceeding, the Department may rescind the review or apply facts available pursuant to section 776 of the Act, depending upon the facts on the record.

    12See Memorandum to the File through Abdelali Elouaradia, Director, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV “Initiation of Antidumping New Shipper Review of Xanthan Gum From the People's Republic of China: Inner Mongolia Jianlong Biochemical Co., Ltd. Initiation Checklist,” dated concurrently with this notice.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.221(c)(1)(i), the Department will publish the notice of initiation of a new shipper review no later than the last day of the month following the anniversary month or semiannual anniversary month of the order. The Department intends to issue the preliminary results of this review no later than 180 days from the date of initiation, and the final results of this review no later than 90 days after the date the preliminary results are issued.13

    13See section 751(a)(2)(B)(iv) of the Act; 19 CFR 351.214(i).

    It is the Department's usual practice, in cases involving non-market economies (“NME”), to require that a company seeking to establish eligibility for an antidumping duty rate separate from the NME-wide entity to provide evidence of the absence of de jure and de facto government control over the company's export activities.14 Accordingly, the Department will issue a questionnaire to Inner Mongolia Jianlong which will include a section requesting information with regard to its export activities for the purpose of establishing Inner Mongolia Jianlong's eligibility for a separate rate. The review of Inner Mongolia Jianlong will proceed if the evidence provides sufficient indication that Inner Mongolia Jianlong is not subject to either de jure or de facto government control with respect to its exports of subject merchandise.

    14See Xanthan Gum From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review, 79 FR 11083, 11084 (February 27, 2014).

    The Department will instruct CBP to allow, at the option of the importer, the posting, until the completion of the review, of a bond or security in lieu of a cash deposit for entries of subject merchandise from Inner Mongolia Jianlong in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(B)(iii) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(e). Because Inner Mongolia Jianlong certified that it produced and exported the subject merchandise that is the subject of this new shipper review, the Department will apply the bonding privilege only for subject merchandise produced and exported by Inner Mongolia Jianlong.

    Interested parties requiring access to proprietary information in this new shipper review should submit applications for disclosure under administrative protective order in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305 and 351.306.

    This initiation notice is published in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214 and 351.221(c)(1)(i).

    Dated: August 21, 2015. Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21250 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Baldrige Executive Fellows Program AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, 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 Dawn Bailey, Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 1020, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, 301-975-3074, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program seeks applicants for the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program, a one-year, leadership development experience for direct reports to the most senior leader in an organization or business unit leaders. Using the Baldrige Excellence Framework as a foundation, the program discusses impactful leadership through visits to Baldrige Award recipient sites and senior leaders, virtual discussions, and face-to-face peer training using an adult learning model. Fellows will discuss how to achieve performance excellence for their own organizations, stimulate innovation, and build the knowledge and capabilities necessary for organizational sustainability. Fellows will create a capstone project that tackles an issue of strategic importance in their own organizations; capstones have included innovating supply chains and customer relationship management systems, improving health systems and their communication with physicians, and creating balanced scorecards. The Baldrige Executive Fellows has been nationally recognized for two consecutive years as the number-one leadership development program in the military/government category of the Leadership 500 Awards, sponsored by HR.com. The program is aligned with the Baldrige Program mission to improve the competitiveness and performance of U.S. organizations for the benefit of all U.S. residents. The Baldrige Program and its Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award were created by Public Law 100-107 (The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Improvement Act of 1987) and signed into law on August 20, 1987.

    II. Method of Collection

    Senior leaders interested in applying for selection as a Baldrige Fellow must mail the following package of material directly to the Baldrige Program:

    1. A resumé, including email, postal address, and telephone contact information; and the name and email address of an assistant or alternate contact person

    2. An organizational chart that includes names and titles showing the applicant's position within the organization

    3. A recommendation letter from the applicant's highest-ranking official showing the organization's support of his/her participation in the program

    4. A list of key competitors (in order that the Baldrige Program may avoid creating a cohort that would be unable to share effectively due to competitive situations)

    Fax is also acceptable. The NIST Secure File Transfer Service (“N-files”) is also made available for applicants who wish to electronically submit materials that include personally identifiable information.

    Information is collected one time per year (typically in September-December) for each cohort of Fellows.

    Information is need to make selection decisions that are based on (1) sector mix, (2) appropriate level within the organization, (3) likelihood to follow through, (4) diversity, and (5) no direct competitors with participating award recipients or other Fellows.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: #0693-XXXX.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Any senior or mid-level leader from business or other for-profit organizations; not-for-profit institutions; state, local, or tribal government; Federal government.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 15 per year.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour to gather materials.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 15 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: August 21, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21214 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE145 Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Eel Fishery AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of non-compliance referral; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces that on August 6, 2015, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) found the State of Delaware out of compliance with the Commission's Interstate Fishery Management Plan (ISFMP) for American Eel. Subsequently, on August 19, 2015, the Commission referred the matter to NMFS, under delegation of authority from the Secretary of Commerce, for federal non-compliance review under the provisions of the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (Atlantic Coastal Act). The Atlantic Coastal Act mandates that NMFS must review the Commission's non-compliance referral and make specific findings by September 18, 2015, 30 days after receiving the referral. If NMFS determines that Delaware failed to carry out its responsibilities under the Coastal American Eel ISFMP, and if the measures it failed to implement are necessary for conservation, then, according to the Atlantic Coastal Act, NMFS must declare a moratorium on fishing for American eel in Delaware waters.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted by September 11, 2015. NMFS intends to make a determination on this matter by September 18, 2015, and will publish its findings in the Federal Register immediately thereafter.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to Derek Orner, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13325, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Mark the outside of the envelope “Comments on American eel Non-Compliance.” Comments may also be sent via fax to (301) 713-0596 or by email to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Derek Orner, Fishery Management Specialist, NMFS Office of Sustainable Fisheries, (301) 427-8567, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The 2012 Benchmark Stock Assessment for American eel found that the American eel population in U.S. waters is depleted. The assessment concluded that the stock is at or near historically low levels due to a combination of historical overfishing, habitat loss and alteration, productivity and food web alterations, predation, turbine mortality, changing climatic and oceanic conditions, toxins and contaminants, and disease. As a result, the Commission took action to reduce mortality and limit further development of this fishery. In order to achieve the conservation goals and objectives of the ISFMP, states were to effectively implement the following actions: A 9″ minimum size for yellow eel (the life stage when eels are typically harvested as bait) recreational and commercial fisheries; 1/2″ x 1/2″ minimum mesh size for yellow eel pots; Allowance of 4″ x 4″ escape panel in post of 1/2″ x 1/2″ mesh for 3 years (beginning on January 1, 2014); and, Recreational 25 fish bag limit per day per angler. On August 6, 2015, the Commission found the State of Delaware out of compliance for not fully and effectively implementing and enforcing these measures. The Commission subsequently referred its non-compliance finding to NMFS on August 19, 2015.

    Federal response to a Commission non-compliance referral is governed by the Atlantic Coastal Act. Under the Atlantic Coastal Act, the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) must make two findings within 30 days after receiving the non-compliance referral. First, the Secretary must determine whether the state in question (in this case, Delaware) has failed to carry out its responsibilities under the ISFMP. Second, the Secretary must determine whether the measures that the State has failed to implement or enforce are necessary for the conservation of the fishery in question. If the Secretary of Commerce makes affirmative findings on both criteria, then the Secretary must implement a moratorium on fishing in the fishery in question (in this case American eel) within the waters of the non-complying state (in this case, Delaware). Further, the moratorium must become effective within six months of the date of the Secretary's non-compliance determination. To the extent that the allegedly offending state later implements the involved measure, the Atlantic Coastal Act allows the state to petition the Commission that it has come back into compliance, and if the Commission concurs, the Commission will notify the Secretary and, if the Secretary concurs, the moratorium will be withdrawn. The Secretary has delegated Atlantic Coastal Act authorities to the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries at NMFS.

    NMFS has notified the State of Delaware, the Commission, and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council in separate letters, of its receipt of the Commission's non-compliance referral. In the letters, NMFS solicits comments from the Commission and Councils to the extent either entity is interested in providing such comments. NMFS also indicated to the State of Delaware that the State is entitled to meet with and present its comments directly to NMFS if the State so desires.

    NMFS intends to make its non-compliance determination on or about September 18, 2015, which is 30 days after receipt of the Commission's non-compliance referral. NMFS will announce its determination by Federal Register notice immediately thereafter. To the extent that NMFS makes an affirmative non-compliance finding, NMFS will announce the effective date of the moratorium in that Federal Register notice.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.

    Dated: August 21, 2015. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21228 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC268 Marine Mammals; File No. 16239 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application for permit amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that Dan Engelhaupt, Ph.D., HDR EOC, 5700 Lake Wright Drive, Norfolk, VA 23502-1859, has applied for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 16239.

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before September 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The application and related documents are available for review by selecting “Records Open for Public Comment” from the “Features” box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 16239 from the list of available applications.

    These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to [email protected] Please include the File No. in the subject line of the email comment.

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carrie Hubard or Courtney Smith, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject amendment to Permit No. 16239 is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226).

    Permit No. 16239, issued on September 11, 2013 (78 FR 60852), authorizes the permit holder to harass cetacean and pinniped species during vessel and aerial survey activities, including behavioral observations and photo-identification. Cetacean species may also be harassed during underwater photography and collection of sloughed skin and fecal samples. Surveys may be conducted year-round in all U.S. and international waters in the Pacific Ocean (including Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Guam, Marianas Islands, and other U.S. territories) and Atlantic Ocean (including the Gulf of Mexico, western North Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, and Sargasso Seas). The permit expires September 30, 2018.

    The permit holder is requesting the permit be amended to include authorization for: (1) Increasing takes for some species during aerial and vessel visual surveys to document presence/absence, behavior, and movement of marine mammals before, during, and after Naval training exercise operations, offshore energy installations, oil and gas exploration and production, and pier refurbishment/replacement; (2) collecting biopsy samples to document genetic variation within populations, gender, foraging patterns, and stress levels; and (3) using multiple tag types, including satellite and digital acoustic tags, to document movement and dive patterns, social and population structure, and habitat use. See tables in the permit amendment application for numbers of takes by species, stock and activity. The research would be conducted to collect data on population and genetic variations and habitat use, and to monitor behavioral changes during activities associated with U.S. Navy, renewable energy, oil and gas exploration and production, and pier-based construction.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of this application to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.

    Dated: August 18, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21215 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE075 Marine Mammals; File No. 18636 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that Iain Kerr, D.H.L., Ocean Alliance, 32 Horton Street, Gloucester, MA 01930, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on multiple cetacean species.

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before September 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The application and related documents are available for review by selecting “Records Open for Public Comment” from the “Features” box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species (APPS) home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 18636 from the list of available applications.

    These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to [email protected] Please include the File No. in the subject line of the email comment.

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Courtney Smith or Amy Hapeman, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject permit is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), and the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    The applicant requests a five-year permit to determine how environmental toxicants affect cetaceans and vary spatially and temporally across species; and determine the route of exposure. Research would occur in U.S. waters and the high seas of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans via vessel surveys targeting live cetaceans, tissue collection of dead, stranded cetaceans, and the import/export/receipt of biological samples collected in foreign waters/countries. Field research activities on live animals would include collection of sloughed skin and feces, biopsy sampling, photo-identification, videography, passive acoustic recording, focal follows, behavioral observation, and breath sampling via a small unmanned aircraft system. The applicant requests to annually harass and sample the following species during vessel surveys as follows. In the North Atlantic: 150 takes for the primary study species, sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus); 30 takes for Bryde's whales (Balaenoptera brydei); 40 takes for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae); and 20 takes for all other requested species [blue (B. musculus), dwarf sperm (Kogia sima), false killer (Pseudorca crassidens), fin (B. physalus), killer whales (Orcinus orca), minke (B. acutorostrata), pilot (Globicephala spp.), pygmy sperm (Kogia breviceps), sei (B. borealis), and beaked whale species and dolphins]. In the Pacific Ocean, the applicant requests up to 100 takes of sperm whales, and 20 takes of all other species, annually: blue, pygmy and dwarf sperm, fin, humpback, Bryde's, minke, short- and long-finned pilot, sei, Eastern gray (Eschrichtius robustus), false killer, and killer whales, and several beaked whale and dolphin species.

    Additionally, the applicant requests to annually import/export/receive up to 150 biological samples (parts) for sperm whales; 200 parts for southern right whales; 40 parts for humpback whales; 30 parts for Bryde's whales; and 20 parts for all other requested species.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of the application to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.

    Dated: August 18, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21216 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (“PRA”), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (“ICR”) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before September 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments regarding the burden estimated or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, may be submitted directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”) in OMB, within 30 days of the notice's publication, by email at [email protected] Please identify the comments by OMB Control No. 3038-0007. Please provide the Commission with a copy of all submitted comments at the address listed below. Please refer to OMB Reference No. 3038-0007, found on http://reginfo.gov.

    Comments may also be mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. You may also submit comments, identified by Renewal of Collection Number 3038-0007 and “Regulation of Domestic Exchange-Traded Options,” by any of the following methods:

    The Agency's Web site, via its Comments Online process: http://comments.cftc.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    Mail: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    Delivery/Courier: Same as Mail above.

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

    All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. If you wish the Commission to consider information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, a petition for confidential treatment of the exempt information may be submitted according to the procedures established in § 145.9 of the Commission's regulations.1

    1 17 CFR 145.9, 74 FR 17395 (Apr. 15, 2009).

    The Commission reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to review, pre-screen, filter, redact, refuse or remove any or all of your submission from http://www.cftc.gov that it may deem to be inappropriate for publication, such as obscene language. All submissions that have been redacted or removed that contain comments on the merits of the ICR will be retained in the public comment file and will be considered as required under the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable laws, and may be accessible under the Freedom of Information Act.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581; Dana R. Brown, Division of Market Oversight, telephone: (202) 418-5093 and email: [email protected]; or Jacob Chachkin, Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, telephone: (202) 418-5496 and email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Rules Relating to Regulation of Domestic Exchange Traded-Options (OMB Control No. 3038-0007). This is a request for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: The rules require futures commission merchants and introducing brokers: (1) To provide their customers with standard risk disclosure statements concerning the risk of trading commodity interests; and (2) to retain all promotional material and the source of authority for information contained therein. The purpose of these rules is to ensure that customers are advised of the risks of trading commodity interests and to avoid fraud and misrepresentation. This information collection contains the recordkeeping and reporting requirements needed to ensure regulatory compliance with Commission rules relating to this issue.

    Burden Statement: The Commission estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Estimated Annual Reporting Burden Regulation Estimated number of
  • respondents or recordkeepers per year
  • Reports
  • annually
  • by each
  • respondent
  • Total annual responses Estimated
  • average
  • number of
  • hours per
  • response
  • Estimated total number of hours of
  • annual burden
  • in fiscal year
  • Reporting: 38.3, 38.4, 40.2 and 40.3 (Procedure for designation or self-certification) 13.00 2.00 26.00 25.00 650.00 33.7—(Risk disclosure) 1,401.00 115.00 161,115.00 0.08 12,889.20 Subtotal (Reporting requirements) 1,414.00 20,151.00 13,539.20 Recordkeeping: 33.8—(Retention of promotional material) 1,401.00 1.00 1,401.00 25.00 35,025.00 Subtotal (Recordkeeping requirements) 1,401.00 1.00 1,401.00 25.00 35,025.00 Grand total (Reporting and Recordkeeping) 2,815.00 21,155.20 48,564.2

    There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: August 24, 2015. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21252 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (“PRA”), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (“ICR”) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before September 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments regarding the burden estimated or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, may be submitted directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”) in OMB, within 30 days of the notice's publication, by email at [email protected] Please identify the comments by OMB Control No. 3038-0093. Please provide the Commission with a copy of all submitted comments at the address listed below. Please refer to OMB Reference No. 201203-3038-005, found on http://reginfo.gov.

    Comments may also be mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, and to: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581; or by Hand Delivery/Courier at the same address; or through the Agency's Web site at http://comments.cftc.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    A copy of the supporting statements for the collection of information discussed above may be obtained by visiting http://RegInfo.gov. All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to www.cftc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lois Gregory, Associate Director, Division of Market Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (202) 418-5569, email: [email protected], and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0093.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Part 40, Provisions Common To Registered Entities (OMB Control No. 3038-0093). This is a request for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: This collection of information involves the collection and submission to the Commission of information from registered entities concerning new products, rules, and rule amendments pursuant to the procedures outlined in §§ 40.2, 40.3, 40.5, 40.6, and 40.10 found in 17 CFR part 40.

    Burden Statement: Registered entities must comply with certification and approval requirements which include an explanation and analysis when seeking to implement new products, rules, and rule amendments, including changes to product terms and conditions. The Commission's regulations §§ 40.2, 40.3, 40.4, 40.5, 40.6 and 40.10 provide procedures for the submission of rules and rule amendments by designated contract markets, swap execution facilities, derivatives clearing organizations, and swap data repositories. They establish the procedures for submitting the “written certification” required by Section 5c of the Commodity Exchange Act (“Act”). In connection with a product or rule certification, the registered entity must provide a concise explanation and analysis of the submission and its compliance with statutory provisions of the Act. Accordingly, new rules or rule amendments must be accompanied by concise explanations and analyses of the purposes, operations, and effects of the submissions. This information may be submitted as part of the same submission containing the required “written certification.”

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Designated Contract Markets, Swap Execution Facilities, Derivatives Clearing Organizations, and Swap Data Repositories.

    Rules 40.2, 40.3, 40.5, and 40.6

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 70.

    Annual Responses by each Respondent: 100.

    Estimated Hours per Response: 2.

    Estimated Total Hours per Year: 14,000.

    Rule 40.10

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4.

    Annual Responses by each Respondent: 2.

    Estimated Hours per Response: 5.

    Estimated Total Hours per Year: 40.

    (Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) Dated: August 24, 2015. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21268 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance: Meeting AGENCY:

    Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, 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 Public Law 100-50 (20 U.S.C. 1098).

    William J. Goggin, Executive Director, Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-20947 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Notice Inviting Publishers To Submit Tests for a Determination of Suitability for Use in the National Reporting System for Adult Education AGENCY:

    Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of Education invites publishers to submit tests for review and approval for use in the National Reporting System for Adult Education (NRS) and announces the date by which publishers must submit these tests.

    DATES:

    Deadline for transmittal of applications: October 1, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your application by mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) or deliver your application by hand or by courier service to: NRS Assessment Review, c/o American Institutes for Research, 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW., Washington, DC 20007.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jay LeMaster, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 11152, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-7240. Telephone: (202) 245-6218 or by email: [email protected]

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department's regulations for Measuring Educational Gain in the National Reporting System for Adult Education, 34 CFR part 462 (NRS regulations), include the procedures for determining the suitability of tests for use in the NRS.

    Criteria the Secretary Uses: In order for the Secretary to consider a test suitable for use in the NRS, the test must meet the criteria and requirements established in § 462.13.

    Submission Requirements

    (a) In preparing your application, you must comply with the requirements in § 462.11.

    (b) In accordance with § 462.10, the deadline for transmittal of applications is October 1.

    (c) Whether you submit your application by mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) or deliver your application by hand or by courier service, you must mail or deliver three copies of your application, on or before the deadline date, to the following address:

    NRS Assessment Review, c/o American Institutes for Research, 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW., Washington, DC 20007.

    (d) If you submit your application by mail or commercial carrier, you must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of Education.

    (e) If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (f) If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    (g) If you submit your application by hand delivery, you (or a courier service) must deliver three copies of the application by hand, on or before 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

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

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

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

    Authority:

    20 U.S.C. 9212.

    Dated: August 24, 2015. Johan E. Uvin, Acting Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21267 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Electric Grid Resilience Self-Assessment Tool for Distribution System AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Request for Information; re-opening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    On July 1, 2015, the Department of Energy (DOE) published in the Federal Register a Request for Information (RFI) regarding the electric grid resilience self-assessment tool for distribution system and requested public comment by August 17, 2015. DOE is re-opening the original public comment period of 45 days for this RFI.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the RFI published July 1, 2015 (80 FR 37606) is re-opened. Written comments must be received on or before October 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments can be submitted by any of the following methods and must be identified by “EGRtool”. By email: [email protected]. Include “EGRtool” in the subject line of the message. By mail: Dan Ton, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 6E-092, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. Note: Delivery of the U.S. Postal Service mail to DOE may be delayed by several weeks due to security screening. DOE, therefore, encourages those wishing to comment to submit comments electronically by email.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Dan Ton, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 6E-092, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On July 1, 2015, the DOE published a request for information in the Federal Register (80 FR 37606). DOE is seeking comments and information from interested parties to inform the development of a pilot project concerning an interactive self-assessment tool to understand the relative resilience level of national electric grid distribution systems to extreme weather events. An interactive tool could be used by distribution utilities to identify opportunities for enhancing resilience with new technologies and/or procedures to support investment planning and related tariff filings. The focus of this RFI is on the design and implementation of the interactive self-assessment resilience tool.

    The July 1 notice requested comments and information from interested parties to inform the development of a pilot project concerning an interactive self-assessment tool by August 17, 2015. DOE is re-opening the comment period by 60 days to allow additional time for more substantive comment on the significant questions to which DOE is seeking response. DOE believes that re-opening the comment period to allow additional time for interested parties to submit comments is appropriate. Therefore, DOE is re-opening the comment period to provide interested parties additional time to prepare and submit comments and will consider any comments received by that date.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 24, 2015. Patricia A. Hoffman, Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21244 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Representative Average Unit Costs of Energy AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In this notice, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is forecasting the representative average unit costs of five residential energy sources for the year 2015 pursuant to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. The five sources are electricity, natural gas, No. 2 heating oil, propane, and kerosene.

    DATES:

    The representative average unit costs of energy contained in this notice will become effective September 28, 2015 and will remain in effect until further notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Cymbalsky, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Forrestal Building, Mail Station EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121, (202) 287-1692, [email protected]

    Francine Pinto, Esq. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of General Counsel Forrestal Building, Mail Station GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0103, (202) 586-7432, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 323 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (Act) requires that DOE prescribe test procedures for the measurement of the estimated annual operating costs or other measures of energy consumption for certain consumer products specified in the Act. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3)) These test procedures are found in title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 430, subpart B.

    Section 323(b)(3) of the Act requires that the estimated annual operating costs of a covered product be calculated from measurements of energy use in a representative average use cycle or period of use and from representative average unit costs of the energy needed to operate such product during such cycle. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3)) The section further requires that DOE provide information to manufacturers regarding the representative average unit costs of energy. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(4)) This cost information should be used by manufacturers to meet their obligations under section 323(c) of the Act. Most notably, these costs are used to comply with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requirements for labeling. Manufacturers are required to use the revised DOE representative average unit costs when the FTC publishes new ranges of comparability for specific covered products, 16 CFR part 305. Interested parties can also find information covering the FTC labeling requirements at http://www.ftc.gov/appliances.

    DOE last published representative average unit costs of residential energy in a Federal Register notice entitled, “Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Representative Average Unit Costs of Energy”, dated March 18, 2014, 79 FR 15111.

    On September 28, 2015, the cost figures published in this notice will become effective and supersede those cost figures published on March 18, 2014. The cost figures set forth in this notice will be effective until further notice.

    DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) has developed the 2015 representative average unit after-tax residential costs found in this notice. These costs for electricity, natural gas, No. 2 heating oil, and propane are based on simulations used to produce the August 2015, EIA Short-Term Energy Outlook (EIA releases the Outlook monthly). The representative average unit after-tax cost for kerosene is derived from its price relative to that of heating oil, based on the 2010-to 2014 averages of the U.S. refiner price to end users, which include all the major energy-consuming sectors in the U.S. for these fuels. The source for these price data is the July 2015, Monthly Energy Review DOE/EIA-0035 (2015/07). The Short-Term Energy Outlook and the Monthly Energy Review are available on the EIA Web site at http://www.eia.doe.gov. The representative average unit after-tax cost for propane is derived from its price relative to that of heating oil, based on the 2015 averages of the U.S. residential sector prices found in the Annual Energy Outlook 2015, DOE/EIA-0383 (2015). For more information on the data sources used in this Notice, contact the National Energy Information Center, Forrestal Building, EI-30, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-8800, email: [email protected]

    The 2015 representative average unit costs under section 323(b)(4) of the Act are set forth in Table 1, and will become effective September 28, 2015. They will remain in effect until further notice.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 17, 2015. David T. Danielson, Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Table 1—Representative Average Unit Costs of Energy for Five Residential Energy Sources (2015) Type of energy Per million Btu 1 In commonly used terms As required by test procedure Electricity $37.34 12.7¢/kWh 23 $0.127/kWh. Natural Gas 10.03 $1.003/therm 4 or $10.28/MCF 56 0.00001003/Btu. No. 2 Heating Oil 19.68 $2.73/gallon 7 0.00001968/Btu. Propane 22.02 $3.06/gallon 8 0.00002203/Btu. Kerosene 22.54 $3.13/gallon 9 0.00002254/Btu. Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook (August 11, 2015), Annual Energy Outlook (April 14, 2015), and Monthly Energy Review (July 28, 2015). Notes: Prices include taxes. 1 Btu stands for British thermal units. 2 kWh stands for kilowatt hour. 3 1 kWh = 3,412 Btu. 4 1 therm = 100,000 Btu. 5 MCF stands for 1,000 cubic feet. 6 For the purposes of this table, one cubic foot of natural gas has an energy equivalence of 1,025 Btu. 7 For the purposes of this table, one gallon of No. 2 heating oil has an energy equivalence of 138,690 Btu. 8 For the purposes of this table, one gallon of liquid propane has an energy equivalence of 91,333 Btu. 9 For the purposes of this table, one gallon of kerosene has an energy equivalence of 135,000 Btu.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21243 Filed 8-26-15; 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 electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC15-193-000.

    Applicants: JPM Capital Corporation, HA Wind I LLC, Morgan Stanley Wind LLC.

    Description: Application of JPM Capital Corporation, et. al. for Approval Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act.

    Filed Date: 8/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150820-5228.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/10/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1509-002.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance Filing Concerning DNE Dispatch Changes—ER15-1509-___to be effective 4/10/2016.

    Filed Date: 8/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150821-5035.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1579-001.

    Applicants: 67RK 8me LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of 67RK 8me LLC.

    Filed Date: 8/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150821-5099.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1582-001; ER15-1914-001; ER15-762-002; ER15-760-002; ER15-1896-001.

    Applicants: 65HK 8me LLC, 87RL 8me LLC, Sierra Solar Greenworks LLC, Western Antelope Blue Sky Ranch A LLC, Eden Solar LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of 67HK 8me LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 8/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150821-5130.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2499-000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-08-20 Mesquite Solar 2 LGIA to be effective 10/21/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150821-5000.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2500-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Executed GIA & Executed Distrib Serv Agmt Edom Hills to be effective 10/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150821-5002.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2501-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-08-21_SA 2219 ATC-METC Transmission IA Resubmittal of Original Agreement to be effective 7/1/2010.

    Filed Date: 8/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150821-5058.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2502-000.

    Applicants: Kentucky Utilities Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Settlement Modifications to Bardstown and Nicholasville wholesale con to be effective 6/20/2014.

    Filed Date: 8/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150821-5108.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2503-000.

    Applicants: NorthWestern Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revised Rate Schedule FERC No. 244 (MT) to be effective 8/24/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150821-5119.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2504-000.

    Applicants: Public Service Company of New Mexico.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Modifications to Rate Schedule No. 144 ? SJPPA Restructuring Amendment to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 8/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150821-5122.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2505-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amended LGIA Desert Stateline, LLC to be effective 8/22/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150821-5125.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/11/15.

    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 21, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21229 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CD15-32-000] West Valley Water District; Notice of Preliminary Determination of a Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility and Soliciting Comments and Motions To Intervene

    On August 13, 2015, West Valley Water District filed a notice of intent to construct a qualifying conduit hydropower facility, pursuant to section 30 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), as amended by section 4 of the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 (HREA). The proposed Roemer Water Filtration Facility Hydroelectric Project would have an installed capacity of 484 kilowatts (kW) and would be located on the existing West Valley Water District's raw water 30-inch-diameter Lytle Creek Turnout pipe into the Roemer Water Filtration Facility. The project would be located near the City of Rialto in San Bernardino County, California.

    Applicant Contact: Thomas J. Crowley, West Valley Water District, 855 W. Base Line Rd., Rialto, CA 92376, Phone No. (909) 820-3702.

    FERC Contact: Robert Bell, Phone No. (202) 502-6062, email: [email protected]

    Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility Description: The proposed project would consist of: (1) A proposed 141-foot-long by 24-inch-diameter supply pipe off the 30-inch diameter main pipeline; (2) a proposed 1,300 square foot prefabricated steel powerhouse containing two generating units with a total installed capacity of 484 kW; (3) a 28-foot-long 24-inch-diameter exit pipe returning flow back into the Roemer Water Filtration Facility and the Cactus Groundwater Recharge Pipeline; and (4) appurtenant facilities. The proposed project would have an estimated annual generating capacity of 2,200 megawatt-hours.

    A qualifying conduit hydropower facility is one that is determined or deemed to meet all of the criteria shown in the table below.

    Table 1—Criteria for Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility Statutory provision Description Satisfies
  • (Y/N)
  • FPA 30(a)(3)(A), as amended by HREA The conduit the facility uses a tunnel, canal, pipeline, aqueduct, flume, ditch, or similar manmade water conveyance that is operated for the distribution of water for agricultural, municipal, or industrial consumption and not primarily for the generation of electricity Y FPA 30(a)(3)(C)(i), as amended by HREA The facility is constructed, operated, or maintained for the generation of electric power and uses for such generation only the hydroelectric potential of a non-federally owned conduit Y FPA 30(a)(3)(C)(ii), as amended by HREA The facility has an installed capacity that does not exceed 5 megawatts Y FPA 30(a)(3)(C)(iii), as amended by HREA On or before August 9, 2013, the facility is not licensed, or exempted from the licensing requirements of Part I of the FPA Y

    Preliminary Determination: Based upon the above criteria, Commission staff preliminarily determines that the proposal satisfies the requirements for a qualifying conduit hydropower facility, which is not required to be licensed or exempted from licensing.

    Comments and Motions to Intervene: Deadline for filing comments contesting whether the facility meets the qualifying criteria is 45 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    Deadline for filing motions to intervene is 30 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    Anyone may submit comments or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210 and 385.214. Any motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified deadline date for the particular proceeding.

    Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: All filings must (1) bear in all capital letters the “COMMENTS CONTESTING QUALIFICATION FOR A CONDUIT HYDROPOWER FACILITY” or “MOTION TO INTERVENE,” as applicable; (2) state in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) state the name, address, and telephone number of the person filing; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of sections 385.2001 through 385.2005 of the Commission's regulations.1 All comments contesting Commission staff's preliminary determination that the facility meets the qualifying criteria must set forth their evidentiary basis.

    1 18 CFR 385.2001-2005 (2014).

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene and comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Locations of Notice of Intent: Copies of the notice of intent can be obtained directly from the applicant or such copies can be viewed and reproduced at the Commission in its Public Reference Room, Room 2A, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number (e.g., CD15-32-000) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, call toll-free 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected] For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 21, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21264 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 10489-014] City of River Falls, Wisconsin; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Application Type: Extension of license term.

    b. Project No.: 10489-014.

    c. Date Filed: July 6, 2015.

    d. Applicant: City of River Falls, Wisconsin.

    e. Name of Project: River Falls Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: Kinnickinnic River in Pierce County, Wisconsin.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791a-825r.

    h. Applicant Contact: Kevin Westhuis, City of River Falls, 222 Lewis Street, River Falls, WI 54022, (715) 425-0906.

    i. FERC Contact: Rebecca Martin, (202) 502-6012, [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests: September 21, 2015.

    All documents may be filed electronically via the Internet. See, 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], or toll free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, (202) 502-8659. Although the Commission strongly encourages electronic filing, documents may be paper-filed. To paper-file, mail an original and seven copies to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. Please include the project number (P-10489-014) on any comments or motions filed.

    The Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person whose name appears on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

    k. Description of Application: On September 27, 1988, the River Falls Project was issued a 30-year license that expires August 31, 2018. The licensee requests the Commission extend the term of the license for an additional 5 years from August 31, 2018, to August 31, 2023. The City submitted its notice of intent to relicense the project and pre-application document on November 27, 2013 and a request to use the traditional licensing process also on that date, which was granted by the Commission on January 27, 2014. Since that time, the River Falls City Council adopted resolutions that require a comprehensive river corridor planning process to determine whether to continue with the re-license or possibly surrender the project. The licensee states that it will be conducting additional studies to evaluate the potential for dam removal. The development of further study plans is expected to continue with stakeholders through 2017.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field (P-10489-014) to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, and .214, respectively. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “PROTEST”, or “MOTION TO INTERVENE” as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person commenting, protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis. Any filing made by an intervenor must be accompanied by a proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 385.2010.

    Dated: August 21, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21265 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14687-000] Energy Resources USA Inc.; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications

    On June 25, 2015, the Energy Resources USA Inc. filed an application for a preliminary permit under section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act proposing to study the feasibility of the proposed Lock and Dam No.11 Hydroelectric Project No. 14687-000, to be located at the existing Mississippi River Lock and Dam No. 11 on the Mississippi River, near the City of Dubuque, in Grant County, Wisconsin. The Mississippi River Lock and Dam No. 11 is owned by the United States government and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners' express permission.

    The proposed project would consist of: (1) A new 770-foot-long by 300-foot-wide earthen intake area; (2) a new 220-foot by 90-foot concrete powerhouse containing four 2.5-megawatt hydropower turbine-generators having a total combined generating capacity of 10 megawatts; (3) one new 1000-foot-long by 220-foot-wide tailrace; (4) a new intake retaining wall and new tailrace retaining wall each measuring 85-foot-long by 43-foot-high by 3-foot-thick; (5) a new 50-foot by 60-foot switchyard; (6) a new 1.52-mile-long, 69-kilovolt transmission line; and (7) appurtenant facilities. The project would have an estimated annual generation of 119,655 megawatt-hours.

    Applicant Contact: Mr. Ander Gonzalez, 2655 Le Jeune Road, Suite 804, Coral Gables, Florida 33134; telephone +34 932523840.

    FERC Contact: Tyrone A. Williams, (202) 502-6331.

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications: 60 days from the issuance of this notice. Competing applications and notices of intent must meet the requirements of 18 CFR 4.36. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, notices of intent, and competing applications using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14687-000.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the “eLibrary” link of Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14687) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at 1-866-208-3676.

    Dated: August 20, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21261 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. ER02-2001-019, ER13-392-000, ER11-4531-000, ER12-2514-000] Electric Quarterly Reports: M&R Energy Resources Corp., Reliable Power, LLC, Susterra Energy, LLC; Order on Intent To Revoke Market-Based Rate Authority Before Commissioners: Norman C. Bay, Chairman; Philip D. Moeller, Cheryl A. LaFleur, Tony Clark, and Colette D. Honorable.

    1. Section 205 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824d (2012), and 18 CFR part 35 (2015), require, among other things, that all rates, terms, and conditions of jurisdictional services be filed with the Commission. In Order No. 2001, the Commission revised its public utility filing requirements and established a requirement for public utilities, including power marketers, to file Electric Quarterly Reports summarizing the contractual terms and conditions in their agreements for all jurisdictional services (including market-based power sales, cost-based power sales, and transmission service) and providing transaction information (including rates) for short-term and long-term power sales during the most recent calendar quarter.1

    1Revised Public Utility Filing Requirements, Order No. 2001, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,127, reh'g denied, Order No. 2001-A, 100 FERC ¶ 61,074, reh'g denied, Order No. 2001-B, 100 FERC ¶ 61,342, order directing filing, Order No. 2001-C, 101 FERC ¶ 61,314 (2002), order directing filing, Order No. 2001-D, 102 FERC ¶ 61,334, order refining filing requirements, Order No. 2001-E, 105 FERC ¶ 61,352 (2003), order on clarification, Order No. 2001-F, 106 FERC ¶ 61,060 (2004), order revising filing requirements, Order No. 2001-G, 120 FERC ¶ 61,270, order on reh'g and clarification, Order No. 2001-H, 121 FERC ¶ 61,289 (2007), order revising filing requirements, Order No. 2001-I, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,282 (2008).

    2. The Commission requires sellers with market-based rate authorization to file Electric Quarterly Reports.2 Commission staff's review of the Electric Quarterly Report submittals indicates that the following three public utilities with market-based rate authorization have failed to file their Electric Quarterly Reports: M&R Energy Resources Corp.; Reliable Power, LLC; and Susterra Energy, LLC. This order notifies these public utilities that their market-based rate authorizations will be revoked unless they comply with the Commission's requirements within 15 days of the date of issuance of this order.

    2See, e.g., Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities, Order No. 697, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252, at P 3, clarified, 121 FERC ¶ 61,260 (2007), order on reh'g, Order No. 697-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,268, clarified, 124 FERC ¶ 61,055, order on reh'g, Order No. 697-B, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,285 (2008), order on reh'g, Order No. 697-C, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,291 (2009), order on reh'g, Order No. 697-D, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,305 (2010), aff'd sub nom. Mont. Consumer Counsel v. FERC, 659 F.3d 910 (9th Cir. 2011), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 26 (2012).

    3. In Order No. 2001, the Commission stated that,

    [i]f a public utility fails to file a[n] Electric Quarterly Report (without an appropriate request for extension), or fails to report an agreement in a report, that public utility may forfeit its market-based rate authority and may be required to file a new application for market-based rate authority if it wishes to resume making sales at market-based rates.[3]

    3 Order No. 2001, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,127 at P 222.

    4. The Commission further stated that,

    [o]nce this rule becomes effective, the requirement to comply with this rule will supersede the conditions in public utilities' market-based rate authorizations, and failure to comply with the requirements of this rule will subject public utilities to the same consequences they would face for not satisfying the conditions in their rate authorizations, including possible revocation of their authority to make wholesale power sales at market-based rates.[4]

    4Id. P 223.

    5. Pursuant to these requirements, the Commission has revoked the market-based rate tariffs of market-based rate sellers that failed to submit their Electric Quarterly Reports.5

    5See, e.g., Electric Quarterly Reports, 75 FR 63468 (Oct. 15, 2010); Electric Quarterly Reports, 75 FR 45111 (Aug. 2, 2010).

    6. Sellers must file Electric Quarterly Reports consistent with the procedures set forth in Order Nos. 768 6 and 770.7 The exact filing dates for Electric Quarterly Reports are prescribed in 18 CFR 35.10b (2015). As noted above, Commission staff's review of the Electric Quarterly Report submittals for the period up to the second quarter of 2015 identified three public utilities with market-based rate authorization that failed to file Electric Quarterly Reports. Commission staff contacted or attempted to contact these entities to remind them of their regulatory obligations. Despite these reminders, the public utilities listed in the caption of this order have not met these obligations. Accordingly, this order notifies these public utilities that their market-based rate authorizations will be revoked unless they comply with the Commission's requirements within 15 days of the issuance of this order.

    6Electricity Market Transparency Provisions of Section 220 of the Federal Power Act, Order No. 768, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,336 (2012), order on reh'g, Order No. 768-A, 143 FERC ¶ 61,054 (2013).

    7Revisions to Electric Quarterly Report Filing Process, Order No. 770, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,338 (2012).

    7. In the event that any of the above-captioned market-based rate sellers has already filed its Electric Quarterly Reports in compliance with the Commission's requirements, its inclusion herein is inadvertent. Such market-based rate seller is directed, within 15 days of the date of issuance of this order, to make a filing with the Commission identifying itself and providing details about its prior filings that establish that it complied with the Commission's Electric Quarterly Report filing requirements.

    8. If any of the above-captioned market-based rate sellers does not wish to continue having market-based rate authority, it may file a notice of cancellation with the Commission pursuant to section 205 of the FPA to cancel its market-based rate tariff.

    The Commission orders:

    (A) Within 15 days of the date of issuance of this order, each public utility listed in the caption of this order shall file with the Commission all delinquent Electric Quarterly Reports. If a public utility subject to this order fails to make the filings required in this order, the Commission will revoke that public utility's market-based rate authorization and will terminate its electric market-based rate tariff. The Secretary is hereby directed, upon expiration of the filing deadline in this order, to promptly issue a notice, effective on the date of issuance, listing the public utilities whose tariffs have been revoked for failure to comply with the requirements of this order and the Commission's Electric Quarterly Report filing requirements.

    (B) The Secretary is hereby directed to publish this order in the Federal Register.

    By the Commission.

    Issued: August 21, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21201 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filing Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1133-001.

    Applicants: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 154.205(b): Amendment to RP15-1133-000 (BP NegRate) Filing to be effective 11/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150820-5054.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1203-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company.

    Description: Section 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: OFO and OC Penalties to be effective 10/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20150820-5178.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/1/15.

    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 21, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary
    [FR Doc. 2015-21231 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1937-002.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: Order No. 1000 Interregional SPP-MISO JOA Compliance Filing to be effective 3/30/2014.

    Filed Date: 8/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150818-5203.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2506-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: SPP-Western Area Power Administration Joint Operating Agreement Extension to be effective 6/21/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150821-5158.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2507-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 1976R4 Kaw Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. NITSA and NOA to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150821-5185.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2508-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 2045R4 Westar Energy, Inc. NITSA and NOA to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150821-5190.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2509-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Original Service Agreement No. 4242; Queue Z1-092 (ISA) to be effective 7/23/2015.

    Filed Date: 8/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20150821-5193.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/11/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following qualifying facility filings:

    Docket Numbers: QF15-978-000.

    Applicants: Riverside Fuel Cell, LLC.

    Description: Form 556 of Riverside Fuel Cell, LLC under QF15-978.

    Filed Date: 8/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150819-5204.

    Comments Due: None Applicable.

    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 21, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21230 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER15-2483-000] LRI Renewable 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 LRI Renewable 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 9, 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.

    Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21263 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-15-0571] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The notice for the proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address any of the following: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice should be directed to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

    Proposed Project

    Minimum Data Elements (MDEs) for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) (OMB No. 0920-0571, exp. 10/31/2015)—Extension—National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    Many cancer-related deaths in women could be avoided by increased utilization of appropriate screening and early detection tests for breast and cervical cancer. Mammography is extremely valuable as an early detection tool because it can detect breast cancer well before the woman can feel the lump, when the cancer is still in an early and more treatable stage. Similarly, a substantial proportion of cervical cancer-related deaths could be prevented through the detection and treatment of precancerous lesions. The Papanicolaou (Pap) test is the primary method of detecting both precancerous cervical lesions as well as invasive cervical cancer. Mammography and Pap tests are underused by women who have no source or no regular source of health care and women without health insurance.

    The CDC's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) provides screening services to underserved women through cooperative agreements with 50 States, the District of Columbia, 5 U.S. Territories, and 11 American Indian/Alaska Native tribal programs. The program was established in response to the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act of 1990. Screening services include clinical breast examinations, mammograms and Pap tests, as well as timely and adequate diagnostic testing for abnormal results, and referrals to treatment for cancers detected. NBCCEDP awardees collect patient-level screening and tracking data to manage the program and clinical services. A de-identified subset of data on patient demographics, screening tests and outcomes are reported by each awardee to CDC twice per year.

    CDC is requesting OMB approval to collect MDE information for an additional three years. There are no changes to the currently approved minimum data elements, electronic data collection procedures, or the estimated burden. Because NBCCEDP awardees already collect and aggregate data at the state, territory and tribal level, the additional burden of submitting data to CDC will be modest. CDC will use the information to monitor and evaluate NBCCEDP awardees; improve the availability and quality of screening and diagnostic services for underserved women; develop outreach strategies for women who are never or rarely screened for breast and cervical cancer, and report program results to Congress and other legislative authorities.

    There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 536.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hrs.)
  • NBCCEDP Awardees Minimum Data Elements 67 2 4
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21248 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Classifications and Public Health Data Standards Staff; Meeting

    Name: ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance (C&M) Committee meeting.

    Times and Dates: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., September 22-23, 2015.

    Place: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Auditorium, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244.

    Status: Open to the public, limited only by the space available. The meeting room accommodates approximately 240 people. We will be broadcasting the meeting live via Webcast at hhtp://www.cms.gov/live/.

    Security Considerations: Due to increased security requirements CMS has instituted stringent procedures for entrance into the building by non-government employees. Attendees will need to present valid government-issued picture identification, and sign-in at the security desk upon entering the building.

    Attendees who wish to attend the September 22-23, 2015 ICD-10-CM C&M meeting must submit their name and organization by September 11, 2015 for inclusion on the visitor list. This visitor list will be maintained at the front desk of the CMS building and used by the guards to admit visitors to the meeting.

    Please register to attend the meeting on-line at: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/apps/events/. Please contact Mady Hue (410-786-4510 or [email protected]), for questions about the registration process.

    Participants who attended previous Coordination and Maintenance meetings will no longer be automatically added to the visitor list. You must request inclusion of your name prior to each meeting you wish attend.

    Purpose: The ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance (C&M) Committee is a public forum for the presentation of proposed modifications to the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification and ICD-10 Procedure Coding System.

    Matters To Be Discussed: Agenda items include:

    September 22-23, 2015

    ICD-10-PCS Topics:

    Branched and Fenestrated Endograft Repair of Aortic Aneurysms Cerebral Embolic Protection during Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Endovascular Repair of Aortic Aneurysm via Entire Sac-Sealing Leadless Pacemakers Repair of Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR) Addenda Updates

    ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Topics:

    Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Amblyopia Asthma Blindness/Low vision Caries Risk Levels Chronic kidney disease (CKD) Epilepsy External cause codes for over exertion; repetitive motion Heart Failure Hypophosphatasia Lysosomal acid lipase Non-exudative AMD Prolapse vaginal vault ICD-10-CM Addendum

    Agenda items are subject to change as priorities dictate.

    Note: CMS and NCHS no longer provide paper copies of handouts for the meeting. Electronic copies of all meeting materials will be posted on the CMS and NCHS Web sites prior to the meeting at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ICD9ProviderDiagnosticCodes/03_meetings.asp#TopOfPage and http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/icd/icd9cm_maintenance.htm.

    Contact Persons For Additional Information: Donna Pickett, Medical Systems Administrator, Classifications and Public Health Data Standards Staff, NCHS, 3311 Toledo Road, Hyattsville, Maryland 20782, email [email protected], telephone 301-458-4434 (diagnosis); Mady Hue, Health Insurance Specialist, Division of Acute Care, CMS, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244, email [email protected], telephone 410-786-4510 (procedures).

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Catherine Ramadei, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21160 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2014-D-0852] Design and Analysis of Shedding Studies for Virus or Bacteria-Based Gene Therapy and Oncolytic Products; Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing the availability of a document entitled “Design and Analysis of Shedding Studies for Virus or Bacteria-Based Gene Therapy and Oncolytic Products; Guidance for Industry.” The guidance document provides sponsors of virus or bacteria-based gene therapy products (VBGT products) and oncolytic viruses or bacteria (oncolytic products) with recommendations on how to conduct shedding studies during preclinical and clinical development. The guidance announced in this notice finalizes the draft guidance of the same title dated July 2014.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on Agency guidances at any time.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written requests for single copies of the guidance to the Office of Communication, Outreach and Development, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 3128, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist the office in processing your requests. The guidance may also be obtained by mail by calling CBER at 1-800-835-4709 or 240-402-8010. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance document.

    Submit electronic comments on the guidance to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tami Belouin, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 7301, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-7911.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a document entitled “Design and Analysis of Shedding Studies for Virus or Bacteria-Based Gene Therapy and Oncolytic Products; Guidance for Industry.” The guidance provides sponsors of VBGT and oncolytic products with recommendations on how to conduct shedding studies during preclinical and clinical development. VBGT and oncolytic products are derived from infectious viruses or bacteria. In general, these product-based viruses and bacteria are not as infectious or as virulent as the parent strain of virus or bacterium. Nonetheless, FDA is issuing this guidance because the possibility that infectious product-based viruses and bacteria may be shed by a patient raises safety concerns related to the risk of transmission to untreated individuals. To understand the risk associated with product shedding, sponsors should collect data in the target patient population in clinical trials before licensure.

    In the Federal Register of July 9, 2014 (79 FR 38908), FDA announced the availability of the draft guidance of the same title. FDA received a few comments on the draft guidance and those comments were considered as the guidance was finalized. A summary of changes includes reorganization of and within certain sections of the guidance, and addition of new bullet points and information to address specific questions raised in the comments and at the November 6, 2014, meeting of the Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee. In addition, editorial changes were made to improve clarity. The guidance announced in this notice finalizes the draft guidance of the same title dated July 2014.

    This guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The guidance represents the current thinking of FDA on design and analysis of shedding studies for virus or bacteria-based gene therapy and oncolytic products. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

    II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This guidance refers to previously approved collections of information found in FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in 21 CFR part 312 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0014; the collections of information in 21 CFR part 600 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0308; the collections of information in 21 CFR part 601 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0338; and the collections of information in 21 CFR part 50 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0755.

    III. Comments

    Interested persons may submit either electronic comments regarding this document to http://www.regulations.gov or written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). It is only necessary to send one set of comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

    IV. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the guidance at either http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm or http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: August 21, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21235 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-0002] Determination That BIAXIN XL Oral Tablets Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that the drug products listed in this document were not withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. This determination means that FDA will not begin procedures to withdraw approval of abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) that refer to these drug products, and it will allow FDA to continue to approve ANDAs that refer to the products as long as they meet relevant legal and regulatory requirements.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stacy Kane, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave. Bldg. 51, Rm. 6207, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-8363.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In 1984, Congress enacted the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-417) (the 1984 amendments), which authorized the approval of duplicate versions of drug products approved under an ANDA procedure. ANDA sponsors must, with certain exceptions, show that the drug for which they are seeking approval contains the same active ingredient in the same strength and dosage form as the “listed drug,” which is a version of the drug that was previously approved. Sponsors of ANDAs do not have to repeat the extensive clinical testing otherwise necessary to gain approval of a new drug application (NDA).

    The 1984 amendments include what is now section 505(j)(7) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355(j)(7)), which requires FDA to publish a list of all approved drugs. FDA publishes this list as part of the “Approved Drug Products With Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations,” which is generally known as the “Orange Book.” Under FDA regulations, a drug is removed from the list if the Agency withdraws or suspends approval of the drug's NDA or ANDA for reasons of safety or effectiveness, or if FDA determines that the listed drug was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness (21 CFR 314.162).

    Under § 314.161(a) (21 CFR 314.161(a)), the Agency must determine whether a listed drug was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness: (1) Before an ANDA that refers to that listed drug may be approved, (2) whenever a listed drug is voluntarily withdrawn from sale and ANDAs that refer to the listed drug have been approved, and (3) when a person petitions for such a determination under 21 CFR 10.25(a) and 10.30. Section 314.161(d) provides that if FDA determines that a listed drug was withdrawn from sale for safety or effectiveness reasons, the Agency will initiate proceedings that could result in the withdrawal of approval of the ANDAs that refer to the listed drug.

    FDA has become aware that the drug products listed in the table in this document are no longer being marketed.

    Application No. Drug Applicant NDA 050775 BIAXIN XL Tablet; Oral 500 mg AbbVie Inc., 1 North Waukegan Road, North Chicago, IL 60064

    FDA has reviewed its records and, under § 314.161, has determined that the drug products listed in this document were not withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. Accordingly, the Agency will continue to list the drug products listed in this document in the “Discontinued Drug Product List” section of the Orange Book. The “Discontinued Drug Product List” identifies, among other items, drug products that have been discontinued from marketing for reasons other than safety or effectiveness.

    Approved ANDAs that refer to the NDAs and ANDAs listed in this document are unaffected by the discontinued marketing of the products subject to those NDAs and ANDAs. Additional ANDAs that refer to these products may also be approved by the Agency if they comply with relevant legal and regulatory requirements. If FDA determines that labeling for these drug products should be revised to meet current standards, the Agency will advise ANDA applicants to submit such labeling.

    Dated: August 21, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21236 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors, NIA.

    The meeting will be open to the public as indicated below, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public as indicated below in accordance with the provisions set forth in section 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended for the review, discussion, and evaluation of individual intramural programs and projects conducted by the NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING, including consideration of personnel qualifications and performance, and the competence of individual investigators, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Board of Scientific Counselors, NIA.

    Date: October 13, 2015.

    Closed: 7:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate personal qualifications and performance, and competence of individual investigators.

    Place: National Institute on Aging, Biomedical Research Center, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 251 Bayview Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21224.

    Open: 7:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    Agenda: Committee discussion, individual presentations, laboratory overview.

    Place: National Institute on Aging, Biomedical Research Center, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 251 Bayview Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21224.

    Closed: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate personal qualifications and performance, and competence of individual investigators.

    Place: National Institute on Aging, Biomedical Research Center, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 251 Bayview Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21224.

    Open 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: Committee discussion, individual presentations, laboratory overview.

    Place: National Institute on Aging, Biomedical Research Center, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 251 Bayview Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21224.

    Closed: 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate personal qualifications and performance, and competence of individual investigators.

    Place: National Institute on Aging, Biomedical Research Center, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 251 Bayview Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21224.

    Contact: Luigi Ferrucci, Ph.D., MD, Scientific Director, National Institute on Aging, 251 Bayview Boulevard, Suite 100, Room 4C225, Baltimore, MD 21224, 410-558-8110, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.866, Aging Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: August 21, 2015. Melanie J. Gray, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21221 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health Special Emphasis Panel “Clinical Research on Mind-Body Interventions (R34)”.

    Date: November 6, 2015.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Democracy Two, Suite 401, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Hungyi Shau, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Institutes of Health, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 401, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-480-9504, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.213, Research and Training in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: August 21, 2015. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21223 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Aging Special Emphasis Panel; Sedentary Behavior and Aging.

    Date: September 24, 2015.

    Time: 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: National Institute on Aging, Gateway Building, 2C212, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Isis S. Mikhail, DRPH, MD, MPH, National Institute on Aging, Gateway Building, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2C212, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-402-7704, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Aging Special Emphasis Panel; CVD Disease in Aging.

    Date: September 30, 2015.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: National Institute on Aging, Gateway Building, 2C212, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Alicja L. Markowska, DSC, Ph.D., Scientific Review Branch, National Institute on Aging, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2C212, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-496-9666, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.866, Aging Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: August 24, 2015. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21241 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute Amended; Notice of Meeting

    Notice is hereby given of a change in the meeting of the National Cancer Advisory Board, September 16, 2015, 01:00 p.m. to September 16, 2015, 03:00 p.m., National Cancer Institute Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD, 20850 which was published in the Federal Register on August 18, 2015, 80FR50016.

    This meeting is being amended to change the end time of the Open Session on September 16, 2015 from 2:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the Closed Session time from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The meeting is partially Closed to the public.

    Dated: August 21, 2015. Melanie J. Gray, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21225 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health Special Emphasis Panel; “Methods Development in Natural Product Chemistry SBIR/STTR.”

    Date: October 29, 2015.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Democracy Two 401, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Hungyi Shau, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Institutes of Health, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 401, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-480-9504, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.213, Research and Training in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: August 21, 2015. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21224 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Aging Special Emphasis Panel; Juvenile Protective Factor (JPF).

    Date: October 1, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: DoubleTree by Hilton Bethesda, 8120 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Bita Nakhai, Ph.D., Scientific Review Branch, National Institute on Aging, Gateway Bldg., 2C212, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814, 301-402-7701, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.866, Aging Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: August 24, 2015. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21240 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Brain Disorders and Clinical Neuroscience Integrated Review Group; Pathophysiological Basis of Mental Disorders and Addictions Study Section.

    Date: October 1-2, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Embassy Suites Baltimore, 222 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202.

    Contact Person: Boris P. Sokolov, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5217A, MSC 7846, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-408-9115, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Risk, Prevention and Health Behavior Integrated Review Group; Interventions to Prevent and Treat Addictions Study Section.

    Date: October 8-9, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Palomar Hotel, 2121 P Street NW., Washington, DC 20037.

    Contact Person: Miriam Mintzer, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive Room 3108, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 523-0646 [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Integrative, Functional and Cognitive Neuroscience Integrated Review Group; Auditory System Study Section.

    Date: October 8-9, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle NW., Washington, DC 20005.

    Contact Person: Lynn E. Luethke, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5166, MSC 7844, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 806-3323 [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Brain Disorders and Clinical Neuroscience Integrated Review Group; Neural Basis of Psychopathology, Addictions and Sleep Disorders Study Section.

    Date: October 8-9, 2015.

    Time: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Residence Inn Washington, DC Downtown, 1199 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC.

    Contact Person: Julius Cinque, Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5186, MSC 7846, Bethesda, MD 20892, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Enabling Bioanalytical and Imaging Technologies.

    Date: October 8, 2015.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Vonda K. Smith, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6188, MSC 7892, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1789, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: August 24, 2015. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21270 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Amended Notice of Meeting

    Notice is hereby given of a change in the meeting of the Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, September 24, 2015, 10:00 a.m. to September 24, 2015, 6:00 p.m., National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD, 20892 which was published in the Federal Register on August 17, 2015, 80 FR 49252.

    The meeting will be held on October 21, 2015. The meeting location and time remain the same. The meeting is closed to the public.

    Dated: August 24, 2015. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21269 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Clinical Center; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the NIH Advisory Board for Clinical Research.

    The meeting will be open to the public as indicated below, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in section 552b(c)(9)(B), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended because the premature disclosure of to discuss personnel matters and the discussions would likely to significantly frustrate implementation of recommendations.

    Name of Committee: NIH Advisory Board for Clinical Research.

    Date: September 28, 2015.

    Open: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: Discussion of intramural clinical research operational and funding issues.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Building 10, CRC Medical Board Room 4-2551, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Closed: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: Discussion of personnel matters and/or issues of which the premature discloser may affect outcomes.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Building 10, CRC Medical Board Room 4-2551, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Maureen E. Gormley, Executive Secretary, Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center, National Institutes of Health, Building 10, Room 6-2551, Bethesda, MD 20892 (301) 496-2897.

    Any interested person may file written comments with the committee by forwarding the statement to the Contact Person listed on this notice. The statement should include the name, address, telephone number and when applicable, the business or professional affiliation of the interested person.

    In the interest of security, NIH has instituted stringent procedures for entrance onto the NIH campus. All visitor vehicles, including taxicabs, hotel, and airport shuttles will be inspected before being allowed on campus. Visitors will be asked to show one form of identification (for example, a government-issued photo ID, driver's license, or passport) and to state the purpose of their visit.

    Dated: August 21, 2015. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21222 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning the Submission of Certain Data Required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Using the Partner Government Agency (PGA) Message Set Through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    General notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This document announces U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP's) plan to conduct a National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) test concerning the electronic transmission of certain import data for all Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated commodities. Under the pilot, this data will be transmitted electronically through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) for processing in CBP's Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) system utilizing the Partnering Government Agency (PGA) Message Set.

    DATES:

    The FDA PGA Message Set test will begin no earlier than August 27, 2015. This test will continue until concluded by way of announcement in the Federal Register. Public comments are invited and will be accepted through the duration of the test pilot.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments concerning this notice and any aspect of this test may be submitted at any time during the test via email to Josephine Baiamonte, ACE Business Office (ABO), Office of International Trade, at [email protected] In the subject line of your email, please indicate, “Comment on FDA PGA Message Set Test FRN”.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For PGA-related questions, contact Elizabeth McQueen at [email protected] For technical questions related to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) or Automated Broker Interface (ABI) transmissions, contact your assigned client representative. Interested parties without an assigned client representative should direct their questions to Steven Zaccaro at [email protected] with the subject heading “PGA Message Set FDA Test FRN-Request to Participate.” For FDA-related questions, contact Sandra Abbott at [email protected] or Max Castillo at [email protected]

    Any party seeking to participate in this test must provide CBP, in its request to participate, its filer code and the port(s) at which it is interested in filing the appropriate PGA Message Set information. At this time, PGA Message Set data may be submitted only for entries filed at certain ports. A current listing of those ports may be found at the following link: http://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/list-aceitds-pga-message-set-pilot-ports.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) was established in Subtitle B of Title VI—Customs Modernization (Customs Modernization Act), in the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Public Law 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057 (19 U.S.C. 1411). Through NCAP, the initial thrust of customs modernization was on trade compliance and the development of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), the planned successor to the Automated Commercial System (ACS). ACE is an automated and electronic system for processing commercial trade data which is intended to streamline business processes, facilitate growth in trade, ensure cargo security, and foster participation in global commerce, while ensuring compliance with U.S. laws and regulations and reducing costs for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and all of its communities of interest. The ability to meet these objectives depends on successfully modernizing CBP's business functions and the information technology that supports those functions. The Automated Broker Interface (ABI) is the electronic data interchange (EDI) that enables members of the trade community to file electronically required import data with CBP and transfers that data to ACE.

    CBP's modernization efforts are accomplished through phased releases of ACE component functionality designed to replace specific legacy ACS functions. Each release will begin with a test and will end with mandatory use of the new ACE feature, thus retiring the legacy ACS function. Each release builds on previous releases and sets the foundation for subsequent releases.

    For the convenience of the public, a chronological listing of Federal Register publications detailing ACE test developments is set forth below in Section XV, entitled, “Development of ACE Prototypes.” The procedures and criteria related to participation in the prior ACE test pilots remain in effect unless otherwise explicitly changed by this or subsequent notices published in the Federal Register.

    II. Authorization for the Test

    The Customs Modernization Act provisions provide the Commissioner of CBP with authority to conduct limited test programs or procedures designed to evaluate planned components of the NCAP. The test described in this notice is authorized pursuant to § 101.9(b) of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR 101.9(b)) which provides for the testing of NCAP programs or procedures. See Treasury Decision (T.D.) 95-21.

    III. International Trade Data System (ITDS)

    This test is also in furtherance of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) key initiatives, set forth in section 405 of the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 (“SAFE Port Act”), Sec. 405, Public Law 109-347, 120 Stat. 1884 (19 U.S.C. 1411(d)) and in Executive Order 13659 of February 19, 2014, Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America's Businesses, 79 FR 10657 (February 25, 2014). The purpose of ITDS, as stated in section 405 of the SAFE Port Act, is to eliminate redundant information requirements, efficiently regulate the flow of commerce, and effectively enforce laws and regulations relating to international trade, by establishing a single portal system, operated by CBP, for the collection and distribution of standard electronic import and export data required by all participating Federal agencies. CBP is developing ACE as the “single window” for the trade community to comply with the ITDS requirement established by the SAFE Port Act.

    Executive Order 13659 requires that by December 31, 2016, ACE, as the ITDS single window, have the operational capabilities to serve as the primary means of receiving from users the standard set of data and other relevant documentation (exclusive of applications for permits, licenses, or certifications) required for the release of imported cargo and clearance of cargo for export, and to transition from paper-based requirements and procedures to faster and more cost-effective electronic submissions to, and communications with, U.S. government agencies.

    IV. Partner Government Agency (PGA) Message Set

    The PGA Message Set is the data needed to satisfy the PGA reporting requirements. ACE enables the message set by acting as the “single window” for the submission of trade-related data required by the PGAs only once to CBP. Once validated, the data will be made available to the relevant PGAs involved in import, export, and transportation-related decision making. The data will be used to fulfill merchandise entry requirements and may allow for earlier release decisions and more certainty for the importer in determining the logistics of cargo delivery. Also, by virtue of being electronic, the PGA Message Set will eliminate the necessity for the submission and subsequent handling of paper documents.

    At this time, a limited number of ports of entry will be accepting FDA PGA Message Set data. A list of those ports is provided at the following link: http://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/list-aceitds-pga-message-set-pilot-ports. CBP may expand the list of ports accepting FDA PGA Message Set data in the future. Any expansion to include additional ports will be published on the aforementioned link.

    V. The Food and Drug Administration PGA Message Set Test

    Section 801 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 381) authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the FDA, to make admissibility decisions for FDA-regulated commodities (foods, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, and tobacco products), and prior notice risk and threat assessment decisions for imported food products. Moreover, section 536 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360mm) and 42 U.S.C. 264 provide similar authority for radiation emitting products and human cell, tissue, and cellular and tissue-based products (HCT/Ps). Carrying out these responsibilities involves close coordination and cooperation between the FDA and CBP.

    Until October 1998, importers were required to file manual entries on Office of Management and Budget (OMB)-approved forms which were accompanied by related documents. Thereafter, the FDA implemented an automated nationwide entry processing system known as the “Operational and Administrative System for Import Support (OASIS)” that enabled the FDA to more efficiently obtain and process the information it requires to fulfill its regulatory responsibilities. Most of the data that the FDA requires to make admissibility and prior notice-related decisions regarding imported products is already provided electronically by importers and entry filers to CBP. Since CBP relays the entry data to the FDA using an electronic interface as discussed below, most of the data submitted by an importer or entry filer need be completed only once.

    Information for commercial entries for shipments of FDA-regulated products that are imported or offered for import into the United States is submitted by the importer (or his or her agent) or entry filer through CBP's Automated Broker Interface of the Automated Commercial System (ABI/ACS) into OASIS. For imported foods and feeds, this process includes the submission of prior notice information, which is reviewed for targeting higher-risk shipments for examination by the FDA or CBP upon arrival at the port of entry. With respect to the transmission of entry information, the FDA reviews relevant data as part of its admissibility review. The FDA sends a message back to the importer or entry filer with its decision as to whether (1) the product is admissible; (2) additional information is required; (3) an examination of the shipment is required; or (4) the shipment is subject to refusal of admission.

    In December of 2011, the FDA fully implemented its new admissibility targeting application called “Predictive Risk-based Evaluation for Dynamic Import Compliance Targeting,” commonly known as “PREDICT.” PREDICT screens all entries, identifies shipments based on risk, and facilitates FDA's ability to determine whether products should be examined or allowed into the commerce of the United States. After this screening is completed, if PREDICT recommends the product be admitted into the United States, real time notification is provided to the importer or entry filer through OASIS.

    In addition to the entry information collected by CBP, the FDA uses additional data elements in order to make an admissibility decision. This information includes the following data elements:

    (1) FDA product code;

    (2) FDA country of production;

    (3) FDA-required information on the manufacturer and shipper; and

    (4) Ultimate consignee.

    Additionally, the FDA has identified data elements or Affirmation of Compliance (“A of C”) codes that an importer or entry filer may submit upon entry to help expedite the review process. For example, providing the registration number of the manufacture as an A of C may result in an immediate release of the product. Alternatively, an entry filed without the A of C code would be flagged for review and release may be delayed.

    If the FDA did not collect this data the agency could not adequately meet its statutory responsibilities to regulate imported products, nor control potentially dangerous products from entering the U.S. marketplace.

    This document announces CBP's plan to conduct a new test pilot concerning the submission of electronic FDA data elements required by the FDA's cargo admissibility process under the auspices of ACE for those commodities regulated by the FDA that are being imported or offered for import into the United States. This new FDA PGA Message Set capability will satisfy the FDA data requirements for formal and informal consumption entries through electronic filing in ACE and via the FDA PGA Message Set. This will enable the trade community to have a CBP-managed “single window” for the submission of data required by the FDA during the cargo importation and review process. For FDA-regulated food products requiring prior notice, the necessary PGA data elements must be submitted prior to the time of arrival of the merchandise. The technical requirements for submitting FDA data elements are set forth in the supplemental Customs and Trade Automated Interface Requirements (CATAIR) guidelines for the FDA. These technical requirements, including the ACE CATAIR chapters, can be found at the following link: http://www.cbp.gov/trade/ace/catair#field-content-tab-group-tab-4.

    Upon successful completion of the FDA PGA Message Set test, it is anticipated that CBP will decommission the legacy ACS/OASIS interface for the new ACE/OASIS interface.

    VI. Test Participant Responsibilities

    PGA Message Set test participants will be required to:

    (1) Transmit the appropriate ACE PGA Message Set data, including the additional data elements listed in Section V of this notice, for the commodities and the ports of entry based upon the implementation schedule found at the following link: http://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/list-aceitds-pga-message-set-pilot-ports;

    (2) Transmit the PGA Message Set electronically to ACE using ACE Entry or ACE Entry Summary at any time prior to the arrival of the merchandise on the conveyance transporting the cargo to the United States;

    (3) Transmit PGA Message Set import filings only as part of an ACE Entry or ACE Entry Summary certified for cargo release;

    (4) Transmit import entry filings to CBP via ABI in response to a request for documentation or in response to a request for release information for certified ACE Entry Summaries;

    (5) Only transmit to CBP information that has been requested by either CBP or the FDA;

    (6) Use a software program that has completed ACE certification testing for the PGA Message Set; and

    (7) Take part in a CBP-FDA evaluation of this test.

    VII. Waiver of Regulation Under the Test

    For purposes of this test, those provisions of 19 CFR part 12 that are inconsistent with the terms of this test are waived for test participants only. See 19 CFR 101.9(b). This document does not waive any recordkeeping requirements found in part 163 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR part 163) and the Appendix to part 163 (commonly known as the “(a)(1)(A) list”).

    VIII. Test Participation and Selection Criteria

    To be eligible to apply for this test, the applicant must:

    (1) Be a self-filing importer who has the ability to file ACE Entry Summaries certified for cargo release or a broker who has the ability to file ACE Entry Summaries certified for cargo release; and

    (2) File prior notices or entries for FDA-regulated commodities.

    Test participants must meet all the eligibility criteria described in this document in order to participate in the test program.

    IX. Application Process

    Any party seeking to participate in the FDA PGA Message Set test should email their CBP Client Representative, ACE Business Office (ABO), Office of International Trade. Interested parties without an assigned client representative should submit an email message to Steven Zaccaro at [email protected] with the subject heading “PGA Message Set FDA Test FRN—Request to Participate”. All email communications should include the subject heading, “Request to Participate in the FDA PGA Message Test.”

    Email messages sent to the CBP client representative or Steven Zaccaro must include the applicant's filer code and the port(s) at which it is interested in filing the appropriate PGA Message Set information. Client representatives will work with test participants to provide information regarding the transmission of this data.

    CBP will begin to accept applications upon the date of publication of this notice and will continue to accept applications throughout the duration of the test. CBP will notify the selected applicants by an email message of their selection and the starting date of their participation. Selected participants may have different starting dates. Anyone providing incomplete information, or otherwise not meeting participation requirements, will be notified by an email message and given the opportunity to resubmit its application.

    X. Test Duration

    The initial phase of the pilot test will begin no earlier than August 27, 2015. At the conclusion of the test pilot, an evaluation will be conducted to assess the effect that the FDA PGA Message Set has on expediting the submission of FDA importation-related data elements and the processing of FDA entries. The final results of the evaluation will be published in the Federal Register and the Customs Bulletin as required by § 101.9(b)(2) of the CBP regulations (19 CFR 101.9(b)(2)). Any future expansion in ACE including but not limited to any additional PGA commodities and eligible environments (i.e., truck, ocean, rail, air) will be announced via a separate Federal Register notice.

    XI. Comments

    All interested parties are invited to comment on any aspect of this test at any time. CBP requests comments and feedback on all aspects of this test, including the design, conduct and implementation of the test, in order to determine whether to modify, alter, expand, limit, continue, end, or fully implement this program.

    XII. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The collection of information contained in this FDA PGA Message Set test has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3507) and assigned OMB control number 0910-0046. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by OMB.

    XIII. Confidentiality

    Data submitted and entered into the ACE Portal includes information that is exempt or restricted from disclosure by law, such as by the Trade Secrets Act (18 U.S.C. 1905). As stated in previous notices, participation in this or any of the previous ACE tests is not confidential and upon a written Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, a name(s) of an approved participant(s) will be disclosed by CBP in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552.

    XIV. Misconduct Under the Test

    A test participant may be subject to civil and criminal penalties, administrative sanctions, liquidated damages, or discontinuance from participation in this test for any of the following:

    (1) Failure to follow the terms and conditions of this test;

    (2) Failure to exercise reasonable care in the execution of participant obligations;

    (3) Failure to abide by applicable laws and regulations that have not been waived; or

    (4) Failure to deposit duties or fees in a timely manner.

    If the Director, Business Transformation, ACE Business Office (ABO), Office of International Trade, finds that there is a basis for discontinuance of test participation privileges, the test participant will be provided a written notice proposing the discontinuance with a description of the facts or conduct warranting the action. The test participant will be offered the opportunity to appeal the Director's decision in writing within 10 calendar days of receipt of the written notice. The appeal must be submitted to Acting Executive Director, ABO, Office of International Trade, by emailing [email protected]

    The Acting Executive Director will issue a decision in writing on the proposed action within 30 working days after receiving a timely filed appeal from the test participant. If no timely appeal is received, the proposed notice becomes the final decision of the Agency as of the date that the appeal period expires. A proposed discontinuance of a test participant's privileges will not take effect unless the appeal process under this paragraph has been concluded with a written decision adverse to the test participant.

    In the case of willfulness or those in which public health, interest, or safety so requires, the Director, Business Transformation, ABO, Office of International Trade, may immediately discontinue the test participant's privileges upon written notice to the test participant. The notice will contain a description of the facts or conduct warranting the immediate action. The test participant will be offered the opportunity to appeal the Director's decision within 10 calendar days of receipt of the written notice providing for immediate discontinuance. The appeal must be submitted to Acting Executive Director, ABO, Office of International Trade, by emailing [email protected] The immediate discontinuance will remain in effect during the appeal period. The Executive Director will issue a decision in writing on the discontinuance within 15 working days after receiving a timely filed appeal from the test participant. If no timely appeal is received, the notice becomes the final decision of the Agency as of the date that the appeal period expires.

    XV. Developments of ACE Prototypes

    A chronological listing of Federal Register publications detailing ACE test developments is set forth below:

    • ACE Portal Accounts and Subsequent Revision Notices: 67 FR 21800 (May 1, 2002); 69 FR 5360 and 69 FR 5362 (February 4, 2004); 69 FR 54302 (September 8, 2004); 70 FR 5199 (February 1, 2005).

    • ACE System of Records Notice: 71 FR 3109 (January 19, 2006).

    • Terms/Conditions for Access to the ACE Portal and Subsequent Revisions: 72 FR 27632 (May 16, 2007); 73 FR 38464 (July 7, 2008).

    • ACE Non-Portal Accounts and Related Notice: 70 FR 61466 (October 24, 2005); 71 FR 15756 (March 29, 2006).

    • ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR I) Capabilities: 72 FR 59105 (October 18, 2007).

    • ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR II) Capabilities: 73 FR 50337 (August 26, 2008); 74 FR 9826 (March 6, 2009).

    • ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR III) Capabilities: 74 FR 69129 (December 30, 2009).

    • ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR IV) Capabilities: 76 FR 37136 (June 24, 2011).

    • Post-Entry Amendment (PEA) Processing Test: 76 FR 37136 (June 24, 2011).

    • ACE Announcement of a New Start Date for the National Customs Automation Program Test of Automated Manifest Capabilities for Ocean and Rail Carriers: 76 FR 42721 (July 19, 2011).

    • ACE Simplified Entry: 76 FR 69755 (November 9, 2011).

    • National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Tests Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document Image System (DIS): 77 FR 20835 (April 6, 2012).

    • National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Tests Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Simplified Entry: Modification of Participant Selection Criteria and Application Process: 77 FR 48527 (August 14, 2012).

    • Modification of NCAP Test Regarding Reconciliation for Filing Certain Post-Importation Preferential Tariff Treatment Claims under Certain FTAs: 78 FR 27984 (May 13, 2013).

    • Modification of Two National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Tests Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document Image System (DIS) and Simplified Entry (SE): 78 FR 44142 (July 23, 2013).

    • Modification of Two National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Tests Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document Image System (DIS) and Simplified Entry (SE); Correction: 78 FR 53466 (August 29, 2013).

    • Modification of NCAP Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Cargo Release (formerly known as Simplified Entry): 78 FR 66039 (November 4, 2013).

    • Post-Summary Corrections to Entry Summaries Filed in ACE Pursuant to the ESAR IV Test: Modifications and Clarifications: 78 FR 69434 (November 19, 2013).

    • National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning the Submission of Certain Data Required by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food Safety and Inspection Service Using the Partner Government Agency Message Set Through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE): 78 FR 75931 (December 13, 2013).

    • Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Cargo Release for Ocean and Rail Carriers: 79 FR 6210 (February 3, 2014).

    • Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Cargo Release to Allow Importers and Brokers to Certify From ACE Entry Summary: 79 FR 24744 (May 1, 2014).

    • Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Cargo Release for Truck Carriers: 79 FR 25142 (May 2, 2014).

    • Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document Image System: 79 FR 36083 (June 25, 2014).

    • Announcement of eBond Test: 79 FR 70881 (November 28, 2014).

    • eBond Test Modifications and Clarifications: Continuous Bond Executed Prior to or Outside the eBond Test May Be Converted to an eBond by the Surety and Principal, Termination of an eBond by Filing Identification Number, and Email Address Correction: 80 FR 899 (January 7, 2015).

    • Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document Image System Relating to Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Document Submissions: 80 FR 5126 (January 30, 2015).

    • Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning the use of Partner Government Agency Message Set through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) for the Submission of Certain Data Required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): 80 FR 6098 (February 4, 2015).

    • Announcement of Modification of ACE Cargo Release Test to Permit the Combined Filing of Cargo Release and Importer Security Filing (ISF) Data: 80 FR 7487 (February 10, 2015).

    • Modification of NCAP Test Concerning ACE Cargo Release for Type 03 Entries and Advanced Capabilities for Truck Carriers: 80 FR 16414 (March 27, 2015).

    • Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test: 80 FR 39790 (July 10, 2015).

    • National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Concerning Remote Location Filing Entry Procedures in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and the Use of the Document Image System for the Submission of Invoices and the Use of eBonds for the Transmission of Single Transaction Bonds: 80 FR 40079 (July 13, 2015).

    Dated: August 24, 2015. Brenda Smith, Assistant Commissioner, Office of International Trade.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21266 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-HQ-ES-2015-N169; 4500030113] Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval; Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions (PECE) AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) have sent an Information Collection Request (ICR) to OMB for review and approval. We summarize the ICR below and describe the nature of the collection and the estimated burden and cost. This information collection is scheduled to expire on August 31, 2015. We 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. However, under OMB regulations, we may continue to conduct or sponsor this information collection while it is pending at OMB.

    DATES:

    You must submit comments on or before September 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send your comments and suggestions on this information collection to the Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior at OMB-OIRA at (202) 395-5806 (fax) or [email protected] (email). Please provide a copy of your comments to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 (mail), or [email protected] (email). Please include “1018-0119” in the subject line of your comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information about this ICR, contact Hope Grey at [email protected] (email) or 703-358-2482 (telephone). You may review the ICR online at http://www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to review Department of the Interior collections under review by OMB.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Information Collection Request

    OMB Control Number: 1018-0119.

    Title: Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions (PECE).

    Service Form Number: None.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Description of Respondents: Primarily State, local, or tribal governments. However, individuals, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations could develop agreements/plans or may agree to implement certain conservation efforts identified in a State agreement/plan.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit.

    Frequency of Collection: On occasion.

    Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: None.

    Activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • Completion time per
  • response
  • Total annual burden hours
    Agreement 4 4 2,000 8,000 Monitoring 7 7 600 4,200 Reporting 7 7 120 840 Totals 18 18 13,040

    Abstract: Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) specifies the process by which we can list species as threatened or endangered. When we consider whether or not to list a species, the ESA requires us to take into account the efforts being made by any State or any political subdivision of a State to protect such species. We also take into account the efforts being made by other entities. States or other entities often formalize conservation efforts in conservation agreements, conservation plans, management plans, or similar documents. The conservation efforts recommended or called for in such documents could prevent some species from becoming so imperiled that they meet the definition of a threatened or endangered species under the ESA.

    The Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions (PECE) (68 FR 15100, March 28, 2003) encourages the development of conservation agreements/plans and provides certainty about the standard that an individual conservation effort must meet in order for us to consider whether it contributes to forming a basis for making a decision about the listing of a species. PECE applies to “formalized conservation efforts” that have not been implemented or have been implemented but have not yet demonstrated if they are effective at the time of a listing decision.

    Under PECE, formalized conservation efforts are defined as conservation efforts (specific actions, activities, or programs designed to eliminate or reduce threats or otherwise improve the status of a species) identified in a conservation agreement, conservation plan, management plan, or similar document. To assist us in evaluating a formalized conservation effort under PECE, we collect information such as conservation plans, monitoring results, and progress reports. The development of such agreements/plans is voluntary. There is no requirement that the individual conservation efforts included in such documents be designed to meet the standard in PECE. The PECE policy is posted on our Candidate Conservation Web site at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/esa-library/pdf/PECE-final.pdf.

    Comments Received and Our Responses

    Comments: On June 19, 2015, we published in the Federal Register (80 FR 35391) a notice of our intent to request that OMB renew authority for this information collection. In that notice, we solicited public comments for 60 days, ending August 18, 2015. We did not receive any comments.

    Request for Public Comments

    We again invite comments concerning this information collection on:

    • Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, including whether or not the information will have practical utility;

    • The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection of information;

    • Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask OMB in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that it will be done.

    Dated: August 24, 2015. Tina A. Campbell, Chief, Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21253 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-55-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R6-R-2015-N128; FXRS1265066CCP0-156-FF06R06000] Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Adams County, CO; Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; final environmental impact statement.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) for the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (refuge) in Adams County, Colorado. In the final environmental impact Statement we describe alternatives, including our preferred alternative, to manage the refuge for the 15 years following approval of the final CCP.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may request copies or more information by one of the following methods. You may request hard copies or a CD-ROM of the documents.

    Email: [email protected] Include “Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge final EIS” in the subject line of the message.

    U.S. Mail: Bernardo Garza, Planning Team Leader, Branch of Refuge Planning, P.O. Box 25486, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225-0486.

    Fax: Attn: Bernardo Garza, Planning Team Leader, 303-236-4792.

    To view comments on the final CCP-EIS from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or for information on EPA's role in the EIS process, see EPA's Role in the EIS Process under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bernardo Garza, Planning Team Leader, 303-236-4377 (phone) or [email protected] (email).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Introduction

    With this notice, we announce the availability of the final EIS for the refuge. We started this process through a notice in the Federal Register (78 FR 48183; August 7, 2013). Following a lengthy scoping and alternatives development period, we published a second notice in the Federal Register (80 FR 26084; May 6, 2015) announcing the availability of the draft CCP and draft EIS and our intention to hold public meetings, and requested comments. In addition, EPA published a notice announcing the draft CCP and EIS (80 FR 27950; May 15, 2015), as required under section 309 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.). We now announce the final EIS. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA also will announce the final EIS via the Federal Register. This notice complies with our CCP policy to advise other Federal and State agencies, Tribes, and the public of the availability of the final EIS for this refuge.

    EPA's Role in the EIS Process

    The EPA is charged under section 309 of the Clean Air Act to review all Federal agencies' EISs and to comment on the adequacy and the acceptability of the environmental impacts of proposed actions in the EISs.

    EPA also serves as the repository (EIS database) for EISs prepared by Federal agencies and provides notice of their availability in the Federal Register. The EIS database provides information about EISs prepared by Federal agencies, as well as EPA's comments concerning the EISs. All EISs are filed with EPA, which publishes a notice of availability on Fridays in the Federal Register.

    The notice of availability is the start of the 45-day public comment period for draft EISs, and the start of the 30-day “wait period” for final EISs, during which agencies are generally required to wait 30 days before making a decision on a proposed action. For more information, see http://www.epa.gov/compliance/nepa/eisdata.html. You may search for EPA comments on EISs, along with EISs themselves, at https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-enepa-public/action/eis/search.

    About the Refuge

    In 1992 Congress passed the act that established the refuge to (1) conserve and enhance populations of fish, wildlife, and plants within the refuge, including populations of waterfowl, raptors, passerines, and marsh and water birds; (2) conserve species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act and species that are candidates for such listing; (3) provide maximum fish and wildlife-oriented public uses at levels compatible with the conservation and enhancement of wildlife and wildlife habitat; (4) provide opportunities for compatible scientific research; (5) provide opportunities for compatible environmental and land use education; (6) conserve and enhance the land and water of the refuge in a manner that will conserve and enhance the natural diversity of fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats; (7) protect and enhance the quality of aquatic habitat within the refuge; and (8) fulfill international treaty obligations of the United States with respect to fish and wildlife and their habitats. The refuge is surrounded by the cities of Commerce City and Denver, along the Colorado Front Range. It encompasses nearly 16,000 acres and is home to more than 468 plant species and 350 wildlife species, including bison, deer, a wide variety of resident and migratory birds and raptors, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, and insects. The refuge's habitats include short and mixed grass prairie, interspersed with native shrubs, riparian corridors, lacustrine habitats on the refuge reservoirs, and woodlands planted by settlers around historic homesteads.

    Background The CCP Process

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (Administration Act) by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, requires us to develop a CCP for each national wildlife refuge. The purpose for developing a CCP is to provide refuge managers with a 15-year plan for achieving refuge purposes and contributing toward the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS), consistent with sound principles of fish and wildlife management, conservation, legal mandates, and our policies. In addition to outlining broad management direction on conserving wildlife and their habitats, CCPs identify wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities available to the public, including, where appropriate, opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, and environmental education and interpretation. We will review and update the CCP at least every 15 years as necessary in accordance with the Administration Act.

    Public Outreach

    We started the public outreach process in June 2013. At that time and throughout the process, we requested public comments and considered them in numerous ways. Public outreach has included holding eight public meetings, mailing planning updates, maintaining a project Web site, and publishing press releases. We have considered and evaluated all the comments we have received throughout this process.

    CCP Alternatives We Considered

    During the public scoping process with which we started work on the draft CCP and draft EIS, we, our Federal and State partners, and the public identified several issues. Our final EIS addresses both the scoping comments and the comments we received on the draft CCP and draft EIS. A full description of each alternative is in the final EIS. Alternative C, Urban Refuge, was selected as the preferred alternative. To address these issues, we developed and evaluated the following alternatives, summarized below.

    Alternative A: No Action

    Alternative A is the no-action alternative, which represents the current management of the refuge. This alternative provides the baseline against which to compare the other alternatives. Under this alternative, management activity conducted by the Service would remain the same. The Service would not develop any new management, restoration, or education programs at the refuge. Current habitat and wildlife practices would not be expanded or changed. Funding and staff levels would remain the same, with little change in overall trends. Programs would follow the same direction, emphasis, and intensity as they do now. We would continue implementing the habitat restoration and management objectives set in the refuge's habitat management plan and other approved plans to provide for a wide variety of resident and migratory species.

    Alternative B: Traditional Refuge

    This alternative focuses on providing traditional refuge visitor uses and conveying the importance of conservation, wildlife protection, and the purposes of the Refuge System. Access to the refuge would remain more limited than in alternatives C and D. Wildlife-dependent recreation and community outreach would be minimally expanded. We would continue to manage the refuge's habitat and wildlife as in Alternative A, and would reintroduce to the refuge black-footed ferrets, and self-sustaining populations of greater prairie-chicken and sharp-tailed grouse. We would maintain the same levels of access and transportation as under Alternative A, but would enhance the main refuge entrance, improve visitor services facilities, and seek to improve trail accessibility.

    Alternative C: Urban Refuge (Preferred Alternative)

    The emphasis of this alternative is to increase the visibility of the refuge within the Denver metropolitan area and to welcome many more nontraditional visitors to the refuge. Through an expanded visitor services program, an abundance of instructional programming, and widespread outreach, we would endeavor to connect more people with nature and wildlife. In this alternative, the refuge would be made more accessible to outlying communities with the opening of additional access points and the development of enhanced transportation system. We would work with nontraditional users' trusted avenues of communication to increase outreach success. We would expand our conservation education in surrounding communities and schools, develop youth-specific outreach, and employ social marketing to broaden our agency's reach. We would manage the refuge's habitat and wildlife as in Alternative B, but the reintroduction of greater prairie-chicken and sharp-tailed grouse would be attempted regardless of whether these species' populations are likely to become self-sustaining.

    Alternative D: Gateway Refuge

    The emphasis of this alternative is to work with partners to increase the visibility of the refuge, the Refuge System, and other public lands in the area. There will be less visitor services programming at the refuge and efforts to engage with the public will be extended to off-site locations. We would work with Denver International Airport to improve physical connections between the refuge and the airport. The trail system within the refuge would be more extensive than under Alternative C. Working with our partners, we would manage access to the perimeter trail and promote trail linkages to the Rocky Mountain Greenway Trail and other regional trails. We would manage the refuge's habitat and wildlife as in Alternative B and we would work with neighboring landowners and state agencies to extend the range of native species.

    Comments

    We solicited comments on the draft CCP and draft EIS from May 6, 2015, through July 6, 2015. During the comment period, we thoroughly evaluated and considered all the comments we received verbally or via letters, email, and electronic forms from the public. Our responses to comments are included in the final EIS.

    Changes to the Final EIS

    We made the following changes in the final EIS from the draft CCP and draft EIS:

    • Several comments pointed out the need to increase the number of law enforcement officers in the refuge to better cope with the increased visitation and new access to the refuge. Thus the Final EIS reflects our desire to seek more than one full-time law enforcement officer for the refuge under Alternatives C and D.

    • As necessary, we updated maps, corrected errors, and provided additional clarification throughout the final EIS.

    Public Availability of Documents

    In addition to any one method in ADDRESSES, you can view or obtain documents at the following locations:

    • Our Web site: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/planning/ccp/co/rkm/rkm.html.

    • Public libraries:

    Library Address Phone number Aurora Central Public Library 14949 E Alameda Parkway, Aurora, CO 80012 (303) 739-6600. Commerce City Public Library 7185 Monaco Street, Commerce City, CO 80022 (303) 287-0063. Denver Central Library 10 W Fourteenth Avenue, Denver, CO 80204 (720) 865-1111. Montbello Public Library 12955 Albrook Drive, Denver, CO 80239 (720) 865-0200. Rangeview Library District 327 E Bridge Street, Brighton, CO 80601 (303) 405-3230. Next Steps

    We will document the final decision in a record of decision, which will be published in the Federal Register after a 30-day “wait period” that begins when EPA announces this final EIS. For more information, see EPA's Role in the EIS Process.

    Dated: August 3, 2015. Matt Hogan, Acting Regional Director, Mountain-Prairie Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21234 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-55-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLNV952000 L14400000.BJ0000.LXSSF2210000.241A; 13-08807; MO# 4500082763; TAS: 15X1109] Filing of Plats of Survey; NV AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The purpose of this notice is to inform the public and interested State and local government officials of the filing of Plats of Survey in Nevada.

    DATES:

    Unless otherwise stated filing is effective at 10:00 a.m. on the dates indicated below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael O. Harmening, Chief, Branch of Geographic Sciences, Bureau of Land Management, Nevada State Office, 1340 Financial Blvd., Reno, NV 89502-7147, phone: 775-861-6490. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    1. The Plat of Survey of the following described lands was officially filed at the BLM Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada on April 17, 2015.

    The plat, in 2 sheets, representing the dependent resurvey of a portion of the north boundary and a portion of the subdivisional lines, the subdivision of section 2 and metes-and-bounds surveys in section 2, Township 4 South, Range 60 East, of the Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada, under Group No. 914, was accepted April 16, 2015. This survey was executed to meet certain administrative needs of the Bureau of Land Management.

    2. The Plat of Survey of the following described lands was officially filed at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada on June 4, 2015:

    The plat, in 1 sheet, representing the dependent resurvey of a portion of the south boundary and a portion of the subdivisional lines, the subdivision of sections 35 and 36, and a metes-and-bounds survey of the centerline of Nevada State Route 318 through a portion of section 35, Township 3 South, Range 60 East, Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada, under Group No. 929, was accepted June 2, 2015. This survey was executed to meet certain administrative needs of the Bureau of Land Management.

    3. The Plat of Survey of the following described lands was officially filed at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada on June 4, 2015:

    The plat, in 1 sheet, representing the dependent resurvey of a portion of the east boundary, a portion of the north boundary and a portion of the subdivisional lines, and the subdivision of section 1, Township 4 South, Range 60 East, Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada, under Group No. 929, was accepted June 2, 2015. This survey was executed to meet certain administrative needs of the Bureau of Land Management.

    4. The Plat of Survey of the following described lands was officially filed at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada on June 25, 2015:

    The plat, in 3 sheets, representing the dependent resurvey of a portion of the south boundary, a portion of the subdivisional lines, and portions of Mineral Survey Nos. 4892 and 4893, and a metes-and-bounds survey in sections 35 and 36, Township 13 North, Range 26 East, Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada, under Group No. 941, was accepted June 12, 2015. This survey was executed to facilitate the conveyance of certain public land to the municipality of Yerington, Nevada, as authorized by Public Law 113-291.

    5. The Plat of Survey of the following described lands was officially filed at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada on June 30, 2015:

    The plat, in 2 sheets, representing the dependent resurvey of a portion of the north boundary, a portion of the subdivisional lines, and the subdivision of sections 3 and 4, Township 34 North, Range 55 East, Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada, under Group No. 942, was accepted June 29, 2015. This survey was executed to define and mark boundaries for management of the Te-Moak trust lands transferred by legislation, as authorized by Public Law 113-291.

    6. The Plat of Survey of the following described lands was officially filed at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada on July 24, 2015:

    The plat, in 2 sheets, representing the dependent resurvey of a portion of the east boundary, a portion of the subdivisional lines, and the subdivision of section 25, and certain metes-and-bounds surveys in section 25, Township 34 North, Range 54 East, Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada, under Group No. 943, was accepted July 22, 2015. This survey was executed to facilitate the conveyance of certain public lands, as authorized by Public Law 113-291.

    7. The Plat of Survey of the following described lands was officially filed at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada on July 24, 2015:

    The plat, in 1 sheet, representing the dependent resurvey of a portion of the east boundary, and a metes-and-bounds survey in section 25, Township 34 North, Range 54 1/2 East, Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada, under Group No. 943, was accepted July 22, 2015. This survey was executed to facilitate the conveyance of certain public lands, as authorize by Public Law 113-291.

    8. The Plat of Survey of the following described lands was officially filed at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada on July 30, 2015:

    The plat, in 1 sheet, representing the dependent resurvey of Mineral Survey Nos. 3962 and 3971, in unsurveyed Township 5 South, Range 46 East, Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada, under Group No. 946, was accepted July 29, 2015. This survey was executed to identify the boundaries of certain mineral surveys to the extent necessary to identify federal interest for eventual conveyance to the United States.

    9. The Supplemental Plat of the following described lands was officially filed at the BLM Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada on June 4, 2015: The supplemental plat, in 1 sheet, showing amended lottings in section 17, Township 19 South, Range 60 East, of the Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada, under Group No. 947, was accepted June 3, 2015. This supplemental plat was prepared to meet certain administrative needs of the Bureau of Land Management.

    10. The Supplemental Plat of the following described lands was officially filed at the BLM Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada on June 25, 2015:

    The supplemental plat, in 1 sheet, showing amended lottings in section 2, Township 12 North, Range 26 East, of the Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada, under Group No. 951, was accepted June 22, 2015. This supplemental plat was executed to facilitate the conveyance of certain public land to the municipality of Yerington, Nevada, as authorized by Public Law 113-291.

    11. The Supplemental Plat of the following described lands was officially filed at the BLM Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada on June 25, 2015:

    The supplemental plat, in 1 sheet, showing amended lottings in section 3, Township 12 North, Range 26 East, of the Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada, under Group No. 951, was accepted June 22, 2015. This supplemental plat was executed to facilitate the conveyance of certain public land to the municipality of Yerington, Nevada, as authorized by Public Law 113-291.

    12. The Supplemental Plat of the following described lands was officially filed at the BLM Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada on June 25, 2015:

    The supplemental plat, in 1 sheet, showing amended lottings in section 4, Township 12 North, Range 26 East, of the Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada, under Group No. 951, was accepted June 22, 2015. This supplemental plat was executed to facilitate the conveyance of certain public land to the municipality of Yerington, Nevada, as authorized by Public Law 113-291.

    13. The Supplemental Plat of the following described lands was officially filed at the BLM Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada on June 25, 2015:

    The supplemental plat, in 1 sheet, showing amended lottings in section 9, Township 12 North, Range 26 East, of the Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada, under Group No. 951, was accepted June 22, 2015. This supplemental plat was executed to facilitate the conveyance of certain public land to the municipality of Yerington, Nevada, as authorized by Public Law 113-291.

    14. The Supplemental Plat of the following described lands was officially filed at the BLM Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada on June 25, 2015:

    The supplemental plat, in 1 sheet, showing amended lottings in section 10, Township 12 North, Range 26 East, of the Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada, under Group No. 951, was accepted June 22, 2015. This supplemental plat was executed to facilitate the conveyance of certain public land to the municipality of Yerington, Nevada, as authorized by Public Law 113-291.

    15. The Supplemental Plat of the following described lands was officially filed at the BLM Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada on June 25, 2015:

    The supplemental plat, in 1 sheet, showing amended lottings in section 11, Township 12 North, Range 26 East, of the Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada, under Group No. 951, was accepted June 22, 2015. This supplemental plat was executed to facilitate the conveyance of certain public land to the municipality of Yerington, Nevada, as authorized by Public Law 113-291.

    16. The Supplemental Plat of the following described lands was officially filed at the BLM Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada on August 11, 2015:

    The supplemental plat, in 1 sheet, showing amended lottings in section 33, Township 13 North, Range 26 East, of the Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada, under Group No. 953, was accepted August 11, 2015. This supplemental plat was executed to facilitate the conveyance of certain public land to the municipality of Yerington, Nevada, as authorized by Public Law 113-291.

    The surveys and supplemental plats listed above are now the basic record for describing the lands for all authorized purposes. These records have been placed in the open files in the BLM Nevada State Office and are available to the public as a matter of information. Copies of the surveys and related field notes may be furnished to the public upon payment of the appropriate fees.

    Dated: August 21, 2015. Michael O. Harmening, Chief Cadastral Surveyor, Nevada.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21245 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-HC-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLNMP00000 L13110000.PP0000 15XL1109PF] Notice of Public Meeting, Pecos District Resource Advisory Council Meeting, New Mexico AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Pecos District Resource Advisory Council (RAC) will meet as indicated below.

    DATES:

    The RAC will meet on October 15, 2015, at the Carlsbad Field Office, 620 East Greene Street, Carlsbad, New Mexico, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The public may send written comments to the RAC at the BLM Pecos District, 2909 West 2nd Street, Roswell, New Mexico, 88201.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Howard Parman, Pecos District Office, Bureau of Land Management, 2909 West 2nd Street, Roswell, New Mexico 88201, 575-627-0212. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8229 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The 10-member Pecos District RAC advises the Secretary of the Interior, through the BLM, on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in the BLM's Pecos District. Planned agenda items include: Election of a new chairman; report on the status of the Carlsbad plan revision; an overview of penalties for non-compliance for oil and gas development activities; presentations by both BLM staff and cave interests regarding the BLM's management of caves in regards to containing the spread of white nose syndrome; and a field trip to the Delaware and Black Rivers to discuss issues associated with these bodies of water.

    All RAC meetings are open to the public. There will be a half-hour public comment period at 9:30 a.m. for any interested members of the public who wish to address the RAC. Depending on the number of persons wishing to speak and time available, the time for individual comments may be limited.

    Debby Lucero, Acting Deputy State Director, Lands and Resources.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21284 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-FB-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLOR957000-L14400000-BJ0000-15XL1109AF: HAG 15-0217] Filing of Plats of Survey: Oregon/Washington AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The plats of survey of the following described lands are scheduled to be officially filed in the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office, Portland, Oregon, 30 days from the date of this publication.

    Willamette Meridian Oregon T. 32 S., R. 8 W., accepted August 5, 2015 T. 12 S., R. 41 E., accepted August 5, 2015
    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of the plats may be obtained from the Public Room at the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office, 1220 SW. 3rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204, upon required payment.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kyle Hensley, (503) 808-6132, Branch of Geographic Sciences, Bureau of Land Management, 1220 SW. 3rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A person or party who wishes to protest against this survey must file a written notice with the Oregon State Director, Bureau of Land Management, stating that they wish to protest. A statement of reasons for a protest may be filed with the notice of protest and must be filed with the Oregon State Director within thirty days after the protest is filed. If a protest against the survey is received prior to the date of official filing, the filing will be stayed pending consideration of the protest. A plat will not be officially filed until the day after all protests have been dismissed or otherwise resolved. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    F. David Radford, Acting, Chief Cadastral Surveyor of Oregon/Washington.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21276 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLMTM00000.L111100000.XP0000 15XL1109AF MO#4500082502] Notice of Public Meeting; Central Montana Resource Advisory Council AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Central Montana Resource Advisory Council (RAC) will meet as indicated below.

    DATES:

    The Central Montana Resource Advisory Council Meeting will be held October 6-7, 2015 in Chinook, Montana. The October 6 meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. with a 30-minute public comment period and will adjourn at 5:00 p.m. The October 7 meeting will begin at 8:00 a.m. with a 30-minute public comment period beginning at 10:00 a.m. and will adjourn at 12:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meetings will be in the Chinook Motor Inn Conference Room at 100 Indian Street, Chinook, Montana.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Albers, HiLine District Manager, Great Falls Field Office, 1101 15th Street North, Great Falls, MT 59401, (406) 791-7789, [email protected] Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-677-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This 15-member council advises the Secretary of the Interior, through the BLM, on a variety of management issues associated with public land management in Montana. During these meetings the council is scheduled to take a field trip to the Bullwhacker Coulee area October 6, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and participate in/discuss/act upon these topics/activities: A roundtable discussion among council members and the BLM; update on BLM efforts to restore access to the Bullwhacker area and District Managers' updates. All RAC meetings are open to the public.

    Each formal RAC meeting will also have time allocated for hearing public comments. Depending on the number of persons wishing to comment and time available, the time for individual oral comments may be limited.

    Authority:

    43 CFR 1784.4-2.

    Mark K. Albers, HiLine District Manager.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21280 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-DN-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement [Docket ID BSEE-2015-0011; OMB Control Number 1014-0019; 15XE1700DX EEEE500000 EX1SF0000.DAQ000] Information Collection Activities: Oil and Gas Production Requirements; Proposed Collection; Comment Request ACTION:

    60-day Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), BSEE is inviting comments on a collection of information that we will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The information collection request (ICR) concerns a renewal to the paperwork requirements in the regulations under Subpart K, Oil and Gas Production Requirements.

    DATES:

    You must submit comments by October 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods listed below.

    • Electronically go to http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter BSEE-2015-0011 then click search. Follow the instructions to submit public comments and view all related materials. We will post all comments.

    • Email [email protected] Mail or hand-carry comments to the Department of the Interior; Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement; Regulations and Standards Branch; ATTN: Cheryl Blundon; 45600 Woodland Road, Sterling, VA 20166. Please reference ICR 1014-0019 in your comment and include your name and return address.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cheryl Blundon, Regulations and Standards Branch at (703) 787-1607 to request additional information about this ICR.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: 30 CFR part 250, subpart K, Oil and Gas Production Requirements.

    Form(s): BSEE-0126 and BSEE-0128.

    OMB Control Number: 1014-0019.

    Abstract: The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act (OCSLA), at 43 U.S.C. 1334 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to prescribe rules and regulations necessary for the administration of the leasing provisions of that Act related to the mineral resources on the OCS. Such rules and regulations will apply to all operations conducted under a lease, right-of-way, or a right-of-use and easement. Operations on the OCS must preserve, protect, and develop oil and natural gas resources in a manner that is consistent with the need to make such resources available to meet the Nation's energy needs as rapidly as possible; to balance orderly energy resource development with protection of human, marine, and coastal environments; to ensure the public a fair and equitable return on the resources of the OCS; and to preserve and maintain free enterprise competition.

    Section 5(a) of the OCS Lands Act requires the Secretary to prescribe rules and regulations “to provide for the prevention of waste, and conservation of the natural resources of the Outer Continental Shelf, and the protection of correlative rights therein” and to include provisions “for the prompt and efficient exploration and development of a lease area.”

    Section 1334(g)(2) states “. . . the lessee shall produce such oil or gas, or both, at rates . . . to assure the maximum rate of production which may be sustained without loss of ultimate recovery of oil or gas, or both, under sound engineering and economic principles, and which is safe for the duration of the activity covered by the approved plan.”

    In addition to the general rulemaking authority of the OCSLA at 43 U.S.C. 1334, section 301(a) of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act (FOGRMA), 30 U.S.C. 1751(a), grants authority to the Secretary to prescribe such rules and regulations as are reasonably necessary to carry out FOGRMA's provisions. While the majority of FOGRMA is directed to royalty collection and enforcement, some provisions apply to offshore operations. For example, section 108 of FOGRMA, 30 U.S.C. 1718, grants the Secretary broad authority to inspect lease sites for the purpose of determining whether there is compliance with the mineral leasing laws. Section 109(c)(2) and (d)(1), 30 U.S.C. 1719(c)(2) and (d)(1), impose substantial civil penalties for failure to permit lawful inspections and for knowing or willful preparation or submission of false, inaccurate, or misleading reports, records, or other information. Because the Secretary has delegated some of the authority under FOGRMA to BSEE, 30 U.S.C. 1751 is included as additional authority for these requirements.

    The Independent Offices Appropriations Act (31 U.S.C. 9701), the Omnibus Appropriations Bill (Pub. L. 104-133, 110 Stat. 1321, April 26, 1996), and OMB Circular A-25, authorize Federal agencies to recover the full cost of services that confer special benefits. Under the Department of the Interior's implementing policy, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is required to charge the full cost for services that provide special benefits or privileges to an identifiable non-Federal recipient above and beyond those that accrue to the public at large. Several requests for approval required in Subpart K are subject to cost recovery, and BSEE regulations specify service fees for these requests.

    Regulations implementing these responsibilities are among those delegated to BSEE. The regulations under 30 CFR 250, subpart K, pertain to governing oil and gas production, associated forms, and related Notices to Lessees (NTLs) and Operators. BSEE issued several NTLs to clarify and provide additional guidance on some aspects of the current subpart K regulations.

    We use the information in our efforts to conserve natural resources, prevent waste, and protect correlative rights, including the Government's royalty interest. Specifically, BSEE uses the information to:

    • Evaluate requests to burn liquid hydrocarbons and vent and flare gas to ensure that these requests are appropriate;

    • determine if a maximum production or efficient rate is required; and,

    • review applications for downhole commingling to ensure that action does not result in harm to ultimate recovery.

    We use the information in Form BSEE-0126, Well Potential Test Report, for reservoir, reserves, and conservation analyses, including the determination of maximum production rates (MPRs) when necessary for certain oil and gas completions. The information obtained from the well potential test is essential to determine if an MPR is necessary for a well and to establish the appropriate rate. The information in Form BSEE-0128, Semiannual Well Test Report, is used to evaluate the results of well tests to determine if reservoirs are being depleted in a manner that will lead to the greatest ultimate recovery of hydrocarbons. This information is collected to determine the capability of hydrocarbon wells and to evaluate and verify an operator's approved maximum production rate if assigned.

    No questions of a sensitive nature are asked. We protect proprietary information according to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and DOI's implementing regulations (43 CFR 2); 30 CFR 250.197, Data and information to be made available to the public or for limited inspection; and 30 CFR part 252, OCS Oil and Gas Information Program. Proprietary information concerning geological and geophysical data will be protected according to 43 U.S.C. 1352. Responses are mandatory or are required to obtain or retain a benefit.

    Frequency: On occasion, weekly, monthly, semi-annually, annually, and as a result of situations encountered depending upon the requirements.

    Description of Respondents: Potential respondents comprise Federal oil, gas, or sulphur lessees and/or operators.

    Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden: The currently approved annual reporting burden for this collection is 20,312 hours and $4,593,245 non-hour costs. In this submission, we are requesting a total of 46,136 burden hours and $1,361,176 non-hour cost burdens. The following chart details the individual components and respective hour burden estimates of this ICR. In calculating the burdens, we assumed that respondents perform certain requirements in the normal course of their activities. We consider these to be usual and customary and took that into account in estimating the burden.

    30 CFR 250
  • Subpart K and related NTLs
  • Reporting & recordkeeping
  • requirement*
  • Non-Hour cost burdens Hour burden Average No. of annual responses Annual burden hours
  • (rounded)
  • Well Tests/Surveys and Classifying Reservoirs 1151(a)(1), (c); 1167 Conduct well production test; submit Form BSEE-0126 (Well Potential Test Report) and supporting information within 15 days after end of test period 3.4 587 forms and information 1,996 1151(a)(2), (c); 1167 Conduct well production test; submit Form BSEE-0128 (Semiannual Well Test Report) and supporting information within 45 days after end of calendar half-year 3.2 8,605 forms and information 27,536 1151(b) Request extension of time to submit results of semi-annual well test 0.6 8 requests 5 1152(b), (c); Request approval to conduct well testing using alternative procedures 0.9 7 requests 6 1152(d) Provide advance notice of time and date of well tests 0.6 36 notices 22 Subtotal 9,243 responses 29,565 Approvals Prior to Production 1156; 1167 Request approval to produce within 500 feet of a unit or lease line; submit supporting information/documentation; notify adjacent operators and provide BSEE proof of notice date 8.75 20 requests 175 $3,892 × 20 requests = $77,840 1156(b); 1158(b) Notify adjacent operators submit letters of acceptance or objection to BSEE within 30 days after notice; include proof of notice date 1.63 20 letters 33 1157; 1167 Request approval to produce gas-cap gas in an oil reservoir with an associated gas cap, or to continue producing an oil well showing characteristics of a gas well with an associated gas cap; submit producing an oil well showing characteristics of a gas well with an associated gas cap; submit supporting information 16.2 22 requests 356 $4,953 × 22 requests = $108,966 1158; 1167 Request approval to downhole commingle hydrocarbons; submit supporting information; notify operators and provide proof of notice date 24 30 applications 720 $5,779 × 30 applications = $173,370 Subtotal 92 responses 1,284 $360,176 non-hour costs Flaring, Venting, and Burning Hydrocarbons 1160; 1161; 1163(e) Request approval to flare or vent natural gas or exceed specified time limits/volumes; submit evaluation/documentation; report flare/vent information due to blow down of transportation pipelines within 72 hours after incident 2.55 231 requests/reports 589 1160(b); 1164(b)(1), (2) H2S Contingency, Exploration, or Development and Production Plans and, Development Operations Coordination Documents—burdens covered under 1014-0018 and BOEM's 1010-0151. Monitor air quality and report—burdens covered under 1010-0057. 0 1162; 1163(e) Request approval to burn produced liquid hydrocarbons; demonstrate no risk and/or submit documentation re transport. If approval needed, submit documentation with relevant information re hydrocarbons burned under the approval 1.25 3 requests/reports 4 1163 Initial purchase or replacement of gas meters to measure the amount of gas flared or vented. This is a non-hour cost burden 13 meters @$77,000 each—$1,001,000 1163(a)(1) Notify BSEE when facility begins to process more than an average of 2,000 bopd per month 1.25 33 notices 41 1163(b); Report to ONRR hydrocarbons produced, including measured gas flared/vented and liquid hydrocarbon burned—burden covered under 1012-0004. 0 1163(a), (c), (d) Maintain records for 6 years detailing on a daily and monthly cumulative basis gas flaring/venting, liquid hydrocarbon burning; and flare/vent meter recordings; make available for inspection or provide copies upon request 14.8 914 platforms (gas flare/vent) 13,527 1 60 Liquid Hydrocarbon 60 1164(c) Submit monthly reports of flared or vented gas containing H2S 3.6 15 operators × 12 mos. = 180 648 Subtotal 1,434 responses 14,869 $1,001,000 non-hour costs Other Requirements 1165 Submit proposed plan and supporting information for enhanced recovery operations 12 18 plans 216 1165(c) Submit periodic reports of volumes of oil, gas, or other substances injected, produced, or produced for a second time—burden covered under ONRR's 1012-0004. 0 1166 Alaska Region only: submit annual reservoir management report and supporting information 1 1 (req'd by State, BSEE gets copy) 1 100 1 new development not State lands 100 20 1 revision 20 1150-1167 General departure or alternative compliance requests not specifically covered elsewhere in Subpart K 2.8 29 submissions 81 Subtotal 50 responses 418 Total Burden 10,819 responses 46,136 $1,361,176 non-hour cost burdens. * In the future, BSEE may require electronic filing of some submissions.

    Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Non-Hour Cost Burden: We have identified four non-hour cost burdens for this collection. Section 250.1156 requires a fee ($3,892) to produce within 500 feet of a lease line request. Section 250.1157 requires a fee ($4,953) for a gas cap production request. Section 250.1158 requires a fee ($5,779) for a downhole commingling request. Section 250.1163 requires purchase and installation of gas meters ($77,000) to measure the amount of gas flared or vented for facilities that produce more than 2,000 bopd. We have not identified any other non-hour cost burdens associated with this collection of information.

    Public Disclosure Statement: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Until OMB approves a collection of information, you are not obligated to respond.

    Comments: Before submitting an ICR to OMB, PRA section 3506(c)(2)(A) requires each agency “. . . to provide notice . . . and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of information . . .”. Agencies must specifically solicit comments to: (a) E valuate whether the collection is necessary or useful; (b) evaluate the accuracy of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) minimize the burden on the respondents, including the use of technology.

    Agencies must also estimate the non-hour paperwork cost burdens to respondents or recordkeepers resulting from the collection of information. Therefore, if you have other than hour burden costs to generate, maintain, and disclose this information, you should comment and provide your total capital and startup cost components or annual operation, maintenance, and purchase of service components. For further information on this burden, refer to 5 CFR 1320.3(b)(1) and (2), or contact the Bureau representative listed previously in this notice.

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